Wednesday, August 22, 2012

School Food Inspiration

These are real school lunches that I've made. I find them easy, quick, filling, & the boys love them all!! I use leftovers that aren't enough for everyone to have as another dinner for fillers in lunches. It's a great way to make the lunch full and use up leftovers that you would otherwise throw out. :) 
 Sauteed Peppers, Watermelon, Pulled Pork, Dried Cranberries
 Boiled Eggs, Bacon, Applesauce, Dried Cranberries
 Grilled Chicken, Brown Rice, Sauteed Peppers
 This is Pioneer Woman's Chili ~ insanely good ~ not School Food ~ I just wanted to post it :)
 Watermelon, Pasta & Cheese, Angry Bird Gummies
 Cracker & Cheese Sandwiches, Banana w/Peanut Butter, Applesauce 
Lentil Chili, Salad, Crackers, Blackberries 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mountain Born

We finished this book up over the summer. It is about a boy that lives on a farm. He helps his Dad with the sheep and saves a little one. This book is a read aloud for Sonlight Intro. Into World History Part 1. 

We found this book very slow moving. Still good. Just slow. The writing is a different style. I'm not sure how to explain it but I did have to explain what things meant to Chris (7yo). 

Here's a paragraph for an example:
"The sun passed its zenith and the tiny leaves cast their shade at the base of the trees. The sun moved slowly on its course while the shadows of the leaves reached eastward down the slope. A lamb baaed; a sheep stirred. One by one they rose and shook themselves and moved across the pasture to the stream. Snuffing the water in their fussy way, they touched their noses to it. The cool, clear stream was its own assurance. The sheep drank fastidiously, and the lambs baaed curiously at other lambs whose faces look up at them from the water." 

As you can see, it's well written and slow moving. With every other paragraph like that, it really called Chris up in his comprehension. Needless to say - we took a few months on this one. So there were a few read alouds we didn't get to this past school year. That's ok. 

We both cried at the end. 

Do I recommend? Yes - to a mature 1rst grader, or 2nd grade +. The back of the book says ages 9 - 12. 

The book should be linked to amazon. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

**Link Love**

Most Saturdays I devote a little free fun time for me on the internet. I try to catch up on checking in with long distance friends on facebook, pin my heart away on pinterest, poke around on blogs, youtube, and instagram. It's my chill computer time. : D I thought it would be fun to start linking up some of the stuff I find!

** My Pinterest Page 

** Dishwasher Detergent Recipe ~ I've tried their Laundry Detergent Recipe and it works great!!

** Momma's Playground movie tickets for a family movie night 

** Cards for Soldiers ~ I want to start doing this with the boys. I've been looking for a meaningful way to     give with the boys.

** Doodle Bugs ~ loving this teacher's blog!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Father's World ~ K ~ take 2!

My second son starts kindergarten this year! I can't believe how big he is! We are doing My Father's World!
  • I've gone through this once with my oldest son, Chris. You can see those posts here
  • I received and organized all his school work for the year. I'm pretty impressed with the changes they made. I linked up with A Mama's Story's MFW Blogroll. I plan on posting everything I do again with Zack this year.

  • Mama Jenn has a great MFW Kindergarten resource page here

Summer 2012 Part 2 of 2

Lots of Bike Riding: Chris (not pictured) learned how to ride without training wheels! 

Fun Art Days: 

Mom won't let me watch TV days:
 Sick Days:
 Fun Pool Days:
We enjoyed our 2012 summer & welcome fall! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Fun Part 1 of 2

Beach Trip:  I planned on 3 of these this summer - we managed 1! Still a fun day though!

Tried My Hand at "Gardening": I usually kill plants. Every. Single. Time. I really wanted to change that mainly because I want a small vegetable garden. So I'm starting small and getting in a routine and knowledge of plant care. :D ~ boxwood basil, parsley, sweet basil, tomato, and sunflowers
 Hair Cuts: much needed!

 Summer Camp: The boys went to the YMCA day camp for one week! They loved it!

Nathanael's First Hair Cut:

Chalk Days: Quite a few!
Our Mini Taco Buffet:  

 The Real Deal: 

  • I was really disappointed that we were only getting one day at the beach. Ungrateful - yes! I'm constantly having to remind myself when things don't go "my way" to be thankful for what is! 
  • Beach day had serious moments of stress - 3 little ones in a potentially dangerous situation (ex. endless ocean where you may never find your child if lost in it! - do I have worry issues -  a big fat YES! would be the answer), sticky sunblock, sand, wet clothes, etc. = stressful moments. Lots of fun - YES! I love the beach!!!
  • Camp was my idea. I still plan on it next year too. However - I had a list of projects that I planned on doing during those glorious hours of just me and my youngest little gentleman. Yeah, none done. Not one! So I realized - I'm so glad I homeschool. If I sent my kids to school - I'd still get nothing done. Might as well have fun schooling them! This way I at least get something accomplished! ~ that was a little joke :P ~ though there is some truth in there Ha Ha! They really did have such a blast!!
  • Our youngest son was diagnosed with autism during this time. We are on a waiting list with Duke for a second opinion. I agree with the diagnoses. However, I always said that if we were ever in a serious medical situation we would always get other opinions. Also, there were some tests ordered ... and I'd rather them be done a Duke. The hardest thing about this is actually dealing with other people! People seem to mainly do one of two things - Stare him & us down because he is loud and appears to not listen to us or they know he's autistic so they study him as if he is a case and not a human with emotions or has parents that love him dearly standing right there watching them do that! This has happened with strangers, friends, and family. I HATE it! I breaks my heart. No matter what he may be diagnosed with - he is who he is - Nathanael! No more. No less. and he is one of my greatest loves!
  • I would say the hardest thing about summer was - TV time! We've never had cable until recently and once school was done - I found regulating TV time very hard.
We had lazy days, fun days, stressful days, work days, lots of tennis days, lots of riding bikes days - it was summer! We loved it! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Pictures! ... and The Real Deal

It is technically Easter still as I make this post. My husband is off Monday & Tuesday so I'm trying to make all my posts for the week. I'm trying to make this my Sunday thing. That's my goal anyways. :)

I woke up early Easter morning because I needed to finish out my week 2 in the Couch to 5k program. It was such a beautiful day and as I was running I started thinking. Thinking of all the events in my life that led me to this point - running in North Carolina on Easter morning. Last Easter I was hoping and believing for healing in my kidneys and bladder. I remember knowing that I would have full restoration, I just wasn't 100% sure if that restoration would be on Earth or in Heaven. I knew it was coming though. I knew that whatever life had ahead for me, He would be with me always until the end. ♥ I received the news and seen my insides with my own eyes at an amazing facility the day after Mother's Day that my kidneys and bladder where made like new! The doctor said exactly what was prayed over me the day before "it's like nothing ever happened"! For some time I didn't understand or know why God chose to save me and then heal me completely. I thought "I'm nobody". and I still am. But it's not because of who I am, it's because of who He is! He is merciful and gracious beyond measure. What really hit me was as I was thinking of all this, I was running, 1 year later!! running with brand new kidneys and bladder! 1 1/2 years ago it took me 5 minutes to walk from the hospital bed to the bathroom and now I'm completing week 2 in a running program!! GOD IS GOOD!!

Motivated by Carissa's honest post a few days ago - I'm going to start including what I'm calling "The Real Deal" at the end of applicable posts! Make sure to scroll to the bottom of the Easter pictures to check out The Real Deal for Easter 2012 with the Cartes. :D



Egg Hunt:

The Real Deal: My husband got stressed out while getting ready for church and yelled at one of the boys, since we've lived here his schedule is wed. - sun. 8-8. he was able to get the morning off so he's working 2pm-2am today. He left right after the egg hunt. Our lunch was McDonald's in our van. My two oldest got into 3 or more fights. Nathanael didn't care about 1 thing in his Easter basket, he cried and pitched a fit for most pictures, and I could not get him to pick up 1 egg!! (don't let the pics fool ya ;) I spent the afternoon keeping him from playing in toilet water (that may or may not have been used) and putting crumbs and little findings in his mouth. (yes, he's 19 months, but has some developmental delays and is probably somewhere between 9 - 12months mentally and physically) To this day we have NEVER had an "Easter meal" due to my husband has worked every Easter. HOWEVER - This Easter As a family we ate breakfast and lunch together, we went to church and talked about our service together on our way home, I played with each of the boys one on one and Chris was able to do so too before he left. We prayed together and we read the Easter story. We remembered God and what He has done for us. We had a great day mixed, as always, with real life. What more can ya ask for?? :D

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Homer Price

We absolutely loved this book! This is a read aloud for Sonlight Core 1. I just can not rave enough about it! Seriously it is that good! My husband is not a big reader (i being his wife have my own theories on that LoL) and he fell in love with this book! My son, Chris, who this reading is technically for loved it as well. I can safely say that this is by far his favorite read aloud ... so far!!!

I'm not going to lie - some mornings I woke up and while making breakfast, couldn't wait for after dinner! My husband was quick to grab this book b4 anyone went anywhere to start reading after dinner. And not so much because he wanted to have this family time of reading but more so because he had a need to see what was going to happen next!


*pic. is linked to amazon page.

Friday, April 6, 2012

2012 Goals Quarterly Check IN

Memory Keeping:
  • keep up with Project Life (i actually just got my 2012 PL materials like 2 weeks ago. I have my pictures taken. I just need to print)
  • keep shutterfly updated and have an ongoing photo book
  • record something once a week and have a yearly video folder *ongoing*doing this!
  • turn VHS videos into DVDs
  • finish Nathanael's baby album (almost)
  • finish Zack's baby album
  • Read through the Bible in a year and do weekly check ins *ongoing* though I have not done any check ins
  • Read through 29 planned books. ~ So I was doing this and then realized how much this goal did not work with my personality and changed it. Now my goal is to read 30 books this year. 15 being any book that I owned b4 2012 and 15 being any book (library, new, old, etc). This fits my reading goal, still forces me to read older books I've collected while having much needed freedom. So I've read 6/30. 5 owned b4 2012 and 1 new. I like this goal SO much better.
  • Listen to extra books on my kindle in speech to text format while doing hands on, brain free activities. ~ so far I've listened to one book and some of my Bible reading but I've not been very good with this.
  • make a 30 by 30 list ~ 17/30
  • make, do, or whatever something from my saved resources once a week *ongoing* doing this!
  • have a monthly date night ~ this so has not been working out with moving. we don't have anyone to babysit here yet! 0/11
  • have a weekend just us ~ planned this! reservations made and paid, days off requested, grandparents coming down, everything planned!!! I can not wait for this!!
  • Swim & Tennis lessons for Chris (he did these last year and they fit him well) ~ there are no swimming lessons here! but he has been doing Tennis lessons and will continue through the summer.
  • Join Cub Scouts
  • Join the science museum once settled and money available
  • attend the homeschool convention in VA
  • Join a homeschool co-op once settled
  • start a chore system back up and have everyone an assigned night to help with dinner and evening kitchen routine
  • do any activity from resources once a week one on one with each child *ongoing* ~ still not consistent with this
  • start our weekly family night back up
  • host cook outs weekly or bi-weekly in the spring - fall, inviting everyone we know within reason
  • reach out monthly to someone however God directs *ongoing*
  • set up a budget and use the cash envelope system *trying - this is hard for us, but we are improving*
  • start/open our Disney 2016 fund
  • open a vacation account
  • get life insurance for Nathanael
  • combine all kids life insurance and do auto pay to save $
  • make a will
I would just like to give my little spiel on yearly goals and goal setting in general. Goals should help not hinder you toward any short or long term goals. They should reflect your own personal priorities (not what others say your priorities should be) and work with your personality, life style, and phase of life. Otherwise they are unattainable and not worth your time and only going to stress you out. If I finish all these goals then awesome! If I finish half my goals then awesome! I consider it all an accomplishment! That I didn't just allow the daily rut of life to take over me. In some years I've considered a fourth of goals completed awesome! Because life that year was tough and had many hurdles but I made it through and not only did I make through but I was still able to work towards my life plan and goals! That's amazing to me!!! A lot of my goals are about consistency. I don't want to just have a weekly family night right from the start and be able to say on Dec.31 we had 52 family nights. While that is great, I would be just as happy as if we didn't get to work on this until let's say November and we only accomplished 8. By the end of the year we are consistently having a family night - I'm happy. I feel that way about every single goal I've set for 2012. :D

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Learning (Bailey Flanigan Series)

This is the second book in the Bailey Flanigan Series.

Main Characters - Bailey Flanigan, Cody Coleman

Side Characters - Brandon Paul, Cheyenne ?

Extremely Side Characters - Ashley Baxter Blake, Landon Blake

Summary - This book picks up where Leaving left off. Pretty much you are following the details of their journey. Bailey is working on Broadway and Cody is a high school football coach. They get closer to their new "love interests". and every once in a while you hear about how the Blake family is doing.

My Personal Thoughts - This book seemed to focus more on the love drama part of the story line than the first book did. I think/felt like the author spent way too much time talking about football and Cody more than she mentioned Bailey.The football was interesting sometimes but boring to me a lot of the time. I had a hard time getting through this one and put it down often for a few days at a time. The Baxter family was mentioned so little that I feel they either should be mentioned more or not included at all. In addition, I'm finding some of the characters to be fake. It seems to me like the author is dropping in some foreshadowing leading me to believe that Bailey & Cody will end up together in the end. And I certainly would not like that! I think Cody doesn't deserve Bailey and Brandon Paul is a much better fit for her. I guess none of us really deserve our spouses though, right?

*picture is linked to Amazon

Monday, February 13, 2012

Leaving (Bailey Flanigan Series)

I bought this book at BJ's last summer (2011) for $9.99. I read it that summer as well. This was the first fiction book I've read by Karen Kingsbury. I don't know if I'm titling things right or doing the review right. Just take my review for what it is for ~ so you can decide if you want to read or check out this book. :)

Main Characters - Bailey Flanigan, Cody Coleman

Side Characters - Brandon Paul, Cheyenne ?

Extremely Side Characters - Ashley Baxter Blake, Landon Blake

Summary - Bailey graduates and is trying to "find her way". She leaves her hometown to work on Broadway in Chicago. Cody gets his first real job as a high school football coach. He was in the Iraqi wars and his buddy died. He meets at his friend's mother's house once a week for dinner as way to honor his buddy by keeping his mom company during this time. Bailey & Cody dated in high school and then he just vanished and didn't speak to her or her family anymore. Brandon Paul & Cheyenne are the characters that each are starting to have feelings for. Landon & Ashley are married with children and he is struggling with a lung condition that is possibly from helping out with 9/11.

My Personal Thoughts - I found the book fresh, uplifting, and inspiring. It was a fun read, getting to know everyone and what their situation is.

Just So You Know- Karen Kingsbury includes things like facebook, twitter, 9/11, the Iraq wars, etc. in the Bailey Flanigan Series. It's like everything is happening now in our time. ~ which I personally don't care for. People think Bible verses in their heads, hear God speaking to them, pray, and go to Bible studies. ~ that's cool and different.

*picture is linked to Amazon

Sunday, February 12, 2012

This Week's Goals:


1. catch up on Bible reading plan
2. finish made to crave


3. Pray for my husband
4. figure out how we can go on a date this month

5. finish reading Mr. Popper's Penguins
6. start weekly one on one activities with each child

Home Management-

7. prepare project life pictures and journaling cards for 2012
8. create ongoing shutterfly photo album 2012
9. work on project life 2011
10. finish 2010 shutterfly album

needless to say - I am behind on my memory keeping! I will catch up!! :D

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Plan/Tips For Reading Through The Bible

Reading through the Bible is something I always put on my goal list and it's one of the things that never get crossed off. Now I have personally read a little more than 3/4 of the Bible. And boy how I can't count how many times I've read Genesis - Leviticus trying to do Bible Reading Plans.

My main downfall with reading through the Bible - All plans I've previously found require either you read a section of scripture, one verse from psalms, and one verse from proverbs or you read a chapter from the old testament, a chapter from the new testament and a psalm. In my opinion psalms and proverbs are very deep. So I wouldn't want to read them at the same time I read my main portion of Scripture. Well, I could just never fit in that second reading time, I would get behind on reading my psalms and proverbs and eventually give up altogether.
  • Well NOT This Year!!! I am claiming that I will read through the Bible!! Using lessons learned from my past failures I did not give up until I found this site with a Bible reading plan that I knew would fit me. I'm using the plan Through the Bible. I am confident that this plan will work for me. After I printed out my plan, I decided a few things.
  • I must read it in the morning. It only works this way for me. I have to get up at least 15 minutes before the kids do, that's all I need. I have actually woken up early a few times, did my reading and went back to sleep until the kids got up! ... hey I was sick! :D
  • I have the Bible on my kindle. So that should I wake up at the same time the boys do, I can play daily reading in the text to speech format while making breakfast. Making breakfast is usually a quiet time for me.
  • I have my audio Bible cds in my car. So that if we wake up and are on the run, I can pop it in the car and listen to my daily reading! I know it will work if necessary because it's only a few chapters I have to listen to before demands of the radio are being made. :)
This way every area is covered. No matter what the morning brings I should be able to flow with it!! And I love that! I'm prepared.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

29 Books to Read in 2012

I love books! I always have! I was a very young 4 when I learned how to read and so I don't remember learning to read! I just always have! I remember my mom reading to me every night. I remember all the magazines my mom would order me because she knew I would read them. I would read my magazines cover to cover, devouring and savoring every article ... and smell. :P yeah, total book nerd here. and newspaper day was my favorite day in class. I recall looking forward to every Friday, not because it was before the weekend but because it was newspaper day! LoL. I loved the feel and smell, it seemed almost perfect. ... maybe I have issues Ha! Ha!

I would sooo love for this picture to become a reality in my house! minus the small dog... I would need a greyhound or great dane in the picture :D

Here are the 29 books I plan to read in 2012:
  1. Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst
  2. Learning by Karen Kingsbury
  3. How to Maximize Your Child's Learning Ability by Lauren Bradway & Barbara Hill
  4. Longing by Karen Kingsbury
  5. The Green Smoothies Diet by Robin Openshaw
  6. Louder Than Words by Jenny McCarthy
  7. Home Warming by Emilie Barnes
  8. A Charlotte Mason Companion
  9. The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants by Ann Bradshaw
  10. Momology by Shelly Radic
  11. Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
  12. The Twelve Teas of Inspiration by Emily Barnes
  13. The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas by Linda Dobson
  14. The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
  15. Simpler Times by Thomas Kinkade
  16. The Firstborn Advantage by Kevin Leman
  17. Loving by Karen Kingsbury
  18. Supernanny by Jo Frost
  19. Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
  20. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  21. What Every Mom Needs by Elisa Morgan & Carol Kuykendall
  22. Feathers From My Nest by Beth Moore
  23. Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham Jr.
  24. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  25. Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts
  26. The Death Cure by James Dashner
  27. The Passion of Jesus Christ by John Piper
  28. The Christmas Spirit by Joel Osteen
  29. A Prairie Christmas
So there you have it! I own all these books except 3. I have already started reading Made to Crave. It's pretty good so far.