*****Please note that there are days where I will post more than once. So, to find out all the latest happenings and "goings-on" in our family (or my random thoughts), be sure to scroll down.*****

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Menu Plan Week of January 30, 2011

Here’s what’s cooking at our house this week…
Sunday – Beef Tenderloin sliced over salad (we didn’t eat this last night, so it’s up for tonight)
Monday – Frikadellen, Mashed Potatoes, and Steamed Veggies
Tuesday – Tacos with Mexican Rice
Wednesday – YOYO
Thursday – Spaghetti, Salad, and Bread
Friday – YOYO
Saturday – Steak Sandwiches with Salad
What’s cooking at YOUR house this week?  Yes, it’s all beef over here this week.  I need to go find some chicken somewhere.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Second Grade Week 31 in Review

We finished up another week of schooling last week, and here’s how it all went.
Bible – We discussed “How God Made Us”, and we read Nehemiah 8:1-10 and Romans 14:7.  Our memory work was First Catechism Q&A 22.
Health – This we discussed how to be courteous at the table.  Caleb also learned the proper way to set the table, and we’re going to implement this during our evening meal.
Science – This week we discussed sowing seeds, and how seeds travel.
English – This week we reviewed linking verbs.  We also discussed contractions with not, is, are, and have.  We also worked on double negatives.
Vocabulary – Caleb did a few more exercises to instill the definition of the words, and he took his test.  He scored 100% on his test! 
Reading – This week we read the following books:
”Pop, Pop, Popcorn” by Evan-Moor Publishing
Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
One Fine Day by Nonny Hogrogrian
Math – This week we worked on rounding to 10 and estimation.  Caleb did SUPER well with this week’s math lesson.
Thanks for following our weekly home school adventures.  How’s school going in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Menu Plan Week of January 23, 2011

Here’s what’s cooking at our house this week.
Sunday – Hamburgers, Salad, and Chips
Monday – Italian Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, and Steamed Veggies
Tuesday – Fajita Pizza
Wednesday – Parmesan Crusted Shrimp, Rice, and Steamed Veggies
Thursday – YOYO
Friday – YOYO
Saturday – Beef Tenderloin, Rice, and Steamed Veggies
What’s cooking at YOUR house this week?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blog Makeover

Are you in need of a blog makeover?  Do you want to change things up a bit?  If so, head on over to Sweetie Baby’s Custom Blog Design and work with Leslie!  She’s great to work with, and her prices are VERY reasonable.  This is the 2nd blog design she’s done for me, and I’ve LOVED both of them. 

Thanks Leslie for doing such an awesome job!  I LOVE the new look!

Second Grade Week 30 in Review

We finished up Week 30 last week, but I never got around to posting the review.  So, here it is…
Bible – Our bible story was on “Our Spirits Never Die”, and we read Acts 7:51-60 and 2 Corinthians 5:6-10.  Our memory work was First Catechism Q&A 19-21.
Health – We discussed how to always be courteous.  We read the “Mr. Nobody” poem, and Caleb enjoyed it.  I know I have “Mr. Nobody” at my house…how about you?
Science – We discussed plant growth and from little acorns.
English – We talked about helping words with come, run, gone, and seen.  We also discussed is, are, was, and were being linking verbs.
Vocabulary – We added “aboard, blast, career, cautious, girder, invent, rotate, story, strand, and tower” to our list of vocabulary terms.  Caleb did several exercises to reinforce the definition of the words.
Social Studies – In Geography, we reviewed all of the states we’ve learned thus far.  In Social Studies, we continued to discuss the pioneers and how they traveled west.
Reading – This week we read the following stories:
Toy Story 2:  Friends Forever by Melissa Lagonegro
Bats by Lily Wood
The Teeny Tiny Woman by Jane O’Connor
Young Martin Luther King, Jr. – I Have a Dream by Joanne Mattern
Math – We discussed sequencing, word problem tips, and inequalities.
Art – We finally brought the art book back out after a long time.  This week Caleb worked on using black and white on colored paper.  This was done in an effort to introduce tint and shade.  When you add black, you are making a shade of the color; however, when you add white, you are making a tint of the color.  We often say, “oh, that’s a lovely shade of pink.”  However, what we SHOULD be saying is, “oh, that’s a lovely tint of pink.”  Did you know that?  I didn’t.  LOL!  It’s amazing what one can learn when teaching one’s children…LOL!
As always, thanks for following our home school journey!  We hope you all are having a productive school year!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Menu Plan Week of January 16, 2011

Well, it’s that time again.  Here’s what’s cooking at our house this week:
Sunday – Paprika Chicken & Egg Noodles, Steamed Broccoli, Homemade Bread
Monday – Shrimp Scampi, Jasmine Rice, Steamed Veggies
Tuesday – Lentil & Kielbasa Soup
Wednesday – Taco Lasagna, Salad
Thursday – YOYO (I have my FIRST Norwex show tonight, so wish me luck)
Friday – YOYO
Saturday – Baked Spaghetti, Salad, and Homemade French Bread
What’s cooking at YOUR house this week?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Need a Good Laugh???

During my morning Internet browsing, I always frequent the same few sites…Facebook, Google Reader, Homeschool Reviews, etc.  While I was checking out the Homeschool Reviews site, I stumbled upon the funniest little post.  So, I thought I’d copy and paste it for all of you to read.  I cannot take any credit for this, but it sure will make you laugh!







I emailed this to a few friends, but I thought my readers would benefit from the perks of a good laugh.  Enjoy my friends, enjoy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Menu Plan Week of January 9, 2011

I spent some time looking through all of my Pampered Chef cookbooks (I sold TPC for about 2 years before I got pregnant with Micah, and I LOVE their products), so I’m trying to add some new recipes into our menu.  Some we’ve tried before, but others will be new.  Hopefully they’ll be a Childress family pleaser!  Here’s what’s cooking this week:
Sunday – Saucy Mozzarella Patties, Noodles, and Salad
Monday – Parmesan Chicken Tenders, Steamed Veggies, Mashed Potatoes
Tuesday – Hamburgers and Chips
Wednesday – YOYO
Thursday – Salmon Cakes with Cool Lime Sauce, Squash Casserole, Steamed Broccoli
Friday – Fajita Pizza
Saturday – YOYO
What’s on YOUR menu this week?  If you’re a Pampered Chef fan, what’s your favorite Pampered Chef product?  Mine would have to be the stones…I use them almost daily!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Diagnosis Is…

Tourette Syndrome.  The neurologist we met with yesterday at Emory Children’s Center agrees that Caleb does have Tourette Syndrome.  I’ll admit, that’s not a shocker to me.  In fact, Brian and I both knew that yes, that’s probably what it is.  However, she was much more thorough and understanding.  She involved Caleb in the appointment and discussed his tics with him.  She asked him to describe (show her) the tics he’s had in the past, and she asked him if he felt like he HAD to do them or what was going on.  We mentioned some concerns we have with Caleb’s breathing (he’s a very heavy breather at times…almost like he’s holding his breath), and she informed us that it could be a respiratory tic.  We had NO IDEA there was even such a thing.  So, we will definitely keep our eyes/ears out for that to make sure that’s all it is.
We also mentioned some of Caleb’s other quirks with her, and she feels that there may be a bit of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), too.  It’s very common for TS and OCD to run hand-in-hand.  Honestly, that doesn’t shock us either.  I, for one, have my own OCD tendencies.  Everything has a place, and I know if you’ve moved it.  It was the joke when I was a teacher that if someone came in and misplaced a pen or anything else, I would know.  I knew where everything was when I left, and I would notice if something had been changed/moved.  Now, I’m not OCD in the sense of the old movie “Sleeping With the Enemy” (did you ever watch that one with Julia Roberts?), but yes…I like the towels folded a certain way, I want the dishwasher loaded a certain way, etc. 
We also brought up some of the other issues that we’ve discussed with our pediatrician in the past (Caleb’s body odor and some other puberty signs), and the neurologist is actually on our side about those issues.  She thinks we need to head BACK to the pediatrician and seek a referral to an endocrinologist.  So, that is on the agenda for this week. 
As for the next step, it’s just a wait and see.  There’s really no need for medication or treatment for Caleb’s TS at this moment.  It’s not interfering with  his academics or his social life; however, if it gets to that point, then we are welcome to see her again and seek alternative treatment. 
Like I mentioned in my post from yesterday, we don’t see any tics right now.  That’s a good thing, but we know that it can all change in an instant.  So, as parents, we’re just going on with life as normal, and we know that Caleb’s TS will be there.  We don’t want to waste time focusing on it and making it more of an issue for him. 
We appreciate all of the love, prayers, and support that you all have shown.  It truly means so much to us.  We ask that you continue to pray for Caleb (and us) as we try to determine if there are any problems with his endocrine system.  I’ll continue to update on that situation as we learn more.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Wait Is Over…

As most of you know, we’ve been dealing with some issues with Caleb since this past Spring.  However, after getting a diagnosis of Tourette’s Syndrome based PURELY on what I said, we began seeking a 2nd opinion.  Our pediatrician ordered a battery of tests, and they all came back normal.  We were finally able to make an appointment with a neurologist in Atlanta; however, she didn’t have any openings until January 7th.
It’s been a long 6 months, but our wait is now over.  Brian, Caleb, and I are heading up to Emory Children’s Center in Atlanta to meet with a pediatric neurologist.  Over the past month or so, we’ve noticed a decrease in Caleb’s tics; however, this is very common.  The big term used with Tourette’s Syndrome is wax and wane (which Brian cannot STAND to hear).  That means that the tics can come and go and change over time.  We’ve seen Caleb’s tics change, we’ve seen them be extremely noticeable, and we’ve seen them be hardly noticeable at all.  It all still baffles us, and we still don’t really know what’s going on.
We do believe that there are more issues than just the tics.  Caleb has always had sensory issues (again, we didn’t think much of it).  He doesn’t like tags on his clothing, he frets over seams on his socks, he frowns over issues with his underwear, etc.  We joke with him that he’d just run around naked if he could, but we all know that’s NOT happening.  So, this is another issue we’ll bring up tomorrow.
There are some other issues that we’ll discuss as well, but I won’t go into those here.  Just suffice it to say, that we can’t say that Tourette Syndrome is the only diagnosis we’ll hear.  We truly don’t know what’s going on, but we want answers. 
We all know that our healthcare system is changing, and we want to do everything we can to help our boys.  We do not want something going on their medical records without thorough evaluation and examination.  So, that’s what we’re doing.  We’re being the advocates God has called us to be, and we will do everything we can to help Caleb.  We just want answers.
So, please keep us in your prayers as we travel to Atlanta tomorrow and seek these answers.  I do not believe we’ll come home with all of the pieces to the puzzle; however, I’m hoping and praying that it’ll all start coming together. 
I’ll be back with an update as soon as we know more…

Second Grade Week 29 in Review

It’s a new year, and we’re back in our schooling groove.  We just finished up the two days needed for this week, so here’s how week 29 (really not even a week) went for us:
Bible – Our Bible story was on “Our First Parents.”  We read Genesis 1:26-31 and Genesis 2.  Our memory work was First Catechism Q&A #16-18. 
English – We finished up our writing chapter by taking a cumulative review.
Reading – We read the following book this week;
Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik
Math – We started working in our new MUS Beta book today.  We worked on Place Value & the Manipulatives.
Have you started back schooling yet?  I wish you all a GREAT 2011 schooling session!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I’ve had a few requests for the recipes from my Freezer Cooking Day, so I thought I’d share some of them.  I’ll be back with the others soon.
Taco Roll-Ups 1-pound ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
Mexican Cheese
2 cans crescents
Brown ground beef and drain the fat.  Follow the directions on the taco seasoning packet.  Once it’s cooled down, but still warm, add in the Mexican cheese.  Allow this mixture to cool completely.  Preheat oven to 350-degrees.  Spread the taco mixture onto 4 triangle pieces (you can usually just leave them pieced together, but be sure to press the edges so it’s sealed).  Roll it up and slice into about 12 pieces (that’s about how many I’m able to make with one 4-piece section).  Continue until you’ve used all of your taco mixture.  Bake at 350 until golden brown.  ENJOY!  Smile
Chicken & Broccoli Roll-Ups 2 cans of chicken (you can always use cooked chicken, too)
1 bag broccoli cuts, chopped
8-oz cream cheese, softened
1 packet dry Ranch dressing
Combine everything together and follow the directions for the taco roll-ups.  ENJOY!  Smile
Baked Chimichangas 1-pound ground beef
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 package Mexican Rice, cooked
1 packet taco seasoning
Mexican cheese
Large flour tortillas
Olive oil
Brown ground beef and drain.  Follow directions on taco packet.  Add black beans and Mexican Rice.  Once the mixture has cooled, but is still warm, add in Mexican cheese.  Preheat oven to 400-degrees.  Brush your baking sheet with olive oil (I use Pampered Chef stoneware, but I still do this).  Heat up the flour tortillas until they are soft.  Place beef, bean, and rice mixture on tortilla and roll up (be sure to fold both ends in so nothing leaks out).  Continue until you’ve used up all of the mixture.  Brush a little olive oil on each rolled up tortilla (helps with crisping).  Bake at 400-degrees for 15-17 minutes.  I’ve been flipping mine halfway through the cooking time to keep one side from browning/crisping too much.  ENJOY!  Smile
Fiesta Taco Soup 2-pounds ground beef
2 cans diced tomatoes w/green chiles
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can chopped green chiles
1 can mexi-corn
1 can white corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can light red kidney beans
1 can kidney beans
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet dry Ranch dressing
Brown ground beef, and drain off excess fat.  Add all of the other ingredients, stir, and cook as long as you want.  The longer it cooks, the more the flavors will meld and marry.  Serve with tortilla chips and any other “Mexican” toppings (sour cream, cheese, green onions, etc).  This makes a HUGE pot, and it freezes well.  ENJOY!  Smile
Okay, that’s it for now.  I’ll be back with the other recipes soon!  Enjoy and happy COOKING!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Freezer Cooking Day…

With the start of a new year, we all take time to reflect and make changes.  One of the changes I wanted to implement was being able to offer the boys more ideas for lunch and it’s even better if they’re healthy and easy.  So, with that in mind, Brian and I set out on Saturday to make a day of cooking and freezing.  This was my 2nd time doing such a thing, and the first was when I was pregnant with Micah.  But it was EXTREMELY helpful once we were home with the new baby and needed quick, prepared meals to pop in the oven. 
First, I had to decide what all I’d cook and freeze.  So, after giving it some thought, I came up with the following meal ideas:  chimichangas, taco roll-ups, chicken & broccoli roll-ups, parmesan chicken tenders, homemade pizzas, pancakes, and breakfast burritos.  I already had some bowls of Fiesta Taco Soup in the freezer, so that was on the menu, too.  Second, I had to make sure I had all of the necessary ingredients on hand.  Brian headed to the store while I started making the pizza dough in my new bread machine.  Third, it was time to get cooking.  And cooking I did…I spent nearly 9 hours in the kitchen on Saturday (and also half the day on Sunday), but it’s already proven well-worth the trouble. 
We’re enjoying the fruits of our labor, and it makes me happy to see the boys enjoying something other than PB&J or mac ‘n cheese for lunch.  LOL!  So, I think there will be more freezer cooking days in our future.  I’m hoping all of this food will last us a month, so 12 days a year is good for me! 

Taco Roll-Ups…ended up with 52 totalIMG_7145
Homemade Pizza Dough before par-bakingIMG_7147
Ham & Pineapple Pizzas…ended up with 13 pizzasIMG_7148
Parmesan Chicken Tenders…ended up with 12 total (I didn’t have any more chicken)IMG_7151
Chicken & Broccoli Roll-Ups…ended up with 43 totalIMG_7156
Beef Chimichangas…ended up with 13 totalIMG_7161
Egg Burritos…ended up with 8 totalIMG_7165
***Not pictured, pancakes…ended up with about 40***
Have you ever had a freezer cooking day?  If so, then please share your recipes.  I’d love to add new things for our next big cooking day.  If you want any of the above recipes, then just ask…I’ll gladly post them!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Homemade Bread…Yummy!

Brian bought me a bread machine for Christmas.  I have been asking for one, but I really wasn’t sure if I’d use it.  Yes, I’d love to have one…but would I really make enough bread to warrant the purchase?!!?  Well, I’ve used it 4x since Christmas, and I LOVE it.  I’ve made a country white loaf, a French country loaf, and I’ve used it 2x for pizza dough. 
I’m very happy with the purchase, and I see myself using it more and more as time goes on.  I know I’ll definitely be making most of our pizza crust from here on out…it’s just too easy, and it’s tasty, too!
Here are some pictures of my bread making…I’m no expert, and I’m sure I’ll learn tips and tricks as I experiment more.  However, if YOU have any tips or tricks to using a bread machine, then please share!  I have the Oster Express Bread Maker (it actually makes gluten-free bread, but we’re not doing that just yet).

Country White LoafIMG_7133
Pizza crusts ready for par-bakingIMG_7147
French Country LoafIMG_7171
What’s your favorite type of bread to make?  We’ve loved all of it so far.

Menu Plan Week of January 2, 2011

2011 is here, and it’s time to revamp the menu.  You will probably see lots of repeat main dishes since we’re trying to improve our health.  Nonetheless, I’ll still post our weekly menus to keep me on track and hopefully provide someone out there some inspiration.  Here’s what’s cooking this week:
Sunday – Spaghetti & Meatballs, Steamed Veggies, Homemade Bread (I didn’t make this on Saturday as I was busy doing other cooking…post to come later)
Monday – Hamburgers, Chips
Tuesday – Steak Fajitas
Wednesday – YOYO
Thursday – Sauteed Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Medley
Friday – Breakfast Burritos
Saturday – YOYO
What are you cooking this week?  Share some of your favorite healthy menu ideas with me…I’m always looking for new things to try.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ready, Aim, SHOOT…

As I mentioned in the previous post, Caleb received a BB gun from Uncle Daniel and Disha.  Uncle Daniel came over the day after Christmas to teach Caleb how to shoot his new BB rifle.  Caleb was thrilled…he’s been asking for a BB gun for a long while, but I wasn’t ready to take on that task just yet.  However, he seems like he’s ready, and he did GREAT shooting it.  Now, he just has to keep practicing, and who knows…maybe one day he’ll upgrade to a real rifle of some sort, but NO TIME SOON!

Micah getting ready for some fun in the dirt…IMG_7121
Making a mess in the garden (that really needs to be cleaned up once it isn’t so darn cold)IMG_7123
Practicing with the scope, which was later taken off because it was too hard for CalebIMG_7124
Practicing his aimIMG_7127
Target is readyIMG_7128

Christmas Day 2010

We hosted Christmas lunch for all of my family this year, and everything went well.  Everyone was asked to show up between 12 and 1pm, with lunch being ready by 1pm-ish.  Well, everyone showed up and was getting antsy, so we decided to go ahead and have everyone open up their gifts.  This year, we gave all everyone coupon books to the movies…we figured everyone would enjoy going to see a movie on us, so hopefully they’ll enjoy.  The boys racked up AGAIN with all kinds of goodies.  If you’ve been following attention to the pictures, it’s pretty obvious that Micah now owns nearly every Toy Story 3 ever made…LOL!  Caleb scored big with a BB gun from Uncle Daniel and Disha.  He was in HEAVEN when he saw that gun.  Christmas 2010 was a GREAT event, and we are all truly blessed. 

Christmas Morning 2010

Well, Santa has come and gone this year, and he was very good to the boys.  You will notice that they didn’t get a whole lot from Santa, but don’t worry…they’ll live.  We just decided to focus on helping others this holiday season, so we sponsored two children from a local non-profit cancer organization here in town (either they have cancer or they are the sibling to a cancer patient), and we also gave gifts to a local family that needed help.  Santa left Caleb a boxing bag with gloves, and he left Micah Andy’s Gift Pack from Toy Story 3.  He left both boys a slot car race track with extra cars, and he left the family an electronic dart board.  Both of the boys were pleased with their gifts from Santa, and they had lots of fun opening up all the gifts under the tree.  They both received lots of goodies.
Brian and I received some good gifts, too.  He surprised me with a bread machine, an electric can opener (I’ve been without one for several years now), and a new handheld vacuum that he got a STEAL of a DEAL on.  He received some t-shirts, some other clothes, a keychain, a remote control caddy, some slippers, and a few other small gifts (he is so hard to shop for).  I’m in LOVE with my bread machine, but that’s another post. 
Here are pictures from Christmas morning 2010…

Blogging tips