*****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, August 31, 2014

Menu Plan August 31-September 6, 2014

Here’s a look at what’s cooking at our house this week…
Sunday – Homemade hamburger helper, veggies
Monday – YOYO
Tuesday – Tacos
Wednesday – Pepperoni Pizza Rolls, Corn
Thursday – Baked Pasta, Cheddar Garlic Biscuits, Salad
Friday – YOYO
Saturday – Homemade Pizzas
I’ve changed my YOYO/Leftover nights to Monday and Friday.  Mondays just because Brian works late, and Fridays because Micah is now taking a music class from 6:00-6:45, so finding the time to get supper done is hard.  So, it’ll be quick eating on Fridays.
What’s cooking at YOUR house this week?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Week Four of Learning 2014-15

We are moving right along in our 2014-15 school year.  It’s been fairly easy to stay on track, and I’m crossing my fingers we can continue this throughout the school year.  Here’s what was learned this week…
Micah, First Grade Bible – Micah’s lesson this week was on ‘my prayer of dedication’, and we read Luke 22:39-42 to accompany the lesson.
LLATL – This week Micah worked on the letters ‘s, c, f’ and the sight words ‘and, the.’  He also worked on sequencing and story recall.  He also read his first book for this program.

Math – This week Micah worked on the numbers 15-18; reading numbers on a number line; identifying points; and less than/greater than.
Science – This week Micah learned about stems, stem structure, and stem growth.
Caleb, Sixth Grade Bible – This week Caleb’s lesson was on ‘the flood and the tower,’ and he read Genesis 4:1-16; 6:1-11:9 to accompany his lesson.
Math – This week Caleb worked on percent; thinking of fractions as percents; and more on percents and fractions.
Reading – Caleb finished reading Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder by reading Chapter 11-13.  He completed several vocabulary and comprehension activities based on the chapters as well.  He’ll take a final comprehension test on the book and move on to his second book next week.
Geography – This week Caleb learned about Massachusetts and Maryland.  We are both finding some of the ‘interesting’ facts on each state quite interesting to say the least.  Some of the ‘unstated’ laws are just crazy.  LOL!
Writing – Caleb completed his writing assignment on verbs, and then he moved on to incomplete proverbs (incomplete sentences).
Science – Caleb read the same information as Micah; however, he went into further detail with each topic.
I’m very pleased with how both boys are performing this year.  We’ve gotten into somewhat of a routine, and it all seems to be going really well.  I don’t get much fuss from either one, and that always makes for a happy momma.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Making the Most of Leftovers

Leftovers…we all typically have them, and if you’re like me, you end up tossing them out because no one eats them.  So, instead of wasting food like I do and tossing good money down the garbage disposal, why not try to plan a way to use up the leftovers in other dishes?!!?
Here are a few ideas that work around here…
pasta – make a second main course that can incorporate them for another use.  I made saucy mozzarella patties (think chicken parmesan using ground beef) with a side of egg noodles.  Instead of tossing the leftover egg noodles, I made Italian meatballs and served the extra noodles with a beef gravy.  Leftover spaghetti noodles can be used to make baked spaghetti.  Just cook up a bit more ground beef and spaghetti sauce and add in the leftover spaghetti noodles with some mozzarella cheese.  We like to use leftover penne noodles to make fried eggs and noodles.  With pasta, the leftover creations are really endless.
rice – just like the pasta mentioned above, incorporate it into another dish.  I served rice alongside a chicken pot pie gravy/soup dish.  Using the leftover rice, I can ground some beef and add black beans and cheese to the rice to make homemade chimichangas or taco salad.
taco meat – when you’re tired of eating it as tacos, then toss it with some extras to make a taco salad or rice bowl, make burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, or freeze it for another use later.
baked or roasted chicken – use the leftovers to make a chicken salad.  Or, you can shred it, add some taco seasoning and make burritos, enchiladas, tacos, etc.  You can also use leftover chicken in baked pasta dishes.
veggies – while we don’t typically have too many veggies leftover, there are some options.  Toss them into scrambled eggs to make an egg scramble or baked omelet.  Add them to soups and stews.  Add them into baked pasta dishes…your kids may not even know they’re in there.  Smile  Puree them and add them to spaghetti sauces, pizza sauces, etc. 
These are just a few ways to use up some of the leftovers that may be found in your fridge.  What are your ideas for using up leftovers?  I’d love to see how you get rid of those leftovers lurking in the fridge. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Clutter -- it gets old quickly

Most of my friends know that I’m quite anal and a bit OCD as well.  Back when I was a teacher, it was a joke to come in my room and “misplace” something because I’d know exactly what was moved.  I was a lot worse before I had children.  Now that I’m the mom to two we don’t care about leaving clutter all over the house boys, I’ve had to re-think and give up a lot of my anal organization and OCD.  However, when it involves my space in the school area, it eventually drives me batty, and I can’t take it anymore. 
While I know that my idea of clutter isn’t the same as everyone else’s, it’s my idea that sets me off.  LOL!  So, since I’m all about trying to be productive, I thought I’d make a purchase to help tame the clutter on the school table. 
I first read about the Staples Desk Apprentice on a homeschool site that I frequent.  It caught my curiosity, but I read that it was huge and some didn’t like it.  Well, after getting aggravated with having to move all the school books just to find the one needed at the moment, I broke down and ordered it. 
I must say…I’m in love.  It IS huge, but it’s worth the size to tame the clutter.  It holds everything (well most) that we need to make it through our school day, and the other nice perk…it has handles so it can easily be moved off the table if I need the table for other projects. 
So, if you’re trying to tame the clutter in your life, I’d highly recommend purchasing the Staples Desk Apprentice.  Caleb even says he’d like one…LOL!  I’m thinking I’ll hold off on buying a 2nd one until the need absolutely presents itself.  LOL!

School table BEFORE the clutter was tamed
School table AFTER the clutter was tamedIMG_1438
***Staples has in no way compensated me for this post.  Although I wouldn’t cry if they did so after reading this…lol.  I am just so impressed with the way this neat apparatus works, and the organization that is has brought into our school space***

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Menu Plan August 24-30, 2014

Well, after having a fridge full of leftovers for a few days too many, I thought it was time to revamp my approach to menu planning.  Brian also works late four nights of the week, so he is not able to join us for dinner.  He also works in an older building, and it’s easier to not take food that needs to be reheated for lunch, so I usually pack him a cooler with sandwiches, veggies w/Ranch, a few yogurts, and fruit.  So, cooking 6-7 nights each week is just too much when there’s usually only three of us eating.  I’m going to give this new “days off” plan a whirl, and we’ll see how it goes.  Some nights I have way too many leftovers and other nights there aren’t any…it really depends on what I’ve cooked an the appetite of the boys.  With all of that in mind, here’s our menu plan for the upcoming week…
Sunday – Saucy Mozzarella Patties, Pasta, Snap Peas
Monday – YOYO
Tuesday – Italian Meatballs, Pasta, Steamed Veggies, Gravy
Wednesday – Brown Sugar Spiced Baked Chicken, Rice, Veggies
Thursday – YOYO
Friday – Homemade Taco Hamburger Helper, Broccoli
Saturday – Breakfast for Dinner
How do you handle leftovers?  Does your family eat them?  Do you cook every night of the week, or what’s your approach to  menu planning?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Week Three of Learning 2014-15

Even though we skipped school one day earlier in the week to enjoy a back-to-school bash with lots of other homeschoolers in the area, we still managed to complete our studies for week three.
Micah, First Grade Bible – Micah’s lesson this week was on “My Prayer of Adoration.”  We read Luke 17:11-19 to accompany the lesson.
LLATL – This week Micah worked on the letters ‘a, n, r, t’ and the sight words ‘a, to.’  He also worked on decoding new words, reading aloud, comprehension, story recall, and sentence formation.

Math – This week Micah worked on the numbers 11-14; place value; counting backward; squares; dimes; and math twin facts (fact families).
Science – This week Micah learned about seeds and seed dispersal; roots; and special roots.
Caleb, Sixth Grade Bible – This week Caleb’s lesson focused on “the fall of man.”  He read Genesis 3 to accompany the lesson.
Math – This week Caleb worked on zeros in the quotient; longer units of time; more division word problems; and averages.
Reading – Caleb continues to read Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  He read chapters 6-9 and completed vocabulary and comprehension activities for each chapter.
Geography – This week Caleb learned about Georgia and Connecticut.
Writing – This week Caleb’s lesson was on better verbs.  He hasn’t completed his writing assignment as we were scheduled for just 4 days of work this week, and writing is always the 5th day.  So, that’ll carry over to next week.
Science – Caleb learned the same information as Micah; however, he also read about George Washington Carver.
Both boys enjoyed the back-to-school bash that we attended on Tuesday.  It was held at a local park, and we were able to meet lots of other homeschoolers in the area.  We’re excited because I have agreed to be the Park Day Coordinator for this school term for the group, so we will be hosting two park days a month.  This will be a great opportunity to connect with other homeschoolers, and we’re looking forward to that.

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