*****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, March 13, 2016

Menu Plan March 13-19, 2016

Well, when the cook of the house gets sick and the rest of the family follows suit, the menu gets tossed out the window.  I had good intentions last week, but when I woke up feeling like death on Wednesday, I knew it was going to be a tough week.  It was a week of 'eat what you feel like eating or can keep down.'  Thankfully, we are all on the mend, and we're praying Brian manages to not get it at all.  Here's what's cooking this week...

Sunday -- YOYO
Monday -- Burgers, Salad
Tuesday -- YOYO
Wednesday -- Crockpot Chicken Tacos
Thursday -- Pizza Casserole, Salad
Friday -- YOYO (Bunco/Game Night...YEAH)
Saturday -- Stuffed Shells, Biscuits, Salad

What's cooking at YOUR house this week?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Family Update

Since I've been absent from blogging, I felt it only necessary to give an update on our family.

Brian is still working as a finance manager in the auto industry.  He was blessed to find work at a dealership much closer to our home back at the end of 2015.  It's been a huge blessing having him not having to drive nearly an hour one way to work each day.  He's able to spend much more time with the family with his current position.  When he's not working and hanging out with the family, he spends his time playing guitar or a few of his favorite video games.

I spend most of my time schooling the boys and carting them to their various activities.  When I'm not busy doing this or taking care of household chores, I help out with our children's ministry at church.  I'm a greeter every 'even' month, and I also help out with our SunKids ministry.  I've also enjoyed several Bible studies with some of the women from our church.  Each month I get together with some homeschool friends for a night of Bunco or other games...this is a much welcomed event, and it's thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Caleb, now in 7th grade, is growing like a weed.  He's now taller than I am, and he towers over most of his 12-year-old friends, too.  He enjoys several classes at our local homeschool co-op, joins other homeschoolers for three hours of PE every week, and spends an evening with the youth group from church each week.  During his free time, he enjoys teaching himself how to play guitar and piano by ear using YouTube videos.  He also enjoys watching some clean comedians and Internetainers (Internet Entertainers) as well.

Micah, now in 2nd grade, is also growing up way too fast.  He also enjoys several classes at our local homeschool co-op, joins his church friends at SunKids and Sunday School, and enjoys hanging out with his friends as often as our schedule allows.  When he's not busy with school or enjoying the outdoors, you can usually find him playing a video game or watching 'mom-approved' YouTube videos or Netflix.

We had to put our precious Little Man to sleep at the end of January.  It was a hard and tough decision, but Brian and I knew it was time.  He was a part of our family for almost 15.5 years, and he was nearly 17-18 years old.  His heart was failing him, and he had a cough that wouldn't go away.  He was also beginning to refuse to take any of his necessary meds, so we put him to sleep knowing it was time.  It took us several weeks to get over his absence, but we are slowly adjusting to life without our furry friend.

So, there's a quick update on where we are in life...it doesn't ever seem to slow down.  But -- it's what we love, and that's what matters.

Menu Plan March 6-12, 2016

In an effort to get back eating the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) way, I've got to get back into menu planning.  You will see lots of salads since it's the easiest side to eat with mostly any meat.  I've also grown very fond of sauteed brussels sprouts, so those will be a staple side, too.  We are still busy with lots of activities that keep us (at least one of us) out of the house some nights, so it's hard to find quick, easy meals to cook.  However, I have to try.  Here's what's cooking this week...

Sunday -- YOYO
Monday -- Frikadellen, Pasta (boys only), Brussels Sprouts
Tuesday -- YOYO
Wednesday -- Buffalo Chicken Bites, Salad
Thursday -- YOYO (Bible Study potluck)
Friday -- Pizza Casserole, Salad
Saturday -- Hamburgers (bunless for me), Salad (chips for boys)

What's cooking at YOUR house this week?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Homeschool Curriculum Changes

As I mentioned in my previous post, we made some changes to our homeschool curriculum.  Some of these were made back in September/October, and some started after Christmas break.  So far, we are very, very pleased with all of the changes.  Here's my original curriculum choice post, and here are the changes (links are in my sidebar under 2015-16 curriculum choices)

Caleb, Seventh Grade
Math -- Bridgeway Math
History -- Notgrass America the Beautiful
Science -- Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) Grade 7 PACES

Micah, Second Grade
English, Math, Science, Social Studies -- Time4Learning
Spelling -- Spelling Classroom

Now for an explanation as to why we changed...

Math -- Caleb was using Teaching Textbooks, but he was no longer using the disc component, so I ended up teaching him the lessons.  I figured if I was going to teach him math, then it was okay to look for something else.  He also decided he was more interested in a mastery approach as opposed to the spiral approach we had been using.  After doing some research, I landed on Bridgeway Math, which is a remedial math of sorts.  Since math is his weak subject, I thought cementing all of the concepts before moving onto Pre-Algebra was key to his future success in the subject.

History -- I spent time creating a war studies curriculum for Caleb, but we struggled to make it fun and interesting to HIM.  So, after some thinking and coercing, he agreed to just go back to a textbook.  I had been eyeing Notgrass America the Beautiful, but I wasn't sure it would be a good fit.  Well, much to my surprise, it has one of the biggest fits thus far.  Caleb enjoys it, and I LOVE that he can do it independently with little to no assistance from me.

Science -- Caleb did an online science class through Florida Virtual School, but it was a bit too difficult to retain and remember everything when there was no textbook to skim through.  So, I bought the ACE PACES and they're doing the job for now.  We'll probably re-address science moving forward in 8th grade, but we've got time.

After saying I'd NEVER, EVER use Time4Learning, I now find myself using it with Micah, and he LOVES it.  This is a boy who loves to play on the computer, play video games, and is a whiz at electronics.  So, it was only natural to use this with him.  He likes that it doesn't require much writing (with a pencil, that is), and he's doing really well with it.  He does still sit with me to do Bible, Writing, Handwriting, and Reading.

We switched him to an online spelling program, too, and it's going really well, too.  He seems to have a knack for spelling, and again...it's not any writing, so he's thrilled with that.

It's about that time to begin researching curriculum for 2016-17 should we be making any changes.  I have a feeling there will be a few, but I'm still in the planning stages.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Homeschool Catch-Up

Wow, I haven't blogged since October 2015...I don't think I've ever been away from my blog for that long.  There's really no explanation, but if I had to try to garner one up I think it's because I tend to post on Instagram and Facebook.  So, then the blog just takes backseat.  However, a dear friend mentioned my blogging hiatus, so I thought it was time to break the dry spell.  She's not on Instagram or Facebook, so it's up to me to keep the blog updated for her and others like her.

Please bear with me as I try to catch up on all of life's happenings since October...LOL!  With that in mind, here are some pictures of our homeschool studies...(you'll note there's not much from Caleb because it's hard to capture his studies since they aren't very exciting).

I'm going to try to get more posted today...that's a short snippet of what we've been doing during homeschool studies.  We've changed curriculums, so there's not as much picture taking.  I'll elaborate more on all of that later.  But -- this is a good start to break the blogging hiatus.

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