Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Too Quiet Around Here

Chelsea, Nick, Alex, and Anthony are staying with my mom and dad until Friday. That means I only have 2 sweet babies at home with me this week. It is too quiet in this house! We miss our "guys" and can't wait for them to come home on Friday. I put them on speaker phone last night and Lily wouldn't say a word she just kept staring into the phone like she was trying to find them. Christian and Lily are doing a good job playing together. Lily follows Christian around and so far he is taking it pretty well and has had done a good job sharing with her. You can tell he is a little bored without his brothers but I am trying to keep him busy while getting a few things done that need to be done. They both have been helping take care of dogs and chickens. Yesterday we rearranged the living room to make room for the Christmas Tree we are going to get on Sunday. Today we are going to finish up setting up Lily's big girl bed (I never like moving them to a bed it makes them seem so grown up!) and clearing a path to the closet to the attic so daddy can get the Christmas decorations down. Tomorrow hopefully we will get out of the house for a little while for a playdate. I am also cleaning up and rearranging our school books and deciding on what we will be working on until Christmas. During Lily's nap, I am hoping to be able to work on her scrapbook. I have only done 2 pages and would like to have it done before the baby is born. I can give Christian some of his own supplies to use on his own page if he wants to "help."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

This week I am minus 4 children. They stayed at my parents house to visit for the week. It has been a long time since I have only cooked for 4. I made my grocery list Sunday morning while working in the church nursery so it does not have a whole lot of inspiration this week. I did find a lot of meat on sale at Walmart so I bought some things ahead for next week, plus my DH got a deer Saturday morning, and we got our annual free turkey from the company he works for so I hopefully will be saving some moneyon groceries over the next couple of weeks.

Fri 11/26-pizza
Sat 11/27/ spaghetti
Sun 11/28- chicken noodle soup
Mon 11/29- ham steaks, mashed potatoes, green beans
Tues 11/30- sloppy joes and french fries
Wed 12/1- pork chops, noodles, corn
Thurs 12/2- leftovers

To add some inspiration to your weekly menu, go to http://www.orgjunkie.com/.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

24 Week Pregnancy Update

We were planning on heading to my parents house on Wednesday afternoon for Thanksgiving. My doctor's appointment was also supposed to be the same day, and since it put us about 40 minutes in the right direction plus saved me the trouble of another long drive on a different day, I decided to keep the appointent and then head to my parent's house from there. The children loaded up the van while Art was at work and he went in to work early and skipped his lunch so he could get out early. The children brought some books and coloring books so they would be busy in the van while I ran in to the doctor. The visit should have been a very quick one. I just needed to be weighed, have blood pressure checked, get measured, and listen to baby's heartbeat. Well, once again I waited for over an hour in the waiting room for a 5 minute visit. Every time I have been there except for once I have waited at least an hour and once it was 2 hours. At least the children handled it well and after my next visit (I have to wait an hour anyway for my glucose test) I am going to try to switch my appointment time to right after lunch. Maybe I will have better luck then. Anyway, blood pressure was perfect, baby's heart rate was great, and I gained 4 pounds making my total weight gain 9.5 pounds. At my last visit, the ultrasound had showed that baby was measuring small for her "age" but at this visit my uterus measured perfect for 24 weeks. Baby is growing and on the move constantly, so even though I still am feeling not that wonderful, it has gotten better, and as long as baby is doing well that's the most important thing.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Being Thankful

It is so easy for us to look around and see all of the negative in the world right now that we forget about all of the good. As I was preparing Children's Church lessons for the month of November, it said children need to be reminded not just to be Thankful because of Thanksgiving, but need to remember to be Thankful always. Grown-ups need to remember this too and that no matter what our circumstance there is something to be Thankful for.

Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:20

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday and as a reminder off all I have to be Thankful about, here is my short list of things I have to be Thankful (and not in any particular order.)

1.The Lord for creating the universe and everything in it and for sending His Son to die for us that we may be with Him forever in Heaven.
2. My wonderful husband who is such a good husband and father and works so hard to support his family.
3. My 6 precious children and the one we are expecting in 16 more weeks.
4. My wonderful family and friends.
5. My church and the freedom to worship.
6. Our country and all of the other freedoms we have living here.
7. the men and women who are serving our country even as I pray for the day when they don't have to.
8. Every moment that I get to spend at home with my children.
9. My children do not have to go hungry, clean water, and have a warm place to sleep at night.
10. When the children are sick I can take them to the doctor.
11.Running water, flushed toilets, disposable diapers, a washer, dryer, and dishwasher.
12. Chocolate
13. Every sweet hug and kiss
14. Our health
15. Our home

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Favorite Recipes: Baked Ziti

1 box of ziti pasta
2 cans spag sauce
1 can undrained diced tomatoes
6 oz cream cheese cubed
1 8 oz pkg shredded mozzarella

Cook pasta as directed on box. Cook sauce over medium heat until warm add cream cheese and tomatoes. Stir until smooth. Mix pasta with sauce mixture. Pour half in a 13x9 baking dish sprinkling half the mozzarella cheese over top. add other half of pasta and cheese. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until heated through.

Walmart Announces it Will Price Match Black Friday

Last week I wrote this post about shopping on Black Friday. Walmart has announced that it will price match even on Black Friday again this year. You can read a copy of Walmart's Corporate Policy on Price Matching here. Some things to keep in mind:

You have to have a copy of the competitors ad with you.
A competitor you are matching must be in a 50 mile radius.
They will not honor internet pricing, BOGO, or percentages off.
They will not honor gift card deals (ex. Target is offering a $10 gift card BF for every $100 you spend. You can't "price match" that deal.)
Whenever the sale prices are good on the ad is when you can price match. (If Toys R Us has X on sale from 10 pm to 5 am those are the only times those prices will be good at Walmart too.)

Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

It's a short week this week because of Thanksgiving and I don't have to cook! Here's what's cooking up at my house this week.

Friday 11/19- pizza
Sat 11/20- chicken enchilada casserole
Sun 11/21- spaghetti
Mon 11/22- steak, baked potatoes, carrots
Tues 11/23 chunky chicken chilli (I never made this last week because my menu changed due to company)
Wed 11/24- on the road (dr. appt) sandwiches and chips
Thurs 11/25- Thanksgiving Dad's cooking!!

To see some other great menus go to http://www.orgjunkie.com/

Friday, November 19, 2010

One Week Until Black Friday

Yes, yes, I am one of those crazy people who are out standing in line while it's still dark with hundreds of other people to score whatever "deals" manufacturers have come up with to boost this year's Christmas Sales. Why? I love shopping and want to be able to get the best deal available on the gifts I am purchasing for my family and it really is fun. Now I know some of you think I am crazy and would rather pay twice the money then be out at 3:00 am on the Friday after Thanksgiving. But, for those of you who are trying to plan ahead and are going out shopping next Friday morning check out this website. Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Toys R Us and a few other ads are already posted on this site. While I think it is more fun to have the sale papers in my hand I did take a look to get an idea of what the "hot" deals are going to be this year. The sales are starting earlier than usual too. Toys R Us is opening at 10:00 pm Thanksgiving night, Old Navy at midnight, Kohls at 3 am (I love Kohls!), Target at 4 (they have never opened before 7) and Walmart at 5:00 am. I am hoping to start and finish all of my shopping on this day. Also, Walmart will price match competitors ads even on Black Friday (double check on that before you go just in case they have changed since last year.) Honestly, I think Black Friday shopping is easiest at Walmart. If your store is open 24 hours, you can go inside at any time and do not have to wait in the cold. They usually have a pretty good amount of each sale item and give you a map showing where everything is located. Last year, for electronics and big ticket items, they gave you a ticket when you got in line so you knew whether or not you were going to get the item. If you got out of line you lost your place and your ticket would go to someone else. It made for a much easier shopping experience. So those of you who are shopping get out your comfy shoes, grab your coffee (or hot chocolate if you can't drink coffee like me) (I heard Starbucks wasn't opening until 5) and have fun shopping!

Editing this to add: Many of Walmart's sales are starting at 12:01 am on Friday with only a few of the big ticket electronics going on sale at 5:00 am. Looks like I am taking a nap Thursday afternoon so I can start my shopping at 10 pm Thursday night.

TOS Review: KB Teachers


Looking for some fun and educational work sheets for your children? KB Teachers might be the website you are looking for.

From the website-"KB Teachers is the one stop destination for teachers and parents who are always on the lookout for new and engaging 21st century tools and materials."

KB Teachers has a wide variety of worksheets for children of all ages. Some of the subjects include: English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Basic Skills, and Seasonal worksheets. The age range on the worksheets are from Pre-K all the way up to High School. A great feature of their website is customizable alphabet and math worksheets so you can create brand new worksheets in seconds. Answer keys to the worksheets only show up when you print the sheets out. There is no search box on their site because everything you are looking for should be able to be found in three clicks or less. The website is very easy to navigate even though it is currently undergoing construction and improvements are continuing to be made. All of their content is unique and have been created by their own team so you won't find anything like it anywhere else on the web. They do offer several free worksheets. The cost of a premium membership is $29 per year or $49 for two years. You can view all of the worksheets they currently have available before you purchase a membership and there is a 30 day money back guarantee when you pay with a credit card and a 10 day free trail with your pay pal account.

Some of my favorite worksheets were the Alphabet and Math worksheets. I also liked the worksheets they have for mixed Basic Skills. I think they have a good variety of pre-k,k ,and 3rd grade and up but I didn't see a whole lot of 1-2 nd grade. There are several interesting Science Topics although many of them do not list an age range and they do not come from a Creationist View (you might like to know that ahead of time.) Another section I enjoyed were the Web Quests. These worksheets have several links to investigate a topic and then you come back and fill in the answers on the worksheet.

Overall I thought this was a great website. It was very easy to navigate and covered several topics that I have not seen on other sites. I look forward to continue using this site with my children and can't wait to see the final result when their construction is finished.

I received a complimentary premium membership to this website for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.

To see what other crew members are saying click here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

4-H Workshops

This week we had two 4-H workshops to go to. On Saturday, we had a Holiday Craft Workshop. Nick, Alex, Anthony, and Chelsea (who was also a volunteer) had an opportunity to make 8 different Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts (Christian and Lily just got to tag along.) They made: a 4-H ornament, a cookie cutter ornament, a Rudolph light bulb ornament, a pine cone elf, a felt turkey, a foam hands and feet turkey, a paper bag scarecrow, and a painted bulb ornament. After the children completed those crafts to bring home, there was a table set up to make a few other crafts that were to be donate to the nursing home. The children love the craft workshop and look forward to it every year.

On Monday, we had another 4-H workshop. This time we were making solar powered robot cars. Alex and Chelsea signed up for this one. Nick didn't want to (even though he had to be there anyway we helped the younger boys) and I thought it would be too hard for Anthony but he really could have done one too. The actual assembly took less than 20 minutes even with sharing one hammer and trying to keep all of the children at the same place. The children had fun putting them together but really wanted to race the cars outside. Unfortunately, it was very cloudy that day and solar powered cars will not run on a cloudy day. These cars do not have a battery, just a solar panel on the back. We did hold all of the cars up to a very bright lamp to make sure they all worked. Yesterday was a little sunnier and they did get a chance to race their cars.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

It's Monday again! I only bought a few groceries this week so we can use up what I already have stocked in the cupboard.

Friday 10/12- homemade pizza
Sat 10/13- hot roast beef sandwiches with mushroom and gravy, baked potatoes
Sun 10/14-homemade mac and cheese, biscuits
Mon 10/15- sandwiches and chips (we have a workshop and a meeting to go to)
Tues 10/16-chunky chicken chilli (will post recipe if we like it)
Wed 10/17-pork chops, mashed potatoes, cauliflower
Thurs 10/18-spaghetti

To get some menu planning inspiration go to www.orgjunkie.com

TOS Review: Corps of Re-Discovery

Corps of Discovery was the name President Jefferson gave Lewis and Clarks party as theywent out searching for an east-west water passage to the Pacific Ocean. The Corps of Re-Discovery is a company founded by a homeschool family who has found and created great project kits to help enrich your studies of American Indians, Fontiersman, and Pioneer and Colonial Americans so that we too can "re-discover" America. Their project kits are great not just for homeschools but also schools, churches, scout activities, birthday parties, and other group events. Prices of their kits start around $3.99 and go up to $72.00 with the most expensive items being craft packs offering several different kits.

The first time I had an opportunity check out this website, I decided that I would like to have at least one of everything! There have so many fun and reasonably priced craft kits! American History is my favorite subject to teach and I love doing hands on projects with the children to help reinforce what they are learning and make History come alive. They have kits that would be great for boys, girls, or both.

We were sent the Coin Pouch Kit to make. Everything you need to make the project is included in the kit. The kit included pre-cut, pre-punched leather parts, snap, plastic lace, and instructions. I had two children who really wanted to make this project so we flipped a coin to decide. Alex (almost 7) won the toss and got to make this project. He is a very hands on learner and loves doing stuff like this. The pouch is made of sturdy leather, and the plastic cord was very strong. I read the directions to Alex and gave him all of the pieces. The directions were very easy to read and understand. After a few minutes of working on the coin pouch he said," This cord is very hard to push through these holes. A smaller piece of string would be a lot easier." I fed the cord through a few holes and decided he was right. The cord was the same size on both ends and was square so I took a pair of scissors and cut a very small snip on the end we were feeding through the holes so it was cut on an angle. This made feeding the cord through much easier and Alex was able to zip right through it.

He was very pleased with his results. The coin pouch turned out great and he had fun making it. It is very sturdy and I think it will be holding his coins for a long time to come.

If you are a parent looking for some great hands on learning projects, or a leader of any kind of child's clubs (boy scouts, girl scouts, 4-H) you should head over to the Corps of Re-Discovery and look at all of the wonderful project kits they have to offer.

I received a complimentary Coin Pouch Kit in order to write a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.

To see what other crew members are saying about the Coin Pouch Kit or other kits from Corps of Re-Discovery click here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Free From The Old Schoolhouse: Digital Holiday Supplement

The Digital Holiday Supplement is now available from The Old Schoolhouse completely free! 176 pages of Christmas Articles, Holiday Gift and Craft Ideas, Holiday Recipes, and articles on regional holidays. Download your copy for free by clicking here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 1918 an Armistice was declared. This would eventually evolve into what we now know as Veteran's Day where we honor all of the men and women who have served during both times of war and times of peace.

For the last two years, our Homeschool Group has done a great program on Veteran's Day. We have had a wonderful Veteran come and speak with our children and then the children gave presentations on either a Veteran or something patriotic. Both years it has been my children's favorite Homeschool C0-op. This year our group did not put anything together, and with Christian having been sick all week, I did not have a whole lot of time to put anything together. Still, I wanted to set aside our normal History work and do something related to Veteran's Day. We went to this website and read about the history of Veteran's Day and watched several of the videos that were on the site. Then we did a little research with our Usborne book of World Wars (great book by the way.) We also made this paper craft and this paper craft from www.dltk-kids.com. Although it wasn't as involved as previous years, I think the children learned a lot and had fun making the crafts.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanksgiving Craft and Lapbook Ideas

My kids love to do crafts and holidays are a great reason to make a lot of crafts either for decorations or for gift giving. One of my favorite websites for crafts is www.dltk-kids.com. We have used this site quite a bit in our homeschool and I have used several of their Bible Lessons for Children's Church Lessons. I also found this website for Thanksgiving ideas after doing a google search. It has several links to lessons and activities about teaching children to be thankful to God. I also found this website that has links to several lapbook and notebooking pages about Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Soccer's finally over (Nick's team came in second) and this week seems relatively calm so far. I don't even have to leave the house until Thursday! Here's what's cooking up for supper at my house this week.

Friday 11/5- frozen pizza (it was that kind of day)
Saturday 11/6- homemade sloppy joes, french fries, fruit
Sunday 11/7-baked ziti (will post recipe later in the week), bread
Monday 11/8-chicken, baked potatoes, carrots
Tuesday 11/9-broccoloi and cheese soup, biscuits
Wednesday 11/10 potato topped mini meatloaves, corn
Thursday 11/11 beef stroganoff

Check our http://www.orgjunkie.com/ to see some other great menu plans for this week!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Favorite Breakfast Recipes

Breakfasts around here are rotate between hot breakfasts and cold cereal and toast. Making your own breakfast foods can save a lot of money at the grocery store and they are much better for you. Many recipes are very quick to make and can be made in advance and stored in the freezer. Some of our favorite hot breakfasts are: pancakes, waffles, blueberry muffins, banana chocolate chip muffins, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, french toast, scrambled eggs, omlettes, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and egg casserole. We also do a breakfast meal for dinner every other week because it is quick, easy, and inexpensive (it doesn't hurt that we always have eggs either!)


1 3/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup oil or melted butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup milk

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Follow waffle maker directions for cooking waffles.

Pancakes (I sometimes add chocolate chips or blueberries to this recipe)

2 1/2 cups flour
1tsp salt
1tsp baking soda
2 tsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
4 tsp melted butter
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk

Mix ingedients until well blended. Drop batter in frying pan or electric skillet. Cook until pancakes are bubbly then flip to other side.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Homeschool Art Class


Nick and Alex

Christian, Lily, Anthony

Last Tuesday we had our second homeschool Art class (see how caught up I am on blogging that I am just posting this today.) The children had a great time. They got to make masks. After seeing several examples of famous people, made up characters, and masks of objects they got to decide what they would like to draw. Nick did a made up character, Alex did a pumpkin head, and Chelsea made Jesse the cowgirl from Toy Story. Then they wrote a little story about what they drew on the back of the mask and shared their character and story with the whole class. They also did a second activity where they shaded faces light and dark. Christian, Lily, and Anthony just color on their own paper. They have kept busy and been very well behaved for both classes.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Finished Creation Dino Study

Nick and Alex's Lap Books
Paper Mache Dino Eggs

Lily working on her Dino worksheets

We have finished this Creation Dinosaur Study that we found on http://www.homeschoolshare.com/. We took 2 weeks to do this study and to complete our lapbooks. We also made a dinorama, clay fossils, dug for dinosaurs, and made paper mache dinosaur eggs (no pictures of us making the eggs since I was elbow deep in paper mache.) The children had a great time doing this study and learned a lot about dinosaurs and fossils. They enjoyed making all of the mini books to go in their lapbooks and the fun projects. The recommended books were great and I picked them up very inexpensively on http://www.half.com/ and http://www.amazon.com/. There are a lot of different free unit studies to choose from on http://www.homeschoolshare/ and we will be choosing another one to do in a few weeks.

Menu Plan Monday

The last week of soccer. This week will hopefully be our last chaotic week for a little while. This is what our supper menu is looking like this week.

Sat 10/30- hot dogs and grapes after trick or treat (when Halloween falls on Sunday our town does trick or treat on Sat so it doesn't conflict with church)

Sun 10/31-lasagna and bread

Mon 11/1- Soccer Pizza Party

Tues 11/2- bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits, fruit

Wed 11/3- chicken, brocc, rice casserole

Thurs 11/4- grilled cheese, tomato soup

Check out some great menus at http://www.orgjunkie.com/