Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Christmas Tree

The rain held off yesterday so we were able to go to the Christmas Tree farm and pick out our tree. It was a little chilly (about 50 but breezy and cloudy) but we still rode the hay ride to the patch of trees (Alex's favorite part.) After looking over every single tree they had we finally chose our tree. It is a beautiful 9 ft pine tree ( only $32.) Chelsea, Alex, and Anthony all helped Art with cutting down the tree. Once we got home the children waited very patiently while Daddy put the lights on the tree only to plug them in and find out that one strand was out even though they lit up fine before they were on the tree. Once that problem was solved they had a lot of fun decorating. We put all of the breakables up at the top and the plastic balls at the bottom. Christian thinks they really are balls and has already removed several and thrown them across the room. So far we only broke one ornament. I hope that will be all for this year. Can you believe this is the last day of November already?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday

We (mom, dad, Chelsea and I) got to Walmart by 4:30. We decided to divide and conquer so Chelsea went with my mom and dad shopped with me. We went after the electronic items first, then toys, then clothes. It went very well and we managed to get almost everything we were looking for ( the only thing I couldn't get were the $5 oversize Cars toys for Christian because our store never got them in.) There was a bigger crowd than usual for our small town but the store seemed to be handling things well. The hardest part was checking out. It took as long in line as it did to shop because of a price problem with $1.50 towels that took about 20 minute to solve. But we were still back home by 7:15 am. I calculated my savings and I saved over $90 so it was definitely worth getting up and 3:50 am.

Then, we had planned to go and get our Christmas tree but it poured down rain all day long. I am hoping we will be able to do that today if the rain holds off. Instead, my mom and I made a quilted Christmas purse that took most of the day to complete. It was our first attempt at such a task and I think it turned out pretty well.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tasty Tuesday: Pumpkin Chocolate Walnut Muffins

On Monday, in anticipation for our very busy Tuesday, I baked muffins. The boys had some friends over to play and when they were hungry for a snack started munching on them. Well, needless to say after 9 people try a batch of muffins I did not have enough left over for breakfast the next morning and had to make another batch. This was the first time we tried these and they were wonderful.

1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 cups chocolate chips (optional )

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix pumpkin, sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spoon mixture into greased muffin pans filling 3/4 full. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Walmart on Black Friday

Yes I am one of those people who go shopping on Black Friday. I actually look forward to it every year and have now passed this trait on to my daughter. Walmart is our favorite place to shop for a couple of different reasons. 24 hour Walmarts let you inside the store and you don't have to wait in line out in the cold. They also give you a map that shows where everything that is on sale is located in the store. They also have all of their registers open to make checking out no hassle. Well this year I have another reason to add to the list. We were watching TV last night when I saw the Walmart commercial that says that they will match any competitors add even for the early bird Friday morning specials. So if you are already going to Walmart, save yourself some hassle and just bring the other adds with you. This is great news for me since we have nowhere else to shop within 50 miles. Let the bargain shopping begin!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Alex!

As of 4:15 this afternoon, Alex is 5 years old. It is so hard to believe but you know how fast time goes by. To celebrate we went to eat and play video games at the local pizza place and since we hadn't been there in almost a year it was like brand new to the children. We also made a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting (Alex's favorite.) For his presents he got exactly what he asked for: new slippers (wrapped in 2 separate packages very funny Art) a new toothbrush, and a new Transformer toy. Alex said this was his best birthday ever.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tasty Tuesday: Potato Soup

Usually in the winter we have soup every Monday but this is the first time I have tried this recipe. It was wonderful! I made some homemade biscuits and it was a perfect supper for a chilly evening (well chilly for Arkansas.)

5 cups potatoes cubed
1 onion
1 cup celery
3 cups water
3 cups milk
4 tsp chicken bullion
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
1/2 lb bacon cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup flour
4 cups cheese ( I thought this was way too much and cut it in half)

In the crock pot add water, 2 cups milk, chicken bullion, potatoes, celery, onion, salt and pepper, and bacon. Cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours until vegetables are tender. About 30 minutes before serving mix 1/4 cup flour with the last cup of milk and stir in to your soup. Stir in cheese and serve.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday Morning Project: Operation Christmas Child

November 17-24 is national collection week for Operation Christmas Child. If you are not familiar with this ministry you can go to their website http://www.samaritanspurse.org/ to read more about who they are and what they do. We put together 4 Christmas boxes that will be sent all over the world to children who need them and have never heard the Gospel. I bought the $1 plastic shoe boxes from Walmart and Chelsea sewed some Christmas material to put inside and look like wrapping paper. Then we filled the boxes with several small items: tooth brushes, toothpaste, soap, hard candy, crayons, puzzles, notebooks, a Christmas card, and toys. For the two boy boxes we put in match box cars and balls and for the girls we put in dolls and bracelets. All of the children helped with this and it is an easy way for them to learn to minister to others.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Veterans Day Homeschool Co-op

Our theme for this month's co-op was Veterans Day. We had a speaker to come and talk to the children who had served in the Army for many years. He had a lot of interesting information to share with them and all of the children enjoyed hearing him speak. Also, each child who was interested gave a presentation on something patriotic. Some of the children sang songs, one young lady wrote a poem, and several gave talks on someone who had been in a war. Chelsea gave her presentation on my dad who served in the Vietnam war. She showed some pictures and gave a 5 min talk on information she had learned about the war. While the older children were busy with the speaker, myself and two other ladies had the younger children (under 1st grade.) We made a red white and blue windsock, watched a video on Ben Franklin, and read a book about the United States. We filled in the rest of the time with outdoor play. As usual we all had a great time at our monthly Cooperative Learning Day.

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

Our Five in a Row book this week was How to Make an Apple Pie and See the world by Marjorie Priceman. We enjoyed doing activities such as a geography memory game, vocabulary matching, a science evaporation experiment and of course making an apple pie. I must confess that I had never made one from scratch before. I usually buy the roll out pie crusts and the apple filling in the can to make apple pie. I didn't think the buys would get a good Math measuring lesson from that though. There was a very simple recipe in the back of the book. The boys had a lot of fun and the pie tasted great.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The First Deer of the Season

Alex got his first deer yesterday, and it was the first deer of the season for our family. He was very excited. Luckily he didn't have to work very hard, or spend hours wandering through the woods. We have several deer out here and this one was grazing right outside the playroom window for quite some time. Art was planning on taking Alex hunting with him when he got home, but the deer was still there. So, all they had to do was walk out the back door. Then, all of the children participated in processing the deer. I will spare you the photo and the discussion about the processing. The children share a lot more information with me then I really want to know. It was a really big day at our house.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Fiesta Pasta

I made this for supper last night and it was really good.

2 cups rotini pasta uncooked
1 Tbsp oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken cut into bite size pieces
1/4 Cup Italian dressing
1/2 Cup Salsa ( I only used 1/4 cup, my kids do not like anything spicy)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet on medium high heat. Add chicken. Cook and stir 6 min add dressing and cook three minutes or until chicken is cooked through stirring frequently. Stir in salsa and sour cream. Toss pasta with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Morning Project: Handprint Turkeys

This morning for our Monday Morning Project we made Handprint Turkeys. I found this on http://www.dltk-kids.com/ under holiday, Thanksgiving crafts. We printed out the templates, colored in the pieces, cut them out, traced our hands and glued it all together according to the directions. The only ones that needed help with this craft were Anthony and Christian. The turkeys turned out really well, and there even was a poem suggestion that you could write on the back. Unfortunately, after I took the picture of Christian coloring his turkey, he grabbed my camera and dropped it on the floor. Now the lens refuses to open so I couldn't take a picture of the finished product. I really hope it is not broken beyond repair, maybe it just jammed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Kids and Money

My mom and dad took Chelsea, Nick and Alex to Walmart with them last week. While they were in the store, Alex asked my mom where she got money to pay for things. She explained that she went to work every day and that she was paid money for doing her job. Chelsea reminded Alex that Daddy does the same thing. He goes to work every day so we can buy the things we need. He said, " My daddy doesn't get paid money to do his job." Mom asked him how we bought the things we need and Alex said," We go to the bank and my mom puts her card in the machine and money just comes out." I guess we are going to have to work on that concept a bit.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Faithful Moms

We did not have a Monday Morning project yesterday. We were at a program that meets once a month for moms and their children called Faithful Moms. Usually we meet on the first Tuesday of the month, but several of the ladies who work in the nursery were also volunteering to work at the polls for today's election so we switched the days. (By the way if you haven't done so already don't forget to get out to vote today.) Faithful Moms meets for 2 1/2 hours once a month to get together and support each other as moms. We have a speaker, a craft, and lunch while our children play, sing songs, have a craft, and a snack. It is a lot of fun and the children really enjoy going. For the moms this week we worked on our scrapbooks. Chelsea was with me and got 4 pages of hers done (I only got one page of mine finished it took Christian some time to acclimate to the nursery this month.) After it was over we came home, fed the boys lunch, and got started on our school work. There was just not enough time in the day to add a craft in.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hunting Season

This week-end was the Youth Hunt and Alex was very eager to go Deer Hunting. He got into his blue jeans and boots (just like daddy) and put on his hunter orange hat and vest. We have 11 acres and there is always Deer out here so Alex and Art built a Deer Blind. Knowing the attention span of a 4 year old, they went out after supper last night and sat in the Deer Blind for about an hour (no Deer.) Today they have headed off into the woods. Alex has been waiting all day for it to be time to go. Isn't he cute?

Five in a Row: Who Owns the Sun?

Our book for this week was Who Owns the Sun by Stacey Chbosky. We decided to do another Lap Book and I am using Alex's because I am very proud of him for working the whole week on this (it was the first time he participated every day.)

Front Cover: Title and The Sun minit book printable found on http://www.homeschoolshare.com/

First Page: Art- Painting of the sun

Second Page: Science- Four Seasons worksheet (homeschool share.) We cut pictures out and had to match them to the correct season then we answered the following question: The best part about winter, spring, summer, fall is:
Third Page: Geography- Where are The Southern States worksheet (homeschool share) We located the Southern States that were slave states on the map and colored them in (Alex also colored Texas and California because he liked the shape)
Last Page: Language Arts- List of things no human can own. Alex wrote these on his own and drew his own pictures.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pumpkins and Costumes

Our little town in Arkansas decided to have Halloween on Thursday instead of Friday so it wouldn't interfere with the Friday night High School Football game. So, we carved pumpkins on Wednesday. The children love carving pumpkins (except Christian he didn't like the way the "guts" felt) and were very creative this year. Then on Thursday we went Trick-or Treating to all of the businesses on Main Street and to our church. This year we decided not to buy Halloween costumes. The ones the boys wanted were quite expensive and we have several costumes at home. I told them they had to be creative and come up with a costume using what we already had. Christian was Superman, Anthony was Batman, Alex was a Boxer, Nick was a Jedi, and Chelsea was a Nurse (she borrowed her outfit from my mom.) Everyone had a great time dressing up and seeing all of the other costumes.