Saturday, November 7, 2009

Giveaway at 'The frugal homeschooling Mom'

Check out this link to register for an adorable kitchen apron and cookie baking set, Just perfect for your 2-4 year old little girl to help mommy out in the kitchen! The artist is Barbara Gilligan you can find her work at her Etsy Shop mothernaturesnursery . Hurry offer is only good till November 19th.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

We are now 46 days into our school year. Which surprise, surprise is exactly where I want to be! We are only doing a 120 day school year for kindergarten. The state of Indiana doesn't require attendance records be kept for kindergarten,, starting next year 180 days of attendance will be required. I decided to ease into it both for my daughter's sake and for my own.

I am also going to begin doing Tot School with Kay. Here is a link to the site that has to info On this site are the blogs of at least 55 tot school moms. These are moms that are either homeschooling older children and need to have activities available for the tots in the house to work on. Or moms that are working to take time to have one on one time with their tot each day. I have found that I say "Kay go play" "You cannot be in here if you are going to be loud" and "I think I hear Dinosaur Train coming on". I want her to be excited about 'school time' also and am working to prepare activities to have on hand for her while Ann does hers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our Homeschool Room

I mentioned in an earlier post that I would put up some pics of our homeschooling room when I could so here they are.
I found this trapezoid table at the Goodwill for $13. It has desk drawers in 3 places and adjustable height. It is perfect for our current needs. Everyone had their own work space plus it is big enough for larger projects like finger painting, play dough and board games.

Right now we are doing a dinosaur unit for science. Ann has loved dinos since we went to the Indy Children's museum last fall. For this reason I decided to go ahead and purchase some cool wall decor to go with the unit. I got it from our local education store for $10. It has already been a great learning tool. Also pictured above is our calender center. We take a few minutes at the start of the day to discuss the weather, the day, and the month. You can see that I have a chalk board and a marker board. I had David put the marker board up high so that 2 year old Kay wouldn't get into the markers or erase the things I put on it. The chalkboard below is perfect height for both girls do use.

Our bookcase that we keep all of our current textbooks, home school books, puzzles, art materials, games, etc. I also keep some totes in the garage of things that we will use in the future. I try to buy things on sale or at thrift stores when I can.
Our art display area until I can get the bulletin board hung.Behind the door I have put up some of the 3M removable wall hangers. I hung large manila envelopes from them for additional storage.
We love our classroom area! We didn't have this last year when we did preschool, just worked at the table and it was very doable. However this works much better. It is nice to have a quiet area that is dedicated to school work. It is a room where the kids are allowed to cut and paste, paint, and play with play dough at any time. I also create in this room with my scrapbook and paper craft area on the opposite side of the room as pictured in an earlier post.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Homeschool Kindergarten Here We Are!

We are underway on our homeschooling adventure. Thought I would take a few minutes and outline what our weekly schedule looks like.

Reading- We read level appropriate books together
Phonics- Phonics Pathways (love this simple, easy to use)
Writing- I Can Write
Math-Math-U-See alpha
Science- Dinosaur Lapbook, Hands of a Child
Bible - Christian Liberty Press Book A (pretty lengthy lessons for this age, so we use one lesson a week and review throughout the week)

Reading- Ann reads BOB books aloud
Health- currently working on an All About Me lapbook (address, phone number, my family etc)
Art- Baby Lambs art book

Reading- I read to Ann, books relating to other things we are studying, above reading level

Homeschool Cooperative Classes
This semester- Sing, Spell, Read, and Write, Cooking, Game Time, Children's Choir, Dr. Seuss

On Friday mornings I host a women's bible study in our home so I am going to keep this day for review, any tests that need taken, and fun activities in the afternoon.

We complete all of our schooling between 8:30 am and 12 noon, with the exception of Fridays. I will substitute social studies with the science when we are done with the dino unit.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Zucchinni Recipes

It that time of year, the garden is in full swing. Green beans, broccoli, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, and squash and more zucchini and even more squash and I think you get the picture. So my freezer is absolutely full of shredded and diced squash. I have given it away. And we are eating lots of squash dishes and desserts. So I thought I would share a few of my family's favorites.

Pork Chops with Squash
1 t. salt
1 t. garlic salt
1 t. chili powder
1/4 t. coarse ground black pepper
a shake or two cayenne pepper
1 c. raw rice
4 pork chops 3/4 inch thick
1 1/2 c. diced tomatoes or 2 cans
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 c. water
2 c. thinly sliced zucchini or summer squash
1 c. shredded Mexican blend cheese

Mix salt, garlic salt, chili powder and pepper. Trim pork chops of fat. Heat oil in skillet; brown pork chops, seasoning with 1/2 of the seasoning mixture. Drain oil from pan. Add rice, tomatoes, onion and water. Arrange zucchini around edge of skillet and sprinkle with remaining seasoning mixture. cover and cooking stirring occasionally for 30- 40 minutes or until pork is cooked through and tender. Top with cheese and cover to melt cheese.

A friend of mine makes the above recipe omitting the pork chops and adding more veggies for a flavorful vegetarian dish.

Summer Squash Patties

2 c. grated summer squash (I use yellow crook neck)
1/4 c. self rising four
1/3 c. self rising cornmeal
1 small onion (I have also used a few shakes of Tastefully Simple Onion Onion)
1 egg, beaten
pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Spoon out into hot greased frying pan. Brown both sides. Drain on paper towel. We love these extra crispy!

If you have any other family approved squash recipes, please share!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Feeling Crafty

Really enjoying the new craft area. It's amazing how a little bit of organization sparks my creativity. Here are some cards that I have made the last couple of days.

My darling Ann was feeling left our and wanted to make something herself so she picked out a project from a craft book- Princess hat.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Cardmaking and Scrapbooking Obsession

Three CHEERS for my husband-

Hip, Hip, Hooray!
Hip, Hip, Hooray!
Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Thanks to David my crafting supplies are now in order. Isn't this a great peg board he made me??? He also made my work area. It's tall enough that I can stand and work on layouts, I find that I work better that way. Hopefully now that I am so organized I can start posting all of the wonderfull things I make here on my blogspot.

On the opposite side of the room I have our homeschool area set up. I wanted to post pictures of it as well but no where in my hometown sells HandyTack so that I can decorate my walls! So I will post those pics at a later time.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Creation Museum: A Critique

This past week David and I made the 300 mile trek to the Creation Museum. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the museum it is dedicated to documenting and showing evidence for the creationist view of where life began, with God.

For this venture David and I opted to leave the kids at home and I am glad of it. While it was a very family friendly place to visit, the kids aren't old enough to appreciate the topic ( at least not enough to outweigh a night alone with my husband). We arrived to the CM just before open, with a line already forming. A security officer who noticed my husbands style of haircut came out of his way to remind us that he should present his identification to receive their police, fire, military discount. I wonder if my haircut screams 'stay at home- homeschool mom'-more then likely. Any ways- My husband did present his ID and he got in free and I for half-price. We did go ahead and add on the planetarium making our total cost $27. A bargain I think.
We began our museum exploration with the planetarium. The planetarium show was wonderful. It reminded me of just how small that we are in the great big cosmic scope of things- from our Sun you wouldn't be able to see the Earth, from the Milky Way Galaxy you wouldn't see the Sun, half way across the universe you wouldn't see our Galaxy- yet this is where God choose to send his Son for us to be saved by! Well worth the extra money.

We then toured of the exhibits. The exhibits were all very nicely presented with all of the technological advances that you would see in other museums. Exhibits took us through the fall of mankind, Noah's flood-to remove wickedness from the Earth and how this plays into the 'Young Earth Theory', and through the wickedness seen in the world today- suggesting an eminent threat of Christ's return to Earth. However I was disappointed with all of this- I already believed all of this before I went. What I was looking for was more detail and it simply was not there. I know that these details exist and are fact based, I have seen them. I was really surprised that there was nothing dedicated to the discussion on problems with carbon dating. An unbeliever would not be able to take much away from this experience due to the lack of these details.

Outside of the building there is a wonderful and beautiful botanical garden- a true testimony to God's magnificent artistry. Also their is a well maintained petting zoo. I must say that customer service was unmatched-ever helpful without being a bit overbearing. And the food was better here then any other museum I have encountered. The picture above was taken from the dining balcony overlooking the pond and gardens.

All in all the Creation Museum was very nice and not a bad idea but... I left wanting more.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tea for Me.... and my Friends

Ann has been asking to have a tea party for weeks and I have been putting her off. I finally ran out of excuses this week and we invited friends to tea yesterday. The girls love to put on their princess costumes and play act as adults taking tea, this time Snow white and a Pirate Princess. The Pirate Princess (Kay) became a 'nude' Princess when she shucked her clothing shortly before our guests arrived. We went on to have a great tea without further incident. Our Menu included- Mini Ham Crescent Puffs, Cherry Chicken Salad, Cream Cheese and Strawberry Sandwiches, Deviled Eggs, Lemon Shortbread Cookies and Strawberry Cupcakes, all served with Stash Vanilla Chai Tea(very good). I am delighted to say that I made everything myself save the cookies.

Here is a recipe for the particularly easy Mini Ham Crescent Puffs-

1 (2.5 oz) pkg. processed ham
1 Tbs. Onion Onion seasoning from Tastefully Simple
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 c. shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend cheese that I had on hand)
1/8 tsp. course ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. mustard
Cooking spray
1 (8 oz.) pkg. crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop in food chopper. Place in bowl. Add Onion onion, egg, cheese, pepper, and mustard. Stir to combine. Spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Unroll crescent rolls and press dough into one large rectangle. Cut rectangle into 24 pieces using a pizza cutter. Place dough pieces in mini muffin pan cups. place filling in cups. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly brown.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


This year I resolved to help planet earth by making the switch from plastic grocery bags to reusable cloth.

For the past year or so, I have already been doing this with my library bags. The libraries in our area give out heavy duty, plastic bags to patrons each visit. When I began reusing the bags I at first got some rather strange looks. I then made the switch to the cloth bags about 6 months ago when one of the local library systems that I use got rid of the plastic bags all together. I have to say that I love the convenience of the bags, especiallly with two small children to keep track of. It is much easier to tuck the books in the sack, keeping my hands free to grab escaping children.

Now back to my grocery bag usage. This past week Walgreens had thier bags on sale 3/$1. What better time then this to have purshased bags? So I bought 6, the limit. Because the bags do not appear to be ultra washable I will still use plastic for meat products. So far I have made 2 trips to the grocery and have used the bags only one time. We will see how it goes.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Introducing... ME

I thought that my first post should tell you a little about me and therefore the kind of blog this is to be. I am 28 years old. I am a Christian, a wife, and a mother. I aspire to one day be debt free, be somewhat self-sufficient, produce homeschooled graduates and make a difference in the lives of people around me. Oh, also I would love to one day write a book- this will be a long time coming due to the fact that I have preschoolers, hence brain drain.

About my family.

My husband, David, and I have been married for 8 years. He works in the area of law enforcement, serves in a military branch and works a part time job as a locksmith. We are blissfully happy together and credit this entirely to our common faith in God.

We have two daughters, Ann age 4 and Kay age 2. They are both absolute darlings at times and wild children at other times. Better blog names for them would probably be "Queen Supreme" and "Crazy Pants". However, they may come to resent these names so we will keep it simple. Ann will begin Homeschooled Kindergarten in August, Kay will be running around distracting her and I both.

We live in a rural area and love it. We have 2 dogs Pippy a beagle and Major a black lab and also a recently adopted stray puppy who we have named Ally. We also have cats- Honey, Bit and Sunny. And we have chickens 5- which should begin laying in the next month or two.