Sunday, August 31, 2008

Halloween Fun

Friday was a very busy day for us!!  I got to spend the day with a veterinarian, two princesses (Belle and Cinderealla) and a spiderman,,,,no Anakin Skywalker?!?!  Lets just say Joshua had a hard time making up his mind.

We started out at 11:00am at our homeschool Halloween Party hosted by the Collins Family.  It was a great time for all.  Claudia had centers set up both inside and outside.  The kids were able to make sucker spiders, glitter spider webs, coloring pages, make goop and collect tracts to hand out in the evening.  Everyone brought a lunch item and a treat to share (it was hard watching my points with all that great food!!)  After lunch Claudia read the Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs and then each family got to go out back and pick a pumpkin to carve.

We chose to take our home to carve as we had to be at Jay's work by 3:00.  Jay works for University of Phoenix and his division hosts a trick or treating for the kids.  This was our 2nd time attending and the kids love it.  However they think this is what daddy's work is like all the time!   Jay's team was dressing up like vagrants and bums and boy did he really look the part and we forgot to bring any extra clothes so he stayed like that the rest of the day! Aunt Brandy and Uncle Sean and the cousins met us up there and the kids went around and then we went to the Harvest Festival hosted by the church where we do co-op school.  We first went trick or treating in that neighborhood and then went over.  The kids had a blast there was so much for them to do!!!  We went from activity to activity and spent over 3 hrs there.  Needless to say as soon as we got in the car they fell right asleep dreaming of candy I am sure!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Jammie Junk Food Day

 It's official!!!!  The last Friday of each month is Jammie Junk Food Day for our homeschool and we want you to join us each month.   My sister and I heard the term "Jammie Junk Food Day" at a homeschool convention a couple of years ago and we would have one here and there.  Well now I am declaring the last Friday of each month to be Jammie Junk Food Day.  Do school in your Jammies and have a special treat (junk food).  So today we stayed in our jammies and had donuts and hot chocolate (we can at least pretend it is not hot and muggy outside still )and then it was special movie time with popcorn.  After that  the little ones went down for a rest and Anastasia finished up math, spelling and reading and I did math with Joshua. 

Mark your calendars and join us for the next Jammie Junk Food day on September 26.  Instead of a special movie we will have special reading time and read books all with a Jammie theme such as: Llama Llama Red Pajama.  If you know of any good books with this theme let me know.

If you want the picture I created for this special day on your blog let me know and I can give you the code for it.

Free Museum Day

Did you know that Saturday, September 27th is Free Museum Day?

Thousands of museums throughout the country are offering FREE

admission on Saturday, September 27th. Go to to see if a museum near you will be

participating and to get your free Admission Card.


This year's elections are going to be historic!!  Way to go John McCain for chosing such a godly, prolife canidate. I am very impressed with everything I have seen so far with Gov. Sarah Palin.  I would have to say McCain was very strategic in picking her it definitely knocked Obama out of the headlines for a couple of days.  I was glued to the TV Friday night watching everything about her. Only 65 days till the election!  Be sure and vote!!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

If you give a Mom a muffin

I love the books, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, and If You Give a Pig A PanCake  There are also a couple of others and they are all written by Laura Numeroff.  I came across this poem that follows the same story pattern and thought it was too cute!!!

If you give a Mom a muffin,

She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.

She'll pour herself some.

The coffee will get spilled by her three year old.

She'll wipe it up.

Wiping the floor, she will find some dirty socks.

She'll remember she has to do some laundry.

When she puts the laundry in the washer,

She'll trip over some snow boots and bump into the freezer.

Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan dinner for tonight.

She will get out a pound of hamburger.

She will look for her cookbook (101 Things to Make With a Pound of Hamburger).

The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.

She will see the phone bill which is due tomorrow.

She will look for her checkbook.

The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two year old.

She'll smell something funny.

She'll change the two year old.

While she is changing the two year old the phone will ring.

Her four year old will answer it and hang up.

She remembers that she wants to phone a friend to come for coffee on Friday.

Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.

She will pour herself some.

And chances are......

If she has a cup of coffee......

Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it

Author: Kathy Fictorie

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Carrot, An Egg and a Cup of Coffee


A Carrot, An Egg and a Cup of Coffee

You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil; without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, ‘ Tell me what you see.’ ‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, mother?’ Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity?  Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy. The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches. When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

May we all be COFFEE!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What's For Dinner Wednesday's??

We had our swap last week and our freezer is full or I should say was full. It is quickly disappearing with this crew. This month we got: Chicken Sate wtih peanut sauce, super burger patties, bacon hash brown roll ups, Duggar's Family Tater Tot Cassrole, Beef stew, homemade "uncrustables" PB&J, marinated chicken, chicken and bows, chicken quesadillas, vegetable beef soup, chicken Enchiladas, kings ranch chicken, french toast, ham/cheese buns, hot wings, wet tacos, refried beans and sasauge mcmuffins, YUM YUM!

This week I am sharing the Chicken Quesadilla recipe. I made it this month and the kids and I just had these for lunch today.

Freezer Chicken Quesadillas






Chicken; cooked and finely minced*

1-1/2 C.

Reduced fat sour cream

1/4 C.

Thick and chunky salsa

1 C.

Shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 C.

Shredded pepper jack cheese

1/2 C.

Chili powder

1 t.

Flour tortillas; 6-inch


Assembly Directions:

In a mixing bowl, mix chicken, sour cream, salsa, cheeses and chili powder.

Freezing Directions:

Place chicken mixture in a quart-sized freezer or storage bag. Seal. Place quart-sized freezer bag inside of a gallon sized freezer bag. Add tortillas. Seal, label and freeze.

Serving Directions:

Thaw contents of the quesadilla kit. Remove tortillas and separate. Lay them out on a flat surface, such as a clean counter, and divide the filling evenly between the tortillas. Fold each tortilla in half. Spray a fry pan with cooking spray. Cook the quesadillas one at a time in the pan, lightly browning them on each side. The cheese in the filling should melt. After each one is done, remove it from the pan. Using a pizza cutter cut each quesadilla into 3 pieces.


*You can easily mince chicken in a food processor or mini-chopper.

My kids love these! It’s nice to have the filling totally ready and in a kit form.

Nutritional Info:

Per Serving: 190 Calories; 6g Fat (28.9% calories from fat); 13g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 30mg Cholesterol; 362mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 1 Grain (Starch); 1-1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Fat.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

2008 Million Minute Family Challenge

This looks like a great idea and a lot of fun. I encourage you all to join the Million Minute Family Challenge. Anyone can join and it goes from September 1- December 31, 2008. Just visit the website and click the join now button to get started.

In order to join all you have to do is spend some quality time playing board type games with family and/or friends and keep track of the minutes you played. The website has great game ideas, plans and tools to help you plan your own game night and there is even an online Scavenger Hunt each month.

My kids love playing all types of card and board games. What should be our linen closet is our game/puzzle closet. Now this will encourage us to play more games and get back to our Friday Night Fun Night!

Happy Gaming

Misc. Things to share

We have had a lot of things going on around here with big desicions to make which I will share more about later but with all of this I have not been sleeping much. So usually when Tasha wakes up around 3:00am to nurse I have been blogging or reading blogs. There is a lot of really neat stuff "out there" That is why I have been able to post quite a bit lately---insomnia! LOL

Anyways I am trying really hard to keep our school table organized this year and not overflowing with papers and books so I have come up with a new idea. I had been keeping paper stacker trays on the table but they would get so piled up and I couldn't find anything. I have several filing cabinets but wanted something close by and easily accessible so I got a portable filing box. This way I can keep all the current things we are working on filed in an easy to reach place with out staying out all over the table. I am so excited and think this will work great. I have the papers filed now I just need to label the folders!

The other thing I wanted to share was that I joined a yahoo group called postcardkids. Anastasia is doing a study of all 50 states this year and through this group our goal is to get a post card from each state. So far she has received 15. There are homeschoolers from all over the US and other countries participting. It is really neat. You should check it out!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blogger Friend School

I came across Blogger Friend School and have decided to join for the 2008-2009 school year. It is for homeschooling moms and looks to be very encouraging. They are having a back to school give away you will need to check out for yourself at

The Simple Woman

FOR TODAY August 25, 2008
Outside My Window...

It is a beautiful clear blue sky

I am thinking...

of how my hubby is handling everything at work today. There are a lot of changes coming up.

I am thankful for...

God who hears our prayers and will lead us in the right direction

From the kitchen...

all is quiet and clean just waiting for us to start our day.

I am wearing...

my jammies.  I need to go get ready for the day after this.

I am creating...

lists, lists, and more lists...we have so many decisions to make

I am going...

to try and drink hot tea today instead of coffee.  We will see how that goes!  Although I do like tea, I like coffee better!

I am reading...

Women of the Bible devotional and it is excellent.  I am also starting to read The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

I am hoping...

that our day runs pretty smoothly and everyone stays on track

I am hearing...

relaxing music playing from the computer.  (We sleep to it each night)

Around the house...

It is peaceful and quiet right now everyone is still sleeping.  I was able to complete my Bible study and now get this done before the day begins.

One of my favorite things...

the quietness of the morning

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

school, possibly swimming and a trip to the library.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

If you would like to participate in "The Simple Woman also please visit Peggy's blog:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Recap of our first week

We had a really good first week back to school. It was so nice to be back to a routine and schedule and the kids even asked if there was school on Saturday! (Not Anastasia of course). We started each morning with calendar, a story and then pledge to the flag and Bible. They really like this.

Joshua should earn his own gold medal! He read his first story this week! "Fat Cat, Fat Rat" Way to go!!!!!

Then for our unit study this week they all worked together and completed their All About Me lapbooks. I got these booklets and inserts from a couple of places: www.liveandlearnpress, and we made some up on our own. Their favorite part was hand prints and foot prints made from paint!!

The pictures below are from Joshua's and Anastasia's lapbook

Well we are off to a good start! Next week the younger ones will do a unit on Creation and Anastasia will start her unit on Explorers.

Happy Learning!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cute Homeschool Videos

I just had to share these two videos.  I don't know how to put them directly on my blog so you will have to click on the link.

These are great.  One has been around a while and one I just discovered.

--This is a Homeschooling Family sung to the Adams Family theme song

--  This is I Will Survive-Homeschool version

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What's For Dinner Wednesday's??

I am getting ready for our cooking swap tonight and cannot wait our freezer is bare. I am waiting to go shopping for supplementing till the swap. This month there were 6 of us participating and we each made two dinner meals and one either lunch or breakfast meal. I made Chicken Quesadillas, French Toast and King's ranch chicken.

Here is the King's Ranch Chicken Recipe:

King’s Ranch Chicken


  • 1 pk corn tortillas

  • 2 c chicken, cooked and cubed (or substitute turkey)

  • 12 oz cheddar cheese, grated

  • 1 cn cream of chicken soup, condensed

  • 1 cn cheddar cheese soup, condensed

  • 1 c tomatoes with gree chilies (such as Ro-Tel brand)

  • 1 1⁄4 c milk

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 freezer food storage bag, jumbo


Chop cooled, cooked chicken meat into largish chunks. Tear tortillas into 1-inch wide strips.

In a large baking dish, alternate layers of tortillas, chicken meat and cheese (reserve 1/2 cup of cheese for topping) until all the chicken is used. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the layered mixture. Top with reserved cheese.

Cover with plastic wrap, then seal with aluminum foil.

To freeze: flash freeze casserole, then place frozen, covered dish into jumbo freezer bag.

To prepare: thaw casserole before baking. Remove plastic wrap, then replace foil. Bake covered casserole at 350-degrees until hot and bubbly. You may remove aluminum foil 10 minutes before taking the casserole out of the oven to melt cheese.

Allow to stand 5 to 10 minutes, then cut with spatula and serve.

This recipe, also known as King Ranch Chicken, is a favorite at pot luck suppers for it's zesty flavor.

Frugal home cooks like it, too, because it stretches a little chicken a long way--and it's a great dish to disguise the last bits of turkey after Thanksgiving!

This is a picture of the six I made for the swap.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Olympics

 This is a picture of the Olympic Mascots each of our kids have one.  Jay's cousin Brandon works for Microsoft and worked in China for 6 months.  He got back in April and it was his sister who just got married.  When we went to South Dakota for the wedding he had one of these for each of our kids.  How cool is that!

We have been having some late nights around here watching the Olympics.  I love to watch the swimming, diving and all gymnastics.  It's a close tie for me between watching gymnastics and diving.  I realized we weren't seeing them live when Jay was on the computer talking with someone and they said Michael Phelps already got the 8th Gold!!!  Alexa has been my buddy in watching this past week.  Each night she says "atch iving" for watch diving.  She got upset when a commercial came on and didn't understand so I told her there would be more they just have to rest.  What incredible American atheletes we have this year Michael Phelps, Dara Torres, Shawn Johnson,  Nastia Liukin and many, many more!!!  It has been very exciting to watch.

Olympic Medal winners at NBC!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Our First Day of School

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Today was our first day of school and I must say it was a great day. The most important part of my schedule was followed and that was my prayer time this morning with the Lord. It sets the tone for the rest of the day and I know this but why then is it so hard to stay consistent?! Jay also prayed for our school day last night and it was such a comfort.

We started our morning with breakfast (eggs and grits) and Bible study. We are doing character traits and the first one is obedience and the first verse they have to memorize is : Ephesians 6:1 Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right! Isn't that a great verse!!

Next it was time for our treasure hunt:

A Treasure Hunt from Here to There

It’s the first day of school and learning is really cool.

This is a treasure hunt that is full of surprise.

If you all work together you will find the prize.

1. Let’s start with a sweet treat that can’t be beat.

You will find these in the kitchen in a place that can be full of heat.


2. Go to the place where you would roam if we did PE at home.

You will find the next clue where you can climb, hide and slide.


3. Let’s go back inside where the next clue will try and hide.

This clue is on an animal that cannot move but has four hooves.


4. Now let’s kick it up a notch. You will have to be careful and watch for the next clue is written on blue. It’s in a place where you can wash your face.


5. Wow! You’ve made it this far! In order to finish you don’t need a car. But you must go from here to there as this is the last clue to be found anywhere. Go to the place where learning abounds and this is where your treasure will be found.


They each got a new pencil box with crayons, scissors, glue, pencils etc. (Alexa only got crayons and a pencil) They were so excited about these!.

Look at our big Kindergarten Guy!!!!



Joshua did great today and was very excited to start school. He is just getting so big! He did math, phonics, handwriting and worked on his All About Me lapbook. He thought for handwriting he was supposed to trace his hand.

5th Grader! (It seems like just yesterday she was my kindergartner)



I can't believe Anastasia is starting 5th grade!! She of course did great today as well. Anastasia started following her schedule and stayed pretty much on track today. We are easing into everything and still have a couple of weeks before our Co-op and PE starts.

Thank you Lord for a great first day.

Mondays On Mothering

What do you love about Mothering?

I absolutely love holding and snuggling with my babies.  I especially enojy it as they get old enough to start responding.  Natasha is 2 and a half months old and has just started cooing and smiling.  I was at a meeting last Monday and brought her with me.  I was holding her up next to me in the crook of my arm and she started smiling and then cooing at me for the first time.  I had to control myself not to just shout out for everyone to look at her. It just made my heart leap for joy.

So on this Monday what do you love about mothering?

If you would like to share be sure and visit this site:

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Count Down is On

We have been very busy this week getting ready to start back to school on Monday. (So I have posted my what's for dinner late this week you can scroll down and see it)This summer has gone all to quickly and unfortunately the heat will be here at least another month. I have been getting the school room reorganized and papers copied and lessons planned. I am eager to get back to a more scheduled routine.

I had two great planning meetings this week. Monday night I met with a group of ladies who do a Co-op on Mondays. I was invited by my friend Claudia! (Thanks!) I am joining a Co-op that meets 3 Mondays a month. I am really excited about this because I have wanted to do this for a long time a they all seem to be a great group of ladies. There are about 40 kids in this Co-op. I will teach in October and December. Anastasia, Joshua and Savannah can attend all the time but Alexa and the baby only go when I teach. So I am also looking forward to having that time with just the two of them and go do stuff together.

The funny thing about this is this is how I am telling Joshua he is "going to school" He is so excited about starting kindergarten and keeps asking when is he going to school and I keep telling him we are doing school at home and he keeps saying but he wants to go to school. He doesn't even know what it is though. We have homeschooled Anastasia since the beginning and I think he has just seen stuff on TV. So I am telling him now that he gets to go to school on Mondays and then we do school at home the rest of the week!

Then on Wednesday night I met with my friend Tina and we are planning to get together twice a month on Fridays to do units and lapbooks with the younger kids. Our first unit will be Johnny Appleseed and we are so excited.

Today was filled with running errands and now I need to go we are getting ready to watch the Olympics! I love watching the swimming, diving ang gymnastics!

What's For Dinner Wednesday's?? (Friday this Week)

I wanted to share a recipe that I love and haven't made for awhile and just made tonight. HOMEMADE PIZZA- YUM! YUM! It is with a Garlic Pizza Crust. It is a great Friday night treat and much cheaper than take-out or delivery.

2 pkg. yeast (I use 2 Tblsp. of bulk yeast)

2 C. tempid water (90')

2 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 C. Oil

1 tsp. salt

5 1/2-6 C. flour

3 cloves crushed garlic

Dissolve yeast in water and add sugar..wait a few minutes..add oil and salt and garlic. Mix in 3 cups flour and whip about 10 min. till it leaves the side of the mixer bowl. Add reamaining flour with dough hook or by hand. Knead till smooth. Allow to rise twice in the bowl and punch down. (This can be rushed a bit) oil baking sheets and use finger press out to edges.

Makes 2 pizzas, cookie sheet size. Let rise a bit and top with favorite topings. Bake at 425' for about 20 minutes.

The above picture is what Anastasia made from one of the doughs. She rolled out the crust in an oval shape and then topped with toppings on the inner part. Starting about 2.5inches down she started cutting the dough in one inch strips from the outer edge to her sauce and continued doing this on both sides leaving another 2.5 inches on the bottom. Next she took two strips at the top and criss-crosssed them working her way down. Then for the top and the bottom she rolled each up and then tucked under the "wings". It turned out great!

You can make 12 snack size by forming dough in a pie pan, top with toppings and bake then freeze in zip lock bags.

I am going to try this week to make the dough and freeze in two balls it then thaw and use and see how that works. If it works well than I will make them for next month's swap.

Happy Cooking!