Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 2...31 Days to Clean

Ok so I see that today's Martha Challenge is to Clean out and scrub down the refrigerator and freezer.  I can do this...I haven't yet, but I will today.  I was thinking about this a little deeper.  Deep for me :)
If you were to stand in front of the refrigerator with your back to it (for an upper freezer and lower refrigerator...won't work for the opposite or a side-by-side) there are different shelves on the left and right and in the drawers.

Our main shelf is the milk has more room for things.  I could think of this as my food shelf.  Am I eating right?  I was just telling my husband today that I was feeling better when I was dairy/gluten-free.  I weighed less too.  I think I am at my highest weight ever without being pregnant.  I feel like garbage all the time.  I think I will be gradually switching over to dairy/gluten-free again.  There...that shelf is clean and sparkly.

My next shelf would be on the opposite side, the top one.  that would be my heart shelf.  How does my heart feel?  Am I holding on to more than I should be?  Of course...I am woman, hear me roar!  I take everything to "heart" and tend to keep it in and bottle everything up until my heart just hurts.  And when this happens I am usually a slobbering mess.  Letting go of things that I can not fix or do not have any bearing on my happiness has to go.  Saying goodbye to those stale or moldy leftovers in my heart.  Shelf clean!

The middle shelves would be those that carry my food around in my body.  Stress can determine how quickly or how slowly things can move.  I have to say that my middle shelves stay pretty clean as I have been taking oral probiotics for a few months now and there is a huge difference.  I have diabetic gastroparesis and not really suffered for years but it had been problematic at times.  So I can say these shelves are CLEAN!

My bottom two shelves (Drawers) are not touched very often and I would call these my exercise drawers where my feet are.  I HATE to walk!!  Yesterday, Elizabeth and I got up early and called the shop to see if my van could get in to be fixed.  It is probably 1/2 mile away from the house.  We took it down (yes, down the hills) and then walked back home.  OMGoodness!! Uphill, was I crazy??  We did it though and I thought my lungs were going to explode!  Poor Elizabeth wanted to hold my hand as we walked and I couldn't do it! I told her I had to use both my arms to get up the hills!  We had to walk back to the shop later to pick the van up...but that was downhill and much easier.  I was even able to carry on a conversation with the kids while we were walking.  By the end of the day (before going to zumba) the top of my feet and ankles were so sore and tight.  I did go back to Zumba last night and the nice weather will bring my bike out of the basement and to the pavement again soon.  I should make a goal of riding the minimum of 10 miles a week.  Ok, I will do it!  Zumba once a week and maybe Qigong another day of the week.  Gotta keep my feet moving.  These were hard shelves to clean out...lots of cobwebs! Done!

Next I have these shelves in the door to clean out too.  Ever heard the saying "you wear your emotions on your sleeves"?  I try not to do this, but it happens.  If you have too much weight on these shelves it will offset the way your refrigerator door closes.  Would you say that your emotions offset the way you are or how you feel?  Remember, "ain't nobody happy if mama isn't happy"!  My emotions have been up and down with different stressors going on right now.  I said goodbye to one stressor today and traded it for another.  How do we not have stress?  Sometimes talking to a trusted person helps alleviate the stress or helps figure out ways to work through it.   As the door keeps your other foods nice and cool by closing it our emotions can keep things bottled up in our heart, stomach and digestive areas too. I am still working on this area.  It may not totally be clutter free but it is somewhat organized and carefully put in its place.

The freezer!!  My head.  I try to get to the hairdressers as often as possible (about once every 3 months is good for me).  New glasses on my face after having corneal ulcers due to staph in my eye.  I really don't like wearing glasses but I can appreciate the blessing to be able to see.  I see the dentist twice a year.   The stuff that floats around in my head seems to be doing ok.  My thoughts are solid and I am not feeling as scatter-brained.  I am getting enough rest.  Sleeping has been a trial for me in the last 6 months.  I am finally on a good regimen now.  Freezer is clean!

How am I doing so far?? Is this the right refrigerator they were talking about?  Probably not, but this is how I identified myself with cleaning out the refrigerator.  I will edit this post later with a picture of my cleaning fridge after dinner tonight.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 1...31 Days to Clean

If you saw my post yesterday I was afraid that I would start organizing and cleaning today.  Today is NOT a cleaning day!!  Today was a prep day to get ready to complete 31 days of cleaning.  Ugh!  But, you tell me how I am not supposed to clean with a family of 6?  Well, I did it.  I cleaned!  Not everything but some much needed shelf clearing and scrubbing.  There is still a lot I can do over 31 days...honest!

Mary Challenge
We were supposed to identify specific reasons why we want to make our home a haven and create a mission statement.

It was hard to make a mission statement because all I could think of is the saying you hear all the is like shoveling snow during a blizzard.  This is SO me!  I feel that the kids are behind me leaving a dirt trail over the clean trail I already made.  But my specific reason is that I want people to feel comfortable to come over.  I get very anxious if someone just "stops" hour notice is good for me.  But I don't want this.  I want a warm and inviting home for others.  My mission statement would have to be: "A Clean Home Is An Inviting Home".   Yep! That sounds really good for me!  Will I frame it?  I don't know...looks like a good cross stitch pattern to me!  Then I can frame it! :)

Martha Challenge
Making your list of supplies.
Not sure about anyone else but I think the most motivating cleaning tip I could ever give someone is to tell them to go buy a new bottle of cleaning spray and a sponge or cloth.  You will get home and be excited to use the new stuff!  I bought a spray of scrubbing bubbles!  Heaven!  Love to see the bubbles and then watch it clean.  My list would be needing a couple of spray bottles of the Pledge Multi-Surface, Bleach, Bleach wipes and trash bags.  I am planning on downsizing as I go along.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Eve Before...Stocking up, Freezer style

As I embark the journey starting tomorrow of "31 days to Clean" I begin to wonder how it will all pan out.  I can see me getting excited on the first day.  Like a kid in the candy store told to only buy one piece of candy.  I will succeed in completed the first day but I am worried that the excitement will cause me to do more than just the first day's assignment.  Not only will I be keeping a journal of each day I will also have a photo journal running.  I will be posting them on here as well.
So on this eve...I am reading about stocking up my freezer.  I found this Freezer Friendly website called Simple Organized Living.  If you go to the tab: From My Kitchen you will find a bunch of Freezer ideas!  I never knew all of these foods could be frozen...and didn't think of freezing my herbs in ice cube form for later. Here she will show you all the ins and outs of this kitchen art.  What kind of freezer do you have?  Upright or Chest?  We always said we didn't want a chest style freezer because you have to bend over and dig through the frozen goods to find that steak you have been craving for days!  The upright freezers seem to look so organized.  I would love to just label each shelf with veggies, breads, dairy, cheeses...agh!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

31 Days to Clean Study...Monday!

I have bought this book for my kindle fire and am committing to follow through with this book study.  Would love if others would like to follow along with me.  But I will be starting it on Monday.  The download price is only 4.99 and you can get it through the link on my right sidebar.  Even if you don't have a kindle you can download the kindle app for just about all smartphones, computers, laptops and ereaders...and its free.  My plan is to post pictures along with each day's challenges along with keeping up with a journal.  I am striving for the simple life and looking deep down to correct some unhealthy challenges in my life.  If you are interested leave a comment on here and let me know you would like to join me.  I have nothing to hide so I will probably share my journal entries for the Mary challenges and pictures of my Martha challenges!  Fun!
31 Days to Clean - Having a Martha House the Mary Way

Amazon Links 4 You!

While at our Fingerprint Science lab yesterday many asked about the laminator that I use.  I love this laminator...its the best tool I have for homeschooling.  We laminate just about everything around here!
Click on the links below to order!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday's Electronics Review iPad vs. Kindle Fire

I know we aren't alone in this decision but we decided not to go with iPads and made the plunge into Kindle Fires.  I received mine as a Christmas present this year.  Emily saved her own money and bought a Kindle Fire.  And Jacob is a lot like his mama and loves gadgets and traded his netbook in for the Kindle Fire.  So we are at 3 Kindle Fires in the household with the remaining two children awaiting their Fire on their next birthday.  Sounds like a good wait to me!
I have heard rave reviews about the iPads and just when I start considering it, I find out the iPad 3 is coming out.  I just can't keep up with the technology these days.  It would be impossible for me to buy the newest iPad every few months just to stay on top.

I only have a few features on my kindle fire that I find to set me back a little.
1. There is no camera.  No matter how much you try and justify that black dot in the top corner of the kindle fire...its not a camera.  Yes, I know that the cases you buy have a cut out in that spot too...but really, there isn't a camera on the fire.  Therefore, there isn't a webcam either.

2.  It isn't 3G.  So if I am not within wireless internet, I can't get online if need be.  I suppose that is what my phone is for now.  It works great at home, the library, select restaurants...unless I use my phone's hotspot, then I can get online anywhere.

See that wasn't too hard!!  Now let's explore what my Kindle Fire does have!!

It has a huge amount a content at my fingertips!  Not everything costs money...tons of free things!!

When you get your Kindle Fire for the first time it comes with a free month of Amazon Prime!  Prime is $78 a year.  Billed once a year.  When you break that down...that's $6.58 a month!  I think what keeps people from signing up is that $79 is a lot to take out at once from your budget.  Many can justify the $6.50/mo easier.  Isn't this cheaper than netflix?

With the membership you have more books available to you for free.
Unlimited instant streaming of movies and some tv shows.  Their collection is pretty good actually!  I kind of wish they had it where you can view through your netflix :(

Free 2 day shipping if ordering from the amazon website for a physical delivery.  Since our oldest is still under his free month we ordered the kids a few things from the website with gift cards they received as part of a clinical trial at Vanderbilt.  We ordered on Wednesday and they are anticipating a delivery today!  I don't think there is a minimum amount that you have to spend either.  So go ahead and order that box of cereal...afterall, it is probably cheaper than going to the store.  A lot of items actually are and now they are offering subscription services to where you have a scheduled delivery of items according to when you "need" them.

As far as books are concerned...if you have Prime membership you can read 1 free book a month that is Prime eligible.  I have not spent hardly anything on the books that I have on my device.  I have taken advantages of websites that have found the "free" books for me.  Such as Pixel of Ink.  Each day on facebook they update what they have found to be free books! I recommend following them on facebook!  This is by far the best site that I have found and delivers great stuff everyday!!

I had a brief  hiccup yesterday while trying to figure out the library lending system.  But I finally was able to get it to work and read through a birthday cake book last night. I see on Amazon it is $3.82 but I "borrowed" it from the library for free.  I will be browsing more later tonight.  There is a 15 book limit to "borrow" from the library on your kindle.  Now I need to figure out how to "return" the book!

One thing that really appealed to me about the Kindle Fire was the fact that the content came from Amazon. Not an actually "brick and mortar" store that can close...but its Amazon!  I believe that they are infinite with the amount of content that they can carry.  I have a "cloud" that holds my content for whenever I am ready for it.  This helps from clogging up my device and using up the memory.  Kindle retails pretty much everywhere for $199 and here in TN it amounts to about $220 after taxes.  I prefer to buy my items at Best Buy because they have never given me a problem with returns if needed plus I am able to use the purchase points on my Reward Zone and that allows me to get free gift certificates...Free Gift Certificates + Wednesday Ink at 20% off = Sometimes Free Printer Ink!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Our library adventure through snakes, wars and indians!!!

Our adventure started with us attending a Reptile Show that was hosted by a fellow homeschooling mom.  It was my first time meeting her even though we have "talked" through facebook.  And we have a mutual friend.  The snakes were really neat!  The owner of the snakes was informative and very patient with all of the questions the children were raising their hands to ask.  We had watched a show on PBS a few weeks ago about pythons in the everglades and how large they are becoming.  It was called Monster Python...Watch the full episode HERE!  They did a dissection of the large reptile and showed very graphically how a snake is able to move, eat, reproduce and survive.  It was very informative!  Jesse took a keen interest in this show with me and at yesterday's reptile show...well, he had some questions!  One in particular and that was about the little "claw" that is on the underside of the snake towards the tail.  In the show they related it to being "feet" at one time as a lizard but with the evolving of snakes it stayed but is not used.  As our reptile expert said yesterday, he doesn't believe in evolution that way and sees the "claw" as a way for the snake to hold on to his/her mate.  We were able to talk more about Jesse's question when we were holding and examining the snakes.  We could see and feel the "claw" in questions and found it very interesting.  The only way I know to describe this would be to say it felt like a cat's nail...but softer.  
Shockingly, I did hold the snake and at one point I about dropped the snake because its head touched my arm and the tongue scared me as it tickled my skin!  Okay, that gave me goosebumps all over again!

On to our next adventure of the day.  You know that if you are going to a reptile show at a library what is the first thing your kids are going to want to do?  Get a book about the snakes they just heard about.  At least one child did, haha!  Jesse wanted to read about the snakes.  And I wish I had taken my camera out of my purse as he was reading in the bathtub (they have a navy blue bathtub in the library as a unique place to read).  All you saw was his head and the top of his book.  
I find that the computers they have to search for books are always in use and hard to grab one.  This time I had my kindle fire with me and was able to use it to search for books I wanted to check out.  As I said in a previous post we are switching some social studies curriculum around and trying out the GuestHollow American History for Jesse and Elizabeth Anne.  I wasn't able to findall the books listed but I did find a few.
1. Night Bird - A story of the seminole indians. (I will have to go through this one as the cover looks kind of scary. But inside it looks ok)
2. Seminole Children and Elders talk together.
Today I will head to the teacher store and see if they have the History Pockets for Native Americans.  I think it runs about 15.99.
Jacob picked out a dinosaur drawing book and Elizabeth picked the book, " Our New Cat".  I think she has had this book several times before!
This Friday we are having a science lab on fingerprinting and part of the lab will be making fingerprint art so we checked out a couple of Ed Emberley's books!  How creative they are too...lots of caterpillars, bugs, flowers, excited!
As we were walking toward the check out I ventured to the DVDs.  I was shocked at how many series they had for educational purposes!  I chose a Civil War series (part 1 of 4)  The DVD set came with a course book that has the outlines of the material.  I figured I will scan it in and print the page larger.  Jacob and Emily can watch and add their own notes to the material.  Not sure how well this is going to go but I am going to try this instead of a textbook.  Also found a PBS show that will be airing tomorrow about the women in the civil war.

Other titles we picked up were on English Grammar and also a Sign Language DVD.  Of course they are the firsts in the series.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Leaning towards some new curriculum.

I am not talking for Jacob as he is heading into high school and I don't want to switch up what we are doing with him...his 4 year plan is made and hopefully set in stone!

I have found this website called Guest Hollow.  They seem to use a lot of different books to help teach the lessons.  I like this.  I don't like just handing over a textbook and say "do lesson 58 today".  That is boring!  We always try and add videos, movies, hands-on techniques and so on.  I have no idea what homeschooling method this is.  But it is what it is at our home...and it works for us.

Anyhow back to Guest Hollow.  There are many curriculums there that are free and she has lesson plans ready to print.  Many different books that go with things too.  You can check out her website through the button on the side.  I have already ordered this book:
Go ahead and click on it!

A weekend to remember...

The plan for this weekend at the lake was for me to get caught up on homeschool planning.  My girlfriend and I have made this trip each February for several years now.  It started out to be a way for us to catch up on scrapbooking.  Other priorities have come up for me so I have spent the weekend planning (or trying to) and cross stitching.  Love to have time to stitch!!  The internet is really unpredictable at the lake.  I did find that if I sat out the front door I could pick up service but who wants to sit on a wood walkway on the computer.  That didn't last too long.  I still couldn't print no matter where I sat or stood.  I called Sprint and had them turn on my wifi hotspot and that helped a little.  My kindle fire worked well but the laptop and cell phone did not.  One thing I did have with me that didn't need wifi was my camera!  In the years past we have seen sea gulls and muskrats around the lake edge.  But this year we saw Pelicans!!! They were the most gorgeous creatures and I couldn't help myself from running down to the lake to capture these fascinating birds!  They follow in a line and all dive for the same the same time!  Sounds like my kids!!! They follow each other around and eat the same foods....haha!!!  We asked about the Pelicans and the servers in the restaurant said they come around this time every the hundreds!  That morning we only saw about 6 or 7.  By the afternoon there were around 50 outside our balcony!  One thing I did find out...they don't like lemon wafers.  You can not entice them to come and eat.  They probably needed some chocolate but I didn't want to give any away.  Lemon wafers were great for the Sea Gulls! They loved them!  I should have brought goldfish crackers and they would have thought they were getting fish instead!  :)
Of course you can imagine how Sea Gulls are swooping down to get the wafers.  I think these birds would eat anything.  I remember a time in Pensacola FL when I was 12 and I was throwing Runts candy up in the air and they were getting them and eating each piece.  Crazy birds!  Sorry for whoever got the waste from the Runts on their windshields!!

 Here is one of the birds swooping from the wide air circle it made.  Landing approach was successful and so was the take off.  I waited for a snake to pop out of the water and eat the bird...but I didn't see any snakes this year.  Nor did we see any muskrats.  We normally see several each year!.  A few boaters were out this weekend but not many.  A couple of people were fishing from the lake banks but didn't catch anything.  The Lions Club was having a conference at the resort this year.  A few families were there too enjoying a long weekend.  We had beautiful 50 degree weather throughout the weekend until the day we left to return home.  It is cold and in the 30s.  Weather could possibly produce some snow today.  Wrapped up our weekend at Cracker Barrel in Cadiz, KY this morning...a must destination to conclude our weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine Cake Batter Rice Krispies

I admit...I tweaked the recipe a little.  I did add more buttah.  And I put 4 cut strawberries in the food processor and added it to the mixture.  The first picture shows the mixing process after the butter, marshmallow and cake mix was added to the cereal.  It broke my rubber spatula!!  I have never been an expert into making rice krispie treats...I mean the first time I made them years ago I messed up! How pathetic is that??  After seeing this recipe I was really excited to try it!  Sprayed the cookie sheet and packed the treats level and refrigerated for 3 hours.  My sister was here when the kids were talking about having some.  Told her to wait a few minutes and I would send some home with her for the kids.  I couldn't find my clear treat!  So we just put them on sticks.  But I wanted to save a few for when I go see the doc tomorrow so we fit 2 hearts in a snack size bag.  So two bags are ready to go tomorrow.  The bad part of making this was that when you are cutting the hearts out you are left with "scraps".  So Dawn and I were snacking on the scraps while I cut them out.  Mmmmm...I highly recommend this way of making rice krispie treats!  I was skeptical but pleasingly happy with the taste!!  Enjoy!

My project! Not for me though...for my best friend! 2 1/2 years worth stitching! I know I am slow...I would never be able to use my stitching for a business. And that is fine by me. I would rather make something and see the recipient's reaction to their gift.  This was a long time ago!!!  I am on bottle bones now!  Exacted to finish!!

 I am trying to find a bird picture to do next. My husband has a lot of Audubon birds on our bedroom wall. He loves squirrels and birds too. How about 1/2 bird 1/2 girl?  Hmmm...

Here would be my wish list for 2012:

1. Dog Bone Wisdom
2. Months of the Year Sampler in my 365 Tiny Cross Stitch Designs book!
3. Garden Sampler -

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

I waited for this day. 

I planned schoolwork for this day.

We did Valentine Bingo.

I researched recipes for Valentine morning.

I posted recipes on facebook about what I was going to make for the kids this morning.

I had a seizure last night.  2 actually.

I couldn't drive to get what I needed to make the morning special.

I was emotionally drained last night and felt that I have let my kids down.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

I didn't tell them my plans therefore I didn't let them down.  I only let myself down.

As I sit and wait on kids to finish waking up and school completed, I am back in planning mode.

I can drive today.  We can get Jacob's haircut.  We can have lunch together.  We can plan dinner together.

I like the saying:  "we plan and God laughs"

God is our ultimate lesson plan. He knew what was going to happen.  Maybe it was His way to slow me down.

Happy Valentine's Day 2012!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday night


It is Sunday night.  We had a wonderful day with family and a mild winter day.  I think the van was cleaned out today when we got home.  I say "think" because I watched them do it, but I didn't check on them.  I guess I will see tomorrow.  The rest of the afternoon I have spent helping my sister with some scrapbooking and I have worked on my current cross stitch project.  The kids will only do 3 days of school this week and I haven't let them know just yet.  I am sure they will be thrilled!  Lesson plans are not finished.  Printer is acting up and not working.  Hoping it is just a displaced cord but I don't feel like working on it tonight.  Tonight I feel like eating a baked potato, cross stitching while watching the Grammy awards.

Sad to hear about Whitney Houston's untimely death.  I am sure the format will be changed during the awards tonight as she was in LA to attend the gala.  She made some great music and came into people's homes with such an extraordinary voice.  I am sure she will be forever in our hearts with music and song.  But I am sure she is grateful to have coming weeks where her problems won't be published in the National Enquirer.  Rest In Peace Whitney.  The music industry has lost some great musicians
Many have watched and posted this video of her singing the National Anthem at  Superbowl XXV.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

OCD can work but somedays aren't ideal...

I am not sure what has come over me lately.  Cleaning, bleaching, cleaning, cooking, meal planing, caring for an eyelash crested gecko, 3 children that are Type 1 diabetic and 1 that claims to be just "aweosme" as he reaches his first teen birthday this week!
To most people that know me I know what you are thinking.  Either 1. Glad she found time before I had to pay for a babysitter to come and help her out or 2.  Anyone want to pitch in to buy a gift cards to "merry maids".  HAHA!  As long as I can remember I have been the type to "do" when I "can".  Usually this occurs in the late afternoon through the evening hours.  Endorphins kick in and then you look at the clock and say..."Its 4AM" Then the eyelashes start to slow down while you are yelling at them for just 15 more minutes!

Tonight, the night before the trash truck comes to wake us up in our neighboorhood, was the night to clean out our refrigerator.  I went grocery shopping to day so I would think (as the normal thinking mind I tend to use) it would be better to hold off on filling the refrigerator up  until there were clean shelves again and get the 20 milk caps that are stuck with an unidentifiable substance in the very back.  So Jacob and Emily took this task on.  Then Elizabeth found some cleaning fairy dust and began to clean out the inside door and shelves.  She was ecstatic to find out they came off!!  Whoa!!  Took a few hours to complete this task.  Most of the time was used trying to figure out how the bottom full shelf reassembled with the glass and drawer tracks placed in the correct area!  The kids did a great job!  I know that I will never be featured on CMT Cribs or MTV cribs so I thought I would take a picture of inside of the "clean" fridge.  The doors look jammed packed! I did shop today but after seeing a clean fridge I may have to get more food!  Nah...I meal planned this week and we will have leftovers in no time!  Of course seeing this reminded me that I had some snap bean stuff (never bought it before) you eat raw.  I rinsed them and lighly salted them...good stuff!

I am doing this while watching the other computer monitor stream live from a chicken coop.  So I am watching these chicks find their way around to sharing on who gets to squat where. will love it in the morning.

After taking inventory at Walmart tonight for 3 hours we made our way over to the new Pet Palace store that has opened its doors.  We have always enjoyed their pet store.  But today they were unpacking new fish so you saw bubble bags floating everyone.  It is a little dark in the store.  But that didn't keep Elizabeth from finding a roaming cat.  The cat wanted nothing to do with Elizabeth but she didn't care and pestered the cat anyhow.  There was a live snake just sitting in a box that was open.  Upon further inspection by at least 10 feet away the snake was having a late lunch.  I yell out to someone that a snake is out in the open and one of the workers said, "Its ok, he won't eat while in his cage".  I know I wouldn't enjoy eating in a cage either but I would sleep much better if I knew a snake was getting some shut eye with a screen, lock and glass between us

Oh a chicken woke up.

After cleaning the refridgerator and running the dishwasher I see there are a sink full of dishes still.  We need a better dishwasher too.  One that we can run and clean dishes while trying to clean a kid in the shower.  One that will do its main job...CLEAN.  A lot of times my glasses come out cloudy.  Amazing how when you handwash the glasses that they can be used for drinks!  Getting all of the dishes led to the counters which were in such a sad mess.  Tomorrow, I have the thought of 1 child reorganizing our utensil pots to where they become a functional part of our cooking sessions.  Counters, cabinets,Stove, Dishwasher, Fridge and hands are all bleached.  Now on to the floor!  I found out that you really shoud sweep before mopping the floor.  It get annoying when you start sliding corn chips across the kitchen floor.  I guess I am a  little opposite.  I mopped, it dried and I swept.  LOL!  It worked for me.
I must remember that another child need to reorganize the trash cabinet....sometimes they miss. :(
Another should be on cookware and storageware organization.  If you open a cabinet and everything falls out on the is no long organized.  Hoping for a change soon!

The next project that was tackled was my once known as Craft Table.  That was an over rated tag when it was in the planning phases.  Its like having a kitchen counter cluttered with appliances.  ( I did it, I moved them).  Now this desk has a lot of appliances. A desktop computer, printer, laptop, laminator, tv, cable box and scentsy warmer.  We have homeschooling books sticking out of our ears down to between our toes.  Now it feels functional. Now that we have kindles what do we do with all the books we have?

Sorry chick...was I crunching too loud for you? poo'd!!! while I am eating too!

Bleaching the floor is a great incentive to put nice smelly lotions on!

For the past 2 days the goal was to get to the sewing area and downsize and work some of the things in  to the desk area.  The sewing machine will be placed on the left side of the desk.  Materials...I haven't decided yet what to do with the scraps.  I have a few projects I would like to see through.  And my poor cross stitchign buddy has waited two nights on me and I am still not ready!  I keep getting sidetracked to something else!  Tomorrow maybe???

The chicks are still going strong but I am not anymore.  I ready to bolus and go to bed...My productive days are few and probably numbered.  I think a driveway sale may be in order for a couple of months from now. That gives me enough time to back out of!
Good night...have a great Wednesday!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

New Giveaway!!

Grab my newly designed button and leave a comment on this post that you grabbed it and posted it on your blog!!  I will choose 1 person through  Prize will be a very scrapbooked, special recipe card of the cherry cupcake featured on my blog button!!  You will love it as much as I have and the kids too! + A Super Secret Bonus Delivery!!!

To get extra entries....

1. leave me a comment on our facebook page (not sponsored by facebook):

2. join our blog email

3. join our Google +

Comment with your entries and I will pick a winner on Friday, February 10th!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Please meet Pearl Rango

Our friend Mishelle brought over an eyelash crested gecko on Friday.  It is the cutest lizard I have ever saw before.  And I really don't like lizards....but this one is special, because its ours.  We have no idea if it is a boy or a girl and that's ok.  At first they named the gecko "Geico"...not very original.  Then the boyscae up with Pearl...I loved it!  Then they added Rango to its name.  So the gecko's full name will be Pearl Rango Jones.
We fed him today for he first time.  I looked on google to find out if it was ok to feed it grated carrots.  It was...we grated some baby carrots and a little applesauce mixed in.  It was so cute eating little bites with his tongue!!!  It has bit Jacob twice now and he said it hurt for about a minute but not too bad.  Now when Jesse handles Pearl he puts a sock on :-)

Did you know that you can do this too?

Homeschool children are not exempted from this activity!  I remember watching in the public school award programs children receiving these awards!

The President’s Challenge is open to all kids—whether they attend a public school, a private academy, or are homeschooled by their parents or a homeschool co-op.  Homeschooled kids are eligible to join all of our challenges. There’s sure to be one that fits everyone’s needs. (taken from the website).

Great way to supplement your already thriving or lacking PE program.  We are looking to get a group going to participate in this program.  It is never too early to learn proper stretching techniques and take the goals to the max in order for our children to feel good all around.  The morale should be high as no child will go without an award!  Have a child with a disability...please consider including your child!  Read about the program's disability page.
Physical Fitness National Awards

There are 5 activities the children participate in and are timed.  Their times should improve after practice.  All times are recorded and submitted.  The awards are paid for by the parents but cost very little.  From what I have read the awards range from 65cents to a few dollars.  You can make it as pricey as you like I am sure.  But getting the basics surely won't break the bank!  I think it would be possible to have a local business sponsor our efforts as well.  We could plan a special dinner for award presentations.

Check with your boy/girl scouts and AHG to see if awards may be earned for completing this program too!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Typical February week...

The older kids are reading the book "Red Badge of Courage".  You can download it free here on  We are studying the Civil War for the Spring and its a great book to start with.The Red Badge of Courage

I know I am procrastinating on a project of reorganization today but I promise this will only take a minute....or ten!  I am a distraction waiting to happen and then I wonder where my son gets it from? Hmmm!

I have learned through the week that my children do not know how to write.  A simple essay is too hard for them.  I say, make sure you type your cover sheet and they looked at me with a bewildered look.  I know I was writing simple essays in elementary school...I know I was!  I do have a good vocabulary to add to the amount of pages I could write as well!  Facebook and blogging doesn't count.  It would be unfair for me to talk about this subject while you are looking at my excessive usage of happens! I like them and I am not changing.  But in the real world (I am already there so I don't have to impress), the kids need to know how to write!  Was I thinking too high when I expected them to do an essay each week on a variety of topics...I mean, I have the schedule written out until May 4th!  We can't change this now!  I am thinking we need to take 2 weeks on our first topic.  For whatever reason they thought that typing 3 pages for the body of the essay was the same as handwriting three pages.  Should I let them think that and then go ahead and show them Microsoft Word?  And watch their expression crush to their stomachs as they see that will probably get them "maybe" 1 page.  I did show them how to make a thesis statement.  Jacob was up and down the stairs about 7 times before he got it right.  A thesis statement is not a sentence that regurgitates facts I could have looked up in the encyclopedia.  I drop them off at the library to get references and do some reading and they had no idea where an encyclopedia was located!  They sat on their phones looking stuff up on the internet.  And NO!!! Wikipedia is not counted as a reference.  I remember a college professor once told us that in order for the website to be with credible information it better not have any ads on it!  The essay is 5 pages long.  This includes a cover sheet, a thesis statement with at least 3 major points in the body of the essay, a conclusion and then a reference sheet.  Lots of learning ahead...

Jesse and Elizabeth have been reading a lot lately.  We are doing baby steps leading up to book reports.  I found a great reference on pinterest this afternoon and had to take a closer look.  I was only going to use this with Jesse but I think Elizabeth can handle the information with some help.  Sandwich Reading Comp
Print it and a few copies...its free!

I am hoping this sheet will work better than our standard form.  I bet I could trace these on colored construction paper to make it really look like a burger.  I have also seen the same types of forms but with ice cream cones and different scoop layers.  Get creative! It's worth it to see your child's lightbulb turn on!
We have printed and laminated several sheets for Valentine's day bingo.  The kids love it and even the older kids will play if candy is involved as prizes.  You can buy some hershey kisses for rewards and some pink/red M&Ms for bingo covers.  Play regular bingo and then play card blackout.

The Red Badge of CourageThese are very colorful and we have enjoyed it numerous times.  We enjoy Bingo...all kinds.  We did some math bingo one day this week with Jesse.  Adding the rows, columns and 4 corners.  You can do greater than, less than exercises too.  We have chapter questions that go along with the reading.  Vocabulary words and a study guide too.  I wonder if there is an audio book too? Hmmm...that would be good for the younger two kids.  I will have to check that out.  I think this sums up the type of week we have experienced.  Hoping to get lesson plans started tonight and tomorrow.  Superbowl is tomorrow and that means a day of family, cooking and football.