Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's been a crazy busy day of school room preparation today...I am excited to say that I got A LOT done! Yippee!!!

I did a little moving of my lower carts and shelves in the closet so I could fit in a basket for the library books and a basket for the audio books.

I absolutely adore these baskets. I got them as a baby gift when I was pregnant with Bug...they are absolutely adorable and I have used them in various places all over the house over the past 8 of my favorite things! LOL

Ms. Kimberly will be proud! Bug has his chemistry supplies all ready to go! Woo-hoo!

Inside his folder I put a zip bag with pencils and eraser, pencil sharpener and a magnifying glass! Go Mom! Go Mom! Go Mom! ;)

I spent quite a bit of time working on the work box system set up for the classroom. Since I got all my laminating done and cut - it was time to put it into action! Whew! LOL Love it though - I think it's going to be awesome! I decided to use file folders and a file crate for both boys. Here you can see where I was setting up the file folders with the schedule cards.

Here is Bug's file box. It has the work for our first day of school and the cards all in place. You can see on the first one the Bible card and the Mom's Help card. That reminds him we will do that subject together.

Here I am setting up Red's first week of school. I laid out the subjects and activities for the day (Monday) and then I looked back to Bug's to make sure I spaced out the "work with Mom" subjects.

Here is Red's first day of school all set up! :)

And his file crate all set up...fitting that it's RED - right? LOL

Here's Bugs first week all laid out. It's a coop week so Friday is blank. Thursday is limited too because we deliver Meals on Wheels that day as well as run errands, go to the gym or library, park and swim team practice.

And here is Red's week all laid out.

So since I had changed up a few things on our weekly schedule (like moving MOW to Thursday) and adding swim team practice...I had to redo our lesson plans...not that I don't like this part! LOL

I also did some other stuff in the classroom that I just hadn't gotten done yet!

I hung a border around the white board. It's the fruits of the spirit...I picked it up at Mardel on Monday - yeah!

I also pulled out my old attendance pocket chart that I used when I taught outside my home. It's perfect for holding the schedule cards. I hung it on the back of the door - fits perfectly - yeah!

And here it is all filled with cards...boy that is a lot of cards! LOL

I also found hooks for the boys schedule books. I still need to pull out some ABC letters so I can put their name on them. These hang right over the file crates.

Below the pocket chart that holds out schedule cards I hung the calendar for the classroom. This poor thing has seen better days...I might need to invest in a new one for next year. LOL - but for now it will do.

For dinner I made home-made tortilla chips and chicken tortilla soup! It was a hit - poor Daddy doesn't even get any in his lunch tomorrow - sorry about that Daddy!
Here's my pile of tortilla chips! Yum!
And here is my soup! So Yummy! Bug ate four bowls and Red ate two. By the time I was washing dishes their was only a little broth left. I decided to share it with the dogs. (I was very generous - I usually save it for another pot of soup, but I didn't use onions in this one, so I figured they might like it.) You should have heard the slurping on the back porch. LOL - There was no table manners out there at all! LOL But every bowl was licked clean!

Well I believe that's my update for was quite a day...lots done...many blessings. Oh I just thought of something - get ready to laugh. Okay if you know me at all, you know I am frugal...really frugal...I try to make things last and get the most out of it, recycle, reuse, re-purpose. You know do more with little. Well when we moved in six years ago now we bought one of those big rubbermaid rolling trashcans. Well it's been a good can let me tell ya, but over the past six years it has slowly (more rapidly lately) begun to break down...first the lid was destroyed by the trash guy and we ended up without one...oh well...then the handle got smashed (somehow) and then it got a crack on one side - at the top...not first anyway. Well about a year (or two) ago Hubby said, I think we need a new trash can. Okay I'll look into it was my reply those many months ago. Well I am sure some of you know those things are EXPENSIVE!!! Oh my goodness - you'd think they were protecting gold - not hauling trash! LOL But anyway - for whatever reason (probably just me not wanting to spend that much), we didn't get a new one back then. I have since then put off spending a small fortune on a new can. It's not easy, but I have perfected this talent over the months! LOL Today my sweet man comes in after trash collection and says to me "Honey, come here I need to tell you something". His voice is low and serious and I am thinking something is seriously wrong! LOL So I walk into the living room and he puts his hands on my shoulders and guides me to a chair - "Okay honey sit down" (at this point if he wasn't trying not to grin I would have been scared). So I sit and he says "I know you have been avoiding this with all your might for a few years now, but I think it's time". I am still in the dark at this point - looking completely confused. He says I think we are going to have to take the plunge and buy a new trash can. At this point he bursts out laughing. The he takes my hand and leads me out to the driveway where our poor pitiful dilapidated trash can sat sagging. The "small crack" that started some years ago is now a 3 foot tear down the entire side. Hubby is convinced that the trash guy wonders every week if we want to just dump the entire can! LOL My response was "I know, I know...but do you know how expensive those things are? Do you know what we could do with all that money?" LOL - his response - "I think we'll make it he laughs and laughs at me". UGH, so I am going to do my research. I wish I could get one of those really hard plastic ones like we had in garland...anyone know where I could buy one of those? Although they probably cost a house payment! LOL - but if I never had to replace it - it might be worth it. My $50 trash can lasted 6 years though, so I suppose we got our use out of it. LOL

Okay now I had better head to the shower and much for going to bed early. Darn books on tape! LOL
So as you have probably gathered from my posts lately I have been working hard to get us ready to start our new school year. I have been setting up, moving out, sorting, printing, laminating, cutting and on and on and on! LOL But I can say that things are really starting to come together. I am very excited about the good things I see and can't wait to get it completed!

I have been working on setting up work boxes for the boys in hopes that it will help our day to go more smoothly as well as help to keep us on track a little better.

I found the work box system when I was blog hopping one afternoon and (having a Montessori background) fell in love with the concept! So I have been reading and reading and reading about various peoples systems and how they do things in an attempt to see what might work best for us. Well I got the work cards and schedule book and such printed, finally got everything laminated and cut and began looking into how I would get it all together.

But I have to be honest, I was still a little confused about how to actually implement the system with the boys. Well this morning, coffee and banana in hand I began a search on you tube for videos that might help me (the visual learner) to see exactly what others did with their system.

I found this youtube video for how to use work boxes. I wanted to it with you because I have to say this really helped to clarify it for me. I am using file folders for the boys simply because we have limited space and this helped me to better picture the set-up and actual use of my own system. Here is another video that I really liked as well. While this mom uses a rolling cart and schedule strips the concept is still the same and she explains it well.

Anyway, just thought I would share...until next one another...wendy

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So Sunday morning we ended up staying home...I had an atrocious headache...where did it come from, I don't know, but I am sure if I would have looked there would have been a sledgehammer
under the bed that someone hit me with. UGH, was it awful. Hubby was not feeling so hot either so we figured we had better just stay put.

Breakfast ended up being Baggie Omelets - Bug thought they were great! I am excited to have these in the freezer for him because he is my egg eater. "Mom, can I have some eggs?" Now I can say sure, how about some bacon to go with And even with a terrible headache it's quick and easy and ready to go!

By Sunday afternoon my headache was subsiding and I figured I really needed to get some stuff accomplished. So I set out myself a work area on the rug and set to work on lesson plans, chore charts, to do lists and grocery lists.

I also finally got around to changing over the dressers in our bedroom. We've had this dresser for a while now and let me just say I hate it! I know that is such a strong word, but's not a friend of mine! You can probably see why too as it's got tons of junk on it! And the drawers are too small! Oh I could go on and on, but I will stop.

Here is the chest of drawers I converted us too. This is part of my heirloom bedroom set and I have to say I like it much better. It's tall and upright and all the drawers are the same size. So now it's just a matter of getting the big honking dresser OUT of the bedroom...hmmmm..."Honey, where's the dolly?" LOL

Oh my what to do with all this! LOL - the big chest of drawers is where I stored my scrap booking stuff - which I recently sorted and converted to another space...except for the pile of stuff that I actually need to get into the scrapbook! LOL - perhaps I had better schedule some time on the

I spent some time working on our class for ECCHO. We had several new students sign up...we are gonna have a big class, but I think it will be great! I need to get the compasses ordered...

As for the cooking fiasco...I have encountered a new love...baking Puppy Treats. LOL - perhaps because my puppies love them.

I made them some Peanut Butter Cookies - they devoured the samples and literally begged for more! LOL

Here is the peanut butter (dog) cookies ready for the oven.

Lady Bug got the first peanut butter (dog) cookie from the oven. She took it from my hand and put it down then stood growling softly at Scamp and Sadie as they waited for theirs. Guess she didn't want to share! I had to get on her about being ugly to her siblings. ;)

Scamper Pamper was more than happy to get his peanut butter puppy treat!

And Sadie girl...she loved the cookies the most I do think! She went over to Scamp after devouring hers and waited until he was done so she could sweep for crumbs! LOL Silly Girl!

Here is the pile of peanut butter (dog) treats! Don't they look yummy!

for my Pups. I rolled this dough and made football players, apples, hearts and cowboys hats. I think they like a little variety. LOL

I also got Bug's chore chart put together...gotta get these on the wall so we can get back on track with our "chores"!

So today was swim team practice again. Bug is having so much fun, but he is freezing during practice! LOL - I just can't imagine that since it's about 110 or more every time we are there for practice. While I sit by the pool watching with sweat rolling down my back...he is shivering. What?!?!?!?! I ordered his competitive swim suit and hope it gets here soon! I got him the one that has the shirt/shorts's supposed to be warmer. Hope it works! Here is Bug working on his kicks!

This evening I got my laminated workbox cards all cut out. Then sorted...oh my goodness are there a lot of them! Now just to get it all figured out and in place for school to begin! LOL

I also got the velcro attached to the pages for the boys schedule books.

Here's an idea of what they will look like when I get it all together. I did a little sorting and sticking just to get an idea of how it would all work.

Well I am worn out and feeling a little blah...till next time be kind and love one another...wendy

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Well what a busy Saturday it has been around here! Hubby has been resting and relaxing and the boys have had a ball playing outdoor with Austin and I have been cleaning, washing and cooking! Whew...I am a bit tired this evening...but it's been good! :)

I got up this morning thinking we may get some surprise company so I took the time to clean the front bathroom...just in case! Plus I go the floors swept/vacuumed. Go me!

Does your laundry seem to grow? Mine does...some days I look and think wasn't that smaller a few hours ago? LOL - I think it sneaks fertilizer or something. I can't seem to keep up! But today I felt blessed that it was clean and dry and I was able to get it folded...and eventually to the right rooms. LOL

My favorite piece of cleaning equipment...which obviously needs to be wiped off - gosh how embarrassing! LOL I love my seems to clean my floors so much better than I did before I got it. This was one of those prize auctions finds that Hubby and I got while at an auction with Mimi Net and Papa J a few years ago. Boy oh boy was I excited when I saw it in the estate for auction. The really cool thing about it (besides that I got it for a steal) was that it came with all the gadgets and goodies! Oh how I love thee my sweet rainbow!!!!

See the laundry is multiplying! It's hanging from the rafters! LOL

I am a huge advocate of the clothesline and I use mine A LOT! But here lately the 115 degree days have kept me from going out there. Some days I make myself, but more often than not the living room rafter and the shower rods become my clothesline. Oh I long for the cooler days...

Here is another of my favorite contraptions...the drying rack...I love this thing, I load it up and sit it on the front porch! Yeah!

So the cooking fiasco continued

I put on a book on tape - No Distance to Far by Lauraine Snelling and set to work! It was a day filled with dish washing, prep and cooking!

I put the rest of the taco soup in bags and vacuum-sealed them with the food saver! Yeah - I got two bags out of it! Woo-Hoo!

Another good recipe I found is called "Poverty Meal", but I don't like this name a whole lot so I am calling it Beef and Macaroni bake. Sounds better right? LOL It was really yummy! I doubled the recipe and got two big bags as well as Hubby's lunch for tomorrow out of it! Awesome!

I was cooking away, enjoying a good book and Hubby ventures into the kitchen. His words "You are just in your own little world aren't you?" LOL He walks to the kitchen where I am browning beef and sausage for the pizza pockets and omelets. I also had a pot of water heating to make the omelets. It was quite a sight for my stove let me tell ya! He tells me "I'm gonna get the video camera"...haha, Honey! ;)

I put together some more tacos as well. These are one of our favorite things so far...everyone loves these! I baked some turkey bacon in the oven and scrambled it with some eggs and rolled up some tacos! Yum! After a flash freeze I popped these into a freezer bag for later munching!

Have you ever thought about freezing cooked rice? I haven't - but I read about it on a blog and thought to myself - duh! I love those instant rice bags by Uncle Ben's - you know the ones that are orange and you microwave them for 90 seconds...they come in all sorts or flavors, but I usually just get the brown rice one. I love them because I can just pop them in the micro and wah-lah instant side! Well if you've priced them lately they can be a little expensive. I got a bunch a few months ago for $.50 with an ad match and a coupon. Great Deal! But they are almost sad!

It's super easy too...just follow the package directions then put in a freezer bag, squeeze out the air, cool and freeze! Yeah! I made a couple of bags of plain white rice and then used some in the rice-a-roni dish I made for dinner.

I also made a batch using chicken bouillon in my water...yum! I divided it up according to what I would use in a typical dish.

Here's my pizza pockets. I plan to make some more of these, but I finally had to stop tonight and go take a shower. I had a roll of pre-made pastry in the freezer so I defrosted it and made some pockets using it. I also had some puff pastry in the freezer so I decided to try some using that too. I am very excited about these. I made some cheese free for Red.

Here is the second batch I made...they are laid out weird because I made some with cheese and some without for my Red.

Have you ever heard of Baggie Omelets? I found this on a kids cooking site and thought it looked interesting! Bug is a big egg eater and always asking me to make him eggs for breakfast. I thought this would be a great easy way to satisfy that need and make it a little fun as well!

I did four to start - using eggs, bacon, sausage and a little salt/pepper.

Here they are after I just pulled them out! Looking good!

And here they are ready for the freezer! I can't wait to spring this one on my Bug!

Well that is my was a good one that is for sure! I am off to bed to read a while.

Until next to all! we-