*****Please note that there are days where I will post more than once. So, to find out all the latest happenings and "goings-on" in our family (or my random thoughts), be sure to scroll down.*****

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Menu Plan September 14-20, 2014

After trying to wing supper for the last week, I’m glad to have a plan in place for this week.  Now, fingers crossed that I stick to it.  Smile

Sunday – Flank Steak Fajitas
Monday – Breakfast for Dinner
Tuesday – Tacos
Wednesday – Grilled Fish, Rice, Veggies
Thursday – YOYO
Friday – YOYO
Saturday – Pepperoni Pizza Pinwheels

What’s on your menu this week?  The flank steak fajitas will be a new recipe for us…we typically grill the meat, but I thought I’d try one of the crockpot variations I found on Pinterest.  We’ll see how it goes.  I’m also looking forward to Brian firing up the grill again.  We’ve been out of gas, and we haven’t bothered to replace it until now.  So, the “grilling” has been done indoors, and it makes for a mess.  I’m glad the mess will move outside for a while.  Smile

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Week Six of Learning 2014-15

Here’s how week six went…

Micah, First Grade
Bible –
This week Micah’s Bible lesson was on “My Prayer of Intercession,” and we read Nehemiah 1:3-11; 2:1-6 to accompany the lesson.

LLATL – This week Micah continued part of last week’s lesson.  We used Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown to accompany our lesson.  He then moved on to learning m, h, o and the sight words has, with.  Other skills he worked on were story recall, sequencing, retelling stories, etc.

Math – This week Micah worked on expanded numbers, triangles, counting dimes and pennies, and learning to subtract one.

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These are some creations that Micah made with pattern blocks while I was working with Caleb.  He made a lion, sailboat, and a butterfly using his own imagination.

History – This week we started a new History book.  I ordered History for Little Pilgrims, and we completed the first unit on God’s Great Story this week. 

Science – This week Micah learned about tree identification, flowers, and pollination.

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Caleb, Sixth Grade
Bible –
This week Caleb’s lesson was on The Call of Abraham, and he read Genesis 12, 15, and 17 to accompany the lesson.

Math – This week Caleb worked on other metric units; adding and subtracting fractions with the same denominators; and improper fractions and mixed numbers.

Reading – This week Caleb continued reading  Brian’s Return by Gary Paulsen.  He read Chapters 5-11 and completed vocabulary and comprehension lessons for each chapter.

Geography – This week Caleb learned facts on New Hampshire and Virginia.

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Writing – Caleb completed his contractions lesson and completed the writing assignment which was an Animal Movement poem.

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Science – Caleb covered the same topics as Micah; however, he also read about Pierre-Joseph Redoute.

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I’m glad that we’ve been able to stay on track so far.  Granted, we’re only six weeks in, but still…it’s an accomplishment when some days life just gets in the way.  I’m also very proud of both boys and their overall success and attitude towards school this year.  This is starting out as one of our smoother years, and I’m hoping maybe we’re in our groove…it only took six years, huh?!!?  LOL!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Menu Plan September 7-13, 2014

Well, I wish I had some sort of menu plan for this week.  However, with our fridge on the fritz, I just can’t figure out how to plan.  All of our food is now in the fridge/freezer in the garage (which I’m thoroughly grateful for that extra fridge/freezer at this time b/c otherwise I’d be one unhappy camper), so this makes meal time lots of fun and includes numerous trips back and forth to the garage just to get the food, prep it, put it back, etc. 

So, until I know what’s up with the fridge, and when I can expect it to be repaired, I’m just not up for planning.  This doesn’t mean we’ll be eating out…it just means I may not know from one minute to the next what I’m preparing.  LOL!  So, we’ll see how the week goes.  I do hope that everything is back to normal by the end of the week…fingers crossed with a repairman scheduled for this afternoon.

Stay tuned…

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Week Five of Learning 2014-15

We are moving right along with our school year, and here’s what we were learning about for week five…

Micah, First Grade
Bible –
This week Micah’s Bible lesson was on ‘my prayer of direction,’ and we read Luke 6:12-16 and Matthew 3:13-17 to accompany the lesson.

LLATL – This week Micah worked on the sight words ‘here, is, big, little, I, are.’  He continued to work on decoding new words, comprehension, story recall, etc.  He also read his second book for this program.

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Math – This week Micah worked on the numbers 19-20, started subtraction, and he took his first test.

Science – This week Micah learned about photosynthesis, arrangement of leaves, leaves – shape & design, and changing colors.

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Caleb, Sixth Grade
Bible –
This week Caleb’s Bible lesson focused on looking backwards…looking ahead.  We read Psalm 104 to accompany the lesson.

Math – This week Caleb worked on units for length; units for liquid; units for weight; and measuring length with metric units.

Reading – This week Caleb took his final comprehension over Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  He also began reading Brian’s Return by Gary Paulsen.  He read Chapters 1-4.

Geography – This week Caleb learned facts on South Carolina.

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Writing – Caleb completed his writing assignment on a  noun verb descriptive poem, and he started the next lesson on contractions.

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Science – Caleb read about the same topics as Micah; however, he went into greater depth with each topic.

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Overall, I’m very pleased with the way this school year is progressing.  Now that we’ve changed our reading program, everything else seems to be working really well.  I’ll admit…it’s really nice not hearing too many complaints during the school day b/c of the work load.  So, I’m praying the success, happiness, and ease of work continues.  Smile

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Make the Most of Your Time–Freezer Cooking

I’ll admit, I’m not as good as keeping up with this as I should be or would like to be.  However, when you do find the time to stock your freezer, it makes life so much easier.  There are several ways to do this…

1)  Make extra batches of food as you prep your meals.
2)  Set aside a day or two and devote all of your time to prepping freezer meals.
3)  Gather up some friends and do a freezer meal swap or freezer cooking class.

I’ve done all three ideas, and they all work.  However, I find that I can get the most accomplished by using the 2nd option.  With that said, here are some foods that I like to keep on hand in the freezer (not that I actually have any of them in my freezer now…lol).

Italian meatballs – can be frozen cooked or uncooked…I prefer to freeze them cooked and then throw them in the crockpot with a gravy mix or spaghetti sauce.

Chimichangas – I make these from scratch using taco meat, Mexican rice, black beans, and cheese.  I then roll it all up into a tortilla and bake them.  They freeze beautifully.  Although I’ve never tried it, I’m sure you could freeze them fresh, too.

Roll-ups – There are so many different varieties of these…taco, pepperoni, chicken/broccoli, ham/cheese, spinach/cheese, etc.  You decide your filling of choice, and then use crescent rolls or another dough of your choice to make a roll.  Slice it, and then either bake them and freeze or freeze unbaked.

Pasta dishes – Again, there are so many varieties that freeze well.  I typically only cook the pasta and meat in these dishes.  You can either add the cheese and freeze, or you can wait and add the cheese when you decide to bake them from frozen.  Some of our favorites are baked spaghetti, baked ziti, chicken and spinach, spinach and mushroom bake, etc.

Burritos/Enchiladas – Just like the previous two ideas, there are so many variations that do well with freezing.  Some of our favorites are beef enchiladas, egg burritos, chicken enchiladas, etc.

Hamburger Dishes – There are several hamburger foods that can be frozen cooked or uncooked.  Some of our favorites are meatloaf, German Frikadellen, hamburger patties, saucy mozzarella patties, taco meat (I cook this before freezing), etc.

Chicken Tenders – My family loves homemade Parmesan chicken tenders/nuggets.  They’re really simple to make, and they freeze well.  I’ve baked and frozen them, and I’ve also frozen them unbaked. 

Bananas – You’re probably thinking I’m crazy, but I freeze bananas all the time.  I peel them, and cut them in half or quarters and flash freeze them.  I then transfer them to a freezer bag.  They’re great to use in smoothies, and you can also make “ice cream” using frozen bananas.

Muffins/Cupcakes/Cookies – While I don’t typically make cupcakes to freeze, I have done it in the past.  I do make muffins though and love freezing them.  I’ve also frozen unbaked cookie dough.  It’s not something I do often, but when I find the time, it’s nice to have frozen cookie balls that you can just plop onto the cookie sheet and toss into the oven. 

Waffles/Pancakes – I’m not the waffle or pancake cook at our house…that duty falls on Brian.  When I can convince him, he’ll make a big batch of either, and then we freeze them.  They make for a really quick breakfast, and they’re probably much better for you than the store bought versions (although I do have store bought in my freezer now…SHAME ON ME)! 

Homemade Pizzas – This is another favorite.  I make up a dough of choice, and then I roll it into small personal size pizzas.  I then par bake them and freeze them either topped or untopped.  It makes for a quick lunch, and my boys love them.  You can also make family size pizzas and freeze topped/untopped…just make sure to par bake them.  The parbaking helps to make sure your dough doesn’t get soggy.

As you can see, there are so many ideas when it comes to stocking your freezer.  The key is to stock up on items you know your family will eat…otherwise, it’s not worth it and becomes a waste.  It’s also a good idea to keep containers that are freezer safe on hand.  I typically use gallon Ziploc bags or glass pyrex dishes.  I’ve also been known to buy throw-away aluminum containers when I’m in a pinch. 

Also, as to cooking before freezing, there are various opinions on this.  Some items it makes no sense to freeze uncooked; however, others…they just need to be cooked.  I’ve thought about partially cooking items, too…for instance, cook the meatballs or chicken tenders for half the time needed.  Then, when I’m ready to use them, finish cooking the rest of the time.  I’m not particularly picky as to the approach I use…it just depends on how I’m feeling at the moment.  Smile

Now, it’s your turn…what are some of the things that YOU stock in your freezer to make life easier?  Or – if you’ve never given this a try, I say go for it.  It’ll truly make life easier on those nights when you really don’t feel like cooking…you can plan ahead and pull out something that morning and dinner will be ready in a jiffy.  Or – cook from frozen…that works, too.  Smile

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Menu Plan August 31-September 6, 2014

Here’s a look at what’s cooking at our house this week…

Sunday – Homemade hamburger helper, veggies
Monday – YOYO
Tuesday – Tacos
Wednesday – Pepperoni Pizza Rolls, Corn
Thursday – Baked Pasta, Cheddar Garlic Biscuits, Salad
Friday – YOYO
Saturday – Homemade Pizzas

I’ve changed my YOYO/Leftover nights to Monday and Friday.  Mondays just because Brian works late, and Fridays because Micah is now taking a music class from 6:00-6:45, so finding the time to get supper done is hard.  So, it’ll be quick eating on Fridays.

What’s cooking at YOUR house this week?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Week Four of Learning 2014-15

We are moving right along in our 2014-15 school year.  It’s been fairly easy to stay on track, and I’m crossing my fingers we can continue this throughout the school year.  Here’s what was learned this week…

Micah, First Grade
Bible –
Micah’s lesson this week was on ‘my prayer of dedication’, and we read Luke 22:39-42 to accompany the lesson.

LLATL – This week Micah worked on the letters ‘s, c, f’ and the sight words ‘and, the.’  He also worked on sequencing and story recall.  He also read his first book for this program.

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Math – This week Micah worked on the numbers 15-18; reading numbers on a number line; identifying points; and less than/greater than.

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Science – This week Micah learned about stems, stem structure, and stem growth.

Caleb, Sixth Grade
Bible –
This week Caleb’s lesson was on ‘the flood and the tower,’ and he read Genesis 4:1-16; 6:1-11:9 to accompany his lesson.

Math – This week Caleb worked on percent; thinking of fractions as percents; and more on percents and fractions.

Reading – Caleb finished reading Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder by reading Chapter 11-13.  He completed several vocabulary and comprehension activities based on the chapters as well.  He’ll take a final comprehension test on the book and move on to his second book next week.

Geography – This week Caleb learned about Massachusetts and Maryland.  We are both finding some of the ‘interesting’ facts on each state quite interesting to say the least.  Some of the ‘unstated’ laws are just crazy.  LOL!

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Writing – Caleb completed his writing assignment on verbs, and then he moved on to incomplete proverbs (incomplete sentences).

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Science – Caleb read the same information as Micah; however, he went into further detail with each topic.

I’m very pleased with how both boys are performing this year.  We’ve gotten into somewhat of a routine, and it all seems to be going really well.  I don’t get much fuss from either one, and that always makes for a happy momma.