Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Picture of the Day – August 31st

Kahlen thoroughly enjoyed her first day of this school year. Here’s her long verse that she cut and taped all by herself.

2010-08-30 Ll Day 1 (15) ~S

Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu Plan Monday – August 30th

  
Alright, I came up with a theme for each day of the week to make menu planning easier. This way, it’s a little less open ended, which makes it take less time :)

Here's the plan for this week:
Mix-it up Monday (something new) ~ Tortilla Casserole
Taco Tuesday (Mexican or Oriental) ~ Leftovers (I have a fridge full of food!) 
Simple Wednesday (Crockpot or less than 30 min prep) ~ Lentil Stew with Turkey Ham 
Take-out Thursday (Date night or something like restaurant food)~  Grilled Teriyaki Burgers & Salad 
Favorite Friday (A family favorite) ~ Leftovers (did I mention I have a fridge full of food?) 
Lazy Saturday (Normally, leftover buffet) ~ Spaghetti with meat sauce 
Saucy Sunday (Italian) ~ Leftovers (will usually be Italian, but with the holiday on Monday, I think leftovers will be in order)

Come visit me for my Tasty Tuesday linky party for some more deliciousness.
So, what are you having for dinner this week?
Link up at Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie or leave me a comment!
~S

Muffin Tin Monday – Numbers and the letter L

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

The theme this week is numbers/counting over at Muffin Tin Monday. We also started preschool today and are covering the letter L and the color yellow this week. I combined all these for one great tin :)

2010-08-30 Muffin Tin Monday Ll (1)1 lunch meat roll-up, 2 fruit leather Ls, 3 toast Ls, 4 yellow cheese Ls, 5 yellow jelly beans, 6 yellow bananas.

I actually thought about it and made a plan before lunch arrived, amazing!

My daughter amazes me. We have really just started talking about lower case letters, and here’s what she did with her toast and fruit leather:

2010-08-30 Muffin Tin Monday Ll (4)

“Look, mommy, I made little l’s!” That’s one smart cookie :) The other funny thing she said was that the cheese felt funny in her mouth (it was tilamook sharp cheddar), then she said she smelled something terrible that she didn’t like – cheese! Silly girl.

I also took a picture of Nate’s lunch, because I thought it was funny. He got all the leftover bits from cutting out all those L’s :)

2010-08-30 Muffin Tin Monday Ll (2)

He didn’t seem to mind, except where’s the milk, mom?!?

Join us next week for more Muffin Tin Meals!

~S

Book Review – One Hand, Two Hands by Max Lucado

I just got this book in the mail today, and couldn’t wait to read it to my kiddos.

One Hand Two Hands This is the latest children’s story from author Max Lucado, who has written many many books for adults and children.

The story starts by telling some things that our hands normally do, like “clap ‘em, snap ‘em, wave ‘em in the air”. It then tells some things that we can choose to do because we have hands, like “Wash dishes with mommy. Put toys in the box.” It ends with a sweet and short prayer thanking God for our hands and asking Him to use them again. It also includes a list of things that kids can do to have helping hands, kind hands, and loving hands.

The illustrations are wonderful; full of life and color. The book flows well, especially for my 1 and 3 year olds. I enjoyed the typesetting as well, with key words bolded and in a different color. I think it would be good for children up to 5, and then for children to read to another. I liked that the message of using our hands for helping wasn’t preachy or overdone, as is easy to do with kids’ books.

I give this book 5 stars! Fun story, great illustrations, good message, not too long or short.

clip_image001

~S

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Picture of the day – August 30th

My first attempt at sewing apparel (Okay, so it’s a little long. She’ll grow). I followed a pattern and everything :)

2010-08-12 Kahlen's new dress (1)2010-08-12 Kahlen's new dress (2)~S

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Picture of the day – August 28th

Just because I enjoy taking pictures…

This is my baby who is a little boy now, when did that happen? (Although he’s still not walking, so I can still call him a baby!)

2010-08-25 Little Boy Nate ~S

Picture of the day – August 27th

It has come to my attention that I have way too many cute/fun/noteworthy pictures that I don’t really have a reason to post or blog about. So, I just decided (just this minute, actually) that I’ll post one per day, just because. Some will have an explanation, some will not. I may or may not actually get one posted per day, but I sure have a ton, so we’ll just see :)

For today, here’s a picture I took while walking home from the park with the kids, enjoy!

2010-08-24 Morning Glories (3)

~S

Friday, August 27, 2010

Great Giveaways #14

Another week, tons more great giveaways! 

I won a talking teaching clock from No Time For Flashcards, neat-o!

Here’s a few I found around the web this week:
If you’re ever in the mood to enter more giveaways, here’s a few sites that have giveaway linkys every week too:
Good luck!!
~S

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday – Warrior Dash

2010-08-21 Warrior Dash (32) crop
Yes, that’s me. Yes, those are actual flames. (You can see more pictures from my race here.)
Find more of this week's Wordless Wednesday (or Wordful) posts at 5 Minutes for Mom
~S

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tasty Tuesday – Zucchini Cheese Quiche

Tasty Tuesday
Welcome to another week of Tasty Tuesday here at The Young'ns!
Please link up your recipe at the bottom of the page. You can post a link to a recipe on your blog or anywhere else. In the title of your link, please leave your name too (especially if it's not a blog post) so I know who it came from :)
Also, feel free to grab my Tasty Tuesday button, it's on the right side, just under my spiffy new tabbed box.
Every Monday, I plan on trying a new recipe. If it goes well, that’s what I’ll be posting on Tasty Tuesday. If not, I’ll post a tried and true (i.e. something I don’t have to think about too hard) ;)
I found this recipe on Our Best Bites, and thought it sounded fantastic. I have a spinach quiche recipe that I like, but my hubby does not. After buying cucumbers instead of zucchini and having to borrow some from my stepmom (Thanks, Wendy!), the recipe was really easy and quite delicious.
To see the original post, go here. There are pictures and detailed instructions. She has other great recipes too, so definitely check it out.
{Ingredients}
  • 1 single 9" pie crust (Click here for recipe from Our Best Bites) I just used a frozen 8” from the grocery store to save time
  • 1 lb zucchini, thinly sliced (about 3 small-medium zucchini)
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 C diced red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 Tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbs fresh chopped oregano (or 1 1/2 tsp dry)
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5 oz gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
{Directions}
  • Place rolled out pie crust in a 9" pie plate and flute edges.  Place in fridge until ready to use.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet on the stove-top, melt butter.  Add onions and garlic and cook for about 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Add sliced zucchini and add a sprinkle of salt (about 1/2 tsp) and a few cracks of black pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until zucchini is softened.  Remove pan from heat and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl lightly beat eggs.  Add dijon mustard, oregano, red pepper flakes.  Whisk until combined and then gently stir in Gruyere cheese.
  • Add egg and cheese mixture to zucchini mixture and toss until combined.  Place mixture in prepared pie crust and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes or until center is set and top is lightly golden.  Cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.  Can be served warm, at room temp, or even cold.
~S

Menu Plan Monday for the week of August 23rd

 
My race went well! I finished in under an hour. Even better, I didn’t die or even get injured ;)

Here's the plan for this week:
Monday ~ Zucchini Quiche
Tuesday ~ Taco Salad 
Wednesday ~ Benedict Eggs in Pastry
Thursday ~  Simple Casserole
Friday ~ Hamburger Helper (Camping)
Saturday ~ Leftover Buffet 
Sunday ~ Fontina Risotto

 
Come visit me for my Tasty Tuesday linky party for some more deliciousness.
So, what are you having for dinner this week?
Link up at Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie or leave me a comment!
~S

Sunday, August 22, 2010

And the Winner is…

The giveaway for the $50 gift code to CSN is over. And the winner is…

CSN winner Comment #15 is:

CSN comment  Congrats! And thanks to all who entered!

~S

Sorry this post is a little late, I was busy running in the Warrior Dash this weekend :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday – But why is the milk gone?

2010-08-06 All Gone

Find more of this week's Wordless Wednesday (or Wordful) posts at 5 Minutes for Mom
~S

Book Review – Anne Bradstreet by DB Kellogg

This is the next book that I had the privilege of reviewing for Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Anne Bradstreet{From the publisher}

Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience

Anne Bradstreet is recognized as one of the most important figures in the history of American literature, yet the majority of her poetry remained private until after her death. As a Puritan wife and mother, Anne knew that sharing her views and opinions with others was considered a sin, but she clearly valued knowledge and intellect, and was a free thinker. Bradstreet's work serves as a document of the struggles and hardships of colonial life and is a testament to the plight of the women of the age. Her poetry, filled with the love she had for God, her husband, and her eight children, showcased her intense devotion to being a good wife, mother, and Christian.

After reading the description, I was excited to receive this book. However, it did not live up to my expectations. The book is full of facts and factoids about the era in which Mistress Bradstreet lived, but had little information about her as a person or about her poetry. The book has information about where she lived and what was going on around her as far as politics and general challenges facing the settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It has a little about the Puritan religion, but is also lacking in this area. I understand that there is little information available about Mistress Bradstreet because of the time of her life, but I was disappointed by this book, nonetheless. I would have liked to see more about what family life would have been like or some more about her poetry itself and why it was so amazing that she wrote as much as she did given her gender and religion. The one thing this book accomplished for me is a desire to read more of her poetry, so I’m off to the library to do just that!

I review for BookSneeze 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

~S

Monday, August 16, 2010

Menu Plan Monday – for the week of August 16th

 
Made most of the stuff on the menu last week, amazingly. This coming Saturday is my big race, so that will affect the weekend :)

Here's the plan for this week:
Monday ~ Random food from the pantry. Actually, what I made was pretty good. Lipton noodles, sautéed broccoli, and chicken pan fried with butter and Mrs. Dash.
Tuesday ~ Cashew Stir Fry Chicken 
Wednesday ~ Slow Cooker Pork Tacos 
Thursday ~ Benedict Eggs in Pastry
Friday ~ BBQ with some friends
Saturday ~ WARRIOR DASH 
Sunday ~ Fontina Risotto

 
Come visit me for my Tasty Tuesday linky party for some more deliciousness.
So, what are you having for dinner this week?
Link up at Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie or leave me a comment!
~S

Preschool Planning – Curriculum Overview

After having some frustration with the curriculum I have been using (Hubbard’s Cupboard – which has great information, I just felt like it was incomplete as far as implementation went), I’ve come across a new solution for this school year. I feel like this year is actually preschool, where last year was just play school and more just gave us something to do (Read here for more of my thoughts on the matter).

My friend and I that will still be co-oping the work will be using the Raising Rock Stars Preschool curriculum designed by the fantastic Carissa at 1+1+1=1

We’ll also be supplementing this with the Letter of the Week curriculum from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler.

BWS tips button

Each of these curriculums have a paid component that is optional with most of the information available for free. I decided to pay each of them for the curriculum. Partially because I truly appreciate all they do and partially to make my life easier :)

So, here’s the new plan sheet I’ll be using every week: (This one’s not filled in, it just has the categories listed) Plan Sheet

And here’s the first week’s plan all filled out: Ll Plan Sheet

The best part about these two curriculums is that there is really little prep work for me. I just have to print the pages I’m going to use, cut a few, and done! (Okay, so I laminated a few too, but that’s just because my new laminator is cool)

We’ll be starting all this fun in two weeks. I need some time for not doing much of anything before we jump into 4-5 days a week of school.

I’m still figuring a few things out too. Like are we going to start piano “lessons” (I can handle teaching at least the first few books)? What about stART or some other literacy component? This is a good start, I think, we’ll roll from here :)

~S

Preschool Corner – Catching up…where did summer go??

preschool corner

We just got done with the busiest 6 weeks of my life (Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but only slight), which is why there have been a lack of blog posts. Hopefully, especially after the Warrior Dash this weekend, life will return to normal :)

We actually did get some school activities done during July, I just have not had the time and brain cells to blog about it. I figured since we’ll be starting new curriculum in two weeks, I better do a wrap up of what we just finished! So get ready for a month’s worth of pictures (just from preschool, that is). We also finished our Zoo unit and did a bit of a bubbles unit somewhere in there, but I’m just going to skip them and let you know that we had fun :)

All of the activities that are listed here I wrote about in my Preschool Planning – 4th of July post.

2010-07-05 Independence Day Week 1 Day 1 (4) Red, White and Blue collage. I gave her a baggie of items, scissors, and glue. She decided she was making a person, complete with eyebrows :)

2010-07-05 Independence Day Week 1 Day 1 (13) Playing “Find the shape” with daddy

Flag puzzle completed2010-07-07 Independence Day Week 1 Day 2 (3) 

2010-07-07 Independence Day Week 1 Day 2 (8) Sorting stars

Making cupcake fireworks 2010-07-21 Independence Day (3)2010-07-21 Independence Day (4)

 

 

 

 

 

2010-07-21 Independence Day (5)Matching flags

Making a flag windsock2010-07-21 Independence Day (7)

Flag graham cracker snack, mmm (Yes, I had made too!)2010-07-21 Independence Day (9)2010-07-21 Independence Day (10)  

2010-07-22 Independence Day (1)Flag number cards (put correct number of star sticker on each card)

Straw painting2010-08-04 Independence Day (1)

2010-08-04 Independence Day (5)  Handprint fireworks

Pretzel Sparklers2010-08-04 Independence Day (6)

 

Everything I taped to the wall after we finished :)

2010-08-12 Independence Day

We actually did everything on the plan sheet, including all the books (Gotta love interlibrary loan!) It was a good unit, even if it did take us a month to complete :)

~S

Muffin Tin Monday

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

I love when Kahlen gets involved in making lunch, it’s definitely a fun part of being a mommy: getting to teach her about cooking and meal making :)

She really wanted Mac’n’cheese for lunch (surprising it doesn’t come up {every} day!), so she got to stir it all up after dumping in the ingredients.

2010-08-11 Muffin Tin Meal (1)

Nate joined in too. Since he usually has a portion of several different foods anyway, his tins are usually really easy to make ;)

2010-08-11 Muffin Tin Meal (2)

Nate’s tray (the white one): Cantaloupe, Annie’s Mac’n’Cheese, Tofu cubes, Tomato cubes
Kahlen’s tray: Yogurt, Pringles, Turkey Ham, Cookies, Carrot Sticks with Ranch Dressing, Macn’n’Cheese.

One other nice thing about Muffin Tin Meals is that I don’t necessarily have to give them as many noodles because there are so many other things.

Their reactions to their food:

2010-08-11 Muffin Tin Meal (3)2010-08-11 Muffin Tin Meal (4)

Gotta love MTM :)

~S

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday – What a snazzy dresser

2010-08-06 Kahlen the snazzy dresser

Find more of this week's Wordless Wednesday (or Wordful) posts at 5 Minutes for Mom
~S

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tasty Tuesday – Granola Bars

Tasty Tuesday

Welcome to another week of Tasty Tuesday here at The Young'ns!

Please link up your recipe at the bottom of the page. You can post a link to a recipe on your blog or anywhere else. In the title of your link, please leave your name too (especially if it's not a blog post) so I know who it came from :)

Also, feel free to grab my Tasty Tuesday button, it's on the right side, just under my spiffy new tabbed box.

Every Monday, I plan on trying a new recipe. If it goes well, that’s what I’ll be posting on Tasty Tuesday. If not, I’ll post a tried and true (i.e. something I don’t have to think about too hard) ;)

Enter our family’s new obsession. I found this recipe originally on Raising Olives, but then also found it slightly modified on Confessions of a Homeschooler. I have liked the recipe so far, but it’s a tad sweet for my hubby, so I’ll be modifying it again :)

IMG_3578(Not the best picture in the world, but you get the idea) 

Here’s the version I’ve been using, which you can also find here.

{Ingredients}

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (Melted! I microwave about 30 seconds until liquid, this makes it MUCH easier to work with!)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

You can use whatever ingredients you’d like in addition to/instead of the chocolate chips and nuts. Some ideas: any Dried Fruit, Raisins, Craisins, other Nuts, Coconut Flakes, have fun with this!

{Directions}

  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Mix together dry ingredients, then make a well in the center and add the honey, beaten egg, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Pat the mixture evenly into the baking dish.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are beginning to turn golden. (I did 30 because we like them softer.) Cool for 5 minutes and then cut into bars and remove from dish WHILE STILL WARM. Otherwise, you'll have to chip it out with a chisel. But then I suppose you could use crumbled pieces for ice cream topping. So, if that's your goal, go ahead and let it cool as long as you wish.
  • Eat one before calling in the crew, well, unless you don’t want any that is. Then make another batch. No, seriously, start all over again :)

~S

(Sorry this is so late! This is the first time I’ve been sitting down for more than a few minutes at home all day)

And the Winner is…

The giveaway for Venom & Song is over. And the winner is…

Venom and Song winner Comment #1 is:

Venom and Song comment Congrats, Eileen! I’ll get it out in the mail to you this week :)

~S

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