Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011 – Welcome!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Can I just say that I’m super-excited for this party?!? I had soooo much fun last year, and I even won a few prizes! I’m thrilled that I’m still blogging away a year later and get to be a part of this awesome party again.

If you’re stopping by from the party, hi! Take a poke around if you want. You’ll find lots of pictures, mostly of my kids. I’m not a pro or anything, but I do like to take pictures! You’ll even find a few of me (not the greatest, but hey, it’s fun to embrace the camera!)

I also try to post preschool and tot school ideas and activities whenever I get the chance, although soon enough we’ll be moving on to kindergarten posts (wait, kindergarten?!? I don’t know if I’m ready for that…).

I love to cook, so there’s a new recipe (almost) every week and you can find my menu plan here too.

If you’re really lucky, you might find a crafty idea or two. Not that I have time for much of that, but I do enjoy it so.

To see more about me, you can go here for the long and short of it or here for last year’s party post.

Also, make sure you stop by again on Sunday (or maybe late Saturday) because I’ll be putting up a giveaway when I get back from the Women’s Retreat I’m going on this weekend :)

Update: The giveaway is now up :) Go here to enter!

Leave me a comment with your blog address so I can come join YOU for the party!

Now to do preschool or blog hop, hmm…


{embrace the camera} / Daily Photo – March 31st

2011-03-27 Puddle Jumping Collage


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday / Daily Photo – March 30th

Kahlen really really wanted daddy to build her a tent. So he did.

2011-03-26 Kahlen's Tent ~S

Linking up at:

imageBetter in Bulkimage

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tasty Tuesday – Chicken Lemon Soup with Orzo

Tasty Tuesday

Welcome to another week of Tasty Tuesday here at The Young'ns!
There’s a recipe index under the food tab above if you’re ever looking for a recipe I’ve already blogged.
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) ;)

Okay, so I haven’t actually made this recipe in awhile, but I’ve been making it for at least 15 years, at least. It’s very simple, yet very tasty. It also freezes well, although it’s a lot thicker after you freeze it. I love it, hubby doesn’t, which is why I didn’t make it last week like I had planned. Not that he hates it, he just doesn’t like it as much as I do.

Chicken Lemon Soup with Orzo


  • 8 cups chicken broth or stock.
  • 3/4 cup orzo rice-shaped noodles found in the noodle section
  • 1/2 pound chicken or about 2 chicken breasts
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp parsley which I nearly always forget
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • If you’re using chicken breasts, cube them and cook in a soup pot sprayed with cooking spray.
  • When chicken is done cooking, add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add orzo, cooking until tender, about 20 minutes.
  • If you’re using shredded chicken from making chicken broth, add chicken about 5 minutes before orzo is done.
  • About 5 minutes before orzo is done, crack eggs into a bowl. Whisk the eggs while pouring in lemon juice. Stir in the zest.
  • When orzo is done, slowly pour egg/lemon mixture in, whisking continuously. The soup should thicken slightly.
  • Add parsley, salt, and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.


Linking up at

TastyTuesday200pix Welcome to my new home   Tasty Tuesday

Menu Plan Monday – March 28th

I have a recipe index, just for recipes that you can find on my blog. You can also get to it by going to the food tab above.

Last week the menu pretty much fell apart. Don’t know really what happened, but I think my husband has something to do with it. We had chicken noodle soup instead of Chicken Orzo, had leftovers on Wednesday and went out for dessert, and Sunday my dad and stepmom came over and brought dinner. That’s okay, though. The reason I have a plan in the first place is so that it provides some sort of idea that I can work with, so I know that I can cook those things but I certainly don’t have to!

Here's the plan for this week:
Mix-it up Monday (something new) ~ French Toast and Scrambled Eggs 
Taco Tuesday (Mexican or Oriental) ~ Simple Bean and Meat Burritoes 
Wow Wednesday (Date night or something like restaurant food) ~ Parmesan Ranch Chicken with noodles and broccoli 
Simple Thursday (Crockpot or less than 30 min prep) ~ Lentil Stew with turkey ham 
Favorite Friday (A family favorite) ~ I’m leaving for a conference, so the kids and daddy are ordering a pizza :) 
Lazy Saturday (leftover buffet) ~ Leftovers or Hamburger Helper, depending on how wiped out I am from the conference and what food we have in the fridge
Saucy Sunday (Italian) ~ Spaghetti Pie. Found a recipe, now to actually make it!

Come visit me for Tasty Tuesday 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!

Daily Photo – March 29th

  Nate found a spray bottle with water in it. He thought it was the best. toy. ever.

2011-03-28 Nate with spray bottle (2)2011-03-28 Nate with spray bottle (3)


Monday, March 28, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Daily Photo – March 27th

You can’t really tell what she’s doing in this picture because I took it with my phone this morning at church. She’s laying on the floor next to the pew drawing me a picture during worship.2011-03-27 Kahlen at Church~S

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Daily Photo – March 26th

Nate was playing with Daddy’s knee brace. It looked like a leg cast on him! He thought it was pretty funny, he was running back and forth down the hall giggling

2011-03-26 Nate night night (3) ~S

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kindergarten Planning – The current plan…

So, I’ve been obsessed with thinking a lot about school for the fall. After talking to some other mommies and looking at things online and a whole host of other things, we’ve decided that Kahlen is ready to start Kindergarten in the fall. She will be very young for it, as she’ll turn 5 in December, but it will be our third year of school already, with doing Kitchen Table Play and Learn with Hubbard’s Cupboard, and RRSP / Letter of the Week this year.

So that lead to more obsession about what curriculum I was going to use, was I even going to use one or just pick and choose, etc, etc.

After much research, prayer, discussion with friends, prayer, discussion with hubby, prayer, and a homeschooling fair (and some more prayer), this is what I *think* we’re going to be using in the fall. I haven’t purchased anything yet (except for math), so it’s still subject to change. We’re going to the CHEC conference in June, so I’m planning to purchase everything there or shortly after so that I have enough time to plan everything out over the summer.

Main curriculum: Tapestry of Grace, year 1image

A friend of mine found this curriculum and I was surprised at how much I like it. The more I look at it, the more I like it, in fact. It’s a classical education model. It’s a bit of a stretch for Kindergarten, but I think we can make it work. We’re going to stretch the first year out over two years instead, which will make it more reasonable as far as workload.

The main thing that we like about this curriculum is that it’s super-flexible as far as what assignments you do and don’t do. The problem that we’re having with our current curriculum is that she’s bored and so am I. We’ve been doing the same type of activities since September, and she’s moved up, but with nowhere to go. Since this is a classical curriculum, all grades are included with the initial purchase, so I can change what we’re doing to something more advanced halfway through the year if I need to.

The other thing I really like is the subjects covered, specifically Bible in conjunction with History and Geography. I like the literature aspect too, and I have already checked that I can get most of the books from the library, yippee!

Math: Math U Seeimage

We got a chance to look at this one at the homeschooling fair that we went to. Hubby remembered this from his childhood; he used it in preschool, and remembers all that he learned using it. After that, he went to a different school and doesn’t remember much math until college. That was recommendation enough for me. That, and I like it too. It’s very hands-on, which I think will be good for us.

Handwriting: Handwriting without Tearsimage

I looked into several handwriting programs, and I like the looks of this one. Also, it’s inexpensive, even better! Hubby said that he’s going to do it with her in the evenings, because his handwriting could use some help too ;)

Reading: Explode the Code & The Ordinary Parent’s Guideimage

image I looked at several books about teaching children how to read, and finally settled on this one. I think it’s a good match because the lessons are short, hands-on, and require not very much prep work from me. They are more interesting than some other books I saw, and more complete as well. As for a workbook, we’re going to try Explode the Code and see how that goes. It’s very black-and-white, but I think it’s still the best because it’s basic and yet covers what it needs too.

Science: Unknown…

We’ll probably add in some science of some kind, but it will most likely be related to whatever the unit is from Tapestry for that week. I’m looking at getting an Usborne book called First Encyclopedia of Science, but I don’t know how much we’ll really do out of it in a formal sense anyway.

Well, that seems like a lot quite enough to try to get through. The best part about homeschooling, though, is this is totally flexible and we can change it anytime if it’s not working for us!

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcomed and appreciated, especially if you’ve used any of these tools.


Daily Photo – March 25th

Kahlen and Ben off-roading with their camelbacks (courtesy of each of their grandmas)

2011-03-21 On A Walk (4)


{embrace the camera} / Daily Photo – March 24th

I realize this is a day late, the day slipped by me and I only remembered it was {embrace the camera} day because one of my friend’s did theirs :)

2011-03-25 Nate and Mommy


Preschool Corner / Raising Rock Stars – J is for Jesus

preschool corner

Kahlen is 4 years, 3 months

Okay, I’m still really behind, but maybe if I start from where we are now and work backwards, I’ll be more motivated to finish backfilling the other weeks we’ve already done. As I start this post, we’re still right in the middle of this unit, so I’m going to put up the things we’ve done already and go from there…

Jj Plan Sheet

Photobucket Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” ~ John 14:6

She would rather I just keep saying the verse and not make her do it at all, but she’s getting it. I also used a window crayon to write it on the mirror in the main level bathroom, so she has more exposure to it.

2011-03-21 J Day 1 (1)Writing the sight word of the week, “said”

 2011-03-21 J Day 1 (2)Proudly displaying her taped together verse

 2011-03-23 J Day 2 (1)Cutting out our J vocabulary words 2011-03-24 J Day 3 (1)Writing the word again, she wanted to. (Notice the fantastic sloppy coloring job in the background)

2011-03-24 J Day 3 (2)She also wanted me to take a picture of the actual word she wrote



J is for Jesus, and it’s also for Jelly Bean. I couldn’t help it, I always have liked graphing jelly beans (just ask my mom, I had her make me a graph every single year!)

2011-03-21 J Day 1 (4)Using the number clip cards with jelly beans 2011-03-21 J Day 1 (5)Size sorting baby Jesus 2011-03-23 J Day 2 (2) Jelly bean graphing 2011-03-23 J Day 2 (4)“Kahlen, give me a nice smile” 2011-03-23 J day 2 (5)Dot painting 2011-03-24 J Day 3 (3)Matching jelly bean shapes (she turned them over to play like memory)

 2011-03-24 J Day 3 (4)All taped together

2011-03-25 J Day 4 (7) Jesus cut and paste craft. I had some leftover cut up pieces of raffia from a different project, so we glued those on as straw.


2011-03-21 J Day 1 (6)We cut out a crown this week, she was very excited about wearing it. Too bad she left it out so her brother got a hold of it! Photobucket 2011-03-23 J Day 2 (6) We pulled out our play dough mats and made the letter J.

2011-03-25 J Day 4 (3) Did our first dot-to-dot page from here.2011-03-25 J Day 4 (4) 2011-03-25 J Day 4 (6)I finally got the bottle cap numbers and cards all ready after having printed them about a month ago. I wanted to laminate the cards, and when I would have the laminator turned on, I would forget. Ah well, they’re done. We had a good time with this one. It was more challenging for her than I anticipated. She’s having difficulty with the higher numbers, so this is definitely one we’ll be doing again soon!

 2011-03-25 J Day 4 (2) We also did her first maze today. This one was from KinderIQ, it was going through the numbers 1-15. I had to walk her through it, but she seemed to enjoy it. Could just be that I let her use a highlighter too… ;)

What have you been doing for your preschooler? Come link up at Homeschool Creations! Interested in learning more about my curriculum choices? Check out this post about my plan for the year.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

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