Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shoe Gooooood.



Today I helped the babies get bundled up so go out in the freezing temperatures because they were so excited to get out in the little bit of snow we have.

Because mom is nowhere as excited about snow and freezing temps as her children are, I laid down one ground rule.  Don't leave the back deck.  That way I could see them from the warmth of the house with a cup of coffee.

They definitely took the rule to heart and did not leave the deck, but that did not stop them from finding treasures!  Like one of Bren's cast off flip-flops covered in snow and ice.  

By the time I saw it I didn't have the heart to stop them.  

Sorry they are number 5 and 6, apparently I have no more boundaries.





'til next time,


me

Not on My List

Here is a product that is NOT on my list for 2012.

  Squishy Baff, which is a product that is supposed to turn bath water to bright colored squishy goo and then back again?  Ummmmm.....no thanks.

 *picture from the squishy site.

Though I guess I could possibly see a fun application for this on April Fool's Day.  Just sayin'.


'til next,


me

Saturday, December 24, 2011

We Did It!

We are home from our trip and looking forward to some fun family time this Christmas Eve.

We are going to see some Christmas lights, open a present or two, watch a movie together as a family, this year it's going to Home Alone 2, and maybe play some games or something!  All in preparation for the big man to show up while we are sleeping.

This year I was a bit ambitious with our holiday projects, I thought since this was the first year that I had some of the kids home for school it would be fun.  And it was!

We managed to finish the last of my project ideas today.  Frosting Christmas Trees.




Here is a breakdown of what we did/ will do this year:

Frosted Sugar Cookies
Santa Hat Brownies
Peppermint Bark
Hand print snowman ornaments
Gingerbread Houses
Frosted Christmas Trees
Christmas Cards
Lots of Christmas Stories including this one which Ki loved. And this one which I love. And last but not least this one which Max and Emmy love (they love all the Llama books).
And a trip to Bronner's for a new piece to our Christmas Village
Crossroad Village to look @ the Christmas Lights

With all the projects, the parties, Emmy's birthday, our little get-away and our regular schedule this month has been a whirlwind so I just want to take a moment to say.....................

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to Everyone from our Family to yours!!





'til next time,


me










Friday, December 23, 2011

Sometimes....




Sometimes, they love each other.



Or she is trying to choke him.



You pick.








'til next time,


me

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Miss E!

Today is my sweet girl's 4th birthday!  I know every mom says it but I seriously can not believe that she is already 4!





It seems like yesterday that we brought home this tiny little 4 month old baby from Ethiopia.  And now she is a big girl.   Sweet and sassy,  she is full of things to say and not afraid to let you know when she is mad at you.  Loves all princesses and really loves her some Bubble Guppies (hello dangerous).  She has the BEST hair ever and crazy good hugs. And couldn't take a decent picture if I paid her.

Thank you for adding your awesomesauce to our lives!

Happy Birthday baby, you changed our world.

Love,

Mom and Dad and your brothers and sisters...........

Not So Much Running Going On....

At least not for me, Bri on the other hand is up to 5 miles (on the tread) @ an 8:06 min mile.  We still hate him.

Remember last week when I was oh so excited about getting over 2 miles in 32 minutes?


Then this,  don't mind the crazy kid in the foot picture, who wouldn't want to be in my foot picture, right? Left ankle relatively normal  and right ankle a puffed up mess.  It didn't so much hurt as ached for a few days, and I did notice that I was favoring it a bit.


Holy crap my feet are ugly!  Must lotion, must paint toe nails!



 I have been taking it easy for the last week and its seems to be pretty good.  My pride though continues to take a beating while Brian does crap like accomplish 8 minute miles (refresher-16 minutes is good for me).  

I think that I am ready to get going now, we have had to split up our times so Brian will be doing the morning workouts and I will be do the later evening ones.  Tonight I am going to test out this ankle by seeing how fast I can do a mile.  I am hoping that it can be better than 16 minutes.  Seriously, my pride needs this.


'til next time,

me

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

BINGO!!!


I always knew bingo daubers were fun, I mean, hello, I play bingo!  

Yes, I am only 34 and I play bingo, shut up.  I can still hear you.

Occasionally I get the daubers (bingo language for the markers that "daub" the spots, shut up) out for the the kids to mess with,  you can get some fun printables at Making Learning Fun.

Today, my almost four year old genius, Emmy found my magnetic bingo chips (shut up) and started using them to fill in the space on her Christmas tree!  Genius!  


Never thought of that myself,  honestly I probably wouldn't think of showering if the smell didn't start to bother me.


The amazing thing about using the magnetic chips is after you make a huge disaster you can wave the magnetic wand over them for easy clean up!  (shut up)




'til next time
me

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Repurposed

Egg cartons? Who knew?

I know, everyone, but you still get a blog post on it!

We go through a lot of eggs around here, between the scrambling and the baking and the breaking, I have found that it is better for us time and cost wise to go with the industrial box of 10 dozen eggs from Sam's Club.

The eggs are protected (sort of, I had 5 broken eggs last time) by these supersized egg cartons.





For easy paint clean up I a cut one up and filled it with paint for a fun painting session!  Emmy actually had more fun painting the egg carton, than the paper. 

And the clean up was MUCH easier, except for where Max went all Jackson Pollak spattering paint everywhere!  That boy LOOOOOOOVE him. Sigh.




Quick Lunch Idea!


Today, since we are on vacation, we got up a little bit late.  Which made for a later than usual breakfast, which brought lunch time around way to soon.  And after lunch time follows NAP TIME!!  I love nap time!

In order to keep nap time us on schedule I threw a quick muffin tin lunch together.  I knew no one would be that hungry so this worked out great!

We had some grapes, pepperoni, provolone cheese, and of course, goldfish cracker.  The kids thought this was awesome and picked it clean in minutes!

'til next time,

me

Monday, December 19, 2011

So Sweet


We may have told a certain almost 4 year old a bit too early about her birthday trip to Kalahari Resorts.


As this is how we found her last night when we went up to bed.



I heart this little girl.


'til next time,

me

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Snapshot



Sunday Snapshot
I am going to participate in Sunday Snapshot this week!  It's my first time.I have been stalking Stephanie's blog Ni Hao Ya'll for quite a while now,

Ummmm,  hi, my name is Jillienne, I'm a blog stalker.

 OMG  I feel so much better now!

Seriously though, if you have a chance (all 8 of you) take a minute and check out her blog, she takes amazing pictures, has amazing amounts of energy, a really gives back in big ways!  Plus, she totally has more kids than I do, which is cool.

On to the snapshots!!!

My babies from Christmas 2 years ago!!!  Why, why, why must they grow up so fast?  Look at those little chubby babies, now Emmy is going to be 4 (next week), Max is a wild and crazy 3 year old, much different than the wild and crazy one year old he was in these pictures.  My Bren is almost a driver, Griff is 13!!! And Ki and Lainie, so sweet.







Merry Christmas!

'til next,


me



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Linky Love

Happy Saturday!  Links for you today!  Have a great weekend!

Recipes:

Chocolate Bread Pudding from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures -going on my Christmas menu!

Creamy Coconut Cake also from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures-  I have made this and let's just say YUM!  Helpful hint though for those of you who can't figure out where to find the Cream of Coconut, like me, look by the Pina Coloda (sp?) mixes.  Don't wander aimlessly through the store for hours.  Not that I did that, not at all.

Christmas Craft Ideas:

We will be doing both of these this week!

Craft by Number Christmas Tree @ No Time For Flashcards

Handprint Snowman Ornaments @ Confessions of a Homeschooler

Homeschool Stuff:

Make Your Own Place Value Chart from Smockity Frocks  (I am looking forward to making this one)

Taking a Holiday Break from Simple Homeschool

And last this has been inspiring me lately, make sure to read from the beginning!

Ben Does Life




Friday, December 16, 2011

Teenage Driver

Now that Bren is 15 she has, of course, taken Driver's Education. Which, by the way, was hours of my life driving back and forth that I will never get back.

But anywhoo, her and I have a pretty good system going for getting her mandatory driving hours in. It goes like this, I don't let her drive me anywhere. Perfect.


 Her father gets the pleasure of helping her meet her driving goal. Love you honey!


 Eventually we will pass from the land of parent led driving into a full on drivers license and that's when I believe we will have one of these made

with her father's phone number on it of course.  Take that teenage driver!

'til next time,

me

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Shoes



Nike Zoom Structure Triax+ 14 (Narrow) Men's Running ShoeToday Bri and I went out and had our feet fit for new running shoes.  Bri said that his shoes were fine, except for, ooops, his shoes were literally blown out on the sides.  So I insisted!  The last thing we all need is for him to hurt himself.  At the store he tried on a few pairs and found one that he liked.  The Nike Zoom Structure +14.  He was relatively easy and only tried on a couple of pairs and ended up getting the first pair that he tried on.  On our way out of the store he did make the comment  that he  didn't realize how uncomfortable the other shoes were until he put the new ones on."  Uh-duh!

 Then came me, I had gotten fit for a pair of shoes months ago and really never liked them, of course I didn't realize it until it was too late to take them back, but they just always felt big and clunky, sort of heavy.  And lately, when I try to run/walk I have been getting bad cramps in my arches.  Back to the drawing board.

I had really been drawn to all the new types of minimalist shoes but alas my wide, fat feet will not fit in them.  So after trying on about 8 different pairs of shoes,  I finally settled on the Brooks DYAD6.   They are much lighter than my last shoe and the arch support isn't as aggressive, also the back of the shoe is lower and not as annoying on my achilles.

We will see how we do tomorrow!  I fully expect to be able to run my 5k now that I have these shoes.  Ok, maybe not but it would be nice to beat my sad little record.  I will like to hit 2 miles in 30 minutes.

'til next time,

me


National Cupcake Day

Happy National Cupcake Day!!

How fun, the kids and I have been taking it easy with school for the holiday season but when I saw it was National Cupcake Day I thought we could have some fun! I did a quick search and found this cute cupcake craft on the Money Saving Mom blog (which by the way is kinda awesome), grabbed some felt and off we went.....



Our creations

I had Ki and Lainie cut out and put together the "cupcakes" and put them in big baggies. Now when the babies get up from their naps they will have a ready made project for them. I was actually a bit surprised about how much Ki and Lainie got into it. Then we read about the history of the cupcake.

And that was about as long as I could hold their interest on that project, but I call it a success!

'til next time

me




Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Running

I thought I beat my record this morning but no. Last run I did 1.97 miles in 32 minutes. Today, 1.95 miles in 32 minutes. My right shin is still a bit tender. Not ok with that, I am going to try icing it later.

Bri ran his 5k today in 25:40min. We hate him.

On another note Brian picked up some vitamins and pre-workout products from GNC. I am little nervous, some of my pills are REALLY big and I REALLY hate pills!

'til next time,

me

Santa Hat Brownies





Finally a project in the kitchen that turned out! And were so yummy! I brought these to Lainie's Christmas party at dance and I think the adults liked them as much as the kids!

Recipe:
boxed or homemade brownie mix
mini muffin tin
strawberries
2 cups of white chocolate chips

Instructions:
Prepare and cook brownies (according to package) in mini muffin tin
I love to use my mini scoop from Pampered Chef. Perfect for filling all the little spots.
I believe my brownies took about 11 min. @ 350 degrees
Let the brownies cool
clean the strawberries and cut off the stems
place the strawberries upside down on the brownies, smaller ones work best!
melt the white chocolate chips most recipes call for using a double boiler for this but I am just not that good so I microwaved them. Watching them carefully and stirring every minute or so until done (about 4 minutes)
Then quickly place the melted chocolate in a frosting bag and pipe the around the outside of the brownie and a quick tip on the top!
And done! Cute little Santa Hats!

A word of caution, PLEASE if you decided to go the microwave method with the white chocolate chips, be sure to use a microwave safe bowl, and check every minute or so. Benefit from my mistakes otherwise you too could could have a smelly gooey mess and a ruined bowl. It's not pretty, not at all.

'til next time,

me








Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Peppermint Bark Fail

This was supposed to be a nice Holiday type post about making peppermint bark.

Instead we will interrupt the previously scheduled post to bring you a What Not to Do post instead.

Don't dump a whole bag of white chocolate chips into a cheap plastic bowl and hit the 5 min. button on the microwave.

The result will look something along the lines of this..........big hole, cheap bowl.

Oh and curiously a very strong s'more smell?

'til next time,

me

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Gym this Morning....

I seem to have found my preferred bedtime for the mornings that Bri makes me get up and go to the gym at the unreasonable time of, are you serious, otherwise known as 4:30 (a.m.). 10:30 p.m., I'm not to sure how I feel about that right now. I am really used to staying up until about 12-12:30 so this feels verrrrry early to me, but I did manage to get my butt out of bed this morning with minimal amount of fuss.

Anywhoo, went pretty good today, I noticed my right shin hurts a little bit when I walk but not so much when I am running? Weird.

For today's workout I did: 1.97 miles in 32 minutes. That includes a 2 min. warm-up and a 2 min. cool-down. I walked between 3.0-3.3 and ran between 4.7-5.5 (I actually preferred the faster pace, was easier to get into a rhythm).

That's up from the 1.83 miles in 32 min. from last time. But still a really LONG way from getting in 3.1 miles in under 30 min.

Still haven't lost any weight but I was not good to me this weekend. Trying to do better!

'til next,

me

p.s. I may have gone back to bed again when I got home, keepin' it real.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Back to the Gym...

Heading back to the gym tomorrow. Last week didn't go so great for me as Max thinks sleep is overrated and I get unmotivated if things don't go exactly to plan.

This week in my training plan calls for me to start Monday out with 2 min. of running and 1 min. of walking. Sadly, that makes me nervous. I will let you know how it goes.

For fun I think I will start throwing Bri's times in too.

'til next time,

me

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Things I Hear......


A couple of days ago Emmy got mad at me because I wouldn't read her a story before bedtime (in my defense it was waaaayyyyy past bedtime), she looked at me so serious and said, "I'm going to cross my arms at you and tomorrow I am going to take daddy to Disney World and get candy and you will have to stay home, if you won't read me a story."

She told me.

But I still didn't read the story.

'til next time,

me

Friday, December 9, 2011

Yum.....

......favorite thing I found this week.....will be making these for a Christmas party next week! Santa Hat Brownies!



'til next time

me!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Another Stolen Idea!

Since starting on our homeschooling journey I have found the Confessions of a Homeschooler blog, along with a few others very helpful. Giving me a ton of ideas, lots of insight and just generally helping me feel like I am heading in the right direction.

I have been trying to find lots of crafts and activities to do for December so that we can go with a sort of abbreviated schedule for the month (keeping up with our math, writing and reading). So when I saw this idea I was so excited! Super fun, super easy and easily adaptable for different ages.

IMG_2415
*picture from Confessions

Edible Christmas Trees! All you need is the sugar type ice cream cone, green frosting (a little bit of food coloring in some white frosting), and ornaments, such as sprinkles and small candies.

This will hit the 3 big things that make my kids happy.
1. messy
2. fun
3. sugar

Can't wait to make them!

'til next time
me

Monday, December 5, 2011

Running.....Running.....Running



It seems like everywhere I look (read) now people are talking about running and how much they love it. I bought some good (meaning expensive) shoes a while ago with the thought in mind that I was going to also become a runner. Didn't happen. I tried the Couch25K program and was BORED! I know that tons of people like it but it really wasn't for me.

Instead I joined the insanely expensive Athletic Club near me, which I LOVE, and signed up for a 12 week program thinking I would jump start some weight loss. Nope. I lost a grand total of 7 pounds in 12 weeks, which in turn started me on 3 months of blood work, girlie visits and a bunch of other crazy crap.

The outcome at the end of the 3 months is that I am fine, and that I just need to keep working out. Which, while awesome, is still somehow annoying.

And that brings us to now. Brian has decided that he wants to start running, Mr. I Am Too Good To Work Out and so mad dashed ran us out to join our local 24 hour gym (i.e. cheap). With the bright idea that we should get up at 4:30 and go work out together. Which has happened exactly 2x now, because the kids have banded together and figured out a way for one or more of them to be awake @ 4:30 (by the way that's 4:30 A.M. people!).

The two times that we did make it out there together I kinda wanted to kill him anyway. Because it's totally not fair that someone who has never worked out a day in his life jumps on a treadmill and does a 2 mile run at just over an 8 minute pace first thing. I can run a minute at a time at this point. Who wants to help me hide the body?

Also, in the spirit of competition a friend and I who have vastly different ideas on times a day we should work out and so no longer try to go together, have started up a competition. We are going to see who can be the first of us to do 3 miles on the tread in under 30 mins.

I figure this will take me somewhere in the range of 6 months to accomplish. I printed out a plan that said is should have me doing about 2 miles, in 30 minutes, in 8 weeks or so. I realize that I will have to repeat a lot of weeks, being that my physical fitness may not be at it's peak at the moment. Then from there I will just have to get faster.

I tend to stray away from the cardio workouts when I am in the gym and veer more towards the weights, but as my fav. Jillian Michaels says "Let's face it, running makes you skinny." So high ho, high ho, off to the treadmill I go!

Today will be my first day with the new program. I am hoping that I can stick to it! 'Cause I want to win!!! Not sure yet what the winner (me) is going to win but we have time to figure it out.

'til next time

me






Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Drank the Kool-aid

Hmmmm......maybe that's not the best way to phrase it. The thing is when I decided to take on home-schooling it was a little late in the game, as in it was about 3 weeks until the start of the public school year, and I had to do a TON of research very fast!
It was quite crazy around here and I don't think that I even spoke to my family unless it related to curriculum choices! While I was doing my mad dash research the spelling program that kept coming up, over and over and over and over was the All About Spelling Program.

I confess that I gave it a quick look and thought that it would be too labor intensive (for me). I really just wanted a nice easy worksheet type curriculum for the kids. Easy!!

I found what I still believe is a good choice spelling for some kids (as in Ki). But it just wasn't working for my Lainie. Yes should could route memorize the words for the week but she wasn't really LEARNING if you know what I mean.

We needed something were we could start with the basics and really learn the sounds and the rules etc. And something with the option with moving on quickly once mastered.

I was back to researching and once again All About Spelling was EVERYWHERE. Finally, I grudgingly bought the program (grudgingly= whining and complaining the whole time I was putting in my credit card info).

The program came very quickly and really only took Bri and I about 30 min. while watching t.v. to get organized. And I have to say I am LOVING this program.

All About Spelling is super engaging, very user friendly, well written, well thought out and I am kinda kicking myself that I didn't just go for it before. Lainie is really going strong and I am confident that this will really help improve her spelling and over-all understanding of words.

So.......I drank the Kool-aid, and I liked it!

'til next time
me


Oh and for what it's worth, I was not compensated in ANY way for this post, unless you count the fact that I now need to go get blue Gatorade out of my carpet (note to self, don't ignore the 3 year old), because no one reads this blog at the moment!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Our Version



Sometimes because we have a larger than average family we have to adapt things to fit us. Even a $5 footlong @ Sub*way can be expensive if you multiply it by 8.

Yesterday Kieran came up with this idea that I thought was pretty genius and now we have our version.... which we have named Ki's Pizza Subs.

The ingredients:
12 hotdog buns
pizza sauce
pepperoni
salami
mozzarella cheese
(Alainna added banana peppers to hers)

I pulled open the buns slathered on some pizza sauce, topped that with the salami and pepperoni and then some good old mozzarella. I stuck them in the oven @ 450 for 4 mins. and served them up with some cucumbers and carrots!

Outcome:
A big win all around!! The kids loved it and so did I, especially with our schedule, having something fun and easy to throw together on those crazy days will definitely come in handy!

'til next time
me



Monday, November 7, 2011

Holidays

With the holidays just around the corner I am trying to start getting organized for all that I want to do this year. While I used to think that I was an organized person, 6 kids later, I am lucky if I remember my name at the end of the day, so this might be quite a stretch for me.
Here are some things that I want to get do this year especially because I have Kieran and Alainna home with me,

~make "brownie jars" as gifts for our friends and family
~make "bath salts jars" for friends and family
~homemade nametags for gifts
~teach the kids to address envelopes with Holiday cards (this one might be a little bit self serving, just saying)
~cookies (of course)
~make ornaments for our class tree (I sort of need to buy one of these still)

and a few dozen other things I have yet to come up with.

I have started my lists, and put together a folder to save all the ads and coupons that I am accumulating. I am counting down the minutes until Black Friday, yup I am one of those!

I know that at some point I will fail, my motivation will fall off, I will lose my folder, my computer will crash that holds everyone's wish list or my head will explode. But for right now, in my head I am going to ROCK this holiday season!

I did stumble across this site today, looks very cool, so I thought I would share. Organized Christmas. If everyone already knows all about this site, just let me have my moment and don't share!

They have lots of neat gift-in-a-jar ideas. And tons of other fun little tips, tricks and ideas.

Ummmmm........I should mention if you are someone I know reading this let's just forget about the brownies in the jar and the bath salts in a jar I was talking about earlier. No reason, I'm just sayin'.

'til next time







Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaBloPoMo


National Blog Posting Month is BACCKKKKKK!!!!! I am getting to this very late tonight, but I am planning on taking part this year again. Not sure if I am going to go with a theme or just wing it.

I know it's lame but I am counting this as my first post! With a bonus Halloween picture.

'til next time

Friday, October 21, 2011

Books




I read, I read kind of a lot. On top of that we have 3 others in the family that read kind of a lot too. I am withholding names in an effort to not to embarrass my non-readers. Losers.

I tend to like reading things by series I can get totally immersed in them. Hence the reason I just finished the first 10 Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris (I am still waiting on number 11).

Plus, hello, it's a vampire series.....what's not to like.

Basically the books revolve around Sookie (who is human) and the crazy amount of crap she gets herself into. Quite a few characters feature in all the books. You have your vampires and werewolves. Your shapeshifters and fairies. All in all the books are a good read and don't require to much brain power. Pure entertainment. Just the way I like it.

The show True Blood is also based off these books, I haven't seen it yet (no HBO here) but I do have the first season in my Netflix queue if I could get the kids to stop moving their crap to the top, it would get here.

'til next time

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Today....

we are making laundry soap.....via the Duggar recipe. Let you all know how that works out. We have made laundry soap before but the recipe I had involved more measuring than the Duggar one does.

We are also doing our first painting in our Picasso series. Totally stolen from the Confessions of a Homeschooler blog. I would post pictures of that process but Ki annoyed me so bad with his stupid faces in my pictures that I told I was never taking another picture of him. You can go over to Confessions and see some cute pictures of better behaved children!

Dinner is in the crockpot. The lady over @ Crockpot365 says that I can make baked potatoes in my crockpot. I am choosing to believe her and we will be having a baked potato bar for dinner tonight. Except for Alainna and I, it's her long dance night, we will be eating out. I might have planned it that way, you know just in case the potatoes don't turn out!

And finally, yesterday I went to a resale store in my area and purchased, 3 shirts, 3 pairs of pajama pants, a pair of pajamas and a pair of mittens for Alainna, a Halloween costume and 3 shirts for Kieran, 2 shirts, a winter coat, mittens and snow boots for Maximus, 3 shirts, a winter coat and snow boots for Emersyn and a race car track toy for $67.00.

Then last night I bought Alainna a pair of Uggs on clearance for $50.00 @ another store near me. I may or may not have run in 10 minutes before the store closed after I found out about the boots being on clearance.

Hmmmmm......do with that what you will.

'til next time,







Thursday, October 6, 2011

Crazy Days


Mondays:
4:15-5:00 Ki hip-hop
4:45 Brenna pick-up Drivers Ed (through end of Oct.)
6:00-7:30- Brenna soccer (30 min. away)

Tuesdays:
4:30-5:00 Griffen music lessons
4:45 Brenna drivers ed. pick-up
6:00-7:30 Alainna dance

Wednesdays:
4:15-8:30 Alainna dance (not a typo)
4:45 Brenna drivers ed. pick-up
6:00-7:30 Brenna soccer

Thursdays:
5:45 Emersyn dance (too too cute!)
6:00-7:30 Alainna dance

Fridays:
6:30-7:15 Alainna dance

Saturdays:
Brenna soccer games (1+ away)

Sundays:
Brenna soccer games (1+ away)


This is our after-school schedule this year. And honestly most days we love it, there are more days than not that we still manage to eat dinner together, because we are really big believers in that, not saying that it's everyday but we do try to make it happen. And we make a big effort to spend time all together before bed on most days too. We have a few family shows that we watch (after Max and Emersyn go to sleep) and there is always some kind of craziness going on with Brian and the kids. I will say that homeschooling has really helped make this feasible. I feel like I can still spend time with most of the kids and not feel super guilty about running at night. And it's really helping Alainna not get exhausted with her craziness.

I know that I really enjoy peeking into other people's lives so I thought I would give you all a glimpse into, ours. Next up, our homeschooling day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Champions!!


My daughters team rocked it out this past weekend in the Petoskey Autumn Blast Tournament! They won the U16 Female Division and have a very nice trophy to show for it!! You go girls!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

School Room Tour

Our schoolroom is still a work in progress but I still am going to share some pictures! When we finally decided to try keeping the kids home this year one of the things that we were both pretty set on was having a room that we could dedicate to schooling (and more than likely a craft room). After a bit of discussion we have decided that the boys would move into the spare bedroom upstairs and that their bedroom would become the schoolroom.

That's when the chaos ensued! Brenna, who has been saving up to buy herself a Kin*le, made us a deal. Basically she promised that everything would be moved up 2 levels into the spare room, from the boys downstairs room, put back in good working order and that the downstairs room would be clean enough to set up our school stuff. She enlisted her brother and with the offer of 10 bucks a piece went to work! She learned a hard lesson pretty fast. Something along the lines of HOLY CRAP I AM DOING A LOT OF WORK FOR NOT NEAR ENOUGH MONEY! She quickly tried to renegotiate but her dad and I decided that this was a good life lesson for them!

It took them 2 days! Whew, good times!

So this is what we have, sorry my pictures are terrible! First is our awesome new desk! An Ikea special that seats four. It consists of 2 table tops on top of 4 of those drawer units. Each unit is turned so that the person in the chair can reach their own supplies. It's pretty big and takes up A LOT of space, I really love it though! I have to admit that I totally stole this idea from the Confessions of a Homeschooler Blog (she breaks it down much better over there). I think I get point for being smart enough to steal it though!



This picture shows our other IKEA special. We went with the 4x4 shelf unit so we could build it in the closet and save some floor space. This will hold all of my curriculum and some stuff for the babies (who are both 3 and kinda not babies anymore). And whatever else comes up. Notice my little monster guys! We are going for the "Monsterously Good Year"theme. I also grabbed a cheap wall clock @ the Mart. The white board in this picture is for the babies to use. And the drawer carts that you see are what "they" call workboxes. Which we scored for FREE from my mother-in-law. Thanks! It's a pretty cool system that I will do another post on later. On top of those are a bunch of little metal pails the I bought in the dollar spot @ Target. I am using these for crayons, twistables, markers, dry erase markers, scissors, glue sticks, etc.
Then we have our "big kid" white board, all ready with the morning Boggle game that they are going to play. Our monster calender, weather board, month and days of the week boards. I was sort of surprised at how fun this all was to set up. Everyone including Brian really got into it!
We picked up the map of the U.S. and the map of the world at the Mart for like 5 bucks. Also we have the color signs. The words are in both English and Spanish. And there is a small white bookshelf for the babies books.
The trays and bucket that you see on the desk are my first version of what they call Tot Trays. Basically they are just fun little ideas (busy work) for Emersyn and Maximus to help them with motor skills and to keep them occupied. I will probably do more on those later too.
That's all we have at the moment but I am hoping that it will help give us a good start. I plan on doing a few posts about homeschooling with the idea that many of my readers don't and might be interested in seeing how it goes or may be waiting for me to bomb horribly!

'til next time