Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mommy School - Happy St Patrick's Day!!

So this week we geared up to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  But first, I used a chance of making some homemade applesauce to "teach" Josh.
 Josh learned how to use the Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer this week.  He loved it and he loved the applesauce too.  I did manage to pick out the peelings and cores he threw in the crock pot before they cooked :-)
 On to St Patrick's Day - we started are day with Lucky Charms.  Or maybe I should say Lucky Charms Marshmallows because they got picked out quickly :-)

 For lunch we had Green Mac and Cheese and Green Smoothies.  I did not put spinach in the smoothies - that was too much for me - so I just added a few drops of food coloring.  Nate loved the smoothie and sucked that puppy right down; Josh preferred Chocolate Milk :-)

 The Little Munchkin I babysit brought the boys gifts - the headbands and necklaces that light up!  We all had a lot of fun with these items all day long.  Josh loved the flashing necklace the best.   Plus all the boys had on special St Patty's Shirts!!

 It is really hard to get these two to sit still for a good picture together so this is what I've got LOL  It kinda fits their personality perfectly.
 And dinner!  This was a first for me - I found a recipe for Corn Beef and Cabbage in the crock pot and put that together this morning.  It was surprisingly tasty - I enjoyed the potatoes and carrots that cooked in the crock pot too more than the meat though.  I also made some Irish Soda bread and a Rainbow Jello-O Salad. . .don't look too close, I messed up my layers so they aren't in order plus one is missing because I ran out of time . ..
 And I made treasure pudding cups too!  We had to eat to find the gold (chocolate) coin in the bottom.   Josh obviously loved his.

 After dinner we went on a treasure hunt for more gold (chocolate) coins.
And we ended our day with a green bath!!  It was a lot greener in person and the boys really enjoyed it.

We also had a great visit from Grandpa and Grandma Mac today too!

So, that was the main focus of our teaching this week - I will be posting some recipes for a few of the items we enjoyed today over the next few weeks in case you are interested too!!

Happy St Patrick's Day!!

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify part 3

I have to say, it feels good to cross projects off the list, to have working ways of organization, and to see all of the things that stressed our home life be resolved and made peaceful.  From a way to manage our home better to the "Spa" bathroom being complete . . almost there (can it be Spa with THREE, count them THREE boys in the house???)  to actually being able to use our games because we can get to them now!

You can check out progress on the other Simplify Posts here and here.  (Part 1 is completed!!)

On to the next few items.
The Kitchen
This is still a work in progress.  This project is going faster than I anticipated which is nice.  About 1/3 of the cabinets are painted and the handles are going up thanks to my hubby.  I've picked out the wall colors and even have picked out some tile for a back splash; but one thing at a time so first, the cabinets will get done! For progress on this return to Simplify post #2

The Closets and Dressers
It is that time of year again!  Time to clean out the closets, rotate clothes, and figure out what we need to get us through the summer
My goals for these areas are pretty simple
1 .Nate's Room - clean out his closet and pack away any winter clothes that don't fit; hang up the summer clothes he has; make a list of any items that are needed; clean out his dresser to make room for the clothes Josh will pass down from this winter; make sure the dresser and the closet are clean, neat and organized
2. Josh's Room - clean out his closet and pack away any winter clothes that don't fit; hang up the summer clothes (which = about zero so the boy will be naked for a bit LOL) and make a list of what to buy; clean out his dresser; make sure the dresser and the closet are clean, neat and organized.
3. Our room - clean out our closet and get rid of clothes we aren't wearing; move winter clothes downstairs/summer clothes upstairs; make a list of anything we need; clean out our dresser as needed; make sure closet and dresser are neat, clean and organized.
4. Jewelry Organization (for me LOL) - Clean out my jewelry; take anything I think is gold (hahahaha) to see if I can get money for it (the stuff that is broken or I don't want); Make a jewelry organization center. (I've seen a few ideas on various blogs that I may combine to use what I want - right now I don't even know what I have so even when I can wear jewelry, I often end up not finding what I want in the the drawer)

Vacation Planning
This is coming into play now because we have a little vacation planned at the end of May that I need to get moving on so I'm going to incorporate the few things that we will use for future vacations into this plan
1. Write up a master packing list
2. Create a binder of vacation ideas, fliers, packing lists etc.
3. Plan this vacation - menu, things to do, things to pack etc.
Gift Wrapping Center
This was one of the weekly organizational challenges that I did not complete on the given week.  It needed more time than what I had to give it.  I figured this was a good block to throw it in since the above items don't require a lot of extra work.
1. Clean out gift bags - get rid of the bad, broken and ugly
2. Put bows and ribbins in labeled bins
3. Clean out gift wrap
4. Figure out where to hang gift wrap to make it easy to use
5. Clear of work table downstairs to use for gift station Instead built a station in my bedroom by using under the bed storage - I've already used it twice to wrap shower gifts and L.O.V.E it!
6. Purchase needed supplies like scissors, tape, pens pencils, etc to use only at that station

Tot Time Storage
As I teach my kids more and more and have more supplies I see the need to create an easy, self-updating system to store our activities for each month.  This is something I want to be able to morph into more teaching things as the boys get older.  This is not something that was on my original 12 idea list but as I was shoving placing crayons and coloring books in a dark corner the other day it dawned on me, I need a better system! This may also accomplish another goal of getting my scrapbooks out into public so we can actually enjoy them - if there is enough room on the shelf!
1. Purchase or re-purpose a storage unit/bookcase into the dining room (the best place for my "classroom" - you have have multi-purpose rooms in a tiny house)
2. Purchase or re-purpose baskets/bins for storage of items like crayons, markers, paper, paint etc.
3. Have a home for the current month's sensory bin
4. Have a low basket for the weeks/months current storybooks that fit the theme.
5. Hang display "shelves" on the wall to display each boys artwork (this is an idea I posted about a LONG time ago so it is the perfect time to incorporate the idea)
6. Do touch up paint in the dining room (from removing pictures to do this project) and rehang only the most important things - to reduce eye clutter.
7. Bring Scrapbooks out of the bedroom onto this shelf (oh please let there be room LOL)
8. If the above works, almost move the shelf out of the bedroom!!! (Finally - a little room!)
9. Create an Artwork binder for each of the kids (another idea that I saw that I love!!)
10. Make sure I have the basic supplies to have tot time with my kids - scissors, crayons, markers, glue, etc.
11. Make a wish list of various toys/'games to use for teaching.

As you can see I have a ton of "little" (haha) projects I would like to get done.  I'm pushing hard to get some of these out of the way by the end of March as we have a HUGE project that we want to get done in April and May (well, huge to us . . .).  Than this summer I have some crafts I want to do for Christmas (seriously??YEP!) that I need the outside and sunshine to help with (like painting in the garage without freezing)  I just told Darryl recently that I feel like our home is slowly beginning to run like a well oiled machine.  We had so many changes in just a short span of time that we just keep moving forward, pushing things out of our way. Now that I've been home a year, I feel like we can slip into a pattern and, once that is established, make it work no matter what comes our way!