Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Teaching Tuesday - Star Student

One of the best things about the whole On-line school "thing" really is the teacher interaction especially with Josh's first grade teacher who is just fabulous. 

Well, this week, Josh was the star student! 

To say he was excited is an understatement.  There is just something special for a kid when they see their picture and name come up on the computer screen. 

To top it off, a day later, Josh got mail - his teacher sent him a packet addressed to "Josh Star. . .."  The smile at that kids face was priceless and he just kept saying, "My teacher is the best". 

So, for all of the days when I questioned this whole on-line thing, these special moments make it worth it!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Weekly Menu - The One with Easter and No Kids

I feel like this week and just flown by and I'm ont sure what we ate.  This week we had sick people in the house.  Both Darryl and Nate got hit with the cough, cold thing going around and even all of the sliced up onions all around the house didn't clear it up as fast as we'd like but I think they are both finally on the mend. 

I still have been going to the store on Tuesday but this next week should help get things back on track.  Here's the plan for the coming week!

Saturday - Darryl's working today since he missed a few days this past week due to illness.  The boys and I are going to hit up a couple of Easter Egg Hunts (including one with lunch!) and then I'll be cooking food up for Sunday so I plan on having Darryl bring something home or we'll meet him in town for something.

Sunday - Easter!  A few years ago I said I would never cook on Easter Sunday again because I literally spent the entire day in the kitchen.  Plus, Easter Sunday mornings are long between breakfast at church, Darryl and I both involved in the service and a longer service than normal.  (Sometimes I feel like we lose what Easter really is about and instead are just busy!) but, I decided to try it again.  Everything will be made and just need to be cooked.  So, Ham, Cheesy Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Broccoli Salad, Jell-O Salad, and Rolls.  I figured that the potatoes and beans can cook while the boys open their Easter Baskets. 

Monday - The Kids are gone for a visit to Papa and Nana's.  Darryl and I can eat at Applebee's for $15.00 (thanks to half price burgers) so that's what we do!!!

Tuesday - Either Darryl will bring something home or we'll eat out. 

Wednesday - Darryl has rejoined the music group he played in for years (but had to take time off due to his back) so I'm thinking about meeting him in town for dinner. 

Thursday - Last night without kids so of course I'm not cooking HA!

Friday - The kids come home today so I'm going to plan Tacos - easy peasy.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Weekly Menu - Busy Lives

Things have been busier around here, or so it seems.  Our weekends have been full, many of our evenings have been full in one way or another so that just puts other things on hold!  My meal planning/cooking/grocery shopping has been give and take lately.  My weekly grocery shopping turned into a quick run to the store every single day for like 5 days HA!  I finally made it to the store this past Tuesday and shopped for a week but that throws off my menu planning.  :-)

Here's what I have for the coming week so far:

Saturday - We've gotten into a pattern of eating out on Saturday evenings BUT we will be eating lunch out today after the boys finish up at Sparks Olympics and my parents will be with us too!  So for dinner, I've planned  . . .leftovers :-) 

Sunday - Today we have a banquet at church for the main meal.  I'm taking Taco Salad and Turtle Brownies.  At home for dinner I plan on making a simple BBQ chicken Tortilla Pizza that we had last week and LOVED!

Monday - Tonight is the last night of gymnastics for this session so we get to watch the boys and see what they have learned.  We will celebrate by going to Applebees for 1/2 price burgers. 

Tuesday - Pork Chops, Loaded Cauliflower Mash, Mac and Cheese, Salad and Rolls

Since I shopped for "Tuesday-Tuesday" I don't have anything else planned at this point.  Hard to believe, though, that Easter is just around the corner! 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Weekly Menu - The One I haven't planned

I am sitting here on a Thursday evening realizing that I haven't even thought about what to cook this coming week.  I need to go back to last Sunday when we got to enjoy eating pizza with my brother and sister-in-law, Kelly and Deb plus meeting our new great nephew for the first time (oh, and see his parents haha). 

As of the writing of this, here's what I know:

Saturday - Darryl's working so, I'm already leaning towards him bringing something home like . . .Jet's Pizza :-)  I have considered meeting him in town for dinner so we'll see what happens.

Sunday - We have another missions lunch at church so I don't have to really plan dinner.  I'm in charge of bringing rolls and salad.  I'm going to do a little "salad bar" and make some yeast rolls

Monday - Gymnastics and Choir which means dinner has to be easy.  We all eat at different times in order to make it work out.

Tuesday - Friday . . .I'm still planning. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What We Are Eating - Simple BBQ Ribs

Simple BBQ Ribs
adapted from: All Recipes
We love ribs but cooking them at home has never been a success until this recipe.  They were tender and so tasty.  The house smelled amazing too :-)  Instead of the seaonsings listed, I used Nature's Seasoning and sprinkle that all over the ribs.  I also had to cut the length of ribs in half to fit into the pot.

2 1/2 pounds country style pork ribs
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 cup barbeque sauce

Place ribs in a large pot with enough water to cover.  Season with garlic powder, salt and peper.  Bring water to a boilt and cook ribs until tender.
Preheat over to 325 degrees F.
Remove ribs from pot and place them in a 9x13 inch backing dish.  Pour BBQ sauce over the ribs.  Cover dish with aluminum foil, and bake in the oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Teaching Tuesdays - 100th Day of School

We hit the 100th day of school recently.  Unlike when I taught in a brick and motor school, we weren't exact on our date - we celebrated the week of . .but we did it on Friday.  The boys had a lot of fun and, for once, I didn't try to plan weeks in advance, I actually pulled this all together the night before.  I found all of the printouts I used on "Teacher's Pay Teachers". 

 We started our morning by making our 100 Day treat trays.  I put the papers together and then we gathered 10 different snacks and they had to count out 10 of each.  We had skittles, teddy grahams, pretzels, crackers and more. 

 100 snacks looks like a lot!

 Josh and his 100 days smarter hat.
 Nate and his hat!
 Once their hats were done, they rolled sight word dice and had to fill up 100 squares with sight words.
 We then made "Smarties" and wrote what they had learned in the last 100 days. 
 Nate's "smartie". 
 Josh and his "100 things" book. 
 This was my favorite idea I saw and the boys did nothing with it HA!  I cut out a 1, 0, and 0 and they were supposed to turn the 100 into some creature.  I got nothing.  Josh made a 100. 
 Working on his 100 packat.

 We made giant ice cream cones!
 Nate's 100 thing book.
And, again, Nate made a . . .100. 

We had an awesome time.  This is what I miss about traditional homeschooling - getting to plan lots of fun things around our theme.  I guess I just need to be more intentional about doing some themes and spending a Friday morning doing fun activities. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

52 Week Photo Challenge

This month's challenge photos presented some . . .challenge's!  I've had to do some research on line to even figure out how to complete the photos but I'm happy with what I accomplished this month.

 Week 5:  Black and White.  This is a photo down the main street of our town.  I'm thinking of turning this one into a print to hang in our home.
 Week 6: Faceless.  This little princess loves to be outside so catching her with the sun reflecting off of her hair as she longed to be outside was perfect.
 Week 7: Candy.  Thankfully this fell on Valentines week :-)
 Week 8: Panoramic.  So this is a week that I learned a lot about my camera.  For example, my big camera doesn't not have a "panoramic" feature but, rather, you have to take a series of photos and then stitch them together in editing software (which I don't really have) so instead, I took this photo with my phone. 
Week 9: Shadows.  I love this simple shot. 

This next month is going to bring on some more challenges but I'm hoping to learn more stuff!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Family Fun - A Field Trip

On December 18th, we had the opportunity to attend a field trip with our on-line homeschool group.  I was excited to surprise the boys with the fact that Papa and Nana were coming too . . .but that backfired on me a little bit as you will see in the photos below . . .

 After a super warm December, some colder weather arrived just in time for our mostly outdoor field trip!  Thankfully we all had warm stuff to wear and it really wasn't that cold .
 Josh is in the back . . .see that scarf on his face?  He never took it off and would not look at Papa and Nana because I was ruining his surprise of his lost tooth.  He did not want them to know he lost a tooth until Christmas when he could give it as a gift.  I'm thankful my parents understand his sometimes crazy ways and just enjoyed being with us that day even if Josh refused to look at them.

Our first stop on the field trip was a one room school house where the boys got to make a Christmas decoration for the tree and learn about school in the "old times".

 Another stop was to see Santa after riding the Santa Train.  Of course, Josh had no fear . . .. and neither did my Mother HA! 

 There was also some animals to see (but not pet . . .a couple of kids ignored the "don't put your hands in teh cage" and got bit by the rabbits and had to go to the hospital for stitches!)
At least Nate showed his teeth :-)

We had a great time and then got to drive home in a blizzard.  For real.  Total white out conditions but we made it home and all was good!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Weekly Menu

I did finally come up with a meal plan for this past week.  Ironically, the days that caused me the biggest concern last week when I went to the store didn't even happen!  The snow storm shut things down.  We didn't go on our field trip nor did I have my meeting.  Plus we did not have AWANA since the schools were closed on Wednesday.

Here's the plan for the coming week:

Saturday - We enjoy going out on Saturday.  Whether we order pizza or just go out, I don't plan on cooking

Sunday - We are heading to my parents to see my oldest brother and meet my great-nephew :-)

Monday - The boys still have gymnastics and I have practice.  This makes me for a tough dinner time!  I think I'll plan tacos because everyone can eat at their own time and it's an easy thing for Darryl to serve to the boys.

Tuesday - Roast Sticky Chicken, roasted potatoes, broccoli, and rolls

Wednesday - Chicken and Bacon Pasta, Salad, Garlic Bread

Thursday - IKEA Swedish meatballs, noodles, and green beans

Friday - Chick-fil-lay Sandwhiches, Cole Slaw and Fries

Thursday, March 3, 2016

February Goal Recap

I love much of my motivation in February.  I also never once looked at my goal sheet until the other night when I worked on writing this post and realized how much I completely forgot about doing!

February 2016 Goals
** I did keep up with our monthly savings jars for both us and the kids
** I did track Darryl's income daily]
** I did finally start the deep clean in the Master Bedroom and got the closet area cleaned up  
** I did plan out our summer activties
** I have kept my fingernails and toenails nicely painted :-) 
** I did send a small gift to each of the new babies 
** I've worked on making our Sundays better by cleaning stuff up on Saturday night
** Darryl's birthday was a huge success with lots of fun. 
**I did purchase new rainboots for the kids
** Josh is signed up for baseball

As march is starting, though, I feel like I'm getting a little bit of that motivation back so I'm hoping to be more successful on my goals in the coming month. :-) 



Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What We Are Eating - Baked Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

Baked Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
Adapted from Budget Bytes

I've been playing around with some different recipes lately and came across this recipe for chicken thighs.  We love chicken thighs plus they are CHEAP so that's a great thing!  This was an easy recipe to put together and it was super tasty. A few notes: 1) I seldom if ever use fresh ginger in any recipe and did not use it in this one 2) White vinegar can be substituted for Rice vinegar - which is what I do almost every single time!

  • 1 (15 oz.) can pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1½ Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1¼ lb.)
  • 3 whole green onions, slice
  • 4 cups cooked rice
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drain the pineapple juice from the can to use in the sauce (it should be about ¾ cup juice total). Save the pineapple chunks for later. Combine the pineapple juice, grated ginger, minced garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and cornstarch in a small sauce pot. Stir until everything is well combined and the cornstarch is dissolved. Cook the mixture over medium heat until it begins to boil and becomes thick and glossy. Turn the burner off and add the pineapple chunks to the sauce.
  2. Coat a small casserole dish with non-stick spray. Arrange the chicken thighs in the dish so that they are not overlapping. Pour the pineapple teriyaki sauce over the chicken, allowing some to get under the chicken pieces.
  3. Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Top the chicken with the sliced green onions. To serve, scoop one chicken thigh plus pineapple pieces and sauce over a bowl of cooked rice.