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Showing posts from November, 2011

Busy as Elves

You know how it is the week you get back home from a trip... Well, it's definitely been that way around here this week! I'm busy playing catch-up on, well, everything!
Plus we've been working on getting our house all festive for the Christmas season. This year has been a bit crazier for me in that regard, since I'm not only decorating our home, but also our church. Thankfully, I've got *elves* to help with it all:)
Christmas home tour coming soon!!

Menu Plan Monday: Nov 28th

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Our was simply delicious--so much yummy food!
My new recipe for this Thanksgiving turned out amazingly well. It was probably the BEST pumpkin pie I've ever eaten! And you know it's good when all of your relatives line up to take a picture with their phone to share with their friends...heehee You should check out this recipe!
Now that we're back from our holiday trip, I've made my weekly meal plan and have already been to the store. Thankfully it wasn't too crowded, even though our area is expecting a little snow tonight and tomorrow. (I hope we get some!!)

Monday: Tomato-Tortellini Soup
Tuesday:Chicken Pot Pie
Wednesday:Tostadas
Thursday: {small group night--theme: comfort foods} Mashed Potatoes & Rolls
Friday:Potato Soup w/Rolls
Saturday: {leftovers}
Happy Cooking to you this week!
This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

One Thousand Gifts: Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving week was so wonderful and I have so many blessings in my life. Still counting them...
0481. sisters...'nuff said
0482. hang time with his Papi

0483. hang time with cousins
0484. silly boy cousins
0485. reading with Papi
0486. visiting grandparents
0487. those cheesy family photos...that we always love to look at later
0488. a Thanksgiving day walk with my sweet daughter
0489. the most amazing pumpkin pie ever
0490. sharing a meal with family and friends
0491. an wonderfully blessed meal
0492. teaching my daughter tricks in the kitchen
0493. a hubby who loves my cooking
0494. surrounded by simple beauty
0495. did I already mention my amazing husband? I love him so much!
0496. and I love my adorable (onery, silly, sweet....) kiddos, too
0497. preparing those memorable family meals with my mom and sister
0498. playdates with *old* friends


Giving Thanks

I have so much to be thankful for this year. I do each and every year, but especially this year. There are just so many blessings in my life and God must have the glory for them all.
After two years of renting and enduring three moves in this year alone, we are once again homeowners and have a lovely, cozy place to call home.
After three years of self-employment and seeking God's will for our life, we have been abundantly blessed with the amazing opportunity to pastor and do life with a wonderful church family.
I have two really incredible children, who are each little miracles and have amazing gifts and talents. They challenge me every day with my task of raising them in godly character and training them up in the way they should go and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to teach them at home and spend so much quality time with them. They are truly gifts from God!
I could go on and on with my *list* of things that I'm thankful for, but I want to share this little story w…

Our Thanksgiving Menu

My mom and I have just finalized our Thanksgiving Menu. Holy Mole!!
It's going to be a feast. And I am very grateful for that.

Fruit Salad with Fruit Salad Topping
Red, White & Blue Salad
***
Roasted Turkey Breast
Crock Pot Dressing
Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes
Giblet Gravy
Corn Casserole
Green Been Casserole
Macaroni & Cheese
Baked Beans
*** Rolls ***
Deep Dish Pumpkin Meringue Pie
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Italian Creme Cake
...and a nap!

Thanksgiving: Are You Strictly Traditional or Not So Much?

I'm not sure how it is in other countries where they also celebrate a day of thanksgiving, but here in America Thanksgiving is by and large very traditional. Wouldn't you agree?
Most of us tend to eat with the same people (our families) and eat the same foods every year, right? At least that's how it is with me and my family.
Obviously, places and times change throughout the years, but my family has a long-standing tradition of having Thanksgiving dinner together--even if we have to travel hundreds of miles to do so.
This year is no exception either. I have just spent all of yesterday traveling with my husband and children across several states to be with our families this week. And we will celebrate by eating all of our favorite *Thanksgivingish* foods on Thursday.
I do like to try out a new recipe or two every year though. Last year I made several new ones. This year I am repeating a couple of those since they are now new favorites and I am trying out one brand new…

The Reading Game: A Review

I was excited to receive this review product recently, thinking my 1st-grade-son could really benefit and enjoy it a lot. And I was right! He is having so much fun with this game.
The Reading Game is a fast-paced memory card game using words. The game comes with 6 sets of memory cards with 6 corresponding readers.
The idea is for you and your student to play memory with each set of cards (playing 6 rounds with each set), after every 2 rounds your student then reads 2 test sentences to see how he is retaining the new words he is learning. After the whole set has been played, he is then ready to read the corresponding reader...and has learned 30 new words!
By the time your student has played every set of cards and read every reader, he will have learned 180 words. Of the 25 most common English words, 23 are on that list; of the 50 most common words, 42 are on that list. So this little game of reading really does prepare your student well.
The readers are illustrated with cute bl…

Our New Learning Room

We've been using our new Learning Room since the beginning of September, but all this time we've been finishing things up in there. I finally have decided that it's probably never going to be *perfect* so I took some *real life* pics of it.
So here it is in all of its everyday glory:)
First a *BEFORE* shot for you:
This room is actually the formal dining room of the house, but the former owners had an office in here and it is working out well as a learning room for us. It's not a large room (would have been a small dining room anyway), but with built-in's it's working nicely.
Vince (with the help of Mr. B) created a great built-in bookcase for us with inspiration from some HGTV shows.
It turned out GREAT! I have crammed that sucker as full as possible, too! :) I thought I would never stop finding boxes of books to unpack, but I think we've finally found homes for them all.
Vince also created this desktop area for me. It houses our computer (the one w/all…

Math Mammoth: A Review

The kiddos and I recently had the opportunity to review Math Mammoth. I'd heard about this curriculum from several friends before and have been curious about it, but have never tried it. I was glad for the chance to check it out.
We had the option to choose which of their series would fit best for us and, at the suggestion of Maria Miller (the author and also a homeschool parent), we chose theLight Blue Seriesfor Grades 2 and 3. I thought these would be great to try for my 1st and 3rd grader. Maria was very helpful in guiding me through the process of choosing since I was so unfamiliar with her books.
Math Mammoth uses a lot of mental math and I liked that as it corresponds well with the math we have already been doing. The style of the worksheets and teaching methods were somewhat different though. However, with a little instruction both of my children were able to easily adjust.
I liked very much the practical math that is included in Math Mammoth's worktexts. Mari…

Accepting the Help {a much-needed re-post!}

Today has been one of those days when I'd just really like a do-over. {sigh} And I was reminded of this post from a couple of years ago. God's Word is always right on and even though the events in this post happened a while back, the principles in The Word are timeless and true. Since I needed to pull this post up for a re-read myself, I thought there might be other weary moms out there who could use the encouragement, too. So I'm re-posting it:)
**********
(October 2009)
If I ever had any delusions about earning the mother-of-the-year award or if I ever thought my children were going to earn the perfect-children-of-the-year award, I now have my feet firmly planted back in that fun little thing we like to call: reality.

I just returned from picking up my son at my parents' house. He was supposed to spend the afternoon, along with my daughter. I had agreed to this in spite of my better judgement. There's just something about Sunday having a different sc…

Menu Plan Monday: Nov 14th

Yes, I know I'm a little late getting this posted. I have to say, I'm all cooked-out from the weekend.
It was a great weekend, but I stayed super busy in the kitchen. Saturday night we had friends over and I made homemade pizza and apple dumplings (we also had a Phase 10 throw-down, which was awesome!). On Sunday our church had its Thanksgiving meal together and I whipped up a couple of pans of turkey and dressing (this recipe x4!).
And now I've got Thanksgiving family meals on the brain and am having a hard time switching gears to this week. I'm trying to keep it very simple this week here at home and mostly eat out of the pantry.

Monday:{leftovers} Not exciting, I know, but gotta get the fridge cleaned out!
Tuesday:{Thanksgiving potluck with homeschool group} Corn Casserole & rolls
Wednesday: Tostadas
Thursday:{small group at our house} Dinner on the fire pit--I'm making Hot Dogs and Baked Beans
Friday:Pan-Seared Tilapia with Mashed Potatoes and Mixed …

Keyboard Town PALS: A Review

Isn't it amazing how young children learn to type now? I didn't learn to type until high school and I can clearly remember those tedious typing drills. Of course, I now use those skills at my computer keyboard and on my phone every single day. Knowing how my children enjoy being on the computer as well, I had been thinking of giving them some typing lessons, old school-style.
Lucky for them, this awesome review came along! They don't know it, but Keyboard Town PALS saved their little fingers from long and boring typing drills.
Keyboard Town PALS is a wonderful typing program for children that literally teaches them basic typing skills in just one hour! I must admit that I was skeptical when my 8-yr-old daughter declared she could now type after watching the first video; however, I have been very impressed with her use of basic typing skills. She is really doing very well! My 6-yr-old son has also begun this program and is also doing great.
Their program, Learn to…

The Weekly Wrap-Up: *Initiative*, Light Boxes & Jupiter

Ahh...the weekly wrap-up. I love these because it makes me take the time to reflect on our week and remember all of those good moments. You know, the ones that sometimes get crowded out of our thoughts because we often focus on all of the fails and frustrations.
And I had plenty of fails and frustrations this week, as usual. I am only human. And so are my children. Often they act just like me, unfortunately. This motivates me to seek to follow Christ even more earnestly.
It was a good week though, another full one!
We began learning about *initiative* in our Character Sketch studies. We really do enjoy learning how even the animals that God created show such remarkable character traits.
We are also learning Psalm 136:1-9 this month; a psalm of thanksgiving.
In math we are still waiting on our last backordered Singapore book to come in (I was notified that it shipped today--yea!), so we have been exploring some Math Mammoth in the meantime. In language arts, The Princess is almo…