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Showing posts from August, 2013

The End-of-the-Week Wrap-up {the one where I plan all week}

This week has been full of planning, planning, and more planning!

I've been working on organizing our Learning Room, printing off tons of planning sheets for my planner, preparing to do our first few weeks of lesson plans, going to meetings for our homeschool group, getting ready for co-op classes, doing a little bit of freezer cooking ....the list goes on!

I thought I'd share some "real life" photos from our Learning Room this week:

{my oh-so-messy desk}
{my two new filing cabinets!!  yea!!}
{the window seat that desperately needs to be cleaned off}
Oh--and I have to show you our new world map!  I am loving it!  And if you're wondering why it's "shiny", it's laminated and able to be written on--I love that, too:)  
Edited: the map was purchased at our local Hobby Lobby, for those of you interested:)
{the new wall arrangement~we flipped the chalkboard vertically and put it on the other wall}
{this map is going to be so handy!}
So that's what'…

Tasty Tuesdays {'Nacho Libre' Corn}

I've got something very yummy to share with you for Tasty Tuesday ...'Nacho Libre' Corn!!  Now if you're like me and it's been quite a while since you've seen that movie, then you might be scratching your head a bit and wondering "what in the world?!".  But when some of our very good friends, Chris and Lisa, told us about this amazing corn they make--and where they got the inspiration, apparently this is a food being shown eaten in the movie--I didn't care if I remembered it from the movie ...I just had to try it!
This summer they brought some to our 4th of July get-together and, man, was it good!!  So my husband has been craving some since then and asking me to make it.  I finally rounded up all of the ingredients and we had some last week.  We absolutely pigged out on this!  It was a great accompaniment to tacos and tostadas!
Nacho Libre Corn (courtesy of our friends the Childers)
Mini Corn-on-the-Cob (as many as you want/need) McCormick's Ma…

What's for Dinner {Aug 26th}

This is the last week before we start back-to-{home}school ...which means that I have A LOT to do this week!!  There are lessons to be planned, organizing to do, (hopefully) some freezer cooking to do, and all of the other usual stuff that happens around here.  
I'm keeping the meal plans simple this week and trying to use up some ingredients that we already have.  The grocery trip will simply be some basics and filling in a few gaps.  The pantry and the freezer are both beginning to be full of odds and ends and need to be cleared out some.  
So with that in mind, here's what's for dinner this week: 
Monday:BBQ Hot Dogs with veggies
Tuesday:Cornflake-crusted Tilapia, cornbread dressing, and a veggie
Wednesday:Cincinnati Chili coneys

Thursday: Stuffed Shells with Salad

Friday:Homemade Corn Dogs with Parmesan Garlic Fries

Saturday: Homemade Pizza

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

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End-of-the-Week Wrap-Up {celebrating not-back-to-school}

Even though we haven't started our regular school schedule yet, school is definitely in the air.  I got the remainder of our needed curriculum ordered and received this week (whoo hoo!).  So next week begins the serious lesson planning.  I'm hoping to have a day or so all to myself to really get a lot accomplished.

We also had our annual "Not-Back-to-School" party with our local homeschool group.  Just good fun, hanging out at the park--the parents get to catch up and the kiddos get to play on the splash pad, the playground, and the ball field.  Attending regular homeschool group events (two this month!) definitely puts one in the mood of getting back into the school groove.  

This week we finished our most recent family read aloud, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  The kids LOVED it!  Tonight we're having a family movie night and watching ...you guessed it...  Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original one!).  The kids can hardly wait--hey, I'm e…

A Circle Journey Book

Having lived in a few states now, my daughter has quite the little list of far-away friends.  She loves keeping in touch with them all! 
One day this summer when the kiddos needed something different and fun to do I dragged out all of my old stamping supplies.  In the days before I had children I actually did a lot of stamping, making cards with friends and I still have all of my stamps, stamp pads, special scissors, etc.  I get them out for the kids once in a great while.

In the process of getting out all of these supplies, I found a little journaling kit that I'd forgotten all about.  It was a Circle Journey kit, which I don't think they even make anymore.  It's basically a correspondence kit for friends and comes with a small journal, extra envelopes, stickers, and journaling ideas.  I had bought it thinking to keep my circle of high school girlfriends in better touch ...and that didn't happen.  It had never been used.  It suddenly occurred to me that this would be…

A New Homeschool Planner and a {giveaway}!!

If you've been around me or my blog for long then you know that I love planning.  And I am a paper and pen/pencil kind of girl--haven't quite made it to the digital planner stage much. 
A really good homeschool planner is very essential to me and I'm excited to share this brand new downloadable one recently released by one of my in-real-life friends, Jennifer at Godly Glimpses.  She has created a very useful and detailed homeschooling planner ...and it's SO pretty, too (I LOVE functional AND pretty!!).  


This lovely planner comes with: a couple of choices for the cover (which Jennifer even offers to personalize with your family name or other title should you so desire)  parent and student info pages (with lots of color options)goal planning sheetsyear-at-a-glance AND full calendar pages for each monthdaily schedule spread sheetsattendance chartsgrade sheetscurriculum listsweekly planning pagesScripture memory lists (I love these!)field trip logs ....and SO much more!  …

The Students' Pics {not-back-to-school} Blog Hop

While we have not yet officially begun our new school year, we are gearing up for it to begin very soon!  Part of getting ready will include new back-to-{home}school photos.  We have had lots of fun in the past which you can see here and here.  I'm still deciding what we'll do this year.

But ..not having our official photo shoot yet sure isn't going to stop my from sharing about my awesome kiddos with you for the iHomeschool Network Not-Back-to-School Student Photo blog hop!  
The Princess is in 5th grade (hard to believe!). She's a big reader, loves history and art, hates math, and  wants to be an inventor when she grows up.
Mr. B is in 3rd grade (wow!).   He is learning to love reading, likes math, isn't so big on writing,  and practices everyday how to be a Jedi.

Teaching my sweet kiddos is both an incredible joy and one of the most challenging things I've ever done.  I truly love it!  I am excited to see what this year holds for us.

This post is linked to th…

Why My Family Homeschools

Today I am sharing over at There Is Grace for my friend Nancy's series: The Great Education Debate.

While I often explain to people {in brief} why our family homeschools, I don't think I've ever actually blogged {in-depth} about it.  It's become such second nature to me that I just don't think about it a lot.  It truly is a lifestyle for us.

Just to give you a little background, I was homeschooled through 1st and 2nd grades (I skipped kindergarten because it wasn't required in my home state at that time--yes, that's how "old" I am).  My parents chose to homeschool because we traveled full-time.  I come from a ministry family and we were in a new place every week wherever my dad was speaking, living it up in our Holiday Rambler.  My mom was also very involved in the ministry as well and being apart as a family just wasn't an option.  So while homeschooling was a relatively unheard-of concept in the 70's I was part of the beginning of the move…

Tasty Tuesdays {Confetti Pasta Salad}

Yesterday I made four batches of this yummy pasta salad for a special luncheon at our church.  I'd forgotten just how much I love this salad!  It's a bit different than most pasta salads I've had with a sweet, tangy dressing and LOTS of veggies.  You really need to try it!

Confetti Pasta Salad
First of all combine:  1 med. cucumber, finely chopped 1 med. red onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1 cup sugar 1 Tbsp. dry mustard 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. black pepper 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
Mix these ingredients together well.   Then add:  1 small jar chopped pimientos 1 green pepper, finely chopped 1 small can sliced black olives 1 (12 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained 1 pkg. mini pepperonis 1 lb. tri-color rotini pasta, cooked according to package and drained
Stir well and chill until ready to serve. This can easily be made a day ahead to let the flavors blend well.
Delish!!
(this would be yummy with grilled chicken, too)


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What's For Dinner {Aug 12th}

We're back from last week's quick trip to Indy and I'm back in the saddle again with getting our meals planned.  These last few weeks we've eaten on the run more often than I'd like to admit.  I've got to get organized again!  This past month has been so hectic and our routine has been totally off, I am so looking forward to getting back into our regular routine when we start back-to-homeschool.

Ahh...Fall and routine.  That just puts a smile on my face:)

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Here's what's for dinner this week:

Monday: Gourmet Gnocchi & Cheese with a side of mixed veggies

Tuesday:{crockpot} Pinto Beans with Buttermilk Cornbread

Wednesday:Pancakes & Bacon

Thursday: Meatloaf with dressing and veggies

Friday:Top-Your-Own-Pizza
Saturday:{going out}

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

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Our Learning Room {Updated}

Welcome~it's the time of the year when I invite you in for a visit to our Learning Room!  Come on in!
Not too much has changed since last year.  This is our third year in this Learning Room--the longest ever in any of our learning rooms.  I think it's my favorite overall, too.  We do most of our school work in this room.  The kiddos each have a desk and I also have a desk.  However, there are times when we spread out around the house--or even outside--just because we need a little space.  The room is definitely the hub of all things educational in our home though.  

The focal point of this room is by far the custom-built bookcase covering one whole wall.  My amazing hubby built this for us.  You can read more about the building process of that here.  Believe it or not, I am constantly searching for more bookshelf space.  It's at a premium in our home!  But that doesn't stop us from buying more books, of course.  

We use a very simplified version of the workbox system. …

End-of-the-Week Wrap {the Star Wars edition}

(view from our 15th floor hotel room)
We just returned last night from a short trip to Indianapolis.  Vince and I were attending a ministers' conference hosted by our ministerial fellowship there and we took the kiddos with us (since my parents and sister, aka: our babysitters, were all there, too!).  I'm glad we made it a family trip though, it was really a wonderful time!
While the conference did keep us busy (and it was SO good!), we also had a little time for a family outing and a little walking around the heart of the downtown.  There is a beautiful circle drive downtown with a monument called "Soldiers & Sailors".  Our hotel was just a block off of the circle and thus the lovely view posted above.  We enjoyed exploring a little as we walked from the hotel to restaurants during our time there.  
(a night view)
(with the kiddos)
Before we left on our trip I did a little research as to what would be the most fun attraction not too far from the hotel that we coul…