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Showing posts from August, 2009

Back-to-{Home}school

Our first day of school went really great! They were so excited! The Princess began first grade today. It's preschool for Mr. B.

Our First--and Hopefully Last--ER Trip

I read blogs often by moms of little boys who are always having to make trips to the local urgent care clinic or the ER and it has always made me wonder if that was going to be me with Mr. B. He's such an active little boy, but until now it's just been bruises and scraped knees. This past weekend that all changed. While we were sitting in our church service Sunday morning, one of the children's workers came to let us know that Mr. B had fallen and hit his head. It was so scary! He was almost inconsolable at first, but finally calmed down. Thankfully, we attend church with our pediatrician and he was able to check him out immediately. He thought Mr. B looked okay, but gave me some signs to watch for throughout the day--one of which was prolonged nausea. Well, a couple of hours after the incident he threw up. Then he seemed better, ate a little bit and finally took a good nap. When he woke up he seemed fine, playing well and in good spirits. Then a little while later I found

A Day at Devil's Den State Park

This past weekend we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and take the kiddos to one of Arkansas' great state parks , Devil's Den . We thoroughly enjoyed our day, picnicking, hiking, even a little cave exploring. Just wanted to share some shots from our day...

The Big Reveal

Yea!! We finally got the kiddos' desks repainted! The school/play room is ready for school now. Good thing, too, since we start on Monday:) We decided on black paint for the metal bases of the desks, but we wanted to get some input from the kiddos on the wooden seats and backs. So we gave them the colors from this set of vintage books to choose from. The Princess chose blue and Mr. B chose green. I thought that was funny since The Princess has a green room and Mr. B's is blue. The desktops are painted with chalkboard paint. The chalkboard on the wall also got a fresh coat of paint. I also repainted their table and chair set. It has been used more that I could have ever imagined and had so many crayon marks and scratches on it. Plus I needed an excuse to paint something red ! You should have seen me painting this set in the backyard when our neighbors white dog jumped over the fence to come and play. Talk about pandemonium ! LOL So I think we're just about ready to s

End-of-Summer Bounty

Our little garden is really kicking it in high gear for the end of the growing season! As some of you know, we completely traumatized it early in the summer by moving it across several states in pots. After the move Vince built a small raised bed and we transplanted our little tomato plants, the red and green bell peppers and the jalapenos into the ground. The tomatoes plodded along, as did those yummy hot peppers, producing here and there. The bell peppers were really struggling though. However, somewhere around the middle of July everything really got a second wind. I think they decided they liked this humid Arkansas weather:) Now everything is growing like crazy and has tons more blooms. I think I could be a farmer! (haha) the Roma tomatoes the red bells the jalapenos This has really been a fun project to do with the kiddos, too. They absolutely delight in going out to check on the plants~and pick the ripe cherry tomatoes to eat right away!:)

Menu Plan Monday: Aug 24th~29th

It's that time of the week again! How did your dinners go last week? Ours were really good! It seemed like every night was so yummy (even if my picky kiddos are driving me a little nuts~ha!). I even got my hubby to eat a delicious pork roast (he has pork issues:) and he liked it! So all in all, it was a successful week of dinners. This week I'm trying a few new recipes~Yea! Red Beans and Rice from the Fix It & Forget It cookbook. I love red beans and rice, but I've never made it at home. I think the kiddos will like it~they love beans. Another new one will be the Pretzel Crusted Chicken Fingers and Zucchini Sticks w/Cheddar Spicy Mustard Sauce from Rachael Ray Yum-O . I'm hoping to get the kiddos involved in the preparation of this one and hopefully it will encourage them to eat better. The Sicilian Pasta is one I found in Woman's Day magazine . It looks super easy and healthy, so let's hope it's a hit, too. Monday: red beans & rice (Fix

Busy, Busy, Busy

I'm busy around here getting ready for homeschool to start. I've got one more week before our scheduled first day: August 31st. So I'm working on getting things-to-do checked off my list! finish decor in the school room (check!) register for a local homeschool group (check!) get the school room organized get the kiddos' school desks painted finish lesson plans get new library cards So, don't worry, I'm around and will get back in a regular schedule again soon. That's one reason I'm looking forward to school starting:)

Fresh-From-the-Garden Okra

As we were driving home yesterday we passed the lady-on-the-corner-with-the-magnificent-garden. And her sign said *OKRA*. I made Vince turn in immediately . Now, if you've never had garden-fresh fried okra, I'm sorry, but you just don't know what you're missing. It's nothing like that over-battered stuff in restaurants. It's amazing !! I usually don't fry food very often, but okra is definitely an exception. It's best fresh so I really never buy it in the freezer section, but instead wait for that farmstand-fresh stuff. There's really no comparison. Tonight I made some for dinner. Thought I'd share it with you: 1. garden-fresh okra, in all it's glory. (You definitely want the pods to be small--too big and they get tough). 2. I discard the top and the tip, then slice the rest into a bowl. Always cut up what looks like more than you need because it cooks up a little. 3. Next I toss it with flour, cornmeal (a little less than

Turkey Taco Cups & Menu Plan Monday

This past Thursday tacos were already on the menu, but when I saw a recipe in a magazine I was inspired to put a little twist on them. They really turned out great and were very easy. Turkey Taco Cups 1 lb. ground turkey Your fave taco seasoning (I use this one) Flour tortillas Canned black beans Shredded cheese Pico de gallo Sour cream Black olives ...whatever other toppings you like/have ***** Brown the ground turkey, draining off the grease. Add your seasonings according to the directions. Cut your flour tortillas into 4" circles. Spray or brush a little oil on them, tucking them into the cups in a cupcake pan. Bake them 8-9 minutes or until crisp; cool. Serve with the ground toppings and any other toppings you desire. I enjoyed filling mine with black beans, turkey, cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo! Yum-O!! Next time I plan to try them with corn tortillas or maybe tostada shells~I think the corn would taste delicious! Here's what's on the line-up for this week:

Adventures in Junking

Yesterday my sister, Kari , and I decided to check out *Bargains Galore on (Hwy) 64*. It's sort of the local version of The World's Longest Yard Sale. They've been having it for several years now, but I always forget and miss it. This year I marked it on the calendar because who doesn't love a bargain, right? Or at least an opportunity to gawk at other people's junk? Frankly, it makes for some pretty good entertainment! lol And there was much entertainment to be had! At first I was a little self-conscience with my camera, but I finally decided that if people had enough guts to put some of that stuff out, then I had enough guts to take a picture of it. heehee So without further ado, some highlights from our junking adventure: "hair brats", anyone? a scary crocheted hula pig we dubbed this the tourture chair, but Vince informed me that it was probably an old barber chair. ...and, finally, the crowning moment of our day..... a guitar made from a bed

Some of My Favorite Homeschool Links~What Are Yours?

(a freebie image from Dover Publications) Since I am still very new to homeschooling, this being just our 2nd year, I am always on the lookout for great online (or otherwise) resources. I have found a few that I have really benefited from and wanted to share them with you: HomeschoolReviews.com (good and honest parent reviews of curriculum) DonnaYoung.org (printables & resources) thehomeschoolmom.com (more printables & resources) DoverPublications.com ( great free samples of paintings, coloring pages, drawing tips, etc.) Homeschool Freebie of the Day (wonderful free resources offered each day, such as e-books, etc.) Maybe you have found some great resources, too, and would like to share them in the comments. I'd love to check them out!

Gearing up for School

It seems like this summer has flown by and now it's time for The Princess to start 1st grade already! I can't believe it! We are now entering our 2nd year in the adventure of homeschooling and I'm looking forward to it. At least, I am now that I'm getting organized. I was starting to feel a little stressed, but last night I sat down and got everything all decided and ordered. And then I slept well (at least until two little stinkers climbed in my bed this morning:). Thanks to the state of Arkansas, I was able to get everything mapped out for the year. I say "thanks to Arkansas" because of the paperwork I had to fill out for the school district to declare my intent to homeschool. It wasn't extensive or anything like that, and it actually helped me get in gear to put my plans on paper and get them clarified in my mind. It's always good to have a clear mind, right?! So for 1st grade we will be studying: Phonics and Reading (Horizons) Handwriting (It