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Showing posts from September, 2011

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Now it's time to share Mr. B's new room with you. He has a space-themed room, with heavy overtones of Star Wars. Yes, we are Star Wars geeks around here.
First, let's begin with the *BEFORE* photo:

It was painted a rather dark shade of terra cotta, once again sucking all of the light out of the room. (I told you this house had lots of room-shrinking, dark colors).
We painted three of the walls a very light gray. The third, and largest, wall we painted a dark blue. I was a bit worried that the dark blue might be, you know, too dark. But the room looked SO much bigger once it was painted. Having the three light walls really opened it up!
My hubby finally got to use those posters he saved from back when the original three movies were re-released at the theater. And he also found a great use for his {rather large} collection of light sabers. I love the way he hung them in between the film posters, they look great!

I also found a great way to continue using our paper ma…

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispy Treats

It doesn't get any easier for this yummy Fall treat!

Grab yourself a bag of pumpkin spice marshmallows, a bag of candy corn and a box of Rice Krispy cereal (you can see that I went for the generic brand and it works fine). Then take a half-stick of butter from the fridge and you're ready to make these.
1. Melt the 1/2 stick of butter on low heat in a large saucepan
2. Pour in the bag of marshmallows; stirring until they're melted.
3. Dump in 6 cups of the cereal and stir well to coat.
4. Pour the mixture into a greased 9x13 pan and spread it out. (It helps if you rub some butter on your hands and then use your hands to spread it into the pan).
5. Next, take your candy corn and press them into the mixture in whatever pattern you would like. You could also cut shapes out with Fall-themed cookie cutters and then decorate the shapes with the candy corn.
6. Let the pan cool and set for just a bit before biting in (if you can!).

A New Bedroom For the Princess

The Princess' room is finally done! (Well, except for the fact that I'm planning to paint all of her furniture white...but that will have to be another month). She is so happy with the way it has turned out and I really am, too!
To really appreciate her room now, you need to see the *BEFORE* shot:
Yep, that's some kind of raisin color. If you looked at it one way it looked brown, but another angle might make it look dark purple. Either way, it didn't match anything and it made the room feel so small. (Dark, room-shrinking colors has been a theme with this house that we have had to combat. But, hey, paint is easy!).
So her room has been repainted with a lovely light, bright pink and accented with bright orange dots of various sizes. Vince did all of the painting, stenciling the dots by using a dinner plate, a casserole lid and a cd. We're resourceful around here! The dots are in a sort of band around the room in the center of the walls. And the band o…

Homemade Spaghetti-o's

I love it when I can make something from scratch that we formerly purchased processed. I do still purchase a few processed foods (mostly things like rice mixes or canned veggies), but I have greatly reduced those buys.
One thing I hadn't stopped buying until now has been Spaghetti-o's (usually the generic label). My kids love them~I don't~but they are an easy lunch. However, thanks to Pinterest (love!) I have found a great little recipe for a homemade version. I made it yesterday and it was a hit! I even liked them:) If your kids like Spaghetti-o's, try these. You'll feel much better about what you're serving your kids.
Homemade Spaghetti-o's (adapted from this post)
1 large (28 oz.) can tomato sauce (smooth) 4 cups water (I actually left this out to make a thicker sauce) 1 garlic clove, minced (I used garlic powder) 1/4 tsp pepper1 tsp salt 1 tsp sugar 14 oz. small ringed pasta 1 Tbsp butter 1/4 cup milk 1/2 cup shredded cheese
***** Pour tomato sauce into sauc…

Menu Plan Monday: Sept 26th

Last week was sort of a lazy dinner week. Vince took me out one night for a yummy German dinner for my birthday (it's fun discovering new places to eat in our new hometown) and another night we had dinner with some new friends at their house.
Now to get back into the swing of things this week:
Monday:PW's Perfect Pot Roast(this is amazing every time!) with mashed potatoes & gravy
Tuesday: Beef Stew with Veggies (The Princess' night to help cook)
Wednesday: Creamy Cheddar Soup
Thursday:Hawaiian Bacon Pizza with Salad
Friday:Chicken & Wild Rice Dressing with Green Beans and Rolls
Saturday:{leftovers/snacks}
Sunday:to-be-determined
This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

TRI-CROSS: A Game Review

I have to say my kids are absolutely loving these opportunities we are getting to review some cool games with TOS Homeschool Crew. I'm loving it, too!
Most recently we've had the chance to learn and play what's being hailed as the "new chess game": TRI-CROSS by Games For Competitors. It's a game of strategy, critical thinking and problem solving. All traits we want our children to develop, right? Well, this is a fun way to help with that!
The game is advertised as being for ages *8 and up*, but my 6-yr-old son is hanging in there pretty well with the rest of us when we play~because we like to play as a family. Of course, the more you play the better you get at strategic plays and that skill increases with age. Starting young at these types of games is a wonderful way to develop that critical thinking skill though. I can remember playing so many wonderful board games with my parents as a child and enjoying the strategic process so much.
TRI-CROSS is …

The Weekly Wrap-up: Turkish Delight, Picasso & a Movie

Wow! This has been one.full.week. It has seriously flown by and been jam-packed~with good stuff though!
We started last weekend off with a visit from my parents. The kiddos were SO happy to see their Nana and Papi. My dad had just returned from Turkey and brought them some real Turkish Delight candy. What a hit! I mean just look at those smiles:

We are huge Narnia fans around here and I have just recently started reading through the entire series with the kiddos so the Turkish Delight arrived at the perfect time:)

Next up we got to attend a Nature Fest at the local nature center. We are still learning about our new hometown and I love checking out events like this. We all had a great time! The kids got to do all sorts of things, such as make birdfeeders, learn about birds, touch a black woolly caterpillar, take a hay ride, go for a walk through the woods and more.

We even got to take a canoe ride on the ponds. I have a feeling we'll be visiting Jeffer's Bend often…

Getting Into Geometry: A Review

This past month I've had the opportunity to review Getting Into Geometry from Aims Education Foundation. This book is geared toward K-1st, although I think it would have even been great for us for Pre-K~K5.
The main sections in the table of contents are: 2-D ShapesComposing and Decomposing ShapesSymmetry 3-D SolidsSpatial Relationships: Location/PositionPlayful Practice (games)The lessons~a total of 50~are laid out nicely for a classroom, but also work well at home. They give key questions, the learning goal, materials needed list, instructions and more. And there are reproducible pages for nearly every lesson. You can see an example of some of the reproducible pages here. Oh, and did I mention it comes with a cd?! Very helpful!

My son has really enjoyed the activities we've used from this book~and I plan to use more throughout the year as well. He's a very hands-on learner and enjoys crafts, games, etc. very much. His favorite activity so far has been the t …

Somebody Slow Down This Train

I need the world to slow down. Just a bit, please. I feel like I have been in a whirlwind lately.
I suppose that's normal when you're still settling in from a huge move, remodeling a house, starting back to {home}school and adjusting to becoming a pastor's wife. And that's just the big stuff. There's all the little oh-so-daily stuff, you know.
Don't get me wrong: I am loving this ride! I am just feeling a bit overwhelmed lately with the enormity of the changes in our lives. We are so very happy in our new hometown and state. I couldn't be happier with the way our kiddos are adjusting, which is perfectly. They love it here! I do, too.
I am just in desperate need of some organizing, I think. I start to get a little nuts when things at home aren't in order. And that's how I've been feeling lately. I so love for my home to be a true haven and right now I'm not feeling it.
We have so many projects going right now and it seems like th…

Well, the Cat Is Out Of the Bag

It's official.
I turned the big 4~0 today.
No, I don't really feel any differently. It's just kind of weird to say *forty*.
I almost didn't tell you, but I knew I'd have some of my *old* friends out me on Facebook anyway...ha
And Vince is officially calling me a *cougar* LOL
You see, I'm 4-1/2 years older than him. There... I just told the world (at least those of you who are reading this:) There was a time when I would have been uncomfortable telling that, but since certain celebrities have really, truly robbed the cradle in recent years, 4-1/2 years just didn't sound like a big deal anymore.
So I am enjoying life and being my own age (no one ever guesses he's younger anyway~which just irks him...heehee).
Besides, I hear that life really begins at 40~so let the fun begin!

Menu Plan Monday: Sept 19th

Boy, this time of the week sure does come quickly these day! I like to sit down and make my menu plans on Sunday afternoons. It just sets the right tone for beginning the week. I also like to check the weather forecast and look over my calendar to make sure I haven't forgotten any special events that we have planned. Oh-and then I always need to check my freezer and pantry before completing my shopping list. What does your menu planning session look like?
Here's this week's menu:
Monday:Northern Beans with Buttermilk Cornbread
Tuesday: {date with my hubby!}
Wednesday: Cheddar Broccoli Quiche
Thursday: {missions banquet}
Friday:Hawaiian Bacon Pizza with Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks
Saturday: Chicken L'Orange
Besides my these dinners I have a few other recipes that I plan to make this week as well:
~Stoveless Tomato Sauce: I have several large tomatoes that need to be eaten and I think this would be a lovely way to use them and a great way to break in my new immersion blend…

The Weekly Wrap-Up: Greeks, Mandolins and the Zoo

Whew! We've got 2 weeks under our belt for this school year already! It's been a fairly good week overall. I feel like I am still getting organized though~and that's a little tough for this type-A mama.
Our new learning room is almost done. I am SO ready for it to be finished. There's just a little bit of painting to be done, a couple of things to be hung and my workboxes to finish up. I can't wait to blog it:)
As for the lesson planning, I am going a few days at a time...which is driving me a little nuts! Last year when we started school I had September through January all planned out. Now that's not to say I would do that again, but at least a month at a time would be nice. I just haven't had a chance to sit down and do all of that. But I must soon~maybe this week.
Here's what we did this week:
We are studying the character trait of *Responsibility* this month, using Character Sketches. I have also incorporated Scripture memorization thi…