17 September 2014

Puzzle Palooza

So this week we did a clean out of our 'games and puzzles' closet.  We needed to get rid of a few ...and we did.  But the biggest result was that it reminded my kids of how much they love to work puzzles.

And now our library room looks like this (and more!).  :)

Does this happen to anyone else?

15 September 2014

What's For Dinner {Sept 15th}

Aww... fall seems to have arrived here in Kentucky and I am loving it!  It puts me in the mood for all things apple and pumpkin!

Last week's menu was definitely more cooler-weather-food and it tasted so good!  Although, to recap last week, I didn't make the talapia (hubby informed me that he didn't like that dish after all) nor the red beans and rice (I wasn't in the mood for it that night and am recycling that one this week).  But the northern beans and the chicken and dumplings were heavenly!

This week I've polled the kids for their dinner requests.  The Princess gave me her usual answer: "spaghetti and meatballs!" :)  Mr. B usually doesn't have an answer for me, but this time he said "fettuccine alfredo!".

Sounds good to me!

Here's what's for dinner at our house this week:

Monday:  Ranch Style Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, and Broccoli

Tuesday:  Spaghetti & Meatballs (with this homemade marinara) ---But my husband is planning on taking us out to dinner as a surprise (put there by me, the husband)  

Um...I think my hubby hijacked my draft...  Spaghetti and meatballs might be moving to another night ;)

Wednesday:  Baked Potatoes (thinking of whipping up this topping!)

Thursday:  Ladies' Craft Night at church and I'm thinking of taking Bread Pot Fondue and Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Friday:  Fettuccine Alfredo with Salad

Saturday:  yet-to-be-decided

So...what are you cooking up this week?  I'd love to hear!

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

14 September 2014

End of the Week Wrap-Up {Week 2}

Well, I'm way behind on this 'End of the Week Wrap-Up', aren't I?  It's been one busy weekend and I just haven't had a chance.  Better late than never though~I always love looking back through our weekly wrap-ups to see how the year progressed.

In our homeschool this week...

We had some bumps, but stayed on track fairly well.  

The Princess finally finished last year's math (only 2 weeks into the new year ...and, yes, I make my kiddos finish all of their math).  She so does not enjoy math, but Teaching Textbooks has made it bearable for us all.  She is doing well in her first year using Rod & Staff grammar.  It has been a good transition from First Language Lessons so far.  She also began Johnny Tremain this week.  This year instead of just a book report each month, I am trying out the free literature guides from Glencoe.  They look challenging without being exhausting.  I wanted something that would cause her to think a little more, but not be discouraging.  So we'll see...  She's also clicking right along in her other subjects as well: vocabulary, spelling, handwriting, and Bible study.  

Mr. B had a bit of a bumpier week.  We are dealing with some challenges with him (I plan to share more about that soon).  He is doing well in his subjects though--unless they include too much writing:)  There is more writing involved with his new reading from Rod & Staff and that is a bit of a struggle, but overall I'm pleased with how he is doing with it.  Of course, he does very well with First Language Lessons.  And his Bible study--Grapevine Studies New Testament Pt 4-- is going well, as is handwriting and spelling.  

Our family subjects are going well, too.  We are learning about early American history right now and are doing a geography study of each of our states along with the history.  And our human anatomy study is off to a great start!  The kids have been very into it so far and we even made some edible DNA this week:)  

I am working hard to not get into a boring rut with my lesson planning this year.  I am working more fun learning into our school and I'm glad I am.  Things like Lego learning, games, more videos, and just plain ol' brain breaks will hopefully keep us out of that "same ol', same ol'" feeling, you know?  

Our 2nd week of co-op went well.  In our art class we made "textured sculptures" and learned about Dubuffet., in science we made "Big Mouth Tumblewings", and in Buzzwords the kids got to invent their own spelling board games.  Afterwards we enjoyed some time with the other families in The Princess' book club (luckily there is another little brother who Mr. B loves to pal around with).  

I'm thankful for an overall successful week, in spite of challenges.  And I'm praying for an even better upcoming week!  

08 September 2014

What's For Dinner {Sept. 8th}

It's been a while since I've posted my daily dinner plans here, but in getting back into our fall routine I feel like it's a good time to start doing that again.

These past couple of months have involved a lot of crazy schedules and a lot of eating out.  And I have grown a little weary of that.  Not that I don't enjoy a good meal out.  But when I do go out I want to enjoy it ...not be so jaded of it that nothing even sounds good except a home-cooked meal.

And fall is the perfect season for home cooking, isn't it?  I'm in the mood for all of my 'comfort foods'!

So here's what's on the plan for our house this week (I've included the name and page # of any cookbooks I plan to use):

Monday: Northern Beans with Buttermilk Cornbread (Fix It & Forget It page 58)

Tuesday:  Pan-Seared Tilapia Po' Boys with Baked Potato Slices

Wednesday:  {our small group} Chicken & Dumplings

Thursday:  Red Beans & Rice with Hushpuppies (American Home Cooking page 277)

Friday:  attending a wedding rehearsal dinner

Saturday:  Homemade Pizza

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

06 September 2014

End-of-the-Week Wrap {our first week of school}

Well, it wasn't a perfect week and it had it's moments, but we did it.  We finished our first week of school for this year.  Whoo hoo!!  {you can read about our first day of school here}

It's definitely going to take a few more days (weeks??) to get back into our school groove though.    

I didn't introduce every single subject this week, but we did dive right into math, grammar, reading, spelling, Bible, history, science, and writing.  Next week we'll add in another or two, like geography and poetry.

So far so good in the way of the new curriculum I've chosen.  The biggest challenge has been some attitude adjustments ...ugh.  However, we are off to a good start with US history, human anatomy, math, and language arts.  

We also started co-op classes on Friday with our homeschool group.  I'm a little sad that we only have them for 4 weeks this fall, but I'm excited about a new partnership our group is beginning with our local 4H chapter this year that will most likely take the place of our co-op.  

For co-op I am teaching an art appreciation class for 4th-6th graders--which happens to be the class my kiddos are both in.  The other two classes they have are science and Buzzwords (a spelling class).   

Our first day of co-op went really well--we all had lots of fun with our classes and also meeting new homeschooling families!

So after a busy week of stretching our brains and learning new things, I got to enjoy a little fun on Friday night with my sister (and fellow Shakespearean lover!).  We headed to Nashville to the annual Shakespeare Festival in Centennial Park.  And even though we got completely drenched while waiting for the show to start, the rain left in plenty of time and we were able to enjoy the show thoroughly.  It was SO good!!!!  I already can't wait until next year!

 So how was your week?  

This post is linked to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers' Weekly Wrap-Up.

04 September 2014

Planning For Co-op Classes

Tomorrow our homeschool group begins our fall co-op classes and we are all looking forward to them!  We've been enjoying co-op classes for quite a while now and they have become one of our favorite things about homeschooling (you can read more of my thoughts on co-op-ing here).

And--because it's a co-operative--I usually try to teach at least one class a year, if at all possible ...although assisting in the classes and hanging out in the 'moms' lounge' is certainly fun, too.

This year I'm getting back to the subject of one of my favorites of the co-op classes I've taught.  I'm titling this one, Exploring Great Artists: a study in appreciation and application.  It's for grades 4th-6th.

To find inspiration for this class I've been busy perusing all of those amazing links I've got pinned on my Homeschool: the arts Pinterest board.  There are so many great resources out there for art studies!

For this class we'll be studying four great artists and then doing an art project in each of their styles.  I can't wait!  I love doing art projects!

We'll be learning all about:

  1. George Seurat and pointillism with a project done in this manner
  2. Jean Dubuffet and textured painting with this project
  3. Jackson Pollack and splatter painting with something like this
  4. Alexander Calder and kinetic sculpture with a project similar to this 
I'm really excited about this class and can't wait to get in there and create some art along with the kids!

Talk to me!  If you are a homeschooler, do you participate in co-op classes?  

02 September 2014

Our First Day of the '14-'15 School Year

Well, today was the big day at our house~the first day of school!

Overall, it went fairly well and we accomplished all on our lesson plans for the day.  It's going to be a challenge to get Mr. B back into his groove (if he ever really had one!) and really we're all still working on getting into the school groove again.  It takes a few days, right?

We did have a yummy breakfast of Eggo bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches though and the kids liked their new school year goodies.  

It may not look like I got them much, but we really didn't need much in the way of supplies this year.  But getting a new notebook is fun and cute erasers are always irresistible.  Then there are the necessary snacks plus a fun new folder with printouts of all kinds of fun info (states & capitals, countries & capitals, reading lists, etc.).  I look forward to adding to it throughout the year.

I did remember to "schedule" a Brain Break today and it was fun!  I've so got to remember to incorporate these often!

Finally, we wrapped up our day by taking the kids to the Lego store's free build for the month and then to Bob Evans for their free meals.  (Can you tell we like deals? haha!)  It was a fun way to finish our day though.

I'm glad to the "big first day" over, so we can move onto really getting into the swing of things again.  It usually takes us a week or so but that's okay.  

Now if I could just start getting myself to bed a little earlier!!