Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hands On Math

We are using MFW 1st grade and just love it! One area always had me a little intimidated from the start and that was their way of teaching math. No math book. I'm all about living books, but for math I've always wanted step by step instructions. It took me some time to wrap my thinking around hands-on math but now I think I get it. Today's review was simple and Jenna had fun.

This exercise explores the addition facts of the number 6. We had these little disc that are two sided. Take six of them, toss them on the table and make an equation out of what is showing. Simple and effective.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My space...no, not Myspace. :)

When we learned that little Janie was coming back in 2008 we knew that we would have to get creative with the bedroom arrangement. Since I am an avid co-sleeping parent, we knew we had some time to ponder this. Well, that time came sometime late last year. I wasn't sure how I'd like giving up my bedroom. But, it was the largest bedroom that had the most wall space. So we gave the three girls our room and we took the room that Jessie had been in since we built the house. It is a lovely room with a large window that lets lots of light in. I thought it would help me become more of a morning person. :)

Well, recently I was reading in my Google reader and someone had wrote about have a "woman cave" in your home. This was suppose to be my space, but I really think my hubby uses it and enjoys it the most!

 Yep, it's mismatched, just the way I like it. The desk & chair was a gift from my mom. She painted the desk to have this finish. I am sure it was a piece from the 70's or 80's and she made it look totally cool again.

This little space made giving up the master bedroom just a little easier. The girls are so happy with their own space and they love being together.  And I love that!

Thanks, Debbie, for this shot.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Making Memories and Good Food

An amazing fact about me: I used to rely on Hamburger Helper as a staple in my kitchen. I know, gross, right?
We, meaning me and my whole family (yes, even the men) have fallen in love with the Food network, especially the show Chopped. have you seen it? Oh my, we gather around and are spell-bound. :) Add that love to a desire to become healthy and that leads to some interesting things being "chopped" in our kitchen.
Don't tell Greg, but the lasagna that I will serve him tonight has no meat and lots of mushroom, eggplant and spinach.....yum! Here is the recipe if you want it. (sorry I don't have a picture yet, it is in the crock pot as I type.) Crock-Pot Vegetable Lasagna
Now, look at this:

Photo by Jessie

We love, love, love some lemon zest and this is so lemony and so healthy. 150 calories per serving. Just enough and so good!
Lemon Chiffon Squares


cup flour


cup (1 stick) butter, melted


cup sugar


JET-PUFFED Marshmallows


tsp. grated lemon zest


cup lemon juice


cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping


fresh raspberries

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix flour, butter and sugar; press firmly onto bottom of greased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake 15 min. or until lightly browned. Meanwhile, mix marshmallows, lemon peel and lemon juice in large saucepan; cook on low heat until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Cool crust and marshmallow mixture completely.

ADD whipped topping to marshmallow mixture; stir with wire whisk until well blended. Spread evenly over crust.

REFRIGERATE at least 2 hours or until slightly firm. Cut into 16 squares to serve; top each square with 1 raspberry. Store leftover squares in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Oh, one more! How about some baked vegetables? These were just wonderful. I have never had any that tasted any better!

 Getting it all ready. Jessie, snapping pictures, kids singing....its a happy place.

I want to help....I want to help....

Here is the finished dish (not my picture) Mixed Vegetable Bake Recipe

and the recipe:



 lb medium red potatoes, (about 4), cut into 1/8-inch slices


 large onion, cut in half and into 1/4-inch slices


 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1/4         cup extra-virgin olive oil


 teaspoons finely chopped garlic


 teaspoon dried thyme leaves


 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves


 teaspoon salt


 teaspoon pepper


 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch slices


 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slice

1Heat oven to 400°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch           (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
2Place potatoes, onion and carrots in baking dish;            toss with half each of the oil, garlic, thyme, tarragon,          salt and pepper. Bake 10 minutes.
3Meanwhile, in medium bowl, toss bell pepper and        zucchini with remaining oil and seasonings. Stir into          mixture in baking dish. Bake 30 to 35 minutes longer    or until vegetables are tender; stirring halfway through bake time.
I have found that by involving the kids in the cooking, making it fun and happy, has resulted in them trying more foods that normally they would not. That is especially true for the little ones. It is a great way to end the day and make memories that I hope they will always remember. 
Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sick Days {homeschool style}

That is our stack of science DVDs.

I think it has been a good investment for our homeschool, especially on days like today.

Jessie has been feverish and tired with a cold this week. She really wanted to do school (a homeschool moms dream) but just couldn't stay up at her desk.

The little girls were quickly drawn into the Moody videos about the ocean.

:) When I brought some soup in for Jessie, she promptly asked if I had put garlic in it. (my cure all) ;)

If you have some suggestions of what to add to our sick day collection leave me a note.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Distracted Much?

Lately I've noticed that my attention span for reading is not what it used to be. I am a little, well more like a lot, drawn to my iGadgets. iPhone, iPad, iPods, you name and we've got it and are pretty much addicted to it.
I pick up a book and after a few minutes I compulsively grab my phone to check something. Well, now that I've noticed this trend I am determined to break the habit now. I can't imagine what this is doing to my children, who all have an iPod touch.

Yesterday I thoughtfully picked out a new book that I've had but not read. Oh, I've started to read it several times only to get sidetracked. My first thought while reading was how much I love the written word on good old paper. I LOVE the feel of a book in my hand. I'll admit, I really had to make myself focus. I'm not kidding. And this really bothers me.

So, I'm reading Sally Clarkson's Ministry of Motherhood. It is so good, especially with a cup of coffee! Ministry of Motherhood

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