Wednesday, January 27, 2010

School Update...

Well since I have been doing school how I want to do school for the most part that means I have something to update! Wow what a concept! So here goes...


Math U See- doing very well, I am liking the progression and feeling good about this program

English- she is doing Writing with Ease (susan wise bauer), a spelling program I got online that I really like for right now. re doing First Language Lessons with the other two, another Writing program that is very, very simple.

Reading- well she just reads! We have assigned a few books specifically and I am having her doing vocab and comprehension. We will start book reports in a while just mostly for fun because she thinks it is fun.

History- we finished up Native Americans and are going back in time a little to hit some stuff we missed before we being American History. I want them to know where our History comes from. So changing my plan for the zillionth (spell that) time but it is okay I feel like I have a plan!

Science- we are doing Aplogia Zoology 3. We are going a little slowly but the kids are learning a lot! It is hanging pegs for when we go again in a few years and I think they are doing awesome!

Typing- she has started up her typing lessons again

Bible- she has read thru The Christians Guide to becoming a Woman. We are doing the Fruit of the Spirit and character traits right now... We are on Gratitude. I plan on picking up another devotion type study book for her. She generally reads a chapter and we discuss or implement. I am looking at several but want to make sure my timing is right for some of them. Anyway, still pondering that.

Book club: We are doing My Side of the Mountain! very fun!

We are currently also trying to finish up Pilgrims Progress we got to a point and stopped and I want to finish the book.


Math- of course Math U See... loving it!

Reading- I have a reading list for Matt, he just finished up Rabbit Hill and we did vocab.

English- we are doing first language lessons, Explode the code, handwriting (Reason for handwriting) Writing with Ease

History and Science is the same as Kaitlin

Bible is the same for the most part. He is doing scripture work with his handwriting. We are doing the Fruits of the Spirit and working on Gratitude. I want to find him a devotion book and have looked at two. Still deciding. I had hoped to have all my book decisions figured out so I could buy them after the first but we will see. Oh He is also reading between 3 and 5 chapters a day in the Bible.

Book club- My Side of the Mountain. Yesterday he saw mussels on the Food Network and got excited because Sam had eaten mussels on one of his first days on the mountain.

We are also working a lot of his Webelos badges and Arrow of Light Award.


Math- math U see. She is doing really great. I am soooo happy with this program! We need to get her addition facts down better but feel she is doing pretty well.

Reading- Brenda at the Family Revised is going to do a little testing to see what level she is really reading on so I will know what to work on. I am very excited to have a PROFESSIONAL tell me! Thanks Brenda!!!! We are doing Learning Language arts thru Literature. I am pretty happy with the program. It annoys me a little because you have to get out the blue card, card 1-3 and an orange card.. Seems so teachery! But I am trying to stick with it!
We are also going thru a book list with her. It is HUGE but I plan to hit all the ones that are still in print!!! Anybody ever seen a copy of Alligator Case? She is also doing some lap books with her friend Mary Faith, we have done Time, How to Make and Apple Pie and See the World and we are doing Barbie and the Three Musketeers next week. After that it is the Velveteen Rabbit.

English- she is doing FFL, Explode the code, phonics flashcards and handwriting.

History and Science is the same for Emily as well

Bible- Same as the others. I got out my kids Bible on CD the other day and I think I am going to put it on her Ipod so she can go spend 10-15 a day listening to it. We are doing Old Testament bible stories, just hitting the basics and we have a video of some of the stories and the rest are on tape- it is Eyewitness News from Focus on the Family. It is part of the Adventures in Odyssey series. I also have printed out color sheets from each bible story for her so she is making a notebook and has copy work for the title of the story on each page.

Book club- Emily sometimes does book club with us and sometimes not, she occasionally does a special activity with Brenda at Book club, just the younger girls so that is awesome! She really enjoyed Wednesdays!

Wow I know that was totally boring for some of you but it was refreshing to me to just put down on paper all that we are doing!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... the sky is bright blue and sunny, I am praying that it stays this way for Thursday!

I am thinking... of home much school I can fit it till we leave for scouts.

I am thankful for... my husband making decisions for our family.

I am wearing.... technically my robe but am getting dressed in a minute.

I am remembering... what Dave Ramsey said last night and trying to put my priorities in line!

I am going... to step up again and firmly reinstate the ban! I have lifted the ban to many times last week so I am CLOSING IT!

I am giving myself ...a strong talking to about my reactions to the kids earlier, I breathed and stopped but even though I didnt say anything mean I know that they knew what I was thinking!

I am currently reading... My Side of the Mountain and a Debbie Macomber book. I am hoping to start my devotion this week. I am deciding between two.

I am hoping... that we will have an easy week with Kaitlin because this last week and weekend have not been fun!

I have been admittedly distracted by eating this week! I just kept thinking about food!

On my mind... how I can be more frugal and thrifty and it all comes down to sacrifice.

I am still thinking about what Hank Tate said at the Sethsa leadership conference.

Pondering these words... "If you are not happy with what you have, you wont be happy with what you want."

From the kitchen... I am making a smore cupcake on Thursday and I am making a sweet potato/ potato au gratin tomorrow... oh and Matt ate fresh cooked spinach yesterday! YEAH!!

Around the house... I got a new table cloth for the dining table. I want to actually start setting the table after each meal so that it is ready for the next meal. Also it will stop it from being a dumping ground, which isnt happening to bad but I can see the tide turning! We also got Emily her new book shelf this weekend. It was 29.99 at Big Lots, it was on sale for 27.99 and I had a 20% off coupon so I was VERY happy!

One of my favorite things... PLANNING THINGS... I love to plan things. I love themes of ANY kind!

Friday, January 22, 2010


So does anyone else have a problem with this? Am I the only one? Probably not but I do know that I have a HUGE problem with this. Part of my issue has to do with my anxiety level... the more I get anxious or worried the more likely I will quickly lose what lose grip I already have on my tongue! Not good, right! So anyway, I printed out this pretty little picture and I am posting it in my schooling area so that hopefully I can see it and think before I speak.. or yell whatever the case may be! I will let you know how it goes!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday... one day late!!!

Okay, so I am a day late, my internet was down most of the day and I just didnt get back online to post but here it is!

I guess the title could have been BOYS and their TOYS?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Todays experiment with lunch...

So I am trying to get more adventurous in the kitchen, to save money and to be in charge of what food goes in our mouth as far as ingredients. We are wanting to do a lot of natural and organic food and I am going to be going about 80/20 with 80% being organic or at least very natural and the other 20% being taking up with a less expensive and not as healthy choice. There are two reasons for this... one being my SANITY... going all organic and cutting our everything is VERY, VERY difficult and the other is simply finances!

So most of the food I am choosing to cook is for healthy choices and for it to be less expensive. But everything isnt about health as much as being able to control what ingredients go into my food. For instance I am going to make my bread at home in the bread machine with ingredients instead of buying bread that has a lot of preservatives and ingredients that are not necessary. Or making a meal that resembles a hamburger helper meal again without the preservatives and dyes. Bread and hamburger helper type meals are not really healthy but we are making them healthier for us.. Make sense?

So onto today! We made homemade corn dogs. I saw this done on Sandra Lee on the Food Network and I had DVR'd it so after I watched it a few times I decided I would make an attempt. I have very little confidence in my cooking ability and really doubt myself a lot! Again frying is not very healthy but it is a financial decision and the fact that I know what is in them. We did use little smokies which have nitrates, we will only use these occasionally. We had fun doing it and the kids liked that they were home made.
This cost me 4.21 sense to make 42 mini corn dogs.

I am sorry for the pictures, they arent that good, but they give you the gist

put about 3-4 inches of oil in the pot and you need to bring it to 375 degrees

(This is a very important step to insure the frying of corn dogs! I used a thermometer to make sure I had it up to 375 before I begin putting the corn dogs in.)

make the batter:

10 oz of corn bread mix ( have made my own mix, but the bags or boxed mixes are perfect)
1 egg
3/4 cup milk

2 t onion powder

2 t garlic powder

Mix until the consistency of pancake batter. Try to get all the lumps out.

Put the little smokies (or hot dogs cut in 2 inch pieces) on a skewer.

dredge them in flour and shake off excess. This allows you to get all of the liquid off the hot dog and helps the batter to stick. Very important step!

Now 5 at a time roll your flour covered little smokies in the batter until they are mostly covered and put them into the oil, one at a time. As you stick them into the oil they will immediately begin puffing up. As soon as they are brown take them out and place them on a paper towel to drain. This is very quick!

Next allow to cool and ENJOY!!!!!!!! BTW... in the picture they looked burned and they do get really dark but they did not taste burned. They are very light.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lord you have given me peace...

I have a friend who struggles with some of the same issues I have... yes I said SOME!

Control Issues

So anyway, she was talking the other day and telling me how she had worked so hard in a particular situation to be patient and to wait for God's hand... I was very proud of her and it got me feeling convicted later that day because of my own inability to wait for Gods hand sometimes.

I want Gods PEACE in my life. It would work for all the above issues!

Worrying... here is some of Gods Peace.

Anxious... here is some of Gods Peace.

Being controlling because you want to KNOW what is going to happen.. here is some of Gods Peace.

See it works... So I going to find a Bible Study on Gods Peace. Now I will tell you a little secret about ME, I have never in my life, besides school or specifically in a church setting EVER finished a Bible Study I have started! Yes, that is very sad. So I would like to finish one and I pick this one! If you have a good one let me know, I will look at it! I hope to find one within the week so get back with me asap!

Isaiah 26:12, "Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us." (NIV)

Two posts today...

This first posts is simply to give you a link to Little Things in Texas, she wrote a great post and had a link to a free curriculum for homemaking for Christians. Just wanted to pass on the good stuff!

The second post which will be half today and the rest tomorrow is Matts car for the Pinewood Derby race at Boy scouts! He is very excited... they are still working tonight so I will post pictures later and then tomorrow with the final result.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My latest breakfast experiment...

Okay, this is so very, very good! It is also easy, just be prepared to bake the hashbrowns for 25 minutes and then bake the quiche for 25 more minutes... so watch your timing. Anyway.... Dave LOVED it and that is hard to do! Healthwise it is not the greatest but it is not the worst thing either. I just had one slice and stopped! Although it was hard to do!

Paula Deen's Hashbrown Quiche

3 cups, shredded frozen hash browns, thawed and drained
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
1/2 cup diced green onions
1 cup shredded Cheddar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible. In a 9-inch pie plate, toss the hash browns with the melted butter into the plate. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. When the hash brown crust is ready pour the egg mixture over it and return to the oven.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SAHM earn what????

So I read this article on "What a SAHM should get paid... if she did get paid." Now this number is from 2006 so I am sure that it would be higher now! This is also for a stay at home mom raising ONE 5 year old boy. So of course most of us have more than one child and I believe adding in teaching (if you are homeschoolers) is important too. But anyway, the number is

$134,000.00 a year

Photo credit... RoqueMOM

That is the low ball estimate! That is how the two working parents (the working moms and dads with actual careers) afford the house, two nice cars and Disney World! I mean we have been to Disney World and I can afford to take my kids on vacation but it is a calculated effort to save towards it and that take sacrifice on my part.

The article answered questions about how do sahm help the economy grow, and the author pointed out that they are growing the future economy by raising responsible adults and that they help grow the economy now by shopping, paying for dance lessons and camps etc. Also that mothers are huge consumers which also grows the economy.
Photo credit... The Mint

The article said that an average stay at home mom worked 91.5 hours a week and slept and average of 6.2 hours a night.
So thank you moms for all the unpaid hours, overtime, lack of vacation, no holiday pay and zero benefits! You are appreciated!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Can I hear a Hoot...

I dont know if I have said this on the blog before but we have owls. They are so cute, they are about 6-8 inches tall and yes they do hoot! They turn their heads and they eyes get all big... it's cool! Matt discovered them a few months ago... we think there are three. But they havent been around lately.

Until today, Matt was taking things out to the storage buiding and he turned around and the owl was just sitting there. So it flew away but Matt came in and told me the owls were back so I grabbed my cell phone and we ran outside to catch a look! There he was, just sitting there! I tried to get to close so he flew to the other side of the fence but I managed to get a pretty good shot!

I think they are adorable and such a neat thing to just see in your backyard, especially since our back yard is about 10 miles from downtown HOUSTON! I just think it is amazing.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Isnt this what you want for your life.....

Just as a little thread of gold running through a fabric, brightens the whole garment, so women’s work at home, while only the doing of little things, is like the golden gleam of sunlight that runs through and brightens all the fabric of civilization."

----Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

On with the New Year....

So the new year is in full swing! We have got our first budget in place! Whoo hoo. Is it possible to already be off track? I mean really! I am trying to work on a newer tighter budget but buying expensive "healthy" food, and I already went over! Not by much but it aggravates me to NO end! I also quit my grocery game because without buying so many premade food I feel like it might end up being a waste? I will see how I do without in on the regular stuff... I am pretty good on finding specials on my own, I just didnt want to do the work! Anyway, since I am only what 5 days into the new year lets say I dont worry about it!

I did weigh on Sunday, I am allowing myself once a week! I am down 4 lbs! I am not making huge gestures or making some big deal about it... I am just doing. Does that make sense? I dont want to think about it to much, a lot of the time when I diet I pretty much have to focus 100 percent on dieting. What will I eat? Where will I eat? How much am I eating? So much thought HAS to go into it all the time! It is mentally exhausting. I am trying to not do as much of the mental gymnastics this time! So far it is working! I have my initial weight on another scale I wonder how much I have lost total? I will have to weigh on the initial scale to find out, maybe I will do that on Tuesday.

I am so tired but did want to share this little bit for the records!

conversation with Matt

Matt: I love you mom.
Me: Well I love you too!
Matt: I loved you the longest.
Me: Well I loved you longer since I knew you before you were born.
Matt: I was in your stomach and I knew you.
Me: How did you know me?
Matt:(with the sweetest look you could possibly imagine...) You were all I knew.

MELTING.... Seriously!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

End of the year Meme...

End of the Year meme...

Partial REPOST from last year... this is from 2008 and I am going to fill in my answers for 2009!

End of the Year Meme...
I got this End of the Year meme from URL Double, Carrie at Thoughts, Ponderings and Musings!
Join in if you want to!

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

In 2009...did a Thanksgiving dinner completely by myself! Turkey and all! oh and I shot a gun!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No way, I dont think I kept any of them!!!

In 2009... I will talk more on this later but no not for the most part and Yes I will make more for 2010!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
not extremely close.

In 2009? Um Yes Sarah Jean Fredericks!!!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

In 2009... um no, not really, really close to me.

5. What countries did you visit?
Um does the USA count?

in 2009... still stuck to the USA

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
better finances and less weight! I guess will power!

In 2009...more wisdom in presidential elections! More wisdom in politics, more money, more weight loss etc!

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I cant remember so I guess they weren't etched on my memory!

In 2009... the inauguration... I knew the world as I knew it would start to change and it has!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I am not trying to be negative but i dont feel I accomplished much this year.

in 2009... hmmmm we moved into our rent house and we have managed very well financially... I mean we dont have a lot of savings but we are paying cash and doing what we need to! I also want to re mention Thanksgiving here! I mean to me a turkey was a big deal! But that is just me!

9. What was your biggest failure?
weight loss and not keeping my temper in check

In 2009... I will say the same answer which is not something I am proud of exactly!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
no we are all healthy!

in 2009... no healthy, all of us! We are truly blessed in that area!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
my camera, which I have since LOST!

in 2009... best thing I bought???? seriously kindof silly and I am sure I loved lots of things I bought but I love the mixing bowl set I got courtesy of Vickie, she blessed me with a gift of cash just for being little ole me and I bought mixing bowls. Yes sounds weird but I needed some! I also bought a whisk, a set of cooking pans, a book and some Christmas decor that I wanted but would not spend money on!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Honestly probably my husbands, we have on and off but he was more on this year I think!

in 2009... I might say Hubbies again, we made some big decisions this year and he has been more on top of things than ever... not perfect but there is definite improvement!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Honestly keeping it real here probably mine?

in 2009... um mine but more so I would say CONGRESS!

14. Where did most of your money go?
to a big fat nothin store- probably Walmart

in 2009... I am proud to say I have hardly stepped foot in a Walmart.. there is not one close so we hardly ever go. (I dont have any thing against Walmart btw!) I think most of my money this year went to rent and all that MISC!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
our Branson Vacation and our Garner trip basically any travel! Oh and seeing Amy Grant in concert!

in 2009....I guess Brian and Allison's wedding! That was a big one! Kristal got to come down so that was awesome and we got into a house in the Heights, not exactly Garden Oaks but I am happy!

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
wow, I dunno know.

in 2009...still dont know.. I mean I love music but I dont always relate it to an event but I guess I will choose the Over the Rainbow that was played at Brian and Allison's wedding!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) poorer or richer?
(a) Happier!
(b) fatter
(c) Poorer

in 2009...
(a) happier
(b) a little fatter but slimming down too!
(c) I am not poorer... I am staying in one place!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
losing weight, exercising

in 2009... again losing weight, exercising, school with the kids!!!!!!! character training, political awareness...

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
have less fear and anxiety

in 2009... same although I maintain I am doing better! spent money on frivolous things instead of applying it to more important thing!

20. How did you spend Christmas?
At home with the kids!

in 2009... at home with the kids, then lunch at Moms house, we spent Christmas Eve in Vickie's new house and it was wonderful!

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I was already in love!

in 2009...
Yes, I fell in love with the IPHONE.. want to get one!

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Greys Anatomy or Men in Trees

in 2009...hmmm Glen Beck or Eureka!

23. I skipped this asked if you hate anyone now that you didn't hate last year. Bad question! Can't think of a good replacement...any ideas?

in 2009.. still not answering the original question!

24. What was the best book you read?
Tales of Despereaux

in 2009...the Mothers book by Mrs. child (1831) and the kids and I loved Old Yeller and Pilgrims Progress! I also started reading Debbie Macomber and I really like her.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Um an IPOD??

in 2009...Michael Buble????

26. What did you want and get?
a camera and wireless printer (got it, till I lost the camera!)

in 2009... a house near Garden Oaks and Dave's work! got it!!!!

27. What did you want and not get?
a few less pounds

in 2009.. yes a few less pounds and an emergency fund Dave Ramsey style! oh and a new, new camera!

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I cant really think of my favorite but I guess I will pick Prince Caspian!

in 2009... easy STAR TREK! I love this movie!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Um my birthday was spent in a hotel room with NO electricity so not so much fun! I turned 31

in 2009.. well I turned 32 and I did have electricity so that is better! I had dinner with friends, it was great!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
losing some weight and have a significant amount in savings, after having paid off most of our debt!

in 2009...I will re say all the stuff from my 2008 answer...

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
jeans and polo

in 2009.. well if you know me at all jeans and a polo! I have branched out this winter, I bought a beautiful ice blue sweater! Hey thats big! I am a black and brown kindof gal!

32. What kept you sane?
diet coke and blogging

in 2009... um lets say GOD who I believe invented Diet coke! and maybe just plain being to busy to go insane???? I do best when busy!

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Easy, Sarah Palin

in 2009...I was glad to see more of Sarah Palin and I was glad to see Whitney Houston back on tour and looking beautiful! I guess though as far as public figures pretty much the entire cast (can you use the word cast?) of the Fox News Network!

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The election.

in 2009.. too many to mention without using up all of cyber space but seriously we are in trouble here people! Please step and and get active... we have a job to do taking back seats this year!

35. Who did you miss?
I guess no one- does the cast of Men in Trees count?

in 2009... I will say around the time of Brians Wedding I missed my Great Grandmother (Nennie) a lot. I just thought she would have loved to see it!

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Jennifer Coplings

in 2009....I just dont know that I have many new people... that sounds horrible! I must work on that this year!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
I do have enough.

in 2009...that sometimes giving grace for wrongs is better than giving punishment.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Leave all your cares behind you
The sun is rising
Turn around -it's right in front of you
and it's a beautiful life
and it's a beautiful time
to be here, to be here, to be here

From Beautiful World (Fisher)
It's the theme song on TLC for all their shows.

in 2009... this is the whole song, "Alright" by Darius Rucker

Alright, Alright
Yeah it's alright, alright

Don't need no five star reservations
I've got spaghetti and a cheap bottle of wine
Don't need no concert in the city
I've got a stereo and the best of Patsy Cline
Ain't got no caviar no Dom Perignon
But as far as I can see, I've got everything I want

Cause I've got a roof over my head,
the woman I love laying in my bed
And it's alright, alright
I've got shoes under my feet
Forever in her eyes staring back at me
And it's alright, alright
And I've got all I need
And it's alright by me

Maybe later on we'll walk down to the river
Lay on a blanket and stare up at the moon
It may not be no French Riviera
But it's all the same to me as long as im with you

It may be a simple life, but that's okay
If you ask me baby, I think I've got it made

Cause I've got a roof over my head,
the woman I love laying in my bed
And it's alright, alright
I've got shoes under my feet
Forever in her eyes staring back at me
And it's alright, alright
And I've got all I need
And it's alright by me

It's alright by me, yeah yeah
When I lay down at night I thank the Lord above
For giving me everything I ever could dream of

Cause I've got a roof over my head,
the woman I love laying in my bed
And it's alright, alright, alright, alright
I've got shoes under my feet
Forever in her eyes staring back at me
And it's alright, alright, alright
And I've got all I need, yeah
I've got all I need
And it's alright by me
Oh yeah, it's alright by me

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Eve 2009

We had a great day on New Years Eve, it was spent with out awesome friends the Eck family- minus Anthony who spent the day with friends. We ate at Casa Ole, we had a wonderful dinner at home and then snacked our night away! I btw, only had healthy snacks!
I made a cake to celebrate the coming new year and we decorated our tree with New Year decorations just for the evening! We rang in the New year at Midnight- minus Emily who took herself off to bed at about 11:30, she knew she was tired!

We went outside and blew horns, wished each other Happy New Year and Dave and I got to kiss for the first time in 2010....