Monday, April 27, 2009
Monday - Broccoli cheese casserole
Tuesday - Homestyle Pork Chops, macaroni and cheese
Wednesday - Seafood Lasagna
Thursday - Chicken tenderloins on the grill, baked potatoes, baked beans
Friday - Homemade pizza
Saturday - Applebee's after church
Sunday - Roast chicken with rosemary & make chicken broth
Monday - Homemade chicken noodle soup (using the chicken broth).
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
- Take time before the conference to choose what speakers you plan to see for each session time, and what vendors you really want to see in the vendor hall. Take time to really plan your goals for the conference. For example, some of my goals were to find an art curriculum that I could use with all three of my children, to purchase a software homeschool planner, and to look at junior high science curriculum.
- Bring food! By the time I got back to my room the first night, I was SO hungry and I ended up paying a small fortune for room service. I did bring a cooler of drinks - a sandwich and fruit would have been a welcome addition to the water bottles and Diet Cokes!
- Do not arrive at the conference hotel at the time the conference registration opens! I made this mistake and walked into the hotel and saw a line to check-in of at LEAST 150 people!
- Investigate different parking options before arriving. I had planned on using the valet parking at the hotel but was not able to even enter the valet parking area because it was so crowded. I ended up parking next to the hotel which was less expensive but I was stressed because I didn't have a back-up plan.
- Bring enough cash! Both the parking lot and the food stands at the convention accepted only cash.
- Realize that it is unlikely that you will agree 100% with most of the speakers that you hear. Take away what will work for you and your family.
- Ask questions at the vendor booths. They are more than happy to help you in any way they can.
- Dress in layers. Some rooms were freezing, some were comfortable, some areas were warm.
- Bring a notebook, pens, highlighters, and a large totebag for carrying purchases. Lots of ladies had rolling carts.
Those tips for a successful homeschool convention Work for Me! To see what works for other bloggers, visit Works for Me Wednesday at We are That Family, http://www.wearethatfamily.com/2009/04/wfmw-gift-stockpile.html
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sunday - Turkey burgers with cheese on the grill, baked potatoes, cut-up veggies
Monday - Spaghetti with homemade meat sauce, garlic breadsticks, broccoli
Tuesday - Breakfast for dinner: waffles, turkey bacon, omelettes for the children, ham and cheese quiche for the adults
Wednesday - Crock-pot swiss steak, mashed potatoes, green beans
Thursday - Homestyle chicken and noodles, green beans
Friday - Taco pinwheel, bean burritos, salads
Saturday - Sheet pizza from our hometown pizza shop
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Unexpectedly, I was surprised to find just how much I missed my family when I was away, though. I knew I would miss them but I truly believed that I would enjoy my "alone time." While I enjoyed my time at the conference thoroughly, I didn't really enjoy my alone time. This surprised me. For a mom who is NEVER alone and craves alone time, I thought a huge chunk of alone time would be delightful, decadent, luxurious, perfect.
I was actually shocked by the intense physical need that was growing inside of me by the end of the conference. If any of my family had been with me, I think I would have fared much better. I desperately wanted to snuggle against my warm husband at night so that I could fall asleep easily. I desperately wanted to feel the bony, short thinness and the sweet, soft cheeks of my youngest son. I desperately wanted to feel the solid, same-height sturdiness of my middle son and the taller than me muscular, slender body of my oldest daughter. I missed the constant presence of Hershey, our cocker spaniel, and Basil, our cat. I felt like part of my body was just missing - I felt restless and uneasy - by the end, even though I loved the conference, I just wanted to go home.
I arrived at the conference on Thursday around 4pm and by Saturday morning - I was truly and completely ready to just come home. So, instead of attending the last few speakers that I had intended to see, I left Saturday morning. I gathered my things, strapped them to my body, walked to my car, pressed "Go Home" on the GPS system, and I came home. I felt relief just flood through my body once I pressed "Go Home" and I knew that I was on my way. In a few short hours, I knew I would be seeing the familiar sights of home, smelling the familiar smells of home, hearing the familiar sounds of home, and feeling the people that I love more than anything in the world again.
It is good to be alone sometimes but it is far better to be with one's family. This is where I belong. This is where I am supposed to be - busy at home.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I did purchase extra pieces so that my children would not have to share the pieces of the kit too much. I highly recommend at least purchasing an acrylic box, light stick, rainbow glasses, magnifier, and polarizing filters for each child. I would also recommend buying a bag of ultraviolet light sensitive beads as the kit only comes with a few. The effect is much more dramatic if the children have enough beads to make a larger bracelet.
I had never seen ultraviolet light sensitive beads before and I was quite skeptical that they would work. Of course, the day I had planned for the activity was DREARY, GREY, and CLOUDY with no sign of the sun! I thought for sure the activity wouldn't work. My goal was to finish our Light unit before I leave for the homeschool convention on Thursday so I wanted to stick with my lesson plans.
Therefore, I bravely had the children make their bracelets. The children put their bracelets close to indoor lamps and windows and nothing happened. Then we prepared to go outside in the chill, grey air. The boys ran out before A and I and they immediately starting yelling with delight. I was amazed to discover that their beads were all different colors. It was magical!
So, I ran to get my camera to document the cool activity. Here is a picture of the bracelet of ultraviolet light sensitive beads taken inside:
Here is a picture of the beads outside!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
8-10 medium potatoes
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 of a bag of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 pint half and half
Boil potatoes for 30 minutes (full boil) in jackets. Cool overnight in the fridge. Peel and grate. Melt butter, add salt, and half & half. Put all three together and heat till mixed. Layer 1/2 potatoes in bottom of 9 by 13 dish. Layer 1/2 cheese, REPEAT. Pour heated cream mixture over the top. Bake, covered for one hour at 350 degrees.
Cheesy Potatoes Work For Me at holiday gatherings. To get other great tips and see what works for other bloggers visit Work For Me Wednesday: http://www.wearethatfamily.com/2009/04/wfmw-fresh-flowers.html
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
We actually made the cookie dough from scratch! It was funny, my daughter asked where the cookie dough was in the fridge. She was amazed when I told her we were really making it - we weren't using a pre-made tube from the store! She measured out all of the ingredients herself which she enjoyed. We did have a bit of trouble transferring the bunny cookies to the cookie sheet at first but then we discovered that we were just rolling the dough too thinly. Once the cookies were baked, they smelled delicious and looked so cute!
I have a lovely fishing tackle box full of my cake decorating supplies so we got that down out of the pantry and fished out the bags, couplers, and tips. We mixed four Eastery colors using paste food coloring.
Then, using the pictures on the front of the packaging that come with the cookie cutter as a guide, we decorated the cookies using a round tip to outline and make the eyes and nose and a star tip to fill in and make the tail. A had the sweet idea of adding a bit of edible sparkle to the tail to make the bunny tails sparkly.
I was amazed at how well the cookies turned out. They were cuter than I even expected. I could tell no difference between the cookies that I decorated and the ones that my daughter completed! She is quite skillful with the pastry bag!
The cookies really couldn't have been cuter!
My boys were playing in the living room during our cookie decorating. They were eager to try decorating their own cookie! We waited until we were down to 4 cookies and then called the boys in to decorate their own cookies that they could eat right away! The boys were cute piling on the icing and they were surprised by how difficult the pastry bag was to control. The boys were happiest eating their creations! Amber also decorated one for her and one for me just to eat right then.A and I were so proud of our bunny cookies and were so excited to show them to all of our guests on Easter!
Monday, April 13, 2009
Monday - Left over Easter dinner yummers! We have left over ham, turkey breast, cheesy potatoes, baked corn, broccoli salad, deviled eggs, buffalo dip, bunny cookies, and ice cream cake!
Tuesday - Breakfast for dinner. We didn't have this meal last week - we went out to Moe's instead one night - so I plan to make the Hash Brown Casserole I wanted to try last week along with scrambled eggs and waffles.
Wednesday - Dinner on the grill - grilled chicken breasts, baked potatoes, salad.
Thursday - Broccoli Cheese Casserole - I plan to make this family favorite before I leave so that they will have dinner prepared for Thursday evening.
Friday and Saturday - ??? - My dh is in charge of dinner while I am away at the Homeschool Convention.
Sunday - Spaghetti with Homemade Spaghetti Sauce, Broccoli, and Garlic Bread.
M made the most adorable replacement trains for our Mexican Train game. I will have to post pictures of them next week!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I completely finished one upper cabinet. I sorted through everything in the cabinet and added some items to my boxes (Give Away, Move, Don't Know). I was mystified to discover that I had two blenders in my cabinet - I'm not quite sure how that happened. In a very bold move, I took out the middle shelf so that the items in the cabinet fit better. I also put all of the pieces parts of my food processor in a basket, along with the instruction booklet, so that I can pull it all out together and take the whole thing over to my island to use. Here is a picture of my organized cabinet:I also moved our "recharging center." Last summer, I gathered up all of our chargers for all of the items that we have that need to be recharged on a regular basis (cell phones, Wii remotes, Nintendo DSs, and iPods) and made a recharging center at the far end of one of our kitchen counters. I have adored the convenience of not searching desperately for a particular charger when something needed charged but I didn't like the messy mass of wires on my kitchen counter. So, I moved the whole recharging center to a cabinet shelf that has a door!
Now you see the recharging center...
Now you don't!
Spurred on by my success, I decided to work on my task longer and I started to tackle one of my messiest drawers. This is the mess that I unearthed after I took out my completely unorganized mass of loose recipes.
And here is the completely unorganized mass of loose recipes on my living room floor waiting to be organized.
It took me over an hour but I did sort through all of those recipes. Using the suggestion from "Kitchen Organization Tips and Secrets" by Deniece Schofield, I organized the recipes that I haven't tried but want to try into categories and put them into hanging file folders. The recipes that I use regularly were placed into my brand new Meal Planning/Recipes Notebook. I put all of the little recipe booklets that I wanted to save in one big clear envelope. Now, when I find a recipe I want to try, I can quickly put it in the correct file folder so it will be handy when I do decide to actually make the recipe.
Hopefully, I will be posting again soon that I have made additional progress in my kitchen organization project.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I will be attending the Midwest Home School Convention later this month in Cincinnati, Ohio. To help me prepare for the conference, I printed out the map of the vendor's hall and the list of vendor's who will be at the conference. Both are available at the conference website. Then, I spent some time really figuring out exactly which vendors I need to visit and which I would like to visit. For example, I know I will be purchasing Rosetta Stone Spanish for my daughter for next year. Visiting Rosetta Stone's booth to see if they are offering any conference deals is high on my list of priorities.
Then, I highlighted the vendors that I will be visiting on my map and wrote the name of the vendor in little letters by the vendor's location. Now, armed with my map, I can make much better use of the limited time I will have in the vendor's hall in between all of the wonderful speakers that I want to hear!
Having a plan for the vendor's hall at the homeschool convention Works for Me! To see what works for others, visit We Are That Family at the following link:http://www.wearethatfamily.com/2009/03/wfmw-vulcan-grip.html
Monday, April 6, 2009
With no further ado, the Peanut Man of the Week is......I Love Ham Peanut Man.
Yes, as you can see from this picture, I Love Ham Peanut Man REALLY likes ham as he is covered with ham and his gigantic sandwich is filled to the brim with ham slices.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
- Monday - Down-Home Chicken and Noodles from my favorite Gooseberry Patch cookbook - Super-Fast Slow Cooking - here is a link to read more about the cookbook:http://www2.gooseberrypatch.com/gooseberry/products.nsf/v.weball/m824?editdocument&lid=is_m824&cartprocess=ckbkindexpimgsr and Green Beans
- Tuesday - Spaghetti with Homemade Meat Sauce, Salad, Garlic Bread
- Wednesday - Mexican - bean dip for burritos, Anne's Chicken Burritos (found in Super-Fast Slow Cooking from Gooseberry Patch), tortilla chips, salad
- Thursday - Broccoli Cheese Casserole. This recipe is from Taste of Home and can be found at: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/Best-Broccoli-Casserole This is one of my daughter's FAVORITE recipes.
- Friday - Breakfast for dinner - waffles with the waffle iron, turkey bacon, scrambled eggs, hash brown casserole (this will be a new recipe for me - here is the link - http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Hash-Brown-Casserole-I/Detail.aspx). I hope it turns out well!
- Saturday - Cook-out - turkey burgers, hot dogs, Smiley fries, Black Bean Salad
- Sunday - Easter Dinner with Extended Family - turkey from HoneyBaked Ham Store, cheesy potatoes, baked corn, Spring Funfetti cake......my sister-in-law and mother-in-law are bringing food as well so the above dishes are the dishes that I am making.
January Snowmen with Fleece Hats...
September Apple Man Blocks...
And cute little Bees for May...
Saturday, April 4, 2009
The Fun Parts Of Home Schooling
I get questions like, "What do you do for home schooling?" or "I would hate being home all day!" "That would be so boring, I would miss going to school" but still I get the "Wow you are so lucky, school stinks!" I would like to use this post to point out all we do on a normal day, and then the fun stuff we did this week..............