Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Some pictures from today. It was so nice to have everyone home again!

The girls entertaining Sophia
I LOVE this picture!!!
Are we having fun or what!


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Today, I attempted a feat that shouldn't be attempted by man or mouse. I tried to complete three days worth of work, in ONE day! Do not attempt this. It's not worth it.LOL

Let's see, what all did I do today?

Did the laundry.
Cleaned the kitchen from last night's dinner.
Made a meal list for a month.
Made a grocery list for this week.
Cleaned the great room.
Cleaned the kid's bathroom.
Bathed all the littles with Allison's help.
Went grocery shopping.
Cleaned the little's room with their help.
Did the bills.

Whew, I'm tired.(lol)

In other news, the kids had a great time up north! They would like to visit again sometime. My parents did a great job showing them the area. They got to go to York Town and Williamsburg. Evie was on her best behavior! My parents were quite happy with her and I'm so proud! She's really growing up. Everyone got home safe and sound yesterday and we're getting used to each other

We had a Sponge Bob moment after I got back from grocery shopping today.LOL Isaac forgot he already ate his Kosher chocolate coins and then thought Evie was eating them.LOL If those of you who watch Spongebob, I'm referring to the Free Balloon Day episode.LOL

I guess that's it for today. I'm beat.LOL


My girls are back together again...



My Menu for this week...

Allison and I have worked off and on this morning making a whole monthly list for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! We are going to work on one each week until we have 4 month's worth of lists that we can rotate.


Granola bars
Biscuits and gravy
Frozen pancakes


Egg salad sandwiches
Mozzarella and Pepperoni sandwich loaf
fish sticks and chicken nuggets
mac and cheese
ham sandwiches
Larry's Subs

Dinner will have themes for each day of the week... (borrowed from Yvonne)

Monday-(New Recipe Night) Lentil Rice Casserole (from De'Etta's blog)
Tuesday-(Chicken Night) Chicken soup w/dumplings
Wednesday-(Ground beef night) Meatloaf w/mashed potatoes, peas
Thursday-(Grill night or Big Beef night) BBQ Ribs, grilled veggies, baked potatoes
Friday-(Crockpot or Soup night) Stew and biscuits
Saturday-(Pizza night) Pepperoni and cheese pizza, salad
Sunday-(Casserole, bean, or pasta night) Heavenly Chicken, salad

Each meal will have salad, fruit, or smoothies offered.



Monday, May 28, 2007

Sophia enjoying the view from her new Bumbo seat...

Isaac loving on his little sister...
Sophia's saying, "Tell me he's not petting me..."

Isaac has never really paid much mind to his little sister. This little break from the bigger kids has made him notice and appreciate Sophia. Who knew this blessing would come out of letting the big kids go off with Grandma! It's been a real joy to see their relationship blossom and for Eric and I to be able to give these little ones some special time with us.


Here's Sophia in her new Bumbo seat...

She says, I like it!
Sophia telling her Daddy all about it.LOL

Don't mind the messy house, I'm off duty until the big kids return home sometime tonight.LOL Really, these little ones have kept me busy!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Once again, it's the box that gets the most play...

We've been doing o.k. so far without the big kids. I'm hanging in there.LOL My Mom came over and picked up the kids early this morning and took everyone shopping. Afterwards, she dropped Isaac off, loaded the van and left. Time has been moving oh so slowly ever So far, Isaac and I have played outside, played with the new stuff from CBD, and then he found the That's held his interest more than anything. Sophia on the other hand has been firmly attached to Mommy. I guess she's afraid I'm the next person to

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hurray! Can you hear the rescue music in the background?lol UPS visited us and dropped off these wonderful products for my wound up kids to enjoy! What perfect timing. Almost like I planned it that More like, God's perfect timing. My kids are very happy with the new Lauri products that I found at CBD. We have some more goodies coming in the next few days that they will enjoy for school next week.

The Lauri Carousel being expertly put together by Jon
Isaac with the shape sorter
Allison with the Airport
Evie already done with her new puzzle

I really like these puzzles! They are challenging but not frustrating.
I'm starting the VP Phonics on Tuesday and I'm really looking forward to it. Evie doesn't like fluff and this looks grown up and very art-based. I got the workbook today in the mail and it looks great!
More pictures...LOL

A blurry Jon...I really need to get some good photos of him...
Evie can barely contain her excitement...

Never, I repeat, never tell the kids about an upcoming vacation! (unless it's 5 minutes before you Evie is just about to come unglued with the anticipation of the trip to my sister's on Friday.LOL She's so excited! If I can just get through today, I think we'll be o.k. Poor Isaac is going to be so disappointed when everyone leaves without him. He loves to go with Grandma but he also expects to come home in the evening so I know this is for the best. Luckily, Daddy will be home a few short hours after they leave and then he'll be fine. This is the first trip without us that the older kids have ever taken.
I'm praying for a safe trip, really good behavior for all going, and for them to have a great time.
Pictures from yesterday and today...

Sophia likes this toy now!

Evie being good for the moment

Catching Allison as she walks by...



Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sophia with her new toy. She looks quite amused, doesn't she?LOL Oh, well. Maybe she'll like it when she's a little older.

Kate's Peanut Chicken...

Peanut Chicken
Cook, cool, and cut into bite size pieces several boneless chicken breasts. You can use leftover chicken if it isn't strongly seasoned. I usually toss severalof the Tyson breasts in a 9x13 covered tightly with foil and cook them untildone at 350 or so earlier in the day. You can add salt and pepper.
Put rice on to cook. I use jasmine rice and toss in a couple of spoonfuls ofvirgin coconut oil for flavor, but any rice will do.
Mix together in a saucepan:
1 can of coconut milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce or Bragg's liquid aminos
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 - 1 t ginger
1/8 t red pepper if desired(couple cloves garlic if desired if you aren't Lisa LOL)
Heat until mixed and bubbly and then add chicken.
While sauce heats, chop some green onions and cucumber. These are best ice cold.
To serve, scoop rice onto each plate and top with chicken and sauce. Top liberally with onions, cucumbers, and lots of salted cocktail peanuts.
If we serve this for the family, I put each component on the table individuallyand don't add the chicken to the sauce. Some children like it the way Idescribed while others prefer their own combo or prefer to have the plainchicken, the rice with some butter and salt, and the cucumbers and peanuts intheir own piles. Can't have our food touching LOL.
This is very versatile. You can double it or triple it. You can go light orheavy on the meat. You can freeze the sauce with or without the chicken. Iusually make a big double batch, serve it just for Jeff and I for date night andfreeze two more dinner's worth. That gives me two date nights where all I haveto do is cook rice and chop cukes and green onions. :-)
I really liked this! It was different than what I normally serve but everyone enjoyed having something new. I can't wait to serve this to my dh tonight!
Photos from Sunday and today...

Sophia 12 weeks old!

Allison ready to be confirmed

Allison getting tired of Jon taking 3 million pictures of

Jon took all confirmation pictures for us. He did a great job and was very enthusiastic.LOL I can't post most because of Allison's full name and the full name of all the confirmands are on each banner. These were good ones though.




My Menu for this week...


banana-nut pancakes, bacon
ham and egg biscuits, fruit
bagels and cream cheese, smoothies
muffins, fruit (leftover from Sunday; blueberry, banana-nut, and oatmeal-brown sugar)
peanut butter pancakes w/heated jam on top, bacon


Turkey and cheddar sandwich loaf, veggies and dip
tuna salad sandwiches, chips and fruit
fish sticks, fries, and veggies
ham or turkey sandwiches, Sunchips, salad


Grilled salmon, rice, salad
BBQ chicken, baked potatoes, grilled asparagus
Steak fajitas, black beans and rice, toppings
Hamburgers, potato wedges, salad
Kate's Peanut Chicken (from SHS), coconut rice, steamed broccoli

I'm feeling more rested today and I'm happy to be getting back to schedule. Today is ironing and baking. I'll have Jon bake some more granola and bars and Allison can do the ironing while I go shopping. I'll take Evie and Isaac and go when Sophia is sleeping. Hopefully, we'll all get done at the same time and the kids will get to go swimming. Jon's been digging the garden and I got my seeds from Territorial Seed Company last night. I'm looking forward to some homegrown veggies!

My parents will be taking the three oldest kids to my sister's house this weekend. It's my nephew's birthday and they will have lots of fun. I wish I could go but I'm just not ready for a 12 hour drive with Sophia. Maybe in a few more months. I'll be spending some time getting the kids ready to go by Friday and my parents will be taking our van so that'll need to be cleaned out.

Have a great day!


Monday, May 21, 2007

Here's my messy home after the weekend with these two little ones actually working together to put this Lauri Puzzle together...

It goes here, Isaac.
This is how it's done...
See how it all fits?

This weekend was hectic. O.k. just Sunday, Saturday was nice.LOL

Saturday, my parents took everyone, except Sophia, off to play. Isaac and Genevieve went with Mom, and Allison and Jon went with Dad. They all had a great time. Eric and I couldn't believe how nice it was to have a day off! Sophia wasn't used to the quiet and basically slept the whole day.LOL Now I know how good of a baby she'd be if she were an only child.LOL We pretty much waited all day for her to wake so we could run some errands. I was able to get some wash done and all the muffins made for Allison's confirmation day while we waited.LOL Finally, she woke and my Mom showed up 2 minutes later.LOL

Sunday started at 5:00am. Need I say more?LOL I thought that since I was up so early that I'd be able to get everyone out the door on time, maybe even early, for church. It was important for us to get there early since we had a banner for the confirmation ceremony.LOL Well, things didn't go as planned and we ended up getting there right as the service was starting. I had Eric leave me and the littles in the car while he rushed the banner inside. Since Sophia was up so early, she was not a happy camper during the service. I ended up out in the hallway most of the time. I did go in just as Allison was being confirmed but then Sophia filled her diaper and I had to make a hasty exit.LOL The brunch afterwards was nice, to tell the truth, I was exhausted by then and really wanted to go It ended when Isaac tried to choke on creamcheese (what is with that boy and creamcheese?!?) and then tried to throw it back up in the buffet line.lolol That's when I said, for my sanity we needed to go home.LOL I'll post some pictures tomorrow.(only good

I'm late posting my menu for this week. Be assured, we are I'm just tired. I ordered some more things for the littles, broke up some fights, finished the laundry, cleaned the littles bathroom, and straightened the house.

I received in the mail the Veritas Press Phonics Museum. It looks great! Evie wanted to start it immediately but I need some time to figure it all We worked on our regular curriculum instead. She's really coming along in her work! I've found that I need to take a varied approach with her to make any progress. I've now got 3 reading programs that we work through daily, picking one each day and she's doing quite well. Variety IS the spice of life, you know...LOL

Well, I guess that's all for now. I'll post my menu tomorrow and hopefully will go shopping also.LOL I bought all my meat for this month already, have milk and eggs and have frozen; veggies, bread, muffins, and breakfast, so really all I need to get tomorrow is the fresh stuff. I really like getting my stuff in bulk and will try to continue that from now on. Today we had spaghetti, salad, and buttered bread. Good



Friday, May 18, 2007

I'm going to answer some of the menu questions here. LOL


My kids all love the homemade breakfasts. My older kids grew up on cereal and do not see it as a treat. Evie does horrible on cereal, she can't focus and bounces off the walls all day if she starts her day with it and Isaac doesn't like it.

Morning here starts at 6:00am. Eric wakes the older kids and Sophia wakes me.LOL The older kids grab something from the freezer and sometimes a smoothie, Eric eats peanutbutter toast and a smoothie and then Eric goes to work and the kids go upstairs to "school". Sophia usually stays up until 7 and I entertain her and sometimes grab a piece of toast to tide me over. After she goes to sleep, I go into SUPER-OVERDRIVE!!!LOL Evie always gets up by 7 and either helps me with breakfast or watches cartoons. If Sophia is sleeping hard, then I fix a big breakfast. Yesterday was peanutbutter-chocolate chip pancakes, smoothies, and bacon. I fix double what the kids can eat, freeze half and feed the other half to the kids. I also cook all bacon and freeze the leftovers. Today was a quick day, since Sophia only slept an hour, so I fixed a couple of eggs, leftover bacon, and some cut up strawberries. I keep the extra eggs on the warmer on my stovetop and keep refilling their plates until they can't eat anymore.LOL I've found that if I keep filling the littles plates until they are full, they won't need a snack before lunch time. I usually take some fresh breakfast up to the working kids on days when I have time but they don't get snacks unless I do that. Yesterday, they got pancakes, today, nothing.LOL

Produce is HUGE around here. I don't know how to reduce that cost, although, we planted blueberry bushes in our backyard and we have two orange trees that produced maybe 4 oranges this past January.LOL I am starting a garden with Jon and will hopefully be able to reduce our bill by freezing the extras. Also, I'm planting strawberries and watermelon because we eat a lot of those over the summer and they're expensive.

The older kids finish all their work by 11:00am and then we start lunch. The older kids do most of the lunch duty since I do breakfast. Jon just made omelets and I'm going to have leftovers. The littles will have sandwiches since they had eggs for breakfast.

I've found that with a hot breakfast, the kids are not hungry like with cereal. Sometimes, they aren't even ready for lunch when it's lunchtime.

The kids get a snack around 2:30-3 and it's usually peanutbutter crackers or creamcheese crackers and carrots or fruit.

Jon is doing culinary arts for school this year and fixes dinner 2-3 times a week and helps with bread baking on Tuesdays. Allison is doing home ec this year and helps plan menus and grocery lists each week along with her other duties. She's not a big fan of cooking but does help with lunches and baking.

For those last minute kind of days, I like to have on hand or in the freezer; muffins, pancakes, waffles, bacon, sausage, granola bars, yogurt, and granola. I fix these mostly in the morning but some of these are made during our Tuesday baking times.

This is how I plan my week:

Monday-laundry day (I do all my regular chores as do the kids but our focus is getting the laundry caught up and the house in order from the weekend.)

Tuesday-baking day and/or ironing (Muffins, bread, granola, buns, rolls, sandwich loaf, anything needing baking done today, along with our regular chores. Allison loves to iron and usually does this while Sophia is taking her afternoon nap.)

Wednesday-declutter (We all pick a room and work through it, taking out things we no longer need. Books, outgrown clothes/shoes, papers, mail, office work, etc...)

Thursday-deep clean (We all pick a room and deep clean it. Bathrooms get the bleach treatment, kitchen gets scrubbed, bedrooms get sheets changed, toy room gets organized, dust is removed, etc...)

Friday-laundry and grocery day (Laundry gets caught up for the weekend and the grocery list is made. The house gets a once over and then we either go shopping or play.LOL)

Saturday and Sunday are for us to enjoy.LOL

Now, we worked up to this slowly over time. Until I had a bunch of stuff in the freezer, we still had cereal on those days that I couldn't cook. Now managing the freezer stuff is easy! I may only need to stock up on one thing each week and sometimes I can skip a week. When the kids weren't working so early, they did help with breakfast. Jon is great at eggs and Allison is great at pancakes but I'd rather have school over with than help with breakfast.LOL


About dh's who don't like hot breakfasts, don't feed them it.LOL Just cook something for the kids, get them used to something better than cereal. I don't know of any kid who would turn down chocolate chip pancakes. You can always add in the healther stuff slowly over time. You may want more cooler stuff for the summer, like smoothies, granola bars, and fresh fruit. Even if they eat that cereal, it doesn't mean they can't have something healthier with it.



Wednesday, May 16, 2007

An Update, a Funny, and two Praises...

Isaac's surgery went great! They gave him anti-nausea meds and motrin/tylenol combo and is quite comfy. He woke up this morning like any other day and didn't even need any other meds. What a blessing! Thank you all for praying!

Now for the funny part. While I was getting Sophia down for her morning nap, Isaac snuck into the kitchen, past the open gate and ate a whole container of cream cheese. I KNEW he was too quiet. He also moved the bread around the kitchen and used the icecream scoop to eat the cheese.LOL

The Blessings:

Sophia slept through the night again last night! I still can't believe that she can do that. NONE of my other bfed children slept more than 3-4 hours until after their first birthdays.LOL I feel guilty getting that much sleep.

Eric bought me a new cover for the patio! This means that Isaac will be able to go outside and play. This is soooo wonderful. He is such an out-doorsy kind of guy.

Nothing else going on right now. The kids are doing quite well in their school work, the new schedule is great, and I've been working with both littles during Sophia's naptime. I've even been able to get the chores done!LOL

I joined and am having fun getting rid of the books we don't want and getting some books we do need and even some just to enjoy.LOL It's also been good for Jon, he's been taking the books to the post office everyday. He said that the lady at the post office told him she'd see him tomorrow when he left yesterday.LOL



Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Praise and A Prayer...

What a blessing! Sophia slept through the night last night! She's only 11 weeks old and she slept 8 hours. I didn't even know that was possible.LOL

Evie and Sophia 5-14-07

The prayer is; Isaac is having his surgery right now and last time he had a hard time with his tummy and with pain. Please pray that he is well managed today at the hospital and that he doesn't have any problems. Thank you all for your prayers!



Monday, May 14, 2007


My Menu for this week...


Eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns
Smoothies and granola bars
Brown sugar-oatmeal muffins, fruit
Bagels and Creamcheese, fruit
Pancakes and sausage
Biscuits, fruit, yogurt
Chocolate chip-peanut butter pancakes, fruit

* I have eliminated all cereal from our menu!!! I have been buying Cheerios as a back-up but am finally free from the expensive and non-FG approved cereal. I've been freezing a lot of extras and get those out when I can't fix something from scratch.


chicken salad
mac and cheese-baked
sandwich loaf


Chicken quesadillas, veggie tray
London broil, steamed veggies, rolls
Pork roast, potatoes, carrots, salad
Grilled Chicken, rice, salad
Steak, baked potatoes, salad
BBQ Chicken, noodles, asparagus

It was a very busy weekend! First, we had a BBQ with my old friends, Teresa and Allison, from middle school. It was a lot of fun catching up with them and the kids really seemed to get along well. We found each other all because my dh won an award at work.LOL The company he works for took his picture and then showed it on all the monitors at his work place and Teresa saw him.LOL She emailed him and he gave my email to her. As we were talking she said that she might have Allison's email and sure enough, she did! It was so nice to see them again! What memories! Allison remembered my love for hats and I remembered how we met. Teresa remembered how I always tried to stick my legs behind my head and I remembered that Allison could actually DO it.LOL My oldest is named after Allison and it was fun to see them meet each other. Everytime I'd call my dd, both would answer.LOL It was a pretty fun day!

I already talked about Sunday so I'll just move on to today...

Today has been a cleaning day. I actually enjoy cleaning.LOL I never used to but I've grown to love it this past year. I've got the wash done, the house straightened, worked on my bedroom, cleaned the kids bathroom, dishes, and my ds vacuumed while Allison cleaned the great room. Genevieve cleaned her side of the bedroom and even cleaned the toy room! They were all working on a prize.....swimming time! They did such good jobs that they got the swim for 2 hours today. I know they had a good time.



Sunday, May 13, 2007

My children are such a blessing to me! It is my honor to grow, teach, listen, help, give, nuture, admonish, protect, love, and care for these blessings that God has given to me. For me, everyday is Mother's Day! I pray for each of us today as we spend time and enjoy the blessings that God has given us.

Sophia Marie

Me and Sophia

It was such a blessing for us to have Sophia Marie baptised at church today. Allison and Jonathan accepted the responsibility of being her Godparents and we are so proud of them. May they all grow in faith and serve the Lord!

Happy Mother's Day!



Friday, May 11, 2007

Here are the Lauri Puzzles that I got and Evie putting one together. You can make them easier by putting cardboard drawings under the puzzle and leaving the outline on the tray. If they are older or more experienced, you can remove the drawing. I wish I had bought some that were easier. Isaac gets quite frustrated but it is just right for Evie.

I love how colorful they are! I highly recommend these for the 4-6 year old set.



If you click on the link in my sidebar, you can enter to win an Apple Ipod Nano for Mother's day! How cool is that?

You can also enter to win a beautiful Mei Tai.



Thursday, May 10, 2007

We got a shipment from Timberdoodle yesterday and there are some happy kids in the house.LOL I opened the Lauri puzzles first and Genevieve sat and put them together for over an hour. This is a miracle.LOL Isaac was frustrated by the puzzles but then I opened up his new favorite game, Rush Hour. He LOVES the cars and the little grid to put them on. All of the older kids loved that game and play it whenever Isaac will let them.LOL

Today, I opened up a new game for Evie, Mighty Minds. Here she is playing with it...

She made it all the way up to card #13 today.

Isaac stuck with Rush Hour.

Tomorrow I'll open up the Never Bored Books and another little game I bought. I love to see them engaged and learning.LOL



Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Myths of Florida...

Dorothy from England asked us to dispel the myths of our various locations on the SHS board. Well, here is one...

It's always sunny in Florida
Because of the enormous amounts of rainfall here, I find it quite amusing that the state motto is "The Sunshine State." In fact, we have a Tropical Storm off our coast as I write this.LOL

Now for a truly horrific sight. Look away if you don't have a strong stomach.LOL

Everyone in Florida has a golden brown tan

If I were any whiter, I'd fade into the wall color. Yes, I do spend time outside. No, it doesn't help. Especially when it's raining.lolol


Evie showing you what the grass skirt is really for

Day three of our school and things are going well. The kids are getting their work done and I'm hanging in there with all three littles in the morning. It's a little touch and go during the breakfast hour but then things settle down.

We are gearing up for swimsuit season and my mom picked out this cute little outfit for Evie to wear. I think it's very nice on her when she wears it

Yesterday, my mom took Jon and Evie out to lunch and then shopping. Jon is now wearing a mens 32W/30L in pants. I can't believe how big he is! Eric was a 34W/32L when I met him all those years ago.LOL My mom is going to take Allison and Jon for bathing suits sometime this week, hopefully tomorrow.

In a strange twist of events, I am hosting a BBQ for my best friends from MIDDLE SCHOOL this weekend. I am so excited to see them again! It should be a lot of fun to catch up. All combined, we have 11 kids! Pretty neat!

The smoke is bad again. We had a few good days, where I was thinking things would be better and then this morning it was foggy again. I can only pray for it to let up soon.

The patio cover is broken. I was hoping it was just a little bent but sure enough, the metal was snapped. I'm not going to sad about it. We will just need to save up for another. bummer.

I baked bread yesterday morning, it was good! I tried a new recipe and it was perfect for hamburger buns. We had hamburgers last night for dinner and it worked out. Sophia has been up most of the day today so I've not been able to do much but maybe she'll sleep some this afternoon. I did get the laundry done. I've been doing some each day in the morning.

Well, lunch calls!



Monday, May 07, 2007

I forgot to mention my dishwasher.LOL I waited all day Friday for the repair man and he never showed. I'm pretty used to this from Miami where if they say they'll be out on Friday, it really means sometime within a week from Friday.LOL Saturday we called Lowes again to remind them of the "Friday" appointment and found that yes, they were planning on Friday but got behind and would be out on Saturday. Finally, around 4 the guy showed up. He was extremely nice, very overworked and was able to fix the dishwasher very quickly. Somehow a little piece of plastic from one of the racks broke off and got lodged in the motor or something like He is ordering a whole new part and will bring it by sometime this week. Otherwise, the machine is working again! Hurray!!!

Yesterday, after church, Eric and Jon took the littles swimming in our pool. They were out there all day and had such a great time. I'm so glad that they swam yesterday because it's COLD today! I was a little surprised when I went outside this Last night we finally got some rain but we also got some really high winds. The cover for our patio blew away into the yard and I'm afraid it may be broken. I sure hope not! Without it, the littles won't be able to play in the extreme heat that we get most of the summer. I'll have the older kids assess the damage when they're done with school today. That cover is so important. I know that it doesn't seem like it should be, but with Isaac's surgeries every two months, he wouldn't be able to go outside without it. I would love to have a covered patio someday.

Today is going great so far! The kids were woken up at 6 this morning and have been diligently working since 6:30. They should be done by 11:30. I got up with the baby at 7:30 this morning and Evie got up 15 minutes later. I've found that Sophia likes to eat, spend just a few minutes playing, especially with Evie, and then likes to take her morning nap. She was asleep in the swing by 8. Then I fixed the littles apple-cinnamon pancakes for breakfast. They promptly turned their noses up at them and haven't touch them yet.LOL I will probably fix them an early lunch since they will be hungry soon. I was also able to start the laundry, pick up the house, clean the kitchen, get the littles ready for the day, and take my shower. I know that not everyday will go this smoothly but I'm thankful for a good start to our week. The second half of the day will be for big projects today. I need to iron, vacuum and mop, bathrooms will need to be cleaned and my big project for the month is decluttering all the books in my house. I have kept so much and would like to clean out what I'll never use again. Yes, I'm a curriculum junkie. The first step is admitting it.LOL Now I must clean up my hoarding ways.LOL

Tomorrow afternoon is baking day and Jon is going with my mom to get some new clothes. He's outgrown everything he owns in the past week or two. He is now in men's sizes. Yikes! That should cost us now that we have two adult sized kids!

I'm hoping to take the littles to the park on Thursday. This will be our first park outing since the baby arrived. I'm still looking for help but so far no one has responded to my ad. LOL I guess no one is up to the challenge.

Well, the kids just came down and are done for the day! They were so excited to be back at work and very happy to be done for the day. It's 11 right now and I've been working on this post for a while now.LOL

Since I started the post, Isaac has come down with a fever. I'm thinking it's from the "well check" he had on Friday. I hate taking the littles to the dr. Every time I do, they end up sick. They should call them Inoculation days, not well checks. Other than that, life is



Sunday, May 06, 2007


My Menu for this week...


Eggs and bacon
Smoothie and granola bars
Bagels and creamcheese


Lunchmeat x 2
Chicken Quesadillas, nachos and salsa
Grilled chicken salad and bread sticks
Mac and cheese


Fried Chicken, mashed taters, salad
London broil, rice, salad
Spaghetti, garlic bread and salad
Porkloin, rice, salad
Hamburgers, fries, beans, and salad
Shrimp pasta, salad

I'm trying something new this week. I spent yesterday looking through all my menus and figuring out how much of each kind of meat we ate for each month. Then I averaged it out and am going to buy all my meats for a month at a time, focusing on what's on sale. Then I'm planning out each weeks menu based on what I'll have in the freezer. I'm hoping it'll save me money in the long run. Last week, whole chickens were on sale .79 a pound and I bought 6. Well, I found out that I only use whole chickens, on average, 2x a month so now I have enough for 3 months. This week, bags of frozen boneless chicken is on sale at Foodlion 4 bags for $20.00 (that's 10# of chicken). I found that we usually use 4 bags in a month, so I'll buy those this week.

We officially start our school back full time tomorrow. We've got all our curriculum now and I'm really looking forward to it. I'll be getting the kids schedules ready today and the kids are setting up two desks in Jon's room for their quiet work. I'm also going to be doing some freezer cooking today after the grocery store in hopes that I'll have some ready made meals for breakfast and dinner while the kids are working. Sophia has been starting on a loose schedule for the past week and is getting somewhat predictable. It's not going to be easy but I should live through the week.LOL

Jon is going to start a garden this week. I think it's a perfect accompaniment to his culinary arts program. He's going to do all the work, although Evie wants a small plot for I'm hoping that will also reduce our grocery bill. I'd like a salad garden and maybe a few things to freeze, like peas, beans, and maybe some zucchini or summer squash.



Friday, May 04, 2007

Yesterday was one of 'those' days. It started out pretty good. I was being extremely First I made everyone breakfast, then loaded the dishwasher for it's first run of the day. After that I decided I'd better get my crockpot meal started so that I wouldn't forget later in the day. I browned the porkchops and got everything in the crock. The day was looking to be a good one. After the littles ate, I promptly put them in the tub. I've been bathing them in the day lately so that we have less to do at night when I'm pretty tired. I was able to collect all the laundry and get that started while the littles played in the tub. I got them out, then decided to check the porkchops. Normally, I don't even mess with a crockpot meal once it's in the crock but this was a new recipe and I wanted to smell the sauce to see if the littles would eat it. The crock was cold.LOL I guess it works better when you plug it in. Well, it had only been about 1/2 hour so I plug it in and am thankful that I caught it. A few minutes later, I hear this horrible noise coming from my kitchen. It sounds like my washing machine but as I run towards it, I realize it's my dishwasher!!! Now you all know I just replaced the last appliance in my kitchen. The dishwasher was the first thing we had to replace when we moved in last year. Here it is, grinding and shaking and hissing....ugh! I turn it off and call dh. I start a frantic search for the receipt and service contract. It takes me hours to find it. My dh says he hasn't seen it, that I had it and I remind him that no, he had it Finally, I decide to "be the dh, who really didn't want to mess with it and so I would sit it where ever so I don't have to." It works.lolol It was in his old briefcase. I call Lowes and they say the earliest they can come out is on the 10th. He must have heard the desperation in my voice when I asked if there was anyway they could come out sooner.LOL He searches around and is able to find someone who says they can come out tomorrow, which is today! I'm so relieved. Doing dishes for 7 while taking care of a newborn was not on my to-do list.lolol As I pass by the crockpot, I decide to check the "smell factor" since this time it's had plenty of time to cook. This is when I find out that my oldest son had unplugged it to plug in the toaster....three hours ago. double ugh! Now it's almost 4 and I usually serve the littles dinner at 5. My ds asks if he can take Evie swimming and I figure that will keep them busy while I fix a new dinner. I give Isaac the hose to play with, Jon's outside swimming with Evie, I start Beef noodle soup with the leftover roast I had from lunch, while Sophia screams in Allison's I get the soup started, check on Isaac who has coated himself with wet sand, and take the screaming baby from Allison and have her snap beans. I then feed the screaming baby, then finish the soup, bathe the little's yet again, and feed them by 5:30. Then I ate while Allison held the screaming baby. Dh got home at almost 7 and offered to take Allison to her dance classes and he also took the two littles. When he got home, I had just finally gotten Sophia asleep and then I put Isaac to bed. Afterwards he went to get Allison and I read stories to Evie and then put her to bed. By now it's 9 and I'm tired. lol I'm just thankful that most days are better than this.lolol


Am I in London?

Oooh, spooky...
Out front...

Now I'm sure you are all thinking, it's fog, so what?LOL This isn't fog, it's SMOKE!!! We have fires below us and fires above us. This is the worst it's been so far. Prayers for my asthma would be appreciated. lol

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I think this photo speaks for itself...

Photos from this week...

Evie crafting
Isaac doing the same

Sophia being cuteGrandpa playing with the littles

Yvonne asked me this question so I thought I'd just answer in a post.

Hi Lisa, I saw that you are using Movies as Literature. I'm so excited about using it myself! Have you made any other curriculum changes? I'm curious! ~Yvonne

Yes, I've been overhauling our whole year, subject by subject. See, I found I liked the literature approach but the kids were dragging their heels. Yes, they liked the books but found it to be just too much. So here's what I've come up with so far...

Movies as Literature

My dd loves movies. Not only loves them, she's one of those people who likes to buy and watch some movies over and over and over and well, over I want her to be discerning while watching these movies and this is a skill that will come in handy as she goes through life.

Math U See

We've now officially tried just about every single math curriculum out there.LOL Something that never occurred to me, is that Allison is especially VISUAL. So MUS is finally doing what no other curriculum has ever done, it's teaching her math. I think Jon could take it or leave it but for Allison, it's been wonderful.

Ancient Civilizations and the Bible by This has the whole first unit online, just click the PDF file.

Now this is a real find! I love the way this curriculum is put together. After looking through it, I felt that it would be able to touch on both of my kids learning styles without letting us get bogged down. It's user friendly, has the reading that I like, an auditory segment, and hands on projects to do. I like how the kids can focus on different topics within the subject, like art for Allison and science for Jon but we're all still on the same page. We're still learning about the same time period. Plus, the customer service is great! I made a mistake and Mr. Waring actually called and emailed me to find out if I really wanted two copies of the same cd.LOL Pretty cool.

The other subjects we've got lined up are Drivers Ed in a Box, Culinary Arts, Guitar, and Website Design.

It has been hard to go off the beaten path with my kids but I'm already seeing fruit from trusting God. They are already learning so much and are excited about their subjects again. I'm hoping that our history will guide us into the right science for both kids. I haven't found a good match in science yet. The kids may take different paths but I'm hoping they'll end up in the same place.LOL


I've been watching the show How Clean is Your House on the BBC channel lately and I love the different homemade cleaning mixtures that they come up with. So far, we've tried the grout cleaner made from salt, vinegar, and dishsoap. It worked pretty good. And we've tried dark soda in the toilet as a cleaner. It really didn't do much but it could be I didn't let it sit long enough but really, you have to be able to use the potty at some point.LOL I love the idea of homemade cleaners that are nontoxic. We have so many little ones, I hate having poison in my home. Of course, I like a clean home also, so it has to work.

All this watching has spurred me on in my own cleaning. I super cleaned my bathroom on Monday and scrubbed all the hard floors in the house. We had blueberry, plain, and chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and I put the extras in the freezer for another day. I put a roast in the crockpot for lunch the next day and I made the Beef Tenderloin for dinner that night. I also did laundry and was able to get that all caught up. I did a quick clean, straighten, and vaccum of all the other rooms and I even had enough energy to go for a walk that night.

Yesterday started off a little slow. Sophia was up a lot that night. I made granola bars for breakfast and those who wanted smoothies made them themselves. I decided to make the sandwich loaf for lunch and invited my mom over to visit. The little ones had a great time helping with the breadmaking. I made a roast beef, muenster, parmesian cheese loaf and it was really good! Everyone, except the littles, enjoyed it. They wouldn't even try After lunch, my mom took Evie to her house for a few hours. Evie had cut her hair again and it really needed to be evened up a little. She is now sporting a short summer By dinner time, I was tired so we had a fend for yourself night. There was plenty to choose from.

Today, I was awake by 6am and I've been keeping fairly busy. I had a loaf of buttercrust bread that no one really cared for, so I made it into bread pudding for after lunch. The rest will be served for after dinner. I did some crafts with the littles this morning. We started with an ocean scene and ended with making bird feeders. I love They have some really cute crafts for preschoolers and I don't have to buy anything extra. Just open the bag and Perfect for the sleep deprived mom. I'm also looking at this next: I like to keep those little ones

Sophia's been a little grumpy today so not too much has been done. Just a few crafts, some baking, and baths for all the I was going to make the California Porkchops tonight but forgot to put it in the crockpot so we'll just make the hamburgers on the grill instead.

We watched the second movie in our Movies As Literature program and the kids are really enjoying it. It's like I have my old kids back. You know, the ones who keep asking when we can do more work as opposed to hiding and hoping I don't make them do anything.lolol I also keep finding Allison at the table doing her math work. What a difference. The kids have been reading the first unit in their history online and have doing the work without my prompting. They are really looking forward to the hands-on part and have already decided what areas they want to study further. I guess praying and then searching for curriculum that is geared directly for your kids learning styles really does Do they have curriculum for hard headed people cause I think that may be my learning style.lolol