Sunday, December 7, 2014

This Past Week's School and Mom Thoughts

Warning this is a rather whiny, I try not to whine on Facebook since some friends and family are teachers. Megan is without internet after her move right now so I'm venting here. Last week was the 1st week since vacation that we really got a full week of school done. We're enrolled with Seton and for 2nd grade especially I'm not rigid about doing everything but it gives us focus and direction which is good with T's ADHD. It really isn't a ton of work and if she sits down and does it it's really 2 hrs tops not including stuff like free reading math fact practice etc.

How we got school work done is we didn't get much else done, which frustrates me so much. The house was so bad that I attacked the downstairs floors today after Mass. And I also did the grocery shopping on a Sunday.  Exercise was neglected too. I think I did 30 minutes this week. I'm barely maintaining the 20 plus lbs I lost last fall and I want to lose more but I have to exercise almost every day to make progress. Basically I'm feeling like I never get balance with time for prayer, exercise, housework, homeschooling, any outside activities, and even time with the older girls and David.

I know part of it is the busyness of Thanksgiving and Christmas prep. We also helped Megan and her family move the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. Even though David was off for 5 days we really didn't have more free time since Wednesday we did car maintenance and David's work email and phone were going off quite a bit too. David's car's battery did not like our cold snap of the week before and then when it was in it was noticed that the brakes really needed done too if we wanted to be able to reuse the rotors or something. This past Monday night David went to a required annual meeting for a homeschool group in the big city about an hour away. They have a weekly coop that I've considered so we joined the group this school year. The coop I say consider only because I really don't know how I would do it. 1st of all Matthew isn't one to go quietly along to activities. Then it's Thursdays. If we did that then regular school would have to happen M-W. The main reason I consider it is Teresa really craves more time with other kids. Our neighborhood has none really and all our family lives out of state and our more local homeschool group has several girls her age but it's not super active as in maybe 1 to 2 things a month and if you don't attend everything then she might see someone only every 2-3 months so she really hasn't made more friends within the group since her best buddy moved over a year ago.

Then Friday evening we went to the Epilepsy Foundation holiday party and then Saturday evening was a family outing to organized by David's work so we've been quite a bit busier than normal.

Specific homeschooling things of the week- Teresa started addition with regrouping. It's going OK. She needs reminders about not just putting the one above the 10's column. The 1st few pages only had regrouping problems then the mix of problems so with some without made her have to slow down and really pay attention.

I need to sleep so photos will have to wait. 

Melanie has more homeschooling links.Guilt Free Learning Link Up 13

Monday, November 17, 2014

Learning Notes Week of 11-9-14

I was really trying to get back to school on a daily basis since our vacation time a few weeks ago and I was trying to do it without screeching well not screeching too much. Potty training Matthew needed attention too because he's now the age where he leaks too much from pullups and diapers and if I need to change bedding and clothes he should just be in undies. So I guess those were my goals for the week some school every day, try to limit screeching, and try to have Matthew in undies at least sometime every day.

One link I enjoyed this week-  Amongst Lovely Things

I went back and read most of her old posts. I was in need of some encouraging reading post vacation. I'm also starting to listen to her read aloud pod-casts.

Monday- This week got off to a good start. I rewarded the get your phonics and math done quickly with craft time. Matthew enjoyed the craft time and even did a bit of cutting practice. I watched him like a hawk since in the past he cuts his shirts whenever he had scissors. The rest of schoolwork was electronic time. Math Reflex for fact practice and Brother Francis DVD's. We watched  Forgiven again to help Teresa prepare for 1st Reconciliation this coming week. Teresa watched most of the others we own while Matthew napped and I read old blog posts in the afternoon. We did review prayers that Teresa needs to memorize for PSR. The Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and the Sign of the Cross we've said with her for years. She now knows them well. The Act of Contrition is the main one we've worked one lately. They are supposed to know the 10 commandments as well. We also cleaned and made pies after dinner since I hosted our homeschool group's moms night out Tuesday.

Tuesday- I made sure Teresa read to from the Faith and Freedom Reader. We forgot that yesterday. Otherwise we did phonics (Little Angel Book C) and math (MUS Beta) and reflex math practice. And I did a very lame read aloud time of Rainbow Fish. I said to pick something off the shelf. I made sure to reserve a ton of stuff online from the library. I returned almost all of our library stash before vacation. I hosted moms' night out. Only two moms came but we still had fun talking and enjoying pie and tea. David took Teresa and Matthew out to dinner at Culvers and did a bit of shopping at Kroger so the house was quiet.

Wednesday- Math Phonics, Reflex Math,. Read Alouds Amanda Pig. After I pulled the Christmas/winter books off the shelves and put them in a basket we read How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I think it's early for this but our weather has turned cold this week so it seems like winter is here already. PSR tonight the 2nd graders toured the church preparing for next weeks 1st reconciliation. Teresa seemed thrilled and excited. She even told me she isn't nervous anymore. They must have talked about examining their conscience because she told me she knows what to confess and then what it was. She wanted to tell Andrea when she got home from class but she told her that was between her and God and she didn't need to know. They also were told they could read from a paper if they needed to for the prayers/wording and not to worry about that. They also got little Jesus Loves Me bracelets. I hope Teresa doesn't think she will get prizes from the priest at confession like she does from the doctor and dentist.

Thursday- Math, Reflex Math, Reading to me from the Faith and Freedom, Reader Read Alouds Gail Gibbons Thanksgiving and Chicken Little by Ed Emberley. We also went to Family Story Time at the library at 6pm. We had videos and puppets that needed returned and we haven't done story time much since our favorite librarian retired a few years ago. Matthew is old enough to do it now. The kids enjoyed it. I'm not sure if it was the mini cupcake snack that caused that. Mostly I'm sure they enjoyed getting out of the house. It's been too cold wet and windy to get outside much this week. Having done something 4 evenings in a row I was tired. I spent a lot of time working on menus and grocery lists during nap time. 

Friday- We needed groceries so no school this morning. We managed to go to Aldi and Meijer before Teresa's art class at 1230. I went to the library with Matthew while Teresa was in class. I had a ton of reserves in thankfully. I also got a chance to talk to the librarian about a book I paid for over the summer had been found. Basically they took off the fine and I have a credit for what I paid for it. I got to visit with a few other moms who had kids at art too. One I've know for years. She had a new coloring book and crayons for Matthew for his birthday. Teresa was excited about the new books. She read Billy and Blaze to Matthew on the way home in the van. We made it home just after 2. I unloaded the Meijer groceries. It was around freezing so I wasn't worried about my turkey thawing during art class. Matthew finally got a nap just before 3. Read Aloud at bedtime was the 1st story in James Herriot's Treasury for Children.

Saturday- David read some Beezus and Ramona to Teresa and they did lots of yard work. I did laundry 6 loads since Matthew managed to wet his undies on our bed so I had all of our bedding along with the regular laundry. Teresa helped me mix up a triple batch of pumpkin pie filling. Some of it is for Matthew's birthday pumpkin pie and the other we're trying to freeze for Thanksgiving. We have large ceramic pie pans that need 1 1/2 recipes to fill. I hope it works.

I'm trying to link up this week. Visit  Melanie's blog for more Guilt Free Learning Notes.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Butterfly Garden
The big event of the week was my 6 week post-op checkup Tuesday. I'm cleared 
for full activity again. So I wanted to do something fun with Teresa 
and Matthew since we had been stuck at home a lot.
We went to park with a butterfly house in the big city.

Teresa took most of the photos. I thought she did a great job.

It's been very nice to be able to pick up Matthew again and hold him.
Caterpillars were much smaller than I thought they would be. The park 
volunteers had to help us find them.
Can you see the big fish? Teresa made me nervous near the ponds.
The ponds had lots of turtles too.
Sweet Teresa- I distracted her from climbing the tree by taking her picture. The park is an arboretum too so you are supposed to not damage the trees.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August Grocery Budget Part #2

This past week I haven't done as well on spending

Friday the 9th 
$55 at the farm where we have a herd share for milk.
5 gallons milk
2 lbs ground beef
7 lbs or so of hamburger patties
All of the above is organic grass fed Jersey yumminess.

Sunday the 11th
$6 Kroger
Vinegar and fresh dill for the refrigerator pickles from our garden's pickle cucumbers.
I have never ever made pickles. We are eager to see how they turn out.

Tuesday the 13th
$44 Trader Joe's
4lbs nuts
2 boxes of crispy rice
1 box of O's cereal
2 packages corn dogs
1 box of chocolate cat cookies
I had a doctor appointment in the big city so I did a stop at Trader Joe's. It's about 50 miles away so we rarely make a separate trip there.David is taking cheesecake for a work snack day soon and we use the cat cookies in the crust.

Today the 14th
$6 Walmart
Mac Cheese

Total for the Month $275 so $25 above where I wanted to be but we have done our very occasional Trader Joe trip and we have hamburger patties which is one of our quick meals so we won't order pizza or something.

The pickles- These are 1/2 gallon jars. They aren't packed tight but it was too much for one.

August Grocery Budget

Mary at Owlhaven is trying this month to rein in her grocery spending. I'm joining her even though our budget is more per person I still find it hard to stick to budget. Several months ago we starting splitting out food and non food in the budget to see better our spending patterns. I'm focusing on the food portion of our budget. The non food seems to be pretty consistent. I must not overspend on toilet paper much. Anyways so my budget is $500 for August.

Last week I only spent $49. I dug deep into the freezer and we ate leftovers but keeping that week under control helped so much. We had scalloped potatoes with ham (leftover from Easter) chicken stir fry and spaghetti for dinners. Since there is only 3 adults eating the meals we can usually get two days from one meal I cook. I didn't save the receipts from last week.

Today we went to Aldi. $59

3 packages chicken breast (about 5lbs total)
2lbs talipia
2 lbs grapes
4 lbs strawberries
1 celery
3lbs baby carrots
1 large bunch bananas
sliced provolone cheese
sliced cheddar cheese
plastic (american) cheese
8oz block cheddar cheese
8 oz block cojack cheese
10 lbs potatoes
2 lbs brown sugar
1 lb pecans
1 gallon milk
2 (not 1/2 gallons) ice cream
stevia packets
can refried beans

So that brings my food total so far to $108 for the month. I need to go to Kroger tonight and I'm picking up milk tomorrow at the farm so I'm not finished for the week. I want to be around $200 tomorrow which would leave me with $50 to spend at Trader Joe's Tuesday while I'm in the big city for a doctor appt.

Here's the dinner menu for the week.
BBQ chicken
Chicken Alfredo
Pork Chops
Meat Pizza

I'm taking Mac Cheese Sun Chips Hot Dogs and drinks to a family picnic on Saturday. Megan is bringing a dessert and Teresa is trying to talk me into making lemon bars to take too.

Kroger Trip $56
2 pkg hot dogs
2 12oz  pkg bacon
2 lbs sausage
1 sm package pepperoni
1 large turkey lunch meat
5 lemons ( I bought organic since Teresa wanted lemon bars and the recipe uses the zest)
9 vitamin waters
2 2liters pop
1 pkg capri sun
2 bags sun chips
4 pork chops
1 gallon oj
1 miracle whip
1 sour cream
1 cottage cheese

Total for Month $164


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Blog Challenge #7 A Few Recipes

The 1st recipe we used for dinner today. I was planning on BBQ for dinner. Then I noticed leftover peppers from the kabobs we made last Sunday for Andrea's birthday. I suggested to David we try to make some kabobs with the chicken breast. I found 3 promising recipes then found out we were missing at least one ingredient for all of them. How were we out of soy sauce Worcestershire sauce and almost out of lemon juice all at once? Probably because I have been recovering for the last several weeks. Anyways David volunteered to go to Kroger with the little ones and get the Worcestershire sauce and whatever else was on the grocery list. I was happy not to have to drive and to have his help so I went along. We only marinaded the chicken breast an hour and it was the most tender grilled chicken. Anyways here's the recipe. I did a 1/3 recipe.

Grilled chicken marinade

The second recipe I've made before a few times. It's a way to have a chocolate craving fulfilled in less than 5 minutes. I was wanting something rich and chocolate probably due to too much ice cream and birthday cake this week. My body is expecting daily chocolate and a lot of it. Anyways I made one and David kept Teresa upstairs so I could eat it in private. I even threw pecans in it tonight. I had to move the bag of nuts to get to the cocoa and thought pecans would be good in the brownie. The brownie already has a zillion calories so I ate a zillion in a half tonight. 

Microwave Mug Brownie

I have no idea why the links are different colors. I am leaving it alone. I've enjoyed participating in the challenge. It's frustrating sometimes when a blog post doesn't seem to look right especially with the Ipad. I need to post regularly so I can learn more about how to blog.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Blog Challenge #6 Craigslist Find

These two desks and chairs are my latest Craigslist find that makes me happy. I was looking more for toddler boy clothes and noticed a listing for school desks. We went to a big old warehouse crammed with lots of "stuff" earlier today and found these two sets. Since then Teresa has been playing school and even better the desk are perfect for making blanket tents. There are reports that Matthew was sat down on one and told to do school/color. I was resting so I didn't get to see this. The office/computer room needs to be rearranged but that is another project.