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.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Blogging Challenge Friday QT Errands

This is the honest I'm tired Friday post. 7 Quick Takes seem like too much work. I guess I could write about the 7 places I went today. I'm 3 weeks and 3 days out from prolapse surgery (vaginal vault if you want to Google it) and I tried to run errands for the 1st time especially since this was our monthly payday. It was too much. Andrea my oldest was along since I can't put Matthew in and out of his car seat yet and otherwise lift anything beyond 10 lbs.

1. Library- We finished the summer reading club folder by the skin of our teeth. Tomorrow was the last day. The new children's librarian gave Matthew a book after I told her I thought the toddler program was too much work and didn't do it for him. The other kids need to read or be read to, the toddler program has stuff like count the windows in the house, what is the child's favorite color show them objects that are that color.

2. Gas for van- 3.25 a gallon here. I also needed to stop for gas so I could get a big diet pepsi.

3. The Y- signed Teresa up for a martial arts clinic (not camp according to the staff member) that is two mornings next week.

4. McDonald's- I met David there for lunch. He picked up cash on his way for me.  We all ate inside at a table. Teresa was impressed. We generally only eat fast food while traveling or running errands. She did not like the new hand dryers in the bathrooms.I told David to pick up the Papa John's special any 2 larges for 20 for dinner. He was able to do a wonderful spinach Alfredo with chicken and bacon as well as a meaty one.

5. Amish Farmer Produce Stand- Indiana Melon (BIG CANTALOUPE) watermelon tomatoes corn on the cob and green beans.

6. Bread Outlet- Powdered baby donuts and everything bagels were on the super deal table so Teresa and Andrea were able to get their favorite. The bread was a bit picked over since it was after 1pm but I got enough.

We then went home. I was an shrew of a mother because I was tired and cranky. I ate ice cream and didn't give the little ones any. Teresa must have known I was in a mood not to be messed with since she didn't ask. Sent them both to their rooms to play for a bit while I took some ibuprofen and crashed for 15 minutes on my bed. My peace was interrupted by Teresa's yelling down the hall that Matthew had pulled out baby wipes ALL OVER HIS ROOM. Gave Teresa her donuts and told her to watch PBS. Tried to get Matthew to play more in his room but then he was shoving blocks down his heating/ac vent. Took him down and offered him a donut that he made a mess with. Had Teresa vacuum the mess up. Then Andrea played with Matthew for awhile and when he wasn't going for that so I decided he needed a bottle and a nap.He had done a strange 8-1030 nap this morning. He went to SLEEP. Thank you Jesus so I let Teresa play outside and I was able to rest until David and the pizzas arrived.

7. Walmart- Andrea had some birthday money she wanted to spend and I had not wanted to enter Walmart with the little ones so I took her out to Walmart right after we ate. I got a few things- yogurt hot dogs allergy meds. Andrea found a double SIMS 3 expansion pack.

I'm going to get this posted and take my RX pain meds and go to bed now. Matthew is still fussing. We even gave him ibuprofen in case some teeth are coming in or something. David my wonderful wonderful husband is taking care of him. Good Night.

For more and I'm sure much more exciting QT see Jen.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blog Challenge Post 4- County Fair

Teresa loved this "game". It was a everyone wins game. You just pay $3 and get to pick one of the $3 prizes.

Matthew on his 1st pony ride.

Teresa on her last one. She is just under the weight limit.

Matthew really liked it once the pony moved.

The swings!

The owner asked Teresa if she wanted to milk the goat.

Matthew really liked the animals just not the best picture.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blog Challenge Post 3 -1st Grade Curriculum Planning

I'm still trying to get our planning done for next year. The last two months seemed to go by very very quickly. We finished up K and then it was VBS week at church and then we took our trip to Virginia and we were back from that for only a week before I had surgery and spent two nights in the hospital. I'm only 3 weeks into my 6 weeks of recovery with restrictions so planning and organizing for next year is going slowly. We are enrolled with St. Thomas Aquinas Academy (STAA) again this year. I had our annual phone conference last week. We will use quite a bit of their suggestions. I also have a few Seton workbooks I will likely add in as well as using Memoria Press 1st Grade Lesson plans. The MP plans I use mostly for their read aloud list and social studies and science suggestions that are tied to each weekly read aloud. We used the K plans last year and I preferred them to FIAR which is STAA's suggestion. I'm waiting on my Rainbow Resource order for some remaining items so this list could still change before we submit our notification to our school district in August.

Religion-Faith and Life 1, Mass Book for Children, Living the 10 Commandments, Just Like Mary, Little Acts of Grace by Rosemarie Gortler and Donna Piscitelli. I would love to try to get to a daily Mass even just 1st Fridays and we will be working on the basic prayers in the Faith and Life book as well as the rosary following STAA lesson plans on this

Handwriting-Handwriting Without Tears Grade 1 

Math- Math U See Alpha- I love love MUS. Whenever I try anything else I'm like why did I do that. It also seems a good fit for Teresa with it's hands on approach and short lessons.

Phonics- Little Angel Phonics  A and B
We started Book A the last few months of K.

Writing/Language Arts- Writing with Ease Level 1
This has narration and copywork with grammar and reading comprehension too. The sample lesson looks easy to follow. I liked the Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading so hopefully this other Well Trained Mind product will work for us as well. I'm not sure how well Teresa will like it but any grammar and writing is not likely to thrill her.

Social Studies- Memoria Press Lesson Plan ideas, field trips,and the Seton 1st Grade History book.

Science- Memoria Press Lesson Plan suggestions and/or lots of books from the library. We really did a lot of science reading this past year especially the Cat in the Hat Science Series. We will do the raise your own butterfly kit in the spring. We managed to get a garden planted this year which was something Teresa wanted to do but the butterflies didn't. We have a COSI membership and will go there as well as trips to the zoo and other science museums. We might also get a few science kits with simple experiments.

Lots of ideas for this of course we won't do them all. I'm not very artistic so I like lots of ideas to pick and choose from. I plan on Teresa's taking this year some of the weekly homeschool art classes in the neighboring county. You can go as many weeks as you want so we will likely do some but not all. The art lessons are right next to the bigger library that we like to use for reserves so it will make the drive more worth it and I will have a place to wait with Matthew. We also have Seton's Art 1 which is more religious crafts. I've ordered Art Pacs 1 and 2 based on STAA's recommendation. Another reason for some many art ideas is because Teresa likes art and drawing and cutting and gluing but her handwriting is her weakness right now so it's developing her fine motor skills in a sneaky way.

Music- Okay Dad is going to have to take this one. If I'm not artistic I'm definitely not musical. Otherwise we will plan on listening to CD's.

Phys Ed- Besides walks, bike rides, and normal family activities Teresa does quite a bit at our local Y.  She is already signed up for fall soccer at a local park that isn't a Y sponsored. She will at least do swim lessons once soccer is over. She also wants to at least do the Martial Arts summer camp mornings next week. I would like her to do the weekly classes again even though they are at 7pm once she turns 7 just because I really think they help her with self control and concentration.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Blog Challenge Post #2 Williamsburg Family Reunion

We had a family reunion in honor of my mom in law's 80th birthday at Williamsburg last month. Here are some photos from the trip. The pool at the condo complex was a favorite for both Matthew and Teresa. We also went to Jamestown. The Powhatan Village with lots of animal skins and the 3 ships to climb aboard really held Teresa's interest.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Blog Challenge- Homeschool Daily Schedule

This coming year is the first we have to notify and be all official with our state for Teresa. She'll be 7 in October and doing 1st grade. Our state expects you to do 900 hours which averages out to 5 hours a day 180 days a year. So I've been working on a daily schedule/planning idea so I have 5 hours a day on meaningful activities or at least 5 hours that does not involve any angry birds or Phineas and Ferb. I don't want to consider Angry Birds physics.

So this is what I've come up with. I've tried to incorporate physical activity, reading, and playtime each day.

-Basic school time is 9-12 and 1-3. The afternoon is also when I would try to schedule any outside necessary appointments. Friday will likely be the library and home school art lesson day and Mass at least on 1st Fridays.
-I've made the 1st 90 minutes the core academic time hoping we will get that done almost every day.
- After that it's outside time or some physical time inside basically get the wiggles out.
-Then 30 minutes of writing/language arts and 30 minutes of our weekly subjects (one day science, one day social studies/history, etc)
-After lunch reading time I will not read aloud all this time but reading to Teresa and Matthew as well as books on CD for Teresa to do during a quiet time should take up quite a bit of time. I will admit for being home full time I am lousy at reading to my kids every day. Teresa especially isn't one to sit still and listen to long chapter books. We need to work on this.
-Last thing is playtime with Mom. This is when I will play board games, get out the play dough, work puzzles, and also just sit down and play with both the kids. If the weather is nice we will do the park or a longer walk. I'm hoping this will be a great time for Teresa. I'm so bad about making time to sit down and play. I'm hoping that I will be able to answer the "When will you play Candyland?" question with and 2 this afternoon and we do it at least a few times a week. I'm also thinking we will make a list of specific things Teresa wants to do and try to check things off through the year.This Sunday's gospel about Martha and Mary reminds me at least to savor this time with my bonus babies and leave those dishes for some reading and playtime each day.

Blogging Challenge

After ignoring this poor blog for so long posting every day for a week might be too much but I'm going to give it a try.

For more blog challenge posts go to Jen at Conversion Diary