Friday, September 24, 2010

Family Friday

I thought I'd take a little time today to share a little about what's going on with each of us!

First Luke: Luke is a typical boy! He loves all things weapons, although the boys don't actually have any! Not that we are against them as toys.. just that we don't have any. Because, with boys, even if you don't have any.. they will make them. Luke makes guns and swords out of his Trio blocks all of the time! He can be really silly and get everyone to laughing, especially Eli! At the same time he can be really moody and need his space, but don't we all?! He loves playing soccer.. well, he loves going to soccer practice and games! He's not much of a player yet! He really likes to socialize and play (games, not soccer) with his teammates! He's not very big on going after the ball, he'd much rather it come right to him. And I mean, that's probably the only way he will ever make contact with it! It will have to land right in front of him... and then he still may not kick it! He's having fun though, and that's what matters! He LOVES to get dressed and likes to dress himself. He doesn't always match but most of the time I just let him do whatever. The only time I intervene is when we're going to church or somewhere special. He also loves to wear socks and shoes! He's not a big flip flop or sandal wearer. There have been times when I just had to make him wear sandals! Thank goodness colder weather is around the corner (I hope!). Luke is a great big brother (most of the time). He and Eli are starting to play more and more together. Luke is pretty protective of his brother and lets me know if Eli is doing something that might hurt him. The sweetest is when Luke steals a kiss from Eli and he doesn't know anyone is watching! Melts this mommy's heart! They do fight, of course, but they really are great friends!

Now Eli! Eli is a Mommy's boy! Seriously! Hmm, I feel like I've said this before! ;) Well, he still is! He is also much more go with the flow and relaxed, especially when Mommy is around! He's not near as moody as Luke! He loves to watch Luke practice and play soccer. He also loves to throw balls! He really has a good chest pass, so we may have a future basketball player on our hands! Eli also loves getting in to everything. Every. Thing. I know we saw this coming. We just knew he would be the child to strow everything out, get into stuff, make huge messes, never understand the meaning of "No" or "Don't Touch!" (see above picture!) I think it's more his little personality rather than just the 'terrible twos'. He's very independent! He thinks he can do anything and will try! And all the while he is a little love bug! He will gladly sit in your lap for hours or shower you with hugs and kisses!

The Hubs- The Hubs is in full swing school mode. He had his first Algebra test last week and made a 99! So proud of him! He started off the school semester doing homework in the kitchen and that did not work out! It's true that the kitchen is the hub of the household! So, we cleared out the treadmill in the bedroom (need a new place to hang clothes now!) and put a table that the Hubs mom had given us in it's place. It's worked out much better now, although wireless has been giving him problems! And since his school work is online (even his 'on campus' class has online homework, that's been trying for him.

And me- Well, my knee/upper thigh is still giving me problems. I went to the Dr a little over a month ago with it and was told after an X-ray that I had a tilted knee cap. I was told to take Rx ibuprofen and do some exercises. But I feel like there is much more going on. I haven't had the sharp pains in my thigh lately but I still have a place right above my knee that is swollen. I've tried this week to keep it up here and there but it really is hard when you're home with two boys all the time! I just had to let some housework go. My knee has felt better at night (when it usually starts throbbing) but the swelling hasn't changed. So, I'm not sure what to do. I haven't been exercising either, for fear of hurting it worse (I kind of feel like Jillian might have been part of my problem!). And I can totally tell! I haven't gained any weight but I just don't feel as good.. and I feel all stiff!
I just finished reading Intimate Issues. And all I'll say about that is that it's a good book for married, Christian women! I just started reading The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. It's sooo good! I really wish I was reading it with a group of women, so I could discuss it! It would be a great group discussion book study! I didn't get any response with that idea though, but maybe in the future! I also just started reading Hebrews. I read Joshua, Judges and Ruth in a row and just thought it was time for some New Testament!

Well, there is a little bit of info on what's going on in our house!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Menu Plan 9.20.10

We had dinner at my moms twice this week and we had a leftover night so three of our meals are repeats!

Sunday (last night)- Taco Salad w/ Homegroup

Monday- Cheesy Stuffed Shells (was manicotti but I bought jumbo shells instead), Salad

Tuesday- Leftovers

Wednesday- Chicken Nachos w/ Black Beans

Thursday- Cheeseburger Soup (new recipe, found one without velveeta, sounds yummy)

Friday- BBQ Chicken Pizza, Carrots w/ Dip

Saturday- Hamburgers, Potato Salad, Baked Beans

Friday, September 17, 2010

Letter M

Last week we did the letter M. It was a short week with Labor Day but we did get a good bit in. We of course started with the letter M collage. Letter M is for Money, Mouse, Marbles, Milk and Mop.

We did a cute Totally Tots letter M craft. M is for Mouse!

We read two books about mice. The first was Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh.

After reading the book we did a counting activity. I wrote numbers 1-10 onto index cards then I gave Luke a pile of paper clips. He had to randomly draw numbers and then clip the correct number of paper clips onto each card!

We also read Mouse Paint by Walsh. And then we painted mice! We learned about mixing red, blue and yellow paints to make purple, green and orange! I drew 3 ovals on 4 pieces of paper (2 for Luke and 2 for Eli). They painted 3 mice red, blue and yellow. Then they mixed the paint to get orange, purple and green. After they are dry you can add faces, arms, legs and tail. Here is Luke painting his mice:

And here is Eli painting:

We also made Double Chocolate Chip Muffins (this recipe , minus the cherries) and read If You Give A Moose A Muffin!

Last we went on a Letter M scavenger hunt! Fun!

Here is what he found: Mouthwash, Movie, Markers, Man, Monster Truck, Magazine, Make up, Money, Magnet and Mirror.

Luke also worked on his Kumon Uppercase Workbook!
Our verse for the week was, "A merry heart does good like a medicine." Proverbs 17:22

Our Family Rule that we learned was: We Tell The Truth ~ Exodus 20:16 - "You shall not lie."

And a cute story about our 'rule' that hopefully shows reinforcing these things is working... Today, the boys were playing in Luke's room and I heard them bickering. Then I heard Eli start crying. Before I was able to head in that direction, Luke ran into our bedroom, came up to me and said, "Mommy, I'm not going to lie. Eli was trying to get my clothes and I took my arm and pushed him."

He got a spanking. But I did tell him I was thankful that he told me the truth!



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cleaning Schedule

I am laughing as I write this post because I currently want to pull my hair out. Seriously. My kids are driving me crazy.. and in the same thought I'm praying, "Please, Lord, give me gentle and kind words, patience, wisdom and understanding."

I've been meaning to share my 'cleaning' schedule. It helps me keep my housework semi-caught up. At least the "big" stuff. So here it is:

Mondays- Trash (our pick up day is Tuesday) and weekend pick up

*Even when you stay at home, Mondays are Mondays! The house is usually a wreck with stuff all over the place... especially if we were gone much of the weekend. Sounds crazy, right? But when we're in and out of the house a lot over the weekend, even if we're not there much, the house looks like a disaster Monday morning. We come in, change clothes, drop 'stuff' off, the boys play for a min while we get ready.. and nothing gets put away or picked up. So that's what I do Mondays.

Tuesday- Laundry/Change Sheets/De-clutter

*Tuesday is a minimal day too because we usually go to the library. So, I try to catch up on some laundry and change the sheets. I usually grocery shop on Mon or Tuesday too.. so I keep things lighter. I also try to pick one area of the house to declutter. And I mean something small, like the top of the fridge or the catch all bowl on the kitchen table.

Wednesday- Bathrooms

*This includes mirrors, sinks, tubs, shower stall, toilets (inside and out) and sweeping and mopping the bathroom floors. This also includes the sink, counter and mirror in our bedroom.

Thursday- Vacuum and Dust

*Yep, that's it.. I vacuum and dust... the bedrooms and the den. Exciting. Sometimes I vacuum really well.. like I get behind furniture, etc. And sometimes I just go over what I can see! If it's the Hubs week to be off on Friday I also try to get my Friday work done.

Friday - Sweep and Mop
*Sweep and mop the hall and kitchen. I hate mopping.

I try to sweep the floors everyday and of course I do the dishes everyday.. well most everyday. Sometimes the dinner dishes don't get done until the next day. I also do a load or two of laundry everyday.. but if you were to come over today you'd see two loads on the couch... it doesn't always get put up the same day! Here lately I've been on an organizing kick. And that is good.. because I am not organized. Today I organized the closet where I keep all of our craft and school things. So, I'm hoping to add some kind of organizational stuff to my week. I guess decluttering counts, right?

I made up this schedule to keep up on the important cleaning. Sometimes kids are sick... I am sick.. we are busy and it doesn't get done. And it's okay. My house is never perfect. I have kids, young kids and you know what? We live here! I have gotten into the trap where I worked myself to death to keep things looking perfect. And you know what? They never looked perfect! I would work and work on housework and at the end of the day, all I had was frustration! There was still laundry to be done, the boys had left their blocks in the den floor, I hadn't made it to the bedroom where my makeup was still strewn all over the counter, the Hubs had left his wet towel in the bathroom floor, that pile of mail and papers still waited on me by the computer... and it was 11pm and I was exhausted! So, now, I try to do the important things and do a few 'straighten ups' throughout the day and just let it be. I still catch myself going back to that frustration. But I have to remind myself what is important. My kids and hubby deserve a wife and mommy that is not frustrated.

Next, I'll share about the boys 'Chore Books' and our 5 minute clean ups!

*Disclaimer- Please don't think that this means my house will look tidy every time you come over. And please don't think this 'schedule' means that I have it all together. Oh me, that is far from the truth!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 9/13

So, it's almost 11pm and I'm about to get in bed.. but it's still Monday! I had a hard time coming up with a menu this week. I just wasn't into it. And I'm not really happy with what I've planned.. mainly because of the lack of veggies. I'll throw in some extras for lunch time though!

Tuesday - Chili (never had it last week, it was too hot!)

Wednesday - Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Fruit

Thursday - Chicken Nachos w/ Black Beans

Friday - Baked Manicotti, Salad

Saturday - Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza, Carrot Sticks and Dip

Sunday - Taco Salads w/ Home Group!

Monday isn't listed.. because that was tonight. We went to Chick Fil A at the mall. They have family night and kids eat free with the purchase of a regular meal. They also had free ice cream for the kids and they could top it with all kinds of yummy stuff! The boys had fun!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Questions About Mommy

I saw this one someones facebook page and wanted to do it with Luke. Funny!

Questions about Mommy

By Luke, age 4

(Mommy's comments in bold)

1. What is something mommy always says to you? God knows how many things.
2. What makes mommy happy? Praying to God.
3. What makes mommy sad? Scared.
4. What does your mommy do that makes you laugh? Say funny stuff.
5. What did your mommy like to do when she was a child? Play with baby toys.
6. How old is your mommy? 13.
7. How tall is your mommy? I need to count. 22. (He counted from my foot to my head with his hands)
8. What is her favorite thing to do? Clean up the house. (HA!)
9. What does your mommy do when you're not around? Cry. (Because I miss him)
10. If your mommy becomes famous, what will it be for? Singing. (See... someone likes my singing!)
11. What is your mommy really good at? Cleaning up.
12. What is your mommy not very good at? Running. (Oh so true!)
13. What does your mommy do for her job? Clean up and clean up the bathroom and my bathroom and the floor.
14. What is your mommy's favorite food? Spaghetti and Hot Dogs and all kinds of food. (Haha... yes, he's right about the 'all kinds of foods' part!)
15. What makes you proud of your mommy? When you play with me. :)
16. If your mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be? A girl cartoon.
17. What do you and your mommy do together? Play some games, like where I get some out of my closet.
18. How are you and your mommy the same? We love God.
19. How are you and your mommy different? We don't wear the same clothes.
20. How do you know your mommy loves you? Do you know what? I love you too! :)
21. What does your mommy like most about your daddy? When you're scared you get daddy.
22. Where is your mommy's favorite place to go? To the store to get stuff.

Guard your time.. your family time!

As I sat here eating my lunch and the boys watched a little Imagination Movers before nap time, I hopped over to A Wise Woman Builds Her Home. I was skimming through her most recent posts and came across this one. It is entitled "The Start of a New School Year" but there is so much more to it. It's much more about our time and family! Hop over and read it.. and then come back.. I'll wait.


Good stuff, huh? I mean, I know my children aren't in school yet, but oh how I desire to remember Mrs. Fuentes lesson when they are in school full swing! And even though now the only activity that Luke is involved in is soccer, I know this is a lesson that I need to hide in my heart, now. This is something we need now!

"Consider this, what if a family chose NOT break up their family, especially when Dad was home and instead chose to do things together?" (A Wise Woman Builds Her Home)
What a concept! Do activities together as a family?! I know and see so many who are pulled all over the place during the week (and weekends!) and the family rarely eats dinner together much less gets to do something together. We all know Satan attacks the family fiercely, so we must guard ours with everything we have. It's okay to not do everything that everyone else does! It's okay to be different and do things differently. How can we pour God into our children if we are never together and pulled in different directions? How can we mirror service and love for others to our children if we don't have time because of this activity or that?

May we seek Him for wisdom and discernment in all that we do!

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15-16

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Letter L.. whew this was a long post!

Letter L was a super easy one for Luke... considering it's in his name! We still had o much fun learning about different things that start with L and also doing all kinds of fun activities and crafts! First we started of with a Letter L collage from Homeschool Creations! (FYI, this post is long.. I probably should have made it two parts!)

We had a lot of fun learning all about Ladybugs! We read the book Ladybug (can't seem to find it.. but I'll keep trying), which was full of ladybug facts! We used some parts of the Ladybug Lapbook from Homeschool Share (I just discovered this site and will be using it more in the future!). We used the "Parts of a Ladybug" and also "I Can Follow Directions" which was a great learning tool! Then we made a cute ladybug out of a paper plate!

For snack time we had Ladybug apples and Lemonade! Yum! I got the snack idea from Mama Jenn! We used chocolate chips instead of raisins!

Both boys got in on this craft! I printed off a Lemon coloring page and then mixed some lemonade mix in with yellow finger paint. This made the paint smell just like lemons! I was afraid that Eli might try to eat it since it smelled so good but he didn't! ;)

I am still searching for where I found this Lollipop printable! I have got to start writing it down! Anyway, I cut out these lollipops and created different sequences for Luke to finish. Ok, found it.. the printables came from Homeschool Creations!

Then we made a Lollipop! I didn't help him much with this. I cut the yarn in several pieces and let him do the rest. He's pretty meticulous with his work.. wonder where he gets that from?

The weather was GREAT last week. Oh the beginning of fall! Love it! So we went outside and went on a scavenger hunt to find things that were Little and Large! Here is one of our Large pictures:

And here is one of our Little things:

This week we talked about how God is our Shepherd. We read Psalm 23 and talked about how God takes care of us just like (better than!) a shepherd does his sheep and Lambs. Luke put together a puzzle of shepherds watching over their sheep.

Then we made a Lamb! Directions here!

And for our last craft, we made the cute Lion from Totally Tots! We read Would The Love a Lion? by Kady McDonald Denton.
Luke also really loved working in his Kumon Uppercase book this week! He's been eyeing those workbooks for several weeks now and he was so excited that this was the week we were going to start them! We did 4 lessons total.

Our verse was, "Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Sam 16:7

The house rule that we focused on was: Love, Honor and Pray for One Another and we read 1 Corinthians 13 several times to talk about what it means to love others.
And in case you haven't seen enough pictures... I updated my posts on Letter J and Letter K to include more photos since I found my cartridge!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Menu Plan 9/6

Quick menu... late.. but it's here! I've got a recipe to share later in the week!

Monday- Dinner with family

Tuesday- Shepherd's Pie

Wednesday- Baked Chicken, Green Beans, Roasted Potatoes, Rolls

Thursday- Beef Stir Fry w/ Rice


Saturday- Spinach Lasagna & Salad

Sunday- Leftovers/Sandwiches

Check out for more menu ideas!

I'm thinking about making some banana nut muffins this week.. and even though it's only the first week of Sept, I'm already thinking about pumpkin bread!!! It's one of my favs!!

What are you eating this week?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Preschool 2010-2011

As most of you know Luke and I have been doing very unstructured preschool activities for the past year. Right now, he learns as we live... and I add a few neat crafts, experiments and activities to go with it all! We're 'officially' starting back to preschool this week and I am adding some new things to go along with what we've already been doing. So, just to share and keep a list of resources for myself, here is what we will be doing during our very unstructured preschool year:

1. Bible Time- Right now we're using this book (ok, well I can't find it online.. but I'll try to take a picture later and post it). The stories are really simple and the boys enjoy listening to the stories. It comes with a DVD of the stories being read to the pictures in the book and then there is a song after it that goes along with the story. They also like learning new songs about the stories too! I'm also hoping to purchase The Jesus Storybook Bible. Hopefully we can get it for later in the year! We will also be continuing Scripture memory (link below) to go along with our letter of the week.
Psalm 119: 9-16
"How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!
With my lips I declare
all the rules of your mouth.
In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word."

2. Letter of the Week- Yep, we are continuing the letter of the week. We're still mainly focusing on the Uppercase. We should finish the upper case right before Christmas and we'll start the lower case in January. We will be using Kumon Uppercase and Lowercase workbooks along with all of the fun activities I use online. We'll be reading lots of books that goes along with our letter projects. Here are some of the things I use online:

Totally Tots - Alphabet Crafts
Totally Tots - ABC Scripture Memory
(I also highly recommend Song's for Saplings that go along with Totally Tots Scripture memory... my boys LOVE it!)
Confessions of a Homeschooler - I get lots of ideas and do many downloads from her site!
ABC and 123 - Again, tons of ideas!
Mama Jenn - More and more ideas...

Ok, I could go on and on! There are so many great resources but these are a great place to start!

3. Math/Science- We'll start off the year doing Kumon Numbers 1-30 and go from there. I always incorporate math and science into our activities. We learn about different animals, places, etc along with our letter of the week. We count and sort and sequence and take away and add. It really is amazing what you can tie in! For instance this week we will be talking about our sense of taste and smell! Lemons anyone? We've also talked made ladybugs and counted spots, legs, etc.

4. Other skills, etc. We'll be working on mazes for pencil skills and lots of scissor work too! Of course we'll be in the kitchen a lot! And thank goodness the weather will be cooling off soon! He's four. I'm not stressing. He will learn as we live. And most importantly I want him to know God. So... that leads me to our last and newest addition:

5. House Rules and Character Traits: We are using Gregg Harris' 21 Rules of This House. I love each one of them and they will be good for the Hubs and I to remember as well! We will be going over one a week and reading Scripture that goes along with them during family time. I'll be incorporating these Character Qualities during the day as well. We'll just talk about them as we go about our day.. nothing formal. Also on my list is the the Westminster Shorter Catechism and the Ten Commandments. All of these things can be woven into daily life.

Duet 11:18-23 ~“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. For if you will be careful to do all this commandment that I command you to do, loving the Lord your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him, then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves."