Sunday, August 24, 2014

Our School Room

One lovely thing about homeschooling is that you don't need to have a school room. You can have school anywhere you'd like. Be it in the living room, kitchen table, outside, or where ever. Last year we did most of our school work in the kitchen. It worked out great. I had a little white cart that kept the majority of our things in it. When we had company over, I rolled the cart to another room or the hall closet. 

This year I decided I wanted to have an actual school room. While I'm sure we will continue to do a lot of our school work in the kitchen, I thought it would be nice for the kids to have a designated space as well. Having a baby around makes us need to be more flexible. For example, last week we did all of our reading during meals or in the living room. Any handwriting and experiments was done at the kitchen table.

It was hard to decide where to have our school room. We have a lovely playroom upstairs but it's nice for the kids to have a space to play that is all play. Also I like being close to the kitchen in case we want to do art or something like that. I considered turning our guest room into a school room but have come to appreciate having an extra room for guests or if one of us is sick and needs to sleep in another room. The dining room was another option but there's something nice about coming home and seeing a cleared off table. Finally I decided to put our school room in our office which has French doors to close it off when we have friends over. The chairs I bought from Ikea arrived yesterday. So far we love them. Tomorrow will be our first day to use our new school room. I love that we can adjust the height on both our table and the chairs. Obviously I'm not going to have Princess do any "school work" except play. Her exersaucer is in the room and I have some toys that I'll rotate in and out of. 

Our school room is not completely finished. I'd like to add some more posters and possibly move my desk around. I have some white shelves with a doors on the bottom and open shelves on top in another corner. I did not share them with you because they still are in need of some tlc organization. I might move them to another room. I would also like to consider getting a true class pet. I'll just have to talk to hubby about it. :) I have also considered moving our piano to the dining room but for now am okay with it in our school room. Not to mention, pianos are heavy to move! Here are some pictures of our new room.  Let me know what you think!

Kids work area

I'm glad we have a big window in our room

Littlest scholar

Handsome kindergartener

Daily/Weekly Assignments

Geography corner


My desk.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Maple Mustard Chicken Recipe

I got this recipe from Taste of Home and it is so easy and delicious! If you don't have a slow cooker with a timer then I highly recommend you buy it. Slow cooker meals make busy lives so much easier and with the timer you don't have to be home to eat it right away. It will simply stop cooking and stay warm. I served this with sautéed broccoli, rice, and cheese biscuits. 

Maple Mustard Chicken


- 6 boneless skinless chicken breast havles

- 1/2 cup maple syrup

- 1/3 cup stone-ground mustard

- 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca (I used flour as a substitute)

- Hot cooked brown rice


Place chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Mine is a 6-qt. In a small bowl, combine the syrup, mustard and tapioca; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until tender. Serve with rice. Yield: 6 servings. 

Place chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the syrup, mustard and tapioca; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until tender. Serve with rice. Yield: 6 servings.

Read more:

Place chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the syrup, mustard and tapioca; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until tender. Serve with rice. Yield: 6 servings.

Read more:

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 5 min. Cook: 3 hours
MAKES: 6 servings


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Monday, August 18, 2014

First Day of Kindergarten!

Blue Rock started kindergarten today. He has grown up so much! Since we homeschool, I have been wanting to officially start for a few weeks but decided to make today his first day. He's been very excited about starting kindergarten and I'm praying we have a wonderful year.  He moved up a grade at church at the first of June and we've taken a few field trips with other homeschoolers, including visiting The American Airlines Center last week. 

So how did the day go? Our first day went okay. I felt like Satan was attacking me ALL DAY LONG. I honestly considered going up to our public school down the street and enrolling him as they start next week. However, I had to remind myself that when we feel called to do something it's not always easy or something we always want to do, at least all the time. 

The day started out rocky with Blue Rock wanting to go to work with his dad. When he found out he couldn't go to work with him he had a huge meltdown, which is really rare that he has them. The meltdown woke up Princess. He made a mess at breakfast including spilling his full glass of chocolate milk, something that is a special treat. Princess only took one nap and it was in the car after we met some friends for lunch. He took the two eggs out of one of our trees in the backyard that belonged to this sweet mama bird and made a nest for them and put them in his room while I was feeding Princess and trying to get her down for a nap. He opened his paint and painted a picture, thankfully that wasn't too messy. The paint was one of his gifts for school. I have noticed that I have to clearly define what I want and expect with him or he will make his own rules. He also got side tracked and made a lamp shade. Did I mention he's also good at making shoes and made our friend a pair of paper shoes last night before he left. One funny thing about this is that he really doesn't like shoes. Maybe he's trying to make a pair that he does like. Other than that, he did do all of his work. At the end of the day I had to remind myself that he's only in kindergarten and that many kids first day of school is just fun. We did do something fun. We met his friend and her mom and sister for lunch at Chick-Fil-A. They had fun eating together and playing on the playground. They don't homeschool so sadly we won't see them as much this year as his friend is starting kindergarten soon as well. 

Here are a few things we did. I introduced our weekly Bible verse. As part of getting a prize at the end of the week he has to memorize the verse. This weeks verse is Romans 3:23. He actually said it today. We'll review it daily. For science we learned about how rain works. We talked about history and made a family tree as our introduction to a time line. We put God at the top. He did a few pages of math, some handwriting, language arts, and we read some books and some poetry. He painted and played with play-doh. He also built a bird's nest and added real bird eggs to it. I had him return the eggs to the nest and I'm hoping the mama bird will continue to sit on the eggs. I gave him his first day of school gift, we filled out a questionnaire, weighed and measured him, and I traced his hand and will laminate it. I wrote him a letter that I will share with him when he graduates high school. I'm basically going to make a time capsule and add letters, questionnaires, and hand prints every year. When he graduates it will be my gift to him.

Here are some pictures. I'm not going to take as many pictures of him doing his work as I did last year as that sometimes interferes with our work. Also I'm taking care of my baby while teaching him and literally have my hands full. I will take some pictures when he's done with his work and share them from time to time. After you see these pictures, I'll post the answers to his questionnaire. Some of them are quite amusing, including what his favorite thing about himself is. Future doctor, maybe? Of course if you ask him what he wants to be he'll tell you something else. So maybe he'll be an inventor. 
Pictures together

Bird's nest he made with real bird eggs inside. Yes, this was in his room!

Sweet eggs. He even asked if he could sit on them until they hatched. Uh...

Putting the eggs back in the bird's nest.

Opening his first day of school gift.

He got his own tape dispenser! He was super excited about this. It's the little things.

I gave him lip balm, tape, an electric pencil sharpener, paint, dry erase letters, and a letter from me.

Family tree he made


Science worksheet
My First Day of Kindergarten

- He wrote his name so we can see how much his handwriting improves.
- He's 46 1/2 inches tall and weighs 46.4 lbs (this was the first time the scale registered his weight! He's getting so big!)
- Best friend: Olivia
- Favorite thing to play: Anything with Mommy and sister
- Favorite color: Blue has been a favorite for a long time (although he also said he likes black, white, pink, and green)
- Favorite book: What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry
- Favorite TV Show: Curious George and Kipper (Kipper is a new favorite because they are long)
- Favorite food: Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches
- When he grows up he wants to be a bubble and balloon maker (this doesn't surprise me one bit!)
- Something he really likes: My Mom (so sweet, I told him to name a thing and he was persistent in putting me down)
- Something I don't really like: Everything that is bad.
- My favorite thing about myself: My blood cells (why? People they help keep him from getting sick and heal his body if he does get sick. Sounds like a typical 5 year old's answer to me.)
- Something I want to do this year: Fly in an airplane

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Princess is 7 months!

Dear Princess,

You are now 7 months old! This year is going faster than I wanted. While you have not yet mastered the art of crawling forward you are getting really good at crawling backwards and in a circle or rolling over to get something. Even though you have been able to roll over for a few months, you have been enjoying rolling over a lot more lately. You love reaching for things, whether you are playing on the floor or sitting in our lap. You also love standing! You can stand holding onto the couch or a chair. You have very strong legs and are enjoying jumping in the Jumperoo as well. 

You are very observant and love learning. You like me reading you books and are enjoying doing simple block puzzles. You said your first word which was "Mama!!" I was so proud! :) You say, "Mama, Mom, mah, bah, and ahgoo" pretty regularly. Blue Rock thinks you're saying his name when you say Bah Bah. He'll tell say to you, "yes, I'm your Bah Bah, brother!"  In time we will know for sure. I'm starting to teach you basic sign language. You love waving to people.

Some of your favorite activities include: spending time with Mom, Dad, and brother, jumping in your Jumperoo, playing in your Exersaucer, playing with toys on the floor, and knocking over towers of blocks that Blue Rock builds for you. You are full of joy, wonder, and laughter. 

We started solid foods a few weeks ago. Like clock work you get pretty excited about the first bite. Then you really could careless about most foods. Although you do have a few favorites that you'll get a couple bites of. Right now your favorite foods are: sweet potatoes, broccoli, peas, carrots, and bananas. I make most of your food using fresh, organic ingredients. You love green popsicles that I made using organic broccoli, kale, and bananas. I breastfeed you every 2-4 hours during the day and at night you'll sleep anywhere from 6-8 hours between feedings. Although it's getting harder and harder to feed you during the day unless we are home. You get very distracted!

You usually take a nap in the morning from about 11am-noon and one nap in the afternoon from about 3:30-4:30.  You go to bed around 8pm and wake up around 8am. Sometimes you're up at 7:30am and sometimes you sleep until 8:30am.

You love playing with your brother and think he's the funniest person in the world. He's very fond of you too!

Random people still stop me and tell me how beautiful they think you are. We all think you are beautiful too! Your hair is getting longer and I can now softly brush it. You love it when I brush your hair. You are the sweetest girl I know! 

You just got over your first cold. You didn't have a temperature but you had a cough and were congested. Thankfully you recovered pretty quickly. 

God has truly blessed us with you! You are our little Princess from our heavenly King!


Here are some sweet pictures celebrating 7 months on Earth.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Fun Cards!

Fun Cards!
Lately, I've been getting stressed out. Being a stay-at-home mom is HARD. At least for me.  Add to that being my children's primary teacher, I have now at least doubled my stress and expectations.  In addition, I don't always have a lot of patience. To top it off, I haven't slept through the night in over 8 months! I am one tired and cranky mama sometimes! 

This past week my son was really getting to me. He was having a difficult time listening to me and doing what I asked him to do. It seemed like all week he just wanted to argue with me which is not something I tolerate. Therefore, he was constantly getting into trouble. I know in his heart he doesn't want to make me mad but at the same time I felt like that was exactly what he wanted to do. I needed to change something as I was getting very irritated and tired of giving him consequences that clearly were not making a difference. 

Busy making some Fun Cards!
After reading some about positive disciplining, I decided I needed to change my focus and focus on the good things he was doing. I also needed to bring out more positives in him. In the past, when I've done this, it has worked very well. My problem is, in the heat of the moment it's hard for me to come up with something to do together that will get a positive reaction from him. I decided to make something called Fun Cards. I'm hoping to use this throughout our kindergarten year and in future years. My goal is to have a list of things I can literally draw from that can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes to do with him. I bought some blank index cards I was planning on using for vocabulary words but I felt this project was more important. One of my biggest reasons for homeschooling is I want to reach the hearts and minds of my children. I want them to look back on their childhood and have no doubt that their parents loved them and cared for them. Childhood should be a time for learning, growing, and having fun. Once I started creating these fun cards, Blue Rock quickly came and joined me and wanted to make them too. He didn't even know really what I was doing but I gave him some blank cards and he wrote words, letters, and drew pictures and had fun! 
One of the Fun Cards he made!

In addition to the Fun Cards, I also made Field Trip Cards of things I want to do this coming year. I'm naturally a getter done type person who has a hard time letting things go. Yet, I'm also eclectic and am open to other ways of learning and teaching.  I'm trying to be more relaxed and realize that sometimes my children will do better and learn more when I stop reading and stop schooling and we get out of the house and do something fun together.

My plan is to do at least one fun thing together everyday. If we start having lots of tension or we just need a break and I need an idea, we will pull a card from our Fun Cards and do the activity.  When we need to take some time off, we'll pull a Field Trip Card. Some of our field trips will take place on the weekend so my husband can come. Others we'll call up a friend or just go with the three of us. I'm hoping this small addition to our daily routine will reap huge blessings on our family. The heart of my fun cards is spending quality time doing something fun with my children. 

This is what I have so far for our Fun Cards and Field Trip Cards.

Fun Cards:

Jump on the Trampoline, Play Hide and Seek, Play in the Backyard, Eat Ice Cream (this can be at home or out), Ride Bikes, Write and Mail and Letter to a Friend, Bake Cookies, Play a Game, Work in the Garden, Play a Card Game, Read a Book Together, Go to the Park, Play in the Sand, Draw a Picture Together, Watch a Show Together, Go on a Nature Walk, Make Play Dough, Practice Gymnastics Together, and Blue Rock's Choice.  

Field Trip Cards:

Visit the Fountains Downtown, Museum Day, Take a Train Ride, Visit the Fire Station Museum, Visit the Water Gardens, Zoo Day, Visit a Farm, Invite Friends Over for a Holiday Party, Go Camping, Visit Sea Life, and Visit the Cowgirl Museum.  I'll also add Botanical Gardens, take a Ghost Town Tour, and several other things as I think of them.

Blue Rock's Fun Cards:

I'm not sure what all of his cards are so we'll wait until he wants to pick one of his cards and he can tell me then! I just love his creativity and want this to be something fun we do together.  He did make an ice cream card and brought it with us on our family date night last night. He wanted to show everyone his ice cream card and was hoping that would pay for his treat! The ice cream card says DOD and has a picture of an ice cream cone.

Week 30: My Father's World K - Unit 26: Yellow

Both kids wore yellow one day for our weekly color.
I cannot believe we have finished our last week of pre-K, well, technically kindergarten. We finished unit 26: Yellow of My Father's World Kindergarten. Blue Rock has done great this past year and I'm looking forward to teaching him at home again this coming year for our official year of kindergarten.

Memory Verse: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1 NIV

We have had a lot of fun this week looking at colors and doing some color experiments we've done in the past. I've added descriptions to the pictures. We've all been hit with a summer cold so we've slowly been getting over that. Blue Rock  also had his weekly gymnastics camp that meets for 3 hours. We went to the park and fed the ducks, did some fun work, and ended our week with a family date night. We had a great week and a wonderful year going through My Father's World Kindergarten.

Letter coloring page

Letter writing practice

Picture Box Activity

He made an awesome guitar
I love this little red car he drew.

Measuring colors for a rainbow

He lined them up from smallest to largest

We stapled the ends together and made a rainbow

Princess loved the rainbow!

He read the word and traced the word in the right color.

Coloring pictures of vegetables.

This week we were to mix colors in water. He wanted to use shaving cream again.

This time Princess got to mix her own bag! One happy girl!

Color mixing is always fun!

We went to the park with my dad.

This was her first time to see ducks.

Fun playground.

Blue Rock walked my sister's dog.

He also took two dogs for a walk!

Feeding the ducks

Eating the bread we brought for the ducks.

He sorted crayons and made a graph.

Picture/word matching.

Building a marble run with no base!

Cutting out his weekly book.

We ate lunch with Collin one day and there was a balloon machine.

Pictures for the week. Yo-yo, yarn, ball, and egg yoke.

Blend ladder.

Flower 3D craft.

Looks pretty neat!

A bird picture he drew of himself being a bird and a bird came and flew away with him, see the legs.

Family date night to Braum's!

It's been a great year of Pre-K!

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