September 29, 2009

Menu Planning

Mostly I just plan dinners. We go with whatever the mood strikes for lunch. Sometimes it's leftovers, mac & cheese, sandwiches, soup, whatever we have. Breakfast is usually oatmeal with the occasional cereal bowl when we want to mix things up. We live life close to the edge.

I do have a binder with all my recipes in it. I keep it in the kitchen. It's pretty cool and well organized.

Here's the concept: 

My binder has different sections for chicken, beef, pork, soups and beans, sandwich and bread, and desserts. I print the recipes onto regular paper and put them in page protectors (so that food splashes wipe clean)
  At the front of each section I have baseball card sleeves to hold a card with the recipe title and a short list of ingredients I need for shopping (things I don't typically keep stocked in my pantry).

*Small index cards cut in half fit the baseball card sleeves perfectly.
Above is a section that just has index cards. I use these to track how many "Quick Meals" I have on hand. Sometimes when I make a meal like lasagna for dinner, I'll make two and stick the extra in the freezer. I like to keep a bag of fish sticks or chicken nuggets on hand for when our day explodes with the unexpected.

I go through each section and pull out the meal cards that I want to use for the next week. I typically do this in the kitchen so I can go through the cabinets/fridge at the same time and make a shopping list.    


At the very front of my binder I have a zipper pouch (holds pen, note pad, and supplies to add to my binder as we try new things) and an empty baseball card sleeve.   I slide this week's meal cards into the sleeve.

As I use this weeks cards I take them out and put them back in their section where I keep the recipe.   When I'm not planning our meals we usually have a cycle of about 5 recipes until we burn out on something. There isn't as much variety. It's hard to be creative when you wait until the last minute everyday.
***The idea for the recipe binder is not my own. Melissa introduced me to it during one of our HK Makeover challenges.

Life with Boys

"Guys guess what? I was picking my nose and got a prize! Look a nose hair!!!"

September 28, 2009

Science and HST

One of our biggest areas of weakness right now is science. We are doing very well at everything else. I've added our subjects in one at a time and things are going smoothly. Ishmael said to me the other day, "My favorite subject is science, but we never do it." So I'm guilted into doing science now. I've been waiting until I could buy curriculum. However, that might not be until spring at this point. So I chose biology as a subject. I'm going through the online library catalog and I will place a hold on some books and come up with a lesson plan. We'll start with the cell, I think. I have a great book on the anatomy of a cell. A friend shared a REALLY good idea of making a jello mold cell (one in a circle pan and one in a square pan) and adding in fruit for the different parts. We'll get right on that yumminess. Another thing I'm working on is making Homeschool Tracker Plus (HST) more Mandy-friendly. Right now we are still in the "getting to know you" stage of our relationship. I'm constantly rearranging his features...he doesn't like that and will often lose stuff on me. However, he wants to be helpful so if we could find a happy medium it will be a beautiful relationship. Photobucket

September 21, 2009

Oatmeal Mondays

"Oatmeal, Shmotemeal, I don't like oatmeal."



I am so thinking of that kid on A Christmas Story who didn't like his meatloaf. hahahaha

September 20, 2009

"United with Him"

When he was 6 years old Ishmael made a profession of faith that Jesus Christ died for his salvation. He did this at home during prayer time. He's pretty quiet about his faith, but takes it very seriously.

Joshua went forward to pray during the alter call at Christian Assembly's VBS when he was 7 and professed a belief in Jesus. He was so excited he told me all about what it meant on the car ride home and again later with Leon.

Because the boys were so young we decided to wait and talk to them about baptism when they were older. We wanted it to be their own individual choice. One that they make all on their own with no prompting from us.

Pastor Mac preached on baptism recently and it got the boys talking about it. They asked questions at home and they both decided that it was what they wanted to do. So we invited Pastor Mac and Mr. Dale over to talk with the boys about it.

Both boys shared their statement of faith so clearly and so directly, it brought tears to my eyes.

Joshua said, "I know that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, that he died, was buried, and rose again."

Ishmael said, "People sometimes put other things as more important than God, but I
believe that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and paid the price for my sins."

Romans 6:3-5
"Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,"


Being buried with Christ.

Rising in newness of Life.



Being buried with Christ.

Rising in newness of Life.

September 19, 2009

Saturday Afternoon Math

We had some catching up to do and plenty of free time to do it.




It was probably the most productive day we've had for math in a while.

September 17, 2009

JV Football

Z is #4 all the way on the left.



"Good game"


Post game huddle.


It was so much fun to watch him play! It reminded me of his Pop Warner days. *sigh* seems like so long ago...

September 6, 2009

Picnic at the Lake

Saturday night, Leon and I packed a picnic lunch for the family. We planned to hit "The Beach" right after church. The weather could not have been any better. It was 77 deg, breezy (but not cold), with mild humidity. The water was just the right temperature too.

Labor Day Weekend



I asked Leon if he wanted to go swim.


He's just frontin' I know he wants to get out there. He just won't admit it.

Jeremiah had as much fun in the sand as he did the water.


Everytime he'd come up for a drink or a snack, he'd cover himself in sand.


I on the other hand, really don't like the feel of sand. I spend a lot of time making sure it doesn't "stick" to me. lol

The boys used the opportunity to try on the PFD's as one of their requirements for the Webelos Aquanaut badge.

Kelsea and Ishmael are becoming best buds. They spent a lot of time together in the water.

Leon finally made it out there. He said "only for 15 min". They played for an hour. :P


My 3 Musketeer Dudes!


September 3, 2009

Blue-tailed Skink

The blue-tailed skink are a whole lot of fun to watch.


They are fast! We seem to have several as the kids go out and count them each day. I have yet to see one pop it's own tail off in self-defense though. That would be very cool.

September 2, 2009


"Mom, I need a little piece of string."

"Mom, can I use your scissors?"

"Mom, I need some tape."

"That's scott's tape, I need the good silver tape. And I need paint."

"Mom I need the tree scissors."

I think I should go see what Jeremiah's up to....

September 1, 2009

Bucket Garden and the Milkweed Assassins

What our garden looks like today. We plucked all the red peppers yesterday.
Too bad I didn't get a picture then, it was very pretty.

Bucket Garden

We have visitors! These are immature milkweed assassins.
They prey on other insects and are as good for the garden as ladybugs.

Milkweed Assassins

Earlier in the season I mistook them for some strange species of red ants.
I scared them off by giving my garden a good dousing with my home made bug repellent.
Then I came inside and googled them. OOPS! I should have left them alone!
I'm so glad they are back.

Milkweed Assassin

MilkWeed Assassin

Now that we know what they are (and that they have a good purpose) we have had fun watching them.

Milkweed Assassins

They sure are feisty! Go little bugs! Conquer! Kill! Eat!