Thursday, January 28, 2010

Preschool Corner

Okay, so most of this is from the past week/weekend. We've just recovered from a horrible stomach bug and have finally gotten our legs back! So this is mostly last week and some of this!

Last week was spent focusing on the Earth!
Monday we went and observed Kaelyn in her dance class! She's the sweet one in black!

Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of my favorite craft/activity that we did, but hopefully I can "explain" it to you! We introduced the fact that the Earth was round like a ball and only looked like it was a circle. I used the term sphere, but I don't know that she's caught on yet! I showed her a picture on the internet, and we talked about how some parts of the Earth were blue and that was the oceans/water and that others were green/brown and that was land. To better illustrate this we made our own Earth using coffee filters and Washable Markers. Anna was focused on the shape of Circle and the color Blue (a word she now uses but not properly!).  Anna and Kaelyn both really enjoyed "sprinkling" the filters with water and watching the colors blend.We the continued the art craft with  a few other coffee filters to be used to make "heart fish" later on this week for our segment on Oceans as well as Valentine's Cards for our Favorite Guy-Dad.

Here is Kaelyn working hard on her Letters and the paper plate craft showing the layers of the Earth. I didn't expect her to "get" the names, just that there are layers. I really wanted to do this cool craft  where you make an Earth Layers Bowl using a graham cracker crust and different colored Jello...but perhaps when she is older!

We later purchased a mini-globe for $1 to reinforce the "sphere" concept. We are continuing with the Earth by studying the oceans! So, we made our Coffee Filter Heart Shaped fish using heart cookie cutters to trace out a design (big heart tip touching little heart tip), added googley eyes found at dollar tree and a fin! Anna worked on her fish/kissy sound, Heart shape, and blue again! These fish are also being used for Valentine's Day Cards with very cute "catch" phrases. We also colored various sea creatures to be used later on next week in our ocean collage showing where animals "should be"(sand dollars/hermit crabs on the beach/birds in air/fish in water/stingrays on bottom). All this ocean life talk prompted a trip to the Aquarium where Kaelyn was asked to place certain animals in their right habitats as well as mark off what colored fish she could spot. Here is the link for the "scavenger hunt"
For Math we worked on simple addition using manipulatives as well as number recognition. Kaelyn had poker chips with the numbers 0-10 written on them, and I had duplicates of 0-5. Kaelyn would select two numbers and then count out the appropriate chips and add them together. The chips are actually phonics tiles from Dollar tree that have been flipped over. We also play a modified UNO (just wild cards) where we have to announce the card we are laying down!
(please please please excuse the dirt on the table cloth!)
For reading, we started the Progressive Phonics program. I am hoping to commit to working on this more in the days coming!

I'm not going to lie, this is mostly last weeks and a few of this week! I was horribly sick! I've also decided that Anna really needs me to focus more on her (1-1) with fewer distractions, so instead of getting to clean a little in the morning, I'm taking the first hour of my day to play with her. Kaelyn is welcome to join in, but it's Anna directed play. She is responding so well to the added attention!

Go see what others are up to at Preschool corner!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My close encounters of the porcelin kind

I would really like to apologize for not boring you all with my very exciting posts about what we have accomplished this week in our homeschooling, or what wonderful food we will be enjoying. But to be perfectly honest, I have been hit by the semi-truck sized stomach bug that only visited each member of my family for a few hours and me for a few days. Seeing as I haven't eaten in three days and the thought of food sends me reeling for the bathroom, I sincerely hope that NONE of you get this...and that I will be well shortly. But for now, the girls are being couch potatoes and surviving on meals of PBJ and hot dogs while I try not to throw up my broth.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Meal Planning Monday!

Sooo....I went and visited a few of the other blogs and I have found a couple of GREAT crockpot recipes to try! I generally avoid the crockpot (Shocking I know), but I've never really had any great meals out of it aside from Roast or Stews.  I'm trying something new and giving it a go! If you'd like to participate or see what other ladies are making here is the link for Meal Planning Monday!

(From my Freezer and Pantry!!! This meal requires NO SHOPPING!) Honey Mustard and Lime Chicken Legs

Crockpot Corn Chowder

5 Bean Chili (I've made this before and LOVE IT)

Baked Potatos topped with leftover Chili or Chili Dogs for the girls with homemade Sweet Potato Fries
(slice sweet potatos to desired thickness, we prefer thinly slices, and toss in EVOO then sprinkle with season all)

Left over night!

Tomato and Grilled cheese! We ADORE the V8 soups (and I'm not a tomato person).
Taco Night

I take left over taco meat, add a can of cream of mushroom, fresh or canned mushrooms and serve it all over egg noodles with a salad! Leftovers turned Beef Stroganoff!! It's actually really delicious!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Preschool Corner! This week in review!

So, this past week has been beyond crazy! Hence our semi thrown together homeschooling. I have started slowly adding Anna(1) into our lessons, and she seems to enjoy being in the "mix" during school time. Anna was focusing on the color Red, Counting, and the shape of a heart! I tried to make  Kaelyn's(3) lesson focus on Anna's themes as well. Here goes my FIRST Preschool Corner (talk about keeping my accountable in my homeschooling).

Anna's coloring sheet

And her plate. I adjusted Anna's craft to just include drawing on a plate. (in the future, we'll be using markers because Anna prefers these!)

Kaelyn's Heart Wreath. I just cut out the hearts and let Kaelyn make the wreath! She had so much fun!! I should probably mention that hearts and pink are two of her FAVORITE things!

Finished project. I did work on patterns prior to gluing on the hearts, but alas...the concept ended there! She did enjoy counting them!

Letter Matchup! The capital letters were matched with their lower case partners! Kaelyn calls it "helping the mommies find their babies!".

Sorry for the sideways photos, I haven't figured out blogger yet
Kaelyn signing her name to her sign! Which she adores and points out in the house ALL DAY LONG.
Anna decided that she was tired of coloring and would rather help unload the dishwasher, who am I to complain?

I don't have photos, but Kaelyn worked on some worksheets for handwritting and drawing shapes. She also read her books (The Bob books), and used some math manipulatives to start working on addition and subtraction. We aren't using those terms yet, but she's getting the concept!

Both ladies helped make "candy necklaces", by lacing foot loops onto a string. It was a great way to work on finger dexterity, fine motor skills and patience! You could also use this to help with counting/patterns/colors. I made sure to point out what color I was "helping" Anna thread on. They wore these necklaces around the house all day snacking while I was cleaning.

We also did heart cookie cutter painting in the color of red! Anna's was free painting with me coaching her to say "Red", while Kaelyn was asked to first order her hearts by size and then move onto free painting! We really enjoyed this and I will be hunting out MORE cookie cutters!

At the grocery store, Kaelyn was asked to keep up with three items we needed (two are her favorite things, and the third is something she doesn't really care for). Anna and Kaelyn played "I spy" with colors. When Kaelyn found the color she was looking for she then made the corresponding animal sound. Anna was then asked what that Animal said.
ex. "Ladies, when you see something yellow make the sound of a dog".
Kaelyn, "I see yellow squash, Ruff Ruff",
"Anna what does the dog say"
  Anna- Ruff Ruff

I'm hoping to make some texture cards for Anna and Kaelyn will be starting on a small introduction to Haiti since the Base we are at is hosting Refugees. Kaelyn will also be joining me tomorrow while Anna is at a friends to help assemble Hygiene Kits to be on the next air drop!

Delayed Goodwill trip=Hand of God?

*please see the addendum*
So, I've had about three bags of clothing and shoes (I don't let the girls cycle shoes down, I always buy theirs new and feel guilty about giving those less fortunate worn shoes when I treat my own kids "better") waiting to get dropped off. In all honesty, I've had to move those bags out of my hybrid trunk (aka TINY) to allow for grocery shopping on more than one occasion. So today, when I get a phone call from my darling husband asking me if we had any winter clothing to donate, I felt the wave of guilt rush on. I told him yes, and he said "Good, pack it up and bring it to the base. We are hosting 200 refugees in the gym who need clothes yesterday". THANK YOU LORD for not having me be productive and make it to Goodwill. I will be able to put shoes on 10 sweet little feet, coats on one lucky ladies bodies and provide some old maternity clothes to those in need! I choose to believe that God was the reason for my inability to make it to Goodwill!

*Within a few hours and before I could drop off my goods, the base gym was OVERWHELMED by donations! I am so proud to be associated with such an AMAZING community of people, with hearts that are so willing to give. Tomorrow, Kaelyn and I will be preparing "hygiene kits" for the people of Haiti. These kits will be delivered on the next air drop. I am so excited to expose Kaelyn to the idea of service and giving, and Kaelyn is very excited to help.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nesting Place/Dayspring-Danielson Design studio Giveaway

So, there is a giveaway being hosted at The Nesting Place by the lovely people of Dayspring-Danielson Design Studio. For playing around on their wonderful website and posting the amazing designs you are are entered into a random Mr. Linky selection!!! So here are my two designs!!! And if I don't win, I could very well be buying them anyways! LOL Those sneaky people at Dayspring knew that's what would happen!

Without further ado...

I would have to add Kaelyn's middle name to make it match.
Kaelyn's reads "In dreams you lose your heartaches, whatever you wish for you keep"
Anna's reads "If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true"
Both are from Cinderella...and I happen to like them!

So...go give it a try and link up at The Nesting Place, you might just be a winner.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I Heart Faces- Best Face

I am starting to feel like my one year old is slighted....rarely is her picture entered, but to be fair, she never stops long enough for a shot that isn't blurry! This is Kaelyn at the Disney parade and she JUST SAW SANTA! Granted it was from a DISTANCE, she is not a Santa fan at all!

Meal Plan Monday

So, I nearly ALWAYS have a menu sketched out, but I decided I'd try participating in the Meal Planning Monday hosted at I'm an Organizing Junkie. I actually started my menu on a different day due to the fact that I just returned from a LONG visit to my parent's house! I think I'll be able to swing a full week with the remainder of my menu!

Monday- Pan Fried Tilapia with  Roasted Balsamic Vinegar Asparagus
 1 lb of Asparagus (cleaned and broken/cut)
 2 tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
 1 Tbsp of oil
 Salt and Pepper to taste
 Oven set to broil

Toss the Asparagus in the Balsamic Vinegar and Oil mixture, salt and pepper as desired.
I drizzle the remaining mixture over the top and add more if I so desire!
Lay out on pan and put under broiler for about 10 mins or until Asparagus becomes soft.

Tuesday-Beef Bok Choy
   1 lb of beef tips, good quality(I cut my own and save some $$ that way)
   1 lb of baby bok choy
   Carrots (I eyeball the amount my family would enjoy)
   Bell Pepper (usually one large one)
   1 tablespoon of minced garlic (I make my own minced jar of Garlic using the food processor, WAY cheaper)
   Soy sauce
   Splash of Teriyaki Sauce
   Garlic Salt and Crushed Red Pepper flakes

After cutting and cleaning the veggies, I set them aside and saute my beef tips in a hot pan with Garlic, garlic salt, and about a teaspoon or two of Teriyaki sauce.

Once cooked to the desired doneness, I put them in a bowl and add a little soy sauce, olive oil and some more garlic to the pan.

Then I take the carrots, the onion, bell pepper and ends of the bok choy and saute them in soy sauce and a dash of red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you want it). Once the onions and ends of bok choy start to turn slightly translucent, I add the leaves of the baby bok choy and mushrooms if you choose to have them. These will saute quickly, so if I want a little more sauce, I'll add soy and a dash of teriyaki! Served over brown rice!! YUMMY
Wednesday-Store bought sauce and Spinach Cheese Tortellini

Thursday- General Tsao's Chicken

Friday- Leftovers!!!

Saturday- Edamame and Gyoza (easy because they are premade! I just make my own Gyoza dipping sauce!) Should make for a GREAT movie night meal!

Sunday are our easy days...meaning we kind of eat leftovers or easy meals! Sometimes we go out to eat,  but usually it's what's in our freezer or pantry!

I just realized that my first post with MPM makes us look like big Asian food eaters, but that's just what we have in our fridge for this week! I don't generally seem this "themed".

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Borrowed Time

Ever felt like you were living on borrowed time? I don't mean in the morbid sense. I know that Ryan will be leaving soon, I don't know specifics, but I know soon. Here lately, I've found myself really enjoying the simple things with him, like waking up with him in the mornings, hearing his voice in my home, listening to the girls exclaim "Daddy" when he walks in, being able to talk to him, and discuss the day-to-day. I've even found myself enjoying the annoying things, like the way he NEVER cleans the sink after dumping his razor out, the extra clothes in the laundry, the scuffs left on the hardwood from his boots, and his annoying habit of NEVER throwing out leftovers! When he's gone, it's the things that annoy me that I miss the most.

I was wondering last night, if Jesus felt the same way. He knew when he would die, how he would die, and at whose hands...yet he choose to live every moment of his 33 years to what I think would be the fullest. I wonder if he found himself enjoying the little things in life, like a hoard of children crowded at his feet, meals with friends, the temple, and a wedding or two. I think Jesus also realized that there was more to this world and choose to spend time with some unsavory characters, because their lives are worth it. The sick, the dieing, the downtrodden, the weak, the poor, the sinners and the forgotten were worth moments of Jesus' short 33 years on this planet. I wonder what more I could be doing with my borrowed time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


So, yesterday was my first day of actually participating (I was traveling, as in various airports at various moments!), and I really feel confidant that I can in fact read the Bible in 90 days. Granted, I did read a little too much (I still haven't convinced my laptop that it's old friends with my printer....they are currently not talking so I had to try and remember what I was suppose to read. All I could recall was Exodus 20-40). Since I finished part of tonight's reading last night, I will take this chance to catch up on the readings I have missed.

Exodus was a firm reminder that I am so ever grateful for Jesus and his sacrifice! All the rules and regulations regarding the construction to the Temple, sanctification, offerings, etc were overwhelming. Amidst all that I did find that there was one verse repeated about three times. This verse was speaking to the Israelite's and gently reminding them, that they should be mindful of how they treat "aliens" because they were once treated as outsiders in Egypt (Exodus 22:21, 23:9).  I think it would serve as a nice reminder for how we should treat people in our own nation/community/church/family.

I also found great joy in Exodus 23:2, "Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong".  We (Ryan and I), have recently started trying to set this expectation for Kaelyn (3 1/2) and her behavior. Rarely is she taking part of a naughty behavior, but we are called to do more than just not take part of that wrong doing, we are called to be different than the crowd and stand against the wrong.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Bible in 90 Days!

So, I'm a little late joining the "challenge", but every year one of my resolutions is to read the bible from Front to Back! Needless to say, I always end up reading large portions, but I never complete it (I do good until March, then I become very sporadic). So, I thought, perhaps joining a group that is trying to read it all in 90 days will be just the swift kick in the tush I need! Since I am late, I will have to make up the first few readings, but I think it will be a blessing indeed! If you are interested, here is the link!  Perhaps I can handle 90 days!

Another resolution, to start working out twice a week til June, and then maybe up it to three times a week! This is also another resolution I break, so I'm going with small goals!