Sunday, December 29, 2013

December Recap


December showed us winter is amongst us.  We got a storm with 25” in less than 18 hours!  We had our first ever homeschool snow day. –The next day-  We spent the day shoveling and snuggling and reading.


The temperature dropped hard core and it has been incredibly cold ever since! I’m talking 10 degrees F. for a high on many days. 

We have spent many days doing inside activities. IMG_2746IMG_3029

We got to go to a special reading time with Santa at our library. This was a neat intimate setting and he took time with each child.  We were very lucky to get tickets to go to this.  - It pays to know your librarians.


My science class had a rock identification day.  This was incredibly fun for each of them! IMG_2759

We went and chose out our Christmas tree and did our fun tradition of going out to lunch after words.


I took on a new hobby. Crocheting.  I learned how, thanks to some books from the library, a friend and some You Tube tutorials. I made a bunch of Christmas gifts. Including head bands, ear warmers and a beard beanie.  IMG_3073IMG_2873IMG_3063









We made cinnamon rolls, like we do every year. We always give them out as our neighbor/ friend gifts.  They are amazing! This year I am pretty sure that people gave me gifts just so they could get a batch of cinnamon rolls in return. Winking smile I don’t take credit for the recipe.  It’s the Pioneer Woman’s. I use this recipe so often during the holidays that I printed a copy, laminated it and it goes in with our holiday decorations.  So every year I pull it out.




I made the best “ugly sweater” if you ask me.  It was “ugly sweater day” at work and I couldn’t resist.  I love it!  IMG_2881

The girls were each in their own Christmas plays and Tommy was a behind the scenes, lights guy for one. IMG_2907IMG_2932

We dipped pretzels in chocolate on Christmas Eve.  This is also a tradition in our family. We usually dip the long stick ones, I just couldn’t find those ones this year.  We live in a small town.


Christmas Day rolled around and the most um, interesting gift received was Katey got a Rose Hair Tarantula.  She named it Angela the tarantula.  IMG_3037


I got a crock pot!  I don’t know how I was living with out one! I have already made dinner in it twice.


That’s our December wrap up.  Looking back I am grateful that we were able to keep and do so many of our traditions even though our lives are so busy. 

Do you have any fun December traditions?

Friday, December 20, 2013

40 Days of Moving While Homeschooling {DAY 0}


Well, we all see where that went quickly. 

That happens all to often in my life.  I get these good intentions and make this fun plans and then poof. Time gets away from me.  I have been looking at some time wasters for me.  I find myself wishing I could get by on less sleep.  I just require sleep.  I don’t get by on just a few hours each night I need a solid 10+ hours.  I can get by one night on just a few hours.  I also can’t nap. If I lay down to sleep for a few hours, I just can’t get back up.  If I manage to then I have a huge headache and I am a real grump until I get the solid sleep I need.  I also waste time playing Plants vs Zombies.  Other than that I really don’t see anywhere I am wasting time.  Much time is spent cooking, cleaning, educating, driving, volunteering, working, having fun family time or time with my husband.

Enough excuses, right?

You get it.

You’re busy too.

So I really thank you for taking the time to read my posts.  It’s a little ego boost for me to know someone out there enjoys my life. I sure do!

First off we decided not to move.  It just ended up not being the right thing to do at this time in our lives.

I spent the next few days after the last moving post, unpacking and then Thanksgiving time snuck up on us.

Katey was in a cute little Thanksgiving play.  She was Rose Standish.  Miles Standish’s wife.  She did great.P2092418

My friend and I sewed all the cute little pilgrim costumes besides the boys hats.  We just had all the kids wear black and then we made the aprons, arm cuffs, yokes and girls’ hats.  I also made buckles for the shoes but they were way to big so we scrapped those.


Then we traveled for Thanksgiving.  We left town for a week.  That was crazy busy and hard to keep up with. 

When I got home, I struggled for two weeks and then I had a meltdown.  I had to take some time off work and get my family and my life back on track.  I have been doing better now.  I still have my days when I feel overwhelmed.  We are definitely having more good days then bad now.

I have also picked up a new hobby.  I am learning how to crochet.  I am very excited about this and I put an unrealistic goal to make each of my kids something.  I have one of my four kids almost done…  I still have 5 more days until Christmas …..  I can do it.

I am done for now.  I have so much more to say….  See ya tomorrow….


Friday, December 13, 2013

Once A Month Grocery Shopping.


I have a friend that goes down to the city and grocery shops once a month.  I decided to give it a try. I am no professional.  This was my very first time. I am sure I still have quite a bit to learn.

Here are the steps I took:

1. Inventory the pantry, fridge and freezer.  Clean them all out. Make a list of any meals you have most of the ingredients for. Make a list of any meals you have all the ingredients for, or any freezer meals you have stocked up.  I also made a tally sheet of how many servings of each type of meat I had in the freezer.

2. I made a list of about 30 dinners total.  there are approximately 5 that repeat.  I then listed out 15 lunches and each of them will repeat once for 30 days worth of lunches.

3. Make the grocery list.  It needs to include all ingredients you need, perishable and non perishable, breakfast items, snacks, and drinks. 

4. Sort the grocery list (this can be combined with step 3.  List it out by canned food, baking supplies, meat, produce, frozen, breads, etc.  (base it on your stores aisles.) I also put the produce on the back.

5. Plan for it financially.  I went with my total monthly grocery budget.  I only spent 1/3 of it!  I decided not to buy all my produce, milk or bread.  (see below)

6. Go shopping.  Eat before you go.  Make it a fun date with your husband, it’s a lot of work.  I was grateful for the help and time I got to spend with mine.  Get a babysitter. DO NOT TAKE THE KIDS! I repeat, DO NOT TAKE THE KIDS!

7. Come home.  Sort and take care of the food.  Any meat you buy put into meal portion size containers (precook some if you want, I didn’t do this since shopping and the 3 hour drive was enough for me.)

8. Menu plan out by week.  Write down any produce you will need for the first week.  Buy that.  

Repeat step 8 each week.

Do not wander around the grocery store you are getting your produce at.  Go in, get what’s on the list and get out.  NOTHING EXTRA. 

I have saved more than 1/2 on my grocery budget by doing this just for one month. I will update each month. 

I made a list of all the lunches and dinners for the month and hung a dry erase board inside my pantry door for quick and easy planning!

Do you have questions for me about this?

I’d love to hear them!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Simply Put: A Study In Economics {A review}


One of the required High School courses for our state is a half credit of Economics.

I honestly don’t remember anything about Economics from my high school education.

I lived in fear of teaching it.  I mean, I’d like to think I know, but do I?

Simply Put

I was beyond grateful to be able to review Simply Put: A Study In Economics. Written by Catherine Jaime. 

This book 139 page book covers:

  • 36 lessons
  • Review questions for each lesson
  • Mid-Term Exam
  • Final Exam
  • 8, yes, 8 different appendixes
  • A Bibliography and suggested additional resources
  • A glossary of terms used throughout the book and economics in general

Each lesson covers a certain topic.  The lessons are short in reading and give a general overview and sometimes an example of when something has happened in our history. 

Catherine Jaime says that the book is written from a classic liberal point of view.  Often known as conservative.  I felt the book showed pros and cons of many economic situations.

My 9th grader has been using this book.  He has done about 2 to 3 lessons each week.  I began by having him read one lesson and then do the review questions.  I have recently changed to having him read and I read then we meet and discuss what we think.  I often use the review questions as starting points in our conversations, but not always, sometimes we just have a natural conversation about our reading.


My 9th grader and I were both very concerned that this book would be boring.  I just kept telling him that it was required to graduate and just have an opened mind and get through it.  Once you get started, it seemed hard for us to stop after just one lesson. Sometimes we didn’t. 

Since starting this book he has enrolled in an online personal finance class with an overview of economics.  He chose to take this class since he has been enjoying this economics book so much that he did want to learn more. 

A few of the chapters covered in this book are:

Lesson 9: Standard of Living

Lesson 15: Voluntary Exchange and Free Trade

Lesson 28: Competition vs. Monopolies

Lesson 30: Minimum Wages

Lesson 33: Unemployment and Unions

There are review questions on each chapter that range from about 3-10 questions each.

The mid-term and final exam are 30 questions each.

This and the accompanying teacher guide can be purchased as a download from Currclick

My family isn’t the only lucky ones who got to review this.

Check out the Bow Of Bronze Launch Team to see what other’s thought of this.


bow of bronze disclaimer

Thursday, December 5, 2013

November Recap- Better late than never!


So much happened in November that I wasn’t able to do weekly wrap up posts so I decided to do a monthly wrap up.

November began with nice weather.

One day while driving around I spotted this little library.


How cool!

I had two freezer meal swaps for November. For one I made Lasagna and one I made Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole. IMG_2547 These freezer meal swaps are lifesavers for me.  These meals will help me get through the months of November and December and still having dinner on the table.

Katey was in a cute little Thanksgiving play.  My friend and I sewed the costumes. The local newspaper even came and did a story on it!


Katey has always been a bug lover.  She is my little entomologist.  It was in November that she was first introduced to a live in person tarantula. IMG_2561She began begging for one for Christmas ever since.

I got an amazing deal on Onions, this 25lb bag was $4.99.  IMG_2576I wasn’t using them as fast I had hoped.  I decided to make and can homemade French Onion Soup.  It was my first time ever making it, and my first time ever using a pressure canner. I borrowed one from our local 4H office to use.  They sure were helpful in teaching me how to use it.  It wasn’t as hard or scary as I thought it would be.

Katey got her first pedicure! IMG_2603

She was in heaven!

Tommy and I had a blast on this really fun rope swing at a neighbors house.


Of course while I was in the city I went to a college football game!  Here is my Sister in law and I.


I went once a month grocery shopping for my first time.  I put a lot of planning into it and it will be it’s own post.  Watch for it! It’s a doosey!


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