Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Obey your teacher and be kind to others."

For the past few days, that is what I've been leaving with A as she heads off to school. We want her to remember to obey her teacher and to be kind to others around her.

She began K5 last Thursday as a half day student. She already loves her teacher and enjoys being at school. It is different being on the other side of things now. I had been so used to being the teacher and now I'm a parent. It's fun to hear about her day and to see what she brings home in her back pack.

Because I want her to keep learning and growing at home, I've begun putting out activities on the table for her to do before lunch. Here are a few ideas that I've begun or that we will do this year:

Leap pad (paid $2 for it at a thrift store and it came with one book:)
phonics games like Boggle Jr.
number and letter puzzles
dry-erase writing tablet
quiet reading time
A Beka curriculum phonics for K5 (I'm on the hunt for a used set)
Family Fun activities--I just subscribed to this magazine for a few dollars and the first issue came yesterday. We are sooo excited about this!

We are thrilled with what her teacher is doing in the classroom. They do lots and lots of activities. Reading is encouraged, but the "sight word list" is comprised of many words that can be read phonetically. That is a big reason why I want to do some supplemental things at home, like mentioned above. If we're able to adopt her, we'd like to put her in a private Christian school next year, and we know that teaching her the A Beka phonics will help her out so much and she won't be lost next year. She will be an awesome reader.

In my living room, I like to write phrases with the scrabble tiles. A and I came up with the one below (her name is blocked out for privacy). Notice the letter K--it has a five next to it. It was just perfect. "A_____ is in K5."

We are celebrating the beginning of school and having so much fun. Will you pray that A has a great year and obeys and makes wise choices with her classmates?

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A lifesaver in the kitchen

I know it's been a while, but things have been super busy around here. With fighting a cold and getting A ready for school, life right now is having me focus on more important things.

But--I wanted to share with you something that has been motivating me to do better at meal planning and cooking during this busy time of taking care of two little girls. My sister-in-law told me about E-mealz, a website devoted to helping others with this endeavor. For a small monthly fee you get a 7-day menu plan (just dinners) and shopping list at the grocery store of your choice (there are a couple to choose from or you can choose an option to use another store). They keep your shopping cost low by searching for deals and listing store-brand items on the shopping list. They do it all (minus the shopping, of course!).

Isn't that amazing? Even though I have always enjoyed putting together a meal, things get crazy around here and sometimes it forces me to do something easy--which is not always the healthiest food to eat, either. But with this system, I am cooking meals again and everyone loves them. I chose the 4-6 person low-fat plan, using Wal-mart as my store. I always have leftovers for the next day, so that helps, too. I don't usually choose all seven meals, but rather my favorite 3-4, which lasts all week.

So, what do you think? Check out the site today if you'd like to learn more about it (click on the link above).

Below is a picture of one of our favorite meals so far--Apple Baked French Toast....yum!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The wait is over!

Something has happened in our garden area that we've been waiting for all summer long.

Want to know what it is?

Nope--it's not the sunflowers, but they are really looking beautiful!

It's not even this corn that has grown so much these past couple of weeks.

And although the potatoes are ready to be harvested, it's not this either.

Okay--you can take a look now:

Yipee! We got our first two eggs. Quentin came in yesterday afternoon and was so excited to show me.

They are smaller than our store-bought eggs, but they look great! Can't wait to use them soon. They should get bigger as time goes on.

I asked Q what chicken he thought gave us those eggs. He thinks that it came from Mary Poppins (the golden one between the two black ones).

As I went around with the camera this morning taking pictures, I had a hard time with the chickens, as they kept following me around. I thought I was going to miss the above shot as they ran towards me so fast! Then, as I zoomed in on Turkey Lurkey, she got really curious with the camera. It took me a few tries to get this picture:

I can't wait until all of the chickens start laying eggs. We're going to have a ton of eggs once they get going. Anyone want to come and get some? We'll have plenty for you!:)