Sunday, April 26, 2015

SOME FRIENDLY COMPETITION

Tim and Devon had a little contest today and I got it on video.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: FIRST QUARTER

I posted a while back about how we were going to focus on one character trait each month during 2015 and I think I'm going to pop in every three months with an update on how it's going. It's obviously way past the end of the first quarter, but I'd originally planned on doing one big post at the end of the year and it didn't occur to me to do it this way until now.

I did a lengthy post near the end of January that explained the general plan of how we're doing this and showed pictures of some specifics of that particular month. We obviously talk about all these things, point them out when we see them displayed, and so on, but here are some of the other things we did.

JANUARY: SELF-CONTROL
* dictionary definition - restraint of oneself or one's actions, feelings, etc.
* quotes and Bible verses
     - 2 Peter 1:5-6  For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith ... self-control.
     - Self-control is one mark of a mature person; it applies to control of language, physical treatment of others, and the appetites of the body. ~ Joseph b Wirthlin
     - A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back. ~ Proverbs 29:11
     - One's greatest challenge is to control oneself. ~ Kazi Sham
* We read the following books.
     - Self-control: The 7 Character Traits of Highly Successful Students, written by Ramona Siddoway
     - Bright, Shiny Skylar, written by Valerie Tripp and illustrated by Joy Allen

FEBRUARY: COMPASSION
* dictionary definition - a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for someone struck by misfortune, accompanied by a desire to alleviate the suffering
* We shared some food with those in need of help.
* We read the following books.
     - Under the Lemon Moon, written by Edith Fine Moon and illustrated by Rene King Moreno
     - How to Heal a Broken Wing, written and illustrated by Bob Graham
     - The Can Man, written by Laura E. Williams and illustrated by Craig Orback
     - A Chair for My Mother, written and illustrated by Vera B. Williams

MARCH: SERVICE
* dictionary definition - an act of helpful activity; help; aid
* our own definition - intentionally doing something to help someone else without expecting anything in return
* We participated in a community clean-up day.

(This post contains affiliate and/or referral links. Thank you to those who use them!) 


Thursday, April 23, 2015

MENU: 4/23/15 - 4/29/15

We had a few changes to last week's menu. Lentils & rice  got skipped because Tim and the bigs caught a salmon, which he cooked up and we served with some leftover pasta and broccoli. Rice, kale, & eggs got skipped because the bigs ate at a church event while Teebs, Tim, and I ate bargain Papa Murphy's on the front lawn. Those two missed dinners are getting bumped to this week.

I also busted out a couple spontaneous loaves of lemon bread, one for a group I was hosting and another for the fam, as they wouldn't have been happy if they'd had to smell the loaves baking and not had some for themselves. The bread and the lemon bars we'd already planned on having made my lemon-loving taste buds pretty happy for a few days!

Here are the two new recipes we tried and liked last week.

* restaurant-style prime rib roast - We were given some prime rib that we didn't know how to cook, so I hunted down a few recipes for ideas and had Tim take charge. He made this one and it was really good!

* apple & fig granola - There was a bit of a learning curve with the apples,which I mention in the notes after the recipe, but this tasted great plain or over a bowl of yogurt.

ADVANCED COOKING (These aren't always planned, so they'll often be things I did the previous week.)
* I'll make peanut butter and crockpot beans, just like I do once or twice every week.

BREAKFASTS
* yogurt with pears/English muffins
* doughnuts at church
* oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, homemade peanut butter, maple almond butter, raisins, dried cranberries, fresh or frozen fruit, huh-koe-pee milk, and/or energy mix as optional toppings x5

DINNERS
rice, kale, & eggs (chopped garden kale from the freezer)
* chicken & roasted veggie soup (from the freezer)/toast
* tropical salad/teriyaki chicken (raw in marinade from the freezer, crockpot)/rice
lentils & rice  
* pasta with lemon tomato sauce and feta/new recipe
* tacos - seasoned meat from the freezer, crockpot beans, and some other toppings served in a tortilla or bowl, as a salad over a pile of greens, or with mound of rice
* leftovers 

SNACKS & DESSERTS
* new recipe
* produce
Crunchy Flax cereal (We've scored a few cases of 12 for $4.99 at a local discount store over the last few months, so we've been using it as a snack. We either eat it with milk as a cold cereal, over yogurt with fruit, or mixed into homemade granola.)
* popcorn with seasoned salt (kernels from the WinCo bulk department that get popped in my Lodge Dutch oven, but you can see my thoughts on both the wonderful Dutch oven and the fantastic West Bend Stir Crazy in this post)


(This post contains affiliate and/or referral links. Thank you to those who use them!) 

4/23/15 - THANKFUL THURSDAY

I am thankful for electricity.

What is something that you're thankful for?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

4/21/15 - TEN ON TUESDAY

Dad - My dad came for a visit a few weeks ago and we took him with us to OMSI for several hours. He hadn't been there since they were located at the current Portland Children's Museum. He did a few blog posts about his visit, each with a bunch of pictures - an awesome surprise he gave usdinner at Abby's, and a day at OMSI.


Fishing - Joel has taken Tim and the bigs out fishing a couple of times recently and they caught a salmon on Saturday. Half of it went in the freezer, but we've tweaked our menu for the week accordingly and will be scarfing some of it for dinner tonight.


Friends - Someone recently asked on our homeschooling group Facebook page if they could come without being judged. The following was my response.

As for being judged ... well, that's the first time I've ever been asked that.  I don't think any group of people see themselves as judgmental, but I've never heard anyone complain that we are. Of course, those types of complaints usually happen to other people, not actually to the ones who have hurt someone, so .... I don't know. 

What I *do* know is that we're all doing life and homeschooling a little differently from each other, but still have lots in common. We've gained insight into other perspectives as we've all shared our experiences, but we're fine with agreeing to disagree or to simply not understand. The introverts and extroverts are both comfortable, the newbies and the veterans get along, we help each other out when life is hard ... and we laugh a lot. 


Typing that out made me smile because I'm so thankful for our little group, both the individuals in it and the group as a whole.

Lids - Devon cleared up some shelf space for me by hanging these lids on the wall and door of the cabinet. The door one will need to be moved or get a different nail to hang from because it wasn't secure enough to handle having the door opened and closed multiple times a day, but I'm really enjoying having the lids off the shelf.



Mowing - This is a sight usually only seen when I'm eight months pregnant and simply can't mow the lawn anymore without painful repercussions, but Tim offered to take care of it the other day after replacing a spark plug on the lawnmower. He did the "lawning", as Teebs calls it, while I took care of a bunch of other stuff.


Recital - I completely forgot to post about this last month! Oops. Silas has been taking piano lessons for a little over a year and his teacher had a casual recital in her home in early March. It was a fun evening spent listening to her students play some songs and visiting with the other families once the kids were done.



Roses - First one of the year!


Science fair - The little Ws recently had an opportunity to participate in their first science fair. All three bigs enjoy science and are constantly doing various experiments, but I left participation up to them. Naomi opted out, Devon decided about five minutes before we walked out the door to do a quick demonstration, and Silas spent a few days preparing for a presentation on the nervous system, often getting Teebs involved in the work. Silas had taught a class on body systems a month earlier and hadn't had enough time to cover the nervous system, so the science fair ended up being an extension of the class he'd taught. We all enjoyed eating soup and bread with the other families who were there, then listening as each of the eleven participants shared their contribution with the audience.



Weather - I love the mixture of weather we get this time of year. A week of sunshine and temps in the mid-high 70s with shorts, tank tops, hanging out at the park with friends, and doing school while sprawled on the lawn. A week of grey skies and rain in the 50s and 60s with hoodies, slippers, curling up in a blanket to watch a movie, lighting candles, and eating soup.

Yard - We love our home and yard, but there aren't many options for places to have a garden. The place with the best sun is a narrow walkway on one side of our house and the previous owners planted tomatoes there. It's not ideal, but we're copying them this year, along with doing another run of peas like we did last year.



We also moved things around on the other side of our house. The compost used to be along the fence to the left of the tree with the rails lined in front like a wall. I moved them to the other side of the corner, making two distinctly different piles, moved an azalea that needed more sun to the old compost area, and planted some bulbs. That side of the yard is a work in progress and looks pretty ugly right now, but I think we're finally figuring out how we want to use the space.





Saturday, April 18, 2015

ILLUSTRATED SPELLING TESTS

This is from last year, a spelling test I saved because it represents most of the ones Devon has done over the years. I love it. 






Thursday, April 16, 2015

MENU: 4/16/15 - 4/22/15

I have another menu up at Frugal Living NW this week. It's completely different from this one, so feel free to check it out. Those ladies want menus from their readers, so I encourage some of you to send one in. You can scroll through some of their past menus to get a feel for the variety of ways they and their readers feed their families.

I didn't have any new recipes on last week's menu, but I did end up making a few new things. One was planned, as it was an ingredient I needed it for an old recipe, but the rest were pretty spontaneous.

* egg & sweet potato scramble - We were out of russets, but did have a sweet potato, so we changed up our usual egg & potato scramble combo for breakfast one day. We added some garlic and onion powders, seasoned salt, and pepper to the mix and it was great!

* hummus - I love hummus and have tried several recipes to make my own, but none of them have been very good. I'd given up a long time ago, but Heidi recently posted something on Facebook about making her own. I tried the recipe she used and loved it. It's good as is, but easy to tweak if the mood strikes.

* Italian sausage mix - I knew I'd be making this because I had to turn the plain sausage in my freezer into Italian sausage for the upside-down pizza I had on the menu. It was tasty and I don't anticipate buying Italian sausage again.

* red lentil & veggie soup - This was a totally spontaneous creation that I came up with when I wanted something warm for lunch one day and raided the kitchen for various ingredients.

Now that the new stuff is out of the way, here is what we have planned for the next seven days.

ADVANCED COOKING (These aren't always planned, so they'll often be things I did the previous week.)
* I made a big batch of garbanzos in the crockpot last week, using two cups for the hummus recipe and freezing the rest in four cup portions in quart-sized freezer bags.
* I'll cook and freeze some bacon for a future meal.
* I'll make peanut butter and crockpot beans, just like I do once or twice every week.

BREAKFASTS
* yogurt/new recipe
* doughnuts at church
* oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, homemade peanut butter, maple almond butter, raisins, dried cranberries, fresh or frozen fruit, huh-koe-pee milk, and/or energy mix as optional toppings x5

DINNERS
* rice, kale, & eggs (chopped garden kale from the freezer)
sweet potato & chipotle soup (from the freezer)/toast (We skipped this last week because we ate soup and bread at a science fair some little Ws took part in.)
* Jen's chicken (crockpot, raw in in marinade from the freezer/rice/roasted broccoli
lentils & rice  
* new recipe/broccoli pesto (from the freezer) with pasta
* tacos - seasoned meat from the freezer, crockpot beans, and some other toppings served in a tortilla or bowl, as a salad over a pile of greens, or with mound of rice
* leftovers 

SNACKS & DESSERTS
* lemon bars
* produce
Crunchy Flax cereal (We've scored a few cases of 12 for $4.99 at a local discount store over the last few months, so we've been using it as a snack. We either eat it with milk as a cold cereal, over yogurt with fruit, or mixed into homemade granola.)
* popcorn with seasoned salt (kernels from the WinCo bulk department that get popped in my Lodge Dutch oven, but you can see my thoughts on both the wonderful Dutch oven and the fantastic West Bend Stir Crazy in this post)


(This post contains affiliate and/or referral links. Thank you to those who use them!)