In a homeschooling house full of 7 kids & 3 guniea pigs....there is never a dull moment! A lot of people show genuine concern for us and want to know how we are doing, as the road we've left behind was not a pleasant one. So, here I am, to tell some of our stories...share some of our days...and open up a part of our world to you! Come join us on our journey so you won't miss the moments that take our breath away!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lucky Charms Treats

So, I ran to the store to pick up a few things this evening.  Of course, I can hardly ever escape to the grocery without at least one kid in tow and tonight, I had Eagle with me.

As we walked through the isles, a certain new product caught our eye right there in the Granola Bar section!  Lucky Charms Marshmallow Treat Bars 

Now, I always love convience, don't get me wrong...but 6 bars for $4.00 really?  I must admit, they did seem quite yummy but with only 6 bars per box, we'd have to get two boxes just so the entire flock could each have one.  Now, as I said, I do love convience but I also love to be frugal and $8.00 for a snack is just not acceptable!

So, as I stared at the box...I thought...hmm...couldn't we just make them?  Off to the cereal isle we went, where we picked up a box of store brand Lucky Charms which in our local store, happened to be "Marshmallow Treasures" for the low price of $1.99.  Then of course we needed Marshmallows, again...store brand and these were $1.69.  Luckily, we had butter at home.  So for $3.68 we will have an entire 9 x 13 pan full of yummy Marshmallow Treasure Treats!

But first, we have to make them.  So, we gathered our ingredients...



Hawk was willing to help in the kitchen tonight and I was glad to take pics of him making us a lovely treat :)

Melt 3 Tbs. of butter


add in 40 large marshmallows


Spread treats in pan


The verdict is in and Hawk says they are "Amazing".  Currently, Duckling and Emu can be found attacking the pan of treats.  I think that spells "SUCCESS"!

$3.68 and we have leftovers :)

Here's what we used:
6 cups of Marshmallow Treasures (our store brand of Lucky Charms)
3 TBS Butter
40 large Marshmallows

Here's how Hawk did it:
Melt butter in a large saucepan, then add marshmallows.  Stir until mixture is smooth and all the marshmallows are completely melted.  Remove from heat and add "lucky charms".  Spread treats out evenly in a 9 x 13 pan.  Allow to cool before cutting.  Enjoy! :)

Yet, another frugal tip from yours truly.  If you missed our version of uncrustables, click here

See ya next time!

Friday, August 26, 2011

FriDay-in-the-life

Whew!  We made it to Friday :)
Wow, what a busy week...it just flew by!  We usually try and have "Free Day Family Friday's", but we planned on working today, as we are trying to "get ahead" for the weeks we will be gone.  

As always, my morning didn't go as planned.  I was not feeling well at all last night, but ended up sleeping it off and getting a good night's sleep while I was doing it.  My alarm went off at 6am and I was actually ready to get up, but Duckling had other plans for me.  I snuggled with my little nursling for about 45 minutes...then it was time to get busy.  She started her day with me (way to early for her)...but she had a bananna and a cup of milk and enjoyed watching Elmo while I did a few chores.  She soon drifted off to sleep on the couch for a bit until the others started coming down.  

Macaw and I started her day with the story of "Three Billy Goats Gruff".  While she made a Goat Toilet Paper Tube Craft, I read her the story.  She enjoyed acting out the story afterwards with her new little goat friend.  Next, we worked on her letter for the day, which was letter "Bb".  She practiced writing and also formed letters Aa and Bb with clay.  We then moved on to her rhyme, which was Jack and Jill.  I found a few crafts/activities so while Emu and Duckling worked on a color-by-number , she worked on finger puppets and sequence cards.  We then took a break for a while before making a pail craft (we just took small bathroom cups, punched two holes on opposite sides and attached a pipe cleaner handle).  I then wrote the rhyme on the cup.

Then, it was off to the Pulmonologist with Eagle.  We packed up the netbook and a few workbooks, but we didn't get much accomplished....oh well, I guess we get an "A" for effort.  Eagle's lung condition has held fairly steady since January, so he had a great visit!

Cardinal and Hawk took their day off and by the time we had dinner, the rest of our day was shot.  Apparently, the little ones have adjusted to our school schedule because by 7:30 they were starting to beg to go to bed.  At 8:30, poor Emu just couldn't wait anymore.  He had been begging for his shot for at least a half hour, so....he got his injection and off the little ones went to bed.

Our house hasn't taken too bad of a beating this week, so it's time to tidy up a bit and get ready for our weekend.  It's another weekend away for us...sigh....busy, busy, busy! 

We've linked up with the "Not" Back to School Blog Hop this week, so hop over there and give them a visit!  I've enjoyed visiting the blogs of fellow homeschoolers this week :)

Jack and Jill

We are loving the Calvert Curriculum that we are using with Macaw!!

Today's rhyme is "Jack and Jill"...
I am always adding extra activities in where ever I can and with every story or rhyme, I try to find at least one craft.  I can not believe that I have not discovered http://www.makinglearningfun.com/ sooner!  This is a wonderful free site for my little ones...and to think I was going to pay for Enchanted Learning!  Ahh...anyways, Macaw has been working on different enrichment activities this morning. 

Here she is trying to recite her new rhyme with her finger puppets that she made.  Hey, not too bad considering we had only read the rhyme a few times before she felt ready to try to recite it!

video

She also made sequence cards

She's taking a break for now...but when she returns, she will be making a pail before trying to recite her new rhyme!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

ThursDay-in-the-life

Uggh!!

Again, my morning started much later than it was suppossed to...but, storms last night sent five visitors to my room.  Hours went by and finally, I was able to get to sleep, but not long after...my alarm was making a very poor attempt to get me up.

I finally made my way downstairs at around 7am.  My coffee just isn't the same when I'm out of creamer and I didn't have the heart to wake up Falcon, as I knew he didn't get any sleep either.  So, needless to say...my morning wasn't off to a great start.

The kids started waking up on their own as early as 7:30...the muffins were just coming out of the oven.  You'd think our school day would have gotten off to an earlier start, but for some reason things were just very chaotic this morning.  Hawk was not very happy when he came down to find out that he was not going fishing, but at least his school work was done for the day. 

Macaw received all of her Calvert Curriculum/Supplies at around 11:30am. 


We unpacked and went through all of her stuff and got her things organized.



 

She was so eager to get started, so we dove right in.  To my surprise, she was not very willing to allow the smaller ones in on her lesson.  She has always worked extremely well with the kids, but after all...she understood that she is starting Kindergarten.  She knows that this year is the "real deal" and that all these wonderful things came to HER, so I couldn't blame her for wanting the attention all to herself.  It was a rough afternoon trying to get her lessons done, but she was able to enjoy most of her day and at times, she did allow her younger siblings to sit at the table with her. 

Duckling eager to sit in on a lesson

Duckling working on her letter "A" worksheet

Emu showing off his worksheet and Macaw hard at work on her workbook

We made puppets of Goldilocks and The Three Bears after we read the story

Tomorrow, I will wake her up early and try and get most of her things done before Emu and Duckling wake up.  I wonder if other veteran homeschoolers have to do as much "tinkering" with their schedules as I do!

Cardinal worked almost completely independent today.  I love her attitude and her drive...she is so eager to learn!  She is very much enjoying her Life Science.  It was thrilling to see her excited to learn something new and the "oh" factor that comes with figuring out how and why certain things happen.  She read about plants and how they form a wax like substance to protect themselves when they get cut or injured.  She rushed right out to the field to find a dandelion to experiment with.  I love that she is in an environment where she has the ability to learn hands on...where she can get right up from her desk and set foot outdoors to actually "see" what she is reading about and to be able to watch things happen, instead of just reading about them.

By the time I was finished teaching Macaw her lessons, I had a terrible migraine headache.  I was unable to work with Eagle, so he had an "off" day.
The alarm is set to go off at 6am tomorrow.  The goal is to have Macaw up by 7:00.  I went to the store and got creamer and the kids were all in bed at a decent hour tonight, so there should be no excuses in the morning!  Tomorrow shall be a better day!  

Hop on over to the Not Back to School Blog Hop and see how other homeschoolers spent their Thursday!
We'll see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WednesDAY-in-the-Life

We have linked up to the Not Back to School Blog Hop this week, sharing "A day in the life..."

Today is Wednesday!  We are not quite in full swing of a "normal" school day, but we knew as we started this year, that we'd have a rough beginning.  With so much going on and so much to do, we aren't really going to get into the swing of things until near the end of September.  For now, life and making precious memories awaits us! 

You see...my mother is nearing the end of her life and we are preparing for a very special trip with my entire family.  One last "horrah" for my mom, her last vacation...our last chance to make precious memories that will hopefully last my kids a lifetime.  It's a very bittersweet trip, but one we anxiously await! 

Today, my day started later than I wanted it to...but since life is always happening around here, I didn't get much sleep last night.  I went to bed much later than I should have and Duckling and Macaw both paid my room a visit at around 3am.  From 3am until my alarm went off at 6:30, I didn't get much sleep so I didn't crawl out of bed until nearly 7:00am.  I sipped a cup of coffee while enjoying the nice morning breeze and great conversation with Falcon and soon later, the flock made their way down the stairs.  Breakfast, which was just cereal and fruit this morning, was served by 8:00am and by 8:30am or so today's lessons had begun.

The little ones were busy with play, Eagle got busy with his spelling lesson, Hawk worked on Math and Reading and Cardinal squeezed in part of a History lesson before we had to rush off to her Dr. appointment.  Falcon stayed behind to teach the others, while I took Cardinal to her appointment.  On our way home, we stopped off at a few places to gather some items we need for our upcoming trip.  We were gone for about 4 hours, but when we returned, lunch had been served and Hawk and Eagle had completed all of their daily lessons.  Eagle learned about writing numbers through 10,000 in Math.  Reviewed a bit on identifying the four kinds of sentences in LA.  He was introduced to Vocabulary (WordlyWise3), he enjoyed a classic story in Literature and did a bit of Geography.  I'm not sure what Hawk's day brought him, but I know that he completed all of his assigned lessons. 

Macaw had received a package from her school which contained some lessons concentrating on her fine motor skills.  She was so excited and she got right to work writing and cutting away. 




Emu was busy sharpening colored pencils...it's a tough job, but someone has to do it!


Cardinal worked hard on a research paper she had to complete for Science (Madagascar Organisms).  It seemed pretty easy for her, but she didn't complain...she took some great pictures!

After dinner, we spent some time outside.  The little ones were excited to find a grasshopper and so they learned a bit about him.  I love watching my kids in the great outdoors and I love that our classroom isn't contained to those four walls that enclose that one room in our house that we call our "classroom".  I love watching my children learn about the great world that surrounds them.


Emu was not too sure about this little fellow...

Duckling, on the other hand, was busy explaining to Mr. Grasshopper that they were "Best Friends"...

...and look at that smile!  Mr. Grasshopper must have agreed!


So, now our Wednesday comes to an end.  The little ones have been down for about an hour, recharging for whatever tomorrow will bring.  Hawk just completed tomorrow's lessons because he wishes to spend his tomorrow out fishing with Falcon.  The big ones are off to bed and Falcon and I will end our day, similar to the way we begin it...sitting outside, enjoying the cool breeze, only this time instead of the fresh morning sun, we'll enjoy the stars in the sky. 

Vocabulary Spelling City

I've been given a premium membership to VocabularySpellingCity.com for a candid, personal, online review. 

VocabularySpellingCity.com helps students study word lists using 25 different learning activities such as Vocabulary TestWord Unscramble and Word Search.  Parents can create their own spelling lists, find published lists already available on the site or use any of the dozens of  free teaching resources such as  compound words and math academic vocabulary.  Be sure to come back in three weeks to read about my experience.

There might be more free memberships available for bloggers.  If you're interested, find out how you can  review VocabularySpellingCity.com.

Uncrustables

Yesterday, I went a little crazy buying bread during my weekly grocery shopping trip.  Oops! 

I didn't want to let all that lovely bread go to waste, so I decided to make and freeze some "Uncrustables".  A few of my kids love PB&J's and I have never paid the premium price for these handy little sandwiches.  I have had my lovely Pampered Chef Cut-n-Seal  for years and this makes a perfect tool for making an uncrustable!  Truly, my children don't even know that you can buy these sandwiches in the grocery store because we have always made our own. 

I've always loved being able to use healthy ingredients that I choose and personalizing them with the jelly my kids like.  We have never frozen them, so it will be interesting to see how my kids like them once we have thawed them out.  I love the fact that we will now have sandwiches readily available for those unexpected trips out during a mealtime when we would usually have to run through the drive thru.  This will be quite a time and money saver for me!

Hawk was by my side anxious to help make these :)  I love when my kids are willing to help in the kitchen!


Our favorite bread, mixed with our favorite peanut butter!  I prefer the low sugar spread, but unfortunately I have a picky kid or two who simply will not eat it...so everyone gets their personal favorite!

First, we lay our bread on cookie sheets...

Next, we spread our peanut butter and favorite jelly...
We forgot to take a picture after we cut our sandwiches, but here are our finished products, labeled and ready for the freezer!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Not Back to School Bloghop!

I am a little late jumping into the Day-in-the-life series linked to the Not Back to School Blog Hop, but hey...better late than never right?

I don't think there is a "typical" day in our house.  With 6 kids...a lot of "life" happens around here.  Our house is a very hectic one, anyone who follows my blog knows this for sure.  Usually, we are rushing off to hospital and/or doctors appointments or something else comes up.  Our new school year has slowly begun.  Our goal was to start weeks ago, but...as always...that "life" sometimes gets in the way.

In the last month or so, Cardinal, Macaw and I have all had a surgery and Duckling was admitted in the hospital for a day of testing.  Once that was all behind us, we were busy planning an upcoming trip. 

We had decided to "officially" start our year this past Monday...but, guess what!  Yep, that darn "life" once again.  You see, we went out of town to take our van to our mechanic on Sunday.  Since things don't always go as planned, when we were on our way home, our engine light came on...yes, as we left the mechanic.  So, back to the mechanic our van went and we went back to my parents to spend another night. 

So, this week...we have had those "life lessons".  The ones where you learn that life isn't perfect and things do not always go as you plan.  As homeschoolers, we take every opportunity to learn and every opportunity to have fun.  So, on Monday, Cardinal and Hawk enjoyed a day at the waterpark with some friends.  Monday night, Hawk and Eagle enjoyed learning about stars, planets, storms and weather.  Falcon and I worked all morning on our September preschool lesson plans and tonight, we are back home!  We have finished dinner, made a dozen Uncrustables and now it is time to get the little ones in bed!  Cardinal is working hard on a Composition lesson.  I'm so proud of her independence and her drive to learn.

Tomorrow...we WILL be back in the swing of things...Mother Goose will drag herself out of bed very early and the flock will be soon to follow!  Of course...we will be calling the Dr. in the morning as it should be no surprise that someone in our house needs to be seen for something.  I look forward to sharing our day with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ready for our new school year!

We always get excited this time of year!  There is nothing like getting new folders, pencils, notebooks, etc. and of course the new school books!  I love to watch the excitement as my kids get all their new things for a new school year and I love their eagerness to get started once everything is organized.

Our classroom changes a lot, but I always try and make it a bright and inviting place to be, afterall, we do spend most of our time in there!  All of my friends are always envious of our classroom and often call on me to help them organzie their stuff for them.  I always try and make the most of our space.  My family thrives on routine and structure and while we do some work away from our desks, it works best for us to have a structured "classroom" environment.  Unfortunatly, we seem to move a lot and we've always been lucky enough to have the space to have a classroom, but currently, we've had to give up our dining room in order to have our classroom but no one seems to mind eating meals in the family room in front of the tv.

This year, Macaw officially starts Kindergarten.  She is actually less than excited, as she knows that it's time for some serious work around here!  I hoped to find a loophole to get Emu "officially" registered for K, but he just doesn't make the birthday cut.  He will still work with Macaw in her K lessons and he will just start on an advanced level next year.  So, we will have an 8th grader, 6th grader, 3rd grader, 2 K'ers and 1 preschooler this year.  It's gonna be a busy year, so it's time for us to get started!

See pics of our classroom here

We are looking forward to a great year :)