Monday, August 29, 2011

Pokey Update and More

The Pokey little puppy is getting perkier!

At the vet visit learned that Pokey had hookworms, a dislocated hip, and just general malnutrition and anemia from the worms.  The vet also suspected parvo, but did not test for it or give Pokey any vaccinations.  He just wormed the sweet little puppy, and told us to watch him over the weekend.

Thankfully, Pokey is now perky!  He has a great appetite, and he is scampering all around, chewing on things, and wagging his tail.  Since he is getting stronger, if the vet can confirm that he doesn't have parvo, we will proceed with putting the hip back into his socket.  He will be in a sling for 7-10 days after that procedure.

Olivia, Julie, and Clay participated in the season's first cross country meet Saturday afternoon.  It was a fun way to begin the 2011 season.  Everyone seemed to have a super time!  Even though it was HOT!

I finished the book The Hidden Hand.  It was excellent!  Just excellent!  I now need to take a break from reading books strictly for my pleasure (a couple of weeks ago I read The Help too).  When I start a good book I tend to stay up way too late or spend way too much time on the weekends trying to finish the book.  So for now, I need to get back to pre-reading the Sonlight books that I haven't read already.

Today was Day 1 of my 14 week marathon training.  The St. Jude Marathon is December 3.  I ran 3 miles this morning.  This first week's total miles are 26, which includes the 14.2 mile race that I will be running this weekend, the Tupelo 14.2 Miler.  My training plan peaks at 47 miles, and that seems impossible.  I know that it is not, because I did it last March, but took look at those numbers is daunting.

We have a normal but busy week ahead.

Friday, August 26, 2011

As If We Didn't Already Have Enough!

Pets, that is!

3 dogs.
3 cats.

Introducing pet # 7!

His name is Pokey.  We found him at the park at cross country practice on Tuesday.  My friend, Kim graciously took him home....but her husband did not want them to keep the little puppy....they already have about 25 animals!  The animal shelter is full.....

So yesterday, Kim brought him back to cross country practice, and we took him home!

Not surprisingly, he is not in perfect health.  He seems to have some sort of hip issue, and he has a skin problem.  He will fit right in with our other less than perfect animals!

I am taking him to the vet at 4:00 today.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

School Supplies

I have a post today at The Homeschool Classroom about some of my favorite school supplies.  You can click here to read it.

Have a super day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It May Be Harder For Me

I miss Sam sitting in my lap.

He has held and smelled my hair while nursing or taking his pacifier ever since he could grab hold of it.  Since he gave up his pacifier, he won't sit in my lap.  I understand.  He associates sitting there with the pacifier, so it is easier for him to just not snuggle at all.  Yesterday, I asked him for a hug, and I got a once second one.  Last night when I was lying down with him at bedtime, he flipped and flopped for 20-30 minutes, then he ever so slowly inched closed to me.  I think he was trying to get close enough to smell my hair.....he finally fell asleep.

If I had known last week when he got in my lap with his pacifier, his face buried in my hair, that it was the last time, I would have held him a little longer.

I hope learns soon that he can still be close to me without being reminded of his pacifier.  How long do you think it will take?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting Rid of the Pacifier!

If you ask experienced Moms, you will get various opinions on how to get rid of your child's pacifier.  Here are some of the ideas I have heard over the years.

  • Hope that one day they will just get tired of their pacifier and give it up on their own.
  • Take the pacifier away, and just let them cry.
  • Begin weaning them off the pacifier by limiting when and where they can use it (in the carseat, at naptime, during church services, etc.)
  • Wrap the pacifiers up in a pretty box, and give them to a new baby (a sibling or a friend's or relative's new baby).  Tell them that they are a "big boy or girl" now, and the new baby needs the pacifiers.
  • Wrap the pacifiers up and put them on the front porch, in the mailbox, etc, and let the Pacifier Fairy pick them up at night.  The Fairy will leave them a gift!
  • Take them to the store to buy a special toy, and let them "pay" for the toy with their pacifiers.
Sam is now 5 1/2, and I have not tried any of the above ways to convince him to stop using his pacifiers.  Well, I have hoped that one day he would just tire of using them, but until a few days ago, I doubted that he ever would.

Have you ever read the book, Owen by Kevin Henkes?

This is a most delightful book about a little boy and his beloved yellow blanket.  His nosy neighbor offers advice about how Owen's parents can get rid of Owen's blanket.  The parents try her advice, but nothing works.  Owen loves that blanket!  (And I may add, why does he have to give it up???).  Owen's kind mother devises a kind will just have to read the book to find out what she does!

I love reading that book to Sam.  If I could do to Sam's pacifiers what Owen's mother did to his blanket, I would!

Anyway.....for the last few months, Sam has announced that when he is 6, he will throw away his pacifiers.  His siblings ask him about his ba bas from time to time, asking him how long he going to be a baby, or is he sure he will give them up when he is 6?  I sometimes say things like, "Since you are riding a big boy bike, do you want to stop taking your ba bas?"  No pressure, I just ask him periodically.  I don't want him to take them to college!

A while back, Sam began asking for a pocket knife.  I always remind him that when he is 10, he can get a pocket knife. (Clay was 10 when he got his first pocket knife).  Sam actually got a small pocket knife a couple of months ago---and Jimmy promptly dulled the blade and rounded off the point so that now it won't even cut butter!  Last week, Sam asked over and over for a new pocket knife, this time one that would actually cut a stick!  He sees Clay whittling and doing wood work in all his spare time, and he wanted a working knife as well.

So, three days ago, when Sam asked again, for a sharp pocket knife, I said, "If you will throw away your pacifiers, I will get you a knife."

You might be a redneck if you bribe your son to give up his pacifiers for a pocket knife!

He totally shocked me and said, "Well, throw them away!"  I hid them (not in the trash can), and then he asked me to take him to WalMart right then to buy the knife.  I told him he had to make it all the way through the night without a pacifier, and we would buy the knife in the morning.

He made it!

He asked for it twice, and then quickly said, "Never mind".
He woke up around 6:00 AM, ready to go to Walmart.  We went after breakfast, and Jimmy did dull the knife a little bit before I gave it to him.  I don't want to be visiting the ER!

Today is the fourth day without a pacifier.  Last night was the worse.  He had a very hard time falling asleep.  He didn't cry, or even ask for his ba ba, but I knew he was struggling.  The saddest part is that he is not sitting in my lap very much.  He always sat in my lap with his pacifier while smelling my hair.  He hasn't smelled my hair in four days.  

It's a positive milestone, but I am still sad.  My baby is growing up!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Menu Monday and More

Saturday, I did a little bit of cooking for the freezer.  I have a new cookbook (referred to me by my friend Celee) called Fix, Freeze, and Feast.  I used the recipe for red sauce, which is basically spaghetti sauce.  It made 40 cups!  This is what I ended up with:

  • 1 pan of spaghetti, which we ate Saturday night and Sunday for lunch
  • 1 bag of red sauce for future spaghetti
  • 2 large pans of manicotti
  • 1 large pan of lasagna
  • 3 bags of red sauce to be used for homemade pizza or to be served over frozen ravioli.
I also did a big Sam's Club shopping trip Saturday plus my regular weekly Kroger shopping trip, so I made a list of suppers I can cook.  The groceries I bought should last us until the first weekend in September.  I will have to buy more fresh fruit and milk, but other than that, we are set!

Here is my menu list.  I am not going to do another big grocery shopping trip until we eat all of this food!  I printed out this list and taped it inside my pantry door.  I will cross off each supper as we eat it.

Meals Onhand

spaghetti with sauce
spaghetti with sauce

frozen ravioli with red sauce

manicotti, corn
manicotti, frozen veggie

grilled chicken, frozen veggie, baked potatoes
grilled chicken, salad
grilled chicken, tortillas

tortellini soup
tortellini soup


shrimp and veggie stir fry

homemade pizza (red sauce veggies, and pepperoni)
homemade pizza (red sauce veggies, and pepperoni)

shrimp scampi

grilled cheese sandwiches

I also tackled a huge job yesterday---I cleaned out one of my refrigerators, the one in my laundry room.  This refrigerator stores our soft drinks, gallons of milk, extra cheese and butter, popsicles, frozen vegetables (all of those peas I put up), ice packs, ice cream, and other items as well.  Recently, a coke exploded in there, and you can imagine the mess that created.  Stickiness everywhere!  I spent over 2 hours scrubbing down that refrigerator/freezer, throwing old food away, and reorganizing what was left.  It's beautiful now!  I had intended to clean out all three of my refrigerators, but as usual, my tasks take way more time and energy than I plan for them to.  So, I stopped after one!

And the last news of the day.......

Sam lost another tooth!

And he pulled it out with his pliers!

Please visit OrgJunkie for more menu inspiration.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sam's ABC Scrapbook

Sam, sporting his new overalls!
He actually sleeps in them!

Today will be our 10th day of the new school year.  Sam has completed his study of the letters F and B.  We are on our second day of M.  After the fourth day of learning and practicing a letter, Sam and I complete his scrapbook page for his ABC scrapbook.  I had already pre-cut the letters and printed out the Bible verses.  We just arrange the items he made that week (some things don't fit....I am just filing them for now, and I may just put them in a binder or folder or something at the end of the school year....) on a two page spread and tape it all down. Then I give him an assortment of stickers of the letter or items that begin with the letter, and let him fill in the empty spots on the pages.  Lastly, I insert the pages into the page protectors.

Here are the pages!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

UCP Elvis 5K at Graceland

Early, early last Saturday morning, Jimmy took Olivia, Julie, Clay, and three of their friends to Memphis to run the Elvis 5K at Graceland.  They got up at 4:30 AM to prepare to leave for this race!  They seemed to have a super time, running a big race (over 800 runners), visiting Russ and Megan, and eating lunch at a fun hamburger place.  Jimmy was very sweet to take them!  

 Clay and Parker, cooling off after the race

 Julie receiving her award---This must have been a local beauty pageant winner presenting the awards.

 Clay, receiving his award

 Olivia, receiving her award

 Olivia, Danielle, Leslie, and Julie, waiting for their lunch

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Clay's Shadow

Clay has a shadow, all day, every day!  His name is Sam.  He dresses like Clay, tries to talk like Clay, and he wants to do every thing that Clay does.  Fortunately, Clay serves as an excellent example for his younger brother.  He is patient with him, and he spends most of his waking (and sleeping--they share a room) hours with him.  They do chores together, work in their shop together, work in the woods, ride bikes and four-wheelers together, and really do almost everything together.

Last week when Clay was out mowing the grass, Jimmy pointed out Sam to me.  He was Clay's shadow.  Every step Clay made, there was Sam, one step behind.

Clay taught Sam how to put the bag back on the mower.

 Almost got it

 All ready for Clay now

 Getting a drink before getting back to work

The yard looked great when the boys were done!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Menu Plan Monday
This week we begin all of our extra activities, so I made sure that I had an "away from home three afternoons a week" friendly menu planned.  Leah, Sam, and I bought groceries Saturday while Jimmy and the three older children plus their friends ran a 5K race in Memphis at Graceland. I have a few pictures to post about that later.

Here is our weekly line-up:
Mondays:  piano lessons for the three oldest (I run errands while they are there for 1.5 hours) followed by XC practice.
Tuesday:  XC practice in the town about 40 minutes away.
Thursday:  XC practice

Here is this week's menu:

Monday:  baked orange roughy, baked sweet potatoes, green beans, corn on cob
Tuesday:  crock pot chicken for tortilla roll-ups, chips and salsa
Wednesday:  meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green peas
Thursday:  crock pot roast, potatoes, carrots, peas
Friday:  roast sandwiches with gravy

Please visit Org Junkie for more menu inspiration.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Stick With It Saturday

I had a really good exercise week!  I got all of my miles in (28)!  I worked out 5 days this week.

1.  CrossFit workout
2.  6 miles--treadmill
3.  4 miles--treadmill
4.  6 miles--treadmill
5.  12 miles--outside with Lynn, Julie (she did 6), Amber, and part of the time with Lynn's husband Kelly.

I am planning to run my second (and probably last) marathon for a while on December 3.  That is 16 weeks from today!  I am going to follow the exact same training plan that Koach made me for my last marathon.  It is a 14 week plan, so I will begin it two weeks from Monday.  For the next two weeks, my planned running mileage is 30 miles plus 1-2 CrossFit workouts and/or Cardio Recovery from Insanity.

How is your exercising going?  I want to encourage you to get moving!  Take a walk.  Let your children walk with you, push them in a stroller, or let them ride their bikes while you walk.  Thirty minutes a day will make you feel great!  Try it!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Canning Tomatoes

For our very first Home Ec class of our new school year, Olivia, Julie, and I canned tomatoes.  This was my first time to can anything!  I asked several people and also researched online how to do it, and everyone told me a little bit differently.  So, I combined everyone's advice, and we got it done!

 The box of tomatoes my neighbor dropped off on my front porch.

 Tomatoes spread out in the laundry room to ripen a little bit.

 Beautiful tomatoes!

 Olivia, working hard at the stove.  I think this was taken during the "boil the chopped tomatoes for 5 minutes" phase.  I am not sure.  We were up to our ears in tomatoes!

 Tomatoes, cooking away!

 Doesn't that look yummy?

 Julie, taking her turn with the stirring.

The finished product!

I proudly put these canned tomatoes on display in my kitchen.  They are resting on a high shelf--above my cookbooks--so we can all admire them whenever we are in the kitchen. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Our Homeschool Home Economics Class

Really, my girls are instructed in "Home Ec" every day.  They know more about housekeeping and cleaning than most of the girls I attended college with!  But, I still wanted an organized course for them.  I wanted to make sure that I covered everything I thought they would need to know when they have a home of their own.  I also knew that if I didn't schedule those goals as well as some creative fun type activities too as part of their school day, it probably wouldn't happen.  Plus, they will be earning a high school credit as well.

Olivia actually completed a Home Ec course when she was in the ninth grade.  She used Alpha Omega LifePacs, which is a set of workbooks with some creative assignments mixed in as well.   She read and completed all of the 10 workbooks, but I did not have her do many of the projects, because they really weren't all that practical in my opinion.

I knew that I wanted her to take Home Ec again, and this time I wanted Julie to complete the course too.  So, I just created my own course.

I planned 150 lessons.  Most of the lessons will take about an hour to complete, but on some days the only assignment is to read from selected books, so those days won't take as long.  I began my plans by listing goals I had for my girls in the following areas:

  • Kitchen
  • General Sewing
  • Housecleaning
  • General Household Care
  • Specific Sewing Projects
  • Quilting
Next, I selected the books that I would use as my textbooks for my course.
  • Large Family Logistics 
  • Stitch by Stitch
  • First Time Quiltmaking
  • Sue Gregg Cookbooks
  • A cute recipe binder/scrapbook
As I made my daily assignments, I alternated reading days (from Large Family Logistics), kitchen days, sewing days, shopping days, household project days, etc.  

Some of my goals for this course are:
  • Complete a recipe binder of tried and true recipes.
  • Prepare supper alone several times throughout the year.
  • Learn to make a weekly menu plan and shopping list.
  • Actually buy a week's worth of groceries alone.
  • Learn the basics of creating a household budget.
  • Sew skirts and t shirt dresses for the girls.
  • Create a weekly and monthly cleaning schedule.
Those are just a few of my goals, I think I listed around twenty.  Large Family Logistics has suggestions of activities at the end of some of some of the chapters, so they will be completing those. The girls will be creating a binder including various homemaking handouts and charts as we go along.  I also plan to include photos of their various sewing projects, and they will also have their completed pretty recipe binder.

We are already enjoying our Home Ec course, and I hope we that create fond memories as well as learn practical skills the year progresses.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Some Pictures From My Schoolroom

 I got these cute jars at Hobby Lobby.

 My new filing system for "work completed".
The folders are labeled:
  • Olivia Writing (completed papers)
  • Olivia Tests (completed and graded tests)
  • Julie Writing
  • Julie Tests
  • Clay Writing
  • Clay Tests
  • Leah Writing
  • Sam Writing
  • Algebra I Tests (tests to be taken)
  • Algebra II Tests
  • General Science Tests
  • Biology Tests
  • Biology II Tests

 One of the bookshelves in the schoolroom.
Top to bottom:
Sonlight Core Binders
reference books, children's Lang. Arts binders and study guides
miscellaneous books that don't fit into any Sonlight Core
easy readers

 an up-close of the binders

 the Kindergarten alphabet box

 the alphabet files inside the box

the Sonlight Core binders

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kossuth 5K

No pictures!!

Jimmy took Olivia, Julie, and Clay to this 5K while I took Leah and Sam to my friend Lynn's son's birthday party.

The race was last Friday night at 7PM, and thankfully, it had rained all afternoon so the temperature was no longer 100!  Unfortunately, that same rainstorm caused Lynn's power to be out, so she entertained a house full of children without power!  It was supposed to be a swimming party, but....

Jimmy and the children raced really well, and they had a super time.  I put their times in the Race Results section of my left side bar.  They all won a trophy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Back to School Treasure Hunt

Our first day of school began with our annual Treasure Hunt.  I am not sure when we first began this tradition, but this was probably our 8th or 9th one.  I prefer to have this treasure hunt on the the day before we start school, but this year I just did not have an opportunity to do that.
In years past I have used many different things as the "treasure":  school supplies, lunch bags (one of the years we co-opped), fancy pencils, gift cards to the book store, and this year, a "coupon" for a smoothie from Smoothie King.

Some years I have made clues for each child separately, and some years they just all take turns reading the clues and working together to find the next one.  That is what we did this year.

 the clues
I gave them Clue #1 out on the front porch.

 Clue #2

 Clue #3

 Clue #4 was inside here

 Clue #4

 Clue #5

 Clue #6

 Clue #7

 Clue #8

 Clue #9

 Clue #10

 The Prize!!

 "Let's go to Smoothie King right now!" they all cried.

So we did!

And we did not begin our first day of school until 10:00!

 Here they all are, waiting for the first clue.

 Looking for a clue

 reading a clue

 showing me a snake skin!

 Sam with the last clue

 Sam, "reading" the last clue

 Here they are at Smoothie King.

 Sam while waiting for his smoothie

Yum!  Yum!

It was a great way to begin the new school year!