Wednesday, August 25, 2010

School decisions

As most of you know I have been struggling and researching schooling options for kids #1-#3.  This week we got the notice from our public school about where the children #1 and #2 would be placed.  After getting the notice in the mail I have developed a plan for each kid.

Kid #1 - The one option I REALLY wanted through our public school was a creative and innovative multi age program (3rd and 4th grade).  It really is the most amazing program.  I had all my eggs in this basket.   AND he got in, so we are going to try it.  I feel much more confident than before because I know that if it isn't working we can just go to our plan B - school at home.  He knows it too and is happy to try the classroom.

Kid #2 - With her special needs, my plan was that she would go to half day kindergarten through our public school where she will receive all her services.  She got a great teacher and the special education staff is wonderful, so that where she'll be every morning.   Every afternoon we will be homeschooling where I can focus more on her goals and skills.

Kid #3 - We did a 2 day a week preschool program last year, but in an effort to save money and really sample a homeschooling experience I have made the decision to keep her home.  I have a plan to add activities her and Kid #2 can do together as well as things we can do alone.  She is SO excited.  She is telling everyone, "I get to be homeschooled!"  I think it is the start of something.  I hope it catches one.

In the next few weeks, with the help of Steady Mom I will be creating schedules for each kid and a plan for our "after school" activities.  I want the kids (especially Kid #1) to make some goals for themselves this year.  My hope is to have things "up and running" by mid September.

Next week we being to prepare for school and how it will looks for us.  The learning room is almost done!!!  Pictures soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Meal Planning This Week

Well, it is time to get things back together.  Kid #4 arrived 2 weeks ago and we have been operating off schedule for the the last 3 weeks or so (a week waiting for her to get here, then 2 getting used to life with 4).  The one thing I have been doing is freezer cooking.  It has been a life saver, time saver, and money saver.  I have frozen meatloaf "cupcakes", pasta sauce, fresh green beans, blueberries, and corn, chili, banana muffins, zucchini bread.  It is my plan to devote a couple of days a month to freezer cooking.  Jessica at Life As Mom has some great freezer cooking tips.  I will be spending the next couple of weeks putting together the meal and grocery plan for our family. (New post soon!)

Monday: Chili
Tuesday: BLTs and corn on the cob
Wednesday: Cub Scout Picnic
Thursday: Mac and Cheese
Friday: Homemade pizzas
Saturday: Party at a friends
Sunday: Steaks on the grill (potatoes and fixings!!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

#2 and #4

Need I say more!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Freezing Stone Fruit

When there are some peaches, nectarines or plums in your kitchen that are "headed south", you can freeze them for use later in smoothies, muffins or on top of yogurt or oatmeal...

Here is how:

wash and dry the fruit
Cut it in half and remove stone or "pit".

Put on a cookie sheet (I line mine with freezer paper.) and put on the freezer until firm.  Then put in freezer containers or bags.  It will keep for about 6 months.

I just got a Food Saver and I LOVE IT.  I freezing all kinds of things I would have never tried before. 

Now I can have a bit of summer fruit in the winter.  Yummy!!!  Maybe I buy a bunch of peaches or nectarines from the farmer's market...Summer Peach Crumble for Thanksgiving??

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kid #4 has arrived!

She is here!  8 pounds of pure joy!  I can exhale...for now!  What a miracle!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chores and Kids

Yes, all my kids have "chores" to do. They are all age and ability appropriate things that help me and this household run a bit better.  I got this cool chore chart from Mom Agenda.  I like it because I can decide the chores each kid gets each week and they can rotate, so Kid # 1 can't say he "ALWAYS" has to wipe the bathroom counter.

Each child get an allowance on Sundays.  We keep tract of it on a sheet on the fridge.  They each get $1 per year.  Kid #1 get $8 a week, Kid #2 gets $6, and Kid #3 gets $4.  I know there are people that disagree with giving kids money to help around the house, but it works for us.

Here is how it works for us:
1. There are some things not on the list that you have to do to just being a part of the family.  Examples: Make your bed, take care of your dirty clothes, pick up behind yourself.
2. Hubby and I no longer buy anything deemed "non essential".  We provide food, clothing, shelter, and the expenses that come with activities (like this year's Cub Scouting book), but the things that are truly "extra" like the latest Lego set or a new outfit for Fancy Nancy needs to be paid for with allowance.
3. We take some of our money and give with it.  We have bought dog treats for the Humane Society and adopted a grandma last Christmas.
4. There are no loans.  If you don't have the money, the item has to wait until you do.

So far it has worked really well.  My kids think long and hard about what they want and how long it will take to get it.  Hopefully this is a lesson that will stay with them as they grow.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010