Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wrapping Up the Week

Here is a glimpse of the week we have had here.

I also did get some clothes sorting this week, but more needs to be done and I need to make a list of what to buy.  That and the learning room are my goals this week.  I printed off the pages for my Christmas notebook and have begun planning that (in my head!).  Thanks, Jen.

We baked and frosted pumpkin cookies and frosted GF cupcakes(baked ahead).

Kid #1: He gave up on Percy Jackson.  I did think it was a bit much for him, but I let the decision be his.  He returned it at the library for Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.  A bit more entertaining to an eight year old.  He also did a bit of work in the Rosary notebook and earned some belt loops for Cub Scouts.

Kid #2: She had her first Daisy Scout meeting this week.  I am the leader and it was just a parent/organizational meeting, but I think it will be fun for both of us.  She had PT and music this week and spent sometime working on the Rosary book.  She selected Franklin's Halloween at the Library.

Kid #3: She learned the Our Father this week!  It was G week.  She had music and swimming this week.  She worked in the Rosary book.   She decorated pumpkins for her grandparents.  She has been reading Halloween books like crazy.

Kid #4: She is growing so quickly.  Her pile of new/used cloth diapers arrived.  They are in great condition and came at a great price.

I am linking at Forever, For Always, No Matter What.  Check out what others did this week!

Friday, October 29, 2010

This Moment

This is a moment in time to remember...For more see Soulemama.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to Stretch a Jar of Sauce

 I don't like to buy the "cheap stuff" when I comes to pasta sauce, but I am often too busy to make my own.  I have started slow cooking my own semi-homemade sauce in an attempt to stretch the family budget.

In the slow cooker I start with ground meat (This time it is buffalo from our CSA, but I have used grass fed beef, venison or turkey) and cook it right in the slow cooker.  Once it is done I add one jar of sauce, one can of diced tomatoes, one can of tomato sauce, minced onion, a pinch or two of garlic powder and veggies on hand. (Today I had sliced mushrooms, but I have used diced green pepper, carrot, or real onion if I have one.)  This cooks all day and when I am ready I just boil the pasta and serve.  I priced the whole dish out and here is how it breaks down for us:

1 jar organic pasta sauce $2.99 (with coupon)
1 can organic diced tomatoes $1.19 (on the closeout - they changed the label)
1 can organic tomato sauce $1.10 (by the case at Costco)
Leftover mushrooms $1.49

This $6.77 added to $3.00 worth of pasta (including a small batch of GF) and $.89 reduced Italian bread feeds our family for $10.66 and that includes lunch for hubby and Kid #1 the next day!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rosary Workbook

When wrapping up my week last week I mentioned that we were working in our Rosary workbook.  I ordered 3 of these books through Pflaum, a company I saw advertised in a Cathecist magazine at church.  I have used several of there publications and have found them fun for the children and inexpensive for the family budget.  I had begun quiet thought about the Rosary and listened to The Catholics Next Door podcast and they have recommended praying the Rosary as a family.  My hesitation was I wasn't comfortable enough with how exactly to do it.  I knew all the prayers and (most of) the mysteries, but didn't want to do it "wrong". 

When I left for the hospital to deliver Kid #4 I got in the car (contractions and all) and realized I had forgotten my Rosary.  When I ran back in the house, Kid #1 ask me what I had forgotten.  He just received a Rosary for his First Communition and said, "when you get home can you teach me to use mine, too!"  I knew I was being called to figure it out.

Since October is the Month of the Rosary I decided we would learn together.  I ordered these books as a starter.  I have to say, it is a bit advanced for Kids #2 and #3, but each does what they can and Kid #1 LOVES helping them.

I must say I am having lots of fun and we are all learning a lot. 

Our goal - One decade a night and one whole Rosary a week.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wrapping up the week

This week I have tried to set in place a plan of attack.  The kid #4 is sleeping a bit more predictably, so it is easier to plan to get things done.  She is also engaging herself in a few toys which makes things a bit easier.

Mom's week: I am still reading The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul and caught up on a few magazines that had been cluttering my bedside table.  I also am making the seasonal and size clothing exchanges.  I have started a pile in the basement and will be researching when the next Mom to Mom sale is in the area.  A complete inventory of winter needs will happen next week.  I am also drawn to the idea of a family closet.  I am not sure how it would work here, but I could use the extra room!

Kid #1:  He is continuing to read Percy Jackson and has been working on his religious medal for Cub Scouts.  We have started doing a workbook together about the Holy Rosary.  I hope to post the details and pictures next week.

Kid #2:  No seizures this week!!  She checked out Brown Bear, Brown Bear at the library.  She loves all of those books.  She can approximate the words as she "reads" that book.  She will look at it over and over.  I see an Eric Carle unit in our future.  Because of the pattern, Kid #3, not a reader yet, will sit and "read" it to her.  Kid #2 loves it, Kid #3 loves being a reader, and I only have to read it 20 times a day instead of 40!  Also, a new, trial wheelchair arrived this week.  Hopefully she will learn to "drive" it herself.  One more step on her road to independence.  She is also doing a Rosary workbook in her own way.

Kid #3: F is the letter of the week.  We continued counting - everything, including Rosary beads - and in Spanish too with help from Kid #1.  Halloween is on her mind.  We have made pumpkins, bats, witch hats and spiders.  We also attending a parent/child group this week together.  She helped decorate pumpkin cookies for a party Friday night.  She is working on a Rosary workbook too!

Kid #4:  As I mentioned her naps are more predictable.  She is also really starting to become aware of her surroundings.  This week I bought her a mirror and got out a few bright rattles for her to stare at.  She is sucking her thumb!  I might hate that later, but it is SO cute now. 

My goals for next week are more progress on the basement and kitchen, a least 3 blog posts, develop a winter clothes inventory and HALLOWEEN celebrations.   We will see how I do!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

This Moment

A moment in time to remember.  For more visit SouleMama.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wrapping Up the Week

I am going to take a stab at wrapping up our progress each week.  I got inspired by my friend Jen. (Check out her blog.  It is amazing!)

My List: This week I made a new recipe that I have wanted to try.  I made chicken and reviews were mixed.  I need to make it a bit spicier for my husband.  I will try it one more time with a few changes before I post the the crock pot, super easy!

I am reading The Handbook for Catholic Moms and have been catching up on the chapters in The Portable Pediatrician that directly relate to kid #4.

Kid #1: We are working on a few Cub Scout items as well as practicing cursive writing.  He also is quite an artist, so he spends a fair amount of time drawing. He finished the book Alvin Ho and has started the first Percy Jackson.  Together we are reading The Magician's Nephew.  He is quite the reader.  During piano lessons, he mastered 2 songs on the first try!!

Kid #2: At physical therapy this week she continued to work on walking.  She is really coming along.  She also experienced a couple of seizures this week, which threw our week for a bit of a loop.   We did dough and painting as part of our Tray Work.  The Halloween books came out of storage this week, so we have been reading Dora's Halloween and Curious George's Halloween all week.

Kid #3: This is E week, a letter dear to her heart!  We did come printing practice and 1 to 1 counting this week.  She does the tray work with #2 and did a few other art projects.  She and #1 are making a comic together.  She LOVES Little House (like her mom!) and has been reading Sugar Snow (My First Little House) and A Little Prairie House (Little House).  No swimming this week, but she, Kid #4 and I went to a pumpkin patch with a play group we belong to.

Kid #4: She had a 2 month checkup and is a big, healthy baby (Thank you, God).  She also has begun to sleep 5-6 hours a night!!!!  At the pumpkin patch, she went on her first hayride.
Looks excited, huh?

In 18 Months...

...I'll be 40!!!  Yep, it is true.  I am not as young as I used to be.  I actually started thinking about how I want the decade of my forties to be.  At 40 I will have children that are 10, 8, 6, and 2.  At 49, they will be 19, 17, 15 and 11!!!  What do I want to accomplish for them, for myself, for my marriage?  I will be posting every so often about the goals and plans I have for the next 18 months.  I feel like it is time to really focus on what matters most.  I spent my 30s having babies.  I spent my 20s figuring it out.  I want to spend my 40s living a satisfying life. 

A few broad goals:
Deepen my relationship with God
Make time for my marriage
Create a solid family bond
Have a healthy lifestyle
Develop organization systems for the household
Create some business pursuits
Be debt free except for our house
Learn to spend my time wisely
Create a happy loving home

All this in 18 months????  Maybe not, but I can hope to focus more on these things in order to have the life I have always wanted.

Friday, October 15, 2010

This Moment

No words, just a picture of a moment I want to remember.  For more see Soulemama!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More tray work

As part of our learning at home, I have set two afternoons aside for tray work.  My kids love dough.  We have a big bucket of dough and cookie cutters and tools.

It can keep them busy for hours.  It is really fun for them.  And I can get tons done in the kitchen while they work!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Homeschooling #3

Last month I started homeschooling Kid #3.  We have opted out of preschool this year and instead focusing on learning the things she is interested in.  She is crazy about the alphabet.  She wants to be able to read and write like her older brother.  Because she is so interested, we are doing a letter a week.  I have found some great worksheets online and at the local dollar store.  She has made a list of the things she wants to learn this year.  They are:
  • Colors
  • Numbers and counting ("to more than 22!")
  • "All my letters"
  • Bugs (She loves bugs!)
  • How to cook
  • More prayers "like my brother"
I could not have made a better list myself!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Unfortunate Events - An Update

Well, I am feeling less sorry for myself today and have a better perspective on my list of unfortunate events.  It is amazing what a difference a week makes. 

#1.  The dishwasher is fixed!  My husband took it apart and is ordered a part.  The total $20.  It was worth a try before we buy a new one.  It is not that we can't afford it, it is just that I would rather not allocate $ for such a thing.  I thought of Ma Ingalls, my Little House fantasy, who had to fetch and heat her own water, so handwashing could have been worse, right?  Savings $65, and that was just the service call!

#2.  That handy hubby of mine is going to see if he can remove the tar tonight.  (Did I mention that I love how handy he is?)  If not, the tires will need to be replaced, but they were probably ready to be anyway.  I was just not ready yet.

#3.  I have introduced a cup (or two) of coffee back into my life each morning and have not noticed a change in kid #4.  The truth is I was consuming way to much diet soda anyway and what better reason to give that up than for the GI health of my baby.  I needed to give it up a long time ago.  Once I am done nursing, I will try to keep my caffeine consumption to a minimum. 

It is amazing how caught up we can get in the day to day stuff.  Today I am thankful for my children, that handy husband of mine, this beautiful fall weather and a warm cup of coffee on a crisp morning.  I am going to start a family "Thankfulness Journal" so we don't all lose perspective again!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

This Moment

A moment to remember, no words, just a picture.  For more infomation, see SouleMama.