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    November 2014 Monthly Meal Plan

    Good morning readers! I hope you’re having a beautiful fall day like we are today! I love the cool air, and am excited to be in a comfy sweater, my favorite jeans, and flip-flops. Yes, I said flip-flops. For those of you who don’t know, in Colorado, we like to wear flip-flops unless it’s … [Read More...]

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    DIY Bandana Quilt Tutorial

    Looking for a fun DIY project for your kids this fall? Look no further, this DIY bandana quilt is perfect for your young crafter. These were super easy to make and I loved the way they turned out! I will say that Strawberry Shortcake (11) was able to do pretty much everything on her own. I … [Read More...]

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    Homeschooling 101: Switching to Homeschool Mid-Year

    Hi everyone! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post.  Today we’re talking about switching from a public or charter school situation to homeschooling mid-year.   One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is how to go about switching from public school to … [Read More...]

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    Highlights Which Way USA

    Hi everyone! I have an fun giveaway for you today! The folks from Highlights Which Way USA came upon my Road Trip USA curriculum and thought it would be a great fit to use their Which Way USA Magazines to go with it. And guess what? I told them that I already used the magazines during our own … [Read More...]

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    Slow-Cooker White Chicken Chili Recipe

    Hello readers! Oh my goodness, you have to try this amazing slow-cooker white chicken chili recipe! Okay, that sounded kind of bossy. But seriously, it’s so delicious and since it’s a slow-cooker recipe, you just toss everything together in the morning and let it cook until you’re ready … [Read More...]

JUN
15
2010

Storage and Record Keeping

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With the year closing, it just begs the question “How do I store all our schoolwork and records?” One word. Binders. (Click here to download an editable version of my 3" spine labels.) It depends on your state requirements as to what you’re required to keep for homeschooling records. For our state, all I’m required to keep is a record of my hours and what curriculum I used and that’s it. You can find out about your state requirements here: www.hslda.org For my own conscience though I keep the following for each year: My Yearly Records Binder: Legal Docs: ie “Notification of Intent to Homeschool” or enrollment in an umbrella school, etc. Receipts: I keep all receipts together for things I’ve bought for each school year. We aren’t allowed a tax write off right now, but a girl can dream can’t she? Plus it’s good for budgeting purposes. Lesson Plans : I use my workbox excel sheet as lesson plans and keep these in the Records Binder. I have dividers that separate … [Read more...]

JUN
14
2010

Make Your Own Homeschool Printables!

I get a lot of questions about how I make my homeschool printables, so I thought I’d share them with you. By the way, this also applies to my digital scrapbooking supplies. What software program do I use to make my downloads? Software: I use Photoshop Elements, or Photoshop CS3 depending on what I need to do. If you are just starting out, I find Photoshop Elements very user friendly and great for beginners. There are TONS of free tutorials to get you started, and it’s about $80, but you can usually find sales on it if you look. Photoshop CS3 (at the time of this post they have CS5 and it is currently $699) , so there’s quite a price difference! Tutorials: Jessica Sprague: One of my favorite tutorial sites is Jessica Sprague, she offers some free tutorials that include graphic image downloads, as well as video classes that are well worth the cost. She is a very good instructor and her videos are great quality. Plus most of her classes come with great digital freebies to help … [Read more...]

JUN
11
2010

Glass Pebbles Freebie

Just another fun Friday Freebie for all you digital scrapbooking ladies out there! Click here to download the Glass Pebbles! These are transparent tinted glass page pebbles. You can easily put a piece of patterned paper under the clear pebble to make it any color you want!. You can also put text behind them, or anything else you can think of. Hope you like them and Happy Scrappin’! … [Read more...]

JUN
10
2010

Easy Beef Burritos

These burritos make for a super easy and yummy dinner, so I wanted to share it with you all. Ingredients: 10-12 Flour Tortillas 1lb ground beef 1 Can Black Beans (drained) 1/2 med onion finely diced ( I do this so my kids don’t see them!) Hatch’s Green Enchilada Sauce Monterrey/Colby Cheese (Shredded) Optional: guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, tomato Directions: Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In Skillet, sauté onions and beef until done. Step 2: Add black beans to meat and stir until warmed just a few minutes. Step 3: Pour a small amount of the green enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Fill tortillas with beef mixture, wrap and line in pan. Step 4: Once pan is full, top burritos with green enchilada sauce and sprinkle top with cheese. Step 5: Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until warm and bubbly. Optional: Serve with Spanish Rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes! Note: This is a great freezer meal, just prepare the … [Read more...]

JUN
09
2010

My Baby Boy is 6 today!

Ack, where is the time going? I can’t believe my once precious little 5lb baby boy is turning 6 today! I have to say that I love each day I get to spend with this little guy, he’s super funny, always to the point, and has a laugh  so contagious that it has been requested as a ring tone on more than one of my friend’s phones! Happy Birthday little man, or should I say young man {sigh}, I’m so glad God let us be your family, you ROCK!! … [Read more...]

JUN
09
2010

Pen Pals

I found this idea at The Homeschool Post and thought it was such a great idea, I had to share! We started a notebook that will contain letters between me and my daughter, its a great relationship building activity and will become a wonderful keepsake down the road! (Not to mention that it works on handwriting, spelling, and writing at the same time, and you know, if you can sneak in a little school, hey!) But really I’m hoping to gain some treasured insight into my daughter and what goes on in that sweet head of hers. As well as strengthen our bond, and even give us some “1 on 1” time with each other that can be difficult to find in a family of 6. I copied Beverly’s initial letter almost to the T: “Dear ****, Would you like to be pen pals? I thought it would be fun! Instead of mailing letters to each other, we’ll keep them in this notebook.I will write to you, and leave the notebook on your bed. Then, when you want to write me back, you write on the next page and leave the notebook … [Read more...]

JUN
08
2010

Going Green!

I constantly have manipulatives all over the place. Sometimes they’re in plastic baggies, sometimes plastic tubs from the store, sometimes they’re just in a bowl, and if the Teeny Tot’s been around they’re all over the floor!  But I’ve come up with a solution, and it even means I don’t have to cook dinner which is AWESOME! After ordering from a local BBQ restaurant this past weekend, I noticed that their plastic containers for their side dishes were the PERFECT size for storing manipulatives! I washed them out well, and started sorting! They even come with handy little lids and they stack perfectly, which takes up less space!  We only had 4 this time, so I’ll have to order out again soon as I have lot’s more to sort! They work really well, and I like that they’re semi-transparent so you can see what’s inside. Now my daughter can just go grab any bucket she wants for her activities. So the next time you order takeout, make sure to pay attention to their containers! Maybe … [Read more...]

JUN
07
2010

Whole Grain Belgium Waffles

Ingredients: 2 eggs, beaten 1 3/4 cup skim milk 1/4 cup canola oil 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce (I used cinnamon apple sauce) 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 C whole wheat flour (Can substitute: 1 c whole wheat flour, 1/2 c flax seed, 1/4 c wheat germ, 1/4 c all purpose flour) 4 tsp baking powder 1 Tbsp sugar 1/4 tsp salt Optional: 1/4 c white chocolate chips ;o) Directions: I have a Toastmaster Belgian Waffle Baker but its old, so I’m sure they have newer fancier ones now! Step 1: Preheat waffle iron. In large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, oil, apple sauce, vanilla. Step 2: Stir in remaining dry ingredients until batter is smooth. (You may have to add a little extra flour if its too runny, I didn’t measure that well!) Step 3: Pour batter into waffle iron and cook until golden! (Spray waffle iron if it’s not non-stick) Step 4: Serve with favorite fresh fruit and Agave Nectar (See below) Makes about 14 waffles I use Agave Nectar from Mudhava instead of syrup. Agave is a natural … [Read more...]

JUN
06
2010

Gardening Observations

My husband started our garden seedlings and we’re trying out a new little lighting system for some of them. The kids always help with this task and this year we decided to add some science to it, and do observations of the seeds growing. These pods contain broccoli and cauliflower:Day 1: Day 1, nothing much to report, seeds sewn, waiting patiently…they are sitting in sand with rope lighting in it for warmth. Normally we use our Science Grid , but this time the kids made their own: Day 3: Oh, we have a little sprout! Whoo-hoo! (Notice the cowboy hat, it was dress-up day and yes, that is Alan Jackson, Gretchen Wilson, and Blake Sheldon’s autographs you see, she also has Reba McEntire and many more on the other side) Day 9: Success! We only had one pod that didn’t sprout up, so we re-started it, but everything else is doing well. We moved it from our basement on day 3’s pic, to my laundry room in day 9’s photo. Apparently our cat “Six” (see Day 9 illustration above) grew a little too fond … [Read more...]

JUN
05
2010

Breaded Chicken & Parsley Potatoes

This week I thought I’d share my comfort recipe! Partially because it’s super easy, and also because its yummy! It’s nothing super special, but everyone seems to like it and for me that’s a huge deal! Breaded Chicken: 6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs (can substitute with chicken breasts, but let’s face it, they’re just not as yummy!) 1/2 c. seasoned bread crumbs (I use Progresso Italian) 1/4 c. shredded parmesan cheese 1 egg (beaten) 1/2 c. milk olive oil Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 pan with cooking oil. Step 2: Mix breadcrumbs & shredded parmesan cheese in shallow bowl. Beat egg and milk together in another shallow bowl. Dip each chicken breast into egg mixture then coat with bread crumbs and place into 9x13 pan. Step 3: Drizzle breaded chicken breasts with olive oil and bake at 350 for approx 45 minutes or until golden brown. Parsley Potatoes: 3 russet potatoes (can substitute with red potatoes) butter 1 T parsley 1 tsp garlic salt 1 tsp onion salt … [Read more...]