Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Top Ten Apps

 Holy Bible, Price: FREE, Tons and tons of languages, translations, and devotionals!
 Bubble Shooter, Price: $0.99, Definitely one of the more mindless games but still good for when you're standing around waiting :-p
 ColorBlast!, Price: $0.99 (currently 50% off!), I have the lite version which is, of course, free.
 Livestrong, Price: $2.99, I know there are free calorie counters but I had already been using this one on my Blackberry.
 MSNBC, Price: FREE, Updated many times throughout the day
 On This Day..., Price: FREE, Every day you see different events that happened throughout history on that particular date.
 Pandora, Price: FREE, This one is kind of a duh thing. :-p I mostly use this for Toddler Radio for the kids.
Pinterest, Price: FREE, Go to their website and sign up first. It's amazing! I want to do a post just about this!
RunKeeper, Price: FREE, Through the GPS you can keep track of your mileage on your walk or run and even see a map of where you've been! I usually use this when we go to the zoo.

Memphis Zoo, Price: FREE, Speak of the devil! You keep up with news at the zoo, which is their live Twitter feed.  There are also schedules of keeper chats and feedings and a map of the zoo.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our Favorite Educational Apps, Part 2

 Pizza Fractions, Price: FREE, A great way to introduce kids to fractions! It shows a pizza sliced in x amount of slices and from three fractions show you are to pick the correct one.
 Skill Builders Spelling, Price: FREE, Create your own spelling lists
 Stack the Countries, Price: $1.99, Of course the "Lite" version is free but those only last so long.  This would make for a great supplement to any geography curriculum.
 Toddler Teasers Shapes, Price: FREE, Shape recognition,  I can honestly give this app 90% of the credit for Autumn learning her shapes! Zoo Animals, Price: FREE, there are lots of other flashcard apps like this from I gravitated toward this because of the icon. ;) These show real photos and say the name of each animal.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our Favorite Educational Apps, Part 1

 ABC Tracing, Price: FREE, great for introducing handwriting but of course it can't replace pencil and paper. :) It's also auditory telling you the letter each time you change to the next.
 Dolch First Grade, Price: FREE, This is a list of all of the words first graders "should" know. It's a great reference and I am pleased to say Hannah sailed right through it! There is a play button to hear the world if you get stuck.  .
 Giraffe's Preschool Playground, Price: $0.99, Number/Letter/Animal recognition.  Two levels: Junior Explorer (clues are spoken and shown) and Ace Adventurer (clues are spoken only).  You can also create your own scene using different animals.
Giraffe's Matching Zoo, Price: FREE, animal memory game. Animals make sounds whenever you press on a card.  Some of the sounds are a bit ridiculous which makes Autumn laugh. This is definitely the second top game she plays.
Nick Jr. A-Z, Price: $1.99, Now this is the top game Autumn plays! She loves Nick Jr and Moose A. Moose! :) Awesome for letter recognition and the graphics are wonderful!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chocolate Syrup Brownies

This is great because the batter is just like what it would be if it came from a box of Pillsbury or Betty Crocker (the cooked result ended up pretty yummy, too)! Chocolate syrup plus all your basic baking ingredients most likely already in your kitchen!

1 egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup chocolate syrup (I used Nestle Quik)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 dash salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Grease 9 in square baking pan.  In a small bowl beat egg; add brown sugar and chocolate syrup, beating until well-blended.  Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; add to egg mixture, beating until blended.  Fold in butter and nuts.

Spread batter into prepared pan.  Bake 35-40 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Recipe originally from CDKitchen

Pipecleaner Fireworks: 4th of July craft

Two materials: sparkly pipecleaners and thread (well, I guess three if you count the scotch tape used to hang them from the ceiling.

Cut the pipecleaners all in half. Take 4-5 pieces and twist them around each other to make sure they stay connected. Curve the ends to look like fireworks when they explode up in the sky. Tie various-sized pieces of thread around them and hang from the ceiling. You can use thumb tacks, but I just didn't feel like dealing with those. :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Preschool Preview

A 2-year old plus a dry erase marker
would make for a dangerous equation,
but all went well!
Autumn did some of the preschool worksheets I printed out.  She really liked having some school work like "sissy".  I originally planned to laminate all the printouts, so she can do them over and over. I found a sheet protector, and I think those will work better--keeping them all together in a binder.

You'll recognize the characters I'm sure. ;) This was part of a (free!) preschool pack you can download and print. There are many different themes.  Download all you want for sheer cuteness of it! Wizard of Oz! Star Wars! Toy Story!  I love it. This particular one Autumn was working on helps with left-to-right and hand-eye coordination. There are others that can be made into matching games and circling which picture is different among others.

Psh, who needs dotted lines anyway?
 There were a couple instances she did very well.  She mostly enjoyed coloring and erasing with marker with a napkin.   This is definitely something to keep her occupied for a good while! Can't wait to finish getting it all together!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Homemade Bathtub Paint

Easiest recipe ever! I got this from Crafty Soccer Mom.

1/3c dish soap or baby shampoo
2T cornstarch
food coloring

Mix the soap and cornstarch. Put a little in 3-4 small containers to make various colors.  Mix in food coloring and ta-da!

The girls had a great time with this and the paint comes right off with water (obviously that's the point :-p).  Since one of the ingredients is soap we ended up with an unexpected bubble bath as well. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Spring Scene: Handprint Flowers

Yeah, I's the second day of summer.  Spring crafts are of the past! We have flowers in the summer, right? Those that survive the blistering heat anyway. I guess I shouldn't jinx myself since it's been in the low 80s the past few days.



The background, grass, and flowers are made of construction paper.  The stems and leaves are foam sheets. I had some butterfly embellishments that the girls added around the flowers.

Don't you love how neat Hannah was with the "grass"? Autumn had yet to obtain that OCD quality. ;)

What day is it again?

This week is particularly busy for Ryan with work and training.  I keep forgetting what he's doing day to day or I forget what day it is. I know, duh, write things down! :-p This morning he left before any of us woke up to do a ride along with the base police.  I found myself looking forward to him coming home at 3 since the kids were being psycho, but then I realized that it is Wednesday.  Wednesday through Saturday he works 2-midnight. Oh goody. Now before you start feeling bad for Ryan he sits for most of his shift. :) Feel bad for me! Nah, it's not so bad I reckon. I could easily pack up the cooler and drive to the zoo, but it's one of those days when you just want to stay close to home (especially since the weather is looking a bit overcast. Last time we went to the zoo, it started down pouring as soon as we got home!).  I wish we lived in walking distance to a park or at least had sidewalks so we could go for a ride in the wagon.  People tend to drive a bit psycho on these country road so I don't want to take that risk. Today might be a good one to lay low though since tomorrow Ryan has pretty much the same schedule.  That means I get to grocery shop with the kids! Every mother's dream. Maybe the kids can go on the ride along? Kids like police cars and they can make gun noises. No? Well, fine then. We can plan for a trip to the zoo after shopping(if everything goes well in my land of make believe), so it'll be an eventful day for sure.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day 2011

Ryan and Violet, our interim third child
We all enjoyed a lovely Father's Day.  First church, lunch at Cici's (had a Buy 1 Get 1 Free coupon!), and hung out at home. Our yard was looking a bit gross, so Ryan mowed while I pulled weeds.  Riding on a mower is never a chore for Ryan.  I wish I could say the same about pulling weeds, but it was a nice workout. The girls were splashing in the pool nearby. Ryan loved his cards and we made him cupcakes. Yum! And of course I called my own dad to say hello. :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our Curriculum 2011-2012

Now that June is passing us by in a whirlwind I'm starting to dive more into planning for our upcoming school year.  We will be starting around the beginning of July.

Here's what I have so far:

Hannah: 1st grade
Reading: Reader Rabbit phonics workbook, reading "real" books
Spelling: considering getting All About Spelling. I've heard great things about it through various blogs.
Math: Horizons
Science: Exploring Creation with Astronomy
Geography: Expedition Earth: A Journey Through God's World
History: Draw and Write Through History
Art: drawing on her own, plus various "I Can Draw" books I got at the homeschool convention, I suppose history could easily be combined here. ;) We will also do arts and crafts like we always do. :)
Handwriting: various copywork
PE: playing soccer through our church

I'm not planning on starting all these subjects all at once. I'm going to start with the very basics (reading, math, etc) and add in the other stuff little by little.  This past week actually she jumped back into reading and handwriting.  She likes me to write simple sentences for her to read and copy, and she read from her phonics book.

Autumn: Preschool
-different letter/theme each week using various printables from Homeschool Creations and 1+1+1=1
-sensory and motor skills activities a la the Montessori method (I'm going to try at least since I considered myself to be more "traditional" with homeschooling but I was feeling drawn toward looking into other things since I obviously didn't homeschool for preschool with Hannah)
-daily arts and crafts

On a developmental note, I just recently noticed that when Autumn colors it's much more contained than being all over the page. I'm getting so excited about little things like that. :)

Posted at the Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Edit 8/1/11: Posted at Heart of the Matter for their "Not" Back to School Blog Hop
Not Back to School Blog Hop

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Father's Day Tie Card

This card is adorable and ridiculously easy to make! I found the idea at La-La's Home Daycare.  We used different patterned scrapbooking paper for the tie and the pocket. :) Another great idea is let your kids (if they're toddler age) scribbled on some paper with crayons and then cut out the tie and pocket. 

Here is an example I made for the kids.  I guess I could have made the tie longer. :-p Oh, well. Still turned out great!

In my scrapbooking supplies I have odds and ends when it comes to letters. :) Funny how many a's I am lacking.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Parental FAIL!

Hannah has the radio on when she goes to bed every night.  The Christian station sometimes decides to not come up on the radio (the CD player portion of music player is broken :-/), and I found the oldies station. I assumed that was harmless enough. Around 11 PM the other night I went to check on the girls and what was on the radio but "Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye! Yes, Hannah was asleep but still! Goodness knows what else could have come on the radio. I'm already preparing myself to tell Hannah that "afternoon delight" is having ice cream after lunch. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Scary Ghosts

The girls were pretending to be ghosts this afternoon, and instead of saying "oooooo" Autumn kept saying, "moooooo!" LOL Ryan was taking a nap and they really scared him. :) Autumn ran into the door frame with the blanket on her head. She wasn't hurt, so I think it's safe to say that it was pretty funny.

Totally Cute

I found some really cute stuff at Wal-Mart today (that I did not buy since they were not at all 'needs').  I just wanted to share.  Maybe I should do a semi-regular post about different things I find. Not that I'm an expert on anything, but I like what I like. :)

Remember that episode of I Love Lucy when she and Ethel dressed like "women from Mars" as a publicity stunt? I found these little "Karen" Barbie dolls.  I also found these Charlie's Angels dolls! Cuuuuute! The price...not so cute. $29.88 each.  Supposedly that's the clearance price. :-/

In the baby section, there was 101 Dalmatians crib bedding! Perfect for a boy or a girl. I wanted to get it just knowing that these weren't the typical licensed characters used for baby stuff. Dear Disney, You can stop using Winnie the Pooh any time now. Non-princess Disney movies would definitely be the way to go! :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

VBS week

Hannah went to VBS this week! Let me tell you when I told her it was that time of year again, I think she jumped out of her skin a little. A little excited? Maybe. After singing, memory verses, friends, crazy hair day, and jumping in the bounce house almost every day she had every reason to be excited!

While Hannah was at VBS, Autumn also had her share of events(she will be able to go to VBS next year since she will be PreK age!):

-Playing in the pool outside when horseflies starts swarming.  There was one in her hair.  Ryan tried to get it but smacked her in the head instead.

-giving me instructions on how to roll a ball out of Play-doh. I really appreciated her help.

-lots of playing with her match game (which my mom found on clearance at Walmart for $3 thank you very much :D)

-having some tummy troubles which caused a Wal-Mart run for Pedialyte and Desitin :-/

-taking trash to the dump (or "dunk") with Daddy

-playing with her sister's bears since she wasn't home ;-p

Last, but certainly never least, let me present the Kracker Bear of Liberty.  Hannah cannot let anyone  out of all the VBS fun!

VBS is certainly a highlight of the summer for Hannah, and it went by so quick.  The church sent home a flyer for a couple of day camps they are having next month.  One is on insects and the other on cooking, for ages 4 through those who just completed  Kindergarten.  Now all we need is something for Autumn...when Hannah was her age we signed her up for toddler gymnastics.  I'll have look into that. :)

10 Bizarre Courses I Could Teach

I got this idea from Dishwater Dreams.  Pretty fun. :)

1. Aspartame Denial: A 2-liter of Diet Coke a day isn't that much, right?  Splenda is the "safe" sweetener right?  Everyone puts 4 in their coffee.

2. How to Say No: That's saying no to your kids.  Apparently some parents have a hard time with denying their kids, but I think I make it look quite easy.

3. Making Your Husband Smell Good Forever: Through couponing one thing I have created a good stockpile of is men's deodorant (we're talking $1 or less at final cost).  Ryan has gotten to the point that he gets annoyed when I put new deodorant in his cabinet in the bathroom.

4. Bear Surgery: Through both the girls I have repaired many a bear.  They wear them out!

5.  How to Cook Frozen Fries: Ryan says he wishes he could make fries like I do. *shrug*

6.  Getting Your Husband to Leave the Room: I turned on Little House on the Prairie and Ryan is quick to make his way to watch TV in our bedroom.  Fine with me, since he tends to offer his commentary on what ever I'm watching anyway.

7. The Life and Times of the Cereal Nazi: This is one of those things unfortunately passed on to me from my dad--no opening new "good" cereal until the opened stuff is eaten. Grrr. Never good when the opened cereal is cornflakes and the new is Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  :-p Now I am the same way since I know if the new stuff gets opened the old stuff will never get eaten.

8.  Nick Jr. Character Profiles: Knowledge of different Nick Jr. characters only comes from hearing the various shows in the background--I promise. ;)

9. Forcing Yourself to Not Spend Money: I am no Dave Ramsey by any means, but all you have to do is accidentally transfer money to your money market account making funds unavailable for at least 5 business days. Good times!

10. Dragging Out Laundry: If you only get to one load a day for a family of 4 or more then it will surely take a hot minute.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chicken Bacon Ranch Tacos

This is more a meal idea than recipe.  Never understood the need for taco "recipes"...make the stuff...chop the stuff...put said stuff in shells...stuff your face until you explode.  There's your recipe. :-p For this, just make tacos like normal with shredded chicken, cook up some turkey bacon, chop, sprinkle on top.  Put on fat free ranch last.  Using turkey bacon and fat free ranch barely adds 70 calories to each taco. Soooo good!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

100 Summer Fun Ideas

I got this link from Money Saving Mom! I might be putting this here just to save it for myself, but I'm sure other moms out there will get good use of this as well. Some awesome ideas! :-D

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekly Homeschool Planner Giveaway!

Confessions of a Homeschooler is doing another great giveaway this time it's for the Weekly Homeschool Planner from Homeschool Creations (another awesome blog I follow!).  This comes in PDF format and is completely ready for your own editing! There is everything from curriculum planning to making notes about homeschool laws for your state to grocery lists!  Click on the Confessions link to see how to enter to win!


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