Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shopping Trip 9/27

Wow, it has been too long. I've really been slacking in my couponing.  I cleaned out my binder yesterday and it was not pretty. Yesterday was the last day of the Buy 10 Save $5 sale at Kroger (the new ad here starts over on Wednesday as opposed to Sunday). The kids went to a friend's house (thank you Aprill!!!) so I was not distracted by them fighting over the steering wheel in those ridiculous carts with the cars attached (I'm sure I'm not the only parent who would welcome an armed robbery at that point.  Take me! Take me! :-p).

1-Digiorno pizza
1-California Pizza Kitchen
2-Yoplait Kids yogurt
1-Lucky Charms cereal bars
1-Starbucks VIA instant coffee
1-Fiber One brownies (these are awesome!)
2-Multigrain Cheerios
4-Uncle Ben's Ready Rice
1-Marcal Small Steps napkins
1- Reach Floss (FREE!)
1-Heinz Ketchup
1-Schick Mens' razors
1-Schick Quattro razors
2-Lady Speedstick deodorant
1- 3pack Horizon chocolate milk
1-Febreze Set and Refresh
2-Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles
3-bags of Fun Size candy bars (bought for the church's fall festival...I better take them tonight or they will be eaten! Just saying ;-D)

Retail: $98.02 +tax
Paid: $39.90 +tax
59% savings!

This  must be the high those selfish hoarders people on Extreme Couponing are talking about. I'm anxious to try that Starbucks...hope it's good. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall (Bucket List) Tree

I got this idea from Almost Unschoolers, but ours is is on a bit of a smaller scale. This one is about 2 feet tall and our list is a bit shorter.  The kids really had fun putting it together. Hannah helped me cut out the leaves and Autumn practiced her cutting on the scraps. Our list includes basics such as choosing costumes (done!), visiting a pumpkin patch, corn maze, the church's fall festival, etc. You need a  whopping four supplies: construction paper, Sharpie, scissors, and tape. I love projects that require nothing fancy.  It's especially fun to add in your  own personal fall celebration such as birthdays, etc. We have three birthdays (Emma, Autumn, and Grammie) and my anniversary. :) Do this with your kids and you'll be even more excited about fall!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week in Review #44: Hh is for Halloween and Headstrong

I know it's a bit early for Halloween, but it's still fun. :) We even got Halloween costumes this week.  Hannah will be a "storybook princess" (which is basically a Cinderella knock-off) and Autumn will be a kitty which comes with a little dress, head band, and bloomers (or pantalettes, I guess they're called). And after Halloween they can be dress-up clothes. :)

Still working on the whining thing (more so with Autumn). I'm becoming very patient, and maybe a little amused, when Autumn has a big drag-out fit when she doesn't get her way. She didn't get a snack at Hannah's soccer game on Monday (sometimes there will be extras so siblings will get some), so she wailed and stomped all the way to the car.  When we got to the car she had the gall to ask if she could watch a DVD. Silly girl. On the drive home she continued thrashing and kicking the seat.  She was wearing her Sketchers Twinkle Toes so all you saw were all these lights flashing everywhere. Ha. I think  ignoring her was more of a punishment than a spanking would have been.

On top of this, I'm trying to be proactive in potty training.   I've been trying to take her to the potty every 15 minutes, so I'm hoping the general idea will click. Hannah was 3 and a half before it completely clicked with her, so I  have six more months before I should really start to panic.  Autumn is actually showing some interest.  Twice she has taken it upon herself to sit on the potty. Sure, she's already wet her pants but it's the thought that counts. She did pee in the potty once though! Go Autumn!

Now for some school-related fun!

 We are learning about Venus, and this is an experiment on what happens after one of its volcanoes erupts. I'll make a separate post about this. Such a simple experiment!
 Autumn is putting pieces of straws on to pipecleaners. Helps with fine motor skills. :) Hannah got into it as well.

 Meagan got Emma and Autumn both Dora puzzles for their birthday.  Each box has three puzzles. They are about 15 pieces each.  Autumn is getting better and better about putting together most of it herself. I'll guide her, saying, "Fill the hole in Dora's face." :)
 "H is for..." cut and paste
 Halloween 3-piece puzzles.  I'm sure  it sucked out a good bit of color ink, but they were too cute. :) These reminded me of those progress puzzles where you move to more pieces little by little, so maybe I can make some 4 and 5-pieces puzzles for next time.
 This was from the same day with the straws and pipecleaners.  Hannah continued making jewelry long after Autumn moved on to something else. :)
 I heard about this as a rainy day activity, but Hannah had found Ryan's tape measure and was already measuring various items around the house. So I gave her a list. She sure enjoyed it. We'll count this as math. :)

Getting down and dirty with the Play Doh Fun Factory :-D

This week definitely had it's moments, and I am so grateful for the weekend. Hannah had a soccer game this morning and almost scored a goal....for the other team.  But she looked adorable doing it, and she has so much fun! "I love soccer and I love Mr. Donald (her coach)!" she proclaimed earlier this week.

Next week will be Ii. The themes will be insects and ice cream (but not combined! Gross!).

This post is linked to the Weekly Wrap-Up

Printables (not all are pictured) - H coloring pages
Homeschool Creations - Preschool Alphabet
LAWTEEDAH - Halloween Tot Pack
Do2Learn - Shape Tracing
Coloring Book Fun - Halloween coloring pages
DLTK - Halloween bingo cards

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Handprint Ghosts -- Halloween Craft

Thanks again, Pinterest! :-D This craft is perfect for teachers looking to decorate their bulletin boards in their classrooms or, obviously, for decoration at home. I recommend cardstock for durability. For a splash of color use patterned scrapbook paper (I may try that tomorrow).

googly eyes
glue stick
hands (duh :-p)

We bought Halloween costumes today.  Can't believe there's still 6 weeks until Halloween.. That feels so long, but I think I'm going to try and enjoy fall for as long as possible! It never feels long enough to me.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week in Review #43: Gg is for Giraffe and Gross Negligence

Making fall trees one morning as a "warm-up" before
actually beginning school

We had a good week. Some bumps throughout the week (you'll read more towards the bottom), but I think that's a requirement for all homeschool families. :)
Autumn enjoyed learning about the letter 'G'--mostly the gluing activity you see below. :)  She was doing pretty good and then decided to go all random,. which is fine.

This activity only requires a sharpie, construction paper, scissors, and a glue stick.  Autumn loves gluing stuff to paper so I figured why not give her lots of exposure to our current letter. :) I think I'm going to do this every week. What's cool is you can create a bunch of sets ahead of time and put them all in little ziploc bags so you can just grab it when you need it.

I don't know about Hannah, but I sure enjoy teaching the language portion of school.  Finally, my English degree is being used! LOL We learned about past, present, and future tenses, and she caught on pretty quickly. We're getting into the money section in math, and I swear that was the bane of my existence last year.  I sure hope it clicks better this year. I got some encouragement from other homeschool moms that it will click when it clicks, and that it's nothing to get stressed over.

Sister Storytime :)
I'm currently participating in a Bible study on Wednesday nights based on the book The Strong-Willed Child by James Dobson (have I mentioned that he is my parenting hero?).  Shouldn't be any surprise to those who personally know us, but Autumn is my strong-willed one. This will be where the "gross negligence" thing comes into play. 

It dawned on me this week that I am neglecting to correct Autumn when she whines and demands (i.e. "I want juice" as opposed to "May I have some juice?"). That's not really doing her any favors, is it? I told both girls a few days ago that if there was whining, tattling, or bickering between them I just wasn't going to hear it.   I completely ignore them, and so far it seems to go over pretty good.  Hannah caught on to this new regime pretty quickly, but Autumn is so appalled that her whining has not gotten her very far this week. Driving to the store to do grocery shopping Autumn dropped her precious Violet and wailed and screamed because I didn't pick it up right away like I normally do.  I told her she had to stop whining first.  She thrashed and screamed, and I started thinking that grocery shopping at that time may have been a mistake.  Long story short we survived shopping, and I was reminded while I consider shopping by myself a treat.

"Train your child up in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." - Proverbs 22:6

Please say a prayer for me as I continue to train Hannah and Autumn, in hopes they will go to the Lord and not turn from Him!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Autumn Chronology

Tomorrow as of 7:58 AM, my Autumn Bottom will be 3 years old!! I just can't believe it. That's how old Hannah was when Autumn was born!
In utero-26ish weeks

A couple days old...don't know why the
picture did that :(

7 chubby little fuzzy!!! I miss her fuzzy head! :)

1 year

18 months
2 years old, with her daddy (who will never be able to
deny that's his child! ;D)
3 years old...well, almost :)
Autumn, Autumn. She is such a hot mess, but I think that's what makes me a perfect fit for our family. :) And if you have not heard her bark like a puppy or all about her new "by-yet" (Violet), then you are seriously missing out!

Happy birthday Autumn! We love you!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Totally Cute #4

I love me some hair bows! Definitely a perk to having girls. ;)

Walmart seems to have revamped their birthday section with really cute favors and other fare not splattered with licensed characters. :) These bows were in the favor section and only 97 cents each! These were the only two patterns I saw. There is a plastic clasp in the back.  I can't think off the top of my head what clothes the girls have that match these, but I'm willing to find something. :-D

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Almond Joy Cookies

I love those Almond Joy Pieces, but I was really in the mood for something in a cookie form. :) I found a basic sugar cookie recipe but I didn't have enough flour so I had to adjust measurements and then substitute some ingredients.  I think I pretty much made up my own recipe. :-D  They actually turned out really good!!

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup Egg Beaters (or  3 egg yolks)
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup Almond Joy Pieces

Preheat the oven to 325.  Beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.  Add sugar and baking soda.  Mix until combined.  Mix in Egg Beaters and vanilla.  Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer and stir in the rest.  Stir in Almond Joy Pieces.  Drop by the tablespoonful on a slight greased cookie sheet.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned.

Wordless Wednesday: Blast from the Past

I'm seriously dying right now. I was flipping through our pictures, pondering the daunting task of organizing them.  I came across and about melted into a puddle all over the floor!! Hannah is about 15 months old here.  We all forget just how chubby she really was. I'm pretty sure she wears the same as she did then. ;)

I probably shouldn't be looking at these pictures since I'm feeling a major flare up of baby fever coming on.

Linked up with Wordless Wednesday at Mama to 4 Blessings.

Monday, September 12, 2011

First Soccer Game

Hannah the Swift
This past Saturday was Hannah's first soccer game! It went very well. All the kids got to play in at least two quarters and received a lot of help from their coaches.  This is 6-7 year olds, so it's not quite so hardcore. They didn't keep score which definitely made it more fun. :)  Hannah played goalie for a quarter and stopped a goal! She had a lot of fun! I'm very proud!

Stopping a goal! Woohoo!

getting direction from Mr Donald

giving Mr. Donald a high five

Run Hannah Run!

We have a game tonight, practice on Thursday, and another game on Saturday.  This all will last about a month. Busy, busy. :) My parents will be in town this weekend, so they'll get to see Hannah play.  Hopefully Hannah won't stop mid-field to wave to Grendy and Papaw.  Oh, well, she probably will and that's okay. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Heart and Mind 10 Years Later

I find myself deeply saddened, as if it the attacks just happened. While I was sad ten years ago, it's hitting me differently now.  I hear about all the children and spouses who lost someone in those vicious attacks while going about a normal day just like any other, and I think about us going through the motions of our routines only to have our lives absolutely halted.  I can't bear to imagine.

Ten years ago I was a sophomore in college and in biology class (a class which I later dropped) when the attacks actually occurred.  I did not hear about the attacks until I was driving home after class.  I was flipping through the radio stations trying to find some music, but it was all news. I figured it must be something pretty important so I listened, and that's how I found out.  I didn't know Ryan then (we met a year later), but he was in basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO.  Of all places! His mom was losing her mind since she didn't know he was going to be immediately shipped somewhere.  I remember a rumor going around that they were going to start up the draft again and remember feeling relieved my brothers were only 13 at the time. Kinda silly, I guess. Ironically one of my brothers is now a soldier, training at Fort Sam Houston. 

We are a nation that needs Jesus, and all we can do is pray and share. I will never forget.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Week in Review #42: Ff is for Farm and Family Reading

The activity you see above was by far my favorite and the idea just came to me while flipping through my Pinterest boards.  The girls "built" a farm with various printables.  All I did was glue on the "sky" and "grass" on big pieces of cardboard, and then I let the girls creativity take over. :) Autumn was more interested in seeing how much glue she could layer on. Four (!) glue sticks later we were done. Glad I stocked up during all the back to school stuff. :)

The completed works:

All is well on Hannah's side of the pasture...

..unfortunately Hurricane Autumn went through and
mixed everything up a little. :)
More fun from the week:

Building airplanes (this was her doing!

Making numbers with the new Play Doh set
her daddy got her

Fall Bingo

Flower puzzle

Hannah pointing to something intriguing
in her math

My cool mom moment of the week--licking beaters while
I made snickerdoodles!

Isn't this the cutest coloring page? Capital
and lowercase letters are each a different
color so you can see what the picture is
(in case it wasn't obvious :p)
Hannah is doing great with the Daily Language Review.  Of course the concepts aren't really review for her so we're having to spend a day or so more on each assignment, which is fine. She's understanding what makes a sentence and what doesn't. Everything else is going along just fine as well. She's still very much into astronomy. On Wednesday we talked about how cold Mercury gets when it's not facing the sun.  I asked her to draw in her notebook what Mercury looks like when it's cold. She drew Mercury in an ice cube! I just laughed out loud! How clever is she!

I did not stress myself this week at all. We got back from Clarksville on Tuesday, so we only had a 3-day week.  We still got the basics done--math, language, Bible, and astronomy. Autumn has recently taken to this animal puzzle game on my phone and can put together all of them in mere minutes. I was sneaky and put it at the next level of difficulty and she still did well. :)

 During meals we have picked up again on reading Little House in the Big Woods.  The kids didn't seem very interested after a couple chapter, but then Hannah asked me to read some one day during lunch and we've done it every day. Although Hannah has the tendency to interrupt constantly, just with whatever random thought that pops into her head (Gee, Ryan, I wonder where she gets that from!).  Today I finally had to tell her that if she interrupts then I was going to stop reading and we  would just pick it up again the next time.  She seems unhappy to stop so abruptly, so maybe it'll work.

The weekend is already looking full--soccer game, birthday party, and church! Fun stuff!


Build-A-Farm: Barnyard Friends by Whimsy PrimsyAt the Farm Printables
Flower Puzzle: 2 Teaching Mommies
ABC coloring pages: Hidden Picture Color by Letters
Bingo cards: DLTK's Custom Bingo Cards

This post is linked up to the Weekly Wrap-Up.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Tropical Dora Birthday

Despite their appearance, I assure you they
were quite thrilled with the  festivities
Meagan and I were talking about both wanting to give a Dora themed party for our girls (who are 15 days apart) and my mom had leftover tropical/Hawaiian decorations from an office party. We decided to combine the two, and an adorable shin dig was born! 

My mom had this great idea for "birthday trees".  Autumn and Emma each had one with their presents under it.

And the cake! YES! So proud of it! I made it and did the frosting while Meagan bought the Dora and Boots and put all that together. Way better than anything Wal-Mart or Publix could have done!

I dyed half the frosting blue for the water, obviously, and spread on the rest of the frosting and covered it with graham cracker crumbs for sand.  At first I was going to use brown sugar for sand.  Meagan bought the Dora and Boots figures and the trees were from my mom's leftover decorations.

I am very excited by how everything turned out, and that it was still hot enough to swim! Just a couple days later it was 65 degrees outside! Crazy! Although I am very pleased with the change in weather. Long overdue if you ask me.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Paging, Dr. Emma!

My niece, Emma, has really taken to playing doctor and giving us all "exams" and even the occasional diagnosis (I once had dead crabs in my stomach...ouch).  What better gift for her birthday than a doctor's kit! I found this Melissa & Doug set on Amazon complete with lab coat! I think her favorite thing is giving everyone shots, probably to get revenge on all the immunizations she's receiving over the past few years. ;)


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