Archive for May, 2011

If I don’t get sleep soon…

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 by by

If I don’t get sleep soon, I may do something crazy, like set my house on fire.

You do not consider being up on and off all night as part of life with a 2 year old. At two, the boys let me sleep all night. Belly… Yeah, not so much. We’re up and down with her at night trying to get her to sleep, because she’s constantly waking up. The past few nights, we’ve broken down and put her in bed with us. That doesn’t actually help any, it just keeps both John and I from getting any sort of real sleep.

And now… now, she is not napping, and she is in a foul, foul mood.


Green Tip Tuesday – Drink Green

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 by by

So today I was thinking about what to blog about, and then I was talking to my mom about the wedding we went to this past weekend. So I thought I’d post about how to drink “Green!”

  • First… Go with GLASS! It’s much more prettier, no? And recycling glass is more eco-friendly than recycling cans.
  • Less packaging = Less waste!
  • Buy a Keg! What? Yes, buy a Keg! Why? Well, like the tip above, less waste!
  • No “SOLO” cups, especially if you have a keg. Use reusable cups; that way, those “SOLO’s” won’t end up not “SOLO” in the landfill!
  • Organic! Yes, there is organic beer. I have never seen it, so don’t know if it’s much more expensive, but ask about it.
  • Local Breweries… It’s always best to buy anything local. Some local breweries may even be better than the ones you drink now!


Highlights from our Homeschool Week

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 by by

A glimpse in the life of our normal homeschool week.

Monday: We started out the week learning about natural disasters, specifically studying Joplin, Missouri, and the tornadoes that devastated the area. We put together Animal Relief Kits to send to the animal shelter down there. You can read more about those activities in my Lessons from Natural Disasters post. That afternoon, we headed out to the playground for our designated Monday playdate with my kids’ friend Gabbie and her baby sister. We arrived early, and as my son cat-napped in the car, my daughter and I enjoyed some books we keep on hand for “car-schooling” moments like these. My car-tote includes dry erase learning books, library books, flashcards, BrainQuest cards, etc.
Making a Tornado, see my Disaster Post for instructions.

The Thrill of Victory, The Agony of Getting Advice From Your Mom….

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 by by

“You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy”.

Arthur Ashe

We kicked off our Memorial Day weekend with a hastily arranged Little League baseball tournament.  Each team was scheduled to play 3 games in order to claim a berth in the playoffs on Sunday – one game Friday night and two during the day on Saturday.

After an auspicious start on Friday, Hayden’s team ended up losing a 7-run lead in the bottom of the 5th inning (they play 6).  The other team only had one run up on us though, so just as we all thought they could launch a comeback in the last inning, the game was called for time (it’s a 2 hour max).  I don’t care what anyone says, losing sucks, especially like that.

Unfortunately, Hayden has a hard time letting go of a loss.  The rest of the evening, he sequestered himself in his room and no one was allowed to speak of the game.  I became aware of seriousness of this mandate when I made the mistake of making a comment about said game to our sitter.  “I can HEAR you,” Hayden yelled from behind a closed door one floor above.

Saturday morning, Hayden was still stewing, but I pulled from my stores of “good sport” adages as we headed to the field and hoped for an attitudinal turn-around.  During the first game, Hayden’s team beat their opponents handily, and I breathed a sigh of relief, but that relief didn’t last for long. (more…)


Thankful Tuesday

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 by by
This is the third week of Thankful Tuesday.
1. I’m so, so, so thankful that my seester is coming to town today! I cannot wait to see her! We have lots of fun activities planned for the long weekend, and I am ready to get this party started.
2. Pretty stoked at the opportunity to be a blogger for! Hope to make lots of new friends!
3. I am thankful that I finished my first 5K on Saturday. My time pretty much sucked, however, the fact that I did not pass out from heat exhaustion is definitely something to be proud of! Note to self: do not run in 100 degree heat at 5pm in the afternoon. Not even the beach breeze can make that pleasant!
What are you thankful for this week?

Overheard at the Playdate 2

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 by by

“So, J.P.? Guess what?”

“What, Bob?”

“I’m a Lego enthusiast.”


“And when I grow up, I’m going to be an adult Lego enthusiast.”

“Whoa, Bob.”

“I know.”


Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 by by

For years, I’ve been trying over and over to make homemade tortillas with very little success. They always turned out like a big cracker. It was quite depressing, as tortillas are my all time favorite comfort food. I remember eating my nana’s homemade tortillas as a young child. So delicious. Then my friend Elaine sent me this link that described in detail how to make tortillas. From what I understand, though, the link isn’t working :( I did print it out and will scan and upload it when I return from camping. As long as I give them credit, I’m not violating any copyright laws, right? The basic recipe goes something like this:
2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of lard
2/3 cup of water.

Mix flour and salt together. Melt lard in water and slowly pour into flour mixture. Knead a few times. Dough should not be wet, but should not be dry. If wet, add more flour; if dry, add more water. Allow to rest for 1 hour. Separate into balls, cover with a damp cloth, and allow to rest for 10 to 30 minutes. Very simple. In fact, this was written up by memory, because it’s very easy to remember!

I wanted to make 4 batches of this to take with us camping. The kids love homemade tortillas, and it’s a very clean snack. At first, I just quadrupled the recipe and had Chris pour the lard water for me since my arms can’t really pour such a heavy amount. I instructed him to pour slowly, but he didn’t listen. The dough turned out awful. It had the consistency of gooey mashed potatoes. I added more flour, but it was beyond saving. I fired Chris and decided to just make 4 small batches. It’s very quick to make, so it wasn’t a big deal. But take note – pour the lard water SLOWLY. I made this in Betsy using just my dough hook, and it turned out perfect.

This is about halfway through cooking. My balls waiting for me. If you make them too big, they are difficult to keep round and to transfer to the skillet. I made mine big this time. Next time, I’ll probably go smaller.



Manatee Moments

Monday, May 30th, 2011 by by

We were gifted a subscription to Your Big Backyard magazine, and my kids adore it every month. Not only is it something fun to look forward to in the mail, but it spurs spontaneous adventure when we turn any topic of their choice into a unit study for the day. The feature in our recent issue was the Manatee. We read up what the magazine had to say, drew a picture of a Manatee with YBB’s step-by-step instructions, and found amazing free education resources online at the Save the Manatee Club website. They have free printables, games, videos, and sound clips – you can hear a lot of the different sounds a Manatee makes! My kids loved it, very cool! We also made a diorama: the Manatee’s Habitat in the ocean, complete with real rocks, since manatees love to scratch their backs by rolling around on the ocean floor. We had all the materials on hand already and used a potato as our new pet manatee! It was a really fun study for the day. (more…)

Picture Exchange

Monday, May 30th, 2011 by by

I’ve been making some references to PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) lately, and I figured I’d give a good look at that! This website gives a fairly good look at the system, as well as a success story of the child using it. 1000 words? WOW. I can only hope!

What a PECS is is a collection of pictures, readily available to the child, that they can use to exchange for what they want. It’s used as an alternative communication method for non-verbal kids who don’t show a lot of aptitude for sign (like, say, Danny refusing to sign at all). The child can choose a picture out of the book and hand it to someone (a parent, a caregiver, a teacher), and after modeling the correct words for the item and giving a moment of wait time for the child to (hopefully) mimic, they get the goods. If Danny comes to me wielding his ‘milk’ card, he places it in my hand, I show it to him and say “milk!” and wait. Sometimes he echos “ilk!” and sometimes he doesn’t. Either way, I nod. “All right, milk!” And I get him some milk.

About…oh, not quite a week ago, we received our little binder from school. It’s a duplicate of what he uses in class, with a few different cards in it to mirror things he likes at home versus things he uses at school. It skips stuff like “fish toy” (since we don’t have one of those) but includes local favorites such as “iPod,” “Pop Tart,” and “Hex Bugs.” The beginning stages of using a PECS is to offer only one or two choices, so the child isn’t overwhelmed. Slowly, you build the field, and then (more…)

You gotta try this!

Monday, May 30th, 2011 by by

Dig out your waffle iron.  You know, the one you got for a wedding present that you used twice before it moved to the back of the biggest, darkest cupboard in your kitchen.  Dust it off, plug it in, and call the kids into the kitchen.  They’ll want to help with this one.

Prepare a boxed cake mix to the package directions.  Any kind you want.  With your waffle iron hot, spray it with some non-stick cooking spray (or out a little oil on a paper towel and wipe it down).  Here’s the magic: just put some cake batter on the waffle iron and close it.  In about 4 minutes, you’ve got waffle cakes!

Want to get really decadent?  Throw a scoop of ice cream on top and make a sundae out of it. Yummy and so much fun!