Saturday, August 2, 2008

Math Manipulatives

Do you have a child having problems with their basic math facts??? Are you looking for something other than the standard flashcards to use with them?? I was just reading over at Sadie's--It's A Boy's Life and she has a cool manipulative using craft sticks/popsicle sticks and little pockets in a manila file folder!! You really need to go check it out!!!

More than Flashcards

Got any other cool ideas for math manipulatives?? I would love to hear about it!! I have a couple of hands-on learners that benefit from learning some other way than worksheets!

A New Diamond!

Thanks to Toni--The Happy Housewife for awarding me with this award! I feel honored for receiving such an award! I am speechless!
I guess I am to pass this on to others as well...

Gretchen--Extraordinary Ordinary Life

Donna--Mom's Frugal

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Frugal Friday--Pizza Lunch

Last week it was breakfast! Now this week, I seem to be stuck on a lunch theme!! Maybe it is because that the summer is over the half way point and back to school sales are in full swing so that means making school lunches is on the horizon! Yes I homeschool so I don't have to worry too much about packing school lunches but I still worry about providing nutritious lunches that are quick, easy, and on the cheap! I also like lunches where I know that my kids can do a lot of the work themselves.

Here is our lunch from today....Biscuit Pizzas!

1-8oz bag shredded mozzerella cheese
1/4 lb. pepperoni
1/2 can pizza sauce
2-5count tubes Grands buttermilk biscuits
some parmesan cheese

Flatten biscuits. Put on a cookie sheet. spread sauce on biscuit. sprinkle parmesan cheese on the sauce. Top the sauce and parmesan cheese with mozzerella cheese. top with pepperoni. Bake according to biscuit tube...350° for 10 to 15 minutes.

It was a little hard to figure out the actual price for this because I keep these items in my pantry! Also, I buy the parmesan cheese, and pepperoni in bulk.(sometimes I buy the mozzerella in bulk as well but getting these 8oz bags on sale recently proved to be cheaper than the getting it in bulk. So the best I figured that to make 10 personal size pizzas was under $5.00 for all the ingredients.

I am also sure that it would have cost less if I had just made up pizza crust dough and divided the dough for small personal size pizzas. However, when time is of the essence using the biscuits makes putting lunch together that much easier and quicker.

These pizzas taste great cold and are easy to wrap in plastic to stick into a lunchbox! They also freeze well once they are cooked.

Looking for other lunch ideas that don't involve PB&J sandwiches??? Here is a great list to check out!!!

For other frugal ideas, recipes, or resources; head over to Biblical Womanhood!

Weekly Grocery Trip---Saved $78.96

I went for my weekly shopping trip to pick up some deals! Some of the deals were things that I needed in order to finish off some meals for this week. I stopped at three stores, Save A Lot; Family Fare and Meijer. It took me an hour to get to all three places and back home again.

First stop....Save A Lot

  • 3-2ct pkgs. beef cube steak $7.07 (each of the pkgs were marked down by 50 cents)
  • 2.54 lbs bananas $1.50
  • 3 bags egg noodles $2.97
  • 3 lbs apples $1.99
  • 2 jars pizza sauce $1.98

Total $15.51

Second stop....Family Fare (I actually remember to take pics of my deals this week!)

  • 2lbs baby cut carrots $1.67(B1G1)
  • 2lbs cheddar cheese $7.99(B1G1)
  • 10 boxes mac & cheese $4.45(B5G5)
  • 4 boxes breaded chicken nuggets $5.98(B1G1)
  • 2 bags potato chips $3.79(B1G1)

Total $23.88
Total Saved $23.88

Final Stop....Meijer(pic above doesn't have my frozen foods that I purchased) Here is a deals list with coupons to see how I did my deals.

  • 8 boxes Toaster strudel $11.04 ($1.38/box)
  • 2 pkgs ground chuck $6.96
  • 2 pkgs Ziploc containers $3.76 ($1.88/pkg)
  • 4 bottles Motts for Tots Juice $6.00 ($1.50/bottle)
  • 1 lb bacon $2.00
  • 2 boxes Go-gurt $3.00 ($1.50/box)
  • 2 pkgs Yoplait Kid Yogurt Drinks $3.00 ($1.50/pkg)
  • 1 pkg Oscar Mayer Deli Sliced Lunchmeat $1.75
  • 4 jars Smuckers Grape Jam $5.00
  • 5lbs Tyson QF Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts $9.99 ($2.00/lb)
  • 8lbs QF Boneless/Skinless Chicken Tenders $14.98 ($1.87/lb)
  • 1lb fresh Tyson breast tenderloins $2.84
Used a $5 off $75 purchase Catalina coupon!!

Total $65.62
Total Saved $55.08 (Meijer Promotions=$5.00; Non-Coupon Savings $39.28; Total Coupon Savings $10.80)

Grand Total $105.01
Grand Total Saved $78.96 (actually more if you count my savings at Save A Lot!)

If I hadn't used any coupons or sales but still shopping at Save A Lot my total grocery bill would have been $183.97!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Visitor Among Us---Mr. Nobody

Mr. Nobody
Author Unknown

I know a funny little man,
As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
In everybody's house!
There's no one ever sees his face,
And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
By Mr. Nobody

`Tis he who always tears our books,
Who leaves the door ajar,
He pulls the buttons from our shirts,
And scatters pine afar;
That squeaking door will always squeak,
For, prithee, don't you see,
We leave the oiling to be done
By Mr. Nobody

The finger marked upon the door
By none of us are made;
We never leave the blind unclosed,
To let the curtains fade.
The ink we never spill; the boots
That lying round you. See
Are not our boots they all belong
To Mr. Nobody.

***If you have children...I am sure that you are very familiar with "Mr. Nobody" or even with "Not Me". I am sure that there are other "people" that visit your house as well!! ***

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Weblink Wednesday--Read Alouds

Are you familiar with this book?? I wasn't til someone on a homeschooling message board recommended reading it! I just picked up from the library today! From what I gather from skimming thru it just is a book that helps you to understand that every child can become an avid reader. It answers common questions about doubts, it gives tips on how to get children into books! It boosts about discovering the rewards that come from reading and the importance of reading aloud.

Little did I realize that Mr. Trelease has a website set up with all the same information that is in the book plus new reviews of books that are not in the last edition of his book!

He has a Weekly Read-Aloud Book review and Weekly Education Essay.

He has articles about different debates that are going on in the Educator's arena--like the No Child Left Behind, Censorship, on-line reading vs. offline, and even research on the effects of "screen time"(TVs, Videos, Computers). I found many different and interesting articles that even as a homeschooling parent I found to be interesting to read.

You can purchase CDs and DVDs of his past lectures.

You can even find out how to make Rain Gutter Bookshelves!!!

So if you are looking for information on reading or looking for a good book to read aloud to your kids....check out his site!!!!

The Read Aloud Handbook--Trelease on Reading

For more weblinks, head over to Homeschooling with Encouragement!

Kitchen Tip Tuesday---Lunches

It is getting to that time of year again!!! The time when we need to start thinking about school lunches! Granted, I am homeschooling my kids this year but I still struggle with putting together nutritious meals for them. Or I get stuck in the rut of the good old peanut butter and jelly sandwich, handful of chips, and carrot sticks! It doesn't make for an exciting lunch and most of the time my kids are coming to me about two hours later wondering what to have for a snack or when dinner is going to be served. So after doing some research online and talking to my crew, I have got a list of lunches that are not the same old PB & J sandwich!

Fried egg sandwiches

Mini homemade pizzas

Egg salad sandwiches

Chicken/Tuna salad sandwiches

Homemade pita bread stuffed with any number of things

Salad with grilled chicken

Hot Dogs/Coneys

Grilled cheese sandwiches ***did you know that you can make these in the morning and double wrap in foil to put in your kid's school lunchbox and come lunch time it will still be warm!?! NO kidding! I had a friend tell me about this "trick"!

Chili beans, toss some cheese, salsa and tortilla chips and you got nachos

Make up a bunch of meatballs and freeze. Get some hoagie rolls and spaghetti sauce and make meatball subs. **Put the meatballs and sauce in a thermos and put the bun in a baggie so that the meatballs don't make the bun soggy.**

Make up a bunch of spaghetti and let them have at it.

Egg burritos

Salad with a bit of chicken chunks and boiled eggs

Homemade tortillas throw in some chili

Leftover pasta with whatever. I've thrown leftover pasta and chicken together. Add chopped veggies or have them on the side, drizzle with a vinagriette.

Veggie Chicken noodle soup(leftover chicken and veggies with pasta and broth)

French toast and fruit

Bean and cheese burritos

Chicken quesadillas(cut up leftover chicken, add salsa or taco sauce to it, put on one side of a tortilla shell top with cheese, fold over tortilla shell, melt some butter or use olive oil in a hot skillet then put quesadilla in the skillet and lightly brown both sides)

Cheese quesadillas

Baked potatoes with leftover chili or taco meat

Homemade "Lunchables"--sliced turkey OR pepperoni OR ham, cheese and crackers

Breadstick & hard boiled egg

Use bagels instead of bread for sandwiches

Make homemade “pizza sticks.” Make a big sheet pan of focaccia. Bake the cheese and seasonings right into the foccacia. Then cut it into sticks and freeze in individual packets. Serve with a small container of spaghetti or pizza sauce from the fridge.

In order to not get stuck in the rut of the old PB&J sandwich, remember to menu plan lunches along with your dinner menu plans. It will make life go a little smoother for those seemingly hectic mornings!

Come back next week when I give some ideas for packable healthy school snacks!

For other kitchen tips, head over to Tammy's Recipes

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 7/27-8/2

**Another week is upon us so that means it is time for another menu plan! This is just a plan and it could change on the cook’s whim!

Last week’s menus went off without too much trouble! However, I am noticing that there isn’t much in the way of leftovers to put in hubby’s lunch. So it is going to be a little tight for hubby’s lunch this week. The ballgame last Wednesday was a lot of fun! The kids really enjoyed going to the ballpark.

This week’s grocery shopping was more of a there were some deals that I couldn’t just pass up shopping trip!! I also found some markdown/ “manager’s special” meat to purchase and put in my freezer!

This week is an uneventful week, I am going to stick with favorite meals rather than trying anything new! I am hoping to get some baking done despite the temps being in the 80s all week long! Thank goodness for the a/c, this will help some!!

Lunches listed are for the kids and me. Usually with our lunches I served carrot sticks, and some kind of fruit along with juice to drink. Hubby usually takes dinner leftovers each day along with several items for snacks.

A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus; go check other delicious meal plans that have been linked at Laura-Organizing Junkie's site! **

Sunday (7-27)
Breakfast: eggs, hash browns, sausage links and cinnamon rolls (used canned ones b/c I got a good deal on them however, I had several wishing for the homemade ones.)
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: grilled bbq burgers, seasoned pan fries, and corn
Snack: snack basket

Monday (7-28)
Breakfast: cereal and toast
Lunch: chicken nuggets and tater tots
Dinner: Taco bar, chips & salsa
Snack: snack basket

Tuesday (7-29)
Breakfast: buttermilk pancakes and sausage
Lunch: sandwich and chips
Dinner: creamy chicken (#1), noodles and green beans
Snack: snack basket

Wednesday (7-30)
Breakfast: bagels, yogurt and cereal
Lunch: leftovers or sandwich and chips
Dinner: Roasted Chicken, mashed taters & gravy, corn, and homemade honey oatmeal rolls
Snack: “mystery snack”

Thursday (7-31)
Breakfast: waffles, eggs, and sausage
Lunch: biscuit pizzas
Dinner: ???
Snack: snack basket

Friday (8-1)
Breakfast: cereal and toast
Lunch: sandwich and chips
Dinner: “Homemade Long John Silvers night”= fish, chicken, shrimp, fries and corn
Snack: homemade chocolate shakes

Saturday (8-2)
Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”
Dinner: steak (hubby), burgers (kids & I), seasoned pan fries, carrots/coleslaw
Snack: popcorn or snack basket

***Baking scheduled for this week....

  1. Lunch box desserts

  2. Jewish coffee cake

  3. Muffins

  4. 2 different kinds of cookies--I haven't decided which ones!

  5. Mom McMuffins

Singing Sunday

Mighty to Save
by Hillsong Australia

Everyone needs compassion
Love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Saviour
The hope of nations

He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender

Shine Your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing
For the glory of the risen King