Saturday, March 7, 2009

Help For Reluctant Readers

Do you have a child that you find hard to motivate to read because they just dislike reading? Do you have a child that will find many excuses why they will not take the time to read a book? What about the child who would rather find something else to do, including cleaning their room, than pick up a book? Or what about the child who just doesn’t find any fulfillment in reading for enjoyment? So you are left feeling frustrated and even slightly confused as to why someone would not enjoy reading like everyone else. If you have a child that is a reluctant reader, you are not alone!

To find out what a reluctant reader is and some tips to help a reluctant reader, finish reading my article over at Happy To Be at Home!

Weekly Shopping Trip---Savings $118.30

This week, I went to three stores and got some of the sale deals along with some needs.  I need to make sure that there was food in the house for my MIL for while I was gone on my 2 day vacation with my hubby!

Here is the breakdown: 

Save A Lot: 
  • 1.78lbs bananas $1.03
  • 3.91lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts $6.61 ($1.69/lb)
  • 6 cans cream of chicken soup $2.94
  • 3 pks hamburger buns $2.97
  • head of lettuce 79¢
  • 1 gallon chocolate milk 99¢(after coupon!)
Total: $15.53
Total Savings: priceless

  • 1.04lbs catfish $4.15
  • 14.78lbs boneless/skinless chicken $29.41
  • 2.01lbs hamburger $3.52 ($1.65/lb--markdown)
  • 2 pks Pillsbury pie crust $1.00(markdown)
  • 6 cans Freshlike peas $3.51
  • 7 cans Freshlike green beans $4.16
  • 1 can Freshlike corn FREE + overage! on sale for 67¢ and used a 75¢/1 cpn
  • 10lbs potatoes $2.49
  • 1 cantaloupe $1.50
  • 2 boxes Lipton Tea $6.00
  • 5 bottles BBQ sauce $5.00
  • 10 boxes Kraft Mac & Cheese $5.00
  • 6 tubes cinnamon rolls $6.50
  • 2 boxes Post Cereal $3.00
  • 4 boxes instant oatmeal $6.65
Total: $150.03
Total OOP: $81.81
Total Savings: $68.22

Family Fare: 
  • 2 bottles Tropicana OJ $5.00
  • 2 pkgs 18 double rolls TP $17.59(with tax)
  • 8 Totinos Pizzas $9.00
  • 3.27lbs ground chuck $6.18
  • 8.38lbs pork loin $12.38 ($1.47/lb)
  • 2 bottles apple juice $2.54
  • breakfast steaks $1.31 (markdown)
Total: $101.35
Total OOP: $53.94
Total Savings: $47.41

Grand Total: $269.38
Grand Total OOP: $151.08
Grand Savings Total: $118.30

Friday, March 6, 2009

Women History Month

One thing that I enjoy about not being “tied” to a specific curriculum is being able to make and do my own units of study. It is fun to put a different twist on the school day by doing something that is not according to structured lesson plan.  For this month, I am putting together a unit based on a month long event. According to the Educator’s Calendar that I downloaded from TeacherVision, March is Women’s History Month.

So for part of the month, I have planned for my children to learn about important women in history and how each of those women made their mark on history.

The women we are going to be studying this month are:

Sojourner Truth

Susan B. Anthony

Abigail Smith Adams 

Emily Dickinson

Amelia Earhart

Eleanor Roosevelt 

Sandra Day O'Connor

Annie Oakley

Helen Keller 

Betsy Ross

Clara Barton

Rosa Parks

If you clicked on any of their names, you will find that each of these women made their mark on history!   Along with studying these women we are going to learn about the firsts in women's achievement throughout history.

To accomplish our study we will be using the following resources:'s Women History Month Page

Women History Month's page at Infoplease

Time for Kids--Women History Month Page

Library of Congress' Tribute to Women History Month

Scholastic's Women History Page


As for books that we will use in our study, I will be picking a few from this recommended list and this list compiled by Carol Hurst.   I will also be looking for books that are about each of the specific women listed above.

Here is what we will be doing for activities; we will be making a poster entitled “Women’s Firsts”. We will also be doing a fact sheet on each of the women as we study them throughout the month.

Nothing extravagant but something that will hopefully be fun and a change of pace for us.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Time of Refreshing...

Hubby and I are heading out today for a marriage retreat that is sponsored by our church.

We will be leaving Thursday afternoon to go to a conference/resort center an hour away from our home.  We will be returning some time in the late afternoon on Saturday.

The theme this year is "Love Refresher".   I am praying for a refreshing time!  Time to get away from the cares of the world and my home to focus on the loving the man that the Lord gave to me!

My MIL is coming from out of town to stay with our kids during the two days. 

I have scheduled a few posts for during the time that I am gone for you to enjoy!

I will be back in the saddle of blogging at the start of next week!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thursday Thirteen--Vegetables

This past Monday, my hubby and I had an InBody Assessment done. Hubby's work has afflilation with the local YMCA so one of the trainers came into hubby's work to do the assessment in one of the conference rooms. The assessment was just a simple taking of shoes and socks off and hanging on to the device and waiting for the results. The results being our weight, skeletal muscle mass, body fat mass, water content, BMI, percentage of fat to muscle, and muscle strength. Basically we found out how much weight/fat we need to lose in order to be in good health. We also found out how many calories we burn just resting to help us know how many calories we need to consume in order to lose the extra weight.

And what does this have do with anything??? Well I thought for my Thursday Thirteen list, I would list the vegetables that I enjoy eating. Hopefully listing them will help to inspire me to eat them on a more regular basis, EVEN if my family despises them! (My family is full of picky eaters!)

So without further ado....My list of vegetables that I enjoy consuming(in no particular order!)...

  1. Broccoli

  2. Spinach(cooked & fresh)

  3. Lettuce

  4. Carrots

  5. Cucumbers(despite the fact they give me heartburn!)

  6. Squash(zucchini, summer, and butternut are my favorites!)

  7. Asparagus

  8. Green Beans

  9. Corn(especially fresh off the cob!)

  10. Green Peas

  11. Okra(not the most healthy as I like it fried in bacon grease!)

  12. Tomatoes(I know they are actually a fruit--but I see them as a veggie!)

  13. Potatoes

While I will eat the listed vegetables there are others(like brussel sprouts & rhubarb) that I will not eat! And just in case if you are wondering...I have tried my "dislike veggies" before several different ways and just didn't acquire a liking to them.

For more lists, head over to Thursday Thirteen over Happy to Be at Home.

The Baking "To Do" List & More Part 2

Whew! What a day!! You can read about my "to do" list and what I accomplished this morning here.

When I left that post, I was needing to check on my Jewish Coffee Cake. Here is the results...

Once the Jewish Coffee Cake was complete, I had ready a double batch of banana bread with nuts(3 loaves and 12 muffins). After the bread was done, I had this single batch of cookies to put in the oven. For the cookies, I used my basic chocolate chip cookie recipe for the dough and for the chips I used 1/2 white chips and 1/2 chocolate chips.  Basically using up a couple of open bags of chips that I had in my fridge!
Once the cookies were done, another double batch of banana bread without nuts(3 loaves and 12 muffins) was ready to go into the oven.  While the banana bread was baking, ds#3 and I worked on getting our dinner ready.  Dinner tonight was a Taco Bar!  Ds #3 put the finishing touches of spice into the chicken and burger meat that I had cooked up this morning while I cut up some lettuce.  We had our choice of beef or chicken tacos with all the fixings(lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and rice).  Here is my plate...
Before I cleared the table, I took a picture of the bounty I had baked today!  In the bags ready for the freezer are the cookies, and banana muffins with nuts. The rest of the items will either be eaten in the next few days or once cooled put in the freezer for later breakfasts or snacks.  The only thing missing from the picture is the 3 loaves of banana bread without nuts which were still cooking in the oven!
The only thing on the baking portion of my "to-do" list was a batch of brownies. I will do those some time next week! So now all that is left on my to-do list is emails and blogging for here and for Happy to be at Home, where I am contributing writer.

Thanks for joining me on productive day!

The Baking "To-Do" List and More!

So this morning after fixing hubby's lunch and getting hubby out the door for work, I sat down and wrote out my "to-do list".  Knowing full well that if I didn't write something down, I would sit and veg and not get anything done!  And that my friends would be a bad thing in not getting anything done, because hubby and I are going on a marriage retreat this weekend(Thursday afternoon thru Saturday afternoon)with other couples from our church.   So I have to stay focused today to accomplish anything!

Now that I have a list...time to get busy!

First to do was a batch of Muddy Buddies/Puppy Chow.  I needed something "snacky" to take with us to share and this was the perfect item because I had all the ingredients on hand to make it up.   Yes, you are seeing is in a paper shopping bag!(more explanation coming later as to why I used a paper bag!)

Next up was cutting up the fruit that was in my fridge.  Better to cut it up and have it available for munching on rather than having it sit and get wasted!  It is not strawberry season in my neck of the country but these store bought California strawberries sure taste yummy!  While cutting up the cantaloupe, I realized why I do NOT usually buy out of season fruit!!!  This melon was still green so it was like cutting up an apple!! UGH!  Oh well, it still tastes good and the kiddos are eating it up!  I could have combined these two to make a nice little fruit salad but some of my kiddos would have strong objections to the combination!  So this momma keeps the fruit separate and if you want to eat the fruit together like a fruit salad you can do so in your own little bowl.

Now that lunch is over, here is where my list stands....

***off to check the Jewish Coffee Cake in the oven and to accomplish more on my list!*** Will update my progress later!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Easy Banana Cookies

Do you have a few ripe bananas sitting on your counter that are too ripe and turning mushy sitting on your counter??  Have you ever wanted something other than just muffins or bread from those bananas?  How about making cookies!?!?

Cookies are kid friendly!  Cookies are great for on the go breakfasts or snacks!

Easy Banana Cookie Recipe

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter (softened)
2 eggs
2 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add butter and mix well. Add lightly beaten eggs, mashed banana and vanilla. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Notes: These cookies are easy to do and also easy to alter by using whole wheat flour or oatmeal for the some of the flour. Also a nice addition is walnuts or chocolate chips or both! 

This post is linked at: 

Menu Plan Monday 3/1-3/7

Last week's menu plan went pretty smoothly despite needing to have inspiration for a couple of meals! I was able to use what I had on shelves for those meals so there wasn’t extra cost of getting take out for the family.

This week’s shopping trip was one of a different focus! I had every intention of shopping primarily to stockpile but after a discussion with my hubby that intention was stopped dead in its tracks. I ended up doing my shopping for just items that were a necessity and left all the “stockpiling deals” on the store shelves.

This week’s menus are needing to be a little more thought out as hubby and I are going on a church’s marriage retreat at the end of the week(Thursday evening-Saturday afternoon) and leaving the kids here with my mother-in-law. She is coming from out of town and also doesn’t like to do much in the way of cooking so I am going to have some items ready to go for meals for her and the kids. Also with being gone at the end of the week means that meals before I leave are going to quick & simple so that I can get things prepared for while we are gone.

Lunches listed are for the kids & me. Unless we are having leftovers, our lunches are served with apple slices or baby carrots along with fruit juice or water. Hubby usually takes a dinner leftover along with various snacks for his work lunch.

A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus; go check the over 400 other delicious meal plans that have been linked at Laura-Organizing Junkie's site or look down in my right sidebar for my menu suggestion lists!

Sunday (3-1)

Breakfast: eggs, sausage, hash browns, and jiffy muffins
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: pizza @ AWANA
Snack: snack basket

Monday (3-2)

Breakfast: cereal, toaster strudel, and yogurt
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: skillet pork chops, mac & cheese, and peas
snack basket

Tuesday (3-3)

Breakfast: waffles and sausage
Lunch: pizza rolls
Dinner: smothered chicken, boiled potatoes, and corn
Snack: muffins & milk

Wednesday (3-4)

Breakfast: bagels, eggs and cereal
Lunch: sandwiches & chips
Dinner:Taco Bar
Snack:snack basket

Thursday (3-5)

Breakfast:French Toast
Lunch: pizza rolls
Dinner: crockpot roasted whole chicken, rice, and corn
Snack: cookies & milk

Friday (3-6)

Breakfast: cereal and toaster strudel
Lunch: sandwiches & chips
Dinner: hubby & I @ retreat; Kids w/Grandma--out
Snack: ice cream night

Saturday (3-7)

Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”
Lunch: ???
Dinner: bacon cheeseburgers, fries, and carrots
Snack: snack basket

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Singing Sunday

All Because Of Jesus
by Steve Fee

Giver of every breath I breathe
Author of all eternity
Giver of every perfect thing
to You be the glory

Maker of heaven and of earth
no one can comprehend Your worth
King over all the universe
To You be the glory

I'm alive because I'm alive in You

It's all because of Jesus I'm alive
It's all because the blood of Jesus Christ
that cover's me and raised this dead man's life
It's all because of Jesus I'm alive

Every sunrise sings Your praise
The universe cries out Your praise
I'm singing freedom all my days
Now that I'm alive