Sunday, March 28, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

I just came up from the "dungeon" (aka: the laundry room) and the battle with the dirty clothes beast is beginning to look favorable! 2 down, 4 left to go. And that's not even considering the fact that these tamed beasts (aka: clean, folded clothes) still need to be put away! Ack. Alas, I will put my sword and shield away for the night, for I am weary. :)

Anywho . . . here is the menu that I have planned for this week. I may need to be fairly flexible many nights, however, because we will probably end up working out at our new house (!!!) some nights this week. So, if you see a recipe repeated next week you'll know which nights we ended up being spontaneous.

MONDAY - Hamburgers on the Grill, Chicken Rice, Carrot Coins, Buttered Brussel Sprouts (the kids resisted at first, but actually liked them once they tried them!)
TUESDAY - Chicken Pesto Pasta, Steamed Broccoli, French Bread
WEDNESDAY - Leftovers OR Grab and Go Night
THURSDAY - Ham Steaks, AuGratin Potatoes, Green Beans
FRIDAY - Lemon Herbed Chicken, Pesto Linguine, Mixed Vegetables, French Bread

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spunky Says It!

My good friend, Karen Braun, is an extremely well-informed, opinionated, well-spoken political junkie, professional researcher of topics (my personal title for her, lol), blogger, Christian homeschooling mother of six (plus so much more!). I love how forth-right and honestly she writes in her blogs. You will never doubt her opinion by the end of reading any of her entries, for sure!

Her recent post, Abortion During School Hours, really caught my attention with her "Miranda Rights for Public School Parents" at the end of the post. The whole article is alarming and sad, but "Spunky" drives the point home with the fact that when students attend government schools, the government is solidly in charge, not the parents. Most parents do not think about the fact that their rights are denied when the Government believes that it know better, and that parents are simply not required.

I share her blog because I hope that her posts will bring to light some of what occurs when we do not speak up for our parental rights. The Government does not know best for our children and I will not sit back quietly when the Government tries to tell me what to do for them. God gave me my children to care for and watch over, and I certainly know them a whole lot better than the bureaucrats in Washington.

Some may find Government schools a necessity for their family and I understand that, but as long as I am able, I hope to be my child's teacher, guide and most direct influence. Thank you, Mr. Government, but I'll keep my keep my children under my sheltering wing as long as I can.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What a Difference a Week Can Make!

Check out this video of Little Miss Lanie showing off her cruising skills!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Comment to Win a Free Art Program for your kids!

While perusing some of my favorite homeschooling blogs, I can across this giveaway and product review. It is for Artistic Pursuits Art Curriculum. I can't pass up on a contest and figured someone else might benefit from the information too!

This is what the Artistic Pursuits website has to say about their products:
"The ARTistic Pursuits approach to teaching art is a welcome departure from typical art instruction books. This award winning homeschool art program meets the specific needs of homeschoolers at home. A variety of fun applications teach both the expressive and technical aspects of art while allowing children to make choices about what and how they will draw, paint, and sculpt. Assignments work within the stages of artistic development of children and guide them to mature artistic expression in the visual arts."

To enter the contest, go to the giveaway and review on Raising Olives' blog. <-----click there

Good luck!

Menu Planning Monday

Last week was incredibly busy so this week we are laying low and playing catch-up on school and housework. I didn't mind not leaving the house at all today either since the weather was so cold and dreary. With temperature's in the low 60s most of last week, it's hard to face rainy, blustery and low 40s without a little sorrow. I can't wait for the cheerfulness of sunshine again! :) According to the local weatherman, we should see sunshine and mid-50s by Wednesday. All I can say to that is, "Bring it on!!!" Yay!

Here is the menu for the upcoming week:
MONDAY - Homemade Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, Sliced Pears
TUESDAY - Northwoods Chicken Stew, Fresh Garden Salad, Italian Bread
WEDNESDAY - Brightmoor Bistro before Church
THURSDAY - Slow Cooker Chili, Cornbread Muffins
FRIDAY - Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Fresh Garden Salad

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

She's Cruising!

Delanie turned 10 months old yesterday and now suddenly she'd rather stand than sit, and is really interested in her walker. Most of the time she will just stand there and hold on to it, but this evening she started walking with it! Watch out world, here she comes!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

Yay! This week signifies a momentous occasion . . . we are breaking out the grill once again! The forecast calls for sunshine and mid-50s all week - sounds like grilling weather to me. Just because we can, I've put 2 grilled items on the menu. Can I get a "yum" anyone?!? :)

MONDAY - Homestyle Beef Stew, Fresh Garden Salad, Crescent Rolls
TUESDAY - Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken (Yay!!!), Green Beans, French Bread
WEDNESDAY - Grab a bite, busy night
THURSDAY - Chicken and Rice Casserole, French Bread
FRIDAY - Hamburgers on the Grill (Yay!!!), Cheesy Potatoes, Fresh Garden Salad

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Winter Bird Feeding & A Spring Trip to the Zoo

The boys (and Lanie) and I belong to a fun Homeschool Science Co-op that meets bi-weekly for a science lesson and field trip. For the last two meetings we've been studying birds and we went on some really fun field trips.

Two weeks ago we made a trip to Kensington Metro Park to look at the Nature Center's bird exhibits and to feed the chickadees by hand. I had my hands full with Lanie and the boys, so I was only able to grab some quick (and really horrible quality) camera phone pics, but here they are:
These two wild turkeys were at the feeders outside the nature center. You don't realize how huge they are until you see them this close in person!
Although they are very cool, they are most certainly not the most beautiful birds I've seen. :)
All the boys tried their hand at feeding the birds, and Elijah and Ethan both had several Chickadees and Tufted Titmice land on their hands right away. Kaden had a hard time staying still enough to attract the birds, but in the end a few daring bird souls were brave enough. It was so fun to watch the boys faces the first time the little birds landed on their fingers and snatched a seed!
Ethan was definitely the most patient of all my boys and stood completely still for over twenty minutes. More than forty birds landed on his hand!
Our friends the Wild Turkeys didn't want to miss out on any free food either and had to come check us out. Here they are sneaking up behind Gavin Burrows.


Yesterday was our second Homeschool Science Co-op class on birds and we also studied a little bit about butterflies. For this class field trip we headed to the Detroit Zoo to view the Butterfly House and Bird Sanctuary. We couldn't pass up the opportunity, however, to visit the reptile house and some other areas of the zoo while we were there too! Here are few more camera phone pics:
Part of our crew all crowd onto the Reptile House tortoise statue for a quick pic.
Kaden is such a ham!
All the boys decided to climb as high up in this tree as they could and then drop down to the ground below. It became a fun game for them to play as we waited for a few others to run to the bathroom. The boys were having a great time until we got yelled at by the zoo staff to get out of the trees. Boo.
Kaden hamming it up again in the Reptile House!
Ethan was pretty wiped out from all the walking and took a quick siesta on a rock outside the Butterfly House and Bird Santuary.
Lanie was fascinated by all of the butterflies flapping around in the gardens. It was cute to see her expression when they landed close by.
I snapped a picture of these birds because they looked so out of place up on the pipeline in the Bird Sanctuary. They were beautiful and fun to watch, however it was a little ominous the way they watched us . . . their stares reminded me of vultures. Haha.
The Bird Sanctuary has stone benches and boulders placed all around that just begged the boys to climb them. They had fun clamoring on them and over them. I'm not sure that's what they're meant for, but they are great mountains to conquer!
Elijah, Ethan O'Dell, Ethan, Evan Gresens and Ally Gresens pose for a pic before we leave the Bird Sanctuary.
Lucas O'Dell, Gavin Burrows and Kaden all peer into an empty pond to study ... not the birds, but the tiny stones at the bottom. Funny kiddos.
A trip to the Bird Santuary wouldn't be complete without at least 10 minutes spent playing with the chains by the exit doors!
The boys has so much fun playing and posing for the camera. :)
I think we discovered Tarzan's long lost hide out!
Here's a quick video of the boys and the chains. Shockingly, no one ended up with a black eye or a welt! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

It's Tuesday so I'm a day behind, but here is this week's menu. Enjoy!

MONDAY - Leftovers
TUESDAY - Slow Cooker Orange Chicken, Jasmine Rice, Fresh Asparagus
WEDNESDAY - Meatball Marinara Hoagies, Fresh Garden Salad
THURSDAY - Potato Leek Soup, Italian Bread
FRIDAY - Homestyle Beef Stew, Fresh Garden Salad

Monday, March 1, 2010

Review of Crockpot Brown Sugar Chicken

A few weeks ago I fixed Crockpot365's Brown Sugar Chicken and said that I would review the recipe afterward. It's taken me three weeks (LOL), but here's the verdict:
Unfortunately I overcooked the chicken (it ALWAYS seems to happen whenever I try chicken in the crockpot), and although the chicken was dry, it absolutely just fell apart with a fork. It was very tender. The idea behind the recipe was good, but we all thought it was too vinegar-y for our tastes. If I were to make it again I would definitely cut the amount of vinegar in half. For all of the sugar in the recipe, I was surprised that the flavor wasn't sweeter, but it might be that we were just too distracted by the sourness to notice the sweetness.

I will try this recipe again, it wasn't a failure by any means, but I do feel that it needs some adjustments.