Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Countdown Activities

I'm committing this year to follow through with our Jesse Tree.  I thought it would be a great addition to have a fun way to countdown the days until Christmas too.   I've seen a couple of versions of the idea around the web and am tweaking it for our family and my personality.

  1. TJs chocolate advent calendar
  2. build a sandman (we live at the beach)
  3. string a popcorn and cranberry garland
  4. make snowflakes to decorate the front door
  5. decorate a gingerbread house
  6. make fudge
  7. make cookies
  8. make holiday brownies
  9. make Christmas Tea
  10. take goodies to neighbors
  11. have a tea party with the girlies
  12. call Mimi
  13. call Grandma Kenlyn and Grandpa Bob
  14. make meal bags for the homeless to keep in the car
  15. decorate gingerbread men with a buddy
  16. watch "Hoops and YoYo ruin Christmas"
  17. watch "Nestor the Donkey"
  18. make Printable Nativity
  19. read a Christmas book
  20. read a Christmas book
  21. wear a star on your face all day
  22. say "la la la" everytime someone says "fa" all day
  23. hot chocolate under the stars
  24. Christmas lights decoration ride
Now... how to present it?

Monday, November 28, 2011

daybook 11.29.11


FOR TODAY - Monday November 29, 2011

Outside my window... it's dark. We've had some beautiful sunsets lately.

I am thinking... about a snack.  

I am thankful for... a nice birthday with my guys.  I got to go grocery shopping!  (that is real enthusiasm).

From the learning rooms... Grom and I played a fun game of Silly Sentences tonight before he went to bed.  I just bought it at a rummage sale.  Grom was thrilled that a game could be called "school".

From the kitchen... stuffed baked potatoes.  Yum and frugal.

I am wearing... brown sweat pants and a red tee.

I am creating... a new tradition for Christmas.  Watch for more about it.

I am going... to meet friends to play and catch up after school.  I hope the weather is nice.

I am reading... Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler, listening to Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and listening to How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Caswell with Grom.

I am hoping... to watch lots of cheesy Christmas movies in the next few weeks.

Around the house... it's time to get out the decorations.  For now, Christmas music will have to do.

One of my favorite things...  getting up early and going to the gym (maybe if I keep saying it...).

Vocabulary word of the week:
redolent (adj.): fragrant; smelling suggestive; reminiscent
Our home will soon be redolent with the smells of Christmas - baking and a Christmas tree.

A few plans for the rest of the week: My pastor and his wife are finalizing the adoption of their 3 kids.  We get to join them in court and then celebrate with our church family later on Friday.  It's great to see how God has put together this precious family.

Here is picture I am sharing...
a super fun swing at "the best park ever"

Check out other daybooks at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

what's for dinner - 11.28.11


Monday
~Grom - karate~
baked potatoes
brocolli
cheese sauce

Tuesday

something like... Dad's Asian Slaw


Wednesday
~Grom - gymnastics field trip~
~Grom - karate~
~Bible study / Kids Club~
turkey sandwiches
tomato soup
apple slices

Thursday
~Women's Bible Study~
Salad

Friday
~Adoption / Birthday Party~

Saturday
leftover smorgasbord

Sunday
~Fellowship Dinner~
spaghetti and meatballs

to make

Check out the hundreds of menus posted each week at Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cool iPhone Stuff - Tales2Go (and a deal)

Grom and I have been enjoying books on tape during our drive time.  We've listened to some great stories.   

One we'd both highly recommend is Mr. Popper's Penguins.  We haven't seen the recent movie, but it's hard to imagine it's as charming as this classic book.  I downloaded it from Audible.com.  1 credit = $14.95.  Not a good deal.

We've also checked audiobooks out from the library.  The titles at our local branch are limited.  I can get them through interlibrary loan, but it takes time, there is a fee involved AND I have to spend time downloading the CDs onto my computer. 

But I think I've got it all figured out now.  I found an iPhone App.  
Tales 2 Go gives me access to 1600 stories on demand.  There is a monthly subscription fee, but at full price it's less than my monthly credit from Audible.  

But wait... it gets better... right now Homeschool Buyers Co-op is offering a group buy (expires 11/30/11) which could bring down the annual subscription fee ridiculously. (By the way - Homeschool Buyers Co-op does a great job supporting homeschooling families by helping them to join forces to get better pricing.  And hybridschoolers like us can benefit too.  Browse their site for other offerings).

You can try the app for free before deciding to join the group buy.  We've been using it just a few days and I'm pleased. 

Check it out!

I'm spreading the word because I think it's a great app and love listening to books.  Also if I persuade others into the group buy, the price to myself could decrease.  Just want to be totally upfront.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

daybook 11.14.11


FOR TODAY - Monday November 14, 2011

Outside my window... it's dark.  It's been one of those long days.   I think about this morning and it feels like a couple of days ago.

I am thinking... that I should be going to bed.  I've been trying to get up earlier and am committed to being at the gym in the morning.

I am thankful for... the end of soccer season. Grom loves futebol.  He is getting better and better.  But boy did it complicate things this year.  Without soccer our life is settling into a nice routine.

From the learning rooms... GOOD STUFF!  Grom and I had been struggling a bit with school.  One of us always seemed to end up crying.  It was terrible.  Last week I had the idea to include him in planning his schoolwork.  He plans more than I would and does it cheerfully.  YAHOO!

From the kitchen... we're making Loco Moco for dinner this week.  It was a whole family favorite when we were in Maui.  Just thinking about it makes me excited.

I am wearing... comfy black stretchy pants and my red sparkly top with a cozy blanket.

I am creating... all the stuff of normal life... yummy meals, interesting school lessons, blog posts, 

I am going... to be doing a bunch of blogging.  I finished some things on my list of 101 things to do and have some other events to share.

I am reading... Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler, listening to Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (I've been sucked into the Hunger Games) and listening to Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl with Grom.

I am hoping... Surferman does well on his recertification tests this week.  He's been studying hard.  I pray his knowledge can translate to the test form.

Around the house... we cleared all the boxes of discards and took them to Grom's school rummage sale.  It's gone from my life and the school raised $1,300.  Win-win!

One of my favorite things... being able to say, "I went to the gym today".

Vocabulary word of the week:
torpid: (adj) apathetic, sluggish, or lethargic
Surferman feels torpid when he eats too much.

A few plans for the rest of the week: dentist, karate, getting ready for the holidays, planning, decluttering, organizing... and on and on.

Here are some pictures I'm sharing...


(rain + friends)way too quite / parents not paying enougth attention
= MUDDY MESS

Check out other daybooks at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Beth's Zucchini Bread

My sister has spent a lot of time perfecting a healthier zucchini bread.  The two loaves below just came out of the oven.  Grom's going to love it (and the fact that he's eating vegetables!)


Beth's Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 eggs
1/3 c. vegetable oil 
2/3 c. apple sauce
1 c. white sugar
3 t. vanilla extract

3 c. grated zucchini
1 c. diced apple
Spray two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, applesauce vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and apple until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Bon app├ętit!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What's for Dinner - 11.14.11


Monday
~Grom - karate~
~Family Dinner~
my folks cook!

Tuesday
~Grom - dentist~
rice (make extra for Thursday)
veggie

Wednesday
~Grom - karate~
~Kids Club / Bible Study~
egg salad sandwiches
crudite
apples

Thursday
something like... Dad's Asian Slaw

Friday
Steak and a Movie Night?

Saturday

Sunday
~fellowship dinner~




Wonder what other families are eating this week? Check out the hundreds of menus posted each week at Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I think it's time to dust the cobwebs off this blog.

Watch for new content soon!