Monday, January 30, 2012

Field Trip! Edventure Children's Museum

This was one of those field trips that I never would have taken my kids too on our own because it would have been $9.50 for each of us and all four of us went. Ouch!! Yeah, couldn't have afforded that. However, we are part of a home based public school (South Carolina Virtual Charter School) and they pay for field trips. YAY!! I am so grateful. So, on Friday we were able to go to the Edventure Children's Museum in Columbia. Hooray!! Here are some pictures from our experience.
Meet Eddie. He was a giant kid (do you see the little kid at his shoulder?) that the kids were able to play inside and slide down his intestines and stuff. Doesn't that sound fun? "/

Here's another shot of Eddie. Just trying to show how big he is and these were taken from the second floor. ;)

This was Collin in his head.

Collin and Paul in the "farm" area.

Ryanne went grocery shopping. She was soooo excited about it too.

Fire girl!! Collin was on this earlier but he was with Paul and Ryanne was with me so I got more pics of her.

Drumming with the African drummers on the green screen. This is a picture of the TV monitor.

In the rain forest.

This was one of the kids' favorite rooms. Here is the giant chess set. There was a checkers set just as large. You KNOW that Collin was happy. He and his dad played chess and then he and another mom played checkers. So fun. The other mom had a cane and pushed her checkers around the board with the cane. It was awesome and she was so great with teaching Collin the game. ;)

Ryanne played the bean bag toss game and the...

Giant Jenga game!! She knows this one b/c we play a version of this game during general conference. ;)

Another shot of Eddie with Ryanne. And, yes, the watch is a real clock that kept the actual time. ;)

This is Dr. D. He taught the kids about science lab safety and he was funny in a very cheesy sort of way. Paul and I groaned a lot at his jokes but the kids seemed to enjoy it. ;)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Menu Planner

This is the menu board. YAY! It's magnetic so I can easily change around the foods we're going to have. Hmmm.... today is the 26th so you can see that we will be having Lemon Pepper Chicken with Noodles tonight. :)

Here is the little container that I keep my recipes that go with the ones on the board. They are divided by categories... Asian, Breakfast (we have breakfast for dinner, k?), chicken, Mexican, pasta, pork. seafood, steak, miscellaneous, side dishes and desserts. :)
I love it! Paul thinks it's cluttered so he's writing a computer program that will be able to replace this plus more. ;) hehe! He wants the wall space back.


We've been doing more hair styles with Ryanne. It's been fun!! :) Here are a couple of our favorites. :)

These were supposed to be micro twists but I learned that I didn't have the patience for them so they turned out to just be mini twists. hehe!! :) Next time... maybe... I'll try micro twists. Or, maybe I won't.

Here, I french braided all of her hair up into a ponytail on the top of her head. She loves me doing her hair now. At Christmas we put a texture softener in her hair. It's basically a very very mild relaxer. It pulled her curls just enough that they don't tangle in a split second. I still have to detangle her hair twice daily but it's so much easier and she brings me all of her hair stuff and asks me to do her hair so, it's great. :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Handwriting Help = Epic Fail

Handwriting is sort of the bane of school right now. Collin seriously is not a fan of phonics at all and handwriting is what he hates the most. Learning has always come fairly easily for him and he's a perfectionist. Well, he's also a Kindergartner learning to write and when his letters don't look EXACTLY like they do on the handwriting sticker strip he gets very angry at himself and declares he "can't do it!" Oh! I very much dislike that phrase. I had been researching ways to get children to want to write and one of them recommended using the child's imagination and interests to my advantage. So, I told Collin that he was an astronaut and he had to write the words I dictated to him to save the rest of the crew before their oxygen ran out.

It worked... at first. He was so eager to save his crew. Then he started stressing and hyperventilating. Paul came out to talk to him and calm him down but that didn't help. So, finally, I took him in my arms and held him for a minute. Then, between each gasp, he got out the phrase, "Will you... turn that.... off?" He was pointing to the timer that was telling us how much oxygen was left. I turned off the timer and in a few minutes he was breathing normally again. He said, "Let's not do that again."

So, moral of this story is... don't use this method on a child with a very vivid imagination. It just might backfire on you. haha! Poor kid!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Update on the add-on!! :)

I'm all smiles b/c I'm so excited!! We met with the contractor this week and he said that what we have planned is well within the budget that we set for ourselves. He's working on getting us an "official quote" and then we'll work on the loan and the plan is to have it completed by the end of the summer!! Hooray!! So, we've lived in our little 1,000 sq ft home for over 7 years now. Notice that it's 2 bedroom and one bath, all the entrances to the house are on the right side of it and the laundry room is kind of outside. "/ This was bigger than the house that we used to live in and had tons of room.... 7 years ago when it was just Paul and me.
We've been feeling a little squashed in it though with 4 of us living here, plus a dog, two cats and a fish. ;) At first we planned to just sell the house and buy a new one but after a lot of prayer and talking to contractors and real estate agents we have decided that we are going to add on to the house instead. We're going to add 500 sq ft to it making our home a whopping 1500 sq ft!! YAY! I'm so excited. Here is what we have drawn up for the home. Now, keep in mind that windows and things aren't right and even though there are no windows in the floor plan below... we will have windows. ;)
Okay, check it out. The kids will have their own rooms (the two at the far left of the house), we will have our own room (the one on the front) and our own bathroom, and then we can turn the current master bedroom (the one on the back) into a den. YAY!! Also, you will note the laundry area INSIDE the house!! Oh yeah!! I'm so excited after speaking to the contractor and finding out price ranges and things. We're going to continue the hardwood floor through out and put a set of french doors in the new master bedroom and in the dining room to the backyard. Yeap!! I'm excited!! So... for 2012 expect a lot of updates on this throughout the year! :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Swiffer Duster reusable covers

I love Swiffer products! I really do. The duster is awesome... it can be long or short and I can bed the end at any angle so that I can get walls or the top of the ceiling fan or anything. They are seriously awesome. But... I hate that they made them so that I must buy disposable duster covers all the time.
It's only about $3.00 for a box but I'm cheap and find it annoying. But, today I had an a-ha moment and saw on pinterest reusable ones. They were made from felt or something like that but I had microfiber rags that I use to clean with all the time. I LOVE microfiber so I thought, "Hey... I can do this. So, here is what I did....
So, I got an old, used rag. Yes, it's dirty... it's a cleaning rag. That's just the way it is. :)
Then I folded it in half so that the ends didn't quite meet.
I put my swiffer up there and decided that I could get three out of it so I cut it into thirds.
Now for the technical part... I traced the swiffer. Yeah, I really did. Remember that those arches are there to make it tight so I didn't leave any room for them. I just traced the straight part and formed a rectangle. I also just ignored the fact that there was no middle. The less complicated, the better for me. :)
Then I put three pins in just to hold it in place.
Then, I stitched it. I used a zig zag stitch and set it on the longest stitch possible. I just stitched it along my pencil marks.
See... easy peasy. I suppose you could stop here but I didn't.
I cut the fringe. :)
Now I have 3 washable duster covers for my Swiffer Duster. YAY!! :)

And you, my dear friend, are next! *evil laugh*

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I watched this youtube video and was in tears so I'm sharing it with you.
It's such an amazing story and if you're interested, here is her blog .

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Van Gogh?? No..... Is that the TARDIS??

Yes. Yes, it is the Tardis!! :) It's from DOCTOR WHO!!! Isn't it awesome. And, yes, this is now hanging up in my living room!! :)

Sight Words exercise!

I was so excited when I saw a picture of this on Pinterest. Such a cute way to practice sight words.
Isn't it super cute? It's a parking lot and I tell him where to park the car and he has to find the word or I park the car and he has to tell me what word I park the car on. On pinterest, it's a mat on the table and a little boy is using a real toy car to roll around but this is better for us b/c we just don't have the space. This hangs on the wall so we can go to it in the morning. It's how we start off phonics class which is Collin's least favorite of all his classes so it's a great way to get him smiling at the start of it. =o)


I am proud to announce that last night Collin was tested for his next belt and did an amazing job. He was focused and his movements were strong and perfect! He was awesome!
He's a camouflage belt level one in the Tiny Tigers program!! YAY!! This means that he is going to start sparring. I am not sure how I feel about other children hitting my boy but it'll be good for both him and me. We'll toughen up... right?

First Grade Math

Yes, my son is still in Kindergarten but he completed his Kindergarten text book before Christmas vacation so his teacher wanted to test him to make sure he retained all the information. After a 45 minute test and a score of 100% (teacher said there was slight hesitation on two questions but he got them right) the school decided to move him on up to First Grade math! YAY!!! :) He is loving it! He especially loves that he is allowed to work with number over 30. He has been learning <, >, and = signs. I don't remember learning that until second or third grade. I was shocked when we got to that chapter but he LOVES this section. Anyways... here he is working on his first grade math. :)

Ryanne was learning about shapes and was in the background cutting cookie dough into shapes. hehe!! We had very funny shaped cookies that day. ;)

Monday, January 2, 2012

FHE (thank you Pinterest)

Okay, I'm sorry to all of those whom I have teased for using Pinterest. I thought it was just a bunch of pictures of crafts but it's not. There are how-to's for organization, recipes, building things. DIY projects... awesome! Anyways, tonight for dinner we had this:
It is not very healthy at all but it is oh so yummy! I tried to balance it out by serving it with a salad. The recipe came from Pinterest. LOL! But you can get it from the blog here.

Then, I got the FHE lesson from... wait for it... Pinterest. :) You can get it here. Basically, I wrapped a Book of Mormon and let the kids watch a video about Joseph Smith getting the plates. Then I talked about my present and how I wanted to know what was inside it. So, I let the kids open it and then we talked about the "gifts" inside the Book of Mormon and how we're going to read it as a family together to find them. We read the New Testament last year together so this should be fun! :)

Finally... dessert. I bet you won't guess where I got that recipe from either. Okay, I just won't say but you're probably right. ;) Here's the recipe. Basically, we each made our own cake in a mug. Yes, you read that right... in a mug! haha! Crazy, right? My kids thought it was awesome! They got to make their own individual cake.

We learned quickly that we needed a saucer under each of ours. Apparently our mugs are smaller than the person's who wrote the recipe but that's okay. The kids thought it was cook to watch them overflow down the sides. We just mix them and cook them in the microwave for two minutes. So much fun for the kids. None of us could each that much cake but that's okay. We just have dessert for tomorrow night too. ;)

Goals for 2012

Goals scare me. Often my goals are just too high and I never achieve them. So, hopefully my goals this year will be achievable. We'll see. So, here are my goals.
  1. I will do better at journaling -- at least weekly.
  2. I will do better at preschooling Ryanne.
  3. I will complete at least 2 hrs of MY school/day M-Sa or 12 hrs/week.
  4. We will do FHE every week!! We are a bit sporadic with that. I know... bad bad Linda. We do family scripture and prayer every night though. Does that give me some points?
Anyway.... those are my goals. Totally achievable right? I've joined a journaling group on FB, I have Ryanne's curriculum and plan all worked out and I found a blog that gives a year of FHEs. Awesome!! Whoo! So, those are mine. What are yours?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Lesson plan template

I have always wanted a lesson planning book for my kids since Ryanne is homeschooled and Collin is virtual schooled. However, every lesson planning book I found wouldn't work for us and our schedule. They weren't very adaptable. The other day I read on a blog by a teacher that she made her own. Duh! Why didn't I think of that? So, I made this on excel... completely adaptable so you can do whatever you want with it.
This is our schedule but yours may be very different. If you'd like a copy of this (and I hope this works because it's the first time I've ever used this) click here.