cooking (25) crafts (10) Fitness (1) gardening (3) Home Organization (10) kids (68) school (9) sewing (28)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Opening up

It has been a rough week here in our house. My stepfather has just been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I have been speaking with God quite a lot lately, asking for strength and healing for my stepfather, strength for my mother, and strength for the rest of us. They are going to fight the cancer, but his current doctor is saying that chemo is his only option. Hopefully, my parents can get a second opinion. Please keep us in your prayers, and I will keep everyone updated as I learn more.

Missing Maryland

Click here to view these pictures larger

As we prepare to head north, it leaves me missing our friends. It will be nice to see people again, but it will be bittersweet to not see everyone. One of our closest friends, the Grohe's have moved to Washington state so we won't be able to see them. But you will be in our hearts.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Home schoolers DO get out!

This morning, we had the opportunity to see a play with our Home Schooling Group. It was called "Petite Rouge." It was so much more than I ever expected! It was held in a theater in this tiny town (Westwego) next to our town. There were only 6 actors, they had amazing costumes, and they sang, dance and acted great! The kids totally loved it. This was a cajun version of Little Red Riding Hood. "Rouge" was a duck who lived in the bayou. The big bad wolf was, of course, an alligator. As I said, the music was great, and it was loaded with music. Audrey loved it! She danced, sang, and laughed the ENTIRE time. I wish I would have video taped it to share with you all. She really is a joy. Oh, yes, and Jack loved it too; although he was a little more subdued than Audrey, but he too, loved it.

Sticky Buns

So I made these amazing Caramel Apple Sticky Buns from this recipe. They were the most amazing sticky buns that I have ever eaten, and they were not hard at all to make. The hardest part for me was moderation. I made the buns WAY too big, which caused my caramel sauce to boil over, burn on the bottom of the oven, and finally catch on fire. Lovely. Luckily, I was standing next to the oven when it ignited, so I was able to yell for my husband (who grabbed the box of baking powder) and turn off the oven. The fire quickly went out by itself thankfully. Oh, and the buns weren't affected by the fire! I sent my sister home with a few sticky buns. I wonder if her fiance got one. . . :o) The kids and I had three of them, and then I had the sense to send the plate to work with my husband. Evidently, the guys at work liked them and they were gone pretty quickly. Incidently, if you like caramel, the recipe for caramel sauce itself is amazing. If you need to gain a couple pounds, just make a batch of the sauce and eat it on apples, on ice cream, or just on your finger!

When my sister was here, I didn't take very many pictures. I did get a couple of her cuddling with Audrey though. She really enjoyed the fact that Audrey actually likes people now. Audrey was kissing and hugging her without prompting.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thoughts on Homeschooling

Many of you ask me how I manage to homeschool. I truly feel blessed to have to opportunity and gift to be able to homeschool my children. Not all days are easy, but what job doesn't have difficult days? I think it is making me a better person. I have become more patient and have learned to manage my emotions better. I was reading a blog today that spoke so closely to my own experiences, that I just had to share it. I couldn't have said it better. Click here to read the blog.

Busy Saturday

We had quite a busy day today. I started out the day with a jewelry class. I learned some tricks to making a bracelet and earrings. (I will have to upload a picture of my new jewelry later.)
Then the whole family went to base for "Nolapalooza." It wasn't much, but we listened to some live music, including the Navy Jazz Band--they were really good, roasted in the sun, and watched Jack play in the kid's area. They had a large inflated slide, one of those jump houses, a climbing wall and face painting. He also played on one of those trampolines that you where a harness for. I took a little video of him bouncing, click here to see it.
Suddenly, Jack has become a Saint's fan. Don't ask me where that came from, but he is hilarious. Right now, he's just a sports lover because he'll tell you that he likes the Saints, the Eagles, and the Broncos. Oh, and as of today, he also likes the Tigers. He was watching some sports show on ESPN this morning as they were discussing the Clemson-Auburn game.
Audrey also had fun at Nolapalooza. She loves music, so she had a great time dancing and drinking lots of water.
Next, we came back to our neighborhood for a local car show. I had volunteered to help out with our neighborhood association's food both. It was a rather small event, but Jack found a big group of kids to run around with a play football.

We are quite tired, but tomorrow is going to be just as busy. At least the kids are going to sleep well!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our Busy Weekend

This is a little late, but I thought I'd blog about this past weekend. My girlfriend from high school came to visit with her daughter and husband. The boys left us and went to Alabama for a Penn State football game while Becky and I stayed in New Orleans with the kids. We had a great time. Becky and I met some of my other friends for mom's-night-out at this great Thai restaurant on Friday night. On Saturday, Becky and I took the kids to the French Quarter. It was super hot, but we had fun.

The best part of the weekend was watching the girls interact. Audrey is 4 months older than Elizabeth and Audrey is a little bruiser. She kept wanting to hug Elizabeth, and usually knocker her down in the process. Jack also had fun loving up the girls.
Somehow, I didn't get a picture of us girls together, but I do have a picture of our husbands with the kids.
Right now, my sister is here visiting, so I will be posting more fun stuff in the next day or so.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Jack The Carpenter Set's Up Shop

Jack has really been into, as my grandfather would say, "Car-penting." The only problem is that Bryan's workbench is obviously too high for Jack to work at. When he helps with projects, he has to stand on a stool. Since Bryan has a couple days off work, he and Jack went to Lowes and bought some lumber and came home and spent the rest of the day building Jack his own.

As you can see, Jack was very excited to have his own workbench. He has spent the last two days playing out there. You might also be able to see the tools. They are real (but kids) tools. Now Jack is busy planning all of the projects he wants to build.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I've been craving

Bagels! And not just any bagel, but real, homemade like bagels. We had this great little bagel and coffee shop around the corner from our house in Maryland, oh how I miss it (and everything else there). Try finding a good bagel in New Orleans. Perhaps there is a good bagel shop somewhere, but I haven't found it yet. It is very french down here, so you will find croissants. And actually, they are very good- not like anything I ever had up north. They are light and flaky. But I have been craving bagels, not croissants. I found a recipe online and decided to try it. It was quite easy and all of the ingredients were easy enough to find except "malt syrup." Thankfully, though, someone commented on the recipe that they used molasses instead. So that's what I did.
They have great texture. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. The flavor's pretty good too, but I did taste a little bit of that molasses, which is a little strange. I ate one warm, didn't toast it, and put some cream cheese on it. Craving fulfilled. And so much better than Lender's!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jack's Geography Project

This month, the homeschool group that we belong to gave us the option to complete a geography project on a country. Jack decided to research Germany. We focused on using lots of pictures so Jack could present as much of the project as possible by himself. He had a lot of fun learning about the industry, culture, and animals.

He was the only little kid to actually talk and present his project. I am so proud of him! He really stole the show. Many of the other parents complemented him too. We also brought german potato salad and sweet and sour purple cabbage. Both dishes were a hit. When I brought the left overs home, Bryan attacked the cabbage. That is the best complement anyone could ever give me!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Handy Dandy Family

I have been on a crafty roll. I really like jewelry, but it is just too expensive, so I've decided to learn how to make my own creations. I found a free pattern on Michael's website, bought the supplies, and $13 and 3 hours later I had a new necklace. I like it, but I think it's a bit too big for me. I'll have to find a friend or family member who can pull off big necklaces.

Jack and Bryan were equally busy. Last weekend, the woman at Lowes gave us an extra builder kit to make a picture frame. So Jack and Bryan went out to the workbench, suited up for safety, and built a one-of-a-kind picture frame. (Jack must have learned how to wear his goggles from one of my past students. Why is that they never put them over their eyes???) Jack had so much fun and was so proud of himself.
Oh, and I don't have any pictures, but yesterday we went for a walk through the park (bayou) down the street. It was a beautiful day, the path is nicely shaded, and there was a great breeze. Jack had fun finding all sorts of plants, spiders, birds, and even THREE ALLIGATORS!!!! This freaked me out a little bit. They were literally a foot away from us in the water! Jack was amazed and just wanted to stand there and watch them for a little while, but mom was quite ready to keep on walking. Quietly and calmly. Even if I had the camera, I don't know that I would have had the nerve to stand there and take pictures of them.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Crazy Kids

So Audrey has a new talent. She climbs Jack's ladder to his bunk bed!!! I don't know what she's trying to do to me, but given the looks on her face she definitely enjoys it. I can't turn my back on her. I walked into Jack's room yesterday and told her she was going to get hurt. Two seconds later, her foot slipped and she fell. She cried and cried, and then two minutes later was back on the ladder! Once she is up there (don't worry, I am by her side nearly touching her the entire time), she has a ball! She and Jack just think this is the best place to play.

If any of you know anything about me, you probably know how much I love to cook (not necessarily bake). Jack has picked this up from me and every once in a while, I loosen up enough to let him help me. This is a big step for me, given that I don't even really allow my husband to cook with me. And when he does cook, I have to leave the room so I don't "tell him how to do it right." :o) Jack has this wonderful kids cookbook (Disney's the Magic Kitchen Cook Book) that he likes to page through like it's the Sears Wish Book. He keeps telling me that he wants to make things and half the time we are missing at least one key ingredient. So this week, I was a good mom, and told him that he could choose two recipes to make this week and we'd buy the ingredients. Tonight he made the "Fiesta Taco Pizzas" with a little bit of help from me. He was so proud of his dinner and it was delicious!