MckLinky Blog Hop - Baby Photos

Monday, August 31, 2009

These pics are of my youngest...my happy guy :D He was such a sweet baby. Now he's a (mostly) sweet two year old.





MckLinky Blog Hop


Math Lessons and Games









Money and Banking:
Fed Website (you can order some freebies to be mailed to you too)
Million $ Mission and what does a billion pennies look like?
Probability:
Probability Lesson with M&Ms - Sweet! (for about ages 4 and up)
Other Math Activities:
Premade Math Worksheets and Flash cards by Grade (1st-4th)
Awesome Library Math Lessons and other Links (assesments, games, etc)
Thinkfinity Math Activities (search by grade or view all)
Number Nut (games and quizzes)
Kidport (select a grade, then select a subject)

Comfort Food Anyone? Try This Bacon Mac And Cheese Recipe

Ingredients

* Unsalted butter, for greasing
* 8 ounces macaroni
* 2 1/2 cups cold milk
* 4 ounces provolone cheese, coarsely grated
* 4 ounces aged Asiago cheese, coarsely grated
* 2 large eggs
* 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
* 3 slices white sandwich bread, torn into small pieces
* 3 strips bacon
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* Kosher salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart shallow casserole dish. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain; transfer the pasta to the prepared casserole dish along with 1/4 cup of the cold milk. (This will cool the pasta and prevent it from becoming gummy.)

Meanwhile, mix the cheeses together in a small bowl. Beat the eggs with 1/4 cup of the milk in a medium bowl. Add the scallions, bread and half of the cheese to the egg mixture; set aside.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 2 tablespoons drippings from the pan. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until just brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour, cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon salt; cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the remaining 1 3/4 cups milk and 3/4 cup water to the skillet. Bring to a boil, whisking until thick. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk to cool slightly. Whisk in the remaining cheese. Add the sauce to the macaroni; stir to combine.

Crumble up the bacon and add it to the egg/bread mixture. Spread evenly over the pasta. Place the casserole dish on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven; let sit 5 minutes before serving.
This recipe is from the Food Network. Check out their website for more great recipes to please your palette.

Quotable Sunday

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mothers Day Gift Ideas

Greetings and Happy Quotable Sunday! Last night I had such an amazing time connecting with my oldest and dearest friends and I was reminded of just how beautiful life is. Today I have chosed a selection of random quotes that just seem to speak to me. Have a blissful day :D

"Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value."
-- Albert Einstein, scientist

"To grow, you must be willing to let your present and future be totally unlike your past. Your history is not your destiny."
-- Alan Cohen

“Some people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried until they are seventy-five.”
-- Benjamin Franklin

"When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself."
– Albert Einstein

“There is always something you can do about any problem, even it if is just changing your perspective on how you feel about the problem.”
-- David DeNotaris

"If money is your hope for independence, you will never have it. The only real security that a man can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability."
-- Henry Ford

"All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won't succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy."
-- Wayne Dyer

"Your task... to build a better world," God said.
I answered, "How?... this world is such a large, vast place, and there is nothing I can do."
But God in all His wisdom said, "Just build a better you."
- Unknown

This Day in History - Hurricane Katrina Makes Landfall

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Do you remember what you were doing on August 29th, 2005? It's one of those days I remember well, like September 11, 2001 when the U.S. was attacked, or July 16, 1999 when JFK Jr and his wife and sister died in a plane crash. These moments seems to be frozen in time and act as a permanent marker so that we may never forget the victims of these tragedies.

In August 2005 when Katrina hit, it was sweltering hot outside. I had a newborn baby girl and a rambunctious three year old boy who was going through lots of changes. My husband had just returned from deployment in the middle east arriving only a week before our daughter was born. I was holed up in the house with the baby because of the heat (our ac could barely keep up and it was 84 degrees in our living room!). Hubs did his best to keep Aiden busy and let the baby sleep. I remember watching the horrors of Katrina on all the news channels for days. Stories of people trapped on roofs, children washed away from their families in floods, alligators swimming the streets and thousands trapped, helpless. I held my baby tight and counted my blessing over and over again. And prayed for all those who had passed on from this world during the raging storm, and for all those still needing help.

Since hurricane season is upon us (we live on the East Coast), now is a great time to discuss weather disasters and disaster preparedness with your family. A fun project for kids is to keep a hurricane tracker map and mark the coordinates of tropical storms and hurricanes as weather updates come in. Discuss how the coordinates relate to nearby cities and towns, how the strength of the storm changes over time, how predictions in direction are made and what signs signal a need to take cover or get out of harms way. Here are some resources to help you get started:

Weather Wiz Kids
National Weather Service
Hurricane Basics
Orlando Sentinel Hurricane Headquarters
Hurricane Guide Downloadable pdf
Tracking Chart

I have seen first hand the damage a smaller storm can do. During Isabel in 2003, I took my son and my dog and got out of dodge. We came home days later to find no power (for 7 more days), stores, restaurants, stores and gas stations closed, little food to be found and destruction. It was a surreal feeling and one I hope not to revisit.

Lego Lovers Fun Fall Challenge

Friday, August 28, 2009


If you have a young boy in your house, chances are you have Legos too. Of course girls play with Legos too, but boys seem to go through a Lego building phase that lasts longer then most girls. I know not all kids are fans of Legos, but once you open a box of bricks, the building possibilities make them hard to resist.

Family Fun Magazine (which I love by the way), has teamed up with Lego to offer it's readers exclusive designs that can be built with the Lego 650-piece Builders of Tomorrow Set. But, even if you don't subscribe to the mag or don't own the set you can get in on the fun by visiting Legofamilytime.com/FamilyFun to view/print the challenges. Improvising with different bricks can be that much more challenging, and that much more fun! Check it out :D

Friday Photo Flashback



This photo is from about 1978, I would guess. This is my older sister and I sitting on the porch of our family's cottage at Lake Michigan with my grandfather. He has long since passed away, but I have fond memories of him. He was always joking and teasing and making us laugh. We called him "Bop." I'm pretty sure my mom made our matching dresses...and I think she's responsible for the matching hair cuts too. (Oh mom, you shouldn't have, lol).
Below is a picture of two of my kids sitting on the same glider at the cottage during our vacation a week ago.


Friday Photo Flashback

Aloha Friday

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Aloha! and happy Friday. All this back to school talk has gotten me thinking of my school days. I was wondering: What was your favorite year of school (K-12)?

I'd have to go with the 1st Grade. I was painfully shy and not all that excited to be going to school, but I had an amazing teacher who was kind and patient. She took the time to develop a bond with me and it really helped build my confidence. We had a wonderful friendship for many years until she moved away. Teachers can really make a huge difference in a kid's life and many don't get nearly enough credit. So, what was your favorite year?

A Thousand Words Thursday

Thursday, August 27, 2009



For more Thousand Words Thursday stop by Cheaper Than Therapy.
Cheaper Than Therapy


Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's that time again. Happy WW to all!

I took this picture while on a walk during our vacation. The kids and I happened upon a little garden and this beauty. I am not a great photographer, and I have done nothing to this photo other than zoom, click and upload. I think nature's beauty just came through (and I managed not to get in the way).

Be sure to stop by these fabulous blogs for more Wednesday fun!
5 Minutes for Mom
7 Clown Circus
Ordinary and Awesome
Momdot

Do You Shop Online?

There was a time when I rarely shopped online. But, these days I find that it is just soooooo much easier than dragging three kids around. I miss those days of shopping as a single. I have always been a bargain hunting comparison shopper. I love the thrill of the hunt! But, with three kids? Forget it. It's just not like it used to be, lol. All the whining, begging, bouncing, chasing and potty shuffling just seem to spoil the fun, so I have come to have a real appreciation for online shopping.

When I shop, I love to use mypoints. If you haven't signed up you should. You earn points for reading emails, taking short surveys and shopping through their site. You can even earn points for your internet searches by downloading the mypoints toolbar. I generally earn enough for 3-4 $25 gift cards per year. And I really don't shop that frequently either. I just buy the things I would normally be purchasing anyway (contacts, pet meds, holiday gifts). I love mypoints.

Today I discovered another great resource for online shopping - hooray! It's freeshipping.org. Stop by and you'll find a listing of online sites that offer free shipping. Cool huh? I'll never shop again without checking. Plus, for many sites, you can just grab the coupon code and then shop through mypoints to get your points...chaching! Then you can use your mypoints gift cards to shop online again, get free shipping and earn more points!! Cha Cha Ching! Can't beat that with a stick, huh?

ebeanstalk Review



I was recently contacted by a toy website called ebeanstalk that has a group of child experts that help select great learning toys for kids of all ages, from baby toys, toys for 1 year olds, toys for 2 year olds, etc. I received the Activity Bus from Plan Toys, who make eco-friendly developmental toys and this is what I think of the toy I received.



First off, I was impressed by the quality of the product. It was made of all wood and solidly constructed. All of the pieces were super smooth with rounded edges. My kids were so excited they fought over the pieces as I pulled them from the box. I could see their imaginations flying at a mile a minute as they were already babbling about different play scenarios they were dreaming up. I was thrilled that there were no batteries, no loud obnoxious sounds to endure, no flashing lights or gaudy characters painted on the toys. Just plain old fashioned imaginative fun.


The toy I received included a school bus that opens to create a school room like activity center. There were student desks, two people, books for a book shelf, and a chalkboard easel. All three of my kids, ages 7, 4 and 2, enjoyed playing with this toy and they liked playing with it together. My oldest got a hold of the Plan Toys brochure and was soon asking to add new sets to his collection (there were many options for expanding play with new sets).

I found this to be a great toy for creative play. It kept my kids engaged and happy for quite a while. Every time I bring it out, they are eager to play with it again. I love that it is sturdy and well made of all natural green materials.

I have found ebeanstalk to be a wonderful site for finding age appropriate educational products. They even offer a unique age-specific gift series that you can sign up for and every three months you'll receive a new toy matched to the developmental stage of your child. They offer unique toys that provide fun and engaging learning activities for young children. This is a great site for finding that perfect gift for the children in your life...grandparents, care givers, aunts and uncles, friends and parents alike will find it a helpful place to select developmental toys that kids will love to play with.

To find out more visit ebeanstalk.com or become a fan of Plan Toys on facebook.

Edu-links

Well there it is. Another new header for my blog. No, I'm not crazy about it, but at least there isn't a typo anymore. How tacky was that? A "home educator" with a mispelled word in her blog title?! Thank you to each of you who showed restraint and simply ignored by mistake. It really bothered me. Typos are a pet peeve of mine. So, now I have corrected it, but I got frustrated with Gimp and too tired by 1 AM to manage a better graphic. It needs a branch or something, and I really should add dad in there. For now though, it will have to do. And, I am still planning on making a new blog button...one of these days.

By the way, if you haven't heard, Barnes and Noble and Borders are changing their educator discount programs. Be sure to pick up your new cards and save some money on those back to school books (available to teachers and home educators, see store for details).

And here's another cool link. Ever wonder how stuff is made? I love that show! Check this out: How It's Made



This one's for the grandma's

Monday, August 24, 2009

Photos from the birthday celebration...




Globula

That's what I've decided to title this post, because it pretty much describes how I'm feeling now. Between recovering from vacation and scaling a mountain of laundry, throwing a birthday party, a dog bite and trip to the ER, a backlog of blog posts to finalize, a possible impending move, planning for homeschooling and all the thoughts swirling in my head, I feel like my brain matter is globula.

I have yet to get organized. I am trying. I have various educational resources bookmarked, books and planners marked, stacks of "stuff" I'd like to do, some tentative field trips planned and no real sense of clarity about the near future. Can I go back on vacation now???

While I get my act together I'm posting these resources that I plan to use at the start of this year:
Beginning of the year kinder assessment
An Apple Unit and more on apples/Johnny Appleseed and reading list
Hurricanes and hurricane survival
Kindergarten resources and lessons
Labor Day Lesson Plans
Free Spanish Lessons for young kids

I hope these help someone else and maybe they'll motivate me to get moving :D

Quotable Sunday

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A happy Sunday to all! Since my youngest is turning two today, I have once again chosen quotes about children. I never tire of them, and I hope that you don't either :D

"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today." ~Stacia Tauscher

"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance." ~Franklin P. Jones

"A characteristic of the normal child is he doesn't act that way very often." ~Author Unknown

"We've had bad luck with our kids - they've all grown up." ~Christopher Morley

"A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer." ~Author Unknown

"A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm." ~Bill Vaughan

"Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music." ~William Stafford


Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great day!

Mothers Day Gift Ideas

Buggaboo Turns Two!

Happy Birthday Jack! I can't believe you are two already. You are getting to be such a big boy and becoming so independent. You make me so proud every day, and when you say the words, "Ah wub you Monnie." my heart just melts. I hope you have a great day today at the splash pool and a very happy year ahead. I love you more than words can say.



Aloha Friday

Friday, August 21, 2009

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Greetings friends, Aloha! I hope you have all had a wonderful week. I've been unpacking, cleaning, reviewing hundreds of backlogged emails and trying to catch up on some sleep...not likely in this house.

While on vacation I had a chance to savor one of my favorite treats, Blue Moon ice cream! If you've never heard of it, that's because it is only available in a small area of the upper mid-west. I had not had it in years. It got me thinking about favorite things that have been discontinued or are no longer available. Like Taco Doritos, the original ones from the 80's, remember those? I loved them. And Old El Paso Smoky Chipoltle Taco Sauce? I used it in lots of recipes, but can't get it any more. Oh yeah, and Wise Crazy Calypso Sweet and Smoky Potato Chips; those were so yummy! But, they are no where to be found around here.

So my question is: Do you remember a favorite product that you can't find anymore?


Oh and, by the way, did you know that today is the anniversary of the day that Hawaii became the 50th state in the U.S.?

A Thousand Words Thursday

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


For more Thousand Words Thursday stop by Cheaper Than Therapy.
Cheaper Than Therapy




BTW- does my blog seem small then usual? The font seems ity bitty to me and I haven't changed any settings. It's like my side borders grew and everything in the middle shrunk 3 sizes. I've tried different browsers and it looks the same to me. Anyone having trouble reading it?

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