Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer Fun: 4th of July, camping, VBS, Day Camp and more! (picture post)

We are trying to read one Bible verse a day starting in 1 John, but it's tough to keep up with.

Kids went camping with daddy overnight up at Mt. Rainier.

My dad came all the boys went camping.

4th of July at Lake Tapps- Mt. Rainier in the background.  They were really having fun!!

My son lost another tooth- front one!

My daughter still can claim the nickname Messi Jessi.

My son's "store."

A trip to the ER with high fever and not feeling good.

Blueberry picking at the free park just around the corner from our home.

Lots of yummy blueberries to pick and freeze.

Another year of VBS!

Found a bike for $5 at a yard sale.

My son's junk yard.

My daughter went to her first preschool day camp and loved it!

Mommy/son date at Panera Bread.


 
The last 5 weeks we have been getting up and leaving by 8 or 8:30 every morning.  This is not normal for us as we homeschool and don't usually go out until 12-1 in the afternoon for errands or library trips.  But that schedule is done and the kids had lots of fun, but now we will stay home a little bit more, go to parks, bowling, concerts and movies.  It's been a hot summer so we'll hit the spraygrounds too.  I have a lot to do here at home, but my homeschool is pretty much planned.  I bought all the school supplies and I have all the curriculum.  I found a great new way to schedule and I'm ready to go.  I will share what I have planned this month in two separate posts for First Grade and PreK. 
 
What fun things have you been doing this summer?
 
Hope you are enjoying the fun times you can have with your family.  Don't forget to take time for yourself as well.  Blessings, Shonda

 
 


Friday, July 3, 2015

Food Fun: Koolaid Playdough Recipe

Well, playdough is not technically a food, but it's a recipe so I'm sharing.  Last Fall we joined a homeschool co-op.  One of my jobs was to be a teacher assistant in one of the kids' classes.  The teacher and I clicked!  She had a lot of great ideas, and I really liked the playdough she made.  I asked her to share it with me. 

 RECIPE for Koolaid Playdough:
3.5 c. flour
1/2 c. salt
3 small packages unsweetened koolaid
3 T baby oil
2 c. HOT water

Mix first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. 
Add baby oil and hot water.
Mix well and knead when cool.
Add flour and oil as you need to acquire desired consistency.
Store in an airtight container.

I'm not sure how long it lasts, but it seemed like we used this for quite a few weeks (maybe a few months) because the teacher kept it airtight.





The kids played for about an hour and half!!
Jessna made grape.


Shrade made strawberry.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Summer Activites: Golfing Camp and Swimming and more!

Last week we started our 4 weeks of busyness!  My son had golf camp last week and we are in the middle of 2 weeks of swimming lessons.  Here are a few pictures and tips.

My son really enjoyed his week at golf camp.  He wants to go back again next year!



On one of the days my son had golf camp, I took my daughter on a Panera Bread date!  She thought that was fun!

 
This week the kids started swimming lessons. 
Last year I did 2 weeks for one kid and 2 weeks for another. 
This year I made their lessons back to back and next year they probably will be in the same class.
 
 
 
So while one child is in their lesson I am sitting on the bench with the other.  We just started receiving the magazines we got from Highlights Puzzle Club called Puzzlemania (for ages 7+) and Puzzle Buzz (for ages 4-7).  There are mazes, stickers, wordsearch, hidden pictures and more fun puzzles.  I like to see some of these thinking skills developed in my children in fun ways.

 


And on the way to and from all these outings we are listening to audio books on CD that we got at the library.  So far we have listened to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (good one!), The House on Pooh Corner and we just started Sarah Plain and Tall.  We don't seem to have as much time for reading at breakfast or lunch now that we are busier so I like this option.  I just started listening to this podcast- Read Aloud Revival- that is giving me some great new ideas! 


We also take little breaks and head out to the beach to dig and discover.  We are definitely enjoying this incredible weather this summer.  All too soon we are stuck indoors when Fall and Winter come around.  I have learned to pack bags with snacks and essentials pretty quick as we head off to new adventures. 

 
 
What are you up to this summer?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Food Fun: Raspberry Chocolate Walnut Baked Oatmeal

A few years ago I found Lynn's Kitchen Adventures and she featured a baked oatmeal dish for breakfast and I have been making them ever since!  I really like baked oatmeal because as it cools, it is not mushy, but becomes more like a bar.  I then cut and put on a cookie sheet and flash freeze.  The next day I can put these frozen bars in a bag and then take them out to thaw and be ready for breakfast.  They are so yummy and you can put so many good things in them.  We like blueberries, peanut butter, cinnamon, apples and always the base includes bananas. 

This week Jessna and I made Raspberry Chocolate Walnut Baked Oatmeal.  I adapted this recipe from Lynn's basic oatmeal recipe.

You can find the recipe on Woman to Woman as I submitted it for being a winner on their blog for a cookbook.

Jessna is really good at oiling the pan we use for cooking!  She also helps with mashing bananas and stirring while I pour in the ingredients.  She is always eager to cook with mommy!

 
Oatmeal is ready to be cooked!
 
You can find the full recipe HERE
 
 
Let us know if you try this one!  We love it!
 
Blessings, Shonda

Friday, June 5, 2015

Food Fun for Kids: Make Your Own Fruit Pops

Hi Friends-  I often am found in the kitchen cooking or baking.  I invite my kids to help and my daughter has definitely decided that she wants to cook with mommy in the kitchen.  In fact, she is even finding recipes for us to try.  She picked this one out of the High Five magazine.  "Mommy, can we make this?"  If we have the ingredients I always say YES!!



 
 
Basically this one was putting a slice of banana at the bottom of a paper cup, stick a popsicle stick in it, cover with vanilla yogurt and freeze it.  To eat, just peel off the paper cup.  Pretty easy and yummy!
They are so fun!
 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Summer Fun!!

Hi Friends-  It's Summer!  We seem to have a lot of rain in the winter and are stuck inside so I'm very glad for the sunny days of summer for outside fun.  I started a new group this year to get together with friends for parks, movies, concerts, hiking, , to the beach, ice cream, picnics, strawberry picking, blueberry picking and more! 
My son a few years ago picking strawberries


I made a summer notebook and registered the kids for camps and VBS.  We also are going camping and my son will go visit both sets of grandparents by himself this summer.  And I will have some FREE time to myself.  As a homeschool mom, I am always with the kids so summer is a time for me to have some alone time while I let the kids be taught by others.  Let me know if you want me to share my notebook in a short video.

Our garden is going crazy, but that means we don't have much play space.

This year we got a backyard pool.  The kids love water.  I also will take them to swimming lessons and I hope they at least learn to get their heads in the water. 

 
 
 
 
We are starting a new "summer" routine which is something I will keep doing in the fall.  I included chores, summer school, free time and of course, food!  When we are at home we will follow this routine.  I also am paying the kids for chores.  It's working well.  I post the schedule every day and go over my expectations. 
 
 
 
 
At breakfast I usually read a Bible story, a manners book, do some oral math and review our character values and Bible verses.  At lunch I am reading a chapter book.  I find so many great ideas on other  blogs and Pinterest.  At dinner I do a devotion.  We also are going to memorize some verses about God and do some coloring sheets from Ministry to Children.
 
 
 
We will also be doing the summer reading program with our library.
 
 
 
And every day my son will read a Bible verse.  We are starting in 1 John.  It's so fun that he has learned to read and I want him to desire to read the Bible for himself. 
 
Another fun thing I'm going to blog about is our Kids Cooking times!  I hope to do it at least once a week.  So look for some kid friendly recipes with my two favorite helpers!
 
OK, that's my plan for the summer!  I'll check in with you off and on.  Have a great day, Shonda


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Homeschool Update- End of the Year!

Hi Friends-  It's been awhile!  Homeschooling definitely has taken more time and energy than I thought.  Being a homemaker, keeping up with exercise, nutrition, cleaning, cooking, marriage, parenting, homeschooling and many other pursuits has me stretched in so many directions.  I'm really trying to apply the principle of Less vs. More.  I have a long way to go, but I'm trying to do less on the computer so that is one reason I don't update my blog so much.  I wish I could share more, but follow me on Facebook and you can see more of what we do.  I only am able to blog a little bit.


So, we finally ended our homeschool year officially!  I have learned SO much as homeschool mom vs. being a classroom teacher.  Did I tell you I taught 12 years of Kindergarten and this first year as homeschool Kindergarten teacher was nothing like how I taught?  I should have figured it wouldn't be the same. 

Here are some pictures of the last few months of school:
Typing Club online

Roller Skating with co-op the first time ever!

Playing our favorite game- Candyland

Making crafts on the back porch- child led

My son got golf clubs- ready for golf camp this summer

My poor daughter got a bad ear infection

Last day of homeschool co-op

Being silly with my babes

My son entered a creation in the showcase at co-op

My daughter turned 4 in May

Grand Prix with Awana

Last day of school!  Kindergarten done!

My daughter asked Jesus into her heart at Awana.

Tea party for a co-op friend

The fort in our living room- AKA cabbage box




I don't know if you are like me, but I am a perfectionist, but it seems like nowhere in my world can I get to that level.  I want to do everything WELL.  But what happens is I do everything mediocre and that just doesn't sit well with me.  I read a lot of homeschool blogs and I wonder why I can't get it together with my two kids.  But I'm learning that we are all different and what works for one family does not work for another.  I have tried schedules and non-schedules and I still am learning what works for me and my kids.  I have a plan for the summer which I will share soon that I hope to keep as a school schedule in the fall.

Here are some things I learned my first year homeschooling:

1. Being a teacher in a classroom has been a disadvantage to being a homeschool mom.  Why do I say that?  Well, I found teaching one child is a lot different than a classroom full of kids.  In a classroom, the key to having a smooth day was a good set of transition routines.  At home, the key to teaching is having a good relationship with my child which I'm learning very slowly.

2. Having a rigid time schedule is really stressful.  When I taught at school we did everything by the clock.  School always began at 8:30, Recess was always at 10:30, Lunch was at 12:00.  I tried that at home.  It did not work!!  What I opted for was a loose routine.  We did things in order, but not necessarily in a rigid time frame.  I aimed to have breakfast, school, snacks and quiet time at relatively the same time every day, but if we were early or late, that didn't matter.  If I stressed about time, then that made the day miserable.

3.  Having fun is the key to success.  Everyday my kids asked if we were going to do something fun that day.  Well, I thought learning was fun, but they wanted adventure.  Every day was not an adventure, but I did add a lot of elements like going out to parks, the library and other fun places during school hours.  If I added these in, then they could look forward to them when our school work was finished.  I learned to relax and sometimes let the day flow.

4. Loving my children and giving them the best of me is the best lesson I can give.  This was tough for me, not that I didn't love my children, but that I really wanted to get things accomplished.  But I did not want them to think my stuff was more important than them.  My kids are very hands on and both require a lot of quality time.  I feel like I can't ever give them enough.  I am a quiet and calm person, but I have learned that tickles and snuggles and lots of jumping, dancing and playing are what my kids desire most.  I plan to do as much of this as possible for as long as I have them with me.

OK, so my first year of homeschooling taught me more about myself than I ever wanted to know, but as I go through each year I think I will get to know my kids and myself better.  I am very excited for next year as we do 1st grade and PreK.  I have all the curriculum, but most of all I just want them to know about Jesus. So even if we don't cover everything I want them to know how much I love them and how much Jesus loves them.

Stay tuned for my yearly curriculum reveal post coming up sometime this summer.
Also, I will be sharing my Report Card and School Memories notebook by video soon too.

Blessings, Shonda