Saturday, February 26, 2011

Week 3 and 4 Part Two - Tot School

Here are a few more pictures (with our big art project at the end) to wrap up the unit.

He couldn't believe he was allowed to
play with noodles which is a favorite
food for him.

Reinforcing the Letter A by flying Airplanes - never could
get a good picture.

Cutting tissue paper which led to tearing the paper

Our own Elmer!!

Elmer's Colors is a great book to reinforce or teach colors.  I was wanting a project to wrap up this unit but couldn't think of anything off the top of my head.  While Blog hopping I came across a Blog called the Intello Kids.  What would you know, she posted a art project for Elmer's Colors!!  Click HERE for their version of the project and directions. 

I will say with our Elmer it didn't go as smooth as what I thought it would.  I have to remind myself that Gabriel is only 2, just turned two, so some things may be over his head or too long for his attention span.  He didn't want to cut all the squares needed.  It ended up being okay because he still used scissors but also had fun learning how to tear different sizes.  Then he loved painting the glue on but being 2 would glob it on in some areas.  Then wonder why his paper would not stick LOL.  I am very glad we did this project.  It can be used for any age range just remember to breath and have fun if you are creating an Elmer with a younger child.

**Feel free to use any of these ideas but please have courtesy to link back. 
Pictures are property of Come What May**

Friday, February 25, 2011

Week 3 and 4 - Tot School

The main guideline we use for our Tot School is Flowering Baby (link under resources).  The program is broken down by months and then daily activities.  This week we combined week 3 and 4 to wrap up 25th Month.  Here is what we have done this week.  More pictures and our unit wrap up project to come tomorrow when I can find my card reader to get pictures off camera.

Language - Letters C-F (Eat various items such as Carrots, Corn, Dried Fruit, Donuts, Eggs, English Muffins, Fruit, and Figs), Spell out short words with Cheerios, Sing ABC (low and high voice, clap and beat drums to beat of song), Listen to books on tape, and New Words/Sayings
Math - Counters, Sets of Three (bumped to five), Count in English and Spanish (up to 10 in English and 3 in Spanish), Count backwards from 3 to 1, Count wheels on car, Count animals/fish at pet store, Veggies/Fruit for counting, and Quantities
Song/Rhyme - ABC Song, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, Itsy Bitsy, Spider, and Wheels on the Bus
Music - Wee Sing
Story - Goodnight Moon, Elmer's Colors, Guess How Much I Love You, and Big Red Barn
Color - Blue, Red, Green, and Yellow
Shape - Circle, Square, and Triangle
Science - Clouds, Leaves, Sound, Measurement, and Hot vs. Cold
Other - Play "I Spy", Practice Batting, Play-Doh play, Q-Tip Painting, Outdoor Chalk Play, Create a indoor tent with sheets and chairs, Blanket/Sheet Parachute, Water Play with various cups, measuring items, toys, Build towers, bridges, etc. with blocks, Draw and Dance to music, Sensory boxes, Laundry, Sweeping, and Dishes (chore help).

Sensory bin #1 - Dried beans with
frogs and insects

He LOVED this day!

Continued with counting, colors, and lining
up the frogs.  Added different sounds of frogs
from YouTube

His favorite to date - pipe cleaner and beads
First three beads he needed my help but
after that he was a pro!  Created patterns,
counted, and so much fun.

He was zoned in

Water Play

Play-Doh Time - let him use a plastic knife and then
scissors to practice cutting

**Feel free to use any of these ideas but please have courtesy to link back.
Pictures are property of Come What May**

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mongolian Beef w/Rice - Recipe

We love Chinese, Thai, and Indian!!!  The other day when I was visiting COAH Blog I checked out her recipes.  Came across her Mongolian Beef w/Rice and decided to give it a go.  Nathan ended up cooking that night but he said it was super easy to make.  While Gabriel and I say it is delish!!

Mongolian Beef w/Rice - Courtesy of Confessions of a Homeschooler
(  ) are my/husband's notes

2 T. vegetable oil
-1 t. Ginger, minced (powder works just as well)
-2 T. Garlic, chopped
-1/2 c. Soy Sauce (we use low-sodium)
-1 c. Dark Brown Sugar (used light)
-1/2 c. vegetable oil
-1 lb. Flank Steak or Sirloin sliced thinly
-1/4 c. Cornstarch
-3 green onions sliced or 2 c. broccoli steamed (we only used the onions but I think to use both would be great)

-Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in skillet over medium high heat until hot.
-Add ginger and garlic and let sizzle for 30 seconds, then add soy sauce.
-Gradually add the brown sugar and let it dissolve while stirring.
-Let the sauce come to a boil, then simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

-Cut the flank steak into thin strips against the grain. (Tip: Meat is easier to slice when it’s partially frozen. It will thaw quickly after sliced too!)
-Place meat and corn starch in a bag and shake to coat the meat.
-Let meat sit for 10 minutes, so the cornstarch sticks to the meat.

-Put 1/2 c. vegetable oil in a wok/ skillet and heat on medium-high until hot.
-Add the meat to the wok and brown for about 4-5 minutes.
-Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.

-Clean the pan out and return meat to pan and cook on high for about 2 more minutes.
-Add the sauce to the pan and cook for another minute.
-Add the green onions or broccoli and cook for 1 minute longer.
-Remove from heat and serve with rice (Nathan mixed all of it together in the Wok and then served).

He loved it all but some of the meat was
too tough.  Make sure to buy quality beef!

Finished product with
beef, sauce, and rice all mixed together

Pizza Dough - Recipe

I have given my favorite Pizza Sauce Recipe and now I will give a Pizza Dough Recipe.  There are tons of recipes out there for Pizza Dough.  Normally we just use the Wal-Mart brand packet of pizza dough flour and make that from scratch.  However, I have about 3 recipes left from the Pioneer Woman's Cookbook with her dough being one of the three.  Made the dough Monday night and it was super easy, fun, and a hit.  I will make it again because I got heavy handed with the Olive Oil and made the dough kind of gummy.  Best part with the recipe you can make two pizza or freeze half of the dough for another night.

Pizza Dough Recipe - Pioneer Woman

1 teaspoon Active Dry Or Instant Yeast
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
⅓ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil

To Make The Crust (enough to make 2 pizzas):

-Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water and set aside.
-In a mixer, combine flour and salt.
-With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in 
  olive oil until combined with flour.
-Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined.
-Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball.
-Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1-2 hrs, OR cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Create Pizza:

-Preheat oven to 500 degrees per PW.
-When ready to create pizza, drizzle pan with olive oil and spread dough out to the size you want/need.
-Then this is where the fun beings.  Can check out the Pioneer Woman for all her different pizza toppings,, or use my favorite Pizza Sauce.  Here is a picture of our Monday Night Pizza....traditional but oh so good! 

*Okay scratch the picture part.  Don't have one from our pizza.  However click HERE for better pictures of how to make, create, and top your pizza.  Pesto-Mozzarella Pizza is my favorite but my boys are through and through meat lovers.  Enjoy!!*

Pesto Mozzarella Grilled Cheese - Recipe

This is my FAVORITE Grilled Cheese Sandwich.  I have made this recipe for awhile now that I don't remember the original recipe.  Original recipe came from Tyler off Food Network. 

Pesto Mozzarella Grilled Cheesed Sandwich
-Sour Dough Bread
-Pesto (homemade or store bought - we use the Pine Nuts, Garlic kind of Pesto)
-Fresh Mozzarella Slices (in a pinch I have used shredded mozz. cheese, just as yummy)

-Butter the outside of two slices of bread.
-Smear as much or as little of Pesto you want on the bread (I smear lots but only on one piece of bread)
-Layer cheese on top of Pesto.  Again as much or as less as you want.
-Close your sandwich with Butter side out (yeah goober here put butter inside once and was wondering why my bread wasn't toasting)
-Heat Griddle or Cast Iron Skillet
-When griddle is nice and hot, lay sandwich (butter side down) on griddle and cook to your liking of golden toasted bread. 
-Flip and repeat for other side of bread.

This is a little too Golden Brown and what will
happen if you heat the griddle too hot....still
yummy none the less.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless {Wordful} Wednesday

Unloaded the camera and forgot I had taken these photos......silly guy and even sillier story at the bottom.....

Tonight's Dinner Conversation
Gabriel - yummy noodles and chicken momma
Me - no those are meatballs
Gabriel - oh
Me - meatballs
Gabriel - (insert smile and face covered in spaghetti sauce) Meet My Balls

Hope you all had a fabulous Wednesday and found laughter like our family did!!

*I am linking up with Parenting By Dummies this week*

Helpful Links

*these are just some of the resources I use for our schooling*
1 -
2 -
3 -
4 -
5 -
6 -
7 -
8 -
9 -
10 -
11 -
12 -
13 -
14 -
15 -
16 -

The Lincoln Lawyer - Book Review

Somewhere I heard this book was being made into a movie.  I try to always read the book before I see the movie.  I like to compare the book vs. the movie and wonder just about every time why Hollywood can't make a movie like the books!

Okay back on track -

The Lincoln Lawyer - Michael Connelly
I was on the hunt for the book since, like I said, it is being made into a movie.  When I saw the cover with Matthew McConaughey (yes this man still looks good even though he doesn't wear deodorant) I knew I was buying it.  It is a really great read about murder, mystery, law and order (not SVU version), and who really done the crime? 

It is about a Lawyer who works out of his Lincoln cars...a lot.  He takes on a case that looks like a fast open and shut case that will bring in the big bucks.  However, after the first couple of chapters we find this not to be true.  That is where many plots are formed and twists are given to us readers.  With many of the twists, I figured out but a couple I did not see. 

This is the first book I have read by Michael Connelly (from what I can remember) and I do believe I will pick up some more of his.  4 out of 5 Stars!  Lets just hope the movie is as good.  For eye candy it already gets 5 out of 5 stars that's for sure ;)

Running Hot - Book Review

I love reading.  Love it over cooking, cleaning, exercising, and even would say breathing but I have to breath in order to read ;)  A couple of my friends have started posting their reviews on theirs Blogs about books they have read so I thought I would join in.  A couple of us are in the making of working out the details but we want to start a link up for our book reviews.  More to come on that when we have the kinks worked out. 

Until then, I will post my reviews and if you have posted a review on your Blog, leave a comment with a link back to your Blog.

Running Hot - Jayne Ann Krentz
I ordered this book off Barnes-N-Nobles to get their 3 for $10 special.  Knew nothing of the title or author.  The book has danger, mystery, sex, love, and paranormal.  Over all it was a fun quick read.  I would put this as a Summer Read List.  It is also part of the Arcane Society Novel.  It has some good twist and turns but I would have liked the twist and turns to be a little bit deeper since I figured out a few of them right off the bat.  Overall good read - 3 out of 5 Stars.

Roll Call!!!

Each month I will be participating in a Blog Cooking Challenge.  Each recipe will be posted from the 18th - 25th of each month.  Here is the "Roll Call" of the fellow Bloggers who are also participating in the challenge.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mindful Monday

Today is President's Day.  I truly wonder at times what some of the 1st Presidents would feel about where our Country is today in aspect of politics, technology (would they be Facebookers and send out Tweets), the economy and so forth.  Makes me wonder! 

I am however thankful for Nathan having this Monday off.  Having today off is a great way to end a fabulous weekend.  Surprise visit from Ohio friends, fabulous 70 plus degree weather, and spending time as a family.  What is even better is sticking to my commitment of not being on the computer while Gabriel is awake. 

As in, staying off FB, not checking emails, and even trying to leave my phone alone.  There are times where I get on the computer to look something up for our schooling, a recipe, or reply back to a few important emails but overall I am trying to unplug from technology when my child/family needs me the most. 

I wasn't 100% successful of staying off FB this weekend but it is a start in the right direction.  I found myself logging into FB while hubster ran into Lowe's or filling up with gas.  I "liked" a few status and commented on others.  But then made myself log off.  At least I don't get alerts on my phone whenever someone posts or writes things....I am not that bad or that nosy. 

Bath time is about over (hubster is doing bath time so I can get in a quick Mindful Monday post) and we are going to play in the Sensory Boxes today.  Can't wait to see what Gabriel thinks of them.  They are a work in progress since I used things around the house or a quick trip to the Dollar Tree to put them together. 

Hope you all are having a FANTASTIC President's Day, Mindful Monday, and trying to live for positive impacts within yourself and your family.  Remember that no one is perfect and it is okay to fail.  Just remember to get back up, dust yourself off, and keep going.

Photo taken from Google Images

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Week 2 of Tot School

Language - Letters A and B (Apples, Apple Sauce, Apple Juice - A.  Bananas, Broccoli, Blueberries - B)ABC Song, Magazine Story Time, New Words/Sayings
Math - Counters, Sets of Three (bumped to five), and counting in English and Spanish (up to 10 in English and 3 in Spanish), Veggies/Fruit for counting
Song/Rhyme - ABC Song, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, Itsy Bitsy, Spider, and Wheels on the Bus
Music - Wee Sing
Story - Goodnight Moon, Guess How Much I Love You, and Big Red Barn
Color - Blue, Red, and Yellow
Shape - Circle, Square, and Triangle
Science - Clouds, Leaves, and Hot vs. Cold
Other - Play "I Spy", Practice Batting, New foods of Mushrooms, Green Bell Peppers, Peaches, Balloon and Play-Doh play, Q-Tip Painting, Outdoor Chalk Play, Laundry, Sweeping, and Dishes (chore help).

Puzzle Play with Numbering

Building Triangles

Outdoor Play Time - dirt, water, chalk, and his
favorite baseball!

Q-Tip Painting

Tape really helped keeping the paper
from not sliding and a border
for Gabe to learn to paint on
paper not the table.

During nap time I made
his Sensory Boxes to start using
on Monday.

Beads and Pipe Cleaners for numbering,
color patterns, and fine motor skills.

**Feel free to use any of these ideas.  However please have courtesy to link back.  Pictures are mine to use only**

Friday, February 18, 2011

Giveaway - Alert

Spring is around the corner (with little teasers this week it seems for many) and that means shorts, Capri's, and then the dreaded word....bathing suits.  If you are like me, burn instead of tanning or do NOT want to shorten your life by using Tanning Beds, then I suggest clicking HERE for a great Giveaway.  Good Luck!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Two Week Menus - Foodie Thursday

Went ahead and planned two weeks of menus for rest of February (well 2 days short).  Enjoy!!!

Week One - 2/13-2/19
B-Heart Shaped Pancakes, Sausage, and Eggs
L-Out to Eat
D-Chicken Creole Casserole
B-Cereal and Fruit
L-Fried Rice
D-Chicken Spaghetti
B-Pop Tart and Fruit
L-Left Overs
D-Grilled Cheese and Chips/Salsa
B-Cereal and Fruit
L-P&J Sandwiches with Veggie Sticks
D-Buffalo Chicken with Mac-N-Cheese and Garlic, Bacon, Green Beans
L-Banana Peanut Butter Roll Ups
D-Chili and Cornbread
B-Sausage and Eggs
L-Left Overs/Clean Fridge
D-Terriyaki Chicken and Rice
B-Cream Cheese Danish Casserole
L-Out to Eat (site seeing)
D-Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches w/Tater-Tots

Week Two - 2/20-2/26
B-Coffee Cake
L-Left Overs
D-Mongolian Beef w/Rice
B-French Toast w/Fruit
L-Mini Pizzas
D-Chicken Salad with Pasta Salad
B-Smoothies w/Ham and Cheese Eggs
L-Turkey, Cheese, Cracker Minis
D-Spaghetti and Meatballs
L-Chicken Nuggets w/Fruit and Fries
D-Honey Buttered Chicken w/Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole
B-Cereal w/Fruit
L-Peanut Butter Nutella Sandwiches
L-Grilled Cheese and Peas
D-Family Pizza Night
L-Out To Eat or Left Overs
D-Chipotle Sliders, Fries, and Green Beans

**Side Note - I have teamed up with some fellow Bloggers and joined a Cooking Group.  Please stay tuned for the details.  If you think you would like to be part of this Cooking Group/Blog, please message me and I will share the details!**

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless {Wordful} Foto Wednesday

Say What??

Had a really great smile but little booger decided to
jump on me instead...look closely and you can see the
smile inside the blur

This makes me realize how fast he is growing up

Channeling his inner Donald Trump Smack Down look

*I am linking up with Parenting By Dummies Wordless Wednesday*


Hope you hop on over to Thanks, Mail Carrier to check out some awesome giveaways.  My favorite right now is the Guidecraft Nesting Sort & Stack Cubes and Cylinders Set.  Click HERE for your chance to enter.  Good Luck!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Wrap

This year was really fun celebrating Valentine's Day.  The holidays do change when you have children in your life to celebrate with.  They only get better to celebrate IMO.  Since the move I have yet to find the big box with my Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day decorations.  So I was limited with things to decorate since I am hoping to find that box!!
Here are a few pictures of how we celebrated our Family Date Night In for Valentine's Day. 

Our Dessert - thanks to Jamie for
the great idea.  Especially since
I still can not find my VDay
cupcake liners.

Candy Poster - Huge hit with Nathan!

Our VDay Place Mats
Last week Gabriel and I painted.  I then traced and
cut out the hearts.  Gabriel was too busy playing
with his new Woody Doll.  Big hearts my artwork.  Little
hearts Gabriel artwork.

The Dining Room - really need to find a mantle
to hang on the blank wall.

Nathan reading his 24 Ways I Love Thee
While Gabriel is counting.

The How Do I Love Thee
Center Piece

Lastly, the yummy treats that went to work
with Nathan. 

Dinner was Chicken Spaghetti since I wanted to try it one more time and change a few things to our families taste.  Also want to say thank you to the Dating Divas for their awesome website where I found great inspriations for this year's Valentine's Day.  I have their button on the left side of my Blog and I hope you check their site out!!

**Feel free to share or use this idea.  Just share the love and link back**

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Boxes

I have a FANTASTIC mom who works with AMAZING people.  So much that if I could do the work they do, I would consider working again.  They are fun, supportive, hard working, and for years I have loved my mom's job and job peeps.

Mom will shoot me an email and ask about recipes or craft ideas for various work events.  Today at her work they are sharing Valentine's Day Cards and she wanted something creative to give out.  I immediately passed along some Blog sites that were using the cute $1 Mail Boxes from Target.  She loved the ideas and created some of her own.  Here is what mom created!!

The BEFORE picture

The AFTER picture

Mailboxes came from Target $1 Bin and the bases came from Hobby Lobby.  I know her work peeps will LOVE them, I do!!

**Feel free to share or use this idea.  Just share the love and link back**

VDay Part 1

We truly don't really celebrate this "holiday" because neither one of us understands why so many focus all the love they have for their partner on just one day.  What about the other 364 days you can share and show the love, romance, and compassion?  We have alway exchanged cards because I am a sucker for the poems and letters Hubster writes to me.  But for bought gifts or chocolates, yeah not really our thing. 

However, throw a kid in the mix and I get all crafty and lovey-dovey ;)  This year I somehow even get sucked into buying gift(s) - not the normal handmade gifts to one another.  Since Hubster has to work VDay I made our VDay breakfast this morning (Sunday).  Nothing big just pink heart shaped pancakes, sausage, eggs, and my hand at free flow handwriting in pancakes...that I so need more practice! 

Yep need more practice!!

1st time making over easy eggs for Hubster.
Seriously don't get how people can eat
their eggs like that but Hubster loves it!

Then hubs did something he has never done before.  He surprised me with a "real" gift - an iPad!!!!  Totally shocked but I guess paying off our Best Buy Creidt Card and my student loans (YES those babies are gone!!!!) got him in the celebrating mood.  I might be MIA after this post due to  researching apps, iPad for dummies, etc.

Since he gave me my present early I was nice and did the same (super glad I bought into buying a gift this year).......

That face says it all!!!!

Two One-Minute Sessions at an Indoor Skydiving
place in Raleigh, NC
(thanks Groupon)
*Don't you love the kid's cheese lips!!*

Hope you come back Tuesday to see how Gabriel and I decorated for our Family's Date Night In for Valentine's Day. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tot School - Week 1- Friday Wrap Up

I am borrowing the term Tot School from a blog that I have been enjoying - 1+1+1=1.  Home school has too formal of a feel for what we are doing at this time.  Gabriel is only 2 years and almost 2 months you know :) 

This week was our first week of Tot School.  I learned a lot, Gabriel learned a lot, showed me how much he already knows, and most of all, we both had fun.  It made me realize why I don't want to go back to teaching (for now), the fun was what I was missing my last year of teaching. 

Here is a wrap up of what we did this week and some pictures.  I am really glad that Gabriel and I are doing this during the day.  Miss that Nathan misses most of it but Gabriel and I recap our day for him as soon as Nathan gets home!

Language - ABC Song, Magazine Story Time, New Words/Sayings,
Math - Counters, Sets of Three, and Counting in English and Spanish (to 3 but quickly bumped up to 10)
Song/Rhyme - Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, Itsy Bitsy, Spider, and Wheels on the Bus
Music - Wee Sing
Story - Goodnight Moon, Guess How Much I Love You, Valentine's Day
Color - Blue, Red, and Yellow
Shape - Circle, Square, and Triangle
Other - Balloon and Play-doh play, Valentine's Day place mat and cards

One of VDay Crafts
Gabriel is pointing out shapes and colors
he used/created.

Marble Art

Creating Circles using Blue Paint

Toilet Paper Roll and Cookie Cutters

Practicing his Circles and Triangles
The Triangle turned into a path.  Later learned
Mickey Mouse talks about paths and maps
on the show.

He wanted Circle "Sandmiches"

The face of Play-doh does not taste good

Little help by me and he created his first
Yellow Triangle.  Triangle needed
eyes he said.

Our VDay box and showing the squares and triangles
on the box.  I drew on the box which upset Gabriel
because he wanted to draw his own squares and
square.  Pretty good for his 1st square.

ABC and 123 Blocks

He put the numbers in order and I added the picture blocks

Relating the word with a drawing
my handwriting - his drawing

**Feel free to use any of these ideas.  However please have courtesy to link back.  Pictures are mine to use only**
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