Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful for Family

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends and family! Even though we are far from most we will be thinking of you all today and wishing you many blessings and a great holiday! I thought I would talk about how thankful I am for my own little family here.

Nathan, he is my rock. I don't know that he realizes how grounded he keeps me. He helps me not only in every day life tasks but also just not to be stressed out. He is always calm and doesn't worry the way I do. If I am worried about something I talk to him about it. Him telling me that everything is going to be ok calms my nerves. He is a wonderful dad and the kids love to play with him and help him. He loves me, all of us, and shows it and is always protective. He is my best friend.

Meghan is such a sweet girl. She loves to help out, she will see things that need to be done and just do it. She loves to help out and play with her younger siblings. I am so proud of her and how well she does with her schoolwork.  She is so outgoing, she keeps me from being too shy. She is very caring and thinks of others.

Kaden is such a funny little guy. He loves to be outside and playing with his sister Meghan. He amazes me with what he picks up, says and understands. He is serious and particular and very loving. I love watching him.

Ellie is my baby and it seems like she knows. She is the most snuggly baby I have had. She loves to be rocked and lay her head on my shoulder when she wants to snuggle or if she gets shy. She is a happy baby who will soon be walking!

I hope we can all remember to be thankful for those closest to us. May God Bless you this Thanksgiving and always.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

All That Fun

Here are the kids finished salt dough leaves. Can you tell which two Kaden did and which two Meghan did? They both did a great job!

Here is Kaden playing with one of his new activity bags. (more about that later)

The kids were painting paper bags to make leaf decorations.

Kaden painted a circle and called me to tell me and have me look at it. Of course I had to take a picture. I have never tried to get him to draw a circle before he just did it all on his own. I am so proud! Later that night I let him pick his book to read and he picked a letter book, as we call them. I asked him what letter was on the front of the book and he told me L and he was right!!

Outside time, we take as much as we can get.

Here is Ellie watching the other two play outside.

Ellie playing in the toy tub.

I wanted to introduce the kids to the ice cream float. :) They have never had or seen one. I don't like root beer so we used Dr Pepper.
Side note- I found these old fashioned bottles at a local grocery store. They are made with cane sugar instead of corn syrup. Kinda cool!

I let Ellie try it.. Ice cream face!

Aren't they cute! Kaden was in the mood for pictures so I went with it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Some new recipes...

Today I made these pancakes for the 2nd time. They are really good! The kids love them too and I also made them into chocolate chip or blueberry just by throwing them on top before flipping. I had about 5 left to freeze so if they ask for pancakes tomorrow I am all set.
While I am talking about this recipe let me say check out the blog Homesick Texan. This is one of my newest finds. I have tried a few recipes from here and plan to try more. I love to search the site when I am looking for a recipe plus there are just so many recipes on there that I have always wanted to try. How about making your own sopapilla's?? YUM! I have made her flour tortillas several times and they are great!

I have also wanted to try a potato soup for a while. I finally decided yesterday to try one so I searched around the internet and looked through a bunch of recipes. I wanted to find something that had mostly natural ingredients, ie no bullion cubes or canned soups. So I found this recipe and made it yesterday. I halved it because it would have been way too much for just me and the kids. I still had a bit left over but thats ok because it is really good! The kids liked it even! Here is the recipe. Let me know if you try it.


6 to 8 large baking potatoes
2 cups milk
4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup butter
8-12 strips bacon, cooked
1 cup sour cream
8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Bake potatoes until soft, then peel. Mash or cube the potatoes depending on the desired consistency for the soup.
In a large soup pot, combine butter and flour to make a roux. Cook for 1 minute, then slowly whisk in the liquids.
Add salt and pepper, potatoes, cooked bacon, and cheese. At the last minute, stir in the sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

Soup will be thick. Add milk to reheat.
Each time this soup is reheated, it gets better!
Submitted by: Candi R.

(My Notes: I diced for a chunky soup and I did not add the bacon. So good!)

A New Adventure

Nathan is off to look for work in Arizona. He left yesterday and everyone here is/was pretty sad. He made it there very early this morning and we are thankful for a safe trip! Hopefully, within a few months he will be able to have us follow. Until then we will carry on here with our normal activities and schooling with maybe a visit in between. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembering Our Veterans


Edgar Guest

There are different kinds of heroes, there are some you hear about.

They get their pictures printed, and their names the newsboys shout;

There are heroes known to glory that were not afraid to die

In the service of their country and to keep the flag on high;

There are brave men in the trenches, there are brave men on the sea,

But the silent, quiet heroes also prove their bravery.

I am thinking of a hero that was never known to fame,

Just a manly little fellow with a very common name;

He was freckle-faced and ruddy, but his head was nobly shaped,

And he one day took the whipping that his comrades all escaped.

And he never made a murmur, never whimpered in reply;

He would rather take the censure than to stand and tell a lie.

And I'm thinking of another that had courage that was fine,

And I've often wished in moments that such strength of will were mine.

He stood against his comrades, and he left them then and there

When they wanted him to join them in a deed that wasn't fair.

He stood alone, undaunted, with his little head erect;

He would rather take the jeering than to lose his self-respect.

And I know a lot of others that have grown to manhood now,

Who have yet to wear the laurel that adorns the victor's brow.

They have plodded on in honor through the dusty, dreary ways,

They have hungered for life's comforts and the joys of easy days,

But they've chosen to be toilers, and in this their splendor's told:

They would rather never have it than to do some things for gold.

Check out this site for lots of veterans day activities and learning for your kids.
Love to Learn Place

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Parent of the year award??

Do you think we should get one? Let me tell you this story and you let me know. Meghan sometimes gets up at night to use the bathroom. No big deal right? Well she gets up and goes to where ever she sees a light first. So tonight we are still awake and she comes into the living room. She kind of stumbles around and gets over to where we are. We are just watching to see what she is doing. She gets into the living room and picks up the tub of toys we keep here and starts to walk away (what was she going to do with that?). Nate grabbed the tub to make sure she doesn't hurt herself and asks her if she is looking for the bathroom. She moans something we can't understand and starts stumbling through the kitchen, running into a chair as she goes. She whines some more and keeps walking into the hall in search of the bathroom. The whole time we start cracking up because it is just so funny to watch her. We never know what she is going to do. She is our nightly entertainment. So does that make us bad parents because we laugh at our kids??? I assure you she has no recollection of it in the morning. Nate thinks we should take video of it. That might be pushing it. ;)Kids are so fun!

Weekend Projects

This weekend we worked on some art projects that we didn't get to last week. The first one was salt dough leaf prints from That Artist Woman. On Saturday we made the salt doughleaf prints.

They played with the leftover dough for a while.

On Sunday they painted them.

Meghan also did a couple science experiments with her candy. I found the idea on Ami's blog. She has so many cool things! She found them on this website, candy experiments.
Meghan was having fun with it and filling out her experiment forms, (created by Ami, Thanks Ami!) and she suddenly looked up at me and said "So when you do science experiments you learn too?" hee he She thought she was just having fun on a Saturday.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Weekly review...

We didn't quite get everything done that I wanted to this week. That's not anything new really but we did get a lot done and some things I didn't plan on so it's all good. I plan to let the kids work on some art projects I wanted to get to this weekend.

We have actually had a sunny ( and warm ) week in rain land, yay! So I have had the kids outside playing quite a bit. Meghan and I have gone on a couple nature walks. Of course I get exercise too so that works for two reasons. We walk and look for interesting things and animals. We talk the whole time about nature and about life. If you know Meghan you know there is no end to the questions she can come up with. :) \

Here are the kids with their leaf crowns. We did this as a fall activity. The idea came from Ami at Walking by the Way Thanks Ami!

Meghan is finishing up her Math-U-See workbook and reviewing. She is getting ready to start on multiplication. She has been doing well in spelling also and loves using

Here she is graphing her Halloween candy. Another idea I was reminded of by Ami.

We are still working on our Farmer Boy unit study. This week we mostly read the book. We have also been reading "Meghan Rose" books that Grandma bought for Meghan. These are our read alouds for the week. Meghan has been reading another book in the Jigsaw Jones Mystery series among others that catch her interest. We have also been reviewing nouns, verbs and adjectives.

The kids made these owl snacks too. I thought they were fun and fall like. Thanks to my friend Ashley for the idea. They are made with cresent rolls, chocolate chips, goldfish pretzels and cinnamon sugar.

Ellie has been standing up on furniture and things for a while but this week she has let go twice! I think she is rushing it! She also has a third tooth trying to come in. The first two aren't very far in yet but here comes another!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thanksgiving Unit and Lapbook ideas

I am gather information and lapbook elements and thought I would share some sites and links to look at. I won't be using all of these but picking and choosing from them. Some have booklists also. These are all free resources as well. I hope this helps with your planning!

I am printing poems from here.

Here are lots of links all in one spot! There is list of books to read, lapbook elements and sites with pictures of lapbooks.

Cranberry Thanksgiving Lapbook/Unit study   Amanda Bennets unit study

Book lists

Blog Hop!!- Fall Challenge

Our challenge this time is to create something with a fall theme. It could be a lay out or something altered. Whatever we want to create. I made this page. It doesn't have any pictures yet because I haven't gotten them printed out. It is a November calendar page for a gift calendar I am making. (Is it for you? I'm not telling!)

I also thought I would share this little decoration I made for Halloween.

Click on the Scrappy Blog Hop button to the right to go to the next site and see more fabulous fall creations!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Free Holiday Ebook

The Old Schoolhouse is offering this free Ebook. It is full of activities, crafts, handmade gift ideas and recipes for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just click the link and download! 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Pioneer Woman

If you have never read about or heard of the Pioneer Woman you have been deprived! You have to check her out! She has an amazing love story, great homeschooling advice, lots of ranch factoids and she is a great cook! Plus she is just an amazing writer, it is so much fun to read. She inspires me to write more, to try new recipes and to try to take better photo's, (plus beg for that fancy camera I want). She makes it sounds romantic to live in the middle of no where land. I have been reading her blog for at least a couple years. Maybe longer because I think I found it either while I was pregnant with Kaden or right after I had him and he is two and a half now. Before we moved I didn't know where she lived. Well just guess where she lives?? In Oklahoma! How funny. They live in the northern part of the state on a cattle ranch.

So onto my story this week. On Tuesday her cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, was released. She had her very first book signing in Tulsa that day. At the last minute I was telling Nathan about it and he said I should go. So we went up there on Tuesday. We were running a little behind, because I wanted to be early, but we got there just a few minutes after 7, which is when it started. The room was packed! I didn't expect it to be that crowded although I am happy it was, for her. So I pushed into the back door and stood with a crowd of other people straining to see her. When I got there she was doing a question and answer session so I got to hear her answering questions. Her kids were there and her husband and her brother. I could kind of get a glimpse every once in a while. As I stood in this crowd in the back I heard them saying the book was sold out! Bummer! I also heard that she had announced she would do another book signing on Friday. Yay!This one wasn't on the tour schedule so I am not sure if she just decided that on the spot after seeing the crowd or what. I am assuming that is what happened and how sweet of her to do another one! When the question and answer session was over she started signing books. I left because there was a Borders right up the road and I thought maybe they would have the book. I went in to look and as I did they announced on the speaker that her book was sold out! I guess a lot of people from the signing had the same idea I did...

So on Friday we went up to Tulsa again. This time I called the bookstore to see if they had her book and had them hold one for me. I wanted to be sure and have it this time, in case they sold out again. So we went to the bookstore and then went to the little shop in Downtown Tulsa where she was going to sign. I was there 30 mins early to get in line, and yes there was a line already. Meghan went in with me and looked around the shop for a little bit before it got too crowded. Ironically they had plenty of books to buy, but thats okay, I wanted to be sure. I was in line between two women that knew Ree, or at least knew of Ree. They lived in the town she lived in growing up. They both had kids around her age. So me and another woman there had fun listening to their stories. It helped to pass the time and was cool since they had interesting things to say about her.
By 3:45 it was my turn to get my book signed. Ree Drummond is just the prettiest lady! She is so nice and sweet and her husband is too. He was helping her with arranging things on the table and checking to make sure she was okay and giving her water. I didn't know really what to say to her other than I really love to read her blog. Since Meghan was there we talked about her being homeschooled a little and she told Meghan that she was beautiful. I took a couple pictures when it was almost my turn. :) I wanted to ask to take a picture with her or maybe one with Meghan and her but I didn't want to look like too much a stalker. I kind of felt like one. It's weird to know so much about someone and them not know you, and to follow someones life and then meet in person... So weird, but fun. So I know we were invited and all but I didn't want to push it and look crazy. Plus if you know me at all you know I am a little shy anyways, so that could explain why I didn't have anything intelligent to say. That's ok with me though. I am just happy I was able to go and meet her. I may never have that opportunity again.

Today I made my first recipe from the book. I made this one because I had everything you need for it. :) It's called eggs in a hole. I have never had it and was thinking it would just be like having toast and eggs but this is yummy! It's so simple but so good. It must be the butter! I can't wait to try more.

 The cookbook is so fun, just like her blog. There are lots of recipes but also lots of other things about her family and ranch life. Plus she still has all those step by step pictures we all love. I love lots of pictures! I suggest putting it on your Christmas wish list, or buy it for gifts for all your friend's, daughter's, mom and whoever you think would love it.

Look! the recipe I made today.

Halloween Happenings

Since we are in a new area this year I searched for a few things to do. We were going to go to Tulsa but since we had been there a couple times this week we decided to change it up and go somewhere a tad closer this time. We went to Muskogee. Our first stop was the mall. It's a small town when you compare to Tulsa or Phoenix and the ajoining cities but it's larger than the towns closest to us, so yes they do have a small mall. Some stores are closed and they are doing something not fun to the play area but for this day it worked. The mall hosted a little carnival type thing inside, which I thought was good incase it was raining although it was not. For $5 we bought 20 tickets, this was fine for us because we didn't get there early and only had an hour and a half to play games. The money went to charity so that was nice. The kids played lots of little games, from throwing balls and toilet paper rolls through holes, to spinning a dial to win a prize. There were lots of games and Kaden was even able to play most of them.

Notice Kaden still throwing with his left hand. He is really good with his left too. Meghan used both hands for a long time too. He didn't want to put his costume on. Those two year olds with their opinions! Sheesh!

The Princess had just kicked a ball in this one.

Ellie hanging out in her stroller while they played. Can you guess what she is dressed as?

Both kids playing the shooting game.

After that we took the kids to eat at Rib Crib. We had never been there and it was really good. My Father-in-Law would like it. That's something you have to think about when you live so far from everything too. We have to eat while we are out. There is no running home for lunch and back out to play. Anyway, they had kids meals for .99 and they came with dessert. They both had chocolate ice cream sundae's.

After that we went to find the Muskogee Castle. We were there too early so we left and went to K-Mart for a little bit. Did you know they have lay-away still?? I think I will be going back sometime soon to get some Christmas shopping out of the way. This store was a very nice one compared to some of the others we have been around. Plus every so often they double coupons up to $4. So yes I will be back.
Back to the castle...
We went back to go to Halloweenland. Most of the things they do at the castle for Halloween are scary things but they had this little area for the kids where they played carnival games and earned littles toys (yay not more candy!).

Here is the Castle, although I think those cars parked there kind of ruined my shot. :)

I took some pictures outside...
My little Princess who thought it was very fitting we went to a castle. She always has the perfect pose.

My little Monkey finally decided to put his costume on, (Mickey Mouse was too small for those that I mentioned that to). In this one he is trying to ignore that I am taking pictures. He did that for quite a few pictures actually.

I finally got a bit of a smile here though, and you can see his bruised lip in this one too.

And here is our Pink Poodle! Isn't this the cutest costume!? I am sad i have no reason to keep it and use it again, it's that cute. I didn't cover her feet because the costume was really warm and it was warm outside too. I kept checking of course to make sure they weren't cool and they never were. I did have people concerned about her feet all day though. haha

Here are a few pictures from home with her crawling around.

The back. I don't know if you can tell but she is standing up on everything!

Now into Halloweenland

After they played all the games they had a story read to them. Then they were doing face painting. Meghan had a butterfly on one cheek and a flower on the other. Kaden didn't want it on his face so they put a pumpkin on his hand. They then had a snack of juice and kettle corn.

After that it was still only 7 pm. Trick or Treating in Muskogee was from 6-8 pm so we decided to take Meghan and let her go around some. Kaden and Ellie were tired. They stayed in the car with Nate. Meghan and I walked around a neighborhood for a little bit. Ellie fell asleep almost right away and Kaden watched a video and then fell asleep by the time we were done at 8. It was fun, I got to spend some time one on one with Meghan, who of course chatted the whole time and I got some exercise too! She did really well too. One house they were trying to scare the kids and I warned her about it. So when we got there she didn't even scream! That is huge for Meghan. LOL Of course when we got back in the car to go home Nate teased her saying all they needed to do was tell her "booga booga"!

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