Monday, October 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: October 31

This week is kind of crazy for us with Halloween and work travel and a really big football game this weekend. (Watch this super-cool promo video here if you love college football.)

Monday: Pizza, salad, Halloween candy!

Tuesday: Lime cilantro steak, mashed sweet potatoes (I am going to pick a recipe from Pinterest), salad (WE NEVER ATE THIS LAST WEEK.)

Wednesday: Chicken puffs, green beans, mandarin orange salad

Thursday: pepperoni pizza puffs, salad (ANOTHER CARRYOVER)

The rest of the week/weekend in kind of up in the air. I'm guessing there will be some FAST FOOD involved. Yuck! Hopefully, we can find a Chick-Fil-A!

Check out Laura's blog for more Menu Plan Monday.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall Fun Links

Here are a few fun activities we have done this week to celebrate fall and Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Preschool Corner: O is for Octopus

Today is my first time to link up to Preschool Corner over at Homeschool Creations. This website has been an AWESOME resource for me for getting started with homeschooling. And, it has some great preschool resources (that are FREE!) for the little man.

(David is 3Y, 6M old.)

Our theme this week was mostly Octopus from our LOTW curriculum.

Oh my word ... how cute is that face. Octopus puzzle.

Octopus letter matching. This is the first time I've included this activity (because I had not make the letter discs yet) but he did great.

Is that a smile I see while coloring? David is normally not a huge fan of all the coloring. I try to break up his schedule so we only color one thing per day.

Playdough is always a big hit with this little guy. He got a little silly with the LC "o". You can find these great playdough mat printables (that you can laminate or slide into a page protector) here.

We also pulled in a few "Ocean" activities for our O week. (It just so happens that we went to the beach at the end of this week too. That was handy planning on my part ... or just lucky I guess.)

We did this measuring with goldfish activity that I found here and we made a fun ocean tot book that I apparently did not take any pictures of us using. He really does love looking through the tot books everyday and it helps us review basics like numbers (1-10), shapes and colors.

Writing the letter O.

Craft time. We made an Octopus and a gold glitter Owl, both of which were found here. We added a little impromptu glitter to the owl because (1) he looked a little plain without it and (2) David loves the glitter glue. It is definitely his favorite crafting item.

Our O board for the week (which also includes some crafts from church and mother's day out.) We got back on track learning our RRSP verse this week, which was "Oh, give thanks to the Lord for He is good." David still enjoys doing all of the activities for our bible verse each week as you can see them on the board.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Photobooks ... my new memory-keeping love!

I have been faithfully reading The Mom Creative's 31 days of memory-keeping posts during the month of October. She is a full-time working mother of two who loves to read, craft and SCRAPBOOK! (I think we were separated at birth. Ha!)

Scrapbooking will always be my first crafting love, but I just don't have time for traditional paper scrapbooking at this time in my life. Right now, this blog is my main form of memory keeping, but I like to have current things to hold and look at in real life (i.e., not on a computer screen).

My first photo book was of our most recent trip to Disneyworld. I think I purchased a $10 Shutterfly Groupon and then paid about $8-10 for shipping. So my total cost was about $20 for a $30 book.

Thanks to The Mom Creative's series, I've made two other photo books (for great deals) and a journal over the last few weeks.

The first photo book was another Shutterfly book for 40% off. I think I ended up paying $20 for the $30 book plus shipping. (If I had spent $30, I could have gotten free shipping but I didn't have it in me to make another book and the coupon expiration was fast approaching!) I made a book of Luke's first birthday party.

I am posting this book since I never posted any pics of Luke's birthday party. (FYI ... the first page is blank because it was the invitation, which I've already posted here, and I didn't want all of our personal info on the Internet.)

Click here to view this photo book larger

The second photo book and journal were FREE thanks to special coupon codes from The Mom Creative and they were from a new website called Paper Coterie. (These coupon codes have expired but she currently has a code for a free memory keeper, which is a super nice box for storing mementos.) I received the journal yesterday and I am impressed with the quality. I should receive my photobook today. (This photo book was made of Luke's professional photos at Newborn, 4M, 8M and 12M for a first year sort of book.)

I know the photobooks are pricey, but if you watch for great deals on Snapfish, Shutterfly and other photo sites, you can make them whenever and order them on sale!

Happy memory-keeping!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: October 24

Here is our menu plan for the week:

Breakfast treat: French toast casserole & bacon

Monday: Creamy baked flautas, mexicorn, salad

Tuesday: Chicken puffs, green beans, mandarin orange salad

Wednesday: Slow-cooked chicken & vegetables, bread machine wheat rolls

Thursday: Lime cilantro steak, mashed sweet potatoes (I am going to pick a recipe from Pinterest), salad

Friday: pepperoni pizza puffs, salad, campfire cookies

Saturday: caramel apple muffins (breakfast); I think we are having friends over for dinner so our menu is still up in the air for now.

Sunday: Leftover buffet

Check out Laura's blog for more Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I is for Igloo and Ice Cream and Inchworm!

We had a fun "I" week. Who doesn't love ice cream in August?

Making playdough I's.

David was not in the mood to have his picture taken this particular day.

Inchworm puzzle. All of our LOTW curriculum for the Letter I was inchworm themed.

Inchworm counting.

Ice painting. We made the ice cube paints the day before and got lots of color mixing practice in. We found that the darker/brighter colors painted the best. Also, cover with foil to hold the toothpicks in place.

Claire joined us the next day for painting our ice cream cones. This was really pretty mess free.

Inchworm craft from toilet paper rolls. David played with this thing a long time.

Marshmallow igloo. David ate marshmallows and pretty much watched me make this craft.

Our "I" board for the week (including a butterfly Claire made at church.)

Our Bible curriculum came from RRSP. David had a hard time with our verse ... "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I did find this fun song to go along with our verse.

Our igloo printables came from here and here. Our ice cream printables and activities came from here and here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Do you Pin?

By now, lots of people are hearing about Pinterest. You can follow me here.

It's really just another social networking site (you can invite friends, follow friends, etc.). But I love how it organizes all of the great ideas I find on the internet in one neat organized spot.

What it really means is that I no longer have piles and piles of recipes that I printed off that I want to try someday. Now they are all neatly store in cyper-space and I can just pull up my Pinterest account when I am ready to make them.

I call it crack for crafters.

Well, what fun is just looking on Pinterest? Although it is pretty darn fun, I needed to get my booty into action and make something.

My friend Kaisha kick-started me when we had our Saturday scrapbooking day a few weeks ago. Except for she didn't scrapbook. She made crafts she had found on Pinterest.

Exhibit #1. Yard lollipops (for her sweet Emma's 2nd birthday).

Exhibit #2. These canisters will hold seasonal candy. "Boo" for Halloween and "Joy" for Christmas. (You can change out the lettering.) This was a birthday gift for her sister.

Exhibit #3: ribbon storage. I love me some organizational containers. Will says I just like to buy containers to put stuff in. This is an awesome way to organize ribbon. I came straight home and made this myself. I already had the containers, purchased some pre-cut dowel rods from Hobby Lobby and voila. 3 containers full of easily accessible ribbon.

So on to my own first real Pinterest project ... covering the kids' bathroom stool. (These stools came from Target and run $12-14 I think.) We've had these a while and the tops were starting to look ragged and dirty.

Supplies needed:
Mod Podge (I used matte)
Clear acrylic spray (this was $5 at HL)
scrapbook paper
foam paint brush

(1) I traced the top of my stools onto my scrapbook paper. I actually ended up having to cut it a little smaller to fit the top. You can figure out what works best for you.

{Cute helper is not required.}

(2) Clean stool. (3) Brush modpodge onto stool and put paper on top. You might want to use something flat (like a Pampered Chef stoneware scraper) to smooth out the wrinkles. (4) Dry. If you don't, your paper will wrinkle up from being too wet when you apply the top coat of modpodge. (5) Apply top coat of modpodge. (If you've never used modpodge before, it will be clear when it dries.) (6) Dry.

(7) Spray entire top with clear acrylic spray. This will water-proof the paper, a necessity since these will be near the bathroom sink.

The finished product. You can see the tutorial I used here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall Cuteness

I spent a Thursday night and Friday afternoon at my mom's house on her embroidery machine.

Here are the fruits of my labor.

Two cute Halloween shirts for Claire. These shirts are plenty big and long so she should be able to wear them again next year.

3 pumpkin shirts for the kids to wear on our annual pumpkin patch trip. I love how the trucks turned out.

It wouldn't be fall without football season. We took the big kids to their first Alabama football game and they had to have cute outfits to wear. (I made Luke a shirt too even though he stayed home with Meme.)

I still need to make the boys some pants out of the gray polka dot fabric. They are wearing jeans with them for now, but I had to whip up this cute skirt for Claire. It literally took me 30 minutes to make this skirt from start to finish. (I made it while Will was putting the kids to bed.) It is this pattern.

Next up ... Christmas and snowmen. (I debate making turkey shirts for the kids every year, but I typically just let them wear their pumpkins for Thanksgiving.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Since Claire is now in Kindergarten, she gets to go to Marketplace at our church on Sunday mornings (during the church service). It's like a real live marketplace during biblical times, sometimes complete with animals.

The rule is that when your parent works in Marketplace, you can dress up with them. This past Sunday, Will worked in the carpentry shop and Claire got to dress up and help. She was super-pumped. A big thank you to my friend Kelli who helped Claire get dressed (since I teach a class in the nursery at the same time) and took these pictures.

I was secretly trying to figure out how I could sneak up there and get some pics. I thought the preschool director would probably frown upon me leaving my class of 2 years to run upstairs and snap a few photos.

Didn't you know they wore silver glitter shoes in bible times?

Here is Claire and Will all dressed up.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: 10/17/11

Nothing too exciting this week ...

Breakfast treat: pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

Monday: Spaghetti casserole, salad, garlic bread

Tuesday: Slow-cooked Asian Beef & Broccoli, brown rice, egg rolls (This has been on the menu plan for 3 weeks now. My beef is in the freezer but my broccoli is about to go bad so I have to fix it this week.

Wednesday: Tacos (I use this recipe to season my beef), black beans, chips & salsa/guacamole

Thursday: Southwest Shrimp Cobb Salad, chips & salsa

Friday: Leftover Wheeler Mountain Chili (I know this recipe is on my blog somewhere but I can't seem to find it. If you find it, let me know and I will link it up.)

Saturday: French toast casserole (breakfast); eat out for dinner

Sunday: sandwiches (lunch); steak fajitas, spanish rice, guacamole salad (dinner)

Check out Laura's blog for more Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, October 14, 2011

E is for Elephant ...

I decided to do the vowels first with David. So we've done A, E, I, O and U and now we've started covering the consonants (in no particular order).

We made this Elmo tot book to review our numbers, colors, shapes, etc. each day. I also DVR'd Sesame Street each day so he could watch Elmo's World. Let's just say, he is not a fan of Elmo (although he did enjoy the tot book).

Do-A-Dot Letter E. David has about out-grown the Do-A-Dot markers. Just in time to hand them down to baby Luke. I'm not quite sure I'm ready to let him get his little hands on them yet though. Maybe next year ...

Elephant color by number. His coloring has greatly improved since we started doing some preschool stuff at home over the summer. This was back in August and it has even gotten better over the last month. I guess practice really does make perfect.

Writing the letter E. I purchased this Dry Erase activity center for David to use for writing (since I didn't have a laminator at the time). You just slip the sheet in, write and wipe.

Upper case E/lower case e sorting from LOTW.

Our favorite activity of the week ... Green Eggs and Ham. We read the book several times during the week and had green eggs and ham for dinner one night. The kids loved it and have asked for it over and over again. Claire kept saying "I love this cooked meat." So funny!!

Our E board. See our E-verse in the top left corner. "Even a child is known by his deeds." Thanks to RRSP for the free printables! Several of our E crafts came from here and here.

Claire helped us with the eggshells on E. It was pretty messy but the kids had fun.

That wraps up our E week.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Ian!

My nephew Ian celebrated his 4th birthday last month. We had a fun time at his party at Bounce U. Daddy stayed home to play golf so I went solo with all 3 kiddos.

Here is the best picture I got of Claire and David. Claire has got the fake, cheesy smile down pat.

My sister's brother-in-law and two nieces coming down the slide. They had a fun time!

Claire is almost at the very top of that tower. (She has on aqua leggings.) She climbed to the top all by herself and then got to come down a ginormous slide.

Luke had a fun time crawling around in this bouncy. I really think he was just glad to be out of the stroller.

Maggie, Evie and Claire. The "big" girls.

The whole gang. Ian is wearing the super-cool Superman shirt in the back center.

Drum roll for the Happy Birthday song.

Time to blow out the candle.

Evie and Claire ... all hyped up on double-doozie cookie cake. (If you like cookie cake, you must try this cake from Sam's Club. It is delish!)

Happy Birthday Ian!