Tuesday, February 28, 2012

If You Don't Want to Know, Don't ask!

A while ago this little questionaire went around on Facebook. I thought it would be fun to requiz the kids, now that they are all older. The old answers are in italics. The new ones follow.
Enjoy a small glimpse into the minds of my 4 children. :)

1. What is something mom always says to you?

2010 - Go to bed

Micah - Don't say bad words
Jaela - I love you
Quin -Do chores

Quin- You better get in that bedroom pick that room up or I am going to wear your bottom out with a big big big big big gigantic paddle.
Jaela - Love you Jae Baby
Micah - Don't pass gas
Bekah - No

2. What makes mom happy?

20010 - doing what you are told to do

Micah - hugging her
Jaela - not lying
Quin - Tickling her

Bekah - Uhm this (points to her smile)
Micah - doing our chores
Quin - Giving her lollipops and loves
Jaela - Obeying

3. What makes mom sad?

Disobeying and saying no

Jaela - Kicking Micah, even if you say sorry
Micah - when we are mean to you
Quin - Worms in our house (?)

Micah - Telling her mean stuff
Bekah - Hitting you
Jaela - lying
Quin - we do stuff we not supposed to do like riding bikes and we get killed.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?

2010 - by saying funny things

Jaela & Micah- By tickling, by saying funny things on the phone
Quin - When we pass gas

Micah - Saying funny stuff
Jaela - Doing funny stuff
Bekah - doing our chores and being funny and pooting everywhere

5. What was your mom like as a child?

2010- acting cute

a baby doll (Micah) Short with blonde hair (Jaela)

Jaela - calm and not wild
Micah - you were young and brave
Quin - you had a playhouse and you were so small and you lived there with your family and did a polka dance and did the hokey pokey
Bekah - Playing the playground and jumped and chase your head

6. How old is your mom?

2010 - 63

Jaela - 24
Quin - 47
Micah - 18

Micah - 27
Quin - 27 and 38
Bekah - 7
Jaela - 29

7. How tall is your mom?

2010 - probably like 42

Jaela - 5 foot 6
Micah - Raises hand in the air and says about this tall
Quin - an inch and a half

Bekah - big
Quin - 5 inches long
Jaela - I don't know
Micah - Raises hand in the air and says, "You are about this tall"

8. What is her favorite thing to do?

2010 - doing chores (Micah)

Quin - Read Books
Micah - picking flowers
Jaela - spank kids and cook

Quin - tickling me and liking me and hugging me and chasing me
Jaela - go out on girls night
Micah - doing handstands

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?

2010 - watch tv

play on the computer - Jaela and Micah
go in the kitchen and make stuff - Quin

Micah - look for me
Quin - You run to me and say, Honey! you are found!
Jaela - Play with daddy

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

2010 - spankings (Laquinthia)

Micah - playing Drums
Jaela and Quin - a fashion model

Quin - having a coffee stand
Micah - doing a droople dropple droople dropple split
Jaela - singing

11. What is your mom really good at?

2010 - doing chores (Micah)

2011 -
Quin - games
Micah - cooking and picking roses
Jaela - braiding

Micah - running and doing cartwheeles, flips and walking on my head
Quin - play a singing song and being my best friend and singing
Jaela - sewing

12. What is your mom not very good at?

2010 -putting her leg on the back of her head

Jaela - "I am not going to answer that" (smart girl this one!)
Micah - picking up heavy stuff
Quin - monopoly

Jaela - I don't know, you are good at everything
Micah - flying
Quin - walking

13. What does your mom do for her job?

2010 - do chores (evidently this has really stuck with Micah)

Quin - Clean up the kitchen
Jaela - tells us to do chores
Micah - "Mommy doesn't have a job, but I will tell you what her job is, cleaning up the kitchen, cleaning up the bathroom...."

Micah - Sew pajama eaters and clothes for people
Quin - serve us delightful food
Jaela - Sew and cook a bunch of things

14. What is your mom's favorite food?

2010 - pizza, apples, vanilla (??????)

Jaela - Eggrolls
Quin - Chicken pop soup (???????)
Micah - Pizza with drinking soda

Quin - Duck food (??????)
Jaela - Asahi
Micah - Rice, beans and sushi

15. What makes you proud of your mom?

2010 - she gives you nice things when your sick, like letting you sit in her bed and watch tv

Quin - Making soup
Micah - When she gives me toys
Jaela - when she lets me do whatever I want to do, like go bowling.

Quin - she feeds me, serves me and gives me lots and lots of hugs
Micah - You say kind words and mean words
Jaela - Everything except for butt whoopin's

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?

2010 - Cinderella

Micah - a princess
Jaela - Sandy Cheeks off of Spongebob
Quin - Someone off of Emporer's new groove

Quin - Barbie or the Flintstones
Micah - Rapunzel when her hair is cut
Jaela - Mindy the mermaid from Spongebob

17. What do you and your mom do together?

2010 - laugh and play video games

Jaela - tell daddy to stop passing gas in the house (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)
Micah - go shopping
Quin - Pick up

Rebekah - I can't remember
Quin - She gets out of land when she is a mermaid and she pitches me in the water
Jaela - play
Micah - we go outside

18. How are you and your mom the same?

2010 - we look alike with the same smile and face (????!!) Jaela goes on to say we have the same roundness.

Jaela - we like doing some of the same stuff
Micah - By loving and picking flowers
Quin - By picking flowers and peaches

Jaela - we get mad easy
Micah - We love each other
Quin - we love each other
Bekah - We wear glasses and fly (??)

19. How are you and your mom different?

2010- we play on barbie dot com and you play on facebook

Micah - I don't know
Quin - I don't know
Jaela - I like playing in make up and mom doesn't

Quin - we are brown and you are white
Jaela - I like to cook more and you don't
Bekah - yellow and purple, we are rainbows

20. How do you know your mom loves you?

2010 - Because she takes care of me

Jaela - by what she does
Micah - by hugging
Quin - I don't know (the land before time was on and clearly not a good time to ask her questions)

Quin - because we swim together
Jaela - you let me breathe your air (HAHAHAHAHA *whistling* Don't know where she heard that from!)
Bekah - bigger and rainbows

21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?

2010 - asahi

Jaela - Khols
Quin - Asahi
Micah - Walmart
Danny - Kroger

All of them: Asahi

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

For Those Who Want to Die Happy

This is probably the most fattening but tastiest chicken soup in the world.  I have looked high and low so I could tell you where the basic recipe came from, but I could not find the source.  This is my own take on it anyway!
Don't eat this if you are on a diet, watching your cholesterol, or just don't want to die happy.

Go buy this stuff

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

2 chicken breasts, boiled, deskined, deboned, and shredded.  Reserve broth.
4 to 6 cups of reserved chicken broth
1 box of long grain and wild rice with seasoning packet
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 pint of heavy cream
4 ounces of cream cheese

Bring 4 cups of broth and chicken to a boil.  Add rice and seasoning packet.  Simmer until rice is mostly tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add cream of chicken soup.  Stir until soup is mixed thoroughly.  Continue simmering until rice is fully cooked.  Add cream cheese, stir until it is mixed into the soup.  Add the heavy cream.  Bring back to a simmer.  If the soup is too thick, add more broth.

You can add shredded or diced carrots to this as well. It is very, very tasty.
Serve with cresent rolls, yeast biscuits, or crackers.

Or serve in a Panera bread bowl...

To freeze this soup, cook the chicken, chicken noodle soup, and rice together until the rice is about halfway done.  Freeze the soup base at this point.  Then to prepare, simply thaw and continue cooking per the regular instructions.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Painting Tips by Jessica - Master of the Roller (that may be a slight exaggeration)

Last year I painted the kitchen and the hallway and a portion of the livingroom. I have learned a few things that I felt like I should pass on to you.

Painting... Instant, cheap way to redecorate!
1. The amount of paint you get on your clothes will be directly influenced by how hard you try to not get paint on your clothes. I have found the harder you try, the more you will end up wearing.

2. Do not put screws from light switch plates down "in the general area" of where you removed them. Especially if the furniture is going to be pushed into the center of the room. The general area will move to a different part of the room.

3. Do not count on the dog being uninterested in the paint. It will suddenly become the most appetizing scent on the planet and he will not rest until he figures out what it is, how to sniff it, and how to help spread it around.

4. Do not think that it is ok to get to the paint that the dog has spread around "in a quick second". Wet wash cloth - NOW is not too soon.

5. Normally climbing a short ladder (ok step stool) doesn't bother me. When you add an open gallon of paint, a roller and a brush, it suddenly becomes the most rickety peice of furniture you own.

6. Your hands are not as steady as you think. That blue painter's tape that seemed like an extra expense and step? It is, but a necessary expense and step.

7. Put a note on your front door letting people know that you are painting and it will take some extra time to answer the door. Someone will knock on the door at the most inopportune time, causing the dogs to bark like mad and tear through the kitchen in a desperate attempt to let the person at the door know you are all at home. The person will assume you live in the pound and will leave, unless they are Jehovah's Witnesses (no offense to all you JW's, but you are a persistent bunch.)

8. Don't let the kids help. I know it sounds like a cute, "fun mom" type of idea, but trying to scrape off paint from the bodies of small children and the dogs is not cute or fun. They will also manage to get paint on the $20 shirt you just bought them from Justice the week before, despite the fact that you told them to change clothes.
You think this is what it will look like... Oh no...
It will be this instead... (not my house, btw)
9. Put your hair back in a pony tail. Think about the old schoolhouse days when naughty little boys dipped pigtails of innocent little girls into the inkwells.... Well imagine that with the whole bottom left side of your hair.....
10. If all else fails, go out of town with the kids, leave the paint and the supplies out and let your husband stay behind and paint.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Yes, I Did Sell My Hair!

Most homeschooling mama's I know are always on the lookout for money making ideas. I have yet to stumble upon a get rich quick scheme that actually works, and have found that it takes, well, work to make money. Dave Ramsey keeps saying that work is a surefire money maker, but there is that part of me that wishes a money tree would sprout up in the back yard, behind my privacy fence. (I am *that* selfish, that I would not share with my neighbors. Good for you and may you earn extra God points if you do, that is if you believe you are on a point system...)

Anyway, last year I had really, really long hair. I decided I was going to get it all cut off. I left the house one morning to get groceries and when I pulled into the Kroger parking lot, the hair salon in the shopping center started calling my name. I decided that I had better do the hair thing first just in case my husband got tired of "babysitting" something happened and needed to go back home. It did by the way. Midway through my cut my husband called and said he got a call and needed to go to work.

I waltzed into the salon and greeted the hair stylist, Amber, who was going to take me from frumpy mom to fab mom. I sat in her chair and she asked what I wanted done. I picked up a book, flipped through it, and pointed. She gasped a little. I asked, "Are you scared?" She replied, "Nahh, I ain't scared if you ain't!" A side note - I wasn't scared when she said "ain't" because that is a real word in Tennessee.

She proceeded to wet my hair and just before making the first cut, I said, "I need you to put this in two pony tails, I am going to sell it." She complied and asked, "Is there a market for human hair?" (I wanted to say, "For real? Are you asking me this for real?") I told her there was and that I was going to put mine on ebay.

One $25 haircut and one ebay listing later, I was $30 richer. I sold those two ponytails for $55. WOOT!

This is the after shot, by the way.  I looked for a before shot, but could not find one.  It is hard to have pictures of yourself if you are always the one working the camera!

The key to making extra cash is to be creative. A lot of weird things will sell on ebay. Toast with Mary on it, the cane that had the ghost, or a chance to name someone's new baby. I do not recommend that last one, however.  It is a bit uhm, uncouth.

Good luck with whatever venture you decide!
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday Sewing Projects

I have been sewing some summer outfits for the girls. These are far from perfect but I am happy with them!

The fabric came pre-smocked so I just added some straps and made some long shorts. I will probably get her an undershirt as well.

The funny line you see below the belt is the basting stitch which is now gone. I am looking forward to seeing her with the matching Minnie headbands my cousin made for our last Disney trip!
What about you? Do you sew? I would love to see some of your projects!

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Friday, February 17, 2012

If You Give a Mom a Few Minutes

If you give a mom a few minutes...

If you give mom a few minutes of peace and quiet, she will probably get a cup of coffee.
While she is drinking her coffee, she will probably pick up her laptop and check her email.
She will be looking through her email until she reads one reminding her that she needs a dinner plan.
She will then start doing recipe searches based on the few ingredients one generally has after refusing to go grocery shopping for several weeks.
While searching for recipes, she will realize all the meat in the house is frozen, thereby leading her brain down the path of 'freezer cooking.'
So, in an effort to find a complete plan, she will start googling such terms as; once a month cooking, bulk cooking, and freezer cooking. 
She will find a plan and decide to print it all out.
While printing, the printer will run out of paper, so the mom goes to the usual spot the paper is kept.
She will find the paper missing.  While silently berating her organizational skills, she will go purge every last stack of paper and magazines in the desk.
When she finally decides that she is out of printer paper, and is having a discussion with herself about whether or not the plan can be printed on construction paper, her 11 year old artist will finally tell her what she did with the paper and the current location of what is left of it.
She will reload the paper in the printer.
After the printing is completed, she will take the grocery lists and look through all the cabinets, refrigerator, freezers, and the pantry and mark off the ingredients she already has.
While doing so, the children will think she is in the kitchen for the sole purpose of making them a snack.  The mom will see that it is 11:30 in the afternoon and tell all the children that lunch is on the way. 
The two year old will misinterpret this to mean that pizza will be delivered shortly, and announce with glee and sheer delight that she "loves pidda!"
The mom will notice the look of dismay the two year old gives the peanut butter sandwich. Which will remind the mom that grocery shopping does have to occur somewhere in the near future. 
The mom will tell the dad that she is going to the supermarket and leaving all the children with him.
Then she drives to the nearest Starbucks, and has a cup of coffee.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

F-22 Raptor and other Jet Resources

Picture Credit and More about the F-22 Raptor

This one is for the guys, well, actually my girls quite enjoyed it too!

My oldest, younger brother is in the USAF. He is quite the hit around here as he often sends us nifty little school projects such as this one about carnivorous plants. This time it was a cardboard template and a completed cardboard F-22 Raptor!
Visit Career Uncle's Site for more about the F-22!

Now this one was made with his own template, but there are templates like this one on the internet. Ok, so maybe these take a little more than safety scissors and Elmer's Glue, but there are lots of fun ways to learn about jets. He also sent us some lapbooking materials that we are looking forward to using!

The National Museum of the Airforce Virtual Tour

USAF Lapbook

The History of the F-22 Raptor
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Monday, February 6, 2012

Homeschool Spaces Submissions

I love looking at homeschool spaces! I would like to do a series featuring your homeschool space. It doesn't have to be pretty either! We make the best of the spaces we have and I would like to encourage those in all housing situations. If you are willing to share your homeschooling space (living room, dining table, back yard, dedicated rooms, it doesn't matter) email me (anna@moldingmindshomeschool.com) a picture of your space and a little something about how you make it work for you and I will feature you on my blog! If you have a blog you are also welcome to send me your link and I will link back to it. Looking forward to seeing some great spaces!

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Lapbook FAQ

Free Octopus Lapbook Resources
I L.O.V.E lapbooks. Really, I do. Lapbooks are so much fun and offer the perfect break from our regular curriculum. Since I have been getting questions on my facebook page about lapbooking, here is a quick FAQ for you! Feel free to ask a question and I will add the answer!

1. What is a lapbook? A lapbook is a a collection of projects that is glued into a file folder or onto cardstock and put into a notebook. Lapbooks range from just one file folder to several and depending on the age range for the lapbook may include coloring sheets, graphs, timelines, diagrams and copy work. They are may include a variety of subjects including math, science, reading, vocabulary, history, or even cooking, but are usually only about one topic (ie trains, space, musical composers).

2. What age range are lapbooks appropriate for? There are lapbooks for just about every age group from preschool up through highschool. Some lapbooks come with the ability to adjust it to multiple age levels.

3. How do the projects in a lapbook work? First you will need to purchase and print out your lapbook. You will also need to see what materials are required and gather them. Some lapbooks call for many extra materials, but all lapbooks will need at least one file folder, scissors and glue. You will probably want to print your lapbook on cardstock as thin paper can curl when glued. However, this is not required. A well put together lapbook such as the ones by Hands of a Child, will have very specific teacher guides that tell you exactly what you need to do for each project as well as how to assemble the lapbook. Usually you start by reading a book or website on your theme and then doing one or two activities per day relating to it. Each day you will be given a new activity to complete. As activities are completed your child cut and pastes them into the file folder.

4. Are lapbooks supplemental or can they be used as a full curriculum? The answer to this is yes. Lapbooks can either be used as a supplement to your current curriculum, such as this one for Apologia, or as your curriculum itself, such as these from Hands of a Child. There are even lapbooks which meet state standards. Once you decide what you are looking for you can usually tell by the previews and descriptions if a lapbook meets your goals. Lapbooks are also just a great way to break and have some fun while still learning!

5. Are lapbooks expensive? This depends on what you are looking for. There are plenty of free lapbooks like the ones found here. There are also lapbooks that go all the way up into the $20 range. Most lapbooks fall in the $5-$15 range. Sites such as Hands of a Child and Currclick have lapbooks in all price ranges and the great thing is that they can be used multiple times!

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Types of Homeschooling: DVD, Computer Based, and Online Based Learning

Welcome to the second post in my series of homeschooling methods. Today's method is the DVD, computer based, and online methods.

DVD courses are often a second choice to new homeschooling parents. Also available in this method are online courses through sites like http://www.k12.com/ which is an online version of public school. Christian based programs are also available through site such as Sonlight and Abeka which offer all three methods.

Pros: DVD, computer based and online classes can give teacher help where a parent may feel insecure. I personally struggled with teaching one of my daughters math so we opted for a semester of computer based math with Teaching Textbooks. It can also be a great help to parents who work and need their children to be able to do school while they are not available. Most of the time all three of these methods are customizable and allow you to pick and choose which classes you want to use. Again this could be a great way for a beginning homeschool parent to gain confidence without being overwhelmed. Some programs even offer the option to be able to ask teachers questions via chats or emails. Another potential benefit of online classes is the ability for your child to work with other children on tasks as well as freeing you up with one child while you work with another.

Cons: I have been told that sometimes the DVD's are boring. Very boring. There are also some online schools that do not let you customize and basically what you end up doing is public school at home, deadlines and homework included. Another thing to think about is that once you pay a semesters worth of tuition you are out that money even if you don't finish the courses. All three of these methods can be very expensive, but some sites like K12 are actually free. The trade is that you have no say over what your child learns since it follows the public school curriculum. As a parent it may be difficult to answer questions unless you are watching the course with your child.

Let me know if you use this method and what you like and/or dislike about it!

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