Sunday, January 7, 2018

January 2018 Meal Plan

I realize that we're already a week into January, but we've been so busy having fun in the snow that I never got around to posting our menu for this month. I used to post my menu often, whether it was a weekly menu or a monthly one, and I really like how it held me accountable to make sure I prepared what was scheduled (rather than being lazy and handing PB&J's to everybody). With it being a new year, now is as good of a time as any to start posting it again.

By having a menu, I'm also able to better stick to a grocery list and budget. There is no impulse buying of extras that I might be able to use for a meal because it has already been decided. 

Note: You can click on the menu to enlarge it.

I kept it simple with only lunch and dinner, as I am taking baby steps back into the blogging world. The gray shaded area shows our vacation from homeschooling, with lunch being "whatever we have or I feel like preparing". When school is in session, I do try to have a nutritious lunch for the children, similar to what I had growing up (I think I'm one of the few people who actually loved school lunch). The children each have a special divided lunch plate for their "school lunch". It's always been exciting for them.

If you are wondering about the spelling of some of the menu items (turk'y, chik'n, etc.), we are vegan and avoid eating any animal products.  Our "meat" products are made from vegetable protein (I like brands like Gardein, Tofurky, and Boca) and the "cheese" is either Daiya or Follow Your Heart brands.

So there you have it!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year!

It always feels good to start with a clean slate each new year. I am trying to do better by living one day at a time, but I was still able to make a few goals that will hopefully make life a little easier.

Scriptures as History

This year, we are reading the scriptures from the beginning as a family. When I was thinking of this goal, I decided to overhaul our homeschool history curriculum. We will now be incorporating the scriptures as part of our history studies. We will still be using Story of the World, but out of sequence. We started with Genesis 1 last night, so I'd say we're off to a good start.

Books, Books, Books

I met my goal of reading 100 books in 2017 and have made the same goal for 2018. As part of my reading, I'll be including books pertaining to the topics we're studying in history. I'm going to keep it light and fun by sticking with historical fiction books rather than non-fiction. I do most of my reading at night while in bed and don't want to have to think too hard about what I'm reading. We'll also be doing more read-alouds this year. The children enjoy them but it's not always easy to find the time during the day when everyone is willing to play quietly and listen.

What's for Dinner?

I need to get back to planning our menu. January is a difficult time to menu plan because half way through the month, my husband will no longer be joining us for dinner. However, I am making the effort and will do my best to follow through with the plan.

Those are my starter goals for 2018. I've always been a work in progress, so I will be adding more goals as the year moves forward.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Bridget's Baptism {November 4, 2017}

Yesterday was an incredibly important and special day for our family. Our daughter Bridget made the decision to be baptized. Everything went smoothly and it turned out to be a great day, or as Bridget said, "the best day ever!!".

There was a lot of prep work ahead of her special day. Not things that had to be done, but more things I wanted to be done. Over the past couple of weeks, I've taken Bridget out to get her picture taken. Our first location, or her "practice photo shoot" was out in the country at my parents farm and our old family church. Since I was satisfied with the pictures I got there, the following week we made the trip to the Raleigh temple. Bridget loves it there and picked it as her special spot for baptism pictures. They're closing at the end of the year for renovations so we are fortunate to have made it just in time.

A family picture with Bridget pre-baptism. She's all ready in her white jumper.

My husband, being a worthy priesthood holder, was able to perform the baptism. It was a special moment for the both of them. On the left, pre-baptism. On the right is just after getting into the font but before the baptism prayer. I've always loved pictures of children in the waters of baptism so I was sure to get one of Bridget. Daddy had to pry her fingers off of her nose for the picture, as she went in there prepared. She was extremely nervous because she's never been a fan of getting her face wet and certainly didn't want any water getting in her nose.


Just after her baptism, I took her in to change clothes and she was so excited. She said it was so fun and she wanted to do it again (I told her that she needs to only be baptized for herself once but when she turns 12 and can do it again for others). Since it was just her and I alone after her baptism, she was very talkative and kept saying it was the best day ever and how happy she was. 

I made the program for her baptism because I wanted to personalize it with some of the pictures we took at the temple. I also included other special pictures from throughout her life. She also wanted there to be pink, so I added pink flowers. 

(Front and back covers)

I wanted the program to be just what Bridget wanted, so she selected the songs, speakers, those giving prayers, etc. Her 5 year old brother George gave the opening prayer, which he was nervous about and kept very simple, but he did love having that special part in her program (he also handed out programs to those attending). For the talk on baptism, Bridget chose her eldest cousin Zoe, who recently turned 12. She did a fantastic job on the talk. Bridget chose her Sunday School teacher to give the talk on the Holy Ghost. She adores her teacher and we were so pleased she was able to be there. Finally, Bridget's cousin Stella gave the closing prayer. 

After the baptism program, we had refreshments of chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, mini chocolate cupcakes with white frosting and rainbow sprinkles at Bridget's request because of the song "When I Am Baptized". We also had sun-dried tomato and basil Wheat Thins, which are Bridget's favorite, strawberries and grapes, and mango peach Kool-Aid. It was an entire table of her favorite treats.  

After everyone left and we cleaned up, we took family pictures outside. 


After the baptism, our out-of-towners joined us at our house for pizza and cousin time. They all had a great time. It was a long and exhausting day for all of us, but a memorable one. To top it off, we all got an extra hour of sleep with the time change. It worked out perfectly. 

We are so proud of Bridget for making this decision in her life and we know it will be the first of many great ones. She is a loving and sweet spirit and we're grateful that she's ours.  

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Week in Review {Week 5}

The week got off to a strange start because of the solar eclipse. We did schoolwork for only a couple of hours in the morning and then took the rest of the day off. Daddy took half the day off from work so that he could take part in the excitement. We each had a pair of protective eclipse glasses but still kept the children from looking up at the sun too often. We allowed them a quick 5-second look every few minutes as the moon slowly moved over the sun.

I was able to take a few pictures, safely, by putting my glasses over my camera lens. The first picture was taken at about 2 p.m. EST and the second picture was taken at 2:47 p.m. EST, when the eclipse was at it's peak for our area. 

After the solar eclipse, we finished our celebration with an eclipse cake, which was a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate fudge frosting.

Third Grade

Bridget is still doing well in math and wants to move forward at a faster pace. I'm still trying to find a happy balance with the extra math work and trying to get her to finish her other subjects. Bridget is also working on reading more. She finds the oddest times and places to open her book and read. Here she is right after we came home from the grocery store and were still putting things away. She grabbed her book and began reading in front of the pantry. She was in the way, but I suppose I should be happy she picked up a book. 


George is also a math freak right now. It's all he wants to do. The first few math lessons he completed involved simply counting the objects and circling the correct number. This week, he had to write the number. This is not George's area of strength so it took a little extra time, but he did not complain at all. He was excited to be learning how to write his numbers. I'm hopeful that the brick wall he's put up with learning to read and write has begun to crumble. Bridget was a big help with George this week. When George wanted to continue his school work but I had to begin preparing lunch, I left Bridget in charge. Whenever George needed help, Bridget put her work down and went over to help him by reading the instructions to him and making sure he was writing the correct numbers. I've been calling her my "teaching assistant".

In other subjects, George learned about Pocahontas this week. I'm really enjoying his study of American history. He's also still enjoying handwriting.


I kept Liam happy and busy. That counts, right?

Final Note

Next week will begin our sixth week of school, and then we're off for a week!!! We're all very excited.

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