Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year’s Eve…





Let the partying begin!!!

No really… Ok, so we aren’t partying. I was directed to this really cool blog post by a friend.. and I think we will try their idea next year. (Gonna have to wait til next year for that!)

So what are we doing??

We are going to a graduation in the earlier evening. Yup, you heard that right. A friend of ours daughter is graduating (she is homeschooled). We are super excited to go, since this will be a total inspiration for me and hopefully the kids!

Then we are going to go home… I’m thinking a movie, games, and some snacks.. Try to make it til midnight. Sadly, its been a couple years since I have.

As a special treat, I want to include a…

 Mini Bucket list for 2012!

  • Go on a mini vacation (no hubby, no kids)
  • Go on a nice hike
  • Get a new SLR Camera
  • Take LOTS of Photo’s
  • Enter more pictures in the Fair & try to place
  • Finish Scrapbooking 2010 (Don’t have a heart attack, it will be all digital)
  • Go on a Family Vacation to Boston and take in all the sights
  • Go Roller Skating again
  • Keep in touch with my friends better (I have been really bad at this lately)
  • Have more fun… and spend more time as a family!
  • Have another successful year of Homeschooling.

Would love to hear some of the things you want to do in 2012!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A year in review…





I was thinking since we are really close to ringing in the New Year. We would share a few photo collage’s from the year! Enjoy!!!










Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?

I’m curious, cause I don’t anymore.. I mean, I always started with the best of intentions, but by the end of February I had forgotten, or given up on them.

Now I just come up with “What I would like to see in ---“

So here is….

What I would like to see in ~2012~ !

  • Do more exercise
  • Stress Less
  • Laugh more
  • Learn to let the little things go
  • Keep enjoying my children
  • Strengthen my friendships
  • Take more photo’s (can you imagine?)

Share your resolutions, or hopes for 2012, I’d love to hear!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thankful Thursday








Today I am thankful for…

The past year… although it has not always been easy. I’ve been healthy, my family has been healthy, and we are all safe. We have food, a house, and my hubby has a job. So I am thankful for a pretty good year. Here is to another great year in 2012!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge:





1. Share something you loved about your Christmas Day.

It was relaxing and we played lots of games.. easy meal and no clean up! Smile 

2. You get to put five items in a time capsule to be opened in 100 years, what items would you choose and why?

I’m going with items I think would be cool, but may or may not own.

  • A Tablet of some sort: downloaded with a few e-books, and movies, maybe a couple apps (games)
  • A cell phone: cause we all know they are only going to keep getting more advanced. I mean my kids would die if the saw the phones we used to have “back in the day”
  • Clothes: I mean look at how Bell bottoms came back. Do you think that things that are popular now will be in 100 yrs?
  • Scrapbook: So people could see what life was like, and how our ancestors looked.
  • Pens & Pencils: cause I’m pretty sure those will become things of the past sooner rather than later.

3. What do you like on a cracker?

Depends on the type of cracker… Saltines or Ritz, I love peanut butter on them. Not really a big cheese fan on them, maybe some pepperoni on a Ritz.

4. Do you make resolutions at the start of a new year?

No, cause lets face it.. You start the year with this lists of Do’s and Don’ts your bound to screw that up!

How'd that work out for you this past year?

Great cause I didn’t have any expectations. However, I do have a list of  “I would like to see happen’s”

5. What's a song or song lyric you'll associate with 2011?

Don’t really have one.. Hmm I don’t really think about that I guess.

6. How will you ring in the new year?

We are going to start the evening off by attending a Homeschool Graduation of a friends.. Then we will come home to snuggle in, watch a movie maybe, eat a few snacks, play a couple games, and pass out!

7. What is something you look forward to in 2012?

New and better things… more organization, and improved friendships! You?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Can you believe it will be 2012 in 3 days!!! HOLY MOLY!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Redbox Review:








Do you watch a lot of movies?? Our family loves to watch movies. The problem? Well, it costs anywhere from $50-$100 for our family to go to the movies at the Theater…the higher end if we get popcorn, candy and a soda. Nuts! Therefore, meaning that we don’t go often.

Luckily we are back in our hometown, so we are lucky to have two good theaters about 20 mins from us, and they aren’t as bad with a Matinee.

Back on track… that still is a very rare thing we do. So for us to watch a movie we use Redbox. Most of the video stores in our have closed. Not that we rented from them much, since the cost went up drastically. At the end it was like $5 a movie per night. That is CRAZY!

We now love the abilty to go and rent a movie from the Redbox. We have one at the local grocery store here in town. Another great feature that we LOVE is that you can return the movies to any Redbox location. Which means if I’m out and about it doesn’t have to go to that particular box, or if I don’t need to go anywhere I can just drop it off at the local one.

They have a wide selection of new and older movies, usually. They have regular and Blu-ray movies, as well as video games for all the newest systems.



The other great thing about Redbox is that you can rent a movie for $1 per night, as long as you return your movie by 9pm the next day. Which means a cheap movie night for us. As we usually have to rent 2 movies, one for us, and one for the kids.

They also have a program where you sign up for text messages on your mobile phone and they will send you a code every month for a free movie. Or sometimes they have promotions where you can get anywhere from .25 cents to $1 off your movie.

You can find Redbox on Facebook and Twitter.

Go enjoy a movie tonight!

*I received a free nights rental in exchange for this review through Smiley 360.





Hope your Christmas was great! Ours was really nice.. we enjoyed it. It was a relaxing day…  I have to tell you on days like Christmas it really makes me happy that my kids are a bit different than the normal child. They don’t usually wake us up.. in fact, most years we have to wake them up. Other than little monkey not being able to sleep very well, this year was not any different.

We woke the kids up at 7:30 am.. and then proceeded to check out our tree, and open presents. Smile 







Then we had breakfast, and skyped with grandparents and a best friend in Florida. (Gotta love Skype!) I really love that it helps to keep us close, and a part of each others lives.

After that we let the kids play with some of their new toys.. and check out their stuff.



Then we played a few games, starting with Dragon Strike, then Apples to Apples, and last but not least Target Scrabble.





Lunch was our simple Ham Italians.. we don’t like to have to slave in the kitchen all day.. They were yummy, plus we had chex mix, and chips and dip.


After that we decided to put a puzzle together. Not just any puzzle mind you… a 750 piece puzzle (my mom got us) with 101 alligators on it, and very bright colors. This puzzle was very challenging. We worked on it for a few hours, and then decided to head to bed.


We started back on it the next morning, and it took us another 3 to 4 hours to finish, but we did it!!! Smile YAY!


Great Christmas! Hope the same is true for your family.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday





Did everyone have a great Christmas?? We sure did..  The kids had a wonderful day. Hope everyone else did too. Here is out menu plan for this week.


 Ham Italians, Veggie Platter, chips and dip


French Toast, Sausage, and Bacon


Stuffed Shells, Salad, and Garlic Bread


Left overs


Cracker Chicken, mashed potatoes, and a veggie




Pot Roast, onion potatoes, and carrots


Simple Woman’s Daybook







December 26, 2011

Outside my window... It was very windy out today.. and chilly. Brr! Smile 

I am thinking...  Holy Moly how can Christmas be over, and it almost be 2012!!!

I am thankful for...  A wonderful Christmas with my family!

From the learning rooms... We had a great first week back from our break. Gonna be a bit hard this time, we have a few more subjects, and the kids are a bit more challenged, but they are doing well. To see more check out our School blog.

From the kitchen...  One today’s menu is French Toast, sausage and bacon! YUM!

I am wearing...  My Christmas Pj’s (being lazy today)

I am creating...  A more organized space

I am going... crazy!!

I am reading...  Debbie Macomber, finishing up the Cedar Cove Series.

I am hoping... To reorganize my school room this week. (Wish me luck)

I am hearing...  A movie playing as I’m typing, and the heater running. Smile

Around the house...  I have laundry, dishes, and so much more.

One of my favorite things...  playing games, and putting puzzles today with the kiddo’s.

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Library, school, some cleaning, and that is about it this week. You??

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

My crazy little monkey in her new Pj’s!! Smile 


Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Homeschool Mothers Journal









In my life this week…   We were busy with Christmas preparations. Shopping, sewing, baking and such…

In our homeschool this week…  We did really good and got all of our first week done. Stayed on track for the week despite having Christmas looming over our head. Smile 

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…  Enjoy your time with your children because it will be gone quickly!

I am inspired by…  Some great articles I read in a recent Homeschool magazine.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…  We are not really going anywhere this week. It’s a week of no activities (school vacations and such)… We are going to go to a graduation party on New Year’s Eve.. (we are super excited to attend it, and to see a fellow Homeschooler graduate)

My favorite thing this week was…  spending some fun family time together, and making pj pants for all my kids and hubby!

What’s working/not working for us…  Taking 8 week rotations is SO working for us this year. I’m super excited that things are going good for us!

Questions/thoughts I have… Anyone else getting ready for their next school year, and making lists of curriculum for next year?

Things I’m working on…  Blog posts.. I’m a bit behind again. Ugh!

I’m reading…  Debbie Macomber books… Still finishing the Cedar Cove Series.

I’m cooking…  We had Ham Italians for dinner. YUM!

I’m grateful for…  An amazing family, even as crazy as it gets around here!

A photo, video, link, or quote to share… 

At home, too, they are in their mother's care. She can keep them from learning immoral things from other children. – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, December 23, 2011

Little Monkey’s Daisy Christmas Party




So you know the only downfall to running a troop and having a daughter in both yours and another troop? That you can’t be in two places at once. My brownie troop went to the Animal Shelter to volunteer on the same day as Little Monkey’s Christmas/awards party. Therefore, daddy had to fill in for me. (which just isn’t the same, I hate missing these things)




They went around town and sang Christmas Carols to the people at the Town Office, and Post Office. Then they had some goodies, and got some awards, and badges they had been working on over the last few months.





Only bad thing? Her smock is completely full in the back, so I’m going to have to figure out another spot to put them.

Monkey Man earns…



his Weeblo badge.. I’m not as involved anymore, as hubby has taken over as being his Den Leader. Which is awesome, cause it gets them more time together.


So watching him achieve his things are great! I love to see how proud he is of himself. Its priceless. Here he is getting his Weeblo Badge.


The next day they had a party for wearing their uniforms to every meeting! Plus they made gingerbread houses, to celebrate Christmas.



Next up is Blue and Gold! Then Pinewood Derby.. Oh my! Guess we better start figuring out what he is going to make for a car this year.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday










Today I am thankful for….. Simple things to make people happy. 

In the society of everyone needing something “bigger” or to keep up with the “Jones”… I’m trying really hard to teach my kids to be thankful for what they have, or get. Doesn’t need to be extravagant or big… just needs to be from the heart.

So this year, to help pull off one of my traditions. We always get new Christmas Pj’s on Christmas Eve. This year however, I just could not afford to pay 50 plus dollars on Pj’s… so I decided to be brave and make them!

After finishing them up last night, I had to have them try them on, as much as I wanted them to be a surprise, because I needed to hem them to the right length. I was every happy when they were super excited to put them on.

That brings me back to the its nice to have people thankful for the little things.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge







1. Are you cooking Christmas dinner?

No, my mom and I have this new tradition.. We got tired of being stuck in the kitchen all day long cooking, and then having clean up for the rest of the day.. SO we now do finger foods for Christmas. Like a veggie platter, pickles, olives, fruit, and then we do Ham Italians. No worries we do a big dinner on Thanksgiving. Smile 

How many will be round your table this year?  We usually only have 8 of us here on Christmas, sometimes 10.

What are we having?  For breakfast, we will be having a Breakfast Pizza, and cinnamon rolls, and then the rest of the day, we will have veggies, fruit, and Ham Italians. YUM!

2. What is one must-have Christmas cookie in your house?

We don’t really have a must have Christmas Cookie. We sometimes make Sugar & Gingerbread cookies for decorating.

Other than that, we make other goodies. Smile 

3. Santa likes a glass of milk with his cookies. Do you?

No, I detest milk!! YUCK!

What kind of milk is on tap at your house-skim? almond? soy? full fat (Gasp!)  We have whole milk in the house for my middle monkey and Hubby..(he is picky) and then my Monkey Man & Little Monkey is on Lactaid…

4. Time magazine recently named their 'Person of the Year' for 2011. This is the person the editors believe had the greatest impact, for better or worse, in the past year. This year they chose 'The Protester'. Your thoughts? Who would you name Person of the Year for 2011?

Don’t really have any thoughts on this … Not a bit follower of all these clebs, and why should they get named person of the year?? Did they do something big, heroic, or amazing?? Just my thoughts…

5. December 21st is National Flashlight Day... when was the last time you needed a flashlight and did you know right where to find one?

Yes, I have a flashlight right in my car, my purse, and in a few drawers. We actually use on a lot, cause we need one at night when we check the chicken coop after 4pm, darn daylight going away so early!!! Smile 

6. candy canes...yum or yuck?  Have to be in the right mood for one.. I’m more partial to the flavored ones though.

7. What Christmas carol lyric means the most to you?

Don’t really have one  that means the most to me..  I am not a huge Christmas Carol person.

8. Insert your own random thought here.  Wow only 4 more days til Christmas…. and I’m still not down sewing, cooking, wrapping, or anything!! AHHHH!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

TOS Review: Vintage Remedies








When the opportunity arose to review this book.. I’m not going to lie, I jumped at it. Why you ask?? Well, because for years, my mom used to tell me how much people didn’t eat right, or weren’t using things that could help them naturally.. But you know until I had kids, I was like.. Ah, whatever! Yup, I’m guilty. Then I had my own kids, and my son struggled with ear infection, after infection. It was nuts, so I started looking into more natural ways to approach it.


We decided to try the Vintage Remedies for Kids book, and see what it had to offer.

Upon receiving it, I flipped through it to see what the lessons entailed. As I looked through it, I was getting really excited. I loved that the lessons where part learning, part question and answer, and part hands on.. A perfect mix in my opinion.

This book covers many different things from How to choose healthy foods, to preparing foods, learning how to take good care of yourself, and creating healthy habits. With lots of hands on activities to go along with the chapter.

Other first lesson was “Why do I eat food?” and after reading it to them and going over some questions, we learned Kitchen basic’s… such as washing your hands, and keeping them clean. Then we made homemade pizzas, and they helped me come up with a menu plan for the following week.

Product Info:

Vintage Remedies for Kids

For Ages: 2-6

Has 202 pages

Price: $25.00

You can buy it right HERE.

Monkey’s thoughts:

It is a really interesting book, and I like that there are new things to try and activities to be done.

My thoughts:

I think this book is really informational, but in a fun way. I love the activities and recipes to try.  I think that it touches on important subjects without the kids finding it to be boring, or useless information.

My kids really enjoyed the first few lessons, and we are going to continue to use this book for the rest of this year, as part of our Health Class. Smile 

The Author Jessie Hawkins did an amazing job!

Here are some of the subjects covered in this book:

  • Why do I eat Food?
  • Natural Candy- Fruit
  • I can grow Food!
  • How to catch a bug
  • Bruises and scrapes
  • Taking care of my world
  • Staying clean
  • Outside of my community

Just to name a few… there are 18 sections to this book.

Vintage Remedies also has these other books to check out:

  • Vintage Remedies for tweens
  • Vintage Remedies for boys
  • Vintage Remedies for girls
  • The kitchen herbal guide
  • Guide to real food

To check out what other Tos Crew Members has to say about Vintage Remedies…

* I received this curriculum in exchange for my honest review, as part of the Tos Crew. All opinions are 100% mine or my monkeys.

Simple Woman’s Daybook











December 19, 2011

Outside my window... It is VERY cold out… Last time I looked like 5 degree’s… BRR!!!


I am thinking...  There is so much that needs to be done today… first on my list is to get my post linked up for a review.

I am thankful for...  Amazing opportunities!

From the learning rooms... We are starting back to school today for the next 8 weeks…. Want to know more, head to our School Blog.

From the kitchen...  Today we are not eating at home, the cub scouts are having a pizza party… so we are going to order a pizza for the girls and I. Smile 

I am wearing...   Lots and lots of clothes!! Jeans, t-shirt, and my 4H sweatshirt… Its cold!!

I am creating...   Nothing today, but lots in the coming days!

I am going...  crazy!

I am reading...  Debbie Macombers next book in the Cedar Cove Series..

I am hoping...  that we can get everything done in the next couple days that has to be done… My sewing skills better thrive!

I am hearing...   My kids fighting already this morning… should prove to be a great day.. NOT!

Around the house...   I have laundry to do, dishes, floors to be cleaned, and so much more! You?

One of my favorite things...  The generosity of others.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  4H, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, visiting a friend, library, Holiday festive cheer!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

My monkey Man getting his awards last night at his Cub Scout Christmas party!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Homeschool Mothers Journal









In my life this week…  We decorated more cookies, hung out with some friends, made some Christmas presents, baked, enjoyed some crazy times together, and picked out a Christmas tree.

In our homeschool this week…  We had the week off again, cause I was waiting for my Toner to arrive for the copier. Then like a mad women went to town printing, and copying everything I needed for the next 8 wks. Phew!!

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…  Be organized… I can’t say enough, how much this helps me, even if it creates a bit more time on my schedule to keep it that way.

I am inspired by…  People who can take things in stride. I sometimes sit in awe, thinking I wish I could be the same.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…  This upcoming week we are going to be going to 4H, Girl Scouts – where Middle Monkey’s troop is volunteering at the Animal Shelter, and Cub Scouts.  Maybe visit a friend in the middle of the week, other than that, I have lots to get done at home.

My favorite thing this week was…  Making the kids Christmas Pj’s with my mom.. we still have a couple more pairs to finish. Smile 

What’s working/not working for us…  Taking our time, and not stressing this year, like I did last year. It has relieved a lot of stress from me.

Questions/thoughts I have…  Do you have any Christmas eve traditions??

Things I’m working on…  Christmas Pj’s, School lessons, and wrapping!

I’m reading…  The next Debbie Macomber book in the Cedar Cove Series… (can’t remember the name at the moment)

I’m cooking…  We are having homemade pizza for dinner. Smile 

I’m grateful for…   Time with my kids… and the smiles they put on my face.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…  As promised a picture of our tree decorated…


Thursday, December 15, 2011

How did you keep warm in the winter….




So here in the North, the cold weather is upon us. As I type this we have a combination of rain/sleet/ and snow coming down. Yuck! It has been so in the teens every morning when I’ve gotten up. BRR!!!

Do you have ways of keeping warm in the winter? Do you like to make anything special for dinner or really cold days?

My kids love to have hot cocoa with mini marshmallows after a long afternoon out sliding, or playing in the snow.

As for special dinners, in the winter we have a lot more soups. Like Corn Chowder, Clam Chowder, Seafood Chowder, and Beef Stew. Speaking of which we are having a yummy beef stew tomorrow for dinner. Can’t wait!

But what about on those really busy days when you don’t have time to throw a soup together, or put it in the crock pot for the day?

Marie Callender’s offers a great alternative when you cant get that fresh hot meal on the table.  They have some amazing pot pies! The best part, if you don’t have time to pot them in the oven for an hour, you can now cook them in the microwave for 9 mins, and they are delish! I make them often for lunch, since I homeschool and we are always looking for a good lunch, that isn’t to much work. I love that they have HUGE chunks of meat in them, (Pretty sure I got one in every bite) and yummy carrots and peas!





You can get one of these delicious pot pie’s at any local grocery store..

  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Turkey Pot Pie
  • Beef Pot Pie
  • Creamy Mushroom Chicken Pot Pie
  • Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pot Pie
  • Honey Roasted Chicken Pot Pie
  • Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie

Wonderful flavors, and so many varieties! More of a chance for everyone to be happy with dinner. They are made with no preservatives, from scratch, and great golden flaky crust and you can pick them up for between $2.10 – $2.99.

Looking for a quick dessert too?? They have Apple, Pumpkin, and Coconut Cream Pie to name a few! Smile 

We got an apple and coconut to use sometime during the busy holiday!

Have you tried Marie Callender’s??

* I was given product in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% mine and my monkeys.


Thankful Thursday









Today I’m thankful for…

Christmas Traditions, I don’t really remember to many things as a child, that we had as specific traditions. I wish, we had more though. The only one I can remember is going to my grandmothers on holidays and we would make up these candy cups.

So for my kids, we have started small traditions that make the day for us. Like we buy a new Christmas book every year to read on Christmas Eve. We try to always get a new pair of Christmas pj’s to open and then wear on Christmas Eve too. Small things like that are what makes you all warm and tingly inside when you think about them. I love that my kids can look forward to, and remember these things as they get older. Smile 

What are your Christmas traditions??