Monday, November 28, 2011

Where I've been...

Allover, it feels like.

No one every said this blog would be written with consistency, right? It is, chaotic, after all.

So the update fate:

I found a job
It's the holiday season
I have three children that keep me extraordinarily busy.

Yup, that about sums it up!

So where does that leave me and this blog? I still love to write here, but I need to find a new routine for writing here, esp while i have a more chaotic work schedule until my class is done (i won't even start for another month, and the course is 6 weeks). Then i should have a bit of a normal, set schedule.

Here's to hoping, right?

I will be back this afternoon with another post or two though, so be prepared!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by SouleMama

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I was to pause, savor and remember.



Links to more moments can be found in the comments section at Souelmama.

Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Menu Planning Monday - October 10th




Monday: Small shell pasta and cheese sauce

Tuesday: Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, carrots

Wednesday: Pasta bake

Thursday: Chicken fajitas

Friday: Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Saturday: Homemade pizza

Sunday: Who knows yet!

Make sure you head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu planning resources! The host blogger is Canadian, well as some of the other blogs that link up. Today is their Thanksgiving, so I know I'm picking up some ideas before Thanksgiving hits the states next month!

Also, make sure to check out my review of the digital scrapbooking software, My Memories, for a chance to win the software yourself while you're visiting my blog! The giveaway ends this Friday!

Friday, October 7, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by SouleMama
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I was to pause, savor and remember.




Links to more moments can be found in the comments section at Souelmama.

While you are here, make sure you check out my giveaway post from yesterday!

Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

MyMemories Suite Review, + $10 off coupon + a giveaway!


CONTEST IS DONE! WINNER IS: Comment #8:Crunchymommy said... Followed the My Memories blog via e-mail.

I was recently given the rare opportunity to review the My Memories Suite 2.0 digital scrapbook software. Given my dismal attempts at scrapbooking previously, and that the vast majority of my photos are now digital, I couldn't say no! But once I got to actually reading about the program, I found out that My Memories Suite can also make greeting cards, calendars, even slideshows. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

click to enlarge

First let me say, that this software is available for both windows, as well as mac users!
I found the software relatively easy to use. So much so, that I was able to make a simple page in less then 10 minutes!
You have a wide range to zoom in and out while working on your pages that makes seeing the whole page, or working in fine details, possible. The left hand side resource gallery is like a mini preview area to look at photos, embellishments, papers, etc, that you may want to use. The right hand side control panel allows you to really tweak items on your page. You can mat photos, add shadows to just about anything, rotate, change the opacity, mirror and flip and more.


What's great is that everything is organized by theme, making it much easier to find what you are looking for, rather then long, unsorted lists. Making things even easier, all the page elements are drop and drag. You can also adjust the size of your page elements, and if you try to make an embellishment too large, it will pop up with a caution message that the embellishment pixelation will be distorted if you use it at that size. I haven’t come across any software, for photos or scrapbooking, that does that.



My Memories Suite 2.0 comes with over 20+ templates, 1,500 papers and over 1,300 embellishments. Plenty of stuff to get you started on your way to digital scrapbooking, but I really love looking at all the extra kits and templates from their only store. I have already bought the School Memories pack and Into the WoodZ extras, but there is also plenty of free kits available to download as well. I have already downloaded quiet a few, and it is just as easy to add purchased and free items as it is to use the program. I've also just discovered that if you like the MyMemories Facebook page, you will receive a promo code for $5 towards digital scrapbook kits!

So cute, and finally a way to preserve photos in more then just endless files upon files "gathering dust" on my computer hard drive!

While I haven't had a chance to try out many of the other features of this program yet, I loved this software! I imagine I am going to be using it quite a bit, especially as Birthday's and Holidays start approaching.

Want to win a copy? The lovely folks over at My Memories would like to give one lucky reader their own copy of My Memories Suite 2.0 (valued at $39.95).

How to enter:
You must go to MyMemories.com and look around their website. Come back here to this blog post and leave a comment telling me which scrapbook kit or template you would want most. Please make sure to leave your email address (you can use the word "at" for "@" and "dot" for "." to help reduce spam). If you don't leave a way for me to contact you, I will be forced to choose another winner.

Want to increase your odds of winning?
Do any of the following before, and leave a separate comment for each one you do (i'll check). Please note that if you do not do the initial entry above, additional entries will be invalid.

  • Follow The Chaotic Homemaker using Google Friend Connect [1 entry]
  • Like The Chaotic Homemaker on Facebook [1 entry]
  • Follow the MyMemories blog and tell me how you are follow (google reader, email, etc)[1 entry]
  • Like MyMemories on Facebook [1 entry]
Make sure you leave a new comment for each additional entry.

Entries will be accepted from Thursday, October 6th, until Friday, October 14th at 3pm Eastern time.

I will randomly select a winner from all of the entries received. I will then notify the winner by e-mail. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I’ll draw a new winner. After the winner replies to me, I will announces the winner here on my blog.


Don't want to wait and see if you win in order to have your own copy of My Memories Suite 2.0?
The software is normally $39.99 but if you enter the coupon code STMMMS37602 when you check out, you will save $10 off the purchase price. In addition, you will receive a code good for $10 towards digital scrapbook kits in the My Memories Suite store!

Add that to the $5 for liking their Facebook page, and you can get $15 towards digital kits to start you off!
So, what are you waiting for? You only need to enter once by telling me your favorite template or kit from the MyMemories.com store and comment below. While there will only be 1 winner, the more entries you make, the great your chances of winning! Any questions? Click on my profile link at the top of my right side bar, and there will be a link to email me.


Disclosure: I received a copy of My Memories Suite 2.0 in order to facilitate this review. I received no other compensation and the opinions stated are my own.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Menu Planning Monday - October 3rd



Running a day late, but I am planning on a few more posts this week, including a return of WIP Wednedays, and even a giveaway!
But no chatter - just straight to this weeks menu!


Monday - Kielbasas with mac and cheese

Tuesday - Pasta night

Wednesday - Take-out

Thursday - Chicken and rice with broccoli

Friday - homemade Chinese night

Saturday - Pizza, veggie tray

Sunday - Andrew's choice


Of course make sure you check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas and links!
Have a great week everyone!

Friday, September 30, 2011

{this moment}


{this moment} - Inspired by SouleMama.
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I was to pause, savor and remember.



Have a lovely weekend!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Menu Planning Monday - September 26th




Monday: Beefy Taco casserole

Tuesday: Chicken and rice

Wednesday: Ravioli and salad

Thursday: Breakfast night (apple spice waffles, omelet, toast, etc)

Friday: Asian orange chicken, over rice with broccoli

Saturday: Pizza night (homemade)

Sunday: Chicken divan


Make sure you head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu planning ideas and links!

Friday, September 23, 2011

{this moment}


{this moment} - Inspired by SouleMama.
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I was to pause, savor and remember.



Have a lovely weekend!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Where I'm From

This is writing exercise that one of my friends posted on her blog. The template I used was taken from another blog here.

Where I'm From


I am from the family television, the WWF and R/C cars.

I am from the the big white house that was an apartment, the blackberry bushes and walnut trees.

I am from the gladiolas and bleeding hearts, from the backyard flower bed.

I am from big Sunday morning breakfast and Christmas cookie trays, from Barbers, and Hunters, and Millers and Pavicks.

I am from the denial and addiction.

From Do as I say, Not as I do and If they jumped off a bridge, would you too?

I am from Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Agnostic. A do as you will, but don't preach to me mixture of beliefs.

I’m from the Finger Lakes region of New York, from Ireland, Wales, France, England, Germany, Italy and the unknown , of potatoes and cheese.

From the brother fooling us all about being shut in the car truck, but really climb in through seats that fold down to the backseat, and the dad taking us to swim lessons at the company pool every summer, with the every popular min golf course.

I am from photos and items in dusty boxes, scattered among the homes of various family, including my own, of hard drives and memories, more priceless any other possession I own.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Menu Planning Monday - September 19th



I can't believe it's almost autumn! And our dinners are taking a turn for the super easy lately, as well as warming us up. This week 2 out of 3 open houses at the kids school, plus a school dance. Let the hectic school days being!


Monday: Tomato soup and grilled cheese

Tuesday: Pasta with marinara sauce

Wednesday: Subs and chips

Thursday: Picnic at one of the kids open house nights (will supplement with healthy snacks at home, too)

Friday: leftover night

Saturday: Pizza and wing night (ordering in)

Sunday: Chicken divan, noodles, salad


Make sure you head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu planning ideas and links!

It's been a chaotic life!

The title for my blog has been really on spot as of lately, as proven with my lack of posting on here.

Here's a quick run down on the last couple of weeks events

~Started painting the girls bedroom
~8 yo old's first horseback riding lesson
~Start of school (all kids are full day now)
~Rally day (start of the Sunday school year. This year I'm "in charge" of acolytes)
~First mid-week kids church group
~Restart of handbell choir (YAY!!), and decisions about joining choir
~More horseback riding for the 8 yr old
~Oldest started Lacrosse camp
~A meeting with a 3rd grade teacher

and coming up is 3 open houses (cause none of the kids attend the same school, of course), pictures days, first school dance of the year, more lacrosse, more horseback riding, thinking I should find something for Andrew if the girls get to do a sport each, knitting and crocheting Christmas gifts, helping out at church when I can (fall rummage sale anyone?), looking for a job and trying to keep our home running smoothly with everyone's schedules being as hectic as they are

*Whew*

I promise to get back in this space posting more regularly. really... i mean it this time :)

Until then - i hope everyone is having a happy chaotic start to autumn!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Menu Planning Monday - September 12th




Still getting into the routine of being back in school. This week, all our regular activities start back up too. Welcome fall!


Monday: Chicken and Rice

Tuesday: Breakfast for dinner

Wednesday: Pasta night

Thursday: Chicken Divan

Friday: Leftovers/YOYO

Saturday: Lunch: Macaroni and cheese muffins
Supper: Homemade pizza night (and Doctor Who!)

Sunday: Gonna use the grill 1 more time before it gets too cold :)


School lunches:
The kids actually wanted school lunches for most of this week (and almost not at all next week), so for the 1 day the younger 2 are bringing, it's just your typical sandwiches, but we're going to turn the traditional PB&J into a PB&J sushi rolls

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Menu Planning Monday - September 5th




So here we are, September already! Where did the time go this year?? This week the kids head back to school, and for the first time they all be gone for the full day. There is obviously a mixture of elation and sadness with this, but I'm going to go with the positive, and say "yeah" for all the housework i can finally get done that has been slacking over the summer months!

So, we had an unexpected heat wave over the weekend, and dinner's meal that my husband picked was move to Monday, for the holiday here in the states. Otherwise, just working on trying to get a nice routine going again before we get busy with all the after-school activities.

Getting to this a day late (was busy with all the back-to-school stuff yesterday to post), but here is how our week is going to shape up!


Monday (Labor Day) - Chicken-fried Steak with mashed potatoes and green beans

Tuesday - Chicken and rice

Wednesday - Pasta night

Thursday - Breaded chicken (baked), baked potato, salad

Friday - Vegetarian chicken nuggets and french fries (maybe the kids will stop begging for McDs)

Saturday - Homemade pizza (daiya cheese pizza for me)

Sunday - Slow cooker ham, scolloped potatoes, green beans.


School lunches. In trying to make sure the kids have healthier lunches then the standard lunch room fare each day, I'm going to be packing the kids lunches at least 3 or 4 days out of the week. I imagine they will want to partake in the weekly pizza day, and the girls have liked breakfast for lunch, but I'll be trying to pack them that. And it seems this year that the menu for the schools is different from the elementary to middle/high school buildings. Also, they do not have access to any way of heating their meals at school, so I'm going to learn to get creative with lunches this year. Without anymore chatter from me, here is the lunches planned for their first week back to school.

Tuesday - Sandwiches, grapes, carrots, milk box and pudding cup.

Wednesday - Sandwiches (or dinner leftovers), pear cup (or whole pear), milk and brownie.

Thursday - (pizza day for the younger 2) I'm going to ask Lexi what she would like

Friday - Mac and cheese, broccoli, orange wedges and drink mix.


Friday, September 2, 2011

{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.



Have a lovely weekend!

My First Sweater

I've been wanting to post about this for awhile now, but really hadn't gotten to it.

I'm working on my first knitted sweater!!

Now, I've done plenty of crocheted sweaters. Granted, they have all been small child size and smaller (and the majority were newborn baby size). So in keeping with that, as well as that doing the smallest size i need first will result in less time/supplies lost if I end up really making a mess of the the thing. But, I'm almost nearly 1/2 way done, and it's looking great!!


sweater, before the pouch was fully attached.


sweater after attaching the pouch
(updating with a better picture this afternoon!)


This sweater is going to be for my son, the youngest. The pattern is called The Wonderful Wallaby (ravelry link). Right now I'm actually up to the arm pits and needing to cast on sleeves. I need to run and grab another needle so i can knit those this weekend. I was hoping to be done before school started, but realize for a first sweater that was an ambitious goal for myself. But, I can see myself getting it done before mid-September (when he'll really need to start wearing a sweater).

And then I'll have to cast on for one of my daughters (who are already begging for one of their own!)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Planning Monday - August 29th



WOW! Has it been a busy summer! And here we are, the last week of summer vacation for my kids (we seem to start later then everyone else, going back after Labor day). Now it's time to get busy getting back into a routine of wake up, bedtimes, and regular, healthy meals (and meal times!). Something new, Sundays are going to be my husband's dinner choice each week. That might be challenging for this non-red meat eating momma, as this week's choice may show!

So without further ado, here is our menu this week.

Monday: Sandwiches, carrots and chips

Tuesday: Chicken fajitas

Wednesday: Pasta night

Thursday: YOYO (your on your own, aka leftovers)

Friday: "Brinner"

Saturday: May not be home, will play it by ear (and maybe update this day later in the week!)

Sunday: Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, green beans

Next week's menu I hope to include what I'm packing for kid's lunchboxes (and for the younger 2, their at school snack)

For more menu ideas and links, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Friday, July 8, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Soulemama

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same., leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.




Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Taking a shot at the blog entry Melis posted over at The Joys of Home Education tossed out this morning.

Top 5 Things I am Thankful for This Summer

  • Sunshine: I may hate the heat, but I LOVE the sun. It makes my whole day brighter when the sun is shining
  • Sandals: I live in mine from the time snow is (mostly) gone until the ground is cold enough for snow to stick around
  • Sleeping in: Since not all my children homeschool, I'm going to enjoy sleeping in!
  • Air Conditioning: 'nuff said!
  • Autumn: Knowing that my FAVORITE season is just a couple of months away! Fall in upstate/western NY is the best!

So, what's your top 5 things to be thankful for this summer?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Poor Blog...

I know I've been neglecting this space lately, and that we'll be gone away for the holiday weekend camping out at my in-laws, but look to having a LOT more action in this space starting next week!

But until then, I'll have another garden update and a {this moment} before spending the weekend with some of my most favorite people!

The Final Homeschool Village Garden Challenge Update


Well, here we are, the last Garden Challenge update. That doesn't mean I won't be updating about the progress of our "garden", but I will be doing so on my own.

So, as I mentioned previously, we really had to scale down our garden plans this year so we can have a spot in our roof repaired. We ended up with just the hanging basket for cherry tomatoes, one pot with basil (that isn't looking so good), and we started some pumpkin seeds. The lettuce didn't make it once we took it outside. We keep the planters on a old, small kids table so we can move it around our half of the yard as need be.

So, being in NY, I'm not surprised that our tomatoes are looking a further behind other garden pictures I've seen online. We are JUST finishing up strawberry season here in Western NY (took the kids to a u-pick farm yesterday), where as southern states were done a month ago. So the tomatoes are looking GOOD and i have HIGH hopes of getting SOME produce from them!

Here's a photo of what's growing now!

Pumpkins


Tomatoes


Basil


This is such a big change from where we were when we started!

tomato seedlings


It has been wonderful to do this challenge, and I likely wouldn't have thought to grow ANYTHING this year. Both the kids and I have learned a lot starting just the few plants that we have, and it's something I know I'll be doing again next year (with hopefully more then what we are growing this year!)

last minute edit add-in: The website just announced that there will be ONE more link up in July! So look for us again at the end of July!

Friday, June 24, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Soulemama

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same., leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.




Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Menu Planning Monday - June 6th




A day late, oh well. It's one of those kinds of weeks where having time to breath needs to be scheduled in! Without further ado, here is this weekend menu.

Monday: YOYO (you on your own).
Tuesday: Pasta night
Wednesday: Chef salad
Thursday: BBQing turkey burgers and hot dogs, chips
Friday: Something new... I'm pouring over my cookbooks to be inspired
Saturday: Pizza night (grilled, hopefully. each time we've tried we've been rained out!)
Sunday: yet to be determined.

Make sure you go check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu planning ideas and links to more blogged menus!

Friday, June 3, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Soulemama.

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.



Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - 4

The Homeschool Mother's Journal


In My Life This Week:

Not much happened this past week. Just plugging along with everything. I have an interview this upcoming Saturday for a position I was too "chicken" to apply for last year. As luck would have it, I have the rare opportunity again this year.

In Our Homeschool This Week:

We're done with a lot of the "formal" stuff we are doing for the year, and focusing on a lot of interest-lead topics now. Current interest, building bikes from parts.
I'm doing a lot of looking into for items in the fall, if we continue to homeschool. We are also looking into a private Christian school she wants to attend (where she also takes flute lessons and plays in their band already). Even if we homeschool, we may consider taking individual classes from there, if we choose. It really is a nice option to have.

My Favorite Thing This Week Was:

Getting a piano from freecycle! Sure, it's FAR from perfect, but it's perfect for the kids to bang on and we're considering lessons for them. We're all pretty excited about the piano.
The weather! Sure, we're had a couple of good storms this week, but it hasn't been the CONSTANT rain that Western NY has had for the last 6 week. Definitely looking forward to more blue skies then gray.

A Photo, Video, Link or Quote to Share:

She lost 2 teeth in 3 days!


Hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Our Garden Challenge Update



Another Garden Challenge post!

Too bad NYS spring weather hasn't been as cooperative :( But, that's just 1 thing I've learned, it's no joke to say that in western NY don't really plan on planting outside until AFTER Memorial Day (today). But considering I'm generally a black thumb, the fact I have anything surviving 2 months after I started seeds, is amazing! We are learning so much about growing this year!

So here are the tomato plants we have left. I gave 1/2 to my in-laws, and some are growing stronger then others, so this week we'll be planting the 3 strongest tomato plants in a planter outside. I'm not sure what we'll do about the basil and parsley (the smaller containers in the upper right). The small container in the upper left is my oldest tomato plants.


I know my husband is looking forward to these cherry tomatoes, they'll be in a nice pasta salad no doubt once we have some to pick!

We also planted a lilac bush outside this weekend. It wont be ready for another year or 2, but for now, we have it in the dirt at least!

I need to mulch around the lilac, but for now the kids have started a stone surround it (from rocks we mostly found digging up the spot we planted the bush). this is right outback next to our door, so it will be lovely to smell in and out (and in the kitchen), when it finally blooms.

We are also going to start some pumpkin seeds this week for the fall. A friend has invited us to start and grow pumpkins at her mother's. The kids are going to have a blast growing their own pumpkins this year!

So there is what we have growing! It's not as much as we had hoped for this year. Because of needing to do some roof repairs later this summer, we can't build our garden box, as debris from the roof would ruin it in a micro second. But, if we have some success with what we grow next year, we can look forward to growing more next year!

Menu Planning Monday - May 30th





So, another week, another menu. We're getting close to the end of the public school year, so soon I'll be planning all meals out for the summer (it helps, really, so that kids know what NOT to sneak off with if they want their meals!). I'll likely include a snack list as well. We also seem to be keeping our 2 predictable evenings, Wednesday nights for pasta, Saturday nights for pizza. I grew up with this pattern too, I didn't realize it until a couple nights ago! Hoping once bell choir is done until fall, we can break that habit up a bit more.

And as par for course, it's proving to be a very busy end to the school year, and start of summer. We have something almost every day and/or evening, and next Saturday I'm not sure I'll be home until dinner time! It's a crazy, but good, thing :)

And today is Memorial Day, so I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday, and for those with family members in the service (home or aboard), thank you and them for their service to our country.


Monday: Steak and hot dogs on the grill, corn

Tuesday: Chef salad

Wednesday: Pasta night

Thursday: Chicken and rice

Friday: Breakfast

Saturday: Pizza night (not sure how we'll do this yet. But it's an on the go day, so MAYBE ordering in?)

Sunday: Pot Luck at a friends house (oh, what to MAKE?!?)

Make sure you pop over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu planning ideas and links to other blog links!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Menu Planning Monday - May 23rd


Being extremely overwhelmed and stress these past few weeks, I took a blogging break, but am back again. Here is this weeks upcoming menu.

Monday - Kids' First Mac and Cheese (sans cracker crumbs, I forgot to buy 'em)

Tuesday - Perogies with peppers and onions

Wednesday - Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

Thursday - Incredibly Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn

Friday - Chicken fajitas

Saturday - Pizza

Sunday - leftovers/fend-for-yourself night


Makes sure you go check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more info on menu planning and links to other blogs posting their menus!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - 3



The Homeschool Mother's Journal


In my life this week:

I've been REALLY overwhelmed the last couple of weeks, so I took a blogging break. It was nice, and I've missed it, so I'm back again!
and RAIN! It just doesn't seem to end. It's exhausting, in the least. Add on top, we were car-less for a few days, so it was a very muted week.

In our homeschool this week:

Still doing a very unschooling schedule around here. I am not sure I like it all that much, though I am sure my daughter does. There was learning (and benchmark math test for curriculum I'm considering in the fall), most of it was discussions of stuff i knew, in particular local historical sites and the significance in American history.

Places we're going and people we're seeing:

We did make it to the science museum 3 weeks ago, and really haven't gotten out and about since, except for church, band and errands/groceries. Hoping to fit in a zoo visit in the next couple of weeks (my PS kids have 6/10 off, and we're the only local school district that closed that day, might be perfect day to hit without a crowd). Elizabeth had a Girl Scouts overnight this weekend (no encampment this year), and Andrew is signed up for summer soccer (finally old enough!)

My favorite thing this week:

THE SUN! Ok, I know I talked about the rain above (like 30 days of rain out of the last 40 days), but the sun has been out the last 2 days, to the point I now am sunburnt from mowing yesterday!

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

Andrew, singing to Karaoke Revolution: Glee. He was pretty rockin'!!

Happy Homeschooling!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Soulemama.

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.




Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

For more moments, hop over to Soulemama!

Friday, May 6, 2011

{this moment}


{this moment} - Inspired by Soulemama.

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.





Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

For more moments, hope over to Soulemama!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Menu Planning Monday - May 2nd



Another week, another menu? It's getting hard to change things up. It's too warm for the cold weather meals, and too cold for the hot weather meals! Another busy week, of course, always is, right? This week not only do we have the normal bell choir practice for me, but our oldest has a band concert on Friday, and we'll be spending Saturday at my in-laws. Busy, but a good busy at least!


Monday - Slow-Roasted Rosemary-and-Garlic Chicken, potato wedges/mashed potatoes, steamed carrots

Tuesday - Out to Pizza hut for their dinner buffet (have coupon for 1/2 off 2nd adult, and it's kids eat free night!)

Wednesday - Pasta night

Thursday - (Cinco de Mayo) Chicken fajitas, chips and salsa, limeade

Friday - (Band concert night) Chicken and rice, steamed broccoli

Saturday - We'll not be home, visiting at the in-laws for the day.

Sunday - Mother's Day - I really don't know what we'll have, but I hope it's not me cooking and cleaning! Or at least not cleaning....


Makes sure you go check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more info on menu planning and links to other blogs posting their menus!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - 2


The Homeschool Mother's Journal



In my life this week:

RAIN! 15 days straight of rain in our area. I HOPE we dry out soon.
And... CHAOS! Our routine is totally out of whack, for homeschooling and otherwise. Hoping we can get on tack for next week.

In our homeschool this week:

Well, spring break is over and we were back to the grind... for 2 days. Wednesday came with a long music rehearsal (back to back 2 band practices). Thursday and Friday, we "winged" it - unschooling style. Not sure how much I like the idea, as Lexi seems to need to be pushed to do anything. But, I've been reading about how kids need time to adjust from public school to homeschooling. And it can take weeks, months... sometimes even a year or more. WHOA! So, I'm trying to be patient with her and hope I'm not screwing up and letting her down.

Places we're going and people we're seeing:

We didn't make it to Rochester Museum and Science Center last weekend, so we're hoping for tomorrow, or Sunday. Our new dining set is being delivered and I still need to clean that dining room for it.

My favorite thing this week:

THE CARPET! Really, it really makes the living room more inviting, homey and just peaceful. I can see us homeschooling more in there now.

Homeschooling questions/thoughts I have:

Adjustment from public schooling to homeschooling... we've been at home a month now, and I am feeling MORE resistance from my daughter. Ex. we've been using an online program for the bulk of her work (and filling in when needed, for both subjects they cover, and for ones they don't even have). She's now refusing to use it at all (and with less then 2 months to year's end, I'm not buying anything else for this year now). She want's more hands-on, less computer/book work. Which, i WOULD LOVE to do, but finding that stuff, on my shoestring budget is proving hard. All the suggestions for stuff I've found has been for much younger kids.

I'm 110% sure I want to homeschool her in the fall again (now to get dad on board), and rather put any money for stuff for next year (like a microscope, globe, books, etc...)

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



All three kids Easter morning. Daddy took this picture on his iPod, which does not like to take decent pictures in low light.

Wishing everyone a fantastic weekend!

{this moment}


{this moment} - Inspired by Soulemama.
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.




Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

For more moments, hope over to Soulemama!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The "trying to become" a garden, Garden Update



Continuing with the Homeschool Garden Challenge, we spent Tuesday working on our plants and doing some outside clean up to get ready to plant. We've had 13 straight days of rain here in the Finger Lakes region of New York, and it's not even May yet, so we haven't even thought about planting anything outside yet. It's been unseasonably warm the last couple of days, but we've had snow on Mother's Day in the past, so we won't attempt outdoor planting until after then.

We have, however, started more seeds inside!



Our cherry tomato plants. In my first garden post, these were started in an egg carton, which worked out really, really well! I wish I had taken a picture before transplanting them to these bigger start containers. We thinned out some of the weaker looking seedlings, and gave some to our neighbor as well. With all the rain we have had, the upper right corner of this pic is where water was streaming in through our kitchen ceiling just an hour after we finished transplanting these. So far, they are ok, but I'm not expecting them to make it either. We're going to finish growing these out in hanging baskets, since they are the small variety, rather then in the ground and staking them up.




Lettuce! We started some seeds inside so we're not wasting time waiting for mother nature in NY to figure herself out :) We've learned that we can actually sow these twice! Though best to start they seeds indoors as well, as they may not seed well in a hot/dry summer heat. If nothing else, we'll have 2 attempts to grow lettuce!



And here is everything in front of the kitchen window. ON the left is my oldest pot with some cherry tomatoes (they hadn't even popped up when we posted last!) and on the right is the kids herb starter. That has parsley and basil in it.

So in the next couple of weeks we'll be building our raised garden bed, and considering getting some containers and strawberry plants as well. We still have cucumbers, green beans and cantaloupe to sow, but I'm not sure as we'll do it all, as that would mean everything but the lettuce and herbs are climbers!

Mostly, the kids are I are SUPER excited about this, and hope it's a successful garden!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Menu Planning Monday - April 25th



A day late, and a dollar short, I'm finally getting around to posting this! We took last week off from, well, everything, and finding it REALLY hard to get back into the swing of a routine (even if we are still working out the clinks).


Monday: Chicken Fajitas

Tuesday: Breakfast foods night

Wednesday: Pasta night

Thursday: Chef Salad

Friday: Roast Chicken with vegetables

Saturday: BBQ pizza

Sunday: BBQ anything-we-can-toss-on-a-grill


Hop over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more info, and this week, a giveaway!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - 1


The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week:

We FINALLY have a living room floor! It's been busted, broken tile (growing worse) since we moved in here, and we had it replaced with carpeting. The living room is now my favorite room at home (and we have yet to paint it still!).

In our homeschool this week:

It was spring break for my public school kids, so it was spring break for my home schooler as well, except for the work we did not finish last week (we're still trying to get a routine down, esp having music/band 3 days a week). We did look at our tomato seeds nearly every day, so that's been exciting for the kids to watch! We'll be moving the seedlings from egg cartons to bigger starter pots this weekend.

Places we're going and people we're seeing:

We're (hopefully) going to the Rochester Museum and Science Center tomorrow. They have a dinosaur exhibit that will be ending May 1st, so we're going to check that out (if not tomorrow, next weekend).

We are not seeing any family for Easter (we usually don't). My mother-in-law is in North Carolina with one of my sister-in-laws who just had her 2nd baby 2 weeks ago. We called to see if my father-in-law wanted to come here, but he has his mother over while MIL is away. Since we're active in church (I'm playing hand bells that morning), we are not traveling.

My favorite thing this week:

THE CARPET! Really, it really makes the living room more inviting, homey and just peaceful. I can see us homeschooling more in there now.

Homeschooling questions/thoughts I have:

Figuring out next year. I really am reluctant to re-enroll my daughter into the public middle school, but my husband is really pushing for me to go back to working in the fall (our youngest will be in school whole days). In addition, given the problems my soon-to-be 8 yr old has been having in public school, I'm questioning homeschooling her (we had seriously considered it in the past). There is a possibility I can work and homeschool, but it really depending on things "falling into place". I'm praying very hard about this, because I am beginning to believe more and more it is the right thing for my children, and my family.

Of course the thought of homeschooling next year, for a 7th grader and 3rd grader, has me freaking out! Finding the "perfect curriculum" scares me, and knowing we plan on sending my oldest back to public school for high school, making sure I don't leave out anything she needs to learn.

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

The kids and J. playing around after the carpet installers had gone and we moved back in the furniture. Looks like a good episode of "ATTACK DADDY!!!"


I'll be taking the weekend "off" from my blog, but look forward to next week when I hope to have some wonderful posts to share.

Wishing everyone a happy and blessed Easter weekend.

{this moment}


{this moment} - Inspired by Soulemama.
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.



Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

For more moments, hope over to Soulemama