Monday, April 30, 2012

Meal Plan

Nothing too fancy this week.  Just keeping things simple and easy.

Monday: cereal (B), peanut butter and jelly (L), chicken azteca (D)
Tuesday: chocolate banana baked oatmeal (B), chicken salad (L), spaghetti (D)
Wednesday: cereal (B), macaroni and cheese (L), tacos/taco salad (D)
Thursday: waffles (B), peanut butter and jelly (L), chili, corn bread (D)
Friday: eggs, toast (B), leftovers (L), fish sandwiches (D)
Saturday: pancake sausage muffins (B), FFY (L), pizza (D)
Sunday: cereal (B), sandwiches (L), pot roast, potatoes, carrots (D)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What We Learned This Week

This has been an interesting week.  The kids are still plugging along with everything.  I've been on a WWII kick again.  Which leaves me asking the same question I always ask.  Why do we never hear about the Japanese internment camps in this country?  Our country did something terrible and it was brushed under the rug.  I've never understood that.  I've seen a minor reference in a few movies, maybe a few books but even those references seem to act like it was just one big camp experience.  I've never understood how we can rewrite history in such a way. 

We had the first bonfire of the season.  Sean managed to light the fire with one match.  Katie and Liam helped chop the wood for the fire which means they learned the proper use of the hatchet and ax.  Ellie learned that she loves marshmallows.

We discovered that Bryan and Sean seem to have learned something from their many field trips to the fire department.  They were able to take appropriate action and deal with a gas fire and stay calm.  Until Sean called me at the store to say we needed a new fire extinguisher.  After getting him to put Alan on the phone I was able to hear the full story.  The boys were using the push mowers while Alan tried to fix the lawn tractor.  But too much gas led to a gas fire.  And new fire extinguishers are a bit expensive and tend to blow your budget.

I've also been reminded once again that you are not allowed to have an opinion that is not a popular one or folks will protest.  Even more so if you decide to state your opinion because, well, we must not rock the boat.

On a lighter note, we've learned that it is holding hands that causes it.  Yup, and here I thought it was washing our underwear together. :)

So it's been a busy week.  I'm thinking this coming week will be just as busy.  Just hoping that my morning sickness (I swear that was named by a man because no one I know has ever had just morning sickness. For me it is usually close to 9 months of constant miserableness that you just learn to push through and pretend isn't there after a bit.) abates for the days that Alan is away in San Francisco so that I can keep the house in one piece.

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's Official

Since Abby has taken to telling everyone she sees, I thought I should officially announce that baby number 10 should be arriving by the end of the year.  Yes, this means I am constantly fighting the urge to throw up and not truly functioning lately.  Hopefully this will pass soon but that is a bit of a crap shoot since I often feel like this until the child arrives.  But after a miscarriage last year, I'll take feeling like crap.  Thankfully the older kids are great about helping to make dinner and the middle kids love to tackle making lunch and Alan is able to stay home long enough in the morning to make sure the kids get breakfast.  I'm pretty sure I will add  paper plates to the grocery list for next week since Alan will be on a business trip but I'm sure we'll survive.  We likely won't go anywhere other than karate class but we'll survive.

I've realized over the years that I truly have mourned not ever having the chance to plan or set up a nursery or much of anything for our first child.  And as the kids have all grown and we've added to the family and moved into new homes every few years, we've never been able to take the time to ever plan a real kid friendly room.  It seems we've always just tossed in a few beds and a dresser (whatever we had at the time) and just kind of have made it work.  But now I am really wishing I was able to  plan one of those nice put together, painted, decorated rooms for just one of our kids.  Maybe we'll try to do that for the older kids before the baby arrives.  Problem being all the bedrooms in this house are very oddly shaped and truly don't work well with any of our furniture.  When I dream, I envision moving a closet and a wall and a few custom built triple bunks and some storage beds for the little boys' room (along with stripping the wall paper since they keep ripping it anyway).  I know it will likely never happen but I'm secretly hoping that maybe we can at least do something nice for the upstairs bedrooms before the baby arrives. Maybe that will cure me of this need to plan something special for a baby.  Maybe, maybe not.

We've also given away all of our newborn clothes, maternity clothes, and newborn diapers.  I'm pretty sure at least half the diapers will make their way back here and somehow the other stuff will appear when we need it but other than the carseat and baby carriers, we are starting from scratch with this one it seems.  Oh well.  Life will go on.  And right now I'm just looking forward to a day when I feel like I can fully function.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Live Below the Line

Here is a challenge for everyone to try.  Take 5 days and feed your family on $1.50 per person a day.  Think you could manage?  May I admit, I think we could without too much of a challenge.  It might not have a ton of variety and we have the added advantage of a large family giving us more to work with and bulk buying power but I just sat down and figured out not only a shopping list but also a meal plan doing just that.  I did have to make a few compromises on what I bought but nothing major.  For us, this would be an emergency meal plan and in an emergency, I'll buy the bread with corn syrup in it. Actually, I'd go back to making all of our own bread to avoid that but in this case, I assumed I could not afford yeast.  For us, we always have yeast in the house since we buy it in a 2 lb package from SAMS for about $4 but assuming we were back to bare bones, I might not be able to scrape that together.  If you want to try it yourself, check out Live Below the Line to find out why this is an important thing to consider.

I will admit, I probably went into this with a few advantages. I'm used to cooking from scratch so making tortillas, yogurt, bread, etc, from scratch is something I already to regularly.  And we are also used to having a smaller than normal grocery budget (We normally have $650 to $700 a month for a family of 11).  In this case, the budget does not include cleaning products, pet food, medicines or health and beauty products. Just stuff you eat. For us, all of that is normally in our grocery budget. I also did not use coupons for this trip.  I always use coupons and usually cut at least 20% off our bill. We also tend to buy cleaning products either in bulk or on sale with a coupon.  Failing that, you can use vinegar and baking soda to clean everything.  Laundry detergent is easy to make if you can't catch a sale.  We use cloth napkins, towels in the kitchen (so very few paper towels), cloth diapers.  I've found I can get laundry done faster with our clothes line than when I have both dryers running (yes, we have 2 dryers, 11 people in the house, enough said).  We grow some of our own food including berries, grapes, asparagus, apples, pears, peaches and walnuts (hoping to do more this year) and buy local in season produce and can and freeze it. Pumpkins in October are not only carved but also turned into pumpkin puree and the seeds are roasted and eaten (I'm not paying for food just to carve it and junk it, that is beyond wasteful).  I always buy ahead and keep a stocked pantry.  We shop from our pantry, not from the store. This simple change in thinking has lowered our food budget incredibly.  Of course, we also set aside a chunk of our tax refund each year to help restock the pantry supplies. This year that meant buying a side of beef, half a pig, a CSA membership for summer produce, and a large order from the case-lot sales.  So basically we are blessed with the ability and knowledge on how to feed the family inexpensively and still keep it healthy.

For those who live in true poverty, many times they lack not only the ability to store or obtain larger amounts of food, they also lack the education on how to use cheaper food.  Many people do not know how to cook dry beans or make a loaf of bread or homemade soup/stock.  It is my plan to make sure each of our kids has these skills before leaving our home so they can take care of their families in times of financial stress without having to learn those skills under fire.  I believe this is one of the best gifts we can give our children.  Nothing is worse than incurring debt just because you are trying to feed your family.  So please. This is my plea to get your kids in the kitchen as early as possible. Teach them to cook well before they hit high school.  Allow them to take over cooking dinner once a week and show them how you budget and plan your grocery expenditures.  They will thank you later.

So now onto what my grocery list and meal plan looks like using a $1.50 per person per day rule.  For our family of 11, this means we have $82.50.  I did not account for a full container of cocoa powder, vanilla extract, baking powder or salt. You might also want to add some type of seasoning for the chicken. But adding all of these in to the budget in the amounts they will be used will add less than $2.  All grocery prices came either from Wegmans or Target since both of these stores are in the same parking lot so I shop both on the same day. I did not use coupons (including the 5 cent discount you get for using reusable bags) and in truth, some items would be cheaper elsewhere but I am assuming if you are have a slim budget, you also lack the gas funds to drive to another store.

oatmeal (48 oz)        2.99
4 dozen eggs           5.56
4 gallons of milk     7.88
vanilla yogurt (6 oz) .45
mac and cheese (6) 2.94
peanut butter           2.49
grape jelly               1.59
bread (3)                  2.97
chicken qtrs (10 lbs) 5.90
flour (5 lbs)              1.99
rice (2 lbs)                1.98
butter (2 lbs)             4.58
frozen vegetables (4 lbs)  3.96
pinto beans (dry, 1 lb) 1.59
oil (22 oz)                  2.59
potatoes (5 lbs)          1.99
onions (2 lbs)             1.49
carrots (2 lbs)             1.98
popcorn (2 lbs)           1.79
apples (3 lbs)              2.97
bananas (5 lbs)             2.45
applesauce (48 oz)      1.99
spaghetti (2 lbs)           1.78
spaghetti sauce (2 lbs) 1.98
frozen apple juice (2) 2.98
vinegar                        .99
sugar (5 lbs)               2.99
Kool-Aid packets (8) 2.00
cheese (8 oz)              1.98
total                           78.83 so if you add in 2.00 for the extras I am still below the $82.50 allowed so I might toss in a bag of pretzels at 1.79

What we are eating on this plan:
eggs and toast, baked oatmeal (using the oatmeal, applesauce, eggs), homemade yogurt (use one gallon of milk and the vanilla yogurt for a starter to yield one gallon of yogurt) with bananas and/or homemade granola using oatmeal, oil, sugar
macaroni and cheese twice using 3 boxes each time, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches 3 times, all lunches served with carrots or sliced apples
spaghetti, bean and rice burritos with vegetables on the side (use the flour, oil and some water to make tortillas), chicken and dumpling soup using homemade stock, chicken and rice with vegetables, oven baked chicken with potatoes and vegetables
wacky cake, no bake cookies, vanilla popcorn, plain popcorn (popped on the stove), any fruit  left over

The apple juice would be only for the littlest member of the house and the older kids would have Kool-Aid to drink (which would thrill them).  Yes, I realize plain tap water would be the cheapest option but after living with the well water here for 4 plus years that made me incredibly sick the entire time, I have a bit of a tap water phobia. I know adding a drink mix to it does nothing to change the water itself but it keeps me happy. We are now on municipal water and I'm no longer getting sick all the time which makes me very happy. The jelly is not a usual purchase as I make our own and do my best to can a year supply at a time.  The bread is not a normal purchase since we usually either make it or buy a higher quality of bread that does not have corn syrup in it. You can get similar bread at the bread outlet store for $1 a loaf but I am assuming you would not have the extra gas for that trip although we often buy bread there and store it in the freezer for when we need it.  We don't buy applesauce either since I make and can a year supply in the fall. We often make our own spaghetti sauce but make a 3 meal batch at a time and on a small budget would not have the extra funds for that.

Looking at the list, there are many items on the list that I pretty much buy cheaper on a regular basis by buying in bulk and stalking sales.  The butter, oil, potatoes, onions, frozen vegetables, flour, sugar, spaghetti, oatmeal, rice, vinegar, eggs, cheese, and peanut butter are all more expensive per unit than I typically pay. In fact, I have each of those items in the house currently and paid less for them. But this also serves to illustrate that those living on meager food budgets are often not able to take advantage of bulk options or wait for sales/coupons to buy their food.  Kind of a double edged sword.

Will we take the plunge and eat this meal plan for 5 days?  I'm not sure because buying these items just for this challenge would use money I don't need to spend when I already have a stocked pantry.  But I am interested in seeing what you could come up with for your family.  So give it a try.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Food for Thought

Frontier Girls

Just a short and sweet note to say that I am starting a Frontier Girls group.  This is a scouting organization for girls ages 3 to 18.  Each troop can include girls of all ages so that it allows the older girls to function in a mentoring role with the younger girls. This also allows a family to have girls of multiple ages to participate in one group which cuts down on the amount of time needed away from the home.  This is a huge plus.  An even bigger plus is this group has nothing to do with Planned Parenthood, unlike Girl Scouts.  If you are interested in joining, please let me know.  Family costs are fairly low ($25 for one girl in the family, $50 for more than 1).  Katie and Abby have been begging to get this started for ages and are looking forward to working with some other girls on it. I am hoping to find a local organization to take over the ownership of the troop so that if our family should ever have to move for some reason, the troop would not move with us but rather stay locally for the other girls involved so if you can think of anyone who might want to do that, let me know.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla-The Gift of Life

I have been interested in the life of St. Gianna Beretta Molla ever since the day a woman I'd never met before placed one of her 3rd class relics-a holy card that had been touched to a pair of St. Gianna's gloves- in my hands after Mass many years ago.  At the time, we either were expecting our 6th child or she was a very new baby. The woman handing the holy card to me said that I reminded her in some way of this saint and she felt called to pass the card onto me. 

After having two more babies, both born prematurely for no apparent reason, I spent most of my 9th pregnancy with that holy card propped up in front of my computer monitor so that I would be reminded to pray to St. Gianna for a healthy pregnancy and baby.  Our 9th child did stay put long enough to make it to term which was a tremendous relief to me.  Shortly after her birth, I passed the holy card on to another mother who was dealing with a less-than-perfect pregnancy.
With that in mind, when I was given the chance to read a children's book about St. Gianna, I was rather excited.  I much prefer to learn about saints from children's books at first.  They often are a tad more interesting than adult oriented books and can help you to easily explain the lives of the saints to your kids.  Saint Gianna Beretta Molla-The Gift of Life is part of the Encounter the Saints series published by Pauline Media.  These relatively short chapter books are perfect for children in the 3rd to 6th grade age bracket.

Saint Gianna's book focuses on her family life, including her life as a child.  It shows the role her parents and siblings played in shaping her personality.  It does also teach in a gentle way about the choice St. Gianna made in preserving the life of her last baby even knowing it would place her own life at risk. The story of her death and it's impact on her community was shown in a caring way which will not leave the gentlest readers afraid.

Even as an adult, I learned quite a bit about the life of St. Gianna from this book.  I learned she and my oldest daughter share a birthday and that she was the 10th child born to a large family.  This book shares the story of a beautiful mother in a way that will touch the hearts of young children.  I plan to share this book with my elementary kids as soon as we finish our current read-aloud book.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Saint Gianna Beretta Molla - The Gift of Life. They are also a great source for a baptism gifts or first communion gifts.

Meal Plan

The kids spent quite a bit of time outside last week and dinner was often put off until 8 or later since they were outside so the meal plan kind of was ignored.  But I don't regret taking advantage of the wonderful weather last week.  Especially since it is snowing today.  Still, I am planning more crock pot meals this week to make sure we are more likely to eat what is on the list rather than sandwiches late at night.

Monday: cereal (B), leftovers (L), vegetable beef soup (D)
Tuesday: oatmeal (B), chicken salad (L), cream cheese chicken (D)
Wednesday: eggs, toast (B), macaroni and cheese (L), pulled pork (D)
Thursday: cereal (B), tuna melts (L), beef tips (D)
Friday: eggs (B), leftovers (L), chicken soup (D)
Saturday: cinnamon rolls (B), FFY (L), pizza (D)
Sunday: muffins (B), sandwiches (L), meatloaf (D)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Little Flowers

We had another Little Flowers meeting today.  Fifteen girls joined us today.  It seems we either have a large group or a small one.  I don't mind a smaller group except when I have already prepared craft supplies for the larger group.  Small issues, I know.
This month we focused on the Blessed Mother and the virtue of cheerfulness.  I am just going to come right out and say that it is darn near impossible to find a craft for cheerfulness.  Seriously.  Many thanks to the folks at Crafolic, Shower of Roses, and Waltzing Matilda for the wonderful ideas they came up with that I was able to use for our meeting.  Have I mentioned that I am not terribly creative? 

The girls all had a great time and we spent a little time before the Blessed Sacrament praying for a special Mom that I know who is missing her little girl. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Morning Offering Craft

I am attempting to get back to doing more hands-on fun stuff with the kids.  The stuff that requires you to buy lots of glue sticks, scissors, paper and the like.  The stuff the kids actually enjoy doing.  Even if it does make a mess that at times they seem to not see when it is time to clean up.
Today we made a Morning Offering craft.  I have always loved the idea of a morning offering prayer and yet I have always forgotten to teach one to my kids (or use one myself, oops).  While browsing the Crafolic website, I stumbled up the craft they already had put together.

I'm hoping to run these projects through our laminator later tonight or tomorrow. Then we can hang one up in each bedroom and one in the kitchen so we will all be reminded to say a morning offering each day.

Paddle-to-the-Sea Literature Study

Like many folks, we are homeschooling on a bit of a budget.  Admittedly, more of a budget than I would prefer but it is what it is at the moment.  This means I spend time searching for free and inexpensive resources other creative folks have put together to use in our school.  Last week I found just such a resource.

I am reading the book Paddle-to-the-Sea to the middle kids.  We are reading during naptime so right now that means I am reading to Kieran, Liam, Katie and Abby. This book covers quite a lot of geography for our general neck of the woods and the pictures in the book are amazing so I thought they would all get something out of it.

To go with the book, we are using a literature study put together by the mom who runs the Crafolic website.  I found this website a few weeks ago when I was looking for some new craft ideas for the kids.  I know the younger kids haven't done all the crafts I have done with the older ones but I really get bored with doing the same things over and over again.  So I wanted some fresh inspiration for the younger crew. 

Hopefully I will remember to share our finished product with you in a few more days.  Because if I don't intend to share it, we just might not get around to finishing it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Meal Plan

We picked up our order from the commissary case-lot sale this weekend so the panty is fairly well stocked at the moment.  Between what I ordered from the commissary and the stuff that was on sale with a coupon this weekend, I bought 32 boxes of cereal.  Although that seems like a lot, it will go quickly around here and each box ranged in price between 98 cents and $1.66.  And did I mention buying 20 cans of tuna when it was on clearance for 55 cents only to get home and remember that I ordered a case of 48 cans from the commissary?  Yup, we now have a ton of tuna.  Alan will pick up an order of eggs, cheese, and various drinks from SAMS today and then we should be rather set for a while.  I just need to spend some time this weekend pulling recipes that I can make using what we have so I am not looking for ideas each weekend.  And tonight is date night for us and we will actually be going out tonight instead of eating after the kids go to bed to celebrate 21 years since we first started dating.  Yes, we are that weird and keep track of those dates.

Monday: muffin melts (B), tuna sandwiches, carrots (L), tacos (D)
Tuesday: eggs and toast (B), bean and rice burritos (L), pork chops (D)
Wednesday: baked oatmeal (B), curry chicken salad sandwiches (L), chicken divan over rice (D)
Thursday: pancake sausage muffins (B), Pizza Hut Book-it rewards (L), spaghetti (D)
Friday: eggs, biscuits (B), leftovers (L), fish, potatoes (D)
Saturday: pancakes (B), FFY (L), pizza and movie night (D)
Sunday: cranberry bread (B), FFY (L), roasted chicken (D)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Abby!

Abby turned 6!  We celebrated her birthday a day early so that her older brothers would not miss out on the fun (they insisted honestly).  Abby treated us all to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings where they made an awesome looking birthday crown just for her.
Then we came home for cake and ice cream.  Abby asked for ice cream in cones but I told her we just can't do that with cake. Instead I offered to make the cake in the ice cream cones and top it with ice cream.  She loved that idea.  Something a bit different and kind of fun.
Abby got a brand new doll and some new kitchen toys.  May I say that I am so glad we don't do birthday parties for the kids every single year (or ever at the moment).  I can't imagine how overwhelming it must be for a kid to have so much stuff to open and find a home for and I've seen many parents who simply sell each years' toys at a garage sale every year so I have to question other families spending the money on the toys anyway.  But I am rambling.
Anyway, Abby was very happy and seemed to have a great day.  Two of her brothers made LEGO creations for her and her sister made her a beautiful card.  She picked out monkey bread for breakfast and spicy pizza for lunch. 
Here's looking forward to another great year with a wonderful little girl.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Pictures

Just a few pictures from dying Easter Eggs and out annual egg hunt in the front yard.

Meal Plan

Here's what we are planning to eat this week.  At least maybe.  Abby's birthday is on Friday but we will be celebrating on Thursday because the older boys leave for a weekend camping trip on Friday morning and they really wanted to be here for her birthday (truthfully they did not want to miss out on a chance to go out to eat and they don't seem to realize that is still up in the air until the gift card arrives).  We have some leftovers to try to use up before they take over the fridge and a very busy Friday which depends on me remembering to put something in the crockpot with breakfast.  So here's the plan:

Monday: baked oatmeal (B), leftovers (L), ham/potato casserole for the kids, date night for Mom and Dad (D)
Tuesday: muffin melts (B), bean, chicken, and rice burritos (L), mini meatloaves, mashed potatoes (D)
Wednesday: waffles, fruit (B), sandwiches (L), hearty Italian soup (D)
Thursday: monkey bread (B), buffalo chicken pizza (L), Abby's birthday dinner out (D)
Friday: cereal (B), peanut butter roll-ups (L), pot roast (D)
Saturday: pancakes (B), leftovers (L), nachos (D)
Sunday: whatever we throw together between church, NFP class, picking up the older boys, etc.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, from our crew to yours! I hope everyone had a wonderful, restful day.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Divine Mercy Crafts

We are attempting to do the entire Divine Mercy Novena leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday.  I say attempting to because we seem to rather stink at follow through on things of this nature lately.   But we are trying again.
As we are starting the novena, we have made a few crafts to help the younger children understand a little better.  Sean made this Divine Mercy Craft yesterday.  He even managed to find blue and red glitter to put on it.  Catholic Icing also has a wonderful Divine Mercy countdown craft you can make using the original craft as the counter.  But my glue gun is missing so we won't be doing that this year. 
Today several of the middle children made this Divine Mercy Lacing project.  This project is great for giving them their own one decade counter for saying the chaplet, complete with the prayers written on each bead.

Well also spend some time reading this book and listening to the Glory Stories audio on St. Faustina's life.  Hopefully this will help the children learn the story behind the Divine Mercy.  We've also found a few coloring sheets to use as well and I plan to see if EWTN will be running any Diving Mercy shows for the kids this week. 

Saturday at Home Depot

Today Dad was actually home to take the kids to the workshop at Home Depot. Everyone was very happy to have him along to help.  I know I loved knowing that I was not going to be the only person getting my fingers hit with a hammer today.

We took the 6 little ones with us today.  Ellie hung out on my back and the rest of the kids built bird feeders.  I think this was only the first or second time Robert has been able to go with us so he was beyond thrilled.

Liam took off and had his project finished perfectly well ahead of everyone else.  This is pretty much normal for him.  He is truly meant to do projects such as these.  His entire demeanor changes while he is working with the wood.  It's rather nice to see hm truly engaged in a project like this.

Everyone did a great job and we will be keeping many birds well fed this year. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Resurrection Eggs

We pulled out our set of resurrection eggs today.  Yes, you can get creative and call them Paschal Mystery Eggs or Holy Week Eggs or make your own version but I bought ours a few years ago and am quite happy to have someone else do some of the work for me.  Especially when you can watch for sales and get them fairly inexpensively.

This year I also added some printables to go with the eggs.  I plan to laminate them later this weekend and hopefully add some velcro dots to keep the pieces together.  Assuming I can find my leftover velcro dots.  They walked off my desk the other day.
Even Ellie joined in the fun this year.  And the growling older children who seem to think at times that activities such as this are slightly beneath them.  Until the other children can't answer the questions, then all of a sudden it's "Oh, oh, I know, pick me" so I keep insisting that they stay involved. Because I am mean like that.

While I would not rely on these eggs as the only instruction your kids get on the meaning of Holy Week, I do think they are a wonderful hands-on way of helping them figure things out.

We Don't. . .

We certainly do not stand on the LEGO table in this house.  Nope, never.
We also would never even begin to imagine standing in a book box around here. 
Nope, those things do not ever happen in our house.

Last Supper Project

On Tuesday I printed out everything we needed to make this project for Holy Thursday.  Then we got busy (I realized I probably should not go shopping on Good Friday and really needed to get the groceries on Thursday instead), Alan came home early, and I fell asleep.  It was a much needed nap but it meant our Holy Thursday project was not finished until Good Friday.  Oops. 
a homemade last supper
Katie, Abby, Liam, and Kieran helped with this project.  It was a bit harder to get the egg cartons to stay together than I thought it would be and I imagine the entire thing would have gone together better with a glue gun rather than glue sticks.  But my glue gun is missing.  Guess I need to do something about that.

I love the finished project even if Katie did repeatedly cut off noses, beards, fingers, and in one case half of a face.  Now to find something for Good Friday.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Playing With Color

Today I had several of the kids paint a primary color wheel.  Something I just stumbled upon but thought would be perfect for a bit of art.  This involved digging out the water colors and realizing that they all got put away without pain tbrushes.  No paint brushes in the art bins in the living room or in the paint bin in the school room. So I go upstairs to pull out the paint brushes from the painting project I did with Little Flowers only to discover that most of them were never washed and are now covered in 2 week old acrylic paint.   So now comes the internal debate of do I attempt to save the brushes or just toss the lot of them since I bought 99 cent bags of assorted brushes and call it a day.
Anyway, I had a few kids who did the project properly and ended up with a very nice band of secondary colors in their color wheel. Then I have one who decided to paint to his own drummer and paint the middle spots himself.  The wrong colors.  Sigh. At least he used the secondary colors.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Meal Plan

Here's the schedule for the week.  I'm attempting to keep it simple this week but I am still planning on making pretzels with the kids during the week and Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday.

Monday: eggs in toast (B), bean and rice burritos (L), chicken and dumpling soup (D)
Tuesday: baked oatmeal (B), grilled cheese (L), tomato soup, rolls (D)
Wednesday: waffles and fruit (B), chicken salad sandwiches (L), broccoli cheese soup (D)
Thursday: cereal (B), quesadillas (L), alphabet soup (D)
Friday: eggs (B), tuna melts (L), potato soup (D)
Saturday: pancakes (B), leftovers (L), pizza (D)
Sunday: um, ham for dinner but no clue on anything else