Thursday, July 21, 2011

the garden is rolling deep

like crazy amounts of zucchini and beans deep!  the basil has been going full force for awhile now.  the garden has been such a blessing.  not only is it yielding amazing amounts of vegetables but it is giving our family a whole other activity.  we are in the garden every day!  pulling weed, watering, mowing, and picking!



zucchini

beans

cucumbers

corn.  the far box was planted two weeks after the box closest to you in the picture.  this was so that all the corn didn't come at once.  also our poor corn was leveled in a really bad storm last week.  look how well it has recovered!


so this was my kitchen yesterday!  i had planned on making zucchini relish but my mother in law came over and found the garden overflowing with veggies!  so she stayed and picked beans, snapped them, blanced them and put them in the freezer.

yum.

i did make zucchini relish (it had to set overnight before canning)

we also shredded most of this zucchini and froze it.  whew!

i'll tackle the cucumbers today.

this basil was transformed into deeeeelicious pesto!

i did sneak a few cucumbers to make this easy salad for dinner.  shredded cucumbers, sugar, white vinegar and some water.  ohmyword.

i am using these two books right now to help me with canning and for my relish and pesto recipes.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Q&A: answers

make sure to watch the videos at the end that answers more questions!

#1 "I would love to know what curriculum you use and what your typical homeschool day looks like!!!! PLEASE :)"
answer
make sure to click on the homeschooling label to look back on several posts re: our homeschool.


i have a 10, 8, 6 year old doing school work.  hank is 4 and i'm teaching him to read using 'teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons'.  dubs is 2 and loves to be read to, puzzles and just playing! 


math - horizons.  we tried teaching textbooks this year and i didn't like it.  great program just a personal preference of computer vs. workbooks.  horizans won. we're going back to it.


science - daily science.  plus this year i'm going to start stockpiling the 'in the box' experiments i just spied at hobby lobby!  over by the airplane model aisle.  


history - mystery of history (JUST bought this and switched from story of the world.)


english - rod and staff. i purchase the hardcover book for each child and have them write the answers on lined notebook paper which goes into their binder.


spelling- spelling skills workbook


reading and writing - spectrum workbook


handwriting - a reason for handwriting


as far as our schedule....i LOVE the crates we use.  each of the big kids gets a new binder every year and i print out a weekly schedule for them.  after breakfast they get going on their school work mostly independently while i clean up and keep the little guys out of the school room.  i'm always around to pop in and answer questions.  
dubs takes a nap after lunch at 1.  i'll do hank's reading lesson with him right after i lay dubs down.  then i do the bigger stuff (history, read aloud, etc.) after that with the big kids.  


#2 'What a cutie!! I would love to see some more pictures of the garden & I am still hoping for a video tour of your amazing house!'
answer:


garden post is written WITH pictures and will publish itself next!  


i've received lots of requests for video tours and i'm still contemplating how to do this.  i'm thinking i will break the house into small sections.  


#3 'i would love to see the floor plan'
answer:


i have received this question a lot! unfortunately, we're not going to share our floor plan.  i've been involved online for long enough to have heard one too many crazy stories and for safety reasons i don't really want to share the floor plan.  BUT....i hear ya! :)  i am always happy to answer specific questions and give suggestions if needed about specific floor plan flow questions.


#4  'curious if your girls bunk room has the same beds as the boys or did you do something different?'
answer:


the girl's bunk room does not have built in bunk beds. it currently has three twin beds. i have not done an update post on their room in a long time!  you can see the basic layout and the posts that i do have by clicking on the 'girl bunk room' label.


#5  How do you handle meal plans and grocery shopping!?! Do you take all the kids when you go shopping for you?
answer:


i don't really meal plan.  i keep basic meat/fish selection in the freezer (chicken breast, ground hamburger, steak and tilapia). i do like the magazine 'healthy cooking' so if i find some recipes i want to make i'll add the ingredients to my list. after several years i have figured out the staples that i need to keep on hand to make a meal that the family will enjoy.  things like:  boxed pasta, flavored bread crumbs, canned peaches, crushed tomatoes etc.  


i don't like to have a ton of everything stock piled (2 of something is plenty) and i also don't like the "big sized" things...like a huge ketchup bottle or a huge mayo.  that's just my preference. 


the kiddos have all come with me to the store and they do well.  lately though either mr. daddy or i go grocery shopping in the evening because we need the cart space! :)  someone usually comes along :)  during the day if i want to run to target or wherever i for sure will bring the kids.  they're used to running around with me and i always tell them how well they behaved when we get back in the car.   


#6  How do you shop for your kids? What stores do you love? Do you take them to the store so you know it fits? Or order online?
answer:


i shop all over!  a couple favorites are boden, tea and gymboree.  i'll also pick stuff up from target, tj maxx, marshalls and the children's place.  there is a local boutique that i like to shop at too.  


as far as taking the kiddos with me...if its shoe shopping for sure (or i'll trace their foot) but otherwise i'm comfortable picking stuff up without them.  the girls have started asking to come along shopping with me more often which i love!


for me i like:  banana republic, ann taylor, modcloth, jc penney, the buckle (for jeans), tj maxx, marshalls, boden, and local boutiques.


#7 any laundry tricks?


answer:
no.  do you?  hee hee :)  seriously...my best advice is to just do it!  man, if i let one day go by without doing at LEAST one load, the pile just grows.  so just do it.  all the time. :)


#8 Do you have help with cleaning and cooking, etc?


answer:
yes and no.  yes, the kiddos and my husband all help with everything! my husband will often take on the kitchen.  cleaning the floor doing the dishes etc.  and yes, for this summer we hired one of my husband's sisters to cook some meals for us.....awesome!!!!  


that will come to an end shortly.  i don't have a cleaning lady (i did in our previous home though....so i'm all for it!).  with my children growing older and more capable we seem to be able to stay on top of things ......MOST of the time! :)  


#9Do you have a nanny?


answer:
for the summer my husband's other sister (shout out for big families!) babysits twice a week and one weekend night for us.  i LOVE summertime!!


during the school year i have a babysitter come one day a week from 12-5.  i have done this for several years and will never go back.  it is so helpful to know that every monday or every tuesday there will be a chunk of time for appointments and errands.  


i'm also blessed with a mom and mother in law that live close by and give me breaks!

#10,11, 12 & 13 what was your journey in deciding to homeschool your children?
Have you dealt with any criticism regarding homeschooling? How do you deal with it?
What are important components that you considered when putting together your homeschooling room?
What did you wish you knew your first year of homeschooling?

answer:
when our oldest was three people started asking me where we were sending her to preschool...??!!!!  what?  we had always said we would send our children to the local christian school.  i (immaturely) thought homeschoolers stayed inside all day and wore long skirts.  :)  *news flash*  we don't!!  anyways, i was encouraged to look into homeschooling. the short story is that once i looked into it (met with other moms, went to a local support group meeting) i never looked back.  

we don't get much criticism, mostly curiosity and questions from people.  we love it so much that is fairly easy to deal with.  i just share honestly from my heart.

as far as the school room design.....i wanted natural light, a work surface type floor, a sink and storage.  

the first year of homeschooling is a treasure to me.  i received so much wonderful advice to keep it simple and not dive into a ton of stuff...but i just felt like i had to work it out for myself.  i purchased the complete k/1 curriculum from sonlight and all the math manipulatives.  we followed a schedule.  was it a little overboard?  probably.  but i had to start somewhere.  i wouldn't change a thing.  i'm just so glad we stuck with it!!

#14 Can you tell us the color of paint in your family room and the bonus room? Exterior?

answer:
check out the 'paint colors' label.


the exterior is seacoast gray by cabot stains

#15 I would love to know some of your favorite stores/resources for home decor

answer:
marshalls and tj maxx.  i really like home goods but we don't have one close to us :( .  i've also purchased items from:  target, pier one, hobby lobby, flea markets, furniture consignment shops, ballard designs, ikea,  overstock, etsy and shades of light.  i try to source items in my posts too...so looking back you might find some other stores i like :)

#16 I would love to know your favorite thrift stores.

answer:  
i love the 'treasure chest' section at our local goodwill for milk glass and dishes.  there is also a couple of local furniture consignment shops that carry a good selection. i've found a couple of things on craigslist as well although its not my fave.  i also like to go to barn sales :)




*****here is a 3 part video series answering more questions!****

part one

part two

part three


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Q&A. stuff.

***i'm closing the comments so i can work on the answers!  you guys rock!  so many questions :) :)  
i should write a book!***

you ask the questions and i'll post the answers!

post your questions in the comments over the next couple of days.  i'll compile them up and answer them next week.

*********************


our summer is flying by!  this july heat means sprinklers, kiddie pools and water balloons pretty much all day every day.

********************


the garden is amazing and the plants are huge!  everything is ready to burst.  the tomatoes are almost ripe, the peppers are popping, the corn is flying high, and the zucchini plants are enormous.  i can't wait to start whipping up some fresh salsa.

********************
this little video shows a typical happening at about 10:00pm, one of the children will come downstairs out of bed.  they have an important question, need a drink, or just need to bust out into dance.  (hank had daddy's birthday card up in bed with him.  it was a musical card that played 'celebration' when you open it) apparently this little dance routine was important enough to justify getting out of bed.  seriously.  it doesn't get much better than this people.

video

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