Archive | April 2012

Our week in homeschooling~

This week has been full of hands on activities. Which my kids have really enjoyed, I think I may continue it for our summer learning camp. We finished up our yearly testing a couple of weeks ago and are now just coasting through the last month of “real” school.

Science~

We are learning about Birds. This has been a very exciting lesson for my girls as we have set up a bird feeder area in our yard. This week we learned about bird wings by doing a dissection of a chicken wing. I just bought a pack of chicken wings from the meat department. The girls got to see all the muscles and tendons. They thought it was interesting to see how the joints worked. This was a favorite in the house. We also learned about the different types of nest and the girls had to try to create their own nest. Needless to say this was a messy activity and required showers afterwards.

History~ 

We are studying World History and have been learning about the Egyptians. Which we have also tied in with Geography and started learning about the country also. Last week we made a replica of the Nile River. We then filled it until the water overflowed to represent the flooding of the Nile. And this is what we got after a week.

We also learned about the types of writing the Egyptians used. The girls made a paper scroll with hieroglyphics on it and a clay tablet using cuneiform writing.

Little Man even had to get in on the fun!

These came out SOOOO good! Proud momma moment!

We also read about mummies and decided to start our 6 week project of making a mummified chicken. The kids really liked this idea.

This is a very lengthy and involved project but it was something we all really wanted to do.

This is day 2.

Earth Day 2012~ a new beginning for us

There was a time a few years ago that we were extremely frugal. During the early recession years, my husband’s business barely existed at all. We were barely making it by. Well in the last two years are business has picked back up a little more every year. There was a time when I would see my husband watching TV everyday to now when I barely see him because he is working SO much. Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining!

But with the increase in income has come the decrease in frugality. We buy fast food all the time. We buy little snacks and toys for the kids every time we’re out. I use to be very good about reducing waste but that seems to have stopped also. We are big recyclers around here but that is limited to newspaper, bottles, cans and cardboard, even though we can recycle more.

Grocery shopping use to be extremely tight. I fed a family of 7 for about $400 a month, that was 4 adults and 3 little kids. Now I have 3 adults, 3 teens and a toddler and can’t seem to spend less than $600. I want to get back to homemade and less processed no matter how good of a deal it is.

So beginning Earth Day 2012 our family is making changes!

I am stepping up our recycling to include envelopes, cans and anything else I can recycle.

I am pledging more homemade and less processed.

I am also going to try homemade cleaners to reduce the amount of chemicals in my home.

Reduce energy use. Less drying clothes in the dryer. Less wasting water. Lights out in an empty room (that’s mostly my kids). Open windows on a nice day. And push the air up a few more degrees and set out fans instead.

Less paper plates. I have to admit we use paper plates every day for lunch and sometimes for dinner or breakfast depending on what we are having.

We are also bad about wasting food. I always make too much and then most leftovers get thrown out. I am trying to work on reusing them in other recipes and not throwing out so much.

This is a huge challenge since a lot of this falls on me and with a family of 7 nothing is ever easy but I am ready and really excited to get started!

The price of cereal! Outrageous!!!

Yesterday I decided that I wasn’t going to cook. We had leftovers and plenty of things to eat. We little did I know that my kids were going to devourer a brand new box of Frosted Flakes that I just bought yesterday morning!

1 box of cereal + 4 kids= EMPTY

That was $5 they just gobbled up in one meal! I was shocked!

Shocked that my kids eat like they haven’t had a meal all day!

Shocked that my $5 was gone so quickly!

Shocked that I spent $5 on ONE box of Frosted Flakes, which if you ask me is pure sugar!

When I was venting to hubby, he says well use coupons! Seriously did you just say that to me!!! I questioned his sanity at this point, since he tells everyone I am the coupon queen. If looks could kill, Hmph!

I then informed him that a coupon that says a dollar off of 2 or 3, which seems to be the new cereal trend, isn’t saving a whole lot at $5 a box!!!

Even with BOGO sales it is still expensive when a whole box is gone in ONE meal!

Then it made me question why are we buying $5 boxes of sugar? Why am I buying them if they eat it in one sitting? Because if I don’t then I have to listen to complaining! I personally HATE cereal, always have and always will. But my hubby and kids~ obsessed and will eat 3 times a day if I let them.

So that is why I chose to keep buying $5 boxes of sugar.

And will continue to complain when it last 5 seconds after hitting my front door.

And complain about the coupons sucking.

But the prices of cereal are still OUTRAGEOUS!!

 

Recipe~Baked oatmeal

I found this AMAZING oatmeal recipe.  I have been making this for years and it is a no fail recipe. The best part is it is just a basic recipe. You can add extras to turn it into your favorite flavor of package oatmeal. Whatever strikes your mood, I added grated apples to the recipe and it was so good!

Oatmeal~

3 cups of quick cooking oats

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 stick of butter, melted

2 eggs

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

Sprinkling of Cinnamon to your liking

Any other add ins you would like

Combine all ingredients, including add ins or add them after baking which ever you prefer. Mix well. Pour into a greased 13×9 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until set. Immediately spoon into bowl and add milk.

After I add milk I personally like to warm it up for 15 seconds in the microwave but others in my family don’t. It’s all a preference! Which is what makes this recipe so good!

Extreme parenting~not for me!

I just got done reading People Magazine from a couple weeks ago. Ya know the one with Princess Kate on it. And there was an article about Extreme Parenting. We are know celebrities are known for the crazy baby names, their drunk antics, their break ups, make ups and break up again stories. And I have to admit it’s a guilty pleasure of mine (Did ya hear Brad and Angie are engaged?!) But this article terrified me.

First there is the video that went viral of Alicia Silverstone bird feeding her 11 month old baby. She chews all the food up and then spits it in his mouth. Does she not realize that nothing leaves the internet? So one day when he is in middle school (AKA the brutal years) some bully is going to google his mom’s name and there will be the video.

Then the next celeb on the list was Mayim Blaynik. She is from the 90′s show Blossom. She is a firm believer in attachment parenting, which is great don’t get me wrong. She is still breast feeding her 3 year old! The first thing that came to mind while reading this was the movie Jaws as the shark comes out of the water with the mouthful of huge teeth. Except it’s coming right at my boobs! Let me explain my view… I love breastfeeding. It was the one thing I wish I did longer with Kodabear. But once the baby turns a year old that is my personal limit. But 3 yrs old! I can barely get my 2 1/2 year old to stay still long enough to change his diaper. Again though has she thought about the ridicule this boy will endure when people google his mom’s name!

Now this next one is the most disgusting in my opinion. January Jones stars on Mad Men, but I think it should be retitled as Mad Woman. After giving birth to her baby, she felt what all of us new moms feel tired, worn out, exhausted, emotionally drained. Us non-rich, non-celebs pull up our big girl panties and DEAL! But January (love her name!) decided to spend the extra money and get pills made from her dehydrated placenta! EWWWW! That thing was in me for 9 months trading nutrients for fetal poo! I don’t want to willing ingest it! I will stick to my 5hour energy drink or better yet coffee and soda!

My point is as parents we are our child’s nemesis when they hit about 12. We are uncool and stupid. We are also SOOOOOO embarrassing (with an eye roll). SO why, why, why on Earth would these celebrities put their child through more teasing and bullying.

By the way~ if I was a celebrity…

I would name my child Rose Moscato after my favorite wine, even if it was a boy! Take that Hollywood!

 

I have been MIA

Life has been crazy outta control around here, as does happen with a large family. We’ve had busy schedules with the kids, crazy work schedules with the hubby and all kinds of housework. Plus homeschooling and then a few unexpected turn of events in life have cause me to keep putting off blogging. BUT I”M BACK!!!!!

And in my absence I have been testing products, recipes  and creating up a storm!

I think when I started this blog I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go in. I have so many things I could make this blog about. But in the end I think it is best to stay true to me and my family.

I love my family and being a mom.

I love cooking in every form, trying recipes and creating new ones.

I love being frugal, couponing and getting free stuff.

I love trying new products that I got very cheap or free from various companies.

So these are all things you will find on my blog.

I am NOT going to be posting deal after deal like you see on other blogs because I don’t have that much time. I totally respect the other bloggers that do that but its not me.

So I hope you will continue to follow me and enjoy everything I have to offer!

Jeanette