Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday

Don't miss Currclick's Cyber Monday Sale! You get 10 items totally FREE (who doesn't like free???)! Eight of them on Currclick.com and 2 on their Facebook page.

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Plus their Stocking Up Your Shelves sale starts today also. 1000's of homeschool items are discounted up to 75% off!!!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Disasters

Well I hope you all had a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Our day was most certainly NOT a typical Thanksgiving!!! It seemed that every time you turned around something else went wrong that day.

It all started with not getting up on time. Mike and Nick both had to work Thursday night due to the Black Friday sales, so I wanted to get the turkey on by so that we would be ready to eat by . I didn't get up till though, so the turkey went in 2 hours late.

No biggie ... we'll eat at instead ... still plenty of time to take a nap. J

A few hours after the turkey had been cooking it was time to pretty much start everything else. Zach and Nick made egg noodles the day before and I was putting them into the pot. As I went to grab another handful of noodles off the pan the wax paper they were on went “poof”! I had gotten the wax paper too close to the burner and it was on fire!!! **Do you know your first instinct is to blow the fire out? I think that comes from blowing out birthday candles. J **  WARNING: Do NOT blow on wax paper if it’s on fire!

Zach and I were cracking up at this point, hurrying to get the noodles off the pan and thrown into the pot, and then dashing to the door to throw the pan outside. I’m sure we looked as silly as we felt. We managed to save the noodles without any bodily harm.

Mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, deviled eggs … these all went well.

Time to take the turkey out of the oven so that the sweet potatoes, rolls, and pies could all have their turn in the oven. So out comes the turkey and we turn the heat up on the oven and wait for it to preheat. And wait. And wait. And wait. The oven doesn’t seem to want to get any hotter. Actually it seems to be cooling off. L 

Mike! To my dismay my husband can’t figure out why the oven isn’t working. But then he spots the problem. The heating element in the bottom of the oven in burnt in two!!! What!?! I have more stuff to cook!

Good thing I was talking with Nana when we figured the stove wasn’t working. She reminded me that we had a little oven thing (it’s a rotisserie/oven thing … I don’t know what you call that) that I could put stuff in.

So the turkey went back in the oven to help it keep warm, the mashed potatoes went in the microwave on the keep warm setting, and the egg noodles just sat on the stove top … they can be reheated. In go the sweet potatoes to the little oven thingy. The breaker kicks. Oh! That’s right, I can only run extra appliance at a time. Ok, so the microwave is turned off and the sweet potatoes are on again. This little oven thingy is only big enough to cook one thing at a time.

30 minutes later … sweet potatoes come out … stuffing goes in … 30 minutes after that stuffing comes out … rolls go in. 15 minutes later oven thingy gets turned off.  Microwave gets started to warm up the potatoes, noodles get turned back on to warm them up.

Table gets set, Mike carves the turkey, say prayer and eat. Finally! J The younger boys are loving all the Thanksgiving Day dinner stuff I had on the table. I made a menu this year and they thought it was great and wanted to order like they were in a restaurant. I have pictures of our table below.

We’re talking about what everyone is grateful for, eating our dinner (and yes it is dinner time by the time we did get to eat), so thankful the replacement part for the oven is less than $20 J, and just really enjoying ourselves.

Then pie is mentioned! Ack!!! I forgot to start the pies! So half way through dinner the first pie goes into the oven thingy. It’ll be at least an hour before it’s cooked and then it has to have time to cool off. Only 1 pumpkin pie got made. At least we were able to have some before the younger boys went off to spend the night with Nana and Pawpaw. Mike and Nick had to work that night. Zach, Alex, and I were shopping (that’s another story).

All in all … we had a good Thanksgiving. Didn’t go as planned, but we were altogether, we are all happy & healthy, the oven lasted at least as long to get the turkey fixed (no way it would have fit in that little oven) and we had plenty of food to eat.

Even though it didn’t go as planned … we were thankful for what we did have … and that’s really what Thanksgiving is all about anyhow! J

Ok ... maybe I won't have pictures of our table ... it doesn't seem to be working for me now.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Save BIG Money At In The Hands of a Child!

Black Friday - Small Business Saturday - Cyber Monday
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HOAC is having a HUGE Black Friday Sale with up to 45% discounts on Hands of a Child Products*.

They will also be offering additional discounts up to 30% on ALL other products they carry during CYBER MONDAY*.

NEW this year - HOAC will be participating in Small Business Saturday, which bring you even MORE SAVINGS with a fabulous discount on 1 Year Super Memberships up to 33%!

Start planning your purchases NOW and SAVE LOADS OF MONEY on Lapbooking units, Notebooking units, and so much more!

* Excludes Custome Designed Project Packs, already discounted products, and Super Memberships.

DID YOU KNOW?

In the Hands of a Child is the only company that offers you the option of ordering lapbooks and notebooking units CUSTOM DESIGNED to YOUR specifications!
Check it our here: http://tinyurl.com/7zhr3qu

Monday, November 14, 2011

Volcano & Wacky Mud Science

Lowe's Build and Grow Free Kids' Clinics are AWESOME!!! Walter and Sammy love going to these clinics. Sometimes the things are a little to "babish" for my boys, but most times they get to make a cool little project.


This past Saturday they built a Science Lab.



It's just a little wooden frame with a couple of test tubes, a dish, and some experiment cards, but the boys had a fun time with the couple of experiments they've done so far.

After building it we headed over to Walmart to pick up the supplies we didn't have at home to complete the experiments they wanted to do. Our first one was the volcano:




They just now realized that this is what Mom uses to clean out the drains in the house ... well minus the cherry Jello!


Next up was Wacky Mud ... this stuff is messy!




As you can see this was the best one though :)  What boy doesn't love anything that is pretty yucky??? LoL

It was fun trying to figure out if it was a solid or liquid though. After mixing it up you could tap the top of it and it really felt solid ... but try picking that stuff up! It oozed right out of your hands!

This was a fun time with my boys! This is one of the reasons I love Lowe's :)


Friday, November 11, 2011

Earning Free Gifts for Christmas

Gift Cards to Amazon.com and a whole slew of other places, clothes, electronics, movies, and jewelry. These are just a few of the things you can snag with Swag Bucks!

If you have not started redeeming your Swag Bucks for gift cards and all the other cool prizes ... start doing it today! You can only redeem two (2) prizes each day ... so if  you haven't started cashing in you better get a move on for Christmas.

I only joined Swag Bucks this year, so I haven't earned a huge total of Swag Bucks, but I did earn enough to buy all kinds of things for our homeschool this year, they partically paid for the tablet I bought my husband, and I have some left over! : )  I turn mine in for the $5.00 gift cards to Amazon.com.

What better way to save money for Christmas ... or homeschooling!?! Most of my earnings come from searching the internet ... which is something I do a lot of anyhow ... so why not earn a little extra cash???

I hadn't really planned them for Christmas this year, but I'll use what I have left over for Christmas you can count on that. Then anything from after Christmas this year will go towards homeschooling books & materials for next year and Christmas too. And this time I'll have a full year in which to earn them. I plan on raking them in! ; ) LoL

If you'd like to know more about Swag Bucks visit their link from this post or my sidebar. I'd be more than thrilled if you'd sign up using my referral link. If you sign up with my link then I earn too and you can always get others to sign up under you to earn more too.

Happy Swag Bucks Hunting!



Monday, November 7, 2011

Super Saturdays


Highlands Museum has the following description of what they are calling Super Saturdays on their website.

“The museum will be holding science and history workshops at the museum every Saturday at 2:00pm. We are calling it Super Saturdays! The workshops are geared toward elementary and middle school aged children, but would be a great thing to do with the entire family!
Each workshop will be held two times so hopefully you can make it to your favorite one!
November
5th and 26th  
Wings of WWII
     Students will learn about the evolution of aircraft as weapons during WWII and how it changed the war and brought about an American victory. Students will get to make models of planes to take home and will finish off their day by flying a scale model B-25 Bomber across the Mezzanine of the Museum!

With some of the workshops, we provide supplies for each child. To help us cover the cost, it will be $3 per person.”
This sounded really interesting, so we took our boys to it. Here are some pictures of what they got to see & do while at the workshop.


I’m extremely happy that the boys had a great time and want to go back to more of the workshops held at the museum. We’ll be more than happy to take them to future outings. Although I have some real concerns about the way they describe the workshops and the cleanliness of it.

This one wasn’t very well planned. We stood around where we were told that the instructor would meet us and finally just happened to see a couple of guys fooling around with a plane. Well after having to ask about it we were told that was the instructor and to go on upstairs. I don’t think it would have hurt to let us parents know that the class was upstairs to begin with and they really should have introduced themselves and said come on. Something. Anything.

After that was sorted out … they had a great time talking with the guy doing the presentation, but there was a lot of time wasted with the airplane they were “flying” across the Mezzanine. It was a plane on a string and there was something wrong with that string so the plane wouldn’t “fly” right. So there was some down time between kids getting a turn. Most didn’t mind as they ran off doing other things or looking at other stuff. They were super cute when it was their turn to fly though! They also got to drop a “bomb” on a floating boat (brag inserted here ... Walter was the only one to make it into the water & bomb a boat! LoL many of the kids got it in the water but he was real happy about actually hitting the boat ... that's my boy!)  … well if you pulled the string at the right time you would hit the water … but it was hard. That certainly would take some practice … hit or miss though it was fun for the kids.

Then it was downstairs to “make models of planes”. It was a large sheet of paper. They made a big paper airplane. What!?! Yes a big paper airplane. That is so NOT “Students will get to make models of planes to take home” … It’s not a bad thing … what kid who likes planes doesn’t like to make paper airplanes? Especially a big one! I just think the wording on the website is very misleading. I didn’t expect a real good model of an airplane, but I sure as heck didn’t expect they would just give them a piece of paper either. Ah well, my boys have been playing with their's all weekend ... they aren't planes anymore though! hahaha

Something has to be said for them trying to draw in people to their workshops, but fudging the truth about what is going on doesn’t make a real good impression and a little prep work would go along way for the workshop to run smoothly. But like I said, the boys had a ball with it and we’ll do it again mainly because it’s of interest to them and when you’re homeschooling you want your kids to be interested in all kinds of learning.

Of special note to parents … I wouldn’t let my children play around downstairs unless you have looked it over pretty well. I understand it’s an area for children to play and learn and that it wouldn’t be spotless, but there is a huge cleanliness issue going on down there. All the clothes and shoes need to see a washer immediately! The toys and such need to be thrown into a sink full of soapy bleach water. The phone at the McDonald’s station was just plain nasty … for one it’s broken and should be thrown away … after picking it up though … ew … you can tell it hasn’t even been wiped off in forever. The dispensers with the hand sanitizer in them were empty too.

I so dislike having to give this a not so great review. We love taking our boys out and about to places like this that having a potential for such learning. Finding local places is an extra plus. So anytime I can find a local place that if offering something like this we love to go and I so wanted to be able to brag about our local wonders!

I believe in second chances though, so ... here's hoping we just caught the museum at a bad time and we have a better experience with the next workshop!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Awesome Chicken Noodle Soup

Last night for dinner I threw together a pot of chicken noodle soup. Normally I make this in a crock pot, but after all the compliments I received last night I do not believe I’ll ever make it that way again! : )

I popped 3 chicken breasts in the oven and cooked them. Then shredded two of them and cut the third into chunk size pieces.

In a large pot I added:
1 Large can of Cream of Chicken Soup & Water
1 Small can of Cream of Chicken Soup & Water
2 more glasses of water
The shredded and chunked chicken
LOTS of Pepper

Brought it to a boil then added a bag of Wide Egg Noodles and brought it to a boil again and cooked it for 7 minutes. Removed from heat. Served.

We had crackers and bread on the table.

Everyone had at least 2 helpings and talked about how good it was. I was so thrilled that Walter liked it so much. He’s always complaining about food, but this pot of chicken noodle soup very much appealed to him. : )

It was good. The “sauce” was thick, the noodles cooked up perfectly, and the combination of shredded and chucked chicken pieces were a nice compliment.

I just had to share this because my family loved it so. I may make nothing else ever again! : ) LoL



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Candy Hangovers

Candy Hangover - Usually the day after Halloween, individuals who have overindulged in holiday sweets experience a crash. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
-Nausea
-Diarrhea
-Vomiting
-Headache
-Desire to murder alarm clock


Taken from http://www.urbandictionary.com/ (do not allow your children to view this website on their own – language).

We spent our morning at Co-Op … which went great! Everyone was happy & wide awake for classes. Afterwards I took the boys to Taco Bell for lunch and we enjoyed eating and talking with each other.

Our “crash” happened once we got back home. Boys went into fighting with each other mode and I just wanted to pass out! The bad thing about crashing at that time was that we had to go back out to take Zach to work, pick up Mike from work and pick up Nick from school. Mike was feeling it too when he got home … so I happy that I wasn’t alone. Yes I know that’s evil of me! : )

Finally feeling better and getting things ready for school tomorrow. Hopefully the kids will be happier tomorrow too. They went to bed and were out within 20 minutes. We’re usually fighting with them to go to sleep for at least an hour.

Hope you all didn’t have the candy hangover that plagued my family this afternoon! : )