What a wonderfilled week I have been having. How about you??
I have been attending the Heart of the Matter webinar. Nothing beats the mid year dull drums like other inspiring homeschoolers telling you that everything is ok!! ;) Speaking of other homeschoolers assuring you that everything is not only ok, but fabulous to boot I read a super encouraging e-book over the last few weeks. I got the book from The Old School House Magazine. This hefty e-book took me a little bit to read. Only because there where so many heartfelt wonderful stories that I just wanted to take my time with each and everyone. I often found my self saying oh if she (the author of a particular section) lived near by she would be a great mentor and/or friend to have. I truly enjoyed every page of this book. I am sure that you all are just dying to hear the name of it aren't you??
Well the name is: Help, Lord I am getting ready to start homeschooling my High Schooler. As many of you know I am already homeschooling a high schooler, but I have to tell you I certainly feel a lot more encouraged after reading this. ;) Have you ever noticed that when you has small children every homeschooler you knew had older children and now that you have older children every homeschooler has younger children. No?? It's just me then?? You know what I mean. LOL We have all has this feeling. I love that the internet does not make that seem so bad anymore. Here we have Friends at our finger tips 24/7. I really, really appreciate the internet. I have to tell you that I was happy that in the book not every child got a perfect score on their SAT's and graduated at 16 some did, but most are just like us. I know we all are raising genious' they are just genious' of there own particular subjects or intersts. By saying they are like us I mean that the book does leave you with the dreaded compare yourself to anouther family syndrom. Just about every homeschooler at some point has done this. This book never makes you feel that way it makes you feel encouraged and great and it gives you a sence of I CAN SO DO THIS!! Some go to college some don't some had struggle after struggle and they still made it and have smiles on their faces. I hope if you are looking for some highschool encouragement or a highschool homeschool pick me up you will consider this book.

I know it is already Wednesday and I have not told you about our Sunday dinner menu. Oh what a slacker I am. LOL and giggle to boot.
Our menu this week was:
Honey Brown sugar Ham (cooked in the crock pot)
Mashed potatoes with country gravy (have you ever noticed that the potatoes taste better when the kids peel them??)
Biscuits and hot buttered Corn.
It was all so delicious.
The ham was big enough to provide us with ham and scalloped potatoes on Monday and tonight I made Ham fritatta I will even have some left to freeze for homemade hot pockets.

You know this has been a pretty action packed week we also had our first lessons with our new Spanish tutor. Senorita Serena is very sweet. We stared with our alphabet and our numbers to 20, and colors. We also learned how to introduce ourselves and ask others their names. Then as payment we provide lunch and she and her first baby hang out for a while. This really is a heaven sent deal. I will keep you posted on our Spanish progress. I also have a cool recipe for stuffed soft pretzels to share in the next couple of days. Before I go I wanted to share our pictures of our snowy Texas yard. You can see our snowman Bob the janitor. My kids come up with some really great ones. I am posting the first snow we had at the top of the page and the snow we has yesterday below. Enjoy!!

Sunday dinner it seems is being lost. I for one will not stand for this. Maddy and I have been watching Leave it to Beaver in the evenings along with the Munsters on our Netflix Roku. The Roku for those of you who do not know, the Roku is a wonderful device. We were blessed with it as a family gift from my parents. The Roku enables you to access your Netflix instant watch list on your T.V. I love getting to sit on the couch and pick something to watch with the kids or as a family. Best of all no cable bill or satellite bill. We also get to watch without commercials and the selection (for us) is great. Now there are shows and channels that we do miss on TV but, in those cases we just go to the website or Hulu.com and tada!! there they are. My daughter and I watched the She-Ra series, My hubby and I watched the Eureka series, I watch Psych you get the picture. OK that was a brain wandering. ;) Back to Sunday dinner, watching the beav made me think about Sunday dinner we used to have a Sunday dinner every Sunday but, it just was not feasible for a while. Well, now we are back at it. I love Sunday dinner not the food part of it don't get me wrong I like that part, but what I really like is the idelic old fashioned wash up, get dressed up, use your best manners, have wonder filled conversations, using the good glasses, setting a proper table you know the types of things that it seems people don't know about these days.
I can remember trying to be a June Cleaverish clone when I was younger. oh boy did that backfire. I was trying to be someone/thing that I am not and I was miserable. Which made my hubby miserable not to mention me but, now I am older (goodness I am getting older) and wiser I have figured out a sorta formula if you will of how much essence of June to add and it makes me a happy person. Goodness my mind is a wondering today isn't it??
We decided to begin our Sunday dinners on Valentines day. I sorta made that theme of our dinner. Our menu was not particularly special or gourmet, but we really enjoyed it.

Our Menu:
Roasted Chicken with a middle eastern dry rub
Oven roasted New Potatoes and baby carrots
Piping hot homemade sesame rolls
Blushing applesauce
Cranberry juice
Chocolate dipped strawberries (some with sprinkles)

We had a great time. No elbows on the table was wonderful and we had polite conversations.
We all really enjoyed getting dressed up. The girls asked me to put a bun in their hair. They picked out nice dresses and I gave them a spritz of perfume. Marisa also was able to change her earrings (which got just got pierced for Christmas) to these gorgeous blue teardrop earrings that my Mother got her. I got to wear a nice dress and put on some lipstick and of course perfume and I put my hair up. Lukas got dressed up in a very nice pearl button shirt he looked very smart and my hubby appeared in a nice dress shirt and pants. I have to say we clean up purdy nice. ;)
I have been trying to use Sundays to do some preparations for the week this week I made cookies. I love having something for company to nibble on when they drop in for a visit.
This week I made peanut butter cookies (pb cookies are my weakness oh boy do I like them I would go so far as to say they are my Scooby snacks you know like when they get Scooby to do stuff he is to scared to do lol). I also made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. So yummy.
So what is your Sunday dinner tradition?? Do you have one?? What do you make or have??
Oh I almost forgot to mention that I got just about everything on sale!! The above meal came out to $3.00 a person including dessert and juice. I feel pretty darn good about that.
Safety girls new found hobby is taking pictures so,she is the photographer who took the pictures of our Sunday dinner above.
Haven't we all wanted our own theme music?? No?? It's just me them huh?? Well I have thought about this and I would want mine to be funny and quirky. I want one that would make people smile kinda like the song The Candy Man Can from Charlie and Chocolate factory the original one with Gene Wilder. Not that song in particular, but one that makes you feel happy or smile or give you fond memories. If you had a theme song what would it be?? Would you want something more super heroish?? Or maybe you would be more like a peaceful Enya song anyway you get the picture. I for one thing it would be great. I will let you know as soon as I remember the song that my family said that need to have as mine. I love that I can't remember what it was. See, I need a funny and quirky song. ;)

I know it has been quite a while since I have posted to my blog. With all the stress of the past 8 months and many, many times not having anything nice to say about what was going on I decided that the old saying “if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all” was the better path to travel. That is mind I know that most of you are not used to checking my blog for posts so I am looking forward to hearing from you all again. I really love your comments and feedback on my posts. ;)

Now that you have rediscovered me and I know that you have if you are reading this LOL, let me give you a little catch up on whats been happening with the family and I.

Some of you will remember that my brother in-law and my niece and nephew came to stay with us for a “few weeks” till they got settled into their own place back in June of 2009. Well on February 2010 they moved into their new home!! It was a rough 8 months to say the least. All buried hatchets aside, I am so VERY happy to announce that we have our home back and that our family unit is functioning like the well oiled machine that we are!! You know I really never appreciated just how wonderful it is to be able to pee with the door unlocked or open a crack or to be able to go from the bathroom to the bedroom in a towel cus you forgot some article of clothing when you took a shower. I cherish it I really, really do.

OK so what have we been up to?? At the end of August we began the new school year full of excitement and wonder. I also added two rather difficult students to my classroom with hopes of change and dreams of them getting into the groove and falling into line.

In September we were off and running. One of the coolest fun activities I got for the kids (OK it was really for me, but don't tell any one) was an eraser making kit!! It was so much fun. There was plenty of clay for everyone our kit came with 8 colors and there were 6 of us making erasers so we cut each color into equal parts so everyone would have some of each color. There was lot of trading as the boys did not want any of the pink color and gladly traded for other colors. With my pieces of color I was able to make a turtle, a starfish, a flower, a yin yang, and a couple that were just fun creations. Then we just baked them in the oven for about 5-7 mins for small ones and 10-12 for larger ones. It could not have been simpler. The kit was about 10 dollars at Walmart. I am still using my erasers. I also loved that no one has argued about who's eraser is who's at all this year. Gotta love that.

I also started implementing Charlotte Mason into my curriculum this year. I can not tell you how much I love it. We are also using the workbox method loosely, but we use the schedules and a lot of the methods. We could not be happier and holy moly does work get done quick around here.

October was almost unbearable in it's stress level so in all honesty October was a big blur. So nothing to report on October. ;) We did begin to have a reprieve from the stress as two of my students began public school and I was free to run my school as I always had. It is wonderful.

November was our Anniversary this make year 15. Wow!! I am so happy with the man God found me and put in my path then hit me with a steam truck till I figured out he was the one God had intended for me. LOL For our anniversary Julie “took” us out to dinner. We went to this very charming little place in Tyler called The Basil Tia Cafe. Oh it was so yummy.

In December we began planning for our trip to RI. This was the first time my girls had ever been to RI and it was also the first time they could remember flying. We did find ourselves with mixed emotions about going on vacation and leaving our pets and home in the care of others. I am happy to report that almost everything went off without a hitch. The house was trashed when we got back it took us a week to get it all cleaned and back to normal. We were also heartbroken to find out the our foster bird Stormy had passed away. We had a lovely funeral for him. Back to the vacation. While in RI we did tons of stuff we went to the Boston museum of Science!! It was amazing. One of the best things that came of that trip was for only 5 that is right 5 dollars more we were able to obtain a family pass to a ton of museums all across the U.S (many right here in driving distance from our house). Or so we thought it was going to be 5 dollars more it turns out that the extra exhibits that we choose to attend had made the bill more, but with the family pass there were a bunch of discounts and it actually saved money. Yes folks we got a ton more stuff and paid a fair chunk less!! Yippee for frugality. ;) The museum was so big that were not able to see the whole thing. Honestly we just did not have time to see the whole thing and oh man almost every exhibit had interactive stuff to do. You could make a vacation just going to that museum. We went to the New England aquarium. What a wonderful afternoon that was. It is really a wonderful place. The center of the aquarium is a giant circular tank. Each floor wraps around the tank and on the outer walls are tank after tank of awesomeness. Of course the sushi jokes were running rampant. The kids played in the snow every chance they got!! We had a lot of fun slinging snow. There was a wonderful huge family Christmas dinner. Lot's a family I had not seen in a long time. I loved it. Lukas got to go to the Naval War Museum in Newport RI. He is still talking about how much fun he had there. One of the highlights of our trip was to go to my Aunt Claudette's art studio!! She is amazing she teaches art to her students or so she says what she actually does is inspire you to express your self in art. She is so much more than a teacher of art she gives you an understanding of a technique then she pulls out your imagination to make it your own and to make something truly from your heart. We loved every min we were in her studio.

January we returned home like I said it above. We had a lot going on in January. We got our house ready for us again. That meant switching rooms so everyone had their own rooms again and writing up new chore charts and getting new schedules in working order. Then there was the sad afternoon of my sister in-law's day of passing anniversary. Then was my father in laws birthday cake number 1. Then was my nieces birthday cake number 2. Then of course my Lukas turned 17 and we had cake number 3 and a Chinese food buffet.

If you want to know what has been going on if February keep check my blog cus I will be posting again VERY soon.

I am excited to tell you about Molly's money saving Digest at www.econobusters.com!!

First of all, the digest is in PDF form. I love that you can simply download it and read it at your leisure, and these monthly digests are big (55 pages this month!) and there is so much information packed into them that you will as happy as am that you get to download them and read them again and again. The digest is so packed with information that I read it several times, and I kept finding new information each time I read it. In the digest I read, January 2010, there was a lovely and informative article all about making pie crusts. I don't know about you, but I really like pie; meat filled pies such as pot pie, and fruit filled pies from my peach trees. There are wonderful chocolate cream pies... oh I could on and on, but I should stop here I don't want to get everyone drooling and shorting out their keyboards LOL. ;) There were lots of great pictures!! There were also recipes and ideas for you you to build on you know the old saying teach someone to cook and they will cook that recipe into the ground teach them the fundamentals and give them a bunch of ideas and they will be off and running. Don't we all say that?? LOL
In the organization section in the January issue there were lots of great printables. My son who recently turned the 17 (oh my how did that happen??) and I read the section about opening a checking account and how to use it. It was very informative. There were also printables to use right away, so we could you put into practice what we have learned.
The article on house hold organization was fantastic. The printables were the very thorough. There was even one that organized the everyone's clothes so you could use the list for yard sales, thrift stores, and trading. How great it will be to have who has what and who needs what and what I have available for trade/giveaway or donate!

Molly's Digest was organized into sections, which I found very convenient. I loved that all of the links mentioned in the article were categorized and hyper-linked at the end of the digest they were conveniently repeated again.

Molly's web site,www.econobusters.com has tons to offer. Just one of the many great things offered is her weekly Friday freebie list. The list is very easy to use. I have been checking it every Friday for quite a while now, and I have gotten tons of free stuff. There are also great articles posted all the time. The digest also included an interview of a new writer that will helping Molly in her endeavor to get us on the frugal path. In the interview, she gave us a wonderful heartfelt introduction of herself. I love that the digest hat is written like a conversation with a friend who is excited to share some information she has found.
Here is a link to Molly's page please go check it out!