Monday, October 31, 2016

November Meal Plan - Part One

I keep going back and fourth on the easiest way to meal plan and I think I have finally decided that two weeks or so at a time works best. It makes it easiest for me to shop the sales and make sure I have everything here I need.


November 1st - 5th
Tuesday
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast and fruit or yogurt and fruit
Lunch - Tuna sandwiches, carrots and dip and string cheese
Dinner - Chicken legs, mashed potatoes and green beans

Wednesday
Breakfast - Muffins
Lunch - Mac and cheese and broccoli
Dinner - Chicken and noodles with veggies

Thursday
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast and fruit or yogurt and fruit
Lunch - Butternut squash pasta 
Dinner -  Spaghetti and meat sauce or spaghetti squash

Friday
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast and fruit or yogurt and fruit
Lunch - PBJ sandwiches and apple slices
Dinner -  Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and veggies

Saturday
Breakfast - Pancakes and fruit
Lunch - Hamburgers and veggies
Dinner - Omelettes and fruit


November 6th - 12th
Sunday
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast and fruit or yogurt and fruit
Lunch - Pizza and salad
Dinner - Chicken tacos and refried beans

Monday
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast and fruit or yogurt and fruit
Lunch - Tuna sandwiches and carrots/dip
Dinner - Chicken, black beans and rice and veggies

Tuesday
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast and fruit or yogurt and fruit
Lunch - Eggs, toast and fruit
Dinner - Cheesy burgers, home made fries and veggies

Wednesday
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast and fruit or yogurt and fruit
Lunch - Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Dinner -  Chicken tacos and beans

Thursday
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast and fruit or yogurt and fruit
Lunch - Ravoli
Dinner -  One pot orzo bolognaise and veggies 

Friday
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast and fruit or yogurt and fruit
Lunch - Broccoli alfredo tortellini
Dinner - Meatball subs and salads

Saturday
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast and fruit or yogurt and fruit
Lunch - Hamburgers, fries and veggies
Dinner - Pierogi Casserole and veggies



Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Homeschooling In The Raw - Introduction

I have had a series in mind for my blog for awhile now. I just have yet to had the time to sit down and really work out the details of what I wanted to write. Being a home schooling mom, that is always a topic that I personally like to read about, so I thought why not start my own series! So welcome to Homeschooling In The Raw. I will be posting weekly about different homeschooling struggles, successes and just the normal, real life of a homeschooling family. 

As most of you already know, if you are long term readers, ( if you are new welcome!! ), I am Whitney, wife of Chris and mother to five amazing kids. Chris and I chose homeschooling before Alexzander was even born. This is something we are very committed to.
                                        

Alexzander is our oldest and our only boy. He is ten and started fifth grade this year. His favorite subjects are reading and science. He really enjoys books like Call of The Wild, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and anything Minecraft related.
We are doing an in-depth study of the planet earth this year.  I actually wrote the guide myself. He is really enjoy it so far.
We do have some struggles with him. He can be a procrastinator and fights getting his school done at times. Time management is an area we need to work on with him. This seems to be most evident when we do math class.

                                                           

Destiny is our oldest daughter, she is nine and started fourth grade this year. Her favorite subjects are art and creative writing. Destiny truly is a budding artist, she has some serious talent. This year she started art lessons with my husband's uncle, who is an artist and has taught students in the past. She is doing so well!  I think the main reason she likes the creative writing so much is because of the drawing that goes along with it.
Destiny struggles in math. She has come leaps and bounds but math is her least favorite course. She also is not as avid as a reader as her older brother. She enjoys it but is happier drawing or painting.

                                              

Kairi is seven and she is in first grade. She is an eager learner and really enjoys all her school. I think her strongest area right now is math. She is a very early reader but is coming along well in her lessons. Her biggest struggle seems to be language arts and learning all of the many rules of the English language.
She is a very hands on learner. She loves cutting, pasting, coloring and crafting.

                                       

Amelia is five, she is in Kindergarten. I was not sure on starting Kindergarten this year, I had thought about doing another year of preschool, she turned five in June and just seemed so little for kindergarten. She, like Kairi, is also a very eager learner and we did several placement tests to see if she was ready for the work and she is. We are working on learning to read, she is doing amazing.
I bought her R.E.A.D ( https://craftyclassroom.com/product/r-e-a-d-curriculum-notebook/ ) from crafty classroom and she loves it. Crafty class room has a lot of great things, I suggest checking them out.
                                          

Our youngest, Cassandra, is two. We really do not do any structured learning at this age. Keeping her entertained during school is a struggle at times but that is going to be post number two ( coming soon so be watching ).

                                     

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Colore Colored Pencil Review

I am sure that everyone has noticed adult coloring is a thing. I won't lie, I have been coloring as an adult long before it became a trend, I would just color in my kids coloring books. 

Now that adult coloring books are everywhere, I have collected quite a few for myself. Some of these books are plain and simply amazing, the detail is beautiful and sitting down in the evening to color is very relaxing. 


I plan on using the pages I color to scrapbook, make art work for different rooms and more. 

My biggest complaint has been finding a colored pencil that does not break so easily when sharpened. I have a rather large stash of colored pencils, several different brands and while some are better then others, they all want to break. 


I think I may have found my favorite colored pencil.
                                       
Not only did the come in a very nice tin box, which makes for easy storage, they are also seperated nicely, have the smoothest color I have seen but they are shapening without breaking all the time!

                                       
                                       
If you enjoy coloring, have kids who enjoy coloring or are looking for a gift for someone who does, I would highly recommend looking into these pencils. The colors are very bold and go on with very little effort. It makes for a beautiful result that you are going to want to share with others.
                                       

*******While I did receive this product at a discount in exchange for a review, I do not promise a good review. My reviews are always honest. *********

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Memories



 As most of you now, I recently lost my Grandma. It will be one month since she passed this coming Friday. 

While I was there for her funereal, I took a lot of pictures. I knew it would be the last time I was in her home and I wanted to have those images so I can go back and look at them when I am missing her.

                                  

I took pictures of things that had been in her yard for as long as I can remember, flowers that were growing in the garden she loved so much, the patio furniture where we would sit when I came to visit. The large pine trees the grew in her yard. As a child, we were told repeatedly not to play under them because we would get covered in sap, yet we still played under them and of course got covered in sap.
                                              
                                               
                                              

                                                     
    
                                                     
                                                     

Walking around the yard, taking all these photographs flooded me with memories. This was the house that my Grandparents lived in most of my life. This was the yard I played in as a child, I spent weeks here in the summer as a teen, my children played in this yard. My Grandma and I would sit in her garden, both reading a book and drinking tea.The back yard is where I took the last picture of my Grandparents together before my Grandpa had to go into a nursing home after suffering multiple strokes. My Grandpa passed in 2007.
                                                 

Being inside my Grandparents home without either of them there was a feeling I really can not bring it words. It just felt empty. I will never forget the wave of heart ache walking into the kitchen without being greeted by her warm hug and sweet smile. I spent a lot of time in that kitchen. Grandma always had cookies, I had countless breakfasts of squaw corn and countless dinners of the best beef stew you can imagine. There was numberless amounts of chocolate cake, even after my mom leaving strict instructions that us children were not to eat anything else that night. As I got older, I took over the cooking when I was there for a visit. It was a privilege to serve my Grandma, it was never enough to pay back all she had done for me.

                                            

Walking around the house I took a lot of pictures of the decorations. While new things were added over the years, it stayed generally the same. A lot of the birds my Grandma adored, canisters in the kitchen that had been there for a very long time, many items that are much older then I am.

                                                 


                                   
                                              
                                                 
                                      

                                     
                                                 
                                                      
                                       

My plan is to use these pictures to make some art work for my house. Most likely I will collage them, decoupage them onto wooden slabs and hang them on my wall. When I do finally get them made, I will post again, with the finished project. For now they are all on my computer and I look at them often, sometimes they bring a smile, sometimes a tear. I miss my Grandma.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Room Redo




Chris and I recently decided that instead of trying to sell the house we have, we were going to refinance and slowly redo several rooms in the house.

The first room we did was Alexzander's room. He had been upstairs in the back room. While he did have his own room, it did not have a door. It was just separated by a small hallway. Since he is getting older, he wanted more privacy and we wanted to give him more of his own space, away from his sisters.

Three years ago, we surprised him on his seventh birthday but completely redoing his room when he was gone for the weekend. Here is his old room.

                                         
              

We wanted to go with the same theme, he loves star wars. We also wanted to make it look a little more grown up for him.

The room we converted was a small office space. It is only about 10x10 but it was a very open space. I have limited floor room to work with but lots of wall space. We needed to paint, install a door and replace the flooring. We wanted to do his room without spending a ton of money, so the trick was finding things we already had, updating and finding great sales!

                                       

We started with the floor and walls . Chris picked up everything we needed at Menards, we spent under $70 to do the flooring. First step was ripping out the carpet and removing the hundreds of staples.

                                  

While we had the carpet removed, we painted. No sense in laying a new floor before the walls are done! We actually still had a lot of paint left from the first time we did his room. So no extra cost there!


                                       

                                       

The floor went so fast, I was amazed. Chris and I worked together and had the whole thing done in around an hour. He did need to add some extra trim, there was a gap between the floor and were the trim was. This was an easy fix, he just bought some cheap edging ( this was already included in floor cost above ), cut it and stained it himself.

Once the floor was installed it was a matter of getting everything in the room. We opted for a loft bed. This would give him extra floor space and a place to put his toys. We found a nice bed on craigslist for $60, we already had the mattress from his old bed.

He did need a dresser ($40), shelf ($15),  curtain ( $12), we used toy storage we already had, repurposed a white shelf by painting it blank, spray painted his heat vent cover black to make it match and used mostly decorations we already had. Chris did find a couple great new additions at a flea market ($25 ).

The doors were the last thing we needed. Since the space was large, we opted for accordian doors. I ordered two from amazon ( $70 ).

The final results -

                                           

                                           

                                                       

                                             
                                       ( note, I swear the shelf is not actually crooked, the picture is ) 

                                                           

                                                           

I feel like we really did a great job on this space. His room is updated, he has a fun space of his own and we did it very cheaply. A grand total of $292 was spent to update his space.


Be looking for more posts like this, we are still redoing the little room upstairs. It will be a space for Amelia and Cassandra, redoing our front porch, living room, bathroom an our bedroom. Great things are happening at the Walters' house.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Tis the Season

The dreaded cold and flu season is upon us, unfortunately for the Walters' house hold, we have already caught our first bug.

It all started with Amelia, last Friday we were at my parent's house trying to get ready for a camping trip we were going to take. I was outside with my Dad when Amelia just started screaming, holding her stomach, and telling us how much it hurt. We were going to take her to the ER because it hurt around her navel, a tell tale sign of appendicitis. We got just down the block and she calmed down and said it did not hurt as much anymore. So, I turned around and went back. She fell asleep on my mom's lap when we got home, so I let her rest for awhile before waking her.

I tried to get her to eat after I woke her and she was not that interested in food. She tried to go play outside with her siblings and within just a few minutes, the pain was back. This time I took her to the ER, something was just not right.

They ran some tests on her but could not find a cause for her pain. At this time, we were still thinking it could be her appendix ( and so were they ) so they sent us home and told us to watch her. We were back the next day, she was worse. Still, they had no explanation to what was wrong with my daughter. The second trip was not a great one, I will spare you all the details as it will just lead into a rant.

By late that night, she was running a very high temperature, the highest was 104 and was just acting very, very sick. I opted to take her back, yet again, this time to a new hospital. They ran additional tests on her, still thinking it could be her appendix and yet again, they were clean. So we are left with a diagnoses of a virus.



This is the strangest virus I have ever seen. No throwing up or unpleasantness of the other variety, just extreme stomach pain all around her navel, no appetite tiredness and a high temperature. Anyone that is a parent can imagine just how tiring and scary this has all been.

I still was not fully sure it was a virus, I mean a stomach virus without the normal issues, that is just bizarre.....plus everyone else is still healthy. Yeah...eating my words now.

Monday swings around, Amelia is still running a low grade fever, still grumpy, has mild pain but is finally starting to eat some again. By Monday at lunch, Cassandra also has a fever and stomach pain. My first thought, " Well I guess that shows it is viral....". She spent much of the day sleeping.

While we was sleeping, I tried to get some things done. ( adding some humor to this post now )

Let me set the scene for you. You are rushing around, trying to get a lot done while your sick toddler sleeps. You are already exhausted because your five year old has been sick for days. Now that you have two kids sick, you know your time to get anything done is very limited. So you run down stairs, trying to get laundry switched between loads of dishes.

 You don't switch the light on because you will just be there for a second. So the room is semi dark and you see eyes staring at you......you have a mini heart attack and go back up stairs to switch the light on....only to see it is a plastic owl that just about made you meet your maker.
                                                


Late Monday night, we are all settled in, Cassandra and Amelia were segregated the best I could ( hard with that many kids running around ).


 Kairi was coloring and Chris and I were playing a board game with the older kids. Kairi had been acting a little funny but I really thought she was just sleepy, I was wrong. She is now sick and so is Alex. So 4/5 Walters kids are now sick with a very, very nasty virus. Here is to hoping it stops there!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October Meal Plan

10/1
Saturday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Sandwiches and apple slices
Dinner - Baked chicken breasts and veggies


10/2 - 10/8
Sunday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Dinner - Spaghetti and meat sauce or spaghetti squash with meat sauce

Monday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Eggs, toast and fruit
Dinner - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and veggies

Tuesday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Pancakes and fruit
Dinner - BBQ chicken sandwiches and veggies

Wednesday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Eggs, toast and fruit
Dinner - Turkey alfredo and broccoli

Thursday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Salads
Dinner - Chicken legs, mashed potatoes and veggies

Friday -
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - French toast and fruit
Dinner - Chicken noodles over mashed potatoes with veggies

Saturday -
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Cheese omelettes and fruit
Dinner - Veggie beef soup

10/9 - 10/15
Sunday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Sandwiches and veggies/dip
Dinner - Baked chicken, potatoes and veggies

Monday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Eggs, toast and fruit
Dinner - Meatball sandwiches and veggies

Tuesday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Salads
Dinner - Chicken tacos, rice and beans

Wednesday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Turkey or tuna wraps and veggies
Dinner - Chicken  parm pasta and veggies

Thursday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Hard boiled eggs, string cheese and fruit
Dinner - Pork chops, creamy corn and veggies

Friday -
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Broccoli cheese soup
Dinner - Ravoli Casserole 

Saturday -
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Pizza
Dinner - Chicken, rice and veggie

10/16 - 10/22

Sunday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Dinner - Chicken breasts, cheesy butternut squash and veggies

Monday - Wednesday
Camping!


Thursday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Pancakes and fruit
Dinner - Ham, potatoes and veggies

Friday -
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Salads
Dinner - Ham and cheesy potatoes

Saturday -
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Biscuits and gravy with fruit
Dinner - Crockpot lasagna

10/23 - 10/29
Sunday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Hard boiled eggs, string cheese and fruit
Dinner - Baked potato soup or butternut squash soup

Tuesday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch -  Chicken noodle soup
Dinner - Sour cream chicken enchilladas and black beans with rice

Wednesday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Ravoli
Dinner - Cheese burger casserole and veggies

Thursday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Pizza
Dinner - Goulash

Friday -
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Tuna sandiches and veggies/dip
Dinner - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn

Saturday -
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Dinner - French toast, scrambled eggs and fruit

10/30 - 10/31

Sunday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Cheese omelettes and fruit
Dinner - Biscuits and gravy with fruit

Monday
Breakfast - Cereal or oatmeal with fruit
Lunch - Salads
Dinner - Chili

Sixth Grade Reading Guide

Course Description: This reading guide is for students in the sixth grade, it can be used for younger or older students, based on their rea...