Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Scrapbooking. . . four year old fashion

We found this idea on the Lesson Pathways website, and we love it! Their idea was based around the letter of the week, and at the end of the week have your child cut out pictures that start with that letter and paste those pictures in a "scrapbook". Well, we turned the letter of the week into the letter of the day and rather than cutting out magazine pictures (or printing them) we do a small craft each day. Crawfish Pie already knows her ABC's, but gets the "b" and "d" confused as well as the "u" and "n" so this is a good review for her. I also make a tracer sheet on the Kid Zone website for each letter of the day to start working on handwriting skills. I keep the tracer sheets in my curriculum binder, and Crawfish Pie keeps her projects in her scrapbook. The scrapbook is something that a proud Crawfish Pie shows Daddy with excitement every night when he gets home from work, she absolutely loves seeing her work in a book! Here is the beginning of her Alphabet Scrapbook.

I printed a very large A and punched holes all the way around so she could lace with the yarn

B is for Butterfly! We used coffee filters and pipe cleaners to make ours.

Left page was for words that used the hard C sound. One piece of tape along the top of each picture allows her to flip through several pictures on one page. The page on the right was for words that used the soft C sound. 

I cut out Diamond shapes, and emptied the hole puncher for Dots. Crawfish Pie played with her shapes all morning before we glued some of them in the book. She kept most of the diamonds to play with. 

E is for Elephant! A paper plate made for a great elephant face along with an online template for ears and a trunk. Most mothers have probably guessed already that my house was NOT quiet this day!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

CSN Stores $50 Giveaway!

My fabulous friend Kayla is at it again! More great giveaways! This time she is giving away a $50 gift card to CSN stores. They have tons of great stuff in several categories, you can check out their selection at If you love what you see like I did, go to Kayla's blog and enter the giveaway!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Built Louisiana Tough!

Often I hear, "things aren't made like they used to be". With prices rising on raw materials, and cheaper alternatives being continuously added to the market, it really is no surprise that quality has gone down the drain. There has been no experience in my life that has shown me the value of the good ole days, quite like having a large portion of a tree fall on our old house. Here in hurricane country, trees on houses are not out of the ordinary. Blue tarps are like some sort of symbol that memorializes the struggles that families in our area have suffered. I have seen many a tree or tree limb do serious damage to property, and have somehow decided that I am able to gauge the destructive capabilities of such trees. When I saw the size of the branch that fell on our house, I just knew it was a total loss.  Much to our amazement, we have a hole in our bathroom ceiling, another hole in the bathroom wall, and some damage to the back porch. The majority of the weight lay solely on the kitchen, which was built before kitchens were attached to houses (it was later moved and attached to the dining room). It was a slave kitchen, and it saved our lives! Had the roof given under the pressure of the tree, the heaviest part of the limb would have landed in our laps as we watched t.v. that night. We are forever grateful to the solid wood, blood, sweat, and tears that built that kitchen. I have seen more damage done to houses with much smaller branches, but those houses don't have the history that our house has. The shed (seen with the red wagon) was actually "the maid's" room. Her name was Buella, and she worked in the kitchen that saved our lives. I believe her spirit held the tree up. Don't mess with a southern woman's kitchen! The bathroom was the last room to be added to the house. It is a young room and it was crappy from the start. Built in a hurry, it has no history, no love in its walls. It received the most damage even though it was farthest away for the tree. Go figure. Things aren't made like they used to be.
we were sitting in the room directly below this monster when it fell

Saturday, September 11, 2010

More Awesome Giveaways!

Could it possibly be time for me to start having a few giveaways of my own? It's quite possible, but for now I will gladly pass on the great giveaways that I have entered!

The first awesome deal is a Tommee Tippee giveaway. In case you haven't heard of the Tommee Tippee brand, they make the best, ultra spill-proof sippy cups along with other great infant and toddler merchandise. To read Kayla's review and enter the giveaway for a chance to win your very own magical spill-proof sippy cup, go check out the blog post over at and Potato Makes Three!

One more really cool giveaway is over at Frugal for my Friends. The author of this blog is offering a chance to win a super cool Kidorable umbrella, and the winner gets to pick the design! They have tons of cool kid gear in matching themes, and I can't lie. . . I want to buy them all!!!! Enter today for your chance to win one!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Finally Friday!

It's finally Friday! What a long week this has been, and we barely got any school work done. We'll just chalk this one up to a bad week and work harder next week.

  • Monday: Labor Day:  Daddy was home so we took the day off too.
  • Tuesday: Library Day! we read plenty of books and brought some home too! I love our library!
  • Wednesday: seriously, there was something strange in the air that day. Alexis was plagued with the inability to focus or sit still, which made school work extremely difficult. 
  • Thursday: Doctors appointment. . . ALL DAY!!!! the day was almost completely wasted between the hour long commute there, the FIVE hours actually at the hospital, and the hour drive back home. Thank goodness we brought three sets of flash cards with us, they kept her occupied (somewhat) and will count as our school work for the day.
  • Friday: Babysitting Day: I loved every second of it! Alexis had fun with friends, and I got to spend my morning with amazing kids and the afternoon with an amazing woman. Couldn't ask for a better day. Lessons of the day: patience, sharing, and helping others! That counts as a school day, right?

Next week we plan on applying a little more focus to our lesson plans. Wish us luck! 

A few questions for all the homeschooling mommies out there: (just wondering what works for you)
  1. Do you plan your curriculum around doctors appointments, or specifically ask for appointment times that will not interfere with your lessons?
  2. Do library days count as a school day in your house? How often do you go to the library, and when you are there is it free learning time or structured to match you lessons for that week? 
  3. How much emphasis do you put on "life lessons", and do you use those lessons as curriculum or just magnify them when the opportunity arises?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Whats for Dinner?

Who doesn't love a simple and simply delicious dinner recipe? This alfredo sauce is ready before the noodles are, and is it SO YUMMY!  This is the only meal I cook without Tony Chachere's, it's that good! Sometimes I serve with pan seared, boneless skinless chicken breasts, but this pasta dish can stand on its own. One day we will try it with seafood, or maybe even mushrooms and spinach. . . yum!
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 Kraft Parmesan & Romano Cheese
3 egg yolks from fresh jumbo eggs
Salt and black pepper to taste

  1. HEAT milk and cream in a heavy bottom saucepan until it begins to simmer. Turn off heat. Slowly whip in cheese, then remove from heat.
  2. PLACE egg yolks in a separate bowl and slowly whip in a portion of the hot milk and cream mixture. Slowly add egg yolk mixture back into remaining cream mixture. Place back on very low heat and continually stir until simmering. Take sauce off heat so it thickens. (This will increase temperature of egg yolks, known as tempering).
  3. SEASON to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Homeschool Week 1: Alphabet Activities

We have successfully completed our first full week of home school! Though it didn't go quite as I had planned, it went very well. Perhaps even better than I had planned! I started Alexis on pre-k Language Arts, which is perfect for her right now. She absolutely loves anything ABC oriented and it is good practice since she still gets mixed up on the letters that look the same (like "n" and "u"). However, I don't see her paying attention to the "letter of the week" lessons that are supposed to start next week. A letter of the day may be more suited for her level. We also started on kindergarten Reading/Phonics, and this is where my troubles really began. My child does not recognize "sight words". . . she reads them. She sounds out the letters of the word and can determine what the word is without ever seeing a picture. Of course, it is usually the simple words although she was able to figure out "dinosaur". We blew through almost the whole week of Phonics in one day, all stuff she already knew or easily picks up on. So, now we have no curriculum to follow.  I will still use Lesson Pathways, but I will have to speed up the pace, skip sections, and add lessons to it. Still, I am optimistic about homeschooling, even though my kid will outsmart me soon. I really will be dumber than a fifth grader, LOL! Here are some pictures of her fabulous Alphabet Activities.

Airplane Banner (Uppercase Letters)

Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

A is for Air Conditioner! Can you see the excitement?
Dining Room (please excuse the reconstruction in the bathroom)
Jump Rope ~ this game was tons of fun!
Q ~ because she is "Queen of the World" when she is up there.

Alphabet Caterpillar (Lowercase)

Alphabet Pathway

We live on a dead end road, so we used the whole thing!

Alexis called it her ABC hopscotch. 
You had to jump to a letter and then name it, we also did the letter sounds

All of the activities are in the Lesson Pathways curriculum for pre-k Language Arts. We also made letters out of play-dough and went to the library to read their ABC books. It was great practice, and it was a good way to ease into homeschooling. Next week, I will have a new curriculum and hopefully find lots of cool games to play that help keep the lessons fun!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What's for Dinner?

Last night I made Hamburger Casserole for the second time. I must say, this recipe is becoming a family favorite. Simple enough to make and everyone enjoys it. Thanks to my awesome cousin for this recipe!

1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 cups of cooked rice (approximate)
1 can cream of mushroom soup

We brown our ground beef cajun style (nearly burnt with tons of seasoning), add cream of mushroom soup and  cooked rice to your preference. We use 2 pounds of meat, 2 cans of soup, and 3 cups of rice to make sure we have plenty for leftovers the next day. This recipe is super simple and versatile. In the future I will be trying it with noodles instead of rice, and adding sliced mushrooms or other veggies for fun.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Meredith LeVande's Monkey Monkey Music CD- What Are the Odds: Review & Giveaway!

The fabulous Kayla over at and Potato makes three! is hosting another product review and give away! This give away features the latest and greatest children's music by Meredith LeVande.

Meredith starting playing during college and she preferred to sing about children and their struggles to find out just who they were on the inside. She ended up taking the traditional children's songs and making them her own. It was a hit!

If you want a chance to win  Meredith LeVande's Monkey Monkey Music CD- What Are the Odds, head over to Kayla's blog and enter her give away! She also has sample songs and videos from the CD for you to check it out.