Triple Clicks

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Getting Back Into A Routine

Our little one is five weeks old tomorrow.  I'm amazed every week because she seems to have inherited my genes.  She is bulking up a little bit, but nothing like the three middle siblings-they have definitely taken after their daddy.  It's been awhile since I've had a baby stay in newborn clothes for more than a few weeks!  For my arms, it's nice. She's a little cuddle bug and with all the storms we are getting lately she wants nothing more than to be held and rocked. I'm trying to write this post while she sleeps, but we had a low pressure system move in last night which means this momma needs lots and lots of coffee.  

I'm working on getting us all back into a routine. Less TV time, playing learning games and the all important cleaning schedule.  Along with that, I'm getting lesson plans ready and school things organized and rearranging the dining room to include room for the homeschool stuff and find a place for the baby swing, I'm missing that and it seems Hannah likes to rock so I'm hoping she'll like the swing.  

One of the big things on my list this week was to clean the van.  It gets too cold up here to do more than keep the trash picked up and the toys in their little toy baskets during the winter, so once we get the spring thaw I deep clean the van.  Our van is designed so there's basically two carpets, the top carpet on the entire van floor comes off in pieces, the bottom carpet basically stays clean.  So I'm loving cleaning the van when needed and I do better at keeping it clean in the summer.  One of the things I still need to buy for the van is plastic sealable containers to keep blankets, extra clothes and diapers in that fit under the back seat.  This will keep them handy when needed, but clean and out of the way until needed.   

My meal planning is also getting revamped-I'm working on that this week and next as well.  My shopping trip is getting postponed until next Saturday for two reasons.. Our new Aldi's opened up in the city and I want to go in the first time with as few as kids as possible. And the power company decided it needed to shut off the power for five hours next week... So we need to get away from the house anyway.  As for the meal plan, we got Fitbits to help (more my husband, but I have one to help support him) us keep track of calories, exercise and such.  I need a diet rich in protein to help my blood pressure and with nursing Hannah, I need the extra protein to keep going. My husband needs a diet lower in calories, which sounds simple, but he's a bigger guy so we have to balance it out so he's still getting what he needs, but lower  than he's getting now. 

That's what's happening this week.  

Have a good week!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Our Curriculum Is HERE!!!!

Our School Curriculum arrived yesterday and I gotta say, it feels like Christmas.  Charlie Brown's "Christmastime Is Here" was playing through my head yesterday.  

For Andrew, we are starting with Abeka.  After looking through their magazine I decided he would do best in K5.  After getting the books and looking a bit, I do think I picked the right now.  While age-wise most would say he's a little young, but that's a beauty of homeschooling, you can go at the individual child's pace.  This is right where he should be. Yes, he'll have some easy days, but that's ok. I did decide to order the teacher's books along with the workbooks-especially for phonics-because I want the planning and the teaching tips and phonics is not one of my strong points so I need to make sure I'm teaching it right. Abeka has child kits and teacher kits, but I decided not to get the entire kit and just get the individual books-but that's a decision for each family, too.  We also bought a Bible curriculum that all the kids will do together.  I just bought the teacher's manual for this. It has Bible memory verses and a story to read then ask questions about to make sure they understand-and songs (some hymns, some kid's action songs).  I figured I didn't need the separate workbooks for this as Bible stories are pretty straight forward and there are awesome resources on the internet that have free coloring pages. The plan for Andrew's workbooks is to make copies and to keep reusing... I am a little worried about that possibility with all the color in the worksheets, but I'm going to try. 

For Eva, she is still learning the basics so she's still on the preschool book. We have one of those preschool books you can find at Walmart... It will be supplemented with other worksheets and counting, understand that numbers have a value (hello dinosaur counters-we thought they were bears, but they are not oh well!) and whatever else she needs extra help with.  

For Grace, she's just getting busy work so I can help the big kids.  Alphabet and Bible coloring pages. Sorting colors and an electronic Leap Frog toy she got for Christmas will be in her school box.  

With the organizing stuff and miscellaneous school supplies, along with the curriculum, we have spent $200 on school stuff this year.  A lot of that will be reused for many years to come so it was just a one time purchase.  Some of it, I'm waiting until school things get in stores and I'll try to stock up on some it when it goes on sale after school starts.  

Now comes the tedious part-the planning and making sure everything is ready to go. Because I know me.  If I don't have it ready to go, we'll have issues. So I want to get the whole year ready to go.  I'll do a post on how I'm going to do that later.  

Have a great week! 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Weekend Lunch Prep

I've been thinking of doing a blog like this for awhile, so now I finally am.  

My husband gets up early. His alarm goes off at 4:15 AM, I make our breakfast and get his lunch together while he gets ready for work. The mornings go a lot smoother (and I burn the bacon less) when I have his lunch foods ready to go.  So here's what I do on the weekends. 

For lunches and snacks through the day, I pack a salad (with dressing, croutons, bacon bits and sunflower seeds), a whole pickle, a bowl of fruit, macaroni and cheese or garlic butter macaroni and nutty bars. 

For the salad, I have a bowl that used to be a salad shaker (got it at Walmart years ago). The lid latches on great and portion is perfect.  That's usually the only thing that has to be put together in the morning as I only have one bowl and it gets washed every night. But I make sure I have lettuce cut for the next day at least (I cut a head at a time) then all I have to do is fill the bowl and put it in his lunch box. 

I fill up 5 dressing containers.  We have these little containers from Dollar Tree-they usually don't leak as his lunch box stays upright-that fit about 3 tablespoons of dressing.. Yes, I know that's more than one serving, but in all fairness, his lettuce is more than one serving.  It's the right amount of dressing for him for the amount of lettuce he gets and it's a vinaigrette so a little healthier than some dressings. 

I also try to get five pickles in snack bags-but I gotta say, I don't always remember to do that... So I usually have a hand that smells like pickle juice for a few hours-cuz that smell doesn't come off.  

For his fruit I only have 3 containers that don't leak.  These are the only containers I have bought specifically for his lunch.  We usually buy the canned fruit as we don't have to worry about it spoiling (the local selections aren't great for fresh) and can buy what we need for the month. So I fill up what I have and refill as they get washed.  

The macaroni and cheese is part of his lunch.  I make it from scratch and fill up 5 containers from one 16 oz bag of elbow macaroni.. If I'm out of cheese and make garlic noodles, it only lasts for three days, so I really prefer the mac and cheese on that count. These I use 8 ounce sour cream containers as they fit perfect in the top section of his lunch box. 

For his salad toppings I use the 8 ounce sour cream containers that are flat (green lid).  They fit awesome in his lunch box and fit a serving (according to the package) of each: croutons, sunflowers seeds and bacon bits. 

The nutty bars come prepackaged so he just gets one package of those.

Everything that needs the fridge goes on a shelf so it's easy to grab in the mornings. That's my lunch prep for the week.

Have a great week!  


Friday, May 6, 2016

Shopping Trips Week of May 6th

Well, hello there.  You may have noticed the title of this post is a little different, that's because we had a few different shopping trips this week.  

Yesterday we went and bought our school curricula for next year and did part of our grocery shopping.  

Today we finished up our grocery shopping.

So let's start with our school shopping.  

We have decided to use Abeka curriculum.  For me, it gives me the lesson plans.  I need that structure.  We also liked it because it's a Christian curriculum and you have the option to start right off with cursive.  While you can find used books through Ebay, Facebook groups and a few other sources, we are choosing to spend the money and buy new.  The plan is to make copies of the workbooks and reuse them for all the kids... But once we get the books in we might decide to just reorder workbooks for the next child, that's something we will decide once we see what we have exactly.   For this year, we just ordered K5 Cursive Edition for Andrew.  I'll do a post just on this when we get our books in and what I'm doing for lesson plans.  I also added the teachers books (it has lesson plans and how to teach the phonics-not my strong suit-along with other teaching tips), daily Bible lessons and beginner social studies lessons.   We will get blank index cards for phonics flash cards, I'm told by other Abeka moms that these are an awesome resource but as the books have everything, to just buy the blank flashcards and make my own-so I'm taking their advice.  We also need to buy math manipulatives, which we can find at garage sales or on Amazon.  Along with buying a set of base 10 blocks, I'm going to buy some of those teddy bear counters, one set for Eva and one set for Grace (who will be sorting by color, but it's something that should help keep her little hands busy).  On just the books, I spent $170.  The rest will cost no more than $30 depending on where we find them at. 

Now to move on to the grocery shopping.  Aldi's opening missed this month's trip by 6 days. Boo! lol Next month. We'll hit them up next month.  I've spent $360 this month, which is on the lower side thanks to finding meat in the freezer.  

Dollar Tree I just needed tortillas and some moisturizing conditioner.  I bought extra dish soap the past couple months to make sure there was enough when baby came, so I still have the extra.  I also had laundry baskets on my list, but I guess they were out of stock, so onto Dollar General we go next week.  I buy the cheap ones for the kids, get two for each and double them up to make them last longer... Not as big of a deal when they break that way.  

At the bakery outlet we just bought bread. We have decided to spend a little more money on the better tasting hamburger buns and hot dog buns when needed from Sams or Hyvee.  

We also picked up honey from Deep Creek Honey over by Wall Lake.  Fresh honey is the best. :D 

At Sam's I spent $230 on our usual stuff.  You know you go around the same time every month when all the employees come say hi just to see the new baby. 

At HyVee I spent $90.. Now wasn't that a fun trip.  Our HyVee (Sioux Falls Marion Road) is under construction-they are redoing the ready to eat food section and reorganizing the rest of the store to be like the new ones.  So everything is a mess, but once it dawned on me how they were organizing things, I could find about everything-but they had associates ready to help whomever needed help.   

Our meal plan is using a lot of things we have in the freezer...because it's getting freezer burnt and needs to be used.. We are also doing a few new things... Gyros (sort of) and meatball subs.  Now, I'm cheating on the gyros...because I didn't want to hunt down ground lamb.... I'm using a gyro seasoning recipe I found on Pinterest and just putting it on roast beef (days of working at Arby's)... Still gonna make me want to go to Nick's Gyros and get some REAL ones, but we'll see how it turns out-can't be TOO bad, can it?  For the meatball subs, it's really pretty simple.. I bought meatballs-because buying that much meat to make the meatballs from scratch would make them really expensive-and they will be cooked in my homemade spaghetti sauce, stuck in sub buns that I bought, topped with mozzarella and toasted.  Sounds yummy, right? My hubby has such good ideas. :D  The rest of our meal plan is our usual meals.. Using up pork chops and chicken fried steaks from last month.  Chicken Alfredo, spaghetti, smothered burritos, tacos and fish.   

In other news, I still have to get the garden tilled.  It should be warm enough... My mom planted tomatoes for me, hopefully I don't kill them when I transfer them.  and I'm going to attempt onions and carrots again. It's worth a try, right?  

Baby Hannah is growing-slowly it seems-but growing.  My last three babies have been chubby and Hannah is very much a skinny little girl, I'm not quit sure what to do with this skinny little one! :) She wasn't too happy about being in the car seat so much this week, which made for frazzled nerves for me.  

Have a good week!