chinese dragons, place values, letter reviews and more!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 11:23 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
The last few days we have been having some fun around here! The 2nd grader has been learning about Chinese dragons, the Chinese year, the great wall of china and more during Asian Civilization for History! She colored a really beautiful Chinese dragon and made a Chinese dragon kite!



She's been studying about antonyms, soft and hard c's, some more on life cycles, more on place values and tens and ones, and some other fun stuff the last few days. We need to go check out the book The Littles for or reading assignment.

My preschooler has been reviewing the letters F, G, H, I, and J this week. She did some finger painting and worked on some fun Thanksgiving print outs to go with our holiday coming up to practice counting and beginning sounds! And what she was thankful for!



One of my older kids Keagan who is in public school came home with this really cool art project yesterday! I love when he comes home with stuff like this! I have so many on my dresser and my end tables around the house! I need to start doing some of these art projects at home with the younger ones too! They are so awesome!



Brooklyn also started her speech today! We are very excited about that because you always get a little more outside of what you would in the school system since there are less boundaries for one. There hasn't been anyone local here to work with her til recently and it timed out just right for when we were going back to homeschool so that she could get more speech therapy as well! She was never on an IEP in school as it wasn't severe but she was on a good starter program so I am very thankful for that at least! I can see so many changes just from what they were able to do at school and were willing to do already and can only imagine where she will be in a few months from the new services! It also worked wonderful to time out back to back and next door to another one of her therapies so that is just one less stressor off our back to make lives easier in this process and easier for her in the transition! She absolutely loves it so far!

Mayor's Tree Lighting

11:08 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
Every year we have a big annual mayors tree lighting with a parade, Christmas bazaar, entertainment, food, and more that I am very very fortunate to have been asked to be a part of and help run a portion of it for the city! I absolutely love getting to be a part and not just attend it but feel like I am part of the community and participate and try to hop on opportunities like that when I can to be more involved and learn more about the city we currently live in and make it our home while we are here!
Last year it was really cold and got down to 11 degrees and effected our turn out but there was still a decent one. This year it got bumped up a few weeks earlier to hopefully help some with the weather and the turn out to be like it was many years before and thankfully it wasn't that cold but it almost got a little ruined from rain! I think it scared a few people off but thankfully not to many and it was only light showers and stayed out of our covered area so we were able to still enjoy our festive night! A few pictures of the kiddos I got that night! One was missing from the santa picture because my husband wasn't feeling to great and had to go home and I couldn't handle running things while watching the youngest so she wasn't there at that point but I got most of my kids haha

Meet Stinkerbell!!!

11:02 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
our newest member of the family! I am so NOT a cat person but I got talked into getting one finally and I can't help but say I kinda like it lol

Teryiaki Chicken Over Rice

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 9:28 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 1 comments


Tried this for dinner tonight! It was a big hit and everyone liked it! Which is always great because I have one super picky eater due to sensory issues and my husband is a pretty plain guy that wants basic things only but I like a variety!
For the teriyaki sauce mix all of the ingredients below together and heat on low while the chicken is cooking.
3tbs brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2tsp sesame seed oil
1tsp corn starch
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp garlic powder
2tbs water


Pour over chicken when done and mix. Add vegetables of choice. Serve over white rice.

Cherrry Kiss Cookies

9:08 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments


This is my absolutely FAVORITE cookie recipe!!! I lose control when eating these and have NO will power! And I don't even like anything cherry normally!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherry
48 Hershey cherry cordial chocolate kisses


Preheat oven to 325. Mix first 5 ingredients together then gradually add the flour. Add chopped cherries last and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Top with a hersheys kiss about a minute after taking out of the oven. Let cool.

Letter J, Life Cycles, Santa, and First Snow..

8:05 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
Lots of fun this weekend! The girls got to go visit Santa while he was visiting to help Wreaths of America! I was a little afraid of how the pictures would turn out because that morning they had a playdate and didn't know we were going to see Santa and they did make overs with out asking and their faces were a bit stained lol Also the oldest had her dress on backwards and I didn't notice til later on at the store! But they turned out pretty cute! Even if they didn't turn out I was okay with that because they got to see santa and help a good cause! The boys were not present because they were both gone but at this age I take what I can get haha
Their Nana (my mom) made their beautiful Olaf dresses for Christmas! She is so talented! I didn't get that talent unfortunately!



We also got to enjoy our first snow of the season this weekend! The kids were so excited and ran straight outside! My youngest woke up and said "Mom! It's white outside! Your car is all white!!!"



This week the preschooler is learning about the letter J! Practicing her writing and learning about animals! She made a fun animal mobile out of cut outs of her favorite animals in a magazine. She's also practicing figuring out the biggest and smallest and counting out objects.
The 2nd grader got on to me today because she said we didn't have a flag in our room to say the Pledge of Allegiance to every morning! Last time we homeschooled a year ago we had an actual classroom set up and had a flag as well. Well this time since just started out again we have been doing it at the kitchen table and I'm debating a classroom because the table works fine for the two of them and we don't have an extra room like a loft room like we did the last time. But she was right! I didn't have a flag and she put me in my place and made one and hung it up!



She was learning about life cycles today and apparently she was in deep thought about the chickens life cycle when labeling it.



She read Smart by Shel Silverstein. A really good poem about money and did some work sheets on rather he wound up with more money, why he traded, why his dad was mad, etc.

Smart

My dad gave me one dollar bill
‘Cause I’m his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
‘Cause two is more than one!
And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes—I guess he don’t know
That three is more than two!
Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just ‘cause he can’t see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!
And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!
And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head---
Too proud of me to speak!


Day 4

Saturday, November 15, 2014 9:03 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments


We finished up learning about the letter I yesterday with some tracing and coloring of the letter I for preschool. Brooklyn finished up week reading some more about Hinduism, learning about harmful and non harmful animals, and read Mercy Watson.

For scripture this week the girls read Matthew Chapters 2-4.



For art yesterday the girls wanted to paint bird houses! And then for Parent's Night Out at my house we started getting ready for Thanksgiving and did finger print turkeys! I love to watch how different each kids is when they are done!

Crock Pot Potato Soup

Friday, November 14, 2014 10:48 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
I made potato soup tonight for dinner since my husband was gone for a wrestling tournament and he's not to big on soup.
6 regular potatoes diced
2 cans chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
2 cups milk
1tsp onion salt
Salt
Pepper
Shredded cheese
I cooked the first two ingredients in the crock pot on low for 4-5hrs. The last half hour I added the remaining ingredients except for the cheese. salt to pepper to taste! Topped with cheese before serving!
It turned out pretty good but I think I would like it a bit creamier!

Day 2 & 3 - Mother Goose, Yoga, and More!

Thursday, November 13, 2014 10:31 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
Day two was a good day! We read a few Mother Goose poems for part of reading and Brooklyn chose her favorite Mother Goose Poem to draw a picture about! Rain Rain Go Away!

Of course one of the best ones was reading about the two sisters arguing since the two sisters here have been doing a lot of that the last few days haha
Some of our fun games we got to play to practice our short and long vowel sounds for phonics..
http://www.starfall.com/n/matching/short-vowels/load.htm?f
http://professorgarfield.org/phonics/mixmatch/mixmatch.html


She got to play a few new math games as part of math on top of her text book work! A few of the games we played.. Practicing Basic Addition and Subtraction
http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/games/mission/mission.html
Practice some fractions with this game
http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/cross_the_river/
But her favorite was the Fruit Fall to practice graphing!
http://www.toytheater.com/fruit-fall.php


As Part of History we have been studying Asian Civilization and she studied about Buddah and Hiduism. We talked about the difference in the religions and she got to decorate her own Mandalla! She loved that because she loves to draw and decorate!


We took a breather and stretched out during the day with some fun Animal Yoga! Practicing different moves and pretending to be different animals! I got reminded today that we forgot to do yoga haha

For Science we learned about cells and examined the skin cells under a microscope and magnifying glass!

My youngest has been working on the Letter I! She had fun cutting out ice cream for the letter I and working on her motor skills by cutting and gluing!


She learned the letter I song and has been singing it every since!

Lyrics to "The Ice Cream Man"


(tune of "The Muffin Man")
Do you know the ice cream man,
the ice cream man,
the ice cream man?
Do you know the ice cream man
who likes to sing with me?
Oh, he loves the letter I,
the letter I,
the letter I,
Oh, he loves the letter I
and likes to sing with me.



Practiced tracing the Letter I, and playing some fun Letter I games
http://www.starfall.com/n/level-k/letter-i/load.htm?f

Just a few fun things from our last 2 days!

Crock Pot Chili

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 9:45 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
Ingredients
1 (15 ounce) cans chili beans in spicy sauce
2 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (16 ounce) jar hot salsa
1 can corn
1/8 cup red pepper flakes
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
2 pounds ground beef
Directions
In a large pot over medium heat, drain and add to crock pot.
Combine all remaining ingredients to the crock pot and cook on low for 3-4hrs

Baked Ziti

Monday, November 10, 2014 10:05 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments


There are so many different ways to make Baked Ziti and I've tried experimenting with a few recipes to see which one I liked best and tweaked it a bit to my taste as well! Me and 3 of the kids absolutely love love this recipe but unfortunately my husband and one of my sons are NOT a fan of baked ziti at all and even more so because I stuck sour cream in mine lol maybe we will try it eventually with out the sour cream!
Ingredients
1/2 pound ground beef
1 24oz Jar of Spaghetti Sauce
Sliced Swiss Cheese
Shredded Mozzarella cheese
One pack of ziti noodles
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Sour Cream
Heat oven to 350 and boil a pot of water while browning the ground beef. Sprinkle about 1tsp of garlic powder and 1tsp onion powder on beef. Drain ground beef and add jar of spaghetti sauce and cook on low.
Cook ziti noodles for 7 minutes.
Layer in a non stick dish with half ziti noodles, half sauce mix, 6 swiss cheese slices, other half of ziti noodles, 6 slices of swiss cheese, 16oz of sour cream, remaining sauce mix and then top with mozzarella cheese!
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes!

Day 1 - Back at Home

9:45 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
The first day back at home went rather well! We didn't have much trouble at all falling into the new routine but the fact we have homeschooled before I'm sure helped a ton for her knowing what to expect!
With that being said.. I don't know how the heck her teacher managed her in a classroom!!! I mean I live with her every day and I know how she can be with her ADHD but it's been a year and a half since I've homeschooled her and while I have the patients for it and can block out what she does and can cater to her needs to make things fun for her and not stressful and allow her to wiggle like she needs, get her back on track when she falls off track with distraction etc.. I can't imagine how she held up in a structured classroom!! I was reassured she did well last year by her teacher but her teacher was also her dance teacher and used to her and how to deal with her as well as very fun and believed in getting up and moving and doing yoga and things through out the day which I think helped her a great deal! If/when she returns to public school we may have some things to think about to get her to focus!
While I realize it is only day 1 and things are new and fresh the more I watched her light up like I haven't seen in awhile just really reassured me that I was doing the right thing for her! The way things are falling into place with it and her therapy and not having to go on a wait list and things just falling right where they should makes me know this is where God was leading me for my next step.

For Reading we read Horton Hatches An Egg today! I guess she hadn't heard this one yet but she is a huge fan of Dr Suess books so she was really excited to hear one of his books today!
We discussed the story and she drew a picture of what she read about! She absolutely loves to draw and could spend hours drawing pictures!

We learned about George Washington Carver and she had me laughing because she was filling out a report on him and having to fill in the verbs and she had to write "George Washington Carver was.." and she put "..was the president!" it was just to cute! I said wrong George Washington hunny! Of course daddy said well that made perfect sense it was close haha She was shocked there were so many different things you could do with peanuts!
We learned about music and what the very first music instruments in the world were! Nature! She got to do a remix of different nature sounds and was amazed at how much it really sounded like music and not just being outside!
I found she is still having a lot of problems with money which really concerns me and is something I really have not been thrilled with through common core at all in public school! The lack of teaching money anymore! Course I noticed some of this starting before common core too but common core just made it worse in my opinion! All of my children knew how to count money in kinder and I have practiced with her but I thought practicing was enough because I assumed it was being taught enough! Nope! I was wrong! So that is something we will focus more on and a little more on time. She does well on time but could use some help! She's over all very bright and does very well but it's good to find some of those weak points.
My youngest got to just have a fun day off today because she had a playmate over for the day so she really enjoyed that! Once we were done with school we headed off to the park to enjoy one of our last warm days before the cold front comes in!

New Batch Of Laundry Soap!

12:17 AM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
New batch of laundry soap some tonight and it smells so good with the new bar of soap I got from a local lady who was a vendor at our fundraising event last weekend! http://macsudssoaps.com I love this super easy recipe for liquid laundry soap!
I grate 1/4 a bar of my favorite soap into a pot and add 4 cups hot water and heat until fully dissolved!
I fill up a 5 gallon bucket half way full of hot water, then add the melted soap mixture to it and stir.
Then add 1 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda and stir again.
Lastly fill the remainder of the bucket with warm water and let set over night!
Love it! Less than $2 for 5 gallons of soap that's all natural and allergy friendly! Can't beat that!

Over A Year!

Sunday, November 9, 2014 10:47 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
Wow I remember when blogging used to be such a big part of my life! A great way to document what I did with the kids and look back on how they have grown! But most importantly to give the family a place to look and follow while being so far away in our journeys as a military family! I can't believe I haven't blogged in over a year! I stayed at home for 11yrs and then I decided to return to work and in that year and a half I worked it just seemed like spare time was very rarely something I had! When I did have free time I didn't think to sit down and blog or update because I was to tired or enjoying a nice glass of wine and recouping from it all! I also didn't feel I had a lot of exciting things to blog about for anyone to really care or follow haha I did lots of fun activities working at the catholic preschool with the little ones daily but I shared those fun crafts on pinterest or facebook for everyone to see and get ideas if they wanted something fun to do with their little ones but not nearly enough interest for a blog! And I didn't have as many pictures to show all the fun since it was of children not of my own haha Returning to work was fun and man was it nice to get out of the house and feel like someone other than just "mom" to feel that I could still do other things and contribute to the house hold income! It started out very very part time no more then 15 hours a week and wasn't to bad when it was during the time the kids were in school or at first in the mornings when my husband would take them to school but after school quickly became very hard to deal with. I give a huge props to my husband for holding it all together and playing not only dad holding down a full time job but being Mr. Mom as well! Not just Mr Mom doing pick ups from school but holding down the fort, playing dance mom and carting two girls to dance, one to football, one to wrestling, baseball, whatever it may be! I could see it starting to really put stress on him and that started putting stress on us. It killed me not being able to help him more. It killed me to miss out on so much and not see my kids in dance class, not see them at practice.. or even worse one of them would leave for practice about 20 min before I got home and be gone til 9pm at night. So I didn't see him longer then to feed him and put him to bed. I know many parents "have" to work and they do what they have to do to provide and that doesn't mean they miss their kids any less then I did and I don't expect a pity party by any means but being the mom that had firmly decided to stay at home with my kids and did for so long it killed me. We had planned for me not to go to work til they were all in school, only during school hours and only party time. But I got stir crazy a the new duty station where I found it hard and felt lost. I was used to a large army family and community where people were searching for things to do, searching for that new army family, searching for playdates and to get out and meet others and stay busy! I think a big reason it's not found here as easy is because a lot of people come here for a year andx then they are gone so they don't have much time to settle before they leave again. And while there are deployments it doesn't seem as ordinary to have so many with deployed spouses here who are looking for people to lean on and the comfort. The few I've met I'm of course not in that situation at the moment so I'm not doing the same type things like getting together for dinners with our kids and keeping each other from being lonely. It's just been all around different. Everyone I seemed to click with all worked. That was something new for me as I was used to having all stay at home mom friends and it was strange to have the friend who worked. Maybe I was going through some type of mid life crisis all of the sudden? I mean I did hit 30 here which is not that old but I just felt lost. Like something wasn't complete. So in effort to hope that my youngest didn't get deprived of the social time they all had I put her I a 2 day preschool against my better judgment. I say this because I didn't do it with my other children so young. Heck I had a hard time sending them to preschool and we homeschooled for a long time too. So I cried that she left me so willingly and I was bored and went to work and made friends for myself lol She thrived off it! She loved it! I wasn't used to that! The other kids didn't adjust so well to leaving me so young. Man that killed me! This is the baby! I'm supposed to have more time! I'm not ready for this! So the last few months I just felt lost in did I make the right choices for our family. My oldest starting middle school and changing so much. Me not being here for him as much as I had hoped and him going through new emotions and changes and just not seeming himself. My youngest no longer a baby. Was it all worth it. My middle two children have autism and my oldest one with it really transformed from all of his therapy. My daughter was diagnosed 2yrs ago and I beat myself up for not going sooner. For not putting my foot down more while arguing that year trying to get her seen to be evaluated and find a place while Tricare continued to mess up our referrals. I beat myself up for not seeing it sooner. She didn't get the opportunities for help that my son did. We finally get her diagnosed but the closest place was an hour away and that was next to impossible to get her seen for therapy as much as we needed her to be by the time we commuted an hour there and an hour back and me working and her in school. I really hated that she was not getting the same opportunities but then the lady who diagnosed her actually left the center and opened a local place here in town! Yay! We finally have a chance to start getting things on track! So she started therapy and it started helping her some while we waited for an ABA therapist to come locally and now there is one! During this time she seems to be doing worse. She's isolating herself, not wanting to go to school, having problems socially, will skip meals, stemming and hurting herself, very emotional and just over all does so much better at home. She's dropped out of so many activities I've tried to put her in. She has however stuck with dance still! She liked that when she did it last year so that has been a win win so far! But a lot of changes were made and I decided to give up trying to work after school then wound up staying at home with some changes at work and we have decided to homeschool her again even though the two oldest will remain in school. It's almost like my life went from one big lump of stress to calm again. Everything feels at ease. Even though some of the reasons the change brought us to the choices were very stressful and I shouldn't be so calm I am now. Maybe it will be my time to return to work in a year or so. Right now apparently this was God's way of saying I needed to be here, I needed to focus on Brooklyn being at home, I needed to focus on what my oldest is going through and feeling and be available to him more, I need to be less stressed for my husband and more available to him for our marriage. Whatever it may be, there's a reason for it all and I don't regret that my life changed for a short time because I think we needed to see that importance of me being at home that was being taken for granted and I needed to financially help while we pulled out of a mess from a bad rental situation and car repairs! But for now my place is at home again! And you will probably see more blogs from me to keep my sanity where I lack getting to talk to other humans face to face haha