Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday Morning Musings...

The weather in northern IL is chilly, it calls for a fire to be burning constantly, because I like to keep the thermostat at 65*. Yikes! I know, I know that's chilly but it saves us money and we all get to snuggle under warm blankets whenever we sit down! What do you keep your temp at if you are in a cold zone?
Remember earlier in the month I mentioned my goal of drinking 1 gallon of water a day. Whoa, this has been such a wake up call for me. I am LOVING the water, but not loving the bathroom trips. It's still too early for me to notice much, except that I am not snacking as much nor am I craving too much in between meals. 
Are your bookshelves exploding? Mine are! One thing that I am doing to solve this is to get a group of people together in my home to swap and sell our books! I am setting up tables throughout my home and we will be set up to swap books for other friends or sell them if we cannot find a trade. I am very excited about this and will keep you posted on how it turns out! 
Are you a thrifter? Flashcard collector? I am using a mug tree to hold flashcard collections. This makes them easy to find and also keeps them out and on display. I change them out monthly and I notice that they are always being thumbed through! 
Enjoy every minute my friends!
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday School

Happy Sunday my friends! This Sunday posting is a new addition to the blog in which I will wrap up our Catholic school portions of homeschooling. I don't expect all of my readers to have the same views as I do or believe in what we do, so this way I figure you can either head on over here on Sunday for all the goodies or just skip the blog on this day. Thanks so much for following me no matter what though, I appreciate every bit! You will be able to find a master compilation of all our Catholic activities and crafts HERE at our Little Catholic Homeschool!   Punching holes in our Saint & Holy Cards allows us to keep them on a binder ring to hang up in our classroom, perfect for keeping organized and having them handy and on display!
Our library has a free bin of books that are usually too warped or torn up to read but I know they must feel like I do and they just cannot throw them away. What better thing to do than to use them in the classroom? This 10 commandments book was in rough shape and missing a lot of pages, so we cut it up and used it to create a 10 commandments lap book! Get creative with items before you toss them into the trash!
Our Wreath I books arrived for the Little Flowers girls club, I am so nervous about leading a group but at the same time very excited. Are your children in a Little Flowers group or are you a leader? Please share your experiences with me!! The Little Flowers is a club for girls that is the Catholic version of secular clubs and groups.
Adoration Bag #4
This bag belongs to my 9 year old. It has his book that he is currently reading: Bible Wars & Weapons, his holy cards and rosary guide along with a rosary. His Action Bible and the memory verse cards that go along with his bible. (The Action Bible is NOT a Catholic bible, he knows this and it allows him to compare the 2 bibles as he goes through it). His adoration bag is actually his everywhere bag, he is constantly using this items that it just worked out for him to bring this. In Adoration, he uses his rosary guides and prays the rosary and then he prays to all the saints in his ring of saints and memorizes a few bible verses as he prays for his intentions list.
Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St. Timothy. For our Saint of the Day, we usually read from HERE  and then as I am reading the kids color a page that I have ready and printed out. On the backside of the coloring page, they write down a few things about the Saint that stand out to them from the reading. This is a great way to familiarize children with the Saints.
Enjoy every minute my friends!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015


March for Life, chilly but awesome... 
Just learned how to crochet and now it goes everywhere with her! 
Absolutely loving this from church and will definitely have to make my own! 
We went out of town this weekend for Monster Trucks! What fun!!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesdays Tips!

Tuesday is here and with that you get a peek into my life with a shared tip! Scouring Pinterest, I found several LEGO Bridges and decided to put them together onto one page. I then printed out this page, popped it into a page protector and into our LEGO binder. This binder has all their directions, LEGO magazines and any challenges such as this that I put together. It gives them ideas to create and also challenges them to do something out of their norm. 
A large basket in our classroom is designated to new books that have come in from the weekend. They are waiting to be scanned into our database & add library pockets. While in this basket it also gives time for children to leaf through what just came in and just maybe they will check them out!
As this past week was Educator Week at Barnes & Noble, I went a bit crazy, add in a trip to the Catholic store and I was in heaven!
New This Week:
1. The Lost Files of Nancy Drew
2. My Path to Heaven a young person's guid to the Faith
3. Communion of Saints Coloring Book
4. Girls Who Rocked the World
5. Totally Catholic!
6. For Girls Only, Everything Great About Being a Girl
7. Four Perfect Pebbles A Holocaust Story
8. American Sisters Exploring the Chicago World's Fair 1893
9. Minecraft The Essential Handbook
10. George Washington, Spymaster
Two CDS:
1. The Easter
2. SAT Test Express
Make those stuffy old binder clips pretty enough for your classroom with washi tape!
Another peek into our Adoration Bags, here is mine! Mine has my wedding day Bible, bible highlighters and my daily devotional journal. In this journal I keep track of all prayer requests that I have been given, some of my own and also journal about day to day activities that I need to reflect on. After going through a few basic prayers, I pray a rosary and then begin my reflection with my bible as I pray for those that asked for prayers. Read more about our Adoration bags along with our Little Catholic Homeschool HERE!
Remember to enjoy every minute my friends!

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

It's the time again! Another Monday is here and it's time to plan out our menu. What are you sampling this week? Share your links in the comments please!
Monday: Out with friends
Tuesday: Beef Roast with Cauliflower Mashed fauxtatoes & Lettuce Leaf Salad (1 leaf of lettuce with diced tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, corn & vidalia onions on top)
Wednesday: Homemade Shrimp Wonton Soup with Chinese Chopped salad and lime juice
Thursday: Pork & Broccolini Stir fry served over Rice with Bow Tie & Spinach Salad
Friday: Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps served with grape tomato and cucumber skewers 
Saturday: Homemade Ramen Soup served with Southwestern Chopped Salad
Sunday: Rosemary Chicken Breasts w/ Roasted Carrots & Green Beans & Cucumber/Onion Salad

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In The Lab 2015

We're back in school today and we are working in the Physical Sciences. We are trying to see if a battery can operate a single light bulb cut from a strand of Christmas Tree lights!
Our first Lab Report of the year is always done on the board as opposed to their Science notebooks, so that they can get into the swing of things and as my 7 year old gets older, I like to repeat the basics so that they stick into his head a little more each time.
Materials You Will Need:
String of Christmas Lights
Copper Wire Strippers
Electrical Tape
Batteries of various sizes
The Process:
1. Cut 2 1/2 inch strips of electrical tape
2. Cut Light from strand with 1 inch of wire on each side of bulb
3. Use the wire strippers to strip the wire on each side of the bulb
4. Tape 1 end of the wire to 1 end of the battery and do the same for the other end
What Happens?!
The scientific process is a fun one, let them do it themselves, ALL OF IT! Yes, my 7 year old was stripping wires. Let them work on a trial and error basis. You have an entire strip of lights to work with, don't fret!
Once they get the hang of it, let them take it further! We got as many as 17 lights onto 1 C battery and 6 lights on on double A! They are still going at it and having a blast, is this really learning?!
The Science Behind it all:
  Current electricity is produced when negatively charged electrons move through wire and other devices, in this case the wire. The energy from these moving electrons may be harnessed to do many kinds of useful work, in this case it lights the bulb. The wires, bulb & battery were all connected together in a single continuous loop.  This allowed electricity to begin to flow through the wires from the battery, causing the bulb to light.  Notice that there had to be a continuous loop for the electricity to flow.  If you broke the loop at any point by separating the wires anywhere on the loop, electricity no longer flowed, and the light went go out.
This is the lab report that I made up for my kids to use in class. I print it up and then they cut it out and paste it into their Science notebooks. You can also print them and slip them into binders or whatever else works for you! Print them HERE!

Enjoy every minute my friends!!

*This post is linked up to All Things Beautiful Science Sunday Meme*

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

About Last Week...

What a busy week of field trips and  classes and fun! I am sorry that I have been away but I will share some fun we have been having. Our favorite books are the Pigeon books by Mo Willems. They make us laugh so much that we read them over and over again! Here is a fun Pigeon craft that is completely edible!
What You Need:
1. (1)Graham cracker
2.(3)mini oreos
3. Vanilla frosting tinted blue & yellow
4. (1)Orange starburst cut in tiny strip
5. (1) chocolate chip
6. (3) check mix squares
What to Do:
1. Spread your graham cracker with yellow frosting
2. Add 3 check mix squares as windows
3. Add 2 mini oreos as tires
4. Add blue frosting on one mini oreo
5. add chocolate chip to the top of the blue mini oreo to look like an eye
6. Add starburst sliver to blue mini orea as beak
Now you have the Pigeon Driving the Bus!! OH NO!!!

My young engineers had a bridge challenge in their LEGO class this week and their group won! They were able to withstand weight and work together to build it! 
Enjoy every minute my friends!

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Beautiful Day

Why is that when we have 2 carts full of groceries from SAMS, we are always in the small car?! Just as frustration hit, we realized that we should be thankful we had a car and thankful we had money for groceries. It's so easy to get wrapped up in drama, even that of our own making.
We had purchased a set of prayer cards from a conference a couple years back, but it came with 3 of each card. We saved one on our prayer card ring and the other 2 sets just sat in a box until I was getting everyone ready for Adoration today. Inspiration struck and I pulled them out, ready to roll!
What You Need:
A roll of tape, blank index cards and a pair of scissors.
1. Cut the index cards down to the same shape of the cards.
2. Tape the index cards to the prayer cards only at the top.
(this is to make all the backs the same color but making the prayer still accessible)
That's it! Now we have our very own memory game and we play the same way as memory, the only difference is when we get a match, that person has to say the prayer out loud before they add the match to their winnings! Learning and fun all in one! You can do this with any type of card you have pairs of, but one side doesn't match or create your own with anything that needs memorizing help!
Interested in other Catholic activities? Check out Our Little Catholic Homeschool, where I try to keep everything in one post for easy pinning and marking!
Enjoy every minute my friends!!

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Pigeons and Robots and Tornadoes?!

Last night we spent an awesome time at a Pigeon Party! We love Mo Willems and his crazy pigeon, do you? If you have not checked out his books, RUN to do so now! My kids were by far the oldest in the room but still had an absolute blast and didn't even realize it, they just became helpers of the teacher and the smaller children. 
As we study different topics, I love to have a hands on activity, game, field trip or vacation to go along with the lessons. This Discovery Kids Tornado Lab was PERFECT for our extreme weather lesson. The kids loved it so much that once class was over, they continued to play. They even added in some Monopoly houses to get the tornado effect really going.
Our LEGO Mindstormers Robotics kit arrived last month and the kids still cannot get enough. They enjoy challenging themselves and then creating and programming. My middle son begins his Robotics Competition club this month and he is so excited.
Adoration Bag #2 is ready to be photographed. You can see the other bags HERE at Our Little Catholic Homeschool! We head to Adoration this afternoon and the kids are very excited. This bag belongs to my oldest. I bought her a bible of her very own. She has always had smaller ones, children's ones, hardcover ones and the like but has been asking for one similar to my wedding one so that she could make it her own and now seemed like the perfect time. She is free to write in the margins, clip the pages, add post its, prayer cards, use a bible highlighter or anything at all. Autumn is 10 years old and her bag contains:
1. Bible
2. Three different bible highlighters & One pen.
3. Holy Bible Crosswords, each clue is from the bible and you must look it up and read the chapter to get the answer.
4. Rosary & Mysteries on a ring for prayer and reflection
Remember to enjoy every minute my friends!!

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