*I wanted to update this post. I ended up with the Mickey bowling rug, six of the Mr. Men books they don't have (the boys loooove Mr. Men books), two Vtech digital cameras, and a 3 disc set of children's songs. I think that'll be plenty! Big Kid will still get a pile of candy and a few fun things... maybe a gyroscope? Haven't been to the educational store yet to play with their new offerings!
- Gluten Free Mom
- I am mom to a 15 year old boy and identical twin 6 year old boys. I am the wife of a wonderful man. I have had celiac disease for 15 years. Those things define me in that order, everything else falls in line! I homeschool because the public school system was just letting my smart child slip through not learning a thing, on the honor roll no less. While I eat a completely gluten free diet I don't keep a gluten free household. No reason to make the kids suffer with me! I am writing a gluten free cookbook (slowly!) because I can't stand all the gluten free recipes out there that use five hundred flours, and I want to eat normal food like non-celiacs do. Just like I used to, I use one all purpose flour that ROCKS, The Gluten Free Pantry's All Purpose Flour. No, I do not get paid to say that ;) Every recipe on my blog can also be made with regular flour, use it just like I use my gf flour!
Feb 28, 2012
And here I sit, for the fourth year now with two of my three children hating candy. Big Kid's easter basket is super easy - chocolate, candy, and a few fun gadgets. He's happy. I have a hard time with the twins! Four years old is a little easier than the last few years, but they already have so many toys between Christmas and their birthdays just passing! I just ordered a really fun looking Mickey bowling lane rug from Kohl's on sale, I'll put that in their easter pile, but what else I will want to put in their baskets is a mystery still. They hate candy, have millions of hot wheels (hand me downs!), and have a ton of wooden Thomas Trains (found on craigslist and repainted). They have so many crayons they won't need any until they have children, and have drawers of coloring books. They have three bookshelves bursting with books to read, and have an entire preschool set up in the school room. What the heck can I put in their baskets?? Why is easter all about candy?
Ok you saw this coming if you read my blog regularly ;) I just couldn't happily shove the family back into my Pilot once I had a rental van! I traded it in and got a Honda Odyssey. I love it. Surprisingly I even like the looks! The engine is great, powerful, and it feels very much like "home" inside. I was very drawn to the gold color, probably because it has tan leather inside just like my Pilot did. I really liked the light silver exteriors, but the silver leather interior just felt cold. Hard to explain.
I didn't get a brand new one for a few reasons - 1, I feel it's a waste of money to buy brand new. 2, I can't afford a brand spanking new van with all the options I want. 3, the new Odysseys have NOT grown on me. I got exactly what I wanted for a great price, and the kids are beside themselves they are so pleased to have our own "magic car"! I was surprised when I first started looking at used vans, because they all had so many stains all over them! Duh, I'm looking at mommy mobiles and I'm surprised that they are kid ruined? Shame on me - didn't think that one through. Thankfully I found the perfect van - owned by a man working at a dog rescue (left a few items in the trade in!), and he had seat covers on all the seats, Odyssey rubber mats on all the floors, and a "bedliner" of sorts on the back. It looks brand spanking new! No stains, one small scratch on the exterior, otherwise it's perfect. A bird already bombed it, that's not the scratch in the photo! LOL! Absolutely perfect van for me too :)
Feb 23, 2012
My twins turned four a month ago. They can read slowly, and have a surprisingly HUGE mental library of sight words they know. Most recently they surprised me when they could both read "interesting" on sight. Huh? They can sound out any word that is basic, without the weird silent letters or the "ought" sounds. Crazy. I have done nothing but read to them and let them "read" to each other. Thank you LeapFrog dvd's! I know I need help teaching them to sound out new sounds and letter combinations, I hope Explode the Code can help with that. I'm going to attempt to keep writing, reading, and spelling separate until they are older - because I don't want one to hold another back.
The twins need direction. They are just DYING to be "at school" like their big brother. I have little workbooks people have given them, with worksheets about colors and counting and such, but they don't follow any real direction and most are just practice for them, they aren't learning anything from them. I have my pre-k curriculum I just love, but it is for the most part direction on "learning through play" and is things they already do daily. I'm still using it for things like ideas on changing their "school room" set up, games to play, songs and crafts, etc.
I decided about two months ago to start looking into kindergarten curriculum for them. I hate the idea of having "organized learning" for such young kids, but they are screaming for it. Weirdos.
Big Kid thrives on Saxon's math program, so I just assumed their elementary program would be amazing. It's not. It's colorless, and not exciting at all. For a 4 yr old it needs to be exciting! After reading reviews again and again and again, then driving to the nearest homeschool book store and touching all sorts of math curriculums I decided to go with BJU Press's Math 1. I know it's for first grade, but they could do every page I showed them in the K book, and I want to teach them not just review! Wow. Most of the reviews I read said BJU is awesome for K-2nd or 3rd grade, then it slows way down and it doesn't include much review. That scares me. So I am going to look at Saxon again whenever we finish with this BJU math book, to see if it looks more appealing by then. I strongly considered Singapore math, but since I couldn't pick it up and look at it anywhere I didn't go with it. I'm not about to buy something this important on the whim of a few reviewers!
I feel like parents are always teaching their children, even if they send them to public school - it's a little scary for me to now be the only official "teacher" in three children's lives... the pressure is ON!
Feb 20, 2012
I used to teach GA lottery funded preK. My coteacher and friend had purchased some of her curriculum, and when we left teaching she gave it all to me for my boys. I have kept everything up until today. I was online over the weekend and got serious school room envy looking at another homeschooler's blog. It is time to change!
First of all, I realized I love the pathways preK curriculum. It's so in depth and I am used to it and like it. I'm giving away my Scholastic Early Childhood Program. It's hard to let go of! LOL! Second - when we started homeschooling a year and a half ago, I kept thinking we were homeschooling in our dining room (we use our dining room as our school room). For some reason it seemed more important to keep it a dining room... then this weekend I realized we are in there schooling every day, and use it as a dining room three or four times a year. Why the heck isn't it a school room with a table that can be used as a dining table?!! Shouldn't things be geared towards the child that learns in this room every day? Instead of keeping everything tucked away until we need it I'm going to make everything available for more use, and let it all hang out that we are a homeschooling family (in our dining room LOL!).
Today I woke up ready to rearrange the room, hang posters on the wall, get educational items out and visible. The twins have their own "school room", it is set up with centers like a preschool room. They have a chika chika boom boom tree with letters, a reading nook, train table, piano, block area, pretend area (dress up?) and Geotrax set up on the floor. It's awesome. Bulletin boards for daily info and for art projects, posters about reading, just awesome! The dining room looks like a dining room with two stuffed bookshelves in it. Time for change. Big Kid deserves a good schooling classroom!
*Update* I tore a tendon in my right foot while moving furniture and books. It's pain like you can't imagine. I am extremely independent, and stubborn. I had to crawl in tears to my computer to email my husband to please come home and take me to the emergency room :( A word of advice - ask someone for help instead of doing it on your own when you choose to rearrange a room full of heavy furniture! The "new" school room flows so nicely, the apple red walls are an awesome background for our posters and such, and the twins now have a bookshelf and Big Kid has a bookshelf, each dedicated to just school items. I love organization. I know, I'm strange. At least the room looks nice, and I can now walk with an ace bandage and a boot on my foot. With a lot of pain.
Feb 16, 2012
The twins really loved making these flowers, they made one for their aunt, one for their nahnah, and one for themselves. It was really easy to do, and look so amazing! To do these yourself, here's the steps:
-layer ten to twelve tissue papers together (we used red, white, and pink shades)
-trace and cut out a four to five inch circle, keeping the layers together
-gently fold the circle in half and punch a hole near the center of the circle, so when you open the circle you will have two holes next to each other in the center of the circles
-loop a green pipe cleaner through the holes and twist onto itself
-one layer at a time wrinkle up the tissue paper, and voila! Beautiful flowers!
We had such a good time making these, I hope you do too :)
Feb 13, 2012
I was given a Dodge Grand Caravan as a rental while my poor pilot gets repaired. I have always hated vans, because to me they were the epitome of reaching "middle aged". I also just don't like the way they look. They aren't feminine in any way, they're honestly rather bulky and slow. They aren't manly looking at all. This is my first time driving a van and I am so unimpressed it's sad. The thing can't speed up to save it's life, it has a horrible turning radius, and the visibility sucks. This particular van I am renting has transmission issues and I mean major, it feels like someone has bumped into the rear end every time you attempt to start moving from a dead stop. It has 2800 miles on it. It feels cheap inside, cloth seats are awful when you're used to leather. It has no heated seats, which I have apparently become very accustomed to, and it took me 20 minutes and a phone call to figure out how to even tilt the steering wheel.
No more fussing. I hate the van. The strange part is the space it has inside is amazing! The kids call it the magic car because the doors open and close automatically. Cracked me up! They are in love with how much more room each of them has, not to mention we all fit with room to spare as a FAMILY in it. Big Kid has an entire back row to himself THAT HE FITS IN when hubby and I go somewhere together. In the pilot Big Kid has to literally climb into the back row, because we have two carseats in the second row preventing the one seat that folds down to do so. Once he's in the third row he is so smooshed if I ever had an accident he could lose use of his legs. Thankfully he doesn't have to ride back there very often!
I want a van. Not this one for sure, and thanks to this hoopty I will never buy a Dodge or Chrysler, but I'm seriously considering trading in my good ol pilot for an odyssey or something similar. I still can't stand how vans look, or handle, but the roominess inside is extremely tempting. I considered an SUV with the same set up inside, two rows of captain chairs and a back bench seat, but really what would that be - a full sized truck turned into an SUV. Tires would be stupidly expensive and I would get 10 miles to a gallon at best. I get 16mpg now, and I think that sucks. No humungasaur SUV for me, thank you. I'll have to do my best to like the inside of my future van, and I'm considering something light on the outside, maybe silver... I will still want all my "snob" amenities - heated leather seats, dvd player, A WORKING TRANSMISSION, and that tinted strip across the top of the windshield. I didn't even know cars came without that until this rental, and let me tell you it is very missed. Yep, total car snob :)
Feb 5, 2012
I decided to try some new recipes today, and got mixed results. The potato bake we tried was horrible, we found the recipe in the newspaper and figured we would try it. It was a waste of potatoes, cheese and sour cream. Everyone has flops! We made bbq ribs and guacamole with tortilla chips. All gluten free! Thought I would share my inspiration in the kitchen :)
pork baby back ribs - as many as you want to serve, cut into 5 to 6 inch racks
your favorite seasonings
your favorite bbq sauce
-Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
-Place rib racks on aluminum foil sheets, sprinkle with seasoning, and wrap foil around rack, making a pouch for each to cook in.
-Place packets on a baking sheet. Bake for one and a half hours.
-Remove from oven, and cover with bbq sauce. Return to oven leaving foil open at top and bake for another 30 minutes. Ribs will be super tender and oh so tasty!
*we made ribs for three, and hubby put italian seasoning, salt and pepper on them initially. We used Sweet Baby Ray's honey bbq sauce and it was just divine!
Guacamole with a bite1 ripe avocado
3 baby texas pete dill pickles
sprinkle of garlic powder and chili powder
Run pepperoncini and pickles through a food processor first, then add cut up avocado and powders. Once it's smooth grab some tortilla chips and stop when you can't fit any more down!
My mom took my entire family out to a wonderful meal at PF Chang's last night. I ordered gluten free lettuce wraps, gluten free egg drop soup and gluten free chicken fried rice - I mean why not, it was my birthday dinner. Everyone shared the lettuce wraps and soup, at that point there was nothing on our table that contained gluten. We finished the appetizers and the meals came out, mine first and it was delivered as "gluten free fried rice" by the server. I was fine for about an hour after we ate, then right in the middle of an amazing foot rub from my husband I had to go get sick... for an hour. I'm making myself yogurt and fruit shakes today to make sure I don't get the lovely side effects I usually do after eating gluten, hopefully it works. I have no clue how I got gluten, I must assume someone thought they made a gluten free dish but used gluten by mistake. This type of sick was more than just a crumb, it was empty your body now lady type of sick :( I have a nasty backache this morning but otherwise am fine. Oddly enough I got a pounding headache right after I ate, but I thought it was just because the restaurant was loud. Now I'm thinking it was the warning light coming on... ugh. No more PF Chang yummies for me :( I'm running out of restaurants I can eat at!!!!
Feb 4, 2012
Today's word of advice is ALWAYS GET CONTACT INFORMATION from a witness, no matter what the details of how an accident happens. I was shopping in Michael's and heard "will the owner of a black honda pilot parked near the front of the store please come to the cashier station". I was shown someone's iphone with a photo of my car's license plate on it, and was told the person who hit me isn't going anywhere. I gave my mother the few items I had in my hands and my twins in their stroller, and walked out to find a crowd around the back of my car, and dents in my bumper and rear door.
A 21 year old woman hit my car with a mitsubishi mirage and totaled her car.
I couldn't figure out how someone could do so much damage backing out of a parking space until I realized she must have smashed the gas instead of the brake. Wow. She did the right thing, she called the police and they came and filled out an "accident exchange of information" sheet, but no report since we were in a parking lot. My insurance company said I should have gotten some contact information from the witnesses, there were a lot of them. I assumed I wouldn't need any witnesses since I wasn't even in the car, but right now it's my word (and photos) against hers. I am sure she can't fight it, it's very obvious she hit my car - it's just frustrating to not have done the right thing. My pilot took the hit like a champ, minimal damage and whoa did her car crumple. I am proud to drive a pilot today, this is why they are expensive - they are worth every penny!!!