Sunday, May 31, 2015

Summer = Chore Charts!

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I know I just heard a collective sigh.  I am sorry...

Chore Charts seem to be my nemesis.  I have created many, mAnY, MANY varieties of charts. Some didn't last through a month, some lasted all summer. Honestly though I want one that will stick. That will work for our free summer days and for our busy, crazy school days too.

I browse through Pinterest to find ideas and all I see are cute boards for littles, which would have been wonderful 10 years ago, or they are all designed for 2-3 kids.

I have pretty much decided that I am going to have to combine some different ideas and just make one specific for our family, or at least for A larger family. I will post what I come up with, and the ideas that I use to put it all together.

Keep an eye out.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A New School Year

Pin It Now! I think I failed miserably in by blogging.  LOL!!  We did have an amazing summer in 2012.  We did some fun homeschooling and the kids had a blast.  Sometime I think I will have to revisit that summer and blog about it.  Right now though I am going to recommit to doing better and go forward.

This school year is bringing new and exciting things.  We just got new Principals in the Elem. and the Middle schools.  Quite a few new teachers as well.  So things are new for all the kids.  My older girls, High Schoolers, have decided to do what the school is calling 'Blended-learning'.  They are taking their core classes online and then going over to the school for electives such as Band, Spanish and PE.  This is going to be interesting, they still are wanting to be involved in the school stuff, such as clubs and class events, but they want to be able to work at their own pace (a faster one than the classroom).  We are supporting them in this and we will see how it goes.  The teacher that is running the online stuff is amazing and great to work with.  My girls love her and she exudes excitement!

We have a couple girls playing pee-wee volleyball.  But my son opted out of playing football this year.  He still wants to play basketball and do track so we will be busy later in the year, but it is nice not to have to worry about practice and homework and games all the time.
I have been called for my first subbing gig of the year, tomorrow.  I really enjoy subbing so it will be fun.  I look forward to getting out and seeing the teachers and the kids.

With all this school stuff going on I am also a Volunteer with the Red Cross. I am volunteering to fill a position that is paid staff in other Chapters, so I am pretty busy with it.  I try to keep my conference calls and meetings down to one day a week so that if I am called to sub I don't have to say no because I have all these other things going on.  So that is what my day will be today. Red Cross calls and emailing and such all day.  I enjoy it and I hope that I am actually doing some good, I hope I am helping to make a difference in how prepared my community and Chapter will be in a disaster.
Something else we are going to try to do is start a Red Cross Club in the HS. The girls are going to meet with the Principal about it today so we will see how it all goes.  They are excited about it.

That basically outlines the beginning of the school year for us.  I will try to do better about keeping up with it.  There will be lots to blog about I am sure.  Adventures in PTO's and Parent committee's. I am going to go to the first Booster Club meeting and see what that is all about.  More subbing, more Red Cross, more sports, more classes, more homework, then throw in Holidays and field-trips, breaks, and all that good stuff.  There will be plenty to blog about!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pin It Now! This is just a quick blog post.  I am excited for summer!!  I love to have my kids home.  I miss it the whole school year.
This summer though I have decided we are going to have a blast!  We are going to have summer school.  I want to supplement the things I think my kids should be learning.  We will cover History, Human Anatomy, tons of Reading, and some Math.  I have been busy planning what we will be doing and pinning ideas like crazy for it.
We are also doing some rearranging so that we will have space to do our summer school.
I will blog about our fun and adventures as they come.  So stay tuned!

Still Sane,
Mama V

Monday, May 7, 2012

Papa V's Bread Recipe

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Looks pretty yummy right?  Well it is.  
And is VERY good for you.  
No fat in it.
  And 100% whole wheat! 
(if you don't mind a little wait time)  

Papa V's Bread Recipe‎
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. molasses
4 1/2 c warm water
-mix these in a bowl
-in another bowl mix:
2 Tbsp. honey
1 c warm water
2 Tbsp yeast
-let bloom (if you use instant yeast add this in other bowl with the flour)
-in the meantime add to the sugar, molasses water bowl:
3 c white flour
4 tsp salt
-add yeast mixture and:
about 9 c. wheat flour

makes 4 loaves.
350 degrees for 45-50 min. 
*dough is sticky, use about 1 Tbsp oil in bottom of bowl when kneading, or coat hands. (opt.) 
*if you soak 9 cups of wheat flour in the 4.5 c of water for a minimum of 1 hour-12 hrs. Making sure to cover it with plastic wrap. If will eliminate the need for the white flour. This brings out the gluten in the wheat! Then add the bloomed yeast mixture to the soaked wheat flour add everything else and then knead adding the rest of your flour as you need it. 
*instant yeast: one raise .... active dry yeast: two raises ... one raise in the loaf pans.
*we do bake our bread in stones so that might change the bake time.

This is my hubby's recipe.  (and yes, his name starts with a 'V' too.)  He took a basic recipe and has changed and tweaked it to make it what he wanted.  
His end goal was to have a bread that he could make using our food storage.  Using no fat and no eggs.  We grind our own wheat to make the bread.  *gotta love having a wheat grinder*  PLUS this bread is not the crumbly mess people associate with wheat breads.  
I hope you enjoy it.  I would love to hear if you try it.  

Still Sane,
Mama V

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Busy Bag/Tea Staining Tutorial

Pin It Now! I am thinking I want to post another Busy Bag Tutorial tonight.  Along with being a Busy Bag tutorial it is also a tutorial on Tea Staining paper.  
So are we ready?  

This busy bag is inspired by my son (10yo) and his buddy.  They have a secret language they have been working on learning so they can speak to each other.  Now what kid doesn't love this?  *I know when I was little we did this*  So I asked them if I could share it with the group I was making the bag for.  They said they thought that would be fun.  When we got talking about it though I realized this is from a book, "How to Train Your Dragon".  In the back of the book they have a dictionary to learn to speak Dragonese.  Almost all of the information and printables I used for this bag are available on the How to Train Your Dragon website.   

After doing tons of printing I had my stuff.  I knew I didn't just want to send out printed pages though.  As fun as it will be for the kiddos, the momma's won't be impressed.  *hehehe*  So I tried to think of a way to make them look old - used - but not ruined.  I thought about burning the edges, but the book is so little I didn't want to risk it.  Plus if the other kids are like mine these will end up in pockets, and the burnt edges will not hold up so well to that. The other alternative I have used before was tea staining.  I decided to use that. Then on the bright side I would get to make this tutorial for that too!  :)  So here we are off to stain the paper.  

black tea bags (4 bags per cup of water) 
bowl for the tea
cookie sheet(s) or cake pan(s)
clothes line and clothes pin / place to lay the papers out to dry

papers (I have done this on regular printer paper and cardstock.  
              I have also done this on fabrics but that is another tutorial)
helper (opt.) *my helper loved putting the new pages in the pans and 
                       getting the clothes pins out for me.  

The first thing you have to do is make your black tea.  You want it super strong... 4 bags to one cup of boiling water.  (I did 2 cups of water and then had to do 2 more to finish all my pages!)  I used a pint canning jar with some water in it to hold them down in the water, then let it sit for at least an hour!  

I poured half of the tea in one pan and half in another.  I knew I had to do a lot of pages and two pans would get me through faster.  

After letting first side sit for about 3 min I flipped it over to do the back too.  If you want the stain darker leave it in longer.  

I took advantage of the sun and the heat and hung them out on the clothesline. *a little note here: you do not want to fold the paper over the line, just clip it on close to the top.  
If you are not lucky enough to have a clothesline you can lay the papers out flat and let them dry.  Or you can bake them in the oven.  (200 degrees for 5-10 min.)

 When they come in from the line they will be rather crumply and wrinkled.  This is great if you are looking for just a piece of paper but to make it into a book I needed it to be a little flatter.  

So I used some magazines to flatten them out.  

I told you I had lots of papers... 2 stacks.  

Now on to cutting... and there was LOTS of cutting!!  

Here they are... the books and the packets with dragon information.  If I can get my printer to like me again I might be able to print some viking information also to send out.  If not I will send links for it all.  

This is the How to Speak Dragonese dictionary.  It is pocket sized.  :)  

Looks like fun huh?  

So what are you going to tea stain?  

Still Sane,
Mama V

Friday, April 13, 2012

Grocery Store Bingo Busy Bag Tutorial

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I haven't blogged about this at all, but if you follow me on Pinterest you would see all the pins I have pinned for busy bags.  I am a part of group on facebook that is a Busy Bag Exchange.  It is great fun!  We make these busy bags that are fun activities for our kiddos.  Then we swap them in a group of six or seven ladies.  

I decided to blog about how I made my Busy Bag activity for the Preschool age group I am in.  For this activity I decided to combine two ideas I found on pinterest.  Creative Kismet has a post about making a sticky note holder for a teachers gift.  I used this blog as the inspiration for my "clip board".  I did change it up a bit, but the clippy and the cardboard were ideas I borrowed from her.  Then on Let's Explore I found a cute Grocery Store Bingo card in a PDF I could download.  Now you have the links let's get to work!

List of supplies: 
to buy- (I didn't have all these I had to buy them... you might have them) 
  • clips
  • dry erase markers
  • pouches
have around the house-
  • cardboard
  • scrapbook paper (optional for cuteness)
  • scissors
  • paper cutter (optional if you are a straight line fanatic like me) 
  • glue sticks
  • cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter (optional-more fanatic stuff) 
  • printed Grocery Store Bingo card (laminated)
I printed out my Grocery Store Bingo cards first.  Then I laminated them.  If you don't have a laminator you can use contact paper or you can buy smaller piece of laminating sheets and use an iron.  (I have not ever tried it, but I have it works)  

Then I got my piece of cardboard.  We have TONS of cardboard at our house so this was not hard to find at all.  As I said I am a fanatic about the straight lines so I used my cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter for this.  I am extremely protective of my fabric scissors and cutting blades.  I would NEVER use a fabric blade to do this.  I do however keep my fabric blade after they get dull for crafts.  They are marked and kept in a container marked crafts.  I use them for cutting felt, paper, cardboard, foam, anything but fabric.  
I cut my squares 4X5" as this would fit the size of card I printed.  

I used my paper cutter to cut scrapbook paper for the clipboard.  I cut 2 for every piece of cardboard had.  I made 8 sets.  

Then I used the glue stick to glue the paper onto the cardboard pieces.  

I wanted them to be fun and interchangeable so I did a different color on each side of the cardboard piece. 

This part is kind of hard to explain.  I will try to do my best.  I used packing tape to cover the paper and stabilize it all a bit more.  I used three strips of tape 4 inches long.  I put the first piece of tape at the top, then the next piece at the bottom, then the last piece I put in the middle.  Then I got two more strips of 4 inch tape to wrap the bottom and the top.  I took pictures of this part so you could see.  

Half of the tape goes on the back and then you fold it up and tape it down on the front.  This way you have 'wrapped' the bottom.  

You do this for the top edge and then using two pieces of 5 inch tape you do this to the sides.  *phew... I hope you guys understood that!

Then wal-la you have a covered piece of cardboard.  

Clip your clip on and you now have a cute little clipboard.  I will note here that you can use this for anything.  Take a few scraps of paper and let the kiddos draw ... make and/or print off other bingo or scavenger hunt cards for other activities.  Use this for more than just this activity.  Think multi-task.  :)  

Easy and pretty fun!  I think this is one anyone can do!  

Add the erasable marker or crayons and a bag to carry it in.  And you are done!  

Here are all 8 of mine all done!  Pretty neat huh?  It is fun to finish them up.  Maybe I will have to blog others as I finish them.  I have some fun ones this time.  If you have any questions ask away and I will try to help!  

I am excited about these Busy Bags.  My kids are having a blast playing with them ... they really help with sanity!  :)  

Mama V
Still Sane

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Veggie Waffles recipe

Pin It Now! Here is the Veggie Waffle Recipe to go with the fun Bell Pepper egg flowers I posted on my facebook page.

Veggie Waffles
3 c Flour
4 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
3 c. milk (more for right consistency)
1/2 c oil
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
    mix all this together then stir in:
1/2 c. chopped bell peppers (green, yellow or red)
1/4 c. chopped onions
1/2 lb ground sausage (optional) *sprinkle in the batter once you have poured it onto the waffle maker*

Now cook as waffles.

Serve with sour cream and salsa.

I hope you enjoy.  Let me know if you try it k?
Doesn't that all sound so yummy... I want to try this with the bell pepper egg flowers.  What a good fun breakfast!

Still Sane,
Mama V