Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What's For Dinner? Freezer Cooking

Don't you hate figuring out what to cook each night? I have 2 strategies to help with this.  One is stocking my freezer with meals and the second is meal planning.  Over the years I have done a lot of this but not really consistently so that I would say I was a "once a month" cook.

 There have been a lot of good meat sales lately so I took advantage of it and made a few nice meals which will be helpful on busy days.  I made a meal plan for the next 3 weeks which will likely be stretched to 4 weeks with leftover nights and things that come up that I didn't think of.

This is what I have in the freezer:

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Sun Shines Again!

After 4 days of rain (which we desperately needed and I rather enjoyed) the sun came out again.  Rebecca's (our oldest daughter) friend Joy was visiting with us on her trip from Maine to Texas.  We thought it would be nice to take her to the beach and out for some clam fritters.  We went to a beach that we'd only been to once before and it was a long time ago.  It's a nice little beach and we enjoyed it very much.  We found more shells at this beach than we've found on our many trips to other beaches this summer.

Today is a perfect fall like day but hot, humid weather is on the way again.  I love the crisp, cool days but I'm not ready to give up our evenings on the beach so I guess we'll enjoy the warm days while they last.

Enjoying clamcakes, french fries and onion rings at a small park near the ocean
Rebecca and Joy

Sunday, August 22, 2010

And the winner is....

The winner of the drawing for the Download N Go Roller Coasters unit study is "m".  She has received her copy and it was so much fun to give something away.  The next review and give away will be for Pizza Party so be sure to follow me or check back so you won't miss out on that one.

Lake Compounce

On Friday we spent the day at Lake Compounce, an amusement and water park.  It was our first time going as a family and the first time the kids went on "big" rides.  We have only been to smaller amusement parks for kids in the past.

Becca and Sadie napping on the way there.
Emma and Ryan loved this one.

Out for Ice Cream

Through a local library's summer reading program some of the kids got certificates for free ice cream cones at a local ice cream place.  It was messy but fun.

Ellie and Connor
Emma and Jenna

A Preview of Expedition Africa

I received a preview copy of Expedition Africa to review and I am beyond excited about what is in this Download N Go unit study.  If you have read any of my previous reviews of Download N Go you know that we love them.  There is something extra special about the Expedition series though.  It is fascinating to learn about far away places and to cover a multitude of other subjects while doing it.  I love how everything is all pulled together in an easily implemented unit that can be done in one week or expanded to last much longer (which is what we did with Expedition Mexico taking 3 weeks.)

In Expedition Africa there are 5 days of topics:

Day 1:  Where on Earth Is Africa?

Day 2:  Some of the Special Places in Africa
Day 3:  A Bit of History
Day 4:  Cool Things to Know About Africa
Day 5:  Fun and Games in Africa

There are a wealth of topics including geography, animals, and Bible stories. I am particularly excited about the missionaries included in this study.  We know a couple of missionaries to Africa so we will certainly be adding something about them and the countries they serve in.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sunny Seashells

Earlier in the summer Sunny Seashells went on sale and since it was already on my must have wishlist I purchased it right away.  We have spent a lot of time at the ocean and salt pond this summer and collecting shells.  I have to say that we didn't find as many as I thought we would, but it was a good experience anyway.  The kids love looking for treasures.

This unit covers many topics including mollusks, hermit crabs, geography, how pearls are made, uses for seashells and more!  The daily topics are:

Day 1: Seashells--What Are They?
Day 2: Seashells and History
Day 3: Types of Seashells
Day 4: The Science of Seashells
Day 5: Seashell Party!

We went to the county fair this week and one of the vendors had a giant clam. (I believe they were selling jewelry but I wasn't really paying that much attention. I was too interested in the clam.)  This one was only 70 lbs but it was neat to be able to see it.

Here are some pictures from our week of Sunny Seashells.

Jenna (hairdo by Emma) and Emma working on a tide pool worksheet.
an experiment-we put a shell in vinegar and let it sit overnight

Monday, August 16, 2010

Breakfast Ideas

Ever since I was little I didn't like cottage cheese.  I hadn't even tasted it in years.  Last week I was making a crustless quiche with cottage cheese in it and decided I should give it a try again.  I was surprised to find that I do like it!  This morning I remembered that I had seen a recipe for a breakfast of cottage cheese and flax seed but of course did not remember where.  So, I googled it and found a recipe for Cottage Cheese Power Breakfast with Flaxseed.  It is a fairly easy breakfast that isn't loaded with sugar and should be filling enough to get me through the morning.  I think I might try substituting Barlean's strawberry Omega swirl flaxseed oil in place of the blueberries and ground flaxseeds next time.

I am always looking for good breakfast ideas.  A bowl of cereal just doesn't cut it.  What are your favorite breakfast ideas?

Update:  I tried the cottage cheese and Barlean's but it wasn't good at all.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Amazing Offer

I just heard that TOS is offering a free download of Download N Go Expedition Mexico until August 27!  We did this unit in the spring and loved it!  Don't miss out!  This is my review of it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The County Fair

Last night we went to the county fair.  It's not a very large fair but I like to go.  We ate an early supper and took 6 of the kids with us.  The oldest 3 really were not interested in going so they stayed home with the baby.  It was a beautiful night.  The children who entered crafts, pictures and drawings in the fair all won ribbons too!

Emma, Jenna and Connor
Ryan waited a whole year to get this hat.  He's still wearing it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Download N Go - Roller Coasters!!

I am so honored and excited to be a part of the Download N Go review team.  In exchange for reviewing this unit study I received a free copy.  We had already completed Expedition Mexico in the spring and I had ordered several units and printed them out to use for the upcoming school year when this opportunity presented itself.  I plan to blog about all of the units we use this year as we do them.

I love the covers of these unit studies!

To be honest, Roller Coasters was not even on my radar and not on my wish list at all.  I do not like to ride roller coasters and didn't really think it would be that interesting. I was SO wrong!  It was a blast and we learned so much.

Before I share some pictures of our lapbooks and some of our activities I want to tell you how you can enter for a chance to win your own copy of Roller Coasters!  Just go to Download N Go  and look at all of the wonderful titles available then come back here and tell me which one you would like to try the most.  I have been given one copy to give away.  A winner will be chosen randomly on August 21st from those that comment. Be sure to include a contact e-mail address when you comment. (and see the end of this post for more ways to win!)

The Download N Go units are geared toward K-4th grade students.  Each study lasts 5 days (though you could EASILY stretch it out much longer).

The daily topics for this study are:

Day 1: What Is a Roller Coaster? 
Day 2: The History of Roller Coasters 
Day 3: People and Places of Roller Coasters 
Day 4: Science Secrets of Roller Coasters/Rides 
Day 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Roller Coasters

One of the first things we did when we started this study was egg drop experiments.  Ryan (10) tried to find a way to drop an egg off of our deck (15 feet) to the ground without breaking the egg. The other kids joined in later.  It took a few tries but he found two ways to do it (one involved POPCORN which the kids loved because they got to eat it after!).  I put the egg in a sandwich sized zipper bag so there would not be any mess.  We only broke about 3 eggs.

getting the egg ready
Emma's turn to drop an egg.

Davy Crockett on sale today only!

Davy Crockett's birthday is  August 17.  For today only, the Download N Go Davy Crockett unit study is 20% off.  I have already purchased this and have it printed out and ready to go when we are ready!  Click here to purchase.

There are five days of lessons geared for grades K-4.

Day 1: Who Was Davy Crockett?
Day 2: People and Places in Davy Crockett’s Life
Day 3: Science Secrets of the Frontier
Day 4: Lessons to Learn From Davy Crockett
Day 5: Remembering Davy Crockett

This weekend I have an exciting give away and review I'll be posting on Download N Go Roller Coasters so stay tuned!  You can also read an article and see more Download N Go deals and sample pages.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Fun

East Beach 
building a sand castle
Fishing with friends
sunset on East beach
Emma's new glasses
Connor, Jenna, Emma in Watch Hill

We've been having a lot of fun this summer.  We've gone to the beach more this year than ever before I think.  Sometimes when you live by the ocean you take it for granted but this year we have been taking advantage of it. I wanted to post a few (or a lot) of my favorite pictures from the past few weeks ) :) These pictures ended up being all out of order and some are on top of this text that were supposed to be at the end but I have no idea how to fix it.....
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