Saturday, January 31, 2009
He was so engrossed that he didn't even realize I was standing there. When he realized I was taking a picture of him, he threw his head back and laughed, which of course resulted in a second picture!
I can't tell you how much I love that my kids love books so much - and that it starts so young! When the doctor was asking about Steven's development, she asked if he could turn pages in a book. In my mind I could just see him gently working his way through his favorite books again and again and again, one page at a time. It's a beautiful sight to me, and seeing it makes all of the "Mommy, will you please read one book to me?" interruptions totally worthwhile!
Tuesday was National Bubble Wrap Day, but Olivia and I didn't feel well. So, after 30 minutes of school, the two of us ended up curled up asleep on the couch, and we missed celebrating! Wednesday was a little crazy, but Thursday we finally were able to pull out all of that stored up bubble wrap and set into playing!
Here are the kids popping their bubble wrap - they had lots of fun!
It was also National Puzzle Day. We pulled out an unopened 100-piece puzzle while Steven was up, and the kids and I put that together. We also pulled out a 550-piece puzzle for a little extra challenge for the girls...it's Raptors of America, with little factoids about each bird. Although we didn't get that started, it will definitely be an activity for this weekend!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Broccoli Cheese Soup (yields about six quarts!)
6 cups water
6 chicken bouillon cubes
1 Tbs oil
1 onion or equivalent amount of onion flakes
6-8 oz vermicelli (I tend to use angel hair pasta instead)
20 oz frozen broccoli
2 lbs Velveeta
4 cans evaporated milk
Boil water. Add bouillon, oil, onion, and vermicelli. Cook 3-4 minutes. Add broccoli and boil an additional 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add cheese and milk. Heat until melted.
I like to throw in about a cup of shredded Colby Jack - it just enhances the cheese flavor a touch.
I have cooked this in a crock pot - just put all ingredients in together and cook on low until all cheese is melted and flavors are thoroughly blended. But, it does taste better when done in a pot and then just kept warm in the crock pot. For reheating use double boiler or pour some water in the bottom of a crock pot, insert a crock pot liner, and pour leftover soup into liner.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Raisin Bran Muffins
15 oz raisin bran
3 cups sugar
5 cups flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp cinnamon
4 beaten eggs
1 cup oil
1 quart milk
Preheat oven to 400. Prepare muffin pan.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in second bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mixing until thoroughly moistened. Fill each muffin cup approximately two-thirds full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Recipe makes about six dozen muffins. Batter keeps in refrigerator for up to six weeks (unless you live in the Hibbard household!).
Monday, January 26, 2009
Tuesday is a holiday that our family has been saving up for and greatly anticipating - National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day! Yes, there really is such a day! We don't have a whole lot of bubble wrap, but we've saved up enough that there should be a great deal of popping and giggling going on around the Hibbard household come Tuesday. We'll need to be sure to schedule our celebrations in a timely fashion to ensure Daddy's enjoyment as well.
Thursday we will celebrate another family favorite - National Puzzle Day. The girls have been gradually increasing their puzzle skills, and they might be about ready to graduate past the children's 100-piece puzzles this year. Who knows what creation we might all become addicted to completing come Thursday - and, of course, we'll have to explore other puzzling activitites for the day.
So now here I go...off to make copies of activities and resources to put in the big binder. Ah, learning is such fun, and I can't express what a blessing it is to be a part of my children's learning process. I love it!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Ideas are often hard to come by when it comes to an inexpensive (or free!) at-home date night. So, I'll share some ideas that we come up with now and then (we're praying the Lord will really expand our ideas!), and I look forward to any comments from you, dear readers, about any date nights you might have had!
Last night Doug and I decided to enjoy a favorite recipe and try two new ones for date night. (Okay, so it didn't exactly help with the weight loss attempts, but we sure did have fun!) A few days ago a college friend and fellow blogger posted her recipe for Focaccia Bread. We just had to try that. Meanwhile, Thursday night's Good Eats episode was about homemade pretzels. Yum! So, we thought we'd try that one too! Finally, we had some cream cheese that needed to be used, so we also mixed up our own pizza dip recipe...
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 - 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup spaghetti sauce
pizza toppings of choice (optional)
grated cheese - mozarella or Colby jack work best
Preheat oven to 350. Very lightly spray an 8x11 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine cream cheese and Parmesan and mix well. Press mixture into bottom of baking pan. Spread the spaghetti sauce in a thin layer over the cream cheese mixture. Top with pizza toppings and then with grated cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until dip is bubbly and toppings are slightly brown.
We typically serve this with chips, but we discovered last night that this dip is incredible on focaccia bread! Mmmm....
It is always an adventure to try a new recipe because you never know exactly what to expect, especially when it's something like a bread or dessert. Spending our evening in the kitchen experimenting was a lot of fun, though, and the results were delicious!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
On Tuesday we had the chance to go to the office to help Doug catalog his office library. The girls diligently did independent work, showing that every now and then they can easily handle an independent day of school! We missed only science and history, and those can be easily caught up without missing a day. That was quite the pleasant discovery for those occasional times when such things are necessary. Don't worry, though - I enjoy homeschooling too much to make that a habit!
On Thursday we had the chance to get outside with the weather station Grandma and PopPop gave Olivia for Christmas. We are going to be looking at weather and maintaining a weather journal for a while, so this little contraption will be quite useful.
Olivia celebrated National Clashing Day quite well (none of us had polka dots, amazingly enough, and we didn't get any made). Her green shirt has purple flowers, which clashed nicely with her red and dark purple striped pants!
And, we can't leave out the cat! Little Mina was quite studious this week as well, as is obvious from this picture!
And, finally, any report of the week wouldn't be complete without sharing the girls' new hairdos! Angela is enjoying the fact that her hair is finally long. She asked me the other day to try to put a bun in her hair. She was very proud of her first bun, small though it was. Amazingly, it stayed in all day! Olivia decided that she wanted to try a clippie like Mommy's, and her hair is just long enough for it. It has become her favorite hairstyle, for the time being!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I know he might be a bit hard to understand for those of you not used to listening to him, so here is the "translation."
Boris the Bi-plane knows how to loop the loop. If you look above your head, you'll see him dive and swoop.
Julie the Jumbo Jet is the largest plane around. She can fly a long, long way and never touch the ground.
Steven the Stunt Plane darts around the sky. He can do all kinds of tricks others never try. (appropriate, huh?)
Holly the Helicopter buzzes through the air. When she wants to come back down, she lands anywhere!
Harry the Hot Air Balloon drifts through the sky. Wherever winds blow him, he will happily fly.
Monday, January 19, 2009
This week looks like fun as well. I'll be working on colors and shapes with Steven using our fun lace-up cards. We will continue our study of explorers for history, and for geography/missions we will finish up a section on Southeast Asia and then flow into South America. In science we will be looking at climate and weather, and will hopefully be setting up a bit of a weather station at some point. We'll get to measure wind, rainfall, and temperature.
Doug and I remembered this week that our School House Rock collection has songs covering the multiplication tables! That will be perfect for Olivia as she begins to work on her multiplication tables! She doesn't know yet what's coming - I love getting to surprise her with fun ways to learn! She'll also be finishing her Little House book this week and starting McBroom's Wonderful One-Acre Farm by Sid Fleischman.
Angela is going to have a bit of a change starting this week. We were planning out next year's curriculum over the weekend so we would know how much money we need to set back over the coming months to be prepared to place our school order this summer. I realized that in order to keep up with her reading, I'm going to need to be a little more aggressive this year with some language arts concepts to have her truly prepared for the language arts she'll need to do next year. I think she's ready - she's already grown bored with the things I'd planned for her, so this should excite her. She'll be starting a spelling list (since she already spells some of Olivia's words for her!), and we'll be beginning to stretch her brain to prepare for creative writing challenges. That will stretch my brain, too! I really, really don't like creative writing exercises! This week Angie will be finishing Three By the Sea, reading A Big Ball of String, and then will read a bit about spiders! Ooh!
We have a few celebrations planned this week, too! Today we will be celebrating National Popcorn Day. On Thursday we'll enjoy National Clashing Day and Polka Dot Day simultaneously. That should be interesting! And, on Friday I'm sure we will greatly enjoy National Pie Day. Who knows what other celebrations we will find to fill our week! Stay tuned for pictures...
Sunday, January 18, 2009
They weren't quite as flawless on camera as they had been in practice, but that's typical. I was still very proud of them as they learned to interact with the poem. Here are their performances! (If you are receiving this as an email, you will probably have to actually click on "view article" to play the videos on the blog page.)
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Almost as tall as Grandma Polly!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Angie put a sticker on her daddy's birthday card. The sticker said, "I love school." I commented on it and she answered, "I put it on there because I like school. I love it very, very much!" This was followed by Olivia including her opinion, "I like it too!" At a time when in England they are no longer calling schools by that name because they don't want children to think negatively about the place they go to learn, it's exciting to know that my children actually like school (except for copywork, according to Olivia!) and have a very positive attitude toward school. Now that makes it all worthwhile!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
For those who are curious as to what we use, we primarily use Sonlight as our main resource 1st grade and up and for most of our joint learning. For earlier learning, we use an assortment of resources including A Beka phonics charts and miscellaneous workbooks and flashcards.
Steven is...learning counting. With occasional reminders to not skip 6-8, he can count to about 11 or 12. He's also learning to count objects. With our new school schedule, he naps through most of school, but when he gets up he'll be playing outside the couple of warm days and playing inside with play-do and felt pieces on cold days. When he wakes up in time, he also gets to learn geography songs with us.
- Language Arts - finishing her last phonics chart. This week we will return to the first chart to begin working on spelling her phonics blends while continuing to review the sounds.
- Writing - beginning "Magic C" capitals in writing with the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum.
- Math - learning beginning addition concepts with number families, something which she considers great fun!
- Reading - One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr Seuss; Three By the Sea by Edward Marshall; and A Big Ball of String by Marion Holland
- Language Arts - alphabetizing; review of spelling concepts from this year; writing dialogue; contined lower case writing practice and copywork.
- Math - multiplication review of 0's, 1's, and 10's and introduction to 5's; sequencing patterns; review of money; reinforcement of carrying and borrowing; estimating height.
- Reading - Little House on Rocky Ridge by Roger Lea MacBride
- Bible - continuing readings through the life of Jesus
- Memorization - solidifying "My Shadow" and beginning "The Land of Story Books," both by Robert Louis Stevenson. We were scheduled to spend six weeks on poem memorization. The girls each wanted a different poem, and they were learning so quickly. So, we're going to work on both! Performances to come...
- History - finishing Middle Ages and beginning the Modern Era. Focus on explorers of the early Modern Era.
- Geography & Missions - SE Asia
- Science - finishing unit on the human body; beginning study of the earth, focusing this week on environment and climate.
- Read-Aloud - Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
Saturday, January 10, 2009
As we were leaving, he handed us our Christmas gifts from him and Mom. The kids' gifts were traditional Jordanian outfits! The girls also have little hand mirrors and Steven has a camel, so those are scattered through the pictures.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Oh that we could just live like that, but as humans we're still slow to maintain what we need to maintain to make every day like yesterday. I've got a lot to learn as a mommy so that I can do my part to see more days like yesterday! But, I'm just going to enjoy them as they come, recognize what prevents them when they don't come, and strive to point my family in that direction as much as I can. Today, to be honest, is looking rather promising as well!
Here are a few fun snapshots I've taken over the past few days. Notice Steven and the cat - now, this cat tolerates a lot from the members of our family, but she'll take more from Steven than anyone else in the house! He literally lays his whole body on top of her sometimes! When she's had enough she gives us a certain little call and we realize he's on her again. But she puts up with it! I think there is a friendship beginning here...
(By the way, this is not a book - it's a catalog. He's addicted to his "catalog books," as he calls them. Silly boy!)
Praying each of you have a blessed day today!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
On a related note, there is a way you can pray with our family. There is a set of mission trips scheduled for Eastern Europe for this spring, and Doug is highly interested in going on one of them. We are praying about whether or not this is what the Lord wants for him and our family. As I shared with the girls that we needed to pray over this, they immediately said, "Are we all going?" When I told them that this was a preacher trip, Olivia was okay with that and decided to pray for another opportunity, but Angela actually started crying and said, "But I really want to go on this mission trip with Daddy!" It's not even that she didn't want him to be gone - she just wanted to get to go, too! I'm not sure if she truly understands the impact of such a trip, but she does pray faithfully for others on the mission field who are sharing about Jesus.
So, you can pray with our family not only for wisdom and provision regarding Doug's potential trip, but also that we as a family can discover more and more ways to be involved in missions opporunities. And while you're praying you can also pray that God will open the doors for us to make a trip to Jordan before my parents retire!
I'm excited to see what God is going to do in 2009, both in our family and around the globe!
Monday, January 5, 2009
A few weeks ago my brother Tim, after a long time of fighting the Lord and the Truth that he had been taught all his life, finally surrendered his life totally and completely to the Lord. We were so ecited! We saw him not long after that, and I cannot describe to you the difference in his very countenance. We'd been praying for him and his wife DeAnn for a very long time. Tim, of course, immediately started adding to the prayer force for his wife, longing for the day she'd join him in his faith. Well, yesterday she did! She was saved and baptized yesterday, and we could not be more thrilled! I am so excited for both of them as they start anew in their lives and their marriage. Please join us in praying for them as there are many things that will change in their lives.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Which brings me to recipes. It has been a while since I've posted a recipe on the sidebar. I don't know if any of you are even interested in the recipes I post, but just in case, I'm going to try to get back to regular updating over there, even if it's just a simple one. So, today I'll start by referring you to the recipe I'm using for my hand pies.
Hope you're having a great weekend!
Friday, January 2, 2009
I hope each of your have enjoyed your week as we have! We welcomed in the New Year in our traditional way - in bed! :-) Yes, call us old fuddy-duddies, but it sure was nice to get to bed at a very decent hour and be able to sleep in a few extra minutes as well. When you know the kids are going to wake you up around the same time every morning regardless of when you or they went to bed, late nights tend to be avoided whenever possible!
We originally intended for Jan 1 to be another routine day - Doug was going to go to the office for at least a while, and we were going to have school as usual. But, we changed our minds when we discovered that there was to be an Iron Chef marathon on the Food Network!
We started our day with a delicious breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls and Doug's incredible omelets (we made breakfast foods our theme for the day). We then enjoyed a nice trip to Wal-Mart to pick up a few items for our supper and to get out of the house a bit - it's amazing how calm Wal-Mart is at 9:30 on New Year's Day! That outing was followed by watching the Rose Parade and eating a light lunch. We as a family hate to have the TV on for long periods of time. So, we selected the Iron Chef episodes we really wanted to see and spent the rest of the time in the kitchen! Yes, we as a family seem to really love the kitchen!
And, our last task of the day was to refill the bucket of sifted flour to be ready for the pie crusts we need to make this weekend. I have great helpers, don't I?We finished the day with our breakfast for supper and one last episode of Iron Chef. Doug made biscuits and gravy (except for the ones we had butter and honey on! Yum!), scrambled eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns. Quite delicious! The Iron Chef episode was Battle Wild Boar, something that the girls thought was absolutely perfect in honor of Asterix and Obelix, our favorite comic book characters. All in all we think it made for a very enjoyable way to start 2009!