Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday Week 22


Monday, January 26, 2015

Easy Homemade Pizza Crust

In our family's effort to stay away from so many packaged items I had to seek a pizza crust recipe because I could personally eat pizza every day and I think never get tired of it.

Normally I buy the roll out dough in the refrigerated section or the dry packets that you just add half a cup of water and your ready to roll.

That just isn't going to work with us anymore. 

I am doing this for many different reasons and to be honest it is harder but much more rewarding.

Here is the recipe my family has used for the last several weeks and we are very happy with!

3 cups flour (you could mix it half and half with wheat)
1 tbsp yeast
1tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
9oz WARM water

Mix flour, sugar and salt together and then add the yeast and oil then add the warm water in small amounts while mixing together slightly.

Then you will need to cover it and let it sit somewhere warm for 20 minutes, you could also place it in a metal bowl (I don't have one) and put in a preheated oven (turn off the heat). 

This gives the dough time to rise. 

Once this is done you just roll it out into your pan and top with wonderfully yummy toppings!

Easy and very good! 

This pizza crust recipe is a keeper!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up 21 {Long Week}

This is the week that feels like a month! 

Every have one of those?

I actually haven't in a really long time but this week had a lot packed into it.

Monday was normal and good. We worked on learning a lot about magnets from Nancy Larson Science and having a blast with all the hands on learning!

Tuesday was my birthday and hubby was off so that meant not much got done. We enjoyed lunch at my favorite restaurant and some good lazy time together. The weather was awesome! I wore flip flops and loved it!

(can you tell I wasn't amused at the cool whip they put all over my face)

Daddy was trying to get some schooling done too!

Wednesday we had our first foster placement arrive! He is 4 and keeping me on my toes! That took most of our day to get everything settled and adjusted. He actually did wonderfully. 

Thursday was a normal day, as much as it could be with an additional new child in our home. Schooling tried to happen and did pretty good for the most part. Kids volunteered at the Food Pantry like always and I headed to work.

Friday was more of a normal day this week. Schooling went really good. Kyle actually finished 2 things today!! Christian Kids Explore Chemistry & Mr. Lincoln's Drummer (a book). I have to get ready for work soon!

Zachary has been doing really great with his eye & brain exercises. I think I see improvements within these 2 weeks that we have been working on them however I don't want to trick myself into thinking it just yet. BUT I can tell that his reading is coming somewhat easier which makes me very happy. We are going to be introducing All About Reading into his daily school work to see how and if that will help too!

We have been cooking a lot of yummy recipes around here! Healthier, non packaged foods!

I will be sharing a great pizza dough recipe next week with you all!

Look at these awesome PopTarts we are fixing and loving.

I am so happy that our Schoolhouse Crew year has begun, we have started recieving some wonderful review items that I can't wait to post about.

Here are some that are in my home right now:
Koru Naturals

And Purex has a new detergent that I am testing out: Power Shot!


Monday, January 19, 2015

Menu Monday Jan.19/15


Need to get back to planning every week! 

It helps my grocery bill and helps my OCD behavior!

Grilled Honey Salmon
Roasted Carrots and Potatoes

Pork Chops
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans

Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas

Parmesan Tiliapia

Chicken & Rice Soup

Hamburgers & Fries

Skillet Chicken Lasagna


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up #20 {GreatWolfLodge}

This week was awesome! We had a fun little break thrown in the beginning of our week followed by a little school work.

Zachary's birthday was at the beginning of January and to celebrate we gifted him with a trip to Great Wolf Lodge! We had never been and it was awesome! We can't wait to go back lol. We stayed Monday and Tuesday and enjoyed every moment of it (in between my legs feeling like jello from all those steps).

 We have been incorporating a notebooking method for Kyle to keep a more independent way of completing his work and this is week number 2 for him and he is still doing really well with it. It takes me about 15 minutes every Sunday evening to sit down and write it out for him.

Zachary is doing really well with his second week of therapy (being done at home) being added after his Brain Balance evaluation for learning. We tried to get answers on why reading was being so difficult for him and we did get answers and some helpful advice.

Alexis is entering her teens... That's all I can really say! Boy some days she is my precious little girl and others she is this weird alien that I know nothing about. I don't like it! She has been emotional this week and very strong willed so to be honest it has been a little exhausting!

Kevin had his final interview with what we hope will be God's answer to our prayers. His schooling is still going really wonderful. I am so proud of what he is doing and thankful that he has put so much effort into doing a great job.

We also had an awesome birthday party this weekend to wrap everything up.

We should have a foster child this week. Excited and very nervous!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Homemade PopTarts Recipe {YUMMY}

I have little by little been eliminating boxed snacks and packages in our household. I started over a year ago and stopped bringing in any prepared meal like Hamburger Helpers etc. Then over the year I have went to making almost all our breads and noddles along with using a lot of our organic veggies that we can and put up from our garden.

 Then the more I research learning issues for my children I see that a lot of additives are linked which throws another curve ball at me to get them out of my house for good.

With all that information comes the reason I made homemade Pop-Tarts for my family.

They are healthier, have less ingredients because they are made from scratch and are totally better in taste.

They are easy too!

I whipped up these Sunday morning for my family in less than 15 minutes and again Thursday!

Get your favorite pie crust recipe or use mine:
4 cups flour (all purpose or wheat, I use half half) 
1tbsp Sugar
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup COLD unsalted butter or shortening
Add COLD water until you can form into dough ( I haven't measured it either time)

Then you will need an egg wash:
1 egg (we use our fresh duck eggs)
2tbsp Water
*whisk together*

Next your going to flour your work surface and flatten your dough out. Get it as squared as you possibly can. Then use a pizza cutter or knife to cut dough into squares. 

Once they are cut into squares you can place the egg wash on the dough. 

Fill with your favorite ingredient.
We have used homemade jellies and a brown sugar cinnamon mixture and all have turned out delicious. 

Seal the 2 squares together with the egg wash. Take a fork and seal the edges & poke holes in the top so the steam will exit the dough.

Top the dough with the egg wash once more so it will brown.

I cook in the oven at 400 for 10 minutes.

Let them cool then you can top them with a topping of your choice.

Icing Recipe:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp milk

I hope you enjoy these as much as my family has!


Friday, January 9, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up 19 { New Year }

Guys its been a long time!

Between holidays and break time its been a while since we've been posting normally! This week has been a great first week back but not without bumps to flatten out however we made it! It's Friday!

We started out our week trying to recover from a stomach bug.

Monday we had a testing session done for Zachary and his learning so that took us on a drive to the facility and back. We learned a lot and got some helpful advice. However the day was an extremely emotional one for me. Kyle also had his 2nd basketball game that night and won! They did great.

This week was all about getting back in our routine. Schooling had not been done for over 2 weeks and so it was all about just getting back to it and having good attitudes. 

All week we worked hard to just have fun and enjoy being healthy!

Kyle actually over the break asked to try to work on things more independently so I had sat down and wrote down where in each subject I wanted him by the end of the school week and talked it over with him to make sure he understood. We tried this years ago but it didn't go well at all. I am happy to report that this first week went great. He followed it really well and completed everything without reminder! Great progress from a few years ago.

Zachary has been working on a lot of brain training exercises this week along with some eye tracking exercises. Each day we have been doing small things for about 20 minutes to retrain his left brain to connect with his right brain better. Then today we incorporated a series of more in depth exercises that are to be done just once a week. He has had great attitude with all the new items we threw at him this week, I am proud of his efforts. It hasn't been easy but he has done wonderful at trying. 

Zachary has also been working on some work for Dyslexia. 

Tuesday we had a very emotional day with Lexi. We went on our walk and picked up trash along our road. Maggie (one of our cats) decided that she would follow us and so we just let her because we tried running her back to the house and she just wouldn't go. When we got back home we couldn't find her anywhere. We checked the road several times, riding up and down hollering for her without any luck. This is the cat that we bottle feed since it was 3 days old so you have to understand Lexi was in tears most the evening. It got dark and came time for Kyle's ball practice and so we prayed again before leaving that maybe we would find her. No luck. When we got home guess who was back?! Yes she was!! Thank God! Just in time for bedtime too! Lexi and Maggie slept very well that night.

Wednesday night the stomach bug hit our house again! So it was round 2. Just Zachary and I suffered this time so hopefully it is gone and will not call on our home again.

We have news that next week we will be getting a Foster Child! I have details but can't give any.

Hope you all had a wonderfully blessed week!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dyslexia Myths & Tips

As I have watched 2 boys (one dyslexic, one not) have learning issues and them personally give there all these are myths and comments from various sources that have really bothered me at some point and time.

They are lazy.

Oh, they will grow out of it.

They really should try harder.

Research has proven that people use different parts of their brains when they perform different tasks. Meaning that each person can easily have a "crossed wire" from what a "normal person" has.

Did you know that 1 out of 10 people are Dyslexic?

Here are some warning signs for school-aged children to look for:

Writes words with letters in the wrong place

Reverses letters and numbers

Adds or leaves out small words when reading

Has trouble retelling a story

Relatives have Dyslexia

Always confuses left and right

Difficulty with memorization

Some helpful activities that you can help your child with include:

Read a lot of books

Hands on activities are best for them

Praise can be priceless at this point

You can practice some memorization tricks that will help with recalling important information quick. We have found Classical Conversations songs to be extremely helpful here. Learning anything in song has been a huge help.

A knowledge of phonics is crucial to reading effectively. Which is the one reason we decided to give All About Spelling a try for Kyle our oldest. Thankfully it was just what we needed and is a perfect fit for all my children even though they each have a different learning style. We are adding All About Reading Level 2 back to Zachary's day very soon since he needs further practice and instruction.

Practice truly makes perfect! When it comes to reading. Get a routine established.