Random Monday

In CategoryNavel Gazing, Random Monday

• I have an HGTV specific pet peeve: The word “realtor” is pronounced “real-tor” not “re-la-tor.” Get with the program, voice-over people.

• Don’t you think doing voice-overs would be a great job? Go in a booth with no makeup and say things like “Shawna and Greg are looking for a house in Milwaukee.” Probably get a nice paycheck for 15 minutes worth of work.

• The other day, Big made a whole bunch of worksheets for me to do. He made me write all the numbers to 100. He thought this was HIGH-larious. He kept telling me if I wanted to be smart, I had to do my schoolwork. And to quit complaining, or he’d make me do more. He gave me a quarter for writing a story. I wrote one called Big Is A Turkey Butt. He made a chart and put a big red mark for all my mistakes. He didn’t even care that my hand got a cramp and I wanted to watch Tom and Jerry. 

• The Girl Scout Cookies are here! The Girl Scout Cookies are here!

• The pencil sharpener guy actually read my post and sent me some pencil sharpeners to give away! I am so excited about this! Stay tuned for a give-away.

• This morning we had Sausage Pinwheels for breakfast –

And they were voted delicious by my family.

Which is really cool, considering I only barely followed the recipe and added 2 TABLEspoons of yeast, not the 2 TEAspoons it called for.

Accidental Cooking WIN!

Plus, I am totally giving myself extra mom points for serving such a fancy breakfast on a freaking MONDAY*, of all days.

* The fact that I meant to serve them for dinner last night but did not read the directions in time to account for two rises is neither HERE nor THERE. 

Have a good week!

Last Call: Ask a Home School Graduate

In CategoryHome Schooling

This is the last question for Ask a Home School Graduate. If you have any more questions, lay ’em on me. Otherwise, this series has come to an end. Thanks for playing, everyone!

Connie asked: How do you organize your materials?

I have not answered this one before, because it took me 3 weeks to stop laughing.

Organize! *snort*

Well, let’s see…..I have this box, which I have been meaning to organize for only a year and a half –

Then there’s all this crap –

And another box over here –

And some bins….

So yeah. I’m all about the organizing. Probably I should write a book.

Here’s the one thing I have learned about supplies: don’t put them away. Keep your stuff visible enough so you don’t forget about it. I have organized my closets and cupboards mercilessly, only to discover that I never open those cupboards until the next year when I am taking inventory. While stuff was languishing neatly in the closet, my kids grew older and it was all rendered useless.

(hah! see what I did there? my messy room is not laziness, it’s a learning strategy!)

I had tons of manipulatives packed away – geometric solids, counters, fraction thingamabobs….until it dawned on me one day that waiting to get them out until we were studying that in school was pointless. They need exposure through playing with them. Sure, it might look like they are building a tower out of the prisms and cones, but they are also absorbing information about the shapes and building potential while they do it. Every so often they say “what’s this shape called mom?” and we talk about that while I print out some coloring pages or dot-to-dots relevant to the discussion.

To that end, I got those plastic drawers you see in the bottom picture. The top two are for stuff they can share, and they each have one of the bottom drawers. These are in my office closet, and are things I want them to play with under somewhat supervised conditions. These are the more educational toys, not the chuck-at-your-sister’s-head toys. They are free to get out anything in the drawers when they are hanging out with me in my office. Every so often, I rotate the stuff.

Here are some of the things my kids can have free, slightly supervised, access to:

…and I have to go.

The Educator’s Outlet website is calling me. Need….more…..stuff…..

Hope that helps, Connie!

More Ask a Homeschool Graduate!

In CategoryHome Schooling, Navel Gazing

I have a few more questions to answer from my Ask a Homeschool Graduate post, so let’s get to it:

Applie asked: Did you have a graduation ceremony? If not, do you wish you did?

No, I did not have a graduation ceremony. High school just sort of…..trickled off. It wasn’t a big deal, but two years later when my sister graduated, she had a party and a cap & gown. I might’ve been a little jealous. I attended my college graduation though, and it was excruciating. The endless speeches, the long wait to march across the stage…boring, boring, boring. I have attended several other graduations since, and let me just say: Never Again. I will attend my children’s graduations and that’s it. I don’t love anyone else enough to put myself through that.

Applie also asked: Do you like being a weirdo?

Yes. Yes I do. You’re weird, too. So there. See also: neener-neener.

Theresa asked: What about the boy thing…crushes, boyfriends, feeling comfortable talking to boys…how did you deal with this? I am worried that not being around boys a lot may impede my girls somehow.

Oh, Theresa…How can I answer such a personal question? I understand what you are saying – don’t we all worry about these things with our babies? I started thinking about the girl who will claim my son’s heart before he was even born. I try not to dislike her…

First, let me encourage you that homeschooling your girls does not mean that they will never be around boys. Maybe they won’t be around as many, but the number will be more than zero – and you will be right there to guide them. Truly, I think it has a lot to do with personality. You said you were in school, but were shy. I was not in school, and was an incorrigible flirt. I did not have a serious boyfriend until college, and I married him. Your girls do not need lots of boys, but rather that Special One. Have faith. That’s really all I can offer. I’m sorry, I hope that helps a little.

Melanie said: I teach my children at home, but I don’t really teach them anything anymore because they’re old enough to read the books themselves and I’d rather play on Twitter anyway.

I want to be Melanie when I grow up. Don’t tell her, I don’t want to scare her off.


In CategoryCooking

On Monday night, I made this for dinner –

And then we all died and went to heaven.

I went twice, because EVERYone in my family ATE IT and RAVED ABOUT IT and did NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT ANYTHING…

…which frankly has never happened to me before.

Mad Hungry’s Spaghetti Carbonara

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 pound bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and cook the spaghetti. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until just crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Skim off some of the fat. Drain the pasta, add to the bacon in the pan, and toss to combine.

Whisk together the eggs, cheese, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour into the pasta, and combine thoroughly. Serve immediately with extra grated cheese, if desired.

I added a pretty good sized splash of 1/2 & 1/2 to the eggs. I also tempered my eggs a little by gradually whisking in a few tablespoons of the hot pasta water. By the time I added them to the pot, they were probably around room temperature. I have a bit of Raw Egg Paranoia, so after I added the eggs to the spaghetti and got it combined, I put the lid on and let it sit in the hot pot for about 5 minutes, just to make sure everything was cooked.

I love Lucinda Scala Quinn’s recipes so much, I finally broke down and ordered Mad Hungry. I can’t wait to get it.

This post is linked to Mouthwatering Mondays, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Foodie Fridays, Food on Fridays,  and anywhere else I can think of.