Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Today we here are CrazyLife are thankful for our family and friends.  We are thankful for our health and our wealth (such as they both are) and for all the blessings in our lives, big and small.  We are celebrating Thanksgiving amongst Mr. CrazyLife's family and it's nice to have everyone together, enjoying good food, good games, good conversation and just enjoying life.

We hope all our friends here on the blog are enjoying their Thanksgivings as well and counting each and every one of your own blessings!

Have a blessed day!!
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

And what a crazy food/meal plan week it will be!!  Between kids being in and out of school, the holiday, travelling and more it's just a crazy food week!  But being that it is what it is the CrazyLife meal plan for this week:

Rice Crispies
Bagels w/laughing cow cheese
scrambled eggs
coffee cake

Bologna Sandwiches w/ chips
Chicken Nuggets w/tator tots
PB & J w/cut veggies
Tuna Sandwiches w/apple slices

School Lunches
Hot lunch for Thing #2
Bologna, cheese sticks, chips, oranges for Thing #1
Yogurt, cottage cheese w/sunflower seeds, crackers, tuna on rice cakes for Momma CrazyLife

Monday:  Chicken Nuggets w/tator tots/Ravoli
Beef Fried Rice (my easy recipe)

Tuesday: Just Momma 'cause Kids are at Auntie's house and Daddy is at school conferences
Bagel w/veggie cream cheese from Einstein Bagels

Wednesday: PB & J sandwiches w/cut veggies and chips on the road

Thursday: Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings

Friday: Either another Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings OR do-agains

Saturday: Do-agains OR hamburger/cheeseburger OR dinner at IL's hour

Sunday: Ranch Pork Chops w/ranch rice (didn't use last week)

Apple slices w/caramel dip
cut up veggies w/PB dip
chex mix
cheese sticks

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

This is......

My 100th Post!!!!

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Preschool at Home

This year we've been doing a homeschool preschool program for Things #3 and #4.  Now, mind you, both Mr. CrazyLife and myself are public school teachers, so we are in no way against public school.  Or are we pro-homeschool.  We just feel that any education either at home or at school is important and that we should do all we can to keep our children on the right path and give them a headstart into life and education.

Since Auntie CrazyLife has been staying with the wee ones during the day, we decided it was easier to let her homeschool the preschool rather than find a new place for them and add extra running and expense into our day.  She's been trained in early childhood education, so it's a great choice for us.

So far this year, the kids have worked on their letters and numbers, both recognition by sight and sound.  I cut a vinyl alphabet with my Cricut and we hung it on our kitchen wall.  It looks quite nice, if I do say so myself.  =)  Thing #3 can now write his full name and Thing #4 can recognize and say all the letters in her full name.

They have also done units on "All about Me," "Halloween," "Apples," and "Fall."  Our kitchen/dining room is decorated so nicely with all the artwork they've done.  We've added to it with artwork the older children bring home from school.  It's a lovely way to decorate the house!

The children and Auntie also work on the weather and calendar every day.  It's so cute to hear Thing #4 singing the days of the week song all the time!

This past week, the kids and Auntie have been working on shapes and colors.  It's so funny to hear my wee two year old pointing out all the shapes she sees as we drive around town!  She can even draw her own circles and squares!

Next week the topic is Thanksgiving. 

Today we went to the library to find a book on the first Thanksgiving and about the history of Thanksgiving.  The kids will read that and do some answer comprehension questions orally and then draw a picture of what the first Thanksgiving looked like.  We also have some Pilgrim head crafts to make from  HERE.  I also found a printable book there about symbols of Thanksgiving and one about counting.

I also have used my QuickCutz cutter to make some Thanksgiving shapes (Boy Pilgrim, Girl Pilgrim, Boy Indian, Girl Indian, Turkey, Corn, Leaf) which will be used for a couple different things.  The kids will use them for making patterns, counting, color identity, shape identity and of course, storytelling.

So far, this homeschool preschool thing is working quite well.  With Auntie CrazyLife doing the main lesson during the day and Momma and Daddy CrazyLife filling in during the evening and weekend, I really see a lot of progess with the kids. 

Plus, it's been fun putting together units and making all the materials and planning curriculum.  I'm probably kind of a nerd in that way, but I love curriculum!  Look for more homeschool preschool ideas in the future!
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Someday My Prince Will Come

It just won't be this prince!

Okay, so it's a bit silly.  I mean, he's a lot younger than me.  He lives a long long way away from where I do.  We come from totally different worlds.  Oh, not to mention that I'm already married and all that jazz.

But it could have happened, right?

This week Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Prince William to his long-time girlfriend, Kate Middleton.  I couldn't be more excited!  It may be weird, but  have this strange fascination with all things royal.  I think it comes from my mother and grandmother because they both do as well.  Perhaps because my Gram looks strangely exactly like Queen Elizabeth II?  Or because when doing genology, my mother traced one of our family lines back to a royal line 100s of years ago?  Whatever the reason, I love the royals!

And Wills gave her his mother's ring.  That is an amazing ring!!

 I remember watching Diana and Charles's wedding as a child and the beauty and pagentry of it is still stuck in my mind.  Diana was such a beautiful bride.  As will Kate be.  The carriage ride, the big poufy AMAZING dress, the flowers, the music.  Everything.

And of course, being second in line to the throne pretty much garentees a wedding just as big and elaborate and beautiful.  I can't wait to see it all.  I'm very happy for them both.  They seem quite content and happy with their decision. 

I do hope that their mariage is more successful than his parents and other relatives have been.  I really think that both Diana and Sarah really didn't know what they were getting into.  They were both so young and their courtships were so short.  And since Kate has been around for the long haul, hopefully she has an idea of what exactly she is getting into. 

I think they make a beautiful couple, yes?

I do wish them a very happy and healthy marriage, with wonderful years to follow!

And after all......there's another prince to keep in mind....who would forget Handsome, Hottie Prince Harry?

It's possible.......
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Rice Crispie Cereal
Cheerios Cereal
Eggs w/toast

Fish Sticks w/chips, cheese sticks, carrots
Mac N' cheese w/ apples
Raman Noodles w/mixed fruit
PB&J w/tator tots
Bologna, crackers, cheese pieces, carrot/celery sticks w/PB

School Lunches
BBQ potato chips
apple slices

Red Beans and Rice
Ranch-style Pork Chops w/ranch rice
Hot dogs/chili dogs w/chips and veggies
Homemade pizza
Leftovers (or do-agains)
Grilled Cheese sandwich w/tomato soup

Cheese sticks and raisins
Animal Crackers
Shortbread cookies
Graham Crackers w/PB
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**Happy Deer Day**

Happy Opening Day!!
(or as we call it at work - the Deer Day Holiday!!)

Today is the opening day of rifle deer hunting season in Michigan.  And to celebrate, Momma Crazylife did not have to go to school today.  Woo Hoo!!

Since so many of our kids and techers take off to go hunting, we almost always have the day off.  Otherwise, who knows if we'd have enough kids to count the day?

And even more exciting - Things #1 & #2 and Mr. Crazylife all had to go to school today.  So I get to be at home with the two little ones.  We've been having fun shopping and doing our preschool work.

I love days off!!!
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Laundry Limbo

Raise your hand if you *hate* laundry!!!

I do!!  I do!! I do!!!

Actually, that's not true.  I don't hate doing laundry.  I don't mind it. 
 What I hate is folding laundry and sorting all those socks!!

Anyhoo....I kinda sorta had a system set up.  I thought it would work. It worked all summer long.
And then school started back up.  And I was stressed.  And I didn't have enough time for anything.
And we were running constantly.  And and and and and.

So it's not working.

Ideally, I would like to dedicate one day each week to doing someone's laundry and one day for towels and sheets.  If we combine the girls' laundry and the boys' laundry, that means four days for clothing and one day for the other, leaving me exactly two days with NOTHING to wash except emergencies.

It's not working.  I'm doing at least two loads a day and not following any kind of schedule.  I start one in the morning before  leave for work.  Clean laundry ends up sitting in a basket outside the dryer for days before getting folded.  Folded laundry sits on a chair in the living for days before I get fed up waiting for someone else to put it away and do it myself.


So I need a new plan.
My mind is thinking.....

I'm just not sure.  It seems like right now I end up doing most of the laundry in one day on the weekend, which is okay because it all gets washed, folded, and put away right away.  (except the sock....I HATE sorting socks!).  But it takes up the ENTIRE day.

What do do?

It all leaves me feeling a bit like the photo above.

So I'm devising a new plan.  Each of the children's rooms will get a hamper.  All dirty clothing will go into that hamper.  If it's on the floor, I'm not picking it up.  In our master bathroom there will be another hamper and one in the laundry room a well.  We also have one at the bottom of the stairs leading to the master bedroom, as Mr. Crazylife has a habit of changing his clothes immediately as he comes in the house and dropping his clothes wherever (early in our marriage, I had a laundry hamper in the KITCHEN just for him!)

Then I am going to set up a laundry board and hang it in the laundry room.  On this board will be a dry erase section for each day of the week.  Each person's name will go on one day and one day will be chosen for towels/sheets.  I'm hoping that this will help keep me accountable.  I'm also going to try to fold the laundry in the laundry room and set it on the counter there.  Ideally, I'd like a shelf of some sort with a basket for each person's clean clothes in there, but I'm not sure how to set that up yet.

Each person is going to have to be responsible for putting away folded laundry.  No more laundry will be done for a person if their clothes are not put away.  No more room means no more laundry.

And we'll ALL sort socks together!!!

What is your laundry routine?  Any suggestions or ideas for me that might help make it an easier task?
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Elf Magic

It's that time of year again.....
it's almost time for Holly, Mistletoe, Ginger and Pepper
to come back for their yearly visit!! 
The kids can't wait and frankly, neither can I!!

Every year for the past three years, our magic elves have joined us at Christmastime.  They are fun to have around as they are always up to mischief in the middle of the night (kinda sounds like four other little munchkins I know!) 

They always arrive on December 1st, bringing us an Advent wreath and calendar.  Sometimes they do crazy things in the middle of the night like taking a bath in the kitchen sink full of marshmallows or making flour "snow" angels on the kitchen table while baking us cookies.  One time they decided the house wasn't decorated enough, so they made paper snowflakes and hung them all over the house - and then they left all the little cut up pieces of paper out for us to clean up!  Our favorite event was when they staged a "snow"ball fight under the Christmas tree with cotton balls.  Crazy elves!!

But they also do things that remind us of the real reason for the season.  After all, Santa is just part of the picture and he wants us to remember what Christmas is really about too.  So he has taught all his elves the Christmas story and they help remind us and share it with us.

Our elves have dressed up as Saint Lucia and her entourage, bringing us sweet buns and a bible story.  They have gone to church to help out with the Christmas pagent.  And every year, on Christmas morning, we find them kneeling at the manger of our creche.

We love our elves (you can find some of their North Pole friends here) and look forward to them coming every year.
We can't wait to see what crazy things they do this year!!!
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The Cold and Flu Season

Cold and flu season is in full force with us.  And we always seem to get hit hard in the fall.  Thing #4 has already had pnemonia this fall and Thing #3 had croup.  We've had the nebulizer out and going since the middle of October and it will stay in active duty until about mid-March.

I try to prevent colds as naturally as possible.  We up our doses of Vitamin C and Vitamin D during the colder months.  We also run the humidfiers all the time.  I personally up my Vitamin B12 dose as well. 

Something new I'm trying this year  is Oregeno oil.  It was suggested to me by our local heath food store.  I looked up online and found these things out about it:

What are the Benefits of Oil of Oregano?

The ancient Greeks were one of the first people to recognize oregano oil for its health benefits and medicinal qualities. It is known to be a potent antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic oil that can reduce pain and inflammation and effectively fight off infections.

Some of the specific benefits of Oil of Oregano are:

•Destroying organisms that contribute to skin infections and digestive problems.

•Strengthening the immune system.

•Increasing joint and muscle flexibility.

•Improving respiratory health.

Uses of Oil of Oregano

Skin Infections

Oil of Oregano can be applied directly onto the skin to treat itches, skin infections, and irritated gums, but only if it has been diluted. Always follow the instructions on your particular bottle before applying topically onto the skin, since highly concentrated oils may first need to be mixed with Olive Oil or Coconut Oil before application (usually one teaspoon of Olive Oil or Coconut Oil per one drop of Oil of Oregano).

Digestive Problems

The high concentrations of thymol and carvacrol in Oil of Oregano have been shown to calm upset stomachs and aid digestion. Therefore, a quick home remedy for mild indigestion is to drink a glass of milk or juice that is mixed with 2 or 3 drops of the oil.

Sinus Congestion

Oil of Oregano is a wonderful natural remedy for sinus congestion. A common solution is to add 3 drops of the oil into a glass of juice and drink this mixture daily for 3 to 5 days.

Colds and Sore Throats

Oil of Oregano is an excellent early defense mechanism when you feel a cold or sore throat coming on. Simply take 3 drops of Oregano Oil once per day (you can mix it into a glass of orange juice) and you should notice results within a few hours. Repeat this once per day for up to 5 days until the symptoms are gone.
So far it seems to be doing it's job.  Three months into school and I have yet to have a cold or any other sickness that is going around with the kids.  Usually by this time, I've had two sinus infections and bronchitis.  I haven't tried it with the children yet and probably won't.  I'm not sure of it's affects on them.
If someone does come down with a cold, we also treat that naturally if possible.  We up Vitamin C again.  We heat up water with peppermint oil in it and then "steam" our heads - put the water in a bowl and put our heads over the bowl with a towel on top - garenteed to clear stuffy noses.  We use heating pads on the chest.  We'll do "hot toddies" if possible (I don't put whisky in the kids - just warm 7up or Cider).  Lots of chicken noodle soup and hot tea or chocolate.
What home remedies do you use to fight off the cold and flu?  What do you treat them with?
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