Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet E

I can't believe it. It's almost impossible to believe that Sweet E went from
1 week old

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

4 years old

5 years old

5 1/2 years old
 this. She has grown up so much! Happy 6th Birthday Sweetie! I love you so much. God has blessed our family by giving you to us. You are growing up into such a beautiful, sweet little lady. :-)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Finally Did It!

I finally made my own vanilla! I had the supplies for a couple of weeks, but I had a hard time getting the pickle smell out of the jar lid. But I finally figured it out. I boiled the lid with some baking soda for a little bit. Then added lemon juice. After boiling it for a while I but it into a plastic bag with some activated charcoal. The next pickle smell! So I could finally get started on making the vanilla. I used the instructions from Heavenly Homemakers. I purchased a pound of vanilla beans from Olive Nation with the discount code from Heavenly Homemakers. 
I cut 80 beans to put into the gallon jar.
Then I poured a gallon of vodka into the jar.
After 6 months I will have a gallon and a half of pure vanilla!

I didn't have a half gallon jar so I just used the vodka bottle. I had poured a little of it into the gallon jar and had room to add 40 beans. I had 120 beans. The exact amount called for ...for a gallon and a half. Not that it would matter if I was a few under or over. I know that this is a TON of vanilla but I am hoping to sell some to Beloved's coworkers and have extra for gifts. :-) I will let you know how it is in 6 months!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

MamaBuzz Review: SpellQuizer

In our homeschool lessons spelling isn't very strict at this point. By that I mean we don't have spelling tests or anything yet (next year we will do more of that). But I was given the opportunity to review some spelling software called SpellQuizer. I am very excited about this program. Knowing that I have something new and different in my homeschool arsenal is exciting. (I know, I am weird like that).

It's a downloadable program (which is always a plus) and it's so easy to customize it to your child's needs. They even have a special link for homeschoolers. You can make up a spelling list for your child in just a few seconds. They have video demonstrations as well. You can go to this link and see a quick and information demonstration on how to create spelling lists, practicing the lists, sharing and importing lists. You can use this program with any curriculum. That's what is so great about it! Even if I change my mind on what curriculum I am going to use this will work with anything!

 Oh...I should say a big part of this is you recording sentences to be repeated for the child. So (you need a microphone for your computer) you make the list and when you enter in a word you record a sentence. Like, if the word is frog you would record a sentence like, "The frog loved to swim in the pond." Or whatever you want. Make it as fun and amusing for the child as you like. :-)

We have enjoyed testing this out for the MamaBuzz review, but it will be using this more and more the farther we get into our homeschool journey. Plus this is great for any family. If your child is struggling or if you are just looking for something different this would be a great option (it's $29.95) There are sample spelling lists to start off with that have recordings already (and I believe they are adding more). So yes, I would recommend this product to families looking for spelling practice for the children (homeschool or not). 
*Disclaimer- I received this product from TedCo Software for MamaBuzz in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, March 07, 2011

A Whole Month

Boy, I sure have a lot to catch up on. I am afraid to say one is sick in our home. I don't want to say it, fearing that it could change any minute. :-) We have had sickness in this home since Christmas time. Beloved and Big T were on antibiotics the other week (Makes the 4th time since the first of November for Beloved.) Can't wait for spring to come and the children can play outside more often! Between being sick and the weather, cabin fever is really bad in our home! But we did have a lot to keep us busy in February.

February 7th was Little E's 4th birthday. This little boy can drive me crazy most days, but when I do get an "I love you" he melts my heart. (And let me just add that I am blessed to get an I love you from him once every two weeks. Seriously.....he isn't affectionate)

Mr. Ornery is 4!
He had a hard time deciding what kind of cake he wanted. But finally decided on a Clifford rice crispie cake.
I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

Then there was Valentine's Day. We started off with pink heart shaped pancakes. Took a couple of tries but they finally came out. The children loved them and that's what matters.

For dessert that night we had brownies cut into hearts and iced with leftover icing from E's birthday cake. I didn't get a before picture....sorry :-)
Beloved brought home these beautiful red roses *grin*
Then it was Beloved's turn. His birthday was on February 20th and I had a hard time deciding on what to make him. Until I saw a technique for a buttercream transfer. He requested a rice crispy cake with ganache and then I chose the design. I thought an angry bird would be appropriate. The whole family enjoys that game.

I thought the transfer turned out well for the first try.
I don't have any pictures of the transfer during the process, but you can see the image I used.
So, it was a busy month and I have another busy month coming up. Spring is coming and there is a lot of things to get done around this house. One big thing is Sweet E's 6th birthday. I have so much to get done before then! The sun is shining today and it's beautiful outside. Oh, how I have missed the sunshine. May the Lord bless you through this week and I will do my best (as long as the family stays healthy) to post more. :-)