Friday, September 27, 2013

Andrew

Andrew's preschool teacher says he's doing great!  He gets off the bus each day telling me, "I missed you so much!"  Can't beat that!  And he gets off happy....he tells me that he rode the bus and it was so much fun.  He also tells me when asked what he did in school that "He played."  He then says it was fun.  He's a happy little man!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kickstarter

I have to say I really like the idea of kickstarter - funding an idea.  We've back a few games up to this point (and since we haven't been doing this long, we actually haven't gotten delivery of anything), but I am doing my first history one!  I'm excited to see if this goes!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cards

I took my own take on the cards we made at my card making class. I rather like these and they work for men, which is always an issue for me!


Grr....

In August, I got a letter from the bus barn saying Adam's bus left Carlin at 8:46 AM.  Okay....well ,the first week, the principal at Carlin told us that was not true, it left at 8:40ish and never BEFORE 8:40.  Well, this morning it left before 8:40 (Adam missed it...I drove him).  So I called the bus barn and was told it left at 8:30 and this was "always the case!"  REALLY!!!  I am NOT happy - that is a SIXTEEN minute change from THEIR letters!!!  And we were never told!  I was only on time until now Carlin's principal told us 8:40!!!  UGH!!  In addition, their drop off time is full of hot air as well.....it says 3:09, Carlin told us 3:30...it has been about 3:25ish.  But Carlin doesn't even get OUT until 3:15!!! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I've yet to be convinced....

So I told you all about the kindergarten situation here.  I went in with an open mind, trying to give them the benefit of the doubt that this was for a reason. Yep, still not convinced. I mean, I love Adam's teacher and I think his kindergarten is going well...I just haven't seen any reason why they need their own building.  The bussing is annoying, but working okay...but it is a LOT of work for them and I don't see they are getting anything out of it.  So, I remain unconvinced....

Update

Okay, so I've been meaning to post an update...but well, life has been busy!  Ray was has had a crazy two weeks with work and so I've had a lot of extra on my plate as well.

Adam
Adam has had some adjustment issues to school, as expected, but he's been slowly improving (his bad behavior is getting later and later in the day, meaning he is slowly getting the ability to control himself for a full school day, which I definitely knew he'd need to work on).  The reward system we have, both at home and school are working really well. I really like his kindergarten teacher - she runs a very tight ship, which Adam needs.  I did figure out she started teaching about the time I started kindergarten myself - she has plenty of experience!  I have volunteered in Adam's classroom twice now and plan to do every other Thursday for about 90 minutes, which means I get to check on him as well as help out.  His teacher is really good about using volunteers well, so it is enjoyable. 

Adam is almost done with fall soccer. The schedule has been a nightmare, but I love his coach and he seems to enjoy it plus get a lot out of it.  I just wish it had a regular schedule!

Andrew
Andrew is really enjoying preschool.  He seems to be adjusting really well and loves riding the bus.  I've heard anything bad, so I'm assuming that is a good thing. It looks like his teacher wants volunteers on Tuesdays, so I'm going to try to do once a month. 

On potty training, he's actually doing really well, although we are still having some accidents, but for the most part they are actual accidents, not just "I don't care" issues, so that's a good thing.

He seems to be in a growth spurt right now and having issues sleeping due to it.  He doesn't look much different from the row of 5 year olds when he's hanging with Adam!

Ray
Ray has two night classes this term, which is messing up our schedule, but otherwise, we are doing okay now that we got through the two weeks of horror.

Jennie
Classes keep me busy, but I'm actually having time to myself most days, which is pretty cool.  Although by the time I get work done, Andrew is usually home.  But I'm hoping now that Ray's schedule has settled a little, I'll be able to do fun stuff at night (versus work) and actually get some time to do things like scrapbooking.  We'll see! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Start of School

Adam doing his homework

Waiting in line for the bus

Andrew getting off the bus - Andrew LOVES being a bus boy!

They each get rewards at school that we are tracking.  Andrew gets "jewels" that are pretty easy to earn (they give them out for most things) whereas Adam gets "k way tickets" which are much more random.  Anyone remember Super Kids?  Pretty much that!  I also have been giving him "airplane" punches if he does things at home and told him 5 airplanes equal 1 k-way ticket (as we are rewarding for x many tickets).  He's very into it, which is the goal!

Socks

Finished socks on their recipient - my mother!

Halloween Cards

This year's Halloween cards!

These are treat bags

I love this one!


Rome via China

This is neat - a view of Rome, courtesy of China! I love stuff like this!

Old Sweater

This is really cool! Check out this 1700 year old sweater!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Loaves

Cinnamon Sugar Loaves
Modified from Pampered Chef
 
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
 
Topping (I didn't actually use this...it was a little dry, but okay and I want to be able to freeze)
1/4 cup  butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
 
Preheat the oven to 350.  Whisk  first 5 ingredients together.  In small bowl, whisk rest together.  Add wet to dry and stir only to combine.  Divide among brownie pan and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. 
 
Remove immediately and cool.  Combine topping and dip squares into it.
 
Serve and enjoy.

Cheddar-Bacon Burgers

Ray declared these better than the Hawaiian Burgers, which is quite the compliment!

Cheddar-Bacon Burgers
Modified from Simple & Delicious
 
1 cup (4 oz) cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup apple cider or juice
3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Montreal steak seasoning
2 lbs lean ground beef (they used half pork sausage, I just used all hamburger)
6 hamburger buns
 
In large boil, combing first five ingredients.  Mix in meat.  Shape into 6 patties.  Grill and serve on buns. 
 
Makes 6 servings. 

Friday, September 06, 2013

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

I made these for dinner tonight. I like enchiladas, but Ray doesn't, so I thought they were pretty good, Ray ate them because he didn't have to cook! I only made an half batch (which is one 13 by 9 pan full).

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
Modified from Taste of Home
 
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
5 cups diced cooked chicken
20 flour tortillas (6 inches), room temperature (I didn't need this many)
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cups (16 oz) sour cream
1 cup milk
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese (I think this needed more)
 
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, water, onion powder, cumin, salt and pepper until smooth (once it was softened, I was able to do with a spatula and just really smeared it up). Stir in chicken.
Place 1/4 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla (I didn't get this many enchiladas). Roll up and place seam side down in two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes. In a large bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, milk and chilies; pour over enchiladas (I found the ratio of topping to enchiladas was pretty high).
 
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. 
 
Makes 10 servings.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I really like the Bob Evans BBQ sandwiches, so I bought some BBQ sauce of theirs and tried it at home. I was very happy with it plus the kids liked - Adam will eat an entire sandwich! That right there is a win! This is a very sweet sauce, which obviously works well with kids.
 
Modified from Bob Evans
 
3-4 lb pork roast
1 cup Bob Evans wildfire BBQ sauce (I like this a lot, I had some...obviously, you can use your BBQ sauce here as well!)
1/4 cup water
1 small pepper, diced
1 tsp chili powder
Sandwich Buns
 
Put everything put buns in crock pot.  Cover and cook for 6-8 hours.  Remove from crock pot and shred with two forks. Serve on rolls.
 
Serves 12.

Lemon Grilled Chicken

We made this last week - a nice simple recipe and the leftovers work good in most things. I put ours in Caesar Mac and Cheese.
 
Modified from Taste of Home
 
1 cup olive oil
2/3 cup lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 medium onions, chopped.
4 lbs chicken (they used drumsticks and thighs, I used breasts)
 
Whisk first 5 ingredients, stir in onions.  Pour 1 1/2 cups marinade into container and add chicken.  Marinate in fridge overnight.  Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade as well. 
 
Drain chicken and grill chicken.  Baste occasionally with reserved marinade.
 
Serves 8.

Knitting Projects


Hat - this ended up a little larger than intended, but I like the look

Scarf - I like the wave pattern



I'm not in love with the Berry Stitch pattern, but I was happy with final product



What a mess....

Adam told me the roadrunner did it...I made him clean it anyway....

Zoo Pictures


A few more Zoo pictures from Samantha's camera

Randolph Fair

We took the boys at the Randolph Fair. They'd been on rides at the AK State Fair before and enjoyed it (mostly Adam, Andrew had been pretty young).  This time both ADORED it. They had a blast!


Riding the kiddie Ferris wheel together - Adam and I rode the big one as Adam was determined to go!

Boys

"napping"

Adam at his new playground

New Skill

Andrew's new skill - he made it to the top!  First time took some cajoling by brother (with me freaking out a bit), but Andrew was determined!

Soccer Fun

Soccer fun!

 
First game footage (and here)
 
 
While Adam was playing, Andrew was working on his dribbling skills and rolling skills.  He'd seen some other (older) kids rolling down the hill and had to figure it out himself.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

First Day Report

So we made it through the first day of school.  Both boys seemed to enjoy themselves and came home happy and overall in good spirits.  I didn't get any bad reports, either, also a plus!  We'll see how it progresses, but I hope for a good year.  Both boys like to learn, they just also like to be very active, so sitting still is their major issue for most things.  They also tend to be very physical, which can be an issue.

Now, our school system does a kindergarten only building.  So we have four elementary schools: three which are 1-5 and the one that is just K.   I find this odd. I have no idea why they do it. They just do it.  So Adam is at West Park this year, which is all kindergarten and then will move to Carlin for 1st grade next year.  Now to make this work with bussing, they bus the kindergarteners from West Park to their closet elementary school....from there they then have them change busses (they orchestrate this with lots of adults, I give them that....they have this down...but it is a lot of work on their part), to be bussed home with the rest of the kids that elementary school.  We are close enough to our elementary (Carlin) that Adam doesn't qualify to be bussed any further since we live so close (which honestly I'm not sure I'd be into anyway and we really do live close), so I walk to Carlin to get him each day.  He also takes the bus from Carlin each morning.  When we got our bus information, it said that Adam would arrive back at Carlin at 3:09 PM (school at West Park gets out at 3 PM).  They got there today about 3:50.  According to the principal at Carlin, they won't ever be there before 3:30 so I have no idea what the bus barn is smoking.  He also said something different for the time the bus LEAVES in the morning as well.  I'm going to go with him, not the bus barn.  Now I was there from like 2:50 on today (as I thought the bus was getting there at ten after and honestly I really didn't want to be late today) with Andrew in tow, which was oh so much fun.  Carlin gets out at 3:15 and that's when those who walk/get a ride leave. The bus kids are stuck there until the kindergarten busses show up.  This seems like everyone does a LOT of waiting!  I get that many parents need bussing and while I don't "need" it, it certainly helps me as a convenience.  Yet, seriously, this seems like quite the mess.  And if the kindergarteners were at the regular elementary schools, a lot of this would be fixed....again, the point is? I just don't get it...I'm trying to be open minded, but it seems like a ton of hassle for very little return.  They say there is....I'm waiting to be convinced. 

Right now, there is a LOT of construction in town that is messing up the bus routes a lot which isn't the school's fault.  I don't know the city was thinking...seriously about the beginning of AUGUST, several new projects cropped up....that obviously aren't going to be done before winter hits, that completely block traffic and thus bussing...why weren't these started in APRIL....why in AUGUST?  Ugh, city planners obviously have no brains....oh, wait, someone paid them off, I'm sure....yes, I'm not pleased. 

Also this week, the kindergarteners have a lot to learn on just basics...that would be normal no matter what as they have to get to the right places and all that, so that's also to be expected.  But again, it seems like they are making this harder on themselves for no reason.  Kent, right next door, doesn't do all this odd stuff.....

Oh, and we only have all day kindergarten.  I would have liked half day. I realize I'm probably in the minority, but I wouldn't have minded another year with Adam only going half days. He's seems awfully little to gone so long.  I know he'll be okay, but it just seems like a LONG time....

Andrew starts on the bus tomorrow as well, although just home from school, I'll take him in the morning.  He comes home at like 11:30 on the preschool bus (which has an extra adult on it) like Adam did last year.  This is definitely a nice convenience for me, so I hope he does well.  I'm worried about his ability to stay sitting down.....

Okay, I've ranted and raved....I'll let you know after a week or so how this is going. I'm giving them a week to make this seem like it works.  I'm really glad, though, I don't need more than just bussing to Carlin..... 

First Day

Today was Adam's first day of kindergarten and Andrew's first day of preschool! I get Andrew back at 11:30, but Adam is there all day (we have no half day option here).   I put Adam on a bus this morning and that bus will bring him back.  I'm taking Andrew in the morning, but starting tomorrow (I'm picking up him today), he'll ride the bus home.  They are very excited, but I'm sad.