Sunday, August 21, 2016

My Week

On Monday, it was the first day back to school. Pictured above, is my youngest son ready for his first day of 4th grade. My oldest son had to bring him to school because I had to work. My son ended up with several friends in his class, so he's happy about that. He said he had a good first day. I am working for 2 weeks subbing in a kindergarten room. The teachers are allowed help for the first 2 weeks. The day was so exhausting! I was constantly reminding kids how to sit, how to stand in line, how to use the bathroom, wash hands, tie shoes, etc.

On Tuesday, my son earned a ticket yesterday that allowed him to sit next to a friend all day today. He really enjoyed doing that. My 2nd day in the kindergarten class was about the same as yesterday. We also had 2 new students join the class, so I went over all the procedures with them. We even already had 1 student absent!

On Wednesday, it was short day! All our kindergarten students were here today. Most of them did okay, there's just a couple that I have to keep a close eye on. After school, my son and I were going to pick up my daughter from the Coaster because she had to turn in her paper work at school. Unfortunately, my husband's meeting ran late, so she missed the train! The next train doesn't come for a couple of hours and he has another meeting. Now she has to stay at his work the rest of the day. So, my son and I just went to Staples to pick up a couple school supplies his teacher requested that we didn't have. Short days are nice because I finally have a chance to look at my email.

On Thursday, it was very busy. After school, I did the grocery list. Then we ate dinner and I did the dishes. I went for my walk, then it was time for my youngest son's shower. By the time all that was done, it was almost 9:00 pm! It's really hard working and still trying to get things done around the house, and still have time for exercising. I'm so tired!

On Friday, I was so glad the school week was over! It was very tiring. Kindergartners are a lot of work, physically, mentally, and emotionally. They are very sweet and cute, but need a lot of care.

On Saturday, I did my usual grocery shopping and cleaning. My parents are coming over for dinner. I'm making homemade oatmeal bread in the bread maker, a meat and rice dish, and vegetables. I really love my bread maker. It's a great way to make fresh, delicious homemade bread. I just wish the bread stayed fresh longer. We can only eat it for a couple of days, and then it gets to dry. On the second day, I usually warm it in the microwave to make it a little softer again.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

My Week

I don't usually post about Sunday, but I had to share my purchase with you. I've needed a new purse for a really long time. The part where one of the handles connect to the purse has been ripping for several months; and today, at church, when I picked up my purse, the other handle ripped too. Also, one of the zippers comes all the way off when I unzip it. So, with school starting next week, it was time for a new purse. I'm picky about purses and my daughter and I looked last week, but couldn't find one. We decided to try Sears. My husband, son and daughter went with me and ended up carrying around 10 different purses. Once we went through all the choices, we stopped to evaluate each one. First, was if my phone fit in the side pocket. That narrowed it down to about 2! One purse had pockets that didn't close, so that was eliminated because I'm clumsy and often drop my purse; so I didn't want all the contents spilling out. The one above was the one left. The price was marked $69.00! It was on sale for $34.99! When we got to the register, the cashier said I had $22.46 in points! Unfortunately, I didn't have the number I needed with me. Luckily, my oldest son was at home and he found the number. So, my $69.00 purse only cost $13.53!

On Monday morning, my youngest son and I went for our walk. The school blacktop area and playground area is still a big construction zone mess! I don't know how they're going to get it all done in one week. When we got back, we worked on a puzzle. I made a new chex mix recipe, which is pictured above. You can click on the link for the recipe: Peanut Butter Snickerdoodle Muddy Buddies. My daughter and I transferred the contents of my old purse to my new purse. It's always hard to decide where to put everything. It's also hard remembering where we put everything when I need to get it out! In the afternoon, I found some great free subbing resources about what to do with Early Finishers. It's on My son's 2nd grade teacher told me about that site, and it's been very helpful. Later, my son and I played frisbee in the backyard.

On Tuesday morning, after my walk, my youngest son and I finished the puzzle. You probably can't see it, but there's a porch on that red building with people sitting there, and it looks so peaceful; I'd love to be there - much better than my life - school starts next Monday! Then I ran some errands and ran into a couple people I knew. It's always fun to see people you recognize! After lunch I made muffins for the week. I also worked on some more subbing things. Later in the afternoon, I did some yard work.

On Wednesday morning, after our walk, I put the dinner in the crockpot. Then we cleaned up the puzzle and started a board game. I looked through the weekly circulars, baked the dessert and cleaned up some more of my Pinterest boards. It's amazing how many duplicate pins I had, just because they had a different picture on them! After lunch, I did some computer work and then worked on the task cards pictured above. I got the idea for free from I don't have a fancy laminator, so I just had to use contact paper. I made quite a mess! I was proud of myself though, because for the first time, I posted a picture of it myself on Instagram; no help from my daughter! Later in the afternoon, my son and I played Frisbee in the backyard.

On Thursday morning, after my walk, I did my grocery list. After lunch, I had to pick up my daughter from the Coaster. She was being interviewed for a job at UCSD, and she got it! She'll be doing admin. duties in the engineering dept. and they work around her classes. Then, we went for our traditional haircuts before school starts. Her hair is really long and she just gets a little cut off to get rid of the split ends. You can see my haircut in the picture above, and I hate it! The hairdresser was really mean too! She told me she couldn't make my hair look nice because it's just too crazy! She said I would have to spend a lot of time flat ironing and styling it and I told her I didn't have a lot of time, so she said there was nothing I could do and she was just being honest! Later in the day, my youngest son and I did some yard work and I printed out all my sub lists I've been working on.

On Friday morning, we went for our last morning walk together, until there's another vacation. I'll still walk every day, but my son will get plenty of exercise at school. After that, my son, daughter and I played a board game. Then, I balanced the check book. Later in the afternoon, we got our backpacks ready with all our school supplies. We found out that my son got the teacher we wanted for 4th grade! His brother and sister had her, and she is just an awesome teacher and a wonderful person. We're so happy! My son and I played with the gazillion bubble machine in the backyard. It was a pretty nice last day of summer together.

On Saturday morning, we went grocery shopping, and then I cleaned until 1:30. I ate lunch, then made the Costco list. We went to Costco, I just put away the cold stuff, then we headed out looking for some new shoes for my son. When we got home, it was time for dinner. I had tons of dishes to do because we bought a couple of new cup sets at Costco, and they needed to be washed. Our old ones were breaking apart, or too messed up. After dishes, I still had to put all the Costco stuff away! When I was all done with everything it was 8:45 pm! What a long, busy day!

So, how was your week?

I Love You Just Because Book Review & Giveaway

About the Book:

Through adorable, cuddly art and fun rhyming text, I Love You Just Because will help little ones understand their parents' love for them and that it doesn't have to be earned. With playful artwork and the same friendly bear family you already know and love from Donna Keith's first two books —I Love You All the Same and I Love You Even When — the sweet story of this book will touch you and your family and will remind you that family members love each other...just because.

This book was inspired by Donna's oldest daughter's interracial family. However, her youngest brother gave her the idea to write about three different bear cubs living together in one family. Each unique bear sibling learns about what makes each of them special and that they're loved just because. There's a Scripture on each page that goes along with the theme of the page.

The cover of the book is puffy and shows the entire bear family; it's very cute. I really like how the parent bears spend time with each cub individually and all together. I also like that Grandpa and Grandma bear come for a visit with the cubs too, because visits from my parents are very special to the kids also. I like when the Polar bear asks his Grandpa, "It is okay that I don't look like you?" He answers, "I love you just because you're you!" That really hit home for me because my husband is Filipino and I'm White and our kids look like a combination of us. Often, when their friends see us for the same time, they say, "That's your parent?!" So, this book meant a lot to me.

I read this book with my 9 year old son before bed. He said, "It was good. I liked that there's 3 different kind of bears and each of them couldn't do something. Then their mother told them that was okay because they could do something else." When we read it, he had his stuffed Winnie the Pooh giving a commentary. He had Pooh pretend he was one of the bears in the story, but Pooh said they got his name wrong because it said "Brown Bear." There's a page in the book with lots of jars of honey, and that was of course, Winnie the Pooh's favorite page. There's also a page with turtles on it and Winnie the Pooh said it was the Ninja Turtle, Donatello! So, as you can tell, we really had fun being silly and reading this book together. Although we were silly, you can see from my son's statement that he still understood the message of the story.

If you want to check out the book for yourself, here's a link to it on where it sells for $7.95 and is eligible for Amazon Prime. You can also check out these social media links:

Donna Keith on Facebook
Tommy Nelson Books on Facebook
Tommy Nelson on Twitter
Tommy Nelson Books on Instagram
Tommy Nelson Books on Pinterest

I am also running a giveaway for you. You have a chance to win a free copy of I Love You Just Because. This giveaway is open to the US and Canada. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below, fill out one option or as many as you want. The giveaway ends at 12:01 a.m. eastern time on 8/22/16.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Healthy Snacking

Another topic I'm going to talk about on my blog is Heart Healthy Changes. I've talked about this a little bit before, and I wanted to make it a regular topic, but realized I hadn't written about it since my Grocery Shopping for Vegetables post in January! I'm sorry! So, I'm going to try and make it a regular monthly post from now on.

My family and I love snacks! I have low blood sugar, so I need to eat every 2 hours anyway. Thankfully, snacking isn’t “bad” if you do it in moderation and make healthy choices. Healthy, good-for-you snacks can be part of a heart healthy diet. To snack the sensible way, choose nutrient-rich snacks.

Some crunchy examples of healthy snacks are apples and breadsticks, carrot and celery sticks, green pepper sticks, zucchini circles, radishes, broccoli spears, cauliflower and unsalted rice cakes.

Some munchy snacks are unsalted sunflower seeds, whole-grain breads or toast, cherry or grape tomatoes, low-fat or fat-free cheese, plain, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, bagels, unsalted almonds, walnuts and other nuts.

Examples of sweet snacks are unsweetened canned fruit, a thin slice of angel food cake, baked apple, raisins, dried fruit gelatin gems, frozen bananas, frozen grapes, fresh fruit, and low-fat or fat-free unsweetened fruit yogurt.

Some thirst-quenchers are fat-free milk, unsweetened juices, low-sodium tomato or mixed vegetable juice, water, and smoothies. Here's a link to a post I wrote before with a recipe for Peach Berry Shakes.

One of our favorite afternoon snacks is hummus. I have about 3 or 4 hummus recipes that I like. Here's a link to a post with a recipe for Lemon Garlic Hummus. We usually eat the hummus with wheat pita bread pockets, cut into triangles. We’ve also had it with pita chips. You can also serve it with heart-healthy crackers or vegetables.

What heart healthy snacks do you like to eat?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

One of My Favorite Etsy Shops - Fruit of These Hands

One of my blogging topics every month is to share with you my favorite Etsy Shops. I used to sell my crafts on Etsy, but had to stop when I started back to work at my subbing job. While on Etsy, I found lots of shops I love to shop at and made lots of friends too. Today, I'll be sharing with you one of my favorite shops to shop at on Etsy.

I love shopping at Fruit of These Hands on Etsy. It's where I first saw mug hugs, like the one above. This Mug Hug is cute with the ice cream button on it. I drink coffee every Saturday morning, and it takes me about 2 hours to drink it(I'm cleaning at the same time). It's nice to have the mug hug to help keep the coffee warm for awhile, and my hands from getting too hot while I drink it.

Anna also sells things for holidays or special occasions, like this Miniature Nesting Trinket Box that you can use on Valentine's Day or as a keepsake.

These Party Hat Painted Clothespins can be used to close a party bag, play baby shower games, or hold name cards on a table.

If you are looking for some beautiful Decoupaged Ceramic Coasters to brighten up your home, these would be perfect.

It's going to start getting cold in a few months, and I know ear warmers, like this Two-toned Ear Warmer with Flower help keep my ears from hurting while I go on my walks on a cold winter's day.

If you knit or crochet, then these Removable stitch markers would be a great tool for you to have. I bought some for my daughter, and she finds them helpful while she crochets.

So, the next time you need anything for your home, yourself, or to give as a gift, visit Fruit of These Hands on Etsy and I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

My Week

On Monday morning, my son and I went for our walk. On our way, we encountered some gardeners. One of them was using the blower, and I thought he would see us, so we stayed back and waited; but then, he turned our way and blew all of the dirt and leaves! My eyes watered like crazy and my poor son was snorting and sneezing! The gardener apologized and then ran ahead to clear the path. After that, I made pancakes. In the afternoon, I typed up some more things to help me with subbing.

On Tuesday morning, after my walk, I made the dessert. I also wrote descriptions on some of my Pinterest boards and started deleting old "giveaway" pins. I have pins on there from 2014! I never thought about deleting them before I read about cleaning up my Pinterest boards on another post. I thought I bookmarked it to share with you, but I guess I didn't, sorry! In the afternoon, I researched some more things to help with subbing. Later, in the backyard, my son and I played hide-and-seek, paddle ball, and jump rope. It's hard finding places to hide in the backyard! I also couldn't really jump, so I just kind of walked over the jump rope across the lawn.

On Wednesday morning, my son and I went for our walk. Then I went through all 3 kids' school calendars and wrote them on my calendars. I also cleaned up some more of my Pinterest boards and went through the weekly circulars to see what I'll buy this week. After lunch, we had errands to run. I bought new tennis shoes that were on sale at Big 5, and my son found a Ninja Turtle jacket at Target. His old one was too small and the zipper was broken. He needs new shoes too, but didn't find any. I also need a new purse, but didn't find one. Later in the afternoon, I did some yard work while my son blew bubbles. The dog next door didn't like that I was doing yard work near their fence!

On Thursday morning after my walk, my son and I played a game. Then I did the grocery list. In the afternoon, I looked up classroom management tips and fill-in ideas. My daughter and I also decided it would be best for me to implement the tickets again. If a student is good, I'll give them a ticket. At the end of the day, I'll pull out 1 girl and 1 boy ticket and they'll get a prize. Later in the afternoon, we played basketball and jump rope.

On Friday morning, my son and I had to walk to his school for our morning walk because it was registration. We saw the teacher we want for him this upcoming school year; I really hope he gets her. Since this is my husband's last off Friday before school starts, he decided we could go to Legoland. Prices have really gone up! So, we brought our own lunch and snack. In the evening, we watched the Olympic Opening Ceremonies on t.v. My husband thought it was never going to actually start with all the pre-stuff they put on.

On Saturday morning, my son and I went grocery shopping. My daughter didn't come because she was having breakfast with her best friend, because her best friend is leaving for college in about a week. Later, I did my usual cleaning. I also made a new recipe, chocolate belgian waffles. We'll see tomorrow how they taste. We went to my parents' house for dinner. My mom was feeling well enough to have us over, and my dad was going to cook.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Our Typical Breakfasts

So, a topic I thought about while reading all of the information I've gathered on blog topics and blog ideas, is "Our Typical Breakfasts". I also recently read that readers want to get something out of blog posts, so to try and turn an ordinary post about my life into something a reader would benefit from. So, I will try to do that here by including links to recipes and other tips.

We eat different things for breakfast on different days of the week. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, we usually eat a muffin, cereal, and have juice. For cereal, my husband and I share the same cereal, usually Honey Nut Cheerios or Quaker Oatmeal Squares. Each of the 3 kids have their own cereal. Sometimes if my husband wants some variety, he'll add in a bit of the kids' cereal into his. He just puts his in a plastic bag and eats it in his car on the way to work.

Last Thursday, I wrote a post with my Banana Chip Muffins Recipe.

I used to write for a blog called Natural Mama, and I posted a couple of other recipes there. One was for Apple Muffins.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we usually eat waffles or pancakes or cinnamon rolls; and my 2 sons also eat oatmeal, and we all have juice. They eat instant oatmeal, usually the Great Value Brand. One son likes the fruit and cream variety, and the other likes the variety pack with maple and brown sugar in it. We always drink only 100% juice. So, that's usually Minute Maid Pulp Free Orange Juice or several varieties of the Dole Blends juice.

Here's a recipe for Homemade Chocolate Chip Waffles that I also posted on the blog Natural Mama. I also use the recipe on the box of Betty Crocker Heart Smart Bisquick to make plain waffles. Our old waffle maker started flaking, so we just bought a new one that has 4 squares, instead of the circular one you see above. I'm finding that I need to double the waffle recipes now in order to make enough for us to have for the week.

This past week we had Banana Chip Pancakes. The recipe is from Taste of Home.

I only have one Cinnamon Roll Recipe, and it's also from Taste of Home.

What do you typically eat for breakfast?