Prologue: Sept. 30th, 2017

Prologue: Sept. 30th, 2017

Hi! My name is Priscilla. I am the wife of a Methodist minister, mom of three, a piano teacher and musician. I feel inspired to share with you stories of our family, especially our cute kids! I also want to include pedagogical thoughts, resources and theories about my piano teaching career. I hope you love the stories, enjoy the tips, and find some things useful.20171001_104215_hdr.jpg

 

A Break from “Mom” November 21, 2020

A Break from “Mom” November 21, 2020

As I am typing this blog I am sitting on the guest bed in my sister’s house. Enjoying the quiet of the early morning hours. Typically I would be up, showered, dressed, and getting breakfast on the table for my three ravenous children. I love my family! I am blessed to have what so many can’t, and I am thankful for my three blessings. BUT I needed a break!! I am also thankful to be able to come to my sisters this weekend, and have some me time and some sister time. I think especially when your children are of a younger age it is important to take some time for yourself. When you hear the word “mom” ten thousand times a day, when you use the word “potty” ten thousand times a day, when you yell the words “stop fighting” a thousand times a day, and you say the words “be nice to one another” or “don’t be mean to the cats” a thousand times a day, time alone is vital to self preservation, and to remember what it’s like to be around adults.

Leah, Brandon and I watched the movie White Christmas last night! Leah already has her house decorated, and I feel we might all need the Christmas spirit a little early this year! White Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas movies, and I usually watch it while decorating my own tree. However, it was extra special to watch it with my sister this year! You know, “Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters…!” 🙂

I also want to say that I am so blessed to have a husband that can take care of our three children while I am away! (I love you Honey! 😘) All three kids were crying when I left! David has been going through this phase of “don’t leave me” for some reason. So he was not happy to see mommy go, and because he was upset Emma then became upset…it’s a cascading effect! However, some Daddy time will do them all good. Andrew had a beautiful dinner cooked and on the table last night when I called, and the kids were happy and eating well. 🙂

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is this Thursday! I hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving however they choose to celebrate. We will be getting together with my parents, my siblings and theirs. I love all the food and family, and food…. I simply couldn’t wait until Thanksgiving to have pumpkin pie, so I made a pumpkin pie this past week. I also made homemade whipped cream to go on top! It was amazing! It was also good practice because I am going to be making pies for our Thanksgiving feast! I don’t have a fancy pumpkin pie recipe believe it or not! I simply use the recipe on the back of the Libby’s can of pumpkin! I often use McCormicks pumpkin pie spice instead of using the individual spices in the recipe. However, I have done it both ways and it is good either way. I do recommend making the fresh whipped cream. I love the taste of the homemade better. I whip two cups of heavy whipping cream with about a tablespoon of of granulated sugar and a splash of vanilla.

Pumpkin Pie! Yum!

I took the kids to the park for a picnic this week, and the leaves were heavy on the ground. They loved playing and jumping in the leaves! It made for some really cute pictures.

I will be ready and happy to get back into full time mom mode after this weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love,

PK

Thanksgiving Blues. November 14th, 2020

Thanksgiving Blues. November 14th, 2020

One positive about the month of November so far, is that the weather has been beautiful! I know this can change at any moment, but I am loving this fall! Seriously, we have been spending as much time outside as possible. The kids have been riding their bikes, we have been going on walks, and the kids have been playing in the yard without me having to threaten them to go outside. 🙂

Some of our outdoor adventures have been at the botanical gardens. We love going there to play and picnic!

David has been doing great at virtual school, and I think I can say we have the routine down pretty good now. He has his days, but overall there have been far more good than bad. We did have a conversation recently about which he likes better, school in a classroom or school at home. He couldn’t say at first, but then he said he liked school in a classroom based on his past experiences. I’m not surprised by this as he has had amazing teachers in the past. Plus David loves being around people, and so he misses the friendships. Emma is also doing great at her pre-schooling. 🙂 However, she prays everyday for the virus to go away, for us to stay safe from the virus, and for school to start back. 🙂 I wish you could hear her little voice when she prays. So sincere and sweet!

This has been a tough week for me. I have been hit with the news of two people I know from my college days passing away. They both always had smiling faces, kind hearts, generous souls, and cared about the people they met. It is always tough losing people we care about. This year it feels a little more heavy. Maybe because there has been so much loss already.

I am looking forward to the holidays, but I also wish they were not so close because that means the time for Andrew to leave for training will be upon us. My anxiety about that keeps mounting! My way of coping with stress and anxiety is to accomplish tasks. I have been cleaning out drawers, bins, touching up paint on walls, and etc. way more than I normally do. I know I am not the first wife to have her husband join the army, or be gone for an extended period so I don’t want to be whiny about it, but I can’t help feeling the anxiety of it all. We did find out where Andrew will be stationed after his training! We will be going to Fort Campbell! This is close to my sister and brother-in-law, which I am so grateful for! It will be the first time my sister and I have lived this close together since we shared a room as kids! 🙂 I am thankful that my kids will still live close enough to visit their grandparents on a regular basis as well.

Here are some pictures of the kids from this past week. They have been playing together a lot, and pretty well most days. Notice I said “pretty well” and “most days”! I do have to play referee occasionally, and there are some days where I think they wake up and decide they are going to fight all day. Thankfully those days are fewer than the ones where they get along. 🙂

Speaking of being thankful, notice the tree wall hanging behind Emma in the picture above. It’s a Thanksgiving tree! I ordered this from amazon, and it is made from felt. The kids can write or draw what they are thankful for on the felt leaves that attach to it! The kids have each been doing a leaf a day (or most days, also we started late), and putting what they are thankful for on the leaves! So far we have family, friends, the park, pokemon, toys, blocks, and reptiles up on the tree! I look forward to seeing what else gets put up there!

We were able to go visit G-pa and Grand-mama yesterday! It was also a playdate with cousins, which is always fun! David and Samuel were playing with a remote control car set that is special to G-pa’s house. Emma was being herself on the couch playing behind the cushions. They are so funny! We had a good visit, and the kids were very sad to leave. I had to promise a return visit soon!

I have been dreaming about the beach, and the lunch date that Andrew and I had the last time we were there. I thought I would recreate it a little by making the most amazing crab dip I have ever had! I found this crab dip recipe at Sally’s baking addiction. It’s not exactly like the crab dip at the restaurant we went to, but it was pretty close. I also really love the fried pita bread with it! I served this along with a salad for dinner!

Love,

PK

Parties, Pumpkins and More! November 1st, 2020

Parties, Pumpkins and More! November 1st, 2020

I can’t believe my baby girl is four!! Tissues please?!!! Emma’s birthday was Thursday and we celebrated all weekend long! Emma is sweet, super smart, and knows what she likes. She loves Paw patrol, PJ masks, and Lion King. In fact that is what she wanted for her birthday was a lion king party. She also wanted to dress up as little Simba for Halloween! 🙂 So we had her birthday party on Halloween, and she wore her costume during her party. So cute! 🙂

Happy 4th Birthday, Emma!

On Emma’s special day we celebrated by going to the bookstore, and letting her pick out a book! We went to lunch and then we took her to the ice cream shop. Where she was able to pick out a flavor of ice cream of her choice. She chose Lemon Custard! I think she wanted it because it was yellow, and that is her favorite color, but she said she loved the taste.

On Halloween we had Emma’s party with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins! It was a beautiful day and the kids were able to play outside. We had a safari scavenger hunt. My dad hid stuffed animals all over the yard for the kids to find, and then he offered a prize to the who could find the tiger. I love my Dad! 🙂

Emma had requested pizza for her party. So I created a lion king pizza party and cake! We had Simba tails, Rafiki fruit, jungle animals, circle of life pizza, and sunrise punch! I also made a strawberry birthday cake with cream cheese frosting. The cake decorating didn’t turn out as I had planned, so I had to go to plan B. I ordered an edible Lion King cake topper, but it was packaged improperly and I couldn’t get it to peel off. It just shredded! I was so upset! I ended up decorating the edges and side of the cake. Andrew wrote on the cake. He used to work in a deli a long time ago, and he learned how to write on cakes! He did mess up a little on her name, but overall he did a great job! I was impressed! I hate writing on cakes! Then I remembered that Emma had these little lion king figure toys, and so I used those as decorative toppers! Overall, I think plan B turned out pretty good.

Emma loved all her gifts! She REALLY loves her Paw Patrol Bicycle! She can now, “keep up with David”, as she says. 🙂

Andrew and my parents helped so much with getting everything ready for Emma’s party! Mom helped with the decorations, Andrew put Emma’s bicycle together, and Dad entertained the kids outside while we were busy as bees getting everything ready! I am so thankful for all their help!

Since it was Halloween, we celebrated that evening with ghost cookies, graveyard pudding, hot dogs, and chili! My parents bought me a fire pit for my birthday (It was a belated gift). 🙂 Andrew started a fire, and we roasted hot dogs! It was such a wonderful evening for it…not too cold! We had such a fun evening! The ghost cookies were Nutter Butter cookies dipped in white chocolate with candy eyeballs. 🙂 I had made some instant chocolate pudding and had toppings set out such as crushed cookies, gummy worms, and festive sprinkles. 🙂

(The kids dressed up in their costumes last weekend to do a drive through trunk or treat at the church. Samuel’s Curious George costume has now been worn by all three of our children! I love that! 🙂 )

In the midst of Birthdays and Halloween parties, my piano students had a Halloween piano recital! It was so fun! Almost everyone dressed up in their costumes, and I dressed up as Mary Poppins! 🙂 It was David’s first piano recital too! He did awesome, and dressed up in his Charmander costume. I was proud of all my students!

Earlier in the week the kids and I made Halloween sugar cookies! I think I found my new favorite sugar cookie recipe! It is almost identical to the one I’ve used before, but I learned a better way of rolling out the dough! Sally’s Best Sugar Cookie Recipe is the one I used, and I learned to roll the dough out between two pieces of wax paper, refrigerate, peel the wax paper off the top, and then cut out the cookies! Maybe the rest of the world already knows this, but I didn’t! I mixed up some Halloween colored frosting using Lil Luna’s sugar cookie frosting recipe. I really like this frosting recipe! It’s super easy, you don’t have to mess with egg whites, and it taste great! Besides, when the kids are decorating, precision frosting is not required! 🙂

Hope you had a Happy Halloween!

Love,

PK

Three Little Pumpkins! October 24, 2020

Three Little Pumpkins! October 24, 2020

Last weekend we visited the pumpkin patch with my brother and sister in law, and nephews. The weather was beautiful! I love the cooler weather we have been having this fall! We had a great time at the pumpkin patch, and we enjoyed the socialization! The kids were excited to go pick out their pumpkins. David loves ALL holidays. I’m not sure which is his favorite, but he goes ALL out. He wants everything decorated, and parties planned. 🙂 He tells me how he is going to decorate his whole house when he grows up, and I can come visit. Apparently I don’t do enough in the decoration department around here! 🙂 At the pumpkin patch we went to this year they had fun photo places set up. The kids loved Spookley the pumpkin! We also walked through a very difficult Spookley corn maze! I didn’t think we were ever going to find our way out. Samuel kept trying to hide in the corn stalks, which was making me nervous. I could just envision us losing him in the corn field! Once we found our way out of the corn maze, we found the pumpkin patch and the sunflower fields! The pumpkin patch was fun! The kids each picked their own pumpkin. Emma and Samuel were pretty easy going. Once they decided on a pumpkin that was it. David is always undecisive, and wants the biggest pumpkin he can find. It took quite a bit of searching, but we finally found one big enough to satisfy him. 🙂 Feeding the animals was also a big hit. The kids always love the animals! It is so cute watching them feed the farm animals. Samuel didn’t quite know what to make of the animals at first, but once he realized they would eat out of his hand, he loved it!

Here are some pics from our pumpkin patch adventures!

Virtual School has been going good, and this week the work load was pretty light. We finished early most days, and so Wednesday I decided to take the kids to the botanical garden. It was another beautiful, albeit warmer day. Even though it is fall, we were still able to enjoy some beautiful flowers and the changing colors of the leaves. It was our first visit to the kid section of the gardens, called “My Big Backyard”. I was really impressed! It is in fact Big! With lots of creative and imaginative areas for the kids to play! We even discovered a little “secret passage”, which I think was my favorite part! There were famous quotes hung throughout. I took a picture of a couple of my favorites. I also particularly liked the xylophone bench! Samuel found it quite fun too. 🙂

Pics of our garden adventures!

Today we carved the pumpkins we picked last weekend. It was a great day for carving pumpkins! The weather was pretty cool, and so it was a good mood setter for Halloween activities. The kids helped me clean the guts out of the pumpkins. I have to say that this year the kids were actually into helping me, even Samuel! 🙂 David and Emma drew on a piece of paper what they wanted their pumpkin face to look like, and Andrew did the carving. They turned out great! Of course we had to light them up tonight to see the spooky pumpkins!

My three little pumpkins! 🙂

Happy Fall!

Love,

PK

Pastor’s wife to Army wife! October 9, 2020

Pastor’s wife to Army wife! October 9, 2020

The prologue of my blog states that I am the wife of a Methodist minister. I haven’t written a whole lot about myself in that role. I think because I am not a pastor’s wife in a traditional sense. I don’t sit in on committee meetings, I don’t volunteer to help at every event that happens at the church, I don’t expect to become the pianist at the church my husband is serving, I don’t take on the role of a “second” pastor so to speak. My role is definitely behind the scenes! I support Andrew in his calling. I lend an ear when it is needed at home, and I wild dogs could never drag anything from me! One of the more difficult things for me as a Methodist minister’s wife has been the building of relationships. It is very difficult to build friendships as a pastor’s wife! I may be incorrect, but I think about sixty percent of my problem in the area of building friendships is my own. I don’t have Andrew’s gift for never meeting a stranger, and I am very introverted. I enjoy spending time alone, and I have never had any trouble “entertaining” myself! However, that’s not to say that I don’t crave meaningful relationships. The other forty percent I think is because I am a pastor’s wife. Who wants to be friends with their pastor’s wife, right? However, I am human too! I have all the same struggles, problems, needs, and wants that others do. As a Methodist pastor’s wife we have moved a lot. It is hard to maintain even the best of friendships over long distance.

Though it has been difficult to build personal relationships, Andrew and I have both been blessed by the church communities where he has served! The generosity, kindness, thoughtfulness, prayers, and support of people has been at times over whelming! I don’t know what we would have done without certain people who took it upon themselves to go out of their way to help us when we needed it. We certainly have received many unexpected blessings!

In a few months the prologue of my blog will change from pastor’s wife to Army wife. Yes, you read that correctly! Andrew has been experiencing the call to serve as a chaplain for several years. We have been praying fervently about this decision over the past year. We have had some serious conversation, heart searching, and decision making over the past several months. It has been difficult, and still carries with it a lot of stress and anxiety about what the future looks like. We have always put our major decisions like this to the test. Taking gradual steps toward a goal and seeing if doors are opened so to speak. We have learned that if things fall in place for us that that is a good sign, and that it is the path God wants us to pursue. If things seem forced, or don’t happen, then we know it was our doing and not God’s will. So far the process to pursue candidacy as a chaplain in the U.S. Army has gone smoothly for Andrew and we believe this is God’s calling. A lot could still happen in between training and final orders, but otherwise we believe this is the path God is leading us on.

I have no idea what it means, or what it will look like to be an army wife! Other than by watching the ABC show Armywives. 🙂 I imagine in some ways it will be similar to being a civilian pastor’s wife, in that we will still move around, and Andrew will still be serving “the church” just in a different capacity. I still plan on playing the piano and teaching music where ever I go! We are enjoying virtual school at the moment, and so we may continue schooling this way for a while. There are just so many unknowns at the moment, and there in lies the source of anxiety for me. I like knowing!

The most difficult hurdle out of everything will be the absence of Andrew during training. (God forbid he be deployed at some point in the future! I don’t even like to let my mind go there!) He will be leaving for training at the end of January. He will be gone for twelve weeks! The most we have ever been apart from each other is two weeks! Not twelve! I am grateful we have technology that will still allows us to see and interact with him in his off hours, but let’s face it, it is going to suck! I will be a single mom, for twelve weeks! And that is not even the worst of it! I know it is going to be difficult being by myself with the kids (this is where family, friends, and church community are going to play an important role in my survival!), but what I really keep thinking about is that for twelve weeks we won’t be able to kiss! No sex for twelve weeks! (I bet you didn’t expect to hear that from a pastor’s wife!) It’s going to be —-!

I know this is a bit of an unusual blog post for me! I will try to keep them more normal over the next few months! 🙂 If you believe in prayer, please just keep us in them! As scary as things are right now, there is also an underlying excitement for the next chapter of life, and how it will unfold. We are also humbled and will be very proud to serve our country. I say we because while I may not be an official officer in the U.S. Army, I am unofficially enlisted! 🙂

Love,

PK

Birthday Beach Month! October 4, 2020

Birthday Beach Month! October 4, 2020

The 23rd of September was my birthday, and we celebrated from the 22nd all the way through the end of the month! We spent the last week of September at the beach! I have no complaints there! 🙂 We have done this for the past two or three years and so I have come to expect it as part of my birthday tradition! I hope it keeps!

On my birthday (the actual day 🙂 ), we celebrated by having a wonderful home cooked meal. I love cooking so much I volunteered to make my own birthday dinner! I know, I’m a dork! I made roasted beef tenderloin, potatoes au gratin, and steamed green beans. The roasted beef tenderloin is so easy to make and it tastes better than anything you could get from a restaurant! Here is the recipe for Ree’s Roasted Beef Tenderloin! Dinner was followed by an extra special dessert! When Andrew and I lived in Boston we had the privilege of visiting the parker house a few times. The Parker House is known for their famous rolls, and the Boston Cream Pie! I love a good slice of Boston cream pie! I made a comment about it about a month ago, and Andrew decided he was going to order me one for my birthday. I’m so spoiled! It arrived on the 22nd, and we, I mean I, could not wait to taste it. So we had Boston cream pie two nights in a row! 🙂 They did make a mistake in packing it, and so the design was messed up on the top, but trust me, it did not effect the taste! 🙂 We did get a partial refund though when we told them how it arrived. It was nice to have a little taste of Boston in Arkansas!

The next week we headed down to the beach. Our original destination was Dauphin Island, but because of hurricane Sally we were sad to have to change locations. Instead we ended up at Fort Walton, FL. We had been to Fort Walton before and liked it, so it all worked out!

I have a TON of pictures so I narrowed it down to only half a ton! 🙂

Because we had a last minute change in location we were able to get a condo on the ground floor. This had it’s pros and cons. Pros being we didn’t have to take an elevator and access to the beach was right out our front door. Cons being our view of the beach was obstructed by sand dunes. The condo had a great outdoor porch, and we were able to sit out there and enjoy breakfast each morning! The kids liked watching the crabs by our condo. 🙂

We had nice weather during the week. Almost every day was pretty and sunny. However Tuesday was a little chilly and not the best beach day. Tuesday morning we were down at the beach, the kids were complaining about being cold and so they went back to the condo with Grand-mama. Samuel was still enjoying playing in the sand and so we stayed down at the beach. While we were playing in the sand I saw a shark swim up to the shallow waters. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and picked up Samuel and started following the shark swimming along the edge of the beach. He was only about two to three feet long, but I had never seen this before! I am so disappointed that I didn’t get it on video! We think he came that close to shore because there was no one in the water that chilly morning.

It has become a tradition that we go to the beach with Andrew’s parents. We all have a great time, and the kids get to spend special time with G-pa and Grandmama. This time G-pa got to read books to Emma and Samuel. I say books, but I think it ended up being the same one or two books over and over, and over! Ha! 🙂

We collected some seashells at the beach at the the kids had fun water painting them!

One of my favorite things about the beach is that you never know what you are going to see! We found several crabs! David loves crab hunting! We also had a day where there were a lot of jelly fish floating around in the ocean! More than I have ever seen, actually! There were lots of moon jelly fish, and Andrew even spotted this big red jelly fish!! Not sure exactly what it is called but it had a lot of little fish swimming around it!

The kids always love playing in the sand! We love to make sand castles, and bury each other in the sand. Andrew does not like the sand! We were not able to coax him into being buried so I had to take his place! Sigh! 🙂 Samuel did not want to be buried in the sand either! He loved burying everyone else though. 🙂 He was a little more scared of the ocean this time than when we last went. He had a few times where he warmed up to playing in the water, but overall he was not too adventurous about getting into the ocean.

This is what a morning at the beach does to you! Look at that sweet face!

One of the benefits of going with grandparents to the beach is that you get to have a date with your honey! Andrew and I went on a lunch date! I totally over indulged! The food was great, the view was amazing, and the company was even better! 🥰

Beach shenanigans! It looks like they are doing push ups or something!

This is at a restaurant in AL, Capital Oyster Bar, on our way home! I totally recommend eating there! They had amazing outdoor seating with a beautiful view of the Alabama river too!

We managed to do some virtual school while at the beach, but we have to get back to reality this week!

Love,

PK

“Dem Bones….” September 19, 2020

“Dem Bones….” September 19, 2020

We had another great week of virtual school! I have to say that overall, I am enjoying doing school at home. I’m sure the work is more intense for those in the higher grades, but for early elementary, it’s easy peasy! 🙂 I enjoy the flexibility it gives us. For example, David finished his work early on Wednesday and we were able to go out and enjoy the rest of our day! Sometimes David fusses at doing his math assignments because that’s not his favorite subject, but overall he seems to be liking school at home too.

Our theme this week was the human body. Emma was asking me about what was inside her body last week. She’s such a funny child. She’s a very deep thinker for three. 🙂 So we studied our bones and organs this week. I have to say it was quite fun. We checked out books from the library and watched you tube videos about bones and the how the body functions. The kids were really into it! Maybe they will be doctors someday!

We glued skeleton bones together, and learned about the organs, what their functions are, and where they are in the body!

I mentioned we finish work early sometimes…one day we decided to do some shaving cream art! It was a fun activity and it kept them entertained for quite a while. We swirled drops of food coloring around in the cream to make colors. Their creations started out really neat, colorful, and pretty. By the time they were done it was looking pretty gross and they had it all over! 🙂 I had Emma and Samuel go get in the shower afterwards they were so messy! I’m glad I had them do this on the porch because I was able to hose it down afterwards!

It’s starting to feel like fall around here! I love the cooler weather! The kids are able to play outside and not melt! Ha!

My favorite picture of the week!

Story time with Dad! ❤

Love,

PK

Gardens and Bugs. September 12, 2020

Gardens and Bugs. September 12, 2020

We had a family outing this week!!! On Monday we went to the botanical garden! It felt so good to go and do something normal. It has been so long since we have been able to do something like this. We are still being very cautious about going out around people, but felt comfortable going to the gardens. It was outside, we were able to take our own food and have a picnic, and there were not too many people in close proximity. The gardens were beautiful! Cooler weather is around the corner, and so I hope to visit the gardens again. The kids had a fun time! Their favorite part was feeding all the fish and turtles in the koi pond! We also enjoyed the butterfly garden! I love butterflies, and it was so neat to see the caterpillars, the cocoons, and the butterflies!! It made we want to plant different butterfly attracting flowers in our yard come spring!

Visiting the Botanical garden was a great start to our week of learning about bugs and insects! Since having David I have learned more about bugs, spiders, and various insects than I ever imagined I would!! Honestly, most creepy crawlies don’t frighten me, as long as they are NOT in my House!

We actually found an amazing variety of insects this week! We have a tree in our front yard that the cicadas love! So we found several of those. We also found a few praying mantises this week! This is the first year that I have seen praying mantises since we moved here. I don’t know if I just wasn’t looking for them before or what!? One day David caught a giant grasshopper, that he immediately looked up in his bug encyclopedia, and discovered it is actually called an Eastern lubber grasshopper. We even caught a dragonfly! We went on a bug scavenger hunt one day, and observed lots of different bugs. I let David teach us all about the parts of the insects. He was more than willing. 🙂

I have a couple more recipes to share with you this week! One night for dinner I cooked a delicious peach glazed grilled chicken breast recipe by Bobby Flay! I paired it with rice and a Caesar salad. The glaze for the grilled chicken is so good! Don’t be afraid to slather it on. Also, I recommend setting some aside to serve extra with the chicken!

We also made our own Caesar dressing for the salad! Andrew helped me out and made the dressing! I like to use Ree Drummond’s recipe for Caesar salad. I had anchovy paste instead of the fillets, so we substituted a couple teaspoons of the paste. It tastes amazing!

I also make baked Ziti for dinner last night! This recipe by Ree Drummond is a lot like lasagna. I cheated on the sauce and just used jarred spaghetti sauce, but I have made my own sauce before and it is good too! I just happened to be tired, and so it was easier to open a jar of sauce! 🙂

Baked Ziti! Yum!!

Love,

PK

Rainbows and Things. Saturday, September 5, 2020

Rainbows and Things. Saturday, September 5, 2020

I have decided to do a weekly theme with the kids. This week we studied Rainbows! I learned right along with the kids! 🙂 Learning about rainbows taught us about light, colors, and clouds. Who knew we could learn so much from rainbows. We read several books about rainbows, and the story of the first rainbow! Overall we had a good second week of virtual school. Monday was MONDAY! There were quite a few assignments for David, and I made the mistake of thinking he had to do all the extra curricular activities on Monday. By the end of the day we were both DONE with school!! I have learned from my mistake! The rest of the week was much better though!

Emma loves doing her ABC mouse. We are also working on how to use scissors, and write our abc’s and numbers with a pencil. I have found that it is great for her to learn the formation of the letters using fingers, and chalk. It takes a lot more skill to write neatly with a pencil! So we are working on that!

One of my most difficult and exhausting tasks of the week is keeping Samuel occupied while I work with the other two! I have been scouring pinterest for little activities to keep him busy, but also learning too. I have been trying to teach Samuel his colors, and I found this neat sorting activity with plastic cups and pom poms. It is a great learning activity, but didn’t really buy me that much time. 😊 It was great as long as I was standing there helping him, but as soon as I left pom poms became crammed in a cup and on the floor. I also tried hiding puzzle pieces in a rice tray. This actually did keep him busy for a while, however it initially ended up with rice all over the floor! So I have learned that if we do this again it is going to be outside on the porch.

We did a rainbow craft this week too, and I was feeling so great about it until I discovered that I had the kids do the colors in the wrong order! 😂 Some teacher, huh! I made sure to discuss with the kids about the error of my ways!

We have started teaching David about money. He is learning about the different coins, how much they are worth, and how to count them. Not only is he learning about money, it’s a great math activity! He of course wants to keep some of the change after he is done. 🙂

Money sorting.

I made a couple great recipes I want to share with you this week! I made Ree Drummonds Spicy Dr. Pepper shredded pork recipe! I had attempted this recipe in the past, but I made a couple mistakes and it didn’t turn out very good. Hah, the cooks fault! This time I did it right, and wow, it was amazing! First of all, I used my dutch oven instead of the crock pot. Second, I used the whole 11oz can of chipotle peppers! Don’t be afraid! It will turn out beautiful! It is also a very versatile meal. We had two meals out of it. First we made pulled pork sandwiches with slaw. The second meal we did pork nachos! I honestly don’t know which I liked better, they were both so good! Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the nachos! They were just too amazing. All I could think about was devouring them.

The other recipe is a classic favorite, Banana pudding. Everyone has their own idea of what banana pudding is, but I have loved this recipe ever since my mom started making it when I was a kid. It’s super easy to make, and even more delicious!

Recipe: 2 boxes of instant vanilla pudding, 3 1/2 cups of whole milk, 1 can of condensed milk, 8 oz cool whip, vanilla wafers and bananas (two or three depending on how you like it). Mix it all up until until the mixture is smooth and layer with the wafers and bananas! Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before serving.

Banana pudding! 🙂

Love,

PK

God’s promise! (This was from last weekend!)
Week 1: ✔!

Week 1: ✔!

We survived the first week of school at home! We did it quite well if I may be so bold. On the first day we did the typical first day pictures, a special look through the school supply box (I have always loved school supplies!), and all about me posters and art.

Here are first day of school pictures! David is in first grade, Emma is three so she is doing preschool. Samuel of course had to have his picture taken too, and wants to be right in the middle, doing whatever the other two are doing!

We actually had a bit of a rough start to our week. Emma and then David began the week feeling under the weather with a fever (of all things!!!!), but it passed quickly and the rest of us have been fine. It’s a good thing we chose to do virtual school, or we would have had to stay home anyway and go get tested and miss the first week of school, and it would have been a nightmare!

The first picture shows the kids hand art and about me posters. The middle picture shows them sitting at the table drawing their “me” pictures. Samuel is occupying himself with play dough! 🙂 Later in the week we talked about germs. (It seemed fitting, after the way our week started. Ha!) We read the curious George book about germs, and did some germ art. Using watercolors, straws, and thick paper you basically just blow blobs of paint on the paper! After it dries you can add eyeballs! The kids love blowing the paint around with straws!

On Wednesday we decided to have a back to school water balloon fight. I bought a package of water balloons from the dollar tree a while back, and I have been saving them for a special occasion and this seemed fitting. The kids love water balloons! There is something cool, and fascinating about them. It took me quite a while to fill them up, and then they were gone in a flash!

Water balloon fight!

What I enjoyed most about doing school at home this week was the flexibility of the schedule, and being with the kids. We were able to settle into a routine, and David was able to do his work in two to three hours. Most of which was done in the morning. You forget how much time they spend at school doing other activities besides their class work! The biggest learning curve this week was how to use the technology. David’s grade is using an app called SeeSaw, in which they are able to share assignments back and forth using pictures, notes, writing, voice and video recordings. Once I figured out how to do it, I then helped guide David through how to do it. We have gotten better through the week, but it’s going to take a little longer before David is comfortable using the app on his own.

Our daily schedule ended up looking something like this:

Breakfast (Bible story) at 7:30, Clean up /kids get dressed and morning chores 8:00, Playtime (generally outside weather permitting) 8:30-9:00, School work 9-10:00, Snack time/play time 10-10:30, School work 10:30-11:30, Lunch preparation, consumption, and cleanup 11:30-12:45, Finish up any school work left/play time 12:45-1:15, story time 1:15, nap time/quiet time 1:30-3:30. The rest of the day is filled with free time!

At breakfast the kids love to do their Bible story video! This is something we have been doing for quite a while now, and I want to share the website with you! It’s https://bibleappforkids.com/parents/videos. They are really great videos for the kids, there is an app, and other great resources too! We first started out doing the app, but then I discovered the website with the videos and the kids have liked those.

The hurricane rains came through today, and so we ended the week by playing in the pond that was in our driveway! 🙂 While the kids were playing, they discovered worms everywhere in the water! A few worms doesn’t generally bother me, but we got to looking and there were what I believe to be hundreds of worms that had surfaced onto our driveway! No joke! The kids thought it was great, and were trying to save them from drowning. I was a little freaked out!

Saving the worms!

So I realize it has been a while since I shared any of my cooking recipes with you!! It’s 2020, what can I say! I have still been cooking non-stop, and I have no reason for not sharing any recipes with you other than I have been a stressed out air head!! So I’m going to remedy that!!

I have finally found the best biscuit recipe! For real! Look no further! Making biscuits is so easy, and you will never ever want to buy another can of biscuit dough once you make these! I promise! Here is the link to Sally’s Baking Addiction Home Made Buttermilk Biscuits! Don’t be afraid of the buttermilk!

Yummm!!

Another recipe I have tried recently that deserves sharing is Food Networks Best Chicken and Rice recipe! (If I have already shared this, please forgive me! I believe we have already established my absentmindedness.) This is nothing like the chicken and rice you are currently thinking about! I urge you to try this recipe and you will never think about chicken and rice in the same way again! It’s also a one pan recipe! So it makes for easy cleanup.

Chicken and Rice!

In an effort to include the kids in more cooking activities, I bought a set of kid friendly knives. It has turned out to be a great purchase because the kids love using them. Emma especially has taken to helping out in the kitchen. She often requests to make her own breakfast, or help cut up fruit and vegetables. This evening she cut the stems off the green beans for dinner!

Little Chef!

Love,

PK