Man-Pleasing Chicken

I found this recipe on Pinterest and had to try it.  You know, to please my man.  Thankfully, Mr. Pencil really loved it!

All you need is chicken thighs, dijon mustard, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, rosemary, salt and pepper, and 45 minutes of your time!

Pop it in the oven and do some homeschooling while you wait!  =)

Man-Pleasing Chicken.  Visit Witty in the City and find more yummy recipes you will love!



Day to Day and Dot a Dot

Today we did one of No. 1’s favorite things – Dot a Dot markers.  She loves those things!  There’s a picture of her filling in the dots on her Letter A page (I haven’t learned how to separate the pictures).  You can see the little flannel washcloth I hung on the shelf next to her desk that she can use when she makes a mistake with her Dot a Dot markers or dry erase markers.  It was one of those spur-of-the-moment ideas that has worked really well for us!

She also did a few pattern pages using her Pattern Blocks.  (I’m pretty sure we called these Tangrams in my Teaching Math class in college?  Maybe they went through an identity crisis or I’m remembering the wrong thing.  Both scenarios are very likely.

After we do our Morning Board, we fill in her Daily Learning Notebook.  This is also from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I put each sheet in a clear page protecter and have her use a dry erase marker so we can reuse the sheet each week.  There’s a picture of No. 1 working on her notebook.

We have a Jump Start workbook that I picked up somewhere along the way, so I planned on have No. 1 do a page or two each day so we can use it all year long.  Well, after three days she’s on page 21 since she loves it so much, so I don’t think that plan will work!  It doesn’t bother me that she loves to do school work!

No. 1 also did a few puzzles, pre-writing practice, and counting the apple seed matching.

One more day of school this week and then I’m taking a personal day on Friday!  =)  Mr. Pencil will be teaching while I’m away at a Ladies Retreat with our church.

The first day

Grainy phone picture will have to do until the infamous SD card is found!

I’m tempted to say “we survived!”  And while we did, the only triumph was that we survived the day, not necessarily the homeschooling part.  We had planned on only “doing school” during No. 2’s nap time (about 1:00 – 3:00ish).  But, No. 1 was just too excited, so we started at 8:45.  It worked well since Mr. Pencil is home/awake on Monday mornings (he works nights), so he was able to occupy No. 2 when she needed it.

The part that we amazingly survived is that No. 1 started with a cold on Saturday, and was about the same Monday morning.  She was feeling fine so we went ahead with school.  She plugged along happily and kept wanting to do more and more.  By the last activity, however, she was starting to look kind of run down and said she was sleepy.  Turns out she had 103.1 fever that went up to 104.2 a little while later!  Poor little sweetie!  It was a good thing we did school in the morning after all!  She hung out on the couch all day, and by “hung out,” I mean she stayed in one position and slept and watched TV!  Thankfully, she was feeling much better by morning and was back to her sweet self!

We are using the Letter of the Week curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I really can’t say enough about Erica’s site, curriculum and Erica herself!  If you have a question, she is very quick to respond and is just so nice!  You just really have to check out her site.  She has gobs of information and resources that I love to browse through.  So far we are loving the Letter of the Week activities.  For now, this our schedule.  We’ll go with it for a while and see if we want to make any changes.

Our Basic Schedule:

Morning Board
~Pledge of Allegiance
~Days of the Week Song
~Date Cards
~Yesterday was _____, Today is _____, Tomorrow will be _____
~Weather and Weather Graph
~My Info
~Shape of the Week
~Time on Clocks

Letter of the Week Song
Daily Learning Notebook
Read library book that corresponds to our week’s letter
Actual Schoolwork

A whole post dedicated to our Morning Board is in the works, so come back soon for that!

The Smell of Pencils

I suppose as a form of introduction, I should explain the blog title.  I’m a teacher.  I don’t get a paycheck for being a teacher, though I have in the past.  It’s just in my blood.  Chalk dust pumps through my veins and the smell of freshly sharpened pencils is to me as coffee is to others.  Walking the aisles of Staples or Office Max is one of my favorite things to do.  And don’t get me started on Barnes and Noble with all their booky goodness.  Do I have time to indulge in those things regularly? Well, no.  Do I have the freedom (from snotty children, mostly) to do those things?  Nope.  But, that doesn’t mean I don’t dream.

I’ve always thought homeschooling would be fun and wonderful, but I didn’t have much time to think about it.  For a long time I didn’t think I’d even get married.  Then I didn’t think we’d be able to have a baby.  Then I didn’t think my baby would ever be old enough for school.  But, time has a way of sneaking up on us, and here we are.  My *No.1 Pencil is 4.5 years old and we are starting preschool homeschool, which confuses the daylights out of her.  She isn’t sure if she should tell people she’s in school or in preschool or in homeschool or what!  For a while this summer she was very upset that I wouldn’t be her mommy anymore because I was going to start being her teacher.  Then she asked what Daddy was going to be.  He told her he’d be the principal and he’d take care of any discipline problems.  To which she replied, “I don’t think I need THOSE kinds of problems!”  Agreed.

No.2 Pencil will be 2 in December.  We’ve decided that her propensity for mischief and general craziness means that she won’t participate in most of our homeschooling adventures for a little while.  Don’t get me wrong, she’s wonderful and awesome and amazing and totally captivatingly sweet.  But, she’s not exactly ready to sit still for any length of time unless Elmo is involved; and she’s certainly not ready to hold a pencil without putting it in her mouth or other inappropriate places.  She does love to go in our homeschool room, dump the counting bears on the floor and dance around them laugh hysterically.  So, we will be doing homeschooling while she is recovering from her morning shenanigans, otherwise known as nap time!

I hope to share what we’re doing in school, pictures of our room, family updates (bound to have lots of adorable kid quotes), and anything else that begs to be written down for the world to see me to remember.  So, pull up a chair (preferably one that swivels), sharpen your pencil (not to write, but just to enjoy the smell of learning), brew some coffee (if you must, but don’t offer any to me), and enjoy.

*You’ll see me referring to my family with pencil-like names just to keep things semi-private (and hopefully semi-cute), but there may be times that I share their names.