Friday, February 27, 2009

Fun With Money

Wow, that post title gets me all excited. I love having fun with money, as in seeing how much I can get for just a little bit of $$; but, that isn't what this post is about. Miles is learning all about money in school right now. In one of our Math books, this cute little game was introduced yesterday. We actually did this when Reed was in Kindergarten also, and it was fun (at least one day's worth of fun... I'll take it). It's so simple you'll wish you had thought of it. The lesson was about following directions as well, so here are the directions:
Toss The Penny
Put a muffin tin near a wall. Stand 1o steps away. Toss a penny. Try to make it go into a hole. How many pennies can you get into the hole?

We of course had to add a little competition to the game, so we made each hole worth a certain number of points. It was Miles' idea to have that bonus 50 point hole... with stars and all.

As you can see, we also stepped it up a notch and put the muffin tin on the recliner, so the judge could swivel the chair and make it just that much more difficult. (Again, Miles' idea) And we did a few rounds blind-folded. We are all about the difficulty level here. (**you might notice that Miles isn't exactly standing 10 steps away in these pictures. This was our 115th round, so we're starting to get a little lax here.)

Another way we are reinforcing the money lessons is with this cute video I found at the library. Dancing and singing pennies, nickels, and dimes...dollar bills with electric guitars??? What more could you want in a lesson? Miles liked it alot and learned some new things. Reed mostly rolled his eyes, although it wasn't intended for him anyway. He chose to sit in and watch though, and I think secretly he was entertained. It was definitely a cute way to review your money skills.
If only we could find some videos on a 4th grade level with dancing parallelograms and quadrilaterals with guitars. Then we'd have it made!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Basketball Star

Apparently this was the year of humility for Reed in the Upwards program. Last year his team was undefeated, and this year, they were mostly... defeated. He had a great team; they worked well together as a team and all got along well. They were supportive of one another and had so much fun out there, win or lose.

We've been so proud of Reed this year. He really is a great basketball player (he gets it honest), but more than that, he is a great person out on that court. I can see in him a humble spirit, a caring heart, honesty (even when it means the other team gets the ball), a fun-loving attitude that is contagious... and these are the things we are most proud of in him.

We love you, our basketball star! You are such fun to watch! We will always cheer you on, win or lose. Love, Mom and Dad (Coach)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pizza Casserole

I made this last night for dinner, and it was a hit, so I thought I'd share. Easy, tasty, and the kids especially loved it. Reed just polished off the leftovers for lunch.

Pizza Casserole

2 cans refrigerated biscuits (I used Grands)

1 jar pizza sauce

1 package pepperoni slices

mozzarella cheese

This recipe is so easy, that it almost doesn't need explaining. Basically, layer and bake. First, you'll want to cut your biscuits into quarters and toss them with the pizza sauce. Layer the biscuits in the bottom of a 9 x 13 dish. Top with pepperoni slices and then top with the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until done.**

Enjoy! Let me know if you try it!

**here's the only tricky part... the recipe calls for baking for only 25 minutes, which definitely wasn't enough time. You'll notice a little bit missing from the bottom left corner, which is from testing to see if they were done. The edges were definitely done, but the middle (from which I dipped Jay's portion was a bit, um, doughy... let's just say he wasn't a fan of doughy) was not. Note to self: test from the middle next time, and bake longer... maybe 45 minutes? Even with this issue, it was still very tasty and I will make it again.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Homeschooling: How We Roll

This is what a normal school day looks like:

Some days I walk into the room and discover I'm not teaching my kids, but someone else altogether, like this:

And some mornings (like today), something like this is all it takes to turn our school day into a bad case of the giggles. Like every time the word is uttered.

Ahhh... boys.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Frugal Find

I was reading some blogs this morning and noticed a trend... they were mentioning what a no-brainer it was to contact your telephone and/or cable company and simply ask for a better deal. These ladies were reporting some good savings just by asking, so, I gave it a try and here are my results:
  • Verizon - the telephone portion is already basically as low as it can go, since we don't have long distance service. Everyone we know is either local or we communicate on facebook! But, we also have internet service with Verizon. We pay $37.95/month currently, and by agreeing to stay with Verizon for one more year, we were able to drop the bill to $31.99/month.
  • Dish Network - Our monthly bill is $57 with Dish Network. I asked the guy if there was anything we could do to lower our monthly bill and he suggested dropping the dish protection plan, to save $5.99 per bill. Then he asked if that sounded good... well, yes, but if you're asking, that must mean you can go lower! Duh. I said "can you go any lower?"... to which he responded "well, if you stay with us for 24 months I can lower your bill to $39.99 for the first 12 months". Bingo! After those 12 months, our bill will go to $49.99, which is still a savings of $8/month. And, our service isn't changing at all. We are a bit spoiled with the DVR (one of man's best inventions, we both agree), so I knew we didn't want anything interfering with that.

So, to make a long post short, I am now going to save $13 a month between the two, and even more during those promotional periods. It doesn't sound like much, but every bit helps. And it only took a few minutes of my day. Really, I wasn't on hold for hours! AND, I spoke with two Americans... yay for Dish Network and Verizon for not contracting out to India!!