Tent Week Different tents you can make for SO CHEAP! I think my favs are the ones made from twin sheets! SO GLAD I saved some of those now! I was going to use them for making night dresses out of for the girls, but these look so much more FUN!! :D
Tent Week Different tents you can make for SO CHEAP! I think my favs are the ones made from twin sheets! SO GLAD I saved some of those now! I was going to use them for making night dresses out of for the girls, but these look so much more FUN!! :D
Dill PIckles I have always wanted to try my hand at these and the picture on this post made me choose THIS recipe first! :D
Caramel Sauce I don't think this would harden enough on an apple (although who knows) BUT why not make this into a fondue?!?! Dip into the caramel and then dip into a topping of choice (chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc.). Of course the toppings would defeat the fact that the recipe is actually a HEALTHY version of Caramel Sauce! :D
Creamsicles Oh this looks so good!!! :D :D :D What a fun breakfast! :D
Poultry Dry Brine We have never done a dry brine before (we always do it the Alton Brown way!) but this looks like a good alternative if you don't have days ahead to brine. I know Thanksgiving is a ways off, but I am sticking this in my REMEMBER ME folder! :D
A Challenge That Will Make You... LAUGH! And I did when I read this. Why? Because I was JUST talking to a Created book study group I am a part of about the importance of laughing with your spouse. :D My favorite times are in bed with my husband after the lights are out and the kids are sleeping and we are both delirious from lack of sleep and EVERY THING seems so funny. We laugh and laugh literally for hours. It is GREAT! Like super glue that bonds us together. :D
We have discovered the WONDERFUL world of geocaching!
This is a GREAT way to get out of the house and hike without the kids (or even yourself) thinking of it as exercise.
Instead, it is a treasure hunt!
It has been a GREAT way to get out and enjoy this BEAUTIFUL creation God has entrusted us to.
In fact, through geocaching, I have come across sites I never would have known was there or seen before - I was missing out. Truly BEAUTIFUL and scenic views!
And it is a great time to get to spend time with the kids. Yes, we spend time together all the time because of homeschooling, but the kids get to show a bit more of their personality when geocaching: what they decide to take and leave, how they help each other during slippery rocks on the trail, etc.
And as you can see by the picture above, no one is too young! JJ is 4yr old in that picture. He took the spaceship (you can see it in the picture with the cache - there was a jumprope and lots of other fun little toys/trinkets for kids) and left some gold doubloons (it was a pirate themed cache).
The One in Pink I came across this blog through her husband's blog after discovering his videos - which my kids LOVE - watch the earlier videos, the later videos have a dark side (guns and suicide and shootings and just are not kid friendly), but his earlier stuff is hilarious and had my kids laughing for hours ... sorry for the rabbit trail. ANYWAYS, this blog is so pretty and feel good! She is on the same food/health journey I am, we have some of the same taste in clothes, and the pictures on her blog are so pretty!! :D :D :D
"You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body."— C.S. Lewis
Most homeschooling moms have one - a mountain of laundry that never gets done. Or once it finally DOES get done, you have another mountain of clean clothes waiting to be put away. It is overwhelming, and so it continue to be put off and put off until mom (or dad) can't stand it any longer.
I have tried SO MANY things (too numerous to share here, but if you really want to waste your time, you can search my blog in the upper left hand corner there is a search box that searches only this blog).
But each time it was the same thing. MOM would do the laundry when she found the time ... which was hardly ever. And then once done, it would sit in baskets waiting for someone to sort out whose clothes were which child's, and then it would sit in piles on the floor or on their bed until they got the notion to do finally put away their clothes.
But no longer! I finally have a system that works. Now I know I have said stuff like that in the past, and I have shared and posted and those things worked GREAT ... for like a week.
But THIS TIME ... this time I tested it for a full two weeks before sharing to make sure that this was a keeper.
I recently heard Sheeley Noonan speak at our homeschool conference. She shared about how she (only having one daughter, not three like I do) would give her daughter one day to do her laundry (that meant wash, dry, fold, hang, etc.). I thought it couldn't hurt to try it.
So I ran through the house and dug out all those individual laundry baskets I had bought for each child a long time ago when we were trying another laundry system (which failed). I assigned each child a day to do their laundry. And you know what, it is getting done!!
I showed each child how to measure out the soap and what settings to use and off they went! :D And because laundry is getting done more frequently, they have less clothes at a time to put away, so they do not become overwhelmed with three months of laundry, just one weeks worth! :D
And as for the four year old, yeah, he does his own laundry too. Big sister helps him with the soap, but he sorts and puts in the clothes and switches them when it is time. She helps him put away his clothes too, but he does most of it.
This is so great!! I am so thankful I took a chance on this! Let me know if you try it out, and what works for you! :D
I have been too addicted to Facebook and have neglected my blog. This has made it difficult for me to remember what thins I have seen and want to remember (the main reason I started this blog was to keep track of what I liked and wanted to remember to do with the kids, and share in case anyone else was interested). Anyways, I am trying to wean myself off FB and post more on my blog.
So we will see how it goes. :D I think I just need to get over the fact that no one is interested and remember that this is mostly for me and the wondering searcher who might come across my blog searching for something ... whatever that might be.
The Great American Road Trip Wanna know what my dream is?? Yep, RVing across country with the family! :D But the only problem with that is - where to put all my books?!?! And how would I garden and have my chickens? :D
On Facebook someone shared a most AWESOME resource for those of us who know someone who needs meals and would like to coordinate getting meals to them. It is free and it is called Take Them A Meal. CHeck it out! :D
Sorry I have not been on here lately. My son is sick again, and the new diet he is on takes a LOT of time as EVERY THING has to be made from scratch. And my husband has had minor surgery and is in a LOT of pain, so that is time consuming as well. Not to mention now that the kids are older, EE is in ice skating lessons and all three of the girls are in speech and debate. Homeschooling has changed too from a more playful time for all the kids, to playful for some, and more studious for others - as should happen with age. And on top of that, still trying to stay on top of laundry as well as keeping the house clean.
But when I saw this video, I HAD to share it. It is a most honoring video, one that every American should watch with pride.
If you are a homeschool mom like me, you are constantly searching the web - trying to find free activities for the kids, trying to answer questions they have, wanting to find videos about some interest they have, etc. Instead of using Google or another search engine, just use Swagbucks instead! And watch the Swagbucks come rolling in!
This week Swagbucks will be doubling the amount of winning opportunities through searching!
If you’re thinking of joining Swagbucks, there’s a special bonus offer through Friday at 1 PM – sign up for Swagbucks with code SWAGNATION5 and you’ll get 50 points just for signing up!
It takes me about 2-3 weeks to earn 450 Swagbucks. That equals one $5 amazon.com gift card. Imagine all the BOOKS you could buy with that! It can be used on ANYTHING Amazon.com sells - even the USED books! :D Get that curriculum you have been wanting and you don't have to pay for it! :D
I have been a member of Swagbucks for a little over 3 months now and I have earned $45! :D This is SO much faster (and easier) than My Points (no emails to check, and you earn doing simply what you do every day - searching the web).
Thanks to Carrie for letting me know about the double points as well as the code for signing up!
There has never been a better time to sign up than right now. Just don't forget to search using Swagbucks instead of google (I find it easiest to install the toolbar and search through that - not to mention that installing the toolbar allows you to get 1-3 FREE swagbucks EACH DAY simply by using/refreshing you toolbar).
And yes, when you sign up through the links on this page, I do earn when you earn! And then you get people to sign up under you and YOU earn when they earn. This is a win win situation (and you are helping me to get a Wii for my kids for Christmas when you sign up). So THANK YOU! From me and my kids! :D
and because this one is SOOOO cool that it might take you weeks to go through, just this one more link:
Book Angles Being a more relaxed homeschool family (we are a combination of A Thomas Jefferson Education, Charlotte Mason, library only, unschooling, Raymond Moore) we read A - LOT - OF - BOOKS! It is wonderful! This site (Book Angles) is like a movie review site, but for books. It gives you a break down of each book letting you know the level of romance, violence, the Biblical worldview, etc. It is TOTALLY worth your time to check it out.
I just finished reading the book ALREADY GONE by Ken Ham.
Every one needs to read this book.
Children are leaving the church in droves and homeschoolers are not exempt. And they are not leaving in college, when a lot of the churches believe they are. They are leaving as early as high school and even middle school.
Why is this important? Why does it matter?
Well for one, it shows that we are doing something wrong as a church and as parents. We are separating God and His word from every day life.
It comes down to believing the word of God or not. If one does not believe in Genesis (the first book in the Bible), how can one believe the rest.
Parents will avoid teaching their children about Santa because they want to be truthful with their children. If they lie saying Santa is real, then why would the child believe the parent when they tell them Jesus is real. I can understand that argument.
But then why would those same parents portray Noah as a "story." A cute little man with a cute little boat with cute little animals coming two by two (which is not Biblically accurate, but that is for another time). Noah is taught as a story rather than historical fact. Nothing is mentioned of the condemnation of the rest of mankind - the screaming and begging for their lives as they drowned.
The same can be said of Moses, Abraham and other historical figures in the Bible. Most of the time they are portrayed as stories rather than historical fact. What are the books in your house telling your children? Are they helping to perpetuate what they are learning in Sunday school - cute little stories about the people in the Bible? Or are they showing the Bible as something that is true and historically accurate? Science and history back up the Bible. Are you to your children?
There cannot be a differentiation between every day life and spiritual life. If you believe the Bible to be true, then they should meld into one.
This book is a real eye opener. What he is saying should not be dismissed.
Things have bee wonderful over here! I have been spending a LOT more time with family. It has been so great to have my husband off work this week
We are also getting involved in ONE (yes, you read that correctly only ONE) extracurricular activity - speech and debate. I am VERY excited about this and all three girls are involved at the moment. None of them are yet old enough to compete, but I feel it is VERY important that my children learn to articulate and speak persuasively. Not only that, but I want them to know how to defend their faith as well as be able to see truth and defend it, as well as debunk things that are not truthful.
I have also been busy with my son and his new diet which you can read more about at the preceding link. All I can say is that it is really helping my son AND it is helping ALL of us to feel better! :D
I have also been learning a LOT and listening to a lot of mp3's about homeschooling and my role as teacher and mother. I have been learning a lot and am excited to implement what I have been learning. Anyone know anything about Thomas Jefferson Education? VERY interesting stuff.
And I have been very involved in Facebook. Politics and the state of our nation has become of great interest to me, and sharing the TRUTH (not the media - which is just propaganda pushed through as entertainment). Since those sources of true media are few and far between, and not very well known, I like to share what I can to get the word out there.
I am so very happy and so thankful for all God is doing in my life right now! Feel free to share how you and yours are doing and a link to your blog where we can all catch up! :D
I was driving to the store today and was thinking about all that my children did today.
They had their faults. MM said she hated her sister (so she served her sister by doing her chores today). JJ yelled and screamed trying to get his way (which he did not). EE and AA both did things today that were disappointing as far as their behavior goes.
But then I thought of all the wonderful things they did today. AA was a GREAT helper. She made lunch for the girls, got JJ a snack, and helped put JJ to bed so I could go out grocery shopping tonight. :D MM changed her attitude and apologized, sincerely and was happy to serve her sister and did her best. JJ, when told he needed to use his words instead of just screaming went and vocalized his frustrations! :D And EE talked to JJ about how God gave Mommy charge over him and she disciplines him because we don't want him to grow up and be a mean, nasty old boy - and he didn't want to be that when he grew up, now did he??
And I just had to cry. God is doing a work in my children in spite of all my faults. And I am so thankful!
And just to show me that He is there for me too, He showed Himself to me. Before I left the house, JJ had asked me to make sure I bought him sunbutter. I wrote it down on my list and left. At the grocery store, I checked my list several times and was certain (it being a short list) that I had everything on it. When I was leaving the store, I was not able to go down the isle I had originally planed because it was blocked, so I had to go down the next isle. Which just so happened to be the isle with sunbutter in it. So I was able to be a woman of my word and bring sunbutter home to my son.
I am so thankful to God for His goodness and faithfulness!
Modern Parable These are GREAT short films based on parables in scripture!
Food Safe Options for Kids Lunches Even though we homeschool, these are great ideas for bringing healthy homemade snacks and meals with us - whether we are driving around doing errands and I need a snack for the kids because I stayed out too late and lost track of time, or we are going on vacation and are unable to stop at restaurants anymore (due to diet and allergies). This post has some great ideas I have not heard of or thought of before.
Yeah, I am sorry for anyone who regularly reads my blog just for the Monday Current Web Readings. I have been busy with my son JJ and a new diet we will be implementing. It is so beneficial, ALL of us (well, maybe not my husband, but the rest of us) will be starting it. I am really excited and have been doing a LOT of research on it.
It is called the GAPS diet. It is not a diet like most people think of, as in one to lose weight. But diet as in a way/lifestyle of eating. And this one in particular is to heal your gut.
I won't go into a lot of that here as I will be posting a lot (well EVERY thing really) on my other blog where I am talking about my son and his health and allergies. PLEASE know that this is NOT just a diet for people with food allergies but for EVERY ONE. I encourage you to read more about it, and it you want to keep up with what we are learning and doing, you can on my other blog: One Mother's Journey.
SO again, I am sorry, but there are no real links this week (except there is some good stuff I have been learning at my other blog. For now, here is a fun little video I found (as I am ALWAYS trying to understand this area of my life) about HOW to use a knife:
If you have not signed up for Swagbucks before, now is the PERFECT time. With tomorrow being their birthday, they are celebrating early and giving away swagcodes like crazy! And this is just a taste of what will be coming tomorrow!!! :D
By singing up under me, every time you earn, **I** earn too!! And you get your friends and family to sign up under you, and every time THEY earn YOU earn too!! :D
Remember, tomorrow is their birthday, so they will be giving away a LOT! Right now, just with using Swagbucks to search instead of using google, and entering in the swag codes, I am getting a free $10 Amazon card a month! :D By the end of the year, I will have enough to get a Wii, and won't have to pay a penny for it! :D $450 Swagbucks = $5 Amazon card. You usually get a $10 for searching, but I guess not a lot of homeschool moms use it, and the terms I search for are not as widely used because of late, I have been getting $20 swagbucks for searching!! And it is just stuff like I would regularly search for my homeschooling or blog! :D
So what are swagcodes?? They are codes that are worth free swagbucks (that means swagbucks in addition to what you get for searching). There are many different places to find swagcodes (do not EVER share the actual code or your account could be terminated. But you can share WHERE you found the code (like right now, their blog has THREE swagcodes out!!).
If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them. I currently have only one person signed up under me, and she is going to use her Amazon.com gift cards to buy her homeschool curriculum for next year!! WOOHOO!!! :D :D :D
OK. So we have duck fat (left over from Christmas dinner) that I used to saute my last onion (in my cast iron pan OF COURSE!). I have tilapia (fish) that I have had in my freezer (for who knows how long). I thawed the last fillets I had (only 4 for our family of 6) and placed them over the wonderful smelling onions. Drizzled with olive oil and salt and peppered and put into the oven (preheated to 375) for 18 minutes.
While this was cooking, I made our sides. Okra (again in the freezer for who knows how long), which was fried in coconut oil. Then the last bit of butter I had was used to brown some asparagus (this was thawed from my freezer, again, I have no idea how long it has been in there). And our last side was instant mashed potatoes (just add boiling water and milk - which is a little past expiration date).
This was a FABULOUS meal! SO YUMMY!!! We will definitely make it again (at least the onion and fish part, sides will vary based on what is in freezer, fridge or pantry).
The devastation in Haiti is so great it will take years to recover. Most people had not heard of Haiti before the horrible earthquake. We were blessed to be able to learn a little about Haiti from Compassion International (which has a HUGE presence in Haiti).
You might have to join (it is free) in order to get the lapbook. When you do join, be sure to sign up for their newsletter as they give away a free product weekly (and will often have HUGE giveaways for Mother's day that you won't want to miss!).
I have been cleaning the house all day today. Well that and getting ready for Purim.
If you have never celebrated Purim, you are missing out. This is one of the kids FAVORITE holy days. If you want to compare it to a holiday, compare it to Halloween. You get all the benefits of dressing up in costumes, acting up, but instead of GETTING candy you GIVE it.
OK, enough about Purim.
I am always talking about how I have too much STUFF. And I do. I have collected items here and there because they were free, or a deal too good to pass. But I have learned that all that does is clutter the house. MUCH better to save the money and get the few things (like Lamplighter Books) that will last and edify my children.
And today, after going through my son's room and getting rid of 3/4's (yes three fourths) of his toys, I noticed not only how cleaner his room was, but how much HAPPIER he was. He knew where his favorite things (which he had not played with in months because they were lost in all his other junky toys) were now. And as soon as we were done cleaning, he went to playing. "My cars! I love my cars." For 40 or so minutes, I played cars with JJ (and of course once the girls heard all the fun, they had to get in on it too). His GeoTrax train set, which he LOVES, now has SPACE to be put out and played with! Such a HAPPY BOY!
And my daughters are learning too, now with their chore chars, that if they have less clutter in their room or their area, then they have less to clean up and spend less time cleaning.
Now if only I could learn and apply this myself to MY things. :D I need to stop rationalizing that I *NEED* something and decide if it truly is a need (or do I have something else that can help or do the same thing)? Is it something I absolutely love, or would I be OK without it.
Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt with JJ's allergies and us now moving to the GAPS diet, homemade fermentation is necessary. It really is for EVERYONE. And since JJ is allergic to dairy, we will be making coconut yogurt. Even if you are not allergic to dairy, coconut is a wonderful health food and you can incorporate it into your diet. :D
I had very little time this week to participate in the challenge. Thankfully we had a Valentine's Party for our homeschool group, so I was able to get some loving pictures! :D
JJ learning to give. :D
EE sorting through all the Valentine's she made to give out.
EE with her heart braid hair style, giving her Valentine's out.
We made Valentine's because I really hate all the "BE MINE" stuff out there. What does that encourage girls to do and think - definitely does not encourage them to keep their hearts and minds pure - set aside for their future husband. So our Valentine's encouraged others to be God's. :D
We made candy necklaces.
It was really easy. You can see JJ wearing his in the picture above. Take saran wrap and put it out. Put candy every inch or so apart. Roll up the candy in the saran wrap and tie in-between the candies with ribbon. :D
A basket full of handmade Valentine Candy pockets to hand out.
This was my FAVORITE picture. Love the little foot and hole in the jeans.
Hopefully this next wek I will get to be a little more creative and artistic with the challenge.
How Mothers Survived Poverty How did mothers do it back then?? I knew most of the stuff in this article, but it is a good reminder (and a fabulous blog!). And imagine my surprise when I read about a little book called MAKE DO AND MEND. My fabulous SIL got me a copy of this book for Christmas!!! I have been reading through it here and there as time allows and I LOVE IT!
This weeks challenge was growing. BOY this was an easy (and difficult - but more emotionally than physically) one for me! And I'll tell you why...
We have no money (who does these days?) so we decided to goto the park and Penny arcade, where YES, most of the games are a penny, nickle or dime to play (save up your spare change and you can be there for hours!).
But as the day I went, I was keenly aware of how quickly my children are growing up!
AA went with Daddy to look at the local rock shops. She is way into rocks and fossils. She found a small geode for a dollar (everything in the store was half off) and grabbed it! (Yes, this photo is of her and Daddy in the penny arcade, but it was the only one I had of the two of them and as I was watching the other children while they went off, I am using this picture.) :D
With Daddy and AA gone, I had the task of watching over MM, EE and JJ all by myself.
At a park.
Which I hate.
You see I NEVER goto the park without another adult to watch my kids because Mommy is always having to watch the youngest one closest. So this was a BIG step for me (I guess **I** am growing too) to do this.
EE and MM went off by themselves (we live by the buddy rule!) and I looked up every once in a while to check on them. And once when I looked up ...
...JJ decided to try his hand at rock climbing. This was his first rock to climb and conquer.
Now you have to understand, having three girls first does not begin to prepare you for the life of a boy! He is all boy and I am doing my best not to let him see my fear when he does stuff like climbing big rocks. :D He made it to the top and he was so proud.
My little boy, not so little any more. Running and laughing and I am so thankful for it all!
This whole time I was caring for JJ (who went from rock to tree to slide to rock to ladder to....) I noticed that EE was pushing MM and another little girl on a swing.
The last time I looked up, I noticed she had gotten on and all three were trying to swing. It wasn't working very well. I wanted to reward EE for her serving her sister and that other little girl, and take the opportunity to teach JJ to serve, so we headed over there to push.
My baby girls growing up!!
YES, that IS a baby doll up in a tree. They saw it when I was pushing them on the swing. This brought my girls such giggles that it reminded me that no matter how quickly they were growing up, they STILL were children. OH THE GIGGLES!!!
So as I was pushing the girls, I was talking about how thankful I was for EE pushing. And she pushed them for quite a long time. However, JJ and I had not been there long pushing and JJ wanted to go off and play some more (understandable - he is a boy and he is three). :D I said that we needed to stay and push EE some more.
Now what she said next, you have to understand why I am showing all these pictures and how I became so reflectful of how quickly my children are growing and how fast the time, no matter how hard I try to hold onto these moments, they quickly slip away.
She said "That is OK Momma. I can push some more. I can put others before myself." And she got off and continued to push her little sister and another little girl.
I am so proud of her. And so thankful that God, in spite of all my faults, in spite of all the mistakes I make and my selfish and sinful heart, is working on my children and producing such beauty in them.
They will have a better walk with the Lord than I do. They will be better keepers at home than I am. They will be better wives and mothers than I am. And I am so thankful for this.
It breaks my heart to hear mothers wish that their children will go through what they went through. "I hope you have a child just like you so you know what I put up with." How can ANY mother want less than the BEST for their children?!
My children have their faults. But I would wish and hope and PRAY that they have children who benefit from what their mothers learned under my care. I was reading that the Pearl's children, now grown and parents on their own, do not have to spank their children nearly as much as the Pearl's had to spank theirs.
I want that for my children. I want them to grow in grace and humbleness - that when they have children, their children will not need to be spanked nearly as much as my children have. That their children will not hear the amount of yelling that my children have. That they won't have to make as many mistakes to learn the same lessons. That my grandchildren will benefit from all that God is doing in the lives of their mother's now.
So there you have it. How I grew up in one day and noticed that my children are growing far quicker than I can capture! SO THANKFUL for the challenges Rebecca does. You do not have to be a professional to participate. But in participating you are capturing those moments which do slip by so quickly. And if you don't catch them now... you will miss out. You might regret it.
And don't forget to take photos of yourself! I know, if you are anything like me, you don't like to do this. But it is so important. Your children LOVE you. And your husband LOVES you. And when you die, they are going to want to see as many pictures of you as they can. From your childhood all the way up until the time you died. I have been to two funerals of special women. Their husband's had lots and lots of photos of them out. They made scrapbooks of those pictures (from childhood to death) and those pictures meant so much to them. So please PLEASE turn the camera on yourself from time to time.
OK... stepping down off my soapbox. Head over to Rebecca's for more Foto Friday entries and please consider joining us next week. You will not regret it.
Handmade Holidays Felt Fairy House Could be for birthday too. And what is so great, is this would be easy for the kids to make, so you can have them help and make it into a fairy party and these are the favors!
Bee Keeping Believe it or not, I have wanted to do this for quite a while. Scared of bee stings (and JJ's possible allergies to bees) now keep me from it. BUT, there is no reason he could not make hives and sell them when he gets older!!! :D
I will be sharing more links on Monday, but I watched this video today and AA was in the room. The first thing she said when it was over was "Is that girl sitting on the counter?" LOL!! The second thing she said was "Mommy will you please do that to my hair, I want to surprise Daddy."
SO first the video and then a picture of how I did.
This was my FIRST attempt and this hairstyle literally takes only MINUTES to do. It makes it look like you know what you are doing. :D
And the JOY it brought my daughter ... I am sad that I have not done more of this thinking it was too difficult or takes too long.
So the theme was learning. Should be easy enough to photograph, right? I mean, I am a homeschooling mom who is constantly teaching her children who are constantly learning? But you know what? Momma TOTALLY forgot to pick up the camera but ONCE this week. I need to be better about that.
SO.... without further ado, here are the few pictures I took this week... er, I mean DAY!! LOL!!!
This is EE and MM playing Little House on the Prairie. I am not sure that Carrie would have been wearing ear muffs like little MM is, but she liked the fact that she was matching. :D Matching is learning too, right?? :D
EE setting up a reading game I found at a garage sale. This is an AWESOME game. But none of the pictures of us playing actually came out.
MM and JJ reading. JJ LOVES to "read." He memorizes the story and tells it back to you. This is one of his favorite books. He got it for completing a reading library program during the summer. The picture is not the best, but OH how I love it! It shows how much love these two have for each other, and how JJ loves to read. So I share it.
And go here to see some of my favorite "learning" pictures. :D
Hopefully, next week I will have better pictures. Be sure to head over to Rebecca's to see all the other entries AND to know how YOU can participate too!! :D
OOOHHHH.... I have to add these too! I just took these (like literally minutes ago and had to update this post) when she brought me this! I have been teaching EE to crochet and she has got it DOWN! Those stitches are perfect! She made me a tawashi - her own pattern!! She took several different colors and put crocheted them together - I AM SO IMPRESSED!!!
And an update... I have only been a member of Swagbucks for almost a week now and I have only 2 more swagbucks to earn before I get my $5 Amazon gift card! If I keep this up, I will be able to get a Wii for FREE for Christmas!! And I am so hoping you can help me out and get yourself some free gifts too!!!
You see, when people sign up under you, YOU get $1 swagbuck for every $1 swagbuck THEY earn!! So if you sign up under me, I can get there faster. Then you go and share YOUR referral link with YOUR friends, they sign up under you and YOU earn what THEY earn!
And all you have to do is use them for your search engine. You earn 1-3 swagbucks a day (that is not including the extras you get through codes (see below)!! I have just been using it as my search engine (I do a LOT of searching), and entering in the codes (a new code EVERY DAY!) and am up to $43 swagbucks. $45 gets you a $5 Amazon.com gift card! It generally takes about two weeks to earn. They have other prizes too. It really is worth it. It is one of the easiest ways to make some extra money - no emails to read or surveys to take. Just search the web using Swagbucks!! (***UPDATE! As of 5PM I HAVE 45! MY FIRST AMAZON $5 GIFT CARD!!! WOOHOO!!!!)
The BEST site for finding out where codes are (remember, it is grounds for termination to share the actual code) is Engineer A Debt Free Life. She not only lets you know when one is up, she lets you know when it expires and WHERE to find the code. She will let you know if it is at the top of the page or the bottom, or the middle of page 73. :D. SHE IS THE BEST!!! :D
SO I hope to see you searching around on Swagbucks and let me know what you are saving up for! :D
Remove Fluoride from Water I was under the impression that carbon based water filters (like Pur) remove fluoride from the water. The other morning on FB, I read Dr. Mercola's daily tip which said that they don't, and how difficult it is to remove fluoride form water. So I found this link.
Rice Cooker I have a friend who makes everything in her rice cooker - omelets, chicken and rice ... just about EVERYTHING her fmaily eats. LOL!! So I went looking for a rice cooker and found THIS one which has a GABA setting - in other words, if you are into Nourishing Traditions, this will soak and sprout the rice and then cook it for you!! :D HOW AWESOME is that?? And especially with this gluten free and JJ allergic to everything family, we do eat a bit of rice. It would be so nice to have something which does everything for me.
I have tried and tried and TRIED all sorts of things to keep this house clean. Store bought and homemade just to help the girls stay on top of their chores. Even having them pay each other to do their work if they did not get it done. All either didn't work, or worked for a short while, then fizzled out.
FINALLY I have something that works! :D :D :D We have been doing it for two weeks now, and I can say I am happy happy HAPPY!
I have shared before about how I took some things from Flylady. Each child has their own zone in the house (a room they are in charge of making sure stays clean and orderly). And since they all share a room, the room is divided into zones and each child is responsible for keeping their room zone clean (which includes their bed). We also made a rule that there are no toys in the room, and no books in the room. They may have a book they are currently reading near their bedside, but not the plethora of books that they used to bring in there (I love that my girls love books, but BOY it was getting BAD).
The other thing that is the REAL key to this is to make sure things revolve around meals. I know it sounds silly and simple. And maybe it is, but it WORKS!
Each chore is written on a card. It is broken down into easy steps (especially the younger the child). MM cannot read yet, so she also has pictures on her card that we worked through together to help give her clues as to what the card says.
The cards are on the TO DO side, and once a card is completed, it is moved to the ALL DONE side. Easy Peasy, huh?
The names are blocked out for privacy reasons. Each child has their own color for their cards.
So there are before breakfast chores which, if everything was done like it should, should only take about 15 minutes to complete. MAKE BED TIDY ROOM ZONE GET DRESSED AND BRUSH HAIR (Because EE's zone is the kitchen, she has to unload the dishwasher so it is ready to load with dishes from the day, starting with breakfast dishes)
Then after breakfast chores: CLEAR SPOT AT TABLE (they each eat on a tray like from school cafeteria and they leave the tray and their cup to be used for each meal in their spot, but make sure their tray is clean and clear and their spot at the table is clean and clear - dishes put directly into dishwasher) BEGIN SCHOOLWORK (Again with EE's Zone being the kitchen, she has extra after the meal, so while above is for all children, below is just for the kitchen zone) SINK CLEAN AND CLEAR (again the Flylady clean sink thing) COUNTERS CLEAR AND WIPED DOWN CHAIRS AT THE COUNTER CLEAR (sometimes the chairs at the kitchen counter are used as a hot spot to collect items) WIPE DOWN TABLE WIPE DOWN CHAIRS/BENCHES (if needed)
Then before you eat lunch: CLEAN UP SCHOOLWORK ZONE CHECK - CLEAN AND CLEAR
Then after you eat lunch: CLEAR SPOT AT TABLE (leaving only tray and cup) (Again with EE's Zone being the kitchen, she has extra after the meal, so while above is for all children, below is just for the kitchen zone) SINK CLEAN AND CLEAR (again the Flylady clean sink thing) COUNTERS CLEAR AND WIPED DOWN CHAIRS AT THE COUNTER CLEAR (sometimes the chairs at the kitchen counter are used as a hot spot to collect items) WIPE DOWN TABLE WIPE DOWN CHAIRS/BENCHES (if needed) RUN A RINSE ON THE DISHWASHER (we do not rinse our dishes, so this is not a waste of water, but helping to keep the dishes moist so the food washes off them)
This next set of chores are called the 4:30PM chores simply because that is when we start them. They look like a lot, but honestly, it is mostly upkeep. These chores, if the girls have been keeping up with everything, these chores (except for Friday, more on that in a minute), take no more than 30 minutes to do EACH DAY! They are based on each child's zones, as well as another job they have been given the responsibility for. On Friday's, it is major cleaning day, so in their zones, extra responsibilities, and bedroom, deeper cleaning is done - this adds about 30-45 minutes to cleaning during this time. The reward of getting this done sooner rather than later, is that when you are done, you are able to sit and listen to an audio book or audio theatre.
Everyone's have these 4:30PM chores in common: ALL TOYS, GAMES, BOOKS AND SCHOOLWORK BACK WHERE THEY BELONG - NICE AND ORDERLY CHECK ROOM: BED MADE AND ROOM ZONE CLEAR CLEAN 15 ITEMS IN BASEMENT 2 ITEM GIVEAWAY (this is our decluttering, once the child has done a decent job, this will not be needed but maybe once a week) ZONE CHECK - CLEAN AND CLEAR
MM's extra responsibility is the hallway upstairs between the children's bedrooms CHECK HALLWAY - NO TRASH, NO CLOTHES, NO TOYS FRIDAY!!! VACUUM ZONE, BEDROOM, HALLWAY and JJ'S ROOM
EE's extra job is the children's bathroom. She has one card with everything broken down as to what is expected. The front looks like this: SINK CLEAN AND CLEAR COUNTERS CLEAN AND ORDERLY EMPTY TRASH IF NEEDED FLOOR CLEAN AND CLEAR (behind toilet too) FLUSH POTTY (if needed)
The back of the card is for Friday cleaning and looks like this FRIDAY!!! SCRUB TUB WASH TOWELS (the hamper for dirty bath towels is in their bathroom) FOLD AND PUT AWAY WASHED TOWELS SCRUB TOILET SWEEP FLOOR PUT CLEAN TOWEL ON ROD
AA's extra job is the main bathroom (which is small, but important that it looks nice because guests use it), and the entry way (again, important that it looks nice so that guests feel welcome. On Friday, she vacuums her zone and the stairs going upstairs. ENTRYWAY: CLEAN AND ORDERLY - NOTHING ON FLOOR MAIN BATHROOM: SINK CLEAN AND CLEAR, COUNTERS CLEAN AND ORDERLY, EMPTY TRASH IF NEEDED, FLOOR CLEAN AND CLEAR and if it is FRIDAY!!!! SRUB TOILET, PUT OLD TOWEL IN HAMPER UPSTAIRS TO BE WASHED AND PUT CLEAN TOWEL ON ROD
After dinner chores are a bit different because instead of eating in the kitchen, we are eating in the dining room, which is part of AA's zone: CLEAN ENTIRE SPOT INTO DISHWASHER WASH AND DRY TRAY AND PUT IN TRAY SPOT (there is a spot where the trays belong) Kitchen chores (for EE): MAKE SURE KITCHEN TABLE COMPLETELY CLEAR (no trays) WIPE TABLE WIPE DOWN CHAIRS/BENCHES (no only if needed, this is to be done) PUT ALL NAPKINS INTO DIRTY HAMPER CLEAR KITCHEN FLOOR (nothing should be on the floor) SWEEP KITCHEN FLOOR (under and around table, stove, fridge, etc.) SINK CLEAN AND CLEAR WIPE STOVETOP DOWN POTS AND PANS WASHED AND HUNG TO DRY COUNTERS CLEAR AND WIPED DOWN AFTER ALL DISHES ARE PUT IN DISHWASHER, RUN THE LOAD WITH SOAP (Dining room chores for AA): MAKE SURE DINING TABLE COMPLETELY CLEAR (no trays) WIPE TABLE WIPE DOWN CHAIRS PUT ALL NAPKINS INTO DIRTY HAMPER CLEAR FLOOR UNDER AND AROUND TABLE VACUUM (whoever thought of carpet in a dining room?!?!) FLOOR
Bedtime Routine: PUT ON NIGHTIE GO POTTY GET DRINK BRUSH TEETH BRUSH HAIR
OK... all this has been working GREAT! Like I said, the key is to revolve around meals instead of times. If something HAS to be done before you eat, it will be done. This is especially nice for me, who does NOT do well on a schedule and likes things to be flexible. If things get REALLY hectic through the day, or we are gone for most of the day, as long as the 4:30 and after dinner jobs get done, the house stays clean. The other times for jobs are really just checks to make sure things are being stayed up on.
NOW I just need to make ME one of these things. :D And have the kids help keep me accountable! Exercise, school planning, cleaning my room, laundry, finances/computer time, cooking the meals, training the kids to cook meals, sewing (I plan on sewing AA's wardrobe this year WITH her help!), scrapping (this is something that I might just call art and we al do ART doing school time).
Swagbucks.com is a search engine that rewards you in the form of Swagbucks for searching. 45 Swagbucks can be exchanged for a $5 Amazon.com gift card. This generally takes about 2 weeks to earn. PLEASE use my link to join: Join Swagbucksas I do get a swagbuck every time you get one if you use my link. THANKS!!!
Solar Tube NEAT idea - to keep in mind when we build a house or remodel.
I am trying to earn some extra money/free stuff and found a great way that not only I can, but you can too!
Swagbucks.com is a search engine that rewards you in the form of Swagbucks for searching. 45 Swagbucks can be exchanged for a $5 Amazon.com gift card (OR DIFFERENT AMOUNTS OF SWAGBUCKS CAN BE EXCHANGED FOR MANY MORE THINGS!!). I am trying to save up for a Wii!! :D The 45 swagbucks for teh $5 Amazon gift card takes about 2 weeks to earn. PLEASE use my link to join: Join Swagbucksas I do get a swagbuck every time you get one if you use my link. Then share YOUR link with others and have others sign up with your link so you can win every time they win too.
Imagine, just by using swagbucks.com to search instead of something like google, you can be earning $5 gift cards every two weeks!! There are special swagbuck codes that give you points and you don't even have to search! :D Be sure to install the toolbar to get notices of the newest codes! And you can check their blog and FB page for even MORE codes!
And when you search on Fridays, it is called MEGA Fridays because you can earn 3, 5, 10 or MORE (which is more rare but can happen) swagbucks!! :D
I will admit it does take a bit of getting used to using swagbucks to search instead of google, but I am finding really good results on things I am searching for. It really is a good search engine. You get three swag bucks just for signing up! Imagine if you start now, you could have enough money to buy some REALLY nice Christmas presents for Christmas!!
You may only win 1-5 Swagbucks a day by yourself, but with just 5 friends earning on average 2 Swagbucks a day you would earn 360 Swagbucks a month! So I just need five of you (LOL!!) to please sign up for a swagbucks account!
Whether or not you believe in using birth control, the fact is ... it is out there. And many people, prolly even friends of yours, use it. There are all types... from condoms, to natural family planning, to drugs. It is the drugs that scare me the most. These drugs can do more than just prevent a pregnancy... they can make it harder to conceive or even carry a pregnancy to term.
PLEASE read or share the link with those who are using drugs as a form of birth control - especially if they one day hope to have children.
Follow along my journey with my son JJ - his medical issues, food allergies and feeding issues. And now environmental allergies.
Click on the icon above to learn how to trade books for FREE! It is free to join. Please leave my email as the referring email as I do get credit when you join. This is one of the best ways to get rid of old books and get new ones!
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Check weekly to get your free ebook to supplement your homeschooling. We have received free paper dolls, free flash cards, free notebooking pages, free lap games and oh so much more! Be sure to sign up for their newsletter to be informed of the freebie link which changes weekly!