Thursday, February 25, 2010

Now Is The Time

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 gift cards to buy her homeschool curriculum for next year!! WOOHOO!!! :D :D :D

Meals Before Payday

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).

Be sure to head over to Meals Before Payday and add your own meal! :D

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Free Haiti Lapbook

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).

Now there is a free Haiti lapbook for your children to learn more about 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!).

It feels GOOD

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.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Oh look how CUTE these aprons are. Links to all sort of tutorials!

My Favorite Aprons

Monday, February 22, 2010

Current Web Readings

Attention Games

Math Drills
GREAT site fro FREE math worksheets!

The Hijacking of American Education
MUST read.

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

Allergen Free Play Dough Recipe

How to Make Coconut Water Kefir
Cost per gallon - about $13 for homemade! Cost for me to buy it from the store ... a WHOLE lot more! LOL!!! :D

Recording Remedies
This is a GREAT idea not just for GAPS, but for anyone who has children with sensitivity to foods.

The Sardine Diet
LOTS of good information about the sardine - a health food for GAPS diet. Not the ONLY thing to eat though LOL!! :D

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Steps to Better Health

Baby Steps to Better Health is a WONDERFUL online ebook that takes you step by step to making better health choices.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Current Web Readings

Real Food Resolutions
A good article with good references that I want to read again!

Gary Taubes BIG FAT LIES
The truth about why we really get fat - a must watch video on health

Whole Traditions Recipes
Several GAPS friendly and Nourishing Traditions recipes

Candida Tests
There is an at home candida spit test here. Very interesting!

Hot cocoa mix
with coconut milk powder instead of milk powder (which is unhealthy)

Homemade Lacto Fermented Mayonnaise
And how to know if your olive oil is REAL

Zucchini Spaghetti Meat Sauce
Don't be afriad to try this for a MUCH cheaper alternative to GF noodles! It tastes GREAT!

How To Make Young Thai Coconut Yogurt/Pudding
Fermenting coconut with kefir

Friday, February 12, 2010

Foto Friday - Loving

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.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Current Web Readings

Growing In Strawberry Pots
I LOVE the water tips here!!!

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!

Nature Study with Children

MORE hair style sites, this time for little girls! Thankful to Sonflower Sisters for sharing!
Shaunells Hair - I REALLY like this one. LOTS of pictures and VIDEOS to show you HOW! :D Wonderfully done.
Princess Hairstyles
Cute Girls Hairstyles - this one is REALLY nice too. Seems to have a video with most each style.
Fun Frills and More
Cute 2 Try Hairdo's
Piggies n Ponies

Friday, February 5, 2010

Foto Friday - Growing

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.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Current Web Readings

Herbal Tea Recipe

Overnight Buckwheat Pancakes
JJ can have these!! :D

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

What you NEED to know about soy and hexane...