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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Growing Monsters

Did you think the title of this post was about my kids? Well, not entirely! Today we started the process of growing giant watermelons and giant pumpkins. This was such an appropriate activity for each of my older boys because I've always called my oldest son my pumpkin and my middle son my melon. These were their nicknames when they were in my womb. So you can figure out from that which one is working on the pumpkins and which one is working on the melons.

My mother-in-law had bought us these neat kits about 2 years ago and they have sat up on a shelf since then. I'm trying to make a point to have more fun with my boys, so I finally got the kits out today. This is what they look like:



Here's how easy it was to get the kit started:

1. Put each of the 3 soil pellets in a big bowl and pour warm water on top. As the pellets expand you loosen the soil and stir. Add more water if needed.




Not sure what this face was all about. Clearly he was having fun!

2. Divide the soil in half. Use the 1st half to fill each of the pots halfway.

Stinky Face (AKA Melon) doesn't like to get his hands dirty so he used the spoons that came with the kit.

3. Open the packets of giant seeds and place 2 seeds in each pot. (We had some extra and decided to put a few more in.)



This is my oldest son's seeds. He only had 5 seeds, so he decided to see what would happen if he put a few watermelon seeds in with his pumpkin seeds. We shall see!

4. Cover the seeds with the remaining soil. We had more than enough soil, so we didn't use it all.
He doesn't mind getting his hands dirty!


Finished product...for now!

5. Place the pots in a sunny location and water them to keep the soil moist.


6. Once the plants have grown, transfer them to larger pots or directly into your outdoor garden.

Here's my one, slight delema with this project. We live in a subdivision that is highly controlled by the "HOA police". We aren't allowed to have gardens. Stinks, I know! I guess I will have to transfer these to some ginormous flower pot because they can grow to be 100 pounds or more. Yikes! I will keep you updated on the progress so check back soon to see how they are growing.

Be blessed my friends!

Friday, May 30, 2014

1st Grade Curriculum

We went to a homeschool convention in April where I was able to find my children's curriculum for the upcoming school year. I will share in a later post what I chose for my 9th grader because his curriculum was put together, piece by piece. Each subject is from a different company.  For my 1st grader though, we decided to go with A Beka Book. 

A Beka Book is a Christian based company that seems like it will challenge our son the way we feel he needs to be challenged. They teach cursive handwriting from the beginning and they learn phonics very early on as well. I love that the 1st grade kit has everything we need and then some, like science, health, and history. Here's a list of everything I got in the child's kit:  

*You can click on the numbers to see a picture and better description of each item.*


  • 94951 Fun with Pets
  • 94986 Tiptoes
  • 95001 Stepping Stones
  • 95036 Secrets and Surprises
  • 95052 Bridge Book
  • 95060 Kind and Brave
  • 95087 Aesop's Fables
  • 95109 Strong and True
  • 94943 Primary Bible Reader
  • 94927 Handbook for Reading
  • 95125 Letters and Sounds 1
  • 95141 Letters and Sounds 1 Test Book
  • 95184 Language 1
  • 95206 Spelling and Poetry 1
  • 95230 Writing with Phonics 1 Cursive
  • 95249 Cursive Writing Tablet
  • 92185 Arithmetic 1
  • 92207 Arithmetic 1 Tests and Speed Drills
  • 34851 Community Helpers Activity Book
  • 95265 Discovering God's World
  • 95281 Health, Safety, and Manners 1
  • 95311 My America and My World
  • 113867 Child Kit ABA DVD Insert Card (FREE)



I also ordered the following support materials to help me teach him to the best of my ability:

  • 96946 Homeschool Phonics, Reading, and Spelling 1 Curriculum
  • 95168 Letters and Sounds 1 Test Key
  • 95354 Basic Phonics Charts (8.5 X 11)
  • 96962 Homeschool Writing and Seatwork 1 Curriculum
  • 92231 Homeschool Arithmetic 1 Curriculum
  • 92215 Arithmetic 1 Tests and Speed Drills Key
  • 151459 Arithmetic Drill Cards Set A
  • 75434 Homeschool Arithmetic 1 Charts and Games (8.5 X 11)

I hope you will follow along on our 1st grade journey. We will start back to school in August.

Be blessed my friends!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Silk Almondmilk Protein+Fiber Review


Our family got to try a free half gallon of Silk Almondmilk Protein+Fiber from Kroger because I am a BzzAgent. We first tried it out with the baby because he has been battling constipation issues and we thought it might have been related to dairy products. Almondmilk has 5 grams of fiber per serving, so we really hoped it would help his belly. Although he really seemed to like how it tasted, it didn't seem to have any effect on his digestive system. 

Next, I thought I'd try it out on our 5 year old son. He's a really picky child so I added chocolate powder to his Almondmilk. Check out this video for his reaction:

video

I think that if I wanted to make this a daily part of his routine, he would easily get use to it. Although his reaction seems bad, I know him well enough to know that this is something he could adjust to.

Next I asked my husband if he'd be brave enough to do an on-the-spot review. He graciously did this for me and here is his reaction:

video


I'll be honest, at first, I was just too afraid to try it. The texture seemed thick to me. I normally drink 1% milk, so it was a big change. I tried a drink when no one else was looking. To my surprise it really wasn't bad! It was a little thicker than I'm used to, but it had a slightly sweet taste that made it okay for me. If I had issues with dairy products, this drink would be my next preference. The price is comparable to other non-dairy types of milk and you can almost always find a good sale or a coupon; or even better, both!

I didn't think about it until all of the Almondmilk was gone, but I think it would've been a great addition to smoothies. I've also read other reviews where people used it for baking. What a great idea! 

Here are some awesome benefits from Silk Almondmilk Protein+Fiber:

  • Packs 5g of protein, 5g of fiber and 100 calories or less per serving
  • Provides 50% more calcium than dairy milk*
  • May help keep you feeling full (increasing protein and fiber in your diet can help promote satiety!)
  • Enjoy Silk® Protein+Fiber Almondmilk anywhere you’d use your favorite milk — over cereal, in smoothies or straight up in a glass

*45% DV calcium versus 30% DV in dairy milk. USDA National Nutrient Database for Std. Ref, Release 26. Data consistent with typical 2% dairy milk.


If you have tried Almondmilk, let me know what you think about it! Do you just drink it as 


you would dairy milk? Or do you use it for smoothies, milkshakes, and baking?


Be blessed my friends!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Arby's Contest

If you have NOTHING to do today, here's a contest that you might like. I keep checking back at the computer because you can win $1300. We could really use that right now. How about you?


Enter for a chance to win a prize in ARBY’S 13 HOUR SMOKEHOUSE BRISKET CHALLENGE
We made a 13-hour commercial that shows the 13-hour process we use to smoke our brisket. You’re about to watch that commercial. During the stream, we’re giving away over $20,000 worth of prizes.
For your chance to win, watch the brisket smoke and click on the annotations that pop up over the video. Correctly answer a brisket trivia question, and you’ll be entered to win. There’s one at least every 13 minutes so you won’t have to wait long.
Prizes are listed on the website http://www.13hourbrisket.com. Limit one (1) Prize per person. Each Winner is solely responsible for all federal, state and/or local taxes, and for any other fees or costs associated with the redemption of a Prize. If applicable, a Winner may receive an IRS form 1099 for the retail value of the Prize.
Begins on May 28, 2014 at 9:00 am EDT & ends on May 28, 2014 at 10:00 pm EDT. Open to all legal U.S. residents residing in the fifty (50) United States of America and the District of Columbia, who are at least eighteen (18) years of age or older. Minor entrants must get a parent or legal guardian’s permission to participate. See Official Rules at 13hourbrisket.com/rulesandregulations for full details. Void in Guam, PR, US VI, all US territories & where restricted or prohibited by law. Sponsor: HYFN, Inc.
Be blessed my friends!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Free Kellog's Family Reward Code


Do you enter Kellogg's Family Reward Codes? If so, here is a free one for you! Happy Tuesday! If you are not familiar with Kellogg's Family rewards, just go to www.KFR.com to learn more.


Be blessed my friends!

Monday, May 26, 2014

My Plans Vs. His Plans

Life has been a little overwhelming to me lately. I think my expectations are just not realistic. But then I think, maybe they are realistic and I'm just lazy. It's a battle that I fight daily. I feel guilty when my husband gets up with the baby and lets me sleep in. I feel guilty if I nap when the baby naps. I feel like I have to spend every waking second doing something productive. I know I need to cut myself some slack, but for some reason I just can't. We have finished homeschool for this school year and though I thought things would get easier, I find a million more things that could use my attention while I'm not doing school work with the kids.

I need to exercise. I should organize those containers full of photos that have just been sitting in my closet. The baby screams and cries most of the day because he's constipated. I've done everything I know to do to help him. I should provide some meals for my family instead of everyone fending for themselves. That's how it goes way too many nights. The laundry is piling up, the floors need swept, and where did my table go again? I really should play more with the kids. They are growing up so fast. I'm trying to fit more Bible reading and time alone with God into my schedule. Most of the time my day goes a lot smoother if I get this in early in the morning. So much clutter in the house. I need to sell some stuff! I'm working on a budget for our family; getting help from a friend since I've tried and tried and always failed. I should do meal plans. Hopefully I'll get to that soon. I need more date nights with my husband. Neither one of us can remember the last time we went out on a date. Isn't that sad! So sad! Priorities just aren't the way they should be, or my husband and I would be spending more time alone.

It's hard to fall asleep at night because the house isn't the only thing that is cluttered. My mind just won't shut off!

So once again I will attempt to make tomorrow a better day. I will start with some sort of a plan. A plan to get up and shower while my husband is still home. A plan to take a walk with my neighbor to get some morning exercise in. A plan to actually fix my kids something for breakfast and spend some time playing with them. A plan that includes quiet time with the Lord. A plan to figure out a schedule that just might work for us. A cleaning schedule would be nice. Then maybe I will stop spending the majority of my days cleaning, and little time doing things with my boys. Now here's praying that my baby will sleep through the night so my "plan" will start out the way I want it to. 

Or, God just gave me a better idea. 

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

I guess I will just give it to Him and ask Him once again to prepare my way and to help me figure out what works best for my family. He knows much better than I do and His plans will prosper me! So, my first plan for tomorrow will be to go to Him in prayer. Isn't that the way it should have been all along? Sometimes we just need to go back to the basics!

Be blessed my friends!

One Year Old Pics








Monday, May 12, 2014

My New Job Title

I guess I've gone a little crazy since I've decided that being a stay at home, homeschooling mom to 3 boys just wasn't enough. I've always loved children's books and thought about getting back into direct sales to generate a little more income for my family so I am now a consultant for Usborne Books and More. Usborne is a children's book, direct sales company that has been around since the 1960's. Their books are all made in house and they are so fun and colorful. Many of them have lift the flap features or pull out pages. Some of the baby books are the ones they can feel different textures on. Here is a small sample. There are over 1600 titles to choose from, so there is definitely something for every child. 



If you would like to see more of these fabulous books, please check out my website by clicking HERE!
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Let me know if you have any questions about Usborne Books and More.

Be blessed my friends!

Friday, May 9, 2014

An Eye Opener About Money

A lot has been going on in my world. The day before yesterday I ended up in the ER because my heart was constantly fluttering and I got light headed. After spending 2 hours in the waiting room and another 4 hours or so in a room, I finally got to come home. All of my tests came back normal. I had to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours and I don't have those results yet. The next day I got a really big bill from the IRS. Apparently I made a mistake on our 2012 taxes. I cried my eyes out. I'm thankful that we have the money in our savings to cover it and thankful that my husband treated me with kindness as I explained what happened. Until now we've been living kind of care free; going out to eat, giving money away, and spending money like we have it...because we did. I feel like the last couple of days were a huge wake up call. I feel like God slapped me in the face. As I was going through my 2012 papers, trying to figure out what had happened, I found an index card that I had written on. It said, "If therefore you are not faithful in the use of worldly wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? Luke 16:11"  After reading this, I cried some more. We have always been givers and faithful tithers, but I feel like God told me right then and there that we have got to start taking money more seriously. We have to be diligent with it. We can still be givers and tithers (and we will), but we need to be faithful with the rest. Instead of blowing it all of the time on eating out and buying whatever our hearts desire, we need to budget and save money for the future. Although I'm really sad over the events that have happened over the last few days and the fact that our bank account has been drained, I am grateful that God has opened my eyes. What about you? Are you faithful with worldly wealth? If not, I pray that God will help you as you strive to be a better steward of the things He has blessed you with. I'm on this journey with you!

Be blessed my friends!