Our Family Favorite Thanksgiving Desserts for 2018 (plus a peek at our Thanksgiving Menu)

I know this is a tad bit late but maybe it will be helpful for those of you still trying to find that perfect dessert for your family get together. Below are the 10 desserts that made the cut for our family Thanksgiving Dinner this year:

  1. Luscious Four Layer Pumpkin Cake
  2. Blackberry Pig in a Poke (I may try to experiment with a simpler version.)
  3. Chocolate Pudding Pie – (This was something I always looked forward too with my Mom-Mom)
  4. German Chocolate Pie
  5. Pumpkin Pie
  6. Pecan Pie
  7. Pumpkin Roll
  8. Brownies
  9. Easy Banana Pudding
  10. Cheesecake

I’m not sure if all of these will be homemade or store bought as I have quite a bit on my To-Do list already. I know that my oldest daughters will be helping with some of the dishes as well as other guests. Just writing this post has made me HUNGRY!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Want a peek at our Menu? Look below:

Thanksgiving Dinner 2018

I’ve also sent out a ‘draft’ with names beside each dish so everyone remembers who was making what… lol… I’m so forgetful sometimes it really helps. Many of these recipes can be found on our blog as well!

Just Like Grandma’s Chocolate Pudding

I don’t know if this is actually the recipe that my Mom-mom used but it is close. If you don’t like the ‘skin’ that cooked pudding has then simply place a piece of plastic wrap over the warm pudding so that the wrap touches the top of the pudding. When cool you remove the wrap and the ‘skin’.

Just Like Grandma’s Chocolate Pudding

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 4 T. cornstarch
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2-1/4 cups milk
  • 2 T. butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium size saucepan whisk together the first four ingredients. Slowly stir in the milk.

Cook this mixture over medium heat until it boils. Stir constantly and boil for about 1 minute.

Remove your pan from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.

Pour into a serving bowl and chill for about 2-3 hours.

For Pie:

I usually only use 2 cups of milk and then pour this into a baked pie shell or a graham cracker crust. Chill for 2-3 hours. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

 

Pumpkin Pie Filling From Scratch

I know that this time of year there are ao many pumpkin related recipes going around but Pumpkin Pie is a big traadition around here so I wanted to share our recipe. You can put this into a store bought pie shell or try your hand at a made scratch from pie crust as well.

Pumpkin Pie Filling From Scratch

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust, store bought or made from scratch
  • 2 c. pumpkin, cooked and mashed
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 t. pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 t. ground cinnamon, 1/2 t. ground ginger, 1/2 t. ground nutmeg)
  • 1/2 t. salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Put your pie crust into you pie pan.

Mix together the remaining ingredients and pour into the pie shell.

Bake 40 -50 minutes or until the center is done.

Enjoy as is or with cool whip.

Strangers Did My Grocery Shopping This Weekend And I’m Glad!

**This most may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. These links are provided at NO EXTRA charge to you, and in some cases they may offer a special discount or offer, but we may receive a small commission from any purchases made through these links. 

This might sound a bit scary to some of you as it did to me, at first. Last year I started doing a few ‘Click n Pull’ orders from Sam’s Club  and I loved the ease and convenience of the whole process. Not to mention the time (and $$) it saved me by not walking the whole store every time I needed something. (Don’t you hate it when stores move something and it takes FOREVER to find it? I’ve found that stores have been rearranging EVERYTHING for the holidays and I spend so much time trying to find our ‘regular’ items it’s not even funny!)

Well, some of you may already be familiar with the Grocery Pickup service offered at some Walmarts but I hadn’t had the chance to give it a try although I really wanted to. After shopping with all of the kids last week and realizing how hard it is to get around some of the stores this time of year I figured now is as good a time as any to give it a go. Continue reading Strangers Did My Grocery Shopping This Weekend And I’m Glad!

Free Printable Shopping Guide

I know, I know …. some of us just don’t want to think about Christmas shopping yet, even though I have already bought a couple of gifts. However I am getting a lot of requests about what my kiddos want or what sizes they are wearing so I think its time to make up my list so I can send it to those people who have asked for information.

Usually I just write it out on a piece of notebook paper but I thought others might benefit from this idea too so instead of just telling you about it I am including a FREE Printable Shopping Guide for you to use as well.

shopping guide

This can be used to write down information for your family or for information about others that you may need to shop for. You can even file this away for future reference for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Just snap a photo of the completed form and you’ll always have it handy when shopping or if someone calls to ask you for sizes when you are knee deep in the mud trying to rescue a ball from being eaten by Mr. Snappy the friendly turtle… another story for another day.

I will be making mine up just as soon as I hit that blue Publish button. I’ll write or type in each child’s name, sizes (clothing and shoes), their favorite/preferred colors, and anything they might be interested in which for us will be lots of dinosaurs and little house on the prairie… lol. The notes will be used for other information that I might need to give like their ages or ‘assigned’ color. Yeah…. we color code some things around here like cups, baskets, and school items to help keep track of things with so many kiddos.

Anyway here is the link again to the download:

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PRINTABLE SHOPPING GUIDE

 

Enjoy and happy shopping!

Little House On The Prairie Adventure Weekly Guide Links

**Although I try to provide as many FREE resources as possible this post may contain affiliate links alt no extra cost to you. We may earn a small commission, if a purchase is made through these links, which helps to support our blog and our family. Thank you!

Click Here for Little House On The Prairie Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links Only.

How we use these lesson plans:

Our school week is usually completed in 4 days. We use a Loop Schedule where we work for a designated amount of time on each subject before moving on to the next. After their work is completed for the day the kids are allowed to have independent studies were they can study whatever their little hearts desired.

Our 5th day is an optional day that we use to complete unfinished work or for other activities as we choose.


Please click HERE for a list of resources that we have purchased from Amazon and other suppliers.

Click on the links below for the series you would like to view/use. I will update these links as we get them finished.

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


1. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 1 Lesson Plans


2. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 2 Lesson Plans


3. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 3 Lesson Plans


4. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 4 Lesson Plans


5. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 5 Lesson Plans


6. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 6 Lesson Plans


7. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 7 Lesson Plans


8. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 8 Lesson Plans


9. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 9 Lesson Plans


10. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 10 Lesson Plans

 


**BE SURE TO SAVE A FEW SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK FOR YOUR  PORTFOLIO!  TAKE PICTURES OF BIG PROJECTS!

As always we try not to charge for any printables or resources that we offer but we do appreciate any donations that you may feel like giving. You can use the ‘Tip Jar’ link on the Home Page or send a donation via Paypal to ‘happy2bmyownboss@yahoo.com’. Thank you so much for your support!

Don’t Miss This Free Event!

**This post contains affiliate links. Products and Prices are subject to change without notice.

I wanted to share this awesome parenting resource I came across recently. I’ve really enjoyed it so far and maybe you would too!

Homeschool Summits

is pleased to bring you a free online event:

FB 10 Continue reading Don’t Miss This Free Event!

Don’t Keep This Secret!

As many of us know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month but you may not be aware that it is also National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic abuse is often one of those things that we keep silent about because of a stigma that goes along with it.

Some just accept it as a normal part of life while others refuse to admit what is happening. It can happen to anyone regardless of race, gender, or social status. It can also happen in a variety of ways that we may not even be aware of.

Here is one story:

High School Sweethearts

There was a young girl who married her high school sweetheart. They were happily married for a while. Then after the second child came along things began to change.

She didn’t know what was going on but somehow she was always made to feel like it was her fault. His words were sharper than any knife and would cut her deeply time and time again. Continue reading Don’t Keep This Secret!

My Routines Helped Me ‘Survival Mode’

**This post may contain affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

First I want to say that I’m not a psychiatrist and the only psychology background I have was a class I took in college many years ago.

Second I can only tell you what my experience has been and offer a few helpful tips that have allowed me to get through some difficult times.

Maybe you’ve experienced some traumatic event, illness, death or some other loss, or maybe it’s just a burnout from stress. Whatever the reason your body will do what it needs to do to protect you and sometimes we find ourselves in survival mode.

I’m not talking about your plane crashing in a remote jungle… even though sometimes that might seem like a better place to be… I’m talking about the struggle to get through your day to day activities.

Most of us can handle a certain amount of grief and stress but there comes a time when a switch flips and your brain says enough. That’s when we go into survival mode. If we aren’t careful it could send us into a deep depression.

Some of us are pretty good at hiding the fact that we are falling apart inside. Some of our friends and family may try to help but they just don’t know what to say or do. Others may just tell us to ‘Snap out of it!’. This is easier said than done.

I’ve had several events happen over the past few weeks, months, and years that have totally changed my life. The most recent was the passing of my Mom-mom (grandmother). That hit me a lot harder than I expected it too.

A lot harder. Continue reading My Routines Helped Me ‘Survival Mode’

Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits

I feel like I haven’t posted a new recipe in a while so I thought I should share these yummy treats that we had over the weekend. I make a double batch as they seem to disappear as quickly as they come out of the oven.

My kids loved helping with these. They can measure and stir as well as practice kneading their own little batch of dough and then cut out their own little biscuits too.

Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits

Ingredients:

Biscuits:

  • 3 c. self rising flour
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 1 T. cinnamon
  • 1 c. butter or shortening
  • 1 1/2 c. raisins
  • 1 1/2 – 2 c. buttermilk or you can use regular milk with 1/2 c. sour cream

Continue reading Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits

Weekend Warrior Project: Old Window Transformation

**This post contains affiliate links to products that we use. These links help to support my family and our blog.

We have been working a lot around this little house just trying to make it feel more like ‘HOME’. It’s been a little over a year since we moved and we are finally starting to really get settled. I feel like I can finally relax and put my feet, at least every now and then. This past weekend was not one of those times.

When I was doing my major cleaning this past summer I had thought of the idea of doing a faux stained glass window in the kitchen but haven’t found the time to do that yet. I did however decide to do something with this one BIG window that we have in the main room. It is so dirty on the outside that it has been driving me completely BONKERS!

I’m sure some of you are thinking that I should just get out there and clean it and trust me I would if I could. This window is over the pond and I have no access to it of any kind so cleaning it is IMPOSSIBLE right now. The inside has been cleaned and cleaned but it hasn’t helped a lot as the window is OLD and has seen a lot.

Before we moved in the window had been boarded up for many years, I guess someone else didn’t like the dirty view either. After we built the sleeping loft and got rid of the bukbed that had been in front of the window we couldn’t ignore how dirty it was. Then comes the fact that I moved the dining table in front of the window and we now had to see it a few times a day. Mr. Awesome didn’t really like the window and wanted to cover it up again but I like light, lots of light, and I wanted to have the window clear so that it would help to illuminate this rather dark little cabin.  Continue reading Weekend Warrior Project: Old Window Transformation

Learn How To Plan Your Homeschool In 15 Minutes Or Less Per Week!

**This post does contain affiliate links which help to support my blog and my family. 

As a Momma of 9 I am constantly looking out for my kids. I worry about them, like all moms do, and try to be there for them any way I can. I am also constantly looking for new ways to encourage them and keep their curiosity and eagerness to learn alive.

They really do love learning however sometimes they get bored with what we are learning or the way I am teaching it. I admit I get bored sometimes too but I love homeschooling because I am learning right along with my kids. Seeing the look on their face when they finally ‘get’ something is priceless and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

On the other hand I often feel frustrated and tired because things don’t go as planned. We also experience A LOT of interruptions in our day to day life and that can cause some frustrations too as I feel like we just aren’t GETTING ENOUGH DONE in our day.

Not to mention how exasperating it can be when you plan a lesson or activity only to have your kids totally HATE IT! Hours and hours down the drain on what you thought was going to be such a FUN LEARNING EXPERIENCE.

Planning and learning can happen on its own, and the results are mind-blowing!

Continue reading Learn How To Plan Your Homeschool In 15 Minutes Or Less Per Week!

Little House On The Prairie Pioneer Journals

Oh my goodness! We have been having so much fun with our Little House on the Prairie Academic Adventures. One of the projects we recently completed were these Pioneer Journals.

img_5060.jpg

These were so easy to make and I kinda got the idea from the old book covers we used to make in school to protect our textbooks.

You will need:

**affiliate links below.

  • brown paper (paper grocery bags, wrapping paper, or packaging paper)
  • tape
  • scissors
  • tacky glue
  • pictures of kids
  • marker
  • spiral notebooks or composition books

Continue reading Little House On The Prairie Pioneer Journals

Weekend Warrior Project: A Little House Sleeping Loft

Wow! Where has time gone? I’ve been meaning to get around to this post but time has really gotten away from me lately. With school starting back at our home, those posts are soon to come as well, square dance classes starting up, and so many other things going on life has been a blur lately. However we had some plans get cancelled out on us this weekend so I have a little bit of time to get to my blogging.

I better get to work on telling you about what we did because its already late and I have been taking a screen free break on Sundays. This project actually took us two weekends to complete and it has made such a BIG difference in our little house. It might not be practical for everyone but we are loving it and so are the kiddos!

As many of you know we moved into a small cabin last year. We went from about 2,000 square feet of living space (plus a huge storage shed) to a little over 600 square feet with practically no storage except for a small area that we had tarped off on the porch. We have arranged and rearranged furniture so many times and we were making this little house work but we really needed a little bit more living space. Continue reading Weekend Warrior Project: A Little House Sleeping Loft

5 Tips For The Best School Year Ever (from a Momma of 9)

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

Every year that passes is another one that gives us more experience in life. I know that the past few years have really changed the way I look at things especially our homeschool. This year is going to be our best homeschool year ever because of the routines we have in place. Continue reading 5 Tips For The Best School Year Ever (from a Momma of 9)

Frankenstein Day

*This post contains affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

Frankenstein Day in honor of author Mary Wollenstone Shelley who wrote the book Frankenstein. It is celebrated on August 30th. Click here to learn more about this holiday.

Below are some of the activities I found to celebrate this day:

(Use at your own discretion.)

Also check out:

Homeschool: August on Pinterest

Frankenstein for kids on YouTube

 

Frankenstein Emoji T-Shirt Funny Faces 2 Halloween Gift TeeCarter's Baby 2 Piece Frankenstein Top and Pants SetFrankenstein Makes a Sandwich

Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links & Guide

**Although I try to provide as many FREE resources as possible this post may contain affiliate links alt no extra cost to you. We may earn a small commission, if a purchase is made through these links, which helps to support our blog and our family. Thank you!

Click Here for Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links Only

How we use these lesson plans:

Our school week is usually completed in 4 days. We use a Loop Schedule where we work for a designated amount of time on each subject before moving on to the next. After their work is completed for the day the kids are allowed to have independent studies were they can study whatever their little hearts desired.

Our 5th day is an optional day that we use to complete unfinished work or for other activities as we choose.


Please click HERE for a list of resources that we have purchased from Amazon and other suppliers.

Click on the links below for the series you would like to view/use. I will update these links as we get them finished.

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


1. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 1 Lesson Plans

  • Language Arts:
    • Read Chapters 1 & 2
    • Discussion
    • McGuffey Primer Lesson
    • Vocabulary
    • Writing Activities
    • These week we learn about fiction vs. nonfiction
    • Make a Pioneer Journal
    •  Mother Goose Phonics: Pat A Cake
  • Math:
  • Geography and History:
    • State Study: Wisconsin
    • Research Pioneer Life
  • Science:
    • Learn about Bears
    • Learn about Panthers
    • Research Microbes and Bacteria
    • Learn about Density
    • Bonus: Why does fire burn different colors?
  • Life Skills:
    • Research Pioneer Chores
    • Making our bed
    • Interrupting
    • Memory Work
    • Fun activities: Make Butter
    • Bonus Skills: Memorizing the books of the Bible, Archery, and/or Baking
  • PE, Health & Safety:
    • Stranger Danger
    • Play Little Brown Bear
  • Music, Arts, and Crafts:
    • Crafts: Hog’s Bladder Balloons, Corn Cob/Husk Dolls, Snowflakes, and Paper Dolls
    • Art: Bulldogs, Jack Frost
    • Music: Yankee Doodle Dandy, Butter Churning Song

2. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 2 Lesson Plans


3. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 3 Lesson Plans

  • Language Arts:
  • Math:
  • Geography and History:
    • State Study: New Hampshire 
    • Research School in Pioneer Days.
    • Continue to research Louis Pasteur.
    • Work on Speech
  • Science:
    • Study the Digestion System.
    • Heimlich Maneuver
    • Research Maple Trees
    • Research Maple Syrup Collecting
  • Life Skills:
    • Research Pioneer Children’s School Lunches
    • Maple Syrup
    • Setting the Table
    • Good Table Manners
    • Memory Work
    • Make Pancakes
    • Bonus Skills: Memorizing the books of the Bible, Archery, and/or Baking
    • Learn how to measure dry and wet ingredients
  • PE, Health & Safety:
    • What happens when you don’t bathe?
    • How to take a shower.
    • Happy,Healthy Kids: Fresh Air
    • Play Hot Potato
  • Music, Arts, and Crafts:
    • Crafts: Leaf Crafts, Tin Lanterns, Whittling
    • Art: Maple Trees, Leaf Rubbings
    • Music: Pop Goes the Weasel

4. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 4 Lesson Plans

  • Language Arts:
    • Read Chapters 8 & 9
    • Discussion
    • McGuffey Primer Lesson
    • Vocabulary
    • Writing Activities
  • Math:
    • Group Activity
    • Ray’s Arithmetic Books
    • Fractions: Word Problems
    • Learning Your numbers 1-20
    • Learn to Write Your Numbers
  • Geography and History:
    • State Study: Indiana
    • Research history of Square Dancing.
    • Continue to research Louis Pasteur.
    • Work on Speech
  • Science:
    • Study Animal Tracks
    • Animal Track Activity
    • Study the Skin.
    • Study the Sun
  • Life Skills:
    • Research Pioneer Laundry Day
    • Soap Making
    • Sorting Laundry
    • Foolishness
    • Memory Work
    • Make Hasty Pudding
    • Learn to Braid
    • Bonus Skills: Memorizing the books of the Bible, Archery, and/or Baking
    • Learn how to read a recipe
  • PE, Health & Safety:
    • Benefits of square dancing
    • Benefits of Natural Light
    • Try Square Dancing
    • Try to jig
    • Play Four Square
  • Music, Arts, and Crafts:
    • Crafts: Knitting
    • Art: Flowers
    • Music: Buffalo Gals

5. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 5 Lesson Plans


6. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 6 Lesson Plans


7. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 7 Lesson Plans


**BE SURE TO SAVE A FEW SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK FOR YOUR  PORTFOLIO!  TAKE PICTURES OF BIG PROJECTS!

As always we try not to charge for any printables or resources that we offer but we do appreciate any donations that you may feel like giving. You can use the ‘Tip Jar’ link on the Home Page or send a donation via Paypal to ‘happy2bmyownboss@yahoo.com’. Thank you so much for your support!

Loop Scheduling Made Simple With An Easy DIY Post It Note Loop Schedule

**Although I try to provide as many FREE resources as possible this post may contain affiliate links alt no extra cost to you. We may earn a small commission, if a purchase is made through these links, which helps to support our blog and our family. Thank you!

Instructions for the Easy DIY Post It Note Loop Schedule at the end of the post.

Many of us have started back to school and some of us started and then quit…errr… well, maybe I’m the only one that did that but I am happy to say that we are well on our way to getting back on track. The big project I have been working on is finished (YAYYYYY!!!!) and I am hoping it will be ready to post this weekend so keep an eye out for it.

In preparation of our new school year I pulled out our old Loop Schedule so I could change it out for this year. What a better time to show you how I do it?

Last year one of the sanity savers I used was this Loop Schedule. You may have heard of Loop Scheduling and I thought it was something new but actually it was something I had already been doing and you probably have too!

I always start the year out with all kinds of fun activities, games, and ideas for us to work on. Before our Loop Schedule I was always trying to make sure we got the ‘meaty’ subjects like Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science finished before we moved on to anything else. If we didn’t get those areas completed we would just not do the other areas.

(These links will update soon and take you to our first Kirby’s Kids Academic Adventure!)

I always felt like we weren’t getting everything done that I wanted to get done. Our days got so BORING! We would be doing the same things over and over and never had time for the fun activities that I had planned for us to do. There’s only so much time in the day so what is an overwhelmed Momma to do? Continue reading Loop Scheduling Made Simple With An Easy DIY Post It Note Loop Schedule

Grade By Grade Learning Objective Links

Worried about not teaching the right things? Check out these links for various references about what to teach and when. (Most links are Pre-K through 5th Grade)

You can use these to incorporate lesson ideas for your child(ren) to individualize each child’s learning experience.

Grade by Grade Learning Objectives

HSDLA What Should I Be Teaching?

HSDLA Homeschool Laws In Your State

Grade by Grade Learning Guide via Planet12Sun.com

PBS Kids Grade by Grade Learning Guide

I use these as a guide so I can be sure not to miss anything important while teaching my kiddos.

Happy Homeschooling

 

 

Global Forgiveness Day

*This post contains affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

Global Forgiveness Day is a day to forgive and be forgiven. It is celebrated on August 27th. Click here to learn more about this holiday.

Below are some of the activities I found to celebrate this day:

(Use at your own discretion.)

Also check out:

Homeschool: August on Pinterest

Forgiveness for kids on YouTube

 

Love and Respect! A Kids Book About Love and Happiness: Help Your Child Understand Love and Friendship, Faith, Joy and Forgiveness in This Book on Love for Children (Faith Alive)Blotch: A Tale of Forgiveness and Grace

New School Year, New ABCmouse: ABC Mouse Upgrades!

**This post does contain affiliate links at no extra cost to you.

A few days ago I posted about why I (temporarily) quit homeschooling my kiddos. Things have been more than a little crazy here and we are still working on getting the house, and our lives, back in order. Progress has been slow but steady and I look forward to getting back into the whole ‘school routine’ shortly.

One of the many programs that we use in our school routine, and almost every day in between, is ABC Mouse. I’m sure that you’ve seen numerous commercials on TV about the program and while I once thought that this was only something that ‘rich’ people could afford I was wrong.

The price is actually quite affordable and often times you can find special deals like the one you can get when you click this referral link below. They also send out deals via email for previous/current customers.

CLICK HERE FOR A SPECIAL DEAL ON ABC MOUSE!

ABC1.jpg

Benefits Are Priceless

I couldn’t see the benefits that the program had to offer because I was looking for something FREE. Yes, there are plenty of FREE programs but nothing quite compares to ABC Mouse and my kids love it. My special needs children need a lot of extra attention and sometimes they just ‘don’t get it’ when I try to explain things. When they use ABC Mouse it helps to fill in those gaps of misunderstandings and often they bring me their tablets to show me something that they’ve mastered and the look on their face is PRICELESS.

 

Not Just For Pre-K and Kindergarten

I also once believed that ABC Mouse was only for younger kids but actually they have lessons for Pre-K through 2nd grade. In fact they have a full online curriculum for kids ages 2-8 which includes Reading, Math, Art, Music & Science!

My older girls (9 & 11) love playing on there too and use it for review. While many of the lessons are a bit easy they do enjoy learning new facts and information. This is perfect for my special needs son (15) as the lessons are so interesting and they keep him engaged longer than I usually can.ABC4.jpg

I can hear some of you thinking that you really just can’t afford this right now and I know how you feel because I’ve been there and often find myself needing to cut costs wherever I can. Earlier this year I let our subscription expire but quickly renewed it on a monthly basis, as that is the only way I could afford it for now, because I saw how much the kids missed it and how much it had been helping them in certain areas. 

I know I want to teach my kids so many things but  trying to spread myself between five kids everyday can be tiring so this is just a tool that I use to help me with my goals so I will try to do whatever I need to so I can make sure to keep this subscription going for at least a couple of more years.

Kids Love It

With over 8500 learning activities and lessons which also include many games and puzzles the kids are always begging to ‘do ABC Mouse‘. They really love the section where they have their own virtual pets (hamsters and fish). They are eager to complete lessons and activities so they can earn tokens to buy food and toys for their pets as well.

Not to mention that they can also buy clothes for their avatar and change their looks as they please. Joey was eager to add glasses to his avatar when he got his new specs. He and his avatar are looking quite sharp!

ABC5.jpg

I also love that they kids can use this on their tablets or computer and I can send some of them to work on ABC Mouse while I work one on one with someone else. This is also handy when the younger kids get bored with a lesson that the older kids are doing as a group activity. ABC Mouse has also prevented many a melt-down when William has gotten ‘full of school’ for the day and provides a much-needed distraction. I love that he can learn while not realizing that he is learning… Mommas need to have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Did I mention that we can take this on-the-go too? So many places are now offering Free Wi-Fi which makes this the perfect app to have on your tablet.

Easy To Use

The new homepage looks great and I’m so excited to check out the new features that they have added. It was fairly easy to navigate before but now it looks even easier.

ABC2.jpg

Not only is the program easy to use they also offer a number of videos and support systems to help you get the most out of the program. You can easily assign activities for group lessons or independent work so that your kids are learning while having fun.

ABC Mouse is also adding more new features like an adaptive math program, Mastering Math, which is an award-winning program that teaches fundamental math concepts for preschool through kindergarten. I’m really excited to check out this program and see how the kids like it.

They are also adding collections of learning activities which will be aligned to Common Core State Standards for Kinder, 1st, and 2nd grade math and ELA. While I don’t always stick to Common Core State Standards it is nice to have that option available.

While we aren’t technically ‘homeschooling’ at the moment my kids are still learning. Heck, I’m learning too because they are always coming to me with new and interesting facts that they have learned from their lessons. Even if your kids are in school they could benefit from the extra review and practice no matter what their age.

Why don’t you give it a try and let me know what your kids think about it? You can also buy gift subscriptions if you happen to have a friend or family member who could benefit from it.

Happy Homeschooling!

Please note that I think I did sign up for a ‘Teacher Account’ as I have more than 3 children on my account so my screen shots for the teacher/parent pages may look slightly different from yours. 🙂

 

Why I Quit Homeschooling My Kids

**This post may contain affiliate links to certain products we use in our home. 

It’s true! I’ve quit homeschooling my kids… at least temporarily. We’ve had a busy hectic schedule here and everyone is off routine which means total CHAOS here. We originally planned to start back this past Monday, and we did, but things just didn’t ‘feel’ right. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been so stressed with everything going but I am just not in the right mindset at the moment.

Missing Materials

I didn’t have time to plan like I had wanted so Monday and Tuesday felt so ‘rushed’ and ‘chaotic’ that I was ready to cry several times. We had planned a ‘First Day of School’ video but that didn’t turn out well either as partway through the video I realized we were missing some important pieces to our ‘Morning Table Time’. Sigh… it wasn’t pretty as I went digging through drawers and folders to find everything and then trying to find a place to put it back up was another matter.

I do have most of the first few weeks planned out on our Homeschool Manager app but I still had a few blocks that I wanted to ‘fill in’ with some fun activities. If I couldn’t find something I wanted to use I had planned on making a couple of things. Well, with my trip to PA that hasn’t happened. I just really haven’t felt like doing much of anything since we got back and it has really shown this week. Continue reading Why I Quit Homeschooling My Kids

A Trip Down Memory Lane!

I survived my first plane trip and wanted to share a little bit about my trip down memory lane with all of you! Be prepared because as my Pop-pop would say, ‘This might take a while’.

Last week proved to be one of the most stressful weeks I can remember. I have been trying to refocus my life in so many areas. And on top of the everyday stresses of a large family and back to school worries I got the call that I really needed to head back to my childhood home.

While I call Florida home right now I was born in Pennsylvania. I grew up about an hour from Philadelphia in the mushroom capital of the world, Kennett Square.

mushroom

Funny the things you didn’t know, huh? We were also very close to the Amish and Mennonite communities. In fact several of my siblings were delivered by an Amish midwife.

amish.jpg

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash Continue reading A Trip Down Memory Lane!

You’re Invited To Join Our New Tribe!

Cover Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

**This post may contain affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

Hey y’all! I am excited to announce that we’ve just created our very own Tribe on Tailwinds. What is a Tribe? Well, it is a new Pinterest tool that allows people like you and me to meet others with similar interests. We can use this tool to share our experiences and grow our blogs/businesses.

‘Tribes is Free for anyone to get started, even if they aren’t using Tailwind already!’

I’m so excited to start our Kirby’s Kids Homeschool Tribe and would like other homeschoolers to join us as we help each other on this journey. I know I don’t have a lot of homeschool support close to me and I am always looking for ideas and solutions to problems we encounter. If I am looking for these things I know others are too and I just wanted to make a place where everyone is welcome to post ideas, tricks, and tips to that they have found which may help others.

As a member you can share up to 3 posts per day with the request that you will repin/reshare 3 posts (or more) from other members. Feel free to share anything related to homeschool, parenting, or anything else that might help a busy mom keep it all together. I look forward to seeing all the great tips and advice as well as watching each member help another to grow and learn on our journey.

If you join our Tribe right now you can get a very special surprise when you join with this invitation link right here.

Continue reading You’re Invited To Join Our New Tribe!

Don’t Forget This Back to School Essential!

**This post does contain affiliate links at no charge to you. These links help to support our blog and our family!

This is one part of the back to school adventure I do not miss at all. It never failed that when my kiddos went back to school the girls would eventually come home with those dreaded head lice. EWWW! I would always get a bit paranoid when one of them would start to scratch their head for any reason.

I am gonna spare everyone the description of what head lice are and how they infest anyone around them because I really hate thinking about them. 

I can vividly remember many a time combing through long thick hair with that little metal comb trying and trying to get all those pesky little buggers and their eggs. It would take several comb-throughs before I was satisfied. Even after being very meticulous with the treatment they would often have a reinfestation.

My girls would be in tears because those metal combs really hurt!

I can’t tell you how much money I spent on Lice Killing Shampoos. I tried everything I could get my hands on. They smelled nasty and made me wonder how safe they were. I even tried some of the home treatments like the mayonnaise treatment. Yuck! It left their hair so greasy I didn’t think it would ever wash out.  Continue reading Don’t Forget This Back to School Essential!

Homeschool Organization. Simple. Flexible.

This post is sponsored and includes affiliate links, yet the opinions are my true opinions, as always.  We really do love using this program in our home and I feel that you will too!

‘Scheduling and planning that’s flexible and organized.’

Has the idea of keeping track of lesson plans and schedules got you feeling overwhelmed? The thought of keeping records for report cards, transcripts, and attendance can be enough to make anyone second guess their idea to homeschool.

Just a few years ago I was overwhelmed with the task of record keeping for my large brood. I had one child who needed transcripts and several others in multiple grades with different needs. I was suffering from an informational overload trying to sort it all out and make everything work together without losing my sanity.

Then on October 8th of 2015, with the help of my friend Google, I found the perfect app for our family. It was Homeschool Manager. It sounded so easy and I decided to give it a try.

They had me at the Free 30 day – No Card Required – Trial period which was more than enough time for me to know that this was just what we needed. This one tool IMMEDIATELY brought order to the homeschool chaos we had. (Our Cozi app keeps the rest of our life running smoothly.)

Homeschool Manager completely changed my life and has allowed our homeschool to be the productive and fun learning environment I had envisioned!

Homeschool Manager also gives us the flexibility to adapt and reorder our school year as needed when life throws us an unexpected curve ball or two. We can also easily rearrange our schedule to fit in time for new learning experiences that pop up. We have been able to be more spontaneous and have had the ability to incorporate so many more spur of the moment activities into our homeschool which has allowed our children to have a much more fulfilling and enriching learning experience.

Portfolios are so EASY with Homeschool Manager!

Continue reading Homeschool Organization. Simple. Flexible.

Top 5 Back To School Worries For 2018

It’s almost time for many of us to get those kids ready to head back to school. Well, my kids have never left…lol. That’s a plus to homeschooling but sometimes it can be a downside too because this Momma just needs a BREAK every now and then. If my kids can see me then I am ‘on call’. In this tiny house that is pretty much 24/7.

We are gearing up to get ready to start a fresh homeschool year which will be our 5th year! Wow! Where has time gone? Anyway I am so excited to be using the PRAIRIE PRIMER this year. We have enjoyed reading the biography which I had hoped to have finished by now but we aren’t quite there yet. I have pretty much gotten our first four weeks planned out. I still need to look through a few activities and plug them into a few gaps.

1. Learning Disabilities

I am also going to look through some of the new items that we purchased for William. His learning disabilities mean that we do have to practice some things more than others and I really try to keep things interesting. I know I get tired of doing the same thing again and again. When William gets tired of repeating something that usually ends up in disaster. And I realize I am off topic… Oops, sorry guys! Continue reading Top 5 Back To School Worries For 2018

Preventing The Back To HomeSchool Meal Planning Madness

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

Hmmm… have you thought about what you’ll be feeding those hungry learners? If your kids were in public school you may not have had to think much about it before. If you plan to homeschool then you will be feeding them at least three meals a day and maybe a few snacks in between.

This can turn into a chaotic juggling act if you aren’t prepared. How do we prevent meal time chaos in our home? By meal planning. I even plan out snacks sometimes so I don’t forget to include them on my grocery list. Check out this link for some Healthy Snacks to Go.

10 snacks your kids can make star (1)

It might seem like a lot of trouble but when you find a system that works for then it is so easy. It will actually save you time and money in the long run. This is also a helpful thing even if you don’t homeschool.

Check out this post for some quick and easy breakfast ideas to help you beat that morning chaos and fill those tummies with a nutritious breakfast to start their day off right. Here is another link for even more ideas: The Healthy Breakfast Book. Continue reading Preventing The Back To HomeSchool Meal Planning Madness

What is Financial Freedom And How Do You Achieve It?

Cover photo by Jayson Hinrichsen on Unsplash

**This post does contain affiliate links which help to support my blog and my family.

What is financial freedom?

That doesn’t seem like a trick question but it can mean so many different things to so many people. Financial freedom is a goal for so many of us. For a lot of people it may include things like:

  • not living paycheck to paycheck
  • not having to work overtime to make ends meet
  • being debt free
  • having a significant amount of money in savings
  • having money set aside for college
  • having money set aside for retirement

For others, including myself it not only includes the above but also things like:

  • having money to plan for future events
  • having money to help others
  • not having to worry about bills
  • not being afraid to check your bank account
  • not having to worry about unexpected financial emergencies

Sound almost impossible doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. I promise. I haven’t made it there yet but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It does require a lot of work and some sacrifice on your end. Continue reading What is Financial Freedom And How Do You Achieve It?

Have You Grabbed This Amazon Count Down Deal Yet?

**This post does contain affiliate links that help to support my blog and my family.

Did you know that I have a couple of cook books on Amazon? Both of them are full of family favorite recipes that we enjoy eating again and again. I had planned on having another one out last year but with the move and the hurricane that just didn’t happen.

breakfast

Starting today you can get 31+ Breakfast Ideas And Recipes ebook for just $0.99! (That’s a 67% savings!) Yes, less than a dollar and you can have some really great breakfast ideas on your tablet, phone, laptop, or other device. These will come in so handy when the back to school morning chaos hits!

It is available as a paperback as well, if you prefer to have a ‘hard copy’ at home. This deal only lasts until August 6, 2018 and then the price will increase to $1.99 and then back to regular price after August 10, 2018.

What are you waiting for? Grab yours today.

While on Amazon you can also check out my other cook book, Kirby’s Korner Blog: Top 40+ Family Favorite Recipes ebook or paperback, by clicking either of these links.

40

 

You can also get both of these books for FREE (and about 1 million others) if you have Kindle Unlimited. Try it FREE today!

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

*This post contains affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day is the day we can enjoy these sweet treats. Click here to learn more about this holiday. It is celebrated on August 4th.

This would be the perfect day to bring the kids in the kitchen and let them help with a batch of these yummy cookies. Don’t have a favorite recipe? Check out one of these books and try out some of the delicious recipes.

Below are some of the activities I found to celebrate this day: Continue reading National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Have You Heard Of Jaaxy?

**This post contains affiliate links which help to support my blog and my family.

Have you heard of Jaaxy? I hadn’t until here recently when I stumbled across the Wealthy Affiliate websiteRead more about this here.

What is Jaaxy?

Jaaxy is one of, if not the best, keyword research tool program for SEO out there today. SEO is so important for affiliate marketing and for anyone trying to promote anything.

I have been using for the past couple of days and have seen a dramatic increase in my blog traffic. Continue reading Have You Heard Of Jaaxy?

Sisters Day

*This post contains affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

Sisters Day celebrates being or having a sister. Click here to learn more about this holiday. It is celebrated on the first Sunday in August.

Do you sister who could use a little encouragement? Here are some gift ideas for them.

Below are some of the activities I found to celebrate this day: Continue reading Sisters Day

Dancers Wanted! Learn to Square Dance!

via Dancers Wanted! Learn to Square Dance!

 

Dancers Wanted!
No Experience Needed!
Numerous Benefits!
Inquire at a square dance club near you!
Or Message Us For More Information!

Friendship Day

*This post contains affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

Friendship Day honors our friendships, new and old. Click here to learn more about this holiday. It is celebrated on the first Sunday in August.

Do you know a special friend who could use a little encouragement? Here are some gift ideas for them. Continue reading Friendship Day

Have You Bought Your School Supplies Yet?

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

We’ve bought the majority of our school supplies for the upcoming year. I know from experience that this is something best done sooner rather than waiting to the last minute.

Not sure what to buy? Check out my post here with our Free Printable Back to school list. I’ll try to start planning for our next year’s school choices about midyear. This gives me plenty of time to research and make lists for supplies that we’ll need.

Not homeschooling? Check with your child’s school and/or teacher for supply list. Many times the local Walmart will have a handy checklist available when you walk in. Continue reading Have You Bought Your School Supplies Yet?

Granny’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

**This post does contain affiliate links which help to support my blog and my family.

Chocolate Chip Cookies are always a favorite around here. Did you know that August 4th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day? Be sure to share a link to your favorite recipe in the comments below.

Granny’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 12 oz packages of chocolate chips
  • 1-2 c. chopped nuts, optional

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.

Cream together the butter, sugars, and vanilla.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well.

Gradually add in the flour mixture.

Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop by Tablespoons on ungreased cookie sheetI love these pans!

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool 2 minutes and remove from pan.

Enjoy with a tall glass of cold milk!

 

Wealthy Affiliate, The New Way To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

**This post does contain affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family!

Maybe you are like me and just kind flopping around trying to get this affiliate marketing thing to generate enough income to justify the amount of work you put into it. The little successes you see from time to time are just enough encouragement to keep you going but you know there has to be a secret to earning more.

Or maybe you don’t have a clue on where to start but you know you need to earn a little extra income because your minimum wage job just isn’t cutting it.

Or maybe you are a stay at home parent, a single parent, or unemployed for other reasons and really need an income to help support yourself and your family. Continue reading Wealthy Affiliate, The New Way To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

Amazon Back To School Lightning Deals: July 20, 2018

Here are some affiliate links to a few back to school lightning deals on Amazon with prices so low you’ll have to see them with your own eyes!

Arts and Crafts Supplies

Manipulatives

My kids love manipulatives and we have the interlocking ones but I think the wooden ones would work well too:

 

Rulers

 

Writing Supplies

Everyone needs some kind of writing utensil so here are a few that I found a deals that make it easy to stick up.

Pencils:

 

Pencil Sharpeners

 

Markers

Combo Pack

Paper

With all of these great deals on writing utensils you’ll need some paper to go along with them.

Other Supplies

This has been on my wish list for a while so I might just have to grab one at this price!

We have an Epson printer and absolutely love it.

This is another one of my wish list items right here but I just don’t have a place for it right now.

 

 

Don’t have a laminator? No problem with these self laminating sheets!

 

Many of these are for a limited time only so check them out right now!

A Look Back On The Past Week And A Peek Ahead To This Week

I honestly don’t even know what all we did last week. It seemed to have went by in such a blur. I do know that I had put out a few different posts and here are the links in case you missed them:

I hate how I sit down to write a quick little post and my internet acts up and makes it take foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…………………

But anyways let’s get back to what all we did last week…

We did get more packages from UPS and Fed Ex… the drivers pretty much know me by name and recognize me when I am out and about now… I guess that’s a good thing? Continue reading A Look Back On The Past Week And A Peek Ahead To This Week

Top 5 Best Blog Posts Ever!

I wanted to take a few minutes to thank all of my readers for helping my blog to grow into what it is now. I’ve been a little bit here and there with my posts and probably will be as my family is always into something new. Recently I did the top 10 posts for the 2018 midyear but here is a look at my best posts ever:

  1. Hoe Cakes 
  2. My First Simply Earth Essential Oil Box
  3. Crockpot Peanut Clusters aka Reindeer Poop
  4. Pantry Challenge Week and Daddy Can’t Wait Casserole
  5. So Much More Than a Basketball

Wow! Lots of food posts and number was a tie. If you haven’t checked these out please do… What has been your favorite post?

 

2018 Mid Year Top 10 Blog Posts

I decided to celebrate the middle of the year with a look back on my blog’s top ten blog posts for 2018. Can you guess what they were? The results certainly supervised me!

Here they are!

  1. Hoe Cakes
  2. My First Simply Earth Essential Oil Box
  3. My First Stitch Fix Box
  4. Peanut Butter Cake Mix Cookies
  5. New Stitch Fix Promo!
  6. Don’t Let Your Kids Take The Furniture When They Move Out!
  7. Raising Adventurous Eaters – 7 strategies even for picky kids
  8. Good Friday
  9. Southwestern Produce Company
  10. Quick and Easy Burrito Casserole

So it seems that everyone really likes recipes and food as those post had half of the top ten spots. Of course we have to balance that out with holiday ideas, special promotions, and just good ole’ family stuff.

Anyway I just wanted to take a minute and say thanks to everyone for such a great first half of 2018. It really does mean a lot that everyone reads and follows along on our adventures.

Have a blessed weekend!

10 Back To School Shopping Links For 2018

Here are a few links that I’ve found that are related to Back To School shopping for this year. Whether our kids go to school or live at school we all need to stock up on supplies from time time. So I’m gonna keep this short and sweet so you can get to work on getting ready for school.

  1. Back to School Tax Free Weekend 2018 by Passion For Savings

  2. Get Ready for These 2018 Tax Free Shopping Dates [By State] by Hip2Save

  3. 19 Best Back To School Sales That Will Save You Major $$$ by Seventeen

  4. Walmart Back to School Deals 2018 by Passion For Savings

  5. Shopping Holidays: The Best Days to Shop in 2018 by U.S. News

  6. All you need to know about Target’s Back to School deals & discounts by Back To School Deals
  7. 2018 Back-to-School Stock-Up Price List by the Krazy Coupon Lady
  8. Top Back to School Deals by Coupons.com
  9. Back to School Deals by Offers.com
  10. What to buy on sale every month of the year in 2018 by CBSNews.com

Happy Shopping!

Kirby’s Kids: 20+ FREE Homeschool Sites

Recently I came across a few, some of them new to me and some that I’d forgotten about, homeschool resources that I wanted to pass along. A lot, if not all, are FREE! Here they are:

  1. An Old Fashioned Education
  2. Ambleside Online
  3. Free World U
  4. Core Knowledge
  5. HippoCampus.org
  6. Phonics Lessons
  7. Free Reading
  8. Starfall My boys really love these activities.
  9. ABC Fast Phonics
  10. Adapted Mind
  11. Super Teacher Worksheets
  12. Khan Academy So many activities!
  13. Teach Your Monster To Read My kids loved this!
  14. Teachers Pay Teachers I love this site!
  15. Education.com
  16. Edhelper.com
  17. XtraMath
  18. ESL Writing Wizard
  19. Have Fun Teaching
  20. Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool – This truly is Easy Peasy!
  21. Discovery K12 — My kids have enjoyed using this site.
  22. Free-Ed.net
  23. Mystery Science (Regular $69.00/year but they are offering a few limited trials — less than 400 spots left so please hurry!)

Whew! That’s quite a list. I wish I’d had this when we first started our homeschooling adventures! I know there are plenty more sites that aren’t on here but I’ll pass any that I find along to you later.

Note: I have not had time to check out all of these sites for myself so I can’t positively say that they are all completely FREE but I’m sure that they offer some FREE resources.

What are your favorite homeschool sites? Let me know in the comments so I can add them to the list!

Hello Fresh Deal!

I’m so excited that I have been given the opportunity to test out a couple meals for Hello Fresh. Although I haven’t received the meals yet I wanted to share a special deal with you…

For a limited time, you’ll receive $40 with this code (and I’ll receive $30). No limits on the amount of friends I can invite, so start sharing!

Now this is only good until tomorrow so please Hurry! Be sure to follow my blog so you can find out how we enjoyed our Hello Fresh experience!

30+ Family Favorite Go To Cookout Recipes

With Summer here there will be so many cookouts and family gatherings I wanted to share some of our all time favorite cook out recipes and ideas! We often alternate as to what different family members will bring or contribute but these are my most asked for dishes.

Main Dishes

  1. Hamburgers… who doesn’t love a good hamburger? I like to mix my hamburger meat with some Lipton Onion Soup mix for a little extra flavor.
  2. Hot Dogs… I like mine burned black, how about you?
  3. Land Your Man Baked Beans (These can be a side also.)
  4. Meatball Sandwich Casserole
  5. TACO RING
  6. SLOW COOKER BABY BACK RIBS
  7. Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
  8. Ham and Cheese Sliders on Sweet Rolls
  9. Pig In A Blanket
  10. SUPER EASY ROTISSERIE CHICKEN SALAD

  11. BBQ Chicken and Pasta Bake
  12. Oven BBQ Chicken
  13. Oven Fried Chicken
  14. Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Continue reading 30+ Family Favorite Go To Cookout Recipes

Ham and Cheese Sliders on Sweet Rolls

This is one of our favorite go to recipes when we go camping. I love to make these ahead of time in foil pans with covers. They can be easily reheated over the camp fire or in an oven if your aren’t roughing it.

These are always a hit when I take them to covered dishes and other get togethers as well. I thought I had posted the recipe before but I can’t seem to find it so here it is again. You could probably use some other small roll if you can find the sweet rolls. Continue reading Ham and Cheese Sliders on Sweet Rolls

St. Nicholas Day 2016

Oh my gosh! This seems like it has been so long ago but the kids have been talking about St. Nicholas Day and what they got. They are so excited about it coming up that I really need to make sure to keep up with this tradition. Check out the post for some ideas.

Kirby's Korner Blog

**This post does contain affiliate links.

This was our first year celebrating St. Nicholas Day here at our house. I am hoping to keep this new tradition and continue to build on it as we go through the years. Below are some of the ways that we celebrated today:

The night before, after our Advent Study, we set out our stockings. Many traditions involve setting out shoes, but we chose to use our stockings because Momma didn’t want to put the shoes on the table. The kids also made some chocolate chip cookies with DD17. Then they left a glass of milk and a plate of cookies for St. Nick to snack on.

st-nick-day

Sometime after the kids went to bed St. Nick made a visit by our house.

stnick.jpg

They each received a book, a coloring book, a small toy, and a few candies. (Santa picked all of these up at…

View original post 265 more words

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Our Favorite DIY Christmas Decorations For Kids in 2018

Have you been crazy busy this first week of December? How many of you have finished your shopping? How many haven’t bought the first gift yet? Well, I have been busy and my shopping is somewhere in between the two but I have a few ideas here that the kids can help with and they could double as really great gifts for grandparents and family members too!

Some of these links are affiliate links but there is no extra fee if you purchase through these links… it just means we may get a teeny weeny kickback which helps support our blog and our family.

I also have a TON of ideas saved on my Pinterest… my newest board is Christmas Crafts 2018. Here’s a screenshot of just some of the ideas I’ve found:

blog.jpg

I think we are going to get really busy with crafts so be sure to keep an eye out for lots of pics! If you aren’t feeling crafty or just don’t have time to shop for craft supplies then check out the following links for Amazon deals that can be shipped right to your home and most of them include everything you need to start crafting and keep the kids busy while you finish your shopping!

The neatest Christmas crafting idea I found is this Tree Mendous Ornament Decorating Kit:

I’ve got this (and an extra for a gift) in my Amazon cart right now plus a set of extra ornaments to go with it. Continue reading Our Favorite DIY Christmas Decorations For Kids in 2018

Easy As Pie Blackberry Dumplings

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We did and we ate so much good food and will be eating some delicious leftovers for a few days. One of the best desserts was the Blackberry Dumplings I made in the crock pot (they can be made in the oven too). This recipe is similar to the Blackberry Pig in a Poke recipe but so much easier!

The caramel sauce and nutmeg are optional but they make it so much better. I think this would go nicely with some vanilla ice cream on the side too! You could also experiment with other fruits/berries as well as maybe changing the soda to Sprite or Mountain Dew. Add in your favorite nuts, raisins, or maybe some white chocolate chips too… whatever you and your family likes. Just have fun and enjoy experimenting as I know we do here.

Easy As Pie Blackberry Dumplings

Ingredients:

Dumplings:

  • 2-3 cans of crescent rolls
  • 2-3 c. blackberries
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 12 oz ginger ale

Sauce:

  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • a bit of ground nutmeg (freshly ground is best)

Directions:

Crock Pot Directions:

  1. Spray your crock pot with non stick spray.
  2. Place the berries in a small bowl and toss with the sugar. Let rest for about 10 minutes or so.
  3. Place 2-3 berries in each crescent roll and roll up making sure to pinch the sides closed.
  4. Place the ‘dumplings’ in the bottom of the crockpot. I did one layer to make sure they all got finished.
  5. If you have any leftover berries you can mash them up and add them to the soda and then pour this over the dumplings.
  6. Cook on high 3-4 hours… they will smell amazing!
  7. When ready to serve place the butter and brown sugar in a small bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until bubbly. Stir well.
  8. Drizzle the sauce over the individual servings and then sprinkle with a bit of nutmeg, if desired. Enjoy!

Oven Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 9×13 pan with non stick spray.
  3. Place the berries in a small bowl and toss with the sugar. Let rest for about 10 minutes or so.
  4. Place 2-3 berries in each crescent roll and roll up making sure to pinch the sides closed.
  5. Place the ‘dumplings’ in the greased pan.
  6. If you have any leftover berries you can mash them up and add them to the soda and then pour this over the dumplings.
  7. Bake 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. When ready to serve place the butter and brown sugar in a small bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until bubbly. Stir well.
  9. Drizzle the sauce over the individual servings and then sprinkle with a bit of nutmeg, if desired. Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey y’all I know it’s gonna be a super busy day but I wanted to pop in and wish you all a happy thanksgiving from our family to yours. We do appreciate each and every one of you.

I really do hope to get back to blogging on a more consistent basis very soon. Life has been so crazy here lately with homeschooling, Square dancing and kids! We’ve already had a few birthdays this month…. can you believe William is 16?!!! This has been a crazy transition for all of us trying to help him learn to handle these BIG teenage hormones and emotions.

We’ve also done a BIG rearranging of the house here. I’m excited about how everything is coming together and it really is starting to look and feel like HOME! 🏡 ❤️ I’ll be sure to post some pics soon… you may even notice some changes in the pics below.

The new arrangement has helped so much already. Last night was a lot of fun here as the kiddos all helped with Thanksgiving preparations. They’ve actually been helping all week as we rearranged and had to put our Fall decor back in place. (No Christmas decorations up here… at least til we get through Thanksgiving.)

We made some really fun snacks for tomorrow’s dinner:

Turkey cupcakes

The kids loved making these!

And then we made some pretzel cookies/candies.

(The Rolos unwrapped are so handy for this!)

And some acorn cookies:

They also made some ‘Indian corn’ with Reese’s pieces:

We can’t forget the Pinterest fail caramel apple bites:

They did look pretty good before but they’ve been sitting in a warm kitchen for a few hours and they are melting faster than the wicked witch after Dorothy threw a bucket of water on her.

After the kiddos were off to bed I set about getting a few things ready for tomorrow. There are some pies:

The pumpkin is the recipe I shared on my blog. The pecan is a new variation and I’ll share it once I’ve had a chance to taste it. I normally don’t recommend trying out brand new recipes the night before a big event but this wasn’t the only new recipe I worked on.

I love making yeast rolls for Thanksgiving and it is one of our traditions. I’ve been wanting to try to make some sweet Hawaiian rolls and finally did. The dough smelled heavenly and I’m hoping that they will taste as good.

I also whipped up a batch of my regular dinner rolls… I’ll share that recipe soon if I haven’t already. The rolls are now in the fridge waiting for their second rise so they can bake into golden deliciousness. My tummy is rumbling just thinking about the wonderful aroma that those rolls will be giving off tomorrow.

Another new thing we will be doing is frying our turkey. I’ve had a turkey fryer but haven’t used it for turkey yet. Our bird is in the fridge soaking in some Cajun butter injection juices. I’m hoping all goes well with this.

In addition to all of that I’ve gotten all the casseroles prepped and in the fridge. They are covered with foil and have the baking directions written on the tops. Just a few more things to take care of tomorrow before everyone gets here.

I’m so excited! This will be the biggest get together we’ve been able to have in our little house on the pond. Fingers crossed all goes well and everyone gets plenty to eat.

Then I have an exciting trip planned with the kiddos for this weekend. It should tie in nicely with our Little House on the Prairie Adventures. Anyway I better get a couple of hours of sleep before the kiddos are up and at em again.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

God bless!

Little House On The Prairie Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links Only

Want to access the lesson plans without reading through everything? Here they are:

We hope you enjoy this adventure as much as we have!

Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 10 Lesson Plans

**Although I try to provide as many FREE resources as possible this post may contain affiliate links alt no extra cost to you. We may earn a small commission, if a purchase is made through these links, which helps to support our blog and our family. Thank you!

Mornings:

We Start every morning off with our prayers and the Pledge of Allegiance. Below is a picture of the prayers that we say and a video of the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Not the prettiest example but that’s what we’ve been using for the past few years.

 

 

Don’t have a flag? Grab one HEREand print it out to put up somewhere… you could even let the kids make a flag to proudly display. Amazon also has some little ones like this one HERE and HERE.

After this we have our calendar time also where we go over such things as the Days of the Week, the months, and some basic math.

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This one came from Lakeshore Learning.

We also like to use this song during our ‘Morning Time’ to help the kids learn the 50 States. 


Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


Week 10: Finishing Up

Here is our lesson plan for the week:


Language Arts

Week 10: Finishing Up

Reading:

Finish up any reading. 

Optional: Read Chapter 2 from Laura Ingalls Wilder Country ‘Kansas Prairie Country’.

Additional Reading:

Each child would complete a reading lesson from our McGuffey Primer Books or other reading materials that we chose for the day.

Younger kids will also be doing one lesson a day from Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

Vocabulary/Spelling:**

Older Kids:

Parents click HERE for the answer key.**see instructions at the top of the page.

Younger Kids:

Handwriting:

Using  Spencerian Penmanship go over the instructions on p. 18-19

Writing:

  • Continue working in your workbook.

Other Activity:

Group:

Older kids:

Younger kids:

Bonus Activity:

**BE SURE TO SAVE A FEW SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK FOR YOUR  PORTFOLIO!  TAKE PICTURES OF BIG PROJECTS!

 


Math

Week 10: Finishing Up

You can work on a lesson in your Ray’s Arithmetic Books or other math workbook. (The lessons below reflect what we worked on.)

Group:

Rotate through these activities:

Older Kids:

 

Younger Kids:

**BE SURE TO SAVE A FEW SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK FOR YOUR  PORTFOLIO!  TAKE PICTURES OF BIG PROJECTS!


Geography and History

Week 10: Finishing Up

1. State Study

  • Write a report about the state and include at least 3 interesting facts about the state.
  • This week we will study Utah.
  • Complete your notebooking pages.
  • Older kids can write a report about the state.

2. Finish up your report and your Lapbook on Native American Indians.

3. Plan an Indian Party.

Fun things to do:

 

**BE SURE TO SAVE A FEW SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK FOR YOUR  PORTFOLIO!  TAKE PICTURES OF BIG PROJECTS!


Science

Week 10: Finishing Up

1. Free Choice

  • Pick out a previous topic to research more and write a report about it.
  • Go to Mystery Science and learn about something you are interested in.

2. Continue learning about simple machines. Pick a project to do.

3. A constellation guide.

Extra:

**BE SURE TO SAVE A FEW SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK FOR YOUR  PORTFOLIO!  TAKE PICTURES OF BIG PROJECTS!

 


Life Skills

Week 10: Finishing Up

1. Following Ma’s Example

In this unit we have learned why routines are so important. Below are some of the reason:

  • Routines help us to be more responsible
  • Routines help us to be more successful
  • Routines help us to be more productive
  • Routines help us to be more efficient

They can also help prevent a lot of frustration and stress from not being prepared for things that happen in our lives.

  • Have you been able to use your routine from last week?
  • How has it helped you?
  • What do you need to change?

Keep up the good work and find more ways to use routines to help make your life easier.

2. Ways to help around the house like Laura

One chore that my littler kids love to help with is watering the plants. You need to check with your parents before doing this as some plants don’t need as much water as others do.

How to water the plants.

  • Get the watering can.
  • Fill the can halfway with cold water.
  • Slowly tip the spout of the can into the pot and water as needed.
    • Don’t over water the plant or it will make a mess.
  • Look at the plant and remove any dead leaves or foliage.
  • Rotate the plant a little bit so it can get even sunlight
  • Move around the room and water each plant that needs watered.
  • Throw dead leaves in the trash can.
  • Pour unused water into the sink.
  • Return the watering can to its place.

3. Character

We will be focusing on OBEDIENCE this unit. If you don’t have the book we used you can go HERE and download a lesson plan guide to use in your home.

MemorizeChildren, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. – Colossians 3:20

We will be studying obedience during this unit. What is obedience?

Watch this video about Jonah:

  • Can anyone hide from God?
  • The men on the ship didn’t know that Jonah had been disobedient to God until he told them just as your parents don’t always know right away when you have been disobedient. God always knows.
  • How did Jonah’s disobedience affect the others?
  • What happened when Jonah repented?
  • What did Jonah do when God told him what to do the next time?
  • We need to pray for grace to be obedient.

4. Manners

Watch this video about manners:

5. Memory Verse

We should have memorized Psalm 8 during this unit study.

  • Work on saying everything you have memorized.

6. Fun Activities

7. Bonus Skills — Choose one or two to work on

Practice these until you finish this unit study and then we will move on to another new skill.

Kids Cook Real Food 

  • Work on: Review and practice any skills you need to improve on.

  • Help to prepare a meal using your new skills.

Skill Trek:

  • Work on at least one task a week.
  • Practice your new skill this week.

Memorize the books of the Bible:

Learn about camping.

  • Go on a camping trip with your family.
  • Show off the skills you have learned.
    • Practice good camping manners.
    • Set up your tent.
    • Gather, build, and start a campfire.
    • Cook at least one dish on the campfire.
  • Be sure to clean your campsite when you leave.
  • Add or take off items from your checklist.
  • Write a story about your experience.
    • Write an imaginary story if you aren’t really able to go.
  • Draw a picture to go with it.
  • Bonus points for a new hack you may have learned.

Learn about Herbs.

  • Take some time to review the herbs you have learned about.
  • Pick out the one you think is the most interesting and write a report about it.
  • Draw a picture of the plant to go along with your report.
  • Keep your notebook safe because we will need it again soon!
  • Bonus points if you use your herb in a recipe for everyone to try!

**BE SURE TO SAVE A FEW SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK FOR YOUR  

PORTFOLIO!  TAKE PICTURES OF BIG PROJECTS!


PE, Health & Safety

Week 10: Finishing Up

1. Vehicle Safety

At the end of the book the family was moving again. I’m sure they didn’t have seatbelts but Ma and Pa made sure the girls knew what they needed to do to stay safe while traveling. What safety rules should you follow when in a vehicle?

  • Discuss what you have learned.
  • Go over the safety rules for the vehicle.
  • Practice these rules every time you go somewhere.

2. Games/Outdoor Play

Riding in the wagon was probably pretty boring at times and I’m sure the girls needed something to keep them occupied. Have you ever played Rock, Paper, Scissors with your friends? If not you can learn how to play this game and many other skills at SkillTrekker.com. How about this modified version:

**BE SURE TO SAVE A FEW SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK FOR YOUR  PORTFOLIO!  TAKE PICTURES OF BIG PROJECTS!


Music, Arts & Crafts

You can find more Native American crafts and activities HERE , HERE, HERE and a FREE printable coloring book HERE.

Week 10: Finishing Up

Crafts:**

Make some crafts for your Indian Party. Check out these ideas HERE on Amazon. You can also check out my Pinterest board HERE.

  1. INDIAN CRAFTS FOR KIDS: Ideas to Make Native American Indians with Easy arts and crafts for children, preschoolers, teens
  2. Make a Spoon Doll p. 14 Pioneer Crafts for Kids
  3. Make a Pioneer Doll p. 32 Pioneer Crafts for Kids
  4. Make a Pioneer Life Diorama p. 51 Pioneer Crafts for Kids

Art:

  1. Choose a previous project that you haven’t done yet.
  2. Free Choice

Music:

 

**BE SURE TO SAVE A FEW SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK FOR YOUR  PORTFOLIO!  TAKE PICTURES OF BIG PROJECTS!

 

Family, Faith, Food, Fun, & Freebies

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