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.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been in full blown survival mode. I had gotten some kind of bug while out of town and that didn’t help matters. Plus a major hurricane that was barreling down on us last week.

Thankfully we missed the brunt of the storm but our neighbors to the west were hit hard. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers as well as all of those out helping like my son who is with the National Guard.

We didn’t homeschool for two weeks after I found out the news. I pretty much quit doing everything except the basics. I wasn’t even making my bed… which seems like a small thing but people who know me would know that I like to have my bed made every day.

The kids were fed and bathed on a regular basis and some basic cleaning was completed. The laundry was washed and dried but left in baskets for a day or so. Again people who know me know that this is a big thing I try to avoid at all costs.

For those people who don’t know me, well they probably just think I’m a bit of a slob. I am usually one step below a neat freak but my house says otherwise right now. The clutter and unorganized chaos wasn’t helping me at all and I really didn’t care.

Then there comes other areas that I’ve just given up on. I really haven’t done a lot with my blog over the past couple of months. I haven’t checked my emails in over a week … probably since the last post I wrote about how many I had. I haven’t been doing club newsletters or updates for the past couple of months either.

I really didn’t have the energy to do anything more than what I was getting done. All I wanted to do was sit on the couch and watch TV. Another thing that I almost never do.

Isn’t it crazy how life can be going along pretty good one day and something as simple as a phone call can change that?

Well over the weekend the state of the house had really gotten on my last remaining nerve and it was just a matter of time before it really got to me. I can’t function when my house, or my life, is in a mess.

Sure a vacation with a custom made pink sparkly bedazzled straight jacket sounded nice but I really don’t have time for that right now. I’ve got kids depending on me and I knew things had to change. I decided I would allow myself the weekend to ‘mope’ or do whatever it was that I was doing or not doing.

So on Monday we started back to our normal routine. Thank goodness for my FlyLady app on my phone as it helped me get started. We also picked up with our Little House on the Prairie studies.

We didn’t get as much done on the list as I had hoped but we made progress which was more than I had done in a while. The next day was better and by yesterday I was completely through my daily routine plus I had all of my weekly tasks and the majority of my monthly tasks caught up.

It just so happened that this week was our ‘Bathroom’ week so I took a few minutes to deep clean our poor neglected bathroom. Surprisingly this made me feel a whole lot better and motivated me to get a few other items taken care of. After that I also did a good cleaning in the kitchen.

I can honestly say that our little house looked and felt 100x better when we went to bed last night. It was still a bit cluttered but at least it was a lot cleaner and more organized.

This week we also had a shed delivered from Sheffield portable buildings which is a local company. There are lots of ideas that we have for it but for now it’s gonna hold the remainder of my belongings that have been stored on the porch as well as some of the ‘extra’ items we have in the house. It may also serve as a workshop for Mr. Awesome and some of his many projects.

So far I’ve only managed to put a few totes of clothes in it and an extra mattress. I planned to do more but today has had a rough start so the ‘more’ will have to wait until this weekend.

I’m glad that we had our routines in place and that I have been able to use them to pull myself out of survival mode. I know my family needs me and I need them. I also know that I want to provide them with good memories and my mom-mom wouldn’t want me just moping around doing the bare minimum.

Reminding myself of these things has also helped me to find the strength to push past the darkness that was hanging over me head the past few weeks. Today has been rough already and it isn’t even lunch time. Sometimes I feel like I wasn’t cut out for this job but I know there is a reason God has put me where I am.

Just like I know there is a reason each and every person is where they are right now at this very moment. We an learn from each and every experience that we have whether it is bad or good. Each event will help us grow into the person that God wants us to be and will make us stronger and wiser than we were before.

I encourage you right now, whether you are in a funk or life seems peachy, to make a list of all the things God has done and what you are thankful for. Put this somewhere safe so you can look back on it when the days seem dark.

I have found it so helpful to journal also. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. I use a simple spiral notebook. I hadn’t journaled for a while but sometimes just writing down whatever is going on can help tremendously. Later we can look back and see what God has brought us through.

Then, if you have time you need to make a list of your priorities and start developing some routines. Trust me when I say there will come a day when you will need them.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I need to get started on some lunch for the kiddos and then back to work on my routine for the day.

Hugs! 🤗

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.

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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 On The Prairie Academic Adventures 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:
  • 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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

Kirby’s Kids: Our 2018-2019 Homeschool Curriculum Reveal

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

Ohhhh! I am so excited to be sharing this post with you. The kids are pretty excited about it too! My fingers are going faster than my brain as I am typing and somehow or another they are managing to put into words what I want to say. I did show a sneak peak of some of the items we’ve received in this post here but now I am going to show you everything we have right now.

If you haven’t seen my latest posts about homeschooling check out the links here but if you are only interested in what we have planned for this year, please keep scrolling.

I’ve been talking about how excited I am for our next homeschool year and I just can’t wait to get started. I have actually talked about this curriculum before but its been awhile. My kids are finally at the age that I think this will work out really well for everyone. Continue reading Kirby’s Kids: Our 2018-2019 Homeschool Curriculum Reveal

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

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

I had all intentions of making some delicious cinnamon rolls on Sunday morning however Mr. Awesome had an awesome surprise planned and I just didn’t have the time. Well Jacob had his little heart set on those rolls and as we all know this child loves to eat. He also loves coming up with new recipes and he decided we should try to make some Cinnamon Roll Muffins.

I combined the filling from our Cinnamon Roll Pancakes and Basic Muffin Recipe with a simple glaze to come up to sweeten the deal. The kids loved helping to mix the muffins and make the swirls. They also really enjoyed eating them too!

Did I mention how wonderful the house smells when you bake these? I will definitely need to make a double batch the next time around. I may also try this out in a loaf pan or as a super easy coffee cake.

Short on time? You could mix up everything and set it in the fridge until the next morning and then surprise your family with the aroma of these delicious treats. They will think you slaved all morning long! Continue reading Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Kirby’s Kids: Choosing, Buying, and Organizing Your Homeschool

OK, So this is the third part of this little series that I’ve been working on. If you missed the first two you can check out Part 1 here, and Part 2 here. If you’ve been following along I know you are ready for this part.

This part can be extremely overwhelming but very exciting at the same time. It also requires a bit of control if you are like me. I tend to see so many things I like I often go overboard and end up with an abundance of supplies and resources that we can’t use.

Researching and Buying Homeschool Supplies

This can be so overwhelming but if you’ve done your homework from the previous post then that will help out a lot.When you really know what your child likes and how they learn it can make the world of difference when choosing the curriculum. You also want to consider your teaching style before selecting the curriculum.

Think about your priorities. Does your child need more help with math or reading or maybe they have special needs and you should focus on motor skills? Keep these things in mind when making your decision. Also as you compare jot down what you like and dislike about particular options. This will help to narrow down the choices. Continue reading Kirby’s Kids: Choosing, Buying, and Organizing Your Homeschool

Kirby’s Kids: Making The Decision To Homeschool

So maybe you’ve decided to try homeschooling or maybe you have already been haphazardly homeschooling and have decided to continue but you aren’t sure what to do next. Or maybe you were just browsing and came across this post by accident. No matter what your reason I’m glad you are here and invite you to follow along this little series.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced homeschooler the decision to homeschool or not can be quite overwhelming. I’ve broken it down into a few different sections to help you out. I’ve also shared a few affiliate links to some of our favorite resources.

Go ahead and grab a notebook so that you can jot down some notes as we go through this series. (I may try to make a printable checklist at some point.) Continue reading Kirby’s Kids: Making The Decision To Homeschool

Kirby’s Kids: Our Favorite Homeschool Supplies and Printable Checklist

A lot of what you need for homeschool is dependent on how, who, where, when, why, and what you are teaching. A kindergarten child may not need a thesaurus while a high school child with lots of writing assignments will find it very useful. I have found that a lot of what we use are your basic back to school items that can normally be found on sale before the start of public school.

As I was going through our supplies I thought it might be helpful to come up with a checklist for everyone to go by. I have divided this list into what we use most and then some of the other items that we use on occasion which would be optional. I have provided affiliate links for a lot of the items that I order online because it is just easier for me to have the items delivered. (Affiliate links help to support this blog and allow me to provide more FREE resources.)

Most Used

Some of these items like the pencil sharpeners, staplers, and hole punches are not purchased every year so I try to invest in higher quality ones that will last. The printer we bought last year was a bit expensive and I had to save a while but the money we’ve saved in ink has proven that it was an excellent investment. We have only filled the tanks one time and still have plenty of ink left. Continue reading Kirby’s Kids: Our Favorite Homeschool Supplies and Printable Checklist

Midweek Progress: Vacation Pics, Unplugging, and Movie Night

**Please note this post does contain affiliate links to which I may, possibly, earn a small commission from if you click on and purchase an item. This helps to support to support this blog and my family. For full disclosure click here

Hey everyone! Yesterday I posted about the ‘Summer Slide‘ but I really want to post these vacation pictures. I really hope everyone had a great a Father’s Day weekend as I know we did. While we didn’t see the Altamahaha on this trip we did make some really great memories. (The Altamahaha is a local legend dating back for centuries.)

altamaha_ha__georgia_s_river_monster_by_kway100-dbb62tj.jpg

Picture from: Deviant Art

It was a little stressful and chaotic getting ready for the trip but we all managed to survive. We went to the Altamaha Regional Park in Brunswick, GA. We stayed the weekend in one of their rental cabins while some of my family stayed in tents. I wasn’t quite brave enough to do this with so many kids in tow. Continue reading Midweek Progress: Vacation Pics, Unplugging, and Movie Night

Have Your Kids Went Down ‘The Slide’ This Summer?

How is everybody? Have the kids been driving you bonkers yet since they are out of school? Well, a couple of my kids haven’t finished their school work yet but hopefully they will be completely finished by Friday. As I was going through the rest of their assignments I came across a couple of links that I thought I’d share.

As many of you know I homeschool my kiddos and we like to use Easy Peasy All In One Homeschool. Most everything is FREE and so useful. They are always adding new things to the site as well and I am ever so thankful for them. My kids really love the site and all of the different resources that they provide. They have learned a lot of different subjects and various subject matter. However a lot of times our kids get so busy playing that they forget, what they’ve worked so hard to learn during the previous year, over the short summer. This can cause for a lot of trouble at the beginning of the new school year.  Continue reading Have Your Kids Went Down ‘The Slide’ This Summer?

Dealing With Bug Bites

It’s that time of year when we all like to be outdoors. The weather is nice, well most of the time, but the bugs are not. Here we’ve had quite a bit of rain so it’s been a struggle dealing with mosquitoes and yellow flies too.

These things really itch when they bite so we really like to use our ‘Stop The Itch Cream’. It really does help to soothe the skin and stop that annoying itch. I’ve just made up a new batch and you can follow this link for the recipe.

My favorite place for buying oils has been Simply Earth. (This is an affiliate link.) They also have a monthly subscription box where you can get recipes and all the ingredients you need for them delivered right to your door. It’s so easy!

Kirby’s Krafts Favorite Facebook Posts June 2018 and Last Minute Father’s Day Ideas

I have several Facebook Pages to help keep all of my ideas semi organized. Below are some of my favorite Kirby’s Krafts posts from the last month or two. At the bottom of the post you will find some links to the Last Minute Father’s Day Ideas.

My kids would love this!

Turn A Washcloth into a Teddy Bear

Continue reading Kirby’s Krafts Favorite Facebook Posts June 2018 and Last Minute Father’s Day Ideas

It’s Not Just Another Night

I wrote this several months ago even though it only posted today. This was written before the recent loss of famous people like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. It is so important for us to take the time to check on one another and to make sure those around us know just how important they are to us.

In today’s day and age it is sometimes confusing as to how we can communicate our feelings without crossing or blurring relationship lines. I don’t have a ‘one size fits all’ answer for that as every relationship and every individual are different and require a different approach. But when it all boils down to it just do what feels most comfortable to you. This post was an example of how I felt comfortable in sharing this.

I have a friend that doesn’t seem to know just how important he has been to me. I was talking to him a while back and wished him a ‘Good Night’ like I normally do. He replied that ‘It is just another night’. That bothered me for some reason.

Yes, maybe it was just another night, but it was special in its own way. It was another end of a day, a day to add to the time we have been friends.

When we met I was going through a really rough time. He didn’t know that at the time but I was really sad and kind of lost in a way. I had thought God was leading me down one path only to have the path bulldozed, without warning, in front of me with no detour ahead. I was at a dead end in some ways.

We just happened to meet and I really didn’t think we’d ever become friends. God has way of changing our thinking and making things happen.

We would make plans to go out or do something. The plans never happened. We would try again only to have something else come up.

Then I’d think to myself that it was probably for the best. I mean his ‘wyd’s’ were driving me nuts anyways… lol. (I had to get someone to translate a lot of his abbreviations for me to start with.)

Then he’d text me and everything would be OK. We talked a lot. Sometimes he would send me a text when I least expected it and it would totally catch me off guard. One time he sent me an early morning text, which was very out of character for him, that I credit for saving my family and me from a potential house fire.

Over the months I learned a lot about him. I began to see him differently. When it seemed like we were getting close he would just pull away and I didn’t understand.

There would be days and even weeks we didn’t talk at all. Then I would start to think about how much I enjoyed our friendship. I tried to tell him but sometimes it just didn’t come out right.

We went for a bit without speaking or texting. I just assumed he had met someone and I continued on with my normal activities. After all I wanted him to be happy and he had said he wanted the same for me.

Then I met someone. When we talked again and I gave him my good news he didn’t react the way I’d expected. I’d hurt his feelings without meaning too. I really didn’t think we would ever talk again. But I was wrong again.

Our paths kept crossing in crazy and completely unexpected ways. We start texting and catching up and it feels like it did. We can talk about most anything and he can cheer me up with the craziest things.

So Pepe,

I don’t know what plans God has in store for you but I know they will be great! I know he sees everything you do and he sees everything you don’t. He sees the little things you do as well as the big ones. He is working on something very special for you, I can feel it!

I want you to know that it’s not just another night or just another day. Today is a special day because you are a special, one of a kind friend! Don’t shortchange yourself because you are a great friend! Anyone who can call you a friend is very blessed and that includes myself!

If you read this I want to thank you for being my friend through the good and the bad! I’m always here if you need to talk, no matter if it’s about the weather or the one who got away (girl or fish).

Your friend,

Susie

Do you have a friend like this? Maybe someone who you haven’t kept in touch and would like to let them know that you still think about them? Go ahead and let them know how much they mean to you. It might just make their day a little extra special.

Nanner Puddin’ Time

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The boys have been begging to make something so I decided to let them have a try at banana pudding this past week. I must say that they did a great job and we all enjoyed their tasty dessert!

They had a lot of fun making it as well. We used our Easy Banana Pudding recipe.

They all took turns cutting the bananas with these cute little knives I found on Amazon. Continue reading Nanner Puddin’ Time

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Saving For Our Children’s Future

OK, so I’ve been paying off bills and saving up money for emergency funds. I’ve also been looking into investing some money for retirement but what about my kids’ future?

Well, my oldest three went into the military and therefore have some benefits to help them get their education. My fourth child is super smart and I have no doubt that she will be able to get some scholarships and I will try to help her out as much as I can.

My next three children have some scholarship money available from their adoptions. My special needs son also has some scholarship money that we have been able to use to provide for his current education. The money not used could possibly be used for his education later on.

My youngest two will probably need some type of account set up for them. Who knows where their paths will lead. I know right now they have plans to follow their big brother’s foot steps in the military but that may change in the future. There are a couple of different educational savings plans recommended by Dave Ramsey that I have been looking into for saving.

I do want them to have the best future possible and I plan to do the best I can.

Have you dreamed of starting your own blog to earn a little money from home? Then you need to enroll in Your Blogging University to get started.

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

Spider Be Gone Spray

**This post does contain affiliate links.

Our house seems to be a spider haven and while Halloween is getting close and I could just pretend the cobwebs are decorations I’ve decided I can’t handle all of these spiders. Mr. Awesome calls them ‘house spiders’ but I don’t like them and neither do the kids.

I know they are very beneficial in many ways but we just have too many. So in an effort to control them and hopefully keep them out of certain areas I made up some Spider Be Gone Spray.

Here’s the recipe:

Spider Be Gone Spray

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 c. Water
  • 1/2 c. White vinegar
  • 20-30 drops of peppermint oil
  • Splash of vodka or other alcohol, optional

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a glass spray bottle.

Shake well and spray away.

Peppermint also helps repel many other pests and smells pretty good too!

Speech Therapy At Home: Video Links You Need To Check Out

I have a couple of younger kiddos who have a little bit of trouble pronouncing a few different sounds as well as a special needs kiddo who can be quite hard to understand if you haven’t been around him for a while.

This is just a short list of links that I found to help us with our Speech Therapy at home. I’ll try to update this as we find more resources as well.

Fun Videos

Speech-Language Practice Fun for Kids: Let’s Go Fishing

Phonics Music Game for Kids: Multi-syllable Word Fun

Holiday Tree Calendar Game! Super Fun Speech Language Turn-Taking for Kids

Rhyming Fun with Elf on the Shelf! Holiday Toy!

Speech Practice and Talking Turns: Fun Tips with a Puppet


Links by letter sounds

B

Childrens Speech Learn letters P, B, M (by Patty Shukla)

Speech Therapy Techniques: Early Speech Sounds Articulation Drill /P B, M, N/ | PART 2

C

Speech Therapy – “C” Sounds – YakBack Sounds #11

My secret to teaching my toddler how to pronounce the “c” “g” & “k” sounds

D

Childrens Speech learn letters T, D, N and L (by Patty Shukla)

Speech Therapy – “D” Words – YakBack Sounds #5

F

Childrens Speech Learn letters F and V (by Patty Shukla)

Speech Therapy – “F” Sounds – YakBack Sounds #14

G

Speech therapy targeting k and g sounds

My secret to teaching my toddler how to pronounce the “c” “g” & “k” sounds

Speech Therapy – Words Ending In G – YakBack Sounds #34

H

Speech Therapy – “H” Sounds – YakBack Sounds #4

Speech Therapy – “H” Sounds – YakBack Sounds #7

J

How to Pronounce the English J sound /dʒ/ – Pronunciation Lesson

K

Speech therapy targeting k and g sounds

Produce a /k/ Sound with ARK’s Spoon Tip

Teaching k sound in isolation (fronting) | Pronunciation | Speech Therapy Tips

My secret to teaching my toddler how to pronounce the “c” “g” & “k” sounds

L

Childrens Speech learn letters T, D, N and L (by Patty Shukla)

Phonics Speech Practice: Digging for l Sound Treasures

Phonics with the L speech sound

Speech Therapy – “L” Words – YakBack Sounds #13

M

Childrens Speech Learn letters P, B, M (by Patty Shukla)

Speech Therapy Techniques: Early Speech Sounds Articulation Drill /P B, M, N/ | PART 2

N

Childrens Speech learn letters T, D, N and L (by Patty Shukla)

Speech Therapy Techniques: Early Speech Sounds Articulation Drill /P B, M, N/ | PART 2

P

Childrens Speech Learn letters P, B, M (by Patty Shukla)

Speech Therapy Techniques: Early Speech Sounds Articulation Drill /P B, M, N/ | PART 2

R

Tools for Teaching the R Sound by Peachie Speechie

Speech Therapy: Eureka Approach with the /r/ sound

S

Speech Therapy – “S” Sounds – YakBack Sounds #12

Discover Fun with Dinosaurs!

How to Say /s/ and /z/ (Frontal and Lateral Lisp)

Making a Snowman Snack using /s/ blend words!

Let’s Go Fishing for Final /SH/ Sound Words

Speech Therapy – S Blends – YakBack Sounds #67

T

Childrens Speech learn letters T, D, N and L (by Patty Shukla)

Making the “Th” Sound

Speech Therapy – “T” Sounds – YakBack Sounds #10

V

Childrens Speech Learn letters F and V (by Patty Shukla)

X

How to Do Speech Therapy with Toddlers at Home: X sounds

Y

Kids Speech, Learn English – Y words – Yak Back #85

Z

How to Say /s/ and /z/ (Frontal and Lateral Lisp)

 

 

Links Are Working Now!

I’m so sorry guys… that BIG project I’ve been working on published this morning but the links weren’t working…AHHHHH!

I have fixed them all and hope you can find something to use. Have a great weekend!

 

Little House On The Prairie Academic Adventures Weekly Lesson Plan Links & Guide

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