Be The Parent You’ve Always Wanted To Be

Some of you may remember that I’ve mentioned I have a couple of special needs kiddos. These two have been quite challenging and I have faced many parenting issues that have been quite difficult to get through… I mean like heart wrenching issues that made me doubt my abilities to parent them at all.

Well, a lot of those doubts, fears, and worries have vanished and faded away after I started taking the Positive Parenting Solutions Course. Just the first course made me feel more confident in my abilities and gave me some tools to put to use right away. The changes have been amazing and I only wish I had found out about this course sooner.

You’ve tried everything: Time-outs. Reward charts. Counting to three. Punishments. Nothing works.

If you or someone you know has been facing parenting difficulties then you need to check this out, NOW! Don’t wait because you are losing precious time… stop the yelling, stop the threatening, stop feeling defeated and give this a try.

Guaranteed to transform your family… or your money back!

No More Lines At The Checkout!

Do you hate grocery shopping as much as I do? Well, it hasn’t always been like that for me but here lately it just seems like we stay so busy I can’t find time to get the shopping done. I do like to find deals but I haven’t had a lot of time for couponing either.

Another issue that we’ve had is that the path to our local Walmart, which is normally less than 15 minutes away, has been undergoing some MAJOR reconstruction and it is such a mess! I really HATE driving into town but that’s really the only place close to go too… what’s a busy Momma to do?

Well, a lot of our appointments happen to be about 45 minutes away from where we live and there just happens to be a Walmart on the way back home. Still, the idea of dragging 5 kiddos into the grocery store after we’ve been sitting for a couple of hours is not a pleasant one. Granted my kiddos are generally pretty well behaved but I’m usually ready to get home. Then it never fails that we get to the front of the store to check out and there will only be one checkout open! Seriously???

Here comes the part where I have learned how to avoid those grocery shopping blues, long lines, and guilt from buying way too much junk food. Are you ready? I’ve been using the Walmart Grocery Pickup for the past few months and I LOVE IT! I don’t use it every time and sometimes I go to Sam’s Club as they have a very similar service… Yes, I know I sound lazy and maybe I am a little but there are so many more things that need my attention and energy so anything that makes my life a little bit easier is something to love. Did I mention that the pickup service is FREE? Yep, I said FREE!

A big ‘Thank You’ to Daniel for helping us load everything into the van.

Right now you can give the Walmart Grocery Pick up a try and get $10.00 off your first order and Sam’s Club is offering a $20 e-gift card after you join. Yes, we will get a small little kickback if you order through one of my links and we appreciate anything anyone does but really we wouldn’t recommend these apps and services if we didn’t love them as well.

There are so many added benefits for us like saving money on gas and the time saved! Have you given it a try yet? If so, what has your experience been like? If not then you should go ahead and try it out!

I mean it! Click the link, add the groceries to your cart, select your pickup time (same day pickup is often available), and check out now!

Walmart Grocery Pickup

Save time and money by using their new grocery pickup service!

Join me for The Reclaim Your Body Summit!

Wonder why 95% of dieters gain their weight back?
The answers may surprise you.

To lose weight and keep it off, you MUST have the right motivation; do it for you, not for a partner, event or season. Permanent weight loss comes from doing your “inner” work, addressing the wounds, trauma and emotional triggers that keep you eating in ways that make you fat.

It’s time to stop yo-yo dieting, discover your answers and create healthy habits that work for your body at The Reclaim Your Body Summit!

–Learn how to reclaim control when you attend this free, online event!

WHY ATTEND?
You’ll learn from others who’ve been overweight and learned how to transform their lives. Our experts bring practical wisdom and powerful tactics for healing, losing weight, keeping it off and feeling good in your body.

Your host, Mordechai, found himself 130 pounds overweight. He didn’t recognize himself in the mirror. He was a successful entrepreneur, but still felt ashamed and disappointed. He made a decision to do his “inner” work, which helped him lose the excess weight and keep it off.

He’s here to share what he learned from his journey to support you in reclaiming your bodily wisdom… once and for all!

Join us for The Reclaim Your Body Summit, if you:
• Have been on diets and can’t keep the weight off
• Are confused by diet choices and conflicting nutrition advice
• Think eating healthy is too much work or can’t taste good
• Have a secret fear that you’re “not good enough”
• Feel ready for the support you need to change your habits
• Experience anxiety every time you try to button your pants

You’re not alone. There are answers. We can heal together, reclaim energy, lose weight, and regain focus to be the amazing humans we’re meant to be.

Join me at The Reclaim Your Body Summit, online and free from May 6-12, 2019!

I look forward to seeing you there!

P.S. It’s time to stop yo-yo dieting, discover your answers and create healthy habits that work for your body at The Reclaim Your Body Summit! Register for free now!

Puddin’ Cake Time!

We were gifted with some fresh juicy strawberries earlier in the week. After eating a couple bowls of them the kids wanted to make something special. I knew just the recipe to pull out… Strawberry Pudding Poke Cake.

Here’s a few pictures of all the fun they had making it…

They had a ton of fun poking holes with the wooden spoon handle:

Then they had to pour on the jello:

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Next comes the strawberries (I think a few didn’t make it into the bowl):

Now a layer of pudding and then cool whip:

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Repeat the layers and make it pretty:

 

I tried to catch a few of them eating it but they gobbled it up way too fast!

I’m thinking the next time I might just give it a try without the vanilla pudding as I think that might taste more like a traditional shortcake… yummy!

Do you need some inspiration on how to get your kids helping out in the kitchen? Check out the Kids Can Cook Real Foods website for lots of helpful ideas!

** This post contains affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family. We may receive a small commission if a purchase is made through one of our links.

Keeping Memories

This past weekend I was helping to sort out some sheds with Mr. Awesome. There were a ton of items with a ton of memories attached. However some things were decided to go for Yard Sale items and a few were given to me like this photo album…

How often do we take photos and print them out anymore? Do you still clip newspaper articles to keep? I know that I many things saved in my Bible but nothing recent. I also have a few photo albums from when my older kids were little but over the past 10 years or so I haven’t had that many photos to keep.

After finding this lost post I decided that this was something I was going to change, today. The world is so digital now that it is many times easier to keep the photos on your phone or computer. What happens if you don’t have them backed up on something and your phone is lost or destroyed? That is something I don’t even want to think about.

This past year I had some photos and other important items get destroyed because they had been improperly stored. It wasn’t intentional as the place they were stored was intended to be temporary but then LIFE happened and they never got relocated. I’ve shed my tears over those precious items but I am determined not to let that happen again.

Continue reading Keeping Memories

Finding Time With Routines And Schedules

I know how busy life gets and we all… ok, most us… feel like we need more time every now and then, right? Well, there are only 24 hours in a day and we can’t make more time no matter how hard we try so that means we just need to find ways to use our time more wisely.

First we need to get our priorities straight and make sure we are getting the things done that need to get done like feeding everyone and making sure they have clean clothes to wear. We should probably make sure we clean the house from time to time and if you homeschool you gotta have time for that too. Not to mention that there are so many other things like appointments, grocery shopping, and other obligations that happen everyday.

Click here to read about our our Google Home Hub has helped this busy Momma keep our routines and schedules organized.

Sometimes it seems like there is no time left for the fun stuff but I promise that routines can help. I have written many a post about our routines here. Our routines help keep us running smoothly most of the time. The routines work when we follow them and sometimes we don’t but we quickly realize how much we need them. As soon as we get back on routine our lives get less chaotic.

I have included some pics and screenshots of our different routines and schedules below but please don’t think this is complicated. Ours are far more complicated than most as we have a lot of things going on here and I need these to keep myself and my household organized. Every family is different and every set of routines will be different What works for us may not work for you but feel free to use these as a guideline for setting up your own routines and/or schedules.

Continue reading Finding Time With Routines And Schedules

DIY Corner Entertainment Center

I guess its better late than never. As I was going through some of my drafts I’ve found a few posts that never made it to be published and this is one of them. I know I’ve shown a few pics of this little masterpiece before but here is the story of how it became to be.

Before the trip to PA last year we had been working on the house, as we have been doing pretty regularly lately, and had just finished up a new project:

I had been having a lot of trouble sleeping which leads me to writing or sketching in my notebook. This was one of the sketches I came up with.

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I must say that Mr. Awesome nailed it! Hopefully we will get around to completing some of our other many projects when we get back on track. Continue reading DIY Corner Entertainment Center

Hey Google, I’d like you to meet my friend…

So in a few of my past posts I’ve mentioned my new friend, Google, and I may have even shown a picture or two but I haven’t really introduced you yet. I have always loved Google as I can find answers to just about anything I need to know with Google but this Google is different.

So without further ado, let’s meet my new found friend and personal assistant…

ME: Hey Google, I’d like you to meet my friend…

GOOGLE: You’re the cereal to my milk. I like to think we compliment each other... she’s so funny!

ME: But seriously, Google, this is my blogging friend and I want to tell them all about your most important features.

GOOGLE: I have lots of powers and they are growing everyday… lol… I told you she was funny.

Continue reading Hey Google, I’d like you to meet my friend…

Freezer Cooking Made Me Cry Yesterday

Hey ya’ll its been a few days since I’ve checked in with you. I hope everyone is doing well. We are finally getting over these colds that have been passed around and around and around… you get the point. I’m tired of being sick and tired and of being around whiny kids who are sick and tired… yeah not a fun week at all but it has been productive even though I ended up getting this post out a day late… Oops!

We have been sticking to our goals and our Plan of Action that I made earlier in the month. The kids are listening and behaving better, well for the most part, even thought they’ve not been feeling well. We’ve been working on keeping the noise level down and I’ve found that my little friend Google has been AMAZING at helping me with this. I have been asking Google, ‘Hey Google, can you play me some music please?’. Note that I do use my manners  and she really appreciates that. When the kids can’t hear the music they know they are getting way too loud.

Continue reading Freezer Cooking Made Me Cry Yesterday

The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever!

Let me tell you guys about this awesome new trick I learned for ‘boiling’ eggs. Well, first it may not be new to some of you and if you don’t happen to have an instant pot or power cooker than it might not be an option but I was so excited and it is really gonna be such a game changer here. (Recipe at the bottom.)

Continue reading The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever!

Wishes To Reality Update

As you probably know from reading our latest posts we have been staying CRAZY BUSY in 2019 just like we did before. However even though our schedules have been busy I have been trying to work in some changes, a couple at a time, to help us turn those wishes into realities.

My first wish of having the kids to listen better seems to be going along fairly well. I have been making it a point to work more one on one with each of them as I can. I have also not had to speak to them as much because I’ve went over what I expect and given them a list of rewards for when the goals are met or some consequences if they aren’t met.

I had also noticed that I was yelling more… ok, I felt like I was yelling. People sometimes laugh when I apologize for yelling because my yelling doesn’t seem like yelling to them… anyways I was having to talk much louder than I preferred and I didn’t like that. Did you know that yelling makes it seem like you aren’t in control? Well that was definitely not the message I wanted to convey to this little army I have here!

I also know that yelling doesn’t fit into the overall picture of wanting to create a more loving and peaceful home. We have a small home so when one or two people start yelling it begins to sound a bit like a busy coffee shop in NYC!

Continue reading Wishes To Reality Update

Making Time For Devotions

If you’ve been following along with my blog you probably have seen that we are really trying to make some positive changes around this little cabin. I will be the first to admit that towards the end of last year I was not a very happy Momma. We were in the midst of a very rough parenting phase with my two special needs kiddos who are 16 & 11 (going on 30)… their attitudes and behavior were at a point that I really doubted my parenting skills and abilities. Something had to change, actually a lot of somethings had to change.

Personal Devotions

One big thing that I had gotten away from was my daily devotions. I wasn’t having my ‘quiet time’ in the mornings before the kids woke up which meant I wasn’t having any one on one meetings with my LORD. Boy have I missed those sessions!

Well, 2019 is the year for me to stop wishing for CHANGE and to start making it happen! I’ve been posting a lot about some of the things we’ve been working on and one of those the past couple of weeks has been to start making time for devotions.

Not everyone may feel the same as I do but I really do need some time to myself. I need time to plan, to organize my thoughts, and talk to my LORD. I also have things I want to do like blog, arts & crafts projects, and I have a ton of reading to catch up on.

First things first though is making time for my daily devotions. I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of getting up early before the kids so that I can have my ‘quiet time’. I’ll admit that this hasn’t been easy especially on cold mornings like this today. Then yesterday I got up early but I had issues with the coffee maker and ended up not getting to my ‘quiet time’. I like to get comfy when I study or read so I like to have a drink with me. Sometimes I will snuggle up with a warm blanket and other times I might like to sit outside on the porch just depending on the whether and how I feel.

I also keep a notebook with me to jot down notes and also to keep track of different things I am praying about or people/situations I am praying for. One of the really important things I really try to include in prayer is our homeschool journey because without GOD’s help I can’t do this. This is a good way to keep myself organized and I can look back through my notebook to see just how much GOD has done for me and my family through the year.

Before we moved I had transformed part of my closet into a place where I could find some ‘quiet time’ even in the middle of the day. I kept my BIBLES, devotionals, and prayer journal in my desk there. It was so easy to ‘find’ time because I had everything organized. However here, in this little cabin, I don’t have a dedicated space so it has been more of a challenge for me.

Secondly, I never seem to know where to start when it comes to reading my BIBLE. Sometimes I’ll go through a phase where I just open it up and read wherever and then other times I try to follow along with a book like one of these here:

First Light Women’s Daily Devotional & Journal

Starting Your Day Right

I have started both of these books at different times but have never completed either one of them… sad but true. This year I am determined to finish one of them!

**This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. If a purchase is made through one of these links we may make a small commission which costs you nothing extra and blesses our family so we thank you! For full affiliate disclosure please click HERE.if a product is purchased through one of our links.

I also like to keep some of these FREE booklets in my bags so that I have something to read when waiting at appointments or such:

Our Daily Bread

In Touch

There are also a wide variety of email devotionals and apps that you can use from your phone which make it so much easier to do this on the go. I have also found this site HERE which has many plans to use and I am going to try to read through the BIBLE this year… even though some of it may be more listening than reading. This is a goal I have had since I was young and I’ve never completely read through the entire bible yet. The site has several other FREE plans to help you with your spiritual life and you can even join as a group with friends to encourage each other.Y

Many people think that devotions need to be an in depth study but that’s not true. Your devotions should be what feels right for you. The LORD will lead you to more in depth studies when HE knows you are ready… and HE will make it all POSSIBLE.

I do have a couple of Proverbs 31 studies that I’ve bookmarked to work on this year as well as some others that I’ll share as we go through the year. I don’t want to overwhelm anyone with too much information. If there is something specific that you FEEL led to study then you can always do a GOOGLE search on the subject (ex: becoming a proverbs 31 woman bible study) and find many options to choose from.

If you aren’t sure how to set up your prayer journal you can find lots of useful ideas and printables HERE or some more great ideas HERE.

Family Devotions

I feel that not only do I need to do my personal devotions but I probably need to start including more time for family devotions as well. Now we do have some BIBLE studies and such worked into our homeschool routine but sometimes we may need to add to it.

We may try to start having a scripture reading at a designated meal time or maybe just have a certain time of day to read scripture… I’m not really sure about my plans for this addtional devotion time yet but I am working on it. Sometimes we have BIBLE discussions in the van when we are going places so really it could happen anytime and anywhere.

I have found a few different ideas for family devotions HERE and HERE. If you don’t like either of those you can check out this GOOGLE search. My kids and I really enjoyed using this book here too:

Our Daily Bread for Kids: 365 Meaningful Moments with God

Couple Devotions

This is another area that I think is important but we don’t really do this yet. We have discussions on occasion but never anything set or intentional. Now for this to work it has to be something that we both can agree on and something we can work into our schedules.

Many other people may find it difficult as well but remember that you don’t have to physically be in the same place at the same time. You can decide to them via phone, FACETIME, or SKYPE or maybe just have a designated time each day to spend on your devotions.

I’ve found a few ideas for couple devotions HERE and HERE.

Not married or don’t have a partner? You can always spend a little time praying for that special person. I know I prayed for Mr. Awesome before I even met him and I am so glad I did. I loved these books HERE and HERE for this.

In the end I don’t think you will regret any time you spend on your devotions. You should definitely start out slowly and work your way into this new routine. It takes a little while to get a new habit started and if you happen to be like me this will be a habit that will grow on you and get easier as time goes by. This one habit can make such a BIG difference in your whole LIFE… I know it does in mine.

If it seems that you are having trouble getting it started then pray for GOD to lead you in the way you should go. Maybe you are trying to do too much? Or maybe what you are trying to do just isn’t what is best for you or your family.

Have a blessed weekend!

Freebie Alert: Martin Luther King Jr. Unit Study

I haven’t posted one of these in a while but with Martin Luther King, Jr day fast approaching this seems like a good one to post. The deadline for this deal is January 12th so please HURRY!


Free Martin Luther King, Jr. Notebooking Pages from NotebookingPages.com.

You can also check out all the other FREE goodies they have HERE!

Join Me At The Toxic Mold Summit

I’ve really been trying to make 2019 the best year ever here in our little cabin. One thing that I’m always hearing about is toxic mold… how scary does that sound? It sounds terrifying to me so I’m really wanting to learn more about what it is and what I can do to protect my family from it.

--->>Click here to download your free eGuide: Got Mold, Now What?

Did you know it could be mold toxicity if you are, or someone you know is suffering from sinus infections, bronchitis and migraines; weakened by gut issues, brain fog, fatigue, neurologic symptoms; constantly challenged with sleep issues; enduring terrible mood swings, anxiety and/or depression; reacting to chemicals, smells, foods, medications and more!

All reasons not to miss The Toxic Mold Summit, online and free from January 28 – February 3, 2019!

Join Me At The Toxic Mold Summit by Reserving Your Spot HERE !

A New School Routine For The New Year

This was our first week back to school and as I mentioned in this post HERE we started a new school routine which has worked out rather well so far. We will be doing our Group studies on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays with Mondays and/or Fridays being left for their independent studies and/or completing assignments they didn’t finish with the group.

We are also using Mondays & Fridays to do the majority of our household cleaning & chores, running errands, etc. This has helped out so much being able to dedicate a big chunk of time on projects that I’ve been wanting to work on and just haven’t been able to get to lately. This included getting our house back in order after the holidays… it was such a MESS! If you don’t believe me you should see the pics in this post.

After getting the bulk of the organizing finished up on Monday we were FREE to FOCUS on our school work with minimal interruptions. No pausing to check laundry which normally meant a 15-20 minute interruption. No waiting for stragglers to quit lollygagging around with chores as we have a set time to get them finished or they just wait until the school work is finished. I mean a few dirty dishes or crumbs in the floor won’t kill anyone, right?

Continue reading A New School Routine For The New Year

Keeping Up With The Bills Free Printable

It’s the 3rd already! Where has time gone? I’ve not been feeling up to par the past week or so and today it dawned on me that I need to pay bills… Oops… I apologize to my creditors in advance. When I finally sat down to get to work I realized that I needed a new sheet printed off. (See this post HERE if you missed my post last year about how I keep track of my bills.)

Well, that was easier said than done as my worksheet was saved on my old laptop… the one the kids killed last year. I had worked on it a bit last January and gotten it to come back up but I have only used it 3 or 4 times during the past year and each time was tricky as the laptop doesn’t act right and still shuts down frequently. Luckily for me (and you) I was able to get to the files I needed and get them saved on my portable drive (which was originally another laptop that a couple of the kids killed a few years ago)… yeah, lesson learned as they are no longer allowed to play on Momma’s laptop.

If you haven’t read the ‘Keeping Up With The Bills‘ post you may want to check it out so you can see how I use these worksheets to keep our bills organized and paid on time. Since I know that many of us have made resolutions to get more organized I am including links to FREE printables for anyone to use.

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Monthly Bills PDF

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Monthly/Yeary Subscriptions PDF

Happy New Year!



A Look Back On 2018

So I’ve been posting quite a bit about my goals for 2019 but let’s not forget about all the good times we had in 2018. Sure, there were some sad times and some hard times but remembering the good times can help ease the pain of the not so good. Here’s a quick peek back on some of our pictures, posts, and activities from 2018:

Continue reading A Look Back On 2018

A Plan Of Action For A New You In The New Year

So a few days ago I posted about my goals for 2019. I’m not waiting until the New Year to get started because there is no time like NOW to get started on these goals. You don’t have to wait either and you can follow along with me on my journey to finding a simpler, happier, and better functioning lifestyle here in our little cabin.

It’s so easy to get discouraged with LIFE at times, I know because I’ve felt myself falling into a HUGE pit of discouragement lately. It feels like I just keep hitting walls in so many areas of LIFE and I just don’t know how to get past them. The one thing I do know is the GOD is in control and if there is something in my way HE can help me overcome it.

I also know that a lot of times our failures come from inside of ourselves. We get unhappy with things and want to change them but sometimes the change must come from us first. This can be hard to do and sometimes it can be hard to admit that we aren’t PERFECT.

Over the holidays so many people are posting pictures of their families. Many of these pictures seem to show PERFECT homes and families but behind the scenes can be a different story. In reality LIFE is MESSY in so many ways. I can tell you that my LIFE is MESSY for sure with so many kids and special needs not to mention that we HOMESCHOOL and LIVE in a TINY CABIN. Boy can it get MESSY. Don’t let those pictures get you feeling depressed or down. You can follow along with me, a normal (well, somewhat normal depending on you definition of normal) Momma, as I tackle some of this crazy mess we call LIFE.

Continue reading A Plan Of Action For A New You In The New Year

My 2019 New Year’s Goals

As you read the title you may be rolling your eyes because we all make resolutions but many of us, myself included, don’t quite keep to them or just never even start them. I know last year I had some really great ones that were not so specific but somehow they managed to slip away from me.

Part of the blame falls on some major life changes (big sister moved away/death in the family), an illness that took me a while to recover from, and LIFE which seems to get busier everyday. When you combine all of those with the fact that we had recently downsized and moved (from 2,000 sq ft to just barely over 600 sq ft) its no wonder I didn’t accomplish everything I had set out to do but I did manage to make a little progress in each area.

SO what are some of the top resolutions for 2019? According to an abc news article they are as follows:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Save money
  3. Travel
  4. Make new friends
  5. Get a new job or hobby
  6. Find love

Hmm… some pretty interesting resolutions. Have you thought about yours yet? I have given it a bit of thought and here are my goals for the upcoming year in no particular order:

Continue reading My 2019 New Year’s Goals

My 5 Fav Slow Cooker Recipes You Can Make in Your Instant Pot (+ 40 More!)

Were you lucky enough to get an Instant Pot for Christmas? If so you may be wondering just what the heck to do with it now. Did you know that you can make things like BBQ ribs, chili, and even cake in your Instant Pot?

Check out this affiliate link for many, many easy recipes to start cooking today!

https://sl290.isrefer.com/go/ipslowcook/happy2bmyownboss/

Is Food Causing You to be Depressed? What You Didn’t Know About How Food Affects Your Mood

Have the holidays got you depressed? Well, it might not be just the holidays… Check out this affiliate link for more information and find out how to use food to fight depression!

https://sl290.isrefer.com/go/depressionfood/happy2bmyownboss/

Soaked Apple Cinnamon or Cherry Almond Baked Oatmeal Recipe (A Make-Ahead Breakfast!)

Do you need a quick and easy make ahead breakfast idea? One that’s simple and healthy? Well, then have I got the recipe for you! Check out this affiliate link for a recipe that may soon be a family favorite in your house!

https://sl290.isrefer.com/go/SAO/happy2bmyownboss/

It’s All About The Fudge!

**This post contains affiliate links for products we use. These links don’t cost you a thing but help to support our blog and our family when a purchase is  made through a link we’ve posted. Thank you!

Yes! It’s that time of year when I make a lot of FUDGE! I’ll probably be sick of Fudge this time next week but it’s good stuff and everyone loves it so much that they request it every year.

In case you haven’t tried your hand at making Fudge or if you are just needing a couple of good recipes I’m reposting the links to our favorite varieties down below.

I’ve tried a lot of Fudge recipes in the past as we always loved my mom’s Fudge. When we moved to Florida we weren’t as close to my mom as we once were and I had to figure out how to make it for my family… well, it was either that or spend a fortune in gas driving to visit grandma everytime we got a hankering for Fudge!



The kids and I went shopping today for supplies and I’ve ordered a few really cute tins to put the delicious treats in. As soon as the tins get here we will get started in the kitchen.

I promise that these recipes are fairly easy to make and we always have great success with them. I love that the base recipe can be changed for different flavors and this makes it one of my favorite candy recipes ever!

Here are the links to some great Fudge recipes:

My mouth is craving some FUDGE! We hope you enjoy these as much as we do! If you have a favorite Fudge recipe or Christmas Candy recipe please leave a link in the comments below as we’d love to give it a try!

Treat Yourself And Make Housework A Little Easier

**This post contains affiliate links to products we use.

I’m always so excited when I see my box from Grove Collaborators  come. This month was a small order as we are pretty well stocked up on supplies but I wanted to share with you what we did get:

Since we are in the midst of the Christmas season I thought it only fitting to get the Peppermint scented soaps. We got one Mrs. Meyers Hand Soap and two of the Mrs. Meyers Dish Soap. We really love both of these products and when we use the Walnut Scrubbers they make dishwashing a breeze.

The cleaners come in a wide variety of scents and I really enjoy trying out the different scents depending on the season.

Continue reading Treat Yourself And Make Housework A Little Easier

Large Family Planning Calendar For The New Year

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I know most of us are probably not ready to think about the New Year as we are in the midst of holiday choas right now but with as many kiddos as I have I am always looking ahead. There are doctor appointments, dentist appointments, birthdays, and so many other events that I need to keep organized.

Our calendars keep our day to day activities running smoothly and help to keep us prepared for upcoming events. They are vital to keeping this Momma sane!

What features do you look for in a calendar? I know I like it to have enough room to write things in the blocks. I also like to have the moon phases and holidays on the calendar.

Do you like the stickers or not? I kinda like the idea of stickers and it helps me to tell at a glance what we have coming up if there are stickers on it.

While I absolutely love my Cozi mobile app and I always have it pulled up on my laptop. I keep everything from appointments to recipes on my Cozi calendar and my family members all have access to it as well. I still like to have a wall calendar as well so that I can refer to it quickly if I’m on the phone or if Mr. Awesome needs to double check something he can refer to it as well.

This led me to check out Amazon for some new planning calendars today. There is such a selection to choose from I’m really not sure which one I want to get yet but here are a few of the ones I’ve found:

Continue reading Large Family Planning Calendar For The New Year

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.

 

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!

Little House On The Prairie Adventure Weekly Guide Links

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

Continue reading Little House On The Prairie Adventure Weekly Guide Links

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’

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

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

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

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

 

 

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.

Continue reading New School Year, New ABCmouse: ABC Mouse Upgrades!

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

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!

Super Simple Egg Salad

This is such an easy thing to make and so delicious… I just boiled some eggs so I think I might just whip up some really quick and have a sandwich as it is way past lunchtime! I like to eat mine on toast but maybe I’m just weird but it is good just as it is too.

Super Simple Egg Salad

Ingredients:

  • Boiled eggs
  • 1/4 c. mayo
  • 2-3 t. mustard (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste (use celery salt for a twist)
  • you could also add some chopped onion, green onion, celery or anything else that you desire

Directions:

Chop the boiled eggs by hand or with my personal favorite gadget, a pastry blender.

Gently stir in the remaining ingredients, just until blended.

Enjoy as is or on a sandwich.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products that we use. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

 

Last Confection Stainless Steel Pastry Blender Dough Cutter

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Empty Tomb Rolls

via Empty Tomb Rolls

I may have forgotten to get the ingredients for the Chocolate Covered Eggs but I did remember everything for the Empty Tomb Rolls as my kiddos have been dying to make these again. They are so easy and make such a great way to teach your kids about the real reason for Easter.

Chocolate Covered Eggs

Oh yes! It’s that time of year… I can’t wait to make some of these yummy eggs… I seriously need to make a grocery trip ASAP as it had completely slipped my mind that I wanted to make these!

Kirby's Kabin Blog

This is one of those recipes that I could’ve swore was posted at one time but I can’t find it anywhere. With the Easter holiday quickly approaching I have been asked a couple of times for the recipe and just now took the time to look for it… hence the reason for this post.

You can cover these with white chocolate or any chocolate that you prefer, if you like. I can remember my Mom using the ‘leftover’ chocolate scrapings that my dad would bring home from the Hershey factory when we lived in PA. That was so good! We have also used the candy coating that you can find in the baking aisle but mostly we use chocolate chips now.

While the most popular shape for these candies is the egg shape you can also shape them and decorate them in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and colors…

View original post 673 more words

Celebrate Earth Month With Green Kid Crafts!

We all know that April 22nd is Earth Day and just in case it has slipped up on you I have some great ideas for celebrating Earth Day in this post HERE. Why celebrate just one day when Green Kids Crafts is having an Earth Month Special?

With the summer vacation coming up on us fast many of us will be going crazy trying to keep the kids out of our hair! Trust me, I know! These kits will help to keep your kids busy and give them a healthy alternative to all of that screen time. Pssst… grandparents… these would make awesome gifts for birthdays, special events, or just because.

CELEBRATE EARTH MONTH WITH GREEN KID CRAFTS!

Get your green on this Earth Month and get 3 FREE STEAM boxes (a $60 value!) on any Green Kid Crafts subscription! Act fast to lock in savings on a longer-term subscription and get Discovery Boxes year-round for less than $15.00 / month. Use offer code PLANET12 at checkout to get $60 off any 12-month subscription. Go here to start shopping! Green Kid Crafts’ award-winning Discovery Boxes pack a lot of fun and learning into affordable and convenient packages. Each box contains up to 6 STEAM science and craft kits, extension activities, and a free STEAM magazine. Junior boxes are designed for ages 2-4 and Discovery boxes are great for ages 5-10+. Offer excludes sibling add-on options. Go here to start shopping!

**This post contains affiliate links to products that we use and love here at our home. We may earn a teeny weeny little commission if a purchase happens to be made through one of our links. Thank you so much for supporting our family, our homeschooling mission, and our blog!

Join me as an affiliate for The Reclaim Your Body Summit!

Join me in promoting The Reclaim Your Body Summit, taking place May 6-12, 2019!

Register as an affiliate!

Mordechai Wiener is a weight loss and health advocate, and he knows what it’s like to be deep in the struggle of feeling out of control around food. This had been his struggle since he was eight years old, and in 2012, he hit rock bottom. The high self-trust and self-esteem he felt in business did not translate into his personal life. He weighed over 330 pounds and, despite his successes, felt like a failure. Now, over 130 pounds lighter and having sold his business, Mordechai is on a mission to help others gain control over their relationship with food.

Plus, this event is taking place on the Health Talks Online / HealthMeans platform, which regularly returns $2-4 earnings per lead and pays out more than $1MM in commissions each year.

AND, any new leads you deliver to a Health Talks Online event means you’re also set as the commission lead for their new monthly subscription community, HealthMeans, and any of their events for the lifetime of the account (that’s about 20 health summits per year)!

You can follow the link below to learn more (and register!):
http://healthaffiliate.center/23911.html

Hope to see you soon!

P.S. Health Talks Online runs 15-20 summits per year, plus their new subscription community is growing quickly. Get started earning commissions with them when you promote The Reclaim Your Body Summit today!

Made From Scratch Monkey Bread

My kids love monkey bread and they love helping to make it! Check out the slide show for some pics:

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It’s so easy and those cute knives help them feel like real chefs will easing my mind. Those mixing bowls have been a life saver too and the lids make them perfect for this recipe. I can’t always find the 4-pack of canned biscuits (and I’ve been trying to make more things from scratch) so i have used our regular biscuit recipe at times. You just need to divide the dough into 1 inch balls and continue on if you decide to do make your own biscuit dough.

As you can see from the last picture, it goes really fast around here… so fast I didn’t have time to catch a picture of the whole thing!

Monkey bread

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2-3 t. of cinnamon
  • 4 cans biscuits or use this biscuit recipe (add 1/4 c. sugar to the flour before mixing in the shortening for a little extra sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup of butter or margarine, melted
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease  or spray a 12-cup bundt cake pan. ** see below for alternate directions.

Combine the white sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl, bag, or container with a tight fitting lid.

Cut each basket into quarters and then shake the pieces in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Place the sugar coated pieces into your greased pan.

Mix together the remaining cinnamon sugar, melted butter and the brown sugar.

Pour this mixture over top of the biscuit pieces in the pan.

Bake at 350 for 40 -45 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and turn upside down.

Best served warm. The kids like to eat it with bananas… I usually make some scrambled eggs and grits to go along with it too.

** You can bake this in a greased casserole for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

For more ideas on how to let your kids help in the kitchen be sure to check out the Kids Cook Real Foods site.

Affiliate links for items mentioned in this post:

Elite Gourmet EBS-0012 Maxi-Matic

12-Piece Stainless Steel Colored Mixing Bowls with Lids,

7.25 Qt. – 6 Qt. – 3.5 Qt. – 3 Qt. – 2.25 Qt. – 2 Qt.

Tovla Knives for Kids 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set 

Now They Call Me Teacher

Here is the second part to our adoption story. If you haven’t read the first part check it out HERE.

First published August 9, 2018

Not long after the adoptions we were surprised again by another little miracle. Mr. Jacob came into this world in the spring of 2013. His arrival was a little bit rough as he was quite a bit bigger than his brother (both were 9lbs +) and we spent a little extra time in the hospital. Everyone was ecstatic to have their baby brother join them at home.

Not long after this joyous occasion was when my marriage really began to crumble. The stress of a large family coupled with the extraordinary needs of our special needs children was taking its toll on our little family and soon afterwards my husband walked out on us. He did eventually come back, for a little while, and then left again.

Round and round on that chaotic merry-go-round we went.  Then In the Spring of 2014 , just before Jacob’s 1st birthday, he walked away for the last time. It was a very hard time for all of us but once again we made it through. It took us a little bit to find our new ‘normal’ as I wasn’t really sure what normal was anymore.

Then that fall William moved schools. That was a major catastrophe! He did not adjust and we just didn’t know what to do to help him make the adjustment. The teachers couldn’t handle him so we would go to the doctor. The doctor would prescribe more medications.

The medications would make him sick or have crazy side effects. Then we would go back to the doctor to eventually find something that worked.

The problem was that each medication would only work for a short period of time before it needed to be increased or changed out. The side effects were scary but I trusted the doctors and their knowledge.By Christmas of 2014 I was worn to a frazzle from the impending divorce, the issues William was having at school, and then Caitlyn was experiencing some behavioral issues and was put on medication as well.

Momma was one crazy mess! In fact everyone was a crazy mess. It was at this time I began to experiment with essential oils to help calm and relax everyone. We eventually got everyone squared away and over the Christmas break I had decided to do a ‘medication vacation’. I discussed it with the doctor beforehand and he encouraged me to make an appointment if I needed him for anything. I think he was a bit curious as to what the outcome would be.

Surprisingly enough everyone did very well and the oils seemed to help at least until school started back.The kids started back on their medications after I received several notice from the teachers about their behavior. I had made appointments with the doctor and we both felt that they ‘needed’ the medications to go to school. Read the last part of that sentence again… they ‘needed’ the medications to go to school. Yeah, when that hit me I realized that I wasn’t the one having the issues when they weren’t on medications.

However when they were on medication I had to deal with the mood swings, tantrums, and everything else that they had been holding in all day long! No wonder they were so grumpy with me after school. In January of 2015 I made the decision to pull William out of public school with his doctor’s support. (There were several reasons that the decision was made as he also had dietary restrictions that weren’t being adhered to at school as well as the reactions to the medications.)

The change in him was instant. He was back to being his fun loving little self again and that made my heart happy.Now trying to teach him was another matter but after doing a TON of research we finally figured it out. We found so many resources that have helped us along the way and we are so thankful for each and every one of them. There was some trial and error though but with every failure we were learning what did and didn’t work.

By Spring he was off all of his prescription medications and doing wonderfully! This change encouraged me to make the leap and pull the girls out of school before the school year ended. I still didn’t really feel like I knew what I was doing at all but I kept trying. Half the battle is won by just showing up and every morning I showed up ready to try again.

Part of the problem we weren’t having the results that I expected was because I didn’t know that homeschool looks different for every family and every home. I was trying to recreate ‘school’ at home and that didn’t work for us. It was at this time I really started getting involved with some of the groups on Facebook and taking advice from more seasoned homeschool Mommas. Boy did we see a change in our attitudes around the house.
Everyone was having fun! The biggest problem I had was affording the materials that we wanted to use. Luckily I stumbled across the Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool. It was just what we needed. The lessons were simple and already planned out. You really didn’t need to do much of anything except print out a few things here and there.
That fall big sister also decided she wanted to homeschool much to my surprise. She was able to help out with the younger kids as well. This allowed me more time to research other things that I hoped to incorporate into our learning experience. Again I kept running into the MONEY issue. That’s when I remembered the Florida Gardiner Scholarship I had applied to earlier in the year. It has been such a lifesaver for helping to purchase materials and supplies to help William have an exceptional educational experience right here at home where he is most comfortable.
With new materials and a new zeal for teaching we started on our homeschool journey which is going on its fifth year here and has seen one graduate already. Over the past few years I have grown in leaps and bounds in my knowledge of homeschooling. We have also learned to homeschool through the good days as well as the bad. Every day is a learning experience and we can make the most of every minute that we have,
We have also had several life changes over the past year which have resulted in the addition of 3 new family members, Mr. Awesome and his two sons, and a move where we did a drastic downsize. In the midst of all the chaos, which can often times spell DISASTER in our home, we try to keep calm and carry on. We do this with some simple, and not so simple, routines that I started way back when my nine was only four.
We have also found a lot of resources, tips, life hacks, and gadgets to help us get through those tough times and keep school entertaining. Some of these tools are so much fun the kids don’t have a clue that they are actually learning and they would probably still love them just as much if you told them Momma’s trick.
I encourage a lot of ‘free learning’ so we are always looking for new resources. I am excited to share these with you and your family so you too can provide your children with the most personalized and exceptional education to fit their needs.
I look forward to sharing a lot more with you all in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. Maybe, just maybe, we can help someone else’s walk down this path a little easier.

 

Big Announcement… Read All About It!

Great news!

Silver Fox Squares Square Dance Club

We are excited to announce the return of the Silver Fox Squares to their hometown of Jacksonville!

Silver Fox Squares Return

Other tentative dates to mark on your calendar:

  • May 3, 2019
  • May 10, 2019
  • May 17, 2019
  • May 24, 2019
  • May 31, 2019

More exciting information and dates to come soon. We will post any changes or cancellations here  and on our Facebook page @silverfoxsquares as well.

Hope to see you in a square soon!

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Family, Faith, Food, Fun, & Freebies

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