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Spice Jar Fruit Fly Trap

Fruit fly traps

You need:

Old spice container

Dish soap

Vinegar (ACV or homemade fruit scrap vinegar work best)

Directions:

Tape off all but a couple of holes in the lid.

Fill the jar about halfway with vinegar.

Add one drop of dish soap.

Put the lid on the jar.

Place in area where fruit flies have been seen and wait.

Empty every 1-2 weeks, or as needed.

You can also use an old cup with a lid and a straw that has been cut in half.

Place the vinegar and dish soap in the cup.

Put the lid on.

Secure the straw with tape so that it is suspended above the liquid.

The flies will get in but won’t find their way back out… just make sure to label it so no one gets curious and takes a sip… yuck!

Our 2022-2023 Homeschool Curriculum and Schedule

I know most families are just now finishing up their 2021-2022 school year and looking forward to a few months off but we aren’t like most families. We’ve decided to adopt more of a year-round school schedule which allows us more flexibility to take time off whenever we need a break or have something important or unexpected come up… which has happened a lot lately!

We have it planned so that we can take a one-week break every three weeks or so with a two-week break around Christmas and at the end of our school year. We can adjust this as needed, for example, we could complete six weeks of school and take a two-week break if needed. Or we could have two weeks of school with a break and then have four weeks… we have a little bit of flexibility for whatever we need to do without feeling ‘rushed’ to get finished.

We finished our 2021-2022 school year back in March and I was tempted to take a few months off and not start back until August/September but I know from past experiences that this doesn’t go well and that it takes FOREVER to get a couple of the kids back into the school routine. You can read more about last year’s curriculum and routines HERE. Last year was pretty crazy but we adapted and we survived!

Last year I switched to some Living Education Books from Master Books for our Language Arts and Math and we absolutely loved them so we went with them again for this year. We used some materials that we already had on hand and I ordered a few new things to go along with our studies. So far, everything has been working out well and many of the studies have been overlapping/going right along with each other which has been really nice as it helps to reinforce what we are learning and gives a little bit of review as well.

I also have another post with activities that we use for little miss (20 months old right now.)

Continue reading “Our 2022-2023 Homeschool Curriculum and Schedule”

Homeschool Activities for a 1 to 2-year-old and Our Daily Schedule plus a Weekly Preschool Schedule

How in the world do we keep little miss occupied so we can get some school work done?

Homeschooling any number of kids can be difficult at times but when you add a baby or toddler to the mix it can get really crazy. Some days are easier than others as she is pretty good at keeping herself entertained but other days she can be extremely clingy and doesn’t want to be ‘left out’. We have to come up with some clever tricks to keep her entertained at times and sometimes we just take turns having someone play with her to keep her happy, although we don’t give in to every little whine or cry because sometimes she will figure out a way to entertain herself without us.

We have the basic routines that we have tried to stick to, even through the rough year that we had last year. During our numerous in-patient stays, I did my best to keep her routine as similar to our home routine as I could. It was difficult but it helped us both tremendously. Big sister also kept the kiddos at home on a regular schedule and that helped keep some of the chaos to a minimum.

Now that we are home and doing well we really had to get a little bit stricter with our routines as we’ve had a lot of adjustments to make. Shyanne missed her big brothers and sisters and they missed her but sometimes they get on each other’s nerves just as all siblings do. It’s a normal part of having a big family but it can lead to many distractions which are not good when we need to get certain things accomplished.

The basic areas we try to include in her daily schedule are:

  • Life Skills/Character Development
  • Language/Communication
  • Math
  • Science/STEM/Sensory
  • PT/OT (Gross/Fine Motor Skills)
  • Art/Music
Continue reading “Homeschool Activities for a 1 to 2-year-old and Our Daily Schedule plus a Weekly Preschool Schedule”

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Sourdough Battered Squash Blossoms

Oh my! How did I not know that fried squash blossoms were a thing?

I just happened to search for ways to use squash blossoms the other day as we have several veggies starting to ripen and it seemed such a waste for those big beautiful blossoms to just wither away. That’s when I found out that fried squash blossoms were a thing and I had to give them a try.

Continue reading “Sourdough Battered Squash Blossoms”

Easy Chia Pudding

This recipe is pretty easy to make and I’m sure you could adjust it in many ways to suit your taste. I love that this is full of fiber, protein, and lots of healthy fats that little bodies and brains need!

I’m not sure how long this will keep in the fridge as I need to make a new batch every 3 to 4 days because my kiddos just gobble it up! Little miss loves this for breakfast or a snack.

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The ‘Ten Fingers, Ten Toes’ Book Is a Game Changer!

I have done more than my fair share of research on Down Syndrome and ways to help with development when my older son came into our family. I never expected that ten years later we would be blessed with another very special addition. When we learned of her diagnosis I began researching more and buying more books geared towards babies and younger children.

We all know that our brains and central nervous system dictate all of our functions so I was terrified of her multiple diagnoses and many of the doctors were not very optimistic either. I knew I would need as many tools and resources as I could find to help her reach her full potential.

With certain disabilities like Down Syndrome and Dandy-Walker Malformation, the brain can be adversely affected. Both of these conditions usually cause some degree of developmental delays along with various health issues. The degree of disability will vary from individual to individual so there is no ‘one size fits all’ therapy program to use. When you add in the diagnosis of Hydrocephalus with chromosomal abnormalities and other birth defects there is an even greater chance of severe delays and disabilities.

Even with all of my other research, I’d never even heard of neuroplasticity training before Shyanne was born but I had been doing some research for therapy ideas when I came across this book. (Maybe I had read it somewhere but forgot?) I wish I’d had this book for my first child as I could’ve learned ways to help all of my children with their development.

Ten Fingers Ten Toes Twenty Things Everyone Needs to Know: Neuroplasticity for Children** by Karen Pryor PT DPT Ph.D. 

Continue reading “The ‘Ten Fingers, Ten Toes’ Book Is a Game Changer!”

Large Family Organization: Getting Started with the Pantry

I thought I had done a post on this but I wasn’t able to find it… there’s no telling what happened as our internet does some really crazy things around here. I know that ‘Getting Organized’ is usually at the top of many people’s New Year’s Resolutions and it is definitely one of our major goals for this year.

If you’ve been following our blog for any length of time you probably know how crazy the past several years have been. We downsized, with 6 kids, to a 600 square foot cabin. After saving up and getting things in order we decided to purchase a home to go next door on some property that Mr. Awesome had.

Continue reading “Large Family Organization: Getting Started with the Pantry”

He hears our cries…

I was scrolling Facebook with my morning coffee when I came across this post. It touched my heart and gave me a reminder of just how wonderful our Father is!

‘I stood at the kitchen sink washing a bottle, listening to my baby cry from the living room. He was safe in his crib, his diaper had just been changed, but he was hungry. I hated hearing my baby cry, but I knew he was okay. And though he couldn’t understand it, I was preparing exactly what he needed, what he was crying for. In just a few minutes, with a full bottle in hand, I would pick him up and his cries would stop.

Standing over that kitchen sink, my heart realized how many times I have been in his place. I’ve been crying—safe and loved—but crying out to my God. My prayers shouting to Him exactly what I wanted, what I needed, but they were met with silence.

I couldn’t see Him. I didn’t recognize the work He was doing. And though I couldn’t understand it, He was preparing exactly what I needed, what I was crying for.

If you have found yourself in a season of crying out to God, wondering where He is or what He’s doing, remember that your Father in Heaven loves you more than you can imagine. He’s standing in the next room, listening to your cries, preparing what you need.

You have not been abandoned. You are not alone. Your God is at work. He hears your cries.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
(2 Corinthians 4:18, NIV’

Loving our Lord with Kelsey Scism

I hope this touches someone’s heart today. Remember that He knows our every need before we even speak them.


Jumping Back Into Normal… well, almost

It’s been such a blessing to be home for the past few months. We have been trying to put the events from last year in our memory but the reality is that we will never be able to completely forget the health scare that we faced with our little one. It has helped us to see just how truly blessed we are to have such a beautiful family and we have been reminded of just how precious life is… and how quickly things can change.

Continue reading “Jumping Back Into Normal… well, almost”

Shyanne’s Bell Ringing at UF Shands Children’s Hospital