Category Archives: Life

Counting Pumpkins… Yes, I Said Pumpkins

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This is gonna sound crazy but I wanted to take a minute and maybe give everyone a bit of comic relief or at least a chuckle. I also want everyone to see the not so pretty side of our home because I know that many people stress about the way their houses look, especially with so many guests and company right now, and they feel like they are failing.

You aren’t failing anything, trust me, if failure were based on the way our houses look on a day to day basis then I’d be one of the biggest failures there is! Then I also seem to let people down at times because they have a certain image in their heads of how our large homeschooling family life is. This weekend I realized that a lot of people really have different opinions and ideas when it comes to these matters. I promise, we are just ordinary people, doing ordinary things, on a larger scale in a small cabin… lol. Have you noticed the blog name change? Kirby’s Korner will now be dedicated to  square dancing. 

Continue reading Counting Pumpkins… Yes, I Said Pumpkins
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It’s All About The Fudge!

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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!

7 Easy Steps To Simplify Your Life Today

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

I had originally written this series of posts in honor of National Simplify Your Life Week, which falls during the first week of August, I decided to make a short list of 7 easy steps that almost anyone can use to simplify their life starting today. With the New Year fast approaching I thought it might be helpful to post this again for anyone looking to simplify their life and have more FREE time.

Now I’m not talking about anything drastic like selling everything you own and moving into a small secluded cabin with no electric. This actually sounds like a really good idea to me right now but my kids wouldn’t really like that. The tips below will not only help you to simplify your life but they will help you to be more efficient.

Click on each link for more information and helpful tips.

  1. Take Care of Yourself
  2. Reduce Your Screen Time
  3. Learn to say NO without feeling guilty
  4. Declutter your closet (and your house)
  5. Get Organized
  6. Set Up Routines
  7. Pay Off Those Debts and Bills

I wish you the best of luck with getting your life simplified! Let me know, in the comments below, of any tips that you have used to simplify your life.

Click here to get started on Step 1.

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Little House on The Pond Progress (With Pictures)

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

I’ve been promising pics of the newly rearranged house. I know it seems like I’m always rearranging something around here but it has been awhile since I’ve posted house pics so here they are.

Many of the pics show the before we moved in and the after… which is now. It has been quite challenging getting to this point partly because having a large family means you have a lot of stuff.

Another part is that we need this small space to function in a variety of ways. We homeschool and do a lot of arts and crafts. I like to cook, sew, and blog too. Not to mention the kids need a place to play and we need to eat, relax, and maybe sleep a little bit. Previously trying to find a spot for some ‘quiet time’ has proven to be a bit difficult as well.

I think we’ve finally found an arrangement that allows for everything we need. With our new furniture pieces we can make more room when needed and move things around quite easily to accommodate whatever we might be doing. This new arrangement has also allowed the house to feel much more open and it seems like we have so much more space while still being nice and cozy.

This is the bedroom area and the view from the bedroom:

Not much has changed in the bedroom since I moved the king sized bed in here earlier this year and moved the two bunkbeds to the Main Room. I can say that having my ‘room’ has been really nice and occasionally I come in here to get a little computer work done while the kids play in the Main Room.

When we first moved in we divided this room into two rooms with a partition and added a small storage loft above the second room which is W’s room right now.  Continue reading Little House on The Pond Progress (With Pictures)

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

St. Nicholas Day 2016

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

Kirby's Kabin Blog

**This post does contain affiliate links.

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

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

st-nick-day

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

stnick.jpg

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

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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

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

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

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

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

Turkey cupcakes

The kids loved making these!

And then we made some pretzel cookies/candies.

(The Rolos unwrapped are so handy for this!)

And some acorn cookies:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

God bless!

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.

 

Free Printable Shopping Guide

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

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

shopping guide

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

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

Anyway here is the link again to the download:

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PRINTABLE SHOPPING GUIDE

Enjoy and happy shopping!

Little House On The Prairie Adventure Weekly Guide Links

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

Little House On The Prairie Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links Only

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

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