Category Archives: Meal Planning

Dandy Morning Coffee

As many of you know, I’ve really been trying hard to incorporate some of the Trim Healthy Mama ideas into my everyday diet. I have to have really like to have my morning coffee and I had switched over to the Dandy Blend before we started on these other diet changes so I wanted to try to make my creamer addiction a little bit healthier.

You don’t have to add the ‘extra’ ingredients but they help to make this a vitamin-packed way to start your day. The Trim Healthy Mama books have a ton of ideas and flavor variations that you could try.

Dandy Morning Coffee

Ingredients:

  • Dandy Blend, to taste
  • hot water (see directions)
  • 1-2 t. collagen, optional
  • 1-2 t. protein powder, optional
  • 1/8 t. sunflower lecithin, optional
  • half and half, milk, or cream, to taste
  • 1 t. MCT oil, optional
  • favorite extract or flavoring, to taste (I normally use vanilla but I just bought some caramel to try out.)
  • sweetener, to taste (I have been using Stevia in place of the sugar)

Directions:

I use about 2 t. of Dandy blend and 8-10 ounces of hot water.

I add all of my powdered ingredients into the hot water and stir vigorously. (I just bought an immersion blender to use for this as I want to try to make it a little creamier but it has been okay without it.)

Then I add all of the liquid ingredients and sweeten/flavor to taste. Enjoy!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

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Lemonade With A Twist

I’ve really been trying hard to incorporate some of the Trim Healthy Mama ideas into my everyday diet and one way I’ve found to do that is with this version of lemonade. I’m not sure if this would be entirely on the plan but it has been a lifesaver for me as I’m constantly wanting something sweet to sip on and Mr. Awesome doesn’t want me messing with his Sweet Tea! Sometimes I do mix this half and half with sweet tea for myself though.

You don’t have to add the ‘extra’ ingredients but they make this a vitamin-packed drink that is full of prebiotics and all kinds of good stuff that help keep you healthy while you stay hydrated too! I mix up a gallon of this and it lasts me 2-4 days. I love using my new Pioneer Woman drinking glass for this stuff too!

If you want the ‘real stuff’ you can check out this Old-Fashioned Lemonade recipe.

Lemonade With A Twist

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 lemons, juiced to make 1 cup (or use 1 cup of bottled lemon juice)
  • 1 -1 1/2 c. sugar (I have been using Stevia in place of the sugar)
  • 2-4 T. honey, optional
  • 6-8 T. apple cider vinegar (I like to use one with the mother)
  • 3-4 t. ground ginger
  • 2-6 T. Baobab powder (Start with just a little of this until you get used to it)
  • 8 c. water (cold water)
  • ice cubes (enough ice to fill the rest of the jar)
  • mineral salt to taste, if desired
  • sliced lemons (optional)

Directions:

Combine everything in a gallon size pitcher and stir well.

Add ice and then add enough water to fill the container, stir again.

Adjust the sweetness to your taste. Chill and Enjoy!

Garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

You could also try this with sparkling water for a little something extra.

You can also serve this with ginger ice cubes if desired.

Take some grated ginger and place small portions in an ice cube tray. Fill with water and freeze. Once frozen these can be stored in a Ziploc baggie to use in whatever you desire.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Meal Prep: DIY Bagged Salad Mix

It can be hard when you are trying to eat healthier especially when the cost of the healthier foods can be so much higher than the junk food! Here is one way that we have found to save a little money and make our salads a bit more nutritious by being able to choose better varieties of green stuff to go in them:

 

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We cut all the lettuces, a mixture of iceberg and romaine, into bite-size pieces. (We also added a bit of baby spinach to the mix.)

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Then we washed everything and spun it dry in the salad spinner. (You want to make sure it is as dry as possible before bagging it.)

We layered a couple of big baggies with a paper towel and carefully placed our lettuce and spinach inside.

Then we squeezed out all the air and sealed them.

They have been in the fridge all week and still look pretty. (You will also want to change out the paper towel frequently.) 

The kids really enjoyed practicing some of the kitchen skills they’ve learned and it seems to make them more interested in trying out new things when they are involved in the process.

2019 Meal Plans

These are some of our most recent meal plans after converting some of our favorite recipes to be healthier with inspiration from Trim Healthy Mama. I find it easier to plan out my meals so I can make fewer trips to the grocery store. I always hate it when it’s almost dinner time and I have no idea what I should make. A little planning goes a long way to help me keep my sanity… well what’s left of it that is.

I also find it easier to go ahead and plan a day or time to prep some of the items ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute. I will boil eggs, cook chicken and ground beef, prep veggies and all ahead of time so that when it comes time to make dinner it seems to go so much easier.

When I have time I also try to make a couple of extra batches of our favorites so I can put some in the freezer for emergency or quick meals. I’ll try to include some tips and tricks along with the menu plans to make your life a little easier too.

Meal Plan: May 26 – June 1, 2019

Sensible Scrambled Eggs

I love eggs whether it be fried, boiled, deviled, egg salad, omelets, or even a scrambled egg sandwich. They are so easy to make and so good for you. Here is a quick and healthier version of the scrambled eggs that we eat on a regular basis.

I just made a couple of sandwiches for Mr. Awesome and myself yesterday when we were feeling a bit hangry in between meals and they certainly hit the spot. These would also be really good for a quick breakfast with some sausage or bacon and a side of Super Simple Sauteed Spinach.

Sensible Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, beaten (or use 1 cup of egg whites for a lighter version)
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast, optional
  • 2 T. Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 T. milk or cream, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste (we like to use mineral salt or Lawry’s garlic salt)
  • a sprinkle of Turmeric, optional
  • 1/4 c. shredded cheese, optional (we like cheddar, swiss, and pepper jack but use your favorite)
  • 2-4 T. butter

Directions:

Whisk together all of the ingredients except the butter.

Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour in the eggs and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Give them a little stir and flip to make sure everything is cooking.

Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Serve.

For a sandwich:

You can cook them as directed above or flip instead of stirring so you have a firmer egg.

I like to use a little mayonnaise on my wheat bread and some people like to add a slice of cheese and or tomato.

You could probably get away with some cooked bacon too for a BET instead of a BLT? Lol… anyway you eat them will be fine.

Enjoy!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Cover Image by Markéta Machová from Pixabay

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations)

This is a variation from our regular pancake recipe that adds a little extra protein and good stuff to get your day started off on the right foot! You can add other yummies like blueberries, chocolate chips, or even some pureed pumpkin to make these even better. The variations are countless.

Below the first recipe is a recipe for sourdough pancakes and a ‘hybrid recipe’ too that we use on occasion when time is crunched. These can also be used to make waffles as well. We usually make these for breakfast and have enough left over for lunch. Sometimes I will also make a couple batches and freeze them too.

Why don’t you give them a try with our favorite Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Homemade Chocolate Syrup (with healthier options) and a little bit of whipped cream? Just because we are on a journey to healthier eating doesn’t mean we can’t still indulge in some of our favorites. We just need to look at them a little differently and change them a tad to make them work with our new way of eating.

Note: Don’t worry if you can’t find the ‘special’ ingredients as these will taste fine either way. I like to search Amazon for the ingredients or add them to my Walmart Grocery Pickup orders so I’m not spending the whole day looking for them! The links will take you to the products that we are currently using which may change from time to time as we are still on a learning curve here.

Protein Power Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 T. honey, optional
  • 1 1/2-2 cups milk, add a little more if it seems too thick
  • 2 eggs, beaten (for fluffier waffles separate the eggs and beat the whites in a separate bowl. Gently fold into the batter and cook as directed.)
  • 4 T. butter, melted
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour (You could try using whole wheat flour or oat flour too.)
  • 1 T. plus 1 t. baking powder
  • 2  t. mineral salt
  • 2-4 T. sugar (I have been using Stevia in place of the sugar)
  • 1 scoop protein powder, optional (We like to use the vanilla flavor)
  • 1 T. MCT oil powder, optional

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk together the honey, eggs, butter, and milk.

In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir just until well moistened.

 (The finished product will be tough if it is over stirred.)

Cooking instructions:

For pancakes:
Heat a greased griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle.

Flip when the top is bubbly. Don’t mash down!

Cook just until the other side is browned.

For waffles:
Preheat your waffle iron.

Spray iron with cooking spray and then pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto the iron.

Cook as directed or until the steaming stops.

These can also be frozen a reheated in the microwave or toaster.


Protein Power Sourdough Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 T. honey, optional
  • 1 1/2-2 cups milk, add a little more if it seems too thick
  • 1 egg, beaten (for fluffier waffles separate the eggs and beat the whites in a separate bowl. Gently fold into the batter and cook as directed.)
  • 4 T. butter, melted
  • 1 c. sourdough starter
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour (You could try using whole wheat flour or oat flour too.)
  • 1 T. plus 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 2  t. mineral salt
  • 2-4 T. sugar (I have been using Stevia in place of the sugar)
  • 1 scoop protein powder, optional (We like to use the vanilla flavor)
  • 1 T. MCT oil powder, optional

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk together the honey, eggs, butter, and milk.

Gently stir in the sourdough starter.

In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir just until well moistened.

 (The finished product will be tough if it is over stirred.)

Cooking instructions:

For pancakes:
Heat a greased griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle.

Flip when the top is bubbly. Don’t mash down!

Cook just until the other side is browned.

For waffles:
Preheat your waffle iron.

Spray iron with cooking spray and then pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto the iron.

Cook as directed or until the steaming stops.

These can also be frozen a reheated in the microwave or toaster.


Protein Power Hybrid Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 T. honey, optional
  • 1 1/2-2 cups water, add a little more if it seems too thick
  • 1 c. sourdough starter
  • 2 c. ready-made pancake mix (We like the Krusteaz brand from Walmart)
  • 1 scoop protein powder, optional (We like to use the vanilla flavor)
  • 1 T. MCT oil powder, optional

Directions:

In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients.

Gently stir in the sourdough starter and honey, add the water a little at a time to get the right consistency.

 (The finished product will be tough if it is over stirred.)

Cooking instructions:

For pancakes:
Heat a greased griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle.

Flip when the top is bubbly. Don’t mash down!

Cook just until the other side is browned.

For waffles:
Preheat your waffle iron.

Spray iron with cooking spray and then pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto the iron.

Cook as directed or until the steaming stops.

These can also be frozen a reheated in the microwave or toaster.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Stuffed Mushroom Omelet

This is such a yummy way to start your day and we love this with mushrooms but you could really use any kind of vegetable you like and maybe even add some bacon or sausage to make it a little bit heartier. Some of us like to eat this with a side of Super Simple Sauteed Spinach.

This could work for lunches and dinner too for those crazy days when you just don’t feel like cooking much or when you haven’t been to the grocery store in a while.

Stuffed Mushroom Omelet

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (or use 1 egg and 1 egg white)
  • 1-2 T. milk or cream
  • 1/3 c. parmesan cheese, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste (we like to use mineral salt or Lawry’s garlic salt)
  • 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 2-4 T. butter
  • 1-2 c. shredded cheese
  • 1 t. nutritional yeast, optional
  • bacon bits, optional
  • chives, optional

Directions:

Beat eggs in a small bowl. Mix in the milk, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper until blended.

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir mushrooms about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat more butter in the pan, if needed.

Pour in the egg mixture; as the eggs set gently lift the edges, letting the uncooked mixture flow underneath.

Once the eggs are mostly cooked sprinkle with shredded cheese and add the cooked mushrooms.

Carefully fold the omelet in half, cook 1-2 minutes and then flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.

Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and garnish with bacon bits and/or chives as desired.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Super Simple Sauteed Spinach

This is such an easy and delicious way to get some greens into your diet. They are good served with any meal as well. I know I always wanted to eat my spinach so I could be strong like Popeye but most kids nowadays don’t know who Popeye is and they don’t want anything to do with green veggies. My kiddos love this stuff though!

Super Simple Sauteed Spinach

Ingredients:

Directions:

Heat the oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the spinach to the skillet and cover; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle in the seasonings and cover again for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and/or nutritional yeast, if desired.

Serve immediately.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Super Yummy Caulitaters

When Mr. Awesome made the decision to give up some of his favorite foods I knew I had to get creative with some alternatives to the potato dishes that we eat so frequently. I had tried to make some ‘fake taters’ before without success but this time we finally had a winner.

This version is close to what they have in the Trim Healthy Mama books but may not be entirely on the plan as I have added a few extra ingredients which takes them to a whole nother level! If your crew isn’t entirely sold on the idea of cauliflower taters then try using half potatoes and half cauliflower, to begin with. These are really good on top of Shepherd’s Pie in a Skillet as well! (You can sneak some extra veggies and/or spinach into that recipe as well!)

Super Yummy Caulitaters

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 c. cauliflower florets (can be fresh or frozen)
  • 4 T. butter
  • 2-3 T. sour cream
  • 1/3 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 t. nutritional yeast, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste (we like to use mineral salt or Lawry’s garlic salt)
  • bacon bits, optional
  • chives, optional

Directions:

Steam or boil the cauliflower until tender.

Drain well, pressing down a bit to get out as much water as possible.

Place into the food processor and add the remaining ingredients except for bacon bits and chives.

Blend until smooth and season to taste.

Garnish with bacon bits and/or chives, if desired.

Serve with any meal where you normally serve mashed potatoes.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Manly Meatloaf

This recipe just happened to come about as Mr. Awesome decided he wanted to start eating healthier. I had already done my grocery shopping for the week so I just decided to tweak a few recipes to make them a bit healthier. I needed a name for this and he said it was a ‘manly meatloaf’ so that’s what we’ll call it from now on. It has also earned a repeating spot on our meal planning calendar.

I have been scouring the Trim Healthy Mama books for some inspiration as well and will be posting many more recipes soon! This one was adapted from my recipe for Upside-Down Meatloaf.

Manly Meatloaf

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb ground beef, ground turkey, or a mixture of ground beef and turkey/pork
  • 3 1/2 c. oatmeal (or 14 packs of the instant oatmeal)
  • 1-1/2 c. buttermilk (or add 1 T. vinegar to regular milk)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 c. veggies, chopped (I used the California blend veggies and some baby spinach from Walmart this time but you could use just about anything you like.)
  • 1-2 c. shredded cheese, optional
  • nutritional yeast, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly grease a 13 x 9 pan or 2-5×9 inch loaf pans.

Mix remaining ingredients and put into the pan(s).

Top with shredded cheese, if desired.

Sprinkle with nutritional yeast before or after baking, if desired.

Bake 45 minutes or until juices run clear.

We served this with some caulitaters (Mr. Awesome says he actually likes them better than real potatoes) and a salad.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Badgers, Butterflies, and Sourdough Bread

It seems that every week is a crazy week around here lately and I know that part of that is probably my fault for trying to squeeze so much into my days. It’s definitely a juggling act around here with the kids, homeschooling, square dancing, blogging and the list of things that need to be done to keep up house and I then I add in things like trying to revamp some of our favorite recipes to make them healthier, working a couple of part-time jobs from home to earn a little extra income and trying to start up my own notary business. Yeah, no wonders things are so crazy right? Not to mention I’ve signed up for a multitude of online classes like the Positive Parenting Solutions which has really helped out when I remember to use the tips and tools I’ve been learning about.

Sigh… parenting is hard. When you add the special challenges of raising two special needs children (ODD, ADHD, Down’s Syndrome and a few others) to the mix it can be even harder on some days. It may be because I am making some progress with our class that I am seeing a little bit more rebellion or ‘testing of the waters’ but whatever the reason it has been quite the challenge here lately. It is enough on some days to make a Momma wanna through up her hands in defeat but I know that God is here and He is going to help us all get through this.

The kids have had a blast with this week with our newest Academic Adventure using the Little House on the Prairie book series. We’ve learned about dugout homes, even a whole town that lives underground in Australia, and some other interesting facts about the strange animal that Laura encountered on one of her adventures.

They’ve also learned some important lessons about obeying rules and right now I have a couple of little girls who have lost some privileges and are under constant supervision similar to what Laura experienced at the beginning of our On the Banks of Plum Creek Week 1 Lesson Plans.

The boys also enjoyed learning with Ziggy as they started their All About Reading Level Pre-reading lessons. They also enjoyed reading  The Very Hungry Caterpillar which I thought was a good book to go along with our lessons this week.

 

Another book they are really enjoying is Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature which are reading through as part of our science lessons. It is full of facts and illustrations that they love. The jacket also unfolds to make a huge poster for them to look at. The next best part of their science lessons was looking at bugs with their Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Bugnoculars(pictured above)

We haven’t finished all of this week’s lessons as this week has been a bit busy and it was hard for some people to get back on the school routine. We still have a few like skills lessons which include our new Herb Fairies books and some dog training lessons from Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days. These might not be things you’d normally expect to find in your school lessons but the kids asked for them so I have included them to keep them interested in learning. Plus we can all benefit from these lessons and I find them pretty enjoying myself.

The best part of our homeschool experience this week is at the bottom of the post so you can keep reading or scroll through to find out what it was.

Getting back the week we’ve had, we had an amazing day at the zoo last weekend followed by a birthday party at my sister’s house. The kids had a lot of fun and a bit too much sugar that day. We had to deal with the after effects for a few days afterward. No fun!

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On Monday we had our usual square dance and then back home. Tuesday I decided to make a grocery run with my favorite Walmart Grocery Pickup service. Mr. Awesome had announced that he was starting a new diet after I had already made up my grocery list so that meant we needed to run into the store for a couple of last minute items. I already had the menu planned out as well so I just decided to tweak a few of the recipes to make them a little more diet-friendly and healthier for everyone. Be on the lookout for some upcoming recipes that we have been trying out.

I remembered that I had bought a couple of Trim Healthy Mama books (Trim Healthy Mama Plan and Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook) before so I dug them out and started skimming over them a bit. I also bought the last book, Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table, as I kept finding references to some recipes that weren’t available in the original book. There are several recipes that I want to try and I have been adding some things like collagen, acv, psyllium husk flakes, sunflower lecithin, nutritional yeast to some of my recipes for a little extra health benefit.

I know we can’t undo all these years of unhealthy eating in a day but we can make one change at a time to become a little healthier every day. I also know that my kids will be learning how to eat healthier and hopefully, they will pass some of these habits down to their kids. I’ve added some healthier options to our breakfast menus like omelets with mushrooms and a side of sauteed spinach. While Mr. Awesome passed on the spinach at breakfast I did manage to sneak in some greens and A TON of veggies at dinner time. That’s not potatoes on that plate but you wouldn’t know it if I hadn’t told you.

I’ve also done a lot of food prep so that we would have some healthier choices when we needed a quick meal or snack. We made a few boiled eggs and our own bagged salads for the week. I made one bag special for Mr. Awesome as he said he wasn’t ‘Popeye’  and he didn’t want spinach in his salad.

We cut all the lettuces, a mixture of iceberg and romaine, into bite-size pieces. Then we washed everything and spun it dry in the salad spinner. (You want to make sure it is as dry as possible before bagging it.) We layered a couple of big baggies with a paper towel and carefully placed our lettuce and spinach inside. Then we squeezed out all the air and sealed them. They have been in the fridge all week and still look pretty. (You will also want to change out the paper towel frequently.) The kids really enjoyed practicing some of the kitchen skills they’ve learned and it seems to make them more interested in trying out new things when they are involved in the process.

I also decided to try my hand at making some sourdough bread again. My first starter died when I neglected it a few months ago when I was sick. I wasn’t really feeling like attempting my own so I ordered some San Francisco Sourdough Starter from Amazon. It was quite easy to get the activation started by using the instructions provided. We’ve named our starter ‘Fran’ and she seems to be doing well. We’ve got some dough rising right now so maybe we’ll have a bit of sourdough bread to go with dinner tonight.

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The kids are really excited about our new ‘sourdough baby’ and they keep checking up on her to make sure she isn’t hungry … lol. They even wanted to try out a new recipe for muffins using some of the leftover sponge we had from the bread dough. Here’s a couple of pictures of the batter and the finished product:

This recipe still needs a little bit of tweaking but I did manage to use some whole wheat flour with these muffins and I snuck some greens in there as well! The kids said they liked them but personally, I think they need a little something more before I want to share the recipe.

I was also excited to get my Grove order this week as I ordered several items I’ve never tried before. I did get the room spray for FREE and I love that it comes in a reusable glass bottle. You can even order the concentrated sprays to refill it. 

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The body wash smells amazing and the brushes have helped out a lot with some of the cleaning we’ve been doing around the house. I bought the washing machine cleaner to help get rid of the mildew on the refrigerator seals … yuck. It has helped somewhat but it may need to be used several times to get rid of it completely. I may cave and get some bleach to get rid of it because I just really hate seeing it.

And now for the best part of our week! We had gotten the Insect Lore Deluxe Butterfly Garden with 2 Live Cups of Caterpillars & Feeding Kit at Easter and the kids have really enjoyed watching their little caterpillars grow up. I don’t know if you can see in the first picture but they were small enough to fit on my pinky nail but boy did they grow quickly.

The kids have been excited to observe the whole process but they were also very excited to let them go. This was easier said than done as a couple of them didn’t want to leave their little home. A couple of them have been spotted hanging out near the pond so we still get to see them just not as often as we did before. The kids are begging to this again.

Well, I guess I better finish up here as the boys are begging me to ‘let the dough out of the bowl’ so they can work with it. They already have some plans for bread and jelly when it gets finished!

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We just want to wish everyone a very Happy Mother’s Day and we hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

Remember that sometimes motherhood, or even parenthood, is not the way we had it pictured that it would be and we can get overwhelmed and stressed but it is so much more rewarding than we could ever hope that it would have been!

Here’s a picture of our finished bread:

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

 

Cover image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

On the Banks of Plum Creek: Week by Week Life Skills Lessons

Here are our Lesson Plans For Life Skills

These lessons were made to go along with ‘On The Banks Of Plum Creek‘ written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We are planning to go through the whole series and I am keeping track of the different topics we are learning about here on my blog. We hope you enjoy these as much as we have!

This page contains our lesson plans for a few different areas that I have included with our ‘Life Skills’. You will find lessons on cooking, cleaning, and organization as well as Bible memory work, manners, and character training. All of these will go together to help raise our children into the responsible and caring citizens of tomorrow.

On weeks where there are several activities listed just choose a couple that interest you the most to work on.

We will be discussing some of the character qualities that are displayed in the book but if you would like to do a separate character study lesson you can download one HERE.

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


Week 1: Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

1. Memory Verse

We will be memorizing Psalm 51 during this unit study. Print it HERE.

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  • Work on memorizing two verses during the week for a special prize.
    • Verse 1: Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
    • Verse 2: Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
  • Older kids can copy the memory verse down in their notebook.

2. Character

Complaining:

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. – Philippians 2:14-15

  • What did Laura complain about?

– Being honest. God hates lying.

  • Read this lesson HERE.
  • Why do you think Laura needed to tell Pa about her adventure?
  • Should you be honest?

  • Laura’s punishment was that she had to be watched, she had lost her freedom.
  • Do you think Laura like losing her freedom?

3. Manners

– Read the intro page through page 21 of Emily Post’s Table Manners for Kids and discuss the manners used in each situation below:

  • How should you come to the table?
  • What do you do before you begin eating?
  • What happens as you are getting started eating?
  • What are the rules for bread?
  • How do you eat soup?
  • How do you eat salad?
  • How do you eat cherry tomatoes?
  • Practice these manners when you eat.

Emily Post's Table Manners for Kids

4. Fun Activities

  • Watch this video about the pioneers:

Bugs Floor: 24 Jumbo Pieces

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

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

Emergency Preparedness

Kids Cook Real Food 

Skill Trek

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

Back to the Basics

Learn and practice some traditional skills from the book.

  • Read pages 10-11
  • Discuss what you learned.

Herb Study

A Kid’s Herb Book: For Children of All Ages

Dog Training

We are using Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days as a guide for training our puppy.

  • What are the seven basic commands?
  • How many does your dog know?

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

Also watch this video:

We will also be using:


Week 2: Chapters 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12

1. Memory Verse

We will be memorizing Psalm 51 during this unit study. Print it HERE.

  • Work on memorizing a verse during the week for a special prize.
    • Verse 3: For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
    • Verse 4: Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
  • Older kids can copy the memory verse down in their notebook.

2. Character

  • Did you know that questioning the law or rules can be a sin?
  • Did you know that telling half-truths is a sin?

  • Laura led Mary astray. Why is it so important for us to be careful of what we do?
  • Why should we do what is right?

– Read Proverbs 20:11:

Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

  • How does this apply to Johnny?

– Read Being Selfish

  • How was Laura being unselfish? (Chapter 12)

Being Selfish (Help Me Be Good) by [Berry, Joy]

3. Manners

– Read pages 22 through 31 of Emily Post’s Table Manners for Kids and discuss the manners used in each situation below:

  • How should food be passed around the table?
  • How should you ask for something to be passed?
  • How do you tell the salt and pepper shaker apart?
  • How should you cut food?
  • How should you eat spaghetti?
  • How should you drink beverages?
  • What are some special tips?
  • How should you eat desserts?
  • Practice these manners when you eat.

4. Fun Activities

  • Watch this video on wheat threshing:

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

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

Emergency Preparedness

Kids Cook Real Food 

  • Work on your next lesson.
  • Help to prepare a meal using your new skills.
  • Freebie Snacks

Skill Trek

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

Back to the Basics

Learn and practice some traditional skills from the book.

  • Read pages 12-13
  • Discuss what you learned.

Herb Study

Dog Training

We are using Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days as a guide for training our puppy.

  • Did you learn any helpful tips?

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

Week 3: Chapters 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18

1. Memory Verse

We will be memorizing Psalm 51 during this unit study. Print it HERE.

  • Work on memorizing a verse during the week for a special prize.
    • Verse 5: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
    • Verse 6: Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
  • Older kids can copy the memory verse down in their notebook.

2. Character

  • God made us all unique and special.
  • Mary was surprised by something Laura did, something she would never have done. Do you remember what that was?

– Sometimes being unique means we are tempted by things that others aren’t.

  • Name some ways that Laura was tempted.
  • Did you know that God is always with you and he can help you make wise choices?

– Read Proverbs 22:7

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

  • Pa didn’t want to be in debt to anyone. Do you know what this means?

3.Manners

– Read pages 33 through 41 of Emily Post’s Table Manners for Kids and discuss the manners below:

  • What tools do we need for eating?
  • When is it okay to use your fingers?
  • How do you set the table?
  • What special tools will you find at a three-course dinner?
  • How do you use chopsticks? (Maybe try eating a meal with chopsticks to practice.)
  • What is different about a formal dinner?
  • Practice these manners as you eat.

4. Fun Activities

  • Watch this video about learning to fish:

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

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

Emergency Preparedness

Kids Cook Real Food 

Skill Trek

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

Back to the Basics

Learn and practice some traditional skills from the book.

  • Read pages 14-18
  • Discuss what you learned.

Herb Study

Dog Training

We are using Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days as a guide for training our puppy.

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

Note:

We will also be using:


Week 4: Chapters 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23

1. Memory Verse

We will be memorizing Psalm 51 during this unit study. Print it HERE.

  • Work on memorizing a verse during the week for a special prize.
    • Verse 7: Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    • Verse 8: Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
  • Older kids can copy the memory verse down in their notebook.

2. Character

  • What character does the peacock remind you of?

  • Do you remember how Laura wanted to get even?
  • Was this a good idea?
  • What should she have done?

3. Manners

– Read pages 43 through 55 of Emily Post’s Table Manners for Kids and discuss the manners used in each situation below:

  • What are some trickier foods to eat?
  • What are some different things you may see at the table?
  • How do you handle a spill?
  • How do you handle a burp?
  • How do you handle something you don’t like?
  • Practice these manners when you eat.

4. Fun Activities

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

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

Emergency Preparedness

Kids Cook Real Food 

Skill Trek

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

Back to the Basics

Learn and practice some traditional skills from the book.

  • Read pages 504-511
  • Discuss what you learned.

Herb Study

Dog Training

We are using Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days as a guide for training our puppy.

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

Note:

We will also be using:


Week 5: Chapters 24, 25, 26, 27 & 28

1. Memory Verse

We will be memorizing Psalm 51 during this unit study. Print it HERE.

  • Work on memorizing a verse during the week for a special prize.
    • Verse 9: Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
    • Verse 10: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
    • Verse 11: Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
  • Older kids can copy the memory verse down in their notebook.

2. Character

  • How did the Ingalls’ family keep the Sabbath?

  • Discuss what you learned
  • What number was the locust plague?
  • How did this compare to what happened in the story?

  • Do you remember what Pa needed to buy in town?
  • Did he buy what he needed?
  • What did he sacrifice his need for?
  • Was he being a good steward of his money?

– Read Psalm 46:

  • Why do you think Laura suggested reading this when you are faced with trouble?

– Read 1 Timothy 5:7-8

And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

  • How did Pa provide for his family?
  • What difficult choice did he have to make?

3. Manners

– Read pages 57 through 67 of Emily Post’s Table Manners for Kids and discuss the manners used in each situation below:

  • What are everyday meals?
  • What are some once a year meals?
  • What are some once in a lifetime meals?
  • How do you know where to sit?
  • What should you do if you don’t like something?
  • What are the magic words?
  • What are some table talk tips?
  • What is small talk?
  • What are some good things to talk about at the table?
  • What are some things to avoid talking about at the table?
  • Practice these manners when you eat.

4. Fun Activities

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

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

Emergency Preparedness

Kids Cook Real Food 

Skill Trek

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

Back to the Basics

Learn and practice some traditional skills from the book.

  • Read pages 190-194
  • Discuss what you learned.

Herb Study

Dog Training

We are using Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days as a guide for training our puppy.

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

Note:

We will also be using:


Week 6: Chapters 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 & 34

1. Memory Verse

We will be memorizing Psalm 51 during this unit study. Print it HERE.

  • Work on memorizing a verse during the week for a special prize.
    • Verse 12: Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
    • Verse 13: Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
  • Older kids can copy the memory verse down in their notebook.

2. Character

  • Discuss what you learned.
  • What commandment did Laura break?

  • God is good and he takes care of us.
  • How did God give Laura what she had wanted?

– Read Joel 2:25-26

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.

  • How does this apply to the story?

Read Proverbs 27:10

Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.

  • Who does this apply to in the story?
  • Who was a good neighbor?

3. Manners

– Read pages 69 through 84 of Emily Post’s Table Manners for Kids and discuss the manners used in each situation below:

  • Where are some places that you must eat quickly?
  • What are some line manners?
  • What are some tips for eating at a cafeteria?
  • What are some tips for eating at a sit-down restaurant?
  • What are some picnic tips?
  • What is a buffet? A potluck?
  • What can make a meal special?
  • Practice these manners when you eat.

4. Fun Activities

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

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

Emergency Preparedness

Kids Cook Real Food 

Skill Trek

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

Back to the Basics

Learn and practice some traditional skills from the book.

  • Read pages 390-391 (pest deterrents)
  • Discuss what you learned.

Herb Study

Dog Training

We are using Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days as a guide for training our puppy.

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

Note:

We will also be using:


Week 7: Chapters 35, 36, 37 & 38

1. Memory Verse

We will be memorizing Psalm 51 during this unit study. Print it HERE.

  • Work on memorizing a verse during the week for a special prize.
    • Verse 14: Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
    • Verse 15: O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise
  • Older kids can copy the memory verse down in their notebook.

2. Character

  • Why is it important to take care of ourselves?
  • What bad habits did Douglas have?
  • What bad habits do you have?
  • What bad habit did Pa have?

  • What did Laura think would happen when they grew up?
  • How do you feel about this?
  • Why is it so important for children to obey their parents?

3. Manners

– Read pages 85 through 93 of Emily Post’s Table Manners for Kids and discuss the manners used in each situation below:

  • What are the things you need to decide before hosting a party?
  • What should you consider when choosing the date?
  • How do you decide the guest list?
  • How should you decide on the menu?
  • Why should you do a test run?
  • How can you choose activities?
  • How can you make sure you get to enjoy the party?
  • What happens after the party?
  • Why are parties special and important?
  • Practice using these manners as you host a party or special dinner.
  • Check out these tips HERE for a tea party.

4. Fun Activities

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

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

Emergency Preparedness

Kids Cook Real Food 

  • Work on your next lesson.
  • Help to prepare a meal using your new skills.
  • Brothday

Skill Trek

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

Back to the Basics

Learn and practice some traditional skills from the book.

  • Read pages 85-91
  • Discuss what you learned.

Herb Study

Dog Training

We are using Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days as a guide for training our puppy.

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

Note:

We will also be using:


Week 8: Chapters 39, 40 & 41

1. Memory Verse

We will be memorizing Psalm 51 during this unit study. Print it HERE.

  • Work on memorizing a verse during the week for a special prize.
    • Verse 16: For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
    • Verse 17: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
  • Older kids can copy the memory verse down in their notebook.

2. Character

  • Pa knew that he had to keep walking and not give up, why do you think he didn’t give up?
  • What does perseverance mean?

3. Manners

  • What are some manners you learned?
  • Review Emily Post’s Table Manners for Kids and discuss any manners you might need help with.
  • Continue planning and working on your special meal.
  • Try a test run.

4. Fun Activities

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

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

Emergency Preparedness

Kids Cook Real Food 

  • Work on your next lesson.
  • Help to prepare a meal using your new skills.
  • Smart Sweets

Skill Trek

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

Back to the Basics

Learn and practice some traditional skills from the book.

  • Read pages 92-96
  • Discuss what you learned.

Herb Study

Dog Training

We are using Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days as a guide for training our puppy.

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

Note:

We will also be using:


Week 9: Finishing Up

1. Memory Verse

We will be memorizing Psalm 51 during this unit study. Print it HERE.

  • Work on memorizing a verse during the week for a special prize.
    • Verse 18: Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
    • Verse 19: Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
  • Older kids can copy the memory verse down in their notebook.
  • Work on saying everything you have memorized.

2. Character

  • Have you ever heard of the Golden Rule?
  • What are some examples of how the Golden Rule was shown in the story?
  • What are some ways that you can use the Golden Rule?

3. Manners

4. Fun Activities

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

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

Emergency Preparedness

Kids Cook Real Food 

  • Work on your next lesson.
  • Help to prepare a meal using your new skills.

Skill Trek

Back to the Basics

Learn and practice some traditional skills from the book.

  • Free choice reading
  • Discuss what you learned.

Herb Study

Dog Training

We are using Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days as a guide for training our puppy.

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.
  • Continue working with your puppy and giving her plenty of attention!

Now let’s have some fun. Pick a couple of tricks to teach your puppy!

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.
  • Continue working with your puppy and giving her plenty of attention!

Note:

We will also be using:


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