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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 

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Pine Tree or Palmetto Bug?

When I first tried Grove products I was on a mission to try to use healthier products in our home. I believe one of the first scents I tried was the Iowa Pine… I was in love! It reminded me of fresh cut pine trees in the mountains. It had been a while since I had ordered this scent and I decided to try it out again because I loved it so much.

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I cleaned the house one day and was again amazed at the fresh scent and felt good knowing that these products are better for us than a lot of others out there. Well, Mr. Awesome happened to come by about then and he kind of crinkled up his nose. He asked what happened? I told him I had just finished cleaning and he said it smelled like I had crushed a giant Palmetto bug in the house… Ewwww. Not the reaction I was hoping for.

Yuck… just seeing this picture gives me the Heevy Jeevies… I really do despise these little pests and they are abundant here in Florida. Now that Mr. Awesome has made this connection I won’t ever think about Pine Scent the same way… sniffle. That doesn’t change the fact that I have an ample amount of pine scented cleaner already so I’ll have to use it up or find somewhere else to use it… maybe I can donate it somewhere?

**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

His favorite scent so far has been the Gernamium… crazy huh? My favorite scent that I use most often is the Lavender… oh how I love my Lavender! Best thing is that these are all great and they all meet the Grove Standard which means everything available at Grove has met their standards for non-toxicity, efficacy, and sustainability, and is cruelty-free. What more can you ask for?

My next scent to try is Mrs. Meyers Rain Water… it sounds so refreshing, doesn’t it? Have you tried out Grove products yet? If so what is your favorite scent and/or product. If not why don’t you give them a try right now and get a little something special too when you use my referral link.

Click Here To Try Out Grove Today!

Finding Peace Amongst The Dirty Socks, Grocery Lists, Stuffed Animals, And Buffalo

**This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use in our home.

How’s your day going? I hope you said it’s going well but if it didn’t you may be having a day like mine. I’ve been busy, too busy on too many things… you probably know how that goes when you try to multitask. Sometimes multitasking can be great and you can accomplish a lot but then there are those times that nothing seems to get done.

I’ve been working on our next unit study using  ‘The Little House On The Prairie‘ written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We had so much fun with our last unit study Little House In The Big Woods Adventure that we decided to keep on going. This is A LOT of work though but I want my kids to have fun learning so it is well worth it. To be honest I’m having a blast doing this with them too.

This next unit study is going to be so much fun! I have found so many projects, crafts, and fun activities to go along with our studies. We will be studying about so many things like prairie animals including prairie dogs and buffalo. Then there are the Native American studies that we will be doing along with continuing our state studies. We will also be touching a little bit on stars and constellations as the kids have really been interested in this topic lately. One of the girls asked to do an herb study too so I am trying to work on that as well.

Of course I have a lot more than that included in the study and I still have to finish up our Life Skills section. This time I am hoping to do it a little differently but still plan to include some fun activities like baking some molasses cookies, sewing sun bonnets, and memorizing some bible verses. I think I will have some camping tips, information, or other activities in this study as well so we may see a Weenie Roast and S’mores in our future! I’m not sure what other fun activities I will find to go along with it as I haven’t really even started this section yet and I plan to start this unit next week! AHHHH!

You can check it out and use some of the activities to go along if you plan to read this series with your kids too. A good majority of the resources I link to are FREE because I really like FREE stuff. Some of the links are affiliate links to things we are or will be using.

I am slowly working my way through the books and coming up with lots of fun stuff to do. It has been such slow progress because of so many unexpected interruptions. The biggest being the impromptu trip to Pennsylvania due to the passing of my Mom-mom. I am still not quite over that as much as I felt I should have been by now but I know everything takes time.

Then on top of that I have a houseful of kiddos running around. There are so many chores, like the never ending laundry, and so much cleaning that I need to catch up on I get overwhelmed at times. Not to mention I have to feed these little monsters at least three times a day! No wonder I can’t get anything done. Another issue this week has been our internet… yes, again. It seems that no matter what I do I can’t get it to do like I feel it should. We don’t have a lot of choices so I’m kinds stuck with what I have for now but I do plan to research options… really I do when I get a free moment… lol.

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Continue reading Finding Peace Amongst The Dirty Socks, Grocery Lists, Stuffed Animals, And Buffalo

DIY: Quick Counter Top Update

Check out what I did this weekend! Like and subscribe to our channel if you haven’t already done so!

Product Review: Grove Collaborative Holiday Collection December 2017

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

My house has never smelled this clean! These all natural cleaning products I just got from Grove Collaborators are simply AMAZING! (These weren’t FREE but I love them so much I had to share.) Please check out my YouTube video to see these items up close or read about them below.

There was a total of 11 different products in this order and they are as follows:

Continue reading Product Review: Grove Collaborative Holiday Collection December 2017