Tag Archives: Kids

Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game

Just in case you haven’t read about the Wildcraft game or the Learning Herbs books in any of my previous posts I’m going to share this with you now. My kids have absolutely been loving the Herb Studies we’ve incorporated into our Kirby’s Kids Academic Adventures. Recently I came across the Herb Fairies book series that they are enjoying as well. When I purchased the book series Amazon had recommended this game, Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game, as others had also purchased it. I did buy the game and my kids love it!

Continue reading Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game

Celebrate National Anti-Boredom Month with help from Samko & Miko!

Did you know that July is National Anti-Boredom Month?

I didn’t know this until a few days ago as I saw it mentioned in an article as I was skimming through my facebook at a super fast rate. Then I was reminded of it again yesterday when going through my numerous emails…  the number of emails I get is crazy!

I can see why this would be a great month for finding ways to beat boredom as I’m sure there are a lot of parents hearing those famous words “I’m so bored…. there’s nothing to do!”. My eyes seem to do an automatic eye roll when I hear it from my kiddos. There’s always something you can do, right?

Here’s a couple of articles with some great Anti-Boredom suggestions for you to check out:

Also, don’t forget to check out the great variety of toys and games that are available at Samko & Miko Toys:

 

National Geographic 8x21 Compact Roof-Prism BinocularsUltimate BoomerangDisney pixar Cars 5 Pieces Gardening Set

Discovery HD Camera

You can also check out my post, July Holidays, for more fun and unusual holiday ideas to celebrate. This post hasn’t been updated so a couple of the dates may be a little different for this year.


 

**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 Pexels from Pixabay

50+ Dairy-Free Frozen Treats to Make at Home

Beat the heat with these healthy and delicious frozen treats that you can make at home!

frozentreats

Super Busy Start To The Summer

Oh my goodness, the past few weeks have been so super busy… but then again it seems that we are always so super busy anymore which is something I definitely want to work on because this Momma is exhausted! Anyway, hopefully, we will see the rewards of some of the projects we’ve been on and will be able to share them here soon.

The past couple of weeks we have been doing some major cleaning and organizing around here. I started in the storage shed where I bought a couple of big shelves from Sam’s Club when they had a special going on for Memorial Day.

 

 

The kids wanted to make bunk beds out of the shelves and I’ve seen some Pinterest ideas where they have used them as such but I needed them for organization. They did go together fairly easily which was a good thing. I put both shelves together one morning and then worked on the shed for a couple of days. Here is a rather embarrassing picture of the shed before:

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As you can see, it was nearly impossible to find anything without moving a ton of junk beforehand.

And after:

 

I can find my square dance outfits easily and the kids love having space where they can play with some of the neat homeschool resources they haven’t seen before. I do need to sort through a lot of stuff and donate a bit but I am so happy that I finally have all of my homeschool stuff in one place! Really, you just don’t know how happy that makes this Momma! Continue reading Super Busy Start To The Summer

On The Banks Of Plum Creek Adventure Weekly Guide Links

Click Here for On The Banks Of Plum Creek 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. On the Banks of Plum Creek Week 1 Lesson Plans

Continue reading On The Banks Of Plum Creek Adventure Weekly Guide Links

Sign up Today! Raising Adventurous Eaters – 3-step solution even for picky kids

Image by tookapic from Pixabay 

Ah, dinner time.

That moment in the day where the whole family comes together, enjoys a nourishing meal, and takes a genuine interest in one another’s day…

(or maybe…not?)

If your mealtimes feel a little more like Looney Tunes let the Tasmanian Devil loose around your kitchen table…or the princess from the pea-under-the-mattress story stopped by to give commentary on each item on the plate…you’re not alone.

And I might have a solution for you.

I’ve been checking out some tips from the teacher behind the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse, an online cooking class for kids. She’s got so many ideas about strategies for peaceful dinners, fostering healthy eaters, and dealing with picky ones, and she’s sharing them all in a (free!) live online event next week:

Raising Adventurous Eaters: Proven 3-Step Process to End Mealtime Madness and Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy ​​​​​(even if they’re picky!)

Katie Kimball, who is a teacher and mom of 4, will show you:

  • How to WIN Every Time You Play the Game of Dinner with Your Kids (and your kids win too!)
  • THE Snacktime Rule That Will be Your New Best Friend
  • Why WHEN You Serve Veggies Totally Matters
  • Power Struggle Diffusers to Make Family Mealtimes Peaceful (even if you have picky eaters)
  • How to Make the Clean Plate Club Totally Unnecessary
  • 3 Choices to Give Your Kids That Will Make Healthy Food a Reality in Your House — but They Still Think They’re in Control
  • Quick Phrases for Your “Parenting Toolbox” That Ease Decision Fatigue at the End of the Day
  • How to Leverage Your Unfair Advantage in the Kitchen (= More Veggies in Your Kids!)

Are you ready to experience a family dinner that everyone enjoys – even the adults?

You won’t want to miss this free event – it’s time to flip the script on “kid food” and raise healthy, adventurous eaters!

RESERVE YOUR SEAT FOR THE LIVE EVENT 

P.S. The training has 4 times to choose from so it’s even easier to get there:

  • Monday, April 29 at 7pm EDT (4pm PDT)
  • Monday, April 29 at 10pm EDT (7pm PDT)
  • Tuesday, April 30 at 2pm EDT (11am PDT)
  • Thursday, May 2 at 10am EDT (7am PDT)

It will be recorded but signing up is the only way to get the replay!

Cozi: 10 Best Volunteer Opportunities for Teens, According to Parents

Are you looking for volunteer experiences for your child? It’s a great way for kids to feel involved in the community, and some schools even require volunteer hours to graduate.
Even if you are homeschooling you can add volunteer hours to your child’s transcripts and these make a really good impression on prospective colleges and/or employers.
To help get you started, here’s a list of organizations and local opportunities for volunteering – all recommended by parents who Cozi.

Click Here to read more about these great volunteer ideas.

And Now He Calls Me Momma

Hey ya’ll I know we’ve been really quiet here at Kirby’s Kabin but we haven’t forgotten about everyone. Things have been really busy and crazy. We have a couple of BIG things going on and hoping to share some big news soon… so please say a prayer for us as we are awaiting some news to let us know which direction we will be taking in the future.

I realized a while back that I’ve never really told our story to you and I have posted it on another blog I started a while back… that one hasn’t gotten very far at all with our crazy schedules but here is a quick start to our craziness…

First published August 2, 2018

kids swing

What you are about to read has never been published on any site before. It is not meant to be a pity party or anything of that nature just a background of who we are and how we came to be where we are now. It is a bit lengthy so be prepared.

 

Our special needs journey began in the Fall of 2010. We had just learned we were expecting after being told by a doctor I would never carry another baby again because of health issues. It was late one evening when I got the call saying that Child Services needed a place for my nieces and nephew to stay.

‘It is only temporary’, the voice on the line said, ‘just until she can get herself straight’. I took a deep breath and agreed to let them come stay with me not having a clue of the chaos I was getting my family into.

I informed my four children ages 11, 13, 15, and 17 of what was going on so they would know what to expect. The girls were super excited as they loved their little cousins. The boys were not so excited but were happy that we were in a position to help. I was a little unsure that our house was even big enough to ‘pass inspection’.

Later that night the worker appeared with 2 of the 3 babies and some McDonalds in hand. It was kind of a blur as she went through form after form and so many instructions! I signed and initialed and signed some more. I added contact numbers to my phone and wrote down many reminders before she left.

Then later that night I had to break the news to my husband who wasn’t quite as excited as I was as he had been through this scenario a time or two before. (I wasn’t able to reach him beforehand as he was at work.) The next few days and weeks were full of running here and there, filling out more paperwork, going to doctor visits, specialist visits, and many interviews of all sorts.​​

Let’s just say that the next few months (and years) have been a roller coaster in more ways than one. The oldest, William, was born with Down’s Syndrome and had been diagnosed with ADHD along with several other issues. He was 8 at them time and had not been potty trained and was not very verbal at all.
The next in line, Caitlyn, was 3 at the time. She was diagnosed with ODD (Oppostional Defiant Disorder) and later diagnosed with ADHD like her brother. She was not immediately placed with me for reasons unknown but eventually made her voice known and was reunited with her siblings on full time basis later on.
The littlest of the bunch, Isabella, was just shy of being 2. She was extremely shy and labeled as ’emotionally disturbed’ by some of the specialists. To say we had our hands full was an understatement. Then we had to deal with a lot of emotional relatives while trying to keep the children’s best interest in mind at all times. It did get quite confusing, stressful, and overwhelming at times along the way.
Just a couple of months after having the precious kiddos placed in our care I suffered a miscarriage which was the fourth one I had had since my then young child had been born. This was a very traumatic event as EMS had to be called and I spent a bit of time in the hospital but my older kids all pitched in and helped out.
We made it through that event and lo and behold a few months later we found out we were expecting again. All the while I was so busy trying to figure out the special needs of our special needs children. I had to take a crash course and gather as much information as I could from the doctors, teachers, and specialists.
With a lot of hard work and dedication we had some major triumphs in helping each of the kiddos flourish. William became Mr. Personality and was potty trained in a matter or months.
Ms. Caitlyn became a very spunky young lady which earned her the title of Ms. Attitude. Little Bella quickly found her voice and we couldn’t get her to stop talking!  The changes in just a few short months were unreal!

Then in early 2012  I delivered a baby boy who we call Joey. This again proved to be a very trying time as we spent several days in the NICU which was over an hour away from where we called home. Soon enough he was able to come home and join his 7 other siblings. Somewhere around this time we were offered the chance to officially adopt the three little ones who were now calling me Momma.
During the Spring we worked hard to get all of our paperwork submitted for adoptions. There were more doctors appointments, specialist, psychologists, and tons of interviews to complete before were could be officially approved. We also worked hard on the place that was to be our home for the next several years.
Then in the Summer of 2012 all three of them were made official members of the ‘Kirby’ family. We were all so excited. It was a very special occasion for us but a sad event for others.
There were some family members who didn’t agree with our decision and made it known. Part of the reason we moved before the adoption was due to circumstances related to the way some relatives felt.
While this event brought some of others closer together it also caused a huge rift with some of our extended family.
Looking back on it I know that we did what was in the best interest of my children, all of them, and I wouldn’t change a thing. OK, well maybe I would have changed a couple of things but we won’t discuss that here.

Freezer Cooking Made Me Cry Yesterday

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

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

Continue reading Freezer Cooking Made Me Cry Yesterday

A Fresh Start In The New Year Part 2

**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.

So if you read my post yesterday you know that we had some unexpected work that had to get done around the house. What you didn’t get to see was the post holiday mess the rest of the house was still in… yep, I’m gonna show you some really messy pics of our cabin because LIFE is MESSY at times and we aren’t PERFECT so our place gets just as MESSY as everyone else’s house, and probably more at times.

One thing I know is that you can’t truly organize CLUTTER! Boy oh boy was it in abundance around earlier this week. I’m kinda embarrassed to show you all these pics but I really want to show everyone that you CAN change your LIFE one little step at a time. The important thing is to remember that the CHANGE must start somewhere and I know that LIFE can be so OVERWHELMING at times… these pics can prove that… but we can’t just sit around and wait for someone else to do something that we aren’t willing to do ourselves.

On the other hand I want everyone to know that our house has not looked this BAD in a long time. I know that HOARDING tendencies seem to run in one side of my family and that scares the crap out of me! Part Most of this was MESS was due to the post holiday chaos we had and the total LACK of ENERGY I had from not feeling well … but enough with the EXCUSES as I was determined to get past the PROCRASTINATION.

Over the weekend I had made a short To-Do List to work on and a couple of the first items to tackle were the kitchen and the bathroom. However the closet became number 1 priority when the kids demolished some of the shelving… you can read about that project HERE. Here’s the BEFORE of the kitchen:

You can see breakfast prep was ongoing when I took this and it was so hard to accomplish anything with the CLUTTER laying around. Mr. Joey wanted to help with breakfast so I did a quick tidy to make room and let him work on some Pancake Poppers for a quick breakfast.

We made one batch of blueberry and one batch of sausage… yum!

After breakfast I did a quick cleanup and had the kitchen back to a semi-normal state within 20-30 minutes… YAY!

Then I tackled the bathroom which took another 10-15 minutes. I could feel myself running out of steam really quickly though. I crossed off those two items and another as the kids had helped change sheets and tidy up the loft area as I cleaned in the kitchen and bathroom. Then I attempted to tackle the next area which was in the Main Room

This pic was actually from Thursday before I got to work on paying bills but honestly there wasn’t a whole lot of change from then to Sunday. I did start on it but got interrupted with something or another and that was pretty much the end of the cleaning for the day.

However on Monday I had a new PLAN OF ACTION. We needed to get started back to school work but I knew that there was no way I would keep anyone’s attention with all the stuff sitting around just begging to be discovered.

So I made an executive decision that for now our group studies will be completed Tuesday-Thursday. The kids can work on independent or one-one tasks on Mondays and Fridays. This change also included a temporary change in our Laundry and Cleaning Routines as the majority of those tasks will be completed on Mondays and Fridays as well. So far so good with this change and we’ve actually been able to accomplish quite a bit more in the cleaning and school areas.

Our first task of the day was to get this tree put away…

Most of the other decorations had already been packed into totes the week before so we just had to make room for the tree decor. Then everything was taken to the shed and neatly put away.

Then to get the table put back up. I put Joey to work on bagging up the random grocery bags around the house so we can reuse them.

I set to work on straightening up my bedroom… this is what it looks like after getting back from a dance. I usually have the little boys in here to change and the girls use the closet to get ready. This means I can’t get in there to put away anything so it ends up piled on my bed… sigh.

After a bit it looked much better except for the basket of laundry sitting there… but hey, at least it was clean laundry. I went ahead and checked the bedroom off the To-Do List as well, but as you will see in a bit that may have been a bit premature.

While I worked in the bedroom the kids cleaned up the floor where the tree had been. They also worked on organizing their school cubbies so we could have a fresh start for the next day. They also put away some of the items that had been cluttering the table. Things actually seemed to be getting MESSIER instead of cleaner!

They also worked on straightening up the TV area as there were dirty dishes, controllers, toys that needed put away.

We were on a roll and our next mission was to get rid of all the boxes sitting around. Most of these held Christmas gifts that needed homes. Now that we had straightened up most everything this would be an easier task to accomplish. But first Jacob thought everyone should have a quick snack of candy canes from the tree… lol.

Again things seemed to get MESSIER before they got better. This table became a sorting place for EVERYTHING. I opened a box, sorted out what needed to go where, and then we took care of EVERYTHING we had out at the moment before moving to the next box.

Here is another pile that had to get sorted as well.

It might have been a bit time saving to have sorted all the boxes at once but we had William helping out and he gets OVERWHELMED easily and then it gets a bit HARD for anyone else to get anything accomplished as you have to keep redirecting him.

I had received a ton of new school supplies from Santa… he knew just what I need, right? We also got lots of new books and William really wanted to read all of them. In the process I lost a book I had pulled off my bookshelf earlier in the day… my mistake, as I should’ve waited until we were finished with the clean up. You just might laugh, like Mr. Awesome did, when I show you the book I lost:

The Organized Homeschool Life

But anyway as I sorted the kids carried things and put them away but some items got piled on my bed… it appeared that my bed also had become a playground at some point in time. This time the MESS actually looks worse than it was.

Once most of the items had been sorted and carried to their new homes, or at least in the general area of their new home, Ms. Bella made some yummy PB&Js for the crew. As you can see everything was looking much better.

Even the bedroom looked pretty good…

As I was carrying things out to the shed I noticed something in the pond…

I had to call the kids out to take a closer peek… such a cute suprise!

I had a couple of more things to get organized and look at like this organizer I had gotten for Christmas:

And these new books that we got for our homeschool…

I’m so excited to start using these in the future!

We also got a few more books that everyone is excited to read like this one here:

Soft Rain

As I worked on setting up the organizer and putting away these items the girls wasted no time getting to work making some headbands, bracelets other items now that they had room to work at the table.

Then the UPS man brought my Grove package… another pleasant suprise!

I am really loving the Mrs. Meyers cleaners and have started to try out some of the other products which you can also get on AMAZON. Once I got all of these put away I worked on a little redecorating as everything looked so BARE.

I pulled some of the peacock decor out of my bedroom for now…

The gold peacock was something Mr. Awesome bought for me last year and that little pig was one I painted many, many years ago when my older kids will young.

I moved the flowes basket from the kitchen to this window. This is where my new napkin holder is sitting as well as the new globe that we got for Christmas.

It also lights up to show the constellations which is so NEAT!(I don’t know why but this made our homeschool seem so much more ‘official like’… lol)

In the kitchen I took down the cornice that was up there and put up this really cute tray I found with the after Christmas clearance at Walmart.

All in all we had a really good day and with the kids helping out as much as they did I didn’t get too overwhelmed nor did I completely wear myslef out as I have been doing a lot lately.

We didn’t do a deep cleaning or major reorganizing. We did find a HOME for EVERYTHING and we did PURGE some items as we went along. There are still things that need to be done but the HOUSE feels so much BETTER now and I’m not constantly looking for things… other than that book that hasn’t resurfaced yet.

That’s OK as the wonderful UPS man delivered me another copy today… so maybe if I find the old one I can BLESS someone else with it.

The biggest thing with all of this was to just get STARTED. Another big thing was to not get sidetracked with the fact that everything wasn’t being ‘cleaned properly’ or organized exactly the way I wanted it. If we had stopped to rearrange and/or clean every book shelf and cabinet along the way I would still be working on this project.

Now that we have everything situated we can get back to our regular cleaning tasks, even though we have changed the routine the tasks are still the same, and EVERYTHING will get clean in its own time. My main FOCUS was just to get a bit more organized as I couldn’t find anything over the past couple of weeks. Even though I lost my book and it still drives me a little batty wondering where it might have went its not that big of a deal in the BIG PICTURE.

We accomplished the GOAL that we set out to do and we can create a new PLAN OF ACTION for our next GOAL. For us this wasn’t a HUGE task to deal with as our house isn’t that BIG to start with. The MESS really did look worse than it was once we got started on it. If you have a bigger house then you might just need to FOCUS on ONE AREA at a time… not the whole house. If the task is still too BIG then focus on a smaller area at a time… break that elephant down into small pieces and work on them one at a time. A little progress is BETTER than doing NOTHING at all.

If you need a little motivation or encouragement then be sure to reach out to me via email or on Facebook in the Kirby’s Kabin Blog Group I’ve just started.

Have a great day and stay tuned for a look at our first couple of days with our new homeschool schedule!

Happy St. Nicholas Day 2018!

**This post may contain affiliate links to products we use.

Well the countdown to Christmas has officially started here. The kids are super excited after St. Nick stopped by sometime late last night. They had left their stockings on the table before bed and woke up to a big surprise!

They had been talking about our previous St. Nicholas Day celebrations and how they forgot to put their stockings out last year… Oops!

Don’t worry… that heater was not on ‘HEAT’ as we only have the flames going this morning  but it has been doing great job at keeping us warm and cozy so far.

St. Nick did not disappoint with a variety of small toys, coloring books, and other holiday items plus a tiny bit of candy. He also left a couple of new books and a holiday music cd for them. They are looking forward to a midday snack of gingerbread cookies and hot cocoa too!

He didn’t forget about the grownups either and even left a small gift for Nanny J and Papa O. He left Momma some much needed kitchen items, some holiday jewelry, and CHOCOLATE!

Santa had even decorated a little bit and put these cute covers on the chairs.

And he must’ve met up with the UPS man at some point to grab our new Advent wreath for us. It had been stuck in delivery status as the driver couldn’t locate our house.

It is so much prettier than it looked on the internet! I had a hard time deciding what color to get but thought this was a good choice even though it isn’t the traditional Christmas colors. Now we are just waiting for the candles to arrive. After all this excitement it was time for breakfast:

This year I added the chocolate chips to the pancakes while on the griddle for our Santa Claus PancakesI forgot to pick up some fresh strawberries and blueberries so we made do with what we had here. I also didn’t realize that Mr. Jacob had added a couple of extra chocolate chips to Santa’s beard… lol!

The kids thought they were cute and very yummy. Later on we will be watching a few videos about St. Nick and taking a little about the history of Santa Claus.

If you want to check out some other activities please see St. Nicholas Day 2016 for some additional links.

Happy St. Nicholas Day everyone!

Our Favorite DIY Christmas Decorations For Kids in 2018

Have you been crazy busy this first week of December? How many of you have finished your shopping? How many haven’t bought the first gift yet? Well, I have been busy and my shopping is somewhere in between the two but I have a few ideas here that the kids can help with and they could double as really great gifts for grandparents and family members too!

Some of these links are affiliate links but there is no extra fee if you purchase through these links… it just means we may get a teeny weeny kickback which helps support our blog and our family.

I also have a TON of ideas saved on my Pinterest… my newest board is Christmas Crafts 2018. Here’s a screenshot of just some of the ideas I’ve found:

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I think we are going to get really busy with crafts so be sure to keep an eye out for lots of pics! If you aren’t feeling crafty or just don’t have time to shop for craft supplies then check out the following links for Amazon deals that can be shipped right to your home and most of them include everything you need to start crafting and keep the kids busy while you finish your shopping!

The neatest Christmas crafting idea I found is this Tree Mendous Ornament Decorating Kit:

I’ve got this (and an extra for a gift) in my Amazon cart right now plus a set of extra ornaments to go with it. Continue reading Our Favorite DIY Christmas Decorations For Kids in 2018