Thursday, May 27, 2010

This Mom recommends...

I have gotten to preview a great new ebook that is perfect as summer is approaching and we all struggle thinking of activities we can do to keep our toddlers and preschoolers busy.  The ebook is called Finding Educational Activities in the Most Unexpected Places and it is FULL of simple, practical ideas that you can do with toddlers, preschools, and even some things I know my seven year old still loves to do.  Best of all, the ideas in the ebook use items that you already have at home like blankets, blocks, balls, and scrap fabric, toilet paper rolls.  It really is a terrific book.  You can find more information on this book HERE.  Any of my readers that are interested in purchasing this ebook can enter the code Thinks20 at checkout for a 20% discount. 

The author has a wealth on knowledge on developmentally appropriate activities.  She is an educator herself and works with children with developmental delays ages 0-3.  She also has an excellent blog.  See the button for Many Little Blessings on the side of my blog for details.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And the winner is....

Got Kids? Get Organized!: The Personal Organizer for BUSY Families (Family Organizer) 

Missy is the winner of the Got Kids? Get Organized!: The Personal Organizer for BUSY Families (Family Organizer).  Your planner will be delivered to you very soon!  Congrats!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Meal Planning This Week

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Monday: Scalloped potatoes and ham
Tuesday: Cub Scout picnic
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken Salad
Thursday: Soup and Sandwiches
Friday-Monday: Anything we can put on the BBQ!!! Weekend with the family!

I am also going to be busy making popsicles, cereal treats, homemade applesauce, and maybe a batch of regular (and gluten free) chocolate chip cookies.  I will be packing snacks we can take on the boat and eat at the beach!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mom 2 Mom Treasures

I went to a Mom  2 Mom sale and bought a few baby items for this new kiddo arriving this summer.  The girls also picked out one toy each and a toy for their brother.  I held my breath wondering what “junk” they would return with.  Much to my surprise, their picks were really pretty good.  Without any input from me they picked a Kinex Abby Cadabby set, a bucket of lacing buttons and a multiplication game.  Very educational, not junky at all.   Best of all, they spent $3 - Total! 

Summer clothing budget left: $122.00

Friday, May 21, 2010

Calder Dairy

We recently started getting our milk delivered by the Calder Dairy (aka the milkman).  A giant truck pulls up every Tuesday morning.  The milk is hormone free and comes in glass containers.  I am not a milk drinker, but I have become one.  I can't believe how much better milk in a glass container tastes!  In addition to it being tastier, it is less expensive than in the supermarket (I was buying organic milk) and it is local.  Their products come from cows raised about an hour or so from our house.  They offer tours.  I think we might go some day.  We have had (and I can recommend) their milk, chocolate milk, sour cream, butter, and egg nog.  I can call the day before and add (or subtract) anything I want.  I leave the glass bottles on the porch and he drops off the new ones.  I get a bill once a month and leave a check with my bottles the following week.  You should check it out!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Giveaway: Free Mommy Organizer!

Got Kids? Get Organized!: The Personal Organizer for BUSY Families (Family Organizer)

I am giving away a really cool organizer for moms with tons to do and tons to keep track of...YOU!  It is the Got Kids? Get Organized!: The Personal Organizer for BUSY Families (Family Organizer).  There are two ways to enter.  You can leave a comment with your BEST tip for keeping your schedule organized or mention this giveaway on your blog and post the link in the comment section of this post.  I will randomly draw from the entries I receive by May 24th.  I hope this goes better than my Read the Bible in 90 Days Giveaway, but hey, if you'd rather have that instead of this cool organizer let me know!

Thanks for visiting!!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bye, bye cable

As I mentioned before we cancelled our cable, but because of our new TV we were still able to receive the signal for some of the "fancy" cable channels.  My kids never realized the difference.  This all came to an end this week.  So far, we have been without "fancy" TV for at about a week.  There was some moaning, groaning and a couple of tears (Kid #1 REALLY misses Sportscenter).  I have always monitored screen time and my kids have never been allowed to watch just anything, but it was a transition.  We are saving tons of money, but more importantly I have notice something even more valuable...TIME!
Kid #1 has read 3 chapter books this week.  I am seeing toys I have not seen in a long time being played with.  All three of my kids are playing matchbox cars, Lego's, making art, stringing beads, and pretending.  I am so mad...why didn't I do this before now?  We are all getting so much more done.  I have started knitting (I am taking a beginner class.)  I have read a few magazines that have been waiting for me for a while.  It is peaceful and quiet.  My kids have stopped asking for the TV and finding things to do.   We have been to the library and checked out a few videos.  It is something money can't buy - FAMILY TIME!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Meal Planning This Week

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Monday: venison roast, baked fries
Tuesday: Soup and sandwiches
Wednesday: Meatloaf (Turkey or buffalo)
Thursday: Pasta of some kind
Friday:Burgers on grill (weather permitting!)
Saturday: Do it yourself Nachos (My kids LOVE this)
Sunday: Crockpot creation???

Friday, May 14, 2010

Free Summer Books!!!

As a former English teacher, I am crazy about books.  When I received emails from Borders and Barnes and Noble about their free book deals for summer, I had to share.  Anything that encourages kids to read is wonderful and if they get another book to read free - even better!  Check it out, download the forms and get reading!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meal Planning This Week

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A day or 2 late....but better late than never.

Monday: Pancakes with pecans, fruit and sausage.
Tuesday: Steak (didn't have last week)and redskin potatoes
Wednesday: Soup and sandwiches (last night of religious education)
Thursday: Pasta with turkey meatballs
Friday: Homemade Pizzas
Saturday: Polka dot mac and cheese (it is mac and cheese with smoked sausage cut up in it!)
Sunday: Chili bar

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Lord's Table

Today my oldest child and only son will receive his first Holy Communion. It is an experience that is extra special because I have been one of his religious education teachers. Together he and I have done his first Reconciliation and 2 church retreats. Together we have taken this faith journey. After having done this with him, I hope to be the teacher each time one of my children reaches the age for a sacrament. He is so excited and his father and I are thrilled for him. The church has gluten free communion host and he has been given a pix to put his host in. I bought him a rosary (blue, his favorite) to keep in his pocket during the ceremony. He has spent the entire year preparing and we are hosting a small luncheon for family and a few friends. I am so proud that he is receiving Jesus and full understands what that means. Welcome to the Lord’s Table!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Our Mary Grace Bush

This is a bush that some friends brought over the week I delivered our daughter Mary Grace last September. She was born at 20 weeks and was stillborn. The emotional pain of those few weeks was more than I could have ever imagined. It was my children that helped me see what a gift her birth had been. They love their little sister and talk about her all the time. She appears as an angel in drawings and now in our backyard. They understand and accept that it takes a lot of miracles to make a healthy baby and know that she watches over them and is waiting in heaven. We found this angel on a recent trip up north where my parents have a place. Kid #3 also found a hedgehog and she she put it next to Mary Grace's angel to keep her company. I can see the bush and angel out the kitchen window and it reminds me of the miracle that all my children are.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Read the Bible in 90 Days Giveaway!!!

The Bible in 90 Days: Cover to Cover in 12 Pages a Day (New International Version)

Here is my first giveaway. It is a very gently used copy of Read the Bible in 90 Days and the Participant's Guide. Here is how to enter:

1. Leave a comment below including your favorite bible story or verse.
2. Post the on your blog or facebook page and post the link.

All entries must be in by May 9, 2010 and a random drawing will be held on May 10, 2010. You will be contacted if you won and I will post the winner on the 10th in a blog post.

Thanks for stopping by to check this out as I learn how to do this!!!

**This is my own copy that I purchased and enjoyed myself. I'd love to pass it along to someone that would enjoy it just as much!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Summer Veggies

This year I have decided not to rejoin our vegetable CSA. I really enjoyed the experience, but this year I am cutting back. The membership fee was $600 for 20 weeks. My plan for this year is to use the money to get a small garden started here and purchase items from a local farmer’s market. This way I can pick and choose what items we get instead of the Chinese cabbage we got several weeks last year. In addition to keeping track of the summer clothing budget and the savings budget, I will have a vegetable budget that starts at $600. All extra will be added in as savings to the larger total at the end of the summer.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Meal Planning This Week

So it has been a couple of weeks since I've posted a meal plan. I have still planned, but haven't posted. Yesterday I defrosted my "big" freezer, cleaned out my second fridge, organized the pantry and took inventory. My goal is to not shop for food for 3 weeks (except my weekly vegetable co-op pick up and food for kid #1's First Communition)!

For dinner this week:

Monday: Roasted Chicken and Rice
Tuesday: Breakfast: Sausage and spinach omelet
Wednesday: Mexican Pizzas (Cinco de Mayo!)
Thursday:Pork chops and Homemade Applesauce
Friday: Steaks on the grill
Saturday: First Communition luncheon leftovers
Sunday: Mother's day off!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

This Mom recommends...

I recently came across these books at the library when I was lamenting to one of the youth librarians how much I couldn't wait to read the Little House chapter books with my girls. She recommended the series called My First Little House Books. These are picture books adapted from The Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the illustrations are inspired by Garth Williams. We love these! They are age appropriate, fun and engaging. Kid #3 knows exactly where these books are at the library and she gets one almost every time she goes. I am so happy we found these! Here is a link. Dance at Grandpa's (My First Little House)