Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WFMW: ABC Note Card Notebook

Pin It Now! I absolutely love teaching my kids their letters. It is so fun, and there are countless activities to dream up. Sadly, my letter teaching days are over. My last is already starting to read and will be a big kindergartner this school year.

Last year for "pre-school", I let my 4 yr. old daughter use leftover scrapbook stickers to make a personalized ABC notebook. I already had a spiral note card sized notebook on hand, but anything with paper would obviously work.

She and I had fun together amidst piles and piles of stickers. It was also a great way to reinforce all of the letter sounds she was learning. :) I am embarrassed to even show you all these 2 blurry photos, but it's all I have. is also a wonderful pre-school/kindergarten website that I used with all of my children.

For more great tips, visit We are THAT Family.

P.S.--Check out this Harkin's Theatre 1/2 off deal!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pixie Pancakes

Pin It Now!

Make pancakes extra special and fun for little girls! (I think my sons enjoyed them, too!)

I just used my regular pancake recipe and cut out heart and butterfly shapes--I think I may have made stars, too. To make swirly pancakes, fill a plastic bag with batter and cut off one of the corners. Squeeze curly-cue shape onto hot griddle. Be careful when flipping pancake over!!!!!

Add berries and other fruits to make them beautiful and yummy. After a generous squirt of syrup, sprinkle pancakes with "pixie dust" (powdered sugar) for that special fairy touch!!

**I use the Better Homes and Garden pancake recipe, but I tweak it just a bit. Oh, and I always double or even triple it with 3 kids eating them!

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I love to mix and use diff. flours. I never use just all-purpose.)
  • 1 TBSP sugar (Raw honey works, too. I just add it to the wet ingredients.)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 TBSP cooking oil (Coconut oil is my absolute favorite!!!!)
**Stir dry ingredients together, and make a well in center. In another bowl, mix wet ingredients. If using coconut oil--mix fast so it doesn't clump up. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Stir till moistened. Lumpy batter is good. I don't measure my batter to cook the pancakes. I just get a big spoon and pour batter onto my hot skillet/griddle thing.
I love to add chopped walnuts and shredded, unsweetened coconut to my pancake batter. Mmmm.

What do you like to add?

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table and Tip Me Tuesday.
**If you are planning on going to the movies anytime soon, check out this 1/2 off deal!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hot Harkins Theater and Cracker Jax Deal

Pin It Now! So, you've heard me mention City Deals before, right? In fact, I just picked 2 winners for my previous City Deals giveaway--Congrats to Lubasa, the grand prize winner and to Tina, the runner up!!!

Well, City Deals has some great SUMMERTIME, beat-the-boredom-blues deals going on right now! Read on for details on how you can get major discounts to Harkins Theatres, the sixth largest theatre chain in North America, and to Cracker Jax, Arizona's largest Family Fun & Sports Park.

So, this newer website, called City Deals, sells local and national certificates and gift cards at up to 50% off! You can now visit restaurants, entertainment events, clothing stores, hotels, spas, and movie theatres by using these reduced price certificates. Best of all, there are a ton of deals every single day, and you don't have to worry about begging friends and family to buy in to benefit from the deals!

Now for the 2 deals I mentioned above:

Right now, City Deals has a pretty sweet discount on Harkins Theatre tickets. So, anyone living near one of these theatres, listen up!! City Deals has two Harkins Theatre packages from which to choose: one for 50% off and the other for 37% off. I know most of us plan on going to the movies at least once this summer, so why pay full price?

Also, local Arizonians, like me, can purchase a $50 gift certificate to Cracker Jax for only $25! Your kids are sure to enjoy a fun-filled day playing miniature golf and arcade games, riding on go-karts and bumper boats, and hitting balls in the batting cages and on the volley ball courts. They also have a restaurant, so no need to worry about packing and hauling a picnic lunch.

What are you waiting for? Beat the summer heat and take advantage of these super great deals!! The company will ship you your certificates in 3-4 days--enough time to get everyone excited for the weekend!!

**While I am not receiving any payment for writing this post, I will receive a small amount of money for each new City Deals customer who purchases using one of the above links.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

SAHM Wise: Baby Schedules

Pin It Now! SAHM Wise {Stay-at-home-mom Wise}

I've been wanting to start this series for some time now. Ever since my oldest turned 10. Which was last August.

Seriously, I think any mother who's reached the decade mark deserves an award! Mothering is indescribably wonderful but TOUGH, too! I think after 10 years of being a mom, I have learned a thing or two, and my desire is to share and hopefully encourage other moms trying to get through the "little kid" stage. (Yikes, right now I am entering the "tween" phase, and each day is a brand new challenge!)

My ways are certainly not the only ways, and I hope I never convey such an attitude. Nobody has to answer to me, so please know that I will never purposely try to offend anyone. Your comments will be much appreciated, and I would love to know your personal, mothering triumphs and trials. And just remember nobody is the perfect parent and nobody has the perfect child.

( I don't know how to make a cute, little button yet for my series, so I will just enjoy posting new pics of my kids when they were babies!!)

Okay, so here we go with my first SAHM Wise post: Baby Schedules

While I was pregnant with my first, I was so glad to have been introduced to the book, On Becoming Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone because not everyone is a schedule freak like I am. I wanted to have my baby on a schedule because I knew it would work best for me.

And that is the super-cool thing about being the MOM--you get to decide how you want to do things. One way isn't necessarily better than another. I think it's easy to feel intimidated by other moms, parents, grandparents, or goodness, maybe even by people who don't have kids but sure know what's best for us.

There is nothing wrong with taking advice or asking other moms what has worked for them. I think that is a GREAT way to find out what might be the perfect thing for you. But I think, as moms, we need to be confident in our final decisions concerning our own families.

I got a lot of great ideas from the Baby Wise book on how to actually put what I knew I wanted to do into practice. I didn't do or agree with everything in the book, but it gave me a starting point.

I did put my baby on an eat, sleep and wake schedule. And it worked for me. I wanted to know when my baby would need to eat since I knew I wasn't going to be a public nurser. This worked out great for me b/c I knew when I'd be able to get my errands done. At first this was a bit difficult b/c my newborn wanted eat about every 2 hours, but we slowly got into a better schedule. With breast feeding, though, we never got to the 4 hour schedule. At least not until we were heavy into solid foods.

I loved having a nap schedule, too. Made life so much easier on me. This was my quiet time, too, or getting-things-done time. I am the type of person who needs a break from noise. Nap time for baby equaled rejuvenation time for me!!!

Now, being so scheduled was a bit of a problem when "our ordinary" was out! Like napping at another person's house--yikes. Didn't always work out very well, but then again 99% of the time we were at home. So, having a strict schedule was still overall better for us.

So, how about you? Do you like schedules, or do you just like to go with the flow? Anyone else ever try desperately to keep baby awake until that magical hour?

Friday, June 25, 2010

I Guess the Picnic Will Have to Wait

Pin It Now! I always get ahead of myself. It's just the way I am.

I got the picnic all ready before it stopped raining. Just in case. Just in case that slit of sunlight breaking through the clouds would dare to grow until all that was left was a big, golden sun in a bright blue sky.

The ray of light did in fact grow, that's why I packed a picnic. Just a few clouds left--surely they will disappear. Hope faded. More clouds rolled in. Picnic spoiled.

Guess I will go back to hoping and waiting. Someday, I WILL have that picnic. And there won't be a cloud in sight. :)

On a sunny note--enter my giveaway before it's too late! Just 3 days left!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Can't Believe You Are 5

Pin It Now! **Click here to enter my current giveaway--$150 value!**

Seems like just minutes ago that you had little wisps of hair and a big, old "pappy" glued to your mouth!

You've grown into quite a young lady in the past 4 years. You have no idea what a joy and comfort you've been through all our Arizona trials. All those sweet cuddles and cutie-pie kisses have been such a blessing.

Here you are in Grandma's backyard right after our big move to AZ. You had just turned 1 a few short months ago. Look at yourself now. . .

Goodnight, moon!! It's a beautiful young girl sitting at my table bright and early on your birthday. Mmmm, eating a healthy, nutty, apple muffin and a banana. :)

Mommy and Daddy gave you your very own Fairy Garden to paint and grow, Princess pop beads, Littlest Petshop puzzle and character, and some cute, flower bows.

We just hung out at home on your special day, but you told me it was the best birthday ever. We read princess stories, you "did" my hair and dressed me all up, we picked apples and played in your whale pool. You make me smile, Shiloh. :)

Your neighbor friends came over and decorated the kitchen with Bendaroos. My, my, the walls were covered!!!

Grandpa and Grandma W. came over for dinner to help you celebrate. You picked spaghetti, home made french fries, and broccoli. What a combination! (I made my YUMMY Monterey Jack Meatloaf for the rest of us.)

Sand art and a stamp set--fun, fun!!! I hope you had a wonderful day. I love you SO much, Sue-girl.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WFMW: How to Stretch Dish Soap

Pin It Now!

Do you throw away your dish soap when you just can't seem to squeeze out another drop?

Well, I don't! I just add a little bit of water and shake vigorously! The soap is just as sudsy before it was watered down, and I get a few more dish loads out of it.

I do the same to laundry detergent, but I don't wash really dirty clothes with it. :)

My favorite dish soap is Seventh Generation Lavender and Mint!!

Oh, I have a great giveaway going on right now--enter to win City Deals gift certificates--$150 value!!!

Stop by We are THAT Family for some more great tips.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Zucchini Gratin

Pin It Now! Please take a moment and enter my giveaway for a chance to win a $100 or a $50 gift certificate to City Deals!!

I was so glad when I happened upon this recipe in my Fry's coupon magazine. I have grown zucchini in my garden for the past 3 years, and it's just nice to make something new every now and then. I'd already baked healthy zucchini muffins and one of my favorite side dishes, cheesy zucchini saute.

And now for ZUCCHINI GRATIN, which was delicious!

You will need:

  • 5-6 medium sized zucchini
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat cream in a small saucepan with garlic and thyme just until it starts to boil. Remove. Set aside.

Slice zucchini in 1/8 in. thick rounds.

In a buttered baking dish, layer zucchini, salt, pepper, sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, drizzle of heavy cream. Repeat layers until the pan is almost full. Finish the top with bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Refrigerate any leftovers. Serves 4-6. (Definitely served more than 4 at our house.)

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, and What's on the Menu Wednesday.

Monday, June 21, 2010

City Deals {GIVEAWAY}

Pin It Now! I am so excited to present an amazing giveaway to you all!! City Deals is offering Autumnfawn Lane $150 in City Deals credit/gift certificates as a giveaway to my readers. At the end of the giveaway, I will choose 2 winners: one GRAND PRIZE WINNER to receive a $100 City Deals gift certificate and a runner up to receive a $50 City Deals gift certificate.

To those who may not be familiar with City Deals, they sell local and national certificates and gift cards to restaurants, hotels, clothing stores, movie theaters, and more at up to 50% off! City Deals provides a wide range of deals on a daily basis, and the best part--you don't have to group buy in order to benefit from these special offers.

Example: I just pulled up a local restaurant called Burrito Express on City Deals. Right now I can purchase a single $25.00 gift certificate for just $12.50!

Please feel free to browse around and see what they have to offer. Some very recent deals that have been added are Harkins Theaters, Quiznos, and Bucca Di Beppo--just to name a few.

**City Deals is requiring 2 MANDATORY ENTRIES:

  • All entrants must post a link to this giveaway on facebook or Twitter. (Or both) Please leave me a comment with a link to your facebook or Twitter status. This will be your second entry.
***If you'd like to earn an extra entry, subscribe to Autumnfawn Lane or follow me! Just say you did in your comment. Thanks and good luck!!

This GIVEAWAY will end Monday, June 28 at noon Arizona time. (I believe that's Mountain)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ms. Pac Man Party

Pin It Now! Yea, it's party day--Momma worked on decor all week long. :)
Brings back so many 80's memories! I played hours and hours of Ms. Pac Man, ate the cereal and watched the cartoon!! Shiloh watched a few Pac Man cartoons via You Tube. I loved Baby Pac Man, Super Pac Man, and Pac Man Jr. I was Pac-Crazy!!!!

I never would have thought that I'd have a daughter into Ms. Pac Man, too!! She totally asked if she could have a Ms. Pac Man party, I swear!! She went from Sponge Bob to Hello Kitty to Barbie and the Three Musketeers to finally Ms. Pac Man!!

Shiloh's been playing the game like crazy--you can play online! There are tons of spin-offs to Pac-Man as well. I'm kinda crazy about PacXon. :)

We started with presents first. Lots of girly princess stuff!!! OoOoOh!!

Happy girl!

Notice the shirt Shiloh's friend is wearing!! I need one of those.

Time to gobble up some cake. I used doughnut holes as pellets and white cupcakes as the power pellets. I found a banana in Shiloh's kitchen to use as the fruit that wanders around the board. Fun, fun! I was pleased with the way everything turned out.

Shiloh wanted her candle in Inky.

Staci--the chocolate cake was home made and I used coconut oil, too. The red ghost's frosting contained zero Crisco, and the ice cream was Breyer's, so at least it was fairly natural. ;) Anyway, Kaiya enjoyed it!!

Ms. Pac Man Tag-- My sister loaned me lots of ping pong balls to use as pellets. Tennis balls served as Power pellets. Object of our rendition: Ms. Pac Man collects ping pong balls in a pail while being chased by ghosts. Picking up a tennis ball magically (if you use your imagination) turns the ghosts blue, and Ms. Pac Man could then try and tag the ghosts out. Wow, it was wild! A few girls didn't quite catch on, but they all still had a blast.

The boys couldn't wait for the girls to finish so they could have a go. And they did, too--after the girls went inside to play the real Ms. Pac Man on the X-Box.
Birthday girl is so blessed to have sweet family and friends. Thanks everyone!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

5 Hours Later. . .

Pin It Now! Okay, I am zonked after coloring icing and starring 5 cakes! Now that they are done, I am glad I took the time to do it, but by hour 3 I was thinking, "Why in the world do I do this to myself?"

Where's the Cake Boss when you need 'em? Or just anybody who knows what they're doing?!
Well, here they are--Pinky, Inky, Blinky, Ms. Pac Man and Clyde.

And here's the table-sized board I made for the cakes to go on, but not until tomorrow. Can't wait to add the pellets and power pellets. (Yeah, I had to modify the board quite a bit, so the cakes would be able to fit.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Typical Summer SAHD

Pin It Now! SAHD = Stay-at-home-day.

Sometimes as a stay-at-home-mom, I feel so unproductive at the end of the day. I look around thinking what did I accomplish today? Why am I so exhausted? I know I did stuff, but what? I'm always BUSY, but nothing ever really seems to get done.

I may have scoured the bathroom til it sparkled, but by the end of the day, the mirror has water spots and the hand towel is all messed up. *sigh*

I may have vacuumed and mopped the floor, but by the end of the day, there are 346 blades of grass that have been tracked in by the kids going in and out of the house all day long. *sigh*

I may have washed the Arcadia door/window, but by the end of the day, fingerprints galore are staring back at me. *sigh*

I may have vacuumed and washed mini blinds, but at the end of the day, who would ever in a million years notice that?? *sigh*

Anyway, you get the idea--a lot of work, no pay, and no appreciation. Yippee! Can anybody else relate?

Well, the other day I decided to write down everything I did, so I could look back and see it on paper. Yes, I am going to list those things here, and I am dedicating this post to all of the hard-working SAHMS!!!

Summer SAHD:

  • Wake up at 6 am and do the whole breakfast routine.
  • Water gardens
  • Kids and I get ready for the day
  • Family Bible time
  • Read 1 chapter aloud from "Igraine the Brave"
  • Read 2 other children's books to my daughter
  • Bake 2 of the 5 cakes for Shiloh's upcoming birthday party
  • Clean kids' bathroom from top to bottom
  • Vacuum entire upstairs
  • Make lunch which included cutting a fresh pineapple and a bunch of celery
  • Change and wash boys' sheets and bunk beds are no easy task!
  • Wash, fold, and put away 2 more loads of laundry
  • Read Our Daily Bread
  • Read a few chapters in "Do Hard Things"
  • Research nutrition books and literature books for home school
  • Read daughter another book
  • Watch Lesson 20 math DVD and help Shiloh with math pages
  • Empty dishwasher (and I have to hand dry all the dishes)
  • Blogged and browsed Blog Frog for a bit
  • Read emails and respond to them
  • Serve leftovers (thank goodness) for dinner
  • Finish the book, "Do Hard Things"
  • Give Shiloh shower and dry her hair

And that is the last thing I wrote. But my list didn't include the bazillion questions I had to answer or the sibling fights that had to be broken up.

Moms, smile and know that you are doing an amazing job, even if it doesn't seem like it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WFMW: A MUST Read for Tweens and Teens!

Pin It Now!

I just read an amazing book. I checked it out with the intention of having my almost 11 year old son read it. I wanted to read it first, though, so I could discuss the content with my son.

Incredible book. I was personally inspired. It's called, "Do Hard Things", and it is written by twin, Christian, teenage authors, Alex and Brett Harris. (Thank you, Kristen Welch, for mentioning this book on your blog--I'd never heard of it before.)

I LoOoOve the book's message: Alex and Brett actually encourage teens to REBEL. . .

against low expectations.

Seriously, we live in a society where teens are expected to have messy rooms, few manners, little respect for elders, and no self-discipline. It's just normal for them to have that "DUH" look while consuming massive amounts of junk food and playing endless hours of video games. But it's okay, right? Isn't that what the teen years are all about?

Alex and Brett (and me) say No way!

In their book they encourage teens to strive for excellence, set the bar high, and never settle for complacency. Oh, and they also *gasp* say that teens should respect their parents. (Yes, teenagers said this!)

I've said many times that our family is a team, and I try to get my kids, especially my 2 boys, to realize that, um, they're on the same one. Wow, the Harris twins agree with me. They write that "siblings can be some of your best team members." Did you catch that my dear sons? Well, they will because "Do Hard Things" will be required reading in our house!

I thoroughly enjoyed their countless examples of real teens doing remarkable things and succeeding. I loved that they included the fact that "hard things" aren't always "big" things. Hard things can be as simple as helping with chores or helping with younger brothers and sisters.

It's easy for all of us to become comfortably numb in whatever situation we're in--to be content to just get by. I HIGHLY recommend that parents waste no time in buying or checking this book out for your tweens or teens!! I can think of a few adults who could benefit from this book, too!

**This book was a huge encouragement to me as a mom--it more than worked for me. :) And I hope it works for your family, too.
To read more great tips, visit We are THAT Family.

*** So far, I've taken both of my boys on "Do Hard Things Dates." Here are the links:

Date with son #1

Date with son #2

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Cheerio" Sandwich

Pin It Now! One of my favorite sandwiches growing up was a peanut butter, honey and cheerio sandwich. I have passed on this lunch love to my kids, only I can't use peanut butter since one of my kids is highly allergic to peanuts.

My version is a bit different from the kind I used to eat. I think it's slightly healthier, too. So, if you are looking for some sandwich variety, you've got to give it a try!!

I use wheat bread, almond butter (sun butter for my peanut allergy kid), raw honey and "cheerios". (I use a brand from the healthy food section, but obviously regular cheerios would work, too!)

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday , Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table,
and What's on the Menu Wednesday.

**Bonus Recipe** Fairy Berry Flaxseed Smoothie

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Eat a Rainbow Every Day!

Pin It Now! I am a produce junkie. I love to eat it, and I think it is beautiful. I serve a lot of it to my kids. It is normal for them to have several different kinds on their lunch plates. (When my kids have a friend over for lunch, I think it is so funny sometimes to watch their face as they stare at the plate like, "What in the world?!")

I like to tell my kids how important it is to eat a rainbow everyday! At lunch I ask, "How many colors do you have on your plate?" I think my older 2 boys are getting tired of this game, but my 4 year old still loves counting out the colors. :)

Lunchtime is also a time when I let them pick and choose some of the items they will eat. Not everyone has to have the exact same thing. (Dinner is a different story--one meal or no meal!)For instance, my oldest son likes cucumbers and radishes, but the other two don't. So they can pick carrots or celery. I serve carrots every single day, actually. Have you tried the yellow baby carrots?

Usually fruits and veggies take up half of their plate space. And, unless they are super hungry for some reason, I only serve 1/2 a sandwich if that's what we are having. Sandwiches are pretty filling, so serving 1/2 makes more room for the really good stuff!!

It took forever for my second son to branch out and try other veggies besides carrots, but he finally tried celery and loves it! And my daughter, well, she is still pretty picky with veggies, but I am hoping she comes around, too. One thing I have to remember is: If I don't make it available, they definitely won't eat it.

I even pushed myself and ate Brussels sprouts a few weeks ago. I remember HATING them as a kid. You know what? I actually liked them, and so did my first born. But he likes almost everything. I am even more picky than he is!

How do you get your kids to eat a rainbow?

Friday, June 11, 2010

To Skirt or Not to Skirt?

Pin It Now! Summer = swimming, especially when you live in the middle of the desert. Every year about this time, I wish we had our own pool. I'm a private kind of pool girl. I don't much like public pools. For lots of reasons.

And one of those reasons is all the body parts flobbin' and bobbin' about. Some of it is just downright gross. Some of it isn't--and it's those folks who I think should be covering up just a tad more.

Anyway, since I have a daughter, I want to instill in her a desire for modesty. What is modesty exactly? Well, to be honest, I am not completely sure. Really, I don't think modesty is just about clothes. I think it's about attitude as well. I do think I might have an idea of what modesty is not, though. Like, I don't want my teenage daughter parading around in a 2-piece, or even in a skimpy one-piece for that matter. Where the line should be drawn--I don't know.

Now, obviously I don't have a girl teenager yet. She's just a few days shy of turning 5. But, I want it to be normal for her to choose clothing that is on the more modest side. (I totally am not an extremist in this area--I mean, I don't even want to wear a long, black dress and a veil, but trying a little is better than not trying at all.)

So, what does all this have to do with a skirt? Well, I have been pondering whether or not to add a skirt to my daughter's swimming attire. She already wears a one-piece, but goodnight moon, even in this sort of bathing suit there's a lot of "cheekage" goin' on, if you know what I mean. And kids don't seem to notice one bit that they have a "weggie". Isn't that a little uncomfortable?

Since my sister offered me a skirt that didn't fit her daughter, I decided "to skirt". My daughter loves wearing it!! I thought it was funny, though, that when we went to the public water park for the first time this summer. . . I forgot the skirt. Oh well, she is just 5 after all.

And as you can see kids will be kids. I don't think the skirt is really making that much of a difference with all these twists and flips and tricks!

So, my decision has been "to skirt" but to not make that big of a deal about it. It is just one baby step on my road of "modesty parenting".

Any other moms going the skirt route?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Latin Break

Pin It Now! Salvete!

Summer for me is not a break from home schooling. It just means I have to plan for the upcoming year. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. So far, I have a list of most of the supplies I will need, but Latin, oh what to do about Latin??

My soon-to-be sixth grader has completed 3 years of Latin (I use Latina Christiana), and there isn't a fourth book for the curriculum I use. We could move on to another curriculum, but I can tell my son needs a break from it. I admit Latin isn't that easy, but it is something I want all of my kids to learn.

With the fact that my son needs a break decided, I had no idea with what to replace that subject?? I have been pondering this for weeks!

The longed-for light bulb finally went off the other day. . . NUTRITION!! (And not a government funded nutrition curriculum, either!) Yes, I have a huge passion for this already, and I want my kids to understand why. My son's already watched the Food Inc. documentary--completely of his own accord--and I think he was actually slightly interested. (Sometimes he just gives me that look, though, whenever I go off on a health tangent. Hmm, it's the same look my husband gives me.)

Ya know what? There isn't a whole lot to choose from when it comes to sound nutritional curriculum. Maybe there is and I just don't know where to look? Since I will be teaching a 3rd grader and a kindergartner, I do not have the time to find ALL of the info on my own.

I happened upon this book yesterday. I am hoping it will be just the thing I have been looking for!! Anyone heard of it or know anything about it?

Well today over lunch, I voiced my concerns about Latin and how I could tell my son was losing interest, and I gave him a choice--Latin next year or Nutrition? He didn't even have to think about it. Nutrition (my style) it is!!!! (Staci, I may need your advice on this!!)

Sorry Lincoln, you still have to start Latin in a couple of months!

I am excited about nutrition and welcome any advice on great books or sites or curriculum!!


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

WFMW: Teacher's Tape

Pin It Now!
I have a huge pet peeve--crooked frames hanging on walls. Teacher's Tape from Duraco Express takes care of this problem without ruining walls!!!

I originally reviewed this product for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, so you can read my full review here. I was so surprised to find that this "tape" truly does what it says WITHOUT leaving sticky residue or pulling the paint right off the wall.

These frames in my daughter's room had to be straightened constantly. But not after I applied Teacher's Tape to the backs of the frames. Now, they stay in place! I have used this trick with many other frames, too. **Teacher's Tape would also be a great way to hang posters in children's rooms without having to nail holes in the wall.

For more great tips, visit We are THAT Family.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Frosty Fairy Mints

Pin It Now! I made these sweet, little treats for a "fairy party" I hosted for my 4 year old daughter and her cousin.

Frosty Fairy Mints


1 3-ounce package cream cheese

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. mint extract

Assorted pastel food coloring

1/2 cup sugar

**Mix softened cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer. Add mint extract to dough. Knead dough until it begins to form a ball and is the consistency of pie dough. If dough is too dry, add 1/4 tsp. water and blend into mixture.

Divide dough into 3 equal pieces and put 2-3 drops of food coloring onto each section. Blend colors into each portion. You can leave colors swirled or completely blend evenly.

Pinch off about a 2-inch piece of dough and form a ball by rolling between palms. Roll ball in sugar. Flatten out dough and cut into assorted shapes with a small cookie cutter.

For more great recipe ideas visit Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Also linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Corn-on-the-Cob Cupcakes

Pin It Now!

Don't these look fun? I saw the idea here and just had to bake them for my dad's birthday party.
I love how the banana jelly bellys make it look like I've sprinkled pepper on the "cobs". Without clicking on the here, can you guess what the "butter" is?!
*I really wish I was a better picture taker. Maybe giving Fred Flinstone's camera back and getting a new one might help. :) Or not. Anyway, you get the idea that these cupcakes are supposed to look like corn cobs.
My sister is supposed to be making the hamburger and ant cupcakes, also featured in the above link. Can't wait to see how they turned out!! 

**For cupcake instructions click the above link.

Friday, June 04, 2010

No More Pre-schoolers?

Pin It Now!

I can't believe that in just a few short weeks, I will officially be baby, toddler and pre-schooler-free. I can't believe my "baby" is going to be 5! Just look how big she is--I mean, when you are big enough to pick out your own icee, operate the handle-thingy, and then pay for it out of your own quarters, nickles and dimes--you are BIG!!!!

My happy and sad are all mixed up inside. It has happened that way with each child, but she's my last one. Wow, that's a feeling I just can't describe. I am over the moon about being able to have our special "girl time" as we call it--painting nails, shopping, sipping frappuchinos together--it's all amazingly wonderful.

But, she's starting to bypass my room in the morning choosing to go downstairs with the boys instead of cuddle with me. (Don't get the idea that I sleep in like a lazy bum or anything--my kids are up at the first hint of a speck of sunshine.) Her voice sounds clearer, she can add small numbers and sound out words--she's growing up. I love it and hate it all at once. Thank goodness she can't do everything on her own yet! Thank goodness they grow just a smidge at a time, or I'd fall apart.

I look forward to planning her Ms. Pac Man birthday party. She's gone from Sponge Bob, to Hello Kitty, to Barbie and the Three Musketeers to finally Ms. Pac Man. And I have to say I am thrilled, because after last year's super-duper difficult cake, Ms. Pac Man will be a cinch!!!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Feathers and Stones

Pin It Now! I have a favorite singer. Her name is Jennifer Knapp.

  • I love her passionate, soul-searching song writing.
  • I love her earthy, non-high-pitched voice. (I am not even sure how to adequately describe her sound--I just know that I love it.)
  • My music collection would not be complete without all of her stuff . . . or so I thought.

When she suddenly disappeared from the music industry a few years back, I was disappointed. I still kept listening to all of her music, though, having high hopes that one day she'd return.

And just recently, return she did.

With a revelation.

Of course I am sad, though I have to say not completely shocked. I hate it, but I personally can't add her new songs to my Zune list.

  • Not because the songs are secular.
  • Not because I am a bigot or have phobia issues.
  • Not because I don't think she sounds amazing.
  • Not because I have a holier-than-thou attitude. (God knows I have enough "planks in my eye"--both eyes, for that matter.)

It's because she's a professing Christian claiming that something sinful isn't. And, in my opinion, her songs leave the listener with no room for artistic interpretation on this matter. She's pretty clear about how she feels. (My husband had me listen to a few songs, so I could hear them for myself.)

Please note that I think she has every right to sing from her heart what she believes, but I also have the right to choose not to listen. And I am not just singling her out b/c of that sin. Christians get far too hung up on that sin. Like it's so much worse than all the other sins. I single out a whole lot of singers b/c of their songs. My family loves American Idol, but we spent far more time changing the channel on Wednesday night than we did actually watching the show. Anyway, that's another story.

As far as whether I believe she's saved or not, well, it isn't really up to me. My opinion doesn't mean a hill of beans! She says she is a Christian, so who am I to state otherwise, especially since I don't even know the girl. Her salvation is completely and ultimately up to God, not me.

Having said that, though, I will still say this: While it is NOT for me to judge her soul, I can make an observation and judge her actions. I can decide to agree or disagree with her actions.

I think all humans make all kinds of judgements every day about all sorts of things--food, clothing, friends, music, tv, etc. I am so sick of the word, judge, being thrown around that I could just puke. There are kids in the neighborhood with whom my kids CANNOT play. I have made a "judgement" based on observation. It stems not from hating those other kids but from loving and protecting my own.

I know Christians (while here on Earth) will never fully agree on everything in the Bible. Frankly, parts of it, I just can't seem to grasp. But to me it seems pretty black and white on this particular subject, so I can't wave a feather and tickle Jennifer's ears with soothing words of condonation. But nor will I throw stones of condemnation. Both are extremes I think Christians would be wise to avoid.

Thoughts? (Please be respectful and kind.)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

WFMW: $ For Worksheets & Story Prompts

Pin It Now! Every summer I make folders of worksheets or have workbooks on hand, so the kids have something productive to do when they get bored. I also have a $ incentive. It's usually pretty cheap, like $.10 per worksheet.

Also, they receive $ for every book they read. Money earned is based on how many pages are in the book. Again, I can't afford to dish out huge amounts of money. For a 100-150 page book they make $.50 and so on. I would make them read anyway, but earning a little cash makes it more fun, especially since they don't get allowance right now.

I have added something new this year--Story Prompts.

I am hoping they will enjoy writing creative stories this summer, but I am giving a little prompt to get their imaginative juices flowing. They will recieve a little extra for writing stories. :)

*I used scrapbook paper and stickers to illustrate, and I started the story with a sentence or phrase. For example: The one with the tent says, "Our camping trip was going great until . . ." The one with the hour glass simply says, "Time was running out."

**For more "I'm bored, it's summer" ideas, visit We are THAT Family.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Frozen Chocobanana Bites

Pin It Now!
That's what I call my latest "healthy" dessert. It would make a pretty fun, summer snack, too.

Here's what I did:

I sliced two peeled bananas. I spread them out onto a plate and sprinkled unsweetened, organic coconut flakes on them. Then I melted about 1 1/4 cups of dark chocolate chunks in the microwave. (I added a pat of butter for easier melting, but coconut oil works well, too.) After the chocolate had thoroughly melted, I poured it over the coconutty banana slices and spread to coat evenly. I even sprinkled some of the chocolate covered banana chunks with finely chopped walnuts. Place in freezer for a few hours and you will have yourself a delicious frozen treat!

It was a huge family hit. :)

Linking up with Tasty Tuesday where you can find all kinds of delicious recipes!

Updated 5/14/2013


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...