Growing Up

Simple Tsum Tsum Mickey & Minnie Costumes

tsum tsum mickey & Minnie Mouse Halloween costumes - super simple and super CUTE!

Our girls are like a lot of kids their age: obsessed with all things Disney!  They love Minnie and Mickey and all their friends, too.  And a while back we discovered a fun Disney toy that was price conscious enough for us to start a collection: Tsum tsums.   Over a number of months, we have collected quite a few of these fun little toys.  And so when it came time to dress up to go to Mickey’s Halloween Party, we thought it would be fun to have the girls dress up as Mickey & Minnie Tsum Tsum!

The costumes ended up being really simple to put together, so I thought I would share a quick how-to with you about the costumes. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Apple Stamp Phonics for Short Vowel Sound Aa

Apple Core Stamps - project for short-vowel sound Aaɑ

Apples!  It is almost apple season around here – I got a great deal on Gala apples last week.  Our girls love apples.  G likes her’s without the peel.  W likes her’s with – and will eat G’s discarded peels.  Last week we were having snack time after working through the very first lesson in The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading.  And I suddenly had a great idea for a craft to reinforce the concepts taught in that phonics lesson – the short vowel sound for Aaɑ.

It seems like there is no shortage of apple activities out there.  And I hesitate to share this one with you, but we did it and enjoyed it, so I am sharing!  This simple activity built upon a number of facts the girls already know, and added a little bit more to their understanding of apples.  Here’s what we did.  Continue Reading

Nest Building

Simple Pumpkin Yogurt Bark – A Perfect Fall Treat

pumpkin yogurt bark, a frozen treat for fall!

We have a favorite summertime breakfast.  It involves yogurt and assorted berries of serious awesomeness.  It is a magnet for kids and adults alike. And it is perfect for summer because it is so stinkin’ hot outside.  But we live in the desert and the summer tends to stretch into what would normally be called fall.  This seriously shortens my pumpkin-treat-eating season – which is a problem.

I was dreaming about fall the other day when the temperature outside was hitting upwards of 115 degrees.  And I started to imagine all the pumpkin goodness I would be making this fall, when the temperatures dropped somewhere in the 80s. Continue Reading

Devotion

The Simple Way to Evaluate Bible Studies

the simple way to evaluate Bible studies

We have discussed in specific detail the creation of a plan for Bible study, but we still haven’t talked about what you should study.  Where to begin with this big book, the Bible?  Over the next couple of posts I will share with you some simple ideas for getting into the Word as you begin the habit of  devoted daily Bible study.

First (I feel like there is always a “but first”), I have a word for you regarding the choosing of Bible studies.  The simple way I sift through the thousands of Bible studies out there and get to what I believe is the heart of Bible study: sitting at Jesus’s feet and being taught by Him.

The options for Bible study seem to be endless!  Absolutely endless.  But, as I am sure you have discovered, not all are worthy of your prayed-for, set-apart, specific time with God. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Kindergarten Homeschool Choices

homeschooling kindergarten - learning choices and goals. A plan for the school year

We jumped!

We finally got started with homeschool a little over a week ago and it is going ___.

Yes, I didn’t include an adverb at the end of that sentence because, I am trying my best to wait 6 weeks to evaluate how it is going!  I will let you know when we get through our first 6 weeks!

But I thought I would share the thinking behind our homeschool kindergarten choices for G (5-years-old as of June 2016).  I know that every family is different and each child is unique.  So, I am just putting out there our choices for our girl.  And a little bit of the reasoning behind the choices.  You will see the subjects are planning to cover, followed by my goal for the year and the plan for teaching/learning it. Continue Reading

Nest Building

Filling the Freezer: Meatball Madness

preparing meatball recipes for the freezer

Somewhere in the past year, my 5-year-old girl has become obsessed, OB-sessed, with meatballs.  She can’t get enough.  When we go to the pizza place we love, she wants meatballs on her pizza.  She requests spaghetti and meatballs quite regularly.  And when I made our most recent batch of meatballs to fill the freezer for this fall, I had to give her some for lunch before freezing the rest.

But not everyone in our family is as mad about spaghetti and meatballs as she is.  Specifically, my husband.  Not because he doesn’t like meatballs.  He doesn’t like pasta.  I KNOW!  Something that, try as I might, I cannot remedy – yes, it is an illness.

Combining the need to get dinner on the table with the many-varied desires of my family, while trying to get through the day around here can be super-difficult some days.  Often I start to dread the moment when my husband asks, late-afternoon, “What’s for dinner?”  Ugh.

“Um…pasta?”

“Um…I don’t know.”

Instead of relying on the old standby of drive thru or convenience meals this season, I am working on filling my freezer with things I can quickly prepare in the early morning (slow-cooker) or afternoon (after-school) that will make everybody happy.  Or, at least most of us happy.

So, I found myself the other day taking 4.5 pounds of ground beef and making a serious amount of meatballs.  I got the ground beef on sale at our new Aldi store – I am so impressed with how much a homemaker can get there on a budget!  But before I got started on making those meatballs, I made sure I had some unique meatball recipes in mind to try this fall. Continue Reading

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