Sunday, July 29, 2012

FREE Printable Pattern Block Activity Cards!

I have been looking into pattern blocks and looking for the activity cards when I tumbled on these free printable ones from prekinders.  Just what I was looking for!

I am printing as we speak and the laminator will be in heavy use in a few minutes.  Pattern blocks are great for early math learning, and really fun.  They are also a great learning activity to keep younger kids busy while teaching one on one with another kid.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Homeschool Fever! Getting ready for the coming school year!

I have been getting excited about homeschool lately and have been busy trying to get things set up for this coming school year.  What fun!  I have been perusing homeschool blogs, big family organizational blogs, crock pot blogs, and all the blogs with free printables for homeschoolers.  I have been to the city to go to teacher supply warehouses, haunting used curriculum swap sites, and laminating as fast as I can print!  Today I got my big metal magnet board up!  The photo is from the blog I saw it on called Nic and Kate.  It is a big oil drip pan from Walmart that cost around $12!! My kids love it!
I am also working on my calendar board or morning board.  I will have photos and links for the printables for that soon!  I am getting ready to contact paper my maps of the world and the US....What fun!    If you are using the My Father's World curriculum like we are then you might want to know that I have found that MFW curriculum swap has some great deals on all used My Father's World curriculum and anything used by the curriculum.  I also have been using Homeschool classifieds for a while and like that site as well. has great prices on new and used books, workbooks, and textbooks and  is worth checking out.  I like to go to a full price book store and peruse the books then copy down what I liked and look for it here.  Happy planning!  What are you doing to get ready for the coming school year?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Free Fruit of the Spirit Devotional and Fun Printables to go with it!

Summer is still here, but for a lot of us we are starting to think about the coming school year, planning curriculum if we homeschool, thinking about supplies, schedules, etc...  While I have been checking out other homeschool blogs for good ideas I came across this great free "Fruit of the Spirit Devotional" from Raising Arrows.  It is for young kids and is a fun way for kiddos to learn more about godly character.
Front cover
My favorite part is that it comes with these great printables from mamas learning corner.
Like this fruit of the spirit daily check list.  What a fun way to "catch them doing good"!
 and this cool basket of fruit to make and add to as you study each trait.  Each day you color and cut out the fruit marked with the trait you are learning about and paste it into the basket.  FUN!
Hope you are inspired for the coming year and looking forward to all the fun coming your way as you keep the learning up.  I will be posting more back to homeschool links and organization tips soon!  Have a great freebie to share?  Let us know about it!

How do you greet your spouse? Love dare day 9

Love makes a good impression.  This dare was actually a few days ago but it is one that really stood out.  You can and should find the whole dare here at K love under Dare day 9.  It is something simple that makes a big difference.  When you treat your spouse well you are treating yourself well and a simple cheerful greeting is such a pleasant and simple gesture.  Wouldn't you like to be greeted cheerfully when your spouse sees you.  A simple kind greeting says "I love you, you make me smile".  It can make all the difference evening of tired grumpy conversation based on whose day was worse or a chance to appreciate each other and feel joy.  I can't promise they will always respond in kind, but your heart notices the difference and joy in the little things is a much better state of being than choosing to stay tired and grumpy.
 This one hit home because it is very doable and I could improve in this.  When Josh gets home I probably usually look tired.  Pretty easy to just make the effort to smile and show them we are excited to see them.  I love my husband and I may have had a rough day but it will improve both our days if I can choose to make the effort to show him that I love him and am happy to see him.  I hope this little tidbit can encourage you today :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Crispy Healthy Egg Rolls On The Grill!

I was craving egg rolls, but not the greasy, pork filled kind you can buy.  I wanted a lighter egg roll with a little ground turkey, and tons of vegetables.  So I thought I would make my own.  But I wanted them crispy but not fried and I definitely did not want to turn on my oven while it was 95 degrees outside!  My husband suggested it might be possible to grill them .  It worked beautifully!  
Crispy Healthy Egg Rolls
2 cups cabbage ( about 1 small head)
2 medium carrots
3 green onions
1/2 lb organic ground turkey
( you can omit this and add some mushrooms in it's place if you want them vegetarian)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of ginger peeled and chopped fine
!/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 Tablespoon of cornstarch
1 pkg egg roll wrappers
olive oil
Prep all your veggies quickly and easily by throwing it all in the food processor and pulsing it till everything i chopped to your liking.  I usually cut the cabbage in smaller wedges and the carrots into a few chunks to break it down to keep from having large chunks left. Saute your turkey and crumble it up with a spatula while cooking.  Now drain the fat and set it aside.  Throw all the veggies into a pan to saute in a small Tbl of olive oil.  While they are cooking mix the soy sauce with the cornstarch to get it to coat the veggies nicely.  Now toss it into the cooking veggies.  Once the veggies are cooked turn off the stove and add in the turkey and mix up.  Important to note that you need to let the mixture cool down before you start rolling the egg rolls.  I failed to do this and mine split in a few places where the hot filling weakened the wrapper.

 Fill the egg rolls with a few tablespoons of  filling and start rolling.
You can follow the guide on the back of the egg roll package for rolling directions.
Now you start rolling.

I lay them on a cookie sheet as I roll so I can easily transport them to the grill and so they are not touching as they will stick together if they are.

Oil the tops lightly with a pastry brush

Now place them oiled side down and lightly oil the unoiled side.

Just grill a few minutes and when it looks golden and crispy flip them!
You will be rewarded with a batch of crispy delicious egg rolls that have only a fraction of the calories that restaurant ones have!  Let me know if you try it!  They were a big hit.  We scarfed them all up in no time flat!Photobucket

Friday, July 13, 2012

All Natural, DELICIOUS Watermelon Lime Sorbet with No Added Sugar!

I was at Trader Joe's while visiting my sister in Santa Fe and saw these beautiful watermelons for $3.50!! Half the cost of what they are where I live.  So I decided to make a delicious, refreshing, TOTALLY HEALTHY watermelon lime sorbet.

You can make it with an ice cream maker or without!  The recipe is very simple.
Watermelon Lime sorbet
Watermelon Sorbet
Photo courtesy of Rachel Ray
My version is sweet, light, refreshing, and oh so delicious as well as being completely healthy! 

8 cups of cubed watermelon
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp powdered stevia 

Now you can make this two ways.  The first way does not require an ice cream maker. For this method simply place the watermelon chunks on a cookie sheet and freeze.  While that is freezing mix your stevia into your lime juice.  Once the watermelon is frozen throw it and the lime juice stevia mix into the food processor .   Since the fruit is frozen it will blend all nicely and stay a nice sorbet consistency with out the need of the ice cream maker.

 If you want to use the ice cream maker throw all the ingredients into a processor or blender and then into the ice cream maker.  If you have a room temperature watermelon you may have trouble getting your ice cream maker to freeze it all the way past a slush.  So start with cold or slightly frozen watermelon.  If you choose to use a warmer melon you may just need to throw it into the freezer for the last bit.  If you are serving it right away keep an eye on it that it doesn't freeze too hard!  If you are serving it later you will need to pull it (if frozen hard) out of the freezer early to let it warm to a better consistency and shave with a fork before serving.

My regular sized watermelon (not personal size and not huge) made two batches in the ice cream maker and left me a batch and a half of watermelon lime mixture for popsicles!  The kids loved it both ways and I felt great giving it to them!  I have really tried to keep my kids sugar intake limited and this is a fun way of doing it so they don't feel deprived.  In fact the neighbor boys scarfed them down as well and didn't even notice the lack of added sugar!  Let me know how it goes.

P.S. If you are looking for some other sorbet, smoothie and popsicle recipes check out these posts I did earlier with TONS of recipes that will refresh on a hot day, satisfy a sweet tooth and keep you looking great in a swimsuit!

Refreshing Mango Strawberry Lime Salad
Green Smoothie Guide. 
Cool Summer Treats that Cure the Urge to Splurge! 
All Natural No added sugar Mango Sorbet


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 5 of the Love Dare - Love is not rude.

This challenge unfortunately can be a hard one if you are tired, overworked, stressed, or impatient (AKA a mom :) ).  Being rude means saying or doing something that is unnecessary that causes pain, frustration, or anger.  The full text of the book and the dare for day 5 are HERE from KLOVE for free.
The challenge today is to not only not be rude, but ask your spouse (or whoever you are doing this with) 3 things you do that make them uncomfortable, or irritated with you.  You cannot be defensive or angry when they answer.  So I suppose this works on your humility as well! When I read day 5  I thought ok don't be rude.  Well, Josh is out of town today so that won't be too hard...then I read the actual dare!  OUCH!! It will be awkward to ask when he doesn't know I am doing the dare.  Oh well, I committed to the full 40 days so I have to do it.  Hope it goes well.  And by well I mean that he can stop at 3 things, and I can keep my mouth closed in response. :) I would consider that a success!  I need to work on this with my kids as well.  It is easier to not be rude to a stranger sometimes when your kids are knowingly pushing your buttons and you are tired or stressed rudeness seems imminent.

Lord, I want to be truly loving.  In all the practical aspects so please help me not to be rude!  Help me to see where I am rude and work on it.

I also read this GREAT post on 50 ways to inspire your husband.  There were a lot of great things like plan a fun date night, tell him specifically how he is a good dad..., but my favorite was to ask him about his dreams and pray with him about how to get there together.  I love that idea!  I do care about his dreams and we are a team.  It is a great idea if I would love it done for me and I would!

Hope you all are brave and take the dare with me!  Let me know how it goes and I will try to do the same!

I am working on getting a post together on the recipe for the homemade raw muesli breakfast cereal we eat every morning.  Thanks for being patient!  The photo part is always what takes me so long!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Love Dare day 4- Thoughtfullness

Had a great weekend away in Santa Fe visiting my sister.  My husband watched the kids over the weekend and that was such a blessing!  My sister and I had a great time! I could stay up late, sleep in (ok so my eyes popped open at 6 out of habit anticipating little footsteps), go out to eat at a restaurant.  It was GREAT!  I missed my little tribe though, so it was great to get back to them all.  I had some car trouble and was blessed to have a group of bikers, yes 5 bikers to be exact, in full biker get up on their way back from a bike show stop to help.  PRAISE God!  I made it home 5 hours after I left and had such a grateful attitude when I made it safe and sound!  I used the drive time to revisit an old classic on my iphone and listened to Anne of Green Gables the whole way.  It was great!  I love that series!  So wholesome, so sweet and so fun.

As you guys know I have been working through the 40 day Love Dare from the movie Fireproof.  Basically if you are not familiar with it it is a 40 day challenge of ways to love your spouse.  It is a great way to put their needs first and see God move in your marriage.  My past three days have gone well.  It is not all easy but worth it and a great exercise in self discipline for me.  Today's dare is about THOUGHTFULNESS.  Not just doing avoiding the negative things we do but thinking ahead to be a blessing. A great challenge.
Find the whole text and day 4 dare HERE for free on KLOVE  I hope you join in on the dare and challenge yourself to stretch yourself to love out of your comfort zone.  Let me know after you read the full dare from the above link what you plan on doing for your husband.  I try to include the kids in the dare by doing things for them as well so I will see what I can come up with. I am still thinking about what I can do for mine.  I will call and see if he needs anything, but I want to think of something on my own that is thoughtful.  Good luck!
Love to hear how it is going if you are doing the dare as well!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Love Dare - 40 days to challenge yourself for your families sake!

Sorry I have been posting less frequently, summer and pregnancy will do that to you!  We have been having a blast at the pool, and the splash park lately.  It has been near 100 degrees for the last few weeks so staying cool is a priority.  We do NOT have air conditioning or a swamp cooler.  The house stays pretty cool in the day, but water is a lot better!  So I have been choosing family fun time over posting!  This pregnancy has me exhausted by nighttime which is when I used to do a lot of posting, but I am here now.

I have been challenged in my own life as a wife and a parent to try the Love Dare from the book Fireproof.
The Love Dare  -     
        By: Stephen Kendrick, Alex Kendrick
If you haven't watched the movie it is a very inspiring story of a divorce cut short by love.  A long hard love of the will that chooses love when they want to walk away.  I have been wanting to grow in practical applications of love where my husband and kids are concerned.  This 40 day challenge is a great way to focus on the needs of others and not on our own needs.  It is created to strengthen and draw marriages to a deeper place but it is also a great way to practically grow in your relationship with your kiddos or friends.

You can find the whole challenge in book form here at, or you can download it from kindle to your e reader or computer, or even get the .99 app from itunes!  You can also find the entire contents of the book with the days dares lined out here on KLOVE  FOR FREE! This is what I am using. You just read a post a day and each day go on to the next post to read the following day's dare.  I read them one night ahead so I can pray and prep myself for the next challenge.

Day 1's challenge is on PATIENCE and you really need to read the whole dare HERE but the short version of the actual dare is to NOT SAY ANYTHING NEGATIVE to your spouse.  I am adding my children in to the dare as well so will be careful not to say anything negative to them as well.  This is a hard one! I have done this one and am working on keeping it up as it is part of what you aspire to do for the next 40 days during the rest of the challenge.  I know that God is blessing my efforts and will continue to bless them! It will get harder before it gets easier.  If your spouse is not loving and you are attempting this to save a dying marriage your struggle will be MUCH greater because it requires something of you when there is no motivation.  It will no doubt be frustrating, and seem too hard to do for someone who you feel is not treating you well.  HOWEVER, God will honor your choice to love the unlovely.  I am not promising it will save every marriage but I KNOW God honors those who honor him! If you are in this place let me know so I can pray for you as you attempt this!

 Pray about it and if this challenge is for you (even if your marriage is great) then go for it!  Let me know if you are joining in so we can encourage each other, and keep each other accountable when it gets hard or we want to quit.  Love is a choice not a feeling.  I am very excited to see how God uses this challenge in my home to draw us all closer to Him and strengthen our relationships.  So who is in? Have you done this before?  Share and let us know how it went!