Friday, June 29, 2012

Roadtrip Activity Books

Call us crazy!  We're taking all three kids to Yellowstone this year for our family vacation, which is about 1300 miles from where we live!  We're so excited about all the things we're going to get to see and do!  With over 20 hours of driving one way, we're going to need some tricks to keep the kids happy!  So, my first trick are these activity books.  I also plan on buying a few toys from the dollar store and wrapping them as prizes during the trip.  We also will be checking out lots of Adventures in Odyssey from the library, and bringing some books and toys from home.

Back to the books.  They each have 25 page protectors in them, and are all filled with activity sheets.  I bought them each their own set of dry erase markers so their will be no fighting.  They can write or color on the plastic sheet and then wipe it off with a tissue!  They love to do things over and over again, so I think this will be great.  The only problem I see is smudging their writing with their hands before they're done...  The markers are washable at least.   

The first page is just the alphabet, made in Microsoft Word.  I thought that if we played an alphabet game, like finding all the letters on signs, that it'd be nice for them to have a check off sheet.  They can cross the letter off as we find it.

Then some maps of South Dakota and Wyoming.  We're going to see the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore, so I found coloring sheets: Badlands Coloring Page, Mt. Rushmore Coloring Page

A USA map and a blank page to draw whatever they want.  USA Map  

The website for Yellowstone had a junior ranger program that included lots of activity sheets about Yellowstone:  Yellowstone Activity Booklet

I found some cowboy sheets, and a great site that has printable mazes (tons!):  Cowboy Pages, Printable Mazes

I got a few sheets from the library, they had a stack of activity sheets for the kids, like this animal page.  The truck color by number page came from: Character Coloring Pages, as well as coloring pages from Bob the Builder, My Little Pony, etc. 

I ripped a few pages out of some coloring books we had too.  Trying to keep the cost down!

My favorite find was car bingo!  I printed enough for Kevin and I to play too.  Road Trip Bingo and other games

I thought I'd throw in some reading and writing practice too.  Make your own handwriting pages lets you put in your own vocabulary words and it generates a worksheet for you.  I found a few bible coloring pages too.

Well, what do you think?  Will it keep the kids occupied?  I'd love to hear other suggestions from you (except get a DVD player). 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Homemade Baby Food - Peas!!!

Joshua is about 5 months old, time to start baby food!  I love making homemade baby food, and find it strangely addicting.  First up was peas!  I started with a bag of frozen peas.  I don't like to use canned vegetables because they usually have added sugar and salt.  (Fresh is great too)  I put about an inch of water in a pot and cooked them with the lid on.  I think it took about 10 minutes.  Then I dumped the entire pot, water and all, into the blender.

It pureed up quickly.  (Be careful because it's still really hot!)  After it was pureed, I spooned it into ice cube trays to be frozen for later.  Once it's frozen, I will pop them out and put them in a zip top bag in the freezer. Then it will be easy to just grab a few cubes and thaw them when I need it.

Joshua wasn't as excited about his peas.  I was trying to feed him and take a picture at the same time, so I missed his first face, which was much funnier!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pleasures of a Petting Zoo

We decided to try out a small zoo near our house this weekend when Grandma came to visit us.  I was surprised that both of my kids wanted to hold bunnies!  They are both usually scared of animals, you know, those kids that scream when a dog comes near them, even if it's on a leash!  They enjoyed the bunnies though, and Caleb loved petting a baby deer.  He was a little scared of the baby goats though...

And then we saw this amazing pig.  It was the biggest pig I've ever seen, I had to take a picture.  It was about waist high when it stood up!!!

I'm working on a sewing project right now, hopefully I'll be able to share soon (if the kids cooperate so I can have some sewing time).  In the mean time, I'd love to see you over on my facebook page!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wedding Shower Card

I attended a beautiful bridal shower this weekend.  Of course, I completely forgot about a card, so I had to make one in 5 minutes.  I thought I remembered that her invitation was purple so I grabbed some purple paper.  (Oops, her color was yellow!)  I had an adorable thank you card tacked up on my pin board, it looked just like this one, except it was on teal paper.  I pealed the beautiful white embossed paper and ribbon off of my thank you card and glued it to my purple paper.  (The thank you card had been pinned on my board for several months, so I didn't feel bad taking it apart.)  I used a fancy scissors and cut out an oval, stamping the words "God Bless" on it.  That's it.  Congratulations to the bride to be!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Super Easy Chicken Fajitas

I had an avocado on the counter that was getting soft, so I had to think of something to make.  My solution: chicken fajitas with sliced avocado on them!  I also used some chopped spinach in place of lettuce because that's what I had, and it has more vitamins in it.  Even Caleb had some in his (although I didn't tell him it wasn't lettuce).  Here's my quick recipe:

Super Easy Chicken Fajitas
2 chicken breasts, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1/2 red pepper, sliced (or green)
1 packet of taco seasoning
olive oil
Tortillas, white or wheat
Toppings (avocado, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, spinach, olives, salsa, etc.)

Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium high, add chicken and cook until it's done.  Add onions and peppers and saute for a few more minutes until tender.  Turn the heat to medium and add seasoning packet.  Cook and stir for another minute or two until it's mixed well.  Serve in tortillas with desired toppings.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Basketball Cupcakes (Happy Father's Day)

Happy Father's Day!  I am especially thankful for my husband, who is an amazing daddy!  And I also have a wonderful Step-Father, that I always took for granted, but he was always there for me, thank you Doug!

My church is having a bake sale today, so I had to make something manly.  Basketball cupcakes it was!  These are so easy to make, just ice the cupcakes with orange frosting and then pipe on some black lines.  I have also done other balls in the past.  Baseballs can be done with white icing with red laces piped on.  Tennis balls can be done with lime green icing (very interesting to make that color!) and white lines.  Golf balls can be made with white icing, and then using the round end of a paint brush, make little divots all over.

I did have something odd happen to my cupcakes while they were baking.  If you're a facebook fan, you got a sneak peak at this strangeness last night.  It's like the tops crusted over right away, and then the batter ruptured out of the top like lava.  Very weird, I have no idea what caused this.  Has this ever happened to any of you?  I had to cut off the "cupcake warts" before frosting them (Kevin's term), but they were yummy!

See?  Very weird!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Joy

We went for a walk to day and found some daisies growing, the kids were so excited to pick a bouquet.  They are pretty, but honestly, I think they smell like stinky feet!  So, they've been banned to the outside.  I just love the beautiful summer weather we've been having!  And look what Joshua learned how to do!!!  I love him!

This weekend we were able to go swimming, what do you think of our pool???  Ha!  Someone gave this to Rebekah for her birthday.  The picture on the box shows 3 kids her size with plenty of room for their legs!  Can we say false advertising???  It was pretty funny though!  Our old pool was one of those hard blue plastic ones, it was much bigger, but it blew away in a big storm last year and we couldn't find it...  Guess we'll have to get a bigger one!

Joshua's not sure he likes this pool either.

Are you busy making summer memories?  Please share what you're up to on my facebook page!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry jam!  Who doesn't love it?  I have never canned anything before, so I am very proud of my 9 jars of jam!  The whole family went strawberry picking, even Joshua (in my Ergo baby carrier).  Then I had to make a trip to Walmart to buy a canner, jars, and supplies.  Rebekah picked off the green parts for me!  I followed The Pioneer Woman's tutorial, here's Part 1 and Part 2.

We picked 16 lbs!  The kids were actually helpful this year!  I also made two strawberry pies, the perfect summer dessert!

Do you have a favorite strawberry recipe?  I'd love for you to share!

Please stop by and like my facebook page!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Yy Yellow Homeschool Highlights in MFW

Studying colors was a great way to end the school year!  This was Yy yellow week, with the bible words as "Thank you, God, for this beautiful world."  This week would have been a perfect opportunity to let the kids paint, except we were completely out of red.  Since you can't mix colors without red, I changed the plan to frosting!!!  The kids didn't mind...  The first day I had them mix them and fill out a color sheet to show what happened (see the lap books below).  Then they spread it on graham crackers any way they wanted.

On day 4, we were supposed to make a paper rainbow, but Joshua wasn't cooperating, so I just got out the left over frosting and had them spread one cracker with each color, then I taught them the correct order of the colors in a rainbow.

I found some cheap color by number books that made a perfect last day of school gift.

Here's all our books.  I highly recommend One by Kathryn Otoshi.  It is about bullying and standing up for yourself and others.  We talked about not picking on your sister!!!

The color wheel in our lap books:

As a tactile activity they glued bits of yarn to make Y's.

For day 3, the teacher's manual suggested going on a color search, so I let the kids take the camera around the house to take pictures of yellow things.  They loved getting to use the camera!

Well, this is the end of Kindergarten!  Here is our finished lap books, I had to get bigger binders half way through the year.  It's going to be such a good keepsake for us to look back at!

Our finished caterpillar under the kitchen counter.  I don't remember where I printed these from, or I would post the link for you.  (If you know, leave the link in the comments.)

ETA: Thank you to Dawn at Our Little Monkeys for posting the link to the caterpillar on Training Them Up.

Daddy took a day off of work and we celebrated the end of the school year with some Chuck E Cheese fun!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Backless Dress Fix

I found this cute summer play dress at a garage sale for a quarter!  I couldn't pass it up, even though it was backless (this picture is the back).  I believe that women, including little girls, should dress modestly, so this dress needed a fix.  I used the leftover pink sleeve from my petal shirt, and sewed it under the X.  You can see in the picture below that I hemmed the top, and then sewed around the neck line.  I didn't trim my fabric until after it was sewn, and knit won't fray, so one sewing line was enough.  A super easy fix!

 The whole dress shown from the back:

The front:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Little Girl Jean Skirt (From Embroidered Jeans)

Have you seen my new facebook page?  Stop on by and like me!  And if you're interested in purchasing a nursing cover, you can order one here

What about this skirt?  It was a pair of little girl pants with the embroidery already on them.  Isn't it adorable?  It's going to be so cute on Rebekah!  If you'd like to know how to make your own jean skirt click on this tutorial.

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