FREEBIE 2 kids Ebooks

Check out this goody from two free ebooks for children. We like FREE!!!

These are a bit too young for us, so please share with us if you are able to use them.

Another Not So Great Monday?

Do you wonder whether your children are learning the right things?
Does it seem like the longer you homeschool, the harder it gets?
Do you sometimes ask Yourself how other moms homeschool their children, keep their houses running smoothly and still hang onto their sanity?"
If you answer "YES" to any of those questions this is the book for you!

This an awesome book that Lori a member of my blog recommended a few years ago and it was a great help to our homeschool. It was a very fast read for a very tired momma. Author Barbara Frank has been there done that and shares some wonderful information. As a veteran home educator Barbara offers up some wonderful encouragement.
Here are a few goodies from her book that you will learn.
Learn how you can:
· Get past the “public school” way of thinking by customizing lessons for each child.
· Boost your self-confidence by learning how to measure what your children have learned.
· Reduce your stress level with “115 Organizing Tips for Homeschoolers.”
· Free yourself of attitudes and habits that make homeschooling harder than it has to be.
New chapters in The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling include:
“Top Ten Tools for Homeschooling Parents”
“Reclaiming Your Child”
“Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs”
“Do You Know Where Your Math Manipulatives Are?”
“The Freedom You’d Have If You Sent Your Kids to School”

Have a wonderful week.

Teaching kids survival skills

I came across this great blog article and thought I would share it.  I run into so many moms that have kids in public or private schools who say that they can't teach their kids anything because there is no time with them being gone all day at school. This article has some neat ways to teach these things even if your kids are gone all day. Survival Skills for kids helped me to see the importance of these things and how they can be worked in to the lives of our children.
4-H is something that has helped us to, our son can read the 4-H books about the subject we are looking at tackling and then we put our hands and feet to work on it. 4-H is free in most areas and "It's Not Just For Farm Kids Anymore!" Many inner city clubs have popped up across the country. Most clubs meet 1x per month for a meeting. 4-H is a great way to learn new skills that will be used for a lifetime and it also helps us get something out of our tax dollars that we pay in as 4-H is part of the US Department of Agriculture.

Have you taught your kids any survival skills? Share with us.

Gluten Free & Dairy Free French Bread

YUM!!!! This was my first attempt at using my Chicago Metallic Commercial Perforated French Bread Pan that my husband bought me for Christmas. Amazon sells them and they are wonderful!
The recipe I used was from 100 Best Gluten Free Recipes by Carol Fenster and was called French Yeast Bread. I got it from the library for free and you probably can do the same through inter-library loan.

The bread was very tasty and had a wonderful mouth feel to it. I've never shaped a loaf of french bread so it does not look like Panera Bread's, but it sure tasted good! Our son said it was even good without any spread on it. It had a nice crunchy outside and that fluffy yummy inside. I liked it better than the $8.00+ packages of Schar's bread. I'll let you know how it tastes after it sits over night, ya know sometimes gluten free tastes really good out of the oven and not so great the next day. We shall see.


FREEBIE!! Homeschool Planner and Organizer

Free homeschool resources Ok, so first off let me say that I impress myself. LOL I was actually able to copy some HTML and figure out how to get it to show up in my blog. Let me say it again "IMPRESSIVE" lol.  Thank you for the round of applauds!! (Cathy in CA I know you are grinning at me, 'cause you know just how computer savy I am ;-) Yes, Val in MI also big grin on your face too. This website has some neat freebies for the homeschooler and even for those that don't home educate. There are some neat calendars, menu planners and grocery lists to print off. You can pick from lined or unlined versions. Pretty cool I think!  Here is the link to The Home School Mom. It also has Flylady compatible pages. Everyone needs a little bit of organization in their lives, we serve an orderly God and rightly so we should follow his ways. Here are two random Bible verse that I have come up with that make me see how God is organized.

Exodus 26:17
"Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle."
Exodus 39:37
"The pure candlestick, with the lamps thereof, even with the lamps to be set in order, and all the vessels thereof, and the oil for light,"

How much better can we serve when we have our house in order? OK, convicting, going to go and clean off the kitchen table, that seems to be the hustle and bustle of our home and it get in disarray quickly. Flylady would call that a HOT SPOT and mine is a blazin'! Where is your HOT SPOT?

Have a great weekend!
p.s. How is that Pantry Challenge going?

Book Monsters (craft idea)

These are called Book Monsters from Positively Peaches blog. I love the idea. I was having a bad day and a friend of mine and her husband made a little talking video with these cute little guys for me. It cheered me up, if she would like to share her video here she may  ;-)

Here is a link to how to make these guys. I think I am going to make some with pretty patterned paper and skip the monster idea. Here is an idea of what I would like to do.

These are ones that a scrapbooking friend made, she posted them over at
They are more my style.

Here is another cute one from I Could Make That blog.

Click on the different links to learn a few ways to make these, some just need the corner of an envelope.........think of using up all those junk mail envies that you get!! I plan to make some of these this weekend, I'll post pics when I get them made. Post any that you make too. I think that these could be something cute, quick and easy to encourage someone at church.


Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

I've had a hymn running through my brain all week long and I can't come up with all the words, it has "Glory, glory, glory" in it.

Homeschool Field Trip Day

Had a wonderful homeschool field trip. Thought at first it might be a bust, too many people showed up to see the eagle and we could not get into the auditorium to see the show. But later we were invited in for a short talk and a private viewing of the Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle. We were able to get up close, it was pretty cool to say the least!
This was a lesson taught and learned about how sometimes we think life is a bust, but there is more to it than that. Sometimes we think we know what we need, but God has other plans for us.

Notice the smooth head on the top picture.

Notice the ruffled feathers on the top of his head now. They were standing straight up, (like spiked hair) but I could not get the camera to focus quickly enough. I am hoping another mom got a good picture and I will share that if she did.

This guy is about 5 years old and is blind in one eye.

Look at those feet!! WOW!


Getting ready for flight.

Major wing span here.

Flying feet up close, those are HUGE!!

Tomorrow I will share the pictures of the Golden Eagle, he is missing a wing, but he is still ever so awesome and powerful looking!

Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

6 Gluten-Free Blogs to read, some are dairy free too!

I came across this today and found it very helpful lot of new recipes to try. All are gluten free and many are dairy free too. YUM!!


Makin' Space

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!  We are making space and using up food. It's so fun to go shopping from the pantry. I found some cans of fruit hidden in the back and 2 more can of Lentil soup (my guys fell in love with this, got it for .25¢ a can at the Amish Salvage store).

I've still got about 15 cans of beef broth (not gluten free) that I need to use up. Any ideas of what I can make my guys? They like soup, but then they also like crackers in soup and those have bad oils in them, so they are a no no for my husband.


Scrapbooker and stampers check this out!

Our local scrapbook store bought out a store going out of business and they were selling paper racks, I bought one and LOVE IT!!  I highly recommend getting one, they are so nice to stay organized. I had my paper just stacked in drawers and could never find what I needed.

Now I just need to figure out how to label each row? Any ideas? I think sticky notes would fall off, maybe address labels folded over? What do ya think?


Gluten Free Rotisserie Chicken recipe

In keeping with the pantry challenge theme I'm are shopping from the freezer this week. I have 1 whole chicken and 1 cut up chicken left. So today we are having either Rhodie (a Rhode Island Red rooster) or Freddie (a Leghorn), both were 4-H Grand Champions in 2010. These chickens fit nicley in a crockpot.

Gluten Free Rotisserie Chicken

4-5 lb chicken (I think we are using a 3lb one today)
2 tsp kosher salt or more if you like it salty like the store bought ones, I skipped the salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder (I would go 2 tsp next time)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Italian seasoning (I would make this 1 tbls next time)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I think I will skip this next time it was a bit spicy for me)
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch of chili pepper (if you want) I used chili powder (too much spice for me)
4 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion quartered
Skin the chicken if you want to (I don't)
Remove all the goodies from the cavity
mix all seasonings and sprinkle inside and outside the chicken
put garlic and onions inside chicken cavity.
Put bird in breast side DOWN in crockpot.
DO NOT ADD WATER-no liquid is needed for this recipe.
Cover and cook on high 4-5 hours or low up to 8 hours. The longer you cook this the more tender it is. I am also going to put a few washed/scrubbed potatoes in the bottom of the pot to cook. YUM!
For safety sake when I have the time, I put the crockpot on high for the first hour to make sure that the temperature gets good and hot and then I turn it to low for the rest of the day. Always cook thawed chicken in the crockpot NEVER frozen since the inside of the bird stays at the wrong temperature for too long while in the crockpot and bacteria can start to grow.

This was pretty good, both my guys liked it, but it was too spicy hot for me, I like a bit of heat, but this was really warm. So you can see my changes for next time in (   ).
If you are not daring enough to try this recipe, just sprinkle your chicken with Lawyr's Seasoning Salt and turn the crockpot on. YUM!!! But way too much sodium for this body  :O( 


Thankfulness during the Pantry Challenge?

As I think about being thankful for the surplus I have and how I am able to be wise in using it, the 10 leprous men come to mind that Jesus healed.

Luke 17:12-13 12"And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan."

A couple of key things here, 10 guys with leprosy (some sort of nasty skin disease that is painful) and only 1 guy says "THANK YOU to Jesus for healing him", only 1 guy fell down and gave thanks and praise to Jesus, and that 1 guy was a Samaritan! Which is very key because "Samaritans were hated by the Jews as part of a complex and ancient racial prejudice." In James MacDonalds book Lord, Change My Attitude he says it like this

"The point is, no one has an acceptable excuse for ungratefulness.Everyone can make the choice to give thanks and acknowledge the goodness and the grace of God. Sadly, however, only a small fraction of the human population ever personally thanks God for His grace."

Have you taken time to thank God for His saving grace? For the things that you have in your life? Good things and things that you suffer for? Take time today to thank God and pick up a good read. Lord Change My Attitude Before It's Too Late by James MacDonald with forward by Dr. Erwin Lutzer. Our 11 year old son read this book first and then told me that he thought I should read it. I have been wowed by many things it the book. The most captivating so far is the fact that many of us, including me (gasp!) are living in the 'wilderness' like the Israelites. If you are a Child of God, you have it all (not meaning stuff either) yet you may not realize it and suffer for it.

Get out of the wilderness!

Something fun for your homeschool

I just love these dry erase dots, they make school work so much more fun!!! Math problems are a breeze for boys. I have found them on sale a few times and bought different colors. They are a big hit around here. You can see one of our Magenta colored dot in the bottom picture.
What fun things do you add to your homeschool to spice things up?

Pantry Challenge January Round Up

Let me count the ways that I bombed this past month in the Pantry But I had fun and hope you did too.

For starters DO NOT EVER shop for groceries after being under I felt so well after my upper and lower scopes that we decided to shop at Meijers (remember I love that place!), I wandered through and blew a cool $50 some odd dollars, can't find the receipt now. Got some wonderful produce (did I ever tell you how I just love Meijers produce? I think it's the lighting!).
My dear husband pushed the cart dutifully up and down the isles for me as I plucked things off the shelf (who knows what!) and dropped them into the cart. What on earth was I thinking? That is right I was not in my right mind and what did that paper say that I signed before surgery? "I will not make any financial decisions for 24 hours." I wonder now, does grocery shopping fall under that category? I think so! That brings me up to $122.09 for the month.

Then another $49.56 at the local grocery store this was sort of a woe is me shopping trip, I had to do the prep for my upper/lower scopes (drink the nasty stuff to clean your insides out) and I wanted to treat myself, so I bought my favorite soda Canada Dry, my favorite kool-aid drink TANG, the good ice pops (not those nasty cheap watered down ice Since I knew once the tests were done I would be back on a gluten free diet, I got some Lenders Bagels and Thomason English Muffins, no generics for me on those! I also bought the good juices to drink during my prep time, nothing like Welches White Grape Juice $4.50 a bottle and Mango Peach Juice. Those items added up very quickly. $171.65 for the month.

Then on 1/30/12 I ran to the store real quick like for milk & chicken (remember I did not want to butcher our laying hens so I had to buy chicken)........that cost me $23.76.
They had milk on sale for $1.50 so bought a few of those,
Cannelli Beans on sale for $1.00 a can, I stocked up on those since I can sneak them into a lot of
Tyson Chicken was on sale for $1.99 lb.

January 2012 cost us $195.41 for three people, doing homeschool math that comes to an average of $65.14 per person for a month or an average of $48.85 per week. I was hoping for less, but I know that I could have done without the $50 bucks spent on surgery day, I am still kicking myself for that one! I am thankful for what I saved and did not spend with being gluten and dairy free, I could have spent a lot more $$ on fancy products.

How is your February going on the pantry challenge? I am going to just keep on going with it and see where it leads me. Remember if you are not gluten free or dairy free you can still use my recipes (comment if you have questions about them), just use whole wheat or white flour and regular dairy and butter in the recipes.

If you are new around here we are having a Pantry Challenge, here is how it works.........It's easy, before you head to the grocery store, shop your freezer, refrigerator and cabinets to see what you can use up. For the first 3 weeks I try to only buy milk, butter and bread, since I usually have an abundance of canned fruits and veggies on hand. If you don't have chickens you may need to buy eggs :-p Make a family game out of this, let the kids pick some can goodies from the cabinet, find some meat in the freezer and go from there.

My dream book shelf

We added on to our home a few years ago and during that time our builder needed to remove a pair of windows from our dining room, since he was adding a bedroom to the other side of the windows. I asked the builder if he could put book cases/shelves in the spot that the windows had been. He looked at me like I was an alien, but said sure. We love them!!! Our son and I were jumping up and down at the handy work of the builder when he built them and installed them. Again the builder looked at us like we were aliens. He came back the next day and we had the bookcases filled to the brim, lol. We did not even wait to have them painted, I think this summer I will get them painted. Here is a picture of our new book shelves for our dinning room/school room.

This works so well for our school room!! Yes, of course I could use 10 more of these in my It helps us make more floor space in that we don't have Rough Totes full of school books. Our whiteboard is right next to it and it works so well. It's even deep enough for us to have those Sterilte drawers sitting in it.

Share a picture of a neat and fun nook you have in your house. Our builder also built some shelves into our new bedroom using some deep space in the old wall.

Month 2 of my Pantry Challenge & recipes

Tonight for dinner we had Chicken Stew as I call it. All from the pantry except for the chicken (did not want to have to butcher a hen for So I let Tyson do the dirty work!)
I sliced up a bunch of celery, carrots, onion and put them in some olive oil and sauteed them.
Dumped those into the crockpot with a 32 oz container of NO SALT GF chicken broth,
cut up the chicken breasts (3 of them) added those to the crockpot,
sprinkled in some cumin (1/2 tsp or so),
1 tsp of poultry seasoning,
1/2 tsp of Kitchen Bouquet,
1/2 tsp of Marjoram.
A can of black beans drained and rinsed 
a large can of green beans (I think around 30 oz or so?) drained and rinsed.
I cooked that on high for an hour and then on low for about 3 hours. But you could put it on low all day and just leave it. I had some brown rice in the fridge leftover so I tossed that in about the last hour. It was a hit!!

Moe's Gluten Free/Dairy Free Chicken Stew

A fine meal like this was not be complete without a wonderful dessert!!

Moe's Gluten Free/Dairy Free Peanut Butter Truffle Brownie

1 box of Gluten Free Hodgson Mill Brownie Mix (use regular brownie mix if you can eat wheat  :)
I used 2 eggs to make the cake like brownies and followed the recipe on the box.
Then to make the peanut butter filling (use Sunbutter if you have allergies to peanut butter)

1/2 cup Fleischmann's salt free margarine (it's dairy free too!), softened (or use real butter)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons Almond/soy or dairy milk (I added a bit more to make it more creamy)
Blend with mixer until creamy. Then I cut the brownie in 1/2 with a knife, layed on the filling and then put the top of the brownie on. It's 1/2 gone already! lol

50% off Gluten Free Pasta at

Get over to sorry I spelled that wrong, here is the correct link. the other links below were already correct. Sorry about that. Happy shopping!

Get some great gluten free pasta made in a dedicated facility (we got a tour of the plant last year while on vacation). Regular pasta is also on sale. Love their products. The gluten free pastas all have Golden Milled Flax Seed.

8 ounces $3.24  on sale for $1.62!!!

"Nothing satisfies like a steamy, al dente bowl of the most classic of pastas: Spaghetti ~ and it doesn't get more delicious or more healthy than our new Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti with the lightly nutty flavor of milled flax seed. Our newest pastas meet the requirements of allergy-sensitive consumers; crafted with the highest quality in a strictly maintained gluten free manufacturing facility. "

The Gluten Free Seasoned Coating is wonderful!! Remember I gave away a box of this on my blog last fall. YUM!!
Also the Gluten Free Cookie Mix-12oz is really good too. I bake those and add in Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, I keep these made up in the freezer.
here is a direct link to the gluten free pastas.

(who bought a case of each of the pastas)