Monday, October 29, 2012

Menu Plan Monday and Going Paleo/Primal

Since we have been living at my parents, eating a completely whole foods diet has been...well, non-existent. It's not really any one's fault, just a matter of adjusting, and letting it slide. I have decided that on November 1st we are going to do 30 days of Paleo/Primal as a detox and then get back on track with our whole foods diet. I am not entirely sure if what we will do will be considered Paleo or Primal because we will eat dairy, and I am not entirely sure what the difference is (feel free to comment and let me know!). Anyways, here is our menu plan that gives me the first half of the week to cook some things I already have and then start up with the changes on Thursday.


Breakfast: Cereal and yogurt. We have about 1/2 of a box to go before it is out of here!

Lunch: Left overs
Dinner: Herb-Crusted Pork Loin
with mixed veggies and dinner rolls


Breakfast: Cereal and yogurt
Lunch: Applegate farms ham and veggie kebabs
Snack: Fruit and nuts
Dinner: Beef Fajitas with onions, bell peppers and raw cheddar (this will include tortillas and our last grain)


Breakfast: Last of the cereal
Lunch: Sloppy Joes with raw veggies
Snack:Fruit and nuts
Dinner: Roast Chicken with roasted potatoes and green salad

Thursday (Paleo Starts):

Breakfast: Bacon, eggs scrambled in bacon fat, yogurt
Lunch: Applegate farms ham and veggie kebabs
Snack: Grain free blueberry muffins
Dinner: Moroccan meatballs with citrus carrots and cauliflower mash


Breakfast: Coconut flour crepes with berries and cream sweetened with honey, yogurt
Lunch: Leftovers
Snack: Cinnamon Apple chips sweetened with rapadura
Dinner: Baked Coconut Cod


Breakfast: Bacon, eggs scrambled in bacon fat, yogurt
Lunch: Grilled steaks and mixed veggies
Snack: Fruit and nuts


Breakfast: Bacon, eggs scrambled in bacon fat, yogurt
Lunch: Sunday Roast with maple and rapadura butternut squash
Snack: Chewy granola bars (yes, with oats) with cocoa nibs
Dinner: Pork Chops with sauteed asparagus and roasted cauliflower

Join the menu planning fun at Menu Plan Monday!

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

I have been sitting here with this page open pondering what to blog about. Life has kept me moving so much the last few months that I have hardly had a moment to breathe let along blog. In the absence of a profound blog idea (one which will probably come to me at 2 am and that I will wake up remembering I had, but not remembering the details), I have decided to share some blessings in our lives.

1. Our house is moving along. The brick was finished today and my husband spent all day wiring the alarm system. We are very close to being able to sheet rock. So far things have gone as planned and we have been able to make the money last. We will run out soon, but the house will be livable and we will be able to finish it out as we have the money. We are about 2 years from being home owners completely mortgage free. I can still not even imagine.

2. Living with my parents has been, for the most part, easy. We have gotten along well, and to be honest, my parents are out so much we sometimes wonder if they decided just to give us their house! Eating as organic as I would like has been difficult, but it is what it is and I can hardly be ungrateful after all they have done for us.

3. Keira has discovered a love for gymnastics and seems to be quite the natural. She tried out for pre-team last week after only a month and a half of classes. She did not make it, but she tested at level 3 for everything except the bars, which she had never trained on. The coach wants to give her until April and then possibly move her straight to level 3 team skipping pre-team all together. Let me tell you this girl has some heart for this. She stretches every night for about 30 minutes and has been working out to gain the arm strength she needs to be good on the bars. She has some big dreams and I am excited to see where she goes with this. The best thing is that we never could have afforded what gymnastics cost had we not made the decision to move and build. She has also been playing soccer which again she seems naturally inclined to. I think she just might be my sporty one.

4. Brianna is starting homeschool art classes on Tuesday. I am really excited as she has felt a bit in her sisters shadow recently. She loves anything artsy. I will be sure to post some photos of her work.

5. Luke FINALLY knows his ABCs and is night trained. I am not a big pusher when it comes to early learning but I really thought he might never be interested in learning them. Between that, him learning to write his name and being completely out of diapers, I am now faced with the harsh reality that my last baby has been raised and is now a proper big boy.

6. I started a homeschool page on facebook. I really expected to get about 15 maybe 20 members. We are at right around 150! The best part is that I am getting to know so many of these great moms from all walks and they have provided me with such a wonderful support system that I could not live without, truly.

7. This is a hard one for me because it has been bitter sweet. We once again decided to give the church search a try, but we do firmly believe that we may have found the one God is calling us to. We have been attending for about a month and have grown so much just in that short time. We still plan on giving it more time before making the decision, but at the moment we are convinced that this is our new church home. Please pray for wisdom and discernment. We have bounced around quite a bit and after returning to the church that I grew up in, were determined to just stay put. It didn't work out that way, and we definitely want to be sure that this change is what God would have us do.

Things have changed a lot over the last few years, months even. Things changed, as they do, adventures started and I am looking forward to seeing how God blesses us in the future!

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Gracious Forgiveness

Today at gymnastics class my two girls were playing with two other girls in "the pit" (a big hole in the floor filled with foam blocks used to help practice tumbling and bars). My rule is that they do not jump into the pit while there is another child in it so that no one accidentally lands on anyone else. They follow this rule, and while they were playing today Keira was patiently waiting on another girl to climb out and Brianna was holding the rope Keira was on to keep her from swinging. As Brianna accidentally let go of the rope Keira, unprepared, fell into the pit on the girl and hurt the girl's shoulder. Immediately, both of my girls ran over to her to make sure she was ok and to apologize for having hurt her, but instead of accepting the apology and going over to tell the coach that she was hurt, the girl and her friend started making the incident look very dramatic, shouting at the girls to "get back" and to "go get the coach NOW". My girls, unsure of how to handle how they were being spoken to burst into tears and ran to me.

I witnessed most of what happened, so I was somewhat prepared. My first irritation is that the girls were in the pit unsupervised, but I might just be a tad over protective. Next, I had the girls explain what happened and then told them that they should not have been on the rope until the other girl was out and that when there is a problem they need to go to the coach and not listen to another child barking orders at them. Last, I was heartbroken, because, I watched them try to apologize and instead of this girl saying, "I'm ok, thank you for apologizing" the two little girls ganged up on mine and accused them of plotting and hurting the girl on purpose. When the two other little girls came over, I took Keira again and had her apologize and then told the girls that she absolutely did not mean to hurt anyone and that it was a cruel accusation that really hurt Keira's feelings and that next time they should get the coach if there was a problem. Of course all I got was an angry glare and after I asked the girl if she thought she needed ice, and if her mother was there so that she could let her know she was hurt, they both huffed off. I did decide to go ahead and let the mother know that Keira had accidentally hurt the girl and had apologized. Mom seemed to shrug it off and we left.

When we got in the car I thought about what lessons to take from this. These girls had a record of being rude to my girls (who are no angels, but are genuinely kind and friendly so are quite shocked when it is not reciprocated) so I thought about how to handle bullies, or people who speak rudely to us, or safety around the pit...Then I decided it was time to talk about graciously accepting apologies.

The Bible tells us that when we are hurt by someone that we should forgive 70x7 times (Matthew 18:21-22). We are to continually forgive, and I believe we are not only to forgive, but we are to forgive graciously and completely. So, that is our lesson for today. When you accepted that apology from a friend who hurt you did you just "forgive"? Or did you graciously and completely forgive? I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who has graciously and completely forgiven me.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Pumpkin Lesson Plans

My kids love fall with the changing leaves, cooler weather, and pumpkin patches.  Here is a list of activities and lesson plans about pumpkins!

This page has lots of ideas and could very well make a complete unit on pumpkins.
Teaching Hearts Pumpkin Unit

This project helps kids to understand that living things need air, water, and light.
Scholastic's Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden

This list of things has lots of cute, short projects on pumpkins and pie!
Bright Hub Education

There are several things on this page that seem to be useful ideas, the one I linked to is my favorite!
Pumpkin Unit

This is a lesson and project on the life cycle of a pumpkin
Pumpkin Life Cycle

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Halloween Lapbook and Lesson Plan

I was looking for a lapbook about Halloween that was happy, spoke about the history of Halloween, and was colorful.  I needed it to not be difficult in the way of writing, since the majority of my homeschoolers are not writing yet.  I wanted it to be colorful with lots of cutting and pasting.

I will be the first to admit I am not that creative and I did not want to spend loads and loads of time with this.  I searched and searched for one, either free or one to be bought, and to my dismay, could not find one that met my requirements. So, I took my uncreative side, searched around the 'net and found some resources. Thanks to some Word savvy friends that helped me tweak things, I came up with one.

I also included a simple five day lesson plan on how and when to use the lapbook, what projects you can to do coincide with the portion of the lapbook you are doing that day, and a list of other resources you can use to find out more about Halloween and the things that go with it that the lapbook doesn't address.

Click here to take you to the lapbook.   It is in PDF format.

 Here is how you make the lapbook.  First, take a file folder and open it out. Fold the ends to the center.

Then print out the lapbook. Have your child color the front and back pages.  Place the cover facedown on the lapbook and put on of the folder flaps on it.  Trace the edge of the folder.  Cut the cover page along the line you traced. 

Glue each piece to the front flaps of the lapbook.

 Color and paste the back cover to the back of the lapbook.

I will not go into detail on how to put each component into the lapbook since I do this in the lapbook lesson plan, but this is what it will look like when you are done. (Ignore the writing on the folder - I had to use an old one for demonstration purposes for this blog post :))  But, this is what the inside will look like when you are done.

Have fun!

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