How Does Your Garden Grow?

I would never say I have a green thumb…not even a light green thumb.  But, my desire to have rows and rows of beautiful fruits, veggies and flowers is almost painful.  This past year was my best year yet.  We successfully grew strawberries, lettuces, onions, herbs and carrots.  We knew we were going on a long RV trip, so we didn’t want to commit to a huge garden that nobody would be around to tend to.
This year is going to be different…..I’m already drawing up plans for some new planters that my Daughter who is extremely handy with tools is going to build for me this Spring!  Oh Happy Day!!!  Now to look into seeds, churn my existing soil and line up some starter plants from my Local Nursery.  I usually get a few plants that are already thriving to add into my rows of seeds.  Unless I plant real early in the year.  How do you start planting and tending to your gardens?  Are you a lone-gardener or do you make it a Family affair?


The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection ~ REVIEW

It's no secret I love Christmas with a passion.  When others start planning Halloween costumes and thinking about trick or treating routes I'm under the stairs polishing my 30 year old Nativity set inspecting this year's cracks and missing paint flecks.  So, I had no hesitation in whipping out and Reviewing the Digital Downloads of  The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection from The Familyman. 
Kaden loves Audio Adventures and during our Rv trips we listen to countless audio Dramas and Books.  Our whole Family was able to start this  Collection towards the end of our last trip.  But. mainly Kaden was the one who spent the most time listening to them over and over.  He listened to them all in just 2 days.  But, would replay them while we drove, while he played or just lounging around.  Here are the titles from the Christmas Treasury....they are all written by Todd Wilson and read by Jim Hodges.
  • Captain Chaos
  • Cootie McKay's Nativity
  • Gladys Remembers Christmas
  • Harold Grubbs
  • It's Called Christmas
  • The Bishop's Dream
  • The Secret of Snow Village
  • The Stranger
I have to say I looked at the Familyman's Website and found myself there for hours.  Lot's of great reading, encouragement and information packed in there along with great products for the whole Family.
Captain Chaos reminds me of it's a Wonderful Life....a fun Kid version.  Kaden was on the edge of his seat during this one.  I knew he was drawn in because he would keep turning around and looking at me.  This was I think his most Favorite!  We celebrate a lot of traditions in our Family during Christmas time.  So, just thinking about what life may look like without them....hmmmmm, let's just say I wont have a problem getting him to cut out construction paper snowflakes this year. :)
Cootie McKay's Nativity I just couldn't stop thinking about Mayberry.  The town Nativity gets destroyed and the clock is ticking to have it up right after Thanksgiving.  This story was suspenseful and one of the longer ones...about 30 minutes.  I enjoyed this one a lot.  
Another of our Favorites was It's Called Christmas.  Kaden became real passionate about this one.  We stopped and talked about it at least a half dozen times.  He recognized in his own little life how society is trying to get rid of Christmas.  He ended up make a list of things he wanted to do this Christmas to make sure Christmas doesn't loose Christ.  The story was a blessing and I loved the fire it lit in Kaden's little heart.
All of the stories were Amazing....I just don't want to ruin them for you by telling you about them all.  I promise as you get ready for Thanksgiving there is no better time then now to bring in some Christmas Spirit for your Family to truly prepare their hearts for a Christmas to remember this year.  These would make wonderful Family gifts for everyone on your list this year.  They can be purchased on CDs or Downloadable Mp3s.  We do the 12 days of Christmas every year and these would have been perfect for that....I'm so thankful to have found the Familyman and look forward to other Audios to wrap as 12 days of Christmas presents for our Family.  

Make sure you head on over and see what the Familyman has going on with Social Media!
The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews


Educeri Lesson Subscription Service ~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2016%20TOS%20Crew/10%20-%20October/17%20Educeri/More%20than%201000%20Handouts_zpsgzuu8ysr.jpgI can not tell you how many times Kaden has asked me about a topic that I just look blankly back at him and wonder to myself just where did he come from.  And then I think back to how many times a day do I Google a subject I'm interested in or thumb through old books and magazines to find that article that I have the time to research more about.  He gets it from me and that's why we spend countless hours poured over books at the Library and hunched over the computer piecing together information and answers to his most important questions.  I have a few favorite places I hit up regularly because it gets him the answers he wants.  But, I'm noticing as he gets older his questions have grown from looking for simple answers.  But, he's wanting to understand the why and learn to replicate the how.  While we were on our RV trip for 9 weeks it was a Gold Mine out there in the real world.  Information at every turn and while we were nearing the end of our trip we were given an opportunity to Review  what I think may be an answer to my prayers.  Educeri .....  Educeri a division of DataWORKS has over 1000 Ready to Teach Lessons with their Educeri Lesson Subscription Service.  Yes, you read right.....Ready to Teach, nothing else needed. 


A Little Bit of Me Time.....

Have you heard of Self Care?  I had never heard of it before until a few years ago when our Family went through a crisis and my world came to a crashing halt.  That's when I first heard about Self Care.  I learned that it's true what the flight attendant always tells you at the beginning of your flight.  If you don't put the oxygen max on yourself first you wont be able to help your traveling partner beside you that's gasping for breath. 

Every single day I make a point to practice Self Care.  I have this bag I put together filled with lotions, a candle, nail polishes, books, journals, pens, candies, cards with affirmations on them, pictures of Family and I have a list of things to do for myself.  On that list I have meditation, walking, art, writing, facials, hair masks, soak my feet, read, watch a movie alone with Pop Corn, 5-10 minutes of intentional deep breathing, take a bath with essential oils, make up a scrub or oil combination, make a cup of tea or coffee and drink it outside.  There are so many things that you can add to your special list.  I usually take one to two times out of my day to do one of the things mentioned above.  Some days it may be just lighting a candle, clicking on Pandora and enjoying my morning shower.  Or drinking my tea outside while deep breathing....the point is to take time for yourself and stop putting everyone's needs before your own. 
As Parents that can be hard, my youngest has Autism.  But, I know if I'm not right with myself, I'm not going to be able to be there mentally and emotionally.  Take some time for yourself this next week and watch the difference it makes.


Online Christian Filmmakers Academy ~ REVIEW


My Mahala is a natural photographer.  I know without a doubt that God gave her a talent.  Even though there is talent and passion when she's behind a lens.... she can use all the learning experiences she can.  Which is why I was thrilled to hear she would be able to Review the Online Christian Filmmakers Academy from Family Gravity Media, a division of Families For Christ Ministries, Inc.   Honestly I wasn't even sure what this course included...I just knew any new info I could get in front of her would be beneficial.  And I'm so thankful I was right....it was like Christmas had come early for her!

I had plans to do this along with Mahala because when she needs help photographing and asks for something I would like her to eventually one day be able to call things by their proper name and not round thingy with the squiggly lines.  But, since we were heading home from our 2 month long Rv trip I was overwhelmed and once we made it home I was exhausted.  Needless to say she couldn't wait for me to catch my breath....she had to get started right away.  So, I will probably crack open the videos after the Holidays. :)

  • Module 1 ~ Camera
  • Module 2 ~ Cinematography 
  • Module 3 ~ Sound
  • Module 4 ~ Pre-Production
  • Module 5 ~ Production
Basically Mahala has worked through 3 of the 5 modules so far.  And we are amazed at all that she has learned when even she thought she knew all of the basics.  Each Module contains quizzes that to my surprise she listed as one of her positives.  She said it was nice to be tested on this new knowledge to make sure she actually retained it! :)  Mahala said she learned that you have a lot of options when film making and just one little change can make the viewer's perspective change.  She also commented on how nice it was to see them handling the equipment.  She is always so careful when handling her equipment....almost insainly careful. I think she might loosen up a bit now since she feels a little more confidence in caring for her camera.  Mahala's favorite part of Cinematography is editing, she even edits her older Brother's videos.  
Since I have not taken the course I was asking her what her over all thoughts were and they were all positive.  She said that anyone wanting to get into Cinematography or just learn more about the Camera could benefit from taking this course.  She said it was nice to see that at the bottom of the lessons you could post ideas or questions and they would get back to them.  Another bonus was the quality of the course, very professional, super user friendly and legit and not boring.  (Her words, not mine....) 

Would we recommend Online Christian Filmmakers Academy?  For sure if you own a Camera, take videos and or need credits for your High-school student in the Arts department.  I think it's a very great elective that really hits on a major part of today's culture for teens and young adults.  When I was in High-school I didn't think about taking videos, but in today's world.....my 9 year old takes better videos then I do.  Like I said....I'll be taking this course after the Holidays! :)  Make sure you head over and see their NEW Online Christian Filmmakers Academy Facebook Page
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Online Christian Filmmakers Academy {Family Gravity Media}


MyFreezEasy ~ REVIEW


I Love Cooking and for years I have been a throw what I have in the pantry and fridge kind of person.  Crazy thing is those Goulashes as my Husband calls them have become some of my Family's Favorite meals.  But, the last few years we have changed a lot as far as our eating habits, what type of food we eat and how we eat it.  With that comes a little planning, but it's been worth it for the benefit of my Family.  Many years ago I used to take two Saturdays a month and by all the food I needed to make dinners for the following 2 weeks.  And the very next day I would cook it all.....talk about a jam packed freezer.  And the amount of planning and preparation it took to pull this off month after month was intense, so intense I only did this for about a year.  Did it help me during the time I worked outside the home and still homeschooled my Kiddos?  Yes, it sure did and that is why during this busy season of my life I was intrigued when I heard about this next Review.  MyFreezEasy generously gave me me an Annual Subscription to their MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership.  

I was so Excited for this Membership because previously when I would plan out meals for the freezer for later meals they were mainly casseroles or highly Carb filled...not to mentioned everything was mixed with the dreaded can of mushroom soup.  Why is that not a good thing for our Family?  Gluten, which we have tried to eliminate as much of it as possible for Kaden.  When I took a look at MyFreezEasy I was pleasantly surprised to see the variety of Healthy, Yummy food options.  Food that would not only be fast and easy to prepare on weeknights, but food that would meet all of our Family's dietary needs.
Here is a quick overview...there is 2 different Membership Plans to choose from.  The Basic and the Premium Membership.  What you get is the ability to have 5 customized recipes sent directly to your inbox that will take you an hour of prepare 10 meals from to freeze for later!  Each recipe gives you two delicious meals and every month you can look forward to new ones so you can kiss eating the same old thing over and over goodbye! :)  I was given the Premium Membership and the main thing I Love about it is it allows me to swap meals from any of the meal plans or even make up my own meal plan.  This works the Best for our Family because even though I tend to eat more clean high protein foods other Family members enjoy a little something different here and there as a surprise treat.  
I haven't even got to the Best Best Part...not only do both Memberships give you the recipes, but also a well detailed shopping list,  Assembly instructions for both the Prep Portion before you freeze and the the actual prep to thaw and cook.  Hands down this brings a tear to my eye...1st of all I hated writing out the shopping list when I did a big cook...no matter how hard I tried I always forgot at least one thing each Big Cook Day. :(  And please tell me I am not the only one to pull out a frozen bag of "something" and wonder what the heck is it and how do I reheat it and fix it properly to feed my starving Family. :)  With the Assembly instructions and printable labels for your freezer bags this wont be a problem ever again.  That alone is worth the membership here in this house. :) 

It was simple and easy to get started.  I logged on and did a happy dance when I saw all of my amazing choices.  Setting up my menu was easy, I printed my labels and lists and headed to the store.  I felt confident that everything I needed was right in my little hand, I shopped, laid everything out and got to work.  The instructions were clear, accurate and easy to execute.  I even got the kiddos involved in the cooking.....and the clean up too!

I also wanted to add that not only do you get suggested side options, but you are able to select serving sizes for your recipes.  That's awesome, because most recipes I find in magazines or online are for only 4 servings, sometimes 6.  But, we are a Hungry Family of 6.  I find a lot of the times recipes are small and when I try to bulk it up the flavor may be off.  So, being able to customize the serving amount for our Family was awesome.  And I just have to say I have used the meals I froze and they tasted fantastic and my Family was excited to have something other then a fast salad or snacky meal on those nights that I ran out of time before the dinner pains became apparent! :)

So, what did I think?  I loved this service.  It was helpful and to be honest I didn't even know that I needed something like this....but I do.  And I will more than likely continue with this service even after my Membership expires.  It gives me peace of mind knowing delicious healthy meals are already prepped and ready for my Family when I need them.  I encourage all my Momma Friends to take a look at this service.  Get a little help in areas of your life that get a bit hectic...it's okay! :)
Head over and see what's Cookin' with MyFreezeEasy today on Social Media!!!

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MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}


New Way to Stay Organized......


Oh my goodness I can’t believe it is just the beginning of the weekend.  YAY!!  That means I have so much time to get through the things I have marked down on my list.  How do you stay organized?  I use a Bullet Journal to keep track of everything from Favorite movies and Bible verses all the way to Future plans and this weeks schedule.

The Bullet Journal was created by Ryder Carroll, check out his Website, because he has an Amazing Video that will explain this life changing system way better then I could do.  Let me know what you think and if you are a BuJo enthusiast too!


Handbook For Writers ~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2016%20TOS%20Crew/10%20-%20October/5%20-%20Everyday%20Education%20LLC/eil-writers-handbook_zpsjbixeufz.jpgThis next Review couldn't have come at a better time then right now.  We were given Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers from Everyday Education, LLC.  Mahala is nearing the end of High School and she would honestly rather eat dirt then to write a paper.  And you know what....I totally understand her.  When I was her age I just wrote my feelings out on paper, argued and compared ideas with my written words when asked to.  Writing was EASY for me, the problem was all that technical stuff like comas, grammar and all the other not so fun stuff in writing that I would probably eat a spoonful of dirt to not have to teach it.  Needless to say we haven't done a lot of formal teaching as far as writing goes and I was a little scared to even take on this Review.  Funny thing is that even though I was nervous to actually use this Handbook I couldn't wait to dive right in.  Mahala and I both laughed out-loud when we read that the first section was  Introduction to Arguments and Essays.....were they looking into my house?  Because we've had a lot of "arguments" about Essays around here.  Ok, maybe not a lot but there is definitely some miscommunication going on when it comes to writing an Essay around here. 

This Handbook came to us as a PDF, which was perfect because we were on our RV trip.  We weren't planning any essays or papers while on the trip, but I did have Mahala and Kaden keep a daily journal.  While Dad was driving Mahala and I would get out the laptop and read a little a few times a week and I would have her take notes while we read.  This Handbook is HUGE, I'm talking over 400 pages!  As soon as I scanned the enormous table of contents I knew this was going to be our Best Friend.  Mahala wants to go to College, this means she needs to be able to write different types of papers.  And guess who she's going to ask for help.....Me....so, I better learn some of this too! :)  I'll be honest Mahala took one look at this and instantly felt overwhelmed.  But, when I explained to her that this was a resource not a begin at the beginning and read straight though kind of text book she was relieved.

We quickly noticed certain topics that we knew we needed help on...here are a few of our Favorites and most helpful so far.
*The Visual Guide to Organizing Your Papers
*The Rubric for Writing Evaluations
*Paragraph Structure and Function
*Honestly All of Part 2 in this Book, which cover Usage and Style.  It covers everything from early grammar information that Mahala needs to brush up on to frequently misspelled words and "wishy-washy words".
*Basic Punctuation that my eyes have been opened to the many things I need to tweak.
*And last but not least we are going through the References and Bibliographies section right now.  Amazing!!!  I have forgotten so much since I was in School and I realize now that Skylar wasn't as prepared as he could have been when he started College.  He's in his 3rd year of College now....hopefully thanks to this Handbook, Mahala will be more prepared and confident with whatever kind of paper is thrown her way.

So, what did I think?  Well, Mahala and I both learned so much and have only scratched the surface of what this resource has in-store for us.  I would HIGHLY recommend you run right this minute and order one of these for your Family....even if you are not a Homeschool Family.  If your Kids are going to College or just in High school...this Handbook is worth it's weight in Gold.  I plan to get it printed so that we can make side notes and highlight in it....we roll like that.  We need to be able to held it in our laps to really soak it all in, so I look forward to doing that hopefully this next week.

Make sure you go see what Everyday Education, LLC has going on with Social Media!!!
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Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}


Living History Books For Your Kiddos ~ REVIEW

I remember a time when I was a child and I thought History was just about Facts, Dates and People no longer on this Earth...Physically.  I was not Homeschooled and honestly History bored me to death.  Fast forward to the start of our Homeschool I was worried that they would ask me a question I knew nothing about when it came to teaching History.  Luckily there are many amazing materials and books out there to help a Momma out!  Like this next Review of mine of the If You Were Me And Lived In... Series that was brought to you by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com, thank you so very much!! 


A Break in My Morning.....

So, we have been traveling cross country for 9 weeks and have been home only 2 days.  We have mounds of clothes, food and cleaning to do….but, there is still a flow that needs to remain fluid in order to keep my “inner Peace”.  So, after breakfast my Daughter and I took a quick coffee break and headed to a local Craft Store.  Mind you in the past probably 5 months I have done no personal shopping or “Fun” shopping at all.  Most of my extra energy was used up for our Fantabulous RV Trip that we just took.  And that’s ok, now we are back Home and a new Normal is falling into place one moment at a time.
Tomorrow starts our Full Day of Homeschooling Again.  We school year round so that we are able to take breaks here and there.  We love long weekends, unexpected trips to the beach or mountains and that takes the Kiddos away from their books throughout the year.  For us, year long school works Best!  So, what about you….how do you treat yourself and regroup after a long Family Trip?  DO You school year round or stick to a more Traditional schedule?  I would Love to hear from You!


Homeschooling the Older Years

I remember when my Kiddos were little it was so easy to school them.  I organized our day by chunks of time.  We had Reading Time, Creating and Cooking Time.  We always worked on Puzzles and played Games.  Even today with my youngest being almost 10 we move through our day in a similar way.  I’ve tried so many different kinds of schedules and charts to keep us accountable through the years.  Since we tend to lean on the Unschooling/Montessori end of the schooling spectrum chunks of time still works.
I have learned after all these years of feeling guilty and inadequate that less truly is more most of the time.  My oldest is 22 now and doing very well for himself in College and Work. So, it’s safe to say that my last 2 Kiddos have a more relaxed Momma.  Take a look at a day here for my High School Student…..
Here we go:
Our Mornings here are relaxed…we are all trying to be morning people, but yeah….we aren’t.  We are total night owls!  So, the mornings here start with cups of coffee, hot cocoa and talks of last night’s dreams and plans for the day.  We eat every morning a full breakfast unless we are scheduled outside the house….then we will grab a bar, or smoothie.  After the morning meal and chores are finished we slip off into Reading time.  Personal reading, School Reading and Bible Time.  Mid Morning to us looks like History Videos, Reading and Writing.  Math comes in right before Lunch Time.
After Lunch we tend to clean up our Lunch Mess and head straight into Experiments and Projects for Science.  Each year we go through Several books, videos and countless projects and journaling.  After Science we move into Arts, Foreign Language and Music.  Depending on the time of the year this could be Holiday themed or strictly educational based.  This year we are taking German once again for foreign language.  YAY!
We end the day kind of how we started it with English.  This looks like Composition, Literature, Poetry and of course Reading.  We also work on Special Skills for the Home and in our Community.  Right now we are working on Cooking, Budgeting, Shopping and Menu Planning.  Next we are looking at Car Purchasing, Maintenance, Insurance and Preparedness.
That’s what Our High School Day looks like right now…..how about yours?


What I Have Learned

Things I've been thinking about lately......

If I could share something that I have learned in life what would it be?  Well, it would be that no matter what cards you are given in Life you can still play your hand and play it well.  This is your one chance at life live it, don't just watch other's live theirs.  And Success isn't determined by the amount of stuff you have collected, titles you've acquired or money you have earned.  True Success is when you lay your head on your pillow at night and can say that today you did your Best.  You showed up, gave from your heart and hands and lived your Best.

When did Your Best suddenly became not enough?  I remember in school...I did my Best and I went to sleep at night satisfied.  As I got older, became a Mom, a Wife, a part of a Community that all changed.  It all became clear that My Best wasn't good enough.  Mix in Social Media and all the Self Help books that surround us daily and we begin to doubt even core Bests that we have known and believed for years.  And instead of sleeping like a Baby we are scared stiff in a puddle of sweat as appointments, to-do lists, negative thoughts, worries and doubt fill our minds to the point of a full on anxiety attack.  Yes, this has happened to me....numerous times.  
Now how do I cope besides letting go and letting God handle it.  I just wake up every morning and do my Best.  I've realized that I can do one moment at a time.  This moment, there is no need to worry about next Wednesday or start mapping my Black Friday Target route in May.  You miss too many precious moments with the people that really matter when you do that.
I don't want to Miss Any More Moments......


KidsEmail.org ~ REVIEW


Do you have a separate Email Account for your Kiddos?  I mean their just Kids....I didn't get an Email until I was 22 years old.....wow have the times changed.  Kaden was 6 when he opened an account, but he never checked it, it was basically for log in purposes for games on his tablet.  But, now at 9 he accesses it pretty often and many times honestly I'm not there.  And without my watchful eye I worry.  Just the other day he asked me what Sexy meant?  Where did he see this word?  An add popped up on the side bar.  Yes, it provided a moment for me to educate my Son and to talk about a topic I was hoping we could wait a few years before addressing.  Thankfully his innocence only took a few minutes to smooth over until he was back doing what he was doing.  But, in time 2+2 will add up and he will have many more questions.  When I heard about KidsEmail.org I was wide eyed and bushy tailed!  We were Blessed with an Annual Subscription from them in exchange for my Review of my experience.  YAY!!

This service is geared toward younger children which was perfect for 9 year old Kaden, but they also have an older Kid option that gives a more grown up look.  I decided to have Mahala use the older option since she is 16, almost 30....hahahaha! :)  The set up and log in was very easy and fast.  I was super impressed with the ease and organization.  Nothing stinks more then being excited to set something up and realizing you need a special college course just to set it up, let alone use it.  I will be honest Mahala wasn't really on board with the whole thing....she felt like it was too juvenile.  Note to self...Maybe I shouldn't have sprung this on her while I was surfing through the younger Kiddo set up.....picture Below!
Not Mahala's Thing!

More Mahala's Thing!!!!
Kaden, was much easier...he didn't really care he just needed to make his deals on a few games.  Unfortunately, he has been on some of these games for a few years and we had to send in written requests to get his email changed.  We haven't heard back from them yet.  So, we have not been able to swap his game emails over to this new account.  But, as a personal email to communicate with his cousins and Aunt this works perfectly.  He uses it like I use my phone to text.  I didn't let him do that before because I was worried about what would pop up.  

So, what exactly can we do with this service to provide safety to our Kiddos.  You can control who your Kids can send to or receive an email from.  You can control who is on their contact list....all of these things are able to be customized, for Kaden he has a set 5 people.  But Mahala I have allowed this to be done with her and she can add anyone.  I feel comfortable with that because I get a copy email of all incoming mail.  You also can decide if pictures, attachments and links are ok to receive and or send.  This was when I did a Happy dance.....I mean can I get my own account PLEASE??? 
I'm not done yet...my Favorites are coming up.  You can have commonly known Bad Words taken out, place a tag line at the bottom of all communications so that the recipient has no excuse to not know your Kiddo is in fact just that a Kiddo!!!  And probably one of Mahala's Favorite options is you can have a Special notification set up to be sent to all Senders that their email is delayed at the moment pending on parental approval.  Yes, Mahala Loves this, because she doesn't want to deal with creeps.  She's a Teen, but knows as her Parents we have her best interest at heart.  The Notification looks kind of like this.... 
Dear bugmenot@hello.com,

MyDaughter@kidsemail.org is only allowed to receive email from approved senders. This means that your email to MyDaughter@kidsemail.org will be delayed until the parent of this child reviews and approves the message. There is no guarantee that your message will be delivered to its intended recipient

Can we all just sit back and Smile a little here!!! :)

There are many other options too, You can ground your child from using their email by putting a lock on it.  I'm assuming this would be great as an incentive to a Teen.  We have not had to use that, but it is available, along with a time frame.  I wish Social Media came with a shut off timer. :)  You can modify the look, so your Kiddo has several styles and colors to choose from and they can totally make it their own.

So, what did we think about the Annual Subscription?  I Love it and so do the Kids....especially Mahala who wasn't on board at first.  But, from her mouth she said I am happy to not have to see or worry about seeing anything surprising.  Kaden, is like whatever...he just knows that Momma has his Best interest at heart and that's all that matters to him.  And That's good enough for me.  I think it's worth it to have your Kids step out into this world slowly with the comfort of having someone there giving some protection as they slowly grow into responsible young adults.

Check out what's new over at KidsEmail.org with Social Media today!!

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KidsEmail.org Annual Subscription


Eat Like a Camper

I get asked frequently how in the world do I cook while on the road and stick to all our dietary needs!?!?!  Well, the answer is....I don't!  I decided when we were going to take this little adventure that somethings were going to need to be tweeked and some where going to get tossed right out the window.  And you know what?  Nobody has died yet!  There are several things that we wouldn't give up or tweek like daily vitamins and essential oil routines.  Water only has been mixed with a few rootbeers and gatorades.  We have had not a drop of milk and only dairy free cheese.....but our lips have touched real icecream.  Veggies have come strait from a dag and we have even bought bagles and bread.  I figure it's a rhythum in our lives right now and I decided to go with it and as long as we are semi happy then that's good enough for me.  One thing I'm proud of is I can say we are still Big Yellow Arch FREE....4+ years still, I can almost count on both hands how many times we ate outside of the campground on this 9 week journey.....not counting the week Skylar and Leslie flew out and met us. 

Normally, on days we are driving inbetween campsite...like if we are dry camping or waking up early to drive 6 hours to our next destination; we will pull out the blender or as healthy of a muffin I can find.  I also, use premade breakfast sandwiches from time to time.  But, nothing beats eggs and sausage cooked outside with a nice hot cup of joe in your hands.  This is what we eat most days or an omelet.  
Lunch is always leftovers, salads or now sandwiches.  We have been staying away from bread for a loooooong time.  But, this trip we have had to modify that and we tend to do helf sandwiches, meat and cheese roll ups or salads.  Most of the time the bread is not finished on mine and Kaden's plate and we are the ones who need to stay away from it.  Both Kaden and I will have our hot dogs and burgers bun-less though....some things have not changed.  I love to cut up melons, grapes and apples and stir in a little lemon and some orange slices.....toss it all in little ziplock bags and when we hike, go to the pool or for a quick snack we just grab a few of them.

Dinners we tend to grill up a ton of seasoned chicken breasts once a week, grill a few burgers and hotdogs and throw meat in the instapot for stews or pulled pork sandwiches.  These are divided out over quinoa, salad, steamed veggies and a few times we have had GF noodles.  We aren't super exciting....but it keeps my kid's bellies filled, warm and happy......also the bonus of finding a fantastic ice cream brand that we can't get back at home so we have been splurging BIG time!
Time to wash up some dishes....till next time!


Teaching Your Kiddos While Your On The Road

We took a nature hike today and I was impressed how eager Kaden was to get out and explore.  Mahala on the other hand was fine doing book work in the air conditioned RV.  Our plan is to do an hour of book work a day while we are on our trip.  The important thing for me is to remind myself we are not just camping.  We are trying full-time on to see how it feels.  Will it work for our Family?  I most definitely could continue full time in this RV from here on out.  But, will it be right for us at this point?  Is it going to work with Kaden?  How will we work and make money?  What about Dr.'s appointments and therapy?  We have a lot to think about these next 2 months....and having a routine and sticking to it is crucial, especially with a child on the Spectrum.

Part of our routine is personal health, chores, Spiritual growth, exercise and learning.  Our kids read like it's their full time job.  In our RV right now we have over 100 books that we brought with us.  We are crazy readers, a few days a go we literally bought 3 additional books.  Not to mention I brought my Kindle with us too and I have 100's of books on there.  So, we get our reading done for sure.  I'll talk about all the things listed up there, but today I was going to talk about the learning on the road situation.

For this trip we brought a little something for every subject area.  Kaden only brought books for English along with his daily journal.  But, Mahala brought her complete English curriculum including Spelling and Vocabulary.  Every day they read and journal and then an hour of whatever book work they want to do.  While we are on the road driving we stop at least once at some sort of educational museum or monument.  While there we go around as a Family to look, read, explore and ask questions.  I want my kids to seek out education, not be hand feed a bunch of facts and dates only to recite them once or twice and then forget them.  We are a very hands on Family, we learn by experiencing and doing.  We take every opportunity we can.  Like the other day we ate on a Train that was converted into a diner.  While we were there we looked up the year of the train, where it's original routes were.  We talked about the different types of engines, who shoveled the coal, the cost of the 1st tickets, who traveled by train back then, who invented the train, train robberies, wild west transportation, the economy in the West, trading, the Indians......here comes lunch!  Our conversations grow and grow and I love when the kids bring up a place we have gone to or plan to see into our discussions.  It's by doing this that they retain what they are learning.....because it is important to them and has meaning.  Why?  Because it's learning with you, their Family! :)

Once we stop and get settled for at least a night the next day we grab a collecting box, Ziploc bag, binoculars, gloves, magnifying glasses and our notepad.  And we explore the area and find new things we have never seen before.  Kaden is such a black and white thinker, so it warms my soul when he picks up a rock or stick and tells me what it resembles or he drops off into imagination land for a minute and pretends he's a Pirate.  These moments come on strong, but fade too quickly and I feel Blessed to be able to be there when they happen.

Other ways we learn on the road is educational movies and shows, board/card games and the computer.  Kaden and Mahala both use sites like Khan Academy and several other programs that makes learning possible no matter where you are or what you want to learn about.  How do you school on the road or at home?  I would love to hear all about it! :)


Help Teaching Pro Subscription ~ REVIEW

Like I have said a million times before I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of Homeschooling Momma and my Kiddos have become accustom to waking up to something new each day.  One of the pitfalls to that is maybe not always having a full days worth of material on hand or enough pieces to pull together a memorable unit study.  This especially happens when it comes to working with Kaden.  He is always exploring new ideas and investigating Historical people.....this keeps me on the look out all the time for what I can stash away or add onto something I have planned in the near future.  Right before we left on our RV trip I was Blessed to be able to have another round at Reviewing the Help Teaching Pro Subscription from HelpTeaching.com