Apr 30, 2013

I have such funny kids.  I like to note some of the funny things so that I don't forget them when they go away. 

Princess Magpie and Princess Snifflefritz love to snack on cookies and soda crackers.  In our house they are always served together (2 of each) and are called cookiecrackers.  Well, Princess Magpie has started a new thing with her cookiecrackers.  She takes the filling out of the cookies and puts it on her crackers to make a "cream cracker sandwich" and abandons the cookie part altogether.  She is just too funny.

When Princess Belle is talking to me, she starts EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE with "Mom?" and then continues on.  Like she is uncertain that I am paying attention.  Now, I am looking directly at her, and answering her, but she still does this.  And the funniest thing ever, is that if I draw her attention to it and tell her to try to say it without saying "Mom?" . . . she can't say anything at all!!  Without saying "Mom?" at the beginning of each sentence she can't think of how to say it at all.  I eventually just laugh and tell her to just say it how she is comfortable.  I told her I figure that if I ever get amnesia, all I have to do is talk to her and I will know at least that I am mom. 

Apr 29, 2013

Dryer Sheets

I love finding uses for things I would have previously thrown away.  Like using bones and vegetable peelings to make broth.  I recently read about uses for dryer sheets.  I am definitely going to start saving my dryer sheets now.  Here are some of the things I have read about (most seem to involve odor removal and static removal!
  1. Fabric softener sheets are designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television and computer screen with a used sheet to keep dust from resettling.
  2. A sheet can be used to dissolve soap scum from shower doors, and the tile walls. Clean the surfaces with a sheet.
  3. Collecting pet hairs. Rubbing the area with a sheet will magnetically attract all the loose hairs.
  4. Wiping up sawdust, on the shop workbench, from drilling or sandpapering is easy. A used sheet will collect sawdust like a tack cloth.
  5. Use old dryer sheets to easily wipe up talcum powder, flour, and other messes of this type.
  6. Used sheets usually have enough fragrance in them to freshen up other areas in your home. Stuff them in tennis shoes, place them in closets, in laundry hampers and in pieces of luggage -- anywhere your house needs a little "refreshment."
  7. Did you purchase some old, musty books at a garage sale or thrift shop? Make them smell good again! Simply place the books in a sealed plastic bag with a used dryer sheet. Allow the bag to sit undisturbed for a day or two, then remove the contents. The musty smell will be gone!
  8. Place a used dryer sheet in the bag of your vacuum. Sweep your house, and, once you're done, the air will smell as fresh as your clothes do.
  9. These wonders of the 70's are also said to repel mosquitoes as well as other annoying, flying insects. Don't rub it on you. Instead, stick a used sheet in your belt loop.
  10. You can use dryer sheets to clean and polish the chrome on your vehicles.
  11. Is the interior of your car or truck smelling a little stale? Forget the pine tree on a string! Place a few used dryer sheets under the seats of your vehicle instead!
  12. Is your hair dry and full of static electricity? Gently wipe a used dryer sheet over your head to get rid of it.
  13. Dryer sheets make great dusting cloths for your wooden furniture.
  14. Help keep dust and other contaminants out of your house. Simply place a used sheet inside every furnace/AC register in your house. Make sure it covers the openings and replace once they are dirty.
  15. Keep your window blinds clean longer by wiping them periodically with used dryer sheets. The anti-static properties of the product will actually help to repel dust and dirt.
  16. Are your scissors not cutting as smooth as they should? Wipe the blades clean with a used dryer sheet to remedy this problem.
  17. Dryer sheets can be used on the chrome in your bathroom as well as your car!
  18. Dryer sheets repel bugs and small animals. Tuck one in your picnic basket, or near mouse droppings and you won’t have problems with small animals again. And if you got a problem with mice at home, find where they are entering your house and stuff the hole shut with a used sheet. Mice won't chew through the smelly material.
  19. Before you put clothes in the attic or in storage, put a dryer sheet in the box and it will prevent them having a musty smell when you retrieve them.
  20. If your pots and pans have burned food stuck on them, place a dryer sheet in the bottom before you fill them with water and leave overnight. The burned food will come off easily in the morning.
  21. Put a dryer sheet in your camping stuff before you store it.
  22. If your iron gets dirty, clean it on a low setting with a dryer sheet.
  23. Dryer sheets will reduce static cling on clothes. Rub a dryer sheet over your clothes and it will remove pet hair too.
  24. Remove bugs from the front of your car with a simple wipe from a dryer sheet.
  25. Roll up a dryer sheet in your toilet paper roll. Each time you spin, it releases a little freshness into your bathroom.
OR . . . you could replace your dryer sheets entirely. 

  1. Instead of using a dryer sheet, ball up one or more sheets of aluminum foil and toss them into the dryer. It removes the static electricity from your clothes. One can last up to a year or more under regular use. Be certain to remove any edges or areas that can snag before use and you have a perfect dryer sheet replacement.
  2. Another substitute is to pour some liquid fabric softener on a wash cloth or towel and put that in the dryer with the clothes to be dried. 
  3. Or instead, squeeze a few drops of hair conditioner onto a clean washcloth, throw it in the dryer with your clothes and run the machine as usual. The conditioner will soften your clothes just like a dryer sheet would. An additional boon: The cloth can be reused up to three times.
  4. Toss a (or two or three if you like) tennis ball in the dryer when you're drying your clothes. It prevents static cling and also helps to keep things soft and fluffy!

Apr 28, 2013

Gratitude Sunday

Gratitude Sunday
Sunday's heart felt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
Here are some things I am grateful for this week:

1.  A cute baby boy who lights up and says "Hi!" and "Yay!" whenever I walk in the room.

2. Princess snuggles with daddy

3. Baby toes playing with mommy's toes.

4. Those few moments of kindness given to Princess Belle before neighbourhood bullies begin their torment once again.
5. The beginning of warm sunny days.
6. The end of colds and flus in this house, babies who are finally feeling better.

Apr 27, 2013

Long week

I have to say, I will be glad when this move is done or at least all organized.  I am stuck in a loop of hurry and up and wait and I am SO not good at that.  I don't have a firm date, I don't have my truck transferred to the new owner because I can't get down there, I don't have a place lined up yet, I don't have anything but an end date to my lease and a wish to move.  IT SUCKS!

I spend so much time waiting to hear from potential landlords, feeling like I am waiting for the popular boy to come take me to the prom.  Prince Charming says I need to relax, but I just need this to be done.  There are places I  REALLY REALLY want and places I would be happy with, but at this point anything firm would make me happy. 

Sorry this is a rather rambling post of worry, but this is what is on my mind these days.  I even dream about it at night.  I am in the middle of a conversation and my mind drifts to houses and landlords and worry.  I am losing my mind just a little. 

I admit I may be less than the best company right now and I have fallen firmly off the diet wagon, using food to medicate my worry and that is stressing me out too.  (See . . . I AM losing my mind!)

Apr 26, 2013

This Moment: Princess Magpie

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule

Apr 25, 2013

Still stressed.

This is so stressful for me.  Prince Charming keeps telling me to relax, we have two months to find a place, but I need to get that checked off my list.  I obsess over it.  I really want it all taken care of.  I am constantly searching, looking, waiting for replies to messages.  UGH, I want to go home and I want this to all work out. 

I am waiting on two people to touch base to look at a place for me.  I would really love one of them, but trying to get it all coordinated from so far away is TOUGH!

Apr 23, 2013

Sauteed cabbage (paleo/primal)

I love to use leftover cabbage this way.  It is simple and YUMMY!

1 small cabbage sliced into 2inch by 1/4 inch strips.
1 onion diced
1 carrot shredded.
1/2 package of bacon

brown bacon, onion and carrots in a large deep pan.

Add cabbage saute on high until the cabbage softens and browns.


I am feeling stressed today.  I am wishing I could be certain of something in this move. I have too many things that are tentative and possibly and maybe.  I feel like I need to have something nailed down for sure.  *sigh* moving is tough.  I am obsessing.  I spend all my time trolling for houses to rent, making contact, trying to get things nailed down.  A bunch of people want us to call back on May 1st.  That is another full week to wait.  Ugh.

Apr 22, 2013

Throwing out lots of lines

We have been making LOTS of calls, making lots of contacts and really doing a lot of legwork to make this move happen.  It is a little stressful, but we have talked to so many helpful people, that I am really trying to be hopeful that it will all work out. 

My babies are still sick.  The stomach flu has left and now all the little ones are snuffly and miserable.  My poor little ones.  They almost never get sick, but when they do, it really lays them out. 

Apr 21, 2013

Gratitude Sunday

Gratitude Sunday
Sunday's heart felt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
Here are some things I am grateful for this week:

1. a funny girl who has fake "hip hoppy hiccups" and asks me to take pictures of them

2. babies who are sick and miserable but still manage to smile and be sweet.

3.   Little faces at the end of my bed visiting me while I sit and chat with daddy.

4.  A baby boy who can sit up and visit now. 

5. Little girls who are eating again and who get excited at a chance to eat salad. 

6. Fresh veggies from the fruits and vegetable market. 

7. Generous souls who are kind enough to help us make plans for our move.

Apr 20, 2013

Fun Sandwich ideas

I have been having fun with making up new sandwiches.  Here are some new combinations I have tried:
  • hummus and finely chipped raw broccoli which was surprisingly YUMMY! 
  • cucumber on toasted bread with earth balance is a simple and light lunch
  • potato and veganaise sandwich (with a side dish of grilled veggies)
  • a wrap with potatoes, beans and grilled veggies, or leftovers from supper. 

Saturday Photohunt: Wither and In The Park

The themes this week are:  Wither and In The Park.  So I posted some pics from last year.  It was our first park trip of the year and some of the grass was still all dry and withered from the winter before. 

Apr 19, 2013

This Moment: My boy and his toys

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule

Apr 18, 2013

Cautiously optimistic

I hate getting my hopes up, but I am really getting a little excited.  We have several possibilities for places to rent.  I was nervous about renting so far away, but it is looking good.  I am getting so excited that this may all work out!  Fingers Crossed, my friends!

Little Prince has joined his sisters in having the stomach flu (so now all 3 little ones are sick) but he is the most pleasant sick boy ever!  He never cries, he is just his happy babbly self, gets sick and then is happy again.  He is sleeping more but other than than, I wouldn't even know he was sick.

On a side note, the mechanic who towed our broken down truck has agreed to take the truck in trade for all the work he has done.  We will consider this an expensive mistake and move on.  I am so very glad to have it done.  I just have to come up with the money to go down and get our plates and sign the papers over to him.  After we move, we will save and buy another vehicle. (One that works and everything!)

Apr 16, 2013

Friends and Facebook

For the record, when you are looking for contacts in my home province, Facebook rocks.  I could cry from all the wonderful helpful emails and messages I have been getting with ideas and numbers and places for me to try.  I LOVE my home, I love the people there.  They make me so very happy. (even on days like today when two of my babies have a stomach flu.  Princess Belle is under strict instructions NOT to get sick until the others are better! LOL)

TOS Review: Progeny Press Study Guides

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I was excited to learn that Progeny Press had interactive Literature Guides and jumped at the chance to try them out.  For Princess Belle, who is in 5th grade, we chose The Golden Goblet Study Guide recommended for 5-8th graders. 
Progeny Press also offers titles for younger elementary children.  Progeny Press is a family owned company who strives to teach cultural literature from a Christian perspective. They offer over 100 guides for kindergarten through high school. The guides are designed to teach your student understand literature through critical thinking, literary analysis, reading comprehension along with a Christian application.

The guide we choose, as well as over 100 more offered at Progeny Press are available in an easy download to your computer.  Each guide begins with a synopsis of the book and an About the Author section.  Then for each assigned reading you are directed read the corresponding chapters and answer the questions.

Each of the Progeny Press Literary Guides can take 8-10 weeks to complete, covering 1 section per week.  They do recommend that you have your child read the entire book to begin with, but we  only read the assigned chapters for that week.  That worked really well for us.
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The setting of The Golden Goblet is ancient Egypt. Young Ranofer dreams of becoming a goldsmith, like his father, until he suddenly finds himself orphaned. His cruel half brother, Gebu, forces Ranofer to be his own apprentice as a lowly stoneworker.  In the midst of these trials, Ranofer discovers tomb robbers, mystery, and danger.
The adventure is a good one and is sure to keep  your child interested in reading the book.   The Golden Goblet Study Guide begins with a vocabulary worksheet and crossword puzzle and then proceeds to questions.  Three to four chapters are covered with each lesson.  There is space for your child to answer directly on your computer underneath each question, as well as a print option. 

Princess Belle and I really like these guides and I can definitely see us using them again!   The Golden Goblet is stuffed full of wonderful vocabulary and the study guides enable you to get full appreciation out of some of these great classics. These guides help students slow down to completely comprehend and appreciate literature.  

I also love the mission statement of Progeny Press:  "To teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scripture for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!"
Study Guide Author: Carol Clark
Prices: $18.99 printed booklet
            $16.99 CD or Instant Download
*Note: The book itself is not included in the above price, but the books are also available at Progeny Press!
Ages: approximately for grades 7-9
Fellow CREW read other titles from Progeny Press.  Click on the banner to read what they had to say!  
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barley, beans and broccoli for one

.5 cup pearl barley
1 cup water
a little olive oil
1/2 onion, coarsley chopped
1/2 cups cooked white beans (drained)
sea salt
1 cup broccoli, roughly chopped
a little cheese (vegan cheese is good here)
1/2 cup veggie broth
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Bring the water to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add the barley and a pinch of salt, return to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the barley is tender.

While the barley is cooking, saute the onions in a medium skillet for about 5 minutes, or until soft.

Add the white beans, and heat through. Set aside.

When the barley is tender, stir in the broccoli and simmer 5 minutes. Combine with white beans with green onion. Stir and add sea salt to taste.  Stir in grated cheese until melted and serve.  (good garnished with chopped green onion)

This made two big bowls and was so good, my daughter ditched her pizza to steal some of mine. 

Btw, Home to 4 kiddos is hosting a GIVEAWAY.  Be sure to drop by and check it out.

Apr 15, 2013

Good things

I feel like it is a good day to list some good things on my mind. 
  1. We have finally narrowed down our choices for moving out of this terrible neighborhood and out of this city AND we have friends to help us get a place in that location.
  2. When I found bad apples in my groceries, I took them back to the store and got my money back and a new bag of apples! 
  3. Princess Magpie is finally completely potty trained for daytime and Princess Snifflefritz is nearly there.  I am so pleased.
  4. Little Prince has really been developing and changing lately and I love our early mornings alone together watching him play and have fun. 
  5. My new cleaning routine is working out well.  I am always tired at the end of the day during my evening clean, but it feels so good to have it done. 

Schoolhouse Review: Sacagawea From Knowledge Quest

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I was given the chance to review Sacagawea(Brave Explorers Every Child Should Know) published by Knowledge Quest.

Knowledge Quest is a company that focuses on teaching history in a way that really connects the student with the events of our past. Knowledge Quest offers maps, time-line figures and historical information for the insatiably curious.  Sacagawea(Brave Explorers Every Child Should Know) is an enchanting telling of the story a brave young woman from history, Sacagawea.  Princess Belle really enjoyed this as Knowledge Quest provides stories can teach history and she learns best through stories that capture her attention and through visual means.

I downloaded a .pdf version of the book. This book is available for Kindle, either as a single book for $4.97, or in 4 parts (ranging in price from $0.99 to $1.49).

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I read Sacagawea (Brave Explorers Every Child Should Know) by Karla Akins out loud to Princess Belle from my computer as she snuggled on my bed beside me. This book takes you right into the life of Sacagawea and lets you be there with her through her life experiences before and during her journey with Lewis & Clark. There are links throughout the book, that you can click through to get more information about things. Princess Belle really enjoyed the additional information, and often pictures, provided by those links, it helped to make this history read aloud come alive for her  She thoroughly enjoyed the story. Each chapter was so interesting it was hard to stop reading and reading it sparked a lot of conversation between chapters.

We really enjoyed this book and I would recommend to to anyone who wants to teach their children about the diferent indians, their lives and the journey of Lewis & Clark. It was a wonderful experience. I have learned things that I never knew about Sacagawea and I love when that happens while I am teaching Princess Belle.  It is fun for me when we both learn things as we did here.

Knowledge Quest is a company with products to help you teach
geography / history.  This company offers maps, timelines,books, mobile apps and classes.

Knowledge Quest offers a FREE sample chapter for reading. Click HERE to see a video about Knowlege Quest.

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Apr 14, 2013

Gratitude Sunday

Gratitude Sunday
Sunday's heart felt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
Here are some things I am grateful for this week:

1. watching my adorable boy play and learn new things

 2. Fairy princess breakfasts

4. A sweet little princess who is pleasant and sweet even when she is sick

5. Sweet sisters who are kind and helpful to their sick sister.

6. Friends and family who help me see a new solution to the needs and wants of our family. 

7. Getting excited about the prospect of a different solution to our planned move.  Loving the idea of being in the country but nearer to family and friends. 

Apr 13, 2013

Saturday Photohunt: Scrumptious and Where do you sit when watching TV

The themes this week are: Scrumptious and Where do you sit when watching TV.   I decided to share pics of the kids on the couch and arm chair where we watch tv and eating scrumptious chocolate bread pudding.  Yummy!