• Above the Star – Book Review

     

    Okay, so who out there is a busy mom who doesn’t have time to pee let along read a young adult book. (My hand would be going up here) Above the Star is the first book in the 8th Island Trilogy, and let me tell you it did not disappoint. Totally worth the time to devour this.

    This book, is one that grips you right from the start. I must admit that once I started reading this book, I could not put it down. Seriously read the entire book in about 2 days. I immediately fell in love with Ella, she is very much your typical 14 year old girl. Lots of sass, eye rolling and conflict with mom, but all done in a way that she isn’t disrespectful. Her mother was one, that took me a few chapters to really relate to. However, as her story and side was revealed; she is certainly someone that you can understand her struggles.

    This book is very much the magical adventure of Narnia meets a feel good family story. I love the new world that the author, Alexis Marie Chute, was able to create. Her ability to create all of these characters, and a completely different world was gripping. There was never a question of what Jarr-Wya looked like, or the journey that the characters have taken. It was detailed enough to really paint the picture, yet open enough for you to put your own touches on the place, it was wonderful for the imagination.

  • Healthy Lunch Ideas

    10 Quick and Healthy Lunches Even Your Kids Will Love

    What is the hardest meal to get on the table for your family? For us it is hands down lunch. Breakfast, my kids are old enough to be on their own for. They know what they can eat, and they can get it all put together themselves. Dinner is always a sit down as a family event, so that is always planned out a few days a head of time. But lunch…. Lunch always is a scramble last minutes. Do we make sandwiches (again)? Should we try to get leftovers a new chance? Hey, maybe just snack through lunch? No… If you are anything like me, here are 10 sure fire, quick, easy and healthy lunches; that even the pickiest of eaters will eat. (Yes I have tested them on my kids)

    Here they are (in no particular order)

  • Kids and Chores

    We all want our kids to do chores. Have them done without nagging. How about having your kids do them without a fuss? And lets be honest…. do them correctly. And then you wonder, do you give your kids to much? Do you have to pay for them, or should they do them since they are part of the family? Always so much guilt around this. So lets talk about how to do them.

    Okay lets tackle the biggest question first. Do you pay them for the chores? Kara and I talked about this in depth on our Family Room Chat over on FaceBook. (If you missed it you can check it out here) We came to the conclusion that for our families, we are choosing not to pay for chores. That chores are part of being in the family. You help out and pitched in. There is  no monetary gain for helping our family. So then, what are chores for?

  • The Ups and Downs of Raising Chicks ~ Weeks 0-1

    We FINALLY got chicks!!!! Let me tell you how incredibly excited I am about these little babies. We (well me) have wanted chickens for years. Seeing them in the feed stores this time of year, every year, and not being able to get them has been heartbreaking. Okay okay; I “MAYBE” going a bit far, its wasn’t really heartbreaking but I did really want them. After years of hinting at wanting them, my amazing husband. Gave us the go ahead!

    We researched everything. From what types of chicks, to the types (and how many) eggs, to the types of food that they would need, to what we would need at home for them to be happy healthy chicks. We KNEW everything about chicks and about raising chicks. Yep we got this.

    Till it came time to order, then everything went sideways

  • Raising Grateful Kids

    What is something that you are wanting for your kids? How can we promote happiness to our kids? What can we (as parents) do to cultivate positivity in our children. Is this something that we can even do? The simple answer is YES!!! You can 100% raise children that are happy, that are grateful, that are positive people. And its not as hard as you would think. That being said, your children will copy what you do. So for your kids to be grateful, they will need to see you as a grateful person.

    I have found that to be the hardest part. With all this craziness that is going on in then world right now, it is easy to get all caught up in the madness. Even without the current crisis, just daily life can speed by. It is easy to wrapped up in the “To-Do Lists”; the bills that need to get paid; the grumpy co-worker that you have to deal with. So before you can expect your children to be naturally grateful, you have to practice that. They will copy what they see, you are their role model.

  • Start of Something New and Exciting

    Omg I am so incredibly excited to announce something that we have been working for a little bit now. My amazing and super talented cousin and I will be starting: Family Room Chat with Kara and Kat. We will have our first episode this Saturday!! With it being our very first episode we are hoping that you all will go easy on us. It will be a light short 20-30 minute show that will be covering all kinds of topics. Everything from getting kids to eat, to chores, to intentionally setting your priorities, to self care and why that is so important, to mom guilt. We have come up with so many topics, that all moms can relate to. Tomorrow we will be focusing on Family Bonding. With everything going on in the world right now, we really feel the need to connect with family and make sure that those bonds are strong.

    We will chat about what we do to bond with our personal families. The big ticket bondings, verses the small everyday things that really mean something to the kids on a daily basis. It surprised me the things that my kids told me that they really treasure and need, verses the things that I would have thought about. So we will chat about those.

  • Stuck Inside….. With the Kids

     

    Are you currently being stuck indoors? Keeping kids home and they are starting to go stir crazy? Practicing social distancing, but running out ideas to keep them occupied. Well here is an amazing and free website full of all kinds of ideas for you and the kiddos. The kids that created this have uploaded so many fantastic resources that the world is putting together for this crisis. Everything from virtual museum tours, to art class, to karate links. You name it and they have something for you linked up.

    You want to hear astronauts reading to you from space? Done

    You want to see famous chiefs doing cooking demos? Done

    You want to see some of the world best zoos? Done

    Shoot, you want a tour of Buckingham Palace? Done

    There are really so many links, in all kind of areas. The site is super easy to navigate, and all the links are free.

  • Owning Alpacas

    Life always takes us in unexpected directions. It can certainly be an adventure, and is something that you have to be flexible with. There is a saying, “You plan…. God Laughs”. Whether you believe in a higher being or not, that is a saying that rings true to us. This is yet another example of how we “planned” and the universe kicked us in the butt saying “nope, not gonna wait. Life happens now.” And we went from your pretty typical small town people to “almost” farm life overnight. With the addition of two little boy alpacas. Now I know the question on your mind…. Do alpacas make great pets?

  • Valentines Day Decor- Love Trees

    Do your kids love Valentines Day? My middle daughter claims that it is her favorite holiday of the year; more than Christmas or her birthday. She wants to do everything heart the moment that it turns February 1st. Trying to come up with crafts for her to complete that won’t make a huge mess; and, be something that she can do on her own is often a challenge. So when I came across this AMAZING heart tree over at EasyPeasyandFun, I knew it was right up her alley. It is so simple, not messy, and ALL the girls loved making them. We did step it up a notch and framed them to hang up for the holiday, but really that was just because we had extra frames lying around the house.  

  • Homeschool Preschool Maze

    Are you back to school? After the holidays it is always hard for us to get back into the groove. It seems that we start back up awfully slow. And now we are at Sunday, and I have nothing planned for the school week. (Shhhh don’t tell the kids that I am so unorganized) Not only do I have nothing planned, it is snowing outside; so instead of sitting at my desk planning the school week. I am outside playing with the kids in the snow. Hello education.com to the rescue!

    Have you homeschool moms tried this site yet? It is such a life saver for days that you need to get some schoolwork done, but haven’t had a moment to plan something. Or even just need something quick and easy to occupy the kids for a moment, they have tons of stuff. 

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