Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Toy sale on Amazon (and a quick update)

I am still running on limited computer time, but that will definitely be resolved over the weekend, so be sure to look for regular posts to return in the next week.

However, I wanted to be sure to share this sale with all of you. The following links are affiliate links, meaning if you click on them and make a purchase, Amazon may pay me a very small percentage of your total.  This is at no additional cost to you and is the main way I get any sort of payment through my blog, so it is greatly appreciated when you do it :)

Amazon is currently holding a toy sale, with up to 50% off Fisher Price toys.  Here are some of my favorites:

Fisher-Price Imaginext Mega T-Rex (list price $44.99, sale price $22.49, free shipping with Prime or $35 purchase)

Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Garage (list price $27.99, sale price $13.99, free shipping with Prime or $35 purchase)

Fisher-Price Octonauts Gup-E Vehicle (list price $15.99, sale price $7.99, free shipping with Prime or $35 purchase)

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Magic Scan Market (list price $31.99, sale price $16.79, free shipping with Prime or $35 purchase)

Mike the Knight: Glendragon Castle Playset (list price $34.99, sale price $16.98, free shipping with Prime or $35 purchase)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Another short break

I need to apologize again for my disappearance and also wanted to let you know it will be a few more days before I can posts up again.  Due to our computer situation, I still have limited access to the computer, so I can only get on for short periods of time.  I will be back to regular postings as soon as possible.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

5000 Seed Giveaway

Seed Giveaway

On Thursday, I told you about a giveaway from My Seed Cellar for The Emergency Survival Seed Bank.  This kit contains about 5000 non-GMO heirloom seeds from 30 different varieties of fruits and vegetables and instructions for planting, harvesting, and reusing the seed stock.  This would be a great addition to any emergency kit, but don't wait for an emergency, start growing your own fruits and veggies now (well when seasonally appropriate) and save their seeds to use the following year.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Things I Love Thursday: Emergency Preparedness

(Disclaimer- This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.  None-the-less, these items were chosen because I truly love them and not every link is an affiliate link.)

September was  Emergency Preparedness month, and although I am late by a few days, here are the Emergency Preparedness items I love.
LuminAID solar light

This first item is straight off my wish list.  The LuminAID Solar Inflatable Light folds up and attaches easily to a backpack for easy charging during the day.  It is lightweight, too which is always a plus when you need to carry things in an emergency.

4 in 1 utility shutoff

In addition to being lightweight, it is helpful if emergency items are multifunctional.  This On Duty 4-n-1 Tool is a utility shut-off tool (gas and water), and can also be used to dig through debris and pry open doors during an emergency.

Life strawI am not the only one that loves the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, it is a Time Magazine Invention of the Year winner.  It can be used directly from puddles and streams to make the water immediately safe for consumption without the use of chemicals.  It is also available in a family size model, LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier.

Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness

It is important to know what to do during an emergency, so a good book is necessary to help you prepare.  The Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family covers a variety of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, financial collapse, pandemics, and more, allowing you to be prepared for a variety of emergencies should they occur.

Portable fishing kit

In an emergency, it is important to have a way to eat, but storing and carrying a lot of food can get cumbersome and eventually it will run out.  It is important to have a way to access food during those times and this fishing kit by Josh at First Line Survival (1stLineSurvival)is perfect, as it is small, lightweight and can easily go with you.
temporary phone number tattoos

Sometimes, the emergency we face can be on a more personal level, like a lost child.  I love the idea of using these temporary tattoos when going to fairs and other places where a child can easily wander out-of-sight.  They would also work as a learning tool to teach a child your phone number.  These are made by Ashley at TealAsh.

Paracord first aid kit
Everyone should have at least a few first aid items on hand for emergencies and paracord is another multiuse item that is good to have in in emergencies.  At TeamOTGSurvival, they have tied up over 4 feet of paracord, stuffed it with first aid supplies, and attached it to a keychain, giving you a bunch of emergency supplies in one small package.  This is something I would carry on my daily keychain.

Heritage SeedsFood is so important to have on hand, but food will eventually run out and fresh produce just does not store for long.  Having a good variety of seeds on hand can truly mean the difference between life and death in a long-term situation.  At Myseedcellar, you can get this set of non-GMO heirloom vegetable seeds.  It contains 30 varieties of vegetables including peppers, corn, tomato, beans, peas, okra, lettuce, zucchini, eggplant, beefsteak, broccoli.  Each set has about 5,000 seeds that are easy to grow and can be planted time after time (well, you can plant the seeds from the next plant.)  They have also graciously offered  a giveaway for a similar set, but I will share that tomorrow ;)


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Time for Others Tuesday: Jennifer Frost

Last week, I introduced you to one of my oldest friends.  This week, I introduce you to one of my newest friends: Jennifer Frost.

Jennifer Frost
Name:Jennifer Frost

Hometown: Constable, NY
Current city: Greece, NY

Family: Family of 3 kids under 5.5 years old

Current occupation: Stay at Home Mom and Team Leader/Independent Sales Consultant Norwex

Favorite Color: Purple

An inspirational quote that you love:
"Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like the wise man who built his house upon the rock" Mat 7:24

How can others connect with you on social media:




Monday, September 29, 2014

Making It Better Monday: Finding Time for You

How To Find Time For You
Last week I talked about the importance of taking care of our personal needs.  Several of the suggestions require you to do something on your own, without your children.  That is something that can be difficult for someone who has an active partner and/or friends and family nearby, but for some that might be impossible.  Here are 10 ways that should help you "find" some time for yourself.

1) Ask others for help
If you are married or have an active partner, explain your need for a few minutes to yourself.  Most likely, they want you to be happy and will be willing to give you that.  After they see how much it improves your mood, because it will improve your mood, they will likely be even more willing in the future.  If you are unable to convince them to give you that time, or there is no one around to ask, try to find a friend you can barter childcare with.  On one day you will watch her kids and on another she will watch yours, giving both of you time to yourselves.

2) Find something that will safely occupy the kids
This might mean taking your time for you during their nap time or  during their favorite tv show.  Obviously, this would only work for those things that do not require you to leave the house and won't take tremendous amounts of uninterrupted time, but it works well for you to get 5 or 10 minutes to do something for you.

3) Involve the kids
If you are making yourself feel pretty or working on a hobby, involve the kids in the process.  Many little girls have fond memories of watching mommy making herself up.  Also, when allowing yourself to eat first, let the kids help set the table, serve the meal, or get drinks, whatever is appropriate for their ages.  Again, this won't work for everything, but it will work for some.

4) Make it part of the family's routine
Again, this will not work with everything, but you could institute daily reading time or quiet time, where everyone has to read or look at books for 15 minutes.  Even the youngest of kids can amuse themselves with a book, even if they cannot read.

5) Let some of the chores slide, at least occasionally
I am not talking about letting your house slip into utter chaos, but there are likely days that you can skip vacuuming for a day, or instead of unloading the dishwasher, you grab the dishes from it as you need them (that works best with smaller families).

6) Prioritize
Look at all the things you do each day and determine if there is something you could give up, at least occasionally, in order to do something for yourself.  Maybe it is spending less time online one day a week, or making convenient meals (freezer meals, crock-pot meals, or whatever your go-to quick meal is) one night a week.

7) Multi-task   
This can mean doing more than 1 chore at a time in order to free up some time later, or it can mean using some alone time to do the things you need to do, such as grocery shopping by yourself or chatting with other adults while waiting for your children at gymnastics.

8) Get up a little earlier 
I have not been able to do this for a while, but when I am sleeping through the night again I plan to do this again.  I like to take my alone time at the start of my day.  I wake up about an hour before everyone else.  I read my scriptures, shower uninterrupted, and sometimes work on something I enjoy, whether it be reading a book or knitting or baking a treat.  It is a nice way to start my day.

9) If feasible, hire help
If it is in your family's budget, hire a mother's helper, babysitter, or house cleaner to come over once a week.  If money is tight, see about trading services with someone.  Maybe you could trade a cooked dinner (double your family's meal) for a couple of hours of service.

10) Cut back on unnecessary distractions and chores
Do you do things that do not bring you joy and are not necessary?  Cut back on those things and replace them with more time for you.  Do you have your kids involved on numerous activities that THEY do not enjoy?  Ask yourself which activities are most important and cut out the others.  Are you cooking every meal, every day from scratch?  Try making freezer meals once a month to free up some time each week or double up your recipes and have planned leftovers the next day.  Do you do ALL the housework yourself?  Involve the kids in everyday chores as appropriate.  They will enjoy helping you, learn life-long skills, and benefit from having a more relaxed mom.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

School Saturday: Africa

Last week I discovered a box of schoolbooks I had received some time ago and packed away because my kids were not ready for them.  In there, I discovered a social studies book that I am going through with my older girls.  The first unit is on Africa, so I built a unit for all the kids to go around it.  Here is what we did this week:

Writing- I had each child write about an imaginary trip to Africa.  The younger kids drew a picture to go with their paragraphs.  The older kids wrote theirs as narrative essays.

History-Each child was to choose (with help) an age appropriate biography about one of the following Africans (links are affiliate links, you can buy them or check your library for them)and share with us what they learned.  Each person needed to be chosen, with a younger and older child both working on Nelson Mandela.

- Nelson Mandela: Elementary kids: Nelson Mandela: A Biography for Kids (currently free for Kindle) and for Middle schoolers: Nelson Mandela: "No Easy Walk to Freedom")
- Phillis Wheatley: Middle schoolers and older elementary: Phillis Wheatley: Young Revolutionary Poet

- Wangari Maathai: Elementary kids: Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai (Frances Foster Books)

Health- With the ebola virus in the news recently, I had the older kids learn more about it and teach the younger ones the basics of what they learned: what it is (symptoms, treatments), where it is most prevalent, why it is so bad, and how it is spread.

Physical Education and Music- All of the kids listened to some traditional African drumming and learned a traditional African dance.

Visual Arts- We looked at some traditional African masks and designed our own.

Practical Arts- The older girls were each assigned a traditional African dish to make.  My 8th grader made African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup, and my 7th grader made a Melktert (Milk Tart).  I had my elementary students team up and make Moroccan Krsa (flatbread).  All together it made for a yummy African themed lunch.