homeschool, kids, Uncategorized

Autumn Preposition Word Search- Free Printable

Hi, friends! I’ve got an exciting freebie for you!! To celebrate the official start to fall, I have a free word search for you from Education.com!

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Here are the links to download the PDFs for the word search and answer key:

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Prepositions_word search_autumn_leaves_answers

Celebrate Fall by using spelling skills to search for these words. Head on over to Education.com to find more resources and printables just like this.

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A Night Away and Marriage Talk

We had the best weekend. My mom-in-law offered to have a slumber party with ALL THREE kids?! What?!?! Scott usually works on Saturdays, but he happened to get this one off! Do you hear the angels singing, too?

I started looking for a cheap hotel room. I knew that if we stayed at our house we would be doing all of the things that really could wait. Mowing the lawn, cleaning the house top to bottom, grocery shopping, cleaning out old toys that don’t get played with anymore, prepping for the garage sale that we are having soon, and on and on and on. I was so thankful to find a really nice hotel room for super cheap since it was a last minute booking.

We ate at Giordano’s pizza, which is a place we ate during the Weekend to Remember conference. You have to wait close to an hour for your deep dish pizza to cook, so we had an hour of blissful conversation.

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I didn’t really know what to expect for the hotel since there weren’t many pictures of it online, and the pictures weren’t the greatest. It had great reviews, so I wasn’t worried. The hotel ended up being beautiful.

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We laid around all morning Saturday. We could have had a jump start to the day and done something in town, but why? We both have run ourselves ragged by constantly feeling like we need to be doing something or going somewhere. Go. Go. Go.

Can we just stop this rollercoaster? It’s ok to take a break. It’s ok to rest. It’s ok to lay in bed until 10 every now and then. It’s ok to just breathe and be.

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If you are married, don’t forget to date your spouse. It doesn’t have to cost any money. Trade baby sitting with a friend if you don’t live near family. Go for a walk together. If you are new to an area and don’t have someone you trust with your kids (we have been there so many times), have a date at home once the kids are asleep. Do something. Pursue them. Don’t take them for granted.

Scott and I have a great marriage. It’s not because marriage is easy.  Did you catch that? MARRIAGE IS NOT EASY. We have gone through hard seasons where we didn’t get along at all; especially after our first child was born. That transition is SO HARD. If you were currently there- be gentle with each other. We have faced job loss, wondered how we were going to afford groceries to feed our family, lost a child together, faced sickness and hospitalization, been without a home, struggled to make ends meet, and dealt with a heavy load of grief over losing a parent. These things and so many more could have swallowed us up and spit us out in separate directions. We could have been bitter and our marriage torn apart. Do you know why it didn’t crumble? Because we refuse to let it. We pray for our marriage and try to keep God at the center of it. We show up every day and fight for each other. We cling to each other so tightly when the hard times come. And they just. keep. coming. I am so blissfully in love with him that I refuse to let anything ruin us.

I truly don’t say this to brag on us. I know that it is only by God’s grace that we haven’t ended up like the countless couples that I keep seeing that are separating or divorced. But for the grace of God go I.. I say this to encourage you. Scott and I have walked through fire. We carry a lot of wounds that we don’t let others see. Your marriage can survive if you are BOTH willing to put in the work and fight. Get help from a counselor if you are struggling. There is NO SHAME in reaching out. If you are in a great season of marriage, don’t stop praying and fighting for each other. Never, ever quit.

I don’t know you, but I am praying over every reader’s marriage. If you aren’t married yet, I am praying for your future marriage. If you are widowed, separated, or divorced, I am praying for you, too.

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Our Favorite Halloween Books

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I love pulling out new books for the holidays. We make frequent trips to our library, and discover new favorites that way.

How to Make Friends with a Ghost– This book is so silly and cute. The pictures are beautifully done.

The Scariest Book Ever– This one had me laughing out loud. I’m not sure why I was so amused by it. The bright pages and textures keep little ones interested.

Room on the Broom– We have been huge fans of this book (and movie) for years. The witch is not scary, and it’s a great lesson in making room for new friends.

Goodnight Goon– This book is SO funny. If you love Goodnight Moon, you’ll really love this one.

Spooky Pookie– Sandra Boynton is my favorite author of board books for kids. Spooky Pookie is no different. Fun and silly stories are the best.

Halloween Hustle– The rhythmic movement of this book makes it so fun to read.

Eek! Halloween– Another great one by Sandra Boynton. My girls crack up every time I read this to them.

Where is Baby’s Pumpkin– Harper (age 4) still loves these books.

Peek-a Boo! This is a great book for babies and toddlers. It has short rhymes with a fun surprise at the end.

Big Pumpkin– I searched for this book as soon as I had kids because I loved reading it when I was a teacher. It’s a fun way to teach teamwork.

Little Blue Truck’s Halloween– This one is cute, as expected! Plus, every kid loves lift-the-flap books!

Ghost in the House– Another silly and fun read with flaps to lift!

Mickey’s Halloween– I love Mickey Mouse. This book has tons of fun flaps to lift and a fun mystery to solve.

 

Are there any you would add to this list? I am always looking out for fun new books to add to our collection!

garden, natural living, recommendations, Uncategorized

Our CSA Experience

CSA

This year, Scott and I decided to sign up for a half share of a CSA basket. If you are unfamiliar with what CSA is,  it is Community Supported Agriculture. Local farmers set up their programs, and you as the consumer can sign up to get a full or half share. It is different in all areas, so your experience may vary from ours. We (I say we, but Scott stopped by after work) would go to the farm once a week on a designated day and pick up our freshly picked produce. It’s a great way to support your local farmers, and get the best quality of produce.

We had a few options of farms to choose from in our area. I looked the farms up, and found a farm that was non-GMO and artificial fertilizer and pesticide free. I felt like they were a good fit for what I want in my family.

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Sometimes the baskets felt pretty repetitive. For a couple of weeks, it seemed like we didn’t get much more than squash and peppers. It’s hard to get creative with squash, but maybe I just wasn’t thinking hard enough. I did consume a lot of jalapeno poppers, which is fine with me!
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Our farm also gave us one dozen farm fresh eggs each month, which I LOVED.  (Sorry, you don’t get a cute basket with your CSA. You can buy one here though.) Sometimes she would have Scott grab extra of something if he talked about how much we enjoyed it. I love our farmer.

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Some of the vegetables were completely new experiences, which is so fun. It’s a great way to broaden your horizons and try new foods. The kids weren’t always willing to try new foods, but it was an adventure for us! They kids loved SEEING the new veggies even if they were too afraid to try them.

Fresh garlic, onions, and potatoes have probably been my favorite things to get in the basket. There were a few weeks sprinkled in where our share was much smaller because of bad weather or other factors that just happen in farming. Obviously, your share is dependent upon the region that you live in and the weather that you get that season.

I was really pleased with our first experience with CSA. I love being able to support local farmers and getting tons of fresh produce each week. It was always a surprise, so I couldn’t really plan ahead of time. We pick up our final basket of the season on Wednesday. A lot of farmers are accepting sign ups for the fall/winter season. You can go here and search for farms in your area. I truly don’t think that you’ll regret it at all!

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P.S. This post is in no way sponsored. I truly loved the program, and wanted to share!

 

 

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September Specials

If you are new here, you may not know that we love our essential oils in this family. Last April, I bought a starter kit from young living, because I was desperate for SOMETHING to help my family. I wanted to support our bodies in a natural way instead of relying on medicine to fix the problems. I wanted to try to avoid those problems in the first place.

Currently, Young Living is offering 10% off a starter kit purchase!! WHAT?! This is rare! It is only available from today until September 14. As an added bonus, I am offering $20 back to anyone who buys a premium starter kit through me through the WHOLE MONTH of September. Here are the kits to choose from.

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I HIGHLY recommend the desert mist diffuser. It has such a long run time, and some seriously soothing light settings.

You can read more about how we use our oils here. I should probably really update it.

With cold and flu season approaching, now is such a perfect time to get a kit. Thieves is such a great immune system supporter. Peppermint oil helps curb nausea. Digize smells like a dead animal, but I use it frequently for stomach aches. Lavender gives all the sleepy vibes. Ninxgia supports your whole body and is packed full of antioxidants. Stress Away and Frankincense are perfect for the overwhelmed mama thats taking care of everyone. Citrus Fresh helps keep your home smelling fresh and clean. Raven helps support your respiratory system. It’s so great rubbed on your chest with a carrier oil. PanAway is wonderful for soothing your sore joints. On and on and on.

You guys, it’s great. I know it’s an investment, but it is so worth it. The cost is what ket me from buying for YEARS. I am so glad I took the chance. There is NEVER EVER pressure to sell a single oil. Many people just sign up so that they can get the wholesale pricing for themselves. The discount is great. The special offers for YL members are awesome. The support you receive from the Facebook group I will add you to is like no other.

I signed up just to get the discount. If someone wanted an oil. I’d share my link and help them out, of course. But, I had no interest in sharing much. However, once I saw how much my family transformed, I wanted to shout it from the mountain tops. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or send me an e-mail. If I don’t know the answer, I will do my best to find it.

If you want to dive in- you can sign up here.

Uncategorized

I Remember

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“Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot shake the foundation of America.” 

-President George W. Bush September 11, 2001

I know where I was. I know how I felt. I remember the fear and uncertainty.. the confusion. I didn’t understand. I don’t think I ever will. I wept.

I still weep.

Do you remember? Do you remember how we were a nation that was standing hand in hand? We were united.

I’m going to share this link full of images and videos. Look at it and remember. Don’t ever forget how you felt.

 

 

family life, kids, Ramblings, story telling, Uncategorized, Weekending

Our Weekend in Pictures

Alternate title: Our Sunday in pictures.

Saturday, Scott and his brother left at 3 AM to go to Michigan to watch the football game in Ann Arbor. This left the girls and I solo all day. I invited my parents over for breakfast. I made biscuits and burnt scrambled eggs (lucky them) and my dad made bacon and gravy. It was so much fun having them over. We played a couple games of clue before they headed back home. Then, we loaded up and went to Target to walk around and get out of the house. I typically spend 6 days a week without a vehicle and trapped at home, so when I have it I am GONE. When we got home, I spent HOURS helping the big girls clean their room. Seriously, no one is allowed to bring any toys into this house unless they are a birthday or Christmas gift. I’m sick of spending hours with the junk my kids accumulate. Anyone else? That was our Saturday, and I didn’t take any pictures.

Sunday, we got up and went to church. I love my church family. I am so thankful that God brought us here to be with these people during this time in our lives.

The place that my mom works for throws a big family picnic each year. It was originally scheduled for Saturday, but the heavens opened up and INCHES of rain fell. It obviously was rescheduled. As soon as church was over, we headed home to change and go to the picnic. Unlimited fair food. Heck yes! Bounce houses for the kids to wear themselves out in were available. There were so many crafts and games. The girls got more than one pony ride.

 

 

I asked Chloe if she wanted to go play BINGO with me. She came so close to winning, but neither of us did.

Glitter tattoos and face paint may have been the favorite part. For some reason, Addi always gets super nervous and never wants to have it done. I don’t push it, so that’s why you don’t see her in these. Gah! They are so cute!! We spent ALL DAY here playing and having fun.

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I love days like this. They had a fireworks show once it got dark, and of course everyone loved that.

 

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend as well. Now, it’s back to the grind.

family life, story telling, travel, Uncategorized

Lincoln’s New Salem: a Step Back in Time

Lincoln's New Salem

Over the weekend, we spontaneously decided to go to Lincoln’s New Salem. This was always my favorite field trip when I was growing up, so it was fun to take a field trip with the kids. When we got there, we were told that it was Bicentennial weekend at the park. All but one of the cabins was open for the public to walk through. There were people dressed in period costumes to tell you about the former owners of the homes/stores/shops. There was live music and poetry readings. It was such a fun day, and I’m so thankful that we got to see so much more than we thought.

 

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They love posing by statues. When we first got there, we went into the visitor’s center. There is a small museum inside where you can see different artifacts and learn more about New Salem. Next to the visitor’s center is a small cafe and gift shop. Then, you walk down the path in between a thick group of trees. It opens up, and you can see the homes.

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(Harper was refusing to carry her hat, so Scott put it on top of his own. He doesn’t usually wear this hat. 😉 ) I loved getting to go inside and see how people used to live in the 1830s.  I’ll apologize now for the quality of some of these pictures. It’s hard to get good pictures in dark places.

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Everything is so beautiful.

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Harper really loved the beds. Most of these beds have a trundle bed underneath where the children’ would sleep– often 2-3 children on each.img_9114

The girls were so fascinated by all of the candles everywhere. It was hard for them to imagine life without lights. img_9111

The Cooper shop (building in the picture above) is the only structure that is original to the town. The rest have all been reconstructed. It was taken apart and moved to Petersburg where it stayed until 1922. Then, it was carefully taken apart and rebuilt in it’s original home of New Salem.

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The beds and furniture are all so beautiful. I am so thankful for our modern-day mattresses though. I can’t imagine sleeping on straw.

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Chloe and Addi loved seeing the spinning wheel. They were talking about Sleeping Beauty the whole time.

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This is the inside of a wool mill. The technology of their day was really incredible. This machine was powered by two oxen walking on another machine outside. (see below picture)

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That little high chair is so cute. Can you imagine having a baby in this time? Look at those floors.

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We really wished they had a sign telling about this barn above. Most of the cabins have gardens in the yard. Some have the barns. img_9138

This table is from the tavern. There was a huge fireplace with tons of cooking tools hanging from the mantle. I told Chloe and Addi about how they used to cook over the fire. This is where travelers would come for a meal. Through the doorway was a large room with several beds where they would sleep for the night. img_9119They all took turns pretending to lift buckets of water from the well.

 

 

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It felt like the temperature was a million degrees outside. In reality, it was over 90 degrees. We were so hot, and I can’t imagine how the period costume “characters” felt. We had so much fun despite the heat. img_9134

If you are ever looking for something to do in Illinois, I cannot recommend this place enough! Behind the visitor center is a campground. Across the road is a state park with a playground and hiking trails. It’s a quiet area, but It’s not far outside of Springfield. You can go into the town and there is a lot to see there also.

 

If you want to check out more information about New Salem, you can go here to this interactive map.

Uncategorized

Labor Day

We had big Labor Day plans. Huge, really.

Biscuits.

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This recipe is from Magnolia Table. (This is my baking sheet and I’m obsessed with it.)It was the first time I’d ever made biscuits from scratch. They’ve always been intimidating to me for some reason, so I’ve never tried. I decided to be ambitious and make them. I also cooked up some scrambled eggs and maple sausage to go with them– along with a small batch of country gravy for me. Everyone else prefers jelly or butter on their biscuits. How long can I talk about biscuits?

We also had plans to relax all day. The library was having a used book sale, so we went towards the end. You could fill a paper bag for only $5. While we were looking, they announced that they were cutting the price to $2.50 for a bag. I found Thumbelina from 1961 and some other beautiful vintage childrens books. By then, most things had been picked over, but we still filled our bag.

Then everyone lost their minds and the day turned sour. While we were driving home, we decided to stop at the video rental store. Everyone (of the kids) picked a movie and a candy. We went to the basement, watched every movie, ate popcorn/candy, and turned the day back around.

Sometimes it’s just really nice to snuggle up as a family to watch a movie or read “one more” bedtime story.

I hope that your long weekend was wonderful and full of delicious biscuits.

health, natural living, sponsored, Uncategorized

Breaking Down Gut Health

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I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

There is no better time to start taking probiotics! So much of our overall health lies in our gut health. So often, our digestive systems are overrun with too much of the bad bacteria, which results in bloating, stomach pain, and illness. Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics are so great at balancing out our gut health. As soon as I started taking this probiotic, I noticed a huge difference. I have taken probiotics in the past, but honestly have never noticed a difference and ultimately stopped taking them. That is not the case with Dr. Ohhira’s brand.

I’m going to just go for it. My stomach is often messed up. I experience bloating, discomfort, and yes– constipation. Listen, it makes me nauseous just thinking about sharing this with the world. But, it’s miserable, so if I can help you feel better then I’m going to share. As soon as I started taking this probiotic, all of those symptoms were gone. Regularity, something that I never thought I’d have, is now part of my life. My skin looks and feels healthier. You can even CHEW this small tab for immediate relief from upset stomach or indigestion. I haven’t personally had to do that yet, but just letting you know that it is an option!

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Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics come in unique blister packs. You take one in the morning and one in the evening. If you are traveling, you can break off how many days you need so that you are aren’t traveling with the whole box. They don’t have to be refrigerated, which is a HUGE plus when you are limited on fridge space. I used to think that the only good probiotics had to be stored in the fridge. I was so wrong.

Back to School Time and Fall Immunity

It is not just germs that cause kids (and grown ups!) to get sick. A significant factor is the strength of their immune response. That starts in the digestive tract where over 70% of immune system cells reside. You guys, SEVENTY PERCENT of your immune system is in your digestive tract. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut, help support the production and function of these immune cells. These beneficial bacteria can be an ally when it comes to fighting off back-to-school bugs. Because Dr. Ohhira’s is such a small capsule containing the naturally fermented paste a child can easily swallow it in a spoonful of applesauce or yogurt.

Research and Facts: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold, with the average child contracting 6.5 colds a year. What many parents don’t know, science has proven that some probiotics can be one of the parent’s most useful tools for keeping kids healthy. A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that kids who were supplemented with probiotics were three times less likely to experience fever, coughs, and runny noses than their classmates who did not receive the probiotics.

Halloween Sugar: The Ghastly Ghoul That Will Scare Your Guts And Petrify Your Probiotics!

How Sugar Affects the Gut: Friendly bacteria aid the metabolism of nutrients and help certain compounds get into the bloodstream. A diverse population of health-promoting flora protects the gut from the less helpful strains. In contrast, an outsize number of less-beneficial flora—which proliferate with a diet high in sugar, fat, and processed food—can cause gas, discomfort, bloating, and inflammation. How many of you live in this state? The flora can also emit chemicals that compromise the intestinal lining according to The Human Microbiome Project at the National Institutes of Health. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states probiotics work with your good gut bacteria to reduce sugar cravings and help keep your blood glucose in the healthy range if you do eat sweets.

The Holidays: The Eating Season

Many conventionally prepared Thanksgiving and Holiday menus, albeit delicious, are hard on your stomach. Greasy ham, fried turkey, mashed potatoes loaded with milk and butter, yams with sugary marshmallows, decadent desserts, not to mention the increased alcohol intake for some people. Even if you eat healthy the rest of the year, sometimes your digestive system just isn’t prepared for the onslaught of rich fare. Bloating, indigestion, and a sour stomach are not only triggered by how much you eat, but also by eating certain foods that are difficult to digest. These undigested substances then pass into your colon producing the gas bubbles that make your stomach swell up and create uncomfortable gas. Probiotics, when taken consistently, repopulate the gut with health-promoting bacteria for better digestion, increased absorption of nutrients, and less gas and bloating. Basically, adding a probiotic to your routine may help you avoid or lessen the complete misery that you feel after eating your delicious holiday meals.

What makes Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics different from any other probiotic?

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics are not cultured or grown in a laboratory like most other probiotic products. Natural crops and spring water are fermented* for three years with 12 distinctive probiotic strains that encourage your body’s innate ability to grow its own friendly bacteria. This rich culture medium (PRE-BIOTICS) is then encapsulated along with the beneficial lactic acid bacteria (PRO-BIOTICS) that have grown together over the three-year period and the resulting nutrients from this fermentation* process (POST-BIOTICS.) All three of these working together help to result in the ultimate gut health.

*Fermentation maximizes the natural health-promoting properties of each ingredient. The final result is an organic, living fusion that merges and encourages the evolution of your own exclusive internal bacteria. This, in turn, supports a healthy immune system and digestion of crucial micronutrients that your body needs to thrive and flourish. Hand-made in Japan with a sincere respect for nature and reverence for science, Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics will transform your health with the assurance you are in harmony with the environment.

 

All of this to say, your gut health is SO important. Investing in a good probiotic makes such a difference in your overall health and wellness. The miserable flu season is coming up, and now is the perfect time to start taking care of your health. Cut out or reduce your intake of sugars. Add a great probiotic to the mix with your daily multivitamins. You can purchase Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics here. While you are there, pick up some of this moisturizer. It’s so good!

 

Please let me know if you give it a try and what you think. You can also head over to MomsMeet.com and check out what other people are saying about Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics.

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