Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 12 of 2012

As I sit and look back through our year I thought it would be cool to post my top 12 blog post for 2012.  It was a new year with us moving to a new city and being closer to family. We welcomed a new blessing into our family and we ventured out across the world to participant in our friends wedding.  It was a year with many first and news for us.  We sit back today with thanksgiving for a great year and with anticipation of what the Father has next for us in this new year.

Here is a collection of your favorite and my favorite blog post for 2012.

1.  The Daniel Fast:

We try to start the year off by somewhat of a detox.  Each year we have tried to limit processed foods, junk food and rich foods during the month of January.  This year I have lots of new recipes which you can find on my pintrest board.

2. Red lentil Soup

Many readers have enjoyed this recipe and as been a big hit on the blog.  I didn't realize there were so many people wanting to take part in the Daniel fast with us :)

I saw how to do these no heat curls on pinterest and gave them a try and to my surprise it worked!!  I love trying new things with my hair my next step is to learn to use curlers and do a nice fish tail! 

My first blog post that was featured on one of my favorite blogs I heart nap time!! 

February was a fun month for us as we did so many different LOVE activities as we learned about sharing God's love with others. We ended our "love" month with a special meal at our "special" restaurant. 

A very fun activity to do with the kids before seeing the movie. 

These were a hit with the kids and we used them to decorate our flower gardens, deck and we used them as paper weights for Eben's monster bash!

This was a mothers day special that Micah did for me, his mom and my sister in law.  I love this post because Micah saw it pinned on my pinterest and then surprised me with it!  That is when I fell even more in LOVE with pinterest.  My husband was following only me on there and new all the things that I was pinning. Husbands pinterest is the key to knowing your wife :) 

 50 days of summer fun was so awesome.  I printed these chart out and had it hung over the kitchen table.  Every day (at least it seemed that way) we talked about all the things we had done and the things we were still planning on doing.   We enjoyed everything from making Oreo popsicles to M&M on toast day.

10.  Homeschooling 

This was a BIG decision that we are enjoying so much!!!  We are having lots of fun playing games and learning creativity.

During the end of the year I began to find it more helpful to plan meals for the month instead of just the week.  Lots of readers have been using the recipes as well and enjoying them :) 

I wrote this post over on our family blog but I just love it so much that it had to go on my top 12 because its how I feel about my home and our family it is my mission which all my fun and creativity flows out of!

Thanks for being faithful readers and encouraging me by writing comments and personal messages.  I love hearing from each of you.  I love when you do crafts I have posted, tried an activity or enjoyed (or didn't enjoy) a recipe. 

Have a happy new year my friends. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Advent Christmas verses

Every year we count down to our Christmas celebrations using this advent calendar that my mother in law made for her kids when they were young.  Now that they all have families she has given each family their own.  Our family really loves hanging this on the wall and adding pieces to the beautiful nativity scene everyday until Christmas morning when baby Jesus is placed in the loving arms of his mommy Mary.  

This year durning our morning devotions I wanted to read verses that went a long with the Christmas theme and of course a quick shout out in the facebook world by another friend lead me to a Christmas list of verses to read every morning ending the 25 days with reading the first chapters of Luke. 

I made this little advent calendar and behind each circle is the verse for that day. 

So if you want the list here it is.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself

will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin
shall conceive and bear a son,
and shall call his name Immanuel.
(which means God with Us)

Matthew 2:10 When they saw the
star, they rejoiced exceedingly
with great joy.

Luke 2:12 And this will be a sign
for you: you will find a baby wrapped
in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given; and the government
shall be upon his shoulder, and his name
shall be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter
of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter
of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming
to you; righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Acts 5:31 God exalted him at his right hand
as Leader and Savior, to give repentance
to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

Philippians 2:8-10 And being found in
human form, he humbled himself by
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross. Therefore
God has highly exalted him and
bestowed on him the name that is
above every name, so that at the
name of Jesus every knee should
bow, in heaven and on earth and
under the earth

Isaiah 11:1 There shall come forth
a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots
shall bear fruit.

Matthew 1:21 She will bear a son,
and you shall call his name Jesus,
for he will save his people from
their sins.

Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall
conceive and bear a son, and they shall
call his name Immanuel” (which means,
God with us).

Luke 1:30-31 And the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have
found favor with God. And behold, you
will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall call his name Jesus.

Luke 2:15-16 When the angels went away
from them into heaven, the shepherds said
to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem
and see this thing that has happened, which
the Lord has made known to us.”And they
went with haste and found Mary and Joseph,
and the baby lying in a manger.

Luke 2:10 And the angel said to them,
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good
news of great joy that will be for all the people.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born
this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the
highest, and on earth peace among
those with whom he is pleased!”

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that
he gave his only Son, that whoever believes
in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death,
but the free gift of God is eternal life
in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace in
believing, so that by the power of the
Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

2 Corinthians 9:15 Now thanks be to God
for His Gift, [precious] beyond telling
[His indescribable, inexpressible, free Gift]! .

James 1:17 Every good gift and every
perfect gift is from above, coming
down from the Father of lights with
whom there is no variation or shadow
due to change.

Psalm 72:11 - All kings will bow before
him, and all nations will serve him

Micah 5:2 - But you, O Bethlehem
Ephrathah, are only a small village
among all the people of Judah. Yet a
ruler of Israel will come from you,
one whose origins are from the distant past.

Luke 1:14 - You will have great joy and
gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.

Luke 2

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

DIY Christmas cards

Ok readers I know you are all getting ready for Christmas so I wanted to give you a website with some great templates on it.  Last year I used the templates from Simple as that Blog to create this family Christmas card

This week Costco is having a sale on their pictures so take advantage and get these in 5*7 for only 0.18 cents!!!  And if making your own ins't your thing they are also having a sale on their pre-made cards you just have to add your own pictures!

I have our 2012 cards all done and printed off so you will have to wait until Dec to see what those look like! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Duplo Lego Creations

This boy LOVES playing Lego!!! 

I really have been enjoying watching Eben's imagination run wild with all his lego.   He will get it out and play pretty much all day long with it.  Of course he loves leaving it out so Daddy can see all the cool things that he has made; like this lego house. 

My husband also was a lego fan as a child and still is.  I love watching the boys be creative together.  Its one of Eben's favorite things to play with daddy.  Maybe that is why Eben loves it so much cause its something fun that he does with his dad!!

Recently we have found lots of resources online for creative things to make with the lego.  We don't always follow the same colors that they have on the sheets just the designs. 

Here is Eben's T-rex

A moose

And the Duck and T-rex playing together under the coconut tree! heheh

Friday, November 2, 2012

Go fish sight words

Go fish is one of our favorite Friday school activities to do.  You see for our sight words I have been doing 5 sight words each week.  We do different activities to learn the sight words throughout the week.  On Friday's we always do a little test but before we sit down to do our test we go fishing for the words we have been learning. 

I start by putting the letters that we need for our fish in the "water".  Then using his rods which is a dowel with a string attached and a paper clip on the end he goes fishing for the word he is looking for.

I place the fish on the cookie sheet and he looks at each one to see what letters he needs to make that word.  This fish is the word he.

Once he is done spelling the words we clean off the cookie sheet and sit down to do a writing test of the words.  Not all my fish fit on one cookie sheet that is why you don't see the word he on the cookie sheet below! hehe

As soon as I get some new cookie sheets (for baking) I am going to be painting this one to make it pretty.

What are some fun ways you learn sight words?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November Meal Plan

Ok so I must admit I love the monthly meal plans!!!  Its a bit of work at first but it was so awesome to not have to think too hard about meals this past month.  I simply bought ingredients as they were on sale for the meals I had planned and made them as I craved them.  I know what some of you are thinking...well what if I don't feel like Taco's on Taco night; so don't have tacos. The point of the month of meals is that you have ingredients on hand to make most of your meals so switch it up that is what I did with some of the meals this past month.


Here is my Oct meal plan.  I tried to fix it up so you could make some things out but the circles are the meals that I am transferring to next month cause I never got to make them.  We either ate leftovers or were invited out.  The arrows show some meals that I moved probably because I didn't feel like eating it that night or I just moved things around.  I love having a few meals to help fill in Novembers meal plan.

But before I share with you Novembers plan I want to share the answer you have all been waiting for.  How much did this month worth of meals cost me.  Lets not forget that I usually always have a well stocked pantry but our total expenses for these meals, plus snacks (cookies, granola bars,whoopie pies), and a batch of red pepper jelly cost me a grand total $308.36.  Thats right I am so happy with the total.  I also wanted to show you the break down of one of our meals.

Take our Chinese Buffet night (which was a HUGE hit )

In our buffet we had 

Rice ($ 0.86)
Egg Rolls ($2.50)
Veggies ($1.99)

The total of our buffet was $10.85.  And since 4 of us ate that is $2.71/person.  Can you believe you can make a meal like this at home for that cheap.  I am telling you when you take time and plan your meals and you use the portions according to Canada's food guide you can feed your family affordably.  The reason the chicken was so cheap to make was I bought a large pack of it on sale for $7.50.  I split it into two different freezer packs to enjoy at 2 different meals so that made the cost of just the chicken $3.75 which is less then $1.00/person at meal time.   The egg rolls were also purchased on sale 14 for $4.99.  I divided them into 2 different bags of 7 to enjoy at 2 meals.  The bag of veggies was the whole bag (since we LOVE veggies) of Asian Style veggies.   This meal was the favorite for the month.  For the first time Eben asked for MORE....I could hardly believe my ears when he asked for seconds and then 3rds.  

If you enjoyed the Oct meal plan please comment and let me know which meal (or meals) you made and enjoyed or didn't enjoy. 

Here we go onto November

1.  Chicken Dinner (my kids love this recipe)

2.  Taco Cups

3. Women's Night Out at Church!
5. Stromboli 

6.  Pork Fajitas
7.  Sweet and sour sausages with mashed potatoes

9.  PRC Movie night (left overs)
10.  Baked Beans and Mac & Cheese
11. Cheesy bread sticks
12.  Roast Beef Supper
13. Free Night
14.  Beef and Barley Soup
16.  Homeschool Trip 


20. Free Night
21. Pancakes and Bacon
22.  Spaghetti
23.  Pizza
25. Free Night
26. Roasted Chicken Dinner
27. Family supper
29.  French Toast  
30. Free Night

This month I left some Free nights because last month we had leftovers and a few meals we didn't end up making.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ginger Pumpkin Whoopie Pies


All I can say is YUMMY!!!!  This is a new favorite fall treat in our house and the recipe came from a craving of mine.  I can't believe I didn't really think about making these before but maybe since I have found this AWESOME pumpkin cream cheese recipe over at Barns and Noodles I knew what it could be paired with to make the ultimate whoopie pie. 

First I started with my favorite ginger snap recipe


3/4 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

1. Cream together margarine and sugar in a medium bowl. Beat in egg and molasses.
2. Combine dry ingredients together in small bowl (flour, ginger, cinnamon, soda and salt)
3. Add dry ingredients to wt and mix throughly its good to use your hands.
4. Roll into 1 " balls and roll in sugar.
5. Place on cookie sheet and gently press down with hands.
6. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Next I used this recipe to make the pumpkin cream cheese

8 ounces cream cheese
½ cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 tablespoons brown sugar

Beat the cream cheese until softened. Then, add the remaining ingredients and beat until well combined. Refrigerate covered until chilled (about 1 hour)

Once the cookies are cooled and the cream cheese has chilled I spread a thick layer of pumpkin cream cheese onto a ginger snap cookie and then topped with another cookie.  They are best served right away but if you happen to have any left over you can keep them in an air tight container in the fridge. 

These are prefect paired with a delicious cinnamon coffee and of course your favorite girl friends! 

Turkey pumpkins

I know Thanks giving here in Canada has come and gone already but I still want to share a really cute project that we did.  My awesome cousin sent me this link and asked if it would be a project we would like to get together and do with the kids (since we are both homeschooling).   Right away I said yes because I LOVED them.  Each year for our Peterson thanksgiving meal Micah's aunt does this to a pumpkin with a set that she purchased at a Farmers market so when I say that we could make our own this year for our Thanksgiving center piece I was all for it. 


We (3 homeschoolin mamas) met early one Monday morning to start our craft project.  We had 4 school age kids, 3 little ones and 1 baby.  It was a little crazy but VERY FUN. 

The project it self was pretty cheap. All you need is a large pumpkin (orange or white) and 7 wooden spoons.  We bought packs of wood spoons at the dollar store so 2 packs/pumpkin I think. 

We started off by painting up the wooden spoons.  We painted 6 bright colors for the tail feathers and 1 brown for the turkey body.  When we finished painting them we laid them outside on my cooling racks to dry in the sun. 

As you can see from this picture we let the little ones paint mini pumpkins!  

The next step was to make the turkey faces; for this part all the kids (especially the boys) were ready to head outside.   I can't believe I didn't get any pictures but for the turkey neck we used red felt and free handed it.  Also for the beak I just cut triangles out of yellow felt.  Then using the hot glue gun I put two googly eyes, a beak and a neck on each brown spoon. 

Then came the fun stage using the electric drill.  I thought I would test it out first before I gave everyone  a turn. So I marked with a marker where I would drill the holes then drilled away. 

Everyone got to have a turn with the drill.  Here I am with batman who often does school with me! hehe

When the holes were all done we pushed the spoons in.  And Ta-da our beautiful pumpkin turkey. 

Everyones was a little different since they all painted their spoons different colors.

On of the moms has her 2 little ones pumpkins placed in their entry way.  Its such a cute way to add color and theme to our fall decorations. 

We used ours at the end of our Thanksgiving buffet line!  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Turkey Math

Here is a game that we LOVE to play and what a good month to play it in since we celebrated Thanksgiving at the beginning of the month and of course we can bring it out again at Christmas for that turkey supper :) 

I printed off the game from File folder fun and cut all the pieces out.  Then I glued the turkeys into a file folder.  We then look at the each feather and decided which turkey it goes in.  

Its a great game for early math and of course I really love the website cause there are so many fun little games there.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

feed me sight words


I am finding that playing games is such a great way to teach and learn!!!  We are having so much fun "doing" school this year.  There are so many resources and ideas on line its hard not to have fun during school time.  This is one activity that both kids love playing.  We call it feed the critter!  

I used this one eyed monster from Eben's monster bash this summer.  I decided not to throw it out after seeing this pin on pinterest cause I knew I could use it for something just like this post. 

For this game I use these little ice cream scoops that I printed off from this site.  We usually start off by putting all the scoops in alphabetical order to make it easier to find them when he is given a word to spell.  Once the letters are in order I say one of his spelling words for that week.  He then lays it out in front of our critter.  Then he says the words, spells the word and says it again before tossing the scoops into the critter. 

I find playing little games like this throughout the week really help with remembering how to spell and sound out the words.
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