Monday, August 31, 2009

Family Yearbook Challenge 2009 - Week 23

If you're new to the Family Yearbook Challenge click HERE & then HERE
Homework August 31 - September 6:

1. Back to School - Summer has wrapped up for just everyone now and it's on with new schedules and traditions....especially the excitement of heading back to school. There can be many firsts and milestones for the kindergartners, those moving onto middle school or even high school. This week be sure you have a few photos of your kids in their new gear and heading out for school. It's fun to compare pictures each year as they grow and mature from toothless kindergartners to young women and men.

2. Journal - Take time to write about each of your children individually. Write down what you love about their personalities, what their good at, what you hope for them and what you want for them. Keep this in your doesn't have to be on public display in your yearbook, but just make sure you take some time to write about your blessings.

Now COPY and paste any photos that you have that go with these events and questions into a new folder titled June. If you'd like to rename the photos you can with aug 1, aug 2, aug 3 and/or sept 1, sept 2, sept 3 so on and so on. If you have any memorabilia that is NOT digital, scan and save as a jpg. minimum 300 dpi to your August or September folder, named and labeled. If you have a "story" you can hand write it or "type" it into a document and save in the same folder.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Storytime ♥ Cooking With Children

Here's another wonderful post by guest blogger Heidi Rosenberg

I have always been interested in giving my family the best healthiest food possible. I strongly belief in making as much as my own food as possible. I want to avoid as many processed foods as I can especially ingredients inside processed foods such as high fructose corn syrup. I believe introducing them to cooking makes them more interested in foods that perhaps they would normally turn their noses up to. My daughter is 4 now and I try to encourage her to help me cook when ever possible. Cooking with a young child does take more time and patience. It almost always involves extra cleanup, especially in our case when flour in involved. Healthy eating means eating more whole grains, fruit and vegetables and beans. If meat is eaten try and eat the leaner types. With this is mind this month I have decided to review what Barefoot Books has in the line of healthy food books.

The message in this book is simple yet brilliant. Some people (and indeed Dragons) like meat where as others prefer to eat vegetables. It's not trying to make out that one way of eating is better than another it justs a great way of explaining that people eat different things. As always with Barefoot Books the art is beautiful, just as on the cover its colorful and vivid throughout the book.

This book will also teach children to never give up on their own beliefs. I have read the book countless times. There is quite a lot of text, so I would recommend it as a book to read to younger children and for older children to read to themselves. Barefoot recommends this book for 4-10 years old. This is a great book to give to a meat eating child with a vegetarian friend or vice-versa. Its available in paper back $7.99 or hard back.

New this season is Kid's Kitchen to accompany Herb. The cards have 40 fun and healthy recipes to make and share. What a great deck of cards to help learn about cooking. They are based around the five main food groups. All the recipes are vegetarian. The cards are sturdy and can be wiped clean. Each card is organized by type of dish and contains step by step directions and nutritional information. The package also includes kitchen safety information. The card deck is recommended for ages 8 up and would be great to get the kids helping more in the kitchen.

Did you know that we also sell music CD's? Picnic Playground CD is a wonderful collection of delicious songs.It also includes a child-friendly overview of the foods mentioned in the songs, as well as two recipes showing how to “Eat Like A Rainbow”. The CD contains 12 multilingual songs all aimed to help teach the child to eat healthy. Other books with food include Gigantic Turnip, Mama Panya's Pancakes, Earth Tales, Little Red Hen (whole wheat bread recipe in the back).

For more information please visit my website. or email me to be included in my newsletters.

Thank you Heidi!! Great post...and Heidi has also offered a
Just enter TWENTY (all caps) at check out! Offer good until August 31.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Tradition of Welcoming Myself Back...

I'm officially welcoming myself back into the has been a roller coaster these past few months, but oddly enough I always feel blessed through the ups and the downs.

Today we headed back to school with schedules and commitments in full swing...and I feel refreshed and ready to make this year amazing! Life has been good to our family. On Sunday I took some time to reflect on our summer and the time that we were able to spend was wonderful, rewarding and a turning point for our family. Something sweet happened this summer, not sure what it was....but I'll take it!

My kids seem like they've rooted themselves a little deeper as Christians and as leaders. I'm excited to see how they dance with the music this year.....

For me the start of school is like a second Spring Cleaning...time to tackle some projects and find order and schedule again...but also time to make sure I'm taking care of myself and my family in the ways that matter. I always make sure I write in my journal on the first day back to school...I love to record my goals and hopes and dreams for myself, my kids, my hubby and our family as a whole. I especially love reading the entries from years past...I always take the time to write about each of my children individually. It's a great place to record my deepest thoughts and love for them. Someday I hope they find it....and maybe get a glimpse of just how much they were loved.

Take the time today to write in your journal today....

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Sharing Your Life Stories...

I have to share this list with you...someone emailed this to me and I thought it was perfect to share with you all!!

"I'm a totally ordinary person," you shrug. "I'm not famous. I haven't done anything important. In fact nothing really outstanding has ever happened to me. Why would I want to share my life story with anyone, and, for that matter, why would I want to listen to or read the life stories of other ordinary people? And why on earth would I want to write my life story? It's so boring! Memoirs are for celebrities."

Fair questions. Here are a few possible answers. At least 55 reasons why you might consider reflecting on, sharing, and even writing your life stories and listening to the experiences of other people. You may have--or find--additional reasons…

  1. You'll learn something from reflecting and from remembering.
  2. You'll learn something from telling, both orally and in print.
  3. You'll learn something from hearing and/or reading the life stories of others.
  4. You'll practice listening skills, boost empathy, deepen relationships.
  5. You may experience some cathartic pain, which is often good for the soul.
  6. You may heal old wounds--or soothe current pains.
  7. You'll deepen appreciation for your life characters--family, friends, coworkers.
  8. Those who hear or read your stories will better understand the real you.
  9. You'll recapture memories and experiences you assumed were lost.
  10. You'll trace and uncover some important threads through your life story.
  11. You'll reveal something of what's important to you, what you deeply value.
  12. You'll share--and spread--vital values, through what you tell (and don't).
  13. Life review may reveal patterns, connections, hidden insights.
  14. You'll more deeply appreciate your own heritage, culture, ethnicity, roots.
  15. You'll understand, appreciate, and connect with people different from you.
  16. You'll find you have a special gift to give that only you can give.
  17. You may bring genealogy to life, humanize and honor your ancestors.
  18. You will clarify the cultural context, history, and settings that impact your life.
  19. You may clarify family and ancestors' cultural context, history, and settings.
  20. You'll more deeply connect with your past and your people, living and dead.
  21. Paradoxically, You'll more deeply connect with others' past and people.
  22. You'll have a good excuse for a healthy cry or two, and lots of laughs.
  23. You'll have a great time, enjoying the exploration and the sharing.
  24. You'll get a powerful educational tool to share across the table or across time.
  25. Your struggles and triumphs, however small, may inspire others.
  26. You may inspire yourself.
  27. You may surprise the spouse, child, kin, or friend who "know you well."
  28. You may increase others' understanding of "people like you."
  29. You may prove that there is no one exactly like you.
  30. You may wonder at the miracle of our common humanity.
  31. You may have a precious written gift (whether book or one-page memento)
  32. You can leave a valuable legacy, before it's too late!
  33. You can make photo albums and scrapbooks far more meaningful and fun.
  34. Brief stories can add meaning and value to heirlooms or artifacts.
  35. Your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews will learn "real" history.
  36. Family may see you as more than merely Mom, Dad, Gram, Aunt, or Uncle…
  37. Family may come to understand their own rich connections and contexts.
  38. Family may get a kick out of making fun of you and the "olden days."
  39. You may answer some questions that have been nagging you.
  40. You may raise questions to spend the rest of your life answering.
  41. Past experience may suggest how to best live your future, however long.
  42. Your past could help others learn how they might best live their future.
  43. Your mistakes may help others avoid some of theirs.
  44. "Mistakes," "losses" re-examined may turn out to be blessings in disguise.
  45. Opening your senses and imagination will enrich and enhance each day.
  46. You'll build, enhance, deepen relationships with folks living and dead
  47. You'll build, enhance, deepen relationships with folks known and unknown.
  48. If you write it or have it written, you'll have interesting reading.
  49. All your life, you can continue learning from rereading. And write more!
  50. If you write it or have it written, you may achieve a sort of immortality.
  51. You'll illuminate your perspective on culture, religion, places, people, life.
  52. You can show appreciation for those who have enriched your life.
  53. What you know, care about, feel, and think won't die with you.
  54. You may grow spiritually, feel more kinship with humanity, a oneness.
  55. You'll discover you aren't so ordinary after all! (Who is??)

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - I Met David Archuleta!

He's truly the most adorable and sweet-spirited person I've EVER met!
For more Wordless Wednesday visit
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Monday, August 10, 2009

15 Day Count Down...

We're on a count down! School resumes in 15 days, tryouts for fall sports are already in full swing and I'm NO WHERE NEAR READY! So I'm taking a break from the internet and bloggy world for a few days....going to enjoy these last few days of summer with my kids, get life back in order and have some good old fashion fun!

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Banana WHAT?

Banana Spider is what...holy freaking cow! Check this Mama out! She's about the size of my hand spread out and is sitting outside my kitchen window in a thick beautiful web. Been in Florida 4 years and this is THE biggest spider we've found yet...thanks good Mr. Pest Control will be here in 38 minutes!!

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

How to Help a Beginner Reader

Guest Blogger Heidi Rosenberg from Barefoot Books

The number one thing I tell parents who have children who are just beginning to read is, its so important to continue reading to them. Why? What a beginner reader can actually read is usually well below their interest level and comprehension. In other words the books you give to your beginner reader are perfect to practice reading but probably doesn't feed their imagination.

Books with repetition and rhymes are good for beginner readers. (Many of my previous preschool recommendations are great, Animal boogie, The House that Jack built etc).
Its now more important than ever to let your child choose a book. Everyone prefers to read about things that they are interested in. If your child likes a particularly topic (animals, transportation, fairies etc) that is probably the type of books they will pick..

Point to words as you read to your child/follow the words as your child reads to you. Let the child sound out the words but if the word does not sound the way it is spelled or the child has problems then help the child. Offer clues if needed, for example ask what sound does the letter "s" make.

Look at the pictures and talk about them. The pictures in the books are clues to the story.

If your child is getting frustrated, ease off with corrections, maybe alternate reading a small section with your child. Telling your child to point to the words on the page can often help the child read all the words.

Talk about the book you have just read. Ask questions. Does she like the character? What do you think will happen next? This book is exciting, isn't it?

Reading is everywhere, so make it part of everyday life for the child. Ask her to help read road signs to you, menus, the aisles in the supermarkets

Most importantly, reading should be fun not a chore. Give your child lots of positive encouragement. Children love to mimic their parents. So why not pull out your bedtime novel and start reading it in front of your child.

If you would like any help in finding the perfect book for your child or would like to be included on my monthly sale list please email me, Heidi, at

An amazing offer from Barefoot Books until end July. Download Happy and you know it, free of charge. They do not require your contact details. Click HERE for your free copy.

New discount code SCSHFT - 15% The discount codes can only be used one time per customer and will expire at the end of the year. Visit Heidi's Website here! (Heidi's private Barefoot website)
Barefoot Website (official Barefoot website)

Thank you Heidi for another great post and a great offer!!!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Tradition of Opening Your Home

I came across this little tidbit from Joanna Zucker, author of Millennium Mom. She talked about bring character into our homes to give it an open and welcome feeling. She said the following about Bringing Back Casual Visits.

"These days, our homes are much different from those that we grew up in. They may look different, but more importantly they are not as “open” as they were in the past. Think about when the last time was that you had someone ring your doorbell unexpectedly, just to say hello. This just doesn’t happen nearly as often as it used to. Gone are the days when grandma or grandpa, an aunt or uncle, or even a neighbor would stop by just to check in or have coffee, which then turned into a casual dinner invitation.

Personally, I loved those visits and still do as an adult. They’re more casual and filled with great conversation, rather than weeks of planning and cleaning. If you are like me and want to bring the socializing back, I recommend a few easy tips."

  • Staying tidy and organized - I like this one because it doesn't say we have to have a spotless house. It simply means to keep our homes tidy and picked up in away that won't stress us out if the unexpected (and welcomed) guest drops by.
  • Easy Recipes - She suggests always having a few favorite EASY recipes on hand along with the ingredients so if your guest stays for a bit you can have something yummy to share to make the stay more inviting.
  • Bring in the Season - These are her words exactly... LOVE these ideas! "Place seasonal decorations around your home to give it visual character. To save money, buy a door hanger, hand towels and other items on clearance after the holidays to prepare for the next year. Also, use nature when you can. Place leaves in a variety of colors in a clear vase for the fall, pine cones in the winter, fresh flowers from a shrub or tree in the spring or summer."
I too love casual visits. I'm learning to love them again and welcome them too. Slowing down life is a part of the "casual visit". In my quest to find my personal Peace, this fits right in to the plan. Take the time to drop by someones house to just say hello or even better create a welcoming space in your home and let the casual visits begin. ♥

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Family Yearbook Challenge 2009 - Week 23

If you're new to the Family Yearbook Challenge click HERE & then HERE

Don't forget to leave a comment and check in...

Homework August 3 - August 9:

1. Books - Summer tends to lend some extra reading time. I know I find myself blazing through books during the summertime as I have extra free time to lay around the pool, visit the beach, vacation a what books have you been reading? Share what your family's favorite summertime reads have been. Maybe books spark special memories or were recommended to you by a friend or family member you want to share...or maybe you received one as a gift. Share your thoughts on your favorite books and let your family join in the fun too!

Now COPY and paste any photos that you have that go with these events and questions into a new folder titled June. If you'd like to rename the photos you can with aug 1, aug 2, aug 3 and so on and so on. If you have any memorabilia that is NOT digital, scan and save as a jpg. minimum 300 dpi to your August folder, named and labeled. If you have a "story" you can hand write it or "type" it into a document and save in the same folder.

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