How to Have a Successful Spontaneous Field Trip

Last Thursday, I decided to take the kids on a spontaneous field trip down to the beach. It was a beautiful sunny day. While we were driving though, it started to cloud up. We had looked at the weather before hand and it said 30% chance of rain. Most of the time when it says under 50%, we usually don't get any rain!

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Now you are probably wondering, how can a spontaneous field trip be successful?

I had been planning to take the kids to the beach for a while. I was just waiting for a beautiful sunny day. So really, I was planning and knew what needed to be done when the right day arrived.

Back to field trip day. It started sprinkling wight when we were about to go over the bridge to the beach, so we decided to eat lunch and see if it cleared up. We ate and when we came out it started raining harder. Ugh. Well, it looked clear up ahead. We drove to the beach and it had stopped raining. Yay! We parked and got everything ready and as we were walking up the boardwalk to the beach, it started sprinkling again.

Back to the car. Well, I decided then that we would just go to the aquarium for a couple of hours and maybe it would be clear when we came out. The aquarium is about 7 miles down from the beach, so of course it had stopped raining, but it did start sprinkling again right when we went into the aquarium. I knew the storm was following us.

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Going to the aquarium was the best spontaneous decision I made. The kids had a great time and we were able to see the diving show while we were there. They also loved seeing the sharks, fish, turtles, and otters.

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When we came out of the aquarium two hours later, the sky was blue and the sun was shining! Back to our original plan. We drove back down to the beach. The kids were so happy. We got all of our stuff again and this time, we made it to the water. The ocean temperature is only around 65 degrees right now in North Carolina, but my boys did not care. The got soaked from head to toe. The girls played in the sand and collected seashells.

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We ended up having a wonderful day with a minor detour thrown in. It is possible to take a spontaneous field trip, but just remember you may have to change things up a long the way.

To see some more "how to" post visit my friends by clicking the graphic below:


ABC Bible Memory Cards Freebie

I wanted a way to teach my 2 year old the alphabet while also teaching her some Bible verses.  I did some googling and found a list of Bible verses that correspond to the appropriate letter. Just a note ~ these are all KJV verses.

I then made a pdf of the cards and printed them:

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After printing, I cut them out and folded them in half:

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And finally, I wanted them to be durable, so I laminated them:

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Now one side is the letter and one side is the verse:

Click here and here for this freebie.


Knowledge Quest: Sacagawea ~ Book Review

I have always loved the story of Sacagawea, so when the opportunity arose for me to review this book, I jumped in. In fact, I graduated from college with a history degree (not education). During my senior year, I had to take a peer teaching class and actually taught my peers about Sacagawea.
Knowledge Quest is a company that has timelines, maps, books, and much more. Sacagawea, written by Karla Akins, is part of the Brave Explorers Every Child Should Know series. Sacagawea is available on Amazon for $4.97. It is recommended for children ages 8 and up.

Sacagawea is an interactive historical book. This book tells the story of Sacagawea being kidnapped when she was young, being sold to a man for marriage, having children, and finally her journey with Lewis and Clark. This book has 16 chapters and 112 pages.

I received this book as a PDF download. It was very easy to download and read from the computer.

I read this book as a read aloud to my children, ages 7, 9, and 11. My older son had studied Sacagawea last year in history and my younger son is learning about her now. My 7 year old just listened for fun. This was a very interesting and entertaining book. When we wanted to learn more about Sacagawea or about different tools, we were able to visit different websites through the clickable words in the book. My boys really liked this part. They would sometimes go back through the chapter I had just read to look at all of the different websites.

My children give this book 5 stars!



E is for...

Blogging Through the Alphabet


It's always an exciting time as the school year is winding down and the weather is getting warmer. The kids love playing outside, so they are excited when they get their schoolwork done for the day.

Blowing bubbles

Playing in the dirt

Big brother trying to hide

It's also an exciting time waiting for our new curriculum for the fall to arrive.

I am also excited for a couple of products we were picked to review.

Here's a sneak peek of one:

Excited to see what is in store for us the rest of 2013!


Leadership Garden Legacy ~ Review

When I was given the opportunity to review a product from Leadership Garden Legacy, I was excited to be able to use this with my children. My younger son is a born leader. I was hoping I could use this book and materials as a tool for him. When I first received the physical books, I was impressed with the quality. It was also very easy to download the pdf’s and mp3’s to the computer. Below is a list of what I received ~

For use with children ages 8–12:
U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS: Growing My Leadership Garden ~ $18.95

This chapter book is for children ages 8-12. This is a beautifully illustrated book written as a fable. In this book, Hugh, the sheep, has been wandering around because he ran away from his flock to get way from the coyotes. While he was wandering, he happened to find Leadership Farm. With the help of Leda, Aristotle, Annabelle the dog, and several other animals, Hugh learns how to become a leader. He visits the different animals on the farm with each one describing a different character trait which uses the letters in U.N.I.Q.U.E.
  • Understanding
  • Nurturing
  • Inventive
  • Quality
  • Unstoppable
  • Expression

U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS Activity Guide & Journal ~ $8.95

The activity guide is a pdf download which compliments the chapters in the book. There are several pages of activities and it also includes a printable My Leadership Garden Journal.

U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS Audio Book - MP3 Download ~ $8.95

These MP3’s are great for the children to listen to while out of the house and in the car.

For adults:
U.N.I.Q.U.E.: Growing the Leader Within ~  $18.95
U.N.I.Q.U.E.: Growing the Leader Within - paperback

This is an adult version of the U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS: Growing My Leadership Garden.  While it still covers the same leadership traits, it also covers some of the author’s own life experiences.

The Leadership Garden Guidebook ~ $18.95

The adult guidebook to go along with U.N.I.Q.U.E.: Growing the Leader Within.

U.N.I.Q.U.E.: Growing the Leader Within - Audio Book MP3 ~ $14.95
How I used this ~
I used the U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS: Growing My Leadership Garden as a read aloud. I would read a chapter to my children (ages 7, 9, and 11) every few days. I would read the chapter and then allow them to discuss the questions at the end of each chapter. I let them work on their Leadership Garden Journals over the next couple of days before moving on the next chapter. We also used the mp3’s in the car when we had places to go. One note about the mp3’s- it doesn’t have any chapter breaks, so when we stopped it, it would start at the beginning the next time we started it. This could get annoying if you were to use it everyday. We only used it a few times and fast forwarded to where we needed to be.
What I thought ~
My children and I really enjoyed reading about Hugh and learning all of the quality traits it takes to become a leader. I liked that at the end of each chapter, the animal asked Hugh if he remembered the lesson that was learned. When discussing with my children what lesson they learned, they were able to put it into their own words. Although this is not a Biblical character training study, this is still a good book on leadership. My children know that the Bible is our first guide for learning leadership traits. During our discussions, my children would bring up “what the Bible says” about the trait we were discussing.
Bottom line ~
This is a great tool for discussion. It can be used as a secular character training guide or use it as we did and find Bible verses that correspond to the traits. My kids enjoyed hearing the story about Hugh and I enjoyed the discussions I had with them. 
The author is offering a 20% spring special discount for all my readers. Enter code: TOS-SS20D at checkout. This code will only be available until May 31, 2013.



D is for...(3 month lifestyle change update)

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Decisions! I have had to make many decisions over the past three months. I started a lifestyle change on January 7. I made a decision to start eating healthier and drinking more water. It was somewhat easy to give up the soda and the sweet tea. I only drank soda about 3-4 times a month before anyway.  I did drink sweet tea almost every day, but I gave it up for a whole year in 2010, so I knew what to expect. I'm not going to lie, I have drank a soda (or two) and had sweet tea over the past three months. It was a decision I made- it may not have been the best choice, but I have to live with it.

I also made a decision to eat more fruits and vegetables instead of snacking on sweet and salty items. Every week I am faced with having to make decisions about eating a piece of chocolate or eating a piece of fruit. Sometimes I do pick the bad over the good. I'm learning that the better decisions will help me in the long run. I'm not perfect, but I do want to be healthier by the end of the year.

In my 3 month journey, I have lost a total of 22 lbs. I was aiming for 10 lbs a month, but sometimes, those bad decisions may make me have a week with no loss. I did not take a picture on January 7 (I wish I had), but I had my son take some pictures a couple of days ago. I am going to start taking monthly pictures to track my change.

Here I am on April 5, 2013:
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I did find this picture of me taken in October 2011:
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I hope to share at my 4 month update that I have made the best decisions to stay healthy and stay on track with my change.


Spicy Chicken Crunchwrap Recipe

I have posted this recipe over on my recipe blog, but have never remembered to take pictures. I made this again last night for my family and took some pictures.
What you need:
  • 4-5 lb chicken
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion, chopped
  • Tomato paste
  • Hot taco seasoning (McCormick’s)
  • Tabasco
  • Chicken broth
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato, diced
  • Sour cream
  • Burrito size flour tortillas
  • Small tortillas
  • Tostada shells

spicy chicken

Boil the chicken in a large stock pot with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder for seasonings. When it is done, take it out and let it cool for a bit. Once cool, take all the chicken off of the bone and shred it. A little tip I learned from pinterest is to use a kitchen aid mixer to shred the chicken. It works great.

In another pot, cook the chopped onion until it is soft. Add the shredded chicken, tomato paste, one packet of hot taco seasoning, Tabasco (I put about 6-7 shakes), and about 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (add more if it is still dry).

Spicy Chicken Crunchwrap

In the picture above, you can see how it is assembled.
  • Take one large flour tortilla and put some chicken onto the tortilla.
  • Top with shredded cheese.
  • Top with a tostada chip.
  • Put sour cream on top of tostada chip.
  • Add lettuce and tomato.
  • Add small burrito on top.
  • Fold tortilla up and put into a small fry pan to "grill" (like they do at Taco Bell) it on each side about 30-45 seconds.

This really does taste a lot like the spicy chicken Taco Bell use to have. My whole family loves when I make these for dinner.

Printable Recipe


C is for ...

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Cleaning!  I actually had no idea what I was going to write about for 'C' until I saw a post from Money Saving Mom. Money Saving Mom is having a 30 day cleaning challenge. Today is day 1, so if you would like to join, it is not too late.

Today's project was to surface clean your kitchen and living room. I had just done a deep cleaning because we had family over for Easter, so this should be a great motivator to maintain the cleanliness.

Here is the before of my kitchen. I don't know if you can tell, but there are dirty dishes in the sink and the counters have not been wiped.

Another before of the dirty stove and messy counter top. Here you can see my Amish Friendship Bread starter- I will write about that another time.

So my plan for the project for today was to clean up from the days meals in the kitchen, including washing the dishes, wiping down the counter, and cleaning the stove. I swept the floor too. I also need/ want to steam mop the kitchen floor, but I will do that after everyone has gone to bed. I didn't get a chance to do it this weekend.

Ta-da! Dishes are done and the counters are wiped down. I told my kids and husband that once I had the kitchen cleaned up, we could eat our dessert. I made a pinterest recipe for dessert- pineapple angel food cake. It is so easy to make. You take a can of crushed pineapple and mix it with a box of angel food cake mix- don't add anything else. Bake it at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

I bought some whip cream to put on top. Yum!

Okay, back to the cleaning ~ I don't have pictures of the living room, but we just cleaned it this weekend for family, so it is still pretty clean. I do plan on going through after everyone is in bed to make sure everything is still tidy.

I hope I can stick with this 30 day challenge. It will make my life so much easier. It's so hard for me to fit cleaning into my schedule, but doing a few little things every day will make it a little easier to deal with. I'll probably update once a week on my progress.



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