Friday, December 26, 2014

St. Stephen's Day Soup

What's Cookin'?

In honor of Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr, we ate St. Stephen's Day Soup today for dinner.  Mine ended up being more like a "souped" up potato soup because I used mashed potatoes left over from Christmas dinner instead of cut up boiled potatoes- but much better than my planned potato soup.  Also in his honor we made a point to pray for our enemies at our mealtime prayer... [You can read more about Stephen in Acts 6:1-15 and Acts 7:54-60]

Here is the jump-off recipe:

And another:

I used:
1 large yellow onion
2 C leftover roast, cut into very small bite-size pieces
3 Quarts homemade beef bone broth (more or less - I simmered a big pot with a grass-fed beef bone before making the soup)
2 T butter
1/3 flour
1 C leftover mashed potatoes (these were originally skin-on and whipped with butter/milk)

First I made the beef bone broth (super easy - just tossed a big bone in a pot of water with a squirt of lemon juice (couldn't find any apple cider vinegar) and lots of Real Salt.  This simmered for several hours.  30 minutes before serving I cooked the chopped onion in some palm shortening, then added the chopped beef roast leftovers.  When they were ready I scooped them to one side of the pot, put 2 T of butter in the cleared part of the pot, and added the flour to the melted butter.  Once the flour and butter were mixed together I started ladling hot broth in and thoroughly blending it into the butter/flour mixture.  Once all of the broth was incorporated I added the mashed potatoes.  Then I let it simmer for about 5 minutes before serving.

Oh, this is corny, but instead of stones we had scones with our soup... just because it rhymes...

I hope my adjustments make sense!

Garden Planner

What's Gardenin'?

Spring will be here before you know it!  Here is a cool online garden planner page:

When you click and drag a plant into one of the squares for Square Foot Gardening it shows how many you should plant per square.  It also puts planting/care info below the diagram.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Joy

This picture of our dog at the beach during Thanksgiving break sort of says it all.  Unbridled joy :).


Decorative Bread Link

What's Cookin'?

I love this woven apple "pie"!  If you scroll down in the comments there are more ideas.  At least once in life I have to try making the "bread basket." :)


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Native American Studies Resources

What's Schoolin'?

Youngest dd and I have s-l-o-w-l-y been doing a dual study of biomes and Native American tribes.  Yes, I meant to blog it along the way and have been keeping some of the resources/activities to post.  First we study a biome (deserts, for example) and then we study some of the major tribes that lived in that biome originally.

I thought I'd better post these books that we've been using for several biomes/tribes before I return them to the library and forget all about them!  The latent perfectionist in me doesn't want to post this until it's "nice and tidy" or at least better organized, but the realist wants to just share them now :).

Someone put a hold on them at the library so I have to return them (after having them since last school year - yes, I'm spoiled with my library system!).  If I were at the beginning of our studies I would actually buy these books.  However, we should manage to finish with them before the deadline since we're at the tail end.  I don't buy many books anymore so that tells you that we've actually used them throughout :).  I saw several used copies as I was posting this.

Children of Native America Today

Spider Spins a Story: Fourteen Legends from Native America

Everyday Life of the Native Americans (Uncovering History)

Native American Crafts of California, the Great Basin, and the Southwest

We are getting ready to use this one:
Native American Crafts of the Northwest Coast, the Arctic, and the Subarctic

Another in that series (our library didn't have it during those studies so I haven't seen it in person): Native American Crafts of the Northeast and Southeast (Native American Crafts)

This post has affiliate links - I may get a (very) small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase through the links.  Thanks!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Homeschool Freebies

What's Schoolin'?

I just downloaded Drawing Around the World: Europe for free.  You can find a link here at Homeschool Giveaways.  There are other goodies and a subscriber option also.


24 Healthy Treats:

Homemade rice krispies:

Healthy corn dogs (so simple but I certainly never thought of it!):

gluten-free "cheese-it" crackers

Garlicky Cauliflower Medallions:

Raw frozen chocolate crust bites (note to self: uses almond flour):

Gluten-free pigs in a blanket [with rice wraps!]

Headache relief roll-on.... I just use peppermint oil in distilled water in a roll-on.  I keep it in my purse and we use it frequently:

Vanilla Almond Granola Cereal

Chocolate Almond Granola Cereal:

Glow-in-the-dark Gummies (could be for any occasion):

Easy Sloppy Joes:

Black bean and corn patties:  I'm going from memory from watching a segment on Food Network until I can find the link... Equivalent of 1 can drained beans, 1/2 cup frozen or drained corn, 1 egg, taco seasoning (homemade would be better), maybe 1/4 C instant oatmeal (dry), fresh garlic...  Mix it up, divide into 4 patties and grill.  Okay, I wasn't tooo far off!  Here is the actual link to the patties.  I still have beans from our last batch so the timing is perfect.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Literature Extension: Fish is Fish

What's Schoolin'?

Another literature extension dd-17 did in her 1st grade class.  After reading Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni they used paint daubers on a pre-drawn fish.  When it was dry they cut out the fish shape and glued it on blue paper.  Simple but fun!  Each activity related to a book connects children to literature in a positive way.

You can find the book at most libraries but here is the book at amazon:

This post contains affiliate links which may possibly generate a small commission if you purchase through it at no extra cost to you.  Thanks!

Aldi Shopping Trip ~ They have organics!

What's Savin'?

 I guestimated that I saved at least $12 on these items in all. 3/4 of the purchases are organic. Many are snacky pre-packaged items, so that ups the cost. Since I'm not cooking right now we are getting more snacky foods these days. Organic apples, carrots, and tomatoes at Aldi - pleasant surprise!

This is posted as part of Real Food Wednesday.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Deal Alert: 20% off at Might Nest

What's Savin'?

Right now you can get 20% off using coupon code 20MIGHTYFALL at Mighty Nest.

I'm torn between the natural food coloring or natural sugar sprinkles:

This offer expires 10/26/14.

15% of your purchase goes to a school of your choice and they have free shipping for orders over $50 (flat rate shipping is $5.95).


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Literature Extension: Seven Blind Mice

What's Schoolin'?

My dd-17 has been doing lessons with the first graders at a homeschool enrichment program.  I've had a blast subbing in her room and letting her take the reins (instead of me being main teacher and her the second person - we flip-flopped the roles).  This is an activity she did for Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young that we put together.  She led the creating of the activity while I tried to mainly just be support and helped her create it.  The kids enjoyed it and each literature extension connects them to reading.

~ We found an elephant coloring page that we printed 125% size for each child.  This is the background page put behind the page with flaps.  We used this one:

~ We made a template to cut out the little flaps to lift up each section as described in the book.  The center was cut out completely.

~ We used a mouse coloring page to creat little mice for the children to color/cut/glue on the appropriate flaps (7 little mice per child).  She liked this one.  We pasted into our word document, resized, and copied/pasted to make enough mice.

A picture of one of the children's finished product [still pending - I had to borrow someone's cellphone since mine doesn't send photos]:

What's Cookin'?

Another big pot of beans is simmering on the stove.  They soaked yesterday and last night. I changed the water before bed last night when I realized I was too tired to cook them... beans are so forgiving!  This time I put a bunch of Real Salt, granulated garlic, and dried onion in them while they cook.

This post has some affiliate links.  If you purchase through the links I may get a tiny compensation with no extra cost to you.  Thanks!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Beans, Beans, Glorious Beans! [Part 1]

What's Cookin'?

Homemade beans are so much better than canned for 2 (actually, possibly 3) reasons. 

1) No can to worry about (is it BPA-free?  What else is in that liner?  Did I get shards in the food when I opened it?  Better make sure and skim everything!).

2)  Soaking in an acidic medium neutralizes the aflatoxins (per Nourishing Traditions) and makes the nutrients more bioavailable.

3) You control the ingredients, tenderness, and flavor.

4) It makes organic beans more affordable... Okay, that's 4 reasons.  I'm sure there are more :).

Here is my weekly or bi-weekly regime:

1.  Put 2 pounds dry organic beans in a big stock pot.  We prefer the little red beans but right now I'm soaking kidney beans.

2.  Squirt the juice of 1/2 lemon or lime (strain the seeds as you squeeze) or about 1 tablespoon of organic lemon or lime juice over the beans.  In the picture you can see the darker beans where I squirted the juice over them.

3.  Add enough water to cover the beans and then that much more... so twice as much as needed to cover the dry beans.  They will swell and absorb a lot of water.  If the water level goes down to the beans during soaking, add more water.

4.  Soak overnight or soak all day.  With me it just depends on when I finally get around to doing it!  I've been known to soak all day and all night!  If it gets frothy you can skim off the froth or dump some of the water and add a little fresh water.

5. Drain, rinse, drain.

7.  Cover with fresh water (filtered preferred), again doubling the amount to cover them or to the top of the stock pot.  I fill it almost to the brim because one of the meals we get out of this batch of beans is usually bean soup (quasi-Salvadorean style).

8.  Cook on Medium heat until a low boil starts and then turn it down to low or medium low depending on your stove.  Cook on a low boil/simmer until done.  This usually takes me about 2-3 hours if I don't mess up the temperature gauge making it too hot, too cold, too hot, too cold!  How do I know they're done?  I stir the pot and take out a few.  I very gently push down on them with a fork.  If they give easily and are not grainy then they are done to our liking.  I've gotten to where I can generally tell by just stirring the pot if they are even close to being done.

Crockpot:  The crockpot is my preferred method but it's been in storage for about a year now.  I like to cook it on low for all night and the next day for it to be ready just in time for dinner.  Other times I would cook it all day and then all night and the kids would gobble it all up for breakfast if I didn't stand guard!  They make a really good breakfast, by the way!  You could try high for all day (or just all night) and test it.

This is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Deal Alert: Cowgirl Dirt Lipstick 20% Off!!

What's Green?

Lipstick withOUT nano particles is difficult to find.  Years ago I tried a Cowgirl Dirt lipstick, before they repackaged their lipsticks.  I also got samples from them and the shipping was, I think, less than $3 for everything.  It was great until I had a "Lipstick Blowout" from leaving my purse in the car for an hour (no kidding, just an hour, maybe less).  Lipstick exploded all over the car when I took the cap off!  Now I make sure to take my purse out if it's over 100F, even if the car is in the garage!

Right now their lipsticks are 20% off as they introduce the new matte colors.  I much prefer matte - which is mainly why I haven't gotten more of their lipsticks after the first order.  So... I'm ordering the Hidalgo and samples of the other mattes.  My daughters need samples of some of the others so we can see which colors work best.

No coupon necessary.  I didn't see a date for the end of the sale.

No, I'm not an affiliate of Cowgirl Dirt... but maybe I should start :)...  I'm just sharing a deal with you!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Gottatries ~ Good News for Lymies

What's Cookin'?


24 Healthy Treats:

Homemade rice krispies:

Healthy corn dogs (so simple but I certainly never thought of it!):

gluten-free "cheese-it" crackers

Raw frozen chocolate crust bites (note to self: uses almond flour):

Gluten-free pigs in a blanket [with rice wraps!]

Vanilla Almond Granola Cereal

Chocolate Almond Granola Cereal:

What's (Lyme) Green?

The US House of Representatives passed HR 4701.  You can read more about it here:

Monday, September 1, 2014

First Day of School Staff Meeting

What's Schoolin'?

Labor Day is the first day of school here at St. Jerome Academy. 

Therefore, there was a general staff meeting in the teacher's lounge late this morning to discuss the direction of the school this year and to decide on the curriculum needs of the students.  The meeting was attended by the school principal, counselor, coach, ag teacher, test administrator, and core subject teachers for 7th and 12th grade.

There was quite a bit of discussion and disagreement throughout the meeting.  Fortunately, after about 40 minutes of chaos during which everyone talked at once and agreed with no one, consensus was reached for 1 major school decision:  It was time to adjourn and take the traditional First Day of School Field Trip to get ice cream/frozen yogurt.

PS:  The children asked me later why I was talking to myself in the back bedroom earlier today, but enjoyed going out for frozen yogurt! :)

Happy Labor Day! :)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Deal Alert Reminder: Green Pastures Back to School Sale

What's Savin'?

Green Pastures is my one health splurge.  I am a big baby and just take the FCLO/BO caps and so now that's what my kids take too.  They use to take the plain with raw local honey drizzled on it with no problem.  I don't think they would want to go back to that now, though!  I tried a friend's cinnamon gel and... well... like I said I'm a big baby! [Hi, K!!]

Green Pastures CLO (before they had the fermented cod liver oil) was instrumental in helping with symptom relief of a chronic issue I have.  Instrumental.  Majorly so.  Unbelievably so.  It still helps it stay somewhat at bay.  I would do better if I took the full dose, but I only take 1 cap so the children can have more and stretch the bottle further.

This is their awesome once a year back to school sale.  Unfortunately I'm not sure I can take advantage of it but maybe some of you can :).  I would save, literally, over $10 a bottle. 

The one we use is the Fermented Cod Liver Oil with Butter Oil.  I also have a few bottles of just the Butter Oil that we take more spaced out to help with dental health.

See here for details:

Happy Savin'!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Deal Alert Reminder: FREE Quick Reference Guide for Using Essential Oils

What's Savin'?

August is almost over and my little August promo for Young Living sign-ups is almost over as well.

In reality I won't order the books until Saturday, September 6th, so I can technically extend it until then.  The last enrollee's acct showed up almost immediately; however, just to make sure you're included in the deal, let me know and I'll wait for your enrollment to show.

YL Oils have helped me in numerous ways throughout the years and I hope this little gift will help others as they delve into the world of essential oils.

Here are the details:

Eclectic Living Crafts and Such's Young Living August Deal:

Free Quick Reference Guide for Using Essential Oils upon enrollment using 1634316 (use that number for both sponsor and enroller). Once enrollment is verified I will mail you your free book. This is my own little promo, not a corporate promo.

Here is the link to my current YL webpage and the tab to join says "Sign up here."

Here is the direct link to the sign-up page with my number embedded:

Disclaimer:  The Amazon links are affiliate links and I just might get a tiny commission if you purchase through them at Amazon at no extra cost to you.  I am a Young Living Independent Distributor and would be your upline if you choose to enroll with my member number.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

More Physical Science Prep

What's Schoolin'?

Here are some resources I've come across as I prepare for the first day of class and some random thoughts... 

I got each student a quadrille (graph paper) composition notebook to use for their Lab Notebook.  They are only $1 at Wal-Mart right now [Sorry, I got the last 8 at my store!].  Years ago when I spent h-o-u-r-s looking for the perfect lab notebook for my olders I settled on quadrille paper.  Actually, there was the most perfect paper at the dollar store but I could never find it again when we ran out.  It was lined on the front side with graph paper on the back.  Too cool!  Anyway, we found that it works just as fine as the fancy ones I found online.

Here is a great idea of using a 5 subject divided spiral with sections for vocabulary words, on your own questions, study guide questions, and labs (with an extra section):

Very good description of setting up a lab notebook:

I really like this explanation and example of a lab write-up.  I'll adjust it and use it for class:

A nice schedule/lessons with notes.  Mine is already made but I found this helpful and will print it to keep with mine.
An updated version of the same:
This is where I found them:

By the way, these schedules are fantastic.  I've printed a few in hopes of following them, lol... but I will try again :).  Youngest really likes to have things laid out, planned, scheduled, and trackable.  Go figure!  Mainly I will print them out for her for Teaching Textbooks.  Last year she had me go through Excel Math and write down where she needed to be when in order to finish the curriculum at the end of May.  Again, go figure!

Here is her core foundations schedule for Apologia's Physical Science.  I may print this out as well to keep on hand.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Home Science Tools

What's Schoolin'?

I will be teaching Physical Science at a local homeschool enrichment program this year to middle schoolers.  The text we're using is Apologia's Exploring Creation with Physical Science I am really jazzed about it.  This will probably be the easiest class I've ever taught because it's planned out and I'll be following a curriculum... okay, so I'm already tweaking the first lesson but then I'll follow the book... maybe?

I was prepping and listing out the materials I would need for the first class' experiments.  After figuring out the items I would need to gather or the program would need to buy I got a wonderful surprise.  Last year they had invested in the Home Science Tools box for Physical Science. I've seen them online through the years but they were too pricey for me.  I would just fumble through our Science courses gathering as we went.  That has worked out fine, actually, it just took some extra planning and letting go of some activities when I couldn't get the materials.  However... Now that I've seen how helpful it is $35 seems fair.

It was so nice to have the copper wire, 9-V battery, etc that I need for Thursday right there waiting for me in the box :).

This is the link when I did a search on their site for "Montessori Kit":

I have never used this type of coupon, but in case anyone can use them:

Here is a blurb about them at HSLDA

[Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with Home School Tools, have not been given any sample to review, and will not get any compensation from Home School Tools.  I am sharing something that I am finding useful.  Any affiliate links to Amazon may possibly generate a small commission with no extra cost to you.]

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The End of the Trail? A New Beginning...

What's Schoolin'?

Nothing.  That's the strange part.  My schooling of my oldest is over.  Done.  Finished.  I'm not hauling out all of my materials for her.  I'm not conferencing with her about her goals for this upcoming year, how we'll meet graduation expectations, or what curriculum she wants to use for Math.  I'm not thinking about her learning style and what will be a good match pedagogically.  I don't have stacks of school supplies for her.  They are all boxed up and... gone... with her... to college.

Yes, there's a void.  I homeschool.  It's what I do.  It's my life.  My children's schooling is my life because our lives are our schooling.  Make sense?  It does to me :).  Especially with a Montessori slant on schooling the line is sometimes blurred between life and schooling.  And, thanks to being the overthinker that I am, I can think about school at all times when I'm jazzed or planning units.  I am not thinking about her schooling.  It's weird!

And yet it is a new beginning.  I am excited for her as she faces new experiences.  I'm thrilled that she cares what I think and calls to share or touch base.  Now that she's a 'college student' my role has shifted.  From guiding and leading to guiding and supporting/encouraging.  From informer to listener.  From Mom and Friend to Mom and Friend.  Wait - that hasn't changed!  Our relationship will continue to grow and flourish as we delve into the world of young adult and beyond.

I feel soooo blessed to have her for my daughter.  To like and enjoy one's child is a joy beyond description.  Missing her is a pain I cherish because it underscores the love and enjoyment between us.

It is also a new beginning for my other children.  The dynamics of a family shift when one is absent.  They miss her as well and are not a part of each others' daily lives any more.  I also feel soooo blessed to have them for my daughters.  It warms my heart to see how much each sibling loves the others - and how they like each other!

I have another senior this upcoming year.  We'll treasure and cherish each others' company as we put closure to this stage in her life as well.

[SIGH]  Okay... so now it's time to get refocused and actually start planning for the other 2!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Easy, Easy, Easy Fermented Flavored Lemonade

What's Cookin'?

This is embarrassingly easy, but I'll post it anyway :).  We don't drink juice very often but after playing tennis in the summer heat this drink is both refreshing for the kids AND probiotic.  It also has less sugar than it would without the lacto-fermentation because the good guys feed off of the sugar in the original drink.  Organic Santa Cruz lemonades have been on sale lately, so that's what we've been using.

Step 1: Strain plain yogurt with live bacteria to get whey to use in the lacto-fermentation process.  I get a single serving size of yogurt and it only takes a few hours.  Save the collected yogurt - you've made cream cheese!  We like to salt it and spread it on crackers.

Step 2: Pour the strained whey into the bottle of lemonade.  Shake.  Let it sit overnight.  Refrigerate.

Step 3:  Enjoy!

In our normal lives I use this recipe using fresh squeezed lemon juice, filtered water, Unrefined cane sugar (rapadura, turbinado, etc), and whey.  Right now we are not living at home so this is a simple, easy alternative.  Also great for someone starting out with lactofermentation!

Another Note:
If possible, I recommend using an organic yogurt or one stating that it doesn't have any rbST hormone in it.  Also, whole fat doesn't have the unlisted thickeners that low- and non-fat versions do.  That said, sometimes I stare at the yogurt aisle trying to pick the lesser of bad choices! I miss our homemade yogurt :).

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday.

The above are affiliate links that help with a tiny commission for no extra cost.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Practical Life: Eye Pillows ~ Sinus Pillows

What's Cookin'?

We had homemade hamburgers tonight and we were oohing and ahhing through dinner.  I just don't make them very often.  In fact, I cheated and got grass fed/finished premade Kolbe patties.  I thought it was a lot to spend for one meal (2 big patties that we split between 4 of us) but it was less than 1/2 than it would've cost at the cheapest hamburger drive-thru - including sprouted hamburger buns.  Even though we split each patty good meat seems to fill us up more so we need less... So don't get discouraged! :)

What's DIY-in'?

Today we made 6 different eye and sinus pillows.  After reading and watching many tutorials I ended up just making my own measurements that fit within the fat quarters that I had. Each fat quarter is enough to make 2 pillows and 2 matching covers or 4 pillows.

Versions that we made:
- Lavender eye pillow [millet, lavender buds, lavender essential oil][another one using flax seed instead of millet]
- Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint (the "allergy bomb") sinus pillow [one with millet and one with flax seed]
- A blend with eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender and other essential oils for sinus relief. [one with millet and one with flax seed]

Instructions for 1 eye or sinus pillow:

Cut 2 pieces of fabric (I used cotton and the scent came out very well when it was finished)

For a finished pillow 3-1/2 x 8-1/2, cut 2 pieces 4 x 9.

- Pin with right sides together.  Pin 3 sides leaving a short side open.  Sew using a 1/4 inch seam.

- Turn right-side out.

- Scoop 1 C filler into a bowl and mix in the oils thoroughly (I used millet for some pillows and flax seed for others but I used the same amount).  Pour into the pillow. If it is too full then it won't be pliable enough to fall across the eyes properly.

- Add 2 spoonfuls of lavender buds or other botanicals if adding any herbs or other botanicals.

- The general rule of thumb that I followed was 10 drops of essential oil when using a single oil (such as the lavender pillows) or a premade blend.  For the lavender/lemon/peppermint pillow I used 4 lavender drops, 6 lemon drops, and 6 peppermint drops.

- Tuck in the edge from the open side and pin closed.  I sewed over this edge twice; one seam at 1/4 inch and another at 1/8 inch.


As DD was mixing and filling she exclaimed, "My ears just popped!"  She gets seasonal allergies and had been stuffy and yucky.  It helped her clear up right away! :)

Plastic absorbs so we used ceramic bowls and stainless steel spoons.  We had to use a plastic funnel but, I guess because the oil didn't sit in it, it didn't seem to absorb any of the essential oils.

For some reason, when I smell lavender I feel like I am immediately detoxing.  I had to drink 3 full glasses of water while filling and sewing up the lavender pillow!

After the first batch I just stuck with organic millet for subsequent batches.  The millet seems to absorb the oils better.  However, I had a customer come to the table who was actually allergic to millet, so the flax I had was a great alternative for her.

I eventually made some plain millet ones as well.  One can drop the essential oils along the outside.  I do this with the small pillow diffusers and it works fine.


I plan on using a peppermint one for my next migraine and see how effective it is for the really bad headaches!
PS:  Here is our facebook page:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Deal Alert: Primal Pit Paste Blowout Sale

What's Savin'?

Primal Pit Paste is having a moving sale from 8/10/14 - 8/17/14. 

I like their Whipped Body Butter (which is seasonal).  My kids like the stick deodorants.  I wish they had the stronger one with more baking soda in a stick for traveling but maybe it'll come soon.  In the meanwhile, they are having a great sale.

Use the code  BIGBLOWOUT at check out for an additional 25% off, even if the product is already on sale.

Here is the website:

Happy shopping :)

I am not affiliated with Primal Pit Paste - I'm just sharing a good deal for a product I like to use.  However, if you miss the sale, here are some links that are affiliate links.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Horse Play

What's Funnin'?

This is just too cute to not post. I can easily imagine it around here with the temps hovering around 100F!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Restless Leg Syndrome?

I was reading an article about RLS in the Natural Grocers monthly magazine.  I got rid of my RLS by simply switching to Real Salt and by using it liberally.  Whenever my legs start to feel weird (if you have RLS you know what I mean) I put some Real Salt in water and take it as a supplement.  Really. 

Magnesium is also a well-known help for RLS.  However, I've noticed that when I take too much magnesium my RLS gets worse.  Maybe for me it's a more delicate balance of trace minerals and such.  I feel that way with ConcenTrace too but it works wonders for other people.  So, even though I use ConcenTrace sparingly, we definitely use it as a family with good results.

Anyway, what really surprised me was the iron mentioned in the article.  These are the recommendations they mentioned:

- Iron
- Folate
- Magnesium

Read the whole article here and, no, I am NOT affiliated with them at all.  I'm just sharing info that I hope might be helpful to someone.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Imaginary Island (Montessori - or any hands-on learning environment!)

What's Schoolin'?

The last time I posted about this was in 2010.  I love this simple material so much and it's been such a favorite with my children that I thought I would refresh and repost about it.  My youngest STILL likes it at age 12 - or at least until we boxed it up last November while she was still 11 (Hopefully it will be out of storage soon).

These are pictures of imaginary islands that they made with the cards.  Sometimes she draws her creations in her Geography notebook.  An additional extension would be for her to label those drawings.  You could even have land/water form cards with your Imaginary Island cards to lay out over their creations.


Scroll down for Stefanie's gorgeous imaginary island.

Mine are just printed in black and white on cardstock and I colored them in.  I should have used marker to color them but I won't redo this material - they don't know any different and like them just fine.
Here is a picture of our land and water form trays.  I use to have bigger ones with lacquered sculptey clay that was painted.  Honestly, I like these little ones better.  They fit in our Land and Water Forms basket with multiple works and since youngest was already 8 when I switched, the size is fine.  Plus, if they want to smoosh the clay and redo them they are not too big.  I took this to put in dd's culture notebook after she poured water in them.  We use to keep blue water in a bottle for this work but not any more.  She makes colored water whenever she needs/wants it:

More island resources:

It would be a great time to do a study of Hawaii, including St. Damian.


Island Literature for Olders:

This post has some affiliate links through which I may earn a tiny commission with no extra cost to you if you shop through them on your way to Amazon.  Please remember to preview recommended books before handing them to your kids :).