Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekly Review - Field Trips, Games and Candy Corn...

**Be sure to enter the giveaway I have going on now. It's open until Sunday!**

I'm linking up this week with Homegrown Learners, Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and Our 4 Kiddos.

Well this week was fun :). It has been more hands on learning than book learning this week. And that's okay! We have done some book stuff like wrapping up units with our tests. It gives us a good place to start next week.

This week we had field trips, game building and co-op/park day too. The co-op day is today so that's a great way to end our week.

We tried out some candy corn science this week. I got the really cute printable below from this awesome site. She had some great experiments with that crazy candy. Do you like candy corn? I know my husband doesn't but I can do a little of it. Seems it's one of those things that either you love it or you hate it. So which is it for you?

We carved pumpkins this week too. Sadly, we have to wait till right before Halloween to do this here in the South. If you do it too early  you end up with a rotten pumpkin before Halloween even gets here. Here's our carvings. Boo Bear was super excited because this was his first year to carve it all by himself.

As you can see I'm not near as creative as my hubby. He does these things free hand and I am just blown away every year. His pumpkins are always awesome. I think Boo Bear also did awesome on his pumpkin. I was very impressed.

Our field trip this week was to a local pumpkin patch/corn maze. We had a blast! It wasn't too hot but it was still quite warm in the sun. We got to ride a hayride and feed the cows. Or throw the cow candy at them as some of the kids did. Those big giant faces and long slimy tongues coming at you can be quite scary. :)

We went through the corn maze, rode a huge slide, heard stories and got to have a great time out in the outdoors with our amazing homeschool group.

Finally, I got creative. Remember last week I mentioned needing a mom hobby? Something I could just kind of hide away and do and enjoy? Well I think I might have found one.

Last week I broke out the sewing machine and made a purse. I had a blast and I made another one this week. I'm hoping I can keep practicing and make gifts for Christmas. That would be awesome right? So here it is...

Oh and I think I  mentioned games in the title, right? Yep. Well I volunteered to head up the Trunk or Treat for our church this year. It's tomorrow. They haven't done one like this before so we have no idea how many kids will show up. When I say I volunteered, I mean I also volunteered my husband to do his building thing. Because you know he loves building right? And he's awesome at it! Here's a few of the games he built for the event.

It's sure to be a blast!!! (hopefully) So I gotta run make more games and get ready for co-op day. How was your week? Let me know in the comments below so I can come visit you too!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thankful Thursday - Countdown to 1000 Gifts

** Be sure to enter my giveaway going on right now**

Since I missed last week we will count two weeks this week ;).

21. My amazing homeschool group. This is a great group of homeschool families to surround yourself with and amazing friendships are being formed.

22. Pumpkin spice coffee.

23. Feeling better after cutting gluten out again. I know I should keep it that way but sometimes get sidetracked. Paleo is the way for me to go!

24. A great field trip day in the corn maze.

25. Cool fall mornings.

26. Quiet time in the morning.

27. Fall festivals

28. Learning I might have a crafty side buried in me somewhere.

29. Finishing a project I started

30. Laughing till I can't breathe with my family

31. Hearing my son read.

32. Trying new restaurants that were a hit with the whole family

33. Spending time doing nothing

34. Going to the movies with my boys

35. Laundry. Yes laundry. That means we have clothes to wear and I have the equipment to keep them clean

36. Dishes in my sink. Sometimes they may overload me but it means we have food on our table.

37. Fun times with my kiddo

38. Feeding the cows on our field trip

39. My job. Never had I ever thought I'd be writing for a living. God has amazingly blessed me more than I could ever imagine. I'm so thankful for the gift of staying home and working and homeschooling.

40. The end of the homeschool week. :) Some weeks you're just glad it's Friday. One more day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Silicone Cupcake Molds Review

I love to cook, bake and experiment with new kitchen tools. I've seen the new silicone molds for muffin pans and the cupcake liners but never tried them. Until now. And I'm hooked!!!

 Recently I had the opportunity to try out the California Kitchenware silicone cupcake molds. They come 12 to a pack and run about $8.00. To me, they are totally worth it!!!

These vibrant little cupcake molds are awesome and easy to work with.

 They are food grade non-stick silicone and you do not have to use the muffin pan. You can bake these babies right on a cookie sheet and they still keep their shape. I used my muffin pan just simply because it was the one I grabbed out of the cabinet.

They are safe for the dishwasher, hand washing, freezer, microwave and up to a 500 degree oven. You can use these for so many wonderful ideas like muffins, cupcakes, meatloaf muffins and egg muffins for breakfast.

Simply choose your favorite "muffin" recipe and get to baking.

I was a little concerned because I have been told "non-stick" before and still had to spray it to keep it from sticking. These were not that case. When they say non-stick, they mean non-stick. The muffin popped out very easily and in one piece. 

Not much left in the cupcake mold at all...

And one of the best parts? Clean up was a snap! I hand washed mine simply because I was already washing and was curious as to how easy it was. They came clean with no problems and I've used them several times again. 

I highly recommend you checking this product out and seeing what great creations you can come up with. You can purchase them on Amazon and see other great reviews there as well. 

Have you used silicone molds before? 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Majestic By Kim Collingsworth Review and Giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, it helps to support my family and this blog. Thank you for stopping by and check out my full disclosure policy here.**

I love music. It flows through my veins, really. From the time I can remember, I have always been around music. Singing with my family or learning to play the piano. To say that music is a part of my household is almost an understatement.

Recently I got the chance to listen to some beautiful music with the Family Christian review opportunity of Kim Collingsworth's new CD, Majestic.

You might recognize Kim from the regular appearances on the Gaither Homecoming Tour and the Gaither Video Series. Those are some of my favorite series to watch as they sing so many of the older songs I grew up on. 

This CD contains a beautiful collection of instrumental praise songs, love songs and even a few Christmas and Patriotic songs thrown in the mix. This is a live recording and it is exciting and fun to listen to. 

It is refreshing to hear her and her family take notice of what her concert goers have said over the years and she strives to meet all of their suggestions, requests and recommendations in this new album. You can hear songs such as :

  • How Majestic is Thy Name
  • Once Upon a Dream
  • God Bless America
  • Carol of the Bells (one of my all time faves!) 
  • God Bless America 
  • And many more!
She has won many awards for her instrumental music and that includes the Instrumentalist of the Year.

Guest appearances on the album include Stan Whitmire, Tim Parton and her entire family. 

This CD is definitely one that is fun to listen to while you are working, relaxing at home or, if you're like me, you just want music playing in the background. It is fun listening to the stories she shares and how excited the audience is. It almost feels like you're right there in the audience with them. 

I suggest you check this CD out if you love to listen to music and instrumentals are your favorite. 

Family Christian Bookstore  has so graciously given me the opportunity to give a copy of this CD to you! How awesome! So be sure to enter the giveaway below and tell your friends about it too! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekly Review - The One With Great Weather and A Homemade Car...

It's finally Friday! Wahoo! Is it just me or has this week been kind of long? It's been a crazy wild up and down week but that's okay. ;-) God has taught me some lessons this week that maybe I'll share in another post. But for now, I'm going to share what awesomeness we did in school and out of school this week.

We worked on our multiplication tables again. We are still committing those to memory and working hard to figure them out. He has the concept and is catching on great. I never thought he was really a flash card kind of kid, but he is. He loves to do those so that is helping him to learn the tables.

He likes to get up and walk around while we are quizzing on these. I love that he can do that. Try that in a public school and you get in trouble for being disruptive ;). Here it's just his way of his mind working with his body.

We are reading aloud the first in the Shark Wars series. He's loving it and I'm kind of getting into it as well. We have book two waiting on us here from the library so we need to finish this one up and move on to the next one. What are you guys currently reading?

He had his last day of this months science class yesterday. He loved this one! It was Simple Machines and yesterday he came home with a car they made. It was constructed out of lids from bottles, straws, cereal box and a balloon. You blow up the balloon, put the car down and it goes on it's own. It's pretty neat!

Next month is weather so I'm excited to see what they will be doing.

We had some amazingly wonderful weather this week. It's been in the 50's when we get up and quite windy in the afternoon so it's still nice to hang out. So that's what we did. We busted out the sidewalk chalk.

He is becoming quite a good little artist. He soooo takes that after daddy. Not me in any way, shape, form or fashion.

We walked the trail at the park where his science class was. They have some really neat looking sculptures.

We hit the swings. I love to swing. Always have and I'm still waiting for my swing my hubby's going to build me here at the house. It's so relaxing and refreshing. 

We sat pondering our thoughts. Ok, maybe he was just sitting that way because I said hey! Let me take your picture on that bench :). It can't always be spontaneous, right?

And I brought out my sewing machine. I realized last weekend how much I'm in need of a hobby of some sort. I mean seriously. I don't have an outlet to put my spare time into or to relax with. I read but don't always have a good book around. I haven't really gotten into scrapbooking but the ladies at my church are encouraging me to. I need something that I can do to burn off stress, steam and just enjoy myself with. So I'm considering sewing projects. My mom is a quilter so this excites her to no end ;-) So we shall see. For now I'm sewing up these cute little bean bags for the trunk or treat I'm heading up at my church. 

Do you have a Mom hobby you can let yourself go with? What do you like to do for relaxation and destressifying (not sure if that's a word but it is today.)?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Gravity Maze Game Review

Photo Credit : Purchase on Amazon
ThinkFun is amazing! I have shared some of our reviews of other ThinkFun products including the Shell Game and the Chocolate Fix.  Now enter the awesome Gravity Maze game by ThinkFun.

This is another fun and exciting product that is great for expanding your mind. If you like mazes and challenges, this is the game for you.

The game is all about getting the marble to run through the maze you constructed and getting it to the target tower. You can do this with the 60 different challenges they provide in the game, or you can construct your own as well.

My son absolutely loved this and played for the longest time when it arrived. He was having a blast building the mazes and seeing if his engineering and construction would produce his desired results. He is definitely a maze and building project lover so this was right up his alley.

The game comes with different towers of different colors and sizes, the game board and the challenge cards. You also receive the marbles to see if you got the challenge correct.

This game is rated for ages 8 and up. You can purchase this on Amazon for less than $30.00. I think this works great for family game night to see who can meet or beat the progressively harder challenges.

ThinkFun is all about having a great time while challenging your mind. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the games we have tried from them and this one is no different. So far this has been my son's favorite. If you have a child, or you yourself, that likes to build with LEGO's or loves to face challenges, this is the game for them. It would make a great gift for the upcoming holiday season as well!!!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pancake Sausage Mini Muffins With Homemade Sausage

You know those days when it gets to 4:30 in the afternoon and you start searching and searching for recipe inspiration? Yesterday was one of those days. I thought all day about what do I want to fix for dinner. I really get frustrated when I just can't think of anything I want. I want something that sounds awesome on Pinterest but alas, the ingredients require a trip to the store. And I don't wanna go. So... that's how this meal got created last night ;).

I was browsing Pinterest yesterday and saw the post for the Mini Pancake/Sausage muffins. I thought hey, that would be easy and something yummy. Guess what I didn't have in the freezer... Sausage. I had ground beef but no sausage. So that led me to more searching online and I found a sausage recipe at All Recipes and decided I'd try my hand at making sausage. So that's what I did ;). I took my favorite pancake recipe you can find by clicking here, and made my own sausage to go with it. So here ya go!

Homemade Sausage
1 Lb Ground Beef
1 TBS Brown Sugar
2 tsp Dried Sage
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Onion Powder
(optional) 1/8 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Mix the spices together in a bowl. Combine with the ground beef and mix together well. I used my hands so that the spices could really work into the meat. Some recipes I saw said to let this sit together overnight to allow the spices to mingle. I did not have that kind of time so I threw it in the skillet. I browned it and then added it to the pancake batter. I placed it in my muffin tin and cooked it for 13-15 minutes at 350. They turned out awesomely!!

I served them with syrup either on top or you could simply dip them. I also made scrambled eggs with some of the leftover sausage I had. 

As another side item, I tried out the cool hash brown recipe I saw here. These bad boys were awesome as well and I impressed my hubby ;). 

This simple meal can be for a larger brunch or try it out for your breakfast for dinner days. You simply use whatever pancake mix is your favorite. 

Do you make your own sausage? I'd love to hear your recipes too!

I'm linking up today with:

A Peek Into My Paradise
Hip Homeschool Moms