Monday, June 29, 2015

Natural Playgrounds

Yesterday we went to a Natural Playground. It is a new playground at Centennial Park designed by Bienenstock. Designed for ages 18 months up to 12 years, it is a fun place to explore. Children can be children and be safe as they explore a rock cave, climb on trees, slide down slides, balance on ropes, walk on stumps and create music with drums.

Because the playground was new, it was very busy. It was fun to visit a natural playground and enjoy all the features throughout play. If you have a natural playground in your local area, your children will be sure to love it as well.

M was having fun making music with the drums.

B was loving it. His favorite part was the slides and he also loved exploring everywhere.

Time spent together is when memories are created. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Outdoor Art

Today I wanted to share with you some projects from around the web to help you enjoy art outside this summer. It's always fun to be a creative, adventurous and a little messy. So pull out the supplies and enjoy making art. 

Outside Art Projects

Exploring sunography, making sun prints is a fun educational summer activity with striking results
Sun Prints at In The Playroom

A great way to spend quality time outside (or in) with the little makers in our lives...
Mandala Art at Playful Learning

Spray Chalk- what a fun way for kids to make art this Summer!  Making the chalk takes seconds, and it easily washes off of the sidewalk and other outdoor surfaces. 
Spray Chalk at Growing a Jeweled Rose

Use a slide or easel to pour paint and create art with kids.
Slide Painting at Mess For Less

5 Fun Ways to Paint in the Rain
Rain Painting at Housing a Forest

Painting with real mud.  How to make mud paint in bold colors, such a cool sensory art project for spring!
Mud Paint at Learn Play Imagine

Messy Art at Clementine

Land Art for Kids: How To Do Land Art
How to do Land Art at Land Art For Kids

anna tennis ball painting 1
Tennis Ball Painting by Anna Reyner

Bubble Art by Ziploc

Sidewalk Art by Ziploc

Paint with frozen paint on a super hot day! Fun and creative way to beat the heat!
Paint with Frozen Ice Cubes at Hands On As We Grow

Big Art: Painting with your Feet! from Fun at Home with Kids
Painting With Feet at Fun At Home With Kids

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Chicken Tips

During the summer months it is important to follow a few extra tips to keep your chickens healthy.

1. Make sure your chickens have fresh cold water morning, afternoon and evening. During very hot days, it is good to check their water throughout the day.

2, It is good to add Vitamin Mineral Supplements to their water once every two weeks to boost your chickens immune system to help keep them healthy. This will help prevent diseases and your chickens getting sick.

3. Keep their chickens pens cleaned out twice a week. Use dry shavings or hay on the floor.

4. Now that your chickens are one month old, they can eat chicken grower. 

5. When your chickens are about 2 months old, you can let them go outside in a clean area. Watch for predators. It is good to have a fenced in area with chicken wire partially buried in the ground to keep animals out. It is also good to have a net or wire across the top to keep birds out.

6. Your chickens will need their feed dishes filled twice a day, morning and evening.

Keep your chickens healthy all summer long.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ocean Photos

We live close to the Atlantic Ocean. It's about a 10 minute drive. Today, we took a drive by the coastline. I snapped some photos to share. We are blessed to enjoy God's nature each and every day.

Revelation 4:11 - Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. KJV

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ways To Make a Boring Piece of Paper Extra Fun

For many people today will seem like the first day of summer vacation. Many schools were finished on Friday and because today would normally be a school day, it feels like the beginning of summer vacation.

My boys are still to small and today just doesn't seem like summer to me. It has been raining all day yesterday and today. The rest of the week is looking like rain as well. How is that for summer vacation? No fun at all.

Today, I dug out the big, brown roll of paper that has been sitting in our porch. I taped it to the playroom wall. B was excited and ran to grab the dish of crayons. We all colored together drawing lots of pictures and B was practicing his shapes with me.

I had a big package of foam ball stickers and I got some of those out and they had fun sticking the stickers on. Well, B stuck them on the paper and M peeled them off. But it kept them occupied for about 30 minutes this morning. Anything that keeps my boys busy for 30 minutes is worth doing occasionally. And usually it is the easiest projects that they enjoy best.

Let me tell you, writing on the wall is definitely much more fun then writing on a piece of paper sitting at the table. You can give a piece of paper some extra life by making unique art easels when you take it to special places. Or use a boring piece of paper and bring it to life in other unique creative ways.
Our Wall Easel Today

10 More Ways to Make A Boring Piece of Paper Fun

1. Paper Airplanes at Creative With Kids.

How to Make the Best Paper Airplane

2. Animal Puppets at Mr Printables.

Farm Animal Finger Puppets - Mr Printables

3. Pop up Book Instructions at We Are Teachers.

my life pop up book

4. Cool wall art at Little Helsinki.

5. Paper balls at Paper Matrix.

6. Paper Stars at Minieco.

 Paper stars // MiniEco

7. Paper Poinsettia at Krokotak.

DIY Paper poinsettia

8. Paper Bags at Our Daily Ideas.


9. Paper Hearts at How About Orange

10. Prayer Chain at Christianity Cove.

paper prayer chain2

Saturday, June 20, 2015

How to Make Water Sensory Play Extra Fun

This morning was a hot day, perfect for water play.

We have a old washtub in our shed and I brought it out for playtime. B loved pouring the water out and splashing himself. He enjoyed pouring the water over his head. It was hot so it didn't take long to dry off. 

M enjoyed playing with the water. He used a shovel and pail in the water. As long as he didn't get wet he had fun. He does not like getting covered in water.

How To Make Water Sensory Play Extra Fun

- Add Ice
As an added bonus freeze surprises in the ice and watch them melt as you play.

- Color Water With Food Coloring
Perfect for learning about colors.

-Go Fishing 
Use a stick with a string and magnet for a rod and cut fish from foam and attach paper clips.

-Use Bathtub Toys
Bring out the ducks and create your own duck pond.

-Play with Funnels 
Make your own funnels by cutting off the top of a pop bottle.

-Add Soap for a Car Wash Station
Kids love to wash their cars in this soapy sensory fun station.

Enjoy Getting Wet!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Meal Themes

One of the reason people do not do like budgeting is because they do not want to eat the same foods every day. But you don't have too.

I love to cook new and creative dishes in the kitchen. So that we don't get tired of eating the same foods all the time, we follow a themed meal plan. I use all the food we buy creatively and we don't waste any food so that we are able to eat a variety of meals on our budget.

If I cook a chicken on Monday, I will plan on having Curry Chicken, Enchiladas or Homemade Soup later in the week.
If we have a beef roast, I will plan on having Beef Stroganoff, or Korean Beef that week.
If you have plenty of Ground Beef or Pork, make Homemade Sausage, Meatloaf, Shepherd's Pie, Burgers or Meatballs.

Use what you have and don't throw away any food. If you have leftover potatoes, use them in a Shepherd's Pie or Seven Layer Dinner or freeze them for stuffing. Any leftover veggies can be added to casseroles or soups.

Our Themed Meal Plan

Sunday- Breakfast
Monday- Meat & Potatoes
Tuesday- Slow Cooker or Casserole
Wednesday- Pasta or Rice
Thursday- Our Favorites
Friday- Barbeque
Saturday- Quick & Easy or Leftovers

One way to plan for those evenings when you are short on time is to make an extra meal for the freezer. Sometimes I will make two lasagnas and freeze one and I just have to cook it when we are busy. This will keep you from ordering in or eating out on busy days, therefore saving you money.

What are some ways that you are creative in the kitchen? How do you keep your meal plan fun? Do you give your family a variety of meals?

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Picnic At The Gardens

Exploring The Gardens

Today we took the kids to the Elizabethan Gardens after church for a picnic and to have fun. We enjoyed walking and looking at the beautiful gardens. There is fish in a pond that B loves to look at.

We managed to get a lot of nice photos throughout the afternoon. They have lots of trails that wind through the woods, gardens, around a waterfall, by the river and through a gazebo so there is lots to explore.

These are some of my favorite pics of the day. B loved exploring and was enjoying seeing the fish and walking through the gardens.

M was having a blast. He loved walking around through the gardens. He didn't want to stand still to get his picture taken but they are still cute anyways.

J was loving being outside and walking around. He was loving being on the grass although he was trying to eat the grass.

Throughout the day we made so many memories and I love to capture them in photos for us to look back at. This was definitely a great afternoon spent together. We are enjoying the making memories through each new adventure.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Chicken 'Ghetti

 This chicken 'ghetti casserole is a delicious twist to traditional spaghetti. If you have a stockpile of pasta and sauce sitting in your pantry but are sick of eating spaghetti, grab a few extra ingredients and whip up this casserole that everyone will be sure to love. You can also prepare ahead and freeze . When you are short on preparation time, just grab this casserole from your freezer and put in the oven for a quick supper.

Tip: If using a glass dish and cooking from frozen, do not preheat oven. The difference in temperature can cause glass to shatter.

Cut two boneless skinless chicken breast up in small cubes. Brown in frying pan with cooking oil. Add onion and garlic. Sprinkle parsley over chicken.

Layer casserole. First spread pasta sauce over bottom. Add cooked spaghetti. Spread chicken mixture evenly over top. Pour pasta sauce over top until covered. Sprinkle cheese over top.

Cover with aluminium foil. Cook for 30 minutes in preheated oven. Remove foil, cook until cheese is slightly browned about 10 minutes.

Enjoy! We had it for supper, 2 adults and 2 children ,and we still had enough left for lunch the next day.

Chicken 'Ghetti Casserole Recipe

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
1/2 Box Spaghetti Noodles, Cooked
1/4 cup Onion
1 tsp Chopped Garlic, about 2 Cloves
1 bottle Pasta Sauce
1 cup Cheese
1 tsp Cooking Oil

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Cut chicken into small cubes. Brown in frying pan with cooking oil.

3. Add onion and garlic to chicken. Cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with Parsley.

4. Using a 9x13 pan, coat the bottom with a thin layer of pasta sauce.

5. Layer your casserole. First spread spaghetti evenly over sauce. Then add chicken mixture. Pour remaining sauce over top covering chicken. Sprinkle with cheese.

6. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes on top rack.

7. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes until cheese is lightly browned.

8. Serves 6-8 people. Enjoy your delicious chicken 'ghetti!