Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hill's Science Diet Cat food: review



My cat is picky. Yep, it's true! I have to use the same kind of litter. She loves the same food. Over and over and over it's the same. The problem is I want to feed her better. Cats are carnivores. They don't need carbohydrates and grains. That's where Hill's Science Diet Ideal Balance comes in. Short of feeding you cat raw meat (or releasing a live mouse every day for it to catch and eat! YUCK!) Hill's Science Diet Ideal Balance is the next best thing.
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My cat's new bag of food!

I always, always look for a cat food that has real meat as the first ingredient. If you check, most have corn as the first ingredient. It's a filler and cats don't need it. Fresh chicken is the first ingredient. I think my cat is salivating already! It is free of corn and artifical flavors and preservatives. I have the Ideal Balance grain free and I like it! More importantly my cat loves it! I have been slowly introducing it to her (I don't want tummy troubles!) and she seems to actually be picking out the Hill's Science diet and leaving her old food!

Hill's Science Deit uses quality, natural ingredients and has everything my cat needs. You can even compare your current food (cat or dog) to Hill's Science diet by clicking HERE. You can also download a form for a free bag rebate by clicking on that same link and scrolling down. It wouldn't hurt to try it for free!!

And now, you know you want to see a picture of my cat! Here she is in all her glory!
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My cat Willow




Disclaimer: I was given a free bag of Hill's Science Diet Ideal Balance: Grain Free from bzzagent.com. All opinions are my own!





Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Homeschool Gym class!

So, when it comes to homeschooling I think Physical Education is the easiest for my boys. Especially when their best buddies come over to play. (who are also homeschooled and there are 5 of them as well. Only one is a girl) Anyway, here was one afternoon at my house that was full of activity!

First up was a little soccer:
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T showing his skills

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great stop, B!

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Kick it. GOAL!!

Then a little bit of basketball:
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N showing his basketball dribbling.

Followed by some baseball! (Yes, this was all in one afternoon!)
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T with his new bat

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Hit a homerun, B!

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Good catch, N!

And lest your child not like sports, you can always have a light saber battle!
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MyMy in a fierce light saber battle with his best buddy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Make your own Monday: kabobs!

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the raw kabob


When the weather was so amazingly nice and warm last week, I wanted to grill out. The Rev agreed. We decided on some shish kabobs. So we go to our local store that makes them and they were $7.99 a piece!!!!! YIKES!!! Way too expensive when I can make them myself for much cheaper.

We already have metal skewers that we got from his dad. I'm not sure how much they cost, but they are reuseable and you would eventually get the money back in the money that you saved! Anyway, I found a small T-bone steak that was on sale for $3. I then found a cheaper cut of steak (I don't remember the exact kind) but it was about $3 for a bigger cut. I then bought a bag of peppers on sale for $2.99 and mushrooms for $1.50. I already had onions. So that's about $10.50 total.

PhotobucketNext, I went home and cut up my meat into approximately 1 inch chunks. I threw it into a bag with some marinade. (You can use whatever you want here. A1, barbecue sauce, italian dressing. I used a homemade teriyaki)

Then I chunked up my peppers and onions and threw those into a bag with the mushrooms for marinating as well. I let them sit for a few hours until it was dinner. Then I simple layered them on the skewers. (pictured above).

Then you wrap them in foil and grill them! I think it took ours about 20 minutes. These are also good for chicken as well. And you can use whatever kind of veggies you like.




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marnating the veggies

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Wrap in foil and grill those babies!
 So I made 7 for $10.50. If I would've bought 7 I would've paid close to $40!!! (insert shocked face here) I actually had a little bit of meat and quite a bit of veggies left over that I made into stir fry the next day! So that made two meals for that price! I hope you all enjoy!

I'm linked up at:

Building Family Ties with Faith, Love and Laughter: book review

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Recently I was given the chance to review the book Building Family Ties with Faith, Love and Laughter by Dave Stone. I loved this book. It was all about connecting to your family in  many ways. (spiritually, emotionally, etc) This book covered many different topics like Contentment,  Security, Loyalty, Gratitude, Spontaneity, Communication, and more. And in each chapter he gave practical advice and suggestions that were actually doable! He often gave ways that you could easily integrate into your own life easily.
The tone of the book was conversational and there was humor with personal stories weaved throughout.

With most books of this type, I have a hard time finishing the book. This one I actually enjoyed reading and finished the whole thing. I have it on my kindle and I actually want to buy the print book so I can go back through and bookmark and highlight suggestions that I really liked! I definitely recommend this book!

I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley.com for review. I was not required to give a review and all thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thankful Thursday!

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It's time for another addition of Thankful Thursday!

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1. I am thankful for chocolate. Especially Hershey's chocolate.

2. I am thankful for good health. It seemed like we had been sick for quite some time and I am so glad we are healthy!

3. I am thankful that God is always there. Even when I can't feel Him I can trust His Word that He is indeed there.

4. I am thankful that I can homeschool the boys. It's had it's up and down moments but I am glad that God clearly spoke to me and has enabled me to keep the boys home!
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B and N doing school work.


5. I am thankful for my mom. She is amazing. She is one of my best friends. She would do anything for me and my boys and I am extremely grateful for her.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

God Loves Broken People; book review

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I saw the title of this book and new it was for me! God Loves Broken People by Sheila Walsh. I have also heard Sheila Walsh speak at Women of Faith and loved her there as well so I wanted to give this book a try. This book had me from the begining. I know I am a broken person. Sheila just has this way of writing that seems so personal and easy to read. I was hooked from the first catchphrase, "I'm not waving, I'm drowning!" She is gentle in her speaking and writing but clearly states God's truths. She weaves in stories of Biblical characters, others, and herself that help you to clearly see that God does love the broken. He wants to draw them in and hold them close.

I also love how she gently pushes you to run straight to the arms of God when you are in a mess! On page 60 she talks about how she and her husband have told their son numerous times, "The bigger the mess, the faster you run to us!" What an amazing message!

Overall, if you are a broken person, and who isn't in some way, this book is a good reminder. In those moments sometimes it's hard to see, but God truly loves broken people.

Disclaimer: I was given this book for free to review from the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review and all opnions are my own.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Keep it a secret!

Matthew 6:3-4

New International Version (NIV)

3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

So, today I was reminded of this verse when I caught my little T doing something good. I was at the sink doing up the lunch dishes when I heard T say, "What?!? This is a mess!" He was talking about the dog food and someones poptart crumbs. (Well, they were more than crumbs! It was practically a whole crushed up pop tart on the floor.) He then proceeded to go and get the little broom and dust pan. I was so proud that he'd do this all on his own without even asking!

As he walked over to the mess he said, "This is ridiculous!" I guess what we say and do really does rub off on our children! I thought, "I have to get a picture of this!" I was so proud. I was trying to be all sneaky when he caught me with the camera. He started running toward the trash saying, "NO!!!!!!" He didn't want me to take a picture of him helping. I told him that I was so proud and I wanted to show everyone how proud I was of him helping without asking. He said no way. It then reminded me of the verse above. How much better to do something in secret without everyone knowing! I know my T has earned a little more reward in heaven for his selfless act.

So many times people want to be noticed and that isn't always wrong. Sometimes it's better to do things behind the scenes where only God notices. And He's all that matters!

I did get a little bit of T in the pic and it is below.


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Don't take my picture!!

I'm linked up at:
A-Wise-Woman-Builds-Her-Home Mothers of Boys

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Who needs toys when you have walnuts?

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MyMy making a house for his walnuts.




Yep, my boys have come up with some creative things to play with including duct tape and grass. Today they spent two hours playing with walnuts they found in the yard. It started with one and I said why don't you search for more. They each found a handful and started making "houses" for them. Then they gave them a bath in  my sink with soap and water. I'm glad they are so creative! And we don't have walnut trees so I am sure a squirrel has brought them around!



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Nolan's walnut house.

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Playing with walnuts!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Puffmobile!

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Puffmobile number 1!
Well, this week in science we've been learning about ways that we can use nature to power things. So we found this activity making "puffmobiles" which are wind powered vehicles.
What you need:
tape
3 straws (non bending or just cut off the bend part. That's what we did)
1 piece of paper
4 life savers
2 paperclips (if needed. We didn't use them)
scissors

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Everything you need!
So, all you do next is let your child make their puffmobile however they prefer. They can make a sail like a boat, or design it as N did above. Or someother creative way they think would work!

You can see above how N designed his like a cone and using the 2 straw like axels and attaching the lifesavers like wheels. We also used pieces of tape to hold the wheels in place a bit.

Maker sure the lifesavers can spin freely! Next, you need to measure out a distance of six feet or so. Make your starting line and finish line. The last straw is to blow through! You count how many blows it takes.

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underside of puffmobile 1
For our second puffmobile he was allowed to change or add one thing. He decided to take off the wheels and make it like skis.
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puffmobile 2 had "skis"
We then tested this one to see which one worked better! Here are our video results. (to turn off the music, scroll down and on the right there is a black box at the bottom. Hit pause. )


Puffmobile number 1


Puffmobile number 2


This idea was taken from PBS kids Zoom.
I'm linked up at
Hip Homeschool Moms Button

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Cold Creek Reunion: book review

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I have gotten the chance to review A Cold Creek Reunion by RaeAnne Thayne. Well, I'm a sucker for a good clean romance novel and this one was no different! I really loved it. It had been 10 years since Laura Pendelton had broken off her engagement to Taft Bowman after he couldn't deal with his parents murder. (who could, though, really?!) She leaves the country and comes back 10 years later with two cute kids after her husband had died.

Laura is back in town helping her mom renovate and make fresh the local inn. When her mischievous son accidentally starts a fire the fire department shows up. Who is the chief? None other than Taft. This is where they first see each other after 10 years and the sparks start flying right away. Taft knows he can't live without Laura but she is afraid to love him again after being hurt so many years ago. You can't blame a girl! Taft ends up proving his love for her and his kids when he does something that threatens his own life. (you'll have to read the book to see!)

I especially loved that this was a clean novel. You could feel the sparks and the love between them. You could feel the heat. This made me want to read it more! I could not put it down and read it in two days. It was a great and well written romance that I loved!

I recieved this book free through netgalley.com to review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.

Simple Secrets to a Happy Life: book Review

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Recently I was given the chance to read and review Luci Swindoll's Simple Secrets to a Hapy Life. I have seen Luci Swindoll at Women of Faith and I was really excited to get the book because she is a fantastic and funny speaker. This book is supposed to have 50 "secrets" to help you have a happy life. They really aren't secrets and most are common sense! I like that the chapters are short. And they are all personal narratives from Luci that pertain to the particular secret she is on. I really felt this book lacked a little someting. I can't quite put my finger on what it is. I think maybe it needed a bit more depth.

Some of the secrets she has stated in her book are Be on Time for Everything, Let People Know You Care, Organize Your Stuff, Make Something with Your Hands, Treat People with Kindness, Read Your Bible Every Day, Stay Proactive About Your Health, Value the Things You Have, Write Down Important Things, Communicate Often with Loved Ones, Know For Sure You're Insured (Have Insurance), Set the Table for Company, Forgive Over and Over.

This is just a snippet of the 50. And some I don't really think will bring you happiness. At least true happiness! They may make your life easier, which will make you happier at that moment, but lasting happiness doesn't come from writing down important things. Overall it was an ok book. I was a bit disappointed because I really love Luci Swindoll!

I recieved this book for free from booksneeze for review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.

Make Your Own Monday: Dishwasher detergent!

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So, today on make your own it's dishwasher detergent/soap! That stuff is crazy expensive in the store and so I thought I'd try a recipe I found all over pinterest! It's super simple.
Ingredients:
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1 cup lemi shine (the powdered kind)
1/2 cup kosher salt



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Everything you need!
Next, all you need to do is mix them up in a bowl. You could easily half or double or triple the recipe if you wanted too! The washing soda and borax I found in the laundry section. The powdered lemishine I found with the rinse aids in the dishwasher soap section and the kosher salt I found with the spices. My recipe fits into a 32oz yogurt container. You use 1-2 tablespoons per load. If you have hard water make sure you use a rinse aid. You could even use vinegar in your rinse aid so it won't cloud your dishes!
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Also, the lemishine will make it clump a little but it doesn't affect it's usage. Have fun!

I found the recipe on pinterest which took me to THIS website. I simply halved the recipe provided.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thankful Thursday! 3/8/12

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Hey, everyone! It's that time to show thankfulness again!

1. I am thankful for the amazing weather yesterday! It was so warm! I took all the boys outside with no coats (and then they all took off their shoes and socks!) We then proceeded to try and fly a kite that we've had for 4 years. It was still brand new in the bag! It was fun trying but we couldn't get it to stay up longer than a minute. I will be googling kite flying tips later today!

2. I am thankful for friends. I am thankful for my boys friends too! What would we do without them? 
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T in the orange shirt, MyMy in the jersey and some of their best buddies!
3. I am thankful for the sun rising at 6:30. :) I missed being able to run (because I don't run in the dark!) and now I am starting to be able to run in the mornings again!

4. I am thankful for a hubby who works hard so I can stay home. He is enabling me to live my dream of being a stay at home mom. I love you, Rev!

5. I am thankful for my health. Yep, I'm always tired but it's nothing compared to what many, many people have to go through. I can handle being a bit tired every day as long as we're all healthy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Make your own Monday: Homemade laundry detergent!

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Everything you need for homemade laundry detergent!



Well, I've decided to try making my own of a few things and thought I'd share them with you! Most of the things I've been trying are homemade cleaners. First up is the homemade laundry detergent. I've actually already been using this quite awhile and it works great!
Homemade laundry soap
Ingredients:
1 bar Fels Naptha soap (found in laundry section of store) you could also substitute Ivory
1 cup washing soda (not baking soda. Laundry section of store)
1 cup Borax (laundry section of store)
1 32oz container
Directions:
First you need to grate the soap. I tried just sticking it in my food processor in chopped up chunks and that didn't work! Then you simply measure the other two ingredients into a bowl. Mix in the soap and you're done! It's that easy! If you truly want it to be a fine powder you could stick all this in your food processor, but it works fine and mixes together fine for me just like this! Then you add 1-2TBS per load of laundry.

Super easy and it works! If it can get out the stains my boys put on their clothes then it's good for me! I put mine in an old 32oz yogurt container that's labeled. Also, until I moved there was no store that sold washing soda near me. You can have it shipped to you. I never did and so I never made it before we moved. I was so excited a few months ago when they had washing soda!! Up next, homemade dishwasher detergent!

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all mixed up!
Disclaimer: this is not my own recipe. I've seen this all over the internet and decided to check it out for myself!
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Friday, March 2, 2012

From Blah to Awe: Book Review

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Recently, I was given the opportunity to read From Blah to Awe, Shaking up a Boring Faith by Jenna Lucado Bishop. Yep, daughter to one Mac Lucado. This book is geard for older tweens and teens alike who feel kinda, blah, about faith and God. I really like how Jenna uses real words and real stories. Nothing fancy, but plain lingo that any tween or teen can understand. She talks about her own personal testimony as well as others and goes into why sometimes teenagers might get bored with God.

I like how she ties in scriptures to support why God is always there even in the midst of our blah times with Him. (on our part, not on His!) I like how she asks questions and leaves areas for girls to journal their own thoughts. She also challenges girls to look right where they are at the moment and see what God really wants in their lives. Overall, I really liked this book although at times I thought it was a tiny bit dry. Still a great read for tween and teen girls!

Disclaimer: I was given this book through the Book Sneeze review program to review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.