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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Fall Pleasures

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Guess Which One is Organic

Monday, November 7, 2011

Raw-velation

          I jumped back on the 28 Day Transition to Raw program this Halloween. I haven't been following the program exactly this time around, which, as a lifetime member of the community (love that!), I do not think is necessary.  I have a good idea of the recipes that I like and that work for me, and I can pick and choose what to make depending on what is in my fridge or what's fresh at the store. I am excited to see the extras we will get this time around with Thanksgiving falling into the mix. It's so nice having the forums and ongoing support of the friends I have made there.

        Last night I made a modified Raw Zucchinigetti, to which I added some raw olives. I think I need to start making larger portions... I love that Miss H gobbles up a lot of the raw dishes I make and often turns her nose up at cooked vegetables. When we had lunch at the co-op the other day, Miss K scarfed up a veggie pad thai (and picked out the veggies) while Miss H was happy as a clam with the raw cole slaw and "potato" salad that she picked out from Blossom Raw Food Cuisine

Raw Zucchinigetti with olives
        Today I started out with a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a maté latte (okay, not completely raw with the addition of some hazelnut mylk). For lunch I ate half a watermelon. It's definitely the end of the season for melons, but there might still be a few pretty good ones at our Kroger. I'm going to miss these melon mono meals in the winter!
I'm going to miss this lunch in the winter
         On another note, it's been really interesting to see the drama and controversy happening in the raw food world. I stumbled on some videos about other raw food 'programs' on YouTube a few days ago, and I've been watching a lot about 80-10-10 (80% carb, 10% protein, 10% fat), essentially a high carb, low fat raw vegan diet that involves eating a LOT of fruit and apparently little else. At first I thought it sounded pretty crazy to eat 30 bananas a day, but the more I listen, the more I start to see a lot of validity to getting most of one's calories from pure, fresh fruit. At this point, however, I am not yet inclined to make a smoothie out of a kilogram (2.2lbs) of dates and water.
         Of course, I am just scratching the surface and so I might be missing something, but as with most things, I think there needs to be a balance. From my own experience, eating fresh, raw, whole foods is a lot better (and easier) than relying on dense "gourmet" raw meals that consist primarily of nuts and seeds. Well, I'm not finished with this topic yet, but I suppose I have rambled on enough for one day... :)

I'll just leave you with a photo of tonight's dinner.
Raw "stir fry"

Go Raw Cookie & Chip Review

I'm back on the Garden Diet this month, and I finally made it into Roanoke to pick up some groceries and supplies from our Natural Foods Co-op. I knew they had been doing some remodeling and rearranging (looking good, guys!), but it looks like they have also expanded their raw food selection. I noticed these organic raw cookies and crisps from Go Raw that I had not seen before, and had to try them. I've learned that, when it comes to eating raw foods, my weakest point is when I am hungry and don't feel like doing a lot of food prep; that's when I'm most likely to grab a piece of bread or some cookies or whatever prepared snack item I find in the pantry. These seemed like such a great healthy snack-y item to have on hand for those "emergencies". I was tempted by the Ginger Snaps and Carrot Cake flavors,  but finally settled on the Lemon Super Cookies and the Spirulina Super Chips.

Oh. My. Goodness. These crunchy tidbits are so simple, yet so tasty. Perfectly sweet. At a generous average of 20 pieces per serving (160 calories for those of you who care about that sort of thing), they are very satisfying! There are 3 servings in each 3 oz. bag. The online price is $5.49/bag (or 12 bags for $51.49), and I got them for  $4.79 at our co-op. I cannot wait to try the other flavors! Masala Chai, anyone?
This picture does not do these cookies justice ...

The main ingredients of the cookies include organic coconut, sesame seeds, and dates. All seeds are sprouted prior to being dehydrated to maximize nutrition and digestibility. Go Raw products are all organic, vegan, certified gluten free, nut free and kosher. They are low in sodium and rich in potassium, omega-3 and -6.
Freeland Foods is a family owned company based in California. The Go Raw line includes the Super Chips/ Super Cookies, granola bars, flax crackers, sprouted seeds, granola, and even chocolate bars. (I will note here that a few of their products do contain raw agave nectar and cacao, for those of you avoiding those ingredients.)

Watch this video to learn more about Freeland Foods and how they make their raw food products:




Shop online at www.GoRaw.com
and check them out on Facebook!



This review was not endorsed in any way by Freeland Foods; I purchased the product with my own money and did not receive any compensation for my review. I wrote this review simply because I think the company and their products rock! 

T-t-turtle

I can't believe how quickly we are going through the units! We already into week 7. Miss K is excited to get another vowel as we start "Us (senses)" today! 
Our words to remember for the T-t-turtle unit were: "I don't quit; I persevere". We got to talk about this a lot when we were cleaning up the living room one day and it seemed to take forever. Afterward, we discussed Galatians 6:9 and how, because we persevered, we go to reap the harvest of enjoying a nice clean room. Someone on the My Father's World discussion group shared this Kids of Integrity website, which has character-building lessons for kids that feature Bible-based discussions plus crafts, games, and object lessons from science, nature. I pulled several stories from there to add to our discussion as well and will definitely be pulling more helps from there in the future! I love how much I am learning through all this, too!
Miss K working on her picture cards
Sea turtle craft
The finished turtles (before the dog ate them)
It seemed like we were running around a lot this past week! I had to take the car into town for some maintenance on Thursday, so we brought school with us to keep us busy while we waited. One of the guys working there asked us, "Are you sure you don't want  a ride to the mall or something?" I guess they offer a shuttle service for their clients...

Does it look like we need the mall for entertainment? :)


(Some of) the books we used this week:
Turtles & Snails by Jeunesse Gallimard
Where the Big Fish Are by Jonathan London (perseverance)
One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies

Saturday, November 5, 2011

N-n-nest

I've gotten a little behind in blogging about school. I've again been feeling a little overwhelmed with everything (even after dropping one of my own classes!) and could use a break from everything but My Father's World. The weeks pass so quickly and I have been a little unprepared in the way of library trips and getting the books for our book basket. When I do get the books ahead of time, Miss K begs me to read them even though we're not ready to start the next unit :) As usual, here are some photos of what we were up to 
Animal homes chart
Tactile letter activity (Miss K pretended she was building a nest)
My mom found this nest when she was visiting this spring.

A color, cut & paste page we found online
I'm not sure what site that printable was on, but I discovered some great customizable worksheets like this one at Twisty Noodle:

While not entirely related to nests, we had a nice surprise in the beginning of our N-n-nest week when this pretty little Vireo flew into the house! I think it may have sensed that I wasn't going to eat it, and it was quite content to sit on my finger (although it did not like the flash from the camera).




Books we used:

Our Nest  by Reeve Lindbergh 
Flap Your Wings by  P.D. Eastman
My 'n' Book by Jane Belk Moncure
Home for a Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown 
Bird Nests by Helen Frost





Friday, November 4, 2011

Kashi TLC Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Granola Bars Review



I grew up eating Kashi products, and have enjoyed watching the company evolve over the years; they've come a long way from the Breakfast Pilaf they were making 25 years ago! As a Moms Meet blogger, I was recently selected to sample Kashi TLC Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Granola Bars with my mom's group. 








In all honesty, I found the chocolate layer a little... gummy. I'd prefer it darker and fudgier. They were a big hit with the kids, though, especially in the beginning! Each Kashi ®TLC ® Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Granola Bar has 7 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, so they're great for stashing in the glove compartment for when the kids start getting cranky during car rides. My mom's group loved them, too, and they gave them high marks all around. These bars are not vegan, so I personally will not be purchasing them in the future. 

I also received a box of Ripe Strawberry Cereal Bars, which contain 3 grams of fiber and 11g of whole grains in each serving. The kids and I were not as fond of these... I think the Kashi bars are all okay, but I really prefer their cereals.

In addition to the granola bars, I also received a box of  Kashi ® Cinnamon Harvest ® Cereal.  bite-sized organic whole-wheat biscuits (think Shredded Wheat), lightly sweetened and baked with real organic cinnamon. 
Each serving supplies over 20 percent of your daily fiber requirements and over 2/3 of your daily recommended whole grain intake. This cereal is so good!! I was pleasantly surprised to read the ingredient list, too. I knew that Kashi’s products are natural, minimally processed, and free of highly refined sugars, artificial additives, and unnatural preservatives, so of course, I didn't expect to find anything awful in there, but I also wasn't expecting a total of FOUR ingredients!  Awesome! I can't wait to try the other flavors!


Kashi ® TLC ® Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Granola Bars retail for $3.89. Find them at most major grocery stores nationwide. 
Find Kashi online at Kashi.com and on their Facebook page. By the way, Kashi has a really great interactive website with tons of information about their products and ways to connect!






Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.



Monday, October 17, 2011

A-a-apple!

Apple picking!
Taste test
We went to pick apples at a local orchard a couple of times. The first time was actually before the a-a-apple unit (and my camera died after snapping these two pictures). We went through those apples pretty quickly, and decided to go a second time a couple of days ago since we happened to be in the area again. The girls were not fond of all the fruit flies and the vinegary smell from decomposing apples, but they did enjoy sampling the apples from different trees. We made some apple fruit leather, but mostly have just snacked on them as is. Miss K is very interested in making baked apples, but that is still on our to-do list. 

Apple prints!
We pulled out the Funny Brushes for this one.
Fruits of the Spirit
Another apple tree craft
More Cuisenaire rod fun...
I didn't get many action shots this week since, as mentioned, I kept picking up my camera only to find that the batteries were dead. Not pictured: learning about fractions (cutting apples in halves & quarters), physics (do apples float? & bobbing for apples). It's interesting watching Miss K work with the Cuisenaire rods and see her make connections between the different sizes and colors.

Book list:

3 in 1: A Picture of God Joanne Marxhausen

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Frame the Alphabet DEAL!


I've had my eye on these beautiful alphabet frames for some time now. I'm excited to share this deal for a custom piece from Frame the Alphabet for 55% off (PLUS, you get a gift certificate for $75 off your next purchase)! At this rate, you can buy one as a Christmas gift, and then treat yourself to something pretty. You deserve it! :) HURRY, because the deal ends on Friday, October 14!!



Get up to an 11 letter framed art piece for only $60 (retails for $134.99)! PLUS, when you purchase this deal you will also receive an exclusive FREE $75 gift certificate for a future purchase at Frame the Alphabet. This deal is a major steal, so get it before it's gone!


Frame the Alphabet is a modern way to personalize a name or inspirational word using letters of the alphabet. Each letter is represented in a unique way from a different perspective. You will receive a gift certificate (emailed to you from Frame the Alphabet at the conclusion of the deal) that allows you to customize your own framed art by choosing from one-of-a-kind photographs of up to 11 letters taken all over the country in their natural surroundings. You will design your work of art by going to http://www.framethealphabet.com/ once you receive your coupon from the shop owner. Also, you will have various shipping options to choose from and must pay shipping rates directly on the Frame the Alphabet site. Upon delivery of your frame, you will also receive the FREE $75 gift certificate to use on your next purchase. Create a unique, personalized gift that is sure to be cherished for years to come.


Frame Dimensions: 39.5 inches in length x 15.5 inches in height x 1 inch in depth
Each shipped frame includes a $75 gift certificate for future purchase
Can upgrade at checkout on http://www.framethealphabet.com/ to a deluxe frame for an additional $20

*Deal ends on Friday, October 14th at 11:59pm MST
*Deal open to US & Canada orders only
*Expect to receive your gift certificate/code for this $60 deal via email approximately 48 hours from the conclusion of this deal



Wordless Wednesday: Dress Up

Monday, September 26, 2011

M-m-moon!

We finished our M-m-moon unit today. We had a lot of fun with this one! I did get one "Not ANOTHER moon book!?" from Miss K (and we didn't even get to read all the books in our book basket!). We got a little ahead of ourselves and went apple picking. Lots of pictures this week!
Playing Memory with the ABC Game Cards
(I really wish I had laminated these!)
Miss K working on the letter "M"
in the Cuisinaire Rods Alphabet Book
Exploring moon phases with Newman-O's
(They had to name the moon phase before eating it)

We decided to map out the distance between the Earth, moon and sun. Fortunately we got a long enough break from the rain to do this! We made a 4'4" sun out of construction paper, a 1/2" earth, and a 1/8" moon. We placed the earth and moon 14" apart and then took the project to the street. I think I may have gotten more out of this project than Miss K did; it was really interesting to contemplate the sizes and distances involved. We took our earth and moon up the road and measured out 461 feet. This was not really an exact science, but by the time we got to the sun's location, we had gotten pretty good at working together to measure out the 20 foot increments.
Our sun, earth and moon

Starting point!

...and 461 feet later...
The girls' favorite discovery was that the sun made a good kite....

"The earth and moon go around the sun, around the sun, around the sun!"

I later asked Miss K what she thought about the project and how it made her feel. She told me that when we are on the earth she feels big, but when we are in outer space, she feels very tiny.
We read a couple books about space travel (Floating in Space (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) and Man on the Moon). Miss K, of course, wanted to know when we could go to outer space. David made some "space suits" for the girls out of an extra sleeping pad. They had a great time playing "Outer Space Penguins to the Moon"...
We learned about the moons of the other planets in our solar system and put some glow-in-the-dark planets up on our bedroom wall:
Doing this reminded me of the hospital scene in Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium where the nurse asks Eric what he is doing standing on the chair, and Eric replies, "I am making sure he has enough space!" (Great movie, by the way, for anyone who hasn't seen it!)

For book day we read Happy Birthday, Moon and then painted a scene from the book. Here is Miss K working on hers:
Work in progress!
And her finished masterpiece! I really like how it turned out!
Miss K's finished painting
I couldn't resist.. I made one, too:
Mommy's masterpiece
And finally, we explored how the craters on the moon are formed:



It would have been nice to use plaster for this, but we just used flour. 


M-m-moon reading list:

Man on the Moon by Anastasio Suen
Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch
Mooncake by Frank Asch
Sun, Moon, and Stars by Mary Hoffman & Jane Ray
I See Myself by Vicki Cobb (discussion about how light reflects & simple experiments)

Moons by Anne Weisbacher

and of course... 
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

By the way, Goodnight Moon Story Adventures is a cute addition to this unit. I downloaded it from Currclick for $0.50. It includes study on the letter M and number 2 (and the concept of pairs), dictation, copywork, narration and nature study.