Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer is Here!!

We have been having the most amazing summer and we are only officially a few days in! :) Our house has been a flurry of family visiting and lots of site seeing!! I hope to share about them but don't know where to start!:) So for now, I'll just share a few shots from the parade we were in and share with you about the sale I have going on in my shop!

Stop by my shop and pick out your favorite! Puppets make great travel toys!! Perfect for summer travel! :)

We are so excited about Prairie Days parade this weekend so I'm giving you all a 15% discount!! Just enter "Prairiedays" coupon code!! :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Penguins, Books and Summer

For most people summer is just getting started, or about to anyways... and you might find yourself thinking "What now?" The kids are out of school, the temperatures are climbing and you can only hang out at the pool for so long! Sound familiar? Well, let me tell you about a few programs going this summer to keep you entertained and keep those kiddos reading!!

PBS and Scholastic have teamed up with IVillage to bring you a summer reading program right to your inbox! Get daily emails with book ideas and projects to keep your kids reading and happy this summer! I just signed up too and can't wait to get more ideas, as if I don't have a list long enough of my own! lol

For those of you that haven't heard yet, there are also reading incentive programs going on at Borders and Barnes and Noble! Have your kids read, fill out a form and get free books! Who doesn't love free books?! :)

Last night we started reading Mr. Poppers Penguins in preparations for this summers newest movie coming out!! And yet again we had to check out 365 Penguins from the library... why I haven't just ordered it is beyond me! lol We read it back in February and they are still in love with it! If you haven't read it, you really should. And if you need ideas of things to do with it just check out what we made! And of course I felt inspired to create a new puppet for the shop!


While I love to read, I also love a good movie... however, I have this thing about books being made into movies... they are never as good!! So... I kinda have this rule that if a movie was first a book, we have to read the book first! I think it's important for kids to experience the story in its entirety so we are reading this one in a hurry to be ready for the movie coming out! Only three chapters in, I can tell you that its a really easy read and will go by quite fast! While I can tell from the commercials that the story has been altered big time, it still looks like it will be great and come on, who doesn't love Jim Carey? Just in time for Father's Day....

Are you stumped on what book to read? Check out the Book Finder from PBS! OR just ask me... if you dare... I could go on and on and on about books!

5 Question Friday

Why not head over to My Little Life and join in on 5 Question Friday! :)

 1. How close to your childhood dreams is your life now?
Pretty darned close actually! By the age of 30, I wanted to be married, with three  or four kids and own a house. We have been married for almost 9 years now, have two kids (I make up for the rest with furry children!) and have owned two houses! I remember in the 4th grade having to write about what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I said I wanted to be a mom, a teacher, a writer and a hair dresser.... So far I have been all of them in one way or another. I'd like to pursue the writing more but hey! I still have time right? :)

2. What is one must have item for the summer?
Hmm...that's a tough one.... I could be responsible and say sun screen.... or practical and say flipflops.... but I think I am going to have to go with....crafts! Oh sure, I could say that about any season, knitting in the fall and winter, sewing in the spring.... but there is just something about tyedye t-shirts or stepping stones that just screams summer don't you think!? I always have so many ideas that we never even dent my list of things to do but maybe this summer will be different huh? :) We already have a date set with friends to tye dye, and then wooden 4th of July crafts are already bought and just waiting for a good day to paint outside!

3. Do you have your kids stay up on school stuff during summer vacation? (Or, if you don't have kiddos, did your parents make you keep up on school stuff during summer?)

Considering we are homeschoolers, it's really hard to just shut off learning, but that's how I wish it was for everyone! We are always learning and making the most of what we can to make everything a learning experience!! Learning doesn't mean sitting down doing worksheets (in my opinion) and neither should school! :) So, my answer would be yes and no... Yes we continue learning and usually have an on going topic that we learn about in the summer (this summer it's volcanoes and some astronomy!) but no... we don't have the same workload so to speak as we would the rest of the year.

4. Do you can or freeze fresh produce?

Since I am new to the idea of homesteading I have a lot to learn in this area. So far I have mostly frozen veggie and fruit. Actually right now, I have a tray of blue berries tray freezing in the freezer and an entire shelf of blackberries that I froze last fall! :) But I am slowly learning about canning. I made jam in the fall... both freezer jam and the kind you seal in jars. And I've made canned dilly beans too! I'm hoping that I will be doing more canning in the fall... cross your fingers for my garden...

5. Do you get ready for the day first thing in the morning?

I can if I have to... lol  But considering I've been up for 3 hours and I'm still in my pjs I would have to say no! :)

I hope you've have a great week and will have an even better Friday and weekend!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The tiniest wonder

"It's in my shoe!"

"Mom come look!"

"It's SOO tiny!"

I love that my girls take notice of even the littlest things... this little creature would go unnoticed by most but was treasured by two tonight...well... ok... three! God's tiniest details just amaze me.... Country living is good for the soul!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Flip-flop exchange

It's that time of year again!!! Even where we live it's FINALLY getting to be flip flop weather!! Yeah!!! To kick off the season, check out the flip flop exchange going on over at The Texas Darlings! I did this exchange last year and it was so fun actually getting mail that was for me and wasn't a bill!! lol  I've been looking foward to this for months and it's finally here! Will you be joining too?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

10 Tips for keeping your family safe on the road

If you've been reading my blog for very long at all you know that our life tends to lead us on lots of road trips! Whether it's going to see family, checking out the sites around us or moving to a new location, there are so many reasons to travel and so many more things to remember to keep your family safe on the road!

As we start this month off, I am getting ready for family to visit and thinking of the sights we want to share with them and the things we'll have to do to get ready for it! Our house is about to become a revolving door of visitors and I couldn't be happier!! On the other hand, I don't want to spend all my time worrying about the details so I'll try to keep it simple...

After years of traveling, I just have kind of a mental to-do list that I go by and fill in the blanks as we go or the trips demand something different...

1. Traveling in general can be tiring, and I know for ourselves we tend to push it to get to where we are going. However... for safety sake we know when enough is enough. Stopping a bit earlier than planned can sometimes be a lifesaver (literally) and who knows, maybe you'll make an unplanned memory.

2. When traveling with little ones you never know what you are going to need. I always have a box of travel toys with lots of quality toys to keep their attention. Although I must say, as cute as all the travel games and books are... the most used things in that box are always the blank notebooks (you can buy them dirt cheap right after school starts!) and glow sticks.... Glow sticks have a dual purpose too.... I always have a good stash of them with us both for entertaining little ones after dark and for "just incase"

3. Now, maybe it's just all those trips in Alaska coming back to me, or maybe I am a bit over prepared than I need to be, but I think all road trips should have a list of those special "what if" items. Each child has a blanket and we always have any extra blanket in addition to that behind the seat. I always remember my mother in law saying how much it meant to her that someone had a blanket to cover my husband up when he was in an accident.... a simple blanket can mean so much.  Also, a candle, some kind of food (in addition to snacks), a flare, flashlights, tow chain and matches. See, I told you I over think things...
Our friends learned the hard way not to always listen to your GPS! lol

4. Another safety for the family is usually dealing with pets. Now, I don't know how much you've had to travel with them but I have had my fair share of time in a truck with howling cats, puking dogs and a stressed out rabbit! lol For the safety of your pets and those around you, it pays to be prepared....make sure you have enough of their food especially if they are on something special due to medical reasons. I can remember coming down the Alcan with an extra 100lbs of specialty dog food so that we were sure we'd have enough to get them thru till we could get them switched to something else locally. Another thing to think of is water.... changes in water can effect the health of your animals and lets face it, bringing a few bottles of water from home is much easier than dealing with the nastiness of a dog with an upset tummy!! Animals are family too and should be considered when planning for a trip! You never know how they are going to react either so I suggest having leashes for all of them just to be sure!!! And lastly, spay and micro chip your pets!!! If you have them, please love them and take care of them!

5. Before your trip even starts, be sure to do a once over of your vehicle! After years of traveling with my dad and now traveling with my hubby I know how much better our trips have been because of the time and care they put into our vehicles. Check not only your tire pressure but your tire tread too and ALWAYS have a spare!!!(Tire plugs and travel air compressor/jumper box would be great too!) Get your oil changed, check all the fluids, change out wiper blades and be sure your lights are all working.

We added the aircompressor  and tire plugs to our travel list after ending up with
 three flat tires at one time!!
Adveturing in Alaska is NEVER boring! lol

6. Ensure that all heavy items like tool boxes are secured so that in the event of an accident (Heaven forbid) they won't fly about in the vehicle creating more injury than you can imagine....

7. A small detail that could easily be over looked and oh so simply to do would be making sure your registration and insurance are in a central location. It's not enough to THINK they are in your glove compartment.... it's more important to check and know! :)

8. Have a preplanned course, tell someone what it is so someone is expecting you if you are stopping overnight and call ahead for reservations!!! Don't just assume you'll find something along the way! WE know this from experience and ended up driving for miles and miles and miles to find one that was out of the range of conventions in town!! lol

9. For those bound to happen moments in life.... Toilet paper and paper towels!! Enough said...

10. And last but not least, actually one of the most important in my opinion.... MAKE YOUR CAR A CELL PHONE FREE ZONE!!!! There is NOTHING important enough to be texting and driving about and if you need to answer that phone, please pull over!!!

Traveling can be such an amazing memory maker for families and I hope that each of you are able to take even a day thrip this summer with the ones you love... my last words of advice? Don't be so set on your course that you forget to stop and smell the roses! Some of the best stops are the ones that aren't planned! :)

As if my list wasn't enough for you, Safelite has a few things for you to remember too...

  • Think you can ignore a chip in your windshield? Think again! The windshield provides up to 30% of your vehicles structural integrity, and a chip smaller than 6 inches (or the size of a dollar bill) can easily be repaired by filling it with a special resin.

  • The repair often takes just 30 minutes, and the result is barely visible and the windshield is strong again.

  • With many insurance companies, there is no deductible for the repair.

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