Inspired Thanksgiving Giveaway

We are so thankful to all of our readers and the support they have given our blog this year.  So, when Tabitha Philen of Inspired Blogger Network asked us to be a part of for Inspired Thanksgiving Giveaway we jumped at the chance. What a wonderful to show our readers how very thankful we are for their support!

During this season of Thanksgiving, the Inspired Bloggers Network is full of gratitude for our readers. Without the faithful support of those who follow us on our blogs and social media, we would be unable to do what we love. So, thank you!

giveaway image

During this season of Thanksgiving, the Inspired Bloggers Network is full of gratitude for our readers. Without the faithful support of those who follow us on our blogs and social media, we would be unable to do what we love. So, thank you!

Inspired Thanksgiving Giveaway Bundle #1

1 – Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round French (Dutch) Oven, Cherry

1 – $100 Walmart Gift Card

To enter both giveaways, please complete the Rafflecopter information below and then click on over to enter for a chance to win Bundle #2: KitchenAid Stand Mixer and $100 Walmart Gift Card.


Here’s how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!!

Disclosure: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Must be 18 or older to enter. US only. Giveaway is open from October 19, 2014 through November 2, 2014 11:59 PM PST. Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond or forfeit the prize to another winner. Prizes will be shipped directly from the vendor to the winner no later than one week after the winner’s verification.


Meet more Giveaway Sponsors:

Happy and Blessed Home

My BJs Wholesale

The Stay-at-Home Survival Guide

The Tween and Me

Frugal Living Mom

Motherhood on a Dime

The Potter’s Hand Academy

Bottle Soup

Raising Real Men

The Gracious Wife

Meet Penny

Frugal Homeschool Family

Layered Soul

Sunshine Whispers

The It Mom



Falling for Fall


Falling for


This months books and activities were centered around our families favorite season Fall.  Our children have gotten older but a good leaf pile jump in is still one of their favorite past times.  Both of our children have books that they are reading on their own time but we still enjoy getting together for our afternoon reading time. And the past three Falls we have read the My Side of Mountain Triology.


My Side of the Mountain written by Newberry Award-Winner Jean Craighead George is one of our favorites. This is an amazing book, full of convincing, captivating detail and characters you can’t help but fall in love with. Author Jean Craighead George based some of the story on her own childhood travels she spent camping with her entomologist/ecologist father, and her falconer brothers. The main character Sam Gribly is resourceful and his spirit to survive is inspiring.

My Side of the Mountain presents an idea of wilderness that might be a little to adventurous for us mom’s. But for kids reading it on their own, this book can ignite a host of interests, in areas ecology, animal husbandry, birding,survival skills(one of Logan’s favorites) etc. Our children spent hours trudging through the woods pretending they were living in the Catskills and til this day they still ask if we found a place they could learn Falconry.  We all gave this book 5 Stars!!!


Now, that we have shared our book it is now time to share a few of our favorite Fall activities:


1. The Corn Maze and hay-rides at the Shelby Corn Maze.  Look for one in your area; they usually have events for all ages!


2. Annual Scarecrow Contest in Rutherfordton, NC here is this years entry; if you don’t have a contest in your town this makes for a wonderful Fall decoration for your front entry/yard.





3. Collecting Fall leaves is another super way to spend they day. We are blessed to have a ton of colorful leaves drop right in our front yard. But a leaf collecting field trip is another wonderful way to spend a Fall day. A great exercise after you collect all your leaves is to sort them, categorize each leaf giving its proper name( you may want to use a leaf book for help; lastly total all of your leaves. This teaches children the basics of science, botany as well as math.


4. One of my favorite traditions is picking our families pumpkins(of course we each need one of our own) and bringing it home to carve. I just love roasting the pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin Seed Roasting Recipe:

Clean all of your seeds, make sure to remove all the slimy stuff.

Let the seeds dry should take about an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees

In a large bowl combine pumpkin seeds, teaspoon of salt(more if you would like), a pinch or two of garlic powder and 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter.

Stir making to sure that each of seeds is covered

Place your seeds on a large cooking not allowing them to overlap

Roast for approximately 45 minutes( I keep an eye on them for last five because they can burn up fast)


5. Finally, we watch The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown; while eating our roasted pumpkin seeds.


What are your favorite Fall books or activities? We would love for you to share below



adventure book club



Checkout my co-hosts post from September:

Kersandra from Our Adventure Story

Christa from Little Log Cottage School

Christina from Classroom to Homeroom

Jennifer from Faith & Good Works

The Knit Lessons..Still Time to Sign-Up


The KNIT Lessons are a LIVE knitting experience for you & your children.

First, step into the world of wool & fibre through hands-on activities &
fun projects.

Then move into the first stages of knitting, reading patterns & creating
your OWN farm or fairyland playscape – customized to suit your children &
their interests! Every step is clearly demonstrated in videos & easy to
read instructions.

Along the way, you’ll have a chance to explore some of the hidden benefits
& good things that knitting can bring to your life.

This course is OPEN to anyone who would like to add some warmth &
creativity to their lives – never-knit-before-knitters, novice- knitters &
those who’ve knit a bit (or more)! Everyone is welcome!

This E-course is for the novice and the experienced knitter. Super holiday giftstoo!

Sign-up here

Science of a Nature Walk

This something I plan to do with my 5-7 year old  kids that attend our co-op but you can do this with any size or aged children.



Nature Walk Field Trip


What You Will Need:

brown paper bag

large piece of paper(for documenting find)




Tell the children that today you will  be on  going on a nature walk to look at the environment outside. Give each of the children a brown paper bag for collecting specimens. Explain that a specimen is a sample or piece of something that you find fascinating and you want to know more about. Tell the children they can fill their bags or only place a few items in for further exploration.  When you go outside be sure to ask the children about the weather and what they notice, take a minute to ask a few weather related questions: What color is the sky? Is the sun shinning? Are there any clouds?  If there are clouds can we make out shapes?  Now, is also a good time to also ask if them to observe the area around them. Do they see any people? Are there plants around? Do they see any animals? What can they smell?

Once back inside ask the children to take out their large piece of paper and place in on the table in front of them.( if you do not have a table large enough the floor is always a great option)  Have them make a headers to label all the items they found. Draw lines down from each header to make columns, then make a spot on the bottom to tally all the items they found for each column.  How many of each item do you have?  Ask one child at a time to empty the contents of his bag onto the floor. Pick up one item at a time and either have the children tell you what it is or you may tell them. This item would be written in the first column on paper; write down what the item is (ex: feather).  Now, that each child has an understanding of how to label their items have each place each object in a column and label it. Ask the other children does anyone have the same object?  Have them place their same objects on another piece of paper and label it.  Get in a large circle and discuss what you have found.

Ask some questions about the items they found:

What objects have we found?

How of us collected the same item?

Is it a plant?

Is it from an animal?

What do we know about this object?

Do we have anything like this in our yard?

Have seen this object anywhere else?


The aim to teach children the first step in science “observe”; it also a great introduction to documenting and categorizing objects.



Last weeks Favorites

We just love trains and Dawnita’s post on Steam Engines and Locomotives was fascinating.

Suzy Homeschooler shared a simple experiment of how to create a Time Vortex with a Jar.

Edventures with Kids shared a fun activity on how to create an optical illusion.


Make sure to visit all of my co-hosts below.

geek link post








My esteemed co-hosts

Meagan from More Than A Coupon Queen

Dawnita from Fogelman Forerunner

Jess from Benoit Academy

Jodi from NY Homeschool

Adelien from Blessed Learners

Marie-Claire from Quick Start Homeschoo


Homeschool Adjustments: 10 AHA Moments

Lately, our homeschool days have looked more like a battle ground then a peaceful learning environment.  I even questioned whether or not I was up to the task of homeschooling anymore? I was hoping  to find some homeschool blogs writing about days like this but all of their days looked magical!  I felt defeated; I blog about homeschooling and my days looked nothing like what I was discovering on the web. How could I share about our homeschooling journey when most days I wanted to run out the door?  Don’t get me wrong I truly applaud these women who can keep their kids in line and get hours of homeschooling done but where were the mom’s who struggled like me? I have to admit I never found them on the web but I did find them in my own community and it was a relief!

Even after I found a clan of homeschool challenged mom’s; I still felt the desire to turn and run when our school day started.  The push back was getting stronger, my resiliency was weakening with every passing day and our relationships were tattered. I needed to find a resolution quickly! Then I remembered something I heard at one of Barbara Dewey’s teacher training sessions;” look at the child in front of you.”  At the on set of this revelation I was not sure what to do with it or even how to begin. So, I decided to keep a journal; I began to pay attention at play time, watch their interaction with friends and intently listen to our daily conversations.  After a few weeks I concluded that our children were articulating their own interests beautifully ; I just had stopped listening.  I got so caught up in the image of what I wanted, what others expected; I stopped listening to our children.

After journaling for a weeks I decided to deconstruct of our school day; keeping what worked and tossing what didn’t. During this time we all had AHA moments; like when Logan said..” Man I love to write when it’s something I am interested in.” Or when Sophia picked up a chapter book written by her favorite author and read it in two days; jumping up afterwards and shouting” I love reading”!

I had several AHA Moments:

1. I  was no longer going to be beholden to one set style or curriculum.

2. When the push back starts we need to step away and let it go.

3. Observation is invaluable.

4. One size does not fit all.

5. Experiences matter most!!!!!!! (this one is  a game changer) Thanks Alison:)

6. I need to throw out my measuring stick.

7. Accepting I do not have all the answers.

8. Children love learning they just need the freedom to learn.

9. Let go of your image of what should be and allow it to unfold organically.

10. Be present.

Our path is still unfolding and we may never have a defined route but I am no longer running to the front door on a daily basis.

Constantly Evolving.






Saturday Shout-Outs… Fall Recipe Edition

saturday shout out


This weeks favorites” Fall Recipe Edition”


My NEW favorite snack Pumpkin Spice Granola.


Need a quick breakfast? Try a Orange Dream Smoothie.


Fun with Pumpkin Recipes.


Falling for Quinoa!


More Pumpkin recipes & Crafts.


For those Chilly Days.


Share some of your favorite Fall Recipes below: