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Real foodies love cookbooks and kitchen gadgets. But don't forget about the little ones. Here are my top picks for little foodie gifts.

My Top Picks for Little Foodie Gifts

Real foodies love cookbooks and kitchen gadgets. But don’t forget about the little ones. Here are my top picks for little foodie gifts.

Real foodies love cookbooks and kitchen gadgets. But don't forget about the little ones. Here are my top picks for little foodie gifts.

If you want your kids to grow up knowing about real food, you have to teach them. What better way than with some Christmas gifts that promote real food and natural health?!

My kids love all things related to food – cooking food, eating food, learning about food and nutrition. So it’s no surprise that my gift list for little foodies isn’t that different than my list for adults. Just a little more age appropriate.

My kids have or want everything on this list. So it really is little foodie approved!

Desiccaated Liver

Now you might think I’ve really lost it. I put liver at the top of my gift list and now on my kids’ gift list! I really truly believe it is that important. Although my kids would not want a jar wrapped up under the tree, they do understand how nutritious it is and request to add it all sorts of foods.

Soon I’ll be sharing my son’s secret taco seasoning recipe – which includes lots of desiccated liver. My youngest likes to put liver on her salads.

While this may not be a stocking stuffer, using liver in your cooking will give your kids the gift of good health. And it doesn’t get much better than that.

You can always get an extra 10% off using my code TAKE10. I already stocked up for the year. Merry Christmas to all my kiddos! Grab yours HERE.

Kids Cook Real Food eCourse

Making nutritious food for your kids is a wonderful gift. The next best thing…teaching them to cook good food! It’s the gift that won’t take up space and will benefit them for a lifetime.

My six year old loves to cook dinner with me. By the time he is college age he’ll practically be a chef. I keep saying he is going to make an amazing husband someday.

My girls beg to help in the kitchen too. That’s why we’ve been doing the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse for two years now! Even as early as age two kids can learn to use knives, proper measuring skills and how to follow a recipe.

This really is a gift for you too. Wouldn’t you love for your kids to be able to get up in the morning and make breakfast? With the KCRF eCourse they will!

Grab a spot today in the Kids Cook Real Food course! This is a great gift for Grandpa and Grandma to get the kids.

Kitchen Tools

If you teach your kids to cook…they’re going to want some kitchen tools. Trust me on this one. My kids LOVE having their own set of measuring spoons and cups, knives and other little gadgets like crinkle cutters.

This can be a great way to encourage a child that is hesitant to help in the kitchen. It also teaches your child responsibility by needing to take care of their own equipment.

Last year my oldest got a set of knives for Christmas. Now every time she helps with chopping she HAS to use her knives. Maybe this year I’ll get a set for my son. Yes, a six-year old can safely use sharp knives! They learn how in the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse.

Chef Coat/Hat/Apron

Of course when your kids start working in the kitchen with their new skills and new tools they will have to look the part. Last winter my oldest and I made super cute aprons for each child. They grab them whenever they help me cook. Or even just to set the table. My son likes to fill the pockets with silverware and pretend he works at a restaurant.

This year I think we might go a step up and get the older kids chef coats (like these)! My daughter wants to be a baker some day. And my son really loves to cook. They will be thrilled to look like a real baker and chef with the proper attire.

Again, it’s one more way to encourage kids to learn about food, nutrition and how to cook. It’s a win for everyone.

Cookbooks

My oldest is an avid reader. She has been since she was a few months old. I could read book after book to her when she was literally three months old. It was crazy.

Now at age nine she still devours books. One of her favorite things to read is a cookbook! It’s actually a great way to teach younger kids to read too. Get one with lots of pictures to help those younger readers (and for those that just love to see good food). Then you can look through it together or they can read on their own.

Choose some recipes to make together. Or for older kids challenge them to try a new recipe on their own for dinner some time!

Here are a few good ones:

Nourishing Meals

The Nourishing Traditions Cookbook For Children

The Nourishing Homestead

Real foodies love cookbooks and kitchen gadgets. But don't forget about the little ones. Here are my top picks for little foodie gifts.

Nutrition Books

I may be getting a bit nerdy here. But this is how important nutrition is to me. I really want my kids to understand why we eat the way we do. I want them to understand how to care for animals, how to grow our own food and how it helps our bodies. Not to mention how we eat is important for taking care of God’s holy temple.

This year for science we chose to study human anatomy and physiology. My kids LOVE it! They beg to do science every day. We just finished learning about the digestive system and are now learning about nutrition. Perfect! This is the curriculum we are using.

I know not everyone homeschools. But that doesn’t mean you can’t study nutrition! Find age appropriate books (or even “study” some cookbooks) and make time to read them often.

We love these books about eating the rainbow that are simple yet show what each color of the rainbow does for our bodies.

We live in a world where food comes in boxes and bags. Which leads to the question...how much do your kids know about their food?

Play Kitchen

Hands down the toy all of my kids play with the most is our play kitchen and food/dishes. We started with just a small bucket of play food when my oldest was about two. It has evolved now into a full bin of dishes and food. They make elaborate feasts and love to play restaurant.

This is the kitchen my youngest just got for her birthday. It is the perfect size for little hands. And all of this pretend play helps develop a love for working with food.

The sets that allow kids to practice cutting are great leads into real kitchen skills!

Mini Trampoline

Little foodies need to focus on health in addition to real food. A mini trampoline (like this one) is a great way to get out energy. But more than that it is wonderful for the lymphatic system. Every bounce or tap helps drain the lymph nodes.

When I did Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis for my girls one of the action items on their plan was to rebound for ten minutes every day! Kids think it’s fun. But it’s more than that. It is so good for them!

Crunchy Balm

Last on my list is another repeat from my real foodie gift list. Crunchy Balm. My son uses it daily when his legs get itchy. I love the quality ingredients (tallow and essential oils) and how well it works.

This year I think I’m getting my oldest some of the Crunchy Organics lip balm. She’s at the age where she is interested in “beauty products.” But there are very few products that I will let her use because I am picky about ingredients. I totally trust this lip balm. It’s on my list too! I ran out of my last one. It’s the only thing that keeps my lips from cracking in the winter.

And for the older crowd Crunchy Organics has deodorant too! Another product that requires careful consideration due to potential harmful ingredients. There are a few different scents so it works well for boys or girls! I think this will be another stocking stuffer for my oldest.

Time to Shop!

It’s so fun to shop for little foodies! I love encouraging my kids to understand where their food comes from and why it’s important. Let’s raise a new generation of good stewards, taking care of God’s creation. Start small with some fun Christmas gifts!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

Penguin Parfait and a Trip to the Zoo!

Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

My kids are true animal lovers. Just one more reason we moved to the country to start our own farm a few months ago!! But it’s not just farm animals. They are fascinated by just about any animal.

Science In Action

This is our first year homeschooling…and we chose to study land animals for science. They really, truly love animals! So when I heard that Stonyfield Yogurt was promoting World Penguin Day and Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE) program I knew we had to see what it was all about.Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

We took a trip to our local zoo (John Ball Zoo) to see the penguins up close. I’ve been going to JBZ ever since I was little. Whenever I visited my grandparents they took us to the zoo, and we each got a balloon. It is one of the best (and only) memories I have of my grandparents (I was very little). But I cherish those memories. And I love that I get to take my own kids to John Ball now!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

As luck would have it when we walked into the zoo they were just about to feed the penguins. So we hurried right over and got to see penguins swimming all over and enjoying fish. My kids thought it was great.

The fun didn’t end there. We spent the rest of the morning exploring tigers, bongos, spider monkeys, goats, chickens, chimpanzees and more. My animal-loving kids could have stayed all day. They really had fun on the new funicular. And, of course, we took a snack break and enjoyed some Stonyfield yogurt!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

Penguin Fun

We can’t wait to go back to the zoo again this summer when we have more time to explore and more animals are active. But leaving the zoo didn’t put an end to our celebration of World Penguin Day.

At home we went on a waddle walk to see just how hard it would be to walk miles and miles like penguins do. The kids were out of breath after waddling across the yard. I don’t know how the penguins do it!

Later that day we watched some videos about penguins and learned about Emperor Penguins by watching Planet Earth. The kids were glued to the tv, fascinated by how the male penguins care for the eggs and wait for the females to return with food.Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

A Special Yogurt Treat

In honor of all of our Penguin Day fun we decided to make a special snack – a penguin parfait! This fun treat is easy to make and reminds us to do our part in keeping wildlife safe. I combined Stonyfield yogurt with tummy calming activated charcoal to create a black and white parfait you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch or a snack.

Yogurt has a great balance of sodium to potassium which is great for your heart! This parfait also contains a nice mix of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Activated charcoal is my go-to supplement for settling tummies after an illness or an allergic reaction. I sometimes give it to my kids to help with gentle detox as well. It’s great for tummy maintenance once in a while. So this parfait is more than just a delicious treat. It’s filled with nutrition too.

I encourage you to help your kids explore and discover God’s beautiful creation. Take a trip to your local zoo and learn about the animals and how you can help protect them (don’t forget you can earn FREE zoo tickets when you buy Stonyfield yogurt!). Then enjoy a penguin parfait!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

Penguin Parfait
Serves 2
A simple yogurt parfait to celebrate World Penguin Day.
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Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup full fat plain creamy or greek-style yogurt
  2. 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  3. 1 capsule activated charcoal (260 mg)
  4. 1 medium-size ripe banana, halved and sliced
  5. 2 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a bowl combine the yogurt, honey and charcoal. Mix until charcoal is fully distributed.
  2. Divide the yogurt between two cups.
  3. Top the yogurt with a layer of banana slices and 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips per cup.
Notes
  1. You can replace the yogurt + honey with two YoKids yogurt in your favorite flavor.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt on this post. I was compensated for my time but all opinions expressed are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

We're celebrating something special today - World Penguin Day! We're taking a waddle walk and heading to the zoo to check out some penguins in person.

World Penguin Day is Here!

We’re celebrating something special today – World Penguin Day! We’re taking a waddle walk and heading to the zoo to check out some penguins in person.

We're celebrating something special today - World Penguin Day! We're taking a waddle walk and heading to the zoo to check out some penguins in person.

Have you heard of World Penguin Day? It’s today!

Learn Something New.

As a home schooling family it’s exciting to learn about unique events like World Penguin Day and to take the time to learn what it’s about. Studying penguins is on our agenda for today (and you’ll hear about our trip to the zoo to see the penguins soon!). My toddler will be so excited. She loves penguins.

April 25 is approximately when penguins migrate north. Maybe I’ll take my kids for a waddle walk north and see how long it takes us to go just a few steps!

Good Stewards.

I also want my kids to understand how important it is to support conservation efforts for majestic animals like penguins, part of God’s beautiful creation.

I’m thankful there are good companies like Stonyfield Yogurt helping these efforts.

Stonyfield YoKids is sponsoring the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE) program; together on a mission to help save endangered species. As part of a year-long effort, Stonyfield will not only be contributing funds to field work but aiming to drive kids and their families to see animals and conservation projects first hand at zoos, aquariums, and on the ground where research is happening.

We're celebrating something special today - World Penguin Day! We're taking a waddle walk and heading to the zoo to check out some penguins in person.

Get in on the Action!

You can tune in LIVE to a fun event where you get to meet endangered African Penguins at the Mystic Aquarium. Tune in HERE.

This year the African penguin will be featured on Stonyfield YoKids packages in addition to a special offer to get FREE tickets to your local zoo!

If you need another fun activity to help celebrate World Penguin Day with your kids check out these funny videos of kids answering the question, “Can a cow save a penguin?”

Get outside for a waddle walk and do your part to take care of God’s good creation. Show the penguins some love. How will you help support the penguins?

I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt on this post. I was compensated for my time but all opinions expressed are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Every year I take steps towards breaking the chains of anxiety and OCD. Every year I learn more about myself and grow closer to God. This year...I'm going all in.

Going All In This Year

Every year I take steps towards breaking the chains of anxiety and OCD. Every year I learn more about myself and grow closer to God. This year…I’m going all in.

Every year I take steps towards breaking the chains of anxiety and OCD. Every year I learn more about myself and grow closer to God. This year...I'm going all in.

2016 was quite a year. There were so many amazing things that happened (I wrote about it here).

That doesn’t mean 2017 will be a let down. Far from it! I have some fun goals for this year. More importantly, God has good plans for me.

Fun Things Ahead.

Here are a few of the things I want to accomplish this year:

  1. Write a new book! I already have the topic. I just need to find time to make it happen. You’ll be the first to know when it’s ready.
  2. Settle into a home school routine. We’re starting fresh this year now that my son is home too. So we’ll be seeing what does and doesn’t work, figuring out the best layout for our classroom and finding some fun ways to learn.
  3. Have fewer doctor appointments. I am thankful that lately this hasn’t been too much of an issue. My daughter is now going to the orthodontist only once every six weeks. And we’re still deciding if she needs to continue with the functional neurologist. Aside from that it’s just regular check ups or a trip to the ped if a child is really sick. My goal is no allergist appointments this year!!
  4. Get the house totally unpacked and settled. I’m amazed at how much we accomplished in three weeks here. We’re down to odds and ends boxes left to unpack. We’re still adding a few decor items.
  5. Adjust to farm life. I think come spring it will hit me a little more that we live on a farm. We’ll be cleaning the barn, starting a garden and hopefully getting chickens. Maybe a few bunnies too. Then reality will sink in!
  6. Make new friends. It’s my priority this year to make sure my kids have plenty of interaction with friends even though we home school. Plus we want to meet the people that live around us and develop new friendships when we find a new home church. It’s exciting and scary for this shy introvert!
  7. Spend more time together as a family. Now that we don’t have cable, we’re not as busy and we home school my prayer is that we have a lot more family time. We’re already trying to figure out where to go on vacation! I’m including in this extended family too – just yesterday I talked on the phone with my dad for a while. He broke his knee cap and had surgery a few days ago. I don’t live near by so I can’t really help much, but I can talk to him!
  8. Make sleep a priority. I probably say this every year. But I really mean it. I know it is the missing piece to my health puzzle. Now that my toddler has been sleeping through the night regularly for a month I am amazed at how much better I feel. I need to allow myself to sleep in sometimes and go to bed early sometimes. To-do lists can wait. I kicked this off yesterday with a nice Sunday afternoon nap. And going to bed early!

Setting My Sights High.

Probably my biggest goal is to finally slam the door shut on my anxiety and OCD that I’ve battled for years. I have made huge progress on them over the past ten years. But I’m ready to say goodbye completely.

This is only possible by the grace of God. Last year he laid it on my heart to be fearless. And that is my goal heading into 2017 as well. Following God’s path is not always easy, but it leads to blessing beyond measure.

Every year I take steps towards breaking the chains of anxiety and OCD. Every year I learn more about myself and grow closer to God. This year...I'm going all in.

My Words This Year.

Every year I pick a word for the year to focus on (or should I say God picks a word for me). This year I have two:

FEARLESS

HUMBLE

Last year I felt lots of change coming. This year feels like it will be calmer. But still big. I anticipate more time just being still and quiet instead of constantly on the go. I look forward to the blessings and surprises God has in store for myself and for my family. And I pray that I will approach everything fearlessly and with humility.

Lest I question this choice, my sister-in-law bought me a “Be Fearless.” sign for Christmas and just yesterday after I had just finished writing this post my toddler was walking around saying “humble, humble, humble…”. Sometimes God speaks loud and clear!

This year I’m going all in. I pray God will guide me through the challenges and the joys that lie ahead.

Do you have any goals for this year? I’d love to hear about them!!

Every year I take steps towards breaking the chains of anxiety and OCD. Every year I learn more about myself and grow closer to God. This year...I'm going all in.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

I Never Thought It Would End Like This

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

Wow!

Sometimes that’s all I can say. Wow!

When I look back on this past year I’m completely amazed and astounded.

I started the year feeling very uncertain. About the only thing that was certain was that God had some big changes in store. I didn’t know what or when or how. I just knew something was coming. And that God’s only requirement of me was that I be fearless and follow his leading (I wrote about it in my New Year’s goals last year!).

So I did.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

Personal Development.

Here we are at the end of 2016. And what a year God had planned for us! I never thought it would end like this. Here’s a look back.

In February I started working as a virtual assistant for Kitchen Stewardship. It has been a great experience, and I have learned so much!

In March I self-published my very first book! Even in the midst of daily feeding struggles with my youngest God gave me the energy and insight to put our story and experience to paper. I love using it to help others.

You can check out my book “Why Won’t My Child Eat?!” here.

The House Hunt Begins.

We also put an offer on a house in March. But after inspections we backed out. Back to the drawing board.

In April we put an offer on another house. We were outbid. A few days later we put an offer on yet another house. This time things went smoothly. We just had to wait for closing.

After a couple months of waiting we finally got a closing date…only to be informed that the sellers had backed out. With our basement filling with boxes we were back to square one again.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

Homeschooling!!

The summer brought some pretty big changes as well. We decided to take a leap of faith and start homeschooling our oldest. God laid it on our hearts that it is what she needs. We kicked off the school year mid-August and have loved it!  She also started working with a functional neurologist during the summer.

We put a bid on a fourth house in August. But our offer was declined.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

The Farm.

In early September we finally found the dream house God had planned for us (did you know  you can try as you may to be in control but God’s plans and timing always win?). Our offer was accepted right away, and the whole process went smoothly.

Bye Bye Allergies?

In September we also received a huge surprise when after 6 months of carrying around an epi-pen and months and months of stomach aches all of my son’s allergy tests turned up negative. Not a single reaction! Since then the stomach aches have vanished, and we have slowly been introducing more and more foods. And so far he is tolerating all of them! Even foods he has had to avoid for years.

Not to be outdone, my toddler has been adding foods to her diet as well!! It’s a slower process for her. But we are so thankful for an expanded diet, including dairy in small amounts! She is now sleeping well, eating well and growing well. God is so good.

For me the new foods mean I can cook one meal for the entire family again a lot of the time. What a blessing.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

Crazy Christmas.

The year may have started with uncertainty and a large amount of faith. But it is ending with gratitude and joy beyond measure.

December 10 we moved into our dream farm in a snow storm. It certainly is not the ideal time of year to move. And the weather was not in our favor. We are so thankful friends and family live near by to help us!

The following Monday I started homeschooling my son.

A week later we had all of my husband’s family here for Christmas. Then we celebrated as a family and with my extended family.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

Gratitude.

When I think about it all that comes to mind is I never thought it would end like this. This year has been filled with ups and downs. But we are ending the year so grateful and full of joy.

I’m rounding out the year with Christmas baking with my kids. We were just a *tiny bit* busy before Christmas unpacking. It has been so nice to finally have a week to relax and reflect on the year coming to a close.

We’ve loved using some new gadgets like the set of knives my daughter got for Christmas. And the cool Silpat and Levoon measuring spoons I received in conjunction with Stonyfield. All three of my kids had to take turns trying the measuring spoons with a little leveler built right in!

Giving.

I’m also ending the year with thoughts of giving. I have been so richly blessed this year. I was given the opportunity from Stonyfield Yogurt to Pay It Forward to someone in need.

My husband and I decided to add to the Stonyfield gift card so we could buy a farm for someone else!

As a family we decided to purchase a farm team through WorldRenew. It includes a goat, a duck, a sheep, a chicken, a pig and a calf. We pray this will give hope and a brighter future to a family in need.

Something For You.

There are two more great things I don’t want you to miss as you end the year.

  1. Starting today the Kids Cook Real Food course is available again! Try it first with the knife skills lessons. If your kids are anything like mine they’ll be hooked!

Grab your knife skills videos here!

2. Today and tomorrow only the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is back!! If you are interested in getting your health back on track in the new year this is the way to do it. So many resources all in one place. Plus tons of physical bonuses too.

Grab your UHLB here!

As an extra bonus you’ll be able to snag another bundle about essential oils! Check it out.

Finally, I leave you with some pictures from the farm and our first Christmas here.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

What’s Next?

I don’t know what God has planned for us next year. But I do know I will start it fearlessly!! Following God’s plans brings blessings beyond measure.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.

I hope you take the time to reflect on your year and all you have to be thankful for. I never thought it would end like this. But I’m so glad it did.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

On The Fence About Homeschooling? This Will Change Your Mind.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

When it comes to homeschooling I’m a complete novice. I’ve only been doing it with one of my children since August. That’s a whopping four months.

Needless to say I still have a LOT to learn. We are still figuring out routines, learning styles, what curriculum we enjoy, etc. And in just a couple weeks we’ll add a whole new dimension to the mix as my five-year old joins us.

It Wasn’t Always My Dream.

Growing up I had preconceived notions about homeschooling…or should I say homeschoolers. So when I had my own kids it was not something I even thought about at first.

As my oldest approached school age it did cross my mind. But not enough to actively pursue homeschooling. And my husband didn’t want to either.

It wasn’t until this past summer as my daughter was preparing for third grade when we all reached our limit on trying to push her through the day, every day – barking commands, getting angry, having her in tears, always telling her to go. When all she wanted to do was stay home and pursue her passions.

The Lord laid it on my heart that we needed to switch directions and start homeschooling.

The decision did not come without a lot of fear and anxiety. I asked every homeschooling friend I knew for advice on curriculum, what to do, where to start. One of the best pieces of advice I got was to just relax.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

But it wasn’t until I happened to hear from Kelly Crawford, a homeschooling mom of ten(!!), that I confronted my fears. And had them all put to rest.

I read her book “Think Outside The Classroom: A Practical Approach To Relaxed Homeschooling” in about two days. It would have been one if I had that much free time to read. I did not want to put it down. It helps that it’s an easy read!

I felt like she was speaking right to me, addressing every concern I had. It gave me a new sense of peace and excitement about the journey ahead.

What I didn’t expect was the conviction it gave me about how amazing homeschooling really is. It changed my whole perspective on how I raise my kids and my purpose as a mother.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

What Is Education?

Kelly starts by addressing what education actually is. I had never even thought about it. I grew up going to public schools. Everyone learns the same stuff. Everyone goes to elementary, junior high and high school. Then you try to figure out what you’re supposed to do with your life.

But that’s not what I want for my kids. I want them learning right now what they want to do and be. More importantly I want them developing their God-given talents and learning how God can use them.

Lifestyle Change.

Next Kelly talks about learning as a lifestyle as opposed to something you do five days a week inside a brick building.

I found myself nodding and smiling at every point she made.

  • Yes, I want my kids outside, exploring, learning about nature and life.
  • Yes, I want my kids to have time to ask questions and search for the answers without bells telling them it is time to move on.
  • Yes, I want my kids to have time alone to think and wonder and listen.
  • Yes, I want my kids to always be in conversation with me about the world around them.

Top Priority.

More important than any of those? Teaching the fear of the Lord. I want God to be number one in my children’s lives. Making that the priority in our house is so important.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

We have daily Bible times and talk about how we can put God’s Word into action. I always make sure all of the kids are awake and available to participate in devotions.

It has really changed my mindset knowing that my role is to help my children discover who God has created them to be.

It’s not my job to tell them what subjects should interest them. Instead I need to help open doors for them and give them the education to develop their talents.

Education Vs. Learning.

Even at eight years old my daughter already had ingrained in her head that school was about getting answers right and doing things perfectly. We’ve spent the first four months of homeschooling trying to undo that.

Education is about learning. That means understanding concepts and how to use them. It means knowing how to find the answers to your questions. It means enjoying the learning process and not working towards a grade. Getting an answer wrong is not a bad thing. It’s just a way of telling you there is more learning to be done.

Communicate And Contribute.

One of our focuses has also been on effective communication. Growing up I was painfully shy. I still am!! I want so badly to be able to speak in front of others and share my knowledge..but my lack of communication skills stops me from doing it. Now I am actively seeking opportunities for my kids to speak, perform, write, etc. It is one of the best skills they can learn.

I also love how Kelly focuses on teaching kids to be productive. Just because you are young does not mean you can’t be responsible and contribute. My kids help around the house. My five-year old already has such a great work ethic. He is willing to lend a hand any time. And I’m sure we will continue to cultivate that gift.

Even though my daughter is only eight she is constantly begging me to help her start her own business. She has a lot of ideas! And we will put some of them into action over the next few years. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is running a successful business by the time she’s twelve.

The Top Two Questions.

I can’t write about homeschooling without mentioning everyone’s biggest questions:

  1. How will they be ready for the real world?
  2. How will they learn to socialize?

Don’t worry. I had those questions too! Kelly does a great job answering them. Here are some of her thoughts on preparing kids for the real world.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

I was really worried about the social aspect. I’m such a homebody by nature. But the homeschooling community here is amazing! In just four months I’ve started developing deeper friendships with other moms than I did in four years of my daughter going to school. And she is already making some great friends.

What really makes me excited is she is even meeting friends from families just like ours – real food, natural living, etc. My daughter is so excited to have friends that really get her and don’t think her lifestyle is weird.

Plus we have more time to socialize. I consider it one more part of our lifestyle of learning to get together with friends.

Pure Joy.

You have no idea the joy I have experienced seeing my daughter’s frustrations dissipate. To see her spend three hours getting lost in a good book in the afternoon instead of walking off the bus exhausted just before dinner time. To see her and her little brother explore and imagine outside for hours on end instead of looking longingly out the window while she does repetitive worksheets. I have been blessed to witness first hand her curiosity and gifts blossom.

And even better – our relationship as mother and daughter has been restored. There had been a disconnect for years. But now we have time to talk. She shares her dreams and her fears with me. We love to spend time together. It is such a blessing.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

Did I Help?

I could talk for hours on homeschooling and how much I love it. But I’ll stop here. I’ve already given you a lot to think about (hopefully it was helpful!). If you are on the fence about homeschooling I encourage you to talk to someone experienced and read Kelly’s book.

Honestly, I wish I could just copy the whole book here for you to read! It’s that good. Obviously I can’t. But I’ll do the next best thing. Kelly is graciously giving away a copy of her book to one of my readers.

This book is for those considering homeschooling, those just starting the journey or even for those with years of experience that need a new approach or a renewed purpose.

Every time I talk to someone that says they are considering homeschooling I want to give them this book. Now I get to!

Enter below for your chance to win.

Then tell me your thoughts! Are you considering homeschooling? What is holding you back?

Want to hear more from Kelly? She blogs at Generation Cedar!! Check it out.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

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In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

I Let My Toddler Use Knives

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it’s worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That’s why I let my toddler use knives!

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

Getting my kids in the kitchen is nothing new to me.

All three of my kids have been in the kitchen with me since birth…makes sense seeing as I spend half my day there!

I let my kids get involved as soon as they are able. My oldest was baking cookies with me at nine months.

Something New.

But I never really taught my kids a set of skills. I never really let them take control.

Until I started doing the Kids Cook Real Food ecourse from Kitchen Stewardship!

I started with my older kids (ages 7 and 4 at the time). They love it! And I love watching them gain confidence and asking to help in the kitchen.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

Toddlers Can Do It Too!

Little sister has been sitting on the sidelines observing until recently. She turned two in August. And she was more than ready to join in the fun!

We started with knife skills (try them FREE here!). That may sound strange, but it really is an important skill and one that even a toddler can do. She loves to slice bananas any chance she gets. Every time we walk by them sitting on the counter she puts in her request.

I can teach her proper techniques while keeping her safe (cutting bananas with a butter knife is fairly harmless). And all of those banana slices she makes either go in her mouth or in the freezer for a delicious dessert or to add to smoothies later.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

More To Love.

We are now moving on to other skills like measuring and pouring. She LOVES pouring beans or water back and forth in containers. Big brother does it right along with her to sharpen his skills. Then they make homemade fruit snacks on their own! Sometimes we use molds. Sometimes we make them in a pan so they can practice knife skills again by cutting them into cubes.

What five-year old do you know that can make his own healthy fruit snacks instead of eating the artificially colored and flavored waxy things out of a bag?

It really is possible.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

Helping Mom And Dad.

My older kids (now 8 and 5) are always willing to lend a helping hand with dinner preparation. Which is such a blessing to me! And I get the pleasure of giving them praise and boosting their confidence.

My eight-year old has a goal this year of being able to make a whole meal on her own. Right now our goal is confidence and safety cooking at the stove. And now that we are home schooling we are adding it right into our curriculum. It’s so much fun.

She is even starting to create her own recipes and keeps begging to start her own blog. Did I mention she’s only eight?!

You really will be amazed at just how much kids can do in the kitchen when you give them a chance.

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

Get In On The Fun!

Yes, even a two-year old can be helpful in the kitchen and start learning life skills. By the time my kids are teenagers I’m afraid I may be out of a job!
Are you ready to have some help in the kitchen?

Kids Cook Real Food

Try the knife skills lessons for FREE!

Sometimes it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth to get your kids in the kitchen. But that work will pay off, especially if you start early. That's why I let my toddler use knives!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Don't let the thought of packing allergen free school lunches give you anxiety. I'm sharing my top picks, including enough choices to create at least three weeks of completely different lunches!

Over Three Weeks Of Real Food Allergen Free School Lunches

Don’t let the thought of packing allergen free school lunches give you anxiety. I’m sharing my top picks, including enough choices to create at least three weeks of completely different lunches!

Don't let the thought of packing allergen free school lunches give you anxiety. I'm sharing my top picks, including enough choices to create at least three weeks of completely different lunches!

School is right around the corner (I said it…don’t throw tomatoes). Depending on where you live it could be a month, a couple weeks or even days away!

Along with school comes the dreaded lunch packing.

When you have to work around allergies your choices are limited. No crackers and cheese. No more pb&j. Scrap half of the cute Pinterest ideas.

There are even plenty of posts claiming to have allergen free ideas…that really aren’t allergen free at all except for maybe one or two options from a long  list. Or you have to do a bunch of substituting on your own to make them allergen free. No thanks.

But allergy friendly lunches don’t need to be boring, bland or void of nutrition. They don’t need to be complicated either. In fact they can be downright fun! Just ask my kids.

I’ve been packing school lunches for two years now. I tend to get in a rut sometimes. So I like to have a list on hand of safe, healthy and delicious lunch ideas. Today I’m sharing them with you!

These are the best real food allergy friendly lunch ideas around. And they are all staples in our lunches.

Don't let the thought of packing allergen free school lunches give you anxiety. I'm sharing my top picks, including enough choices to create at least three weeks of completely different lunches!

Pick your favorites, make some weekly lunch menus and rotate through them. I’ve got enough ideas to create three full weeks of unique lunches. Problem solved.

To start I’ll share one of our favorites. Then head over to Kitchen Stewardship where you’ll find the rest of my allergen free school lunches.

Allergen free bread or pancakes with sunbutter [this brand is 100% nut free – I like to use the green lid since there are no extra ingredients] and pectin free strawberry jam, cherry jam, peach jam, grape jelly or red plum raspberry jellyThis is not your traditional pb&j. But trust me, your kids will love it!

—>>> Check out the rest of my allergen free school lunches!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

Teach Your Kids About Nutrition To Banish Picky Eating

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don’t just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

I’ve had my kids in the kitchen with me since my oldest was a baby. It has been such a blessing for for all of us!

I love the special time together. I love teaching them life skills. But one thing that has really amazed me is how much of what I teach impacts their willingness to eat nourishing foods.

I can tell my five year old, “Eat your spinach. It’s good for you.” Or I can say, “Try your spinach. It will help you run really fast and help your muscles grow big and strong.”

I bet you can guess which method works better. For what it’s worth, my son is not a fan of spinach. But we’re getting there. And every time he has to try it the information about its health benefits gets reinforced!

A New Resource On Nutrition

Needless to say my kids already know quite a bit about nourishing food. It’s a way of life for us. I talk to them about the importance of eating real food all the time.

So I was very excited when I had the opportunity to read Kathryn Kemp Guylay’s book Give It  A Go, Eat A Rainbow. She and her son wrote and illustrated the book together! How awesome is that?

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

The pages are filled with bright colors, beautiful produce and a wealth of information on the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables. It was even educational for me!

Now when I make a smoothie and add squash and spinach, instead of trying to hide that fact I excitedly tell my kids, “We have orange and green in here!” I then add cherries and blueberries and tell them, “We have FOUR different colors in one smoothie. What a nutritional punch to start the day.” They really do get excited.

Kathryn and her son share a cute story about finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Plus there are questions for kids to answer to reinforce what they learn.

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

Kids Are Smart

As a mom of three I have learned a very important lesson. Kids are smart! Much smarter than we give them credit for. There is no need to dumb down nutrition. Give It A Go, Eat A Rainbow gives sound nutritional facts that kids can understand.

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

Teach your kids about nutrition at a young age to help ensure a lifetime of good health. While they are young mom and dad get to make food choices. But as they grow they take over the decision making. Equipping them with knowledge will go a long way.

Do you struggle to get your kids to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables?

I highly recommend reading Give It A Go, Eat A Rainbow with them. You might be surprised with how much they understand and the great choices they make.

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

If you’re still struggling with picky eaters after teaching your kids about nutrition check out my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?!. There could be a deeper issue.

I was compensated for my time to review this book; however I was not paid to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

The Letters Y and Z

We’ve finally finished the alphabet!  I can’t say we finished with a bang.  But we did finish.  I honestly could not think of much for the letter Y.  So we didn’t do much (2 weeks ago).  We also didn’t do a lot for the letter Z, but at least we made it to the zoo.  The last couple weeks have been such nice weather that we’ve mostly been spending time outside.

Now that we are done with the alphabet it’s time to start just having fun 🙂  I would like to keep reviewing letters and numbers and all the other stuff we learned over the year (address, days of the week, months, phone number, how to spell a few things, writing, Bible verse, etc.).  I want to focus on some math skills, puzzles, games and problem solving.  There is never a lack of stuff to work on.  I just have to make a point of being organized and plan ahead.

The Letters  Y and Z

Character – You decide (Rebecca chose helping and sharing), Zealous (being excited/passionate about Jesus)
Outings – Kindermusik, Park, Playground, Swimming, Zoo, Cone World
Activities – Zoo sticker book, lots of coloring, writing letters, Kindermusik assignment – make a map
Baking – chocolate chip cookies, blue moon ice cream

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.