Directed Drawing Turkey Activity

I have been searching on the great Pinterest (where I am 80% of the time) trying to find a good Thanksgiving project for Bentley for his homeschool “art class”. But I didn’t want just anything, I wanted something that could serve a purpose in any way, not just some coloring page.

While looking I found Proud to Be Primary by Elyse Rycroft and she had this amazing idea of Directed drawing a turkey. Where the kids have to watch you step by step draw something and they try the best they can to draw what you drew. Bentley loved this idea and had a blast making the turkey in his way.

Here’s what you need:

  • Construction or Cardstock Paper
  • Pencil
  • Colored Pencils or crayons
  • Sharpie

You can find the full instructions on Elyse’s website Proudtobeprimary.com, She has a bunch of great Directed drawing ideas for kids.

Honestly, this was such a fun activity for the kids and while the kids are coloring their turkeys, read than a story about Thanksgiving and go around and have the kids show off what they drew.

The Crowns of Croswald Book Review

Author D.E Night

Published July 21st 2017 by Stories Untold Press

Goodreads

Review

I was browsing on Instagram, and looking through a few pages I follow, and I noticed quite a few people talking about this book. Recently my husband had built me a bookshelf for my small but growing book collection, so I’m desperately trying to fill it. Even though I already have a long list of to be read books, I pulled this one ahead of all the rest. After going to the author D.E Night’s blog and seeing the trailer (Which was amazing) I quickly jump into the book and let my imagination take over.

To start off I was completely intrigued by the cover, Seeing the girls all bright I was excited to see if and what kind of magic was behind them. A lot of people who reviewed the book have said it is a mixture of a Harry Potter and Cinderella type feel, and they were totally right. Even though I loved this book, the only thing that was a con for me, was I that I was confused on a few parts during the first few chapters, but by the end of the book everything had straightened its self out so I understood better.

Minus that, this book had me guessing what was going to happen next, Every time Fyn and Ivy were together I was hoping Fyn would steal a quick kiss. I fell in love with the Magic and the creatures throughout this book. From the perfectly put description, I could imagine everything from the dwarf to the Cabby’s. D.E Night did an amazing job keeping you on your toes throughout the book and then left you wanting more at the end. It definitely had you getting the Harry Potter and Cinderella vibes throughout the whole book, from Ivy being a Maid, to the school, and a few other things in between. I honestly did not want to put this book down, trying to make dinner and spilling pasta sauce on it, My husband had me put it down so I could actually have a conversation with the family and not burn our food.

Finding out from her Instagram that D.E Night has now written a second book I am extremely excited about where and what Ivy’s next adventure is going to be. I am giving this book a 5 out of 5. I enjoyed this book so much and encourage you do grab it and dive into the adventures

D.E Night is releasing the second book of this series “The Girl with the Whispering Shadow” and its already on preorder and It is already in my cart! It comes out January 23rd 2019! I am so beyond excited for this book!

Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Playdoh

It’s finally feeling like fall here in Florida, so it gave me some inspiration to make some new fall projects for the kids! One Major sensory project I love to make is Playdoh! Bentley loves to sit and squish it between his fingers and make snowmen out of them, and it even lasts for a few months so it’s a perfect seasonal project!

Today  I want to share with you my recipe for so easy fall cinnamon playdoh that Bentley had a blast with and smells so good.

*I use affiliate links in this post. If you buy anything from my links I will earn a small commission*

Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Playdoh

 

What you will need:

  • 2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Salt
  • 2-3 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Cream of Tartar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Coconut oil (or Vegetable oil)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Spice
  • 1 1/3 Hot Boiling Water

Directions:

  1. Mix all Dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl
  2. Slowly and carefully Stir in Water
  3. When a good base has formed move to counter and knead until fully mixed.
  4. Let sit and cool down
  5. Pull out some cookie cutters and rolling pins and let the fun begin!

This is such a simple and easy recipe and great for sensory activities. Just store in an airtight container and store at room temperature and it should last 3-4 months! Here are some of the Rolling pins and Cookie cutters we used, The kids love the different designs on them!

10 Classic Christmas books for the whole family to read

We love to read in my house. I’m constantly reading a book my self, and I try to read a story to the boys every night I can before bed, we have a huge bookshelf that my husband made in our dining room and It’s filling up with Children’s and Adult books. Now that It’s finally feeling like fall here in Florida that means Christmas is right around the corner ( Because Florida is so great at this weather thing ) and I’m so excited because this is the first year we are homeschooling so we definitely can read all the Christmas books that I plan to finish but never get to them.  I wanted to make a list of some good Classic Christmas books that I read or want to read to the kids before Christmas gets here.

*I use affiliate links in this post. If you buy anything from my links I will earn a small commission*

Little Critter: Just a Snowman

“Snow is piled high and school is canceled. But before Little Critter can build his snowman, he must help his sister wear her snow boots, his dad shovel the sidewalk, and Gator build a fort. Will Little Critter ever get to build a snowman?”

The Spirit of Christmas

“Bells jingle, sleds dash through the snow, trees are topped with sparkling stars, and children everywhere dream of candy canes and presents. But the best gift of all-the most magical gift of the season-is when we spend Christmas with those we love.”

The Gingerbread Man

After a daring escape from the oven, the Gingerbread Man is chased by a little boy, an old man and woman, a group of farmers, a bear, and a wolf – and he outruns them all! But will the clever fox outsmart the quick cookie?

The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving

“In The Berenstain Bears and The Joy of Giving Brother and Sister Bear can’t wait for Christmas and all the presents they’ll open. But during the Christmas Eve pageant, something special happens! The Bear cubs learn a very valuable lesson about the joy of giving to others.”

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 

“Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!” Not since “’Twas the night before Christmas” has the beginning of a Christmas tale been so instantly recognizable. This heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit will grow even the coldest and smallest of hearts. Like mistletoe, candy canes, and caroling, the Grinch is a mainstay of the holidays, and his story is the perfect gift for young and old. ”

Polar Express

 

A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . . Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

“Christmas is almost here, which means ice-skating, Christmas carols, and sparkly lights everywhere—even on Snoopy’s doghouse! Everyone is enjoying the holiday celebrations except Charlie Brown. Can the Peanuts gang help Charlie Brown discover the true meaning of Christmas?”

Arthur’s Christmas: An Arthur Adventure

“Arthur is taking his Christmas shopping for Santa very seriously. He wants his gift to be absolutely perfect, but with Christmas only days away he needs a little help from his sister, D.W., to make this holiday a success.”

The Night Before Christmas (Little Golden Book)

“Since it was first published anonymously in 1823, the poem “The Night Before Christmas” has enchanted children with the story of St. Nicholas climbing down the chimney and filling all the stockings before springing back to his sleigh. Many families read the poem every year, and now they have an edition to treasure. The poem, faithfully reproduced here, is accompanied by Charles Santore’s lavish illustrations.”

Miracle on 34th Street: A Storybook Edition of the Christmas Classic

“For a little girl named Susan, Christmas could be any other day. She doesn’t believe in Santa Claus or magic or miracles of any kind. Then one day she meets Kriss Kringle. As she doubtfully tells him the gifts she most wishes for, deep down Susan finds herself hoping that just maybe, he is the real thing. Based on the original holiday classic, Miracle on 34th Street is a heartwarming story about generosity, imagination, and the spirit of Christmas.”

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These are definitely the books we will be reading this year before Christmas. Are there any books, you would add to the list? Leave a comment and let us know what we should add to our list!

I Saw You Today

I saw you today, standing up there with her as she tried to hold back every tear. You stood by her rubbing her back saying “Baby you got this” when she stood there talking about you. I saw you today, laughing at every single one of us crying because you’re gone and none of us were ready, telling us to “suck it up wimps, I’m fine” and just danced around the room. I saw you today, standing there besides your brother with a beer in your hand looking at the pictures they set up of you telling him each story of the ones he was pointing out and he laughed like he heard every one.

I saw you today, standing proud as they folded your flag, as they saluted your flag.

I saw you today, you walked right up to me and looked me in the eyes and told me to Love more, be more, and do more, hold my babies tighter and kiss my husband slower. You told me that you are here for me when ever I needed you, and that you’ll always listen and to never take a day of my life for granted. You just gave me a hug and walked away.

None of us were ready for you to leave, all of us wishing for more time, But we are happy you are better now walking, dancing, and jumping around drinking a few beers. You touched so many peoples hearts and lives, You are such a great person, husband, father and friend and you will be so incredibly missed.

I saw you today and I hope to see you again someday.

Staying in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

For our Honeymoon My husband an I wanted to do something fun and different, we were thinking about going to Disney for a whole week, then we thought about going to Universal for four days, but one day James came home and told me about going to Tennessee. He said one of his co-workers had gone there and that it was beautiful and they loved it. We looked into it and ultimately we decided this was the place to go, I noticed while looking on Pinterest of things to do, there wasn’t really anything on Pigeon Forge and more about Gatlinburg, so I thought I’d write a few our favorite things we did and where we stayed just in case someone needed some ideas like we did!

So here are some of our favorite things we did and where we stayed here in Pidgeon Forge, Tennessee!

Places to Stay

Obviously, this is a tourist area so there are many hotels to stay in down the main road to everything and all within 5 minutes of pretty much anything you want to do, But we stayed at one of the cabins from Cabins for You and it was by far such a better experience I believe then if we would have stayed in a hotel, We were in the cabin Hooked on Love and it was so adorable! One bedroom with an upstairs game room, it could sleep up to four with the couch in the large living room, a fireplace, and an outdoor hot tub overlooking to a beautiful view of the mountains. James and I would come back from going to a few museums and hop in the hot tub and eat dinner and just relax and watch the sun go down, It was perfect!

Places to eat

My first tip to you is when you go to Pigeon Forge and are staying in the cabins, go to the grocery store and buy food, like cereal, some snacks, and some quick dinner meals you can throw in the microwave or oven. It will save you a lot of time and money so that you don’t have to eat out for every meal and can spend more time doing other things like hikes or museums. When we did go out and eat, we avoided fast food and chain restaurants we know that we have back in Florida so we were getting something new when we went out to eat!

The first restaurant we went to was Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, and oh my gosh talk about some comfort food! It was so delicious, it’s family style eating so that means that you pay one price per person and you all basically share but it’s endless food and you can keep refilling your dishes So it’s definitely worth it. Our main dishes were The Best Ever Southern Fried Chicken, and the Chicken Fried Pork Chop. With the sides of Creamed Potatoes, Creamed Corn, Baked Mac and Cheese, and White rice. The Creamed Potatoes were my favorite along with the Baked Mac and Cheese. There is also a beautiful view from inside the restaurant looking out into the mountains.

The other place we went to was Fuddruckers, it was okay. Just an average burger place and is a chain restaurant but we had never been there so we wanted to try it.

Things We Didn’t Do

There was a lot we actually didn’t get to do because we ran out of time or it just didn’t seem that appealing to us, so here is a quick list of fun things to do if you got the time!

Things We Did

We had so much fun, we mostly went to Museums and they were all a blast. Our First stop was “The Island in Pigeon Forge”. It was 10 Minutes from our cabin and had a lot of things to do while you are there, LIke Eat at “Pauls Deen’s Kitchen”, and try some delicious moonshine at Ole Smoky Moonshine, where you can try 15 different kinds of moonshine for $5 a person. I personally do not like the taste of Moonshine, but James tried all of them and liked pretty much every single one.

We went on the Wheel that was on the island and had one of the most amazing views of Pigeon Forge. It was pretty expensive  ( about $15 per person ) for a ride on a Ferris Wheel but the view was worth it especially during a sunset, and we were on for a good 20-25 minutes.

Our Frist Museums we went to was Alcatraz East Crime Museum,  Where you go through to read and learn about the different criminals who went to Alcatraz and what they did, back to Bonnie and Clyde, and Ted Bundy,. Honestly, this was one of James favorite Museums being in Law Enforcement this type of stuff has always interested him. There was also an awesome tribute to fallen officers and the fallen Heros and Victims of 9/11 which was both beautifully done.

The Hollywood Wax Museum was up next and it was a lot of fun. As you can tell James had a blast with all the celebrities they had on show, and this is only a few pictures of what happened. We even got the ” VIP Tour” and went all the way to the top by the gorilla and got another beautiful view of Pigeon Forge.

 

Because we got the VIP Tour at Hollywood Wax Museum, Castle of Chaos passes came with it and I have to say I hated it. I will never bring my kids there, and if you don’t like Haunted houses, or Zombies I wouldn’t even waste the money or time. The only “childlike” thing was the Maze of Mirrors and that was it. Again I didn’t like it because I do not like Horror that much and I have horrible anxiety when it comes to stuff like that.

Our Last Day and our last Museum was the Titanic Museum there was no picture taking beside one room in the building but I do have to say it is amazing. The things they have found and the stories you hear about are just breathtaking. When you walk in you are handed a card with a passengers name on it, it tells the class you were in and a little bit about your self. You find our your fate near the end of the museum and also a beautiful memorial wall.

Our Tips to a great time!

  • Go in an off month, where school is still in session and there are no breaks. We went in April and I feel like we had Pigeon Forge to ourselves.
  • Wake up early and go first things when the Museums open.
  • Get a Cabin definitely worth it.
  • Don’t go to Chain Businesses you can go to when you are home! Explore and eat at different Resturants.
  • Definitely, use the coupon books your hotel or cabin employees give you. it could save you a few bucks here and there.

Pigeon Forge was the best honeymoon for us, we loved every second we were there and can’t wait to go back with our kids and explore some more places with them! I hope this has helped you in any way! If you feel we missed something you did in Pigeon Forge write it in the comments and let us know how your trip went!

5 things I learned in the first week of homeschooling

We recently pulled Bentley out of public school, for many reasons including that the communication with parents was unsettling and lacked tremendously. Bentley has had some problems with school recently with the new changes of starting kindergarten, going from a smaller class size to a much larger and overpopulated class size, from staying in his one classroom all day to now going to multiple places throughout the school. It just wasn’t working for him and he started acting out and getting in trouble during class. So we looked into home education for him, and it honestly is the best decision.

Here are 5 things I learned in the first week of homeschooling.

Have a set schedule 

Now obviously this varies from different families, but with Bentley, I have learned that he definitely needs structure and a routine to keep him motivated during the day.

Plan everything the weekend before.

I had been planning our lessons and getting them out the night before, but I have noticed it just is too much after a long day and that I probably should have gotten them done before the week started,

Go outside more.

Now we live in Florida and this week it rained almost every day all day, so it kept us locked up in our house the whole time, which made me realize the with homeschooling we definitely need to go outside a lot more so the kids can run around and explore.

Expect the unexpected.

Obviously I knew things wouldnt go 100% as planned, thats a given but I definitely was not expecting to have to go to the hospital. In the middle of our Space Science lesson Leo fell and split his tonuge open, we had to rush him to the hospital and he ended up needing surgery. We never finished the lesson that day, and just ended up pushing it to the next day.

The library is your best friend

So when I do something I go all out, I want all of the things, tools, and books. Well let’s be honest that’s just not happening. I started figuring out that spending all this money on books we might read once is just a waist. So I took Bentley to the library and he got his own card and went to the children’s section and got quite a few books and we definitely are going to get more next trip!

The first week was a chaotic surprise, but I still stand with our decision with home education. Obviously I knew all these things prior to starting but it didn’t sink in until now! If you’re starting your home education journey congratulations to you and I wish you luck! If you are thinking about starting, I honestly encourage you to look in to it a lot, it’s definitely worth it!

Mickey Pumpkin Pie Pops

Food always tastes better if it’s shaped like Mickey, because you feel like you are there celebrating whatever it is with Mickey Mouse himself! I’ve been on a pumpkin everything kick and I’m not hating it. So the other night I decided to make us some Pumpkin Pie Mickey shaped pops. It was a huge hit with the boys! I’m actually thinking about making some for an upcoming PTO meeting if they will let me! I mean whats a better way to make a bunch of grumpy women who are exhausted smile? These treats turned out to be so delicious and extremely easy to make, I would imagine if you would find them at Disney they would definitely look and taste like these! Enjoy!
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Mickeys Pumpkin Pie Pop!

What you will need
Instructions
  1. Defrost the frozen pie crusts on the counter for about an hour.
  2. Roll flat with a rolling pin. Use a Mickey Mouse head cookie cutter to cut out the shapes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  4. Combine the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl and mix well.
  5. On a parchment lined baking sheet or a silicone baking mat, set out half of the Mickey shapes.
  6. Brush the beaten egg over top of each of the entire Mickey shapes.
  7. Carefully press the lollipop stick into the pie dough, making sure it’s indented slightly into the dough. There should be at least 1 inch of lollipop stick pressed into the dough.
  8. Add a small spoonful of pumpkin mixture to the center of the Mickey, over the lollipop stick, being sure to leave at least half an inch of space around the outer edges of the pumpkin shape to seal it closed.
  9. Line up the other half of the Mickey shapes on top of the bottom pumpkin shape and the pumpkin mixture. Press the edges closed slightly with your fingers.
  10. Using a fork, press around the edges of the pumpkin shape to seal it completely.
  11. Brush the top of the pumpkins with the beaten egg.
  12. Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

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Fall Bucket List

Fall is a wonderful time full of Pumpkin Spice everything, and cute fall colored cardigans. The normal fall things we do is lay around the house and watch Hocus Pocus, while of course, that is still something we will be doing this year I want to spice it up a little and do more Fall activities! Florida is probably one of the worst states when it comes to Fall because it never really happens here. So doing some of what we put on the list will hopefully make it feel a little more like Fall to us! Hope it does for you too! Enjoy.