New Family Addition!

Hello everyone! Today I’m excited to tell you about the new addition we made to our family!

Meet Waffles! 

Waffles is a Lionshead Dwarf Rabbit! We do not know if Waffles is a boy or girl just yet, which we will be bringing Waffles to the vet very soon to find out and to possibly get him or her fixed.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Bunnies really shouldn’t have a lot of carrots? They are high in sugar and really are not good for their digestion! Bugs Bunny fooled me!

Having a Bunny is a 10-year commitment and they are very high maintenance! So please make sure you do A LOT of research before you get a bunny of any kind! The boys have been helping me every day, clean his home and feed him! He does live inside, and roams throughout the house during the day!

Honestly, Waffles is the perfect fit for our little family! Does anyone else have a bunny? Let us know down in the comments!

Foodie Friday: Breakfast of Champions

Happy Foodie Friday everyone!

Every week on Friday I bring you a fun, delicious meal your kids could love! This week I’m bringing you the breakfast of champs to celebrate The Superbowl on Sunday! This recipe will be so easy and simple to whip up! Todays Recipe is the Breakfast of Champions Waffle Taco.

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Foodie Friday: Breakfast of Champions Waffle Tacos 

What you will need: 

  • Waffle/Pancake mix or frozen waffles
  • Eggs
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Cheese
  • Maple Syrup

Instructions:

  1.  Fix the waffles Frozen of Made by the directions on the box. Set aside
  2. Mix eggs with Milk on a medium skillet until you’ve made scrambled eggs. Set aside
  3. On a separate skillet make Sausage or Bacon
  4. Take a Waffle, and fill the middle with eggs and Bacon/Sausage.
  5. Then Sprinkle some cheese on it
  6. Fold like a taco. If you made a lighter softer waffle use a toothpick to hold taco together
  7. Drizzle Maple syrup over the taco for extra fun!

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Like I said super simple and fun to eat breakfast, and I’m sure the kids will love the drizzle of maple syrup! Who do you think will win this year? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Foodie Friday: Kid Friendly Meatloaf

It’s Foodie Friday!  A new fun thing that will be happening every Friday here at Raising Lost Boys. I will be sharing some kind of delicious, fun, kid-friendly meals, snacks or desserts with you guys! I am truly excited to start this in hopes to help one of you find that perfect meal that your kids will love!

Todays Foodie Friday Recipe is none other than mouth-watering Meatloaf. I know what you’re thinking ” Jessica How will my kids love meatloaf?” Well, the answer is simple. Make it kid size. Read the recipe below to find out!

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Kid Friendly Meatloaf

Cook Time:40 minutes
Total Time:40 minutes
Servings 12 -18 Mini Meatloafs 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 cup Fine Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 1 Onion Really finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Ketchup for Topping
  • Muffin Tin

Instructions

  • Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl except the ground beef.
  • Let the mixture sit a few minutes so the breadcrumbs absorb some of the liquid.
  • Add the ground beef to the breadcrumb mixture and mix well.
  • Form into balls and place the balls in the greased muffin tin.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Add a sprinkle of Shredded Cheese to the top of each mini meatloaf and cook for additional 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Drizzle or Drench with ketchup (whichever your kids prefer)
  • And Serve and enjoy!

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The kids will love that the meatloaf is the perfect size just for them, and being covered in delicious cheese is just an added bonus! If you try this recipe let us know in the comments how your kids liked it!

Target Homeschool Mini Haul.

We’ve been homeschooling for 3 months now, and I realized that Bentley likes to change things up a bit for his lessons. So instead of doing the same thing every day for sight words, or math, I have been trying to find fun ways to teach his sight words or how to do his math problems!

Target has been my go-to for finding inexpensive manipulatives to help with our homeschooling! Here is my mini haul of everything I got, and how we will be using them in the future.

Target Homeschool Mini Haul

Magnetic Letters

I had been wanting some letters for Bentley to use to spell out his sight words and I did find a good set on Amazon with 208 pieces for around $30. I wasn’t looking to spend an extra $30 at that time, so while in the Dollar Spot at Target I found these Magnetic Upper and Lower Case for $1 each set. We will be using these as a rotation for his sight words!

Wooden Chalkboard Blocks

Another great manipulative for sight words or spelling, in general, would be the wooden chalkboard blocks I found for $3 in the Dollar Spot. Great for having the kids write the letters and then spell the word out! Also can be used for mathematics by writing equations such as 1+3 = _ and having the kids write the answer on another block!

Two- Color Counters

This was my favorite find of the haul because I remember as a kid using these in my classrooms. Bentley loves them, we use them for adding, subtracting, and grouping! Also, I’m pretty sure you can write on them with a dry erase marker and use them for spelling as well! These were also found in the Dollar Spot for $3 at Target!

Pop for Sight Words Game

The last piece of my haul was a pretty awesome game for sight words! You have pieces of “popcorn” with the sight word on them and you have to try and guess the word and if you get it right then you keep it, unless you pull a little card with “POP” on it then you have to return all your pieces you have earned, the kid with the most by the end of the game wins! We haven’t played this yet, but Bentley is pretty excited and wants to invite his cousins and friends over to play it with him!

I hope you rush off to Target and find you some homeschool goodies if you do come back and tell me what you found!

 

DIY Harry Potter Christmas Tree

Hey Witches, Wizards, and Muggles! The world of Harry Potter is so magical, and what better time to make some magic then Christmas time? We had an extra old White Christmas tree from when we lived in our apartment a few years ago. Our main tree is Disney themed and I thought why not have a Harry Potter themed Christmas tree as well? I wanted to share with you how I made our “Pottertree!” It’s extremely easy and fun to make!

*I USE AFFILIATE LINKS IN THIS POST. IF YOU BUY ANYTHING FROM MY LINKS I WILL EARN A SMALL COMMISSION*

Here’s what you’ll need:

  •  White Christmas Tree
  • Rust-oleum “Navy Blue” Spray paint
  • Rust-oleum “Marigold” (Yellow) Spray paint
  • Rust-oleum “Claret Wine ” (Red) Spray paint
  • Rust-oleum ” Hunter-Green” Spray paint
  • Protective gloves

*Tip: Whatever houses are going to be at the bottom make sure to get at least one more can of each.

Also, Don’t forget some awesome Harry Potter Christmas Tree ornaments and tree toppers to go with it!

Here’s What to Do:

Make sure to get the House colors, we used Ros-oleum, it was about $4 a can and you can get it at Walmart.  We matched as close as we could. Don’t forget depending on how large your tree is you may need more spray paint to cover the sections.

If your tree is pre-lit like ours, wrap each light with blue painters tape. Yes, it’s time-consuming.

Figure out the way to you want your House colors on the tree. Being a Hufflepuff I put Yellow on top, then green for my Husbands house (Slytherin) then Gryffindor, and last is Ravenclaw which is Blue.

Then separate the tree into four sections for each house.

My tip is, start spraying from the top then move down till you get to the bottom, section by section so that if the paint were to drip it could be covered up by the next color.

Let each section dry for at least 20 minutes in between.

After applying each color let it dry overnight just to make sure. Then pull off the painter’s tape if you had a pre-lit tree the next day and decorate! We found the cute doe at Walmart as well for $15!

That is basically it!  Decorate it however you like, we are going to be adding some handmade Potter ornaments and some House scarfs as well! We hope you enjoyed and make your own Harry Potter tree!

Homeschool Room on a Budget

When I first even thought about homeschooling Bentley I immediately thought I needed an epic amazing top notch homeschool room. I looked up homeschool room ideas every day for a week. I watched mostly Vlogs of Angela from This Gathered Nest and a few others on how they set up their rooms or spaces. Obviously, something I noticed is that nothing was perfect, and every homeschool space was different. Your homeschool space doesn’t have to be the best it just needs to work for your family. You can use whatever space is open around the house, the dining room table, a spare bedroom, or even the floor if that’s what you want. It is your space to enjoy and do what you want to do with what you have.

We had an extra front room in our house that we dedicated to homeschool. I wanted a space just for school where Bentley could really focus and not watch tv and listen to what is actually going on. I just wanted to show you guys that you can have a great homeschool space without breaking the bank!

That small tote is from the Dollar Tree that I used for Easter one year and didn’t want to waste it, holds our daily workbooks. Also, all of our books are from the library! I could never stress enough about how the library is honestly your best friend, saves such a great deal of money by borrowing the books instead of buying them. If you love a certain book then you can buy it and add it to your bookshelf, It’s a great way to weed out some books the kids just aren’t feeling into.

Whiteboard

We bought our whiteboard at lowes for maybe $15, it isn’t magnetic but works perfectly! You can get a larger size as well and ask them to cut it for you.

Shelves 

Our cubed organizer is from Walmart along with the Fabric organizers but I found similar ones on Amazon as well. Just click here.  I keep all of Bentley’s curriculum other on top or in the fabric organizers, along with all of the extra supplies like flashcards, Manipulatives, and Supplies for anything we need that day.

Maps/ Posters

My mom went to a thrift store and found our large map for us for extremely cheap along with a lot of supplies, I also check the Dollar spot at Target right before school starts to find any teachers supplies that might come in handy!

Our Table

This is honestly my favorite thing to talk to you guys about. I found this table on the marketplace on facebook for $35 and its perfect. It’s basically just a wooden dining room table. It has a little sprucing up to do, like sanding the top and restaining, but It was such a deal it was hard not to say no!

TIP: Look around, shop in different places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and little Thrifts stores, you honestly have no idea what you can find that can turn your homeschool room into is a perfect fit for your family!

Also, your homeschool room or area will NEVER stay clean… here’s mine after a good days work!

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!