Friday, May 31, 2013

Strawberry Jam Recipe

I love when Spring is in the air. I love all the blooming and planting that comes with it. I enjoy making things from our garden and if you have read our blog long you will know that I can veggies and fruits often and share the pics. Sometimes I'm just to busy to share the recipe but I am going to try to do better this season!!

Your going to need 4 pints of strawberries which is about 6-7 cups. 
Wash them and cut them up and then use a potato masher to mash the strawberries up really good. That's one reason I love making jam! I love the chunks of fruit on my biscuit or toast!

Now you need to put the berries on the stove and add 1 package of sure jell or your choice of item and 1 teaspoon of margarine to help with foaming. Bring this to a full rolling boil and stir constantly.
When you have a good boil going add 7 cups of sugar and stir fast to get it mixed, once it comes back up to a boil you will need to time it for about a minute and a half.

Now your ready to add into your pre-warmed jars.
My recipe makes about 7-8 jars just depends on how full I fill them.

It's a wonderful aroma that fills the house while making this. My kids love to help "mash" the fruit up and get it juicy. I hope that you enjoy the recipe because we sure enjoy the fruit jam!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday 39

We are on our first week break of two!! 

We had a wonderful Memorial Day with my dad that is a Veteran. Cooking out and visiting family.

 We kind of enjoyed the new baby too!! Isn't he the cutest thing!! Congrats Daniel & Heather.

 It is once again POOL TIME!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Eye Can Art Review & Giveaway!!!

I was contacted by Eye Can Art to review a product of my choice. I quickly knew that my daughter would love the opportunity and so I asked her to look on the computer with me to decide which kit we would pick.

Eye Can Art company has 8 wonderful kits to pick from. The prices are great and the kits include everything you're going to need to have for the art lesson. The company has won multiple awards from parenting and educational platforms. One of my favorite facts about this company is that it's all made here in the United States!!

My daughter is 9 and loves to do crafts, art and color. She is like her momma and that's not a bad thing. She scrolled through the items on the Eye Can Art website and finally came to a choice. The Sketch - Foam Print Making Kit!! This kit came with all that was needed in order to start and finish our lesson. It was recommended for ages 5 to 95 and I would totally have to say anyone would have a blast using this. 

Upon opening the package I grabbed the instructions to the kit so that I could get familiar with everything. I loved how every supply was neatly packaged. Inside the guide it talked about reducing and reusing everyday items for art. It's a nice reminder to all the items that have double purposes. Within our kit it explained how paper plates could be used for our craft. We actually have foam within our kit for our lesson so it was a nice tie in. My daughter thought that was really neat and noticed it right away. The instructions are very clear and didn't leave me guessing as to what was next. Everything included was labeled for me so that I wouldn't get confused.

One of the days we used the kit she simply got a piece of foam and drew a cute little butterfly on it. She learned from one of the first times we used the kit not to push very hard on the foam or it would break a hole through it. Once she drew the butterfly she got the blue ink and paint over it. One of her favorite things to watch which I will add also drew the boys into the room was that the paint doesn't go into the lines... Except when you put to much on the roller! Don't ask why we know that... She then picked a sheet of colored paper and placed it on the foam that was painted and pushed down real hard. That's it!


I love doing projects but often get ready to do an art lesson and see that I don't have all the items I need. I can't stand that and this is an excellent solution! The price is very reasonable for it to include everything you need. The kit allows you enough material to make up to 14 projects for only $28.

Do you have that issue too? If so, I was given another set to giveaway TO ONE OF YOU!!

Open to US only.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

J is for Joy

 Blogging Through the Alphabet

Joy is the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying.

I personally feel joy often and I am thankful that it is a feeling that my children and husband can give me. However over the years I have found that God gives me this joy in the greatest form, after all he is the one who has blessed me with my husband and kids!

I think of all my hours within the day and no I'm not "joyful" all of them and sometimes not any of them but when I get settled down and can think after a bad day I am quickly reminded of my blessings and it helps keep my joy.

I was told something a few years ago that I personally think of almost daily. It was an eye opening experience for me and I am glad that I was told this because I fully can see where and why my God is so important in my daily life.

  If you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today - what would you wake up with? 

These are the reason's I've got Joy!

I am a homeschool momma of 3, most of you know that but homeschooling is hard and I have to keep a balance over being the mom and being the teacher. I have seen so many blessings from being the teacher/mom while my kids are learning that I am so blessed to take part in. 

Lessons come in the strangest places, we don't just learn in the "school room" but in the line at Wal-Mart, in the garden, when watching TV, while driving or stopping to talk to a neighbor. 

I am filled with joy each time my children do good and each time they ask to help others. Joy comes from my daughter's little notes she makes for me all the time, from the hugs and kisses that I get for no reason at all.

I never imagined I would be a mother to 3 children and I never would have thought I would be homeschooling them but I am thankful and full of joy that God showed me a different path and that I listened.
Joy is the second fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22, and is more than just happiness. There is a joy that God gives that far exceeds our human capabilities.

Psalm 97:11-12 - "Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name."

Proverbs 17:22 - "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."

Proverbs 15:13 - "A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit."   

I pray that you find Joy my friends. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Microwave Mug Cake Recipe!

I've never made a cake from scratch to cook in the microwave but I'm learning there is a first time for everything!

First off you see my husband is a huge chocaholic and well I'm the total opposite. They do say opposites attract. I came across a few recipes for 2 minute microwave cakes and thought what the hay - I'll try it for my love.

Chocolate Mug Cake Recipe

4tbsp flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
whisk that together
then add

3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp oil
1 egg beaten
2 drops vanilla extract
Heat in microwave mug for 2 and a half minutes and look what you will have!!!

I made two simply because I knew the kids would want to try it.
Lexi loved it - She takes after her Daddy when it comes to chocolate.

This was fast and easy and ready in a matter of minutes! It had a great taste and the texture was kinda like a brownie. My husband added a little ice cream and chocolate syrup to his and loved it a lot!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up 37

Our week was a great week of learning with little disruptions! We needed a regular week after finishing up coop and then having Kevin on vacation. Spring is in the air at the Arrowood house and we are in love with the warmer temperatures and gardening that has come.

Daddy playing with our foster kitties, I think we are to attached...

This week Kyle had some issues with his Math U See lesson on decimals. We worked all week but I'm still not 100 % certain that we will move on just yet. Working until he has it is something that I pride myself on, no leaving my babies behind. In Growing with Grammar this week he had a huge review and done great. He is missing some small linking verbs which will come as we progress in units. 

Together in our science (Christian Kids Explore - Biology) we learned the differences and similarities between Wasps and Bees. That was fun because this momma honestly didn't know them! I also learned this week. We made a graph to display for a few weeks like our Butterfly Vs. Moth chart last week.

My darling daughter had a really great week in learning and the best part was she had fun. She reviewed math facts a lot this week on the Kindle and using Math U See's online drill page. This week she learned a lot about Lions (her pick) and could tell me some really interesting things about them. She had a great day making 100 on her Growing with Grammar lesson!! Woohoo!! 

Daddy was off Wednesday and while we cleaned out the basement and done some gardening she decided she would try to sale some bracelits she has made (yes that's not spelled right but that was what was wrote on her sign). She sat in our front yard for about an hour and a half and only 3 of our neighbors went by, we live on a country road where not many people go by. I applaud her effort and thought. My little crafter just can't help herself, after all she shares the same blood as her momma. My parents could tell some really bad - embarrassing stories on me! So if you ever get the pleasure to meet them please don't ask!

My baby boy is growing up and learning is coming easier thanks to finally getting the right fitting curriculum for him! Handwriting Without Tears has been an awesome fit for him. He likes the fun little activities with writing instead of it just being copywork. I loved his coloring choices for the sea animals. Growing with Grammar is another awesome fit for all 3 kids but this being the first "grammar" that he has used it is really perfect for him. He has been learning sentence types and doing great with it. Subject predicates is something that I really thought he would have an issue with, but man was I wrong. I think he understands it better than the older ones! Another reason to try different resources if something isn't working!

Zachary worked on math facts this week a lot too. He mainly used Math U See's online drill page after doing his regular math lesson for the day.

I have to take another moment and point out that in the bottom picture he is reading thanks to ABeCeDarian Reading Program! I love that program so much and am thankful that it was a review item from the crew! He has made a huge 360 by using this program. I can't thank them enough.

We have one child that has totally memorized the Lord's prayer using a really fun review item that I will be posting soon. We also started using Memoria Press Geography 1 for a review item this week and so far it is really fun and detailed. IEW came late this week and over the weekend I am going to familiarize myself with it to start next week.

I hope that you had a blessed week. I thank you for stoppin' by!


Friday, May 17, 2013

TOS Review - Science Naturally: One Mintute Mysteries!

Once again I get the awesome opportunity to introduce myself and kids to a new publisher and resource for review from The Old Schoolhouse Crew.  

Science Naturally is located in Washington, DC. Their priority is to bring math and science literacy in an engaging way. Their materials are designed to engage readers by using both fiction and nonfiction strategies to teach potentially intimidating subjects. The book content correlates to the national science and math standards set out by the Center for Education at the National Academy. One thing my kids liked about this company was that the book was written by a father - daughter team. My kids loved this, because they could relate to the stories that my husband tells them at night sometimes that they turn around and will write on paper and add little twists to. There was just a personal relationship they were able to make because of this fun detail!

One Minute Mysteries is a wonderful book with 65 short mysteries you solve with science. The book is 180 pages of fun! It literally takes a minute to read through each story. The book has many different science topics throughout.

Life Science

Earth & Space Science

Physical & Chemical Science

General Science

Five More Minutes of Mysteries (an extra 5 stories)

Bonus Section: One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Math! (Includes 5)    

My children are ages 8, 9 and 12. We used this book almost daily at the beginning of our school day. The best part of this was that it can be a quick read or more in depth just depending on how much time I was able to put into it. Normally we would read 3 - 5 stories each morning, honestly only taking about 5 minutes to read and a few extra minutes to discuss. I enjoyed that my oldest two children could read anything wrote in this book and have no difficulties at all with the wording. 

This is a brain book as my daughter said, at first I could not understand why she called it that but once I asked she had a great explanation. She said "It's a brain book because you have to use your brain to solve the mystery." That is very true! One of my favorite things about this book is that it has critical thinking skills all throughout it. In order to solve the mystery you must really listen and think about what clues where given and how it applies in life. I appreciate that the stories are short and have a great mystery twist because it kept the attention of all my kids each time!

The book is recommended for ages 8 -12 and as you see all three of my children fall under the recommendation and I must say it is right on. All three of my kids enjoyed and participated in the discussions of the stories. I wasn't sure if my smallest would understand some of the concepts but to my surprise he jumped right into answering like the older two did.

This is the 3nd book in the "One Minute Mysteries" series and I have to say personally my family enjoyed this book greatly. This would be awesome for just a read aloud or a different twist to your science lessons daily. 

The book is $9.95 and full of fun information!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Adventures In Odyssey - A Call To Serve!!

Join Adventures in Odyssey this summer to discover how fun it can be to serve others!

Adventures in Odyssey, the beloved audio series from Focus on the Family, has encouraged kids toward a stronger faith for 25 years. Whit, Connie, Eugene, and the other loveable characters from Odyssey have shared countless adventures with kids across the world in the classic audio dramas, books, videos, and devotionals, fulfilling the AIO promise to help kids discover, imagine, and grow.

This summer, Adventures in Odyssey is joining with Christian bookstores across the country, inviting kids to participate in a Summer of Service. They’re promoting the biblical message, “When you serve, everybody wins,” encouraging kids to serve their families, their communities, and their world. Whether it’s baking cookies for an elderly neighbor or putting together a care package for missionaries overseas, kids will discover that serving can be a blast!  

How the A.C.T.S. (A Call to Service) challenge and contest works:

Kids who join A.C.T.S. can pick up a service log and collect fun character stickers for hours served at participating bookstores throughout the summer, or download a serving log online at  At the end of the summer, kids can record and upload a short video telling how they serve and why they’d like to become an Adventures in Odyssey Ambassador. 

A hundred winners will get the brand new AIO Album, and after online voting, two grand prize winners (one boy and one girl) will get to travel on an exciting Good-Goers Mission Based Adventure trip to another country with a parent!  The out-of-country destination will be announced on a live podcast May 22—hosted by AIO actors Katie Leigh (Connie) and Chris Anthony (Chris)—which you can watch at You don’t want to miss it!

Why serve?

Our culture puts an extravagant amount of energy into raising kids who will grow up to feel good about themselves. In schools, clubs, homes, and even at church, adults have made a decided effort to bolster children’s “self-esteem” –not by actually encouraging kids do something that’s worthwhile, but by simply telling them they are important and valuable. 

At the turn of the century, researchers predicted that the next generation would respond to these efforts of raising self-esteem by being filled with optimism and civic duty. Unfortunately, recent research shows the opposite. Kids coming of age today are more self-centered, disrespectful of authority, and depressed than ever before.

In a very real way, then, the best path toward building selfless, confident children is to help and encourage them toward a growing and thriving faith in God. And that includes obedience to what God teaches—not because it makes kids feel good, although it often does—but because they’re following God’s instructions to love Him and serve others. That builds a faith they can count on and carry with them into adulthood—which is the greatest gift any parent can bestow on their child.
There is a free AIO service episode available on mp3 download here.

They have also provided a great list of ideas for kids to serve here as a free download.  

My children love to help our neighbors and at Thanksgiving we had the pleasure to take Thanksgiving meals to elderly shut ins and my children loved this opportunity! I believe the elderly enjoyed the visiting as well. We where the last ones to get back to the church but that didn't matter to us!