10 Summer Fun Ideas

Now that the school year is coming to a close, it’s a great time to make a plan for summer fun! Use this list of 10 summer fun ideas to keep your kiddos active!

 

 

1. Masking Tape Mission: Check out the youtube video below to find a cheap, easy, fun and creative way to get your kiddos in on a mission!

 

 

2. Zoo Scavenger Hunt: Take your trip to the zoo up a notch with this printable Zoo Scavenger Hunt Activity from www.icanteachmychild.com:

 

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http://www.icanteachmychild.com/2012/04/printable-zoo-scavenger-hunt/

 

 

3. Teddy Zip Wire: I think every boy will love this one! We’ll be trading the teddy for ninja turtles. And maybe even line up two zip wires next to one another and let them have a race!

 

 

4. Local Nursery (if you’ve got a good one!) If your boys are into bugs and your girls are into butterflies a nursery is a great place to go. Check out some of the fun we have at our local nursery:

10 Summer Fun Ideas www.supernaturalresources.com10 Summer Fun Ideas www.supernaturalresources.com

 

 

5. Library: This is an easy one, but there are always so many great activities going on for kids of all ages at the library. It’s more than just books! Check out your local library’s summer schedule for singers, musicians, animal demonstrations, craft activities and more!

 

 

6. Grocery Store Field Trip: Just because school is out doesn’t mean you can’t go on a field trip! I’ve had some friends tell me that our local grocery store does a great tour and talk with the kids who come in for field trips. We’ll be doing one this summer:)

 

 

7. Kitchen Cafe: Make a menu for your kiddos. Charge them for what’s cookin’ in your cafe (and for clean up :) ). We did this when mine were learning about money. I put a bowl full of coins on the table for them to use. They got to look at the menu and figure out what coins to use to pay me for what they ordered. My older one loved it. My younger one hated it because he thought it would be too hard. But once he finally realized it wasn’t as hard as he originally thought, he wanted to do it again and again!

 

 

8. Cool down sweet treats: It’s so hot here already. Make this yummy sweet treat from www.nourishingmeals.com with your kiddos to cool down:

 

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Watermelon Whole Fruit Popsicles

 

 

9. Bowling: Go to www.kidsbowlfree.com today to sign up for free bowling at a bowling alley near you. Each child gets two free games (you just pay for their shoes)!

 

 

10. Creative Art Time: For girls have fun making these tie flip flops from www.spoonful.com:

 

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http://spoonful.com/crafts/fluffy-flip-flops

 

 

For boys have fun with toilet paper cars from www.tpcraft.blogspot.com :)

 

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http://tpcraft.blogspot.com/2011/02/toilet-paper-roll-race-car.html

 

What fun ideas do you have lined up for you and your kiddos to stay active this summer?

 

 

Sam’s or Costco? III

If you read the original “Sam’s or Costco?” post AND “Sam’s or Costco? II” and still aren’t convinced, this post might just do it for you…especially the last item ;) But let’s not get in a hurry and miss these other great deals you can find at my favorite warehouse. Take a look at these!

 

Today: Sugar (the good for you kind), Quinoa and Oils.

Sam's or Costco? www.supernaturalresources.comSam's or Costco? www.supernaturalresources.com

Coconut/Palm Sugar is about $5 for a 1 lb bag at my local grocery store, so buying in bulk at this price is definitely savings for me. My hubby uses this to sweeten his coffee. This is a great sugar alternative if you are looking for healthier options!

 

Sam's or Costco? III www.supernaturalresources.comSam's or Costco? III www.supernaturalresources.com

Quinoa. If you eat quinoa this is a GREAT deal. It can be quite expensive when you buy the small, individual bags. My favorite meatloaf recipe uses quinoa. Also, two other recipes we love quinoa in are Cajun Red Beans and Quinoa and Quinoa Salmon Burgers. Both of these recipes can be found in the cookbook Nourishing Meals: Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes for the Whole Family. My mom-in-law bought this cookbook for me for Christmas and it’s one of my faves! It goes way beyond just recipes, including they whys behind eating healthy and the how to’s to get you started. Very helpful resource!

 

Sam's or Costco? III www.supernaturalresources.comSam's or Costco? III www.supernaturalresources.com

Olive Oil. This one speaks for itself:) Olive oil is great for mixing up your own salad dressing at home! Or try this go to recipe we use as a chicken marinade. Turns out delish every time!

 

And my absolute favorite deal at my healthy choice warehouse store is……

Sam's or Costco? III www.supernaturalresources.comSam's or Costco? III www.supernaturalresources.com

Coconut Oil! You might have to do a double take on that shiny price photo to make sure you really saw it right. Yes, that 54 ounce jar of coconut oil is only $15.99. At my local grocery store, the 16 ounce container costs $9.99. CAN’T BEAT THIS PRICE! I use this stuff for everything…sautéing anything, coating vegetables for roasting, in desserts, etc.

There are many more deals on healthy food items at Costco like a 10 lb bag of organic carrots for $5.99, organic whole chickens for $2.49/lb and more! But that’s all we’re going to cover in this series:) I hope this helps some of you out there who are considering joining a warehouse. If you are looking for affordable, healthy choices, then Costco is it!

Sam’s or Costco? II

Thanks for joining me for Part II of the series called “Sam’s or Costco?” You can find out which warehouse I like to shop at and why here in the first installment of “Sam’s or Costco?”. You’ll also find the great deals I get on frozen veggies there:)

Good food is just plain expensive. I mean, when you really compare it to the processed stuff on the shelves, quality meat, dairy and produce can add up quick. So I try to get a great deal when I can. Today I’m going to talk to you about frozen fruit. At my local grocery store 1 lb of frozen, organic blueberries is $3.98.

This is what I was thrilled to find at my fave warehouse:

Sam's or Costco? II www.supernaturalresources.comSam's or Costco? II www.supernaturalresources.com

A 4 lb bag of frozen, organic wild blueberries at $3.39/lb means savings for me and lots of frozen blueberries available for me and my family to snack on. My kiddos eat this in Wildly Delicious Blueberry Oatmeal.

Sam's or Costco? II www.supernaturalresources.comSam's or Costco? II www.supernaturalresources.com

The frozen organic cherries are a brand new item at my local Costco. I haven’t even gotten to purchase them yet! But I was excited to see them and know I have another delicious frozen fruit selection. This Cherry Crisp recipe by Melissa at I Breathe I’m Hungry looks like a delicious one to try some cherries out on.

How do you like your fruit? Plain? Baked in muffins or breads? Yogurt? I take them any or all of those ways! I’d love to hear about your favorite fruit recipe in the comments below:)

 

Sam’s or Costco?

Thinking about getting a warehouse membership to save on groceries? Not sure which one to pick? Should I choose Sam’s or Costco? If you are looking for healthy options, Costco is a great choice.

My very first warehouse membership was at Costco. The nearest Costco to me is…well, kind of far. But we did it. The first time or two driving out there was enjoyable, but after a few months it seemed like a lot of driving. And this Costco does not have a gas station to save on the price of gas.

So when our membership ran out, we switched to Sam’s Club. I was really happy with my decision for two reasons. The first reason was that there were two Sam’s Clubs pretty close to me, so I could go either direction and get to one pretty quickly. The second reason was that both of them had a gas station and always had great gas prices.

Then I started eating healthy right around May of 2012. You can read a little about that here.

Now that I was looking for better eating options, Sam’s didn’t have what I was looking for. The only organic thing in the entire warehouse was the organic spinach.

When you are really trying to get great food, the best option is to go local and organic, but we can’t all get to the farmer’s market every week. And sometimes you just gotta buy in bulk and not worry about the food going bad!

So when our membership was up, we went back to Costco.

I am really pleased with our decision. And I am going to share with you some of the healthier options that Costco has for you if you become a member:)

Also, the things I will be sharing with you are cheaper at Costco. Not everything is, but these particular items I have found to be cheaper at Costco than at my local market.

Hope you find this helpful!

 

Today: Frozen Veggies

Costco or Sam's? www.supernaturalresources.com Costco or Sam's? www.supernaturalresources.com

5 lb bag of Organic Green Beans: We really enjoy these roasted. Even my kiddos love them! I use this recipe here (I coated mine with coconut oil instead of olive oil).

 

Costco or Sam's? www.supernaturalresources.com  Costco or Sam's? www.supernaturalresources.com

4 lb bag of Organic Broccoli Florets: We eat these any way we can get them. Steamed. Roasted. In a stir fry. In soup. Yum.

 

Costco or Sam's? www.supernaturalresources.com  Costco or Sam's? www.supernaturalresources.com

1 lb container of Organic Spring Mix: I usually prefer to get baby spinach, but at the time of this photo all our local stores were having spinach shortages. Weird. Greens are good. Eat them in salads, smoothies, soups or sautéed with onions.

 

 

 

 

CSA Goodies

Last Friday, a week ago today, I got my first batch ever of CSA goodies. If you haven’t heard of it, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It’s you buying food from your local farmer. I love the idea. But it took me a while to figure out who to go with. I used the website www.localharvest.org to find CSAs near me. I found several to choose from. But I wanted something close and organic. And there was one. Exactly one. So I contacted the farmer/gardener and was bummed to find out that I couldn’t be added to his CSA customers/route at the time:(

So I kept looking into it, looking for other farmers to choose from. I never settled on which one to pick.

Time went by.

A friend and I attended a free gardening lecture at one of our local nurseries. Another person attended the same lecture. The same famer guy that I had called to buy veggies from:)

More time went by.

I attended another lecture, this time at another local nursery, given by this same farmer guy himself. I took tons of notes and asked questions and bought the broccoli he recommended. I also bought the Rock Phosphate that he suggested putting in the soil under your tomato transplants. After the lecture, I asked him about our homeschool group coming to visit his farm/garden. He said, “What is your objective?” Ummm, for someone besides me to show my kids the importance of gardening?” Well, apparently he thought that was good enough. Whew! So we went to the farm a month or so later and had a fabulous time. He was great with the kids and let them munch on some of his abundant harvest. And of course at the end of the trip I had to ask again. “Is there any chance of me being able to get on your CSA route?” After much discussion and an email with my address to see if I was close enough for delivery, he said YES! Yay! I was so excited.

So. After about 2 years, I received my first batch of local, organic of goodies from his CSA.

Take a look at this supernatural goodness. It’s purty:)

CSA Goodies www.supernaturalresources.com

PS: I got my second CSA bag today. While he was here I showed him my little garden. He said my tomato plants are bigger than his. Guess that Rock Phosphate worked pretty good:)

Enjoying the Evidence

In my house we have a saying. “Get rid of your evidence!” That means you left a mess out somewhere. There is evidence that you have played, eaten, etc. in this spot. Come clean it up! Sometimes the evidence can really get to me because it can be everywhere. I’m sure you moms know what I’m talking about.

I was talking to a dear friend of mine. I was venting. You know, where you tell a friend about what you are going through and they agree and tell you how horrible it is. Well, it didn’t quite go like that. After I finished complaining, she told me how happy she is to be able to have those evidence leavers around to take care of and clean up after.

Hmmm.

She was right. I think about what she said all the time. When I notice myself getting upset as I clean up others’ evidence, I tell myself to enjoy the evidence. I am so thankful for each evidence leaver. I never want to do life without them. If that means cleaning up after them, I’ll take it. And when I’m older I might just miss those messes. Maybe.

So today, I’m sharing a little evidence. I look back at this evidence with gladness. Thankful for each little mess.

Enjoying the Evidence www.supernaturalresources.com

I like this one because my son wears unmatching socks. We homeschool so he doesn’t even know that’s a fashion trend right now:)

 

Enjoying the Evidence www.supernaturalresources.com

This is our broom under the couch. Why? Because this is how we get the pet rabbit out from under its favorite hiding spot:)

 

Enjoying the Evidence www.supernaturalresources.com

My son loves doing this skeleton puzzle. I love that!  This mess makes me smile.

 

Enjoying the Evidence www.supernaturalresources.com

A brush here, a brush there…

 

Enjoying the Evidence www.supernaturalresources.com

That brush could be anywhere! :)

 

Enjoying the Evidence www.supernaturalresources.com

And lastly, games left out. This represents fun. This represents a time where my kiddos were playing together, being nice to one another, smiling and laughing together. This one might just be my favorite!

I have to be honest, though. I leave my own messes around too. My hubby will testify to that. But my messes don’t seem to bother me as much:)

Next time you are frustrated about the mess  in your house, try to take the perspective of my dear friend. Enjoy the evidence:)

 

 

 

Garden in Pictures

I love gardening. I think it is so amazing the way a seed turns into a little green sprout that comes up bent and opens wide toward the sky. And how that sprout grows tall and produces flowers. And how after the flower dies away, whatever the fruit is of that plant grows.

It is such a demonstration of the magnificence our creator God. When I see what is happening in the garden I can’t help but be in awe of Him and how marvelously He does things.

Today, I want to share with you some of His beauty that I have captured in photos in my own garden. I hope you enjoy as much as I do!

garden in picures www.supernaturalresources.com

This is our new Meyer lemon tree we purchased this year. It has beautiful white flowers. My hubby says the smell of the flowers was worth the purchase and that the lemons are a bonus! The bees like it too. Can you see the little guy in the top right hand corner that flew out of the flower just as I took the picture?

 

garden in picures www.supernaturalresources.com

This is a back view of our coral honeysuckly plant that is growing on the trellis. It’s just beautiful. It has produced more flowers this year than ever before. And it has been tons of fun too because my kids just learned how to get the nectar from the flowers. The hummingbirds also visit us occasionally because of this plant.

 

garden in picures www.supernaturalresources.com

These are flowers growing from a blueberry plant we have. We got it at the end of last year from someone who was moving and gave away several plants. It has just recently started blooming all these gorgeous flowers. The way they hang downward is just lovely. I’m hoping we’ll get some yummy berries too!

 

garden in picures www.supernaturalresources.com

And finally, this is another shot from our coral honeysuckle plant. The flowers on this plant are just amazingly beautiful. Long, slender, colorful and then a small surprise of a budded flower at the end.

Thanks for joining me in the garden!

 

How to Grow Tomatoes in Texas

 

 

How to Grow Tomatoes www.supernaturalresources.com

I recently attended a lecture at my local nursery on how to grow tomatoes. If your local nursery provides gardening or cooking lectures, GO! I had a great time at the lecture and learned a lot. What I love about going to things like this is that other people have questions that you don’t, so you always learn more than you thought you needed to knowSmile

This particular lecture was given by Kevin Callaway, a true tomato lover. This guy travels the world for tomatoes and he told us all about it. Here in Texas, it is tomato growing time, so sit back, grab a pen and paper and take notes on these tomato growing tips!

What kind of tomatoes should I plant?

Kevin Callaway gave us his favorites. He said he LOVES Cherokee Purple. The Cherokee Purples are large, dark tomatoes which seem to be a favorite around here. I tried to buy some after the lecture but the nursery ran out. I called for a couple of weeks after and I couldn’t get my hands on a single one. But I was finally able to find some at another nursery and I’ve got three growing in my garden right now. He also suggested the Tigris tomato.

If you are looking for a cherry-sized variety tomato he suggested Cherry Sweet 100 or Sun Gold. He said the Sun Gold has great production.

What do my tomatoes need to grow well?

Plant your tomatoes in full sun. They like it.

Tomatoes need root space. Kevin uses raised beds. But that’s not all. He takes 20 gallon plastic planting containers and drills holes in the bottom. He then fills them with a mix of Baccto Soil mix, turkey compost and Back to Nature cow manure. He also layers the top of the mix with more turkey compost. Kevin uses the largest tomato cage to put into his container and then adds the 8 foot bamboo poles to give even more support. He places the tomato plant in the container and the container on the raised bed. The plant’s roots grow into the container and down through the holes into the raised bed beneath.

Tomatoes need their water. He said he waters four times a day. I’m not sure about how much each time. But if your tomato plant gets stressed from not having enough water, it will never produce at its potential. So make sure to keep it well hydrated!

The fertilizer of choice for your precious tomatoes is Texas Tomato Food which has a healthy blend of nitrogen, phosphorus and calcium.

What kind of organic pest control can I use?

Kevin said that here in Texas, spider mites are our worst problem. After growing tomatoes for three years now I have never had spider mites, but many people at the lecture had questions about these pesky bugs. If you are having problems with spider mites, Kevin suggested a few options:

  • Remove vegetation
  • Spinosad is a good one to use right in the beginning. It helps with young plants.
  • Organocide (can burn, so use caution)
  • Purchase Ladybugs which feed on spider mites
  • Sucrashield (a new organic substance)

If you have problems with birds getting to your tomatoes, his suggestion was netting material to cover your plants.

Other helpful information

Putting mulch on the soil around your plants protects them from spoil splash, a leaf disease that arises from water bouncing off the soil and splashing the underneath of the leaves. Tomatoes don’t like it too cold. They prefer temperatures 50 degrees and above. Make sure to keep your plants covered if the temperature gets down to 32 degrees as they cannot survive freezing temperatures.

As a fairly new gardener, these tips are sure to help me to do better in the tomato growing department than years past. I hope they help you grow enough tomatoes for you and your family, and enough to share tooSmile

Soup Is The New Cereal

Soup Is The New Cereal Gaps diet www.supernaturalresources.com

If you are on the GAPS diet you know exactly what I’m talking about. Soup is the new cereal. Long gone are the days of whatever your “normal” breakfast was. Welcome to the new normal. Soup. Or broth to be more precise. I guess I could also call this post broth for breakfast. But I’ll stick with what I’ve got. Let’s compare, shall we?

A few words on cereal by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, the creator of the GAPS Diet: “Being a great source of processed carbohydrates, breakfast cereals feed abnormal bacteria and fungi in the gut, allowing them to produce a new portion of their own toxins…” The fiber advertised in cereals are “the wrong kind of fiber…The fiber in breakfast cereals is full of phytates – substances that bind essential minerals and take them out of the systems, contributing to a patient’s mineral deficiencies.” What she says is better: “Meat and fish stocks provide building blocks for the rapidly growing cells of the gut lining and they have a soothing effect on any areas of inflammation in the gut.”

Okay, so it’s totally weird, I know. When I first started GAPS, my family sat down around the table with a plate full of eggs and bacon and a little juice. And me? Well, I had a bowl of chicken stock. It. Was. Weird. But we all got used to it. And now I am out of the introduction stages and am eating eggs like a pro with the rest of themSmile  Except my juice is freshly pressed these days. Who knew carrot juice was so tasty? And just to keep the goodness in, sometimes a bowl of chicken stock makes it on the table for breakfast. Because, well, soup is the new cereal.

GAPS Diet

GAPS Diet supernaturalresources.comI have been eating a little different lately. Bone broth. Have you heard of it? I recently watched a youtube series on the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Diet by Melissa Washburn. Melissa is not the creator of the diet, but the one doing the series. Just wanted to make sure I didn’t confuse anyone. There were a few things that really stuck out to me in her demonstration.

  1. She explains how your gut flora is responsible for breaking down your food, sending your nutrients to your cells and the toxins to your bowel to be removed. She says that if your gut flora is out of balance, then they cannot properly do their task. If they can’t properly do their task, then toxins can be going into your blood stream and usually head straight to your brain.
  2. Her kids, who usually broke out into hives, were healed of their egg allergy within the first two weeks of the diet and also experienced healing in many other ways.

I have been eating really great, whole foods since May of last year (2012). I really don’t want to be eating healthy and not having it achieve any good in my body because of my gut flora possibly being out of balance. Also, I do have an allergy reaction that I believe is from eggs.

I am really convinced that God is the ultimate healer and with one word He can eliminate sickness or disease or allergy or whatever it may be. But I also believe there is so much wisdom in choosing to eat REAL FOOD. It really does do a body good.

So I am giving this GAPS Diet a try. I have completed about a week of the introduction phase so far. It has been helpful that I recently learned how to make chicken broth and stock in the crockpot. That has helped me get in the routine of making bone broth without any problems. And it’s a good thing, because in the beginning that is pretty much what you are living on. Bone broth. With a few additions as you go.

You can check out more on this GAPS Diet by watching the 7 part series on the GAPS Diet below and how it has helped Melissa Washburn’s family. If you can’t watch all 7 parts, part 2 is the one that explains my point 1 above. Let me know what you think. Have you tried the GAPS Diet? Did it help you?

If you want to know more, you can read The Gut And Psychology Syndrome book by the creator of the diet, Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, a neurologist who healed her son of autism with this diet.