Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pirate Party!

My nephew Wyatt turned three a couple of weeks ago and we celebrated Pirate style!  
He loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates and we used that as inspiration for the party. 

All the kids had bandanas and those who wanted them got mustaches drawn on.  The boys loved it!
We had a few outdoor activities planned but ended up getting rained out.  :-(

What is a pirate party without a little pirate-y type food? 
And my mom and sister did a great job on the Jake cake!
I made Wyatt a cute little pirate tote - complete with inside pockets. 
We were all dressed for the occasion.
And we got to put my dad's stuffed alligator to good use as the "crocodile" that chased Captain Hook.  All the kids loved getting their picture taken with the "croc".  ;-)

Check out my Pirate Party Pinterest Board for more great piratey ideas!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lakehouse Fun!

We have enjoyed a few weekends at my inlaws' lakehouse.  My sweet girl and I sportin' our shades.
It was a little chilly so we were pansies for awhile and eased our way in... should have just jumped in and gotten it over with!  ;-)
Me with a couple of my favorite girls!
Nate had a blast on his first tube ride!  He was hesitant at first but he loved it!
We took our friends to Rocket Science Ice Cream in Nappanee, Indiana for an tasty treat!
 We have loved being able to share the lakehouse with our friends.  Sadly my mother-in-law's health has declined and her compromised immune system is too susceptible to sickness and infections.  For the sake of her health our visits will be family only in the future. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Favorite Gluten-free Recipes

Between switching to gluten-free and being a part of a CSA produce coop I've been branching out a lot in the kitchen.  Often our coop provides me with produce that I am unfamiliar with so I have been searching for creative ways to use them that will appease my family's tastes.  The internet has been a wealth of information and help finding new recipes to try out.

My family loved the swiss chard on cauliflower pizza crust... even my mother-in-law who might be one of the pickiest eaters I know!  Kale is another item we often get that I didn't really know what to do with.  A few ways we have enjoyed eating it are in our scrambled eggs, in mashed potatoes and as chips.

Last week we went and picked strawberries with some friends and I wanted to try something new.  I found a great recipe for strawberry rhubarb upside down cake that was practically magical!

photo source


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lego Party!

Well, it wasn't hard to come up with a theme for Nate's birthday party.  He is obsessed with Legos.  I mean seriously.  Every time he prays he ends the prayer with "and thank you for my X number Lego sets".  He has done this for years.  Every time he gets a new set he ups the number and always keeps track of how many he owns.  He can spend hours building and creating.  They are one of the greatest toys ever.  Until you step on one in the middle of the night.  Then they are Satan's spawn. 

I got a lot of the ideas and resources for the party on Pinterest.  We had such a great time with our friends and family at Nate's party.  Thanks to everyone who helped him to enjoy his "golden" birthday!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Well Planned Day Giveaway

Well, whether we like it or not we have to give some thought to what the fall semester will hold for our family's home school.  I have been working on getting a plan together for Nate's upcoming third grade year.

We have used Heart of Dakota since Nate started pre-K.  It is a great choice for beginner homeschool families because it has every day preplanned for you so there is not a lot of lesson planning, which can be very intimidating at first.

But we felt it was time for a change for us.  So the new school year's daily routine will look a little differently than last year's.  I am planning on using Singapore Math 3a&b (its what we have been using since be started homeschooling and we have really liked it), All About Spelling (heard great things from other families and we're going to try it out for the first time this year), and Nate will also be doing Easy Peasy All In One Homeschool for the rest of his subjects (science, English, history, bible & music). I've blogged about Easy Peasy before when sharing free homeschool resources.  It is a curriculum using nearly all free online resources from one homeschool mom.  I think Nate will really enjoy having school on the computer and I will like having most of the planning already done for me.  ;-)

Every family is different and each child is as well.  What works for one homeschool family may not be the best choice for another.  Its good to have a plan but its also a good idea to be flexible and be willing to make changes to your plan if you need to.  Curriculum Choice has a good post on How to Make an Overall Plan for The Year.  The Clutter-Free Classroom posted tips for planning short and long term goals.

Since I'm doing some mixing & matching with our curriculum this year its not all laid out for me in a teacher's guide as it has in the past.  I am going to have to be more diligent about planning and managing our school days.  A great way to organize your lesson planning and family schedule is with the Well Planned Day homeschool family planner.

Organize your busy days all in one place with this beautifully-designed planner. The Well-Planned Day is a family homeschool organizer, designed especially for moms. This effective, yet easy-to-use format will ensure that each day at your home is smooth and profitable.

I am new to Well Planned Day myself but I found this post from a fellow homeschool mom on how she uses her WPD planner to be very helpful.  She goes through and shows you exactly how she uses the planner to schedule and record family activities and homeschool information effectively and keep their schedule and school organized. I am looking forward to using it for our family's upcoming school year!

The flexibility of The Well-Planned Day is one of its greatest assets. - See more at: http://hedua.com/blog/how-i-use-the-well-planned-day-planner/#sthash.EDWWQWNw.dpuf

Now for the fun part!!  One lucky Wani's World reader will win their own Well Planned Day family homeschool planner.  Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored giveaway that includes affiliate links.   But all opinions are my own.  Thanks!  ;-)

Monday, July 01, 2013

Wedding Season!

My family has been busy with a wedding boom!  In the last 9mos or so we've had two of my sisters, two cousins and one aunt get married... and two more cousins get engaged!  What a wonderful time of celebration!  With weddings come expenses...  I thought I would share how we were able to recycle some of our decorations to be used in all of these occasions!

Hannah & Ted had a literary themed wedding with beautiful colorful and classy flour arrangements.  My mom did the floral arch and custom did the chalkboard.  It was lovely.
My sister, Lauren had a courthouse wedding out of town and followed it with a country bbq reception a couple of months later.  It was a little more laid back so we modified the arrangements from Hannah's reception to take on the "country" feel.  And of course we added a few new touches to the mix, like the colorful burlap bunting.
My cousin Sean's new wife Kristen had already chosen to go with sunflowers and was happy to borrow the arch from Hannah's for their beautiful backyard ceremony.
My cousin Brad's reception was held in a large open air building with great exposed brick and needed a touch of color.  They borrowed the bunting from Lauren's reception to add a pop of color!
And my aunt Jody just got married this past weekend.  She was one of the most laid back brides I have ever seen.  ;-)  It was a second marriage for her and she just wanted to get married, the rest was just details.  So, the night before the wedding my mom added purple flowers to the sunflower arch to define the ceremony area.  It turned out beautifully. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?  And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.