Friday, January 31, 2014

Lovin' the Weekend Blog Hops: January 31-February 2, 2014

Welcome to Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hops with your co-hosts:
Karen from Tots and Me and Rena from An Ordinary Housewife.

Thank you to every one who has stopped by, whether this is your first visit or you have been a faithful ongoing participant! 

We would love for you to stop by both of the co-hosts and follow us, then feel free to add your links to any or all of the following linkies.

 We also randomly choose a Featured host each week from the Lovin' The Readers linky. This week we are featuring Amanda from Living, Learning, and Loving Life.

 Here's what she has to say:
"I've been blogging on one blog or another since 2004. Most of the time, I can be found writing on Living, Learning, and Loving Life, where I publish book reviews, author interviews, book giveaways, kid quotes and stories, and occasional rants about the latest thing to set me off. Occasionally, I stop into my other blogs, where I write about Asperger's and health and fitness."

Don't forget to link up to the Lovin' the Readers Hop if you would like a chance to be a Featured host next week. Please comment with a way to contact you, especially if there is not an obvious way mentioned on your blog. We would love to include a little write up about you and your blog in the next week's Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hop post, including a link to your blog. And you will get to include the linky codes on your blog. Sound fun? We're looking forward to getting to know our readers better.

Here's how this blog hop works. We would appreciate it if you would follow Tots and Me and An Ordinary Housewife  then please head on over to our Featured Host and follow as well. If you no longer have GFC please follow in some other way. After that there are three different linkies you can link to. Whichever one you choose to link to, please grab that button and share it on your blog (the codes are on Tot's and Me's sidebar). We'd love it if you could tweet or in some other way share about this blog hop, the more people who know about it, the more potential visitors and new followers of your blog. We'd love to meet some new friends this weekend.  

Some people are more interested in just increasing their numbers, while others really want people who appreciate their blog and want to keep up with their posts. So, there are two separate blog hop linkies. 

The third linky is for you to link up your giveaways.

If you are interested in increasing the number of followers to your blog via GFC, Linky Followers, email, Twitter, Facebook or Google+ link up here. We will follow you back if you follow us (just note which one you are linking to):

Tots and Me

If you are interested in gaining followers to your blog who will read and comment and truly find an interest in your blog, link up here:

Tots and Me

If you have family friendly giveaways to link up, here's your spot. Please make sure to include an end date for your giveaway.

Tots and Me

We are so glad you stopped by. Please leave a comment if you link up and we will be sure to stop by and follow back.

Don't forget to check out my "Blog Hops" page for other great blog hops!!

Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen #71: Zebra Pudding

Time for Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen
(A weekly linky to share what you and your children have created in the kitchen.)


The linky is at the bottom.

This week our Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen time comes straight out of the My Father's World curriculum. We are learning about Z: Zebra and there is a recipe for Zebra Pudding in the teacher's manual. I have never made pudding without a boxed mix, so this was something new for all of us.

(The following amounts have been doubled, as the amounts listed in the book wouldn't be enough for 6 people.)

6 Tbs cornstarch
4 cups milk, divided
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chocolate chips

(In case you are wondering about the muscles, headbands and towel, they had just watched an episode of The Magic School Bus earlier in the day where they learned about the importance of exercise and had been working out to get their oxygen to their muscles.)

Now, back to the recipe.

We mixed 3 1/2 cups of milk and the honey in a saucepan and cooked it over medium heat.

The older girls took turns stirring the mixture.

Meanwhile Hannah and Harold helped mix the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of milk in our glass measuring cup.

Stirring the cornstarch/milk mixture helped keep Harold occupied while we waited for the milk and honey mixture to to get close to boiling.

When the milk/honey mixture was almost boiling...

...I added the milk/cornstarch mixture to the pan and stirred constantly until it began to boil.

It thickened up really fast.

I then removed it from the heat and added the vanilla. Half of the pudding (2 cups) was put back into the measuring cup.

And we added the chocolate chips to the pudding in the pan.

We stirred until the chips were melted.

While it was still warm I poured it into 5 sundae cups plus one bowl, alternating the chocolate and vanilla to look like zebra stripes.

Mix 1 3/4 cups milk and 1/4 cups honey in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring often.
While milk/honey mixture is cooking, mix 1/2 cup of milk and cornstarch.
When the milk/honey mixture is almost boiling add the milk/cornstarch mixture to the pan. Stir constantly until it begins to boil.
Remove from heat and add 1 tsp of vanilla. 
Pour half (2 cups) pudding back into measuring cup.
Add 1/4 cup chocolate chips to pudding in the pan and stir until they melt. 
While the pudding is still warm, pour into glasses, alternating chocolate and vanilla to look like zebra stripes.
Let pudding cool in the refrigerator. 

Do you have your children help you in the kitchen?  What lessons do they learn? Do you have any kid friendly recipes to share?

I'd love to see your posts, whether you have done something this week or some time in the past. Just link up below. This is a weekly linky.

I am linking up to:
PhotobucketFull Time MamaMore the Merrier Monday

Melt in Your Mouth Monday
Try a New Recipe Tuesday at Home to Four Kiddos
The Gathering Spot at Mamal Diane
Friday Food Frenzy at Close to Home
Fantastic Thursday at Five Little Chefs
Foodie Friends Friday at Robyn'sView
Family Fun Friday at Happy and Blessed Home
Find a New Recipe Friday at Almost Supermom

And here is my Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen linky

NV Able Items Giveaway: Win a Wooden Coat Rack with Hand Forged Hooks

I am thrilled for this opportunity to both bring my readers this wonderful giveaway and help a fellow homeschooling, bloggy mom introduce her husbands new Etsy shop and the wonderful handmade products he creates. Continue reading to meet Noah and be amazed at the beauty he has made out of what others may consider worthless. 

The Blacksmith

Meet Noah. 

"I live in Virginia on a small farmish piece of land with my wife and children. We are trying to live completely off this piece of God's creation. So we live here, grow our food here, teach our children here and now work here. The Items we create here are aesthetically pleasing and intentionally useful. A picture is nice but it is even better when it covers a hole in your wall. I enjoy reworking things considered worthless, making them beautiful and useful again!"
~ Noah V.
  NV Able Items

Noah creates all of his beautiful creations by hand, in his shop, located in Southwestern Virginia. Blacksmithing has always been a passion of his. Developing work from discarded materials continue to provide him with new challenges and a sense of adventure.

Whether it's a knife made from an old railroad spike, or a rustic spoon from old rebar, Noah delights in making something beautiful, creative and useful, from old materials!

Custom orders are welcome at NV Able items! If you have a need in mind, Noah is willing to help you design or create whatever you may need. The possibilities are endless!

Coat Rack 
Jewlery Holder
Kitchen Utensial Organizer
Pot and Pan Holder 
 Towel Holder
Custom Made Valentine's Day Gifts
Father's Day Gifts

Click HERE to View Etsy Shop
To Order A Custom Design

Noah is continuing to develop new items, creations and designs. If you would like to be notified when NEW ITEMS ARE ADDED to his shop, please enter your email below! Emails are only sent out occasionally and your email address will not be sold, traded or used for any other purpose.

Receive Updates from NV Able Items

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 In honor of the opening of his new Etsy shop, NV Able Items, Noah is giving away a beautiful coat rack with 3 hand forged hooks and brackets on reclaimed wood from a rustic Virginian barn. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: January 29, 2014 (w/linky)- Big Boy in a Big Car Seat

Seems it was time to get Harold into a bigger car seat. He is quite happy with the new arrangement.

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.


Toddler Ideas Tuesday: January 28th, 2014


It has been awhile since I have posted a Toddler Idea Tuesday post. In fact, the series really never took off like I planned, just not enough time to post a separate post about what I was doing with Hannah. I would like to revive this linky and start sharing what I am doing with Harold. While I share our fun times I would love to see what you are doing with your toddlers. Additionally, I would love to feature some of the posts that link up each week. More details can be found at the end of the post.

I have been including Harold in our lesson time for a while now. I would prefer he not be wandering too much and getting into things while I am busy with his older sisters. Here, let me share some of the ways he has been involved.

He likes to color and glue.

I just found out last week that he really enjoys cutting too. He can cut some very nice fringes. 

But, I was feeling that he needed more. Something to help develop his skills. So, while the older girls are working on their work from their workboxes, Hannah and Harold and I have been getting comfy on the living room floor. 

We have a few activities that came with the preschool curriculum from My Father's World. We really didn't use them very much last year, so I figured it was high time we put them to use. These activities are labeled as being for ages 3+, however, as long as we are working together, I am not concerned about Harold placing them in his mouth and choking on them. As, I am assuming that is why the are labeled this way. 

I started with the Fit-a-Space Activity

I thought Harold would love to help take out the puzzle pieces.

I wasn't prepared for how well he was able to match the colors and the shapes in order to put the puzzles back together. 

Though he has a bit of trouble with fitting some of the shapes back in, he has no problem figuring out where they go. 

I then pulled out the Number Puzzle Boards and Pegs. He enjoys both stacking the pegs...

...and putting them in the holes one at a time.

Stacking is by far the favorite! We count them and I tell him what the colors are.

One of the things the girls do every time we have a new letter is try to figure out which letter is in the feely bag. They feel the letter and whisper to daddy what they think the letter is. As the bag was out from earlier when they told daddy that we were learning about the letter z, I decided to take some of the numbers and place them in the bag for Harold to pull out.

Though he doesn't recognize them yet, I figured it would be a great way to really get him to interact with the numbers.

Yesterday I also pulled out the Fit-A-Space Activity again. 

This time Hannah decided she wanted to thread them on the string that comes with them. I was surprised that Harold was able to thread them too.

He helped his sister with her "necklace."

And then he wanted to make his own.

Along with these fun fine-motor activities Harold helps during our Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen time. He is learning to measure and cut.

With a little help of course.

He also loves music. He has been enjoying our time with Kinderbach, clapping or banging along with rhythm instruments. 

What sort of activities do you do with your toddler? Do you have some favorite fine-motor activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on my Toddler Ideas board and I would love to feature 2 or 3 different activities each week from what is linked up. Please know I will share a picture from your post and link back to it, along with sharing how we used your idea in our toddler time. By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. Additionally, if you choose to try out any of the ideas with your toddler, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.

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