Category Archives: Frugal

Powdered Produce Has Made A Difference

Have you ever heard of powdered produce?

real love is real food

Powdered produce is basically fruits, berries, ancient grains, and veggies that have been juiced and dried and ground to a powder. Powdered produce has made a difference in my life.  Since we started adding them into our diet, our immune system has gotten stronger and I have saved money.

water content of food

Fresh fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water and they spoil quickly after harvest.  Many are as much as 85% to 95% water.   Water activates enzymes that help digest the fruits and veggies and also cause the food to spoil quickly soon after harvest.  If you remove the water, you preserve the nutrients and deactivate the enzymes.  The enzymes are reactivated again once the dried produce is re-hydrated.   It is a lot cheaper to buy produce that has been dried vs fresh, because once the water is removed, it takes up very little space, and has a long shelf life maintaining all its phyto-nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

powdered produce

Having the raw nutrient dense produce in powdered form makes it easy to add them to your regular diet and boost your needed fruits and veggies that we all try so hard to get in every day. I am saving money because I don’t have to throw anything away,  it doesn’t spoil.


With the addition of powdered produce to our diet, I can add a lot of additional fruits and veggies for pennies a day.  For example, by taking two berry + two veggie + two fruit capsules, I am eating the equivalent of over 30+ plants.   If I bought all those foods fresh at the store, it might cost me over $100 for the week to buy them fresh, and I might have some that spoils.

whats in JP capsules

By adding all these amazing healthy powdered foods to my diet, I can save a huge amount of money over buying all of them fresh.  For example if I just want fruits and veggies powders it will cost me about $10 a week, or I can also add in the berry powders too for another $6 a week. That is over 30 fruits, veggies, and berries a day for about $2.30 a day or about $16 a week.   That is a huge savings!   I buy only the fresh fruits and veggies we need now in season, and then add in these wonderful powders and I am money ahead.


This is all natural food.  Each plant’s produce is fresh picked at the peak of ripeness.  Here are some videos to tell you more about the farms that grow these amazing foods and how this process is done.

It is harvested from organic and all natural farms, then right after harvest is juiced and dried at a low temperature to preserve all the nutrients and packaged for convenience.


Powdered produce has made a difference in my life!  My family and I have been using the powdered produce from Juice Plus+ for a whole year now.

kids love it

The convenience and savings of eating this way is amazing.  It is really easy to take the capsules or the chewables, and some days I substitute an entire meal with the powdered shake mix for smoothies too.

Sunrise Shake

The complete food shake mix is so easy to use.  I make all kinds of delicious shakes and smoothies for my family.  It is made with pure whole foods without any preservatives, fillers, or artificial ingredients.   It comes in two flavors: French Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate.


I always feel like I am eating a delicious desert like a DQ blizzard or a Wendy’s frosty when I eat them because they taste like ice cream.  But with the Complete shake powder, I am avoiding all of the artificial ingredients those restaurants put into their products.   And it is so easy to make. Just use 1 scoop (or a 1/2 scoop if you want less) of powder to one cup of any liquid of your choice and blend.  It comes out creamy and smooth.


You can get fancy if you wish and add in more fruits and veggies or ice cubes or even coffee and top with whip cream for all kinds of tasty treats for about $1.85 per serving.  That is a complete meal with all the macro nutrients and micro nutrients of 20+ plant foods that feed your body for less than a cup of coffee.  You just can’t buy good food at these kinds of prices anywhere and you will be able to do it yourself and it will taste better and nourish your body at the same time.


The biggest change we have seen in our life so far, in addition to savings in our food budget, is our health and wellness budget.  We have been healthy for an entire year, without even 1 day of sickness since we started.  No sickness for 8 people living together in our home.  That is amazing!   This produce is boosting our immune system.

Benefits of Juice Plus

Also my husband used to get a gout flare up every few months before adding this to our diet. We are so grateful that he has not had even one episode of gout (a form of arthritis) in a whole year.  Without a doubt it has reduced the inflammation in his body that was causing it, and he has been pain free.

kids eat free

Also Kids can be enrolled in the Children’s Health Study and get chewables or capsules for free when their parent or grandparent places an order.


The study sends out a quick survey once every four months with a few questions to inquire what improvements you have seen from using the products.

After many years of learning about nutrition, and previously owning a healthy foods store too, I wish I had known then what I know now about this wonderful product.  You can’t get it in local stores.  It is only sold person to person and online.  That way the costs are kept as low as possible.   I believe in it so much that I opened my own business to sell it so all of my friends and family can have access to these wonderful food products.  It is a not a vitamin or supplement.  This is simple pure food.

This is real whole food and has a food label, because it is FOOD!  

Juice Plus is concentrated pure food nutrition from the purest fruits, vegetables, berries and ancient grains grown on family farms.  It is gmo free, and gluten free too.

real medicine

There are a lot of great doctors who are getting behind these true food products because they know their patients are getting healthier and recovering faster and seeing lasting changes and improved bio markers and labs.  If you want to get your doctor to join you on this journey, a great way is to have your blood drawn and then four or five months later after using these great foods daily, have your blood drawn again.  Most doctors see huge improvements in their patient’s lab work.   Here are some videos where doctors share what they have seen using Juice Plus powdered produce in their medical practice and at home.

Powdered produce is a great cost saving way to add more nutrition with real whole foods into your family’s diet and save money at the grocery store and the doctor’s office too.  The powdered produce comes in capsules, chewables (free for kids),  shake & smoothie powders, and food bars.

Juice Plus Products

Real and delicious wholefood food grown on family farms.   Juiced, powdered, and packaged by Juice Plus+

I offer these food products in my online store to share it with friends and family and anyone who would like to add this to their daily routine to improve their health with powdered produce. I am glad to host healthy living workshops and talk one on one to share more information with you about using these wonderful foods too.  Let me know if you would like more information.

Be blessed!



Disclaimer:  I am not a medical doctor and I do not give medical advice. I am sharing about my experience using this whole food product and how it has impacted me and my family.  Please consult your medical practitioner before making changes in your lifestyle to create a plan that is right for your particular situation.  

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Happy Valentine’s Day 2014!

Hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day today!

Our kids had a great day today and enjoyed spending time with mommy and daddy. We enjoyed a fun breakfast of oatmeal and waffles spread with peanut butter and sliced bananas. We got our schoolwork done and had lunch. Then after lunch we enjoyed homemade chocolate chip cookies (we made yesterday), sledding in the snow (though it was very cold), hot chocolates, crafts, and spending time together.  I spent time in bible study after getting baby down for a nap.  After supper, we enjoyed snuggling daddy on the couch, tickles and tackles and lots of giggles on the floor, and ended the day watching Gold Rush on TV together.  It was a good day.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Be blessed! 
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How To Make Jerky

Making Jerky With Kids In The Kitchen.

Do you like Jerky? 

My husband and I have made jerky every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, for as long as I can remember.  I don’t think we are very traditional folks, or have many traditions, but this would have to be one.  Now we have passed this tradition on to our kids.  They enjoy making, eating, and gifting jerky as much as we do.

Jerky is basically dried and salted meat.  It can be seasoned with additional dried spices, or dried fruits to change the flavor or nutrient content.  A lot of water/moisture is removed in the drying process.  Drying the meat allows it to be stored or transported without refrigeration.  By removing the moisture, and salting it, you greatly reduce the possibility of mold or bacteria ruining the meat, resulting in a long storage life. 

The great thing about making it at home, in less than 24 hours, you have something delicious and nutritious you made yourself, and you can control the ingredients and the flavor too.  I personally like to make my jerky preservative free.  However, most jerky is made with preservatives to help prevent it from spoiling, and give it a longer shelf life. 

I have made jerky in a simple process from roasts I cut into very thin strips, soak in soy sauce, salt, and sugar, and then letting them dry in a warm oven overnight.  But by far, the jerky we like the best is made from meat we grind into burger before seasoning it, and dry with our dehydrator.  Either way, after seasoning it, let it marinate for about 4 hours in the fridge to distribute the flavors, before drying.

I usually get about 1/4 lb of jerky for a pound of meat.  Jerky in 1/4 lb to 1/2 lb packages makes a nice gift to give away at the holidays.  My dehydrator will hold about 4 lbs of fresh meat at a time.  But there are plenty of dehydrators on the market today that will hold a lot more.

History and Science:

This is a great learning opportunity to involve the kids.  There is so much to learn about the history and science of making jerky.  Questions to ask as you go along might include what is dehydration, why do we use salt to preserve food, what is the nutritional value of various kinds of jerky, etc.   The history of jerky and civilization is facinating.  Jerky is packed so full of nutrients, that many generations of humans survived on it. 

The Native American Indians would salt and dry the meat, then powder it, and add dried fruit and additional fat back into it, to make PEMMICAN.  It was a very nutritional source of proteins, fats, and vitamins, especially vitamin C which helped them stay healthy and strong through the long winter months.   You can read here and learn more about PEMMICAN.

Dried meat can be soaked in water for soups, stews, casseroles, and other recipes.  It is not just for Jerky. 

We have made jerky from:

Jerky can be made from a lot of other meats too, and in stores, I have purchased Turkey jerky as well.

Using Deer To Make Jerky

In the recipe below, I am using ground deer.  My husband is a hunter and we often have wonderful deer in the freezer.  But you can substitute beef, or other meat, for the recipe.

My family loves to use deer.  It is naturally lean, tender, and tastes great in everything I make with it.  We typically will use a doe or young buck for our food.  I usually have the whole deer ground into burger, but we also like to keep the tenderloin steaks and grill them up just like I would a beef fillet.  Besides eating them as steak, they are great for fahitas, or in any dish you would use with beef steak.

I usually use ground deer just like we would use ground beef or ground turkey:
            sausage for biscuits and gravy, 
            sausage for sausage, egg, and cheese burritos
            summer sausage,
            and of course JERKY

I do not like eating an older “trophy” buck.  Forget it.  The meat is rank with his scent.  However, you can still make jerky or sausage with an older buck, and it will taste good, as the spices hide the scent.

Kids In The Kitchen
How To Make Jerky:

Here are some recipes using different cuts of beef (you can substitute other meats) from around the web:

Flank Steak Jerky

Eye Of Round Jerky

Hamburger Jerky

Smoked Hamburger Jerky

Brisket Jerky


Pemmican with fruit

Here is the process my family uses to make our deer jerky

My family really enjoys the ground meat version of jerky better than using roasts or brisket.  Our next choice is to use a very tender and lean cut of steak, either sirloin or new york strip.  Most folks would think that is a waist of a good steak, but it really is up to you what cut of meat you want to make your jerky from.
To make the process easier, have your butcher grind or slice the meat for you.  Most butchers at the grocery counter will do this for you if you ask.  Or if you have an animal butchered at a butcher shop, they will process the meat however you request it.

Also, when making jerky, remember that each dehydrator, or oven, is
different and times needed to dry the meat can vary according to the appliance you are using.

For our jerky, we start with ground deer burger (you can use beef or whatever you choose).  We have our whole deer ground and packaged by the butcher shop.  He puts the meat in 1 lb packages for the freezer, and we just pull meat out of the freezer whenever we need it. 

Measure spices and salt according to how much meat you are preparing. 

Look around the web to find a recipe you would like to try.  Be sure to measure everything well.

Mix ingredients, according to your recipe, by hand to distribute everything evenly.

Cover with plastic wrap and let the mixture marinate in the refrigerator for about 4 hours if using ground meat, and longer according to recipe if using sliced meat.

When ready, if using ground meat, put ground mixture into jerky gun and fill your trays or cookie sheets. If you are using sliced meat, then lay the slices out flat on each tray or cookie sheet.  My dehydrator holds 1 lb of meat per tray.  Cookie sheets will hold more.

Put the cover on and set the timer on your dehydrator.  Or follow directions for using an oven.

For my dehydrator, I plan 6 hours, plus an additional 20 minutes for each additional tray.  So for four trays of ground meat, it takes approximately 7 hours and 20 minutes, or a little more.   Sliced meat takes longer, depending on how thick it is sliced, and the temperature you use to dry the meat.   If using an oven, follow directions in the recipe, as ovens usually take longer.  Dehydrators work faster because they are blowing hot air around the product they are drying, so it greatly reduces the drying time.

When done, remove the jerky from the trays and place between paper towels to absorb any fat or moisture that might remain on the outside of the strips of jerky.

Package in zip lock bags or in jars.  It will keep longer if packaged in air tight packages.  We store our jerky in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use. 

And there you have it. 
DEER JERKY ready to enjoy, take to a gathering, or give away as gifts.  And a great “tradition” to pass on to your kids!

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Museum Day

Saturday, September 24th, Is Museum Day. 

Museums all across the country will allow free admission for two people with tickets from the Smithsonian Institute.

Here is the link to find out which museums in NC are participating.

Here is the link to find out which museums in SC are participating.

If you need another state, just change the state and it will give you the updated information.

Here is the link to get your tickets emailed to you.

What other free museum opportunities do you know about?  Leave us a comment below, thanks.

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Fishing Trip

It was a gorgeous day fishing at the lake with Dad.

We loaded the van with a picnic lunch and drinks in a cooler, chairs, fishing poles, tackle boxes, and the stroller and headed to the lake for a relaxing afternoon.

Someday, when the kids are older, we want to take them fishing from a boat to access the best locations.  But for now, while they are little, we fish from the bank.

We do wish there were more options for public access for bank fishing.  Before coming to Lake Lure today, we also drove to Lake Adger.  But though they had public access for boats, they did not have public access for bank fishing.  We have found this same problem at a lot of lakes we have visited.  Most of the banks at the lakes are private property, so to get good access one really needs a boat. 

But at Lake Lure, there is a nice walking park with a cleared path, and the bank is mowed and kept nice, and they allow public access for bank fishing from there.

We chose a lovely spot to set up our gear.  It is an inlet channel and the water was less choppy compared to the larger lake area. 

All of the kids enjoy learning how to fish.  The older boys are learning how to bait their hook and they cast their poles very well.  The younger children still need almost everything done for them, though the six year old learned to cast his pole by himself today.   He was able to get it out about 12 feet or so in the water.  

The four year old would reel hers in just minutes after daddy would cast it out for her.  He said she needed it re-casted faster than he could keep up. 

The two year old played with a stick and a rope (his fishing pole).  But instead of casting the rope into the water, he hung onto the rope and cast his pole (stick) into the water.  Then he enjoyed reeling in his stick.  It was really funny to watch him, except for the two times he let go, and I had to go after the stick “pole” before it drifted to far out to sea! 

We brought three kinds of bait today (red worms, night crawlers, and cat fish bait), plus several artificial forms of bait in the tackle box too.

My 11 year old son is holding up a Canadian night crawler worm.  It looked like a small snake, and when I went to take the picture, it had already coiled itself back into less than half it’s length.  These worms are huge!

We actually did see a small water snake just after taking this picture.  It was about a foot long.  It swam right towards us as if to check us out.   It came within a few inches of the bank, then it turned and swam away.  The children squealed in delight to have seen a real snake so close to us today.

For the entire three hours we fished at the lake, the fish kept stealing our bait.  Cast after cast, we had to reload our hooks.  There was a huge amount of little baby fish in the water, that were two inches or less in length, and they acted like little piranha.  As soon as the hooks hit the water, they devored the bait, nibble after nibble.  We did get to see groups (schools) of 20 to 50 of these little bluegill fish near the shore when my son tossed in some chips into the water. 

It is amazing to observe so many amazing things on a mini-trip like we took today.  This is a great opportunity to talk to the kids about God’s creation, natural science, life skills, observations of the environment, and more. 

Besides a beautiful lake of water, there was so much more to observe, such as gorgeous mountains on all sides rising high above the lake, a beautiful sky with swirling white clouds, a hawk flying overhead, a blue heron swooping down to scout the water for food, a snake in the water, schools of baby bluegill fish, a dying fish floating on the water, bees pollinating flowers, wasps looking for a meal, ducks, geese, beautiful trees, people in boats of all kinds, people enjoying the lake fishing and swimming, a wedding next to the lake, a birthday party, ants, waves crashing to the shore, and more.


We decided to take a sample of the lake home so we can see under the microscope more things we could not see with our eyes today.  The microscope will give us the ability to see tiny creatures living in the water and tiny things in the sand.  We got a sample of just water, and a sample of water with sand.  We will use this in our studies this week to further our understanding about life in the lake.

About the last half hour, we were joined by several beautiful ducks.  Four stayed real close to us and another group of four were about another 20 feet away.

When I stepped away from the tackle boxes, the male duck came up out of the water and walked a complete circle around our belongings checking everything out.  Then he went back into the water and rejoined his group.  It was so funny.

Even with a toddler smacking the water with a stick, these littl
e ducks were determined to stay close by.  They came back repeatedly. 

We had quite the time with the little fish stealing our bait.  They ate the red worms, the night crawlers, and even the catfish bait.  Finally, the last 30 minutes or so, dad put on some artificial worms on the younger kids poles.  No more lost bait, but….no more bites either.  But he was tuckered out with re-loading their hooks every few minutes. 

I spent most of the time just enjoying watching my family.  They are funny, interesting, and a blessing.   I took this picture of them just before packing up to leave.   They all had such a good time fishing with Dad today.

The new life growing inside my womb will be here soon and join the line up of this beautiful family.  I truly am blessed!

The lake was so beautiful today, and even the sky was gorgeous.  I could have just layed back on a blanket and enjoyed many more hours of its beauty.

I truly enjoyed today, being in the company of my family and the awesomeness of God’s creation.

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Free Education Art Crafts and Coloring Pages

Adding ART of various forms into our daily routine makes living enjoyable. 

Without joy, people are depressed, overwhelmed, and unsettled.  But add in a cup of joy to each day, and people change.  They express happiness, acceptance, and optomism.  The bible says the joy of the Lord is our strength.  We can find joy by spending time with the Lord each day.   A fun way to encourage the expression of joy in our character is through art.

Not all artists display joyful or happy character qualities, mainly because art becomes a route job or project to get done.  For them, art no longer represents something enjoyable and truly creative in their life.  They worship and serve art, rather than art serving them. 

I love the approach children take to art.  There is fun and freedom in their creations, art serves them joy, the way art should be. 

The greatest artist I have ever learned about is God.  He is a master artist.  You can see his creativity in every sunrise, every face of a child, every plant that grows, every wave that reaches the shore, every bird that sings, every star filled sky.  He is a sculpter, potter, painter, designer, carver, refiner, architect, engineer, inventor, a creator, and so much more. 

As I teach my children about the amazing ART that is part of this world, I remind them of the Artist who created the world.  Scientists call him “Intelligent Design”, but I call him Father.  There has never been, nor will there ever be, an artist as great as God who calls himself “I AM”.

Here are some wonderful FREE Educational resources to use in teaching your children about the various forms of art and creativity.

If you would like to link to this page and tell others about these resources, please share this link

Arts & Crafts & Coloring Pages

School Express Drawing Worksheets

Easy Fun School

Dick Blick Art Lesson Plans

How To Draw Videos By Jan Brett

Making Popup Books, Paper Engineering, Crafts, and more

Art Made Easy by Samantha Bell Lesson Plans

Christian Answers Coloring Pages

Donna Young: Art

Artists Helping Children

Activity TV

Deep Space Sparkle


KDDoodle: Hand Drawn Coloring Pages


Paper Toys

Danielles Place

The Crafty Classroom

Coloring Page Source

Art Encyclopedia

Bright Ring

Make Stuff

Smithsonian:  Everything Art

Homeschool Art Lessons

Art Safari

Origami Kids

Some Great Blogs I Enjoy Reading With Lots of Art Projects For Kids Among Many Other Helpful Things

No Time For Flash Cards

Red Ted Art

Pink And Green Momma

What free art, crafts, and coloring websites and resources have you found that have helped in your homeschooling journey?  Please leave a comment below, thank you.

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Mills River Antique Car Show

On Saturday,  we attended the Mills River Antique Car Show.

It was hosted by the Mills River First Baptist Church.  It was in a field along highway 280.  This is where they plan to build a future church building.  It is a beautiful piece of land in the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Mills River.  

The pastors of the church are our missionary friends from Belgium, Andy and Annelies.  This photo of them was taken several months ago, and they were definitely not in jackets and sweatshirts today, I just couldn’t find a picture from today where they were standing together, so I went back in my “picture stash” and pulled out this one.

The Antique Car Show was a free event and everyone was welcome.

In addition to the antique cars, and motorcycles, there was also a concession stand with free refreshments such as soda, bottled water, snow cones, hot dogs, nachos, and more. 


They also had a clown doing face paintings,

a bouncy house,

and a large inflated bouncy slide for the children to play on and enjoy.

But the cars were the main attraction.

The children were very interested to learn about the older cars and see how folks had made them look new again.

There was also a contest going on during the car show, and trophies and prizes would be handed out to the winners.  And there was a contest drawing for door prizes too.

Andy’s wife Annelies is sitting behind the trophies in this photo. 

We were not able to stay for the final results of the contest.  But we had fun walking around and guessing who we thought might win.

Some of them had huge motors, and drove very fast with a lot of power.

There were cars at the show from the 1930s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s.  And several motorcycles too.

It was neat to see them all lined up and we could share with the children how the automobile and transportation has changed over time.

The children couldn’t get enough of the bouncy house and slide. 


Pastor Andy also gave a special message about salvation to the crowd.  Andy was a pastor for 10 years in Belgium, and has been assistant pastoring in the USA for one year while he attends bible college. 

He took over the role as full time pastor of the First Baptist Church several weeks ago, in addition to his schooling, being a husband and father, and has had relatives from Belgium visiting for the past six weeks or so.  Whew!  This fella is busy, and on fire for the Lord.


All this walking, bouncing, sliding, and laughing had us really hot.  While we listened to Andy’s speech, we got a refreshment from the concession stand for the children.

Thankfully SNOW CONES were on the menu.

Everyone ordered a different flavor, and then asked their brother or sister for a taste of theirs, so they could try each flavor.

It was cool and refreshing on this very sunny, hot day.

It took a lot of volunteers to pull this event together.  They did a great job and I know the town of Mills River, and Henderson County, NC was blessed by it.

Our whole family had a great time playing and learning at the Antique Car Show.

What kinds of activities does your family enjoy doing together?  Leave us a comment, thanks.

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WNC Air Museum Field Trip

In March, we went on a field trip to the Western North Carolina Air Museum in Hendersonville, NC with a local homeschool co-op.  

Our family has been doing an Airplane Unit Study from Hands Of A Child, and this field trip was perfect for putting some real live airplanes into our learning adventure.  This unit study has become a year long passion for our kids.  We do a little bit at a time and purchased several science (flight, air, airplane) kits to go along with our learning adventure.  You can read about part of our airplane unit
here (starting) and here (HOAC unit components), here about building a wooden bi-plane, and here when I get the rest of it finished.  I have tons of pictures, but have not had time to write all the stories.  But we have had a blast learning about airplanes and flight this school year.

This museum is an amazing place.  They have airplanes from WWl, WWll, Veitnam, Homebuilt Airplanes, Homebuilt Helicopters, Model Airplanes, lots of historical memerobilia, a store, and so much more. 

Before going into the museum, we spent a little time outside observing planes taking off, and coming in for a landing.  The children were so excited to see this. 

One plane acted like it was going to land, and as soon as it came down to the runway, it went back up again. 

Everyone ooohed and ahhhed!

Well, it took my eyes and my camera a few minutes to adjust after having been in the brite sunshine.  Sorry about the blurr…..

Inside the museum is a vast warehouse of history.

Kit helicopter.

All the walls were packed with history. 

Perfect for this knowledge seeking boy!

Can you believe in the 1930’s you could buy a plane blueprint for $5 and put it together with a motorcycle motor and have under $199 invested in owning your own airplane?

Here is the actual plane in the add above from the 1930’s.

This fella builds and maintances the planes in the museum.  He is a vietnam veteran and a licensed pilot.  He was our guide and gave us so many facinating details about the planes in the museum.

Everyone is a volunteer at the museum.  They are passionate about planes, and keeping history alive and available for future generations.

My daughter checking out the female pilot.  “Mommy is that lady going to fly the plane?”

Some planes were unfinished, so that visitors could see inside, and help them understand more about how airplanes opperate.

Lots of things to see.

There were fun things to do and see for kids and adults of all ages.  

Big or small we all add fun.

What could be better than getting to climb aboard a real plane?

ing to explore inside….

Getting a lesson from a real pilot about what each control and gadget does….

And have free time to role play…..

With all your friends.

“Attention all passangers, this is your pilot speaking.  Please prepare for landing, and thank you for traveling KIDS FLY HIGH AIRLINES.”

The museum is free to visit.  There is a small store inside, where you can buy items to help support the musuem, and donations are always welcome. 

Please visit their website to find out more, and to get directions to the museum.

Have you visited an airplane museum?  Leave us a comment.  Thanks.

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Build And Grow Airplanes

On Saturday, we attended the Build and Grow workshop at Lowes.   These are wooden craft workshops for children.  They are excellent introductions for children to learn about following blueprints, laying out materials, following steps in order, simple wood working, and skills such as using a hammer and nails.

In todays workshop, the children built wooden airplanes called Bi-planes.  We have really been looking forward to this workshop to tie into the Airplane Unit Study the children have been working on through out the school year.  You can read more about it here , here , and here.

Lowes provides the building kit for free, and lends each child a hammer. The building kit contains everything you need to make your project.  Lowes offers a workshop every other Saturday, two Saturdays a month.  Each workshop has a different project for the children to build.  You can register on-line for the workshops or you can register at the workshop.  It is a first come first serve basis and those who registered on-line have their spot reserved as long as they are not late for the class.

So far, this was our 4th workshop to attend.  We have also attended the workshop building a ping pong pin ball game, a basket ball game, and a window bird feeder.  Stories and pictures of those workshops coming soon.

It takes about 30 minutes or so to build the project.  After building your project, you return the hammer, and you are provided with a certificate and a merrit badge from the Build and Grow workshop.  If you want to continue the project at home, you can, and we plan to paint the things the children have made in these workshops soon.  We also like to tie the project to things we are learning at home too.

The older two children were able to work independantly, but the younger children definately needed assistance as you are working with hammer and nails, following directions in order, and reading.

After the children built their planes, they had two sheets of stickers to decorate the plane with.  This allowed for a lot of creativity, and no two planes in our family ended up the same.


We have also run into some other homeschool families we know.  Here are some pictures of homeschool friends who also regularly attend these wonderful free workshops for kids.

Putting on the finishing touch.

Our family has definately enjoyed the time we have spent at the Build and Grow workshops at Lowes.

The Lowes Build and Grow workshops are a good way for families to spend some quality time together.  I encourage all families to give this a try.  You just might find you enjoy it too.

Have you been to the Build and Grow workshop?  Did you enjoy the experience?  Does your community offer other free learning workshops for kids?  Leave us a comment below.  Thanks.

This post will be linked up with
Kids Get Crafty
No Time For Flash Cards
ABC and 123

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Garden Study Update for May

The garden is doing very well during this month of May.  The weather has been beautiful here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

HSV Garden Challenge

We are participating in a Garden Challenge at the Homeschool Village.  The first month over 130 families joined in, and last month 100 families joined in.  Be sure to stop over and read their wonderful stories and gain more insight into gardening with your family.

We are also doing our own Garden Unit Study to go along with the Garden Challenge.  Our unit study learning will continue until the final harvest and the garden dies out later in the fall.

This month the children and I have continued to monitor the growth and health of the plants. The children remain motivated, and also continue to take responsibility in watering the plants each week.

We have had lots of sunshine and mid 80’s weather for most of the month, with a few scattered showers and two or three major storms.   The children enjoyed sitting on the porch and watching the storms as they came through.  A few of the storms produced tornadic weather, and a few miles from the house after this picture was taken, a tornado was spotted.

The ground is fairly dry over all, so the garden has needed water about once or twice a week.   Though there were days the younger children gave several of the plants water every day.

My daughter loves to give the plants a drink with a water bottle.  You can read more about how she enjoys watering the plants HERE.

We had a major storm about two weeks ago, that produced severe winds, heavy rain, and hail.

We had marble to a little under golf ball size hail, and I was really concerned about the damage it would do to the garden, as well as the house and vehicles.

I was hit on the arm, and the foot, by these flying torpedoes of ice when taking a picture.  It was very painful.

But just a few days after the hail storm, we reaped our first harvest from our garden beds.

We have harvested strawberries, spinach, green onions, leaf lettuce, and several herbs from the garden so far.

I have also seen some green cherry tomatoes on one of the plants too.  So far, none of the other vegetable plants have bloomed yet.

Here is a lovely plate of spinach, lettuce, strawberries, parsley, oregano, and the next photo is green onions from our garden.   I am putting all these ingredients and more together to make a special lunch today.

Read HERE to see what an awesome nutrient dense lunch these wonderful ingredients made.

We have continued to learn from our Garden Adventure Science Kit.  This kit is well worth the investment for your garden study. 

It comes with 16 experiments, a teachers guide, and student workbook, and all the equipment you need to do the experiments.  It also has additional suggestions for further study.

We have also continued to learn with our Garden Printables.    You can read about our Garden Unit Study components including the printables we are using HERE.

I have stored everything in our garden unit (except the garden and the live plants growing in the window sill) in this big tote.  It makes it easy to put the garden unit away at the end of the day.

The children have caught and observed various garden insects this month, such as worms, lady bugs, roly poly, ants, slugs, centipedes, caterpillars, spiders, and from a distance-bees.  We haven’t seen any butterflies yet, but that will come soon.  We plan to do a butterfly unit study yet this summer too.  We got some wonderful free butterfly resources a few weeks ago.  I will write about it soon.

The kids have also enjoyed watching a window sill garden grow.

We purchased these little greenhouse seed starter kits for $1 at the local Dollar store.  We added our own potting soil and the seeds that came with the kits.

I also recycled some disposable bakery trays with lids from the grocery store.  These make wonderful greenhouses to start your seeds in.  We added some potting soil and romaine lettuce seeds to the recycled tray.

This picture was taken two weeks ago and the plants were doing well.  They had grown so big we had to remove the roof of the green houses to let them have more space.

I will plan to write more in the days and weeks to come about each individual activity we did, in case you would like to follow along or repeat the Garden Unit Study with your own kids.

A garden is a fun adventure at any age!

How is your garden growing?  Leave us a comment, thanks!!!


This post will be linked up with
Science Sunday
No Time For Flash Cards
ABC and 123
The Garden Challenge




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