The Importance of Classic Play for Modern Children

As both a mother and a nurse I felt that the importance of classic play is something I must address. It is simply too easy in these modern times for children to fall into the world of high tech and completely miss out on all the joy of the classic play that most of us enjoyed as kids. The benefits of classic play cannot be overstated. They get to be creative, learn and experience new things, spend time with their family, and they even get some exercise. I hope that these few ideas spark the desire to have some good old fashioned fun with your kids!

  1. Dressing up/Pretending (Princess, Fireman, or things straight out of their parents’ closet. The items and outfits do not matter as much as the creativity in being able to pick things out and pretend to be somebody else.)
  2. Puzzles
  3. Blowing Bubbles
  4. Playing drums on the bottom of pots
  5. Dancing
  6. Coloring
  7. Playing Cards
  8. Hula-hooping
  9. Swimming
  10. Going for a walk/playing in the yard
  11. Playing on a neighborhood playground
  12. Sidewalk Chalk
  13. Chess, Candyland, Clue, and other board games
  14. Playing in a bubble bath
  15. Playing restaurant or “mom” at the grocery store (With store bought fake food or with empty boxes and containers from your kitchen)
  16. Having a tea party with stuffed animals, dolls, and/or any willing grownups in the house
  17. Clay or play dough
  18. Paint by numbers (Yes, they still make these!)
  19. Etch-A-Sketch
  20. Playing with magnets

Ok, Let’s face it…This list could go on forever, lol. Do you have a favorite that I missed? Please share in a comment below 🙂

Chicken Tenders with Mustard

I have been making chicken tenders with rice wine vinegar and mustard for years. Until a friend recently was here for a chat and watched me make the marinade I had no idea how different this was. So I would like to share this tasty and decent for you recipe now!

  • 1 pound of chicken tenders
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder

Mix together everything except the chicken in a bowl or measuring cup. Put the chicken in a large Tupperware bowl with a lid or a ziptop bag. Add the marinade to the chicken. Seal the bag or close the Tupperware and shake to coat chicken well. Let sit in fridge for at least an hour. This can sit all day if you want to make it up before work to make for dinner. The longer it sits the more tender it gets. Bake at 375F until cooked through and white in the middle. This is also good on the grill. We normally do this with brown rice and a side salad or grilled peppers.

Serves 4

Saving/Making Money with Apps & Websites??

I hear of these rumors of people saving and/or making money with apps and websites. I always wonder if there is any truth to these claims and how much effort does it take. I have decided to try out a few for myself and post the results here. I have included a few different types to see how they work.

1.) Shopkick – This is an app that I downloaded for free on my iphone. It was simple to download and easy to set-up. The basic idea here is that you collect kicks to redeem for awards such as gift cards. You earn the kick points by checking in daily, turning on the app right before you walk into certain stores, scanning certain items in stores, and looking through mini catalogs. Also if you are invited you may start with a 50 kick bonus and if you invite people who join you get a bonus for the kicks they earn for a limited time. At this point I have only checked in, invited 1 person, and looked through a few of their look-books (mini catalogs). These were easy enough. I will write a post with updates about checking into stores, scanning items, and especially redeeming kicks for gift cards.

2.) Kroger – This is a store app for Kroger. I have been using this for quite some time. You put in your store reward card number or phone number if you lost your card years ago like I did. You can add ecoupons straight to your card! This is great because you do not have to remember your coupons. I have found this helpful for those quick stops and for when my husband goes shopping. All you have to do at check-out time to redeem your coupons is scan your reward card or enter your phone number. Other features of this app include the weekly ads, rewards, a shopping list, Rx refills, and a store finder. When looking at the weekly ads you can click on wanted items to add them to the shopping list. This is a nice time saving feature and reminder when you are in the store that you wanted to pick up a sale item. I highly suggest this free app to all Kroger shoppers looking to easily save some money.

3.) – This is a website where you can sign up to save money for your kids college fund or pay back your student loans. This was easy to sign up for and completely free. There are a few different options on this site. You can link it to shopper reward cards from Kroger, CVS, and Remke/Biggs. You can also link it to your credit cards to take advantage of the dining option where you earn money for eating at certain restaurants. You can also earn on your online shopping. I chose to only link my store reward cards. This seemed like a safe option to start with.

4.) Checkout 51 – This is a free app that works somewhat like a rebate. After you sign up, you will receive a list of rebate offers for the week. If you buy any of those items than you can get back the listed amount. To get money back on this app you submit a photo of your receipt with a redeemable item on it. This entire process was easy to do. It says that you can cash out when your account balance is over $20 and that you will receive a check in the mail. I will write a post on how the cashing out process works when I get enough in my account to do so. I currently only have $2 in my account.

5.) Bing Rewards – This one is great because I can earn gift cards for doing exactly what I was already doing! I love using Bing to look things up! I’m a little too curious about things, all things, sometimes useless things. I am always Binging something. I honestly cannot believe I didn’t do this one earlier. It was so easy! If you sign up for a rewards account with them you can earn free gift cards while searching. It took about 5 minutes and required minimal information. Their gift cards are only for $5 a piece but free money is free money. I’m saving points for an amazon gift card.

These are the ones I am currently focusing on. I will write updates about the ease or difficulty involved in redeeming rewards as it comes up. Wish me luck 🙂

Love this Book for Homeschooling a 7th Grader!

We are currently using Building Strong Writers in Middle School – Classroom-ready activities that inspire creativity and support core standards By: Deb Delisle and Jim Delisle. It is not made for homeschoolers but is easily adaptable. There are a few projects in here that would work better in a classroom but these can either be skipped or just done for additional practice. The getting to know you items were still fun because kids this age are always changing.

A New Adventure…Homeschooling??

I know I have been absent from blogging for a while so allow me to take a moment to catch up this blog on a few vital details. First, as some of you already know, my oldest daughter has had a spinal condition since she was 7 years old. She has Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis. About 5 months ago her curve went from an 80 to a 100. In short we were out of time and she needed surgery. She had her first surgery on December 17th and spent from that day until January 9th in traction. On January 9th she had her second surgery. She was finally released home on January 15th. She is starting rehab next week. The rehab is extensive and will take months. Because of all of this craziness and recent trouble in school we decided to homeschool for the remaining of the school year. This was not a choice I made lightly. I have spent a lot of time on setting up lesson plans and picking books, programs, films, and websites to use. It truly is amazing the amount of information that is available! On that note I will be including occasional blog posts about things that we have used and loved. Wish us luck on this new adventure and if you have any advice we welcome it!