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May 9, 2012

About Jennifer Sikora

Jennifer and her husband Stephen are in their fourth year of homeschooling their two teenage children. Jennifer is passionate about seeing marriages restored to completion and women surrendering their lives to God. She loves to cook, crochet, quilt, and spend time with her husband down at the lake fishing. You can find her sharing her heart and her everyday life at www.jennifersikora.com (For Such a Time as This).

Get a Free Woodcraft from Lowe’s!

wood floor4

Have you ever done any of those “Build and Grow” sets from Lowe’s? My kids LOVE them, but we are actually too old to attend the clinics. However, we have a solution that we discovered that still allows us to build them and have fun doing so.

If you are pressed for time and can not go to one of their clinics that they offer, all you have to do is call about an hour after the clinic is over and ask them if they have any sets left. If they do they will give them to you for free! So we got a really cool wood project to complete that did not cost us a dime!

This is their normal procedure. We even did it for our homeschool group one year and the kids really enjoyed it!

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Make a Batch of Bubble Mixture!

Bubble Mixture

If you are looking for a fun craft for your kids this summer, check out what my daughter and I made–homemade bubble mixture!

It is very inexpensive and easy to make. One bowl kept my daughter entertained for most of the summer. This bubble recipe works out great if you are short on funds but need something fun and creative for your kids to do.

Here is what you will need to create your own bubble mixture:

1/2  cup dishwashing detergent (I used Dawn or Joy– I purchased it from the Dollar Store)
4-1/2  cup water
4 tablespoons glycerin
(available in pharmacies)

When you are ready to make a batch, this is how you mix it:

Measure out the water, detergent, and glycerin into container with a cover and stir gently. Note: The longer you let the mixture set, the larger the bubbles are and the longer they seem to last.

We had loads of fun playing with this bubble mixture! It kept hands and bodies busy instead of saying,
“Moooom, I’m bored!”


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Oobleck~What is That Runny Stuff?

Oobleck 1

To me, this stuff looks like a gobbly, goopy mess. But to kids. . . it is the divine and fun way to play!

It basically starts out all runny, but when you apply pressure to it, it turns into a hard solid ball.

Once pressure is released, it automatically turns into a runny, gloopy mess again. Apply pressure and it starts all over again.

The kids played with this stuff for over an hour. Eventually the liquid dehydrates from it and it just starts to crumble, but for a while it is SO fun to play with. I even enjoyed it!

If you want to make your own Oobleck, here is the recipe. I love it because it uses simple household items.

Oobleck

2 parts cornstarch
1 part water
food coloring of your choice
(FYI–the food coloring will stain your hand, but it should come off with soap and water)

Mix all items together and play until your heart’s content!

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Top Ten Strategies for Success

Aroma Therapy

I saw this on my Sparkpeople page awhile back and it was so encouraging to me that I thought I would pass it along to you as well.

There are basically ten strategies you can do to ensure your success when trying to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle. If you want the complete article, you can click that Sparkpeople link above. I am just going to give you the pointers that they listed.

  1. Start small
  2. Get it on paper
  3. Focus on everyday habits
  4. Always see your goal
  5. Be consistent
  6. Never stop learning
  7. Come out of seclusion
  8. Allow for setbacks
  9. Trust your plan
  10. Have fun!

I have been doing  my best to follow this list. It has helped me to see that I am going to have slip ups, that there will be times when I need to let go and just enjoy eating a meal.

Then there will be times when I know I will need to reign in my discipline.

The best thing I can remember is the very first step.

Start small.

Realistically, I know that I cannot lose 20-30 pounds in a month like they do on those weight loss shows. Practically, I cannot workout 12-14 hours a day with a personal trainer.

But what I can do is start small and make little changes.

I have found that when I do that, I get excited when I have those little victories. That helps me to get excited about the next goals that I am going to set for myself.

So how are you doing? Stop making excuses for not being able to do something and make ONE SMALL CHANGE today!

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Gardening~Have You Started Yet?

tomatoes

Last year, I wound up with 55 tomato plants thanks to all the heavy rainfall! What started out as a project learning about seeds quickly turned into a huge tomato garden!

This year, we are working on a much more versatile garden including all kind of different vegetables. I am hoping and praying that the animals leave my seedlings alone long enough for them to grow and produce! We shall see.

I thought I would share with you some gardening links that have really helped me since I am one of those newbie gardeners. I don’t really know a lot about it, but I have researched and read, which has really helped me to gain some insight on what I am doing :)

So where should one begin when gardening?

First of all, if you are brand new to gardening, you will want to know what vegetables and fruits grow best in your area. You can check out this link I found with seasonal vegetables by region.

Another good place to start is with a diagram or basic plan and layout of how you want your garden (so you don’t end up with 55 tomato plants!) :)

Have you started gardening yet? It’s not to late to plant something!

One thing that grows really easily is herbs. Plant a fresh herb garden and save yourself a TON of money at the grocery store.

My favorite herbs are:

Cilantro

Basil

Parsley

Rosemary

Mint

Oregano

Dill

Chives

Make you 3ft x 3ft box and get your herb garden growing! In as little as a month you can begin to see the results of a beautiful patch of fresh herbs, which ALWAYS makes your food taste SO much better!

In fact, I will be sharing a recipe later this week that I recently made using my fresh herbs! You are going to LOVE it!


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