Those who use google reader

Sorry to interrupt your regular scheduled reading BUT I wanted to make sure ya'll were aware that google reader is disappearing as of July 1st. I know, depressing. I have no idea why google feels the need to mess with a good thing. But I wanted to make sure my readers that use it were aware it's going bye-bye.

With that said, you can follow me with linky blog, networked blogs, rss feed or by email, (all on my side bar) or you could also follow via bloglovin also found on my side bar.

I hope you want to stay in touch!! I wouldn't be where I am if it wasn't for my dear readers who continue to encourage & pray for me!

Don't forget to check out my latest blog post on how I want to remember your babies gone too soon in honor of Noah's upcoming birthday.

Noah's upcoming birthday (submit your baby's name!)

Noah's 3rd birthday & the anniversary of his death are rapidly approaching. I admit this is a bittersweet time of year for me and I've had some tough days again. Add to the fact of just having our 7th baby & seeing the bond between the 2 youngest form just makes me ache even more for him to be here with us. I should be seeing my 2 year old, 1 year old & newborn all interacting together while keeping me so crazy busy, but instead, the hole Noah left in our family is painfully obvious.

And if you, my fellow babyloss mama, are like myself and really struggling today with missing your baby, let me offer you a huge (((hug))). Then go and read this reminder and be encouraged. . .

"It takes invincible strength to mother a child you can no longer hold, see, touch or hear. You are a superhero mama. I see you fall down and get up, fall down and get up, over and over again. I notice the grit and guts it takes to pry yourself out of bed every single day and force your bloodied feet to stand up and keep walking. . .

You're the mother of all mothers.

Truly the most inspiring, courageous, loving mother there is- a warrior mama through and through.

For even in their death you lovingly mother them still."*

Yes this.  I will always be mothering Noah! This is why I do what I do. This is why we celebrate his birthday with cake surrounded by those who love & remember Noah and support us in keeping his memory alive.

To help us celebrate Noah's 3rd birthday, I decided this year to do what I did last year in his honor and am awaiting the arrival of 3 blue sky lanterns to record the names of YOUR babies gone too soon. I know how much it means to me to have people remember my son & speak his name so I would be honored to remember your children along with Noah. I will write the names on the sky lanterns, take pictures of their names, put the pictures to music and will post it here to share with you all later in July. This includes your child that died at any point in pregnancy or after, every life no matter how brief is unique, precious & deeply loved and missed.

I created a simple form for you to fill out your baby's name(s). This just makes it easier for me as it will put all the names on a spreadsheet for me so I don't miss anyone. Last year I was honored to write 91 babies names & look forward this year to remembering your baby as we celebrate Noah's precious life. Please feel free to share this post among your babyloss circles as well.

For those that don't know, I have a name album of Noah's name. Many people from all over have submitted creative ways they took pictures of Noah's name. I always love to add more pictures to his album so if you have a few minutes, feel free to tap into your creative side and take a picture of Noah's name and post it on the fan facebook page.

Here's the video from last years lantern release:

*This excerpt was quoted from this wonderful article by Angela Miller. 

Money Saving Monday- Salad Buffet

We are big salad eaters in this house, especially now that my garden has taken off.  It's only a matter of time till 100% of our ingredients will be coming straight from my own garden. Which means we eat salads about everyday in this house.

Typically in the past, I'd just make a big salad, tossing everything together. But then we had to eat that up within a day or 2 otherwise things started getting soggy or gross after while. And I hate to waste food. It's also a pain to constantly pull out the salad ingredients and make one each & every time you want a salad. 

Then I came up with the idea of using this handy tupperware dish:

Typically you see this at parties with chunks of veggies cut up and dip in the middle. I decided to use each of those spaces to put different salad ingredients in it. 

I change it up all the time so what you see in this picture isn't what I currently have in it. I wash my romaine lettuce & spinach, let dry, then chop up & keep in it's own container. Then I have my handy salad buffet as I call it for everyone to make their own salad at meal time. It makes it so easy to pass around the table rather than 8 different dishes of toppings. Also, everyone can customize their salad with what they want or don't want. The best part is, having all the salad ingredients separated like this, makes it last a long time in the fridge without getting soggy or gross. I also love the ease of it. If I am wanting a quick salad for lunch, I can quickly pull this out, toss in my veggies and maybe throw in some canned tuna, black beans or chopped chicken on top and bam, an easy healthy lunch. If I had to pull out everything to dice & chop each time I wanted a salad, I'd be less inclined to take the time to do it because well, time isn't always something I have extra of in the middle of the day.

I guess you could say not only is this a money saving tip (on making salads last longer) but also a health tip. You are more likely to eat a salad if everything is ready to go and substituting a salad a day can go a long way towards any health goals you may have.

What are some of your favorite salad ingredients? 

Memoria Press- Geography I

We enjoy studying geography as we love to travel, but I admit I hadn't used anything formal this year with Erik besides covering places we were already studying in other subjects. So I was excited to get to review Geography I from Memoria Press

Geography I is a no frills, classical christian curriculum that covers Middle East, North Africa & Europe. Books for this curriculum include a student textbook & workbook, and a teacher guide. Also included is a United States student workbook & teacher guide for a review of the states. This is simply a review of the states & capitals and doesn't included information because if you used Memoria Press in the previous school year, you would've already studied the states.

There is a wonderful mix of both ancient & modern information and facts that are covered with this curriculum with ties of Biblical history that relates to the different countries as well. Each country listed has a 2 page spread in the student notebook which includes a map, fast facts, information on climates, religion, culture, previous rulers & history headlines just to name a few things. Also scattered throughout the textbook are black & white pictures of famous people, landscapes & landmarks. The back of the student textbook includes colored pictures of each of the countries flags.

The student workbook includes a map page for each country where the student can list the capital, cities & some fun facts with reviews given every so often covering previous countries.

The teacher guide looks a lot like the student workbook that includes the answers for the student workbook plus additional quizzes that can be given.

I appreciated the fact that this was a simple, self paced curriculum that allowed Erik to do on his own with minimal help from me (and no prep work, win-win!) He did about 3 lessons a week during the review period. All he had to do was read over the student textbook then fill in the corresponding page in the workbook. The text provides straight forward facts that were easy to remember and wasn't overwhelming with information. He was able to easily recall information he had read. We used this curriculum as a springboard to dive more in depth with the countries we found interesting by going to the library for more books as well as looking online for more pictures & info.

The target grade for Geography I is 4th-8th grade and cost $48 for the package (which 3 of the 5 books are reusable.)


What a week!

We went from this last Saturday June 1st at the Sweet Pea Brother's & Sister's picnic:

6 precious kids

 To this just 2 days later on June 3rd!!
7 amazing blessings!!

More details to come when I have 2 hands to type, so come back soon!