Friday, December 18, 2015

Brother Bear Turns 5!

I cannot believe that it has already been 5 years since I first saw my sweet Brother Bear's face! This past week we celebrated with friends and family. It was a really good day. 

My 3 littles all have dye allergies. Therefore, the traditional cakes that you buy at the store are not an option. In the past that has meant that we had white cakes with white icing and some kind of fun plastic topper to make them festive. This year I was on a mission to find natural dyes so that I could make their cakes as special as they are. 
Brother Bear requested a Ninja Turtle party complete with pizza cakes.

My search was on:
My first stop was Sprouts. I love this place! 
I found these natural dyes and decided, despite the price, to try them. 

Next, since I was making the cake from scratch, I needed to find the toppings.
I went to Aldi. They have a great variety of things that are dye-free. They are my go to for snacks.
Icing to dye for the 'sauce', white chocolate to grate for the 'cheese', raisins for the 'sausage', and raspberry gummy strips to cut into circles for the 'pepperoni.'

I was excited to get the cakes assembled and see his happy face!
Saturday, I baked 4 round 8 inch cakes. 
On Sunday morning, I started to dye the icing to make the sauce. Now, I knew that I would never get bright, vibrant colors with natural dyes, but I was hoping to get it close. No such luck. The red made it look like a flesh tone. It was almost like silly putty. I added a little orange to it to try and get it saucier looking. 
It was close enough to make a 5-year-old happy. However, I think I'll try different dyes next time, especially for the price!

Overall, I was pleased with the results. It sure beat white icing with a plastic figure! 

The party was festive! Brother Bear had a blast. 
I think I can rule this one a success! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dyslexia Games-An Answer to Prayers!

At the beginning of November I wrote and told you all about Popper's recent diagnosis of dyslexia. I told you about the opportunity to review for Dyslexia Games. I knew the review opportunity alone was an answer to my prayers. The results of the last 3 weeks speak for themselves!

 We have been using Art First, which is the 1st book on Group A.
 Popper loves this book so much. He actually asks to do pages in it! Sitting down to read and work on phonics used to bring us both to tears! Then we started Dyslexia Games. Now, he loves his workbooks!

dyslexia games review

Last Friday, I asked him to complete his normal 3 pages for that day. He sat down to start and counted that he only had 6 pages left in the whole book. He wanted to finish them that day. Of course, I let him! That much excitement over school work makes a happy mommy!

dyslexia games for kids, dyslexia games the thinking tree

We started using Word Hunt 1 in conjunction with the 2nd book. It is very helpful. I had Popper look for 3 letter words in the 1st chapter that he read. It caused him to really slow down and look at the words. Which resulted in less stumbles while reading. He was so excited that he could actually read the words without much help! I could see him self-confidence building!

dyslexia games series a

This picture melts my mommy heart and shows just why Dyslexia Games my answer to prayer! I was cooking dinner and looked up to find Popper reading a book to Sister! He was reading for pleasure; not because I told him to, not because it was assigned, but because he wanted to read to his sister! 
This is a new found confidence! I am so excited about the improvement in his reading already, and we are only through book 1! 

I can't wait to see where we will be when he finishes all of A! 

I'll be posting updates as we go. My hope is that if there is someone out there who has a child struggling, they will see this and be able to get the resources that they need!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Just Be Held!

It's been a rough week. 2 days! That's all. I've spent 90% of it in prayer. The more I pray the stronger these lyrics have sounded in my mind! He's got this! That's my reminder.
So, for those of you struggling this week, remember, He's in control!

"So when your on your knees

an answers seem so far away

You're not alone, stop holding on 

and just be held

Your world's not falling apart,

it's falling into place

I'm on the throne, stop holding on
and just be held
Just be held, just be held."

I pray that this song ministers to you in the same way that it has me this week!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Our Chickens!

I realized that I had not written anything in regards to homesteading lately. I figure that it is long overdue.

Back in September we went down to Atwood's and bought ourselves chickens. Yep! We were officially owners of 8 baby chicks. The kiddos were thrilled to have 'pets.' I was thrilled that we would have fresh eggs in the early spring. My sweet crunchy family goes through a dozen eggs easily in one breakfast.

raising baby chicks
They started out so very tiny. 

The first few weeks were very entertaining as the crunchy kiddos played with their new pets. They begged constantly to go to the mudroom to watch, but not touch, the chicks. (that never happened, by the way!) I usually found them cuddling a chick a piece and arguing over names.

So tiny!

Finally, after about a month, most of the names were settled. We had Penguin, Flappy Bird, Robin, Batgirl, Watchman, Sweetie Bird, and Indian. This left one bird, who still doesn't have a name. Poor guy!

At the beginning of November, these little birds weren't so little anymore. They moved from their small living space in my mudroom to the barn out back. We started taking them to the small fenced area that will eventually be their permanent home during the day. Meanwhile Daddy T and B worked on the hen house.

Popper and his friend, Diva, cuddling the chicks.

One day while we were outside trying to secure a spot in the fence that Robin, renamed Houdini escaped through the night before, we had noticed that Sweetie Bird was missing. Moments later a very large hawk came swooping in and almost captured Batgirl. My screaming scared him away. We realized very quickly where Sweetie Bird had gone.
Learning to free range, before the hawk found them.

Now, Daddy T and B have a much larger job of enclosing the top of their fenced in area to keep out the hawk and any of his friends that might try and get another one of my hens!

Brother Bear cradling Penguin! She actually thinks that she is a pet!

This is a new experience for me and Daddy T. We are learning all we can as we go. I can't wait until there are fresh eggs on my table every morning!