Monday, October 23, 2023

This Week's Menu

We have about three weeks of soccer left, and I'll be sad when the season ends, but not sad at the same time because it definitely takes a toll on meal planning and family dinners.  

This week we will be receiving our second Every Plate box!  We used our free trial box about a month ago, and it was a great experience!  So convenient to get to avoid the grocery store (to some extent) and just have everything ready to go.  We get the box for six, and it has easily fed all eight of us.

This week, we will use three meals from Every Plate, and the rest will be normal meals.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Stock up on these Under Armour boys tees! Less than $7 per shirt when you use code PZYUA3BS-FS to get the 3-pack.

Click HERE to get this deal.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

2023-2024 Homeschool 1st Grade Curriculum Picks

While we don't really do "grade levels" per se in our home to allow for our children to move at whatever pace they need to, I am sharing our curriculum picks for the year based on the official grade for each child.  

This year, my middle child is in first grade for his grade of record.  He is a bit ahead in math and right on target for reading.  We learn social studies (history and geography), science, and Bible as family homeschool subjects.  

For reading this year, we are using Logic of English Foundations again.  We started used Logic of English with my oldest when he was seven after trying a different reading curriculum for two year, and it was a game changer for us.  #3 started Logic of English a year and a half ago with Foundations Level A.  He is now about halfway through Foundations Level B.  We love Logic of English so much because it really is, well, logical.  I have actually learned so much through the program.  For example, I had NO idea that there are nine reasons that we could have a silent final E in English words.  Nine!

I always tell people that if I could change one thing about our homeschool journey it would be to use Logic of English as our reading curriculum from Day One.  I could list a hundred reasons that Logic of English is an amazing and ideal reading curriculum, but I'll distill it down to three for now.  

1. Logic of English uses a rational, sensical approach to phonemics.  For example, the first "letter" or phonogram that a student learns is A.  But instead of learning that A says "a" as in cat and then moving on, LOE presents all three sounds of A - the short, long, and broad sounds.  By Lesson 3, students are already reading short CVC words, which building confidence from the beginning.  

2. Logic of English incorporates physical activity.  Instead of sitting at a desk or around the dining room table to do a reading lesson, Logic of English includes planned activities that have the student get up and run around the room doing a relay race, jumping from word to word, finding hidden words around the room, etc.  If the game does involve jumping up and down or shooting a basket, it involves a board game or card game to reiterate the lesson's concepts.  I have found that all of my kids respond well to this, but the boys especially thrive with these kinds of games.  

3. The workbooks are student-focused.  The other curriculum we tried for reading had so much on every page that it was honestly overwhelming for a four, five, or six year old.  The Logic of English Foundations workbooks are perfectly set up for children learning to read.  There is enough information, but not too much information.  

We are also using Primary Mathematics for math this year.  We started using this Singapore math approach last year, and it has been great.  All of the kids, but especially the seven year old, are now ahead in math.  Primary Mathematics works well for us because it progresses at a consistent, logical pace, which facilitates a lot of independence in working through the lessons.  Each lesson has an effective number of practice problems for the learned concept, while also reviewing prior concepts.  I really like how each lesson builds on the lessons before it.

It has taken some trial-and-error to find curriculum that it effective and facilitates progress for each child throughout the year.  We evaluate curriculum each year, and even make changes in the middle of the year if needed, but these math and reading curricula have worked wonders for us for multiple children.  As I saw another mom say recently, "You would have to pry Logic of English out of my cold, dead hands" to get me to give it up.  I don't get paid to say this, I just love the Logic of English reading curriculum that much!

Friday, July 7, 2023

My favorite gift idea for the women in your life -- friends, family, mentors, etc.

Ya'll these Write the Word Journals from Cultivate What Matters are my most favorite gifts for friends and family, and they are on sale for just $10 today!  

The 11 different journals cover different books of the Bible and are a great way to dig into the Word of God.  Click here to check it out.

Did I mention that they are beautiful?

Now, go!  Run!  Run and save money, friends!

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Couscous Salad -- Our Favorite Summer Meal

Summer Couscous Salad

Summer Couscous Salad

A bright, healthy side salad or main dish. Perfect for a sunny day.

Years ago, when my MIL was vegan, she made this simple couscous salad. She doesn't even remember making it, but I loved it and figured out how to make something like it. My kiddos love this salad, and we have it about once a week in the summer. It's perfect for summer because there's no oven needed.

We always serve this with the cucumbers on the side because the leftovers don't hold up as well with the cucumber added into the salad.

Add cheesy quesadillas and call it a meal.


Serves 4 people


  • 3 T. extra version olive oil
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 2 t. red wine vinegar
  • 1 t. cumin powder
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • Salad

  • 1 c. prepared couscous (Israeli or regular)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 c. feta
  • 1 cucumber, chopped


  • Prepare couscous by brining 1 1/2 c. chicken broth to boil. Add 1 cup dry couscous and simmer, covered on Low for 8-10 minutes.
  • Whisk all dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Chop veggies.
  • Add cooked couscous, red pepper, corn, black beans, cilantro, and feta to the bowl.
  • Mix and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Serve with chopped cucumber!

Monday, June 20, 2022

Monday Meal Plan

Our Weekly Meal Plan (Whole30, Paleo)

As we prepare for our little sixlet to arrive in about 6 weeks, I'm working on stocking up on a few things and planning some make ahead meals for my in-laws and kiddos while I'm in the hospital.  Like many, we are also renewing our focus on budgeting and saving money.  Groceries are a big expense in our household with 5 (soon to be 6) children, but meal planning makes a big difference in that weekly expense!  


I updated my meal plan this morning after stopping by my favorite discount grocery store!  They sell slightly outdated, nearly outdated, or damaged merchandise.  And you can save up 80% compared to the grocery store price.  Today, I found two packages of Kodiak Pancake Mix for 75 cents each!  They are usually over $5 at Walmart.  What a steal!  I knew I needed to grab both packages and update my meal plan!  I also found two family packages of sliced ham, so I changed one of our lunch meals to ham and cheese roll up.  

Finally, our cow is coming in a few weeks from the butcher, so I'm cooking a whole turkey this week so start making room in the freezer for all of that beef.  The turkey should easily cover the 3 dinners and 1-2 lunches I have planned for it this week.  And minimal meat will need to be purchased.  

Headed to Aldi later to pick up the rest of the items on my list.  I'll let you know how it turns out!

Have a great week!

Find previous meal plans here.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and then purchase a product, I may earn a few pennies for referring you to the site.  

Monday, January 11, 2021

This Week's Menu | Jan . 11

Our Weekly Meal Plan (Whole30, Paleo)

It's that time of year again.  Getting back to meal planning!  I've been intermittent fasting for the past week, which is going pretty well, so that reduces the lunches we need, but we are starting back to homeschool, college classes, youth sports, and the entrepreneurship program that I run.  All start this week.  Whew.  So, we'll be planning for some relatively easy meals, lots of crockpot or Instant Pot usage, this week.  

Monday - Burritos

White Chicken Chili with Salad

Wednesday - Buddha Bowls

Thursday - Cheesy Broccoli Soup

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Breakfast: "Junk" Cereal

Lunch:  Leftovers

Dinner:  Fish Taco Bowls

Sunday - Lunch:  Sammies or Eggs

Dinner:  Chicken Pot Pie (Instant Pot)

I'm adding everything to my Walmart+ grocery delivery order for Monday.  I wasn't sure how much I would use or like Walmart+, and I have to say, it's been great.  We still end up going to the store for odds and ends during the week, but by and large, using the grocery delivery service saves me time and money because I can more easily stick to my list!  (Plus, the five cents/gallon off gas is a plus with our new van that doesn't get great gas mileage.)  Try it for 2 weeks free if you haven't yet!

Have a great week!

Find previous meal plans here.
**Linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday**

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and then purchase a product, I may earn a few pennies for referring you to the site.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Top Gifts for Boys - 6-7 Year Old Version

If you've been following me for long, you might know that three of my five children have summer birthdays, so it's all hands on deck for parties and gifts in the summer months.  My oldest, Little Prez, just celebrated his sixth birthday, so I wanted to share my Top 5 Gift Ideas for 6 Year Old Boys!

1.  LEGOs

LEGOs are always a go-to gift in our house.  Starting around 4 1/2, my son started to love LEGOs.  At the time, I loved them because they helped my son work on his fine motor skills.  At six, he has become a "LEGO Artist" as he says.  LEGO are a fantastic way to encourage creativity and basic engineering skills.  Plus, there are SO many great LEGO sets!  LEGO Ninjago and LEGO superheroes are a good bet at this age!  My favorites for this age are the LEGO Ninjago Master Falls set and LEGO Avengers Quinjet.  I have been surprised at the focus that my son has when putting LEGO sets together, so he's definitely ready for these bigger sets.

Lego Ninjago Master Falls 

LEGO Marvel Avengers Quinjet

There are now some off-brand brick versions as well as Mega Construx, which all fit together.  We particularly like the Pokemon ones.  My six year old son loves Pokemon so much right now, and you can get stationary Pokemon figures, but I like that he has to build these.  He has even added to some of them so that they have an evolved form.  (Don't ask me what that means; I have no idea.)  Here are two of the ones I liked for his birthday -- Pokemon Multipack and Pokemon Charizard.

Pokemon Multipack

Pokemon Charizard

My son also loves these giant brick plates that have allowed his creations to get significantly bigger.  He also uses them to display his smaller creations.

2.  Robots

My son received this robot kit and LOVED it.  It was a great project for him to put together with dad and he loves the interactive nature of the robot.  He pretty much takes it everywhere to show off.  

Kiko 893 Robot Kit from

3.  Pokemon TCG

We also love the Pokemon Trading Card Game at my house.  My 6 year old is always trying to earn money to buy more Pokemon cards, so they make a great, but inexpensive gift! 

These multipacks make great gifts.  Charizard is a favorite at our house, and my son would be thrilled to get this one as a gift!  

My son is always asking for these collector's tins as well.  There are so many options, but all of my kids really like the Alola Islands Pokemon, so this would be our top pick.  (We've seen these at Aldi before for under $20, but didn't know it was a such a great deal at the time.  I'll definitely be watching for them again.)

And of course, if you know a six year old Pokemon fan, you might consider a Pokemon card holder like this small case or a binder style like this one.  

As you can guess, my son loves Pokemon.  I think he's just at the beginning stages of Pokemon.  The game itself is a little too advanced for him, but in another six months to a year, I think he'll have caught on!