The Frugal Pantry: Kale

frugal pantry graphic

Years ago, I tried a kale recipe.  Yuck.  It was horrible. I didn’t try kale again for a long time, even though you can purchase a big bag for just a couple bucks.  Or even though it’s one of the easiest winter veggies to grow.

Then the store was out of our usual collard greens, and I decided to give the much-hyped kale one more try.

Oh goodness.  I was smitten.

I don’t want you to miss out, so here are some delicious kale recipes for you.

 

kale soup

Spicy Sausage, Kale, and Potato Soup from The Candid Appetite

 

kale salad

Summer Chickpea Kale Salad With Feta, Olives, and Basil from In Pursuit of More

 

kale chips

Kale Chips from Mac and Molly

 

kale chicken casserole

Chicken and Kale Casserole from A Zesty Bite

 

kale minestrone

Quinoa Kale Minestrone from Cooking Classy

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Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom

A Little Housekeeping

woman stairs

This is mostly to let you know that I’ll be joining The Nester’s 31 Days project in October.  I’ve attempted this for several years and each year October was the month for epic crises and it all fell apart.  Well, this year I am more prepared!  I have nearly all of my posts written and they’ll soon be in the queue just waiting to be published.

This year I’m writing on a topic near and dear to my heart…teaching our children old-fashioned values through reading.  I’ll be highlighting some of my very favorite resources that teach strong values such as industriousness, caring, stick-to-it-iveness, and creativity in an engaging way. Ultimately good values come from a right heart, but inspiration and encouragement tends to come through stories.

Don’t forget to check out my list of over 50 beautiful read-alouds for little ones. I’ll be adding to the list and creating lists for other age groups as well.

Have a happy Wednesday, my friends!

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I’d like to invite you to like me on Facebook , or follow me on Twitter , Pinterest or Instagram.

I’ll be excited to see you there!

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Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom

{art: William McGregor Paxton}

Tuesday Poetry Teatime: A Wonderful World by Edgar Guest

wonderful world graphic

It’s a wonderful world when you sum it all up,
And we ought to be glad we are in it;
The fellow who drinks from old Misery’s cup
Gets the goblet of joy the next minute.
In a wonderful way
In the course of a day
Strange changes occur as by magic,
There are solemn and sad things
And joyful and glad things,
And things that are comic and tragic.

It’s a wonderful world, full of wonderful things,
No two days alike in their passing;
Some new joy or sorrow the rising sun brings,
Some new charm the former outclassing.
And yesterday’s glad
Are perhaps today’s sad,
And yesterday’s poor may be wealthy;
Oh, the changes are quick,
Even yesterday’s sick
May today or tomorrow be healthy.

It’s a wonderful world, for we never can tell
What for us has the morrow in store;
Things happen as though by some magical spell
That never have happened before.
And nobody knows
Or can ever disclose
What the joy of the future may be;
But of one thing I ‘m sure,
Despite all we endure
‘T will be worth while to hang on and see.

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I’d like to invite you to like me on Facebook , or follow me on Twitter , Pinterest or Instagram.

I’ll be excited to see you there!

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Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom

Favorite Read-Alouds for Little Ones

childrens books graphic 2

I have been asked quite a few times for recommendations of good books to read little ones.  If you want to move beyond Disney character books and the like, here is a list of 39 beautiful books with great illustrations to feed your child’s heart.  I’ll be adding to this list, so check back!

tme to keep

A Time to Keep

1 is One

A is for Anabelle

Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh

Raggedy Ann Stories

Raggedy Andy Stories

Blueberries for Sal

One Morning in Maine

Make Way for Ducklings

Lentil

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

The Night Before Christmas

Peter Rabbit Series by Beatrix Potter: 23 Books

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children

The Flicka, Ricka, Dicka series:

flicka ricka dicka cake

Flicka, Ricka, Dicka Bake a Cake

Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the New Skates

Flicka, Ricka, Dicka, and the Strawberries

Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the Big Red Hen

Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the Three Kittens

Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the New Dotted Dresses

Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the Little Dog

Flicka, Ricka, Dicka Go to Market

The Snipp, Snapp, Snurr Series:

Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and the Gingerbread

Snipp, Snapp, Snurr Learn to Swim

Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and the Red Shoes

snipp snapp snurr

Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and the Big Surprise

Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and the Buttered Bread

Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and the Yellow Sled

Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and the Reindeer

The Frances Books:

Bedtime for Frances

Bread and Jam for Frances

A Baby Sister for Frances

A Bargain for Frances

Best Friends for Frances

This is part of Cozy Homeschooling, an ongoing series.  For the rest of the Cozy Homeschooling posts, click here.

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I’d like to invite you to like me on Facebook , or follow me on Twitter , Pinterest or Instagram.

I’ll be excited to see you there!

{this post contains affiliate links}

Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom

 

 

 

Lovely Weekend Links

weekend reads

 

“I understand that many people find validation working at their paid job. Many love the social aspect of work. But it does not suit everyone. So I want to say this very clearly – we all need to work to pay for our own place to live – either by buying a home or renting one; we all need to furnish our homes, buy clothes, pay for transport and education. I get that, I’ve done it. But once that start is made, there is a lot of value in a couple splitting the work they do with one remaining in the workforce and one working at home and raising children while creating sustainable, domestic work practises. I have done many things in my life. I’ve raised a family, I have a degree, I’ve run my own business, I do understand the financial framework we all live within. But I have to tell you that domestic work is meaningful and fulfilling and until I came home and worked here to keep my home running smoothly, I’d never been this happy. I wish I’d done it sooner.”

Working for a Living and Working for a Life (Down to Earth)

 

“But other than these, few passages mention the parent-child relationship specifically, leading many to conclude that, for the most part, the Bible must leave us to figure out this parenting thing on our own—an understandable conclusion.

That is, until we remember that children are people.

Because if children are people, then they are also our neighbors. This means that every scriptural imperative that speaks to loving our neighbor as we love ourselves suddenly comes to bear on how we parent.”

Our Children, Our Neighbors (Village Church)

 

“I think this difference between sending and taking has been huge in terms of certain successes we’ve had here in our homeschool. For example, I’ve had mothers ask him how I “got” a child to do certain things — make entries in a commonplace book or a book of centuries, keep a nature notebook, or study Latin. It was only through the course of conversation that I realized that the difference was that I was doing these things myself before asking my children to do them.”

Being Bossy is Not the Same as Leading (Afterthoughts)

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Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom

 

The Frugal Pantry: Bananas

frugal pantry graphic

Bananas are on thing that’s consistently inexpensive–always less than $1/lb.  Usually closer to 50 cents…And there’s not much waste.

My five little monkeys eat bananas by themselves constantly (who am I kidding, so do I), but there are so many ways to use them in delicious recipes.  Here are a few.

banana bread

Decadent Double Chocolate Banana Bread from It’s Always Autumn

banana chips

DIY Banana Chips from The Foodista

SONY DSC

Frozen Banana “Ice Cream” from The Two-Bite Club

banana bites

Chocolate-Covered Banana Coconut Bites from eat.drink.love

banana pudding

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding from The Southern Lady Cooks

For more Frugal Pantry posts, click here!

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I’d like to invite you to like me on Facebook , or follow me on Twitter , Pinterest or Instagram.

I’ll be excited to see you there!

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Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom

Learning to Simply Be (in Nature), Part 4: Observation

be in nature graphic

Most of us know that our ancestors worked physically much harder than most of us do today.

I also have observed that our ancestors knew how to take Sabbath rest, to simply be.

This ability to rest and just observe life and the outdoors is evident in literature and poetry from past eras, rich in descriptions of nature. One such example is the poem The Voice of Spring by Mary Howitt.

I am coming, I am coming!
Hark! the honey bee is humming;
See, the lark is soaring high
In the blue and sunny sky,
And the gnats are on the wing
Wheeling round in airy ring.

Listen! New-born lambs are bleating,
And the cawing rooks are meeting
In the elms–a noisy crowd.
All the birds are singing loud,
And the first white butterfly
In the sunshine dances by.

Look around you, look around!
Flowers in all the fields abound,
Every running stream is bright,
All the orchard trees are white,
And each small and waving shoot
Promises sweet autumn fruit.

Do you notice the “airy ring” of gnats? Birdsong? Each “small and waving shoot?”

My guess is that many of us don’t. In our mad dash from house to car to gym to work and back again to sit in front of the TV and surf the web, we rarely stop long enough to observe and absorb the natural world around us.

I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer who implies that it’s wrong to have full days or to spend time watching TV or being online. Those activities have value. They’re part of the culture in which we live and we’d be foolish to eschew them entirely.

But I don’t want us to let those activities edge out our ability to simply be, to practice the quiet, therapeutic observation of nature.

I’ve written before about how nature has been my therapy. In a very real way, time in nature “saved” me. Not in any spiritual sense—Jesus did that–but in a physical, mental, and emotional one—God’s creation contributed to my survival and wholeness.

It’s not something I have always appreciated, but I surely do now. And with my own experience, I’ve developed a passion for encouraging others to learn to simply be in nature, to learn to enjoy the outdoors and let it do its work.

Do you agree or disagree with the idea that people today are more out of touch with nature than past generations? Do you think this is a positive or a negative, and how? Talk to me! I want your feedback!

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I’d like to invite you to like me on Facebook , or follow me on Twitter , Pinterest or Instagram.

I’ll be excited to see you there!

Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom

How to Homestead When You Aren’t an Outdoor Person

homestead graphic

I don’t have a Cozy Homeschooling post like I usually do on Mondays, but I am over at Mom Prepares today talking about how to homestead when you aren’t an outdoor person.  Go check it out!

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I’d like to invite you to like me on Facebook , or follow me on Twitter , Pinterest or Instagram.

I’ll be excited to see you there!

Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom

Lovely Weekend Reads

weekend reads

 

“David and Micki Colfax created a home school revolution with their book, Homeschooling For Excellence back in 1988. Home school families and prospective home school families used the Colfax book as a guide. It was a major reference for my family and me as it was for many people, and it is still an important book to home schoolers everywhere.”

 

Whatever Happened to the Colfax Boys?

 

“Home education is just an extension of good parenting, Thomas and Pattison argue. “School itself necessarily curtails such parental contribution.” Why, they ask, do we as a society assume that formal learning needs to take over beyond the age of five? “There is no developmental or educational logic behind the radical change in pedagogy from informal to formal when children start school,” they say.

Contrary to expectations, the home-educated children had no difficulty entering formal education, the authors found. The informal curriculum is “as good a preparation as any” for college, university or academic correspondence courses, they say. “The young people had the personal skills to make the transition with apparent ease.””

No School Like Home (The Guardian)

 

“Using the gold standard of psychological testing, experimental field design, researchers from UCLA took a random selection of sixth-grade students to an outdoor camp for five days. Compared to a control group, in the camp group, “we found that children who were away from screens for five days with many opportunities for in-person interaction improved significantly in reading facial emotion,” the research team explained.”

Study: Kids who ditch smartphones for outdoor fun are ‘substantially’ better at reading emotions. (VB News)

 

“After giving the teacher kudos for dealing with a classroom full of children and acknowledging the difficulty of meeting all their needs, I tried to stand up for my child (although I felt like a mother bear defending her cub from nicely dressed predators). I said the behaviors she noted actually seemed normal for a six-year-old boy, after all, children are in the process of maturing and are not naturally inclined to do paperwork. The teacher shook her head and whispered to the principal. The counselor said first grade children have had ample time to adapt to classroom standards.

I asked if any of my son’s behaviors had ever disrupted the class. The teacher didn’t answer the question. Instead she sighed and said, looking at the principal, “I’ve been teaching for 15 years. This doesn’t get better on its own. I’m telling you this child can be helped by medication.””

 

School ADD isn’t Homeschool ADD (Laura Grace Weldon)

 

“With a world of information now available online, the classroom is not a place, it’s an attitude. This new way of learning looks nothing like the schools we grew up with, writes Mark Pesce.”

 

Another Click in the Wall (ABC)

 

30 Amazing Breastfeeding Photos From Around the World (I Am Not the Babysitter)

 

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I’d like to invite you to like me on Facebook , or follow me on Twitter , Pinterest or Instagram.

I’ll be excited to see you there!

Stephanie Recommends:

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

linking with: Mondays… Marriage Motherhood and Missions, Mom’s the Word I Love to Hear, Mommy Moments, A Mama’s Story, Modest Mom, TuesdaysTitus 2sdays, Cornerstone Confessions, Hip Homeschool Moms Wednesdays…Whole Hearted Mom, Homemaking, Wise Woman, Thursdays…Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Jenni Mullinix, The Deliberate Mom