Several months ago I became interested in trying to make whole wheat sourdough bread. I searched through books that I already had on my computer (please tell me that I’m not the only one who buys those book bundles and then forgets what is in them😕) and found Sourdough A to Z from Traditional Cooking School.

I started reading through the information in the book. It is very well written, and a great place for beginners. I made a sourdough starter of my own and started trying recipes. We love the english muffins, cinnamon rolls, and impossible brownie pie. I have tried, but not had much success with pitas and bread. I’m going to keep trying though. I am determined that I will master the art of sourdough bread. Wish me luck.


Book Review: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear.

(this post contains affiliate links)

I cannot tell you how much we love this book! We have read it dozens of times and never get tired of it. The illustrations are beautiful and colorful, and the story is creative and fun. Cowgirl and Princess had it memorized and would recite their favorite parts before they learned to read. They would give advice to the mouse, and pretend to eat the strawberry. The Big Hungry Bear has become a favorite in our home library.

DIY Paper Pattern Blocks

We love pattern blocks! Before I had the space or money to buy a traditional set of pattern blocks, I made some paper pattern blocks for my girls. I printed the outlines on colored cardstock and then cut them out (this was a little time consuming). This was several years ago, so Cowgirl and Princess were about two and a half at the time and they loved these! I was worried that the paper would be too thin for little hands to handle, but it wasn’t an issue at all, my girls were able to handle the pieces just fine. We have found several uses for these paper pattern blocks over the past few years, and even though we now have a set of pattern blocks similar to this one

, and this magnetic set

, we keep finding new fun things to do with our paper ones.

The first time we used them I printed out some pattern mats for the girls to lay the pieces on. I recommend putting the pattern mats in sheet protectors or laminating them to make them more durable. I organized all the paper pieces in a dollar store muffin tin. This was a very popular activity for several months.


For Cowgirl’s and Princess’s fifth birthday party I used masking tape to attach clear contact paper to the wall with the sticky side facing out. Then I put the muffin tin with the paper pieces on the floor underneath. I used this as an activity for the kids to do while we were waiting for the rest of our guests. They had so much fun! Most of the pattern pieces came off of the contact paper neatly so the kids could rearrange things if they wanted, and we were able to save the pieces for another activity.

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We have also glued our pattern pieces to construction paper to make collages and to decorate drawings, worksheets, plain wrapping paper, and coloring pages.

Want to make some?

  • Printable blocks from Jessica’s Corner of Cyberspace – she has several different templates including traditional colors, black and white outlines to be printed on colored paper and several other colors and patterns.

How about some free printable mats and inspiration cards to go with them?

Here are more ideas for using pattern blocks

Book Review: Children of the Book of Mormon

(This post contains affiliate links)

Book of Mormon Children: A Collection of Stories Set in Book of Mormon Times 

by Merrilee Browne Boyack

Book of Mormon Children: A Collection of Stories Set in Book of Mormon Times

This book is amazing! There are 26 stories, told from the perspective of the kids in the story, a perspective that is not found in the Book of Mormon. I love how it brings the story to life and the kids have been able to relate better to the stories and add another layer to their understanding.  I have been reading one of the stories to my kids every night at bedtime. After each story are some activity suggestions, including Family Home Evening suggestions, and some facts about things in the story. We really have been loving it!


Libraries of Hope

I discovered the most amazing website yesterday!! “Libraries of Hope is dedicated to restoring the lost arts of educating hearts of children.”

I’ve listened to the audio and watched the video on the Training page, and watched “History of the Well-Educated Heart: Part 1 Roots” and begun watching “Part 2 Stems” on the Archived Training page. I’ve loved everything that I’ve heard so far. I love the education philosophy that the founder of the page Marlene Peterson teaches: that it is more important to educate a child’s heart in the early years and educating the heart will lead to a well-educated mind. (She explains it much better than I do, I’m very new to the concept). I also love the concept of teaching in layers, that an education looks more like a spiral that slowly builds on itself rather than a straight line. Marlene explains this concept in the video on the training page, and the entire website seems to be built upon this concept.

There are links, also, to a ton of free online content, sorted by age group and subject. I haven’t explored these very much yet, but it seems as though it will be very easy to navigate and find exactly what I need for each topic.

All of the information and resources can be a bit overwhelming, so start by watching the videos on the main page, then do the Introductory Course, then jump right in! Learn as you go and your kids can learn with you.

Elderberry Syrup (and Gummies)

I’ve been wanting to make elderberry syrup for a while, I though it would be fun to make some gummies for an easy way to give the kiddos (and myself) a dose a few times a week when we are trying to prevent illness and a couple of times a day when we are fighting something off.

We tried this recipe from Wellness Mama. It was too spicy for us. The kids wouldn’t even eat the gummies that I made because they didn’t like the flavor. I might try reducing some of the spices and see how we like it.

But I also want to try this one from Real Food RN, this one from Simply Healthy Home, and this one from Learning Herbs. I plan to try these out one at a time, and I’ll review them all.

I also want to make some regular gummies, just for fun 🙂




Making Memories

I just read this amazing post from Desiree at It really got me thinking, I’ve been really ‘busy’ lately, and have been telling my kids too often to ‘wait just a second’, I need to adjust my priorities, and put my children back on top. The computer, or my book, the cleaning, or even dinner, can ‘wait just a second’ so that I can focus on my child and give her the attention that she needs. Thanks Desiree, for helping to remind me what is most important, and for your great ideas for making memories with my kids.

Painting With Bingo Bottles

I bought a set of refillable bingo bottles from Discount School Supply. I bought these a couple of months ago and we love them! I filled them with tempera paint. I had to water it down a little because the paint was too thick to work well. My kids love these, they paint really smooth lines and also make perfect dots. I love them because they are relatively clean and the kids can paint without making a mess. No water, no paintbrushes, no spills, perfect! I also love that they are refillable. The kids can get the lids off to paint, but then there are caps underneath that have the sponges that the paint comes through, and those fit tightly enough that there is no way the kids can get them off. This is a great activity to keep the kids busy while I’m making dinner, or if I need a few minutes to finish something that I’m working on.

Cherish Little Moments

Maybe Your Two-Year-Old Just Needs You

I just read this blog post, and it is beautiful. Nearly brought me to tears.

I cannot count the times that I have rushed my children to bed, thinking that I needed some time to myself before I collapsed into bed, tired from a long day. Now I wish I had not rushed bedtime so. I regret all the times that my children went to bed upset because I would not take the extra time to make sure that their needs were met before I left their room for the night.

I am grateful that my children are still small and that I will have time to change my ways and enjoy bedtime a little more, take a little more time, and try not to get annoyed with small requests from my children. They are only small for such a short time, I need to cherish every little moment. I need to rush less, and read to them more, snuggle and play and enjoy every moment that I have with my children. I love them so.

It’s amazing how some days can go by and I look back and realize that I was so caught up in laundry, chores, and a dozen other responsibilities (all of them important and necessary to keep my household running smoothly) that I spent all day telling my sweet girls “sure honey, we’ll do that later.” “I will be there in a few minutes when I’m finished with this.” And then ‘Later’ never came, or a few minutes turned into a few hours as I finished one task and moved on to the next. Then suddenly it’s bedtime, and I’m rushing them to bed and I didn’t spend as much time with them as I wanted to.

I am thankful that there are other days that I don’t seem to get anything done because I spent all day with my kids, talking, laughing, reading stories and playing. I love those days. It can be so hard to find a balance between spending time with my children and getting all the chores done. Maybe someday I will figure it out. 🙂