Right Now on Amazon – The Boxcar Children Book Series #1-12 Only $3.99!

Right now Amazon has the Kindle Edition of The Boxcar Children Mysteries: Books One Through Twelve available to download for just $3.99 (regular price is $59.99)!

The Boxcar Children Series follows the life and adventures of four orphaned siblings - Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny - and everywhere they go, they find a mystery to solve.

We LOVE the Boxcar Children!

Last year, we read aloud the entire original series (Books 1 through 19) as a family. We are currently reading the newer books. My children even pretend to be the Boxcar Children sometimes, which I think is great ūüôā

You can read more about WHY we are such big fans of the Boxcar Children.

And did you know that you don't need a Kindle device to read Kindle ebooks?

Simply download the FREE Kindle Reading App that allows you to read your eBooks on ANY device including your computer! (And there are many great ebooks for the Kindle Reading App that are FREE!)

(Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. You may read our disclosure policy here.)

Healthy Strawberry Banana “Ice Cream”

A Cool Valentine's Day Treat (Dairy Free and Sugar Free!) 

Healthy eating is a challenge (for children and adults alike).

My husband and I make an effort to eat a healthy diet. We try to include lots of fruits and vegetables and limit our sugar intake. And we try to teach our children to do the same.

But it's really tough.

We have a long way to go when it comes to eating super healthy.

easy strawberry banana ice cream sugar free dairy free made with Vitamix blender

And we don't always make healthy choices. But we do try, and we are teaching our children to make healthy choices as much as possible.

One of our best investments for adding fruits and vegetables to our diet was the purchase of a Vitamix Blender. We especially love using it to make a variety of smoothies and frozen treats.

It literally took us a few years to decide to purchase one because of the price. They are SO expensive! But we are so glad that we did!

I just wanted to share a recipe with you today that I made up. It's super simple and we really like it:

Strawberry Banana "Ice Cream"

You will need:

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 very ripe frozen banana (peeled)

1/2 cup cold water

drizzle of honey

Put all ingredients in Vitamix and blend on Frozen Treats Setting.

Makes 3 to 4 servings.

This would probably work in a regular blender, but it may be more chunky.  (If you try it in a regular blender, let me know how it turns out!)

Click on the image to save this recipe on Pinterest ūüôā

What we absolutely love about the Vitamix is how smooth our frozen treats turn out.  This really helps children who are sensitive to certain textures of fruits and vegetables (like my daughter) to get more nutrition.

I hope you and your family enjoy this cool healthy treat.

How do you teach your children about healthy eating? I would love to hear from you. Please comment below.

(Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. You may read our disclosure policy here.)

Why My Daughter is Learning Cursive

Over the past year or so, to teach or not to teach cursive handwriting has been a major topic among elementary educators.

When I first heard of this debate, I actually could not believe that this was even a discussion.

I mean, why wouldn't you learn cursive? But then I began to really think about this question.

I remember when I learned how to write in cursive in 2nd grade. I LOVED learning how to write in cursive! I still remember how "grown up" I felt when I could finally do it!

And I can't help but to think of the valuable skill that came along with learning to write in cursive: the ability to READ cursive.

writing cursive at home

I could finally read what my mother was writing and what the handwritten notes in my birthday cards from my grandmother said!

But I must say that I can understand why cursive is not a necessity in today's world of education, and how the time could be better spent developing typing and computer skills.

But this post isn't meant to be an informative post about why you should or shouldn't teach your child cursive: It's about WHY I'm teaching my daughter cursive.

And the answer is quite simple:

I'm teaching my daughter cursive because she wants to learn cursive.

My daughter came to me last week and said that she wanted to learn how to write in cursive, so I started teaching her.

In the few years that I have been teaching my children, I have found that the right time to teach them something is when they truly WANT to learn it.

(This is why I think it is best to wait until a child is ready to learn how to read and should not be pressured into reading before they are ready, but that's another post ūüôā )

Learning happens best when a child (or anyone) is truly interested in knowing something. If children are allowed to learn in this manner, I have found that it truly keeps the love of learning alive.

When I asked my 6 year old daughter why she wants to learn how to write in cursive, her answer was "because it looks pretty."

So she is learning cursive right now because it's what she wants to do, and she is learning it well and loving it too!


Pie Baking and Birdhouse Making: Making Time for Fun Projects as a Family

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know it's February 1st, but I took the entire month of January off from blogging ūüôā

But now I'm back and will hopefully be posting at least once a week.

I just wanted to share with you something that we have decided to do as a family each week in the year 2017.

One of our family goals for this year is to do a fun project together each week.

During the Christmas season, we did a fun project every day for 12 days.

(In case you missed it, see Our 12 Days of Christmas Crafts).

This was great fun! The children and I really enjoyed it. Since we were taking a break from official schoolwork during this time, we had extra time in our day for these craft projects.

In case you haven't noticed, we really enjoy crafts around here ūüôā

But we decided that our weekly projects of 2017 don't have to be a traditional art type craft, but just some fun activity we can do together.

We received this Peanuts Wooden Birdhouse Set as a Christmas present, so we decided make it our very first project:

painting snoopy woodstock peanuts wooden birdhouse
putting together wooden birdhouse
putting stickers on woodstock birdhouse
snoopy Woodstock peanuts wooden birdhouse art set

Other projects we have done together so far this year:

We have worked a 200-piece puzzle together.  And we have baked a peach pie from scratch.

peach pie from scratch

I know working a puzzle and baking a pie may not seem much like craft projects, but here is why that doesn't really matter:

This goal we have isn't so much about what we are making - it's more about just doing something together so that we can enjoy time with each other.

I am looking forward to many more creative family time projects this year, and I hope to share some of them with you.

What are your favorite ways to spend time with your family? How do you make time?

I would love to hear from you! Please comment below.

(Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. You may read our disclosure policy here.)