Saturday, February 26, 2011

Science Fair Blues

Sister Suzie has a Fifth Grade Science Fair project due the week before Spring Break.

No Problem... Except, there are a MILLION AND ONE rules for the stupid thing and I.can't.stand.complicated. BUT.... being the good, involved, uber-savvy mom I am, I immediately snapped my fat mouth shut attitude in check and set to work finding experiment books for kids on our local library website. I think we checked out seven or eight.... we ended up coming up with an interesting twist on a time-honored classic.

Setting up the experiment
(don't mind the date-stamp LOL)


We looked at diagrams online and I was pretty sure we could set this puppy up with NO PROBLEMS! HA!

Every explanation I found listed two frustrating pieces of needed equipment. A 1.5-2v  LCD clock, and alligator clips. Now, these are fairly commonplace items... not hard to find at your local hardware or big box store. Except, based on the comments of the type of batteries used, I assumed we needed a little tiny travel clock. And based on the *ahem*not-so-helpful-employee*ahem* at the hardware store, the alligator clips are FLIPPING HUGE! HA!

This meant that tonight's initial set-up of the project took significantly longer than my estimated "throw it together, 30mins - tops" exclamation, and included a tantrum or two... mostly by me. I know. I'm hanging my head in shame. Despicable.

The up-side to this wildly, adventurous scientific journey is that we FINALLY got the stupid rigged circuits to work and Sister Suzie is well on her way to a decent grade - despite my ineptitude!

Here are a few pictures of her work.

Set #1

Set #2

In-home Science Center

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Momma's Vegetable Beef Stew

When I was about six years old, my mother took me to a few Weight Watchers meetings...

No. This isn't a weight loss post...

Although, it does bring up the thought that I really SHOULD try that sometime...

To lose weight, I mean. Hmph.

ANYWAY! At one of those meetings -at least- they gave out a recipe for a garden soup that is now one of my MOST FLAVORite foods ever! Honest. We make it a lot during the cold months, and living up here in PacNW, we have lots of cold months! It is an extremely easy and inexpensive meal to make.

While I couldn't find the original WW recipe, this is a similar vegetable soup recipe found on a blog called A Veggie Venture. It calls for vegetable broth, garlic, onion, carrot, cabbage, tomato paste, green beans, basil, oregano, and salt. I like my soup to have a little more body, so I have always added yellow crookneck squash and zucchini. We never ate cabbage in my house as a kid *shrug* so, instead of that, we use quartered Brussels sprouts. Trust me. I adore Brussels sprouts in this soup... my kids actually ARGUE over who gets the MOST in their bowl! Seriously. I'm not just sayin' that to get props. No, really.... ah, well, thanks!

So, my typical recipe includes: canned stewed tomatoes, onions, green beans, cauliflower, corn, carrots, garlic, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, crookneck squash, zucchini,  home-made salsa, vegetable broth or bullion, salt/pepper/Italian seasonings/crushed red pepper flakes and a 4-6 oz bone&skin-less chicken breast diced or shredded. This means that by the "old" standards, this soup is more accurately dubbed - 4point Chicken Veggie Soup. I don't care.... I don't count points... I just LOVE this soup!

Today, I didn't have any vegetable broth.... or chicken stock. So instead I used some left over roast beef stock that my mother and daughter had frozen late last month. (They took all of the meat and veggies we had left and mixed them with a gravy my eleven year old made from the crock pot juices! It was awesome for her first 'from scratch' gravy) To make it taste better with the beef, I omitted the salsa. I have a fabulous loaf of fresh French bread ready to break open and sop up the tasty broth at lunch! I can't wait!

Here is my Vegetable Beef Stew recipe:

3c reserved roastbeef pieces and gravy - including vegetable pieces
1 Onion -diced 
3 Carrots - rough chop  
3 Cans stewed tomatoes
1lb fresh Green beans - snapped to size 
1/2 lb fresh Brussels sprouts - halved
3 small Zucchini and 3 small Crookneck squash - cut in half, chopped rough
4 medium potatoes- quatered, chopped, boiled with salt
1 cup water   
Seasonings to taste (basil, oregano, thyme, salt, cracked pepper, bay leaf) 

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour.  Serve and enjoy!

I'm linking up with these parties:



Black Kats Design

edited to avoid unintentional copyright infringements

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Itty-Bitty's Native American Plank House

 Our prototype

 Itty-Bitty and the start of her Plank House

The Alligator means 'courage', the Frog is for 'energy',
and together they make a 'man strong enough to hunt' -- or so she concluded.
Native American Plank House, complete with "totem pole"

Linking up to these blogs today:

My Wee View

Outnumbered Banner

My Organized Chaos

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Magnetic Bookmark Craft-lift *Freebie*

Last week I read this post, from Controlling My Chaos, about her great magnetic bookmarks. They are digital images and Jill made them to print on 4x6 photo paper. She used magnetic buisness cards (you could use promotional magnets too). I was instantly in love! So, when we had our first bookclub meeting, I let all of the girls make some.... they doodled theirs on cardstock.

*I forgot to take pictures of the creative process.... DANG!*

I used a roll of magnetic tape and had mixed success, the polarity was a little sketchy. The girls had a great time and made at least two... the idea was to share one with Mom, but I've yet to see mine!

Anyway, since I am trying to learn how to use my ScrapbookMAX! software, I decided I needed to make a set of my own. I decided it would be fun to have a special one just for us mommies at our next meeting.

Now, I'm not very good at all of this, but I'd like for you to be able to use these yourself. If you click on the image below, and save the picture, it should print well to a 4x6. Could you please leave me some feedback - either way - if you tried it. Thanks so much!

I'm linking to these parties:


Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My FIRST Giveaway!!!! Ends 3/2/11

When you are a mom, you learn to love hand-sanitizer. It's a necessity ... diaper changes, spit-up, runny noses, mud-pies, shopping carts, McDonald's play-lands... yes, a necessity!

However, when you are a mom with kids who have skin conditions, alcohol-based sanitizers are not always the best choice. My family suffers from a condition called Icthyosis Vulgaris, basically it means that their immune system goes a little overboard and creates WAY too many skin cells. This increase in skin cells means that their skin is dry, flaky, and itchy. Its really rather frustrating... as well has guilt-inducing, because it is a hereditary disease. I have it, my children have it, my mother and grandmother have the same symptoms. My mother also has extreme eczema on her hands that causes dry, painful splits on her fingers and open sores on her palms.
Most hand sanitizers are alcohol-based. Most need to be reapplied several times a day to remain effective. Every store bought hand sanitizer we've ever used has caused her hands to burn and sting.  Well, until this one.Prefense Foaming Hand Sanitizer is a silica-based product that does NOT contain alcohol. It coats the hands with a germ fighting barrier that lasts through up to 10 hand washings. TEN! Isn't that amazing!

I originally found Prefense on I'm a Lazy Mom and decided to buy it, to see if my mother could use it without pain on a daily basis. We have used it since November of last year and she applies it every day with out pain. Even when her hands are terribly broken out, Prefense actually soothes her skin.

"Great," you say...

"What does that mean," you say, "What kinds of germs and bacteria does it kill?"

Well.... let me tell you a few of the organisms, germs, and other nasties Prefense has been proven to kill. Staph, Strep, Ecoli, Drug-resistant MRSA strains, Herpes-simplex I & II, Influenza, and many more! I know! A-MAY-ZING!

So, it's 100% Natural; NO Alcohol; Softens and soothes dry, itchy hands; It kills more viruses, organisms, fungi, spores, and germs than I can pronounce; and.... AND!!! You only have to apply it ONCE a day.... that's a savings of $1.12/day when compared to popular alcohol-based sanitizers!

I purchased my first bottle to experiment, I tell you what, I will not be purchasing any other brand of sanitizer-EVER! We are hooked, we love PREFENSE! And even better, we want YOU to love Prefenz too!

I am using my first giveaway to give a MONSTER 8oz bottle of Prefense to one lucky reader!!! Because I'm new at this... and because I don't want this to be TOO complicated... Here are your entry options! Please leave one comment for each entry.

***This Giveaway will end Wednesday, March 2nd, at 11:59pm. Winner will be notified via email, so please leave me a valid email or link your profile.***

  • *REQUIRED* Follow Single Life with Kids! via NetworkedBlogs or Google Friend Connect (located on the sidebar)
  • Follow Single Life with Kids! on Facebook
  • Follow Prefense on Facebook
So. That's it.... Simple. Easy. Stop reading this and get to it already!

*UPDATED* Disclaimer: I was not paid to give this review. I recieved one(1) free 8oz. bottle of Prefense to use for my review and the company has agreed to send one(1) 8oz. bottle of Prefense to the winner, directly. My review is based on my own opinions, gained through personal use of a product I previously purchased for use in my household. I am not a medical professional, please seek professional advice if you have any symptoms I described above.