Friday Fave - Audible

Happy Friday Friends!

Here's my "Friday Fave,"a series highlighting fun and interesting things (products, experiences and/or ideas) that I would recommend to others.

Here's what I am digging this week:  

Audible

Audible is the world’s largest seller and producer of  downloadable audio books. 

We have a Gold Monthly membership, (1 credit each month that is good for any audio book, any price).

Why I love audible:

-Books are performed by high quality narrators and/or the author's themselves.

-You can return/exchange any audio book you don't like.

-The newest releases and most popular titles can be found on audible.

-I can listen to books anywhere at anytime (on a walk or run, while folding laundry, in the car....).  It is a perfect form of entertainment for a busy mom.

Here are a few of the audible titles that I have enjoyed and would recommend:

 

Check it out!

Around Here....

Maple Sap - 1
Maple Sap - 1
Maple Sap - 1
Maple Sap - 1
Maple Sap - 1
Maple Sap - 1
Maple Sap - 1
IMG_4331
IMG_4331
IMG_4331
IMG_4331
IMG_4331
IMG_4331Around Here...

The spring sugaring season has come to a close.  In company of family, friends and visiting puppies this past weekend,  I boiled down all of the sap I collected into maple syrup.  

This year's efforts yielded six beautiful jars.

On Monday I shared some of the maple syrup that I made with my kindergarten students, at our annual pancake party, where we celebrate all of the effort and learning with this rich, hands-on learning experience.   

Pancake Party - 1
 .......

This act of sharing photographs and ramblings of our daily life is a practice in gratitude that brings me joy.

I encourage you to reflect on the good in your life.

What are you grateful for today?


Meal Plan Monday

IMG_4338This snapshot is from my first Spring trail run!   Although we still have snow I am feeling the shift of the seasons!
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I put strong value in family dinners.   It is a time that our whole family can connect, sit down together, have conversation and share a meal.

I do not want to portray the illusion that every family dinner in our household is calm and blissful.   Nor do I want to brush aside the effort it takes to plan, prepare, and time everything so that it works with a busy family's schedule.

I do want to emphasize that, however, that this habit, has paved the way for daily family connection in our family.  As much as it is a chore, the benefits make it all worth it.

I know too, the opportunity to spend this time with my four children around our family table is fleeting.  My children are growing up quickly.   I want to share this experience with them.

To make this happen I take some time each week for meal planning, which I am choosing to share with you as well!

I hope you get some inspiration by what I post. Regardless, this practice is beneficial for me, as it is creating a database of dinner ideas (all you have to do is click on the meal planning category tag on the sidebar to see all my posts on this topic).  

I also value your feedback and appreciate your ideas and inspiration as well! 

------Our weeknight family meal plan - April 8-12------

Lasagna Rolls (I made these over the weekend)  & caesar salad

need:  lasagna noodles, cheese, ricotta, Italian sausage, romaine lettuce, croutons

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Coconut-Lime Pork Tacos with Black Beans and Avocado   

These were so good we're having them again this week - thanks Kel for the recommendation!

need: ground pork, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, coconut milk, pineapple juice, lime juice, avocado

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Venison Brats & Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries (with leftover chili)

need:  brats, yellow potatoes, sweet potatoes, hot dog buns &  leftover chili

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Savory Sandwich Ring with homemade relish & cranberry preserves

need: deli meat & cheese, lettuce, tomato, relish and cranberry preserves

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Spicy Shrimp Burrito Bowls

need: shrimp, black beans, corn, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, spices

---

 

 

Have great week friends!


Friday Fave: I Love Birds!

Happy Friday Friends!

Here's my "Friday Fave,"a series highlighting fun and interesting things (products, experiences and/or ideas) that I would recommend to others.

Here's what I am digging this week:   

I Love Birds!: 52 Ways to Wonder, Wander, and Explore Birds with Kids71aAV4vDOtL._AC_UL872_QL65_

I Love Birds! is full of activities, information, and rich resources that will fuel discovery and inspire families. Through sensory, hands-on, and creative explorations that involve birding basics and the hows and whys of bird behavior, the activities here will engage children’s imagination and sense of wonder as they observe birds in the wild, become citizen scientists, and forge a deeper understanding, appreciation, and stewardship toward nature, our planet, and all things feathery.

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Earlier this week the boys and I tried out one of the activities in the book and created a "nest helper ball" to aid birds in finding nesting materials.   We followed the instructions in the book and hung the ball in a tree outside of our window by our bird feeder. 

IMG_4505I Love Birds! includes 51 other seasonal activities like this geared for families with children ages 4-8.  

Click HERE to read a feature about the book on the Roost Books website.

Poster_stroke

You can also download a special I Love Birds! poster here.

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I am part of Amazon’s affiliate program in order to offset some of the costs that are associated with running a blog. If  you make a purchase after clicking on one of the affiliate links of my tried and true, honest recommendations, I get a very small commission at no extra cost to you. I appreciate your support in this area!


Minnesota Parent - April

MNP 0419_coverRGBThe April issue of Minnesota Parent Magazine is available throughout Minnesota and online now.

My ramblings in my School Days Column this are about my review of Sarah Glad's Who We Are - Family Mission Statement Kits with highlights our family's experiences with the experience of the process.
Megan Devine - Minnesota Parent

Megan Devine - Family Mission Statement

Pick up a print copy, or read the full issue by clicking --> HERE.

Find the online link to my column---> HERE.

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If you like what you see, social media 'shares' are appreciated!

As always - thanks for reading!


Meal Plan Monday

Meal Plan Monday - 1Happy April!  

I put strong value in family dinners.   It is a time that our whole family can connect, sit down together, have conversation and share a meal.

I do not want to portray the illusion that every family dinner in our household is calm and blissful.   Nor do I want to brush aside the effort it takes to plan, prepare, and time everything so that it works with a busy family's schedule.

I do want to emphasize that, however, that this habit, has paved the way for daily family connection in our family.  As much as it is a chore, the benefits make it all worth it.

I know too, the opportunity to spend this time with my four children around our family table is fleeting.  My children are growing up quickly.   I want to share this experience with them.

To make this happen I take some time each week for meal planning, which I am choosing to share with you as well!

I hope you get some inspiration by what I post. Regardless, this practice is beneficial for me, as it is creating a database of dinner ideas (all you have to do is click on the meal planning category tag on the sidebar to see all my posts on this topic).  

I also value your feedback and appreciate your ideas and inspiration as well! 

------Our weeknight family meal plan - April 1-5------

Coconut-Lime Pork Tacos with Black Beans and Avocado

need: ground pork, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, coconut milk, pineapple juice, lime juice, avocado

---

Ginger Carrot Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Pears

need:  soup, good bread, cheese, & pears

---

Venison Chili and Cornbread Waffles

need:   ground venison, canned tomatoes, chili beans, shredded cheese, cornbread 

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Spaghetti and Meatballs, garlic bread and Caesar Salad

need:  spaghetti noodles, sauce, meatballs (I made and froze these using venison and ground pork over the weekend),  garlic bread, romaine lettuce, caesar dressing, homemade croutons.

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Crescent Dough Veggie Pizza

need: my go-to crescent dough recipe from this cookbook,  veggie dip, cheese, veggies (broccoli, carrots, onion, radishes)

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weekday lunches:  calzones

 

Have great week friends!


Never a dull moment...

Water Monster - 1
Water Monster - 1
Water Monster - 1 Water Monster - 5
Water Monster - 5
Water Monster - 5
Water Monster - 5
Water Monster - 5This is what we came home to yesterday!  

As it turns out a beaver dam broke out about a mile up the road from our house and caused this "water monster" that overtook our driveway.     

This is not the first time we have had trouble with spring run off, such as this.  

I have memories of portaging babies in infant carseats to my car parked on the other side of our bridge.

Every year this particular problem is a little bit different.   We are brainstorming some solutions to offset the effects that are associated with the ice dam that forms on the upstream side of the bridge.    

There is never a dull moment around here!  Friday night fun, like this,  adds even  more excitement to our already full and rich life.   

 


Friday Fave - Defunkify

Happy Friday Friends!

Here's my "Friday Fave,"a series highlighting fun and interesting things (products, experiences and/or ideas) that I would recommend to others.

Here's what I am digging this week:   

Defunkify Products

S_s9xP6gLong story short, I was looking for something to help offset some of the stink associated with an active household of six.

And this stuff works.

Defunkify Active Spray contains water, essential oils (peppermint & rosemary), and ionic silver.  It is designed to stop “the enzymatic reaction that causes odors.”    

Defunkify Active WASH Powder Laundry Detergent uses plant based enzymes to break down and clean odors and stains from active wear.   It works great and is unscented.

Check out their product line--->here

 

I am part of Amazon’s affiliate program in order to offset some of the costs that are associated with running a blog. If  you make a purchase after clicking on one of the affiliate links of my tried and true, honest recommendations, I get a very small commission at no extra cost to you. I appreciate your support in this area!


Around Here....

Around Here.. - 5Around Here.. - 5Around Here.. - 5

Around here.....

We have been enjoying the warmer temperatures.  It is feeling more like spring!  I have been enjoying getting out each day running with the track team as well as venturing to familiar places, deeper in the woods with my trusty trail buddy.   Our shepherd has been dealing with some medical issues over this past winter and we have been working to help him get better with a variety of medications.   I was happy to take him out for a hike on the trail this past weekend without any setbacks.

Around Here.. - 5Around here.....

We have some new pups in our family (not ours!).  My parents lab companions Ally and Maya both passed away last fall.  Recently, my parents' hearts were open and ready to adopt the two pups pictured above.   It is quite entertaining to hear their stories of running around after two active puppies.  It was fun to meet them this past weekend when they came up for a visit.Around Here.. - 5
Around Here.. - 5
Around Here.. - 5
check out the sap-sickle pictured above that we found this week

Around here.....

We are experiencing good weather for sap collection (below freezing over night and above freezing during the day).   I am enjoying sharing this activity with my kindergarten students.  There is so much learning involved.   They are practicing writing the date each day, learning about volume and capacity along with their participation in outdoor learning each day.

 .......

This act of sharing photographs and ramblings of our daily life is a practice in gratitude that brings me joy.

I encourage you to reflect on the good in your life.

What are you grateful for today?


Meal Plan Monday

IMG_4217 2The sap started running this week!   It is officially Spring!!!!!!

Well, I am back in the routine of meal planning.  We are in the transition from soups and hearty winter meals to quick and light spring suppers. 

Here it goes:

------Our weeknight family meal plan - March 25-29------

Chicken Noodle Soup

need: cooked chicken, noodles, carrots, celery, stock, fresh parsley

Spaghetti Carbonara 

need:  noodles, parmesan cheese, eggs & ham

Rice Bowls & Chips

need:   rice, avocado, tomatoes, cooked chicken, canned beans, lettuce

Spring Sheet Pan Dinner

need:  pork loin, asparagus, peppers, potatoes & fresh pineapple

Chicken Ceasar Wraps

need: frozen chicken tenders, romaine lettuce, caesar dressing, croutons & tortilla wraps

 

Have great week friends!