Monday, October 31, 2011

Allergen Free Halloween Candy List

My husband found this list of allergen free Halloween candy, and I thought it was so helpful, I had to share: . It's written by a mom who's child has Celiac's (gluten allergy), I believe, but she includes six of the top eight allergens (including wheat and milk) and lists dozens of different candies and what is and isn't in them. She updates this list every Halloween too! This would be very helpful to us if all candy didn't have dyes in it and we weren't avoiding dyes! ;)

What are we doing for Halloween? Candy buy-back! The kids are getting money in exchange for their Halloween candy. We did buy a few gluten free, dye free candies at the store, but for the most part they are doing buy back. They seem to be alright with that.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Resource for Christian home educators

People homeschool for all kinds of reasons. Some people do it out of necessity--they have a child with severe allergies, or they live in a neighborhood with poorly ranking schools. Some people do it because their child was not thriving in public school. Some do it for religious reasons. Some would consider home educating their children a calling. If that's you, you may be interested in the book I've been reading of late, a book entitled, "Educating the Whole-Hearted Child" by Clay and Sally Clarkson.

I say this book is for those who feel that homeschooling is their God-given calling as parents because this book is wholly focused on Christian home education. Right off the bat I noticed that it was written to that particular audience, and I think those who do not hold to Christian belief probably would not enjoy this book much, though I can't say that definitively, since there is so much to glean between it's covers.

As a Christian home educator myself, I found this massive, nearly 400 page book to be an inspiring and quality resource. I have always felt that my children should be educated at home with me, that that was where they were meant to be. This book has given me so much inspiration as I explore how to best go about homeschooling my kids.

As the title suggests, this book is about developing the whole child, not just his academic side, but also nurturing the home environment in ways that will aid in shaping him into a child who is wholly devoted to God, and who has had an excellent education. I wish I had been able to read this one cover to cover before my review was due (course with a newborn in the house, who can blame me for not finishing the entire thing), but I will say I am thoroughly impressed with what I have read, and have spent many a session with hi-lighter in hand, processing the things I am reading. I can tell this will be a book that I come back to time and again because already it is reminding me of why I homeschool and in what ways I can make the experience better for our whole family.

"Educating the Whole-Hearted Child" can be purchased at Apologia's website for $22.00. For a book of this size (this book is the size of a college text!), that is not a bad price at all. As most of you probably know, Apologia sells lots of other books and curriculum, so be sure to cruise around their site for a while!

Please note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I am not obligated to give a positive review.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

American Heritage Girls

Have you heard of American Heritage Girls? When we signed Little Bean up for Cub Scouts, Miss O could not wait to get in on the vest-wearing, patch-earning action. She even wore her Awana Cubbies vest around the house and tagged along to Little Bean's pack meetings. When she turned 5 in July, I started looking into Girl Scouts, but heard something about this other group called American Heritage Girls.

AHG is a Christian group for girls that is apparently associated with boy scouts, and is a lot like girl scouts in that they earn patches and do fundraising and service projects in the community. We actually found out about our troop through our local homeschooling group and decided to join that instead of girl scouts.

Miss O is loving being with all her little friends and earning her beads (in Pathfinders they earn beads, not patches). Last Monday was her joining ceremony--she did great and had a lot of fun! :)

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Update on the little one

Our little foster baby is 2 months now! She is doing great! She has not had a visit with her mama again yet, but we do have a family team meeting coming up at the end of this month and court again in December, so most likely mom will request a visit at that time. She is free to request one whenever she wants, but usually she ends up missing the visit for whatever reason.

The aunt that originally wanted to take the baby has changed her mind, but another possible dad is being DNA tested now, and if he is the dad, he would be able to take custody of her right away, probably. We just need to wait and see, and we should know real soon if he is the dad. They do not give us foster parents the DNA results, but if he is the dad we will know because they will call to let us know she will be moving or at least to start visits with the dad if he needs to work a parenting plan.

Baby is about 12 pounds now, and already moving up to size two diapers! There were a few days last week where she was just super fussy and I decided to take her to the doctors, because that is not like her. As it turned out, she was not getting enough of her reflux medicine and they had to adjust the dosage. She is doing much better now, thankfully!

She is sleeping through the night most of the time now (8 to 10 hours!). I say that tentatively, since she tends to go for several nights great, and then need a feed the next night at 1 am. But for almost 9 weeks, she is doing super in the sleeping department. Her naps are not as good, she takes some of them pretty well, like 1.5 hours at a time, but others she wakes up after 45 minutes and is clearly not hungry and is clearly still tired. Not sure how to fix that, but eh, it is what it is right now I guess. I will say it makes homeschooling quite a challenge when I can't have her on a predictable schedule. Sometimes I feel like I am doing so much I can't do any of it well, or if I do one thing well, the other things suffer. I guess that's probably normal for this stage in life though!

We had her pictures taken when she turned 5 weeks, they are so adorable! I wish I could post them, but we are not allowed! I can't wait to show them off to her mom. :)

She is a lot of work, I will say that, between meetings, visits, court dates, docter visits, and home visits. We will likely add Early Intervention to that list soon too, as she is not meeting all of her milestones (who knew an 8 week old could be behind, but alas, this is what the social workers are worried about, but I digress...) and as a foster child, they are required to refer her sometime in the first three years of her life. I can't tell you how many people and how often they have asked me if I want her referred already! Even if she is alot of work, she is such a pleasure to have around, and we all already love her dearly!

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