Monday, January 30, 2012

Welcome, Shane Raymond Young!

On Sunday, January 29th at 11:47 AM, we welcomed Shane Raymond into our family. He is 8 pounds and 21” long.

 2012-01-30 Shane

After the circumstances under which Nathanael arrived (and Kahlen too, I’ll write down that story sometime), this was a completely normal, easy, home birth. I was in labor for 6 hours, pushed for 20 minutes, and then he was here.

Kahlen loves him, even if he’s not a girl. Nate is really not sure, he’s cranky that mommy and daddy aren’t giving him as much attention, but he seems to like “my baby Shane”. Daddy is already wrapped around his finger, this being the first baby with a perfectly normal postpartum (thus far anyway).

More pictures to come…(In fact, they might be daily again for awhileSmile)

~S

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Speak Up Saturday–Book Review- God Gave Us Two by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Speak Up Saturday

It’s Speak Up Saturday!

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Now that Mama polar bear has another baby in her tummy, Little Cub is bursting with curiosity. “Why do we need a new baby?” she asks. “If we don’t like the new baby, can we send it back?”
“Will you forget me when the new baby comes?”
Gently and lovingly, Mama and Papa assure their firstborn that the new baby is a gift from God they want very much, just as Little Cub was–and still is.
“God gave us you. Now he’s given us two!”
The winsome sequel to God Gave Us You, God Gave Us Two playfully affirms a child’s uniqueness and place in the family and helps little ones accept, appreciate, and love their new siblings.

I initially got this book for Nate, who is 2.5 and doesn’t understand at. all. that there’s a baby in my tummy and it’s going to come out and then he’ll be a big brother. For him, though, this book was a little long and wordy.

Kahlen, however, *loves* it! And really, I like it a lot too. It focuses on how things will change but how things will still be the same too. The illustrations are sweet and the words are positive and affirming, but real too in the changes that will come with a new sibling.

I would recommend this book to anyone adding to their family!

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~S

It would be a great help to me if you would please rate my review. I get the chance to review more books based on my rating, and there are cool contests and such. Thanks!!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Speak Up Saturday - TOS Review–Kinderbach

Speak Up Saturday

It’s Speak Up Saturday! This time it’s actually on Saturday :)

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KinderBach is a fun, creative, and interactive way for young children to enjoy introductory piano lessons. You don’t even need an expensive grand piano because a toy keyboard works well with this program. KinderBach is recommended for children ages 2-7. Each short lesson includes watching playful characters as they introduce music concepts such as rhythm, note reading, singing, and composition.

Some lessons include enjoyable printable worksheets. Within the first month of lessons, your child can be playing real songs like “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and “Happy Birthday!” You can choose the best way to view these lessons either online or by watching DVDs. There is no musical background required in order to effectively use this program with your children. If you own a television or computer, printer, and a toy keyboard your child can enjoy 22 hours of pure musical enjoyment.

We received a three month subscription to KinderBach from TOS, and I have to say, we have really been enjoying it. I feel like it has breathed new life into our piano lessons. I have been trying to go through another book program with Kahlen for well over a year, and we just haven’t made that much progress. Partly it’s because of a lack of time and partly because she just doesn’t seem to care for the book that I chose (which I love, by the way).

Anyway, KinderBach combines video, worksheets, and actual piano playing to provide a well-rounded course on playing the piano/keyboard and music theory. While I don’t think this takes the place of a good one-on-one tutor, it’s much cheaper ($95.88 per year or $19.99 per month) and we can do it whenever we have time. The online lessons are easy to follow and there are printable worksheets for many of the lessons. There is also a full downloadable book for each level, which includes many additional activities.

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There are six levels, with 10 weeks of instruction in each. The lessons are short enough that you can do several in one day or just stick to one per day for four days per week. Some of the videos are interactive and some are just learning music theory. All the videos we watched were engaging and interesting. They were a good length for this age group too, less than 5 minutes each.

Overall, we enjoyed this program and I will consider purchasing additional months after life settles down a bit and we can devote more time to it, maybe in the fall.

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See what the rest of the crew is saying here.

~S

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product through The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday–January 25

Nate thinks brownie batter is the bomb!

2012-01-24 Mmm, Batter (5)2012-01-24 Mmm, Batter (4)

~S

Linking up at:

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Tots and Me

Monday, January 23, 2012

TOS Review–We Choose Virtues

Speak Up Saturday

It’s Speak Up Saturday (or whatever day this is). I was really planning to get this done this weekend, but kids were sick, now I’m getting their coughing cold, blah.

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I had the opportunity to review several products from We Choose Virtues

Why Choose Virtues

Let's be honest, instilling virtues in kids is hard work. But can it be fun too? We think so. In fact, there's no better way to learn. So We Choose Virtues brings memorable catchphrases, endearing characters, and just plain fun to simply inspire character that lasts. It's the best choice you can make for the kids in your life.

I received the Virtue Clue CardsKids of VirtueVille Coloring Book, and Teacher’s Handbook. Unfortunately, though, due to a mixup with the post office, I just received the Virtue Clue Cards last week :( SO, I didn’t have as much time to work with these as I would have liked.

Anyway, I was really excited to review these products after reading about them on their website:

Tools for inspiring KIDS…Our Kids Set  is specifically for Early Education-Elementary kids (ages 3-11). The products are designed to use in a classroom or home setting, and can be used one-on-one.

We Choose Virtues is not unit study that you use once and then move on from. It is actually a character development tool that you use  every day, every year. You introduce the Virtues, then demonstrate them, memorize the catchphrases, then learn the antonyms, then capture teachable moments when they are being used…or aren’t. You will be amazed how fast you will all learn to obey (not just learn what obedience is, but actually learn to obey!)…and 11 other Virtues too!

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The Virtue Clue Cards ($5.99) have the virtue, catch phrase, and antonym listed on one side along with a picture of the character. The back has a “You can do it!” challenge. These cards will be excellent in introducing the characters and the virtues as well as review and practical application.

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The Teacher’s Handbook ($4.99 for download) is mostly geared toward classroom instruction, but it does have several good ideas and explanations about the program and how to use the materials.

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The Kids of VirtueVille Coloring Book ($3.00) is a download only PDF, which is great because then I can print as many as I need. I’m hoping that I can use these with both kids while we learn about each virtue.

There’s also several products offered for free, like the Kids Memory Verses, Bible Heroes and Truths, Student's Character Assessment, and Family Character Assessment.

So while we haven’t been able to actually use the products as much as I would have liked by this point, I am still very impressed by these products and can’t wait to really dive in and teach my littles these virtues.

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These products are designed for ages 3-18, but I think that even I will benefit from this study of virtues.

Check out their clearance section as well as their family, homeschool, classroom, and church packages and products.

See what the rest of the crew is saying here.

~S

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product through The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Menu Plan Monday–January 24th

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The Italian Wedding Soup was delicious, but I’ll need to make a few modifications if I expect hubs to eat the leftovers. He didn’t like the soggy noodles the next day, hmmm. The meatballs were delicious though, made a double batch and froze the extras after cooking them for an easy meal later.

No chicken pox, instead we all have a cold with a lovely cough. Nate is trying to get an ear infection, and I’m trying to prevent that. Went to doc yesterday so we have antibiotics on hand in case it gets worse.

Still plugging along. I’m 36 1/2 weeks now, so sticking to simpler foods. Standing in the kitchen for long amounts of time is not very appealing these days.

Mix-it up Monday (something new) ~ Food rom stepmom (Have I mentioned how much I really like having family close??)
Taco Tuesday (Mexican or Oriental) ~ Tacos
Wow Wednesday (Date night or something like restaurant food) ~Cheater Pot Pie – going to try again, found out that hubby doesn’t really like this recipe, so I’m going to modify a bit and see what he thinks. Again, it’s about soggy food, veggies this time.
Simple Thursday (Crockpot or less than 30 min prep) ~ Family night with fellowship team. We’re having a baked potato bar, I’m bringing steamed broccoli and cheese dip (found a recipe in my Food Network Magazine) 
Favorite Friday (A family favorite) ~ Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
Lazy Saturday (leftover buffet) ~ Leftovers
Saucy Sunday (Italian) ~ Spaghetti and Sauce and probably some leftover meatballs

I’m also making a batch of Breakfast Burritos this week, and hopefully some Crackers too.

So, what are you having for dinner this week?
Link up at Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie or leave me a comment!

I have a recipe index, just for recipes that you can find on my blog. You can also get to it by going to the food tab above.

~S

Monday, January 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday–January 16

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Sort of stuck to the meal plan, sort of. Kept forgetting to make the Slow Cooker Lasagna, so we didn’t have that. AND Saturday we went to the in-laws for the Broncos game so I made Shepherd’s Pie for all of us instead of making Pot Pie on Friday. 

Hoping to not be as busy this week as I was last week, but we’ll see. Thursday we’re either going on a date with three other couples OR my kids will have chicken pox. I exposed them on purpose, hoping they’ll get it, but still, having sick kids is no fun for anyone. I honestly can’t say which one I’m hoping for. Now would be better for them to get the pox than later, like a month from now, but it’s not like I’m looking forward to them being sick. Time will tell…

Mix-it up Monday (something new) ~ Italian Wedding Soup. New recipe, I asked hubby if he would eat soup this week, he jokingly said, “what kind? Italian sausage?” not knowing a thing about Wedding Soup. Hoping it’s as good as it sounds. 
Taco Tuesday (Mexican or Oriental) ~ Southwest Chicken Burritos 
Wow Wednesday (Date night or something like restaurant food) ~ Lentil stew with turkey ham 
Simple Thursday (Crockpot or less than 30 min prep) ~ Date Night with friends or spaghetti and meat sauce
Favorite Friday (A family favorite) ~ Cheater Pot Pie – going to try again :) 
Lazy Saturday (leftover buffet) ~ Leftovers
Saucy Sunday (Italian) ~ Baked Pasta Casserole

So, what are you having for dinner this week?
Link up at Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie or leave me a comment!

I have a recipe index, just for recipes that you can find on my blog. You can also get to it by going to the food tab above.

~S

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Speak Up Saturday–Alienation by Jon S. Lewis

Speak Up Saturday

It’s Speak Up Saturday!

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From the publisher:

Earth’s last line of defense against the coming alien invasion is 16-year-old surfer Colt McAlister. But before he can save the world, he has to survive the day.

All Colt wants to do is return to his old life . . . where aliens don’t exist . . . where mankind hasn’t been targeted for destruction . . . and where his parents are still alive. Unfortunately life doesn’t work that way.

The United States government believes Colt holds the key to our survival, so they’re sending him to the CHAOS Military Academy along with his best friends Oz and Danielle. There they’ll be trained to defend Earth against a swarm of alien shapeshifters known as the Thule. But someone is trying to eliminate Colt before he can lead that charge. Shocked to learn about key events in his past and unsure who he can trust, Colt is alienated and on the run.

In a world of high-tech gear, shape-shifting aliens, simulated reality, and hoverboards, Colt must step into his true destiny before our world falls in chaos.

I read the first one in this series, Invasion, and liked it enough to want to read the second one too. This one was a good sequel, and I’m hoping there’s more to come.

The book picked up right where the other one left off, so I would definitely say read them in order. The plot was simple enough to follow and engaging too. The characters continued to develop in a logical progression from the first book. The Christian emphasis was a little more in this book, but still light enough to not be overbearing.

I enjoyed this book, it was a fun easy read. I look forward to more of his writing.

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~S

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Speak Up Saturday–Gabby, God’s Little Angel by Sheila Walsh

Speak Up Saturday

It’s Speak Up Saturday! My computer was down all day yesterday with a virus, boo. I had to reinstall everything. Good thing I backed up my data as soon as I noticed something fishy going on. All’s well, just a pain to through all that.

 

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From the Publisher:

This first book in a delightful new series offers a comforting message for young readers—God loves you very much and is always watching over you!

What little girl wouldn’t love her very own guardian angel? Parents and children alike will be won over by this humorous tale of Gabby, a guardian angel in training who has much to learn about taking care of God’s little ones. Her new assignment is to protect a young girl named Sophie, but Gabby soon realizes that watching after Sophie is a bigger challenge than she had expected! After a close call while riding her pony, Sophie learns what the Bible says about guardian angels: “He will put his angels in charge of you. They will watch over you wherever you go” (Psalm 91:11 ICB).

You may recall my review from last week about Gabby’s Stick-To-It Day. After I posted it to the NetGalley site, I saw they also had the first book in this series, Gabby, God’s Little Angel, available for review.

This book did not disappoint. The illustrations were sweet and the point well made. Kahlen and I enjoyed this one too. It is actually quite amazing to think that God loves each of us so much that He sends his angels to watch over us wherever we go. Kahlen’s angel must be just as busy as Gabby these days keeping her out of harm’s way. So, thank you NetGalley for providing the book for review, thank you Sheila Walsh for writing the truth in a way that is relevant to me AND my daughter, and most of all, thank you God for protecting us from ourselves and life!

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~S

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NetGalley as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The links to products are just links, I do not receive any compensation for you clicking or purchasing items though my links.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tasty Tuesday–Breakfast Burritos

Tasty Tuesday

Welcome to another week of Tasty Tuesday here at The Young'ns!
There’s a recipe index under the food tab above if you’re ever looking for a recipe I’ve already blogged.
Every Monday, I plan on trying a new recipe. If it goes well, that’s what I’ll be posting on Tasty Tuesday. If not, I’ll post a tried and true (i.e. something I don’t have to think about too hard) ;)

A few weeks months ago, I posted that I was going to make breakfast burritos. I then got a bunch of requests for my recipe and never did get around to posting it, oops. Sooooo, here it is! Simple, adaptable to your family, filling, delicious, the perfect freezer meal!

Sela’s Breakfast Burritos

{Ingredients}

  • 2 pounds yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 tbsp butter flavored shortening
  • 1 pound turkey breakfast sausage
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese
  • 18 large flour tortillas
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

{Directions}

  • Peel and cube potatoes. In a large nonstick skillet or wok or whatever you have, melt shortening over medium heat. When hot, add potatoes. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, then stir/flip, and cook for another 5 minutes. Continue cooking until potatoes are cooked but not too mushy. They should get a little browned too. Dump in huge bowl when done cooking.
  • Scramble eggs in a large pan. I usually add a bit of milk to my eggs, but that’s completely up to you. Dump cooked eggs in huge bowl.
  • Cook sausage, either in same pan or a different one. If you do it in the same one, the pan is hard to clean later, but only makes one pan dirty for this part. Dump sausage in same huge bowl.
  • Add cheese and seasonings. Stir well.
  • Place 1/2 cup filling in each tortilla. Fold over ends and roll into burrito. Place on cookie sheet and freeze until completely frozen. Store in gallon ziplocks in freezer.
  • When you’re ready to eat one, microwave for about 1 minute on 60% power, then turn over and microwave for another minute. Typically, the middle of mine is still cold, but I would rather reheat that part than have crispy ends on my tortilla, so you pick. Hubs likes his to be hot all the way through the first time, so he cooks his for longer. IF you plan ahead and actually defrost one, it works much better :)

~S

Menu Plan Monday–January 9th

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The Sweet Chicky Nuggets from last week were delicious! They were a medium amount of work because I had to break out the deep fryer and you can only do so many at a time, but they were worth it :)

I’m really starting to slow down, being 35 weeks and all that. So I’m trying to make things that are either big enough to last a few days or easy enough that I don’t have to stand in the kitchen for very long. Can’t believe I’m getting so close to meeting little Roo!

Mix-it up Monday (something new) ~ Dinner from dad and stepmom – Barley Mushroom Soup
Taco Tuesday (Mexican or Oriental) ~ Mexican Lasagna – Made two pans, one for us, one t take to a friend who just had a baby 
Wow Wednesday (Date night or something like restaurant food) ~ Slow Cooker Lasagna – Having a garage sale at my house all day, so I needed something easy that I could start early.
Simple Thursday (Crockpot or less than 30 min prep) ~ Lentil Stew and Turkey Ham 
Favorite Friday (A family favorite) ~ Cheater Pot Pie
Lazy Saturday (leftover buffet) ~ Leftovers
Saucy Sunday (Italian) ~ Noodles and Meat Sauce

So, what are you having for dinner this week?
Link up at Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie or leave me a comment!

I have a recipe index, just for recipes that you can find on my blog. You can also get to it by going to the food tab above.

~S

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Speak Up Saturday Book Review–Accused by Janice Cantore

Speak Up Saturday

It’s Speak Up Saturday! This is one of the books that I got from NetGalley that I was trying to read on my phone (4.3” screen) with difficulty but I flew through on my newly purchased Kindle :)

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From the Publisher:

Detective Carly Edwards hates working in juvenile—where the brass put her after an officer-involved shooting—and longs to be back on patrol. So when a troubled youth, Londy Atkins, is arrested for the murder of the mayor and Carly is summoned to the crime scene, she's eager for some action. Carly presses Londy for a confession but he swears his innocence, and despite her better judgment, Carly is inclined to believe him. Yet homicide is convinced of his guilt and is determined to convict him.
Carly's ex-husband and fellow police officer, Nick, appears to be on her side. He's determined to show Carly that he's a changed man and win her back, but she isn't convinced he won't betray her again.
As the investigation progresses, Carly suspects a cover-up and strikes out on her own, uncertain whom she can trust. But when danger mounts, she begins to wonder if she made the right choice.

Release Date: February 1, 2012 You can preorder on Amazon or ChristianBook.com now though!

This book was a fun, easy read. It kept you guessing, but gave enough information to keep you reading too. The story was solid, yet not too heavy. I don’t watch TV, but I’m guessing that this is what the ever-popular police dramas would be like if they were cleaner and had a Christian bent to them.

The characters were well enough developed. A few of the supporting characters were very very shallow, but the main characters were personable and easy to relate to. The author took enough time to explain their characters without losing me in the details.

The plot was twisty and expanded throughout the story, which kept in interesting. The pace was good, providing enough action that I really wanted to keep reading, yet not too suspenseful or violent.

The ending, which can make or break a book, was good too. It tied up loose ends without spending too much time there. I was glad to hear that this is the first in the Pacific Coast Justice series, because I liked the characters and would love to read more about where they go from here.

Four stars! Fun read, not too long, engaging, yet not overwhelming or overly intellectual.

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~S
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NetGalley as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
The links to products are just links, I do not receive any compensation for you clicking or purchasing items though my links.

Speak up Saturday Book Review–Gabby’s Stick-To-It Day by Sheila Walsh

Speak Up Saturday
It’s Speak Up Saturday! I bought myself a Kindle this week and have been reading at top speed. I’ve been able to get several books through NetGalley, and I was reading them on my computer or my phone, but the Kindle is sooooo much easier! This one, though, was better on my computer since it’s color and Kahlen and I read it together :)
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From the Publisher:
Our favorite little angel is back with more giggles, more fun, and an important message for little girlsdon’t give up when things get hard.
Gabby is a little guardian angel with a big job to do! Watching over Sophie is hard work, but Gabby knows that God wants her to stick to it.
Gabby, God’s Little Angel, flies to the rescue as Sophie attempts to help others but has a little trouble sticking with things. Sophie tries to be helpful by washing the family dog for her mom, but she gives up when she’s the one who ends up all wet. She then tries to be kind by reading to her little brother, but he has plans of his own, which include a splash of cereal right in Sophie’s face! When Sophie is ready to quit once again, it’s up to Gabby to encourage her to keep trying and to teach her what the Bible says about perseverance: “We must not become tired of doing good. We will receive our harvest of eternal life at the right time if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NCV)


Release Date: March 6, 2012. You can preorder on Amazon or ChristianBook.com now though!
This is a sweet book about not giving up, even when the job is hard. It’s told from the perspective of Gabby, Sophie’s guardian angel. The pictures and the use of interesting fonts and colors kept our attention. The story was well written, short enough to not be boring or trite and long enough to be a good read. The situations that Sophie found herself in were realistic and very easy for Kahlen to relate to.
We enjoyed this book and will seriously consider purchasing  a hardcopy when it comes out in a month!
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~S
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NetGalley as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
The links to products are just links, I do not receive any compensation for you clicking or purchasing items though my links.
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