• mud cake

    The Benefits of Outdoor Play (Kids’ Club Intro)

    **Someone hacked my website last night with a PRIVATE post about mud cakes. Mud cakes, of all things. I was deeply concerned until my daughter confessed that she was the culprit. When did she learn how to post something onto a blog? Seriously, children these days seem to be born with the natural ability to use technology. I read through her short post again and have decide to make it PUBLIC. She is excited to have it added to the Kids’ Club collection of posts.   What is Kids’ Club, you may ask?   Kids’ Club is a collection of posts on this blog that we feel will benefit children of all ages in their efforts to create a happy, healthy,…

  • Field trip Boyce Thompson Arboretum

    Field Trip: Boyce Thompson Arboretum

    You wouldn’t know it by looking at it, but right in the middle of the desert, in the midst of Picketpost Mountain, lies a place of profound peace and beauty. With its countless plants and trees, Boyce Thompson Arboretum is the ultimate oasis in the Arizona desert.   WHAT IS BOYCE THOMPSON ARBORETUM?   According to Wikipedia, Boyce Thompson Arboretum is the largest and oldest botanical garden in the state of Arizona. It is one of the oldest botanical institutions west of the Mississippi. Founded in 1924 as a desert plant research facility and “living museum”, the Arboretum is located in the Sonoran Desert on 392 acres along Queen Creek and beneath the towering volcanic remnant, Picketpost Mountain. Over 2600…

  • An afternoon in the park poetry flower bee

    An Afternoon In The Park

    As one who is passionate about genuine connection, I found it impossible to hide my delight recently while spending an afternoon in the park. Children were seen everywhere–on the playground, at the ball courts, barefoot in the grass. But what really made my heart smile was the sight of the parents who, without any visible sign of technology in hand, were laughing with their children and visiting face-to-face with other parents. The weather was beautiful and everyone seeemed extraordinarily happy. As I sat on the grass enjoying the moment, I felt an unusual desire to jot down some poetry. Reaching for a scratch piece of paper from my purse, I penned a few lines about what I was seeing take…

  • Fall Season

    15 Ways To Enjoy Nature During The Fall Season

    Fall is my favorite time of the year! Pumpkin season. Sweater weather. Nature at its finest.   My goal this year is to enjoy each day of the fall season, whether it be taking a walk in the cool air, making apple butter in the crockpot, adding fall details to the home decor, or burning a vanilla-scented candle. Being stuck in the house all summer due to the high temperatures in our area, fall time is the perfect time for me to get out of the house and enjoy nature. Perhaps these ideas will inspire you to spend some extra time outdoors this fall:   1. Take a nightly stroll with your family. 2. Plant a fall garden 3. Have a…

  • generous books

    Books That Inspire A Generous Heart

    A generous heart is not an easy thing to create in a world so filled with entitlement.   Take me for example. It seems I’m reminded of things I want or “need” at every turn by friends, television, social media, the “Jones” next door. Clothes, toys, entertainment, comfort food—I’ve always got something on my wish list, something I “can’t live without”.   This entitlement attitude of mine has turned into a problem in our home, a problem that is multiplying rapidly, for no matter how often I ask my children to do what I SAY rather than what I DO, they just won’t listen. Why is this? Why on earth is it that my children always end up doing what…

  • Celebrating America On Independence Day

    My children love to celebrate holidays. All holidays. But especially Independence Day. Yesterday, when my daughter realized it was the day before the 4th of July and I (shame, shame) hadn’t put up any decorations, she immediately went to work searching the house for anything red, white, and blue. She was determined to celebrate! She found an appropriate-colored  tissue paper banner, which she hung over the door. A red and white-checked, fabric-covered wood star was removed from a shelf and placed in a wooden basket on the kitchen table. Her sewing kit came out, along with a pair of scissors which started snipping away at some rusty red fabric. “I’m sewing a flag,” she said, with determination in her voice.…

  • Tea

    How To Throw A Poetry Tea Party {Three Easy Steps}

    Perhaps you’ve already heard, but Poetry Tea Parties are all the rage! We don’t have them as often as I would like to in our home, but that seems to make them all the more special in the eyes of my children. Fortunately, when I do decide to have them, they are a cinch to put together.   Three Easy Steps to Throwing a Poetry Tea Party: Make some tea (or lemonade, fruit juice, hot cocoa) and pour it into some special cups (teacups, small glass cups–anything you don’t use on a daily basis) Provide a simple snack (for instance, cookies or crackers or fresh fruit Grab a poetry book and start reading for 10-15 minutes (borrow a book from…

  • Rose

    A Morning In The Rose Garden

    A visit to the community Rose Garden had us mesmerized with the beauty of God’s creations. The kids photographed the flowers and did some sketching in their notebooks.   The irrigating limited us somewhat, but we were still able to capture the beauty and peacefulness of the garden. While the kids were enthralled with the flowers, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the gorgeous tree branches.   A perfect spring morning spent together creating lasting memories. Look at that sky!   One final image taken of the covered walkway. Even THAT was beautiful! Where are your favorite places to go for nature study?   I love hearing from you! Please take a moment and share your thoughts in the comments…

  • Chemistry

    Science Project Ideas

    Working on projects together is great for connecting with others. In this post we share details of recent projects that our family enjoyed doing together that were both fun and educational. CHEMISTRY EXPERIMENT I decided to put together a kitchen chemistry class to allow them to put their new knowledge to the test. I googled some ideas and came up with a couple I thought would work well. We made our own indicator to test the pH of different household products: an orange, olive juice, hot sauce, baking powder, contact solution, hairspray, and more. It was fun guessing what color the indicator would turn to, and we were often surprised by the results. We made tortillas and salsa. The baking…

  • renaissance celebration infused water

    Renaissance Celebration: A Celebration Of Learning

    Each year our family throws a history celebration in our home where we display the things we have learned that year for friends and family to enjoy. This past year we learned about the Renaissance Period, so in September we threw a Renaissance Celebration. Previous years’ celebrations have included The Ancient Times, The Middle Ages, and The Pioneers (1800’s).   Throwing a history celebration takes some planning, but it’s always worth it!   We spent much of the year working on a Renaissance Unit Study, which contained many fun projects for the kids to work on. We displayed these projects on a large table for our guests (friends, family, and neighbors) to browse through. What’s a celebration without food? A…