Sunday, January 29, 2023

Morning Breakfast Casserole

      Sigh... aren't mornings just SO CHAOTIC? Getting ready for work, kids running around and screaming, big rush to get everything in their right places, 'go get your clothes on'... etc, etc, etc!

     The thing that was most frustrating for me was breakfast. I mean, you'd like to get food in your stomach and the kids' stomachs too. But then, you also want protien, easy clean-up, and not too much preparation time either. Finally, after long years of searching, we came across what works for us. (Drumroll, please)


     We make this egg and ham casserole the night before, store it in the refrigerator until morning, and then bake it. I works really well for our large family and just clears up our mornings so much. Here's the recipe:

Friday, January 27, 2023

Gardening with Kids

I think many of us have an instinctive sense that gardening is good for kids.  It gets them outside, gives them a sense of where their food comes from, gives them interesting and stimulating sensory experiences, and the list goes on and on.

Actually following through and making a garden that is successful and enjoyable for everyone involved, however, can often be frustrating and/or intimidating.

Here are the top things I have learned so far from my 8 years of gardening with kids and having grown up with a father who gardened.

1.  Seeds. It is always nice to take a kid to a seed shop and let them see all the packets. These are fun to plant (especially the digging in the dirt part) and it is especially fun to watch the little seedlings poke up out of the ground with your kids.

2.  Anticipate points of tension ahead of time.  Clearly mark path where they can walk, teach them early on what weeds look like and what the seedlings will look like.

3.  Plant things that will capture your kids imagination. Not just vegetables, but also flowers and interestingly shaped plants. Another idea is to let your kids each choose a plant to take care of (with reminders and guidance, of course) :)

4.  Plant things that kids can easily harvest themselves and eat right away: peas, green beans, cherry tomatoes.  Short maturation time.  Seed packets will often tell how long that variety takes to harvest.  If you are a beginning gardener, the information on the seed packets can be especially helpful.

5.  Love your plants, but love your kids more.

P.S. The kiddo in the picture is E, our second to youngest, two years ago, with the sweet potatoes.
Let us know in the comments below: Do you have any tips on gardening with kids?

Make a Garden with Your Kids
5 Easy Tips for Beginners

The Five Little Peppers Books

     Recently, I've been re-reading some of our older books that I haven't read in years. I've really been enjoying the Five Little Peppers series. It is a really fun series with lots of books and it is great for a family read-aloud or for kids ages 9 and up! 

     It is a series by Margaret Sidney about a family with five kids (which is, by the way, relevant to our family now, which makes it even more fun) and about their hard life in the little brown house. They count their blessings though, and are happy, lively, and a very closely-knit family even in the midst of hardships. The series starts with The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, and continues on to have twelve books in total. There are also four films on the series that we haven't watched, but are on our 'to watch' list. 

     This is one of my childhood favorites, along with many others. Let us know in the comments below: what are some of your favorite childhood books?