Monthly Archives: August 2012

Sequencing File Folder Games: Button Sequencing & Number Sequencing

Standard

Number Sequencing File Folder Game – FREE Printable

Object of the game: Place number tiles (use the printable ones or purchase these plastic ones here!) in numerical order on the numbered or blank playing boards.

FREE Printable Here: NumberSequencing :: TheyCallMeGranola :: File Folder Game :: FREE Printable

Button Lacing Sequencing File Folder Game – FREE Printable

Object of the game:  Lace buttons in the order shown on the file folder (purchase buttons & laces here!)… color & shape orders shown.

FREE Printable Here: ButtonSequencing :: TheyCallMeGranola :: File Folder Game :: FREE Printable

I find my plain manila file folders here and the fun colored ones here.

Advertisements

More File Folder Games: Owl Counting, Emotion Matching, Leaf Matching & Rainbow Shades

Standard

Here are some more FREE Printable File Folder Games for Tots & Preschoolers!  Had so much fun making these!  Enjoy! 🙂

Owl Counting is a game that includes 12 Owls with numbers on them.

The Playing Board (inside the folder) has 12 tiles with flowers on them.

The Object is to place the Owls in number sequence on the game board either by counting the flowers on each tile or placing the numbers in order by memory.

Click Here for Free Printable:  OwlCounting.TheyCallMeGranola.FFG

Emotion Matching is a game of facial recognition.

The Playing Pieces are pictures of people making Sad, Happy, or Goofy Faces.

The playing board is divided into those three sections.

The object is to sort the faces onto the correct page.

Make this game even more fun by printing pictures of your own family members to include in the mix!

Click Here for Free Printable: Emotion Matching . FREE Printable . TheyCallMeGranola

Leaf Matching is a “Puzzle Game”.

The pieces are various types of colored leaves.

The game board consists of two pages of grayscale leaves.

The object is to place the colored leaves on the matching grayscale leaf.

Click Here for Free Printable:  Leaf Matching Printable.TheyCallMeGranola.FFG

Rainbow Shades is a color identification & matching game.  You’ll need to gather some supplies of your own for this one or purchase a set of small items like this  or this or go to your local Home Depot, Walmart or other paint supply store & collect free paint chips in the colors represented in the printable.

The game pieces are the paint chips or small colored items.

The playing board is a grid with select colors represented at the top.

The object of the game is to sort the various shades of items into the appropriate color column.

Click Here for Free Printable: Rainbow Shades (Paint Chips) – They Call Me Granola.FFG

I purchase my plain manila file folders here and my fun colored file folders here.

I hope you enjoy these printables.  If you would like me to keep creating these & uploading them to share, please encourage me by letting me know in the comments! 🙂  Thanks for hanging out! 🙂

Again, please respect the “freeness” of these printables by not using them for profit.  Print for personal use only!  Thanks.

File Folder Games for Tots & Preschoolers: Color Matching & Shape Matching

Standard

So, my last post was about my clothesline which makes you feel all warm & sunny… However… A quick glance at the calendar reminds me that winter is fast approaching around here!  Colder days are coming.  Days when the kids won’t be able to comfortably play outside… Days when all the doors & windows will be closed, the heater running.  Days of being cooped up, snowed in, all covered in clothes from your toes to your nose.  Sigh… Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant & nesting comes earlier and earlier with each Nut we add to this bowl of Granola.  But, I’ve started storing up for the long winter months.  Not just food in the freezer… not collecting the seeds my garden’s produced… though I’ve been doing that as well.  What I’m busy with now is building a stash of activities for those little Nuts who will be going mad during the winter if I don’t provide interesting things to do occasionally to get their imaginations working.

I found a whole passel of “File Folder Game” ideas on Pinterest (here’s a link to my File Folder Game Pin Board) … gosh, I could spend a whole day perusing that site!  I came up with A LOT of ideas & printables which I’ll send with my Mr. to his office to print.  But I’ve been making a few of my own as well and it’s totally been fun!  Today I got the kids involved making a Paper Doll one.  It’s my favorite one so far!  I don’t have a printable for you (should I work on that?) because I just cut everything out of scrapbook paper, thanks to a good friend of mine who bequeathed to me her entire scrapbooking collection last year!  If you don’t have paper you can get some construction paper here, or various pretty papers here, here or here!

I also made a color matching one (Free Printable Here : Color Matching.TheyCallMeGranola.FFG)… For extra fun use these fun rocks to match colors or these glass beads which would be fun to use for all sorts of color and counting practice!

And a Shape “Puzzle” one (Free Printable Here : Shape Matching.TheyCallMeGranola.FFG)

They were totally easy & quick to make and my oldest absolutely loves them.  I think in order for Monster (2 1/2 year old boy!) to use these I’ll need to laminate things for him (or cover with packing tape since I don’t have a laminator).

UPDATE: I now own this laminator and can I just say – I LOVE IT!  So easy to use!  it makes stickers too which I could totally become addicted to!

FYI… the printables look a little different as I just made them on the computer.  Same idea though.  Feel free to share freely, but do not use the printables for profit please.  I hope that you can use these to keep your kids occupied this winter.

I purchase my plain manila file folders here and my fun colored file folders here!

Do you have any free File Folder Game Printables you made that you’d be willing to share?

Also, please comment below if you’d like me to work on a Paper Doll Printable.  I’d be happy to do it if there is interest!

Happy Thoughts

Standard

This is my happy today!  Am I strange, or do you feel happy when the view from the window is clean laundry fluttering in the breeze?  To me, a clothesline is beautiful… beautiful in it’s practicality, beautiful in its simplicity, beautiful in its peacefulness.  It’s so relaxing to me to drag a basket of clothes to the line and stand in the sun hanging them out to dry… the cool wet laundry draped over my shoulder as I mozey along, soaking in Vitamin D as I clip each clean item to the line.  My absolute favorite part is this…

She’s my little Monkey and she’s 3 1/2.  Makes my heart swell with pride to see her learning to be the wonderful homemaker I know she’ll be someday!  Her squeaky little voice exclaiming in wonder, “I did dat!”  A beautiful thing!

There’s just something marvelous about using a resource normally taken for granted to serve your family in something as simple as laundry.  All winter long I throw the clothes in the dryer dreaming of using my clothesline again!  My husband built me this one this year… from scraps of lumber we found at a construction site.

I can hang three full loads out there… including all the diaper wipes & family cloth, soiled bedding, towels, and clothes!  You know… it actually ends up making laundry take LESS time!  I can keep my washer full & running instead of letting it stand full of wet clothes while the dryer struggles to keep up.  This way, I usually have all the laundry done before lunchtime (which is at 11am around here), then after naps & snack (3pm) the kids & I head outside to take it all down.  A quick tumble in the dryer on “no heat air dry” and we have laundry ready to put away (because the only thing I don’t like to be crunchy is laundry!).  The simplicity, the sense of satisfaction, the joy of it all… that’s my Happy Thought today.

Happy Thoughts aside though… there’s something even more magical about the clothesline… It’s stain-fighting powers!  What an inexpensive practical way to reduce the stains in your laundry… Look at these diapers!

Not that I’m afraid of a little stain, especially on a diaper… but… eeew!  That’s a bad one!

But look… Stain-Be-Gone!  Thank you Mr. Sunshine!

I never knew having a clothesline could bring joy to my life… until I had one two years ago.  Since then, I haven’t gone back!  Maybe the neighbors don’t think it’s pretty… sorry for that… but I think the view out my dining room window is beautiful… especially when there’s a flock of little rascals running around making up games in the sunshine.  Life is beautiful.

A Garden Update

Standard

I am incredibly excited about our garden this year!  It’s growing beautifully and soon we’ll have loads of tomatoes.  I’ve already harvested the herbs so they won’t be pictured in this post as, well, they aren’t very pretty anymore!  But the tomatoes!  Ooooooh the tomatoes!  Check this out!

Here’s the two I bought at the Farmers’ Market… On the left is a Black Krim tomato… a GORGEOUS fruit (I’ll show you in a minute).  On the right is a Rose tomato – kind of like a grape tomato.  I stuck the kids tractor in there to show the size of these plants!  I’m not even sure how I’ll pick the fruit off the Rose because it’s so crammed full inside the tomato cage!  The Krim is so tall & heavy we had to tie it with a string to a the nearby lilac bush!  And they are both bursting with fruit.

 

 

Here’s the underside of the Black Krim!

Here’s a cluster of Rose Tomatoes… do you see how dense this plant is?  Amazing!

And here’s a picture of our first ripe Black Krim fruit…  Isn’t it gorgeous!  The outside goes from a forest green around the top & fades to a deep red.  The flavor was AMAZING!

 

Onward… these next two tomatoes we got from Costco, and had I been thinking straight when we planted them, I would have put them in larger cages!  The ones that came with the plants were decidedly NOT tall enough.  On the left is another Black Krim & on the right is a Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato.  These are also bursting with fruit & I hope they make it because the vines are bending all the way to the ground over the short little cages.  Live and learn.

 

A shot of the ripe Sweet 100… I think I’ll let the kids pick those for snack.  They’ve been checking the plants for ripe tomatoes every day for weeks!  They will be very excited!

 

And last but not least, the Bell Pepper!  Got this little guy at the Farmer’s Market as well.  I wish I had a picture of what he looked like in the pot.  I tried to grow him in a pot like the guy said, but he just never perked up.  Never even got another bloom.  My husband decided one day that we were going to just try putting him in the ground in our Back to Eden garden.  Since then he’s put on over 8 new blooms and has a 2″ fruit!  He’s quite a bit taller as well!

 

Said fruit…

 

 

At any rate, I’m excited about our wonderful garden & can’t wait for next years’ plans!

Oh, and by the way… I am eating bread that I just baked on the front porch IN MY CROCK POT!  Here’s the recipe.  It really does taste quite good, and is apparently fool proof.  I didn’t have any eggs left so I substituted flaxmeal for the egg.  Simply put 2 Tablespoons ground flaxmeal in a one cup pyrex.  Add  boiling water until mixture reaches 1/4 cup.  Whisk until the consistency of an egg!  Easy peasy.

Anyway… substituted for the egg, and accidentally heated the milk way too hot so I cooled that with a couple ice cubes!  Pathetic… I’ve never made such a mess of bread.  But it tastes DELICIOUS and is a nice texture.  I’d probably have a hard time slicing it thin for a sandwich, but that could be my tom foolery with the egg bit too!

How’s your garden growing this year? 

 

 

 

Week 18 and Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Standard

Made it to Week 18!  And no, I don’t have a picture because we were on vacation.  I bought an onion (because I’m carrying an Onion now!), brought my calendar shirt & skirt, and forgot to take the picture.  Go figure.  Better next week.

 BabyFruit Ticker

Started feeling this little “onion” moving around at about 16 weeks… if that’s any indication, I have a feeling we’ve got a pretty active one on our hands!  Sometime this week I’ll call to schedule the ultrasound for later this month – around 20 weeks hopefully.

So, I’m not feeling sick anymore… which is my cue to start Red Raspberry Leaf Tea religiously every day until birth (get the loose leaf product I prefer here or ready-made teabags here).  Sigh… Oh how I’ve always hated that stuff… but, I love the results, so here we go again!

Why take Red Raspberry Leaf during pregnancy?  Oi… I have done some research online, and there are so many ideas & thoughts on the subject as well as varying “recipes” and dosages.  I have decided to do what I’ve always done at the recommendation of my midwife.  According to the pamphlet she gave me when I was pregnant with my first child, the tea if taken as suggested, works to strengthen & tone the uterus during pregnancy resulting in a shorter labor & delivery.  This can be found online as well, but I haven’t been able to come up with links to any “convincing” studies.  But, I feel that it’s worked for me, and I hear success stories from friends.  That’s good enough for me!  Here is a pretty thorough blog on the benefits of RRL during pregnancy.  I learned to make the tea differently than what is instructed in this blog however.  I think I’ll continue since I have experienced great results.  Those being a 4 hour first labor/delivery, 3 hours 50 minutes for the second, and 58 minutes for the third.  Those are start to finish numbers & I aim to continue the trend!  Although, a shorter than an hour labor does make me a little nervous!

That being said, I’ve always hated drinking RRLT because it’s sooo strong (probably because I brew it for so long – see below).  However… this year my Brother-in-Law gave us some of his raw honey & I started sweetening it with that (instead of Splenda as I’ve always done, but that’s always bothered me, so I started using the honey).  I was so thrilled with the taste!  Somehow I actually like it this time!  It’s really strange.  It’s hard though, because I have this mental aversion to it because of hating it for so many years.  But I’ve found the trick for me is to set it on the counter in a jar with a straw in it.  If it doesn’t have a straw, I don’t drink it!  I don’t know what that’s about.  So, I leave the stuff on the counter and will myself to take a sip every time I walk by.  This is only the first week of taking it, so maybe, because I do like the flavor with the raw honey, maybe I will be able to sit myself down with a cup of tea sometime!

If you’d like to research more about RRLT on your own, feel free, if not, here is my “recipe”!

How I make my RRLT:

First Through Second Trimesters:

  • 1/8 Cup Cut & Sifted Red Raspberry Leaf, 3 Cups Water, bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Sweeten with Raw Honey, pour into mason jar, stick a straw in it, & leave it on the counter to take sips throughout the day.

Third Trimester:

  • 1/2 Cup Cut & Sifted Red Raspberry Leaf, 5 Cups Water, bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Sweeten with Raw Honey, pour into mason jar, stick a straw in it, & leave it on the counter to take sips throughout the day.

Unconventional Cooking

Standard

I have a confession to make… until this week, I’d never started a campfire by myself!  I know… crazy.  Well, I’ve made some improvements, and to date I have started THREE fires… and not just fires… COOKING fires!

Back in April my husband built us a lovely fire pit in our back yard.  If we wanted barbecue, this is how we did it.  Traditionally, I would have a meal ready, he would come home from work, start the fire, wait for coals, cook dinner.  Not exactly my favorite thing ever since I like having dinner ready when he gets home so he can relax.

The fire pit started out as an occasional way to have a BBQ treat, since we don’t often barbecue.   As the temperature increased, we became less and less thrilled with cooking indoors in a home with no AC!  You can imagine why!  So, we started grilling a lot more often.  Which meant more late dinners, more hubby having to cook after arriving home from work.  Not ideal.  But, at the same time, we were becoming better and better at cooking over a fire!  Yea!

So!  The beginning of this week I had a meal planned that would take a little too long to wait for my Mr. to come home.  So… I mustered up as much courage as I had, built a wood tee-pee in the fire pit over some torn up egg carton, and lit a match!  Eeek.  But, check it out!  It’s a pretty good first fire!  And it was reduced to perfect coals by the time Mr. got home!  I was so proud!   And, yes, that’s a snow sled in the background… we use it to haul wood!

Even after building such a beautiful fire, I still wasn’t brave enough to cook with it.  So, I left the grilling to the pro.

Fast forward a couple days, and I did it again.  Built a fire, Mr. cooked dinner.

Fast forward to last night… I built a fire… AND I cooked dinner!  This is where things get interesting!  Dinner HAD to be Craveable Taco Dip, from the Costco cookbook.  I was craving it.  However… it was H.O.T outside… which, of course, meant it was around 84 in our house.  Oven?  Yeah, not a chance!

Okay, so we don’t have a dutch oven … technically (Update: Now we do and I Love it!).  But, in case you don’t have one, if you have two cast iron skillets, one somewhat larger than the other you can make a “dutch oven”!  Since we’ve been campfire cooking all week anyway, I figured why not branch out & do something other than grilling?  Experiment a little… I experiment for a living (mom’s do that), and dinner is no exception in this home!  Here’s what I came up with as a “dutch oven”…

Yep… it is actually two skillets one stacked on the other!

I set a few rocks up beside the fire, spread the coals around, stabilized the grill on the rocks, laid some foil out on the grill so as not to smokify my marvelous cast iron, and put the smaller pan on the grill on top of the foil.  Then I stacked the larger pan on top, lined it with foil, filled it with coals, and timed it for 20 minutes!  I looked at the clock seriously every 3-5 minutes, I was so anxious to see if it worked!

The whole time we were waiting for dinner, the kids were riding on their little outside cars.  They’d come up to me every thirty seconds giving me pretend money and asking the “gas lady” to fill up their car with gas!  So, I took imaginary money, and “Ffffffssssshhhhhh”ed my way all the way till the timer went off!

Finally it went off! I got some pot holders and practically ran to the pit.  When I lifted my giant pan off the top of my “dutch oven”, I saw bubbling cheese all around the edges!  Oooooo, was I excited… not just because I LOVE this meal, but mostly because I COOKED ON THE FIRE ALL BY MYSELF!!!!!  Okay, I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but to me, this is a huge milestone!  I’m so excited!

So, here’s the final product.  I give it to the littlest in a bowl with a spoon, and to the bigger two in a tortilla shell.  Can you believe I cooked this in such a fashion!? Next time I’m trying pizza!

I just gotta say, I know this post is a little strange, but I’m just so proud of myself I had to share it somewhere.  It makes me happy to know that I’m saving money by cooking outdoors, and it’s kind of empowering, in a weird sort of way, to know that I can cook the same outside as I can inside!  With some creativity and improvisation, anything is possible!  I only wish I had a real Dutch Oven so I could cook a cobbler! (We just planted our very own berry patch, so I have cobbler on the mind!).

One of my favorite bloggers is Kelly over at The Morris Tribe.  She’s been blogging a lot lately about sustainable living, cooking outside, raising your own food, breadmaking!, and many other things relating to living more simply.  We started our fire pit as a way to just have fun… but Kelly’s influence, and my own desire to spend less and not heat up the house, has made me think a lot more about the things we take for granted.  What if my stove broke?  What if natural gas was rationed in our country?  What if the power went down & I hadn’t cooked dinner yet?  It’s not only fun to explore other options, but now I’m seeing that it’s actually practical.  It’s good for me to know that I don’t have to depend on someone or something else to prepare food for my family.  I can do it with a fire pit and some scrap wood scavenged from construction site dumpsters!  I can cook for free!

Cloth Diaper Rash Troubleshooting

Standard

Finding the cause of rashes can be a daunting task.  Some rashes I’ve found out right away, and some took a week or more.  I have compiled a list of troubleshooting ideas to help get you started finding that pesky problem causing your little one’s rash… I hope this list helps you find the source of the problem so you can continue to Cloth Diaper successfully.

Here’s some ideas:

1. Are you using a good cloth diaper friendly detergent?  Either something specifically for cloth, or this homemade detergent has worked well for me.  Perhaps the detergent is building up in the diapers or maybe baby is sensitive to the detergent in the first place.  Ruling out detergent sensitivity is simple: wash her clothes in it for a while, if the rash doesn’t show up anywhere else, this probably isn’t the issue.

2. Your diapers need disinfected because there is bacterial buildup… run them through a load with some bleach, then rinse rinse rinse.  Or hang in the sun for several hours.

3. Has she started solids?  It could be a reaction to a new food that she may be sensitive to.  Sensitivities that I’ve noticed causing rashes are wheat, dairy, eggs.

4. Do you need to strip your diapers?  Have you done this recently?

5. Could be a yeast infection… but if it goes away & comes back, maybe not?  At the same time, maybe there is yeast in only some of your stash.  If that’s the case, you NEED to strip them & disinfect them.  Here’s an article on yeast in diapers.

6. That being said, did you buy the diapers used?  I’ve haven’t known many people who buy used (from people they don’t know) who have success with the diapers… they usually end up infecting their whole stash with something or other.  Yeast being the major culprit.  People who get rid of their cloth diapers before the baby is out of diapers are probably running into recurring rash issues and need to de-yeast their diapers – if they can – or toss the whole lot.

7. A word about rashes… is the rash on her bumcheeks or inside the labia & around the anus?  If it is on the cheeks, you most likely have a DIAPER issue (try the stuff above), if it’s inside the cracks, you most likely have a FOOD issue.  That’s not 100%, but it’s a great place to start.

8. Do you use disposable diapers at all?  Are the disposables scented?  Some babies are really sensitive to fragrances and some are just sensitive to paper diapers in general.

I really hope this list has been helpful… I know it is not complete… mostly because I just found this AMAZING troubleshooting guide by Cheeky Bums Blog.  It is the most thorough troubleshooter I’ve found to date!  Head over there & take a look.

Please, if you have a tip I have not listed here, leave a comment & I will add your tip to the list.
I would like this list to be as comprehensive as possible so we can help
as many people as we can have success with Cloth Diapering!