Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sweet Things :: Our Family's Newest Addition


Every child begins the world again. ~ Thoreau

Yesterday, I had one of the sweetest opportunities life brings - I got to meet my niece. I'd love to share her name with you all (because it is adorable), but I hope you understand for safety reasons I cannot.

She is definitely a cutie and quite aware of her surroundings. She was born with a head full of curly red hair like her Mom and Aunt (she has three of us and two Uncles). I'm tickled pink and so is Jake; this is our first opportunity to be an Aunt and Uncle and we're thrilled!

Here's a glimpse of our family's newest addition:



 

Happy Halloween :: It's Pumpkin Time!

I'm not sure why I enjoy pumpkin patches as much as I do. Maybe it is the cool weather, the vibrant colors, or the gleeful squeals of children, but visiting pumpkin patches is one of my Fall favorites!







Happy Halloween!
 
 {All of these photos were taken at Ellis Home and Garden.}

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall Cleaning ~ Are You Ready Yet? :: Task #14 (Last One!)

Fall Cleaning


Each Spring, homemakers across the country begin in the yearly ritual of Spring Cleaning. We break out our mops and dust clothes in an effort to ready our homes for the warmer weather. However, did you know, we need to do the same type of cleaning in the Fall?

Fall Cleaning is not as arduous as it's Springtime counterpart (thank goodness!), but it is necessary to ensure our homes are ready for the season and holidays.

This past weekend, I was able to complete many of my Fall Cleaning goals, but I still have a few to finish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will remind everyone of tasks they can do each day to accomplish their Fall Cleaning; thus, making the season a little less hectic.


Today's task:
  • Wrap outside faucets for early preparation. If you're not ready to wrap for winter due to your climate, go ahead and purchase the materials you will need in advance. This will save time when temperatures drop below freezing and others are rushing to hardware stores.
 
 
 
This was the last of the Fall Cleaning task list. If you've just joined in, please look back for past posts!

Weekly Goals :: 10/29 - 11/7/2012

Weekly Goals for 10/21 - 10/27/2012

Home:
1. Weed flower beds, mow and rake yard - We got a little bit of this accomplished.
2. Clean my section of the garage - How did it get so out of control?
3. Replace the A/C filter

Family:
1. 4-H Harvest Festival
2. Take boys to Ensemble and Theatre
3. 9th week of school - 4 weeks until exams!

Volunteering:
1. New field trip sign-ups
2. Work in the Garden
3. LongviewWOW Board meeting
4. Shooting Sports - finish by-laws, budget, and grant list - I love to help and volunteer, but I'm a little behind on this.

Personal:
1. Make dish towels from fabric I purchased at Sew What! - Can't wait to finish these up : )
2. Organize craft bins
3. 30 minutes a night of nothing but quiet and stillness

Weekly Goals for 10/29 - 11/7/2012

Home:
1. Finish rose bed and yard
2. Dust ceiling fans
3. Call Terminex to poison fire ant beds in yard
4. Learn how to patch up dry wall holes

Family:
1. Date night with Jake
2. Boys' events for the week
3. Work on Christmas gifts

Volunteering:
1. WOW North Pole Express
2. Little LEGO Club
3. Junior Master Gardening
4. Finish Shooting Sports things

Personal:
1. Prepare for homeschool Fall Festival
2. Begin reading Courting Cate
3. Write Dandelion Mom's Articles.
4. Meet my new niece!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Cleaning ~ Are You Ready Yet? :: Task #13

Fall Cleaning


Each Spring, homemakers across the country begin in the yearly ritual of Spring Cleaning. We break out our mops and dust clothes in an effort to ready our homes for the warmer weather. However, did you know, we need to do the same type of cleaning in the Fall?

Fall Cleaning is not as arduous as it's Springtime counterpart (thank goodness!), but it is necessary to ensure our homes are ready for the season and holidays.

This past weekend, I was able to complete many of my Fall Cleaning goals, but I still have a few to finish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will remind everyone of tasks they can do each day to accomplish their Fall Cleaning; thus, making the season a little less hectic.


Today's task:
  • Dry clean and mend any formal wear for your upcoming holiday events. Purchase new shoes and/or accessories, if needed.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Simple Living :: 5 Staples in My Pantry/Fridge by Stacy

I’m in the process of getting back to blogging, so recently I took a look at a post I was tagged in several years ago for my top 5 items in my pantry or fridge.  My items are a little different from a few years ago.   But isn’t that something you can always count on – change?  One thing that I’ve been slowly working towards in my family’s eating life-style is the goal “easily digestible.”  We have not turned our eating upside down with this, but it’s at the forefront of our mind when making food choices.  The kids can even tell others what processed food is....and were happy to let a family member know that their cheese was “fake!”  Here’s to hoping we don’t turn into food snobs, but take time along our journey to encourage others to think about what they’re putting in their body.

Mom’s Best Naturals Quick Oats - $1.95 for about 11 servings

This is our go-to breakfast for Sunday morning.  These are the best oats ever.  “Why?” you might ask.  Well, because the oats are small; almost as if they’ve been ground a bit.  I also use these in a recipe for high-protein pancakes – my family loves these! (See recipe below.) 

Del Monte Fruit Salad - $2.00 for 1 lb 16 oz (Wal-mart) 

The best deal for your money is to buy the bulk size, but since it’s on a different isle, I don’t always remember.  I’ve been making fruit salad for years thanks to my Auntie.  With this canned salad, I take out the squishy-green-gross grapes and replace them with firm red seedless. They make the salad oh-so-pretty.  Sometimes I add extra maraschino cherries.  And when we have pecan pieces, I add a handful of those.  This makes a great dessert and is definitely my go-to when we’ve run out of fresh fruit right before pay day!

Tilamook cheese – I prefer the 2.5 lb.  extra sharp cheddar at Sam’s for $9.98. 
At our Wal-mart, we can get 2 lb. of mild cheddar for the same price.  These cheeses are aged, and therefore easier to digest.  The longer a cheese is aged, the harder the texture becomes and the less lactose remains.  I use to buy whatever was on sale, shredded, and sometimes still do (Super 1 had a great deal last month - $10 for 4 lbs. – couldn’t beat that!).  Because this is a higher-quality cheese, you need less (although may not want less) when you use it.  It shreds up well and can be sliced for sandwiches. Now, if I could only keep my 8 year old son out of it...my boys know this is “real” cheese.

Avocado and Almonds – previously these were a luxury, but now they are a staple! 
Unless they are on sale, the best buy for avocado is at Sam’s for about 5 of them for less than $4 (although I’ve been recently seeing them packaged together at Wal-mart).   My almond purchase varies, but these are great with cut up apple (my husband’s favorite snack).  I don’t have a go-to brand for almonds, although when at our local health food store I buy the NOW brand.  I’ve come across some cinnamon coated (without sugar) almonds and they are too good to keep in the house!

Goat’s Milk – I haven’t done the research (but others have) and goat’s milk is great for kids. 
We’ve been purchasing goat’s milk from a local goat farm for about the past year.  I’m not sure what we like better – drinking the goat’s milk, or seeing the goats when we go to the farm!  They also have a Llama, chickens, peacocks, turkeys…yep, we’ll keep going back!

So, what’s in your pantry or fridge that is a must have?  Tell us about it!

 

Extra Protein Pancakes


1 c. oats

1 c. cottage cheese

2 eggs

2 t. sugar

1 t. vanilla

1 t. cinnamon

I run my cottage cheese through the blender because I don’t like it chunky, so the last few times I’ve just put all the ingredients in the blender to make it easier.  I cook these up in a non-stick pan with canola oil spray, waiting till I see the edges firm before flipping.  We use NOW Maple Syrup and the family gobbles them up!  Easy to reheat in a toaster oven if you have any left-over (so you might want to make 2 batches if this is your desire).  One batch makes about six to seven 3” pancakes.  This may not sound like a lot, but they are filling.  My kids eat ½ the amount compared to my regular homemade pancake mix.

 _______________
Stacy has been married to her best friend for 18 years and is mothering two fabulously active boys. She is intent on maintaining her sanity while homeschooling her boys, so they spend lots of time outdoors.  Their newest family fun has been taking down the old fort/swing set to be replaced by a large fire pit and picnic table to enjoy during the fall and winter.  Currently she is writing bible studies and teaching in a new women’s ministry at her church, Generation M, “women living the legacy of Christ.”  In her spare time, she enjoys reading fiction and has recently happened upon “Downton Abbey.”  You can find her revamping her blog at Against All Hurry:  achieving leisure one day at a time.  

             

 


 

Fall Cleaning ~ Are You Ready Yet? :: Task #12

Fall Cleaning


Each Spring, homemakers across the country begin in the yearly ritual of Spring Cleaning. We break out our mops and dust clothes in an effort to ready our homes for the warmer weather. However, did you know, we need to do the same type of cleaning in the Fall?

Fall Cleaning is not as arduous as it's Springtime counterpart (thank goodness!), but it is necessary to ensure our homes are ready for the season and holidays.

This past weekend, I was able to complete many of my Fall Cleaning goals, but I still have a few to finish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will remind everyone of tasks they can do each day to accomplish their Fall Cleaning; thus, making the season a little less hectic.


Today's task:
  • Every six months, carpets should be cleaned. If you have a carpet cleaner, clean your carpets according to manufacturer's directions.  If you do not have a carpet cleaner, contact a local professional. Area rugs should be professionally cleaned.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Made in Texas :: Sew What!, East Texas' Newest Quilt Shop



Texas Homemaking


On Saturday, I had the pleasure of taking part in the Grand Opening of Sew What!, East Texas' newest quilting shop, located in Palestine, Texas. Co-Owners Paula and Nikki Chaffin have hopes of taking Sew What! to the next level in quilting experiences by not only offering fabrics, notions, and Janome machines for sale, but also through providing sewing and quilting classes, homeschool class opportunities, bridal shower events and so much more!

Texas Homemaking
 
 
Texas Homemaking

Featuring the newest Moda and Riley Blake fabrics, as well as automated (long arm) quilting and embroidering machines, Sew What! expects to provide quality products and fantastic customer service to its patrons. In the near future, Sew What! will provide online product ordering.
 
Texas Homemaking

For more information on classes beginning in November and other upcoming events, please visit this link. Like Sew What! on Facebook to keep up with current offers. If you enjoy Pinterest, you can also find Sew What!'s recent pins and boards here. If you happen to be in the Palestine area, stop by and peruse the newest shop in Palestine.

Texas Homemaking

Sew What! is located at 619 W. Oak, Palestine, Texas 75801.
The shop's phone number is (903) 729- 2889.
Hours:
Monday - Wednesday: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Fall Cleaning ~ Are You Ready Yet? :: Task #11

Fall Cleaning


Each Spring, homemakers across the country begin in the yearly ritual of Spring Cleaning. We break out our mops and dust clothes in an effort to ready our homes for the warmer weather. However, did you know, we need to do the same type of cleaning in the Fall?

Fall Cleaning is not as arduous as it's Springtime counterpart (thank goodness!), but it is necessary to ensure our homes are ready for the season and holidays.

This past weekend, I was able to complete many of my Fall Cleaning goals, but I still have a few to finish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will remind everyone of tasks they can do each day to accomplish their Fall Cleaning; thus, making the season a little less hectic.


Today's task:
  • Make a holiday baking and craft list. This will streamline your purchases and enable you to shop sales easily. While you're thinking about the holidays, work up a preliminary gift giving list, too.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Recipes :: Stuffed Pumpkin



Traditionally a New England dish, this recipe has found its place in our Texas family. If you're looking for ways to shake-up the usual menu, why not try my Stuffed Pumpkin recipe?

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
2 to 3 medium red potatoes, diced small
1/2 onion, diced
1 teaspoon thyme, sage, or any other favorite spice
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
melted butter to baste the pumpkin

Let's begin!

 

First, carefully cut the top off as you would if creating a Jack-o-lantern. Remove all the seeds and set aside for later roasting.

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once heated, lightly saute the diced potatoes and onions. Next, add the ground meat and spices. Lightly brown the meat, removing most of the pink. Do not overcook.

Next, pour the meat mixture into the pumpkin, ensuring it does not overflow. Place the top on the pumpkin. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. It is best to cook the pumpkin on a baking sheet or in a cake pan. Before placing in the oven, baste the pumpkin with melted butter. Cook the pumpkin approximately one hour or until the pumpkin becomes soft.

Scoop the meat mixture and pumpkin into a bowl and serve. Salt and pepper to taste.

As an alternative, you can substitute the ground beef for other meats and the potatoes and onions for a variety of veggies. I haven't tried carrots yet in this dish, but I bet they would be delicious. Sauteed cabbage may also be tasty! Enjoy!

Fall Cleaning ~ Are You Ready Yet? :: Task #10

Fall Cleaning


Each Spring, homemakers across the country begin in the yearly ritual of Spring Cleaning. We break out our mops and dust clothes in an effort to ready our homes for the warmer weather. However, did you know, we need to do the same type of cleaning in the Fall?

Fall Cleaning is not as arduous as it's Springtime counterpart (thank goodness!), but it is necessary to ensure our homes are ready for the season and holidays.

This past weekend, I was able to complete many of my Fall Cleaning goals, but I still have a few to finish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will remind everyone of tasks they can do each day to accomplish their Fall Cleaning; thus, making the season a little less hectic.


Today's task:
  • If you have children in the home they can be helpers with today's task: cleaning baseboards. Crown moldings should also be cleaned (but, by an adult). 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Money Saving Mom's newest book 21 Days to a More Discplined Life :: On Sale for 99 Cents Until 10/25

 




Do you have ideas, hopes, and dreams for what you want to accomplish in your life, but you feel like you’re being held back by a lack of personal discipline?
 
Are you easily overwhelmed by your big ideas or projects, and you just don’t know where to start and how to make real progress?
 
Do you find yourself making “all-or-nothing” plans for transforming your life, and then three days later you crash and burn under the weight of your plan?
 
Crystal Paine's new e-book, 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life, may be the solution to your frustration! Get it for just $0.99 through Thursday, October 25, 2012. After the 25th, the price increases to $4.99.
 
A note from Crystal Paine, Money Saving Mom:
"As you know, I have a lot of plates in the air between running Money Saving Mom®, writing, homeschooling, homemaking, and being a wife and mom. I have had to learn, through sink-or-swim techniques, how to integrate more self-discipline into my own life.
I don’t have it all together — by any stretch of the imagination! Laundry is my arch-nemesis. Some days, I like the idea of being a runner, more than actually running. And I’ve struggled with keeping strict office hours.
But as I’ve learned over the past two years, allowing my emotions to dictate outcomes in my life, instead of making clear, purposeful decisions, is a recipe for chaos and disorder. Once I started carving away at my bad choices and replacing them with productive habits and self-discipline, I slowly started to gain victory where before there was only discouragement.
The bottom line is: I wasn’t born disciplined. I have had to learn — and then implement (and that’s the important part!) — simple strategies to gradually change. What I’ve learned is not rocket science. And the lessons can be applied to anyone, no matter your age or stage in life."
This is a great resource for anyone needing extra help getting organized and staying on task. Along with the e-book, you will also have access to printable forms to help guide you along through the process of getting organized. I sincerely hope Crystal's new book helps you in all your organizing endeavors! - Michelle

 {Please view my disclosure policy.}

A Texas Girl's Travels :: My Wyoming Adventure

Last weekend, this Texas girl found herself cancelling all plans last minute, dropping children off with relatives and catching several flights out of state. As a busy homemaker, I usually don't get to wander out of my spheres of influence (my home and my community) sans boys very often. However, when the opportunity arose I quickly sprung into action booking flights and making phone calls in order to visit my husband in Wyoming.

My adventure began two Thursday evenings ago and ended  this past Tuesday morning, which happens to be a lot of travel for someone not quite use to the lifestyle. I ended up flying out of Shreveport, Louisiana to Memphis, Tennessee, and then onto Gillette, Wyoming via Salt Lake City, Utah. I have never been to Utah or Wyoming; I didn't know what to expect in the landscape, the people or the weather. As the plane began its arrival into Salt Lake City, I was in awe. The sheer beauty of the snow covered mountains, as well as the vastness of the Great Salt Lake, exceeded my pre-conceived imagery. I wish I could have snapped an aerial photograph to share with you all.

Wyoming was not what I expected; neither was South Dakota (another state to add to the "been there" list). History books have often painted these two states as bleak, empty and nothing but prairie and mountains. While there is a great amount of the latter, Wyoming and South Dakota are anything but bleak and empty. This part of the country is full of natural beauty, a plethora of wildlife and an expanse of untamed wilderness. It was amazing!



Texas Homemaking
Devil's Tower
 
Jake and I visited Devil's Tower Saturday morning on our way to Mount Rushmore. Devil's Tower, a national monument, is believed to be an ancient volcanic vent. Standing 1,267 feet tall, it can be seen along the Wyoming horizon for miles.

A sacred sited for Native Americans, the tower was originally hailed as a rock where 7 Native American girls were seeking safety from a large bear. Legend says, the girls began to pray and the rock grew taller and taller, pushing the girls to the heavens. Along the 1.3 mile base trail, a visitor can spot prayer bundles tied onto tree limbs by the local Native Americans. Prayer bundles contain natural items such as seeds, animal hair, rocks, arrow heads, tobaccos, etc. and are considered secret to anyone other than the creator.
 
Texas Homemaking
Prayer Bundles



 
On route to Mount Rushmore, Jake and I stopped in at Sturgis for lunch. Home to the largest annual motorcycle rally, Sturgis is a town of 6,600 people, swelling to over 500,000 during the event. We appeared to be the only visitors that afternoon.


Texas Homemaking
Mount Rushmore
 

If you have ever watched National Treasure 2 or perused a history book, you have an idea of what Mount Rushmore looks like. Let me tell you, movies, pictures and books cannot truly depict the immensity of Mt. Rushmore nor the dedication it took to create one of America's treasured landmarks. Envisioned by Gutzon Borglum in 1927, Mt. Rushmore took 14 years to complete the presidential sculptures.

Some original aspects of the monument have not been fully finished to this day. Behind Lincoln's head, there is a room tittled The Hall of Records. Borglum envisioned this sanctuary as a place to store America's historical account. He hoped to have stairs carved to the right of Lincoln for the public to have closer viewing abilities, as well as access to The Hall of Records. Today, the room has been completed, but it is not open to the public.


Texas Homemaking
A National Monument


On our way back to Wyoming, we followed the scenic route via Custer State Park. I always assumed this region known as the Black Hills was aptly named due to the color of the rocks, however, after a much closer look, it is the forest green conifers and their black bark that lend the hills their colorful moniker. As we winded through Custer, my husband was hoping to spy a buffalo or two. This was his first time to see the creatures wild.


Texas Homemaking
Buffalo
 
Wyoming was incredible. I cannot believe I had the chance to visit such a unique frontier. Sometimes, when an opportunity presents itself, you have to be ready to toss everything out of the window and try something new. My two boys are ever the flexible pair and I give them, as well as my family members whom looked after them, a large thank you! I enjoyed myself immensely and look forward to the next adventure!


Texas Homemaking
Wyoming Snow Fence

Fall Cleaning ~ Are You Ready Yet ? :: Task #9

Fall Cleaning


Each Spring, homemakers across the country begin in the yearly ritual of Spring Cleaning. We break out our mops and dust clothes in an effort to ready our homes for the warmer weather. However, did you know, we need to do the same type of cleaning in the Fall?

Fall Cleaning is not as arduous as it's Springtime counterpart (thank goodness!), but it is necessary to ensure our homes are ready for the season and holidays.

This past weekend, I was able to complete many of my Fall Cleaning goals, but I still have a few to finish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will remind everyone of tasks they can do each day to accomplish their Fall Cleaning; thus, making the season a little less hectic.


Today's task:
  • Clean leather furniture by using a leather cleaner or polish. If you have fabric seating, vacuum under cushions, fluff down cushions and trim any pulls. Make sure to sweep underneath all furniture, too.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ready, Set, Build! :: How to Start Your Own LEGO Club





Children have loved LEGO®  bricks since their development in 1947. Did you know there are 7 LEGO sets sold per second; and that on average, every person on Earth owns 75 LEGO bricks? LEGO has definitely dominated children's toys and brought creative play to millions of children worldwide.

Due to my own boys' love and fascination of LEGO bricks, I recently developed a LEGO club for them to take LEGO building to new heights. We call it The Little LEGO Club. The club is currently geared for boys ages 7 through 10 years of age with hopes of developing it more in the future.

It took me a few months to decide how I wanted to proceed with The Little LEGO Club. If you're planning on starting one in your community, here are a few tips and recommendations:

  • Make a few guidelines for your members. Keep them simple, but make sure you cover the basics, i.e. no throwing LEGO bricks, don't destroy others' creations and be respectful of your friends.

  • Have a plan. When the children enter my home, they head straight to the designated build area. They know to get ready for our 10 minute LEGO warm-up while we await the arrival of others. Following the warm-up, we may do the LEGO monthly build or brainstorm on a combined free-build.  For variation, I change up the 10 minute starter and vary the group creation theme.

  • Know member's limits. It is important to know the children in your club and their personal limitations. For this age range, a solid hour of LEGO play is plenty. After each build, I take photos of the builder and his creation, thus preserving the child's work. I plan on creating a photo book for members at the end of the year.

  • Have fun! The Little LEGO Club is all about having fun and letting imaginations run wild. Each child has the opportunity to explain his creation to the group. Positive comments are expected after each presentation. I allow the children to pick the following club meeting's group build theme - the boys enjoy being able to control the whole build right from the start.

  • Make sure you have enough materials. My boys have tens of thousands of LEGO bricks, mini-figures, and base plates. I don't ask the other group members to bring their own LEGO sets, but I do ask them to bring base plates. I have extra base plates for those participants whom do not have one. I know many clubs ask members to bring their own LEGO bricks, but I feel it can isolate children and my entire intent of the club is to facilitate a group dynamic - to allow younger children to learn how to not only work together, but also how to respect each member's work.

Staring a LEGO club is definitely easy, especially once you add kids! Here is the link to the free LEGO monthly mini-build instructions. I've also included two of my warm-ups below:

  1. Give a handful of LEGO bricks and one base plate to each child. Allow them to build for 10 minutes and then discuss their creations.
  2. Start with a small base plate. Have the first child pick one brick to add to the base plate. Then, pass the base plate to the second child and repeat the process. Allow the plate to go one full rotation and see what the group has creates together.
Aside from LEGO bricks, LEGO makes LEGO educational products, LEGO games, LEGO Duplo for younger children, and even online content. My boys enjoy receiving the LEGO Club Magazine in the mail, a free service provided to those whom register. You can purchase LEGO sets at many retailers, including Big W Toys.

{Please view my disclosure policy.}

Fall Cleaning ~ Are You Ready Yet? :: Task #8

Fall Cleaning


Each Spring, homemakers across the country begin in the yearly ritual of Spring Cleaning. We break out our mops and dust clothes in an effort to ready our homes for the warmer weather. However, did you know, we need to do the same type of cleaning in the Fall?

Fall Cleaning is not as arduous as it's Springtime counterpart (thank goodness!), but it is necessary to ensure our homes are ready for the season and holidays.

This past weekend, I was able to complete many of my Fall Cleaning goals, but I still have a few to finish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will remind everyone of tasks they can do each day to accomplish their Fall Cleaning; thus, making the season a little less hectic.


Today's task:
  • With the temperatures dropping, this is a fantastic time to clean out your fireplace and/or to have it serviced by a professional.

Weekly Goals :: 10/21 - 10/27/2012

Weekly Goals for 10/15 - 10/21/2012
Home:
1. Unpack from my trip to Wyoming
2. Laundry
3. Weekly chores
4. Plant cabbages and flowers
Family:
1. Take the boys to 4-H, Ensemble, Theatre, and Little LEGO Club
2. Help open Sew What - A new East Texas quilt shop
3. Decorate pumpkins with the boys for the Pumpkin Glow
Volunteering:
1. 4-H Food Challenge
2. Little LEGO Club
3. Nature Center Field Trip
Personal:
1. Write upcoming blog posts and Dandelion Mom articles
2. Work out
3. Just breathe - it's going to be a busy week!


Weekly Goals for 10/21 - 10/27/2012

Home:
1. Weed flower beds, mow and rake yard
2. Clean my section of the garage - How did it get so out of control?
3. Replace the A/C filter

Family:
1. 4-H Harvest Festival
2. Take boys to Ensemble and Theatre
3. 9th week of school - 4 weeks until exams!

Volunteering:
1. New field trip sign-ups
2. Work in the Garden
3. LongviewWOW Board meeting
4. Shooting Sports - finish by-laws, budget, and grant list

Personal:
1. Make dish towels from fabric I purchased at Sew What!
2. Organize craft bins
3. 30 minutes a night of nothing but quiet and stillness

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall Cleaning ~ Are You Ready Yet? :: Task #7

Fall Cleaning


Each Spring, homemakers across the country begin in the yearly ritual of Spring Cleaning. We break out our mops and dust clothes in an effort to ready our homes for the warmer weather. However, did you know, we need to do the same type of cleaning in the Fall?

Fall Cleaning is not as arduous as it's Springtime counterpart (thank goodness!), but it is necessary to ensure our homes are ready for the season and holidays.

This past weekend, I was able to complete many of my Fall Cleaning goals, but I still have a few to finish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will remind everyone of tasks they can do each day to accomplish their Fall Cleaning; thus, making the season a little less hectic.


Today's task:
  • This afternoon clean out and organize your pantry and kitchen cabinets. This is a good time to peruse your canned and dry goods to donate to local food pantries. If donating, please make sure your items are still in date. When cleaning out your kitchen cabinets, if there are items you no longer use (like those cute little melon ballers you haven't used in a  year), donate or place them in your garage sale bin.  I also use this time to inventory any of my spices or baking items I may need to replace for holiday cooking. (This is why I have this on a Friday! Sometimes it takes a little longer than a day - and that's ok!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Guest Post by Sheri Rose Sheperd :: Desiring a "Happily Ever After"

Featured authors


Over the next couple of weeks, I am pleased to share with you all guest posts written by best-selling author and Bible life coach Sheri Rose Sheperd. Sheri is currently in the midst of releasing her newest book and Bible Study, Your Heart's Desire. In her own words, Sheri describes her novel as,
"...written for every woman who has ever loved a man, the married woman who loves her man but struggles in her marriage, the single woman who desires to find a good man to love her, the divorced woman who believed in her marriage only to have her man walk out and for the mothers of sons who desire their beloved boys to become men of faith. This book is written for you and every woman who wants to find the courage to take a step of faith and believe that God is bigger than any statistic and that He still has the power to rebuild what is broken and restore what is lost between men and women today."
 
I hope you all enjoy these guest posts and glean something meaningful from them.  -- Michelle



Desiring a "Happily Ever After"
Fighting the Temptation to Give Up on Love and Marriage

By Sheri Rose Shepherd
Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach
learn more ▶
I don't know where you stand today with the man you love or loved—or if you are single, divorced, separated, or widowed. I can tell you, though, that if you've been hurt, you can be sure Your heavenly Father knows how hard it is to love and forgive the one who caused you pain. Yet regardless of the relational devastation you face, no one can keep you from finishing strong for God's glory!

I was raised in a non-Christian home. My parents have each been married and divorced to three different people. As part of several blended families, all I understood about marriage when I was growing up was "unhappily ever after." But then I became a Christian at twenty-four and married my husband, Steve, just a few years later. Because of my love for God and my husband, I honestly didn't think anything could shake my own marriage or faith.

In the summer of 2007, however, my happily ever after was wiped out and my faith was tested. The family foundation I had worked so hard to build and protect was almost destroyed, along with my ministry, in that season of my life. I truly believed that God had forsaken me.

I had just finished writing my book for mothers about raising sons to become godly husbands. As I excitedly ran upstairs to e-mail the manuscript to the publisher, I suddenly felt as if something dark hovered over me. My passion for the book's message was drowned out by the fear of an attack from the enemy that could come against me and my family if I stepped on his territory . . . young men and their future marriages.

I called the publisher and said I'd need to wait and pray for courage before submitting the manuscript. I went to my son, Jake, who was eighteen years old and a senior in high school at the time, and asked him if he had any plans of rebelling against his faith once he graduated from high school. I told him I was willing to give him freedom to find his own faith in Christ, but I didn't want to put out a book about raising boys if my own son was going to walk away from the Lord. He reassured me that he was strong in his faith and that he felt I should publish the book. I decided to take the chance to make a difference and sent in the manuscript.

The book began climbing the charts, and everything seemed to be going well. I even began speaking with my son at conferences for mothers of boys. Then three months into my book tour, my fear of attack hit. My husband had taken a job that we had both prayed for. This job appeared to be a blessing; however, his new position required him to violate some of the boundaries we had put in place to protect our marriage, and we ended up separated.

There I was in the public eye of ministry, fighting to save future marriages, and somehow my own marriage was falling apart. My son was devastated by the division between me and his dad. It was too hard for him to deal with all his confusion, pain, and anger, so he took a break from his faith and began using drugs and alcohol to comfort himself. I had always known to run to God for cover when there was a great attack, but now I felt like He had left me alone on the battlefield to fight for myself. It appeared that all I had believed about God and all my effort to build a strong foundation for my own family had been shattered. My pain, my shame, and my life were an embarrassment. I felt as if I were battling an out-of-control fire that would burn up everything I loved and lived for. Every night I would cry myself to sleep as I struggled to understand why God had not protected me while I was attempting to accomplish something for His glory.

One night I could not take it anymore, so I fell to my knees and told God I either wanted Him to fix my family or I wanted to quit the ministry. Then I felt the Lord asking me a bigger question: Was My life, given on a cross for you, not enough for you to finish strong even if it means surrendering the life you wanted? For the first time I realized that my heart's true desire was to feel loved and secure, and yet no man on earth could love me the way my Lord does. In that moment of crisis I found the true meaning of following Christ. God had not forsaken me, but He did want to free me from depending on others to give me my happily ever after.

That night I gave my heart's deepest desire to God and chose to follow Him at any cost. In exchange, He gave me something so much better; He gave me peace that was more powerful than my circumstances. My faith was no longer in people; it was in Christ alone. Although nothing outwardly had changed yet, I had been changed. Today, Steve and I have celebrated twenty-five years of marriage, and our son serves God with His whole heart. He and his bride have given us our first grandbaby girl. However, to be honest, restoring our marriage was excruciatingly painful and more difficult than either of us expected. As hard as this trial was, it taught me a valuable lesson: our Lord is the God of comfort and the author of a new beginning. He can and will rebuild a beautiful life out of any broken heart willing to make a change. He will use one sacrificial choice; one act of forgiveness; one sincere, repentant heart; and one woman who is willing to step out in faith and start rebuilding with His love for His glory.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

For more teaching from the Your Heart's Desire book and Bible study, visit www.biblelifecoaching.com.

Watch the trailer:

Watch the trailer


Fall Cleaning - Are You Ready? :: Task #6

Fall Cleaning


Each Spring, homemakers across the country begin in the yearly ritual of Spring Cleaning. We break out our mops and dust clothes in an effort to ready our homes for the warmer weather. However, did you know, we need to do the same type of cleaning in the Fall?

Fall Cleaning is not as arduous as it's Springtime counterpart (thank goodness!), but it is necessary to ensure our homes are ready for the season and holidays.

This past weekend, I was able to complete many of my Fall Cleaning goals, but I still have a few to finish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will remind everyone of tasks they can do each day to accomplish their Fall Cleaning; thus, making the season a little less hectic.


Today's task:
  • Clean out your refrigerator and freezer. Make sure you dust the tops and sides of each appliance, as well as the refrigerator coils. This is a great time to also replace baking soda boxes if used for freshness.

Mommy & Me Owl Handprint Art :: A Dandelion Moms Article



Looking for a great Mommy & Me craft for your little one? Check out my newest article at Dandelion Moms and get creative with this season's beloved owl!

 -- Michelle


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Review Is In :: You Don't Know Me by Susan May Warren

 

Annalise Decker is the model citizen, soccer mom and perfect wife, at least that is what the community of Deep Haven believe, including her family. She’s actually Deidre O’Reilly, former drug abuser from St. Louis, whose testimony put a dangerous criminal in prison. Her handler, Agent Frank Harrison, helped her to be reborn as Annalise by faking her death and erasing her past. Frank believed Annalise would be safe in Deep Haven, until now.

Fast forward twenty years and Annalise catches a glimpse of Frank entering the local coffee shop and knows she’s no longer safe, her family is in danger and she has to make a choice: leave or stay.

Susan May Warren’s You Don’t Know Me is a constant page-turner from the moment Annalise locks eyes with Frank. The life she knows and loves is forever changed in an instant.

While a romantic thriller, Warren’s novel also broaches the subjects commonly discussed in marriage: sacrifice, betrayal, trust, love, honesty and family. Yet, Annalise’s story pushes each of these themes to the extreme as readers are taken on a ride of emotional strife.

You Don’t Know Me primarily focuses on Annalise; however, the title is applicable to several main characters. Annalise’s husband, Nathan Decker, strives to prove to his community and himself that he is nothing like his father – the man who killed a fellow Deep Haven resident while driving under the influence. Yet, his mayoral campaign’s financial debts are a secret he hides from his wife. Annalise and Nathan’s eldest son, Jason, wants nothing more to be than Romeo in the upcoming school play. He and Annalise keep his audition secret from Nathan further fueling marital stress. Claire, the Decker’s middle child, feels her mother doesn’t know her at all, especially when it comes to her boyfriend, Tucker (an off the cuff kid whom always seems as if he is up to no good). However, Tuck is a teenager who has had a rough life and is just looking for acceptance, much like Nathan Decker.

Warren’s characters have a natural depth making them realistic, believable and relatable. Who hasn’t wanted to fit in, feel accepted and be known for what was truly in their heart?

Aside from a wonderfully written Christian novel, Warren includes discussion questions for readers to ponder, making You Don’t Know Me a great book club read.
 
 

Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of more than thirty novels. For more information on her new release, previous titles and more, visit her website. Here is a link to purchase You Don't Know Me.

{Side note, Susan May Warren got her inspiration for You Don’t Know Me while on a flight. She sat next to a distraught woman and asked how she was doing and why she was traveling. Warren discovered the woman was visiting her daughter for one last time. Her daughter witnessed a murder and she needed to enter the Witness Security Program.

When I wrote this blog post, I was flying to Wyoming. I wondered what each passenger on my flight had encountered in their lives; as well as what stresses they were currently experiencing. Thank you God, for all of my blessings.}
 
Please visit my disclosure policy regarding this review.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall Cleaning - Are You Ready Yet? :: Task #5

Fall Cleaning


Each Spring, homemakers across the country begin in the yearly ritual of Spring Cleaning. We break out our mops and dust clothes in an effort to ready our homes for the warmer weather. However, did you know, we need to do the same type of cleaning in the Fall?

Fall Cleaning is not as arduous as it's Springtime counterpart (thank goodness!), but it is necessary to ensure our homes are ready for the season and holidays.

This past weekend, I was able to complete many of my Fall Cleaning goals, but I still have a few to finish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will remind everyone of tasks they can do each day to accomplish their Fall Cleaning; thus, making the season a little less hectic.


Today's task:
  • This is the perfect time of year to clean out your gutters and sweep off the roof. Be very careful when performing these duties. Make sure you have a good ladder, gloves, a trash bag and someone to assist you, especially if you have a problem.

Weekly Goals :: 10/15 - 10/21/2012

 
 
Weekly Goals for 10/15 - 10/21/2012
 
 
 
Home:
 
1. Unpack from my trip to Wyoming
2. Laundry
3. Weekly chores
4. Plant cabbages and flowers
 
Family:
1. Take the boys to 4-H, Ensemble, Theatre, and Little LEGO Club
2. Help open Sew What - A new East Texas quilt shop
3. Decorate pumpkins with the boys for the Pumpkin Glow
 
Volunteering:
1. 4-H Food Challenge
2. Little LEGO Club
3. Nature Center Field Trip
 
Personal:
1. Write upcoming blog posts and Dandelion Mom articles
2. Work out
3. Just breathe - it's going to be a busy week!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall Cleaning ~ Are You Ready? :: Task #4

Fall Cleaning

Each Spring, homemakers across the country begin in the yearly ritual of Spring Cleaning. We break out our mops and dust clothes in an effort to ready our homes for the warmer weather. However, did you know, we need to do the same type of cleaning in the Fall?

Fall Cleaning is not as arduous as it's Springtime counterpart (thank goodness!), but it is necessary to ensure our homes are ready for the season and holidays.

This past weekend, I was able to complete many of my Fall Cleaning goals, but I still have a few to finish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will remind everyone of tasks they can do each day to accomplish their Fall Cleaning; thus, making the season a little less hectic.


Today's task:
  • Clean patios, foyers, and any other outdoor surfaces.  Make sure to wash off patio furniture; this is also a great time to change over your Spring themed cushions for seasonal printed cushions. If you don't plan on using your outdoor patio furniture, now is the time to store furniture cushions.

The Land of Nod :: $4.95 All You Can Ship!

All-You-Can-Ship on Holiday Decor
As the holiday season nears, I wanted to just share this great shipping deal from The Land of Nod with all of my readers! They've got the cutest things!
{Please view my disclosure policy.}

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Cleaning - Are You Ready? :: Task #3

Fall Cleaning

Each Spring, homemakers across the country begin in the yearly ritual of Spring Cleaning. We break out our mops and dust clothes in an effort to ready our homes for the warmer weather. However, did you know, we need to do the same type of cleaning in the Fall?

Fall Cleaning is not as arduous as it's Springtime counterpart (thank goodness!), but it is necessary to ensure our homes are ready for the season and holidays.

This past weekend, I was able to complete many of my Fall Cleaning goals, but I still have a few to finish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will remind everyone of tasks they can do each day to accomplish their Fall Cleaning; thus, making the season a little less hectic.


Today's task:
  • Rotate your mattresses. This is also a good time to vacuum mattresses. Store laundered warm-weather bedding; update beds with cool-weather bedding.

10,000 Views :: Thank You!!!

 

In the wee hours of the morning, Texas Homemaking hit a remarkable goal: 10,000 unique and individual views since its creation in February! Thank you, readers, for making me smile this morning. I'm tickled pink you all enjoy what I share!
 


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Travel Texas :: The Texas State Fair



taken by :: Michelle Norris
The Mid-Way

It's the largest event in the State of Texas where Texans gather for interesting fried food combinations, livestock viewing, handi-craft displays, cooking competitions, an amazing Mid-Way and a photo opportunity with Big Tex. Lasting from September 28th to October 21st this year, the Texas State Fair is the largest attended fair in the United States with past attendance (2010) estimated at over two and a half million people.


taken by :: Michelle Norris
Big-Tex and the Boys

Jake and I took the boys to the fair yesterday; it was their first time. Upon entering, their little eyes widened at the sheer size of the Mid-Way and all of its offerings: games, rides, prizes and food. I watched as they mentally processed, with mouths agape, all they saw.


taken by :: Michelle Norris
Chicken Fried Bacon Anyone?


We continued through the Mid-Way to the exhibit halls where a car show, tastings, livestock, wares, crafts and more food could be found. Spending hours meandering through the individual venues and purchasing snacks along the way (chicken fried bacon and fried boudan), the boys were completely and utterly worn out before we even returned to the Mid-Way. 
I'd say we had a successful day at the fair!


taken by :: Michelle Norris
Food & Fiber Children's Farmer's Market

Things to know before you go:
  • Tickets can be purchased in advance here; or you can purchase them at the gate.
  • Rides and food vendors only take tickets. You can purchase those in advance or at the fair. Cash and credit cards are taken at the fair. Tickets come 20 to a sheet and cost $10 per sheet. Most rides take 5 tickets.
  • You can bring your own food and drinks into the fair.
  • I recommend good walking shoes!
  • You should try at least one fried something while you're there.
  • Visit the fair's FAQ site for more information regarding your visit. 
If you and you're family get a chance to go, and I hope you do, post some pictures on Texas Homemaking's Facebook Page for all to see!

Fall Cleaning - Are You Ready? :: Task #2

Fall Cleaning
 
Each Spring, homemakers across the country begin in the yearly ritual of Spring Cleaning. We break out our mops and dust clothes in an effort to ready our homes for the warmer weather. However, did you know, we need to do the same type of cleaning in the Fall?

Fall Cleaning is not as arduous as it's Springtime counterpart (thank goodness!), but it is necessary to ensure our homes are ready for the season and holidays.

This past weekend, I was able to complete many of my Fall Cleaning goals, but I still have a few to finish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will remind everyone of tasks they can do each day to accomplish their Fall Cleaning; thus, making the season a little less hectic.


Today's task:

  • Launder or dry clean blankets, duvets and bedding. Rotate your wardrobe and donate/sale those items you no longer wear or need.
 This is also the time of year I update sizes in my Household Management Notebook. By having my family's current sizes on hand, shopping sales becomes easier. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall Cleaning - Are you Ready? :: Task #1



Each Spring, homemakers across the country begin in the yearly ritual of Spring Cleaning. We break out our mops and dust clothes in an effort to ready our homes for the warmer weather. However, did you know, we need to do the same type of cleaning in the Fall?

Fall Cleaning is not as arduous as it's Springtime counterpart (thank goodness!), but it is necessary to ensure our homes are ready for the season and holidays.

This past weekend, I was able to complete many of my Fall Cleaning goals, but I still have a few to finish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will remind everyone of tasks they can do each day to accomplish their Fall Cleaning; thus, making the season a little less hectic.

Today's task:
  • Dust and clean all blinds and windows. Rotate light weight curtains for heavy weight curtains.

In the Garden :: Pumpkins, Gourds, and Squash - Oh My!



Please visit Dandelion Moms to read my newest article, Pumpkins, Gourds, and Squash - Oh My! to learn about the many different varieties available this Fall. In addition, there are a few tips for planting your own pumpkin patch next year.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall Cooking :: Snickerdoodle Bread



A friend of mine recently introduced me to this addicting recipe. I just had to share it with my readers. They are not the prettiest loaves, but they taste amazing!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup butter (two sticks), softened
2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Then, add the eggs one at a time; mix well. Next, add the sour cream and vanilla to the butter mixture. Once mixed, combine the flour mixture to the butter mixture until well combined.

A few other individuals will add a package of Hershey's Cinnamon Chips at this point; however, I have never made this bread with the chips and it still tastes fantastic.

This recipe will make 2 large loafs or 4 mini loafs. Fill each pan until 2/3 the way full. In a small bowl, combine the extra sugar and cinnamon to form a topping. Sprinkle over each loaf.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. I like to line my pans with parchment paper, but a nicely oiled pan will do just as well.

I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!

Weekly Goals for 10/7 - 10/14/2012

Last week I posted a few of my weekly goals. I've crossed out some and added new ones to the goal list. Did you get your goals accomplished? Did you set new ones?

 

Weekly Goals for 10/01 - 10/7/2012

Home:
1. Clean outdoor mini fridge and bleach
2. Weekly Chores and laundry
3. Outline Fall Cleaning
4. Call Terminex for new ant mounds

Family:
1. Boys to Church, Field Trips, 4-H Awards Ceremony, Theatre Class
2. Take the boys to the biggest event in Texas!
3. Work on Fall crafts together

Volunteering:
1. Meeting about 4-H Shooting Sports
2. Junior Master Gardener Class
3. Little Lego Club
4. LongviewWOW meeting
5. Field Trip to Ellis Pottery

Personal:
1. Finish tool box conversion
2. Continue reading You Don't Know Me
3. Write article for dandelion moms & work on advertising
4. Make some time for friends I haven't seen in a while

Weekly Goals for 10/7 - 10/14/2012

I'm going to do something a little different this week. I have a lot of things to accomplish over the next few days. In fact, I've got too much to accomplish this week and it really makes my head hurt to think about it all! I've decided not to make weekly goals, but to move as I'm led and to accomplish what I can with what I have. I know this is a little out of my norm, but sometimes, changing things up provides a new insight on life. Here's to doing it all goal free!

Friday, October 5, 2012

What I Did Wednesday :: Legoland Discovery Center, Dallas

taken by :: Michelle Norris


Since summer ended, I haven't posted anything about my Wednesdays (most of the time we've got our noses in the school books). However, this past Wednesday we decided to change things up!

The boys and I headed to Dallas early Wednesday morning for a little LEGO® action. In Grapevine Mills, a huge shopping center, LEGO opened LEGOLAND Discovery Center last year. This was our second trip to this particular Center; after our first visit, we understood the importance of purchasing tickets online to avoid long waits. Yet, on this visit, we were delighted to discover that instead of a long line of anxious children, we were the only visitors for the first 40 minutes. In fact, for the entire duration of our stay, I'd estimate 30 children in the entire venue. I was pleasantly pleased to say the least; and the boys were thrilled!

In addition to admission, I bought two lanyards with activity packs attached. These were only $4 and a great investment. The activity pack was filled with LEGO facts, games, places to record your race times and shooting scores, a scavenger hunt, and a place to "stamp in" at featured attractions. The packs were an added bonus to an already fun-filled day.

Once inside, we were greeted by Professor Brick-a-Brack in the LEGO Factory. We were given a brief synopsis of how LEGO bricks are created and even my youngest got to help in the process.

taken by :: Michelle Norris


Upon exiting the Factory, visitors are guided to Kingdom Quest, a ride-on attraction where participants use laser guns to destroy trolls and skeletons while rescuing the princess. This ride is slow moving and child orientated. The boys enjoyed shooting at green screen bad guys and earning high scores for bragging rights.

The Discovery Center has two other rides: Merlin's Apprentice and the new LEGO City Forest Ranger Pursuit. In Merlin's Apprentice, the boys soared up into the air on an apparatus resembling a da Vinci creation. Their smiles showed their amusment!

My youngest loved the new LEGO City Forest Ranger Pursuit driving adventure ride. LEGO created an outdoor scene in which children drive miniature LEGO cars around a track. Bees buzz, sirens wail, and helicopters soar above as drivers are in hot pursuit of robbers who stole golden bars from the City. Parents get to have a little fun with this ride, too. Outside of the track, there are little push button stations to turn on all the great sound and light effects as your child drives their vehicle.

taken by :: Michelle Norris


In addition to the rides, the Discovery Center offers  MINILAND®. Made from approximately 1.5 million LEGO bricks, MINILAND features the Dallas/Fort Worth landmarks and attractions. When we visited LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Chicago and LEGOLAND in California, the MINILAND always drew the biggest crowds. It is amazing what can be built from LEGO bricks!

taken by :: Michelle Norris


My eldest son's favorite section of the Center is the Build and Test Zone, where children can create their own type of vehicle using a plethora of parts and wheels. After they build their vehicle, they can race them for top scores.

taken by :: Michelle Norris


The Discovery Center also houses the LEGO City Play Zone and Fire Academy, Duplo Village, Earthquake Tables, LEGO Girls - Princess Palace, and the LEGO Cafe. I especially enjoyed the LEGO 4D Cinema.


taken by :: Michelle Norris
LEGO City Play Zone and Fire Academy
 
taken by :: Michelle Norris
Duplo Village


taken by :: Michelle Norris
Earthquake Tablets


After spending several hours creating and building, the boys were ready to return home. But, before we could leave, we had to peruse the LEGO Store. My youngest created his own minifigures to bring home - the Three Musketeers. I found a few Halloween themed build packs I purchased for our LEGO Club; while my eldest created a wish list for Christmas.

I think the most interesting part of the day, though, was when I realized my eldest son couldn't take part in several activities because he was now too tall! Before you go, you definitely want to check all the height requirements. Children will also need to wear socks for the LEGO City Play Zone and Fire Academy.

Admission is discounted if you purchase online; and you get head of the line privilege when entering the Discovery Center. You can also leave for lunch and return, as long as you have your hand stamped and your original ticket.

If you haven't been to LEGOLAND Discovery Center yet, why not make this a fun family get-a-way!

taken by :: Michelle Norris