One of My Favorite Kid’s Snacks…GoGo squeeZ Applesauce

Pouch_Line_up-12_flavors[1]My kids are grazing eaters. Which means I hear “Mommy, I want a snack” at least 5 times a day. I try to keep healthy, simple accessible snacks out for them, which is why we love GoGo squeeZ Applesauce Pouches. In addition to always keeping GoGo squeeZ on hand in our “Healthy Snack Bin”, I also throw a couple pouches into my purse when we head out and keep some in the car for when I hear the “I’m hunnnnnngry” voice. (You moms know what tone of voice I mean!)

GoGo squeeZ is a non-GMO (plus they have a growing organic line with 7 flavors), no sugar added, allergy friendly, BPA free snack for kids of all ages. Literally Goodness on the Go!POUCH-RAW-apple[1]You would have thought it was Christmas morning the way my kids tore at the box GoGo squeeZ sent me to try out last week. We received a pack of AppleApple, ApplePineapple, Great’Full Grape (which is actually a fruit and veggie mix), and a coupon for a free pack of any flavor GoGo squeeZ. (Tater’s favorite is Apple Peach, so we got that.) There are 12 flavors in all-including 4 Fruit and Veggie mix flavors. I wasn’t sure if Junior would like the ApplePineapple flavor, since he’s a bit picky about his fruit, but he ate three of them in one sitting, so it was obviously a hit.

046It makes me happy that GoGosqueeZ has really put the effort into making these snacks health and allergy friendly. I love that the regular flavors are non-GMO, and that they are offering organic choices as well. (We have purchased the organic AppleApple pouches at Costco, and they’re just as good as the original.) Also, keeping BPA out of their pouches (which are always gluten, nut, and dairy free) is another reason I choose these snacks for my family.

You can also freeze GoGosqueeZ pouches, then use them like an ice pack for your lunchbox. By lunchtime, they’ll be ready to eat! With all of Junior’s appointments and Tater’s sports, we eat a lot of GoGosqueeZ, but the kids never get bored of them because there are so many flavors to try!

We have a "healthy snack" bin...GoGosqueeZes are always in there!
We have a “healthy snack” bin…GoGosqueeZes are always in there!
Perfect size to stash some in your purse or lunchbox…and they’re resealable, so they won’t leak once opened.

 

I received some free products from GoGo squeeZ to try out in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way. We have been big fans of this company for years, and my kids truly just love their products.

Book Review: Maggie Bright

http://files.tyndale.com/thpdata/images--covers/175_w/978-1-4143-8323-1.jpgOf all the underrated true stories of history, the Evacuation of Dunkirk has to be close to the top. After France and Belgium fell to the German Army in 1940, hundreds of thousands of soldiers were left for dead, stranded in enemy territory. It took the efforts of many common citizens and common boats to rescue about 350,000 men. Tracy Groot’s new historical novel, Maggie Bright, takes place during this daring event.

Clare Childs is the main character, a young Briton who recently bequeathed a boat called the Maggie Bright. Clare has rented out a room in the ship (which sits upon the docks having not yet sailed in her possession), to a widow named Mrs. Shrewsbury, affectionately known as the Shrew.

Clare and Mrs. Shrewsbury encounter a man breaking into the Maggie Bright, apparently searching for something. They later find out that he is an American priest, named Father Fitzpatrick. Murray Vance, a dear friend of the Father, jumps the pond from Brooklyn to bring his buddy home. While there, Clare, the Shrew, the Father, Murray, and lead investigator William Percy are pulled into a dangerous game of keep away, and they are willing to risk their lives to show the world evidence of Hitler’s atrocities.

Meanwhile, another story lives within the novel…the story of a young soldier named Jamie Elliot who is tasked with leading a Captain away from the battlefields and towards safety. The Captain has suffered brain damage and is only able to speak using the words of John Milton. The two develop an unlikely friendship, and must try to navigate towards the evacuation point of Dunkirk together.

This novel was well written and while based on a grim and serious topic, had moments of humor and irony. Mrs. Shrewsbury was my favorite character…she was a funny old lady and I could imagine her quite well throughout the novel. There were a lot of little subplots, but the main message was the courage and loyalty of the British peoples-military and civilian-as they navigated the tolls of war.

I enjoyed this book, and hope to read more of Ms. Groot’s works, as they are well researched and historically accurate, while maintaining an interesting plot.

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Our Homeschool in Review: April 20-May 15, 2015

Homeschool Week in ReviewSo, I haven’t posted our homeschool week in review in several weeks…we’ve been working, just at a slower pace and more relaxed schedule since the year is winding down and Tater has finished almost all of her first grade work and is already in much of her 2nd grade curriculum. We took a few field trips as well.

Here’s what we’ve been working on for the last few weeks:

Bible: We studied Daniel, Jonah, and the Armor of God. We watched a few Veggie Tales and What’s In The Bible episodes, and did a few art projects. Tater built a sword out of cardboard for the Sword of the Spirit.

History: We studied the Phoenicians, Mayans, and started looking at the Greeks. We read some books about each civilization, built a Mayan pyramid out of Legos, made a homemade sundial, and Tater created some buildings modeled after Greek architecture on her Minecraft game.

Math: We’re finally done with Horizons 1! Tater loves math, so she was excited to start with Horizons 2 the next day :)

Reading: We finished two read alouds: Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Boxcar Children #6-Blue Bay Mystery. Tater also worked through some reading comprehension worksheets, and we did 7 Abeka phonics lessons.

Language Arts and Spelling: We worked through several more Latin and Greek root words (port, miss, and graph), and finished All About Spelling step 15 and completed seven lessons from First Language Lessons 2 about adjectives and adverbs.

Science: We did three weeks worth of A Reason for Science…lessons about sound, lift, and aerodynamics. We also did experiments for each of those topics. Tater also spent time pulling weeds and planting seeds in our garden, learning about life science of plants and seeds. And, she learned about sea animals on our field trip to the aquarium.

Art: We studied Leonardo DaVinci and Tater designed some inventions she would like to see in the future. Since we did some crafts for our Bible lessons, I counted that towards art as well.

A Letter to My Son on His Third Birthday

Junior Turns 3

Dear Sweet Boy,

You’re turning three years old this week. You have spent the last couple days trying to sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself, a precious sound I thought I…or you…would never hear. Each word you utter is a miracle I will never take for granted. Your little voice represents hard work, determination, and most of all, hope.

Three years ago, my heart grieved for you…the innocent little babe wrapped in my arms. I grieved that, even at birth, your future wasn’t exactly clear. Your birth day should have been filled with dreams and possibilities that you could achieve anything and everything you set your mind to.

Instead, that day was filled with more questions than answers when you failed your newborn hearing screen.

Would you ever learn to talk? Would you ever hear my voice? What caused your deafness? Why you?

So many doctor’s appointments followed, and you never had a nap schedule because you were always in the car.

When you were 8 months old, you received cochlear implant surgery. We knew this was a gift, but you only felt pain and didn’t understand why. Yet, you endured it and trusted us even through the hurt.

At 9 months old, your “ears” were switched on, and you began to hear for the first time. What joy to my momma heart. I said “I love you”, and I knew you were finally able to hear it.

Time passed, you spent hundreds of hours of hard work learning to listen, and you became a toddler. A strong willed, wide smiling, little momma’s boy who wanted to swing upside down and hit everything you saw and scream at the top of your lungs for no reason. Those “quirky” habits led to more assessments and more appointments and more therapies to your already full appointment schedule. But, you love your “teachers”, and they love you in return.

Three years ago, I never knew that mundane milestones could bring so much joy:

The first time you turned your head to my voice.

The first time you sat in a restaurant without screaming.

The first time you walked next to the stroller and actually held on.

The first time you put your “ears” back on your head after they fell off.

Everything that’s happened in the last three years has molded and shaped me into becoming the perfect momma for you. You have given me so many gifts, just by being you.

Three years ago may as well have been a lifetime; you have changed me in more ways than you can imagine. And for that I thank you. Happy birthday my little one.

I love you now and always,

Momma

Cookbook Review: Food52 Genius Recipes

It’s a known fact that I love a good cookbook. I leisurely read through them, savor them, enjoy the photos, and make the recipes that speak the most to me. I was excited to receive a copy of Food52 Genius Recipes. I had never heard of Food52, but after checking out this cookbook, I looked at the site. I’m hooked! The cookbook, written by Kristen Miglore, is a conglomeration of recipes from well-known chefs that use either a unique (while still accessible) ingredient, an interesting technique, or a simple shortcut to streamline the entire process. The goal of this project is to get people cooking smarter, not harder by using these genius tips.

Let’s start with the cookbook itself. It has 100 recipes divided between Breakfast, Snacks & Drinks, Soups & Salads, Meaty Mains, Meatless Mains, Vegetables, and Desserts. Every recipe has a beautiful photo next to it (kudos to the photographer; the photos were stunning.)

Some of the recipes in Food52 Genius Recipes included Roasted Applesauce (apples are roasted in the oven instead of set in a saucepan), Red Wine Vinaigrette (using real wine), Meatballs from Rao’s that use water instead of milk, and Broccoli Cooked Forever, in which broccoli is roasted low and slow for over 2 hours!

I made the No-Knead Bread, and the texture was fantastic! It was simple to make, although the two day process did force me to have to think ahead. I was actually shocked that the recipe worked so well. I am definitely going to try the Basic Hummus, Strawberry Shortcakes from James Beard, and Raised Waffles.

I really enjoyed Food52 Genius Recipes, not only for the photography, but for the recipes, tips, tricks, and techniques it introduced me to. It was truly genius, and I look forward to finding new family favorite recipes from within the pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.