DIY-Jeopardy Board

We’re a few months into my first stab at homeschooling, and I have to admit that I’m really enjoying it. When I was little, I would sit my stuffed animals in a row, and play school. Sometimes I would dictate a spelling test to them, then quickly write the words on each animal’s paper. Of course, I had my favorite animals that would always score 100%, and some less favorite stuffed animals that routinely “misspelled” their words. Having the opportunity to do school with Stinker has been both enjoyable and gratifying. She’s come so far in the last few months, that the effort is definitely paying off.

One of the curricula we’re using this year is Classical Conversations (CC). I like the Classical model, and Stinker loves learning through songs and games.

I’ve recently gotten Stinker hooked on Jeopardy, (I am, myself, a Jeopardy addict, so it’s fun to watch it with her), so I decided to create a Jeopardy board to practice CC. It really couldn’t have been easier to make.

I went to Lakeshore and got a tri-fold poster board, a pack of self-adhesive library pockets, and some self-adhesive name tags. I also had a pack of index cards laying around.

Hopefully you can multiply better than I can. (Apparently six categories times five questions per category requires more than 25 library pockets. I had to make a second trip.)

Lay out the name tags and library pockets as shown. The name tags will show the category, and the library pockets will hold the questions and show the value of each question.

Write the category and value as shown.
Write your questions on the index cards. I abbreviated the category and put the value of the question on top as a way of keeping score and keeping organized. 
To play with one child, have them choose a category and point value, and ask the associated question. If they get it correct, put the card in one pile. If they get it incorrect, put the card in another pile. At the end of the game (I usually ask about 10-15 questions, or at least one question from each category per game), subtract the cumulative point value of the incorrect answers from the cumulative point value of the correct answers to come up with a final point total. There can be actual prizes for winning, or just “Yay! You got 1000 points. Great job!”
To play with more than one child, play as in an actual Jeopardy game, putting questions aside in separate correct and incorrect piles to determine final point score.
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Guest Post: Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Since I had two very difficult pregnancies and have sought to block out those times of my life, I’m glad to share this guest post from Katie about healthy habits during pregnancy. Check out her blog, Moore From Katie, for more tips and ideas!

Guest Post from Katie at Moore From Katie
Natural Tips for Mom and Baby

When a woman becomes pregnant she has a lifetime of dreams ahead of her.  Anticipating the baby’s arrival, striving to enjoyable a comfortable pregnancy and making plans to be as healthy as possible are just a few things that are on a woman’s mind when the news of the conception is received.  For me, I was determined to make my pregnancy an enjoyable one!  
Following a few simple steps can prepare you to have a comfortable pregnancy and will also prepare you to provide your baby with top-quality nutrition and care.

The Benefits of Water and Rest
If you are looking forward to having either a natural delivery or cesarean section, it is important for your body to be strong, healthy and equipped to handle the trials of labor.  The stronger your body is during your pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to meet your goal of having a wonderful delivery!

Drinking a lot of water will help you to flush unwanted toxins from your body.  Water will also help you to deal with headaches and joint aches during pregnancy.  Getting plenty of rest is important so your mind and body feel equipped to handle each new day without feeling the stress of being depleted and overworked.  Try getting to bed an hour or half hour early each evening during your pregnancy.  Don’t hesitate to indulge in a weekend nap and make sure you get off your feet as much as possible.

Begin Planning Organic Baby Food Meals
If you enjoy eating organic foods, it is a whole new ballgame preparing organic baby food!  While it is a challenge to fix healthy baby food, it is also a fun journey that will give your baby wonderful nutrients when he or she is old enough to eat solid foods.  

Purchasing wholesome foods such as organic sweet potatoes, organic peas and unprocessed oatmeal will give you an excellent foundation to begin making healthy and nutritious foods for your baby once he is ready to eat solids.  Finding these foods at farmers’ markets is one of the best places to get chemical-free foods without spending a fortune.  Learning how to prepare them during pregnancy will make it a breeze to slip into the habit of making wholesome foods for your child when it is time.  These simple steps really benefited me, and I hope they will help you out, too!

As with any aspect of your pregnancy, please make sure to consult with your doctor before making any changes.  My doctor helped me make decisions about nutrition, delivery options, cord blood banking options and so much more.  Hopefully you can enjoy a happy and healthy pregnancy. 

Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26

Living Joyfully: Purpose to the Pain

My 8 month old had surgery last week. It was an exciting surgery that will allow him for more opportunities to mainstream with his disability. But, it was still surgery. And he hurts.
We sent him off with the Operating Room nurse, his chubby cheeks smiling at us as he was carried away. The next time we saw him, seven hours later in the recovery room, his face was swollen, eyes closed in pain and tears streaming down his sweet little face. We held him and tried to comfort him, but the pain was inevitable. This surgery was the only way for him to lead a life in which his body functions wholly, and the outcome will benefit him for the rest of his life.
But, he doesn’t see that right now. All he sees is pain. All he knows is that he hurts, and that we allowed it. He trusted us.  He doesn’t understand. He tugs on his bandages. He cries. He doesn’t want to eat. He used to be comfortable in his little life until we took him to a place that made him hurt.
Isn’t that how we are? When faced with trials, we see pain. Suffering. Rain clouds that will seemingly never part. We wonder why God has abandoned us into such misery and such despair. If He cared, He wouldn’t have let this happen.
But, what aren’t we seeing? There is a big picture, and only God can see that. My son doesn’t know why he’s in constant pain right now. But, soon he will heal, and it will have been worth it. He’ll understand someday. And, so will we; when we finally see what God was doing through our trials, we’ll realize that there was always a purpose to the pain. 
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Make it or Buy It? Jewelry Cleaner

With all the hand washing going on around here lately, my rings were getting all soap scummy and dull. Remembering the last time I used storebought jewelry cleaner, I spent $6 and had an allergic reaction that caused all the skin around my rings to peel off, I decided to look for a DIY option that would get my rings sparkling again. I had been using toothpaste and an old toothbrush, but I wasn’t sure all the chemicals in the toothpaste were good for the metal in the rings.

While reading my recent issue of Real Simple magazine the other day, I found an excitingly simple recipe for cleaning jewelry, and decided to test it out. So, here it is!

-2 parts dish soap (I used 2 TBS Dawn)
-10 parts warm water (10 TBS)

Let soak for 3 hours. Remove jewelry and gently scrub with an old toothbrush. Rinse with hot water. 

So, how did they turn out? Unfortunately, I forgot to take a “before” picture, but there was definitely a difference. The rings were shinier, sparklier, and the soap scum from all the preventative hand washing was washed away.

I don’t even know how much 2 TBS of dish soap costs…maybe a penny or two? Either way, compared to the expensive jewelry cleaner in the stores, this method is definitely a winner.

Bottom Line: Make It!

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Looking to 2013…

I apologize for being largely absent during the month of December. My infant had nearly a dozen doctor’s appointments, including a hospital visit, in addition to the normal hecticness of the holidays. Having a child with a disability has been, by far, the most difficult experience of my life, but I have gained so much perspective and realize how incredibly blessed we are.

Looking forward, I have some great Blog ideas for 2013. I will continue to bring you more money saving tips, strategies, and recipes. In addition, I will continue on the Make it Or Buy It and Living Joyfully series.

I would love to hear any suggestions you may have for this blog. Please feel free to leave a comment for ideas!

In the meantime, here are my 5 most popular blog posts from the past year:

Frugal Momma’s Slow Cooker Black Bean Recipe

10 Ideas for Leftover or Frozen Meatballs

5 Ideas for Leftover Black Beans

Can You Still Be Joyful When Everything is Going Wrong?

Costco Price Comparison: Milk and Eggs