Wednesday WoW- Secrets to a successful summer camp at home Part 2

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summa

So here’s how to host your Own Summer Camp at home. It’s easier than you think. Just think, what would you most like you children to get out of summer camp – reading practice, self-confidence, social skills, a new skill?  This alternative experience at home will require you to do quite a lot of planning:  activities, materials for crafts and games, snacks and meals, etc, but you’ll save so much money if you have more than 2 kids at home as I do. 

That's my 2 year old Tehun at Reedy Creek Nature Center.

That’s my 2 year old Tehun at Reedy Creek Nature Center.

 

Create a Schedule
Depending on you and your family’s personality, this can be as structured or as flexible as you choose.

The more campers you recruit, outside of your home the more free days you’ll have, but you also need to consider how many kids you can handle. Let’s say you ran camp for a week, with five parents taking one day each.The sky is the limit think of savings on childcare!

Research Activities Think fun, educational and affordable-  they are out there, just look for them.

Gather Materials
• This is where it could get costly so think Dollar Store or thrift store. Start by looking around the house for materials that you can use. Create a list of supplies that you might need and begin to collect them now. You maybe able to borrow from the library or friends.
• Keep your materials in one convenient location that you can pull out for camp and put away when camp is done. Designate a tub or rolling cart for summer camp.

Now go! The kids are waiting! Pack their lunch before you head out. Use gas station rewards for gas, ensure that your emergency kit is well stock and have at it.
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summer

  1. Cover your sidewalk with chalk art.
  2. Sell lemonade from your homemade lemonade stand.
  3. Make jewelry out of noodles.
  4. Finger paint with fruit, oatmeal and water
  5. Acquire articles of clothing and accessories to fill a costume box.
  6. Plant a garden.
  7. Go to museum free days.
  8.  Do a physical activity (can be individual or do it as a group – ride bikes or scooters, play tag, go for a walk, play at the playground, jump rope, shoot hoops)
  9. Hike with your family.
  10. Visit the parks.
  11. Learn a new word a day.
  12. Create a scavenger hunt.
  13. Make and cook in a solar oven.
  14. Visit a nursing home.
  15. Mow lawns (neighbors or your own – for free or a fee).
  16. Wash cars (see 18).
  17. Make and blow bubbles.
  18. Play in the mud.
  19. Make a pair of flip flops
  20. Publish a book.
  21. Visit libraries. They have free programs for kids.
  22. Go to free concerts.
  23. Make ice cream or bread.
  24. Go jump and play all day at Monkey Joes! (My children LOVES that place!)
  25. Give yourselves homemade fruit/ veggie based facials.
  26. Go to free movie screenings.(use that link, I know this business personally.)
  27. Visit your local farmers’ market.
  28. Swim in your public pool.
  29. Make sand castles at the beach.
  30. Plant a garden.
  31. Write, direct and perform a play in your living room.
  32. Learn to properly put air in your tires and other basic car routines.
  33. Learn to sew
  34. Make a pretend grocery store.
  35. Buy electronics at yard sales and then take them apart
  36. Make something and then sell it.
  37. Organize a block party and meet your neighbors.
  38. Teach your kids cursive
  39. Watch free rehearsals of your local orchestra.
  40. Learn how to paint, hammer a nail. Sure you may not want to later, but it’s good to how how it’s done.
  41. Attend a Home Depot free kids workshops.
  42. Go to and/or organize a swap.
  43. Learn how to do your own hair.
  44. Take advantage of free bowling for kids.
  45. Plan a family fun night.
  46. Make a video of your kids interviewing you about your life.
  47. Plant a tree that you will take an annual family picture in front of.
  48. Learn to say “thank you” in at least 10 languages
  49. Visit the oldest house in your town.
  50. Go outdoors and play street games from way back when, etc, hopscotch, double dutch, ect.
  51. Host a slumber party.
  52. Visit your chamber of commerce.
  53. Learn how to make a simple tent, then go camping
  54. Tour a factory.
  55. Visit an artist studio.
  56. Watch a tree specialist cut down a tree.
  57. Volunteer at a local non profit center.
  58. Create a pretend budget and try to stay in it using an allotted smarties.
  59. Get a large cardboard box from an appliance store and let your imagination run wild.
  60. Learn about another culture.
  61. Go star gazing.
  62. Make compost and use it in your garden.
  63. Have a tea party, dress up.
  64. Make scrapbook pages for each year or decade of your life.
  65. Write to your favorite hero and thank them.
  66. Have a cooking class with the children.
  67. Make cookies and take them to your local fire fighters or nursing home.
  68. Make and fly a kite.
  69. Take a picture each day and make a summer photo album. If the children are old enough, have them write about what happened that day.
  70. Go to a movie in the park or your back yard.

One of my friends said:   

Our days are slightly different but same idea: Music Monday (music learning & appreciation), Tell-Tales Tuesday (literary activity), Who-What-When-Where-Why-How Wednesday (science & discovery – like your wonder list research day), Thankful Thursday (where we do intentional acts of service), & Fun Time Friday (adventures & outings w/ family & friends) I’ve also heard of & like the idea of “Friends-day Wednesday!” cuz it rhymes!

Now, if you feel like taking on a larger project, try these tips. It tells you how to run a community camp and how to attract sponsors.  

Do you have some favorite activities you would like to add?

sayit

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Wednesday Wow: Happy,Happy, Joy,Joy!

Wake up Nature, it’s Spring time! I LOVE Spring! I do! It’s so (deep breath here…..) Renewing! It’s like a button in my mind and body that has been reset. Who doesn’t love  SPRING ??

Now just in case you said “I don’t,” let me sell it a bit more. See

orchid

in spring, the trees share bright, new leaves on their delicate branches. The fields grow nutritious goodies and the entire nature says hello by  blooming!  Yes, even the grass kiddos!

Twitter has nothing over the songs the birds will tweet in the trees and bushes, ” joyfully announces: “Spring is here!

I was pregnant with Amen in this picture.

I was pregnant with Amen in this picture.

Ooh the pleasant, cool breeze brings the soft and sweet aroma of fresh outdoor fun with the children. Yes moms, it time to hide the handhelds and get outdoors! What better time to: 

  • Have a lemonade stand (Alex’s charity is good but make it more meaningful. After the sales, treat them & let them buy/make gifts to deliver to the hospital or senior living center.)
  • Enjoy a picnic (a great way to get kids excited about family time!)
  • Play in nature -garden, hike, etc.
  • Buy winter and fall clothes ( As stores make way for their summer clothing, winter clothes can be discounted more than 50%. )
  • Fly a Kite! Here’s a video- or go to this page for directions. It’s easy & I promise that you won’t break a nail.

Ready or not Spring is here! Are you sold on it yet?  I know you are.

Great things Always happen in Spring!

A few girl friends & I will build a seating area like this using wood pallets.

A few girl friends & I will build a seating area like this using wood pallets.

Noah doesn't like the camera.

This was taken at the RunWay For Fashion show at NC Dance Theater. It was Amazing!

Friday Four: Flu Symptoms Be Gone! Natural remedies for little ones.

Seeing my little ones under the weather makes my heart hurt. Especially when they can’t blow their tiny stuffed noses or cough up the mucus buildup that may be rattling in their chest. We try to avoid over the counter drugs as much as possible.Why? Haven’t you been reading those crazy side effects? As for my family and I. We’ll trust mother nature first!

pills

medsss

Let Food Be Thy Medicine!!!!

Season by season we adjust our herb cabinets and juice section in the kitchen.

Our ultimate goal is to maintain a healthy immune system,but sometimes it does get out of whack.When that happens, we go straight into repair mode. Although frequent hand washing is your absolute best defense, check out our top 4 ways to fight cough, fever,sore throat, nasal congestion, and aches. This collection will get your lil one up in no time!

  1. Fresh Ginger Root: Another warming spice that is best consumed fresh (chew pieces of ginger root) but is also effective when made into a tea (peel, grate and steep the root in hot water). Gingerols, the active components in ginger, have anti-inflammatory effects and also ease sore throats. Drink a few cups of ginger tea or chew ginger throughout the day.Coconut oil  is anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. Consume a few tablespoons a day, preferably with food or melted into warm water or teas. Minimally processed, extra-virgin, Go organic! Or just fast for the day, that works too! soup
  2.  Sip some soup: For generations, caring parents have been serving chicken soup to kids with colds and flu. But was mom right? Possibly. A 2000 study published in the journal Chest showed that chicken soup may help relieve symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. Or gargle with salt water.
  3. Menthol Steam: 

    Breathing moist air helps loosen the mucus in the nasal passages. Adding a little eucalyptus improves the efforts.and so will a warm bath. I put the smaller ones on my lap face down with a towel over their head toward the water filled basin.

    Please remind your little one to cover her/his mouth during each sneeze....

    Please remind your little one to cover her/his mouth during each sneeze….

  4. For fevers: Undress. sweat glands will be better able to release moisture, which will make your little one feel more comfortable. Strip ém down! Then sponge with tepid water or, better yet, sit  ém in a tub of coolish water (definitely not ice cold water, which can induce shock) for half an hour. If you put a feverish child in a tub or sink of water, be sure to hold the child. Don’t apply an alcohol rub, because it can be absorbed into the skin and cause alcohol poisoning.
heal

Mom, you CAN heal your child with out drugs…..If it doesn’t work, the drugs will always be there!

I hope these tips help. Till the next sneeze, take care,  QC SuperMom

Friday Four: Science and Valentine’s Day

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Amen sharing his Hulk juice!

The Heart of Science- a home school lesson

Help your kids celebrate Valentines Day without the candy and it can still be sweetest day ever!

So how in the world do you combine science and Valentine’s Day? With a love potion of course! My children had a ball helping their dad and I make Hearts Day a blast. With a small investment of $3.00 and 3 minutes it was done!

130214-220134

Bubbles of cool mystifying air.

Here are the four steps to making your very on signature Love Potion.

1. Buy dry ice. We purchased 2 lbs from the local market.

2. Gather food coloring. You can use regular food dye, Kool-aid, or any thing of the like. One of my sons like the Hulk, so we had to get him green. Since it was Valentines day, we also used red. The girls insisted on it- they are so mushy! 🙂

3. Take out a couple of glass containers. We used different sizes, including mason jars. (make sure they are clean) Fill them 3/4 water.

4. Safely combine a ice cube size of dry ice to the colored liquid of each glass and watch the magic! Your children will LOVE it!

Here’s the video- It was mysteriously amazing! Click here!

Enjoy! If you bring this amazingly simple, yet exciting science project to your children, come back and let me know how it goes.

Wednesday Wow: What’s in the Compost

In our home, food shouldn’t be wasted,dirt is vital to life and everyone can help compost . I just can’t say it enough! WE COMPOST!

I love the idea of saving money and reducing waste by composting certain food scraps and yard waste.We even get a little exercise in as well. Teaching these natural life skill to my children is important too.

Compost1

We have been composting since December. For the most part, its been easy, inexpensive and exciting to see how everyone can work together toward a common goal of seeing  this labor of love grow healthy and strong.

farming2

Up until yesterday, I have been very proud of our compost bin. Everything was going well. The browns and greens  were beginning to break down and the kids were taking an active part in helping maintain and waiting to feel the “heat.composting3“.

Even my husband had began to respect my back yard operation. I loved all that rain we got the other week. It helped the compost and our water bill a great bit.

Compos12013

 So much that I realized that I was getting too low on leaves (the browns). I did recall the helpful lady from the city saying that I could use ripped up strips of newspaper (not the sales ads) but I didn’t want to. So riding to the market I seen a huge 3 row pile of leaves & promised myself that I would pick at least one bag up. Two days later, I had it. I did seem heavy to navigate into the van, but I guess I was so eager to get it home that I paid it no mind. I was thinking  “OOOh this bag is huge-I scored BIG! ” Once I got home and my daughter asked to empty it. She came back to me and said “Mom, the leaves aren’t suppose to smell. I think you have a body in there!”

composting1

Needless to say, I’m too scared to check it out. I’ve brought my newest table scarps in locally & saving it in a bag on the other side of the back door till I get someone to investigate it for me. My stomach is too weak to pitchfork any corpse, and I don’t want my kids to see death like that……YUCK!  I’m thinking the hopes of seeing this 3 ft, labor of love  turn into a dark, crumbly mixture of decomposed organic matter, to control weeds, provide nutrients to plants, improve soil and save water is now a pipe dream. Any tips? Can I save my compost, and look forward to making compost tea or should I call animal control to retrieve whatever had the bag heavy and smelly? Oh, the woes of a fresh composter……

New gardeners learn by by trowel and error.

-QCSupermom

I waste less-I compost Black Gold!

Compost is a soil conditioner, mulch and fertilizer all wrapped into one. It feeds the soil microorganisms that help plants stay healthy,  adds nutrients to the soil, and helps clay soil drain better and sandy soil  retain water. Plus, composting reduces your contribution to the waste stream by  recycling yard and kitchen waste into the world’s best soil amendment.  My Wipe Out Friend, Nadine once said-  Just dig a one-foot hole  in the yard and cover it with a board or bricks until it is full of organic waste. Once your hole is full, bury it with soil, and dig another one to keep composting all winter long. But it wasn’t tht simple. at least not for me it wasn’t.

I tried composting before. My husband idn’t appreciate it much. Everytime I collectedwhat I thought was a good supply, he threw it away. I got crush in spirit, but would keep trying, hoping that the next batch would be a winner. But they all would have the same results….in the trash!  finsi waste

See, we had a garden and I really wanted something good and affrodableto ensure our lots growth without any chemicals. As new family farmers we didn’t know much. I remeber hearing about compost and seeing these dirty looking bins at other gardeners lot at the community garden. Then I seen a posting for a free composting class and quickly secured my spot. I figured if I learned to do it the right way, maybe he wouldn’t trash my stash. Ok….fast forwarding to last weekend. Mary Kay and Shelly came to my house and  gave me the greatest gift ever; knowledge!

 

See what we did-1 5 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11a 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Built the composting bin.

For a compost system to work, it needs a healthy mix of browns and greens, moisture, oxygen, heat, and an assortment of decomposers which will turn kitchen scraps and yard waste into nutrient rich compost.

Winter composting also pays off by having a supply of organic material ready to  use for spring planting.
Position the compost station in the best possible place.  The sun and its warmth  are crucial to the composting process. Choose a place that allows the compost  station to catch full sun for as long as possible.

The two basic elements that make up compost are green garden debris (grass  clippings or old annuals) and brown garden derbis (dry leaves). Green  ingredients are high in nitrogen and brown materials are high in carbon. Adding  too many greens can make the pile smell bad. Do not add animal waste, meats,  oils, dairy, diseased plants, weeds that have gone to seed, or plants treated  with pesticides or herbicides to your compost.

Collect stuff: leaves and compost waste lie raw food. Not blood or oil based items.Over time, the materials in our compost bin will naturally degrade.

As you can see, everyone helped! We asked questions & listen to the answers and enjoyed the hands on workshop!

1. Should I cover it at all as it get cooler? I just read that -Insulate the compost bin.  This can be done easily by either gluing or stapling  insulating material to the inside of the bin.  An inexpensive insulator can be  made by simply using foam wrapped in black plastic.  The black plastic will heat up and the foam will hold the heat.

2.  When do I add soil to my compost pile?

Read more HERE!

Ever heard of a counter top compost column? I think it’s a great starter for kids.

and here –Nine Ways to Get Plants and Trees for Free.

 

finished-compost-02

OK  ya’ll till next time!    …..looking for the STEAM!  QC Supermom

The FRESH Expo! The review

GMO stands for “genetically modified organisms,” and foods that contain  ingredients with GMOs are considered GMO foods.  GMOs are used in many crops,  including soybeans, corn, potatoes and canola. GMO is NOT Good For YOU or your loved ones! Give it to people you don’t like instead.Let them eat that garbage! 🙂

The Fresh Expo this Saturday did a great job in explaining it all!

For months I was hearing about the No GMO trade show & never really gave it much thought. I know someone on the planning team & I already knew that we would attend if for no other reason to support her. Although the idea of getting loads of goodies were enticing!  I really didn’t think it would be a big deal! At most, I expected to get enough samples to share with my sahm’s that did not make it out. Boy was I selling myself short! It was one of the best expos that I have ever attended. …..and I had all of my kids with me!

Just to back up & set the tone:        Just in case you don’t know who Iam. Let me tell you who I am.

I am the 37.85 year old  mother of 9 kids. 8 living. 1 one college, 1 passed from a AIH issue in ’05. 1 is a bit chunky. One of our son’s have an ugly kidney- it works  well though. My husband is semi veggie, the rest of us eat meat, but no red meat. We live off one income- I home school  somehow I find time to organize educated play dates for kids for Queen City Stay At Home Moms and I blog!  In 2005 I lost 78 lbs. , I eat at Earth Fare On Thursdays because I love the Family Night deal and I always ask why and love to figure it out myself.

Here’s what I expected: How can I & why should I care about GMO’s being in my families food. Lord knows there’s enough for me to worry about already with our diet. How much more of an expense will this be for my family? Will I realistically learn how to implement anything I learned there once I got home.

Here’s what I gained from being there: It’s all about education! GMO is a bad thing. It’s when food is tainted! Here’s is my husbands definition is;

When scientist alter/modify the dna/genes of a organism, i.e pants and even animals. for alternative motives.

  1. Increase profit
  2. Increase food supply
  3.  Decrease the number of farmers

High-Risk Crops -Click that link too- (in commercial production; ingredients derived from these must be tested every time prior to use in Non-GMO Project Verified products (as of December 2011):

  • Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
  • Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
  • Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
  • Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
  • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)

ALSO high-risk: animal products (milk, meat, eggs, honey, etc.) because of contamination in feed.  It’s important to note that steering clear from these foods completely may be difficult, and you should merely try finding other sources than your big chain grocer. If produce is certified USDA-organic, it’s non-GMO (or supposed to be!) Also, seek out local farmers and booths at farmer’s markets where you can be ensured the crops aren’t GMO. Even better, if you are so inclined: Start organic gardening and grow them yourself. In other words, give processed foods the boot.

“Freedom, democracy, and choice is taken away. It’s taken away from the farmer by not allowing them to have their seed. It’s taken away from the consumer by not letting them have labeling to say what they’re eating. If there was labeling of GM foods, no one would eat it.”

Here are some links to help you begin your own research on the topic:

Say No TO GMO!

Genetically Modified Food Industry’s Dirty Little Secret

The Organic Report

Pregnant & nursing moms READ this link!

Don’t feed your own body cancer magnets!

And here’s news for the allergy suffers! I got that from off of Oprahs page!

GMO’s Are Poisonous.

 GMO Studies have proved GMO’s to develop cancer and die faster then rats who arn’t being fed GMO’s

My husband says that I am strait from the laboratory 😦  Yes , he was joking!

Here’s what I putting in action from today:  Reading and research more. Gardening pesticide free and sharing the information that I learned with as many moms as possible! Most of all making sure that any mom that I am in contact with knows the information that I now have which is simple Charlotte  is a great place to eat and here are the best place s to go! 

Check out this awesome slideshow of a few of my favorite vendors there! The photos were taken by the amazing Mimika Cooney of MiMika Cooney Photography   Thank you Cynthia, for inviting me, and everyone that engaged me in a few words and samples to share! Mom’s want to feed our families well. We want to know which products to stay away from. Because our dollars are limited, we need direction, clear direction & as long as I am Mrs. Kelle Pressley, QC Supermom, and there is someone that offers real life resources, I promise to spread the word. See you  all  soon!

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Got Lemons? Good 4 you!

I love it when I’m out with my 5 sons and complete strangers infer that my oldest is my brother. We are not too far away in age but it does tell me that I’m doing a decent job keeping myself up! Sure I’m not the 19 yr old in college anymore BUT I know that I’m healthy from the inside out. …and if someone else notices it-AWESOME! My secret? Well I’ll share one of them. It’s LEMONS and WATER!  So affordable and effective.

In this post I’ve not only listed why everyone should try it , but also supplemental resources to assist you in getting started.  Who knows, one day you can look like Ms Ernestine Shepherd, 70 yr old bodybuilder. That’s  if you choose too of course The point is; it’s NEVER to late to begin.

Number 1
It balances pH–Lemon is an acidic food, but once metabolized, it becomes alkaline. I work very hard at keeping my body alkaline. Why?

To put it most simply, alkalies help keep the oxygen in our blood at a safe pH level, and this helps our body heal itself, assimilate nutrients and fight off unwanted sickness.

I have read of many people who have fought their cancer nutritionally by focusing on the body’s pH levels. K Carr, a local pal has halted tumors growing in her liver for over 7 years by focusing on nutrition, including alkalizing foods. I think that is crazy cool. Even a little crazy sexy cool!!

I regularly check the pH of my body using these little pH strips. I now know what foods –GREENS!–will keep my levels where they need to be. I also believe lemon water helps this process.

Number 2

It not only freshens your breath BUT- it keeps skin clear and glo

wing! I have noticed this. Hydration from drinking lemon water is great for moisturizing our skin from the inside out. Lemon also contains lots of Vitamin C, which helps with wrinkles and blemishes. (Ok, look what I found for you! 🙂 )

Number 3

It kick starts the digestive system–a big glass of lemon water is a great way to start the day. It encourages the liver to produce bile which in turn aids in digestion. It increases urination which helps purify

it. It also helps with heartburn and constipation. (Here’s more info on amazing health benefits of lemons I found online!)
Number 5Number 4
It helps with weight loss–I have read that keeping the body in an alkaline state helps people lose weight faster. Lemons are high in fiber pectin, which helps keep one full, longer. They also have a diuretic effect, which helps with water weight gain. (Here’s more info I found on weight loss with lemons)

It helps control the coffee habit–I will drink coffee on very rare occasions, but only if I have had my entire glass of lemon water.

…which brings me to bonus Number 6:It sizzles!  “Lemon Spritzer”–lemon +sparkling water+ice–is the perfect solution! (Here’s another great source of info that I had to share!)

I have found that if you add a little sex appeal to your daily water intake, you are much more likely to drink it down. Start by choosing a pretty vessel. Fill it up with fresh, filtered water. Slice up some citrus fruit (I used grapefruit that was too sour to eat and some lemon) and toss it in the water. Or, instead of citrus, try thin, cucumber slices. Go ahead and splash a few ice cubes into the mix so that the outside of the pitcher gets a little slick with perspiration.-KP 

Add on notes:

I use 1/2 lemon, add ice to a 24 ounce mason jar, and add water to the top.

I save the second half for a refreshing “Lemon Spritzer” (see #6) later in the day.

When I pour freshly squeezed lemon juice over ice, I get the same feeling one might get when popping the top of their pop can and fizz leaks out, Ahhh…. or maybe the same feeling of the champagne cork popping?  Ok..maybe not THAT good..

*Tip..use a straw to keep the acidic lemon off your teeth. (Remember, it is acidic until digested, then it turns alkaline)
Use glass straws. They are strong, durable, and GORGEOUS.

Tip: Drink your warm lemon water in coffee cups that has coffee or tea stains. The lemon water will help remove them.

Tip: Grind the used lemon rinds in your garbage disposal to help deodorize it.

Ok, I’ll close with a few questions:

1. What do you think of drinking lemon water, have you tried it?

2. Have you heard of the importance of pH levels in the body?  

3. If you drink lemon water first thing in the morning, how is it going for you?

So if a little lemon water can help I say do it!!! A.P.

Enjoy and give your liver a hug!

Now what says YOU?

-QC SuperMom