June 18, 2014

Best of the Web - a guest post by Gina Fensterer

I've never done a "best of the web" post before, but when Bonnie was looking for guest posts and suggested it as a post option, I thought, "how fun! I can use things from Pinterest and my time-wasting moments to fill a blog! I don't have to think too hard!" which is perfect for me right now. I can't think much this week, after hours in the orthopedic office to get a cast on my Little Man, keeping up with our homeschool schedule so we can still have our summer break when planned, getting through graduation with my hubs...I've missed an appointment because my brain has been so filled with other things. Not thinking too hard about a post is ideal. Yes, I know. I stooped and lowered the bar for myself, because thinking too hard is overrated.

I think this will be a pretty good selection, though. Lots of fun, lots of yum, lots of other good stuff. Basically, the things my mind thinks about for .17 seconds before another shiny thing comes along for me to think about. It's Best of the Web from my wandering mind.

Shall we get to the list?

1. A Summer Reading List for Tweens


(note, these in my photo are just books we've read and loved, not that any are on the list. And some aren't even for tweens...but hey, that tween started with Dr. Suess, right?)

Over at my blog, Someday (hopefully) They'll Be Saints, I like to talk about books we're reading. But if you know me at all or read my bio, you'll know that I'd rather do almost anything than sit and read a book (though, I admit, that is slowly changing as I get into really good books). My 9 year old daughter reads like it's going out of style, and since I wasn't a big reader as a kid (don't get me wrong, I'm literate, just didn't read for fun), I don't know what to suggest to her, nor do I have the time to preview all kinds of current books and authors before she reads them. I would have to read 24/7 and hire a cook, house cleaner, and send all the children to school in order to keep ahead of my girl. That's why I love lists of good books for tweens.

2. Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

I love recipes, and I really love when they come recommended by a talented home cook. When someone I know who is an awesome cook tells me they found a good recipe, I jump at the chance to try it. This new-to-me pasta dish is Ah-MA-zing. Must try, for sure! And please do enjoy it with a nice red wine, it was even better that way. By the way, my kids also thought this was fabulous.

3. #Selfie, Steampunk, Catfish: See This Year's New Dictionary Words

Like any homeschool mom, I looooooove random bits of teaching material, especially when it is surprisingly amusing as well as educational. When a friend posted a link to a list of new words being added to the dictionary, I was sure it w0uld be a great break from our typical language lesson. The TIME article did not disappoint. My girls and I each learned new words and new meanings of old words, and had fun talking about them. It also proved a good opportunity to remind them how careful we need to be when using the internet, as we learned what a new use of "catfish" is, as well as talked about social networking. Go check it out for yourself!

4. "But I'm Bored"

"Mommmmmmmmmm, I'm bored." --Words I dread, how about you? I usually run through a list of things with my kids when I hear the "b"-word, like "is your room clean? read a book? draw a picture? tell me a story? tell your brother a story? write a letter to someone?" etc. And they always say NO. I think they either want to play the game system (not happening everyday, thankyouverymuch It's a beautiful day go LIVE outside), or want me to plan something for them. Um, hello, I plan SO much for them already (ok, ok, ok, it's technically school, but we also do really fun things like hiking and frozen yogurt) that I am TIRED of being the planner. Besides, being bored and then figuring out how to get out of boredom is good for kids. It inspires creativity and all that goodness. Julie from Brave Writer has a great blog about boredom. Go forth and read it so you're prepared with the dreaded "b"-word is spoken the next time at your house.

5. A Great DIY for Watering "Can" for Gardeners

I neeeeeeed to get my act together and actually *do* this one, ASAP. My basement is housing a gallon jug as I type, so maybe I should get off my tush and make it happen. Having this will make watering the plants on the front porch so much easier, and give the kids more control over where they water. *spoiler* It is a simple trick of poking holes in a jug lid, filling jug with water, cap, and pour.

6. Mystie has been blogging a wonderful, thought-provoking, and encouraging series on homemaking. I especially love this one, because she talks about transforming our homes, and bringing order out of chaos.

We all need a little kick in the pants to keep house, don't we? I know I do, even though I love having a neat house (it's never immaculate, so don't get the wrong idea about what my house looks like!). It's just that it can feel like a drag to have to dust, again. To have to scrub toilets, again. To have to sweep for the 7th time--in 2 days. And yet, it's fulfilling and oddly energizing (to me at least) to get tasks done around the house and look around to see a tidy space in place of the mess that was there before.

7. How about a little good music?

I am a sucker for talented a capella musicians.

8. And finally, free stuff from Brave Girls Club.

I am printing some of the collage sheets for art journaling this summer. If you haven't checked Brave Girls Club before, do. I love the little inspirational quotes they post on FB, and the art classes sound SO fun. In fact, I signed up for the summer class deal, and can't wait to dive in and get creative with my girlies.

I've had fun posting as a guest for Bonnie! Come see me Someday (hopefully) They'll Be Saints, where I blog about life as mom of 5, home schooling, and all the random bits that make up our corner of the world.

Gina likes to ponder life's tough issues, such as "what do feed the hungry children for the 7th time today?" and "should I get up before 6am--ever--so I have 5 minutes of quiet before the boys are awake?" She is the mother of 5, wife of 1 great guy, daughter of some swell parents, and happily Catholic. Her faith gives direction and purpose to her otherwise chaotic days as a home schooling mother and Air Force wife. Her hobbies include photography, pretending to be able to quilt, hunting down lost socks, cooking, blogging, and sometimes--very rarely--running. Life is grand. 

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