Fernwood from A Child's Viewpoint

I spoke last week about how changing my perspective on our things that are cluttering our home is helping me to keep things tidier around here.  You can read more about that here.  

Well apparently I'm on some kind of "rose colored glasses" or "the eye of the beholder" kick because I am really trying to look at things from others' perspectives.  Neat how God works on your heart and it kind of takes over all aspects of your life, right?  

Anyway, we went to Fernwood (are you surprised? My kids BEG to go there) with my Mother-in-Law.  Anyway, I should have taken my phone for pictures but it was dead.  Dead, doorknob territory, dead.  And my camera battery had crawled in the same cemetary plot with the phone and they both were dead. 

I should have been really mad and frustrated with myself because that's what I do, but I wasn't.  I sought out the genius of it all and came up with having the kids take their point and shoots that their Grandma gave them for Christmas.  They LOVE taking pictures so it was fun to have them taking pictures around Fernwood of what they see and what they think is neat.  

So without further adieu here is a view of Fernwood and our day from about 48 inches up...

A Kids Eye View of Fernwood at Super Busy at Home

You've got to always love goofy looking selfies, right?  

Oh geesh, kids these days and their selfies.  

Kids Eye View at Super Busy at Home

Kids Eye View at Super Busy at Home

One of the reasons I love seeing kid pictures is because they see things from a perspective that is so ofter overlooked.  For example, this plant you walk under when you leave the main building.  I don't think I've ever paid much attention to it but it was a focal point for Emma.  Kids are pretty fascinating, aren't they? 

Kids Eye View at Super Busy at Home

I think with the kids being city kids they would be content just looking in the wetlands section to find bugs or frogs and then leaving.  Seriously, I cannot be the only mom whose kids love to spend time in this part can I?  

Kids Eye View at Super Busy at Home

Sisters are the only ones who catch their brothers being "eaten" by elephants, right?  So silly! 

Kids Eye View at Super Busy at Home

I have to tell you that my goofy, fashion plate of a daughter got down in a photographer pose and started clicking her point-and-shoot away saying "this piece is really speaking to me".  She cracks me up.  Love her and this photo! 

Kids Eye View at Super Busy at Home

I'll end you with this piece because it kind of spoke to me on a mothering level.  

Emma took this when we went on the river trail and then were headed back towards the nature center.  At least what we hoped was towards that way.  No one ever said I would win any awards when it came to following a map.  

I thought the little waterfalls were neat but in her tween way she seemed like "how lame mom" so we moved on.  But this photo of one of the mini waterfalls tells me that she was listening and watching too.  And she thought it was neat too.  

Ha!  So I guess the point is that even if they act like they're too cool for school and they don't want to be out in nature, they really do and they are seeing and noticing and getting it.  Everything works out the way it's supposed to, right? 

I hope you enjoyed this little perspective (ha! get it because she's short!?) of fernwood.  It's so fun seeing things from your kiddos angle and viewpoints.  

And if you are looking for a Christmas gift for a kiddos might I suggest a Fernwood Membership?  Or maybe a camera?  Or maybe both!  

Menu Planning Meets Monthly Shopping

If you've read my blog for any length of time I am sure that you have heard me prattle on and on about how we work on a monthly grocery shopping system.  I love it.  LOVE it!  We've done this for years now but now that God has blessed us with a deep freezer I am loving it even more.  

The gist of it is that we live in a city surrounded by Amish land so once a month we drive around to smaller country shops run by cute amish families and stock up on groceries...some are salvage stores, some are local butcher shops, some are dented can type places.  There I can fill my fridge and freezer with some real beauties of bargains!  Seriously, we pray before (as) we go...that God will bless us with what we need.  That God will provide for us (and our budget!) through these trips.  And he always does.  But buying in bulk sometimes eludes me from meal planning.  I generally find myself buying general types of ingredients and then later on trying to piece together what I have to make meals.  It seems to work super, fabulously well the first part of the month but leaves me with large gaps of missing ingredients for recipes the last part of the month.  


The farthest away place we go takes about 45 minutes on the interstate, so it does take some time and gas, but if you are getting a lot like we do then it is definitely worth the trip.  Here are some of my all time favorite finds: 

5 pounds of Starbucks whole bean coffee for $14.97

King Arthur Organic Whole Wheat flour, 5 pounds, for $1.99

Fage case of 12 blueberry yogurts for $1.99

32 ounces of Chobani vanilla yogurt for $0.50 

And the list goes on and on!  

Well anyway, I love my bargains but my problem has been the difference that falls between shopping at these places and my meal plans.  For example, I've made a menu plan with something like clam chowder, but when I get to my said bargain stores, I can't find any of the ingredients I need.  So then I buy some of the ingredients, get home and discover though that I don't have


of the ingredients...so I am forced to shop our local grocery store where I pay two to three times more than I should on ingredients, thus cutting into my savings.  

So this week, rather than be daring and inventive with my meal planning, I decided to stick with meals containing ingredients I already have on hand or what I know, know, know is at our discount stores.  This way I will be able to plan good food ahead of time so I can be on top of my menus and save lots of money.  

To get ideas for meals I asked my dear friends on facebook, am perusing pinterest, and am going through the stack of magazines I have on hand.  I am going through to plan what I am going to serve for the entire month...breakfast, lunch, and dinner for every day of the month.  With only 28 days in February I figure this is a good month to start my new system :)  

Wish me luck as I tackle menu planning.  And I'd love to know if any of you have any pointers for planning meals or maybe some of you have some amazing recipes to share :)  

Look for my next post as I list what I am planning on making :)