Menu Plan Monday 8/29/11

Aug 30, 2011

Sunday, we made a family outing to the orchard and a farm stand and came home with lots of fresh produce. Needless to say, this week's menu will be making use of peaches, tomatoes, corn, peppers, squash, green beans, and eggplant (I haven't had much experience with this one).

  • Eggs & toast
  • French toast
  • Egg sauce over toast
  • Oatmeal
  • Breakfast burritos (eggs, turkey sausage, cheese)
  • Tuna salad on toast
  • Bean & cheese quesadillas
  • Grilled turkey & cheese sandwiches
  • Pasta salad
  • Baked potatoes & beans

JM Cremp's Labor Day Sale

This is our family's new favorite store! Not only do they have awesome toys and gear for boys, but they are a  homeschooling family with five boys. We haven't ordered yet, but the boys have spent lots of time clicking through the website and flipping through the summer catalog. IB's 8th birthday is coming up in a few weeks, so I dropped a hint to my mom about JM Cremp's and she bought him a gift certificate. This sale is perfectly timed for us! IB has been adding items to his wishlist for a couple of months, making it easier for me to narrow down what to get him. 

Here are a few things on IB's wish list:

I have my own wishlist going, of course, that includes most of the G.A. Henty audiobooks. If you have sons, you will definitely be able to find some boy-pleasing gifts at JM Cremp's. Their Labor Day Sale is a great opportunity to get started with Christmas shopping. Just use the code LABOR10 by September 5, 2011 to get $10 off of a $50 or more purchase. You can also get free shipping on orders of $99 or more with the code FREESHIP.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate with JM Cremp's and will receive a small percentage of any purchases made through the above links. ~ Upcoming Review

Aug 24, 2011

What a coincidence! A few weeks ago, while searching for online educational games for my boys, I ran across IB and I tried the free HangMouse game a few times and bookmarked it for later use. Today, I received an email offering me a premium membership so that I can provide a candid, personal, online review. Of course, I accepted. :) helps students study word lists using 25 different learning activities such as Vocabulary TestWord UnScramble and Word Search.  Parents can create their own spelling lists, find published lists already available on the site or use any of the dozens of  free teaching resources such as compound words and math academic vocabulary.  Be sure to come back in three weeks to read about my experience.

There might be more free memberships available for bloggers.  If you're interested, find out how you can review

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins {Dairy-Free}

Aug 19, 2011

It doesn't matter what season it is for me to make these moist, delicious pumpkin flavored muffins dotted with semi-sweet chocolate. This recipe makes 24 large muffins or 72 mini muffins. Yes, it makes a lot, but that's so you're not left to figure out what to do with the other half a can of pumpkin. I don't ever have any leftover after a few days, but you can freeze these for later.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

4 large eggs
1/2 c coconut oil, melted (or canola oil)
1 c unsweetened applesauce
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 1/4 c organic sugar or Sucanat
3 c whole wheat pastry flour (may sub. part/all unbleached)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 to 2 c regular or mini semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (depending on your chocolate needs; I use less of dk.chips)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix first five ingredients in large bowl. In separate bowl, mix next five dry ingredients; add to wet ingredients, stirring just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Use ice cream scoop to fill paper-lined or greased regular muffin tins. Bake for about 16 minutes until firm and golden and knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Watch carefully so you don't overbake, as the bottoms are quick to burn. Cool on wire rack.

For mini muffins: Mini chocolate chips work best. Use cooking spray or paper liners in mini muffin tins and bake for about 12 minutes.

Tip: If you find yourself out of baking soda, like I did, you can substitute 2 tsp baking powder for each 1 tsp baking soda and omit salt.

Recommend: I love If You Care Unbleached Baking Cups! My muffins and cupcakes always come right out of the paper without sticking. They can even be reused for the next batch.

Linked to Pumpkin Addicts Anonymous, Totally Tasty Tuesday

To Love and Protect ~ Giveaway winner!

Aug 15, 2011

Well, it seems that I'm just not cut out to be one of those bloggers that has hundreds of people wanting whatever I'm giving away...but I did manage to get a few people interested. And the winner is... 

The 7th comment belongs to Anonymous (aclillpop). 


aclillpop has won a Parking Pal of her choice, a Car Seat ID Kit, a Child ID Kit, and a set of Safe Shoes Child ID labels.

Thanks to all of you who entered!

To Love and Protect ~ Grand Opening & Giveaway

Aug 5, 2011

Contest has ended! Thanks!
Do over! I moved the contest over from my other blog due to lack of traffic and entries.
Helping you keep your promise

The time has finally come for the grand opening of my new business, To Love and Protect! We all want to do everything we can to protect our children. I have gathered some of the best child safety and identification products available and put them in one place for you. You can read more about it HERE. Now, on to the contest...

*Leave a comment for each entry, including your email address so I can contact you if you win. You must claim your prize within 48 hours or I'll pick another winner.
  • Mandatory: Follow Raising Knights via Google Friend Connect and visit To Love and Protect to pick out which product you would like to win. Let me know what you choose in your comment. (1 entry)
Extra entries:
  • "Like" Raising Knights on Facebook. (1 entry)
  • "Like" To Love and Protect on Facebook. (1 entry)
  • Post about this giveaway on your blog. Include the link in your comment. (3 entries)
There you have it...SIX ways to enter my giveaway! If you don't want to wait until the contest is over to get these fantastic products or you have more than one child and need more than you'll win, go to To Love and Protect to order.

Contest will end Sunday, August 14, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be chosen by using

Wordless Wednesday #17 - Water Attraction

Aug 2, 2011

I had just gotten LJ out of the tub and took him to get dressed. Apparently, someone didn't close the bathroom door all the way and M2 must have smelled water. The boy absolutely loves water! Review

When I first heard about online family management programs, I was skeptical about them. Why would I put my family's important, personal information online? Would it really be safe? What good would it be to me?  Why would I pay someone for this service when I can keep the information filed safely at home? Of course, when I was asked to review AboutOne, I accepted immediately. This would give me the opportunity to get my questions answered.

AboutOne was founded in 2008 by Joanne Lang, a mom of four young boys and former SAP executive. She created a cloud service that combines "the power of business computing tools with the fun, user-friendly nature of popular social media apps." AboutOne enables you to access important information and documents from anywhere as long as you have a web-enabled device. Not only does it save information, like each family member's personal information, health history, education, and possessions, but it uses that information to create family newsletters and many different types of reports. But that's not all. AboutOne has partnered with several companies to provide extra services such as printing a baby book and sending cards to people in your address book also.

First of all, let me say, that the graphics and icons are adorable. They are fun and give the site personality. After creating my new account, I found that it was very easy to get started. If you don't know where to begin or need more guidance, they point you in the right direction with alerts. Of course, the obvious place to start is to add personal information about yourself and your family members. After that, it's up to you.

I started with health histories for all of us. There are fields for conditions/allergies, medications, immunizations, appointments, documents, and doctors. When you add a doctor (or other professional contact), you then only need to choose them from a list for each of your other family members. The only complaint I had was that you can not do the same for the insurance information. So, I had to type the name and numbers in seven times.

Next, I began adding information to the education area. Although we homeschool, I can see this as being a useful application. You can scan and upload report cards, transcripts, awards, testing results, and pictures. It is categorized by school years so you can have each child's entire school career recorded. There is a place to enter awards, volunteer hours, and activities also. That information can be added to your monthly family newsletter or printed out and added to your paper files. The volunteer hours recording is great for high schoolers. If you are mobile homeschoolers, then this may be especially helpful.

Once you have your family members entered, you can move on to your family possessions, like your home, cars, etc. Since we purchased our home last year, we have made many improvements. Now, I can compile a Home Record that puts all of that information and any maintenance we do in one place and print out a report if we need it. I also need to do that for our old house, which we now rent out, if I can find all of the receipts... AboutOne is proving itself to be useful already. 

While I was adding information in other sections, my professional contacts were being added to the address book. Then I went there and added family and friends, using labels to create groups of people. For example, family, Christmas card, etc. By using labels, I would be able to pull up contacts for a specific group to export  or to use the "Send Card" feature. How's that for simplifying your life?

While there are several more things you can do with your AboutOne account, I'll let you discover them when you sign up for a free trial. Now, I can honestly say that my questions have been answered. Although, the initial data entry stage will take a little while, it will be beneficial to have all of this important information available in the same place and retrievable from anywhere I happen to be. After reading over AboutOne's privacy policy, I feel confident that our information is secure. One important thing to know is that you do not enter social security numbers or any other account numbers, other than the credit card you pay with. Speaking of payment, unlimited storage is only $30 per year. If you want to try it out before you commit, you can use the free trial for 17 days. Any 17 days you want. They only count the days you actually log in.

Regarding the question about why I would pay someone for this service...well, let's just say that I'm an organized person {at least, on the inside}, but with homeschooling five rowdy boys, I find it difficult to stay on top of the paper pile. Just yesterday, I was looking through stacks of mail that had been pushed aside, trying to find our new credit cards that had been sent a few months ago. I eventually found them and an escrow refund check for over $500 from April! Perhaps I need to open every envelope, even if it appears to just be another privacy statement or policy change.

Disclaimer: I was given a free one-year subscription to AboutOne in exchange for my honest review of their service. 

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