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Author: Carrie

Apple Monsters

Apple Monsters

Apple Monsters


Since we moved to Florida and Jayd is old enough for preschool we tried to find a local preschool here, but we did not want to pay money. We did not find one. They have a preschool through the state but it requires extensive paperwork and acceptance, just not in our time budget. I decided to “homeschool” or teach Jayd preschool. I never thought I would be doing this. I love to craft and I love to learn, but to actually teach her something… uuhhhmmm no. I don’t do well teaching my own kids.

I decided I needed to set aside some time to do this. My mornings worked between getting the girls off at 8am and we would go for a few hours.

We just started two days ago.


{apple face: a common practice in our family}

I can honestly say it is going to be a lot of fun and easier than I thought. It just takes time, planning, and preparation.

This is our simple schedule:

  1. we read books
  2. we learn a new word/write the new word/theme based
  3. we study our colors
  4. we use scissors to cut
  5. we do arts and crafts

Some things I want to include to make sure she is getting a well-rounded education is science and math (my two least favorite subjects) .

We focused on apples today.


The science part : Do apples sink or float??

I simply filled a bucket full of water and asked her does it sink or float. I also cut one apple in half so she could have two different apples to play with.


The outcome… they float!

Apples float because they are made up of water and because their overall density is less than that of water. Their density is less than water because 25 percent of an apple’s volume is air. (reference)

Today I simply had her do was give me her hypotheses.. sink or float?? Well… she just made it sink, or at least she tried! Ha Ha.



After that I just let her play in the water with the apples.. she eventually moved the water to the ground and started throwing the apples into the water. What a fun girl!


She played for a bit. It was fun to see her in her element. Of course we had to cut up an apple for snack while we were working.

Most of my girls will not eat the crust. I am lazy and cut it up, but not the peel. They won’t eat the peel. My husband usually is the one who eats those up… because he can’t seem to let things go to waste.


After our snack… we worked on more apple fun stuff. I made a Baked Apple Oatmeal. I made up my own recipe because I am on a different lifestyle change, but this recipe was pretty darn close. I really want to tweek it up a little better before it is perfect, but that’s okay, it was edible. I just love baked apples!


While this baby was cooking… Jayd did Apple Monsters!

  1. apples
  2. toothpicks
  3. marshmallows
  4. black marker for eyes


This apple was pretty much shot from our earlier throwing… so coloring it with a black marker didn’t bother me. I asked her to name her apple monster and she said its names is “Marshmallow”. so very creative.


The whole morning went well.

She learned parts of an apple.

  1. stem
  2. leaf
  3. seeds
  4. core
  5. flesh

She practiced her writing… the color red and apple. She used scissors to cut out apples that she had stamped. Earlier this week I purchased and downloaded this awesome pack from The Moffat Girls Blog. I just printed it off and know she can practice her numbers, letters, etc. I just downloaded the month of October for the fall harvest fun! The red paper is from an old school Playskool book called… Colors. I am not sure if you can buy them anymore. This was given to me as a gift from a teacher who passed it on.


We had fun learning about apples and creating our Apple Monsters!

I just hope that I can keep up with her and her excitement for learning.

Any tips or information or blogs with great ideas… would be helpful!

Wish me luck!

Pumpkin Patches and Parks

Pumpkin Patches and Parks

Pumpkin Patches and Parks…

We drove to our nearest pumpkin patch. It was across town at a local church. We explored the patch. We picked a few great pumpkins.

BUT… why do they have to cost so much?? I know farming is a dying breed. I know purchasing those pumpkins helps the local church. However, I do know that after the season is over they throw all of them away! Why not lower your cost and sale more pumpkins? We would have bought more if they were a little bit less expensive. YES… I can afford to buy them. BUT… that is not the point.  I just can’t seem to pay $50 dollars for a pumpkin. Do you pay that much?


We were excited to learn that these pumpkins were from Arizona.. our home state! She couldn’t tell us exactly where they were grown, but she did say Arizona. Coming from Arizona… there are quite a few pumpkin patches all over, but it continues to still be a problem… WHY DO THEY COST SO MUCH??


I was excited to find this beautiful, big pumpkin. Isn’t she gorgeous??

It would have been the perfect Jack O’ Lantern.


We took our annual pumpkin patch family photo and went on our way.




My  husband has the funniest sense of humor. I found this pumpkin guy very attractive!

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Then onto the park we went. Since we are new to the area… we are exploring. This is Wickham Park. It is 391 acre park. It is amazing! It has archery, horseshoes, trails, camping, disc golf course, and so much more.


This park might change my mind about parks… but why I hate parks you ask?

This picture describes it perfectly.


The kids sit by us. They don’t go and play.  Until we force them too.

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She was funny…. I said to her, “Just let me know when you get tired, and I will stop pushing you. She replied back, I don’t feel like I will ever get tired of this.”

Then 5 minutes later they were back at our side… so I turned into a family photo shoot!

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These were a few of my favorite pictures from the night….


This Man! I love him so much!

I also love Rainbows! Florida has them almost every day! I am in heaven!


and the green state… coming from Arizona it is so wonderful to see such greenery!



Well… I might hate pumpkin patches and parks but I do love my man and my girls!


I did make my husband go back to the pumpkin patch and splurge on a few pumpkins. He hated it, but the pumpkins were just too gorgeous to pass up!

May your pumpkins and parks be full of love not hate!


The Wild Life

The Wild Life

The Wild Life. I feel like we are living the wild life! 


Robinson Crusoe.

A novel by Daniel Defoe written in 1719. It is almost 300 years old. It is a classic novel.

Guess what?? I have never read it. 

It is about a man sailing from England and is shipwrecked with three animals. It is his story of adaptation of island life with no other humans around. He cultivates food, shelter, and his spirit. He learns to live a simple life. He learns about God. He learns to survive. Survival on this island is exactly what happened. I really cannot wait to read this book.


Yesterday we went as family to the local movie theater to see the Movie… The Wild Life. This is a movie about a man who is shipwrecked onto an island in the middle of nowhere. It is given through the eyes of the animals living on the island. A Macaw. A Tapir. A Goat. A Chameleon. A Bird. A Armadillo. A HedgeHog. A Bird. They are living happily on the island except Mac ( the main character) is not happy and knows there is life out there and wants to leave the island.

He then encounters Robinson Crusoe.

They become friends.


My Review…

The rest of the movie was really was dull and unimaginative. The plot was not engaging. It seemed to just drag on. At the end of the movie when we walked out, we were thankful it was over. I was sad that they couldn’t have made it more exciting. You know… they should have had a shark in the movie. Sharks make movies so much better!!!





This morning I did a simple art project with Jayd. We traced out her arm onto construction paper in a tree form an using her cubby cute little fingers to cut out the shape and we glued it onto her paper… then she drew a tree house  with watercolors and how to get up into the most imaginary places for children of all… the secret hideout.. aka the tree house.  I think this was a great project for her after seeing the movie. Even though the movie was uneventful…the tree house was probably the best part of the movie! Robinson creates a home amongst the trees.

In the movie, the treehouse does get destroyed. This picture will be hanging in our art gallery for the week.


Her art project included a rainbow, a sun, a staircase, a tire swing, and a ladder. It was pretty darn cute! I love how her mind is exploring, creating, and doing new things.

I also found this adorable font for Robinson Crusoe. It is found here.  I easily downloaded onto my phone in less than 1 minute. I love how that works!!




Enjoy your evening!

10 Things You Must Know about Guanacaste Costa Rica

10 Things You Must Know about Guanacaste Costa Rica


Guanacaste is a province of Costa Rica. It is located in the northern part of Costa Rica. The capital of Guanacaste is Liberia. The province covers around 3000 square miles. It has many national parks, beaches, and volcanos. It truly is beautiful!! My family and I were blessed to stay a month in Costa Rica. (These opinions are all mine and they come from the month that we stayed there.)


  1. You must carry your passport and drivers license with you. We rented a car from the month we were in Costa Rica and this was truly the way to go for us. The bus system is in place, but it takes a long time, and you never know if it is going to show up. There are bus stops all over and we never actually rode one, but they aren’t that reliable. There are many rental car companies all over, but when we first arrived we had to have a “shuttle” company take us from the airport to our home, because they were not up and running when our plane arrived. Most of the rental companies are located outside of the Liberia Airport. So be prepared to drive a bit to get a car. When we returned our car, they shuttled us back to the airport. Also… we picked up our car right near our house. We rented a small compact car, but if you really want to experience Costa Rica I would suggest a 4×4 reliable go anywhere type vehicle. Some spots our little car could just not go. From the moment you arrive, and pick up your car, you must carry your passport and drivers license with you. It is their law. We had no problems and only got stopped once on the road. We simply showed them to them and we were on our way.IMG_9901
  2. The price of food is extremely high. We were somewhat prepared as we have traveled to other places during the summer, but this was quite a shock to us. They do have Auto Mercado’s (supermarkets) in some areas but we have come to find that they all have about the same pricing, even the “locals” shop there. We luckily had a house that had a kitchen that was fully equipped so we just cooked simple meals at home. We did not buy the “american brands” and that seem to save us a little money. We found a local bread store on the corner of Huacas… and it saved us tons of money. We would buy baguette’s, cinnamon bread, sweet rolls, donuts, etc. The girls and husband were happy! And the price was extremely cheap!


3. The roads are almost always bad roads.  We found driving in Costa Rica was great, however the estimated time that they tell you it takes to get somewhere… it actually takes that long. At first when we landed and they said that our house was an hour away, we couldn’t believe it, but it was true. The roads were winding, small, full of pot holes, and not well maintained. People are walking all over them and they don’t necessarily move for you. There are animals in the road wandering, and people are driving cattle across the roads all the time. Some of the roads according to google are not really roads. We had to turn around a few times, because we couldn’t drive up them.



AND… they have no signs. We got lost several times. This was our sign on one road…no joke! I am so glad that my husband has a great sense of direction. He followed google maps pretty darn close and we got to really know some of the roads really well.


However the scenery is gorgeous and sometimes that helped the long drives!!

4. The beaches are simply amazing, however they are not quite pristine.  We are a beach family. We love the beach. When we were planning our trip I thought we would be seeing some pristine beaches. Now… don’t get me wrong they were gorgeous… just gorgeous! However, they are not top ten material (in my book.) The beaches were really fun and had great waves. One beach, Playa Conchal, their most gorgeous beach is full of seashells and it has some great sand, but the other beaches have volcanic sand. They even have black sand. If you want to see some turquoise water and fine sand, you might want to pick another place to go, BUT…. the beaches are truly worth exploring, and if you LOVE to surf… these are the beaches for you!  They are magical!


The beaches that we hit up were:

  1. Playa Grande (where our house was and by the end of the month ended up being our favorite)
  2. Playa Tamarindo (great surfing beach)
  3. Playa Flamingo (great family beach)
  4. Playa Potrero
  5. Playa Brasilito
  6. Playa Danta
  7. Playa Dantita ( it takes a good hike to get to this secluded beach)
  8. Playa Avellanas (another great surfing beach)
  9. Playa Mansita
  10. Playa Matapalo
  11. Playa Hermosa
  12. Playa Panama ( this seemed more like a lake to me-great for kayaking, paddle boarding etc)
  13. Playa Manzanillo ( we actually never made it too this beach)
  14. Playa del Coco ( not a great beach- but great for diving)
  15. Playa Samara ( lots of waves, rip tides )
  16. Playa Ventanas ( continuation of Playa Grande)
  17. Playa Carbon (we actually never made it to this beach)
  18. Playa Conchal

These were a little south and we stopped by them, but did  not spend the day.

  1. Playa Guiones
  2. Playa Pelada
  3. Playa Nosara
  4. Playa Azul
  5. Playa Junquillal
  6. Playa Negra

The best kept secret beaches you must go to… Playa Bahia De Los Pirates… aka Pirate Beach! And… Playa Mina! We did spend several times at Pirate Beach. We did not spend a whole lot of time at Playa Mina… but I sure wish we had. The most gorgeous ever!

As you can see you are not in lack of beach time!

5. The people (Ticos) are extremely nice.   The name of the locals are called Tico’s for males, and Tica’s for females. However, I found it very interesting… there are a lot of tourists in Costa Rica, and some families. Also… a lot of the people who worked the excursions were from Nicaragua. There weren’t a whole lot of people where we stayed.  And for some reason… I have no pictures of the people. I did come across some great instagram accounts that I loved to follow and got some great information from….

  1. discovercostarica
  2. thisiscostarica
  3. discovertamarindo   IMG_9741
  4. guanacaste_traveler
  5. costaricaexperts
  6. andreafellman ( she lived in Costa Rica for the last 3 years, however she just moved to Spain)
  7. mytanfeet

You find some people on Instagram and you follow them and they will lead you to some amazing sites. Most of them are locals and most of them are extremely nice. They are welcoming and very polite to you…. and their instagram accounts are ahhhmazing! It is also great to know that there are many many American Families moving to Costa Rica. You will have a wide variety of people who you will come in contact with!

6. There are lots and lots of bugs, insects, lizards, creeping crawling geckos, ants, crabs, scorpions, and mosquitos!  You will need bug spray and lots of it! Some days we couldn’t even go outside because the mosquitos were really bad. In our travels we saw spiders, geckos, scorpions, ants, crabs, hermit crabs, and many others. If you are afraid of bugs… this is not the place to go!



But despite being creepy crawly… we did go on lizards hunts! The girls loved looking for them! They didn’t every seem to mind us finding them.


We also loved to go on crab hunts!! When we would drive home from our day activity we would let the girls get out of their seat belts and stand up and count the crabs on the road scurrying away. We ended up smashing some… cannot get around that one. One night we even sang the crabs go marching two-x-two hurrah!!



This is my favorite picture… mom could you get the mosquito off of me?? Yes.. they are annoying. One sign (which I somehow did not get a picture of) said… Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitos?? We thought this was very funny!



7. There are “soda” shops all over, pizzeria restaurants in every town, and “pinchos” on all beaches. There is a wide variety of many restaurants. You must hit up the local “soda shops”. This is not like here in America, they are small restaurants all along the roads. They serve a variety of foods. Some of them serve the casado’s…. which is a Costa Rican dish with beans, rice, salad and some piece of either chicken, fish, shrimp, beef, or steak.  The girls were happy to have pizza though. Pinchos are basically like a kabob. It is just chicken or pork grilled on a stick served with some corn tortillas! They season them just right. They are perfect for the beach! Another great local dish is called ceviche. It is basically fish mixed in with some limes and veggies. It was delicious!




My favorites were the mango shrimp tacos!


Come to think of it… we ate pretty good!

8. The jungles are green and full of life (depends on where you stay.)  However, we only saw a few monkeys, no sloths, and no toucans. You may even run into crocodiles in the estuaries, lucky I never saw one!! But… don’t go near the estuaries… the crocodiles are real and they will eat you! Just as the guy who got his leg amputated.

The birds were unreal. If you are a bird watcher and lover… this is the place!





I did not get any real cool pictures of monkeys… we rarely saw them. These are from our zipline tour… they gave us a few photos!  We did not see any toucans either, but it really depends where you stay I guess.

We did see many wonderful birds! There was a bird book at our casa that we studied. There are sooooo many birds!


And butterflies!


9. The sunsets are world-famous! I am not going to lie… my favorite part of Costa Rica were there sunsets! They were  beautiful! The way that the sky was painted each night with different colors, shapes, figures,clouds, etc were fun to wait for and I was excited to have the evenings show off their skies!










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10. You can use  american dollars, visa, mastercard, etc… but it was better  to exchange our money into colon’s.  The exchange rate for the dollar is 500- 550 colon’s for one dollar! This article from Two Weeks in Costa Rica is a great reference!! We used our credit card for most purchases… but had colon’s on hand for the little things. Please let your credit card company know that you are in Costa Rica.


We LOVED our time in Costa Rica! We will miss it dearly! This information is clearly all my opinions, but take it from me… if you go… you will fall in love!

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And because I am biased to Playa Grande… head that way! You will not be disappointed! 

Chunky Apple Molasses Muffins

Chunky Apple Molasses Muffins

Chunky Apple Molasses Muffins. I just like the name of the these muffins. They are chunky.  In my  experience, they are full of sweet apple goodness. They bring the smell of the kitchen to your heart. 


Today I needed to bake. I haven’t baked in a over a month.  As most of you know we are moving to Florida to start our “cruising” lifestyle. We are excited! Beyond excited.  As I was getting things ready to sale today… I came across my cookbook cabinet. This has many cook books that I have collected over the last five years. It really breaks my heart in having to get rid of them. I love to cook and bake. I love to find new recipes and try them out. I collect cook books. Well… I pulled them out of that cupboard and put in the for sale pile. My only wish is that someone who loves to cook as much as me… will buy them all!

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