Books, homeschool, Uncategorized

My Top 10 Favorite Middle-Grade Clean Fiction Books!

Hey!! Welcome back to my blog on the Clean Fiction Blog Tour!

This week I am going to share my top 10 recommendations for Clean Fiction!

The Category: Middle – Grade Fantasy & Sci-Fi with a dash of steampunk!

I love Middle-Grade Books! I love that they are usually clean, humorous, and light-hearted! I love that you can use words that would be silly in an older-age book like Splendification or Fantasticalness! I love that characters can be larger than life or speak with ridiculous speech patterns. I love that I can read them to my kid (Ages 8,9,11,&14) and not be bored!

Here is my 1-liner description of each of my faves!

Starting with the most recent I have read:

1. The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness! – Andrew Peterson

Three kids named Janner, Tink, and Leeli get into more trouble than you could shake a toothy cow at!

2.Keeper of the Lost Cities Series – Shannon Messenger

A girl named Sophie isn’t exactly human or Elf, but she has to save both races and finish elven highschool.

3.The Green Ember – S.D. Smith

Two Rabbits with swords, Pickett and Heather, are the key to bring peace back to the wood if they don’t get eaten by hawks or wolves first.

4.The Phantom Tollbooth – Norton Juster

A boy named Milo drives his toy car through a Phantom toll booth and the rest is what happens when you mix Alice in Wonderland with a Thesaurus!

5.The Secret World of Og – Pierre Burton

Five Children follow their brother under their playfort into a land with little green people who only say “Og” and I’ll write the rest in their Language so Og og og og-og OG Og og og -og-og-og…OG!

6.The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making Series – Cathryn M. Valente

Have you ever wanted to leave our world behind and spend some time with a Wyvern that is part library while not having a clue what was going on and trying to remember the advice the wind told you?

7.Airborn Series-Kenneth Oppel

An Alt-history where a Boy named Matt and a Girl named Kate have WAY too many discoveries and mischief aboard an air balloon!!

8.Leviathan Series- Scott Westerfeld

Also an Alt-history with an Airship, but this one is about a girl disguised as a boy and is set in WW1 where the Germans have steam-powered mechs and the Brits have bizarre genetic-engineered mechs like an airship that is part whale!

9.The Chronicles of Narnia- you should have already read this!!

A Lion, A Witch, and a Wardrobe walk into a book.

10. Charlie Thorne & The Last Equation – Stewart Gibbs

If you are already as smart and sarcastic as Charlie, then you don’t need this book to tell you how to stop baddies from getting Einstein’s formula called Pandora and saving the world.

March 1st    Story Quest Academy – Why Clean Fiction Is Important + Top 10 Clean Indie Books

March 2nd    Ellie Naomi – Why I Write and Love Clean Fiction + Hannah Anderson Mysteries

March 3rd    Julie C. Gilbert – Many Flavors of Kid-Friendly Clean Reads

March 4th    Jasmine Natasha – Author Interview with Laurie Lucking

March 5th    Liz Delton – The Alchemyst’s Mirror

March 6th    Mark Hansen – Why We Love Fantasy

March 7th    Ian Vroon – Ayphae • A World Beyond Your Imagination

March 8th    Story Quest Academy – Author Interview: Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown

March 9th    Nicholas Kotar – Two Excellent Pirate Books Set in Gorgeous Fantasy Worlds

March 10th    J.M. Hackman – Spark: Firestarting & Neurodiversity

March 11th    Mark Hansen – Excerpt from A Tale Of Heroes

March 12th    Courtenay Kasper – Why I Write Clean Fiction + West & Windy Book

March 13th    Debbie Schreffler – Excerpt from A Farmer’s Wife: A Biblical Retelling of Ruth

March 14th    Story Quest Academy – Author Interview: Mollie E. Reeder

March 15th    Steven Guglich – Why I Write Clean Fiction

March 16th    Laurie Lucking – A Story Snippet from Traitor!

March 17th    Julie Gilbert – Clean Fiction Audiobooks

March 18th    Meg Dendler – Middle Grade and YA Clean Fiction

March 19th    Nicholas Kotar

March 20th   Courtenay Kasper – Clean Fiction Books I Love

March 21st    Story Quest Academy – Author Interview with Jasmine Natasha

March 22nd   Molly Casperson

March 23rd    D.J. Edwardson – The Last Motley

March 24th    Marty C Lee – YA fantasy with dragons, princesses, or magic

March 25th    Molly Casperson

March 26th    Mark Hansen

March 28th    Story Quest Academy – Interview with Heather Love Fitzgerald

March 29th    Debbie Schreffler – Clean Fiction Books I Love

March 30th    Nicholas Kotar

March 31st    Molly Casperson

Books, homeschool

Why I write Clean Fiction!

Why I write Clean Fiction!?

Hey! Welcome to today’s stop on the Clean Fiction Blog Tour!

I have been writing stories for as long as I can remember and won my first writing contest when I was 8. It was for a tall tale about what happened to all the books at the library. I literally made up the most ridiculous things I could think of and won! The coolest part was that I got to have lunch with an author, and it was super inspiring! I didn’t even like his book, but I realized I wanted to tell stories. If people could love the ridiculous, I had found myself a career!

I write clean fiction because that’s what I want to read. I have a difficult time picking books. I love speculative fiction from middle earth to the most epic steampunk dirigible! I like the idea of YA books, but have such a brutal time finding ones that aren’t so dark and creepy or full of romance that goes waaaay beyond what I am comfortable with. I typically read middle-grade books because they are less likely to have that, but even in younger books, there can be some pretty evil stuff!

I have 4 kiddos from 8-14 and I want them to enjoy the most incredibly imaginative worlds without worrying that they are being stained with things that don’t belong there. Romance and horror are genres that many enjoy, but I don’t.

So, I write fantastical adventures that are fun and clean so you can read them to very small children, but adults still enjoy them.

I thought I’d tell you about one today and save another for next week when y’all are stopping back here for another blog tour day! Yay!

The first full-length book I wrote is called West & Windy! I did a challenge called NANOWRIMO where you a write 50, 000-word novel in November! And I finished!

Meet West & Windy:

Fox siblings West and Windy are on the run from Bruin King Rancid who will stop at nothing to capture them and strong-arm them out of their kingdom. With the help of their rabbit aunt Dandelion and her heliox-balloon airship, they must learn to work together to rescue the true King and Queen. With an unforgettable crew of insane critters, monkey pirates, and ninja bats, this Steampunk adventure is perfect for fans of Narnia, Redwall, and The Green Ember! Hold your breath! You’re in for a wild ride!

Don’t miss out on the other awesome Blog Stops on this clean fiction tour!!

March 1st Story Quest Academy

March 2nd Ellie Naomi

March 3rd Julie Gilbert

March 4th Jasmine Natasha

March 5th Liz Delton

March 6th Mark Hansen

March 7th Ian Vroon

March 8th Story Quest Academy

March 9th Nicholas Kotar

March 10th J.M. Hackman

March 11th Mark Hansen

March 12th Courtenay Kasper

March 13th Debbie Schreffler

March 14th Story Quest Academy

March 15th Steven Guglich

March 16th Laurie Lucking

March 17th Julie Gilbert

March 18th Meg Dendler

March 19th Nicholas Kotar

March 20th Courtenay Kasper

March 21st Story Quest Academy

March 22nd Molly Casperson

March 23rd D.J. Edwardson

March 24th Marty C Lee

March 25th Molly Casperson

March 26th Mark Hansen

March 28th Story Quest Academy

March 29th Debbie Schreffler

March 30th Nicholas Kotar

March 31st Molly Casperson

homeschool, special needs, Uncategorized

BIG FAT LIST of Sensory Bin Fillers

We love sensory bins!! They are so much fun and so good for helping with a sensory diet. When our oldest was little she wouldn’t touch anything icky or crunchy or rough. She poked a finger at her 1st Birthday Cake and sobbed. It was just too icky for her. That was the beginning of our journey into figuring out all things Sensory!

One of our favourites was sensory bins. We bought some deeper trays at the dollar store and filled them with utensils and rice or magnet letters and that was our start! From there we experimented with all sorts of things. We started with dry things and moved to sticky icky things until the main things weren’t so tough to deal with!

I put together a HUGE list of Sensory Bin Fillers for you! I included our top 2 Bins as well as some tips and even a recipe for edible playdough!

Download this Freebie Here!!

If you haven’t already, snap up Last weeks Free Printable Sight Word Game – Water Words!
Includes Pre-K to Grade 3 Dolch sight words, but written in a font that is specifically designed for use with kiddos who have dyslexia!

Get Water Words!

homeschool, Uncategorized

Free Printable Sight Word Game!

I love making printables! I live in the middle of nowhere, so everything has to be ordered or planned for in a long drive to the Big City! lol. So I like making printables for our homeschool so we can get started right away!

This week I made a Printable game for Sight words. You will need something to use as a fishing rod and line, a magnet that you can tie or attach to the line, and paperclips! A laminator is handy too, but not required.

The cool thing about this game is that you have all the Dolch Sight Reading words for PreK-Grade 3, BUT they are done in a font that is specifically designed for kiddos with Dyslexia! Win-Win!

Printing Instruction included in the PDF.

If you like Free Printables, maybe you will like our Free Homeschool Scheduling Made Easy Guide

homeschool, Uncategorized

Free Printable Christmas Boardgame!

Introducing Jinglebelloretto!

The Kids helped me change a popular board game – Zooloretto into a Christmas themed Game! They drew concept art, gave ideas and helped print and laminate our copies.

We want to share that with you! Free! All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter and you are good to go!

Animals, homeschool, Uncategorized

Charlie and the Winter wonderland!

Charlie is loving the snow! That’s awesome because the chickens hate it! This was his first time walking out of the yard and to our favourite valley! He was thrilled to romp around all over the field.

We love it when it snows enough to go sledding. I thought Charlie would either be afraid of the kids on their sleds or try and chase them. I didn’t expect him to steal a sled and head down the hill by himself!

He was so sweet. Talk about sled dog in training! I definitely hope that wasn’t accidental and that he decides he loves sledding too.

All of my puppies slept when we got back. Running up and down that hill is exhausting.

Can’t wait to go back!

Sometimes your beloved pets get owies. It wasn’t even something I had thought of when getting first aid supplies! The animals might need first aid too! Get my FREE Doggy First Aid Kit Checklist

homeschool, Uncategorized

Building Mohenjo Daro Buildings

Step one, turn air dry clay into bricks. This will be WAY more tedious than you envisioned and you will think you have made poor life choices in your choice to do a hands on history program…

You will begin to find out which of your mi ions is a perfectionist, which a slacker, and which is a goofy Gus who would rather be doing anything but making bricks. You will also discover which kid things making bricks makes them an Egyptian slave…drama queens!

Next you wait a week while your minions ask 18 times a day when we are using the bricks. You will repeat the same “whenever I decide to” also 18 times a day. This is part of the process.

It’s a good idea to have them prebuild the buildings so they realize you aren’t kidding when you say you can’t make it 10×10.

They soon realize they should have listened to me and made all the bricks I was suggesting… once again natural consequences are like a ping pong ball to the throat!

Once again you realize you love the end of the project and should keep making things, but you are secretly glad you are out of air drying clay and aren’t planning to purchase any more in the next couple weeks. Mama needs a break!

Essential Oils, homeschool, Uncategorized

Recipe: Quick Body Oil

We did a unit study for homeschool on Egypt and one of the topics was embalming mummys. It suggested we make an infused oil, so of course we decide to make something more useful (we don’t do much for embalming these days, lol) Little Man always needs lots of “Loash” as he calls it. He cracks me up. So, we made the most basic body oil

Get a jar and fill it with Solid Coconut oil – Melt it in a sink of hot water in the jar (not adding the water – to clarify this)

Then add in 10-20 drops of whichever oil you like

Little man chose Lavender, Black Spruce and Lemon

Cupcake chose only Lavender

Miss Comedian chose Lavender, Black Spruce, Orange and Lemon – This one was my favourite.

You can use this for daily moisturizing and even as lip balm! It takes less than 10 minutes to put it together so it’s a fun one to make with kids even!

homeschool, recipes, Uncategorized

How to make instant Ningxia oatmeal with kid help

We started the day with 3 boxes of apples and still have most of them left!

First on the list was apple crisp for hubs. Tall girl wanted to help with that one. We usually use the Betty Crocker Apple Crisp Recipe but triple the topping!

Next came Apple Chips. Miss Comedian wanted to help with that one. Our secret is to open a can of pineapple rings and put those in the dehydrator and use the juice to dip the apple slices in! It makes them so yummy without using sugar and the minions don’t love lemon juice on them. Can’t wait for my pineapple rings! Yum!

Then Miss Cupcake wanted to make apple sauce! She used the corer and then quartered the apples before throwing them in the crockpot with skin on. We will use the food mill later to make apple sauce and a little cider. We add Cinnamon after too!

Lastly, Little Man has been begging to make his own instant oatmeal packages so we finally got those done.

Excellent way to get a reluctant writer to do some printing!

Recipe 1: Banana

1/2 Cup instant Oats

1/2 TBSP Brown Sugar( use whatever you like here)

1/2 tsp Hemp Hearts

1 tablespoonish of chopped banana chips

Recipe 2: Banana Apricot- this was the same as the first but we added chopped apricots too

Recipe 3: Cinnamon Sugar- this was the same as the original but without the fruit. We added 1/8tsp of cinnamon. I’ll have to get some maple sugar for next time because my favourite is Maple brown sugar.

Recipe 4: Ningxia Berry!! Again we used the same base recipe, but swapped the Banana for Ningxia Berries. Added 1/8 tsp of cinnamon too! They smell so yummy.

I doubt they last long!

homeschool, Uncategorized

You can paint with kids and not hate it

Today we focuses on art projects and the activities from our history and science book.

First we painted a model solar system for our space unit. halfway through Little Man says “ Dad! They named a planet after your chicken Uranus!” Lol. So he doesn’t know the order of that naming.

Then we worked on Cuneiform and hieroglyphics scrolls. These took forever. The kids each wrote out a message and then translated it into whichever language they liked and then put it on the scroll. Note: If given the choice of language to write in, go with cuneiform. It’s WAY easier.

The funniest moment of our day came when Miss Comedian saw a truck out the window and said “Dump trucks are just ice cream trucks that have had a rough life!” That kid cracks me up.

Oh, and the secret to painting with kids and not hating it is to put down placemats and do all the painting in one day! Git R Done!