Banned Words

She always goes first!  

She never takes turns!

My fourth grader is currently using the curriculum Institute for Excellence in Writing.  In one of the early lessons, the students were given a list of banned words.  Words such as good, bad, like, and said were banned from their papers.  The students were given a list of alternative words to use to make their writing more interesting to the reader.  For instance, using words such as  state, assert, claim, and announce rather than using say and said.

It has certainly helped to advance her writing ability.

My girls don’t fight often, but when they do it escalates quickly.  This week has been one of those weeks.  I was reminded (during an argument between the girls) of a rule that we have in our home that fits the “banned words” category.  When they want to “report” on each other  (tattle) they often say, “She NEVER or she ALWAYS.”

At the beginning of this year, I banned those words.  I have to remind them every now and then but they understand that using those words isn’t accurate.  There are very few instances in which someone ALWAYS or NEVER does something.  It just isn’t a true statement.  It is an unfair assessment.

Banning those words has actually caused the girls to pause before making an accusation against someone.

As an adult, I know that I often need to stop and think before I speak.  Hopefully I can instill this in them in the early years!

What about you?

Other than the obvious inappropriate words, are there words that you don’t allow in your home?


What’s Cookin’?

I’m that person who looks at what others are buying in the grocery store.  I love to check out the conveyor belt and try to figure out what’s on the menu.  Is that weird?

I think this is mostly because I get tired of cooking the same.things.every.week.  Your shopping cart may have just the culinary inspiration that I need.

I’m putting my menu plans for the week out here so that if you lack inspiration, or if there is a dish that you have forgotten about, maybe you will get an idea.

Monday  – We have Bible Study Fellowship so we always needs a quick meal.

Taco Night

ground beef, shredded cheese, instant pot refried beans, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream


Breakfast Night

stone ground grits (in our CSA box last week), scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and smoothies


Mississippi Roast in the crockpot, rolls in the bread machine


Instant Pot Ribs (amazing), vegetables that come in our CSA box this week


Grilled Pork chops, parmesan asparagus, mashed potatoes




Birthday Lunch Out


Breakfast is usually either muffins ( I use Krusteaz classic mix from Sam’s and rotate between strawberry, chocolate, and blueberry add ins), cereal, or smoothies.

Lunches consists of sandwiches and chips,  toothpick lunches (the girls’ name for their favorite lunch-things that can be eaten with a toothpick such as banana slices, crackers, sliced cheese sticks, and diced fruit), or simple pizzas from pita breads, shredded mozzarella, and sauce.


I hope that maybe you’ve found an idea or two that you’d like to try or had forgotten.  If you have a second, tell me in the comments what you’re cookin’ at your house.



Quality Foods with Azure Standard

I feel a little like superwoman when I am feeding my kids nutritious food.  I fall short many, many days and throw fish sticks and bagel bites into the oven.  However, I really enjoy searching out ways to provide quality foods for my family.

One of the ways that I am able to do this is through our local CSA.  I’ve written about it before if you aren’t familiar and would like to know more about what a CSA is.  It is a real blessing to both our family and our local farmers.


For the past three years, my favorite way to get quality ingredients is through Azure Standard.

What is Azure Standard

Azure Standard is a bulk buying co-op that focuses on organic, non-GMO, clean and sustainable products.  The products range from baby diapers to apples.  Once a month (or bi-monthly in some areas), a delivery is made locally and it feels a little like Christmas.  The site coordinator sends out an email detailing the pickup.  This is normally the same day and time every month so that you can plan accordingly.   Everyone meets and quickly helps to unload the items and then off you go to enjoy your amazing goodies!

If you’re not familiar and are interested, you can read more about their quality standards and policies here.

Chances are they have a delivery location (drop) near you!  If not, you can ask for details of starting your own drop site!  Your community will love you!   You will NOT be disappointed.  Promise!

Some of my favorite items:

Any produce in bulk  – we eat A LOT of fruit around here



Shredded Coconut

Rolled Oats  ( for this Uh-MAZING granola)

Thompson raisins (I add to granola above…yummm)

Frozen berries (for smoothies)

Xylitol Gum (girls love this)

I hope that you’ll check it out!  There are so many products available so be prepared to browse for a while!  My referral link is included in this post.

If you do try Azure Standard, let me know what products I need to add to my love list. 🙂