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Tips for Family Hiking

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We bought a camper last year, and have been doing more hiking at home, and away. We were going to a beautiful park with a fabulous hiking trail, but my kids just weren’t into it. So, we took them to another park, with a lake and bridges and hiked a trail. Again, lovely. But both girls complained they were tired, and bored. How can they be bored? The trails we took them to were interesting, serene and relaxing. We discovered it’s the serene and relaxing which bores them – – they want excitement. They want to climb on big boulders, jump over creeks, and scale the sides of mountains. Who knew a harder hike is what they were after. My friend Scott, who is an avid hiker, did tell me that kids need a reward for all that hiking – – like a waterfall or some kind of ta-da! He was right.

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Canning Yellow Summer Squash

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When my kids don’t like a vegetable, I don’t give up. I make it several different ways, and sometimes even wait a couple years before re-introduction. I’m my kids’ nutritionist, and I’m putting the effort in now to set them up for a lifetime of enjoying a variety of healthy foods. It’s true everyone won’t like everything, but I gotta try, right? Giving up can lead to picky eaters, which is no fun for anyone. This past year was my victory in regards to summer squash. Neither of my kids liked it before, but they finally like it, after years of re-introduction. It’s worth it, especially because sometimes I can get a 20 pound box for $5 like I did this past weekend.

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Spring is the busiest time of year for me. Yearly homeschool testing, church musical, church lock-in, ordering ribbons for swim team, and the list goes on. I just signed up to be director for our Classical Conversations (CC) group as well, so I’ve spent a portion of the last two afternoons making preparations for our group. Today, was the craziest day I’ve had in a long time, and because we ate junk while camping last weekend, I’m trying to keep it healthy around here.

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When I make pork barbecue, I go big. I always slow roast a 4 to 8 pound pork butt. You can absolutely can the leftover meat, but I haven’t tried yet. I freeze leftovers in portions for other meals. I needed something quick and easy last night, so I pulled out some frozen pork barbecue, popped open a jar of home canned black beans , and thawed out farmers market corn from last summer. These quesadillas are delicious, kid-friendly, and a great way to use leftovers.

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Canning Pineapple Chunks

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I love Aldi. In fact, I haven’t been to the farmers market in almost 2 months because I’m getting such good deals at Aldi. It’s been awhile since pineapples have been 99 cents each, so I had to stock up. I dehydrated four pineapples, made 5 pints of crushed pineapple, and canned several quarts of pineapple chunks. I actually have 4 more to dehydrate – – I put them in the fridge to slow ripening until I returned from a camping trip.

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