Woodhaven Place

Your Neighborhood Farm

Author: Bethany Wright (page 1 of 4)

An Open and Honest Letter From a Therapy Mama: 15 Things I Wish I Had Known

Find yourself shuttling your kids to therapy -- physical, speech, occupational, vision, and more? Though the road can be lonely, you aren't alone.

Dear Fellow Therapy Mama,

I just wanted to let you know that I see you.

I see you transporting your amazing kiddo back and forth to their therapy faithfully. I see you there, tired, exhausted, worn out, beat up, and pressed in from all sides. I see you sagging your shoulders, trying to figure out how to fit it all in. You are not alone.

You’re doing an AMAZING job raising your kid and getting them to their therapy sessions.

And you know what? This is hard. This life of raising an amazing kid with extra needs is HARD. But because we love our kids fiercely, enduring this crazy is worth it.

15 Things I Wish I Had Known

As I reflect back where the last few years have taken us (especially the last 10 months), I wanted to record some of the truths/nuggets of wisdom I wish a fellow mom had shared with me at the beginning of our journey. Granted, many of these principles one really may not fully grasp until fully in the trenches. But in years from now, I want to be reflect back and remember where we’ve come from. Continue reading

Review Games: Make Drilling Facts FUN! (+ Free Downloads)

Who says learning needs to be boring? Use these easy and versatile ideas to make reviewing facts FUN. Plus, get free downloads of our best review games!

Sometimes you just need some fun to spice up the mundane parts of life. Whether you’re practicing math facts, memorizing notes on the scale, or reviewing the periodic table — games can bring a whole extra element of fun.

My son has been receiving speech therapy for awhile and our speech therapist has been a MASTER of doing “review games” — taking a fun toy, game, activity and using it as a tool to review. She has taught me how you really can use ANYTHING to make a fun game. Continue reading

RECIPE: Maple Mustard Instant Pot Chicken (Paleo + Freezer Meal!)

Looking for a sweet and savory dish? This Maple Mustard Chicken is a snap to make in the Instant Pot. Save even more time by turning it into a freezer meal!

Every kitchen needs some secret powerhouse combinations — but few are as pleasing as the combination of maple syrup and mustard. No, I’m not talking about that cheap imitation stuff. I mean real maple syrup. The combination of sweet and savory is just wonderful.

So it was only natural that I began to experiment with this combination in my kitchen. I also added some fresh herbs, because the Instant Pot has a way of preserving the natural aromatic oil and quality of herbs unlike baking/stovetop cooking. (If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, don’t worry. You can still use dried herbs. But for full flavor, I definitely recommend fresh! You can freeze your extra fresh herbs, too.)

Overwhelmed by all the talk about Instant Pot accessories? Our comprehensive list tells you what you really need AND how to use them.

Instant Pot Accessories and How To Use Them

Begin by combining all the liquids together (I use a single measuring cup to save on dishes): mustard, maple syrup, water, broth.

Next, add your chicken to the IP. Even if you’re a dedicated boneless skinless breast fan, I highly recommend you give boneless thighs a try, too. Not only are they more budget friendly, but the Instant Pot turns them into fork tender awesomeness.

Lastly, add in your fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.

Then sit back and relax while the Instant Pot does its magic!

Making Maple Mustard Chicken into a Freezer Meal

As I sit here writing, I’m recovering from some intense surgery — which means I’m not able to do any meal prep. Because of our dietary restriction and Celiac disease, our options for eating out are very, very few. Which makes me super thankful that I can make Instant Pot meals up in advance and freeze them.

Turn this dinner into an Instant Pot Freezer Meal. No need to thaw before cooking — cook straight from frozen! Get step-by-step instructions here.

How To Make Instant Pot Freezer Meals

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Check out all our Instant Pot Recipes!

Don’t miss our popular Instant Pot Tip posts:

How to Unbox the Instant Pot in 10 Easy Steps

Instant Pot Accessories and How To Use Them

How To Make Instant Pot Freezer Meals

How to Travel with the Instant Pot

Looking for a sweet and savory dish? This Maple Mustard Chicken is a snap to make in the Instant Pot. Save even more time by turning it into a freezer meal!

RECIPE: Lemon Herb Instant Pot Chicken (Paleo + Freezer Meal)

Featuring the rich undertones of lemon and fresh herbs, this flavorful and super easy Paleo meal is ready in minutes thanks to the Instant Pot.

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love lemon. I love the flavor… the smell…the citrusy zest…

So it was only natural that I began playing around with the lemons and fresh herbs. I already knew from my whole chicken recipe that the IP turned lemons and fresh herbs into deliciousness. So it naturally followed to experiment with boneless meat as well. Continue reading

Car Schooling: 29 Tips To Survive School On The Road

When I first began dreaming of homeschooling, I had this luxurious idea of my kids and I huddled around a sunlit table, pouring over books and performing perfect little experiments together while the birds chirped outside and the flowers outside garden window smiled at me.

Do you SEE that sunshine? Ah, now I look back at this photo and just LAUGH. I thought I had it all together back then.

You see, the seasons of life have a way of changing.

Not long after receiving our Celiac disease diagnoses (yes, plural), my kids began receiving Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Physical Therapy every week. We spent at least 6 hours a week shuttling back and forth for these [medically necessary]  events. And this didn’t include doctor visits, grocery shopping, library trips, playdates, or homeschool co-ops.

AH! I thought I was going crazy!

I quickly learned the value of Car Schooling — that is, taking homeschooling on the road.

Continue reading

RECIPE: Paleo Asian Herb Instant Pot Chicken (Freezer Meal)

Need an easy-but-healthy meal? This Asian Herb Chicken recipe is the delicious answer you're looking for. Plus, turn this Paleo recipe into a freezer meal!

No thanks to our Celiac disease, getting tasty Asian food that won’t kill us is rather difficult. Traditionally prepared soy sauce contains wheat/gluten and the gums and starches to thicken restaurant sauces make our bellies grumble. The high sodium content and MSG makes us feel awful.

Oh — but how I STILL miss eating at the little Peking Garden at the end of my street…

Out of desperation inspiration, I began fooling around in the kitchen to make my own speedy version to rival take-out. It needed to be flavorful, economical (I use chicken thighs), easy to assemble, and QUICK to cook! Continue reading

Top 10 Easy Instant Pot Recipes To Make First

New to the Instant Pot? Here are the top 10 EASY recipes to get you started cooking (and exploring your Instant Pot features) in NO TIME.

If you’ve just received your first Instant Pot, welcome to this amazing new way of cooking!

Unfamiliar with the Instant Pot? It’s an electric programmable pressure cooker that cooks food quickly without compromising food quality or integrity. It can:

It can also serve as a yogurt maker and rice makerAAAAAAAAND you can make up freezer meals and cook them STRAIGHT from frozen — no thawing!

Not sure where to start first? Check out our list of top 10 easiest IP meals.

Continue reading

RECIPE: Easy Mess-Free Instant Pot Oatmeal (with Rolled Oats)

Easy Mess-Free Instant Pot Oatmeal (with rolled oats)

I don’t know about you, but oatmeal is one of those weird breakfast foods. It’s yummy, filling, and easy to customize — but if you’re not careful to clean the pot right away, you’re left with some very very sticky glue/cement to scrape off.

My family recently discovered our love of oats, particularly after we found a brand of celiac-safe certified gluten free oats we could eat — and afford! I can’t recommend the gluten free rolled oats from Trader Joe’s enough! Continue reading

Marble Money: How Our Family Handles Allowance and Chores

Marble Money: How We Handle Chores

It’s been a challenge for our family to implement any sort of chore system over the years. Part of the problem is that the systems I have tried rely heavily upon me for successful implementation.

  • I’ve tried chore charts (kid sees card, completes card, flips it over when done).
  • I’ve tried bribery (“Hey, I’ll give you 25 cents for XYZ”).
  • I’ve tried just assigning tasks willy-nilly and saying you’re-part-of-the-family-so-do-it.

While each have worked, it really required ME being mindful and constantly remembering that this system needed to be used. I didn’t like that. In a word? I needed my kids to have OWNERSHIP.  Continue reading

Handwriting Without Tears (Review + Budget Friendly Ideas)

Curriculum Review: Handwriting Without Tears

Handwriting Without Tears is – hands down – my favorite handwriting curriculum for little people. It’s a manuscript-style (as opposed to cursive) program that specializes in reducing all pen strokes to two basic shapes: straight lines and curves. I find this reductionist approach simplifies handwriting for little learners and makes it approachable.

If you want to read more about the HWT philosophy – which really is extremely well thought out and quite excellent – see their website. I love that the program is simple, easy to understand, approachable, consistent, affordable, and FUN. Continue reading

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