Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Celebrating Advent

I've been wanting to share what we are doing for the Advent Season. I really like Advent because it takes you through the Bible and shows you how God wove His Story! Amazing!
We are using Adorenaments from Family Life Today. We love this set and I'm sad that it is out of print. Each ornament highlights a name of Jesus and the CD has a song particularly about that attribute.

We are also doing Ann Voskamp's A Jesus Advent Celebration. At the end of November, I printed all the ornaments, backed them with card stock paper and threaded a ribbon through the top. Each day, at lunchtime, I read to the kids and they take turns putting the ornament on the tree. It has been very good. (And it was free when I signed up!)

The last thing we are doing is reading the book called, Looking Forward to the Nativity: a family Christmas devotional by Jon Farrar. It's a great little way to end the day and much of it overlaps nicely with Voskamp's ebook.

With the lights on the tree and our focus on Him daily, we are joyfully anticipating His birthday!

Monday, December 13, 2010

the gift that will keep giving

I just purchased my Christmas gift!! A Scotch Thermal Laminator is on its way to my house! And folks, it may not make it under the tree. Right now, only today, this laminator is only $16.99. Huge deal, and I'm so thankful that my hunny said to go ahead and get it. Yippee!!

Thanks to Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations and 1+1+1=1 for the great tip this morning! And thanks to my friend, E. for sharing her Amazon Prime so that I got the shipping free.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Links

T working on his letter recognition paper

I wanted to share some links that I've been using for PreK/K during this Christmas season. These ladies are so talented and I love it that they share so many resources freely.
1+1+1=1 Christmas Fun

Homeschool Creations:
Gingerbread Baby Lapbook
Nativity Preschool Pack

Confessions of a Homeschooler
Preschool Christmas Activities

Here's one I found, but haven't used yet:
2 Teaching Mommies--Nativity

What fun things have you been doing this December??

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pirate Resources

As I said yesterday, my son is loving studying about pirates! He has been asking to do school...gotta love that!

Here's my list of resources:
First my favorite--Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations has a very cute--I mean--hearty lapbook for free. I used her book list and found several of the books at the library. Unfortunately I didn't find "On a Pirate Ship", however the other books are serving us well.

Print Activities.com has a nice list of piratey coloring pages.

We are going to listen to some Patch the Pirate.

Homeschoolshare.com has a pirate lapbook with other resources listed.

I'm thinking of having a Pirate Party--just for fun! We'll have cheese and crackers and chicken (legs, of course!) And I'm going to make a treasure map for him to follow to find the "buried treasure". We'll end the evening by watching Veggie Tales, "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything."

I'll be sure to post pictures (as long as our camera doesn't go on the fritz again.)
See you later, matey!

Note: image from thepickards.co.uk

Monday, November 22, 2010

Piratey Post

My youngest child is a boy, 5 years old. After having two girls, raising him has been different. (I realize I'm stating the obvious!) Anyway, I'm getting ready to study pirates with him...yeah, I never studied pirates with his sisters! :)

Tonight I read him a pirate book while he colored a pirate picture. Then while I was cleaning up the kitchen, he climbed into my bed to finish his coloring. I came in the room and said (mustering up my best piratey voice), "Shiver me timbers, who is in my bed?" And without missing a beat, he said, "It's the pirate from the Seven Seas!"

Soon I'll share the resources I've found and my ideas for a pirate themed supper! Now I've got to finish swabbing the deck.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Week of Letter H

This week we have worked on the letter "H/h".

Here are some of the resources we've used:
First School Letter H printables
Kids Zone Beginning Consonant Sound worksheet H

Here are pictures from some extra activities we did. T is working on matching upper case and lower case letters along with matching the picture with what letter it starts with. He is doing very well. I made activity from the free printable from Confessions of a Homeschooler printables. It is called the A-Z Beginning Sounds Game.

Here is A. (she comes to our house for child care/preschool two days a week. She completed the preschool activity "Shades of Color" from Walking by the Way's preschool activity bag ideas.

Some activities we did for the letter H:
Trace hand prints, cut out and make turkeys for Thanksgiving
Hopping around the living room (for a long time to make them tired!)

I had them hop on left foot, then right foot, then both feet all while saying "H" and the sound /h/ makes.

I'd intended to let them paint their hand prints, but the week got away from us.

We are so thankful for a good week! Head over to Homeschool Creations for more great preschool/kindergarten ideas!

preschool corner

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Q & A for the Giveaway

These questions are on SarahLynn's blog for the GIVEAWAY. Have you entered yet? I sure hope so. Well, here's my answers and in the midst of reading them, you may just learn a little bit about me. :)

1. What are your first four favorite colors? green, blue, brown and orange
2. If you could go anywhere where would you go? does back to bed count??
3. iPod or mp3? I don't have either...maybe you could give one of those away next year!
4. Cake or ice cream? BOTH
5. Gum or chocolate?Chocolate
6. Write or read? Read
7. Simple or epic? both
8. If you could be anyone for a day who would it be? some days I feel like a circus leader...
9. Do you like blogs with pics or just words? both
10. Coffee or hot chocolate? hot chocolate
11. Fruits or vegetables? fruit
12. Books or magazines? books, although I like some magazines too
13. Favorite book? I don't have a favorite.
14. Favorite song? (or at least one of your favorite cd’s or something) Fernando Ortega's Hymns and Meditations CD
15. Do you like animals? yes
16. Are you casual or a total fashion freak? casual!
17. Cars or airplanes? cars
18. Video games or movies? movies
19. Are you quiet or a talker? I can be either to fit the need or occasion
20. Singer dancer or both? obviously you've never seen me dance! ha! I do like to sing, though.

A Blog GiveAway

I really enjoy reading these two blogs: samarah's sayings and just hangin' out by SarahLynn. I know both of these girls in 'real' life and they are VERY special to me!

Check out their blogs before November 29th in order to enter a terrific giveaway. They have teamed up together (how cute is that??). I'm entering and hoping to be a WINNER!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Trip to Amusement Park

Back in August some friends of ours gave us passes to a local amusement park. We'd never taken the kids before and especially the younger ones were excited to go. Here are some pictures from our day. T loved the bumper cars! Just as I thought, T loved it and Bethany enjoyed most of it...one of the bigger roller coasters I talked her into going on was a disaster. She was so afraid and I felt terrible! Overall, though we had a fun day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lots of blog ideas...

I have so many blogging ideas running through my head and so little time to actually write them down! I suppose I'll have to be content with a catch-up list for now...
  • thanks to the generosity of a friend, we were able purchase an upgraded computer. Our friend built it and sold it to us for a VERY reasonable price. It runs faster and better...except
  • the first week we had it, a new virus attacked it. ;( Thankfully, after our friend returned from vacation, he fixed it!
  • While preparing for my first ever overseas short term ministry trip, I have been busy getting shots, folding and stuffing prayer letters, and making lists of the necessary items. Added to that, I'm gathering the items for my part of the trip and praying for those I will be working with and for myself.
  • Both of my sweet girls need some extent of vision therapy to correct problems with their eyes. This will entail 1 hr. 15 min. drives to a nearby city every two weeks for progress checks. We are thankful for God's direction in helping improve their ability to see and do their school work with more accuracy, and less frustration and fatigue.
  • Our annual Kids Craft Sale with our homeschool group is fast approaching (second Thursday in December.) My main little crafter, Bethany, and I need to get a move on! In a future post, I'll reveal what we are doing this year. :)
  • My goal (and hopefully not too lofty) is to write several posts, with pictures included, of the batches of preschool/kindergarten fun we have been having here! Our camera was not downloading to the computer for a LONG time. We've managed to fix that and now I have lots of pictures to post. :)
  • In our Jr/Sr High girls Literature Club we recently read The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. Amazing story and I'm thankful that a friend let me borrow several other Corrie books...Amazing Love, Each New Day, My Father's House and Prison Letters.
  • The above family picture was lovingly taken by our friend, Erin at Lasting Snapshots. She is talented, funny and efficient!
I have been challenged and encouraged by reading Corrie ten Boom's books. So many quotes and nuggets to take away from her life. I'll end this post with such a quote:
"If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God you'll be at rest."

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Batch of Recipes

My niece asked me to give her some of my recipes for a bake sale she is doing. I thought I'd post them here as the holidays are coming and you might enjoy these too. All three of these recipes are tried and true! :) The first recipe came from an old church recipe book, the second two are from friends. I've made all these recipes lots of times.

Monster Cookies
6 eggs
1 pound brown sugar
2 c. white sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 pound butter (softened, NOT melted)
1 1/2 pound peanut butter
9 c. oatmeal (quick oats are fine)
1/2 pound chocolate chips
1/2 pound m&m's

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
In a LARGE bowl, mix eggs, then add sugars and vanilla. Add soda, butter and peanut butter until well mixed. Mix oats (you will have to switch to hand stirring as the oats will make it too stiff to mix with beaters.) Once the oats are mixed in, add chips and m&m's.
Drop by heaping teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, but do not overcook.

Makes 8-10 dozen cookies. These freeze well and taste oh, so, yummy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cream together:
2 cups butter flavored shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon water
2 teaspoon vanilla

In separate bowl, mix:
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda

Mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
Stir in 12 oz bag of chocolate chips and 1-2 cups of nuts (optional)

Bake for 8-10 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven.
Makes approximately 10 dozen cookies

Pumpkin Pie Squares

Mix together and press into 9x13 greased baking dish
1 box yellow cake mix--withhold 1 cup
1 egg
1/2 stick melted butter

Mix together; then pour over crust
1 16 oz can pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup evaporated milk
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash vanilla

Mix until crumbly; then sprinkle on top
1 cup cake mix
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter

Bake 45-50 minutes in 350 degree oven.
Note: I have a neat little rolling pin and that REALLY helps with rolling the crust out while in the bottom of the baking dish. If you don't have something like that, you'll have to work hard at getting the crust to spread out in the dish. Believe me, it's worth the effort! These are yummy!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Two Tidbits

Happy Monday Morning! Before my day gets too far underway I wanted to share two things: a book I'm reading and a handwriting website.
First the book: Humility: True Greatness by CJ Mahaney
I've read the book once straight through, now I'm going to read it again and take notes. I find I learn better and retain it better that way. So many good truths and practical suggestions in this relatively short book!
Here is a review of the book by a blogger that I do not know, but I thought the review was good.

Second the website: Meacham Handwriting I have been teaching my 5 yo (plus the 3 and 4 year olds that I babysit) how to write the letters of the alphabet. We've also been working on the sounds the letters make and overall have been having FUN doing it. I saw an idea for "gel tracing" on my FAVORITE homeschool blog E.V.E.R. and googled "gel tracing" to see if I could make my own gel packs. The Meacham Handwriting site came up and I liked the ideas right away. So, I'm off to try to make my own gel pack using hair gel, food coloring and a zip-lock baggie.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hello Again, long lost friend

I really want to be consistent about updating my blog. Going back and reading past entries is something I enjoy and I can't read past entries if I'm not writing any. However, in my attempt to balance my {life} computer time, homeschooling time, house work time, hunny time, family time, etc., blogging gets dropped off the bottom of the list.

With so many things to share, I thought I'd update in bullet points:
  • A sweet homeschooling sister in Christ is now in Heaven after a two year battle with cancer. Visiting her and her endearing husband in the hospital was a privilege from God Himself. We picked up her parents, as they were here from another state and didn't know the area very well. They have been in the states for over 20 years, but don't speak English very well. God blessed our time with them. Singing hymns around my friend's bed, her mother singing in her native language, her father humming a harmony line, her husband singing yet another harmony line and me singing the melody--was nothing short of holy. I don't say that lightly, it was truly a time of worship I will never forget. Three hours later, she was face to face with her Savior. V, you are loved and you are missed; see you soon.
  • Our pastor is teaching on the armor of God (Ephesians 6) and I've been so challenged and encouraged. I've also been aware of how the enemy tries to trip me up and how God wants me to cling to Him wearing my armor.
  • In an attempt to help our oldest daughter with some health issues she's been having for the past 2 years, her and I are eating gluten free. Really, this is a whole other post, but for now let me tell you that even though all the symptoms are not gone, we both are feeling somewhat better.
  • My little guy declared that he is done with school; it's just not for him. Hmm, he's got a long way to go before he's really done. I've had many 'hair pulling out, head banging against the wall' days lately. I continue to persevere and pray with him and for him that he will submit to our authority (which really seems to be the underlying issue.)
  • I am preparing to go on a two week trip to Indonesia in January. {Insert a minute of "freak-out!"} I can't believe it's now only 3 months away and I have a LOT to do before then...not to mention my longest airline flight to date is 1 hour and 15 minutes. I'm nervously excited to see what God is going to do in and through my life because of this trip. And really it is a family adventure. We have all been studying the country of Indonesia--the people, the culture, etc. and we have been praying for the people, the conference I will helping with and for all the details.
  • Two weeks ago, I spoke with a dear friend (chat through Facebook.) It's been a long time since we've chatted other than just a comment here or there. What refreshment, what encouragement!
  • God continues to impress on my heart some heavy issues--a friend's marriage that is breaking apart, another friend separated from his wife, a friend who is struggling to grasp God's unconditional love and forgiveness for sins and of course, my children, our homeschooling days, etc.
  • I'm thankful for our God who hears and sees and Who is caring and loving. In our "morning work" this week, we sang "Deep and Wide" and I talked to the kids about God's love--His love is "deep and wide." Amazing.
So, V--I'm looking forward to the day when I can say "Hello" to you, L--thank you for the Facebook chat, and God--thank YOU for being sovereign over all of the bullet points of my life!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Love of Friends

A little over 30 years ago, my Dad and Step mom met a couple who introduced them to the Lord. I woke up thinking about them. I just "found" their son on facebook--I can't explain the feeling I had when we became Facebook friends! I've thought of them SO often over the years. They truly have never been far from my mind and heart. The husband, Tom has been with the Lord for years now. I remember his smile, his somewhat unruly beard, but most of all I remember his heart. He loved the Lord and I can still picture him bent over his Bible underlining Scripture that spoke to him. He and his wife had two kids--a girl and a boy. We had SO much fun playing with them when we were growing up. And they had a German Shepherd named Shadow.

I honestly don't know how my parents met them, but I'm so thankful God, in His sovereignty, saw fit to bring our two families together. I came to know the Lord because of this family sharing with my parents and then my parents taking us to church. I was 9 years old when I asked Jesus into my heart--and it was on Tom's daughter's birthday...July 6th.

As I've experienced friendships over the years, I realize that people enter your life, stay for the God allotted time, then leave, or stay (according to God's perfect plan). Even though I had lost touch with this family, they've remained dear to my heart. I'm eternally grateful for their friendship and influence on my parents and our family. I suppose we don't know what God is going to do with our efforts to love others like He does, except that whatever it is, it will be to His glory.

So, "R" Family--thanks for sharing Christ with us so many years ago. {I look forward to the day when either God calls me home or He returns and I get to hug the man God used to bring me to Himself.}

May I be faithful to love Christ and share Him with others He brings into my path.

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's time for SCHOOL!

preschool corner

This week was our first week of Kindergarten (for my youngest, T) and Preschool (for a 3 yo and 4 yo that I babysit.) Honestly the week didn't work out like I'd dreamed it would (you know, in my head it all works out GREAT!) I made the plans, cut out the shapes, bought the supplies and prayed for good days. The other thing I have to confess is that it was MY boy that made the worst trouble--whining, pouting, arguing. I felt like each task took 3 times as long because he wasn't going with the flow! I did not give up and the Lord indeed gave me strength. It's Friday and today was better!!

Our theme for this week was the sun.
Our color for this week was yellow.
Our shape for this week was a circle.
Our Bible story emphasis was Creation.

Here are some of the things we did: (and hopefully I can get the pictures to download from the camera and add them to this post)
I made suns, with Marissa's help, and I hung them from the ceiling with fishing line.
I bought small yellow plates and served their snacks on them.
Snacks included round ritz crackers with cheddar cheese, bananas, and lemon jello.
I took a lemon and cut it in half. I had the kids smell it and then taste the juice (I squeezed some juice onto individual spoons.) Then they used half of the lemon to dip in yellow paint and stamp onto a piece of paper.
They painted their own suns after tracing a circle onto their paper.
We went on a "yellow hunt" around the house.
Today they ran outside in the yellow sunshine and played! =)

Each morning we have also incorporated the calendar, the pledges, and other morning work. I've used Homeschool Creations ideas and once you go to her site you'll see that she links to other creative moms. Our morning work has been fun this week.

On the days when I don't have the extra babysitting kids, I'm doing more kindergarten work with Trenton. This week we read The Napping House and are working on this lapbook to go with it. T loves this book and enjoys hearing it over and over again. He is also doing Pathway Readers (he is on "Before We Read") and Math-U-See Primer.

Head over to Homeschool Creations to read more from Preschool Corner.

The older I am...the harder I fall

Goodness me...wait till you hear what I did! Just so you aren't speed reading to the end...nothing is broken and the story has a happy ending.

Bethany and I were walking across the long soccer fields from her practice back to her older sister's game. I was carrying two camp/sports chairs in their bags, an insulated bag with our water bottles and my purse (complete with book stashed for reading between quarters.) With the sun setting and blazing in my eyes, I squinted to try to catch a glimpse of my girl on the field. That's when it happened...along the bike path, a rather large hollowing out of dirt had occurred. My foot went in that hollow, ankle twisted, skin scraped off leg, hands tried to cushion my fall and yep, I'm sure it was a sight!

I've never been graceful. It's a fact and I've tried hard to accept it. Sure I try not to fall and make a spectacle of myself, but sometimes it's unavoidable!

Thankfully Bethany [aka "Nurse Nancy"] was there with me. She surveyed the damage to my leg and hands, told me to leave all the goods with her and hobble off to the bathroom. I washed myself up the best I could and emerged from the bathroom pining for the moment we could go home!

The next couple days my sweet hunny and kids have been compassionate and sensitive. Trenton asks about my leg and pulls up my pants leg to check out the "blooding!" He even brought me a pillow to prop my leg up on. Bethany apologized for not carrying more of the stuff and for not warning me about the hole. She insisted on carrying EVERYTHING for the rest of that evening. And the two of them had a conversation about being the "scout" looking for holes and not letting momma fall in them. :) Isn't that sweet??

My hunny cleaned my "wounds", applied antibacterial cream and gave me an ice pack to help with the inflammation. Marissa helped with more than her share of chores. All of this sweet, tender attention made falling worth it...well, almost. Astounding, really, at how sore I've been and I didn't even break anything or fall completely flat on my face (thank God!)

I'm so thankful for my family and I love how we take care of each other. A true gift from the Lord.

So that's my story...watch out for holes...and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

History, Art, Music, Oh MY!

I'm a little scatter-brained these days! (Those who know me might wonder if it's a more often than just 'these days!') Regardless, I've been working on getting school things printed, organized, labeled and ready for the year. In the process, I've come across some really neat websites and just had to stop the printer long enough (for my hunny to go get me more ink) AND to share the links with you!

My oldest daughter is going into 9th grade (how did that happen?? She was just a wee tot in my arms?) Yes, it does happen. This year she is working her way through Abeka's World History book. She started the book somewhere along the way last year after she began struggling through Mystery of History. (Not sure exactly why she was struggling, but she was; so it was time to try something else.) I started her in the book about where she left off in MoH. This year she is starting at the French Revolution. Basically she just works her way through the book, reading, taking notes, completing the chapter reviews, and taking the quizzes and tests. BUT, you know me, I can't just leave it like that....I have to throw in a couple lapbook pieces, notebooking pages and even a power point presentation that she is going to design herself.

Check out what I found for the French Revolution:
A squidoo lens on the French Revolution! And if you scroll down you will come to Joyful Songs's own lapbook pieces for it. Fabulous. (If I knew French, I'd say "fabulous" in French.)

Now on to England and America to a notebooking page on George Whitefield. Well, I couldn't find one already made for me, but here are some images of him. I printed one out and then my girl will make her own notebooking page, because she is handy like that (or maybe it's because I'll tell her to!:)

How about some great pages on Thomas Edison:
Homeschoolshare.com has a slew of Free Inventor Notebooking Pages! {swoon} In that happy list, you will indeed find Thomas Edison.
Crayola.com has a Thomas Edison coloring page. You are probably thinking--a coloring page for a high school student?? No, I printed these out for the younger two and the two extra kids that will be working on preschool work. I tried to tie in learning about the same things whenever I could. I'm hoping that will be easier on this scatter-brained momma!
More Thomas Edison coloring sheets from Handipoints.com

And now a famous ship: The Titanic
My SmokyMountain Homeschool has a whole post on The Titanic with all kinds of great links. I didn't have to look any further. Since I'm not building an entire unit on The Titanic, I found what I wanted and I'm moving down the history timeline!

Winston Churchill
Activity Village--huge section of famous people notebooking pages! They are arranged alphabetically and it couldn't be easier to find what you want (unless they don't have the person you are looking for.) I did find Winston Churchill on this site, yep, it's printed and nearly hole-punched. I also spent some non-Churchill time looking around this site. Neat stuff.

And here are some other sites that I printed some goodies from:
Cindy Downes, from Oklahoma Homeschool has a long list of homeschool forms--all kinds.
Notebookingpages.com--some free artist, picture study, and composer notebooking pages.
I just found this blog today: Harmony Art Mom. I'm definitely going to bookmark her blog. I already found a post on Claude Debussy--our composer for September. And Leonardo daVinci who is our artist for September

Well, I'm super excited about getting so much accomplished today. Now, if my dishes would wash themselves and dinner would make itself!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hearing the Word

This morning I had a doctor's appointment (just a routine exam) and while I was in the car, I heard Dr. David Jeremiah's sermon on hope. It was a wonderful reminder and follow-up to a conversation I had just last night with a good friend.

Then on the way home I heard Focus on the Family's broadcast. Phenomenal! The speaker was Joan Brock and she was so good. Very encouraging!

I'm looking forward to going back and listening to both of these again.
When you have time, listen and be encouraged!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Abundance and Lack

Yesterday we had no air conditioning in the house. The heat index was 105 degrees. I was babysitting a 3 year old and a 4 month old, plus I had my three kids. Interesting how conditioned we are to air conditioning! I was borderline irritable and had to fight with myself to not snarl at the kids. We had an abundance of heat but a lack of cool air.

Two days ago I bought 5 pounds of ground beef. Then accidentally left it in the car...with all the windows rolled up, with a heat index over 100, for 5 hours! I nearly had a fully baked meatloaf. I had an abundance of meat, but a lack of edible meat.

Knowing that I needed to make 6 dozens cookies, I wanted to make sure I had all the ingredients. So as my oldest daughter and I pulled products out of the cabinet and pantry, we discovered 4 bags of flour! I remember thinking that we were out of flour, so I'd pick up one. I guess I did that a couple times!! However we could NOT find any sugar. Hmmm....we had an abundance of flour, but a lack of what we needed to make the cookies.

I've been distracted lately. Working on lesson plans for the new school year, getting everything figured out with our local homeschool support group, keeping up with the house work, etc. I've had an abundance of things to do, but I am lacking in my relationship with the Lord.

This morning as I was thinking about these things, I read this post from Tyler. I also read the post that she linked to by Anna Voskamp. Such good "food" for thought. I want to have abundance in the things that matter for eternity. I'll be "chewing" on these thoughts today and the days to come.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Power of Respect

While running some errands, I heard just a little bit of a great talk by Bob Lepine of FamilyLife Today. I'm definitely going to be listening to this whole series.

A couple of the bits I remember:
  • My husband cares about what I think--sometimes more than any other person's opinion.
  • Men will quit doing something that they can't succeed at and try something else that they can succeed at.
  • When I offer my perspective or opinion to my husband, I need to do it in a way that communicates humility and respect.
  • No matter how confident my husband appears, he is insecure and unsure about many things. I need to encourage him and build him up.
Such good stuff. I can't wait to listen to the whole series. You can find it here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Doing the Next Thing

Ever feel like you have so many things on your plate that you just have to focus on the ONE next thing? That's where I am. We have been busy and I'm busy getting lots of things in place. Thankfully the Lord has sustained me and given me strength along the way.

I really like Elisabeth Elliot's reminder--Do the Next Thing:

From an old English parsonage down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the doors the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration: “Do the next thing.”

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, and guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all results, do the next thing.

Looking for Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering, be thy demeanor;
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing.
Then, as He beckons thee, do the next thing.

So, having made my list and giving even it to the Lord, I'm moving forward, doing the next thing.
Thanks loyal readers for still reading...I hope to be more consistent in my blogging as I do have LOTS to say! :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Madeline Unit Study

I love the book Madeline. Seriously, what's not to love? We are going to be doing this book as a unit study/lapbook along with France. So here is what I've come up with so far:

Homeschoolshare.com (this will be a standard link for the FIAR books because they have great free lapbooks!) Here's the direct link for Madeline.
Madeline Coloring Pages
A great link for Information on France (for kids)
Walking by the Way has lots of pictures and ideas for Madeline and France.

Friday, July 9, 2010

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

I'm planning for our unit on How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World. It looks like a delightful book.

Homeschoolshare.com has a free lapbook and other resources.
Here's a lesson plan using Google earth.
The Homeschool Mom has a great list of resources.
Busy Cafe has lots of apple theme activities. (Bethany and I have studied apples; so I'm going to focus more on T with the apple things.)
Here's a webquest for the book.
A blogger who has given some details and pictures of her study.

I've already asked a good friend of mine at church to give us pie-making lessons! She is known for her pies. Yummy times!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Start of a Schedule

I've been working on Bethany and Trenton's school schedule for next year. They will be 3rd grade and kindergarten, respectively.
I started planning the Language Arts and History/Geography. I want to tie in these two curricula:
Galloping the Globe (I was silly to think that we'd get through the book last year; so much good stuff there!)
Five In a Row volumes 1 and 2, selected books

Here's what I have so far: Blue means Galloping the Globe, Green means Five in a Row, regular black means I have a literature guide or unit study for them.

September: France/Madeline, Italy/How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
October: Great Britain/The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Spain/The Story of Ferdinand
November: Canada/Very Last First Time, Mexico, Cranberry Thanksgiving, Molly's Pilgrim
December: open
January: Brazil, Venezuela, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
February: Harold and the Purple Crayon, Sweet Clara and The Freedom Quilt, Quilting unit study
March: South Africa, Kenya/Magic Treehouse: Lions at Lunchtime, Miss Rumphius, Sarah Plain and Tall
April: Morocco, Nigeria, Make Way for Ducklings, Keep the Light's Burning Abbie
May: Egypt/The Giraffe that Walked to Paris, Magic Treehouse: Mummies and Pyramids, Australia
June: New Zealand

I tried to connect the book and countries together as much as possible. The ones with slashes are the books/countries that I was able to connect. I like this stage of planning...then the hard part is carrying out the plans. I'm praying that I'll be consistent and diligent!

I've started copying the needed papers for Madeline/France and I will put that in a separate post. The other thing I'm planning is a "light start" in August. We have done this for the last couple years and it works well. In August, we will start with one subject the first week, then add another subject the next week. We will continue in this manner until the day after Labor Day when we will be in full swing. While we are getting into the groove of each subject, I also try to walk through the daily schedule we will be following for the year. This gives them time to adjust and me time to tweek...because it usually needs tweeked! :)

Hopefully I'll continue to fill in the blanks for both kids until I am ready for the new school year!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer is Here!

I really enjoy each season. When I was a kid, summer was my favorite because my birthday is in July. This year, it feels as though spring was skipped and we've been in the heat of summer for weeks and maybe months already. So although I really do enjoy each season, summer doesn't hold the same excitement for me, mainly due to the heat. The kids have enjoyed the 'medium sized' blow-up pool in the back yard as well as fruitie popsicles and the occasional sprinkler.

Me?? I'm enjoying the air conditioner! hee, hee.

I spend most of the day working in the house on lesson plans, chores, etc. And then in the evening, my hunny and I have been walking for exercise.

So welcome summer...and let me know what you do for summer fun!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Linky Like

I like this blog that I recently found:: Confessions of a Homeschooler. She has some great printables. I'm a big fan of this Creative Correction chart. (Scroll down and look under "Forms for Mom.") It is similar to the chart we've used for years and years from Doorposts. I colored it and laminated it, then filled in the consequences with a permanent marker. The permanent marker can be 'erased' using fingernail polish remover. These charts help take the guess work out of what consequences will be given for certain behaviors. When I use the chart consistently it works and the children respond well. :) It also takes away the emotional element of disciplining.

What have you found that works with your kids?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Trying Windows Live Writer

Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations is one of my favorite people to read! Her recent post lists the fun and functional features of Windows Live. I’m trying it to see if I like it. I’m using Windows Live Writer to write this blog post.

First thing I’ve noticed is that it slows down my computer. I’m sure that’s because our computer is old in “computer years.” I’ll have to see if the benefits outweighs the petty pace at which my computer is creeping.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Yummy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Bethany received a kids cookbook for her birthday. Our friend, Becky knows Bethany loves to cook and in fact they have cooked together on occasion. The cookbook is called Let's Cook! by Pamela Gwyther. I look forward to more times of cooking together with Bethany and Becky!

We've made the Perfect Pasta twice now with raving reviews.
Here's what you'll need to make it:
9 oz pasta
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 stick or 1/4 cup butter
5 tbsp all purpose flour
1 3/4 c. milk
1 c Cheddar cheese, grated
4 1/2 oz cooked ham, roughly chopped
4 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat some water in a large pan. Add salt and bring to boil.
2. Add pasta carefully and cook pasta according to package directions.
3. Gently melt the butter in a pan over low heat. Add flour and mix well. Cook mixture for 1 minute and then remove from heat.
4. Stir in milk (I use dry powdered milk and water), a little at a time, to make a smooth sauce. Put pan back on heat. Stir while the sauce thickens so it doesn't get lumpy.
5. When the sauce boils, turn down heat and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix the Cheddar, ham and tomatoes. Season.
6. Drain the pasta. Mix with the sauce. Place in oven safe dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake in oven, on a baking sheet, for 20-25 minutes.

Side note: The first time we made it, I had some ham but no tomatoes. Tonight when I made it, I had neither of those things, but it was still delicious. We had raw veggies on the side.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Spider and My Son

My little boy is still up...yes, it is 10:30 p.m. I suppose this is because he fell asleep on the couch this afternoon for about an hour. Now he claims, he can't get his eyes to close.

He has colored a picture, sat in my lap, listened to music and protected me against a spider. He is so brave! He was laying down coloring, when he spotted a spider (small, yet I'm sure to him, BIG). He ran over, got a paper napkin and boldly declared to "Get this big guy!" And he did. I thanked him for protecting me and he said, "Your welcome, Mom" in his deep 'manly' voice he gets when he does something big.

I love him.

Now, I just hope he goes to sleep soon.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday and Links I like

We spent a quiet Memorial Day here at home. My hunny worked, but came home a little early and the kids played outside in the small pool. I worked on decluttering the school room--my goodness what a mess! I've been stacking stacks all over the place lately and it shows (obviously.) But now I'm in the "everything must go" mood. I've got so many books that I'm going to try to sell at our local homeschool used curriculum sale. I'm selling them cheap--and praying that they sell. :)

I wanted to share a couple links that I've recently come across:
Organized Junkie has a great list of links for free printables.
One of her recommended links I want to highlight because I really like it! It's Sarah's Sweeties Godly Character Trait pages. (By the way, her boys look like such cuties!)
And I recently re-discovered The HomeschoolMom website. All sorts of helpful information and goodies.

Okay well, I must clean that school room.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Feast

The days pass quickly and I am really trying to limit my time on the computer. Combine those two things together and the blog is neglected. I have much to share today, therefore the title "Friday Feast."

First, as I type this I'm listening to a play list of one of the bloggers that I follow. Make sure you visit Heather at A Place of Quiet Rest. Her music choices are wonderful.

May was a busy month for us as the kids finished up AWANA for this year. My little guy will move up to Sparks (I won't have any more Cubbies, sniff, sniff.) And my 8 year old will move up to T&T next year.

Bethany participated in the History/Science/Art Fair that our local homeschool group hosted. Her project was owls and she did a great job!

Here in the second picture you can see her "Kaya" bag. She made this from a kit supplied by my friend who has taught her daughter and Bethany in "American Girl Club." They read the entire series of Felicity and Kaya books throughout the year, discussed them and did activities pertaining to the books/and time periods. She enjoyed it greatly.

My little guy participated in a soccer camp of sorts, an hour each Saturday in April and May. He had a fun time! The last day was this past Saturday and they asked the parents to play for the final 15 minutes. T was so excited!! He looked over at me and said, "Mom, when the other team kicks the ball, you've got to run like the wind!" =) So cute!! (My oldest daughter edited this photo.)

This evening we will honor a good friend of ours who is now in the presence of Jesus. He had a love of all things garden and I'm thankful to have learned at his side. He loved talking about his plants, canned jars all neatly lined up on the shelves, and techniques that he had perfected over the years. I'm praying for his dear wife of 59 years and his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and all who knew and loved him. He will be missed. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Lastly I want to share with you a feast of different sort. In three different ways, God has reminded me this morning of His sovereignty and faithfulness. I pray you will be encouraged and refreshed as you look at these links.

A short, 2 minute video entitled Why is there suffering if God is good?
Today's Our Daily Bread devotion called, Our Times--His Hands.My last God reminder is JJ Heller's song "Your Hands."

How is that for a feast? Thank you God!

I'm linking this post to Home Sanctuary's Company Coffee Girls. You probably know by now that I don't drink coffee, however I love tea. So grab a cup of your favorite tea and visit other friends. Thanks for visiting me and have a lovely day! (note: the picture of the rose at the top of the post was taken and edited by my oldest daughter.)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Hero and The Crown

The girls Literature Club read The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley this month. It was an interesting book--at some points hard to read, other times I didn't want to put it down. You can easily find summaries of the book at sites such as this one:

What I had a difficult time finding though were discussion questions, so I thought I'd post a few of them that I came up with and maybe it will help someone else.

The girls are middle school aged and all home educated. We meet once a month and at the beginning of the year, I give them a list with all the books we are going to read as well as the role they will fulfill for each book. Some of the roles include: biographer, geographer, connector, literary chef, literary luminator, vocabulary enricher, props and character representation, and illustrator.

We always start out talking about our overall feelings about the book. Then we move into a summary with each girl adding to the discussion. I try to have several questions that require deeper thinking or evaluation in addition to the ones that are more straightforward.

Discuss the main characters and their personalities.
Define a hero.
What is the Newberry Award?
What does it mean to "tack up" a horse?
In chapter 6 as Aerin is trying to figure out how to handle the horse bridle, reins and her sword, she talks about holding the reins in her mouth. However if she holds them in her mouth, she won't be able to belt out her war cries such as "Victory!" and "For Damar!" Where else do we hear such war cries? (My thought was in the Narnia books)
There were several rumors about Aerin, what were they? How did these rumors hurt Aerin? In groups of two, search the Scriptures using the concordance for verses on gossip, slander and overall what our speech should be like. (I loved this...the girls did a great job and I pray that they will hide God's Words in their hearts. I shared with them that down through the ages women have struggled with their tongues--men too, I'm sure. But women are notorious for being gossipers. So these verses are going to be good reminders on how we should use our tongues for good and not evil."
What was special about Gonturan?
Aerin expresses her dream to Teka, saying "Someday I shall be famous in legend and story." Teka's quiet reply was "I have never doubted it, my dear." What do you dream of (what are your goals) and who are your encouragers?

Lastly we were sure to discuss that the book suggests that Aerin spends the night with Luthe, no other details are given, however I felt the need to say aloud what God's plan is for them as single young women.

As I read the book, I was thankful God brought these and other questions like them to my mind (and I promptly wrote them down). They made for good discussion and prayerfully things were discussed that the girls will recall in years to come.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shelley Noonan--Mentoring Your Daughter

At the convention, I also went to hear Shelley Noonan talk about Mentoring Your Daughter. She was also inspiring (despite this was the second session that I had to sit on the floor--the rooms were THAT full!) So, I ignored my back, and took fast and furious notes. To be sure, I feel as though I am mentoring my daughters (and my son) however it was so encouraging to hear her perspective and ideas on this extremely important task.

She said that mentoring is to "teach with purpose on purpose the morals and standards we have." She went on to discuss 3 main reasons we don't mentor--lack of time, lack of confidence and lack of skill.
Lack of time--plan to spend time with your daughter. Put it on the calendar!
Lack of confidence--Pray that God will guide you as to what to teach. Talk to your daughter about goals (goals you have for yourself and her, goals she has for herself, goals for your time together.)
Lack of skills--we haven't had good examples, go back to prayer and God's Word; He is our example.

Mrs. Noonan had a great acrostic for mentoring: TIME:: Transparency, Intimacy, Making it Meaningful and Enjoyable

I'm really looking forward to implementing some of her ideas into our routine. While at the convention, I found a book for Bethany and I to work through together called "Just Mom and Me having Tea" by Mary Murray. We started it this week and we are having a sweet time together.

Well, I hope you are enjoying my little snippets of the convention. I'm enjoying reading through my notes and processing what I learned further! And did you notice that in my last post about Inspired Learning Rebecca herself actually commented?? Now that brought a big smile to my face! She is a neat lady and I'm so thankful that I was able to meet her. Make sure you visit her site: homeschool.com--lots to read and find out here. And Shelley Noonan's site: Pumpkin Seed Press is a winner too.

Stay tuned: next convention recap--Jeff Myers speaks on Rites of Passage: Rituals that Make the Passage to Adulthood Unforgettable for Teens.

And a side note--I'm not sure if you are picking up the theme or not, but as I went to each session, I was amazed how the theme of studying our children, spending time with our children, making goals with and for our children, etc. were repeated over and over again. God, The Grand Weaver, wove beautiful reminders and encouragements into my heart. {sigh, I'm so thankful!}

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rebecca Kochenderfer--Inspired Learning

My favorite speaker of the weekend was Rebecca Kochenderfer. She spoke on "Inspired Learning." Oh, wow, was it good...and inspirational! :)

One of the first things she said:: Relax more. (Go back and read that again!) She said that they did a survey of veteran homeschool moms and asked them the #1 piece of advice they would give new homeschool moms and it was to RELAX MORE! Don't get stressed out about academics and pouring information into your children...make learning meaningful.
Learning is more memorable when it is meaningful. When it's something that interests them, they will learn it and remember it. Stoke the fire that is under your child. {Don't you love that? God has gifted them, given them talents, abilities and passions, learn those passions and stoke the fire!}

She talked a lot about having dreams and goals. Each participant in the session received her book, Homeschooling and Loving It. I'm looking forward to reading it this summer and going through the questions and exercises. For example, she has you write down goals and dreams you have for yourself. That's right, Moms, we need goals and dreams!

I really enjoyed her and was inspired!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Help, I Fell Off My Lesson Plan

This was the title of one of the sessions I went to at the Midwest Homeschool Convention. It was given by Carol Barnier and despite the issue with poor sound, I gleaned some good ideas.

First things first: Homeschooling is efficient! We are doing more than we know each and every day. So when you have a day when things are going well and you aren't going to be able to do what you planned: make the most of it.

Be creative: do an art project, make a mini book (favorite animals, favorite plants/flowers, etc.), create your own opera, sewing or baking day
Be playful: play a board game, backyard Olympics, math game, freeze tag (have them answer a question correctly in order to get 'unfrozen'), have a 'backwards' day
Be inspirational: Movie day (historical, compare historical accuracy), "Heroes of the Faith" Day--dress up like the person, act out his/her story, watch a movie about them, Nature walk with sketch books

So, when you fall off your lesson plan, pick an idea and have fun!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Time away + Eating off the Floor

Two weeks ago, my oldest daughter and I went to the Midwest Homeschool Convention. We traveled with a friend and her daughter. We had a good time and God used it to teach each of us more about Himself and depending on Him.

The classes I went to focused much on reaching the hearts of our children, inspiring learning and persevering through the journey of life for the glory of God. I'd love to sit down with my notes and blog about the details. I will work on doing that in the next month or so. (Just a side note: we laughed until it hurt at the Tim Hawkins concert.)

My girl took these three pictures while we were at the convention. We walked to a little restaurant and had lunch in this park. So relaxing and refreshing.

From relaxing and refreshing, we now return to 'regular life' where I'd put off washing the kitchen floor for...ummm...a LONG time. My thinking traveled the gamut, everything from "It's winter time and the kids and dog will be tracking in all kinds of inclement elements." Then I thought, "Always such a big job, let me just wait until after the spring rains." Finally I could take no more. The floor was downright dirty.

Yesterday was the day...I got down on my hands and knees (is there any other way?) and scrubbed that floor until well, we could have eaten off it! =)

Now that it is clean again, I love it. And it makes me want to wash it again just to try to keep it clean.

From here it's an easy jump to the analogy of my life and walk with God. If I neglect my daily walk with Him, 'junk' (sin) builds up quickly. Spending time on my knees, scrubbing out the dirt and allowing His righteousness to wash over me, leaves me refreshed and wanting to get on my knees tomorrow. This verse has been close to my heart this week:
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
Isaiah 26:3-4
Jesus, draw me nearer. Nearer Lord to thee!

Be sure to visit Home Sanctuary and connect with other Company Girls. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I like blogging...I really do

I enjoy blogging and I really enjoy writing. I just have seemed foggy-brained and distracted lately. I'm still evaluating why and what changes I need to make in order to correct this rather large problem. Some initial thoughts on what is causing this:
  • too much time reading facebook and the short little status' are feeding my inability to focus.
  • trying to work on school and chores with the kids which leaves me tired and 'empty' at the end of the day
Have you gone through times like this--where your brain just seems devoid of intelligent thought? You can't remember why you walked into a room and have to go back to the first room to try to remember? You can't utter one complete sentence without stammering or calling your daughter the dog's name?

Oh to have some clear thoughts! Don't leave me for not blogging--that will just add more issues to the ones I already have. :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Retreat and Then Some

I've missed posting to Company Girls for the last couple weeks, so I'm glad to be able to do it today...one day late...but still, here I am. I've enjoyed reading and trying to accomplish Rachel Anne's Small Things. March was my first full month and I'm looking forward to keeping up even more this month.

I so enjoy company and love to meet new friends. In addition, spring seems to be here, really here! Seeing the sun shine and feeling the warm it gives, digging in the dirt and planting and most of all, hearing my children laugh and play outside have ALL helped lighten my heart. God is good and gives us incredible blessings. Open my heart and eyes, God, to what You want me to see and do. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you visit again! To my regular reading friends, thanks for coming back to check on me after longs days of not posting. You encourage me!

Two weekends ago I was blessed by being able to attend a women's retreat. Sponsored by our women's Sunday school class, the retreat was held at a state park lodge. The scenery including a big lake was beautiful and so relaxing. The theme of the retreat was The A.R.T. of Fellowship. Our sessions, games, and decorations centered around Abiding in Christ, Relationships with others, and using our Talents to glorify God, build up the body of Christ and be a light to the rest of the world. We each received a little 3x3 canvas to paint something to remind us of the weekend. This sweet little girl was on the promotion material for the retreat and I wanted her on my canvas! I talked a friend into pencil drawing her on my canvas (which is why she actually resembles the little girl) and then I painted her. She sits on my kitchen counter and is a visible reminder of The A.R.T. of Fellowship.

This week the kids and I spent each morning reading Scripture leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. I am deeply humbled and grateful for the amazing grace and mercy given to me. The blood of Jesus shed for me...I thank God for the faith and heart to even try to take in this life-changing event. I pray that you will set aside time this weekend (and every day) to spend with Jesus, our Savior and our Lord.

A friend posting this on her facebook and it was really good...I'd never heard it before...

Lastly, I found this Resurrection Garden idea and I REALLY want to do this next year with the kids.

Thanks for visiting with me today.

He is Risen!
He is Risen indeed!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Free Homeschool Printables

I found this site today while I was browsing....it is a homeschool site called Footprints on our Land: South African Homeschool Curriculum. I've not delved completely into it, however I did find a link for Free Printable Homeschool Worksheets--including notebooking sheets for owls!

Frugal Family Fun Blog has free printables and lots of good ideas. I like her gardening journal pages.

okay, I've got to get back at it...

Seeking God

I've titled my quiet time "Seeking God Alone". Really this title takes on two meanings: 1. Seeking God by myself--my Bible, God and me. 2. Seeking only God for my daily strength and wisdom.
I struggle with making sure I'm going to God first with a problem, a hurt or a question. Sometimes I turn to friends, or my hunny, or sometimes I want to avoid it altogether and I turn to food or some other distraction. Seeking godly counsel or talking something over with a friend is not wrong in themselves. However if I am only turning to others and not turning to God, then I am wrong.

I read this article this morning titled "What does it mean to seek the Lord?" It's by John Piper and was a great reminder.
Col. 3:1-2 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Seek Him today.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Planted seeds today

Bethany and I started our garden today. We planted seeds inside in hopes that they will be well on their way to becoming sturdy plants in about 8 weeks. We planted several different varieties of tomatoes, green peppers, red peppers, and hot peppers. Waiting until the ground is ready and the danger of frost is over are cucumbers, green beans and lettuce. So very exciting!

This year we bought our seeds from an heirloom seed company called Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Customer service was a great help and friendly too.

Bethany and I are also doing a garden study. Over the years I've collected quite a few odds and ends that will all come together for our garden study. I hope to be able to share some more resources with you. I will add them on to this post when I come across them.

Here's what I have so far:
A free excerpt of Amanda Bennett's Garden Unit Study
Squidoo has this plant lapbook with lots of resources
What a sweet garden lapbook found here.

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Owl Study

Bethany, Trenton and I have been studying owls. Really fascinating study--we are all learning a bundle. Even if you are not studying owls you will love this live webcam of a barn owl. Molly, the barn owl, sits on those eggs faithfully. The first egg should be hatching ANY minute. So exciting!

Below are more crafts and links I've found to accompany our owl study. I'll post pictures of things we are making soon (read: next week).

Owl Pillow Craft
Owl coloring pages and a preschool printing sheet
Felt Owl Finger puppet
The Crafty Classroom has several owl crafts and art ideas.

Here's where I got our Owl Lapbook. It is very well done.
Another mom studies owls with her son. She has a great list of resources.

We are going to dissect owl pellets and I'll probably get the pellet from Amazon. I need to order that soon. We are also going to take a nature hike as well as check out the local nature reserve.

I'd love to stay and chat longer, but I must get back to Molly and see if those eggs hatched.

P.S. Sorry for the gap in between posts. I enjoy writing and have missed blogging. I think I go in spurts like this. Thanks for stopping by and please be sure to visit again.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Links I Like

I just found a neat blog that I really like:: Mama Jenn. She has some printables that I like (especially the calendar notebook--definitely going to do this with Trenton.) She also has good things to say as I'm browsing through her archives. Here she linked to a prayer guide for our children. I have this guide (it's very old from a Focus on the Family magazine.) I've tried to locate the author and seek permission to put it in our homeschool newsletter. Anyway, I had no idea that there was a pdf of this prayer guide. Here's the direct link to it (but let it be known that I found it because of Mama Jenn!)

So run over and visit Mama Jenn; you'll be glad you did!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The week God planned

I'm thankful for online friends and Company Girls has been a delightful place to get to know other women who are seeking to make their home a sanctuary. Rachel Anne has encouraging posts each day to help you do a 'small thing' (and boy those small things really add up to be big!) Today I'm thankful that you have come to visit because my house guest just left a few hours ago (sniff, sniff). She really enjoyed making and drinking peach tea while she was here. So pour yourself a glass and read about the week that God planned. Thank you for being here.
...and come back soon....

A week that God plans is far better than anything I could plan! I know you can relate: the week that I thought we were going to have was promptly (and providentially) turned upside down when a friend called last Saturday. She lives a few hours away and needed to have some time away from her home to think over some important things.

Of course, we said "you are welcome here, please come." She did and let me tell you the wonderful week we had. She had lots of time to think, read and pray. And we had time to enjoy her company. She is a gracious, sweet friend who loves my children and can make a walking stick laugh. :)

I've been studying the "One Anothers" in Scripture. Here are just a few of them:
  • Comfort one another. I Thessalonians 4:18
  • Build one another up Romans 15:2 "Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up." I Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."
  • Bear one another's burdens Galatians 6:2 "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
  • Care for one another. I Corinthians 12:25 "that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another."
  • Show hospitality to one another. I Peter 4:9 "Show hospitality to one another without grumbling."
My friend that was here this week was a joy to have. My hunny and I spent the evenings talking with her and helping her work through things. And each morning, my sweet 4 year old, pounded on her door and excitedly said, "Good Morning!" Each one of my 3 kids enjoyed time with her playing games, painting nails and reading books. My prayer for her and her family is that God would redeem the time she was away, grow her into the person HE wants her to be and give her the grace and mercy she needs to live every day for Him.

{sigh} I miss her already.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What I have up my Sleeve...

Several times over the last few months I've shared something with a friend only to be asked, "How long have you been doing that?" or "Why have you never told me that before?" So today, I will share with you all the tricks and tips that I have up my sleeve. (Okay, not all--mostly because I can't ever remember them all, but here are several.)
  • I reuse cereal box liners. I get lots of raised eyebrows on this one, but seriously folks, they come in handy! After they've done a grand job holding the cereal, shake the dust out, fold it, and store it until needed for...a mat for a preschool art project, a bag to shake chicken pieces or smash croutons or crackers in, a cooling place for cookies and the list goes on. For a mat or cooling place, I cut the bag open and lay it flat, once done you can either wipe it off and reuse another time OR throw it away if it can't be used any longer. I feel greener just typing this 'up my sleeve' trick.
  • I use vinegar in my washing machine to freshen our clothes. I pour it in a "downy ball" and toss it in. Vinegar helps soften clothes and ward off static cling, too.
  • I've been known to mix a box of plain Cheerios with a box of 'honey nut' cheerios. This makes the cereal last longer and plain Cheerios are less expensive (and it's usually a bigger box).
  • I bought a mister bottle at the health food store. I mixed distilled water with a couple drops of lavender essential oil, tapped the bottom 100 times to mix it thoroughly. I use it as a natural air freshener around the house.
  • I try to keep a loaf of French bread handy for a quick supper. I buy the loaves at W*lmart for $1.50, then I cut them long-ways in thirds. So I get 3 long pieces out of one loaf. I spread spaghetti sauce, generously sprinkle low-moisture mozzarella cheese and bake! Sometimes I put turkey pepperoni or mushrooms on top...yummy, easy supper.
So there you have it...some of the ideas that are up my sleeve. To see what others have up their sleeves, visit Works for Me Wednesday. Thanks for stopping by; I hope you will be back soon.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Manners Unit Study and Lapbook

I'm working on a Manners unit study for Bethany and Trenton. I may work it all into a lapbook but I'll have to see how the resources come together.

Here's what I have so far:
A list of ideas, activities and some poems from a classroom teacher
ChildFun's list of manners activities, crafts, poems
Teacher Planet: Manners and Etiquette--a nice list of links
HomeschoolHelperOnline has a list of ideas and books

On my bookshelf I have A Little Book of Manners by Emilie Barnes and The Keepers at Home. I will be using them with our study.

I am looking forward to this study!

Colorful Things

I enjoy color. Especially after the gray and white days of winter, I enjoy color. We've added some color to our home through the beauty of flowers. Oh, thank You God for colorful flowers! I've enjoyed these roses for nearly two weeks now...they were a gift from a dear friend. They have brightened up our home and my countenance!

The yellow flowers were purchased at W*lmart (clearance, no less!). They have stayed extremely hydrated and beautiful for weeks now.

Color has also entered our home by way of art. Bethany and Trenton finished their India art projects. We loved the way the rice looked in their piles of different colors. (I wish I would have taken a picture of them before the kids started using them.) The picture below is Trenton's.

It was a fun project and you can read here where we got our ideas from for our India study.
Thanks for stopping by today. I enjoyed your company. Still have tea left in your cup?? scoot on over the Home Sanctuary's Company Girls and visit some others!