Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Wrapping

I absolutely love wrapping gifts. It may be a sickness; I'm not quite sure. My oldest daughter noted that there aren't many folks in my camp of loving to wrap gifts. It's such a beautiful precise thing, measuring, cutting, folding, taping...ahhh...just talking about it makes me all giddy.

To go along with the love of wrapping is my love for printable gift tags and box top embellishments. Some wonderfully creative bloggers are giving away printables for gift tags. Go visit Creature Comforts for a LONG list of free printables.
The Handmade Home has some here.
And Fresh Picked Whimsy has a cute set here.

This year I printed tags from the last two resources listed above, mainly because I just found Creature Comforts list today.

I hole punched the tags and used all kinds of fun, different sized ribbons to tie up my packages.
Hope you enjoyed this holiday wrap-up of my wrapping! :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monster Cookies with "Muffin"

The little "Muffin" I babysit made monster cookies with me the other day. We had a good time. She loves to bake, cook and be in the kitchen. I loved it when she tried to stir the M&M's into the mixture. Her little arm couldn't even move the spoon. :)

We took two plates of cookies along with homemade cards to some of our local community service men and women. The county jail sheriff and deputies and the firefighters were glad recipients. We  have been intentionally thinking of ways to give gifts to others--whether it be gifts of baked goods, candy canes, cards, time, etc. I'm thankful for the opportunity to be with my kids and do fun things like this!

Monster cookies are GREAT because it makes a BIG batch, they are yummy, and they freeze well. The only downside is that you spend hours switching cookie sheets in and out of the oven.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Homemade Ranch Crackers

I made these yummy crackers today! I posted the recipe here a few years ago. Easy recipe and SO good.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December is under way

I've been thinking:   if I can post a status update on Facebook every day of November, then I can make time to post something on my blog everyday of December. :) My goal is to include a picture from that day and some thoughts about our happenings.

So, it's December 3rd and I've already missed yesterday...I know. Tiredness overtook me and I slept for a long time last night! I took a picture though. Here is a picture of one of the crafts we are taking for our local homeschool's annual Kid's Christmas Craft Sale. I got the idea from a friend and then I did some research online. I found this cute example:
Everyday Art--alphabet glass stone magnets
I know originally I looked at lots of other sites, but I can't seem to find them now.  We used scrapbook paper, regular stick glue, glass stones (flat on one side, bubble on the other) and round magnets glued on with E-6000 glue. We glued the stone to the paper, cut it out, glued the magnet on and walaa! Cute!

The other pictures are of my younger two with their Truth in the Tinsel craft. We are enjoying this Advent devotional.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent--You are Here!

I really enjoy this time of year. The concentrated focus on Jesus does my heart such good. Oh, to keep that focus all year long. For several years, we've celebrated Advent as a family. Each year we seem to add a little something and this year, we've added two little somethings. :) You can see below what we do, and please, leave a comment and share how you celebrate Jesus' birth.

First, a good couple article by Noel Piper on Advent can be found here. She's written several more that pertain to Advent (use the "search" feature to find them.)

Ann Voskamp has written a lovely thoughtful devotional called Jesse Tree Advent Family Devotional. Last year, I printed out the ornaments, mounted them on card stock paper, hole punched and threaded a ribbon through each one. We usually read this devotional at lunch time and the younger kids take turns hanging the ornament on the tree.

This year I found "Truth in the Tinsel" This fun Advent devotional is geared more toward younger children and will work well with the little girl I babysit. She is four. My two younger kids (ages 6 and 9) are doing it too and enjoy making crafts. I found this great printable from Mama Jenn that has added a curiosity factor for them.

Lastly, we've decided on lots of fun "random acts of kindness" based on this idea from Lil Light O' Mine. We read through all the ideas and have a whole pile of ones we are praying that we are able to do. We are so excited! Today the younger two kids and I tied ribbon and a little message on to the candy canes. My little 6 year old has given two of them away already! One to mom of the little girl I babysit and the other to a HVAC service man. {I love my kids!}

12 Days before Christmas we will start Adornaments that we received years ago from a sweet friend. They were sold by Family Life Today, however I don't know if they still sell them. Each day you read about a different name of Jesus and there is an ornament that you hang on the tree. There is also a CD with a song that goes along with the name of Jesus. We've enjoyed this devotional for years.

Our church is celebrating Advent too, so it's wonderful reinforcement for the kids. The message on Sunday was on hope and was very powerful. We have hope in Christ!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thanksliving {part 4}

O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known His doings among the peoples! 1 Chronicles 16: 8
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:18

day 22: thanksliving: I've enjoyed recording my thanks a day later as it's given me opportunity to reflect on each yesterday and remember. I'm very thankful for God giving us discernment, wisdom and help in the very small details of life and in the big challenges too. I'm also thankful for time with Trenton and Alea talking about what it means to be thankful and what we are thankful for.
day 23: thanksliving: my two girls helping me clean and bake with lots of cheerful smiles, being prompted by the Lord to give to others, fresh hair cuts for 4 of us, warm snuggles from my little guy who is still not feeling well, and the table set for ten :)
day 24: thanksliving: yesterday was a good day of putting the finishing touches on the house and my contributions to dinner. We hosted Maurice's mom, sister, niece, nephew and aunt. Good company, good food! Lots to be thankful for! God is gracious.
day 25: thanksliving: I'm thankful for my hunny receiving therapy on his hurt knee, I'm thankful for a day of ease with my kids and family movie night watching Cars 2.
day 26: thanksliving: Good day with the family and a fun afternoon with a friend. My creative side has been sparked! I'm so thankful for great family, fun friends and a date night with my hunny.
Day 27: thanksliving: First Sunday of Advent--hope, assurance and certainty of God's rescue for our future. Powerful message and a good day of celebrating with our church family.
day 28: thanksliving: thankful for God's mercy and grace each day, thankful for my hunny and appreciate how hard he works, thankful for my girls who are so helpful and for my little guy who keeps me on my toes, and I'm thankful for the start of *Advent!
day 29: thanksliving: enjoyed a field trip with some of God's furry creatures (and slimy ones too!), lunch with friends, and school in the afternoon. Grateful for my hunny who helps keep me balanced and grounded in what really matters. I must remember that I cannot control what others think of me or what they do; I can only control me. Praying that I live my life filled with integrity and all out love for God. 
Thanksgiving Day small tablescape
Edited to add: Day 30: thanksliving: thankful for finishing something I started...documenting my thanks for 30 whole days! {that's progress, folks!} Thankful for concentrating on the things I'm thankful for...sure chased the grumpies away on a daily basis.
*Be sure to visit again soon as I'm getting together a post of all the great resources I've found for Advent.
Easy Reference: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

30 Days of Thanksliving {part 3}

I chose to document the month of Thanksgiving with a daily Facebook update. (Scroll to the bottom to find easy links to Part 1 and Part 2.) I posted what I was thankful for the day after each day. This delayed posting allowed me to deliberately reflect on yesterday and assign words for the blessings that God has given me. And isn't it all blessings? Music is one means of grace that God has bestowed to not only uplift my heart, but also music gives melody to my thoughts, feelings and beliefs. The song Blessing by Laura Story is one such song.

Day 15: Thanksliving--thankful for lunch and reconnecting with a friend I have not seen in a LONG time. Her little guy is a cutie pie. 
Day 16: thanksliving: Thankful for being able to spend time with Trenton. Yesterday both girls were off doing other things, and Trenton wasn't feeling very good. We snuggled on the couch, even did his school on the couch and generally took it easy.
Day 17 of thanksliving: I'm so thankful for the gift of friends...they help carry burdens, make the day brighter and are an all around joy!
day 18--I'm thankful for the ways God provides what we need when we need it: extra sleep in the morning, encouraging chat on FB with a friend, insurance taking care of several outside house things damaged by the hail and sharing a conversation with a sweet friend.
day 19: thanksliving--so thankful for my hunny and how he takes care of the kids and I. He really lives out "in sickness and in health." Yesterday he gently took care of Trenton...and then me today as Trenton must be sharing his germs. Thanks, hunny. 
day 20: thanksliving--eternally grateful for the Gospel. Over the last few weeks, at church we've heard from many different ministries and how they are meeting needs of people everywhere. Inspiring...challenging...
day 21 of thanksliving: thankful for the chiropractor (who Trenton affectionately called the "choir practice"), thankful for oohs and ahhs of my girls after they saw the completed craft closet, and thankful for my cozy bed where I can rest my weary bones! Please keep praying for health and wellness to be restored to the our household. Marissa and Trenton are both not feeling well at all.
Side note: cleaning the craft closet had been on my "goals list" for SEVERAL weeks. I finally conquered it! Oh the sweet taste of completion. I really need to taste it more often. :) 
Easy Reference: Part 1, Part 2

30 Days of Thanksliving {part 2}

I'm so glad I am taking the time to repost my 30 Days of Thanksliving. (If you haven't read part 1, click here to read it.) You and I both know that 30 Days of Thanksliving will slide fairly effortlessly into a LIFE of Thanksliving. Did I say effortlessly? I meant to say "will slide into a life of Thanksliving if I continue to be intentional and thoughtful."
Day 8 of a month of thanksgiving: I'm thankful for God's grace and the freedoms He gives us. Freedoms I do not ever want to take for granted. My prayer is that a month of thanksgiving will turn into a thanks~living.
Day 9 of a life of thanks-living: I'm thankful for God's provisions for us.
Day 10 of thanks-living: I'm thankful for the freedoms we have to worship God and educate our children. I'm thankful for Christian radio.
Day 11: Thankful for the service men and women who serve our country here and abroad and their families who are making huge sacrifices too.
Day 12: Thankful for the different "jobs" God has given me. Marissa and I had a good time cleaning and shopping in the afternoon. I love being a wife and mom!
Day 13: Thanksliving--thankful for a Sunday afternoon date with my hunny.
Day 14: Thanksliving--thankful for shopping with my kids for gifts for others. It was a good reminder especially to the younger one that love puts others before ourselves.
For easy reference:  Part 1

30 Days of Thanksliving

For each of the days in November, I posted what I was thankful for. I posted in Facebook and wanted to transfer them here for longevity's sake. A long time reader and believer in 1000 Gifts, I've tried different ways of keeping track of my heart's gratitude. Maybe on my blog is the way?? I'm a good starter, but not a good follow-through-er. I'm working on changing that.

So, here are my 30 Days of Thanksliving {divided into 4 parts}

day 2 of a month of thanks: I'm thankful for my wonderful hunny. thanks for helping me rearrange the furniture the other day...and thanks for not freaking out when I wanted to put it all back the way it was. :)

Oh, what's that, you didn't see day 1--that's because I didn't do it yesterday...I'm thankful for God's grace!
Day 3 of a month of thanks...I'm thankful that God is Peace when life is hard.
Read this sweet story on one of my favorite blogs...
Day 4 of a month of thanks...(yesterday)...thankful for friends. God has graciously given me wonderful friends who dig in and walk this life with me. I'm thankful that my friends challenge me to be more like Christ. And laughing with friends is one of the greatest gifts!!
Day of thanks #5: thankful for my husband and the opportunity to attend a beautiful, encouraging wedding together on this lovely autumn day
Day 6--month of thanksgiving: So thankful for our church family. Pastor who teaches boldly, yet lovingly; members who love and serve each other, a women's class that enters into each others' stories treasuring and loving each other. God is so good.
day 7 of a month of giving thanks: I'm thankful for my 3 kids--sometimes they make me want to tear my hair out strand by strand but even through that, I love them. They challenge me to be a better me and they love me unconditionally. I love my kids.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Stromboli with friends

Last week I enjoyed a fun dinner with some friends. We talked about being more intentional about getting together...and since we all need to eat, well, dinner sounded like a good way to fellowship. I made stromboli, and others brought salad and desserts.

This stromboli recipe is written on a hand-penned 3x5 card from my friend Julie. Unable to make this recipe without thinking of Julie, I'm eternally thankful that God allowed us to be friends. I miss her so very much.

Here is the recipe:
*You can use frozen bread dough, thawed, or make the dough in the bread machine following these instructions: 
1 1/4 c. warm water
3 T. oil
1/8 c. + 2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 T. instant mashed potato flakes
3 c bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. yeast
Dough setting on bread machine.

When dough is finished, roll out on floured surface into large rectangle (like 8"x15").
Brush lightly with oil and sprinkle with oregano and mozzarella cheese. Evenly sprinkle about 1/2-3/4 lb ground beef (browned and drained), pepperoni and more mozzarella.
Roll longways and pinch to seal ends (wet dough to get it to stick together.)
Bake on stone or sprayed baking sheet. 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
Serve slices with warmed pizza sauce.

You can add other meats such as cooked, drained sausage to the inside. Can also be made as lunch meat stromboli--use cheddar cheese, lunch meat and dip in mustard/mayonnaise, etc.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

So far, I've only been able to keep up with posting the preschooler's school plans. Really, I'm doing schoolwork with the other 3 (1st grade, 4th grade and 10th grade), I just can't figure out time to write about it all. Anyway, our next book is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

Here are some of the ideas I've collected for the next two weeks:
Confessions of a Homeschooler has these printables 
1+1+1=1 shared this cute lapbook
Making Learning Fun posted ideas and some printables to use with the book
I Heart Crafty Things has two great ideas--magnetic letters on a baking sheet and a snack
The Crafting Chicks posted this cute idea for making a mini coconut tree out of an empty toilet paper roll.
Click here for a freebie download for a fun game from Peace, Love and Learning.
I made our own coconut tree out of tag board and lowercase alphabet stickers. I crafted the coconuts out of brown paper bag circle cut-outs stuffed with a bit of cotton. 
Lastly, we are going to make a coconut dessert on the last day...I think I'm going to use this recipe from

I'm excited about using this book with Alea...she so fun to teach and she loves school!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blueberries for Sal

We had a great study of We're Going on a Bear Hunt! The little girl I watch LOVED the video of the author reading the book. By the end of the 5 days (which is two weeks for us--two days one week and three days the next) she had the book memorized. very cute!

For the next two weeks, we are going to "row" Blueberries for Sal. Here are some resources I found for this book.
The only big downside is that this isn't really the right time of year to go blueberry picking. :( So I'll get some at the store and we'll make blueberry pancakes and muffins, etc. Won't be exactly the same, but we'll still have fun.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

With as long as it's been since I've posted, you may think I've already been on a bear hunt! Really, I have so much I want to post, I just can't seem to find time to do it. I am working on sticking to my schedule and hopefully, once I get into a routine, I will have time for some other things that I really enjoy doing.

I am homeschooling 10th grade, 4th grade, 1st grade and Pre-K this year. The youngest one is a girl that I've watched since she was a tiny baby. She LOVES doing school and I'm really excited to do Before Five in a Row with her.

This week we've started We're Going on a Bear Hunt. Here are some resources and printables I've found to go along with the story.
A video of the author telling the story:

Homeschool Share--lapbook for this story
Homeschool Creations printables for this story
Printables from Sparkle Box
For some fun snacks we are going to have Teddy Grahams, Gummi Bears and chocolate pudding (for the mud, of course!) I'll have to spread out the snacks during this week...don't want her to have too much sugar all at one time.

Hopefully soon I will be able to post about what I'm doing with the other kids. We started school on August 22, so we are still working hard to be diligent and consistent.

Off I go, to do more printing and preparing!
Thanks for sticking with me!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Preparing for Montana State Study

I've finished preparing for the Pacific Coast States: Washington, Oregon, California and Alaska. Now I'm moving on to the Rocky Mountain States starting with Montana.

For all 4 of the Pacific Coast States I really liked the HomeschoolShare printable lapbook pieces.  So, I will continue to print these and use them for these states as well.

I found this mini unit on Montana from diyhomeschooler

SchoolExpress has these printables for Montana (and other states as well.)

Lots of fun Cantering the Country!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Planning for NEXT Year!

Well, we are finishing up school for this year. We'd gotten a little behind on Math, so we've pushed through the month of June and now into July trying to get finished. I'm letting myself start to plan for next year {I had to make myself wait because I LOVE the planning part--it's the carrying out part that is hard for me.}

So, here is the beginning plans for Trenton {1st grade} and Bethany {4th grade}::
Cantering the Country
Five in a Row {Volume 2 selected books}

We are going to read Gramma's Walk.
And we will study Washington State.

Here are some resources I've found for Gramma's Walk:
Oceans of the World map (so far, I'm just using this one lapbook piece from this unit.)
Lapbook for Gramma's Walk

Here are some resources I've found for Washington State:
US Geography Resources
Enchanted Learning--Washington
Official Washington State site--with coloring pages, activity book, etc.  

For this coming year, I'm doing our lapbook/unit studies a bit different. Last year, I printed out resources, put them in a folder and several folders remain untouched. :( SO, this year, I'm printing out everything, cutting it all out, pasting it on cardstock paper and binding it together. Then when we do the study, the kids will decorate the title pages, fill in the mini books and learn, learn, learn. :) I'm excited to see if we have more success doing it this way. {Not to worry about the untouched folders; I imagine they will be used before it's all said and done.}

I'd love to hear how others organize, plan and carry out their please, feel free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Father's Day Ideas

June means Father's Day and I want to help my kids make something for their Daddy. He is a wonderful Dad and a great Husband. I'm thankful for him and I want to make Sunday a day to celebrate him!

Here is a cute idea from Mama Jenn's blog. I think I'm going to make this with the kids tomorrow. :)

Do you have any ideas for Father's Day? Please share!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Warrior Prayers: Week 1

My son has been giving me a run for my energy, strength and yes, even sanity lately. So when I saw a 21-Day Challenge of praying for our eyes perked up and something stirred deep in my weary heart...maybe...just maybe, a glimmer of hope.

Hope for the encouragement to keep trying.
Hope for the strength to be consistent.
Hope that God loves my little treasure even more than me.
Hope that it is God who changes his heart.
Hope that I can be faithful to what God has called me to do by the power of His Word.

So, that's where I am. Praying through this fantastic little e-book, that I printed out and have a feeling it will be well worn over the years to come.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In Which the Children Plan Easter Service

Bethany and Trenton spent most of the afternoon planning a Good Friday Service. It was so sweet. They changed into dress clothes, made bulletins, set up the school room and practiced songs. I'll let the pictures and captions tell the story. 
All dressed up

I love these sweet faces.

Can't leave out the elements for Communion

Taking offering (with money they gave us). Bethany is in the background getting the games set up for us. Yes! They had games with prizes. Really creative and cute!

Bethany teaching a lesson. She had places marked in her Bible and she asked Daddy to read them. The vacuum piece Trenton is holding is their microphone and Bethany is standing behind the podium. :)

Trenton playing the worship music.
A visual aid of The Last Supper. Trenton is holding it up as Bethany tells the story.

Trenton did a reenactment with his knights and people.
Trenton closed in prayer.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Day at the Park

 We had beautiful weather yesterday (and today for that matter.) So a trip to the park was in order! The kids had a great time and I loved watching them.

With so many rainy days, we were all very excited to get outside and play. In the morning, I weeded some flower beds while the kids played on bikes. Then a friend stopped to pick up her little girl that we were watching. I pulled her aside and said, "Hey, what do you think about taking the kids to the park?" She was all for it! Fun Times!


 The Swing
How do you like to go up in a swing?
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

 Robert Louis Stevenson {stanza 1}

Monday, May 16, 2011


I love tulips.

The fabulous colors, the bending stems, the soft petals

ahhh! I love tulips!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The place of seeing God....

I have been reading a wonderful, thought-provoking book called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Her writing draws me in, holds me, twirls and swirls me around and begs me to read more or begs me to re-read what I just read. She is deep. So, in all my reading (and even taking the book to India with me--picture to the right, book is on the end of my bed), I'm yet on chapter 6. Not to worry as I see this as God helping me ponder and ruminate on thoughts and concepts that I am still working on grasping. This afternoon as I finished chapter 6. She talked about seeing a huge marvelous moon on evening. Eloquently, she details her thoughts about God, our Creator and our Righteousness. As she turns to leave the field and lovely moon, she ponders this thought:
The world I live in is loud and blurring and toilets plug and I get speeding tickets and the dog gets sick all over the back step and I forget everything and these six kids lean hard into me all day to teach and raise and lead and I fail hard and there are real souls that are at stake and how long do I really have to figure out how to live full of grace, full of joy--before these six beautiful children fly the coop and my mothering days fold up quiet? how do you open the eyes to see how to take the daily, domestic, workday vortex and invert it into the dome of an everyday cathedral? Could I go back to my life and pray with eyes wide open? 
 Oh, my goodness, this strikes me to the core. I am so there with the loudness and blurriness, the forgetting things, the failing and so on. I must cling to God, see His divine holiness in His created beings (us) and in His creation. I must give thanks to Him for it all, for in giving thanks, is "to move into His presence and listen to His love unending and know the grace uncontainable."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Life Imposed Blog Break

Well, March, April and half of May have flown by....I didn't mean to stop blogging; it just happened that way. Something had to give and it was the thing that can't talk. :D

So, I'm here to start journaling the happenings of Heather again. For starters, we are plugging away at school. We are working hard at doing what we are supposed to do everyday. (Why are the "dailies" of life so difficult to keep up?) Tonight is our homeschool group's annual 'fair'. Participants can display science, history or art projects and performers can play piano or other instruments, recite a poem, sing a song, etc. It's a fun evening, but extremely busy. My now 9 year old Bethany is doing "Panda Bears" and my now 15 year old Marissa is displaying her photography. {Yes, you read right--both girls have had birthdays since my blogging break!} We are busy wrapping up final details on these projects today.

My biggest news is that I went to India for 2 weeks in March! God taught me more about Him and showed me more of His was amazing. My plan is to share pictures and bits of my journal and lots of pictures in the next couple months. Really amazing and wonderful and I'm so grateful to have been able to go.

Babies beginning to crawl and walk sure change a gal's life....I babysit 4 extra kids and two of them are babies. One just turned 1 in March and the other is 8 months old. The 1 yo is starting to walk. She is EVERYWHERE! The 8 mo is doing the army crawl and gets most anywhere she wants to! Talk about busy! Thankfully I have my girls to help, but it sure is a busy time for us. The other two are 4 and 5 year olds. I do preschool with them along with Kindergarten for Trenton. Here are some sites I like for printables and ideas:
Homeschool Creations--You know I love me some Yolanthe!!
Confessions of a Homeschooler--another favorite of mine
Mama Jenn and her other site Education Cubes
I know there are other sites I like. I'll have to jot them down as I come across them.

Here are some sites I've been reading for my own growth and encouragement:
Home Sanctuary 
A Holy Experience
Again, I know there are a few more and some I read sporadically.

Thanks for sticking with me and hopefully in the upcoming weeks I'll be back to regular blogging.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Standing on the Promises

Granola Mom 4 God

This week I read Granola Mom 4 God and this post. It's so good you have to go read it!
Here is a list of the verses that I copied/pasted from her post.
  1. It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.  (Deuteronomy 31:8)
  2. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  3. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
  4. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.  (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  5. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord.  (Isaiah 54:17)
 So encouraging!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Pictorial Update

My Hunny's birthday cake--Blueberry Muffin Cake
Much to our happiness and joy, we recently purchased a new camera. We got a really good deal on it and it takes marvelous pictures! Our old camera didn't have much zoom to speak of and it had stopped downloading to the computer. So, in celebration, I'm posting pictures of our recent happenings all captured on our new camera.

Our sweet dog, Bailey
The courageous firefighter
The fabulous picture taker!
Playing Little House on the Prairie

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

CUTE little Valentine craft

I love owls. I'm not sure when I realized this, but there it is...I love owls.

Today I found this Valentine craft and I want to make it!! Now I'm going to have to felt some wool sweaters from Good thing leads to another that leads another....can't cute!

Lots of snow and ice here...power outages some too. Made time for lots of giggles this morning with Daddy before he left for work. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

yet another giveaway

I really like Freely Educate's website. I subscribe to her posts so they come right to my email inbox--it seems easier to keep up with her free finds. This time it's a giveaway...Friendly Chemistry. {just a note::doesn't "friendly chemistry" seem like a wild oxymoron?? ha!}

Anyway, hope over to her site and sign up for the giveaway if you need the subject of Chemistry to be Friendly! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Found a Peanut, Found a Peanut

Okay, not's not a peanut; it's a new blog I like. But now you are all singing the little ditty, aren't you??

Cultivated Lives at my initial glances around seems like a really neat blog. She is a homeschooler who is married and now homeschooling (I think she'd have some neat perspectives on things.) She is hosting a give-away--a coloring book with illustrated Scriptures and some fantastic colored pencils.

And Ann Voskamp has a wonderfully rich blog called A Holy Experience. You must go read her post for today. challenging and convicting...

Off to AWANA....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

January's Blowing By

I enjoy blogging, trying to find time to blog...I do not enjoy. Some exciting things are taking place around here and I wanted to tell you about them.

Today, I have time at home with no "outside the home" commitments. You may not think that is very exciting, but really, it is! I've been extremely busy in-and-outside our home and that's has made it difficult to get my lesson plans ready for my kids. I've been wingin' it in school since the beginning of January---I do NOT like doing that. So, today, I'm getting myself ready for at least this coming week--and maybe even the rest of the month!
  • After looking at this curriculum on Confessions of a Homeschooler, since August, I finally bought it over Christmas! Yippee!! Even though much of it is too easy for Trenton (5.5 years old), it works great with the two preschoolers that I watch. 
  • Bethany (my 8.5 year old) "lost" her math book, yep, how convenient, right?? Actually she is very organized and keeps good track of her things. We have no idea where the math book has gone...So a friend told me that on the Math-U-See website, you can generate worksheets for certain lessons (it looks like the even numbered lessons.) You can also generate an answer key. I've already gone and printed off a week's worth of lesson problems.
  • I taught a lapbook workshop for a homeschool group on Sunday. The workshop went fine--the greatest treat was meeting a blogger that I follow--Shannon from Song of My Heart! She is sweet, sweet, sweet! It was so fun to meet her and I'm praying that a friendship will grow {as God allows}.
  • This week was our monthly local homeschool meeting and our speaker talked about learning styles and modalities. It was fascinating! I'm working through my notes from that evening and thinking about how to apply some of what I learned. Trenton needs to be active while learning. When I saw these Education Cubes, I wished desperately that I'd thought of this idea!! I placed my order for the cubes (on Amazon) and purchased a membership to the Education Cubes site which will give me access to all the printables she makes for the cubes. 
  • I've committed to reading the Bible in 90 Days. yeah, I know. But I'm determined to do it! I'm a couple days behind, however that is not deterring me. My big goal is to get caught up this weekend. Feel free to ask me how it's going any time between now and March.
Okay, well I'm off and running, printing, planning, laminating and so on and so on. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

some cute stuff

Mama Jenn's blog has some really cute stuff on it lately. Puff ball magnets?! And Education Cubes...neat!

I'm preparing for a lapbook workshop that I'm doing for a local homeschool group; but I can't wait to make these puff ball magnets!!

What have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Post in the New Year

We had a wonderful Christmas. We celebrated Advent and the kids eagerly anticipated Jesus' birthday. After opening gifts Christmas morning and enjoying homemade cinnamon rolls, we watched a movie and relaxed. Dinner came later that afternoon with some great friends and yummy food. We played games around their table and laughed together. Really, a great day.

New Year's Eve was spent with some more great friends and their 3 kids. We made it to midnight, talking, laughing and munching on goodies.

Marissa enjoying her new blanket watching a movie on New Year's Eve
The family
I'm thankful for the blessing of family and friends. We are praying for a year of growth, challenge and following hard after what God has called us to.

Upcoming this week:: my word for 2011...