Category Archives: 170 School Days. 2012

One. Two. Three.

1. We finished school. We jumped back in after the move and we worked hard and got. it. done. I love when the older kids get involved and teach the younger kids. It is fabulous. I also like the flashlight app on my phone.


2. At least he’s half dressed. I love this kid.

3. Once a week we make cookies. We may have perfected the chocolate chip cookie. Once a week I don’t eat cookies. I am at 42 pounds lost and counting.

school44. This was almost the last of the boxes and I finally put them away. It took 20 minutes and I wondered why I didn’t do it sooner. Today just one lonely box of random things sits in the garage. That’s it. It’s those annoying 30 minute projects sometimes. I will get it done. Maybe even this week!


5. He’s still half dressed and calls play dough, “no no”. It gets confusing.

school66. The chicken’s new home is in progress.

school77. My Princess Consuela. Unfortunately we lost my daughter’s chicken to a hawk a couple of weeks ago. Tragic. I didn’t really know this was an option. Do hawks eat Yorkies?

school88. I triple love our backyard.


9. As do the chickens.




10. Our neighbors/landlords share their backyard because they are awesome like that. The treehouse has twinkle lights. I can’t wait to have school in there during a storm this winter.

11. My daughter turned 13 this past month. We had a shopping spree at Forever 21, ear piercing, and a talent show in one day. Too much for my heart. She’s on the left and I love her.school1212. My son taught himself to play the ukulele and was in a talent show too. So proud of this kid. Love him. The youth at our church put the show on to raise money for Summer Camp, WHICH is great because for the two of my kids to go it cost almost as much as my rent.

school1413. Final week of school brought on projects, projects, projects.

school1614. We studied and created our own hieroglyphics while visiting Egypt in our Geography curriculum.

school1715. This was at about 7:30 pm the night before the last day of school. Cutting. it. close. We were determined to finish.


16. Egyptian bread. Honey, butter, bread crumbs, topped with ice cream. I hear it was pretty good.

school1917. Two years and a fantastic curriculum. Thankful to Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler for putting it together. We loved it.

school2018. More progress on the chicken coop. Can not wait for it to be DONE!


19. Country livin’ suits us well . It’s always a good time to run around the yard in jammies and rain boots out here.


Ready for summer!

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An unplanned blogging hiatus has occurred, which is really more like an oh my word, where did the last several days, weeks, and basically the whole month go?


Each and every time I did sit down to write I had too much to say and then nothing could come out…So, today I sit and force myself. Just type it….Prepare for random and possibly long. There will be cute chicken pictures somewhere, so maybe just scroll through for those.


First, this one day I posted something about my kids begging me to live on a farm. By nightfall we were moving to land. I kid you not. God uses even Facebook, my friends.

The set up of our new home was clearly orchestrated by God. Every last detail. It is all so fabulous. We have been in our current rental home for almost 8 years and it has been well loved. While on one hand my heartstrings are breaking, I answered my daughter’s questions of aren’t you going to miss all the memories here? with a resounding NO because we are going to take them with us. Take them with us and then add a whole bunch more. I can’t wait for this new chapter.


*My new backyard

I began the great organizational clean out of twenty thirteen, hardly knowing it was in preparation for a move. So somehow during all of the regular of life these days, I have thrown in cleaning, sorting, and packing a 2400 square foot home into a pyramid of boxes ready to make its way to our new location just several miles from our current home. I quite literally lay awake at night decorating my new place in my head. No counting sheep here, just rearranging furniture tediously and meticulously, all the while imagining the possibilities and trying to decide if it really is too over the top to put a chandelier in my new chicken coop. I’m leaning towards, no, not hardly.


*one of my favorite rooms of my house was reduced to a plain room of nothingness this week. My treasures are in boxes for the new place. I highly recommend candlelight in bathrooms. You light candles and bathroom dirt disappears. I promise.

* * * * *

I have been trying to come to terms with some regrets lately. Have you been there? They have just been laying heavy on my heart. Nothing earth shattering in the grand scheme of things, just sometimes do you look back and say, “really? where WAS my head in those days?” Those decisions were not good ones. Not like bad sin decisions, just course of life ones, ones that led you down a path that you thought was great, but it wasn’t. Of course hindsight as they say IS twenty twenty and if I knew then what I know now, I would have done things very different, BUT we live and learn and that is what I am trying to come to terms with. (Three major cliches in one giant run on sentence, impressive right?). Maybe it is just the result of growing older and hopefully becoming wiser that you look back sometimes and think I never want to waste any of my God given moments again. Not ever.

Then I heard it…

“I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves me.”

Focus on Jesus.

I know He never wastes a moment. He causes everything to work together for good, but the human me wants to wallow sometimes. Mourn for moments lost because of decisions not made with my eyes fixed on Him. Or go down the I wonder if road….knowing full well that it leads to nowhere.

We enter this world naked and screaming, life can take its toll, and by 41 I have a collection of baggage. Some full, some empty.

Lord Jesus, please empty them all.

* * * * *

It’s the second most wonderful time of the year. Straight up right behind Jesus’ Birthday. My mailbox is full of curriculum catalogs. What IS it that is just so darn fun about choosing it all? I am SO excited about next year and the way things are already shaping up. Every year this gets easier and I can NOT believe that we will beginning our 5th year of homeschooling in the fall. FIFTH. F I V E. Seriously, it’s incredible.

* * * * *

Speaking of numbers I have SIX chickens. Stevie, Princess Consuela, Diver, Iris, Lola, and Emily. They are days old and the cutest things. Ever. Ever. Ever. So far so good. We have kept them alive for six days. By the time we are all settled in our new place, they should be just about ready to move into theirs.


* * * * *

School continues amongst the chaos. Just as a mom learns to multi task a little bit better with each additional child added to the family, a homeschool mom learns to multitask with an alarming capacity as well. Education, toddlers, packing. All in a day’s work. Think octopus.

* * * * *

I am caught up. Four of these bad boys. All sitting pretty. Caught up. Organized. Bliss. I’m a nerd. Yes, I know.


* * * * *

Instagram. I love words. I love photos. When you combine them, it’s magical.

Come follow me!




All for now…


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Don’t you hate it when you get a great planner, fill it in, and then find one you like better? Welcome to my last two days! I resisted the urge to waste anymore time and buy another one to re-fill in. I kept the original new one. Yay me.

When filling it in, I realized it is time to think about what homeschool conference I am going to attend. I have been 2 times. I find them incredibly important. I think that one of the big threats of homeschool is aloneness. Isolation. We are on an island. Even if you choose to use that to your advantage and sleep on that hammock, call Pedro for umbrella drinks, and live in paradise, at some point the aloneness will get to you. It is too easy to start using your own self as a judge on what your kids “should know” and “shouldn’t know” and a host of other decisions. The last thing I want in the world for my children is to raise them on my island, created by me and me alone. I want them to be able to leave this island and enter the “real world” completely ready to tackle college, careers, marriage, and family.


*first beaters. a total rite of passage.

Part of that readiness for me is staying in touch with my teacher friends and asking them to look at my curriculum. Looking at my friends kid’s homework and seeing if I am even remotely near it. Reading, researching, and learning {including going to conferences}. I find that each time I went, I saw hundreds of people who were normal, socialized, well adjusted, intelligent and polite people who love and want the best for their children. They have chosen this path of homeschooling as one of many to get there. It gives an extra layer of validity to the whole thing to me. A tangible confidence. Sometimes, in those moments, I need that constant reminder that I am not crazy.

On those times, when I wake up in the middle of winter and it is freezing cold outside and I am tired and I am in clothes for the 4th day in a row without a button or zipper in sight, I remember that I am no where near alone in this venture. I think the conventions are well worth my time and money and really? a weekend away. I’m o.k. with that part too.

Spring is not the best time of year for me. I prefer June through mid January. However, I love to plan and so the beginnings of thinking about the next year and what we will learn and sifting through the endless oceans of curriculum really help energize me during this slump time of year.

It really has been such a perfect first week back after a long holiday break, NOT because it has been perfect. Oh, if you could see my house in those moments. In fact this morning during one, I looked down to find my toddler driving, quite violently I might add, a circus train across my desk. You know the fun thing about older kids? They get things now. My oldest son locked eyes with me laughed and pressed the button for the circus music to add to the chaos. It was beautiful.


*all aboard the crazy train, please.

Each year I learn more and more. Each year I get better at what I am doing. By the time I figure it out, no doubt I will be creating a way to fulfill my promise to my 12 year old that she will wear a cap and gown and have a ceremony somewhere. However that is in fact life, right? The journey is the most important.

Homeschool requires so much. I have a nagging fear in the back of my mind of what will happen to me when I am done with this phase. When I wake up in the morning and actually might have some free time because there are no babies living at home with me anymore. The transition seems like it will be so much more abrupt than if they were at school outside the home all these years. I recognize its fairly ridiculous to even let these thoughts of 17 years from now cross my mind. We may not even continue homeschooling all the way through. Who knows what the Lord has planned.


*my monkey lives on…he got busted just after I snapped this.

This week we continued memorizing poetry, marrying off q and u {til death do they part}, multiplication, past participles, and the list goes on and on. Second, seventh, and eight grades are sure teaching me a lot. My daughter and I are finishing up a study on the kitchen. I can’t wait to tell you about it. It’s been super fun and was inspired by Polished Cornerstones.

Today is Thursday, which is my Friday. I am ready for the weekend! This teacher gig is exhaustingly fabulous.

I had a moment of sheer serenity earlier in the week. Classical music playing {which is standard around here}, new leopard slippers, pumpkin spice candle, teenage son going about his chores while teaching toddler how to do them too, both daughters engrossed in independent assignments, and my husband  doing the dishes. Moments like these are the icing on the cake of life.


When you move to a new city, it can be so lonely. One of the first people I met 7.5 years ago when I moved to Elk Grove, was this crazy mama. We were on a field trip for our boys as they were in the same class. We chatted at a park and haven’t stopped since. We look alike and our hearts are a lot alike. People think we are sisters. We kinda are, just, not by blood.

Her baby girl has some pretty significant health issues. They went through some scary months waiting on a diagnosis. In fact, she was the one who found the disease online that her daughter was ultimately diagnosed with and brought the information to her doctors.

She has about a gajillion things on her plate and when she felt the Lord calling her to put a 5k run on to raise awareness and funding for Mitochondrial disease, she said yes. It’s going to be no small event. She doesn’t do small. Please take a moment to read about this event and Mitochondrial disease. The information could be so important to you or someone you know. I had never even heard of the word before.


Happy Thursday!

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Miscellany Monday

1. Back to school today. It has been a fantastic break. I have enjoyed every single second of it. However, I also enjoy making up sentences with spelling words. Such as, “behind, I can see your behind right now.” Fantastic gig I’ve got goin’ here.


2. I have a monkey. My boy uses the railings of his crib as balance beams and anything that isn’t nailed down as a step stool. This is our first climber at such a young age. I am currently sleeping camped out on his floor while his new bed and extra extra tall gate (for his doorway to his room because the extra tall did not stop him) make their way to our house. I am not sure how I will go back to my own bed and sleep peacefully, knowing that he now can get up in the middle of the night and do whatever he wants. How do I keep this kid safe? Ideas welcomed. Empty the room completely? Leave furniture and bolt it to the wall? I need a sound machine for white noise somewhere in there and I really want to buy a video monitor so that is going to need to be plugged in as well. Help me mamas of monkeys. This boy is bound and determined, strong as can be, and quite stealth like. I woke up the other night to him sitting by my head quietly playing my iPhone that he had found and snatched. WHAT?????????


 3. Insanity round 2 starts to-day. I appreciate that the days promoting over indulgence are now replaced by the days trying to encourage New Years resolutions. It makes healthiness a wee bit easier.

4. We are in a book!!!! This fabulous author Mealnie Warner wrote a book. You’ve got to check it out, it is really good. This girl knows her stuff. It will be released next month. Get your copy here. It talks all about processed food in America. Our part is about why we switched and how it has affected us. So fun!

5. Quick! Run over to Hip Homeschool Moms and enter to win a 3 month subscription to Little Passports. I was able to review the product. It’s pretty darn spectacular. Sam and Sofia and a magic Vespa in exotic lands. I mean really?

6. I rearranged my house. This is not the first time nor the last. It works so much better. Nothing like a fresh new layout. The office became a den, the dining room became an office, the living room got a major facelift, the play area became the dining room, and the under the stairs closet became the play area. Got it? 🙂 I also scored a dreamy vintage couch in the process. Me happy.


7. Every single thing in my house is getting gone through, sorted, and cleaned. I think it might take me 2 months to complete the process due to my rather full time job of motherhood and homeschooling. However, it is so worth it. It makes me giddy.

8. “Mom, I don’t know what a subtraction sign is. I am getting old and I forget stuff.” ~ emma (8yrs old).

9. I was reminded this week that God is at the end of your rope. I was really frustrated the other night about some things and kinda challenging God on them in my daring human type way and He kinda said, “Well, are you doing you’re part”? “Um no, no I am not.” It was a good swift kick in the booty that I needed. God’s good at those. We’ve gotta do our part. We can’t sit around and complain that what we want isn’t happening. Truth be told most of the time in those situations, I am not even doing what I am supposed to be doing. THEN I get all like, “where is God in all of this?”. Anyone else have this problem?  We just have to be faithful with what we have and where we are at. One foot in front of the other.

10. It’s cold where I live right now. Sunny California is freezing me. Like 27 degrees. I am considering moving to live in my hot shower indefinitely.

Happy Monday.


Writing random and joining Carissa @ Lowercase Letters

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

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The Day of Christmas Merriment

I declared a day of Christmas merriment. I made the decision last Thursday at about 9:43 am.

*Sorry my little man. With two older sisters, zebra print and hot pink fur lined santa hat it is.

It was a day focusing on their hearts, not their brain. Truth is, I think I needed it more than they.

It began with a trip to Trader Joes. I had been promising the kids to let them try those Candy Cane Joe Joes that have been the topic of many a Facebook post over the last couple of weeks. They are ridiculous. Best cookie out of a box ever. Eat them.

I also decided to entertain myself with letting my 2 year old push his own cart. He pretty much entertained the store as well, while he was doing his shopping.

I had no list and no plan. We bought a few things for a favorite lunch around here of quesadillas and Trader Joes Corn Chips and salsa. We tried a new fruit. I don’t even remember the name. I believe it was something with a “p” involved.

We wandered back and forth up and down aisles, repeating rows frequently. It was completely an inefficient shopping trip and completely perfect and yes my baby is wandering somewhat unsupervised in the wine section.

*when did he grow up? and how cute are his ringlets?

We ate cookies in the parking lot in the morning and then headed for home.

On the way, I made up a game of how many Christmas decorations can you spot? (including, please yell it out as you see it). It gave me a 20 minute ride of Christmasness. Ho, ho, ho.

Mid way home, I impulsively pull over to check on “our house”. You know how you have a home of your dreams (the one you’ve created on Pinterest boards where unless you win the lottery, there is no way it will happen) and then a realistic home of your dreams (the one where it’s slightly out of reach, but not impossible)? This home is the latter. A couple of years ago, we almost purchased a house and had looked at this one. It was slightly out of our price range, so some other blessed family is now living in it. However, when I crossed the threshold, my heart stopped. It’s a small home, perfectly cozy, but with plenty of space to raise our family. It has more character in those walls then I can ever explain with words. A master suite with cement floors, open tub in the room, dark hardwood floors, arches, chandeliers, huge yard, outdoor fireplace, round towers, oh I could go on and on. It is a bit of a fixer upper, but the house had my heart. It wants me to live there, I am sure of it. We check on it from time to time. Someday, maybe….For now, it’s our “castle house”.

Our return home held another impulsive stop of a in the street dance party (on a back road, no worries). A little Taylor Swift anyone? Street dance parties are the best. I highly recommend them.

Then we were home and on to more Day of Christmas Merriment.

Lunch, coloring, naps, Just Dance, candlelight spaghetti dinner, Candy Land, and sugar cookies from scratch (try these-best recipe ever).

It all made a day that my heart needed and their’s did too. I committed to no raised voices, no work, all play. All Day.

Be nice, talk nice, feel warm and fuzzy, celebrate. Be a Hallmark card in real life.

It was an all day Christmas school party. Impromptu. Unplanned. Perfect.

School is officially on break.

Bring on some more celebrating.

Classes will resume on January 7th.

Can I get an Amen?






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Stuff That Moves Me

The last month or so I have been feeling a bit like a dirt bag teacher. Stuff was all getting done, but I have been riddled with the guilt of not doing “enough” and not being prepared “enough” and well yeah. It happens when I start to let school slip down the rungs of the ladder of importance in my life. Then I feel guilty because I’m all ” REALLY, this is your kid’s education and this can NOT slip.” BUT THEN, I’m all, “REALLY, does another completed craft off of Pinterest define successful education?” I think not. So, you can see the argument that wages in my head, complete with the vocabulary of a 16 year old.

The bottom line is homeschooling is HARD. It’s hard because of the weight of responsibility. It’s hard because of the amount of time it takes. It’s just hard for a lot of reasons. The hardest thing I have ever done. It’s also what my husband and I believe that God wants for our family. So, when the going gets tough for me, it does not mean that it is time to quit, but time to honestly look and re prioritize. There very may well come a day that my children go back to school outside of the home. If and when that day comes, I am confident that the Lord will make it clear to both my husband and I. It’s not now.

A life of substance requires sacrifice, dependence on God, denying ourselves, and constant asking for His will and mine to line up. So many times my flesh sneaks up and says things like, “Hey, you deserve to get 8 hours a day to yourself while your kids are away at school” I start to fantasize about what I could accomplish during those hours… I can hardly imagine what that would be like. Whatever God calls each of us to, for our own lives, is undoubtedly going to be a challenge at some point. That doesn’t mean that you need to change it. It probably means you need to change you. It usually means that for me, anyway.

I had a really good week back at school last week. I kicked school back up two notches to its rightful place and prayed for enthusiasm, energy, patience, and passion. All of the things that I want for a teacher of my children to have. One night, while I was looking around on some blogs for some fun ideas for this next month of school, I ran across this post {Why I (Almost) Gave Up Homeschooling} by Eddie @ Life In Grace. She was one of the first blogs I ever found. The post stopped me right in my tracks.

“I wandered off the path because the path was difficult.”

“I was busy and distracted.”

“We want the beauty without the struggle.”

My heart’s whisperings articulated perfectly on paper. So nice to know I am not alone. If you homeschool, or ever feel like you want to give up on something, please read this. It is bookmarked on my computer, for safe keeping.

When I am in the right place, I get up and act out the vocabulary words, complete with dance and song, if need be, for my 8 year old. I watch her eyes twinkle because she thinks I am so funny and I know I am doing it right. When I am in the right place, I answer that question for the 14,567th time without rolling my eyes. When I am in the right place, I can change poopy diapers and teach Algebra in one single bound. When I am in the right place, the dry erase markers that produce our grammar lessons match Christmas. When I am in the right place, my day has enough time because God makes all things perfect, including 24 hours in a day.

My right place isn’t me being perfect, but it’s knowing that God has fully and fabulously equipped me in every single way that I need to live out what He has asked of me. I have all of the resources and skills available to me that I need. Not necessarily the ones that I want all of the time, but definitely the ones that I need.

Being in the center of God’s will in the little day to day moments is inspiring. It’s when stuff just “feels” right and that is the sprinkles on top, for sure. A deep peace is prevalent in the midst of chaos. It’s beautiful. I like it here.


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I figured out the secret to getting everything done. An Insanity workout taught me in the wee hours of the morning. I wrote about it yesterday @Hip Homeschool Moms. Basic information that God uses as a light bulb moment. Love those. It’s not about how much we do, but how much we leave on the floor when we are done.

It’s November and all my favorite traditions and visions of comfy cozy are coming to fruition. I walk into Joanns and before I even hit the land of endless possibilities the cinnamon pinecones awake every creative nook and cranny in my entire being. We have a Joanns Superstore and it is pretty fabulous BUT I need to go to Hobby Lobby people. STAT. Nothing better. I am pretty sure they will be in heaven. Wouldn’t you agree?

For my little guy? Heaven might be his sock monkey, the Polar Express, Thomas…. and me. I’m totally good with that.

We are so close to right on schedule with school. Yay us. In reality, I am a little shocked. Discipline to stay on track is tough when homeschooling during the time of year that is a mecca to gumdrop and pony lovers everywhere. Every where you turn is warm and fuzziness ready to lure you away from the planner. I planned this school year with an entire week off at Thanksgiving. We just might need to work one day of that to be totally on track, but no big deal. Things are going really well for the most part -then there is math. I am considering a change, but I think that there can be such danger in curriculum hopping. One can not jump ship every time something does not go as planned. However, with my increased knowledge of the education world and the deeper level of understanding that I have with my children’s learning styles, we may be making a mid year change and moving to Math U See. I am sitting on it, talking to a teacher friend, a homeschool mom friend, and praying about it.

Speaking of curriculum, I am not loving Explode the Code online for many reasons. In fact, we have stopped using it entirely. They will not refund any portion of my payment, which is a big bummer. We are using the workbooks only now and have been for a couple of years. They rock. Other than that, I am really happy with all of our choices this year. Things are going well. Except for the incessant arguing between an almost 14 year old and an 8 year old, but that is for another post, another day.

The other day when I was assigning homework for the weekend, my 13 year old says to me, “Mom, I miss the days when you didn’t know what you were doing.” I grinned ear to ear. Thank you…very much, I say. No higher complement in my classroom.

A few weeks ago, I had an idea in the produce section of Whole Foods. Candy is typically a fabulous “incentive” in school. Let’s be honest, bribery works. I mean I know I would like it if there was an individual ready to give me a chocolate chip when I finished mopping the floor. “You scrubbed the toilets with a cheerful heart? Congratulations, here is an m n m.” It could be fabulous.

However, with our recent efforts to improve our eating habits, I was a bit stumped. Candy didn’t seem like a totally fantastic idea. Yet, while in the produce section, I remembered the trail mix bar. It has a ton of nuts, pretzels, dried fruit, and a few candies {free of dye and some of the junk found in a lot of sweets}. So, I thought this was a perfect compromise. I proudly shared my plan and I let each of the kids fill up a little tub to create their own trail mix.

Do you see anything missing? Total fail.

Love this girl.

Christmas decorating is in theory to begin when we have completed week thirteen of school assignments. A little incentive for all of us. However, two very wide eyed little girls, just might be sleeping in their beds next to the glow of twinkle lights this evening. A certain mother just might be considering a slumber party.

Pony and gumdrop lovers everywhere unite.

It’s Christmas time!



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The Bible And Chocolate Chip Cookies

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Nine ingredients measured out and all lined up in bowls. Three children anxiously awaiting to see how this was our Bible lesson.

First ingredient. First child. Taste the flour. Is it good? Is it gross? Yeah its gross. It tastes bad all by itself. Tell me something that in your life that is “gross” or hard or bad. Write it down on the card in front of you.

Repeat ingredient. Different kid.

Brown Sugar – Good. Tell me a good thing in your life. Now write it down.

White sugar – good.

Salt – good.

Baking soda – bad.

Vanilla – Really bad.

Chocolate Chips – good.

Eggs – declined to taste, we know they are bad.

Butter – bad.

Out of 9 ingredients – five are bad when they are tasted alone and four are good. {Really it should be 6-3 because salt alone is gross but my kids think otherwise.}

Let’s mix up all the ingredients.

Now let’s taste.

How is it?

Delicious? Yes.

How is it that all of these things – both bad and good – together make something good?

Light bulb (or sugar rush). They got it.

Jesus takes our whole life. All of it – good and bad. He works it together for something fabulously delicious.

Praise Him for that.

*Bible lesson taken and tweaked a bit from Positive Action’s 2nd grade Bible curriculum.

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Pressed Flower Craft

One of the highlights of each country we visit with Expedition Earth is our art projects. A while back, we were in Germany and made some pressed flower art. So pretty! It would be fun to do even if you weren’t fake visiting Germany.

The suggestion was to put the flowers in a frame. We didn’t have one and if I am buying anyone a new frame around here, it’s probably going to be me. So, we improvised instead and spent no money!


1 sheet of an overhead transparency

Duck tape in fabulous designs (available at Target)


white paper

some of your scrapbook ribbon

First, pick the flowers gently off of a plant (one that belongs to you, NOT your neighbors). Place the flowers between some paper towels and under some heavy books for a few days.

Once the flowers are pressed, use a drop of glue to hold them to your white paper. Next, lay the transparency over the top. Using your Duck tape, seal the four sides.

Finally, punch two holes in the top of your design. Pull some scrapbook ribbon through the holes and knot it so that it won’t slip through.


So easy. So cute.

Happy October 1st. We are celebrating with a 100 degree day over here!



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One Sixth Done

We just completed week six of school. I am planning my date to plan quarter 2. I’m planning a date to plan. Does anyone else see a problem with this?

We started reading chapter books this year with Emma. I wanted a fun way to incorporate it into our school day and I stumbled upon this book at Rainbow Resource. It is pretty much the cutest thing in all the land. It has already been a big hit with Emma. It is a keepsake book to record 15 books that she has read. It even has bookplates for the books. Oh and…$7.95. SCORE!

I honestly am so thankful for Pinterest. Come follow me there. If you homeschool, I am telling you it is a lifesaver! I found this fun craft. We are focusing on geography this year and this was just a great review of what’s what.

We are learning all the states this year. This week we had Emma’s first state test. She nailed it. I add a couple of states each week. We have map posters to review them daily and then I give her different worksheets and things to practice. You can grab a blank map outline here.  I also purchased this magnetic map. It’s been great as well AND it’s from Hobby Lobby, so I just gave you ANOTHER reason to go and drool your way around the store. We nailed it to the wall and then I just give her the states as we learn them.

…another Pinterest find. Domino Math. They currently have dominos in the $1 section at Target and you can grab the recording sheet here.

Last year I created a file system for all of my “extra” resources. Thin worksheet style books and printouts from the computer live in here. This way when I am sweetly minding my own business online and some magical worksheet jumps out at me, I can print it, file it, and actually find it again so that I can use it.

We are back in the swing of things with one of our favorite curriculums, which is one of our electives, Expedition Earth. We have visited Germany and the Netherlands this year, so far. We have made lots of crafts, studied music and art, famous landmarks, and on and on. This week we finished up our stay in the Netherlands by eating one of their treats (chocolate bread) and playing a game of pumpkin bowling (thanks Pinterest). Bowling originated in the Netherlands way back when, so we gave ’em props with a little fall version of our own. Taylor won. Go Tay.

 Our littlest student has really fallen in line with the routine. Week one and two had me questioning my sanity a bit, but as I told the kids, he will get it-and he has. We have that super hexagon gate for play time (with extensions=lifesaver), movie time, outside time (the older two kids take just 15 minutes each of watching him each day), snacks, high chair play, and whatever else I can think of.

He has finally decided that talking is a good idea. SOOOOOO lessons around here are frequently interrupted with sweet toddler speak of beep beep, monkey, fish, stuck, plane, Elmo, and mmmmuah (as he kisses his sock monkey). There is enormous cheers and high fives goin’ on each time he speaks. I am not the only one around here completely head over heels in love with this little dude.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend, my friends!

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