Category Archives: Uncategorized

FREE Courses Update!

Ok…so I admit, I make mistakes. Yes, I make mistakes, I am not perfect:)  When I wrote all my curriculum and put it on my site, I did it in such a hurry because I wanted to get it done.  I had Momma’s who needed to get schooling for their children!  Which led to me doing it quickly…one speed:)  I have noticed, and I am sure you have too, some errors on the pages.  I am thankful for the readers who inform me so I mark it to fix them.

Usually when my children do the pages, I will mark them and keep them in a pile to fix the errors.  That has been what I have been doing these last few weeks…fixing errors.  Now, I may have missed a few more…again…just a human:) But I have went through them all and fixed the ones I noticed.

I have also added some new things. My daughter is left-handed and she has informed me how difficult it is to copy her spelling words.  That led me into making a left-handed spelling list.  Easy enough. I also added cursive for all the spelling lists in case you would rather have that over print.

I am also adding a video at the top of the homeschooling resources page, to give the pros and the cons of using plain and not so plain curriculum.  You can watch it here.

 

I hope this helps clean up some of pages and helps people understand it a bit better. Any other suggestions, would be great!

Have a wonderfully blessed day today!

Christmas fun the last few weeks

Hey everyone, I hope your having a great start to your week!  We have been busy the last few weeks and I wanted to share a little of what we have been up to…..

The week after Thanksgiving we made a bunch of cut out sugar cookies and gingerbread men for our community tree lighting ceremony. The children and I mixed up and baked a bunch of batches.

We then invited our homeschool group over for an ornament and cookie decorating party.  I bought some sticker ornaments from Oriental Trading that they put together.

We also baked some salt dough ornament and then let the children paint them. 

One mom brought some glitter so they added that to the ornaments.  It looked so pretty.

It was a fun messy day. I put large sheets of paper to cover the tabletops and make clean up easy.  Each mom brought some different things to make ornaments.  They did bird seed ornaments, foam marshmallow ones, and beaded candy canes.  

Then we had everyone wash their hands very well and explained to the children to NOT lick their fingers or their spreading sticks:)  This was going to be cookies for the community tree lighting ceremony.

We then colored frosting…everyone brought one can of white and placed a dollop by each child’s place and gave them each a popsicle stick for spreading.

This worked well instead of having a bunch of plates to throw away.  We had the sprinkles in the center of the table…everyone brought one container to share.

When we were all finished I gave them each a cupcake and they decorated that with the leftover frosting and sprinkles.  That was what they were able to eat right then. 

We ended up with a couple of huge trays of cookies to take down to our park the next day.  I think the favorites…were the three eyeball snowman and swirling gingerbreadmen:)

The next morning we woke up and went to our main city for the Christmas parade.  We have been going every year since we moved here.  The children really enjoy it.  Then it was home for a couple of hours to wait until the tree lighting ceremony at our park.

Around 4 we went down to the park and played. It was a beautiful day.  The children got to run around and play with friends and then “Snowman and Reindeer” showed up to play as well.

We took down our cookies and they had hot cocoa for everyone too.

Then Santa came to play around as well.

Here is Madelyn dancing with the snowman:)

The children even convinced Santa to get on the merry go round….he lasted for a little bit—more than I could:)

Matthew and Lauren even swing danced a bit:)

We sang some Christmas songs  and then we lighted the town tree.  We stayed until we couldn’t see the children anymore:)  Then we went home.  It was a great time.  They started this tradition a year before we moved here and every year there are more and more people attending.  It is good to see the community come out and be part of it.

Then we had a week of school, busy, and life:)  My friend Tammy was sharing with me about Dollywood Cinnamon Bread…so I looked up the recipe and it looked very delicious.  I attempted it with a recipe that I had at home.

We made a batch of this and then I ended up making it again the next day.  Very delicious bread. 

Cinnamon bread–click here for recipe.

Then we had Brooklyn’s 11th Birthday!  She wanted to invite some friends over and have a little party this year.  We baked some cupcakes and she frosted them.

She found this recipe for blue punch and we tried it.  It was good.

Then the girls made some candy bar sleds.

We just hot glued all the pieces on.  They also made flubber…which I don’t have any photos of:)  They played Christmas Charades, Jingle Bell Toss, Candy candy hunt, and lots of laughter.  It was a busy couple of hours as we had to get to church on time.

They each made individual pizzas for their meal and we served cupcakes and drumstick ice cream cones.  It was  a fun afternoon for her and she enjoyed having the fellowship with her friends.

The next day….my little ones were rather bummed they didn’t get to make flubber so we dedicated that day to craft day…you can watch the video here.

The next day we woke up and it started to snow……..

It snowed and snowed hard for hours.

We ended up with about a foot of snow….which was fun for the children.

They got to take their sleds that we were able to find down here and go down the driveway.  It was fun…then the power went out…which is not so fun.  We had lost power for about a day and a half. I was very thankful for the propane gas fireplace, lots of snow to melt, and we did have some bottled water on hand.  It takes a whole 5 gallon bucket of snow to melt for one pot of water…in case you ever wanted to know that:)  We survived and made it…you just do what you have to do:)  I am thankful for restored power and “normal.”

That begins my day today. I am now catching up on laundry, cleaning, and getting together a shopping list for food.  I decided not to do a big freezer meal prep this month..I am only going to shop for a few weeks worth of groceries.  We have a cookie party coming up, another birthday, then christmas and new years….so I think it will be best to go back to preparing meals…so I have the freezer space for special foods that we will be buying.  We also will be finishing up school this week and taking a 3 week break.  We started the year early because the weather was so yucky and now we will enjoy a much needed school break this week!  I look forward to spending time making treats, watching movies, and just enjoying not having the extra school stuff to check:)  It will make a fun vacation.

I pray your day is off to a great start…if not…take a few moments alone and breathe….then go back and restart your day with your children.  Be blessed and see you soon!

A typical morning at our home

For those of you, that enjoy videos…here is a vlog on my morning routine.  It is pretty accurate most of the time, yes I do have days that it is less busy, but the reality is….I am a mom of many:)  Just like everyone else, it is just a different kind of crazy.

Enjoy your day!

 

Christmas stress?? and making salt dough ornaments

Hello, I hope your day is off to a good start today.  It is almost the weekend!! Lots going on for people.  This can be an excited, joyful filled time of the year for some but it can also bring about a lot of depression, anxiety, worry, and stress for many. There are so many things that we feel we need to “pack” into our lives to give our children the best experiences, the best memories, and to not let anyone else down because we didn’t participate in an activity with them.

 Isn’t it just like our enemy, Satan, to want to bring about chaos during one of the only times of year that we as believers can celebrate Jesus with the world?

I mean we should be celebrating Jesus every day, but Christmas time is one of those times of year that we can be a shining example easier to the world.

How do you go about avoiding the stresses during this time of year?  You simplify.  You cut WAAAAYY back.  Don’t decorate your entire home, just set up one area with decorations.  If you have children, they are happy with a string of Christmas lights hanging in their rooms:)  If your children can help, let them decorate.  Yes, I know it won’t look as nice as when we would do it, but it is one less thing to do and by the end of the month, you can put it away:)

Keep you holiday foods simple.  We would always try and do appetizer type foods on Christmas day and I really liked to do that and felt like a total failure when I couldn’t.  But when we had a baby a week before Christmas, it was not going to happen.  My husband went and bought pizzas that year.  My children were just as happy with pizzas as appetizers.  It was a treat we didn’t normally get and they were happy.  One Christmas Eve, we got Happy Meals for all the little ones.  They were thrilled!!!  Foods more for us, not them, keep it simple.  Make sure you have a few fresh fruits, some cut up vegetables, and hardboiled eggs.  Then when they are eating pizza for dinner, you can make sure at lunch time they get something healthy in that day:)

Presents………presents….presents….this is probably one of the biggest stresses of all.  You either have too much to buy, not enough money, or just thinking about it stresses you out.  I would sit down and make a list of who you have to buy for and ideas for things to purchase.  This would be a great time of year to try out Amazon Prime—-I believe you can get a free trial for a month.  The prices are very comparable to the stores and you can sit at home, order, and it ships to you.  I find that the easiest.  If I can buy it on Amazon, I usually do.

Take a day and look up some homemade gift ideas for other people.  Especially when you have lots to buy for.  You can make some really nice homemade gifts for cheap.

Look for situations where you can bless someone else.  My daughter and I were recently talking and she was sharing how stressful this time of year was for one of her single mom friends.  I told her one of the greatest things she could do was to reach out and help her.  Give her money as a gift.  Do it anonymously.  It is hard enough when you have two working parents trying to make Christmas happen for children, let alone a single mom.  Buy up some gift cards to Walmart and keep them in your purse.  Pray and ask the Lord for ways that you can bless someone else this time of year.  I know He will show you someone whom you can help.

If you can’t afford to do that, then make an extra meal for friends.  Everyone would appreciate a dinner they would not have to make during this busy time as well.   Lasagna, soups, casseroles, homemade breads, and salads, would be all welcomed from the recipients.

One thing that I as a Mom did not do every year and wish I would have, is to take a family photo.  I mean I did try MOST years, but not every year.  It was just too  much.  The years that I did remember, I sat all the little ones in front of the tree and took a photo.  It doesn’t have to be elaborate and all dressed up, pajama memories are great too.  This will be something you can look back on and remember.  I mean an entire family photo is great but that can be super stressful to get done as well.  We do ours at Thanksgiving time and I tell my family, no one eats until we smile for the photo:)  Well, at least that has been my policy for the last couple of years:)

A fun tradition that our family does each year is to make some holiday ornaments.  This year we are inviting our homeschool group over for a day of lunch, ornament making, and cookie decorating for our community tree lighting ceremony.  The girls and I took this week and made some salt dough ornaments for us to paint and decorate with our friends.

You can watch the video here

This is how we made them:

In a bowl combine 1 cup salt and 1 cup warm water until dissolved.   Then mix in 2 cups flour.  Do this slowly  so that it mixes well.

You treat it like bread dough and knead it together well. Put some flour on the counter and roll them out.  Use cookie cutters that are simple and basic.  Avoid any thin pieces as they will be susceptible to breaking off.

You want them a little thicker not too thin.

Place them on a cookie sheet to dry.  We put ours on top of the refrigerator and flip them over after a couple of days and they dry up nicely.  You can also put them in the oven on 250 degrees for a few hours.

Paint with acrylic paints, googly eyes, markers, etc.  Spray with clear coat for a perfected look. Hang with twine or ribbon.

Enjoy!  Have a blessed weekend!!!

Saran wrapped Christmas Tree

Last year, if you remember, I saran wrapped my Christmas tree to store it.  It was a wonderful idea, I thought.  It made the tree skinny, it kept it protected and when we opened it this year, it did not have a musty attic smell to it.  I will ALWAYS saran wrap my Christmas tree.

Plus the children had so much funny, unwinding the tree!

It was a race to see who could unroll theirs the fastest!

Then after we unrolled, we set the tree up.  It was super easy, just attach and plug the lights in.  All finished.  Everyone helped puff the branches and then we were on to decorating with ornaments.

They do much better now that they are all older and you don’t just have a bunch of ornaments at the bottom:)

In our home, we only had one tree so we change who puts the star up every year, going in birth order.  We always joke and say that it will be another 9 years until you put the star up again—-and if you move out or get married–you forfeit your star hanging place:)

This year it was back to Collin and he got to put the star up.  He probably will never get to again…unless he is home for another 9 years.

Then we moved to the downstairs and decorated that tree.

Lauren was up next and got to hang up the star. 

She is a little “shorter” so the downstairs tree worked well for her:)

It was a nice time having everyone hang their ornaments.  This is the only time that all the ornaments will be on the tree in a set place.  I am sure we will have multiple play toys come visit and cart off some of my bulbs and or climb into the tree and knock some off.  It is good, I keep the nicer ornaments at the top out of reach, the bottom ones are okay.  Just relax and enjoy.  These moments create memories that you will never forget.

I think this is the earliest that we have set our tree up in a long time.  We did this before Thanksgiving.  I am happy and it has started our Christmas fun rolling.  Have a blessed rest of your week and hopefully you can get out some of those Christmas decorations and place some out.  But if you are a Mom with lots of little ones and the thought of a tree just stresses you out, talk to your husband and see if he will opt out of a tree this year.  There were many years where it just spelled STRESS to me. I would literally put it up a week before Christmas and the day after, it was back down.  I get it, routine and normal worked best in those days.  Now life changes and it gets easier.

Make it about the memories and the fun.  Don’t worry so much about the perfect tree or the perfect cookies or the perfect gifts.  Just enjoy the moments  and forget the details.

Less Stuff for More Life