Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas Break

School started and I took off running.  I haven't stopped. Until now and without a break I will crash!  

I am so ready for, all the decor is not out and I don't have any gifts wrapped.  I am ready to stop. To meditate. To take time as the year is closing to reflect and count my blessings.  I know the accomplishments of 2017 are way out numbered by blessings.  Already this 'Christmas Season' I have enjoyed peace and joy.  I am purposely trying to avoid stress that obligatory consumerism brings.  

I remember as a little girl seeing the acronym JOY .
And it works!  If we keep Jesus first, then focus on the time we get to ourselves we find JOY.

Christmastime seems to draw most people back to childhood memories...whether good or sad.  This year I have made an effort to connect with old friends who probably feel forgotten.  It is the first time in several years that I have sent cards.  I have been making the excuse that I  added up the costs and just let the kids buy a mission gift through World Vision.  They love "giving" ducks or chickens or a goat...and we can still do that. {Writing a check is easier that addressing evelopes!!} But this year I decided to go ahead and send the card (140!) and let friends know they were remembered.  Some will be surprised.

At the beginning of the month our church hosted the Milikin family with Rachel McCutcheon for a Christmas Concert...Eli has been singing about having an Arkansas Christmas ever since!! 

So far Christmas 2017 has focused on events and visits with friends...maybe we are making new traditions...I hope so!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Club 100

The door going out of our school room is steal. So I decided to take advantage of that blank area by making that our Club 100. I still had robots so I used those. Each time one of the boys makes a 100 I will put his name on a magnetic label and put it under the subject. I guess at the end of the 9 weeks I will have a prize for the one with the most.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Our First Read-a-long For 2017-18

A couple of months ago I was privileged to go through a personal library and take any and as many books as I wanted. I tried to be discreet and take only a few. This book grabbed my attention and begged to join my library.  I wasn't looking for items to sell but since I was offered this opportunity I didn't want to waste it. And I sincerely plan to read the treasures I was gifted.

TO BE OR NOT TO BE was written by S.D.Chambers the pastor of Kilburn Presbyterian Church in Newark, New Jersey , 1921.
This is a collection of sermons and talks for "juniors".  Each chapter deals with issues that begin with"B".  The "B" word is explained on a "junior" understanding.  In all there are 26 talks of "B" issues that are still prevalent for young people today.

I am enjoying these and so excited to discuss them with my three young men.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Plan for the school year

I am breaking into my update posts on the school room organizing---yeah it is still in progress but I stopped to plan a little bit. Back in the spring I blogged about ordering A Plan In Place Planner for this school year and now I am sharing it in motion!

Starting point-- Mission Board.  Mission?!
**survive the school year
**still love the boys by the end of the school year
**Everyone complete the grade
**graduate them

When I sat down and actually pondered it I found that I do have a mission beyond survival...and now to map out goals to get me there.

Next are the brainstorming blocks for each student and extra for the other things that we are involved it.  I have one for the math class that I am teaching at our  co-op----I want it to be the best math year ever for each of my students!
Next before planning our breaks I am filling life, family,and Church events that I know are happening:
Some thing never change so plan for them first. {once again Christmas will be December 25th this year!}
We already have the dates for the youth conference--so we wont to be out for that!  This is how I start my plan.  Then as life happens we can look ahead and re-arrange days as needed.

For the last two years we have ended our school year by attending a missions conference.  And that is my goal for this year too!
For daily planning I mainly record what we finished each day.  We do 170 days...Ben's work arrives broken up that way.  Nate's work follows the co-op and so with Eli I have to make sure that he completes his grade when the other 2 finish . Beside the weekly plan page there is a page for me to keep track of the boys music practice, youth group activities, volunteer obligations,recitals, and so forth.  Across the bottom: A WEEKLY MENU PLAN! that is an area that I am trying to submit to and practice.  Want to try some of these to see if this is the planner for you?  Free printable here!

Hopefully my next post will be progress in the school room :-)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Reading Bulletin Board

I am planning to share our school room for 2017-2018 as it comes keep checking back.
Ben will be schooling in his room this year since he will be doing ABEKA DVD and I don't want the other 2 watching his videos instead of doing their own work.  We don't exactly have a true "school room" but we have an open area off from the den that walks out of the basement.  It is a great space!  The area has a door that opens to Ben's bathroom so our school will have a convenient bathroom!

Nate and Eli will have tables to work at--even though there are 6th and 4th grade I want to keep the room decor fun.

So our motivational bulletin board :-)

Nate's reading record:
Eli's reading record:

I think that the little bulletin board kit came with about 30 blank belly every time they each finish reading a book I will make a title label and stick it on the robot belly!

Thanks for reading!  I hope that as I post our "school room" that something may spark an idea for your school this year!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Yard sale treasure!

Several years ago I this tool box at a yard sale for $2!!( <-----sometimes I am amazed about how I can remember details of insignificant events!!)  I brought it home and over the years have used it to organize scrapbook supplies, and other crafty hobby supplies.  For the last several years it has sat in storage. And several times I have tried to give it away!!  Today I cleaned it out and I wanted to paint it...but something about the heat index being in the low 100's I am putting that off until a better day. Even so look!!  Is this not an excellent storage for our school supplies?!  The lid lifts and in there I am storing answer keys.

If you missed out on taking this out of my ways--sorry! But knowing how I am one day as our homeschooling room and needs evolve I am sure it will be up for grabs again.  And I hope by then I have it nicely painted!

To Co Op or Not?

I share openly with parents that are working out how to school their children my own experiences.  Do I know it all? No, but I think I have been down all the roads: public school, private school, home school, and homeschooling with help. My personal favorite?  Homeschooling with help.

Homeschooling with help--co op has been my most successful choice.   The term "Co op"comes from the word "cooperation".

Cooperation by definition:  an act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit;
joint action. 

At my local co op we have parents who take on all kinds of jobs so that other parents can provide opportunities for their children.---But this can not be carried out as an individual.  One parent may coach but other parents may have to take on other jobs: carpooling, snacks, and so forth. My local co op is large enough the we have an academic co op(grades 6-12) and an enrichment co op(preschool-6th grade).  Some parents volunteer to teach a class a class while others divide up the other responsibilities that are vital to the program. 

Belonging to a group not only provides accountability but it also ensures support.  On more than one occasion I have been able to draw from another homeschooling moms experience.

Co ops are usually made by a group of members with similar values. My local homeschooling co op is made up families practicing the christian faith.

 10As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 
I Peter 4:10 KJV

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Treasures in my yard

I had a friend pass on to the next life this week.  And of course I am reminded to treasure every day. This afternoon I was out enjoying my yard and decided to share it:

Flowers that were on clearance and pitiful a couple of weeks ago.
Look at this guy...I have heard that the ugliest caterpillars make the prettiest moths--I hope so! He is on my lovely Kentucky Coffee Tree

My guys and their friends have climbed and made forts in these trees for years.

My first jalapeno pepper--I am sure I will eat it by Monday!! 

Tomatoes happening!

This apple tree is full--but look at the leaves!  I haven't noticed red and yellow spots on the leaves before.  My other apple trees have beautiful leaves but no fruit.

...sigh... my small garden...this year I felt this was all I could tend. Even so if it is like in years past I will probably still be able to can beans from it and be able to share too!

I hope you are having a lovely summer and taking time to enjoy it!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Grace For Today

2 Corinthians 12:9King James Version (KJV) 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
For six years and twenty-two days I have known that I was ill.  Many days I think that I only realize the symptoms. I have good days and I have better days. For three years and eleven months I have been walking. My gait is not always smooth but it has been worse.
Then there are days like today where I sail through and suddenly I just have to sit or rest and remember that sometimes I just have to slow down wait until I am functional again.
From the time I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis I have asked that people pray:
#1 that I would be healed
#2 that I would have grace
#3 that I wouldn't become bitter
I have purposed to live aware and not afraid.
I don't know how I will be tomorrow or even next week. For a couple of hours today I felt that I was slipping into an "episode" but now I am at peace and looking forward to tomorrow in hope of another good day.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

From My Porch

Here is the view from my porch tonight. It is a lovely 81°. The sun is slowly setting. 
My lazy cat is napping so he will be ready for his hunt tonight. I know he hunts at night because in the morning there will be part of a mouse caught from the night before.
I came out to read and write but I had to move out of the rocker because a hummingbird kept whizzing by my face. I moved and he left. I don't understand this game but he tries to play it a lot.
I text my neighbor and mentioned she might join me on the porch for tea. My porch is my favorite room. An old friend came by Monday got out of her car and said don't worry about your house let's sit on the porch and visit.
We all need to get back to porch visiting.
Thanks for sharing a visit on my porch.

Finishing My Bullet Journal

I used to be a scrapbooker--life got busy.

I have always been a list maker.  And a planner.  I prefer paper planners.  And I have tried and successfully used several.  I have used the classy and sufficient Filofax. I have been through a few Plum Paper Planners and enjoyed each one of them.   My favorite homeschooling planner is the A Plan in Place Planner --hands down.  

I am nearing the end of my Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook. Last fall I got into bullet journaling.  And indeed that is the best book for it. Why am I returning to a planner?  I need the monthly calendar and the weekly to keep me on track with my household.

I truly love the detail of a bullet journal so I will probably get another Leuchtturm notebook and I will include task lists, project notes and Common Place musings :-) 

Here are a few of my bullet journal pages
 Daily Tasks

Another trial tasks page
Common bullet journal set up

Index page

Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer Oil Study

For a couple of years I have had an interest in essential oils and I have collected quite a few.  So far I have only used them to scent homemade cleaners.  But I have decided to get serious--no, I don't plan to get involved in a multi-level sales adventure, however, I am not opposed to purchasing from you if you do sell and educate :-)

So, this book arrived today:  Essential Oils of the Bible.  I am only a few hours into it and in love!  The book has so many recipes and scientific facts behind the usages.

Studying essential oils is my summer self-improvement project!  For me this is a fun read--often I read a lot but it usually has to so with the guys homeschooling.

Please  leave me a comment and share your favorite oil and how you use it!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Friend Mail

I have heard of people who received fan mail...and it piles up.  The person who sent it they would not know. They may hire someone to reply to the fans.
Friend mail...touches the heart of the recipient. Even if the mail is sent from someone in their distant past.
Friend mail is way different than a notice that someone wants to "friend" you.
Take time to send a note today through the mail. It is like hug.
What to say in the note?
**reference a memory with them. You don't have to recount the whole story.
**share a simple event from your day
**tell the title of a book you are reading
**cut an article from the paper or a magazine
(Or print off an article on line you think they might enjoy)

A couple of years ago I wrote a letter to an elderly man, who had been one of my teachers over 20 years ago in college...and he wrote back!  In fact he wrote back twice before I ever responded to his letter!  He wrote me until he died several months later.  Was I his favorite student? No, probably not... that doesn't matter. I was definitely one of his favorite in the last few months. Why? Because I let him know that I remembered him and he was important. I am so glad that we had correspondence before he passed.

Take time to let someone know that they are not forgotten. A short note may be just the hug they need today.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Homemade Spray Starch

I am drawn to simplicity and purity.  July 4th will be 4 year anniversary of my personal commitment to changing my diet and lifestyle to improve my health.  I do give the credit to God for the improvement of my condition. I wholeheartedly believe that He lead me to the knowledge of what changes I needed to make and the grace to carry through. I continue to study ways to improve my heath and for the last several months I have tried to avoid toxins even not food related. 

 My latest venture is starch for ironing. I had already begun to use non aresol starch.  And wondered if I could make my own... so this is what I finally got to suit me:

1 1/2 cup hot water
(Not boiling)
1 1/4  T corn starch

Stir in the starch while water simmers. When corn starch is dissolved pour into glass spray bottle. Add 1/4 cup of water. Then add +/- 5 drops of lavender essential oil.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


I love books.
I love to read.
Yeah, usually I have more than one book going at a time.
I love to talk about books.

Today I want to share my must reads. I could suggest so many books. But these are the ones that I am so sure of that often I gift these! {I am a believer in gifting what I love!}

Christian Experience



{these books are my reference!}


There are many, many more books that I love... but these are the top ten that I always have to ask others who are passionate about similar interests to mine if they have read.

I do read by Kindle--but all these are worthy of owning and worthy prominent display in my home.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sneaky Math

Math review does no always have to be formal!
A great game of dominoes is a super math exercise  I love to pull out the double 15 set.  It is a wonderful tool for sharpening those quick addition facts. And the ultimate math muscles at the end when it is time to add up the big scores!

Another quick way to sneak in some math is to have the player to figure out the mixed number of the domino if you look at it as a fraction.

Have a great summer!  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Elizabethtown Historic Walking Tour

Today is Kentucky's 225th birthday! We celebrated by doing a tour of our town! Local actors told the story of our town. 
This walking tour is every Thursday evening starting on the first Thursday of June and running until mid September.
The tour starts in front of Vibe Coffee Shop at 7PM. Stories come to life on the sidewalks and gives a whole new appreciation to our downtown.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I Am Back Fitbit!

About a month ago I got busy. I was doing some good things. But I let my exercise slip. And each day I didn't make the effort to get back on track I noticed the effects.

A few few days ago a friend contacted me and encouraged me to get back on track. The first day I didn't make it... nor the second. But yesterday I made my step goal! It was the first time since April 7!  The friend and I live several hours apart--but walking with fitbit allows us to "walk together", watch each others progress, and send encouraging notes!

I am going to try again today!