Saturday, December 10, 2011

Girl's Book Club Movie Party

My daughter and I hosted a movie party over the weekend for her book club.  Since we are reading books that have been made into movies we figured a movie party was the perfect choice!  The girls voted to watch the 1967 version of Dr. Dolittle, since that was the last book we read. 

I thought it would be fun to have a craft to go along with the Dr. Dolittle theme. So we made these shilouette ornaments that would have been popular in that time period and looked like Dr. Dolittle!

I think they are adorable! You will find the directions for the ornaments HERE.

Happy Homeschooling,


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I had to post a picture of the ADORABLE turkey dinner cake my 7 yo and I made.  He entered it in a Thanksgiving baking contest and won most creative!

Cute, huh?  We got the idea HERE.  We changed it up a little bit. (You know me!  LOL)  Our cake is all chocolate.  The "stuffing" is a cake donut cut up with some dried cranberries added.  The "peas" are a candy called Sixlets.  We got them by the pound at the mall candy store.  The lemons and orange slices are jelly fruits.  It was a LOT of fun to make and everyone loved it!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Homeschool Poem

My 17 yo son wrote this for his English Comp II College class.  I LOVE it! :^)


Early in the morning I rise,

hoping to become more wise.

I eat another home cooked meal,

cooked by mother with love, and zeal.

Then I curl up with a good book,

and like that meal it starts to cook

up yet more knowledge in my brain,

for it has become those words domain.

These books are all great presenters,

and they all have become my mentors.

Learning math, science, grammar, history,

like unraveling some great mystery.

Then as the sun marches further west,

and I know that I’ve done my best,

I put away the books about great men,

so that next day I can start again.

Nov. 2, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Really Good 9/11 Resource for Kids

We watched this video this morning to start our school day.  It is a good explanation of what happened on 9/11/01 and why, for kids.

There are other good resources here:

God Bless America! 

Happy Homeschooling,


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Christmas In July

One of my FAVORITE things we did this Summer was having a Christmas is July party! But, this wasn't just any Christmas in July party, it was a party to benefit Operation Christmas Child! :^)  If you are not familiar with OCC what they do is collect shoe boxes filled with fun items for kids and then send them around the world, along with a comic book tells them in their own language about how to have a realtionship with Jesus Christ.

My family has made these shoe boxes and donated them every year at Christmas time for years and years.  But, this year we decided to make it a service project that our homeschool community could do together.  So we put out an invitations.  We asked for everyone to bring 20 of the same item to go in a box, and most of us brought 20 of 2 or 3 items.  (Crayons, paper, glue sticks, flip flops, wash clothes, etc.  You can learn all about packing boxes HERE.) We also asked each family to bring a Chirstmasy snack to share and for everyone to come dressed in red or green.  The night before the party we went in and decorated to make everything look festive.  My kids made a ton of decorations, which was a lot of fun on a HOT Summer day!

The day of the party we had each child write a letter to put in the boxes.  Then we sang Christmas carols, read the story of Jesus birth from the Bible, watched a couple videos about OCC, prayed for the kids who would get the boxes and then packed our boxes! I was VERY pleased that we put together 40 boxes!  When all the boxes were packed we ate our wonderful treats and just enjoyed a special time seeing each other over the Summer.  (Which we don't do enough of!)  It was a GREAT party and it was super easy to host.  The church is storing the filled boxes for us and the sweet lady that is in charge of OCC at our church even came out to help!

Here are a few pics from the day...

Kids writing their letters.
Praying for the children who will receive the boxes.
Watching the OCC video.
Singing Christmas carols.
Teens getting the boxes set up and ready to fill.
Listening to the story of Jesus birth.
Cookies!  I am SO impressed with the mom that went the extra mile and made these! (It wasn't me! My food contribution was pathetic.  I thought it would be "cute" to drizzle red icing on top of rice crispy treats and then sprinkle with green sugar.  Well, the icing looked like KETCHUP! Let's just say, they tasted fine if you closed your eyes! LOL  The kids ate them without complaining! :^)
 Filling boxes! (The boxes themselves were donated by OCC.)
My littles filling boxes.
The whole festive gang!
It was an awesome day!  We will be doing this party again next year for sure!  I can't wait!

Happy Homeschooling,


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nook Case

My daughter saved up her money and bought herself a Nook. Once she had the Nook there was no money left for a case.  So we made one...

It's amazing what you can do with cardboard and Duct Tape!  

She has been carrying it in her purse for over a month now.  It is holding up really, really well! 


Happy Homeschooling,


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to School Wreath

I saw the idea for this wreath HERE and I HAD to have one!

So here is my version...

I LOVE IT! It makes me feel like Fall is right around the corner!  :^)

Happy Homeschooling,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Change O' Plans....

So, I was so excited about doing Book Club with the Heroes Then and Now Series with my 9-11 girls...then I started reading them.  Sigh....I had read Glady's Aylward many years ago with my older son.  We LOVED it!  I had always wanted to read more.  What I didn't think about is the fact that a lot of these books will be dealing with a lot of behavior that I just don't want to share with 9-11 year old girls!  (The books say 10 and up, but I say High School for many of them!)

So...Plan B...

My new plan for 9-11 Girls Book Club is to read classic books that have been made into movies.  I am calling it:

From the Page to the Stage!

The books I have chosen are:

  • Sept. - Pollyanna (1913) Eleanor H. Porter
  • Oct. - The Story of Dr. Doolittle (1920) Hugh Lofting
  • January - Gladys Aylward (1930) Janet and Geoff Benge
  • Feb - Mr. Poppers Penguins (1938) Richard and Florence Atwater
  • March - Charlotte’s Web (1952) E.B. White
  • April - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  (1964) Roald Dahl
  • May - Nims Island (1994) Wendy Orr
I carefully chose these to span from 1913 10 1994. This way we can still do a timeline of what else was going on in the world at each time period. And I will have a World map for them to mark the ones that take places in "real" places. As far as the lapbook, I have changed it to a notebook. The girls will be filling out a sort of movie poster each month. (You can see it HERE.) This will be printed on card stock and then on the back we will do a few lapbook pages for each book.

Lot's and lot's of ideas!  I am jazzed about the new plan, even though I am bummed that we are not studying Missionaries.  My daughter and I will still be reading a few of the others that I had already bought.  

Happy Homeschooling,


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reving Up For the New School Year

WOW, I can't believe I didn't post at all in July!  What a crazy, fun, busy Summer we have been having!  I guess I have been having SO much fun with my kids there just hasn't been time for blogging.  :^)

We are only 3 days into August, but already I am in full prep for school mode!  LOTS of prep to do! The main things I am working on right now are organizing Book Club, Young Writer's Club and a Lapbooking Class I am teaching.  Yep, I like to be BUSY...

Now that American Girl Club is finished this opened up time for me to put together a Book Club for kids of all ages.  Our homeschool group will be hosting 7 groups of kids who will meet once a month all at the same time, in the same place.  I am leading the 9-11 Girls.  I have chosen to use the Christian Heros: Then & Now books.  The ones I have chosen for this year are:

Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar (1848-1915 Africa)

Ida Scudder: Healing Bodies, Touching Hearts (1870-1960 India)

Lillian Thrasher: The Greatest Wonders in Egypt (1887-1961 Egypt)

C.S. Lewis: Master Story Teller (1898- 1963 Europe)

Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime (1902-1970 China)

Corrie Ten Boom: Keeper of the Angels Den (1892-1983 Holland)

Elisabeth Elliot: Joyful Surrender (1926- Present Ecuador)

My thinking is that we will do a BIG lapbook over the year and add booklets for each of the Hero's we read about as we go.  That is as far as the plan has gotten as of right now!  LOL  I am about to read the first book and am hoping I have lots more ideas once I am through that. 

The Young Author's Club I will write more about soon.  It's a new idea I had and think it's going to be a lot of  FUN!  Time will tell.

In the meantime I am off to do more and more prep!  

Happy Homeschooling,


P.S.  I just realized I never posted about my 16 year old finishing his first College class.  (English Comp I) He did GREAT!  He got an A!  YAY!!! There were a possible 95 points he could get in the class and he got 94.38!  I am one proud mama!  He will be taking English Comp II and Public Speaking starting at the end of the month.  :^)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cub Scout Cool Scarves

My daughter and I have been making Cool Scarves to sell to raise money for my little man's Cub Scout Pack.  (Yes, I am trying to get out of selling popcorn!  LOL) 

Here is what we came up with...

This one is still dry, and the one below has been soaked in water for 30 minutes.  They will stay wet for days and feel great on a HOT day.

The little white piece of twill tape is so a name and pack number can be written on them.  They are filled with  non-toxic water storing crystals you can buy at the plant nursery.  It runs about $10.00 a pound, but you only need 1 tablespoon of it in each scarf!  It absorbs 400 times it's own weigh in water! I made a bunch of these years ago when we had a Summer VBS that was all outside,  The kids and I wore them to Cub Scout Camp earlier this month and everyone wanted one.  So I figured it was a good fund raiser to make some out of Scout fabric and sell to the people in the pack. 

If you would like to make your own you can get the pattern here: 

You can also make these as a service project to send to soldiers fighting in the HOT, HOT desert!  I would like to make some more later to send overseas. That information is here:

I just LOVE all the projects we can get done over the Summer!

Happy Homeschooling,


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chalkboard Math Clock

I have been wanting a clock for the school room for quite some time.  Then a few months ago I saw THIS ONE in a museum gift shop.  I really, really loved it!  But, it was around $40.00 and I thought the math problems might confuse my littles since they were pretty advanced.  So I decided that if we made our own we could even change the math problems every once in awhile.

Here is what we came up with...

This is what we used to make ours...

The lid from a round box, clock kit and chalkboard paint.

The kids had fun painting it.  (Make sure to follow all the directions on the container.)

And then my husband found the middle and poked a hole in the middle for me with a nail.  I used a pencil to make the hole big enough to fit the clock works through.  Then all we had to do was figure out what math problems we wanted to write on with chalk.

The kids love it and it looks really cute on the wall in our school room! (Oh, and our total cost was $15.00!)

Happy Homeschooling,


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another Jean Bag

I know, I know I am obsessed with making jean bags!  LOL  but, they are so CUTE and sturdy and fun to make.  This one is a gift.  For a very sweet friends 30th birthday. (Yes, I was 16 when she was born!  But, who's counting?;^)

For the bottom part I strip pieced it.  There are 2 quilt fabrics and chenille.  I cut a butterfly out of one of the fabrics and appliqued it with a piece of chenille under it to give it some body.  Then I made a belt to finish it off. I am very happy with it!  As a matter of fact my daughter and I BOTH want one just like it! :^)

Happy Homeschooling,


Monday, June 20, 2011

Monster Knees!

I tease my 7 year old that I think he has razor blades hidden in his kneecaps!  He blows through the knees of jeans like nothing I have EVER seen!  So when I saw THIS idea a few days ago I knew I had a project to do!

So here it is...MONSTER KNEES! 
LOL  My little man LOVES them!  His teenage brother even wants a pair!  I did mine with polar fleece instead of felt.  (I thought it would wash better.) But other than that I (actually!) followed the directions at the link above.  It's all done by hand, but it's pretty simple.  Which is GOOD because I have about 6 more pair to make! :^)

Happy Homeschooling,


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rag Flag Wreath

My daughter and I made this fun wreath over the weekend.  It's SUPER easy.  All you need is fabric, a wire hanger and scissors. 

Basic directions are HERE.

Happy Homeschooling,


Thursday, June 16, 2011


June is passing like a FLASH!  I can't believe we are already half way through the month!  Life here has been busy, busy and BUSY!  My oldest son is already half way through his first College class! (You can read more about that HERE.) My youngest son has completed a week of Cub Scout Camp! My daughter and I hosted our very last American Girl event with a family night.  We have made quite a few trips to the water parks and a few trips to the lake. Yep...busy, busy BUSY!

Here are a few picture that sum up our Summer so far.  :^)

My with the girls at American Girl Family Night.
 The littles swimming.
 Shooting BB Guns at Cub Scout Camp.
 My little man shooting archery at Cub Scout Camp.
 My oldest getting some love from some little Cub Scouts!
 Our garden is looking good!
And it's starting to feed us!

Yep, we are enjoying Summer so far!  It is going TOO fast though!

Happy Homeschooling,


Monday, May 30, 2011

Hard Times For An American Girl - The Great Depression

My husband recorded a show this weekend on HBO Family called Hard Times For An American Girl - The Great Depression.  Our whole family watched it Sunday afternoon.  It was a really great mix of
  • Girls talking about Kit and the Kit books
  • Kids talking about what they have learned about the Great Depression
  • Film footage from the Great Depression
  • Interviews with elderly people that lived through the Great Depression
It was great for both boys and girls!  I am hoping they are going to do a show like this for all the different American Girls!
Here is a link where you can read more about the show.

Happy Homeschooling,


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sun Tea To Go!

I am trying to drastically reduce my diet soda intake.  Honestly the biggest draw to soda for me is that it's easy to grab and go. So in an effort to have something else to grab and go I have been making individual bottles of sun tea.

It seems every time I take one of these somewhere people ask me how I made them.  So, I thought I would share here.   It's super easy....

  1. Open up a bottle of water.
  2. Insert 2 tea bags.  (I use one Lipton Decaf and one Good Earth Original Sweet & Spicy™ Herb Tea - Caffeine Free.) 
  3. Set in the sun until it brews!  I usually put 6 bottles out every night when I start dinner.  Then in the morning I throw them in a small cooler along with water and juice pouches for the kids and a LOT of ice.)
Now when we head to the park, pool, lake I have plenty of flavorful decaf drinks.  I still allow all of us to get soda when we eat out or stop for drinks when we are out driving around.  But, this has really helped to cut the soda AND to reduce our grocery bill.

Happy Homeschooling,


Friday, May 20, 2011

Last Night To Teach American Girl Club!

Tonight was my last night to teach American Girl Club! Over the last 3 years we have met 61 times and gone through 54 books!  It's been awesome!  I can't believe it is coming to an end! I was thinking about continuing next year and doing the friends books, but then I realized that is just going to be more of the same.  It's time to let it go...

In 2 weeks we will meet one last time to have a family night.  Each family will be hosting a table on a different American Girl.  Then it's all over. 

Don't worry though...I am already planning a new book club for next school year! :^)

Happy Homeschooling,


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

American Girl Club - Week 5 - Julie

So tonight was week 5 of Julie.  In this book Julie travels across the United States in a covered wagon as part of the Bicentenial Celebration.  So for our craft we HAD to do something RED, WHITE and BLUE! Believe it or not after SIXTY SEVEN nights of American Girl Club we have NEVER decorated t-shirts until this week! So this week we TYE-DYED!

So here are the girls waiting in line (sort of!  LOL) to dye their shirts.

We had them tie them up in rubber bands inside before they came out to get in line.  One of the mom's volunteered to be in charge of the actual dying process.  (Thank goodness!) The dye we used is called Tulip One Step.  I bought it at JoAnn's and I must say it was super simple!  It already comes in a sqeeze bottle and you just add water and squeeze the dye on.   There are good instructions, rubber bands and plastic gloves in each package. (We used 6 bottles to make 20 shirts.  I would have liked to have had 2 more bottles.  But I bought all they had in red in blue.)

Here is one of the girls dying her shirt.  I got them ahead of time and washed them all before I brought them.

Here are a bunch of the shirts sitting in ziploc bags ready to go home.  The mom's will have to let them sit overnight and then wash them before the girls can wear them.

The only casualty of the night was the hands of the sweet mama that helped with all the dying!  LOL
Yeah, we should have put those gloves on her first!  But, it was starting to rain and in the rush to beat the rain she forgot to put on the gloved!  LOL

Another thing we did that went along with the book is I had all the girls signa Pledge of Rededication like they did in the Julie book.  Our pledge said...


To commemorate the completion of three years of studying American History together at American Girl Club we hereby dedicate ourselves anew to the precepts of our founding fathers: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
We affix our signatures this day – May the 10th Two Thousand and Eleven
__________________________________         ___________________________________
__________________________________          ___________________________________
__________________________________         ___________________________________
__________________________________          ___________________________________
__________________________________         ___________________________________
__________________________________          ___________________________________
__________________________________         ___________________________________
__________________________________          ___________________________________
__________________________________         ___________________________________

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Before I had the girls sign it I told them that it is my hope after all these weeks and weeks of studying American History together that they have developed a deeper love, understanding and appreciation for our Country.  I hope that they will be very patriotic Americans and that they will never take for granted and always value our country. I plan on framing the original they signed and hang it in my office.  All these girls mean the world to me and I will always treasure having something they signed.  I also will be scanning it and emailing it to the mom's to make copies for the girls too. 

After all the tye-dying we also had a special speaker!  One of girls grandmothers came and talked to us about what it was like to be an adult in the 70's.  She also brought a lot of clothes and misc objects from the 70's.  the girls and the mom's loved this!  It's always fun to have a special guest, and this one was super!  

Here she is showing the girls a mini skirt dress she wore in the 70's
 Showing us a rotary phone.
 More MOD mini dresses and a GROOVY pantsuit! (The one on the far right side is a maternity dress!)
 A crocheted vest and a coat we all LOVED!
 Bell bottoms! (We noticed on these that the pant legs were actually wider than the waistband!)
She did a great job telling the girls what the 70's were like and also telling them about the contrast of how the 50's and 60's had been.  She talked to them about a lot of inventions that came out of the 70's like the post-it note, velcro and the Apple Computer.  

We are almost to the end of all the books!  If week 3 of Julie hadn't been postponed for bad weather next week would be our last week! But, we will still be meeting for week 3 and we are having our first ever family night in a couple weeks too.  So, it's not quite over yet!  I have also decided I am not quite ready to give it up!  So next year we will be meeting once a month to go through all the American Girl friends books.  (Elizabeth, Ivy, Ruthie, Emily and Nellie.) This will give the girls a chance to still get together on a regular basis and me a chance to hang on to them all for one more year! 

Happy Homeschooling,


P.S.  Tonight one of the girl told me she thought we should start going through all the "Dear America" books next year.  I said "There are a zillion of those!  We would never get through them all!"  She looked at me, smiled and said "Exactly!"  There are no words to say how much she blessed my heart! :^)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

American Girl Club - Julie - Week 4

Theme - Earth Day/Save the Eagles

Craft - Woven Tree

Snack - Sloppy Joe's

So this week since the theme is Earth Day and the environment I wanted to do something very earthy and very 70's.  Enter That Artist Women!  That Artist Women is a website I frequent a lot because I love the creative art projects she comes up with.  I came across months ago and I knew right away we would have to make this when we got to Julie!

The hardest part about this craft was cutting 20ish sticks that are just the right size and fresh enough to bend into a circle.  I highly recommend you don't put this off until the night before you need them, especially if there is a thunder and lightening storm!  LOL  Otherwise these were fairly easy.  The girls liked making them and they came out really cute!  You will find the instructions HERE

We also did our geography worksheets this week for Julie.  I gave them the map and two coloring sheets one about California and the other of the Golden Gate Bridge.


California Coloring Pages

Golden Gate Bridge Coloring Sheet

During the discussion time we talked about the book and read the Peek Into the Past in the back of the book.  Then I also read them the Julie's Cooking Studio book and we talked about the food, new kitchen equipment (Like crockpots, microwaves and fondue pots!) and the kitchens of the 70's.  

My daughter also made a Eagle shirt based on the shirt Julie had on the front cover of the book.  She drew the Eagle and then we cut it out of fabric and she reverse appliqued it on the front of the shirt.  I just love it!
And that was it for Julie week #4!

Happy Homeschooling,


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sign Language

The kids and I have been taking a Sign Language class for almost a year now.  A friend of ours at church is a Sign Language Interpreter and so I asked her if she was interested in teaching us.  At first it was discouraging.  I really thought in the beginning that I was just too old to learn a new language.  But after about 9 months or so I started catching on!  LOL 

The kids are MUCH quicker at picking it up than I am.  My daughter is especially good at it.  She is the "go to gal" for all of us when we can't remember a sign and we want to sign something.  The boys are both getting very good too.  My 7 year old is really funny because he doesn't appear to pay a bit of attention in class.  (He sits on the side, fidgits, wiggles, etc.)  Then she will call us forward to sign a sentence and he just signs like it's no big deal!  LOL

It's fun and amazing now that I am "getting it" how I see sign language all around!  I notice people on TV or out in public signing.  It's fun to watch and see what words I can pick up and try to put together sentences. 

One of our favorite online resources is the Captain Valor channel on YouTube.  This guy is amazing!  He signs to popular songs and does an amazing job with not only signing, but with the using the proper facial expressions, which is a big part of the language.  My oldest son found him online because a lot of the songs he signs are video game songs. HERE is the link to his channel.

Another online resource I use often (And the kids tease me about!  LOL) are the Sign Language videos at Sprout online!  They can tease me all they want!  This lady is a good teacher!   HERE is the link.

There is also a free online ASL dictionary that I use alot.  It frustrates me a bit because for some reason all the translators keep a stern, sad expression on their faces.  So this is just useful for the hand part of sign language!  But it literally had thousands of words signed.  So it's a great resource! The link is HERE.

The books we have gone through are:

Signing Fun: American Sign Language Vocabulary, Phrases, Games, and Activities (Click HERE)

Signing for Dummies (Click HERE

It has been a lot of fun!  I have loved taking an actual class with my kids.  It's fun being a student WITH them instead of the teacher or mom for a few hours a week.  When I was waiting for my son to take his test the other day at the College I picked up a brochure about their Sign language Interpreter Program.  Who knows?  Maybe I will enroll in the program in 10 years when my youngest graduates from homeschooling!.

Happy Homeschooling,


Friday, April 29, 2011

I Have A College Student!

WOW!  I just paid for my first College class for my 16 year old son! Yesterday he took his Accuplacer test and passed with flying colors!  So today we signed him up for his first class, which he will take over the Summer.  It is an exciting time at our house!

Getting him into College at the age of 16 is something we have always worked towards.  When he was in grade school we knew several homeschoolers who were going to College at 16 and we thought that would be a great advantage for our son.  He is a very cerebral kid!  We have always had to stay on our toes to keep up with him educationally!  The last couple years he has worked VERY hard to get the bulk of his high school requirements completed.  At this point we could probably graduate him if we wanted to.  But at 16 that isn't something I am ready for!  So having him dual enrolled is perfect for us.  He can get the last few credits he needs for high school as he is getting College credit too!

Since the dual enrollment only allows him to take 2 classes at a time we are planning on having him work on "clepping" classes at the same time he is taking the dual enrollment classes.  I haven't figured out all the details on clepping yet.  But, I do know that there are books we can buy for him to study for the tests and then for $75.00 he can go take the test and when he passes it he gets full credit for the class.  This will not only be a huge time saver, but a BIG money saver too!  So if all goes according to plan when he graduates from homeschool at 18 he will have enough credits to begin his Junior year of College!  The next 2 years he can basically devote to working on College credits.

So yesterday was an exciting day!  I couldn't help but think of all the "naysayers" over the years who have sternly warned me that my poor children would never get into College because we homeschooled them!  I never believed that for a moment!  But, those nagging words were always in the back of my mind.  (What is they were right?) But, in my heart I have always known we are following God's plan for our family.  It was good to put any nagging thoughts to rest!  I must add here that for the most part we have been really blessed with very supportive people around us for our homeschool journey.  But, it still felt really amazing to have accomplished a goal we have worked towards for SO long! (My son and I had to do a little victory dance!)  Truly it was an awesome day that we will all remember forever!

Of course we can also see God's hand all over this!  One of the things that is not lost on me is that our unexpected move a year and a half ago put us in the right County for the College he will be attending.  We only moved ONE MILE!  But, if we were still at the old address we would have had to pay quite a bit more for him to go to this same school! God is in the details! 

Praise God!


For more info on clepping click HERE.

This is a duplicate post from the blog I am writing with my 16  year old son called I Can Do It With Mom's Help. You can read more about our journey from homeschool to College HERE.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Clean Green Party

For our homeschool group meeting this month we hosted a Clean Green Party!  This was a fun time to get together with friends and make our own household cleaners from simple items we could buy at the store.  Not only do these end up being A LOT cheaper, but they are not loaded with unnecessary chemicals and fragrances.  I have a really hard time being around fragrances and perfumes.  They give me headaches.  I don't even walk down the cleaner aisle at the grocery store if I can avoid it. By the end of the aisle my head is aching!  For years we have used as little chemicals as possible.  We are on our third Shark Steam Mop.  (Each one has lasted about 3 years.) I love the steam mop because I can clean and disinfect the floors using just water!  I also use a lot of vinegar and baking soda for cleaning.  But at the party we learned a few new "recipes" for cleaners. 

My favorite "recipe" is for a soft scrub. 

2 cups baking soda
½ cup liquid castile soap*
4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin (acts as a preservative)
5 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, rosemary or any scent you prefer (optional)
Mix together and store in a sealed glass jar, shelf life of 2 years.

We made ours using the lavendar castile soap.  It smells GREAT!  I used it today to clean sinks, toilets and to scrub dishes.  LOVE IT! (I will be making more soon!)

You can find the rest of the recipes HERE.

Happy Homeschooling,


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cub Scouts

So, I was looking over my recent post the other day and I realized...there are a whole-lotta posts about my daughter!  LOL  It's not that we are not doing things with the boys.  We are for sure.  And one of the things we are doing with our youngest this year is Cub Scouts!

Cub Scouts is something all new for me!  I have to tell you it's not something I ever really thought about or checked into.  My oldest son has always been the more cerebral "indoor" type and I just never thought about Cub Scouts for him.  Our youngest however is the quintessential little boy.  He likes bugs, dirt, sweat and especially loves anything that combines the three!  So at the end of last Summer my husband announced that we were signing the little man up for Cub Scouts.

Being the naive newbie to Scouts that I am I thought..."This is perfect.  Something for him and his daddy to do together that doesn't involve me."  (Stop laughing!)  What my husband found when he went to sign our little guy up was that there was no Den Leader.  So guess who signed up to be the Den Leader?  MY HUSBAND!  I was still naively fine with this.....Then reality set in.  My husband wanted me to help him.  He has done a GREAT job, but there are just a lot of things that are out of his comfort zone.  (Like coming up with crafts and shopping for all the supplies.)

So being the Den Leader has pretty much become a shared job.  And you know what?  It's been a LOT of fun!  (Even though we have butted heads a few times trying to figure out who should do what!) We are just about to finish up his first year.  Our little man LOVED being a Tiger and can hardly wait to be promoted!  My husband and I still have a lot to learn.  Next year I am going to be the official Assistant Den Leader.  Why not?  LOL  So hopefully as we go along I will be posting about some of our adventures.  This Summer we are hoping to do a lot of planning and prepping to make next year easier.  (I am all about getting things ready over the Summer for the next school year.)  And of course we have Summer Camp (Which my daughter can come to as a tag-along since my husband and I are both volunteering.) and we have family camp outs planned too for the Summer.

It's all a new adventure.  Just as we are wrapping up American Girl Club we will be winding up Cub Scouts.
It's going to be an adventure!

Happy Homeschooling,


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Egg T-shirt

My daughter and I made this together.  It's a great beginner sewing project, with a little help from mom. The egg part is all straight sewing.  So she was able to sew the entire egg by herself.  Then I reverse appliqued it onto the t-shirt. (Sewing on t-shirt fabric is a little unforgiving because the fabric likes to stretch as you sew.  So I just did that part for her.)

Here is the egg while my daughter was working on it. It's actually harder to cut out an egg shape than I had imagined. We finally ended up printing THIS ONE and then just making it bigger.

This is the finished shirt.  Cute, huh?
You will find the directions HERE.

The perfect shirt to wear to see the Easter Bunny!

HOPPY Homeschooling! ;^)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Black, White and Pink Quilt

So American Girl Club got canceled this week because of a BIG storm.  It was a bummer...but, I decided to make the best of it!  I have been designing this quilt in my head for a few months now.  A friend is adopting a little girl from Ethiopia and the nursery is all black and white.  (It's ADORABLE!)  I have never made a black and white quilt before.  So I have been really, really excited about it!  Meanwhile another friend gave me a HUGE box of quilt fabric this weekend.  All of the fabric for this quilt was in the I with a few hours on my hands and fabric just asking to be cut into....I present....My latest creation!

I LOVE IT!  I saw the rickrack on some quilts at the quilt store awhile back and immediately knew I needed to incorporate it into this quilt.  I hope she doesn't mind that I added some pink.  Every little girl needs some pink!  But, this is not really for the nursery anyway.  This is more of a throw on the floor or over the car seat type of quilt. 

If you need a quick and fun quilt, this is it!

Happy Homeschooling,


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

70's Bandana Outfit!

We are just having TOO MUCH fun dressing up for the 70's!  LOL

The bandana "skort" we found at the Goodwill.  Then top we made from 2 black bandanas.  It is the same basic idea as a Bandana Dress (CLICK HERE for tutorial.) except I turned the bandana on angle. This gives us a little more fabric for a bigger girl and we get the GROOVY pointed hem!


Happy Homeschooling,