Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Fresh Start

Well, it's that time of year again. Tomorrow is New Year's Eve, and we all know what that means...resolutions!
For many years now, I haven't bothered a whole lot with them, after all, how long does one actually stick with it and follow through to completion?

This year is different, why, I don't know. I guess I'm tired of being in a rut, and I feel the need for some personal cleansing and renewal. And although to do it at this time of year is admittedly cliche, a new year seems to be the perfect place to start. A clean slate, as it were.

So here they are, my resolutions for 2013.

By God's grace, I will kick my sugar habit this year. I am definitely an addict to the sweet stuff. It's a drug to me, and the only way to go (for me) is to cut it out as completely as I can. I did it once before, and I felt great. I really want to get to that place again. The toughest part in this battle for me is emotional. I stress eat. It comforts me when I'm sad, mad, glad or bad. This year, I want to focus those feelings on God, and let Him comfort me. Which brings me to my other resolution...

I want 2013 to be my year of personal revival in my spiritual walk. In many areas, 2012 has been a difficult year. There's been some good of course, but there's been a lot of dark days. I have often felt discouragement and even despair. I know that the Lord never promises an easy life, and really I just want to get to the point of complete trust in Him, whatever the circumstances. I know all of the right actions, prayers, Christian platitudes, etc... I just want my heart to get there. Complete surrender to God. Unabashed abandonment to all but my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I want this to be the year that people say of me..."That lady KNOWS JESUS!"  I desperately want a better example for my children as they watch me, and they see so much more than most perhaps, because we homeschool, and are always together.

With God's power, I will replace bad habits with good ones, pray and journal more, and keep accountable to my friends, and let them do the same with me. We will help each other.

Now, I'm not foolish enough to think that this will be a cakewalk, or that I'll get it all together perfectly. I will fall. I will fail. I will cry. But I hope to keep getting up, forget the former things, walk around (and not into), the holes in the road of my journey, and keep walking. And I hope to get to New Years Eve 2013 and in a place of gratitude to God for all HE has accomplished.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Yummy S'mores Treats

If you're looking for an easy treat to share this season, here's a tasty one to try. These S'mores bars got rave reviews when I  made  them for a family get together, and they're great when you want that little taste of summer, but don't have access to a campfire ;)

What you need:

1/3 C. light corn syrup
4 milk chocolate candy bars ( the regular size bars), broken into pieces
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 and 1/2 Cups honey graham cereal
1 C. mini marshmallows
8 inch square pan
Butter- just enough to grease the pan

Butter the 8 inch pan and set aside.

Cook corn syrup until boiling- medium heat. Remove from heat; add chocolate and vanilla, stir until chocolate is melted. Gradually fold in the cereal, and then the marshmallows.

Press this yummy mixture into the pan, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Cut into squares and eat 'em up! Any leftovers (although not likely) should be stored in the fridge.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I Blew It

I blew it. I was tired, I was done with the day, and I responded in a not so godly way with my kids tonight. And now here I sit, full of remorse,  knowing that while I can apologize, I cannot take back that moment. Yuck.

It's a humbling thing to be confronted with your failures, especially when they present themselves  in front of close family members.  I can rationalize, or turn to other things to comfort me in my fatigue, crankiness, whatever the situation is, but it only masks the fact that I am a sinful human being, and this will not be the last time I fall.

This little episode has taken me off on a sort of personal rabbit trail, and I find myself wondering why I act the way I do. I'm reminded of the verse in Romans that talks about doing the very things that I don't want to do. As I reflect on this, I see how often I try to control every aspect, every detail of my daily life. It is as if by having everything just so, I can maintain the appearance of having it all together. The resulting anxiety, fatigue, and general crankiness tell me that it's all a smokescreen. I control nothing. And then, as the pressure builds, my house of cards comes fluttering down.

Where is the hope? Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory in Jesus Christ! He knows me, He formed me, He forgives me, and as I yield to Him, He will change me.
So, I fell, but I'm getting back up. I will keep running to Jesus.  My prayer is that my kids will see that, and do the same as they face their own issues in life.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Handprint Santa Keepsake

Hey everyone,

I have a really cute craft for you to make with your little ones. These ornaments are so simple to do, and will evoke all manner of oohs and aahs from the recipients this holiday season.

All you need to do is prepare an easy salt dough, which is just flour, salt and water. Who doesn't have those supplies on hand? Make an imprint of your child's hand, and bake for a few hours, cool, and decorate. Easy!

Here are the complete instructions:

You will need:

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup plain flour

1/4 cup water - you may need to adjust the amount slightly

White craft paint

Paint pens in red, black and light pink or flesh tones

Clear glaze or shellac

Festive ribbon


Mix flour, salt and water together. Knead into a dough. Form into a ball and flatten slightly. Make hand imprint in dough.Cut around handprint with a knife and smooth out the edges. Use straw to make hole near top of ornament (for hanging).

Bake in oven at 200 degrees for about 3 hours ( I actually tacked on another hour as my ornaments were pretty thick). Cool completely.

Paint the entire top and sides of handprint with white paint. Allow to dry. Using paint pens, add details to make it look like Santa. You could probably even use colored Sharpies for this part. I will probably do that next time, as the paint pen tip was rather thick.

Allow to dry, then shellac. When completely dry, tie ribbon through hole. Adorable!

Friday, December 7, 2012


Oh me, oh my, hello to all my homeschooling (and non-homeschooling) friends! Happy December to  you!
So, how is your school year coming along? I cannot believe that we are about halfway through already! Yikes!
I'm sure that by now, you have a pretty good sense about what is and what is not working for your homeschool. As for me and our little troupe, well, it finally feels like we are settling into our groove. I will admit, we had a rough start, and I found out early on, that I was less than thrilled with some of the curriculum that I had chosen. Boo. But, just as I was about to sink into that nasty pit of homeschool despair....da da daaa! I remembered that I have what is one of the greatest resources available to a homeschool family today at my keyboarding fingertips!!!

Are you curious yet? I hope so, because I want to share a website with you that has so greatly helped me and my family keep our academic sanity ( And, home life sanity in general too, if the truth were told).

Alright, it can't be too much of a mystery, after all, the title of my post up there says it all. So, without further ado, may I present to you....(drum roll please)

*** SchoolHouse ***

This is also known as the Teacher's Toolbox Members' site for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (which I also love, love, love!)

This site is absolutely amazing. There is a crazy amount of  resources to be found here, and I could write for pages about what you'll find when you click over there. But...I realize that neither one of us has that kind of time, soooo, I'll do my best to give you the highlights. And anyway, you'll definitely want to go and see for yourself what's available on that wonderful site, so I will not spoil your fun ;)

Now, let's get to it.

You'll find that there are over 25 different subjects to choose from, and you can get delightfully lost as you check out each one! There are videos, ongoing lesson plans, worksheets, copywork, checklists, unit studies, lapbooks, language lessons.All created by qualified teachers and experts.  You can even interact with the teachers online, and get answers to whatever questions you might have. That's only the beginning. You can find something new for your studies EVERY DAY.

When you get to the Home page, look at the header and find these titles to choose from:

* TEACHERS - Find past lessons here!

*PRE-K/ELEMENTARY - Click here and find a ton of things like checklists, history lessons, language lessons, music, reading, writing, lapbooks, math, and on and on...:)

*MIDDLE SCHOOL - Find all kinds of great stuff as with the PreK tab, and then add career choices, chemistry, home economics, and much more!

*HIGH SCHOOL - Again, find the same great things as PreK and Middle School, and then add college prep, worldviews and more.

*FAMILY - Here is where you will find info that the family finds useful. A monthly reading list, guitar, voice lessons,  a special needs section, and help choosing  a college.

*DAILIES  - This just may be my personal favorite of these subjects. Find new resources everyday. Math, spelling, writing, grammar,'ll even find a monthly menu. So much to choose from!

*EXTRAS - Members get monthly e-books, back issues of TOS magazine, access to the Schoolhouse Expo's, and....get any or all of the planners...FREE!!! Woohoo! I love so wonderful planners!

*SAMPLES - Just what it sounds like. Look at a few sample lessons and see all that you'll get.

*LIBRARY - Find encouragement in your homeschool journey in articles, find new copybooks, get ideas for a new craft or nature study. Just a taste of what's under this heading.

*SITE TOUR - Find out what's new on the site and hear what parents are saying about it.

Are you starting to see that Schoolhouse has some serious stuff to offer? This is only a small sampling of what's available. You must check this out.
Need further encouragement to give it a try? Here's an incentive for ya. Give it a go and pay only $1.00 for the first month. No, that wasn't a typo, only one dollar. After that, subscribe for $5.95 per month, or pay for the whole year at once for $64.26.

My thoughts:

I love this site. What can I say to describe how I love the convenience, the creativity, the encouragement...I simply don't have enough space or time to tell you what a help this is to my harried homeschool!

The copywork has been a great help, as my girlies have already finished their handwriting books for this year, and I scramble daily to produce lessons for them to practice. And I love that the copywork reflects other lessons that are being offered at the same time, so it all ties together.

We also have made use of the writing activities. The month of November proved to be  a little (okay a lot) busy, and so we are using the idea of gratitude journals that were presented, and working on those for December.

Our other favorites are the monthly craft ideas. We have some artsy girls over here, and they love a good project. Here we had some wintry fun with the snowman scene craft.

If you haven't taken a look at the Schoolhouse planners, you don't know what you're missing. These are full of probably every form, calendar, article, checklist, recipes, and a whole lot more. They are simply super, and I am crazy about 'em :)
Oh, and again, they come free with your subscription. All of them. Simply wow.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, this is a great site, I love it, it's been a huge help, and I recommend it highly to any and all homeschoolers.
Another aspect I should mention is that there are always new and fresh lessons and activities being added and offered, with new teachers joining to bring us quality resources for our studies.

Certainly worth the time to take a look for yourself, don't you think?

Price: Try it for only $1.00 for the first month, then pay $5.95 per month, or pay for the whole year for $64.26

Ages: Lessons, activities, and so much more for PreK - adult

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

See what my crewmates had to say about this site by clicking on this link - Schoolhouse Review Crew