Saturday, December 28, 2013

Homeschool: Book It Program ( #homeschool #BookIt #@PizzaHut #reading )

Each year Pizza Hut has opened their Book It program to encourage homeschooled children to read more. While I believe reading should be a large part of any educational program (home or away), a little extra rewards never hurt for encouraging.

Please note this is only open for K-6 (as of Sept 1, of that current year -- so the upcoming school year) 

Keep your eyes open for sign ups. I'll try to as well, so I can get it posted here for everyone when it's time for the new year (2014-2015)

#Beading #Crafts

I know I have quite a large number of beading supplies in one of my bins. I just often wonder where to get the creativity for them from. I see some that are so beautiful.

I don't know that I've purchased any beading books, but I believe I may have picked up a magazine or two. So, once again, this week will be seeing progress in organizing and locating what I have. Then deciding on if I have to place things on a list to get picked up.

What are you beading this week?

Friday, December 27, 2013

#Homeschool: Worried About Transcripts For Your High School Student?

First, I want everyone to know I was not asked, nor paid for this share. I came across it and thought it was a wonderful idea.

HSLDA has a High School Transcript Service. (HERE) Evidently, with this, in addition to your own records, you can enter records into their "system" and have a transcript formed for you, complete with GPA , etc.

#Sewing #Crafts

I haven't sewn much in ages. I used to love to make things. So, now it's happening that I'd like to start making things again. I think, when done correctly, the clothing and household items look a lot better than store bought items.

I believe I only have several patterns. And, I have a few fabrics (if I remember correctly) that could be used for sewing projects rather than quilting projects.

I've noticed there are now so many people making their own sewing patterns on Etsy. Maybe this will be the year I get back to sewing.

Where are your favorite places to get sewing fabrics and patterns? Are you working on any projects this week?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

#Family #Friendly #Facebook Pages? Like for Like Group

I wanted to try to build likes on family friendly facebook pages. I don't use my main profile, only my like page, so I have to decide not to use a group for it, but to create an actual like page for it. So, if you have a family friendly page on facebook, and you'd like to team up and work together to increase following (likes), then please join me HERE

Join My #Newsletter ~ #crafts #homeschool #food #recipes #DIY #homedecor and more

I'm working on a newsletter {monthly~at least that's the plan}, except for the giveaway newsletter which goes out each time there is a new giveaway to enter. You can join to get only what you want to hear about HERE.

As time passes, there will be special newsletter only extras, giveaways, secrets, tips, and more.

Do you want your #recipe featured

I would love to start a recipe feature. Do you have a favorite recipe that you'd like to share? If so, email to: Please use the subject line: Recipe (name of item) (food type: desert, soup, etc) -- please also list any credits that need to be listed with the recipe. I'd love to feature one a week ~ 52 per year. At the end of the year, I'd love to feature a top 10 with the top viewed recipes.

#organize your #quilting #crafts

Well, I've already done some quilting chatter on the blog. So, I'd love for any thoughts on anything I've already posted on it (you can easily find the posts by selecting "Quilt" from the top navigation bar).

Needless to say - with Christmas-, all I've been doing is some online searching and window shopping. This week I need to organize the fabric and other items I need and sort my pattern books. I have so many quilting items, I'm not sure I'll get that all accomplished this week. But we'll see. It may carry over into next week's planning. I'm almost tempted to sort through it all after I move and work on some new patterns of my own.

What are you doing now that Christmas is over? Anyone out hitting those post-holiday sales today?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

I have a very busy day ahead as I'm sure everyone else does as well. I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday and that today is safe and happy for everyone. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#Book #Review: The Night Before Christmas #Children

Summary from GoodReads: With over 600,000 copies sold, Jan Brett's New York Times bestselling edition of Clement Moore’s classic Christmas poem celebrates its tenth anniversary with a note from Jan and an exquisitely redesigned jacket with red foil trim, making this a delectable holiday treat.
A new generation of readers will find Jan’s visual interpretation of this favorite poem, set in a snowy New England village, both familiar, as St. Nick visits a Victorian family, and surprising, with Jan’s addition of two stowaway elves from the North Pole.

My Review: My kids love this book. We read it at least twice a week together the entire month of December. Even my teens grab their blankets and a cup of hot chocolate and cuddle around the tree to hear it being read. The illustrations in this version are absolutely wonderful. There's even a glitter type substance {I call it that because it doesn't come off like glitter does--so no mess} on certain pages to make the snow sparkle, ornaments sparkle, etc.

The quality of the book {which is something I rarely mention} is fantastic. The pages are thick and perfect for reading over and over.

This was a wonderful updated illustration on a wonderful classic.

Homemade: Infused Water ~ Take a little #summer along for the #winter

Got this from Witch's Academy. Sounds yummy to me! 

Infused waters.
Here are the benefits to help with detoxification, energy, and hydration. Put as much fruit in water as you like and let the water sit for at least 30 minutes before drinking (1) Green tea, mint, lime-fat burning, digestion, headaches, congestion and breath freshener. (2) Strawberry,kiwi-cardiovascular health, immune system protection, blood sugar regulation, digestion (3) Cucumber, lime, lemon- water weight management, bloating, appetite control, hydration, digestion (4) Lemon, lime, orange- digestion vitamin C, immune defense, heartburn, (drink this one at room temperature)

Do not keep longer than 48 hours - you can put more water using the same fruit, but discard after 48 hours.

Though pricey this time of year, you can still find some fruits and citrus to place in these. It just gives you a little bit of summer while you're watching the snow fall outside your window.

Latch Hook ~ Does anyone even do it anymore? #LatchHook #crafts

Although I haven't purchased a lot of latch hook over the last few years, it seems to not be as popular in the craft stores (Micheal's and such). It seems that if you're looking for kits or patterns, you're better trying to shop for them online.

This week is again more organizing. I'm going to go through my craft supplies and see what kind of latch hook items I have and what I might want to pick up.

Do you have a favorite place to get your latch hook items?

What are you making this week?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Misguided Ideas

With winter in full swing (although mild), I see my project list still piled high. All those well-meaning projects I thought would be complete in time for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. You know what?

They're pretty much all still sitting. I've missed even one gift that I thought I'd have done with time to spare. I always seem to start off with such force, that I'm ahead on a deadline ~ then something happens. lol

Some have patterns made or purchased for them, others have been pinned together, others have patterns but I can't quite decide on the fabric...and so on it goes.

What I have realized is the following:

1) There will never be enough hours in the day
2) No one will just let me design...there is a job to do, there are kids, there is a home to care for
3) I will not save money by making my own pajamas, quilts, grocery bags, and so on (I had started to save money but find I spend far more in making my own)
4) No one is going to appreciate the time I put into making that homemade birthday...Christmas...anniversary (etc) bundle which contained: a quilt, a throw, 2 pillowcases, 2 to 3 throw pillows and matching winter pajamas
5) No one is going to appreciate that homemade gift basket either. Filled with (all homemade): soaps, lotions, cough medicine, cough drops, laundry soap, fabric softener, suckers, candy, dish soap, bath oils, shampoo and so on

So, why do I do it?

I suppose, one day, I hope that my kids will pick up something I've made for them and finally realize all the love that was placed into it...just for them. As to the gift-giving...I'm beginning to change my idea on it. A few have suggested I do samples and then start my own mini online sales for such items. I just don't know. Most would have to stay as local sales and who really has the time to try to pound the pavement to find people that would purchase homemade items over store bought...when these have to be made and are, at times, at an expense that is above what they would get in the store?


So, speak up, if you like, and tell us all about your current crafting frustrations.

#Felt #Crafts

I just came upon this adorable post from Diary of a Quilter. I admit, I've eyed felt, but, you know, with so many crafts already being done and so many projects on my lists, I've never really thought much of it.

In her post, she directs her idea to All Sorts pattern (free) for a scotty dog. How cute are they? So, now I'm considering yet another time consuming project (lol).

Who else does felt projects? Have a favorite place for patterns and/or materials?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

#Book #Review ~ Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a #Homeschool #Curriculum from Preschool Through High School

Blurb ~

Book Description

November 14, 2000
Finally, homeschoolers have a comprehensive guide to designing a homeschool curriculum, from one of the country's foremost homeschooling experts. , Rebecca Rupp presents a structured plan to ensure that your children will learn what they need to know when they need to know it, from preschool through high school. Based on the traditional pre-K through 12th-grade structure, Home Learning Year by Year features:

The integral subjects to be covered within each grade
Standards for knowledge that should be acquired by your child at each level
Recommended books to use as texts for every subject
Guidelines for the importance of each topic: which knowledge is essential and which is best for more expansive study based on your child's personal interests
Suggestions for how to sensitively approach less academic subjects, such as sex education and physical fitness

From the Inside Flap

Finally, homeschoolers have a comprehensive guide to designing a homeschool curriculum, from one of the country's foremost homeschooling experts. , Rebecca Rupp presents a structured plan to ensure that your children will learn what they need to know when they need to know it, from preschool through high school. Based on the traditional pre-K through 12th-grade structure, Home Learning Year by Year features:The integral subjects to be covered within each grade
Standards for knowledge that should be acquired by your child at each level
Recommended books to use as texts for every subject
Guidelines for the importance of each topic: which knowledge is essential and which is best for more expansive study based on your child's personal interests
Suggestions for how to sensitively approach less academic subjects, such as sex education and physical fitness

About the Author

Rebecca Rupp, Ph.D., has homeschooled her three sons for more than ten years. The author of The Complete Home Learning SourcebookGetting Started on Home Learning, and Committed to Memory: How We Remember and Why We Forget, Rupp writes a monthly column for Home Education Magazine and produces and hosts a local homeschool television program. She lives in Shaftsbury, Vermont.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1 edition (November 14, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609805851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609805855

My Review:
When I started homeschooling, my older children had already survived several years of private schools. Except my youngest. Being that he was going into kindergarten, I knew how important it was to make sure I did everything right. If not, the basics wouldn't be there to be built upon as he learned.

I was looking for something that outlines what every child should know. Of course, we have added to the basic "need to know" concepts because of personal preferences, but this book was fabulous.

This isn't one of those books that have to be read page by page, front to back. This is brilliantly written so that you can find what you need, read it and move on. Absolutely great reference and everything was easy to find. (Tip: I use colored paperclips on the side of the page to help mark important pages that I may want to reference more than once or twice. I color code the clips for the grade level the information pertains to since I have multiple children homeschooling.)

Not only were there core requirements on what concepts should be mastered at each grade level - there were also suggestions on books and teaching tools to assist in meeting those goals.

Online Stock Up Staples (What's in your pantry?)

Ok, so maybe they aren't 100% considered staples, but in getting back to basics, one of the first things I want to do is start gaining some items that I know I can't produce myself. So, tonight, while chatting on yahoo messenger with a friend, I went on a search.

Imagine the time I can save if I can reasonably order certain items to be delivered to my home.

My first mission was for oats. I came across THIS recipe for crock pot oatmeal and it reminds me of years ago and living with my grandparents. Grandma still did things the old fashioned way (we never even owned a microwave or had cable). How great would it be to get this on and serve up a hot meal, easily, on some mornings?

In searching and trying to hunt the best prices for steel cut oats, I ran acrossTHIS. It's about $1.14 per pound with shipping under $5. You can also get a bulk deal, if you can buy at least 4, your cost per pound goes down to around $1.08. THIS one was more expensive (also with shipping under $5)...they average to about $1.39 a pound (for the record, I'm not including shipping prices in that estimate). Although more expensive, if you're looking for more "practical" packaging, THIS can be an option, though more costly. 

One of the biggest things for me is practical storage. Needless to say, I don't have a whole lot of storage space at this moment, but I'm working on it. And, will no doubt, have to get it figured out rather quickly. I do have the advantage of three refrigerators with top freezers. Still, for a family with four growing children, it's still not nearly enough.

So, I came across THESE cut little bowls while looking at other variations. I decided on these because they have lids. Snacks, puddings, yogurt, etc -- can be placed in these cute little glass bowls, lids placed on and tossed in the fridge for an easy snack. And, another perk? They're reusable. ☺ (psst: these are also microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe -- I don't own a dishwasher, but it's still a nice fact for some readers.) Anyway, I've decided I need these in several different sizes.

My next mission was to find wheat grain. That was because I'd found THISrecipe for homemade Cream of Wheat. 

So, I did find THIS. You get 50 Pounds for $50.99 (slightly over $1 a pound)and shipping is under $5. You also get a better price for the larger buy quantities (bringing it to under $1 a pound). It says it's also great for long term storage. There's also THIS one. It's a little more expensive UNLESS you take advantage of their subscribe and save. So, that allows it to be under $1 a pound. This is also available for free shipping. One other that I looked at was THIS one. It's in smaller packaging, also has a discount when you subscribe and can get free shipping. 

Two other staples that seem to be pretty important to money saving are cornstarch and powdered milk.  They're also used in THIS super great recipe for cream soup.

On cornstarch, you can get 50 pounds for about $24 HERE. I didn't look into shipping costs as I'm still trying to get my bulk orders in line (and figuring out the best storage methods). I did notice that for cornstarch, you really need to determine what type you're looking for. I've found pricing as high as $120 for 50 pounds. 

Powdered milk can also be pricey. So, again, I'd suggest determining what kind you want. It's as high (from what I found anyway)....$202 for 50 pounds. Unfortunately, when it comes to this, I didn't find any prices that I was really jumping for joy over. Maybe it's because everything so far has been around $1 a pound. HERE you can get 9.75 pounds for $52.85. This works out to about $5.42 a pound. Also, it is currently on sale, so this price will, at some point, bump up to around $75. Also, if you're looking for a larger size, THIS one is 28.8 pounds for $159.45 (also on sale and will go up, at some point, to about $262).  This breaks down to $5.54 per pound (actually more expensive than the smaller package mentioned previously). 

On a side note: You can get a 50 pound bag of flour HERE for around $1 a pound (I don't know about where you are, but that's a lot less than I can get it for out here). 

Know of a better deal on any of these products? Please feel free to tell me. 

#Canvas #Crafts

I have so many canvas pattern books. I love to shop for them (Ebay's also great for huge lots of them) and then I get them, look through them, decide what I'd like to make and what I could do with them. Once I sit them down after that, it seems I don't manage to get back to them.

I've been told that I could turn crafting into a business (think of all the finished product craft places on Etsy), but how do you part with something that you spend so much time creating?

Anyone sell their completed projects? How did you decide to? Does it bother you to see them leave?

I guess my canvas goal for the week is to at least sort through my canvas project books. Then maybe start deciding on a project I can start next week or the following week.

What's everyone else working on?

Contact Us


Email *

Message *