Friday, February 12, 2016

5 on Friday

I have been wanting to try something new for a while.  Well, new to me.  There are lots who share 5 random things on their blogs on Fridays, and I always love reading them, so I thought I would try it out.

I love peeking into others' lives.  So here's a peek into mine this week-

1.  Years ago, we made some major changes in our lives and have tried to do life in a more natural way, including health things.  I love essential oils and we use them A LOT!  But sometimes, things just get out of hand.  Like our last two weeks.  Three if us have been sick, only one has improved.  So this is what a doctor gave two of  us today-

Pitiful, I know.  So much for natural.

2.  My second daughter is a senior this year and is in the midst of college shopping.  She got accepted into her 6th college yesterday!  And I think she has FINALLY made a decision.  Announcement to follow soon!

3.  Moving in the winter is a challenge.  OK, so that is completely random, but it is so true.  Programs are in mid-swing, it is cold so everyone is hibernating in their houses, and well, it is just harder to meet people!

4.   I am thankful for church and church-friends.  We have found the most wonderful church and met the most wonderful people there.  They have embraced and loved our family from day one and everyday we marvel at God's provision.

5.  Anything that takes over our life and replaces God is an idol!  OK, another completely random thought, but it has been on my mind.  If all I ever do is talk about food and dieting, it has become an idol.  If all I ever talk about is my kid's sport or hobby, it has become an idol in my life.  If all I ever do is talk about working out, it has become an idol.  If all I ever talk about is curriculum, it has become an idol.  Yes, those things are fine and good- in moderation.  Just like everything else.  But honestly, friends, the only thing we should be consumed with is God!  Just saying.

So there you have it, 5 on Friday!


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Some days...

Some days you just need a break.  Today is one of those days, friends!

 I will be back on Friday, promise!

Until then a fun quote for you-

"Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"

- Lucy M. Montgomery

Monday, February 8, 2016

Updating the House

While we have been busy getting back to a "normal" life, whatever that really looks like, we have also continued to make a few changes to our house.  The house was really in good condition, there were, and are, just some things we wanted to do to update to put our personal touch on it.

Like changing the chalkboard wall back to a normal wall.  The people who lived here previously were very talented artists.  Their wall looked lovely.

Ours did not. So we painted.

Changed out the basement door.  I do not love sliding doors any ways, and this one had seen its better days.  With the help of a very talented friend, my hubby replaced it with a door I love!

A lot of help from a friend!

 Just one last piece of molding to add!

Changed out several old blind sets.  This particular set was a monster.  A mom did not design these, I am sure of that.  Kids go in and out of sliding doors like they are a ride at an amusement park.  Kids cannot work blinds that not only open and shut, but also twist and turn to those sliding doors.  They maybe can play with them, but they cannot correctly use them.  And therefore they get shredded and broken.  And then become the bane of my existence,  Just saying.

Hung a few chandeliers.  We have been carrying these around with us since we lived in North Dakota over 10 years ago.  They once were an ugly brass, but I spray painted them black.  It was never worth the effort to hang them in a rental, but I could not wait to get them up here.  One in the dining area and one in my daughter's room.

Replaced the laundry room floor. Linoleum just gets tired after 15 years.  Especially in a laundry room!

Painted more door trim.

There are plans to update the kids' bathroom, hopefully remodel the master bath, and landscaping in the spring.  I would also like to have the kitchen cabinets painted and the fireplace refaced, but as my hubby keeps reminding me, Rome was not built in a day!

Why do you think he keeps reminding me of that??!

Have you ever done any remodeling?  I would love for you to share your favorite project!  Maybe I will get some more ideas.  Hubby will love that!


Friday, February 5, 2016

How Do I Homeschool When My Days Are Crazy?

Everyone has those kinds of days, right?  There are multiple appointments that have to be attended. Company is coming and your refrigerator is bare.  The kids are sick, the dogs need their shots, and your husband needs you to run an errand for him.

For some, there are even more pressing issues.  Hospital visits to make, chronically ill children to attend to. The list can go and on.

Some days just get crazy.

And yet school must go on.

So how do you get it done?

In my 17 years of homeschooling, I can tell you that some days you just skip school and play catch up later.  Even public school teachers get teacher workdays- you most certainly can take a few too. But let's face it, if we didn't do school every time something competed for our time we would fail as teachers.  And our kids would suffer the consequences.  Everyone must find their own comfort zone with those kind of days but let me share a few things that have worked well for us.

Have workbooks on hand- I know, I know, not every kid loves workbooks.  But there are some days that if a child of mine can open a workbook to the next page and work independently, I call it a success.  After all, independent learning is one of our goals, so what better way to foster that than to send them to a workbook on their own occasionally?

Utilize computers- I do not want my child alone in front of a computer all day, but there are a few things we do on the computer consistently.  What that means is that when I am not available my kids know exactly how to get to their programs, in our case, Writing, History, and Math, and do them on their own.

School where you are at- At the doctor's office? Do school there!  In the car?  Do school there!  Sick in bed?  Invite the kids in with you and do school there.  As a matter of fact, Colby and I have been doing school for the past few days in my bed while I was recovering from a bad virus.  At least he was having fun!

Read books-  Whether it is a simple stack of picture books or your child's favorite chapter books, always having books on hand for them to read can be a God-send.  With one of the three core subjects checked off (reading, writing, and arithmetic) you are on your way to a complete school day.

Let the extras go- Give yourself a break.  If music, art, and foreign languages do not get taught every day no one is going to die.  OK, it may mess up your pretty planner, but it will be OK, I promise. Sometimes we just have to move forward and know that they will learn what they need to learn.

Friends and family-  Just like when a public school has to call in a substitute, there may be days that you have to call for backup as well.  There are plenty of people out there, whether friends or family, that can fill in as teacher, teach your child something new, or just be an extra set of hands if needed.

After all, everyone's days get crazy sometimes!

Want to see how other people homeschool through life?  Check out these great blogs from some of my favorite people.

How Do I Homeschool When ... ?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ashton's Attic Reopens

I always love helping people promote their new businesses, but when it is my own daughter's, well, that makes it even more special.

I do not remember when exactly we discovered Ashton had a love for sewing.  I do remember that I made her take a home ec. class for school and one of the things she had to do was a quilt.  It turned out beautifully.

At the same time she also began sewing prairie skirts under the teaching of another homeschooling mom just for fun.  She hasn't stopped sewing since.

Yes, she has taken a few lessons here and there, but for the most part she is self-taught.  And determined.

She also had wonderful mentor and teacher while she was in school and working in their costume shop.  Once she graduated from college her love of sewing continued and she got a job working at a dry cleaners doing all of their alterations.  That job broadened her skills and allowed her to do private fittings, bridal alterations, and more.  Ashton also found a passion for teaching and has enjoyed teaching private sewing lessons to numerous students of all ages.

Now that we have moved and are settling in, Ashton has expanded her private sewing (in which she does clothes and alterations) and reopened her Etsy shop featuring quilts, with new branding for her business by Jamie Kientz, who did a wonderful job! You can see her work on her Facebook page and if you need any branding or design work done, I know Ashton would highly recommend her!

Ashton sells three kinds of quilts, T-shirt quilts, Memory and Baby clothes quilts, and Rag T-shirt quilts. I have to say, the rag T-shirt quilts are my favorite, they are so soft and cuddly!

These are just a few of the quilts she has done!

My first experience with a T-shirt quilt was years ago when I had someone make one for Ashton's graduation.  The irony, I know!  I sent a bunch of T-shirts away to a stranger and hoped for the best. Thankfully, all worked out well and other than the hefty price tag, I was happy.  It was then I realized how precious these quilts are with the memories they hold.  From graduations to baby memories to special events, each quilt tells a story to the one they are presented to.  A perfect gift!

So, now you have a name!  And a face!  And a mom's recommendation.  Go gather your shirts!!

You can see her quilts at her Etsy Store or on her Facebook page, and see what else she is up to on Pinterest and Instagram