You can find entries on a specific topic if you'd like by clicking on the subject under TOPICS in the left column. There's all sorts of stuff- Lapbooking, Lesson Plans, Recipes, Projects, and More! If you're a homeschooling blogger or have a site geared towards homeschoolers and would like to trade links, let me know!

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm glad I listened

The past week has been wonderfully blessed, exciting, and emotionally filled. I have been so blessed to see how God has been working things around in my life for the past 3 years to orchestrate what happened this past weekend.

Although two of my sister's kids, ages 15 & 12 are already staying with us, my husband and I are going to be given guardianship over them next week. They are going to stay with us at least 6 months, but more than likely it will be permanent and they will graduate here. Had I not been paying attention to little details around me, I may not have been prepared and at peace with what is about to happen.

I joined a local homeschool group this past summer even though K doesn't have to be registered with the state for another 4 years. I'm glad I did.

I've been attending the Homeschool Mom's Night Out to get advice about homeschooling so I could learn from others before I officially started. I had no idea I would need the information this quickly. I'm glad I attend.

I had no idea that when I was being led to homeschool, that it would consist not only for my kids, but for 2 of my nieces. Although it seems as though I should be nervous, I have such an unexplainable peace about it. I'm glad I answered the call.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I bought my son a talking globe that is above his age level because I didn't want to pass up the good deal knowing I would use it one day. I now know it wasn't intended for him, but for my nieces that are studying World History. I'm glad I listened to the voice.

So, here it is, 3 years until have to register my son in "school", yet I am registering with our state next week. I don't know if God's plans are for the girls to stay with us until the school year is over or until they graduate, but I'm glad I listened to all the "voices" and followed my instincts to what I believe is going to be a wonderful year of change for all of us in our house.

Had I not listened to all the voices and instead had made up my own mind and done all the things that did make sense, I don't think I would have been as prepared. Sometimes the things we do don't seem to make sense at all, but if we're doing them for the right reasons and are praying about them, than it's part of God's plan.

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him." 1 John 5:14-15

Is there anything you aren't doing that many people have suggested or that you feel might be a calling from God? If you ignore the call, you may not be prepared for something that could happen in 3 years. God knows His plan. He's the only one that does. What a blessing it is to not be in control, but to know that God is.

Post by Mommy N

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fun, fast, and inexpensive Christmas ornaments.. and a cute little video..

A friend of mine sent me this video by email - and I think all of us homeschool moms can appreciate it:

I also want to share some links to some of my favorite, easy, and inexpensive ornaments for the whole family to make:

These are called God's Eye Ornaments - We made a bunch of these and hung them all over the house:

These are a lot of fun, and (with my help) even my toddlers can make them.. they are glass bulbs painted with acrylic paint. It can be especially inexpensive if you hit Hobby Lobby or Michael's after Christmas and get for 80% off to save for the next year:

These are felt ornaments - felt being an inexpensive fabric to buy - and in a miriad of colors. Some of them call to cut out 2 and sew and stuff them (like the gingerbread man/woman), but for the younger kiddos you can just cut one and decorate:

Christmas is next week and then the week of New Years, coupled with computer issues I am having - so I probably won't post again until January. May you all have a very merry Christmas and a blessed new year!!

Much love and God bless.

Courtney P and Family

Saturday, December 13, 2008

'Tis the Season

by Mommy N

"Tis the Season to be

As my children get older, I'm enjoying Christmas even more than I did when I was a kid anticipating the arrival of unwrapped gifts brought by Santa around or on our Christmas tree. Although the memories I have about Christmas are strictly about me getting gifts, I'm finding that I enjoy Christmas more now that I get less than when I got more as a kid. I'm pretty sure it has more to do with the fact that I actually know and understand the true meaning of Christmas and I get to teach it to my kids.

My son asked me the other day when I was going to wrap his presents to put under the tree. It was at that moment, that I realized I needed to start teaching him NOW, that Christmas is SO much more than getting gifts. In truth, I find myself not wanting to buy my kids much. I want them to know the real meaning of Christmas. I want them to know the concept of JOY (Jesus, Others, and You.) How can I do that if all they are worried about is how many gifts they have under the tree? What they learn as a child, becomes a hard habit to break as they get older.

Last year, we started a Jesse Tree. This year, we incorporated an Advent Calendar to go along with the ornament and scripture of the day. We are reading Christmas books often and almost everyday we talk about Jesus' birthday.

Kids are going to feed off our excitement and joy of what is going on. Am I more excited about the gifts under our Christmas tree or the gift that God wrapped and gave to us 2008 years ago on Christmas day?

Christmas is a perfect season to teach kids about character, love, and the spirit of giving to others.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Making do..

Making do.. It was something my grandmother would speak of when I was a child. She would tell me stories about the great depression and how certain things, so-called luxuries were not available, or not affordable. So - they did without those luxuries.

It reminds me of one of my favorite shows - "17 and Counting" - that's the show on TLC about the Duggar family that has 17 children. This family manages to support themselves fully without one dollar of help from the government (i.e. welfare). Through watching the show I try to discover some ways to help my own family save and pinch pennies to make our money go farther.

The main thing that sticks out to me - is "making do". It is obvious that they aren't starving and are all dressed in what I would call "average" fashion - not too much and not too little. They aren't exactly wearing couture fashion - but they don't look like nerds either. They do things like buy clothes and shoes second-hand. This thrifty mom does that ALL the time. I have a hard time finding things for myself or my husband - but always find cute things for the kids. I shop Goodwill and the Salvation Army quite often.

The Duggars not only go the second-hand (and hand-me-down) route - but they also "make do" with what they have until it is NECESSARY to replace shoes and clothes. They aren't concerned with the very latest fashion, and don't appear to go out and buy a pair of Levis jeans for all the kids just because they WANT one. Even if you didn't want to go the second hand route - you would be surprised to see how much money you save by waiting to buy shoes and clothes only when you need them - like when your shoe's sole comes away from the upper, or they are beat up beyond being able to wear them in public, or when your daughter's sun dresses have all grown too small. (Verses - running out to buy a new pair of shoes for your DD just because her friend next door got a new pair.)

I know with my own kids each new season brings a long a list of "needs" because they can't wear last year's clothes (because they are too small) - but I guess this tip has even more to do with us moms going out there and having to have 300 pairs of shoes. I love shoes as much as the next girl - but is that REALLY necessary?

I guess what also made me think of "making do" is what's going on in my own household right now. We have one income and trying to start up a trucking business. Money is a bit tight. We have a dishwasher that doesn't want to drain properly. So we are having to "make do" right now by handwashing all our dishes. With Christmas coming and trucking being slow - we can't afford to walk out and purchase a new one. I could curse, or have a bad attitude - or I can do it the Christian way - and "make do" cheerfully. At least I have a house to wash dishes in - some can't say that - especially with today's economy and so many people getting foreclosed on.

So take a moment today and see where you could perhaps cut back or purchase one less "want" item - to bless your family budget.

I know I have been on a soapbox lately - I promise to come back next week with a cool holiday craft to share with you:-)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Conjunction junction, what's your function?

Hearing that summons up memories of "back in the day" - when the main opportunity to see cartoons was on Saturday morning.. not 24 hours a day like it is now..that was the ONLY time you found us inside when we didn't have to be.. You might watch the Smurfs.. or late morning might have Johnny Quest... but occassionally a "video" from "School House Rock" would be thrown in. They were cute cartoons with a song, a toe tapping tune, and, unbeknownst to me, a lot of good educational tidbits..

Well it seems "School House Rock" is making a comeback. I had been hearing about them putting out a DVD.. and vaguely remember liking them.. so I thought it might be worth getting for the kids. I like them to see you can have fun with education. So I was lucky enough to find it at my local library (a gold mine of resources for us homeschoolers on a budget)...Which by the way - I totally recommend you go make friends with your local librarian - they can get you all sorts of books thru interlibrary loans and save you lots of money..

So anyway, we checked it out and started watching it... I couldn't believe how jam packed it was with info.. things about history, multiplication tables, parts of speech, biology.. etc.. and my kids LOVED 8 yr old dd that is learning her multiplication tables right now kept turning around and smiling at me when the math "videos" would come on.. and my twin boys (nearly 3) were even singing the songs.. they may not understand what they are singing right now, but it will make sense later, and they will have a learning aid to help them - the songs.. I think it would be the perfect DVD to keep in the van, rather than a just a bunch of cartoons (althought we do have those too).. or to pull out when you are studing history, or multiplication tables, etc.. I must admit though - we will probably be purchasing a copy. I highly recommend it to add to your homeschool library.

So that's my input for this week.. by the way - Mandy has so graciously allowed me to come and write on her new blog, and I am so blessed to be able to do so.. we are a new homeschooling family (started as of May this year when I withdrew my dd out of Elementary school), and are those homeschoolers on a budget, so you will find in my entries a lot of inexpensive or free ideas.. you can see more about us (and mostly my artwork) on my blog , and here at The Precious Mind on Wednesdays.

Until next time - much love and God bless!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Call to "Dunkirk"

Watch and listen to this short powerful video from calling families to bring their children home. Our pastor, Voddie Baucham, is featured in it and, as usual, makes some strong points.