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Friday, July 27, 2012

Getting Geared up for School


Hi folks, how is every one's summer so far?? Mine is going by too fast, as usual. I have been working on so many things, well that is between spending time at the Dr's office.
I found out I need yet another surgery(#12) I need my gallbladder out. After the last few surgeries I endured this will be a piece of cake. 
    Gidget was practicing for an upcoming Feis in Savannah,Ga and twisted her ankle. Luckily it was mild and she was off her crutches in a week and is back to dancing. 
Then both my feet swelled out of nowhere and I was scared half to death. Luckily nothing major there either. Slightly anemic was all they found in my blood work. So why my feet swelled is a mystery. Being a nurse for 22 years I know what normally can be the cause of things such as swollen feet, and the reasons are pretty frightening. They say knowledge is power, I say knowledge can be over-rated and cause unsubstantiated and unnecessary fear. 
   I have also been working on getting all my ducks in a row for the quickly approaching school year. My goal has been to keep it cheap as possible. We love notebooking/lapbooking and wanted to find a curriculum that would support these methods. I also wanted to incorporate more of my Catholic upbringing and beliefs into our curriculum. Lastly, I want a strong and visual style Math program and a good Vocabulary program. I also want a strong bible teaching program. For that I bought The Child Training bible from, which I am really excited about. Growing up as a Catholic, bible study wasn't something that was taught. I really want my daughter to learn the bible, but how can I teach her something I don't know?? This was an answer to my prayers. The program is inexpensive, $9.00. Mindy,(along with her husband), is the women who developed this program to teach her own children on applying everyday issues such as anger, jealousy, disobedience, etc and tells you exactly what bible passages to read that apply to any given issue or problem. They took all the hard work out of it and made it easy for us to in turn teach our children. Everything is color coded on laminated east to read and follow cards. I have listed the link, but also have the blog button on my sidebar.I have to say this is one of the things I'll be most excited to teach(and learn) in the upcoming school year. 
   For Math we will be using ALEKS, though not really that cheap, is definitely condusive to the visual learner. I love that this program focuses on what the child doen't yet grasp so as to close the gaps in thei concepts. I posted a huge article on ALEKS under my curriculum tab. Check it out. 
    For vocabulary will use Worldly Wise 3000. With thanks to Jolanth from Homeschool Creations, I won a $50.00 gift certificate toward curriculum at I bought Worldly Wise 3000 for Gidget. I actually bought 2 grades ahead for her. She is starting 7th grade, the 6th grade WW wasn't challenging enough for her, so we are going to use WW 9th grade to challenge her. Gidget loves this program and has already started the books, so far so good. We will also be doing Reading 7, Art 7, English 7, and History 7 For Young Catholics all purchased on Cath Swap for under $50.00. I also found some great books on Saints, St.Joseph's Catechism, an a new bible at our local Habitat for Humanities Re-Store. 
     I am going follow Mater Amabilis scope & sequence this year @, which is strongly routed in Charlotte Mason style methods. Though we take a very relaxed, layed back approach to school,I definitely challenge Gidget to think outside the box and challenge herself as much as possible. I want her to have fun in whatever she learns, this way she always wants to learn even more.I am just not one for following a strictly scheduled day. On Sunday evenings we plan out the week and as long as the list is complete by that Friday, I try and give Gidget as much independence as possible. I am however there to help her with any of her needs, to help her understand the more difficult material, etc. I am very excited to give the Charlotte Mason method a try this year, and will be posting regularly on how it is working. 
    I think one of the newest things we will be doing that we are most excited about is we will be doing weekly Nature Studies. We will actually take school outside for a few hours. God gave us this beautiful world to enjoy, so we will be slowing down this year to smell his scent through the flowers, listen to his songs through the birds and other animals, feel God's breath through the wind in the trees, and documenting everything about it through pictures, drawings and actually pressing flowers, leaves and yes even weeds. We are even making our own Nature Study journal kit from odds and ends we find around the house. Making our own Nature Journal Kit was inspired by Jenniebellie an artist whose blog I follow and have mentioned on my blog before. You can check out her tutorial on making a travel journal kit which is so much fun to watch. This is what we will be using to make our own nature journals. I strongly recommend checking out this tutorial. Jenniebellie will have you wanting to create one for yourself and your children.
Lastly, I am still working on my quest for "ALL THINGS AMERICAN". I just purchased a book off Amazon called "A Year without "Made In China" by Sara Bongiorni. She went on the ultimate quest and she and her family embarked on a yearlong boycott of any product made in China.  I plan on a 30 day challenge in August for changing my family's way of life and spending and to be more conscious of where the products they buy come from. I'll be boycotting all non USA made products. I will also pose a challenge to my readers, however many that be, (Being a very young blog I'm working on my numbers), and besides the challenge I will be having a contest that will have some prizes for some lucky readers. Look for the details to be posted on August 1st, the first day of the challenge. I an also still working on starting my own craft blog. I think of all the projects I have going this is my most challenging of all. I am excited and terrified all at the same time at the prospect of the whole thing. I am however determined to make it work.With all that said I will say farewell for the time being. Hoping this finds you and yours well.

God Bless,

Friday, July 20, 2012

Homemade Laundry Deterergent& Fabric Softener


3 c Distilled Vinegar
2 c hair conditioner(your choice)
6 c HOT water
Mix well, add to your old softener bottle.
Shake before using.

I bought the V05 when CVS had it on sale for 0.66, I got 12 bottles for $7.92. It will take 2 gallons of distilled vinegar @ $3.49 a bottle for a total of $6.98 to make a 1 year supply of fabric softener. Grand total $14.90 for the year. That is a savings of over $200 a year on fabric softener.   
My family hasn't noticed a difference. I will never buy softener again. Now you will smell a slight vinegar odor when the clothes are wet, but that disappears during drying. 


1 box Borax
1 box A&H Super Washing Powder
1 bob Baking Soda
1 bar Fels Naptha or Zote Soap(Grated use medium grate)
1 sm bottle Purex or Downey Crystals
 1/2-2/3 container lg Oxy-Clean

Mix together store in airtight container. Use 1/2 in your wash.

I don't know how many of you read my article on American made products, but I really am making attempt to stick to as many USA made products that I can. So for scent I will use an essential oil from the Home Economist, or I will read on how to make something myself. I will get back to you on this.
I also think that this was more expensive to make. This batch cost about $20.00, but as you can see by the picture it made a whole lot of detergent, and it requires a 1/2 c for a large load. By dropping the oxy and the purex it will dramatically cut the cost of this recipe.
I'd love to hear from you if you make your own , if you have a different recipe, I'd also love to hear back from you when you try this. I definitely recommend trying. Your wallet will thank you. 


Mixed Powders

Medium Grate of the Fels Naptha

Hoping this finds you and yours well.

God Bless,

Saturday, July 14, 2012

America Made Products

  Lately I have been spending a great deal of time getting curriculum together for the upcoming school year, I have been doing a summer bridge program with my dd to keep her Math, Reading, and Vocabulary skills up so when she starts her 7th grade curriculum we can jump right in without much review. 
  I have also been busy researching for anything I can find on the world of journaling, art journaling, and craft making. I love crafting, I have always dabbled in some form of crafting all my life. Though I have never really mastered anyone paticular craft, I have always enjoyed creating. One thing I have never really dabbled in is Art. I can't draw a straight line, but when I discovered Art Journaling I was mesmerized by it's beauty, the colors, the freedom of putting feelings on paper through Art. It's just a beautiful thing. 
  I have also been making handmade journals, I repurpose old books, making journals from scratch recycling ceral boxes, or any food box for that matter, I use composition notebooks, cardstock, basically anything paper. I have been giving them as a "just because" gift to my daughter's, to their friends, a few of the girls at my daughters dance school who just graduated high school, and now I am stock piling for the holidays. 
  With all that, I have not been paying attention to the outside world. So when my husband returned home from being out of town all week working and told me how our US Olympic teams will be wearing outfits made in China it not only peeved me, it got me doing research of a different nature, products made soley in the USA. Wow was I surprised at all I found in just an hour or two of searching the web. I was surprised to find how few brand name products I actually recognized. I was also shocked to find how few food products are actually made in the US. I also found some great products they are still USA made, I made a Pinterest board with all the great products I did find, I am going to include some links of sites that have all USA made products. 
  I saw a video posted from a segment on The Today Show that I google+'d. It was about one mom's quest to find products made soley in the USA. She gave some surprising statistics, like in 1960 only 1 in 10 products came from outside the USA, today 6 in 10 come from outside the USA. That if every american spent an extra $5.00 on a USA made product vs. buying a similar cheaper product made outside the US, it would produce some 200,000+ jobs for the American worker. 
  I plan on making some product switch-a-roo's in my own house to support the American worker, some procucts we already have and use, like Redwing Boots, my hubby buys a pair every year for work. Carhartt, another product hubby wears for work, they also make some really great men's and boy's clothing for everyday wear. Kitchen Aid, they are a bit pricey, but will last a lifetime. I got one from my hubby as a Christmas gift about 10 yrs ago, it broke after about 11 months, the company replaced it for free. I am swtching my toothbrush and dental floss to POH products,, they can be ordered online floss is $3.00 and brushes $1.00, check out their website @ Here are some more links to check out;
America Made Products, a directory with more than 500 you can trust, American Made in the USA, American Made Clothing, Furniture, Toys, Jewelry, Quality Products from the USA
Also please stop by and check out my STILL MADE IN AMERICA Pinterest board;
I would also love to hear from all of you on what you think about this topic. Please send me products not on my board, or your favorite products that are American made. 
I will be doing more installments on this topic,I will not only discuss just products made in America, I will also be doing a 30 day challenge for August, to make one change a day in  to switch over to American made products. I will also be posting a contest; details to follow later, on showing your patriotic side and supporting the American worker. I would like for everyone to share this on your blogs, tell your friends. Let's make a change together to bring America back to it's roots. I am really looking forward to doing this, and would really love to hear from you all. Until the next installment, I hope you and yours are well.

God Bless,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Crafting/Artist Blogs I follow

Well after many many frustrated attempts, I finally figured out how to post the photos in my sidebar of some really great blogs I follow. These blogs are hosted by some very gifted Crafter/Artist's. They have great tutorials, and awesome projects. Both of these lovely women are hosting giveaways for followers of their blogs to win some really great stuff.
 If you are looking for some ideas, or some inspiration, these girls have it by the boat load. I love their stuff.
 I found one of the blogs while doing a google search, and discvered the other with a link from the 1st blog. Both are FANTASTIC. I encourage you to check them out.
 I have to add, that both Lee & Debbie are looking for faithful followers, not someone who joins just to try and win and then never goes back.
 These blogs are "The Crafty Cutting of Wiccababe" @,  
and "Crafty Loops" @ Stop by and say hello, if you do, please use my link to  let them know how you found them. I'd really appreciate it. Well I'd love to hear what you think about their blogs, please feel free to post a comment. Thanks so much!!

God Bless,

A New Journey

   I'm working on a little somethin', well not so little, but I do have a goal I am working towards. Besides loving being a homeschool mom, and loving, (though very frustrated) blogging. I have lots to learn about blogging, but I love the whole idea that blogging is. I love that I can reach out to others via their blog or via my own.
  I remember when blogging first came about. I have a friend who jumped on the blog band wagon from the start. I remember her commenting that she had to update her blog for her family up in Pa. to read. I asked her,"what is a blog?" She then proceeded to try and explain it. She said basically it is an internet diary that you put stuff on such as pictures, recipes, stories, poems, whatever you want and others read it. I remember thinking why, what a waste of time. HAHAHAHA...... fast forward 10 or so years and look at what blogging has become. It is a way of life now. 
   There are blogs for anything one can think of, written by people from all walks of life, from anywhere in the world that you can plug into the information super highway, written by people in just about every age group. Blogging is a way of life, it is how we learn to make a pie, what is the best source for curriculum, where we can learn about different religions, how to paint a picture, how to change a tire, where to eat when you travel through Europe. People are blogging on anything and everything.
    Now my favorite blogs to follow or visit are blogs having to do with family, homeschooling, religious studies, budgeting, and the vast world of arts and crafts. I especially love crafting blogs that have to do with journaling, art journaling(different from journaling), doodling, mixed media crafting, paper crafts, and repurpose and recycle crafting. I am a huge crafter. Enter my new journey.
   I am currently working on building my supplies, and have started making journals, learning how to "art" journal, and work with mixed mediums to create something beautiful. I have always loved to crotchet, cross-stitch, and make jewelry. I am now taking those skills and growing them. I have been spending relentless hours scouring blogs and the internet to hone my skills and develope new ones. My goal is by summers end to start a crafting journal as well. Which scares me quite a bit. I am barely able to figure out what I am doing here.
    I didn't know how patient you have to be to blog, content, html, followers, it's not as easy as one would think. Though with patience, practice and prayer, I hope to be able to achieve my goals. I have so many talented, smart, funny, beautiful women to be insired by, women who will usually do anything they can to help, who will give advice, words of encouragement, and even pray for you. That is simply amazing.
   So I am working on building tutorials, projects, patience, and I am trying to figure out a really fun and cool name for my crafting blog. I am even considering having a contest to "Name that Blog". Now that would be fun. I am going to follow up with a list of blogs that I love to frequent for inspiration in both my work and toward meeting my goals in my "New Journey".

God Bless,

Saturday, July 7, 2012

While purusing Pinterest I clicked on a link, that led me to a link, that led me to a link, that led me here, to Barnes & Noble. They are have a Summer reading program that will allow kids to earn a free book. So I copied it and wanted to share it. Also if you bring in proof of being a registered Homeschool, the verification is the info your state sends you verifying your school, show it at the checkout, you will get a little form to fill out, then you get a card that gives you 20% off all purchases at B & N. That applies to sales and Clearance as well I believe.
  So now Gidget is excited to earn her FREE book. Here is the info I copied;

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading

A Free Book, Summer Reading Kit and More

Kids Earn a Free Book!

Here Is How:

Step 1.

Step 2.

Step 3.
Read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal
Bring the completed Reading Journal to your local B&N store.
Find a Store.
Choose a FREE BOOK from our selection on the Reading Journal list at the store... Enjoy reading!
So what are you waiting for?? Get your kiddos to reading and earning their FREE book.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Free Prestos Pizza Kitchen Apron - Facebook

Log onto their FB page and "LIKE", you will get a free apron, if you share on your blog about the freebie, they will throw in a few extra freebies. The origional link for the freebie came frome 2Dynamic Moms Blog. I have their button, so check them out. If you are a homeschool family, I am sure you have heard of this blog. They are an absolutely fabulous homeschool blog with a plethra of info, printables, and insight. If you link to them through this blog, please tell them sent you.
  I am working diligently to make myself a blog button, as I can't afford to pay someone. As you have read previously, or if you are a 1st timer here, I am extremely TECHNO CHALLENGED. HTML is my nemesis, I have been trying for just about 2 months to figure out a simple blog button.Not so simple for me. I have added other features to my blog, but a button has just not been in the cards for me thus far. I am beyond frustrated over it, and am beginning to question my intelligance. If anyone has any words of wisdom for me, I'm all ears. 
  This is something I absolutely have to accomplish and soon, I really am wanting to connect, network and grow my blog. Without a blog button to link up with other blogs, that goal will not happen. Anyway, I digress....again. This is all about the FREEBIE!!!

God Bless,

Is This part of God's Plan for me?

 Well it has been longer than I wanted since my last post. I had planned doing a 30 day challenge for the month of July, but life happens and I wasn't able to start my 30 day challenge. My hopes in doing a 30 day challenge are so I can build my skills, thus developing, growing and expanding my blog. I think one of my biggest challenges is figuring out the whole beautiful blogging experience is figuring out the dreaded "HTML". 
    Now I'm not sure if in all my researching on how to build a better blog I have scared myself on trying to figure out html. I do know I have spent the last few month beating my head against the edge of my desk, scared my family out of the room, and made the dogs want to run and hide, all over my new nemesis, "HTML". Really. it's that bad. Maybe this isn't one of my paths God has chosen for me. Maybe I'm not intended to entertain, educate, inform , or just simply work through my emotions about being a homeschooling mama to 5 kids and Grandma,a.k.a. Mimi. (In honor of one of my Aunts) to my granddaughter Kaya Rose,2 1/2. 
     Even though I have limited computer skills, I consider myself a fairly intelligent person. So why can't I read and follow simply laid out instructions, instructions given by another homeschooling mom. I really do enjoy this, and I have loads of ideas, I even want to start a second blog in relation to my third passion after kids,and Hubby, God.So not only do I want to grow this blog for our homeschooling community, I also have a passion for crafting, and that is another part of my life I want to open up to and share with the world.
  I'm starting to gather supplies, and begin picture tutorials for the projects I am working on at the moment. A little of which I'll tell you about. I love working with paper, I even like making paper. Right now I am working on making my first Art Junk Journal. I'm also making a really cool junk journal for a girl from Gidget's dance class that is going off to college. I started that one out of cereal boxes. It's almost done and I'll share with you all.. Hopefully if keeps moving in the direction I want it to, it will be awesome.
   As for the Art Journaling, I can't draw, but love doodling, and wow how different adult doodling is compared to my high school doodles. I'm no wheres near what I am seeing by these gifted artists on other blogs, but I have been honing my old skills and adding new ones. My goal is to do whimsy with doodles. I love that look. I'd like to start a small business with it in the future. 
 None of it will ever go places or will people get to know who I am. People need to know me if I ever want to accomplish any of these goals.
    Reading that last paragraph back sounds so arrogant in a way. It is true other bloggers will need to know me in the blogging circles I frequent, I guess I'm just afraid that I will never reach that goal. It makes me feel like I'm Liver. Who wants liver when they can have steak or chicken or pasta???  I know it's a process, I just hope I can reach my goal before the total frustration and aggravation win out.
    I'd love to have a designer revamp my blog and then give me a mini tutorial on how to use all their wonderful work they have created for me. Essencially bringing my dreams to fruition. Unfortunately, unless I win the powerball, I will never experience that dream. Being on disability doen't leave extra money for things like blog redevelopement.
   So instead I will start by doing a 30 day challenge. Something to help build my skills. Being we are 4 days into the month, it will have to wait until next month. So I will spend the rest of this month promising at least 2-3 post a week. Maybe some of you have some suggestions for a 30 day challenge. I'm all ears. Throw em' at me.
   Well I hope you all had a safe and Blessed independence Day. Chat soon. I'll be looking for your suggestions. 

God Bless America,