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Friday, August 31, 2012

School"s in full swing

Well here we are again, a new and another new school year. With that brings full time Irish Dance lessons, 8 hours a week. FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN!!!!!A huge time commitment. My daughter qualified for the Southern Regional Oireachtas(Ore-ock-tas) Which is going to be her first major competition since starting dance. So she is throwing her self all in to do her best and make her Irish family  proud. I tell her we already are. I worry that my 12 yr old puts to much stress on herself to make others happy above herself. 
She has even expressed interest in returning to public school next year. I have at the very least convinced her to finish out Middle School (she's in 7th) and we will get so if she decides to go to public school, she will well above grade level and in all honors classes. Personally I hope she changes her mind between now and then. I hope that isn't too selfish on my part. 
I decided that maybe she needed to have more outside activities for school other than her dance, I have found a wonderful class to support our Nature Studies class,It is a Forensics Wildlife Course. Which sounds like a lot of fun. It is in the Reedy Creek Nature Park ( Check out all the great stuff offered here) and I found a Speech and Debate class for her to take(not at Reedy Creek). They are both designed for the homeschool students. I am hoping that if I get her involved in more outside academic homeschool classes, she will want to continue to homeschool. I think she is just missing that social contact the kids get in public school. I'd really love some opinions on this matter. How have others handle this. I have only been doing homeschool a year, and we started so late into her school career. My ultimate goal is for my child to be happy. Since starting homeschool she has grown by leaps and bounds in her self- confidence, she is not crying at the end of every school day, she has blossomed. I'm also worried that she will be bored because she will have surpassed our states common core class requirements by the time she is ready for HS. I'm not sure I want her to return to public school. So I think just focus on the here and now and not 2 yrs from now.

Well I have decided on a theme for my 30 Days of Blogging for the month of September, and it would be awesome to get you all to join in. Maybe together we can all make the world a happier place. It's very simple; 30 Days: Today I smile because.... I believe that even on what seems our worst days we all can find one thing to smile about. So please check back daily to see what makes me smile and I hope you will all join me and get your other blogging Friends and FB friends to try and make the world a brighter place with all that will walk about smiling.  "Leave sadness to those in the world. We who work for god should be lighthearted"-St. Leonard of Port Maurice 

I chose this particular theme because it's very easy to get frustrated in those first few weeks of school and being able to smile will make bearing those moment just a tad easier.

I hope you are all off to a blessed and wonderful school year. I look forward to 30 Days of Smiles. I look forward to seeing what makes you all smile.

God Bless,

Friday, August 24, 2012

Art Journal Kits | Kits | Artterro

Art Journal Kits | Kits | Artterro, I purchased one of these kits for my 12 yr old as a starter kit for her Art Journaling experience. It is a wonderful first kit to use for her creative journaling expression. The book is sturdy, and comes in I believe 5 different colors. It includes 14 project ideas, 5 pages of 100% post- consumer handmade decrative papers, 6 pages of heavy weight paper in bright colors, 2 pocket folders for your scraps, and 25-100lb heavy artist weight paper for drawing and creating your Art Journal pages. I have even enclosed one page created by my daughter. 
Additional supplies and materials are suggested in the very beginning pages of this book. I bought my daughters on AMAZON, but there are other sites that carry this product as well. 
This is going to be a wonderful addition to our homeschooling curriculum for both Art and Creative Writing. Though this type of Journaling is more about the Art than the Writing, both can be incorporated.
This is going to be one of our giveaways when I get that all straightened around. I'm not sure if I am going to do the giveaway once I reach a certain number of hits on my blog, which is at around 3300 right now, or if I reach a certain # of followers, which is at 6, I think for being around 6 months old is not bad, especially considering my handicap when it comes to technology. 
I promise to keep everyone updated on how the giveaway will work and when I will have it. Like I mentioned in previous posts, I am wide open to suggestions.
Getting Started

Ideas for Journaling

Media Tools you Can Use

Types Of Media Tools

Doodles;Lines & Shapes

Drawing:Sketching,Shading&Line Quality

Things To Draw

Collage:Layers of Inspiration

Collaging in 4 Steps

Scavenger Hunt: Finding Materials Around the House to use in Collaging

Using Textures 

Paper for Collaging


More Paper

More Paper

More paper

Heavy Cardstock

Heavy Cardstock



Papers for journaling on

1 Of my Daughters Designs

I encourage you all to check out the Art Journaling Kit Link, this is the one I am going to be adding into a giveaway at a date TBD. I am including some pics of what this journal looks like on the inside.  The possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What a Loooooooong week it's been

I apologize to you all for my lack of enthusiasm on keeping up with regular blog posts as of late. I have not been feeling well. I had the crud for a week, I started to feel a bit better and then as I last posted my Brother-in-law suffered a life threatening stroke. 

As for an update on him, 1st his name is Thomas. We all call him Sir Tom. Tom is a man who is tenacious, and a force to be reckoned with. He is a family man, a hard worker and a man of loyalty. A man you want as a friend, and are proud to call family. He beats to his own drum. He should be coming out of ICU today. They will be placing a J-Tube into his stomach to provide nutrition because he can't swallow properly. They will be moving hime to Rehab by the end of the week. He now has a long road ahead. With support, prayer and determination he will hopefully make a full recovery.Only time and God will tell if he has any deficits from the stroke.

I have also been dealing with the world's worst toothache. I take Morphine 3x's a day for my back, and I am still having an incredible amount of pain from my tooth. I shutter to think how bad it would be otherwise. I need to go to the dentist, but don't have the time or money. I have to hope that with the antibiotic I am taking it will get better.

I have also been working on coming up with the contest for next month. I am open to some suggestions. I am also working on starting a crafting blog. Most of my crafts revolve around making Journals, Doodles and Zentagles, repurposing old books, and assortated paper crafting. I may decide to throw in my jewelry making as well. I have not decided completely on that though. 

Next to blog hopping my favorite homeschool blogs, I have found some really amazing craft blogs, and Zentangle blogs I absolutely enjoy. I came across one this morning that is having the coolest contest ever. The prize gets passed around and it is made better by each person who receives it. I put a link for anyone interested in checking it out. (Which I recommend) The link for the blog hosting the "Share the cup, Share the love" contest is; Check it out. I also put their blog button in my sidebar.

Well that's all for now. I will be back in a day or two to post again. I promise not to go a whole week without posting again. I hope you all are enjoying what is left of your summer.

God Bless,

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Change of Plans


Hi all, I am here to apaologize for the lack of activity on my part. I had stated in July that when August started I was going to be hosting a 30 day challenge and a giveaway. I still have every intention of following through with this, but I have to postone until September, possibly October.
The month started out with my entire house suffering the ills of a terrible Summer cold virus. Bridget had it the worst, and in the height of her cold, with strep and and an ear infection, she had a dance competition. I'll tell you, what a little trooper. Most adults would have said NO WAY, called in sick, backed out of the event, but she strapped on her ghillies and danced her tail off. She competed in her first ever Champion level dance and placec 7th out of 23. Which is outstanding.
Also, my husband brother, who he is very close, they work together, collapsed in his yard. Turns out he has a very serious bleed on his Pons, which is in the area of his brain stem. They had to intubate him and put him in a medically induced coma, which for the first 24 hrs they brought him out every hour to check his neurological function. He was flown to CMC main, which is the highest level Trauma center in the Charlotte region.
They were finally able to extubate him around 12 hrs ago. His blood pressure which was 215 has come down and is stabalizing. Though he is stable the doctors said he is not out of the woods yet, because of the area in which the blled has occurred, they can not intervene surgically. So now we have to wait to see if the bleeding will stop on it's own, and the body reabsorb the excess blood naturally. In the mean time, all we can do is pray. Which there has been lots of.
My husband is one of 87 grandkids on his father's side of the family. They have an online network run by their uncle that gets info out faster than CNN. So a family prayer circle was started almost immediately. I also asked for a pray of intercession at via St.Therese of Lisieux. Plus aking for God's divine intervention on my brother-in-laws behalf. 
Besides being a son, a brother, and a husband, he has 5 children and 6 granchildren. When we received word of what happened, within hours, my mother & father in law were on a plane to NC, his siblings and nieces and nephews that live in NC, were at the hospital all supporting one another and his immediate family.
 I am in awe of how quickly my husbands family comes together in a crisis. It's inspiring. They lean on each other, ask for help, they laugh and they cry, they tell stories to bring laughter, they remind us of how important it is to smile and laugh at life and rejoice in the life of a loved one.
In all of this my 12 year old daughter Bridget, who by the way was in total panic mode, she asked me did I truly believe that praying and asking others to pray for my brother in law would really help? First I stopped and though, WOW, very deep question for a 12 yr old, but I told her that I without a doubt or reservation believed that YES I do believe in the power of prayer. I explained to her that if we didn't believe, and without our faith in God what would be the point to any of it? What would be the point of loving one another, what would be the point of valuing life, valuing ourselves and one another. I explained to her that faith is what allows us to believe that by living in GOD's word we will all get to go to a better place one day, that one day we get to walk by his side. I also explained to her that medicine can only take man so far, it is with faith and prayer that God intervenes and creates Miracles. Which so far my brother in law is. He has defied all the odds. Even the Dr said that they can not believe how he has survived this incident as well as he has.
I'm not sure that I totally explained to my daughter as well as I should, or if I was should have explained it different, but in a time of crisis, we don't always think things out. 
I'd love any advice in helping explain better to my daughter. Right now, I need to keep her feeling safe, and not being afraid that she will lose her uncle. I also ask that you help our family pray, because yes I do believe in the power of pray. I believe there are strength in numbers.
Well I thank you for listening, and I will definitely keep everyone updated on my brother in laws condition. I do hope that this finds you all well.

God Bless,

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Not Back to School Blog Hop

2012-2013 CURRICULUM

This is our first official full year off homeschooling. Seeing that we started 3 almost 4 months into the last school year, we spent the last few months "DE"schooling" and trying different types of curriculum, exploring different websites, and methods of homeschooling trying to find a groove. For our first official year we will keep some things and toss others. We have however decided we wanted a Catholic influence on what we do. 
Now because we like most homeschool families, are on a tight budget. The one thing I quickly discovered is how very expensive homeschooling can be if one is not careful. So with lots of research and some ingenuity we have come up with what we think is a pretty solid curriculum for our daughter.
The foundation of our homeschool will be based on Charlotte Mason principles using They have a very defined scope & sequence for every grade and age level. I took their s&s and purchased books from a yahoo group called Cathswap, which is a forum where parents can buy Catholic curriculum based on the different Catholic homeschool curricula, such as Seton, Catholic Heritage Curriculum, Our Lady of Victory, and Mother of Devine Grace to name a few. Most of what I purchased for core classes is Seton based.

For Math we are going to use ALEKS this year, Bridget has some gaps in her mathematical concepts missed in public school, because she tests on level on the state testing, these concepts have been overlooked. Though as she is progressing into Pre-Algebra it is evident critical concepts are missing. This program will focus on the what she doesn't yet grasp and close those gaps. This will be the biggest expense for this school year. The program is $179.00/yr, but does have a month to month payment plan.
We will also be using Wordly Wise 3000 for Vocabulary and Spelling. Bridget will be using the 9th grade level books because she works well above grade level in this area, so this is like an honors course for her. She started the books 2 weeks ago and is sailing right through. We purchased ours on with a $50.00 gift certificate we won through Jolanthe at Thanks Jolanthe.

For our Religious studies will will be using books on Saints and Catholicism purchased on Cathswap, and we are also using The Child Training Bible. Growing up Catholic we don't learn the bible from cover to cover, but my daughter wants to read, learn and understand the bible, and I can't teach her if I don't know. I think that the Child Training Bible is a great solution to that. Plus she will get character lessons while learning.

In addition to the History For Young Catholics, we are going to learn about the American Government in honor of this years election using notebooking and lapbooking. We will also do a whole unit study on Greece and Ancient Greece.

We will be using Maps workbooks for Geography. We will also use to do studies on the places she learns about in the workbooks.

In addition to English & Reading For Young Catholics, Bridget will use 365 writing writing prompts to work on her creative writing, and doing Lapbooks and Notebooking projects to increase her writing skills and her grammar skills.

Also in keeping with Charlotte Mason principles, we will do Nature studies, Music and Art appreciation. I created a Nature Journal for Bridget and myself using recycled and repurposed materials. I will do a blog entry at a later date on the Nature Journals, because they are really pretty cool. I just need to finish the tutorials. I found some great blogs and websites to support the Art & Music appreciation,,, and These studies will also include notebooking and lapbooking. I also purchased Home Educator's TUTOR, which is a CD that embodies the Classical and Charlotte Mason principles. 

The only thing I have decided to hold off doing this year is Latin. For Foriegn Language Bridget wants to do Spanish which we are using Rosetta Stone, and she will also be learning Gaelic this year. She will continue her Irish Dancing for her Physical Ed requirement.
For Science we are doing Chemistry. I found a really great website that has a wonderful and complete program, and it's absolutely FREE, its It has teacher and student materials, multi-media, and test. I'm pretty excited about it.
Well I think that about covers it for our curriculum this year. I'm looking forward to it. I hope you all have a wonderful and fufilling school year. 

God Bless,

Not Back to School Blog Hop