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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

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,