Back-To-School Mantels / Home Decorating Ideas

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There is something about the back-to-school season, that I have always loved.  With all of the fresh new supplies and clothes, and the whole new school year stretched out before us, with so much yet to be learned, it’s just always been an exciting time to me.  Even though we homeschool, and even school right through the summer, we (even the kids) still love the excitement that the start of a whole new school year brings!  All new books, fresh supplies, new experiences, and a new season to grow academically.

It’s that love for all things ‘back-to-school’ that inspired these mantels in our home!… Read More

Decorating with Autumn Leaves; Door Garland and Candle Jars

 
I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone on God’s green earth, who appreciates the foliage that Autumn brings, more than I do.  I am mesmerized by it, from beginning to end.  Ask my kids.  They are often amused at how taken I am, with the beauty of this season.  And they’ve certainly come to understand that I don’t want them to miss one bit of it, any more than I do. I get especially excited when we are driving here and there, which with 4 kids I can tell you, we do a whole lot of.  “Oh!! There’s a tree starting to change right there!Read More

Customizable Sketch Book Journals

The kids and I are well into a new school year here, and things are going really well so far.  Our oldest is a high school sophmore now, and the 3 youngest are fifth graders.  So naturally, each year has gotten more academically involved, deeper and serious for all of us;  myself as the teacher, and they as students.  But I can freely admit that I am learning almost as much as they are, and enjoying my re-education as we progress with each year.  I love finding new ways to keep their homeschooling experiences fun. 

One new idea I came up with this year, actually came about as I was brainstorming a gift idea for a special-little someone-else in my life.  While that gift is more elaborate and expensive, and personalized from me, it occurred to me that it might be fun to incorporate the general idea into our schooling, on a more budget level, for my own kids.… Read More

My Custom Built Farmer’s Table Home Office Desk

 I know many of you have been waiting for this, with all of my teasing about it! And I have been dying to show you my custom-built farmer’s table home office desk, that that my husband made for me.  For this first post, I am simply sharing with you the build itself, and some of the story behind it.  In upcoming posts, I will show you my workspace all set up and pretty. (When I get that far.)

So first, to put my appreciation and excitement in context here, you should know how I have been working.

In this large amoire in the photos below, is our TV, which we rarely use at all.… Read More

Flower Photography, and History Repeating

 

I don’t know where time has gone, but I sure wish it would slow down some.  I’ve done the best I can all along, to cherish every moment of watching all of my children grow up, knowing it will all happen too fast. It’s yet another reason I school my kids myself. I don’t want to miss any of their fleeting childhood. Still, it seems like yesterday that my first baby girl, Alexis Grace, was born.  She grew up in the blink of an eye. Next thing I knew, she was in high school, and taller than me!  She’s athletic and strong, and it blows me away.Read More

Our Antique School Desks and Books

 

Lately, I’ve been putting time into some things I can’t speak much of, yet.  Well, I could. But there has been too many time in my life, when I have spoken too soon, about many things, that never really came to be, in the end. So I am finally starting to remember to keep my mouth shut about some things, until they are a little more certain! How about that, huh? I’m only in my 40’s.  Anyway, just so you know, I’ve been more creatively productive than it has seemed lately. ; ) Doesn’t it bug you when people speak so vaguely?Read More

10 Educational Games for Grade School Kids

     Games can be such great fun!  Whether just your kids are playing one together, with their friends, or the whole family is having a game night, it’s time well spent together!  Most every game calls for everyone to bring their skills to the table, while having a good time, usually laughing a lot, getting competitive, and just enjoying the fun.

     But many, many games are actually a great way for our children to learn as well!  At the grade school ages, many of the classic games us adults grew up with, and others that have come out since, can really aid in building up our kids’ academic skills, and re-enforcing many as well.Read More

On Faith, Gardening, and Digging Deep.

 

 

      Our family really loves Sundays.  It’s just a feel-good-family day, all the way around.

     This past Sunday after Mass, we all came home, and changed into our old clothes, so that we could get working in our garden beds.  Oh, the butterflies I get this time of year! It’s almost time for planting, so we needed to get all of the winter rye that we had growing in the beds, chopped down, and turned into the soil. There is much to do, to create soil rich enough to produce well for us.

     Whenever I’m working in the gardens, especially in the planting season, my thoughts most always turn to my faith in God.Read More

Last Minute May Day (Baskets & Delivery) Tips & Ideas!

 

     May Day is less than a week away.  But if you really want to touch some hearts and make some older folks in your life feel so unforgotten, this is a wonderful thing to do with your children!  It not only has the potential to teach them a bit of History, but it teaches them about kindness and compassion, as well.  What’s more, it couldn’t be more fun and exciting!  

 

PLANNING YOUR MAY DAY CONTAINERS

    Planning, putting together, and secretly delivering  May Day Baskets, is something we have done with our kids for the past 4 consecutive years, from 2008 – 2011.  Every year, the number of our recipients has grown.Read More

Maple Farm Field Trip

            As a kid growing up in western Massachusetts, tapped maple trees and maple farms seemed to be everywhere.  Visiting maple sugar houses, and learning about the process of making maple syrup and sugar, were some of my favorite school field trips. 

     Living a significant shift away from that area now, maple farms are not as common around here. But this was yet another field trip I really wanted to take our kiddos on.   We almost arranged one out where I grew up, but the timing of getting out there would have risked missing the end of the season this year.  So I found Matfield Maple Farm, less than an hour from us, and we went on a beautiful day!Read More

Flat Stanley Comes For a Stay With Us, In Plymouth, MA, from Oregon!

 

Have you ever heard of Flat Stanley?  Or the Flat Stanley kid’s books his character is from?  Well I hadn’t.  Or I don’t recall, anyway.  Our oldest daughter does remember the books, but I have not been at all familiar with Flat Stanley, and neither had our fourth grade trio!  But we were about to get very familiar with him!  He was coming from Oregon, to stay at our house with our family, in Plymouth, MA, as an exchange student, of sorts.

 

This is the day Flat Stanley arrived, and I told the kids all about their new and exciting project!  (Please excuse the bad cell phone pic in this one shot!) Flat Stanley was not only going to be fun, but he was going to be a wonderful homeschooling project, loaded with excellent lessons.Read More

Calvary Hill Planting – A Kids’ Lenten Project

 

When Lent comes around, it’s difficult enough for us as adult Christians, to decide in which ways we’d like to embrace the 40 days leading to Easter. We are led by 3 things: Sacrifice, Prayer, and Almsgiving.  But as parents, we also want our children to take part in some way, and fully realize the significance of this period of time, too!  Attending Mass (especially through Holy Week), hearing the Scripture relating to Jesus’ death and resurrection, and witnessing (or participating in, depending on the ages of the children) their parent’s participation throughout Lent, certainly helps build their understanding of the importance of this season in our faith. 

However, I was thrilled last year, to come across this great project for the kids, that really invited them to be involved in some significant way even more, throughout the Lenten Season!:

Calvary Hill

As parents instruct the kids how to build this project, and plant and water the grass seeds, they have the opportunity to teach, or further discuss, the reality of the death and resurrection of Jesus, why and how He died, and what that means for all of us!Read More