Friday, December 20, 2013


    NOTHING  like finishing up preparing 7 different doughs to bake the next day and having your sink clog on ya. NOTHING like scrubbing your tub in the bathroom with no windows and having the power going out on ya. NOTHING like being told the plumber will come between 3-5 PM, then getting a call at 4:30 and being told he is running late. NOTHING like getting a call asking if you want to fill in for your mom and work Sunday which will then pay for the plumber call (score!) NOTHING like hanging a sign on your craft room door that says, stay out, wrapping presents, then sitting in said room eating candy you bought for stockings. Yep NOTHING like it!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Simplify and Minimize

I have not been on here in over a year! WHY? because my life has been so cluttered with STUFF and things to do! Well recently, I was on Facebook, and a friend posted something in a group called MINIMIZE. My curiosity was peeked. I am on an nonending quest to simplify and minimize. We recently decided we would hopefully put our house on the market in the spring, however, in order to do that, we need to clean out ALOT! So, where to begin? If you saw my house, you would think, well, gee, there are plenty of places to begin! But deciding the best way to start, to just dig in, can be overwhelming.
I digress, back to my friend's group. I checked it out. They have turned purging, as I call it, into a fun game! The first day of the month, you "minimize" your stuff by atleast 1 item. The second day, 2 items and so on. Now, from what I have read, supposedly as you get further into the month, the harder it gets. I say, not when you are one item shy of staring on Hoarders! You have plenty to get rid of all month! The challenge is which area to tackle first! However,  having a goal, is just part of it. The other part, that has helped ME personally, is the motivation and encouragment. Making it a group effort. When others post what they are getting rid of something, it helps give you ideas of places you can clean out as well. When they post pictures it's even better. But when people comment on what YOU have done, encouraging you to keep going, it's like having your own little cheer squad! It can be utterly amazing what someone can accomplish with a little encouragment. There are many aspects of Facebook that I hate, but when used properly, it can be such a great encouragement.
 In the mean time, here are SOME of MY pictures of the things I have purged, or rather, "minimized" in my house.....

Computer games, that I have no time to play
Craft supplies, that make me feel like an utter failure when using them
More craft supplies
Cleaned out the junk drawer in the kitchen...found out we had a mouse living in there! By the way, we minimized that mouse as well!

Toys from my 15 yr old's room!
More toys from my son's room. Ya, I think we were a little over due in sorting through his room.

 I also went through the toothpaste drawer and got rid of 10, yes TEN empty tooth paste tubes among many other things! I am so excited to get rid of all this stuff weighing me down and hopefully finding more time and money in my day!! We recently minimized a vehicle. My dad had been loaning us his old truck so that we could have a second vehicle. However, it cost alot of money to fuel it, plus it allowed me to be out running around when I should have been at home working on homeschool stuff or spending money I shouldn't be spending. I am lightening my load both physically and mentally and am enjoying it immensely! Why do we often not continue to do the things that make us feel so good?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gracie Lou, I love you!

If I recall correctly, when I was younger, aside from the fact that it was not cheap to purchase film or have it developed, many people did not WANT their picture taken. Now I understand, if you look back at the things in fashion back then, you could understand why, but I digress. I find it hilarious how kids (and some adults) now a days,  LOVE to take pictures of  themselves! My daughter is NOOO exception. I will say, I am so thankful for digital cameras and the delete button.....but on occasion, I do enjoy a FEW of the pics she takes. I love this little girl soo much! She drives me bonkers, but I would be lost without her craziness!

Friday, August 10, 2012


I always try to teach my kids to try to show your appreciation to people. Yes, sometimes a simple Thank You, is sufficient, but why not go the extra mile when you can. Why not send thank you notes? I mean the person most likely took more than a few minutes out of their time to do something for you, why not show how much it meant to you by taking a few minutes to say thank you? I think that is on my top 10 list of pet peeves is when people don't even ACKNOWLEDGE something nice you did for them! What incentive do they have to do anything for you ever again? So, with that being said, here is our latest thank you!

All summer long, our church has had TNT =Tuesday Nights for Teens. The kids go and play really fun (and physical) games, get some wonderful snacks and a short little session about God. It costs us nothing, the church takes care of it all. The volunteers give of their time to help and Pastor Joe does all the planning, updating and motivating! For MY part, I get to take the kids, drop them off and go sit for an hour and a half, visiting, uninterrupted with my mom! Learing from her and refreshing my batteries. I can not begin to describe how much that did for me and the kids. They got to make new friends, get some energy burned  have something to be excited about and look forward to each week and feel even more like part of a church family! Again, very needed!
I wanted to do SOMETHING that would express my deep appreciation, even though I could never express how much it meant to us. I wanted to show them that it was not taken for granted, their time, money  and efforts they put into this ministry.

So I had seen this project on Pintrest and couldn't wait to use it! This was the perfect opportunity....
I had the kids help so they could be a part of showing THEIR appreciation as well....

 In case you couldn't read what the card said, here it is....
Thanks for your commit-"mint" to help...Thanks for your encourage-"mint"...Thanks for your involve-"mint"...Thanks for your invest-"mint" of time...Thanks for making each night an enjoy-"mint"... Thanks for helping to create a nice environ-"mint"... Everything you have done has really “mint” a lot to us!!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

New Adventures in Homeschooling

Well, here it is, our 3rd year homeschooling. After going to my first conference this year, I have changed my thoughts on several things and am not as uptight about it as I used to be. I think the first piece of advice I would ever give any new homeschooler or anyone thinking about it, is to go to a conference! So much wisdom, and so many years of experience there to help you down your path! The number ONE thing I wanted to do different this year is put the fun back into learning for the kids. I want them to CRAVE learning again! I also learned that I will miss teaching them something they will need to learn. So does the public school. However it is never too late to learn something. If they find out they need something at a certain time, well they can learn it then.

Where most of the learning will be taking place....

I have drawers for each day of the week so all the paperwork is already prepared and I just have to pull it out, review it in my head and we are ready to go for the week.

I have all the weeks up to December, when we will take the month off, all ready and in folders to pull out on Sunday's and divide into their day appropriate drawer. In December, while on break, I will pull all the other stuff and set it up in the same fashion for the rest of the school year.

Every other day, we will review a new Bible verse for Bible class, and then on the days in between, we will have an object lesson. Our first OL is this Repentance Box. We will write down our sins on paper and put them in there until Easter. Then we will burn the box to represent that our sins are gone forever thanks to Christ dying on the cross.....LOVE that! Then we will start with a whole new box and hopefully make an new tradition!

This is the first year I have pulled the curriculum together myself and will be doing all the teaching myself. The first years we used a video program, where the kids watched a video that was taped in an actual classroom, and had their own set of books....that was more "schoolng at home". Last year we did a whole thing on the computers, where the whole thing was on a program on their laptops. Great at the begining, but they lost interest and attention fast! This year, I am trying to incorporate things they can get involved in, and that they can relate to! I have planned and planned and worked every spare second I could on it this summer. I think I am finally ready! For Math, we will be concentrating on Consumer Math. They will be learning about bank accounts and earning money, taxes, cash vs credit (and the pitfalls of credit) budgeting etc... I also found some really fun (looking, haven't tried them yet) games online to go along with the topics. They also will learn about frugal spending, coupons, and saving up to buy!

Next is history. I happened to find some really cool curriculum on Pinterest. The website is They have a whole history series for different eras. They send you the cd-rom and it has the lessons and projects on it and you print the stuff and gather the materials, but it is very cool. Very time consuming to put it all together, but so worth it...I think. Remeber we haven't started school yet. But I am reallying hoping the kids will enjoy the hands on stuff. They will be making timelines, practicing pennmanship, trying new foods from the era, making projects and making a newspaper. We are going to work backwards though, we will start with WWII simply because that is the era we are all most interested in! Next, The Great Industrial Revolution-The Great Depression, and lastly, The Civil War. At the end of each "era" we will have some family and friends over to see all the things they have made and taste the food we made from the era.....well, that is the plan as of now....a few days out from starting!

Another subject...Geography. I found a really neat book at the library that had all kinds of information on 13 different countries. I figured that would be enough to start with. My goal by the time my son has gradutated is to have come atleast close to covering all the countries that we can. They will learn lots of different things about each country including how God has worked in the past, how He is currently working there now, about some missionaries in the country, what their needs are and how we can pray for them. My son wants to be a missionary so I am hoping to expose hiim to as many places as possible and then let God do His work from there.

Lastly, for Science, they will be learning Forensic Science. I found this book at the library as well and then bought it. It teaches kids all about CSI and gives them experiments to try to replicate the basics of what the Forensics teams do. My hope and goal is to make an appt with the local forensics squad and let the kids go and see them and ask many many questions!! In the meantime they will be doing experiments such as, "Is it blood?" and "Extracting DNA" and "Lifting Fingerprints". So if they ever decide to kill their Dad or me, they will probably get away with it! HAHA!

In all these classes there will be lots of Reading, Vocabulary, Home Ec, Pennmanship, Foreign Language etc... all built in! I am so excited and really hope the kids do enjoy all the things I have come up with. Here's praying for a wonderful new year!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


This year, we just had my mom over since Dad was working and Adam was busy. We had our usual holiday food with a few new recipes to try. Mom made "deviled chick eggs" and I made a new strawberries and cream dessert. We played Wii bowling, tennis and golf with "Gran" and we got her playing Angry Birds for the first time.  We did a little facetime with Aunt Peggy on the Ipad. Nothing too busy. I love laid back holidays where there is not a ton of stress, so this was as pretty close to perfect as it gets. Later we dug out the outside "toys" and put up the battmitton set and bid Gran farewell with her arms full of leftovers for Grandad.

My mom's attempt at craftiness! SHE actually saw this on Pinterest and decided to make it! I was very proud of her!! If you understood, my mom just does NOT do crafts or anything close to it, you would be proud of her too!

The Easter Baskets were the big "Prize" at the end of the annual egg scavenger hunt this year. I try to find cheap fun things to put in them. This year I also added an ITunes gift card for her and an Amazon gift card for him.



                                   Each egg has a clue to the next location....

                                         Hidden in the Dove chocolates

Hidden in the jellybeans

 Hidden in Gracie's "sleeping area" (she has taken to sleeping on the floor.....don't ask)

                                              Hidden in the linen closet

Hidden in the medicine closet

Hidden in Frankie's bed

Hidden in the shower

Hidden in the fridge

                                                   Hidden in the pantry

Hidden in the dog food

Hidden in the deep freeze

Hidden in the movies

Hidden in the dryer

Hidden in the dishwasher

The final hidden space...under the table

The first Egg clue.....

                     Yes it IS horrible carpet, but it's been low on the priority list to get new, as long as the kids continue to spill this, drop that, etc....but I always feel like telling people, NO I did NOT pick that carpet out!

This year I had them going downstairs then upstairs then back down....on and on wearing them out! It was the most running around they've done in a long time! It was so much fun to watch them though. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful home and family! And to have a Savior that loved me enough to die on the cross, so that my sins would be forgiven and I could go to Heaven, just by accepting HIS gift! Thank You Jesus!

Made by Lena