Twenty-one words

 

Full of Faith

Full of Faith OR Empty of Encouragement??

Where are you?

31,173 verses in the Bible,

Get filled up….Stay filled up….

Psalm 55:22

 

 

Design Your Own Colony

Design Your Own Colony

A creative writing wrap-up to our colonial studies using All American History Jr  vol. 1

Design Your Own Colony Supplies:

  • Map of 13 colonies
  • Notebook paper for answering questions
  • Blank white paper for designing a flag
  • Crayons or markers for designing the flag

We talked about what we learned or remembered about Jamestown, Plymouth, and Massachusetts Bay Colonies. I gave the boys a list of questions for them to answer about their colony.

Questions to Answer to Design Your Own Colony:

1. What will you name your colony?

2. Will your colony be founded for money or religious freedom?

3. Where will you build your colony?

4. How will you handle relations with the local Native Americans?

5. What type of government will you have? A democracy? A monarchy?

6. How will you get people to settle in your colony?

7. Write 10 laws that colonist should follow in living in your colony.

My boys were excited to share their choices with everyone. Now picking names required a little extra brainstorming, but soon we had names and locations decided.

The real laughs came from the laws written for their colonies.

Here are the ones that made us laugh:

1. All stores will close at 6pm.  Why? Well Ben Franklin said, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a men healthy, wealthy and wise.” So stores need to close so people can go to bed.

2. There will be no adultery. Do you know what that word means? “No, but it says in the bible not to do it.”

3. There will be no guns in town limits. Why? I don’t want my brother to shoot me.

After answering questions the boys went on to design a flag for their colonies.  Now we are ready to move onto the Revolutionary War, I am sure the boys will love my next hands-on idea. It will include army men and red fingernail polish.

 

Cupcakes and Social Media and a Mission

 

cupcakes

Cupcakes hold a special place in my heart, not because of their yummy sweetness, but how God used them to minister to my family.

My 13year old daughter signed up for a 3-week missions trip. We then knew we had to raise support for her trip. Now my daughter took a cake decorating class a few months back and had been practicing her technique on cupcakes.

So this mama thought I can put one post on Face Book to help put the word out on our new plan.

“Local Friends, Natalie needs to raise funds for her mission trip in April. Among other service projects, she will be spending a week at The Voice of the Martyrs. She will be selling cupcakes for Valentines Day at a $1 each. If you would like some yummy cupcakes please email me how many and we can work out the details. Thank you!”

Not only did we have a list for Valentine cupcakes, but also people started asking for Superbowl, Birthday and Baby shower cupcakes! Our family rallied with her and it became a team effort for some of her really large orders.

The amazing thing was I didn’t have to research clever ways to raise money, I noticed the talents my daughter had been given and focused on using them. She may not collect hundreds of books for charity or build wells in 3rd world countries, but God has given her gifts and I pray she always uses them for His glory.

 

Since she continues to bake and travel on trips, I have updated the post here.

BEECH Retreat

 

Beech Retreat

Yes that is an orange tree, it just happened to be the tree in the back yard at the BEECH retreat!

Do you want to know what I learned at BEECH? Well first take a look at your computer screen; the whole layout of this web page was created at BEECH. Hands-on discussions really helped my brain to latch onto the many new concepts being presented.

What a blessing and encouragement to learn about blogging from an amazing group of ladies. These women took time from their schedules to share blogging knowledge in a small cozy setting.

Now I still have tons to learn and tons to do! I can’t wait for BEECH 2013 and the excellence in blogging it will inspire in me.

If you want to read what the other ladies thought of BEECH, check out these blogs:

www.dazeofadventure.com
http://homeschoolcreations.blogspot.com
www.spelloutloud.com
http://jimmiescollage.com
www.holyspiritledhomeschooling.net
www.hodgepodge.me
www.domesticserenity.org
http://rachelmariemartin.blogspot.com
http://donnaspann.com

 

 

Morning Coffee That Feeds my Soul

 

Coffee

My 11-year-old son faithfully makes my morning coffee. I like to have my first cup around 10am and without my asking he will appear by my side with a lovely steaming cup of java topped with whipped cream! He then will recite to me his bible verses he is memorizing.

Usually by 10am I am beginning to be frazzled by my morning duties and the welcome of coffee and my son’s smiling face to recite God’s word puts a huge smile on my face.

Surrounded by Love

 

Cupcake Flowers

My daughter turned 13 a few weeks ago and we had a special party for her. The theme of her party was “Surrounded by Love” and we invited special friends to help us surround her in love. Each person brought a scripture verse to share with my daughter that would encourage her as she becomes a young adult.

After seeing the cupcake display Sincredible Pastries, we had our inspiration.

A trip to the craft store resulted in the necessary supplies.

  • Clay pot
  • Styrofoam ball (cut in half)
  • Ribbon
  • Artificial flowers
  • Flower cupcake liners

We chose to use the artificial flowers in between the cupcakes to help hide the Styrofoam ball. The flower cupcake liners were an extra-layered look for the cupcakes.

 

 

 

Sea Glass U.S.A. Map

 

Sea Glass

Years and years have gone into the making of this project. Of course most of the years the glass was rolling around in the ocean. About a few times a year I take my kids to our special beach where you can hear the waves “clink” from the glass rolling in them. After looking on Pinterest and seeing a few mosaics done in sea glass we got excited to do one on the United States.

Sea Glass Map Materials:

  • Bags of different color sea glass (mad-made sea glass can be purchased at craft stores)
  • Super glue
  • Map of the U.S.A
  • Floating picture frame 16 x 12

Sea Glass Directions:

  • Place picture frame on top of the map, this allows the map to be a guide for glass placement.
  • Select pieces of sea glass to fill the size of each state. Some states need more then one piece.
  • Once the pieces have been placed begin gluing them.

I have a small window over my kitchen sink that receives the afternoon light; I placed the completed sea glass map leaning up against the window.

Sea glass mosaic

Now what to make with the rest of our sea glass…..I bet I can find some more ideas on Pinterest!

More Menu Planning Info

Meal Planning
When you know your weaknesses and strengths, you can design a menu planning system that works for you.

  • I love organization but lack in the upkeep.
  • I am not a morning person.
  • I am limited on the amount of space I have. I only own one fridge with a small freezer on top.
  • I only have an attention span for a week worth of cooking.

On my refrigerator I keep a dry erase board that is designed to write in what is for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On Sunday night I summon the kids to get their binders and make the choices on what they are going to cook. Then they check their supplies and write what they need on the grocery list located next to the erase board. Some weeks we forget or get to busy, and we find ourselves foraging through the cabinets. Oops, great plans need upkeep.

Now my 11-year-old son is in charge of breakfast, which means he needs more supervision, then my older kids. I have him cook or assemble most of his breakfast dishes the night before. If he is making pancakes, we make them after dinner and reheat in the morning. If it is a casserole he assembles the night before and dad puts it in the oven on his way to work. That leaves me with one morning I need to be present to help him cook breakfast. Remember I am not a morning person!

Every Monday morning at 8am you will find me at the grocery store with my list in hand. Would you be surprised that the grocery store is really quiet at this time of the day? I can focus on my list and get in and out quickly. Now I have 6 people living in a 950 square foot house, no extra space here. The best thing on shopping day, my son is at home serving breakfast to the family.

 

Cooking Lunch

My daughter making hamburgers for lunch.

You might like reading my post on how I created cookbooks to help my kids meal planning.

 

Meal Planning for Kids

Cookbook
Homeschooling has a way of tripling the amount of meals needed to prepare in a home. Having 3 growing boys and 1 princess also increases the amount of food! Meal planning becomes a necessity to surviving the homeschool day.

This is how I solved the meal planning problems in my home.

Meal Planning Format:

  • Each child is assigned either breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • They are then responsible to plan, cook and clean that mealtime.
  • About every year, I rotate the kids around to a new meal slot.
  • Yes, it does help that I have a house full of teens to actually cook.

Now meal planning has been my nemesis, the kids really struggle with coming up with ideas.

Meal Planning Cookbook:

  • 3-ring binder
  • stickers
  • Google images
  • recipes

After gathering my supplies, I first decided on a theme for each day of the week. For example: Monday breakfast would be something with syrup, and lunch would be something with hamburger. Once I had the themes I gathered about 4 or 5 recipes that would match each theme.

On the first page of the cookbook I typed up the scheduled lunch theme.

  • Monday is something with hamburger
  • Tuesday is salad something
  • Wednesday is cold sandwiches
  • Thursday is hot sandwiches
  • Friday is fun meals

On the first page of the cookbook I typed up the scheduled breakfast theme.

  • Monday is something with syrup
  • Tuesday is something with oatmeal
  • Wednesday is something with eggs
  • Thursday is something with cereal
  • Friday is something with bagels

Then using card stock as dividers; I labeled the dividers with each theme and decorated with stickers. The recipes were placed in page protectors and little notes were added on how to make things either dairy free or gluten free to handle the food allergies in our family. Using Google for some chef images, I decorated the front cover of the cookbooks.

Now when it is time to plan meals, my kids look at the theme for that day and pick one of the recipes. Then they write a shopping list for ingredients that are needed for their meal plan.

I have another post on how this meal plan for kids works.

 

My Project Life

Project life

Have you every completed a project life scrapbook? I have never completed the paper one but I do have plans on doing the digital one provided through shutter fly.

My project life scrapbook will focus on the daily like Derek enjoying school and the memorable like Kyle’s first time behind the wheel of my car.

I am so excited to have “Take a Photo a Day” on my calendar! I am trying to pace my self, cause really I could take 365 photos in one day!

The best part about this project is not just to focus on photographing those memorable moments, but also to document the daily moments. The bonus, I am doing this online and I just have to upload and drop my photos into a pre-made album. On Sundays this year I plan to note the scripture verse from my church service and add a great photo of God’s creation to it.

So when you see me next and I say “Cheese” you will know what I am up to!!

Sky
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalms 37:1

Update: Project Life

I did complete the whole year. About 2 months into the project I ended up going to a two page spread for each week. That way if I was not able to take a photo each day I was able to have 7 photos that represented the week’s activities. I did wait for shutter fly to offer a coupon on their digital scrapbooks to help with the cost of printing the digital book. Yes, next year I do think I am taking a break from the completing another project life scrapbook.

Instead I am going to complete smaller 8 X 8 books of special occasions. I like the variety of choices and I hope the 8 X 8 will cost less in the long run.