Wednesday, January 27, 2016


I didn't organize today for this sort of thing.  I was just going about my business, and realized that today was a lot of "do it yourself" type tasks.  So, I thought it would make a good post.

First off, I made my own laundry detergent.  When I first started making detergent years ago, Dale (my numbers guy) figured out how much per batch.  Well, prices and times change, so I can't give you an exact amount per bottle, but I can tell you we are paying pennies per load of laundry.  And when you do 14-20 loads of laundry a week, that is a wonderful thing!

As always, bread making is part of our schedule 3 to 4 times a week!

This morning I cut and colored my own hair (I know the savings on this one... it is to the tune of almost $80!)

There is great satisfaction in "doing it yourself" when you can.  I've also started making my own reusable dryer sheets, but haven't perfected it yet.  Anyone have any tips on keeping the vinegar smell out?  I need to find a balance between enough vinegar to soften and help with static, and not too much to where I smell a little like a pickle.  Feel free to put your tips in the comments!


Yarn Along

It has been a LONG LONG LONG time since I participated in this!  Here we go:

I am making a vest for Isaac, and am almost done with "The Still of the Night" and am looking forward to getting into "A Paris Apartment".  I am reading the latter after reading a brief review on "The Modern Mrs. Darcy" blog.


Moments in Homeschooling

I have to wonder if anyone is getting tired of my "why I love homeschooling" type posts.  I've done a couple of them, and keep wanting to do more.  After my two-year hiatus from being home, I'm still rediscovering some of those little moments that I love, but were unavailable while working outside of the home.

For example:

A state park not too far from us has field trips on a regular basis for homeschoolers.  This one was before Christmas.  We learned about some of the plants and trees in the area, and the children used natural objects to make tree ornaments.  So much fun!  Unfortunately, our new kitten also liked the natural ornaments and ended up "killing" them by the end of the Christmas season.

Something else we did this year was a play at church.  I wrote an adaptation for "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and Josiah used his gift for art in making one of the props.  Dale uploaded the video of the play on his YouTube account. You can watch this short video (about 16 minutes) here. It was taken by a friend in the audience, so the recording is not professional grade.  :)

Can I say how much I love the Lego sculptures that are created?  Caleb and Isaac are especially fond of creating with them.  

I've had the opportunity to make some fun cakes since being "home" again.  This one was for Isaac's 7th birthday in December.  He designed it himself.

We love to read!  One thing we do faithfully is a library run every couple of weeks.  It usually coincides with our Art lessons day.  Most of the books Jerusha is leaning on are the ones she took out.   The smaller pile was mostly comprised of Isaac's choices.  That stack doesn't include what the other children took out.  I can say that none of them took out as many as Jerusha! 

My house is far from perfect, but one of the things I love about homeschooling is that while I am giving a spelling test, or have just a few minutes between "jumps", I can do the little things, like organizing our baking rack.  

Or organizing around my desk.  By the way, that picture is a watercolor that Caleb finished recently in art class. 

Close up of the watercolor.

Isaac helped me do an example craft for the class I'm teaching in Co-Op this term.  

Love the one-on-one time!

I am still basking in the privilege of teaching at home.  Not every moment is fun, to be sure, but the flexibility is wonderful, and the opportunity to broaden their horizons is boundless.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Happy Birthday Jerusha!

Last Saturday Jerusha turned 11.  She was born during a blizzard, and though many were hit with a lot of snow a couple of days ago, we had some sunshine!  It was a good start for a special day for my youngest daughter.

The day started out with Caleb's wonderful homemade waffles.  He makes them perfectly: crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside.  Yummy!

Jerusha made up a schedule for the party. 

This pinata was homemade by Jerusha and Caleb.  They started it before Christmas, so it was good and hard when it was time to decorate and fill it. 

Jerusha put together these little trophies for the winners of the outdoor games she planned. 

Here is the birthday girl judging one of the contests.  She had arranged some sledding fun: the fastest down the hill, the most graceful, etc.   We were going to do a snowball making contest, but the snow was too dry and wouldn't stick together, so we changed it up to a "drawing in the snow" contest.  

Eleven years old!

A dear friend of mine took this picture on her way to our house for Jerusha's birthday supper.  It was a beautiful sunset that night!  This was almost right out front of our house.


Ahem... yes... well.....

Need I say more?