Tea For 3!

January 31, 2007 at 11:23 am (Uncategorized)

Yesterday we had a tea party.  

One thing I love about homeschooling is how anything can become a lesson.  To set up for the tea party we learned how to make tea & how to set the table.  During our tea time we talked about manners and practiced using our best manners.  After our tea we learned how to wash the dishes and put everything away. 

Sounds like a good school day to me!


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Jr. Achivement

January 30, 2007 at 10:12 am (Uncategorized)

My kids started Jr. Achievement yesterday through our homeschool group.  This is a fantastic FREE program. 

What is JA?

Junior Achievement uses hands-on experiences to help young people understand the economics of life. In partnership with business and educators, Junior Achievement brings the real world to students, opening their minds to their potential.

Here is what my Kindergartner is learning:
Story time and small children. JA uses compelling stories about helping, working, earning, and saving along with hands-on activities to engage the students.

Ourselves introduces the economic roles of individuals.

Ourselves® uses compelling stories read aloud by the volunteer, along with hands-on activities, to demonstrate helping, working, earning, and saving. Five required, volunteer-led activities.

Concepts–Barter, Benefit, Buying, Choices, Consumer, Costs, Earning, Entrepreneurs, Giving, Goods, Incentives, Income, Money, Resources, Rewards, Saving, Scarcity, Selling, Spending, Voluntary exchange, Wants, Work

Skills–Abstract thinking, Coin recognition, Coin valuation, Decision-making, Drawing, Following directions, Interpreting information, Listening responsively, Matching, Responsibility, Sequencing, Teamwork

Here is what my 7th Grader is learning:
Is economics relevant? Because money, labor, and goods and services flow through individuals in households, each one of us plays a role in the economy. JA classroom volunteers reveal how students’ decisions about education, careers, spending, and investing impact their economic role in society.

Personal Economics focuses on personal skills and interests, career options, and personal and family financial management.

Personal Economics® focuses on skills and interests, career options, and personal and family financial management, while lesson plans reveal how students’ decisions about education, careers, spending, and investing affect their economic role in society. Eight required, volunteer-led activities.

Concepts–Budgets, Careers, Choices, Credit, Demand, Employment, Exchange, Expenses, Income, Investment, Jobs, Markets, Money, Opportunity costs, Price, Saving, Stock, Supply

Skills–Analyzing situations, Budgeting, Charting, Critical thinking, Decision-making, Filling out forms, Interpreting information, Interviewing, Math computation, Problem-solving, Teamwork

Click HERE to read an overview of the Elementary Programs.

Click HERE to read an overview of the Middle School Programs

Click HERE to find a JA near you!

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Being 3

January 29, 2007 at 10:49 am (Uncategorized)

We skipped church yesterday because I have had a terrible cold and cough. I didn’t get much sleep the night before and I was just wiped out.  While I was making breakfast my 3 year old asked "Mom, I go my class today?"  I told him, "Not today, Mommy is sick."  With all the anguish a 3 year old could muster he replied "Mom, I need to talk to Jesus and YOU are not letting me!" 


Then later in the day my 12 year old was giving my 3 year old piggy back rides.  I told him to STOP because Dad starts his new job tomorrow and we don’t have insurance until then.  The 3 year old was fussing, because of course he doesn’t  understand about things like insurance.  I told him "If you break your head today we have no way to pay for it!"  He replied "I break my head tomorrow?"  Yeah, you got it!  Tomorrow we have insurance again, feel free to break your head!  LOL

I wonder if it is more confusing being a 3 year old or being a Mom to a 3 year old?

My little cutie!

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The Awning

January 27, 2007 at 11:12 pm (Uncategorized)

This may be the craziest sewing project I have ever taken on….

3 years ago when we moved into this house the awning had a rip in it.  You really couldn’t see it unless the wind was blowing.  But, when the wind would blow it would make a terrible noise that sounded like a HUGE monster outside my 2 youngest children’s bedroom window.  I have checked in to having a new one made and they wanted $300.00!!!  (It seems that everything cost $300.00 when I get an estimate!  LOL)  So I kept wondering…Could I make one???? Well, now that we are getting ready to put the house on the market I decided to give it a try.  I tore the old one apart and cut a pattern.  This was about the easiest thing I have ever sewn!  I spent $12.00 on the awning fabric.  (I had a 40% off coupon!)  We also spent $6.00 on new screws..  So for $18.00 we have a new awning! I think it looks fine, and I am my own worst critic!  The only hard part was getting it off the house and then back on the house  But that was my husbands problem!

Here is our other project of the day.

Our front window was broken so the boys took it out and replaced it.  It seems that home repair has been a HUGE part of our homeschooling lately!  Our 12 & 5  year olds have learned a whole lot in the last few months!  They have helped dad re-seal floors, sand cabinets, replace counter tops, build furniture, replace windows, etc.  This is one of the things I love best about homeschooling!  Life lessons are something you just cannot learn from books and it is just impossible to put a price on there value!

The 3 year old has been a huge help too of course!  LOL  It never hurts to have a cute little entertainer around!

(And yes, I realize in these picture you cannot tell the window is broken….Weird, it really was broken!)

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Toile Apron

January 26, 2007 at 11:01 pm (Uncategorized)

My Toile apron is done!

I am very happy with it!  I have been wearing the other one so much that it seems it is always needing to go through the washing machine.  This one looks great hanging in the kitchen, since it matches the kitchen curtains!  Doesn’t everyone need a apron to match their kitchen curtains?  LOL

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January 26, 2007 at 11:07 am (Uncategorized)

I just learned the coolest thing over at the Whimsical Dreams blog!  Did you know that you can click on the word Anonymous, backspace over it and type in your name!  Then you can leave a message with your name on it even if you don’t have a HSB account or you don’t want to sign in.  Cool!  Thought I would spread the word!  LOL

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Weird Things About Me

January 25, 2007 at 12:27 pm (Uncategorized)

Thanks to A Peculiar Notion.. .I’ve been tagged. 

7 Weird Things About Me

1. All the members if our family sleep in metal beds.  I just noticed this the other day.  I find it especially weird because I am a huge fan of Oak and all our other furniture in the house is Oak.  Our guest bed is metal too!

2. My second toe is longer than my big toe.

3. It is very hard for me to sit still and do nothing.  If we are watching TV, driving in the car or waiting in line somewhere I NEED to be doing something.  This is why I took up crocheting and loom knitting. I can take it anywhere!

4. I sleep like a log!  LOL  It is frequently funny in the morning to hear some of the adventures that have taken place during the night  that I have slept through.  The other night the cats got a tube of beads and brought them in our bedroom, got them open and were batting 100’s of beads on the Pergo floor!  My husband was going crazy trying to pick them all up in the middle of the night, fighting off cats the whole time.  I never heard a thing!  LOL

5. We once had a bird named Fido.

6. I met my husband at Target.

7. I was born and raised in Kansas and never watched The Wizard of Oz until I moved to California when I was in my 20’s

I am tagging:

Anyone who wants to do this!  If you do it leave me a commet so I can come read yours.

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Kitchen Renovations

January 25, 2007 at 11:29 am (Uncategorized)

We just finished a week long project of updating our kitchen.  This might be a good time to mention that we are getting the house ready to sell!  Yep, we are moving!  My husband has accepted a job in another State, so although I don’t know when the kids and I will be going, a move is definitely in our near future!

Here is what we did to the kitchen…We stripped and re-sealed the Saltillo tile.  Sanded, stained and polyurethaned the cabinets.  Replaced the hardware and replaced the counter tops.  We also made a butcher block counter top for our antique stove island, and I made new curtains.  Oh, and my favorite part…We got a new kitchen sink!!!  Who knew a person could LOVE a kitchen sink?  LOL  It is 8 inches deep, my old one was 6 inches deep.  What a difference!  You would not believe how many more dirt dishes I can stack in there!

Here are the results!

This picture shows the counter tops, cabinets and new hardware pretty well.  I am especially pleased with the counter tops.  We had old faux butcher block Formica.  We were able to laminate with this new faux Labrador Granite Formica.  We liked this idea because it kept the old counter top from going to the landfill.  We have watched house after house around here throwing out the old counter tops.  It just seems like such a waste!  Ed would be proud of us!  LOL (Plus is was really cheap.  We only spent $140.00 to do the counter tops.)

This shot shows the sink area, a bit of the floors and the old stove we made the counter top for. (Oh, and the edge of the cleaned off fridge.  I took all the kid art off the fridge and the next morning my 2 oldest kids both exclaimed "The refrigerator looks naked Mom!"  LOL)

Here is the old stove we inherited from my husbands parents.  They found it in the basement of a house they bought in the 1980’s.  My husbands Dad refurbished it.  I have always loved it and am very glad it now lives in my home.  The top for it is very nice because now I don’t have to clean crumbs out of all the nooks and cranny’s on top!

This is my stunning new Jacuzzi sink!  Who knew Jacuzzi made sinks?  It is actually white, the lighting was bad in the picture.  I told my husband that when I told him I wanted a Jacuzzi I really meant a TUB!  LOL 

(Yeah, I know I can’t believe I just posted a picture of my sink either!  LOL)

I have always wondered if a project like this could really be done in 2 days like they do on Trading Spaces…Well, I think the answer is NO in the real world.  I mean yeah, if we would have had someone to watch the kids, cook for us, run to the hardware store and had a lot of behind the scenes help we could have done it.  But, I am pretty pleased we got it all done in a week and spent only $400.00.

We are hoping the changes will help the house sell "lightening fast" as my 5 year old daughter prays every night!

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Sewing With Kids

January 24, 2007 at 11:36 am (Uncategorized)

I got the following email regarding the aprons my daughter and I made. 

…Also, your 6 year old did her own? How did you teach her? 
My 5 year old is very interested in learning…but I am just learning
myself.  Any tips would be greatly appreciated.  I know you are a busy
woman..so no hurry.

I had been thinking about writing a post about sewing with kids anyway, so here it goes!  1st off you need to know that my 5 year old is LEARNING how to sew, not sewing on her own.  We do simple projects together.  She has made pillows, bags, a little quilt and now an apron.  I started working with her (And my oldest son for that matter.) right after she turned 5.  The 1st thing we made was a little bag for her ballet class.  I am talking really simple!  Mostly she was learning to cut fabric, pin it and then I sat her in my lap and let her help me guide the fabric through the machine while I sewed it.  Now at almost 6 she can sew a little more on her own.  This means she doesn’t have to sit in my lap anymore!  LOL  I basically sit next to her and I either guide the fabric while she does the foot pedal or vise versa.  She doesn’t quite have the coordination to do both yet.  She has gotten very good at cutting and she loves to take the pins out!  One of the things I have done with my kids to teach them to sew is this:  Take a piece of white computer paper and draw rows of lines on it.  The let them sew on the lines.  This will help them gain control and learn how to operate the machine without using expensive fabric.  It is really a big help!  I also let them use up all my scraps and make whatever they want.  My daughter actually made some pretty elaborate (for a 5 year old) pillows over the Summer for her cousins out of scraps.   One thing to keep in mind is to start with quick and easy projects.  Let them feel that they have made something really grand!  The best advice I can give you is to just do it! Remember they are just learning and have FUN together!  Here are some free patterns to get you started.

Pampered Pet Patterns

Beach Towel Bag

Apron Pattern

Fleece Car Organizer

Fast Fleece Pillow

Tote Bag

Pocket Purse

Bean Bags

Here are some free online sewing lessons for kids I found:

Free Sewing Lessons – Make a doll quilt

Sewing Lessons for Teens

Free online sewing lesson

Here are a some books that look good:

Sewing Teacher’s Resources

Stitches and Pins – A Beginning Sewing book for Girls

Capture the Sewing Bug – 25 Fun and Simple Sewing Projects

Stitches and Pins: A Beginning Sewing Book For Girls

E-Book Boys Can Sew Too!

Have fun and make sure to post pictures of what you create together!

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January 23, 2007 at 5:15 pm (Uncategorized)

One of the very few field trips I remember going on when I was in school was to the Planetarium.  So when I saw that our homeschool group had a field trip planned to the Planetarium I was excited!  Wow, have they changed since I was a kid!  Today we went to see  "The Secret of the Cardboard Rocket".  It was more like a mini IMAX show than what I remember a Planetarium show being.

Here is the description of the show:

Two children turn an old cardboard box into a rocket and blast-off on an awesome adventure with a close-up tour of each planet – including landings on Venus and Mars, a trip into the stormy clouds of Jupiter and the thrill of dodging partical swarms in the rings of Saturn. See what makes each planet unique and why Earth is such a special place to live. At the story’s end, you’ll discover the "Secret of the Cardboard Rocket."

This show has state of the art graphics and an outstanding soundtrack with spectacular sound effects created at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch. Produced in 2001..

This is a show that is put on all over the US at Planetariums, so you might want to check in to one near you!  The show is recommended for ages 3 -10.  I was amazed that it actually held the interest of my 3 year old.  Happily, my 12 year old like it also! 

Here is a online study guide I found for this program:


Of course now we want to do a Space Lapbook.  I am thinking it would be fairly easy to make a file folder look like a Rocket Ship if we added a couple extensions….I’ll let you know what we come up with!

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