Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Homeschool 2017/2018

We officially began our learning adventures of 2017/2018 yesterday with a celebration. Not only was it our first day of lessons, but it was also the Solar Eclipse! I was SO excited about this, that I wanted to do a lot of fun activities during the day. I worked late Sunday night in preparation. With just a bit of rearranging things that we already had in our house, and a few dollars spent at the discount store I had a beautiful vignette set up for our first day! 

Black and white tableware
Owl vase (from a nature pal friend exchange)
Moon Pies

For breakfast I decided to make pancakes... they are kind of a tradition for our "first day"
I made a batch and then added cocoa to 1/3 of the batter.
To represent a sun and a moon.

Our Eclipse pancakes! 

First day pictures are always a must. 
Eli, almost 15

Carlie, 13

Abram, 12

And our newest student, Ace! Almost 2 
He stays with Cousin Chas and we all ADORE him! 

And me... almost 42! 

My little scholars.
Beginning the day with Bible and copywork.

But shortly moving on to individual studies after our morning time basket.

Historical Biographies 


And Art! 

I plan to share the rest of our Solar Eclipse/First day of homeschool pictures with you tomorrow.
Thanks for stopping by! 
Have a beautiful day! 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse Shirts

Shannon and I are early risers... some days we rise earlier than normal and Sunday was one of them. It was his birthday and I had plans on getting up and making a great breakfast before church. But at 4:30 am, we both woke up. 
A bit earlier than I had hoped...
After laying there a few minutes, my head started swirling of ideas on how to make Solar Eclipse '17 and Happy 1st day of Homeschool 2017/2018 a memorable day, and I just couldn't go back to sleep. 
And so I asked him if he wanted to go with me to Walmart. 

He laughed at me, and we talked about it a few minutes and then he said, "Yeah, let's go!" 

My idea was that we would make some t-shirts for the eclipse.
 I thought if we used a paper plate, we could paint around it in sunny colors and it would look like the sun was covered by the moon. I saw several screen printed eclipse shirts on pinterest, but I knew we could replicate something just as good and it would be a lot of fun doing it.

T-shirts were on sale last time I was there, so I had a good feeling they still would be yesterday morning. 
They were ... $2.88. 
Not bad.

I bought the t-shirts and 3 bottles of fabric paint.
A fluorescent orange

The rest of the supplies were things we already had at home. 
Paper or styrofoam plates
Paint brush
Paint palette 
Wax paper

I also used my Cameo Silhouette to print off some iron on dates for our shirt. Super fast, easy and just a little bit of vinyl for this project.

I placed the plate on the shirt to give us a guide as to where to iron on the date.
Once  we had the dates ironed on we were ready for painting!

I placed a piece of wax paper inside the shirt, just in case the paint became a little heavy and wanted to bleed through to the other side.
Then we placed our plate and began painting.
I had to use a dessert plate on the baby's shirt. There is no way on this planet that we could make ourselves one and not have one for our favorite little buddy. 
I started with a strong yellow edge around the plate and then ventured outside it with red, and orange, and then a mixture of them all. Simulating solar flares.
Also you can take an old toothbrush and flick paint to make splatters if you like!
Each kid had their own ideas for how they wanted to make their shirts. I loved how different they are.

It was a real treat to have Cameo home to make these with us. She is such a busy young lady nowadays, it's hard to get us all home at the same time. But I count it a treasure anytime we are all together. 

We let them dry and plan to wear them today! 
I hope you have a wonderful day and take the opportunity to enjoy the eclipse and spend a few minutes in adoration and thankfulness to the One who made the sun, moon, and the stars. 
Thank you, Lord. You are worthy of our worship.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Take Back the Family Table

Without a show of hands...

Who has gotten into the habit of choking down your food?
saying, "let's eat in living room and watch some Netflix"
"I'll eat later... y'all go ahead."

I know full well how fast paced this life is for everyone. But I also know full well that we will NEVER get this time back. 
Meals around the table should be a time of enjoyment, a time of talking, relating, savoring, sharing. That's how they have always been, or should have always been, it's just that we have gotten out of the habit. Convenience, ease, and conflicting schedules make it difficult to make that time anymore.

But my encouragement to you is.... 


Plan a meal! 
A meat and three vegetable
convenience lasagna
a one pot wonder
a peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Sit down.
With your family.
And talk.

Gather together. 
Share about your day.
 Take on a habit of something we do.... 

Share your "Highs!" 
What was the best part of your day? 
How did it affect you? 

Did you have something that was really hard? 
A "Low?" 
Share about that... 
Sympathize with one another. 
Encourage one another after listening.

Fellowship with one another.

Light a candle. 
Go out and pick some wildflowers. 
Set out real plates... or even plastic if your rushed for time.
 But sit AROUND your table. 
At least for a little while. 

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,

Ecclesiastes 2:24

Even if you can only do it one night a week because of schedules... Do it. 
Make it a priority. Remember the need for families to stay families. 
So much is out there to pull family in different directions. 

Use the table to pull back together.

Maybe there is NO way you can do this for supper... but you might could pull together a breakfast.
Do that! 
Connect with your family. 
Learn about them, talk to them, share with them and get to know one another in a way that you can't any other time. 

And then, get to know others that way too. 

Invite people in.

Sharing a meal with others is such a sweet, simple way to get to know people. The food isn't nearly important as the atmosphere in my opinion. Make your place hospitable. Make it a place that is easy for others to feel at home while they are there. 
And then, do the same... 
Enjoy the table again. 
Enjoy meal time. 
Make it memorable. 
Make it a part of your children's memories that they will want to continue in their own family. 

Help me 
Take Back the Family Table.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

For the sake of education...

Y'all know me. 
I struggle with snakes.
They creep me out in a BIG way. 
But... when my kids tell me they have found a dead baby snake at their great aunts house, my mind went to our nature shelf and the wheels in my brain started turning. I started researching on how I could preserve it. I read quite a bit and decided we would go with the 'safest' route.
Ethyl alcohol is a bit more dangerous, so I decided to go with 91% isopropyl alcohol. 
So I had a jar, the isopropyl alcohol, a syringe, a mat and a book for identification and we were off on a learning adventure. 
The snake was still kinda fresh, meaning it was still pliable and soft, so we took the syringe and filled it with the alcohol and injected it into the snake from the tip to the slightly broken tail. 
Plumping it up all the way down the body. 

Once we saw that it was indeed, full of alcohol, we curled the specimen and put it in the jar, filled the jar up with the rest of the alcohol and capped the top. 
Being a cork, it does have a bit of air pockets, so you may see some evaporation over time says the sources, but all you have to do is to give it a fresh topping off... 
This may not be the perfect way of preserving a wet specimen, but it was the best option for our family. As always with this high of a percentage of alcohol, make sure to keep your specimens put up high and away from flames. 

Hooray for learning! 

Monday, August 14, 2017


Saturday morning I had the opportunity to go do something I LOVE! Treasure hunting at a book sale. The "Friends of the Library" book sale happens a couple times a year and I love to go and look for books that we may need/want for our lessons or just for our enjoyment. 
It started at 9 am and I got there way early, so I got a cup of coffee and waited. I could tell that I was not the only one excited, but some for reasons other than mine I believe. Some had scanners on their phones, I'm guessing they were there to buy and resale. Some had huge boxes to fill and had a dolly to carry the boxes on. Some had bags, and some had the rolling carts like I did. 
I had my mind set on what I was looking for, I didn't find a whole lot of that... but I did find quite a few useful and beautiful books.
Probably my most favorite find was the hardcover Audubon bird book with reproductions of all his original drawings and notes. It is a little worn, but really beautiful and I am tickled pink with it! 

I found a book on word origins and their meanings, I got another copy of "Utopia" and Eli said, "Mom... I read this last year, we already own a copy." and I replied... "But look how pretty this one is!" And being the kinda guy he is and how he understands his mom, he said... "Yeah, this is a nice one, and hardback always trumps paperback." 
My son is a bibliophile too. haha

I bought what I call a "Sister set" It was a beautiful hardback matching set of Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" and Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre". They are so pretty. 

After leaving the fruitful book sale, I ran by Hobby Lobby to look for some specimen jars for our nature shelf. I found exactly what I was looking for and got the kids a crystal growing kit for a science project. We can add that to the nature shelf when we are finished also. It was a nice morning for me. A little time alone. Coffee, books, hobby lobby... what a lovely way to get to spend a Saturday morning.