Sunday, July 31, 2011

Almost time for pencils and chalkboards!

click on the box to register and join me for this great ONLINE homeschooling conference! 

Before I had children, I had a friendship with God, and in our conversations:) I knew I was going to choose to teach my home. I have to say once Kindergarten rolled around I felt like I was starting all over in Kindergarten too! There was a lot of questions I had, anxious thoughts, doubts that I could home school at all. I knew God would see me through, direct our steps as a family, so we jumped in as a leap of faith, did tons of research (thanks Google!:) and my husband and I have learned so much about ourselves along the way. This year marks our 3rd year homeschooling our first daughter, and the first year that #2 will be hopping on board (officially:) The world is our classroom, and we are always learning. I have had to "unlearn" a lot too, namely that learning doesn't have to happen one specific way for everybody. I love to have my kids experience, make, do things...dive right in to the middle of it all, and be immersed in discovery and curiosity. We have been using Five in a Row a classical "Charlotte Mason" approach to learning, using Horizons for math workbooks, watching some fun documentaries, "Drive Thru History" DVD's for a biblical historical teaching,visiting the local children's science museum regularly, and "Field Trip Friday" It's refreshing being open to changing directions, having the flexibility to have one on one learning with my kiddos or just pushing pause if my children find something find they want to explore and dig a little deeper into. I have discovered for myself the joy of taking on the responsibility to parent, teach, love, correct and enjoy my children! It is a way of living, not just a lecture style classroom, and it's amazing! I am hoping to encourage other local moms who are home educating or looking into home education to put their whole heart into it, God gave us these specific children because he knows we have what it takes to help them become who they are as HIS sons & daughters. Never doubt that it is on purpose!;) So to kick off this year in the right direction, we are going to all memorize the fruit of the Spirit and see them begin to grow in our lives more and more this year! Seems like a good foundation for a happy school year, don't you think? Got it up on our chalkboard door in the kitchen to help remind us!

A Rainy Sunday Showcase.

It's raining sheets out there! I love the rain, not that we get a lot here in Montana, so I'm reveling in it...while it lasts. And with it being Sunday, grocery shoppings done, fun at the lake has been had, casserole is bubbling away in the oven, laundry's done and  it's the last day of the beautiful month of july...It's the perfect storm for me to take a minute, sip some hot chai, and look back on this month and all that's happened in our little part of the world...We kicked off the month of July welcoming my husbnands parents for a short overnight visit on their drive to Florida and  some dear friends to stay at our home for 4 days...

...three little curly top boys, and their talented musician parents! We enjoyed many meals together, late night deep conversations, laughing at our children playing together, and lots of loud guitars and djembe drums as we sang our hearts out to our Father. Even little E. was joining in the merry-making! (above pic) We prepared our guest room which is something I have always wanted to be able to cheerfully extend hospitality and create a cozy atmosphere in my home for guests to come on short notice.

I wanted to make a cozy space with all the details taken care of, so I made sure there were 2 pillows each (one feather squishy and one firmer one:) Fresh linens, towels just for the guest, all tied together so they know which ones are for them. Bedside table equipped with alarm clock, fresh flowers, and some fun old books. I also put a pretty glass bottle of spring water with two glasses, and a little lidded  bowl with cashews in it, in case they were a little "peckish" from travel. I am planning on making some fun vintage pics of old hotels around the area to make it a personalized guest room...Some other little decor upcycles I've been up to this fine month...

I spray painted my "texas" license plate star white, and like how it turned out! 
With the guest room getting an upgrade, I got our bedroom done too! New drop cloth curtains hing on a double rod, and a fun old "serving tray" travel bar makes it's debute as my new bedside table, with all the late night reading I've been doing scouring the pages of Ben Pasley's new book, let's just say it's come in handy:) 

I found a fabulous roll of late 1800's advertisments printed on some sepia tone wall paper, and had a great time, cutting them to fit some frames I already had, giving our stairway a nice cottage historic look, complete with skeleton keys! (for the dungeon of course!)

This chippy sign was salvaged from a compost pile! I love it, and am do glad my hubby rescued it so  I could give it a new loving home on our wall! It's from historic Reeder's Alley, and a "Reserved Parking Employees Only" for the original Pioneer Cabin on the gold rush gulch...:Last Chance. Glad to offer this chippy cutie a "Second" Chance!
My bookshelf still happily resides inside the fireplace for now! And atop the mantle are all the fabulous radishes that went to seed without producing a radish...grrrr. But don't they look pretty! (always a silver lining, right?)

Close up of one of the fabulous vintage print ADS this one is for No. 4711 Crab Apple Cologne...Love!

Ok, not risque, at first glance you may think this is a nude-y but NO, it's a cutie little girl getting ready to soap up in a little river waterfall. CUTE:) Pears Soap, the captions says "Our Baby" This is an actual 1891 photograph of the creators of Pear's Soaps daughter. Lovely.

There's definitely  more that I've been up to with my family, but that's all for now! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Light Summer Dinner...that still "eats like a man!"

With today being our hottest day of the summer! We wanted to make a light simple dinner, but still have some steak! So this "eats like a man" chopped steak salad from the fabulous little cookbook  from Real Simple magazine (one of my favs:)"Dinner Tonight Done". It looks beautiful, it's healthy, colorful (a.k.a.chock full of nutrients) and best of all my 3 food eating kiddos love it, and the steak keeps the man 'o the house happy too! WIN! Dinner tonight ....done! And for a healthy fun, fresh dessert! Watermelon Pops!! Long live Summer!