December 31, 2008

!Happy New Year!


Happy New Year!
What sort of plans do you have for tonight? (leave a comment, I would enjoy reading about your plans!)

Being the wild and adventurous family we are, our plans include dinner, dancing, me in my little black (new! not last years!!!) dress and strappy heels- arriving at our destination in a limousine! You know that man of mine (Brad), always rings in my New Year, with a dozen or more white, long stemmed roses, expensive white wine and very, very expensive perfume- a name I can't pronounce- but because my man (Brad) is so darn fluent in FRENCH, he can!!!...I get many-a-compliments when I wear it on my "day-out" grocery shopping at Walmart! Tommie? Oh, my well-behaved, perfectly mannered, blindly obedient son? He will be enjoying a quiet night with friends, as they discuss their latest book club classic, John Steinbeck's, The Red Pony. His hair will be neatly combed, shirt tucked in, matching socks, always passing on junk food (he is extremely disciplined!!!) and I am very confident he will lead in the advanced, classic book discussion! After, his friends and him...will more then likely play Shakespeare trivia...where again, he will master the game....as he's been raised to be competitive at all costs!

Not true! None of it!

The truth is... we'll be ringing in the New Year with my in-laws. I'll be wearing sweatpants or jeans, I'm making Carmel corn and spinach balls- from the box, we'll eat way too much junk, play Tripoli or Euchre...Tommie will sit and play his PSP and drink more pop then I realize and we'll all be in bed by 10:30, which is an hour later then normal!

Okay, look at this picture of the little boy, above... here's what the caption said, in case you're wondering what it's all about.. This is such a cute old real photo postcard! This card shows a darling little boy dressed in a sailor suit and pulling 2 giant mushrooms, along with sacks of money on an old fashioned sled. I believe the caption is in Hungarian and means "Happy New Year".


I'm pretty darn proud of the savings I incurred the other night at Kroger's. I saved $91. and spent $100. Stacking coupons and cutting out more then you normally would, sure does save you in the long run! I was able to get a lot FREE! Like this Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce! Here's the link for a free coupon click here: free coupon! The product is only available at Kroger's and Walmart.


I also had FREE coupons for French's Worcester Sauce... 9 of them. I was able to get 9 bottles free! That's a lifetime supply of Worcester Sauce! Or if you have friends to give them to.... smile, wink, nod! I'm just saying.....

Another big deal? Picture not shown, but HOLLY CAN VOUCH FOR ME...since I proudly showed her my freezer, yesterday.... 9 bags of Pillsbury Grand Freezer Biscuits!!!!! Regularly, $3.79 a bag...I got them for .19 each! How? They were on sale at Kroger's for $1.99. The bags had a hot pink peelie sticker on the front for $1.00 off, brings it down to a dollar a bag, I had coupons (9) for .40 off...Kroger's doubles them- .80 cents...so it brings the bag down to .19 each. Wahoo for me!



Here are a few other printable coupons you might enjoy using and stacking!!!

Bagel Bites

Tons of all different kinds of coupons!

Suave FREE SHAMPOO (mark your calendar- only available on January 14th)

Cascadian Organic Farms! Sign up and receive a free granola bar! Plus, coupons! I was able to print several of these off and use them on sale items... 3 bags of organic frozen french fries for under a dollar a bag!

Well... now I'm off to teach myself about Junco's...snowbirds! Lately, they've really been enjoying the birdseed at our bird feeders! You know, if you get a chance to see one up close, they are a very unique looking bird! Happy New Year!

December 30, 2008

VERY SERIOUS ABOUT FREEBIES!

I found a few freebies worth sharing...they're reputable companies, so I think the products will show up at your doorstep! The sign-up is very quick, no surveys and very basic.... by the way, we no longer have the same mail-lady, so perhaps these freebie's will show up on my doorstep, too! I'm just saying.....
smile, wink, nod!




click: TOTAL CRANBERRY CRUNCH SAMPLE



This is what I look like...very, very serious, when I'm surfing the internet for freebies and coupons!! It's a very serious task. I only smile and kick up my heels after I click "submit!" I'm serious.

December 29, 2008

THE SIMPLE WOMAN'S DAYBOOK





The Daybook for the last Monday of 2008!

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW: A clear sunny day, a black-capped chickadee, green grass and mud! The snow has melted...but not for long!


FROM THE LEARNING ROOM: I'm starting to make mental notes in my mind of homeschooling ideas...plus, I'll be organizing more, later this week.


I AM THANKFUL FOR: a vacuum cleaner, garbage bags, rubber-maid and that our Christmas decorations are put away...AHHHHHHHH!


FROM THE KITCHEN: Leftover Jamaican Banana Bread, day-old popcorn and a glass of 7-up!


I AM WEARING: grey boot-legged cut sweatpants, white 3/4 sleeve top and grey hoodie, make-up, the earrings Tommie made me for Christmas, tan colored nail polish and old tennis shoes.

I AM READING: MY NEW ISSUE OF "REAL SIMPLE" MAGAZINE!

I AM HOPING: To organize, weed-out and clean my basement, bathroom closet and bedroom closet tomorrow!

I AM CREATING: not a darn thing at the moment!

I AM HEARING: Brad and Tommie rough-housing really LOUD and I'm getting annoyed!

AROUND THE HOUSE: Happy to say, the house is extremely tidy... only because I took down all the decorations...and I even re-arranged the living room and Tommie's bedroom!

ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS: PAUL MITCHELL FREEZE AND SHINE HAIR SPRAY!

MY PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK: Organizing, celebrating New Year Eve with my in-laws, and more organizing!

HERE'S A PICTURE THOUGHT I'M SHARING: It's one of the Luna Moths that we harvested last spring! It landed right on Tommie's shoulder!




December 28, 2008

Just me being real....


What a very blah day I had today. I hesitate posting....because I want this to be a fun place for you to land. But, woweee-geeze...this day was a doozy! We didn't go to church, because they were merging two services into one, having karoke and a chili cook-off...and being we're not the mingling-let's-be-friends-type-family..we decided to hold off until next week. I managed to clean my scrapbook area- which was pathetic and embarassing, did the treadmill and sorted coupons. Dinner was lame: sloppy joes, mac and cheese and potato chips. I did find some great deals the other day at The Dollar Tree- all Christmas was 1/2 price. It was like being at a garage sale. How exciting is this....I found a brand new red-polka dotted coupon holder there as well!? I need to take down the Christmas decorations. I need to organize for homeschooling. I'd like to do more yoga. I know this isn't the best blog post I ever wrote...but it's just me being real here on Sunday night. Don't give up on me... better blog entries are on their way! smile-wink-nod. Now, I'm off to shower and flop on the couch with a good book. See you tomorrow!

December 27, 2008

this, that and the other....

Saturday, the last Saturday of 2008.

Things on my list today: make Jamaican Banana Bread, visit with my favorite sister-in-law and her family, who are in from Chicago, go to Kohl's with her & probably other stores, make a few crafts with my niece, watch the wicked and unusual thunder and lightening storm, nuke my second cup of coffee, play a few games of hard-core euchre, eat way to much food, and giggle.

I'm jumping subjects here...much like I do in real life conversation... do you ever have any favorite quotes that echo in your head? Wisdom that swirls around your mind? I have a few.....

from my mom: "it's all in where your heart is"

from my friend Rhonda: "it takes more energy to be lazy then productive"

from my dear, dear dad (also my best friend) who passed away: "you won't have any friends if you're negative all the time"

from my cousin: "you need to try a little harder" (this was told to me by her when we were talking about aging.)

from my dear Aunt Janet: "don't burn your bridges."

and one that I hesitate posting...because I don't want you to think "I" would ever, ever swear... gasp! But, we're all adults, right? here goes: "be careful of the toes you step on today, they may be attached to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow."

so, what are some of your favorite quotes? I'm fishing for comments...so go ahead and share yours!

December 26, 2008

WHAT'S YOUR TIP?


It's over. Christmas, that is. One things for sure, this has been one of the most stress-free and relaxing Christmas's I've ever had! I hope yours was, as well. I'd enjoy reading any holiday tips that saved you time and money...so don't be shy, click on "leave comment," and share with me what worked well for you!
Here's a few of my Christmas hits: using Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie dough in the red bag-very tasty and easy-no mess!, making homemade gift tags, buying ribbon 1/2 price throughout the year from Joann Fabrics, having a big stock of gift wrapping paper-that I purchased after Christmas last year, ordering through Amazon.com's used book site, gift cards, snapfish.com for quick and cheap Christmas card pictures, waiting until the last minute to buy Christmas gifts...I have never, ever done this... ever. But, this year I did. I was able to save just a ton of money...even getting 5% instantly off of my grocery bill at Meijer's. The sales were completely insane. Having Christmas parties here at our house, back to back....which means keeping up with housekeeping and organizing! STOCKING UP ON SCOTCH TAPE from the Dollar Tree, REYNOLDS WRAP, GLAD BAGGIES, VANILLA and RUM flavoring, FLOUR AND EGGS...AND A LOT OF IT. Keeping homeschooling real basic and simple the week before. addressing and stamping Christmas cards early, baking a bunch of chicken up to eat on and off throughout the week: chicken soup, wraps, salads, etc., the freezer dough gifts I blogged about, a few entries back, cutting way back on gifts for the immediate family- except Tommie, don't laugh...but, many of my gifts come from Salvation Army or Goodwill... I've found great cookbooks, old time radio mystery and comedy tapes, vintage aprons and shabby chic cabbage rose plates! The thing is, when you give thrift store gifts, you have to know who to give them to and who NOT to give them to. Some people on my list would be totally offended- others would think it was the best thing since sliced bread! we had the typical family gift exchange with about 20 people...had to bring a gift for either a man or lady... $25. limit. I filled a big box with 5 different kinds of birdseed..tied big red bows around the bags and a birdseed scoop. This was a fantastic gift...my family fought over it, throwing chairs, calling each other names and throwing the turkey against the wall... think Jerry Springer! just kidding. IT WAS A HIT, THOUGH.
Time for me to sign off for today. I have to jump on the treadmill and walk off these sugar cookie calories. See you in the morning! smile, wink, nod.
p.s. Did you go out and hit any after-Christmas sales, today?

December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

"Happy Birthday Jesus and Merry Christmas, friends!"
So, what's on your to-do list, this last day before Christmas? Are you completely organized...like the people on a Hallmark Christmas movie? Or are you breaking out in itchy red hives, wondering how it's all going to fall into place?
Here's my to-do list for today...
  • head up to Krogers for last minute fresh produce and a gift card that I thought I bought, but didn't.

  • wrap a few little gifts
  • clean the house because my in-laws are coming for dinner...I'm making a recipe from my Pamper Chef cookbook, I'm not sure what it's called...but it is like a stuffed-chicken-cresent-roll-ring.. easy, looks like I really fussed, plus, I have all the ingredients! I'm also making chicken rice soup and will serve it in small bowls!

  • make a big pasta salad for tomorrow's dinner!

  • Christmas caroling with our neighbors at their house this afternoon...Brad really wishes I didn't say yes to this...he's not the singing type...but, I think it will be good for his soul, don't you? I told him he could just smile and move his lips! Lip-sinc!

  • bake a banana-blueberry bread for Christmas morning!

  • oh, and I am so excited...my friend Brandi posted her recipe for Russian Tea-which is absolutely terrific! I will be making that, as well. If you've never tried it, you MUST. This link will take you right to her recipe: Brandi's Russian Tea! She actually brought it to our son's scout meeting and served it to the parents! How nice was that?

I think that's about it. It's time for me to get out of my thermals and sweatshirt, puff up my hair, draw on my lipliner and head up to the local Krogers, before the crowd gets there.

I'm wishing you all a very nice Christmas Eve and day with your families! By the way, each time I look at the picture above of baby Jesus, I wish I could scoop Him in my arms and give him kisses and hugs!


December 23, 2008

a nice, little tradition!

My mom surprised me at the beginning of December... she called up and asked if she could bring something over? Well, of course I said yes! And, what do you think my dear, little mother had up her sleeve? She had a 3 foot tree and 12 festively wrapped Christmas gifts to place underneath it! She also had a hardcover book that she gave me, "The 12 Days of Christmas."


Each day, at lunchtime, for the first 12 days of December, Tommie and I unwrapped one of the gifts! Mom was organized and had attached a corresponding number to each gift. We also "sang the 12 Days of Christmas song".. and yes, we sang loud and proud and a little off key...before we unwrapped...just to see what ornament to expect!


Although we're quite certain the 12 Days of Christmas begins after Christmas...we decided to start on the first of December. You know, so we could enjoy the ornaments the entire month!


The ornament above is TWO TURTLE DOVES. The ornament below is: THREE FRENCH HENS .. I love their shoes! Don't you?





EIGHT MAIDS-A-MILKING...see the number eight? All of the ornaments had the day number on them.

Here is the link, if you'd like to see the others! Just click here:

DEPARTMENT 56 KRINKLES. I plan to re-wrap these, repeat and continue this tradition each year. Thanks a bunch, Mom. You know we loved them!



smile, wink, nod!












December 22, 2008

SIMPLE WOMAN'S DAY BOOK

FOR TODAY, THE 22nd of DECEMBER!

OUTSIDE OF MY WINDOW: tiny, little snowflakes that look like glitter!

FROM THE LEARNING ROOM: nothing! we wrapped things up Friday and will resume on January 5th. Oh, unless you mean the stacks of books and papers that need to be put away!

I AM THANKFUL FOR: leftovers, TSC (The Tractor Supply Store), floating candles, coupons, and I am really thankful that I froze so much from our garden in August and stocked up heavy on staples last fall (flour, sugars, oatmeal, butter, pasta, and rice, kleenex, shampoo and conditioner!)

FROM THE KITCHEN: a plate of Christmas cookies-leftover from our Christmas dinner with my mom and her husband....I had it here yesterday! I also see, a bowl of tangerines, a glass of unfinished iced tea-room temperature.

I AM WEARING: black hoodie, black tee-shirt, black leggings, white tennis shoes. I just hopped off the treadmill- 2 miles.

I AM READING: still plugging away with The Virgin Blue... and see the book below!

I AM HOPING: to do my new yoga dvd's, that we get a big, old snowstorm again, and I get motivated to sort through and organize my scrapbooking corner.

I AM CREATING: no bake cookies for my cousin and I hope to make a Christmas journal for next year...sort of to take and make notes in.

I AM HEARING: Tommie talking to Brad about the weather station he received from my mom yesterday.

AROUND THE HOUSE: a new rice milk Yankee candle, a new grey sweatsuit, legos, cell phone and it's just about time to plug in the Christmas lights!!

ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS: making gift tags, doing laundry, walking through TSC (Tractor Supply Store)

A FEW PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK: baking/frosting sugar cookies, wrapping gifts, getting things organized for Christmas Eve dinner with my in-laws!

HERE IS A PICTURE THOUGHT I'M SHARING: my mom gave me this wonderful book for Christmas, by Joseph Marshall titled, "Keep Going, The Art of Perseverance" I only read a quick paragraph and already fell in love with it... click right here to find out more!




December 21, 2008

Thrifty Gifts!

Tipping my hat, to my Aunt Janet for telling me about this truly wonderful gift giving idea..which is practical, thrifty, useful, pretty and yummy! Gotta love all that in this wild recession!

You can use any cookie recipe you'd like..I happened to use White Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal Cookie...since it makes a really huge batch and everyone just loves them!

Just make the dough, roll into a 15 inch log, I double wrapped in Glad wrap (freezer proof) and then wrapped clear cellaphane around it. I tied it off at both ends with a simple white bow, attatched baking instructions and gift wrapped the center of the log..as you can see in the picture. These freeze up to 3 months. I thought it would be a welcome gift to use around the end of January or the uneventful days of February.

I've already given them to a few friends and my mother-in-law...and they have been very well received! I have a few more in my refridgerator, waiting to be handed out... the pastor's wife?, the neighbors?, that special librarian? Our den leader's wife.... You get the idea! Even you... if you lived closer, I'd even give you one! smile-wink-nod!

P.S. Have a dog? Then read the blog entry following this post....

DON'T FORGET THE DOG!

Meet Lucy. She's our 14 year old dog.
Each Christmas, we make her very own Christmas dog biscuits! She does twirlly-birds and backflips and makes a complete idiot out of herself. I'm serious. She loves them that much! If you have a dog and would like the recipe...just click here: Homemade dog biscuits! Scroll down to "meaty dog biscuits" and use that recipe. Don't worry if you don't have all the ingredients...your dog will go crazy for them-no matter what! smile-wink-nod.

December 19, 2008

Beyond Academics!


I am getting old. A little Friday morning oxy-moron going on, here. The things I love about it? Wisdom and inner peace. Knowing what to get worked up over and what to step around. The ability to look past the negativity, that once rocked my world.
I love teaching my son this quality, prematurely.
I'll give you just one example: The other night he was up from 2 until 4:30 in the morning...as was I. He had insomnia. When he awoke the next morning, he announced in his most whiniest voice ever, "well, this is going to be a bad day, since I was up most of the night!" I looked at him, myself suffering from a PMS migrane and cramps and lack of sleep and yes, I could of joined in the negativity...but instead I said, "don't say that... this could be one of the best days of your life...we can watch movies and do read-alouds, put a puzzle together, make ornaments, etc.".... "Tommie, it's what you want and make it to be." That day, we managed to get minimal homeschooling done. But, I hope he learned something far more then academics on this day... how he can control his thoughts and attitudes by choosing good thoughts or the bad in life. We all have bad days. You have to. Hence, Ecclisatics. There is a time for everything. But, you can also exercise your God-given right to dust yourself off and move forward. Look for the good.
Even if it's just watching the blue jay eat your leftover pop-tart, that you just tossed out the patio door! smile-wink-nod. Just keep looking for the good!

December 18, 2008

Favorites!

Thirteen of my favorite websites for homeschooling, recipes and other fun things! just click on the light grey areas to take you to the site!

1. Favorite homeschool messege board.. loaded with tons of living book suggestions, nature ideas and no-nonsense homeschooling ideas! Most of the homeschoolers tend to be Catholic here...which I am not. I still find great ideas!

2. The History Channel! We use this channel a lot! You can also sign up for printable lesson plans...although I've never done that.

3. Free printable graphs, charts, forms, newspaper scavenger hunts and more! 88 altogether!

4. Create your own free printable graph! We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this site! Tommie's math curriculum calls for a lot of graph making. We use this site and the graphs come out so professional!!!

5. Charlotte Mason language art suggestions!

6. Paper toys!

7. Belgium Spice Cookies! My favorite Christmas cookie, ever! Easy, too!

8. List of English Literature

9. Thrifty fun! A gazillion ideas for all things thrifty!

10. Easy soup recipes from England... most are freezable! I love the potato-leek soup recipe...although I add a heap of caraway seeds.

11. Organic Grocery Deals!

12. Panera Bread Black Bean Soup Recipe! oooooo-la-la!!!

13. The Crafty Crow! Quality homemade crafts for kids of all ages!





December 17, 2008

School away from the kitchen table....

Yesterday, we did follow through with our homeschool fieldtrip... the one I mentioned a few blog entries back....in a nutshell, we've been studying a lot about England and I thought it would be very, very awesome to tour this English-tudor style mansion--which was decorated for Christmas! During the car ride there, I mentioned to Tommie to pay special, special attention...since he would be stepping into the shoes as a newspaper reporter and typing up a "news article" about the mansion...which he will do this morning. I intend to use this for creative writing, grammar, and spelling, alliteration, and sprinkle some similies and such into the story. Fingers crossed, all goes well..he isn't fond of writing and doesn't believe in adjectives!!!

He and I, went on a few errands while we were in the city... taking full advantage of Walgreen's sale flyer and my coupon match! Best find of the day? Colgate toothpaste for .25 a tube. Other good deals? batteries, Lays Potato Chips, Skippy Peanut Butter- $1. a jar, w/ coupons!

I also was able to find some pretty good little gifts in the dollar bin at Target, for a couple of young girls on my list! Went to Salvation Army, walked out disgusted at the over-priced used merchandise. It is very rare that I can't find something at a thrift store.

It was dark by now, and Tommie and I drove through the town, which was decorated like Vegas... with a Christmas theme. If that makes sense? The holiday lights in this town are always amazing!

We drove home in the snow. A good day.....smile, wink, nod!







December 15, 2008

Monday Math!



WAIT!
Before you pitch your Sunday newspaper... turn it in to your Monday Math curriculum! There is so much math to be had inside those sale flyers! Especially with the 3 for $5. or Buy One Get One Free's. Truth is... I'm not totally sure my 5th grader, who is doing triple and quadrupal number long division, could mentally figure out how much 3 for $5. would be individually. Now deduct a double .50 coupon and how much would you save? I hate to admit it...but glad I homeschool, so I can back up and teach these basics. I think he'll really enjoy this too, ...since it steps way out of the box, from ordinary workbook pages. I'll be able to review it too, when we're out shopping.

Speaking of using the real thing with math concepts... instead of the drudgery of massive, meaningless looooooooong division problems that are just there-on a black-liined page...I thought it would make long division more real to print-off resturant bills/tabs and have yours truely add and divide them out for a party of 15 or 17, etc. However, can you see how distressed my forehead and mouth look on my picture? Rolling my eyes...I was unable to locate any free printable tabs. I may have to whip some up from scratch. Ugh, unless you know of a printable site?

UPDATE: Sat down with Tommie and the Sunday sale flyer and went over the 3 for $11. minus $1. in coupons... I'm glad I did. He needed to be guided and helped along. Not horribly...but still a new, hands-on concept. Plus, we did it all mentally. Without pencil and paper. Unschooling life skill. smile-wink-nod.

December 14, 2008

MASHED AT MEIJERS!


















Can one ever have too many mashed potatoes? I mean really?
We aren't the potato flake kind of family... you sure can't beat mashed potatoes from scratch! But, when I found this coupon for a free 13 oz. size or smaller..I clicked print on my computer and it spit out 12 free coupons! I used 9, last night at Meijers and walked out of the store with a spring in my step...sort of cocky...like I should be on Oprah..telling the nation how I save money!

They are 100% Idaho potatoes. Nothing artificial. I'm not sure what I'll do with them all...I may give them out as useful-joke-extra gifts or I may be a stingy and keep them! What do you think I should do? smile-wink-nod!

December 13, 2008

Just playing around!






This is sort of a little test, here. I couldn't take not having my regular digital camera around. I mean, can you even imagine going through the Christmas season without a camera?!

I bought one this afternoon at Meijers..it's a mini-digital that fits right on your keychain! It was $14.95. Minus the 10% off coupon I had. smile-wink-nod.

The pictures are a little bit blurry. But, I love the rest of the features! And, the fact that I will always have a camera on my keychain!

This is one of the ornaments I made out of a recycled Rice Krispie Box! I used garbage ties for curly hair!

Happy Saturday Night! I'm off to take a hot shower, pull on my wool socks and thermals and flop on the couch with my juicy novel..."The Virgin Blue." Doesn't the title sound raunchy? Not to worry...it's isn't.

Favorite!


Each Christmas season, since my son was a wee-little tot, I've collected Christmas books for him. Never paying retail-always finding at garage sales or thrift shops. I wish my camera was up and running... so I could show you the book basket, that houses them--- each one...all fully wrapped! At the end of the season, when wrapping paper is cheap, I take time to re-wrap them for next year...so they're all ready to go when the season rolls in again!

This year, is no exception. My just-about 11 year old son, is thoroughly enjoying this tradition. Each day he unwraps a book and we either sit on the couch or I lay in bed and read to him at night! He would really dislike it, if I was putting this out on the world wide web...but I know you won't tell anyone! smile-wink-nod. I am finding I get sort of giddy, too...when he unwraps the
Christmas books from Jan Brett or John Burningham's Christmas book, he's the author of Mr. Gumpy!

This book, Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect...is a gem! My new favorite. Plus, it was a perfect fit for our unit on England in the 1500's.

If you would like to read the short story on-line and see more of the beautiful illustrations... click here: Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect.

Do you have a favorite Christmas story? I'd love to hear about it! Leave a comment!






December 12, 2008

SKATE ON OVER TO LYNN'S....


Being and only child myself...and growing up prissy and pampered...I always thought I'd have a daughter. I didn't. God blessed me with one boy. One wild and crazy, Nerf-gun buzzing, head-butting, loud, roll on the floor just because, machine gun motor mouth, hate-to-wash-your-hands, put snowball's down your back boy! I love him immensely.
However, it's a sweet treat for me to skate on over to my friend Lynn's blog.. she and her daughter have been working creatively on their beautiful dollhouse! They've made all of their dollhouse furniture and accessories, very inexpensively, using household items! I love how Lynn's mind works. How she can "see" a chair out of a baking powder container. How she and her daughter made a mini-apple pie and more recently, mini-books and lanterns!
Whether you have a daughter or not... it's a fun blog to check out! Click here: The Year of the Dollhouse!

December 11, 2008

Keep those FReeBie's Coming!

Time for me to share a few freebie links... I know they don't always show up...but I keep trying.

This week, I received a nice little OceanSpray Cranberry Cookbook! And, at Meijers the other day...on their overripe discount food rack...I found 4 bags of cranberries for .50 each! I came home and froze them! Cheap find!

Here is a list of more easy-as-pie freebie forms to fill out....just click on "free"....

Free printable dollhouse size accessories-great for Christmas crafts!

Free educational dvd and lesson plans (link educational tools at the top of their site: grades K-12) about the ocean!

Free desktop plant


Free Krispy Kreme doughnut

Free Scientific Method Poster

Recently, I treated myself to this treasure.. a mini-chopper, I found it at Walmart for $4. I've been using it more often then I thought! It works very well...my only complaint is it is extremely loud!

Have you treated yourself to something special this season? If so, be sure to share in my comments! I'd love to hear about your treasure!




December 10, 2008

CHARLOTTE MASON ROCKS!


I wanted to show you a picture of our home...all decorated for Christmas! Don't look at my windows...they're not as clean as they should be! Can you see Tommie in the upstairs window..and can you see me waving in the doorway?





Gotcha! NOT TRUE!....

This week and into the next, we'll be expanding on our unit of England! A few entries back, I explained a little of the fun we've had, learning about The Great Fire and The Great Plague. This week finds Tommie reading Mark Twain's classic, "The Prince and the Pauper."

It's a fantastic book for boys! I've been able to use the Charlotte Mason methods again.. with great success! Spelling, vocabulary, narration, dictation, handwriting and culture.
Our homeschooling was becoming too routine and too much like the movie Groundhog Day! This style saves a ton of time and wraps everything into one nice package, successfully- and with depth. Outside of the Charlotte
Mason basics, this week we actually took a vacation to England! I bought (at Goodwill $1.) a one-hour movie...where we toured all of England! It gave us a nice little overview of the entire country! I also had made a scavenger hunt, in which Tommie was taking a trip to Great Britain and had to locate and write: where the legend of The Loch Ness Monster lived, where shipbuilding takes place, The White Cliffs of Dover, abandoned tin mines, Liverpool, The Cotswalds, and much more! I was given a very old book with a map that highlighted all the popular spots...this is where I pulled my information from. It was great for map work, too! Today, using the same old reference book, he had to figure out which countries speak English... South Africa, India, Indonisia, etc. Another thing which was quick and effective was a very small lesson on Shakespere. Who he was, what did he do, when was he born, research and make a theater program of his most famous plays: comedy, historical and tradgedies. The movie gave a good look at his home and talked a little about Anne Hathaway, so that was a bonus! At this point, I'm not sure he needs to know too much more about Shakespere... until high school!

Next week, we'll be visiting and touring this English style mansion...the one in the photo- that you thought was my house! It's open to the public and all decorated for Christmas... I think this will be a very warm experience and a nice finale for our unit and end to our December homeschooling! smile-wink-nod!







December 09, 2008

THE SIMPLE WOMAN'S DAYBOOK

The Simple Woman's Daybook for December 9th....
OUTSIDE MY WINDOW: Pitch dark, security light shining down on the snow and ice!
FROM THE LEARNING ROOM: Horizons Math workbook, Prince and the Pauper, kleenex box and notebook. Rite-Aid sale flyer. (Our learning room is the kitchen table, kitchen counters and couch).
I AM THANKFUL FOR: I had another melanoma scare, went to the doctors...all is fine. I'm also thankful for these wool socks I have on, good friends, a happy child, instant coffee and the free hot chocolate coupons at McDonalds that were in the Sunday paper.
FROM THE KITCHEN: A half eaten gingerbread cookie, red gloves laying on the counter and a vanilla candle.
I AM WEARING: (remember it's just 6:30 am as I type this)... black wool socks, two thermal underwear shirts-layered, polar fleece sweatshirt, reindeer thermal longjohns, bed head, no makeup. I AM A REAL WORK OF ART.
I AM READING: The Virgin Blue and will start on Victoria Olsteen's book, very soon.
I AM HOPING: We get a lot of good, meaty homeschooling done today! And, the lady I'm selling a book to off of Craigslist shows up tonight, before a tea I am attending.
I AM CREATING: Tons of those recycled characters in the previous post! I just love them and really, really enjoy making them!
I AM HEARING: My fingers clicking away on the keyboard, the frightening hum of this laptop and the clock tick-tocking.
AROUND THE HOUSE: A few craft supplies from Joann Fabrics, my winter coat hanging on the back of the kitchen chair and it's pretty dark still..so I can't see much more.
ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS: Getting comments on this blog...so, c'mon... say hello and let me know you're here and link me to your blog, if you blog.
A FEW PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK: A tea at a local church with friends, honkering down with homeschooling, grocery shopping, maybe a homeschool Christmas swimming party...it depends how social I am feeling, a friend of Tommie's on Thursday afternoon, scouts and I think that's it.
HERE'S A PICTURE THOUGHT I'M SHARING: This is what I have on my desktop for a background... what's on your background? Now, don't be shy...leave a comment! smile-wink-nod.

December 07, 2008

The best CHRISTMAS CRAFT ever!


Okay...are you ready for the cutest, cheapest, best, creative-energy buster, and most fun ever... Christmas craft in the whole wide world? The thing with me and crafts is...I need something I can complete in one sitting or I never get around to finishing it!
I found this blog.. which shows and tells about different little characters you can make...drumroll...using empty food boxes!
Yesterday, after taking Tommie to the Christmas Parade...I came home... turned on a predictable Hallmark Christmas movie and honkered down on the living room floor, spread out my supplies of old buttons, scissors, colorful brads, and sharpie marker...and went wild making ornaments! I WISH MY CAMERA WORKED...because I made a few pretty sweet people!!! I used: a SWISS MISS HOT CHOCOLATE BOX, a POP-TART BOX and a CHEF-BOY-ARDEE PIZZA box.
I can't begin to tell you how much fun these were to make... they really came alive and have their own quirky, lovable personalities!!
I didn't include Tommie in this organized craft...he's always snubs his nose at crafts, unless they include a hammer and nails! However, this craft sparked his curiosity... I soon heard him asking for the scissors! He made a giraffe and a turtle and is looking around for pre-package food boxes!
I did have to make a quick trip to Joann Fabrics for some TRENDY, colorful brads... I found them in the scrapbooking department... I was able to print off a stack (yes, a stack) of these
40% coupons to use against it...making the package of brads around a dollar and a half per 50 or 100. If you plan to make these ... I suggest buying different sizes of brads...I didn't and now I have to go back to JF today! CUZ' I'M MAKING MORE OF THESE SWEET THINGS! smile-wink-nod!

December 06, 2008

A HOMESCHOOL WEEK IN REVIEW....



Yesterday, we finished up our week long unit on The Great Fire of London 1666, The Great Plague of London 1665 and King Charles the 2nd. I homemade the unit. And, I use the pronoun, "we"... since my entire family of three- enjoyed it immensely.

I found the used children's book, "The Great Fire," at Goodwill for a quarter. As I had hoped... I was able to use it the Charlotte Mason way... with dictation, narration, silent reading, 30 new spelling words, grammar, 6 new vocabulary words, history, and Internet research (not very CM- but kids today, do need computer skills).

My intent here, is not to sound braggy.. believe me when I tell you...my son is far from being a kid-prodigy... but, rather to give you a glimpse of how successful the Charlotte Mason method can be...if the workbooks and all other methods and curriculum's fail or if you were just spinning your wheels with homeschooling and feeling unfulfilled- like I was. Yes. I was.

Here are a few facts we used in this unit...I thought they were worth sharing:

*The fire started in a bakery on Pudding Street. King Charles' baker's maid forgot to put out the fire in the ovens. She died-trying to put out the fire.

*Many people fled in boats down the Thames River.

*Only 5 people died.

*The lead from St. Paul's Cathedral melted and the people watched it flow down the street. (See picture above).

*The Great Fire destroyed The Great Plague and sanitized the narrow streets of London.

*The Great Plague was caused by all the garbage and human waste, which people put in the streets..rats would get into it..they'd have fleas and infect the people. Some rats would burrow into the thatched roofs of people's homes and infect them that way!

*King Charles the 2nd fled to the countryside-where The Plague was non-existent.

*And, whoa that King Charles... he was one wild-hustling dude. (No, I didn't discuss this with Tommie), but he had 17 or was it 13, illegitimate children. I found this on the internet... keep it in your spandex tights King Charles!


I also found a much more kid-friendly website where Tommie wrote his own (short) on-line/printable mini book...it was unlike anything he had ever done and was a really good experience... click here if you're interested: really good!

Lastly, I used this website for my own use- to teach Tommie about the unit... click here if you're interested in learning more.

Next week, we'll be starting Mark Twains, "The Prince and the Pauper." It wil unfold nicely with what we learned this week.

smile-wink-nod.





December 04, 2008

freebies, deals and my mail carrier!





I just found about this freebie offer... a free cookie cutter! Just click here and fill out the really quick and simple form! I picked the bow cookie cutter. But, I also signed my mom up to receive the snowman! Even if you don't bake or even if you already have similar cookie cutters.... don't you think they'd be cute tied on top of a Christmas gift for a friend or tied to a wedding shower gift? I do.


I did in fact, saunter through big Kmart yesterday. For $3., I bought: 1 box of lotion Kleenex, 1 big box of Tampons, 2 packages of Halls cough drops and a box of Kellogg's cereal and a box of Johnson and Johnson band-aids 30 ct.


The freebie's are starting to flow in our mailbox...but I still think our mail carrier takes what she wants. I just have this sneaky suspicion... I mean, who's to say she didn't stuff my Pillsbury coupon booklet under her floor mat? Ugh...shudder...just what is this world coming to? I guess she didn't want the free sample pack of KOTEX... 5 different products... since she post-menapausal and all. I also received a free coupon for a free bottle of Bob's BBQ sauce and a free "WHAT'S HAPPENING TO THE WHOOPING CRANE POPULATION" dvd...
I did do my part last night, and went out to stimulate the local economy. I started Christmas shopping. It was painless- yet successful. smile-wink-nod.

December 03, 2008

KMART, THE PLAGUE AND SPIFFY SHOES!


I understand,
Kmart is offering double coupons up to $2. until December 6th. This afternoon, you'll find me sauntering through the store with my coupon box and snowboots on...trying to save a buck or two.
This week with homeschooling... we're learning a lot about The Great Fire in London- 1666 and about The Great Plague which was burnt out by The Great Fire. More importantly.... we'll never hear RING AROUND THE ROSEY quite the same way anymore. Did you know that song dates back to THE GREAT PLAGUE ERA? Here's what the orginal RING AROUND THE ROSEY MEANS:
RING AROUND THE ROSEY: If an infected person had pinkish-red rings or blotches in their groin or armpit area (painful) that was a sign of THE PLAGUE.
POCKETFUL OF POSIES: The English used to keep posies of herbs or flowers in their pockets and sniffed them often...they believed THE PLAGUE was spread like a gas in the air.
ACHOO-ACHOO: Sneezing was a major symptom...many died before reaching this stage.
WE ALL FALL DOWN: people died.
The Great Fire of 1666, was started in a bakery on Pudding Street, by a man named Thomas. Tommie doesn't know how the fire started yet..... I've been giving him clues on and off...building his curiosity and excitment... only to be revealed on FRIDAY!
We'll be making a homemade fire extinguisher as well, this afternoon... My digital is acting funky...so I'm not sure I'll be able to get a picture...but I'll try.
P.S. Did you notice that the shoes in the picture above have nothing whatsoever to do with this blog entry? I just thought they were really....__________. Now, it's your turn....You fill in the blank.... leave a comment!
smile, wink, nod.