Friday, December 30, 2011

Character Study Introduction


I really felt convicted yesterday that we need to start doing a Character Study with the kids. (I have wanted to teach them for a couple years... but no more excuses! We only get one shot at this parenting business!)

I'm sort-of piecing together some resources. We are starting with the Humility packet to kick off the first few days of the year. It seemed to be the best trait to start on around here. I'm really excited! Here is the link to the packet on the Confessions of a Homeschooler website. (she has 10 of these packets, which I immediately downloaded like a pack rat just in case I wouldn't find them when I finally was ready to teach them. ("Humility" does not mean to humiliate oneself or others - these are very positive studies!! Its Christian-ese for "Not having a big head" These cite Bible verses and such, but I strongly feel that these are useful even if you prefer not to use the scripture. These do a very good job of explaining complex, important values that anyone with good character possesses) .

I'm looking forward to our whole family learning these - not just the kids :)

Oh, and please post a comment if you want me to blog about this - It may help me stay accountable to doing this and would love to share what I'm doing and be encouraged by you all.

If there is interest in my blogging about it, I will try to keep it updated about same-time from when I'm teaching it. I know sharing would be a good source to those in Internetville, but I don't want to invest the time right now if it is not helping someone *right now*

(I'm one week into recovering from shoulder surgery and typing is an issue the way it is! For that reason, and obvious energy restraints from therapy and healing and trying to keep the house in order-ish I just can't spend time polishing posts and creating flow right now. Sorry!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Please consider supporting Lydia

Lydia lives in China. She is severely disabled because of a fire when she was young. She was abandoned by her family because of this. In China, if you are disabled, you have NO opportunities. Lydia has taken up cross-stiching to try to support herself. Please check out/share this website and see what she can do and consider supporting her.

I will post a permanent link to her store on my side bar as well. Can you imagine living her life? This was not her fault.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Money Saving Tips

Ways to save some money (mostly grocery related) and and (yes - way down on the bottom where it says "grocery coupons" in the text) are printable coupon websites that you don't have to pay for (besides the ink and paper). Do not photocopy these coupons as that would be fraud, but usually the system lets you print two. You can pair the Target coupons with the manufacturer coupons you get from the first two websites or the inserts in the Sunday paper.

-look in your grocery ad (usually available online at the grocery store website OR delivered in that free weekly "shopper" paper that everyone ignores) and find the best deals (and look on those products' websites for more printable coupons!)

-where I live, the Star Tribune is the best newspaper as far as coupon inserts go, (so check to make sure it has the coupons in it before buying it) and pick one-or two- up!

-a great resource was mentioned tonight: Fare for All. I don't know how extensive this program is but you pay ahead and get to bring home a box of food on pick-up day that is worth MUCH more than you paid. Look into farmers markets and, if needed, a food shelf to make your grocery budget ends meet. Not sure how to cook it? try - you can punch in the ingredient and it will pull up different recipes that use that ingredient.

-with holiday cooking coming up, this might be useful. Cash Wise Foods has a bulk section in the back of their Natural Foods department... so if you never buy rolled oats but need one cup for a recipe or need 1 teaspoon of cloves, this is the place to go! The costs per ounce/pound may cost more than the pre-packaged, but you are only buying what you will use, so therefore, saving money. A lot of it is fresher and organic, to boot! (most herbs/spices in bulk will cost well under .25 for a teaspoon-tablespoon.

-great coupon websites are: and I'll admit, they are quite intimidating at first as to where to start, I'll tell you that, but once you have figured out your way around, you can find a coupon database that tells you if there are coupons out there for certain products (and how to get them), store ads with the coupon matchups are posted, and there are forums for printable coupons and freebies you can request from the manufacturer (which usually come with more coupons!)

-Shopping online?  I posted my method on the sidebar because I wanted people to reference it easily, and I'm always tweaking my method - so take a look!  There is a lot of money to be saved when shopping online!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Our Thankfulness Tree

This year we made a Thankfulness Tree in the month of November.  We gathered up some sticks from our backyard and arranged them in an old Mason jar.  I cut out the leaves on my Silhouette.   I printed this thankfulness art from this website for in the jar.  I kept it simple.  I left the blank leaves a the base of the "tree" contained in an upside-down lid and kept a fine-point Sharpie right next to it.    We had a tradition of doing our Thankfulness tree during mealtime (hence lots of meal-related items from some people).  I got a kick out of what each person chose.  The theme you find in each persons' list shows a lot about their personality and age.  I tried not to discourage any suggestions, just merely intentionally duplicating our previous answers.  But we all had duplicates.  This was so much fun!  We may not wait till next November to do our next Thankfulness Tree.

I'll let the answers do the rest of the speaking...

Our 6-year-old daughter:
Dirty dishes (because otherwise the table would get very dirty at mealtime)
Food (twice!)
For a sister
Lights (twice!)
Our house
Raising hands
Sending my OCC box (Operation Christmas Child)
That I had a good birthday (twice!)
That Jesus died on the cross
That we have the freedom to do OCC
Wasn’t sick on first day of school

Our 9-year-old daughter:
A dog
A piano teacher
Army and Navy
Aunts and uncles
For having my ears pierced
Go Fish Guys
Jesus, for coming
Our garden
The Bible

My husband:
Bed with mattresses
Bible Study group
Cars, for traveling
Church family (twice!)
Garage cleaning
Happy family
Having a job
Jesus, my Lord and Savior
[our 6 and 9 year old daughters]
Means and gifts to help others
Progress on basement
Season changes
Skills God has given us
Warm home
Warm home on cold winter nights
Weekends with family (twice!)
Working from home

A gracious God
Family Traditions J
For [our 6-year old]
For Daddy
For [our 9-year-old]
God provided enough for us to give to others
My creativity
Operation Christmas Child
Our garden
Our good friends
Reliable vehicles
Supportive friends
That Auntie Robin’s sister had a healthy baby
That Daddy works so hard for our family
That I could be a SAHM
That I found Boggle at the thrift store
That my kids are happy and healthy
That the Gyro meat was on sale!
That this generation of young people know what a true hero is
The Bible
The snow
Torn-up French toast

One last Thankfulness item from me - that my daughter read the leaves to me so I could make this list faster!