I have this thing for Jelly Belly jelly beans. 

When I was in junior high school, a favorite weekend activity for me and my gal pals was to have my parents drive us to this certain far-away mall where they sold Jelly Belly beans in bulk. 

Oh yeah. Umm-hmm. Party on!

I still love them, for their intense flavors, 
the way they feel when I reach in the bag, like smooth, sugary pebbles, 
and the way they look so amazing nestled in a vintage glass jar on my window sill.

As I found out yesterday, I have one more reason to love them...
they look beautiful scattered across my black and white tile floor amidst bits of said sparkling vintage glass!



my pet bunny and I sat on the bed for a while 
and made some laundry soap

she stirred diligently
but I took the bowl away to measure out the other ingredients
just in case

despite my carefulness, 
we had a soap spill 
Daddy and I had gritty sheets last night!


Here's the recipe I use: 
1 bar Fels Naptha soap (grated), 1C washing soda, 1C Borax 
here's a website with more recipes using variations of the same ingredients.

and yes, I like it so far!


Wordless Wednesday

Can you guess where we were?

Hint: there's more than meets the eye...


WARNING!!! I am freaking out!

Here's the deal: So everyone knows that I homeschool, right? And we love it. Well, not just love it, we WUVVVVV it! We adore it! We wallow in the bliss it has created for our family! We look at other families that send their kids to school and shake our heads in amazement.

This does not mean, however, that "life's the bubbles" around here! It's time, right N.O.W. for me to start school again. My kids are rangy and bored, picking their noses, picking each others noses, laying half naked on the floor with glassy-eyed stares and their feet in the air, and an assortment of other activities that come to mind when they are otherwise unoccupied.

So, right N.O.W., in the middle of July, I need to start my school year. I know some folks think we're lunatics for even homeschooling in the first place, and I'm sure this just notches us up one on their weirdness list but trust me, it's really the best thing.  Remember your Grannie shaking her finger at you and your mud-encrusted siblings and saying, "Idle hands are the devil's playground?" Mm hmm! She was right!

Here's the part where I freak out. WHAT on EARTH am I going to TEACH them this time around? Oh yes, I have curriculum lined up, neat and tidy on my bookshelves, ready to go. I have Math, Language Arts, Literature, History, Science, and a barrage of other impressive-sounding subjects standing at the ready.

But how do I know it's the right thing? Is it enough? Is it OK to only read from the history book and never do a backyard archeological dig with household items and an old toothbrush? Is it OK if Benji just can't seem to figure out that cat and cent are both spelled with a C? What if Alec really hates reading again and suddenly becomes illiterate? Maybe Ava will see Alec pouting about math and decide she hates math too before she's even given it a try! And, here's a good one, what if one morning I just wake up and FORGET TO TEACH THEM?!

OK, enough already. Maybe all those things will happen. Well, except for me forgetting to teach them (Ha!) Maybe one day when Alec is 20 and in college he will look back and say, "Gee, Mom, I wish you had taught us Tibetan throat singing instead of taking us to the zoo!" Maybe. But probably not.

I think the reality is this: We are one hundred and ten percent certain that homeschooling is God's will for our family. We have seen the fruit of our choice to follow His will already, in the 12 short months that we've been at it. We will continue to plod along, day after day, in the path He's laid out for us, for better or worse.

I will continue to step on Legos and slip in pee on the bathroom floor because I'm not good at enforcing the chore chart. The boys will continue to magically disappear from the table if the phone rings during math, and Ava will still have an inescapable need to change clothes 14 times during reading.

I will probably always wonder if I've made the right curriculum choices, and if skipping that backyard archeological dig is harming them for life. I'll squirm a bit every time I read another homeschooling blog that is written by Super Mom, and squirm even more when I attend our yearly homeschool conference and listen to Mr. and Mrs. Perfect share humbly about what has worked for their little family of 12.

I may always freak out about WHAT I'm teaching them, but I will never freak out about HOW I'm teaching them.  That is, after all, truly what home education is all about.  It's about giving our little darlings a fierce thirst for knowledge and teaching them how to quench it on their own. It's about teaching them to be independent, self-motivated individuals, who can think for themselves, and make wise steps.

More than that, for us, it's about discipling our children. Earning their trust and holding their hearts so we can instruct them in the ways of the Lord and teach them to follow HIM, above academia, above sports, above career, above prosperity, above any other earthly thing.

And that knowledge, my friends, is my Valium!  So here's to another year of home education, another year of playing hookey, learning in the grocery store, reading in our pajamas, and always wondering...


little chefs

In the other room I hear...

Alec: Hey guys, wanna play sushi?

Benji/Ava: YEAH!!!

giggle, giggle, giggle, huff, puff, thump thump, giggle

Ava: MOM! Come look at our sushi!

I go in and Alec proudly waves at Benji, symmetrically ensconced in blankets and pillows, and says: Look! Benji is the fish filling and these pillows are the rice and seaweed!

Then, in response to some soundless command, Ava joins Alec in rolling Benji and his rice up in a tight wad and Alec shouts, THEN WE EAT HIM!

Benji writhes on the floor in hysterical giggles as his siblings dine on the delectable appetizer they've created...


Handmade pt. 11

I have recently seen several tutorials for a shirred summer dress made with 
elastic thread in the bobbin of your sewing machine.  
They looked so cute, I just had to try it.

What the tutorials failed to mention, however, is that if you have a 
newer machine with a drop in bobbin 
(instead of a front load bobbin), 
this is, technically speaking, and impossible project to complete.

No way was I giving up, though, and after about an hour of research and lots of wasted elastic, 
I finally figured out how to make it work! 

I had bought some grass green cotton knit to make the dress out of, 
but when I started to have the problems with the shirring,
I ended up using something I already had.

Since it was sew easy and looks sew cute and sew comfy...
I'm thinking of making matching "momma and me" dresses...
cheesy? Maybe. 
The look on Ava's face when I show her? Priceless.


How to have a fun vacation!

definitely pay attention to this one!

we don't know much about this state except they have nice rest stops and delicious cheese!

you must stop and get gas at every Sinclair station so your kids can pet the cute dinos

I can't recommend this because we didn't stay here, but I might consider it because of their fabulous sign!

if you are missing Taco Bell, this will do, but plan on spending a tad more

thanks goodness this was free! don't waste your time here!

can you read it? take their advice, but do miss out on the scary dinosaur if you have children 3 or under!

go here if you like Wild West History (and saloons!)

go here if you like Presidential History, but be ready to fork over lots of money to park your car!

read this forgotten document while you are there, and remember what it says!

don't take your kids in here...

if you take your kids in here, lock the door!

keep your camera ready for more of these rockin' hotel signs!

and don't cause an accident when you stop for one of these!

spend some time here if you want to cry on the way home...

but stop here if you need a distraction before you get there

and take your daughters here if you want to see them smile!


Wordless Wednesday


one, two, three, FOURth!

small town parades are nice

with farm equipment on display

military trucks on a peaceful mission

and the pride of patriotism swelling.
::  ::  ::  ::  

at night, the town wakes up again

with a wave of a magic wand

and a flash from a sparkler

we end the night with a slam bang finish!


no reason

except to say that it's HOT, 

we have no central air, 

I'm sick of taking the kids to the pool, 


if we sit 




 in our living room on the couch, 

with our arms and legs akimbo 

and the ceiling fan on high

it's almost bearable!!!

  © Blogger template 'Morning Drink' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP