Monday, January 30, 2017

What would you do?

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    Recently a friend had an issue with her middle school daughter who is in Public School. The issue was her daughter never received her message that she needed to go to latchkey due to her cell phone battery dying. So she exited the school and waited for her ride and when it did not come and she was the last one left she tried to get back in the school. Only it was locked... A couple of teachers came to the door and she asked to be let in and was told no that she could not come back in once she exited. Not even to make a phone call. Her daughter in 20 degree weather was outside for over an hour. She was curled in a ball when the mom arrived and sobbing. Mom took her home she was shaking from the cold and continued to shake for a couple hours and ended up sick. The initial call to the principal was not anything short of  I hear your concerns but that is the policy. The next day with a clearer head Mom calls the school back and gets a call back that they will look into it. Now I know that myself having had my son who was sent outside in the cold of February when he had a documented health issue that was life threatening due to cold temperatures was the straw that broke the camels back and the deciding factor for finally pulling him from the school to homeschool. Our homeschool anniversary is coming up on the 10th of February so this is an extremely sensitive subject with me. What would you have done, mind you there have been multiple issues over the last year and half of her daughter being in this school. How would you have handled this and what would you expect to be the reaction of the school in regards to this matter? Do you feel that the policy is warranted? Do you feel it should be changed?

    It scares me to think what could have happened to this girl in this hour that she was alone. God definitely had his hand on her for sure, but it could have ended so differently. What would it take for you to say enough is enough. I know many people felt I over reacted when we pulled both of our boys from the schools but I knew in my heart I did what I needed to do and today that decision is very apparent every day. It is sad that there has to be policies in effect for these types of things because there have been issues that made them necessary. What if you were a teacher and you saw a student out in the cold, crying and all she needed was to call for a ride. Should you be afraid you could lose your job for breaking the rules. Isn't a teacher's #1  priority to protect the students? Would you be able to turn away from a child needing help because of rules?

  As a mother this whole thing makes me mad and feeling that there needs to be changes made so that this type of thing never happens to another student. How can we help to change things to that schools are like they used to be? I grew up with a parent working for the public school system that I went to, the same exact middle school that this happened at was the middle school I went to many moons ago. When I told my Dad the story he was appalled. He could not believe there was such a rule in place and that things had changed so much since he retired a less than 10 years ago. He was sad and outraged. That made me mad too. He loved working for the schools but how they have changed I do not think he would still have those same feelings. I was never anti school until we felt like we were the enemy standing up for our children and trying to advocate for them. Schools should be there to help the student not the bottom line. How do we change this?

  I think ahead to my grandchildren, what will schools be like for them. I shudder at the thought when I hear things like this story that are happening now, what will it be like in 10 more years. When will all the madness stop in this world. I am thankful that for now we only have a few short months left and I for awhile will not have to give schooling another thought but then I think about the future and my grandkids and it makes me sad to think about it. All I can do is Pray.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wordless Wednesday Ready for Valentine's Day

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Getting back to business

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I took a long Hiatus off of working my business, between Grama passing, and the Summer and then moving it was just too much to add to my plate. I did an occasional order by request but usually did not share so that I would not get flooded with more orders. Life is finally feeling normal for the first time in many many months and A friend needed some help with some onesies for gifts so with her help we designed 7 different files for 10 onesies and they turned out adorable and seemed to be just the thing to get my creative juices flowing again. I have missed it but was truly just in a funk of being overwhelmed and full of grief. I am finally feeling like me, and boy does it feel so good. The house is pretty much the way we want it, there are a few boxes still needing unpacking but I work on a few a week and that is ok, they are not out in plain sight and I am not feeling pressured to get to them.

 My craft closet is coming along, and the decor is coming together, I need to get my curtains sewed and my chairs painted and my bench cushion made for the kitchen but I will get to that and I am ok with it the way it is for now. The chairs I think I will wait until spring so I can get outside to sand and paint them anyway.

I am officially signed back up to teach two classes at our co-op in March for the Spring session, I cannot believe Taylor will be finishing up his last two months of school when the session begins. It sure does seem surreal. I did not realize how much I have missed teaching and all of our co-op friends until I filled out my class app and syllabus last week. I am so excited to be teaching a new craft class as well as returning to teach another high school sewing class.

I am excited for the projects I have in mind and cannot wait to see everyone each week.
Here are the onesies Bonnie and I made, they turned out so adorable.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2017

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High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}
  When I started homeschooling I was looking for any and all of the info I could get my hands on, when I stumbled on The Old Schoolhouse Magazine I was sure God had sent me the most wonderful gift. Well let me tell you I still believe that, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has continued to be a blessing to my family with offering me an ability to return to their  Schoolhouse Review Crew, after taking a break last year. The amazement of this company never ceases, they just continue to come up with more and more to help out us homeschool parents.

High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}
     The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is so much more than a magazine, there are many valuable resources on SchoolhouseTeachers.com. For my review I was given a Yearly Membership to help my family along on this our last year of homeschooling. Wow! Every Time I utter that sentence I am still in shock! Last year seems so final. Many of these resources can help you even when you are done with your homeschool journey. Many household helpers as well as all the homeschooling support. You are given daily, weekly, and monthly online content to help bring variety to your homeschool classroom, support to you and your kids and endless learning opportunities.  For the price of a fast food meal or maybe less, you can have access to this wealth of information and fun and learning.
  There are two levels of membership, well three if you count the 30 day trial for only $1. The Silver level plan, is a pay by the month, and right now until January 15th, there is a coupon code to save a couple of dollars per month but you would have to be quick to snag that deal. There is also a gold level plan and that is when you pay for the entire year up front and there is a special savings code until January 15th for that level as well. This is the level that I was lucky to receive. So this is the one I am going to focus on tell you about.

   One of my favorite aspects of the Gold level plan is the ability to create Taylor's transcripts for this year as well as keep track of all of his grades and classes and create a schedule for him. He is now fully independent and this helps to keep both of us on the same page and keep him on target for graduating in May. I cannot begin to tell you how helpful just this one little bit of SchoolhouseTeachers.com is. This saves me both time and frustration and keeps the communication going, if you have teenagers especially boys you have to know how that can be a little frustrating for you both. It is almost like they speak another language sometimes.  There is so much more than that though.

    There is literaly content in every corner of SchoolhouseTeachers.com, every subject and for every age group, K-12 and Moms and Dads too. We have loved doing unit studies in the past and the unit studies offered, they are some of the most fun and complete unit studies we have done over our years of homeschooling. We love lapbooking and there is plenty of that to find within the site as well. Recipes, columns written by and for homeschooling families. Topics for anything you would need to know about, organization, support, recipes, frugality, raising kids with great morals, helping special needs kids, the list goes on and on. One of my absolute favorites, well two actually, the monthly menu with recipes , we tried the Easy Peach Cobbler and it was absolutely delectable and My all time favorite the downloadable Planners. My go to is the Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner. I am a huge planner user I even belong to planner groups where we get together and plan so this is my heaven!! You save so much money just being able to get your planner as part of your membership. There is so much to use and do and see and read I cannot possibly tell you about them all. This is why you need your own membership, you would not want to wonder what you are missing out on!

              So are you ready to see what you and your family are missing out on?  You can visit and see a tour of the site. You can try out your first month of SchoolhouseTeachers.com for just $1. When you are ready to keep getting blessed with more and more, month after month you can continue your membership for only $12.95 a month, soon to be increased to $19.95. I told you it was a great value, and like I said when you continue your membership each month when it renews you will be blessed with many downloadable and printable activities, e-books and other valuable resources. If you want the cream of the crop then you will want to just pay for the whole year up front that is just $139. (Remember though there is a discount code until January 15, 2017 that makes the yearly membership only $99, THAT is a STEAL)
Schoolhouse Teachers Half Price Discount
SchoolhouseTeachers.com's NEW SITE is totally AWESOME!

Beautiful new look, easier to use and over 300+classes and tutorial videos to help you get started.

Join during SchoolhouseTeachers.com's Super Christmas Sale and Save!

Use Code:CHRISTMAS for $9.95/month or CHRISTMASYEAR for $90/year.

50% discount on upcoming price increase ends: 15 January 2017

In mid-January,  SchoolhouseTeachers.com is having a price increase. The promotion is to LOCK IN NOW at the $9.95/month rate so that you save 50% on the NEW prices. In about a week and a half this same monthly service will be $19.95/month--approximately twice as much!
If you are not ready to take the plunge just yet, keep reading I know by the end of this review you will be ready.

   There is another handy area I like to use, this is where you can create lesson plans. I use my own but they have some ready for you to download and use so all the work is done for you. This is so helpful and I wish I would have had this last year, it would have helped out tremendously. There are progress checklists to help mark and keep track of your child's progress throughout the lesson plan. Taylor because he is self sufficient in his schoolwork uses this as a task list and helps keep him on track. It is one of his favorite ways to keep organized.

   Being able to browse by grade helps to keep things simple and easy to find. This helps to not waste time they we know we do not have extra of. I can simply click the tab for browse by grade and then the box drops down and I can click the 12th grade link. There is also a tab to search by subject, there are so many to choose from, one of Taylor's favorites are Computer and Technology, once you click on the category it is then divided into sub categories, for instance, Computer/Technology has the following sub categories or classes if you will.
                                                        1.Experience Video Making
                                                        2. How to use Microsoft Word( I am going to use this one myself)
                                                        3.Internet Entrepreneurship for Teens
                                                        5.SQL Server Beginner Course
                                                        6.Web Game Designer
 Each of the classes per se' are then divided into  lessons  some are video type lessons and others are pdf worksheet style to use on screen or download and print. Taylor has been really enjoying all of the classes that SchoolhouseTeachers.com has to offer, his only complaint was that their foreign language section does not include Japanese but I think it is safe to say that is not the majority's cup of tea.

          You will be able to check back each day. week and month to see fresh, fun, new content. All of the collaborative efforts or the writing team shows in all that comes to the site for us to enjoy. They spend countless efforts and hours to bring us all of this to enjoy. I know there have been many days where I feel stuck in a rut, sometimes even frustrated and ready to throw in the towel and then I am blessed with an inspirational story from one of the writers delivered right to my inbox. I know in my heart that TOS has come to my rescue more than once.

This has helped take a burden off of me, Taylor craves as much learning as he can get his hands on and at this point he is tired of the same old bookwork we have been doing and he is pretty much done with all his required learning but did not want to graduate early. Using SchoolhouseTeachers.com  I did not need to put forth hours of planning, searching for the activities, it was all given to me with my membership and all the work was already done for me, all that was left was for me aTaylor to do was enjoy. Sure doesn't get any easier than that if I do say so myself.  Now I am sure by now you are convinced you just have to sign up? Still not entirely sure? Well be sure to check out that free preview and take advantage of the $1 first month deal.  That is all it will take to convince you that you simply cannot live without SchoolhouseTeachers.com. One month of access and you will be begging for more. You will not know what you did without it. I am sure my fellow crewmates are saying the same thing, but just to be sure you should check out their reviews as well.

High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}
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Friday, January 6, 2017

Weekly Wrap Up!

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  I think I am going to try to post a quick weekly wrap up to touch on the highlights of our week.
Since I use this as our sort of family scrapbook of sorts and have the posts printed into a book each year, I guess I better get on the ball around here.
 One of my resolutions Goals for the year is to blog more regularly now that life seems to be settling down for us. I won't say that too loud as it always seems to change.
                                            1. Christmas wrap up, all the Christmas was put away Thursday and the tree to the curb since it was trash day and we did not want to have it around a whole other week. Time to start the Valentine Decorations, I love decorating for all the holidays and now with a bigger space it is even more fun and I found that I am lacking in the Valentine decorations so I am going to be making some new ones this weekend, starting with a burlap heart wreath. I will be sure to post photos once it is complete. Alyx scored all the new packs of Christmas lights in the photo for 90% off plus his added employee discount so basically $1 a pack. I also got a 4ft. prelit tree for next year for my Disney tree. I haven't had a separate Disney tree since before our garage fire. I feel like I finally have gathered enough to start with a small secondary tree.
I think I may have mentioned previously that I was getting an Air Fryer from my parents for Christmas. To say the kids and I are obsessed with it is an understatement. We have made mozzarella cheese sticks and taquitos and corn dogs up until yesterday but then I got adventurous and we made Air Fried chicken and as you can see by the picture below it turned out perfectly. Pushed the chicken button and 20 minutes later perfect crispy fried chicken. OH MY! Goodness. I am hooked. 

Alyx is changing uniforms for CAP, they are going with the Air Force Camo, ABU. So this means sewing all new patches on the new uniform. Not my favorite thing to do. My favorite question when sewing CAP patches, "Is this correctly crooked?" Good grief, 1/8in rollover and measured this much from this seam and parel 1 inch from this seam. Makes me crazy. But it is all so worth it in the end. Happy Alyx is a happy Momma. The good news is he promoted recently to 1lt. So patches should not need to be changed for at least a couple of months from now when he promotes to Captain. I am so proud of his accomplishments.

That seems to be all the highlights for this week. Have a great weekend and keep warm.

Zonderkidz The Beginner's Bible Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2017

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   When my boys were little the last thing I thought to get them was a Bible, in hindsight I wish I would have had a bible like The Beginner's Bible from ZonderkidZ. Starting the kids off at an early age with their own Bible is a wonderful way to keep them on a strong journey of faith. I was so excited to get the opportunity for this review as I had just received an invitation for a friend's daughter's baby shower that is tomorrow actually. We were requested in place of a card to bring a book dedicated to the new baby boy. What better book to give than THE BOOK, a Bible perfect to start the wee one on his journey towards God. I know I would have cherished a gift like this for my baby shower back 20 years ago.

    The Beginner's Bible selling for $16.99 has been recently updated with beautifully and vibrant new 3D illustrations and is a full book with 512 pages.

 I was simply in awe as I flipped through The Beginner's Bible at the detail of each story of the bible. My favorites that stood out I found were some of the same ones that were my children's favorites when they were younger. The story of Noah is and will always be my all time favorite. The animals are simply adorable in the pages of the story of Noah within this child friendly Bible. I love how they depict Noah with his hands outstretched towards the heavens with the animals relaxing on the grass.

My second favorite story is the story of Jonah and the Whale. These colorful images seem to jump off the page like the whale jumping from the ocean in the story. I love how the illustrations add to the stories themselves. What child would not love to sit down each evening at bedtime for story time with a Bible like this. I could envision my kids as youngsters eagerly awaiting story time if they had The Beginner's Bible in our library back when they were little. 

I feel this is a good choice for any age beginning with baby up to middle elementary school, although the recommended age is 6 and under by the publisher. This can be adapted as the child grows from you reading to them to them beginning to tell you the stories by using the pictures and reciting from memory in their own way. Then as they begin to actually read they can read the easy text that is worded in language that is easy to read and comprehend. You will go through more than 90 stories with your kids. There is also an added curriculum component that is available for purchase as well. This then could be used as Bible time during homeschooling lessons or on the weekend for your child that is in a more traditional school setting. This is a book that will grow with them and hopefully be kept as a treasure to pass down to their own children. Being a hard covered sturdy book it will hold up for many years to come. 
Purchasing The Beginner's Bible from Zonderkidz would be the perfect way to start the New Year off right with your littles. If you are like me and do not have littles in your home anymore, think about purchasing one for the perfect gift, baby shower, baptism, birthday or just because. 

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The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year's Eve Bowling Fun!

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  For the last 3 years I have spent the earlier part of the evening of New Year's Eve with my friends from MOPS and sometimes my boys too. This year was no different except none of the boys went and I went with my good friend Bonnie. We had a much smaller crowd this year but I think we enjoyed it more than years past, It was a new venue, smaller and less chaotic. I have not bowled since last New Year's Eve but still had fun, they did a Mock Toast at 6 pm, with a countdown and hats and blowers and champagne flutes filled with sparkling grape juice. Bonnie and I headed to orange leaf on the way home and used a groupon for a treat of froyo. Then she went home to be with her hubby and I spent the night in with my boys and Dave. Nick had plans with Brenna so he went out for a while. All in all it was a great way to end 2016 and bring in the New Year of 2017.