Friday, July 29, 2011

A Work in Progress: Homeschool Room Organization

Doesn’t this homeschool room look so neat and organized? Yes, it looked this clean for about 2 hours –lol! Last year I had a problem figuring out how to organize our homeschool room. I wrote several posts about how overwhelming it was to figure out how to incorporate everything I needed and make the room function. The photo above was the end result. For the most part it worked well this past year!

This is still one of my favorite organizing tools from last year. It is a magnetic knife holder from IKEA. I would put all the sharper scissors toward the top and the kid scissors at the bottom. All my kids (for the most part) put scissors away! Yeah!

I tell you, I love my Expedit bookshelf from IKEA! Seriously, this wall unit holds so much! On some of the shelves I added the white split-lid boxes from Target to hold craft supplies. On top I purchased bins from Sterilite. I made tags and used a dry-erase marker to write what was in the bins. This worked so well---in fact, I have another Expedit bookshelf on my wish-list.

In-Progress Part:


If you would peek behind that blue couch right now, you’d find this mess. Yep. A mess. Each basket/bag has either curriculum to be planned for this year, curriculum to be put away from last year and other odds and ends. I really have no clue where to put this all—hence my wishing for another Expedit unit. :)

I had high hopes of using this bookshelf for my toddler/preschooler. We hardly used it at all because the floor-length curtain behind it in the picture were usually covering it up. I have moved this unit out in the hall and am reworking the toddler/preschool area. I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing yet.


I turned one of the walls in the hallway into a giant chalkboard. The girls love it (quote from Sally Clarkson.) I’ll post more of my hallway-turned preschool/toddler area once it is finished.

I have quite a bit of work on my hands trying to turn my chaos into completed projects—but it’s not nearly as bad as last year. :)  My biggest problem is where to store works in progress. For instance, where do I put things I’ve printed out but need to be laminated and cut? Or where do I put curriculum that I’m in the process of planning? Right now I have them stored in bags or crates but have no shelf space. I could use some ideas in this area.

You Might Also Like:

My Craft Stash Organization
Preschool Planning: The Art of Winging- It

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Walking


Waaaaa! She’s only 9mo. old! Growing up too fast!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sir Rowan

Sir Rowan

Thanks to the recent heat-wave last week, I actually got a book read!  Sir Rowan is the sixth book in the Knights of Arrethtrae Series by Chuck Black.  I’ve read a couple other books in this series (Sir Quinlan and Sir Dalton) and was looking forward to the final book in the series.

Sir Rowan rose from humble beginnings to become the most popular knight in the kingdom of Cameria. He looses focus and forgets about his pledge to serve the king. After rising to the top, he is double-crossed and left for dead.  At the last moment, he finds out he has an even higher calling and destiny…

What I Thought:

I’ve enjoyed reading all of Chuck Black’s books. Sir Rowan is an allegory of the Last Days and the book of Revelation. He does a pretty good job at creating allegory in the story, but I’m always left wanting more. When I read, I don’t always want the allegory so obvious. At points I could predict what was coming next or why the name was picked because he took it straight from the Bible or just spelled real places backwards. I always am left wanting more character development too. In spite of that, I’m always drawn to his books. He gives me another way to share my faith with my kids. When I read the book, it gets me thinking and reflecting about things in my own life. I think this whole series is a great discussion tool for parents and older kids. There is even a discussion guide included in the back of each book. Boys especially will be drawn to the way Mr. Black describes battle scenes (not gory). All in all, I’d give this book 4 stars out of 5.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free to review through Blogging for Books from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, but was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I never really thought much of owls until this year. When I started planning Lil Pumpkin’s room, I came across so many adorable owl items! Who knew they could be so cute? Her room now has owl bedding from Target and owl wall decals.

This owl-decorating obsession was the perfect thing to incorporate into one of our letter of the week lessons. We read about owls, made some crafts and played some games. One night after coming home from a late-night grocery trip, my oldest daughter and I saw an owl perched on our garage roof. It was so cool to see one up-close —especially since we had been studying about them that week! You can see all that we did over at Totally Tots: Oo is for Owl


For even more Owl-themed ideas, check out all the fun stuff I’ve pinned on my owl board on Pinterest:

Follow Me on Pinterest

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Women of Faith

I went to my first Women of Faith event about 7 years ago. Three friends and I drove 8 hours to attend, and we had high expectations. I was surprised at how it seemed that so many of the speakers spoke words I needed to hear at that moment in my life. My friends and I laughed, cried, and were inspired.

This summer Women of Faith is coming to my neck of the woods but I hesitated signing up due to cost and logistics. I found out Book Sneeze was asking for bloggers to blog the event, so I applied. I figured if God really wanted me there, he’d get me there. Well guess what--- I’ll be blogging the event!   I’m expectant and long for a fresh touch of God’s spirit. I’m already encouraged that He worked out the details. I’m looking forward to hanging out with thousands of women worshiping God. Would you consider joining me?

If you have never heard of Women of Faith, I encourage you to listen to the video posted above. If you’d like to see if there is an event near you, check out the Women of Faith Website.

Women of Faith Imagine


Monday, July 18, 2011

Baby Play: Odds and Ends Bucket


Oh my, I can’t believe how fast Lil Pumpkin is growing! She is 8 1/2 months now, has a bunch of teeth and is getting around quite well. She’s not walking yet but is very close!


I’ve been trying to do some intentional activities with her each day. Lately I’ve been focusing on different ways for her to explore various textures. She loves to crawl on the grass in the backyard.


So I gathered various odds and ends from our toy bin and put them in a bucket. I let her play with them outside.


She clearly had three favorite objects in the bucket. The homemade rattle (a jingle bell in a spice bottle with the lid glued on), the Bristle block, and the red ball from our Melissa and Doug Stacking tower. She is at the fun stage where you can see her learning---I love that! She shook that rattle for the longest time. Then she banged the red ball against the green bowl. And of course, she had to chew on everything!


My 2yr. old saw her sister playing with all these things and decided that was what she wanted to do too. So they both played together. Now any other time when these objects would have been left on the floor, they both wouldn’t have paid any attention to them. But grouping them in a “special” bucket made them seem extra fun. :)


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Thursday, July 14, 2011

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake

Rumor has it that today, July 14th, is Laura Numeroff’s birthday! So in honor of this special occasion I thought I’d share what we’ve done with one of our favorite books of hers--- If You Give a Cat a Cupcake.

catcupcake If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff

Summary: A little girl gives a cat a cupcake, which makes the cat want to add sprinkles. From there a mess occurs and the girl and the cat have several adventures which end up with the cat being reminded of sprinkles and cupcakes. 


We made this cat out of a soup can! Isn’t it cute?


We used the cat along with a cupcake poem. We also used the cat for a counting game.  My daughter would roll a die and then “feed” the cat that amount of cupcakes.

cupcake4 We made our own paper cupcakes.

cupcakecraft1aAnd we made a water color cupcake version.

bakecupcakesWe had our own cupcake birthday party with our favorite cupcake and cookie toy set.

We did some cupcake patterning with cupcake foam stickers and a cupcake pan.

playdough And made some playdough cupcakes too.

We played some of the games and activities from the cupcake unit made by 2 Teaching Mommies.

Of course it would also be the perfect reason to bake and eat your own cupcakes too!  (For birthday printables and ideas check out what we did during my blog birthday bash. There’s a  cupcake and candles game and more!)

You can download the cat craft pattern and cupcake patterns under Letter C.  Harper Collins also has several book activity ideas and other printables on their site that go along with this book.

mouse For more Laura Numeroff book fun, see what Ana from Ingles 360 came up with for the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

Happy Birthday Laura Numeroff!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Cleaning, Decluttering, Decorating—Oh my!

I’ve been a little MIA this summer. I’ll be back on a more regular blogging schedule once fall comes. I’ve been taking the kids to the pool, planning next year’s school, and decluttering my house (though you can’t tell yet—lol!)


I was excited to get this canvas in the mail. I’ve been organizing Lil Pumpkin’s room and created this for her room. Except for the crayon on the walls—it’s looking nice!


I picked up the green lamp at a garage sale and am thrilled at how great it matches the room. I also added the canvas print of the only scrapbook layout I’ve done of Lil Pumpkin so far (poor 6th child!)


This is an 8x10 canvas print from Easy Canvas prints. All I did was convert my 12x12 digital layout into 8x10 format, save as a jpeg and upload. I went with the deeper sides (1.5” gallery wrap) and carried over the pink from the stamp. The site was super easy to navigate. The canvas is wrapped around a wooden frame ready to hang. The colors were just as I originally designed and I appreciate that it is printed on archival quality canvas material. I love how it turned out! Doesn’t it look like real folded paper?  That’s due to the awesome digital products by Anna Aspnes at Designer Digitals. Next time I want to go even bigger –and I have a couple pictures in mind!

So far Lil Pumpkin’s room is the only room that looks pretty good. One off my to-do list--- too many more still to do! :) I’m so thankful for my friend Nony the Slob--- she’s making me appreciate decluttering! I smile every time I read her posts :)

A Slob Comes Clean

If you are interested in turning your photo into wall-art, like Easy Canvas on Facebook for a 50% off of next order AND free shipping!

Disclosure: I was given a free 8x10 canvas for review purposes only. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Nocturnal Animals Sort

Though we’ve been taking it easy this summer, we still are keeping up with our Letter of the Week activities. For Letter N week we learned about naps, night, and nocturnal animals!


You can find this download under Letter N on my ABC printables page. I wrote about all our Letter N activities over on Totally Tots today.  Hop on over there and see our Letter N fun.

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