Monday, October 25, 2010

Hoping to support a GREAT cause that is close to my heart!

Hi all,

Many of you know that I sell Avon.

What you may not know is that Avon is involved in supporting breast cancer awareness. Since this disease has hit so close to home for our family, I thought I'd let each of you know that you can go to my website, click "shopnow" then "fundraising" and you can help support this worthy cause by purchasing one of the great Breast Cancer Crusade items. I hope you will. There are some really cute items like a tennis bracelet and a super cute pendant necklace or one of my favorites, Foot Works Overnight Renewing Foot Cream. The prices are low--great for gift giving!

By the way, I don't earn anything from these sales. 100% of the net profits go to Avon's Breast Cancer Crusade.

I hope y'all will take a minute to look around! Oh, and please share this with anyone who might be interested!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Today is "Get a Referral" day--Do you want to be my friend???

It's the day to make a new friend!!

Click on the sign up tab below and get ready to start using the internet to get free stuff. Just use Swagbucks as you would any other search engine or toolbar and you'll earn Swagbucks which can be turned into my favorite--AMAZON GIFT CARDS.  Also, until 4:00 PDT today, check out the "swag codes" button on my widget (below) to find a code worth 20 swagbucks to get you started! It's fun, it's free, it get you FREE stuff, so why not???

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Resources For Busy, Busy Moms!

I came across a great resource today over at MSM and had to share!!

Motivated Moms is a website that offers daily chore list that inexpensive and look easy to use. They come in different page sizes, so you can easily add them to a planner or post them on your refrigerator, like I plan to do. There are even options with daily Bible reading to help you read through the Bible in one year.

For a limited time, Motivated Moms is offering a 2010 3-month planner for only $2!! AND if you use the code LLNOE, you will get $1 off your order.

Anyway, I thought some of you very busy moms out there may find this helpful. Personally, I can't wait to print mine out and get started!!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The start of our homeschooling adventures

My baby boy turned six this summer!  I cannot believe he's already ready for first grade, but alas, the time has come!

We struggled over whether to enroll him in the local public school or to homeschool him.  In the end, though, we came down on the side of homeschooling.  We had many reasons, but primarily, the level of education he would receive at home versus in the public school setting, and above that, the desire to protect him as long we possibly can from the negative influences found even in our small-town, rural school were the final decision makers.

So began my search to find the "perfect" curriculum.  To my dismay, there are WAY too many choices available to the modern homeschooler!!!  So many choices only served to confuse me and the next "neat" thing that I came across in my search of the internet ended up a distraction rather than a help.  I finally saw that to be able to really make a final decision, I was going to have to decide what was most important to our family, what I thought would work for both Ryan as the student and me as the teacher, and of course, what it would COST.

Along the way, I found a few options that jumped out at me and a few websites that were particularly helpful.  You can check out my sidebar over the next few weeks as I start to add them to my favorite homeschooling sites.

My Father's World is still at the top of my list as a possibility for the future, thought I opted against it this year mostly for budgeting reasons. The whole idea of a unit study is to include all your children, regardless of grade level, in one subject saving your time and promoting family togetherness. MFW is a a great option for history and geography from a biblical standpoint.  It also is a great Bible curriculum.

MathUSee was recommended to me by two friends who have homeschooled their multiple children from the beginning and have seen great results using this curriculum.  Since I have been involved in both teaching and tutoring math in the past, I was leery of choosing mathematics that I am not familiar with, i.e. Saxon Math.  However, after taking an hour and a half to listen to the video introductions, I was highly impressed with the teaching techniques and the concepts presented by MUS.  I'm hoping to be able to use this in the coming years with our boys.

Confessions of a Homeschooler is a blog particularly for parents of preschoolers, but full of great ideas for any homeschooler.  She offers many FREE resources that are easily downloaded right to your computer, as well as link to other free or inexpensive ideas for curriculum and fun activities. Definitely check it out if you are just beginning to get a feel for what is out there!

Robinson Curriculum is another, very different, approach to schooling your children at home.  My husband and I were both impressed with the concept.  When you break homeschooling down to the basics, you get reading, writing, and arithmetic.  That is what RC is all about.  You purchase their set of cd's for a very reasonable cost, and you have all that you need to teach reading and writing to any child from 1-12 grade.  A math curriculum has to be supplemented, as well as the beginning learning to read and write.  They have every book you need for your child to receive an intense, balanced, Christian education. It's simply time spent writing, time spent reading, time spent learning math.  Ideally, your child should be able to work alone most of the time with limited input by you as a teacher.  They learn to learn on their own!

After a couple months of perusing the internet, looking at catalogs, asking lots of questions of my very patient parents and Aunt Michelle (a successful homeschooling mom of 5!) I finally settled with some very basic curriculum that I was already familiar with.  Since I was taught using Abeka, I opted to go with that for our first year, as well as purchasing the Robinson Curriculum to use, or at least supplement, down the road.

At first, I shied away from Abeka simply because it is very intensive, but now that we have been using it a while, I'm finding that the detailed lesson plans actually help me stay focused and know what to DO as a first time homeschooler.  After a couple days of trying to wing it without teacher manuals, I told my mom I had no idea what to actually DO to teach Ryan.  HOW was I supposed to do this thing called homeschooling???  Abeka's teacher manual for homeschoolers has really helped me!! By the way, Ebay is a great place to find Abeka non-consumables at inexpensive prices.

Ryan and I both have been on a roller coaster ride since this school year started, but I think we're finally finding our groove and getting settled in.  He had his first math test last week and aced it!  He was so was actually kinda cute!  Now, he looks forward to Wednesdays because he gets to take another test. :-)

I am finding that above all, homeschooling takes lots of PATIENCE and GRACE and a CONVICTION to see it through.  There are days that I think it would be so much easier to just drive down the road, enroll him in public school, and let someone else take care of teaching him, but that would be the lazy way out.  The good days are beginning to outnumber the bad, and I'm starting to enjoy teaching him more and more.  Seeing him learn to read and have a hunger for learning is awesome!  I hope that my impatient days don't rob him of that joy of learning, but I know that ultimately, my son's future is the Lord's hands--hands much more capable than mine ever could be!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Keeping the faith

Hymns for Kids 
Recently, my friend Jessica, gave me a copy of Hymns for Kids. We have so been enjoying it!  Ryan is constantly asking to sing hymns now and recognizing songs during church services, while Brandon is watching his brother and beginning to try to sing these songs of faith.  For me, it's so calming to have hymns playing throughout the day, especially on those days (seemingly more often, than not!) when things get hectic and chaotic all around me.  
Leaning On the Everlasting Arms
Amazing Grace
Holy, Holy, Holy
Come Thou Fount 
--The words to these, and others, are timely reminders to keep my heart and mind focused on Christ when in the middle of such "mundane" things as home schooling, washing dishes, changing diapers or cleaning up regularly occurring messes. I've learned, often the hard way, that when my eyes are not of the Lord as my All in All, as the only Giver of Grace, that I can only fall and stumble and fail my husband and my children.  My prayer today is that God would give me patience in this task of motherhood and grant me the grace to keep my faith pure before my family.

Sunday, October 03, 2010


I spent an evening last week playing with my camera. It's a talent that I'd love to learn, photography, but I'm not sure when I'll ever have the time to take a class! :-) Anyway, until then, I continue to snap pictures, hoping a few come out nice enough to keep around awhile.

My dear friend, Vivian, who passed away two months ago, would always encourage me to keep trying and keep looking through that lens. I thought about her a lot while I was out there with my roses, trying to capture the beauty in God's creation.

Here are a few of my favorites.

I love how each one is totally unique. Even on the same bush, you won't find two blooms exactly alike. God's handiwork it wonderful!!!