Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Making my New Year better.

A few weeks ago, Family Christian Stores sent me a couple of appreciation certificates to buy some things in their store, in exchange for me telling them (and you) how I was going to use products from their company to make my New Year better.  I was thinking about what to write about, went to the website and found out that they sell craft supplies!!!!  Excitement!   I responded saying that I would buy supplies to do art journaling.  In the meantime, while shopping online I also found out that they sell yarn.  Joy!  I held on to the certificates for a little while, shopping off and on when I got a chance on the website and then finally (it was like 3 or 4 whole DAYS!), got to go to the store.  

In the store, I picked up a new bible, which is awesome and I needed a new one for the art journaling.  The store was nice and I saw a lot of things that I really liked.  I bought a few Christmas presents.

 I got some really good deals on some Christmas music and impulsively bought this cute little ornament.

I didn't find the crafty goodness though.  Turns out, they have so incredibly much on their website, it just won't fit in a normal sized store.  So off to the website I went again.  I found yarn !  There are good prices too, competitive prices.  I spend a lot of time in the yarn aisle of some major craft store chains, so I know.  I put some wonderful 100% wool yarn in my cart.  :-)

Then off I went to look at markers and paint.  Fun!!!  If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that I've been doing a lot of art journaling and that I draw and color a bunch of flowers and trees and consequently, go through a TON of green markers.  I have been looking, for nearly a year, for a reasonably priced package of all green markers and guess what, I found it!  Six various shades of green for 11:99.  They are the alcohol based markers which are similar to the very expensive Copic markers.  I got these and have been using them on pretty much every page I have made lately.  They are awesome!

So, to summarize, in my quest to make my new year better, I went to Family Christian, got free shipping to the store, got a new cool bible (!), new yarn (!), new markers (!) and 100% of the profits went to help widows and orphans in need.   One of the days I was shopping was during the week that they were sending 100% of the profits to a charity that works in the Dominican Republic to house and free young girls who are victims of human trafficking, which means, that I am not only making my own new year better with my crafting therapy, I made someone else's new year better as well!  Here's the afghan I'm making with the wool yarn ... it's wonderfully soft and warm.

And here are some new art journal pages featuring the new greens cause no matter what colors I choose for the flowers, the leaves are pretty much always green.  :-)

Something else I kind of want to make my new year better is this Blessing Jar   This picture has been going around Facebook and I think this one from Family Christian is way cuter. In case you don't open the link, it's white ceramic and on the side it says Count Your Blessings.  I do think that making a point to focus on the good is what makes life bearable during the hard times and helping others is just about the best thing ever so my experiences shopping at Family Christian this season have been a win-win.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I realized I haven't shared any art journal pages lately.

So here ya go.  I have been very into the big red and pink flowers lately, not sure why.  I mainly just do this for therapy, so I just do whatever I am in the mood to do.  There for a while, I started to think about selling them and tried to make them frame-worthy, but that was not as therapeutic or fun so I quit doing that and went back to drawing whatever pleases me in that moment.  I am not sure what I am going to do with the piles of art, but I may start handing them out on a street corner at some point.  :-P

Monday, December 29, 2014

The recovery process.

Holidays can be wonderful, but holidays can be stressful.  This one was okay, stress-wise.  Last year was the one where I had to let go of having Christmas in my mom's house on Christmas eve because last year was the first time she wasn't living at home.   This year, I was more used to the idea.  I still don't like it, but I know that she just can't live at home and at least now she is in a very nice place and is not miserable like she was last Christmas.  One of the workers where she is now asked me one time how I was and I said "It depends on how mom is." and it's true.  She's happier this year, so I'm happier this year.  We had a lot of trouble getting together with mom and my brother, because if we bring her out to my house, someone is in the car for 4 hours, going to get her and taking her back and she gets very stressed when she has to leave and go back.  Luckily we were able to get the activities room at her center for a small party and we were able to time it around everyone else's celebrations to some degree.  It took a lot of calling and maneuvering to get it between my husband's family, my brother's girlfriend's ex-husband's family (I'm not kidding!) and my brother's girlfriend's celebration with her kids, but it worked out.  It was a little rushed.  I had to get up at 5:30 and work, then have our small Christmas celebration at home, then go to my brother-in-law's house for breakfast and celebrating, then rush off to mom's center for that celebration, then home, more work and then I fell into bed about 8:00 p.m.  I tell you, it's kind of funny how the family celebrations are like dominoes, one family has to change their regular time and all the other parties have to shift to try and match it.  Maybe it's more like a puzzle, or to be more poetic, a beautiful mosaic of family celebrations, interlinked ... no that's back to a puzzle, isn't it?  Oh well.

  The gift I'm proudest of this year is this photo blanket I ordered for my mom. My daughter picked out the pictures and my mom loved it.
Now it's all over but the washing of the (many) dishes and the cleaning of the house!  It's pretty much a wreck!  I'd show you pictures of that, but I am ashamed.  :-)

Friday, December 26, 2014

A few pictures from Christmas.

The nativity set miraculously righted itself in the middle of the night Christmas eve.  The wise men found their way from the kitchen and Joseph and the mule were rescued from behind the entertainment centere.

Freckles got a big bone for Christmas.

At one point my tablet became a toddler-cam and my 2 year old niece snapped a picture of my son's foot and my daughter's new boots.  :-)

I don't really share pictures of  the kids on my blog and I don't want to share pics of family members without their permission, so this is all I have.  It was a good Christmas, for the new normal, with mom living in a facility.  We went to see her and had a small quiet party there.  The kids got gift cards from my brother so today we went and spent some of them which was fun.  :-)  I had to work the whole week, up to and including Christmas day, today and tomorrow.  We've got one more family party to go to and then it will be over.  :-(  It goes so quickly, once it finally starts!  

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Full day.

We had a great party with the homeschool group. (I love those people), then I brought the kids home, threw some soup in the crock pot and headed to see Mom.  I got caught in traffic and it took about an hour and 20 minutes to get there but I did eventually get there and we had a good visit, right up until the end, when she thought she was coming home with me.  :-(  Sometimes it's very sad. While I was gone, my youngest son was working on his writing for homeschool .... I guess they forgot that when big brother is home, there is no school?  Whoops, maybe I should have mentioned that?!  Now that I am home, I'm going to watch some TV, do some art journaling and take a break.  I feel that I have earned it!

Sunday, December 21, 2014


My son is home.  We've got Christmas events tonight and tomorrow and then a break before more Christmas events starting Wednesday and going into the weekend.  Tonight we have the Christmas play at church which is always pretty nice.  Then tomorrow, we have the homeschool party, we're going to see Mom on Tuesday, then Wednesday, Christmas Eve, I am not sure what we are going to do, then Christmas day family all day, then Friday and Saturday a break, then Sunday another Christmas party.  Then I suppose we'll go kind of back to normal, but there is always a kind of a slow week after Christmas.  Christmas has changed in the last few years, with my Dad passing away, Mom moving into the assisted living and my son going to school in another state but even though it has changed, it's still Christmas and I intend to enjoy it as much as possible.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Okay, now maybe.

I think the Christmas shopping is done.  There is still a small chance that I have forgotten something or someone and there is one thing that I need to take back.  Otherwise, it's done.  I found out yesterday from my oldest son that he's going to come home tomorrow!  I'm very excited.  I got it in my head somehow that he wasn't going to be out of class until the 22nd, but he's already out and is coming home.  Also, we may be able to have our family Christmas party at mom's assisted living facility, which I think would be good.  Because she lives an hour away, it's very difficult to do these kinds of celebrations.  If one person does the transporting, back and forth, that person ends up spending 4 hours in the car, so not fun.  Anyway, we may be able to go there, bring our soup and snacks and have a little party in the activities room.  It's difficult going through the change of mom not living in her house, but we are trying to make the best of it.  I think maybe this year is a little easier than last year, though I have been pretty emotional.

I'm sorry this blog is almost never about homeschooling anymore.  We are still homeschooling.  My son is doing his work, although last night, we bribed him to make chocolate chip cookies by giving him writing off, which means he didn't have to do writing last night.  He was motivated, we were happy and we got chocolate chip cookies warm from the oven.  Of course at some point, he will have to do that writing, but I guess he is willing to deal with it later.  :-)  

Anyway, shopping is done.  This is the last day of homeschool for the 16-year-old and I think maybe I can settle down and relax and enjoy the season a little bit.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Make a list, checking it twice.

At least.  Yes, I am late with the Christmas shopping, even for me, this year.  I don't know.  I just can't get in the Christmas spirit, I just can't seem to get with it. I'm taking baby steps.  I think it's very hard once your kids get to be young adults.   My husband thinks that my habit of rewriting the list over and over is silly, but it's what works for me. I keep the original list, so I can go over and look at it again, but once it has been marked through and notes made, I feel the need to make a neater, cleaner, more streamlined list. Also, computerized lists won't do. It must be on paper. I don't know why, it just does. So first I need to make a list, then I need to go shopping and get as much of it as I can, then I need to make a new, fresh list, but keep the old one for reference, then I repeat the process, usually 3 or 4 times.

And yes, after a few times, I do get this kind of crazy look in my eyes!  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Going shopping today!

Family Christian Coupon  They have a coupon today for 30% off your entire order and I am headed there now to do some shopping.  Remember it's a total nonprofit store with ALL of the profits going to help widows and orphans.   With every purchase, I get rewards that I can spend later or donate.  :-)

They have this lego-compatible Nativity Building Block set that is compatible with all the major building blocks and it is so stinking cute!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

So much to do!

I'm pretty sure I can get it done, but not totally sure.  :-)  I have Christmas shopping, picture uploading, custom art journaling, housekeeping, cooking and a lot of other things to do.  I hope that I can get them all done.  We had a small craft sale yesterday and I do mean small.  My friend and I went and tried to sell our wares she makes wreaths and quilted things and my art journal pages.  I made 4 dollars, - the booth space rental of 10, so -6 dollars, but that's okay.  I had a good time and I got to spend time with two of my bestest friends.  My daughter got up with a sore throat and so did not go, which was kind of weird.   The fact that I was there after work yesterday and came home pretty tired, means the house is a wreck and I have all this other stuff to do.  We'll see how it goes!  I have a list today and I am going to start trying to check things off.  Meanwhile, I will share some pictures.

The wise men are traveling through the house as they do each year.

A very complicated knitting pattern my daughter is working on.  It goes on for at least 6 pages

My mom and her sister.

Another Christmas tree shot.  I just can't resist the tree.  :-)  

What Piper did to our new welcome mat.  She made it an unwelcome mat, my youngest says.  

My Christmas cactus, a gift from my son's girlfriend, during her visit.  It's beautiful.  I have been enjoying it. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Okay, getting started.

I do the same thing every single year.  It's ridiculous!  I don't do any Christmas shopping at the first part of December.  Instead, I panic and gripe and worry about it.

 Then I spend a couple of days writing a list, a few days shopping frantically on-line and in stores and then I think I'm done.

Then, realize that I'm not done and scramble to get a couple more things!

and then, after the shopping is done, I'm ready to start enjoying Christmas. 

Right now, I'm between stage 1 and 2.  I've begun shopping, but I'm not done.  People who live with me, should beware.  :-P

Family Christian is having doorbusters now through Christmas.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I really need to find another way to make a living.

Some days my job is okay and other days it is just awful.  Today, for some reason, it is really getting on my nerves.  I had to do a training session this morning and that's probably the reason.  Things like that just annoy me to no end.  I realize that the company has to train me, but listening to a 20 minute explanation of the new pay guidelines just is not my idea of fun.  I think I could have read and understood it in about 10 seconds, and that's probably why.   I just don't have any patience with anything and I thought as I got older that would get better and in some ways it has ... but in other ways, it's worse.

Anyway, I need to just get it done and then get on with my afternoon.  I have a LOT of Christmas shopping to do.  I am thinking of trying to make a deal with my husband wherein he shops for our sons, buying the electronic gadgety stuff and I shop for everyone else.  I think that sounds reasonable and doable for both of us.  We'd better get on it though, the library books we checked out yesterday are due on December 23rd!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Well, we started Christmas shopping.

We went to the mall and found some things for my daughter.  She's at that age where she needs to pick things out.  She's been at that age since she was 2, but I digress.  :-)  Anyway, we found some very nice boots, some jeans and a sweater that no matter how much she begs, she is not going to get before Christmas.  For the youngest, we looked for a new jacket since his old one has gotten too short for him, but no luck.  Everyone in my family has long arms except me.  They now make fun of me and say that I'm like T-Rex.  :-)

Anyway, we did begin.  Still no progress on the boys but I do have an idea for the oldest now, so that's something.  Since I am off work today I might go online and do some ordering!  I'll feel better when it is done.

As for the picture above, this is what the sky looked like over the mall yesterday when we were shopping.  I thought the mothership was coming back for me!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Christmas is barreling down towards us.

A borax crystal snowflake from very early in our home schooling journey.
 you all ready?  I'm sure not.  I do, however, have a couple of ideas since I've been thinking about what to get the kids this year.  The youngest, whose attitude towards Christmas is embodied in this song by Matthew West, Come on Christmas! has of course already typed up a list.  The other 2, not so much.  My daughter just says that she does not know and my oldest son, in Mississippi, communicates by sending smiles through Facebook when I ask him about it, but has not given me one suggestion.  I did think of a couple of things throughout the day and I will run them  by my husband later on, when I talk him into doing all the shopping   we start discussing Christmas shopping (which we really should do soon!!)

Today I had the second ladies luncheon of the season, with some of my friends from church.  We had a nice, low key, kind of time.  It makes it feel like it really is coming when you start to do these annual traditions and it makes it hard for even me to ignore.   I'd better get ready, cause it's coming!

Friday, December 05, 2014

One of the best

This is one of the best articles on homeschooling I've ever read.  Go read it, especially if your kids are still little.  :-)

While I share an unrelated picture ... :-)

Have a great day!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Spelling woes.

I am having some difficulty trying to figure out a painless way to teach my homeschooling 16 year old how to spell.  He's so smart and he loves to just read and absorb information that with any other subject, I can just hand him a book and off he goes.  Spelling is different.  Spelling is one of his glitches.  (The other one is handwriting).   I think he would do well with learning the etymology (word origins)  of the words to see why it is spelled the way it is.  I thought that The Logic of English would be a good fit for him, but he finds it mind-numbingly dry, at least the way the lessons are presented on Youtube. We may just have to just accept that it is going to be kind of painful or kind of mind-numbing and go with it, but meanwhile, I am looking at etymology as a key to spelling because he's fascinated with word origins.  I found a couple of really cool videos here  but only a couple, not one for each of the word families.  I am open to suggestions!


Has anyone tried English from the Roots Up?


Related Posts with Thumbnails