Category Archives: family of five

31 Days of Creative Homeschooling: Currently


wishing the Cards had had a better outcome this year. Looking forward to next!

listening to Issues Etc.

finishing Emily of New Moon.

wearing Ike & Co earrings.

making meal plans for the week.

sharing a blog you should be reading! Lots of great book reviews & lists.

going to read Let’s All Be Brave by Annie Downs.

learning my limits.

deciding we need an art day soon! Usually we have art Thursday afternoon but the last few Thursdays have been very busy. I’m definitely ready to do an autumn project with the kids.

heading into the homes stretch with our homeschool. It seems impossible that they will all be done in 5 years.

appreciating the ages of my children. My father is in the hospital right now & they are doing their schoolwork independently while I sit with him.

looking forward to the holiday season, celebrating with, cooking, treating & caring for my family.

enjoying a few quiet minutes while my dad rests.

feeling grateful for so many praying friends.

loving on my family.

knowing the Lord knows all things & is in control.

laughing with my folks over silly things.

thinking about choices I need to make.

fighting a very old and bad habit of making poor food choices.

saying lots of prayers.

feeling loved.



Filed under attitute of grattitute, faith, family of five, homeschooling

31 Days of Creative Homeschooling: Dear Mama


Dear Mama,
You aren’t perfect, you know that I’m sure. And dear mama, you surely have some relief in knowing that you’re not perfect and you give yourself some grace when you make mistakes. I hear you! I know how frustrating it is, this daily battle with self.
Dear mama, I want to take a moment and remind you that as you cannot make yourself perfect, you cannot make your children perfect. Take a breath and listen,

You Cannot Make Your Children Perfect.

You can gently lead, train, pray for and guide them. You can use kind words and show love, you can tenderly correct them. But dear mama, in no way can you make them perfect. No lists, no charts, no punishment, no scripture memory, no perfect curriculum, no amount of chores, no scrubbing the floors or walls, no tears, harsh words, arm jerks, face smacks…. none of it will make your children wise up and be perfectly obedient.
Just as you and I struggle daily with our own sinful nature our children struggle with theirs.
I’m not saying that order and expectations can’t help you in training up your children, please understand that. But I am saying that in the training you want to have a Relationship and in a relationship you need to have trust. If you are so worried about how your children behave or obey that you are destroying their trust then you will endure rough waters.
Jesus Christ gives us the gift of perfection in His death and resurrection, until He returns we will struggle repeatedly with our own sinful nature and with our children’s sinful nature. The Lord works through us as mothers and we have to remember that He will equip us. We have to remember to seek Him in our parenting decisions, not the standards & expectations of this world.

Robert Frost once said, “In just three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life. It goes on.”

My three words ~


They are words that I think are important to hear, words that sum up my day and words to inspire. They are the words of advice I give to new moms.
Perhaps that advice seems obvious, yet I have seen moms get so caught up in what they are supposed to teach their children, they forget to love them. Moms (and dads) focused on training up their children, on what punishments fit what behaviors, what schooling is the best, what will put their child on top, what will fulfill their needs. (whose? the mom’s needs or the child’s needs?)
I have a friend who has one of the most gentle personalities. She is funny, witty, intelligent, loving, passionate, and kind. She’s human, I’m pretty sure of that, but I’ve never seen her raise a voice or hand to her children.
I had to ask one day, how? How do you do this? Don’t you get angry? Is there ever a time when they make you crazy?
Her answer was a resounding yes, certainly. (Ah ha, she is human!)
But she was once reminded that her children are a precious thing.
She was reminded by her tearful toddler after a spanking.
“But mama, why did you spank me? I’m a precious thing.”
That was the one and only spanking in her home. There is no screaming at the children either. Their home is a place of peace, Christ, love, & creativity.
She has never corrected me when I was angry with my children, never shook her head or looked disappointed by my frustration. But quietly witnessed to me when I asked.
And reminded me


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Filed under faith, family of five, homeschooling, it's about the momma, parenting

31 Days of Creative Homeschooling: Artist to Artist project

One day when our Artist to Artist group met back in 2009, we took inspiration from books by Leo Lionni.
artist to artist

The younger set of kids really took to the chameleon story, A Color of His Own. I made a stencil out of cardboard ahead of time so they could sponge paint their own chameleons.
more Leo Lionni inspiration

As soon as Grace & I saw the marbled illustrations in Pezzettino and Mr. McMouse we wanted to try that out!!

It ended up being super easy.
1 cup starch
1/4 tsp. alum
drops of acrylic paint
copy paper

mix the liquid starch and alum, then add the drops of paint. The first photo shows one of our artist swirling the colors.
It’s best to have at least one dark color with your lighter colors.
Swirl them around with a wooden skewer, comb, feather, or tip of a knife.
Then lay your paper on the surface of the starch for just a few seconds then rinse under running tap water.
Marbleized paper
Let them dry for 2 hours.

One idea for the prepped paper is to cut out letters:
marbleized results
We will use the other marbleized pages to accent other pictures inspired by Leo Lionni!

from the class~

Frederick inspsiration

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31 Days of Creative Homeschooling: Artist to Artist

***Today we are visiting one of our projects from 2009:

the best stuff
Originally uploaded by hsmom2luge

The kids’ art group started nearly 10 months ago with the book artist to artist. We meet Tuesdays and “visited” nearly all of the artist in the book. You can see some of the results and books we explored here.
We finished the book and even held a gallery showing last month. Friends and family stopped by to admire everyone’s art. That was a blast, the little kids played downstairs, the older kids all piled into Grace’s room and adults gathered in the living room and kitchen. Loads of laughter, snacks and genuine apprecation of the kids’ work filled our home.
We decided to continue through the summer, meeting every other week. Now we are delving into many different styles of art.
We’ve done glue batik ~
more toucans
glue batik
This weeks feature artist is Grace!
They began working on a mixed media piece with this as inspiration , created by Grace in 2007.
the older kids started sorting through catalogs (mostly Magic Cabin)
to find a common theme (like “summer” in Grace’s example above), cut out three pictures, and then draw around them.
art group continues
Next time we met they will prep the foam board with acrylics and
decide what they can add to give their piece dimension. (like the shells) It will probably end up being a three week project.

***The Artist to Artist group was so much fun! We have done many art projects and classes since then, but that particular group is one of our favorites.
Artist to Artist is a fantastic book and a great springboard for exploring multimedia, pen & ink illustration, watercolors… so many techniques to learn. But really any picture book could be a springboard and any age can learn from the artist’s work!

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a quiet weekend

thoughtful friday
Originally uploaded by hsmom2luge

I believe in God like I believe in the sun, not because I can see it, but because of it all things are seen.
— C.S. Lewis

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Dos & Don’ts of Homeschooling

Lucy letterboxing

Do ~
Love your child.

Realize their interests.

Play games.

Read aloud.

Write them notes.

Teach phonics.

Take advantage of
learning moments.


may 150

Don’t ~
Allow discipline to rule your family.

Ignore them.

Expect them to like to read if they don’t.

Get hung up on spelling.

Try 50 million curriculums.

Forget to have fun!

I have been homeschooling for almost 7 years. (IF you count preschool and you know we all want to!)

This is what I have learned
~ We get too caught up in what other hsers are doing.
~We are suckers for comparing!
~We think we must buy and try everything out there
~ hsing curricula has become a market!! (or is that a racket?!?!)


 * I wrote this list three years ago, and I have to say that I haven’t changed my mind about it. Well, maybe the do about phonics…  that is still up for debate. I think two of my kids might learn better with whole words.

So what about you? What would you add to the list? I’m curious to read your list!!

And I know I have not added any pictures or details from Grace’s mission trip to Jamaica! It’s coming though, along with an interview. Suffice to say, they had a truly blessed experience, and I thank you for your prayers, good wishes and support for this adventure for her.



Filed under family of five, homeschooling

Pennies ~Zinc ~ Pipe Organs

 This is a post from July of 2006. It was my first post about breaking away from the traditional method of homeschooling.

I’m dabbling with unschooling. There, I’ve said it, I’m out of the closet. whew. Because we’re moving in 2 weeks I can do this guilt-free. I have been reading and thinking about this unschooling for a few years, but I’m a wimp. I’m afraid of letting go of any small amount of control I might have…. A couple of weeks ago I met Sandra Dodd. She’s some kind of unschooling guru, but I didn’t realize that at the time.
We were just chatting via email about a video game. Then I began reading the rest of her website and asking questions, which she patiently answered. Next I ordered her book, received it and read it in a matter of days. I don’t even want to let anyone borrow it because I’m afraid I’ll miss it too much! If you are considering unschooling at all, check-out the website.
 But let me tell you about today. Life was imitating theory. This morning we watched a news report on the possible elimination of the penny.
 This began the questions:
 What is the penny made of?
 What is zinc ?
The boiling point of zinc is 787 degrees F (melting point over 1600 degrees).That’s over seven times as hot as it is outside today!
Then we read on to find zinc is used in contemporary pipe organs (dd ~ Is ours contemporary? I think it is, I’ll have to ask Sunday!) ,
 as a substitute for the classic lead/tin alloy in pipes sounding the lowest (pedal) tones, as it is tonally almost indistinguishable from lead/tin at those pitches, and has the added advantages of being much more economical and lighter in weight.
 Pictured next to all this cool information were all these cool pictures of pipe organs!
  Dd has made a friend of our organist at our church, so she was immediately interested in the pictures. She wants to show the organists the organ from Taiwan in particular, so we emailed them to her dad and asked him to print them out at work.

I think I’ll stack the school book boxes in a corner of the garage when we move. Maybe we’ll unpack them last………..

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Filed under family of five, making connetctions