A new year is about to dawn in our lives, in just a couple of days 2010 will be here. Now I have never been a resolutions person. I honestly can't recall one year where I have truly made a new years resolution. Do you know why???? Because for me every day should a new resolution. On the off chance of sounding like a 60's hit song knock off..... Yesterday is gone......... 2009 is gone, well pretty much.

Was 2009 a good year for you? Some of us think of it as a tough year, the economy, work, stress, school, life all those things build up and we look around sometimes and just want to scream.

2009 was a different year for me. I went into it doing something I have never done before, being a stay at home, homeschooling Mom. It has been an adventure, we have tried two different methods of homeschooling this year, taken field trips, made family trips, and enjoyed a much more family time than ever before. However, there have also been screaming fits, crying, frustration, and aggravation. I think we have finally settled into a routine, but it is ever changing and evolving, but I think that is okay, I think that is the way it is suppose to be. I feel better about what my kids are learning, how they are learning and where they are learning. I love getting to see how their minds work and watch something click in their brain. You know that little light in their eyes when you watched them learn something new when they are little? With homeschooling you can see that every day no matter how old they get. I am ever thankful for that, especially with Joseph who will be 12 this year, is already going through puberty and will be gone in the blink of an eye.

I believe that God gives us free will to make decisions, that he has a plan for your life and in that plan he places situations and people in your path, how you react to these elements though is your choice. God can't make your choices for you, if he could we would all belong to him and follow all of his commandments.

Today as I was washing dishes I was thinking of my life, and wondering if I had made the decisions that God would have had me make. I have to think I did okay, I am sure I didn't do it all the right way, the Lord himself knows of all the times I have fallen, and sinned, and had to pick myself back up and keep going. But I have to believe that right now I am where he wants me to be. I feel at peace with it. I won't tell you it is easy and some days are harder than others, but I love my husband, my kids, my home and my life.

2009 was a good year despite all the minor annoyances, everyone I love is still on this earth for me to see, talk to and love, and sometimes that is the thing you have to be most thankful for. We are all still here!

Happy New Year, I hope 2010 finds you all well!



Just a thought

We cannot change anyone, that change has to come from within them, it has to be their choice to change.

Whether or not we agree with the beliefs or actions we can't make them change. A person makes a change because THEY want to be different, either that change is for the good or bad. We can choose to love and accept them as they are or not, but nothing we can say or do will change them.

I can not pray for change, and when I get it say " Oh wait God I didn't want it to change that way, that wasn't what I wanted....do it this way!" I have to say thank you God and look for how that answer to my prayer can help me grow as a person, to keep my eyes open for how God will use this in the lives of those around me.

As adults we go looking for the things we didn't feel that we had growing up. Those things that we search out are the things that we have felt we were missing all along. What will your children go looking for?

Okay I know all of that was random, but it was what I was thinking....and that is what blogging is all about!


The most wonderful time of the year...........

Well it has been quite a while since I blogged. Sometimes I think I am too busy to blog, and sometimes I think I am not in the mood to blog, sometimes I think that I don't know how to keep my mouth shut and blogging will just get me in trouble! Most of the time I am right :)

Today I am basking in the glory of God's provision. Everyday I am thankful for the way God provides for my family. Over the last year our income has decreased by more than half. In spite of that we have continued to maintain our same lifestyle with very few sacrifices. We don't buy as many new clothes, we have started to shop at thrift stores and we think before we buy things that we don't need. But we have not suffered or done without one thing. Our bills are paid, our home is just as warm (or cool) our bellies are full of food and we are blessed!

This time of the year I miss my family more than any other time. I have such wonderful memories of the holidays. The holidays were the time of the year when there was always candy being made, houses decorated, presents wrapped, gifts hidden, wishes granted. I don't think there was a year that when there wasn't something that was thrilling. There was always some one thing you wanted more than anything else, something your heart was set on, but your mind held the doubt that it would show up under the tree. Either it was so popular that you weren't sure it could be found, or so expensive that you thought it was out of the question. It was always the gift that was last at our house, but it was always there :) My parents did everything they could to get us everything we wanted! Looking back though it isn't the presents I remember as much as it was the time, the dinners, the gatherings, the Christmas Eve at Nannie's with homemade candies and a meat & cheese tray, a fire in the living room, the tree twinkling, a pile of gifts under the tree. "The boys" would all climb under the piano so that we couldn't see the new underwear they got for Christmas. Christmas music was always playing and everyone was in a great mood. Every year we had to wait on Aunt Jo , my grandmother's sister, to get there before we could open presents. We kids would be squirming around and fairly bouncing off the walls by the time she got there. I am not sure she even made it in the house before we started opening stuff! Even as we got older we still gathered every year and we had a wonderful time.

I truly miss the holidays! I miss all the love and joy and peace, but in my house in order to have peace I have given up on trying to have a Christmas this year. Before you become outraged for me let me explain. There is no where in the world that I want peace more than my very own home. The only way to have that peace is to play the game. It doesn't take away who I am. It just takes away the stress. I have prayed many times about my religious convictions, about the changes my husband has made and if I should make those same changes. Truthfully there are many things that I agree with him about..... but not everything.

And so I am ever thankful for God's provision for me. Every time I think that I am getting down or discouraged or disheartened by the sacrifices I have made to have a happy home; God provides me yet another opportunity which keeps me going. I won't go through all the various things that God has done for me.... they are too numerable. God is blessing me now, allowing me the opportunity to make lovely holiday items for other people. I can imagine these items in homes around the US. I can imagine children and adults reaching into their new stockings and finding candy, toothbrushes, oranges. I can help to make other's holiday beautiful and that is a great thing and I love it.

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful holiday, a very Merry Christmas! I wish all of God's blessings for all of you this Christmas and all year long!



The longest week

The longest week in my household is the one right before we go to visit family. Everyone in my house loves to make the trip 2 hours south to visit our extended family. It is where all the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins are. Where we can visit with everyone, share memories, make new ones, and just have fun.

So in my house, for the kids and I that trip is a much anticipated one. Time never seems to drag on as slowly as it does when the visit is in sight. We scheme, negotiate and work harder, so that we can make the departure just a little bit earlier.

The next trip is just over a week away! We haven't seen our families since September. That is a long stretch, as I try to make it down once a month or so. It will be hectic and busy and full of visiting and eating and fun! I think we have it worked so that we will get everyone in.

So here is wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving, filled with love, laughter, family, friends! May this be the shortest week for us all so that we can get to the good stuff!


The Boy Scout Journey

WOW! That is all I have to say... thanks. Okay Okay I will explain.

As you all know Joseph has been in scouts for 6 years now, he went through cub scouts from Wolf to Webelo II and earned his Arrow of Light. He also earned every Webelo pin that you can earn and he worked hard for his awards. Of course as any cub scout parent will tell you, they work just as hard with their boys for those awards. They plan events, meet dens to carry out camping, hiking, attend meetings, and generally steer their boys in the right direction.

In March of 2009 Joseph crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. The first meeting we attended I noticed something significant, there were no other Moms. Well I mean to say that the Webelo scout Mom's were the only ones that were there. We lined up against the wall in chairs and prepared to watch our "big" boys do boy scoutly things! We were proud, excited, we watched with great anticipation..........CHAOS ensued. 20 or so boys from ages 11-18 piled into the room, they were noisy, pushing, laughing, rough housing. The room came to attention twice that night, once for the opening and once for the closing. The boys were reverent and respectful during the pledge, and the prayer. Other than that I couldn't figure out what was going on, if anything.

I have since learned that in spite of what I see and hear, things are happening, maybe not what you would expect but the boys are changing. Bonds are forming and friendships are growing and it spans the age groups of the boys there. The older boys direct the younger ones. The transition from Cub Scouts has been a big one. We Moms are used to getting the boys in line and directing what they do and keeping them on track. They don't need us for that any more! It is amazing that a Mom can say 10 times, "put down the screw driver, don't poke it at people" and the activity never stops. All it takes is once from one of the older scouts and the screwdriver goes down.

With all this said, I love Scouts. I have enjoyed getting to know the other parents, I have enjoyed getting to know the boys. I have never met a better group of boys than those in our Troop and I am biased. So in August when we went out to help with an Eagle project at a local park, I was really excited to hear Joseph say that he did want to pursue his Eagle rank. I was equally sad to hear Joseph tell me that he wasn't going to make any exceptions with regards to observing the Sabbath in order to attend any scout events.

The Eagle path presents different challenges in our family due to the no work or other play on the Sabbath. Most all Boy Scout events occur on a Sabbath, and there is a book full of things that you need to do to reach your Eagle rank which are mostly occurring on the Sabbath. So when the last camp out came around and Joseph didn't attend because of the Sabbath, he and I had a talk. We discussed whether or not it was going to be worth it to continue down the Scout path.

To make a long story a little bit shorter, we decided with the help of our ScoutMaster, that I would attempt to help him get where he needs be on this path to Eagle by volunteering to lead events not on the Sabbath. Since we have a few boys who are homeschooled I am hoping that this will work out well.

My first event is coming up. I am planning a camping trip for the Monday of the week of Thanksgiving. All the boys are out of school that week so it seems like the perfect time to get an overnight event in. I am searching for camp sites, trying to find adult volunteers so I have 2 deep leadership, and imagining what in the world I am going to do with these boys during this camp! Brian has to work because he is furloughed later that week, so I am doing this one on my own!

I hope you will all be praying for me as I will need it!!!! A LOT!!!!

My upcoming blogs will most likely be about scouts and this crazy journey, so stay tuned.



Wow I just noticed that I haven't blogged here in nearly a month. I have had such a busy month that I didn't even notice. I have two blogs and this month on my crafting blog I have been featuring a new artist every day (or so). It has been quite a challenge to get that all together, but it has been a lot of fun to see all the really amazing things that people do. To witness the great gifts that GOD has given them. I have found things I would love to be able to create, and those that I think are beautiful but I wouldn't touch the creative process.
Check out that blog if you get a chance. I have a great time writing it: http://www.jenjiescraftystuff.blogspot.com

At any rate in the month of September we have had quite a lot to do. This month my Daddy turned 60 years old! We had a semi surprise party for him with a cook out at a local State Park where we grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. It was a small and simple gathering that I enjoyed a lot, I hope he did. We tried very hard to make it a surprise for him, but it fell a little short of a true surprise party. It is difficult to keep things from Daddy.

At the party he mentioned that he read my blog, which isn't really surprising since I sent it to him to read :).... I think he was surprised to find that I had written about him in the past. I work really hard to write only things that are slightly witty and not hurtful. I hope that I didn't hurt his feelings in any way.

Homeschooling has been very busy this month. Lots of projects, experiments, new units. We have covered so much this year already and there is so much more to learn. We are all learning together and it is really a lot of fun!

We have also been very busy getting ready to leave for our trip to North Myrtle Beach. Every year we take a trip with the church my husband belongs to. This trip is to celebrate The Feast of Tabernacles. We will be at the beach for 12 days and I couldn't be more excited! I love the beach. Since I have begin working from home I have found that I am a water person. I love to sit by, in, around running or moving water. It makes me feel centered and cleansed. It quites all my stress and I love it. I could sit by the river while my family trout fishes, just letting the water run over me , the noise so loud that I can't hear anything else. The beach is the same way, as soon as I can hear the waves crashing I am instantly in another place. I can hardly wait to put my toes in the sand and hear those waves. The torture is driving 6 hours to get there and then having to lug all the stuff up to the room before I can run down to the sand.

Very excited about an upcoming event, Gold Rush Days. I never thought I would say that, it is like a craft show on crack. The last time I went to Gold Rush Days it was so crowded you couldn't walk, the crowd carried you along. So why am I excited this year. Well for one we will be in town, and two other reasons. Genevieve is clogging on Sunday. I am so excited to see her clog with the other girls her age. Joseph is working a booth with his Scout Troop making Ice Cream Floats and Boiled Peanuts. That should be lots of fun. I am hoping some of the family makes it up to see Genevieve clog. This is the first time she has had this type of performance and she has been practicing very hard. She is so adorable!

Well I hope you guys have a great couple of weeks. I will try to post some from the beach depending on how things go.


New Age Kids ?

This past weekend as we were hanging around the house, my son was watching a TV presentation by the church that they attend. In the middle of each production the church offers booklets to their viewers. There is no cost for these booklets and they are used by the members for bible study. Joseph decided that he wanted to request a couple of the booklets so he picked up the phone and begin to dial.....

I have to break right here to tell you how much this amazes me that my baby boy feels confident enough to pick up the phone, call a stranger, have a conversation and request something he wants.... Ok back to the story

Joseph is sitting there staring at the door holding the phone to his ear, while his Dad and I try our best not to be openly amused :)

Well he is sitting there for quite some time without speaking, so I said, are you on hold? Nope he responds. I said, "well is it ringing?" He looks at me and says " I guess so..... it is going. bumm, bumm, bumm really fast.

I couldn't help it I started laughing, I said "Joseph, that means the line is busy." He doesn't hang up.....he says " what does that mean?" WHAT!!!!! Has my child never heard a busy signal?

Then he looks over at me and says, "what do I do?." "Hang up Sweetie." I respond. " Well okay, when will they see the missed call and call me back?"..................Okay this is the point where I realize that my children have never dealt with the world that we lived in growing up and I felt really old!!!!!

I explained to him what a busy signal was, and that this was not a cellphone he was dealing with. I explained that he would actually call back until the line cleared and he would speak with someone. This was of course a foreign concept to my child. I realized he is entirely accustomed to to reaching whoever he wants as soon as he calls them, there are no busy signals, there is not a time when it is not okay to call. We have become such a society of open access that the ability to not connect who you want when you want is inconceivable!

Well I for one would not mind more busy signals and less open access. Constant contact isn't always the best thing!


New beginnings

This weekend one half of my immediate family gathered to celebrate the marriage of my Daddy after 26 years of batchelorhood. He met his new bride a few years ago, but earlier this year they connected in a new way and begin to talk on the phone a great deal. In May they went on their first "date" and within a week my Daddy had managed to bring her around to meet all three of his children and our families. WOW were we blown away, Daddy doesn't bring women to meet us until they have been dating for quite a while. I believe their dinners and lunches with us were dates 3,4 and 5 or something really close to it. So being the overprotective children that we are, alarm bells begin to go off. I knew right off that this was a serious move, and even felt after a couple of phone conversations that a marriage was on the horizon. I think that there are still some on both sides of the family who are a little wary of the suddeness of this union. But one look at them together and you can see very clearly that they love each other. I for one pray all God's blessing over this union. I wish them all the happiness, peace, and love that their hearts can hold.

3 months later, almost 3 months to the day of their first date they wed this past weekend. It was a beautiful, sweet ceremony. After the vows they played "From this moment" by Shania Twain and as the music played, they sang very quitely to each other. I think for them there was no one else in the church at the time.

They are now in TN for several days to have a honeymoon. Then they will travel back to GA and learn to live together.....Lisa you are in my prayers on that one.

Soon I will blog on the process of planning and executing the reception....right now I still have wedding hang over.


Camping in Smokemont

Well we are back from camping in Cherokee, NC and I survived it. I actually had a great time. I love the mountains; the lush green trees and rambling rivers bring me a degree of relaxation that I only find there. I love to look up at the trees where the sun flows down through the leaves and to listen to the music of the water lull me into a trance like state.

The weekend started with us driving to the campground early on Thursday, we arrived around 12:30 pm and located a perfect spot right by the parking area and river. Our overly large tent would not fit on a tent pad so we spread out under a tree and begin to unpack all of our things. It took about 2 hours to get everything set up with sleeping tent and shade tent and grills and such. As we were setting up others begin to arrive and go through the same rituals we had just endured. By early evening we were all settled in and begin to socialize. It was an early night as we were all a bit tired from the packing and unpacking and setting up. About 1 am the rain begin to come down in sheets and thunder and lightening joined in. Inside the tent it sounded as if a monsoon had arrived, it was the first time I had ever been rained on while camping and I was amazed at how loud it was.

Friday morning begin overcast but that did not stop the kids from playing in the river and floating the whitewater. My son had a particularly great time floating down these falls and did it over and over again, his lips blue and his body trembling from the ice cold water.

My daughter, Genevieve, spent the day playing in the shallow water and "river walking" on the rocks.

Friday night we attended a bible study under a large tent in the group camping area. It rained on us briefly but no harm done. After services we enjoyed the campfire and roasted marshmallows for s'mores. It was a late night and a cold one. One check of the thermometer registered 62 degrees, but with the breeze it was much colder. Since it was JULY, we didn't pack a lot of blankets, and by a lot I mean any..... so it was a very restless night trying to stay warm.

Saturday morning we awoke to a very chilly dawn, my son took off for his now daily ritual of bathing in the river. A bar of ivory soap and his swimsuit and he was off. He describes the experience as "better than a cup of expresso for waking you up". I have to agree. I had to bathe off there on Friday afternoon and it was very cold, but quite refreshing.

Sabbath services were at 2:00 pm so we cooked breakfast, prepared a salad for the fish fry that evening and got ourselves ready. A wonderful friend allowed Genevieve and I to bathe off in the shower of the camper that they brought. Such a sweet gesture that was really appreciated. The services went off without any rain and it was a informative bible study on the book of James. A nice fish fry was held after services and everyone ate well. The rest of the evening was spent talking, visiting, roasting marshmallows, playing ball, laughing and having a fabulous time. A super cold night again had all of us ready to head home the next day.

Sunday dawned damp and cold and we were up quickly to start breaking down the camp and getting ready to head home. The kids played in the center of the group area throwing balls and playing with frisbees. Saying their goodbyes and getting ready to head home.

In about 3 months they will all be back together again. Until then, it was a great weekend and we all had a wonderful time.



The sheer volume of questions in my day has me so overloaded today. I believe my brain has short circuited. I do believe this to be a real and serious problem. I am going to research it on WebMD and see if they have any information.

I said something today that I have hear my Mother say a thousand times : " if one more person call out the name Mama, I am leaving home".... I mean it!!!! All day long , Mama, Mama, Mama. Mama I need help, Mama can I have, Mama can you look at this, Hey Mama do you remember.

I am so blessed that I have two beautiful, wonderful kids who care what I think and want me to know everything that they are thinking. This is a blessing that I know will one day soon end. Soon, they will be smarter and cooler than me, they will not want to tell me anything or ask me anything and I will be lucky if they call me once a week. So even though I feel like my brain is going to explode I am happy.

I am so thankful for this life that I am now living. I am thankful for the time with my children, for the impromptu fishing trips and swimming in the afternoons, for frequent trips to see family, and camping trips. I am thankful for little moments like last night when my son and I stood on the porch and watched the lightening before the storm. Even though he was not crazy about being outside with the lightening, he admitted it was cool to watch. He had never watched a storm come in, or smelled the earthy wet air right before the big drops begin to fall.

All of the precious moments that were wasted on traffic and stress for the last 10 years of my life. I will never get those moments back! I made the choices that I felt were best for my family at the time. Yet I am ever grateful that God has called me to be in the home, where I should have been all along.



I am not famous for my camping skills. Ha Ha, yes I can hear the laughter of my family and friends. I have camped, but I don't really like heat, bugs, lying on the ground, smelling like a campfire, and many of the other hazards of camping. For the last 3 years I have been actively involved in Cub Scouts, and I even managed to avoid camping in a big way there. My son and I have camped twice with the Scouts so far. Once at Cub Scout Camp when he was a WEBELOS II in order to earn his Arrow of Light, and again as a WEBELOS II at Scoutland during the WEBELOS Woods event. Neither was a horrible experience, however, for a girl who must bathe at least once a day, not exactly comfortable either.

Next week the church that my husband attends is hosting a weekend of camping in Cherokee NC. Okay that is in the mountains where the weather is cooler, but I don't think the bugs will take a vacation, and I have to travel to shower.

YET.... I am going into this with a very positive attitude, I am actually looking forward to spending time with my kids and no TV or DS games. I will enjoy my first opportunity to spend some extended time with new friends. I will let you know how it goes.


Things remembered, new events, and all the other stuff going on...

There are so many things going on with the various people in my life, that I can hardly keep up.

Lets see..Probably paramount on the mind right this second is my Daddy's second marriage. Yes I am 35 years old and I still call him Daddy. I don't know why, my brother and sister have both made the transition to calling him Dad, but I guess as the first girl he will always be my Daddy.

My parents divorced 26 years ago, my Mama remarried the same year the divorce was final and is still married to that wonderful man. Yet, alas, Daddy has not found that woman that he wanted to share his life with. There were two women with which he engaged in long term relationships. One of those ladies is the mother of my half sister. The other was a shrew of a woman who kept my brother and I seperated from my Daddy for a good number of years. She was mean, manipulative, and did everything she could to damage and hurt. We are all glad that she is no longer in his life. This new lady is a sweet and thoughtful person, willing to come to the home of my mother for my birthday dinner. She and my Daddy have only been dating each other for since May of this year. The wedding is set for August 15.... yes I know how quick that is, and trust me we have all had our little period of "concern". The concern is behind me! I thought for a while, what could this be... I know my Daddy and I know that he isn't a easy man to live with. He is a perfectionist, who has lived alone for 26 years.... that can't be good. I wish her all the best, and I hope she is patient. I look forward to getting to know her and spending time with her. I am also looking forward to the wedding, I found out last week that I getting to plan the recpetion! YAY! One of my secret desires would be to work in wedding planning. This is so much fun for me, and I am so excited. I feel that getting to be involved is a gift from God. See I love my family and I always want to help, however, I do realize that there are others who have a larger say in the process. So I am very thankful for this opportunity to serve and help those that I love. And.... if you have any cool ideas for the reception, pass them on.

There is another "thing" heavy on my heart, which will be a little elusive. I have a wonderful friend who I love so much, and is going through a horrible time right now. It has been a long road and it is a scary one. My prayers are for her constantly and I pray even now that she will just keep moving forward and taking the baby steps toward the light. It is there, even though it is a little dim from time to time.

Then there is the grandparents. I have one set of living grandparents, they have been married for 59 years this September. I will not tell you that it has been a fairy tale marriage, but they do love each other, of that I am sure. My GrandDaddy is 85 & my Nannie is 76. I love them both so much, which is what makes their aging so hard for me. Not that I don't expect them to age, not that I think they will live forever... but to watch the ones I love so dearly wither away is simple heart breaking. It takes my breath when I look at my GrandDaddy, the once strong virile man, who I watched in awe as a child. I tried to go as many places as I could with him, I met him at the barn every morning while I was there to see him milk the cows. I rode with him to the sale barn in the old orange truck with a huge cow penned in the back stomping big holes in the bed of the truck as we stopped for gas. I watched him sit each morning and late into the night reading his bible at the table, writing letters to his sisters and other relatives. These days I get to see him about once a month. I go over and sit and we catch up, how is he feeling, what do the doctors say, what is he doing differently to keep himself going. We talk about his garden and ours, we talk about the kids and what they are up to, we talk about family and friends and he tells me stories about things that happened years ago. His memory is good, sometimes seems better than mine, but his body is stooped, his legs and belly swell, he has little control over his movements and I see the end. Everytime I am there I kiss him and say, I want you to be here the next time I come... and I mean it. I wish that he would never leave me, that he would be sitting in the chair on the back "deck" or piddling in the garden for the rest of my life so that I don't ever have to say good bye.

For those of you who know me you know that I am crying right now. I am an emotional person, I always have been, I cry for the good, the bad, the sad and the hurt. Which means in this crazy world I do a lot of crying. Crying is okay, it cleanse the soul and removes some of the residual that makes you hazy. My birthday was this week and my son told my mother, "old women are very emotional, Mama cries everyday".... now I just turned 35 so I take offense to the "old women".... but one day he will see, like me that old isn't a number.

As you can probably tell, we spent the holiday weekend with family. My family and my sweet hubby's family all live within 15 miles of each other, with the large chunk living even closer. We attended the same church, our parents graduated high school together, even shared the same sitter for a little while. Our families have known each other for years, and through us we have been family for 16 years now. So it is so easy to go home because they are mostly all in one spot. We can make a 10 min drive down the road and be at somebody's house. We "camp" at my Mama's she and my Step-Dad built a new home 6 years ago right across the driveway from the mobile home I grew up in, last year put in a pool. It is where we all congregate, we pile in with all our stuff, strip off our clothes and slide into swimsuits, we dive and jump, we snack and feast. We make trips to the store to "pickup" stuff that we need. We hug and kiss and play games, we sing and dance, we pick on each other and prod out the information... we laugh and we love, we drink beer, wine, mudslides and sweet tea, we tell stories that we all know and still laugh at them. It is home and everyone feels loved and comfortable and happy, and if we don't we take a break. Nothing is expected... just be who you are.

Well I have rambled enough for tonight....


My Newest Project... Fabric Postcards

Fabric Postcards have become my obsession, I mean that literally. I have spent hours pouring over the internet watching tutorials and reading the instructions that lots of very generous people have posted online. All of them have been extremely helpful by the way.

I started them with much hesitation, you see since I have begin trying to sell my sewing I have discovered a very nasty secret about my self.... A trait that I get from my Father which I believed only my brother possessed. I am a perfectionist about my work. If it isn't perfect I won't sell it. I have lots ( I will not say how many) imperfect projects that are destined for the garbage. Thus the hours of pouring over the instructions to make sure I did it "right".

Another thing that I know about me, as does my husband but few others. I am a compulsive fabric buyer. I LOVE fabric. All colors, prints, weights, types... it must be soft and beautiful, but my definition of beauty is vast.....as is the ever growing piles of fabric that have taken over my sewing room.

Okay back to the post card. I started slowly, picking out fabric remnants that I already knew that I love paired together. I choose a buttery yellow & white polka dot that I made a dress with a couple of years ago and added a seersucker with bright beautiful flowers...

I cut the fabric to the 4 x 6 size required by the USPS sewed into place the pieces where needed, then cut a 4 x 6 piece of Peltex interfacing. Ironed the top or front fabric to the Peltex, then hand stitched around the design adding lettering and embelishing the design already on the fabric. Then I cut an old white T-shirt into 4 x 6 strips and attached with spray adhesive.

I finished the edges with a soft yellow satin stitch and marked the back with the words Postcard and named the card Sunshine & Flowers 1 and 2. I think they turned out really nice... if you are interested you can see them on my Etsy page or see the link to the right of this blog which will take you right to them.

And so I am now obsessed. I am constantly thinking of making the next ones. I sincerely hope that they are popular as they are so much fun!!!!!


Here's to learning something new each day, and finding your joy!!!!


Southern Heat & New Experiences

It is Tuesday of my week and already I am exhausted. I know I know you don't read blogs to listen to a bunch of whining. So you won't get any.

The heat is exhausting it traps me in the house and steals part of my summer. I leave the house only when necessary and take the children to the pool once a day if possible to get wet.

We are homeschooling through the summer. So we work in the morning and try to stay cool in the afternoon. It keeps us from becoming mind rotted zombies in front of TV & video games. We don't spend the day fighting with each other and I don't have to hear how bored the kids are. Plus the great part is, we take a day here and there where we want to and my kids are slightly ahead of the other kids their age.

I am also learning to can. Now for those of you who have never lived in a rural area, to can means to preserve vegetables or fruits to use later on in the year. My husband has done the canning in our family for years, simply because I didn't have the time to learn. But now that I do and I should, I AM....

We begin part of our home economics program by preparing the ground for planting in mid May. We hoed and turned the ground in our front yard and then filled it with our garden. We have ( that I know of) 100 tomato plants, squash of several varieties, green beans, peas, cantelope, cucumbers, corn, eggplant, onions, garlic....and who knows what else is planted out there.

The garden is beginning to "come in". Which means that every day either my husband or I go into the garden and pick whatever is ready. Today I picked the green beans and we had gathered 7 quarts of beans since late last week. All picked, snapped, cleaned and packed into jars. My husband stood right beside me teaching me to can and making sure that I was doing it right. Trying very hard to listen to his instructions and follow them exactly, I begin. Boiled water on the stove and sprinkled some salt into each jar. Once the water was done I poured the boiling hot water just till it reached he bottom of the neck of each jar. Then heated the lids in boiling hot water, wipe the mouth of the jar, place the lid on, tighten the band down as tight as I could. ( My husband came behind me to make sure they were tight enough). Then down into the pressure canner they went, all seven at one time. I listened for about 15 minutes before the first hiss of the canner had me standing by the stove listening and counting. My husband had instructed do not let it continously hiss, there should be 8-10 seconds between hisses, so I had to adjust the temp to get it right. Waited 25 minutes while they boiled and hissed. Then they were done. When we returned from the pool a couple of hours later, removed them all from the canner. One had not sealed.... OH NO!!! did I do it wrong? Maybe, it didn't have enough water in the jar....... Not to worry it finally sealed down and seems to be fine. We will date these and sit them to the back of our pantry shelves where we have a great assortment of canned foods. These keep us going with fresh and organic produce during the winter. The 100 tomato plants will be our chili, pasta sauce, vegetable soup base, and will contribute to so many more dishes in our kitchen this winter.

I think I am finally adjusting to being a stay at home Mama. I am getting used to always having to do the dishes, or just finished the dishes.... I am also getting accustomed to managing my time at home and tackling little things I haven't done before. To be honest I feel like I have not been pulling my weight all these years. Crushed by the stress of the long drive and the stressful job and the crazy schedule, I let my poor husband do so much. I really don't think he knows what to do with me now. I think he sometimes wonders if I know what I am doing. But inside of me remains the country girl who grew up on a dairy farm. Everyone in my family had a garden and I have picked beans, shelled peas, snapped beans and anything else that needed doing to help out. It has been a while, but I still got it....somewhere.


Learning something new today...

Okay I should know how to do stuff like this, one would believe this anyway. My paternal grandmother was a seamstress, I don't think that she owned many clothes that she didn't make, she quilted, made her own curtains, etc... My maternal grandmother is / was a wiz with the sewing machine as well, although she put away this skill long ago as it was not something she really enjoyed. My mother, also a seamstress doesn't sew any longer.... no idea about that one.

So it should be in my blood right???? I have it in my heart but somehow some of the more obvious skills never make it out of my head. I really want to be a great seamstress, I love to sew, crochet, cross stitch and there are so many beautiful things that I want to create.

One thing I struggle with is that I want to learn to quilt. The design does not seem to be an issue, the problem that stumps me everytime... finishing the edges............. WHY OH WHY can I not GET THIS??????????????

Today I begin to work on something that I am semi obsessed with in my brain. A new project that I spotted on the internet sometime back and LOVE!!!!!!

A quilted postcard... there are a lot of great blogs that tell you how to do it. I am just beginning to play around with it. If I get one for you to examine I will let you know. I think I have already messed up my first one,,,, but hey, that is how we learn.


New thoughts

Well for some of you who may have viewed my blog before, it was mainly about my decision to quit my job and homeschool my kids. I think it may have been my chicken way of telling my family without having to "tell" them all.

I have decided to revamp this blog and begin to tell you about our adventures in homeschooling. We have been at this now for 6 months. 6 months!!!!! Where did the time go???? WOW.

I can tell you that I don't regret for one second the decision to move from the corporate world to being home full time. Do I miss my friends at work? Every day!!! The wonderful friends that I made while working, I hope will be with me for the rest of my life.

What I don't miss is waking up at 4 am everyday and driving for 2 hours to work and 2 hours home. Although I have to tell you that I feel like I have less time now than I did then, but I think it is just that I have more time to find more stuff to do. We haven't added any more activities, I still limit my kids to one activity at a time. I am not one of those Moms who believe the more "things" my kids are involved in the better. I believe give them an outlet in one thing they love. If they don't love it, they don't do it.

I thought I would start with what questions would new homeschoolers or non homeschoolers have? I am the first in our family to homeschool so I guess I would go straight to the questions my family asked when we started.

1.) Can you afford this? Well so far so good. We were blessed when I resigned and the hospital I worked for offered me PRN work. So I do get a paycheck still. I don't believe it will last forever, but I am thankful for everyday that it is still there.

2.) What about a cirriculum? How do you find a cirriculum? Well there is sooooo much out there that you really should start with some recommendations. Then research, research, research. You have to know your child and their learning style. I tried a method of piecing together resources when we first started because we started in the middle of a school year. That went fairly well, however I would not recommend this if you have no experience teaching or working with children. It was a struggle to keep up with creating a lesson plan and deciding what to do next. I have recently purchased a couple of great cirriculums and I am very happy with them for the most part. If you are considering homeschooling, don't expect your first choice to be perfect, and realize that you will have to make adjustments to fit you. There are several good resources for used or discount cirriculum on the net if you search for homeschool cirriculum. Biggest tip about this: go to your states Department of Education and print the scope and sequence for the grade level you are homeschooling. This will give you a good idea of what to look for in lessons IF you think that you may one day want to re-enroll your kids in public schools and you want to make sure that they don't fall behind the public school cirriculum.

3.) What is wrong with the public school system? This is a personal answer for everyone I know. Each and every homeschool family has different reasons for making the choice, even if they have a common ground. For us there were both educational and religious reasons.

From the educational stand I found that my children were being taught to test. We found that all the test formats had shifted to the standard national testing format. Children were being taught how to take a test well. I feel that in a good education there is creativity, and imagination, teachers who are allowed to develop cirriculum that works for their class. I just didn't feel the kids were getting that anymore. I did feel that they were progressing and learning but that the education was not as broad as I wanted it to be.

From the religious stand, we have many of the same concerns that most Christian households have. We are concerned about the exposure of our children to non-christian families. About the worldliness and the progressing decline of morals in both the children and adults in our society. YES!!! I know I can't shelter my kids, or protect them from all evil. However, I can protect them from avoidable evil, as long as God provides for my family and I am able to stay home I will do that. Additionally, my husband and kids attend an apostolic church, they observe the Old Testament Holy Days. As such there are a number of days that my children have to miss from school in order to observe these Holy Days. While the school system never gave us any hassel about the absences, quite the opposite actually they were supportive, in the last school year we found that my oldest child's teacher did not supply us with the work required to keep him on track with his class. Homeschooling allows us to set our own calendar and allows us to work around the Holy Days so that the children are neither working during the Holy Days, nor falling behind in their school work.

4.) What about testing? This questions always makes me sigh. As a culture we have become so accustomed to testing our children, this becomes a huge concern. I have heard time and again, "When do you test them to see if they are really learning anything?"........ WOW okay maybe not sigh... maybe this questions makes me want to scream. LOL!

It is of course a valid question in some respects. Children in the public school system in GA are tested EVERY year from 1st to 12th grade. So what about homeschooled kids? Well the short answer is I am required to test my children every 3 years. As with the rest of the homeschooling requirements in GA I am not in anyway required to provide these results to the state. I must just maintain a record of the testing.

Now my vent about the testing question is this: How do you know if your child is learning anything in public school? Does one test answer this question for you? Let's say my child made straight A's all year and had a wonderful school year with great teacher feedback, then when the national standard test comes in....not so great. Does that mean my child didn't learn anything? NO... Likewise if my child's grades are mediocre and has performed poorly in class and struggles through the year, but returns a average or above average national standard test score. Does that score then mean that my child has gained the knowledge needed in the classes or does that mean that my child has learned to use logic and elimination to test well ?

I know my child is learning or not based on the increased knowledge base they gained. I am also working with my children daily, watching their skills grow and progress or not... unlike public schools if they don't progress we don't move on. We continue to review until they do learn the material. Does this slow us down and make us "behind" the other kids their age??? Well I guess that questions is relative wouldn't you say?

5.) I recently saw a poll on a homeschooling e-group that I belong to that asked the number one question that you get as a homeschooling family... Here it is... "What about socialization?" When I hear this question I giggle a little inside. Do you believe that children socialize at school? I think this may be one of the most common misconceptions of public school. How many times have your children come home with a note or had to move their clip or gotten detention for talking? That is their socialization!! Yes there are appropriate times to talk to one another, but they are few and far between. At our local school the kids were allowed 30 min on the playground each day to socialize. Aside from that they are not given much time to be together in a social way. Homeschooling kids are allowed to have open conversation and play time off and on all day long. There are other homeschooling kids that we attend frequent field trips with, we go to the park, we have Boy Scouts & Gymnastics & Clogging, we have the pool and library. If we get any more social we won't get our homeschooling done :)

Well these are the top few questions I have been asked. If you have questions for me I would love to hear them. I am just beginning the journey that I hope to continue through high school. I am by no means an expert, but I love writing about the experience.

Have a fabulous day!