Monday, December 31, 2012

Homeschooling Integrated For Life

I have struggled with homeschooling now for over eleven years but I think that I have finally found a way to integrate the homeschooling into our lives. Its not fool proof yet and it is a work in progress, but I am learning the way that God wants for us to arrange it right now anyway.

We have a chore chart that my husband made and I love it. I has magnets for marking the finished chores and the kids like moving their magnets around. If you would like to order one let us know. We would like to offer these on a regular basis here at FNOAD if there is enough interest.

The charts are laid out with lines and then there is room for names on the side. We could customize that for you with colorful foam lettering. Then there is room at the top of the chart for writing in your chores specific to your own home and children. We have tried different ways to write them and added certain ones and taken off certain ones for different children.

Now we are using this same chart to add in homeschooling. I have added math copy work, plus a little math word problem from, bible copy work, reading for a prescribed amount of time, etc. I started out with just a little and then we are adding more today. I really like how this is working out. I spend some time on Mondays or even when I see something on the web on another day and work that into the chart.

 I will print out their papers to copy and leave them on their bulletin boards so that they can remove them and take them to a chair and write out their work. With the reading I write out which book they are to read and how many minutes a day I combine this with History for the older children by including a G.A. Henty book. You can get many Henty books free from Just look up free kindle books. You can also get a free kindle application for your personal computer. There is also a web site for knowing which books of Henty are for what historical study and their chronological order.

Science is still in the works right now I am looking for a good free source to draw from that I am comfortable with as a Christian Mom. If you have any good ideas that would work with our new system, please let me know. They need to be relatively self workable. My days are filled with cleaning and helping and encouraging and right now I can't stop for long periods of time to instruct. There are certain curriculum that we like but right now free is our only option. Please let us know if you have come across something you think might work for us by providing the link in the comments. Thanks!

Update #1:
Since I wrote this the Lord led me to a great web site called The curriculum there is totally free and has several levels to choose from on the side bar. Two of the kids have started to use it and have really enjoyed it. I'm planning on getting everyone started on it eventually after the younger ones have gone through the First Reader they recommended.

Update #2:
Zach has come up with a great way to encourage the children to do their chores. He has made a evil chore villain who tries to still the children's chores. He named him "Magna Man" and every day when they start their chores for the day he builds him up with all of the pink finished chore magnets and when someone finishes a chore they can take that chore magnet from "Magna Man" and he shrinks a little in size. The kids are really liking him and it does encourage them.

Another thing that has been an encouragement to us is a nice young lady from the church. She has told them that she will come by sometime during the week and those who are mostly finished with their chores with get to go somewhere special with her, such as the park or one time they even went up the street to the fire station. They were really happy that they did their chores.

Ordering the Chore Chart-If you would like to try this system for your children we can make you a custom chore chart. Contact me at: for pricing information.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Crocheted Beanie Hat Making

To keep everyone straight I had to monogram a little.

On Christmas my brother-in-law asked me if I could teach him how to crochet a beanie cap. I do like to make things and it stood to reason that I should be able to do that but I didn't know how. So I searched through the internet and came up with some videos that taught me how to do it. I have learned two different patterns so far that are fairly simple. the only draw back is that they take a lot of time to produce.

So if you are going to attempt this at home make sure you have gotten some of your chores done first or that you take breaks form your work from time to time to put in a wash of laundry or pick up some things to put away. It seems like you should be able to just crank them pout in no time flat because they are so small but it just doesn't happen that way.

Another way to enjoy this project might be on the way to the relatives or on a vacation trip, if you get to take those. Sometimes I have been known to watch a good movie and take some crochet work to my living room or bed for a while.

On Pinterest I have a beanie board so that you can see all of the videos and caps that I have considered. Which one is your favorite? Also, let me know in the comment section of this blog other ways you have been known to enjoy crocheting. Thanks!

Check out all of the homemade items at:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Christmas Miracle

Every year I wonder how we will buy any Christmas gifts. We don't ever have any money to spend around Christmas or even before Christmas usually. It always comes down to the last week of pay right before Christmas. This year a new dollar store opened up right before Christmas and we were able to buy a few gifts there about a month before Christmas and that helped out.

Preparing for Christmas Day and the parties I would go to I started creating my own Christmas toys and Christmas gifts. It was a lot of fun for me and the kids loved the gifts as well. I ended up having a few gifts left over from the parties and I also made more rice bean bags.

Then my husband and I got to go shopping on the Sunday afternoon before Christmas because Uncle came over and watched the children for us.  We still didn't get to finish up shopping so I went after church as well. Some of the greatest gifts that I was privileged to give out were re-gifts from their Dad.

Zeke wanted a wooden handled knife and his Dad was able to give him a little buck knife that he had in his drawer because he already had another one that he used. It was in great condition and Zeke was so thrilled to have it. He just couldn't believe that his Dad gave him his knife!

Then Zach was wanting an ipod forever and we didn't have the money to spend on one this time so I picked up my husbands old one and asked him if it was in good shape and he said that it was originally an expensive one and worked well. So we wrapped that up and hid it in a cereal box. He had a time finding it. I taped it to the outside bottom of the box and covered it with wrapping paper then wrapped the box again with wrapping paper.

Then Zoi had lost her stylus to her DS so I found one that I thought was my husbands and hid it for her in a cereal box. Every re-gift was really fun to find and the recipient loved each one. God is good to give me such sweet children who appreciate the hard work that their Mom and Dad go through to give them a special day!

They know that Christmas is about Jesus and that Jesus puts it on our hearts to give to each other. They also know that Jesus provides every good and perfect gift. Thank you Jesus for a wonderful day with you!

Here is one of the cardboard box marble games that I made.
A little bus kid wanted one so I made him one special. He was so happy!
That made my day.

Zeke's doctor masks.

Zeb's spy gear.

Zoi's Hello Kitty and bed head:)

Loty's crayons and his sweet, "thank you"

Zach's dry erase board he wanted. He loves drawing.

I can never get a clear picture of my Nora because she is a
class A wiggle worm. Here she is with her clown bow.

Zeke admiring his foot ball.

Zach with a great smile.

Zena with her new carriage. Just what she wanted too:)
She said she should should have combed her hair. 

O.K. she was almost still in this picture. Here Nora has a little

Zoi looking for her gift. Where is it?

My husband opening his gift from me.

Zeb's marbles.

Hannah with her dog bone.

Zach with his metal slinky! Loved it!

Has God been good to your family and provided some Christmas miracles? God always provides sometimes   in unexpected places. The clothes on Nora were her Christmas clothes that I refashioned. God used what we thought was no longer of use to us to make some really nice clothes for our girls this year. Plus we were able to buy some shinny new gifts as well.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rice Bag/Bean Bag Games

This Christmas I made a lot of games and toys for Children that I know. One of the games that I games that I made was a set of rice bags. I couldn't find any games on the Internet besides the typical corn hole type of game (and that is fun too) so I created my own.

Rice Bag/Bean Bag Games:

1. The Black Hole- Use a black marker and draw a black circle on a piece of paper and then place it a distance a head of you and make a line where you and your friends will stand to toss the rice bag/bean bag into the hole. Be sure to secure the paper with a few pieces of tape or if you are outside secure with some rocks.

2. Bucket Bag Toss- Grab a bucket any kind will do. (ice cream bucket, mop bucket, paint bucket, 5 gallon bucket, Easter bucket etc.)  Place at a distance from your starting point and mark a starting line. Each child will then have three bean bags to try to make into the bucket. Parent or older child will keep track of points or you don't have to keep up with points at all just have fun. You can offer treats for each point if you are playing this game at a party.

3. Box Bags- Find a cardboard box and follow the above rules.

4. Basket Bag- Find a large to medium sized basket and repeat the above rules.

5. Classic Rice Bag/Bean Bag Toss- build or buy a slanted board or cardboard box and follow the above rules. I'm planning on making a large cardboard one with hot glue. Later I will share that with you when I get a chance.

6.  Rice Bag/Bean Bag Fight- This game is for older kids only. (or really tough little kids) Each child has a set of bags they make a division line in the room or outside so that there are two sides and two teams.  Someone hollers "On your mark, get set go." If you get hit by three bags then you are dead and you fall down to the ground. When all of the bags have been tossed then the person that is left standing wins. Hint:Try to dodge the bags

7.  Rice Bag/Bean Bag Tag- Carry a bag with you if you are it and use it to tag the next person. Play until you are tired.

These next ones are from my husband Lonnie  

    8.  Hot Rice Bag- played like Hot Potato you can even warm your bag up in the microwave for a half a minute to a minute to get it warm just test it though to make sure it isn't too warm.
    9.  Rice bag Revolution:

    Set up:
  • Get 20 people in a circle facing inwards
  • Give every other person in the circle a rice bag
Game play:
  • Game begins on “On you mark, get set go!”
  • On “go” everyone with a rice bag shouts the name of another person in the circle and tosses the bag to him.
  • The person whose name was called by another player must catch the bag of the one who called his name.
  • Upon catching the bag the player then calls the name of anyone in the circle and tosses it to him.
  • Players who do not catch the bag or drop the bag must pick it up and run to center of circle and back and resume game play by shouting a name and tossing the bag.
  • Players are out of the game when they drop or fail to catch the bag three times

    Variations: game can be played with 6 or more people 

Do you have any games to add. You can make them up if you want and add them in the comments. Thanks!

Joyful Parenting of Many

I admit I am doing this post for myself as well as others who may be struggling to make things work in their homes.  I get focused on the wrong things.  My health dictates my mood too much.  Lack of available funds to do what I want to do with the kids is one of the Devils strong holds in my life at times.

Today though I would like to help others tare down those strong holds.

Are you like me and forget what you have right there in your hands. I believe that I am not alone. Satan delights in sidetracking us.  If he can just get us focused on the negative long enough we will succumb to his wishes and not Christ's.

Last night in church I became a bit discouraged when the pastor was teaching us to think out our gifts for our spouses and to get them something that they would really like. Every time I hear this I think that what could I ever get my husband. I have no money of my own really. Our family funds are really low. The Devil sits right there in my lap and cheers me on in my pity party and says, "yes that's right I believe you've got it now."

Then I decided not to listen to him! I listened to the spirit and cast out his trash in my thoughts. He doesn't deserve a thrown in my heart to sit on and prop his legs on. He is not my cheer leader. God has other plans that will work for our Christmas giving that don't involve lots of money. giving can be great without all of the price tags to ruin things. The Devil would like for me to fell defeated all of the time, because then he would win one more home.

Here is what God has to say about our children.

Your children and my children are a great inheritance and a reward straight from God above. God asks us to take care of the treasures that he gives us. Is god rewarding us for our joyful behavior tight now in our children or is he rewarding us for our crabby, anxious, impatient, depressing behavior.

Our actions are a choice we can choose to be joyful today or to let Satan pull us down to his level.

You can print this out to post at home by choosing the print button above this post.

I pray that you will be victorious today and your home will be filled with joy! No matter if you are parenting one, seven or more.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sleeveless Ladies Dresses Into Girls Skirts

I was looking through some clothes the other night at my mother-in-law's house that had been handed down to her, and there were a few dresses that I wouldn't wear because of the tops but I thought they would be great for Zoi as skirts. They were just the right length that I like to see on her. So I took them and prayed that God would show me how to make them work. Here is what I decided to do with them.

Turn the top under and sew down with a zig zag the clip off the extra part.

Same here.

This one I just folded the top over a second time and then did the zig zag
so that I didn't have to cut any extras off since there was extra room.

This one cinched up good with the belt that came with it. It also covered the
stitching good too. I just tacked the belt on in a few places so that she
could make it work easily.

This one cinched up great without taking it in.

I made a little mistake with this one but I will work on it.

What have you refashioned?

Today we went to a party and shared our post. Maybe you would like to visit as well.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Its Not About Gun Control!

I was so saddened to hear about the senseless deaths in Newtown, Connecticut yesterday morning. Children were snuffed out as well as adults. Death is no respect of persons. Don't think that God didn't know about what was happening down here on earth, because he did. He knew what was happening and he pleaded with this young man to stop. God doesn't keep people from committing crimes. Sometimes he acts on the urgent prayers of the righteous to heal a nation though. Perhaps God allowed this to happen to cause people to look to him for their answers in life. These children and adults were let down by evil and sinful man and not God.

Now, we as his creation need to examine ourselves:

1. Are we loving our children the way that we should?
2. Are we spending time with them that really counts. Time where we impart wisdom into their souls not just       entertainment.
3. Have we expressed to them our love.
4. Is the Devil attacking our family from within.
    a. wives who despise their husbands and put them down
     b. husbands who don't cherish their wives
      c. children who are not taught to love the Lord
       d. hours of t.v. or video games that go against what we are trying to teach our children
        e. no time to spend with our family
5. Do we put a high value on life or are we calling our unborn children fetuses and sentencing them to death.
6. Do you have a relationship with Jesus or are you just doing the best you can?

We can blame those deaths on guns and people who own guns but that won't be the truth. We would have to remove every object that could quickly kill a person or people from our countries and then we as a society would still invent more.

Have you considered that cars kill, planes kill, pencils kill, playing card can kill, throwing knives can kill, electricity can kill, fire can kill and many more. As far as I know those things are irrelevant.

The issue is the heart.

Jeremiah 17:9
Proverbs 4:23

So many times we say we believe in God and do not give him the honor that he deserves. Speak to him with honoring words from the heart. If you don't have any then you need to pour over the word of God and let him fill up your heart with good words and right thoughts.Put more of him in and you will receive more right behaviors out.

Pray for me as I endeavor to do just this!

Friday, December 14, 2012

How To Make A Jewelry Frame With Cardboard

Reversible Jewelry Frame

I have been looking at jewelry frames on Pinterest and wanted to try to make one myself. I didn't have a beautiful frame to make one with easily so I made a cardboard one. I have been trying to keep myself away from the stores as much as possible because of our tight budget and a tendency to want to buy for people. I hope this helps others of us out there who are struggling to make our Christmas a cheery one.

Cut out the cardboard frame with a box cutter or something with a blade.
Mine had some bendy parts in it so I reinforced those spots with more
 pieces of cardboard.
Make a seam by folding in the side panels. Cut out the center but leave enough
to fold so that it makes a good seam. 
Add the thick tool for the center and secure with hot glue
I decided to make my frame reversible so that the recipient could choose
which side they liked better. 
The other side- I cut stripes of the silver material and folded it in and glued it together .
Then I glued and folded and glued and folded all the way around the netting.
I wanted to include a place for necklaces so I covered a plastic water
 bottle lid with material and glued it on. Then I had to cover a larger roundish piece
of cardboard and glue that to the lid so that the necklaces would stay on. 
This is the other sides hangers. I first made a roset with the pink fabric by just
cutting a long strip of pink from a old skirt and winding it into a circle. Then
I cut out two hearts that matched and glued them on top of the rosets. 

This took some time but it was fun being artistic! Let me know if you try it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Homemade Christmas Gifts #1

We are making lots of gifts for the parties that we are going to this Christmas. Here are some of them.

We started with a toy microphone. Just make a ball with some fabric
and tie of with thread.
Hot glue two toilet paper tubes together
and cover with fabric.  Cut some card board
 to cover the bottom and hot glue together
We made a girl one too!
Add some colored rick rack.
All finished! We even added a green spot at the bottom
for a on and off switch.
The girl one.
Rose necklace with fabric. I braided the neck part but you can just use
a ribbon if you have one and add some bows next to the roses if you like.
Up close. Just roll the roses and glue to another piece of fabric
 then cut out the roses and make sure they are hot glued to each other
to keep them stable.
Angry bird game with pompoms. My daughter Zoi helped make these
Are you planning on making any homemade gifts this year? We just use mostly what we have so that we can save money and use our creativity. Which one is your favorite so far?

We shared this at:


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