Year 4: The “Plots and Plans”

kids at the pond in our back yard

I do love the hopefulness of a brand new school year! I’ve been reading in earnest, boning up on the history topics we’re planning to cover this year. We’ve decided to split Tapestry Year 2 into two years. There’s just so much to cover, and it’s such an interesting period. We rushed through the first time. I felt breathless by the time we got to the revolutions!

Here are some of the resources I’m intending to use:


Still gathering and planning for Sarah, 4th grade.

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Filed under Curriculum, homeschooling

Winding Down Year Year Three

It’s been quite a ride.

I would not have missed this for the world.  What can I say?  Thank you, Lord, for my children, for the chance to see my kids grow up, for the moments that reassure me that this is good for them, and for my husband who loves us and takes care of us with his whole heart.  I am blessed.  Truly.

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Filed under Hidden Treasures

Gardening 101

I don’t know how it happened. I’ve resisted the siren song of the gardening obsession for years. I am, however, hooked. It’s a little like falling in love, though I think I’m old enough to know there are pests and diseases lurking under the shiny, pretty leaves. Still, I’m dazzled. Where have these flowers and shrubs been all of my life?

Knitting is set aside for the moment, probably for the season. I can’t even muster booties for my new niece. What a strange feeling it is to pass up the knitting magazines for the gardening glossies.

I have a budget, or I’m sure I would drown in all I’m bringing home from the nurseries.

Mostly I’m working on the front beds, mostly shade. I love the peaceful plants of the shade. I thought I’d miss the riot of colorful blooms intended for sun, but instead I find I love the shade loving plants tremendously. I have the sunny west side to play with, but I feel less confident about my choices. I’ve found a great book from the library called The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch. I love her simple, get-your-hands-dirty-don’t-worry approach. I want to imitate her fearless, joyful approach. She speaks to my homeschooling heart when she reminds the reader it’s just gardening, not rocket science, and if something dies, replant – no big deal.

I even love digging holes and hauling dirt. Once my budget is busted (and I may be there already) I think I’ll be perfectly happy to keep digging beds and amending soil for next spring. No one is more surprised than I by this turn of events.

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Got Coupons?

I’m so hooked!  I’ve been trying to get the hang of this couponing thing for a few months now.  I went to a “Southern Savers” seminar a few weeks back and it was well worth it.  I’m getting my system down, and it’s really starting to pay off.   My cupboards and freezer are pretty well stocked, and my food and household expenses are coming in under budget this month.  I’ve gotten to where I spend between 1 and 2 hours gathering and sorting my coupons, preparing my list, and making my plan of action for the stores.  After much trial-and-error, I’ve decided my time and money are best spent at Publix and CVS.  With this new system, I’m in and out in less than 30 minutes — and I am far less likely to impulse shop.

Southern Savers is the coolest thing.  Half the work is done for me by the owner of that site.

After several months of this, I’ve decided it will take something really special to get me to shop at Aldis, Kroger or Food Lion.  I know because I’ve been tracking my receipts to see how everything compares.  They just don’t have the overall deals I can get at Publix (and I Love Publix’s  service and quality of food, too) and CVS is all about the freebies and almost freebies I can get with Extra Care Bucks.  You wouldn’t believe how much toothpaste, shampoo, and deoderant I have stocked for free or close to it.  FUN!

This was a good week at Publix:

Trip #1

1.17 bread

1.19 eggs

1.69 carrots

2.29 milk

free 6-pack water

free Honey Bunches of Oats

3.00 1 lb gourmet coffee Joffrey’s

1.00 Marzetti bl ch. dressing

1.00 ”           ”

0.19 Mt. Olive dill pickles

1.00 Sabra hummus

1.00 ”

1.29 mand oj fruit cups

0.24 butter quarters

0.75 Spray-n-Wash

before coupons and store specials — $51.17

with coupons and store specials$16.66

savings of $35.13

Trip #2

5.00 32 oz. bottle Pomp. EVOO

5.00  ”               ”                      ”

.75  Keebler cookies

1.50 SL pound cake

1.50 ”         ”            ”

1.65  SL cheesecake

.99    SL cheescake bites

2.00 salad in a bag

free Lysol disinfecting wipes 80 ct.

3.47  gr. beef

before coupons and store sales:  $54.56

after coupons and store sales : $24.36

savings of: $30.36

I saved over $60 for about an hour’s worth of my time.  And because I went to the store with a plan, I was in and out in about 15 minutes each time.  My newly refined system is working!

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Christian Ideal

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

GK Chesterton

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Filed under Favorite Quotes

First quilts

I began the first quilt 20 years ago.  I recently finished it and made the pink one.  I think I prefer machine piecing and quilting.  I’ve always feared binding, but it’s cake!

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Sew far, sew good…

sweet summer dress

I thought I’d never sew. It seemed like something you couldn’t learn on your own. But then I taught myself to knit, and then I learned everything I could through trial and error. Knitting has taught me to enjoy the bumpy creative process. Sewing is no different. Every new project holds learning opportunities disguised as mistakes.

It’s a lot like raising kids.

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Filed under sewing 2009