This school year…

We had a rocky start to the school year! But, after a lot of prayer and suggestions (homeschooling and working), we got off to a great re-start. We have been doing our nature walks and following the Handbook of Nature study guide for the seasons!
We’re studying Van Gogh for the Art Study ~ which has been awesome! We’ve added PE to our curriculum, allowing the girls to burn off energy!
Number 1 son is finishing up high school. I can’t believe it! He’s using the prophecy of Daniel (Pay Attention to Daniel’s Prophecy) as his history and English Composition, (essay writing). He’s studying the Was Life Created? brochure as his science and he’s enrolled at Penn Foster in bookkeeping, as his final math.
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They call me… MRS. CLEAN!

I have been quite busy as of late. I’ve been teaching Eco-Friendly classes at our local library for the past few months, and, at the last class, a photographer from the local paper showed up and snapped photos. A few days ago, a reporter contacted me and I was interviewed.

The article appeared in the Features Section of the Sunday paper, as well as on the web site.

Eco-friendly/Cost-effective cleaning workshop

I wanted to share the recipe that accompanied the article.

It’s for natural, low-suds laundry soap:

4 cups – hot tap water

1 soap bar of any kind

1 cup washing soda

1/2 cup Borax

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap melts and dissolves.

Fill a five gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

Stir and fill a used, clean laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. It will gel.

Recipe makes 10 gallons.

Top load machines: 1/2 cup per load (approximately 320 loads); front load machines: 1/4 cup per load (approximately 640 loads)

I’ve been selling my products at the Cane River Green Market in Natchitoches, LA, but I also sell online: www.omasfavorite.com

Posted in Nature Study, Science, Yadda Yadda | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Where have we been??

If you were a regular reader, you’ll notice that it’s been over 4 months since my last post.

Well, there’s a reason – actually, quite a few reasons!

We had our C.O. visit back in March, and that was also the month we volunteered 50 hours in the community!  Whew – it was so enjoyable!  Sometimes, months like that feel as if someone added a few hours to each day!

Also, March opened a new opportunity for my family.  I had been trying to figure out a way to earn some extra money to help with expenses.  I read an article in a magazine back in January about ways to create jobs to work from home.  I was extremely excited to read this, because I knew my prayers were being heard!

I’ve been making soap for the past 7 or 8 years.  Mostly for friends and family.  Mostly for my family, really!  We haven’t purchased commercial soap in, well, at least 8 years!  Whenever I’d give a bar to someone, they’d always come back asking, “Do you sell these?”
I decided, as a way to raise money for our school, to sell bars of handmade soap.  I felt it needed a name, even if it’s just a fundraiser.  Flower Picker said we should call it “Oma’s Favorite!”  Oma is what my children call my mother.  It’s German for Grandmother.  Just like every grandma, she tells all her grandkids that they’re her favorite one!  Just like ever good mama, she always told me that I was her favorite daughter (I am her only daughter, btw) – Anyway, she’s always been a fan of my handmade soaps, so it seemed only appropriate to call the soaps, “Oma’s Favorite”.

What started out as an idea for a fundraiser for our school, turned into a family business.

March was the month we started a handcrafted soap business!

The kids have been helping out with getting soaps labeled and helping with various other products.  We’ve had 3 public shows, and they’ve all helped with that!

I was afraid that this would interfere with school, but it’s actually added a few lessons that I couldn’t have found a curriculum for.  The girls have learned about inventory – how to figure out what’s been sold based on your start and finish count.

So! That’s where we’ve been!  Up to our eyeballs in sweet-smelling soap!

I’ve missed the blog and all my visitors!  I hope to keep the blog updated.

We’re getting ready to hit our first summer school session – and #1 Son will be graduating in December!

Lots to look forward to!

Oh, and this past week, we had brothers & sisters come down from Arkansas to help us in our territory!  It was an awesome week!  We had them over for dinner on Thursday, and it was… paradise!  I cannot believe how truly beautiful it is to spend only a few minutes with 6 complete strangers, and feel deeply connected!

We’re going to be visiting them this summer!!

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Looking to rearrange the schedule… again!

Well, we’ve slowly gotten back into the swing of things, but 4 dental appointments in one week does not hold out much success for school!

Yesterday, Face asked a question that I couldn’t answer right away… “Why don’t we do sign language anymore?”

Good question!  It seems like in my desire to get back to normal, ASL got bumped off the list!  Not on purpose, just sorta happened.  I really want to learn/teach ASL.  I think it’s an awesome language skill to have that will benefit us/them in our volunteer work.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. It’s been on our schedule for 3 years now, and every time we have Winter Break.. when we come back, it’s not on the schedule.

This last winter break was the straw that broke this camel’s back.  I feel as if I actually overscheduled our school day.  So, what can I do to revive the ASL…?

Well, since I hate long breaks in our schooling, I’m outlawing them! Ha Ha… no really, from now on, the most we can take off at a time is 5 days.  We will unschool for those time periods, but we can’t quit cold turkey!  It leaves behind too many casualties!

So, I’m already putting together a schedule for the summer.  And guess what is first – well, right after Bible Study – yup, ASL!  Even if we only do Bible Study and ASL over the summer, that will make this Mom-Teacher very happy!

Will it work? Of course!!  Ok, no really – it can’t hurt.  The summer break is harder on the kids than on me.  I’m tired of feeling like Homeschooling is a chore after Winter break. so hopefully, this will keep us motivated year-round.

I’m feeling very good about this approach, and I’ve even discussed it with my minions, children.  They’re on board with it.  (yay!)

Each summer, the kids participate in the Summer Reading Program through our library, and they enjoy it.  Since we’ve moved away from Twaddle books (or Dumbed-down, as the girls call it), we’re going to keep up with the amount of minutes read during the summer, instead of the number of books.  They’re on board with this, too! (another yay!)

You can bet that I’ll post about how this whole thing works out! Hopefully, it’ll inspire others who may suffer from After-the-long-break blues!

Posted in Yadda Yadda | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Is it really art?

For the month of December, I decided to allow the kids to do ‘Paint by Numbers’. They each chose their own picture to do, and were really excited to start.

My son ended up painting TWO because he enjoyed it so much. The girls’ interest waned, though.

I enjoyed watching #1 Son’s true LOVE for this ‘new’ medium.  He quickly asked about getting another kit, so I see there is real interest there.

I was concerned that this isn’t considered “art”.  I think it is… just like crocheting, sewing and knitting are art, only a different medium.  I searched Amazon and found that there are even paint by numbers kits for famous paintings, like this one. (It’s Degas’ “Woman Bathing”, so you may wish to censor).

Anyway, I have seen that the kids had to pay close attention to the finished picture to make sure they were using the right colors, so I can see how it can develop a deeper love of fine artwork & paintings.

I could just simply be rambling, though.

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Quick Dinner Recipe

I just wanted to share this recipe with all my busy mom friends here!

World’s Easiest Taco Soup Recipe

It took less than 20 minutes!
If you are pressed for time to cook dinner (or just don’t have that “oh, let’s spend hours in the kitchen cooking nutritious foods for my family” gene), you should pick up a copy of
Desperation Dinners – it’s been a life saver at my hacienda!

Enjoy!

Posted in Yadda Yadda | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments