School Prep, Fun with Friends, and Father's Day Ideas

In my life this week…
We've enjoyed our last week of "no school" before starting our summer schedule. I've continued straightening and cleaning around the house. I created chore charts for the children--one for the boy and one for the girls because of the age differences. This will begin on Monday. I think only my oldest daughter is excited about that!

In our homeschool this week…
In preparation of summer school, I transferred most schooling items back into our school room. Since the baby was born, we've been schooling at our kitchen table. It's been 6 whole months. The calendar is still says December, December 5th to be exact. . .one day before my son was born. I miss it! My kids miss it, too! My husband worked really hard to get that little place all set up for us. Being in there today brought back many memories of the hot summer days full of drywall and paint and flooring. . .all in anticipation of our first year of homeschooling. So, the plan is to transition back into the school room next week.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
Another homeschooling mom and I were talking about co-ops, and how we both misunderstood the term. Neither of us was looking for an academically structured group to be a part of. In our area, so many homeschoolers are part of something like that, and I'm not against it. However, what this mom and I were looking for was something where homeschooling families got together once a month or so to let the children play, eat lunch, and moms could hang out and chat. . . just fun and fellowship with like-minded families. My tip: Don't forsake relaxed, "unstructured" fellowship with other families because it can be so encouraging and validating on a number of levels.

I am inspired by…
Routines and schedules. They generally work for me. Now, am I the best at it? No. Do I always stick to them? No. But it is extremely helpful to have something in place to judge my time against. I'm still working on getting into bed earlier!!!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
This week, we spent a day at a nature park with some new friends: another homeschooling mom and her children. It was a great day. The kids played on the playground, we saw the farm animals, had lunch, and went to the indoor nature center there, as well. It was good to talk with her and exchange ideas. Our children had a lot in common, namely horses, cats (well, any type of animals, really) and books. Neither of us remembered to bring a camera; I think we were too excited to share some time together!

My favorite thing this week was…
What I loved doing this week was working on Father's Day gifts! I created photo greeting cards with CVS online. They have great photo greeting cards for just $1.99 each, and you can pick them up same day. (So, there's still time for a last minute gift that's sure to please.) I made one for my husband, my dad, and my father-in-law. The kids' pictures were on the cards. Here are the pictures I used:
Our official "Homeschool Picture Day" photo.
You can't imagine the number of retakes there were!!!

The photographer snapped the shot just before
his hands went into his mouth!

JD's official "baby picture"--5 months
is better than not at all, right?!?
The kids and I also made this cool paper weight for their father:
Before baking
After baking
This is super easy. You make a salt dough, press pebbles (from the back yard!) in to spell out  your message. Then, bake it for a couple of hours and you've made a paper-weight! (Another last minute idea that costs $0.00!!) We added some food coloring to ours in daddy's favorite color. Go HERE for complete instructions.
We also made this:

Pinned Image
Click HERE for the tutorial
Click HERE for photo credit/tutorial tips
And we filled out this printable--the kids' answers were so hilariously sweet:
Pinned Image
I found this on Pinterest and unfortunately, the link I have for the source doesn't work.
I changed the year at the bottom to 2012. 
We had lots of fun making these gifts!!! There's nothing like heartfelt and homemade!

Questions/thoughts I have…
Kindergarten curriculum? U.S. history/facts for multiple ages?

I’m cooking…
I made a sour cream pound cake loaf for my husband, for father's day. I'm thinking of doing a cream cheese icing/drizzle or lemon drizzle or maybe lemon cream cheese. I'm undecided! Right now, the cake is wrapped up in a secret hiding place in the fridge. Since it's my first time making this particular cake, I'll have to try it first before I share the recipe. If it's a winner, I'll let you know!

I’m grateful for…
My husband's vision for our family.

I’m praying for…
My extended family.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
In honor of Father's Day:
Pinned Image
This is SO true!!
I found this on Pinterest, too!


  1. Stacie,
    I agree with you about co-ops. They can be a lot of work. We were involved with one when my oldest son was in high school for a couple of years and I felt burned out from it and never did it again. I also think just getting together a few times a year to do fun things has worked out better for us. I love your pictures. Oh so cute!!! I hope your family has a wonderful summer.

  2. What a gloriously rich week!!! I LOVE to hear about all you are doing. So very precious!! Your husband is going to be blown away on Father's Day. :)

  3. Hi Jennifer,

    My husband was against that co-op from the start. . .he felt like we wouldn't have the freedom to take things at our own pace.

    Thank you for your sweet comments on the pics! We had fun.

    Happy summer!

  4. Anne,

    Thank you! You're so sweet!!! I hope my husband likes his gifts. :)

  5. It sounds like you have had a very productive and busy week. It also sounds like you are becoming more comfortable with homeschooling. I am glad to hear that, for as I recall in the beginning, you were a bit more "nervous." :)

    The homemade Father's Day gifts were awesome! I really LOVED the paper weight. Also, the words on the card at the end of this post were very true. I smiled as I read them.

    Blessings to you! :)

  6. I wish I would have had the chance to come by before Father's day! What great ideas! Thanks for your thoughts about the co-op. I think that's just what I needed to hear right now as we are trying to get something going here by us. Now I can make that suggestion.

  7. Hi Mara,
    Your comments always cause me to reflect. I suppose I was "a bit nervous"--well, actually,REALLY nervous in the beginning of homeschooling. :) But God gives so much grace. . .

    Thanks--my husband really liked his gifts. He just chuckled and smiled!

    God bless you, friend!

  8. Hey Desiree,

    Aww, thanks! Father's Day was fun for our family!

    I'm glad you'll offer that suggestion as part of your co-op. Sometimes we just need to lean on each other and have a time to fellowship.


Comments are always welcomed!!

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