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Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Homemaking Party: Slowing Down a Little...Finally!

 
Hello friends! Welcome to The Homemaking Party! It's roasty, toasty, hot and humid in NW Arkansas today but I'm hanging out in our well air conditioned library tonight and feelin' fine! Ha! Life is finally slowing down a bit for me and I feel like I want to stay close to home and do homey things. We are starting school July 9, since we've been off since April, and I'm just feeling really excited to be back in our comfortable routine of home life. I traveled to Oregon in April and England in May (I know, still no photos up...sorry!) and then there's been summer camps and missions trips and...whew!

These three guys are in Honduras this week, ministering at an orphanage and at a school. From the pictures I'm seeing come over Facebook and IG, they're having a great time and really enjoying those sweet Honduran kids!

Lynzie has been house sitting for the youth pastors who took the kids to Honduras and Selah stayed with a friend last night so it was just me and the four littles this morning. We decided to have a little adventure. We went to Walmart to buy lunch (my kids think Lunchables are gold since I buy them so rarely!) and then made a library stop.

After library time, we headed for the park. They rode bikes, took walks (hikes!), played baseball, and laid around panting from the heat. We had an early picnic lunch and then went home for a long nap!

My kids love an opportunity to use a lunch box...one of those cool things like riding on a school bus that public schoolers get to do. Ha! Here Brenna is dreaming about what's inside her box. We were out so early but I wouldn't let them eat until 11. Next time we'll pack breakfast instead!

Our Rose of Sharon bush is in full bloom and hosting all kinds of neat insects and birds. We mainly have these orange not-actually-ladybugs, hummingbirds, zillions of bees, and several kinds of butterflies. Our road is so quiet so I love to stand out on the porch and just listen to the bush buzzing. It's at least nine feet tall and at least that wide and just full of probably a hundred or more different creatures at a time. I think I'll make it the focus of a nature study when we start back to school.

Well friends, hope all is well in your worlds! Thanks for stopping by The Homemaking Party!

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A Band-Aid Box Story Craft

Hello Friends! Welcome to the Homemaking Party! 
This week, Lynzie is away from home until Friday and the teens are at teen camp---which means it's just me and the four littles during the days! Wow, such a different dynamic! 
We're doing some fun crafts and things this week and I thought I'd share one with you all.

 
Years ago, (like 15 or more) I was at a yard sale and found all these metal Band-Aid boxes for sale. I instantly remembered a craft I did as a four year old in Kindergarten and knew I had to grab them so I could do this project with my littles. Those littles are now almost grown but, thankfully, I've got another group of littles who are still little enough to enjoy this!
My mom had some rolls of register tape at a later yard sale so I snatched them up and all these supplies have been hiding away for a really long time. Today was their day!

When I was in Kindergarten at Heppner Elementary School in Heppner, Oregon, my teacher, Ms. Webber, led us in making Band-Aid box stories. This was about 1984 and Johnson & Johnson was still selling Band-Aids in metal boxes in "those days". I posted a teaser on my social media today and a friend joked that those lethal metal boxes were designed to sell more Band-Aids. That cracked me up...but really, now they're in paper boxes, so there's always the risk of a nasty paper cut! Genius moves on their part...hahaha!

Anyway, back to the story... So, as you can see, super trendy tiny me wrote a story about Rainbow Brite and her horse, Starlight. 

The kids loved seeing and hearing my story and thought I was just as adorable as I really was... But then they were ready to get started on their own stories!
Some of the kids chose to cover the outside of their boxes first. I had a huge box of decorative paper to choose from, but everyone went with solid colors and decided to decorate them on their own with drawings and coloring.

Some of the kids chose to write out their stories on register tape first. These two wrote stories about Doctor Who, their newest obsession.

Kynthia wrote a story about Leia from Star Wars. Once they were done with their stories, they rolled them up and fit them perfectly into the little boxes.

Here's Avalon's finished story, along with a matching TARDIS box. Very cool.

This was a super fun, easy, and creative craft. I'm so glad we recreated one of my favorite Kindergarten memories! Perhaps you'll find some vintage Band-Aid boxes at a yard sale and make one of your own, too!

Thanks for stopping by the Homemaking Party! Have a great week!

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Field Trips to the Joplin History Museum, the Titanic Exhibit, and a Farm!

Hello Friends! Wow, well this has really been a week of getting out of the house---and it's only just begun! I spent Monday getting my hair done, getting groceries, and doing several other errands. Tuesday night, we took the kids to the Joplin History and Mineral Museum for a special exhibit. The museum is hosting a small Titanic exhibit through Saturday so we made the quick trip north to check it out. 

We'd never been to this museum and were pleasantly surprised about all the cool things there were to see. Joplin has a (literally!) rich mining history and many minerals and machines were on display in this small museum. Here's Liam explaining to me that this amazing "cave" we were in was probably a real life mine at one time and once the people moved on to another mine, they turned this one into a museum! Ha! The displays really were very well done---but were housed inside an unassuming very much twentieth century building. I just let him believe what he wanted to, though...

Afterward, we took the kids to Wendy's and treated them to dinner and Frostys. Most of the kids had never had a Frosty so it was a life-changing experience...

This morning we got up bright and early to visit a local farm. The dear people at this farm put a TON of work, time, and money into hosting our group of about 100 homeschool parents and students! The kids learned a lot about running a farm and taking care of horses. It was a great experience for them!

I spent most of the morning with the two littlest girls as everyone was divided into groups by age. Kynthia seemed to take to the horses easily and really enjoyed grooming them.

It was a cool and windy day---just right for me...but I guess I'm not really a Southern girl, now am I? 

All these sweeties are such a joy to take places. They're obedient and respectful and very thankful and appreciative. Tomorrow we're going to visit a friend who was injured and had surgery and hasn't been able to attend church for a couple months. After that, we've got our Good Friday service, Easter activity day on Saturday, Easter Sunday...and then two of the boys and I are headed to Oregon for a week! More on that later...but is anyone else feeling as busy as me this week? Ha!! Oh well, it's a blessing to have fun things to do and fun people to do them with!

Thanks for stopping by The Homemaking Party!


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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Daddy's Homeschool Chemistry Lessons

Good Morning! Welcome to The Homemaking Party!
Just want to put up a THANK YOU to everyone who left such sweet comments on my update post last week. You were all so sweet and encouraging! I'm feeling really motivated and encouraged to get back to the heart of blogging and building my community of blogging friends!

Last weekend, Daddy started something new in our homeschool---Chemistry! Jamie works much more than full time, week after week, serves as a board member and in worship ministry at our church, and still makes time to be present in the lives of his nine children. I'm so thankful!!

He doesn't usually do planned out lessons with the kids, but when we recently discussed the serious lack of advanced science in our homeschool, he really stepped up to the plate. I'm good with nature study discussions and activities pertaining to whatever we're doing outside on a given day, but I was a Chemistry drop-out in high school and have never felt like I could (or should!) teach these higher level science subjects.

About a year ago, a friend told me about a new curriculum she was trying out called The Good and the Beautiful. It sounded like a pretty wholesome thing so I decided to check it out. Ha! The day I went to the site, they were offering a one-day free printable of their entire brand new Chemistry course! Woo Hoo! I printed it out and put it in a pretty binder...and handed it over to Jamie. Ha!!

Our first lesson was a general overview of Chemistry and featured an experiment where we caused marker colors to separate out on wet coffee filters.

We first guessed what would happen when we got four different colors wet...then we drew those colored circles on coffee filters and put just the tips into water to see what would happen.

The colors spread out and separated into different shades...and even some surprise colors!

Everyone got in on the lesson---from me and Lynzie, the grown ladies of the house, to Kynthia and Brenna, who are six and seven and not yet doing formal lessons. I figured I'd get in on this teaching and then I'd feel better about reteaching it to the youngers when they're in high school.

Once the kids' filters were dry and they'd recorded all their observations, they stored their pretty colored filters in a notebook. We're looking forward to Saturday morning when Jamie will have lesson number two ready to go through. It's days like these that reinforce that homeschooling (and any family learning opportunities, really) is more about the time spent and the memories made than any intelligence gained. I'm thankful!



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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

I Miss Blogging...and Other Mixed Up Thoughts of the Day


How do you feel about change? Some people love it when the old goes out and the new comes in. My husband is like that. He's always ready to jump into the next technological advancement and he's great when it comes to trying new things.

Me, not so much. The Beatles and the Bible tell us there's a time for everything and that circumstances change, but that doesn't mean I have to like it! If there's one thing I've learned about change though, it's that life would get pretty stagnant without it.

My life started going a different direction a couple years ago and part of that was reflected on this blog. I used to post several times a week and was working with many big name brands. But, you know, that started to get really tedious and pretty soon I'd lost my voice as a blogger. More and more, I had to be the person the brands wanted me to be, and the blog wasn't really mine anymore. I decided to let that go and my plan was to go back to blogging about Jesus and antiques, but that hasn't really happened, has it? I've struggled with bouncing back from that change.

Deeper things have gone on in these two years---things that are big enough to actually require a grieving process. Many of you know we lost a baby in October. I'm about six weeks from the due date of that baby and life is getting reeeeally tough to handle as that time draws closer. I'm ok. I'm getting through it with the love and support of my husband and kids and a couple close friends, but I've got to lean in to feelings of anger, jealousy, and so much sadness, that I don't really want to face.

Happy changes can still bring a time of mourning. That's a new concept to me, but it's so true. Lynzie graduated last April---almost a year ago---and I've been struggling to keep the joy in our homeschool. I'll write more on that later---that one needs a whole post of it's own---but the grief I'm dealing with, even with her still at home, sort of blindsided me.

I'm taking on some new ministry responsibilities in my church---which has brought up some questions for me about identity and callings. While I'm excited about what's ahead, there are some identity things I have to lay down in order to take this road God's got me on...and that's hard.

Why am I writing out these disjointed thoughts? I used to share heart stuff here, back in the days before the sponsored posts took over my life, and I'd like to get back to that. I miss my blogging friends and community. I feel God bringing something new to this blog. I'm looking forward to seeing what it is!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Vintage Valentines: The Homemaking Party


Hello Friends! Welcome to The Homemaking Party! Hope you're all having a happy week so far. I've been busy setting up a second Etsy shop---one dedicated to letter writing and mail art to complement my Victorian Letter Writers Guild.

Tonight I listed four of these antique reproduction paper fan Valentine's Day cards. They are so adorable and unique! I'm sure they will sell out fast.

I've also got a card for sale with a full letter written on the back of it. The letter dates to 1964 and is good for a couple of laughs!

I've also got these bits of vintage Valentines that need a little TLC. I thought they'd be fun to incorporate into a junk journal or other mixed media project. I'm selling them as a set.

I've got this cute elephant Valentine, as well. He's so sweet and is used as a finger puppet for little hands. Adorable!

You can visit my shop here: VictorianLetters

What kinds of fun Valentine's crafting do you have planned for this season? I'm hoping to get out some cards to my Guild members and a few other special people. 
Thanks for stopping by!


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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Lynzie's Turning 19 Tomorrow!! The Homemaking Party

Hello everyone!
This week we're celebrating a very special lady---my oldest daughter, Lynzie, is turning 19 tomorrow!

It's hard to believe at her age I was married and almost expecting her. Time goes by so fast...

Last night I took her out to dinner and to see the new Mary Poppins movie. We loved it! It was just as good as the original. Just fabulous!

Of course, she had to go in costume. This girl is one of a kind, for sure! I sure do love her. If you've got a minute, stop by her blog, Elegant Homemaking, and send her some birthday love!
Happy Birthday Lynzie Mae!

Thanks for stopping by The Homemaking Party! Hope you're having a lovely week!



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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

An Important Devotional for Women Making Goals


Hello Friends! Welcome to the Homemaking Party!

Wow! I don't know about you but this year seemed to completely fly by for our family! We made lots of great friends and special memories---but there's a big part of me that is saying, slow down! So, New Year Resolution Number One is: stay home more!

Do you make New Year Resolutions? Some years I make an elaborate categorized list of my goals for the upcoming year. Other times, I just pick one thing. However you do it, the important thing is to assess why you feel the need to make a change and then start taking simple, doable steps toward that goal.

I hope you'll check out my devotional for women, Now: Purposeful Steps Toward a More Abundant Life, available in paperback and on Kindle. It's all about taking the steps needed to start living the way you want to and to stop making excuses about why you think you can't. Sound simple? It is! It's a simple little book that you can read through in a day for encouragement or spend time going through it more slowly as a study toward change. It features study questions and prayer topics and is a great gift for yourself or another woman in your life who wants to live a fulfilling life right where she's at!

 Many blessings for your new year! I'm looking forward to great things!



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