My Word of the Year for 2017


Hi everyone. Well, 2016 is just about gone and I can’t believe another year has come and gone that fast. This past year has been a major roller coaster of ups and downs for me and my family. I think we can pretty much all say the same thing. This life here on earth is full of so many different emotions, from amazingly fun highs to the most sorrowful days when we just don’t know how we’re going to get through.

It’s always amazing to me how we go from one day to the next and you never know what kind of day that it’s going to be. But I just remember that God said through it ALL He would be with me, He would never leave me. He never promised that we wouldn’t go through hard times, but He did promise to help us through those hard times. I’m so thankful that I have a heavenly father who truly cares about every little thing that matters to me.

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How to Paint Dark Wood Paneling

One thing we did in addition to the bath remodel at our rental house was to paint the dark wood paneling in the kitchen. We lived in this house for almost 10 years and I always said that it was way too dark in the kitchen. The cabinets are a dark brown color and the walls were dark green paneling.

So when we were working on fixing the place up for new renters, we decided to go ahead and paint the paneling to brighten up the kitchen. It really wasn’t as hard as I always thought it would be and it turned out really nice! It literally made it look like an entirely different room. (Please don’t mind the mess in a few of the pictures!)

Here is a picture from before we started:                                                                                          


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Christmas came and went, how did that happen so fast?

Hi everyone! It’s hard to believe that another Christmas has come and gone already. I wanted to share with you a little about our family’s Christmas. I’ll be honest, I had a really hard time getting into the “Christmas Spirit” this year. I think my brain and my body are still trying to get rested up from all the hard work and extreme intensity of our rental house remodel. (You can read more about that here: Our rental house bath remodel

I think that whole project took more of a toll on me than I realized or imagined it would. All through the holidays, I sort of felt like I was just going through the motions and just doing enough to get by. I normally do a lot of baking and fun activities with the kids, but that didn’t really happen much this year. I’m hoping and praying that now that we are finished with that, I can get rested and get more focused on homeschool and just enjoying life with my family.

One thing I did not let myself slack on was doing our Advent candles. It was always a time for us to come together as a family to remember what Christmas is all about. I did manage to capture a nice photo of my kids on Christmas Eve as we lit the final candle, the Christ candle.


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The Prairie Primer…Our year with Laura Ingalls Wilder

During the school year of 2014-2015, I did the The Prairie Primer (by Margie Gray) unit study on the Little House books with my two oldest, Popstar and Flash. Popstar was in 5th grade and Flash was in 3rd grade that year. I had bought this the year before and so I had been preparing for it for all year. I was very excited about doing this study, especially because I LOVE anything to do with Laura Ingalls Wilder and Little House on the Prairie.  So I thought I would tell you a little about our year with Laura.




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Think you’re cut out for doing a bath remodel? Neither did we, but we did it anyway!!! (And we survived!!)

I mentioned a few weeks ago that we’d been extremely busy with our old house, remodeling the bathroom. I wanted to tell you all a little about how that went. We got the news that my sister was moving out of the house near the end of October. We already knew that the bathroom floor was spongy near the tub and needed some work done. But we had no idea what we were in for….


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Field Trip to Historic Brattonsville

Back in November we took a Field Trip to a local Historical Homestead called Brattonsville. We went with some good friends and had such a great time! It takes us about 20 minutes or so to get there. We actually have a membership because there are so many fun events that they do and it is a combo membership with two other museums in our town.

Brattonsville has historical buildings from the 1700’s on one side of the street and from the 1800’s on the other side of the street. It was owned by the Bratton family and when we go, we learn all about this family. They were actually involved in both the Revolutionary War and Civil War, so it’s very exciting. They have a lot of hands on activities and offer such a large range of historical learning. I always have so much fun, since I love history.

Here are a few pictures from our fun day:


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School Pictures!

Back in November, we had pictures taken for our local Homeschool Support Group (YEAH) yearbook. We are so blessed to have been a part of this group ever since we began homeschooling, back when Popstar started Kindergarten in 2009. 

Our support group is wonderful. We have a weekly coop on Friday afternoons for 12 weeks in the fall and 12 weeks in the spring as well as a lot of other get togethers and even a Prom and Graduation ceremony.

They started the yearbooks about 5 years ago and they are wonderful! Plus, we get to have these great pictures taken of the kids for a very low price! These pictures were taken by a homeschool graduate from our group, Helen Freeman.   




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Five in a Row Christmas Ornaments Exchange

We’ve been participating in the Five in a Row Christmas Ornaments Exchange for over 5 years now and it’s always so exciting for the kids! We sign up on the Forums at . There is usually someone who volunteers to coordinate the exchange and they will have a sign up form in late summer. We always do both Domestic and International lists, which makes it a lot of fun because your ornaments go all over the world and you receive ones as well! It’s so fun to look at the return address and see what state they are from!

We’ve kept all of our ornaments and we have a small Christmas Tree that we set up in our school room to put them all on. Here is our tree this year:



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Baked Macaroni & Cheese Recipe

Hi everyone! I have a new recipe for you today! I got out my Five in a Row Cookbook by Becky Jane Lambert for Thanksgiving and made our favorite version of Baked Macaroni & Cheese that is listed to go along with the Five in a Row book Storm in the Night. We made this back in July and the family decided that this was our favorite! For our family’s Thanksgiving dinner I actually quadrupled the recipe so that we would have plenty of leftover. It was a huge hit with everyone!



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