Saturday, March 30, 2013

Soapbox Saturday–Homeschooling

I don’t remember who shared this on Facebook, but I read this article, 18 Reasons Why Doctors and Lawyers Homeschool Their Children. It’s really great, be sure to read the whole thing yourself. It’s written by a doctor who after many years of public and private school, finally turned to homeschooling to meet her family’s educational needs.

Here are a few of the highlights:

1) “We spend less time homeschooling each day than we used to spend driving.”
Oh boy, I can only imagine. I have several friends who have their kids in different magnet schools here in Las Vegas. I can definitely see how this could add up and I personally wouldn’t choose this, but even then sometimes it just happens with kids of different ages. Then all the time spent waiting in a pickup line, running the car in summer, and getting home to have to do homework and other activities. Phew, makes me tired just thinking about it.

3) “Our kids are excelling academically as homeschoolers.”
The author says that by homeschooling they are able to “enrich our children’s strengths and supplement their weaknesses.” That’s so important to teach to your kid’s understanding and not to go too fast or too slow for them. I imagine a lot of behavior issues in the classroom stem from this, a child frustrated with the fast pace or bored with the material being covered.

7) “Our family spends our best hours of each day together.”
I thought this was interesting because I hadn’t considered this when thinking of homeschooling, but you get to spend the best hours of the day with your kids, not just the tired cranky hours.

10) “We are able to work on the kids’ behavior and work ethic throughout the day.”
With the size of classes ever growing, teachers don’t always have time to focus on one student and help them work to their full potential. Through homeschooling, you’re able to bring the best out of your child and show them how to work to their best everyday.

13)  Younger children learn from older siblings.”
That’s a great bonus and I think a very valuable one. Often children listen better to siblings than parents and at the same time the older sibling has the opportunity to learn to be patient and to learn to be a teacher. A very practical skill that will benefit them throughout their lives.

18)   “Teach kids your own values.”
The author states that 36% of homeschoolers choose this route to teach their own morals and values.  I think that’s great in this ever changing world, kids are taught untrue and unkind things from peers. Especially girls and the things that media, society, and peers teach about body image and ‘beauty’. The author also points out that you get to control how holidays are celebrated and the minor holidays can stay minor. (Like I talked about last week) She’s able to do a small Halloween celebration and then focus on Easter for a week to suit her family’s beliefs.

Overall I really liked this article and it got me thinking. Since becoming a mom I had always written homeschooling off as something other moms with an educational background can do. I’ve always thought how my kid needs structure and a patient teacher. I never thought I could be those things. Now – I don’t know. Maybe I could. I guess it comes down to what is best for our family and our kids.

Only time will tell.

What are your thoughts? Do you/are you going to homeschool? What benefits do you see in homeschooling/public school?

Have a great weekend!!

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Friday, March 29, 2013

On My Wish List

This bad boy is on my wish list. I borrowed it from a friends and it is AWESOME!

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Using this tutorial I found on Pinterest, I dismantled a pallet in no time, with little effort. Love it!
Just thought you should know! Open-mouthed smile

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Homemade Breadcrumbs

I ran out of breadcrumbs the other day and figured, no big deal I’ll make my own. Lucky me, I also stumbled across this loaf of bread at Fresh & Easy on clearance. $.87, not bad!!

So you wanna make your own too? So easy! Lay your bread out on a baking sheet and preheat your oven. I was already baking something at 375 so I just went with that Open-mouthed smile


Let toast for about 10-12 minutes until crispy.

Let the bread cool then put it in your food processer. I have a super mini food processor so I had to break them up first, then pulse.


I got about 4 cups of breadcrumbs from this loaf. I put them in a freezer bag, labeled it, and put it in the freezer to keep them as fresh as possible.

That’s it. That’s all you have to do. So easy, cheap, and no extra junk!

Hope you're having a great week!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

How to Clean Rust and Sediment Toilet Rings

Did you miss my New House Tour – the Gross part and the Clean part?

After all that cleaning, I still couldn’t get this hard water ring out of the boy’s toilet. That is until a wonderful reader (thank you Deborah!) told me her trick – a pumice stone!!

EDIT *** A WET PUMICE STONE**** (if you start with a dry one - you risk scratching the bowl- thank you Mary Alice for letting me know!)

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I picked this one up at the dollar store and got to work.

Here’s what it looked like before-it's clean I promise! It's just hard water/rust stuff I couldn't clean with a toilet brush.
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It didn’t take long at all and it came out perfect!
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Great results! This is why I love hearing from readers, thank you Deborah!! I never would have thought about using a pumice stone, thank you thank you thank you!!
Toilet ring before and after

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Soapbox Saturday–Holidays Gone Overboard?

So it’s been a while, but I read a post this week that I felt would resonate with many of you.
Kristen from Rage Against the Minivan wrote how in recent years, every minor holiday from St.Patrick’s day to Pi day have become major holidays that her children expected to celebrate and celebrate in some elaborate way.

She also talks about how there is a new holiday almost every month at school and the kids are expected to make, buy, or bring something to class. Who has time for that? Pi Day, Johnny Appleseed Day, 100 days of school, Dr. Suess’ birthday, and the list goes on…But it’s not as a simple as a card for Valentine’s day anymore. Now parents send full goodie bags of treats, making it a second Halloween.

Luckily, I don’t have school age children yet so I haven’t directly had to deal with it, but I have seen in this Pinterest age how the ‘bar’ has been raised and like Kristen mentions, St. Patrick’s Day is no longer a day to simply wear green. Now kids expect to find gold coins, chocolate, and some kind of leprechaun prank. I agree with Kristen in that expectations have gotten out of control. I don’t mind if parent’s choose to go all out at home and in their own traditions, but it seems like school and Pinterest are setting up other parents to look like slackers.  I definitely think there is room for fun traditions, but I do agree that society has made kids come to expect Easter as a second Christmas and other holidays to be similarly celebrated.

For my family, we keep things simple. For St.Patrick’s day I pinned a shamrock on the boys shirts and Curt requested corned beef and cabbage. Other than that, the day went by unnoticed (honestly because I have no idea what the holiday is about – lol).

So basically, I don’t mind if you enjoy going all out at home. I just think it’s sad that sometimes the true meaning of the holiday is overshadowed by elves, candy, and presents. I hope that my kids will appreciate the traditions we establish and not come to expect presents every month. I think it can be fun to celebrate these smaller holidays with family time. No need for spending gobs of money on decorations and presents. 

What do you think? Do you have school age kids and find this to be true? Are you exhausted from the never ending parties and celebrations or do you enjoy going all out?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Preview of Projects to Come...

It is turning out to be a very busy week for me. So I just wanted to drop by and give a quick preview of the projects I have coming up...

I'm in the process of redoing this piece of furniture. It was left in the garage by the previous home owner and I'm excited to make it into something useful for the boy's playroom.

A little something for the boy's bathroom

And finally a pallet project that was super easy, can't wait to share this one!

Hope you're having a great week!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Getting Chocolate Stains Out of a White Shirt

A couple weeks ago at church my husband brought a special treat to bribe reward the boys to behave. Well he gave Ben a small piece of chocolate and I guess because it was peppermint, Ben spit it out into his hands got a bunch all over his shirt.

When it came time for wash that week I completely forgot and it went through the washer and dryer before I even noticed.


But have no fear, Shaklee to the rescue!

I sprinkled a little bit of a Nature Bright on the spot.

Then added a little Basic H2.

Rubbed it in and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Finally I just put it in the wash like normal.

It came out perfectly clean and white. Not a spot remaining. I was so glad to save this church shirt, it's the one I made into the Always Tucked Little Boys Shirt

I love a clean and happy ending!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Quick Backyard Redo

We have been having B-E-A-utiful weather this week so we’ve been outside almost everyday.

I was out back with the boys noticing the sad state our back porch was in.  So I switched things up and gave it a good cleaning.

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In order to rearrange things, I had to rake and remove some rocks. This one was like an iceburg – only a small portion was above the surface. Just that little bit of white I circled was all I saw. I thought it would be a fairly small thing…

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Nope it was a boulder! haha. So I got it out and filled in the hole it left behind.

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I moved the fake grass to the other side off the porch under the kitchen window. This part of the yard probably gets the most shade all day so it’s perfect for the boy’s sandbox and waddling pool. I tacked the grass down with nails into the rock dirt so it doesn’t blow away anymore.

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Then I had to clean all that sand and debris off the porch. My poor patio chairs (picked up free – curbside shopping!) are looking so lonely, but I have a patio table in the making coming soon!

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Seriously it feels so much better to go out here now that it’s a bit picked up. Now to get Ben to keep the sand INSIDE the sandbox. haha

Have a great weekend and don't forget to wear GREEN on Sunday!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Thrify Finds

I absolutely love a great trip to the thrift store.

This was a while ago, but I really scored.

Two Ikea curtain sets new in their packaging. The red I’m going to put either in the guest bedroom or living room. We’re changing the colors in the master so the silver will be going in the master.

This awesome new with tags bath rug for our bathroom.

It’s soooo fluffy and soft!

Another jar for the pantry. I love using jars to organize my food.
I also got a child size sleeping bag for Andrew and he loves it and asks to sleep in it all the time.

Also, did you know about Facebook Garage sale groups? I didn’t until a couple weeks ago when a friend invited me. They’re basically like Craigslist, but on Facebook so you kinda have an idea of who you’re selling to/buying from and at least for my area, it’s divided into smaller neighborhood areas so you don’t have to drive across town.

Anyway, I’ve gotten some pretty awesome scores there too. I got about 6 sets of Little People playsets, people, and animals for $30! The boys love playing with these guys.

Oh and one last thrifty find I had…I love Fresh and Easy, but I especially love their clearance section!! I scored 3 loaves of organic chia and flax seed bread for $1.40/ea and 4 packs of multigrain tortillas for $1 each! I just threw them in the freezer until I was ready to use them,
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Happy Bargain hunting! Tell me about your recent scores!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

How To Replace Damaged Screen

screen door collage
When we moved into this house there were many signs that the previous owner had a dog. The screen was ripped to shreds, the back door was scratched, and there were chunks of drywall missing in the garage.

So the screen door sat like this until now…
So I finally took 20 minutes and about $10 to fix the screen in preparation for's be in the 70's here so it's coming soon!!

First, take the screen off the track. For me I had 4 screws that needed to be loosened to lift the wheels out of the track.

Once removed we can take the old spline (such a fun word) and screen off.

Pry it out of the groove with a screw driver

and start peeling like after a bad sunburn. hehe I admit, I know it's bad, but I totally peel a sunburn.

You’ll need to remove the door handle as well, just two little screws, no biggie there.

Now this is a very important step – be sure to have a good helper!

Ok so this one was a little more trouble than help

but my oldest was good at holding the new screen for me while I rolled it out and cut it to size. That was the next step by the way. Smile Trim the screen down a little on the sides to fit also.

Then tape two adjacent sides to the frame and cut the corner at a 45 degree angle.

And the main event. Place new spline *hehe* in the groove of one of the non-taped (very technical, I know) sides and with the grooved end of the screen repair tool, begin to push spline Smile into the groove.

Continue around the two non-taped sides.

Remove tape and continue around the rest of the screen door frame until you finish.

Snip the end and push the end of spline down into the groove with a screw driver.

Lastly, trim the extra screen off with scissors or an utility knife and put the screen door back in the frame.
Now you’re ready for spring, nice cool weather, BBQs outside, all that wonderful stuff without bugs getting in.

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