Taking a Break from Homeschooling

Stopping to enjoy the summer, relaxing and becoming rejuvenated will do worlds of good for you and your homeschool. I know the temptation is to dive right into looking at catalogs and begin to think about the next year. But, what about taking a mental vacation for a while?  How about doing something you enjoy or doing something that will encourage you? If you like to read, this book comes highly recommended and I just ordered it for myself!

Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie is a great encouragement to us. This short book has words of wisdom to help in the homeschool journey.


Do you like to cook or bake? What about trying out a new recipe or baking a batch of your favorite cookies? I got an Instant Pot and have been trying out some recipes this summer. Since I am not teaching and have a little more free time right now, I have been looking at recipes to make. I am not so harried in trying to get something on the table between school and trying to spend quality time with my hubby in the evenings. Can you relate? ūüôā

If you are not sure where to look for ideas,  All Recipes has a bazillion recipes to try. You can also do a google search if you have particular foods or diets to consider and you will find more food blogs that you can possibly go through in one day. How about treating yourself to an hour a day of reading food blogs? You are bound to find at least one or two that are just the kind of cook you are for you to follow. I like to check out Smitten Kitchen for vegetarian dishes.

Maybe you would like to concentrate on getting in shape. There are free apps to help you with that. Here are the ones I have on my phone currently:

  • My Fitness Pal- This can be used to be a daily food and water journal, record your workouts and the calories burned. It can also set up a plan to help you lose weight and measure your progress.
  • Cylemeter or Map My Ride- these measures how far you bike, the elevation, how many calories you burned (yay!), etc.
  • Daily Workout Apps- This free app has routines for abs, arms, butt, cardio, legs, and full workout.

What about your personal relationships with friends and hubby? Just getting to talk to another adult is a vacation in itself when you have been with your children every day. I know you love them beyond measure, but I always appreciate my children more when I have a break from them.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get together. Does your city have free summer concerts? What about grabbing a frozen yogurt or a cup of coffee? How about reading a book and then discussing the parts you enjoyed? You can always rent a movie and pop some popcorn. If you are looking for movie reviews for you or your family, Plugged In is produced by Focus on the Family and I appreciate their help in making informed decisions with movies and other media.

Have a great, relaxing week! ~Lisa ~

Teacher Appreciation Perks


This week is Teacher Appreciation Week! I am glad to see that some places of business are honoring you and all the hard work you do. ūüôā

Chick-fil-A:  Some stores are offering a  free sandwich on May 2nd.  Check with your local store before ordering.

Chipotle: Teachers, Faculty & Staff get BOGO BURRITOS, BOWLS SALADS OR TACOS with valid School ID on May 2nd from 3 pm to close.

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store: Sign up for a TEACHER REWARDS DISCOUNT CARD and save 15% on purchases, in store and online.

Loft: Teachers get 15% off regular priced items year round with their LOFTLOVESTEACHERS program.

McDonald’s: Check with your local store, many are offering free breakfast or lunch on set days during teacher appreciation week.  Dates and offer varies by location.

Michael’s: Teachers get 15% off your entire purchase in-store. See store associate for details.

Pizzeria Locale:  Teachers buy one get one free pizza on Monday, May 1 from 3:00pm to close. You just need to show your letter of excusal from the school.


Denim Bag Sewing Project

Looking for a sewing project that your children can do? How about a carrying bag? Recently I got out my sewing machine and made a bag out of a pair of thrift store jeans that I got for a quarter. I kid you not! I don’t know about you, but I am drawn to purchasing bags in which I can carry my school books, library books and and supplies.

I wanted a bag that I could put on the floor and not worry about if the fabric would get dirty. Jeans are the perfect material to use since the material is already pre washed and can take some rough handling. Best of all, this is a project that beginning seamstresses can make!


Instructions for Denim Bag (The picture above is not the bag I made, but it was so cute I had to feature it!)

Materials Needed: 

1 pair of jeans (the larger the jeans, the bigger the bag)


sewing machine and thread of any color


  1. Cut the pair of jeans straight across at the beginning of the legs- under the zipper.¬†Save the legs (you’ll need them later). Cut at least half an inch below the bottoms of the back pockets and below the zipper, for seam allowance. Jeans may be cut a little wider in back than in front, so line up the waistlines in the front and back before trimming.
  2. Turn the jeans inside out. Sew across the bottom to shut the leg openings. Also sew up the sides of the divider panel to secure it. Offset thick seams in the center, so they’re not right on top of each other. Sew a 5/8 inch seam allowance from the edge of the fabric.
  3. Cut a strip at least 2 inches wide and add extra for a seam allowance down the length of one of the legs to make the strap. The outside of the leg is usually a little bit straighter. Before cutting, hold the purse up to you and determine how long you will need the strip to be for your strap. Cut the strip that length plus an additional 1inch to allow seam allowances to attach to your bag.
  4. Turn the strip inside-out, so that you are seeing the wrong side of the fabric. Sew it closed along one side, trying to keep the seam as straight as possible.
  5. Turn the strip right side out and sew the handle to the inside of your bag near the hips of the jeans.  Reinforce the stitches since this is what will take the weight of what you carry inside your bag.
  6. Accessorize bag if you like. I added a velcro strip inside to keep the bag closed.

* I had a bit of help with directions from wikihow

There are so many different types of purses you can make that I wanted to refer you to a website that has 25 different types of purses and bags, practically one for each day of the month! To see all of the wonderful designs CLICK HERE or on the picture.


Happy Sewing!  ~Lisa


The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill


Winter is the time of year when I like to curl up in a comfy chair with a blanket and read books. I just finished a terrific book that I would like to share with you.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the endearing story of Jane Fairmont Bell, a young widow, who is the central character in the first book of a trilogy, Tales from Ivy Hill, by ¬†Julie Klassen. ¬†Set in the early 1800’s when coaching inns were the place for people to rest along their journey and get a meal or refreshments, Jane is the proprietor of an inn that her husband had left to her upon his death.¬†Being at a¬†disadvantage since her husband did not include her in the operations of the inn, Jane realizes that she is in risk of losing it due to mismanagement and untold secrets from her husband’s past.

Jane is uncertain as to what to do and certainly needs help with managing and running the inn if she is going to keep it. ¬†Otherwise, not only will she lose her income, but also her home.¬†Who can she trust to help her? Will her brother-in-law with a shady past be someone that she can lean upon or does he have ulterior motives? Can Jane put aside her feelings of inferiority to ask for her mother-in-law’s help? What about the mysterious stablehand who seems to know much more than just about horses? Help comes from a variety of unexpected sources that make this story so interesting.

I was sad when the book ended because I wanted to find out what was going to happen to Jane and the people of the village where she lives. One of my tests of a great book is if I am still thinking about the book several days later and this was definitely the case with The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill. I am looking forward to reading the next installment of her trilogy.

61q3qqe98l-_ux250_¬†Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. She worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her novels have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. Her book, The Silent Governess, was also a finalist in the Minnesota Book Awards, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards, and Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She and her husband have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota. Visit for more information.

I have received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.



Ideas for Weight Loss

I have wonderful news… my youngest son is getting married! His fianc√©e¬†is wonderful and we are looking forward to having her in our family. She will have all the joys of spelling and saying our last name like I have!

Recently I began trying on¬†dresses for the “Big Day”. I don’t know how these pounds grabbed onto me, and if I had to choose a date for the wedding, I would say¬†a year from now so I could get skinnier. Well,¬†I have about a month to lose some winter poundage. Miracles can happen, right? I looked on the internet with my quest to lose weight and found 7 key points to help:

  1. Did it grow?¬†Fruit, vegetables, and nuts fit that category. However, I would have to say that maltodextrose ¬†does not. What is that anyway?? A colorless to yellowish syrupy mixture of dextrose, maltose, and dextrins containing about 20%¬†water,¬†used in confectionery, alcoholic fermentation, tanning, and treating tobacco.¬†Ewww!! ūüė¶
  2. 1 ingredient– No, I don’t have to eat just one thing, but rather ¬†food should be as unprocessed as possible.
  3. Did it have a mother?¬†Was it alive previously? Fish, beef, chicken all had mothers. However, ¬†I do wonder about pigs… ūüôā
  4. One pound= 3500 calories How long will it take to exercise off a donut? Motivation factor!
  5. Stay hydrated– Often we think we are hungry, but it is actually thirst. Also, water curbs appetites. Calories are being burned walking to the bathroom too!
  6. Eat every 4 hours– By eating smaller amounts our blood sugar remains steady, resulting in eating less.
  7. Move!¬†If I don’t have a partner to hold me accountable I am far less likely to exercise. A friend keeps me moving and motivated on days when I’d rather sit and eat some carbolicious snack.

Here is¬†to hoping to see progress soon. I haven’t lost any weight since I started yesterday (lol), but I am thinking thin thoughts… I’ll close with a recipe from¬†Fitness Magazine¬†that I am going to try. Care to join me?

Peach Milkshake (1 serving)

1 cup almond milk

1 cup peaches

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/2 banana

1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional–may help burn calories)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

*I like to add chia seeds or flax in addition to the above ingredients. Chia is rich in omega fatty acids and minerals. Flax is rich in protein and fiber.