Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part Three, Revisited

I wrote this article a few years back in order to help families who might be struggling with time management. Life can get a bit busy; sometimes, just downright crazy! Here are a few tips which might help!

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part Three

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part Two, Revisited

I wrote this article a few years back in order to help those new to homeschooling better establish a budget for their home. Managing a home on one income is certainly not easy, but it can be done!

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part Two

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part One, Revisited

I wrote this article a few years back in order to help those new to homeschooling better establish a routine for their home. It is my heartfelt desire to see more families successfully navigate the world of home education and be confident in their choice. 

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part One

How ‘Pinteresting’: The World is Flat

One ‘pin’ a week; that is the goal. Nothing too fancy, nothing too far-fetched; just a good opportunity to finally test out a few of those Pinterest ideas and see which ones really work! Join along and chime in; let us know which projects you’ve been working on and how they’ve turned out!


Summer_PinterestHere it is… the last ‘pin’ of the summer! Something that will tie our geography lessons in with our crafting and Pinterest boards. Three jobs in one!

When I was a child we were required to make these as part of our lessons on California History, along with a California mission. (I made my mission out of lasagna noodles, but that’s a story for another day.) I remember having to carefully reconstruct the state of California, making sure to get all the topographical details absolutely correct. Then, we had to paint it accordingly. What a project!

Let’s inflict the same pain fun on our own children. It’s actually pretty easy and you might already have the materials on hand!

Salt Map

Click on the image above to be taken to the original Pinterest link.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Clay (either homemade or store-bought)
Heavy Cardboard
Paints & Brushes

The project is fairly simple. On cardboard (or any other heavy-duty, disposable, flat surface), shape a mound of clay into your geographic location of choice. I would suggest modeling a current country you are learning about or your home state. If you’ve completed a lesson on world geography, perhaps you could allow your children to pick their country of choice. Once you have the location properly modeled to the best of your ability, allow it to dry for at least 24 hours. Once dry, paint your map accordingly.

See how easy that is?! The hard part is deciding what to do with all of these maps once they are complete… Hmmm… Either way, salt mapping is tons of fun and provides several valuable lessons in the learning process.


Time to Chime In: What is your favorite at-home recipe for modeling clay? Please share!

Work Hard, Play Harder: The Play’s the Thing

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” (Ecc. 3:1) Join us as we explore a season of fun and family! Help us discover new ways to enjoy family time and build lasting memories.


Summer_work-playThis is our last week of summer. (Well, technically, we have next week off too, but that week is specifically reserved for the coming year’s prep.) We thought we’d end our summer fun with a bang, filled with tons of family fun and memories to boot!

Just how do we plan to do this? With a play!

Last summer, my husband’s tía treated us to Pinocchio. It was held locally and acted out by the most talented group of young people I have seen in ages. The event was truly memorable. This year, we are once again invited to enjoy an end of summer play. This year, we will be seeing Snow White.

Our kiddos are so excited and so am I. This event is attended not only by us, but my sister-in-law, my mother-in-law, my husband’s aunt and uncle, and a bunch of our cousins. Talk about family fun!

Pinocchio #7

There will be food, drinks, treats, and probably a few mementos as well. Last year, we walked away with hats just like Pinocchio and wands/crowns like the Blue Fairy. Who knows what they will come up with this year; one can only guess!

I was trying to think of something cute to make for the kiddos to enjoy during the performance. I think I might do chocolate covered apples! Doesn’t that sound fun? (I might just have to do a few for the adults as well!) Yummy!

No matter when your summer of fun ends, consider going out with a ‘bang’! Find a local playhouse and treat yourselves to a night of fun. For those brave enough, consider joining the company itself and be a part of the action! It will make for some incredible memories!

Time to Chime In: What was the last play you saw?

Art Attack: All Dolled Up

In a world of busy-ness and responsibility, it’s just as important to take a few moments exploring the creative side of life. Join us as we share ideas on how to get those imaginative juices flowing and explore a world of art!


Summer_ArtMy kids really like dolls. So, when this interesting project came to our attention, we were all over it!

What is the project? Making your own stuffed doll! The concept is simple, but how easy is it really? Honestly… it was a bit of a challenge.

Here is what you’ll need:

batting (or other stuffing for your doll)
embroidery thread

The concept is fairly straight-forward. You cut the following pattern out of your fabric of choice, add details of the dolls face with embroidery thread, sew and stuff your doll. Easy, right? Um; well… Let’s just say the littles found this to be slightly harder than they would have liked. It wasn’t that they couldn’t do the project, but that it didn’t turn out half as nice as they would have liked.

Doll Pattern

A doll can’t go unclothed, at least not in our house. Clothes needed to follow. However, we found this to be even more of a challenge. I think we had grand ideas of what to create without having a firm grasp of basic principles.

I wish we could say the project finally got finished and it turned out wonderfully. However, we copped out. In other words, we quit! We definitely need to back up and work on something a little more simple. When we have the basics down, we’ll come back and tackle this project like pros. Until then… back to the cutting floor.

Time to Chime In: Have you ever tried a project that proved too much for you?

Lighten Up!

Welcome to “Pump Day”, where one day a week we home school in heels and talk about all things girlie!


Pump_Day_2It’s summer time! Wearing tons of makeup would not only make me look overdressed, but more than likely melt off my face before high noon. Does this mean I need go bare-faced; au natural? Not necessarily! I just need to lighten up!

During the winter, I tend to wear a little more makeup. I like experimenting with eye liner, darker lipsticks, and colorful eyeshadow. In the summer, wearing that much makeup would look a bit ridiculous. Summer is the time  for skin to show off and to stick with just the basics.

This does beg the question: What are the basics? I’m glad you asked!

Screens & Lotions - Instead of foundations, facial powders, and concealers, consider wearing a tinted sunscreen such as E.L.F. For a little extra oomph, go for BB/CC cream. Using tinted sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but still offers a basic cover to help even out skin tones.

ELF - Tinted Moisturizer

Blush - Choose a blush which is only slightly brighter than your own skin tone. This will help your skin have a healthy ‘glow’, instead of an obvious color touch up.

Mascara - Instead of black or a dark brown mascara, test out a lighter brown or even clear. This will help your lashes to stand out, while keeping your face looking youthful and clean.

Eye Shadow - Avoid more colorful shadows for daytime excursions. Instead, choose light colors which will brighten the eye area; white, cream, champagne, and the like are perfect choices. If you like, keep your lids bare!

Lipstick - When at all possible, wear nothing but chapstick. If you must wear color, choose something akin to your natural color. A pale pink, a soft coral, or even nude would be a good choice.

For summer evenings, consider adding just a touch of powder and perhaps some bronzer. Additional detail might be gold or bronze eyeliner.

Tempting as it might be, during the summer, I stick to the basics. Wearing much more, gives the impression of being overdressed for the summer months. Summer is supposed to be when we shed the weight of the winter months and enjoy all things light; makeup should be no exception.

Time to Chime In: What is your basic summer regimen, when it comes to makeup?

As always… While fashion is fun, we should always remember:

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” – I Peter 3:3-4

The Mad Scientist: Crocodile Hunter

It is I, the mad scientist! Join me and my minions as we study some of God’s amazing creatures; learning tons of fun facts along the way.


Mad_ScientistUnless you believe the urban legend of alligators dwelling in our sewers, there are very few places to see these remarkable creatures in Southern California. Excepting a trip to the zoo, one has never been spotted in our neck of the woods. Once, we did have an animal expert bring a baby alligator to a library event; that was fun!

Given these conditions, and the fact that owning one is simply out of the question, the next best option is to hit the internet to learn more! Our venue of choice: YouTube!

Using YouTube, let’s watch a few episodes of Crocodile Hunter! (While this man might have been a little unwise in his personal choices, he was certainly brilliant when it came to his knowledge of alligators and crocodiles.)

To add a little creativity to the day, we can also do this fun craft. Using basic materials most of us already have on hand, making these fun animals should be fairly simple.

Toilet Tube Animals

Click on the image above to be taken to the original ‘pin’.

Thus ends our ‘Mad Scientist’ lessons for the summer. We’ve learned about some amazing creatures and added a fun new pet to our household. We hope you’ve had as much fun as we have! Join us next year for more summer fun activities!


Geography Quest: The New England States

All aboard the HSM Express! Join us as we take a quick tour of the United States. Expect to learn a little geography, history, social studies, and more. Definitely plan on having tons of fun. 


Summer_GeographyWe’ve finally arrived. The last week of our geography quest; finishing up the United States and learning about our great country. It’s been a fun journey. Let’s finish strong with… The New England States.

As before, we are going to start off our adventure with some handy-dandy coloring pages for each state. This will give the littles something to work on while we learn about each state’s topography. You can find coloring pages HERE:


Click on the image above to be redirected to the Crayola website.

Now that we have learned a little about what each state looks like, let’s take a few minutes to discover a tad more. (Please note: This is meant to be short, sweet, and as fun as possible; not long and arduous. Choose which areas to cover with care, noting which events can be accompanied by activities.)

Popham Plantation

New Hampshire
American Revolution
Public Libraries

The Iroquois Confederacy
Maple Syrup

Boston Tea Party
The First Thanksgiving

Rhode Island
Rhode Island Reds

Eli Whitney
Thomas Hooker

One thing you should note about all of the New England states, is that their flags contain heraldry. This custom was adopted from the English tradition for noble families. It would be well worth our while to spend a little time discussing family heraldry, crests, and the symbolism of the images used. Do a little research and discover whether your family has a crest; ours does!

While there is much we could focus on while learning about the New England states, we are going to spend the bulk of our time discussing the founding of the United States and the War for Independence. This is a great time to recreate the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere’s famous rides (there was more than one!), and more.

We like to end on a snack, so a real tea party it shall be. If we want to be truly fancy, we could have lobster salad!

Here ends our geography quest for this summer. We hope you had a lot of fun. Don’t forget to stamp your passport books with all the fun places we’ve visited. Come back next summer for a new list of summer fun activities.

How Pinteresting: X Marks the Spot

One ‘pin’ a week; that is the goal. Nothing too fancy, nothing too far-fetched; just a good opportunity to finally test out a few of those Pinterest ideas and see which ones really work! Join along and chime in; let us know which projects you’ve been working on and how they’ve turned out!


Summer_PinterestMy kids like maps. Travel maps, atlas maps, road maps, pirate maps; name it and they like it. We keep a stack in the car, just for long trips and moments of needed distraction. There is something about finding your way via map that intrigues children.

When our kiddos were little, my husband would create maps for them and send them out on treasure hunts. As they grew older, he let them design their own maps and we would go searching for buried treasure. Lots of fun memories and creativity have centered around such activities.

Our Pinterest activity this week, reflects our children’s love of cartography. With very few materials, you too can recreate this project!

Milk Map

Click on the picture above to be taken to the original post via Pinterest.

Here’s what you’ll need: milk, paper, and an iron. See how easy that was? Now, here is what you do: draw a map (or any other image, for that matter) using milk onto a piece of paper; let the milk dry for a half hour; and then, iron the image. Voila!

There are a few things I ought to point out…

  • Use Cardstock – Regular paper might buckle under the use of liquid. If you have it on hand, I would recommend watercolor paper or card stock.
  • Use Q-Tips – Regular paint brushes might be difficult to work with using this medium. If you have them on hand, use q-tips or short, blunt paint brushes; they will work more efficiently.

Above all, have fun! Perhaps you, too, can make a treasure map. Don’t forget the buried treasure!

Time to Chime In: When was the last time you made a treasure map and buried ‘treasure’?

Care to participate in next week’s Pinteresting project? Take a look at THIS link to get a head start on next week’s ‘pin’!