Keepers #14 (2013-2014)

Where has the year gone? It seems like things just got started and we are already winding down. Only two more Keepers meetings to go before the year is over. Before we get there though, a few more lessons remain to be taught. This week… hand sewing with fabric!

Keepers #14 (1-10) Keepers #14 (2-10) Keepers #14 (3-10) Keepers #14 (4-10) Keepers #14 (5-10) Keepers #14 (6-10) Keepers #14 (7-10) Keepers #14 (8-10)

Keepers #14 (9-10)

I don’t think any of the other girls finished their project before the day was out, but my little ‘Mouse’ went without snack just so she could finish hers.

Keepers #14 (10-10)

Then… my little girl promptly went home and worked on a few additional projects I had purchased just for my girls. So cute!

One more week of sewing to go and then, our end of the year party! This was a particularly fun week for all of us. The projects were so cute and so easy to create.

For those interested in doing these yourselves, we found these (thank you, Mrs. Yeh) at Michaels in the American Girl section. There are several varieties to choose from and so many options to help you be creative.

I’m not sure about the other girls, but I know we’ll be stopping by Michaels to pick up a few more for ourselves. This was so much fun!

A Clean, White Shirt

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

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Pump_Day_2There is something classic about a white blouse. Whether it be crisp or flowing, well fitted or loose; a clean, white, dress shirt is a wardrobe staple.

Until the last year or so, I had never really owned a white dress shirt. Either I was too young to appreciate the garment or too busy raising babies to dare wearing one. Once things settled down a little on all fronts, it was time for the search to begin.

I found a crisp, white shirt at our local thrift store about a year ago. It was in excellent care and fit wonderfully; it also was from a fairly decent designer. I was all aglow with my new find. I really like having this addition to my closet.

Recently, however, I desired something a little more free-flowing; something I could wear to the beach or over a cute tank. I mentioned this to a friend while visiting and she promptly got on her computer and started a search. (We are so much alike!) Fairly quickly, we found one that looked perfect. I ordered one and here we are!

A Clean, White Shirt

Why all the fuss over a few, white blouses? A good, white blouse can go just about anywhere. You can clean it up and take it to the office; pair it with blue jeans and heels for an afternoon out; or tie it at your waist to pair with some shorts. The possibilities are endless.

Not sure which white blouse fits you best? (Because it really is all about the fit…) You might find THIS article to be of help! No matter which style you like, this classic garment will add so much to even the best of wardrobes.

Do you own a clean, white shirt?

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

A Cup a Day

The perfect afternoon? A great book, a comfy chair, and a warm cup of tea. The good news? That cup of tea may be just what the doctor ordered! According to a new study, a cup a day will keep you in the prime of life.

I really like tea, so when someone informs me that my habit is actually good for my health, I want to read more. THIS article in Fitness Magazine clued me in to some of the amazing health benefits which come from drinking tea.

Drinking tea is good for your brain, your bones, and your heart! Tea will keep your metabolism going strong and boost your antioxidants. Who knew all of this good stuff existed in that one, beautiful cup?

The warning in all this deliciousness? Stop drowning your tea in sugar and cream! For all us die-hard tea drinkers, we might want to start skipping out on the additives and learning to take our beverage of choice ‘straight up’. Fewer additives mean fewer calories.

A Cup a Day

What I enjoy most about my tea habit, is the myriad of choices available. There are so many varieties to choose from, I could practically go an entire month without ever drinking the same type twice.

Green is by far the healthiest, followed by herbal teas. However, an occasional black, white, or oolong is also very nice. Personally, I like the black best. However, I’m willing to indulge in a little oolong now and again. Generally though, we drink herbal.

How is any of this important or relevant to a home school mom? Let’s think about it. We have a multitude of responsibilities on our plates; we wake up early and go to bed late; our children are constantly on the go; and we too occasionally like a relaxing moment to ourselves. What better person to drink tea! We need all the brain boost we can get and keeping ourselves healthy ought to be a priority. If we aren’t taking care of our bodies, how can we take care of anyone else?

For added fun, get the kids involved! Have a ‘tea tasting’ afternoon and figure out which type of tea they like best. Try tea bags and loose leaf, discover which you prefer to indulge in. To take it a step further, consider making your own tea! Research ways to preserve, dry, and store fresh tea; then, drink it up.

Until recently, our tea cups were sitting in a special tin at the top of our fridge. We only pulled them out on ‘special occasions’. Then, it dawned on me. Everyday is a special occasion! I promptly cleaned out space for them in a cupboard and down they came. Now, our kiddos indulge daily; sometimes twice!

To my joy and surprise, my man went out and bought me a new tea kettle for the stove. Then, he went online and bought me a pretty tea set which I had been wanting for years! (sigh) He is one amazing dude! Now, we can have tea with all our friends.

If you’re ever in our neck of the woods, give us a ring. We’ll treat you to an awesome cup of tea and share a moment of fellowship.

Which flavor of tea is your favorite?

“Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.” – Ezekiel 47:12

A Lesson in Submission

Of all the lessons I’ve gone through in my life, this wasn’t one I was expecting. After fifteen years of marriage, I learned a new lesson; one that came out of the blue. My husband asked me to do something and I made a choice… I listened!

What was this all important decision? To dye my hair! (laughing) To some, this might seem an odd study in submission, but, I assure you, a lesson it was. Allow me to explain.

My hair is normally very dark. If you are reading a color chart, my hair is probably a 2; 3 if we are being generous. One day while we were out and about, my man saw a lady with hair that was a beautiful shade of red. He thought we should try this on my hair; it would be fun.

At first, I thought he was just musing. After a few days, it was pretty obvious this wasn’t a passing thought, but a genuine desire on his part; he really wanted to see me as a red-head.

A Lesson in Submission

 

Always wanting to please, we started looking online at various colors. Finally, we found just the shade of red he was looking for and I narrowed down which brand of over-the-counter color I should try. We gave it a shot, twice, but it didn’t take. It seems I was wanting to go several shades lighter than a box could offer and a pro was needed. We went down to the salon and out I walked with just the shade of color he liked.

 

Where does the submission come in? Well, how many ladies would willingly dye their hair any color their husband wanted? Not many! Most of us want our husbands to like our hair, but how often to do we let them pick our color and style?

Going with such a drastic change was good for me! I learned several lessons. I discovered that, often, my guy knows what looks better on me than I do; I should trust his opinions and thoughts about my appearance. He picked just the right shade for me and we are both enjoying the results. I also became aware of how important this was for him; my willingness to trust his decision and go with it. Sometimes, as wives, we forget how much our husbands want us to simply trust them. Through this situation, I was reminded of how my appearance isn’t just for me. How I look and present myself, is just as important to him.

This was an unusual lesson in submission, but a lesson non-the-less. Sure, I could have told him I wouldn’t do it or I could have ignored his request, but neither choice would have been right. There was a bigger issue going on. I had a choice to trust him and do what I knew would please him, or do my own thing. Would he have been mad? Probably not. He would have been disappointed though and, perhaps, a little hurt. By doing this one, simple thing that he wanted, I was proving a bigger point. I trust him and I want to make him happy.

And, after all, it’s only hair!

What is the most unusual lesson in submission you’ve learned?

 

Easter Fun: Resurrection Rolls

CG_Easter_logoJoin us this week, as we explore memorable and edifying ways to celebrate Easter. We encourage you to take some of the ideas you find and make them your own. Feel free to share your thoughts on each of these projects and join in the fun!

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As much as possible, I like to get my kids in the kitchen and put them to work. They enjoy this fun time as much as mommy likes getting the help; plus, this counts as part of their important learning, too!

Each year, during Easter week, we try to take an afternoon to make Resurrection Rolls! They are sweet, easier than pie, and help remind us of the resurrection story.

Resurrection Rolls

Large Marshmallows
Melted Butter
Cinnamon & Sugar Mixture
Crescent Rolls
Cookie Sheets

We rolled our marshmallows in melted butter, then in our cinnamon mixture, wrapped them in a crescent roll, and popped them into our oven set to 350 degrees for about eight minutes. When they came out, no marshmallow was to be seen.

the-resurrection copy

The purpose of the Resurrection Rolls is to recreate the burial experience most likely to have occurred with Jesus’ body. He would have been anointed with oils and spices, wrapped in linen, and then placed in a tomb. Three days later (or eight minutes by our oven timer) Jesus’ body was no longer to be found; He had risen from the dead!

The kids have more fun making these rolls than eating them it seems. That doesn’t stop me however; the insight gained is more important than the snacking.

What is your favorite resurrection week recipe?

Easter Fun: Resurrection Garden

CG_Easter_logoJoin us this week, as we explore memorable and edifying ways to celebrate Easter. We encourage you to take some of the ideas you find and make them your own. Feel free to share your thoughts on each of these projects and join in the fun!

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As long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed gardening. There is something relaxing about being in the outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and helping things grow. When being out-of-doors isn’t an option, it helps to bring the outdoors, in!

Adults aren’t the only ones who enjoy greenery and horticulture; children like to get in on the fun too! For Easter week, why not spend an afternoon doing a little gardening and sharing the gospel with your children?

A fun activity our family has been recreating each year during Easter week is a Resurrection Garden. With only a few materials (which you might have on hand), your children can craft a miniature garden which will help retell the story of the resurrection.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a shallow bowl or pot, approximately 9″ round
  • a small flower-pot, approximately 4″ at the opening
  • potting soil
  • grass seed
  • 6 popsicle sticks
  • gravel or small rocks
  • water, in spray bottle
  • one large rock, approximately the size of your child’s closed fist

Place the shallow bowl on a flat surface; place the small flower-pot on its side in the center. Surround the flower-pot with potting soil, making sure to thoroughly cover the top and back of the pot so that it resembles a hill, but leaving the front of the flower-pot exposed. (See picture below for reference.) Cover the space in front of the flower-pot with gravel or small rocks to create a pathway. Gently place your large rock slightly off the side of flower-pot’s opening. Add grass seed to the potting soil and water well with spray bottle. Craft your popsicle sticks to represent crosses and place them on your ‘hill’ of soil and seed. Place your ‘garden’ in a sunny spot; continue to water and watch your garden grow! (Note: If you would like your garden to be green for resurrection week, plan to do this activity a few weeks in advance so that grass will have ample time to come in.)

Resurrection Garden

The garden is a wonderful way to share the gospel with visiting guests and a constant reminder to the children what this holiday is for. The crosses remind us of Christ’s sacrifice, while the empty ‘tomb’ reminds us of how He conquered death and rose from the dead. The miracle of Easter is not only in Christ’s willingness to die for our sin, but in His defeat of death and His everlasting power.

This activity is something our children look forward to each year! They take great care with how their crosses are crafted and making sure they water the garden each day.

This year, our son had the honor of making our Resurrection Garden on his own, with Pop’s help. His Contenders group had all the fellas together one morning, each young man constructing their own garden. He returned home with his finished project and we have it proudly on display in the front room.

Resurrection week is almost over! Good Friday is here and Easter Sunday is just around the corner. This week is passing by much too quickly!

Have you ever made a Resurrection Garden? Share your stories and pictures with us! We’d love to see how you took this project and made it ‘your own’.

He is not here; he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was in Galilee:  “The Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and three days later rise to life.’ “ – Luke 24:6-7

Easter Fun: Egg Decorating

CG_Easter_logoJoin us this week, as we explore memorable and edifying ways to celebrate Easter. We encourage you to take some of the ideas you find and make them your own. Feel free to share your thoughts on each of these projects and join in the fun!

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While eggs are not strictly related to the resurrection story, it just wouldn’t seem like Easter if we didn’t decorate a few eggs. You can dye them, decorate them, and make them into ‘mini me’s’!

Since our children were young, we have taken at least one day out of Easter week to decorate eggs. When they were very little, we would dip them in various colored dyes. At first we bought the colors at the local supermarket. Later, we learned you can actually do this yourself at home with food coloring and a little vinegar. I wish we had known this earlier!

Egg Decorating

As the children have grown, we’ve expanded our creativity. Before dying, we dig out white crayons, stickers, and more. Color the hard-boiled eggs before dying and have fun watching the results! With stickers,  you can color block your eggs for additional fun.

One experiment I’d like to try, would be to wrap eggs in old silk ties. I understand if you do this, the pattern from the ties comes off onto the eggs, leaving you with a spectacular pattern.

Last year, we did something very unique. One of my husband’s friends came over with his daughter and took funny pictures of all of us. He then printed these pictures out and we used them to decorate plastic eggs, which were supposed to resemble ourselves!

This was by far, the most unusual egg decorating experiment we’d ever done. It was the funniest, however, and the one our children will probably remember most.

Egg FunNo matter how you choose to decorate eggs, don’t forget to use this as a great learning opportunity. Use your egg decorating as a catalyst for resurrection week conversation: how the egg reminds us of the resurrection story; how the egg reminds us of the Trinity; and more!

What is the most unusual way you’ve decorated eggs?

Pump Day Special: Easter Dresses!

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

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Pump_Day_2What an appropriate way to celebrate both ‘Pump Day’ and Easter! Let’s talk Easter dresses!

Here in Southern California, we don’t really ‘do’ Easter Dresses. Oh, sure; you’ll see little girls in cute Easter outfits, some with adorable hats to match. We might even force our boys to dress a little nicer. But, us grown ladies, not so much.

I am beginning to wonder if this isn’t more of a southern thing. Easter dresses conjure images of women wearing flowery dresses, complete with hats and gloves, all attending the local Baptist church. After which, they generally have a church picnic and festivities for the family.

In our neck of the woods, if you wear a pretty blouse and sandals, you are dressed for Easter. We don’t have picnics; we BBQ or cook a ham at home with family.

CG_Easter_logo

I like the idea of Easter dresses though. My husband says this is because I like tradition and ceremony; apparently this is ‘a girl thing’. Sometimes I wish I lived in the south, where I wouldn’t stand out in my peach dress and gloves. (Not that I own such things, but I can dream.)

Knee-length, tea dresses would be perfect for Easter. Pair this with an adorable fastener (I find these intriguing and wish I were brave enough to wear one) and heeled sandals; you are ready to celebrate Easter in style.

Alas, I live in the land of palm trees. So, I will have to settle on linen slacks and a teal blouse. Of course, I could start a trend and actually buy a dress! Perhaps if a few of us started things off, the rest of the crowd would join in?

Question: To hat or not to hat, on Easter? Thoughts…

Easter Flashback

Easter, several years back, with my mother. (My son was not born yet.)

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

Easter Fun: Books

CG_Easter_logoJoin us this week, as we explore memorable and edifying ways to celebrate Easter. We encourage you to take some of the ideas you find and make them your own. Feel free to share your thoughts on each of these projects and join in the fun!

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Some people will tell you that coffee is the stuff of life. Personally, I think it’s books. Our home is filled to the brim, with more shuffling being done by the minute to fit more. Books are invaluable!

Naturally, this would mean that a large part of our Easter festivities include books. Each year, I usually try to snag a book or two add to our collection. I have specific guidelines for picking our books however; they need to be Biblically based. We aren’t telling stories about fuzzy chicks and bunny rabbits here. (Those aren’t bad necessarily, but I only have so much time and resource. We prefer to choose books that refer to the true meaning of Resurrection week.)

We thought it would be fun comparing notes on awesome Easter story books. We’ll share a few of our favorites and you guys share some of yours!

Easter BooksThe Bible - Yup! The first, and most important, book we read during Easter week is our Bible. The story couldn’t be told more concisely or more accurately than here. Always make this the first stop!

The Legend of the Easter Egg - In this story, two young children learn how an Easter egg tells the story of Christ’s death and resurrection. Great illustrations and charmingly told, this was a great addition to our collection.

The Parable of the Lily - A young lady mistakenly tosses out an ‘ugly root’, only to find that inside was the hidden beauty of an Easter lily. This story was a beautiful reminder of Christ’s death and resurrection.

The Easter Story - This one is pretty self-explanatory. In this book, we are given a summation of the true Easter story for little ears to understand and relate to. It was perfect for our children when they were preschoolers.

Easter Books #2

Hop - No; this is not the book a certain movie was based on. This is a unique creation, written by my oldest daughter! In Hop, the Easter bunny learns he is not the ‘reason for the season’! Hop learns what Easter truly stands for and comes to accept Christ and His amazing gift. (On a personal note: I am very proud of this little book! My daughter did a spectacular job with the illustrations and the heart of the story is very touching.)

Your turn! Chime in and share your favorite Easter stories with us. We always like picking up a good book!