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Sharing our thoughts and experiences on life as a Christ following family of five...

Coloring Flower Mandalas by Wendy Piersall {Review, Giveaway and Illustrator Interview}

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Last Fall, I shared about Coloring Animal Mandalas by Wendy Piersall. Her book opened the door to a side of me that had been left dormant for far too long. In coloring again, I’ve been able to relax easier, stay focused, and rediscover that sense of accomplishment when a design is fully completed in coloring. I was encouraged to start experimenting in my art and in doing this I discovered new techniques I never imagined I’d enjoy so much. I’ve been very inspired by Wendy and her gorgeous designs that I feel obligated to share about one of her latest offerings “Coloring Flower Mandalas“.

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SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

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As a home-school mom, I’m constantly on the look out for educational resources to supplement what we are doing or to just change things up when needed. A site I happened to learn about this month that I’m finding to be a huge asset is SchoolhouseTeachers.com! I’m so glad to be sharing my review on the yearly subscription!

I’ve only just started my subscription this month and I’m very impressed with all the features included.  I don’t have to purchase separate memberships for each of my children to use the site. One reasonable affordable fee for everything is extremely appealing when you are on a tight budget!

While easily navigating the site on my PC, I learned that The Schoolhouse Teachers share content daily, weekly, or on a monthly basis offering well over 100 courses! I got pretty excited to see that there were lesson plans and units that are geared to the current season or upcoming holidays! These courses will be saving me time having everything I pretty much need in one place!

Members are offered a plethora of resources for Pre-k all the way through Highschool. They don’t forget Mom either as there’s several different planners than can be printed out. I know in the next few weeks I’ll be printing out a planner for our 2015 year.

The course subjects  are listed as supplement, full semester, or a full year or more! I liked seeing that many feature audio and video appealing to visual learners. Each subject is separated into grade categories making it easy to navigate what courses you may want to use.

If you tend to favor a specific teaching style they have course that are geared toward Traditional, Classical, and Charlotte Mason style. Most I found to be christian-based and as a believer appreciate that I can enforce my families beliefs into our studies.

Once you’ve clicked to see a specific class, there’s a brief run down what to expect and a bio to be read of the teacher who created it. The lessons can be printed and saved in PDF form. I noticed that classes after awhile will be archived but still left up on the site for download. Also these classes aren’t live so you can begin them at anytime which is super convenient if something all of a sudden comes up.


How Are We Using or Planning on Using SchoolhouseTeachers.com?

My daughter is 6 1/2 year old and my son will be 4 next month. Their ages are reasonably close so we tend to do many subjects together especially when it comes to science, nature studies, educational games, geography, and history.

I’ve been navigating the Pre-K/Elementary section of the site. This area has a world of resources. I’ve been weighing all the options and deciding what I’d like my kids to learn in the upcoming months. The great thing is that if I want to chose many courses or fewer I can. It’s all up to me in scheduling the time we want to spend on it.

2014-12-03The Science lessons we been doing as a family. Though we’ve been taking a break from school during the month of December, we haven’t gone completely without. In fact, through the Weekly Science Experiments with Jason Lindsey of Hooked on Science, we found several that perked my kids interests to do! Each of the experiments in this course lists science safety, ingredients needed, step-by-step instructions, and end with a scientific explanation. We’ll be doing many more projects from in this area after successfully conducting the Naked Egg experiment. Kids ages 4 & up could do these lessons!

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I have a lot to choose from for my son Owen! There’s the Animated books by EZ Tales, coloring sheets, stories, games, and many hands-on activities. He’s really enjoying learning and I like that I can find many supplements to use for him while I’m working solely with his older sister. The animated books have been his favorite right now, he’s completely engaged and loves that he can click on nearly everything on each page. I can tell it’s helping him with sight word recognition, memorization, and his computer skills!

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The “Schoolhouse Dailies” section that offers lessons for every day is a total favorite of mine. There’s copy-work, games, spelling literature, geography, grammar, art and much more for all grade levels. This is a great section if you want to include core subjects in daily doses! It’s real treasure trove of resources for children ages 3 through highschool.

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One area that stood out to me under the “Dailies” were the courses in the Ditch the Desk section. These last couple of weeks, I’ve been using lots of the Holiday themed lessons such as the History of the Christmas Tree and Candy Cane from the Dailies! These particular courses had actives for both older and younger kids. My children loved the hands-on-activities. We ended up making salt-dough ornaments to decorate our own Christmas Tree like done in days of old and incorporating The Legend of the Candy Cane story into our literature studies!

Next month, I’m taking advantage of The Literature Kits! These focus on a different book each month and offer hands-on activities, history, geography, science, Bible, language arts, recipes, and more pertaining to each book. We’ll be starting The Lion,the Witch, and the Wardrobe by author C.S Lewis.  My daughter is very excited about our future literature lessons. Others currently archived that we’ll be going through include classics such as Charlotte’s Web!

I plan on doing many more courses over the span of the year from SchoolhouseTeachers.com and certainly will be sharing our journey. Above is just a glimpse of how I have been using the courses and of those that I plan on starting soon. I can’t recommend this site enough. I have a feeling our 2015 school year is going to be pretty amazing!


Cost? A Yearly Subscription  to SchoolhouseTeachers.com is $139.00 per year saving you 10% of what a membership would be per month at $12.95. It’s an amazing resource that will save you time, money, and more!

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

Get Connected with SchoolhouseTeachers.com:

-Special Deal!-

SchoolhouseTeachers.com is having a huge sale right now and through Christmas Day at 11:59pm ET.

40% off the monthly membership ($7.77/month) or 50% off the Yearly Membership ($64.26/year). Homeschool families who join at this rate will keep it forever as long as they maintain a continuous membership. Click the image below to take advantage of this offer!

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

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Felting by Elvira López Del Prado Rivas {Book Review}

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Felting by Elvira López Del Prado Rivas is an exciting book that teaches everything one would want to know about the craft. I with very little knowledge about felting before feel much more educated! I have not only been educated but inspired greatly to make my own interesting, creative, and unique things out of felt! Who knew such an age old technique from around 3500 B.C could be so be so exciting to learn about as well as take part in!

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The book is put together very well being thoroughly detailed in the imagery of over 550-step-by-step photographs as well as in instructions and explanations. There are a total of five chapters which are: 1. Felt, 2. Material & Tools, 3. Processes, 4. Techniques, 5. Projects. Each of the chapters have several categories. At the end of the book there’s an Artist Gallery by International felt artist which features all sorts of interesting, inspiring, exciting, and amazing creations.

9780764345319cThe twenty-eight original projects presented use both industrial felt and felted wool. You can learn whether using wet or dry felt to make flowers, balls, hats, purses, slippers, refrigerator magnets, dolls, finger puppets, jewelry, and more! There are so many projects I adore!

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I took the opportunity to introduce my 3 and 6 year old to felt starting out with the felt sheets commonly found in craft stores and a few of the patterns in this book. These specific projects for younger kids include mostly cutting & gluing. Though note there are many more projects that have you creating felt yourself from wool!

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As a knitter, I am quiet drawn to the patterns in this book that feature blocking and a few other techniques I’ve been eager to try but just hadn’t done so yet. This book is taking me out of my comfort zone and for that I am glad! It has taken my love for fiber crafting to yet another level! I highly recommend picking up a copy for home, school, or crafting group use!

Interested in Purchasing?  Felting by Elvira Lopez Del Prado Rivas can be purchased on Amazon.com right now for $24.00! This book can also be bought off the Schiffer Publishing website!

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book for review purposes from Schiffer Publishing, Ltd

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Broken Crayons

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Today I took my children’s broken crayons and made new ones. I go through this process once, maybe twice a year. I can’t stand throwing away something that so easily can be used again. Anytime I think of taking something old, dull, broken, & in many pieces, I think of how Christ takes us as unworthy as we are and transforms us with His everlasting love and grace. Oh, it’s a beautiful thing! You can see it in so  many wonders around you if you take the time to truly see it. Let us never forget the truth that God uses our brokenness and creates beautiful things out of our lives.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. –2 Corinthians 5:17

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If you are interested in  following the same tutorial to create these crayons as I did, you can find it at this blog post.

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Drawing with Mark DVDs


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 Look for Drawing with Mark DVD’s at your local Michael’s!

 I’ve only given my nearly 6 year old  daughter a preview of one of the Drawing with Mark DVDs but she’s excited with the fact that we’ll be using these for our Homeschool Summer art activities! Because not only will she be learning how to draw all sorts of things, she’ll be learning educational facts with each of the different DVD’s such as facts about dinosaurs, life on the farm, caring for animals, our solar system and so much more!

I grew up watching and learning how to draw from TV shows like Pappy Drew It and The Imagination Station and feel the aid of DVD’s can really grow the skills of any artist. I like that Mark starts with the basic foundations of using shapes such as circles, triangles, and goes from there. The fact the educational bits takes kids on site before the lesson is pretty neat as well! I totally like that there’s so much learning going on!  Each DVD contains two half hour lessons and would be best for children ages 5-9 years old. I would recommend these most certainly and will be posting our Summer art with Drawing with Mark in the months ahead!

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