Making a Memorable Father’s Day 

Love is all you need







All you need is ______ !

Fill in the blank. 
Go ahead, it’s super easy, right?
(You’ll be singing it all day 🙂  )

Why do we want to make things so hard?  

Today I’m feeling like the world may have just gone mad. 
Lost it.  Gone off their rockers.  Wigged out entirely.
It’s been difficult to watch the news (and many television programs), 
scroll through social media, or even have a nice chat with friends and family these days !  

People are riled up!
And angry!
And fearful!

I can feel myself getting sucked into the nasty vortex of emotions too at times.
But this post is not a rant.
And it isn’t a lecture.
You can keep reading.  🙂

All we need is …
As I’ve been working on a really cute Valentine’s Day Unit, I’ve spent a bit of time focusing on LOVE.
What it is.  What it isn’t.  Where it comes from.  How we show it.
Why we need it.

And we sooo need it!
I couldn’t wait till the unit was done.  I wanted to share some thoughts I had that are helping me regain my focus and not be pulled into that crazy whirlpool of anger and pride and fear.

Evil is all around like a thick cloud,
trying to CONFUSE and INCITE

It doesn’t care if you are a Democrat or a Republican;  a man or a woman;  completely right or completely wrong.  The goal is the same.
And the war is raging within and without.

So what do we do about it? 
It is all quite simple really.
Not easy, but simple.
Choose to love.

Love God.  Love people.  
Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome with good. 
Overcome with LOVE.
The powerful, perfect kind of Love that casts out all fear.
The kind that fills your heart and overflows with patience and humility
and kindness.

The kind that always hopes, always perseveres, and never fails!
Did you see that? 


It won’t fail.
It won’t fail when you are watching the world go crazy and wondering how to explain it all to your children.
It won’t fail when your friendships are being divided by disagreement and pride.
It won’t fail when frustrations and losses fill your mind. 
It won’t fail.

It’s what we can do.
There is a Well Spring of it available to us all.
And when we have used up all we have in us…there is more.
I don’t know how.  But I know it is true.  
I’ve tested it to the limits. 

It may be cliche, but it is quite true.
All we need (to do) is… Love.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”

~1 Corinthians 13:4-8



great books for us history

to study
US History this year?  

Looking for some great books to make all the people, places, and events come ALIVE ?!?
Here are some of my favorite books for early US History all in one place.    

The lists are compatible with the American Girl History Units, but there are also LOTS of other great history books NOT related to the American Girls …never fear fellows !  
Check back from time to time, I’m always adding to the lists.

As always, it would be AWESOME  if you’re going to purchase any of the books (or anything on Amazon at all) , if you could do it through these links.   T
here is NO extra charge to you whatsoever, and I get a small percentage for any items you purchase which helps me to keep posting all my units for free.  

Also, be sure to follow my American Girl Pages on Pinterest for all kinds of additional printables, recipes, activities, crafts, etc…
(There’s lots of non-AG ideas too !!) 

**I usually pin new fun finds to these boards at least several times a week!


civil war great books




* Civil War Reading List



pioneer unit reading list




*Pioneer America Reading List



Frontier Unit Study Book List


*America’s Southwest
Frontier Reading List  

colonial america unit book list




 *Colonial America
Reading List



native americans unit reading list



*Native America    




photo by: Wonderlane

Family Bible Time ABC's

*Family Bible Time ABC’s Devotional….Knowing God and being known by God is the most life changing thing on earth.  This is a family devotional I made up when my children were small to help us learn more about our identity in Christ together.  Each alphabet letter has a corresponding characteristic, a related memory verse, and further related reading.  Some of the words are highlighted with a link to a fun song or activity as well.
 I hope your family will enjoy this Family Bible Time ABC’s devotional !  🙂

If you’d like to read more about the importance of teaching children who they are in Christ, and find some creative ideas too, Four Ways to Teach Christ Esteem to Our Kids‘ is a great article !  

In Christ we are…

A-Accepted                        (Ephesians 1:6)        Ephesians 1:1-14
B- Beloved                       (Colossians 3:12)     Colossians 3:12-17
CChildren of Light            (Ephesians 5:8)      Ephesians 5:8-21
DDelivered                            (Colossians 1:13)     Colossians 1:1-14
EElect                                      (2 Peter 1:10)           2 Peter 1:3-11
FFreed                                    (John 8:32)               John 8:31-36
GGiven Grace                        (Ephesians 1:6-7)     Ephesians 1:3-14
HHeirs                                     (Romans 8:15-17)     Romans 8:1-17
IIn Christ                                 (Ephesians 2:13)      Ephesians 2:1-22
JJustified                               (Romans 8:30)          Romans 8:28-39
KKept by God                      (1 Peter 1:5)              1 Peter 1:3-16
LLight of the World           (Matthew 5:14)         Matthew 5:13-16
MMore than Conquerors   (Romans 8:37)      Romans 8:28-39
NNew Creations                (2 Cor. 5:17)              2 Cor. 5:14-21
OOvercomers                      (1 John 5:4)              1 John 5:1-15
PPeople of God                   (1 Peter 2:9)             1 Peter 2:9-12
QQuickened                         (Colossians 2:13)     Colossians 2:6-14
RRich                                      (2 Cor. 8:9)                2 Cor. 8:1-15
SSons & Daughters         (John 1:12)                John 1: 1-13
TTemple                                 (Ephesians 2:22)     Ephesians 2:19-22
UUnited with Christ         (Galatians 3:27)       Galatians 3: 26-29
VVictorious                           (1 Cor. 15:57)             1 Cor. 15:54-58
W Workmanship of God       (Ephesians 2:10)   Ephesians 2:1-10
XeXamples                            (1 Timothy 4:12)         1 Timothy 4
YYoked                                   (Matthew 11:29)        Matthew 11:25-30
ZZealous                                (Romans 12:11)         Romans 12


summer school ideas
Can you believe it ?!?   It’s almost the end of May !!

And summer is stirring!
I’m already dreaming of grilling hamburgers and enjoying big slices of
juicy watermelon !

Summertime and the livin’ is easy !

Or at least it should be 🙂
No matter if we are year round homeschoolers or not, after several weeks of vacation from the daily routine, it’s good to have a little plan for the week.
See how little the plan is ?!

COME BACK !!   Don’t run away!  
I promise these FUN ideas won’t take much (if any) real planning, and will only add to the easy, carefree days that we all look forward to.

So here we go… 10 GREAT Ideas for
“Summer School” !

1.  Get Outside !
* Try something new like Geocahing !   You can get started HERE.
* Pick a day and hold a Family Olympics
* 32 Best Backyard Games
* Backyard Treasure Hunt:  Minecraft Style

* Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
   If you love scavenger hunts here’s a great list of some more ideas !
50 Outdoor Summer Activities for Kids

(Print this list out…hang it on the fridge…never hear  “I’m Bored!”
this summer !)
* 50 Outdoor Games to DIY This Summer
(Possibly my FAVORITE ideas!  Great for kids of ALL ages !)

2.  Get Wet !  
* Water Obstacle Course  
* 17 Outrageously Fun Water Activities
* 75 Water Activities
* Fun Games to Play with Water 
* Play a game of Water Ball
* Water Gun Painting
* 25 Fun Ice Ideas for the Summer 

3.  Get Creative !
* Write a play and preform it for family & friends !
OR film your own movie
and invite the neighbors for the premier night !

* Try making a family scrapbook together or a simple family tree !
* Build a fairy garden together.
* Try Art Journals and if you need some GREAT ideas to begin, click HERE
* Get crafty with The Crafty Crow !

4. Get Giving !
* Host a Food Drive…Step by step how-to
* Make some Birthday Boxes  or some Blessing Bags
* Share some love with your Neighbors  (new twist on lemonade stand)
* Don’t forget the Elderly… 20 Ideas to Share 
* 100 Acts of Kindness for Kids  (and everyone else !!)
* 20 Unique Ideas for Summer Service Projects  

5.  Get Messy !
* Family Fun Night Messy !
* 20 Messy Outdoor Play Ideas
* Play Fun Foam Twister
* Color Spray T’s
* Get SLIMED !

6. Get Moving !
* DIY American Ninja Warrior Backyard Obstacle Course
* 12 Sports to Play with Pool Noodles  (No pool required)
* 35 Active Things to Do This Summer
* DIY Get Moving Game
* Fun YouTube Dances For Kids to Learn
* 10 Variations to the Game of Catch

7.  Get Away ! 
Whether you’re just kicking around your own town or city, taking a road trip, or jetting across the ocean to spend a week in Tahiti (I can dream!), summer is a time to EXPLORE !

* Free Fun at Local Retail Stores
(We’ve participated in the kids clubs at several of these stores and it has always been LOTS of fun!!  )
Here’s a few ideas:
Apple Kids Summer Programs
Microsoft Free Events for Kids
Lowe’s Build & Grow
Home Depot Weekly Workshops for Kids

* Going on a road trip this summer?  Maybe to one of America’s amazing National Parks ?
* National Parks Junior Ranger Programs  
* Printable Road Trip Games
* And some games for the big kids too ! 

* Funny post to keep you laughing if you’re on a road trip…and some super fun ideas for the kiddos!

* And if you’re lucky enough to be flying to Tahiti or some other wonderful place, check out this fantastic travel blog Word Traveling!  Written with homeschool families in mind, but good for anyone who loves to travel!

8. Get Reading !

* Barnes & Nobles Summer Reading Triathalon 
* Book Notes  (just because I thought this was awesome)
* Expand your reading borders and try the
 2016 Summer Reading Challenge
* Choose and read a book as a family.
Then watch the 
movie …make it a special themed night… you could cook related foods, play music as per the setting, or even dress up as some of the characters !!
* Reading Scavenger Hunt
* Start a Summer Book Club for Kids  

9. Get Cooking !
* Plan a Backyard Camping Trip….complete with COOKING !
* Try cooking a new meal together from a different country…
   HERE and HERE are some ideas to get started
* 10 Summer Snacks for Kids to Make
* Take a CHILL and make some icy snacks !
* Summer Themed Snacks 

10. Get Growing !
* 25 Things You Can Grow From Your Kitchen Scraps  
* Start small and plant an Herb Garden
* Creative Gardens For Kids !
* 10 Unique Gardening Activities for Kids
* Make your own garden markers and watch the beauty grow !

Wishing you all a summer FULL of daisy days !!
I’d love to hear your ideas too !  

Comments are always welcome !

 American Girl Addy: ~Civil War Unit Study~Addy Unit Study Civil War

Welcome to Addy’s World 1854:
Growing Up During America’s Civil War

*This is such a deeply emotional topic of study that will surely create much discussion and perhaps some sadness, anger, and confusion for children.  I hope to convey some positive points (stories of courage, faith, hope against all hope, and the deepest expressions of love) that will help sort out what can be learned,  so that in our personal lives and in the life of our communities and our countries, we will never repeat a history such as this.    

  * Core Reading:

Welcome to Addy’s World 1864

*Week 1: “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864”- Life in the South 

1.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  Meet Addy                                                     (p. 1-3)
2.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  Intro to the Civil War & Slavery             (p. 26-29)
3.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-   Addy’s Family                                              (p. 30-31; 34-35) 4.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-   Addy’s Faith                                                 (p. 32-33)
5.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-   Songs to Freedom                                     (p. 36-37 )

*Week 2: “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″- North to Freedom

1.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Underground Railroad                     (p. 38-39)
2.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  New Beginnings in the North                 (p. 8-11; 20-21) 3.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  Children Still Played                                  (p. 14-15; 12-13) 4.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  Fashion                                                            (p. 16-19)
5.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Church Family                                      (p. 22-23)

*Week 3: “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864”- America’s “Civil” War

1.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Nation at War                                       (p. 4-7)
2.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Homefront- South                              (p. 42-43)
3.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Homefront- North                              (p. 44-45)
4.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The War Ends !                                             (p. 46-49)
5. “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-   Moving On! A New South                         (p. 50-58) Continue reading American Girl Addy Civil War Unit Study

spring chick PEEP!~Spring Science~
Friday Favorites

As much as I love the cozy days of winter, I’m kind of ready for
a new season.
Ready for all the browns to be replaced with greens,
for flowers to bloom,
and the breezes to be warm.
                          Bring on the spring! 

There’s just something about the change of seasons that always energizes me….and err….it seems to have been genetic.
My kids tend to get that same “energy”.

                                                 Spring Fever !

So, this week’s Friday Favorites are  some fun   Spring Science Activities
to change things up a bit and get the spring fever wiggles out.    🙂

* ‘Egg’cellent  Ideas*

Bouncy Eggs from Parenting Chaos
8 Fascinating Egg Science Activities  from   iGame Mom
8 Egg Launchers  (These are SO MUCH FUN!!)  from   Little Bins for Little Hands

* Dancing with the Daffodils & Other Flower Power Ideas *

Daffodil Disection (& other lovely related ideas) from Mama Scout
*I really love this mama’s reminder that real learning is the goal!
Seed Sprouting Activity from Housing A Forest
The Magic School Bus Gets Planted!

Flower Pigment Experiment from Coffee Cups and Crayons

* Butterflies, Birds, and Bugs *

Make a Butterfly Feeder and learn all about butterflies with this Butterfly Unit from Premeditated Leftovers
Birds of a Feather from The Scientific Mom
Ants ! from Gift of Curiosity


“And then my heart with pleasure fills,
and dances with the daffodils. ”
– William Wordsworth

photo by: