Category Archives: Thoughts on living, learning, and loving

Gather Together, Give Thanks, Eat Pie !

Fall Pie

 

 

 

~Fall School~
Friday, Pie Day ! 

Anybody at your house have FALL FEVER ?
That’s a thing you know.
Symptoms include the urge to consume inordinate amounts of pumpkin flavored foods and beverages, to jump in piles of crunchy leaves, and for me, the urge to bake.

It  IS Friday, so why not make it a pie day ?
{ Homeschooling benefit # 3,383,938! }

And of course pie IS very educational… it covers science, and art, and history if you’re creative, and definitely math!   And math is very important you know…If we have a whole pie, and I eat 3 pieces… well, you get the idea. 😀
So, grab some aprons and gather everyone in the kitchen.
Get that pie school done !
Chop some apples, measure some flour, stir some pumpkin, sprinkle some cinnamon, and bake some pies!!
PS…If you’re not feeling pie, there’s some other quick and easy ideas at the bottom of this page too.  “Friday, Pie Day and Some Other Stuff Too” just didn’t sound like a great title for this post.    

And while you’re at it, why not invite some friends and family over to share in all the fally pie goodness ?!
Maybe bake some individual sized pies or some of the other easy  fall treats below and go on a sharing mission…it’s a great excuse to m
eet one of your neighbors, surprise the mail person, or just treat someone to a little kindness ! 

SO, GIVE THANKS and EAT SOME PIE !

* Favorite Pumpkin Pie Recipe
This is a delicious pumpkin pie recipe.  Sweet and cinnamony… that’s a word, right?
I always add a dot of butter right in the middle before baking.  Not sure why, but my grandma always did that so I do too.   🙂   I also like to use any extra pie crust to make cut outs for the top of the pie (see photo above).  I took an egg yolk and a few drops of food coloring & painted it on the leaf cutouts before baking for pretty fall colors.   See?!  Color mixing!  I told you it was an educational activity ?!?!
Add some of these other fun pumpkin ideas & voila !
(The pie pictured at the top  is this pie recipe) 

* Favorite Apple Pie Recipe
This is a great, no-fail recipe.  No soupy insides!   Slices perfectly!  
 The only changes I make to this recipe is to reduce the amount of sugar a bit, and use a mix of both Granny Smith & Gala (or some other type
  of red apple).  This is a very plain pie recipe, but don’t be worried…it’s so good !
I made this one on Monday.  Need more to call it a full day of school?
Try a mini Johnny Appleseed Unit !  
Apple Pie

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe you’ve made it all the way to Friday this week, and you’re totally not feeling the whole mess of the pie day thing ??

Here are a few quick and easy 
fall favorites to make together & share~

* Baked Apple “Chips”
Sprinkle with some cinnamon & nutmeg if you’d like.

* Hand-Dipped Fall Pretzel Sticks
From Mess For Less… such a cute, quick, and easy snack to make.  Perfect for sharing!!

* Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Great way to extend the pumpkin learning fun!  Carve a pumpkin, guess how many seeds, bake it into a pie, try some of the fun activities HERE , roast the seeds, and call it a good day !

* Pumpkin Pancakes
These “pancakes” are good enough to be dessert.  I have been making these special pancakes for my kids at the beginning of fall  since they were babies.  It is definitely not my usual pancake recipe, but they are a yummy treat and a fun tradition in our family.  You could make individual pancakes out of them, or giant family style pancakes like I do.   I usually cook them in cast iron skillet, but have made them in a pumpkin shaped cake pan as well.   One more reason to love the fall !  Pumpkin everything!   Enjoy!
Pumpkin Pancakes


SO WHAT’S COOKING AT YOUR HOUSE
this Friday?

I’d  LOVE  to know!
Leave a comment & share your Friday FALL Favorite !!

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fall leaf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Fall Leaves Activities~

*If you’d like to listen to some lovely, quiet music while you scroll through these ideas, Autumn by George Winston is one of my all time favorites!

*Fall Leaves Favorites for the Littles
Montessori-Inspired Autumn Leaf Unit  from Living Montessori Now
8 Leaf Activities from Teaching Mama
Fall Song, How Many Leaves ?  Counting & Colors Song
– Leaves by David Ezra Stein audio picture book on YouTube
   (very nice reading with original music composition)
– Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf  by Lois Ehlert – audio picture book
– Lots of Leaf Activities and Printables from Enchanted Learning
Leaf Lacing for Toddlers  from I Can Teach My Child
– 
My favorite fall finds for the Littles on my Pinterest board “Littles- Fall Fun”


*Fall Leaves Favorites for Everyone
Falling Leaves Unit Study from DIY Homeschooler
– Autumn Leaves Poetry
– Some great fall leaves ideas from  The Homeschool Scientist
– Fall Leaves Ideas for all ages!
– TONS of Fall Leaf Crafty Ideas from 123 Homeschool For Me
Collection of Fall Leaf Coloring Pages–  nice, detailed drawings  
Leaf Identification Cards  (free printables!)  from Wildflower Ramblings

*Why Do Leaves Change Colors Anyway??
Why Do Leaves Change Colors–  a short video by kids, for kids
Why Leaves Change Colors–  short video explanation from DNews
Why Do Leaves Change Colors–  a simple science experiment from How Wee Learn
Chromatography- Why Leaves Change Colors–  –YouTube  

*And one more favorite 🙂
– Some more fun music for a autumn coloring (HERE), crafting, leafy afternoon
Linus & Lucy: The Music of Vince Guaraldi  by George Winston 

Texas Fall

 

 

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
and DIVIDE.

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 NEVER FAILS! 

So LOVE.

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

       

 


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 !

fields of daisies

It’s Friday Favorites!
More fun ideas
for more fields of daisies days!

If you are just stopping by for the first time, you may be wondering what in the world I mean by  “fields of daisies” days.      🙂

Welcome to my cozy corner of Bloglandia!
Click on over to read what these wonderful days are all about,  then come back and sit and stay awhile!  I’m so glad you’ve found Fields of Daisies.
I hope you will enjoy the units I’m posting,  my favorite homeschooling finds, and most of all, I hope you will find some encouragement to keep on
living, loving, and learning with your family!

So, without further ado…on to the fun!!

Earlier this week, I posted some thoughts on being able to SEE the good and the Mercy in each day… and I kept thinking, in the least,  we all have days that test our patience.

It’s so frustrating when our plans change, or sickness happens, or there are endless trips to and from,  and “school” gets put on hold.

How do you homeschool on days like these?

Some days are just difficult, but making them into the best, most memorable kinds of days is totally possible.  It’s more than possible!
(REALLY this IS a fun post!  I promise!  Keep reading !)

 

So HOW do we do it ?!?
Look for the daisy moments!

Here are some ideas.

 


* When mama is sick~

 Can it be a good day when Mom is sick in bed?
Depends on how you see it!

– Read this mama’s sweet reminder at ilovemy5kids
THIS is a perfect field of daisies kind of day!


– Curl up together and listen to your favorite books.  There are TONS of free audiobooks for all ages.
Listen to some stories that might be brand new to you!
There are some fantastic ones out there that have so much to teach…about science, or math, or history!

Click here to see some of our favorites over the years Story Time !
And my very favorite series of books, The Chronicles of Narnia are all available free online!!

* The feeling blue kind of day~
Try ditching the regular routine and do something happy !!
What could be cheerier than  PEEPS ?!?
Peeps STEM activities from Schooling a Monkey
– Peep Science from Coffee Cups and Crayons

Peep Science   from  The Frugal Navy Wife
Peep S’mores… Oh my!  from DomesticSuperhero.com

* Unexpected all day in the car~
Home“schooling.
Laughable some days isn’t it ?!?


– Just talk to each other.

Some of the very deepest conversations I’ve had with my children have happened spontaneously while in the car.  Maybe it is the lack of distractions, or maybe because we have each other as a
captive audience.  🙂
Either way, don’t “miss it” and stress about all that isn’t getting done at home… lots of important life can be found in the confines of the car.


– Roll the windows down and SING!
   Sing LOUD too!
  Ahhhhh.  Doesn’t that feel so good?!?!

–  I love this idea to create your family’s own soundtrack
from Alpha Mom


– Play some silly car games that ALL of you might enjoy!


– A fun “speriment” for the younger kiddos from this mom at
The (Reformed) Idealist Mom

* When everyone is wiggly and has
spring fever~

Get outside!
Even in the rain or slush !   The kids don’t mind, and stomping in puddles can make you feel like you’re 5.
And that’s a good thing.    🙂


– Here are some great ideas from Our Journey Westward

*And at last….the days when you are simply feeling “interrupted” by LIFE!

-I absolutely love this encouragement from Heidi St. John  !
-And THIS SONG from Kristene DiMarco

Hope you find a hidden daisy today !

 

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mercy
 Mercy !

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.”

~ Psalm 22:1-2

Is there anything much worse than God’s apparent silence when your heart is breaking,
or terrified, or wounded and betrayed ?

Where is He, the One who promised to never leave your side,  when  life is spinning out of control, and your heart is pounding in your mouth,
and your mind is screaming with what-if’s ?

Have you ever prayed until you had absolutely nothing left…and then, still…only silence?

 Mercy !!!
I give up!

I’ve been here.  This is where David was when he wrote the words of this psalm.
Maybe you’ve been here too?

I’m so thankful David was honest about his struggles!  What a relief it was to read his words one morning, and know that I wasn’t the only one that had ever felt this way and had cried out to God with these same scary, bold questions.
And David, a man after God’s own heart!

Mercy!
And literally.

So I said the word out loud.  Mercy !
Maybe just to break the silence.

Have you ever had a eureka! moment ?
Ohhhhhh.  Now I get it!

Sheesh.  Some of us (me!) are slow learners.
After months of lament and frustration and doubt and tears, it dawned on me.
God had not been silent at all.  His answer, everyday ?

Mercy!

All those dark days, I had misread His beautiful mercy for terrible silence.
Yet He had walked me through each day pouring out an unfathomable amount of mercy.
On me.  On my loved one.  On my home and on my family.

And I had completely missed it.

Have you ever completely missed it with God on something?
OUCH!   Big ouch!
But again, the Word reminds us we aren’t the first.  Phew!
Our family, His people, have been “missing it” for a very long time.    Imagine how fervent and sincere the prayers were for the Messiah to come!  So long… hoping, watching, and waiting.  Yet many totally missed it because He didn’t come in the way they had expected Him to.

I missed the way He came to me too.  Completely.

But in the missing it, I have gleaned a treasure.
“The Lord is near.  Be not anxious about anything.”
God is not far or deaf to your cries.
“Call to me and I will answer you…”
Prayers aren’t always answered in the way you’d expect.

So, at the point of giving up…look up.

Shout mercy!

Open your eyes to see.

Maybe you’ll notice the grace you’ve had to get up and face each day, or a new friendship, or a beautiful flower that has sprung up in your yard, or even the kindness of a stranger…His answer and Presence in an unexpected way.
Don’t miss it!!

The Lord has comforted me so tenderly with this revelation.  I hope in some way, somehow, these words will be of comfort and hope to someone else who needs them too.   Apologies for this lengthy post.  🙂
May the Lord bless and keep you~

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
SO THAT
we can comfort those in any trouble with the
comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

And just in case anybody has read this far, I also wanted to share this song, “Mercy”, by Amanda Cook.   🙂   So good!

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****Christmas School****

Christmas School Fun***
Hello Friends!
It’s been awhile…

Is it already November?
The warmth and joy of the holidays are just beginning to stir in our home.
The Christmas music is playing, the candles are flickering, the first baking has begun.  

I’m sipping some hot, spicy tea and making lists.  
This week is one of my favorite weeks of the year.  Does that sound odd?
The week before Thanksgiving is kind of the calm before the storm.  
It’s a lovely week to me.   There’s still time to sit and reflect, and make preparations for all the sweet memories yet to be made in the swirl of the next month. 

When my children were small, this was a time I also spent planning what we called Christmas school.   With just a bit of organization, this became their favorite kind of “school”… I was happy and much less stressed about getting it “all” done…. and best of all, “Christmas school” gave us some of the very best memories of our lives.

Like the year we were studying Ancient Egypt just before Thanksgiving.
It was my very first time hosting Thanksgiving at my home.  I had three littles, including a newborn, and a collection of  in-laws and outlaws, and neighbors and friends….and I had pulled it off.

We were all happily eating and chatting and I, mostly zoning out from thankfulness that the turkey was edible, and from sheer exhaustion, was happily oblivious of how long my 4 year old had “excused”  himself from the table.
Just as the thought of it crossed my mind I heard moaning coming from the nearby “powder room”.   But the thought popped in too late.

I’m blaming the tryptophan.

Before I could move,  he came bursting into the dining room stark naked and wrapped up from head to toe with who knows how many rolls of toilet paper.

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…….I’m a mummmmmmmmy !!!!

Thirty people.  Dead silence.
Shocked grandparents didn’t know what to make of the display.
Then a few grabbed their cameras, thank goodness, and this memory lives on and is retold every single year, much to my now 22 year old’s son’s chagrin.

Yes.
We are homeschoolers.
School has a way of integrating into every part of our lives !!

ANYWHO,  onto a much safer theme of American History (sans MUMMIES!)  and onto Christmas school, haha.

If baking is on your list that needs to be done, why not be learning what Swedish immigrants were baking up in their holiday kitchens, buy some cardamon and bake on….if ornaments are to be made, why not find out what ornaments in Colonial Williamsburg looked like, and try making your own… and if you need a creative way to focus your families hearts and minds on Christ, how about opening your home and gathering your friends together for a Las Posadas celebration ?

CHRISTMAS SCHOOL IS SO FUN !!!!
And just think of the great family memories that your kiddos might make.  lol


There’s tons of great units, lesson plans, activities, and other ideas out there to use if you don’t have the inclination to plan it all out right now.
If you’ve been working your way through the American Girl History Units on this site, or just think the idea of Christmas school sounds like fun, you might like to check out my Pinterest boards  (I’m still adding to them daily!)
I will eventually write these into actual units, but for now, click away and ENJOY !

*Felicity’s Christmas-  An American Girl Colonial Christmas

*Josefina’s Christmas-  An American Girl  Southwestern Christmas

*Kirsten’s Christmas-  An American Girl Pioneer Christmas

Also, you may like to check out some of the fun books and movies to go along with these!


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no words

No words.

Have you ever been at a loss for words?
In a world that is bursting at the seams with them ?

Do you need some of those  kind words today?
Words that carry healing?
Help?   Hope ?
Power?

When talking to a friend going through great loss.
When dreams seem impossible.
When seeing so many horrors on the endless cycle of news reporting.
When justice seems the exception and violence seems the rule.
When God seems so very far.
When helpless.

And your soul knows better.

In my own life there are just some times like this.
I’m not proud of myself.  But it’s true.
Maybe it is for you too.

So here’s all I’ve got….

thank you.

Seems so small and insignificant, but THANK YOU !!
Truly and sincerely.

I’m so grateful for all of you who share your beautiful, encouraging words when you have them… they are like honeycomb and a balm to the souls who are lonely, tired, scared, scarred, and burdened.
Without words.

And you share your
songs, stories, Scriptures, tears, laughs, and pictures…
Being real.
Being brave.
Being funny.
Taking the time to encourage people with your words
is
no
small
thing.

Words (but not mine) for Wednesday~
* Reason to Sing
* Laughter is a gift to share …. Lost in Suburbia Stories
* Sara…a beautiful, brave, and honest young woman, her Lord, and her story as it unfolds
* Tina… someone I do not know at all but feel such a kindred Spirit with… so real just about every day.
* Poured Out … someone I do know.  And love.  And am encouraged by often.
* Spirit Radio…. Listen live online

“Really love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another…  Encourage one another daily… spur one another on toward love and good deeds… Use whatever gifts you’ve been given to serve others.”  (God’s Word of course, not mine once again!! )
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