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Monday Memo: More Planner Chat!

Happy Monday, my friends! I hope your weekend was a good one!

Ok, first up: some not-so-good news. I'm afraid my Advent Tea post will not be up later today, because "Mama time" (aka, blogging and teatime!) has been rather thin on the ground lately. My family has been hit with a nasty cold virus, and needless to say it has really "gummed up the works" around here! Thankfully though, the bug seems to move pretty quickly ... Little Bear is feeling much better this morning after a blessedly long night of sleep. Sleep is such a good thing, isn't it? It's probably the best thing we can do for our immune systems - get good sleep!

Anyhoo, I hope to have a fresh pot of Advent Tea ready to serve one day later this week - hopefully tomorrow! - at our usual time, just as the late autumn sun slips low in the sky. We'll be talking about Christmas tree traditions and I'd love to hear about yours!


But now for some really FUN news! Are you all ready for some more planner talk? :)

Well ... a week from tomorrow I will be participating in a "live chat workshop," hosted by Mystie Winckler at Simplified Planning! Mystie has invited me, along with Jen Mackintosh of Wildflowers & Marbles, to talk with her about one of our favorite subjects ...

Planning talk graphic

I am so excited! (And a little nervous too, to be honest ...) But I think it will be a such fun!

 We'll be talking about "planners, crates, apps, calendars, brain dumps, habits, goals, and more!" Such good stuff, right?! And there will even be a chat box where you can ask questions during the live workshop, too. I'm amazed by the whole process, honestly. I think Mystie and Jen are great ladies with fantastic blogs and I am just completely honored to have been asked to join them! Our workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, December 15th at 4 p.m. EST.

Now, here is a link to the page where you can find out more and sign up to access to the live chat. You will also receive a link for the replay and an e-mail reminder on the day of the workshop. And if you have things you know you'd like to hear me talk about - planning topics we've covered in the past, tools I use or have made, such as the file crate - please let me know in the comments below. I'm trying to organize my "stuff" and my thoughts beforehand so I'm ready to go!

Well, that's all for now, my friends ... I'm off to tend my family and work on getting everyone feeling better. Soup and grilled cheese for lunch, I think ... and lots of fruit juices! I hope to see you all tomorrow though, and I wish you all a very good day. :)

My Podcast with Pam!


Good Tuesday morning, my friends! :)

Oh my goodness, I am so excited to share this with you today! And maybe a little nervous too. Well, I was nervous at first, but it was SUCH a fun experience and Pam made me feel so welcome and asked some great questions and as we talked I realized  - we're chatting away here like two old friends! (Who, you know, happen to have just met and live in opposite corners of the country!)


So, what am I rambling on about you all must be wondering? Well, recently I was invited by Pamela Barnhill at Ed Snapshots to chat with her about homeschooling and my family and the file crate and nature study and ... well, all kinds of things! Now, I think I might have talked a little fast - maybe that's a New England thing, or maybe that was the nerves! - but I really had such a lovely time talking with Pam, who is a very gracious hostess. I felt so comfortable and cozy, all settled in with my big cup of tea and Pam on the phone ... I probably could have talked on and on! 

Anyhoo - here is a direct link to the podcast so you can check it out. (If I was tech-savvy I'd link up that neat image above but alas, I am not.) I hope you enjoy our conversation, and if you have a moment, please leave a comment (or question) for Pam or myself!

(Also, if you're new to Pam's Homeschool Podcast series at Ed Snapshots, I urge you to head on over and take a peek (or a listen)! I am just so honored to have been asked to participate in this wonderful community ...)

 Well, enjoy the rest of your day, my friends! Thanks so much for stopping by and I will see you here again very soon!

Homeschool Thoughts, Lists & News, etc.

(A bit of a hodgepodge today!)

Happy august 1

Happy August, my friends! It sure is hot and hazy here, but I love how the flowers just glow in the summer sun these days. And everything is so green ... I just love this time of year!

Well, I wanted to pop in quickly this morning to tell you I am *thisclose* to finishing our school reports - I just need to finalize Earlybird's ed. plan for next year. His reports are always a bit tricky because, as a special needs child, my plans must be thorough, but flexible, and his progress is not always so readily apparent. I have to put a lot of thought into what we will learn and how I will teach him these things. And because of his learning style and challenges, my methods are not always as clear-cut as just say, ordering a "Grade X Curriculum." Thankfully he does make progress each year ... I just have to really look back through all we did in each subject to remind myself (reassure myself) how said progress was made and measured.

(For example, this year he listened to audiobooks - something he didn't couldn't do before - and in this way we "read" several classic books together. I couldn't ask him to fill out a quiz or write a report, but I could - when the time was right - ask him questions about what we'd heard that day and to re-tell parts of the story, which I would write down.)

So I'm always looking for ways to "think outside the box" when constructing Earlybird's education, and one resource I have found immensely helpful are these fantastic (and free!) Living Learning Lists from Ed Snapshots. There are some terrific ideas here for experiential learning in all the main subjects! I've pinned these lists and printed them out to keep in my homeschool planner for use all year long ... :)

And speaking of Ed Snapshots ... well, I am just SUPER excited to have been invited to do a podcast with Pam sometime in the near future! (You can read other podcasts here ... so much inspiration!) I will keep you all posted about when mine will be happening ... I'm not sure what-all I can bring to the "podcast table," but I am SO honored to have been asked! I haven't "talked shop" in a while ... :)


Let's see, what else? I also wanted to mention that so far I am really enjoying my new Day Designer! I will do a post on how I'm using it as soon as I can - I want to get some more "days" under my belt first - but I wanted to mention that if you'd like a peek at how the planner looks, DD offers free downloadable planning pages to try out before purchasing. Mind you, this is an example of a page from a flagship planner - the original Day Designer - not the Blue Sky version I purchased from Target. I'm still working out how the versions differ ... and how to personalize my own planner. More about that soon!

Ok - and here's a final thought for today - over the weekend I had my hair cut, colored and styled and boy does it feel good! (Some of you might have seen my "after shot" on my Facebook page.) And it got me to thinking ... wouldn't it be fun to do a "hair care" post here at the blog? I would love to chat about how we wear our hair, and how we care for it ... on our own at home and at the salon. Especially when we're busy with other things (kids, work, life!) or being careful with our budget. We could even - if people were willing! - share pictures. I will keep that in mind for sometime in my posting future - let me know if you think that would be fun and any other post ideas you might have for me! I'm always open to suggestions. :)


All righty then ... I will be off now since my kids are clamoring for lunch and I'm the point person when it comes to that situation. For now I will wish you all a good week and hope to see you here again very soon!

Teach quote

(Saw this just before hitting "post" and had to share!)

Hello, Fellow Pinners?

Pin 2

Good Wednesday morning, my friends! I hope this week's treating you well. :)

Well, as usual, I'm days late and dollars short on something everyone else is already up and running with - story of my life, lol! - but this weekend I finally joined Pinterest! And I love it!

Now, I've had people gush to me about Pinterest for a couple of years now. I've seen that little red P pop up all over the web (here at my own blog in fact!). I've even tracked links to my posts back to Pinterest (usually those of the file crate variety) and thought, Huh ... I wonder how this all works?

Well, I finally took the plunge and signed up for an account - and now I see what all the fuss was about! It's absolutely wonderful. So much fun and extremely useful!

So for the five other people who are perhaps unfamilar with Pinterest, I will tell you about my experience so far.


Once I created an account, I had a page (much like a Facebook wall) and here is where I set up "Boards" ... which are sort of like online bulletin boards. I'm a real collector of things as you know - gathering scraps of information and inspiration that usually, if found in a magazine or newspaper, go into my journal. Stuck in there with good old-fashioned Scotch tape and handwritten notes. But what about all those websites and images I find online that I want to save and refer back to again? Some things I've actually printed out to clip and store (as in an image) or save in a file (as in a recipe). Obviously that can be a bit impractical.

Well I've had this sidebar of bookmarks on my laptop - recipes, craft projects, articles, etc. - growing steadily for years. It has not been the best way to store these inks - certainly not the most organized way! So I've been going through those bookmarks and sorting them into my Pinterest Boards. I open a link, see if there's a Pinterest button (and there usually is), then "pin" the link to one of my Boards, depending on its topic.

A few of my Board topics so far:

Baking ... Nature Crafts ... Feeding My Family ... Natural Housekeeping ... Punch Recipes ... Woodland Things ... Home Learning ... Autumn Goodness ... Getting Organized!

You get the gist, I'm sure. The possibilities are endless! But what a great way to actually SEE and USE the images and information we need! So far I have 15 boards and have been happily - dare I say, obsessively - pinning links to my boards.

 The other side to Pinterest seems to be that it's a social network as well. In that, you can follow other "pinners" and they can follow you. You can pin other people's pins and vice versa. I stumble across things online quite often, but in case I need more to choose from, there are thematic boards to "follow" with links of all kinds. I can peruse these pins at my leisure and re-pin on my own boards if I choose.


So as I said above, I see what all the fuss was about! I avoided Pinterest because it seemed like just one more thing to keep up with - and I can see how it can suck you in and keep you very, very busy - but it truly does provide a great service. :)


Well my friends, are you on Pinterest? If you are, how do you like it? What am I missing in my "explanation" above? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

In the meantime, I hope you have a great Wednesday ... take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and I'll see you here again very soon!

ETA - I absolutely should have said/asked - PLEASE share your Pinterest links here if you'd like! I would love to check out your boards! :)