Homeopathic Remedies and Cleaning Giveaway WINNER

This morning all entries were placed in a bowl, mixed up and, with the aide of my eldest daughter, a WINNER was selected.  I'd like to say "thank you" for sharing such great recipes and ideas!  The winner will receive the items in this basket:

Thank you for participating in the giveaway and for those of you which left comments for entries.  So, without further delay...

The WINNER is...

Our First Home Birth ~ Rejoicing Over Logan Thomas

On Thursday, January 20, I was consistently having contractions about 5 minutes apart, so we called our midwives.  Lynn was with clients, so Michelle came.  When she arrived my contractions almost completely stopped - I was 4 cm and 100% effaced, but no real labor.  Michelle went home and said she’d stay on alert.

Mark took the day off and we enjoyed the time together…the last as a family of “four”.  Mark and I went on a dinner date, leaving the two boys with my mom.  I began having small contractions again regularly during dinner.  Yah!  A middle name still had not been decided for Logan so during dinner, Mark finally chose Thomas for his middle name.  I teased that Logan wouldn’t come until he had his name; little did we truly know how soon he would be here.

Family Fun ~ Summer Bucket List 2014 Printable

Summer is upon us!  Those that do not school year round, whether homeschool, private, parochial or public, may be asking, "What will we do with all this free time?"  If you aren't careful, the days will quickly slip by and before you know it, school routines will be back in action.  So, how about making strides to have some family fun?  What about using your summer to tie heart strings with your children by spending time together and making some fun memories together?

We usually take a summer vacation, but have decided to save that money this year, using some to get home projects done and the rest will be saved, going toward a family vacation next year.   This morning the children and I sat down to make a master list of all the FUN things they like to do or would like to do this summer.  There were two rules:  it could not be far away and it could not be expensive.  So, one by one I went around the table, youngest to oldest asking them for an idea.  We did this several times until we reached 30 ideas.  The kids thought it was great to give their input!  Some reminiscing happened and lots of giggles.  I took their ideas an created a printable.

Our First Daughter ~ Alyssa Grace

Free Banner Printable
I remember when when we first went to have a sonogram done to see what we were having.  I was sure number four would be a boy.  I mean, I have had three already.  I know how to do boys, so this was sure to be another, right?  October 2002, lying on the examine table and as soon as the transducer was placed on my tummy there "SHE" was.  My reaction...

"No.  It can't be.  I don't know how to do girls.  Check again."

Essential Oil Giveaway Gift Basket

Who doesn't like something free?  And what if the free gift is aromatic?  And what if it has health benefits, too?  Well, that's what I have for blessed one reader!  Entering is easy and should be done by June 24th 11:45PM EST, so don't delay.  What do you need to do to enter?

How to Make the Most of Attending a Home Education Conference

The 'end-of-the-school-year' and beginning of summer seems to be the most popular time for home education conferences.  Our family has always looked forward to attending family friendly conferences over the years, which serves a purpose for each of us.  As a home educator since 1996, I look forward to gleaning from those who have been on the journey longer than myself.  I am always encouraged and thankful for the memories that we make.  Conferences provide the benefit of learning ways to make our days more productive and intentional, providing the opportunity to find resources that can bring delight to learning in our home.  Attending a conference, allows me to be able to pick up and look at curriculum, speak with others about various topics that relate to home educating and provide a reminder that we are part of a much larger community than just our four walls.

Conferences range in size from a local setting, with families from around the area ranging in attendance of a hundred or so people, to much larger ones, that are on a state or national level ranging in attendance of thousands of people, usually gathering together in a span of a couple of days.  I have attended many since 1996 and find my happy place is in the hundreds; just enough to refresh and regroup to prepare for my next 'school year'.

Whatever size the conference, it is a good idea to have a plan of what you hope to attain from it.  Today I am going to share some things I do to prior to attending any conference.

Kitchen Cabinet Updating ~ Fall 2013 Project

We are blessed to work in the construction industry, even in these challenged economic times.  There are many skilled tradesmen in our area and it is a blessing when opportunities work out to swap work with other tradesmen in order for projects to be completed.  This was the case last summer/fall.  A skilled cabinet maker helped us to update our kitchen.  One day we hope to remodel the kitchen, when funds are saved for doing that, but until then a simple way to update a kitchen is to replace cabinet and drawer fronts.

Here's how our kitchen looked before the update last year:

Bringing Style, Function and Organization to a Small Laundry Room

How do you view doing laundry?  In a large family, it may not be a task approached with excitement, but more a task approached due to the necessity of it.  Considering the amount of laundry we do in our family of 10, the laundry room is a room often visited and hours each week are spent there.  If hours are going to be spent in a room, shouldn't that room provide some joy, beauty and purpose?  I believe so.  My laundry room wasn't necessarily a chaotic place or one that needed great improvement, but seeing the amount of time we spend there it did need some revamping.  Last summer, we set out to liven it up, improve the usability of it and add a little bit of motivation to the room.