Sun Catchers

sun catchers twitter post

Today, my newly 11 year old was cleaning out her room and decided to take out a bundle of items that she no longer uses, plays with, or enjoys. A lot has come out of her room. One of the handfuls of things she brought out were these perler bead creations she had made once upon a time. These are simple to make and they are so pretty in the window. They will make me smile over and over.

Perler beads are not too expensive and they have provided a ton of creative time and enjoyment. The simplicity of them is part of the appeal to me. If you are looking for a simple craft activity, you might try these with older elementary.

You simple place the beads on a board in the shape or formation you desire. You place a piece of parchment paper over it and iron it for a few seconds until the beads have melted together a bit. You then turn it over and iron again on the other side. I stuck a short piece of thread through one of the beads and taped it to the window.

I will be enjoying the sun catchers for weeks and weeks.

Lori, At Home.

Grace and Compassion


I was scrolling through Facebook land and stumbled across this meme that said “If I needed you and you weren’t there, I’ll never need you again.”

How sad! On so many fronts.

The sadness of this really got me thinking.

First off, it made me thankful that God is always there. Always. Even when I turn away from him. Even when I struggle. Even when I sin. When I turn back to God and drag myself home to him like the lost son of Luke 15, He is there. He is waiting and watching and sees me a long way off. He runs to me and is THERE. I am so thankful for that comfort.

Immediately after it made me feel achy for the person that posted it. Humans are fickle. They have many issues, often much bigger and more intense than those around them know about. Not everyone shares their entire life on social media and thus, there is likely stuff going on in other people’s lives that we know nothing about. We stick to our social media for updates – and yes, I am just as guilty as anyone else – without going to the person that failed us for some reason and finding out if there was something in their life. Maybe it wasn’t about you at all.

Next, it made me sad that this young person felt the need to share with the world this attitude. There is no grace in it. I don’t know about you, but I need others to have grace in dealing with me. Please! If I take the attitude that you better be all in, have no issues yourself, and never dare to be forgetful with me, I am not gracious or compassionate. I will have no friends. And, I am not being like Christ. At all.

But God . . .

You know, that idea – “But God” – occurs often in the Bible and I am so grateful for it. It means that God is forgiving. He is compassionate. He is gracious. He is love. He is greater than I am and allows me to be human and make mistakes. He allows me to have moments where I stumble and fall yet He is right there to be the parent – to kiss the proverbial scrape, pat me on the head, and then wrap me in a warm, tender hug with the words “it will be alright.” What a great God we have.

Grace and compassion.

We all need these. And I know that I need to use them in greater and greater abundance as I grow, mature, and understand more about how human we all are.

I pray that the young person who posted that meme is able to find peace about whatever hit her in the gut. I pray that she will be able to step out in grace towards the person that hurt her and perhaps, be the friend that she had been desiring herself. When we are able to do that, we can change the world by showing the love of Christ to others. One person at a time, we can change the world with God’s love.

Lori, At Home.

The Road To Little Dribbling ~ Book Club

Book Club_ February 2020 The Road To Little Dribbling a travel adventure in Great Britain

This month I took a literary trip to Britain. Not in person but rather through a fun travel writer from America who has adopted Great Britain and has lived there for quite a while.

Bill Bryson decided he was going to visit the farthest south and farthest north parts of the isle and then write about it in The Road To Little Dribbling. It is a follow up to a previous book that he wrote some 25ish years ago titled Notes From A Small Island.

This was a very enjoyable read about the large and small of England and its neighbors. From the coastal villages to the bustling towns, Mr. Bryson writes candidly about his adventures. There are many laugh-out-loud times in the book and he makes the land sound stunningly beautiful.

Mr. Bryson is not your common travel writer. He does more than just tell you about what you will see at a place. He gives you the background, the little-known history, the cost, the good and the irritating. He has convinced me that I never want to drive in England and that trains are an interesting option for travel. He walks everywhere, it seems, and sees many off-the-beaten-path places to share with his reader.

Mr. Bryson created a “line” to follow for this book and calls it the “Bryson Line”, running from Bognor Regis in the south all the way up to Cape Wrath in the north. He gets there, not in a straight line as his “Bryson Line” might indicate but rather with some back and forth, up and down, hitting unique and out-of-the-way places alongside those that everyone wants to know about.

When you have gotten into The Road to Little Dribbling, you will find yourself immersed in Britain and its history. Smiling through the reading, you enjoy your visit through the eyes and walks of Mr. Bryson. This is one I definitely recommend. (Do note, there is a bit of language here and there but it is not common and I found it easy enough to just glide right over.)

Lori, At Home.

Book Club_ February 2020 The Road To Little Dribbling a travel adventure in Great Britain


These Are A Few of Our Favorite Books! P ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Fav Books P

Sorry for the lateness of this post. Misunderstandings have occurred. I didn’t realize it was finished so I didn’t get it posted. Oops! Anyhow, here it is.

Pegasus series – Kate O’Hearn

The first book is titled The Flame Of Olympus and it is about a girl named Emily who lives in New York. Her mother has just passed away and her father is a cop and is almost always working, trying to pay off the medical bills left over from her mother’s battle with cancer. While Emily watches a storm one night, the legendary Pegasus crashes into her roof and changes her life forever. There is a special Flame on Olympus that is in danger of going out, because of the war between the Roman gods and a terrifying race of monsters called Nirads. Emily teams up with the goddess Diana, a young Roman thief named Paelen, and a boy named Joel to save Olympus before the Flame goes out.

E – I liked this book series because Emily was such a good character. I liked how she always seemed to try to look on the bright side of things. I also liked how she found love in her heart for almost everyone.

Princess Academy – Shannon Hale

Miri is a fourteen-year-old girl living on the slopes of Mount Eskel. Mount Eskel is the home of a large quarry that produces linder. Miri is content with her simple life, despite the fact that her father won’t allow her to step foot inside the quarry itself unlike everyone else her age. But Miri’s life changes forever when the priests of Danland, the land below the mountain, decree that Prince Steffan’s future bride will come from Mount Eskel. All girls ages fourteen to seventeen have to attend a makeshift academy to prepare them in case they are chosen by the prince in one year. The academy is run by a sharp woman called Tutor Olana. At the academy, Miri finds herself struggling with many things: the competing girls, keeping her old friends, her own conflicting desires to be the one chosen, and perhaps biggest of all, proving that she isn’t the small, weak, little girl she thinks everyone sees her as. But when danger strikes the academy, it is Miri, named after the tiny mountain flower, who has to save her classmates, and their village.

Favorite Books P

E – I liked this book because Miri was another character that I found very relatable. I liked that she felt like she was always in some conflict with herself but she never let it take over.

Keep your eyes open. The Q post is coming. 🙂

Lori, At Home.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O

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Work Before Play. Or??

Work Before Play OR Play Before Work

Work Before Play.


Play Before Work.

Now, does it really matter?

Many will say “Yes, it absolutely matters. You have to do your work before you do the things you want to do. You have to earn it.”

I am going to challenge that notion. I have had to challenge it in my own life. I grew up where you did the work and then you go the play time or the time to relax or do whatever it is that pleased you. And I am NOT saying, at all, that the work does not have to be done.

But, like everything else in life, times are a changing in this realm. When I was growing up, it seemed like everyone who worked was gone from 7:30 to 5:30 or thereabouts. There was not a lot of shift work going on. This was what happened in my family and it worked well. That was my dad’s work schedule. We went to school during the day and then got to play after chores when we got home. Nothing wrong with that.

My life as an adult has been quite surprising and this is one of those places where things are not quite what I expected. My husband works from 3 PM to 1 AM. If he has to work and then have time to play, he is doing so at the wee hours of the morning and that does not allow time with his family. That old notion doesn’t work for our situation. With his schedule, the girls see the down time first and then the work time. They see the work commitment being honored, the hard work, the time frame consistently held. But they see that after some down time and time around the house.

So why should I push them to complete all of their work before they have any down time? It doesn’t jive with what they see. And you know what? They work a ton better when they are stepping into their own work after just a bit of down time first. So that is what we allow.

One of the girls prefers to get up, get breakfast, and dig straight into her schoolwork. We don’t stop that because it is what she prefers. It works for her. Another of the girls does much better when she has had some time to read her own choice of material first so she reads in bed for a while before getting up, showering, and moving on with her schoolwork. The third, well, it depends on the day for her. Sometimes she wants to dive right in and other times she wants to read or color first. So, I am flexible with that.

When we add to the equation that their dance rehearsals are later afternoon and evening, and they are working hard at those times, it makes sense to allow some down time and free time before that during the day.

So, I am going to ask you if you have truly evaluated what your family does and sees in this arena. Does it really work for you? If not, feel free to challenge the standard notion and the old sayings. It just might create a beautiful, peaceful situation in your family.

Lori, At Home.

Allowing Cooking (and an idea to make it easier on you, Mom!)

Allowing Cooking

Does the thought of allowing your child to take over the kitchen scare you? It does me! At least in some ways. I KNOW I will have more clean up. I KNOW I will have a ton of questions. I KNOW I will be exhausted by the end of it. But, I also know that it will be good for her.

Miss J absolutely loves cooking. I mean it is one of her favorite things and she gets super excited to get a cookbook as a gift. She has been gifted a number of cookbooks over the past couple of years and she reads through them, dreaming of making the lovely food found inside.


For Christmas a few weeks ago, she received The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs. She has gone through it over and over, marking recipes she wants to try. Tonight, she dove in. She made dinner and dessert for me. She made the tear-and-share pizza rolls for dinner and she made cakepops for after. She did a fabulous job.

One idea I want to share about helping youngsters learn to cook well – I acted as sous chef. By getting out and putting away ingredients, cleaning up small messes as they occur, helping prep and guide, the recipe ran smoother and I was able to guide before an issue happened. I was able to do the clean up for her and she felt very confident in her ability. She made a beautiful dinner and we had a great time cooking together. But she was in charge.

** I know someone out there is thinking “But she needs to learn to clean up after herself in the kitchen!” True. I agree. She does. And we talk about that. But we enjoy cooking together and, as I said before, this is a great way to guide the process without the child feeling like mom is watching over her shoulder and not trusting.

Learning confidence in the kitchen is a huge life skill. It is one that can save literally thousands of dollars. I know people who claim they have to eat out a lot because all they know how to make is frozen pizza and cereal. That is not a good claim to fame. So, let’s teach our children better, healthier, cheaper ways. And they will love it. The more they cook, the more they will enjoy it.

Yes, it will be challenging sometimes. Yes, it will be rough. Yes, it will be messy. Yes, it will require lots and lots and lots of clean up. (Did I mention I still have a floor to sweep and mop?) But it will be worth it all in the long run.

So, what is your family going to cook tonight?

Lori, At Home.

Allowing Cooking and idea


Giveaway from the Homeschool Review Crew – 1 year membership to SchoolhouseTeachers for 3 families

Win a One Year Ultimate Membership to 

Giveaway open January 20, 2020 through January 26, 2020.
Further details on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

I can’t say enough good things about this site and highly recommend it. We watched an apologetics class just yesterday from  (affiliate link) It was on how dinosaurs relate to the understanding and timeframe of the Bible. Taught by Patrick Nurre, it was a good class. His geology class is one I am hoping to go through myself this year.

You can read our most recent review of, published just a couple of weeks ago.

With over 460 classes, is a complete curriculum for PK-12.

Every Subject – Every Grade – Every Student 

Head over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog by clicking the text link or either of the images to find the entry for the giveaway and plenty of reasons to enter. Good luck!

Lori, At Home.


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