Simple Guitars for Your American Girl Dolls


Miss J loves projects. She saw a picture a while back of some American Girl guitars so she wanted to make them. This afternoon, we did just that. Took us all of about 15 minutes to produce two simple guitars that she will endlessly enjoy using with her dolls.



  • Open Google and type in “acoustic guitar black line coloring page” or  “electric guitar black line coloring page”
  • Find an image you like and save it
  • Print it at as full a size on a page of white card stock as will fit
  • Color and cut out. You could add glitter or some other glitzy stuff here but Miss J wanted hers just colored.
  • Find a ribbon and tape it on the back at the places where it will hold correctly on the doll – somewhere at the back of the body of the guitar and somewhere close to the end of the neck.
  • Sling it onto the doll and put on some music so she can perform.


Simple. That is all there is to it. Enjoy!

At Home.

Refine – FMF

Today’s prompt for Five Minute Friday, hosted by Heading Home, is the word REFINE. Five minutes, no editing, just free writing.

GO –

Refine. That makes me think of the process of making metals stronger. Or making something better. Refine.

So what refines?

Encouragement – Building each other up (I Thess 5:11) is a way of refining others and ourselves.

Redirection – When we rethink what we need to do and change the way we are heading, we are refining our goals and our hoped outcomes. (Job 11:13)

Criticism – When someone lets us know something is not right, we have opportunity to refine whatever it is. Or we get mad. But if we refine that something, we are better for it.

Trials and Tribulations – When we go through something difficult, painful, hard. . . we get stronger and become more of who we should be.

God refines us when he works on our hearts. That refining is a very good thing because it brings us closer to HIM. (Zechariah 13:9)

Sometimes it is easy. Sometimes it is not. Sometimes we know it is happening. Sometimes we have no clue we are being refined. And in being refined, we are being made better, stronger, and more like HIM.


Always Learning – Blogging Through The Alphabet


Do you ever look around and wonder what you are learning? I do. I also wonder it about the girls. I know I can look at the lesson book and see what they have completed but what are they LEARNING?

Just a few pictures from the week that show us “always learning.” Whether it be through doing something new or reading or creating art, we learn by doing. Not just completing worksheets or answering math problems. We are “always learning” whether we think about it or not. Especially if we let life be lived “Pollyanna-style”. (If you haven’t read Pollyanna, go do it. It will brighten your outlook!)

So, here are a few of our “always learning” moments from this week.

At Home.

Join the ABC blogging group hosted by A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

A Net In Time Schooling
My ABC Posts:
A – Always Learning

Goals for 2017

Sometimes, I find that I struggle with setting goals. I don’t want to fall short. I have found myself several times lately thinking something like “I won’t even try because I can’t do it.” This often happens when I see something that requires a lot of activity over an extended period of time.

I have found, though, that if I create a much smaller goal with a larger end point in mind, I don’t struggle as much. An example? Walk for 20-30 minutes per day. No distance required so for those days when I am hurting or exhausted, all I have to do is make the time. I don’t have to push super hard. But for those days when I am energetic and feeling good? Then I can do some running and go further and longer.

I have also found that if I write things down, I am more likely to hold myself accountable. If I tell someone I trust about a goal, they are also more likely to hold me accountable because, well, they can since they know. (Something about that knowing – if they don’t know, how can they help?!?) At Home Dad has changed his morning routine to help me meet my daily goal of walking. He did that because he knew about my goal and wanted to help me meet it.

So, with all that rambling in mind, I decided to show you my goals. I wrote them down on the printable that I had created and shared with you in my post on The End or The Beginning? Here are my 2017 Goals.goals-2017At Home.

Linking up with the Homeschool Review Crew’s discussion about goals in 2017.

Homeschool Review Crew Goals for the Year Ahead {Link Up}

Clear Horizons – math choices


This week, the Virtual Curriculum Fair is focusing on Discovering Patterns: Math and the Mathematical Sciences.  You will find all sorts of ideas, helps, and surprises for practical math applications among the posts.

It is no secret that math is the hardest subject for me to write about. I could whine and complain but really, it amounts to an insecurity within myself. I know and recognize that and I fight it all the time, hoping my girls will learn to be confident in their math abilities. We have struggled with finding a good curriculum, even with our adventures as part of the Homeschool Review Crew. We have found several tidbits that help us.

1 – We do not do well with an online curriculum. Examples might be Teaching Textbooks or Khan Academy or A+ Interactive Math. We realize that these have many wonderful features; they just don’t fit our children. And that is okay.

2 – We have realized that the girls need to be able to ask questions of a real person and get multiple explanations of a concept. These explanations need to be different each time, using different words to help get the concept across.

3 – We need to practice a few problems at a time and not be overwhelmed by a huge page full of the exact same type of problem x 100.

4 – But we can do several different concepts on each page, as long as there are 5 or 6 of each type.

5 – Color is helpful and brightens up the pages but is not essential.

So that leave us looking forward at? What?

We looked at several different curriculum options – printing from online, buying a book at the store, or piecing things together ourselves. We spent a couple of hours with the girls at the store going through things and came home with a company that has been a perfect fit for us – Horizons.

Is it a perfect book that makes everything simple? No.

But, it fit our needs and has given us a way through our daily math that has made sense and we have seen really fantastic progress. All three of the girls use Horizons Math.

The pages are well set up and there is sequential progress through the concepts with a little bit of practice on following days. After a few days of this kind of practice, they might move away from that concept for a while. It will circle back, though, after a couple of weeks and then they will build on it.

We have seen the girls confidence and ability soar with Horizons. We know that there are options that may fit better in the future. Actually, the near future since Horizons doesn’t have a high school level math option so we will have to find something different. But this? It has been the answer we needed.

Pre-algebra is coming up fast. (We may start a review on a Pre-Algebra program in a couple of weeks! I’ll let you know. . .) But until then, we have clear horizons and a program we are pleased with.

I say all this to let you know, it is okay to move around a bit to find the right fit. Once we realized what was working or not working about certain programs, our view was much clearer. And with that clearer view, the right fit was easier to find.

At Home.


Please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about Discovering Patterns: Math and the Mathematical Sciences this week:

Finding Our Math Equilibrium: Our Plan for 11th, 7th, 5th, and 2nd Grades + Free Printables! by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Math Resources and Programs for All Ages by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool

Math (doesn’t) Stink! by Jennifer King @A Peace of Mind

When Math is NOT Your Thing by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays

Math U See and All the Supplements by Laura H @ Four Little Penguins

Discovering Patterns in Our World: STEM Studies by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

Junior High Math by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life

Science & Math for Struggling Learners by Yvie @ Gypsy Road

Maths: a subject in progress by Sarah @ Delivering Grace

Taking Mathematics out of the Textbook by Dana Hanley @ Roscommon Acre

Maths for a Very Maths-y Boy by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home

Practical Math by Annette @ A Net in Time

One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

Math, How I Loathe Thee by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed

Math and Logic in Early Elementary and Preschool {virtual curriculum fair 2017} by Meghan W @ Quiet In The Chaos

Low Stress High School Science and Math by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Are these toys or manipulatives? This is math? by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully

When You Don’t Have a Math Plan by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Clear Horizons by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

A Few Thoughts on Teacher Math by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset


Have you written about math? Link up and share by clicking below:

An InLinkz Link-up

Rescue the Perishing – hymn

We have started our the new year with a new start for our homeschool day. We begin with a hymn. One hymn that we focus on for the week. We will be using a hymn study book that has the background of the writing of the lyrics and/or music. We are also reading and trying to memorize the accompanying scripture and reading a daily devotional.

This week, our song has been Rescue the Perishing. The song has been heard many, many times during the week, hummed, sung, whistled, mumbled, whatever. But the song has been in our hearts and minds this week and that was a part of the goal – getting us singing (which we love to do) and focusing on God. Starting out the day in joy.

Rescue the Perishing was picked randomly but it is one that I have thoroughly enjoyed. Fanny Crosby is the lyricist and in the book, it quoted a story by her about this song. She had been asked to write a song on rescuing the lost and it was in her mind while she was speaking. She talked about it a bit and told her audience that if they had wandered from home, they needed to return. Afterwards, a young man came forward and told her he was going home. The words for the song rushed to her that night.

It made me think about how powerful our words can be. Am I paying attention to the words I use? Am I thinking of others and helping them? Do I realize that I could rescue someone just by the words I choose? I need to be more mindful, more prayerful. If I am, perhaps I can “snatch them . . . from sin and the grave.” I need to do exactly what the songs says “weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.”rescue-the-perishing

Words are powerful. Jesus will save.

At Home.

Rescue The Perishing

words: Fanny J. Crosby, 1869
music: William H. Doane

1 Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

Rescue the perishing,
care for the dying;
Jesus is merciful,
Jesus will save.

2 Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,
waiting the penitent child to receive;
plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently.
He will forgive if they only believe. [Refrain]

3 Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
chords that are broken will vibrate once more. [Refrain]

4 Rescue the perishing, duty demands it.
Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
back to the narrow way patiently win them,
tell the poor wanderer a Savior has died. [Refrain]

Simple (and quick) Meatloaf Muffins

So we have been trying to get the house picked up and cleaned up from all we have let go recently. We were busy much of the day at church, then came home and began working. All of a sudden, it was almost 6 pm. That is late for me to realize that I have not begun dinner. Add to it that we really need a grocery run. Illness recently has prevented it but we did have a few little things and so I threw them together. Easy and quick dinner.


1 – 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey (or any ground meat)
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, minced
1 egg
3/4 c cooked rice (I had this leftover so I tossed it in)
salt, pepper, garlic granules, chili powder – to taste (sorry  but I just eyeballed it)

Mix it all real well. Divide into balls that fill a well in a muffin tin. Grease the wells of the tin beforehand. Cook in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. If you are using a mini muffin tin, you will want to reduce the cook time.

We added some steamed broccoli and some corn, along with homemade bread for a complete meal. It was on the table in about 35 minutes from when I looked up. And all that was left was in this picture. I had 18 of these to begin with!

At Home.

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