Saving Money

kays cards 112

A large part of our homestead project is to save money so that Mom can stay home and raise the children.

We enjoy finding ways, some very creative, to save money.    Many times saving money takes work and energy but it comes with more benefits than increasing the size of your wallet.

A few of the ways we save:

Recycle– Our rural town has a recylce center we just bring our recyling in and drop it off at no cost.  We  reuse things like  bags, ice cream buckets, soap containers, jars, instead of consume.

Purchase used or get things free- Whenever possible we purchase from yard sales, thrift stores, classifieds, check Craigs List for free items.   Some of the items that we have either cost us very little to nothing at all:  Refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer, love seat, crib, dog kennel, an entire matching dish set, our baby’s clothes, our goat’s water bucket and feed container.

Purchase quality-We have also come to the realization that purchasing a quality product at a higher price is saving in the long run.  An example: purchase good quality cookware(stainless steel and cast iron) that will last a life time and have mulitple purpose cooking.

Goat shelter

Goat shelter

DIY– Doing it yourself is very rewarding way to save and many times it is much heathier for us…  Grow our own food: garden, meat, dairy, eggs, and herbs.  Making our own homemade foods. Hunting.  We make our own deodorant and laundry soap.  We use cloth diapers instead of disposable.  Use natural cleaners.  Build sheds and shelters using recyled materials when possible. All of these things save us a huge amount of money and many are much healthier.  We look forward to learning to make more things like soap, cleaners, we would love to make cream cheese and butter.


We are participating in the Apologia Blog roll 2012-13.   The plan is to post some of what we are doing in the Apologia pages found in the tabs above .

Apologia has 6 different subjects at the “elementary level”: Astronomy, Botany, Anatomy and Physiology, and Biology(3 separate books-Swimming Creatures, Land Animals, and Flying Creatures*not pictured)

The texts at the “High School” level are: General Science, Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Our 15yo is studying Apologia’s Physical Science this year.  She is really enjoying it and getting a lot out of it.

Apologia, in my opinion, does a fantastic job with their curriculum.  The books are filled with tons of information, plenty of hands-on experiments, activities, great pictures, and they explain things in great detail yet at a level that my kids can understand.  My kids love science!  It is easy for me to use, we work at our own pace, requires very little to no prep time, I can easily add things to our study when I am feeling ambitious and creative.  The “elementary levels” can be used for any type of homeschool approach.

Our 6 yo and 12 yo are studying Botany this year(2012-13).   We have one book that we share-we read it together.  They both have their own Apologia Notebook to use with the curriculum.

Notebooking w/ Apologia:

  • You can either use your own notebooks which is what we did the first year or two, the kids enjoyed designing their own.
  • You also have the option to purchase the Apologia “Notebooks”, which I have found to be worth the money.  Seen above is the Jr version.    This is our first year purchasing the Jr Version for our 6 yo.  He loves it. They have great coloring pages.  We will not be using the entire notebook for him because he isn’t ready for all of what it offers, so I am making copies and placing in a 3-ring binder.    I did not want him to have a notebook that does not look complete at the end.   The other benefit is that we will be able to save the notebook for the next kid/s.
  • Apologia’s website offers free notebooking pages to print off.  Here are the free Botany Notebooking pages

We are not using the curriculum in the order it is written.  We will be using the suggested order for colder climates.

We are currently on lesson 2(seeds).  Our 6 yo enjoyed making a “Sprouting Bean” book that I found on Enchanted to go with our study.  Here are some pics:

These links will allow you to view sample pages of the Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Botany.

Table of Contents: Apologia_Botany_TableContents

Introduction to Botany:bot_intro

Course Overview: Botany

A sample lesson(lesson 2) this link will give you a good idea of what an Apologia Text(elementary Level) looks like. Botany_sample_lesson_2My Joy-Filled Life


Do you ever feel like you are never going to complete the tasks at hand?  I never feel “caught up”, because I never am.  There is always more to do.  There is always more laundry, dishes, toys on the floor, dust building up, subjects to be learned/taught, people I need to call, bills to be paid, menus to be planned, food to prepare, house to clean, guests to prepare for and on and on the list goes.  Is that such a bad thing?  I say no, no, it is not! I need to remember that it is a GOOD thing that I still have more I need to do.  I believe there will be a day when I could get to a point that I could call “caught up”.  It can happen for me.  But that day is in the far future.  It is a day when my babies are grown.

So…This evening as everyone settled down and went to sleep, I sat on the love seat holding/nursing my baby in a dark living room.  I sat there thinking about the day gone by and all of the blessings it held.  Looking around at the toys on the floor, a child sleeping on the couch, a basket of unfolded laundry near my feet, a table with books and papers scattered, and I just thought….I’m going to take this all in, this is a day I don’t ever want to forget(tears), I love my life!!

Look for the positive.  And enjoy the incompletion you have!

Apologia Science

My Joy-Filled Life

I found an Apologia blogroll at My Joy-Filled Life website.  We will be joining soon!  If you use Apologia you may be interested in checking out some of these blogs.

Are you a blogger who will be using Apologia for your science curriculum for the 2012-2013 school year?
If you are, I’d love for you to link up your blog below.  That way we all can connect with other Apologia users, see how others are using this curriculum, gain ideas, advice and tips for projects and experiments, or to simply find fellowship.
In your link-up, please include the book(s) you will be using (Astronomy, Botany, Zoo1, etc.), and your name or blog title.
After you link up, please share the blog roll button in your sidebar.  This will allow other Apologia users to find the list, as well as provide you an easy way to navigate back to the list.
Please note: your blog does not have to be exclusively about Apologia science; this list is for anyone using the Apologia curriculum for science.  However, if you label your Apologia related posts as such, it will be easier for others to find the appropriate posts.
Happy Exploring!!

Top 10 Healthy Habits

Creating some healthy habits has been on our minds and hearts lately.  We are going to work on one habit at a time, starting with number 1 working our way to number 10.  Here is our list of Top 10 Healthy Habits.

1. Drink a lot of water

2. Drink 3 cups of green tea per day

3. Refrain from eating and drinking refined sugars

4. Exercise at least every other day

5. No sugars(including fruit) after 3pm


7. Start out the day with a cup of hot lemon water(supposed to help digestion)

8. Eat very limited amounts of flour products

9. Limit processed foods

10. Try to eat fresh fruits or veggies with 3 of our daily meals

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

learning about elections

This will be a good week for our family to discuss and learn about elections, US government, etc.  My plan is to have the kids utilize the website.  I have printed, from this site, a “How to Become President of the United States” poster.  I also printed a few coloring sheets for Sam and a word puzzle for Joe.  I will have my them read through some, if not all, of Ben’s Guide.  If you go to this site, notice that there is an age/grade level option above Ben’s chalkboard.

I have printed out the election notebooking activity that we will do this week.

I would also like the kids to take a virtual tour of the White House.

If we have time we will see if there are any good books at the library on the subject…something simple that Sam could understand.

I would love to make a lapbook on this subject but have not done enough prep for that at this point.

I am looking for more ideas to use to teach on this subject…do you have any to share?

Eclectic homeschool, eclectic blogger!

This new blog is the big talk at our house today.  It has taken up quite a bit of time and this is only my 3rd post 🙂  But we are so excited and have so many fun ideas!

Here are a few of the ideas we have brewing for our new blog

Curriculum talk:  Kay, our oldest daughter, loves to teach her 6yr old brother.  Last week she borrowed a bunch of books on castles and medieval times, and chose from our personal library, “The Knight at Dawn”(Magic Treehouse) as a read aloud(she is reading to him).   She is writing her own literature based unit study on medieval times!  All of our kids love to draw.  Joe is drawing a castle to use as a coloring sheet in this unit study.

The kids want to write their own mad libs to share.

The websites we like to use

The different books and curriculums we use.

I would also like us to work on building our own American History Unit Study(Literature based).

A book list

Other talk:  Homeschool topics, homemade products: deodorant, laundry detergent,etc.  Food, nutrition, goat milk, cheese, homemade recipe ideas.  Money saving tips, random tidbit info, dairy goat care, a family comedy comic strip.  Okay…the list of ideas does go on.

We are so excited!

I want to make our posts unique by offering a resource suggestion at the end of my posts(this will most often be a book-did I hear “library!” 🙂 ).  That being said….

Suggestion: Help for the Harried Homeschooler by Christine Field

Love to Read


I was one of those kids that never loved to read.  After I started to have children of my own it was my goal to foster in my children a love for reading, even before I realized that I would one day homeschool.  So… how do you get your kids to love to read?  Number ONE:Read to them!!!  Offer them a variety of books.  Take them to the library.  Read to them.  Let them see you reading.  Read to them. Wait until they have established an enjoyment for reading before you start to require them to read certain books.  Do not stop reading too them.  

As for reading instruction(teaching a child to read) start out slow, simple, and try to make it fun.  Keep it simple and do not let frustration seep into your reading time!!!

Curriculum suggestion: We use Alpha Phonics and Bob Books to teach our kids to read…so far it has worked out great.


Blogging about blogging?

We have been playing around with our new blog… (Mom)trying to learn my way around and come up with a lay out.  This has been difficult for the tech challenged Mom.  Dad and kids plan to start designing a banner tomorrow.  It might take us some time to get it figured out…hope you will bare with us!    If you are a blogging pro…I would love any advice! Thanks for reading!