fiance, student, homeschool retiree, preschool teacher wannabe, Senior Living Coordinator, writer of many things unsaid, blogger, lover of the creative, most cheerful depressed person, devourer of books, crafty wanna be, amateur tech support, internet junkie, facebook stalker, tweeter of tweets, Pagan, friend, sister, daughter, aunt, karaoke super-star

Cookies For Santa

On Christmas Eve we made some gingerbread cookies for Santa.

Just after I took this picture Kaleb (7) says, " I don't even look like I've been cooking!" Then he grabbed a handfull of flour and rubbed it into the front of his apron.

Here I am looking very cheesy.
Ha! And Levi after I made him look like he was cooking too!
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Nutty Elves Craft

We usually make one new ornament every year. We make it in bulk and then pass them out as gifts to friends, neighbors, and family.

This year we picked this little craft from Family Fun called Nutty Elves.

 photo from Family

They were pretty easy to make with the bigger boys (10 and 13). The little boys (7 and 5) had trouble because of the small size of the peanuts, but they made about 5 each. Oliver (5) loved gluing on the noses. You could easily do these assembly line fashion as a family, giving each person a part based on their abilities.

  • Pre-make hats and shoes. 
  • Cut arms and legs ahead of time with wire cutters.
  • Pose them before you glue them in. 
  • Use tacky glue and have hot glue gun on hand.
  • Hot glue to wrapped candy canes

After we assembled the elves, I hot glued them in fun poses onto wrapped candy canes. We used fishing line for the hanger and I just hot glued it to the candy cane to make it secure. 

We think they turned out cute and hope they last a few years. They sure made people smile when they opened them.

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A little debate... always healthy. We went to a homeschool activity where we played some games and had a little debate session. The debate on Xbox verses Wii was pretty heated.

Christmas Spectacular

A friend had us over to organize a Christmas performance all day with the kids and then we performed later at a dinner with family and friends. The kids had a blast!



Single girls...add this to your man wish list!
Love Levi bunches, but I overlooked the importance of a man with this trait.

Exercise isn't always fun, but it sure is FUNNY!


When you suffer from depression one of the first things you learn in treatment and therapy is altered perspectives. Not everyone views the world the same way. Our perspective is how we see the world through our own lens. These lens can be tinted, coated, and fogged up by all kinds of things like culture, up bringing, education or lack of education, experiences, tramas, stress, addiction, gender, ethnicity, etc. Depression is a HUGE lens that alters perspective. To help you cope and counteract the effects the Depression lens has on your perspective, your therapist may have you practice looking at things in your perspective and then how they really are. It can be a very challenging exercise depending on how depressed you are or how long you've been living with depression and your altered perspective. You are pretty much having to tell your brain what it thinks is crap and then you have to try to tell it how it really is. They call this cognitive therapy, but I like to call it the Twilight Zone.

Anyway, I stumbled upon this funny little comic about how people generally see the world and how it really is. The little monsters make it even cuter. You'll probably need to visit the original to read everything.

November Nature Walk

Our little Homeschool Nature Walk group went to the Star, ID River Walk just before it got too cold out. It was a great day, as we walked and warmed up the kids took off their jackets. The trees were in full blown Autumn mode. Maple, Birch, and Oak leaves covered the path crunching under our footsteps and falling on us as we strolled along.

Beautiful Fall Colors

One of the girls found a nice fat slug hanging on to the last few days of warmth. What to know more about slugs? Check out Snails and Slugs at the Backyard Nature website.

PHYLUM: mollusk

Growing on a lovely sitting log along the trail, we spied this mushroom. The mushroom looked like it had already been a snack to some incests.

  PHYLUM: Basidiomycota
    CLASS: Agaricomycetes
      ORDER: Lycoperdales

King or Queen of the Hill.

Schedule Burnout

 Photo from Confessions from the Couch blog

So we've been using AO strictly for a whole term and I hate to say it but with 4 kiddos doing 4 different levels of the curriculum, I am burned out. We haven't been getting to the 'fun' stuff much and I really need the 'fun' stuff to keep me and the kids motivated. I'm looking into reorganizing things for next term, using AO books but combining some subjects. Currently I have a 12 yr old in YR6 that is average, a 10 year old in YR3 that is behind in reading skills, an 8yr old in YR2 that is advanced and a 5 year old in YR0 that is average. Any thoughts from anyone on the best subjects to combine?



Grandma and Grandpa Mitchell got us some Christmas-y donuts for snack today. More snowman carnage in December, as the boys ate the heads off the snowmen first, and were then disappointed that they weren't jelly filled.
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Everyone loves a Parade!

Ian, Kaleb, Oliver and I attended the Meridian Winterland Parade today. Josef wasn't with us because he is still feeling sick, we left him in bed. It was fun, but cold. The boys collected quiet a bit of candy. Oliver ended up with a frisby,he turned it upside down and held it out like his own personal offering plate. "More candy please, sir?" Then we headed to Hasting's Hardback Cafe, sat on thier couch with some cocoa and watched the snow fall outside the big front windows.

Here some photos of us with our after parade glow.

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Ahh! That blissful Christmas-y feeling!