DIY: Mason Jar Pendant Light…

When we purchased our home, we inherited a lot of items (I think someone got tired of packing). One of those items was this old mason jar. I have one of these from my Grandma but I didn’t want to make it a part of the house. So I thought since this mason jar was with the house when we purchased it, it should be here when we leave. Not that I plan on moving any time soon. I hope!


I went to one of our local home improvement stores and purchased a Westinghouse light kit for pendants in white. I remember it didn’t cost much but I can’t think of the cost right off hand.

I took the lid and drilled a hole in it then I took wire snips and cut out a hole big enough for the light ballast to go in. I also spray painted the lid white because I wanted it to blend with the light parts. Then my husband did the hard job of hanging the light over our sink.


These photos are not the best. I am not good at indoor lighting. I will have more photos after out kitchen remodel is complete.

The background may look terrible because we are still in construction mode.


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DIY: Tie Dye Napkins…

I have been very busy doing projects, planning our homeschool, and remodeling the kitchen. Writing on the blog has not been a priority.  But this will be the first of some DIY projects I have going on. I don’t want to post some of them until they are actually up and being used because they have to do with my kitchen and its remodeling. I will post my DIY Mason Jar pendant light soon though. IMG_20150814_130051

If you have been around my house at all, you will know I love to decorate in tropical, beach cottage, and nautical decor.   A touch of tie dye says summer at the beach to me.

So in my quest to find cloth napkins for my casual dining table, I decided to make some tie dye napkins. I tried to find some turquoise cloth napkins but they tended to be pricey and I do live on a budget. So I purchased some cheap ones, and when I say cheap, I mean cheap in cost and quality. They are very thin and rough feeling. But this works for me because when I get bored, I can trade them out. I am thinking I may use some bandannas next time because these cloth napkins are probably just as thin. IMG_20150814_130155

These photo’s are not the best quality. I hope you get what I was trying to accomplish. I also don’t iron so those of you who do, please forgive my wrinkles :)

I dug out a bottle of my favorite dye, RIT Liquid dye in Aquamarine (aka turquoise in this house), some rubber bands, vinegar, and a big pot of hot water.

I rubber banded the napkins in different ways. I folded some and I also scrunched some.
I put some hot water, half a bottle of the dye, and a big splash of vinegar in the pot and sat it in my utility sink. I added the napkins to the pot. And as usual I did not measure.


I wanted these to be some what subtle so I did not leave them in long, maybe 5 minutes.

I then took the bands off them and threw them in the washing machine on a fast wash. Now taking the bands off before washing will let the dye bleed some and make the tie dye effect subtle. This is what I wanted. I didn’t really want the stark white to stand out so much. I wanted these to look like they have been around a while and wore out.

I hope you like them…


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TOS Crew Review: America the Beautiful from the Notgrass Company…


I just want to share one of our favorite history programs. We have several years of this curriculum and it is still on our “school shelf” for us to use when needed or just for looking something up.

Keep Notgrass History in mind while your looking for an easy to follow program. We have used the High School curriculum as well as the middle school curriculum. We love both.

I will be sharing some of my old reviews as I gear up to write more up to date posts.


Originally posted on Welcome to our Cottage Life...:


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Notgrass Company
A family business since 1999
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Ages 10-14
Grades 7-8

America The Beautiful Student Workbook
Grades 5-6

About America the Beautiful:

Notgrass’  America the Beautiful offers history and geography curriculum from a biblical perspective, complete with easy to follow lesson plans. The main lesson books for America the Beautiful come in hardback making it lay open flat for ease of reading and keeping track of your assignments with out closing and going back to find the page you were on.  The curriculum is so full of information and photographs that you get 2 books for the curriculum, plus the supplement books in the pack.
In book 1 you have 15 units with each unit having 5 lessons. In book 2 you have units 16-30.

At the beginning of each unit…

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Coming back to the heart of homeschooling…

I have been on a journey, some of it good, some of it frustrating. My journey has brought me through many of life happenings along with some heart and emotional issues that had to deal with homeschooling. To be honest I was hating homeschooling. I was so burnt out that I literally was counting down the years until I could stop. How long was it until I could get my house back. How long until I could get rid of all the curriculum and books I have collected, and I collected a lot because I am, or was, a curriculum and book junky.

I graduated my eldest a year early. Then I took a year off, basically. We ran a home daycare (we needed the income) and my youngest unschooled, again. I really could not stand to “do school” another day. I was physically and mentally drained. I could not keep up. We purchased a house that needed work (see quad crashers series for some posts). I was trying to homeschool, renovate, and then start a daycare on top of all the other homekeeping I was doing. I finally gave up. I just couldn’t do it any more.

Since then we have sold that house and purchased another fixer upper. This time is different. I am not doing a daycare. My youngest is focusing on being a chef as we plan the upcoming school year. She has been thriving in the areas she is most interested as well as learning new instruments on her own or with the help from her older sister. My oldest is working and preparing to study to history through online college.  Things are moving right along.

So how did I come to a heart change back to homeschooling? I am not sure. Some how God has spoken to me and showed me that my priorities have been wrong. I tend to worry, about everything that is little. But not the big stuff. When my husband was laid off several times, I didn’t worry. I knew God would take care of us. But little things, how my house looks, earning money to pay for house decor or candles or tires for my Jeep, or just having my Jeep. It was my dream car, but it kept us in debt. God has shown me I have let my self get materialistic, when I use to care less about things. Pressure from others to “keep up” can be detrimental to your spiritual life. Some people are always in a competition with you whether you realize it or not. Eventually you do realize it and you also realize that is has been effecting you and gets you off track. That happens in life and in homeschooling, which is why I don’t join co-op groups. I would always feel bad because I wasn’t doing this or that, or I wasn’t using this expensive curriculum that is supposedly the best.

But now I am refocused, or getting refocused. I am getting excited about homeschooling again. I don’t feel the pressure. I do want to mention that I feel like I have been on a roller coaster ride with homeschooling. When I started out I felt frustrated, then I didn’t care what others thought and was blissful, then I developed burn out that became a raging fire. Now I am headed towards bliss again, I hope lol.

Our new home is another fixer upper. But I am not going to let it get in my way. Most of the big stuff is done. We are in the middle of the kitchen remodel and when that is done we should be ready to start school. I have that part planned out. This home is going to be different. The last one was for us to fix up and flip. This home is going to be just that, a home. A place where my grandchildren will come to visit, when I have them, and a place where we will have large family gatherings.

I know this was kinda long for me but I really wanted to share what was going on.

This is why I am coming back to this blog. It was my outlet as I walked through my homeschool journey. I miss it. So I am back….

PS: I will be doing some remodeling on the blog so please be patient if you see it looking weird or disorganized.

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Homeschool: Summer Teaching and Activity Ideas…

Now we homeschool all year round and take our “summer” breaks through out the year, especially from Thanksgiving to the New Year because we really cherish those family times together.

Usually in the summer we focus a lot on homesteading. We have been working on a list of things we could, or might,  do this summer and I thought I would list some ideas.  Feel free to shout out some of your own ideas in the comments. I would love to have some more ideas.

  • Bird Watching: This one my 15yo came up with. Our new home has an abbanner-joinundance of different types of birds and we would like to figure out what each of them are.  Join The Ohio Ornithological Society.
  • Gardening: We always do this one. Grow our own veggies. Plant some flowers. This is an easy science focus. About 2 years ago we planted a ton of clover in a “clover bed” we made and we enjoyed watching the bunnies come every morning for breakfast.
  • Learn how to have an indoor herb garden. (click HERE for a variety of Google pics) We want to attach mason jars to a piece of wood and hang it on the kitchen wall. It could be fun to watch how it grows and when we cut some off see if it grows back there or if shoots off in multiple locations.  We can also use this try new combinations of herbs for recipes.
  • Find a new hobby like painting nature.
  • Do more photography. Make a list of things we want to photograph and make an album and add to it as we find those things. Maybe do this in a scavenger hunt kind of way.
  • Throw a Tea Party. Make finger foods. Make some scones topped with Lemon Curd. I love lemon things.
  • Build a Picnic Table from scratch using power tools. Learn to read blue prints / plans. This is a good one for the wood working Papa Bear! Mama Bear just wants to sit at it.
  • Build benches that go around trees. Can you tell I am focusing on what I need Papa Bear to do around here but its good for the kids to learn building skills and this also helps with learning to read a tape measure.
  • Start up a book club where the books are all Beach or Summer Themed. Get friends involved and meet once a month.  Discuss the books at the Tea Party!
  • Learn a new instrument (I want to learn to play the Banjo, we really like Bluegrass). My Kiwi is learning to play the Bagpipes on a Practice Chanter, and Dede has been learning to play the Ukelele.  They have also taught them selves piano but only Dede is learning to read music.
  • Volunteer. Find something we are passionate about and volunteer.
  • Practice our manners and respecting others. Learn how we can help others and not be selfish. There is too much selfishness in this world today so lets be selfless. Practice doing good deeds. I can’t stand to see people treat others in a way that doesn’t respect the person. People tend to be so self absorbed these days, walking right by someone in a store or other place that needs help and they rush away. About two weeks ago I was at Aldi’s Grocery Store and gave my cart to an elderly man and his wife. You would have thought I gave him a hundred dollars. For those of you who don’t know, you have to put a quarter in the cart to get it and I refused to take that mans quarter. That meant so much to him and I thought it was a tiny act of kindness. What we think is tiny could mean the world to someone else. Ok, off my soap box…
  • For those who do bible study with your family or children, pick a new study. Women of the bible, How Jesus showed love to others while judging their sin at the same time, dig in to the archeology of Jesus’ time like how they lived at that time. What did they eat out of? Did they have eating utensils or did they use their hands? What kind ofindex furniture would they have made? What woods (trees) were available at that time? What were other plants around the area? Look at an Historical Atlas and see if the boundaries have changed. Get creative. Think of things around you and see how or what was different back in bible times.
  • Do a study on politics that you wouldn’t normally study from a text book. Compare thoughts about ideas and issues and how each political party looks at the issues. Watch different news stations (local probably won’t work, go for the bigger Fox, CNN, MSNBC, ect) on the same issue and compare how each station slants the story one way or another, or if they all feel the same about a story or how their views are different.
  • Make your own music video and or movie or TV show. Act out an episode of a TV show or movie you like
  • Learn a new sport or outdoor activity like Archery.
  • Get creative and invent your own game.
  • Write a book or short story.

Ok, that is all I have for now.  Don’t forget to shout out your ideas, or a link to your similar post. If you post a link to your homeschool site Summer Activity list I will stop by.

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DIY: Simple Chair Redo…

I inherited these 2 country chairs from the previous homeowner of our new home that we are remodeling.  I am not going to go into details on how I spray pained them, if your not sure how to spray paint, visit for a tutorial. IMG_20150417_112845

I love this yellow paint, Rust-Oleum Sun Yellow, and have used it on several items around the house including a high chair, post HERE.  (I don’t use the chair pad. The little girl I was babysitting didn’t like it) I use this chair as a plant stand now. My daughter plans on using it when she has children one day (she is only 15 lol).

So here are the chairs.  I think they turned out nice. They are really not as bright in the house I don’t think, but I love bright so it didn’t matter to me.
I will update lateIMG_20150417_151630r when I get to use them at the ends of my trestle table when my husband gets that built for our hearth room which is still under remodel. We tore out an old brick half wall, reclaimed the brick for another project, and I will be posting that fun adventure later. The new hardwood floor has to be put down in the kitchen and hearth area. We hope to have that finished in the next month or two. We do get new windows this week so YAY!
Its been hard for my husband to get work done around the house since he is working a lot of hours. This past week he managed to get ceiling fans up in all the bedrooms. He keeps mumbling “how can anyone live in a house and never put ceiling fans in”. Our house was built in 1979 and has never had ceiling fans. We don’t like a lot of lamps. It is unnecessary clutter to me though I do have some when the right decor calls for them.

Well, I am off to make some new country valances for my family, hearth, and kitchen. I will post those later when the room is all done (paneling gone I hope, painted, hardwood down, decorated, but the kitchen remodel will be a while so I won’t wait for that)

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6 Treasures of the Lord’s Prayer

Originally posted on Naked Christian:

6 Treasures of the Lord's Prayer I am greatly inspired by the life and works of Augustine of Hippo. St. Augustine in His Study by Vittore Carpaccio, 1502

Please Note: God willing, I would like this post to reach as many people as possible. If you could spare a moment and share on Facebook, Twitter or re-blog I will be very grateful.

Christianity is littered with numerousprayer cliché, prayer works, prayer changes things, PUSH – pray until something happens. We have the bumper stickers, have worn the T-shirt or bought the DVD, but did that transform your prayer? I will be lying if I say I have found the secret, I don’t.

After noticing my prayer life hitting a dry patch, I began questioning if I knew what prayer was. I believe God led me to Luke 11 and Matthew 6 there I discovered how knowing God revolutionize prayer. Our prayer life…

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