First up....Congratulations to Annie, who won my Pre-Valentine's Cookie Giveaway! And thank you for all the sweet comments. Decorating sugar cookies takes some time, but there is something therapeutic. Iit is very calming and not quite as stressful as cake decorating.

And I was looking through old posts last night and realized it has been months since I have posted anything homeschool related at all. I suppose we are going through the normal January blahs....basic book work and life. I have a few projects/units in my head and if I can get them down on paper- or into MS Word- we will start back with the type of learning we all enjoy more!


Pre-Valentine's Day Giveaway

In honor of Valentine's Day

And in honor of my first official bakery order

I am giving away some of my Valentine's Day cookies

Anyone can enter, local or not, as long as it is in the US. Just leave a comment, along with a way to contact you. The winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday, January 26th.


Memories- The Box

Under Lakin's bed is a sea of boxes. Old CDs, paperback books, some of my school work from preschool through highschool, toys, and my memory box. Every so often I pull it out and look through it. So when Rylan wanted to look through my CDs I pulled this box out too.

It was put together in 1992, when I was in the 7th grade, with my best friend Melanie. It was our scrapbook of sorts. We decorated it will clipping from Teen Magazine and stickers from the Scholastic book club. Inside is a whole lot of stuff. From 1992 through around 1996. It grew from just Melanie and me to include my other high school best friends- Katie and Andrea

It started with our actual scrapbook. With cover pages for each school year like this one:

Teen magazine was our friend for decorations there too. The pages are construction paper filled with pictures and words on all our memories. Good and bad.

Our 8th grade dance....
9th grade when we spent all free time at the West Town Mall and the Dollar Movie Theater. Buying nail polish in every imaginable color at the dollar store and when boys were our lives.

No teen girl scrapbook could be complete without the pages dedicated to those stars we loved back then. There are pages for Christian Slater, Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix...a little silly looking back on them....

The scrapbook isn't the only thing in that box. It hold a whole lot of other memories- as well as proof that I am a pack rat.

A little black book containing hundreds of movie ticket stubs- times 4. The Mask, Then and Now, Trial by Jury, Legends of the Fall, The River Wild, Batman Forever, Interview with a Vampire, Pulp Fiction- although if I remember correct we got thrown out of that one the first time. And got a talking to by the man who took us out and a lecture to take home to our parents who bought the tickets for us. It was the only R movie we ever got taken out of and we went back and saw it later....
It holds a couple of our 8th grade class name is down there under features...

It holds my calendars- which from 1995-1997 looked like this:
The goal was to have something written every single day. The names of the boys we met around town were recorded, tests, appointments, phone calls, and if nothing happened something random would be written....

It holds the letters- and envelopes- from my friend Andrea when she spent a month at her dad's one summer. Can you tell she's an artist?

It holds this quilt. Andrea and I sewed it by hand in a week. Each of our 4 names are on the side, the corner blocks hold the names of the current-love in each of our lives. The other blocks depict some important event. Our beach house in Nags Head, the Mall, a telephone, the TN Valley Fair, our Moon Walk- when we walked the loop in Cades Cove after dark on a full moon. I love this quilt. It's been in this box forever but when I look at it I can remember each of the things it depicts as well as the week we made it. During a trip to visit Andrea's family in Virginia when we stayed in a cabin. With no hot water the first day, where I got the belt that still hangs in my closet, where there were so many bees in the cabin we started to capture them under jars and stick them with pins on cardboard for our bee collection....



Since it's winter and the ground is frozen and I can't plant anything for about another month and I have the major urge to grow something, I am trying something new.


I got the seed sprouter from GardensAlive! If you order their catalog they have a $25 coupon off an order of $25. You just have to pay shipping. You can just use a jar too if you wanted.

I am starting with lentils. Here they are as of this morning- about 2 days in. I am hoping they will be ready to eat by tomorrow.

Next up is cakes....

This is my trying-new-recipes cake. New cake recipe, new icing recipe, new filling recipe. It turned out pretty good too.

Yellow buttermilk cake with lemon Swiss meringue buttercream filled with lemon curd.

and my mini I-have-extra-batter-and-icing cake. Same flavor as above, just no filling.



It's that time of year. The air is cold. The sunlight is short. My mood takes a turn for the worse. And I start to reevaluate. Everything. I think too much. Feel guilty about too much.

The down economy you hear about everywhere has hit us hard this year. It's caused a lot of stress and pressure and altered how we live our lives. And we are searching for changes.

I don't like the way our homeschool is going right now. We don't have the balance I want. And I am pretty certain we haven't achieved the balance that the kids want. I am searching for changes. For what is most important to me. For our home. For our family.

Wordless Pictures....

AKA playing with my new camera....

and photographing my favorite subjects

in good moods

and in bad moods

and in the surprise morning snow