Monday, April 23, 2018


Sometimes we need hope.  Well, always we need hope ;) There are times in our lives when it feels like nothing is ever going to change, at least not for the better.  These are times it is hard to really trust God, really know that He cares for us and IS working for our good.  At times like these it is hard to do, but if we can go with our mind instead of our emotions and remind ourselves of the hope we have in Christ, it will go much better with us.  A couple of verses that have helped to give me hope over the last few months include:

Ps. 34:7 "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them."

and Ps 34: 4 ,"
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears."

And of course...prayer.  God will remind you of the hope you have and of His power.  It just takes some getting out of your own hole of emotions and taking Him at His word.  Easier said than done, I know! :) 

After a long winter, the chives popping up give us hope for the spring to come!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Three Weeks

My first child will be finishing high school in three weeks.  Three weeks!  I can hardly believe it. She is ready to be done :) and she is ready to move on to college.  My mommy heart has gone through so many changes--hopefully I will be ready!  It seemed like this day was so far in the future as to be unimaginable...and now it's almost here.  Phew. 

God gave me this verse from Psalm 34; check it out and be encouraged!

Psalm 34:4, 
"I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears."   

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Graduation presents!

How many of you homeschoolers do "class rings"? As my daughter is approaching (faster than I can believe!) finishing up her senior year, we are thinking about a graduation gift for her...thinking class ring, maybe...or something that commemorates her graduation year.  I've seen several appealing options through a jewelry store...not necessarily traditional "class rings" but something that would be engraved with the year and "Class Of".

Wondering about other homeschoolers!  What do you guys do? Anyone?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Standard Diploma by Homeschool Diploma -- my REVIEW

I'm really quite shocked that my oldest child is finishing up twelfth grade this year. It seems unreal.  She is almost finished with her academic work (5 weeks left!) and is getting a lot of questions about graduation--like, "What do homeschoolers do for graduation?" "Are you having a graduation ceremony?" "Where will you graduate?" and so on.  We are not a part of a homeschool group, so there is no option for a "group" graduation and we did not opt for a solo graduation ceremony--instead what we're going to do is just have a big party with tons of friends and family (sounds fun, right?!!)  SO obviously we're not going the traditional graduation route :)

People do ask about things like this, and others, such as, "How will she get a diploma?" "Where does her diploma come from?" "Who gives you a transcript?" "Will colleges accept her diploma?" and such.  Some of those questions are easy answers, such as...colleges don't want to see her diploma, they want a transcript.  Who makes the transcript? The parent does.  SO what about a diploma?  Although we go the non-traditional route often (ummm, homeschooling, yeah...) and the pragmatist in me thinks, well, I never have done anything at all with my high school diploma other than leave it in a file for the past 30 years, there is something nice and formal about having a diploma, so we decided to have one made for her.  About this time I was given the opportunity to review the Standard Diploma produced by Homeschool Diploma company and I am SO GLAD that we were introduced to this company!

(this is a sample from their website)

When you enter the site for Homeschool Diploma, you will see that they offer all sorts of products for homeschoolers wishing to recognize different accomplishments--diplomas, caps and gowns, class rings, tassels, honors cords, announcements, and other Class of XX gifts!  I was interested in the diploma, so I jumped over to the standard diploma page, where it began by asking if I wanted an 8.5"x11" or a 6"x8"

After your choice of size is made, it is a simple matter of walking through all the choices which are presented to you one at a time, each option you choose is very easy and quick to specify.(what seal do you want?  student's name, the school name, city/state (or short school motto), a verification of your authority to issue a diploma (basically you signing a verification), the date of graduation, the type paper you'd like, honors designations (seals). )  
Each option is explained and illustrated AND easy to choose.

Then you get to choose amongst a large variety of diploma covers (styles as well as colors) 

You can choose the cover text as well!

After this there are other options of "extras" you can order-- things such as a laminated wallet-sized copy of your diploma, a second archive copy of the diploma, and more!

Seriously, this process is SO quick, easy, and painless!  It just walks you through step by step, decision by decision until you have your final product designed!  You don't actually see the final product, but when you are ready to add it to the cart you can view all the options you have chosen to kind of final check them.  You will also be given an expected date to receive the diploma (so fast!) but if you need it faster there is an option to "rush" it as well.

We were so pleased to receive my daughter's diploma so quickly through the mail!  It is gorgeous, very professional, and contains all of the elements we wanted!  Want to see?? (I have blocked out her name and identifying things because that's just the privacy I want on the blog!)

The diploma arrived in a priority envelope, with the actual diploma sealed
in a zip-top plastic bag which can aid in keeping it nice in storage!
And here it is!! It looks lovely!
The outside of the cover is very nice with her name on the lower right
and the inner cover has a taffeta-finish, which completes the
professional look.
We chose the "lamp" seal and the high honors seal.  You can see on here the signature
lines for administrator and instructor.
There is also an informational card included which details the signing of the diploma.
We also went ahead and ordered the archive copy (extra copy), which arrives
in a glassine envelope for safe keeping.

What do you think? All in all, it was a WONDERFUL experience!  I highly recommend Homeschool Diploma  company for diplomas for homeschoolers as well as for traditional or non-traditional schools! (yes, they have options for non-homeschoolers too!)  It was SO easy to order, the product is high quality, and I am very pleased.  The only thing I wished for was to be able to see a mock-up of the product before I placed the order, but other than that, it was a super ordering experience!

I had mentioned that they have other products as well...if your student is graduating with a ceremony, you might want to check out their caps and gowns and honors cords, etc!  They even have products for kindergarten graduations (little caps and gowns!), products for 8th grade graduations (diplomas specially for junior highschoolers) and more!

To see more reviews of the standard diploma as well as some of the other products Homeschool Diploma offers for not only high school graduation, but also eighth grade graduations and kindergarten graduations, please click on the link below!

Kindergarten Graduation and Junior High Diploma for your Homeschool  {Homeschool Diploma Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Science Fair -- homeschoolers' ideas?

So our first science fair was a success :) My daughter did a great job, did not get any of the "big" awards, but she DID get the top prize from the local Society of Women Engineers (yay!!) Her project was very appropriate for an 8th grader--she studied how she could write on wet paper--by coating it with different substances and then testing them under water and with writing on them in pencil.

Looking ahead to next year...what kinds of ideas do you all have for homeschooled youth getting to work in a lab or with a mentor to perhaps do more in-depth projects? At this point she is interested in materials science and chemical engineering. We DO live in a rather rural area, which maybe complicates things, but do any of you have advice for how to get hooked up with someone who could give her ideas or perhaps how she could connect with someone with a "real" lab (not just our kitchen haha!)

Her use of the scientific method was correct and her presentations were awesome, she did a great job and the judges thought she did a great job.

I feel like the science that we provide through homeschooling is very sufficient, thorough, and in-depth enough for a general education. However, in competing with kids from high schools in something like science fair, it is obvious to me that she will need to be on another level for her research projects.

I'm looking forward to hearing what others suggest! Thank you in advance for your ideas.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson -- my REVIEW

In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson is a light historical fiction romance set in San Francisco in 1905. The story begins with Camri, a highly-educated young lady from Chicago taking a train trip to San Francisco to search for her missing brother Caleb, a lawyer in the city, who has mysteriously disappeared. On the train out west, she meets two young women around her age, Judith and Kenzie, and invites them to stay with her in her brother's house while she searches for him.

Upon arrival in San Francisco, the girls stay at Caleb's house and Camri begins her search. Kenzie's cousin owns a chocolate factory, so the girls get jobs there to support themselves.

Camri meets several people who know Caleb and cannot figure out what possibly has happened to him. She gets an inkling of political corruption and maybe some other kinds of illegal activity that her brother may have been investigating. She meets a fellow that he defended from a murder charge, Patrick, and his sister (Ophelia) who is dying. He has also set out to search for the truth regarding her brother. Camri and Patrick fall in love, despite their social inequalities of the day (she is highly educated, he is an uneducated Irishman). More excitement ensues as they search for Caleb and seek to bring about justice, but I cannot tell you any more, I don't want to give too much away!

Basically it is just a romance, set in San Francisco, at the turn of the century. The other parts are peripheral, but that is the main theme, I think. I don't dislike romances, but I do like them to have a little more depth to them, usually. This one is a little fluffy for me. I know, however, that people who like romances will probably like this one! It's a clean romance with a little bit of Christian values thrown in. SO I wouldn't not recommend this book, but it isn't a favorite of mine! :)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Science Fair!

My youngest child, who is in 8th grade, has decided that she wants to participate in a science fair this year.   As a homeschooling family, not associated with a school, we had to find one that she could participate in. After researching online, we found that there is a state science fair that she can join. Thankfully we live in a small state so she didn't have to qualify at the school level, but could just register.

She came up with a project, completed it, wrote a paper, and made a trifold display board! Phew! Now to come up with a short presentation for the judges.

She's really excited :) Hopefully it'll all go well...I've been a judge at many science fairs, but have never done a science fair project, and none of my kids have until I don't have all the tips/hints/requirements to give her that a regular classroom teacher knows... hopefully that won't be a detriment to her! :/  Well, it's been a good experience for her, she did a neat project, and hopefully will enjoy herself at the fair!

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