Saturday, August 28, 2010

It’s BIG! It’s HUGE! It’s…SHHH…a SECRET!

Now that I have your attention…

I just wanted to say…

That as a reward for working extra hard, pinching pennies, living in the camper and paying off thousands of dollars in debt this past year…

We are rewarding ourselves…

With a trip to….



You didn’t really think I was going to give it away did you?

But you have to admit, you are probably a teeny, tiny bit curious. Aren’t you?

Make sure you stop back next weekend to see where we went and find out why this was either an extremely awesome time or one that was bittersweet….

Don’t forget!

Friday, August 27, 2010


I’ve had such an incredibly crazy week that I didn’t even have time to post my Field Trip Friday post- even though we went on an awesome field trip!

I’m going to be MIA here for a few days but I’ll be back to posting next week and we’ll plan to resume the weekly Field Trip Friday posts on September 10th. Hope to see tons of link ups then!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

From Plain to Pizzazz

I hope you enjoyed the sneak peek of my daughter’s newly decorated room yesterday. As promised, I’m going to show you how to add a bit of pizzazz to the ever popular wall stickies to turn this:

chelseas bedroom 039  which is Okay…to this….

chelseas bedroom 073which is really cute and simple.

First, you need to apply your sticky. Next you will need letter stamps and stickers. I raided the clearance section at Wal-Mart and found a set of clear stamps by Stampology for $4 and two packs of Bling! scrapbook stickers by Jolee for $3 each.

I chose to accent the sticky with random French words. Though I’d originally planned to use LOTS of words, I’m pretty impatient so I changed my mind and found I liked using the words over again. So I chose Paris, of course, France, Oui and Bonjour and randomly stamped them on the wall careful to keep them some what even on each side.

Once you know what words you want to use, you can apply them one letter at a time, or one word at a time.  I chose to use word by word by sticking the letter stamps on a piece of clear paper. Make sure that your words are in reverse order so when you place your paper on the wall your word won’t be spelled backwards. 

chelseas bedroom 045Arrange your letters or words.

chelseas bedroom 048Apply paint or ink to your stamps- I used acrylic paint. 

chelseas bedroom 050Position your letters on the wall and press down slightly, careful not to move them around.

chelseas bedroom 057After you’ve added as many words as you desire, randomly add decorative stickers.

That’s it. It’s that easy and for under $15 we created a one of a kind wall art.   

This post is linked to the Before and After Party hosted by the Thrifty Decor Chick.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Decorating a Teenagers Room on a Budget

A couple weeks ago, I shared a post about decorating with thrift store finds. Today I’d like to expand that thought and share how I have been able to create an adorable Paris theme room for my 13-year-old daughter for under $100!

You may remember from our quick home tour that my daughter’s room was originally purple with stenciled flowers. It wasn’t the worst room I’ve ever seen and I certainly appreciate the fact that the stenciling took quite a bit of patience and time but I can’t say I was overly crazy about it either. My daughter thought her room lacked originality and creativity. It doesn’t help that she is not a fan of purple.

She is a fan of Paris, specifically the Eiffel Tower, which was the reason for our road trip this past spring to Paris…Tennessee that is. She’s been planning an Eiffel Tower inspired room for quite some time and of course I wanted to make sure it would turn out extra special.

The first thing we did was select a paint color. My daughter really wanted to paint her room black. I know ICK, right? However, she is a teenager and really wants to express herself right now. I compromised with her and we chose black accents rather than black walls. I think this light powdery blue had a more French feel.

chelseas bedroom 037So we set to work painting her room and the transformation began. After painting, we applied an Eiffel Tower sticky to the wall that we’d picked up at Hobby Lobby with a 50% off coupon so it cost right around $5. The bedding came brand new in a bag from my favorite thrift store for $25. Looks cute doesn’t it? chelseas bedroom 039

As much as I love the way her room was shaping up, I found that the sticky alone on her wall needed to be jazzed up. So for an additional $10  for a little bit of paint and some stickers, we added a few creative touches. What do you think of this?chelseas bedroom 083

Adorable, if I must say so myself. Stop back tomorrow and I’ll show you how to create something similar.

I’d also picked up this curtain, brand new for $4 at that same thrift store. Originally I had planned to use it in the kitchen, and it may end up there eventually but for now, it works in my daughter’s room. chelseas bedroom 072Since Chelsea reads all the time, I knew she’d need a reading corner and somewhere to store her growing book collection. I found this little shelf at Wal-mart for $15. Had to pay full price, which I really don’t like to do, but the price was right (not overly thrilled with the quality- but what did I expect for $15)?   chelseas bedroom 071My daughter had also chosen the wall hanging that we propped on the bookshelf from Hobby Lobby during a 50% sale. If I remember correctly the picture was right around $6. 

See this huge floor pillow?

chelseas bedroom 082Also brand new from that thrift store I can’t seem to stay out of. I paid $6 for it and it matches her bedding perfectly.   

We also created this wall hanging with a tin basket I’d found for $1, a scarf from my daughter’s closet and a bit of stenciling.

chelseas bedroom 077

Total cost? Around $72 for bedding and decorations and another $25 for paint (wall paint and fun chalk board paint for another project that I have planned- so stop back to find out about that later).

Her room isn’t completely finished yet, I still have one project (price is included in the cost above) that I hope to complete this week but I am thrilled with the results so far!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Homeschoolers SAVE Big at the Creation Science Museum in KY

creation museum

I just received word from the Creation Museum that they will be offering Back-to-School promotion for homeschooling families the months of September and October.

Beginning Tuesday, September 7th and running until Thursday, October 28th EVERY Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be a Homeschool Day!

On these special days, admission to the museum will be $10 for adults (ages 13 and up) and $7 for children between the ages of 5-12.  You can add a visit to the Stargazer’s Planetarium for only $4 more a person.

To take advantage of this amazing offer all you need is to print this brochure which is available as a pdf here  and show up.

If you have any questions,  you can contact Eddie Lutz at 888-582-4253 ext. 377 or email

You'll find more savings for homeschool families here.

D is for Duck


I took this picture, D is for Duck, along the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas this past spring.  

D is for Duck

You can see C is for Cave which I posted last week, or stop by and see what other’s have added to the Flickr group as part of the A B See Meme which is hosted by HSBA. It’s not too late for you to join in the fun and have an opportunity to win fun prizes.    Stop by The Homeschool Post and to find out how you can participate.  

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back from a Tropical Paradise

I had intended to post this in July but somehow never managed to follow through. We’d swapped Flat Travelers’ with an Air Force family stationed in Hawaii and when I returned home from the Savvy Blogging Summit, I found Tin Can Man and Military Guy had returned from Paradise with a box of goodies.   Just check this out:

richendollars in alabama 190Our package included100% Kona Coffee, a tea sampler, coffee chocolate bars and one that actually had potato chips crushed up in it and some fun souvenirs like a deck of playing cards- which my kids put to use when their friends from Ohio were visiting, and sea shell necklaces which the kids quickly claimed.

I can’t even look through the journal without dreaming of traveling to Hawaii, the pictures and postcards are absolutely stunning. The host family took them to some amazing places that included gardens, shoreline and volcanoes! You just don’t see that everyday- well, at least we don’t.  I was going to scan some of the pages of the journal so you’d have an idea of what I’m talking about, but decided you could just visit Meadow Musings and see her Hawaii pictures yourself.

We’re taking their travelers on an extra special trip with us in just a couple days and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Have you ever participated in Flat Traveler exchange? Where did your travelers go?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

If You Give Your Teenagers a Box…

I just bought a lawn mower that came in a huge box that I was planning to save but my kids had other plans

box 008Anyone want to guess what’s in the box that my son is pushing through the house?    box 014

Doesn’t look like she really minded that much, does it?

box 013

Who thought boxes just made fun toys for preschoolers?

Aahhhh….teenagers…gotta love ‘em!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Field Trip Friday: Butterflies, and Lots of Them!

This week we thankfully got a bit of reprieve from the hot weather, but unfortunately we had to cancel our outdoor field trip because of thunderstorms.  By afternoon the skies had cleared up so the kids couldn’t wait to do something. Though we’ve visited our local botanical garden on several occasions, we’d not ever walked through the Nature Center/Butterfly House so we decided to see what we’d been missing. botanical garden butterfly house 022

The Butterfly House at the Huntsville Botanical Garden is said to be the largest open air house in the nation. The nature center is certainly beautiful.  There are some (dead) bugs on display, a couple skulls, snake skin, hissing cockroaches and a cage full of canaries, but the main draw is clearly the amazing butterfly house.

botanical garden butterfly house 065The butterfly is not only home to butterflies, obviously, but you’ll but also Turtles that bask in the sun and then dive into the cool water to regulate their body temperature. 

botanical garden butterfly house 053Button Quail that keep the insect population down.  

botanical garden butterfly house 079

Bees, that live in their hive and anoles, Luna moths, corn snakes and tree frogs that we either did not see or weren’t able to get a picture of because the batteries on the camera died.  Our outing was a great opportunity for my daughter to practice snapping more pictures.

botanical garden butterfly house 049

botanical garden butterfly house 052   

botanical garden butterfly house 060

botanical garden butterfly house 081

This was a great field trip for us as we begin reading From Darkness to Light to Flight from darkness to light to flightwhich is published by the Institute for Creation Research.

This book tells the story of the remarkable flight and migration to Mexico that the Monarch Butterfly take each year.   I hope to give you a review of the book when we finish with it.

Thanks for joining me for Field Trip Friday. You can see more of the pictures we took on my Facebook page. You can read about some of our past field trips here.  If you’ve been on a field trip and you’d like to share it, you’re welcome to link up here using the linky at the bottom of the post. Until next week, Happy Field Trippin’!

participated in FTF

A Few of Our Favorite Games


I’ve mentioned a couple times before how much my family likes to play games but this week I shared some of our “all-time” favorites at The Company Porch. I hope you can stop over and take a peek.  

Love You Forever

The Homeschool Village is having a blog hop today. Their question was “What is your child’s favorite book and why would they recommend it to a friend?”   So, I asked my kids sure that I would know the answer. My daughter has been on a Jane Austin kick so I thought for sure it would be Pride and Prejudice. Nope. My son loves all things Lord of the Rings but he also loves the Chronicles of Narnia as well so I thought it could be a close tie between the two series. My other son is a history buff so I wasn’t sure which book it would be but I just knew it would be battle related. I was wrong. On all counts.

My daughter prefers the Left Behind series and thinks everyone should read them just because. Sounds like the answer a 13-year-old would give if she were busy playing on the computer and didn’t want to make a well thought out answer right?   

What really surprised me was the book my boys both agreed on. Though they say Narnia is a close second, they both agree that Love You Forever by Robert Munsch is their absolute all time favorite. Mine too. 

love you forever 

Why? Because from the time I began reading books to the kids, which has been ever since they were born, we’ve read that book. We’ve cuddled on the couch, at first with one little blond haired toddler on my lap, then another and finally a third. We’ve read the book. I’ve sang the book to them. I’ve choked up reading the book and almost can’t finish it to this day without getting teary eyed. We’ve worn the book out, lost the book and bought new copies of the book. They love it because to them it signifies the love of a family and the bond between mother and child, child and mother.

I’ll love you forever,

I’ll love you for always,

As long as I’m living,

My baby you’ll be….

Want to share your child’s favorite book or see what other families recommend? Stop by The Homeschool Village today. 

C is for Cave


C stands for a lot of things like cat, crystal, cool, cautious, calendar and coyote but I didn’t have a picture that would represent any of those things. However, I do have a….CAVE.   

cave entrance

Taken at Russell Cave National Park in Bridgeport, Alabama.

Out of the Mouth of…. Teenagers

Monday I saw this video on Facebook and really enjoyed it. Then I found out that it was just one of those things that developed a life all its own and went viral. So this is the scenario:

Me, to my children:  “Did you guys watch the video I posted on Facebook? You have to see it! This woman did this in front of her church her, Pastor recorded it, put it on Facebook and it went viral. Viral means (I am a homeschooling mom…remember?) ….”

My daughter : “Ummm…mom…we’re teenagers. We knew what viral meant before you did.” 

My son: “Not to hurt your feelings or anything mom, but we’re kind of up on all that stuff.”

Okay. Maybe they have a point.  Just in case you want to see the video clip I was referring to when I learned how much more savvy my kids are than me, this is for you.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: A Sneak Peak of this Week’s Field Trip Friday

botanical garden butterfly house 081

If you’d like to see more Wordless Wednesday photos, or learn how you can participate, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.  

TOS Blog Walk- What Week Are We On?

Ok, I think I got confused last week so this is either 8 or 9. Not sure but that won’t affect your ability to peruse these great blogs. So, why not stop by and leave them a comment? I’ll post more next week.

Ramblings from the Crazy House
Chicagoland Homeschool Network
Marine Corps Nomads
Faith, Family and Fun
Books and Bairns
Chatter, Clatter and Things That Matter
Canadianladybug Reviews!
Life at oak Grove
Home Sweet Home(school)
A glimpse of our life

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It’s Hard to Say Good-bye

I have a confession. I’ve been a bit melancholy lately and I’ve not really known why. Last week I finally figured out what on earth was going on. I *gulp* dislike change. Hard to believe, huh? Someone that has spent the past five years traveling doesn’t like change?

It’s a wee bit difficult for me to wrap my mind around so it will probably be near impossible to communicate with you, but I’ll try. When we were traveling with my husband’s job, I ‘knew’ that we were either on the road or that the potential was there to travel. So if my husband came home after lunch and said, “We’re leaving for Atlanta tomorrow,” I was okay because I knew that was my life. It doesn’t mean that at times I didn’t wish that things were different. It doesn’t mean that those words never caused my blood pressure to spike.  It doesn’t mean that I was always grateful for the opportunities that were before us but I had learned to deal with it in my own way.

I know it was time for us to move into the house and I’m so thankful that we have been able to settle down and actually *feel* settled- that’s the key word- because for the first time in several years, I feel like we’re really home. We’ve found a new church that we attend, we’ve joined a homeschool cover school (as outlined by our state’s law), we’re meeting new friends, I'm signing the kids up for music lessons that they've wanted to take, I'm starting a Charlotte Mason inspired co-op, I’m scoping out stores and places to shop on *my side of town* and each day we get more comfortable.

So, what is my problem? This is it…for over a year, we lived here:

more camper pics 027

more camper pics 023

camper 015

camper 014

more camper pics 007…imagine adding two adults and three children that are all taller than my husband and myself, a two year old adopted pound puppy and all our necessary belongings. Not a whole lot of room.

Inside the camper, we were within steps of one another, sometimes literally running into each other and everyone was within both my line of vision and earshot. As cramped and crowded and sometimes unappealing as it sounds…this was one of the best times I have ever spent with my family and I miss it. Even though I now have a bathroom that I can change clothes in without banging into the walls, a kitchen sink that was almost bigger than my entire kitchen in the camper, a closet that holds all my clothes with plenty of space for more and my very own washer and dryer…I already miss it. And though I know we are doing what is best for our family right now in this season of our lives, it’s going to take me just a wee little bit to adjust. And just incase you just skimmed this post and didn't read the entire thing let me make one thing perfectly clear, I do feel blessed. Does feeling blessed have to mean that I also can't feel just a tiny bit sad too? I don't think so.

So forgive me if I'm having a hard time saying good-bye.                   

Monday, August 16, 2010

Chelsea With the Band


chelea with the band 2 My daughter loves to listen to Contemporary Christian music. She likes a wide variety which varies from Third Day to Hawk Nelson to Pillar.

She also loves to go to concerts and on occasion, we’ve met a few Christian band celebrities. One year she met Anthony Evans…now that guy can sing…and Kimber Rising…those gals can sing too!

kimber rising

She also had VIP tickets to Youthquake last year and met Skillet and as a special surprise, she also met three of the guys from Decyfer Down…wouldn’t you know that would be the time that my camera card would reformat i.e. delete all my pics? 


Earlier this year she met  O’Reilly at SoulStock 2010this band was so down to earth and did a great job of sharing their hearts and love for the Lord… 

tuscaloosa balloon fest 154…Finally, not a singer…but still a celebrity to my kids…we went to Freedom Fest and it made her day to meet Wally from Total Axxess…

124In addition to all her pictures, her bedroom closet is now adorned with ticket stubs and posters, souvenirs from the concerts and events we’ve been too.   

She’s even decided to start a blog called Chelsea with the Band and she would really love if you could stop over and take a peek and say hi. It would certainly make her day to get a comment and unfortunately, I’m not allowed to be her first comment. Says Chelsea. 

Anyway, won’t you puh-leeze stop over and check out her blog? She just completed an interview with Hudson from Shine Bright Baby.

Not Back-to-School Blog Hop: Student Photo Week

Not Back to School Blog Hop
Well I messed around and missed participating in the blog hop last week which focused on ‘school rooms’. I guess that’s because personally, I’m opposed to school rooms…for my family. You can have a school room if you want to and there have been times that we have had a designated ‘place’ for school. But over the years I’ve found that we prefer a mobile, all through the house, in the van, in the museum, out on the trail, kind of atmosphere. I guess you could say that our school takes us all over. Both in and out of the house. 

I will say that this year we are enjoying our school days IN A HOUSE. I guess I tried not to think of the space we DIDN’T have in the camper at the time, but looking back….

a normal week 002…maybe it was a bit of a tight squeeze. And for those that are wondering, Yes, my son is reading the lettering on a Pepsi bottle. As long as they’re reading, right? Ha!

This year we are enjoying our added space… richendollars in alabama 184   …and the fact that that until I get some bookshelves, the couch hides our clutter pretty well…

school pictures 004

Of course this week’s blog hop at Heart of the Matter has nothing to do about school rooms but school pictures.   I used to take individual first day of school pictures of the kids, but haven’t for quite a few years. Now I just snap the customary picture of the kids at our First Day of School Breakfast

first day of school 009

…they take a picture of what they’re eating…

first day of school 012

….throw in a self portrait…

first day of school 015

…as well as one of the kids goofing off later in the day...

misc august 010

   …excited that they survived their first day of school….apparently they have a fear that they would not…and that’s the extent of our school pictures. Of course I take pictures almost daily throughout the year, documenting our field trips, projects and other activities for my own personal records as well.  

Want to show off some of your school pictures? You can link up to the blog hop too and don’t forget, next week you can share a-day-in-the- life…that should be a fun one!

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