Modest Monday and a Link Up!

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This week has been full of exciting adventures, working hard on finishing our school year (still not done but getting there!), and enjoying the rain we had. I’ll be honest, I’ve never liked thunderstorms and I’m still not crazy about the intense ones. I try not to let my children know that though. πŸ˜‰ But a rain shower when we are snuggled at home doing school can be so nice at times!

I haven’t worn this maxi dress from Stitch Fix in awhile so I wore to church.Β The pattern of the dress is not my absolute favorite, but I love the splash of color it brings.

I always wear a halftee tank with this dress because of the lower cut neckline.

I finally ordered the limited edition Arrow flexi clip! I loved it when I saw it in person! I’m not sure when it will be leaving, so if you want it don’t delay!

I’m wearing Younique makeup and lip gloss here. This was taken hours after I put it on, and I really just put on a very natural look most of the time. I love their lip gloss and foundation!

Don’t forget that it’s the very last day of our Memorial Day sale at Deborah & Co! Take 15% off your order with the code: MEMORIAL at the checkout.

What I Wore

Dress – From a Stitch Fix box

Sandals – Kohls

Earrings – Meadowland Designs

Flexi Clip – Lilla Rose

Link Up Time!

Please feel free to share posts about anything concerning being a godly, feminine woman. Topics include: modesty, being a wife, mother, homeschooler, homemaker, cooking, sewing, etc.

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A Look At How Our 2016-2017 Homeschool Year Went

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Are you close to finishing your school year? We are scrambling here to try and finish our school year. We have a big summer project planned and so we really need to be done. We are all looking forward to putting the books away for awhile!

A look back on how our homeschool year went for the 2016-2017 year.

I find that it’s best to stop and take a look back on how the school year went at the end, and decide what was successful and what was a total flop. If I wait until the new school year my brain has gone fuzzy over how the school year truly went.

So stop right now. Sit down on the couch, grab a few books and a pen and paper, and write down what did and did not work for you!

I haven’t mentioned in detail how our school year was going this year.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been disappointed?

I had another year where I felt like I just wasn’t doing enough.

But…we had a few successes in our year, and so I need to dwell on those!

I feel like my life changed when our youngest was born. Dramatically. My blogging has slowed down, my weight has never gone back to what it was, my patience has been tested so many different times. And she has definitely affected our school years. But she is only two, and so very worth it all!

So here is the list of the good, the bad, and the terrible. πŸ™‚

What Did Not Work For Us

Let’s start with this sad list. Remember, every family is totally different, just because something is on my list that didn’t work does not mean it won’t work for you!

Tapestry of Grace is a homeschooling curriculum that can work for a large family!

Tapestry of Grace – this was the biggest blow because it was our main curriculum. After writing a review that was so gushing and favorable, we have had to stop using it. I have unique challenges of being a homeschooling mom that not everyone has. It’s hard to balance running a business and homeschooling, and the lesson planning time required for Tapestry of Grace was just greater than what I could give.

There were a few other problems we ran into. The amount of books it requires is amazing (you don’t use every book listed, they are suggestions) but there were weeks I couldn’t find any at the library and I couldn’t afford to buy all the books. This could have been worked around if it wasn’t for the last problem…

I realized Tapestry of Grace is more of a classical curriculum than what I feel comfortable with. Obviously classical education is huge in the homeschool world, but I lean towards Charlotte Mason/good literature and not classical literature. Some of the selections I just don’t agree with.

All of these things combined is what made me decide to stop. I still think it’s a great program, it just isn’t the perfect fit for us right now.

Fix It Grammar – I meant for this to be a super strong year in grammar. I wanted us to go through the Fix It Grammar from IEW, but it just didn’t happen. We did some of it, but it seemed to be the thing that went out of the lofty schedule first. I’ve recognized why that is, and I have a different grammar picked out already for the new year. It’s an excellent program, again it just didn’t work for our family.

IEW Writing – I hate to put this on the list of what didn’t work. It really needs to be on both lists. It did work, I liked the program, we just didn’t make it all the way through. I keep thinking maybe we could pick it up and finish this summer, but we have a really busy summer ahead (more on that coming later!).

What Did Work for us

Notgrass History, From Adam To Us – we were using this along with Tapestry of Grace, so when we stopped mid year this became our main history curriculum for the 2 boys (7th and 5th). Our oldest has now used all three of the elementary versions and has loved going through it. We don’t do every single assignment in the book, but we do most of them. They did the creative writing, which one boy enjoyed more than the other. πŸ™‚ We also used the literature books, and they loved every book but one of them.

Apologia Science – Our oldest has used the General Science this year, which is a big jump up from the Elementary series. It took him a few weeks to get used to it, but he seems to have really enjoyed it. We really struggled taking the tests though, so I ended up having him use the notebook, verbally tell me things he learned and we skipped the tests for 7th grade. I’m going to work with him next year on how to take tests and prepare for them.

Israel (5th) and Carrianna (3rd) did the elementary Apologia this year and they both really enjoyed it. We do science every day so they get through two Apologia books in a school year. That works out great since we don’t start science until 3rd grade.

Teaching Textbooks – The three oldest used this and I can’t begin to tell you what a load it takes of me each day. I just ask them at the end of their lesson what grade they got, and I can tell if I might need to help the next day based on what grade they told me. I do have regrets about not putting my 3rd grader in the 4th grade. She panicked when I mentioned going a grade level above, but she had used Horizons math up to that point and it feels slightly above grade level. She gets 95% to 100% on her math every day, so I really think she could have handled going up one grade level. At least she is confident in where she is at, which is important.

The best thing we did this year was hire a math tutor for our oldest. He has been consistently “behind” Β a grade level, and I’ve worked with him for several years to try and get caught back up. Math is not my strong subject, and finally I wanted to get some outside help. We hired a homeschool mom who tutors math on the side, and she was so amazing! She was able to explain things so well and he is really thriving in math. I’m so excited!! It was a big stress on me, and it just feels amazing to see him doing well in math. He is finishing the 6th grade Teaching Textbooks and we will start the 7th grade right away and not take a break over the summer in math. At least that’s the plan. πŸ™‚

All About Reading Level 1. This is an awesome reading curriculum for Kindergarten age!

All About Reading – Our first grader has been using level 1 and I’ve seen some big progress this year. Reading has not come easily for her and we are still finishing level 1, but I’ve learned to not stress. They seem to just take off in their own time. I love using All About Reading and can’t imagine ever using a different reading program!

Rod & Staff Grammar 2nd Grade – A good friend advise me to use the Rod and Staff grammar that is a year behind the current grade level we are in. Carrianna has expressed a lot of interest in writing and I really want her to be solid in grammar skills, so we went through the Rod and Staff grade 2 book (she is in 3rd grade). It went SO well! We are almost done with the book and she has enjoyed it, and learned a lot! I’m thrilled with how the year went for her!

The Fight For Freedom History Set – This is a brand new history curriculum by Rick and Marilyn Boyer, designed for 3rd-6th grade. I originally bought it thinking we would use it for history in 4th grade. Carrianna saw it and just started in on in, and loved it! She didn’t know the answer to every single question in the student book which makes me think this still would have been better in 4th grade, but she kept coming to me all excited about all the new people in history she was learning about. I call that a success! It’s more important to me that they are excited and learning, than they know the answer to every single question.

Latin For Children Primer A – We have never studied Latin before but it’s always been high on my list to actually do. We used this curriculum for the older two boys and I think they enjoyed it! The videos are very engaging and easy to follow. If you are looking for a solid Latin program this is one I highly recommend.

And I can’t forget to mention our homeschool planner! We have received some pretty awesome reviews on this planner, and ladies love how much space they have to write on in this planner. We cut out some of the frills that make it look fancy, to give you plenty of room to write. That’s what we really need, right?

That is quite the list! I adore talking about homeschool curriculum, so I want to hear what has worked for you this year, or what you will never use again. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modest Monday and a Link Up!

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I hope everyone had an amazing Mother’s Day!! We spent the day with Sean’s mom, and had a nice lunch together and then went to a local conservation center that has wonderful trails and took a nice walk. It was a little amusing, Sean and I both have Apple watches and we were super motivated to go on a mile long walk and earn our rose badge. Ha! Sean’s mom was laughing at us. πŸ™‚ Oh well, it got us out on a walk!

I didn’t wear anything super fancy to church on Sunday. I found this lace shirt at Costco when we were out shopping on Saturday and naturally I wanted to wear it the next day! This pink skirt that I found on ThredUP was the only thing I had that looked nice enough for church that matched.

And look, you can see my Apple watch! πŸ˜‰

Speaking of ThredUP, has anyone ever tried Swap as another place to find gently used clothing? I have several things in my cart that I’m going to get, and what I love is that they also offer men’s clothing and toys! You send in your items and set your own prices! I’ve found some great deals, so I’m excited to get my box and see what I think!

Nothing fancy with my hair, I used an XS flexi clip to pull back some hair that I had curled. But using a dangle flexi clip always makes it look a little more fancy!

I’ve been trying some different face wash and makeup this year, and so far I really like it! I’m wanting to write a post soon on what I’m using…

And I’m also hoping to have some big news to share with you later this week! Praying it all works out so I can share!

What I Wore

Pink Skirt – ThredUP

Shirt – Costco

Necklace – JCPenny

Shoes – Kohls

Flexi Clip – XS size from Lilla Rose

Apple Watch – Apple πŸ˜‰

Link Up Time!

Please feel free to share posts about anything concerning being a godly, feminine woman. Topics include: modesty, being a wife, mother, homeschooler, homemaker, cooking, sewing, etc.

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How Our Family Of Eight Lives With One Bathroom!

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For the past 4 years our family has been living in a house with just one bathroom. When we moved here there were seven of us, now we have eight. One of my big hesitations of moving here was thinking about our large family surviving with just one bathroom.

Was it going to drive us crazy?

How was Sunday mornings going to work with the craziness of getting ready for church?

Potty training a toddler with just one bathroom???

These were all questions I had in my mind.

Honestly, after doing this for four years now, I can truly say it’s not been quite as difficult as I thought. Living with a small kitchen has been more of a challenge than the one bathroom.

There are a few different things we have learned along the way that helps us survive with just one bathroom, and I wanted to share them with you!

The biggest thing I’ve had had to learn is to think outside of the box.

Meaning, what can I do out of the bathroom that is normally done in a bathroom?

These are real life pictures. I didn’t make the bathroom look nicer than it normally does, you see what it really looks like!Β 

Getting ready for church on Sunday mornings has been a challenge, so we have had to be creative in who uses the bathroom. We have a mirror hanging over our kitchen sink (there Β is not a window there), and then we have a full length mirror hanging up in our master bedroom. I frequently use those mirrors to fix hair, and sometimes to put makeup on.

I use hot rollers to curl my hair several times a week, and especially on Sunday mornings. Sometimes I bring them to the kitchen counter to heat up, and then put them in my hair using the mirror in the kitchen, just to save space in the bathroom on a busy morning.

I like fixing my girls hair in the bathroom, but there are many times we just don’t have the space if Sean is shaving, boys fixing hair, etc. That can easily be accomplished outside of the bathroom. Use a spray bottle for water, so you don’t have to be near a sink.

The wall was patched before we moved in, but it needs to be painted or something. Since we rent, we just haven’t worried about it. πŸ™‚Β 

Now I know you all are wondering, how does it work with just one toilet?

It’s not perfect. We have all had to learn patience, and the children have had to form lines at times and wait their turn!

With just one shower/bathtub and one toilet, it’s nearly impossible to take a shower without someone needing to come in to go the bathroom. Before we moved here I wouldn’t have dreamed of letting my boys in the bathroom when I was taking a shower, but I’ve learned to just let it go and we still manage to stay very modest. πŸ™‚

I have a floral shower curtain hanging up (Shabby Chic brand from Target years ago) and then a plastic shower liner behind the floral curtain. Since it’s double lined you can’t see through it, which allows children to come in and use the restroom as needed.

The top of the shelf is where I store my flexi clips (normally the container is full but I had taken them all off for the vendor show I recently did), and the makeup I use. For the past few months I’ve been using Younique makeup and really like it.Β 

We have a white shelf that I found at a garage sale years ago that holds our towels. I don’t have an overabundance of towels, but I also don’t have some neat system where everyone has a color coded towel to keep track of them. Sean and I hang towels up to dry and reuse them, the children tend to just throw them in the dirty clothes right away. πŸ˜‰

For three years we had an over the toilet organizer that really helped. We went through two of them and when the last one broke I just have made do without it. The bathroom is not as organized now without it, so even though they take up space it’s really helpful to have in a small bathroom.

Potty Training with one bathroom…is it possible?

We are just starting to think about potty training Sophia, but we had to potty train Deborah at this house and we made it through! It’s definitely not easy and our older children learn that a young child gets top priority in going to the bathroom first!

I found it easier to use an actual little potty chair and bring it out into our dining room for awhile, instead of keeping the bathroom constantly in use with the young child that is learning. Once we had things a little more under control, I transitioned them to the little seat that you put on top of a toilet. It has the little handles and comes on and off easily, we would just store it by the toilet.

What about keeping one bathroom clean?

With just one bathroom it obviously gets used quite often! We can’t really skip days on cleaning the bathroom or it starts looking really dirty! Every morning our 11 year old son cleans the bathroom. He wipes down the sink, scrubs the toilet, sweeps the floor and tries to make it look clean. I normally scrub the shower myself (a quick tip I learned from my mom, if you scrub the shower while you are in there taking a shower it’s SO much easier to clean! The steam of the hot water really makes it easy to scrub the walls).

Since I have children involved in cleaning the bathroom it’s very important to me that I give them natural cleaners to use. Mrs. Meyers is the cleaner we all prefer to use here and it works well. They have a scrub that is excellent for hard to clean sinks and showers!

It might sound silly, but I just love how pretty the containers look! The hand soaps make a bathroom look nice, and all the scents are natural and they trigger a chemical headache for me. I hold my breath when I walk down the cleaning aisles at Walmart, it’s all so strong!

I get all of my Mrs. Meyers cleaning products from Grove online. It’s so nice to have them arrive in the mail and it’s one less thing I have to think about when I’m out grocery shopping. Believe me, we have run out of toilet paper more times than I would like, so if I can just remember to keep the toilet paper in stock when I go to Costco I’m doing good!

Right now Grove is having an awesome deal for new customers, and I wanted to share it with you!

You can receive all these Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products, Β as well as the bubble up brush set for free when you place a $20 order with them!Β 

Here is all you receive in the summer chef set FREE with your first order of $20 or more!

~Free Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap

~Free Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap

~Free Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Spray

~Free Grove Collaborate Bubble Up Scrub Brush

~Free Shipping and 60 Day VIP Trial

The Bubble Up container is really neat! It has a spring loaded perforated bottom that you fill up with soap and water. When you are ready to scrub a dish, you just bounce the Bubble Up in the container a few times and you are ready to go!

By ordering your cleaning products online, you probably will save more money than you think! I know when I go to the store for just a few items then I end up buying other items!

This offer is only available until Sunday, May 14th!

Some of my other favorite items from Grove is their lip balm. It’s my all time favorite, because it’s so creamy and moisturizing. I also love their candles, the Seventh Generation diapers, the scrub that Mrs. Meyer’s sells, and lots more!

Grab your free summer cleaning set here.

I’d love to hear how many bathrooms your family has! Do you manage with just one bathroom?Β 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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