Shopping for Shoeboxes

Shopping for shoeboxes -- where to get great stuff for your Operation Christmas Child box

I totally missed the back-to-school sales this year. That’s a bummer, because those sales are where I normally stock up for the shoebox-stuffing party our family hosts each year. Fortunately, Michaels came to my rescue with a coupon for 25% off your entire purchase — including sale items. I headed … Continue reading

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How to Write a Thank You Note

How to write a proper thank you note| an easy-to-follow guide for children and adults from

When it comes to appropriately expressing appreciation for a gift, it’s hard to beat a handwritten thank you note. Some folks will tell you that a phone call or an email or even a simple spoken “thanks” at the time of receipt shows sufficient gratitude — don’t believe them. Although … Continue reading

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Happy Constitution Day!

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On September 17, 1787, our nation’s founding fathers met to sign the document they had drafted in the preceding weeks of the Constitutional Convention. Referencing the system of government outlined and established in this Constitution, Benjamin Franklin wrote that he was amazed “to find [it] approaching so near to perfection … Continue reading

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Vitamix vs. Blendtec: Which is Best for You?


I saw my first Vitamix demonstration at the Texas State Fair when I was about eight years old. From the moment I tasted those little sample cups of soups and smoothies, I knew I had to have one of these machines. Two decades, one husband, and four children later, I … Continue reading

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Free 2015 Scrapbooking Calendar

free printable scrapbooking calendars from

I just finished uploading the calendars I’ll use in my children’s scrapbooks next year. These are great for micro-journaling. I draw a new set every year, then fill in them in with a short, one- or two-sentence synopsis of what the family did each day. Then once each month is … Continue reading

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The High Cost of Freedom

Thomas Paine's inspiring words about Freedom {free printable}

During our American history studies last year, my children memorized these inspiring words by Thomas Paine. It seemed fitting to republish them here, as we remember the fallen heroes and patriots of 9/11 today. To download this free printable, simply click on the image or on this link. May God … Continue reading

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Keeping Track of It All {Free Printable Calendar Page}

Free printable weekly calendar from

Here is a free printable I designed recently to help me keep track of all I need to do each week. When I print it full size, I can fit a LOT of stuff into those little squares, which helps me remember what has to be done. (If you want … Continue reading

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Savor-It-Slowly Guacamole

Guacamole to Savor Slowly | Make it at home using this recipe from

My husband and I love Tex-Mex food — a trait we’ve passed onto all of our children. One of our little ones spurned all the puréed baby food we proffered, but would eat her weight in refried beans and guacamole! Our guacamole recipe is simple enough a six-year-old can make … Continue reading

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Back to School Books

Green Wilma

I know many of your children have already started back to school, but our family’s “official” start date is tomorrow. Here are a few back-to-school themed books that we enjoy reading — not only in August, but all year long. If you’ve missed any of these titles, look for them … Continue reading

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A Common Sense Approach to Potty-Training

Toilet Training Made Easy - one experienced mom's shares her perspective on how, when, and what works best |

My husband was a hard one to toilet train. At least, that’s what my prospective mother-in-law told me the first time we were introduced: “It’s so nice to meet you, Jennifer…. By the way, Doug was murder to potty-train.” Those were practically the first words out of her mouth. Nearly … Continue reading

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