Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything... they just make the most of everything that comes along their way."

Monday, September 1, 2014


Today was the first day of our homeschool year.  I decided to make schultutes to celebrate the occasion.  Schultutes are cones filled with little school supplies and treats.  It is a festive way of celebrating the first day.  Here is the tutorial I used for guidance on how to make one.

Like Japanese bento lunches, schultutes can get very elaborate.

Though ours were simple, I think they helped our family as we strive to get back into the homeschool routine after a fun, less structured summer.  It was a bright spot in our morning and softened the transition for the little ones.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Crabapple Jam

Well, I checked off one more item on my bucket list this past week...make jam.  I really enjoyed picking the apples from my yard and then turning them into something edible to put up for the winter.  The crabapples were a beautiful dark, purply red on the outside and inside, and they made a very pretty jam.  Here is the recipe I used from simple things; I found it on Pinterest.  

I really enjoyed this project.  It satisfied a desire that had been building up for some time after reading some of the Miss Read stories and learning about life in the English countryside.  But I don't think I'll be making any more this year.  We are starting our homeshooling year next week, and I will soon be immersed in teaching reading and listening to spelling lists.  My admiration increases for those ladies who put up many jars of delicious home grown food for the winter.  Maybe one day I will do that too...or maybe I'll just keep admiring from afar. ;)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Rendezvous Ladies Jacket from April Cornell's a bit of fun for those days when you feel Anne of Green Gables-y...the Rendezvous Ladies Jacket from April Cornell, shown here with the Halifax Ladies Blouse and Charming Ladies Skirt.  Let's be honest, Ladies, it's not easy to find Victorian fashions that are suitable for present day, so hats off to April Cornell for creating this gorgeous look in a texture and style that is perfect for Autumn 2014.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Learning to Step Dance

Here's a good resource for learning to get moving,  These free lessons are very easy to use.  My girls have fun watching the videos and learning the steps and then practicing dancing along with the instructor at varying levels of speed.

All you need is to buy a pair of old tap or clogging shoes at a consignment shop and to get a piece of plywood.  But really we did these lessons for a while on a concrete garage floor with cowboy boots before we had proper shoes.  Then once we knew we liked it we invested in some shoes, which makes it so fun!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Here's a fun photo.  This is Rebekah and my dad having a visit on the back porch.  I am so thankful for Dad's involvement in my life and for the role he is taking as a grandaddy.  Growing up Pop was one of those dads that would play outside with us on the weekends or after supper.  He was the only dad on our street that did that, and we eventually had other neighborhood children come to our house and ask if he could come out to play!  He was not one for deep conversations but he spent so much time outside with all of his children...that's what I remember, him throwing the baseball for me to hit or shooting hoops in the driveway.  
My dad is not perfect.  He would be the first to admit that, but he is an amazing father.  He is generous with his time.  And he showed us by his involvement that we were important; we were valuable human beings.  That's the kind of love and affirmation I hope to give my own children.  Thanks, Dad, for the great example.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Some Very Special Men

Here is a fun photo of my dear husband, my two sweet boys, my father, his identical twin brother and their younger brother, my Uncle Mark.  Uncle Mark was in town for the night for business, and we had this fun impromptu gathering.  We also really enjoy seeing Uncle Ronnie whenever we are at the beach.  He hops over each night and watches the baseball game with us or just visits.  He is the family archivist and I am always learning new and interesting things from him.  Last year I mistook him for my father and walked up to him and started talking about something with which he was unfamiliar.  He didn't miss a beat...he's probably used to that by now with other people but that I would make that mistake is funny!  I haven't done that since I was a very little girl!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rebekah playing for the grandparents and uncles.

We had a rousing good time at the Isle of Palms last week.  One of the highlights was watching the children play for the grandparents and uncles.  The children played a mix of Celtic and Bluegrass tunes that they learned from Bluegrass Daddy.

At the beach.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

72 Hour Sale at April Cornell!

At April Cornell all current season apparel is 50% off, like this cute jasmine ladies dress.

 Here is another beautiful and practical frock, the periwinkle Sky Flower Ladies Dress.  The inverted pleats on the front of this just below the knee dress make it incredibly flattering and yet modest.  Also, the dress has pockets!  Hooray!

The Sky Flower dress would look great under an airy summer sweater, like this New Directions Broken Bars Sweater Tunic from

Also, at April Cornell, all past season merchandise (April's Attic) is on sale for 65% off, like the Kyla Ladies Dress.
Use the coupon code SLAM 40  to get these great deals and remember the sale ends Thursday July 24, 2014 at midnight.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pretty Plaid Lanz Jumper from Vermont Country Store

This pink and blue plaid jumper is 100% cotton and perfect for summer.  With corded trim at the neck and patch pockets and a bias cut A-line skirt this jumper is both tailored and becoming.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cap Sleeve Tunic from Blair

This trapeze top from Blair is available in three colors - purple potion, delphinium blue and ivory.  I love this type of top over a skirt.  The a-line design is elegant.  It flows instead of clings and does not draw attention to one's belly.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Railroad Overalls from Duluth Trading

Okay.  So these are technically not a jumper, but I wanted to share with you these red and white striped overalls from Duluth Trading.  These are a great option for those especially rugged tasks, like cleaning out the chicken coop or climbing trees with the children.  Definitely not necessary for all of your work, but some times they are just what you need!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Long Chambray Jumper from Chadwick's

Chadwick's is now offering a pretty chambray jumper.  I am not usually a fan of full button fronts because of the stress on those lower buttons, but this jumper has a pleasant A-line shape with godet inserts, which should give more freedom of movement as well as being flattering to a shape in motion.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Concord Ladies Dress from April Cornell

Here is a fun signature April Cornell knee length jumper.  It is reminiscent of the old Laura Ashley styles popular in the 1980's and 1990's.  Looks great with a decorative blouse or tee.  A great choice for day to day and would be especially pretty for early fall.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Jumpers for the Rich and Famous: Ralph Lauren Cotton Seersucker

This lovely Ralph Lauren red and white striped dress has been reduced from $498.00 to $349.00.

Cutesy Jumper from Blair

This classic jumper from Blair features a slightly empire waist, back ties and on seam pockets.  Finally, a dress with pockets!  The jumper is also available in loden, a pleasant green color.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ralph Gets It Right

Here is a beautiful new jumper from Ralph Lauren.  It is sturdy and well-proportioned.  The knee length and drape of the skirt are traditional and flattering to a figure at rest and in motion.

Here it is paired with a striped cotton chambray jacket.  This jacket is a smart alternative to a cardigan sweater.

Here is a chambray tank dress.  This drapes well and is a good choice for daily wear.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

C. 1970 Levi's Jumper Dress

Isn't this a lovely jumper?  It is a Levi's orange tab jumper dress from c.1970.  What a practical day dress.  There is room to maneuver for any manner of household or childcare tasks, and the pockets are a handy asset for any homekeeper.  Are there any designers out there that would consider making a replica of this practical yet fashionable garment?

Tapestry of Grace

Our family loves history.  We all enjoy learning about different times in the past, so we were delighted to find Tapestry of Grace, a unit study curriculum centered on the history of the world from Creation to Modern Times.  Before we began I was a bit intimidated by what some people said about it.  They warned me that it could take many hours of weekend and nightly preparation time and might require monthly planning sessions.  I’m so glad we decided to try it, because I found that the curriculum is actually very flexible in terms of preparation time. 

We have successfully used it as a reading only curriculum.  Here's how we use it.  My 10, 12 and 14 year old simply go to the reading assignment list and determine their reading for the week.  They enjoy their books and then they do some of the geography assignments.  This is easy when you purchase MapAids (from Tapestry) to go on your computer.  Then they write an e-mail note about what they read and send it out to family members.  It’s our way of doing narration written down.

I use our Tapestry window of the day to read with Noah.  He reads the Billy and Blaze books to me.  I have only to help him with some words.

My girls have really enjoyed reading their way through history, and I am thrilled that some one has carefully chosen good books to help them do this.  I am so thankful for the Somervilles who created Tapestry!

So, I encourage any one who is interested in this curriculum but might be intimidated by the preparation requirements to go ahead and give it a try.  We have found it requires some effort but is very doable!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ultra Casual Jumper

Here is an ultra casual jumper from Serengeti, $34.95. 

Ahem. Announcing the return of the Denim Jumper.

For years I visited this website and enjoyed all the good homeschooling resources.  I actually did and do still wear denim jumpers but finding them is tricky, tricky.  There really aren't many good sources for buying this classic homeschool garment!  So, while I plan to blog about homeschool and provide resources, I also plan to provide the rare places I find where you can actually purchase denim jumpers

This jumper is currently available from Nordstrom.  It could be paired with a pair of jeans for extra warmth in winter.

Thanks to my husband, John, for helping me buy this domain and get started in this new endeavor.  Visit his website here:  NC Cabin Rentals