overwhelm me.

OK, so I'm going to rehash an old subject here.  Let me get my disclaimer out right now...the opinions I may express throughout this piece are my own and based on people I have met and interacted with.  They are a work in progress.  By no means is it an exhaustive list of...well, anything.  This is JUST my thought process at the moment on a subject that will vastly effect my family.  I'm willing to say my fears out loud here so that other may 1) relate, 2) share a difference of fact and/or opinion and 3) expand my horizons by doing such.


So we are talking about homeschooling again.  There is just SOMEthing about it that keeps pricking at my heart and I can't help but want to investigate the avenue completely until I feel a definite yes or no in regards to whether or not we are supposed to do it.  Doug does not completely oppose the idea and I believe that our opinions/thoughts/ideas on the matter are similar.

Here my best reason for sending Moses to public school:  I get a break from him.  Completely selfish but true.      

Add that to: I have NO idea where to start with home school and you have (almost) my complete basis for sending him to public school next year.

That's really all I have in this category.  Almost.  I will get to my last reason, but I bet you could guess what it is.

Here are some of my reasons for wanting to home school: 
-remaining the largest influence in his life.  I want to ensure that the foundation of his life is Christ centered and not world centered.  I want his education to be saturated with Christ.  There are things being taught in public schools that I do not agree with.  Not that I FEAR them...but believe that they have no place being taught to young children whose personalities, souls and beliefs are still being formed.   

-believing that I have been equipped to be the best teacher for my child.  Even if I don't FEEL like I am, I know, that if this is what I am supposed to do...that He will qualify me beyond what I think I can do.

-wanting to limit the influences of the world on him.  I'm not saying I want him to live in a bubble forever but I feel strongly that public school is not where it is supposed to be on many, many levels.  This is NOT me saying that there are no good teachers and people in the public school system BUT you cannot convince me that one on one instruction is ever inferior to being one of 30 in a class.

-preserving family time.  My husbands job leaves us with an odd schedule.  That is likely never to change so long as he stays on this career path.  And I am OK with that.  We have always been able to work around it to make the most of our time together.  Public school would drastically change that.  Doug would go from seeing Moses for several hours in a day to a couple.  That is not OK with me or Doug or Moses (if he had a say).  I could teach in a couple of hours what it takes a teacher to do all day.  To me, this age is a PRECIOUS time to form the little men that I am raising...I don't want or feel it in his best interest to give that time away to others yet.  I just don't.  Plus, I love the idea of family field trips.  We live in a historically RICH area and it would be awesome to visit these places and call it school

We have already agreed that it would be an open ended time line...meaning that we would take it year by year and see how it goes.  Maybe we are only supposed to do this through elementary school?  Maybe until high school...who knows?  Not us yet.  

Whenever I bring this up to anyone, you wanna guess what comes up?  Go ahead...think about it.  People say one of two things to me: 1)We are called to be a light in the world, as Christians and 2) aren't you worried about raising a social reject? Not stated like that, but overwhelmingly implied.

Let's start with number one.  Are we called to be a light in the world?  Yes.  Is this limited to a public school setting?  No.  Young children are so easily swayed by others...teachers, friends, etc...that I would like to do my best, in their young years to build a firm foundation, from which they can defend their beliefs and love of Christ.  My kids not going to public school in their young lives does not mean they won't be lights to the world.  And lets be honest...which do you hear more of...a kid coming home from school with a nice, new, naughty word or a kid coming home to announce that he became saved at school through his six year old buddy Timmy?  Not that it can't happen...I'm just thinking that we don't live in a culture anymore where the latter is more likely than the former.

Number two.  I will admit...this is my biggest fear and my biggest reason in the "con" category.  I am not overly social.  My husband is an introverted, introvert. 

But more importantly...I have had many, many negative impressions of homeschooled children and their social skills/ability to function in society over the years.  I am not saying ALL.  Please hear me.  I am sure YOUR child may not be this way at all...and if so, please email me to reassure me that it is possible to raise a socially functional child who is homeschooled and delightful. 

At the risk of hate mail, let me tell you about some of my experiences with homeschooled kids...

My best friend of many years was homeschooled.  As was her siblings.  She was and still is, very socially odd.  You could pick her out of a crowd easily...based solely on her lack of social skill...ability to carry a conversation with someone new, recognizing social cues, etc.  I only managed to become great friends with her via a mutual acquaintance.  All of her homeschooled friends that I met? Weird, weird people.  I'm just being honest.  I loved her dearly and valued our friendship but she did NOTHING to convince me to ever homeschool.  One of her brothers, equallly weird and oddly attached to his mother.  The other brother...off the charts, tree loving hippy who will refuse any NEW non-handmade gift (that has to be made of natural items)...last I heard he was living in the WOODS of North Carolina in a shelter of his own construction.

And 90% of my exposure to homeschooled kids...pretty much the same.  Seriously lacking social skills and basic human interaction abilities.  It's like they were taken 75% of the way and left there or something.

Please don't read this wrong and send me ugly words.  I am not saying that either side is wrong or right but I do believe there is a RIGHT path for everyone and I am just trying to figure out what that path is for us.  I believe that YOU made the best decision for your child and I am trying to do the same for mine.   

Right now, I am leaning towards grabbing a few workbooks and starting slowly this year to see how we do (a year that Moses is in pre-school anyway).  

If you would like to share a comment with your experiences and win me over to your side...that would be awesome.  Want to send me a homeschooling starter kit?  Well, that would put you on my Christmas card list.   

Please tell me that I have just had a run of bad experience and that my examples are not the norm?       
Please tell me that you started here one day and had the same fears and it all turned out wonderfully?
Please share all of your tips...your favorite curriculum or teaching items? 
Please tell me where to start?  What do you have to have?  What do you wish you hadn't bought?

Please tell me something...

20 minute crafter-how to make a diaper wreath!

I know right?  Two 20 minute crafters within days of each other....I'm on the ball I tell ya!
These wreaths are SUPER easy.  Anyone can do it and YES they can be done in a matter of minutes.
Makes a cute shower gift that can easily be hung on a wall as a nursery decoration too!
Here's what you need:
plain diapers-I used 17 for this wreath. 
(I used 7th generation ones that I found at babies r us...they are completely void of annoying characters. :) I used size three so that if the recipient wanted to....the wreath could be used for a while before needing size three diapers. :)
craft wreath-this one was about $2...it's flat and made from some sort of wood? you could probably use the metal ones too.  12in or so.
ribbon or rubber bands
 Start by opening up that diaper...lay the wreath in the fold...
 ...fold over...
 ...PULL away from the wreath and tie it up...
(or you could use a rubber band and then tie on a ribbon)...
 ...overlap the next diaper by 50%...
 and repeat the PULL and tie.
 ...keep going all the way around the wreath in this fashion...and just in case you wonder...here is my pattented PULL technique...hike that knee up on the table and use it to hold the wreath while PULL away from it...
 When you get to the end...tuck the last diaper into the first one.
 And you are done! :)  See how easy that was? 
Now you can decorate as you choose...I prefer simple...I don't care for them being covered with all sorts of stuff but I'm sure you could pull that off too.  I just made this ridiculously wonderful and messy ribbon to attach to it and called it done. :) 

And while I won't be selling the whole combo in the shop...I WILL be selling some ridiculously wonderful and messy ribbons...there are already a few there and I can easily make some in custom colors.
 This one is my favorite so far...it sold out in moments! :)

 Have fun and let me know if you have any questions! :) 


coming monday...

a tutorial for making this perfectly sweet wreath!

you'd want to know how to do that....right?


20 minute crafter-place settings/food labels

hello!  you didn't think i abandoned the 20 minute crafter did you?
well hopefully this cute little craft will make it up to you...
these sweet little labels are perfect to use as place settings...labeling food...all sorts of fun things.
 I chose to make a colorful set but obviously you can go all black...or all whatever color will match your stuff.  You can't go wrong. :)
Here's what you need:
mini chalk boards (or you can use small pieces of wood that you paint one side with chalkboard paint)
I covered the chalkboard with painters tape for painting
wooden wheels (or wooded thread spools would work too!)
a dowel that will fit into the hole of the wheel...cut into equal sized pieces.
hot glue

I found all of my materials at Micheal's and Joann's. 
 I used spray paint to paint them all...yes, all of these colors were already in my personal inventory.
I inserted the dowel into the wheel using a tiny bit of hot glue to hold it in place...then hot glued the chalkboards to the other end. :)

And that's it!  All done!

These can be used for so many things...you can spell out a holiday greeting...or write your babies age on one and photograph them monthly...write a love note to your honey on one...all sorts of fun things! :)

don't make fun of us california.

We had an earthquake today. 
An EARTHQUAKE.  In Virginia.  The epicenter was 33miles from our house.  It was a 5.9.

I'm just now recovering from the adrenaline rush of it happening...realizing what was happening and then frantically running to get my kids who were napping in their rooms on the second story.  Only twice in my life have I had so much adrenaline running through me...and both times ending in a baby being born. :)  

Never had it ever occurred to me that it would happen here.  In Virginia we are used to things we can see coming...like hurricanes and snow storms.  Earthquakes are another thing all together and I would be happy to never see another.  Thankfully we are all OK with no damage to anyone or anything.  God's hand is good.

I started this morning with an early morning call from my dermatologist.  Another emotionally crazy moment in my day...I had a mole removed last week...and the results from the test came back abnormal...pre-cancerous abnormal.  In the small moment of the phone call my emotions went from panic to gratefulness in God's hand in my life.  Thankfully it had all been removed so I should have nothing further to worry about...but was told that that it was very good that I had it removed when I did.

God is so good.

And to think...just yesterday I was wondering if my situation was forgotten to Him...if I was forgotten by Him.  I begged Him to show me that He remembered me.

I got it God.  You never forget.

Just no Earthquakes next time.  OK? 

easy kiddy art lesson

I took art in some form or another my entire school career.  Starting in 6th grade all the way through college...if I think about it, it's kind of interesting that I didn't end up with some sort of Art degree or another.  I sold my first painting at 19 to my college art professor and it's taken me from then to about the last month or so to realize that I AM an artist making a living from my art.  I AM an artist.  It's a scary thing to say out loud because in my head it opens you up to people saying "ummmm, no you're not". 
Anyway...I have this deep need and desire to pass all these artsy skills down to my kids...I have to find a balance between artist and mom...the artist in me wants to teach technique while the mom in me wants them to have fun and we are learning to do both.
 After our last date with watercolors and me repeatedly saying "Fill the whole page"...because that is what every art teacher says...I thought this little lesson would show them WHY that is a good thing. :) Plus, I buy them real watercolor paper to use and I don't like seeing it go to waste.
 I started by taping off our first initial onto a piece of paper. 
 Then told Moses that he had to cover all the white on the page and showed him how.
 Something seemed to click for him and he spent 30 minutes happily filling in every corner.
 I taught him about blending colors and how to make them darker or lighter.
 He worked happily.
 And this one tried. :)
 But just look at the chubby hand holding the brush!  That's worth something right there. :)
 When he was done I pulled off the tape to show him what he had created. He was actually shocked and surprised.
It was a good lesson.  And everyone was happy.  And no paper was wasted. :)

new headbands! :)

I'm doing things a little differently to see if it makes my life less or more crazy. :)   
Instead of having them up for grabs style you can order headbands of your choosing...

These are all the options for headbands at this time. :) 
There are still a very limited quantity of each style and once they are gone, they are gone! 

To place an order please email me (ricracandpompoms@gmail.com) with your choices both the name of the fabric and letter choice (for example--julia-a, sari-b, etc). If your choice is sold out, I will let you know.  Please also in your email include your paypal email so that i can send you an invoice. :) These are considered a custom order so there will be a bit of a wait until your order is created. :) 

They are $5 each (plus shipping) 
and will be paired up with coordinating elastic of my choosing. :) 

Thank you and happy Monday!!
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