Friday, May 31, 2013

Free Cursive Scripture Pack and New Letter of the Day Resource!

Hello, friends! I am so excited about a brand new pack for introducing the Letter of the Day! It is such a fun and colorful pack that allows the teacher to post the letter of the day as well as offer a matching coloring sheet for the students to complete. I have also included alphabet loops that can be used to make alphabet chains by each student as they learn them, as bracelets for reinforcement or even as headers for those adorable alphabet art projects. Just click on the picture to find it in my TPT store. Let me know what you think!

I have also recently created a FREEBIE fun pack to help your kiddos practice their cursive writing skills. It integrates Scripture to help promote memorization and perhaps even encourage discussion. This is one of my biggest freebie packs and includes 25 Scripture handwriting pages that focus on proper formation and spacing. A bonus poster is included! I hope you enjoy the pack. Just click the picture below to follow it to my TPT store where you can download it absolutely free! Have a wonderful Friday everyone!

Hearts for Home Blog Hop
Freebie Fridays

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Heart to Heart: Encouragement for Today

Hello, friends! I know, I know!! It has been forevah since I really took the time to blog. It seems that Mommy Dearest (aka teacher, mommy, wife, pastor's wife, blogger, resource creator, housekeeper, need I go on?) has been on a bit of a forced sabbatical from the blogging world as I have been keeping the roads HOT for the past few weeks. I have been traveling to be a part of birthday parties, family meals, and ministry events, two of which have involved yours truly as being the featured speaker. This added another hat to my seemingly mountain of hats. Don't get me wrong, each one is an honor! I have thoroughly enjoyed each trip, conversation, and service. But, it did mean that I placed some hats to the side to accomplish it.

This brings to mind the fact that I need to listen to my own words! Just recently I had the opportunity to speak to a group of ladies about the many hats that we wear. All of the ones I listed above as well as many more made it on the list. A great challenge for us "hat-bearers" is that we try to bedazzle and decorate each one. I want to be a nurturing mother and a supportive wife. I want to be an encouraging pastor's wife and an interesting teacher! A little bling here! A lot of bling there!

The problem with this is that we can only maintain the bling for so long before we fall into a cycle. I feel excitement along with utter exhaustion when I am getting it all done! But, I am feeling guilt and desperation when I can't seem to find a way. I begin to look at others, comparing myself and wondering what is wrong with me. I become a worry wort while my peace and joy fly out of the window!

Let me share with you the Scripture that I shared with those precious ladies. Perhaps it will encourage you and perhaps show you how I am trying to change my perspective. You will find it in Luke chapter 10. Here is the story we are given: 38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

I have really focused in on the last few verses. The one thing that is priority is my time with the Lord. All of the other hats truly do pale in comparison. Not that they aren't important; however, if I get my priority right, the rest falls into place. I become a better mother and wife just by spending time in the presence of Jesus. It also grants me perspective on which hats I need to continue wearing and which hats I need to lay aside. I am in the process of doing that now. There are things God has directed me to do and there are other hats that I have picked up along the way that albeit good only serve to distract me from my purpose. So, this Mommy dearest is trying to pay attention to her own words. I have been working to sort through my hats and never misplace my priorities. This is a process that I am still working through and I am sure I will need to listen up to my own words again in the future.

Just wanted to share my heart with you today and perhaps encourage you to look closely at all the hats you are trying to wear. Martha was so worried about good things; yet, she was missing out on the best things. I never want to settle for less than God's perfect destiny for my life. This is a lesson that I want to learn for keeps!

Review: Simplified Pantry

 photo tn_zpsd0054245.jpgHello, friends! It has been like crickets around here lately! It is amazing how time has been flying by and we have been keeping the roads hot. But, that is for another post. Today, I have the pleasure of another Product Review that I think you will find of particular interest. If you are anything like me, sometimes I feel that I am drowning in papers! I am a list person who has been skipping the list because I don't want to lose another paper. The problem is that my brain is not always as accurate as I would like, especially when you add in all of my husband's lists and calendar dates. My mind often feels as if I am going under! I was very excited to be given the opportunity to review Paperless Home Organization by Simplified Pantry. It has proven to be an fantastic resource that is helping Mom (aka. Mrs. Remember Everything) keep up with life.


 photo book_cover_zpsea3c0ac1.jpgPaperless Home Organization is an E-book that teaches the reader how to use electronic tools already at your disposal to streamline your productivity. Utilizing free online tools, Mystie Winckler teaches you a step-by-step approach to getting all of your information into one place: documents, to-do lists, homeschool portfolios, calendar, etc. This is not a book full of useless information but a guide to using 3-4 programs that will change the way you look at organizing. She also provides clear instructions and even pictures to help the reader fully understand the process. 


The e-book is an easy read and very informative. It will get you excited about trying new programs and tricks. One thing to remember is that this is a process and one that has to be approached with patience. But, once you have trained yourself to get into a routine, this procedure is very effective. I am more of an evening person, so I seek to update my programs in the evening and preferably at the beginning of the week to prepare for the next week if any updates are needed.

Good to Know

  1. Here are a few things you can organize with the system: appointments, special days, to-do lists, emails, contacts, files, receipts, checklists, book lists, PDF files, and more.
  2. You can purchase and download the e-book as a PDF file or for your Kindle here for $3.99.
  3. The author is running an awesome special for you! You will receive 30% off ANY ebook through June 3rd! Just enter the promotional code: TOS2013 at checkout!
  4. There are also two other e-books available for purchase: Simplified Dinners (a great way to gain new ideas for easy and delicious meals) as well as Simplified Dinners Gluten and Dairy Free (for those with specific nutritional needs). 

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My Thoughts

Mystie Winckler at Simplified Pantry has done a wonderful job at creating a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to paperless organization. She breaks it down in such a way that the mountains of paper feel conquerable. This book may be just what you need to crawl out of the paper pile and into productivity. Be sure to follow the link below to read how other Review members used this resource as well as the Simplified Dinner e-books!


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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

SuperSTAH resources for a Hollywood Classroom!! ;)

Hello, friends! I have been having so much fun with this new Hollywood theme!! I am revamping all of my common core poster packs and megapacks with this fun look and I think you will love them. Here are the fun packs already available now.

Is there something you would like to see in this fun theme?? Let me know by commenting below! If chosen, you will receive the pack FREE for sharing your idea. Leave your name and email in the comments below.

And don't forget about the TPT Teacher Appreciation Day Sale going on over at TPT. All of the resources above are on sale!! Don't miss out!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Sale!

Just wanted to say THANK YOU to all of the wonderful educators out there who are working tirelessly to provide a sold education for this generation of youth. As an appreciation, I have joined with Teachers Pay Teachers to offer a Teacher Appreciation Day sale. Today and tomorrow you can purchase anything in my store for 20% off! Then TPT will add an additional percentage so that makes it a total of 28% off!! I hope you will drop by and find something special to finish up the year or start strong next year, if you are even wanting to think about that right now. ;)  Just click on the banner below to head on over! (Isn't the banner cute?? Zipadeedoo Clipart does such a fabulous job! ) Have a great one!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: Home School in the Woods

 photo HSitW-NewLOGO-website_zps0d8de564.gifHello, friends! I want to share with you a resource company that uses the popular method of lap booking to teach history! If you have never heard of lap books, I encourage you to check out this resource. It is a great way to get your child involved and active in their learning. The review today will focus on The 20th Century in America Lap-Pack by Home School in the Woods.


Home School in the Woods Publishing has created a detailed and thorough process for studying the 20th Century in America. It highlights some of the most important moments of this century as well as the fads and even styles of the time. I received the following in the download:
  • Introduction and Directions so that you feel confident in how to create and assemble the lapbook. This is especially helpful if you have never used them before.
  • LapBook Project Masters which are the printable pieces for each activity. There are 22 activities included that range from topics of the conflicts, music, famous people, medical advancements, transportation and much more.
  • Reading Text Passages that are available in formats to either place in a binder or even print as a book whichever you would prefer. I printed mine to place in a binder. Also included is a list of books and resources that you can use to further your study on the topics.


I had my sixth grade daughter complete the lap pack for her daily history instruction. She would study the selected reading and then complete the activity that corresponded to it. There were a few days she completed two sections depending on the length. She filed each activity in a file until she was ready to put the pieces all together to create the finished lap book. I was very relieved to find extensive directions with pictures as this was quite a lap book once completed! 

Good to Know

  1. This lapbook is suggested for grades 3-8.
  2. The downloadable version is available for $21.95 while the CD version is $22.95.
  3. I would definitely recommend obtaining the additional resources suggested as each topic is discussed in a shortened form. To build background and give students a better understanding, I would say that a bit more reading is necessary.
  4. What I loved about this company was how thorough the instructions were. As we had never created a lapbook so extensive, I felt confident after reading the directions. They were detailed for each activity and then for the creation of the finished product. Your student's lapbook will look like the awesome pack below!
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Our Thoughts

I label this section "Our Thoughts" as I wanted to include my daughter's opinion as well. In our opinion, this project gave activities that would allow her to transfer her what she has learned into a cut and paste activity and result in a finished project. However, we felt the reading was not quite complete enough. She often came to me to ask more questions about the reading and I needed to fill in the gaps or find resources that could do so. However, it is a great jumping off point for you to direct your child's instruction using the suggested resources. It is a fantastic method to bring a bit of excitement into what could be a very boring subject for some.

The best part of this learning method is that your child finishes the unit with a book to keep for future review or pleasure. The Lap Packs would be perfect to include in portfolios and learning files. It is also a fun way to share with family and friends what your child is learning. I was not the only one to review this great product. Be sure to click the banner below to read how other families used this curriculum in their homes.

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