Category Archives: Just Being Family

Love notes to your kids

Every day is a blessing and our family knows that all too much after the sudden loss of one of the kids in the family. As a mom, I try to be even a better mom that I was before. I want each of my kids to know that I love them and tell them in different ways.

Leaving each of the kids love notes for the first 2 weeks of February is a priority for me. Each of my children have such amazing gifts to give each other and others. I love highlighting this for them.

Start this year. Cut 14 hearts out of pink, red or even white paper for each child. Each day, write an “I LOVE YOU because…” on the heart and tape it to their door BEFORE they wake up in the morning. What an AMAZING surprise for them. <3

Seed storage and other tips to start your garden

Download the 2019 Yavapai County Planting Schedule 2019 Yavapai County Planting Schedule (175 downloads)

Over the last 20 years, I have been able to streamline how we store and use our seeds for our gardens. Check out the quick video below!

Discovering Education – Fort Whipple Museum

We visiting a little known museum in Prescott, AZ the other day. The Fort Whipple Museum is on the VA grounds and filled with information on the fort and the hospital beginning from the times of the “Old West” of Prescott.

This museum takes less than an hour and I don’t recommend for super littles. Also, you do have to climb stairs to get in as well as to go upstairs. But otherwise, it is full of some AWESOME information on Prescott, AZ.

Fort Whipple Museum is located on the Veterans Affairs Medical Center grounds off AZ-Hwy 89 in Prescott, just north of the intersection with AZ-Hwy 69.  Hours are Thursday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed federal holidays), and admission is free.  Donations are accepted.  Self-guided. Visit their website at:

Local Area Activities Rock Wall Gym

Searching out and finding activities in our area can sometimes be daunting. I have such a diverse set of ages and abilities in my family. We ran into a church family member at a local museum (more on that later) and our family was invited to check out this new Rock Wall Gym!  

The crew was very excited to try something new… and these guys have won us over! We will see you soon! Homeschool groups, birthday parties! WOW! And you got an ALL THUMBS UP from my whole crew!

Follow them on instagram too: Facebook:

Teaching Online: All About Arizona (Lapbook)

Learning is so very important to me. I have begun sharing my knowledge online through OutSchool. My own children take classes through OutSchool as well.

You can see my upcoming class schedule in the link on my menu above. 

Welcome to the Grand Canyon State, Arizona! Let's visit the history and the facts around Arizona, the 48th state of the United States. 

In this class, we will be creating and completing a lapbook that is all about Arizona to include a variety of state facts like the state bird and motto. We will also learn about some of the fun, interesting and even WEIRD parts of Arizona like the ghost towns of Jerome and the dinosaurs of Holbrook.  Did you know that the Flinstones live in Arizona?

A lapbook is simply a file folder that contains a variety of "mini books," foldables, and other material that cover detailed information about the lapbook's central topic. 

A multi-page handout will be available to the students before class to print and use.  Students will need a manilla folder, scissors, glue stick, the printed handout, construction paper and colored pencils or markers.

Setting Personal & Business Goals

I am not talking New Year’s Resolutions. I am talking about starting this any time of the year. I have always been one to put forth goals.

  • Last year I had a goal to be an ESL teacher whose schedule filled weekly.
  • I wanted to pay for Grayson’s adoption
  • I purchased a printer and laminator, as well as my new cricut
  • Purchase a barn

This year, I have different goals. And know that my goals are changing all of the time.

  • Add an item a day to my Etsy Shop (have 3 of the 4 days so far. :)) And to personally create all of the items that I load on there.
  • I want to take the kids to Disneyland in the fall.
  • Help Elwyn purchase a car… She turns 16 in December 2019
  • Add a shirt line to Griffen’s Gaming Website:
  • Post 28 posts a month on our blog (6 of the 7 days a week)
  • Finish Haka’s 3 initial books and artwork.

Take time for yourself

We celebrate every day as a new day at our home. Once every other week, we (someone with mom) in the house takes a trip down to Phoenix (2-1/2 hours each way) to visit with Trystan on his long journey or recovery. The big guy went down with me and we had a heart to heart with Trystan about how he is doing and expected behaviors.

After our visit, Larry and I headed to “Dave and Busters”. We had never been there before. The food was pretty good “Pub Style” food and we played some games and without kids. I had to take a photo of the Star Wars game to show Berlyn what he will be able to go on the next time that he goes with me. After, we walked around the little outdoor mall and visited a bookstore. I had forgotten how they smell. I love the smell of books.

Remember to take time out for yourself, even when you don’t think that you needed it. It can do wonders for yourself and for your relationships. 🙂

I love Staycations!

The best part about after Christmas in our house is that my husband, Larry, always takes off 2 weeks from work (He works for a local school district and is a 12-month employee which means that he works summers and breaks.) Not all people who work for the schools get summers off. 🙂 We try not to make any real plans. (We are visiting Trystan down at his facility in Scottsdale for a day – For those that didn’t know, we enrolled Trystan in a psychiatric facility for kids to help him with some of his ongoing issues to help him heal. Trauma in foster/adopted kids who were previously abused is a difficult thing to overcome and heal from with many of these kids. )

We always do a staycation during this time. And get caught up on everything around the house. Today, I am painting my living room. I want to redecorate. I am hoping to find a buffet or other cabinet to refinish and put in the living room. I saw some really great ones at hobby lobby yesterday, but I have a much smaller budget than those were.

Berlyn took an online class to learn the basics for the Ukulele. This was one of Breckin’s favorite things in the entire world. I am so thrilled that Berlyn wanted to take a class on it. And used Breckin’s Ukulele too. 

My teaching schedule hasn’t changed any and I did teach 6 ESL online classes this morning before the kids even got out of bed. (Although, I did take off Dec 24th and Dec 25th) . I also took off the 31st and the 1st so that my family could celebrate the holiday with our family traditions. 

So, my goals for this week are to get the living room painted and make a few more farm signs to put up around the fireplace/stove. I want to get the backsplash for the kitchen ordered. (Some old barn wood that is already cut thin.) And I want to start figuring out what I want to update in the kids’ bathroom. 

I hope that all of you had a GREAT Christmas holiday.  God bless each of you.