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Monday, August 31, 2009

GAIN Academy & Curriculum Sale

Fellow Iowa homeschool mom Darcy is hosting a NOT Back to School Blog Hop. Her final week of the blog hop has a theme of Used Curriculum Sale. Related aside: I typically put trade books, AKA silly-fun free reading books, on BookMooch.My BookMooch name is juliecache, just as it is here.

So what's for sale? Saxon Math 2 Teacher's Edition. I'm the original purchaser of this book, with a pet- and smoke-free home. It's 8 years old. You can see the edges of the pages and front cover are a little worn. No big, or even middle-sized, damage -- it's an adult book. The book is still supported by Saxon Publishers. Meaning, the consumables that you buy will match the lesson plans in this book. $8 + shipping

Saxon uses an "incremental technique" that thoroughly reviews all topics ever learned for retention.We've used it successfully with four kids.
I'll italicize the above paragraphs when there is a sale pending, and delete them when payment is received. Leave a comment if you are interested. I take PayPal!

That's all I have to sell, so I'll share a little about our home school. I'm not organized enough to fully participate in every Monday of the Blog Hop. Curriculum plans? School room? Student photos? Day in the life? Argh! I really don't want to think about that stuff. But I do want to think about someone else having our math book. Its contents have been absorbed into my children's heads and we don't need it anymore.
Our homeschool is named after our children, who are in grades 4 - 10. The first letter of each child's name (out of birth order) makes "GAIN," which is the name of our homeschool -- GAIN Academy! When the kids were very young, each child made an image to represent him/herself and we made a crest. It was divided into quadrants, and each image was placed accordingly.

We've always homeschooled our kids using dual enrollment. In Iowa, this means that a child at home has access to everything that a full-time, conventional student has, including 5/7 or 6/8 of the classes offered at the school building.

My oldest is currently enrolled full-time in tenth grade. My younger three are all part-time students at the public school and at home the rest of the time. I'd put a photo here, but my oldest is telling me to wait until the new glasses come in from the store next week. "What is the point of putting up a picture if it's going to change in a few days?"

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

just plain wrong

All right, what is going on? As you can see, in two of the last three days, I have worn a SWEATER. Wearing a sweater at the end of August feels like a betrayal of the season. Traditionally, it's summer until mid-September. Wearing a sweater feels warm, but really odd, especially if I look at a calendar.

And when I look at myself in these pictures, I will be re-thinking my top and bottom combo's in the future. The one on the left makes me cringe.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Pocket tissue covers

Here is a tissue cover I made a long time ago. I was wanting to make my own bias tape. It's yellow striped in this example. You might recognize the main fabric as leftover from the teal pin cushion that I previously made.

I was thinking that if my friend Deb can make these, so can I. Except I didn't want to quilt it like she did. And I wanted to make my own bias tape. Really really wanted to. And in small quantities. If I was successful making small quantities, then I could graduate to making bias tape in larger lengths. "Start small" was my motto.The pocket tissue cover was born. I had to go buy some pocket pack tissues. (Note: I can't say Kleenex because that's a brand, not a product. I can't say Band-Aid either. It's bandage. Unless I really have a Band-Aid.) I made a six more covers yesterday.Very fast, easy pattern to figure out. And classier than a wad of tissues in your bag.


Monday, August 24, 2009

knitting update

I ran out of yarn. Prayer shawl is as finished as it's going to be for a while. I mended a pocket. I made a card. Pretty complicated, too -- stitching and three kinds of paper. And a sketch.

I've crafted a food dehydrator from cases left over from my Inner Guard. He supplies his group with refreshments every month. Coke cases, Sprite cases, etc. They're all the same size, so they fit well for this plan Mother Earth News. I already had a can of black paint. My son already had a roll of leftover laminating plastic. I had to buy hardware cloth/screen, but I'd been wanting it anyway. (Unfortunately, I don't remember the other uses I had in mind for it.)

The great news is that I got permission to pick apples at a local residence. My older two kids LOVE dried apples. They are easy to make, but I'm not thrilled about using the oven when it's warm out.

The woman who owns the house always has a tree overloaded with fruit. I've passed it for three years and finally remembered to ask about it today. She hopes we take everything! After we get a few apples to sample, I'll determine the future of our fruit-picking at her house.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Serendipity, my ears are ringing

I'm patching my older son's quilt. It's really wearing out. Sad for both of us. He's 13 and has had it for a long time. It's probably nine years old, getting nightly use.

I decided to make hexagons to patch the quilt, remembering my friend Deb. The first time I saw her make hexagons, I remember asking questions like, "Do you leave the plastic in there?" I used paper instead of plastic (sounds like a grocer). Denim was probably not the best choice, but ds chose it. I made it work and appliqued a row of three hexes over the tear in the quilt.

Once I finish sewing, my youngest realizes that the butterfly has emerged from its chrysalis. It's a girl. We missed it in the twenty minutes that it took me to patch the quilt. After about 24 hours of vigilant waiting, I was way bummed. I'll post later about the butterfly on my geocaching and nature blog.

Anyway, I patch the quilt and we leave for the fair. Once we're home, I see that Mr. TellBlast brought the mail inside, and there's a package for me. How crazy is this? It's from Deb. Here I am thinking of her, and she was thinking of me! It's a book cover made from her scraps, inspired by the crazy quilt work that I posted previously. This will totally be used for my note taking with my homeschool group. Thank you, Deb! You rock. I've never had a good place to take notes at meetings.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The prayer shawl is almost off the sticks.

The jeans quilt is almost completely tied. "g" of GAIN cut more yarn and I've been attaching them while waiting for Muncher to emerge from its chrysalis.

"N" of GAIN cut paper hexagons for me to use as a patch on his jeans quilt. It'll be my first paper piecing, done with help from sew mama sew. N's usually more careful about cutting things out precisely, but it'll work out OK. denim is thick and hard to work with, but I think I can handle it.

Pics soon, can't spare much time while we're waiting for Muncher to emerge.

Monday, August 17, 2009

craft magazine

I tend to surf the 'net for craft ideas, but I like browsing the library's magazines for crafts. In fact, I tend to make things when I can refer to portable, printed instructions. Here is something I found that sounds right up my alley.

"Living Crafts magazine is a quarterly crafts magazine for families who embrace an old fashioned natural lifestyle, and are interested in traditional forms of craft such as sewing, knitting, weaving, crochet, paper mache, mosaic, woodwork, and other handwork for the whole family. Living Crafts provides craft enthusiasts with the information, ideas, and inspiration they need to support their desire for self-sufficiency, sustainability and a natural lifestyle. In each issue there are projects for the entire family, including fun crafts for parents and children to do together."

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Older son playing WoW: "Oh, darn. No pockets to pick."


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Freezing food for winter

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm a Walgreens shopper

Before I started using coupons on a consistent basis, I never shopped at Walgreens. Now, I visit approximately every other week. See this photo?

Buy one, get one coupon for sale price on $1.99 Stayfree maxis, 24 count
$1 coupon with sale price on Colgate $2.99 = $1.99
$0.19 in-ad coupon on the mini memo pads

Total thus far: $1.99 + $1.99 + $0.76 = $4.74

Add in the tax and my killer closer, $4 in Register Rewards.

I had a $4 Register Reward from buying cereal on an earlier shopping trip. My total: $1.02

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Where to find bread at discounted prices

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Quilt Giveaway

Look at this giveaway!

After reading the "About Us" bio, I am very interested in relationships and quilting. _How to Make an American Quilt_, anyone?

I've read a few quilting books, cultural and pattern. I definitely think there is something culturally good about quilting, something nurturing. If nothing else, if done as a group, it gives something common to discuss and look forward to sharing with others. Face time has to be good when used to positively construct something useful.

I really cannot say that my mother "hobbied" with me. I think she and my grandmothers taught me to crochet a chain, and I remember watching my mom use a sewing machine (we had matching Easter dresses once!) and use a hairpin loom, but I was young enough that I wouldn't have been able to work alongside her.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cute Art Print Giveaway

I have to say that Twitter has been good to me. For as little as I (@threesisjulia) put in, the benefits have been great. Redbox codes for free movies, personal insights, etc. It's all been great. Through Darcy's (@my3boybarians) tweet, I found this here. Isn't everything lovely? What a talented gal!

Monday, August 3, 2009


Today's lesson is all about density.

Density = mass divided by volume

My sixth graders learn this in science, but everyone is talking about it this week.

You see, yesterday, I saw that the soap was getting low in our container. It held just a little slanted layer of white pearly stuff. I squeezed some colorless refill on top of it. Don't want to run out of soap after using the toilet! I left two very distinct layers in the container. A couple hours passed, and I walked into the powder room and saw this lava lamp thing on the left. Ah, density.

The clear soap must have a higher density than the white pearly soap.

When I woke up this morning, I just had to look again. Basically the same thing, but the "strings" are smaller. Here is what I saw:

My older two totally know what's going on. They've done labs about density. The younger two, not formally. We've never sat down and had the "density talk," but now we will. Unless they already did with Mr. TellBlast. He does that sometimes. He's very good at it. He ought to be a kids' teacher.

Conveniently, my kids just watched Modern Marvels: 60's Tech. Lava lamps were featured. Because of the way his brain has been fed, I think my third child has an inkling of density already. My youngest, not really. She plays a lot with density, but isn't familiar with the term density.

And then there is the maturity of the younger two to take into account. They both want individual turns staring at the soap. They seriously fight over the soap. We'll see what the container looks like tomorrow. Hopefully there won't be any soap-viewing fights.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

still tying those jeans

The jeans remnants and batting are about halfway tied. Great project while watching TV.