Thursday, September 6, 2012

Charish's Hope

I started an organization last year called Charish's Hope after my sister, Charish, passed away. I wanted to focus my (and my sweet kids') focus on something positive to help heal our hearts. It was a huge success last year. We raised a ton of money and donated it at the San Diego Heart Walk in Balboa Park. The walk is coming up again next Saturday so we're holding a fundraiser at Golden Spoon in Poway. If you live close and want to join us we'd LOVE to have you! Here's the info:
We'll be focused on raising money for Charish as well as my cute mom who just passed away a few months ago from the same heart condition that took my sister. Looking forward to a fun night!

Also, if you'd like to walk with our team and/or donate to our team for the walk please visit my Charish's Hope page. Thanks SO much!!

Here is the info for the walk coming up for anyone interested in joining our team!

General Event Information
Date:               Saturday, September 15, 2012
Location:         Balboa Park/ War Memorial Building (Corner of Park Blvd. & Zoo Drive)
Time:              Opening Ceremonies begin at 6:50 AM; Walk begins at 7:10 AM; Closing ceremonies begin at 9:00 AM
The Route:      1 Mile Survivor Route and a 5K (3.1 Mile) Route through Balboa Park
Parking & Shuttle Information
Free parking is available at President's Way Parking Lot (See directions attached). Complimentary shuttle service to and from the park will be available approximately every 15 minutes starting at 5:15 am. Individuals that have raised at least $1,000 will receive a VIP parking pass to park in the Zoo Parking Lot.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Our School Room

With less than a week before school starts I'm trying to get everything ready . . . the curriculum, the schedule, the school room . . . the teacher chocolate stash . . . 

I was on my way to Ikea to look for some sort of table that would work well for homeschooling, when my husband texted me this link from The Pioneer Woman . . . perfect! (No, my husband doesn't read The Pioneer Woman's blog . . . not that he would be any less manly if he did. ;) He found this when he googled "homeschool desk" . . . Pinterest also had a bunch of great ideas if you are looking.)

I was able to pick the four "bases" that I wanted. I got two with drawers like you can see, and two with more of a storage feel with one shelf inside of a cupboard. I ended up getting the longest table tops (I got two to make it wider like she did) since we will eventually . . . if I survive this . . . have four kids needing to sit at it. Her review of this table has totally convinced me that it will hold up well. And like her I plan on getting a piece of glass to cover the top so that I won't have to worry about paint or markers or anything else damaging the table top. I also decided to go with dining room chairs instead of office chairs. I want to eliminate rolling around the room or spinning . . . and these chairs looked a little nicer. I have yet to find cushions that I like that aren't going to break the bank. Still on the lookout.

The whole room isn't done yet, but we have everything put together and ready to go when school starts next week. I have a couple of projects I want to do to decorate . . . a sign made out of an old pallet, something like these, with a quote something like this, and some pictures to make it feel more comfy. Until then, this will be great.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Free Geography Printables

I've been looking forward to helping my girls better learn geography. I definitely want them to know the United States & Capitals (as well as special things about each one), and of course as we're studying history (they're both learning about ancient civilization this year) and current events we'll master those places as well. I was NOT a good student when it came to geography. At all. I am certainly not the person to come to if you need to know where anything is. Pitiful really, so I'm really excited to learn alongside them as they learn. 

I have been searching the internet and found a couple of websites that offer free map printables if you're interested:

Super Teacher Worksheets was the best one I could find for printable maps, games, etc. (and not only do they have geography but they have a lot of other subjects as well.) They have some free printables but to fully enjoy their website they charge $20. I'm seriously considering it.

EL Civics for ESL Students has a bunch of worksheets free to print as well. All are free as far as I can tell on this website.

**I'll add to the list as I find more! 

I'm Overwhelmed. Help!!

Wow . . . I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. School starts in a week. Yep . . . seven. short. days . . . eeek! When we decided to homeschool and got everyone registered it was forEVER away. Back then I thought, "I've got this! Bring it!!" Right now . . . panic has found it's way to my gut. This morning I decided to kick it out; the panic feeling I mean. So . . . 

{{deep breath}} here we go.

Okay, so I have yet to solidify my "plan" which is where my panic is coming from. I have the curriculum planned (ish). I have the text books and consumable workbooks etc. that I feel will work for us, but as far as a schedule goes . . . nothing. I have the "must-be-totally-planned-out" personality. I really wanted to be totally organized and planned out before school started so that I wouldn't feel overwhelmed when the time came. But I'm new to this and not quite sure how things should be. In my head it would be fanTAStic to have the entire year, down on paper, in pen. But what also sounds great is being able to repeat a week of math, or any other subject, if they didn't understand something . . . which then tosses out my plan of writing everything out. (By the way, I know that is completely unrealistic.)

So what do YOU do?? How far in advance do you plan things out? Do you look at each week as it comes, or more of a semester plan in pencil so you can modify?

Any advice would be GREAT! I have been doing a lot of research and finding some great tools online which have taken so. much. weight off my shoulders which has been wonderful! What ways to you find work best for your lesson planning? What websites do you find useful that you use often? Do you often find yourself curled in a ball in the corner singing Twinkle Twinkle? 

Okay, sort of kidding. Thanks in advance for your advice!! 


Monday, July 9, 2012

To My Crafty Chic Followers . . .

     It really has been way. too. long since I’ve sat down to do something on my blog. I feel like I give you excuse, after excuse, after excuse as to why I go M.I.A for so long. I tend to have SO much fun creating things and sharing what I’ve designed or copied from someone else, and then I let life take over. It was a really good hobby for me to stay sane, and blogging motivated me to actually spend time doing what I love. Creating!
     So, the reason for the blog change: I felt the need for a change. Plain and simple. I have had an absurdly awful six months. I feel like one negative thing after another has been happening non-stop . . . the most recent (if you don’t count my daughters broken arm) was the sudden death of my mom on February 28. Total. shocker. I have been sitting here thinking about all of the things she kept telling me; “You have GOT to get back on that cute blog of yours!” and “You really should open an Etsy shop.” While I don’t feel like I have the umph to open and maintain an Etsy shop, I do think I can handle getting back on my blog. I have spend hours and hours thinking about all of the things that need change in my life. I am in the “change” zone which is why I’m starting fresh with a new blog. Although not totally fresh since I’m going to transfer my Crafty Chic posts onto this one.
     The reason for the name change: I have recently decided to start homeschooling my two oldest kids (my two youngest aren’t school aged yet). The reason for homeschooling I’ve explained in the "Why I Homeschool" tab up top, as I felt like that deserved a really good explanation (if you know me you’ll know that this doesn’t really fit my “I LOVE the break that sending my kids to school gives me” personality). I have been searching the internet and finding great ideas, so I wanted to do my little part and also blog about the journey that we’ll be taking starting in the fall. I’ve had a hard time finding a lot about curriculum choices people have made, not saying I haven’t found anything, but it hasn’t been easy for me (I’m basically clueless when it comes to homeschooling!) so I will do my best to fully explain my likes and dislikes (if there are any) with the curriculums I have chosen. So the name, Crafty Chic, doesn’t feel right anymore. Not to mention everyone always says “Crafty Chick” instead of [sh-eek] haha. Nurturing Wildflowers makes more sense for my new venture. Nurturing is obvious, and Wildflowers . . . I like to call my kids Wildflowers; not because I think they're wild but because, first, I LOVE wildflowers, and second, because wildflowers can be clustered together and be totally different and beautiful in their own special ways. They’re also found all over the place. They have no boundaries . . . I plan on exploring and taking these unique beauties of mine outside of the house as often as possible! I will NOT bore these kids silly. Bored kids = crazy kids. Crazy kids = impatient, not so nice mom.
    So thank you for following me over and joining me on this new journey of mine. So much about “me” feels different after losing my mom, but instead of whining about it, I think I’ll better myself from the many lessons she has taught me about mothering, and sewing/quilting and in the process sharing what I do with anyone who will listen.

Monday, November 14, 2011

{Christmas} Tablecloth

I know that I am the. worst. blogger on the planet. I truly do love to do it, but to be honest "crafting" just does NOT fit in my life lately. I hate that it doesn't! I really am going to try to squeeze it back in, but let's be honest; I've said that a gazillion times. I really do need this as an outlet though. I sometimes feel so overwhelmed by the daily grind that this would be a fabulous "escape" at times.

Anyway, this isn't extremely detailed, but I have a few people asking me about this tradition of ours. I started it back in 2008 and I'm SO glad I did! I love love LOVE looking back to previous years. It's our Christmas Tablecloth. We put it on our table starting on Thanksgiving night when we put up our Christmas decorations. Part of our night is signing the tablecloth as a family, then as the days go by and people come over to visit they also sign it. Then, when things are taken down after Christmas I'll work on stitching over the names for the next couple of weeks . . . tuck it away for next year and start all over again. I don't let people eat on it, when we eat we take it off, or if one person is eating they'll just push it out of the way while they eat.

We love it, and I love to think that someday it will be an even greater family treasure.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Reward System

I have a . . . let's just say . . . challenging 3 year old. She's my third daughter and for some odd reason she came totally different than the other two. Why they all have to come different is a mystery to me {kidding}, but nonetheless, I had to figure out yet another discipline/reward system for her. Let me tell you right off, for her personality, this system has been AWESOME.
I hunted and hunted for some way that she could earn something {like the sticker on a chart type of system} where she could really see her accomplishments. For a long time we did a "token" system where when they did something good, nice, helpful . . . they got to put a token {a.k.a. poker chip} into a pail that they had decorated. This system did NOT work for her. I think because she could see her tokens unless I took her pail down and showed her. I knew I needed something that she could "show off" and the sticker thing bugged me because they weren't easily taken away. SO . . . I found these . . .

. . . at Target and thought PERFECT!! I knew I'd need to figure out how to put them on the wall but I figured that wouldn't be too big of a problem. Luckily when I got them home I noticed they had a certain piece {see top picture} that actually hung perfectly on a nail. WIN.

SO, here's the system: We were in the car and decided to call them something . . . the girls . . . after about 50 different names, decided to call them "gems"
When I notice them being good, doing something nice, doing things right when I ask them to without an eye roll . . . yes, that's a challenge for these girls of mine . . . I'll let them pick out a gem and hang it on their chain.
I have the right to take them away for back talking, being mean to their sister, not doing what they know is expected of them, etc. BUT once they get to 10 gems they get . . . 
 . . . one "spark" . . . yes they named these too. They decided that they can be sparks so that when they get a lot they'll be "sparkles" . . . GIRLS! haha
I bought a bag of the thicker craft sticks, pulled out the paint and we all decorated them, glued a sparkle on them and stuck them in a jar for them to pick them out when they "cash in" their 10 gems.

 Once they get "sparks" I can't take them away. They can save them for bigger prizes or spend them when they get them. I have a chart with things like:
2 sparkles: picnic at the park
4 sparkles: frozen yogurt
5 sparkles: Sea World for the afternoon {we have passes FYI . . . I don't fork out that kind of dough!}
So far it's working like a "gem". We went on vacation for a week and a half and didn't use them and let me tell you, this girl did a 180 and was back to her . . . ways . . . in a matter of a couple of days.