Summer Learning?

Summer reading lists, book reports, essays, supplemental math.  What do you have your children do, if anything over the summer?

We homeschool, and do so year round.   Learning doesn’t end for us during the summer months, but it does lighten up considerably.   We also like to get a head start on the upcoming school year so we have wiggle room for lots of unexpected days off and field trips.  

Whether public, private, home school, or other – what are your summer learning plans?

Scripture Memorization Made Simple

I spend time every day in God’s word.  Recently I’ve come across a tool that I can use to help store those words in my heart. 

Scripture Typer Bible Memory Verses
The Scripture Typer Bible Memory Website makes memorizing Bible verses easier than ever! It’s a free website for memorizing Scripture by typing it online.  Want to see how it works? Click here to Memorize John 3:16.  In addition to the actual scripture tool, you can join or create groups.  So if you know women who would like to join you in memorization, you can make and name a group where you can learn the same verses, share prayer requests, and encourage each other.

 The website allows you to use the program for free.  If you’d like to go mobile, you’ll have to pay up to $5.99 for the program.  I recommend trying the website to see if it’s something you’d enjoy first.  


 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. {Psalm 119:11}

Handmade Felt Ornaments

Handmade gifts don’t get much easier than these colorful tree ornaments.  

 Diy Felt Christmas Tree Ornaments

They’re both inexpensive and straightforward.  A great combination!  


All you need to buy is colorful felt, embroidery floss, batting, some ribbon for hanging, and a tapestry needle.  I printed out letters in the font I wanted, cut them out, and traced them onto felt in one color.  Then I traced a drinking glass for the circles onto a contrast color and simply sewed everything together, filling with a bit of batting and a ribbon for hanging. Use your imagination and try lots of combinations from bright & crazy to neutral and black & white.


The whole process takes about 20 minutes per ornament.  With an assembly line (children helping), the craft might go even faster!

Sausage-Apple Cornbread

Here’s a recipe that I made when my children were younger.  Recently my husband recalled and requested the meal.  What a perfect suggestion for the fall!


Sausage-Apple Cornbread
Sausage, apples, and thyme top this delicious cornbread!
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Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
  1. 1 small red onion, diced
  2. 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
  3. 1.5 lbs sausages
  4. 1T olive oi
  5. 1/2t thyme
  6. 1c yellow corn meal
  7. 1/4c all-purpose flour
  8. 1T baking powder
  9. 1t salt
  10. 1 jalapeno pepper, diced {optional}
  11. 2 large eggs
  12. 8oz sour cream
  13. 8.5 oz creamed corn
  14. 1.5c grated cheddar cheese, separated
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Saute the onion in olive oil.
  3. Add the sausage, breaking up as you cook it. When cooked through, add the apples and thyme.
  4. In a bowl, whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. In another bowl whisk eggs, sour cream, creamed corn, 1 cup of the cheddar, and jalapeno.
  6. Add the dry cornmeal mixture to the wet ingredients and stir till just combined.
  7. Spread cornbread mixture into a greased 9" cast iron skillet. Top with the sausage mixture, then the remaining cup of cheddar.
  8. Bake in the middle of the oven for approximately 45 minutes.
  1. Serve with a fancy green salad.
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine ~ August '99, p.74
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine ~ August '99, p.74
The Excellent Wife

This Week’s Meals & Groceries

What’s on the menu this week at our place?

  • Rice & Beans Burritos with veggies
  • Chicken Stir Fry
  • Ranch Pork Chops, salad, brussels sprouts
  • Ham, extra creamy homemade mac-n-cheese, salad
  • Roast beef with gravy, mashed potatoes, salad
  • Chicken Pot Pies


We’ll have the usual Cheerios, eggs, yogurt/fruit/granola, pancakes or waffles for breakfast.  Lunches usually consist of leftovers, PBJs, eggs, or veggies & cheeses with yogurt & fruit.  Snacks include Orange Julius drinks, hot air-popped popcorn, and pretzels.  Our total grocery bill this week was $145 which included the above menu, toilet paper, a few cleaning products, and a gigantic bag of dog food.

What’s on your menu this week?







Source: via Alison on Pinterest


I was reading an e-newsletter I received a week or two ago about complaining. Sharon Jaynes, the author, made a funny point about lamenting:

Just try saying the word grumble with a smile on your face. It doesn’t work, does it? I’m sitting here trying now. I sure hope no one’s looking.

Let’s think about this. When we are grumbling about our circumstances, who are we really grumbling against?

Do you see yourself as a person who grumbles or a person who is grateful?

What do you need to do to change?

Make a list of things you are grateful for today!

These are great questions!  If I find myself complaining about a circumstance I often need to adjust my attitude.  What about grumbling {or gossiping} against others?  Who exactly are we complaining about?  I’m going to take a step back today and think before speaking.  I’m going to adjust my attitude and offer words of encouragement instead of grumbling.

“Moses also said, ‘You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him.  Who are we?  You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD”  {Exodus 16:8 }.


Saving Money on Your Bills

Because the cost of living is rising,  my husband and I are trying to cut back on some monthly expenses wherever possible.

Yesterday I made a few phone calls that saved us over $100/month ~ and all I had to do was just call some of our providers!  For example, our trash pick up costs are going through the roof.  After shopping around I realized we could nearly cut our current bill in half.  When I called our current provider and explained that their prices were just too high for us, they immediately offered to meet the competition’s price because we have been “loyal customers for over a decade.”

Well, this was a good thing!

So I called our phone company (we use Vonage), and discussed lowering our plan with them or even getting rid of our land line all together.  Vonage didn’t want to lose our business and again we were found to be long-time “loyal customers” who paid their bills on time.  So they also cut our bill in half and even gave us a better plan!   {By the way, if anyone wants to switch to VOiP with Vonage, feel free to use this link   &  we’ll both get a month free.  Vonage is good like that.  You can earn months  &  months free for referring people. }

I have a few more phone calls to make today as I shop around for competitive prices &  as I also simply eliminate some of the services that we can do without.

Do you have any money saving tips to share?




Patriotic Printables

Every year our town does a fireworks display on or near the 4th of July.  We enjoy throwing a dessert party on this day, since we live a few short blocks from the show & folks can easily walk to the event at dusk.  Everyone brings a dessert to share, we eat lots of sugar, children play lots of games, and the evening ends with fireworks celebrating our country’s independence.

HERE is my Patriotic pinboard wtih lots of fun ideas, and here are some printables I use for the event.  Enjoy!