I have a great appreciation for the generosity of other authors and equally want to share with you. However, I ask that you respect that all all images, text, and any other content posted on this blog belongs to Christina Hirst, unless otherwise stated. You are welcome to link back to this blog or use a single image and description, so long as you link back to its original source. You may NOT republish posts without my permission. Also, please do not link directly to a pdf, but to the original post. I, in turn, agree to do the same. :)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Weekly Wrap-Up: Our Productive First Week of Fifth Grade

We're linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers for the Weekly Wrap-Up!

This week we did so much!  I've already shared some of it, so I'll just recap and include links to keep from repeating, while sharing with you some FRESH EXCITEMENT!

This week kicked off fifth grade.  We only enjoyed a portion of our schedule with Saxon Math, Learning Language Arts Through Literature, and Mystery of History Volume 2, making for some relaxed days.

Rosalinda did her first book study of the year!  She surprisingly enjoyed Farmer Boy by Laura Ingles Wilder.  Historical fiction isn't really her genre, so I was so excited to see her find things that she loved about the book!  Also, having to read the book in such a short amount of time kept her eyes "screen-free" for four days!!!

I've enjoyed watching her use her new planner.  See how I made it here!  (I have made a few modifications and will post those one day soon.)  One of the features I included was a weekly prayer list.  I was honored to see how God works with her heart as we added to the list and prayed over it each day.  It is one of my favorite parts of our school day now!

I completed my Whatever Girls Challenge!  Moms were challenged to write their daughters a letter about the legacy they wish to leave.  Read my letter here and take the challenge yourself...there is still time!  (You can find the challenge on the Whatever Girls Facebook Page.

We also found out that her creative writing group, Collecting Commas, is going to be writing and performing a play in December at our city's art walk!  Rosalinda has landed one of the lead roles!  Inspired by an earlier
writing prompt to write a fractured fairy tale, the group has decided to do a piece focusing on bullying in modern times, but the main characters all face certain challenges in individual dreams that take place in fractured fairy tales!  I can't wait for it!

We also had our first Currclick Live Club Meeting!  We've signed up for the American Girl Book Club and Lego Club.  We had a blast this past week with the American Girl Book Club and linked up with Homegrown Learners' Collage Friday.

And finally...we're planning for Miss Rosalinda's 11th Birthday!  Last year we made a huge deal out of her birthday since she was entering the double-digits!  I did something every day for the 10 days leading up to her birthday.  This year we're going much simpler.  We're going to do a Lego party at the park for a large group of people...ok, so maybe not MUCH simpler, but still not on the scale of last year.  I created the invites myself and ordered them as photos through Walgreens.com using a 33% off coupon!  Yeah baby!  Although I earned my discount.  I went to pick them up and they had black dots on them.  I went home and grabbed the file via SD card and took it physically up to Walgreens.  They had to load them three times before they system finally stopped altering the image.  I already have the ones that needed to be mailed in the mail and the others on hand to drop off/hand off as we go through our week.

How was your week?

Friday, August 30, 2013

First Ever American Girl Book Club Meeting - Collage Friday

We're linking up with Homegrown Learners and Collage Friday!

This week we enjoyed our first ever American Girl Book Club meeting through Currclick!  It's really quite neat!  It takes place online, the teacher is the only one on camera and mic, and the participants respond through a chat box.  It was a different experience for Miss Rosalinda.

The way it works is that Rosalinda has a month to read the selected book (although the teacher does a great job of creating questions that anyone can answer for people that don't remember or didn't get a chance to read the book).

She is provided with a handout of the questions ahead of time.  We've decided we're going to try and write them out ahead of time since she's not a proficient typist.  The handout also included a recipe for a snack (we didn't make it this time because it was a meal, but in the future I'll prepare it for the meeting) and a craft.

They club discusses the book as a group and the teacher shows additional pictures and materials that compliment themes in the book.

This month was "Changes for Kit."  Kit is a young lady during the Great Depression.  The teacher showed pictures of actual nomadic families and hobo camps.  Nothing graphic, but it helped Rosalinda to see the realness of the time and the things that Kit experienced in the book.  It was a great extension of an already great message.

Then the teacher's daughter takes over the webcam and shows the girls how to start the craft.  This month was felt mittens and hat.  In the book Kit receives new winter mittens and hat made from her father's coat.  One of the lessons Kit has learned through all the books is the importance of not being wasteful and is actually relieved to find that her mittens and hat aren't new when she knows there are other needs of the family.

I had hoped to have finished pictures of Rosalinda's mittens and hat, but she has yet to start them. (We've had a busy week.)

~Collage Friday was first see on Homegrown Learners~

Whatever Girls Challenge: Leaving A Legacy

This week's Whatever Girl challenge was for mom to write a letter to their daughters about the legacies they wanted to leave behind.  Shari Miller wrote a post "Leaving a Legacy-Being Intentional" to kick us off.

I've been procrastinating waiting all week to start my letter because the answer to "What legacy do I want to leave my daughter" was unanswered and sat awkwardly in my stomach.

I have always been intentional in the things I do with and for my daughter, usually providing explanations for her in hopes that she'd use the same rationale on future decisions.  So, you would think I would already have an articulate idea of what legacy I was trying to pass to my daughter.  Well...not so.

Thankfully the Holy Spirit spoke to me and reminded me that I have nothing without my Father.  And the only legacy worth passing down is a spiritual one.

Here is my letter to my dear daughter (who will be 11 in two weeks!):

My Dearest Rose,
 My Whatever Girls challenge as to write you a letter about the legacy I want to leave for you.
What is a legacy?  Something handed down from period of time to the next.  What better legacy could I share with you than the one God has designed for us?
As you grow into an amazing woman of God, the only lasting marks I can hope to have made are a mind set on heavenly things, a mind that isn't tied to the cares of this world, a heart molded by God to love others and open to receive love, a will that mirrors Christ's and holds steadfast to His promises, and a dedication to growing closer to God and His heart.
I hope to help inspire you to be bold in your faith and sure in God's love for you.
Galations 2.20 - I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no long I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Zephaniah 3.17 - The Lord your God is in your midst, a might one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
I pray that my time spent with you on this world has encouraged you to be who God has called you to be.  That you identity is not in how your mother raised you, but in Christ who saved you.
I love you Rose!  But never as much as your Savior!

What legacy do you want to leave your children?

 How do you go about leaving that legacy?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Muddy Rose and Rosalinda Make Headlines AGAIN!

I'm sure you can tell by now, that I'm a very proud mama!  My Rosalinda and I have been given an awesome opportunity to build up her business, Muddy Rose.  You can see Muddy Rose's birthday here.  It was followed by an encouraging interview by Erin Bishop at Whatever Girls and Rosalinda being their first ever "Girl of Note."

Soon after, Erin invited Rosalinda to be a vendor and participant at their conference in Spokane, Washington (1,799 miles away)!

After that announcement, Rosalinda and I have been working on finding ways to put Muddy Rose to work to raise the funds we'll need to take Muddy Rose to Washington in April 2014.

Our efforts put us in contact with Holly Nelson, CEO and President of 2 Computer Chicks.  She not only gave Rosalinda an interview, but gave her some much appreciated encouragement in continuing with her entrepreneurial spirit.

The interview published today and showcases my child's heart and mind concerning business, homeschooling, and more!  Check it out!

Do you have a family business?  If there were no obstacles, what business would you love to have?  Or already have?  If you're an entrepreneur, what advice would you give someone starting their own business?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Our First Day!

We had our first day of fifth grade on Monday!

One of our traditions is to wear a new pair of pjs in celebration of homeschool freedom!

We took it easy this first week.  She is only doing three subjects: math, language arts/spelling, and history.  We are also reading a chapter a day together...we're starting with Mr. Popper's Penguin and have been really enjoying it.  Our day was super short and really laid back.  Next week we'll pick up our virtue study, art, and science.  I'm so excited.  We are also preparing for our first Currclicks Live American Girl Book Club.  That post should be Thursday, after Rosalinda has hopefully finished the craft, lol.

How did your first day go?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Our DIY Student Planner!

I finally got it done!  I originally wanted to do my own, but after some frustrating attempts, I ended up purchasing a planner on sale.  However, I did want to go ahead and personalize one for my child.

Some of the pages are gracious freebies from other and some are mine!  I was a little disadvantaged.  My laptop is on its deathbed, so I've been sharing with Rosalinda.  Her laptop doesn't have my beloved Publisher.  Also, I didn't realize that I was almost out of yellow ink, and I have one of those Epson printers that requires all the colors to operate, so I kept everything black and white.  But a had a bunch of colored paper and coordinated months with that.  Also, I figured in the near future I could purchase some craft tape and let her "washi" it up! :)

1: Cover: It is a piece of scrapbook paper that I let her pick out and cut to size.  After I trimmed it, I ran it through the printer and added her name and year.

2. Academic Calender: It is downloaded and printed from The Flander's Family

3. Monthly Overview: It was downloaded and printed from The Home School Mom

 (I would've preferred to make my own, but without my beloved Microsoft, I was ecstatic she shared these!)

4. Student Monthly Progress Report: It was downloaded and printed from Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus

 Last year I had an "Effort Rubric" posted to help Rosalinda evaluate how much effort she was giving in everything she did.  I plan on using this to help reinforce those principles I was teaching her

5.Goal Sheet: I downloaded and printed it from About.com

6. Weekly Prayer List/Whatever Girl Challenge: I made this one in Google Drive

7. Weekly Planner: I can't find where I originally got this from.  If you recognize it, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due!

8. Book Report Alternatives: I compiled a list of book report alternatives for us to use to expand her reading  experience.  Our bedtime schedule has 30 minutes of reading built in before lights out to make sure that it makes it into the day.  She will pick one of these activities and complete it when she finishes a book of her choice.

9. Suggested Reading List:  Rosalinda has always been a strong reader, so I grabbed a reading list for the next grade and listed suggestions.  One thing we're going try out this year is reading a chapter out loud together before we jump into our studies.  That way I can get some classics in her without having to assign them.  I'll probably pull from this list as well.  The list originally came from Vestia Hill (usually I don't list PDF's, but since it's a school site, I figured this would be best)

10. Reading Log: It was a gem taken from Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus.  I love the genre codes!

11. Summer Bucket List: This came from A Lil Lily Blog.  I wanted to transition into summer with some brainstorming!

Back: I just laminated another piece of colored card stock and was done!

I will list up the line up as if you had the book open and were looking at the left and right pages spread out.

Academic Planner -- Monthly Overview for August
Student Monthly Progress Report -- My Goals
Prayer List/Whatever Girls Weekly Challenge -- Weekly Planner (however many weeks for that month)
Doodles & Thoughts -- Monthly Overview for next month (September) AND REPEAT

After the last week of May I have

Doodles & Thoughts -- Book Report Alternatives
Suggested Reading List -- Reading Logs (multiple pages)
(last) Reading Log -- Summer Bucket List 
Back cover

I can't wait to give it to Rosalinda and to let her personalize it!

Do you make your own planner for you or your child(ren)?  Share your diy planner blog post, tips, secrets with us!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Crazy Happenings and Why You Should Be Going to the Whatever Girls Live Conference

We have a lot of things going on around here!  A week ago I shared a post over at Whatever Girls that featured Rosalinda as a "Girl of Note" and promoting her new business, Muddy Rose.

That interview turned into an invitation to attend the 2014 Whatever Girls Live conference not only for us as a mother-daughter, but also for Muddy Rose to be a vendor!  They only expense to us being travel!  *Praising the Lord*

Now we're currently looking into opportunities for Rosalinda to showcase her business and earn money to be able to make the 1,799 mile trip and the three nights stay at a hotel.  How amazing is that?!?!  What an opportunity!

Now, we aren't the only ones that should planning this trip.

Do you have a tween/teen daughter?

Do you want your girl to learn who to be through Christ and not their peers?

Do you want your girl to be empowered with truth about purity, self-image, and opposite-sex relationships?

Do you want them to know that they are not alone when it comes to honoring God?

Do you want to bond with them?

Do you, as a mom, want to be empowered to parent intentionally, and not in the heat of the moment?

Do you, as a mom, want to gain hope and encouragement for those times when you are discouraged and overwhelmed?

Do you, as a mom, want to learn how to be free from those negative struggles with shame, fear, and expectation?

Then you should meet us there!!!

And if cost is the only thing holding you back...seek His face and know that money is such a small thing to such a big God!

Also, the conference website lists some fundraising ideas to help you out.

You have 7 months to get it planned and organized.

Don't let this be something you wished you had done with your daughter.

Let it be an experience that neither one of you will forget!

We hope to see you there!

*I received nothing in return for this post.  I simply want everyone to know of this amazing resource and hope to see you all in Spokane, Washington in April, enjoying the girl that God gave you, as I will be!*

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's the Little Things

As a single-mom who homeschools, I'm very sensitive to making sure I do it with God's blessing.  It's something too important and too dear to my heart and risk "messing up."

So I am constantly looking for His validation and confirmations that we're on the right path.  Sometimes it comes in an influx of encouragement, Rosalinda being overly excited and verbalizing how thankful she is to be a homeschooler...


I bought all of our school supplies ahead of time.  I can appreciate tax-free weekend and am happy that so many people benefit from it, but I'm not one to fight crowds, so as soon as Target put it out, I got what we needed.

The only staple supplies that I didn't get and did want to catch on sale were binders.  I usually need four or five 1-inch or 2-inch binders for notebooking and collecting other papers that result from our daily fun.

I also was in need of multicolored pens to coordinate my yearly planner.  A few days after getting my supplies, I was HEB getting groceries and perusing the aisle of everything-a-kid-would-need-and-not-need for school and saw the cutest two-toned binders for $1.49!  Jackpot!

I pick up my pens, get to the checkout only to find that they were mismarked and were actually closer to $5 a piece.  I had to send them back to their shelf. :(

That night, as I sat down to do my yearly plan, I realized that the clerk must've also pulled out the pens and some other supplies to put back on the shelf, but they were still on my receipt.  So at 11 o'clock at night, I trekked my way back to HEB to grab the stuff I needed to get started on my current project.

I explained to the manager what happened, showed him my receipt, and thankfully he said it wouldn't be a problem to go get my supplies.  We walked together to get the pens and whatever else it was that I had already paid for.  Then he asked me to him the binders so he could see why the pricing was confusing.  So I did.

"Do you still want them?"

"Well, I had like 5 in my cart."

"But do you still want them?  I'll ring you up myself and you can have them for the $1.49."


"Ok, grab the colors you want and meet me at a register."

I quickly grabbed the binders and followed him to a register.

My $25+ total was reduced to a little over $7!

Now my girl has the cool binders she wanted, I got cool-mom points with my tween, and I was blessed with almost $20 in savings!

You know, it's the little things that remind me that God's hand is actively in my life.

What "little" or even BIG things has He done for you lately?  If you homeschool, how does He encourage you?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Our Whatever Girls Weekly Challenge

We don't always meet the challenge, but when we do, we're pretty doggone proud of ourselves.

This week, the challenge (you can find the on the Whatever Girls Facebook page) was to follow the Sewing Seeds: Reversible Headband Tutorial and enjoy making it with your girl!

We had a blast yesterday making it.  Rosalinda even had a friend over that got in on the fun!

Share with us your Whatever Girl Challenge adventures, or tell us what you've been up to lately with any of your children!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Girls of Note - Muddy Rose's First Interview

Miss Rosalinda was asked a few weeks ago to do an interview with Erin Bishop of Whatever Girls.

Today her feature was published!

You can hop over to Whatever Girls and check it out!

And if you have a tween or teen daughter, and didn't know, Whatever Girls is kicking off its first annual Whatever Girls Live Conference April 25-27, 2014!  Start planning now and don't miss out on some awesome fellowship, empowering words of encouragements to your girl and you as a mom, bonding time for mom and daughter, and so much more!

(BTW, if cost is a concern...check out their fundraiser ideas under the "Our Community" drop down menu!)

So excited!!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Recouped and Revved! & Our Fifth Grade Routine

Sorry it's been a little while.  I spent a week being sick, a week on vacation, and a week writing out our entire school year plans.

I am too psyched about starting school in two weeks!  I think I've already stated this, but when we decided to homeschool, I thought sticking to the public school scheduled would work best since her father's visitation (as spotty as it may be) was setup around that schedule.  I figured it would create the least amount of confusion and it would prevent me from being accused of making it hard for him to see her.

That said, our school district starts August 26th, so we're gearing up for the same start date! :)

This year I was going to create my own planner, but ended up caving and buying A Simple Plan: 2013-2014 Planner for the Homeschooling Family from Mardels during their teacher sales days.  (Praise Him for not paying full price!)

Review to Come!

After writing out a weekly view, I did our daily view and got a good feel for how to span our work throughout the week.  I've even had some preview talks with Miss Rosalinda and she just might be getting the bug too!

Here is our fifth grade schedule!

Rosalinda will also have Lego Club one Monday a month, American Girl Book Club once a month, and Collecting Commas (Creative Writing Club) every Thursday.

How's your lesson planning going?  Anything new and exciting you're throwing into the mix?