Christmas in our Homeschool 2015

Just when the kids in traditional school are getting all excited about having a break from classes and lessons, here I am in our homeschool getting all excited about the extra fun learning activities we can do this time of year! Our Classical Conversations group has the rest of the year off and will start back up in January, so we have one more day at home for the next few weeks. That always makes this introverted, homebody of a mom happy! It means we can relax a little on our memory work, reviewing a little here and there while we take a break from learning new material. It also means we have more time for our other lessons and activities.

I recently joined a new facebook group that stemmed out of the Periscope videos by Julie Bogart of It is primarily a group of homeschool moms seeking to support one another and share encouragement and resources. One of the other members challenged some of us to do daily Scopes on different topics throughout the past week. (If you do not know what Periscope is, essentially, it is live video with chat. I don’t want to go too far off topic, so I won’t go into it any more than that today.) I really wanted to scope Friday because she asked what we were doing in our homeschool for December. My day just was not condusive to that, however, so I decided to blog about it instead!

Here is my short list:
Jesse Tree devotions and decorations
Making GF cut out cookies/gingerbread cookies
Reading Christmas poems/stories
Watching the Nutcracker Ballet

As I posted earlier in the month, we are doing a Jesse Tree for Advent. This replaces our Bible lessons this month, and it is the first thing we do each day for school. Here is a poorly lit photo of the decorations we have up on our mini-tree so far!


I think next week Little J and I will be making some Gluten-free cut-out cookies, probably gingerbread because those are just tastier than plain old sugar cookies. I have used this recipe from Gluten Free On a Shoestring before and liked the end result. I think J will enjoy decorating some Gingerbread men of his own, and maybe while they are baking we will read a version of the story of the Gingerbread Man. (That is about as unit-study-ish as we get around here, folks!) Since it is just our little family here for the holidays, I do not go all out on baking treats. We really do not need all that sugar anyway.


On days when we do not feel much like doing book work, I plan to read some Christmas poetry and other holiday stories and such that I found in some children’s literature anthologies we have on our bookshelves. Just the other day we read an interesting story called “Christmas in the Piney Woods” by Charlie May Simon. It is set in the Arkansas woods and features a little girl who wishes for a baby doll for Christmas and gets a different surprise instead! I am wondering if it is an excerpt from a larger volume, but I have not taken the time to research that. We found the story in our set of Childcraft books (circa 1961) that my grandmother passed on to me. IMG_2519

Today I have been feeling poorly (just a chest cold combined with lack of sleep!), so Little J and I sat down and watched the Nutcracker Ballet together. I have only watched two variations in their entirity online, but my favorite is this one starring Mikhail Barishnakov and Gelsey Kirkland. It is just such a classic, and the dancing can’t be beat, even though it is missing a few of the dances! But this time I decided to share the New York Ballet’s version with him, since it has children dancing and a bit more narration. He seemed to enjoy it and was following along in the book we have that also tells the story of the ballet. Now he is coloring a nutcracker paper doll/puppet that I found as a free printable here, and when it is finished we will assemble it.


So, there you have it–our homeschool plans for this December! I would love for you to leave a comment telling me one special activity you and your family will be doing this Christmas season!

Another year comes to an end


Seems like I’m still getting used to 2012, and now it is just hours from being 2013! Oh well…it has been a year of many ups and downs for me, and I am looking forward to more ups than downs in the coming year!

We had a good Christmas holiday visiting family. Little J was especially thrilled with all the lights and decorations. We had to take down our tree a bit early so that the cats would not destroy it while we were away for Christmas, and he still talks about it every day. I think he misses it! We had a big snowstorm here Christmas night, and our house got about 14 inches! That is a lot for Southern Illinois! A couple of days later we got 6-8 more inches, so we had quite the winter wonderland outside then! Just beautiful…


Little J doesn’t really like the snow so much, though. I think it we hadn’t had quite so much he might have enjoyed playing in it, but since he is so short he can’t walk in it. And his mittens kept falling off so his hands got cold and wet very quickly. So we decided to just come in and enjoy looking at the snow from the comfort of the indoors.


I didn’t spend much time crocheting while we were away, but I did manage to get this darling little set made and listed just a few days ago. It sold so quickly that I didn’t even have time to blog about it! I decided to go ahead and relist it as a made to order item, and I hope to get more orders for these little sets this year! It seems that my boys crochet hats and sets have been quite popular, so I will be focussing on expanding that section of my shop more in 2013.

Baby Newsboy Cap and Bow Tie 


Well, I wish I had more time and brain power to write, but Little J is calling to my from the other room. I think he wants me to play peek a boo with him while he pops in and out of a big box. :p It’s the little things that make a toddler’s day!

Happy New Year to you all!

New This Week!

I’ve been spending alot of time working on my Etsy shop this week, and along with retaking some photos, I also listed a couple of new items! They are just in time for cooler weather, too! These two new scarves were crocheted (by me, of course) using my Greensleeves Crochet Scarf pattern. They are super soft, super long, and super stylish! And the best part is that even though they are brand new items, they are starting at 50% OFF full price as part of my “Make Way for Baby” Clearance Sale!

Blue Skies Crocheted Scarf


Cranberry Fields Crocheted Scarf


I do hope you will stop by the shop and see what else is new. Once the baby arrives, I will put the shop on vacation for a little while so that we can really focus on enjoying our “babymoon.” But when I come back, I’m hoping to make some changes to my product line and general shop appearance. So if there is something you think you might want to buy, hurry on over and snatch it up while you still can! 😉

Technicolor Love

As promised, here at last are photos of my fun and crazy Techinolor Love Multicolor Heart Scarf in all it’s glory! It was such fun to make that I now am trying to figure out what other random colored balls of yarn from my stash might go together. I think it would be nice to do one in black, white and gray and call it “Monochrome Love.” But I’m not sure I have enough of those yarns. Right now I’m playing with a bit of super soft and fuzzy yarn to make a moebius scarf. But more about that some other day.





I’m so happy with it…what do you think? 🙂

The Perfect Hat

Cable Hat 1

I am totally in love with this Cable Hat! I finished it last night, and when I put it on I didn’t want to take it off again! I went down a hook size, and it fits perfectly. The cables look great, and the ribbing finished of the edge nicely. I did alter the pattern a bit, leaving off the last two rows of ribbing and changing the method used to join each round. I don’t know quite how to explain what I did, but instead of making the ch2 then hiding it behind a fpdc, I shifted the join back one stitch so that each round I did a ch2 where a bpdc should have been. This makes the join virtually invisible and avoids that extra bump you’ll get if you stick the ch2 behind the first fpdc. Does that make any sense at all?

Anyway, I have to give kuddos to for another great pattern! If you want to see more pics of my version, check my Ravelry page…my id there is: CocoaCream. Now I’m in the process of reworking the Divine Hat from yesterday’s post. I decided since the Cable Hat worked out so well in a smaller hook size, that one probably would be better, too. I’m not quite finished yet, but I can tell I’ll be happier with the results. The stitches feel much more snug, and the hat seems to be holding its shape better than before.

 Well, off to do more crocheting, web-surfing and other fun Sunday afternoon sort of stuff…then it’s back to church tonight! Hope you have a blessed evening!

Divine Hat

I’ve been working away on my Trench Coat, and I’m making lots of progress…but at this stage in the project I needed a break from the large scale project to do a little quick crocheting. I found the perfect thing while reading The Kidney Bean’s blog…winter hats! Here in Texas I don’t really use winter hats much, but when visiting relatives in the North I always wish I had one or two. So, I decided to try out the patterns Laura used.

Divine Hat 2

The first one I made was the Divine Hat, pattern found here. This worked up soooo fast with the big hook, but now I wish I would have followed Laura’s example and used a size or two smaller because it is a bit too big for me. I left off the last row of ribbing just so it wouldn’t cover my eyes! I am thinking of frogging it and redoing the hat with a smaller hook, but I just had to finish it and be done for now. I love the design, though. It looks lacy, but it’s still warm.

The second hat is also from…this time the Cable Hat. I love that crocheters can do cables, too! I can’t knit, but I just love the look of cables! I’m just starting, but it’s coming along nicely. And I did go down one hook size for this one, so hopefully it will have a nice, snug fit when finished.

Cable Hat WIP

Oh, and I learned a new technique doing these hats! The patterns do not include a starting chain, so I decided to look up the adjustable ring that everyone is always talking about. And I am hooked! I used Donna’s tutorial on Crochet Me, and it was the perfect thing to start these hats. I see many uses for this technique in my future!

Well, I have much, much more to blog about and get done on the internet…so off I go!