Thursday, August 27, 2015


One of my passions is being a volunteer!  I love volunteering.  Volunteers are some of the most selfless people on the planet because they do the job for free, because they believe in the cause, because they want to make the world a better place.

I came across a great post today about volunteering.  Following are 9 inspirational quotes about volunteering (source: Engaging Volunteers - 9 Quotes to Inspire Your Volunteers (and Yourself) by Tessa Srebro):

Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it. Remember, you don’t live in the world all of your own.”
~Albert Schweitzer

Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”~Martin Luther King, Jr.

You can study government and politics in school, but the best way to really understand the process is to volunteer your time.”~Rob McKenna

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”~Elizabeth Andrew

“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”~Winston Churchill

“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.”~Erma Bombeck

You may not have saved a lot of money in your life, but if you have saved a lot of heartaches for other folks, you are a pretty rich man.”~Seth Parker

Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in”.~Author Unknown

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”~Oscar Wilde

My favorite quote of all time regarding volunteers:

"There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer." - Lt. Col. James Doolittle, quoted after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. 

Let's take a look at some volunteers:

Red Cross Volunteer

Salvation Army Volunteers

Habitat for Humanity Volunteers

Boy/Cub Scout Volunteers

Girl Scout Volunteer

And let's not forget about these volunteers!
Get out there!  Volunteer!
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Girl Scout Camping

Girl Scouting is a HUGE part of our lives.  I have been a Girl Scout leader since my older daughters (now in their 20s) were in 4th grade!  Now, our youngest daughter (and last child) is in Scouts. 
This past weekend, my troop went on their first camping trip together.  Some girls had experience with camping already by going on family camping trips.  For others, though, this was their first time camping at all.
Girl Scouts is all about safety so there is a progression that girls and leaders must follow before they get to primitive tent camping.  The first step is "cabin" camping which is what we did here.
We're off!  A few of the girls and me as we struck out for our weekend adventures. 

Don't think guys can be Girl Scout leaders?  Think again!  "Army" makes a great Girl Scout leader and he's man enough to do it!  Here, he's teaching the girls (and leaders) about finding their "pace count" before showing them how to use compass skills to find their way.
During our outdoor lessons, the girls discovered this baby box turtle.    They named him Snappy!

We had an awesome Camp Ranger who taught the girls about growing foods, sustainable energy sources, and raising animals like chickens and pigs.  Here, he's showing them the difference between fresh eggs and those bought at the grocery store.

Girl Scouting is about learning new skills and camping is no different!  The girls are required to plan their own menus for the weekend, cook it, serve it, and clean up afterwards.  Here, this patrol is preparing our Friday night dinner of hot dogs, french fries, and fruit salad.

The last day.  The rain held off until we were packing up on Sunday morning!  With everyone dressed in their rain gear, we packed it up and headed home.  The leaders were exhausted!

16 Photos I find BEAUTIFUL

I may have mentioned in one of my previous posts that I love to make lists.  So, here's one for you!  This is a list of 20 photos that I find absolutely beautiful.  Do you agree?

1.  First and foremost, Jesus.  This is a painting by Akiane, the girl, who at the age of 4 painted this portrait of Jesus after she experienced death.  If you don't know her story, read it here.

2.  I've had this photo in my Pinterest pics for a long time.  I simply find this photo to be beautiful.


3.  I love pics of animals (as you'll see).  This one spoke to me.  I love the contrast of the blue eyes against the black and white.
4.  Paris.  Ahhh, Paris.  I love Paris and I love vintage things.  This is both. 

5.  I love sunflowers.  Sunflowers follow the sun and, to me, are absolutely beautiful.  For me, they are symbolic of following the Son.

6.  I  may have mentioned that I love animal pics so you might see a couple of these.  This is such a sweet photo.  The loyalty of some animals is to be commended and admired.
 7.  This is one of my ultimate views.  I'm a mountain girl at heart having grown up in the Rockies.  Simple, peaceful, beautiful.

 8.  I love the colors in this photo.  God gives us such beautiful things to look at.

9.  I love Dobermans.  Despite what they are typically portrayed as, Dobermans are actually sweet, loving animals.  I love this photo.

10.  I love this photo of our American icon. 

11.  This flower is so beautiful.  I love the stark white against the deep purple and the little splash of yellow. 
12.  This just speaks to me for some reason.

13.  The craftsmanship that went into building this staircase is amazing!  It's stunning.

14.  This looks so peaceful and quiet to me.  A place I could just sit, relax, and be.

15.  Love the colorful bricks on this walkway!

16.  This photo is extremely beautiful to me.  It speaks volumes!
I could list a myriad of other beautiful photos, but that could take all day!
I would love to see what you think is beautiful.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

10 Things I believe

I don't know about you but I love seeing (or reading about) what others are doing or what they are interested in.  I think it's that insatiable human curiosity that drives us to wonder about others.   That's why we spend countless hours on social media, right?  People are actually curious about us, too.  Imagine that.

So, in light of that....   here are 10 things that I believe (in case you were curious).

I believe that lists are good!  I'm a lister, a scheduler, a planner.  Lists help me stay on track and keep me organized.  You know that proverbial "box" that everyone tells you think outside of?  Well, I LIKE the box!  Don't get me wrong, though.  I do like jumping outside of it now and then.

I believe Fall is the best season.  I love Fall.  Fall is beautiful.  The weather turns cool.  There is no more mugginess or knats!  The leaves turn all sorts of bright colors.  Fall is when the comfort food comes out - soups, stews, chilis.   I love sitting on my front porch in my wooden swing (ok, I would if I had one) and sipping a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.  Oh, yes.  Fall is good.

I believe integrity is the best character trait.  If you have integrity, everything else will fall into place.
I believe you get more with sugar than with vinegar.  It's not always to easy to keep my mouth shut or to say something nice.  In fact, it sometimes goes against the very grain of my being.  However, I've found this to be true more often than not!

However, a good bout of temper is healthy.  Let's face it - a good temper tantrum does us good sometimes.   As long as no one gets hurt, of course!  

I believe juicing is a great health benefit.  I've proven this to myself and to my husband who was skeptical at first.  We love juicing and how it makes us feel!

You must love yourself first.  I had to learn this the hard way.  It took me many years to figure it out but once I did interesting things started to happen in my life.  Sometimes I forget but I always go back to it!  It's SO important!

You must treat yourself now and then.  I'm not just talking about chocolate here (although that's always a good method)!  I'm talking about whatever it is that brings peace to your soul.  Could be a shopping spree, a quiet room with a good book, a spa day....or a box of chocolates you buy for yourself.  Whatever it is, do it!

Bachelor in Paradise is a meat market.  'Nuff said.

I believe in ghosts.  Yes, I do!  I've seen them with my own eyes.  I've seen them while in the presence of another person that I trust (my mother).  However, I don't believe they are necessarily evil like the tv shows depict.  I've never once had an encounter where the ghost was evil.  They were simply there.  And most of them looked very similar to this picture - a solid white mist. The ones I saw were actually less transparent than this.  They were more solid but still misty. Although, the ghost in my parent's house is a solid black mist.  

So, these are some of the things I believe.  I would love to know what yours are!

Hodge Podge Blog

So, if you're reading my blog you may have noticed that there are some things that don't quite match up.  My blog button doesn't match the theme.  If you're anal like me, this might drive you just slightly crazy.

I apologize!!!!!

Over the next month or so I'll be rebranding my blog, so please bear with me.....

Monday, August 10, 2015

Our Classroom for 2015-16

Today's the day we start school!  Our daughter has been so excited about it.  I figured I would post some pictures of our classroom for this year. 
We've had some changes since last year's classroom post.  Last year, we had access to our basement.  However, one of our sons moved back in with us so he now occupies that space.  So, we're using the dining room as our classroom.
This will change again next year as we're in a rental house right now.  Long story - maybe for another post. 
But, here it is for now:
I've used just about every inch of available wall space.  This looks into our kitchen.  I made the letters with my Cricut (which I love!).   This wall is not quite finished.  I plan to put some inspirational posters in the blank space. 
The small blank space to the left of the white board will hold a smaller white board.  This will be our "Twitter" section where A can write anything she wants for the day - a thought, expression, question, etc.
Below is our book shelf.   I'm limited to one right now as we have limited space.  For now, it holds what we need.  The black mesh basket on the top shelf holds my cutouts and things for future bulletin boards.  The second shelf holds various books and reference material we may need.  The third shelf holds our curriculum and school binders.  The next one down holds our library books and other binders I need for various other outside activities that I'm involved in (homeschool group and Girl Scouts).  The two box containers on the bottom holds our hole punchers and various things.
This is A's reading log that she is required to fill out everyday.  It's posted on the side of the white bookshelf.  I made the blue letters with my Cricut.  The background paper is simply 12x12 scrapbook paper. 
Below is what I like to call our bulletin walls.  I like to post things in each section that are relevant to that subject - obviously!  These are not finished!   Soon, a poster of the presidents will go in the History section as we're doing a lot of government stuff this year.  The bottom portions of the sections will be for her to display her work if she chooses.

The "Popcorn Sentences" is my bulletin board for the English section on a different wall.  I love having these visuals for her!  And for me.  I make most of this with my Cricut.  The blue background is a cheap plastic tablecloth from the dollar store!  Who needs expensive butcher paper?


So, this is the entire English wall.  Below the blue bulletin board we have a dry-erase calendar that we got from the dollar store.  She marks through the days as they pass.  Next to that is just a little anchor chart on "main ideas."  Below the calendar is a Word Collection flipbook that I made using Dinah Zike's Big Book of Books.  When A comes across a word, she can write it in the appropriate section.  It comes off the wall easily.  It's hung using small black paper clips with a ring through it.  The rings are hung on thumb tacks.  Next to that is a "Grammar Guide" anchor chart that lists examples of adverbs, adjectives, etc.   The Word Wall..... oh, I love this!  This will be used with our curriculum and will change as we work through the chapters.  She will list vocabulary words here.  We used a piece of plexiglass that we had cut to our specifications so that it is dry-erase.  I simply glued scrapbook paper to the back of it and used Command strips to hang it.
This is the overall view of our classroom/dining room.  Still a work in progress but I love it, for now.  I dream of the day when we can have a dedicated room - but, this works well for us now.
By the way, I've learned to stop apologizing for our dining room when we have guests over.  This is our life.  Why apologize?! 
Thursday, August 6, 2015

Terrible Blogger!

I have to admit - I'm a terrible blogger.  I have the greatest intentions of keeping up with it and I usually have a lot of great ideas.  Getting it from my head to the screen, however, is another matter entirely.  I see all these really, super cool blogs out there from really, super cool bloggers and I wonder, "how do they do it?" 

If you scroll down a bit you'll notice my last post was, like, over a year ago!  But hey, I had really good intentions.....

So, I'm testing myself to see if I can keep it up this year.  We're always crazy busy but I'm a scheduler - I like to schedule things.  Having a schedule is good.  For me.  For my sanity.  We're homeschoolers so that alone takes up a lot of time.  But we're also a BIG Girl Scout family.  I have a very active troop with a lot of very active girls.  I also help support my hubby (I don't even want to think about HIS schedule because that makes me have heart palpatations!).

Just give me some chocolate and it will be ok....

Stay tuned.....