Archive for the ‘Baby Stuff’ Category

Life of Fred   Leave a comment

Elisebeth is good at math. It is not a struggle for her. But she struggles with it. She doesn’t like the repetitious nature of it. She finds most math curricula boring. It becomes a fight to get her to do it. But she loves Life of Fred. I feel like it’s not enough though, so I’ve started looking around for coordinating printables or activities or something. There were a few sites where I found some extra activities for the early chapters of Apples. I found some cute generic notebooking pages to go with the first two sets of books. But I didn’t really find anyone that had done a consistent job of gathering activities and printables to go with the whole series. So I think I’m going to tackle it. I don’t know that I’ll be 100% consistent about getting things posted (or even figured out). But there appears to maybe be a need for it and I’m going to be hunting for the stuff anyway, so I might as well post it. She’s already on Chapter 10 of Apples, so that’s where I’ll start. But since I found stuff for the earlier chapters, I’ll link some stuff here just to get things started.

Life of Fred – Apples

LIfe of Fred fans Facebook

Overview of the Series – If you scroll down, there is a listing of topics by book.

Apples-themed notebooking pages – Scroll to the bottom of the post where she links to the pages for the first four books.

Some overall ideas for use with the book

Is Life of Fred enough? (includes information about things that are good to add on)

Teaching Money with LoF. This includes free printables to use as you go through at least the first four books.

An interesting post about math journals (with lots of other links and info).

Chapter One

An excellent example of activities to go along with the book from Noah’s Ark Homeschool. These are actually exactly what I’m thinking of doing, but she stops at Chapter 8.

Peanut Butter and Prosecco

Chapter Two

Another Noah’s Ark LoF lesson.

Peanut Butter and Prosecco

Chpater Three

Another Noah’s Ark LoF lesson.

Chapter Four

Another Noah’s Ark LoF lesson.

Chapter Five

Another Noah’s Ark Lof lesson.

Chapter Six

Another Noah’s Ark LoF lesson.

Chapter Seven

Another Noah’s Ark LoF lesson. 

Chapter Eight

The last Noah’s Ark LoF lesson.


Aaaaand I’m Back!   Leave a comment

So I’m back, in more ways than one. I’m back writing, and I’m also back at my free WordPress site. It was an interesting foray into paying for hosting and all that, but it was too much pressure. Pressure to keep to a set schedule to try to build a following so that I could maybe make money from the site in order to pay for the hosting I couldn’t afford. Pressure to write, even when I didn’t feel like I had anything to say, because there was a bill to pay now. I greatly prefer free, where I can write when I need to speak, and not worry about it when life gets crazy or I feel like I have nothing to contribute.

I spent a few hours yesterday moving as many posts from the last two years as I could get. I didn’t get a backup saved before my hosting expired, so I had to use the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to retrieve the posts from old copies. There were still a few I couldn’t get. And most of them with pictures no longer have them. But somewhere on my netbook I know I have them all, so I’ll find them and put them back eventually. Maybe. I may just call it good enough that I retrieved all that writing.

It’s been a very tough couple years. I’ve learned what it truly means to trust God to provide for your family. And what it truly means to surrender your future to Him. I’ve had moments of profound thankfulness that I homeschool, and moments where I wondered if it was the right thing when our life has been so hectic. But that same craziness that made me wonder if my daughter would fare better with the regularity of public school, would have meant changing schools enough times that it would have been even more traumatic. I pray that our life will be mostly restored soon, but I know that in some things, we still have a long way to go.

A quick look at the last couple years:

September 2012 – My husband, under the leading of God, quit his job. A debt collector, attempting to collect on one of our medical debts, garnished our bank account (i.e. wiped it out), causing us to be behind on our house payment. Despite turning in over $3000 worth of past due bills to his 401(k) in an attempt to receive funds for economic hardship, they approved around $300. That didn’t even catch up the house, much less the utilities that were near being shut off. When he quit his job, we were able to cash out his 401(k) and catch everything up. We hoped this would be a short time of unemployment, since we were being obedient to God and he’d been working for 8 years there, so we figured he had established himself as reliable.

20130413_142226January 2013 – We ran out of 401(k) money. Thankfully, we were able to get our taxes done quickly and with our large refund, we floated a few more months.

May 2013 – Despite our best efforts, we lost our house. We moved out and into a house with my father-in-law. It’s actually a little bit painful to look back at posts from our old house. There were problems with it, but it was ours, you know? I cried as we drove away for the last time.

July 2013 – After a mass of crazy paperwork stuff, we got my husband’s pension money. Our tax refund had run out in May. We got the money just in time to pay rent on the new place we’d been living with my father-in-law (he’d covered our first month there).

August 2013 – We discovered that I was pregnant. In July 2012, we had felt God calling us to let him be in charge of our family size and He had promised us a son. I was beginning to think the promised son may be a long way off when I started being fatigued and occasionally nauseous. I ignored it for several weeks until my husband insisted that I was pregnant. I took a test. It was positive. Very few members of our family met the news with happiness.

October 2013 – The pension money was gone. We were going to lose yet another place to live. I prayed nonstop for God to keep us from being homeless. Nothing happened. Then, I owned up to my fear of homelessness. I gave God control and acknowledged that even if we became homeless, He could still care for us. The hymn, Have Thine Own Way, Lord, grew exponentially more meaningful.

November 2013 – In the midst of moving, after 13 months of unemployment, my husband finally got a new job. As a pizza delivery driver, making less than minimum wage part time. I was struggling with fatigue and morning sickness and my husband was working every hour he could get as we tried to pack and find a place to go with no income to pay for it.

December 2013 – A member of our church family took us in temporarily. Our landlord, feeling that we had taken too long to move (despite the fact that she never evicted us or gave us a deadline to get out), changed the locks on the home we were leaving. She refused to allow us to get the rest of our belongings. The value of the belongings was such that we will require a lawyer to take he to court in order to resolve this. We have yet to find a lawyer.

We also have yet to find a plElijah Paulace to live. We applied with public housing, but have made very little progress. On April 1, 2014, we welcomed our promised son into the world. Elijah Paul is the spitting image of his big brother. Unlike his big brother, he has a working thyroid (and that is literally the second question people asked after what he weighed and such). He is a very calm and mellow baby who took to breastfeeding right away. He has brought me such immense joy.

So, we’re still technically homeless. Or maybe it’s technically not homeless. I’m not sure. And when we get a place, we will have no dishes or pots and pans. We lost a large portion of our school supplies and all of the children’s books. But we have our family, and we’re healthy, and in the last 7 months, my husband went from delivery driver to assistant manager to store manager. It’s pretty much unheard of. When I was younger, I worked as a delivery driver for 9 months and couldn’t even get a raise when a coworker commented on how hard I worked. Most of the managers I had, had been working in the industry for several years. We know that his advancement comes from God. And we are very thankful, especially since it means that we no longer need to wait on public housing. We can being to set aside money and start looking for a new place to live. I am hopeful that if we continue being faithful, we’ll be in a home of our own again by the end of August. God has seen us through times that made me weep more intensely than I ever have in my life. But in those moments, I felt Him so strongly. There were days that I literally felt Him changing me. And it was painful and beautiful and intense. But I am better now for all of it. And despite the fact that we’d hoped to be on our own again before the baby was born, I was so thankful to be somewhere that I could get help with the older two as I recovered from childbirth. On our worst days, our church family has been there for us. They are most certainly the arms of Christ wrapping around us in our need.

Mommy Monday: Falling Off   Leave a comment

I think I mentioned last week that I’ve been under a bit of stress. And while that stress has had an effect on my waistline (maybe; I still haven’t measured), it’s also had an effect in other areas. Like, for instance, meal planning. There’s a point where stress just makes things feel more overwhelming. Even simple things that are supposed to make like easier. And while I’ve pretty much gotten the hang of meal-planning, being stressed out has just made it feel like such a huge undertaking. Which is silly, because the homeschooling planner that I got this year (I really love it!) even has a spot each week for jotting out meal plans. At least for dinner. And really, we just do cereal for breakfast and quesadillas or sandwiches for lunch, so do I need to plan that? The planner also has shopping lists that are perforated for ease of taking with you if you’re not a weirdo like me and carry a backpack instead of a purse.

And yet.

I’ve at least gotten better at buying things at the store with half a mind to what’s in my cupboards, so I’m buying items that will work together to create meals. But there was one day last week where dinner time went something like this:

What should we have? Hamburger Helper is easy.

No, the only one we have left is a Chicken Helper that my husband says sounds disgusting (good thing it was free).

Maybe brinner?

Nope. Out of eggs.

Macaroni and cheese and hot dogs? The family loves that.

Oh yeah. We ran out of butter and we’re almost out of milk.

Elisebeth: I want spaghetti.

Please let there be another jar of Ragu in the cupboard.

Success! Spaghetti it is. We have meat and sauce and noodles, hurray!


That was pretty much verbatim. Though some of it was in my head instead of out loud. So, it’s pretty clear why I need to be making a menu plan. But somehow, knowing that I could be saving myself this headache has yet to get me back on the wagon. Here’s hoping that a new week will bring new inspiration to do something to make my life easier.

Posted July 20, 2012 by Maidenfine in Homemaking, Mommy Monday

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Better Words Than I Had   Leave a comment

I actually read this weeks ago. And when I did, I immediately wanted to post it here, because I felt like she was speaking my heart. At that time, I actually had several weeks of Mommy Monday stuff planned though, so it got put off, and then I forgot. Until I was going through my email and saw it in there again. It’s a guest post from Joyful Mothering, and I think it’ll only take about one sentence to figure out why I wanted to link to the post.

Undefined – a guest post at Joyful Mothering

Shine – the blog of the guest poster

Posted July 16, 2012 by Maidenfine in Homemaking, Mommy Monday

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Giveaway Winner, On Being Sick, and Fiction Friday   Leave a comment

#1 – We have a giveaway winner! I’ve already sent an email to the winner.


#2 – We had two things happen this week. A) We officially started Kindergarten (which means I had a cute little Teach Me Tuesday planned). B) Everyone in the house got sick. The kids didn’t seem much affected. Runny noses and crankiness and that’s about it. But my husband and I both have the same thing happen when we’re just getting started being sick. We get super tired. Ridiculously tired. How the heck are my eyes open right now tired. Which means that neither of us was really able to handle the kids alone for a full day. And that meant that neither one of us could really get the sleep our bodies were asking for and thus we are both much harder hit by the sickness. Basically, I didn’t get much done this week (though we did get Kindergarten accomplished, for the most part).


#3 – While looking up a first line that I loved greatly in order to enter it for a first line contest, I rediscovered my failed 2006 NaNovel. Now, this novel was only a failure in that I didn’t make it to 50,000 words. I have very little clue now as to why that was, since I had no kids and no job, so I could have written the whole darn 50k in the first week if I’d really applied myself. But I was spoiled, thus lazy, and I was lured away by the distraction of online roleplaying (I’ve learned to budget my roleplaying time much better these days). However, in rediscovering, I have a new desire to finish it. It won’t be 50,000 when it’s done, most likely. One of my demotivating factors was that the plot was progressing far too fast to reach such a large (ha!) number. But I’ll finish it. And when I do, I’m thinking I’ll figure out how to put it up on Facebook as a freebie for my Likers. At this point, I have no idea how to do that, but I know it’s do-able, and I’ve learned most things in my life on an as-needed basis. So I’m not worried about that part. First comes the finishing. But, for those who weren’t around in 2006, some stuff to entice you.

I can’t find the sweet little animated graphic that I used as a signature on the NaNoWriMo site back then. But the text was “5 Days, 4 Marks, 3 Million Dollars, 2 Assassins, 1 Love.” It was apparently cool enough that the ML was excited to meet me when I finally made it to the group gatherings the next year. I wish I knew where to find it (I’m sure it’s on the internet somewhere). However, I do still have pictures of my two main characters.

India is a freelance assassin with the ability to erase herself from the memory of those around her. She can also erase all physical traces of herself from a crime scene, and wipe out any trace of herself in technology (like security tapes). The government knows her as Forget Me Not, though, really, they can’t even prove she exists.

Arthur is a government science project. With enhanced strength and speed, he can pretty much take on a train and come out on top. Which makes him quite the force to be reckoned with. The government has dubbed him Slice, on account of his love of using knives.

And, for those who haven’t read any portion of it before, a teaser.

WARNING: While I generally do my best not to swear in my normal life, many of my characters do not have that same attitude. Keep in mind, this is a novel about people who kill for a living. I’m pretty sure they don’t do any major swearing, but it’s in there. And since it’s in this short sample, I figured I should warn everyone.



It really puts a damper on a relationship when your boyfriend starts trying to kill people in the living room. Especially when he does it all wrong.

“Shit! India, I shot him! Shit!”

India rolled her eyes.

“Michael, you missed all his vital organs, where exactly were you aiming?” She tossed her clothes into a duffelbag. She knew everything would fit. It had all fit several times before.

“I wasn’t aiming. I panicked.” Michael paced the room, grabbing his hair in frustration. “What am I going to do, India?” She turned to him and smiled.

“You’re going to forget me.” Her face began to glow and she laughed at the look of pure fright on his face.

“What the hell is going on? Why is your face glowing like that? India?” His voice neared panic until her mind gripped his. She searched it quickly, finding it just as malleable as it had always been. She surveyed the situation and swore.

“Michael, I’m afraid I have to kill you now.” Mechanically, she directed him into the living room to retrieve his gun. It was nice. She wished she could keep it. But it was tainted now. She continued to pack as Michael turned the gun on himself. She didn’t even flinch as the sound resounded through the small apartment. She finished her packing and headed for the door, giving the place a good mental wipedown. She had never existed here.

We Choose Virtues: Review and Giveaway   Leave a comment

For the last year (at least), I have read every review I came across for We Choose Virtues. I entered every giveaway. I tried hard to find a little extra in the budget so I could buy some of their stuff. And I would spend hours on their website, reading product descriptions to try to figure out which item I should buy first. So, as you can imagine, I was over the moon when I was given the chance to receive some of the products to review.

They sent me the Virtues poster andVirtues flashcards. Then I went ahead and got the Virtues teaching cards. I’d already snagged the coloring book when it was offered free, and I made sure to get theiron-on t-shirt transfer files while those were free as well. Armed with these items, I began incorporating We Choose Virtues into our day with my daughter, and into my Sunday School class at church.

Elisebeth is only 4, so there were a few activities with the flashcards that we just couldn’t do, since she can’t read. The same went for the poster. It wasn’t a good reference material for her because she couldn’t read it. However, she quickly learned the stories that went with the virtues and we had a lot of good discussions. We talked about not just the scriptures listed on the teaching cards, but I also have a Child Training Bible and we were able to use that to quickly look up other scriptures on the same topic. While we still have issues with certain areas, she’s learning the vocabulary of virtues. And that’s the first step to learning how to live them out.

Things were a little different in my Sunday School class. I teach 3rd and 4th graders. We have an interesting situation though. My class consists of 3 children. One of them has divorced parents, so at most, he’s there every other week. One is adopted and doesn’t always get a ride to church because of the living situation there. And the third one just doesn’t always make it for Sunday School. So, in order to make sure that they all got to participate as much as possible, I decided to discuss each virtue for two weeks. The first week, we talked about the virtue, read the story, and colored that page out of the coloring book. Then the second week, we’d do an activity from the teaching card, discuss it a little more, and then play a flash card game.

It took a while for the kids to realize that the Virtues poster had all of the virtues on there with the catchphrases. When we played games, they didn’t realize they could use it as a reference until we’d done it a couple times. So the poster was an item I probably wouldn’t have bought (remember, my daughter is only 4), but was happy to have once the kids figured out how much information was really on there. The flashcards were awesome. Because we’re only doing one Virtue every two weeks, it means we’re getting through them very slowly. But I wanted a way to start to get the kids familiar with the virtues we hadn’t covered yet, too. The flashcards are perfect at this. First, we played a game where the cards were all laid out with the Virtue side up. I read catchphrases and they figured out which virtue went with it. The next time, we flipped them the other way and did it opposite. By the second game (even though only one of the kids was the same), they were guessing a lot less and actually figuring them out (not to mention using the poster to help them). A few more weeks of that and I think they’ll at least have an inkling of what all the virtues are, even if we haven’t gotten to them yet.

Other things that I found/made: Somewhere on Pinterest or Facebook I found someone with instructions for making your own scratch-off cards. I made a few different versions of a card that contained butterflies, magnifying glasses, and caterpillars (these are icons that We Choose Virtues uses) and turned them into scratch-offs. Whenever I “catch” the kids practicing the virtues we’ve studied, they get to scratch off a square and when they reveal 10 butterflies, I’ll make them a Virtue kid t-shirt using the iron-on pictures. Even the kid who is normally very apathetic about everything seemed interested in getting a t-shirt.


We Choose Virtues is letting me give away a Kids Virtues Poster. As I said above, I probably wouldn’t have bought one of these, because my daughter can’t read. But I am so glad they sent me one. So if you think you won’t use it, think again. Now that my kids have figured out how to use it, I’m coming up with new games that I could play with it to make it even more useful. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below (which, by the way, how handy is Rafflecopter?!)

If you can’t wait to win one, or you want to get some of the other items, there are a few promo codes you can use right now (only one promo code per order).

START25 gives you 25% off kits valued at $99.00 and up. This is designed to be used by teachers who are bringing We Choose Virtues into their classrooms.

SHIPFREE for free shipping

VIRTUE15 for 15% off your cart

FLASH35 for 35% off a set of Virtue Flash Cards (I love these things so I totally recommend you use this one while it lasts).


Disclosure: I received items for free in exhange for my honest review. All of the opinions are my real opinions and were not affected by the free product. Also, I do have an affiliate account with We Choose Virtues, however, I’m not sure if the links within my post will trigger it. In order for me to make money off of orders made through this post, you would need to use the ad in my sidebar. I appreciate anyone who does that, but I’m not reviewing this item in an attempt to make money, so feel free to use the other links or to go directly to their page without using any of my links.

Posted July 6, 2012 by Maidenfine in Church, Giveaway, God, Homeschooling

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Mommy Monday: God Calling   Leave a comment

Apparently, God thought my blog needed a new look. After an update, my theme no longer worked properly and since I like my header, rather than a bunch of error messages, I had to go looking for another. Hopefully, it works for people.

Moving on.

Our church’s annual meeting is at the end of August. Which means we’re gearing up for church council nominations and all that stuff. And my husband and I have been praying about a couple things since April. One of them, I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out because we’re feeling led to do something that someone else is already doing, and seems to be intent to continue doing. But the other is something that I know came from God, because I would never pick it. And I would never pick to quit being Church Clerk.

I like being Church Clerk. I like paperwork and making the bulletins and taking minutes. I enjoy that work. But apparently, that’s not what God has called me to. Instead, he put me in a position to go to the Heart of a Child conference in April, and that prepared me for taking on Children’s ministry. Even though I’m not really a fan of other people’s kids.

Somehow, even though I don’t really like children, God has given me a heart for showing them Jesus (and feeding them, but that’s a different post). He’s also given me an excitement for looking at children’s curricula. And a vision for the things we could do with our children’s ministry if we could get enough volunteers. So I’m nominating myself to be our Children’s director. And we’ll see how it goes. I’m always a little nervous to step out and follow God’s plan when I don’t know where it leads.