Thursday, June 2, 2022

HSLDA Online Academy Discount for the 2022-2023 Academic Year

Perfectly Planning (2)
Perfectly Planning Homeschool

Are you looking for more out of your high school curriculum? Online courses are a great way for your students to learn how to prepare for deadlines, develop friendships, and improve computer literacy, all without leaving home. HSLDA Online Academy, a division of HSLDA, offers live, interactive courses online as a way to encourage families to continue homeschooling through high school and help them prepare their students for success. The Academy offers 36 different courses in English, Math, Science, Foreign Language, History, Government, and more.

Each course is taught from a Christian worldview by experienced, Bible-believing instructors and includes a weekly live, interactive session with the instructor. This session allows students to ask questions about concepts that may be difficult for them to understand on their own, while encouraging accountability and self-discipline, and live sessions are recorded, giving your students the flexibility to catch up on any missed work. Classes are filling up quickly. HSLDA members save $50-$100 on tuition.
Do any of your students take classes through the HSLDA Online Academy? If so, you can get a discount by typing PTXVN2G in the "coupon" field.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Texas Flag surrounded by Bluebonnets Quilt on San Jacinto Day

 In February I finished my Texas flag quilt, which now hangs in the dining area. To create a waving effect, the bargello technique was used. The bluebonnet fabric I purchased years ago and is my favorite of any bluebonnet fabrics I've ever seen. It was machine-stitched and hand-quilted, using a star pattern.

Texas Flag Quilt

I waited until today, San Jacinto Day, to share this latest quilt. On April 21, 1836, General Sam Houston captured General Santa Anna at San Jacinto, ensuring Independence for Texas. 

Being from San Antonio, Texas, I have many memories of the many celebrations the week of San Jacinto Day, celebrated on the week of April 21. We always got the Friday of the big week off from school, so that the high school bands could compete in Battle of the Bands at Alamo Stadium at Trinity University on Thursday night, and then perform in both the Battle of Flowers Parade on Friday afternoon and the Fiesta Flambeau on Saturday night.

When I moved to San Marcos to attend celebrations. When I student taught in New celebrations. When I later moved to Wichita celebrations. So it seems that San Antonio is the only area that celebrates San Jacinto Day, at least to this extent. And most of the festivities center around the Alamo.

When I taught third grade in San Antonio, we had our students make their own floats representing Texas History so we could lead our own parade for the school, on Thursday of Fiesta Week. After all, we'd be off on Friday so everyone could attend the events and support the high school bands. We'd dress up in our best Fiesta attire, wear our medals, and showcase our floats. Each third grade teacher led their class in the procession for the rest of the school to enjoy. What fun!

Then I moved to Virginia where of course, there are no fiesta events. That is when I finally blogged about the history and the fun. I wish I had taken better pictures in the past, but I was in the moment, and didn't yet have a digital camera. I hope to one day again attend the many events, to do a photo explosion that I can share.

Numerous unique parades, scores of colorful medals, and glittering gowns with extensively long and equally extensively embellished trains mark the occasion. Read all about it:

San Antonio River Parade and the Texas Cavaliers

Pilgrimage to the Alamo and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas

Fiesta Medals, the Old Guard, and El Rey Feo

Glittering Gowns and Trains of Fiesta

Battle of Flowers Parade, Cascarones, and the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets

Fiesta Flambeau Night Parade and the University of Texas Longhorns

Monday, April 19, 2021

Me Made May 2021

 It's that time of year again, Me Made May...the 2021 version! I greatly appreciate Zoe of So, Zo...What do you know? A Sewing Blog for hosting this yearly event.

Refashion Remake-Store bought skirt that I refashioned with vintage flair

I have been sewing my own clothes ever since the 4th grade. By high school I was designing some of my own summer blouses. By college I started embellishing my clothes with vintage flair: ruffles, tucks, and pleats. 

Inspired by a love for creating with my hands, I also wanted to save money. I often find a poor value with off the rack clothing...rarely fitting my unique body shape. Increasingly I find fewer styles that I like. Currently I'm finding poor quality fabrics in ready made clothing, that don't even survive one round with the washing machine and dryer (despite the use of gentle cycles and low temperature settings). 

Despite my current irritation with off the rack garments, they still comprise the bulk of my wardrobe. Used to be only a couple of my garments were store bought. Over the years sewing became increasingly difficult.

The last I happily purchased fabric was 6 years ago.

Hard to believe that as a little girl in the 70's I could go to Bruners, a tiny department store in a tiny shopping mall near the country in San Antonio, Texas, that had a small corner of fabric of lucious colors and textures. The problem was in choosing just one.

Even in the 80's I could walk in to Cloth World (which later became JoAnn's) and a factory clothing store (that later became Hancocks) and have a mecca of anything I wanted. 

Hancocks closed out a few years ago. JoAnn is a hot mess in Northern Virginia. The fabrics are not organized. They are thrown willy nilly here and there. 

To that end, I greatly appreciate Me Made May to help me refocus on something I truly support...the empowerment that comes from owning our wardrobe, instead of letting off the rack clothing own us.

Scores of seamstresses and tailors participate in this yearly event. I'm hoping to glean shopping ideas for great fabrics from them...and hopefully return to my sewing machine and fill my closet with clothing that I enjoy with a touch of vintage flair.


'I, Laurie, pledge to wear clothing I've sewn myself throughout May 2021...with a daily analysis of my sewn wardrobe, what I have, what I need, what I like, what I want to change.'

I will be posting photos to my instagram. 

Details on my Refashion Remake Skirt (in the above photo) is here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Arlington National Cemetery special wreath laying ceremony with my nephew

One day I got the very exciting news that my nephew from Texas won an essay contest, as did some of his classmates. So they earned a trip to historical Virginia, which included an opportunity to participate in a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

Arlington National Cemetery

Monday, March 15, 2021

Remodeling my new Virginia apartment

Unfortunately I had to sell my house a few years ago. Thankfully I found a lovely little apartment in Northern Virginia, which means I have all the beauty of the four seasons!

1-Virginia Apartment

Sunday, March 14, 2021

A Request for a Modern Woodlands Baby Quilt

When a friend of mine saw the baby quilt that I made for my granddaughter, he asked if I'd make one for his niece who had had a baby boy earlier in the spring.

Black and Grey Baby Quilt flannel and minky-3
Modern Woodlands Baby Quilt

Saturday, March 13, 2021

A Snuggly Pink and White Quilt for my Granddaughter

 Last summer I asked my daughter what her preferred colors were for a snuggly baby quilt for her baby. She wanted pink...and she wanted me to use the fabric stash left from her cousin's quilt.

Pink and White Flannel and Minky Baby Quilt- 1
Pink Snuggly Baby Quilt

Friday, March 12, 2021

Starry Night Quilt

From 6-22-2020 

I finally conquered another stashbusting project!

In free moments I spent the winter of 2020 cozily handquilting one of my many quilt tops. By the end of spring I finsihed my quilt. In June I found a great location to take quilt photos.

Starry Night Quilt
Starry Night Quilt

Friday, March 5, 2021

Historic Brentsville of Virginia

From 10-19-2019

For years I lived in the small town of Bristow in Virginia, which is beautifully situated within sight of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Brentsville Historic District
Brentsville Historic Centre

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Baby Cross Stitch for my Granddaughter

When I was pregnant with my daughter over 20 years ago, I cross stitched several pieces to hang in her room. And this was the first one I cross stitched. But back then, these hung in oak frames with mats.
4-Baby Cross Stitch
Baby Cross Stitch

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Hello, World

 I felt as though my world came to an end after graduating my kids from homeschool in 2014. Life became exceedingly difficult in many ways. My heart felt so empty that I had to pull away from blogging for a season, because the autumn of my life had turned to winter. I had lost my blogging voice.

Candles that are lit in the depths of the darkness of winter reflect hope.

But what if those candles seem snuffed out?

Is there hope, despite pain? 

Yes, a resounding yes!

Through the pain and winter of my life, it was my faith in God that kept me grounded.

As I searched my heart and endured difficult changes, two things remain eternal: God's Word and the soul of human beings.

During the heart wrenching pain, I healed through God's Word and through focusing my time and energy on my kids and my own heart.

An encouragement I received from a friend yesterday sparked an idea of sharing encouragement from my journey here as I find my voice again.

Thus a new series is starting. I love to read books. When I find a note of encouragement, I will share that encouragement here. Can't we all use that in this hurting world?


"...weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5