Category Archives: Thoughtful Thursday

Because child rearing takes so much thought, especially when home educating.

Happy Thanksgiving and Cinnamon Bear

Thanksgiving and Cinnamon Bear ~ Lifeofjoy.meI hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I am celebrating at my sister’s home with my parents, sister, her family, and of course, my hubby, kids and sweet grandson. :) (I count my daughter-in-love in with my kids, I’m not skipping her.)

Cinnamon Bear ~ Lifeofjoy.meHave you heard of Cinnamon Bear? It was an old radio show with 26 episodes that aired in ’30’s, ’40’s, and ’50’s. It aired 6 nights a week beginning Thanksgiving night and went until Christmas.

It is an adventure of Paddy O’Cinnamon. Here is a synopsis if you want to know more details. On this webpage you will find all 26 of the audios. Finally, they are also available on this page, and if you go down to Now Try Download Land, you can download the original coloring book (mind you they are very childish drawings) that your kids can color while listening or later for fun.

The episodes are very short so you should be able to find a few minutes, even during the busy days of December, to listen to an episode. If you do happen to get behind, they are short enough that you can easily catch up again. But we have some extra days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, so you have a little wiggle room. So maybe my sister Tracie and her girls will finally make it through all 26 episodes this year. ;)

One word of caution though, this does have Santa Claus in it. I sure wish I could find the old You Were There Nativity series. I listened to it once a LONG time ago on the radio and have never heard it since. Well, that’s a topic for another time. For now, go download the audios and make some memories with your kids. :)

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº


Christmas Chapter Books for Littles

I thought I’d share a couple of Christmas books that are chapter books and thus could be spread out over several days reading. This might be good for those that are pretty busy during the Christmas season but still want to have an ongoing story to read.

Christmas Chapter Books ~ The first is One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham. It has eleven chapters. They are not very long chapters, for the most part, but you could read them with little ones.

This one reminds me of the Jesse Tree because she goes back and explains creation, the fall, the flood, and Abraham. Then proceeds to the nativity, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus. It’s a lovely story that doesn’t just tell the nativity, which is unique for a Christmas story.

The second is The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas An Austin Family Story.

Christmas Chapter Books ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love this story so much I got put it on my Christmas list last year; as you can see, I received it. :)

This is one isn’t exactly a chapter book but it is long enough and broken down into days, leading up to Christmas. It can easily be divided up into several different readings. There are eleven places where you could break it up (well, you could break it up more if you wanted but, I wouldn’t do it any more than that). The first and last sections would be the longest. There are a couple of sections that are very small and could easily be read together. See the large letter O? There are nine more throughout the story and would be good stopping points.

Advent Book ~

This one is a delightful story about a new baby being born in the family and a child learning humility. I first got this one from the library on the recommendation of another homeschooler and loved it.

Either of these two books or both of them could easily be ready throughout the advent season without the pressure of something you have to do every day.

I hope you’ll consider these books for your holiday reading this year; I believe they’ll be a blessing to you and your family.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Advent Books to Read

It is already November 9th and Thanksgiving is coming soon. I love this time of year but it moves so quickly. Before we know it, it will be a brand new year. :)

One of the things I liked to do during the Advent season when the kids were younger was to read an advent book. The ones I’m showing you today are for the older ones. Of course the younger ones in your family may also enjoy them but there are some tense scenes that may be too much for the littlest members of your family.

I’m sharing this week because you may need to order a book or request it from the library (if your system has it).

Advent Books ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have to admit that it has been quite a number of years since we’ve read this, so I don’t remember much of the story line. I do remember that we enjoyed it. We enjoyed it so much that I bought the sequels.

Advent ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdvent ~ lifeofjoy.meThe book would be started on Sunday, December 3. But if you think you may have trouble reading it every night, I guess you could start early. ;)

Give Jotham’s Journey a try this year, if you haven’t read it before. Next week I’ll share some books that can be read with the younger ones next week.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Gift Giving

Gifts to Give ~ Lifeofjoy.meHow do you handle gifts in your family, especially for children? My kids always wanted some new game that had come out; we didn’t get them when they were released, so they wanted them for Christmas and birthdays.

Some children have way too many toys and really have not need for new ones. I’m all for giving children toys for learning and imaginative play but there is not need to have excessive toys that won’t even be played with.

I once heard some people suggest that they get Family Passes for the Zoo or Aquarium or Science Museum or other such place. Such passes usually last for a year, so it is literally the gift that keeps giving.

I live too far from most of these types of places, so I won’t be doing this for my grandson yet, but maybe one day it will be something we can do and he will appreciate.

In my extended family, we make a Christmas list and use Giftster to help us know who is getting what and save a whole lot of texting or phone calling to ensure there are no duplications. We do lists because we all like to purchase things that the receiver desires to have. Giftster allows you to reserve an item too.

Here is an article with over 50 ideas of gifts to give. I hope it will help you with your gift giving planning. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Resource Reminder

Resrouce Reminder ~ Lifeofjoy.meToday I just wanted to take a moment and remind you of a wonderful resource for resources. ;) I think I mention this site every year but it is that good!!!

Homeschool Freebie of the Day

This is a great website that points you to a free resource every weekday. Now I’m not saying you will be able to use every resource but you should find something that works for you, at least weekly. :)

When I visited yesterday in preparation for this post, there were resources for science experiments for the different senses, as well as some Halloween themed ones. There were links to some books including autumn poetry, a primer, and DIY projects for kids. Well, actually the Autumn in Verse link has around twenty poems picked out with very brief descriptions but click the link and there is an audio, download, and the poem, as well as a student activity (although I don’t see any “answers” to the activity, it still looks like a good resource).

They frequently have audio freebies as well. They have old time radio shows and very soon, they should be releasing their old time radio shows holiday collection on cd. I have one from years ago and enjoy listening to those old shows sometimes during the holidays.

If you haven’t checked them out before, go–do it now. If you have been there before but not for a while, give them another look; you may be surprised with the resources they are sharing.

I hope you have a great day and enjoy some of the links. Now I’m off to download the DIY kids projects resource.

Until next time, God bless,


Urushiol Oil

Yes, it is a tongue twister, urushiol oil. Do you know where it is found?

urushiol oil ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is the oil in poison ivy to which so many people are allergic.

Here some other pictures of it, so that you can be fully aware of what it looks like in different stages.

Urushiol Oil ~
New leaf growth
Poison Ivy Fall Colors ~
In the fall it changes colors.
Urushiol Oil ~
In a large patch

Did you know that the peel of one fruit also has this oil? AND if you are sensitive to it in poison ivy, you probably are to the peel of this fruit as well.

Urushiol Oil ~

Mango! Sean is a bit of a picky eater, so the fact that he tried and liked mango is wonderful.

Urushiol Oil ~

One day he felt a bit of a burning/tingling sensation on some parts of his lips. Within 24 hours it got red and started swelling. Then bumps formed and start oozing. Of course, there is the annoying itch! Then it begins hardening; the end is much closer at this point.

This happened to him after we’d had a new recipe and thus the new recipe was blamed. This process lasted for about 5 days or so!

Then a few weeks later, I saw this article: Mango Mouth. I forwarded it to Sean to read, to see if he thought this was the cause of his situation.

Then a couple of weeks ago I asked what fruit he wanted me to buy on grocery day; mangoes, grapes, and honeycrisp apples. The mango sat here for a week or more so one recent Saturday I told him he needed to eat it. The next morning his lips were a bit red and swollen! We realized that it was indeed the mango. The new recipe and suspected greek yogurt were off the hook but for the next week he was dealing with the nasty effects.

All this to warn you about the peels of the mango. Wear disposable gloves if you buy a fresh mango or save yourself the trouble and buy frozen or already cut mango. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Another Reading List

Porcupine Reading ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m a sucker for books and reading lists. I also am a fan of family read alouds.

Well, I recently came across a website that offers a few lists of suggested books. They have a list of picture books broken down by months. Some of my favorites are on the list and I only looked at a couple of months.

There are also a few short lists of fantasy books, classic books, and some poetry or books in verse. There’s also a list of books for struggling readers. :)

Now, I do have to warn you that these lists are all free BUT you have to sign up for their email list to get access to these booklists. I felt it was worth doing so; you can unsubscribe any time.

There are some podcasts with accompanying blog posts that tell what you can expect in the podcast. I have not listened to any of those yet but I’m interested in a few. The first I’m interested in is an interview with Jonathan Rodgers, the author of one of my favorite children’s series: The Wilderking Series.

This website also has a premium membership option. I don’t really see a need for it but who knows, you may find that you could benefit from it.

I hope you enjoy the Read-Aloud Revival website and find it beneficial to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Children Sitting Quietly

Liam in Church Service ~
We didn’t get any pictures this time but here’s one from last time. He liked my glasses case.

Kids need to be taught to sit still and quiet. It is convenient to have a nursery to take your crying child to at church but have you ever wondered if your child is just acting up so that he/she can go play in the nursery instead of being bored and quiet in the sanctuary?

We had Liam on a Sunday a few weeks ago and went to Sunday 8:30 am service as usual. I did not get him up early enough for him to eat breakfast before we left for church, so I took him a snack and his breakfast. I intended to give him his snack during service, because he can slowly get the Lil’ Beanies crunchers out of the snack cup and eat them on his own. Then in between services I would feed him the overnight cold oatmeal (it’s like a pudding and sooo healthy and he loves it).

Michael did not sleep well the night before and was up most of the night, so we came home after the first service. But I have to tell you that even as young as he is, he was able to sit through most of the one hour long service, quietly. I’ve mentioned his love of food here before and let me just say, it was a mistake to only fill the snack cup half full when he had not had breakfast yet (only his morning milk). But when he fussed, loudly, I carried him out of the service, from the second row, and into an unused room. I did not want to equate pitching a fit and leaving service with the reward of playing with toys and other children.

Once I got him under control, we went back in. After a bit, he wanted down to walk, but I would not let him, so he reach for Grandpa. Well I couldn’t rightly keep him from his Grandpa, so I let him go. And as Pastor Alan Taylor has preached, he had his plan to get down and succeeded through his Grandpa. Kids find the weakest link to their objective and will go through however many people necessary to get their desired end. Unfortunate for him, I’m more stubborn and ended up picking him up, to which he responded by fussing. So out we went again only this time, he calmed by the time we got to the last row; so we sat there for the final 10 minutes of service.

Kids need limits. Kids need to be taught to sit still and quiet, without electronics. Kids need consistency.

We have a humidity gauge in our living room on the coffee table. Ever since Liam was little it has been there. When he first found it, I told him no and took it from him and sat it back on the coffee table where it had been. When he touched it again, I repeated that it was a no-no. The next time he touched it, I again repeated that it was a no-no and tapped his hand. Oh My Word! You would have thought he had gotten seared with a hot iron but I held my stand and he left it alone. To this day, he knows he is not supposed to touch it but he will test the limits every now and then. He did this while he was with us and his parents were on a cruise. After about three days of not touching it, he decided to pick it up. I was consistent and removed it from his hands, said no-no, and tapped him. He wasn’t happy but knew the boundaries. Then I walked out of the room and he again picked it up, so Michael was consistent in my stead. The rest of the time he was here, he left it alone.

Disciplining children takes consistency, which means the parents and caregivers must also be disciplined. I think it is God’s sneaky way of making us grow up. ;)

If you don’t have the opportunity to train your children to sit quietly in a church service (without being occupied by electronics), you can practice at home. You could put on a preaching video or tv program and have your child sit beside you on the sofa or chair as you watch and listen, training them to sit quietly. It is a valuable skill.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Teach How to Research

Teach Research ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is important to not just give children the answers to questions they have but to show them how to find the answers. If all you ever do is answer their questions, then you are teaching them to ask people for information. That is sometimes acceptable and even good but it is also good for them to learn how to find the information themselves.

Now obviously this is difficult to do when they are little but when you have to look up something, tell them and show them that you don’t just know that information off the top of your head. Let them sit on your lap as you search or show them the books where you will search for the information and how you use the books.

Teaching your children how to search for information, find books in the library, and how to use a book index are all important skills. When they are young, you could show them two books that are completely different from each other and ask them which one they think will have the information they need. Then proceed to show them how to find the information.

Teaching your children to find information for themselves is a vital skill. With this skill, they are empowered for life; there is then very little they cannot accomplish because they know how to find whatever information they need to learn.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº