Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Blog Parties

Blog Parties are a great way to meet new blogging friends and these are the blogs that I have linked to today! 

If you have come from a visit from one of these links...leave me a comment and let me know that you were here. 

I would love to check out your blog as well:)

My Wee 

New Friend Fridays


Follow Along Fridays 

Educational Movie Review - Leap Frog

Since this is the beginning of the school year, I thought I would do an educational movie review.
Leap Frog DVD's are an amazing resource for the younger children. They teach phonics, putting phrases and sounds together to make words, special "silent" sounds, reading your words to sound like a story, and a math circus with simple adding and subtracting concepts! 

This would be a wonderful addition to your family dvd library.

We received as a Christmas gift for all the children one year the 5 pack of LeapFrog dvds: 

I just saw a new video called LeapFrog: Math Adventure to the Moon that will definitely be on our list to get soon!

Grace (dd9) - "I like The Code Word Caper because of all the machines and what they do to the letters."

William (ds7) - "The Math one is my favorite because of all the fun things at the circus."

Nathanael (ds4) - "I want the SPACE one!"

Abigail (dd2) - "A, B, C, D, E, F, G...."

(I am linking this article to Raising Homemakers)

Homeschool Freebie of the Day - Wonder Stories in Silhouette

"Finally this week we feature a fun little collection of children's storybooks all illustrated with silhouettes. Enjoy these classic fairy tales, rhymes and wonder stories, and perhaps even inspire your kids to draw and create their own silhouette creations!"
Go to Homeschool Freebie of the Day to download your FREE copy.
As with every special, it will only be available for a few days after posting (some are only available for THAT DAY ONLY) don't miss out!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Homeschool Freebie of the Day - Natural Oddities, Volume 3

Natural Oddities: Volume THREE (PDF ebook)

"Woohoo! Today we reature this THIRD great collection of these classic cartoons by Gus Mager depicting odd, unusual and sometimes just plain weird aspects of the flora and the fauna in the world around us -- "Natural Oddities". Strange but true facts about nature that fascinate young and old readers alike! Kids love this series... don't miss it!"

Go to Homeschool Freebie of the Day to download your FREE copy.
As with every special, it will only be available for a few days after posting (some are only available for THAT DAY ONLY) don't miss out!

Tip of the Week - Mosquito Bite Relief

Those darn mosquitoes can cause a heap of itching, and they seem to be out ALL the time here in the south!

Mosquito Bite Relief is cheap and easy when you use a home remedy.

Wet a side of BAR soap, and generously coat the itchy area. Let dry, and VOILA! No more itch!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Homeschool Freebie of the Day - Leaves and Flowers

Leaves & Flowers (PDF ebook)
"Today's resource is this great vintage book of short nature studies on plants for young readers. Engagingly written, fully illustrated, and perfect for late summer and fall outdoor exploring & learning!"

Go to Homeschool Freebie of the Day to download your FREE copy.
As with every special, it will only be available for a few days after posting (some are only available for THAT DAY ONLY) don't miss out!

Homeschool - Reading to Siblings

 It is so important to schedule reading time in the homeschool day! 

Whether it is individual reading or storytime with mom/dad, this is a crucial building block in the life of your child.

We have planned this year for the older children to have reading time with the younger.

This has already been a success the first few days we have tried it!

Grace (dd9) reads to Nathanael (ds4), and William (ds7) reads to Abigail (dd2). 
The books that Abigail wants read are easy for William. 
Nathanael needs to be held captive with longer books, so that is when Grace steps in. 

This gives all the children a chance to bond, and practice reading with flair to their younger siblings.

I hope you will incorporate sibling reading time into your day - it works wonders!

(I am linking this article to Raising Homemakers and Works for Me Wednesday, 
and Wordful Wednesday.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Homeschool Freebie of the Day - Our Children in Heaven

I LOVE Homeschool Freebie of the Day and will start featuring them on this website. They have amazing offers for families whether you homeschool or not!

Here is today's feature - most specials are only available for a few days, but this one will always be available through request.

Our Children In Heaven by James Maple, revised by Jim Erskine (PDF ebook) – Originally published in 1890, this completely forgotten little book by Dr. James Maple has truly been lost for decades. (There is a different book with the same title available other places online, but in our opinion this volume is far superior.) Its pages contain a well-spring of comfort for all who have lost loved ones, little or old, to death. When we discovered it on the dusty shelf of an antique shop (the owner did not even know he had it), we knew that we had to make it available to hurting families again. It is our hope that you will find these messages a sweet balm for aching hearts.
From the Preface:
CHILDREN are as a ray of sunshine in our homes, bringing joy and gladness. They come as angels of innocence and beauty, awakening new thoughts, kindling holier feelings, leading us to a higher and better life. A home without children, to me, is like heaven without angels; but our dear ones are not safe from the hand of disease and death. Truly the poet sings:
…there is no flock, however watched and tended
But one dead lamb is there.
There is no fireside, howsoever defended,
But has one vacant chair!
What a difference the death of a child makes in our hearts and homes. How it changes the tone of our thoughts and takes the warmth and beauty out of life.
How the little children love us, and no traces
Linger of that smiling angel band.
Gone, forever gone, and in their places
Weary men and anxious women stand.
The sermons embraced in this little book were written and preached at different and distant periods in a ministry of forty-five years, to comfort sorrowing parents who were mourning the loss of their dear little ones by the hand of death. They are now given to the public with the hope that they may be a comfort to many bleeding hearts.

NOTE: This book has been substantially edited and revised by Jim Erskine, and is copyrighted. Please do not redistribute or pass along to others, but instead please send folks here to obtain a copy. After today, this book will be available at – still free, but you must register for it through our email system there. Thank you for respecting our rights in this matter.

RECIPE - Celebration Pancakes

With school starting soon, it is nice to plan a special breakfast for the kiddos.
We love to make homemade pancakes, and add a little something extra...
So welcome to this week's Newsom Recipe Box!
We call these Celebration Pancakes:
Mix pancake batter according to directions
Butter pan and pour in batter
THEN add special ingredients to the top side of the pancake batter (ie. sprinkles or chocolate chips)
Wait until bubbly then flip, the toppings will melt into the pancake

We have Celebration Pancakes for ANY reason that suits us, whether it be the first day of school, it's raining outside, or we saw a beautiful butterfly! 
Make your day special by fixing up some homemade pancakes. Make them tiny or humongous big, your kids will love it!

We get our pancake mix for under $2 at ALDI.
(and use about half the box in one morning for the 5 of us)
The sprinkles are sold at the Dollar Tree for $1.
Chocolate Chips are under $2 at ALDI.
(and you only use a handful)
So for this breakfast, we really spend less than $3 for all of us to eat like kings and queens:)

Let me know if you try it!

You can see a plethora of fabulous recipes at

Monday, August 23, 2010

Starting Homeschool with a BANG!

Every year we start our first day of homeschooling with a BIG party!

There is an opening speech by the headmaster of St. George Academy to welcome the new students;) Then the teacher of this one-room-school-house (me) shares a few subjects that will be covered during the new year, amidst "HUZZAH'S!" and clapping in the medieval way.

We take a break to enjoy a medieval dance that we learned the year before, while dressed in our medieval attire, of course!

Since we use the Classical Method, we study history and Bible chronologically. We use Veritas Press cards for these subjects and add on with other books on the time period we are studying that year.

We briefly talk about each subject for the year and give out the new school books to each child along with other "goodies" as well. 

There is always a special meal and fun activities to boot...

For example, last year we were covering Ancient Egypt. I had found some fabulous books on the subject throughout the past year at yard sales and thrift shops. I gave those to them on the opening day of school and we spent loads of time looking through those books...oh, what fun!

Then the children wrapped their "mummy" in toilet paper!

William (ds7) had to get in the action too.

Think of a way to make your first day of homeschool EXTRA special. Whether it is a special meal, a dance, gifts, or a play...what will you do to make this day a wonderful memory for your children?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Family Movie Review - Prince of Egypt

I love to have the children watch movies that bring the Bible to life in a respectful way.  
The Dreamworks movie Prince of Egypt does just that!

The songs in the movie are top notch..."Through Heaven's Eyes" is one of my favorites, a lively tune sung by Jethro, Moses's soon-to-be father-in-law talking about how we are part of the grand design.

A single thread in a tapestry
Through its color brightly shine
Can never see its purpose
In the pattern of the grand design

And the stone that sits on the very top
Of the mountain's mighty face
Does it think it's more important
Than the stones that form the base?

So how can you see what your life is worth
Or where your value lies?
You can never see through the eyes of man
You must look at your life

Look at your life through heaven's eyes

A lake of gold in the desert sand
Is less than a cool fresh spring
And to one lost sheep, a shepherd boy
Is greater than the richest king
If a man lose ev'rything he owns
Has he truly lost his worth?
Or is it the beginning
Of a new and brighter birth?

So how do you measure the worth of a man
In wealth or strength or size?
In how much he gained or how much he gave?
The answer will come
The answer will come to him who tries
To look at his life through heaven's eyes

And that's why we share all we have with you
Though there's little to be found
When all you've got is nothing
There's a lot to go around

No life can escape being blown about
By the winds of change and chance
And though you never know all the steps
You must learn to join the dance
You must learn to join the dance

So how do you judge what a man is worth
By what he builds or buys?
You can never see with your eyes on earth
Look through heaven's eyes
Look at your life
Look at your life
Look at your life through heaven's eyes

In Egypt, the hieroglyphics come to life, telling part of the story. The plagues are powerfully portrayed and the scene of the Red Sea parting and the Israelites walking through is utterly amazing...lightning flashes and you see the shadow of a whale looming on one side!

The one flaw, as with most Moses stories is the Pharaoh that Moses demands to "let my people go", is called Pharoah Rameses. But he could not have been the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Here is a great article that I found on (you should definitely check it out)

So it took about half an hour to explain to the children when we were studying Ancient Egypt and Moses in homeschool at St. George Academy, that it was NOT Rameses, but most likely Amenotep III that was the Pharoah in the Moses story! (Rameses lived over 100 years later)

This is a definite cartoon Bible movie that should be on your family viewing list!
Product Description on Amazon


Grace (dd9) - "I love the songs and the scene with the burning bush." 

William (ds7) - "It helps me remember the Bible stories."

Friday Blog Parties

Blog Parties are a great way to meet new blogging friends and these are the blogs that I have linked to today! 

If you have come from a visit from one of these links...leave me a comment and let me know that you were here. 

I would love to check out your blog as well:)

My Wee 
New Friend Fridays

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tip of the Week - Multiplying Money

Do you have a little kiddo that spends their money as soon as they get it? 

Someone who is an impulse shopper and needs to learn how to save up for bigger things?

Here is a little tip that I learned from John at LF:

Let's say your child has $4 to spend when you go into the Dollar Store. 

Tell them that however much money they come out of the store with, you will match it. 

So if they spend $3 and have $1 left, you will give them another $1 (their money has multiplied to $2). 

If they don't spend anything, they will be matched the $4 and now they will have $8! They can see their money multiply right in front of them!!!

If you do this a few times, they will hopefully catch on, and you might be broke:)

 But think of the lessons they will learn at a young age of how to manage their money, and not to be an impulse shopper.

Luke 12:42 "And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household,..."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Picaboo - FREE Classic Photo Book (up to $39.99)

  Picaboo Promotional Banner

You can choose from these fabulous books:
20-page Large Classic photo book (up to $39.99)
20-page Classic Leather photo book (up to $39.99)
or 20-page Classic Custom photo book (up to $39.99)

This coupon is for first-time Picaboo customers only.

Taxes and shipping charges are additional.

I have never used this program, but it looks really easy. Now to decide who to get one for!!! This would be a great gift for grandparents...I just wish that we have already been to the beach to have new photos:) 

I could always do my own photo shoot in the back yard! I love to use Picnik to edit my pictures. What free software do you use?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

RECIPE - Homemade Curly Fries

Welcome to the Newsom Recipe Box.  
Here at Newsom Hall we have a Friday night tradition...
if it's Friday, it's FRYday!

We have homemade fries every weekend combined with something on the grill. 
We live in the south, so we even grill in the winter time too:)

Making homemade fries can be a "royal pain" unless you have the right equipment.
My absolute must have is called the Presto Tater Twister - here is the original commercial from You Tube:

When you cut a whole potato, the spirals can be extremely long. I break mine into smaller pieces, and I take the inner spirals out of the larger spiral pieces.

The other great children can do the fries! The key is putting pressure on the Tater Twister so that the fries come out thicker.

My second "must-have" for homemade fries is the Presto DualDaddy Electric Deep Fryer. 
I take out the separator so that it is just one large deep fryer.

I have tried the regular FryDaddy, and it took me FOREVER to cook enough fries for 6 people!
I tried cooking on the stove, and grease splattered down the sides of the pot and almost caught the kitchen on fire!!!

I am on my second Presto DualDaddy, and will never be without one:)
Put your potatoes in gently to reduce splatter, and not too many at a time or the oil will bubble over. Stir and break up potatoes occasionally (like when you cook macaroni and cheese). My batches take about 8-10 minutes to cook.

After you cook your fries, have a large bowl lined with paper towels/napkins ready to soak up the excess grease. 

THE KEY to a great french fry is in the seasoning.

I get my potatoes at ALDI - $3.99 for 10lbs. and all my seasonings from the Dollar Tree:

"Newsom Special Seasoning"
FIRST, I sprinkle onion powder, then flip fries.
SECOND, I sprinkle garlic salt, then flip fries.
THIRD, I sprinkle a little garlic pepper, then flip fries.

Can you say "taste-bud-heaven"?
I hope some homemade curly fries with the "Newsom Special Seasoning" is in your near future.

Let me know how you like it!
Consider creating your own tradition with your children on Friday nights...what will yours be?

You can see a plethora of fabulous recipes at
Tasty Tuesday,

Monday, August 16, 2010

Happy Birthday - Abigail Christiana

Today is my smallest blessing, Abigail Christiana's birthday (this picture is from last October).

She has been on this earth for 2 summers, and talks more than any just-turned-2 year old that I have ever seen!

She is truly "the joy of her father", just as her name means. She always brings laughter and amusement when she is in the room. 

She eats her green beans first and asks for more - I wish her siblings would follow her example in that:)

I love to hear every word that comes out of her mouth, she has her own sweet little ways that she says everything...oh, how they grow all too fast. 

Hold on to those babies, they soon start to crawl, then walk, then run. 
Before too long, it will be time to officially start school!

Cherish EVERY SINGLE MOMENT, and never tire of disciplining and shaping your children to the people they will become. We are now shaping our great-grandchildren! The things that we teach to our children, will be passed on to the next generation, and to many generations after us....think on these things.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Family Movie Review - Swiss Family Robinson


We had Swiss Family Robinson on VHS, then got the Vault Edition DVD a few years ago. We love to look at the special features on ALL our DVD's. So many hidden gems are within!

After you have seen the movie close to 20 times, it is great to watch it with the commentary. You will learn so many new things about the movie, characters, and the making of it.

Swiss Family Robinson is an exciting adventure that has no scary parts for young viewers.
The boys are real boys, and the girls are girls.
It shows how resourceful they are when learning to live off the land.
The older brothers get in a few scuffles. Over what?...a girl.
If you haven't seen this movie in a while, it's time to pick it up for your next Family Movie Night!

"One of Disney's biggest and most fondly remembered hits, the spectacular screen version of the literary classic SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON is full of breathtaking South Seas scenery, hundreds of exotic animals, and treacherous pirates. This heroic tale chronicles the courageous exploits of the Robinson family after they are shipwrecked on a deserted island. Using teamwork and ingenuity, they skillfully overcome the obstacles of nature and transform their new home into a "civilized" community. But the ultimate challenge lies ahead when a band of cutthroat pirates threaten to destroy the Robinson's Makeshift paradise. Capture the thrills, romance, and fun of this unforgettable Disney film!"

I mean, what child wouldn't love to live in a tree house?

Grace (dd9) - Favorite scenes: when they are having the Christmas dance and the part at the end with the pirates and the coconut bombs! Ka -BOOM!

William (ds7) - Favorite scenes: living in the tree house and when they are swinging from the vines!

Consignment Mommies - Sales this weekend (8/14)

ConsignmentMommies - Children's Seasonal Consignment Sales

Do you LOVE consignment sales? 

Usually churches will have 50% off most items on Saturday. 
So this means I don't even tempt myself by going on Friday:)

To see the consignment sales in your area, visit

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tip of the Week - Toilet Paper, Over or Under?


Which way do you have your toilet paper? Over or under?

I have ALWAYS put my toilet paper over. If hubby puts it on the other way, I change it.

I received a tip today that will change my habits (thanks Michelle!). 

I have a few little ones around the house that use way too much toilet paper. Only a few times have I seen them doing this...

It is so much easier to waste paper if you spin it down. So try it the other way. Pulling it from the back could save toilet paper.

You could also decide on a certain number of squares that are reasonable to use for your younger kids that use a wad, when they should be using 4 squares:)

Which way do you have your toilet paper roll?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Meteor Shower Memory Making

What a good way to spend a late evening -
watching some of God's handiwork in the form of a fabulous Meteor shower!

We are going to grab a blanket, some pillows, mosquito spray (yea, they love us way too much), the Bible and Narnia for some pre-reading.

The Perseids Meteor Shower happens every August with its peak in the wee hours of August 12th and 13th of 2010.

Here is some info from Wikipedia:
"The stream of debris is called the Perseid cloud and stretches along the orbit of the comet Swift-Tuttle. The cloud consists of particles ejected by the comet as it travels on its 130-year orbit. Most of the dust in the cloud today is around a thousand years old. However, there is also a relatively young filament of dust in the stream that was pulled off the comet in 1862."

Did you get that? The meteor shower that we will see over the next few days are from 1862 or maybe even 1,000 years ago!!!

"I find that the times leading up to the peak in the morning are always stronger. For some of you the peak times will occur when it is light outside, so my best advice is to look in the morning of August 12th, a few hours before dawn and then again in the evening of August 12th into the morning of August 13th. There are some good things going for viewing the Perseids Meteor Shower in the morning of August 12th. One in particular is that the Constellation Perseus (the radiant located in the northeast for most of us) will be at it’s highest in the sky just before dawn and the moon will be a small crescent shape. The best part about viewing in the morning of August 12th is that, if for some reason, you don’t see as many meteors as you would like, you’ll have a another chance later in the evening to have a second go round at viewing."

We will be having some Star Crunch Little Debbie Snacks and don't forget some Moon Pies!

We drew some meteors and shooting stars with chalk on some construction paper today, 

 and watched the Magic School Bus - Space Adventures (which you can see HERE on Amazon).

There are so many things that you can talk to your children about this amazing occurrence. 

In the Creation Story:
Genesis 1:16
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

God's Promise to Abraham:
Genesis 15:5
And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

Genesis 22:17
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

Psalm 147:4
He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.

You can talk about C.S. Lewis's The Magician's Nephew. Read Chapter 8, The Fight at the Lampost. See the creation of Narnia. It is just a few pages long...move in a few pages in Chapter 9 and you will find how the lamppost arrives in Narnia.

I found this piece on Into the Wardrobe,

"Lewis continues to draw from Biblical creation images as he describes the introduction of light into Narnia. The singing stars are the first things the children see in Narnia, and Lewis again uses the character of Digory to establish a connection between the text and a youthful reader: "If you had seen and heard it, as Digory did, you have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves which were singing," (Lewis, 1988, p.93-94). Genesis, on the other hand, automatically appeals to adult sensibilities when describing the stars, relating them to such "grown-up" concerns as the calendar: "Let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and them be lights in the expanse of the sky..." (Gen 1:14-15). The singing stars image that Lewis draws from here is located in Job 38:7. Comparing these two passages, it is evident that Lewis chose to convey his creation story using the Biblical images that are not only easier for children to understand, but also easier for children to appreciate and enjoy."

In Prince Caspian, Chapter 4, Doctor Cornelius is showing Caspian the stars.

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Chapter 14, Caspian, Edmund and Lucy meet a "retired star".

And if you have read The Last Battle before tonight (and ONLY if!), then turn to Chapter 14, and bring the tissue box!

This night is a memory maker for your family, sleep late tomorrow, be amazed at God's creation, and treasure it. Your children definitely will:)

(I am linking this post to Raising Homemakers)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thrifty Adventures - Charming Charlie Jewelry Store HEAVEN!

Have you ever been in a Charming Charlie Jewelry Store before? It is definitely candy for the eyes and easy on the pocketbook. All jewelry is set up by color, some by style (like crosses). It took me an hour to get through the whole store - big costume jewelry is definitely my weakness. But what REALLY took me the longest was when I got back to the CLEARANCE section.

Although most of these will have only a few more weeks of wear this year, they will help me accessorize to the max for next spring and summer!

This piece with all the beads and flowers, I wore on Sunday. My almost 2yr.old daughter Abigail could not be quiet in church while sitting in my lap. She kept pointing and saying "nim-enims" and "gwum balls"!

All clearance items were 75% off the already marked down prices. So I paid $2.50 for the bigger necklace sets, and $1-$1.50 for the others. 

If you can see everything in the picture, I paid $15.35 for ALL of these fun pieces!!! A few will be gifts...hope they aren't reading:)

Check HERE for a Charming Charlie location in your area - and get ready to have your heart "pitter-patter" when you walk in the door!

So do you have a "thrifty adventure" that you would like to share? 
If you do not have a blog to show us your pictures, link to your Facebook - just make sure that the pics are for "everyone" to view;)

Please mention that you are linking to this site, so that everyone can come back and see more "thrifty adventures"; also, take a minute to visit Rhoda at Today's Thrifty Treasures!

SouthernHospThriftyTreasures copy_thumb

Friday, August 6, 2010

Family Movie Review - Darby O'Gill and the Little People

 This is one of our all-time favorite family movies!

The 50's were some of the best Disney live-action movies we have ever seen. 

Darby O'Gill and the Little People debuted in 1959.

Pictures from Started by a Mouse

"The Wishing Song" has spurred many fun rants in our house, and this is a St. Patrick's Day must-have. (even if it is just to watch the "Fox Chase" fiddle rant by Darby while you are dancing around the coffee table and doing an Irish jig!)

Pictures from Started by a Mouse

  There are a few intense scenes for younger viewers with a banshee and the Costa Bower (the death coach) coming for someone who is dying. But they are surrounded by so much fun and liveliness it is soon forgotten.

You will be amazed at the visual effects of the leprechauns, and make sure you see the special of Walt's favorites!

Here is the description found on and on the back of the DVD:
"Take a wee bit of ancient folklore, mix in some spectacular special effects and a magical cast (including Sean Connery) -- and you've got one of the most enchanting fantasies of all time! A frisky old storyteller named Darby O'Gill is desperately seeking the proverbial pot of gold. There's just one tiny thing standing in his way: a 21-inch leprechaun named King Brian. In order to get the gold, Darby must match his wits against the shrewd little trickster -- which proves no small task, indeed! Fall under the spell of DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE for a fun-filled evening of magic, mirth, and nonstop shenanigans" 

Grace (dd9) - "It makes me happy, it's funny, and it has adventure. I REALLY love it!"

William (ds7) - "Yea, I like it. It's funny and it's neat. I like the "Fox Chase" the best!"

I will leave you with a song sung by Sean Connery in the movie:

Oh, she is my dear, my darlin' one / Her eyes so sparklin', full of fun / No other, no other / Can match the likes of her. 

She's my dear, my darlin' one / My smilin' and beguilin' one / I love the ground she walks upon / My pretty Irish girl.

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