HSLDA Online Academy Discount for the 2023-2024 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.


New Sewing Room WIP held hostage by County

As I continue to move into my new house, as I continue to work on extensive renovations, (oh, the drama) I dream of blogging but keet getting pulled away to more immediate tasks.

But…the basement is mine! It now has a fireplace that works! I now have storage for my sewing supplies – WIP. And I have a super cool work table – WIP. And I have a neat sewing table dream in the nook – WIP.

To get to that sewing table I first needed to have the deck redone, which after 15 months of haggling with the County to work out permit issues, is nearly complete!

Then we need a new HVAC (which according to new county code) will route through my nook…so can’t really do the sewing nook until we conquer the HVAC.

But we couldn’t conquer the HVAC until we conquered the deck because of new county codes for MORE posts to hold up the upper deck. And we had the cut back the lower deck by 8 feet!

So our tax assessments have flown through the roof apparently because of the work of Mr. Previous DIY Homeowner who did not follow through on permits. So we are heavily taxed on things that County deems are upgrades, that the County is also making us pay tons more to shore up or excessively cut back.

When I’m not distracted by all the clutter, all the dust, all the renovation experts, I’m posting photos to my Instagram.

Because I’m excited about posting photos here, I’m organizing the phtotos on my laptop (because I’ve switched so many accounts while blogging all these years-because the accounts suddenly are held hostage for deemed improvements-I can’t find anything, anymore). Which means I can’t really properly store my new photos in relation to the old.

Since my kitty insisted on napping in my lap yesterday afternoon I looked for a sit down activity, and finally found the password to my defunct Photobucket account that had been held hostage for years. That has finally been cleared out and a few photos rescued. Surely not the County’s fault. That means years of old blog posts are now definitely defunct, because they used Photobucket. So time is needed to restore all that…but the good news is that I plan to restore them to something better! =)

Lillibeth of The Pleasant Times very much inspired me to write this post, based on her most recent posts. Again, I tried to leave a comment but blogger seems to be held hostage as well. Couldn’t possibly be the County holding them hostage!

A new granddaughter for Independence Day!

So…our lives have changed dramatically in so many ways. Long story short, my kids and I had to sell our house.

The first weekend a few autumnal Octobers ago, the kids and I were helped by our friends to pack and move out. We each had a storage unit at the same storage facility.

We sold the house and turned over the keys to the new owner on October 10.

My daughter got married on October 12!

They spent their honeymoon in Colonial Williamsburg. of course!

My son and I helped her and her new hubby move into their new apartment on October 19.

My son and I found an apartment to live in late October, and that weekend my daughter’s hubby and a friend helped us move in.

In late November my daughter called me on the phone: Mom, you’re going to become a grandma!

My daughter’s first Mother’s Day

Eight months after the big announcement my daughter texts me in panic. Would I help them get the baby room ready. Oh, my! All the baby stuff was everywhere but in the baby’s room. The baby’s room had everything but baby stuff. So…we got to work.

My daughter’s husband asked me to be back up to take her to the hospital, in case he couldn’t get home from work in time.

Then doctor decided to induce labor around July 7.

Meanwhile my daughter’s hubbie said he wanted the baby to be born on July 4 and be a firecracker baby!

I reminded him that he had no control over that.

On July 4 I awoke to a text message from my daughter’s hubbie: Baby decided to keep Mama up ALL night, requiring her to be admitted to the hospital for an Independence Day delivery.

Because of hospital rules at the time, only one person could be with her or even in the hospital on her behalf, so I spent that day helping a friend with house painting while checking texts from the soon to be new daddy.

Finally, my granddaughter arrived, on July 4, just as her daddy intended!

Three generations with new pink quilt for a new granddaughter

Learning how to blog at wordpress, Instagram, and a sneak peak into my new life

Despite my great ambitions to start the New Year running with blogging daily to catch everyone up on my projects, travels, and new life, I’m stumbling on how to use WordPress. Hmmm…that appeared to be more difficult than I had imagined.

Thus I’ve been busy organizing my photo stash. First I moved hundreds (perhaps thousands of them) from my phone to laptop. Then I scoured for the best and put them into folders, in preparation to decide where to start blogging. I want to be sequential in leading to my BIG news!

Meanwhile I discovered 4 new comments on my old blog at Blogger. I received no notifications, hence my recent discovery. I tried to reply to those 4 comments but even though I’m signed in to Blogger, I’m not able to comment on ANY Blogger account. So Lillibeth at Blogger, although I am reading your blog, I’ve not been able to leave a comment. =(

However I was so encouraged by the 4 comments on my old blog, that I’ve decided to just TRY blogging at WordPress.

Well, learning comes by doing. Although everything is different, here, the joke is on me. This is easier than I thought! =)

You can also follow me at Instagram. I can at least be more quick to post teasing pictures there, then go into more detail here as I get caught up on all I want to share.

Meanwhile here’s a tiny sneak peak into my new life with my latest sewing project…

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 SWTSU…no celebrations. When I student taught in New Braunfels…no celebrations. When I later moved to Wichita Falls…no 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

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 wearing…clothing 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.

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

My son happened to have the day off so together we drove through heavy morning traffic to the tranquil setting of the cemetery.

Arlington National Cemetery

The crisp autumn day had only a bit of chill in the air.

Arlington National Cemetery

After walking past our cousin’s grave, we arrived at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

The beautifully haunting playing of Taps.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

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

Love having the deck facing the privacy of the woods!

2-Virginia Apartment-Deck 

As much fun as a woodburning fireplace could be, it takes up valuable real estate in this teeny living area. I have to call my social events squeezes, just like the James and Dolly Madison called their social events in nearby Washington, D.C. Funny when we learned that on a trip to Montpelier, because I thought my daughter had coined the term when she was a toddler. This photo was taken from the small dining room.

3-Virginia Apartment-Living Room 

Here is the master suite. It has a teeny tiny bathroom attached. More importantly, it has a decent walk-in closet, with hanging space on 3 sides of the closet. Room for not only my modern clothes but also my historical wardrobe.

4-Virginia Apartment-Master Suite 

The second bedroom, which my son claimed, is about the same size as the master. He also has a walk-in closet, but with hanging space on only one side. Amazingly he has a huge bathroom, just across the hall.

5-Virginia Apartment-Second Bedroom 

Then back to the kitchen (again taken from the small dining room).

6-Virginia Apartment-Kitchen 

Unfortunately I can’t paint the stark white walls. Therefore I have to be especially creative with decorating. Stay tuned for remodel posts…but this post was to show the starting point. I’m also updating blog posts of previous remodeling projects. Stay tuned!

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

These first time parents had decorated the baby room with a modern woodlands theme. And she and her cousin had sent not only photos of the nursery but lots of quilts on-line that they liked. So armed with those great details, I customized a unique version that complemented all those ideas, based on available fabrics.  I found a woodlands print that I coordinated with black gingham. Then I used grey minky for the backing. Dark grey embroidery floss was used to tie the quilt top to bottom together.

Black and Grey Baby Quilt flannel and minky-2
Modern Woodlands Baby Quilt

I chose a contemporary layout for the print since modern was the theme. The contemporary layout forced me to match the gingham, so the entire gingham portion of the background is pieced. Matching the columns was challenging, yet quite doable. However matching the rows was quite a bit more tedious, so I used large black rick rack to separate each row. 

Black and Grey Baby Quilt flannel and minky-1
Modern Woodlands Baby Quilt

The happy uncle reported that the quilt was happily received!

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

So I happily embarked on that journey. However there wasn’t quite enough so I bought a couple of extra flannel prints.

Pink and White Flannel and Minky Baby Quilt-2
Pink Snuggly Baby Quilt

 Also I creatively did some traditional patchworking with the remnants from my niece’s quilt. For the quilting process I simply tied knots with embroidery floss.

Pink and White Flannel and Minky Baby Quilt-3
Pink Snuggly Baby Quilt

For the backing I used adorably comfy minky fabric.
Pink and White Flannel and Minky Baby Quilt-4
Pink Snuggly Baby Quilt

Then of course, edged in ruffles!

Pink and White Flannel and Minky Baby Quilt-5
Pink Snuggly Baby Quilt

  Finis and ready to present upon the first meeting of the new arrival!