Category Archives: Christmas

Cold Winter and Blankets

It has been a very cold winter here in Indiana so far with several nights of single digit and zero degree temperatures.


We have had some nights with wind chills as low as  -19 degrees.  That is just too cold!


I have been usually starting most days with a hot bowl of oatmeal and a mocha (hot drink for me, though the kids still ask for smoothies too, brrrr)  to help us get warmed up in the mornings.  It is really hard for me to drink something cold when I am cold.  So my stove has been working overtime to keep warm beverages and food ready throughout the day!


A precious lady we met at church a couple of years ago stopped by this winter with some beautiful homemade blankets for our family.  This is one of the most thoughtful gifts anyone has ever shared with our family.  She grew up in a farm house out in the countryside and she remembers how chilly it can get in the winter.

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It must have taken her many long hours of her time to make a special blanket for each child.

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I am so touched by her kindness and generosity to my family.

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She also made one for my husband and I to share.


All these lovely colors were patiently put together by loving hands and given to us.  We are keeping warm, even in this cold winter, with these beautiful homemade blankets and I am grateful.

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Christmas Shopping

Can I help you with your Christmas shopping?

Christmas Gifts

I will help you find the perfect gift for your loved ones on your Christmas list.



You can find lots of great essential oils, vitamins and supplements, soaps, skin care, hair care, and more healthy living products to support your immune system and lifestyle for you and your loved ones at doTerra.

doTerra Diamond Kit



You can also pick up great healthy living items at ItWorks and while you are there, be sure to check out the WRAPS, natural super-food supplements, and body care products to make this coming year the best and healthiest year yet!  The most popular product is the Wrap Applicator which used to be sold in exclusive spas in Europe for over $300 and is available through ItWorks for $25 a piece. With products from ItWorks, you can create your own spa right at home for a fraction of the cost.

itWorks Pack


Garden Tower

Another great Christmas gift idea is a Garden Tower and try out a great way to capture water for your plants with the Rain Barrel.  You and your loved ones can grow organic food year around (indoors or outdoors) in these amazing vertical gardens. The Garden Tower holds 50 plants in less than 4 square feet.

Terracotta Composting 50-Plant Garden Tower by Garden Tower Project



Just For Kids:

A great idea for those all natural creative kids (your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, and neighbor kids too) in your life, is to get them kid friendly healthy living items from doTerra and ItWorks .  There are so many totally terrific items for kids available that will help them live a healthier life.

Also why not Give the gift of creativity with Green Kid Crafts!  These awesome arts, crafts, and educational activities are sure to please kids of all ages!

Another option is to purchase excellent resources from the Answers in Genesis Bookstore for folks of all ages too. They have books, CD’s, DVD’s, Games, and more, and there is something special for everyone!

If you need assistance, or have any questions, just leave me a message, and I will get in touch with you with great gifts options you will love and help you make this Christmas really special!


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Raising Memories

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If He Had Not Come Review

If you are looking for Christmas stories to read with your children or grandchildren, If He Had Not Come by David Nicholson is one you will want to add to your book list.



If He Had Not Come

Hard back book.
40 pages
Retails $18.95

This book is beautifully written and brightly illustrated.  It is written for kids ages 6 and older but it is very relatable for both kids and adults of ages.

David Nicholson has re-written a classic story for his children and grandchildren, and for children everywhere to contemplate the Christian message of Christ’s birth.   David is an author, teacher, and missionary from St. Paul Minnesota.   Many years ago, he heard the story written by author  Jan Week’s during a class at church, and began telling it too his children.  One day he decided to re-write the story with full illustrations to retell it to his grandchildren and future generations of children, and decided to write this wonderful book.


This book is about a young boy named Bobby and his journey to understand the impact Christ’s birth has in his life.  The journey to discover this truth begins when Bobby lays in bed one night and wonders what life would be like if Jesus had not come to the earth.  He had read John 15:22 with his family and the words Jesus had spoken to his friends in that passage would not leave his mind.  “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin.  But now they have no excuse for their sin.” John 15:22


He falls asleep and dreams about his life in a parallel universe absent of Jesus.  People are mean to each other, and life is dark without light, and there is no joy. Everything he knew before had changed, people, places, and there was no charity in people any more and no hope.  Even his church and the charity organizations like the homeless shelter and the local orphanage was gone.  In his dream he went home and picked up his bible, but it was blank and only read “if he had not come”.  When he wakes from his dream, he understands the impact Jesus has had in the earth and in his own life.  He prays to God for forgiveness and asks Jesus into his heart and dedicates his life to God.


We had a great time reading this book.  There are discussion questions and a bible study in the back of the book that is helpful for Sunday School classes as well as for the home setting.   The book also lists the steps to salvation through Jesus.  The message of our life with Christ and what it would be like without him is one everyone needs to hear.   Reading this book aloud at Christmas will be a new holiday tradition for us as we prepare to enjoy and understand the reason we celebrate Christmas.

We give gifts to one another because we love each other.  But God loved us first.  God gave us Jesus.  Jesus is the best gift of all in this life.  He can live in your heart if you will believe he is the son of God sent into this world by God to redeem you from sin and eternal separation from God, to a right relationship with God both in this life, and in eternity.

Be sure to follow David Nicholson’s social media links for If He Had Not Come for all the latest news and updates.


Click to read Crew Reviews

Check out what other families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using this book in their home with their family.

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Homemade Christmas

We usually make homemade cards and gifts to share during Christmas for our neighbors, friends, and community helpers. 

Her are a few simple ideas to help you do an activity like this. You and your kids can be as creative as you want.   With just a few inexpensive supplies, you can make cards and gifts that turn out unique and special.  One great thing about doing this is that it is easy for kids of all ages to participate. 

Homemade Christmas


I set out scraps of wrapping paper, recyclables from other crafts, glue, construction paper, scissors, crayons, colored pencils, stickers, ribbon, etc in the center of the table.  The kids cut out things from the scraps of leftover pieces of wrapping paper and glued them to folded construction paper.  They also drew pictures, added a few stickers, wrote messages, and glued on a computer printed picture of the kids all together.


These were the cutest homemade Christmas cards and so easy to make.  Some of the cards they made had a snow theme and they used blue paper and white and silver or foil snowflakes.  Some of the cards they made had a gift theme with presents and trees and red ribbon.  Some of the cards they made had an angel theme and they cut out white angles and glued them onto red paper.   

It usually takes a few afternoons cooking and making cards to share.  For several of the gifts, we made chocolate chip cookies and no bake cookies.  

For the no bake cookies we put them into clear plastic cups to protect them from breaking. 

Then we covered the cups with small clear plastic bags and tied on ribbons and foil snow flakes.  We used white ribbon on some, and red ribbon on others. The kids enjoyed making gifts to share.

Remember Your Community Helpers

Community helpers get to know many families in a local area, in different ways by providing services families need.   For example, a community extension agent helps families gain life skills for a better quality of life like teaching nutrition, leadership, and sewing classes, 4H clubs for kids, helping you raise a garden, or identify trees or plants in your yard, etc.  a garbage man collects your trash and recyclables each week, and a mail carrier brings a family their personal mail and packages five or six (out of seven) days a week. Doctors and nurse help those who are sick.  Hospice helps with those who are dying.  Red Cross, Salvation Army, local churches, and food pantries help with financial difficulties and disaster relief.  

Each community has lots of community helpers, many are paid positions, but many are volunteers too.  Even though you may not encounter all of the community helpers in your local community, and if you do their contact with your home might be very brief, it is still significant.  You certainly would spend a fortune to thank them all with cards and gifts and that is not practical, and I am not suggesting that.  But I am suggesting to pick a few, perhaps the ones you have had a lot of contact with over the past year, or even for a few months, and let them know you appreciate them.  

Sometimes it might be easy or sometimes it might be hard to get to know your community helpers.  For example, when you live where you can easily see your mailbox or trash cans from your dwelling, it is easier to get to know your mail carrier or garbage man.  It is much harder to get to know them if you live where you can’t see them when they are ate your dwelling, such as if you live in an apartment building where there is a community mail box on only one floor, or if you live down a long lane where you may seldom see the mail carrier or garbage man, or if the garbage man comes at night.  It is not always possible to get to know some community helpers.     

When we lived in NC, our mail carrier’s name was Robin and she became a sweet friend over the five years we lived there.  We could easily see the mail box from our front door and the kids were so excited when they would see her coming down the road and delivering mail to all the mail boxes in the neighborhood.  Robin loved the children and always greeted them warmly.  She loved learning about them and their homeschool projects.  Many of the packages she brought to the house included curriculum or project supplies for things the kids were making in their school work and she was always eager to learn what they were doing.  She even gave them candy on a regular basis.  You can read more about our mail carrier Robin in the story P Is For Postcard.   The kids were thrilled to bless our mail carrier with their homemade Christmas project.  They left her gift in the mail box so when she opened the mailbox she would get a special surprise!

Check out what the kids did for the garbage man, one of their most favorite community helpers. They also made gifts for the local 4H and county extension agent, their clubs and activity leaders, youth pastors at church, and many neighbors too.


An activity like this is beneficial in so many ways. Besides the social skills aspect of talking with people and thanking them, there are lots of other skills one can practice too.  The kids get to practice creativity, fine and gross motor skills while creating their cards (cutting, gluing, folding, drawing), they practice writing skills too.  My kids also practiced math, reading, and life skills baking and following recipes.

It is important to teach kids to appreciate community helpers. It is important to teach kids about showing gratitude and hospitality too.  

Appreciation and Gratitude Are Skills Too

This Christmas was very different for us, as the funds were tight and we have had to rely on the generosity of others.  We could not buy supplies to make fun stuff this Christmas.  We also came down sick in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and while having fevers and respiratory issues, we honestly didn’t feel very cheerful or excited to make lots of things.  But we are grateful for what others have done for us, for what we have, and for each other.  We wanted to convey our gratitude.

Even if you only have a little, you can double (multiply) or cut in half (divide) something your are making for your own family, and you can give it to others and let them know you appreciate them.

We did not buy any special ingredients, but used only what we had on hand.  Some of these ingredients were given to us to feed our family, and some of the ingredients were things we had on hand in the pantry (like cocoa, yeast, sprinkles, and food coloring).

We made a list of possible things we could make, and we also had some apple butter we made earlier in the fall from the trees on our homestead that we could give.  Finally the kids voted and decided to make homemade sugar cookies, chocolate chunk cookies, hot cocoa mix, and homemade bread to give away and thank people in our community (community helpers, pastor, family, and daddy’s coworkers).   

One thing I wanted to convey to my kids was that there are many community helpers that are probably seldom appreciated.  It really makes their day to receive appreciation from families they have served through out the past year.  


Do you know your community helpers?  How do you feel about giving cards or gifts to your mail carrier, garbage man, or other helpers in your community?  If you do related activities, please share examples of what you do to show your community helpers you appreciate how they serve your family. 


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Angel crafts are a fun project to do at Christmas time.  They can be great props to use in decorating and for retelling the story of Christ’s birth.

“While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord
came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, the baby that Mary will have
is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her”.”

  Matthew 1:20

We enjoy making angels from all sorts of different supplies and recyclables such as doilies, paper, beads and pipe cleaners, toilet paper rolls, etc.  One fun angel craft we made that was good for all ages was angels made from foam cut outs.

Start with foam sheets of the color you want your angel.  You can purchase pre-cut angel shapes, or cut out your own by tracing the shape onto the foam sheet and then cutting along the outline that you drew.  This is a lot of fun for the kids.

Then using just markers and stickers (or get fancy with paint, glitter, and jewels or lace etc. if you want), let the kids design their own angels. 


It is so easy to do and they can create beautiful little angels to display on your tree, or make a garland to hang on a wall, or use them to decorate gifts or cards.  

You can also flip them over and write an encouraging verse from the bible on the back too.

I really enjoy seeing the different designs and creations each of my children make.  

There are many verses to share that involve angels, but one that stood out to me when writing this post was how God will use angels at the end of time.  The bible says the angels will seperate people.  I hadn’t thought about the angels role at the end of time beyond blowing trumpets, and reading scrolls, and making announcements of Christ’s return.  I know there are guardian angels, and angels who are messangers, and angels who disperse plagues etc.  But I handn’t really spent time talking and teaching about the different roles of angels.  Now I want to include learning about this with my kids. I am on the lookout for a unit study on angels that we can do and learn more about them. 

“That’s how it will be at the end of time. Angels will come
and separate the evil people from the ones who have done right.”

 Matthew 13:49

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Be sure to follow us on Pinterest for all the latest great ideas from Moms around the web to bless your family and homeschool!


We have put together lots of boards full of great ideas to inspire you this Christmas and holiday season.  

Christmas Advent
Holiday Gifts
DIY Gifts
and Winter Fun and more…

Follow Weiser Academy’s board Winter on Pinterest.

And for more great ideas for your home and homeschool, check out
Weiser Academy’s profile on Pinterest.


Be Blessed!

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Merry Christmas Mr. Garbage Man

We love the people who help out in our community.  There are so many different things people do to take care of the needs of a community.  But our Garbage Man is a special favorite community helper. 

This is our fourth Christmas in this house (our fifth Christmas in North Carolina), and we have had the same garbage man all four years.  He often takes time to talk with the children for just a minute in his busy day.   He has a special place in our hearts.  Many times the children have shared cookies and treats with him as our way of saying thank you for his hard work and dedication.   They are always courteous and thank him for collecting our trash.  He seems deeply surprised and pleased that our children treat him so kind and with such admiration.  I am sure he is not often thanked for the work he does. 

Each week the children anxiously wait for him to arrive and they run to the front porch to wave and say hi when he stops in front of our house.   They wait on the porch or at the front door until he leaves and they wave goodbye. 

He always waves goodbye to them.  Then a few minutes later they run to the back of the house and watch through the window as he drives to a nearby subdivision and collects garbage there.  A few minutes later he travels down the road behind our house and they get one last glimpse of him.  If it is a nice day and we are outside in the back yard playing, or eating a picnic lunch in the yard, they wave goodbye to him a second time. 

Our family made special Christmas cards and gifts this year for our community helpers.  We wanted to let them know how much we appreciate them.  Each card was different and personal.  I was so proud of the cards the kids made for everyone. 


We used a variety of colors of construction paper to make the outside of the cards.  Some cards had additional papers glued into the inside, others did not.  The kids used markers, crayons, pencils, and stamps depending on what card they were making.  We used a variety of wrapping papers and cut out different Christmas themed shapes and pictures.   Some of the cards included a picture of all of the kids together, others included a drawing or craft the kids had made.  I will share more pictures of cards and gifts they made in another Christmas themed story.


For the Garbage Man, the children cut and pasted wrapping paper ornaments onto a homemade card.  They used markers to write a special message.  Then they attatched an additional paper inside the card where they drew a picture of him collecting our garbage and thanked him and in the top of the card they wrote a special verse just for him.  They made fudgey “no bake” chocolate oatmeal cookies and wrapped them up very pretty to give him. 

As soon as he arrived they darted out of the house to greet him.  And yes, the kids are in shorts, in December. It is amazing to me how warm the winter is here. We have very few cold days and we can often wear shorts even in December and January.  Sometimes it is chilly in the morning, but by the time lunch time rolls around, it is comfortable temperatures again.  I would never dream of doing that in Indiana or Kansas this time of year. But it is normal here in this section of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the edge of NC and SC. The temperatures stay very mild for most of the year.  Anyway, they showered him with appreciation, and blessings for the coming year.

                     Thank you for all you do Mr Garbage Man.   We appreciate you. 

                    Merry Christmas Mr. Garbage Man!

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Legos & Blessing Bags & Christmas

This holiday season, we wanted to teach the kids in the Lego and Robotics Academy that it is a blessing to be a blessing.  We decided to build blessing bags during our Christmas party to give away to those in need in our community.  In this way we hoped to show the kids that Christmas is about giving.  We want the kids to know that helping people in our community is important.

Lego and Robotics Academy is a 4H club made up of homeschool families in our community.  We get together each month to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).  We are a fairly new club and have been meeting for 7 months now.  Today is a big step in coming together to do something important for someone else.

Each family donated items for our bags and brought it to our Christmas party.  The bags that we used to hold everything, were two gallon ziploc plastic bags. We wrote a blessing on the front of each bag with a permanent marker.

We set up the kids in an assembly line at long tables to fill the bags. This helped to maintain organization. 

Each child had an item to be responsible for, a “job” as my daughter called it.  We lined groups of items up on tables and had the kids stand in front of their special group of items.

Then each child placed the items that they were responsible for into the blessing bag.  Finally they passed the bag onto the next person for the process to be repeated.

Items we put into the bag today were:

hand warmers
kleenix tissues
tooth paste
tooth brush
plastic silverware
cheese crackers & peanut butter
granola bar
vienna sausages
bottle water

Several of our club members were not able to attend today.  But the kids still managed to build 24 blessing bags to hand out.  Each family took several bags home to disperse on their own.  Some carried the bags in their car and gave them out to people in need they met on the street.  Some took their bags to a local shelter.  Some took their bags to a church ministry that gave them to people in need. 

Each family was welcome to add more items into their bags before delivering them.  We left some extra room in the bags for this purpose and incase the person receiving the bag needed to add something of their own to it to keep it dry or protected.  Our family also added more items that we wanted to give.  The kids thought about it and chose a few additional items to make their bag complete.

Suggestions for additional items include:

soup in easy open cans
fruit in easy open cans
another bottle of water
liquid soap
wash cloth
protein bars
meat jerky
thin blanket
pillow case
gift cards for bus, coffee, meals, etc.
MRE meals
dehydrated vegetables and foods
dehydrated soup
vitamin C
jars of peanut butter
small pop-up tent
rain poncho
mini camp stove
paper and pens
rolls of quarters
laundry soap
salt and pepper
Card or note of encouragement

Suggestions for other types of bags to hold items are back packs, duffle bags, carts with wheels, suit case with wheels.  Also bags of groceries are nice blessing bags too.  If you are blessing a child with a bag, leave out the items such as matches or lighters and vitamins, and instead add a stuffed animal, coloring book, and school supplies.  Trident gum would be nice to include too.

To further our learning and appreciation of this special opportunity, we also had a discussion about why folks might end up in need this holiday season.

The kids were asked to share their ideas about why folks were in need.  Some of the reasons they shared were:

Loss of job
Physical Illness
Mental Illness
Cold Weather
Weather Emergency (Tornado, Hurricane, etc.)
Poor Quality Housing
Lack Of Transportation (no car, no money to fix broken car, no money for gas or insurance).
No Money To Pay For Things
No Food
Crime In Neighborhood
Been A Victim
Death Of A Loved One
Run Away
Family Fight

There were so many reasons folks could find themselves in need.  We should not be judgemental or criticize people who have less or who have more than we have.  We should bless others and give as we are able to.  We prayed over our bags that they would be a blessing to whomever received them.

After our blessing bag activity, we enjoyed a fun time celebrating Christmas together with a party of refreshments and goodie bags for the kids.

All of the families pitched in to help make this party a fun time for the children.  The children helped set up the tables and chairs before the meeting today.  The food table was decorated with a lighted tree, red table cloth, and looked very festive.

One of the moms made these fun Lego heads for the kids to eat.  These were made from marshmallows on a popcycle stick, dipped in white chocolate with yellow food coloring added, and faces piped onto them.  She covered a box with wrapping paper to look like a present and stuck the popcycle sticks in to it to hold them upright.

There were a variety of sandwiches, chips, dips, vegies, and fun lego candy.  The candy looks just like Lego bricks and was available at the local Ingles grocery stores. It tastes like sweet tarts, and it stacks together like legos.

The kids really enjoyed their Christmas party, building the blessing bags, and playing with their friends.

One of the families made goodie gift bags, and everyone had a Christmas goodie bag to take home and enjoy. 

After the party, the kids helped clean up the room and put away all the tables and chairs.  Then several kids enjoyed a game of tossing a football and playing tag outside. 

 It was a beautiful day even in December. We have not had snow and for the most part our winter weather has been very mild. The kids enjoy playing outside every chance they get.

1 Corinthians 9:23

“I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

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