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Welcome! My name is Mary. I help parents educate their children at home one day at a time. This site offers LEGO printablesfree music lessonsunit studies,  and much more. Use the tabs above to discover what Homegrown Learners has to offer. You will be equipped and encouraged to travel a most amazing path in your home!

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The Simple Gifts Are The Biggest Blessings - Collage Friday

 This week has been VERY stressful.

I know I am getting older (and my faith is getting bigger!), because the stressful events of the week just didn't phase me like they would have just a couple of years ago.

No matter what happens to us, I know my God is BIG ENOUGH to handle all of it. HE knows the plans for my life and His plans are for good. 

I'm reminded at every turn that when we focus on OTHERS and not ourselves, our problems seem to melt away. 

I was so happy to focus on my presentation for the Heart of the Matter Online's Fall Conference on Thursday evening: Making Music in Your Homeschool EASY. Did you catch any of the conference? (It's still going on tonight!)

We had a full week of homeschooling - quite a productive week, actually, but this week's collages will focus mostly on the simple gifts that have been the BIGGEST blessings.

S'mores on a Saturday night with two giggly boys... laying in bed and listening to them giggle during a sleepover was a huge treat. Can't they always stay this little?

Using the new firepit - time to laugh and appreciate each other

The ushering in of fall - weather cool enough to begin eating our dinners outside and throwing on a light sweater

Happy children (and dad!) playing football and baseball in the back yard

Picnic lunches while reading aloud - the seventh grader begging me to just "read a little more!"

"Date nights" with my 8 year old - him holding the doors for me and stopping to look at the full moon

A brother and sister caught having a good time together outside (some days it seems like they just like to get under each other's skin, but I'm trying to take note of all the time they DO get along)

LOTS of free time for LEGO building, and the blessing of working with LEGO Education

More time for read alouds outside - and our awesome read-aloud, The Minstrel in the Tower

An inquisitive class at Classical Conversations, and the gift of inquisitiveness during a science experiment

The FREEDOM to just take a nap on a Monday afternoon if you're feeling under the weather


Next week I will be blogging a bit more about why we are loving Classical Conversations and some of the ways we are doing CC at home during the week. It really has been such a blessing to us.

If you'd like to link, you can do so in a couple of ways:

  • Enter your link below. Be sure to link to your post with photo collages and link back to this post (or include the Collage Friday button on your blog).
  • Share your photo collage(s) on Instagram, FB, G+, or Twitter - use the hashtag #collagefriday so I can find you!



Reader Comments (18)

I LOVE your fire pit - what a great way to enjoy fall! And yes, you are so very right - when you focus on others and giving, then when those hard times come - as they surely will - then we can see the joy in it all as the Lord carries us through. Wonderful collages of family fun - smores! Hooray for Heart of the Matter conference!

September 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

Mary, You are giving me hope here in Florida that we might get to a backyard fire with smores soon!! I hope your week finishes on a less stressful note. Thank you for sharing your inspirations with us! Holly

September 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolly Giles

Oh, I love the moments mine get along. It's hard to remember to praise their efforts. You have reminded me - Thank you!

By the way, how is your back?

September 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel E.

I love your photos collages...a beautiful week. Looks like you have really found a good fit for your curriculum this year.

Oh, I thought we'd be immune to sibling issues given my two are 7 years apart. Silly me! They have their moments, especially right now with the toddler being, well, a toddler :) Thankfully my 9-year-old is an excellent big brother and can easily go with the flow of the toddler mood swings! I treasure the lovely moments and hold onto those. And I treasure that because of homeschooling they have many opportunities throughout the day to get in that special time together. This helps my 9-year-old find those moments when my toddler just adores him and wants to be with him nonstop.

I linked up this week. Hope to make a regular occurrence this year :)

September 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJocelyne @ No Textbooks

Love that you shared so many beautiful blessings this week! Smores night looks wonderful!

September 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharla

Just a quick note to say I am enjoying Home Grown Learners and I featured your blog today on HammockTracks.

September 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSavannah

Looks like you've been putting that new fire pit to good use! We don't have that but we've been doing a whole lot of LEGO building around here (when we're not outside!) lately too.

September 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie {See Jamie Blog}

Lots of good moments during the week and a great attitude to focus on those. I hope the stress of the week is behind you now. Have a wonderful weekend!

September 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

Oh boy Mary, we are already turning on our little electric heaters in the mornings to take the chill off! I often focus on my troubles way too much and whine to God rather than focusing on worshiping and praising Him! I love your back yard pics! I'll have to check out your presentation!

September 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSylvia

The s'mores are an awesome way to usher in fall. I hope you're feeling better and it's so encouraging to know you are trying not to focus on yourself through a difficult time. Thanks for hostessing Collage Friday , and have a great weekend!

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBetty Jo

I love seeing photos of your new fire pit in action. Maybe I will have one one day... I love how you've focused on the good things about your week. I hope next week is more relaxed for you.
Thank you for hosting Collage Friday! Lucinda

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLucinda @ Navigating By Joy

The Lego education looks so interesting. I'm going to have to check that out. Thank you for hosting.

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGretchen

Looks like a great week! I'm taking notes on all your fun read-alouds for your medieval studies because the class I'm designing for spring semester at co-op is titled, "Knights and Samurai"

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Yum . . . s'mores! The firepit area looks so inviting. I am sorry that you had a stressful week but love your beautiful insight with our growing wisdom. Ahhh...and date nights -- as a mother of many daughters, I greatly appreciate moms teaching their sons in this area.

Happy Homeschooling!

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAddelah

We had our own issues with brother and sister fighting....It's nice to hear I'm not the only one! I look forward to hearing what you have to say about CC. I always love reading from other CC families!

S'mores around the fire pit sounds delightful. I can't wait to use ours this year. Fall might finally be arriving in Texas.

I am sorry your week was stressful, but isn't it amazing how much easier it is to handle as the years go by. Proof that we are always growing.

September 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary

I love the simple things. We try to always remember the blessings that come our way every day. I love your fire pit!!! They did a great job. What a lovely week Mary. Thank you for hosting as always.

September 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

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