Fairy Tale Artwork


“Every person’s life is a fairy tale written by God’s fingers.” -Hans Christian Andersen

My 18-year old daughter read Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, for her online English class, and was given the assignment to complete a project related to one of the novel’s themes.


Up close look at the Sleeping Beauty bubble

She chose to use her creative talents and produce this lovely piece of artwork which reflects her love for art, books and fairy tales.


She chose a fairy tale quote by Hans Christian Andersen, who wrote such fairy tales as The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling and The Princess and the Pea, none of which are depicted on her fairy tale “bubbles”. (She first chose her favorite fairy tales and later found the quote.)


All of her fairy tale bubbles, except for, Beauty and the Beast, which originated from French novelist, Gabrielle-Susanne Barbot de Villeneuve, were made popular by the Brothers Grimm. It was this rendition of, Beauty and the Beast, that the girls and I recently saw performed by Ballet West in Salt Lake City.


But, I found this news article about plans for a fairy tale museum in Denmark that will pay tribute to Hans Christian Andersen.


Nature’s Little Wonders



This past Monday, the kids and I revisited Tohono Chul Park. I loved this beautiful tree with light yellow pom pom blossoms. Later I found out its name- Sweet Acacia.


This guy is a Desert Spiny lizard.


Our Homeschool ABC’s


I’ve always wanted to make a homeschool ABC list! But instead of a how-to-homeschool list, this is a benefits and blessings list and my kids contributed. 🙂

A is for Anytime, Anywhere, Anything goes! Unlike public school, homeschooling takes place anytime of the day, anywhere inside or outside (in the real world!) and anything goes as far as the curriculum (the Bible counts!) and learning methods utilized.

B is for Books, books and more books! My kids love all the free time they have just to read. When they read for pleasure, reading is a pleasure!

C is for Creativity. Arts and crafts, baking, science experiments, Minecraft, fairy gardens, Oh My!


D is for Days. Snow days, vacation-anytime days, read-aloud days, field trip days, unit- study days, science days, art days, nature days, friend days at the zoo. Days our way!

E is for Excelling. Recently I asked a professional math teacher to evaluate my son’s math level. Compared to his public schooled peers, he is two levels ahead. Three Cheers for homeschooling and excelling at your own pace!

F is for Family and Friends. Homeschooling has given us more quality family time which means more time to nurture sibling and parent relationships, and friendships, too.

G is for God. God is welcome in our home and we can feel His spirit here.

H is for Happy Hearts. Spending our days learning together makes our hearts happy!

I is for Influence. Our home influence is one of love, acceptance, encouragement, unity and high moral standards which fosters self-confidence and individual worth.

J is for Jammies! Learning in pajamas is comfortable and fun!

K is for Knowledge, both academic and spiritual together, which we believe makes up a complete education.

L is for Life. We actually have a life! It’s not all about school. There’s a nice balance.

M is for Mornings. We love our relaxed, ease-into-the-day mornings together. We have time for a hot, nutritious breakfast, for a morning nature walk, for curling up and reading together…

N is for Never-ending Possibilities! Homeschooling means we can dive into a subject that catches our fancy, switch gears in the middle of the day or have a spur-of-the-moment picnic lunch at a park.


O is for Outdoors. Who wants to be stuck inside at a desk when it’s a gorgeous sunny day outside?

P is for Peace. Homeschooling has brought me great peace of mind, knowing my children are safe from the worldly and negative aspects of public school that we experienced first-hand.

Q is for Quiet. At home we can hear ourselves think! Sometimes the world around us is noisy and confusing, but at home, we can tune the world out and focus on what matters most.

R is for Rhythm. We learn, play, eat, sleep, (go to the bathroom!) at our own natural rhythm. So much healthier!

Science experiment 9-10-2014 (4)

S is for Science. My son’s greatest passion (except maybe Minecraft). Plenty of hands-on science activities at our house.

T is for Time. Time to be a family, time to be a kid, time to parent, time to listen, time to play and explore the world around us, time to learn and grow, time to eat lunch, time to just be. Sweet, blissful time that isn’t wasted sitting at a desk for hours, day after day.

U is for Uniqueness. Each child’s unique talents, abilities and personal interests are celebrated and pursued!

V is for Values and Virtues. At home, we learn and live by The Golden Rule and The Ten Commandments. We forgive, serve, and love one another.

W is for Witty! We feel rather clever for going off the traditional path of public schooling and daring to take education into our own hands! 😉

X is for X-tra. Extra a-ha moments that I get to witness!

Y is for Youth. Teens need their parents and homeschooling lets parents be more of an influence.

Z is for Zero! Zero grades. Zero data-mining. Zero “teaching-to-the-test”. Zero conformity. Zero tears.


Simply Knowledge Homeschool

Spring in the Desert



While walking in the desert

On a calm April day;

Amid sage green so infinite,

I spied subtle blooms.

The rapid beating

from a hovering bird,

Transformed drab reflections

to wondrous delight.

It’s not the same spring

I’ve often known,

With plush cherry blossoms

Or sweet golden meadows.

And yet…

 the sidewalk planter boxes

are charming to behold;

There is just a touch

 of spring in the desert.

Fairy Garden Fun!


I know I’ve already blogged about the fairy gardens my lovely nieces created, but I wanted to show off Marissa’s two fairy gardens and present it as a tutorial.


The great thing about this craft (and most kid crafts) is that the supply possibilities are only as endless as your child’s imagination. In this case, get your child to think “miniature”. Wooden (or plastic) spools can turn into a table and chair set (or make up the trunk of a tree) with button plates, etc. etc. etc. I did purchase some of these supplies from Michael’s, the dollar store and Walmart’s craft section (I don’t sew haha!), but other materials were what we already had on hand. Some of the craft materials we used were:

  • crepe paper, tissue paper, scrapbook paper, flower stickers
  • cotton balls
  • wooden spools of various sizes (could be plastic), tiny wooden flower pots
  • colorful thread (for the spools)
  • Easter grass, hobby moss/grass/blossoms, hobby flowers
  • buttons (we found adorable wooden buttons)
  • paint, Mod Podge, sponge/paint brushes, paper plates/bowls (for the paint), newspaper or plastic table cloth (to protect the table)
  • polished pebbles, sea shells, hobby sand, glitter (for a fairy touch)
  • tiny accessories such as a bench, wheel barrow, wagon, frog, turtle, bakery bread, soda bottle, fence, door, mushrooms (these can get pricey so I suggest a budget or inspiring your child to make her own; Marissa made her own watermelon slices out of the rounded ends of craft sticks)
  • a cardboard “book” or shallow wooden base/tray (but your child could use a shoe box or a thick cardboard base)
  • hot glue gun, glue sticks (please supervise your younger children)


The first fairy garden my daughter created was hidden inside a “book”. First, Marissa painted the outside of the book. She even painted the words, “fairy garden” on the spine of the book. Once the paint was dry, she chose to cover the inside-bottom with moss which she glued down. She added a picket fence around half of the border, made a table and chair set out of spools (after Mod-podging thread around the middle and gluing a fabric “cloth” over the top of the “table” spool), a bench, wheel barrow, two flower bouquets in flower pots (she created this from a bag of “blossoms” and “grass” mixed & glued together) and a turtle inside a “giant” flower.


Marissa added a mini door on the cover for easy fairy access.


Can’t you picture a fairy-size tea set on the table and a tiny book on the bench?

The second fairy garden my daughter created started with the wooden base I purchased for her and each of her cousins (from Michael’s). Each girl came up with a unique scene. That’s the beauty of crafting! Everyone’s creation is perfect. To see the other girls’ fairy gardens, visit this post.


Marissa started by painting the inside-bottom of her base with brown paint (for dirt). She then added the elements she pictured in her mind, such as a little brook/stream, picnic blanket with a spread, wagon holding collected sea shells (because in a fairy forest, anything goes) and three trees built from painted wooden spools stacked & glued together, topped with painted cotton balls. She used Easter grass and hobby grass to create patches of green and her picnic “blanket” is scrapbook paper.


If your child creates their own fairy garden, we would love to see it! Please leave us a comment with the link to the picture. Now I want to create my own fairy garden. There’s just something magical about a fairy garden and who else loves things in miniature?

Simply Knowledge Homeschool

Weekly Nutshell


The highlights from this past week were…


An early birthday present Marissa and I put together for her cousin who loves to craft- A basket full of fun craft items.

Monday- Spending the day with my brother and his family. They are the only extended family who visit us on a regular basis because my sister-in-law’s family lives “up our way” so when they visit her family, they make time to stop and visit us. This time we hosted an egg hunt for the cousins and then the girls made their fairy gardens while the adults and Marcus played the tile game, Carcassonne, which was so much fun! Check it out if you’ve never heard of it. Now I want to add it to our game collection.

Tuesday- Because it was our neighborhood’s spring break, we invited the children of two families over to play. We hosted another egg hunt, followed by lunch and The Peanuts Movie in our theater room.

Wednesday- Marissa, Marcus and I drove “down” to Pleasant Grove and checked into a hotel. We met up with Zach for pizza.


Marissa’s up-do for prom.

Thursday- I dropped Marissa and Marcus off at their school at 8:30am so they could attend their classes in person (and some extra classes!). These are their online/distance classes that are filmed live. It’s always a treat when they can visit their school. Then in the afternoon, Marissa got her hair done for her prom and we shopped for the perfect jacket to go over her dress (just for fun).

IMG_3112 IMG_4390

That night Marissa went to her prom after we took her to eat at Olive Garden. Zach, Marcus and I crashed (not really) around 9pm for the senior promenade to watch her walk down a staircase and be presented with a necklace while her bio was read.

IMG_1300 image2

Friday- We drove back home, with Zach. That evening, Zach and I went to a viewing of a former bishop from our ward. He had passed away after a valiant battle with cancer. I’m so thankful for the gospel in my life, for my Savior’s Resurrection, and the reassurance it gives me that death is not the end.

Saturday- We drove to Salt Lake, this time with Darcie and one of her friends, to see Ballet West perform Beauty and the Beast. Zach was sweet enough to be our chauffeur and spent brother time with Marcus while the girls were at the ballet. Then, we all went out to eat at Iggy’s Sports Grill where I had the most delicious Parmesan crusted tilapia!


Sunday- The kids and I watched the last sessions of General Conference together. Here is one of my favorite quotes. Our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, announced four new temples to be built and one of them is a second temple in Lima, Peru (that’s where we lived for 2 years). Currently, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has 150 operating temples throughout the world!