A Hodgepodge December and a Chalk Pastels ebook

A Hodgepodge Christmas It’s been a Hodgepodge sort of December. We’ve collected many happy memories even though we were hit with sickness starting early in the month. The flu was staggered with each of our family of seven – lasting 10 days to two weeks for each of us. So far, only one escaped. The sick ones were quarantined upstairs in hopes of preventing the spread to the well ones downstairs.

Christmas 2012 at Hodgepodge The different levels of the house even skyped each other! Then the well side switched with the sick side. We were very thankful that our girls were well in time for their piano recital. And even though Lil’ Buddy was still getting well, he did break the record for getting up the earliest on Christmas – at 3:30 a.m. We went back to bed but did head down the steps at 6:00 Christmas morning.

December Sickness Pitiful with a capital P! Needless to say, it’s been a rough go. We had multiple trips to the doctor, several secondary infections. While we weren’t able to be around extended family this Christmas, we had each other! We read Jotham’s Journey by the fire. Took frequent naps. Drank our weight in Gatorade.

Of one thing I am sure. I am thankful that we started our school year the last week of July! There is no pressure and we’ve allowed ourselves the healing time needed.

Christmas creations Hodgepodge Christmas cookies. The force mixes with tradition. With the sickness staggered, some enjoyed art projects. We also staggered our Christmas cookie making. The well ones went first, making a cookie sheet full. We baked those. Then the sick ones stepped up to the table and had fun making a batch too. We used the cookie cutters I enjoyed with my mother when I was a child! And we also were able to make one Darth Vader pancake. Many thanks to my Aunt Patti for the fun Star Wars cutters and molds!

Hearts and Trees Winter Fun Kit A very big highlight is Middle Girl has been busy on the newest Hearts and Trees Winter Fun kit. I highly recommend this all-inclusive kit for an easy way to add in some extra handicrafts, art projects and nature study. She was able to open it up and enjoy projects herself! We are looking forward to making the fleece hat. And Littlest Girl loves the laminated card of nature study prompts. Mary at Homegrown Learners is reviewing the Prairie Kit today. You can enter to win a kit of your choice! Stop by The Curriculum Choice and enter to win. Or go ahead and order a kit for your children. An easy and affordable way to add some winter fun on these chilly days!

Littlest Girl at ENT We are building Littlest Girl’s strength for a scheduled tonsillectomy next week. Here she is, above, at her pre-op visit yesterday. She’s glad her new shark Webkinz can accompany her.

During the Christmas break I spend some time planning for the new semester. “With my morning coffee I can reassess plans and goals for each child. Fifteen minutes to half an hour each early morning for each child. The rest of the day enjoying the break with family.”

homeschool-planning-with-IHN I am happy to let you know that coming Monday I’ll be sharing a couple of planning guides I hope will be a help to you. I’m joining in with the wonderful iHomeschool Network ladies. My topics are How to Plan Simple Afternoon Art Projects and How to Plan Individual Time with Multiple Ages. You’ll also not want to miss Barb-Harmony Art Mom’s How to Plan Art Appreciation for Home or Co-Op at The Curriculum Choice.

Did you miss my Top Slow Cooker Recipes of 2012 or our Best of Hodgepodge Homeschooling Multiple Ages posts?

Chalk pastels ebook in progress And now, the big announcement! In the background, amongst real life, my husband, Nana and I put together a resource I hope will bless you. It’s all our chalk pastel tutorials in one spot. It’s huge – lessons for a whole school year. Along with some new ones – including video tutorials! We are aiming to release next week. So stay posted!

Many thanks to our Friday hostesses!

How about you? Have you escaped the sickness this year? What time did your children awaken you Christmas morning? Click to comment…


  1. 1


    Your December sounds a whole lot like mine. We had stomach viruses, ear infections and one child with pneumonia. At first I was so frustrated because there was so much Christmas stuff I wanted to do, but I forced myself to put things away and remind myself that Christmas comes every year :-) I just got in my winter fun kit, but we haven’t opened it up yet. I love the way that paper star project turned out!
    Rebecca recently posted..Our Homeschool Week (December 24-28)My Profile

    • 2


      Rebecca, I am right with you. What started out as such an overwhelming thing with sickness turned around to a blessing of quiet Christmas together. Just us. Since we knew we couldn’t and shouldn’t get out, we rested and kept everything so very simple. It was different but every bit Christmas still. (And we are working slowly on our kit too – savoring!)

  2. 3


    I am sorry that sickness hit your house. My James was sick on Christmas day and has been sick ever since. One by one they have all gotten it since then. It looks as if a lot of crafting and celebrating happened despite the illness at your house. The books sounds wonderful. Is it just what you have on the blog, or is more added to it?
    All Things Beautiful recently posted..All Year Round Blog Carnival: WinterMy Profile

    • 4


      Oh Phyllis I am sorry to hear that y’all have been sick too! It is surely a rough go this year. Sending healing prayers your way for healing in the new year. The pastels ebook we put together because our sweet readers have been asking for the tutorials all in one spot. Plus, yes, there are new tutorials. Including two video tutorials. Encouragement from Nana on art with little ones. We’re excited to share! And sure hope this format makes it easy for families to enjoy a chalk pastel a week if they like – for a whole year!

  3. 7

    Heidi says

    I am so glad to hear everyone is doing better. It seems you had a blessed Christmas season, even in the midst of all the sickness. Sending prayers for next week’s surgery! I am so excited about the pastel tutorials…what a huge blessing!

    • 10


      Thank you so much Rebecca! I think we are just about there. Just praying for Littlest Girl to gain strength and be well for tonsillectomy… with the end result of even better health overall.

  4. 15

    Wendy says

    Tricia, So glad you are all feeling better! I just bought my kids chalk pastels and paper for Christmas, I’m even more excited now that you have an e-book coming. Can’t wait! Blessings for the New Year!

  5. 16

    Rhonda H says

    Prayers that 2013 will be a healthy one for your family. So looking forward to your Simple Afternoon Art Projects, and the Chalk Pastels resources. Have used several of your slow-cooker recipes. I have noticed we prefer beef slow-cooker recipes to chicken. Our chicken tends to get dry.
    Thanks for all the homeschool support and encouragement.Blessings to the Hodgepodge bunch in 2013!
    Rhonda H in Arkansas

  6. 17

    Rana says

    Thank you so much for sharing the Winter Fun kit. I’m ordering this for my kiddos. I’ve been schooling more toward the seasons and this will be a great addition to our “Winter” education.
    Glad your family is on the mend!

  7. 18

    Shelley says

    I’m so grateful for your Pastel lessons & can’t wait for your ebook! My children Mia 4 & Peyton 9 (boy) both love art but I have no talent in that area. HOWEVER, after a quick lesson on your website with Nana we all 3 are having a ball with pastels!!! They are so fun and forgiving!

    God has used you to encourage me! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts & life with us!


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