Category Archives: paper crafting

We Have a Winner!

You all know that I recently did another Close To My Heart Gathering as a benefit for Deputy Shannon Key, and that I was going to do a drawing, giving one entry for every $25.00 spent (before tax/shipping). Well, with this gathering, we raised $73.43 for Deputy Key’s fund! 🙂

As promised, I asked one of Deputy Key’s children to draw the winner for the contest.

Here is Deputy Key‘s eldest daughter with me, getting ready to make the draw . . .


Who’s name will be on that paper?


And the winner is . . .


Rose Yates, of Rio Ranch, NM!


Rose has chosen a set of note cards for her prize, and as soon as they are completed and given to her, I will post pictures so you can see what they look like.

Stay tuned, there will be a drawing from my next gathering, later this month, as well!

As always, I’d love to have you follow my blog via email! Just click the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog and enter your email, and never miss an update! 🙂

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Filed under card making, Close to My Heart, paper crafting, scrapbooking, Shannon Key

“A Trip to the Library” (In the Hands of a Child Lapbook Review for T.O.S.

I must confess, my kids and I have had previous (a long time ago) experience with the company In The Hands Of A Child“, and had even at one time, had a Super Membership that I purchased when attending a mega-curriculum fair back in Michigan. However, back then, I found many of the Project Packs to be too much for my kids, so we haven’t done any from In The Hands of a Child for quite some time. As you’ll see from my review, I was pleasantly surprised at how much better they did with a Project Pack from this company now than they did several years ago!

In The Hands Of A Child was created and is still run, by a pair of home-schooling moms. You can read about them here. Whenever possible, if I am buying materials for my home-schooling, I do prefer to support fellow home-schoolers, and this is a good one to support, for sure!

When given the list of products to choose from, I chose the Project Pack A Trip To The Library, because when we lived in Michigan, my kids loved going to the library, and even after being here in NM for a year now, we had not yet even found our local library branch, let alone gotten library cards, so I thought this would be a good incentive to get that off of the “to do” list!


The Project Pack A Trip To The Library is written for students in grades K – 3, and is available right now for $5.00! The regular price is $10.00.

I received a download of this Project Pack, which is the format I prefer, as I can then use it for more than one of my children, and can also save it for use in later years.

When you think about A Trip To The Library, you may be just thinking about getting there, letting your kids choose some books,, a story-time hour if your kids are little, and going on home, but as your children will learn while doing this Project Pack, there is a lot of information about the library that they are capable of understanding.

From the website:

“With this unit study you will be able to teach your early elementary classroom about the library. Libraries have a lot of books, but they also have a lot of other information and resources. Teach your students about the types of libraries, common areas inside a library, library rules, how to find a book, librarians, book classification systems, the parts of a book, and more. Make your lesson planning easy with the Trip to the Library Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 11 Hands-On Activities PLUS 6 Fun Extension Activities, and a 7-page Research Guide to complete a project all about the library!”

You may even download a sample here.

I knew my children would enjoy doing this, because over the past few years as their skills have improved, we have added in more and more lap-booking materials to our educational experience. I am a scrap-booker/card maker, and my kids watch me, and like to take whatever materials I end up not using to create on their own, so it was fun for them to do the cutting, putting together, and laying things out in their file folder books we made.

Here are “The Puzzler”, “The Batman” & “Mr. Loquacious” gluing the definitions to their vocabulary words, which we then put together with brads from my scrap-booking stash . . .


and here is “The Artist” working on his . . .


We made quite a mess, with all of the cutting! I decided to just let it all fall to the floor and clean it up at the end of each session. This is just a SMALL part of the mess . . . it grew and grew!


As I mentioned above, one of the main reasons I chose this particular Project Pack was to use it as an incentive to get moving on finding the library here in our new city, and get library cards. So, one day while we were in the middle of working on A Trip To The Library, since I had some errands to run that morning, we decided to just include a trip to OUR library, once I had searched it on Google so I could use the gps on my phone to get us there (as my husband is fond of saying, I am completely geographically challenged!).

Once we found that there was a branch of the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library fairly close to our home, we decided to go on our way home from the errands. What I planned as a QUICK stop turned into a couple of hours, but that was OK, the boys had fun, and we all have our new library cards now. 🙂

Here are the boys, signing their new library cards . . .

“The Batman”

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“The Artist”

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“Mr. Loquacious”

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“The Puzzler”

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All four of the boys working intently on their layouts . . .


Here is part of the inside of a finished Project Pack . . .


. . . and the other part of the inside is here . . .


You can see in the first example above, the boys added the pictures of themselves signing their new library cards. We had also saved all of the little extra illustrations in the Project Pack print out, and they used them to decorate the empty spaces in their file folder books. In this case, it helped with covering the manufacturer’s printed material that was showing on the insides of the folders.

I took all four of their brand new library cards and scattered them onto the copier part of my printer to make a picture for the covers of their file folder books, and then used a cute font I have to make a title for them. This is how we decided it should look . . .


And here are all four boys showing off their finished Project Packs!


We did not need to purchase anything extra at all to do this, and you probably won’t, either. I always have a box of file folders on hand. For each file folder book, we took two file folders and folded each into the middle, making it gate-fold into the center. Then, we attached the two together with double-sided tape, which I also keep on hand for various projects. I could not find the brads I had bought at an office supply store the last time we did a lap-book, so I let them use the ones I had in my scrap-booking stash. Of course, we already had on hand pencils, glue sticks, colored pencils & a stapler, so we were good to go!

My kids and I think you should give Project Packs from In The Hands Of A Child a try. They really are a fun, hands on way to learn about a topic, and this company has a TON of topics for you to use! In The Hands Of A Child regularly offers free Project Packs here, so you can even try before you buy!

There is an ever-growing list of their units here, and it ranges from pre-school all the way through the 12th grade, in differing styles from lap-book Project Packs to Note-booking Packages.

Way back at the beginning of this review, I mentioned having had a Super Membership at one time. A Super Membership is a good value, in my opinion. It includes two free Project Packs each month that you are a member, plus 15% off all e-book lap-book units and $10.00 off of the price on custom ordered units. It’s a good deal!

There is a newsletter you can sign up for here, to receive the latest updates, money-saving deals and free tips.

In The Hands Of A Child also has their own blog which you may find helpful as a home-schooling parent.

I do recommend the company In The Hands Of A Child, and not just for home-schoolers, either! They make fine supplemental packages for kids in public or private school, as well as fun, hands-on educational projects for summer vacation or any time your kids would be interested in learning more about a given topic. But when it comes to home-schooling, you really could just about build a whole year curriculum from Project Packs written by In The Hands Of A Child! Take a look at their curriculum page, and just see if they don’t have pretty much any topic you (or your kids!) would like to cover, and you’ll see that learning doesn’t have to be drudgery. It can be fun, hands-on, and relatively inexpensive!

Now that my kids are better able to handle these projects, I absolutely plan to delve back into my stock-pile of downloaded Project Packs from many years ago. I think they will be much more able to do them now, and we do enjoy it when we can learn about a variety of topics in a hands-on, fun way! 🙂

My fellow crew members reviewed a variety of products from “In The Hands of a Child” . . . please click below to discover their thoughts!


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Filed under education, family, Hands of a Child Curriculum, home education, homeschool products, homeschooling, Kids, Lapbooking, paper crafting, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, scrapbooking, TOS Review

Christi The Coupon Coach: Couponing Made Simple . . . A TOS Molly Crew Review

Full disclosure here, I just love it when I get a review from the Molly Crew at The Old Homeschool Magazine! These reviews are for products for us mamas, not just for the kiddos. 🙂

This time, I received a copy of the book “Couponing Made Simple“, by Christi the Coupon Coach (Christi Bassford).

This is an extremely easy and quick read at 123 pages, and the type is a bit larger than normal, which I personally appreciate, given that my eyes are getting older every day! I was actually able to read this in one day, a major feat in my house, lol!

Christi’s system is pretty simple, as described in the video below:

Right from the beginning, I liked her Dedication page, where Christi did the obligatory dedications to various loved ones, but she also made a point of putting the following in her dedication something that matters to me, and to a lot of my readers: { “Most of all, my work I dedicated to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is by His grace that I draw every breath and strive to fulfill the command “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” } This is an attitude that is very important to me.

From Christi’s website:

“What if you could save 50% or up to 80% on your grocery bill??? If I can, why can’t you? Join me as I teach my step by step plan that has helped me and others save thousands of dollars on groceries!
There is a lot of buzz about couponing. A lot of people are excited about couponing and want to do it well, but I have found that many become overwhelmed, confused and unorganized.

That is why I have taken the new world of couponing and put it into a book that gives a step by step plan to follow. I have also developed an organization system. This allows people to be successful on their very first trip.”

I was excited to try Christi’s system, because anything that helps me to be a good steward of what God provides to us is something I want to learn about. Unfortunately, I did not do well with the couponing for groceries or household items, primarily because the coupons we received really did not have any for things we actually need or use, plus, I was recovering from surgery, and my husband was doing all of my grocery shopping. Because we ended up with a lot of out-of-pocket costs for my surgery, and are still paying off the surgeries he had in December and January, we really are needing at this time to buy only what we absolutely need, and not stock up on much of anything. That was a bit of a disappointment, but in her book, Christi goes way beyond couponing for groceries and such. She talks about saving money in many other ways, such as thrift shops, yard sales, and the thing that worked for me, the fact that sometimes, it’s worth it to wait for something to go back to full price, if you have the right coupon.

I have long desired to buy a Cuttlebug embossing machine, made by Provocraft, to use along with my Cricut when I am scrapbooking and making my hand crafted cards. The machine is regularly $89.99, but one week, it was on sale for $69.99 at Hobby Lobby. I had been saving a $20.00 gift card I had received as a birthday gift back in January (thank you Charlene!), and thought I would strike while the iron was hot, but Christi says to wait until you can get the BEST deal. Well, Hobby Lobby has a weekly coupon for 40% off, but that works only on regular priced items. If I purchased it at the sale price using my gift card, it would have cost $69.99. I figured out that if I waited a week for it to go off sale, I could use the 40% off coupon, bringing the base price down to $53.99, then stack on top of that my $20.00 gift card, bringing my final price down to $37.77, after the state sales tax was added on.

Here is my Cuttlebug . . .

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Here is my receipt!

cuttlebug receipt

Also, her advice to watch for the rock bottom sale price paid off as well. Hobby Lobby put all of their embossing folders on sale for 50% off, which brought them to $2.50 each, so I got six. Here they are . . .

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They also had the storage tote for embossing folders on 50% off sale, so I got that as well . . .

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And here is the receipt for those items!

embossing folders and holder receipt

And would you like to see why I so very much desired these things? It was so I could make things like this, for my personal card ministry, and because I also want to begin selling my hand crafted cards. Here are two different cards I made using my Cuttlebug along with my Cricut, which I already own . . .

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So you see, even though I have not yet mastered grocery shopping with coupons, I was able to save a bunch on things I really wanted needed! I do intend to try again with the grocery system when I am able to drive again, and when/if we begin seeing coupons for things we would use.

I think the best part of the book is in chapter ten, “Beyond Couponing”, in which Christi tells us about “the best deal”, for which you don’t even need a coupon, and it is absolutely free. By ending the book with this particular deal, Christi is absolutely living out her Christian testimony, and following a command given by Jesus Christ. I hope you will read it, and believe, because I’d love to meet you in Heaven one day! 🙂

I do recommend this book if you want to read about different ways to save money for your family. If you do want to coupon, Christi also gives a list of her favorite online coupon match sites here.

You can purchase “Couponing Made Simple” by Christi the Coupon Coachhere. The Physical copy of the book is $18.00, and the Kindle edition is $4.99.

To find out what other crew members thought about this book, please click below


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Filed under card making, Christian faith, Couponing Made Simple, Molly Crew Review, paper crafting, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post

Close To My Heart Winner!

I have just begun the final online gathering for the spring/summer 2013 idea book. This is your last chance to score your spring/summer favorites before they retire to make room for luscious new fall/winter product, PLUS, during the month of July, you qualify for the Workshops on the Go “Canvas Art Kit”, item # G1062, priced at $39.95, for only $19.95, with no minimum qualifying order, while supplies last.

In addition, for this gathering there will be another drawing. For every $25.00 on your order, you will again receive an entry into the drawing. This time the winner will receive their choice between a handmade set of note cards with holder (value $20.00) color choices to be determined by winner, or the retired paper pack “Dotty For You”, from our National Scrapbooking promotion of 2012 (value $19.95).

Please, go to my website and scroll down to where it says “join one of Lori’s Gatherings”, then click on “final spring/summer gathering” You may order anytime between today and next Friday, July 26, 2013, which will allow time for the order to be in during July. Note that when you order from an online gathering, you don’t wait for the gathering to close before receiving your product, it will be shipped right away, so that you can play! 🙂

All of that said, let’s get on with the news about the last winner, and pictures!

You may remember my post back in May when I told you about the online Close To My Heart gathering which was a benefit for Sheriff’s Deputy Shannon Key. Well, because of my surgery, it took a little bit longer than I anticipated to do the prize drawing and make the winner’s cards. The winner was PJ Pearson of Rio Rancho, NM, and her name was drawn b Sheriff’s Deputy Shannon Key’s daughter. I tried to get good photos of everything, but some are a little blurry, sorry about that, I will do better next time!

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And here they all are, encased within the matching holder . . .

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I hope you will consider me for your paper-crafting needs, and remember, beginning with the fall/winter idea book, there will be some other fun crafting options as well, like jewelry!

Have fun crafting!

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Filed under card making, Close to My Heart, paper crafting, scrapbooking