Monthly Archives: December 2006

Don’t Miss This Sale

Final TWO Days! The Schoolhouse Store After Christmas Sale December 2006
Great Prices – Tons of Prizes! TOS Logo

In This Issue

Dear Nancy,

You only have TWO DAYS left to take advantage of the Schoolhouse Store HUGE After Christmas Sale with savings from 30% – 50% on selected items. Be one of the first ten to order each day and win one of our AMAZING gift packages! Read below for details. And don’t forget that shipping is always free. This is a great way to stretch your Christmas dollars!

HUGE After Christmas Sale

Always Free Shipping Graphic

The Schoolhouse Store has the largest sale of the YEAR going on right now until January 1 at midnight (eastern time). It’s the annual After Christmas Sale and you will find homeschool curriculum marked as much as 50% off. But there’s more…

Prizes For You!

TOS Winter 2006 cover

Every day, the first ten shoppers of the day are getting some special gifts. A LOT of special gifts! If four or more products are purchased, you could qualify as one of the first ten of the day (so order early in the morning – or better yet – just after midnight on any of the sale days – eastern time). The 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st and 1st – each of these days, we’re going to have ten winners. The first ten winners of the DAY (those ordering four or more items) will get something amazing. And we’re doing this every day of the sale! That’s a LOT of packages we’re giving out! So what do you get?

For starters, you will receive the 19 current promo gifts – FREE. This is a value of over $200, and shipping is FREE as well. It’ll feel just like Christmas all over again as 19 gifts start rolling in from the participating companies over the next few weeks! Want to see them? Here they are: 19 FREE Gifts

You’re getting them ALL free if you are one of the first ten customers of the day to order four or more items.

There’s more! You’ll also get all THREE audio CDs from The Old Schoolhouse. This is over 500 minutes of listening time! You get Secrets of Successful Homeschooling, Home Schooling the High Schooler, and The Well-Integrated Homeschool. Have some of these already? Give them as gifts to a new homeschooling mom!

What else do you get? The first ten qualifying shoppers each day are getting a one-year subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine! Have one already? Add this year on to your existing one or bless a friend.

And there’s more! The first ten qualifying shoppers are also getting a Draw Write Now® book. Our kids LOVE these!

This whole package is ENORMOUS. And each day, the first ten qualifying shoppers will win it! So get ready! Four items is not a whole lot. Some of the products are extremely inexpensive (under $10) Get four for your chance to be among the first ten orders of the day.

Oh, but wait there’s more! Our largest order of the day (by purchase price) is going to win the package as well. So even if you aren’t an early bird, you still have a chance at winning our awesome BONUS package valued at over $300!

One win per customer, please.

These are your final TWO DAYS to SAVE and WIN! Watch the clock and order just after midnight to beat the rush and become one of the many winners enjoying our great gift package.

Happy New Year! May it be your BEST homeschooling season yet!


Paul and Gena Suarez, Publishers

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

voice: 1.888.718.HOME

December Homestead Newsletter

A Time for Reflection   by Nancy Carter, Senior Editor

Our first Christmas on our homestead was simply magical for us. It signaled the beginning of how drastically our lives had changed since moving to the country. As I looked at my Christmas list, I realized that I really didn’t need to go to the mall. I needed to spend my time shopping at the local farm stores or browsing websites for the best deals on coveralls, work gloves, and things for the barn. I also found myself wanting to give handmade gifts–gowns for my nieces, a robe for my mom, and a fleece blanket for my nephew. Yep, the times had definitely changed.

And I don’t know about you, but when I look out at our barn in the winter, feel the cold, smell the hay and horses, and look at the stars shining brightly overhead, I can’t help but think of our Savior’s humble birth. For us, moving to the country has been as much of a spiritual journey as anything. It’s been about getting back in touch with things as God intended them. Raising animals with plenty of grass and sunshine with no chemicals. Growing our own garden so we can pick the veggies at the perfect ripeness. Hunting to fill our freezer with meat. Baking homemade bread with freshly ground organic wheat. Discovering salves and herbal remedies made from locally grown plants. Learning how to deal with horses, chickens, dogs, and cats. And dreaming of so much more.

It’s been quite a journey. And it hasn’t always been easy. This year a tornado hit our property and destroyed one barn. Our beloved old horse died, and we lost a bunch of our chickens to the heat. But through it all, we’ve been so thankful for where God has led us. We are blessed with plenty of room for the boys to explore and plenty of work to keep them busy. We treasure the peace and quiet that we never experienced in town. And most of all, we’re thankful for the chance to get back to our roots–to learn new things and to teach our children as well.

May your 2007 be blessed whether your homestead is in the country, in the middle of town,
or just in your hearts.


Nancy Carter

Senior Editor of HomesteadBlogger

Garden-Style Gifts   by Catherine Love

Although the Christmas gift-giving season has already passed, I thought I’d share some gift ideas sure to please the gardener on your list. Now is a great time to find some great clearance items!

  • Books – Whatever your gardener’s interest, there is sure to be a great book on the subject. Check out the bookstore or an online source for a book they’ll love.

    A few of my favorite titles are:

    Backyard Market Gardening by Andrew W. Lee
    Pay Dirt by Mimi Luebbermann
    Southern Herb Growing by Madalene Hill & Gwen Barclay with Jean Hardy
    The New Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses by Deni Bown
    Herbal Treasures and The Pleasure of Herbs by Phyllis V. Shaudys
    Lasagna Gardening for Small Spaces by Patricia Lanza
    Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew

  • Journals, scrapbooks or photo albums – Every gardener needs a place to document his or her gardening successes, experiments, and dreams.
  • Calendars – Pick one with room to jot down planting dates and other garden notes.
  • Seeds and Plants – A packet of seeds or small pot of a new or heirloom variety of a favorite plant is always a welcome gift.
  • Tools – Peruse garden catalogs for a handy-dandy helper for your gardener. Good quality tools are a gardener’s friend.
  • Gloves or other garden gear – How about a nice straw hat, basket, or harvest apron, too?
  • Art for the garden – Choose something fun like a terracotta toad or a bee skep; or perhaps something functional such as a sundial, bird bath, or fountain. No pink flamingos or plastic elves for me, please!
  • Pots and containers – Find a unique or otherwise beautiful flowerpot or planter.

Garden-style gift ideas abound. With just a bit of shopping, you will find garden signs, wind chimes, lanterns, flags, and more to choose from. Try the flea market or yard sales for vintage glassware, antique tools, and beautiful old pottery. Also consider things like vases, flower frogs, floral tape, and ribbons for the flower enthusiast. Skin-care items, such as gardener’s soap, lotions, or sunscreen, are a nice gift or stocking stuffer. For more practical no-nonsense types, how about a basket filled with plant markers, twine, coin envelopes for storing seeds, peat pots, seed-starting medium, and a bottle of organic fertilizer? Gift certificates from nurseries or seed companies are a great gift. Give the gift of time–Any gardener would appreciate a coupon for an hour of weeding the garden or for help with planting or harvesting. How about a coupon for a back rub for that special gardener in your life? Use your imagination and you will surely come up with some fabulous gifts for the gardener!

Catherine Love lives and gardens in Central Texas with her husband, Carl, and three daughters, Sarah, Hannah, and Cana. Stop by her blog to read about their Urban Homestead Adventures and upcoming move to a new homestead.

Are you a Subscriber to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine?

Here’s what our readers are saying:
"I am a new subscriber, and I wanted to thank you for your wonderful magazine! Almost every evening, I sit down to read an article from the first edition I received–that was a month ago! Most magazines can be browsed through within a day. That is not the case with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine."

–Heather Bridenstine, Spring City, TN

US Subscriptions:
Whether you are new to our magazine or a long-time subscriber, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine has an incredible offer that you won’t want to pass up!
In the past, we couldn’t offer the renewing subscribers the 19 free gifts – those were only for new customers. But for a limited time only, RENEWING subscribers get all 19 gifts, too!

I’m a new subscriber…what do I get?
With your two-year subscription to TOS you’ll receive:

  • A 2-year/3-year subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine
  • 19 FREE gifts for you (over $200 value)

All this for ONLY $39 for 2 years and $59 for 3 years
Click Here to Purchase Online
Or, call 1-888-718-HOME

Already a subscriber?
Renew now and receive your choice of either Two or Three more years of your favorite homeschool magazine and 19 FREE gifts.
All this for ONLY $39 for 2 years and $59 for 3 years
Click Here to Purchase!
Or, call 1-888-718-HOME

The first 3,000 two-year or three-year new subscriber or renewing your two or three year subscription, you will receive (by USPS mail) NINETEEN free homeschooling gifts. But you don’t get four gifts – you get 19! Even the shipping is paid for, and you are not required to buy anything again.

Hurry! Promotion will sell out fast! – TOS Staff
(US Residents Only)

Click Here to View the FREE Gifts
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

International Subscriptions:
Whether you view your subscription as a gift for yourself, a homeschool conference delivered to your door, a professional journal, or simply a wonderful opportunity to fellowship with other homeschool families around the world, subscribe now to insure that you are in the first 2,000 and receive this incredible International Subscription Homeschool Gift Pack!

One-Year International Subscription: Receive four issues of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine delivered directly to your door and 19 FREE gifts from our generous sponsors. Subscribe now! Only $38!

And we have an additional gift for two-year and three-year subscribers!

Two-Year or Three-Year International Subscription:
Receive 8 issues of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the 19 free gifts, AND our Secrets of Successful Homeschooling e-book! Subscribe now! Only $69 for 2 years and $83 for 3 years!

These special offers will expire soon, though. Subscribe or renew today so you don’t miss out on this opportunity!
We have three easy ways to subscribe!

  • Subscribe online
  • Call 1-888-718-HOME
  • Mail your order to:

    The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC
    PO Box 10
    White Pine, TN 37890

Hurry! Promotion will sell out fast! – TOS Staff
(International Residents Only)

Click Here to View the FREE Gifts

The Schoolhouse Store Spotlight

New Products from Hands of a Child!

Whether you’re new to Lapbooking or an old pro, you’ll want to check out the many Hands of a Child Project Packs recently added to the Schoolhouse Store. These Project Packs and Research Packs help you put together a Lapbook – great for review or sharing with friends – with minimal effort on your part. All the preparation and organization is taken care of. You’ll find Project Packs on geography, literature, science, history, Bible, and much more. We have everything from astronomy to World War II. These packs are a great way to add some hands-on learning to a unit study. Find Project Packs in our Unit Studies category in the Schoolhouse Store.

And remember, we have Always Free Shipping on everything in the store!

M&M Cookie Mix in a Jar   by Lisa Barthuly

1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups M&M candies
2 cups flour mixed with 1/2 tsp. baking soda and 1/2 tsp. baking powder.
Layer ingredients in order given in 1-quart wide-mouth canning jar.
Press each layer firmly in place before adding next ingredient.

Attach this to the jar on a card:

M&M Cookies
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

  1. Empty jar of cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly blend mix.
  2. Add: 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter–very soft; 1 egg, slightly beaten; and 1 tsp. vanilla (opt.)
  3. Mix until completely blended. You will need to finish mixing with your hands.
  4. Shape into balls the size of walnuts. Place 2 inches apart on sprayed baking sheets.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.


Lisa Barthuly, her husband Marc, and daughters Mercy and Cassandra live in Washington State on their little homestead… with Cooter the Dog, Beauty the Kitten, and lots of wild critters. They pray for more critters and more children (they have a blessing on the way, joining the family in January!) and love the quiet country life amongst God’s creation. Check out their website, Homestead Originals, where they specialize in all-natural Soy Wax Candles, books, and gifts.

Winter Wear to Get the Job Done   by Harriette K. Jacobs

Winter is upon us and regardless of the weather, there is much to do on a daily basis outside around the old farm and homestead. Livestock, winter crops, farm maintenance, and even spring planning cannot wait for ideal weather conditions. These responsibilities must be tended to daily, even in the winter elements.

Here are some suggestions for dressing to protect yourself from winter’s harshness while working outside to get it all done:

  • Head: Keep a good assortment of knit and fleece caps readily available. On windy and below-zero days, a good ski mask or balaclava is a must. Also consider having a hooded jacket; a hood acts as a wind breaker for your head. Earmuffs and scarves are options as well, but I prefer to limit potentially loose items while I am outside working.
  • Body: Layer, layer and layer. This cannot be stressed enough, especially if you’ll be outside for an extended period of time. Begin with good thermal layers underneath, or even silkies if you prefer. Next put on your regular work clothing; consider work pants that are quilted or lined with flannel or fleece. You might want to wear some of the athletic leggings that are made for winter running and jogging as well. Layer your upper body with flannel shirts, turtlenecks, sweaters or hooded sweatshirts, and fleece jackets. My favorite outerwear is fully quilted coveralls. They have many large pockets (some zippered), and the legs have zippers on the outside to allow for ease of putting on and pulling off of my boots. Depending on the extremes in your region of the country, you may need to have yet another coat over your coveralls. On extremely cold days, I’ll toss our big overcoats into the dryer for 20-30 minutes before we have to go outside to work. Consider having designated winter outdoor wear just for working out in the winter elements; and it’s probably best to buy outerwear one size larger than normal to accommodate layers underneath. When shopping for winter work coats and coveralls, I recommend that you steer away from "ski style" outerwear as these will easily tear around barbed wire, farm implements, and heavy brush. Denim and heavy canvas are more durable.
  • Hands: We have to work with our hands regardless of the winter weather, and you do not want to risk frostbite. Shop smart for your gloves; make sure they fit well. And keep extra pairs of gloves with you in the event your gloves become wet.
  • Feet: Layer your socks, beginning with a comfortable thin pair of cotton socks. Then add wool socks over those. Those who live in snowy regions will need snow boots. Here in Georgia where I live, we have little, if any, snow; but we have lots of winter rain. I wear my rubber muck boots year-round. On extremely cold days in January and February, I’ll add a "Hot Hands" pack to each boot to keep my toes cozy and warm.
  • Rain: This remains my personal winter nemeses, and I am always searching for a better way to work outside in the winter rains. There are many rain gear components available, including ponchos, long raincoats, rain suits (pants/jacket combo), and rain overalls with coats. The price range varies depending on brand and quality of the apparel. These too may need to be purchased in a size larger to fit over all your other winter apparel.

Watch for end-of-season sales to stock up on gloves, hats, and socks; these items seem to suffer the most wear. This is also a good time to acquire insulated coveralls and heavier coats at substantial markdowns. Check your local farm supply stores, mail order companies, and online farming suppliers as well. Don’t rule out checking the hunting and outdoor departments of sporting goods stores for great deals. Ladies, don’t hesitate to check the menswear department. Those coveralls I mentioned were originally my husband’s.

Safety during the winter months is of utmost priority. Make sure someone knows where you’ll be working. Have a start time as well as a designated stopping time, and keep a cell phone with you for emergencies. Stay warm, stay dry, and cherish the freedom of this precious lifestyle we share as a common bond.

You can visit Harriette all year long at her blogs: South of the Gnat Line, Jacobs Academy: A Dirt Road Education, or her newest endeavor, Beekeeper Dreams.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this issue of The Homestead e-Newsletter. We’d love to hear what you think about it. Did you try the recipes, craft suggestions, or any of the other tips? We want to hear about it! And we also want to hear your suggestions for future newsletters. Is there a topic you’d like to see covered that we haven’t yet? Would you like to contribute a column? Just let me know! You can email me at Or just stop by The Front Porch and say "Hello" when you’re visiting us at HomesteadBlogger!

2006 Month by Month

I got this idea from Amy. Just copy the first sentence from your blog each month.


This is so cool.

A while back I asked, "Are you going to see The End of The Spear?"


We are sick and tired of being sick and tired at the Carter house!!!

Well I got home and the big boys got home from hunting just in time for the tornado.


Is it just me or do the rest of you sometimes just feel like money simply flows through your fingers?

Our oldest son has been working for a friend of ours the past couple of weeks and has now officially become known as "The Apprentice".

Well my very own son has finally signed up for his own blog.

This is such a riot!

Ten Favorite Characters from your Childhood

  1. Captain Kangaroo

Well I suppose it wasn’t too hard for most of you to guess what’s new at our farm.


A homeschool author mailed me a copy of his book and asked if I’d be willing to look at it and share about it with you all so being one who always enjoys a good book, I was happy to oblige.

Jake’s pony, Lady, is dead.

It’s kind of interesting looking back through the archives. Kinda depressing too. But through it all, God was there. He is here. He knows and He cares. And that is a wonderful gift. I always am quick to remind others to look for God’s grace even in the difficult circumstances. I have to remind myself to do that too.

May you all look back at 2006 seeing God’s grace through it all and may your 2007 be a testimony to His Love and Care.


$1 per Comment!

No, I’m not so desperate for comments that I’m paying people to comment here. But I heard about a great way that Kelly at Pass the Torch is raising money for St. Jude Children’s  Research Hospital. Her corporate sponsor, Empowering Youth Inc. , will donate $1 for every comment she receives on this entry before Saturday night. Isn’t that fabulous?!

It doesn’t cost you a thing, but you can help raise money for St. Jude just by taking the time to click over there and comment. And you can even help her reach her goal by commenting once per day. Just let her know that Nancy from Lessons Learned on the Farm sent you and spread the word on your blogs as well!

Great farm website

I saw a link to Quaker Hill Farm on another blog inviting people to share the link to their farm stories for children on there. Well, I of course had to go check those out!

The stories are educational and absolutely delightful with wonderful photographs which help tell the stories. I’ve already passed along the links to my homeschool group and am excited about sharing the links with all of you. I love how Quaker Anne describes their reasons for sharing their farm stories for free on the internet rather than publishing as a book for sale.

We want to share with others the miracles and joys that we often experience in our life, especially with those who may never get a chance to visit a real farm. As parents of home schooled children (now grown), Bill and I personally know how important wholesome educational resources are and we are grateful for the opportunity to offer ours here.

We well know how dark and perilous the Internet can be, but, herein we offer to proclaim our Christian faith through the stories about our life on the farm as one more lamp shining to illuminate Christian truths and the love and goodness of Christ.

And as much as I enjoyed reading the beautiful Children’s Stories, I also enjoyed browsing their gorgeous farm website. They are located in Harrisville, Michigan where they have been pasture farming since 1985. They specialize in heirloom breeds of animals and produce as well. They provide everything from honey to soaps to chickens, turkey, wool, mutton, produce, compost, AKC collies, and so much more. They look like they are pretty self-sustainable to me!

I love hearing about successful family farms raising things as God intended. And I love their heart for sharing their faith and knowledge through simple living workshops, various classes and farm tours, and their website and children’s stories.

My hat is off to the fine folks at Quaker Hill Farms. I truly enjoyed my visit to their website and if I’m ever in their neck of the woods, I’d love to visit with them in person!