Saturday, December 9, 2017

Week In Review

This past week was filled with Christmas wonder. Last weekend we went to the local Christmas Parade. We live in quite a small town so the parades usually don't last that long but with increasing popularity more and more people are becoming interested in joining in on the fun. 

This year the parade lasted 40 minutes! 

Chock full of candy, the streets were lined with unclaimed goodies as we left- there was waaaay more candy than kids this year- the last parade we went to was the complete opposite- between three of my kids, only 6 pieces were collected. 

This year we had more candy than we knew what to do with- soooo, we used the candy to decorate their gingerbread houses- and there was still plenty of candy to spare after they finished their masterpieces!

The highlight of the week (besides the fact we've had our first snowfall- good packing snow too!) was the PHCC Patriot Player's Christmas Spectacular.

Several of our local homeschoolers were in it so my kids really wanted to go and see them perform- 
it was amazing, we loved it!

Now, Behold The Lamb

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Where Is Christmas?
Presently we are snowed in and haven't been able to do everything we were planning this weekend, but of course the kids are complaining but building snow forts, snowmen and making snow ice-cream!

Homeschool Coffee Break

Friday, December 8, 2017

Gold Claw Pan (Review and Giveaway)

If you haven't taken your kids panning yet, you need to. I still remember the first time my husband took me panning. Of course we were newly engaged and he wanted to share his love of treasure hunting with me .I was all googly-eye in love with him, everything he did was super amazing- and still is, haha! All these years later, he is still a kid at heart, he loves searching for treasure and now has kids to share his hobby with. Of course they love it too. Whether it's metal detecting, gold panning or searching for shark teeth on the beach all my kids get into it, not just the boys but my daughter too. 

Klint, the inventor of the Gold Claw, created a pan so easy to use, even his neighbor kids found gold in it in less than 30 seconds.

Here is a video of their first time:

If you are new to panning, here is a photo of my son using a traditional gold pan. They are round with ridges in it to catch the gold. You immerse the rocks and dirt in water and swirl it around until you are only left with bright, shining golden flecks staring back at you! To start out, you should practice with pay dirt which doesn't have the large rocks in it but a finer dirt with gold flakes already in it. This way, you can get a feel for how to get the gold and you or your child will have more confidence in panning quicker. 

The Gold Claw (the blue one) and the pocket pan (purple) are created to make the panning experience quicker and more efficient.

What We Like About The Gold Claw

  • Made of Solid Material- Seems like it will last a long time
  • It's Compact
  • Easier for a beginner to learn on than the traditional method
  • It's easier and quicker to work out the black sand when you are near the end because of the location of the small ridges 
Overall, the Gold Claw seems like a perfect option for beginners who want to try panning. All of my kids enjoyed using it and it's unique design makes it stand out from the traditional pans. It comes in a variety of colors and make wonderful gifts.

In addition to the Gold Claw and Pocket Pans, we received pay dirt to practice with, a glass vile to store the gold in and a snuffer to help collect the gold. 

We added the pay dirt to a scoop of dirt from a local creek that we plan of panning often and want to get a feel for. Below is a picture of what my son was able to find in the pan in under a minute!

He caught on quickly and enjoyed trying out this new method of panning. 

Even my two year old gave it a whirl and keeps asking to do it!

My nine year old tried the pocket pan and was able to find the gold quickly as well! The pocket pan in a brilliant concept. You can keep it in your glove compartment, purse or backpack easily.

Check out the video of my husband trying out the Gold Claw in our backyard. 

We look forward to experimenting more with our Gold Claw both in our area and when we travel!

Enter To Win A Gold Claw Prize Pack!

*Colors Will Differ*

Winner Will Receive:
1 Gold Claw Pan
1 Pocket Pan
1 Snuffer Bottle
1 oz. Pay Dirt
1 Vile

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Disclaimer: I received the above product in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Coobie Bra Giveaway

Looking for a new bra? Look no further! Coobie bras are comfortable, stylish and cute. Whether you are looking for a v-neck, lace or nursing bra, Coobie Seamless Bras has got you covered, literally.

If you are tired of your old bra, the prices are reasonable AND there is a coupon code at the bottom of this post for an even deeper discount. If you want to try it out before revamping your undergarment drawer then go ahead enter my giveaway below! But first, check out the cute style that Coobie has to offer. 

Coobie Seamless Bras are ultra comfortable and supportive. Perfect for everyday wear their versatile one-size fits 32A - 36D, available in 7+ styles and 70+ colors/patterns, with adjustable straps and removable pads! Try one, you'll love it! 

Thrift Schooling Readers Save

 Save 30% on your entire order at 
Use code: USFG

Thrift Schooling Readers Can Win!
I'm Giving Away 2 Coobie Bras

Enter Giveaway Below To Win One

* If you are a Thrift Schooling Subscriber You Are Eligible To Win Another Coobie Bra! Just follow link in the December Newsletter* (Not a subscriber? Subscribe now to be eligible for future Subscriber Only Giveaways!)


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Friday, December 1, 2017

Park Finds This Week

It's still a pleasant surprise when we can enjoy weather in the sixties or seventies this time of year here in the Blue Ridge. I still need to remind myself that I am no longer a northerner, but I'm in the south now and this weather is actually normal around here! 

Well, this past week, when the forecast was in the seventies, I piled all five kiddos into the car and hit the park. I think my boys are getting tired of metal detecting our backyard so they were begging for a change of pace. This particular park allows detecting so my boys had their gear in the car faster than I could say, "don't forget to put back your plugs after you dig!"


My Garrett detectorist (age 9) did NOT pay attention during the last GPAA session on getting to know your metal detector. "Dig everything" was the mantra. Tsk, tsk, this is all he found. 

Hey, it's more than what I left the park with that I didn't come in with, which was a crying baby and cranky toddler.

Check out what my Tesoro detectorist (age 10) found. He DID dig everything and found more than money. The necklace chain was showing up as iron for my Garrett detectorist so he didn't dig, but my Tesoro detectorist decided to take a chance. In addition to the money and chain, he found a few more pieces of broken jewelry. 

Not bad for about an hour of detecting!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Creative Journaling


 A Creative Journey to Peace

In our loud and busy lives, it’s easy to miss the life-giving breeze of peace. That’s what this interactive journal is for. It’s about slowing down and taking time to pursue and embrace peace. It’s about welcoming the call to be a peacemaker. It’s about finding a peace rooted in faith rather than circumstances and living out that miracle every day. This is an invitation to create, write, doodle, and draw your way into the deep, lasting peace of God.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
—Galatians 5:22–23

My Musings
Upon first glance you might think that this is just another adult coloring book. It's not. When it arrived in the mail, and I saw how small the box was that it was packaged in, I thought to myself, is this the right book? When I opened it though, I was pleasantly surprised. It's small size is perfect for toting around and keeping up with on busy days. You could bring it with you and doodle in it while waiting at the doctor's office, at a coffee shop or while riding public transportation to work.

It may be small but it is sturdy since it is a hardcover, not floppy and flimsy like a coloring book.It still provides plenty of room to transpose your thoughts, doodle in the margins and color around the quote or scripture of the day, all of which revolve around the theme of peace. I appreciate the simplicity of the books design and the challenge of seeking peace, through God, by taking time out to reflect on Him and His Word for 30 days. 

Sometimes though it felt like someone just typed in the word "peace" on Google and printed out what they found without putting too much thought into it- but scripture is powerful in and of itself and stands on it's own anyway. Overall this would make a great gift!

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Jord Wooden Watches (Review and Giveaway)

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Spruce up your style with a gorgeous hand-crafted wood timepiece. Consider a wood watch when shopping for your loved one this holiday season. JORD is run by artists, designers, and marketers who value sustainability, efficiency, and experiential living. They make watches for people who don't just have somewhere to be, they have somewhere to go. The value of a watch is not in being able to tell how much time has passed, but in being aware of the need to make that time count. Moments are bigger than minutes and your watch should tell more than time. 

When you order a watch from JORD, you know you are receiving not only a wood timepiece, but a masterpiece. 

When I received my box in the mail, I was impressed with it's size. Knowing that the watch wouldn't take up much room in a package, I knew right away that they took pride in carefully packaging this item. My watch came in this beautiful wooden box which looks nice next to my wooden jewelry box and multi-toned wooden bowl I have on my dresser. 

The packaging is begging to be given as a gift to someone special. Wrapped around a cozy pillow, this watch is ready to make someone's face light up. The rustic, shabby chic feel of this watch and it's presentation is what has me sold. 

To be honest with you, I can't remember the last time I glanced at someone and saw a wood watch on their wrist. This type of watch is sure to be a conversation piece and is perfect for someone who likes to do things a little bit differently, myself included. With this watch on my right hand and my blue diamond wedding ring on my left, I certainly am breaking the rules of tradition. Who said white diamonds and gold watches have to be the norm anyways? I like to break out of the mold once in a while, and this wood watch is a perfect way to showcase my uniqueness.

As a teenager, I was not much of a watch wearer. I always depended on my friends for the time of day, and this was well before cell phones. Even now, I don't carry a cell phone with me at all times so I'm usually asking around to find out what the time is. Now that I found the perfect watch, I won't have to stress out about not knowing the time anymore. What makes the JORD watch unique, and a selling point for me, is that when you order, you are able to give them the size of your wrist to ensure a perfect fit. I love that. And don't worry, if you don't know your wrist size, they have an easy printable measurement tool to help you out.

The Ladies Wood Watch fits comfortably on my wrist and feels great. Not only is it comfortable but stylish as well.My husband is a woodworker by trade so having this watch makes me feel right at home. I love the different styles of wood on the face and the band, the texture, and everything about it. 

My watch also came with an oil to rub on your watch and instructions on how to care for it. I was highly impressed with this company and recommend considering a JORD watch for a gift this upcoming holiday season.

25% off and Free Watch Sizing! 
Use Code: usfam25

Enter To Win a $100 Store Credit

Disclaimer: I received the above product in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed here are my own.