Favorite Things Texas

Favorite back to school things

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm, woolen mittens. . . “

It’s here! It’s one of my FAVORITE THINGS to do. It’s time for the annual Back to School Gift Basket Giveaway.

*Snoopy Dance*

And Y’ALL. This year, I’m giving away a basket of some of my favorite things–with a Texas twist because I do love me some Texas-y things. (You know what they say about Texans and their state pride. . . )

“Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things! “

(Are you singing yet?)

I’m giving away a sweet little collection of goodies and any one of you can win it. (And it will be super simple to enter, and all kinds of easy-peasy. No hoops, no catches, I just want to give it away to one of you.)

So what’s in it?

My Favorite Back to School Things, With a Texas Twist

1.) Sharpies & Ticonderoga Pencils

I adore colorful sharpies! I hoard collect them. And while I will use the dollar store brand of colorful permanent markers, they aren’t as good as the Sharpie brand. Sharpie is just the best.

Speaking of “the best,”. . . Ticonderoga pencils. I used to buy our school pencils at the dollar store. Don’t. Just don’t. It’s a good way to save money, but either the lead isn’t good or the eraser is junky. We got tired of hard erasers leaving marks on the paper, so we ditched cheap pencils a long time ago. Our favorite are Dixon Ticonderoga. If you buy them bulk on Amazon (30 or 90,) you save a little bit of money, which will make you feel better about skipping the cheapo pencils. I’m including a pack of 10 to get you started.

2.) A 2017-2018 July-July Planner & a Lined Notebook/Journal

I do like a good planner. When I found this inexpensive planner I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. Sturdy cover, big binding, easy opening and turning of pages, lays perfectly flat on the desk… it’s a good one. But what really drew me were colors and patterns. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I bought myself one, and I bought you one, too!

I also have a thing for little, lined notebooks. I keep them in my desk, my purse, by my nightstand. I can’t actually stick to journaling or anything. Good heavens, no! But I’m a notetaker and a list-maker. This little blue notebook would fit in a glovebox, a pocket, a Bible case, or wherever.

3.) A”Happy” Blend Essential Oil Roll-On

Yes, I use essential oils. For a while now we’ve been using them to help with attitudes, focus, or energy during school hours. I figured that if your first days of the school year go anything like ours do, you might need a little bit of “Happy” for everyone. This one is a blend of bergamot, grapefruit, and ylang ylang–some of my favorite oils for mood and happiness.

And now for the really fun things!!

4.) A Really Pretty “Y’all” Mug

IMG_2308More favorite things: coffee, hot tea, pretty mugs, and the word “y’all.” All of those things are wrapped up in this one pretty coffee mug. All Texans say the word “y’all.” Only some of us use it in additional ways beyond “You all.” A mom can say “Y’ALL” to her kids and they know she means “YOU KIDS BETTER STOP RIGHT NOW.” A mom can say “Y’ALL” to her mom friends and they know she means “YOU GOTTA HEAR WHAT HAPPENED THE OTHER DAY. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE IT.” It’s a versatile word. =) And I’m kind of jealous of whoever wins this mug. I need a Y’all Mug for myself.


5.) Two 4×6 Framed Texas Prints

texas printsThese are two photographs I’ve taken myself, as I learn and practice photography. I don’t normally have a thing for cows, but I saw this momma cow and her calf in a field one day and I felt compelled to take her picture. I don’t know why, but I just really like this picture of this cow. It makes me smile. And this isn’t my favorite picture of bluebonnets ever, but as you probably know, bluebonnets are our state flower. They only bloom for a brief period in the spring, and it’s one of my favorite things to see. I hope these Texas scenes can brighten up a desk or school shelf.

6.) Autographed copy of Sam Houston’s Republic

SamHoustonsRepublic-coverThis is my favorite “new find” for the school year! I’m genuinely and deeply excited about it. Sam Houston’s Republic, by Lynne Basham Tagawa, is a history of Texas in story form. I’m pretty sure it qualifies as a “Living Book” if you’re into that sort of thing. Written from a Christian perspective, the author focuses a lot on Sam Houston, whose faith had a lot to do with shaping the man he was in his later years.

Never fear – even if you don’t live in Texas and you don’t need to study Texas history, you still might enjoy reading Sam Houston’s Republic if you like living histories, historical tales, biographies, and the like. The narrative style draws you in and tells you how Texas transitioned from home of the Amerinds to Spanish territory to an American state. Also, if you are looking to use this book for a Texas history course, there are online teacher resources.

Let me share one brief excerpt with you:

“It was a warm, wet spring in the swampy bayou country of east Texas. A tall man with clear blue eyes sat astride a huge gray stallion’; alert, both were watching what neither of them could see.

The man urged his mount slowly forward. Behind him, a scraggly army marched, silent but eager. Ahead, beyond a slight rise of tall grass, lay the unseen camp of Santa Anna and his army. The tall man, Sam Houston, knew that the Mexican dictator had received reinforcements just the night before. The men behind him were now outnumbered.”

Sounds intriguing right? NOT like a textbook?? I can’t wait to read this with my kids this year, and I’m so thankful to Lynne for providing a copy for me to give away! (And stay tuned for another post about this book in a couple of weeks. I want to tell you more about it, but I don’t want to take up the whole giveaway post.)

Enter to Win The Gift Basket

*This Giveaway is closed. A winner has been notified. If unclaimed, a new winner will be notified in 48 hours.*

The deets: The giveaway is open to U.S. Citizens ages 18+. I will only ship to the continental United States. The winner must respond within 48 hours to claim the prize or a new winner will be drawn.  The giveaway closes at midnight, Friday, August 11th. The items will be shipped standard mail with tracking unless priority mail is cheaper for the size and weight. Giveaway items consist of only the items mentioned above and does not include the actual basket or anything else pictured in the image. 

iHN Gift Baskets August 2017

I am also–for the first time in a really, really long time–writing a 5-Day series for Hopscotch (the big series when a bunch of us write “5 Days of some topic” in the same week?)

So every day this week, I’ll be writing about Homeschooling in Texas. Yes, it’s quite simple really but a lot of people still have questions so I want to try to help out with those. I’ll also be sharing resources, good field trips, and more. I can’t wait.

And don’t forget that you can jump over to the Back to Homeschool Gift Basket Giveaway at iHomeschool Network and find 27 other gift basket giveaways to enter.

See y’all later!! 

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Hey, y’all! I’m Amber and I wear many hats. I drink a ton of coffee and I’m constantly sweeping crumbs off the floor. After 18 years of homeschooling, I’m getting close to graduating my third child and now we are starting over at preschool with our fourth, Lil Miss Mouse. She keeps us young and she’s the main reason for my excessive coffee consumption. Drink up!