“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.
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
More 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
These 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
This 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.
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!!
[…] I can safely add this to my plate right now, so I thought I would continue the Texas theme from my Back to School Gift Basket and talk about “Homeschooling in Texas” for the next five […]
My favorite thing is learning alongside my kids and the flexibility.
Definitely one of my favorites, too!
We live about 10 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean – it’s a blessing we love!
Oh yeah, THAT’S PRETTY AWESOME! Do you school at the beach a lot? Do you find sand dollars and other cool things? We’ve only been to a beach once, on the Oregon coast. It was April and it was cold. =p
We are in beautiful Tennessee! The best thing here is the views of the mountains. I love to homeschool because of the beautiful smile it gives my daughter. I love spending time learning with her. Thank you for offering this basket.
Mountain views.. something we don’t have here where I am. =) My husband’s grandparents used to live south of Nashville, and the other set in Ohio. I used to love looking at the tall trees and mountains while driving through Tennessee and Kentucky. Just beautiful. <3
I love learning with my kids.
Me, too. <3
I adore new crayons and notebooks but the best part is seeing what worked and keeping on and trying new things!!
Oh, Crayons and notebooks.. I may need a “back to school supplies anonymous” support group. 😉 These days I’m feeing my addiction by buying school supplies for a school supply drive instead of buying a bunch of stuff we don’t really need and bringing it home. 😉
I strangely love planning the year out lol. There is just something about sitting at my computer with all the new books and planning the amazing year we have ahead!
There’s nothing wrong with planning, or liking it. 😉
My favorite part of homeschooling is keeping my children with me! I like having a routine that keeps us grounded, too.
Yes — I despise rigid schedules but I love and need a good routine to feel grounded. That’s a good way to put it and it describes it perfectly.
Thank you so much for the recommendation on the pencils! I just ordered some from Amazon. This will be our sixth year of homeschooling and my first year of homeschooling a highschooler. I’m nervous but very excited! One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the relationships that my children have built with each other. I have one going into high school, one going in the middle school, and one in elementary. I have a feeling that if they were in public school, being a different schools, they would not have the close relationship that they are now. I also… Read more »
Sounds like my kids are a similar distance apart. =) When my oldest was going into ninth, my second was going into sixth, and my youngest in third. I like watching their relationships deepen, too. =)
My favorite is the read alouds.
<3 <3 <3
I still love new school supplies even though I went through 16 years of school myself and am entering my 12th year homeschooling. 🙂 This year my oldest starts dual enrollment at our CC so I’m looking forward to seeing how he does.
Because there’s just something about the back to school supplies! I feel it, too! The new smell, the bright colors, the patterns and designs. It’s almost like the smell of coffee brewing. 😉
Good luck this year!
I love that it’s a new year! A clean slate, a new start. We start the year and try to do better than last year.
I love the Ticonderoga pencils! I found them a few years ago, and I’ll never go back!
A fresh start = YES!
My favorite thing about homeschooling is learning with my son. We are in this together. I love the closeness it brings and the laughter!!
Learning with my son is so different than learning with my daughters. 😉 He asks more questions, which we google and research, and we learn so much that way!
I love New Hampshire, where I’ve lived most of my life. We have so much wildlife in our backyard, so much weather to enjoy, so much rich history in our towns, Boston is just a couple hours away, and hey, NO SALES TAX! 😀
No sales tax???
I love the freedom of homeschooling especially in Texas! 🙂
We are in MD, but my husband is from Houston. This would be so fun to win!
We’re starting homeschool for the first time this year so I’m excited to see what works and what doesn’t.
We live in Southeast Louisiana and while I hate the heat, I love how the region is rich with history and culture..
How exciting! Good luck and God bless your Homeschool this year!
Back to school gift baskets! Yay!
I love beginning a fresh new school year with my favorite people and planning new adventures to share together.
I love new school supplies, and a fresh start to school…the hope of a new schedule that works the first draft (ha!), the excitement of all the new things we’ll be learning before we get behind, and a return to routine after a fun spontaneous summer.
When a new year rolls around, I love looking at all of the curriculum and plans for next year (okay, I’ll admit, I often start to get the ball rolling on this at the end of a year too. 😉 I also love fresh notebooks and colored pens and markers and … thanks for putting this basket together! Love the coffee cup! 😉
This time last year we were in Texas visiting my husband’s family for the first time. My sister-in-law is my best friend and I fell deeply in love with Texas, and I miss it terribly including my best friend! We are from Rhode Island. I would love to win this basket!
My favorite part of homeschooling is watching my children’s faces when they “get it”. They always make your day worth doing.
We live in Tennessee, home of the Volunteers. We have a special historical connection to Texas. A few years ago, our family visited the Sam Houston schoolhouse in Maryville, TN.
l live in Southwestern Minnesota and will be starting my 14th year of homeschooling this September. I can’t decide if I’m excited yet or not! 🙂
We just started our homeschool year today! I was homeschooled growing up and I am loving getting to have a next generation grow and learn. I’m a Texas girl but live in Minnesota right now. I got a kick out of all of your Texas twists!
Okay, I know I’m not the only one but I have a pretty strong fetish for school/office supplies. When everything goes on sale prior to school starting again, I am totally ecstatic about being able to get “cheap” supplies. Also, I’m a native born Texas girl, born and raised, currently living in Texas but almost as close to Oklahoma as you can get. 🙂
I love how fast we can get through with our structured school work.
My favorite thing about where I live is that we’re so close to my and my husband’s parents. It makes family get-togethers much easier.
My favorite part if homeschooling is seeing that light bulb turn on! We live in Maine.
I love having more structure to our days and that I get to learn along side my kiddos.
Being in the middle of Texas means I can in theory go to a lot of places for field trips.
In theory. 😉
If we see one or two a year we’ll be field tripping for a really long time. 😉
My favorite thing is getting to choose what we learn and spend as long as we need learning it. And I’m redeeming my education as I teach my kids! We live in Mansfield, Tx
Ticonderoga Pencils! A notebook/planner with lines for list making! A coffee mug! Sharpies! WOW!!! so many of my favorite things! (and yes, I”m singing!)
We live are Midwest transplants living in New England, beginning our 27th year of homeschooling.
I love learning along side my kids!!
We love the flexibility homeschooling brings us! We dont have testing requirements to meet, lessons are flexible, and we take lots of field trips. We live in Central Texas 🙂
I love homeschooling in Texas because Texas, out of all of the states, has THE MOST interesting state history! I love being a part of a state that is still recognized in the Pledge of Allegiance! Yay Republic of Texas!
I love staying home again after a busy summer. I love the enthusiasm of my kids when they look at the new books for the first time. Too bad it doesn’t last long
This is our first year homeschooling! I love that I have the ability to pick out good, wholesome curriculum for them and that I get to learn with them (because I certainly don’t remember everything from my elementary years)!! And I love that mug & planner….thank you for doing this!
My favorite thing about homeschooling is watching my kids learn and learning alongside them and having the freedom to do so on the couch, the floor, snuggled in the warm bed or just wherever the day takes us!!! Freedom!
I love being home with my 3,learning together. We are also in Texas!
My favorite thing about homeschooling is the opportunity to individually focus on strengths and God given talents while learning how to strategize to best help my children in their weaker areas. It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to spend this time with our children.
I love the sense of getting a fresh new start when the new year starts.
I’ve been homeschooling for over 20 years. I’m not sure what is my favorite thing about it. I just love learning and I have tried (yes, tried) to pass that down to my children.
I like the newness of beginning another year. The process of gathering new supplies and curriculum and creating a neat organized space are some of my favorite things about starting a new year.
Some of my favorite things about homeschooling are the flexibility and individualization for each of my children. We can study what they love and travel while doing it!
I’m in Southern California and I love the pleasant weather we have year round.
My favorite thing about homeschooling is having precious, extra time with my kids. The days are long, but the years are short. Time is flying by (8th grader this year…WHAAAT??) even though some of the days can feel wasted or brutal. I feel so grateful and blessed to be able to be home with our 5 children. ♥
My favorite thing about where I live… Wyoming! It’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s the least populated with wide open spaces. Love-love-love this place!
I love being home with the kids and watching them grow and be able to take trips whenever we want and not follow a public school schedule.
I just love being able to cuddle with my babies on lazy winter days