Mama’s Notebooks give-away!


If you look carefully through my photos, my Mama’s Notebook makes a lot of appearances.

That’s because it’s my constant companion as a homeschooler.

I use it for both weekly planning (I have the weekly version), and as a place to record big picture stuff — our schedule, our resource list, and as a place to write down all those books I hear about that I want to read with the kiddos.


Some of my favorite features are the materials wish list and the sick day plan– it feels really good to have a plan in place for days when any of us aren’t feeling great.

I’ve just recently starting using the chore chart too.

It’s so great to have everything in one place, and I love the spiral binding — I can lay it flat while planning.


I’m so excited to announce that Heather from Mama’s Notebooks has agreed to give away one homeschool notebook to one of you!

All you have to do is enter below, and if you would be kind enough to like Mama’s Notebooks and Quill and Camera on Facebook, that would be lovely!

Thanks so much everyone! Good luck! The contest ends Friday, and I’ll let you know who wins!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stuff I wanted to tell you.


Hey everyone,

So it’s been a stressful couple of weeks around the Quill and Camera Headquarters.

We lost our beloved pup at the beginning of the month, and then this weekend, my husband’s father passed away very unexpectedly.

(There’s no comparison going on here. I’ll just say this — it’s hard right now.)

And so we’ve just been kind of doing the best we can.

There has been too much take-out.

In fact, we’ve been doing this new thing where we pick up sushi and a pizza. It’s the perfect meal for us, which is just as weird and upsetting as it sounds.

So anyway, I haven’t been able to write here as much lately, so I wanted to do a quick wrap-up and let you know about a few things:

story moment

Story Moment! — Jessica, one of the founders of Story Moment reached out to me to tell me about the great audio stories that she and her husband are creating.

She was even nice enough to send us one to sample, and the kiddos and I loved the sweet characters. Story Moment has set up a Kickstarter campaign, and if you are so inclined, you can check it out and contribute here.


Give-aways! — I am so excited! I am going to be hosting 2 give-aways in the next week or so. I’m teaming up with sponsor Mama’s Notebooks and Raddish. We really do love them both very much, and I think you will too. So stay tuned!!


Recent stuff! — I wanted to share a couple of recent posts that I haven’t done such a great job of telling you about. There’s this one, where I talk about slowly introducing my kids to social media and this one, where I talk about dealing with cranky pantseseses.

Stop by and let me know what you think — I love hearing from you!

Podcast! — I love Sarah Mackenzie‘s podcast Read Aloud Revival, and recently she interviewed my friend and mentor Jamie Martin from Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom about how her family uses the library. You can download Read Aloud Revival through iTunes or listen here!

What I’m loving! — I just finished Orange is the New Black, and I loved it. I needed something distracting and not too awfully thinky, and this was perfect.

– Andalou products are my new fave. This lotion makes me happy every morning with it’s lemon scent that smells like fresh lemons. (How do they do that?)

– Sending knitting patterns to my Kindle via Send to Kindle. No more crumpled patterns in the bottom of my bag, and I can knit anywhere.

Your turn!
Tell Me what’s making you happy right now!

Why our cat has a Facebook page


Certainly, once you’ve seen his photo, you no longer wonder, right? Our cat is just the adorable-ist.

But I guess that’s not the only reason that earlier this year I let my kiddos set up a Facebook page for our kitten.

The truth is, my kids are curious about social media. They see me on Facebook — both connecting with friends and for different aspects of my job.

So when my kids asked me to set up a Facebook page for the cat, I was worried. Clearly I had warped their world view, right?

But then I started to consider it some more — could this be good practice for the future?


I try to think of media and technology with a long view in mind. If I’m at lunch with my teens someday, and they are both head-down, looking at their phones, I think it will probably tick me off. So why would I do that to them now?

And so, I’m using a Facebook page for our feline, (which currently has 14 likes from people I know well) to hopefully help teach my kids a few lessons about the online world:

  • I try to make them aware that as much as things are “private,” really, there’s nothing private once it goes online. My mom always told me growing up, “don’t write it down unless you would be OK with everyone reading it — that includes your grandparents and our pastor.” Good advice.
  • I try to explain that things like tone and intonation don’t always come across in writing, especially in short tweets or status updates.
  • I try to remind them to be kind. When they make a joke about our cat not liking a certain brand of cat treats, I might say, “If the company that makes that brand read it, what would they think?” I’m not super worried about what Purina or Meow Mix thinks , but I hope maybe these kinds of talks remind my kids to be polite in the future.
  • I try to make them aware of their potential audience. Our neighbor actually found out that our dog had died because our “cat posted” about feeling sad. Bosses, potential bosses, teachers, friends’ parents, etc. are all out there, so being aware of who could be reading what you write is good common sense.facebookfootcheese

Certainly, we all struggle on occasion with social media. Something we write is taken out of context, or we post a picture that we later realize maybe wasn’t such a smart idea.

I don’t plan on giving my kids access to their own social media accounts for a while, but I hope when they get them someday, they will keep in mind a few of the things they’ve learned through “helping” our cat interact with the online world.

So how do you teach your kids about social media?
I still can’t figure out what we’re all doing over there at Twitter, but if you’d like, you can connect with me through Facebook and Pinterest. :)