Dollar Stretcher - When this website began in 1996, I visited it regularly. It had a lot of helpful advice for stretching one's budget. There are archives of articles written about a multitude of topics; and a weekly newsletter that is delivered via email. I still visit this site periodically if I'm looking for frugal ideas.
Flickr - I upload photographs here. It's been a great way for me to quickly access pictures that I want to refer to, remember, or use on my blog. Flickr also is a wonderful place to be inspired - from photography as an art in itself to the creative projects that are photographed.
The most-viewed image on my Flickr site
with over 25,000 views.
It's a set of needle-felted alphabet cards
(made from hand-dyed sheep wool)
that I made for my daughters when they were learning
the alphabet. Each one is 2 1/2" x 3 1/2".
Handbook of Nature Study - Barb has created an incredible resource for homeschoolers who enjoy nature. Her ideas for nature walks, appreciation, and art are woven together beautifully on this site. The site uses the book with the same title Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock as its framework. The book - combined with the outdoor challenges that Barb presents - makes nature study memorable, fun, and educational.
iHomeschool Network - Each week, this site hosts the Homeschool Mother's Journal. I am trying to participate in the HMJ at least once a month. It's a nice way for me to reflect on what we've done with homeschooling and what's happening in my life. Reading about and learning from other mothers who homeschool is always helpful.
Kent Weakley - Kent hosts the weekly P52 Photo Challenge. Each week there is a different theme, and participants upload a photograph featuring the theme. I've enjoyed seeing how people interpret the theme, and have been inspired by the photographs I've seen throughout the first half of the year.
Locks of Love - this is a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially-disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. They meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics.
Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.
I have donated three ponytails since 2002, and am working on growing my hair out for a fourth ponytail. Both Sophia and Olivia also have long hair, and plan on donating some of their hair as well to Locks of Love.
My last ponytail before it was cut.
My hair is now over 22" long,
so it is almost ready to be cut again.
Minnesota State Parks - This website has become a great tool this summer as I've used its calendar of activities and reservation forms for a couple camping trips Sophia, Olivia, and I are taking. There are so many wonderful - and free - naturalist-led programs that are available. It's such a valuable resource and one that enhances our science curriculum.
Olivia and Sophia rock climbing.
This is one of many free programs offered through the
Minnesota State Park system.
Pintangle - This year I am doing a weekly challenge called Take a Stitch Tuesday. Each week, Sharon (who does TAST) posts an embroidery stitch to learn. Participants have a week to learn and post what they did. I do 1-2 little samplers a week since I'm learning the stitches. My samplers are incorporated into a journal that includes a reflection about what I did, a gratitude list, and images of things that remind me of what happened during the week.
Sonlight - This is the literature-based curriculum that I've been using for homeschooling for a few years now. The books that are used for the geography/history, read aloud literature, and science components are all excellent. There are many hands-on science experiments which the girls enjoy.
Twinkle Twinkle Like a Star - Kristen has hosted a Summer of Color challenge last year and this year. Last year's focus was on six colors. This year, the inspiration is flavors of ice cream - one flavor each week for six weeks. Participants create a variety of projects using the colors of the ice cream to guide them. It's interesting to see how the colors are used and interpreted by different people.