About Karen

Karen is a blessed wife and grateful mom to 7 sons and 1 daughter. When she's not homeschooling her 5 youngest children, she enjoys trying new bread recipes, working on DIY projects, sipping a hot mug of tea, or seeking to find the beauty in everyday life. She loves gardening and is passionate about growing from heirloom seeds. Visit her at To Work with My Hands. 

Meal Planning and Shopping Tips

Written by Karen @ To Work With My Hands, Contributing Writer Whether you enjoy it or hate it, gathering food and preparing it for our families is something we all have to do. Sometimes I really enjoy it. At other times...not so much. But, with over 27 years of experience behind me, I've learned a few things that have helped make it a natural part of my routine. It all starts with a plan. Building The Menu: Since I shop for groceries every other week, I plan our meals two weeks … [Read more...]

What About Your Spring Garden?

Written by Karen @ To Work With My Hands, Contributing Writer What about your spring garden? Even though it's still cold outside, it's not too early to think about and start planning! Starting now gives you a fun distraction from the chilly temperatures, lays the foundation for a more successful garden, and can save you a lot of money. Let's Get Distracted: I'm sure there are those who adore winter. I am not one of those people. While I'm grateful we have seasons and there are … [Read more...]

10 Tips for Setting Goals this New Year

Written by Karen @ To Work With My Hands, Contributing Writer Setting Goals is probably practiced in January more than in any other month of the year. It's a new beginning, and with it, we usually want to make positive changes in our lives and homes. That's a good thing! But, as with most things, setting goals is a learning process. Since I began setting goals, I've had some successes, some bumps, and some downright failures.  Here are 10 tips I've learned for setting goals for the … [Read more...]

DIY Crocheted Wreath Ornament/Gift Tag

Written by Karen @To Work With My Hands, Contributing Writer When I was pregnant with our second son, I had a lot of time on my hands. Our oldest son was in public school at the time, my husband was at work, and I was home alone all day. When the Christmas season arrived that year, I was in the midst of the second trimester - past the yucky first, and not yet into the bulky last. I finally felt better and was eager to get my hands into something. It was during those few weeks between … [Read more...]

Cultivating a Grateful Attitude

Written by Karen @ To Work With My Hands, Contributing Writer With Thanksgiving coming up soon, people usually begin thinking more about having a grateful attitude. While that's a good thing, it shouldn't be reserved for a single weekend each year.  Although we may not want to admit it, our typical attitude tends toward ingratitude. Perhaps we wouldn't label it that way, but when we find ourselves complaining, always striving for more, or being generally dissatisfied with … [Read more...]

Make Your Own Leaf Press

Written by Karen @ To Work With My Hands, Contributing Writer Fall is here and soon the ground will be adorned with the gorgeous array of rich-colored leaves. Every year my children collect the prettiest leaves they can find, bring them inside, and it sometimes looks as if there must be a tree growing somewhere inside our house! They simply love the beautiful, showy leaves of fall, and so do I. Quite a few years ago, when our oldest boys were still pretty small, my husband helped … [Read more...]

What To Do When You Pretty Much Blow It With Your Children

    Written by Karen @To Work With My Hands, Contributing Writer It was one of those Friday afternoons. School should have been finished early on that day. We worked hard all week to plan it that way - and that would have pleased me. But, one distraction after another, and there we were, wrapping things up at nearly 4:00. Those days happen. The swirling list of what I had hoped to accomplish during that "extra" afternoon was crashing hard against the clock and the … [Read more...]

5 Tips For a Successful Homeschool Year

Written by Karen @ To Work With My Hands, Contributing Writer Today is the first day of our new school year. Today the books are out again, all fresh and crisp. Everyone is excited, and everything is new - for now. But within a few weeks - maybe even days - the newness wears off and my children will wonder how they got duped by those pretty, crisp-covered books again. Sound familiar?  After 20 years of homeschooling, we still sometimes struggle. But along the way, I've learned a … [Read more...]

5 Summer Fruits to Get Into Your Freezer NOW

Written by Karen @ To Work With My Hands, Contributing Writer One of the many reasons to love summertime is the wide array of fresh fruits that are available. Enjoying them fresh is so wonderful, but the season seems to be too short, so the next best thing is to get them preserved for enjoying throughout the year. My very favorite way to preserve summer fruits is freezing. Here's 5 yummy summer fruits that freeze easily and well, and some delicious ways to enjoy them: 1. … [Read more...]

How to Pull Off a Simple – Yet Special – Father’s Day

  Written by Karen @ To Work With My Hands, Contributing Writer Father's Day is just around the corner. Have you made plans yet? When you have several young children, it can sometimes be a challenge to pull together a big celebration. Thankfully, celebrating special days doesn't have to be big or complicated. Just putting a little "heart' into them can make even the simplest plans memorable. If you still have small children who need lots of help with Father's Day, you'll … [Read more...]