DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater

This year so far has been busy! But this post isn’t about all the schoolwork I’ve been doing these past several months. It’s about an ugly Christmas sweater!

This year, the BASIC Christmas Party is going to be holding an Ugly Sweater Contest. It’s going to be so much fun. Sooo, being on the BASIC Board this year, I decided to go all out with my sweater. I’ve never owned an ugly sweater so this is a new one for me. Here is my finished product, and I’ll tell you how I got there:

How crazy does this look?!

How crazy does this look?!

The “Ho Ho Ho!” got a little messed up because my fingers kept smudging the paint. 😛

Materials: (I bought everything except the sweater, hot glue gun and scissors at Michael’s. Already had all of those)

  • A sweater or cardigan (You can get a really cheap on at a thrift store)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Felt sheets — White, Black, Red, Brown, and Tan
  • Bag of loose pompom balls — Multi-colored, Multi-sized
  • String of pompom balls — bright green
  • Green fabric paint
  • Red Sharpie
  • Red pipe cleaner (I used the glittery red kind)
  • Small jingle bells

Look how neat my “Ho Ho Ho!” looks here! Until I came along and messed it up.



  1. Lay sweater on flat surface
  2. Cut out the shape of a Christmas stocking in the red felt
  3. Glue white pompom balls along the top
  4. Write “Ho Ho Ho!” on the stocking with the green paint
  5. Cut out candy cane shapes with the white felt and use the red Sharpie to draw the stripes
  6. Glue the candy canes along the top of the stocking and set aside to let the paint dry
  7. Cut out a reindeer-head shape in the brown felt (mostly just a triangle with soft corners)
  8. Cut out ovals in the white felt and little circles in the black felt
  9. Glue the black circles onto the ovals and the ovals onto the reindeer head for eyes
  10. Cut out a larger oval out of the tan felt and glue it to the reindeer head as a snout
  11. Take a red pompom ball and glue it to the snout for Rudolph’s nose
  12. Cut out antlers from the tan felt and glue them to the reindeer head (I forgot to glue on the antlers so I’ll be doing that at some point before the party 🙂 )
  13. Take the red pipe cleaner and run 5 jingle bells through it
  14. Bend the pipe cleaner into a “collar” and glue it under the reindeer’s head (It’s so much fun to jingle around when you walk)
  15. Glue the stocking and the reindeer onto the sweater
  16. Take the string of green pompom balls and glue a piece of it on the collar of the sweater. Do the same with the sleeve cuffs.
  17. With the leftover pompom string, cut out individual pompoms and glue a few randomly around the sweater. Same with the multi-colored packet. (I put a few pompoms on the back sporadically just for fun)
  18. Take some of the smaller multi-colored pompom balls and glue them between the buttons on the front of the sweater (If you have buttons)
  19. I also put some large pompom balls on the elbows of my sweater
  20. All done!

I originally got the idea from this website:   It’s got more pictures so it’s easier to visualize. I just spruced it up a little with my own flair to make it even crazier!

I hope this helped with all of you out there who want to make an ugly Christmas sweater! 😉

Also, I had an extra pipe cleaner with jingle bells so I put it around my cat’s neck. He had NO idea what was making that noise and it was driving him crazy. So I took it off of him. But not before I got a picture!

Isn't he cute?

Isn’t he cute?






Defensive Driving School

Last Thursday was my last day of the classroom portion of driver’s ed! My best friend and I went through 30 hours of classroom time in four weeks. It was very vigorous; but I completely enjoyed it. I recommend Defensive Driving School to anyone who can get their hands on it. They’ve got a fun workbook with lots of different pictures and illustrations. Not just some old textbook or slide show where you have to take notes on every little thing. The instructor we had is A-MAZING!! He is super funny with tons of jokes and he’s Christian, which made it all the better. Not that all of the instructors are, though.

The first day of class, we missed. My mom failed to tell me which driving school she enrolled us in, so when she asked me to look it up for directions, we ended up going to the wrong school. What I don’t get is why there are two driving schools that start at the same time on the same day in the same city!! Yeah. We attended the whole first day of another driving school before we realized the mistake. It was actually really funny now that we think about it. At least we can laugh at ourselves without losing our dignity. So my mom called the driving school that we were actually enrolled in, and we had to do a make up day. We had originally planned to meet some friends at the movie theater that evening, but instead we had to go to driving school for the second time that day. Then we had to go again the next morning for our “second” session.

Anyway, the instructor was cool about it. He thought it was really funny that we went to the wrong school.

On the last day, we had our final test. You have to get 80% to pass and there are 50 questions. Before he passed back the results, he announced that only once, in the past three years that he’s been there, have two students gotten 100%. And it has just happened again. He didn’t say who aced the test, he just began handing back the results, while everyone was waiting in agony to see if they were the ones. When he had two more test papers to hand back, he stood in the front of the class and announced that the two people were me and my best friend. Yep. You read that right. We, the only two homeschoolers in the class, got 100% on our final tests!! And for that, we received two $5 McDonald’s gift cards. That’s enough for fries and a milkshake. Yummy!

I’ve only been on three driving lessons out of six so far, but every time, my instructor has been really impressed and surprised that I do so well. It definitely boosts my confidence. So far my lessons have been curves, parallel parking, left turns at intersections, and lane changes. Next on the list is driving on the freeway! Which I’ve already done a lot of, so it should be pretty easy.

End of the School Year

Well, it’s almost the end of the school year! My co-op has already finished, and I can honestly say I’ll really miss seeing my friends every week. We have this B.A.S.I.C. (Brothers And Sisters In Christ) Board that’s run by a team of high schoolers and plans and organizes events for all the high schoolers. I am very excited to say that I was accepted for this coming year as the secretary! So on our last day we had a lunch announcement for the new Board, but the guy who is now president wasn’t there. My friend and I searched the whole church over twice, but we didn’t find him. Therefore, we had our announcement without the new president. Then . . . he finally arrived after lunch! It was actually kind of funny. 🙂

Anyway, at the End of Year Picnic, we had our first BASIC meeting! Well, it wasn’t an official meeting. It was really just last year’s Board, transferring their responsibilities onto the new Board. It was still a lot of fun, though, and I have my own binder that says “Secretary” on it.

Out of my three classes there (Photography, Academic Writing, & Yearbook), I’d have to say Academic Writing was my favorite. Yes, it was A LOT of work, but I also learned a lot from writing essays all year. This next year I’m taking:

High School Chemistry

Creative Writing for Publication

Intro to English Literature

Sounds exciting! Besides homework for these classes, I’ll only have World History and Algebra 2 at home. Plus Latin and Bible Study of course. Chemistry is first period, so I can get a lot of that homework done during my two study hall hours. I’ve got to say–I’m REALLY looking forward to next school year! Of course, I have to finish this year’s schoolwork first. I’m doing a week’s worth of history every day for the next few weeks. And I’m doing two or three days of science a day. But, really, I want to finish and have at least a month and a half of break.

Also, another thing I’m really looking forward to: DRIVING!

My friend and I are taking driver’s ed together in a couple of weeks! I’ll be driving my mom everywhere while my bro clings desperately to his seat in the back. 🙂

One Year Blog Anniversary

Exactly one year ago, April 25, 2013, I posted my first blog post on Books and Things Blog. Originally, I meant to post mostly about books . . . and some things, but I guess it kind of turned into some books . . . and lots of things. I read a lot of books, but this school year has been eating me up alive, and I only have time to read my literature books. Reviews of which would be quite boring.

My days for the past couple months have been filled with school and HS golf. Golf is very time consuming and we’ve usually had one or two matches a week since the beginning of April. I really haven’t had much free time to read. Or write.

My summer will be pretty busy, too, with driver’s ed and helping my neighbors. Plus my plan to rewrite my rough draft from last summer and the long list of books I want to read. I’ve got a busy summer ahead and I haven’t even finished the school year yet!

I would like to thank all my friends and those who read my blog! It’s been a really great year sharing and writing about my thoughts and adventures.

Happy Easter!

Happy (late) Easter!!!. 🙂

On Friday, I had a couple of my long-time friends over and my brother invited one of his new friends. The boys played video games and my friend and I cheered them on with “Woo-hoo’s” and “Oh, no’s.” 🙂 At night, we went to our community’s Teen Flashlight Egg Hunt. It was basically a bunch of teens with flashlights running around a field looking for candy. There were a few cans of soda out there, too and one kid found a one hundred-dollar bill. I’m surprised no one tackled him. The search lasted about 30 seconds, so the people who were hosting the event set up a long trailer filled with video games on the inside and a Wii dance game on the outside. Most of the time, we watched people dance and some of them were actually really good!

One of our friends that showed up had a very high-end camera and he was taking pictures. Unfortunately, it was dark out and his flash was super bright! He probably blinded a good portion of the teens that showed up. I certainly couldn’t see for a good 20 seconds after his flash went off!

I didn’t collect much candy, just about five pieces. I got 2 100 Grands (which I don’t really like), and 3 Kit Kats (which I really like!). My brother traded all of his candy to our friend for a can of Coke. 🙂

K stayed the night at my house and we watched The Amazing Spider-man, getting in gear for the second one on May 2nd. (Can’t wait!) Saturday morning, K and I had an SAT prep class at the library. We’ve been going to the classes for the past several weeks and next Saturday is the last one. The first session, we took a practice test to see where we are, skill-wise. Now, I still haven’t finished Algebra 1 yet, so I don’t know a lot of the math and geometry there is in the SAT. That being said, my score was still slightly above average, so I was happy. This last Saturday, we took our final practice test to compare, and next time, we’ll go over our scores. I’m kind of nervous, but mostly excited to see what I got. I think I did really well in the essay.

On Sunday morning we went to church, of course. Instead of the usual two services at the church building, they decided to hold one service in the gym of our local high school! I think it was a really smart idea. The whole gym was packed with people. The pastor made a special note to all the newcomers talking about how service isn’t usually at the high school, “so if you come here next Sunday, you’ll be . . . alone.” 🙂

The rest of Sunday, we just stayed home. My parents did some yard work, and I took a really long nap on the couch because I’d had a really rough sleep the night before. For dinner, it was just the four of us, and my mom made a ham, cauliflower casserole, baked yams, and steamed artichokes. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very hungry, but I know it was delicious!

So, what did y’all do for Easter?

High School Formal

A couple weeks ago, my homeschool co-op hosted a formal for us high schoolers. Now, it’s with a Christian program so there were no dates or dancing or anything of the like, but I was totally okay with that. It was my first formal, and I didn’t really know what to expect. But I’ve got to say . . . I had a BLAST!!! 🙂

I wore a black, ankle-length dress that had one shoulder. I found it at Ross for $15!!! Total steal. Then I found some cute sandals at Payless, which were on sale for $8. Overall, my ensemble (excluding the jewelry that my mom lent me) was under $30!

During the first part of the evening, we had dinner and just talked and hung out. Before we ate, the seniors came up and shared their favorite co-op memories, and that was really sweet . . . and funny. 🙂 After dinner, a magician performed a show for us. His name is Joe Black and he’s really entertaining; he had us laughing nearly the whole time.

For dessert we had cheesecake, which was sooo good, but really rich and I could barely finish my slice. The rest of the evening was just spent talking and laughing. At some point one of the boys made a paper airplane out of the dinner menu and pretty soon, we all had little airplanes whooshing over our heads. Great memories! 🙂

The formal was a TON of fun!!  I can’t wait for next year.

Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones

Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones

Save the Date by Jenny B Jones

Lucy’s non-profit organization is going down to the dumps unless she comes up with enough money to pay the bill.

Alex Sinclair, heir to Sinclair Enterprises, needs more votes to win his bid for Congress.

What’s the plan? Lucy poses as Alex’s fiancée and she gets the money she needs. Despite their reciprocating dislike of each other, they must work together to keep the press happy. But when Lucy discovers a side of Alex that the camera never sees, can she save herself from falling in love?

This book is one of the best books I’ve ever read. And that’s saying something. It’s filled to the brim with witty comments and Sci-Fi references. And I’m talking the good stuff. Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings . . . even a couple mentions of Doctor Who! I was in heaven throughout the whole entire story. Plus the comedy and romance. Save the Date is hilarious and it’s got a Godly message. I did a triple book review for a trilogy Jenny B. Jones wrote called A Charmed Life, which I absolutely loved. This book has several twists to it that keep you on your toes! A definite five stars from me.

Five Stars