The History of 1+1+1=1 ~ Part 2

The History of

~ The History of 1+1+1=1~ Part 1 ~

~ Part 2 ~

The next big fork in the road on my blog was definitely Tot School. Here is the very first post I wrote about it, which was written in February 2008…just a few months after the blog began. Here was my 2nd Tot School post, where I first mentioned the possibility of a Linky ;-). Here is the first post with Linky, with a big whopping 3 linking up! All ladies that were “friends” of mine through Little Laplinks!

By March of 2008, the Tot School button was born…thanks to Valerie! image She created the button for me and kindly sent it to me. I was so excited and thought it was so cute—I still do! Valerie totally hooked me up as a friend, sharing her talents simply just to be nice. She inspired me to always try my best to be the same way online.

I wrote a post setting a few Tot School guidelines in April 2008, mostly for myself-so I would stick to a schedule. Tot School began posting weekly on Sunday’s then and I have never missed a weekly post! It continued to grow, and grow and evolve into the main portion of my blog. This certainly made sense and was a very comfortable place for me since I am college educated with a degree in early childhood education and am a certified Kindergarten teacher!

Soon I began getting emails and comments from readers, asking for my advice on early childhood issues. I was VERY uncomfortable with this at first. I struggle with pride and humility like any human, and it is something I really work on in my life. I NEVER want to be a know-it-all, and I was very hesitant to offer advice at all. Who did I think I was? But I prayed, talked with my husband and realized that maybe I could offer my thoughts and help someone. Here is the first time I did that publicly.


The invention of the “Tot Book” was the next milestone for this blog. image It was one of my crazy ideas that I went with, and it too has evolved into something much bigger than I ever imagined!


The infamous “Minute-by-Minute” Tot School post was written in August 2008, and was a post I am SO glad I did. I remember it was so hard to do, but I felt led to do it. It is an old post but one that is still a top-visited post here, as I know it helps show the reality that readers need. We are not as picture perfect as we may first seem ;-). I have plans to do another post similar to this one in the fall after we get going. I’d love to give readers a real glimpse into what a day is like balancing Tot School, Preschool, and 3rd grade!


Getting pregnant with Ladybug was another fork in the road for my blog. I opened up here with my post, I am not Supermom. Soon after that post, I had to write another difficult post, entitled-Not What We Expected, which shared the news of my husband being diagnosed with cancer. This blog took much more of a personal turn than I ever expected during the cancer season of our lives. This post was the one that really showed me the value of online friends. You all became VERY REAL to me and my entire family when we all saw the results of our Prayer Geography project. It is at this point that I really realized God had bigger plans for my blog than I ever anticipated. It wasn’t about numbers {for me it never was actually}, it was about people. People were real, even if I only knew them online. I have since met a few online friends in real life, but most of you I only know online. Even more of you feel like you know me, yet I don’t know you at all. I also feel that way about a few bloggers, so I completely understand that.


In December 2008 I introduced the series, “Behind the Scenes”, image

which has turned out to be one of my favorite parts of this blog. It is a place I can reach out in a more random way, either related or totally unrelated to homeschooling. I have since written many posts for this series and I love writing them. I am a nosy person myself and I love details. I write these posts for others who might be out there like me ;-). If you ever have a topic you’d like me to write about, please email me to let me know. I keep a running list of ideas and requests I get. Sometimes I get to them, sometimes I don’t, but I definitely like hearing ideas!

2009 was a big year of transformation for this blog and my online life in general, I will save that for the next post.

Part 3 coming soon {hopefully}…

The History of 1+1+1=1 ~ Part 1

The History of

I often reflect privately on where God has taken this blog, as it honestly amazes me. I thought it would be something worthy of sharing as I know many of you are either new bloggers or contemplating starting a blog of your own. I share not only for others, but also for myself, as I remind myself of God’s mighty hand. HE has been at work through this blog for years now and I still stand in awe at what He has done and has yet to do. I always pray that I am used by Him online.

This is my story,

how 1+1+1=1 came to be,

how the twists and turns led this blog to where it is today…

I began as a blog reader. I was a reluctant homeschooler, and desperately desiring to feel connected to someone in the same position. I began Googling like crazy trying to find homeschooling blogs. Little by little, I stumbled upon great blogs and began to just soak in the information I found.

Awhile after being a blog reader {and never a commenter…I was most definitely a blog lurker}, I found Valerie. I can’t even remember how, but I found her. Back then she had a different blog, “Little Blots of Faith” and she was starting a new meme called Little Laplinks. This is the main reason I set up a blog. It occurred to me that I was taking so much from the blogosphere, that it would be nice to give back in some way. So, I set up this blog as a way to share our lapbooks. That was the ONLY intent I ever had with this blog. I joined in with Little Laplinks here with my first post in October 2007. I began to share whatever I thought might possibly help someone else. I met a few friends online, most of whom I am still “friends” with today. Most of my very first blogging buddies were Little Laplinks participants. Little Laplinks went on for awhile and then fizzled out {although I fizzled out before it did if I remember correctly!}.

I soon began sharing a few lapbook templates on a website I created quickly as a stem off of the website I ran for our church. I already knew how to build a website, and already knew Photoshop {I was a photographer} so creating was something I could do, and already having access to a website meant I could share easily. The name of my site was simply “Lapbooks by Carisa.” As I said, I never had any other intentions with this blog or the site! Needless to say, God had MUCH bigger ideas than I did!!!

Side note ~ the name of the blog was NOT a long thought-out process. It was a quick thought, which must have been totally from the Lord. I remember thinking, I wanted something that could make people think and wonder and then possibly lead them to inquire and possibly learn more about the Lord! At first I thought the name was silly {and I know some still do}, but I just went with it. I certainly never thought the blog would grow as it has, so the name didn’t really matter too much ;-). In hindsight, I am so glad I went with it, as I love the name and the symbolism of it. If you’ve never read what the meaning is, you can see that here. I also selected 3 colors I liked and made those my blog’s colors. I never have changed those, and probably never will-they are a part of who I am online ;-).

Read Part 2 here!