Politics and Princesses…

Sometimes I wonder why I pay for this month after month.  I rarely update it.  But the thoughts of it ‘going away’ makes me seriously sick to my stomach.  It’s our life, from 2008 to now.  So I keep it and promise myself to ‘do better’.

February is half way over.  Keilee and I were just discussing the fact that times has gone by crazy fast.  It’s insane.  4 months until she is a ‘senior’. How in the heck can that be true?

School has gone slowly this year. She hasn’t done tons of ‘booky’ things but she has learned and learned and learned.  She has taken a class this year that we didn’t even know she would be taking. It’s called Politics 101.  I do not discuss my politics.  I could write a post about why I don’t but just suffice to say we have never watched and followed politics like we do now.  We watch huge amounts of news stories, listen to tons of podcasts, read about 7 different newspapers and news sites.

She still does American Lit. She just finished “Catcher in the Rye” which she didn’t love and now she is listening to “1984” which she does love.  She does Forensics and Child Psychology and US History.  She watches documentaries and knows so much about so much.

Some of my favorite moments this month:

She was asked to come to the courthouse for ADOPTION DAY for this brother and sister and then come to the after party and announce they were going to Disney!!!  It was magical. Simply magical.

Filming a scene for a TV show to be shown in Children’s hospitals in the US.

A wonderful night at a nearby library.  The kids were mesmerized.

Happy Birthday Cinderella. The movie was released this month in 1950!

Valentine’s day at our library. She read a book to the kids and then one of them ‘read’ one to her.

Happy rest of February. Make it wonderful.

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
~Robert Breault

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Hello 2017

2017.  It’s so unreal to me that it is 2017.

We have been crazy busy.  Well Keilee has been crazy busy which means I am crazy busy by default.

She keeps up with her busy life with a planner that is a work of art. Seriously.  I use a notebook and pen.  And that works for me. But she prefers “pretty”.

She celebrated her 17th birthday.  We went to iHop the same way we have done since she was 3.  And there are waitresses who remember her!
17…. I can’t even.

She and Emma got to spend time together.  Emma spent the night and they stayed up way late talking and listening to music and talking and watching movies and talking.  It’s hard when your best friend is so far away.

She still working hard on Bringing Smart Back.  If you don’t follow her on social media you should!  Your kids will love it.
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Instagram @bringingsmartback

Here are some pictures from the activities she did for her children’s book club.

She had her first lunch meeting this week for her Princess company.  Someone wanted to meet with her to discuss an opportunity. She thought that was SO cool.  (and so did her Mamma)

She has done amazing things with  her Princess group in 6 short months.  She had/has 8 events in January.  She has even booked events in May.  This is from 2 birthday parties ON THE SAME DAY!  A day that was below 10° windchill.  And our fountain in front of the state bank froze so what else but Elsa pictures?

She has also crocheted 27 hats for custom orders!!  In 4 weeks.

And there has been US History, Forensics, American Lit (she is  reading The Catcher in the Rye), Child Psychology and more.  But she learns so very much just living life, running 2 businesses, watching documentaries, reading news stories and so much more.

All in all it has been a great start to 2017.  Like I told Keilee the other day, her ‘school’ experience doesn’t look like the kids in the school down the street but it is a beautiful thing.

Happy 2017!

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

“Little girls with dreams become women with vision” ~Unknown

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Below is the video Keilee made with all her characters.  I LOVE it so much!

Our Characters!

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Our Characters!
Not only do we offer birthday parties, fundraisers, live calls, and personalized videos we now have Princess Play Dates! Princess Play Dates can include; tea parties, playing dress up, picnics in the park, Juice and cookies or anything you can dream up! Message us for a special rate!

Posted by Magical Memories on Monday, January 2, 2017

 

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1st Semester/HomeschoolGirls Style

I can not believe it’s almost the end of the year.  Time goes by so quickly that it astounds me.  I want to grab it, hold it, make it slow down.  How can it be I am about to have a 17 year old?

As far as “Let’s do all of our subjects and check the boxes” this 1st semester of 11th grade has been a bit of a fail.  Yes there was US History, Forensics, American Literature, Child Psychology, writing and a few other things done but definitely not a semester’s worth.

And I could choose to freak out about that.  But I am not.  Because the things that were done were magnificent.

Keilee is completely running 2 businesses.  Very successful businesses.

Her Princess group, which she started at the end of July, is flourishing.  She has had at least 3-5 events a month, some months much more.  She has had photo shoots with each Princess to get the exact pictures she wants.  She edits each picture taken.  She has designed and ordered business cards.  She has participated in countless volunteer opportunities.  She has made many, many little girl’s birthday dreams come true by appearing as a Princess.  She coordinates with the Mom’s for birthday parties giving them information.  She makes Happy Birthday videos and edits and sends them to people all over the world.  She made Elf videos as “Holly The Elf” for Christmas.  She talks on the phone to businesses setting up events. She coordinated everything for her group to participate in the Christmas parade. She runs all the social media on Facebook and Instagram for the group.

Her Keilee’s Kreations has been a huge commitment, especially the last 2 months.  She has had over 30 orders due for Christmas.  She comes up with ideas, crochets, posts on Instagram, takes orders, generates invoices, packages and mails every order with special touches.

She is the youngest member on the Steering Committee for our city.  They have monthly meetings and do things in the community.  She successfully headed a table with citizens of our town to discuss issues, concerns and ideas to make our town better.

She was asked to speak in Birmingham at the “Women Who Shaped Alabama” conference for the “Modern Trailblazers” portion.  She talked about running businesses as a 16 year old. She was the youngest person to speak by quite a bit.

She made a video for a Southern Girls Project and won the contest they were hosting.  She then was asked to take over al.com’s Snapchat and then the Snapchat and Instagram for re.belle who is the ones who sponsored the contest.

She does Bringing Smart Back which is her educational Instagram and Facebook accounts.  She did decide to cut back on the number of YouTube videos she does but she is doing a Children’s Book Club now with plans to continue.  She finds the books, finds crafts, experiments and activities to go along with each book and post about them. She also posts other things each week.

She leads kid’s church each Sunday.  She learns a script each week to perform on stage.  She also leads a small group of 4th-5th grade girls.

So yes, her 1st Semester of 11th grade probably looks nothing like the kids in the public school down the street.  But she is rocking this year.

So, if your kids do things differently, learn outside of that “box” everyone always talks about, gets excited about something besides Algebra or Science, that’s OK.  It’s actually more than OK because honestly how many times since high school or college have you gotten excited over Algebra?

Isn’t that the reason we started this journey in the first place?  To allow our kids to experience more?  More joy, more learning, more real life, more of all the things that will make their lives lovely.

Merry Christmas from us both!

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

“I am convinced that the best learning takes place when the learner takes charge.” ~ Seymour Papert

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” —Ella Fitzgerald

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” —Farrah Gray

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Fall 2016

Fingers crossed I am back up and running. I thought it was repaired about a month ago but nope. It’s been 4 months without my site. And I’ve missed it! I had about abandoned it for Instagram but I still miss actually writing a post and adding several pictures instead of just one!

11th grade is interesting. Probably the least ‘schooly’ that we have ever had. But she is still learning so much. I go back and forth between “oh my gosh she isn’t doing Math” to “calm down Karen she is running 2 businesses, serving on our city’s steering committee, running 5 Instagrams and so much more”.

I see younger kids sitting around doing so many fun hands on things in their homeschool day and I sometimes yearn for that. But life marches on.

Keilee has worked so hard on her crochet items. If you would like to take a look check it out here. It’s on Instagram but you can access it without having the app or an account.

Her Princess business is doing amazing.  Especially considering it’s only been 4 months.  She is very busy.  She has mostly volunteer events coming up but she loves to volunteer!!  Here are a couple of her new costumes. (Her new  Elsa is from her fairy godmother/aunt. Isn’t it glorious?) And I ADORE Merida!  She even has a Scottish accent when she plays her.

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There is no way to catch up for months so here are a couple of my favorite pictures of late.

We went on an Amish field trip in Ethridge, TN.  There was NO photos allowed but Keilee snuck this one.  We were on a covered wagon tour with a homeschool group.
The world has felt very angry and broken to me as of late.  I find it effected my mood and outlook.  This trip made me yearn for a simpler life.

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Someone bought Keilee a 4′ Olaf! 4 FEET TALL!  Now it is so cool, and the kids adore him but guess who gets to carry him in?  Yup.

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I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

It’s good to be back.  Happy Fall from us both.

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Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.”  Anonymous

 

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I’m backkkkkkkkk…..

So once again my blog got hacked.  This time it was a redirect virus.  Unfortunately the company that I have hired to clean and monitor it isn’t very speedy.  Like ‘it took them 3 months’ not speedy.  With me emailing every other day. So I’ve been a bit frustrated.

There is no way to catch up with something like that.  So I won’t try.  11th grade started.  It is going great but not in a ‘we are getting every subject done every day’ sort of way.  More like she is running 2 businesses, serving on our town’s steering committee and running their Instagram account, leading kid’s church every week, getting all her crochet items made for the Christmas season, having a Princess event almost every weekend, talking to businesses all the time about doing events, always looking for volunteer opportunities, doing Bringing Smart Back sort of way.

And that’s ok with me.  She still does ‘schooly’ things.  Just not every day.

Our life is moving along.  Life is good and I will post more later.  Fun things like pictures and dog stories and just our sometimes crazy busy,  mostly always beautiful life!

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

The Week That Almost Killed Me…

It’s been a busy several days.

Like “if I have to see Keilee in another costume I may scream” busy.

Rapunzel, Cinderella, Elsa, Ariel, Elsa again, Luna Lovegood, Hamilton bound costume for a sing-along, costume for church, Ariel again….

But she is loving this.  She has done so well to only have her page a month.  I remind her daily, “School starts soon and you will be busier”.

I’m afraid she does too much.  What is too much?  At what point can I tell it’s too much? When she has a meltdown? When she starts rocking in the corner?  Or maybe when “I” do!

So ladies and gentleman, our week.

Hamilton Sing Along. Oh my gosh this was WONDERFUL!!!  It turned out so much cooler than I thought it would.  And my little rap girl was awesome.

HamiltonCollage

Release of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.  The last time we went to a book release she was 8.  And won the costume contest as Hermione.  This year she was 16 and won the costume contest as Luna Lovegood!

HPCollage

Princess Leia at an outdoor movie presentation of “The Force Awakens”.  She is NOT a Star Wars fan.  She knows nothing except “she kisses her brother”.  Thankfully only 1 person asked a question.  “Where is Luke Skywalker”.  She told them, ‘He is back on the planet.  Doing stuff”. Ha

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Photo shot with her Prince Charming.  They are very good friends so is “wasn’t awkward” Keilee said.

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Elsa at Epic Church.
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Elsa at Pitsagram.  This is a Pit Bull competition that raises school supplies and supports anti-bullying campaigns.  There were cute kids and ALL. THE.DOGS (The dog in the picture with Keilee and the little girl is named “Queen Elsa”)

PitsagramCollage

Rapuzel photo shoot.  I think she is one of my favorites:

Rapunzel

Visit to our local Art Museum for a Lion King exhibit:

Lion King Collage

She found time to make a Pokemon Go hat and ball.  And she promptly got 14 orders!!

pokemon

And Monday’s on her Instagram and her Facebook page is “Mermaid Monday”.  Here’s this weeks:

ariel

So there you go.  Our crazy few days.  Can I sleep now?  For about a month?

As of this posting my car is broken!  The alternator is shot. Thankfully it will /hopefully/ be repaired this weekend.  Not having a car is the pits but the sweet older lady next door is letting us use her extra car for a couple of days.

We are starting school the 20th.  More about those plans later!

Happy Friday all!
Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that they are someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

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Under The Sea

Keilee left her other Princess group and started her own.  Without being all dramatic or anything they were just going in a different direction than Keilee wanted to go.  They wanted her to sign a contract which she isn’t even old enough to legally do.  Since she adores this so much she decided to just do it herself.  She has 3 other people at this point and more to add later maybe.

People have been amazing.  AMAZING because there was some nastiness when she left.  But that’s all behind us and we are looking forward.

My sweet Daddy bought her a pink Ariel costume.  She has always loved Ariel since she was 2.  She used to sit in my lap and watch The Little Mermaid over and over.  It is the first Disney movie she ever watched.  And now she can play her.  A wonderful friend who has claimed Keilee as her niece has bought her 4 costumes!!  Yes 4!!!  I didn’t even know what to say.  I just cried at her generosity.  Keilee hasn’t gotten all of them in yet and they are a surprise but one of them is the Ariel Mermaid costume.  It is VERY modest and Keilee would not have worn it if it showed her stomach.

Wednesday she went to a Princess Ballet Camp as Ariel.

Here are some of my favorites:

Meeting the little princesses:

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Dancing with them

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Answering a million questions: questions

Hugs are the best:
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They loved Ariel:

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This has been a stressful, amazing, scary, wonderful thing for her.  It’s hard to start from scratch.  She has worked so very hard.

She has sought out volunteer opportunities to get their name out there.  She is offering video messages to people who live all over the world; things like “Happy Birthday”, “Back to School”, “Get Well Soon” and more.

Please if you have Facebook go to her page and “Like” it.  FACEBOOK She will so appreciate your support.  Her Instagram is MagicalMemoriesAL.

Enjoy her Ariel dance.  She is so silly.

Happy August 1st!
Homeschooling Rocks
Karen

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Have Ya’ll Missed Me?

So I’ve been gone a while.  My poor, sweet homeschoolgirls blog was hacked.  By porn.  Lord I can’t even stand typing that word here.  I was so upset.  I talked to my hosting company and they gave me a number to call.  Which I did.  And they told me it would be $75 a month for a year to fix it.  So I cried.  I can’t afford that.  But my blog….. So I called them back and this girl told me of a more affordable company.  So I called them.  And he was awesome.  But then he went overseas to adopt 3 children (which is amazing but it delayed my blog another month).

But I am back.  Thankfully.  It just freaks me out that if anyone Googled homeschoolgirls.net they got “This site is hacked” followed by a description of the hacked site.  Trust me, it was bad.

My first thought was “oh my gosh I will never catch up so why try”.  The last few months have been insane.  And there is no way I can catch up.  So I will highlight and try to do better.

It’s been so very hot this summer.  Like “heat wave advisory” hot.  We’ve spent a lot of time at the pool.  Keilee has left her Princess group and started her own.  Go like her Facebook page if you’re on Facebook and I will post more of the events that lead to this later.  But it’s a good thing.  Always.

We’ve gotten together with friends, gone to the Farmer’s Market, volunteered at the soup kitchen, attended a wonderful production of 1776 and of course, searched for Pokemon.

summer collage

Pool time fun!

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Friday the 22nd was our women’s conference at church.  Keilee usually works keeping kids but this time she was able to SPEAK at the conference.  Which was very cool because she isn’t old enough to attend.  I am posting the video (which is very blurry for the first 40 seconds for some reason) but very awesome.

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The video:

So it’s almost time for 11th grade to start.  11th GRADE!!!!!  Seriously y’all how is that even possible?

My goal this school year is to be better at updating my blog.  I told Keilee this morning that I keep paying for the hosting and never posting.  And she said, ‘Yes Mom and I’ll always pay for it, and my kids will always pay for it and my grandkids will pay for it. It can’t be just gone!”

Homeschooling Rocks,
Karen

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A Dream Is A Wish

Keilee plays Elsa much more often than any other thing.

But she LOVES Cinderella the most.  We did a photo shoot (with my iPhone) a couple of days ago.  I absolutely loved the way the pictures turned out.

We went to the Old State Bank which was perfect for pictures.

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I loved this one at the piano.

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This was Keilee’s favorite.

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I love reflection pictures!

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At a local small, gorgeous park.  This is where we picnic often.

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This is our Amphitheater.

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In front of the State Bank.

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And of course Cinderella in front of the fireplace.

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In the park.

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I just loved all of these and wanted them on my blog.  I love so much the fact that when Keilee was 3 she was rarely without her Princess dress and plastic clacking heels.  And now she gets to dress up as a Princess all the time.

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

“plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” ~Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

 

Everybody’s Working For the Weekend…

We had such a great weekend.

I have determined that I am much happier when we are busy than when we aren’t.  I think it is because, in all honesty, I don’t have a lot to do when we are home.  I clean, I read, I watch my crazy K-Dramas, I do outside work (every now and then), I figure out what’s for dinner.  And all that doesn’t take many hours to do.

This weekend we were busy!

Friday there was a Strawberry Festival in a town I have not visited in years but spent endless hours in as a child.

Traveling on a road that I rarely travel on anymore brought back so many memories .

We headed to the town my Daddy grew up in and where my grandparents lived until their death, to attend a Strawberry Festival .

We first stopped at the cutest little antique store and talked extensively with the owner. Then we rode by “the house” .

It is my “memory house”. We all have one. For most people it’s the house they grew up in. But for me, since we live in the house I grew in, It’s my grandmother’s house. From age 2 to about 14 or 15 she was my favorite person in the world. She and Papa were always old times me. Much older than my other grandparents. My Daddy’s oldest brother was older than my Mom’s parents. My Daddy was the baby by quite a bit and my Mama’s favorite son.  We went to their house every weekend. They lived on a farm that was within walking distance of the town square. They had pigs and horses and chickens and cows. I learned to milk a cow there. I gathered eggs. I picked grapes and worked in the garden.  I tried to coax wild cats from under the house.  We climbed the huge oak trees in the front yard and built a treehouse. It was where I had snow cream for the first time. In the summer my brother and I fought over who sat on the homemade ice cream maker while Daddy cranked it. My younger brother and I set up a hospital to try to doctor the birds my older brother shot with his BB gun. We explored the pastures and lake, jumped on hay bails, picked wildflowers .

I would stay for a couple  of weeks every summer. It was the highlight of my year. My Mama and I had such fun. She made biscuits every single morning. She made the best fried chicken I ever had in my life. She made tea cakes that I’ve tried to duplicate so many times. She and I walked to town to shop and if I close my eyes can see her with her handbag on her arm. We always stopped and got a milkshake. She never once wore pants. She let me pick out her dresses every morning. She never once drove a car. She gave birth to 7 boys, 2 of which died .

As we drove by, so many memories rushed through my mind. So many amazing times. It is a beautiful place that has been totally redone. It has a huge wrap around porch and stained glass windows. The land is gone. The big oak trees are gone. But it is still a place that I adored and the wonders painted it yellow with a barn red door. The exact same color we picked out when Daddy had this house painted a couple of years ago .
Mama's House
As we walked around the town square, looking at crafts, eating ice cream, listening to elementary school kids sing, smelling all the food smells and seeing baskets and baskets of strawberries I told Keilee I would give anything if Mama was beside us and afterwards we could go back with her to her house, eat fried chicken and sleep in her big feather bed .

I am so thankful for memories .

Such a beautiful day with my girl. And my Mama and Papa. I so glad I could visit them today. If only in my mind .

Strawberry

Saturday morning we went to the first “Market on Bank”.  I simply adore our town.  They offer SO much and it is all free and we have always gone to everything possible.  Keilee also talked to the director of the Art Museum and she is going to help with the Summer Art Camp.  She was so excited.  We also got to meet Crazee Daisy.  Daisy is a bit of a celebrity in our town.

Art On Market

Saturday afternoon was all about Cinderella.  Keilee had a birthday party for a just turned 6 year old.  As I sat in the car waiting, I wondered how many hours I have spent waiting on her.  And I have not minded one second of them.

Cinderella

Sunday was Mother’s Day.

I have been many things in my life.  A daughter, a granddaughter, an aunt, a cousin, a niece, a wife, a child of God.  So many hats worn. A student, a teacher, an employee.

But I never spent my childhood, teenage or young adult years wanting to be a Mom.  I hear so many women say that was all they ever wanted to be.  But my Barbies were nevfer Moms, they were explorers or scientists (strangely enough Keilee’s have never been Moms either).  I was a magnificent aunt, the cool one, the one that taught you to burp loudly or jump off really high things or took you to roll yards or let you stay up all night. But I never wanted to be a Mom .

But then God, up in Heaven, shook his head and smiled and whispered “Just wait” and then He made me a Mom. And it is the best.thing.I.have.ever.done .

I sat at church and heard Mothers tell their “Mom stories”.  And I heard them talk about how they went through hard times.  How it is tough raising kids and Keilee leaned over to me and said, “I have never been hard to raise”.  And she is right.  Never.  Not once. Now we have had hard times, times when we scraped together money to go buy milk, times when I wasn’t sure I could pay the electric bill, times of stress over money.And I‘ve worried because I  have never taken her on expensive vacations or gone out to eat much or bought new furniture .

Mother's Day

But she has never been hard.  We bump heads, of course we do.  I yell, but I’m a yeller.  But she has never been hard.  She (as most of you probably know) delights me, amazes me, loves me fiercely (as I do her) and blows me away every single day .

People say you shouldn’t be your child’s best friend but she is mine and she says I am hers.  We have gone through the last  years together.  It has always been her and I against the world. I told her today sometimes it really scared me how easy she has always been, how smoothly she has gone from baby to toddler to child to preteen to teen.  Like something hard was coming because IT SHOULDN’T BE THIS EASY.  And she said, (as she so often does) “Oh Mom you worry too much” .

Mother’s Day can be hard for me at times.  Almost 8 years ago to the day, I lost my Mom.  And she was the best Mom ever.  She was funny and supportive and a lioness to her cubs and she prepared me to be something I never thought I would be.  Keilee’s Mom .

But I am not focusing on the ‘sad’ today. I am focusing on the beauty .

And there is SO MUCH BEAUTY .

So we went to church and afterwards I ran home and packed a picnic and then picked up my girl up from kids church, we went to visit my Daddy and I hugged my Step Mom and we went on a picnic and then came home and sat on the patio and I read aloud to Keilee.  Then we ate hot dogs for dinner and watched Gilmore Girls.

And I thanked God, as I do every single day, for making me her Mom .

Picnic

Have a wonderful week all!

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

“There is no way to be a perfect Mother but a million ways to be a good one” ~Jill Churchill

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Jesus, a Mother, a Daughter and a Dog….