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

Sent from my iPhone

My Poor Neglected Blog

I have every intention of updating here. No really, I do.  I write posts in my head and somewhere between head and keyboard they disappear.

Instagram has killed my blog.  If you follow me there you know that I post a mini blog several times a week.  And then it seems like there is nothing to say here.

March has poofed and April is almost over.  The passage of time never fails to astound me.  Was it always like this?  Or is this a ‘I’m getting older’ sort of thing.  Although Keilee has always been aware of how quickly time passes.

Our days are filled to the brim with learning and living.  Spring makes both of us feel so much better.

So here are a few random pictures.  Catching up is impossible but for nostalgia purposes I am posting a few things here. (Keilee and I love to go back to the month we are in and see what we were doing 2, 4 or 6 years ago!)

In some EXCITING news Alpha Omega Publishing picked Keilee’s Bringing Smart Back Instagram accounts as one of the “Top 10 Instagram Accounts Homeschoolers Should Follow”.  She woke up with about 120 new followers and we didn’t know what happened.  She was GIDDY.

She has been working hard on her YouTube Channel.  Here is the video she did on Poetry Tea Parties.  I loved it.

She contacted some businesses last week about sponsoring a giveaway and 2 responded that they would!  Yesterday in her video she told about her first contest which was a Year Membership to Molly Green Magazine!!  You have to enter with your Instagram account but it’s a great prize.

Mollyu Green

Here is her video with Nature Crafts.  I hope you can find something you and your kiddos can do together.  We especially LOVED the Nature Weaving!

More fun.
1. Picnic in the park after church Sunday.
2. One of her nature crafts.
3. Putting some ‘bling’ on her tshirt for kid’s church.
4. Walking in the rain in the woods.
5. Tea Party Fun
6. Before an Elsa party
7. Art Journaling outside

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Here is a picture of Keilee and her sidekick onstage at Kid’s Church.  Thankfully someone took this and posted it since I never get to see her ‘perform’.  They just started a new series called “Camp WannaStay”.  She ADORES doing this and teaching her 20 4-5th grade girls small group.

camp wannastay

And here is my favorite picture of the week:

Kei Garden

This weekend is slammed packed.  We have a women’s conference at church Friday night.  I am attending and Keilee is keeping the 3 year olds.  Saturday she is Elsa at the bowling alley and then we are celebrating my birthday and Sunday is Baptism at church.

I hope everyone who still reads my poor blog is doing great.  I am going to try to catch up as soon as possible on all the cool things you have all been doing!

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

“The world’s favorite season is the spring. 
All things seem possible in May.”
–  Edwin Way Teale

 

Catching Up!!!

It’s been awhile.  I was doing so well at updating and then…..well life happened.

It’s like Talluah Bankhead said, (who was born in a city near us and was actually NOT anyone’s role model)  “Good girls keep diaries; bad girls don’t have the time.”

Actually we haven’t, of course, been ‘bad girls’ just busy girls.

Quilts and skating and candy and Disney trips (not us!) and refuge trips and last minute plays and more.

We had a month long celebration of The Quilters of Gee’s Bend.  This was one of the most wonderful things we have done lately.  This a group of black women who live in south  Alabama.  They have been making quilts for generations.  There is a wonderful documentary on PBS about them.  Our museum had an exhibition, our library had a meet and greet and then they spoke (and SANG!) at a local senior citizen center.  It was all  magnificent.  Their stories were so unbelievable.  Afterwards Keilee got their signatures on an embroidery hoop she had stretched a piece of fabric across.  She wants to use it as a square in a quilt.  You can also read more about them here.

I think this would be a great unit study on patterns.  Learn about these lovely ladies and then have your kids make ‘quilts’ from construction  paper!

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Meeting the ladies of Gee’s Bend.

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We also went to a field trip to a candy making company.  This company has been in operation for over 25 years.  It was a great tour with them explaining all the processes that is involved in making an array of candies, shipping problems and the history of chocolate.

Candy Field Trip

And the cookies and candy!!!!  YUM

Candy Collage

Keilee got a phone call from a local director to ask her if she would be an understudy for a middle school/high school play called “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize”.  Keilee, of course said yes.  This is produced and directed by our theater company for a middle school who doesn’t have a drama department.  It was about the Civil Rights and presented for Black History Month.  She found out Monday and went to practice.  She then found out Tuesday that she was going to be IN THE PLAY.  She had 4 practices total (and they had been practicing since January) and she had one of the main roles!  They performed Thursday morning at the middle school (and dropping her off at 8:00 am and watching her walk into the school was surreal!). They later performed at the beautifully restored Princess Theatre downtown.  This experience was unbelievable for her.  She was so good on stage (and yes I’m her Mamma but no one could believe she had come aboard Monday).  She met some kids she really liked and just soaked up every minute of the experience.

Play

Keilee was contacted by Magic Moments Organization which grants ‘wishes’ for chronically ill children.  She was able to go to a dedication (where the family was donating a handicapped piece of playground equipment) and present sweet Albany with a trip to Disney!!!!  As wonderful as this was for Albany and her family it was more so for Keilee!

Elsa Collage

Keilee with her Bible opened working on a game for her girl’s group at church.  Voting. 😉  We went to homeschool skate day this month.  Keilee used to never miss a skate day but now she wants to go less often.  She had a great time even though we had to leave early to do some things. Nomad in his ‘tiara’ Keilee made him.  And our LEAP DAY picnic at our Wildlife Refuge.  She had, of course, to leap.

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And finally she was Cinderella at a birthday party Saturday.  She rarely gets to be Cinderella because kids refuse to “Let It Go” and want Elsa always and she loves Cinderella.  And of course I made her drop off the Redbox movie.  And to let me take a picture.

Cinderella Redbox

Whew!  I’m exhausted just typing that.

This week is supposed to be WARM!  We are so ready for Spring.  Isn’t everyone?

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Mail, Elsa, Bringing Smart Back, All the Crochet…

My cousin’s daughter teaches Kindergarten at a school in our town.  They have clubs that the kids meet in 2 times a month.  One club is “The Princess Club”.  She asked Keilee if she would come dressed as Elsa and read a story.  Of course Keilee said “YES”.  She offered to pay her but Keilee refused.

This school is a Title 1 school which means most of the students come from low income homes.  So many of them do not speak English.  These kids probably won’t be having Elsa at their birthday parties anytime soon.  I wish you could have seen their faces when they walked in and saw “Elsa”.  It was priceless.  Keilee read to them and then answered questions.  She then had her picture made with each one of them separately.  It was a wonderful experience for them and for us.

Elsa school

We  have always had such wonderful support through Instagram.  I have met amazing people both on my blog and there.  These are some goodies that a couple of friends sent us this week.

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Keilee is still crocheting every night.  Here are a few of her latest “Kreations” on her Keilee’s Kreations shop.  The Alice doll and the finger puppets are still available.

Keilee's Kreations

As some of you know I work from home VERY sporadically.  Since we have no house payment, car payment or credit cards our needs are few.  But it is after Christmas and Keilee’s birthday and our money is very low.  The other day we were coming back from the store when I told Keilee “I am worried about money.  If I had another $100 we could at least make it through March”.  She told me what she always says, “Mom it will work out.  It always does”.

When we got home I went to the mailbox and this was in it. No stamp, no signature just God providing for us through an angel.  I should know by now not to doubt.

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Keilee’s week has been filled with Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, Macbeth, Geometry 3 days, Animal Behavior, CNN Student News, finishing up her unit on Fungi which she loved, writing in her novel (this has been SO hard.  Since she lost her entire book a few months ago it has been hard for her to get back into writing), and working on Bringing Smart Back.  Here is the video.  I learned things I never knew about Valentine’s Day.  She does such extensive research and has learned SO much doing this YouTube channel.  Be sure to check out Bringing Smart Back website for lesson plans, recipes and crafts for this week’s episode.

 

Valentine’s Day

So another week in the lives of “Homeschool Girls” is in the books.  This weekend is filled with Elsa parties and VALENTINE’S day!

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

“It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.” ― Albert Einstein

T.H. White

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” ~ T.H. White, The Once and Future King

Mardi Gras

We are very lucky to live in a town where so much goes on.  Even though it’s a relatively small town (50,000) they offer so much.  I just always assumed every town did this but I have so many Instagram friends who say their town doesn’t do things.

We go to everything.  Old town tours, 3rd Fridays, Old State Bank tours, Civil War tours, balloon festivals, Civil War reenactments, festivals and art shows and library special events and free events at our free art museum and so much more.

This past weekend was a Mardi Gras parade.  Mardi Gras actually started in Mobile, Alabama not New Orleans like most people think.

This is a huge fundraiser for our Art Museum.  It starts at 10:00 and has a Canine Mardi Gras Parade, then a Children’s Parade at 2:00 and then the actual parade at night.  There are events and a scavenger hunt of sorts where you had to get stamps from 28 small shops located in our downtown area.  We had such fun going into shops we had never visited and meeting the shop owners.  We tasted Cajun cooking at the cook-off and wandered around the children’s activites area.  We spent the entire day there, then ran home and changed to get back for the night parade.

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All the dogs all the time.

Mardi Gras dogs

The dogs in the parade

Dogs MG

Aren’t they adorable? Keilee wants to take Nomad so much but he is so badly behaved on a lease.  We said what we always say, “Next year we are taking him for sure”!

We almost didn’t go to the night parade because it was so cold and my goofy child refuses to wear a coat (“It messes up my outfit”)  But I am so glad we did.  They outdid themselves this year and the floats were spectacular.  My iPhone failed to really capture the beautiful, vibrant colors.

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More floats:

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We stood on the front row and got beamed by beads a couple of times.  Those people throw HARD!!  But Keilee ended up with over 50 necklaces!!  And so many people actually came over and put them on her neck.  She also got some Moon Pies which she had never tried before.  (I know, I know, they are a Southern tradition but I hate them and she has never expressed an interest in trying them)  Her verdict : “I would never specifically ask for them but they are good”.

Keilee Mardi Gras

All in all it was a wonderful day.

Does your town have any cool traditions or festivals?

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

 

“We don’t hide the crazy, we parade”.  ~Unknown
Laissez les bons temps rouler! Let The Good Times Roll

Alice and Elsa and Snow and Thank You Notes….

I am trying to post here more.  Lately Keilee and I have been going back and looking through my blog posts.  It seems like we used to do such fun things!!  It is just easier to do cooler, hands on learning things with a 10 year old than a teenager.

But I still want to document what we do.  The pictures of learning aren’t always that awesome.  She pretty much sits on the couch and does her school type work.  But I do want to show the other things that take up our weeks.

It snowed here a bit last week.  Nothing like the blizzards that so many of you got but about an 1″.  I took this picture of Keilee reading my Nancy Drew book and then used an app called Superphoto.  I love the way it turned out.

snow

We went to the library and Keilee noticed they were having an Alice Tea Party so she asked the children’s librarian if she could dress up as Alice.  They said they would LOVE that.  It was such a great time.  They had a tea party and then showed the movie.  The movie broke so Keilee suggested she read a chapter from the tea party scene.  Our Newspaper was there and took pictures.

Alice Collage

She also had an Elsa birthday party.  Our ‘car selfies’ when she is dressed up are some of my favorites.

Kei Mom Elsa

It’s been really rainy here lately and we HATE letting Nomad out because he gets soaking wet.  And that dog wet smell? Yuck.  So we made him a raincoat.  He was not impressed.

Poor Nomad

A little over a year ago Keilee gave me a jar filled with about 100 “Thank You’s”.  About twice a week I pull one out and read them.  I have laughed and cried many times doing this.  What this has made me realize is that little things do matter.  Kids remember the times you spent making things fun and educational and just the moments you spend with them.

Thank You Jar

So keep dancing in the kitchen and playing those board games and taking those walks and all the little things you do.  They will remember.

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

“Each day of our lives we make little deposits in the memory banks of our children.”  Charles Swindoll

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Bringing Smart Back

Keilee has talked about doing a YouTube channel for years. She has put various videos on YouTube and even had the one she did on her 13th birthday (13 Random Acts of Kindness) get over 20,000 views.

But last summer she decided to actually do it. She wanted it to be short videos that would give knowledge to kids. She wanted to show kids it was ‘cool to be smart’. She decided to name it “Bringing Smart Back” very loosely based on the song “Bringing Sexy Back” (although she refuses to say that word! Ha)

The idea of ‘making a video every week’ sounds good in theory but it is such a time consuming endeavor. She thinks of a topic, researches thoroughly, writes her script, films it, edits it and post it along with a description. Then she decided she would like a webpage with accompanying lesson plans. She wanted it all to be free. Then she decided she wanted a Pinterest board with ideas to go along with each video. And she has an Instagram account for Bringing Smart Back.

She has so many videos that I love. She loves going on location for shoots.  But I really liked this one about Social Media.  She explained it from a kid’s point of view.

She also loves doing characters.  It’s the ‘theater kid’ in her coming out.

Very early on she was contacted by Great Products who said they would love to sponsor her.  To say she was excited is an understatement.  This is a great Homeschool company ran by homeschoolers! If you aren’t familiar with this company they have Homeschool and Christian T-Shirts very reasonably priced.  They gave Keilee merchandise and her own coupon code!  Use “Keilee” for a 10% discount.

Keilee tshirt

With her webpage, Bringing Smart Back,  she creates some of the lesson plans herself and some are just links to plans she has found online. She has to check each link to make sure it works and is free, she has to watch completely each video that she links on her webpage because you would not believe the videos that start out sweet and turn bad!!!

From August to mid way through November she did 4 videos a month. Then she had a bit of a meltdown. She was so stressed because she had so much to do. In addition to Bringing Smart Back she has schoolwork and her Princess business and she has a new script to learn each week for Kids church, and she has her Keilee’s Kreations crochet business. During November and December she got 19 orders and had to get those all made before Christmas.

So I suggested she take a break during the holidays from Bringing Smart Back. She started it back in January and has decided (with strong suggestions from her Mama) that she posts 2 videos a month.

Keilee has always been great at time management but there is only so many hours hours in a day and you can’t cram 30 hours into 24.  As Moms most of us know this right?

But she has gotten excited about it again and is back on track.  And she doesn’t have the one million subscribers she wanted to have or been mentioned on Hank Green’s Sci Show but who knows?

So check it out.  And share it if you feel like it.  And show your kids because “Bringing Smart Back” is cool!

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

 

“We should all feel confident in our intelligence. By the way, intelligence to me isn’t just being book-smart or having a college degree; it’s trusting your gut instincts, being intuitive, thinking outside the box, and sometimes just realizing that things need to change and being smart enough to change it.” ~Tabatha Coffey

Plans and More Plans…

A new year beckons shiny and new. I like new beginnings. I like August which means the start of our new school year and I like January which means the start of a new year.

We had plans this year. But our plans seem to get derailed pretty easily. Why does it look so good on paper and so hard in real life? It reminds me of budgets. I’ve always been horrible at them. On paper it is so pretty; all the money accounted for. Everything tucked into it’s neat little category. But it never works out that way.

I have a horrible habit of complaining ” I can’t do anything!! I want to find things I love to do.”  I love to read and play a few video and online games and watch Korean dramas but nothing very ‘creative’.  I vowed to change that this year.  With varied results.

So this new year there are plans; plans to learn Korean and Calligraphy. Plans to do a short study on the upcoming movie “God’s of Egypt”, plans to better manage time, especially hers, plans to do more Bible studies, to start Periscoping (she is KeileeT there if you Periscope) from a homeschool teenagers perspective and more.

More reading aloud, more living in the moment, more exercise, more saying yes. There are plans to start a daily planner- for me (oh my word I have seen videos and scopes about these and while they are beautiful beyond words I MUST realize mine with NOT look like theirs. Not even close).

But now, only a few days into the new year life happens. My Dad decided to get a new floor in our homeschool room which meant there were piles and piles and piles of stuff everywhere in the house. They came last week and removed carpet and came back Monday and it took 3 days. Then began the great purge. Do I really need 2nd grade curriculum? So when life happens plans go awry. And that is one of the frustrating things about homeschooling but also the great things about it. Keilee has always seen ‘real life’. She knows there are days when errands have to be ran and things taken care of so you have to learn to manage your time well.

Ta da our new art/homeschool/craft room.  Trust me this looks amazing comparatively speaking.  She has so.much.stuff.

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My Korean numbers.  Good grief I will never learn this.  The actual ‘words’ aren’t bad but the characters are crazy!

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This is called faux calligraphy.  My first attempts weren’t very good but I’ll get better.

fruits of spirit

We have been watching tons of periscopes about planners.  These people are serious about their planners.  They are like works of art.  So I got a planner and while mine will NEVER look like theirs I am enjoying it.

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A page from Keilee’s Art Journal.  Her page about her 16th birthday.  She plans to do a Periscope soon about her Art Journaling.

16

Some dolls she made for her Instagram shop, serving at our local soup kitchen, shenanigans in Wal-Mart and the promo ad for a Tea Party and Alice in Wonderland movie she is doing at our library.  We went to the library to see a quilt show and saw these flyers about the showing of Alice in Wonderland.  So Keilee asked to speak to the head of the children’s department and asked her if she could dress up as Alice.  She was thrilled with the idea.  Keilee is so excited because she loves Alice.  She has been going around speaking in a British accent for 2 days.

Collage

I know all these things will not get done.  I have learned many things over the years of homeschooling but one of the most important is that no matter how much you plan ‘life does happen.’

But everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. How you choose to use it can make all the difference.

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

 

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” ~Robert Burns

Linking with Sylvia at Faithful Mom of 9

~16~

January 3rd was her birthday. Her 16th birthday. How is that possible? I am not ready for her to be 16 but time is a funny thing; it happens regardless of if you are ready for it or not .

We had such an amazing day. We went to church to hear an amazing message then she led Kid’s Church. Their script for the next few weeks are 2 extremely county people in Louisiana (think Duck Dynasty) who take off on an adventure to the Arctic.  Then she made cupcakes for her Small Group of 4th-5th grade girls.  She adores these girls.  And they adore her back.

Keilee and her sweet girls. They made her a whiteboard card.
Keilee and her sweet girls. They made her a whiteboard card.

After church we went to IHop for the 14th year in a row!!! We started going when she was 3. There were ladies there who said they had been a part of singing to her since 2010!!!

IHop ladies singing Happy Birthday!
IHop ladies singing Happy Birthday!
The sundae!!
The sundae!!
YUMMY!!!!
YUMMY!!!!

Then back home for family visits. After that we went to an abandon railroad to take birthday pictures. Then we went to Olive Garden for dinner. We had gift cards for both IHop and Olive Garden that we had been saving.

Happy Birthday!!
Happy Birthday!!

One perfect piece of tiramisu.

Tiramirsu

 

For her birthday she wanted to change her bedroom. She completely took down her loft bed by herself and is now using an antique bed that I used to use years and years ago. She didn’t want me to buy her a new comforter but I insisted. She hadn’t had a new one since she was 5. She knew what she wanted and searched and searched online. She knew she wanted a gypsy/bohemian and we looked in stores and online. She finally found the one below. And loved it. She then bought 5 yards of in sale fabric and tore strips for the ‘curtains’. She made the crocheted bunting and the fabric bunting on her headboard. And she took off ALL her stuffed animals and spent a long time picking her favorite few; a wicked witch from “The Wizard of Oz’ when she played the witch when she was 11, Marie from “Aristocats” where she played The Duchess when she was 13, Butch the Bulldog that we got at The Opryland Hotel when she was 5, Meeko the Raccoon from when she played Meeko in Pocahontas when she was 8, an owl my brother got her last Christmas and her tooth fairy pillow I got her when she was 5. And the new colorful pillow my brother got her for her birthday Sunday.

The room reveal!
The room reveal!

I have had the utmost honor of raising this amazing girl. One who loves so many things. Who talks about “Fruits of the Spirit” more often than the Top 40. Who can take a stick and fabric and create something amazing. Who thinks that most teenagers are from another planet and she doesn’t speak their language. Who is happiest watching a documentary on serial killers or the brain .

Who never watches anything teen drama or a movie about anyone doing anything ‘inappropriate’ without saying “2 words people: Self Control”. Who gets a little freaked out about being 16 and wishes she was 6 at times. Who loves knowledge and music and corny jokes and Korean dramas and anything in the world animal related (especially dogs or baby animals). Who has Pinterest boards that she actually does the pins! Who loves being on stage or performing in any way. Who has grown and been stretched by God this year as she teaches children about God and prays over them .

Who delights me every single day. Who has never been in trouble really because she is just that good of a child. But who doesn’t have a clue what a ‘clean room’ looks like, she honestly doesn’t get it. Mess bothers her not at all. Who has to create the same way most people have to breathe. Who sings constantly and dances most always. And good Lord, her crazy dances are legendary around our house. Who has such an idea of right and wrong. Life is black or white to her. She will learn the ‘gray’ in time .

Who wants to be an psychologist; child, animal and/or criminal, and a farmer and a English tutor in Korea and a Disney Princess and an animal rehabilitator in Africa and an actress depending on the day. And who could do them all and rock them. And she doesn’t care about money. “Just enough to live on” she says .

This child who is almost grown up (but not really Mom there is still so much I don’t know) and who won’t be here forever and oh my goodness that time is getting closer and closer .

Who has taught me the meaning of ‘wings and roots’ (although the wings are hard y’all) .

Happy Birthday my Keilee girl. May you always soar. May you one day find your tribe and know without a doubt that you are home. May God always guide your choices and your life. May your light shine oh so bright and illuminate everyone you come into contact with .

And may you always, forever more, without one ounce of doubt; know you have a Momma who always loved you to Pluto and back. And then back again. And back .

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

“What I want most for my daughter was that she be able to soar confidently in her own sky, whatever that may be”. ~Helen Claes

 

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