The Week of Driving and Sand and Squirrels…..

I honestly can’t remember much we have done the last few days.  A lot of home time after busy weeks.  Visiting Patsy at rehab after her surgery.  She was my Mom’s best friend and she said my Mother ‘gave’ Keilee and I to her.  Playing board games and World of Warcraft.  We are almost level 90 on WOW which means nothing to most of you probably. :)

We spent a couple of days at the pool.  They have a beach there too and Keilee played in the sand a bit.  And she created a chalk masterpiece on our driveway.  See that one white square?? It’s where Seth pressure washed it.  I can not believe the difference.  Keilee got that T-Shirt as a yard sale for .25.  It says, “Will teach Science for Food”. :)

Recently Updated244

Silly pictures are my favorite.

Recently Updated243

In other HUGE news this past week I let Keilee drive in the alley.  I told her for years I would teach her to drive when she was 12.  When she turned 12 she was MUCH too  young.  So I told her 13.  When she turned 13 she was MUCH too young.  So I told her 14.  When she turned 14 she was MUCH too young but….I finally, at 14 1/2 let her drive.  It scared me to death.  She did awesome though although 7 MPH is the fastest she went. I can not believe she is almost old enough to drive.  It seems like she was just driving her pink Barbie car around the driveway!!!

Recently Updated245

In the hugest news of all we are taking Augustus to an Wildlife Rehabilatator on Wednesday.  It is killing both of us.  This has been an amazing experience for Keilee.  And for me.  He is the sweetest thing.  I know there is going to be tears, mostly mine!!  I am the crier of the two of us.  

Recently Updated246

Keilee has all her curriculum ready for the year and most of her school supplies.  Thanks to some amazing people who blessed us I am not as worried about how to find the money for the school things she needs. 

Another summer week gone.  Is it just me or has this summer flown by??

Homeschool Rocks!
Karen

Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly.  ~Author Unknown

Linking with Sylvia at “Friendship Friday” 

Days Of Summer

How can time go by so quickly??  I can’t believe it has been 3 weeks since I posted here.  I keep hearing that song in my head, “Video killed the Radio Star” but I substitute, “Instagram killed my blog!”  I love Instagram.  It is quick and easy and the feedback is almost immediate.  It is a huge community of homeschool Moms, at least my Instagram is.  But I don’t want to desert my blog.  I have had this for over 6 years and I want to continue to post.

After this amount of time I just get overwhelmed.  What is ‘important’ enough to post here.  What have we done with our days that are ‘post worthy’.  Not a lot really.  We have spent huge amounts of time at the pool.  I got Keilee a waterproof case for her iPhone.  It was $10 and it works fine.  It was a necessity after a day where I got really sick at the pool and she was at the other end of the park with friends.  I texted her and called her about 31 times and she didn’t answer because she was in the water. 

Recently Updated239

We also went to Jack Daniel’s Distillery with friends.  It is a beautiful drive to Lynchburg Tennessee which is about an hour from here.  it is a totally free tour and very interesting.  See the safe?  Jack Daniels tried to open it one morning and had forgotten the combination.  He kicked it and hurt his toe which got infected and killed him!!!  Moral of the story…Temper, Temper!

Recently Updated240

Keilee has spent her days reading, Art Journaling, playing with Augustus who HAS to go soon but we so hate to make the call.  She is doing a notebook about The Presidents.  She is using Notebook Publisher and creating all her pages herself.  I won a LIFETIME Membership to this last year and we both love it.  She is her gymnastics teacher’s assistant in an all summer long gymnastics camp which she loves.  We have gone on rides in the country,  and played tons of board games.  She has planned out her entire 9th [9th???!!!!!!!] grade year which I will blog about later.  She has helped with a Drama Camp and spent tons of time with her friends.  It has been a very good Summer so far. 

Recently Updated241

We go to the Farmer’s Market each week and come home with tons of yummy produce and Sunflowers.  I just love Sunflowers!!

2014 JULY

Keilee and Emma wanted to camp out in the back yard so I borrowed a tent from Katherine.  It was surprisingly easy to put up.  She put twinkle lights, tons of pillows and blankets, her bean bag chair, tables and more.  They had a fire and roasted marshmallows.  They listened to ghost stories on YouTube because they didn’t know any!  They watched scary movies on her Macbook in the tent.  I opened my window in the bedroom so I could hear them.  I honestly didn’t think they would stay all night but they did.  They were singing songs from Wicked at 11 pm.  Many times during the night I sat out on the porch to make sure no one was murdering them in their sleep.  We don’t have a fence and I am THAT Mom.  They did sleep with Nomad so it made me feel better.  It was Nomad’s first time sleeping outside!  They all made it all night long.

Recently Updated242

We plan on ‘starting school’ on August 4th.  I have ordered all the books she needs.  She has made a list of school supplies sales and which stores have the best deals.  A lot of places have their sales on Monday so we are ready.  I am still laid off but we are good.  We did have a 2 week job so Stan sent me some money.  Thankfully it doesn’t take much for us.  The summer is passing so quickly.  It seems like it just began yesterday!!

Homeschool Rocks!
Karen

“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.”  ~George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Linking with
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”

 

Virtual to Reality…

I can’t remember the first time I commented on her blog or she commented on mine…..4 years ago? More?  I loved her blog from the beginning.  Her girls were very close to Keilee’s age and her ideas were so amazing.  It went from commenting on posts to emails very quickly.  Then phone calls.  Then there was rarely a week go by that we didn’t talk on the phone and text back and forth.  Her entire family has been so wonderful to Keilee and I and as real of friends to us as if they lived next door.

Keilee and Grace were in their first online class together the day the tornadoes of 2011 hit.  Ironically enough it was a class about weather.

Jessica got me through my Art Journal class by telling me calmly that I could do it and sending me amazing resources.  She got me through being laid off by listening to my fears and tears.   Keilee wrote and emailed and texted and FaceTimed her girls so often.  They knew and loved each others pets and they saw Augustus on the webcam and Keilee sat with me and I hugged her when their beloved Jake had to be put down. 

She sat in on Jessica’s Writing Class and learned so much.  Jess has always been SO supportive of Keilee’s writing and everything she does. 

We talked about meeting so many times.  We were actually within 50 miles of each other 2 years ago but it just didn’t work out.  This time it did.

Greg, Jessica, Grace and Lilah visited us this pass week.  To say we had fun would be such an understatement.  When they pulled into our driveway Sunday night and got out it was like we had known each other forever.  When I hugged her and her girls I was hugging dear, dear friends that just hadn’t been in the same place as me before.  We had so much fun.

We spent the first night eating and sitting outside while the girls turned cartwheels and handstands and flips. 

Recently Updated229

The next morning we headed to Pt. Mallard on what would be the hottest day of the year so far.  The girls swam and jumped the waves and rode the slides and tubes in the lazy river and more.  Jess, Greg and I sat and talked and Greg even took a little nap.  They all did great in this Alabama hot sun that they were VERY unused to.

Recently Updated230

That night we went to Big Bob Gibson’s to eat and they even tried the Brunswick Stew.  Then off to our local Concert in the Park.  I think this was my favorite time.  Everyone on a blanket sitting in the park with the Tennessee River in the background.  And the girls playing on the rail road tracks and turning cartwheels and trying to do all sorts of stunts and laughing their heads off.

Recently Updated231

I love these pictures!

Recently Updated232

And I hope you can see the joy on the girls faces in these.

Girls Park

We came back over here and ate Lemon Cake that Keilee had made and planned to go to The Space and Rocket Center the next morning before they left.

We love The Space and Rocket Center and really take for granted the fact that it is so close to us.  We walked through the exhibits and the girls climbed rock walls,  played games, rode moon buggy simulators, rode the Space Shot and more.

Recently Updated235

One final picture and it was time for them to be on their way to their next adventure.

Recently Updated236

Keilee and I drove home and talked and talked about how much we loved meeting them all.  How natural it felt to spend time with them.  How much we wished we lived closer.  It was like a vacation for us too and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Plans were made for more visits and I just know we will see them again.  Thank you Greg, Jess, Grace and Lilah for taking the time to spend time with us.  You do not know how much it meant to us.  Connecticut to Alabama just doesn’t seem as far as it did.

That’s what this virtual world is all about isn’t it?  Homeschooling can be lonely and this blogging world can bring us all closer together.  I am SO thankful that it brought Jessica and her amazing family into our lives.

Homeschool Rocks and so does meeting faraway friends!
Karen

“I dislike the phrase ‘Internet friends,’ because it implies that people you know online aren’t really your friends, that somehow the friendship is less real or meaningful to you because it happens through Skype or text messages. The measure of a friendship is not its physicality but its significance. Good friendships, online or off, urge us toward empathy; they give us comfort and also pull us out of the prisons of our selves” ~John Green

Linking with
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday

 

Creativity….

Creativity oozes out of her.

I have been a 14 year old girl, I have known many 14 year old girls, I have had nieces when they were 14 but I’ve never met anyone like Keilee.

She has to create. She HAS to create. When she was small she always played with her dolls or crayons when we watched TV at night. I used to tell her that I couldn’t wait until she was older so she could just sit and watch TV with me. That has yet to happen. She crochets or knits every night while we watch TV or sometimes she does Art Journaling.  Never once have I seen her sit and do nothing. I am serious, unless she is sick, she doesn’t do ‘nothing’. I am great at doing nothing. Well I usually read but that is about as creative as I get.

She amazes me. I tell her all the time that I wish I had ¼ of her energy and drive.  I wonder all the time if she would be this way if we didn’t homeschool.  I know the ‘creativity’ gene is just in her but would she have had time to foster it?  With school 8 hours and then homework would she have the hours to spend doing beautiful things?

She sees something and makes it. She doesn’t need a pattern or instructions, she just sees it and “gets” it. We were talking about how different people are yesterday. How some people have amazing talents with singing or playing an instrument and I told her that she has so many talents but the one I love is her talent for just creating….taking something and transforming it into something so cool and beautiful. I think creative people are the people who are the happiest.   Because there is ALWAYS an outlet to create.

You wouldn’t believe how many times she tells me……. “It makes me so happy to” crochet or Art Journal or whatever she is doing.

Here are some of the things she has made in the last month.

She LOVES Africa.  Her plan has always been to go there and rehabilitate wildlife animals.  She made this awesome shirt.  She made the transfer, printing it out and ironed it on.  Then she cut the fringe and beaded each one of them.  See the “Africa” and “Animals” she spelled out?  The quote is from Gandhi, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Recently Updated222

These are 1.  hair bows out of tulle.  2.  2 adorable crocheted dolls she is making  [one not finished hence only 1 leg 3. A crocheted octopus that she made for a headband. 4. 2 Hippie headbands 5. She cut out a BIG “K” and used yarn to wrap about it.  She also made a bow for it.  She has it in her room.Recently Updated223

This is a large canvas that she painted Africa on.

Recently Updated224

I think this is my favorite!  She took a pair of overalls she had when she was about 10 and cut the legs off.  Then she made a tulle skirt for it and sewed it onl  I LOVE it!Recently Updated225

This is an old blue jean vest that she frayed.  Recently Updated226

Here are her latest Art Journal pages.  She does these almost every day.  My favorite is the one with Elsa and Annah from “Frozen”.  Recently Updated227

And this is just a side view of her Art Journal.  When she got this it was maybe an 1″ thick.  Now it can not close.  It is full of beautiful pages.Recently Updated228

I always love seeing what she decided to make.  And I tell her every day that I wish I loved doing things like she does.  If I did my house would look like something from “House and Garden”!!!

We have plans for a INCREDIBLY EXCITING next few days.  More on that later.  :)

Happy weekend,
Homeschool Rocks,
Karen

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”  ~Maya Angelou

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” ~Joseph Chilton Pearce

 Linking with
Sylvia at Friendship Friday

 

the next four years; homeschooling high school

Sometimes I question; don’t we all? Sometimes I wonder if this is the right path.

This really hit me when I went to my nephew’s High School Graduation. I saw all the kids in their black caps and gowns laughing and hugging each other. I watched them give speeches about special high school memories and walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. I watched them all put their arms around each other and sway back and forth while singing their Alma Mater.

I glanced over at Keilee several times to see if I saw a wistfulness in her eyes. A ‘wishing I could do that” look. I asked her on the way home if she wouldn’t like to go to high school and experience things like that. She said, ‘No Mom did you hear their speeches? They thanked their parents for staying up late with them to help with homework and projects. For getting up early to take them to the bus, for helping them study for tests and for understanding when they were under stress from tests. Why in the world would I want memories like that?” I explained to her there is also fun times with groups of friends. Keilee has friends but they are more 1 or 2 people at a time. She is very much an introvert and prefers small groups. She then said, “Mom have you heard Seth talk about his friends? They argue and do stupid things and talk about each other behind their backs. They go to parties that I would hate and do things that I would never do. That isn’t the kind of friends I want.”

My girl is much smarter than I am at times. I know I have acquaintances that may question our homeschooling. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have heard, “But what about Prom?” like that is the end of the world. There are Proms in homeschooling but even if they weren’t it would not be an incentive to go to High School. My Prom? I didn’t go. I only wanted to go with one person and he didn’t ask me so I turned down the people who did. Am I scarred from the experience? Typing it now is the first time I have thought of it in years. Yes I had fun in high school but I did stupid things that I never want Keilee to do. There was so much peer pressure and mean girls and this was before internet and online and Apps like Yik-Yak . I can not even tell you how upset I was when I found out about this app.  I read online about how so many schools are having such a horrible time because of it.  How it was impossible to block because the school can not dictate which Apps kids have.  That is the responsibility of the parent.  Honestly I had to download it just to see.  It pulled from a certain mile radius and updated during the night.  I woke up and read some of the ‘posts’ and honestly cried my eyes out.  You don’t have to sign in with your name or anything so there is ZERO accountability.  You would not believe the things I read.  And I am NOT sheltered.  Kids are brutal to each other.  It broke my heart.   And we live 2 blocks from the high school that this App pulled information from.  The high school Keilee would go to.

Keilee actually watched a SciShow episode about teen brains. She told me that teenagers brains have not developed the ‘Whoa that is a really dumb idea” part of it until they are about 22. Like I said, she is so much smarter than I am at times.

Homeschooling High School scares me a bit. I don’t think there is a homeschool Mom out there who isn’t a bit frightened of the idea of “HOMESCHOOLING HIGH SCHOOL”.  But I KNOW it can work. I read blogs and books that show that it works. It is a bit scary for me because we have always done Interest Led Homeschooling. Keilee does what she wants to do. Thankfully up until now she has always wanted to do so much. She knows what she needs but I have to have some sort of a plan for 9th grade. No it won’t look like the High School up the street but why in the world would I want it to?

I love that she learns while she is crocheting or knitting. That I go in her room and she is watching video after video about Science. That she is so full of knowledge that she learns that she never stops talking about it. She retains information unbelievably.

I think so often about the difference in my education and Keilee’s so far. I don’t remember anything I learned. On the other hand I have learned so much since I started homeschooling. I found out I have a love for history that I never had. Keilee thinks it is cool to be smart, to know things, to be a geek girl. I never remember thinking that. I made good grades; A’s and B’s except for that one time in 4th grade that I got a C in handwriting because I am left handed and my teacher didn’t understand it was hard for me to make letters the correct way. See THAT is what I remember about school. The one time I made a bad grade that I didn’t think I deserved.

The world has changed so much in the last 10 years. I don’t think Education, at least public school education has changed as fast. Why in the world would you learn dates and boring facts when you have access to Google? Ok I have heard the argument ‘but what if one day the internet is gone?” It is like I told a friend recently, if that day comes I don’t think the fact that Keilee can’t remember the exact date the Civil War began is going to be her biggest problem.

So I will spend the summer talking with Keilee and planning and doing some research. That IS what us homeschooling Moms rock at right?

Have you heard of the British philosopher Alan Watts?  He has a wonderful video.  He asked students “What would  you do if money was no object” and tells them to DO THAT!!  I wonder what homeschooling High School would look like if there were no SAT or ACT requirements?  If anyone could go to college no mater what if they wanted to learn?   THAT life is how I want Keilee to spend the next 4 years.   I know it isn’t how it really is but I want to find a way to combine her love for learning and the things she is passionate about and “their” requirements.  Is that even possible?

I hope that high school homeschool will be a lot like we have always homeschooled.  Lots of lovely learning all.the.time.

Older Pics Kei

Homeschooling High School? Pshhhhhffffffff. Of course we can.

Homeschool Rocks!
Karen

“In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: forget about it. Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it. One day, you will glance up at your collection of Japanese literature, or trip over the solar oven you built, and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself.” ~ Grace Llewellyn

Linking with
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”

Ramblings…

The last week of May is here.  I can’t believe May is almost over.  Looking back I just haven’t taken many pictures this week.  Our days are slow and filled with time outside.  We haven’t really done much, although I am trying to find more free things for us to do.

Keilee and I have been spending huge amounts of time outside; walking Nomad, mowing the yard; doing art journaling outside, hula hooping in the rain and so much more.

Recently Updated218

We went to Alabama Jubilee on Memorial Day weekend.  It is always one of our favorite things to do.  We arrived around 6:00 AM and watched the balloons take flight.  It was so gorgeous.  Recently Updated220Then we went back that night to see the Balloon Glow.  It was beautiful with all the balloons glowing and they had a band that the balloons lit up to in time.  Only drawback was that is was VERY crowded and there is one road in and out so it was a bit crazy getting in and out.

Recently Updated219

Keilee decided to make a rag rug a couple of days ago.  She watched a video on how to cut the T-shirts.  She has TONS of old shirts that she has outgrown and that people have given her so she used those.  She cut them all out and rolled the material into a HUGE ball and just crocheted it.  She used 25 T-Shirts.  I LOVE the way it turned out.  She blows my mind with the things she can do.  I feel like a slug next to her! :)

Recently Updated221

Last night Seth, my nephew, graduated from High School.  It was so bittersweet.  He has always been SO important to Keilee and I and it makes me sad that he is so grown up now.  But we are very proud of him too and can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.

Photo May 30, 8 12 01 AM

So there’s a quick recap of our week.  Not many wildly exciting things; just living our lives and trying to find beauty in small places. 

Thank you all for your prayers.  June will be 6 months of me being laid off.  I don’t know how we make it…..it is only with amazing friends and God’s grace. 

Homeschool Rocks!
Karen

The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity. - Ulysses S. Grant

I learned there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead, others come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready, you see. Now my troubles are going to have trouble with me.Dr. Seuss

Happily linking with
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”

Co-op Showcase, Mother’s Day and Early Summer…

Wow it was hot this week.  High 80′s and gorgeous every day.  We haven’t turned on our AC yet and yes it was hot in the house.  In fact it was 87° inside one day.  I am trying to keep my electric bill low.  No I don’t plan on doing this all Summer but for now it works.  After the freezing winter we don’t mind hot.  It actually isn’t bad unless we are going somewhere.  There is nothing worse than getting ready when you are burning up!  Thursday a cold front moved in and it is downright chillyish now.

Saturday was our Co-op Showcase.  My Art Journal kids displayed their notebooks and my Drama class performed The Ugly Duckling.  They did a really good job and it was many of the kids first speaking lines.  I made sure everyone had at least a couple of lines.

Keilee did a project for the Science Fair.  She did AUGUSTUS.  She had already kept a daily journal for him and she printed out pictures, did ‘Lapbook” like info flaps and even brought Augustus.  Her project was a hit!!!  People crowded around the entire day oohing and ahhing and asking Keilee 100 questions.  I was so proud of her!  It was a perfect project for my animal loving, rehabilitator wanna be daughter!!

Recently Updated214

Mother’s Day was a lovely day.  Keilee was upset that she couldn’t buy me anything but as usual she got creative and outdid herself.

I woke that morning, as always, before Keilee. I found hearts everywhere I touched. By my bed, on the light I turn on in the kitchen, on the outside light that I flip off when I wake up, in the bathroom, on the fridge where I grab something to drink…..all together 23 hearts with the most beautiful things written on them. I asked her later how in the world did she know my routine so well since she is always still asleep.  Her response, “I just know you”.
Some of my favorites:

“Things I love about you”  [this was the first one I found by my bed]
“I love that you’re my best friend”
“I love that you love me”
“I love how you dance with me for no reason”
“I love how you help others”
“I love that you don’t need much to be happy”
“Your compassion”
“Your hope”
“I love our life”
“I love when we sit outside and enjoy Nature”
“I love when you spin in the wind”
“I I love that you love adventures”
“Your Faith is bigger than your fear”
I just loved every one of them.  I am so lucky to have her.

Mother’s Day afternoon we went to a beautiful park here.  We had a gift card from Panera that a dear friend, who I have never even met in real life, had sent us so we ran by and got a sandwich to split.  It was the BEST day and it didn’t cost us a penny except for gas.  So many people are such blessings to us. 

Recently Updated215

After church we ran to the store and on the way back she said, “Mom I want to go to that old train track one day and take a few pictures”, so I whipped into an empty store and we got out and walked over.  I can’t do anything that cost money but saying “YES” is always free.

Recently Updated216

The rest of the week was slow and lazy.  We stayed outside a lot.  We rode bikes every day and read outside and Keilee created like she always does.  I taught Keilee how to drive a riding lawn mower and sorta ran along beside her like when she learned to ride her bike without training wheels.  And there were leaps in the rain and learning outside on a quilt with Augustus soaking up some rays.  The rose is from our garden.  Keilee calls it the “Beauty and The Beast” rose.

Recently Updated217

I can’t believe it is already halfway through May.  We school year round but we do slow down on Math.  We don’t love Math. 

I would like to thank everyone for the continue prayers.  Life isn’t perfect and some days are hard but life is still good. 

Lots of plans this weekend if the weather cooperates.  It is supposed to rain Saturday and that will definitely effect our plans!!

Happy weekend all!
Homeschool Rocks!
Karen

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

“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” —Jill Churchill

Linking with
Mary at “Collage Friday
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”

 

My Mother, My Friend….

That is how she signed every card to me after I was an adult.
I love you,
Your Mother, Your Friend.

2 of the pictures are just black and white copy machine copies of old pictures.  I have the originals but just can’t handle digging through old pictures.  The black and white ones hang on my fridge.  The color one is by my computer.Photo May 08, 2 29 44 PM

 

6 years ago tomorrow my Mother died. It seems like forever ago, it seems like yesterday. I miss her every day. Every.single.day.

She died after a 4 month illness that was never really diagnosed. They ran every test in the world on her. Nothing. The death certificate says, “Failure to Thrive”. That has always made me insane. No one wanted to ‘Thrive” like my Mother.  Saying goodbye to her on May 10th, 2008 was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  She was there and then she wasn’t.  And I was Motherless.

She died at home, in the room that is now mine. It doesn’t freak me out because while she died there, she also LIVED there.

My earliest memory was of my Mother and I. We lived in a little 2 bedroom house. I was 2. I remember it snowed and she put me in a cardboard box and dragged me around the yard. We made a huge-to-me snowball and when my Daddy pulled into the driveway we rolled it into his car. I was delighted.

She loved her children and my Daddy and her Grandchildren more than anything in the world. I always knew I was her favorite child.  Maybe my brothers thought the same thing. When I was 6 she read me “The Secret Garden” during the Summer with us laying on my bed at nap time. I can remember the windows being opened and the breeze coming through and me snuggled beside her listening to this fascinating story.

When we moved to this house, I was 9. The neighborhood was full of kids and my house was the favorite place to hang out. My Mother never let a child leave her house without a “Jean Goodie Bag”. She got a Ziploc bag and filled it with whatever goodies we had in the house. There were always Little Debbies.

She buried her Mom and Dad, a brother, a much loved sister and her son. She never quite got over that. She buried a Mother and Father In-Law that she loved dearly. I remember her telling me that when she and Daddy first got married she thought she was a little better than his family. She said she was young and stupid then. She was a ‘city’ girl and he was a ‘country’ boy. She said she quickly learned that his Mother was the wisest, kindest woman she had ever met. They had a special bond. I remember sitting at my Mammaw’s house and Mother cutting out beautiful paper dolls and clothes for me and me coloring them. She always drew little things on pieces of paper. She could draw beautifully but never really drew ‘big’ things.

She loved practical jokes and was forever popping out and scaring us. We had a tree house with a window and one night all the neighborhood kids were up there and she got a ladder and climbed to the second story window and knocked. I am surprised we didn’t kill ourselves getting down. She loved scary things and would always call it ‘delicious terror.’

She was the 2nd oldest of 10 children and said she doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have a baby brother or sister on her hip. She was a 22 year old nursing student at UAB who modeled occasionally for department stores on the weekends and Daddy was a pitcher for the Minor League Braves when they met. They knew each other 6 weeks before they got married and immediately moved to Lawton, Oklahoma for Spring Training. They returned home a few months later after my Daddy hurt his arm and could no longer play. But she always loved the Braves. She followed them every single season and knew every player’s name and their background. No one could talk when her Braves were playing.

We didn’t go to church every Sunday or honestly most Sundays because we always had to visit my Grandparents to help them out, but she was the one of the most Godly woman I have ever met. I still find pieces of paper around the house with things she had written, always in green ink, Bible verses or thoughts that she had. Each time I find one I feel like she is sending me a gift from Heaven. Her marked up Bible is one of my favorite possessions.

She would call me to tell me it was raining or cold. She called me every night to say “Good night baby”. When I moved to California she called me every single morning to make sure I was awake for work. We watched the 2nd tower fall on 9/11, over 2,000 miles from each other. I wanted to be home so badly I could taste it.

I get so envious sometimes when I see pictures of women with their Moms and I think, “Why can I not have my Mom?   Why can’t she be with us and go places with us? The last 5 years have been very hard financially for us but we live here rent free. I often wonder if my prayers to God to take care of Keilee and I meant that she had to die. I KNOW God doesn’t work that way but I have thought that before.

She drove me nuts at times. She always had advice for everything. I just wasn’t wise enough to realize that she was right. I wish I had her voice on my answering machine. My Dad remarried 4 years ago and kept the same home phone number. On my iPhone it is still a goofy picture of her with a Christmas bow on her head and it still says “Mom”. I just can’t change it. Even after 6 years.

She loved that I was homeschooling Keilee.  She never saw her perform on stage or do any of the amazing things she does but I know she would be so proud of her.  My biggest regret is that Keilee didn’t really get to know her. My Mom had been sick on and off since Keilee was 6. She remembers little things; Mom is the first person who put mascara on her and she will always have that memory but I want more. I want Keilee to know the Mother I knew. Keilee is so much like her in so many ways; she loves playing jokes on people, she loves scary things, she laughs at things that are sad to most people, she loves to go to garage sales and junking around, she loves jewelry and even has Mom’s jewelry box and all her jewelry, she can take one bite of food and know exactly what is in it and so much more.

Anytime my life was hard or I was going through anything she would tell me it would all be all right and I would always say, “Promise me?” and she would always say, “I promise”. Some days when things are so dark and hard I can almost hear her whisper, “I promise”.

I read something on Instagram this week that said, “I wish we could visit people in Heaven.”   Oh how I wish that too.

Happy Mother’s Day Momma,
I love you and miss you so,
One day…
Karen

“The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her.   ~Unknown
“My mom is a never-ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune.” Graycie Harmon

 

Linking with
Mary at “Collage Friday
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday
Kris at “Weekly Wrap-Up”

 

Banquets, Bad Weather and Birthdays…

Our Co-op Banquet was this past weekend.  Keilee went back and forth about going.  She didn’t feel the NEED to go since she is only in 8th grade but her friends wanted her to.  She finally decided to go.  We borrowed a beautiful, red formal from a friend and then she got sick.  She felt a little better Saturday and decided to go to just the dinner and then come home.  She also decided to wear a shorter dress and save the red one for something bigger.

Recently Updated209

Here are a few of some of the kids after dinner. 

Recently Updated208

I asked her if she wanted to go back to Co-op and stay but she really felt horrible.  So we went home.

We only have 1 more Co-op.  As much as I have loved it I am ready for a break.  We aren’t sure about next year.  Things are so uncertain in our lives right now.

Recently Updated210

1. Augustus eating sweet potato  2.  Kids doing collages at Co-op.  3. Keilee setting up her camera to do a time lapse video for her Photography class.  She also did one of an ice cube melting.  4. Wild Roses at our house.  They were one of my Mom’s favorites.

We had a forecast Monday for bad weather.  They hadn’t made this much of a big deal about it since April 27, 2011.  You can read the post I wrote about that here. 

I spent my childhood in the closet for tornado warnings.  I have never been afraid.  All that changed after April 27th.  We cleaned out our closet in the hall Monday afternoon.  We got blankets and pillows.  We watched the weather as tornadoes touched down in Mississippi and then headed our way.  Then, about 2 hours later,  he said it, “If you live in Decatur go to your safe place now”.  The sirens were screaming, it was storming like crazy outside, and Keilee, Nomad and I huddled in our closet.  Augustus was right outside in the hall.  I posted a picture on Instagram and got almost 100 comments with people praying for us.  I read them to Keilee while my heart just thumped in my chest.  Keilee got texts from Grace, Lilah and Abby.  I love these homeschool girls who live all over the country but love each other.  Keilee posted the picture on the top right on her Instagram.  Isn’t that just the best thing?  The bottom right picture is from a town about 12 miles from us.  I didn’t take it.

Recently Updated213

My birthday was Wednesday.  I had a very good day.  Keilee is always more excited about my birthday than I am.  My Dad and Marlene, Patsy, Eddie, Heather and Katherine and the neighbor ladies all came over during the day.  Keilee made me the most amazing book.  I asked her to video it so I could show all of you.  She used a child’s board book.  She also found and prepared dinner.  An INCREDIBLE dinner.  She made Caesar salad, lemon chicken thighs and pasta with a cream cheese sauce and broccoli, squash and mushrooms.  It was so good.  And Google knew it was my birthday!!!  This must be a new feature.  It was very cool.

Recently Updated212

Here is the book she made me:

We don’t have a lot planned this weekend.  Next week the weather is supposed to ROCK!!  Mid to high 80′s!

Please continue to pray for my boss and for Keilee and I.  He is still recovering from neck surgery.  Times are hard but we are ‘gooder than good’ as my Mother always said.  God provides.

Happy weekend all!
Homeschool Rocks,
Karen
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” ~Abraham Lincoln

Linking with
Mary at “Collage Friday
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday
Kris at “Weekly Wrap Up”

 

The Week of Sick and Doctors And Not Much Else…

There isn’t a lot to blog about this week but I really like to post at least once a week.

We had a wonderful Easter.  We went to church and then to my Dad’s for lunch.  Keilee is the oldest grandchild so there was no Easter egg hunt.  It made me a little sad.  The picture of Keilee and my Dad makes me smile to see.

See the bottom left picture?  She was very upset that she didn’t have money to buy me something for Easter so she made this.  It is a baby food jar covered in glitter.  It has my favorite verse on it, “”For I know the plans I have for you”.  Inside was a nail, a rock, a little handmade cross and 3 bible verses.  I LOVED it.  I asked her if she found it on Pinterest and she said no, she just made it up.

Recently Updated204

Our writing group met and it was a good day.  We did some Earth Day pages and then they wrote.  They also did Mapping the World Through Art and watched some TED talks.

My Mom’s best friend Patsy had an outpatient procedure on Wednesday morning.  She asked if I could take her and stay with her.  So Keilee and I picked her up early Wednesday morning and stayed most of the day with her.  Keilee woke up feeling bad and continued feeling bad the rest of the day.  I took her to the doctor on Thursday because she felt so incredibly bad and she is never sick.  That is probably the 4th or 5th time she has ever been to the doctor because she was sick.  Instead of giving me a $5 prescription he gave me a list with $30 worth of over the counter medicine.  She is feeling a little better this morning [Saturday] but not 100%.

Recently Updated205

Very little ‘school’ got done this week.  She wrote and read a lot and watched some documentaries.  We also watched “Pearl Harbor” which is a very good account of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

My favorite picture this week.  Nomad can be the worse dog ever.  He barks at everything and doesn’t mind half the time.  But he lets us do just about anything to him for pictures. :)  Here is is researching this strange creature who is living in his house.

Recently Updated206

Hopefully this week will be healthier and more productive.

If you haven’t read this article by Matt Walsh about homeschooling please do.  I LOVE it.

Happy weekend,
Homeschool Rocks,
Karen

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~Confucius

Linking with:
Mary at “Collage Friday”
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ― A.A. Milne