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.

princess-collage

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.

amish-barn

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

StarWarsCollage

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

dancing

Answering a million questions: questions

Hugs are the best:
hugs

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!

pool

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

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.

Collage

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.

happy mail

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

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