Tea Parties…


Traditions are such a lovely thing.  Most families have some sort of traditions.  Keilee and I have many.

One of our favorite traditions are Tea Parties.  We have had them since she was a very little girl.  They have changed over the years; but still they exist.  I think she was about 8 when she got a Tea Set that she painted herself.  Her little hands painstakingly painted each piece.  The flowers are wearing off now but I would not take any amount of money for it.


When she was about 9 she started sending invitations.  We have names. I am Mrs. Sassafras and she is Mrs. Chamomile. We are older ladies who discuss our grandchildren and our Bridge Club.  We talk about recipes and the state of the world.  We decide before hand if we are Southern or British.

Keilee makes delicious tea and plates of goodies that changes from time to time. Always perfect food for a tea. Over the years the food has gotten more elaborate.

We haven’t had a tea party in 2 years. But Monday night I received a wonderful invitation to tea for Tuesday.

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I got my best dress and white gloves and pearls. [I couldn't find my hat and I hoped she would forgive me.  She's a stickler for manners!]  I met her in the garden at the appointed time.


And we had a lovely tea with conversation punctuated with fits of laughter and giggles. And tea with our pinkies out and finger food and napkins.  The grandchildren and Bridge Club are all fine. And she still won’t give me her world famous tea cake recipe. 


I so believe that these things like Tea Parties are still fun for my 14 year old daughter because she has been brought up to find joy in everything.  She has no one to tell her she is ‘too old’ for Tea Parties.  Just another way Homeschooling Rocks!  And sometimes it isn’t about Math lessons completed, but memories made. 

We don’t have a large family who take vacations together and get together once a week or even once a month.  It’s one of the things I miss so much for Keilee.  But we have each other and that’s enough for us both.

Homeschooling Rocks!

The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured coziness. ~P.G. Wodehouse
Where there’s tea there’s hope. ~Arthur Wing Pinero

Happily linking with
Mary at “Collage Friday”
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”

Civil War, New Beginnings, Fairy Houses and Entrepreneurs….

We had a huge dose of history this past weekend.  It was the annual Civil War Reenactment in our town.  This was the 150th Anniversary.   There are more things planned in October when the actual battle took place.  150 years since the Civil War…  We went to 2 events.  One was a ‘school day’ with presentations and the other was an actual battle.

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Then we went again on Sunday for the battles.  They are always very cool to see and imagine the actual event.  With A LOT more people of course.
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Sunday was our last day at our ‘little metal building’ at Epic.  I wish I could have a video of all the amazing things that have happened here.  We started going to Epic almost 7 years ago when it first started.  There were about 35 people our first service.  Now we have over 3000 at 3 locations.  We have an iCampus.  We have had over 1200 baptized.  We have given more than $650,000 back to our community.  Next week we move into a new, shiny building.  We go from 5 services on Sunday to 2.  But Epic has always been about SO much more than a building.  I can NOT wait to see what the next 7 years brings. 
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Monday we had a city wide FREE BBQ for our town.  Keilee and I helped make 500 hot dogs, made 500 bags of chips, cut strings for helium balloons and more.  It was a GREAT day for giving back!!
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Some of you may remember my post about “Last Times”.  Keilee made Fairy houses this week.  Will it be the last time?  The post under this one has my Instagram post about her fairy houses.
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In other news Keilee has moved her Etsy shop to Instagram.  She has already made over $200 and has orders for over $300.  She is going to be a busy girl!!  And I can’t help her at all.  She loves creating but when she got 12 orders in 4 hours for Anna and Elsa hats she was a bit overwhelmed!  That being said, if you would like one let me know. :)  You can click on the “KeileesKreations” at the top of the picture to see more of her things.

So there you have it.  Our first week of September.  We LOVE this month.  Not as much as October but close.  I hope your week was beautiful and your weekend is the best.  Now if it would just cool off a bit.

Homeschooling Rocks!

If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday. ~Pearl Buck
“If you’re not doing the things that you love, then your life is not worth living. What are you here for?” – King Sidharth

Linking with
LetsHSHS Blog Hop Swing
Mary at “Collage Friday
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”


Instagram Is Killing My Blog…

I have decided to occasionally, or more than occasionally post my favorite Instagram photos here.  I am still blogging but this way I will have some favorite pictures on my actual blog. :)

I wrote a blog post over a year ago about “The Last Time”. About how we always make such a huge deal about all the “first” times. First steps, first word, first time riding a bike. But never the “last time” because we never know it will be the last time. I sit and wonder when was the last time Keilee played Webkinz or I picked her up and carried her or she reached up and wrapped her hand in my hair or stuck her thumb in her mouth as she was falling asleep. One thing I love about homeschooling is there is no one to make her feel she is too old for things. She still loves to color and snuggle in my lap and run and play in the yard. She has always built fairy houses. Since she was 3. I always told her that if the fairies visited they would leave glitter behind because their little fairy feet were covered in it. Then I would get up early every morning that she had built them and carefully sprinkle glitter around. She would wake up and run outside and be delighted that they had come to HER fairy house! She would trace with her finger and say, “They came to the den and the swimming pool and the store” and whatever else she had made them. Keilee hasn’t made fairy houses for over a year. Today she did. Today on September 4, 2014 she built fairy houses. I want to remember the date in case it’s “The Last Time”?

Spending this Labor Day giving back to our community. Epic Church is having a Cook-Out in the park. Games, bouncy houses, food and drinks. All FREE.
500 hot dogs wrapped in foil. ✔️
500 bags of chips made up ✔️
Strings for helium balloons cut ✔️
Playing in the bouncy houses ✔️
Happy Labor Day all!!!

7 years ago our church started in a little metal building. I wasn’t raised going to church every week. Keilee and I always prayed and we learned about Jesus but we didn’t have a church. Then there was a door hanger left on my door that said “No Perfect People Allowed” and described a new church. The first time we went there was about 50 people there. We walked in and I knew we had found our new home. Epic is all about giving back. Keilee has never known anything but being generous because of Epic. In the service today they said that we had given $650,000 to our community. Today is the last service in our little metal building. Next week we move into a big, shiny building that seats 950. We go from 5 services a Sunday to 2. I wish I could explain how this place has changed our lives. Keilee was baptized here when she was 8. We had a church service outside after the horrible tornadoes and then went out into the community and cleaned up. We have given away gas and food and bikes and trailers and a house and cars. We have had over 1200 people baptized. We have grown from 35 to over 3000 with an iCampus and 2 more locations. Today was a little sad and a few tears were shed but more than that it was full of promise. So farewell Fretwell Ave. We know that our church is NOT a building. I can’t wait to see where this transition takes us!!!

Every year our city has a Civil War reenactment to celebrate a battle that took place here. We have been going since Keilee was 3. Friday morning is always ” School day”. It is at places like this that I can tell the most difference in homeschool kids and public school kids. The PS kids are marched off a bus and lined up. They are shuffled from place to place even if they aren’t finished looking. They have their phones out. For the most part the Homeschool kids are interested in what is being said and they wander at their own pace. They ask questions because there is no shame in being smart. And I get it. I really do. 3 or 4 teachers for 80 kids is a lot to handle. We had a fantastic morning. Every year we learn something new about The Civil War. Keilee got to hold a couple of guns which was a first for her, not counting water guns or BB Guns. She tried on a fine Southern Belle hat and a soldier hat. And afterwards we came home and ate lunch on the patio. Reason #3173. #homeschoolingrocks

Homeschool Reason #2592 Lunch with my girl. The older ladies next door blessed us with gift certificates to a lovely little cafe downtown. This cafe has been opened for 71 years!! It was a favorite of my Mom and Grandmother. My Mom told me her and her sisters would go here after school when they were teenagers. As we sat there I looked around and wished so badly my Mom and Grandmother were both here with us. Laughing and telling us wonderful stories.

The 1st 2 Weeks of HIGH School….

The first 2 weeks of Keilee’s High School Adventure is in the record books and it went really well!

It was really a seamless transition back to school. Keilee was VERY ready to start back.

She loves Psychology and keeps doing all these ‘experiments’ on me. One thing she did was asked me to talk for 2 minutes without pausing while she used “Talk to Text” to record it. She said, “Mom they did it for hours in the experiment but I’m not going to make you do that”. Gee thanks babe. It was honestly harder than it looked! I did a lot of ‘and yes I’m still talking and I can’t wait until this is over’ kind of talking.  She decided to create a Facebook Page with a few friends so she could use them as guinea pigs!  I thought that was a really GREAT idea!  ;)

She loves “The History of the Ancient World”. It is SO similar to SOTW. I got the audio from Audible so she reads and listens at the same time. The Guide is very helpful too.

Algebra is ……well Algebra. I am very lucky that a dear friend gave us Saxon Algebra last year [No we didn’t finish it and plan to this semester] but we don’t love it. In trying to keep this real, we kinda despise it. Not every lesson is like this but a few are just like pulling fingernails.  I don’t know if it is so much Saxon’s fault as just “Algebra’s” fault. I am trying to figure out what to do before my television gets broken from me throwing the book through it.

She is using LifePrint for sign langauge and has honestly learned so much quickly. She keeps asking me to quiz her and it surprises me what she has learned.

But our favorite is Southern Literature. So far we have read 3 short stories; “Childhood: The Biography of a Place”;
A Southern Landscape” and “State Champions.”  We have really enjoyed them and learned so much. Words like galluses, brogans,  cutworms and citrons. We realized we saw citrons at our Farmer’s Market but didn’t know what they were. We read about a church with a gold finger pointing to the heavens and Googled it.  It is a real place.  We also read in the same story about Windsor Mansion, a beautiful plantation home that burned down in the late 1800’s.  Also a real place!  I told Keilee is reminds me of a grown up version of Five in A Row. Well at least the way we are doing it. Most of the authors so far have YouTube videos we have watched also.

1st 2nd Week AUGUST 2014

Keilee worked so hard getting her things ready for her first Market this week. She had beautiful things but there was very little turnout. She did sell a couple of things and we met an amazing homeschool family who own a nearby farm so it was all good.  I absolutely love that homeschooling gives her the time to explore these things that she loves.  I have found out over the years that a Keilee who has time to create is a much happier Keilee.  She draws so much of her energy from making beautiful things.

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One thing about living here that I love is all the connections Keilee and I make.  I posted this on Instagram and really started thinking about it.  Every memory I have of things from age 9-22 are in this house.  And Keilee’s will be too.  Our Christmas morning memories will be in the same room.  She jumps up on the same kitchen counter I jumped up on.  We ride bikes down the same alley and walk the same streets.  These pictures are at the elementary school a few blocks from our house.  My brothers and I rode our bikes and had a tree house and spent hours playing here.  This is the same bridge, minus the handrails, that we played on.  Connections are beautiful. 

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Keilee has decided that homeschoolers need a secret sign to use. We met one of our very good friends because Keilee insisted I asked her at Wal-Mart if they homeschooled. She was there during the day with 5 kids and her sons were actively engaging with their Mom so Keilee was sure they were homeschooled. :) She was right.

In other news I GOT A JOB!! It is a very small job with very little money. Not enough to actually completely support us but it is perfect for right now. And it could grow into something bigger. And it is with a Christian Non-Profit that has been in operation in our town for 47 years. AND it is WORK FROM HOME!!!  I will blog more about it later.

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I’m going to try to be better about posting.  Honestly I totally blame Instagram.  I know everyone doesn’t have Instagram but it is just so much easier to post one picture and a small ‘post’ than to edit pictures and post on my blog.  That being said, Keilee and I LOVE going back to previous years and months to see what we were doing so I do what to keep blogging.

I hope everyone is having a great school year; if you’ve started yet that is.

Homeschooling Rocks!!!

  “Educators – like musicians, journalists, carmakers, and bankers before them – won’t know what hit them. But as sure as change is overtaking every other sector of society, it will overtake education – as well it should. Our cookie-cutter, one-pace-fits-all, test-focused system is not up to the task of teaching the creators of the new Googles.”   – Jeff Jarvis in Hacking Education

Happily linking with
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”
Mary at “Collage Friday”  Woohoo Welcome back Mary :)
Lisa at “My Week In Review

Homeschooling High School…

We began homeschooling when Keilee was 7.  Then  everything was shiny and new and I hadn’t a clue what I was doing.  High School?? I didn’t think about high school at all.  She was 7!  Well now she is 14 and starting high school.  How did that even happen??? 

There will be no more learning History with her Webkinz.


Or having a 1700’s day where she wears a costume, uses candles or writes with a quill.  


Or making a jello cell:


Or learning about Ancient Greeks by dressing up in a toga.


 This year looks more ‘bookish, more ‘schoolish’ despite my efforts to talk her out of it.  She wanted to do it this way.  She found her own curriculum except for History.  She wanted Ancient History and couldn’t find a high school level class.  She also knew she wanted Southern Lit so we sat down together to plan it.  She has her daily plan all worked out.  Not every subject every day but it does all flow. 

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Disclaimer: Keilee is like me, great at planning but occasionally lacking follow through. These are her plans but as a Homeschool Mom I know how often plans can change. These will I am sure. :)

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Keilee’s 9th Grade 2014-2015


The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome We LOVE Susan Wise Bauer’s SOTW series. We used them all and loved them so I was so excited to find this. There is also an audio version!

I actually found the book but wondered how much work it would take to make lesson plans when I discovered this:
Study and Teaching Guide: The History of the Ancient World: It is like a grown up “Activities” guide for high school. It looks amazing! We are going to supplement this with movies that I found from the time periods she is studying.


Understanding Psychology: Keilee has always loved anything to do with the brain and people’s reasons for behaving a certain way. She found this used on Amazon so I ordered it. I found lesson plans and resources to go along with it here.


I couldn’t find a Southern Literature curriculum so we are making our own. Every book list I have found has “To Kill A Mockingbird” on it but Keilee has not only read the book and watched the movie but she played Scout in the play. My brother was very helpful because he was an English major. He gave us several suggestions. I ordered this book; “Growing Up in The South: An Anthology of Modern Southern Literature. I am going to pick a few of the books listed here. We are also reading short stories and poems including:

William Faulkner – Barn Burning and A Rose for Emily or The Bear
Flannery O’Connor – A Good Man is Hard to Find
Truman Capote – A Christmas Memory
Eudora Welty – Why I live at the PO and The Worn Path
Tennessee Williams – The Glass Menagerie or A Streetcar Named Desire (Plays and Movies)
Fannie Flagg – Fried Green Tomatoes
James Dickey – poems (I love Animal Heaven)
Alice Walker – The Flowers; The Color Purple (Flowers is very short but makes you think)
Because of what they wrote about Twain, Poe and Ambrose Bierce are called southern writers by some. Read The Open Window or An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Bierce. Both of those are great!

Keilee has written 24 chapters of her book and will continue to work on this. She will also take a Creative Writing class with Jessica and her girls.

We are trying to find a local class for this. Someone suggested contacting our Deaf Association and seeing if someone would be willing to teach Keilee. It would help them and her. I am waiting to hear back. In the meantime I found several websites. Lifeprint is one that I found a couple of months ago. Keilee knows the alphabet and so many words from a television show she has watched for a few years. I also found one from Start American Sign Language that looks interesting. Like most things she will have to dive in to know if it’s something she will benefit from.

I have so many Africa resources that Keilee will use for this study. She wants to one day live in Africa so she decided she needed to learn more about the people, the government and the country.
Some of the resources she is using are:
Africa Hands of a Child
African Lap Notes
African Countries
African Maps
Animals of The Savannah Plain
Southern Africa: Tribal Huts and Homes; Tribal Life and Nations
Water and Landforms of Africa
The A to Z of African Countries


Sandra pointed out that I didn’t put her Math on here!  Good grief, we can’t forget our favorite subject! NOT.  We started Algebra I last year and will finish in December and start Geometry 2nd semester.  Well, that’s the plan! :)


We are still looking for a good Bible Study.  All the ones I have seen for Teen Girls are full of dealing with things that, thankfully, isn’t something Keilee has to deal with.

We are also watching some YouTube Channels.   One is ET The HipHop Preacher that Bene’, one of our lead pastors, recommended.  I also found a audio version of The New Testament that we are going to listen to.  $2 at a yard sale! :)

 We plan on watching tons of movies using the Teach With Movies website. I actually found this site years ago when you had to pay a small yearly fee to join but now it is FREE!! It has so many movies and teaching resources to go along with it. Check it out, I think you will really like it!

World Government
Major World Religion
United States Presidents [ongoing] She is making Notebook Pages on each President with information on each one. It will be put in a notebook. I won a lifetime Membership to Notebooking Pages which we LOVE!!
Mythological Creatures
Medicinal Plants

YOUTUBE CHANNELS [She watches these continuously when she is doing anything creative]  I can not tell you how much Keilee has learned from watching YouTube videos all her life.  Her knowledge of all things Science and History amazes me!!
Please watch before you let your children watch. They may not all be appropriate for all ages.

Khan Academy
Animalist News
Animal Planet
Sic Show
Smarter Every Day   We know Dustin. He lives where we live and Keilee has done plays with his brother. :)
Crash Course
The Brain Scoop
V Sauce
Horrible History
National Geographic

CNN Student News
BBC Worldnews


After reading  Sparklee’s post about what she is doing with her kids, the idea of a Philosophy course intrigued me.  So I did some searching and found “Philosophy for Teens” on Amazon.  I got the Kindle version.  I have never taken a Philosophy course but it looks really good.  It also talks about Socrates, Aristotle and Plato so it will go along with our Ancient History.


Of course she will continue with her creative endeavors. She plans on taking her Crafts to our downtown Market on Tuesdays and restocking her Etsy store in time for Christmas.


She has written down all the ‘job shadowing’ opportunities she wants to explore. I have found that people are very willing to share their love of what they do with kids. All you have to do is ask. The worse they can say is “No”. These will be, hopefully, a couple of days to see if it is something she would like to pursue. Some of the places she has written down are:

Court House
Law Office
Animal Shelter
Wildlife Refuge

She has another idea for a wonderful volunteer opportunity but we will have to see how it unfolds.

So there you have it. Keilee’s 9th Grade Year. I told her she didn’t even need me but she assures me she will.  She said, “I still need you for Algebra Mom”.  Great!  The thing I HATE most. :)  I will still do History and Southern Lit with her because I want to learn too!  I have learned so much since we started homeschooling.

I hope this is an amazing year for us all!!!

Homeschooling Rocks

My quote this post is from a Paul Simon song.  I hope this is the antithesis of how Keilee feels after her 4 years of learning at home!
“When I look back at all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all”  ~Paul Simon


Linking with:
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday

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”. :)

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Silly pictures are my favorite.

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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!!!

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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.  

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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!

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. 

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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!

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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. 

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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.

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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!

“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. 

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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.

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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.

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I love these pictures!

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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.

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

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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!

“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 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.”

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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.

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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,

“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!

“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”

"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