Category Archives: Bringing Smart Back

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!

quilt 4

Meeting the ladies of Gee’s Bend.

Gee's Bend 2

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.


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.


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!

“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

Bringing Smart Back

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keilee tshirt

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

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

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

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

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

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

Homeschooling Rocks!


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

Fawns, Barbies and Cotton…

It’s been a crazy 2 weeks.  Most days I feel very non productive.  That is because I live with Keilee who does more in a day than I do in a week.

She has decided that she wants her Instagram more ‘artistic’.  So she has been taking and posted photos she deems ‘artsy’.  This is one of my favorites.

Keilee Paint

Keilee  helps teach a homeschool Science class on Thursdays and they did exploding pumpkins.  The kids all LOVED them!

Pumpkin Collage

Halloween was a great day.  Keilee told me she wanted to be a fawn and I was like, ‘What??  How boring. ” I should have known better.  I love the way it turned out.

Fawn Halloween

Our church had a Fall Festival that we both helped with.  It was a great day and we had a wonderful turnout.  We went to a play Halloween afternoon and then it rained Halloween night so we decided to stay in at night.

Halloween collage

We have a family that we met during “Shrek the Musical”.  They homeschool and they have 2 boys.  We really liked them but haven’t seen them since the play.  About 6 months ago we followed along with the journey to adopt Lily from China.  We finally got to meet Lily.  Keilee took her 2 tutus that she had made.  She was such a delightful little girl and Keilee had a blast hanging out with her and her 2 older brothers.

Lily Keilee

This is a collage for Keilee.  It is the guys she thinks are cute and I told her I was going to put it here so one day she could look back and see it.  Think she has a ‘type’?  6 guys and 4 of them are Korean. 😉   Plus Jason Momoa and of course, Johnny Depp who she has loved since she was 3 and saw Pirates of the Caribbean.

Recently Updated333

This little girl was turning 4 and her Grandmother hired Keilee to dress up as Barbie and visit her at her day care.  It was the first time Kei has gotten to be Barbie and she loved it so much.  The little girl and all the kids were just so excited to see her.  She sang Happy Birthday and ate cupcakes with them.

Recently Updated332

Keilee is still working hard on Bringing Smart Back on YouTube.  This past Wednesday was about cotton and we got to visit a farm and a cotton gin and Keilee interviewed the farmer and cotton gin manager.  It was SO very cool and she has learned so much.  We both have.

I can not believe it is already November.  Time marches on so quickly. We have a CRAZY month planned with Elsa parties, field trips and a TRIP with friends!  We are both so excited.

Homeschooling Rocks!

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix