Category Archives: Learning all the time

The Fine Art of Letter Writing

The art of letter writing seems to mostly be a thing of the past .


We have texts and emails and messenger and phone calls. It makes me sad that we are losing this part of our history. 

Years ago letters were all we had.  Letters written home during the wars, love letters across states, letters to relatives not living in the same place.

Now that is almost long gone. It makes me sad.

I have a letter written to me by my younger brother when I was in college. It’s in my wallet at all times. It’s crinkled but it’s one of my most precious possessions.

I have letters from my Mom that mean so much to me.She wrote letters to me when I was in college and when I lived in Tennessee and California.

The other day I ran across a letter I had written to my Mom when I lived in California. It was written over a few days and when reading it I could remember sitting under the palm tree in our yard still amazed that this Alabama girl was living in California. I was so far away from my Mom and my family. I loved my adventure but oh how I missed home.

The last line said “I miss you Momma but don’t be sad. I am living the most wonderful adventure and you are with me everywhere I go.”

I wouldn’t take anything for my letters.

Keilee has had various pen pals over the years.  She has a friend now that she writes to in Texas.  She writes like I always did.  A bit a day until she deems it ‘done’.  She’s also always collected letters.  If we find a stack at a yard sale she buys them and pours over them.  (A lot of them are VERY hard to read).

Write someone a letter.  I am sure they will cherish it forever.

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.  ~Phyllis Theroux

Mardi Gras, Dogs and Read Across America

March is here. And soon my baby will be a 12th grader.  She says “Mom can’t I just be the same age for a few years?”. If only.

This past weekend was Mardi Gras. Always a FUN day even though it was FREEZING.  The day before was in the 70’s.  The day of the 30’s.  Welcome to Alabama.

She had an Elsa party in a nearby town and was unable to do her Princess thing in the Children’s parade.  She was very sad.  We did rush back (with her changing IN THE CAR under a blanket) to make it to the very end of the Dog Parade.  Because it is always about the dogs.

This dog cracked me up.

She always gets so many beads. I think it’s cause she’s cute.  I also got beamed in the face about 10 times. The worst time? The Breast Cancer Pink ladies.  Lawd they can throw those beads.  Next year, a helment.

This week she read at 2 schools for Read Across America.  Once as Rapunzel and once as Dr. Seuss.  She loves reading to kids.

Dr. Seuss

Rapunzel

Lately we have been trying to not run to the store 5 times a week. Seriously it’s ridiculous.  We are keeping a list and trying to go 1-2 times.  My car broke never to run again which caused enormous stress but my Dad bought us one! A car! A cool car!  A red car! A car 10 years newer than mine was.  We would never make it without the people in our lives.

So quick update. Hope things are happy where you are.

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  ~Dr. Seuss

Politics and Princesses…

Sometimes I wonder why I pay for this month after month.  I rarely update it.  But the thoughts of it ‘going away’ makes me seriously sick to my stomach.  It’s our life, from 2008 to now.  So I keep it and promise myself to ‘do better’.

February is half way over.  Keilee and I were just discussing the fact that times has gone by crazy fast.  It’s insane.  4 months until she is a ‘senior’. How in the heck can that be true?

School has gone slowly this year. She hasn’t done tons of ‘booky’ things but she has learned and learned and learned.  She has taken a class this year that we didn’t even know she would be taking. It’s called Politics 101.  I do not discuss my politics.  I could write a post about why I don’t but just suffice to say we have never watched and followed politics like we do now.  We watch huge amounts of news stories, listen to tons of podcasts, read about 7 different newspapers and news sites.

She still does American Lit. She just finished “Catcher in the Rye” which she didn’t love and now she is listening to “1984” which she does love.  She does Forensics and Child Psychology and US History.  She watches documentaries and knows so much about so much.

Some of my favorite moments this month:

She was asked to come to the courthouse for ADOPTION DAY for this brother and sister and then come to the after party and announce they were going to Disney!!!  It was magical. Simply magical.

Filming a scene for a TV show to be shown in Children’s hospitals in the US.

A wonderful night at a nearby library.  The kids were mesmerized.

Happy Birthday Cinderella. The movie was released this month in 1950!

Valentine’s day at our library. She read a book to the kids and then one of them ‘read’ one to her.

Happy rest of February. Make it wonderful.

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
~Robert Breault

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Hello 2017

2017.  It’s so unreal to me that it is 2017.

We have been crazy busy.  Well Keilee has been crazy busy which means I am crazy busy by default.

She keeps up with her busy life with a planner that is a work of art. Seriously.  I use a notebook and pen.  And that works for me. But she prefers “pretty”.

She celebrated her 17th birthday.  We went to iHop the same way we have done since she was 3.  And there are waitresses who remember her!
17…. I can’t even.

She and Emma got to spend time together.  Emma spent the night and they stayed up way late talking and listening to music and talking and watching movies and talking.  It’s hard when your best friend is so far away.

She still working hard on Bringing Smart Back.  If you don’t follow her on social media you should!  Your kids will love it.
Facebook

Instagram @bringingsmartback

Here are some pictures from the activities she did for her children’s book club.

She had her first lunch meeting this week for her Princess company.  Someone wanted to meet with her to discuss an opportunity. She thought that was SO cool.  (and so did her Mamma)

She has done amazing things with  her Princess group in 6 short months.  She had/has 8 events in January.  She has even booked events in May.  This is from 2 birthday parties ON THE SAME DAY!  A day that was below 10° windchill.  And our fountain in front of the state bank froze so what else but Elsa pictures?

She has also crocheted 27 hats for custom orders!!  In 4 weeks.

And there has been US History, Forensics, American Lit (she is  reading The Catcher in the Rye), Child Psychology and more.  But she learns so very much just living life, running 2 businesses, watching documentaries, reading news stories and so much more.

All in all it has been a great start to 2017.  Like I told Keilee the other day, her ‘school’ experience doesn’t look like the kids in the school down the street but it is a beautiful thing.

Happy 2017!

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

“Little girls with dreams become women with vision” ~Unknown

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Below is the video Keilee made with all her characters.  I LOVE it so much!

Our Characters!

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Our Characters!
Not only do we offer birthday parties, fundraisers, live calls, and personalized videos we now have Princess Play Dates! Princess Play Dates can include; tea parties, playing dress up, picnics in the park, Juice and cookies or anything you can dream up! Message us for a special rate!

Posted by Magical Memories on Monday, January 2, 2017

 

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1st Semester/HomeschoolGirls Style

I can not believe it’s almost the end of the year.  Time goes by so quickly that it astounds me.  I want to grab it, hold it, make it slow down.  How can it be I am about to have a 17 year old?

As far as “Let’s do all of our subjects and check the boxes” this 1st semester of 11th grade has been a bit of a fail.  Yes there was US History, Forensics, American Literature, Child Psychology, writing and a few other things done but definitely not a semester’s worth.

And I could choose to freak out about that.  But I am not.  Because the things that were done were magnificent.

Keilee is completely running 2 businesses.  Very successful businesses.

Her Princess group, which she started at the end of July, is flourishing.  She has had at least 3-5 events a month, some months much more.  She has had photo shoots with each Princess to get the exact pictures she wants.  She edits each picture taken.  She has designed and ordered business cards.  She has participated in countless volunteer opportunities.  She has made many, many little girl’s birthday dreams come true by appearing as a Princess.  She coordinates with the Mom’s for birthday parties giving them information.  She makes Happy Birthday videos and edits and sends them to people all over the world.  She made Elf videos as “Holly The Elf” for Christmas.  She talks on the phone to businesses setting up events. She coordinated everything for her group to participate in the Christmas parade. She runs all the social media on Facebook and Instagram for the group.

Her Keilee’s Kreations has been a huge commitment, especially the last 2 months.  She has had over 30 orders due for Christmas.  She comes up with ideas, crochets, posts on Instagram, takes orders, generates invoices, packages and mails every order with special touches.

She is the youngest member on the Steering Committee for our city.  They have monthly meetings and do things in the community.  She successfully headed a table with citizens of our town to discuss issues, concerns and ideas to make our town better.

She was asked to speak in Birmingham at the “Women Who Shaped Alabama” conference for the “Modern Trailblazers” portion.  She talked about running businesses as a 16 year old. She was the youngest person to speak by quite a bit.

She made a video for a Southern Girls Project and won the contest they were hosting.  She then was asked to take over al.com’s Snapchat and then the Snapchat and Instagram for re.belle who is the ones who sponsored the contest.

She does Bringing Smart Back which is her educational Instagram and Facebook accounts.  She did decide to cut back on the number of YouTube videos she does but she is doing a Children’s Book Club now with plans to continue.  She finds the books, finds crafts, experiments and activities to go along with each book and post about them. She also posts other things each week.

She leads kid’s church each Sunday.  She learns a script each week to perform on stage.  She also leads a small group of 4th-5th grade girls.

So yes, her 1st Semester of 11th grade probably looks nothing like the kids in the public school down the street.  But she is rocking this year.

So, if your kids do things differently, learn outside of that “box” everyone always talks about, gets excited about something besides Algebra or Science, that’s OK.  It’s actually more than OK because honestly how many times since high school or college have you gotten excited over Algebra?

Isn’t that the reason we started this journey in the first place?  To allow our kids to experience more?  More joy, more learning, more real life, more of all the things that will make their lives lovely.

Merry Christmas from us both!

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

“I am convinced that the best learning takes place when the learner takes charge.” ~ Seymour Papert

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” —Ella Fitzgerald

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” —Farrah Gray

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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.

karen-olaf

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

It’s good to be back.  Happy Fall from us both.

keilee-fall

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.

PrinceCinderellaCollage

Elsa at Epic Church.
ElsaEpicCollage

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.

bsetfree

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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