Category Archives: Learning all the time

4 D Farm and Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament

Keilee do you want to go or not? I asked her this 10 times Sunday night.  Monday was Homeschool Days at a farm and corn maze.  It was an hour from here and my first inclination was to say “Let’s not go”.  It’s easy to say no.  Saying yes requires action.

We made the decision at 7:00 AM Monday to go and we had the best day.  The weather turned cooler and we had a new audio book (John Green’s “Turtles All the Way Down”) so we set off.

We had the most beautiful day.


I swear she said “Silly face!”

Horse!  (What this picture doesn’t show is him bopping me in the head, knocking my sunglasses off and breaking them!)


Pick a pumpkin!

She loved this sweet horse!

It was a beautiful day.

Swinging on ropes!

From my Instagram Story

Then we went down the road to The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. It is beautiful there.

So gorgeous!

All in all it was a beautiful day.  That would have never happened if we had said “NO”.

Homeschooling Rocks!

Even if it’s a bit edgy, a bit out of your comfort zone, saying yes means that you will do something new, meet someone new and make a difference in your – and likely in others’ lives as well. Yes is what keeps us all young. It’s a tiny word that can do big things. Say it often.  ~Josh Billings



Hello October

Isn’t October wonderful?  It’s our favorite month. Yes it’s still a bit hot.  It’s not lovely, chilly days yet but we still love it.

We spent October 1 at the Wildlife Refuge for a picnic.

Always ears!  She loves them.

Fun on a stump.  As one does.

We also went to Bridge Street which is the coolest outdoor mall. We enjoy going and just window shopping.

She has been on the One Decatur Steering Committee for 15 months.  It has been such a great experience.  She has had meetings, met with the committee and helped come up with a plan for our city going forward.  Last night was the Open House.  I just stood back and watched her.  Watched her interact and discuss and guide a room full of adults.
It amazes me how many people my 17 year old homeschooled daughter knows !
I watched her laugh and talk to our mayor, business owners, and citizens of our city. And she was the youngest one there by many years.
We got in the car and she said “Mom all these people know me. Some I don’t even know. And you would have been so proud. I was socializing like a boss” .
Baby girl. I’m always proud of you.

Discussing plans

We spend a lot of time talking politics, listening to podcasts, watching news.  More than ever before.  It’s ironic that she is taking Government and Economics this year and we are immersed in all things political.

She is the teaching assistant for 3 theatre classes.  2 in elementary schools and one at our theatre.  She loves it so much.  She is still leading kids church every  week.  And of course running Magical Memories.

So 1 month into her Senior year and things are good.  But time hasn’t slowed down any.  Who do I see about changing that??

Homeschooling Rocks!

“October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!”
― Rainbow Rowell, Attachments

Fun at the Fair and Superheroes

September is coming to an end.  We (by we I mean Keilee) has had a great first month of her senior year.  She is insanely busy.  But she operates well under crazy busy.

The last 4 days she had 2 events.  One was Superheroes in the Park. She finally got her Superheroes together after wanting them for a year!!

This event was at a park which co-sponsored it with her.  There were over 200 kids and it was awesome.  She posted tons of pictures on her Facebook page but here are a few.

Keilee is Harley Quinn. However she is quick to tell you “Not the yucky Harley Quinn, the little girl version on DC Superhero Girls”.

More fun!

She made me a cape….. cause I am a superhero Photographer!


The entire crew!!

Wednesday was Special Education Day at the fair.  Unfortunately it was insanely hot and the kids didn’t stay much after they got there but a good time was had by all.

Batman is always a big hit.  This guy is AMAZING with kids!


Merry Go Round Fun!

This little girl insisted that Moana get on the bus with her and go back to school.

Meeting his hero!

See that face?  It is the face of terror!

I have decided I am going to try to post more.  What I do is get so overwhelmed because we do SO much and then I try to play catch up.  But then I just don’t post. So I will try to throw something up more often.  Because SENIOR YEAR!

And if you need a daily record (which I’m sure you are holding your breath) you can find me on Instagram!  @homeschoolgirls.

And in 2 days MY FAVORITE MONTH of the year!!!

Homeschooling Rocks!



Hello 12th Grade….

1st day of 12th grade

We’ve done these pictures for years. Each one getting closer and closer to this year.

This senior year. I could write pages and pages about how I feel right now. Excited and sad jumbled up together.

The picture she is holding is her on the first day of kindergarten. 12 years ago. 12 years!

That day I felt the same. Excited and sad. I walked her to class holding her 5 year old hand, kissed her and let her go. She never saw the tears all the way to the car and home. Today she sees the tears and laughs and hugs me. She calls me a mushmellow. But she doesn’t understand. One day she will.

Keilee it’s the most beautiful gift being your Momma. And I hope you have a senior year filled with learning and laughter and love and new adventures.

Let’s do this.


Without further ado, here are the plans for 12th grade.

  • Western Civ (textbook and Crash Course)
  • World Literature (Great Courses)
  • Algebra 2 (Khan Academy)
  • Economics/Government (book)
  • Sociology
  • Astronomy
  • Creative Writing
  • Spanish
  • Bringing Smart Back (her Instagram and YouTube educational channels)
  • Magical Memories
  • Keilee’s Kreations (her crochet shop)
  • Princess Theatre (she is doing an internship here.  She will be helping the educational director with 3 classes a week. 2 in city schools and 1 homeschool class. She is so excited about this)


Homeschooling Rocks!


August is almost gone.  I can not believe it.

This will be Keilee’s senior year. S.E.N.I.O.R.  Ugh.  She asked me if we could officially start in September.

This month has been filled with goodness.  And Princess stuff (which is still goodness).  I am not posting pictures of Princess events. There are too many.  If you want to see follow their Instagram or see them here. Magical Memories
There is also her Facebook page. I am beyond proud of her.  She started this in July 2016 and it has exploded.  She is a legit girl boss.

But we did find time in August to do some fun things.

One of our favorite places is Ave Maria Grotto.  This is a magical place full of miniatures of biblical places and places in the world.

Even though Emma and Keilee were both slammed busy they found time to do some glamping. (complete with bean bags and twinkle lights)

We also went to Lynchburg Tn to Jack Daniel’s Distillery.  We didn’t take the tour because they started charging and I didn’t bring enough money but the town is amazing.

All in all it was a beautiful August.

And I am ready to start Keilee’s senior year (more about that later).  I just hope it goes at a sloth’s pace.  (and if you know Keilee you know how apropos that ‘sloth’ reference was),

Homeschooling Rocks!

“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.”  George R.R. Martin

Tuscumbia feat. Ivy Green

Keilee and I were talking about the fact that this is her last summer before she graduates.  We have talked a lot lately about ‘lasts’.

We have amazing people in our lives.  That is how we get a pass to our local aquatic center each year.  As much as we adore the pool we have decided to do some short meanderings to places near us.  We can never do anything on the weekends because Keilee has parties every single weekend.  Which is the entire point of her princess business but it means our usual Saturdays are spent with her in costume and me taking pictures.

We decided to go to Tuscumbia today.  It is about 45 minutes from us. It is home to Ivy Green which is Helen Keller’s home.  We have been before but it’s been about 9 years!!!

9 and 17 years old! At the famous pump where Helen learned her first word.

Ivy Green is a beautiful place and full of history.

Ivy Green

The dining room where they tried to teach Helen to eat ‘with manners”.

The ‘trunk’ room

Anne and Helen’s room

Museum with a statue of Helen.

The back of the house.

Beautiful flowers in the gardens

The little house where Anne and Helen stayed.  Keilee loves the story of how they rode Helen around for 5 hours in the carriage so she would think they were far away when they were just next door.

The infamous key Helen stole when she locked Anne in her room.

A little train station down the street from Ivy Green

Picnic in Spring Park.

Beautiful waterfall at Spring Park



Coon Dog Cemetery

This cemetery was first created in 1937. Only Coon Hounds are allowed to be buried here.

So beautiful and sad.

It was a lovely day full of happy, laughs, conversations and audiobooks.

We are planning on doing this kind of thing more often.

Homeschooling rocks!

Life is either a great adventure or nothing. Helen Keller
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. Helen Keller
Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. Helen Keller



Kanzy the Mermaid

June is speeding by.  I know everyone says this all the time but goodness gracious time moves quickly.

I follow so many people on Instagram and Facebook with younger kids and I just want to go up to each of them, take their hands and tell them this, “It goes so quickly.  You may not think that now.  You may only be able to see the here and now but take it from me, a Momma whose 17 year old was 3 about 2 seconds ago, it goes by SO QUICKLY.  Enjoy the moments.”

This summer between her 11th and 12th grade year has been  spent so far at Princess events. (And Mermaid events).

Her company, Magical Memories, is almost a year old.  It has exceeded her wildest dreams.  This success came with a lot of work.  More work than she anticipated.  Keilee has an outlook on life and things she wants to do that I would give anything to have.  She sees something big and thinks “I can do this. I will just break it down and do each thing until it is done”.  I have a horrible habit of seeing the same thing and thinking “I can’t do that! It’s too much!”

She had wanted a mermaid tail forever and finally bought a custom made one after a lot of research.  Things didn’t go as planned.  The color bleached out when she took promo pics in it.  Then there was a lot of back and forth with the Etsy individual who made it.  In the end neither one of us were happy with the way it was handled but sometimes you just have to suck things up.

She has had an event at a country club and a reading in a park. She has a few more things scheduled and she loves being a mermaid.  The video is one a friend filmed for her.  She is still learning tricks and such.

Mermaid at the Country Club

Mermaid Reading

Mermaid Video:

Add many birthday parties, city meetings, an all day Leadership class once a week, swimming, a lot of reading and so much more and this first month of summer has been slammed.  It’s kinda the way we operate though.

Homeschooling Rocks!

“Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.”   —Jenny Han



So Long 11th Grade…

We learn all the time.  I don’t measure learning in 9 month intervals.  That being said our cover requires an ‘end’ date.  So on paper we are finished with Keilee’s 11th grade year.

And I totally suck at updating my blog so I am adding a few pictures of the last 2 months.

Soulstock 2017.  Although it did get rained out we had a blast keeping an performing artist’s little boy.

Meet Kanzy the Swimming Mermiad.  Keilee’s newest character.  And her practicing in her Monofin.  Cause it’s harder than it looks!

Me and Her…

Reading at the Library.  As herself. 😉

Reading, Playing, With the Mayor

This is what she made me for Mother’s Day.  It’s a temperature blanket.  This one is based on the high temperature on my Mother’s birthday from the year she was born and the year she died.  I cried my eyes out.

My twirly girl.

Emma and “Rapunzel”

From an Elsa photo shoot.  Aren’t these wonderful?

Our homeschool journey has never looked like most I guess.  We have always learned what she wanted to learn.  If that’s 3 sciences that’s what we did.

This past year was even more different.  She started her own Princess company in July of last year and has spent a  year building it up.  She has been unbelievably successful.

Here are a few of the things she accomplished this “Junior” year.

There was US History, Child Psychology, Forensics, American Literature, a bit of math, online world religion class and a few other things.
And guess what these had in common? She didn’t completely finish any of them. And I’m perfectly fine with that.
Because she also started her own Princess company Magical Memories which to date has done over 80 events. She worked continuously on ideas, the Facebook and Instagram pages, took photo shoots with every one of her girls (and herself), edited pictures from every single event, built a webpage, held auditions, stayed in contact with parents and businesses to coordinate every event and so much more.
She entered and won a video contest with Southern Girls Project, took over their Instagram, and al. com’s Snapchat for a week. She was asked to speak at “Women Who Shaped The State-Modern Trailblazers” event. She served on our town’s steering committee as the youngest member, attending meetings and heading the table at 2 city wide events.
She ran a successful crochet business with over 60 orders. She learned to make a quilt. She volunteered countless hours at our soup kitchen and in the community. She worked backstage at our community theatre’s production of “Driving Miss Daisy”. She has an educational IG and Facebook account @bringingsmartback She led kids church every Sunday learning a new script each time. She reads to a Pre-K group at our library as ‘just Keilee’. She filmed 2 episodes for a TV show to be shown at Children’s Hospitals and she was in a segment for a NASA children’s show.
She found time to do things that feed her soul.
And she did most of it in 6″ heels!
So yeah. I’m not worried about a few books that weren’t finished.

Bring on her senior year.
And please Lord let it go S.L.O.W.L.Y  Like paint drying slowly.  Like cold molasses slow.  Like snail slow.

Homeschooling Rocks,



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!

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


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!

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