Category Archives: Learning all the time


January 3, 2018

She is 18. This amazing person who made me a Momma turns 18 today .

I’m not gonna lie. This is a hard one. For both of us .
For me because HOW CAN SHE BE 18? For her because she worries that she should have her entire life figured out. And she doesn’t. Oh she has dreams and goals. Too many of them. I assure her it will all work out. I remind her that Jesus already can see what her life will look like and it will be beautiful .

I have so many emotions. So many feelings. It’s always been just me and her. She’s been my center for so long. She got me through the death of my Momma. She brought me closer to Jesus.
I told her the other day that one of the hardest things for me to learn was to put Jesus ahead of her. But I did learn. Because I know He is the only one that loves her more than I do .
I can’t wait for her to soar. I wish she was still playing with dolls. I can’t wait to see her blossom into the beautiful woman I know she will be. I wish we were still having tickle fights on the bed. I can’t wait to see her conquer the world. I wish we were still making sheet forts in the den .

Some days she acts 10. Some days she acts 80. She runs her own business like a boss but loves snuggling with me and her dog .
Life goes by in a blink. And the swiftness of it breaks my heart at times .
I sit and remember and the memories make me smile. And bring me to tears .

But I can not wait to see who you become my love .
You have made my life so breathtakingly beautiful. You astound me with the wonderfulness of you . Every day with you has been a marvelous adventure.
Happy birthday Keilee. I love you to Pluto and back . Because the moon is not far enough.

I adore you,

My daughter is my biggest achievement. She is a little star and my life has changed so much for the better since she came along. Denise Van Outen

Storytelling, Costumes and Cotton…

Ok so I’m not going to start my post talking about how quickly time is flying.  Or the fact that it’s NOVEMBER.  Nope…

Just going to dive right in with some fun.  We always take cotton pictures.  We always have.  It’s so strange to me that there are people who haven’t seen cotton.  A few years ago we offered to send cotton to our Instagram friends who have never seen it.  There was a lot of people.

We also go to a Storytelling Festival every year.  It is always wonderful.  I think storytelling is a lost art and I love that Keilee has grown up listening to great stories.

Basil and Rosemary are about the only 2 things we can grow successfully.  We freeze it in bags or freeze it in ice cube trays to throw in the crockpot.

She got to be Merida for a party. Merida is HER favorite but no one ever wants her.  She speaks in a Scottish accent so I ‘get’ to hear that for days.  And days.  And days.

She volunteered for Head Start in 4 classes, one elementary school and the library as “Gumdrop the Candy Monster”.  THAT voice is very high and squeaky so I got to listen to that too.

She dresses so cute.  And it’s ALL thrift store and garage sale clothes.

Always dancing and singing in the car.  My life is many things; quiet is NOT one of them. 😉


Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is a short (21) minutes that comes out at Thanksgiving.  Keilee made a decision to buy the (expensive) costume.  It is glorious.

The cape is so beautiful.

At church she was asked to do a spoken word of a Christian rap song.  She killed it.  It was so emotional and I was so proud of her.
The entire sermon is wonderful but her part is at 45:00 minutes

The video


So there you have it.  The last couple of weeks.  I told Keilee the other day, “What in the world will I be when you graduate? All my social media and my blog is Homeschool Girls”.  And she said, “Mom you named it that because we both were learning.  We both will still be learning. You are keeping it Homeschool Girls forever.”

Homeschooling Rocks,

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. Henry David Thoreau



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,