Botany, Nature and Doggie Birthdays….

Keilee loves to take pictures.† She will go months and barely touch the camera and then just go on a shooting [camera that is] spree.† Here are some of her latest pictures.† I love the way she sees things. She also really likes ‘macro’ shots.

We did lots of learning this week and it mainly seemed to revolve around botany and nature.† I think the amazing weather had something to do with that.

1.†† Lovely glass bottle set my brother got at a garage sale for $1.† As soon as I saw it I begged him to let me have it.† Keilee made all sorts of flower potions this week.

2.†† Keilee’s drawing of the parts of a plant.† We also did a really cool experiment that I plan to share later.

3.†† Keilee sitting in her tree reading one of our† “National Audubon Society Field Guides”.† I think this one was “Birds”. † You have to get these books if you don’t have them.† I got mine as a Secret Sister gift in our homeschool group a couple of years ago.† We love them!

4.†† Tuesday was Nomad’s 2nd birthday.† Keilee made him a peanut butter and carrot ‘cake’.† We also bought him toys.† This is the hat he wears on each birthday.† He has worn it several times because Keilee used to make us celebrate every ‘MONTH’ birthday!

5.†† Keilee and Nomad ‘cuddling’.

6.†† Keilee planted broccoli and peas in her garden.† She has decided the reason nothing ever grows is because it isn’t HER garden exclusively.† She worked for hours on this.

7.†† Keilee’s miracle potion.† She rubbed it all over my legs and arms!† Someone needs to polish their fingernails; I’m just sayin’.

My favorite resource this week is a good one!† It is a YouTube channel called “History Teachers“.† They take current songs and write songs that talk about all sorts of history events.† Let me tell you after listening to the one below Keilee will NEVER forget that ‘fleas on rats’ caused the Black Death!† *Disclaimer, the videos we watched were all appropriate but I think these are for ‘high school’ so view at your discretion.

Happily linking up with

Mary @ “Collage Friday


Susan @ “Favorite Resources


Kris @ “Weekly Wrap-up”

Happy weekend!

Homeschooling Rocks!


ìReading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.î ~ George Washington Carver

“. . . the more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race.“† ~Rachel Carson


Do you have a passion? Something that moves you?† Something you can not live without?† I don’t think I do.† I mean, I have many things I love, many things that make my life better.

Reading? Maybe reading is my passion.† I do love to read.† I can’t imagine living without it…so I suppose reading is mine.

My child’s passion is acting.† She loves being on the stage more than anything else in the world.† She first auditioned when she was barely 6 and sang, “Tomorrow” from Annie.† I was scared to death for her.† She wasn’t nervous in the least.† She has never been nervous…ever…not one time.† She wishes she could practice every day.† She wakes up excited if she has practice that day.† She practices her lines over and over and over and you get the picture. 🙂

1. Her 1st role – a bee in “Jungle Book”.† Everyone called her “Queen Bee”.† She had to stay on stage the entire time.† She was adorable.† No lines, just songs.

2.† Her 2nd role.† A Chihuahua in “101 Dalmatians”.† She had her first lines in this play.† I think she had 3.

3.†† A flower in “Enchanted Sleeping Beauty”.† She was in 3 scenes.† She had a ballet dance that began the show, a scene where they gave Sleeping Beauty her gifts as a baby and when Sleeping† Beauty married her Prince.

4.† Meeko in “Pocahontas”† She did a little dance and was in 3 other scenes with Pocahontas.

1. and 2.† This was for “Wonderland”.† She had 2 roles; a red pawn and a Dixie Chicken that was Humpty Dumpty’s back up singers.† She had to change clothes down to her tights and a wig; in about 2 minutes! Freaked me out, but she did it every time.

3.† Cindy Lou Who in “Seussical”.†† She loved this role!

1.† She was in “101 Dalmatians” again with a different theatre company.† She wanted the role of Horace so badly and got it!† Her first time playing a ‘boy’ role.

2.† She was a maid in “Annie”.† She had 2 dances.† We loved doing this play.

3.† Scout in “To Kill A Mockingbird”† 217 lines!† She did such a great job.† This is one of her favorite roles.

4.† The Wicked Witch in “The Wizard of Oz”.† She did evil very well.† A little boy in the audience had to be taken out and he wouldn’t come back in!† She felt really bad and also giggled just a bit.

Now we are working on play number 11.† I get exhausted at times.† Plays are a lot of work and not just for the actors.† I always help back stage and of course I have to provide transportation.† I don’t really mind, I love it too.

Who knows where this will lead Kei.† She already knows where she ‘thinks’ she wants to go to college.† It is a college with a wonderful “Theater Arts” program.† She may change her mind before the time actually comes.†† But she usually makes her mind up and sticks to it.


What do you do to inspire and nurture your children’s passion?

Homeschooling Rocks!


“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~Nelson Mandela

“One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.”† ~ E. M. Forster

“There is no greatness without a passion to be great, whether it’s the aspiration of an athlete or an artist, a scientist, a parent, or a businessperson.” ~ Anthony Robbins


Hardware Stores, Tallulah, and HUNGER GAMES…

I love doing these “Friday Collages”.† It helps me see exactly what we do.† We do A LOT! This was an awesome week!

We had a field trip to a hardware store in Huntsville that was founded in 1879.† It is called Harrison Brother’s and was founded by brothers. 🙂 It is crammed pack full of old things and new things.† It is now run by the Historic Society and it was a wonderful way to spend an hour.† We had a tour and then just meandered around.

Keilee got to taste honey; garlic and bacon honey!!† She liked it.

Afterwards Keilee and I roamed around downtown.† It was a BEAUTIFUL day with the Dogwood trees and 76∞ weather.† We also saw Tallulah Bankhead’s house.† She was born and raised in Huntsville.† She was a very bad girl who lived life by NO ONE’s rules. †

We did history this week.† We learned about the Rus’s and Ivan the Great and Ivan the Terrible.† I am thinking we will never finish SOTW 2 by end of the year.† We are only on Chapter 23 and there are 44 Chapters!† EEK!

We are doing a lot of Chemistry/Elements.† I found a really great download that we have been using. ElementsFirstTwoChaptersSample.† I am really not sure where I got it….It is a sample of a course.† I wish I could find the entire thing! Anyone know?

She has been doing a lot of drawing on the iPad.† She uses an app called “Inspire” that she really likes.† She also has had practice for “The Princess and The Pea” and while this is a small role she is hysterical in it.† I LOVE this role!†

Keilee had a 2 hour lab that they were SUPPOSED to dissect a perch.† Instead they watched a virtual dissection.† The kids were not very happy about it and neither were the Mamas.† We all were assured that would not happen again.

AND…she was so excited Thursday.† She and Chan have had a† Webkinz blog for a year or so and they work really hard on it.† Well Ganz/Webkinz commented on it Thursday.† Isn’t that cool!???† In fact one of my favorite resources is Webkinz.† Keilee spends a lot of time on this site and has since she was 6.† She has learned about animals, personal finance, integrity and so many more great lessons.† She loves going to the Trading Hall and keeps a notebook with what her items are worth and what she wants to trade for.† Keeping her Webkinz blog she is constantly writing and editing articles.† We love Webkinz.

Fish and Webkinz!

†Since the weather has been so amazing Keilee has played outside often.† She is trying to learn to do a back walkover.† She uses one of the buildings to push herself off.† I know she will get it by summer.

Back Walkover

†And last night was THE HUNGER GAMES.† We were so excited.† We decided to go over early and hang out with Kathy and Sophie.† We went to eat and just sat around and talked until around 11:00.† It was so fun getting ‘ready to go’ with a house full of females.† We loved the movie.† It wasn’t perfect, but I have never seen a perfect ‘book into movie’ film.† The violence was not much to me….of course it was there, but it wasn’t over the top.† Several of the fighting scenes were so closely shot that you couldn’t really tell what was what.† There were 7 theaters showing it and they were all PACKED.† Fun times!† * See Keilee’s “District 12” shirt? She also had on Mockingjay earrings.

Getting in bed at 3:00 AM wiped this Mama out.† Today we are moving really slow.

Happily linking up with Mary at “Collage Friday”


Susan at “Resource Fridays

One of our favorite sites:† “Homeschool For Free”† and one more favorite resource is “Christy”.† I had read this book a long time ago.† My mother had it and I picked it up while I was a teenager and read it.† The TV series is on Netflix and we have both loved it.† We have learned so much about the Appalachian area and people.

Homeschooling Rocks!


“May the odds be ever in your favor”† Effie Trinkett “The Hunger Games”

“District Twelve. Where you can starve to death in safety.” Katniss Everdeen “The Hunger Games”

Thankful Thursday…. Enjoying Nature

I have always loved Spring.† New beginnings, growth, warmth, breezes, beauty.

I am so thankful for this life I live….

Thankful for the opportunity to spend so much time with my girl.

Thankful for our relationship..

Our way of learning…mostly stress free….

Our ability to go about most days S-L-O-W-L-Y

Really examine God’s creations…

All Pictures by Keilee

Thankful for time to take Wildflower Walks….

Examine bugs….

Enjoy the birds…..

Live each day…

Happily linking up with Theresa at “Thankful Thursdays

Homeschooling Rocks,


ìA bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.î ~Lou Holtz

†ìForget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.î† ~Kahlil Gibran

80∞ Weekend Means….

playing with your dog….

swinging in a swing wearing a hat of course….

making bunny food on an open fire built on Indian rocks…..[notice the dirty feet…love it]

sitting under trees….

grass beneath your feet…

grilling out….


Isn’t Spring the best? And it IS Spring, I don’t care what the calendar says. 🙂

Homeschooling Rocks!


“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.”† ~Nadine Stair

Mehndi Gloves, Pysanky Eggs, The Simple Life and MORE….

Spring?† It feels like SUMMER here.† I can not believe this weather.† Ok, we had a really mild winter but 80∞ in the middle of March is crazy.† I want to drag out all of our summer clothes but as soon as I do it will SNOW!

We have had such an incredible week.† It included a lot of ‘going’ places, but also a lot of learning.

†1.†† Keilee made this picture of her art drawing figure.† Behind it is one of her old cameras.† She LOVES old cameras.†

2.††† Keilee also made this picture of her favorite subject, Nomad.† I swear she had some that I think was shot UP his nose!

3.††† Went to see “The Lorax” with a homeschool group.† I liked it very much even though 3D is not my favorite most of the time.† “The Lorax” is my favorite Dr. Seuss book.

4.†† One of my FAVORITE RESOURCES of the Week.† “Girls Who Looked Under Rocks”.† This is an awesome book.† It is about 6 female naturalists.† Anna Botsford Comstock is one of them.† We read this book all week and looked up information on all the women featured.† Keilee is going to do a report on one of them next week.

5.† A very cool recycle project we saw at Burritt Museum.† It is all made from the tops and caps of various things!

6.† Lilac Bush – this was beautiful and smelled so wonderful!

We did a very cool art thing called Mehndi Gloves.† Here is a link to the lesson plan.† Mehndi Art Gloves Lesson PlanOurs didn’t look as good as the ones portrayed but we had a lot of fun with them.† Our gloves were a little big and I think it would have been better if they were tighter.† I got our gloves at Dollar General and they were ‘one size fits all’.

†We also went to Burritt Museum to take a class about Pysanky Eggs.† The class was informative but the actual “making of” was a little lacking.† Keilee and I both thought it was a little too “Easter Eggish” instead of “Ukranian Eggish”.† There was a HS Mom who sat next to me who told me she and her family had just spent a month in Ukranine because she was adopting her daughter from there!† Even though ours didn’t turn out as cool as the videos Kei and I watched it was still fun!

After the class we roamed around the Historic section of Burritt on the Mountain. They have beautifully restored historic homes from the 1800’s and 1900’s.† They also have animals.† Keilee was in heaven.† She said she could see us living in one of these houses.† I told her that would be awesome as long as I had electricity and indoor plumbing!

Animals and More Animals!

We have been spending huge amounts of time outside.† We have walked the dog, laid out, rode our bikes, gone on wildflower walks and just sat under the trees and talked.† I love this time of year.

We have been playing an iPad game A LOT called Charadium HD.† It is another “FAVORITE RESOURCE”.† It is too fun.† It is like Pictionary and you play with other people.† Everyone so far seems really nice and doesn’t use bad language or anything.† Keilee loves this game.† She plays it all the time.† It also helps her with her typing and spelling which she needs!† Hores indeed!† I think she meant holes. 😉


My favorite picture this week:

Watching the Sheep...

Keilee loved learning about Marco Polo this week from SOTW.† Then we watched a really good Hallmark Channel Movie called “Marco Polo”† [duh huh?]† We kept having to pause it while Keilee told me things she remember from her reading.† I love that!

And next week is the HUNGER GAMES!!† We have had our tickets for a month.† EEP!† 12:01 AM will find us at the movie theater.† Keilee is thinking about dressing up as Katniss like she did for Halloween. ††

Isn’t homeschooling just the best thing ever???†

Happily linking up with

Mary at “Collage Friday


Susan at “Favorite Resources

Homeschooling Rocks!


“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”† The Lorax, Dr. Seuss

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”† ~Margaret Atwood

Christina’s Interview With Keilee….

Christina at Interest Led Learning interviewed Keilee last week for her blog.† We LOVE Christina’s blog and get so many great ideas from it.† She is the Mom of twin 6 year olds!

Here is the beginning of her interview…

“Today Iím so excited to share an interview I did with Keilee. Keilee is 12 and has been homeschooling for the last five or so years. Iíve learned a lot about all the creative things Keilee has been doing lately from visiting her mom Karenís blog at HomeschoolGirls.

I wanted to interview Keilee because she lives a life full of imagination, creativity and passion outside the school system. My kids are still young, so I find it so exciting to read about older kids who are doing some really cool things. (Not that we arenít too, but at a different level )”

Read the rest HERE.

Thanks again Christina for giving Kei this wonderful opportunity.

Homeschooling Rocks!


“Do not go where the path may lead; go where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


Wicked, Spring is in the Air, & Math and Science Fun…

This week was unbelievable!† After the crazy show week and the crazy FLU week, it was nice to get back to semi-normal.

First of all we saw Wicked.† To say we loved it would be a huge understatement.† It was MAGNIFICENT, SUPERB, AWESOME, BLOW OUR MINDS great.† Keilee knew every song but we didn’t know the ENTIRE story line.† She was on the edge of her seat the entire time, literally.† I would have sat through it again immediately afterwards.† Even if you don’t like Broadway shows [and HOW is that possible????] you would love “Wicked”.† I even loved the $40 T Shirt that she wanted…..ok, I didn’t love it, but I stood in line with other crazy people and happily gave up the money.†

We did so much this week I can’t even remember all of it.† There was lots of learning.† We learned about sine and cosine, we made roller coasters and more on a great site I found.† It is my resource of the week.† It is called Math Apprentice and we both learned so much.† Doncha love when YOU learn stuff too?

Math Fun!
Periodic Tables and Roller Coasters

We tried veggie black bean burgers and I was so sad that we didn’t like them much.† What did we do wrong Jess??† Keilee made some Taco Chicken Soup that was delish though!

Black Bean Burgers and Chicken Taco Soup

Keilee did some playing outside.† We are both so ready for warm weather.† Even though we didn’t have much cold.† I found this app called Fast Camera that takes about 100 or more pictures a minute and played around some with it.

Cartwheel Fun

We also did an experiment to find out whether atoms move faster in cold, hot or room temperature water.† [Hot in case you were wondering],

Keilee made a draw string purse which turned out very cool [it is a lot larger than it looks in this picture]†

Kei and I have been talking a lot about how important our words can be.† I have gotten into a horrible habit of saying, “Stupid”.† Everything and everybody is ‘Stupid’.† I am trying very hard to do away with that word.† And because I say it, of course Kei does.† We talked about being critical and how even though everyone needs someone to ‘vent’ to and we have each other for that; we need to be more supportive and kinder.† To help us remember Keilee made us both ‘Think’ bracelets.† Like ‘Think before you speak’.† I love the idea and am wearing mine everyday.

†We got the bracelet idea from this Monthly Newsletter called “Homeschooling Ideas- Fuel the Fire”.† Sign up for this if you haven’t.† it NOW.† It is awesome and I look forward to it every month.† Here is a link to this months newsletter.†It is my other Favorite Resource this week.

There was even time for SILLY.† We do silly a lot at our house.† Don’t you?

Oh and Keilee tried out for another play “The Princess and the Pea”.† She got the role she wanted; Princess Diana Dingaling of Dingdong.† A princess who does nothing but sing and dance all day…type casting I say.† Rehearsals start next week….oy vey.†

Delighted to be linking up with

Mary at “Collage Friday


Susan at “Favorite Resources”

Math Apprentice

Homeschooling Ideas – Fuel the Fire

Homeschooling Rocks!


” Take time every day to do something silly.” ~ Philips Walker

“If you never have, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” Dr. Seuss

There’s No Place Like HOME….

I can’t believe the last 2 weeks have flown by so quickly.† Last week was Show Week and it was spectacular.† Yes it was hard work for both of us [I worked back stage 9 of the 10 shows], yes it was crack of dawn early mornings and late nights but we had a blast.

There were 88 kids in this show.† Some of them as young as 3 and they did a wonderful job.† Many of them had never done plays before.† All of our awesome Homeschool friends were in the play which made it more special.

Keilee did a really good job.† This role wasn’t as many lines as Scout, but it was a lot more ‘physical’ acting.† She pulled it off magnificently.† Her makeup took about 1 1/2 hours to apply and was horrible to remove.† There were TEN shows which is more than we have ever done before.

Here is the ‘Getting Into Character’ Shots.


Here are some ‘behind the scenes’ shots.† iPhone and dark.† My favorite is the Wicked Witch and Dorothy ballroom dancing.† FYI, Dorothy is homeschooled too!† We had about 15 homeschoolers in this play!Keilee kept the munchkins occupied playing games like “Keilee Says”. 🙂

Here are a few from the actual show.† I think Esther made most of these.† Between Esther, Heather and I taking pictures I kinda forgot who was whose.† The really good ones are Esther’s and Heather’s.† The blurry ones are mine. 😉

More show…

One of the sweetest things was that all the Poppies that Keilee called up to put Dorothy, Toto and the Lion to sleep just LOVED Keilee.† They hung all over her and made her cards and got their parents to take pictures with her.† They were adorable.

And here are some of her favorite things.† She got flowers from our neighbor ladies, cards from her Poppies, 3 articles in the newspaper!, and she got to keep the banner they used for decoration at the theater.†

Keilee also had a knitting class in between shows.† Now Mom’s are contacting me and want to meet up at Hobby Lobby so Kei can show them what to buy.† Kei was almost as excited about that as the play!


Ok I edited these just for Keilee’s scenes.† She was in one more scene where she called up the Poppies but it was only about a minute.† And for some reason I have the curtain call in both videos.† And I don’t feel like fixing it so there!† Hope you enjoy. 🙂

And these are MY favorite pictures.† All from backstage. :)†

My Little Witch

Unfortunately almost everyone got sick.† The rooms backstage are very small and everyone was coughing and sneezing and running a temperature and there was almost no way that we weren’t going to get sick.† I got sick Friday night.† I woke up during the night with a 100.8 fever and just prayed that I would feel well enough to make it through Saturday.† We had cast call at 10:30 and wouldn’t be finished until at least 9:30 that night.† I had friends that could have taken Keilee but there was NO way I wouldn’t be there.† I hadn’t even seen the show from the audience.†† So I sucked it up and made it through.† I was fine until about 7:30 and then I just felt so bad.† Then Keilee woke up with it Sunday. Kei went to the doctor and she had the flu.† I am sure I had it too but I didn’t go to the doc.† Thankfully we are both feeling better now.

Sick Witch

WHEW!† What a 2 weeks.† First one amazing and fun, second one not so much.

Happily linking up with

Mary at “Collage Friday”

and Susan for “Favorite Resources”

Since Spring is in the air, here is one of our favorite Natures Sites:

Nature Detectives This is our favorite of all time Nature sites.† It is from the United Kingdom and has TONS AND TONS of great ideas, games, worksheets, activities and more.† Also be sure to sign up for their newsletter!

AND GUESS WHERE WE ARE GOING SUNDAY!!????????????† TO SEE WICKED!† How perfect is that?


Homeschooling Rocks!


Wicked Witch of the West: Going so soon? I wouldn’t hear of it. Why my little party’s just beginning.

Wicked Witch of the West: You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world!

We Interrupt This Broadcast….

Missed me?

I have so much to write about.† Oz and Witches and Flying Monkeys, oh My!

Last week was Show Week.† We had to be at the theater at 7:00 AM every morning which is way too early for these homeschooling girls.

This week we both have either the Flu or Strep.† Kei has a doctor’s appointment this afternoon.† She feels so bad my poor baby.† She is tired and coughing and running a fever.

Me too, all of the above.

Color us sick and exhausted.

A picture to whet the appetite.


I have missed everyone.† I can’t wait to catch up.

Now I am going back to bed.

Homeschooling Rocks,


ìI’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.î† ~ Fannie Lou Hamer


Jesus, a Mother, a Daughter and a Dog….