Twas The Week Before Christmas…..

1.††††††††††† Keilee and Nomad sharing a beater.† She didnít lick on the same side as he did!!

†2.††††††††††† Oreo Truffles† ….. One of our favorite Christmas goodies.

†3.††††††††††† Keilee at our churchís ìWrapped With Loveî community service.† We wrapped Christmas gifts outside Wal-Mart for 3 nights FREE!!† We had a blast.

†4.††††††††††† Mommy and KeileeÖ Merry Christmas!

†5.††††††††††† Homemade Sugar Cookies from Keilee!† This was such a messy, fun, crazy day.† I am not fond of holiday baking so Keilee said she could do it all by herself.† And she did!

†6.††††††††††† The Girls at Estherís Christmas party.† We played Dirty Santa and had so much fun.† I scored a Target gift card and Keilee got 5 awesome nail polishes!

†7.††††††††††† The kids at Estherís.† Traditional ëpose on the porchí.

†8.††††††††††† The Momís!† I am so thankful for these women in my life.

†9.††††††††††† Gina and I playing Cow Girl!

†10.††††††††† We went to Karen S’s house for food and conversation and laughing so hard my stomach hurt.† Keilee and the kids played Wii.

†11.† ††††††† There also played Red Rover and dodgeball and soccer and hide and seek.† Karen S. has goats and a cow and chickens and dogs.† Keilee was in hog heaven!

†12.††††††††† Keilee and I played so many games this past week.† Clue and Head Bandz and Yahtzee and Scrabble!†††† We laughed and laughed and had so much fun.

†13.††††††††† Keilee FINALLY got an ornament with her name on it. 😉

†14.††††††††† The presentsÖ.all finished!

†15.††††††††† GAS UNDER $3.00!†

Merry Christmas to all my wonderful blog friends.† I hope this is such a lovely Christmas, full of laughter and love and giggles and delicious food and hugs and secrets and delight and wonder and the blessing of the season.†

Homeschooling Rocks!

Karen and Keilee

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.† ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Even as an adult I find it difficult to sleep on Christmas Eve.† Yuletide excitement is a potent caffeine, no matter your age.† ~Terri Guillemets

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.† ~Bob Hope

Mars, Hugo and Oz…

We had a really good week and weekend.† We got our tree up.† Ok Keilee got our tree up, I helped very little.† We were going to get a real tree this year but our tree is so easy to put up.† I have had 20í trees, big fat touch the ceiling trees and theme trees.† Now we like simple.† Now ìIî like simple.† It is not a ‘bad little tree’† and Nomad approves!†

One of the BEST presents of all... iPhone Photo

Wednesday Kei got a great opportunity.† They were going to test a new Mission at the Space and Rocket Center and asked for Homeschool volunteers.† I called Gina and asked if Brit wanted to go and she said, “YES”, so I signed them up.† We weren’t sure exactly what they were going to do but Space and Rocket Center is always the BOMB! And it SNOWED on the way there…wet, sloppy, “not going to stick” snow, but snow nonetheless!† If it isn’t slippery, I love driving when it is snowing.

At Space and Rocket

Now they were going to be ‘guinea pigs’ for 3 hours so I had called my brother who works at Marshall Space Flight Center and asked him if he could get away for awhile.† He picked me up and we went to Sam’s.† Do you have Sam’s?† Similar to Costco’s.† We wandered around and got a few things and then he took me to his office.† This is on Redstone Arsenal and you have to have a badge to get on the base.† We stayed at his office for a couple of hours and I met his co-workers.††† He works with some great people!† I already knew a few of them because he has worked there for years.It made me remember how much I liked working in an environment with great people.† Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to do that, I just remember fun times.

On the way out he showed me the building where Wernher von Braun worked.† Google him or look on link if you don’t know who that is.† He was VERY instrumental in the Space Program.

Wernher von Braun's Office

When I got back to the Space and Rocket Center I saw Kei coming out of a space shuttle with her ‘crew’.† I cracked up because she had her purse!

Mission to Mars

Here are some pictures Kei made with her iPhone that was IN HER PURSE!† Never mind about the important saving the world moments…lets snap some photos.† I am so proud of her.

Mission Control

All the way home I heard what a blast they had.† They were divided into different groups.† Kei’s group stayed on the ship while Brit’s group had to repair the space ship “Aurora”.† Kei was the pilot and communicated with Mission Control with headsets.† The ship went down and for 20 seconds they were without communications and all red lights began to flash.† They finally re-established contact and fixed the problem. Brit’s group died I think. :)† They stepped out onto Mars before the ‘all clear’ sounded.† There were other groups doing other things but this is dictated to me by Keilee.† :)† They both loved it!

Kei "ON" the Moon

After the Mission Brit came and spent the night with Keilee.† They sang and sang and there may or may not have been a video of dancing to “Barbie Girl”.† Don’t try to deny it, if a picture is worth a thousand words…what is a video worth? Huh? 😉

Pretty in Red...

Saturday Keilee tried out for “The Wizard of Oz”.† She didn’t expect a big role because they are very fair with letting the kids all have a chance.† But she really wanted to be The Cowardly Lion.† She has a strange fascination with tails.† Don’t ask…I don’t.† There were 130 kids that tried out!† Almost all of our core group of Homeschoolers tried out.† Many of them have never done plays and only Chan has done plays with this group.†

Kei Wizard tryouts

All the kids did a really good job.† We found out Sunday night that EVERY ONE of the HOMESCHOOL kids made it!!!† We were so excited.† They are going to have a blast.† Keilee was cast as the Wicked Witch which surprised us both very much.† So I have heard, “I’ll get you my pretty and your little dog too” about a thousand times already.

Sunday after church we met some of our favorite people at Bridge Street to see “Hugo 3D”.† Kei and I read this book [you must read it if you haven’t] and were very excited to see it.† Martin Scorsese directed it and it was wonderful.† It was one of the best “3D” movies we have seen.†

After the film Keilee and Sophie got into a fight about which one of them was marrying Johnny Depp.† It just drives Keilee crazy because Sophie wants Johnny to be one of her 3 husbands and Keilee just knows he is her one and only.† Crappy picture in dark theatre on iPhone but it was so funny.

Cat Fight
Kei and Sophie

Then there was ice cream at Maggi Moo’s and shopping.† Kei and Sophie flitted around like butterflies to pollen.† Every store had the cutest things.† Ahhh I wish I was rich.† But we did manage to get a few things.† She found some awesome distressed jeans on sale.† I bought them for her FOR CHRISTMAS! :)

Ice Cream!

We had such a great afternoon.† It is so cool to love the Moms of your child’s friends.† I am so blessed because I love all of Keilee’s friends Moms.

One of my favorite things this week was talking to Jess and Theresa.† They each called me Thursday and I am surprised my cordless didn’t go dead.† We talked and talked and talked.† I just love talking over things with these 2 women.† They are both just the greatest.† If only I could build that street, you know the one…with houses for me, and Jess and Theresa and Helena and Susan and Jenn and Phyllis and H-Mama and Mary and the Roamies [because sometimes 30 or 45 minutes is just TOO far]…it could be called “What a Jolly Street”.† Does anyone remember that book?† My Mom liked it and bought it for me when I was little and I loved it.† I bought it for Kei and she loved it.† We used to read it every night.

We also learned stuff!† Lots of stuff… and there was knitting and cooking and laughing and looking up things and videos and NO TELEVISION.† I forgot to mention that huh?† We are not watching TV until Jan. 4, 2012.† We are taking part in a fast at our church and that is what we decided to ‘give up’.† We are watching 2-3 shows a week or a movie.† But the rest of the time…silence from the boob tube.† I have loved it.† Kei hasn’t hated it. ;)† We chose to watch “Super 8” for our movie this week.† We both really like it!† [Thanks Gina and it went into the mail today ]

A great few days.† Aren’t we blessed?† Don’t you feel so blessed to be able to homeschool?† I know I do.† [most of the time] 😉

Homeschooling Rocks!

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”† – Anais Nin

“Every person is a new door to a different world.” from movie “Six Degrees of Separation”

Spend the Night, Santa’s Village, Knitting Till You Drop… and learning….

It has been such a homeschooling kind of last few days.† Chan came over last Tuesday and spent the night with Kei until Friday.† I mean how cool is that?† That we can do things like that?† Kei taught Chan how to knit and I can tell you there were some knitting marathons going on.†

Knit 1, Purl 2

There was game playing.† Of course there was very little ‘following by the rules’.

What do you call this again?

They played “Life” [which I HATE] and I heard things like this; “Oh so you are making your kids work for money”, “I’m soliciting money from the children in the orphanage”, “Let’s pull another bank job for money”.† Ahhh those great lessons games teach us!

Kei knitted some scarves.† I was really proud of her because they were the first ones she had ever knitted.† She is crazy good at things like this!

Kei's Scarves
Knitting a Christmas Scarf

Thursday night we went to our Library’s Christmas Program.† A professor at a nearby college was reading “A Christmas Memory”.† He has this magnificent voice and we always try to go when he is speaking.† This is one of our favorite Christmas stories.† You should definitely read it if you haven’t.† It is written by Truman Capote about his childhood.† He grew up in Alabama and was always friends with Harper Lee [To Kill a Mockingbird].† It is also on instant on Netflix.† It is wonderfully done.†† My brother reads it aloud every year at Christmas.

†Friday was Skate Day and we went but I didn’t let Keilee skate.† She had ran a fever the day before and had a sore throat so we didn’t stay very long.

I read 11/23/63 by Stephen King.† I downloaded it to my Kindle and while Kei and Chan were doing their thing I read an 873 page book in 2 1/2 days.† I LOVED IT!!† I have always loved Stephen King, but he is not everyone’s cup of tea.† This book had a feel of King, but not really.† It was definitely worth reading!

Saturday we decided to go shopping.† I bought Kei some new clothes, boots, a hat and a few more little things.† Most of them are put up for Christmas! I look back fondly on the days that I could just buy her clothes and she would love them.† She still likes what I pick out but she MUST try everything on.

Monday we went to Santa’s Village with a Homeschool Group.† Now this place is really for younger kids but Keilee wanted to go because it was the 1st Field Trip she ever went on in Kindergarten.† We both had a blast.

Santa's Village
Kei at Santa's Village

Last night Kei spent hours texting with A and P, Theresa’s daughters.† She had a blast and plans to play an online game with them today.† I think there are Face Time plans in the future too!

Texting and more Texting

Today she has decided she simply ‘must’ write. This second….before she forgets this amazing story she thought of.† Me: “Why don’t you move somewhere more comfortable”?† Kei: “No I have to write this NOW”!

Must Write....

Did we learn?† Well of course silly!† We learned about Vikings and Odin and read myths and played online games about the Vikings.† We did a unit study on Rocks and Minerals and Kei did 2 months of Pet Shop Math and she is reading 2 books at once and she has written and written on stories.† She watched Brain Pop every day, we watched a documentary about Vikings and a movie.† She has watched documentaries about the intelligence of mammals and keeps telling me all these facts that she has learned.† She had an online Knitting Club meeting and had such fun talking about knitting.† We also started “Connect The Thoughts” Christmas study.† It seems really cool so far.

So here it is ….December.† DECEMBER!† I am so not ready for Christmas.† Blast all of you who has your tree up, decorations abounding, baking done and all your gifts bought and wrapped.† I work better under pressure. …..OK?????!!!!!!

Homeschooling Rocks!


ìTrue learning ñ learning that is permanent and useful, that leads to intelligent action and further learning ó can arise only out of the experience, interest, and concerns of the learnerî† ~ John Holt

The Week That Was Thanksgiving…

The Homeschool Mother's Journal
In my life this weekÖ

Cooking and laughing and spending time with the family on Thanksgiving.

Kei and My Brother Eddie

In our homeschool this weekÖ

Kei is writing this hysterical story about a Spider named Star who wanted to find the ëstarsí.† She meant in the sky but everyone she met thought she meant the ìHollywoodî stars so she found herself in Hollywood where she met Madonna and hence the song †ìLucky Starî.† Only my daughter would write a story about a Madonna song!

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to shareÖ

I really need to just post some of my resources.† Isnít it crazy how much is out there?† I also must say our new schedule is amazing.† I love doing one subject daily.† We do Math, journaling and reading every day but the rest is once a week.† We can spend so much time on that subject without me freaking out.† We learned about Charlemagne this week, Kei did a unit study on amphibians and frogs and of course there was all the million of things that are ìKeiís thingsî; knitting and coloring and playing and baking.† I found a really cool coloring site.

Cool Coloring
Coloring with Markers and Crayons

I am inspired byÖ

My friend Erica whose daughter was just diagnosed with leukemia.† Her posts and her faith and her strength amaze me.† I wonder if I could possibly be that full of faith and love if it was Kei?† And then I always whisper, ìPlease God donít test meî.

Places weíre going and people weíre seeingÖ

We mainly hung out at home except for Thanksgiving.† We ate at Daddy and Marleneís and met her son and daughter in law who lives out of state.† It was a lovely afternoon.† I donít do Black Friday sales.† I just canít justify getting up at 2:00 AM to save a few dollars.† It isnít that I donít NEED to save the dollars, I am just more of a ìCyber Mondayî kinda girl.† People are crazy on Black Friday.† Did you see the news??† Shootings and pepper spray and tazers.† Good grief.


My favorite thing this week wasÖ

Lying in bed, under my electric blanket, reading ìYou Belong to Meî on the Kindle app listening to Kei and Livvy play in her room.

Kei and Liv

Questions/thoughts I haveÖ

Does anyone know of a really good King Arthur unit study?† It isnít really covered in SOTW and Kei LOVES that story.† I have searched but canít find exactly what I am looking for.

Iím readingÖ

*See ìMy favorite thing this weekî

Iím cookingÖ

Lots of leftovers, aren’t YOU? :)

Iím grateful forÖ

The fact that we are both healthy.† You just never know when something is going to blindside you.† One minute your world is spinning happily and the next it spins off its axis. †We have to all appreciate the little moments.†

Iím praying forÖ

The Campbells

A photo, video, link, or quote to shareÖ

Ericaís latest Facebook post:

I Love watching my sweet girls quietly playing together when they think i am not looking .. It is so nice to have a break from the hospital for a couple of days..we read a book last night to HG about siblings with cancer and how itís ok to be sad.. she was sad &confused and said mommy” I am the oldest why didnt God pick me.”.. Wow what do u say to that .. so after we prayed about it i told her God has made all of us unique in his own eyes and sometimes we go through things hard because God knows we are strong enough to handle it.. now as I am saying this its hard to hold back the tears or really even talk about it because as their Mommy I just want to protect them and when they hurt i hurt.. but I have also realized through my sadness i see their smiles and I never want to miss a moment of “joy” I donít want to spend one moment not appreciating what God has entrusted me with my beautiful sweet girls..So today we are going to turn on the Christmas music , put up all 5 Christmas trees, dance & be silly and just enjoy each precious moment!! So today I pray you all will do the same.. Please continue to lift us up in prayer as we are starting to see the effects chemo has on our sweet girl. and please keep HG in your prayers so she will know just how much she is loved! thank you all for loving us so much and continuing to follow our journey .
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34

So next week it is December!!† Already.† I am looking forward to smiles and laughter and family time.† Time spent with my girl and my dog, favorite movies to watch, favorite foods to cook and lots of moments.† It is all about the moments.

Homeschooling Rocks!


When you finally allow yourself to trust joy and embrace it,
you will find you dance with everything.††
– Emanuel

Parties, Space Camp, Pierced Ears and BREAKING DAWN!

The Homeschool Mother's Journal
In my life this weekÖ Birthday parties, more birthday parties, last day of Space Camp, amazing life group with such wonderful God women, friends, BREAKING DAWN!

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to shareÖchillax.† That is my best advice.† Stress gets you nowhere fast.† Life is a journeyÖhomeschooling is a journey.† In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson [and Aerosmith] ìLife is a journey, not a destination.î

I am inspired byÖ my child.† Who makes me happy, makes me smile more, teaches me something every day and loves life in a way I wish everyone could.

My Girl

Places weíre going and people weíre seeingÖfriends and friends and friends.† What would we do without them?

My favorite thing this week wasÖ sorry, canít pick just one.† Too many wonderful things this week.† Highlights were Makalaís great Art Party [More on that later!], Jakeís 16th !!!! birthday party and Breaking Dawn with Gina, Britney and Cody.† Midnight showing yaíll.† Our kids were the youngest ones there.† Bad homeschool Moms!† It really was so well done.† I had no problem letting Kei watch it.† I love that Bella was a virgin when she married Edward.

Homeschool Kids
Still Can 'Do' Silly...
Mothers and Daughters

Kei’s Favorite Thing This Week…..PIERCED ears!† Kei had her ears pierced when she was younger but the earring split her ear and fell out in my hand while I was brushing her hair.† I freaked!† I have made her wait until 1.† the ear split closed up and 2.† she wasn’t allergic to metal any longer.†† That happened so off we went.

Preparing Herself

Whatís working for usÖPet Shop Business Math.† Loving it! LOVING IT!† Kei does it at night she likes it so much.† I have meant to buy this for over a year and finally did.† I think it teaches such great skills.

Questions/thoughts I haveÖAs Kei gets older, I worry that I wonít be able to fulfill all her needs.† I know that a lot of you out there have similar doubts and I hope that by sharing information between us all, we will muddle through.

Things Iím working onÖ After making “THE LIST” actually ACCOMPLISHING all some at least one things on it!

Iím cookingÖ chicken and wild rice in the crock pot.† I just love throwing things in a crock pot.† There is a sense of accomplishment to have dinner ready at 10:00 am!† Anyone have any amazing recipes?

Iím grateful forÖthat I had the money to send Kei to Space and Rocket Aviation Camp.† Her last class was Thursday and she was very nervous about riding the G Force Accelerator and the Space Shot.† She did them both easy peasy.† She was nervous because she gets car sick and was afraid she would get sick on the rides.† She didn’t.

These are NOT my pictures.† They wouldn’t let the Mom’s come and watch.† AS IF!

G Force and Space Shot

Iím praying forÖ Ava Campbell.† Her parents, Erica and Mike go to our church.† Erica is the kind of person that lights up a room.† She emits love and smiles and has such a huge heart.† Kei and I are both madly in love with her and her beautiful girls.† She has a 2nd grader Hannah Grace and the most beautiful baby Ava who will be 2 next month.† Thursday their lives were forever changed when Ava was diagnosed with leukemia.† Please pray if you pray for this child and this family.† Here is Erica and her sweet Ava.

Erica and Ava

A photo, video, link, or quote to shareÖ If you would like to follow along on Avaís progress here is her facebook page.† I have a feeling that this story may change your life.

Hope this week brings you love and joy and thankfulness.† I can’t wait to read about all of ya’lls Thanksgivings!† Enjoy each other, love each other, HUG each other.

Homeschooling Rocks!


We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.
Virginia Satir

I will not play at tug o’ war.
I’d rather play at hug o’ war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.
Shel Silverstein


Grandma Springs…

Growing up I don’t remember a time I didn’t know about Grandma Springs.† It was named after a midwife who lived there in the late 1800’s. † My grandfather spent time there, hunting and fishing.† My father spent time there doing the same.† Our family would go to hike, climb, find interesting insects, sit on bluffs that Indians roamed, had picnics and more.

There are ghost stories abound about Grandma Springs.† Stories of a Confederate soldier killed there who haunted it for years, stories of a headless baby that roamed around at night.† My grandfather told stories of walking down the dirt road late at night and hearing a carriage traveling very quickly.† He got out of the road and heard it pass, but never saw a thing.

Kei has grown up with stories of Grandma Springs.†† She has always loved ghost stories, a love she shares with my Mother and Mom always told her stories about the springs. † But it is now private property and not easy to get to.† My father had asked the owners if we could go down and walk around and they told him we could.† Sunday morning we all headed out. We were taking sandwiches and I made sausage balls.† It was very warm but so windy.

Pear Tree
Hike begins

This was the first time I had been to Grandma Springs in about 20 years.† It was familiar but different.† I am different changed since the last time I was there.† I spent some of the time thinking back to the Karen I was, and the Karen I have become.† I spent a lot of time wishing my Mother was with us.† She loved this place so much.† She would have loved to walk along with Kei and I and tell us stories.†

We saw an Indian sign tree.† These are young trees that were bent in some unnatural position without being broken, and were fastened securely.† After doing this it would continue to grow, forever after maintaining the bent position.† With this as a means, it was possible to deform the trees deliberately so that they could easily be distinguished from the other trees in the forest.

Indian Sign Tree

There developed a custom of marking trails through the forests by bending saplings and securing them in such positions that their directions of bend indicated the directions of the routes to be followed.† A line of similarly bent trees thus established a continuous uninterrupted route of travel which could readily be followed.† We have found many arrowheads up in the bluffs in the past.


We ended up hiking about 6 miles.† These were hard miles not easy miles, uneven ground, bushes and grasses and uphill in places.† When we arrived at the bluffs Daddy and Marlene decided to hang around that area and Eddie wanted to take us up Range Mountain.

My Family -Most of them

†We found a tree frog and a hummingbird nest and so many other cool things.

Tree Frog
Beautiful Hummingbird Nest

Range Mountain is about 500 feet up and it was NOT easy going.† Very steep and underbrush everywhere.† The fall leaves made it so slippery.† Seth had to keep hacking away so we could get through.† I almost stopped about 3/4 the way up but I finally decided to keep going.†

On the way up we saw one of the trees my Daddy had carved “Jean and Bull” on.† [My Daddy’s nickname and my Mom]† It made me a little teary eyed.

Mom and Dad

When we finally huffed and puffed ourselves up to the top, it was beautiful.† There was a little cave that Eddie had played in when he was younger.† Rocks that he carried to make the walls that were still there.

Against the Bluff Wall
Me and Kei
Relaxing in the Sun

Going back down was a little easier but much more slippery!† I used my butt to just slide down some of the way.† Which was fine until I hit a rock.† OUCHIE.† We met back up with Daddy and Marlene, ate some lunch and headed back out.† We were all pretty tired on the way out. Kei got a ride from Seth.

Kei got a Ride from Seth

When we got back to our house, my Daddy called and he had LOST HIS CELL PHONE up there.† Kei and I had to go to church but Eddie and the kids went back and found it!† I couldn’t believe it.

But it was a great day.† Family and memories both old and new.† Mother would have just loved it.

Homeschooling Rocks!



A happy childhood can’t be cured.† Mine’ll hang around my neck like a rainbow, that’s all, instead of a noose.† ~Hortense Calisher, Queenie, 1971


Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.† ~From the television show The Wonder Years

A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.† ~Edward de Bono


Homeschool Mother’s Journal… 11.11.11


The Homeschool Mother's Journal


Happy 11.11.11 This is such a cool day.† Kei and I started off talking about how unique it is.† Hope yours is amazing!
In my life this weekÖcalmer, slower, less frantic.† Our new schedule is amazing.† We are both so much happier without a huge amount of check lists to get through each day.† We are exploring things in greater detail.† I have wanted to do this basically ëone subject a dayí for years.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to shareÖfound so many wonderful sites.† How did people do this before the internet?† The resources are incredible.† A few of our new favs: Many simulations with free lesson plans to go along with them.† We did one Wednesday on Physics and we both loved it. Great science resources.† You do have to register but it is completely FREE!

I am inspired byÖJessica at Teachable Moments.† Thank you Jess for talking me through our new schedule.

What made me smile… While searching for a video to show the difference between potential and kinetic energy I found this.† What better example than that crazy Wile E. Coyote and RoadRunner!!

Places weíre going and people weíre seeingÖWe mainly hung out at home this week.† Kei did go to her Space and Rocket class and learned to build a fire and construct shelter from a parachute. Because of course every one carries one of those suckers around!

My favorite thing this week wasÖCurling up on the couch and Kei and I taking turns reading aloud from ìKing Arthur and the Knights of the Round Tableî. Also we are watching ìMerlinî on Netflix streaming and loving it.

Questions/thoughts I haveÖ why is bullying acceptable behavior?† Who make that something that just happens.† Feeling blessed that Kei doesn’t HAVE to live with these kinds of people and can walk away from anyone who doesnít treat her with respect.

Things Iím working onÖbeing fine with Kei not wanted to jump out of bed and start ëworkí.† It is ok to do other things first Mom! Really it is.

We are readingÖ

I am reading ìLove Walked Inî by Marisa de los Santos [thank you Theresa] and really enjoying it.

We are reading ìKing Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtableî together.†

Kei is reading ìCelia and the Fairiesî

We are both reading poetry to each other.† Rereading Shel Silverstein ìWhere the Sidewalk Endsî.

Iím cookingÖchili and chicken tortillas and baked chicken and homemade bread!

Iím grateful forÖmy silly dog, who taught me it is possible to love a furry canine who chews up everything in sight, licks my mouth and nose, whines if he isn’t petted, gets dog hair EVERYWHERE, breathes his stinky breath all over me and is the highest maintenance thing in our house!

†What’s working for us...We have cut out TV by 80%.† Let me clarify….we still watch shows and movies but not regular TV.† We are watching things that we feel enrich our lives instead of waste time.† We are also sitting on the couch together talking, knitting, reading, doing crosswords, etc at night instead of just mindlessly watching television.† So far neither one of us have gone insane. 😉

Iím thankful forÖa job that is steady enough to splurge on beautiful yarn for my girl and not have to worry about it.

A photo, video, link, or quote to shareÖ Kei took this picture of herself with her iPhone and I loved the way it turned out.

Homeschooling Rocks!


“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.“† ~Hans Hofmann

Scheduling, Art Cards, Knitting and BFF News…

In our homeschool this weekÖ we shook it all up.† I was tired of doing lesson plans that never got completed because fun stuff came along or we wanted to spend an extra hour on Science.† So I called Jessica and chatted to her about it and after going to her post at Three Thinking Moms, I pretty much borrowed her schedule.† Of course I changed a few things, but I am doing ONE subject a day except for Math, journaling and reading which we do 4 days a week.† So far we are loving it.† We can spend hours on History instead of freaking out because we have 3 more subjects to do. †

New Weekly

The weather has been cool and crisp and autumny which we have loved.† Kei worked on Art Cards and had so much fun doing them.† She used magazines to make hers but you can use ANY medium; chalk, pencil, markers, paint, feathers, anything.† We were doing a Swap† Day at Skate Day and she made about 11 of them.† Fun fun.† If you aren’t familiar with Art Cards, google it.† Resources GALORE!

Working on Art Cards
"The Eyes Have It"

She woke up really early Tuesday morning and started reading a knitting book that Ami had sent her over a year ago.† She then told me “I can KNIT”.† Now she finger knits and crochets her little heart out but she couldn’t knit.† Now she can!† She knitted for about 10 hours straight.† She would knit, take it all out, start something else and rinse and repeat.† She said she was just ‘learning’.† Argh this is why I don’t knit.† I like FAST projects.† We also rented a DVD that Susan told us about called†No-Rules Knitting at the Teen Knit Cafe.† We loved watching it and Kei got some great ideas.† Thanks Susan!† I just love the give and take of Homeschool Moms.† I have learned so much from my blog friends!


Friday was Skate Day and Kei took all her Knit Wits Kreations that she had been working on all month.† She had orders for 5 scarves, hair extensions and bows.† I am just so proud of her.† She loves making the price tags and order sheets and arranging them just so in her basket.

Getting Ready
Skate Day

Saturday Liv spent the night with us and they stayed up until 3:30 AM!† Laura if you read this, it was NOT my fault. ;)† We also found out the best news.† Liv is going to be homeschooled again!† Kei and I are both so excited we were giddy.† Kei and Liv spend so much time together in the summer but when school starts Liv is at school all day, then doing homework and they don’t get to see each other.† Laura and I are already making plans Lucy!

Dress Up Angel Style

Kei had her 4th Aviation class last Thursday.† It was pouring down rain so they didn’t get to do the Surviving in the Wilderness class.† She is just loving those classes so much.† I hope they will do more.

So another great week in Bama.†

Hope your weeks are lovely and filled with beauty and learning and laughter.† Isn’t homeschooling the best?

Homeschooling Rocks!


“…knitters just can’t watch TV without doing something else. Knitters just can’t wait in line, knitters just can’t sit waiting at the doctor’s office. Knitters need knitting to add a layer of interest in other, less constructive ways.î† ~Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Bonfires, Boos and Kats…..

What a positively Halloweeny few days. We love Halloween around here. Now, living in the same house I grew up in, it holds so many memories that I can share with Kei.† We love to decorate inside and outside.

Ahhh Halloween

We went to my brother’s house Saturday night for a bonfire.†† Kei and I brought acorn snacks we got from Phyllis’s site.† While Kei was making them Nomad was waiting to clean up the messes!† Yes he has an apron on.† What??† Don’t your pets wear aprons while cooking?

Nomad with his apron

We had such a good time. †We toasted and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.† He had a dry ice cauldron bubbling and the makings for S’mores! It was really chilly outside so the fire felt great!


Eddie had bought pumpkins for Kei and Katherine to carve.† Seth bailed on us and went to the Auburn game!† Kei was so proud of her Dragon Pumpkin.† While they were carving Eddie, Heather and I watched “Walking Dead”.† We LOVE that series.† It is about zombies. †

About to begin
Dragon Pumpkin

It was a great night with family.

Monday was Halloween and we had so much to do!† We were having our friends over to eat and then go trick or treating, then come back here.† I made Taco Soup, which is something you MUST try if you haven’t.† I used turkey because several of our friends do not eat red meat.† I follow the linked recipe almost exactly except we don’t use olives.† It was so good.† I make it in the crock pot and it cooks all day. †

Then Kei and I got ready for our Halloween adventures.† She was going to be Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games” so I decided to be a cat.† Get it?† Cat and Kat? :)† We had been working on her costume for a few days and thought it turned out really well.† We spray painted the bow silver, made a quiver out of leather and made a pouch for her belt and even put berries in it.† [For those of you who have read the book]† She wore a black one piece suit, a black sweater we bought at a thrift shop and cut the sleeves out of, a brown leather belt with fringe and brown boots.† She had leather wrapped all over her wrists and her hair in a side braid and wrapped with leather.† We put dark eyeshadow on her face for bruises and ‘blood’ by her ear for her injury in the arena.† She looked so cool!

Katniss Everdeen
Katniss ready for the games
I love this picture
Homemade Quiver
Ready, Set, FIRE!

And the Mommy CAT

Mommy Cat

We had the house semi cleaned, candles lit everywhere, pumpkin smells wafting all around the house.† The Taco Soup was in the pot, Kei had made cookies, chips, sour cream, cheese and drinks were ready to go.† And of course Nomad was dressed in his Halloween finery.

Darth Vader Doggie

We had such a blast.† There was laughter and food and talking and kids everywhere.† Then we all went trick or treating and there were HUGE numbers of people out.† They even had the police and a firetruck to make sure everything went smoothly.† We take our Halloween seriously here!

Loved this house

Photo by Esther Crawford because my picture of the kids was horrible!

The kids

After loading up with candy and fun, we headed back over here where more food was consumed.† Trick or Treating is hungry work!† The kids all did their annual ‘candy trading’.† I think they like this part more than the collecting.

Candy Trading

It was a great night.† And here it is November 1st!† I can’t wait to see what amazing things await us this month.

Hope everyone’s October was as lovely as ours.

Homeschooling Rocks!


Nothing on Earth so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night.† ~Steve Almond

I don’t know that there are real ghosts and goblins, but there are always more trick-or-treaters than neighborhood kids.† ~Robert Brault



Search, Rescue and Renaissance….

I was about to type my first sentence and stopped.† Seems like each time I post I start out, ‘We had the best week!”. † I started thinking…is every week really that great?† And you know, for the most part they are.† Of course we have our bad days, days I want to drag Kei by her cute little head back to public school, days that my job demands time and I am trying to teach Physics and the dog is barking in my ear and the clothes are piled up to the sky and the house is covered with dog hair and I am overwhelmed.† Days that Kei hates Math and “Why do I have to read” and complains and her room is a disaster zone.

But this is not the norm.† Most weeks ARE great.† They are ‘our’ definition of great, which may not be everyone’s.

Kei working on Teaching Textboooks

We learned a lot this past week, history and physics and grammar and more.† We are reading “Devotions for the God Girl” together and loving it.† We are also getting to preview an exciting new product that I will write more about later.†

Kei has been very busy.† Not ‘Show Week’ busy but busy.† She has been knitting a lot.† On Friday we had to go get the oil changed.† While we were there they discovered I had a V Belt [?] that was about to break.† So we ended up being there 2 hours.† We met the coolest lady who sat there and taught Kei a crochet stitch she didn’t know.† She will now know how to make hats.† Kei didn’t have† her yarn with her so she isn’t sure about a couple of steps but Misty said to call her and she would meet us somewhere and she would show Kei.

Kei has also been making clothes for her Monster High Dolls.† She LOVES these dolls.† They are totally cool.† She started a blog called The Real Life of Monster High and she has been developing stories and taking pictures to add to it.† She has spent tons of time on there.

Monster High Photo Shoot

Thursday she had her Space and Rocket Class.† The one thing I hate about it is that I can’t take pictures!!!† This week was called “Search and Rescue”.†† Kei dictated to me what happened:

They got them in a room and told them all the positions; Lead pointer, second pointer, first in call, and first in call 2.† They you have a SWAT team of Alpha Swat, DC who are the Danger Crossing people, BS which is Beta Swat and the back position.† They voted and picked Kei for the Lead Pointer which is like the leader.† Then they practiced signals, danger crossing, dropping down quickly on the ground, duck and cover and more.† Then they were told their mission.

They had a bomb and about 2 miles away there was an enemy plane with their secret documents.† They had to destroy the plane along with the documents.† They had to avoid the gate people and cars coming down the road.† They could not be seen or heard from any staff members.† They accomplished this by sending hand signals to the SWAT teams and coordinating their moves.† When they got to the plane they dropped the bomb on the wing and ran away as fast as they could.†

While she was doing all of that I went with some friends to a model shop and then watched the son race a Bandit model car around a dirt track.† It was pretty cool too!† When I picked her up she was excited, jabbering like crazy and had GRASS stains on her new jeans. Next week is rope training.

On Saturday we went to Florence to the Renaissance Faire.† This is one of our favorite festivals!† I would love to take a year and just travel around from faire to faire.† We had so much fun!† We met some friends there and walked around.† It was a beautiful day for it!

The King and Queen
Kei took this picture of the King's boot. Isn't this amazing?
Pink Fairy
Kei found a Ferret! These are cute little things.
A Dog Jester! We loved it.
This is what I wanted. I LOVED these goggles. They remind me of goggles in World of Warcraft!
She ended up buying one of these. Aren't they lovely?

One of the funniest things was a Jack Sparrow impersonator.† Now anyone who knows Kei knows that Johnny Depp is† her future husband.† Girls were following him around, giggling and acting silly.† I told her I wanted a picture, she rolled her eyes, muttered ‘imposter’ under her breath and stood beside him.†

Kei and the "Imposter"

It was a wonderful day.† Kei ended up getting a crown, a bow and arrow [for her Halloween costume which has changed AGAIN] and a jingle belt.

Kei and her goodies

On the way home we passed so many cotton fields.† We decided to stop and take pictures because, while cotton fields are very common to us, we thought some people may not have seen one before.

Alabama Cotton Girls

We also finished “Catching Fire” on the way home and are about to start the final book, ‘Mockingjay‘. † We have LOVED these books so much.† The movie comes out in March and we are looking forward to that too. Seriously we have enjoyed these books as much as anything in a long time.† We work “Hunger Games” conversation into every day life. :)

Another great week and here is it Monday.† What happened to October???

Homeschooling Rocks!


ìHappy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!î ~Effie Trinket

ìHereís some advice. Stay alive.î ~Haymitch Abernathy

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