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Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving today!  
I'm looking forward to a lovely day with my family.   We'll be busy eating too much, talking too loud, and  just enjoying being together.  
Here's what's on our menu for the day:

Recent posts

Feeling Thankful

So it's already November!  I absolutely cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by.  
And it's not just an adult thing--my kiddos keep saying the same thing.  It makes me a little sad that they feel the years speeding up already.  I think it took me a little longer as a child for that to sink in.  


No doubt it's a sign of the busy lives we lead.  I sometimes long for quiet days with no appointments or obligations.  Days where our time is truly our own and we can take our time doing whatever we want.  Reading books, baking cookies, taking walks....
As homeschoolers, we do have much more control over our time.  But it's almost impossible to not be caught up somehow in the busyness of life in 2016.  It's a fast-paced world we live in here in the United States.


Which is perhaps why I feel a deep longing to savor this Thanksgiving season a little bit more this year.  It just seems that focusing on the gifts in my life is more important than ever.  With so much di…

A Teen's Guide to the 5 Love Languages: a review & a giveaway!

Anyone else have a newly-turned teenager in their homes?  Our daughter just turned 13 back in March and we are entering new territory.

Not bad territory, mind you.  Just new and different.  I keep having to remind myself that it's time to begin allowing more freedoms and giving more responsibilities.

We are also in the throes of much angst.  Brought on by a million hormones, I'm sure.  In all of that, I am constantly reminding myself to speak my daughter's love language.

I am a big fan of Gary Chapman's books The Five Love Languages and The Five Love Languages of Children.  They are chock-full of so much wisdom!  I even keep a little poster on my fridge of how to practically live out the love languages with your family.  

This new book, co-authored by Gary Chapman and Paige Haley Drygas, is A Teen's Guide to the 5 Love Languages.  I love the subtitle: How to Understand Yourself and Improve All Your Relationships.

I wish I could have read this book when I was a t…

One Way I Refresh During the Summer as a Homeschool Mom

As our homeschool takes some time off this summer, my mind almost never stops thinking of and planning ahead for the upcoming school year.  This is probably because I'm Type A and an obsessive planner...lol
Whatever the reason, I do enjoy this season of planning.  
But I also need to be refreshed as a homeschool mom.  Homeschooling can be incredibly exhausting and all-consuming.  It's not easy and it's a lot of responsibility.  And I take that very seriously when I am researching curriculum and planning toward the next school year.  So also taking some time to rejuvenate and refocus myself is very important.  
How do I do this?  
Each summer I take some time to read something inspiring and motivating that speaks to me as a homeschool mom.  Some of my fave reads from past years--that I have nearby on my shelf and refer to often--are Educating the Wholehearted Child, The Well-Trained Mind, The Charlotte Mason Companion, A Thomas Jefferson Education, andDumbing Us Down.

This…

Summer Reading--it's the BEST!

Well, summer is in full swing around here.



School work is completed for 5th and 7th grades, VBS prep has more-than-commenced, vacation anticipation is growing, and there is LOTS of reading happening.

This is our 3rd summer to do our own family reading program.  Yes, we do partake a little in library programs and even some store-sponsored ones, but my kids' favorite (and biggest reading motivator) is the one I put together using internet resources.

You can read all about the basic programhere.  This is still the main plan that we follow--hey, it works!



However, this summer, in an effort to help my kids choose more different types of books (thus not spending the entire summer on one single series--not that it's a terrible thing, just trying to add variety) I have also incorporated this reading 'map' found here.  We aren't using this entire program, just the map which has all different genres and types of books suggested.

I like to shake things up :)

And so far, …

Planning, Sorting, Purging, Organizing

It's summertime!  And for our family that means a break from schooling for the kids and lots of planning for the next year for me.
Of course, for me, that is something of a domino effect.  Planning means sorting curriculum and books that I already have.  Then I have to purge books we no longer need or want to keep.  And finally comes the organizing of what's being kept (which is always too much).  

So that's what I've been working on for the past few days.  Cleaning off shelves, making piles of books to sell, piles of books and resources to give away, and since I've put this off for so long ...a piles of my kiddos' used-up books that I need to take samples from for their portfolios then dispose of the rest.  
So a lot of piles.  

I am trying to be a bit more ruthless this year with the purging.  I have such a tendency to collect lots of great resources, only to put them on a shelf and forget about them all together.  And that helps no one, right?  I've alre…

Expect the Unexpected

This past weekend we were in Fort Smith, Arkansas--the city where I was born and where our children were born.  Even though we no longer live there we have lots and lots of extended family and friends in the area and were in town for a couple of family reunions.  

While there we just had to check out the latest project that Fort Smith is doing as part of the revitalization of the downtown riverfront area: The Unexpected Project.  This project is a celebration of street art and they have placed it beautifully all over the downtown area.  

My sister, my daughter, and I had fun on our scavenger hunt of sorts looking for all of these amazing murals!  They are just so beautiful and creative!  




The Fort is such an interesting area anyway.  It was the border to Indian Territory before Oklahoma became a state in 1907--so not that long ago really.  And it was one wild west town back then!  If you've seen any version of the movie True Grit ...well, that story takes place in Fort Smith and b…