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Welcome back to Journey to Excellence. Tap .. tap .. tap ... Is this thing on?? I hopped over to Taulman Times for a bit, but it just didn't feel right, so I am back here to, hopefully, resume regular postings.

I hate it when people say that, when people do that. Because, usually, I know they are only going to last a week or two and they'll stop blogging again. Let's face it: Instagram, Snapchat, and other easy forms of Social Media have taken the place of the time-consuming Blog. And I might end up being one of those bloggers that annoyingly come back for a gung ho two weeks to just fade out again. But, I hope not.

What's been going on? Whew! It's been nuts around these parts!

We are still in the midst of our renovation, but starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I am desperately hoping that in the next couple of weeks I will be able to use my upstairs bathroom. Once that is completed then we just have some finish work to do. The final project will b…
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Life Lately

Well, it's almost the end of 2017. And to sum up this year I would have to use the word Chaos. Our lives have been flipped upside down in so many ways, some good and some bad, with TONS of changes. Quite honestly, I'm just ready for this year to be OVER!

Instead of dwelling on the past, I am going to look forward to the future.

I have sure missed blogging. I mean, I have missed the old blogging of days gone by where I spilled my guts on a daily basis, shared EVERYTHING our family was doing, made some people laugh, pissed off some people, and really just bared it all.

Our Journey to Excellence blog has seemed to have run its course. The only student I have at home now is Eli and his days are so orderly and ordinary that we really don't have much to share there. My definition of Excellence has changed so much that, really, I am much more concerned with our family just living and being who we are than trying to live up to some subjective definition of Excellence. I don't…

Journey Journal ~ The Past Two Weeks

Our life right now is all home renovation with homeschooling on the side.

Let's start with the homeschooling. It's going so great! Every single day I tell Eli how proud I am of him and what he is accomplishing in his schooling. He is left on his own the majority of the time with a couple of hours of me in the afternoons with a one year old hanging on my leg. He is ROCKING school! I leave him a list of about four things to accomplish while I am at work in the mornings, and when I get home those things are done and done well! Pre-algebra, grammar, writing, reading. Check, check, check, check. When I ask him how things went he is smiling! He is smiling because he is feeling such a sense of pride in accomplishing hard things.

The last two weeks we have not touched geology just because I have, frankly, been too busy to plan out enriching lessons. Plus I am interested in it, as well, so I want to have the time to learn alongside him. Geography/cartography is a little easier for him…

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Have you ever spent time on a farm? Tell us a little about it. Have you ever grown your own pumpkin? Been on a hayride? Driven a tractor? Milked a cow? I live in Small Town, Missouri, so I have been on several farms. I tried to grow pumpkins one year and ended up with one tiny one. I've been on multiple hayrides over the years. I have driven a tractor to help pick up hay. And I used to go with my high school boyfriend to a dairy farm while he milked cows on Sunday mornings. I didn't actually milk them, but I watched him do it.

What's something 'younger you' would like about you now? The younger me didn't understand what it meant to be an introvert. She spent her whole time trying to fit in with a bunch of extroverts because she wanted to be part of the "in" crowd. But she was always miserable. She looks at me now and says, "Ah, so that's what was 'wrong' with me. I didn't know that to be truly happy I needed to be exactly who I w…

The Things I Do for Me

It's 4:51 a.m. and I'm sitting on the couch with a blanket and my doggies having a cup of tea, and decided this might be a good time to share some of he things I do for myself each day. I have had a couple people ask what types of things I do to help myself be healthy, mostly in regard to exercise, but then I realized that exercise is only a small part of it. There are so many small habits I have developed over the years that work with exercise to help keep me on the path to healthy.

Several years ago I had this mantra in my head to "just do a little more" and the idea was to try to do just a little better all the time, nothing drastic. I know so many wake up on a specific day with this list of insurmountable new daily tasks to change their lives, and most of those days land on January 1. And then failure happens by January 15th and another year feels wasted.

As I think about all of my daily routines and habits I realize that these are mostly things I sprinkled in h…

Wednesday Hodgepodge

What pets did you have growing up? Tell us a little something about them. We had various dogs, a couple of cats, a bunny for a night, and a pig for a night. Our longest running pets were Squeaky, my dog who hated everybody but me and hid under the couch all the time and snapped at everyone; Frisky, my brother's sheltie mix who was such a love; Cassie, the stray cat we fed behind my parents' back and then kept; and then her kitten, Battle Cat (named after HeMan that my brother LOVED). Battle Cat was such a big baby and still nursed to go to sleep off his mama when he was a grown cat. Cassie disappeared one day and Battle Cat was so distraught we had to give him away.

What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today? You know, this is the first day in many, many days where I don't have ANYTHING I must accomplish! So if I had to choose something, I guess I would say getting some one-on-one schoolwork done with Eli. He's been doing an abundance of independent work w…

Journey Journal ~ Banned Books Week Kickoff

I feel like I say the same thing every week ... life is CRAZY! I truly feel like we are just making it through each day. Thankfully, when I look back at our planner I realize that Eli has managed to get the majority of his schoolwork completed despite our wacky schedule. I am incredibly proud of how he has managed his work with the chaos.

There were no photos taken this week. Most of Eli's work was standard stuff .. math, grammar, reading, writing, drawing maps, watching geology videos, etc.

But, on Friday evening my library hosted a Banned Books Party to kick off Banned Books Week that begins today and runs through September 30th.

We discussed the history of banning books, including burnings and imprisonment, and current challenges and bans. We took some fun photos, had themed snacks, played Banned Book Bingo, and made posters to hang in our schools and community businesses. Eli and Brynne attended, and we had a good time. We are hoping that our party, posters, and wearing stick…