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Showing posts from 2017

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

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

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 exact

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 i

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 indep

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

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Tuesday night and I'm preparing my Wednesday Hodgepodge answers. I really should be going to bed because I am, seriously, so tired I could cry. But, I just feel like I need some quiet time, some reflecting time, some time to do something I want to do instead of something I have to do. So let's dig into this week's questions ... What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why. Why this immediately came to my mind I will never know, but instantly I thought of the Monster Cookie from Cheddar's. You order it with your meal because it is made fresh and takes time. A large chocolate chip cookie is baked in a small cast iron skillet and then topped with ice cream, hot fudge, whipped topping ... you get the point. Heaven. Pure Heaven. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so? Any job where I had to be calling people on the phone. I was just thinking about this tonight. Kyndal just got a job as an administrative assistant and

Our Schedule

This year we have found ourselves with a completely new schedule. This has proven to be a real adjustment for us. Having one child re-enter public school for the first time in 8 years, having me start a part-time job, and having Bennett here every afternoon has shaken us up a bit. But, we are starting to get into a groove and hope to actually get it more perfected soon, especially after our home renovations are complete. So far, this is how things look for us: 4:30 a.m. Mom is up and dressed for a cup of coffee. 5:15 a.m. On Tuesdays and Thursdays Brynne gets up to get ready for 6 a.m. volleyball practice and Mom goes to work out at her Insanity class. (Brynne gets a ride from a friend on these days). 5:30 a.m. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays Brynne gets up to get ready for 6 a.m. volleyball practice. 5:45 a.m. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays Mom takes Brynne to practice. 6:00 a.m. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays Mom runs. 6:30 a.m. Mom is home for some coffe

Journey Journal ~ Sick

It stinks because I have really intended to get back into a more regular schedule of blogging, one where I blog about the weekend on Monday, do Wednesday Hodgepodge, blog about a family event on Thursday, and then do our Journey Journal on Friday or Saturday. But, life! Yikes! Adding in a part-time job, a child attending an actual school building and playing sports, and a home renovation has completely zapped me of all extra time! I already get up at 5:00 a.m. but have found that I hit the floor running and don't stop until I collapse into bed at night. I'm considering getting up at 4:00 a.m. from now on just so I can regain some of that white space I have lost. This week we added Bennett back into our mix now that Kyndal has started her new job. I pick him up from my mom's as soon as I get off work at 1:00 p.m. and take him home with me for the afternoon until his mama or daddy gets off to pick him up. It's made it a little more difficult for Eli and I to get some s

Journey Journal ~ A FAIRly good week!

For the past two weekends we have enjoyed some local fall festivals. Our town's Septemberfest was last weekend and the Fall Festival in the town where Kyndal and Collin graduated from high school was this weekend. We attended baby contests, wee queen contests, carnivals, 5Ks, wine strolls, and more. We have had a lot of fun, but we are certainly worn out! In between the fairs we had schoolwork to do. Map tracing ... awesome! We still love our read alouds. Right now it's The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet . Also reading aloud out of Brighty of the Grand Canyon . Eli learned to use a protractor and compass this week. He did great and especially loved making perfect circles. Measuring angles was a brand new skill. Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks using Starbursts. #photobomb Our egg shell geodes turned out pretty nice. The table salt produced the best crystals. I am very proud of Eli with his schoolwork so far this year. I am gone in the

Journey Journal ~ We Rocked It

I hope everyone had a great week! We really did. Do I dare say that I think we might be getting a small handle on our new schedule? Things went much more smoothly this week and felt a whole lot less scattered. In geology this week Eli concentrated on the three types of rocks: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. We read all about them in our Geology text, and then he watched All About Rocks and Minerals , Bill Nye: Rocks and Minerals , and four episodes of Geology Kitchen . We attend a small country Methodist church. The elderly ladies there all know that Eli has a love of geology so they bring him samples from their properties pretty regularly. Ms. Lois has taken a special interest in Eli. She brought him three rocks a couple of weeks ago that looked like they could be geodes. He wanted to keep one intact, but we studied all of them and then broke two open. There weren't any beautiful crystals, but one did have a sandy core. It was interesting! We decided to make


August was ridiculously busy! Annual week at the lake with Okie friends. It's a highlight of our summer! Bennett won Grand Champion Boy in a nearby fair baby contest. Brynne celebrated her 12th birthday. The kids and I took a trip to St. Louis to Mastadon State Historic Site and the Saint Louis Zoo. Bennett turned ONE! I treated my nieces and Bennett to Build-a-Bears for their birthdays. I finally got to start working at our local branch at the library. This was my first display. I'm the morning librarian. I love it! Brynne re-entered public school. Benny had a fun first birthday party! Rick took the kids to St. Louis to witness the Total Path of the Eclipse. We started major renovations on our house, including an attic remodel into a master suite and the ripping off of our roof to put on a new one. Eli started his 8th grade year homeschooling. Brynne ended the month (tonight) with a 102.5 degree fever