New Year, New Goals

Ok, it has been far too long.  Going back to school has kind of thrown me for a loop.  It was rough getting into the swing of things.  Then, when I finally DID get the hang of things I felt like I couldn’t wrap my head around blogging. 

I was way too behind to try and catch up.  Where would I even start? 

But it’s a new year which means a fresh start!  I don’t know why the beginning of a year kind of puts everything into perspective.  All of the sudden things seem doable again.  Make it a goal or a resolution and VOILA!  You’re back in business!

After a quick glance back at my blog I’ve realized that it has become something that I never really intended it to become.  It started as a place to write my feelings, my concerns, my happiness, my family happenings, my thoughts, a place to act as a journal, recipes that I love, and our homeschooling adventures.  It has slowly evolved into something else.  Not a bad something else but certainly not what I want. 

And so, resolution #1…


I don’t mind doing a review now and then and even a giveaway but I have neglected so many REAL moments!  I didn’t even document some of my favorite moments of the past couple years.  I’ll never get them back and it makes me sad to think… I have so many C stories documented and little B has come up with so many doozers of his own that I didn’t get written.  He’s just at that age where he’s doing so many crazy, mischievous things (and he is GOOD at it!). 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from going back to school it is this…

There is time for ALL of the fun things I want to do AND time for all the things I need to do also.  The trick is prioritizing. 

Have you ever seen that object lesson with the jar and the large rocks?  If you haven’t let me explain…

Items needed:  a large jar, some large rocks (Marbles will do also), sand, and water.  {Makes a great FHE lesson!}

Put the large rocks/marbles in first to the top of the jar.  Looks full.  Pour the sand in slowly to fill in all the gaps left between rocks to the top.  Now it’s definitely full, right?  Not quite!  Slowly pour water until the jar really is full to the brim. 

The most interesting part to think about is that if you do this in the reverse order it won’t all fit.  If you try to put the rocks in last there’s no way they will all make it in. 

The rocks/marbles represent all the things that are the most important to get done.  For me that includes scripture study, prayer, temple attendance, family time (quality time), school, date night, dates with kids, etc.  The sand represents all the extra things you want to get done.  For me it might be, oh I don’t know… exercising, working on a project of some sort, reading a good book, updating my blog with meaningful content, etc.  Finally, the water represents all the extras.  Maybe it’s facebooking, catching up on other blogs, playing a game, going out to lunch with a friend, watching a favorite TV show, etc. 

Putting the most important things first really does make a difference.  I’ve put this to the test over the last semester of school and have found it to be absolutely true!  Whenever I put the water and sand items first I run out of time for the rocks.  Very few of them get done.  But when I put my rocks first I am able to accomplish so much more! 

Try it for yourself!  Do it prayerfully.  Ask Heavenly Father what your rocks should be. 

Anyway, this blog is a priority for me.  I want this to be a record of my family.  I want it to be worthy of printing into a book someday (for my family).  I want it to be uniquely US! 

I’ve also got several other goals for the year.  It may seem like too much at first glance but I know if I prioritize things it can all happen.  Not perfectly, I’m sure there will be bumps along the way.  Here they are: 

Learn a new skill every month (or improve existing skills)

· January – Knit/Crochet

· February – Sewing

· March – Spanish

· April – Photography

· May – Running

· June –

· July –

· August – Canning

· September –

· October –

· November –

· December –

Make a big deal for birthdays and holidays.

Say ‘Yes’ more often.

Live in the moment.

Do Personal Progress with K. (Finish by October)

Dates with kids.

Temple once/month.

So, anyone got any ideas for the months I have vacancies in? 

Expect a catch up post, and a Christmas/New Year post coming up very soon!  And of course I’ll be updating on the progress of my monthly ‘skills’ as I learn. 



A moment

Have you ever had a moment that made you stop and think?  Today I had that moment. 

Miss K and the boys have clogging on Tuesdays.  We gathered up everyone’s shoes, coats, diapers, treats, Kindle… everything we would need for the 3 1/2 hours we would be gone.  Then we loaded everyone up in Big Delores (the Suburban). 

It had been snowing all day long and wasn’t going to let up any time soon.  I hadn’t wanted to go to dance at all because of the weather but I knew Miss K needed to be there as this is her last class before their first holiday performance set for Friday.  So, I scraped the snow off the car as it ran to get warm and defrost the windows.  Then we were off.

We had just made it out of the neighborhood when I realized how bad the roads were and I suggested to the kids that we should probably say a prayer.  Miss H enthusiastically offered to say it.  She had just finished and asked Heavenly Father to keep us safe as we entered the on ramp of the freeway.  Suddenly, Delores’ big rear end was fishtailing. 

I panicked!  And yet, I was calm… and I did everything WRONG! 

Everything started happening in slow motion.  It’s amazing how much you are able to think about in times of panic! 

Should I hit the brakes?  Do I turn into it or out of it?  What am I going to hit?  How do I stop this car?  Please don’t let us hit anything!  Oh no!  Here comes the air bag! 

I don’t think I said anything out loud but all of these thoughts raced through my mind.  Obviously the answer to braking… NO!  But I did.  I should have turned into it, but I turned out.  What did I hit?  Absolutely nothing! 

And I remember the entire time hearing Miss K screaming.  When we came to a stop in the ravine/shoulder (not sure what to call it) she was still squealing.  It is so unlike me to be cool, calm, and collected in a situation like this but I surprised myself today.  The other kids all seemed to be alright and I just rubbed Kayla’s arm to reassure her that we were ok.  We would be alright.  She was next to me in the front seat, crying.  Normally, I would be too but something kept me strong.  We sat there for a minute collecting ourselves while Little C kept asking why I would do such a thing.  “Why did you do that, Mom?  I don’t like that!  Why did you make us slide into here?  We almost hit the wall!”  It’s true.  We ended up about 4 feet from a brick wall.  He told me, “You shouldn’t do that, Mom.  I’m really freaked out now.”  If you know C you understand why this is funny.  He said it in such a monotone voice.  You just have to know him.  Even K laughed at his effort to sound ‘freaked out’. 

After explaining to him that this was not something I had intended to do, I tried backing out of the ravine.  No luck!  The tires just kept spinning.  K asked what we were going to do now to which I didn’t have a good answer.  I had left my phone home with Miss A.  I couldn’t call the police.  Since we had ended up perpendicular to the on ramp the only thing I could think to do was to have Miss K wave someone down.  I rolled her window down and had her start waving.  But before anyone stopped, someone on my side of car was walking toward us.  He had seen it happen and parked just up past the on ramp to get out of the way.  He made sure that we were all ok and called 911 for us. 

He was our angel today!  Well, one of them.  He was a young Hispanic man with earrings.  Little C wanted to make sure he wasn’t a bad guy.  I assured him that he was there to help.  And he insisted on staying until help arrived.  I felt so bad for him because the snow hadn’t let up at all and it was 29 degrees outside.  All the poor guy had on was a sweatshirt.  But he waited. 

At one point he had me borrow his phone to call Anthony.  Luckily he answered!  He doesn’t usually answer the phone if he doesn’t recognize the phone number.  Anthony really wanted me to try backing out again in 4-high.  I tried but had no luck.  We had been waiting about a half hour at that point. 

Another 15 minutes went by and FINALLY they came… a blaring ambulance and a fire truck.  I should probably have been embarrassed.  They blocked the entire on ramp for this.  One of the firemen (or maybe the EMT?) got into the driver’s seat and after some struggle and 3 other firemen/EMT’s pushing, they freed Big Delores!  MORE ANGELS! 

They didn’t bother with an incident report or anything… just sent us on our merry way (I’m sure they had plenty of other incidents to take care of).  Only now it was Miss H crying.  She was scared when the man was getting us out of the snow because the car went really squirrely again several times. 

We chose not to make the drive to dance even though we could have made it in plenty of time for Miss K’s class.  She was pretty shaken up. 

I never got too emotional about this one and I’m not really sure why.  So not like me!  I cry at everything. 


So, while I didn’t get too shaken up, it still made me really think.  How blessed I was today!  Did our prayer work?  I choose to believe that it did!  Obviously I meant for nothing at all to happen but it could have been so much worse.  The girls attribute the car stopping without hitting the wall to angels.  They believe angels stopped it.  Why not?  I choose to believe they are right. 

How blessed am I in my life, in general?  Wow!  I can’t even begin to count the ways.  But I can say that almost every night I thank my Heavenly Father for two things.  First, I thank him for my family’s safety and my own.  Safety in every sense of the word.  Yes, we get hurt… but in general we have been blessed with safety.  Second, I thank him for our health.  Sure, we get sick but no one has any major medical issues to deal with. 

Not that I’m terribly superstitious but I really hope I didn’t just jinx myself by saying that.  *Knock on wood, right?* 

I just felt inspired by the events of today.  I needed to share my humble testimony of the Lord.  He hears and answers our prayers!  Not always the way we expect but he did send mortal angels to minister to us in our time of need.  They didn’t have wings or halos.  They weren’t even dressed in white but I’m telling you, they will be blessed for their efforts.  I don’t know how and I wish that I could repay them myself. 

This time of year always seems to bring out the good in a lot of people. 



Latter-day Learning

**This is an affiliate post.  I was offered this curriculum to use for free in exchange for an honest review and feedback.  I was not required to give a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  If you decide to purchase this curriculum by clicking on any links within the post, I will be paid a small amount which would be greatly appreciated.**

Coming up with a curriculum for each school year can seem like a daunting task.  There are so many choices for each subject and there are always going to be those that just don’t work for your family, which is a bummer when you spend the money for something you won’t use.  It’s my least favorite part of the year. 

This year we started with a new curriculum called Latter-day Learning (this first link will take you to the main page for Latter-day Learning… no affiliate link).  Before I tell you how much we love it what we think of it, let me tell you a little bit about it.  This is a curriculum designed to be used for ages 4-12 as a group (family) setting.  That is why they refer to it as The Family School!  You can get the printed version or the digital version and print it all out yourself (that’s the way I do it.)
Homeschool Complete Curriculum
It’s a 6 year rotation and I believe they have 2 years available for purchase right now.  Latter-day Learning encompasses ALL subjects except math and language arts.  When I say ‘ALL’ I mean:  history, literature, science, geography, art, and music.  That is amazing!  Also, each lesson is tied to a gospel principle to help them understand it in a way that Heavenly Father would want them to understand it with an eternal perspective. 

Most homeschoolers that I know, including myself, try to have all their kids learning together as much as possible.  It’s not hard to have them all learning the same things in the subjects covered with Latter-day Learning.  The trick is getting each child to learn on their own level while in the group setting and it can be done!  Math and language arts, however, would be difficult.  You can’t teach a 12 year old and a 4-year-old the same language arts or math concepts.  If said 12 year old is learning pre-algebra for instance, the 4-year-old may get left behind.  Unless you have a genius 4-year-old.  In that case… have a ball!  ;)

Now I’m getting anxious to just say this:

We LOVE it! 

When I first started homeschooling I didn’t think I wanted it to be about religion at all.  School was school… secular only.  That was my mindset because that’s what I knew.  My mind quickly changed when I realized I wanted my kids to have spiritual growth as well.  And not only in addition to the secular but the spiritual became MORE important!
Homeschool Complete Curriculum

Since starting school again myself last month I’ve come to realize how much I depend on my spiritual knowledge to gain a clearer understanding of the secular knowledge. 

Age wise, I have to say that my 5 year old is not quite ready for this.  He has a learning style unique to him that I haven’t quite figured out yet.  He’s an interesting case, that C.  So, he will participate in the parts that look and sound fun to him but that happens probably less than 10% of the time.  All of my girls are actively engaged in this curriculum always!  They absolutely adore the lessons and I am so impressed at how much I am learning myself.  The lessons are very thorough and even though they say up to age 12, I find that they are easily adaptable for older kids as well. 

Miss K has been able to choose from several different types of essays to write.  I love that they give examples of each type of essay and a run down of how it would be graded.  K did a Five Senses essay about her dance studio.  That was fun!  In fact, reading over the different types of papers and essays has helped ME in my writing for my own classes. 

I think the favorite overall subject so far has been Literature.  Fairy Tales are up first in Year 1.  Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned fairy tale? 

If you are wondering if this curriculum might be a good fit for your homeschool you can take a gander at their sample lessons. 

There will be follow up posts in the coming weeks and months just to update you on our progress of this curriculum and how we are doing with it. 

This has truly been a blessing to my family.  Everything is laid out for me.  I don’t have to do much prep work at all other than making sure I have everything ready and reading each lesson ahead of time to make sure I understand what is being taught.  I don’t think I can ever go back… this program is everything I have ever wanted for my family and more.  And it is so easy to adapt it for different ages and comprehensions.  My two oldest girls take notes during the lesson while my youngest daughter is just present, listening.  Sometimes she will draw a picture of what is being talked about.  The application activities are geared toward both younger and older children.  I usually assign my oldest the activity for ‘older children’ and my youngest the one for ‘younger children’.  Miss A is stuck somewhere in the middle so I often let her choose whichever one sounds more appealing to her.  About 50% of the time she chooses the older activity. 

So, now that you know how much we love Latter-day Learning, what questions do you have?  Is there anything you want to know?  Anything I didn’t cover? 






12 Years Old {Please consider donating!}

Miss K is 12 today! This year for her birthday she would like to give instead of receive. We have been blessed by so many ‘angels’ in our lives over the years. K recognizes this and would like to take a turn helping others. From now until Thanksgiving she will be collecting new clothes, new toys, and gift certificates (Target, Walmart, or Toys R Us). She will be donating all items to various organizations throughout the Christmas season. (Toys 4 Tots, Angel Tree, needy families, etc.) We will keep you posted about the progress, where the items are going, and what she chooses to buy with gift certificates and such. Please let me know if you would like to donate!

K's Birthday



College! {Part 2}

Back to School

{If you missed Part 1 click HERE}

After doing some research for online degrees and coming up empty, I set aside the thoughts for school. 

Then last Spring I got a call from my Relief Society President.  She had just been told about a new program set up by the church and BYU Idaho.  The program is called Pathway.  She explained what she knew about it at that point which wasn’t much.  She only knew that it was extremely affordable and all online.  {Except for the first year… I’ll explain later.}

Sounded like just what we needed!  But I was surprised that Anthony hadn’t said anything about it.  He is on the high council for our stake.  Surely they would have been informed of this wonderful program.  Maybe it was too good to be true. 

After talking with my RS president I immediately called Anthony at work to ask him if he’d heard about it.  He said yes but didn’t know enough about it to say anything and honestly thought it was another opportunity we would have to pass up because of where we are in life right now.  School just didn’t seem to fit in.  He knew there was going to be a fireside about it coming up and we planned to attend.  It was highly recommended that all members of the high council attend just to learn more about it. 

The fireside took place in June (I think?).  All the logistics were explained; the cost, the program itself, the possibility of transferring after the first year… everything!  By the end of the fireside we both knew that it was exactly what we BOTH wanted to do!  The fireside was held at the Salt Lake Community College Institute Building and it was a full house!  It actually was a 2 day deal.  The first night was for those of us 31 and over.  The second night was for anyone 18-30.  While there I saw my 9th grade seminary teacher who now teaches institute.  That was fun.  I was surprised he remembered me… the OLDer me.  Old, as in age.  It’s been close to 20 years. 


When I knew him he hadn’t had any kids yet.  I learned that he now has five, though one passed away.  **Heidi, if you’re reading this… He told me to tell you hi!**

Anyway, we went home and signed up right away.  Tuition wasn’t due until the first day which wasn’t until September 16th so we had a while to gather up funds.  Unfortunately, when you’re as tight as we are you just don’t have even a dollar to pinch so we had to get an advance at work.  That makes for itty bitty checks the following two pay days ;) .  But, what can ya do?

One of the greatest parts about this program is that you don’t have to have a high school diploma or even a GED.  There are also no tests (SAT’s or ACT’s) required.  You just have to be a member of the church and take the Pathway courses required.  After the Pathway year (3 semesters) is done, you can transfer to another school or continue with BYU-I. 

So, here’s how it works.  For the first year everyone is on the same ‘path’.  We all take the same classes and during the same semesters.  Every Thursday there is a “Gathering”.  This program is available all over the world in various locations but only opened up this year in Utah.  I believe there are two locations.  The one we attend got such a great response (far more than they expected) that they had to put us (ages 31+) in a different location than originally planned.  Both groups were supposed to meet at the same location.  From what I understand, they expected about 80 students TOTAL to sign up for this location but got over 300.  They sent us old folks ;) to a local high school seminary building.  The other Utah location is in Sandy and I don’t know what kind of response they got. 

Once in our respective ‘classes’ overseen by specially appointed Pathway Missionaries (a real calling in the church now) we are taught by a fellow student that leads the class.  Each student is expected to lead at least once over the course of the program. 

I’m extremely nervous about that! 

While most of our school work is done online, the Gatherings are just as important and count toward the final grade.  Missing more than 1 or 2 Gatherings can really affect your grade.  Since we need a B average to pass and integrate into the regular BYU-I online courses. 

Right now, we are taking Book of Mormon 1 Religion class (Institute) and Life Skills.   18-30 have to take Institute at the community college.  31+ take it online.  A whoppin’ 5 credit hours. 


We are total wimps!  I don’t know if I could handle a full time schedule.  I thought this would be so easy.  Anthony and I are both feeling very overwhelmed but in a good way.  We are having so much fun. 

I can’t explain the spirit that has been with us.  We’ve been teased about going to BYU and being closet BYU fans.  If you know us (especially Anthony and the kids) you know that we are huge Utah fans.  But I am telling you, the spirit is with us and we are learning so much spiritually.  BYU-I makes sure to include the spirit in every lesson.  It’s amazing! 

I feel so blessed to be a member of this wonderful church and know the true gospel.  We’ve only been to two Gatherings so far but already I feel a connection to some of the class members.  And even online, we are required to participate in group discussions and get to know each other a bit.  We are having so much fun and can’t wait to see what will come of this. 

It was brought to our attention by the missionary couple that we’ve been assigned to that we are “an elite few” in knowing about and being able to participate in this amazing program.  If you mention the Pathway Program to people, most have no clue what it is.  They’ve never heard of it.  So, we feel extremely blessed to be a part of it.  I hope that it can bless many more lives in the near future. 

And that, my friends, is my ‘pathway’ to college.  It finally feels right!  It finally feels doable!  And now I know that THIS is why it wasn’t right before.  Anthony and I are doing this together and I already feel it bringing us closer in a way. 

And hey, I can now say that I married my college sweetheart!  ;)   We were just married before the college part. 

The best part of this for me is that my kids will see us doing this.  I hope it will serve as an example for them.  Maybe because they watch us on our roads to getting degrees they will want to do the same.  



COLLEGE! {Part 1}

Back to School

Not in a million years would I have ever guessed I would be going back to school.  After graduating from high school I was DONE!  Sure, I took a couple classes at the local community college… Photography and American Sign Language.  I think I took a College Skills class as well.  Nothing too major. 

Then I got married.  You know what comes after marriage… the baby in a baby carriage. 

So I quit. 

And no, I wasn’t sad.  Not the tiniest bit! 

My family was started and we were going to be ok.  I would be the stay at home mom and Anthony would work.  It was planned that way from the beginning. 

Anthony had never been to school either beyond high school.  He went on a mission, got home and got a job, started dating me, we got married, and then he started a couple of classes at the community college as well. 

Just before Miss K was going to turn a year old we moved to South Carolina with my parents.  They were moving there for my dad’s job and we didn’t have anything tying us down here in Utah so we went.  It probably wouldn’t have been something we would have even considered if not for the fact that Anthony had served his mission there.  He had always wanted go back and live there for a while… this was our chance! 

He continued school at a college there in Florence, SC.  He wanted to be an architect.  I continued being a SAHM.  We lived there for almost 2 years with my family.  Anthony worked at Sears as a salesman and was called as the Seminary teacher for the kids in our branch.  There were a whopping 3 of them, my sister and two other girls (they were sisters).  But he LOVED it! 

When my dad lost his job and they decided to move back here to Utah we considered moving out on our own with our then two kids.  We had talked about what we would do if a situation such as this arose.  We would stay.  But when it came down to it, we knew we wouldn’t be able to afford to stay on our own.  Plus, I just really didn’t want to stay without my family.  I knew it would be really hard on me.  We would miss so much in Utah… birthdays, weddings, Thanksgivings, Christmases, barbecues, reunions, and so much more.  I wanted to be able to be a part of those things.  I wanted my kids to know their cousins and be part of their lives.  Anthony knew transferring his credits back to the college in Utah would be a hassle and that most of the credits that he’d completed wouldn’t transfer.  Some he had already done twice because they didn’t transfer from Utah to SC. 

I won. 

Had we been able to afford to stay I am pretty sure I would have lost that battle.  But there was just no way. 

Anthony was right, many of the credits wouldn’t transfer.  He was frustrated and we just needed money.  His job had him working late hours sometimes.  School was not an option right then. 

Things started looking up for us financially when we started our own business in 2005.  Everything looked to be on the up and up for a couple of years…

But the economy had a different idea in mind. 

Since that time, it’s been rough for us.  The economy has hit us hard and we have been struggling for years.  We’ve toyed around with the idea of Anthony going back to school since that time but when it came down to it, the time just wasn’t right.  He needed to work as much as possible for whatever little bit of money he could get.  So, he has. 

Then, about a year ago I looked into school for myself.  It’s not something that I ever even WANTED!  I never had a desire to go to college.  Then this weird thing called homeschooling happened.  It has opened my eyes to a new world of learning and actually enjoying it!  It’s possible! 

However, the time wasn’t right.  All the degrees I looked into at the community college required at least some courses being taken at the school.  I needed online only. 

{{… to be continued…}}

{Click to see Part 2}




There I was, slumbering peacefully in the wee hours of the morning on Labor Day.  Eight in the AM is the wee hours on Labor Day.  Anthony, C, H, and K had gone for a morning run. 

Little B awoke and came in to snuggle like he normally does.  And, as usual, the questions started… Where’s Dad?… Why is he running?… When will he be home?

**Front door opens**

The first thing I hear is, “Can we please keep it, Dad?  He’s so cute!” 

Any mom knows what those words mean… it means they found something.  Either a cat, a dog, or even worse… a critter. 

B and I go out to see what all the fuss is about and all the while my mind is already made up. 


We were not going to keep ‘it’.  Whatever ‘it’ was. 

DNG Format_207 copy

‘It’ was a kitten.  We are guessing around 6 months old.  And ‘it’ is a boy.  We checked.  ;)

I still had the NO ready.  We already have a dog and another cat.  But C had a perfect name already picked…


And so, before I could even put up a fight the dumb thing was already named and had food in his face.  They had found the poor little guy on the parkway.  He was starved for both attention and food.  A couple of other people had already come across him.  One couple was going to take him to the shelter and a couple of elderly ladies had gone to get him some food.  They were returning just as the kids came upon the cat. 

And the rest is history!

Never mind the fact that I’m allergic.  We have a cat already so what the heck!  Twice the itchy eyes, runny nose, sneeze attacks, and periodic hives… BRING IT ON!

But really, the kids were attached before they even got in the car to drive home from their run.  How do you say no to that?

We tried introducing Sissy, the other cat, after Rocket had a few minutes to get to the know the main floor of the house.  How did that go, you ask?  Let’s just say… Sissy was not amused. 

Next we brought in our gigantic lab, Moe.  We knew he would be gentle… and he was.  He sniffed, Rocket hissed, Moe backed off, came in for another whiff, Rocket relaxed a bit and then…

Rocket 1

Rocket got a slobber bath. 

Isn’t that what everyone wants?  To be covered in dog slobber and wet nose snot from head to toe?  {Yuck!}

Anthony thought he’d take a turn, too.  ;)

Rocket 2

But Rocket loved it!  To this day he still waltzes over to Moe and begs for a ‘bath’.  They are good buddies now. 

This kitty is super playful.  The kids are having a blast with him!  Just yesterday he climbed into this empty water bottle package.  C called it Rocket’s ‘portal’.  I’m not even sure where he picked up the word ‘portal’. 

Rocket 3

Rocket 4

Welcome to the family, Rocket!


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Freddy the Frogcaster–Book Review


{Click image to see where you can buy this book.}

Sally Croaker is the weather forecaster.  Freddy has adored Sally’s forecasting ways since he was just a tadpole.  He is also very good at forecasting the weather… just not on TV. 

But what happens when Miss Sally goes on maternity leave?  Enter the popular Polly Woggins (love the names in this book)!  But with her inaccurate forecasts how will the Mayor know if he’ll be able to hold his Leapfrog Picnic? 

Can Freddy give him an accurate forecast?


This book is darling!  My little boys and Miss H really liked it.  And it got them all wanting to learn more about weather and how it is forecasted.  The book is also chock full of fun weather vocabulary which we will define, in our homeschool, when we do our weather unit coming up.  ;)  

Books like this are always welcome in our homeschool library.  The storyline was fun and fresh and the characters were memorable. 

**I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.  I was not required to give a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**



Our 2013-2014 Curriculum

**This post has some affiliate links.  By clicking on certain links and purchasing the product I will receive a small percentage which would be much appreciated!**

This post has been a looong time coming.  WHEW!  Finally! 

I should have had this up during the summer but for the life of me I didn’t know what I was going to do for certain subjects.  One of the many reasons
I love homeschooling… so many options!

When my girls were very young and we decided to homeschool, we chose to allow them a lot of play.  If they showed an interest in something we would absolutely take the time to learn about it.  It was scary, I admit.  I wasn’t positive that that the day would come when they would come to me and ask for more.  More studying?  Who wants that?  I was told the day would come.  “Trust the process.”

It came earlier for some than others but guess what… it came! 

My girls are now asking for more.  Especially Miss K.  She is so ready to start the scholar phase.  To be honest, I think she was ready long ago.  I feel that she is slightly resentful of our first few homeschooling years because she was ready long before I was ready to let her be. 

You’ll notice in her schedule that she has a lot more than the other girls.  

Remember, we homeschool.  That is very different than school at home.  We aren’t trying to get through any certain book as fast as we can in order to take an end of year test or make sure they are right on track with their peers.  Instead we move at a pace that is comfortable for each child and make sure they grasp each concept before moving on.  That could mean they fly through a subject’s book in a month or it could mean we’re working on it for 2 years.  It could also mean we decide to toss something out that just isn’t working for us.  It happens!

School for us includes real life.  Living is learning, believe it or not! 

So, without further ado…. Here is our MAIN curriculum!  LIFEThe one that we center everything else around. 


And secondly… The Family School! 

Homeschool Complete Curriculum

The one we do all together.  The boys aren’t quite ready for this one but little C participates when we are doing something that looks fun and interesting to him.  

This is from Latter-Day Learning.  It is an LDS curriculum that is pretty much all-inclusive.  It covers History, Geography, Literature, Science, Art and Music.  The only things you really need to add are Math and Language Arts.  The reason they aren’t included is because this curriculum is designed to include children from ages 4-12.  Math and LA are level based which would make it hard to incorporate with such a wide variety of ages.  I love that it incorporates both spiritual and secular together.  Each lesson is based on a Gospel Principle. 

I will tell you right now that we are absolutely LOVING it so far.  But I’m not going to go into too much detail right now.  There is a more in depth review of this curriculum in the works.  Stay tuned…

Miss K’s curriculum:

Math – Life of Fred (Fractions, Decimals and Percents)

Language Arts – The Giggly Guide to Grammar (I would link you to the Amazon page for this item but it doesn’t come with the parent CD on Amazon.  Find it somewhere else for the better deal :) )

Tech Class – Mobile Apps for Beginners

Religion – Discover the Book of Mormon Grades 4-7  A more in depth review of this coming up as well. 

Drawing – ARTistic Pursuits, Elementary 4-5 Book One  Again… an in depth review coming shortly.

This is what I love about homeschooling.  Miss K is so interested in learning more about the Book of Mormon and she wants to be an artist.  We are able to customize her education to those interests and dreams.  I don’t have A or H doing drawing because they haven’t shown the interest in it like K has.  Miss A is starting to show an interest.  Take a look at her curriculum and you’ll notice in her choice of Tech classes.


Miss A’s curriculum:

Math – Life of Fred (Elementary Series)

Language Arts – informal lessons by Mom :)

Tech Class – Drawing, Sculpting, and Animation Foundations

Miss A really wants to focus on having beautiful handwriting this year so that is one of the things we will be working on.  She would also like to learn cursive.


Miss H’s curriculum:

Math – Life of Fred (Elementary Series)

Language Arts – informal lessons by Mom

Tech Class – Engineering Foundations

Miss H didn’t really have anything extra she wanted to work on.  I am perfectly fine with that! 


The Boys curriculum:

This year for the boys we are going to focus on the letter sounds and numbers.  For B we will also focus on shapes and colors as he has not mastered them yet.  We will also do a lot of little projects to keep them busy while the girls are working. 


In addition to everything already mentioned, we plan on continuing with Nature Study.  This is something that I believe comes pretty naturally to kids anyway so it’s not hard.  They love exploring the outdoors.  Finding bugs and spotting birds are favorite pastimes for my kids. 

We are having so much fun already this year.  I just know it’s going to be our best homeschool year yet!  We’re off to a great start.  How about you? 

Not sure how this box got here and I can’t get it to go away.  So, I thought I’d write in it.  Hi!  ;)





Half Marathon

Have I ever told you how much I look up to my kids?  They may be shorter than me for now but WOW! they really amaze me!

Half Marathon 6 

Ever since last August when Miss K ran a 10K with Anthony she has been dying to do a half marathon. 


Well, since Anthony was going to train her up for one, little A wanted to do it as well.  Yes, I have crazy kids.  At first Anthony thought it would be best to have A do the 10K while he ran with K for the half… Great plan, IF you have someone to run the 10K with the other child.  He tried to convince me to do it. 

PSHHHH!  See how well that worked out for him?  Ha ha! 

So, he had no choice but to train her up for the half as well, which is what she really wanted so she wasn’t at all sad about that.  :)

I admit I was nervous.  I even asked their pediatrician if it was ok for them to run such a distance at their young, tender ages.  He said it was fine so long as they listen to their bodies.  As long as they can talk while running they are fine. 

I was still nervous.

During the training runs Little A had all the energy in the world which is nothing new to us.  She’s always been a little firecracker.  When it comes to anything athletic she just seems to have a natural ability to do… whatever.  K has to work harder for it but I think she appreciates it more for all the hard work she puts in to it.  Little A would run circles around K (all this according to Anthony, of course… I wasn’t there ;) ) and still have energy to spare when they got home. 

CHILD!… you do realize you just ran 8 miles, right?  Sheesh! 

And Miss K surprises me every day!  She just really loved every exhausting training run they did.  The jealous bug bit her in the butt for only a short time until she came to me one day and said, “I’ve decided it’s a lot more fun to be happy for somebody than to be jealous.”

Proud momma moment right there! 

Her runs were even better after that epiphany, too. 

The night before the race, Little A was so nervous.  She came out of bed to us sobbing.  She was scared and couldn’t sleep.  We assured her that this run was absolutely not a mandatory thing.  She was welcome to back out at any point.  A little lavender on the feet and hug later she was feeling much better. 

I had been told the night before to be at the park where the race ended at 9:30.  That way I would be sure to see the girls and Anthony cross around 10:00 am. 

Well, that only works if your children cooperate and VOW to not cross the finish line until at least 9:45. 

There I am, 9:32, parking… right then!!  And my sister calls to let me know that she just watched Little A cross from a distance.  She hadn’t made it to the finish yet either.  UGH! 

So, I have no pictures of her crossing the finish line.  :(   And I just knew I had missed Anthony and Miss K. 

Once I found A at the finish (and apologized for not being there just 5 minutes earlier) she told me that it was just her.  Anthony had run her across the line and gone back for K.  A had finished in 2 hrs. 21 min.  About a half hour later Miss K came along.   2 hrs. 50-ish min. 

half marathon

WOW!  13.1 miles… CHECK!  They inspire me.  So much so that I even went and got me some running clothes.  Not so much because I really want to run.  I still think it’s devilish.  But for the sheer fact that I would like to see my husband once in a while!  I figure I have to run to hang out with him.  Tuesday night was our first run.  It was the devil!  But I finished a 5K.  Go me! 

But back to my girls… they are amazing!  So inspiring that complete strangers asked to have their pictures taken with them.  They got 1st and 2nd in their division.  (I think they were the only ones in their division to be honest but who the heck cares!)  Still #1 in my book! 


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