Thursday, October 8, 2015


I just realized that I never shared about our big event this past summer. At the start of June we held a graduation ceremony for our oldest son. Our first born is now a high school graduate.

It's hard to believe that the little tyke that once looked like this:

Now looks like this:

After 12 years of homeschooling, it's great to see it come to conclusion for one of my boys. Yes, I have been blessed to homeschool all of my boys from the beginning. My oldest did spend two years in developmental preschool (from ages 3-4) but I began homeschooling him at age five.

We ended up having a BBQ in our backyard with lots of family and friends. We kept everything very low key. About mid-way through the event, a friend of ours delivered a graduation speech - something we had actually asked him to do.

Then my hubby gave a wonderful speech about how homeschooling has impacted us as a family. Finally, I spoke very briefly and handed off the diploma. Short. Sweet. Simple.

Now to navigate "the rest of his life" stuff as easily. He is taking a "gap year" this year and working on brushing up on a few skills that aren't quite college ready yet. We're aiming for him to start college next fall (September 2016). He wants to be a writer and work in the video game industry.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. It's October so let's get this out there first thing...have you jumped on the all-things-pumpkin bandwagon? How so? Nope. I like pumpkin but I don't feel like I have to wait until the fall to have it. I am planning to make some pumpkin muffins tomorrow though. It's one relatively healthy things all my kids will eat. I'm working on keeping grocery expenses down which means more baking for me. 

2. "We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible." Francois Duc De la Rochefoucauld What's something you once thought impossible, but in hindsight see as more a matter of lack of will? Life? Seriously though, I now run my own little fitness business. That is not something I ever would have thought was possible. Ever. I'm not the typical "skinny-fitness-instructor" either. I have quite a bit of weight still to lose, but since February I'm been teaching classes four times a week. I started out with just Cardio Dance (aka Zumba but I'm not Zumba certified - I'm a Group Fitness Instructor so I get to do my own thing there) and now also do Cardio Kickboxing (we beat up heavy bags). 

I'm also now taking a Les Mills Grit class twice a week. It's high-intensity-interval training or HIIT. We do cardio, strength, and plyometrics. Each class focuses on one of those areas and only goes for 30 minutes. I have a cardio class in the morning and this is what we'll be doing. Even though we are now five weeks in to our eight week session, I'm still not looking forward to cardio. Ugh...

3. The rose is America's National Flower, but every state also has its own (click here to see the list). Are you happy with yours? If you were in charge what would you declare your state's flower? If you're outside the U.S. what bloom would you like to see labeled as your country's national flower? Maine is a white pine cone and tassel. It seems like it makes sense except that it's a pine cone and needles. So seeds and "leaves" - not really a flower in the regular sense. Having said that - maybe a lady slipper instead? 

4. What have you lost interest in recently? Not sure on this one.

5. In your opinion, who's the best living musician? Or this one. I like way too may musicians to narrow it down. 

6. S'mores-love 'em or no? Not a favorite but I'll eat one or two every year. Ever make them indoors? No, this is strictly an outdoor treat at our house.  Last time you sat around an outdoor fire? About a month ago. We have a great fire pit but have been too busy this year to use it as much as we like. Are making s'mores and sitting round a fire pit on your autumn bucket list? We do this anytime of the year - not just in the fall. Do you have an autumn bucket list? No, should I? 

7. Your favorite small town? Why? The one I live in right now. I grew up in a small town and always knew I would leave - I just wasn't sure how or when. Even though I spent the first 21 years of my life there, it didn't have the same hold on me. And we've moved a lot in our 22 years of marriage. A Lot! We've lived in cities and small towns. This isn't even the smallest town, but this is where I am right now and I'm happy and pretty content. 

8. Insert your own random thought here. How is it even possible that it's already October? I'm finding it hard to believe just how fast this year has flown by. Blink and welcome 2016 I guess!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. What have you 'fallen for' recently? Tiny houses. I love the idea of tiny house living, but there is absolutely no way I could ever actually live in one. Our family has a camp in the north Maine woods that would definitely qualify as a "tiny house." I just spent four days there with my hubby and two boys. Yeah, I wouldn't survive long term.

2. What's something you're 'squirreling away' for later? Nothing really. I do tend to squirrel away cash for trips but I have nothing upcoming. Or chocolate but I'm trying to eat healthier.

3. How do you like your apples? Sweet? Tart? Crisp? Cooked? Apples are one of the superfoods for often do you eat an apple either plain or as part of a favorite recipe? What's your favorite variety? Sweet. Definitely sweet. I like my apples raw. I never started eating cooked ones (as in apple pie) until I was an adult. I like apple pie pretty well also, but my favorite way to eat apples is raw. I love Fuji apples. I need to start eating more - just like the old adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." 

4. According to Fodor's the ten best fall foliage trips in the US of A are - Aspen, Colorado; The Catskills, New York; The Berkshires, Massachusetts; Columbia River Gorge, Oregon; Green Mountain Byway, Vermont; Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, New Mexico; Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina and Tennessee; Upper Peninsula, Michigan; Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri; and Glacier National Park, Montana. Which would you most like to visit this fall and why? I would love to go to Montana. My husband and I have talked often about going out west at some point. In fact, when we first were married we talked for a while about moving to Montana. 

5. The topic of legalizing marijuana was raised in the most recent televised political debate so let's wade in too. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Four states have legalize marijuana for recreational use. Your thoughts? I'm not keen on it being legal for "recreational use." I do believe there are some medical benefits but it's such a slippery slope. (How's that for a political answer?)

6. Are you okay to watch a movie already in progress or do you need to always see it from the beginning? How about jumping into a TV series somewhere in the middle? Is that okay? Hate it. I like to see all movies from the beginning. And I binge watch on Netflix constantly starting always with episode one. (I'm currently on Season 4 of Hawaii 5-0 and mid-way through Season 1 of NCIS.)

7. Thursday (September 24) is National Punctuation Day. What rule of punctuation trips you up most often? What rule of punctuation, when broken by someone else, bugs you the most? Commas get me most often. Quotation marks inside of end marks. I'm not much of a punctuation Nazi though.

8. Insert your own random thought here. I'm having a hard time believing that today is the first day of Fall. I am loving the cooler temps! Fall is one of my favorite seasons. However, I'm not so thrilled with it getting darker earlier and earlier. And it also means winter is not that far off - my least favorite season of all. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

A New Year Begins

I'm on the fast track to being the shortest person in my house. 
Only one boy left to reach that milestone!

I have to tell you that it has been one busy but fun summer around here. I'm a bit sad to see it end. We started back to our homeschooling last week. It's hard to believe that this is the start of my 13th year! I've been blessed to educate all my boys from the start right here at home. These are the only two I have left. My oldest graduated last year. 

My oldest is still home, however, He's finishing up a few things and working on taking CLEP tests this year to earn some college credit. He is looking at creative writing programs. That was a huge shift so he is taking a gap year to regroup and figure things out. 

I have to admit, I'd be happy if he got a hair cut. 

We've done so many things that I just simply haven't had time to record them here. Watch out though! I'm working on a new schedule that will allow me some set blogging time. Yeah!

I want to share photos of the day I spent in Rockland with some of my best friends. 

I need to share about our vacation to Massachusetts. We spent a whole week with my aunt and uncle on the beach. It was glorious!

I was only home for about 48 hours before I turned around and headed back out to enjoy SoulFest. It's a three day Christian musical festival held in New Hampshire on Gunstock Mountain. I've enjoyed it so much I thought this was my fifth or sixth year attending. It was only my fourth. 

We checked out a lighthouse and a museum (school field trip!)...

So there is a lot to catch up on amongst all the getting started hoopla. So please be patient. I promise to get some details up soon!

Friday, September 4, 2015

{Review} When Calls the Heart: Rules of Engagement DVD

When Calls the Heart: Rules of Engagement is the sixth movie and the final one of Season 1 of this Hallmark Channel series. I've really been enjoying watching all the movies thus far. This one was definitely a cliffhanger and I must watch the next one soon to see what happens between Jack and Elizabeth. 

From the back cover: Jack is back in Coal Valley along with an unexpected visitor that threatens he and Elizabeth's relationship while Elizabeth receives some unforeseen news that will force her to make a very difficult decision. Meanwhile Bill Avery continues his investigation into the mine explosion with help from Jack; a budding romance grows between Bill and Abigail; Elizabeth struggles to make a decision about the teaching offer. 

My youngest son actually really enjoys watching these movies with me. There is romance, yes, but there is enough action and adventure to keep him happy as well. The story line continues to move forward but if I had to classify what kind of movie - this is definitely a "chick flick." 

The trailer for the movie is below. This is a feature length movie taken from the television episodes shown on the Hallmark channel. The movies are distributed by Word Entertainment. The show is directed by Michael Landon, Jr. 

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