Sunday, October 19, 2014

Happy Birthday Mimi

Happy Birthday Mimi!!!

I have been blessed with a wonderful daughter.  Really, from the moment she was born, I knew God had special plans for her.  Always one to keep up with the big kids, not matter how incredibly petite she was, Mimi never let anything hold her back.  When she was ready to learn to ride a bike, she did-just like that, all in one bike ride.  She approaches all of life that way, She's very artistic, and everything about her reflects that, but when she is driven to want to learn something, nothing will stop her.  She is currently teaching herself Japanese.
Her love for Manga (Japanese Anime books) and Anime led to her passion not only for the language, but also for that drawing style.  Which led to learning to draw digitally.  Which led to her sharing her digital self portrait on an online site we are reviewing for homeschoolers.  Which led to her getting the opportunity to work on a student-designed video game.  Her talent quickly paved the way for her to become the head background artist, and being in charge of several characters.  As the project grew, they brought in an adult with experience working for Disney and many other animation/gaming companies.  He has made her "lead artist" on the project.  This all happened in the past week, and she's currently in the process of assembling her team that will work with her.  And she turns 15 today. I don't do the gushing mom thing well, but I'm very proud of her.  She has a God given talent, and she is searching for a way to use it to His glory in the opportunities He brings her way.     She's also a great help to me at home, and she helps out with the toddler class at church.  She is truly a blessing, and I'm thankful God chose me to be her mom.

Happy 15th birthday Mimi!

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Three Things Thursday 9/25/14

Hey y'all! (Like that warm, southern greeting?)  Thanks for stopping by!  I'm thrilled that's it's Thursday, and I have an excuse to blog and FINALLY get something else up besides the All About Reading sale promo post that I did eons ago.  I have the best of intentions to blog, but this Thursday thing is sometimes the best I can do, and not even even Thursday.  I'm sorry!  Do you forgive me?  So here, without further ado, are three totally random things.

1)  Can I be shallow for a moment?  I just found out that they are shutting down the ride at which I started my Disney career, and I'm devastated.  It's like finding out they are taking a wrecking ball to your childhood home-very unsettling.  While I had had one brief job before that, working at Disney was my first "real" job in my mind, and it also was a dream come true.  I know rides come and go there often in the name of progress, and the Studio Backlot Tour was a shadow of its former self compared to when I started there, (when I began, it was the Backstage Studio Tour, the tour guides actually spoke the tour instead of pushing a button for a recorded tour, and the tour was combined with the walking tour for one REALLY long tour) but I am devastated nonetheless, and hate that I'm not in FL to say goodbye one last time.   (The above picture was taken when we reopened the tour as the Studio Backlot Tour in its new location at the end of Mickey Ave.  And in case you are wondering, of the 3 standing in the very back right under the tour tram on the sign, I'm the one on the right.  The guy in the front row two people to the left of the one in regular clothes?  He's a big shot Imagineer now :-))

2)  September is my favorite month.  It's starting to cool down, The trees are starting to change color.  The tomatoes I planted in February are finally starting to bear fruit. (We aren't going to talk any more about that, we are just going to celebrate our successes when they finally DO happen.)  September is glorious!

3)  At our co-op, I'm in a newcomers class.  I though it would be a great way to meet people, and I have, but really the class is very structured and the focus is largely on encouraging and instructing those new-ish to homeschooling.  Besides the facilitator, whom I really like, there is one other lady there with an older child (college) and then 4 all younger than TJ.  So sometimes the facilitator asks the other lady and I to chime in on what she is saying as it pertains to kids and homeschooling "for the long haul".  And here's the thing.  There is this women, who otherwise seems very nice to me as we chat before and after "class", who seems to disagree with almost EVERYTHING I say during class.  Everything.  It is really getting to the point where I've just decided to keep my mouth shut. (Because getting into a debate about everything really isn't the way I want to be remembered as I am trying to meet people, and really, whatever we are talking about is not that important in the long run anyway in light of eternity.)   But then I think it's funny, in a terribly uncomfortable sort of way.  Really, I'm a nobody and I don't want this to come across like I think that I'm important (just more, like Paul, to give a little "street cred" to what I am saying), but I ran a homeschool group of 300+ families giving advice to countless people.  I've reviewed curriculum for years.  I write about homeschooling for an internet based home and homeschool website. I've done that all through God's grace, because He is the one who placed me in those situations.   And yet she insists my every word is in error.  It's humbling to be sure.  And it definitely has made me check my motivation-is it for my glory or for God's?  Am I sharing to put the spotlight on me, or at the prompting of the Holy Spirit?  I know that right now I am really at a point in my life where I am acutely aware that, "The more I learn, the more I learn how much there is to learn."  I know I, for one, am less and less certain about most things.  I can only speak from my own experience and the experience I have had as a group leader and a blogger and a reviewer networked with hundreds of other homeschoolers around the globe, and the struggles I have seen them face, and the successes I have seen them have.  I'm a cracked, broken pot, and I don't know much for sure except for Jesus, and my desperate need for Him, but I do think that the instruction in Titus 2 is there for a reason.  We are supposed to help each other.  Those of us who have walked the path already are supposed to help light the way for those coming behind us.  So I'm praying about what to do...but in the meantime, I hate the uncomfortable feeling I have every time I walk through that door.

If you want to link up with Three Things Thursday, just go to Heidi's blog.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

All About Reading Level 4 is Here!

I ordered THIS yesterday!!!

Because I'm high maintenance, you know I had to call them TWICE to make the order go through, LOL.  That's just how I roll!  Can I tell you how nice their customer service people are?  Really, truly nice folks!  And in the end, it was just technology glitching for me as it always frequently does.  Don't miss your chance to order All About Reading Level 4 at this $20 off discount!

***affiliate link used because we love and use All About Reading***
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Friday, September 5, 2014

Three Things Thursday-9/5/2014 (Yes, That's Friday, if You Are Playing Along at Home)

I should just give up on ever doing this on a Thursday.  Sigh.  But here, on Friday evening, are my three things.  Better late than never, right?

1)  My daughter and I are taking archery.  Our first class was last night.  Apparently, in a world where most people are right eye dominate, and some people are left eye dominate, I am in the strange, confused minority that has competing eye dominance.  So I get to pick whether to shoot left or right handed.  Oddly enough, for now I'm choosing left handed (holding the bow int he right hand), because I have had wrist surgery on both wrists, and the left one gets the most sore with use in the flexed position (like when you are holding a bow).  We'll see how it goes.  Left handed is the way my daughter also shoots.  Last night, I was just thrilled that 9 out of 10 arrows hit the target at all :-).
Mimi's target

My target (two arrows are next to each other, so you don't see both)

"The Range"

2)  We had a nice visit with my mom and her husband.  Things did not go as planned, as the road is too steep in front of our house for their RV fridge to work, and so they could not stay in front of our house :-(.  They ended up at a local lake, so we spent Labor Day swimming and fishing.

3)  We have a dead rat on our back porch.  On purpose.  And we have to keep it there for the next 8 months.  No, I'm not making this up.  Mimi is taking forensics, and she came home from her first class with a frozen rat.  Her crime scene scenario is that her victim was found drowned, clothed, and was a sinker, not a floater, so needed to be held underwater.  Yay (yes, that's sarcasm).  So we had to find a container that was a) suitable to hold the rat for 8 months, b) would not get tipped over or messed with by critters, c) would keep critters from EATTING the rat (ewwww!!!!), and d) would still allow the rat to be exposed to the elements so all the natural processes could take problem.  (EWWWWW).  So I bought a 5 gallon pickle bucket from Firehouse subs for $2, we made homemade sea water (1/2 C salt to 1 gallon water), and Mimi cut an old headband to make clothes for Waldo (the name the rat was given by the teacher).  We found a small rock, tied a tether line to keep Waldo submerged, and poof! instant drowned rat.  (ALL pun intended.  All that remains is for The Hubs to drill some holes in the top for the elements to be able to do their thing, but since her rat is submerged, we know bugs won't play a big role in decomp.  Oh, and she has to check it every day or so...that was gross lovely today.  Have I said EWWWW yet???

To participate in Three Things Thursday, even on Friday or Saturday, just visit Heidi's Blog.
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Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Blessings of Friendship Treasury Review

I love Mary Engelbreit.  Her vintage style illustrations speak of a simpler time, but they are colorful and classic and usually feature quotes that remind the reader of the things that are truly important. This Treasury which focuses on friendship is no exception.  I was keen to review this book because I loved the fact that several of the quotes are Bible verses, and because I wanted my children to have the opportunity to see Mary Engelbreit's style of art firsthand, since so much of her art showcases children.

Besides the Bible, quotes featured in this Treasury come from sources like Oscar Wilde, Henry David Thoreau, William Butler Yates, and many others.  The illustrations all feature different representations of friendship- children with each other, with their stuffed animals, and with their pets, as well as adult ladies with their lifelong "besties".

Personally, I will forever associate Mary Engelbreit's work with a dear friend who has gone on to be with the Lord now.  We served on the steering committee of our local MOPS group together, and the theme that year was about the hats moms wear.  We painted hat boxes different colors to use as table decorations, and then to dress them up a bit, we decoupaged Mary Engelbreit's artwork onto the sides and top of the boxes.  It took hours for my friend and I to trim the little artwork frames (they were from several years worth of day-by-day calendars) and them decoupage them onto the boxes, and it was over that project, as we chose which pieces of artwork to include and why, that our friendship began to grow.  So to me, Mary Englebreit's work is synonymous with friendship.

You can purchase The Blessings of Friendship Treasury for $17.99.  It's a beautiful, hard-covered book with dust jacket, and would make a lovely gift for the friends in your life.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Get to Know Apostle Paul Review

When Zondervan sent their lists of books coming out this summer, I immediately asked to review this one.  I mean, Paul, he's just got such a great story.  From impeccable lineage, to persecution of the early Christians, to his ride side conversion, to his missionary journeys, and the various times he almost died, his is definitely an interesting biography!

And this book, part of a series entitled"Get to Know" by publisher Zondervan, does not disappoint.  Nancy I. Sanders does a wonderful job of writing a book on a 2nd grade reading level that is both engaging and informative, even for adults.  The maps and full color, real life pictures are phenomenal.  Each chapter has added tidbits like "Did You Know?" or "Eyewitness Account" that add insight.  There is also a glossary and bibliography in the back, as well as detailed source notes and a student resources list.

You can purchase Get to Know: Paul from Zondervan and other retailers for $6.99.  Also in the Get to Know series are Jesus, Mary, and King David.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

All About Reading Level 4 is Coming!!!!

Okay, I know, I'm a bit strange.  I got this e-mail earlier and it really, truly made my day.  Especially because it mentioned a sale.  Ooooo, sale.  I feel like one of those green aliens in Toy Story, but since this is our reading curriculum, if I can save money buying it, I'm ALL ABOUT THAT!

It will be available September 4th!  Not long at all.  And for the first 2 weeks, you can save $20 when you order the level 4 kit, so get ready now!  I'll be ordering on the 4th :-).

****affiliate link used because we use and love AAR***

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