One Word 2014

waitHow do you pick just one word that will become your theme for the entire year?

A word that will define you, teach you, and inspire you to become a better you.

Last year, I did just that. I picked one word – wait – and consciously focused on it. I learned to wait on the Lord for His word, His answer, His presence, His plans. I learned to wait and not be as impatient, as quick to respond.

When my faith was tested by fire, I waited. When I was in the midst of a storm, I waited.  I will carry the word wait over into this year, because it’s something I’m still learning to do, and the only way to learn is to practice.

Wait was a good word. But now it’s time for a new word. My new word for 2014 is


The word bless, or a form thereof, is used 463 times in the KJV Bible. Bless is a verb, which means to consecrate or render holy; to give honor or glory to a divine being; to call upon the Lord to protect; to worship or adore; and to grant happiness, health, or prosperity to someone.

It’s a common word, one used nonchalantly and tossed about here and there. It’s sometimes used with an underlying tone of arrogance or disdain.  But it shouldn’t. It should be a word that we use with honor and glory, because that it is what it is, what we are.  Honored, cherished, protected, loved by our Savior and by our Creator.

This year my Lord bestowed the word blessed on me to remind me always that I am blessed. It’s those little things we take for granted though; the day-to-day blessings that we don’t see, don’t appreciate, don’t acknowledge.

My goal for this year is to learn to appreciate the small blessings, to be thankful and prayerful for the people in my life while I have the opportunity to do so. Whether it’s a trip to the movies with my son and nephew, a lunch out with a dear friend, or the chance to say goodbye and good luck to a favorite boss, I am blessed.

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Posted by on January 11, 2014 in Faith



52 Books in 2014

It’s a new year, and therefore time to start anew!

READINGI’m participating in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge again this year. I’m also participating in Jon Acuff’s Empty Shelf challenge. I’ve set up a virtual shelf over at Goodreads, so feel free to friend me.

Since both challenges involve books, I figured why not?  Current reads will be in the sidebar, finished books at Goodreads. Maybe a review here, but I hate to write book reviews so no promises.


2014 Reading Goals

Around the WorldI’ll be visiting Scotland in honor of my favorite book series, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, which will premier later this year as a STARZ Original series.  I might venture down to Australia and Antarctica if time permits.

Chunkies – I’ll continue with the chunky books simply because I’m still re-reading my way through the Outlander series.  Currently I’m on book 6, A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I have 2 more books to go (book 7 and a side-along novel) before book 8 is published in June.

Dusty books – I’m going to make an effort to read some of the many books I have already downloaded to my Kindle. I’ve downloaded books like crazy thanks to BookBub and need to get to them sooner or later.

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Posted by on January 1, 2014 in 52 books


52 Books in 52 weeks: 2013 Wrap Up

Read 52 books in 52 weeks 2013

In 2013, I started a challenge to read 52 books in 52 weeks.  The goal of the challenge was to read at least one book each week for 52 weeks.

Final Count – 46 novel length works completed

  • 31 novels (listed at Goodreads)
  • 15 fan-fictions of 70,000 words or more (and at least a dozen others that are still in progress)

Challenges met – 2

  • 5 Chunksters (500+ pages)
  • Inspirational/Faith based (3 non-fiction, 9 fiction)

Ultimately, my goal was to be more intentional in my reading, which I was.  I didn’t read as many books as I had hoped, nor did I read as much of a variety as I’d have liked, but I read. And that’s all that mattered.

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Posted by on January 1, 2014 in 52 books


Learning to love God and be loved by Him

Learning to love God and be loved by Him should be our greatest objective in life. #HMCMG #hellomornings #PDL

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Posted by on September 5, 2013 in Uncategorized


ADD/ADHD – Something we have or something we are?

On my homeschool boards, there is a subgroup of several of us moms that have, or suspect we have, ADD/ADHD. One of them posted a poll inquiring about official diagnoses.  This was my response, as it coincided with some thinking I’ve been doing lately on the subject. 

I voted:

  • No, and I don’t intend to
  • No, but I suspect I may have ADD/ADHD
  • ADD/ADHD doesn’t exist – it’s just another way of thinking and processing

{Friend’s name}, it’s interesting that you added #3 b/c I’ve been thinking on that all weekend.

Thursday night I attended my new women’s small group and we played an ice breaker where we had to list 3 things about ourselves that the others probably wouldn’t know. I thought later that I could have listed I have ADD and that’s what got me thinking.

I decided that we don’t really have ADD as it’s not a disease like chicken pox or diabetes. It’s not something you catch and it’s not something you suddenly just acquire or become. It’s part of who we are from the moment of our conception. It’s not wrong or bad that my brain is wired differently; it just is. I don’t need to be medicated for it (although sometimes I wish I was!), I just need to learn how to appreciate who I was formed to be and stop battling against myself all the time.

Ideally the whole ADD label needs to go away, but since that won’t happen in our current society, would it be more appropriate to say we are ADD or that we have an ADD brain?

 So what do you think?


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Posted by on September 1, 2013 in General


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Ten Tips for Coping with Temperamental T

Ten Tips for Coping with Temperamental Teens (PDF) #teens #parenting #homeschool

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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in Uncategorized


Our Curriculum for 10th grade

2013 curriculum

Freshman year is behind us and sophomore year is looming directly ahead.

You’ve been researching, planning, and revising options for months. It’s the weekend of the homeschooling convention and you’re ready to start buying books.  So it’s only natural to freak out when you realize one of the main programs you picked simply for your child this year.  Right?

Yep, that’s how I spent my weekend.  The American Literature curriculum I had so diligently researched and selected turned out to be entirely writing based, and there was just no way I could have reduced it enough to fit my still struggling writer and felt comfortable calling it enough for a full high school credit. So I freaked out trying to find something to replace it with.

Can I just say that a convention expo hall is NOT the best place to do that?  There were too many options and not enough time.  I was even dazzled by the pretty colors and maps in a US History textbook even though I know from past experience that particular curriculum isn’t a good fit for our family. I decided that the 4th trip back to a particular vendor – one I hadn’t even seriously considered previously – should maybe be taken as a bit of divine decision making and talked with the vendors before buying a copy.  Some days I just need extra time to remind myself that it’s okay to change things up.

I’m homeschooling two this year; Ashley decided she wants to finish high school and get her diploma instead of a GED.  Here’s what we’ll be using for both kids this year.


We’ll be using Power Basics Geometry for math.  It teaches core concepts without all the bells and whistles. I hope that focusing on the specifics help rebuild self-confidence in their math skills.

US History

I chose Notgrass’ Exploring America for our US History curriculum. I liked it’s more independent learning style and the conversational tone it has.  The daily lessons will make it easier for me to keep track of to ensure we’re staying on schedule.

American Literature

This was my problem child. First I was going to follow the Notgrass recommendations for English, but felt it wasn’t strong enough because it was pretty much ‘read book a and answer these questions’ for each novel.  Then I found Excellence in Literature, which included almost all the novels we wanted to cover. All I’d have to do is supplement for poetry, short stories, and plays.  Easy, peazy, right?  Not once I realized EIL is almost entirely writing based and won’t work for us this year.  I’m still not sure how I missed that, but I guess I thought there was some sort of non-essay-based lit analysis in the book that wasn’t visible in the samples.

True to my nature at dealing with unexpected change, I freaked out a bit. Manny kept telling me that it’s okay; it doesn’t have to be decided *today* because school starts when we want it to.  I think he must have missed that part of the time management workshop that talked about setting calendar goals. LOL   I (once again) realized just how difficult it is to find an all-in-one “American literature” curriculum in the homeschool world and found myself wandering between BJU and CLE.  Neither were what I wanted though.  I had already planned on using some singular study guides, but not everything we wanted to study was available in a guide.

I finally went with Total Language Plus and their American Literature Short Stories book. I’ll pair it with TLP’s Am Lit Poetry book and several Progeny Press study guides for the lit analysis component. The rest of our books will be mostly for discussion, with a few short writing assignments for some of them. We’ll also continue using Writing With Skill Level 1 with Andy along with daily grammar reinforcement.

Integrated Chemistry and Physics

I went with DIVE for science this year since I’ve heard good things about it. It’s video-based, and is set up so students read on day 1, watch a lecture/take notes/complete worksheet on days 2-3, then do a video lab with a written lab report on day 4.   We’ll probably add in home labs here and there as we find ones we can do without a lot of science equipment. We’ll be using an internet textbook with the CD.

DIVE Integrated Physics and Chemistry Digital Download

Introduction to Logic

I think it’s important the kids understand the importance of identifying logical fallacies and propaganda techniques, especially in today’s world.  We’ll be using The Fallacy Detective and The Thinking Toolbox for this.  With short, fun lessons, this is one course I’m looking forward to teaching myself.

The Fallacy Detective

Bible Study

Both kids will also be doing some sort of Bible study throughout the year.  Manny is in charge of whatever it is Andy will be doing. My only caveat was that he reads at least one book and has some writing assignments as part of the course.  Ashley will be working independently on various Bible studies I’ve collected over the years.

American Sign Language

Andy will also be continuing his work with ASL.  The third session of this year’s classes starts in September, which will be combined with the free self-study lessons and quizzes from ASL University.  As part of his course, he’ll be required to write a research paper on a topic of his choice relating to Deaf culture or history, and I’m looking for someone that can provide some type of final exam for him in the spring.

There you have it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my lesson plans!

This post is part of the iHomeschool Network Not Back-to-School Blog Hop.
Click the button to view other Curriculum Week posts.




Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Homeschooling


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