Friday, December 30, 2016

Finishing Up 2016

2016 is finishing up... I am completing projects and setting new goals. But today I felt really moved to reach out to some old friends--let them know I was thinking of them and to wish them a happy new year. I set a letter writing goal for 2016...and I did send many.  But even now I wished I had sent more.

2017 is a breath away.  I haven't set all of my goals yet...but entering 2017 doesn't feel stressful. 2016 was a good year. Looking back I have a lot of satisfaction. And with that satisfaction is hope for 2017!

Will I blog consistently in 2017? I hope so...I would like to watch my progress.  For now 6 handwritten letters posting tomorrow--I hope they bring smiles!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Kids FLY for FREE!!!

 So I kept hearing of this great opportunity for kids to try flying...and I kept passing it by because it is for kids 8 and up--then Eli turned 8!!!!  So we have done it and I have to share!!
Young Eagles Flying Program  This is such a great opportunity!!!!  The kids get to hang out with a pilot learn about his plane then they get a free ride!!!  And a certificate to remember the experience!

And they can keep returning to try flying again!

After age 12 they receive a "logbook" and as they continue in the Young Eagles Program they and study and receive ground instruction through Sporty's Pilot Shop.  Then as they progress through the program there is opportunity for flying lessons and guidance in finding a career in aviation!

Monday, May 30, 2016


I came across this picture and screen shot it:

I am not even sure what it was attached to or about but it struck a chord in my heart.  I have had to think over this.  Lately I seem to be pondering forgiveness, resolution, and trying to let people know they matter.

** forgiveness-- seems to sweetest when served sooner rather than later
--the hardest person for me to forgive is myself.  I find after I allow myself to forgive someone I feel the release of the prison of hurt and bitterness from offender but I can't always free my self from the guilt of my part of the offense even just for initial investment of conflict.

*Resolution--sometimes resolution takes time. Sometimes it just can never happen.  I have learned from experience that when both parties can agree the only solution is to start from where you are now.  The past can't be fixed or rebuilt sqq sometimes you just have to start from this moment on.  Agree to build from here.  Don't reach into the past and try to build with damaged materials.

Peace cannot happen on broken bridge --forgive those.  Move on. Find a strong place to build.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Week 2 of Summer School

I am so excited to share our morning basket for our second week of "summer schooling".
My two oldest guys are doing a couple of pages a day in Handwriting for teens.

Just for fun and to keep sharp we are doing about 10 minutes a day of flash card drills followed by a group activity from Family Math.

Our artist study is Norman Rockwell.  So far we have watched a short biography about him on YouTube.  We have a calendar of his pictures we are studying.  We are finding common features in each (like how his name is always signed in stencil).  Recently we found three puzzles of his work and have put these together as a family.

While the boys work on the puzzle is a great time to get in another chapter of our current read-a-loud: Islands of the Blue Dolphins.

What fun things have you found to keep your homeschoolers fresh and sharp?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Plan Now!

Plan your field trips now!  I know everyone hasn't finished school yet...but I also know that the curriculum sales are in full force!  However it is the greatest time to plan field trips!  Last year --about this time I found that there were a little over 700 FREE tickets available for students to The Louisville Youth Orchestra! When I called to reserve our Homeschool tickets the operator told me I got the first five! SCORE!!!

Also I was able to purchase State Fair tickets for $2each!  State fair is a great way to start the school year!  

State fairs are a great places to collect information about great places drivable, local festivals, historical re-inactments and friendly farms.

Start making plans now so that after life gets busy with schooling and public schools begin to fill up the venues you have tickets! 

Last summer I noticed that the Nina and Pinta floating museums were docking for a few days only an hour from us and the VERY week my fourth grader was studying Columbus!

Plan now!

Saturday, May 14, 2016


At least not until we get our "schooling area" freshly painted .  Actually I am still finishing up a bit of paperwork, filing away last years test, just small things.  This Tuesday my co op is hosting a community used curriculum sale {which will force me to finish emptying our cabinet}.

Alas, I confess:
I love touching fresh books!
My heart is a little giddy about planning!
I am forcing myself NOT to open the lab kits!

Two day shy of being out of school for {only} two weeks and I am excited about starting again!

Friday, May 13, 2016

My Library is Happening!!

Years ago I worked in the library at the college I attended.  Recently I have came across moms in the homeschooling blogging world that have personal libraries!!! like 1000s of books!!!  I know this is my destiny!

 My job was repairing books and cataloguing audio {read cassette tapes!}  Having that job from time to time I came across treasures!  One such book arrived to my station basically a s a stack of pages.  I totally rebound it and read it.  Afterward I read it and shared it with patrons.  Soon it was the "hot" read and not available.

  In my library venture I knew I needed this book!  I bought it last week on Amazon for 78 cents!  Four dollars shipping!  And it arrived today in MINT SHAPE!!!!!!

This is a very exciting start to my own personal library!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Summer "School"

Can I really call it school if we are just going to do a few fun things together?

The plan is light and subject to change.  We have only been "out of school" for a few days.

Here is the plan:
Math: flash card drills
Geography: 50 states puzzle
-a couple of pages a day from Cursive Handwriting Practice for Teens (Ben and Nate)
-one page a day from Carson Dellosa (Eli)
Art: Norman Rockwell study 


Great GF cookies

Chocolate chunk refrigerated dough!!

These are ACTUALLY wonderful!

**I have been gluten free for 34 months and so I didn't live in disappointment I have chosen to rarely seek gluten free options but to instead enjoy foods that are naturally gluten free--and to be sincerely thankful for all the wonderful foods available!

Alas! Sometimes I have that longing for a soft warm chocolate chip cookie!  And I have found it! In the refrigerated cookie dough at Walmart.  $4.99 for 12!  42¢ each! And definitely worth it☺

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Easiest Yeast Bread!

So a friend is gifting me 2 dozen fresh eggs!  How to graciously accept them?  The only way I know to---

Easy Yeast Bread

First lightly wipe vegetable oil in the bowl that you are going to use for mixing.

6 cups of flour (all purpose)
2t. active yeast
2t. salt
4T. sugar

(to correctly measure flour spoon it into the measuring cup)

Mix all of these dry ingrediants together in a large bowl.

Then stir in 4T. of oil.
Next add 2 1/4c. of hot water--not boiling.
Continue to mix until the dough forms a ball.

Take the dough and knead it in flour sprinkled on counter or waxed paper.

Place the dough back into the bowl and let it rise for 20 minutes.

Next punch the dough working out any air pockets. Divide the dough into two equal balls. Place them into lightly greased loaf pans and allow them to rise for 4 hours.

After four hours place the pans into a preheated over set to 325. Bake for 25 minutes.

Allow the pans to cool for 2 minutes...
--run the loaves with butter then turn them out of the pans
--Leave the loaves lying on their sides to allw the bread to cool evenly (you dont want the bottom of the loave to sweat)

Theresa enjoy!!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Shhhhh It is M*A*T*H

My 4th grader just completed fourth grade a few hours ago!  And hopefully we will close out 2nd grade in the next few days!

And I am just about to introduce our summer mathematical goals!  Just a few weeks ago some moms were sharing about "Family Math" on Periscope Homeschoolscopes. 

I found it used on Amazon. Used with shipping less than $5!

Family Math is full of games,logic projects, and puzzles.  It is geared to grades kindergarten to fifth grade.  The object seems to be to solve these together. 

My hope is the each morning after we finish our flashcard drills the we will enjoy one or two of the projects together.  That way the boys will stay sharp on their skills while enjoying math.  I really can't use the phrase "summer school" as I am adopting "unschooling"!  I really feel Family Math is the perfect entrance for us.

Hello Summer!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Finishing Up

The point we have been journeying toward!  The completion of the 2015-2016 is here! We are on target to be done by Wednesday!!  

May has hit us like a whirl wind! This week but we are facing it practically free!!

I haven't dreaded this week but I am ready for it!  And secretly I am excited about the beginning of 7th, 5th and 3rd grade!!

Most of our materials for next year have arrived!  

Exciting news!  We are trying out the Charlotte Mason Method of learning this year.  As I read and study more into the methods my heart is filled with peace.  I plan to share our experiences and projects here.

**Also we are planning to paint and remodel a section of our basement for our study work area.

I hope that you will come along with us on this new adventure!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Book Review: the Organized Homeschool Life

So much more than a book review!  This is a book recommendation!!
I purchased this book myself and I am sharing it because it has stirred my heart and given me hope!
by Dr. Melanie Wilson

Over the past several months I have "met" Melanie on Periscope--and it has been an instant friendship and mentorship!

The book!!

Melanie--you messed up a little....this book is for everyone--even non homeschoolers!

First--the book is divided
*by months
*by weeks

Second--use it how it works for you!

As I read through the Table of Contents I wanted to jump in and do every week this week!  But I stepped back and considered starting with week one.  Then I thought I would embrace May--since tomorrow is May 1.  The first week of May challenge is:  "Organize Clothing Challenge" so "week 19" will be where I start.

Week 20 is the organize vacation challenge.  Our vacation is a few months away--although I am at week 19 in life right now... week 20 is months away.  Ah! But the book is flexible!  I will just look at the list and see which one feels like where I am.

Is this overwhelming? No--it is like a gentle conversation with a friend over a cup of tea. You know-- you mention a struggle and the friend confides that she has been there and tells you what she did.

Each week is broken up into simple tasks/goals to help you conquer the challenge.

Will I arrive to an organized life in 52 weeks?
No because life continues.  But I will have a framework that will help me feel focused and secure.

Thanks Melanie for the book--

for the conversation!

Joining up with Jenn and Amy over at:

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Morning Jump Start

Okay I know that this is not the official "Fly Lady" app but I promise it is just like having Marla on your phone!!  Sometimes mornings are overwhelming... and with this app I can check off a task and be encouraged!  Even just getting through the morning routine keeps me from feeling like a failure.

At first that morning routine seemed useless.  But when I started taking care of that list before starting my day I can fly with ease! And now that my day starts with Fly Ladies morning routine I start in full force!  Even like today when I slept until almost 8am!

With the morning routine out of the way I have a jump start on my day.
Whatever I don't get checked off is carried on to the next day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Homeschooling on the go?

Yes!  Life happens!  A clipboard is an instant take along class!  What will strangers say? And people who obviously don't agree with homeschooling?

Who cares?!

Because if they can see and realize that you are schooling then you are!

Easily my boys could be sitting in a classroom.  And maybe no one would notice that they are distracted or not even working.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that what I am doing is legal.
What I feel is best for my family.

And it is working for us.
I have to remind myself that I am not in this to ease concerns of others.
Enjoy your homeschooling journey.
And free yourself from the worries of how others are judging and comparing your journey!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Fitbit says: MOVE

So it is a cold April Saturday morning here in Kentucky.

And no I am not setting Fitbit records.  But I am conscious and intentional.

See the little red guy?
I am watching him.  In each hour that I get 250 steps in a red ball will light up. If I do 1000 in one hour I will not get four.  The object is that you move some every hour.  This has been going on all week.  So far I have gotten 8 balls in a single day.

My goal today is to get all 9!
It is now 11am--so I will put away some laundry and chase that 11 o'clock ball.

What are you doing toward your heath/fitness today?

Friday, April 8, 2016

Outgoing Mail!!

I love letter writing! And I send a lot of letters!  I especially love to send letters to people who are not expecting one! 

Everyone needs a letter!
Sick people.
Busy people.
People incarcerated.

A letter doesn't have to be an epistle! Just write it! What to write? "Hello" is a great start! Share the weather, a highlight from your day, a quote a funny fact...anything! Just the simple fact of receiving mail, proof that the recipient was thought of!

A short note can and will brighten someone's day.
Don't just think about it...

Want a letter from me?  Send me a direct message on Twitter (@antoniarenee) and I will send you a letter :-)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Yes! We Can Do It!!

So here is my fitbit results for today!  I didn't reach any of my goals...but I am not beating myself up because I know what my day entailed and all the extra times throughout the day that I did push harder.

I am a very faithful fitbitter!  The accountability and encouragement that I have received from fitbit is PRICELESS.  Often I am asked. "Oh does it really work?". Ummmm really? Absolutely not!! I work! It:
**tracks my movement
**reminds me to take my meds
**allows my fellow fitbitters to track and compete with me

So how did I lose over 60lbs?
I got serious. Real serious. Due to having a chronic disease I changed my habits trying to obtain the best health state that I could--sometimes we just have to do the right thing.  I cleaned up my diet--for real!! I started eating clean AND I sincerely became thankful for my food! <--- huge key to success!  When I share my diet changes people often tell me they can't live on "clean foods".  My health had went down hill. I was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and heard about this clean diet that many were seeing great results from--so I tried it! Almost three years later I am fit, I walk, drive, take care of my children and am a part of my family!!  Every day I thank God for this!  No junk food taste as good as living.  I am thankful for all the tasty healthful clean foods that I have learned to love!

That is a great part of my drive for fitness!  A body in motion stays in motion!  After learning to walk twice in the last 5 years I know the importance of getting up and pushing.  I don't always reach my fitness goals...but the more often that I do the better I feel.  I can't afford to give up.  I have to keep trying to make each day better. And you do too.  It was weeks of wearing and watching my fitbit...eventually I did hit the 10k goal! And now it is a common occurrence--yet I celebrate it every time!

Don't say you can't... proudly set your goals...celebrate each one.   I can remember the thrill of moving from "obese" to overweight on the BMI chart.  Now I am in the "normal" range...but determined not to settle until I reach the midpoint of that.

Remember success is failure turned inside out.  We can do this!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Finishing Strong

Fridays lesson was school day number 150 and lesson number 145!  This year the two little guys are using the ABEKA book curriculum it has 170 lessons--so the end is in sight!! It has been a good year --and I am thankful.  But as next year's curriculum arrives I find myself forcing myself to focus on the task at hand! We must finish the year strong!!

The new shiny books and organized lab kits are calling to me!  Our curriculum choices for next year will be a post soon...spoiler alert:  I will tell you that we are going to be adopting the Charlotte Mason Method.

Back to finishing the year is the plan:
--field trips--we need to have 177 days of school. We have 25 more lessons so I have 2 days for exploring in real life.  First on the list is the science center in St.Louis and next a mission conference.
--as the year closes we need to sort and purge school supplies.
--decide which non consumables I want to sell, trade, share
--evaluate our schooling area and consider how it might be arranged better {I already want to paint it a fresh color}
--start finalizing my records
I hope everyone will join us in finishing strong!

Saturday, March 19, 2016


Returned from Nashville!!

Tips if you are heading to a homeschooling conference:
**dress comfortably
**bring a water bottle--you can refill everywhere!
**bring along a small notebook... You'll want to jot down notes
**in crowded seminars go ahead and introduce yourself to the person next to will help with the awkwardness of having to sit so close.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

#lettermo UPDATE

To review the project:
**February is letter writing month
**Rules of #lettermo there are no rules
-write letters,post cards,ext.
-send mail everyday the mail runs

I have missed some days. But others mailed 2!  I have six pieces ready to leave tomorrow.

Benefits--the feeling you get from knowing that someone is going to be thrilled to hear from you. Letters are cozy and are so much more fun to hold that an email or voice mail.

During #lettermo a response has not been my goal--altgough I have received one letter and a card.

Oh the card!!

This afternoon I found that someone had anonymously placed a sweet card and a gift card to me in my mailbox!  I have no clue who and really that is making it even more fun! Topp't is my new favorite place to eat...and I am thinking my own mom doesn't even know that!

If I ever learn who that will get a big hug from me!

Send some mail!
Spread joy--and hope!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bullet Journal

{Hand raised}
I am a list maker.
I am a paper planner.

And always looking for ways to be more efficient without overwhelming myself.

And now I am crossing over and joining BULLET JOURNAL-ers! Maybe. Giving it a fair try anyway!

So I pulled out a partially used notebook and and started!

This is my beginning key...I borrowed it as I looked around online--maybe it will evolve as I find my way.

And I started a list of bullet journalist to watch.

February calendar page.

Index page

Future log

I made a key card to move along my daily pages so I be be consistent in my journaling.

So this is my first day. I would love suggestions! Please leave them in the comments! Thanks!

Friday, February 5, 2016


February is letter writing month!  I am a HUGE fan of handwritten/typed letters!

The goal of #lettermo is to: send something through the post every day it runs in February--which will be 24 times in 2016.

You can get all the details at

Come on and join the movement! An email is fast but doesn't have the same lasting effect as a snail mail letter.

I posted my 5th piece for the month person I sent two. I hope the recipients enjoy this as much as I have.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review: Write Through The Bible

Disclosure: this is not an ad
I have not been asked to do this
This post is just simply "mom to mom sharing".

Shamelessly sometimes I comb through Web at night looking for answers to my needs.

One night recently on Pinterest I saw a post about Write Through the Bible workbooks. I loved the simplicity and the concept of repetition of the scriptures.

So I looked on my favorite store website   and found one!!

The first 3 days the student copies one verse. The next couple of days they look up and define  vocabulary words. Then they write the dictated verse. This goes on until they have learned the verses of the passage. I am in love!

The workbook I chose for our first one is Psalms 1,23,& 121 (KJV)

Check these out

This has happily taken the place of our second and fourth grade ABEKA handwriting books.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Fresh February!!

January 1st is not magic.  Neither is February 1st, however it is focused.  I didn't make any resolutions for 2016. But I have had a good January. I rested.  And I am refreshed. I am still working on health goals, decluttering and reaching a peaceful balance of minimalism.
Today I want to share some of my homeschooling happenings!
1.  A place for everything.
A quick trip to the Dollar Tree landed me 12 baskets!   I chose one color for all so it wouldn't be too busy.  By organizing and giving everything a "home" we will save time and have a more peaceful schooling environment.

2. In my planner I am tracking up coming tests,quizzes, projects, ect.

3.  Starting this week I have made everyday a folder and put that days work and tests in it--why has it taken me until February to do this?!

4. Goal board.  Now we are using our magnetic white board to remind us our weekly memory we don't have to find one Sunday morning before Sunday School!! I also have listed the week lesson goal number as well as the day lesson goal.  Every day the boys get a sticker after they successfully completed a lesson. They are allowed to work when the goal chart it filled they get out of school until Monday!

I would love to hear what works for organinizing/motivation in your Homeschool!
Partying with:

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