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Saturday, August 26, 2017

5 Mistakes (and counting) that I've made in my Homeschooling Journey

For those who don't know me or my blog, I am a homeschool mother of 3 sons.  2 have graduated and the last one is entering 9'th grade after Labor Day.  This will be my 14'th year homeschooling.....boy, that went by fast!  Anyway, I wanted to encourage you to keep going forward with your homeschooling even if you make mistakes.  We all make mistakes and as long as we learn from them, it's ok.  My goal in our homeschool is to make sure my boys are ready for real life, love and serve the Lord and can be an asset to our community.  

Ok, here we go.........


#5             Thinking my child was behind.

When someone says "grade level", you have to think about where these requirements or guidelines for grade levels came from.  They came from the public school system.  They needed to set guidelines for the children so they could determine which grade level to place them in.  Ok, so.......  


I chose to homeschool for many different reasons but one of those reasons were because I wanted my children to learn what they needed to prepare them for 'real life' without all the worldly influences and other 'stuff' that I would consider useless information.  When you homeschool, YOU are the one who takes control over your child's education right?  YOU are the one responsible for what they learn and how they learn right?  Then YOU are the one who will be setting the guidelines for each grade level.  You see?  I'm not saying that you need to set expectations for each grade ranging from K to 12'th grade and mark them off once achieved.  You may even have different guidelines for different children!  They have different strengths and abilities so why give them the same guidelines?  I'm just saying that you decide when they are ready to move onto the next topic/subject/grade.  Stop dwelling on grade levels, they are NOT important.

#4            Comparing yourself to other homeschoolers.

Big mistake!  I remember looking at a friend of mine, who I admire highly, and thinking to myself....."Wow, I wish I could follow her example and homeschool like her".  That is not a good thought.  If you start comparing yourself, you will start feeling like you are inadequate and that you are failing to educate your children.  You aren't.  Every family is different.  You don't need to follow someone's example in everything.  Look at what you like about that other mom's homechool and ask yourself what you can pull from it.  Maybe it's just a scheduling issue you lack or a routine.  Maybe it's just a certain curricula that you might be able to implement in your homeschool to make your day flow better.  But don't feel inferior to someone because of how "successful" their homeschool days are.  Success is measured individually.  What works for one family, may not work for another.  Besides, what looks like a "perfect" homeschool, may not be what it seems.  hahaha.  I can guarantee that a fellow homeschool parent is not perfect and there are flaws in there somewhere.  The grass is usually NOT greener on the other side.  ;)

#3            Don't sweat the small stuff.

Oh my gosh! Jane can't get her multiplication tables down!  Why can't she memorize them?  I don't get it?  What is wrong with her?  lol.  Been there.  Some children don't memorize in sequence.  My 2 younger boys could never quite memorize all the multiplication tables.  But it's ok.  If I ask them what 7x6 is, they know.  That is what is important.  So they can't say their 9 times tables:  9,18,27,36,45,54...... who cares?  They know how to multiply and THAT is important.  If they just can't memorize something, it's ok.  As long as they know where to go to find the answer to something, they will be fine.  

#2              Spending money on curriculum.

You have to find what works for your child.  I remember going through 3 different Math curriculum's one year until I found the right one for my son.  I purchased one of the well known math books and it just didn't click.  Then again, found something else, didn't click.  Then it happened......he got it!  I found the one that he could understand.  He hated math so this didn't help when trying different ones, but the funny thing to this story is that he went on to college and got A's in all his Math classes!  I asked him one day why he keeps taking so many math classes (some he was taking as electives) because I knew he didn't like math.  His response was priceless.  He says, "I don't like math, but I'm good at it".  That right there was a SUCCESS!  He was realizing that he needed to put aside his dislike and take these classes that he knew he'd do well in and get the A's.  Very proud moment there for this homeschool mom.  Yes, tooting my own horn.......toot toot!

#1            Don't give up!

I have to confess that I did give up one time with my oldest.  He wasn't listening to instruction and every time I needed an assignment corrected it was a fight.  I ended up fighting with him more than homeschooling.  He was in the 8'th grade and was working independently at this point, but fighting with him over correction and schedules was taking away from homeschooling my other 2 sons.  So we made the decision to place him in the public school system starting in 9'th grade.  He did fine academically.  He held a great gpa.  However, the things he was exposed to and taught we did not agree with.  I don't want to go into detail but if I had to do it all over again, I would have found a way to overcome the issue.  Not sure how I would have achieved it, but I would have!

I have made more mistakes, but I thought 5 was torturous enough for me to admit.  It's not easy to admit that I make a mistake, but again, if I learn from them and can pass on the wisdom so you don't make the same ones, it's worth it.

Note: These are my opinions based on my homeschool experiences.  Every family is different and what worked for me, may not work for you.  God Bless and Homeschool on!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

There is NO manual for this

Ahhh, parenthood.  The joy of raising children into young men and women of this world.  There really should be a manual by the way.

Parenting isn't easy.  I remember being in my 20's and meeting a mother that didn't give her children any sugar.  That means no gum, candy, soda pop, etc.  None, NO sugar.  In my mind I thought how that could be rated as child abuse, no doubt.  Again, in my 20's, before I started having children, that was my thought, my judgement.  Now, being 43 years old with 3 boys ages: 21, 18 & 14......that woman was a frickin' genius!  

Sometimes we look and yes, judge, other parents for their choices they make raising their children, but in all honestly, it's hard not to judge.  Remember that saying "WWJD" (What Would Jesus DO)?  Well, I always wonder what I would do in their situation.  But again, being honest, we never really know what we would do until we are IN THAT SITUATION.

Recently I had to make a parenting decision.  It wasn't an easy one either.  I try and think of what my mother, sister or friends would do, but in all reality every situation, every family, every person is different.  There isn't one answer for each situation.  

As parents we don't have a manual.  We have to make decisions and live with the consequences.  My husband and I try to teach our children that EVERY decision you make in your life there will be a consequence of some sort.  From a college or schooling decision to a work related decision to a personal friendship decision, they all have consequences.  But you know what?  It's ok to make mistakes.  We aren't perfect, as parents we WILL make mistakes.  As children, teens and young adults.....we WILL make mistakes.  The important thing is that we LEARN from these mistakes and don't make them again.

I have made many mistakes as a mother.  If I make a mistake, I claim it.  I tell my boys that I was wrong.  Always admit when you are wrong.  It's not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength, wisdom, maturity and most important....accountability.  Some many children don't take accountability for their mistakes or actions these days.  This behavior has to be someone.  When my boys do something wrong, they must acknowledge it and take accountability for that wrong doing or they won't learn to be responsible, good citizens in life. 

Recently I did something I shouldn't have.  I was called out on it.  I could have lied and honestly, no one would have known about it. Well, no one but God.  I owned up to it right away, told the truth and boy did I get my butt reamed out for it!  But you know what?  I apologized, took accountability, repented and moved on.  It wasn't easy, but it was the right thing to do.  What kind of parent would I have been if I lied?  As a mother, I need to set a good example for my boys and even though telling the truth, taking accountability was the right thing to do, it wasn't the easy road.  Doing the right thing isn't always easy.  In fact, it's usually the hardest bumpiest road in our path......but it's the right one.  

So even though being a parent isn't easy, we need to move on and pat ourselves on the back for our accomplishments in our children.  Quit being hard on ourselves and think about the good things we have taught our children.  They learn from us.  They see our every move, decision, action and reaction.  I'm blessed to have 3 good, well rounded boys who love the Lord and are respectful to others.  In life, they don't always make the same decision I would make in a situation, but that doesn't make them wrong.  They also need to make mistakes to learn from them.  Encourage them, love them and remember,  there is NO manual for parenthood.   

Friday, May 19, 2017

Old desk to New Vanity

I have been into the Shabby Chic decor lately and one of the things that is popular in this decor line is distressing old furniture.  My vanity table is very small, no drawers, shelving, etc.  So I went on a hunt.

I found this beauty for $25 on our local Facebook yard sale page.  

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It was actually an old secretary desk but the roll top was missing.  It has 3 drawers on each side and one in the middle.  The 2 bottom drawers are very deep.

I took some 50 grit sandpaper (that is what I had) and started sanding.  Messing, nasty job but somebody has to do it right?  Then I took a dry rag and wiped it off.  

I used Plaster of Paris to make chalk paint.  You can purchase this at any hardware store.  It runs about $5 a carton.  A little goes a very long way!  The chalk paint seems to stretch the paint and give it a dull finish which is what I wanted for distressing. 

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The recipe is to use 1 part plaster to 3 parts paint.  So I took 1/3 cup and added a few teaspoons of water to dilute it.  You want it to become a little thinner than mayo consistency.  Then once mixed, I added 1 cup of my cheap Glidden brand paint to it. (Glidden brand paint runs about $12-15 per gallon.)  You need to make sure all the plaster mixed and isn't settling to the bottom.

I used a cheap paint brush.  You can use a roller and if it was a piece of furniture that I wasn't going to be distressing, I would have.  But because of the distressing, the brush marks left in the paint wouldn't matter.  

I removed all the hardware and the drawers.  I painted the drawers first, then the base.  This chalk paint will dry very quickly.  I put another coat of paint on and then spray painted the hardware.  

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After it dried, I put the hardware back on and put the drawers in.  I again used my 50 grit sandpaper and started the distressing process.  This is very easy to do.  I just started sanding where I thought the "wear" would be on an old piece of furniture.  I sanded until the wood started to show through.  You can sand as much as you want or little as you want.  I didn't sand too heavy because I wanted it to look distressed, but elegant at the same time.

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I also placed some Damask contact paper, that I had on hand, inside all the drawers.  This makes them look nice as well as easy to clean.

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So this is the finished product!

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I love doing this to old furniture.  Giving it new life and purpose is inspiring to me.  Kind of like me, I feel old some days but I slap on some make up and hair accessories and I'm young again.  Ha Ha!

So this was pretty fun.  I've done this before with an old china hutch, but I used spray paint.  It turned out ok, but the coverage wasn't the best and it was very time consuming and messy.  The chalk paint is so much easier to work with and cheaper!  The good spray paint is around $5 per bottle now and it would take several cans to do a piece like this.  For this vanity, I used about 1  1/4 cup of paint! That is it!  Like I mentioned before, the plaster makes the paint go a long way!  I mixed 1 cup at a time so the 3/4 cup I had left over I just put in an old glass jar with a lid.  I can use this the next time and it will already be mixed for me.  ;)

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So I hope I've inspired you to dig out an old piece and make it new again!  These projects are nice because they are one day projects. This took me just a few hours to do.  Enjoy your day and make it productive!  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Homeschooling Outside the Box

Over the last 13 years of homeschooling, I have learned a thing or two.  It's not to sweat it.  I really can't screw up my children.  Right?  

I look at today's teens and this generation and wonder, "Good Lord, where is the respect, relationship values, work ethic, morals and basic value of human life?"   Maybe the generation before me looked at me and thought the same thing.  But as a mother, a mature mother, I look at 'others' and choose my teens to NOT be like them.  It's sometimes not popular to be the outsider, the different one, odd person, etc.  But does this mean that we should ignore our morals, what we believe in, raising children techniques just because of judgment from those we really don't have respect for us in the first place?  Think about that a minute.  I care what my GOD thinks of me and my family.  Society can go ahead and think I am different for wanting to unschool my youngest.  I don't care.  Really.  What matters to me is that GOD is looking down on me and smiling because I am raising good Godly, self sufficient, caring men.  Men who care about others, put others first, non-selfish men who aren't afraid to work on providing a good life for their own families.  Why should the ones looking down on me (or you) for raising & educating your children 'outside the norm' have any effect on our families?  

With age this knowledge comes.  I remember when I first started homeschooling I would watch other homeschool mothers and think, "Wow, how do they do all that?" or maybe think that I'd never be as good as them.  I had to learn to STOP COMPARING myself to other women!  I am the homeschool mother that I am supposed to be.  I homeschool the way I feel the Lord wants me to.  All mothers are different, they homeschool differently and they have different agendas and goals for their children.  That doesn't mean their goals and homeschooling method is wrong.  It just means that it is right for them (and works for them).  

It's also ok to change your method of homeschooling.  When I started, I set up a classroom, taught aBeka curriculum, kept attendance and grades.  13 years later, I'm am so relaxed, happy, content and teaching what I think my son should learn instead of what the 'world' thinks he should learn.  You may be thinking to yourself, "How is he going to function in the real world if he doesn't learn what everyone else in the public high schools are learning?".  My answer to this is simple, "Just fine."  Life is NOT like high school or public schools.  My sons can have a full loaded conversation with any adult of any age.  They aren't afraid to go into a store and ask for help.  They aren't afraid to help others in need, no matter where they are.  

My one son actually seen a elderly man trying to lift dog food into his trunk of his car.  My son quickly handed the grocery bags to me and said, "Hold these, I'll be right back" and went and helped him.  The man was grateful and I was proud.  Moments like that is how I know that me teaching 'out of the box' methods are working for our family and in society.  They will be just fine in the real world.  

I guess I am writing this this morning to encourage you that when you come to a crossroads in your homeschooling or life (notice I said when and not if), don't be afraid to step out of the crowd and do what is best for you and your family.  The Lord will honor you for putting your family first rather than following the crowd.  Look at Jesus.  He didn't follow the crowd.  Thank GOD he didn't follow the crowd! 

Happy Homeschooling............out of the box!  :)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Grade Levels Are Made Up

So many parents are trying to keep their children up to the grade level they are suppose to be at with their age.  We all do it.  Public schools do it; they are the ones who made up what a child should know for each grade level (or age).  Homeschoolers do it.  We buy curriculum by what?  ....... Grade level.  


Who is the expert on what every single 8'th grader across America should know not considering any other aspect except age (grade)?  If you think about it, it is dumb.  Just plain dumb.  

My middle son was reading small books at the age of 4 years old!  Yes, 4.... and he loves to read even now at the age of 18.  I had to ground him from books in Middle school because he would stay up until 3am reading the new 'Peter and the Skycatchers' by: Dave Barry.  (He never lets me forget that by the way, lol.)  My youngest child struggles with reading.  He's in 8'th grade and absolutely hates to read.  

Let's take a look at the 'grade level' subject again.  Let's say we have a 5'th grade class that consists of 30 students.  Every single 5'th grader in that class isn't going to be able to read at the same level. It's impossible.  There will be a few that may read fast and hard words will come easy because they can remember all the English Language rules and they can put them together and pronounce a word right off the bat.   But there will others who won't be able to even know where to begin to sound out the vowels to make that word make sense in the sentence.  Why?  Because we are NOT the same.  We are NOT robots made up of all the same equal parts.  So why does the school system focus so much on 'grade level'???  I understand why they have it.  They have to have a baseline for children to move up to different levels until they reach graduation status, of course.  But again, WHY DO WE FOCUS ON THIS SO MUCH??

Let's look at this in a different way.  I'm 43 years old and last summer I learned how to ride a horse.  I was a total beginner.  When my friend (mentor) started to teach me to ride, she didn't think to herself.... 'Ok, she is 43 so she is at level 10 which means she should know how to ride a horse without instruction'.  No.  I was a beginner and it didn't matter that I was a 43 yr old adult.  To assume, because of my age, that I was an experienced rider would be totally ignorant.  Ahhhh, then why do we do this to our children?

I wish I would have followed this concept when I first started homeschooling 13 years ago because I would have homeschooled my boys so differently.  I wouldn't have purchased curriculum by grade level.  I would have purchased it by what level they were at and what needed to be covered.  

So my advice to you is ditch the 'grade level' thoughts and focus on what your child needs to learn to be a successful adult.  I will repeat this again as I have in my blog posts, but my 3 goals for my sons are as follows:

1.   Have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
2.   Be able to support themselves and their families.
3.   Be happy and helpful.

That is what life is all about right?  It's about helping others, being happy, raising a Christ filled family, and supporting that family financially.  Those are my goals anyway.  With only one son left homeschooling now (my other 2 have graduated), our homeschooling is very different than years ago.  We have a different focus, not grade levels, but goals.  

God Bless & Happy Homeschooling!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Jackson by Noriko wig review

Jackson by: Noriko Review
in color Creamy Toffee R


This Noriko wig comes in a nice box with the cap inside out for shipping and handling.  It comes with an info card.  The style and color listed on one side and the care instructions on the back.

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Wig Feel & Style:

This synthetic wig feels very nice, soft and real.  It is a straight style with layers.  It is considered a long wig but only comes to about 8 inches from the nape of the neck.  It has been referred to the Jennifer Aniston wig due to the style.  I would have to agree.  It's very cute!

This wig is NOT heat resistant.  After washing (listed on care instructions) you turn inside out and hang to dry.  Then you just shake it and put it on.  It is supposed to go right back into its shape/hairstyle.

Front view of wig.

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Back view of wig.

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Side views.
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It has a lot of nice layers in it.  It's not thick and bulky but not too thin either.  It is a straight hairstyle that can be parted on either side or in the middle.  It's long enough that it could be pulled back in a low ponytail or just the front & sides could be pulled back with a small clip.  


This Creamy Toffee R has gorgeous blonde shades throughout the hair with dark brown roots for a more natural look.  The platinum blonde, being the strongest color to pop, is just beautiful!  One reason I chose this color blonde is because I can never get my hair dyed this shade of blonde and look like this due to my dark color.  I've had bleach blonde hair about 14 years ago but as you may know, when you bleach your hair the shafts of the hair get big, tangled, dry, brittle and they are very unhealthy.  So this is a great alternative!

Cap Construction:

The cap has 2 adjustable straps for security.  It has ear tabs for comfort and a soft band at the nape of the neck and forehead as well.  (The cap is made exactly like the Reese wig, also by Noriko, which I reviewed Feb. 27, 2017.)

It does have some permatease on the top and back top for lift. Some people don't like the permatease but I love it because I could never get that much lift in my bio hair even with tons of back combing and hair spray.


Jackson retails for around $118.  I searched for the best price on this wig and came up with a few websites.  The first one is Brand Name Wigs.  Their price was $90.95, click HERE to view the wig. (They also offer free shipping over $50)  The company I purchased the wig from was Wilshire Wigs.  Their price was $118, but offered a 30% off code for a sale they were running.  Perfect timing hey?   So that brought the wig price to $82 approx.  & FREE shipping!  Click HERE to view the Jackson from that site (Wilshire Wigs).  I'm not sure if that 30% off sale is still going on, but you could always call to see what discounts they are offering.  They offer free shipping as well on orders over $50. 

The wig comes in many different colors.  I highly suggest you YOUTUBE the wig and color before you buy it so you can see what it looks like on other people (rather than just the model on the site).  

Overall the wig seems great!  I will do an update after a few month wear.  I'm interested in how it will stand in the heat of the summer.  ;)  I started wearing wigs last October so I haven't experienced the summer heat being a wig wearer yet.  

Disclaimer:  I purchased this wig with my own money.  All the info. given is from my own experiences & my own opinions.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

How we 'kind of' Unschool ........

I need a Disclaimer right off the bat here before you read on.  These are just my opinions and this concept is NOT for everyone.  Although it is legal to homeschool in all 50 states, each state has their own homeschooling laws that must be followed.  Make sure you are up to date with those laws!  You can find out what laws your state has by going to HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Assoc.) website. 
With that out of the way, let's begin.

There are several different ways to "unschool" and I am not an expert.  However, I have learned a few things in my 13 years of homeschooling my 3 sons.

First, let's take a look at the definition of unschooling.  

Unschooling:   is an educational method and philosophy that advocates learner-chosen activities as a primary means of learning.

You are probably thinking right now.... What? What the heck does that mean?  

It means that my child's interests come first and we use that as a guide to educate.  Now, I only have one son homeschooling right now.  (The older two have graduated already.)  My youngest is going to be 14 years old next week and right now the only thing he is interested in is video games.  lol.  Needless to say, we don't play video games all day.  But I knew that I didn't want to teach him the traditional way.  

Let's back up a bit and take a look at the definition of homeschooling.

Homeschooling:  the education of children at home by their parents.

Let's not confuse this with "schooling at home".  Some say that doing the online K-12 program is homeschooling.  I disagree.  To me, that is just doing public school at home, in a different environment maybe, but not homeschooling.  I feel that homeschooling is led and taught by the parent or guardian at home.

After years of homeschooling, I decided to try unschooling (in at least what my opinion of unschooling is).  I was thinking to myself one day "what is my goal for my son"? (Remember, the other 2 graduated already so I just have the one son left at home.)  So this is what I came up with......... #1 being the most important.

#1  Raise a God loving man & follower of Christ
#2  Raise a man who can support himself & his family
#3  Raise a man who enjoys life & is happy doing what he is doing

Now, if any of my boys decide to be a plumber, electrician, state road worker or even a manager at Walmart, as long as he is achieving these 3 goals above, I have succeeded as an educating parent.

So using these 3 goals I tried to figure out what needs to be taught in order to achieve these goals.  So this is what I came up with.

8'th grade (this current schoolyear) but these are the things to achieve from now through high school.

Math - 
Know how to keep & balance a checkbook.
Know how to budget & pay bills on time.
Know what you can and cannot afford.
Know how to pay tithes.
Know how to shop for himself.
Know how credit cards, mortgages, loans, etc work.
Know how to figure out dimensions to build, add on, replace or repair your home. (plumbing, electrical & automotive included)

Language Arts / Writing -
Know how to write a business letter, email or basic letter.
Know how to spell check a document.  
Know basic sentence structure for writing short papers or documents.
Know how to address an adult or stranger.
Know how to fill out important paperwork.
Know how to prepare & conduct a job interview.

Science -
Know basic Anatomy, Reproductive Cycle and how Life begins.
Know the scientific method.
Know how to raise an animal for food.
Know how to grow and maintain a garden for food.
Know basic canning techniques, food preservation and storage.

History -
Know our Constitution & Amendments.
Know the history of our country / forefathers. 
Know how history came about (Biblical).
Know how the electoral system works & why.

There are other things I'm sure I'm forgetting, but these are the basics.  I do ask my son what he is interested in and we do try to use those interests as a guide to learning.  (I also teach Logic & Geography.)

(Something to oldest son went to our local public school for his high school years and he did NOT learn how to balance a checkbook, he did NOT learn how interest works or how to budget, etc.  This doesn't make any sense to me at all.  But that is for another blog post.  Needless to say if I had it to do over again, he would not have attended public high school.)

So this is how a basic unschooling day goes in our home:

Wake up:  Happens whenever he wakes up naturally.  He needs his sleep, he is a growing boy. ;)  Usually he is up by 9am.

Eat Breakfast and watches some Netflix while 'waking up'.

10:00 am we start our 'school'.  I usually read to him (we just finished 'The Hiding Place' by:  Corrie ten Boom).

Then we do some EIW (Excellent in Writing).  He gets to be creative and write about a certain topic while using instructed strong verbs, clauses, etc.

Sometimes I will ask him to spell a few words orally.  If he doesn't get them correct, I have him write them down and see why they were wrong.  But let's face it, everything now a days has spell check.  I practiced spelling all through public school and I am a terrible speller.  Thank God for spell check!!

Around 11'ish we will go to the kitchen and eat a snack or brunch (depending what he ate earlier).  Then we will do our Math exercise.  I may ask him to prepare a grocery list for me.  He has to take inventory and write down what we may need.  I may give him a math worksheet (I created) that has a few things that need to be deducted from a 'fake' checking register.  You get the picture.

He has an unschooling journal he works in as well.  This journal consists of drawing, figuring out puzzles, researching a country and answering questions, etc.  
You can find many unschooling journals here:

We use Netflix a lot in our education.  There are tons of great documentaries, educational movies, etc on Netflix.  We are still studying the 'Nazi era' right now so we are watching the series on Netflix called "Auschwitz".  Wow, all I can say is wow.  If you are studying this, or going to be covering this, you need to watch it.  

We are usually done with our unschooling day between 12 - 1pm depending what we did that day.  Some days we will do a science experiment so those days we end closer to 1:00pm.

Yes, our 'schooling' only consists of less than 3 hours per day.  Why does it need to be more?  If we accomplished what we needed to, to achieve our goals, why drag it out?

I know the one question on your mind is "what about college"? How is he going to survive college if he doesn't learn Algebra, Trig or how to write a 2,000 word report?  The answer is easy.  If HE decides to go to college, then we will learn it.  If he doesn't, then he won't.  The basic Algebra that you and I use daily is what he will know, why bore him with anything that will not benefit him later?  I think back to all the stuff I learned in high school and honestly, I don't use probably 90% of it.  I would say the 10% I do use is how to address people and write basic letters, email, etc.  Seriously, do I need to teach him the square root of 625?  Whatever he comes across that he needs to know and doesn't, he will know where to find it.  Let's face another fact.......Google is what most of us adults use to find out the answer to just about anything now a days. Before Google, we had our local library.  We use the library quite a bit in our unschooling by the way.

So this is our 'unschooling', well kind of unschooling approach.  I hope that if you decide to educate your children at home that you will do it in the style or manner that you want your child to grow in and accomplish his/her goals and not the way the world feels your child should be educated.  If you are currently homeschooling, kudos to you!  :)  I hope all is going well and you decide to venture outside of the box now and then.  I did.........and I'll never go back inside that box again!  Can everyone say education freedom?  :)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Living Life After Cancer

This post isn't easy to write.  It brings up a lot of emotions and feelings I'd rather not deal with.  But people just think that once you are in remission, you are done.  No more worries, no more fear, no more thoughts about cancer.  Well, they are so wrong.

The doctors say I am in Remission.  Let's look at the definition.

Remission: Disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer or other disease; can be temporary or permanent.

I choose to not think of this as remission, but as healed from God.  Why?  Because God brings hope.  

Psalm 118:8 says, It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.

Man will fail us.  I fail, you fail, we all fail.  God is the one thing that never fails us.

So living life in 'remission' isn't easy.  It's is a spiritual, psychological warfare DAILY.  What do I mean by this?  Well, every day the devil attacks my mind.  With me, every day he puts a voice in my head that says things like....

"when will the cancer come back"
"that pain in your elbow, it's bone cancer"
"headache?  brain cancer"
"look at your children, too bad you won't be around to see your grandchildren"
"when it comes back, it will come back with the vengeance"

This goes on constantly.  This voice isn't just a thought, it's a strong voice in my head.  However, the Lord's voice (and word of God) is stronger and more powerful and that is how I deal with this.

"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."  Hebrews 4:12

Every time I hear this voice I remember back to what the Lord told me that day on the swing after hearing the news that I may have BC.  (blog post June 14, 2015 - My Beginning of my Breast Cancer Story)

The Lord said to me on that day, "I am going to allow you to go through something.  You are going to be fine.  I have your back."

He didn't say, 'You will be fine temporarily' or 'You'll be fine until such as such day', He said 'You are going to be fine.'

I cling to that.  God doesn't lie.  God has my back.  The King of all King's told me he has my back!  :)  

When I say he spoke to me, there is no mistake.  HE SPOKE TO ME.  I KNEW.  He told me this before my biopsy and before my diagnosis.  So I knew I had BC before they told me.  From those words on, I had TOTAL PEACE!  

Let me clarify, I am NOT afraid to die.  I know Heaven will be glorious.  I am however, afraid to leave my children without a mother.  When God told me I was going to be fine, I knew my boys would not have to deal with losing me at this point. Parents are supposed to pass on before their children.  That is the circle of life.  But no child should ever have to lose a parent.

Here are a few scriptures I cling to.....

Proverbs 4:21-22  "Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one's whole body."  (speaking about the Word of God)

Psalm 107:20   "He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave."

And my favorite.....

Romans 8:11   "And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you."

To me, that is so inspiring.  That same Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave 3 days after he died, lives in me???  That is amazing!

So if you are going through cancer, I hate to tell you this but your fight will probably never be over in your mind.  You must fend off those daily voices from satan.  You must replace them with words of Power.  I find myself saying out loud at times, "I rebuke that in the name of Jesus". Remember, your words are powerful.  If you tell yourself you are dumb, ugly and unlikable everyday, you will eventually start to believe it.  So you need to speak positive, bold & full of life!   Maybe God didn't give you peace like he did me through your cancer journey.  That doesn't mean you can't have peace.  You must claim it!  Speak it!  Believe it!  I will not live my life worried from day to day about the "C" word coming back.  I refuse.  It's work.  I have to fend off the enemy daily, but I will do it and it's worth it.

Remember that fear comes from satan.  God doesn't give you fear.  Fear is a negative emotion and not created by God.

And one final thought, God didn't give you cancer.  Sin is why you landed cancer.  Not your sin, but sin in the world.  When Adam and Eve betrayed the Lord, sin entered the world.  Your cancer has nothing to do with something you've done in your life that was sinful.  God is not a punisher.  Don't let anyone tell you that you inherited or received cancer due to your lifestyle / sinful ways.  That is a lie from satan.  

You may ask 'if you are such a believer of the Lord God, why didn't he heal you right away or why did he allow you to get cancer in the first place'?  God could have healed me in a blink of an eye but you can't help others without a story.  You can't have a testimony without a test.  I can't explain why I got cancer, but I trust that the reason was important.  Maybe I witnessed to someone in the doctor's office, maybe I helped someone else through it not knowing, maybe I needed to gain faith myself, etc.  I probably will never know but I do know that God knows what he is doing.  In his eyes, me going through something to help someone else may be worth it.  I don't know exactly.  

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1 out of 8 women get BC.  I was the 1 of 8.  

I am a survivor.  

I will not let negative thoughts stay with me.  

That is my testimony.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Wig Review: "Carrie" by Uniwigs from the LAVIVID collection

 This review is brought to you by Uniwigs

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This is "Carrie" in the Lavivid collection 
in color AL01003-01R (Almond-Frost) 

My excitement couldn't be hidden!  hee,hee.

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Shipping / Packaging:

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It came by FedEx in a very nice box along with a few gifts.

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The gifts included a wig cap, some sew in clips and a nice special brush for this wig.

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The tag has the Livivid logo, wig name and color.  

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On the inside of the tag there are care instructions.  
Note: This wig is NOT heat resistant.

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Cap Construction:

The inside cap has 2 adjustable straps for comfort.  The cap is very soft, not scratchy at all.  They have ear tabs that fit securely in front / above the ears.  There is metal inside each ear tab to bend so the wig fits securely at the sides.

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The back piece that is at the nape of the neck is very soft.  I've had other wigs (not from this company), that have been scratchy and itchy.  This is not!  Again, very soft and comfortable.

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The top inside is closed with a soft flower net material with some permatease for some mild lift.  There isn't too much permatease, just the right amount for the perfect body and lift at the crown.  

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Oh my goodness!  This is right out of the box!  I gave it a shake and then put it on.  This is before any finger combing, styling or brushing!  I am very impressed!  It honestly looks like model hair!  

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This wig has dark roots to make it look natural.  I have dark hair so I could pull some of my bio hair out to blend it and then I could wear this wig pulled up and back away from the face.  It has beautiful blonde highlights!  (The wig is NOT shiny at all.  In the pics it looks like there is shine, but that if from the camera.)

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I can style this many different ways as seen below.  

I can just pull back the top, front sides......

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......or I can pull up all the sides..........

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...........or I can put it in a low pony..........

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........ and it look gorgeous with a small piece pulled up with a small clip......

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........or with a winter hat or camo cap.

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This wig feels and smells like REAL HAIR.  I have never had a wig smell so nice!  It smells like real freshly washed hair and conditioned for softness.  It has just the right amount of hair in this wig, not too much to make it look thick and not too little to make it look thin.  It's constructed with the perfect amount of hair and the layers are beautiful!  The front layer, bang area, come down to my chin.  You could have your stylist cut them shorter if desired.

Also, the wig length is very nice as well.  I am 5'2" and the back comes down just past my bra strap.  You could have it trimmed by your stylist if the length is too long for you.

You can also change the part easily.  You can part it in the middle or either side.  The wig is very easy to manage.


The wig is very lightweight and very comfortable. 

Customer Service:

I was in contact with "Kelly" from several times in regards to this wig and the review.  Every email, every question was answered the same day!  Excellent customer service!  You definitely want good customer service in case you do have any issues.  This company stands behind the wigs they sell.  I would highly recommend for your wig purchase(s).


The Lavivid collection has 7 styles to choose from with Carrie being the longest.  

You also have 5 different colors to chose from! 

The colors are: 

Almost-Frost (which I purchased and shown in this review)....

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Light Brown......

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Macadamia (platinum blonde)......

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Chocolate-Caramel (gorgeous brown/auburn with blonde highlights).......

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Retail is $135.90 - $158.00 (depending on the color).  This color I am wearing (Almond Frost) costs $158.00.  Uniwigs does offer FREE SHIPPING on orders over $49.00  

**Uniwigs is offering a 10% discount with the code below**

Coupon code:  Tina10   to save 10% off  
at checkout!

Wig information:

Carrie Synthetic Wig:
SKU: AL01003
UniWigs LAVIVID collection:
LaVivid Face book page:

Shipping Cost were great!  Again, Free shipping over $49.  

Under $49.00 is $4.95 US Ground, 4-7 days.

My Opinion:

This wig gets a 5 star and an A+ from me!  I think it is amazing! Carrie is very comfortable, cool, easy to wear, fits perfectly, perfect amount of hair, parts nicely, gorgeous color and looks like model hair!  What's not to like?  


As of now, I don't have any cons other than I had to wait a few weeks on shipping.  This Lavivid Collection has a prep time of 2-3 weeks on this Carrie wig.  But I have to say, when it was shipped they contacted me via email and provided a tracking number so I could watch it's location.  So all in all, NO CONS about the wig.  

Was it worth the price?

That is something I will have to decide over time.  Some wigs I have purchased in the past have been very cheap and they don't last long.  So if this wig lasts a while (6 months or so) I would say yes. You may think spending $158 is a lot of money for a hairpiece, however, if you go to the salon and get highlights done, a trim, and styled, I would say you probably spend close to that anyway about every 2 months at least.  So if it lasts 6 months or longer, I would say yes, it was worth the price.  I plan on doing a few updates in the future on Carrie so stay tuned.  

THANK YOU UNIWIGS for this amazing wig!  I have my eye on the chocolate caramel color and hope to purchase it soon!  

Thank you!

Disclaimer:  I purchased this wig with my own money, I did however get a discount in exchange for my honest review.  I'm not getting paid for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Wig Reveiw on "Gill" from Paula Young

"Gill" from Paula Young Wigs.

Color:  Flame Rooted SF33/24#4

This wig came in a nice box with protective netting.  It arrived approx. 3 days after I ordered it.  

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Cap Construction, Wear & Styling:
The cap has 2 small adjustable velcro straps for comfort.  I was impressed to see how strong the velcro really is.  Wow!

I put this wig on right out of the box and at first, I have to be honest, I wasn't thrilled.  It was pretty wild.  But after I fingered through the wig to find the right part and how I wanted it to style to fit my face, it looks great!  

In this picture below, I pulled the front back to show that even though this is NOT a lace front, it can be done.  You just have to pull a few strands out, or pull the bangs down, to make it look natural.

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Here below is it finger styled to how I wanted it.  I wore it for about 9.5 hours today.  The only issue I had is that it was a bit itchy in the back (lower) and around the ears.  But nothing that was too extreme.  Most wigs itch me a little.

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I have to say, even wearing ALL day and even in the rain (going from truck to store) it stayed in EXACT place.  Even though it does have nice movement to it, it didn't flatten out or go crazy in the wind/rain.  The rain drops didn't seem to flatten it or anything.  I know, I need an umbrella.  Every time I need one, it's in the other vehicle or in the house.  :/

This wig has a lot of permatease to it!  That helps with lift and fullness (almost like teased hair at the roots, but not noticeable).  Some may not like the permatease, but I do.  What can I say, I was a teen in the 80's.  The more teased, the better.

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Above is the back.  It has a stacked bob cut and the top has nice beachy waves to it.   

This wig is a Versa Fiber wig meaning it is heat friendly up to 350 degrees.  So you can go straight one day and curly the next.  

My Opinion:
The wig at first was going to get shipped back to be honest.  But when I started messing with it (with my fingers) I started to shape it into what style I liked.  The color is gorgeous!  It has some nice auburn with beautiful highlights!  I would give this wig a B+.  I do believe it was worth $59.99.  

The web site, Paula Young, in my opinion, has extremely high shipping rates.  Their rates are determined by the price of the order, not the weight.  Their rates run from $5.99 to $14.99.  I had a free shipping coupon I used for this item otherwise I would have had to pay $11.99 for this to ship, which is crazy.  However, if you think you may be ordering, you can create an acct. with them and they will send you coupons.  I used a 30% off coupon on the Reese wig I bought from them.  (Keep in mind the Noriko wigs, Reese, come right from the manufacture so it took 10 days to ship.)  Another perk of signing up for the email coupons is their web site has a 'wish list' option so you can make a collection of the ones you like.

All and all this is a cute little wig.  I think I'll keep her.  ;)

Disclaimer:  I purchased this wig with my own money.  I'm not getting paid or get anything in return for this review.  All opinions are my own.