Book 5 of 50 – Atomic Habits

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You can easily read Atomic Habits (not an affiliate link) by James Clear in a week. It is only 264 pages. Besides, it is written well and presents a few simple concepts. The stories Clear uses to open each chapter and illustrate the principles keep your interest in reading.

Atomic Habits

My copy of the book from the library

What Clear proposes are small changes you can implement in your daily routine so that you can change your habits and results over time. Also, the goal is to have lasting results. Continue reading »


Book 4 of 50 – Une langue venue d’ailleurs

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Akira Mizubayashi is a Japanese man who fell in love with French. He learned it so well, he obtained scholarships to study in France – twice. After getting his doctorate degree in French, he returned to Japan and taught French for the rest of his life. In his own words, this meant happiness. Mizubayashi wrote a memoir in French about how he learned French and how it changed his life – “Une langue venue d’ailleurs.”

Une langue venue d'ailleurs

Une langue venue d’ailleurs – my own copy

I bought this book in 2014, read 70% of it, and never finished it. Life happened. When I embarked on this journey of reading 50 books in one year in 2023, I knew this would be one of the books I absolutely had to finish. Continue reading »


2023 Spelling Bee

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Our co-op (Blount Home Education Association or BHEA) had the annual Spelling Bee today. It was a wonderful learning experience for all. I took it upon myself to coordinate the BHEA Spelling Bee about three years ago because I love spelling bees.

The spellers and judges

The spellers and judges

Everything went smoothly and I was not as nervous as in prior years. Our three judges were Angela Montoya (main judge, who has done it for a decade now), Preston Zoder (pronouncer, 9th grade, runner up last year, my son), and Lydia Griffin (buzzer manager, daughter of the first homeschooler of Sevier County, who is now homeschooling her own children). Continue reading »


SO Friendship Invitational

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Last week, our children and their Science Olympiad team competed in the Friendship Invitational, on the campus of Friendship Christian School in Lebanon, TN. This year, there were 24 teams competing, from Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and maybe even North Carolina – very strong competition.

Cedar Springs Homeschool Team A

Cedar Springs Homeschool Teams A and B

Invitationals are the not-so-secret weapon of strong teams to prepare for Regionals – the event that qualifies a team to State, which is followed by Nationals, if you win State. Continue reading »


Book 3 of 50 – Possession

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Possession (not an affiliate link) by A. S. Byatt is a tour de force in many ways. At almost 600 pages, this book makes it difficult for anybody to finish in one week. Besides, by the time I read 25% of it, I was thoroughly confused.

Possession on Kindle

The cover of Possession on my Kindle

There is so much poetry and there are two timelines going on at the same time: 1990 and Victorian era. Metaphors abound and lots of British words and destinations. A. S. Byatt is, after all, a Britist woman. Continue reading »


Book 2 of 50 – How to Win Friends

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Dale Carnegie published How to Win Friends and Influence People before World War II – in 1936, to be precise. To this day, this book still stands as the best in the self-improvement, self-help category in any bookstore.

Lady listening to audiobook

Me, listening to “How to Win Friends…,” while waiting during my children’s Science Olympiad exams, at Friendship Christian School in Lebanon, TN

I read this book about 25 years ago and felt I needed a refresher. What spurred this on was the fact that my son, age 15, has found out about this book from Hamza, a YouTuber he watches. My son asked if we had the book. Well, I used to. I moved countries one too many times and left it behind somewhere in Sweden. Continue reading »


Book 1 of 50 – 12 Rules for Life

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Back in August, I blogged about 12 Rule for Life and read seven of the 12 rules. Life happened, i.e. the new school year started. I started reading parenting books. I homeschooled the kids. Oh, yeah, homeschooling, remember homeschooling?

Book Cover, 12 Rules for Life

My own copy of this title

Four months went by and this book waited for me in a drawer, patiently. Once I decided to read 50 books in 2023, as part of my New Year’s Resolutions, I knew I wanted to finish Jordan Peterson’s masterpiece. Continue reading »



The Power of a Praying Parent

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The Power of a Praying Parent is a book written by Stormie Omartian to help parents pray for their children in a systematic way. If you love your prayer habits, keep doing what you are doing. If you need some help in how to pray for your children, then this book is for you.

The book chapters cover different aspects of a child’s life: faith, friends, future spouse, healthy eating, secrets, relationship with other family members, money, future career, school, entertainment choices etc. Continue reading »


Five More Years

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I hinted in my post about 2022 in review that we have five more years with the kids before they both go to college. Actually, it is five years with the youngest. The oldest is in ninth grade, which means we only have three more years with him at home. I am not counting the next semester.

Christmas tree with gifts

Our 2022 Christmas tree with some of the gifts for the kids

When our oldest was eight years old, I wrote a post about having him at home for 10 more years. I re-read it recently and smiled. He is 15 now. Where have the last seven years gone? Continue reading »