New Semester

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The beginning of another calendar year only means one thing for a homeschool mom: the beginning of the second semester. The weather has kept us inside and so we have been working on our books, but we also made it out once for a hike.

Teenager at Panther Creek State Park

My son at Panther Creek State Park

With so many events canceled, we simply took this new schedule and made the best of it. The kids must learn flexibility at some point or other. Continue reading »

Book 49 of 50 – Baking with Mary Berry

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The Princess of Wales lead me to Mary Berry because I saw a clip of the both of them baking together. As I researched who Mary Berry was, I learned they call her the Queen of British Baking.

Baking with Mary Berry

My copy, purchased from McKay’s, a used bookstore in Knoxville, for $8

Next thing I knew, in one of my visits to a bookstore, I spotted a cookbook by Mary Berry. When you open yourself up to a certain concept, the road veers  and steers you in the right direction for the next step. You just have to take the first step. Providence will supply the next and the next. Continue reading »

Book 48 of 50 – Thrive

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Arianna Huffington wrote Thrive to advocate for the third metric of success: a life of well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving. In this world, there are two metrics of success: money and power. But if in the pursuit of your first (or hundredth) million you drive your health into the ground, go through divorce, and get estranged from your family, what have you really accomplished?

Thrive by Arianna Huffington

Redefining success

Huffington preaches the gospel of sleep, meditation, and self-care. Her audience is made up of Type A personalities who brag about how little sleep they got at night. She tells them to go take a nap. Their conversation would be even more interesting if they had gotten more sleep. Continue reading »

Book 45 of 50 – The Screwtape Letters

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We knew C.S. Lewis was brilliant and The Screwtape Letters (affiliate link) only confirms it. How did Lewis even come up with this book? God only knows.

The Screwtape Letters

If you do not read anything else by Lewis, read this one.

Screwtape is a devil who is teaching his nephew, Wormwood, how to tempt a young man (a British man named The Patient in the book). The book educates you and shocks you about the way demons look at us humans. Very insightful indeed.

Every letter becomes a chapter which advances the story of the young man. This is a small book and the chapters (or letters) are short. As such, The Screwtape Letters is very easy to read.

The ending will give you chills. Throughout the book though, depending on how much you already understand about the battle between Jesus and Satan, you will have goosebumps.

Teenagers should read this book for themselves, in my opinion. It would help them gain an understanding of the forces at play in their lives as they make decisions.

Book 44 of 50 – Tennessee Woman

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Wilma Dykeman wrote several books and newspaper columns and lived in Tennessee. Tennessee Woman, An Infinite Variety is an interesting list of outstanding women from Tennessee who have made a difference in the lives of others.

Tennessee Woman, An Infinite Variety

This book is actually an updated version of a previous project

From Dolly Parton to Pat Summit and less famous women in between, Dykeman walks you through a series of role models. Continue reading »

Weeks 16, 17 – Done

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We had a more relaxed week last week, without co-op and with a hike. No complaints here about staying home and “only” homeschooling.

Middle Prong Trail Bench

Middle Prong Trail Bench

These days, I find myself in the kitchen a lot. Not only do my children eat more, but they want healthier, from scratch meals. I really enjoy cooking for them. As a result, I have been buying more cookbooks and even reading some cookbooks from the Libby app. It’s fun. Continue reading »

Week 11 – Done

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We still cannot homeschool full time due to the recent death in the family and its aftermath. There are many tasks we have to do and this is the time to do it. Nothing can wait.

Food Ministry Donation

Our daughter next to our truck, full of donations for the Food Ministry Second Hand Store

One day at a time, we wake up, discuss the situation, and decide which subjects we can tackle and which subjects we can leave for Christmas break. We already see ourselves doing some school through the end of December and the beginning of January. Continue reading »

Book 29 of 50 – The Danger

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The Danger by Dick Francis covers a series of kidnappings in England, Italy, and the US, in the horseracing world. Andrew Douglas, a private detective who specializes in finding victims and negotiating with kidnappers, helps solve all these crimes.

The Danger by Dick Francis

I highly recommend any thriller by Dick Francis

Douglas and the firm he works for know a lot about kidnappings. Usually, the criminals target the wealthy. This private force of detectives and kidnap specialists collaborate with the police to save the victims. Sometimes the police cooperates with Douglas’ firm. On other occasions, the police hate taking orders from an organization which flies under the radar. And things do not end up so well. Continue reading »

Week 4 – Done

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And… the trend continues. We had to cut our studies short this week as well, because on Monday we returned from camping around lunch time, and on Friday we left for Nashville in the early afternoon, for our son’s cubing competition. Never a dull moment.

RTT over a trailer

Our five-person roof top tent sits over a trailer my husband designed.

We really enjoyed camping over the Labor Day weekend. Nature is good for the soul, but several things happened during this trip also, which bonded us even more as a family. I would not say everything that happened was easy to take, but that is exactly the point. Challenges bring us closer together. Continue reading »

Week 3 – Done

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“Have you gotten into a rhythm yet with the new school year?” a dear friend asked me. “Yes and no,” I replied. Every week, we have had some kind of project or reason to not go full blast every single day. However, I feel like we are definitely into a school rhythm.

F-250 pulls trailer

Leaving our home to go camping; the roof top tent opens atop the trailer

Week 3 – no exception. We had to prepare for a camping trip, so Friday’s lessons got cut short. Also this week, my daughter and I got to spend some time with the middle schoolers from our co-op, in the National Park, while enjoying a back-to-school picnic and multiple games. Continue reading »