Reviewing my 2014 Goals

On the last day of 2014, I decided to look at my 2014 goals.  I wrote down my goals in January of this year but I really did not look at them again.  I guess writing them down was enough to get them into my subconscious mind.  Here are my 2014 goals:

1. Bring the family together through cleaning.  Cleaning as a goal?  Yep.  I am not so sure how we did on this goal.  It started off pretty well but right now it is in the pits.  LOL.  The kids help daily with the dishes and the pets which is a big help.  However, I am still doing WAY TOO MUCH!  I may have to keep this one as a goal.  Sims and Sawyer are doing better with keeping their stuff organized and put away for the most part.  Parks is still struggling.  He is a collector and does not like to part with things and he plays with everything that he does have.  We also still need to work on decluttering.  You may see this goal again in 2015 with some minor revisions.

2. Get outside daily and with more activity.  I think I did awesome with this goal.  I am outside daily with a walk, a hike or just reading outside.  Overall, the outdoors are essential to me being a happy person-even if I have to suck it up and head out in the cold. (Oh, and I did use my Mountain Mermaid Journal throughout the year!  I still have to order the one for 2015.  Check it out!)

3. Eat more whole foods.  I did well with this goal as well.  The down side of this goal meant a whole lot more cooking!   The kids are doing awesome with eating more fruits and nuts for snacks.  I am learning more about using more in season veggies and cooking methods.  My sister-in-law gave me a cook book called “Clean Food.”  It is an amazing book filled with good recipes and information.  I cook out of it at least once a week-most likely more.  If eating healthier is a goal for you in 2015, I cannot recommend this book enough!

So out with the old and in with the new.  I am now working on my goals for 2015.  How did you do with your 2014 goals?

Our Homeschool Day- Friday

Today’s post is short and sweet.  Fridays are slow and relaxing.

715 Awoke, ate breakfast and showered.

800 The rest of the crew awoke around 8 and ate.

840 We headed out to Latta Plantation (yep, again.  did I mention we go there ALOT?) for our Friday morning hike.

9-1130 We hiked/moseyed a couple of miles through the woods.  We saw an osprey nest.  The kids turned a leafy hill into a natural slide.  They looked for geocaches.  They fought and argued over who found which stick.  Then, the kids would run after each other and be best buds.

1130-1215 The kids played soccer and Frisbee in the front of the nature center.  We headed home for the afternoon.

130 The kids stayed home while I went to get my hair cut.  I am not sure what all they did other than play legos, knit, and watch lego movies on the computer.

330 Sims and I headed out for gymnastics.  While we were driving down the road, we heard a tiny little “mew.”  We had a stow away.  Our kitten must have jumped in the car with us.

545 Nick, Sawyer, Parks and I headed out to run a couple of errands before picking up Sims.

700 Picked up Sims and headed to dinner.

815 Home.  Sims got ready to go skiing tomorrow with Nick.  We had a long discussion about over consuming candy.  Evidently, my detoxing of sugar isn’t working.  I bought hershey kisses to make peanut butter cookies for Christmas but when I checked tonight, the WHOLE bag was gone, along with 30 individual apple sauce containers, a bag of boy scout popcorn, and some reese’s cups.  OMG people!  That is ALOT of candy/sugar.  After our discussion, we decided that we seriously need a detox.  January 2015 may be a tough month.  I would avoid us!  🙂

Wow!  What a week!  I am glad that it is Friday.  We have one more day of school before the holiday break (Monday).  I went through my blog and realized that I haven’t updated it lately with our third and fourth blocks.  Hopefully, I will get to that soon.  I hope everyone has a terrific weekend!  If you decide to journal on your week, let me know.  I would love to see how others manage their time.

Our Homeschool Day-Thursday

I love the comments I am getting from my friends about these posts.  They are cracking me up.  We do a lot in a day, but please notice that you do not see any pictures of the laundry piled up, the mess on my counter, and the boxes piled up on the dining room table.  Today has been nice and relaxing.  I have hope that Friday will be too.

530- Awoke and headed to workout.

715 Home.  Sims was already out walking the dog. Over the next 45 minutes, I showered, ate and fixed yesterday’s blog (thank you to my hubby noticing my spelling errors.  Darn spell check doesn’t get all of them.) while Sims ate breakfast and did his spelling.

8-830 Parks and Sawyer awoke, ate breakfast and did chores.

830-915 Read aloud together on glaciers to finish up our block on geology (at least the reading part).  We also listened to a couple of Ted Talks.

915-11 Sims worked on his flag for Boy Scouts and finished up his business math.  Sawyer worked on her Owl unit study, grammar, and read.  Parks worked a flag, Life of Fred, Grammar, copy work, and read aloud.

11-1 The kids played legos, supposedly worked on cleaning their rooms (one was done, I can’t say much about the other one), and ate lunch.  I researched Italy and decided that I may just runaway and stay there (Genny and Wade, I may become your personal tutor for your kids.  I am sure you need one.)

130 I headed out to Target and to a doctor’s appointment.  As I was leaving the doctor’s office, I received a lovely call asking if the kids were available.  I was close to their house, so I went by and picked up my kiddos’ friend for a nice surprise.

330 I got home and picked up and made muffins for the kids for snack while they played outside.

415 I changed out the pictures on the bulletin board.  Then I started on this blog while I had some down time.

500 I prepped dinner while the kids played outside.  I ate a small snack and cleaned up the kitchen.

550 I headed out to the Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson, NC to volunteer at the Free Clinic of Our Town (the free medical clinic in our area).

6-830 I volunteered at the clinic (well, sort of.  I volunteered for about an hour and I caught up with some folks the other part of the time.  The volunteers, staff and patients are an amazing community that I feel honored to be a part of.)  The kids ate dinner, I assume and I am not sure what else went on.

830 Home.  I thought the kids were in bed but as I sat at the table to eat dinner, Sawyer and Parks both came in to chat for a few minutes.  Sims was up chatting with Nick.  I ate my dinner and am headed to bed (It is about 915 now).

I hope everyone has a good night!  I will chat with you tomorrow!

Our Homeschool Day-Wednesday

Wow!  I am amazed at how much reflection one can get by documenting daily activities.  Yesterday, I began to wonder if we are doing too much.  Well, yes in my mind we are.  However, my kids are thriving with this schedule.  They are happy.  They are interacting with their friends, and they have time to play independently at home.  Yesterday, when I felt crazy-the kids were fine.   They didn’t feel rushed or shorted of any time.  Ok-enough rambling.  Let’s get onto Wednesday!

530 Awoke and headed to workout

715 Home and Sims was up but he was not up for a walk this morning.

800 Parks and Sawyer awoke.

815-840 kids ate breakfast while I read from our geology book about water circulation and wind.

840 Chores and prep for the afternoon.  I made some phone calls and got a couple of things done that I needed to get done.  Kids worked in their room on various projects.  Although, Sims was outside tweaking the holiday lights.

1000-1040 Sawyer and Parks worked on grammar with my assistance as needed.  Sims did spelling.  Sawyer practiced violin and Parks listened to a chapter in his Puppy Place book as he asked not to read aloud today.

1045 In the car for the afternoon activities.

1100 Parks went to counseling while Sims and Sawyer worked in the waiting room (Sims worked on Business Math and Sawyer finished her math review of 2s, 4s, 5s, and 10s multiplication tables and she read.)

1200 Jason’s deli to pick up lunch and drive to Latta Plantation for Adventure Journaling Class for Sims and Sawyer.

1245 Picnic lunch and pick up football game.

1ish-3 Sims and Sawyer had class while Parks and I went on an adventure to the ravines and the stables with a friend and his mom (It is nice to have some fellow homeschooling moms to chat with!  Adult time!  Cherish it! Smile)

3-345 The kids came back and started playing football again.  The day was beautiful so I let them play, which of course meant that we would be late for gym (but how often do you get 65 degree and sunny in December?)

345-5 Drive home so Sims can change and immediately head out to gym.  Sawyer and Parks stayed home and played.  I got to chat with Sims, watch him for a few minutes in the gym and chat with a mom before driving home by myself in the car!  My music!  I actually saw a rainbow on my way home.  Yes, it was that peaceful!

5-615 Cook dinner while Sawyer and Parks play outside. (first with the trebuchet, then howling, now dancing with the music blaring-maybe not the best plan)

615 Dinner for Sawyer, Parks and I (I tried to cook brussell sprouts for the first time. Did not work.  I had them at Thanksgiving.  Our guest brought them.  I have to get her recipe as hers were MUCH better,)

700 Fold laundry.  Kids back outside for a few minutes before showers.

715 Showers. I researched carpets online (we are in desperate need of new carpet. Just found out that stainmaster has a pet brand and so does Mohawk.  Maybe a possibility.)

800 Sawyer and Parks to bed.

825 Sims and Nick home from gym (they ate out due to bad traffic).  Sawyer is out of bed.  She pulled out one of her teeth.  Really?  LOL!  I guess the night just got a little more exciting.

900 (I am writing this at 825 and I am figuring that I will do this at 9) Headed to bed to watch Modern Family.

See you tomorrow!

Our Homeschool Day-Tuesday

The reason I chose to journal on the whole week is to show you that no two days are the same-are they ever?  As I stated yesterday, we stayed up WAY TOO LATE!  I am usually in bed by 930 and asleep by 10.  Last night, I was in bed by 1115 and asleep maybe by midnight.  So……this morning I didn’t hear my alarm and awoke at 710.

Hmmm….no work out (this is my coffee.  It brings me happiness so no work out is icky).

720-8 Sims and I walk the dog down to the docks where she can run.  It is a rainy day and there was a break in the rain so we figured that we would give her a chance to get out.  Of course, she decided to run away from the field and the water and right back home.  We chased her almost the whole way until a kind man stopped and helped us get her (just like a toddler.  She ran from us but went straight to him.)  I like taking walks with the kids.  I get all types of good info.  Today, we talked about the possibility of getting a tablet to help with school.  We also spoke about how using gel pen seems to make writing easier for Sims.

8-830 Breakfast and chores.

830 Sims read to Parks.  Sawyer awoke and started her breakfast and chores.

900 Parks started making a boat and Sims read aloud to me a chapter from the book “Our Little Roman Cousin.” in preparation for his Rome block next month.

930: Sawyer began working on her owl unit.  Parks and I worked together on Life of Fred Cats,.

1015 We all went over the properties of water that Parks learned in his chemistry class yesterday at Latta Plantation.  We did experiments on surface tension, magnets, making a compass and minerals.  (We started on surface tension by floating a paper clip on water.  My dad came in and showed the kids how a needle floats on the water and will move towards true north.  From there, he taught them about magnets.  Next, the kids wanted to tell him and show him their minerals.)

1115 Parks and I worked on clocks while Sawyer worked on multiplication asking for assistance as needed.  Sims worked with my dad on wedges using the LEGOS education program.

1125 Sawyer storms off-no idea why.  Parks began Growing with Grammar and notices a dog looking in our window. I go out, corral the dog, find out where he lives, and take him home.  (Life happens all the time!)

1140 Copy work for Parks.  Sawyer completes her math.  I review her 5s times tables.  Sims finishes up with my dad.


130 Sims works with my dad on a project at the lake house (I believe they are making rails for the front walkway.)  Sawyer and Parks go to gymnastics.

300 Sawyer, Parks and I go to Sawyer’s violin lesson.  Today is her first lesson and she is VERY excited.  Her teacher knows how to fiddle which is what Sawyer wants to do as well.

Sawyer learning resting position.

Sawyer learning resting position.

345 Hobby Lobby trip to pick up felt for Sims’ Boy Scout Flag.

445 Home (horrible, horrible traffic.  We were in and out of Hobby Lobby in 10 minutes but it took 50 minutes to get home.)

445 Search recipes for tonight’s pot luck dinner at Boy Scouts.  Cook Mexican Sweet Potato Quinoa(I have never made this before so hopefully, people like it.)

620 Head to Boy Scout dinner.

815 Home.  Clean kitchen.  Kids shower.

845 Kids off to bed (well, at least Nick is trying to get them into bed.  It isn’t going too well right now).  I am headed to bed too!

Items to note during this day.  1.  We are ALWAYS late.  I despise being late.  Leaving today to get to gym at 130.  I asked everyone to get into the car at 103.  We were driving out of the neighborhood at 120.  We were 15 minutes late.  Leaving to go to Scouts tonight.  I asked everyone to get in the car at 613.  We left at 640.  We were 15 minutes late.  We discussed tardiness in the car and about how I feel being late is disrespectful and how I do not like feeling rushed (and I DO NOT drive any faster when we are late, which drives my kids nuts.) 2. Mexican Sweet Potato Quinoa was a hit.  I will make it again.  3. We had a very cranky crew today.  The day was either filled with happiness or children arguing and whining.  Sleep is important.  Going to bed at a reasonable time is VITAL.

Now let’s hope that I can get up in the morning to get in a work out.

Our Homeschool Day-Monday

I recently read a blog in which the mom wrote each evening about her day for one week in order for people to get an idea of how homeschooling works.  In my mind, I loved this idea.  I thought, “On a normal week, I will do this type of post.”  Well, there is no normal week so I decided to do it this week.  So here goes:


530:awake and head to yoga.

730 arrive home.  Two children are still asleep.  Sims is out walking th dog.

730-815: showers, breakfast, chores (kids feed the animals and empty the dishwasher)

8:15- Sims begins reading his book “Hero on a Bicycle.”  He can’t put it down because he is close to the end, so he read for awhile today.  Meanwhile, I take the next 15 minutes to print out math work for Sims and Sawyer.

830-Parks reads aloud “The Puppy Place” Book 1, while Sawyer works on her chores (she is our late riser).

850-Life of Fred Cats, Growing with Grammar, narration, copywork, math work on clocks with Parks.  Sawyer works on her math (multiplication book from Math Mammoth).  I assist as she needs assistance.

9:30 Sims begins a math lesson (Math Mammoth fractions 2 book) with me.  Sawyer begins her work on her owl unit study from Hands of a Child.

9:50 Mom and Parks head out to Parks’ 8 year old well check.  Sims and Sawyer remain home to complete spelling, grammar, and reading.

11:00 home. Continue Sims’ lesson on dividing with fractions while Sawyer is knitting.



11:30 Kids cook themselves lunch (macaroni and cheese with carrots) while I fold laundry.

1215-1245 Everyone comes together to read about Limestone, Sandstone, Coal and the effects of water on rocks from Charles Kovacs’ “Geology and Astronomy.”

1245 Everyone loads in the car to go to Latta Plantation for Parks’ Chemistry of Water class.

1-3 Latta Plantation- Geocaching, soccer and a short hike for the older two and Chemistry for Parks.

Hike at Latta

3-4 quick trip home to prep for the afternoon.

4-7 Sims at gymnastics

4-5 Parks works on identifying gems in his gem and rock collection in preparation for a presentation at Cub Scouts tonight on the floor at the gym.

Gem Collection

5-6 Sawyer at gymnastics while Parks eats dinner at the gym.

630 Parks to Cub Scouts

7 Sims, Sawyer and Mom to dinner and Target to pick up a few items for the week.

845 home and shower.  Mom cooking muffins for breakfast for the week and sitting down with a nice glass of wine.  Ahh… Good night!

Unfortunately, as I write this at 1025 I can still hear the kids moving around in their rooms.  This is VERY atypical for a Monday.  Hopefully, tomorrow is not a disaster of a day!

Taking a Break

We are finally getting to relax a little after a fun-filled November.  The party started right away for us on November 1st when we celebrated Parks’ eighth birthday with his friends and family.  From there, we have barely had time to get in the school work (just kidding-we finished up our blocks and are ready to jump into December).  The first week of the month, Sawyer finished up her Catawba Studies class at Latta Plantation, and we all visited the tiger rescue in our area called Tigerworld.

The second week of November started with a boy scout camping weekend for Sims and Nick where Sims got to show Nick some of the neat outdoor skills that he has learned over the past few years (Thank you Latta Plantation Staff!).  Nick was impressed with what he saw.  Monday, we celebrated Parks’ real birthday with Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  Yep, he had wheat for the first time in four years.  He asked if he could pick one thing with wheat for his birthday and Krispy Kreme won.  (I totally would have picked pizza, but it wasn’t my call.)  We completed the week by having an outdoor work day and a hike on Friday.

The third week of November started with a trip to the USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC and Fort Sumter for Parks and Nick.   Then my dad came to save the day (or the semester) by working with Sims on his Physics program (I don’t think we scared him too bad since he has returned and agreed to come on Tuesdays to help out-yes, we are spoiled).  The kids also wrapped up the season of Muddy Boots (their hiking club) by heading to Morrow Mountain State Park for one final hike together until the spring.  The week ended in Raleigh for Sims’ first gymnastics meet.

So now we get to relax right? Not a chance,  Tomorrow we will celebrate Sawyer’s birthday as she turns 10!!  Parks, Sawyer, Sims and I have been cooking all day in preparation for her birthday and Thanksgiving.  We will take the rest of this month to be with family and friends and to enjoy all of the things that we have to be grateful for.  We wish all of those in the US a very Happy Thanksgiving!  See you in December.

(I am out of space on my blog for pictures until I do an upgrade so for now they will be on my facebook page)