We’re Only TWO Weeks Away!!!

Guess what???? 

The 2015 HEAV convention is ONLY 14 DAYS AWAY!!!

Today is the last day to register online!  You can registration at the door, but once you get to the convention center it is much faster if you’ve registered ahead of time.  Then, you can go right up to the table, get your goodie bag and nametag, and immediately start enjoying the sessions and shopping 🙂 !

Click on the picture below for more information or to register on-line:


I am so thankful for the theme this year:

Renew the Joy

As much as I love homeschooling, I can definitely tell that I’m at the end of my 4th year – LOL!

One of my favorite things about convention is that every time I leave renewed, refreshed, encouraged, and ready to tackle another year!



So, we only ONE more day of school to go 🙂 !!!!  This mama is ready for summer vacation!

The boys will still have reading over break and will continue with math 2-3 times a week, but that’s it.  The rest of the time we will be hanging out at the pool, camping, and just relaxing!

Ryan has been studying Virginia for the last 4 weeks or so and I wanted to share some pictures of what he’s been working on with you guys:




The cookie map was lots of fun and everybody has enjoyed snacking on it 🙂 .  Brendan has been doubling up his days so he will be finished tomorrow too.  I will try to share some pictures of his work tomorrow.

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So, I am finally getting around to posting about the FUN cruise that Justin and I took at the end of last month.  We got a great deal on a seven night (Western Caribbean) cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas and were blessed to go with my cousin Misty and her husband Jonathan.  We got to swim with stingrays, love on some sweet sea turtles, go snorkeling, climb a beautiful waterfall, tube down a river, see a sea lion show, relax on the beach, and enjoy spending lots of quality time together.  It was a BLAST!!! The boys stayed home (my parents graciously stayed with them 🙂 ) and worked on schoolwork and went to their usual activities.  It’s nice now that they are older and more independent!



Here’s a slideshow (we only took pictures using our cell phones, so they’re not the best quality):

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Sad to be leaving 😦 …

I am sooooo thankful that Justin and I were able to spend this one-on-one time together.  We have always taught our kids that our marriage relationship comes first because one day they are going to grow up and have their own lives (and we’ll still be married 🙂 ).  We have had to work on this and it was much harder when they were little and more needy, but I think it creates a feeling of security to know that your parents are committed to each other and are “in it for the long haul.”  We actually came home on our 18th anniversary.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long already!  The past 18 years have been the best years of my life and I’m blessed to be married to my best friend – love you Justin!!!



I can’t end this post without a quick reminder that today is the LAST day to register online for the 2015 HEAV convention! 

Only 17 days away!!!  WOO, HOO!!!!

Click on the picture below for more information:



Parents of the Year…NOT!!!

On Monday, Brendan and Ryan had field day with our homeschool group.  Brendan helped out with the younger kids and they had fun having relays, tug-of-war, and a water balloon toss.  Ryan has been complaining about knee pain on and off for a year or so.  It would flair up every now and then, but would subside after a few days.

Well, Monday when he got home from field day he told me that he hurt his knee again.  He was walking around on it and it didn’t seem to be bothering him to much so we didn’t think much of it.  When I got home from work yesterday he mentioned it was still pretty sore. I noticed that it was swollen and that he was having trouble bending his leg.  We decided to run him to the pediatrician to get it checked out “just in case.”


Being goofy at the pediatrician’s office!

The doctor immediately sent us over to orthopedics and sure enough, it was broken!

Apparently, Ryan has Osgood Schlatter Disease, which is very common in teen boys.  Basically he is growing so fast that it puts extra stress on the ligaments in his knee and when he “jumped” during field day and “heard a pop”, the weakened ligaments pulled a small bone fragment away from the top of his tibia.


And as if it wasn’t bad enough that we waited a whole day to take him seriously, about two hours before I took him to the doctor Justin had him cut the grass (and yes we have a push mower).  I told Ryan that he’ll have a great “sob story” to tell his kids one day – his parents made him work outside during the hottest part of the day with a broken knee 🙂 !


He was fitted for an immobilizing knee brace that he’ll have to wear for three weeks.  We are sooooo thankful that he didn’t need a cast and can take the brace off to sleep, shower, and swim when the pool opens in two weeks!

We go back to the doctor on June 9th for a follow-up and hopefully Ryan will be all healed and brace-free for the summer!



“Gimpy” 🙂

20150520_115846 The doctors were all so helpful and friendly.  The timing worked out perfectly and we were seen very quickly.

We are thankful that it wasn’t worse and that God provided such great care for Ryan!

Review: Growing in Wisdom by Character Concepts

I’m excited to be sharing my second review for another amazing vendor that will be at the 2015 HEAV convention:  Character Concepts


Character Concepts was started by Rick and Marilyn Boyer who began homeschooling their fourteen children in 1980. Rick and Marilyn have written several books on homeschooling and Christian parenting and are popular speakers at conferences across America. HEAV is thrilled to have the Boyer’s back with us again as speakers this year!


The workshops that they are leading include:
Getting It All Done,  Learning to Delight in Your Children,
Making Learning Fun, Heroes: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants,
and The Making of Mountain Movers.


We were blessed to receive a copy of the Growing in Wisdom Study Guide and a set of flashcards in exchange for our review.  A complete set, which would also include a 3 hour CD set retails for $45.00.  Growing in Wisdom is the fifth level in the Character Concepts curriculum and is geared towards students from ages 8-13.  The study guide is a high quality, paperback book that contains 204 pages and covers 32 different character qualities including anger verses self-control, boasting verses humility, cheating verses honesty, and more!

Level 5- Growing in Wisdom Curriculum

I appreciate that the student workbook immediately gets the student searching for answers in the Bible.  There is not a lot of “fluff” and the main focus is gleaning wisdom from God’s Word. Ryan’s only complaint was that the King James Version is used for the verses, but it wasn’t really a problem at all.  In fact, I think it’s good to be exposed to various versions.  Plus, I had to laugh when Ryan asked me what it meant to, “hearkeneth not” 🙂 !

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Also included is a set of thick, laminated flashcards for each topic that is studied.



 I hung each flashcard on the wall beside Ryan’s desk as he finished that particular character trait.  The cards would also be great to hang on the refrigerator or in a place where all family members could see them.


We really enjoyed using Growing in Wisdom in our homeschool and think it would be a great resource for other families too!


* Don’t forget to stop by the Character Concepts booth at the 2015 HEAV Convention!


***  Less than FOUR weeks until convention***






I have three things to share with you guys today:

#1 –

 Tuesday night my parents invited the boys and I to a sneak preview of a new movie that is coming out in August. The movie is called War Room (click on the link to watch the trailer) and is about the power of prayer. We laughed and cried and were all touched by the storyline.  It was FANTASTIC!!!

You have GOT TO see this movie when it comes out in August!



            Prayer is the one thing in my Christian walk that I struggle with the most.  I know, I know…as much as I like to talk you’d never guess – LOL!  War Room shared some great ideas about prayer including writing down your prayers.  I have tried prayer journaling on and off over the years, but unfortunately I never stick with it for very long.  But I did go back and look through one of my journals recently and it was so cool  to see how many prayers had been answered:




***I need to get back to journaling!


#2 –

Guess what???

Only 5 weeks until convention 🙂  !!!

Click on the picture below for more information:



One of my fellow HEAV bloggers is giving away a FREE family registration to the convention this week!  Click here to enter her giveaway 🙂 !


#3 –

Finally, for those of you who haven’t heard yet, our family was blessed to share our story in the 2015 Old Schoolhouse Magazine Spring 2015 issue!

You can read our article by clicking here.

I’m so excited that I got to share what God has done in our lives!

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