New School Year Resolutions

School Resolutions

For most kids across the country, today marks the return to school. Others have been in school for the last couple of weeks. For us, it marks the return of not-back-to-school time. Last night, there was no hustle to get things ready: supplies, outfits, lunches, etc. It was just another normal evening. Our mornings will remain slow-paced as we all won’t be rushing out the door. I am (mostly) all ready for our first unit on Pirates on Wednesday. Today we have our annual get together with our homeschool group to plan our year and let the kids see their friends. It’s bittersweet that the summer has come to an end, but we are lucky that our school year doesn’t look like most families. We have our school work spread out throughout the week, but our days don’t look much different than the summer. I have been thinking about my goals for year, and after reading Learning with Boys blog post, I would follow suit and make 5 New School Year Resolutions.

1. Start the kids making their own lunches. One of the main reasons my husband and I wanted to homeschool, was so our kids could learn life skills. While making their own lunches is certainly a life skill, I also want them to learn to eat when they are hungry. Not at a designated time. Fofo is extremely independent, and I think this will help her feel some control during the day.

2. Utilize my husband’s strengths. My husband is extremely involved in our kids lives. He is up with them in the morning. He takes them out on the weekend. He excels at all things outdoors and artistically. I plan to make a conscious effort to include him as a teacher in the weekly curriculum. For example, our first unit is on Pirates, and they used the stars and compasses to navigate. This is the prefect thing for him to help teach the girls!


3. Be confident in my decisions. I often fret about insignificant, minute details of the day. “Should we go the park? It’s nice we better get outside!” I have good justifications for doing or not doing things. I need to know my limits and be confident and not worry about my final decisions.

4. Be constantly mindful of the mantra “The days are long, but the years are short.” We are very blessed to be able to homeschool, but it can be stressful at the same time. Add in blogging and life in general, it is super easy to get overwhelmed. My kids are only 4 and 6 once and I need to enjoy them as they are.

5. Do my homework. Right now, I have 3 parenting books I need to read. In order to be a better mother and teacher, I need to do my homework as well. My kids will thank me for it.

Do you have any school year resolutions? What does the first day of school look like in your house?

Surly’s Podcast Picks – The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE)


Podcasts are a great way to stay informed, educate yourself, and have a few laughs. They are great on the go, at work, and during your downtime at home. Just about anyone can start a podcast nowadays, but not all of them are worth your time. I am gonna share with you some of my recommendations for some great podcasts. I hope you check ‘em out!

I LOVE comedy podcasts. 2 of my previous podcasts picks (The Opie and Anthony Show podcast and Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast) are comedy based podcasts. The other was a little more on the informative side: Weird Medicine, which blends medical questions with a little humor. My next podcast pick also blends humor and knowledge: The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE).


Stand-up comedian, actor, and UFC commentator Joe Rogan does an audio AND visual podcast that you can listen to live or download later. The show is a “long form conversation” with any number of guests. Comedians, outdoorsmen, MMA fighters, authors, musicians, artists, and more. Anyone who has a great story to tell, a lot of knowledge in their head, or are just interesting, Joe has on. Even if they don’t agree.

Besides stand-up comedians, he has had Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan, artist Alex Gray, former CIA officer Mike Baker, Shooter Jennings, Vice cofounder Shane Smith, and experts in the fields of nutritional health, behavioral sciences, and drug addiction. The list could go on forever. Joe finds cool-ass people to be on his podcast. He also does “fight companion” podcasts after UFC fights. The JRE has something for everyone. Unless you don’t like foul language, then this isn’t for you.

The JRE is a longer podcast, usually about 2.5 hours, which may seem long but it’s actually perfect. He does so many podcasts that you aren’t pressured to listen to all of them. Pick and choose the ones that interest you! They are great for long car rides, marathon cleaning or cooking sessions, or for listening in the office. Can people do that? I have no idea, but it would be perfect for that! JRE can keep you entertained for the entire podcast with it’s great guests, comedic timing, and, at times, civilized debate.

I hope I have sold you on the JRE and hope you check it out. Along with my previous picks! Thanks for stopping by!!

This Moment

I have been inspired by SouleMama to take a moment …

{this moment}

“A Friday (or Monday) ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.”


10 Educational Blog Link-ups


Every Tuesday, I link up with List-it Tuesdays at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. This link-up is coming to a close (boo), so I have been looking for some other blog link-ups to share and promote my blog. Along with finding new articles and blogs. I did a little research to buff up the list I had of link-ups. I hope you find some of them useful! All of them are homeschool/family/mother related :)


Making Your Home Sing Monday from Mom’s the Word

Thoughtful Spot from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom


Hip Homeschool Hop from Hip Homeschool Moms


Wonderful Wednesday from Ducks ‘n a Row

Finishing Strong from Education Possible

The Mommy Club from Milk and Cuddles


SHINE Blog Hop from The Deliberate Mom


Weekend Wind-down from Snippets of Information


Share it Saturday from Teach Beside Me

Show and Share Saturday from I Can Teach My Child


I came across this awesome resource for all types link-ups A link-up Party Schedule from Cornerstone Confessions.

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

40 Books by 40 Update


I have become a lazy reader in recent years. In order to get back into a reading routine and make myself more accountable, I challenged myself to read 40 books by the time I am 40. I am, ahem, 33 years old which only means about 5 books a year so it will probably be more, but 40 by 40 has a nice ring to it so I’m leaving it :)

Happy Monday everyone! I hope all of you had a great weekend. It’s hard to believe August is almost over. This summer has flown by!

It’s time for another 40 Books by 40 update. I’m up to number 13: A Storm of Swords (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 3). I’m not gonna lie. This was a tough one. I stopped and started, stopped and started. Plus it is long, like 1000 pages long. But oddly, it is so magnificently good, I’m not sure what took me so damn long!!

This book is so effing long, I have no clue how to do a synopsis of it. Plus it is book number 3. How do you review the third book with no spoilers? And people with no knowledge of the series will have no clue what I am talking about. So instead of my usual synopsis with my usual critique (an overload of descriptions and repetitions), I thought I would give you some of my reactions to the book as I was reading it.

“YES I KNOW!!! Stop repeating dammit.”
“That did NOT just happen?!?!”
“NOOOOOOO, I liked him. Why do you kill everyone I like?! WHY!!!!
“Man, this guy is such a dick.”
“NO! WTF is going on!!!”
“Ok. Wait a minute. What is going on? I am so freaking lost.”
“We get it! The hills and trees and water are beautiful. MOVE IT!!”
“Oh what a bitch this woman is.”
GASP!! “WHAT!! Wait a minute.” Flip back a few pages. “Holy hell.”

As you can tell, I did a lot of yelling. My husband was so ready for me to be done with this book. In “A Storm of Swords,” no one is safe. Don’t get attached. Martin is cruel, vicious, and unpredictable. And that is what makes this book fantastic.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Book Total
Book One – Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Book 2 – Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter
Book 3 – God, If You’re Up There, I’m F*cked by Darrell Hammond
Book 4 – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Book 5 – Life After Death By Damian Echols
Book 6 – Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
Book 7 – Game of Thrones (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 1) by George R. R. Martin
Book 8 – Burglars Can’t be Choosers
Book 9 – The Last Jew of Treblenka by Chil Rajchman
Book 10 – Theodore Boone: The Abduction by John Grisham
Book 11- Kisscut by Karin Slaughter
Book 12 – A Clash of Kings (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 2) by George R.R. Martin

This Moment

I have been inspired by SouleMama to take a moment …

{this moment}

“A Friday (or Monday) ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.”


Summer Life


Last week I shared our summer with our homeschool group. This week I am gonna show you our summer life. It’s been an easy, breezy summer! Almost makes me sad we need to start school soon. Summer isn’t over yet though!

Warm summer dog walk.


Sisterly love


Children’s Museum Trip #1


Berry Picking with Papa


Free Play

GASP!! Side-by-Side but not fighting?!

A Week at Grandma and Grandpa’s House!


Craft Stick Puzzles


Lilly Loves Frogs!


Splash Pad!


Children’s Museum Trip #2


Exploring the Creek


Horseback Riding




What have you been up to this summer? What has your favorite park of summer been?

Thanks for reading :)

10 Things I Have Learned about Grief and Loss


Well. Today is the day I dread more than any day of the year. August 19, 2004 my father-in-law died in a work related accident. I really hate this day. It’s a reminder of his death, the aftermath, and that we will continue on without him. Of course, we feel his death all throughout the year, but this day really hurts. My husband and I were only 23 and 24 when he died. Not even married for two years. We have learned a lot about grief, loss, and life in the last ten years.

1. First and foremost, “You don’t get over it, you just make room.” It may be corny to quote “The Walking Dead” but it is the most accurate description I have come across. You never get over this, you simply learn to live with it. Some days are easier than others but you never truly get over it.

2. Life is short. One tiny slip, and it could all be over. When I got the phone call that my father-in-law was dead, my heart sank into my gut. I remember thinking, “It takes one phone call to change everything.”

3. Life can change instantly. Our life could easily be divided into before my father-in-laws death and after. In the blink of an eye. Everything changes.

4. Family doesn’t have to be blood. Death brings out the best and worst in people. The people who support you the most don’t have to be family.

5. Hard times reveal true friends. See previous :)

6. Grief hits you when you least expect it. We have had meltdowns after watching United 93, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings. You never know when that grief will strike you and you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach like the moment you found out.

7. Time heals shit. Time heals all wounds is bullshit. A great quote I found is “They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite.” Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince.

8. Your kid’s relationship with their dead grandparent is difficult. I felt tremendous guilt that my kids never got to meet their other grandpa. But I don’t want to burden them with my loss. It’s a delicate balance between remembrance and baggage.

9. You will feel their presence. No matter your beliefs, religion, or skepticism. There will be days when you feel your loved one with you :)

10. Grief changes you. But know that you can move on. Don’t let yourself get stuck.

What Makes Me Smile #2


I tend to be a Negative Nelly at times, so I was thrilled to come across another blogger, Alison from Under the Big Oak Tree, who started a series called “What Makes Me Smile.” She “journals some things that make me smile each week. Hoping that when I look back, I’ll see just how many things I have to be grateful for and smile about in my life.” I adore this idea. So I have decided to share 5 things that make me smile. Enjoy!

1. Friends Especially friends who watch your kids while you sit on the porch and drink relax. We had our bi-annual meeting of friends this weekend. While we were relaxing on the porch, some of our friends were teaching the kids croquet. Nothing is better than someone else supervising your children!


2. My dog Maggie Maggie is 11 now and as loyal and loving as ever. I love this dog more than most people. Whoops, did I say that out loud?!


3. Maters My garden tomatoes are ripening. So glorious!! It’s an amazing feeling to watch your garden grow through the spring and summer. Even though it is a weedy mess, I wouldn’t trade my garden for anything :)


4. Road Trips!! Last weekend we had our family reunion. This weekend our friends reunion. Which means lots of time in the car. Our car Stella is awesome! Makes me super excited for our road-cruise in a couple of months!!


5. Jason Momoa’s Instagram Yeah. I’m just gonna leave this for you to all enjoy :) Click the link. You won’t regret it.


What is making you smile lately? What in your life are you grateful for?

Thanks for stopping by!!

This Moment

I have been inspired by SouleMama to take a moment …

{this moment}

“A Friday (or Monday) ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.”