October 31, 2014

October 2014 in Photos

Here are a few photos from October. To read the full update click here

 Hanging out with Owen
Beautiful sunrise in Las Vegas
Me and Dr. Enuf!
 Top of the Hay Bale - Walden Farms
 Sweet Cousins
 Bee-utiful girls!
 Hay Ride
Walden Farms
 Halloween Decor
 Meeting Baby Theo
 TN History Festival
 Hoop & Stick Race
 Good gravy, I love this girl!
 Wild Elderberries for Elderberry Syrup
 We are ready for cold & flu season
 Revisiting the prayer I wrote on the wall in Adventureland. So thankful that my little one is now a Believer herself!
 Our Painted Pumpkins
 She's just too cute some days!
 My child loves me. A lot. 

 At Neyland Stadium
 Road trip with a TN fan. 
 Go Bama! #rammerjammer
 Trunk or Treat @ TDF
 A few Halloween crafts
 Sorting her Candy

For the full October update click here

October 2014 Update

Glory, Hallelujah! Conference season is over. This past year has been one of the more stressful planning sessions but I'm pleased to report that the event was a huge success! I spent 6 days in Las Vegas with my trusty Dr. Enuf to get me through 14-hour days of hard work in high heels.
The day before I left, I was able to squeeze in a sweet visit with my Nashville-now-Dallas bestie. She came over and helped me pick my outfits and pack for my trip. It felt just like old times. I also got to snuggle her sweet baby. I hated to have to leave but was so thankful for the afternoon we got to spend together.
After the conference, as usual, I came home and slept for several days before diving back into real life. Then, I started to clean.all.the.things. Making it through conference season is pretty much survival mode. My waking hours are fully devoted to getting the job done and occasionally making sure myself and my people are fed. Outside of that, I basically have blinders on. After I wake up from my conference coma, I take a look around and panic at all that has fallen to the wayside. Cleaning and organizing is my coping mechanism. It gives me a sense of order when everything else seems out of control. Hey - the first step is admitting it, right?

After tackling the house, then I tackled detoxing my kid from the iPad / TV and worked on getting us back into the homeschool routine. Not gonna lie, those electronic devices were my best friends when I was trying to pack 12 hours of work into 8 every day. We eased back into our learning routine rather gently and I gave myself a big pat on the back after we completed our first full day. And then we promptly took a field trip the next day. Ha! We are back on track now and things are going well! I'm learning quite a bit about Pilgrims right now. Skylar is too, by the way. ;)
We also went to the Pumpkin Patch with Aunt Laura & Aunt Shannon. We haven't all been together in a few years so it was fun to see that our kiddos still enjoyed it even though they are older now. However, any outing with "the cousins" is always a good day in Skylar's world. Cousins really are the best.
This year I also go to go to the Alabama vs. Tennessee game in Knoxville. I had never been to Neyland Stadium before so I was super excited! Granted, I had to ride in an orange and white car all the way there but it was a fun trip. Plus, my team won. Go Bama!

tLG really likes decorating for Halloween so we have done quite a few crafts & activities to get ready for the holiday. The costume of choice for this year was..... drum roll, please..... MINECRAFT! Yes, I know you are shocked. Ha! Minecraft has been all the rage around here for a long time. So, I forked out some money to Etsy and let someone design a costume that looks just like the skin for her gamer tag, mosskid7. And because I like to dress up in a coordinating costume each year, I was an Enderman. This Halloween will forever be known as the year I wore a box on my head for the sake of my child. ;)
This Halloween was also the first year that I learned about and participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project. As the mama of a kiddo with food sensitivities, Halloween is usually not on my favorites list. High fructose corn syrup, red dye and preservatives bring out the worst in kids. So, this year I opted to hand out trinkets and toys instead. So much fun!
For more October photos, click here.

October 22, 2014

Homeschooling After a Long Break

As predicted, things got a little crazy with work during conference season. I homeschooled consistently all the way up until September 18th and then we called it quits. I was pretty impressed that we had made it that far. And then we did nothing on the homeschool front for the next month. Yes, MONTH!

Well, there were a few field trips thrown in but as far as classroom work is concerned... zip.zilch.nada.

But, y'all, that's the beauty of homeschool.

You take breaks when you need to. Looooong breaks if necessary. If you need to take a month off mid-September, go for it! You get to schedule your school year as it fits around your family, not the other way around. Because the school year technically started July 1 (and runs until June 30), we are actually still on pace with Metro. In fact, I think I'm still ahead by 1 day.

I will say it again....

Homeschool allows you to weave learning around your family schedule. Not the other way around. 

It makes me positively giddy!

The other amazingly flexible thing about homeschool is that it doesn't all have to occur in a classroom. It doesn't all have to be achieved over a workbook or on the computer. Thank goodness! Field trips saved my sanity last month.

But, alas, after my conference was over (and I slept for a week), I was ready to get back into a routine and back to our curriculum. Over the last week, we have eased back into our studies. We did one day of school *claps for self* and, as luck would have it, we already had a field trip planned for the next day to the TN History Festival. Like I said, ease back in with extra emphasis on ease. ;)
Of note, this Festival is always the 2nd weekend in October
at Bicentennial Mall and it's fantastic!
Highly recommended. 
This week, we have spent several days doing curriculum work, though not always at home. Today, for example, we did homeschool at the car dealership while getting the oil changed.
I'm actually feeling quite refreshed after our break and, after this week, I feel like we are back in our groove.

Wanna know more about all these field trips we take? Stay tuned for an upcoming post about the Nashville Homeschool Calendar. It's kinda awesome!