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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Grey Wolves Series-Review

Okay, I am going to do a review for a series of books that Bethany and I love.  We have read the entire series many times-more than I want to admit at the moment.  We got hooked on them and just couldn't stop reading.  I actually re-read them at least twice a year!  No, I am not kidding.  The characters become my friends and I just have to be a part of their lives.  I NEED to know what will happen to them!  Plus, I just love the characters.

The first book in the series is Prince of Wolves.

Jacque Pierce was just an ordinary 17 year old girl getting ready to start her senior year in high school in Coldspring, Texas. When a mysterious foreign exchange student from Romania moves in across the street, Jacque and her two best friends, Sally and Jen, don’t realize the last two weeks of their summer was going to get a lot more interesting. From the moment Jacque sets eyes on Fane she feels an instant connection, a pull like a moth to a flame. Little does she know that the flame she is drawn to is actually a Canis Lupus, werewolf, and she just happens to be his mate; the other half of his soul. The problem is Fane is not the only wolf in Coldspring, Texas. Just as Fane and Jacque are getting to know each other, another wolf steps out to try and claim Jacque as his mate. Fane will now have to fight for the right to complete the mating bond, something that is his right by birth but is being denied him by a crazed Alpha. Will the love Fane has for Jacque be enough to give him the strength to defeat his enemy, will Jacque accept that she is Fane’s mate and complete the bond between them?

My take:  The writing is a little like a self-published author(at first), by that I mean there are some spelling errors and grammatical errors.  However, I don't find them to be too distracting and the character development more than makes up for any lack of writing style.  (Hannah-my literary student snubs her nose at these books because they are not Jane Austen or J.R.R. Tolkien!)  The story line is captivating and the main characters are full of life.  I would so be their friend in real life. Many times while reading this series I found myself laughing out loud, cheering, or crying at what is happening.  I truly fell in love with the characters and will be so incredibly sad when the series is can never be finished.  I'm just sayin'.

The next book in the series is Blood Rites, it continues the story flawlessly and advances the plot to the point of racing through the book to get to the next one! The story continues all the way through book 10!!  Then she takes a side-step and branches out some of the characters and created The Gypsy Healer series.  This is also a series that I just love and can't seem to stay away from.  The latest installment I made myself read it slowly just so it wouldn't end too quickly!

They are all worth the read.  Oh, did I mention that they are CLEAN?  Meaning no sex, no major language(a few 'minor' cuss words), books that I let my teens read and don't worry about it.  That is big y'all.  

You can visit her website Here  You can also buy all of her books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.  You can also find her other book series-Elfin, Dream so Dark, The Vikings Chosen.

I encourage you to check them all out.  You just may find a new favorite author!!

**Disclaimer: I did NOT receive any books in compensation for this review.  I bought them all on my own-because I love them-and the opinions are my own.  Even if I had received any books for review, I would give an honest review and my opinions would still be my own.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Curriculum 2017-2018

I don't think I have posted for quite a while about the curriculum we are using.  With two having graduated, I find that life was slowing down quite a bit in the homeschooling department.  With Bug added back in, it is a bit busier!

This year we have Hannah in 10th grade, Naomi in 7th grade, and But in 2nd grade.  We haven't really changed curriculum much in the last few years because we found what really works for each one and we are sticking with it! 

Tapestry of Grace Year 1-History, Literature, Bible, Writing
Apologia Marine Biology
Math U See Pre-Calc
Dave Ramsey Personal Finance
Economics for Everybody (2nd Semester)
Fallacy Detective (2nd Semester)

Tapestry of Grace Year 1-History, Literature, Bible, Writing, Arts/Crafts
Apologia General Science
Math U See Pre-Algebra

Time4Learning-Language Arts, Science, Math, Social Studies
various workbooks for each subject and lots of play time, learning to play on her own, and working on setting up chores and being responsible

I think that is it.  But, who knows we may add more or change something mid-year!  That is the beauty of homeschooling-you can change what isn't working.  

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A New Job!

I started coaching gymnastics at the Y just about a year ago in September.  I loved it.  I loved being back in the gym(again) and I loved the kids.  I quickly added hours to my schedule and started helping with pre-team and then eventually team.  I was busy, as evidenced by several posts lamenting that fact!  I was really happy, though.  The kids were wonderful and I heard back that they were enjoying gymnastics.  

But then changes started happening.  I won't go into details but there were things happening that I couldn't support. And I kind of got in trouble for speaking out about something in a staff meeting.  Trust me, it needed to be said and I was the only real adult in the room.  

Anyway...since these changes were coming, I sought out other employment.  I found out that a local gym was hiring and it was a gym that I competed against when I was young.  I took Naomi over to try it out-I wasn't leaving her in a gym that I didn't agree with policies and procedures.  She loved it but was wary about switching gyms.

I talked with the manager and she told me that night that I had a job if I wanted it.  I did!  I gave my notice at the Y and told my classes that I wasn't going to be teaching there any longer.  Several families asked where I was going and decided to follow me.  Of course, I told them that they were welcome to come to the other gym but there were great coaches staying where they were.  They came anyway.  And then I heard that more coaches quit and girls I recognized showed up at the gym I was now at.

Naomi transferred over and quickly started moving up levels.  At the Y they told her she was at a lower level than this new gym and she was clearly ahead of what they indicated.  It took some time for Naomi to get fully comfortable at the new gym but she is loving it now and she has moved up to the Gold Excel team!

We start our competition season in a few weeks and I will be traveling with the Silver team  I am so excited to see the girls compete and improve throughout the season.  

I don't have as many hours at the new gym and it is working perfectly with our new addition to the family.  God has taken care of us and His blessing keep showing up when we least expect them. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A New Adventure

A few weeks ago I received an email that made me squeal for joy.  I honestly didn't think I would get it but had hoped and then forgot about it!  

I made it onto the ChickfilA Moms panel!!  I am so excited to be a part of this panel this year.  I love, love, love CFA and go there way too much already.  

So, I will be promoting CFA this year-probably won't look any different since I already talk about it irl so much!  

For now, here is my blog button!

**Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and I have not been paid for them.  If I get a free or promotional item, I will state that but my opinions are still my own and I will give an honest review.


We had about a weeks notice that Phoenix was coming back to live with us.  Not much time to turn our storage room into a real room for her; and we didn't make it!  lol  It took two weeks to finish after she moved in but we got it done and it is a beautiful room.  She got to pick the color for the walls-how terrifying!-and we picked out the rest.  I think it all came together very well.

It was way worse than this...I had already cleaned up some before this pic!

Naomi helping with the mudding/taping that we ended up doing wrong.  

walls, tools, ladders, cool construction things!

She is moving in!

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See the wall color?  That is her favorite color!

Papa brought her name letters for her new room

her own bookshelf.  Now, to fill it!
I would show you a picture of her room now...but honestly I can't even get in there-it is that messy!  But, it is hers and she is here to stay.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Saying Goodbye

In 2005 we lost our family dog, Simba.  She was a wolf/shepherd mix that found us when we were first married.  She was our baby through all the miscarriages and then loved our babies as her own.  She was one of a kind.  

When she got out of our yard, we were devastated.  There was no goodbye, no closure.  There were many tears and lots of unanswered questions.  

Then there was Maggie.  We went to the pound looking for another dog and we found Poppy.  She wasn't our first choice but when she saw the girls, she was immediately drawn to them and was so gentle with them.  We knew then that she was our dog.  

We adopted her and took her home.  

She was horrible!  She chewed everything.  She actually ate the tires off of our barbeque.  She knocked the kids down constantly and followed me around  I did not like her.  I begged Steven to take her back.

Thankfully he didn't.  She calmed down and became an amazing dog.  She was mostly obedient, protective, intelligent, loving, and sweet.  She knew when I didn't feel well and stuck to my side to comfort me.  She would help me up the stairs when my calcium was low and would check on me until I felt better.  

On the downside, she could not pass up French bread.  If it was on the counter she would eat it.  Even when she could barely walk down the stairs she would find a way to get French bread off the counter.  She loved French bread!  She didn't bother any other food if it was out, but we dare not leave French bread anywhere unattended.  

She was a special part of our family.  When Bethany brought Beau home, Maggie took him in and taught him the rules of the house.  He didn't really listen or learn but she tried!  She played with him until she just couldn't any longer.  

When Maggie got sick, Beau knew and would treat her so gently.  He would check on her every chance he could and she would just lay there patiently until he was done.  Towards the end, she couldn't eat and lot a lot of weight.  She was in pain but tried to be the sweet dog she always was.  

Her last vet visit at the vet in June, she kissed and snuggled like she was a puppy.  It completely broke our hearts.  She was comforting us even though she was in pain.  The vet told us there was nothing that could be done and that it would be better for her if we made the hard choice.  I knew it was coming but was devastated none the less.   My girl was in too much pain.

As a family we said goodbye.  We bought her ice cream and French bread and gave her a shower and took her on a car ride and on one final walk.  She smiled the entire time!  

We took her in to the clinic the next day and all of us were there with her until the end, loving on her.  We wept as a family over our beloved Maggie and watched the light fade from her eyes.  I am still crying over her.  

As we left without our Maggie, we reflected on all the good times and precious memories.  The pain is still fairly fresh and I slip up and call for her sometimes but it is getting better.

Yes, I know she was just a dog and not a person.  But, when you love something with your whole heart it leaves a void when it is no longer there.  If it doesn't did you really love it?

Someday we will get another dog and start the process all over again; but for now we are loving on Beau and settling in to life without Maggie.