Saturday, October 19, 2013


A Little about this Blog

Welcome to my new Happy Place!—My own creative space in the blogosphere, where other creative parents/teachers/artists can come and share ideas, adventures, projects, successes and struggles. My name is Heather or “Shiny” as my extended family calls me.We first began our homeschooling adventure 6 years ago. My oldest daughter was starting Kindergarten, and I did not find peace in my heart about sending my daughter to any of the local schools. I had taught preschool for a number of years so I thought maybe we could give it a go and try homeschooling for Kindergarten. I then found out that Kindergarten is optional in our state of Colorado, so this gave me the courage to try it out all the more. I figured if it really didn’t work out, we would just go to a school starting with first grade. The least I could do was try.

…Like I said, that was 6 years ago. My oldest is now at Fifth Grade level, and youngest sister has joined the fun, now at First Grade level. I can’t say enough positive things about homeschooling. This from a family who has a long line of public school teachers. I even went back to school to get my own MA in Education during these early years of schooling at home, and this simply reconfirmed my belief that homeschooling is the best form of education. I’m not saying it is the only form, nor am I saying it is the right form for everyone. Everyone has different circumstances, different family situations, different personalities, and to be honest, different schooling options. That’s the great part of living in America! What I do believe is that homeschooling is a calling. And if you don’t have that calling…don’t do it. But if you do, I wanted to create a blog to just encourage your heart and help refocus your days on the fun at hand. The ability we have all been given to make Every Day special in the eyes of our children is truly a gift. But it is so easy to forget sometimes amidst the busyness of juggling all the extra activities, lessons, and simply trying to make sure we get all the necessary learning packed into each day.

And that is why this blog is not just for you—anyone interested in fun specials to mix into your days at home with your littles, or not-so-littles-anymore. It is also for me! I want to remember to pause and savor these moments with my children, between the Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmatic. Afterall, this is part of the fun of homeschooling—getting to enjoy those moments! Because it is these moments of happiness in homeschooling that leads to something deeper. Something richer. I believe creating a “fun-dation” for your children where they are truly happy at home leads to a lifetime of Joy that they will carry with them far beyond their front doorstep.

Now help me be accountable, Friends! J I’ll show you our fun ideas! You show me yours! Would love to hear all about the fun going on in your own “Home-Rooms”.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


So this past Thursday (A DAY before the weekend kicks off, mind you), the Hubster calls at lunch and casually tosses out there that we go camping. The next day. Now, if we had an RV, a pop-up…or even a reservation at a campground, perhaps I wouldn’t have freaked. But my husband (God love him) is a mountain man at heart. When he goes camping…he would be out in a sleeping bag under the stars, in the wilderness of the mountains, with no one around except the bears…the coyotes…the rattlesnakes. Not that I think about those things. And while I admit, I do secretly love it once I’m there, it’s the getting me there I detest.


My first reaction was Distraction, as all the good parenting books point to as a first maneuver. “Well, we were planning on going camping NEXT weekend…remember? It’s on the CALENDAR….” (Hubster sighs pathetically.) My heart caves. (Sucker.) I always feel bad for my Hubs because I do truly LOVE “car-camping” (where you basically set out into the mountains, and hope for finding an open site other wilderness campers make, recognized only by the fire ring and dirt path leading to a small private clearing.) And I do feel bad, because he doesn’t like to go by himself—he wants to be with the fam. And he works so hard all week, with his FT school/ FT work- combo creeping up in another month…it really is the least we can do for the guy. The problem is, my husband ALWAYS forgets how very much work is involved in prepping for this kind of camping. Even though he takes care of gathering all the gear from the attic, it takes me an entire day to gather all the supplies and organize them so we can find anything.  Basically, it’s the prep-work I don’t like. And this particular Thursday, I was feeling particularly lazy.

So I went to Logic. “Well, we really can’t because remember, Friday night at 6:30—the kids have their VBS performance followed by an ice cream social at the church?” …I forgot who I was talking to.

And so there it was, 9pm…us heading up to our favorite camping area. The kids were on a sugar high, an hour past bedtime; The Hubster was frustrated once again by the size of our vehicle and what a nightmare it was to pack it. And me—I was trying to calm kids, trying to calm the hubs, and trying to ignore the fact that this whole spontaneous trip was IDIOTIC!!!

Still we plodded on in our stupidity. After hours of driving, kids fast asleep, and us trying to stay awake on gas station coffee, we found our usual site, but I just did not have peace about it. As we drove down the dirt road we were excited to find our favorite spot vacant, and continued driving to see if there were other better spots…and eerily they were ALL vacant. Why? I kept asking. I love getting up and away from it all…but with no one around on the entire road, seriously I was beginning to feel the bear drool down my back all the way from the caves on the ridge beside us. Oh wait, that was sweat from being wedged in a car with a mid-sized dog on my lap for 3 hours! The more I thought about exactly how remote we were, with not a people- soul to be found, the more I worked at convincing the Hubster to drive to our other favorite site, probably 10 miles away.

Now, that at least turned our bitterness and frustration into all out terror, as every few feet we were being bombarded with all the literal party animals out at 2am, stumbling across the road and throwing themselves in front of our car, or at least deciding whether they ought to or not. I was on deer patrol and about had a panic attack before we finally made it to our infamous site in the middle of nowhere. We were promptly greeted by a porcupine meandering across the road. (We laughed, finally—our first porcupine sighting!) Yet this site seemed too close to the road for the kids to have fun, and yet again we headed on. It was already beyond late. It really didn’t matter how late at this point that we got the tent up.  So on we drove.

And then… we found it. The PERFECT camp site. We had passed a few other campers on the way to this site, so we knew there were people at least on the same road. We were near a stream with the perfect island in the middle for the kids to have fun on, lots of room for the dog to run around, 2 fire pits and a flat area for the tent. It was The One. Yes, it was 3am. Yes, we were insane. But we made it.


The next morning I woke up baking in the tent as the sun came beating in through the screen window. We all had slept in and felt pretty good, despite the late night. The Hubster and the Princesses were already busy exploring the site, taking off their shoes to wade to the “island”, while the dog was in heaven, running free exploring all the new scents of the wild. I took it all in, as I pulled up a camping chair and sipped my Awake tea, made from water the Hubs had lovingly boiled for me on the campstove. And I remembered. THIS was why we loved camping!!

Watching the girls simply enjoy being children, free to run barefoot in the stream, collect rocks, chase butterflies with nets, and pick beautiful bouquets of wild “flowers”—it was remembering what peace felt like. It was simply enjoying the company of one another, without wondering if I needed to switch out the laundry or run the dishwasher. It was the Hubster enjoying rock collecting as much as the girls, unplugged from the computer and even his phone. It was bliss. And it was in this moment that I remembered how very much I loved my husband for his spontaneity and sense of adventure--traits that first attracted me to him over 20 years ago. Had I dug in my heels and remained in the sane world on Friday…I would have missed all this:

So yah...needless to say, next time my husband tosses out another last minute adventure idea...I will remember to BELIEVE that good can come from livin' a little crazy. Sanity. It's highly overrated.

One of the many reasons I'm still so in love with...


Big Hugs,

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Shiny New Blog :)

Once upon a time I had a blog. And it was my Happy Place. Perhaps it was your Happy Place from time to time as well? (A gal can dream, can't she? :)) But then life got busy. Big Time Crazy-Busy. And then suddenly Livin' Crazy became Livin' Insanity. And that is just no fun. The Hubster was in full-time school while working full-time; I was taking 2-3 graduate courses at a time;--all while homeschooling. Needless, to say, last year was not a very fun year! ...Until now. Both the Hubster and I have taken the summer off from our studies; homeschool is out for the summer...and we are remembering what it is like to be the family we were a year ago, before the Craziness began. And we like it. :) We have remembered the importance of not getting caught up in the busyness of life so much that this season of raising our children--our most important job and gift--passes us by. There are times in life you need to stop and check yourself. This summer has been one of those times for our family. And my hope is, if you are caught up in a life that is too filled and fast that you don't have time to write a few paragraphs each week...decide as a family to make some changes to keep your priorities where they should be. I'm happy to say this Crazy Family has made some positive changes and is in the process of reorganization. And this Shiny new blog is my accountability. :)
Welcome back, Friends!!
Big Hugs,