The Most Interesting Book on the History of the Semicolon

Dots seem to be in my world this week. This Semicolon book is all about that little dot that was added to a comma to form a new part of grammar, we studied a modern artist who has made millions painting dots on pumpkins, and I’ve been eating Halloween candy which means I have massive dots erupting all over my face (hence the book placement… I was too lazy to Photoshop🤣)

This book is SO interesting. Ok… there are a few chapters that are a little boring to get through because this author dives deeper than you thought possible about semicolons. However, I think any mom would love this book.
1. It encouraged me, by letting me know that people have been confused by grammar since the 1700s. There was never a generation of perfect grammar people. Stop romanticizing the past!
2. It shares the surprising reason we diagram sentences. It might make you decide to never diagram a sentence again!
3. It shows how important good grammar is, a man’s life was taken because of it (that is a crazy chapter!)
4. It will help you teach creative writing to your kids and to think on a punctuation level that lends itself to better creative writing.

I’ve read some books that are super helpful for homeschooling and yet they aren’t at all about homeschooling. I’ve decided this is my new favorite type of book to read.

Educational Philosophy Book Reviews

I was asked to give a list of books that might help a parent understand that different philosophies. HOW COULD I POSSIBLY CHOOSE WHICH ONES?! Every. that I have read has helped to shape my homeschooling views. There are hundreds of books on the methodologies. I decided to pull books that I thought the most informative.

1. Homeschool Bravely. This book is new. It will ground you and help you to think about your WHY before digging into your HOW. I gleaned a lot from this little book, even 8 years into homeschooling.

2. Amusing Ourselves to Death. This was written in the 1970s and is a must read for a Mom like me who loves tech. I think it’s a great grounding to see our current culture in a new light.

3. The Call of the Wild. This movement is huge right now. I don’t particularity agree with her premise (I am currently researching what “childhood” actually means from centuries prior vs. the unfounded assumptions in the book). This is great to hear directly from the founder of this movement that you probably have heard your friends participating in. As a side: note: this method is not “Christian” at its core, although many who do W+F are. Be prepared to not get encouragement from Bible passages and the majority of the quotes come from non-Biblical people (including an Islamic scholar).
The author does a wonderful job giving 2-3 page summaries of the main philosophies out there.

4. Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning. This is a Classical Method approach, but could be mixed with Charlotte Mason, the way it’s written.

5. Classical Me, Classical Thee. Written by the daughter of the Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning book, she goes into more detail. Also, this is more about the method in general, not just homeschooling.

6.Consider This. Charlotte Mason. Although there are probably better, more interesting reads, this one is short and gets straight to the how and why of the CM method. It was daunting to me to know Charlotte wrote volumes of books on her method. This book isn’t an end all. If you read it and it resonates with you, then it would be best to read from CM herself (early 19th century language can be too floral for me sometimes).

Read Aloud Revivial

Another day of reading aloud. I post about it a lot because it’s what we do a lot. It’s just a part of our routine. We always read the Bible first, then whatever book that suits our fancy. There have been some great missionary biographies we’ve read this past year. “You are complaining about cleaning up your LEGOS? Think of Darlene in the concentration camps!” hahah. Ok, maybe that’s not using her life story in the best way, but it gets the point across. We live a ridiculously blessed life and reading about missionaries helps to remind us all that we have it so stinkin’ easy! I get to photograph people tomorrow who are traveling the country, sharing Christian music to bring a little happiness to people and glory to God. I am so thankful for modern day missionaries and the tiny, tiny role I get to play in helping them!

Let’s Give A Shout Out to All the Dads!

I am the least sentimental person you will ever meet. I have no idea why mushy stuff makes me bristle. Thankfully, Ben makes up for my lack of emotions.

He’s kind, gentle, and is the first to want to talk. True story: in the 80 hours of driving in the car on our latest road trip, he wanted to talk THE WHOLE TIME.
15 years together and he still wants to talk. We ended up listening to books that took up about 20 hours and I slept at least 6 hours in the car. But that still left hours and hours to talk. Shoot me now. hahahah! I kid, I kid. Seriously though, we have a great marriage because of this guy. He’s the pillar of our family and I couldn’t be more thankful for him. It’s impossible to homeschool if both spouses aren’t for it. I’m so thankful he was so passionate about it and got me on board! .

Some Day They Will Grow Up

Ben and I accidentally woke up just late enough this morning to miss Sunday school. I walked out of my room, showered, but not ready beyond that; but the kids were in the kitchen fully ready to leave, already done with their breakfast. “Mom, we have to leave for church in, like, 9 minutes. Why aren’t you dressed?” Obviously, had they had the opportunity to not get up and get ready right away they wouldn’t have. I just had to laugh. The roles this morning were reversed and I couldn’t be more thankful for who my kids are becoming. Little moments like these are a blessing to me. They are becoming responsible, committed, punctual people. (Their behavior is normal now… just not mine of sleeping in!)

Now if only their parents could set an alarm and not hold them back, that would be great 😂

Hang in there, Mom of little ones, soon enough you’ll be sleeping in while your kids act like the parents

Summer Camp For Kids

Have you thought about sending your kids to a week long summer camp, but are fearful of the unknowns? Here’s a tip: go to a retreat during the school year to check it out for yourself! A lot of camps have family camp, mother-daughter, father-son, women’s, and men’s retreats! Attend one and get to know the permanent staff and experience it for yourself.

Adelaide and I attended the annual mother-daughter retreat this weekend.
I can not say enough good things about Camp Gilead  Adelaide and I have attended their mother-daughter retreat for years. We made candles, beaded earrings, sang songs, stayed up late watching a movie, painted, canoed, and made s’mores!

I am a little biased because I’ve been going to this camp since I was in middle school but I can sympathize with those that are unfamiliar with the summer camp thing!

Wild and Free Book Review

I post a picture like this with my kiddos playing on the river and I’m so #wildandfree right? #charlottemason? #adventurelearning ? or whatever else. I don’t know about all that.
Sometimes we go to the river when we feel like it.


Can I just leave it at that? 😂

Sometimes this homeschool mom gets caught up in all the educational philosophy jargon. Today I heard a mom describe herself as wild and free but does Classical Conversations. The term “wild and free” doesn’t seem to go with “rigorous education”. for my literal-thinking brain. I’ve read the latest book on the Wild and Free movement to understand what is really meant by that phrase, because it has been a bit of an enigma to me since I first heard it years ago.

You will usually find the buzz phrase Wild+Free hashtagged under an Insta pic of kids in the woods. It’s been a bit of an enigma to me as I know many friends who lay claim to this style of hs while also implementing other philosophies. I’ve noticed there are very few purists in any philosophical educational camp and blending methods is the M.O. these days. But for an absolute person like me, I find it hard to hear relative terms being thrown around.

I was excited to see the woman who coined the term Wild+Free write a book to explain her theory. After reading it, I understand why I have always been confused by the term. The term is a misnomer. Her method isn’t wild and it isn’t free in the sense a person assumes when hearing the phrase without any explanation. Many descriptive words were used repeatedly in the book. I wish she would have called her lifestyle Intentionally Passionate. That doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, though.

Wild+Free is this: her kids go outside a lot, then she has them do typical school, then gives the kids lots of time in the afternoons to pursue their interests. It is clear her kids aren’t running amok like the “Wild+Free” label lends itself too. She is intentional with her kids and listens to their desires to cultivate an education that will prove useful to their unique skill sets and interests. Which we can all agree to that! A huge part of her lifestyle is nature. She “found myself in nature”. This is where I would argue that I find myself in Christ. I do not need to walk in the woods to find myself. However, I want us to love nature in light of God creating it and using it to His glory. If you aren’t fully discerning, her book can lean towards nature as an idol; she prefers to quote Confucius and not the Bible.

2 of her kids are tech heavy
The W+F idea is not new, but she’s packaged it in a way that is relevant and easy to follow in today’s world, which is awesome. By her definition, Ben was raised #wildandfreechildren while doing Abeka.

Now knowing her definition, I don’t know a single homeschooling family who isn’t wild and free. A huge part of homeschooling is to allow time for interest lead learning.
Also, there’s nothing in the Bible that describes what a proper childhood is. And if you are someone who doesn’t like nature, you are not wrong for not being in nature. Don’t let others lead you to believe that childhood=nature adventures. The only example of Jesus as a child is him studying.

There’s a lot of useful things in the book, but read it with a lot of caution.

Body Image and Memories

We got our family photos from NYC today! So many fun pics that I want to share. Naturally, I’m ripping apart my appearance 🙄

I’m constantly fighting a loosing battle to not be a critical person. I pick apart every single thing in life, which makes it hard to enjoy things sometimes. It also makes me a great resource for things because I research to high heaven to get to the root of anything

Just now as I looked through the online gallery with the kids for the first time together, I had to make a conscious effort to be complimentary of everything. I don’t want them to pick up on my never-ending critiquing.
Yes, we were a full week into our trip, had woken up at the crack of dawn and taken a 3 hour train ride to get to these photos; so maybe my hair and wrinkled shirt were not in top form. But who cares?! It’s how life was that day. I want to remember life as it was- not the perfect image (as a photographer in an Instagram world) wants it to be. I think this picture we will the big one we put in our entryway

And now that I’ve made the purposeful mindset change, I’m loving the pics more and more.


It’s National Coffee Day! Well, that’s exciting. As you can see, I am not a minimalist. It is fun collecting stuff. What is even more fun is having something when someone else needs it! It brings me so much joy to have something on hand in the time of need. Chances are if there’s a computer part, book, coffee something, art supply, or thingamajig… we have it and are happy to lend it to ya in a moment’s notice. I only get rid of things when I honestly think none my friends will ever need it.

Anyway… back to the elephant in the picture: the Starbucks coffee mugs. We get one for every state and country we visit. These are our state mugs. Our country mugs are on a shelf you can’t see. The funny thing: I pretty much drink iced coffee and rarely use the mugs!

Most of my friends love hot coffee, and they enjoy grabbing a mug from their favorite place. The kids and Ben use them all the time. Adelaide makes single serving microwave cakes in them. That seems to be all the rage lately too! My college years were spent working the opening shift at Starbucks in Montecito, California, so Starbucks holds a special place in my heart. I have some great memories from the time!
It snowed up on the hills today, so I guess it’s officially hot chocolate season!

Essential Oils and This Homeschool Mama

This isn’t your normail Essential Oil blog post! I have a deep dark secret to share with you all: I don’t have an essential oil company preference.
That’s about as awkward to have to share that piece of information to a homeschooling community as this photo is of my children trying to “smile big for the camera”! 😂 Adelaide’s face!! I can’t even.
Isn’t is just a weird culture we live in where essential oil preference is a thing? Ha! Just like, think about it for a moment: this is a real thing that gets discussed online… daily! People have time to argue this. We live in a country where my biggest problem today was what oil order I needed from what company (I am am member of both). Is it weird to be thankful for this? We are all SO blessed to be in a 1st world country