Friday, August 29, 2014

Fall 2014

I cannot believe summer (academically speaking) is already over! That just flew by!

Our summer was filled this year! Archaeological dig, Nauvoo pageant, frequent visits to the Temple, a mini-holiday in Chicago, trip to a theme park, homeschool lessons, fabulous visit with my parents, a book convention, my graduation, sleepovers, Cub Scout rank advancements, camping- wow! I am getting a little tired just typing all of this!

Here are some pictures of our adventures!

So much fun!

The boys have started the next year of homeschooling! We broke out the next level of books- always such a treat! Carter is in 4th grade, and Harrison is in 3rd! They are both excited! Their friends Julio and Jose come over and we all do crafts and read together- so it is even more fun than ever!

Yes- both are homeschooling this year.

Carter did attend the local private school. However, after a month, he decided he was finished. In his own words, "Mom, their work is a lot easier, but school takes too long!" There you have it!

We are continuing to use Math U See, Spelling You See, Getty-Dubay Handwriting, Usborne books, Breakfast Notebooks (here is a simple site explaining them- ours are filled with more advanced materials), Brain Quest Workbooks, and unit work. I CAN'T WAIT to get to our Charlie and the Chocolate Factory unit! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! We already finished sharks and are now on football (mostly health and fitness, but they all wanted to learn about football- so we are putting that in there too!). This will be the best homeschool year EVER!

That about does it as far as school updates go!

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Dear Facebook,

It's not you, it's me.

We have changed. Grown apart. And I am through.

Remember when we first met? We would see one another occasionally. I remember I added everyone who ever requested me as a friend. I thought it was so fun! Friends I had known back in elementary school were now on my "friends" list! It was great! It was delightful!

Remember when we grew up? It was just a few years later that people got a bit more bold (or maybe I was paying more attention?). I remember posting something, and having people openly fight with me! It was so weird! I got dramatic too. Take that- world! That phase did not last very long- thankfully- and rather than debate and dramatize, I realized it was easier to "unfriend" and keep things positive. I refused to get into the drama.

That, for years, was my MO. Keep it positive. Pictures of kids, family, travels, adventures, cats, uplifting! I was determined to make Facebook a fun little place that would inspire and bring joy! Facebook is amoral- so I knew it could happen!!! I found that I could only handle having about 120 "friends" at any given time. I enjoy reading things my friends post, and 120 seemed my limit. I kept the 120 to people I could talk to, confide in, and trust. I wanted to be able to post things unfiltered if necessary- and I chose people carefully.

But you got smart, didn't you...

Your brilliant marketing geniuses added a trending feature. You tossed in more adds. You added a feature that posted similar articles below links my friends would post. You weren't happy with cute cats and little families- no... you wanted more.

Well, it worked.

I would find myself, often, caught up reading interesting articles, stories, or blogs. Subscribe to Scientific American or Popular Science? Nah- all I have to do is read the articles online! Oh, look! Here is a blogger and early childhood expert telling people to do what I have always done, yeah! OH! Look at that AWESOME homeschool unit on Mummies!!! YES! A new recipe! Oh look! It is a whole BLOG of new recipes! YAY!!!! Wow! Did you know that there are entire sites with cute personality quizzes?! Which Disney Princess would I most likely be?!!? (Aurora.) Which character in The Breakfast Club am I most like!?!? (Claire.) What Hogwarts house would be my perfect fit!?!?! (Gryffindor, baby.) Oh yeah... you got smart, Facebook.

But the smarter you got, the less I enjoyed you. I started walking away feeling less fulfilled. I stopped hearing cute stories from friends or my favorite bloggers- because your filters stopped showing them, or your trending topics gave them something else to discuss. You stopped being fun.

So, I quit you.

I have thought about it for a long while- but needed to grab the courage and do it.

Well, this week I got the courage and I did it!

And you know what?

I got five different texts that day.

Three different the next.

I wrote six letters this week.

My house is clean, I have the next week of homeschool work all printed and sorted, and I baked cookies twice (chocolate chip- they are awesome). I sewed a new dress for Harrison's baby-doll, and am half done with a dress for Fina. A friend and I are working on making a free cookbook. I have had cups and cups of herbal tea, and I read my scriptures three-times-a-day instead of one. And I feel amazing.

I didn't think I was spending too much time on Facebook. And thanks to your marketing, I wasn't. Instead I was clicking links and reading and reading and reading mindless fluff. Was there an occasional inspiring link, message, or blog? Sure! But it seemed to happen less and less. If someone had asked me how much time I was spending online I seriously would have said 20-60 minutes. However, based on the large amount of fun crafts and the perfection of my house now, it must have been a lot more.

I remember seeing this a few years ago:

I remember I liked her message, but I didn't understand. Addicted to Facebook? Like, you are addicted to your friends? I don't get it.

But now I do.

I am not addicted to Facebook. I am addicted to information. And you, sir, were feeding it to me by whopping spoonfuls. And, like eating Cool Whip, it was unsatisfying, unhealthy, and unwanted in my life.

So, I am done.

See? It's not you. It's me. I need more. And my family and I deserve more. So, for now- we are going to part ways.

Kurt will keep his Facebook, and people can always reach me at home, phone, email, or by text.

My email is