This boy.

Our cautious child.

He's always been slower to try new things than the others, and the older he grew, the more cautious he became.  Refusing to try new foods (even foods that he once ate daily) until he was living on a diet of flavorless cardboard type foods (like cheerios and dry toast).

He stopped wanting to jump in the pool, though he used to do it all the time.  Even refusing to ride the small roller coaster at Disney.

Until recently. 

One day, he began to emerge from his cave of cautiousness, taking one tiny step at a time - "Mom, can I have butter on my toast?"

"I'll try some of that Chinese food."

"I'll come with you to ride the roller coaster."

"I really want to do the Flow Rider on our Thanksgiving cruise."

And you know what?  He was awesome.  Even the lifeguard stood up and clapped for him.

So mamas, if you're stuck in plain cheerio-land, don't worry.  We were there for a couple of years.

You will get out. 

Maybe not on your call, but you will get out.

Your kiddo will come around in time. 

It's up to you to always offer the new foods/opportunities/experiences, but be ok with it if your child turns them down. 

One day, they just might surprise you.

And it will make your mama heart soar.


Good for you.

Ever wonder why we can't just be whatever we want?  I mean, some people can, but not all of us.  We worry about what people will think, who we might disappoint, etc. 

Growth is hard. 

It really is.  Because when you grow, you leave things behind, even people.  But people who don't grow, or grow at a different pace than you, or in a different direction that you get offended when you don't stay the same. 

It kind of like someone buying you a pair of Unicorn slippers for Christmas because they know you love unicorns, even though you haven't loved unicorns since you were 12. 

Ok, that was a crappy analogy, but you know what I mean.  I'm not the same girl I always was - heck, I'm not the same girl I was yesterday. 

Just because something resonates with you doesn't mean it resonates with me.  And just because something from a certain "category" resonates with me, doesn't mean I fully fit into said category.  I've said before that I don't like boxes and have spent my whole life trying to find the one I fit into (only to realize that boxes are for the birds).

Things that are important to you may not be important to me and vice versa, and guess what?  That's OKAY.  I promise. 

I've been searching for how to deal with leaving people behind who can't be left behind, if that makes any sense.  People who are around for the long haul, but that you've outgrown, or can't connect to anymore. 

See, I've never been good at bullshitting.  Actually, that's probably one of the things that I'm the worst at in life.  I don't care about that sports team, or your makeup, or how the weather is, or what so and so is up to.  And I have a really hard time engaging in things I don't care about/don't agree with/don't believe in.  I don't have to proclaim my view, but I can't really fake in sharing yours very well, so I always flounder around until I fall silent. 

Well, a friend taught me the PERFECT response to for moments like that:




That's it.

Good for you.

Isn't it wonderful?

This way, I'm not compromising my beliefs by lying and I'm not being rude by not reacting.

Good for you.

You have a different religion?  Good for you. 
You love so and so?  Good for you. 
You're fighting to save the sea turtles?  Good for you. 
You got a new car?  Good for you.   
You're selling all your belongings and backpacking across Europe?  Good for you.
You got your nails done?  Good for you.
You're going vegan?  Good for you.

See?  You have no idea whether I believe in what you're doing or not, because I'm not agreeing with you, but I'm not judging you either. 

Imagine a world where we used good for you rather than judging each other, or feeling like we've betrayed ourselves by faking it to our friends and family.

Give it a try.  See how it works for you.
I think you'll find it's the perfect way to keep things kind.

Keep it Kind Unisex tee available in our shop.

Tee:  @TheWildFolkCo
Shorts: Target
Shoes: SaltWater Sandals
Bracelet: @Sundrenchd
Necklace: @@shopmountainmade


Goodbye October

October is my favorite month.  Not just because of the whole pumpkin spice fad, (I'm old enough to remember life before flavored coffees), although they are pretty wonderful, aren't they?

October feels like freedom.
It's shedding of the old, to allow room for the new. 

Outside, the leaves begin to turn beautiful colors, fall from the tree, and leave the branches bare for the winter.  While the tree is bare, it rests, preparing for the spring, when new growth will begin.

Though I don't wait until October, I feel as if my spirit is often turning beautiful colors before it sheds parts of me that no longer serve my higher purpose.  Then I turn inward, rest, and reflect until new spiritual growth begins. 

This frequently occuring cycle is natural and happens to all of us.  We only have to turn our focus inward a bit to recognize it.
And embrace it.


Crotchety Coast

For so long, I've been in denial. 
Wishing for something that is not. 

This girl.
Who loathes being covered in sand. 
Who doesn't like that crispy feeling after swimming in the salty sea.
Who has fair skin, burns after an hour, and needs to get honest with herself about making a trip to the dermatologist. 
This girl makes no secret that the beach is not my happy place.

I come alive in the woods and around fresh water.  Maybe because that's where I spend my formative years - living alongside a crystal clear river that begins at a beautiful spring. 
I've been longing to return to that place and live alongside that river - we even gave it a go, but it didn't work out, so we ended up back here.
For all this time, I've been holding on to this dream that we'd be somewhere, anywhere in the woods, alongside a fresh water source. 

We live near this lovely little beach in a town that is so full of people who are unlike me. 

When we lived in the city, everyone was just everyone. 
No one judged, no one cared. 
You could drive a pinto or a range rover, and no one batted an eye either way. 
When we lived in the city, if you put on your blinker on a crowded highway, someone made way for you to change lanes. 

But this town.
In this town, you may be run right off a bridge if you would like to merge when your lane is ending.
This town is full of transplanted people who come from somewhere very different than where I come from.
 There is no melting pot to mix the different types of people, for they are all nearly the same, save for a few. 
This town is full of what you call "new money," and I have learned that "no money" is far better than "new money" in terms of kindness offered to strangers.
Many here have to be better.
I don't even know if they realize what they are.
It only takes joining a local facebook group and observing how people talk to each other to make you cringe.
I've never seen anything like it.
Driven by ego.

Joseph Campbell said, "When you get to be older, and the concerns of the day have all been attended to, and you turn to the inner life - well, if you don't know where it is or what it is, you'll be sorry."

I wrote this post to convince myself that acceptance is my key to happiness.  That this is where we are, so this is where we're meant to be, and that I should turn my attention to the present instead of dreaming for what may come one day.
I thought that putting it to words would help me pull up my boots and move on, but you know what?  I can't. 
I will always long for a place where I can be among the tall trees, and listen to the birds and the running water, but I think what I'm truly longing for is to be surrounded by different energy. 
Loving energy. 
Accepting energy. 
Putting people before yourself energy. 

Until then, I will spend more of my time in our city to the north, which has much more of a "kindness vibe," and learn to appreciate the beach more, because our little neighboring beach town truly is lovely - especially in the evenings when the sun has begun to fade.


Daily Schedule for AO Year 4 - Term 2

We're nearing the end of Year 4's Term 1 using Ambleside Online's curriculum, and it has been such a refreshing couple of months.  I cannot say enough great things about this curriculum and about implementing the Charlotte Mason method in schooling.  Watching my son make connections and really learn from the living books we're using is such a magical thing.  I've even learned a few things myself!

homeschool books

Term 1 really helped me gauge where Bent is academically, and just how much independent work he's ready for.  I've learned a few things:

1. We weren't ready to read Shakespeare. Part of it I'm sure is that I'm from the camp of "Shakespeare's plays are meant to be watched, not read," but another part was simply that Bent hadn't been exposed to any Shakespeare before, so it was a bit much to take in.  Instead of reading the scheduled play for this year and term, we decided to take it back a notch (AO's year's 1-3 style) and read from Tales from Shakespeare (Puffin Classics) which we will continue to do on Saturdays (our Friday) for Tea Time.

2. Plutarch is NOT our thing.  I see you reaching for your pitchfork, but hear me out.  What works for some does not work for all.  Some people like chocolate, some like vanilla.  Bent was dying of boredom from each passage we read about Caesar, and frankly, I was too.  He just wasn't there yet comprehension-wise.  Language aside, Plutarch read to us like overhearing a conversation about Season 3, Episode 6 of a television program which we had never seen before.  There were no connections being made, no backstory to pull from, no way to remember the names since there were no details or development of any characters.  I felt like if the aim was to learn about Caesar, another book would be a better fit for us, and if the aim was to expose him to Plutarch's writings, well....we've been exposed for now, but we will have to wait a while until we revisit. We will not continue Plutarch next term, but Ambleside Online has a handy, 3 times/week breakdown on their site, which works nicely for a Mon/Wed/Fri schedule if you'd like to add it in.

I've made the schedule available in PDF and Word formats, that way you can edit it to fit your family.

A few notes:

We've been using Easy Grammar, Grade 2 in our Morning Basket, as that's the copy I had on hand, and this is the first year Grammar is formally introduced.  We have been working through that at a pretty quick pace, so I think we will be moving up to Grade 3 after Christmas break.

We use the version of Madam How and Lady Why pictured below, so the reading breakdown by page number on the schedule has been adjusted for that version. If you are using the other version, use the page numbers listed on the AO site.

madam how lady why

Our Morning Basket will stay pretty much the same as Term 1, with the exception of a new Cursive Writing workbook, and the replacement of Khan Academy for Math with Saxon 6/5.
Khan academy didn't work for us at all.  My son made a game of it where his goal was getting points and not actually learning the material. We switched back to Saxon Math mid term, and I'm so glad we did.  It's familiar to him, the spiral method works very well for him, and he understands the material.

George Washington's World will be part of the daily morning basket to be read independently and then narrated.

Kidnapped will be read independently twice a week, while listening along to the audio on Librivox.

I've moved one of the weekly Storybook of Science chapters into the morning basket time slot. The reading is something he can handle independently, and we will read the second chapter in the afternoon the same day, which provides the perfect opportunity for him to "catch me up" by narrating the chapter he read that morning to me before we begin the chapter we read together. 

For Latin, we've been using Getting Started with Latin, and I'm so glad that we chose this program.  It's such an easy program to follow, with just the right amount of new material each lesson.  Bent has really impressed me with his retention!  Other than a little bit of Spanish when he was younger (colors, numbers, etc), this is his first real attempt at foreign language, and I'm really wishing we would have started the recommended language schedule sooner! I'm wondering if it would be ok, to begin Spanish with him after Christmas break, since 2 languages are scheduled for year 4, or if I should hold off until next year.  I'd love opinions from other CM/AO mamas, so please leave me a comment if you have suggestions!

charlotte mason education

P.S.  I mentioned in the Term 1 post that I was thinking about purchasing Bird Bingo, and I wanted to let you know, it was SUCH a hit! If you're on the fence about it, GET IT!  It's very well made, the whole family can play together, and you can't help but learn all of the birds just from playing.  I definitely recommend it!

ao year 4 daily schedule


School Room Tour

Our homeschool room has been so many things over the past few years.

When I was working from home full time, it was my office/sewing room.

It's acted as a spare bedroom for when my stepson came to visit in the summer.

Usually though, it's our school room.

My absolute favorite thing in our room is our yellow booth.  My aunt gave it to us, and while we intended to use it as a kitchen table, it has served us SO well as a school table.

Our little fern  may look kinda sad to you, but it was one of my $1 Plant Graveyard saves, so it actually looks amazing compared to the state it was in when we rescued it.  I save plants the way other people save dogs and cats.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who saves the marked down plants at Lowes.  They all look so sad, and just need a little love, I always come home with at least one!

We were gifted the bookshelf on the right from a neighbor (okay, he was throwing it away, and we asked if we could have it), and Jon built the bookshelf on the left when our book collection grew too large. 

Our closet had those old school, sliding doors, and it was so annoying to look for what book we needed, so I asked Jon to take the doors off and hang curtains instead.  Now we can see all the books at once, or just close the curtains if needed. 

I used to keep our games on the top shelf of the closet, but now that Cole is older, and I don't have to worry about lost pieces, we keep them in a more easily accessible spot for the kiddos.

If you've done a homeschool room tour, please feel free to link to your post in the comments!  It's so much fun to check out other people's spaces!!


Ambleside Online 2017/2018 Music Playlists

I wrote in a previous post about creating playlists to share for our Composer Study, Hymn, and Folk Songs, and I've just remembered I never shared them!

You can find the Composer Study playlist by clicking HERE.  Please note: this playlist is only for Term 1, not the entire school year.  Since you may want to do additional reading about the composers (2 per term) that we are studying, I thought it best that I keep the playlist restricted to who we are covering for this term to avoid confusion for the kiddos. 

You can find the Folk Song playlist by clicking HERE.  This list contains all of the recommended Folk Songs for the 2017/2018 school year.  I chose the versions that appealed to me, though with some I was lucky to find any version at all.

You can find the Hymn playlist by clicking HERE.  There are some duplicates on this playlist because I wanted to show my children how hymns can be sung traditionally, soulfully, or in a more modern fashion and all still be wonderful.  
*Please note:  I was born in the 80's.  Sister Act 2 was HUGE when I was 11.  Joyful, Joyful is one of this year's hymns.  You can bet your bottom dollar I included the scene from Sister Act 2 as one of the versions of Joyful, Joyful.  If you don't like it, you're welcome to skip over it (but how could you not?!).

I will add the Term 2 Composer Study playlist soon!  


Thanks Irma

Hurricane Irma may just be the strangest hurricane experience we've ever had.  I think because the media was coming off the devastation of Harvey, they may have gone overboard on sensationalizing the apocalyptic nature of Irma.
Please know that I'm well aware of the devastation left by Irma, neighborhoods near our beach are still flooded, and friends and family are still without power.  Irma was not, however, a world changing catastrophe the way the media hoped said it would be, and at no point, even once the storm had been reduced to a Category 3 (something most Floridians have been though many times), was the media willing to admit that it was anything less than the apocalyptic Cat 5-type storm they had originally hyped everyone up over. I just think of people with anxiety issues, people who couldn't afford to evacuate - but did anyway for safety and are now behind on their bills, people who cannot buy groceries because the stores are empty of many items, people who could not make it to work because there was no gas at many stations even after the storm had passed.  I am truly grateful that the storm was not the apocalyptic beast that it could have been, but it will be a while before I place as much trust in the weather reports as I did in the past.
 As of Tuesday before the storm, I (and many others) truly believed that when we evacuated, there'd be no home to come back too.
We were bombarded with reports of "the worst storm EVER," but the track was changing daily (sometimes twice daily).  By the time the track had Irma coming up the east side of the state, where we live, all the hotel rooms in Georgia and SW Alabama were all booked.  We ended up booking a hotel room in Orlando, which seemed like it would be safer than being on the coast according to the forecast.
Since the track was all over the place and the weather people seemed to have no idea what was going on, we ended up being in our evacuation hotel a day earlier (maybe even 2 days earlier) than we actually needed to be.  On top of everything, Irma ended up shifting west, and the eye of the storm traveled right over us in Orlando!
Thankfully, we made it through safely, and though we had a couple of days worth of manual labor to get our home and yard back to its pre-storm state, no major damage was done, and for that we are very thankful.
Though we've been on a minimalistic path for the past few years, Irma did a great service to me by helping me realize that I don't actually need anything.  When a catastrophic storm is headed your way, it forces you to take an assessment of your home, your belongings, and what's important to you so that you can decide what to try and "save" and what to leave behind.  
Do you know what we "saved?"  Important papers (birth certificates, mortgage paperwork, etc), family albums, my camera, and our current year school books.  
That's it.  
Everything else, we can live without.  
What if our T.V. is destroyed?  
Then we have no T.V.
What if our furniture is ruined?
We head down to goodwill and get a $20 couch.
Our clothes?
We'll just live with the ones we're wearing for a while.
None of it really matters.  
None of it. 

It can be replaced.  
Or we can just do without.  
Either option works for me. 
So I'm actually thankful to Irma, for helping me solidify this mindset.  
 Plus, the kids got to go up on the roof to help clear fallen limbs - which is like, the coolest thing ever.

Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be. ~ Matthew 6:21


Bad-For-You, but Oh, So Good! Biscuits

cheesy biscuits recipe

We generally eat a pretty "whole foods" diet around here.  I guess that's why there's been a box of Bisquick sitting in our cabinet since last December (when I used a bit of it to make a Sausage Bread for Christmas Brunch).

I recently scored some KerryGold Ballyshannon cheese, and while it's a bit, um...cheesy to be eaten outright for our taste, I hated to waste it knowing all the nutritional benefits of grass-fed cheese.

Cue the lightbulb.  Cheesy-biscuits!  I used the Bisquick directions as a base, and then added in a few of my own to make these delicious, Garlic-Buttery Cheese Biscuits.  The way I look at it, the nutritional benefits of the cheese cancels out the terrible-for-you-ness of the Bisquick....(just roll with it..).

biscuit recipe with cheese
biscuit recipes
red lobster biscuit recipe

If you want to make your own batch of soft, warm, deliciousness, here's what you'll need:

2 and 1/4 Cups Bisquick mix

2/3 Cup Milk

1/2 stick melted Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter - Unsalted (8 ounce)

2 cups shredded Kerrygold Ballyshannon Cheddar Cheese

1 tablespoon Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon Florida Crystals Organic Cane Sugar Jug, 3 Pound


Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Mix dry ingredients.

Add wet ingredients.

Fold in cheese.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper (wash less dishes!!)

Scoop dough into 1/4 cup sized biscuits and plop onto pan

(**I use coconut oil spray and just spray my 1/4c measuring scoop before every couple of scoops.  They plop right out of the scoop onto the parchment paper in perfect little mounds).

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

This will yield 10 biscuits at this size.


red lobster biscuits
Pin this recipe so you don't forget!!  Your tummy with thank you!

red lobster biscuits

Tried this recipe?  Let me know how you like it or if you made any changes in the comments section below!


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