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Pageant Fun

4 Oct

I posted previously about the pageant Danger Girl participated in this summer. She had a great time, which she remembered after she got over not winning. Danger Girl actually enjoyed the pageant so much that she is participating in another one in a couple of weeks.

The first pageant adventure

The first pageant adventure


We have been spending some time practicing her introduction. If I can keep her from deciding to change what she wants to do when she grows up, we will be fine I think.


So far she has wanted to be a military doctor, open her own school, be a science teacher and be a scientist. It will be interesting to see what she does end up doing when she grows up with all her different interests at this time. I’m not too worried about it since she has plenty of time to decide. Besides, diverse interests just means an interesting person, right?


I am looking forward to seeing how my little girl does in this pageant. We actually got her scores back from NAM this week, and she didn’t do bad in that one. She is participating in more of the optional contests in this upcoming pageant (P.E.A.R.L. Girls), so that gives her more chances of winning something.


Some people may think it is strange to encourage my daughter to participate in pageants, but I think this is a great way for her to learn public speaking skills and to become more confident. I have no intention of becoming a (complete) crazy pageant mom, so I don’t think I will cause too much permanent damage to her 🙂


Besides pageant fun, we are also keeping busy with soccer and karate, and I think Danger Girl wants to add gymnastics to her activities. We will see about that. I’m not sure I want to spend every day running around.


Danger Girl is also enjoying learning to play the piano. We are using Free Piano Lessons 4 Kids at this time, until we can find a good piano teacher near us. I think she is getting along pretty well though. She hopes to be proficient enough in the piano for the next pageant she does, but I’m not as confident about that as she is.


well, that’s what is going on in our lives. How about you? What exciting, crazy or busy activities do you have going on.


(Don’t forget the give-away that ends tonight. I am giving away three Apologia Science books for elementary age. They are great resources.)

Homeschool Science Give-Away

30 Sep

Well, I have had some recent technical difficulties, but I think I am now ready to do the give-away I promised in my last post.


Exploring Creation 3 Book Give-Away

Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day, Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day & Exploring Creation with Botany

Last year another blogger graciously sent us the “Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day” book to use in our homeschool. Since this blogger was so nice to us, I thought I would pass the book along (as well as two other Apologia Science books).

As I already said, I have been having technical difficulties, so we are going to do this give-away the “old-fashioned” way. To be considered, you must follow my blog as well as leave a comment on this post.

To make it a little more fun, I don’t want random comments; instead, comment with the answer to this two part question: If you could rename any animal, which animal would it be and what would be the new name?

Let’s see if the homeschool parents can be as creative as the students (or ask your kids for a good answer to the question).

Please feel free to share this give-away throughout the week. This will end at 10pm CST Friday October 4. I will only count comments added by this time. I will announce the winner by the following Monday.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Updates Since I Went in Hiding

17 Sep

I have not posted in a while, and all I can say for myself is I kept meaning to, then I would get distracted. There is always something to clean/organize, or a book I need to read, or (insert excuse here). I have decided that enough is enough though, and I’m going to get back to it.

We have had plenty going on since the last time I posted. Danger Girl did compete in a pageant way back in July. She did not win, but she wants to do it again, so I call that a success.







Danger Girl is also keeping herself busy with karate and soccer. She was very excited because she got to play goalie in a scrimmage the other day. Actually, it was on her birthday, so that was probably part of the excitement. She really wants to be a goalie.

In the next month, she will be participating in another pageant, so be wishing her luck as that approaches. It is a smaller pageant than the one before, so maybe she will place this time.


In other news:

I am planning to have a give-away soon, so be checking back to find out more about that.

* Hint- It is a very popular science resource that I happen to have an extra copy of.




A Recipe Begging for Help

26 Mar

One day I decided to throw a dish together for our evening meal. This dish was really good, even my husband thought so, but it is missing something and we can’t decide what it is.


beef and potato

This is a picture of my beef and potato casserole (still working on a great name for it)


I am trying to figure out what will really bring this dish together. I am posting the recipe in the hopes that some of my blog readers will give suggestions for that element that is missing.


1/2 lb. grass-fed ground beef

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

10-12 small red potatoes, halved

1- 1 1/2 cups diced mushrooms

1 cup spinach leaves

1 cup sharp cheddar made from raw milk


Brown the beef with the onion powder, garlic powder and red wine vinegar. Add the browned meat, cut potatoes, spinach leaves and diced mushrooms to a square baking dish. Cover the top with the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes- 1 hour.


That’s all there is to it. If you are a cooking genius, perhaps you can come up with an idea without even having to try the dish. Otherwise, try it out and let me know what you think should be added. I appreciate any ideas.

Danger Girl Gets a New Sidekick- HMJ 3-22-13

22 Mar

It is officially spring now, and we are still trudging along in our homeschool efforts. We are down a student as Chatterbox is no longer coming over, but we have a new student now.

Meet Curious. Our new addition to the family.
Meet Curious. Our new addition to the family.


Curious is our new Heinz dog. Her current studies are in potty training and remembering where her food bowl is. She does like books though, and if you are not careful she will try to devour a book as you read it.


What we are doing in school:

Danger Girl is still moving along pretty well in her subjects. I think she is tired of math, but she’ll just have to get over that one.

We have begun a flower garden in our front yard with all the things that butterflies and hummingbirds like. Danger Girl keeps the garden watered as well as her strawberry plants she just had to have. She is very excited to watch as the plants emerge. I get a report each day as to what the garden looks like. Hopefully everything will grow well. We also planted a peach tree, but I think we will have to wait a while before we see anything there.

We took a field trip to a plant nursery the other day, and Danger Girl got to ask several questions about her plants so I think that made her happy. We are planning another field trip soon to a local flower garden. I plan to have Danger Girl bring her art supplies and try her hand at drawing some of the things we see.

Everything else is moving along as normal. Danger Girl enjoys history, particularly determining which of the kings of Isreal and Judah were good or bad kings. We have a chart going right now.

We have begun reading “The Island of the Blue Dolphins” and she seems to enjoy the story. I think she likes any story where a girl is taking care of things. Danger Girl has also begun writing her own stories, and they are pretty ammusing. I will have to share some of them soon as she completes them.


In Our Life:

We are making preparations for Danger Girl to participate in the National American Miss Pageant in the summer. She is very excited, and I think it’s a great way to get her over some of her shyness. She did very well at the photo shoot they had at the open session. I will have to share the pictures when we get them. Until then here’s one I took:

NAM Session

We have found a pageant dress for her, but we still need to get her interview outfit. I think I will have to break down and go to a mall as much as I don’t want to. Right now we are practicing for her to speak to people to be sponsors. We made a list of possible people and she will start going around to speak to all of them soon.

The dress we are getting.

The dress we are getting.

It’s kind of hard to see in this picture, but this is the dress she is getting for the pageant. This was our compromise between the one I liked for her and the one she liked.


Other than the pageant, things are going fairly smoothly right now. We are finally starting to clear away some of the old trees in our back yard. I say finally because we have lived here for about two years now and I feel like we haven’t done much work yet to fix up the house. I have a long list of things going, but they all need money. The good news is after we get the puppy potty trained I have a good excuse for why we should go ahead and replace the carpet 🙂


So, that’s what’s been going on with us. What are things looking like for you?


playing with dog


Absent Landlord: An Interesting Parable

19 Mar

The description of this book intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try.

“In this house of failure-ridden misfits, status means everything. When fast-talking newcomer, Lars, tricks insecure Seth out of even the lowest room in the house, Seth resorts to suicide. After he fails at this too, however, Seth wakes up and finds everything he used to take for granted now to be priceless gifts, including the rickety old house. He even decides to obey the long-ignored rules of the absent landlord, which say to care for the others in the house.

Even though Lars continually crushes him and the others to climb his way to the top, Seth must persevere in his quiet resolve, not realizing that the fate of everyone in the house depends on it.”


This is an interesting story because the hero is so pathetic to start out. You can’t read about him without feeling some pity while at the same time not being surprised that he has such a hard time making friends. He is the epitome of self-pity and self-loathing. The antagonist, Lars, makes it really easy to dislike him. He has almost no redeeming qualities. These, and all the rest of the unusual characters, makes for a very interesting read.

The author does a good job of setting the scene. You can easily imagine what the house looks like and what the characters look like. While the characters are outrageous at times, they are very human and the interactions are very human as well. It is really hard to say more about this book other than I liked it and
thought it was well worth reading.

* I received a free copy of this book for my unbiased opinion. The opinions expressed are my honest reaction to this book.*

Catskinner’s Book- Strange but Engaging

18 Mar

Catskinner's Book (The Book Of Lost Doors)

* * * *


I will admit that through most of this book I was confused, but since the main
character seemed just as confused as I was I think that’s okay. This story
revolves around a man, James, who has some other entity permanently attached to
him thanks to his father. James has never really understood Catskinner, or what
his own purpose was, but he gets thrown into some very confusing answers as he
becomes a target for several groups of people. This book was different than
anything I have read before, and was not what I expected.

There were a lot of plot twists, and some of what seemed randomness in this book. I never
fully understood what purpose James played for all the people that were after
him, and I never fully understood what these other entities were trying to do.
That being said, I was definitely invested. I gave this book 4 stars despite my
confusion because the author actually managed to get me attached to the
characters. I found myself rooting for James and Catskinner despite what they
had done before everything went crazy. I especially liked how the author evolved
the Character of Catskinner throughout. I found myself wondering right along
with James if it was really Catskinner changing, or if it was James that had. I
will agree with another reviewer though, the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I
would have liked it to be. That was actually probably the most confusing part
for me through the whole story. If you want to read something that keeps you
guessing, this is definitely the book for you. I will add the warning that there
is quite a bit of language, and some very strange sex-like moments.

*I received a free copy of this book for review. This is my unbiased opinion


Amazon Link

Rebuttal: Parents Can Teach Their Children

14 Mar

I read an article today claiming that parents who homeschool their children are not qualified to teach them.


Read article


The man who wrote this article, based on what he saw his wife go through to become a teacher, believes that homeschool parents can’t possibly be able to teach their children because they do not go through the same rigorous training and licensing that public school teachers endure. I agree that a lot goes into becoming a public school teacher. I do not think that means those who don’t go through the same process are uneducated themselves though.

Mr. Kardon seems to be under the assumption that homeschooling parents just wake up and randomly begin teaching. This is not the case. Most moms I have had the chance to interact with spend months deciding what type of curriculum to use. After this decision most parents will then go through the entire chosen curriculum to get acquainted with the material. No parent that I know goes into a teaching situation cold.

Parents who teach their children will make sure to stay ahead of their children in whatever materials are used. If they don’t know much about a particular subject, they will either make sure they learn it or find someone who does to help teach whatever the subject is to their children. For instance, I am not that great at art. I wish I was, but I have very little skill in this particular area. Since I know I am not good at this, I have a friend who is very talented in drawing, painting, etc. who will work with my daughter once a week.

Even if a parent has very little knowledge, there are so many resources out there to help guide them. You can buy curriculum that tells you exactly what to say if you feel you need that. I do not personally use this type of curriculum, but some probably do.

As to the idea that parents are unqualified, who is better at understanding the way their children learn than a parent? Who is more likely to go the extra effort to make sure their children succeed? If public schools are so great, as he proposes, then any person who has graduated from a public school should have all the knowledge needed to train their own children.

The article goes on to bring up the subject of socialization. What would an argument against homeschooling be without socialization, right? Apparently Mr. Kardon is forgetting the abundance of activities out there. Children have the opportunity to socialize at church, in sports, in music classes, or any one of the other activities available to children outside of a school setting. My daughter just recently got the opportunity to make friends in a pageant opportunity that presented itself.

I am a homeschool mom with an Associate’s degree. Despite my lack of training, my daughter is able to read and write. She does well in math. She loves science and history. She enjoys finding new places on a globe. She could give you a wealth of knowledge on Greek culture, as well as the customs of Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. She can recite the Pledge of Allegiance by heart as well as large portions of the Bible. She can explain Latin grammar to you. She has a wealth of knowledge at 8 years old that I did not learn until middle school and high school. Maybe I am not qualified to teach my daughter in theyes of Mr. Kardon, but I will let the results speak for themselves as she continues in her education.


(Also, if homeschooling parents are so unqualified to teach their children, why are colleges actively seeking homeschooled children, and why are homeschooled children excelling in so many areas?)

My PRAYER Journal by Ralph Spiller

11 Mar

Book Description

Does God answer your prayers? Would you like to have more power in your prayer life? My P-R-A-Y-E-R Journal will help you develop a more powerful, disciplined prayer life on the order of the first-century apostles and Church. You may ask, “Is that possible?” Many miracles were accomplished by God through the disciples in the first century. Can God do the same in the twenty-first century through you? Could you pray with such intention to glorify God?





When I decided to review this book, I expected more than just a prayer journal based on the description. I thought it would be a guide to better prayer with helpful hints and scriptures to help strengthen my time in prayer. While there is plenty of scripture, which is good, this book ended up being more of a list of what types of things to pray about each day, which was not what I expected. The description promised help to make your prayer time more powerful, and I didn’t feel like this was delivered with a basic prayer journal.

Perhaps it is my own fault; maybe I should have guessed by the title, but the description was a little misleading in my opinion. While I was disappointed that the book was not what I expected, the scripture used was relevant to the prayer sections. If you want an outline of how to set up a prayer journal for yourself, this book could be helpful to you. If you are looking for something a little more this is not that.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

HerStory by Dealaina M. Waldron

21 Feb

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00073]

Book Synopsis

HerStory a novel by Delaina M. Waldron is a paranormal/thriller that takes the reader on a journey in the life of a young African slave woman named Ayira who has a dark secret.  A dark secret she does not understand and is beyond her control.

Ayira can see the past and the future and she can also speak to the dead.

It is the beginning of slavery in America, a Native American tribe rescues Ayira and she struggles to balance her special powers and face her dark past to help the people around her.

Ayira must overcome her fears of her dark past, survive the present and accept her destiny to help prevent the Indian tribes fatal outcomes.



Author Bio

Delaina M. Waldron is a Screenwriter, Novelist and freelance writer in her spare time.  She wrote two feature length screenplays one of which was adapted to her novel “HerStory” and the other a comedy called “Ghetto Ghost Hunters” was a finalist in the 2011 Hollywood Screenwriting contest.  She also wrote a short screenplay a thriller called “Peeper”, which is currently in production.

Delaina M. Waldron is a single mother of one and is currently a city bus driver and a military veteran for the Army Reserves, based in New York City.




Twitter:  @delainawaldron




Facebook page:



My Review:


This book deals with spiritualism/occult. If you are offended by literature that has themes such as this, you will not want to read this book. I often review Christian themed books, so I want to give this warning before I continue.

HERStory is about a woman from Africa who has special gifts to speak with the dead and see into the future. She is rescued by an Indian tribe after being sold into slavery. The tribe struggles to get to know her and understand her gifts as she continues to isolate herself from everyone.

Ayira is afraid of the gifts she has and of what her father wants her to use them for. She does not have control of the visions she sees, and she does not know how to change them. The people who reach out to help her are turned away as she does not trust anyone. The theme of this story is Ayira learning how to be in control of what she is seeing.

I gave this book three stars because, though it held my interest to the end, there were some things that were confusing to me. I did not understand fully why the Indians had rescued the slaves, or what their motives were throughout the story. I also could never understand why no one, except another spirit, could control Ayira’s father.

The story itself caught my attention. I wanted to finish because I wanted to know what would happen to Ayira. Ms. Waldron is a good story teller, but I couldn’t get past the details that confused me. I also thought it would have drawn more interest to know which tribes I was reading about. I like the history behind stories, and I felt like the history behind the Indians was a little lacking. I realize this is Ayira’s story, but I just felt that the Indian’s history might have cleared some things up.

All in all though, I enjoyed the story. Reading this story as a Christian, I could go into my beliefs about what was behind Ayira’s gifts, but since that was not the point of this book I will leave that alone. This is an interesting, and fairly short read, for anyone who wants something a little different.


Interview with the Author:

1)      What motivated you to write this story?

A: I admire the Native American Culture.  In the days of slavery in America, I always thought what would have happened if the Native Americans joined forces with the African slaves and fought against the foreigners.


I also thought what it would have been like to see the two cultures meeting each other and learning from each other and living together in the 18th century.


2)      Did you have any particular tribes in mind when you wrote this story? If so which ones?


A: I had an idea of certain tribes that lived in the area of the settlers that mysteriously disappeared back in 1587, the settlers were called the Roanoke colony in the North Carolina area.  The tribe was loosely based on the nearby tribes near the roanoke colony.


3)      In the story, you have the Indian tribe save the slaves, but later you find out they had taken slaves from another tribe. How do you reconcile the difference in their actions?

A: They did not take slaves from another tribe, they took in Native American tribe members displaced by the battles with the soldiers.


4)      Is the story, and the woman’s abilities, based on any particular religious or other beliefs? If so what beliefs?


A: There are various African beliefs and rituals, but the woman’s abilities are loosely compared to lets say “Nostradamus” a man that had special abilities in a century that had no understanding of his abilities and a man that was far advanced in his century.  So the woman’s abilities were too complex and advanced for her to understand and to control in the time and place where such things were unimaginable for such a simple young African woman.


5)      Do you relate to your main character, and if so how?

A: I relate to my main character mainly with her times when she is confused about her direction in life, what and where to go and how to overcome obstacles.  I found myself isolating myself at times when I did not want to get hurt also.



6)      What was your favorite part about writing this story?


A: My favorite part was writing the ending.  I love the twist at the end, it gave a sense of accomplishment for the slave woman and independence.


7)      What was your least favorite part?


A: My least favorite part was writing about the sad moment with Imani.  Imani is a great supporting character for the slave woman.


8)      Do you have any other projects upcoming?

A: I am currently writing a couple of screenplays, a short horror and the other a psychological thriller.