Saturday, August 24, 2013


In case anyone thought I left with my family on our world travels and fell of the edge of the earth, I thought I would take a minute to post something after my year sabbatical from blogging. Our trip was AWESOME.  We visited Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. It was amazing. Completely worth the scrimping and saving required to make it happen. I should have blogged about it, but alas, I was having too much fun. Pictures can be found on my facebook page.

Shortly after we came back, I decided to go back to school to work on a certificate in Intercultural Peacebuilding. I knew it was something I wanted to do in the future and the future happened faster than expected. I also started homeschooling high school with my oldest daughter.  Needless to say, I have been busy. Blogging had to take a back burner. I am still homeschooling high school... and middle school... and elementary school... I am still taking classes (one more class next semester to finish the certificate) and I am thinking of starting a Master's program. Life is still busy, but the urge to write has returned, so I may be popping back here every now and then.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

American History Books

Before we leave on our trip, I thought I would link to the book list I put together for our American History studies. This past year, we have been using A History of US as a spine and adding in many books from this list.  We didn't read all of the books on this list, so some I can't vouch for, but of the ones we did read, I only put the good ones on the list.

I typed this up quickly the week after school was out before starting to get ready for our trip, so forgive the misspellings and weird capitalization. I hope it is still helpful. It is just a regular excel spreedsheet.  Notice the tabs at the bottom.  Click on them to see each subtopic.

For my other book lists, see the tab at the top.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Here is what we have been up to the last 5 months.

Grandma Lee and Grandpa Dave come to visit
Eating icing with Grandma

Decorating cookies with Grandpa

Saying good bye to our pet guinea pig, Gigi

Grandma Melody and Grandpa Charlie come to visit
the Byodo-in Temple

Dressing up Grandpa

Hanauma Bay
Kali plays Brigtta in BYUH's Sound of Music

We go surfing


Arwen and I get extra parts on Hawaii 5-0

I play the dowager aunt in Lady Windermere's Fan

Sierra plays Gloin the dwarf in BYUH's The Hobbit

And now we head off in 5 days on our long await family trip to Southeast Asia!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Counting Blessings

As I think back on 2011, I realize that it has been an amazingly great year for me and my family. Here are some things that made it great.

1. I lived in Hawaii
Here we are celebrating our 2 year Hawaiiversary
2. Rand had/has a great job that he loves that brings in enough money for us to make ends meet every month and even save some for fun stuff like traveling.
3. We moved to the faculty townhouses where we plan to live for the foreseeable future. (meaning we have no plans to move anytime soon!)
4. We were able to decorate our new house in a way that makes me happy and feels like home.
5. We were able to rent our downstairs bedroom to students which has helped us to save more money for traveling and has taken the pressure off of me feeling like I needed to try to get a job.  I had been stressing about this since I didn't think I could work and homeschool the kids.
6.  We have been healthy.
7.  The girls are improving academically.
8.  The girls are thriving socially.
9.  After 15 years, Rand and I may have figured out this marriage thing and spent this 16th year having fun and loving each other more each day.

10. We were able to travel to the mainland this summer visiting family and taking the girls to Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and NYC.

11. I was able to take a trip to visit my best friend in Las Vegas after not seeing her for 2 years.

12. After 8 years, I have finally figured out this homeschooling thing with curricula and a schedule that works,  making my life much less stressful.
13. I have been able to keep motivated to exercise regularly.
14.  I have made some new good friends this year whose husbands get along with my husband and whose kids get along with my kids and who keep me motivated to exercise (see #13).
15. I was able to be in our university's production of A Winter's Tale.  It was so fun to be in a play after an eight year hiatus.

16. And just a week before the end of 2011, I tried surfing and I like it!

Here's to 2012 being even more awesome!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Around the World with Sculpey

My oldest daughter loves Sculpey and her favorite thing to make is little dolls.  She has amassed quite a collection including dolls representing cultures from around the world.  When we moved I decide to make a display of her dolls and our world map.

Here it is (forgive the terrible lighting)

And here are some of the dolls up close.


Hawaii (of course)


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why I love having older kids

Don't get me wrong I LOVE babies.  Their soft heads and squishy thighs and sweet baby smell. I love them so much that I was worried that I would keep wanting to have more and more babies. But alas the baby hunger stopped after 3 babies.

And toddlers are just so cute.

And preschoolers.  Oh, preschoolers are so much fun!

But older kids and teenagers, yikes, teenagers...  I didn't really know what to expect. Turns out they are still pretty cute and they are lots of fun and....

  • They can carry on real conversations.
  • They can clean up after themselves - with reminders ; )
  • They don't fight bedtime 
  • They can be left home alone while you go shopping, exercise, go to a girls' night out, go on a date!
  • They can help out with the household chores.
  • They are more fun than work while camping or traveling.

Yep, having older kids is great.  They no longer let you smell their soft heads or squish their thighs, but they are so much less work.  And I am really enjoying watching them grow and mature. It is really amazing to see the people they are becoming.