Friday, January 26, 2018

30 things you may not know about me

I recently saw Courtney from A+ Life Blog share her facts and things you may not know about her and it sparked this sweet little post in me too!

1. I got married when I was 19

2. I am left-handed 

3. I was adopted when I was 10 years old 

4. My favorite color is olive green currently

5. My room when I was a teen was a very bright purple 

6. I wore a retainer and braces for a total of almost 4 years

7. My weakness is brownies

8. I met my husband when I was 12 and he was 16 (but we didn't start dating until I was 17) 

9. I have had two natural births, one of them was a water birth at home, the other was at a natural birth center and he was 10lb 8 oz and 23.5 inches long.. I am still in shock too 

10. My enneagram is Type 2 and I am an INFJ 

11. We were pregnant 3 months after we were married but then miscarried at 12 weeks

12. All of my pictures have been taken with my iPhone camera 

13. I have 2 tattoos that have a lot of meaning to me 

14. Both of my tattoos match with two special people in my life

15. Josh and I took our honeymoon to sunny Florida and Disney World 

16. I have hazel eyes 

17. I have a scar on my forehead from when I was a toddler 

18. My first surgery was when I was 18 and had a thyroidectomy because of thyroid cancer 

19. I have 3 brothers, Jeremiah, Benjamin and Caleb (I grew up with 2 of them)

20. My oldest son is named after my brother I did not grow up with 

21. I absolutely love writing and sharing, on journal, it's my favorite

22. I am 5'6'' and dislike wearing anything with heels

23. I am very coordinated except when you ask me to race you

24. I was born in Cali, grew up in Virginia and now live in NC with my husband and our little men 

25. For the past almost two years I have been able to share my passion and love for a healthy and chemical free lifestyle while still homeschooling our little men 

26. My favorite movie is Little Women

27. I was a nanny/baby sitter from 13 until I was 17 

28. I can count on one hand how many nights away from my husband that I have spent

29. The thing I am most terrified of is mice 

30. Riding rollercoasters is one of my favorite things to do  

Ok, your turn! What are some fun facts about you? Share below or make a post on IG and tag me, I would love to know you more! 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Six is Sweet

This child of ours is the rule breaker. He has no limits and fears little at this age. Ian Luke Dawson enjoys all the goodness in life and takes it by the reins with joy. Ian is also our sensitive spirit one. This past spring when we went to pick him up from Awana one evening, we found him crying and hard to console. Come to find out, they had been popping balloons as part of the game for the evening and it had been too much for him to take. He slept in our bed that night, tightly wrapped between us. Those tender hearted ones love having a good time but also enjoy quiet.

He is also one who loves a good joke, anything that involves earning money and food as the constant. Bring a pizza or some chocolate cake and he will be your friend forever. He talks with a slight lisp, which is insanely cute...and he is NOT a morning person. You will usually find him coming down the stairs, wrapped in a blanket with his hair disheveled and ready to sit down to a warm meal.

Ian loves to wear "fancy" clothes as he calls them and this mama heart will take it for as long as I can! He looks up to his brother constantly and would never say no to cuddles on the couch.

Part of his middle name means "Light Giving" and this is oh so true! He brings so much light, uniqueness and delight to our little family, Happy Sixth Birthday Ian, we love you so!

On to our annual interview (you can find previous years here):

What is your favorite color? Red

What is your favorite toy? The headphones (he recently received them at Awana!)

What is your favorite fruit? Orange

What is your favorite TV show? Home Improvement

What is your favorite shirt? The square one with red and white

What is your favorite game? Risk

What is your favorite snack? Pizza

What is your favorite animal? A Zebra and Cheetah

What is your favorite song? Can't Stop The Feeling

What is your favorite book? Star Wars

What is your favorite cereal? The pirate one (Ben in the background says: "OH MY GOSH...that's full of msg")

What is your favorite drink? Soda

What is your favorite holiday? My Birthday

Who is your best friend? Ben

What do you like to do outside? Skateboarding

What do you like to take to bed with you? Teddy Bear

What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Cupcakes, root beer, pizza and cake

What do you want to be when you grow up? A ninja turtle and a firefighter too

What color are your eyes? Brown

What color is your hair? Brown

He then proceeded to beg us to ask this question, What is your favorite dessert? 

Apple cider and cake and root beer and cupcakes and soda and cake again and cake again and ice cream too!!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Schooling At Home--inspired changes

I mentioned a few weeks ago how we did a big change in our schooling. I knew it was coming, as the little men get older and I get to know them more and more - I try to best fit my teaching methods with how they learn best. That is truly the beauty of homeschooling. You make it fit you and your child. It does not have to look like "normal" school because our intention in the beginning was never to model after school outside the home.

I have followed Wild + Free for quite a few years and it's given me the extra wings I need to teach and to be taught as well as a homeschool mama. I've learned about learning personalities, ways to incorporate nature into our schooling, ideas for handcrafts, how to keep pressing on when the going gets tough, interviews of fellow homeschool mamas also trekking along and more. It's been a wonderful thing!

Mid October I began to notice what we were currently doing felt very repetitive but in the wrong ways. So I dug in, prayed and then went to look up the way I wanted to school and how to begin. That's when I stumbled upon a homeschool mama I have followed for quite awhile and her journey was what I was looking for.

I bought her ebooks, printed them out, read them. The following day I grabbed a notebook and began loosely mapping out what I was wanting for school, what I wanted Benjamin and Ian to learn, what I needed and I took it to Josh.

He could tell this was something I was really passionate about and he loved it too, so I did a test trial for a few days - the boys were in love with school again! I didn't feel like repetition was happening in the wrong places!

This is how I see it -- Learning should be something you are constantly doing. As a child and as an adult. It should be something you love, it should be natural, it should be simple. I don't want my kiddos to stop learning when they graduate, I want it to carry on always. So why not model that now?

I want them to enjoy reading, so that when they are older- they will grab a book at their leisure and read it happily.

If we feel called to homeschool, if we have brought our kids home to learn...why are we always trying to model it after school outside the home? I want learning to be a true feast for my kiddos, something they come to with open arms and eyes wide and excited for the adventures ahead.

So we are doing unschooling. We do math each day as a daily discipline and rhythm- that is a constant. But all the curriculum books are dumped (except math).

We use The Good and The Beautiful loosely as our language arts and literature. It is not an every day occurrence though. And this might go too because they do copywork a few times a week, they constantly are writing stories or letters and it is not a need right now at their age.

We do notebooking, which you can read more about here. This has become their favorite part of school too! Plus what they remember from lessons is amazing and actually sticking now.

I are still finding a bit of our rhythm with our days now but I can tell you this... it is less chaotic, more simple, less tantrums/moans, more pleading for learning. I will share more too on our morning collective and books we are digging into and their current interests, but for now just know-- this way of schooling is going to stick and we are enjoying every minute!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Eight. It sounds too old for this baby of mine. Benjamin Conner has brought so much joy, healing and just happiness in my life as a mama.

When he was born the world knew, with strong lungs and a voice ready to be heard he grasped the world with his hands and has never let go. He loves to laugh, invent, have deep thought provoking conversations for his age and his caring heart is touched by so many.

He prays fervently and with furrowed brows and the simple wonders of the world that wow him make me so grateful that his childhood as a 6 and 7 and now 8 year old are polar opposite of my own. I remember being 8 and being more mature and knowing more than I should about the world and people. My world was crashing down in front of me and being in foster care was rough.

I have always wanted to be a mama and nurture my children. I like to keep them close and sheltered somewhat from the world but not so much that they don't know what current events are happening. Or even how to use social media in general. Baby steps and a little bit at a time. Technology can be a beautiful thing when used well.

He has his own Instagram account, monitored via our phones now. Benjamin loves to invent and make videos to show his latest inventions. I love every time we go run errands he will (without being asked) say boldly, "I am an Inventor." He says it proudly and confidently.

This past year has been a whirlwind for him with health issues and finding ways to support him with emotions and anxiety. Yet, he has come full circle and always has a good attitude about his wellness journey.

I can still see him as an almost 2 year old telling me he will walk by himself down the looonnggg driveaway at our farmhouse. And he did. Confidently and without hesitation.

That is how he jumps into adventures and life and I love it!

Now onto our interview that I do every year with him. You can see the previous years here.

What is your favorite color? Blue

What is your favorite toy? Ninja Turtles 

What is your favorite fruit? Strawberries

What is your favorite tv show? Dick Van Dyke Show

What is your favorite thing to eat? Pizza 

What is your favorite shirt? The blue one with stripes and a pocket

What is your favorite game?  Qwixx Dice Game

What is your favorite snack? Crackers

What is your favorite animal? Turtle

What is your favorite song? Five More Minutes (right here)

What is your favorite book? Ralph S. Mouse

What is your favorite cereal? Cocoa Puffs 

What is your favorite drink? Orange Juice

What is your favorite holiday? Halloween

Who is your best friend? Jerusha

What do you like to do outside? Do Ninja Training

What do you like to take to bed with you? My green bear and Ninja Turtle stuffed animal

What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Sushi and Domino's Pizza

What do you want to be when you grow up? A dump truck man and a Ninja Turtle

What color are your eyes? Brown

What color is your hair?  Brown

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Buccaneer Academy- a peek into our curriculum

Our school year started beginning of August with the little men. I was excited to jump back in after taking almost two months off. With temperatures rising earlier in the day, it makes for the perfect time to begin school.

It also gives us time to figure out our new rhythm for this season in our lives. One thing I love about homeschooling is each year looks differently than the last. I love it! I try to write down in the summer what worked and what didn't work for the last school year and begin to pencil out some plans for the following year and what I hope it can become and look like with rhythms, our day to day and goals.

Each year I try to set at least 1-3 goals I have for each little man. Whether that be learning to read, riding a bike, learning more character qualities. This is all a part of schooling and learning at home! I truly believe setting goals and writing them down as a homeschool mama is so vital for the success and growth of you and your kiddos.

I wanted to share a bit today of what our curriculum choices are this year and then I hope to share more about our day to day and setting goals in a later post.

So here we go, our curriculum choices for our 2017-2018 school year at The Buccaneer Academy!

2nd Grade 

MORNING HUDDLE: Daily Learning Notebook from Confessions of a Homeschooler, Spanish, Art (Fridays)

MATH: Abeka Arithmetic 2

PHONICS/LANGUAGE ARTS: Abeka Letters & Sounds 2, Language 2 and The Good & The Beautiful Level 1

WRITING: Abeka Writing with Phonics

SPELLING: The Good and The Beautiful Spelling List

HISTORY: Co-op (The Good and The Beautiful Year 1)

SCIENCE: Co-op (Apologia, Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day)

READING: Chapter books and classics

READ ALOUD: 1-2 books a month, currently The Mouse and the Motorcycle


MORNING HUDDLE: Kindergarten Daily Learning Notebook from Confessions of a Homeschooler, Art (Fridays), Spanish

MATH: Abeka Numbers and Skills K5

PHONICS/LANGUAGE ARTS: Abeka Letters and Sounds K5 and The Good and The Beautiful Level K

READING: The Reading Lesson, The Good and The Beautiful Level K

WRITING: Abeka Writing with Phonics K5

HISTORY: Co-op (The Good and The Beautiful Year 1)

SCIENCE: Co-op (Apologia, Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day with the Junior Journal)

READ ALOUD: 1-2 books a month, currently The Mouse and the Motorcycle

We also do frequent nature hikes and I plan to add in daily journaling right before bed too for Ben. We are almost a month in now and we are finally finding a rhythm to our days. It is going to be such beautiful year at home, schooling these little men.