Posted in 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes for 2019, Blogging, writing

31 Days of Five Minute Free Write Prompts – Notice



Welcome to the next installment of my 31 Days of Five Minute Free Prompts.  Today’s word is “Notice”.

As we go through life, I wonder what things I notice and what things I miss.  In today’s world it is easy to get distracted and miss a lot.  I notice when our children (even though the youngest is about to turn 17), I see things I would otherwise miss.

At other times, I notice more things when I am a passenger in a vehicle I notice more than when I am driving.  When I sit still and do not let the things of the world distract me I notice more.

Sometimes watching a television show or a movie multiple times allows me to notice things I otherwise miss.

So what comes to mind when you see the word “notice”?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read the rest of my posts for this series, click here or on the graphic below.


Posted in 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes for 2019, Blogging, writing

31 Days of Five Minute Free Write Prompts – Other



Here is my next installment in my 31 Days of Five Minute Free Write Prompts.  The word for this installment is “other”.  What other paths would you choose to follow for your life if you could change direction now?  The other path I would like to have followed is starting to blog sooner and taking it much more seriously earlier.

However, I have to say I am glad I am on the path I am on currently.  Through blogging, I am meeting so many interesting people and learning so much. I am learning other ways of doing things.

Another path I am glad I am on is being part of the Home School Review Crew.  I am learning about other curriculum products I may have otherwise missed for our family.  Our family has really been blessed by this journey.

So what comes to mind when you hear the word “other”?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read my other posts in this series, click here or on the graphic below.


Posted in 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes for 2019, Blogging, writing

31 DAys of Five Minute Free Writes – Day 1 – Why?

Today is the first day of my series 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and today’s topic is “Why?”.  Let me start off by saying my “why” for participating in this challenge.  For several years I participated in a blog challenge of writing a certain number of days in that particular month.  This year I am again participating in that challenge.  Then a few years ago, I was introduced to Crystal Stine’s challenge for the month of October.  However, last year was the last year for that challenge.

So this year when I saw Kate Motaung asking about people being interested in her doing a 5 Minute writing challenge for the month of October, I was thrilled with the idea of participating, so here I am.

I love the accountability of having the challenge to motivate me to post.  So if you are like me and like a challenge, I encourage you to join us.  Even if you do not have a blog, it is easy to start one, or you could just write for five minutes either using a word processor or even on paper.

Let me know if you decide to join the challenge.  I would love to hear from you

Click here or on the graphic below to read all my posts in this series.

Posted in 5 Minute Friday Posts, Uncategorized, writing

5 Minute Friday – Distant

5 Minute Friday - Distant

Welcome to my post for the latest 5 Minute Friday writing prompt.  Today’s prompt is “Distant”.  Right now I feel distant and disconnected from many people and places.  We live in Texas far from our family and many of our friends.

In addition to feeling distant from family and friends, I feel distant from my feelings of when we first started our military journey.  At times it is hard to believe that fifteen years have passed since we first started our full-time military career (well my husband started his career and I have just walked beside him on the journey.

So much has changed since we began this journey.  We have lived in eastern North Carolina, to begin with, then moved to western Pennsylvania, then moved to central Pennsylvania and now currently live in Texas.

So what makes you feel distant or what comes to mind when you hear the word distant?

Click here to read additional posts for the 5 Minute Friday prompt.  I would love to hear from you.

Posted in 2019 Blogging A to Z Challenge, Blogging A to Z Challenge, writing

Blogging A to Z – “E” is for Energy, Excitement, and Enthusiasm

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter E

Welcome to day 5 of my Blogging A to Z challenge.  The letter for today is “E” for Energy, Excitement, and Enthusiasim.  Our four children have an incredible amount of energy.  They remind of the Winnie-the-Pooh character, Tigger, bouncing from one place to another.  They bounce from one thing to another.  Sometimes, when they start talking it seems like they could go on forever.  I often wish I had half as much energy as they have.

“E” is also for excitement.  Sometimes the simplest things excite them.  Recently, my husband and I were out shopping and came across a poster my husband felt our daughter had to have.  So we bought it, brought it home, and presented it to her.  The shrieks of delight she produced made it worth every penny we spent on the poster.  Later, her oldest brother saw the poster and his reaction was equally loud.  Our second son finds excitement when playing online games with his cousins and friends.  Our youngest son finds excitement in playing his instruments, participating in band and arranging musical compositions.  Oh yes, he also became very excited when my husband and I bought a Music Composition book for him when we were out shopping.

Finally, our children demonstrate enthusiasm.  Our oldest son became enthusiastic about the guitar first, then the cello and now it comes from playing his upright bass.  Our daughter becomes enthusiastic when she creates an amazing drawing by hand or digital drawing on her computer.  Our youngest son becomes enthusiastic when he hits a note just right on one of his instruments or when he finds just the sound he is looking for in a musical composition.  Our second son becomes enthusiastic when he finds the perfect book to read or scores well in his game.

So what comes to your mind when you see the letter “E”?

If you want to read my other posts in this series, click here.

Posted in 2019 Blogging A to Z Challenge, Blogging A to Z Challenge, Uncategorized, writing

Blogging A to Z – “C” is for Charity, Church, Children, and Calm


This is my third post in my 2019 Blogging A to Z series, which means the letter for today is “C”.  “C” is for Charity, Church, Children, and Calm.  But I may change the order I discuss these.

First, we have four children living in our house (or at least they are still my children in my mind since I am their mother).  Our three sons are 22, 20, and 18, and we have a 16-year-old daughter.  So needless to say our home is anything but calm at times.  They fill our home with laughter, love, and noise.  And I know I will miss the noise when they all move out.

Also, “C’ is for charity.  Our family loves to use the King James Version of the Bible, and 1 Corinthians 13 is one of my favorite passages.  Here is a graphic for the last verse of this chapter.

1 Corinthians 13_13 (KJV) 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

And in this final verse, we are reminded that the greatest of faith, hope, and charity is charity.  Of course, charity is the same thing as love. So we need to show love for those around us.

If you would like to read my other posts in this series, click here.

Posted in #write28days, Homeschooling, writing

#write28days Challenge – Day 3

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Today is day 3 of my #write28days challenge. I am enjoying sharing tips, resources and other information from our homeschooling journey. Sometimes it is hard to know where to get started. And often it is just as difficult to know when to move on from a resource because something is not working. Over the years, we have tried and succeeded or tried and failed with resources that I have heard others rave about many times.  So today I want to talk about getting started in homeschooling.  Then tomorrow I will look at how to know when to move on to a different way of homeschooling, a different resource, or just changing how you use a resource.

My best advice for getting started is just to jump in and begin. In this day of technology, there are so many opportunities to preview materials online or even complete resources available online for free. It does not have to cost a lot to homeschool. Just because something is unbelievably expensive, does not mean it will work any better than free or less expensive options.


If you happen to be blessed to have friends who homeschool, see if you can get together to look at their materials. Check with your local library. Some offer homeschool materials that you can borrow.

But just pick something and begin. Taking that first step of starting often is the hardest.

Another frequent problem is knowing when the material is not working for your child versus knowing when your child just does not want to work at all. You know your child best, so take a step back and look at the situation from knowledgable eyes. If you find yourself constantly jumping from resource to resource to resource, something else might be going on rather than the material not working. Examine what else is going on with your child, family and outside influences at the time.


For example, one of our sons tends to enjoy being lazy. So if he does not feel like doing work, he will complain about the resource. He will attempt to convince me he is not capable of doing the work. However, I take the time to sit down with him while he attempts to work on the material I am able to see it is not an issue with the resource but the issue is with him.

On the other hand, if I sit down with him and I am able to see the resource is not explaining what our son needs to do, or if it not explaining things properly before expecting him to do the work, then I will look through the rest of the resource to see if it is only that lesson that is poorly written for my child, or if I anticipate having more problems in the future.


All three of our sons absolutely loved a particular science resource, It worked well for all three of them. Our daughter loved and excelled with the elementary books, but then she reached the Junior High/Middle School books and it was a horrible experience for us both. So in that instance, I quickly made the decision to move on to another resource.

When you spend a lot of money on materials, it promotes difficulty, disappointment and other negative emotions about moving on to something else. Even when you do diligent research prior to buying something, things come up. Maybe life throws you a curveball that necessitates a change in the direction of your homeschool.

If you want to read other posts in this series, click here.


Posted in #write28days, Homeschool Conventions, Homeschooling, writing

#Write28Days Day 2 – Homeschool Conventions


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Welcome to day 2 of my #Write28Days Series on Homeschooling Helps, Hints and Resources.  Today I want to give one of my favorite things that could go under all three categories.  My selection for today is Homeschooling Conventions.  These events have become one of the most valuable, anticipated and useful items for our homeschooling journey.

The first year we homeschooled we started in September with no real idea of what we were doing.  I knew becoming part of local homeschool organizations was important.  So we joined North Carolina Home Educators (NCHE).  After talking with a number of ladies who homeschooled locally in our county, we decided to attend the NCHE convention in May.  Attending for our first time, I really did not know what to expect.  However, I can say I was glad our friends provided a lot of helpful advice.  Their greatest piece of advice was to not buy on the first day.  Instead, we took detailed notes at each booth we went to and also brought back catalogs and other paperwork to review.  Then each night, my husband and I would review our finds and discuss our thoughts.

The other part that was really helpful was attending the various sessions, especially the keynote speakers.  When we first began our homeschooling journey, my husband was not necessarily overly enthusiastic about the idea.  However, hearing Christopher Klicka speak at one of the Keynote speeches provided my husband with our “why” we were homeschooling.  From that time forward, we both realized we were doing it to bring glory to God.

So if you are a homeschooling parent who has never attended a homeschool convention, take the time, effort and energy and go explore the possibilities.  You get to see and touch curriculum first hand.  You get to speak with others at the booths who are knowledgable about the various products.  Moreover, you get the opportunity to hear inspirational, knowledgable and motivating speakers talk about being in the homeschooling trenches.

Some of our family’s favorite conventions include:  NCHE, CHAP (the Pennsylvania Homeschool organization’s convention), Great Homeschool Conventions, the South Carolina convention and Teach Them Diligently.  So check out your area and find a convention to attend.

I would love to hear from you about your experience.  If you would like to read my other posts in this series, click here.

Posted in Five Minute Friday, writing

#FiveMinuteFriday – Where?


Today for the first time, I am joining the @FiveMinuteFriday community and blogging about “Where?”  Where is the place our family has had the most memories and how did it begin?

My “where” is Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia.  My husband took me there for our honeymoon in 1992.  That is over 26 years ago.  Where has time gone?  Through the years, our family has made many trips back to the theme park.  We have enjoyed the shows, the foods, and the rides.  Stepping into the shows always brings a smile to our faces.  On one of our most memorable trips, we enjoyed a special dining experience with some of the members of one of the shows.  It was fun watching our children participate in songs and dances with the cast members.

Going there brings back memories of the days I spent working at Carowinds on the North Carolina/South Carolina border during high school.  Truly, it was a memorable experience for me.

While we are in Williamsburg, our favorite place to stay is definitely the cabins at Fort Eustis.  Being in the military has its advantages.  One of those is being able to stay at the two-bedroom cabins with a loft, full kitchen (minus dishwasher), a screened in porch along with a deck that goes almost all the way around the cabin.  The views are spectacular as are the memories our family has made.  Thanks for stopping by.  Click here to visit other members who are writing today or to join up with your own #FiveMinuteFriday post.

I would love to hear about what your “Where?” is and why.


Posted in Product Reviews, writing

Review of Guideposts’ “How To Tell A Great Story”




You can find the following description of “How To Tell A Great Story” on the Guidepost website”

“Welcome to “How To Tell A Great Story”, a two-hour exclusive master class designed to teach you how to write your own story or memoir that you can share with friends, family or even have published on a website or in a local or national publication.

Master storytellers from Guideposts will teach you how to make your story compelling and entertaining, following a formula that has worked at Guideposts for over 70 years. You take the course at your own pace and you can repeat the modules as many times as you would like.

TOP FEATURES: With over two hours of video lessons, this creative writing course will teach you all the essentials to writing a great story:

  • 12 video modules (captions available) to guide you in your creative writing journey
  • Digital Workbook with a summary of main points from each module
  • Full lifetime access to the course and its materials
  • Quiz for each module, to test your knowledge
  • Certificate of completion when you finish the course
  • Instructions on how to submit your story to a publisher for publication.
  • Compatible in all web browsers
  • 30 Day Money-Back Guarantee

You can learn more and check out this course from Guideposts here.”


About the Instructors:

Edward Grinnan is Editor-in-Chief of Guideposts magazine and Vice President and Editorial Director of Guideposts publications, which include the magazines All Creatures, Mysterious Ways, Angels on Earth, and PLUS. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and has an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama. He is the author of the books The Promise of Hope: How True Stories of Hope and Inspiration Saved My Life, and Always By My Side: Life Lessons from Millie and All the Dogs I’ve Loved.

Rick Hamlin is executive editor of Guideposts magazine. He has published three novels and has written several books on prayer, most recently Ten Prayers You Can’t Live Without and Pray for Me. He and his wife, Carol, live in New York City and are the parents of two grown boys.

Amy Wong is executive editor of the magazines Guideposts and All Creatures. She wishes she could write as fast as she talks.

Colleen Hughes is Editor-in-Chief of Angels on Earth magazine and Senior Contributing Editor for Guideposts annual Joys of Christmas publication.

 Jim Hinch is a senior editor at Guideposts magazine. He is a longtime contributor to Daily Guideposts and he and wife, Kate, live in New York City with their two children, Frances and Benjamin.

Here are what some individuals who took the course themselves had to say that can be found on the Reviews page:

Guideposts Academy 5 Stars

By Patricia Parish 

July 8th, 2018

This course an incredible opportunity for me. No university could have done better. So much for so little money. I thank you all so very much. Will be sending something to you all regularly even if all I get is rejections! So grateful for the helpful information, I am tearing up as I write this. Patricia (Pat) Parish, Blessings to the teachers and all your personnel.

Rating: 5 of 5

Quick Course that is Very Helpful

By Barbara Litchfield

April 30th, 2018

Thus course is excellent!  The short recorded sessions with Edward, Rick, Colleen, Jim, and Amy, were full of helpful information for writers in any genre.  The workbook download helped me with note taking and reinforced the learning.  I also am grateful that I can retake the course whenever I need a refresher.  It is definitely worth $24.99.

Rating: 5 of 5



For many years I have enjoyed reading the Guideposts magazines.  In the last couple of years, I started dreaming about writing and more specifically – writing devotionals.  So when the opportunity to review this product came up, I was thrilled.

I found the instructors to be informative and interesting. The course includes 12 videos that I found the length of was manageable.  A downloadable workbook is provided for taking notes.  In some ways, I wish the workbook also included slides of the major bullets displayed on the screen.  Quizzes are provided at the end of each lesson, which is why I believe having the major points printed out would have made things easier.
For each quiz, I had the opportunity to take them multiple times.  Of course, being a teacher, my goal was to get 100% each time.  I found this extremely doable.  I would have loved for guided exercises or writing suggestions to have been provided at the end of each lesson.
However all in all, I have to say I was really pleased with this course and learned a lot from it.  So check it out for yourself.  Click on the graphic below to learn more and to purchase the course for yourself.
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