Posted in Blessings Corner, Family Corner

Christmas Highlights 2018


On Christmas Eve we celebrated this guy’s birthday. My baby is 16! We are in our final years of homeschooling, his last years of childhood. I want to savor every day and create lots of memories together.

We always end Christmas Eve by reading the Christmas Story out of the scriptures, but this year my husband decided to change things up. He had us each randomly select a nativity piece from a set he placed inside a box. We then took turns sharing what we know about that person (or animal) and guessed what he or she might have felt. It was a great discussion.


We simplified our gift giving this year and I’m glad we did. Everyone got a few select gifts under the tree and some fun stocking stuffers. Our main gift was a surprise to the kids: we booked an Alaskan cruise for the end of next summer, after our missionary returns home. 🙂


As much fun as it was to open gifts together on Christmas morning, it was delightful to watch this little fellow. He was curious about all that was going on and loved playing in the wrapping paper and boxes.

I took this video of Casper playing.


The highlight of Christmas Day was Skyping with our missionary. She looked great! She was bubbly and happy and told us some funny stories. For example, because she is American and white, Peruvians often assume she doesn’t speak Spanish. Or English? They will start “talking” to her in sign language! She doesn’t even think it’s real sign language. Then when she speaks Spanish they are in awe!

I took video of her singing a Christmas carol in Spanish with her cute companion.


David’s mom spent Christmas with us (she is in her eighties), and my friend, Steph, and her daughter (pictured below with Darcie), joined us in our Skype session with Marissa.


Darcie and Steph’s daughter act like sisters.


Two days after Christmas we headed towards Salt Lake City for our annual family fun. This year we walked through Thanksgiving Point’s Luminaria.

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It was freezing that night! But we layered up and took advantage of the hand warmers and hot cocoa that came with our tickets.

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The next day we visited Brigham Young University’s Museum of Art where this fascinating exhibit was on display. My kids are so funny!

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Have you ever seen any of Patrick Dougherty’s work? Pretty cool.

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We were supposed to see a hockey game, but it got postponed to another day due to bad weather for the opposing team (from Texas). So we got a refund and went to dinner at Rodizio Grill instead. Yum!


♄ And that was our Christmas. A few days before Christmas, these three lovely ladies surprised me at my door. They sang, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and gave me a spa gift to thank me for all I’ve done for their girls (some of my craft club girls) this year. Their thoughtfulness made me cry. I had to crop out a cute craft girl from this photo. I also received treats and gifts from some of craft girls, which was very sweet.

Wishing all of my readers a Happy New Year. Thank you so much for following my blog, for your likes and your kind comments. It means a lot to me! I’ll try to catch up to your blogs in the new year. Let’s make it a great one! ♄

Posted in Homeschooling Corner, My 52 Stories

My First Homeschool Conference

I’m not sure why I didn’t write about this much sooner, but it is still relevant and I hope it might help a homeschooling mama considering whether or not to attend a similar conference. In all of my nine-plus years of homeschooling, I had never attended a homeschool conference until September of last year (2017). I just never took the opportunity until then, but I had always wondered what they were like. Now I know!

This conference took place at The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee.

This was a Wild + Free conference. I had never heard of Wild + Free before I signed up for this event. My lovely friend, Audria, told me about it and before I knew it we had each booked our tickets, months in advance. I definitely recommend going to something like this with a friend. It makes the whole experience sweeter, plus you can figure things out together. 🙂

The location for this conference was a lot of fun, and it was my first visit to Tennessee so that was exciting, but what I want to focus on is the experience itself: There were dynamic speakers and talented musical performances. The focus was on building one another up. There were hundreds of other homeschooling mamas, from all backgrounds, in attendance. Honestly, it was thrilling to be there because I felt a part of something bigger than myself. I realized that I am not alone on this journey, and that was my biggest take-away.


The speakers tackled a variety of parenting, family, and homeschooling topics. Some were addressed to the entire group while others took place in what I’d call “workshops” which we chose to attend in smaller groups. Each was motivational, yet realistic. By that I mean that the speakers were down-to-earth and relatable. There was also musical performances which were upbeat and energizing. I came away feeling encouraged and supported in my homeschooling. And that is why I’m glad I seized an opportunity to attend a homeschool conference.

♄ If you homeschool, have you attended a homeschool conference? I’d love to hear about it! Thanks so much for visiting my blog today. ♄

Posted in Joy

The Blogger Tag

I have been tagged by the adorable Elizabeth at The Comfortable Coop. I love her blog as it is upbeat and charming, so make sure you visit. She’s got some great recipes on there and video clips of ducks in her bathtub! Read on if you want to get to know me a bit and then see who I tagged:

Question 1. How tall are you? 

I am 5′ 2″. I took after my dad who is maybe an inch taller.

Question 2. Do you have a hidden talent?

I think I have a flair for interior design, especially around the holidays.

Question 3. What’s your biggest blog related pet peeve?

I can’t stand preachy blogs. If it sounds like a sermon and I feel like I’m being preached at, I lose interest fast!

Question 4. What’s your biggest non blog related pet peeve?

Preachy people, lol. Actually, it’s intolerance. Whether or not people agree or share the same beliefs, everyone deserves kindness and respect and I think some people forget that we are not asked to judge, but to love everyone regardless of our differences.

Question 5. What’s your favorite song?

Because I’m a hopeless romantic- Peter Cetera’s Glory of Love. 

Question 6. What’s your favorite social media?

Pinterest. Although I just got on Instagram and that’s fun too.

Question 7. What’s your favorite way to spend your time alone?

Coloring, writing in my journal, or curling up with a romance novel.

Question 8. What’s your favorite junk food?

Chocolate covered cinnamon bears. Chocolate licorice. Brownies. Those chocolate molten lava cakes. Chocolate covered pretzels. In other words, chocolate.

Question 9. Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?

We have one Aussie-Border Collie named, Zoey (my kids chose the spelling), and my son’s stealth black cat, Midnight, who delights in hiding under my bed and attacking my foot when I’m least suspecting it.

Question 10. What are your number one favorite fiction and non-fiction books?

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and the scriptures (I honestly enjoy reading the scriptures).

Question 11. What’s your favorite beauty product or tool?

Any Bath and Body Works product. I love their scents and they make me feel pampered.

Question 12. When were you last embarrassed? What happened?

I summoned up the courage to walk up to the podium at church and share my testimony in front of the entire congregation and started crying before I even began. I blubbered all the way through. Later a sister told me that at least I could still be understood! Also, I’m sure the bishopric noticed my shaky legs! It will probably be a while before I put myself through that again.


Question 13. If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Orange juice

Question 14. What’s your favorite movie?

Naturally, all versions of Pride and Prejudice, but I also adore most versions of Cinderella.

Question 15. What was your favorite lesson/subject at school?

When I was in elementary it was reading. In high school it was child development.

Question 16. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

It used to be Hawaii until I saw how ginormous cockroaches are there! I would love to live by the ocean.

Question 17. PC or MAC?


Question 18. What was the last romantic gesture from a crush/boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse? (Or a kind gesture from a friend.)

My husband is a total sweetheart. Every Saturday night he turns on the Hallmark channel and makes me sit down to watch the latest movie. Sometimes he even joins me even though that means I put up with his cheesy commentary and saying they should just get to the kiss already!

Question 19. Who is your favorite celebrity?

I like the whole cast of Studio C. If you’re unfamiliar with Studio C, look them up on YouTube. They are hilarious!

Question 20. Which blogger do you secretly want to be best friends with?

I would love to be next door neighbors with any of the homeschool moms I follow just because I’d love to go over to their house and craft with them or join them for poetry tea time. I’d also love to be in the same kitchen with Elizabeth (The Comfortable Coop) and just gab as we cook together. 😊

Question 21. Who is your biggest inspiration?

I have a blogging friend who also homeschools and she inspires me because she is passionate about being a wife and mama just as I am and every post she writes is honest and from her heart. She is talented as well, but she is very modest about her talents (which is a great quality). She inspires me to love and accept myself just the way I am.

Question 22. What is your favorite blog to read?

If I follow your blog and comment on it often, it’s a favorite to read. 😊

Question 23. What is your favorite high street shop?

I had to look up what high street meant and it seems to be the small quaint shops you’d find on Main Street. I’ve always enjoyed Hallmark shops and we have one on Main Street in our historic downtown. There’s also this unorganized, hodgepodge bookshop called, The Book Table and I never know what little finds I might discover there.

Question 24. Are you in education or do you work?

I am the co-CEO of my household. 😉

Question 25. What is one thing you are proud of?

I’m proud to have homeschooled over seven years now. Homeschooling rocks!

Tag, you’re “it”! I tag:

Audria at In Pursuit of Wild Things

Shelli at Mama of Letters

Shelly at There’s No Place Like Home

Sharon at Simple Days Make for an Exciting Adventure

Kirby’s Korner Blog

ofamily learning together

Posted in My 52 Stories

Friendship & Towel Folding

Today my son was a youth speaker at church. He had been asked to speak about our example and influence on others. He started out by sharing a story I gave him permission to use and that story is one of my 52 Stories for this year:


When I was a newlywed I developed my own way of folding towels, which was funny because I had never cared how towels were folded before, even though I had been responsible for most of the laundry in my childhood home. I don’t even remember how I folded my family’s towels. I do have a memory of sitting on a chair in the middle of our laundry room, in an unfinished basement (where I used to roller skate and pretend I was Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu), reading a Nancy Drew mystery while I waited for the washer and dryer to finish.

For whatever reason, after I married I became quite particular about how our towels were folded and put away. Each fold was precise until the towel ended up ever so neatly into thirds and then they had to face a certain way in the linen closet. If my husband tried to be helpful by folding the towels, I would quietly refold them when he wasn’t looking.

Then our first child, Zachary, came along and my husband was often out of town on business trips. During Zach’s first year, one of my closest friends from high school ended up living with us temporarily. She needed a place to stay for a while and I was happy to have her as company. I probably drove her a little crazy because I would worry over her like a mother hen whenever she was out late, either working or on a date, but we actually got along beautifully during that time.

Naturally I trained my friend in my art of towel folding as she was often helpful with the housework and taking care of baby Zach. I have the sweetest pictures of her playing on the floor with Zach. She adored him and was like an aunt to him.

Fast forward several years later. As we added more children to our family, I finally gave up my obsession with towel folding. Honestly, I was just happy to get the towels from the dryer to the linen closet!

One day I visited this same friend at her house. By this time she had married and had two darling daughters of her own. I wanted to help her tidy up and saw an opportunity to fold some freshly laundered towels. I asked her how she folded her towels so that I could fold them the same way she did. She gave me this curious look before replying, “Camie, I fold them the way you taught me.”

Wow! I was not expecting that! I had never thought much about my influence on my friend until that moment.

I just want to share some advice that my church gives our youth, which Marcus included in his talk: We have a For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and under the friend section it reads:

“Everyone needs good and true friends. They will be a great strength and blessing to you. They will influence how you think and act, and even help determine the person you will become.”

Each of my friends have influenced me in different ways and they are a part of who I am today. Some of them have motivated me to try new things and this friend from the story got me hooked on romance novels, which I still enjoy to this day. I am thankful for each friendship I’ve had throughout my life. A good friend is truly a blessing.

♄ Do you have a story about friendship and their example and influence on your life? I’d love to hear it. ♄