What I Have Been Doing During Safer at Home…

I’ve been seeing all these posts about people getting their homes cleaned out during all this because of the extra time that they have. I do have an extra hour a day that I am not driving but I’m still working so I don’t have as much time as those who are stuck home not working. Just a side note. I am not complaining by any means. I am so thankful I still have work when so many people are being laid off and not working right now.

That said I have still found myself getting some side things done…

  1. I finished crocheting Angel’s blanket that I started before Christmas. I was making it for her birthday and was only behind by 1 week so I count that as a success.
  2. I’ve only put together one of my Thomas Kinkade Disney puzzles since the Safer at Home started. I did the Princess and the Frog. Keep in mind that since January 2020 and before the Safer-At-Home order went into effect I had already done 12 of those puzzles. Don’t ask me why I have only done the one. I really don’t know.
  3. I started a new workout routine with an accountability buddy. We are one full week into this routine and lets just say I am sore, I hurt, I want to say things I shouldn’t and yet I still get up and do it all again the next day. I really do have a love hate relationship with working out. I love the results but hate doing it. And seriously to the little miss skinny minnie that I, for some reason, have allowed to torture me and continue to go back to…. I’m not that flexible.
  4. I’m reading more for fun. I’m always reading. I love to read but I’ve put “for fun” reading on the back burner because I was so busy. I picked up my 1st generation iPad (yes its that old), which is basically an over priced Kindle at this point since so few apps will work with it. I mean they aren’t updating it anymore. lol (side note: It was my dads and I got it after he passed just so I could read my kindle books on a bigger screen.) I downloaded some fun Christian historical fiction that I had on my cloud and did this instead of watching t.v.
  5. We’ve been playing more games and watching more movies together as a family. Sierra downloaded a game on steam that we can use our phones/tablets to play on. It’s called Drawful 2. It’s kind of like pictionary. It’s a lot of fun and we laugh a lot while playing it.
  6. We’ve been homeschooling of course. This is our youngest daughters final year in home education. She will be going to a private school in the fall. So been working on the application process for that. Gathering all the information. Preparing her where she feels comfortable with going and getting all our ducks in a row.
  7. I’ve been doing a lot of re-evaluating and praying. Thinking about plans for the future and new things I would like to do. Including my own school journey this fall to go for something I have always wanted to do and that is Graphic and Web Design.
  8. We’ve walked a lot and enjoyed our patio a bunch more. Sitting out in the evenings and walking during the day.
  9. I’ve done some coloring and putting Lego’s together. I enjoy doing that cause its creative and they are like puzzles. Hubby bought me the Lego set cause he wanted to bring a smile to my face.
  10. Most importantly we celebrated a birthday. Angel turned 15 a few weeks ago. But because they were already advising no groups of more than 10 that eliminated our plans for her. But we still had cake and ice cream and gifts.

So what have you been doing during all of this?

Weeks 3 – 5 And Boy I’m Behind…

So I started blogging about our school weeks and got behind. I’m in a wedding this month and planning some other events both for church and our co-op so I got a little thrown off. Not to mention I still have to work and do school with my girl here at home.

We’ve kept pretty busy during weeks 3 through 5. Studying Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia as well as China. We’ve been working on a closed bottle Science experiment for Biology which has been thriving. When we left our co-op we had 2 fish and 1 snail. By that evening we had 6 fish and 1 snail. The following morning we could only find 5 fish and 1 snail. Apparently one of our fish was pregnant. However, My mini me did an awesome job picking out the perfect environment or her creatures. Each student got to pick their environments and thus the point of the experiment. We needed to be able to keep the creatures alive without having to feed them ourselves.

Mini Me chose the following ingredients to make a suitable home for her environment: Lake water, dirt, rock with algae, plants and set it in a place where it gets partial natural sunlight. I guess those ingredients were the perfect fit for her tiny fish and snail. She named the fish but as she chose Japanese names for each of them I can not tell you what they are.

We are working on Algebra 1 in math and it makes my brain hurt a bit. But we are pushing through. We’ve been walking and exercising daily so she gets her PE time in. We’ve also been reading quite a bit about early American history on the side.

I borrowed a book from the library about the Lost State of Franklin. It’s been interesting but because it is set up as a “text book” it can get a bit boring. So I read it as much as I can at night until I fall asleep. Of course the book was written in the 1920’s so it can be monotonous.

Like I mentioned early we have a wedding this month that we will be in so we’ve got lots going on, so, if I forget to post on Monday about week 6 you will know why.

Also I want to share with you a picture I took this past week. I was kind of proud.

Sky, Sun and Church

And on September 14th (2 days after our 21st wedding anniversary), Hubby and I renewed our vows. It was a surprise to me and the first time in the 22 years that we have been together that he was able to pull off a surprise.


Two posts in one week. Wow. Crazy. I know. But I wanted to share some pictures I took of the Sunflower fields while we were at Ijams. They are blooming and there are 70 acres of them. So enjoy the pictures.

© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton

Reviews, Sales, Holidays and More

Well I just can’t seem to get up to blogging every week like I used to. But oh well, such is how life works. We tend to go through seasons. And as we do, things change. Priorities change and some things aren’t as important any more.

I’m not saying you, my friends are not important, just that I have had some slightly more important things come up in my real life that has to be taken care of.

So here is an update: I’ve been “working” from home with a company to make a “real” paycheck, as blogging has not “paid” off for me as of yet.

My oldest daughter has been taking some ACT tests and both our oldest and middle daughters have picked up a lot more hours working for our church as child care workers.

We’ve been homeschooling and that of course will continue. We are joining a co-op and I will be teaching two classes for it. I’ve been working on the Magazine and new products that are in the works.  Speaking of products you should check out this post on my PKP blog about an amazing sale.

I’ve been spending much more time with my family and my hubby. Been cooking more and living in the moment. We did do senior pictures with Sierra. I’ll post a few of those soon.

Also for Aspiring to Be Magazine email subscribers there is a freebie for Advent that I created but you have to be an email subscriber to get it AND that offer will be expiring soon.

Next week I will be posting a book review for a really great book by Jen Turano. I think you all will enjoy that. So watch for that post.

I think I am caught up for the time being and I really can not make any promises that I will be on here on a regular basis as my time and energy has made a shift. But I will try to update when I am able.

I hope you all have an awesome Christmas and I will see you all soon. If you would like to keep up with me you can follow me on Instagram.


10 of My Favorite Photo’s from 2015

I’m going to continue with my Top 10 series this month. This week I’m sharing 10 of my favorite photo’s that we took over the past year.  I hope you enjoy it.

10 photos

1 squirrel 008

1. From January of 2015.  This squirrel was cold and was staying up against the trunk of the tree to stay out of the cold wind. He/she was so cute sitting there I couldn’t help but photograph it.

2 candle 024

2. Again from January 2015.  It was cold outside but we were nice and toasty in the warm house. The flame was beautiful set against a gray dreary day.

3 Hope snow 005

3. March 2015. My beautiful Princess went outside and enjoyed some play in the snow. While I took pics from the door so I could run right back into the warmth of the house.

4 sea dragon 020

4. April 2015 we visited the Aquarium of the Smokey’s in Gatlinburg. This was the first time I had ever seen a Sea Dragon. They were the coolest things ever.

5 grist mill 128

5. April 2015 we drove down into Cade’s Cove and found this adorable little Grist Mill which still runs and you can purchase the ground flour/corn in the gift shop.

6 rose 004

6.  September 2015. Just one of the dozen roses that my beloved bought me for our anniversary.

7 pink rose 008

7. September 2015. To commemorate the day we officially started dating. Wasn’t it gorgeous.

8 smokey mountains 031

8. September 2015. We went hiking with some friends at the Great Smokey Mountains and stopped here to get some pics. This is only one of the many we took here. It was so pretty and this was in celebration that I was no longer working outside the home and had returned home full time.

9 zoo elephant 015

9. November 2015. Our first visit as a family to the Knoxville Zoo. One of our favorite exhibits are the elephants. They are such unique creatures ad so big.

10 zoo on lion 032

10. November 2015.  In our old Zoo my girls had to have their pic taken with the bear statue that lived there. Now we have a new Zoo home and so we had to take a pic with the Lion statue.  Always looking for new traditions to incorporate.

And because I had a hard time deciding on the last photo here is a bonus for you:

bonus zoo girls in tree 056

Bonus: November 2015. My three beauties. How fast they do grow up. In 2015 they celebrated their 15th, 14th and 10th birthdays.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of our highlights from this past year. There were so many things that happened but these are just a few fun ones to share with you.  Make sure to come back next week when I share my 10 Favorite Homeschool Blogs.

Hiking in East TN and other stuff

I love where we live now. The beauty of the mountains are right outside my window and the Great Smokey Mountains park is about an hour drive from me. You know what that means? It means hiking more is what we are doing. That is one of our family’s favorite past times. Over the past few weeks since I am home full time again we have taken the opportunity to do more stuff with friends and even just with the five of us to be a family. We used to do it all the time and then our situation dictated that a change needed to be made and so, certain things had to be put on the back burner. But God opened the door for us to start becoming more active again. And I must say, I have missed this time with my family and friends.


This past weekend we went hiking at the Laurel Falls trail in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. It was beautiful. First off let me say that its going to take some time for us to get back into hiking shape so we started with a shorter trail. It’s a 2.5 mile hike. It was invigorating. Seeing the gorgeous mountain views was breath taking. In a few weeks those same views will be full of fall color.  I can’t wait to go back and get more photo’s then. The falls was really pretty and Andy saw the back side of a bear as he was walking up the trail away from us. The kids and I didn’t see it but our friend and his son did.


We spent the day hiking with some dear friends and then had a relaxing picnic lunch grilling at one of the beautiful picnic areas next to the water. It was so much fun. I forgot how much fun it was to relax and just enjoy fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. These are the times that refresh the body and soul.


Boo enjoyed a sleep over with our friends daughter and the other two came home with us and we had a relaxing evening at home. Geek Girl passed out in the car. I can’t say that I didn’t blame her because I was ready to do the same.


I hope you enjoy the photos from our weekend get away and if you want to see what else is up with us you can follow me on instagram. Where I post pictures of our family adventures, inspirations and lots more fun stuff.  I also got my hubby hooked on instagram. Head over to his profile and let him know I sent you.

And remember you can pick up your very own copy of my devotional book Simple Devotions for Women.  It would make a great stocking stuffer for all the ladies in your life.

Project 52 Week 27 Work

My project 52 this week is what I wore to work last Friday. I went in early that morning to learn about the money and what I would have to do in order to open the store. I was only supposed to be there for 30 to 40 minutes then go home get some stuff done and return that evening to work my shift. So guess what, I didn’t wear clothes to work in. Of course the Holy Spirit tried to tell me I would be working that morning but I didn’t listen. lol I really need to listen cause one of the girls called in sick and I ended up staying and working her shift.  So for the first time since I started working I was able to wear jeans to work.


Project 52 South Carolina Week 26

This past week we spent a few days back in Greenville, SC. Of course we couldn’t go to the area without going to Falls Park. It’s one of our favorite places to walk and enjoy time outdoors. And its right in the middle of downtown. It’s beautiful. So this weeks Project 52 is from our weekend there. Enjoy!


Week 25 Coffee

This past week I started making my own iced coffee at home. It’s so much less expensive that way. So for my project 52 I am posting my first attempt at iced coffee. YUM!!!


One Picture for weeks 23 and 24

Project 52 weeks 23 and 24 were very very very hectic. I worked, we had the Perry Stone conference at my church. Went straight into VBS and then I worked some more. During all that my phone decided that it didn’t want to receive texts anymore. We tried everything before having to reset my phone back to factory standards. The good thing was that I already set my settings to back up automatically so I didn’t lose my most important stuff. However because of how busy the last couples weeks have been I didn’t take any pictures since resetting my phone. Crazy I know.

That said this photo represents the last couple of weeks where I have squeezed in some reading time.


So how have your past couple of weeks been?