Things I’ve learned in quarantine thus far…

Number 1… I have two sides. The introvert side of me enjoys quiet mornings before my kids are up doing their Zoom college classes and homeschool work. I get to spend some time in prayer and in the Word with my cup of coffee which is a vital part of my day because after kids get up side two comes out. That is the extroverted side of me that tries to keep everyone motivated and arguments to a minimal.

Number 2 … As much as I love my home I need to be outside. Outside is good. Outside keeps me sane. Outside loves me… oh wait… is that…. pollen? (*sneezes* runs back inside.) …. Inside is good. I love the inside.

copyright Sierra Auton

Number 3 … I can only read so much. I can only do so many puzzles. I can only color so many coloring books. I can only clean… wait what?

Number 4 … Apparently when you have nothing to do shopping online is additctive. My hubby needs this thing to end ASAP cause I need to STOP shopping. Oh is that FedEx in the neighborhood?

Number 5 … I am like Ariel… I want to be where the people are. I am also like Jasmine…. I need a whole new world. Maybe even like Elsa … I may need to go into the Unknown and hide.

Number 6 …. Ummmm I’m not sure but I’m sure I can think of something for next time. ūüôā

Hope you have a great safe-at-home day and giggle just a little.

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.

A Bit of Catching Up

What can I say. It’s been a very busy and sporadic fall. Now we are into Winter, officially anyway. I started teaching at our Co-Op again. I got to teach Ancient World History to 3rd – 5th graders and 6th – 8th graders. I had two amazing classes for this first semester. Great students and awesome helpers.

Next semester I will be teaching History of the World Wars to the 6th-8th Grade Class and Tennessee History to our 3rd-5th grade class. My classes have increased in size yet again. I’m hoping that is a sign that the kids like me. lol

We did Senior photos for my Hope. She is all grown up and so beautiful. Here is a few from her shoot.

This was a fun shoot. The pictures really shows her personality.

Then after all of this I started another new business. I started selling Paparazzi Jewelry. The reason was because I wear so much of it and I love it and its a great price. So its definitely something I can get behind. I started this endeavor in October. So I’m still pretty new to it. But if you want to check it out you can find my online shop here.

Here is just a sample of some of our gorgeous products:

Also before all of this happened the girls and I from Aspiring to be Magazine did a photo shoot. Here are a couple photos from it:

Just a side note the necklace I’m wearing in the photo is from Paparazzi. So I was wearing it long before I started selling it.

It’s amazing to me how God opens up opportunities as well as gives you ideas of things to do. God is just so good and although life is changing constantly as we grow. God puts people in our lives that encourage and support us in all we do. As I pray about new ideas and directions I am learning not to try to push to fast or else we can get derailed. It will all come together in God’s timing.

I’ve also decided that it is therapeutic for me to pick up blogging again. I believe God gives me things and that there are times I need to share it. So I really am going to try to blog more often to keep you updated and to share whatever the Lord has put on my heart. Plus I will throw in a little bling for you to see as well.

I’m going to leave you now with photos of my kids. Can’t believe how old they are now. My youngest were 7, 5, and 2 when I first started blogging. Now they are 18, 17 and 13. Crazy how fast the years have gone. Don’t blink mamma’s or else you might miss it.

From Left to Right – Angel (8th grade), Sierra (College Freshman), and Hope (High School Senior).

I’m so proud of these girls and who they have become. I just can’t believe I’m old enough to have a college age kid.

Well I think I have caught you up to were we are now. But hopefully it won’t be so long before I blog again. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Graduation, New School Year and What??

And so I posted in January and that was the last time I blogged. Boy I have become a really bad homeschool blogging mom. But a lot has happened. My work hours have increased. Co-Op kept me pretty busy as well. Along with getting my senior going.

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So needless to say my oldest has now graduated highschool. Crazy how¬† quick the time has flown by. When you start them in Kindergarten, graduation day just seems so far away. Guess what? It’s not. You blink and they go from cuddle bug to adult. My grown girl has now been enrolled in college (classes start soon). She has a job on campus so between college classes and her job she won’t have much more time for anything but homework and church. I think we will squeeze in some family time here and there.


So this summer we celebrated her accomplishment.


You should see the most adorable cake ever that we had for her party. A friend of ours makes cakes and can pretty much do anything.


We also had some fun adventures. We got to tour the B-17G Flying Fortress “Aluminum Overcast” while it was in town.


And for the 4th watched the Fireworks with the city skyline in the distance.


But now I am about to start a new homeschool year with just two students. Another senior and an 8th grader. But that is for another post and another  day.


So I’ve been planning for our co-op year as well as our regular homeschool year as I am again teaching history to elementary and middle school students. my class sizes have doubled and I’m really excited. Last year I learned a whole lot from teaching that I will be changing this year. This is something you learn as you go.

Plus¬† we are currently working on buying a house. We haven’t quite found the right one yet but it’s coming. So you could say a lot has been going on around here and will be as we begin senior year stuff for my next kid. We have to pick a location for senior pictures for our middle daughter who just celebrated her 17th birthday this past weekend.


Life has been so crazy but you know what? I can not complain. I love my family and I love my life. I am so excited about what God has planned for us this school year.

However, if you do want to know what I have been doing online you should definitely check out Aspiring to Be Magazine’s blog, Facebook page, Facebook group and Instagram pages.


Blogging Changes & Life

We’ve been fairly busy these last few weeks with the new co-op in full swing and regular homeschool classes. Plus I’ve become more social in real life. HaHa! This introvert has been forced out of her shell and become an extroverted introvert.¬† In other words by nature I’m and introvert and I’ve taught myself to step out of my comfort zone and meet people and get together with people as well. It’s been a lot of fun as I am connecting and growing my circle of friends.

Life has affected my blogging as well. But that is normal when blogging is no longer a form of income and more of a hobby.   So I picked up a few other things as well to bring in the income we need such as working as a Social Media Evaluator and being an Independent Distributor for Young Living. The Young Living thing I picked up because I love the products and it works. I tried it for a year before signing up as a member and I can honestly say just from the health benefits its been worth it.

If you’ve been following me for more than a few years you would know that my blog evolved quite a bit. I started blogging a very long time ago. Over ten years. Back then it was just an outlet for me to share our lives with friends and family all over the country. Then I started blogging about homeschooling and books so I become known as a homeschool and book review blogger. Then I got involved in product reviews, and even more book reviews while trying to keep up with homeschooling and my own personal interests. All while I kept feeling the urging to write about faith and spirituality. Of course that ended up becoming Aspiring to Be Magazine and I have others working with me on that project.

The blog is evolving once again. As my kids are growing and I’m about to graduate one and send her to college and the second is only a year behind I’ve felt that I will be writing more about our health journey as well. So this is really a post to tell you all that you will see less homeschool and book reviews as I’ve almost completely stepped away from that and you will be seeing more personal stories and posts about health and whatever I feel like chatting about at this time. Most of my “faith” posts will be over at Aspiring to Be Magazine so head over there and like and follow that site so you don’t miss anything.

Now that is out of the way… Help me not freak out when I tell you that¬† THIS GIRL is turning 18 TOMORROW!!!!


I took that photo back in November for her senior photo’s. Here are a couple others from that shoot.¬†930

These are just a couple favorites of mine. I love this kid. She has such a big heart and fun personality and she is one of the reasons I get up every morning. I just can’t believe that she is an adult now. But alas, they do grow up no matter how badly we want to keep them small.

Well I’m heading off as I have some “work” to do. But I hope ya’ll stick with me as this blog keeps growing and changing.


Where did September go?

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe we are at the end of September. And yet the last time I actually wrote a “catch up” post was in August where I introduced you to my students. Of course I will try to remember to post to the Homeschool Mother’s Journal next week, if I remember to do so.

Life has gotten busy and so I haven’t really done much here on the blog because of that. Distractions have kept me from here and so has the Magazine which just released the newest issue and which I’m guessing has kept me pretty busy. I should be sure. Of course, school, and senior year stuff has also kept me from blogging. Church, which I LOVE, has got a lot of time on my personal calendar. So when I think of why blogging has kept me away I realize its the million little things as well as the distractions that I am working on cutting out of my life.

©Dianna Auton
©Dianna Auton Great Smokey Mountains National Park

However, I have managed to seize some moments to do the things that I needed to do in order to enjoy life fully and enjoy each day as it comes. I’ve been trying to embrace each day as it comes and do the best that I can with the help of the Lord on a daily basis. It’s not about me its about Him, anyway.

Anyway, I just wanted to jump on here and say hi to you and let you know I have not disappeared. But if you want to keep up with me I post most often on Instagram and so you can follow me there to see what I am up to.

Thanks for sticking with me, dear readers as I know that my lack of blogging has been because I want to live my life and not just blog. I know you understand that.

Blessings to you all,


Guatemala, Camp and Growing Up

I know its been super quiet around these parts. It’s because this month is crazy busy for our family. And it never slows down. I always think if I can just get through this then it will calm down a bit but that never happens. I don’t know why I continue to think that way. But, alas, I do.

I’ve got some more reviews coming up… A couple books and another Bible review that will be uploaded to YouTube on Friday.

But anyway, today I’ve been pondering the fact that my kids are growing up. My oldest, Sierra, is currently in Guatemala with a group from our church and two other churches from around the country (North Carolina and Indiana). I have been missing her like crazy. She is serving with Living Waters Ministries which has been around for a good long time. They do amazing things. We took her to the airport on Monday and had not heard from her until last night. She is loving it. She is already talking about going back.

This kid of mine is so much like her Grandfather. She loves learning about other cultures and loving on babies. That seems to be her favorite part. Loving on the kids in the orphanage. They spent some time last week in sister cities San Marco and San Pedro visiting schools and ministering on the streets. In that three day campaign 752 people received Jesus for the first time and 200 re-dedicated their lives to him. Isn’t that awesome? God is so good and I am so proud not only of my girl but of all the other kids that went as well. God is using and changing them.

I can not wait til she returns so I can give her big hugs and never let her go again. LOL No, I will let her go. Because I know that this is something God has called her to do. My baby has a strong desire to see God change the nations of this world. I would never deny her that opportunity when she has it. It’s still hard letting them go, though.

While our oldest is in Guatemala our youngest, Angel, left for camp yesterday. I can’t believe how ¬†quickly these squirts of mine are growing up. She was pretty confident that she would have a great time. And she was looking forward to, of all things, the food. Now I must say that last year I went as a counselor and the food was amazing. So I am with her on that one.

I am so glad the girls are independent and love to go when they have the opportunity. But I do miss them greatly when they are gone. But as my husband told a friend of ours at church yesterday… “Don’t worry. We still have Hope.” Which she proceeded to laugh so hard about that I couldn’t help but laugh about it either. But its true. Our middle daughter, Hope, is still home and we have some fun things planned for just the two of us. Hope is a good kid and is so looking forward to going on missions next year. But until then she gets some much needed one on one time with mom and dad.

I love these girls of mine. And as hard as it is letting them go so they can spread their wings and fly, we continue to let them. Because its a wonderful experience for both them and us. The experiences, stories and changes that take place in them are worth every second of any tears we may shed. And believe tears were shed and as they grow up and go out into the world more will be shed as well.

So I leave you with a couple beautiful pictures that my girl sent us from Guatemala. She is seeing the beauty in everything.


The picture above is a Volcano. She is on the Living Waters Main Campus in Xela (There is a much longer name but that is what they call it).


She knows how much her momma loves flowers and sent this one to us. She said the flowers are so pretty there.

Vacations & Winners

Well I took a week off for family vacation. As you all can probably tell since its been a bit quiet on the blog around here. Before I get into all the other blog business I just want to take a moment and wish you all a very Happy Memorial Day to all who have served past, present and future. Today is a day where you are honored and appreciated. My family and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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Now back to the blog post:

We spent the time visiting family and going on mini adventures and just relaxing. We saw baby bison and did a whole bunch of walking. Andy and I continued to keep up with our 5K training as well.




We also spent tons of time just being present and getting in some down time. Which has been few and far between lately. Of course now we must get back into the routine of things with fall school planning, prepping for upcoming trips and adventures and just normal around the house routines.

20170523_15232720170523_151414Mandisa Out of the Dark

I also wanted to take a moment to say congrats to our Mandisa “Out of the Dark”¬†Giveaway winner….. Rachel V. Thanks to all those who entered the giveaway. For those who didn’t win you should definitely go back and check out my review and head to your local Christian store and pick it up today.


Make sure to come back later this week and check out my review of the book “A Love So True” by Melissa Jagears. Also keep watching because the new issue of Aspiring to Be Magazine will be out in June.

So are you all ready for summer? I’m glad we started summer with a relaxing vacation. Where are you headed this summer? Post in the comments and let me know.


This Week We are…

So I missed my blog day yesterday. Normally I post a little something personal or at least somewhat encouraging on Mondays. Well I missed it. Probably because we did the Mother’s Homeschool Journal last Friday. Oh well, I’ll get back on it.


Anyway, this week the girls are working on studying for their Semester test for Mystery of History Volume 3. That has been our spine for the year and everything else branched from there. We love that series. We are all looking forward to starting Volume 4 this fall.

We also started reading The Prince Warriors book 2 Unseen Invasion by Priscilla Shirer. ¬†My kids are really enjoying the story, even the older two. I’ve mentioned before that its kind of has that Chronicles of Narnia feel to it. I’ve been enjoying them as well. They are really fun stories but they have some really important spiritual lessons in them as well.

We are gearing up for summer. Only a few more weeks and we are done. I think I’m looking forward to it about as much as the kids. I’m working on a couple projects the one will be releasing soon under my P.K. Printables label and the other will release here. So I’ve been working on that. I can’t wait to share them with you.

This week I’m also going to have my kids sit down and create their own vision boards. It will be fun and something to keep their goals and dreams in front of them at all times.

I myself am going to put together a vision binder. Have my main goals on the front and inside its where I will gather all the ideas I have for the future.

So what are you doing this week? And if you made a vision board can you share one or two of the things you have posted on it? Just leave it in the comments below.

I hope you have a blessed week.





April Re-cap Homeschool Mother’s Journal

Can you believe that it’s time for another Homeschool Mother’s Journal entry? It has definitely come pretty quickly but alas, here we go.

April Recap

In my life this month…

April flew by. I really can’t believe we are in the first week of May and that is just about over as well. Crazy isn’t it. We’ve kept our weekends pretty busy this month helping a family member on the weekends when we can with some things. We’ve also been busy with church activities, working on the next few weeks of school to prepare for the last weeks before summer break. Looking ahead to the fall. Also prepping for my oldest daughters trip to Guatemala with the youth group.

It feels overwhelming but yet I’ve been trying to not focus too much on the future (besides regular planning) and just working on one day at a time. That in itself can be tough sometimes.

In our homeschool this month…

We are getting to the point where we are almost finished with homeschool for the year. We finished the reading part of our history. We are just working on the test for it. But my older two have some science, english and math to finish and my youngest is working on finishing english and math. Plus finishing up some read-alouds. We are reading through the Prince Warriors series by Priscilla Shirer. All my kids are loving it. It’s got a Chronicles of Narnia feel to it with a modern twist.


My favorite thing this week/month…

I found this really cute tee that I want to get from I’m really thinking I need this shirt.



A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

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On my blog, in case you missed it…


If you want to read more entries for the Homeschool Mother’s Journal at then click here.