I’ve Moved! I Hope You’ll Visit My New Blog


I want to give a shout-out to all of my loyal readers here at Happy Hearts Homeschool. Thank you for being so supportive! I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

It is time to move on to a fresh new blog and I hope you will join me there. My new blog is called, Camie’s Cozy Corner, and it’s a place where I will share a little bit of everything from my own recipes to my nature photography, a little about our homeschool days and anything else that inspires me. I’m just getting started but there are two posts waiting for you.

Again, thank you, thank you for your support. I will continue to visit your blogs to see your awesome content there. I think you’re all amazing bloggers!

This is my final post here on Happy Hearts so please connect with me at my new blog:

Camie’s Cozy Corner

Mindful Monday


Every Monday morning in our homeschool, we choose a scripture verse to memorize and focus on throughout the week. This is our chosen verse for this week:


This verse is from The Book of Mormon. I have a personal testimony of the truthfulness of this book of scripture. In my faith, as a member of, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe in the Holy Bible as well as other books of scripture, such as The Book of Mormon, which have been given to us for our day. That’s a lot of scriptural knowledge to draw from which is very comforting to me. I love the scriptures.


This week Marcus only has his online classes on Monday, so this is the perfect time to finally dive into our state history unit study. We are starting with the thirteen colonies. Here is our rather bland apartment dining room, which I’ve transformed into a homeschool room of sorts. (The U.S. map is hanging up too high for my taste, but I didn’t wish to create another nail hole than the one that was already there. I love the little bookcase.)


I made this star-spangled border myself as a timeline border. Each strip is unique. I’ve always wanted a timeline on our wall. Soon, we’ll be adding dates and some really cool state postcards. So, stay tuned for future pics of our growing timeline.


Last Friday, Marcus and I revisited Tohono Chul park, and when we looked at the art gallery there, I was inspired by this cool art. Suddenly I knew how to spend some Amazon gift cards that were given to me for my birthday last month! Hopefully, by the end of this week, Marcus and I will have created some funky original art of our own.🙂

I wish you each a mindful Monday (a day of purpose to start a new week).

My Heartfelt Invitation to You


Dearest Readers and Blogging Friends,

This upcoming weekend, a very special semi-annual event is taking place in my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which we call, General Conference. This is a time when, instead of attending our regular church meetings on Sunday, we gather together across the world, in our homes, in some of our chapels, and in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, to hear timely and inspired messages by our living prophet and apostles and selected general authorities. These messages contain wisdom, counsel for our day, peace, hope,  love, and testimonies of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.


It’s a spiritually-uplifting weekend for us and our friends of other faiths are welcome to join in. If you’ve ever wondered what Mormons truly believe, or you’ve ever wanted to hear from our living prophet and apostles, or you just need some spiritual nourishment, and if you enjoy the music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, this weekend offers something comforting for each of our souls. I invite you to tune in to at least one of the four general sessions (there are two on Saturday, and two on Sunday; each session is two-hours in length and features different talks and music) which will be broadcast and streamed-live. (My family likes to connect my PC to our television so we can watch and listen together in the comfort of our living room, with snacks on hand.🙂 )

For specific details, including how to watch each session live, please click here and here. There is also an LDS General Conference You Tube channel you can check out.

I want to take this moment to thank you for your support of my blog. I hope you will consider this heartfelt invitation as one way I can share my faith with you as you have shared your faith with me through your posts, inspiring me to be a better person. I truly believe our faith is a treasure meant to lift one another up as we walk this journey of life together. ♥



First Visit to Catalina State Park



On Saturday, since it had cooled down to a mere 80 degrees here in Arizona, we visited Catalina State Park for the first time. A day pass cost $7 per car. There are two campgrounds, a picnic area, group areas, and several hiking trails.


We chose the Romero Ruins trail first. We climbed around 80 steps to reach the top which took us on a loop.


There we saw the remains of the Romero ranch which was on top of and next to the base of an Hohokam village.


The Hohokam village dates back to 500 A.D. approx. while the Romero homestead was from the 1800’s.


After our first hike, we drove to a picnic area for some lunch. Then Marcus and I hiked the Birding trail, which was a one mile loop. This trail was more forested and we saw a lot of big black beetles, which I did not take any photos of because beetles creep me out!


Again there were several stairs to climb and descend, just in a more wooded setting.


But above the stairs, this was what it opened up to, more hot dry desert. (Not very autumn-like! For those of you who are experiencing a true autumn, I envy you!)


At one point on both trails, we crossed a wash. Definitely don’t want to be caught in one of these during a flash flood!


Next time we’ll take on one of the longer, more challenging trails, but this was a great first visit for us, and these are my first official photos on my new camera which my generous husband gave me for my birthday (which was on Friday). I’m excited to play with the different features and especially to try out my new macro lens, which I thought I’d save for another day at Tohono Chul. ♥ Thanks for reading!

Ups and Downs


It hit me about 10 seconds after I heard the door close behind me, and about three steps from my car. I didn’t have my keys. I was locked out of my apartment. It was about one in the afternoon and …

Source: Ups and Downs

Weekly Nutshell


Today in Sacrament meeting (the family hour of my church), one of the speakers, a lovely mother who is new to our ward (congregation), shared a quote by C.S. Lewis that really stood out to me. She was talking about adversity and how our trials can challenge us, strengthen us, and lead to personal growth.

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of- throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

Isn’t that lovely? Backing up… this was Marcus’ and my first week back to Arizona after spending most of the summer in Utah. Friends and family keep asking us if the temps are cooling down here. If cooling down means the upper 80’s to lower 90’s than I guess the answer is yes? To those of you who are enjoying temps in the 70’s and upper 60’s, and especially those of you seeing signs of fall, you are so lucky!


The highlight of our week was three days of impromptu service, which of course pushed off our formal homeschooling in the best of ways. This service involved a lot of elbow grease, child care, and friendship. The only picture I took was a trailer I helped fill with potted plants!

horticulture gardens

It was also Marissa’s first week as a college student. She sent me these pictures that she took of the horticulture gardens and the Rexburg temple (which she took at a distance once she realized she was walking the wrong direction!). She loves her courses and has already made friends with her roommates. She even has a calling in her new singles ward, as a family home evening leader. She called and sent me texts several times each day, asking me for advice or to proof-read an essay or just sharing her day with me. I am still enjoying weekly calls and texts from my oldest college kids, sometimes as often as daily or an every-other-day basis. I’m so thankful we are a close family and nothing touches my heart more than to hear my sweet 18-year old baby girl call me, “Mommy”. ♥

And that was our week in a nutshell.

Looking Forward



Remember the movie, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium? Near the end, Mr. Magorium instructs Molly Mahoney to “turn the page, continue reading… and let the next story begin.”

Whether I look at this part of my life as the next story or just the next chapter, I’m definitely in a major transition and I can relate to Molly’s reluctance to accept the inevitable change.


Driving Marissa to college, the back (and around her seat) loaded with her stuff, including a giant stuffed penguin.

Just this past weekend, David and Marissa and I drove to BYU-Idaho where we settled Marissa into her apartment, which she shares with five other girls. We unpacked her belongings, placing everything on the shelves, drawers, built-in desk or in the open closet.


Walking around Idaho Falls. It’s hard to see, but one of our temples is in the background.

We made a few trips to the local Walmart and one trip to Albertson’s to stock her up on basic groceries and other necessities, such as cleaning products and bedding. The multiple shopping sprees happened because there were other college related activities going on in between (picking up her student card, meeting mentors, etc.) so we were on limited time frames, plus we kept discovering things we hadn’t anticipated, such as the desire for bed risers (so she can store stuff under her bed). The stores were bursting with other parents shopping with/for their college kids. We were all on the same mission, buying many of the same items, which were getting picked over fast. Popular items such as pancake mix, Pam spray, individual plates, bowls and mugs, and fingernail clippers were scarce!


Returning to her apartment after our only shopping trip together.

We attended the parent orientation where tears threatened as I took in the sea of parents and students surrounding us. I was thinking dark thoughts, taking myself back in time when I was 18, fresh out of high school and clueless about what to do next with my life. I didn’t have supportive, loving parents encouraging me along the way. I knew college was a long shot, but I had to get away from home. I had no money, no guidance and honestly, I was burned out from just surviving high school. So I took a job for the state of Colorado, as a roommate to a deaf mom and her eight-year old son. They had been rescued from an abusive family and placed under the care of the state. My job was to help the mom become as independent as possible. Sadly, I knew more sign language than she did. We quickly became friends as I helped her cook and clean and be a responsible mommy. I knew how to parent because I cared for my younger brothers and raised my baby sister. But I digress…


Driving through Zion’s national park on the way back to Tucson.

I could tell my baby girl was holding back tears of her own when we hugged farewell on Saturday morning, after taking her to breakfast. I cried all the way back to our house in Utah, where we picked up our son, loaded our own things in our car, hugged our oldest daughter farewell, and began our drive back to Tucson. (We said goodbye to our oldest son over Labor Day weekend.)

Just the three of us. I now have three college kids living independent lives. I’m now raising a sort of “only child” for the next five years. And this mama is on a roller coaster ride! Letting go of my kids, watching them spread their wings and soar, is natural and for the best, but it is most heart wrenching thing I’ve ever done as a mother. It brings me joy to see them taking full responsibility for their lives, pursuing their dreams and especially continuing to live our gospel values, but oh how I miss having them around on a daily basis, seeing their smiles and receiving their hugs.

I don’t know what it’s like to have a mother who misses me and yearns to hear from me and be a part of my adult life. What I do know is that I’m going to find joy in this next chapter of my life. I’ll probably continue to have a few weepy moments, and I can tell my son is in a bit of a funk right now, missing his big sister terribly as they are best friends, but we’re going to embrace this new homeschool year together (which we can finally ease into tomorrow now that we’re back in AZ),  and we’re going to look forward to each and every text and phone call from the college kids, and especially to spending Thanksgiving and Christmas altogether as a family.

So, here’s to turning the page.