Reflecting Back (2015-2016 Homeschool Year)


I can’t believe another homeschool year has come and gone! I think it’s good to reflect back on a year and what we’ve accomplished. This past year was spent mostly in the Arizona desert and partly at our home in Utah, and if you’ve followed me for a while than you know this is normal for us. We have a home-base in Utah, but we live for the most part, wherever my husband’s job takes us.


Marissa at Epcot where they have lovely displays of flowers and shrubbery. Our Disney World trip was her high school graduation trip.

It was a milestone year for Marissa. She has now graduated high school and starts at a university this fall with the plan to major in Marine Biology. And, she was accepted without a state-issued diploma, solely on her merits as a successful homeschooler with a transcript (of 18 credits, but only 15 were required) and her ACT score. I can’t help feeling a bit proud about that! I am deeply thankful to Liahona Academy for providing her English, math, science and history through excellent online courses, as well as her transcript (which made my job a lot easier!).


Here are the highlights from Marissa’s senior year-


Her favorite read for English.


Her favorite family read-aloud.

This book is special to us because it was our first read-aloud together when we first began our homeschooling journey and Marcus couldn’t remember the story so it was perfect to re-visit. It’s always been one of my personal favorites.


Her favorite craft: her fairy gardens.


Her favorite field trip: Tombstone, Arizona


Her favorite event: Prom, where she participated in the senior-walk down a flight of stairs.



Hanging out with Mater, at Epcot.

It was a year of excelling in math for Marcus who completed Pre-Algebra, Geometry and Algebra 1. The year before was a slower year for math as more focus was on his grammar and essay writing. So this was his math year. Hooray for homeschooling! Here are other highlights from Marcus’ seventh-grade year…

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His top two favorite read-alouds.

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His favorite science lab: designing a cell cake.


His favorite field trip was also visiting Tombstone.


As for me…


This desert scene on our homeschool room wall took us a few days to create.

I loved our desert unit…


And all the nature walks we took together here in the Sonoran desert. I feel we’ve embraced our life here in Arizona. ♥ Stay tuned for a planning post for our upcoming homeschool year, with just me and my son.


Family Disney Memories


We just returned from a fun-filled Disney World vacation that we shared not only with each other, but with my youngest brother and his family as well. It was really special because this was my three nieces’ and my nephew’s first Disney visit and it was also their family’s first vacation anywhere. I especially loved getting to know my two-year old nephew better (he warmed up to us which was fun) and watching my baby brother in his role as dad. 🙂 Here are some highlights…

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Little moments. One favorite was when my niece pulled the sword in the stone. Another favorite was our character breakfast with Pooh and friends.


My favorite pic of my Marissa girl.


Ha ha! We had no idea what we were acting surprised or shocked about.


My favorite meet-and-greet was with Merida.

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It was a good break for my oldest son (on the left, next to his brother), who is experiencing some unpleasant side effects from his new medication (for his MS), but is otherwise doing well, considering his life has recently been turned upside down. I’m amazed by his positive attitude. I know it’s not easy for him. He still struggles with his energy and his reading, but his balance has improved.


Thanks for caring enough to read this post! Now, back to my mounds of laundry! Do you have a fun family vacation planned? I’d love to hear about it.

The Perfect School Day


Easy going, stay cozy in our pajamas, linger over a pancake breakfast, together mornings.

No backpacks, no cold lunches, no need to bundle up, no bus to catch.


One daughter, comfy on her bed, laptop open, paying rapt attention to her online science teacher.

No loud bells, no lining up, no hall passes, no hurry-up-and-get-to-class-or-you’ll-be-tardy.


One son, at the table, creating a chalk pastel masterpiece, taking his time.

Leisurely lunches together, laughing and talking while we eat. We can have peanut butter!


Free to go outside anytime we like. Let’s visit a museum or take a nature walk together.

Free to stay inside if we prefer, warm and snug. There’s plenty to do, alone and together…

Dive into a unit study.

Read a classic book.

Set up a science experiment.

Cultivate a talent.

Play a game.

Create something amazing.

No afternoon slumps, no homework battles, no wondering how their day was because I shared their day and they shared mine.

The perfect school day and it took place at home.

Yellow Desert Blooms




Could be Sweetbush. In the Sunflower family.




Golden Columbine


Yellow Trumpetbush

I give up trying to identify the rest, haha! But I think my sweet angel grandma would be proud of me for attempting. She loved wildflowers and I remember her gardening in her flowerbeds often. She knew the names of many kinds of flowers. My kids gave me a Sonoran desert wildflower field guide for Mother’s Day. It’s a neat book because it separates the flowers by color. 🙂 How are you at identifying the wildflowers in your area?