family life, reading life

Life lately: it’s been weird

I don’t have to tell you life has been super weird these past couple of months. Who knew I’d turn out to be such a trendsetter when I bought this shirt last year?

Staying in is the new going out #stayathome

I’ve decided I miss my corner of blogland so I’m promising myself to write here at least once a month. I started blogging way back in 2006 when I started homeschooling, and I found it encouraging to me to have an informal account of what we were doing. Then other folks started to read and I met a whole new world of friends on the interweb. I hope y’all will be part of the conversation here as I pick things back up in a very low-key, no-stress way.

family life

I’m not really a Vegas kind of girl but I went in February for a fitness certification. Getting there was a nightmare because a big tornado-spawning storm went through the southeast right about the time I was trying to leave. I got there just in time to take a two-hour nap before starting my first eight-hour day of a challenging 3-day kettlebell certification. I’m not sure I’ve ever been that tired. But it was awesome and I learned so much.

I don’t travel much and had never been out west so I gave myself a full day to sightsee with a local friend before heading home. We toured the Vegas Strip one very chilly evening, and drove to the Hoover Dam the next morning. I got to check two more states off my visited-list. So cool. The scenery from the plane on the way home was amazing, too.

Vegas adventures

While strolling through the Venetian on the Las Vegas strip, I heard someone say “Jamie?” I figured it couldn’t be this Jamie but I turned around anyway and there was my longtime blog pal and fellow adoptive mama Sharla! This was SUCH a crazy coincidence because I live in North Carolina and she lives in Canada, and if you’ve been to Vegas you know it’s crowded and busy just about the most unlikely place to just bump into someone! Sing it with me: “It’s a small world after all…

This was much less fun: On April 1st, we got a water bill that nearly made me faint. Sadly, it wasn’t an April Fool’s prank; turns out we had a MASSIVE leak in the copper pipes under our concrete slab home but since it wasn’t inside the house, and since our sandy soil soaks up water so quickly, we had no idea. We spent the next two weeks with our water turned off except a couple of times a day to flush toilets, etc.

We finally got it fixed by re-plumbing the entire house, going up through the walls this time rather than under the slab. Since they had to cut into the wall where all the interior plumbing runs (between the kitchen and bathrooms), we went ahead and pulled out the kitchen cabinets and decided we’d take on a DIY project right in the middle of quarantine. If we hadn’t gone that route, they’d have had to jackhammer up the tile and concrete beneath and just hope we found the right spot on the first try.

plumbing repairs and kitchen DIY

So that’s been fun. We’re still in the middle of the DIY but the plumbing is done we’ve all vowed never to take the ability to shower or do laundry or flush toilets for granted again! I’ll share photos when it’s all done but for now you can appreciate the DIY we did in the kitchen of our old house.

homeschool happenings

I haven’t shared as much in the way of homeschooling as I once did because it’s been weird writing about our homeschool life while having one in public school. When all the schools closed due to COVID-19, we were, of course, forced to make some changes. Whittling down my long thought process whittled down to one sentence: I’ve decided to homeschool Scout — as well as continuing to homeschool Jem — next school year. Later on, I’ll elaborate about this decision.

what we’ve been reading: our faves

A good book with lunch I didn’t have to make. I call that winning at life.

When our library closed, I started using my kindle more often. With Amazon Prime, I get some free; sometimes they have some pretty great choices. I keep an eye on special sales and I’ve gotten some on my wish-list for just $1 or $2. But even without those, my to-be-read pile ensures there’s no danger of me running out of books anytime soon.

My recent picks:

The kids’ picks (age 11 and 12):

My kids love audiobooks, and we’ve been taking full advantage of free Audible Stories lately. They tend to say every one is their favorite while they’re listening to it, but these probably top the list:

on the blog (in case you missed ’em)

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Yolanda Lebron

Hello Jamie,
It’s so good to know you will be getting back to blog writing even if it’s only once a month. That would be good enough for me too.
I homeschooled my sweet Tessa from preschool to high school and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

I love the relaxed no pressure lifestyle myself. Tessa has one more year left at the university and I get to make my move to NC as well. Find me a job and live a peaceful, quiet life .

Wishing you and the family a great and safe Summer!??


Thank you for sharing your homeschooling journey with us. I was public schooled, but grew up in a culture of homeschooling at my church, and your perspective rings true.
I enjoy your writing style and am happy you will be writing on your blog more!