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Many years ago I decided to travel to America. It was to be a short visit; a fortnight at the most. Australia had always been at the top of my list of places to visit but opportunity landed me at DFW airport toting one tiny suitcase and a snazzy duffel leaving my parents wondering what they were going to tell the neighbours about my sudden departure.  A handsome Texan, complete with Hawaiian shirt, had fallen in love with me at Victoria station in London and sent me an invitation with a plane ticket, to visit his home in Dallas while he was between rock and roll tours. 'Nothing ventured nothing gained,' I thought as I made my way through customs and into his waiting arms.

Twenty-a-lot years later I am an empty nester with a story, lots of stories in fact!   I am homeless an orphan and have moved back in with Mum...my Blue Eued Cowboy's Mum to be precise.  

Australia is still on my bucket list though I've made a few friends there through my show.  

My life in Texas has seen me raise four grown children now aged 28-22 who were my guinea pigs when I accidentally stumbled into the world of homeschooling. They willingly acquiesced for the fifteen-year lifespan of Wildflower Academy, the fancy name I affixed to my one room schoolhouse.

I became the mother of the year for allowing: snakes to co-habit with us and shed their skins in my bath-tub; raccoons to learn how to swim in our pool; baby squirrels to be bottle fed every three hours and abandoned opossums to cling upside down from my hands by their tails. 

With looming empty nest my Gent and I packed our bags and headed to London for a fashionable Gap Year.  We learned how to live as a couple having only ever had children on our minds and we found that we really rather liked it and are still mad about each other!

After returning to America, ousting our sons from our house, planning a wedding and selling our family home of 28 years we returned to my fair shores and sold the London flat.  

Hence the move back in with Mum...to wait on God to let us in on His plan for the rest of our lives.

When I'm not rushing around volunteering and walking in ancient woodlands, or around a Hideaway Lake in East Texas, I enjoy reading and thinking.  I write a personal blog, a Radio Show blog and guest write for Vibrant Nation.  I am the host of The Sociable Homeschooler on Toginet Radio.  

 

My gallant Texan and I share dinner dates at home each weekend, we reckon that our food is infinitely better than anything a local restaurant can set before us. We have the added fun of tasting while we cook, chopping veggies side by side, creating sauces and indulging in wickedly funny conversation. 

Who knows what this next year will bring? Tune in to my show, The Sociable Homeschooler, Fridays at 12 noon CT or 6pm GMT, to find out, first hand!  

"He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing"  (Zephaniah 3:17)

07.10.2015 The Parent's Plate: Brenda Nixon

                                          

While I am taking a break from live broadcasts to finish writing my books listen to my encore show this week.

My guest this week is Brenda Nixon a fellow host here on Toginet radio. Her show airs on Tuesdays at 10am ET and is called The Parent's Plate.

Brenda blends practical parenting tips with child development and is an unusual and popular keynote speaker at events and workshops in more than 10 states. She says she is a media fave on the NBC TV affiliate in Columbus, OH, the FOX TV affiliate in Kansas City, and Atlanta's Kevin & Taylor in the Morning on WFSH-FM.

Speaking aside Brenda is also an author and penned the award winning book, The Birth to Five Book, as well as co-authoring, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts. She is a contributor to 30 titles, including several in the New York Times best-selling, Chicken Soup for the Soul, series.

Today she is going to empower your child rearing skills by offering insights and encouragement to everyone listening, so get yourself a cuppa and sit down!

 

 

 

  

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07.03.2015 Let Liberty Ring: Marlene McMillan

                                                   

Listen to my encore show this week while I put the finisheing touches on my homeschooling book! 

This week I am dog sitting which brings to mind the many McNeny household pets we've had over the years. 

My youngest and I begin the hunt for an appropriate college. 

I warn my children about their presence on-line and I ponder the many ways they express themselves.  My book excerpt is all about the theatre and the role it played in our family.

With July 4th just around the corner my guest, Dr. Marlene McMillan is joining me to talk about the liberty to homeschool and her new book, The Five Pillars of Liberty. She homeschooled her seven children amid personal difficulties that would daunt the most stalwart of us. She is a teacher, speaker and lobbyist for homeschooling and other educational related subjects.

Join us this afternoon for a powerful and interesting show.

 

 

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06.26.2015 The Aussie Outback: Rick Turk

                                             

I am taking some time off to finish writing my two books so listen here to this week’s encore show.  

After four months in Florida we are living in Lindale, East Texas which entails a lot of travelling back and forth to Dallas.  We visit our youngest daughter and our oldest son in the flat they are sharing. 

We go to the airport to pick up my son and his wife after a trip to Southeast Asia.  We spend time with them and watch the training of their birds for their new business.  

My show this week is with Rick Turk and I include excerpts from his children’s musical, Lizard Gully. 

Many years ago when my children were still too young to mind about homeschooling a colleague brought me a cassette and picture book from down under called Lizard Gully. It became an instant hit for the munchkins. 

Years later when choosing a song to dance to with my son at his wedding my heart returned to those petal picking critters in the Aussie Outback!  During my quest for a more digitally friendly version of the song, I met Rick Turk who composed this popular children’s musical.  Rick agreed to be a guest on my show to talk about his career, one day, and that day has come! 

He makes a living doing what he loves most, writing and performing music.  He admits that the key to success in this industry is pure luck.  His parents wanted him to have something to fall back on so he was packed off to University to earn a law degree, which he did.  Music prevailed and between the U.K. and Australia Rick has blazed quite a musical trail. 

Come and hear all about it from Rick who lives in Bucketty on the Central Coast of New South Wales with his wife, a recording studio named Big Ears Music, Bandicoots, Wombats and Possums! 

You’ll want to get your tea and join me this Friday. 

 

 

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06.19.2015 Changing Gears: Nancy Sathre-Vogel

                                                        

I am taking some time off to finish writing my two books so listen here to this week’s encore show.  

Hubs and I went to visit Buckingham Palace in London this week and had lunch in the palatial grounds. 

We continue sight seeing knowing our stay here is drawing to a close. 

I talk about the consistency homeschool affords and how blessed we were to be able to be so close all the time as a family, under one roof. 

I miss being on the same continent as them a lot although I am happy they all seem to be making good progress independently!    

 

My guest this week is well known in the travelling homeschool circles, not to mention the bike riding community and as I was doing my research I realized she had given a TEDx Talk to boot which I watched while thinking, ‘I’m talking to this amazing woman this week!” and indeed I am! 

I am honoured to welcome Nancy Sathre-Vogel of Family on Bikes fame to my show and I know you will be both motivated and delighted by this amazing woman. 

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs joined the ever burgeoning ranks of homeschoolers and climbed aboard bicycles with their twin sons to see the world.   

They enjoyed four years cycling as a family, first exploring the United States and Mexico before embarking on their famed ride from Alaska to Argentina, earning the boys a world record as the youngest people to cycle the Pan American Highway. 

Join me this Friday as Nancy and I talk about the value of time, the greatest gift parents can give their children.

 

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06.12.2015 Not Just for Summer: Sarita Holzmann

                                                          

I am taking some time off to finish writing my two books so listen here to this week’s encore show.  

Summer has come still and heavy to London so Daughts and I are off to buy summer clothes.  We go to see a play at our local Beckenham theatre. 

Are you into the full swing of long, hot summer days yet? 

How is reading fitting into your school’s out plans? 

Can well-written books be used as boredom busters for the whole family? 

This week I am welcoming back Sarita Holzmann, co-founder and president of Sonlight Curriculum to share with us some books for the summer she and her daughter, Jonelle, have chosen. 

Sonlight is a literature based curriculum and Sarita has the pleasure of reading all the books that land on her desk before selecting the ones that eventually end up on your kitchen table! 

She is going to be talking about this summer’s reading selections and enticing us with some excerpts. 

Come and join me on Friday with a cuppa and experience a taste of Sonlight.

 

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