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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)

04.24.2015 A Real Live Diva: Sabrina Justison

                                                                                  

Listen to my encore show this week while I work on writing my books.

I remember the time during homeschooling when I see clearly that my daughters may not necessarily follow in their brothers’ footsteps and take steps to modify my plans to best suit them.

My eldest son  has gone home after a whirlwind visit to London where we packed in a lot of touristy activities.

My job is to bust stereotypes and referring to my guest this week as a diva could strike some sensitive chords! But let me clarify, a diva is a Prima Donna, a first lady and Sabrina Justison, playwright, singer-songwriter and fellow thespian, is a diva in her field.

Sabrina teaches acting classes, leads one week intensive Drama Camps and talks about Performing Arts at homeschool conventions.

She is going to help me take the arched eyebrow out of reactions to theatre and homeschooling being mentioned in the same breath when we talk about theatre being really good for the whole family!

Joking aside Sabrina has taught Fine Arts, Literature, Writing, and Latin, writes blogs for the 7Sisters website, for busy, or set in their ways, or rookie, or old hand homeschoolers everywhere.

Join us with your coffee this Friday and be entertained!

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04.17.2015 March Forth Family: Julie Meekins

 

                                                                  

Listen to my encore show this week while I work on writing my books.

I look back on my boarding school graduation and the colleges I applied to. 

My blue eyed cowboy and I are still in London and we visit the newly renovated Kensington Palace and are dazzled. 

We attend Robin Gibb’s Requiem for Titanic in Westminster Hall and are looking forward to our film maker son’s visit from Texas. 

Today I am welcoming back one of my first guests from March 2010! Julie Meekins and

I talked about the diagnosis of her youngest child’s CHARGE Syndrome and the positive

measures she, her husband and family took to help her daughter progress through

the natural development of her body, step by step. Julie is a certified neurodevelopmentalist

and takes a holistic approach to child development. She has also graduated from the

Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Julie and her husband founded March Forth Family

and use their vast experience to help parents with children who have learning challenges

big and small. Join us today for a cuppa as we talk about quirky behaviours, social skills,

disorganisation and so much more.

 

 

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04.10.2015 Homeschooling on One or No Income: Gretchen Roe

                                                                 

Listen to my encore show this week while I work on writing my books.

My youngest daughter is close to graduating from her Performing Arts College in London. 

I investigate job hunting and some tips I’ve found on blogs especially for those who find themselves in the market again at over 50!

Gretchen Roe from the Calvert School is my guest this week and we are going to be talking about the challenges faced by single homeschoolers who are very creative in how they bring home the bacon while managing to home educate their children.

We will be discussing the reality of living on one income in a two income world. Provisions still need to be made for that rainy day which is a real possibility in our economically unstable world.

How do we support our spouses both financially and emotionally when the going gets tough and the coffers are empty?

Join me on Friday when Gretchen and I will talk about these difficult topics and acknowledge that God is sovereign and homeschooling is within reach despite our employment status.

 

 

 

 

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04.03.2015 Giving Up Atheism: Robert Velarde

                                                                 

Listen to my encore show this Good Friday when I talk about Lent, from Shrove Tuesday to today with my guest Robert Velarde.

Our homeschooling family would strive to keep this period of time separate from the rest of the liturgical year.  Worship played an important part and our churches always provided many tools to add to our Lenten rule.

We would observe no-meat Fridays which meant giving up our weekly jaunt to Cici's Pizza and other fast food restaurant treats.

We would endeavor to attend the weekly service of Stations of the Cross.

After the Triduum, 3 high holy days, Maundy Thursday, the last supper, Good Friday, the day of crucifixion and Holy Saturday, when new light is kindled, new members are baptized into the church and we rejoice in the resurrection.  What a lovely set of services to help us live in response to Jesus’ sacrifice for us all.

Then we would celebrate with an Easter party on Sunday.

Today, Good Friday, I have Robert Velarde, from the Wisdom of Pixar and Sonlight Curriculum, joining me and together we are going to reflect on the meaning of Lent, Holy Week and our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection.

Robert is going to be sharing his personal walk from Atheism to Christianity with us. By meditating on Christ’s redemption, particularly during this season of the church year, we all undergo renewal and personal change along our Christian walk, something we are called to do regularly.

 We will have some Passion readings from the bible and hymn book, that are heard this week in church and in the end we will take a look at Easter for the modern man and what it means in the world today.

 I look forward to you joining us this Friday for a hallowed hour to prepare us for the glory and Good News of Easter Sunday.

With cap and cup of tea in hand let’s remember who is Lord.

 

 

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03.26.2015 Sonlight Your Path: Sarita Holzmann

                                                           

Listen to my encore show this week where my oldest daughter, the child magnet, comes back to town from the boonies and decides to move into her own apartment and return to college.

Sonlight is celebrated 20 years as a curriculum company and to mark this achievement, co-founder and president, Sarita Holzmann, will be chatting with me this Friday afternoon.

Over an afternoon cup of tea we will explore the benefits of using a literature based curriculum. We will also talk about a new project with Mission India that began on October 5th 2010! 

Join us this week and discover the power of the written word.

 

 

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