I am .

I'm going to Vegas.

It's not my ideal vision of a grand vacation, but you know what?  I am really excited.  Not because it's Vegas though, but because I'm getting away with my husband!  He is after all, number one in my life after God and we deserve some time together. Needless to say, I'm also wrapped up in guilt at the thought of leaving the kids for several days - but they will be well taken care of by very loving people whom we trust - so I'm trying desperately NOT to let my 'mother brain' take over my 'I gotta get away with you NOW brain'!

We can do/afford Vegas because my husband is attending a conference there.  Now before you go and say, "well what kind of vacation is that if your husband is going to be at a conference half the days?" let me remind you I am a stay-at- home, homeschool mom who wants to be is a writer!!!!  This is a dream! 

Not only am I going to be able to spend the weekend with him uninterrupted, but I get to spend several days curled up in a hotel room by myself with a book, paper and lots of sharpened pencils and my computer to just READ READ READ and WRITE WRITE WRITE !  AND  I get to spend the evenings with the man of my dreams!  It doesn't get better than that.... I'll TAKE IT!  (although a nice sandy beach on a tropical island or a cabin deep in the woods might be a better selection for next time-just a little hint and a wink to that sweet man).

And if that isn't enough - that man of my dreams is fulfilling a childhood dream as well.  He's bought us tickets to go see Donny and Marie Osmond while we are there.  Wow!  I know, some of you may think - "Really?" - But yeah....  I totally fell in love with Donny and Marie Osmond back in 1976.  I was in second grade.  I LOVED that show.  I still remember the pure excitement I had in just receiving a Donny and Marie T-shirt for Christmas one year....and the horrors of it turning green in the wash....  🙁    I actually met Marie Osmond and her brother Jay - in a Pizza Hut of all places in Provo Utah (I actually lived in Heber City Utah for a couple of years as a child).  I was thrilled to get her autograph (Jays too although at the time I had no idea who he was...lol).  I lost the autograph.  🙁   And I never got the chance to see the show live though I lived rather close.  But now I DO get to see them!!!!  I'm so excited.  And so appreciative because I know only my husband would really get that this makes me so happy and love me enough to do it!  (Love you sweetheart!!)

I'm not sure what else we'll do in Vegas.  We're not the gambling type but we may go wild and spend $10 on a slot machine.  LOL

We are considering renting a car and going to see the Hoover Dam .

As I searched Bing and Google for a picture I could share, I noticed the bridge and now I'm thinking, "Do I have to cross THAT thing??"..... yikes.  My older kids, if they know about this, are probably taking bets on whether I'll chicken out or not....  yeah - my kids - they love to remind me how far up we are when I'm going over a bridge - they apparently like the color of snow white on my skin.....   what love.

I'm not sure what else we will do in the Vegas area or where we will eat!  Not only do we need to find Paleo, but remember, we can't do the artificial stuff and I'm nervous that some restaurants may understand Paleo but that doesn't mean they won't add any artificial stuff that would cause reactions....  but it's Vegas, right?  Surely we can at least find a nice steak and a baked potato and plain salad if nothing else, right?  Are their Chipotle's out there?  I know there's a Whole Foods...several in fact, in the city.  So we will find something!  But if any of my Paleo readers have been there and want to give hints, I'm all ears!

Well, it's time to start thinking about what to pack - clothes and also food for the plane.  If I recall - we can do snacks as long as they are wrapped in store-bought wrappers....like RX bars, beef jerky, Lara bars.... because I'm sure we can't eat what's on the plane and it will be a long journey (6 hours plus a layover...somewhere?)

I'll be sure to post all about the trip when it happens!




I just bought this book a few weeks ago from Amazon. Some may be think I'm jumping into this too quickly if you know my boy is only 3!  He will be 4 in a few months and I don't think I am.  The signs are there.  He's ready to learn.

***  If you are not familiar with signs of reading readiness - here are a few blog and websites I found on the subject:   Chocolate on My CraniumCalvert Education, and Growing Home.

My son actually started to show these signs some time ago....  always wanting to be read to, flipping the pages of the book in the correct order, picking up on the letters of the alphabet rather quickly, and actually recognizing words in books we read over and over to the extent of recognizing them outside of the original source.  His first recognized word was STOP in the book Go, Dog, Go....  which he quickly transferred to recognizing STOP signs when out and about without any direction from us!

I had no intentions to teach him to read at this young age.  But he has started on his own and I'm a firm believer if a child WANTS to learn something, he should be given the opportunity.  Now he's only 3.  I KNOW his 'desire' COULD change.  And if it does, I'm NOT pushing it.... but while it remains, I'm going to do what I can to encourage it.  So what to do?

I've heard about this book from various homeschool sources through the years.  And while we've been using some basic workbooks bought from the local stores for Preschool Activities and some I had stashed from garage sales, I felt I should be looking for something with a little more structure.  So when a friend from church mentioned that this is what her son's teacher was using in a life skills class, I thought....why not check it out?

I have to say, thus far I am deeply impressed.  I've read the Introduction and Parent's Guide in the book and we have conducted 7 lessons so far.  As a former teacher in the public schools, I am impressed with the logic of the program and can really relate to the reasons the author, Siegfried Engelmann, gives for the reasons the usual approaches to teaching reading in the public schools do not work. I'm really wishing I had had this book in hand years ago when I taught in learning support classrooms.

So far my son is really catching onto the methods fast and seems to enjoy them.  There are days he's not into it...that's ok.  He's 3.  We are not in any rush here.  We just don't do it those days.  But when he's into it, the lessons are quick and easy.  The book recommends a lesson should take between 12-20 minutes.  Most only do one lesson a day but it does state for older children 2 a day is not unheard of but recommends highly that they be done during two separate time periods of the day - NOT together.

I think I will blog more about this as time goes on.  I'll let  you know more about the program and the thought process behind it as well as the progress we make.  If you have used this program, I'd love to hear how you made out with it and what your thoughts are.  If you have questions, I hope I'll be able to answer as our adventure continues!


When I said goodnight to the moon last night, I had 73 views of yesterday's post!  I was completely amazed and excited.  I guess it confirmed I should write more on that topic and I will!  I promise.  As I wrote before, there are many things I am passionate about and food and what we put into our bodies is definitely one of them.  I'm sure I'll touch on that subject quite often. But perhaps a lighter topic today...Books! After all, I blog here because I want to be a writer.  And what is a writer without books?!

Goodnight Moon is one of my youngest son's favorite books!  We started reading that book when he was about 9 months old.  I believe it was a Christmas present from his Grandpa!

We read that book nightly for a very long time - probably at least two years! We usually saved it for the last of 3-4 bedtime books so that he knew it was the last and a sign of it being time for prayers and sleep! He still loves the book and he is 3 1/2 now.  We play games with it.  I'll read one part "Goodnight comb, goodnight brush," and he completes the rhyme... (If you don't know it, you simply must read the book! ) Other times, when I'm not feeling to tired, I play around a bit and read the wrong line: Goodnight Hippo jumping over the moon.  Oh how he laughs!  And of course, after reading it however many times, quickly corrects me and tells me what it should be.  I think he had it memorized before I did! 🙂

Margaret Wise Brown has always been a favorite of mine. She was a talented author who knew the mind of a child.  I just read that she is best known for Goodnight Moon (no surprise there), Big Red Barn (have not even heard of that one...will need to check that out at the library next time!) and Runaway Bunny (again, no surprise but was never a favorite of mine). When I was little I loved Mister Dog; The Dog Who Belonged to Himself, The Golden Egg Book and Home For A Bunny.  I never even heard of Goodnight Moon until I had my second child!  But I know it quite well now!

Margaret Wise Brown died when she was only 42.  It's amazing how many great books she had written by that time.  And here I am , past that, and haven't one in print (yet?).  She had 4 other pen names.  That is new to me.  I will have to do some further research into that interesting tidbit.  I'm not sure if they were all children's books or if she actually wrote other genres as well.  I think it's fascinating when authors write under various pen names.

I have often wondered if I ever did publish, whether I would use my actual name or use a pen name.  I don't know if many authors use pen names these days.  I remember when I was young actually making up names to use!  April Snow was one I liked a lot. Something about the extreme opposites... although it did snow here once in April on my daughter's birthday!  She was not appreciative of that!

Well, if I am ever to make that decision, I will have to actually finish writing or revising a manuscript worthy of publication and get it out there!  So no time like the present to get working on that!  So Goodnight Moon, hello days of writing!


Four year old children who were read one alphabet book per day significantly
improved in their awareness of phonemes - tiny letter sounds that make up words.  Read to your child today! 🙂