Lately in Our Life ~ TTD, Puppy, Chicks, and a State Champ!

Lately in Our Life April 2018


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Teach Them Diligently

This year I only spoke at one convention due to some schedule conflicts. I normally attend 3, so it felt weird! I just returned from speaking in Atlanta and enjoying my experience at the convention as a homeschool mom. I have given a lot of thought to changing some curriculum publishers for my middle son specifically, so I spent a lot of time talking with reps.

As I thought out my plan I realized we have two non-negotiables right now. Meaning, I love these curriculums and have no plans of changing! One is Teaching Textbooks Math and the other is IEW Writing.

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At this point the rest is negotiable, some more than others. Mostly for my younger two kids.

One I am looking into pretty seriously is Alpha Omega LIFEPAC for my middle son – rising 7th grade. I will share more as we progress with our plans. I was only planning to look at this for science but then liked what I saw with the history/geography. I ignored the Language Arts at first since I love IEW and plan to continue using it. After speaking with the awesome reps I learned that I could use the LIFEPAC language arts for grammar/spelling/vocab/comprehension, etc. and just ignore the writing portion. This would eliminate 4 other workbooks for him, which is my goal – to try to make his schooling simpler to go to and from the gym since he trains for his gymnastics so much.

We didn’t purchase anything yet, we are still deciding, but this is on our radar for now!

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We enjoyed talking again with the Charleston Southern University rep, who is just wonderful, and my son is really liking this college option! We found them last year here at the convention and have them on our very short list of schools he is thinking of attending! He is a rising junior, and we are trying to plan his junior/senior year around the college he plans to attend {as much as possible}. We plan to visit CSU this summer and are very excited about this possibility for him!

We learned that CSU has just launched their dual-enrollment online classes for High School juniors and seniors and provide scholarship $ up to $1000 if you end up attending CSU. We are strongly looking into this for at least 2 of his dual enrollment classes in the upcoming final years of HS!

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One of the highlights of TTD for me is getting to spend time with one of my long time friends, Jolanthe from Homeschool Creations. We normally room together for a couple of conventions each year, but this year we each brought one of our teenagers with us so we had separate rooms. We soaked up as much time as we could together!

TTD Atlanta 2018

Our poor unsocialized homeschool kids with no friends. Winking smile

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Baxter – A NEW Puppy!    

If you follow me on Instagram, you know we got a puppy at the end of January. He was an accidental addition. You know, we were just “going to look” at how the rescue/adoption process worked. But there he was, the perfect puppy and he just had to be ours. <— That is my husband talking! I was totally fine coming home without a dog, but he insisted that Baxter was the one for us. So we have a new dog! He’s a small pit mix and the smartest sweetest most awesome dog. I am so thankful my husband followed his instincts! You can see all of Baxter here on Instagram with his very own hashtag!



State Champion    

Once again, our son took home the State Champion title! He won the All Around, Pommel Horse, Parallel Bars and Floor! He got the silver for high bar, rings and vault! His Level 8 team also won 1st place team!

State Champ Level 8

We head to regionals in Georgia where he hopes to qualify for Nationals for the very first time! He is competing level 8 elite this year, and that is the first level that goes to nationals!  Follow along with us on Instagram, using his hashtag #krashthegymnast.

Below you can see some videos from his state championship meet…

A few videos from his State Championship meet today!! #krashthegymnast

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We have CHICKENS!!!!!! I won’t elaborate much more since they have their own blog posts and their own Instagram hashtag: #chickens4thehinsons! See our journey so far by clicking on the images below.

Chickens 4 the Hinsons Week 1 Chickens 4 the Hinsons Week 2


Another Gymnast    

Much to our surprise {huge surprise} we now have another gymnast joining a team in our house! Our daughter has taken classes since she was little but never really loved it. In fact, there were a few years recently where she begged to stop but I kept her in one simple class a week simply for exercise. Then one day last fall, she announced that she liked it and wanted to take more classes. We talked with the coaches and they placed her on the low-level pre-team – Starlets, and she began attending twice a week and had in-gym competition last December. Recently she was asked to join the AAU Bronze team and she is over-the-moon excited! She has one more Starlets meet in a couple of weeks and then she will begin training with her new team. Follow her journey here on Isntagram #LFHgymnastics


Oily Kids

For the past 3 weeks I have been leading an Oily Kids event on Facebook with two of my great friends – Jodi and Jolanthe!  The live events are complete but the content is still there for about another week. It’s not too late to watch the videos, download the PDFs and grab the fun printable pack for kids! There’s even a giveaway still open right now!

I led sessions on FOCUS & SLEEP and also told my story here – which shares about how I went from a total oil skeptic to where I am now over 5 years later. Be sure to see the Table of Contents here where you can see all of the topics and direct links to everything! Just don’t wait, as this event will be removed, it will not stay up indefinitely!

Here’s direct link to my live videos. In the event you’ll find much much more!

Oily Kids Focus Video Cover Oily Kids Sleep Video Cover

Oily Kids Printable Pack Video Cover Oily Kids Carisa'a Story Video Cover

Family Stuff

My husband and I celebrated our 19th anniversary in early March. God is good! Got the family together for a quick Easter Sunday photo too!


See more of what’s been going on lately in our life here on Instagram!

See our other Lately in Our Life posts here!

Lately in Our Life ~ It’s Been Awhile!

  It’s been awhile since I have shared a Lately in Our Life post. I get so busy and I forget!

Gymnastics Update

Our son is still going strong with gymnastics and is now a level 8 and has a busy season ahead of him. Recently I shared videos from his mock meet on Instagram. His mock meet is in his gym each season about a month before the actual meets begin. He did really well and we are excited for his season!

Surprisingly, we have another gymnast in the house now. My daughter, who has not had any interest in gymnastics has suddenly decided she wants to give it more of a try! She has been doing a once a week rec class since she was 3, mostly for her physical education. About a month ago she asked to do more. She is now doing a class twice a week for 2 hours a time and LOVING it.


Grad School Update

My husband is in his final year of grad school and will graduate in May with his masters degree in Christian counseling! We are SOOOOOO excited for this! This has been a difficult season of life for our family and we are glad it is coming to an end soon. Having Daddy in school full time, especially with internships the past few semesters, has been hard on all of us. We are thankful for the opportunity and thankful this part is almost complete!

Bit of a Glimpse

My oldest son is really getting into photography, which is so exciting for me. I owned my own photography business many years ago and have taught him through the years. He has a great eye and I just love seeing his talent develop. He has an awesome Instagram account {yes, I am a bit biased}, where he showcases his photography.

Follow him here: @bit_of_a_glimpse

Bit of a Glimpse

A New Kitty

We weren’t planning on getting another cat, but we have one now. Meet Oliver ~ Ollie. He came to us thanks to a friend who found him as a baby and didn’t want him. We offered to “foster” him and within 24 hours we were in love and decided he could stay. He is NUTS and super sweet all at the same time.

9.5.17 Lili and Ollie 3rd Grade (5)

See more of what’s been going on lately in our life here on Instagram!

See our other Lately in Our Life posts here!

Lately in Our Life ~ All Around Champ, Ecuador & Simple

Lately in Our Life Nov. 2015


All Around Champ!

The new gymnastics season has begun and we have one VERY HAPPY boy!  He is competing at a new level this year {6} and felt totally prepared for his first meet which was in November.  Well, I suppose he was prepared since he WON!  This was his very first 1st All Around place and he was so excited!  He also took first on rings, pommel and floor! We are excited for his second meet in about a week!

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I recently went on an incredible trip thanks to my awesome friend Jodi. You probably already know that I love Young Living and might know that Jodi is the one that got me hooked many years ago. Well, Jodi has been with Young Living for over 10 years and is pretty “high up” in her rank with them and earned a totally free {yes completely all expenses paid} trip for 2 to visit the Young Living farm in Ecuador.  Her husband couldn’t go so she took me!!!!  how incredibly cool is that?

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I didn’t have many expectations going into the trip, just an open heart and mind and excitement to spend time with one of my best friends alone for 5 days! We stayed in Guayaquil, and traveled to the 2000+ acre farm which is about an hour away.

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Seeing the plants that turn into the oils I use was incredible.  That’s Jodi and I in front of a Palo Santo tree on the left and in front of Oregano fields on the right. 

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Even more incredible than seeing the plants was meeting the Ecuadorian people who work on the YL farm there and their joy. Not only did we get to meet many of the employees, we got to meet many of their kids!!!  This was the really cool part.  Young Living has a school near the farm which educates 300 children PreK-12th grade!  They have their first graduating class this spring!

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It was the trip of a lifetime and I am just so grateful to Jodi for taking me!


Simple Holidays

This time last year was WAY different than this year.  We spent Thanksgiving last year away from family due to Frank’s broken legs and our move. This year we had a totally uneventful, simple day with family.  It was lovely. I am finding myself very grateful for simple.

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See more of what’s been going on lately in our life here on Instagram!

See our other Lately in Our Life posts here!

Lately in Our Life ~ Friends and Fun

Lately in our Life Oct 2015


A Full House!

Can you guess who’s family that is in my schoolroom? It’s a LONG time blogging friend turned entire-family-in-real-life-friends! That’s Jodi from {you may know her as Granola Mom 4 God which she was for years}! Her amazing family came to stay with us for a few days last month!

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Sadly it poured down rain most of the time, but by the end our 7 kiddos didn’t even care and went outside anyway!

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Brian and Jodi came down to help me in another way, they led a Young Living class for us!  It was awesome to have them here and to learn from them.  They have been using Young Living for 10 years!  Our family is still in love after over 2 years {I don’t talk about it much over here – don’t ever want to seem pushy} but you can keep up with my oily adventures here!

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Our kids got along great and we had loads of laughs together.  I only wish we had longer to develop our friendships in real life!

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Philly Friends

Speaking of great friends, we had our very best friends from where we used to live here for a visit back in August! Oh how we miss them!!!

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Ahh the beach right when MANY other people have kids who are back in school!  This is an annual trip with my parents and a trip we all enjoy very much. We go Labor Day week when it is still warm, things are still open but there’s hardly anyone there after the weekend!

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Got pictures with my babies at the beach!

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Fun 2 Days

There’s the lovely Jolanthe from Homeschool Creations and that’s my cutie husband in the middle of us!  The three of us spent 2 days together attending Digital CoLab a few weeks ago!  It was a great learning time and we enjoyed connecting with other blogger friends.  My husband helps me with the business side of things for my online world so he attended alongside of me to learn a bit more! 

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See more of what’s been going on lately in our life here on Instagram!

See our other Lately in Our Life posts here!

Lately in Our Life ~~ Summer Wrap Up

Lately I totally forgot to write this series!  I haven’t shared since June, whoops!  I was doing so well then totally forgot about it!

Lately in our Life August 2015


Loving the Library

My little book worm loves the library and we go at least once every 2 weeks!  She has spent much of her free time this summer with her nose buried in a book.  I can’t lie – I love it!  Neither of my boys loved books as much as she does.  This is a treat for me since I always secretly hoped I would have at least 1 bookworm!

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Summer Gymnastics Training

Our son has had a pretty intense training schedule this summer.  He absolutely loves it and it has been fun to see his progress.  He is excited to begin competing again in November at his new level {6}. Here are a couple of video clips {click to see them on Instagram} of him in the gym this summer! It still blows my mind to watch him.

Lately in Our Life Gym 2 Lately in Our Life Gym


Beach, Pool, Yard, Lake & Camping Fun

We were thankful that our small above ground pool survived our move and has been a great way to beat the southern heat this summer!

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We have also enjoyed my parents’ pool a lot {on the left below}!  AND…I turned 40!  The pics on the right are from my birthday dinner!

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Some of our new friends live on a lake and we have spent time with them there and LOVED every minute!

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We enjoyed a beach trip with my husband’s family and the kids enjoyed camping with their Pop Pop and Daddy!

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My oldest son spent much of his summer away, mostly serving with church and enjoying his new church friends.  He went on a beach getaway with his new youth group, mission trip to Chicago, and spent a week helping at a camp for children with special needs. He was gone a lot, we are happy to have him home!

I have enjoyed our summer break, and am also happy that fall is upon us.  I love routine and I truly love homeschooling our kids.  I have missed it!

See more of what’s been going on lately in our life here on Instagram!

See our other Lately in Our Life posts here!