Lately in Our Life ~ GRADUATED, 12, & Nationals

Lately In our Life May 2018

Daddy Graduated!!!!

Many of you know the journey we have been on as a family for the past 5+ years. My husband felt the calling to go back to school to equip himself to better serve the people he feels called to serve. While missionaries in inner-city Philadelphia, he worked with people who struggled with addictions. We moved down south so he could attend seminary and he has completed his Masters of Arts in Christian Counseling!!!!

He got a job a few months ago and is currently a detox counselor, helping people right when they first come in to get clean. God has placed him in the right spot, and we are so grateful! He has two years {at least} of continued education before licensure, so we will stay put for at least two more years. We love where we live, and are thankful to be close to family.

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National Championships

Our son qualified as a Junior ELITE to Nationals and competed against the best of the best in our country! Many of these boys have been to Nationals previously and many he had never competed against or seen before.

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I am BEYOND proud of my kid! His main goal was to place high on pommel horse – and he did! He came in 13th in the nation of the elite boys his age/level.  He is excited to come back next year and place even higher on pommel and other events! This is a determined kid!

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He is now officially a level 9 gymnast, which he is excited about!

Follow along with us on Instagram, using his hashtag #krashthegymnast.

He is 12!

While at Nationals, our son turned 12! Due to USAG rules, he actually competed as a 12 year old the entire season {the cutoff for age groups is just weeks after his birthday, making him one of the youngest in his age division}. He enjoyed celebrating with teammates in Oklahoma on his actual birthday, and then back home with family after his birthday!

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We continue to love the chicks who are VERY big now. Follow our chick journey on Instagram with their hashtag: #chickens4thehinsons

See our journey on the blog so far by clicking on the images below…

Chickens-4-the-Hinsons-Week-172  Chickens-4-the-Hinsons-Week-252  Chickens-4-the-Hinsons-Week-3Chickens 4 the Hinsons Week 4 and 5  Chickens 4 the Hinsons Week 6


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Lately in Our Life ~ 9, 16, Elite, and FUN!

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Regional Championships   


What a weekend we had at our son’s regional championships! Our son qualified for Nationals as a Junior Elite AND made the Regional Elite Team! His goal was to qualify for Nationals, making the Regional Elite Team was a HUGE bonus!  We will be heading to Oklahoma in May for his National Championship meet! Follow along with us on Instagram, using his hashtag #krashthegymnast.


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

A few videos from his regional competition today!!! #krashthegymnast

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Jekyll Island Fun

Thankfully the regional meet was in an awesome place so we got to have some fun! Sadly, my husband couldn’t come due to his classes {finishing up his LAST CLASS of grad school}, but my momma came and we brought all of my kids! Driftwood beach is a favorite and we enjoyed spending several hours there!

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She Competes Too!

L had her final in-house Star League gymnastics meet! She was so brave and we all enjoyed her moment of pure JOY as she got her very first ribbon – a 5th place on beam. This was her only ribbon and you would have thought she won the Olympics. The pure joy made her burst into tears. She was just so, so thankful. Seeing my girl fight for what she wants, although it doesn’t come physically easy for her, is inspiring to me.

She will be joining the AAU Bronze team this summer and is over the moon with excitement!

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See her on Instagram here:


We continue to love the chicks who are VERY big now. We are finishing up their coop and they will be moving out soon! My garage is thankful! Follow our chick journey on Instagram with their hashtag: #chickens4thehinsons

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See our journey on the blog so far by clicking on the images below…

Chickens 4 the Hinsons Week 1[7]  Chickens 4 the Hinsons Week 2[5]  Chickens 4 the Hinsons Week 3



She is 9!!!

Our baby girl turned 9 and we had a blast celebrating her special day while in Georgia for her brother’s gymnastics meet.

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She chose some pretty fun activities for us to do, beginning with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.

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We ended her special day with a Dolphin Cruise! We were hoping to see dolphins but were blown away with how many and how close we were able to be to them. This cruise is an entirely natural habitat viewing, which I loved. HIGHLY recommend this adventure if you are ever in Jekyll Island, GA!

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He is 16!!!!


Ya’ll, my BABY is 16!!!! Words cannot describe how blessed I am to be his momma. If you have ever attended my session entitled “Never Planned to Homeschool” at Teach Them Diligently, you KNOW our road has not always been easy. But GOD. Seriously, God has taken us on a wild journey and where we are now just rocks. This is one AWESOME 16 year old. I am honored to be his momma. Thanks God. More bday photos here on Instagram.

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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!

TTD Atlanta 2018-6

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!

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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)

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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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