Monthly Archives: February 2020

Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green




My Review:

This novel takes us to the Great Chicago fire, to give us an inside view of other stories happening at the same time. The eye opening experience of soldiers suffering from PTSD or “Soldier’s Heart”, was really sad, but also so educational. You live through the trauma of the fire with the characters, see what they saw, and live it. The trauma from the fire, also demonstrates a great example of PTSD from a traumatic event as well.
The book is well written, well researched and highly enjoyable. It has one of the most beautiful covers ever as well. This author takes her time on research, and while some of her books have a small romance thread, this is a historical novel, not a romance. It would appeal to both men and women, in my opinion.

I obtained this book from the publisher. The opinions contained herein are my own.


This book is available for purchase wherever books are sold. It is also available on audio. 

Veiled in Smoke 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Historical fiction

Homeschooling: How is it done?

Education looks different for everyone.

How I do it may not work for you. Sometimes I am not sure if it is working for me. But everyday I seek to perfect it, and make it better.

I know a lot of families that make education their secondary priority. Homeschooling or traditional schooling, it doesn’t matter, it happens in both. School is not the priority and the kids end up getting the short end of the stick.


Homeschool Basketball team top in West side of State


Homeschoolers play competitive Sports


Science Lab-Placenta


Learning how to care for trauma victims


Titanic Tea


Book Club


Workhouse Kitchen Diorama

These are a few photos of some of the things we do with homeschooling. What you don’t see here is the nitty gritty part of the days. I am seeking constantly to make sure my children are doing their work and staying on top of it. I have one away at  a university in his Junior year, one that is working on his own business and for a local company, and two in high school. My homeschooling days are winding down, and I have learned some valuable lessons.

  1. Sometimes doing your best is not good enough. What I mean by that is that if you are struggling to keep up, your kids are all not getting things done, it is time for outside help. I know, I know. It is expensive, you don’t have the money for it, and all that. Your kids are worth it. If you don’t want them to think you neglected their education, don’t neglect this.
  2. Teaching other peoples kids is easier than teaching your own. Maybe trade off with someone, join in teaching classes and send your kid to someone else’s class.
  3. Sports helps kids learn better. Exercise can work out a lot of pent up emotion and work out some of the struggles that stop their brain from working.
  4. If nothing is going right today, push through. Don’t put off for tomorrow. You will just end up farther and farther behind as something will always come up. Make it different than you tried, use videos, books, interpretative dance, music, whatever, but do something every single day. What? There is no behind in homeschooling? I am sorry, but there is.
  5. If you can’t get school done at home, find a school that works for their needs, hire a tutor or something, but don’t give your kids the short end of the stick because you can’t do it.

Now, time to take my own lessons and apply them this week. =)

Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Happenings, Homeschooling


What is failure?

To me, I see it is in the eyes of the beholder.

We look at what someone else did and we see they have failed to do what we believe they should have done.

In another’s eyes, they may be happy with what is being done, and irritated by what the first person expected.

So, did we fail? Or did we succeed?


For me, this picture represented some of the produce I grew this summer. For an accomplished gardener, it may have been a failure.

It was a success for me.

In our lives we will have people that speak into them. They will speak into our lives telling us what we did right and what we did wrong. More often, it is easier to hear what we did right, but what will stick with us is what we did wrong.

I was hammered by opinions and talk these last few weeks. It was overwhelming to the point that I realized something. There comes a point where it becomes about putting someone down, without building them up. There are some amazing people that cared, spoke up and really fought through to make sure people heard that they loved enough to strive for the truth.

There were others that do not do this.

It is hard to go into the next week without seeing failure. It might have been that grade you got on a test. It might have been the friend that told you that you had poor style. It may have been the sermon at church talking about how to have a perfect marriage, when yours is less than perfect. Failure.

I know I learned with my kids that if all you focus on is punishment, you will never reap the reward of your child coming to you when they messed up. What they expect from you is punishment. But when you have build them to the point that when they mess up, they admit it, humble themselves and learn from it, with natural punishments rather than forced ones, they learn to trust.

A group I visited online earlier was discussing things in the world, that are pretty standard. The group defended speaking poorly of someone, because they looked scary to them. The words were cruel and hateful, in any form, let alone someone who was claiming to be a supposed follower of Someone that never spoke like that. My comment was deleted, along with some of the hateful comments, but the shame I carried remained. I stopped though to think, maybe the fear that bespoke the response this person had came from someone who felt they had failed. They were only shown hate towards those that didn’t match perfection, and therefore knew no different.

It made me sad for them.

Failure is a state of mind or being.

As I face this next week, I am going to remind myself that I am not perfect. I don’t expect myself to be so anymore, and I do not need to fear punishment. We can go through life and make mistakes, own them and move forward. Our lives can be better for learning through peaceful correction and love. The hate does not have to rule that drives us to feel we failed.


Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Happenings