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Friday, May 11, 2012

The Creativity Beast...feed yours!

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?


Watch this and be inspired to create, to be curious, to think outside the educational box!

What did you do as a result of watching this video? Did you stretch yourself to create a new connection? Turn on some music and dance with me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yes, homeschoolers can go to Prom!

Yes, homeschoolers can go to Prom!

One of the bizarre questions I was repeatedly asked about homeschooling, even back when we announced our plan to homeschool 18 years ago, was, "What about prom?" (Really - as if the mom of a little child thinks that is a pressing problem :)

But I always tried to answer, politely, something on the order of, 'Prom is not the purpose of high school, a good education is our goal', and that we wanted to focus on that aspect.

So, fast forward a few years (well, 18 of them) and our always-been- traditionally- homeschooled son DID end up going to prom. (Twice, actually.)

So, I pondered, do I mention this to my fellow HSA parents, or be reticent about it. I decided to post it, because homeschoolers need to know they can do it all, if they want to....(and if the timing is right). Just like 'school' kids, they need to meet the right girl (boy), at the right time, (spring of senior year is a good time!), and from the right school (some schools don't allow outsiders at prom - most do). There is no promise these stars will all align at the right moment, whether public-, private-, or home- schooling, but life works that way sometimes.

Homeschooling takes all of us in different paths. For our son, swimming lead to friendships scattered around the country, leading to a friendship with a very special young woman - and to prom - in Cincinnati. So for those of you with little ones - when you are asked that prom question, just say, "Sure they can go to prom!" and relax - follow your homeschool path where it takes you, and enjoy the trip!

Connie Sholdra
homeschool mom
guest author to Victorious Adventurous Life

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Buried Life guys....I'm inspired!

The Buried Life guys have inspired me.

My life list has items checked off but now I'm inspired to pursue them more vigorously.

One that is checked off is ride a camel. Riding a camel was on my granny's list of things she wanted to do. I don't think she ever did it. In 2006 while I was in Israel, I had the opportunity to pay $6, I think it was, to ride a camel. The ride was just around the parking lot on the Mount of Olives but hey I "rode" a camel. I have a picture of my riding a camel on my bathroom shelf. A similiar list item is to ride an elephant, perhaps in India. I recently was contacted by a CouchSurfer from India. He is an elephant owner, who takes tourists on elephant rides and he also allows CouchSurfers to stay with him. How cool is that!

Watch the video below and leave me things on your list that might inspire me to do what's on your life wish list too!

Become a member of Victorious Adventurous Life and let's inspire eachother to live life fully!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Washington State Cougars....not in this house!

One of the kids' friends left their cat sack in our house. Grant took some of my red duct tape and made some alterations.

The friend who left this had a good laugh, BUT he first guessed it was me! No way! I wouldn't have done it. I'm not that anti-Coug. Grant is a big University of Washington, Husky fan. You should see how he reacts to the Oregon State Ducks!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Safeco Field High School Game

My son, Austin, sold the most Mariner tickets and therefore earned a spot for his dad to be an honorary coach for the night for the high school game played on the Mariner's field with the roof closed! So very nice for the fans!

The Shirt Show Down

We are just having a little family friendly competition. We love to laugh and compete!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Finances....Faith in Actions and Attitudes

A recent testimony of faith comes through guiding our 19 year old daughter, Noel. She had been searching for a more permanent employment than the babysitting and housecleaning she was currently doing. She was offered a job at a local bakery but once she started training they wanted her to work on Sundays, our Sabbath.

Now, you need to understand we are not legalistic about this. My husband and I asked her to pray about it. She balked a little and said she needed the money. We knew she did but we operate on a faith budget and God's peace above all. She came to me the next morning and told me she wasn't at peace about it.

We encouraged her that when you honor God, he will honor you. She was eventually told they were going to give the hours to someone who could work Sundays. Last week she received a phone call from a dental hygienist, who has agreed to let her job shadow on a consistent basis. She had been diligently seeking employment and a job shadow opportunity simultaneously. She is studying to become a hygienist currently and this experience may help her get selected for the dental school of her choice.

Although, it isn't a paid position we see God's hand in this. Her babysitting opportunities have increased and she is available to job shadow because she isn't working at the bakery. She concluded, "Maybe this is what God had in mind!" I agree. She will make an excellent hygienist and maybe the bakery hours will work out later.

Grant Taylor: I want God to bless this team so much people will talk about what He did. But it means we gotta give Him our best in every area. And if we win, we praise Him. And if we lose, we praise Him. Either way we honor Him with our actions and our attitudes. So I'm askin' you... What are you living for? I resolve to give God everything I've got, then I'll leave the results up to Him. I want to know if you'll join me. Facing the Giants, 2006

How have you seen His faithfulness in your finances? How have you honored Him with your actions and attitude?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Quick Hair Trick: Updo without any hair ties, clips,

Quick Hair Trick: Updo without any hair ties, clips,

I think this works best with "dirty hair" or hair with holding product in it. In this picture my hair is fairly clean and it's slick. This is a trick that takes some practice to get the right tension to hold well and not hurt your head from pulling the "netting" over. I'm still working on perfecting it. My hair may be too long and heavy for this to hold for very long. I can easily stabilize it with a pencil or chopstick. Click on the Quick Hair Trick link above or go to where I found this neat hair trick.

Let me know what you think of this hair trick. Do you have a hair trick to share?

Friday, February 24, 2012


What are you crazy, letting strangers stay at your house with your family????

Welcome to my world.  Here I go...breaking the mold again, living outside the "norm".

Last spring, my two eldest blessings had graduated from homeschool high school. I wanted to take a memorable family trip before their life paths took them this way or that, farther from the family, be it schedule or geography. I had been saving money from my ESL Homestay tutoring but we still had a very tight budget. I was exploring alternatives for lodging other than in hotels. Here comes CouchSurfing.....

I can now look back in time and remember coming across a guy wearing a t-shirt that said "CouchSurfing" on it. But at the time I thought, ha ha, it was some kind of statement about being lazy, like a couch potato, or another term for bed-hopping. I took note of it enough to remember it now but at the time I didn't "get it". I do now.

In July, one of my ESL students and I were at the top of the Seattle Space Needle waiting for the sun to set so we could see both the city in the daylight and the night lights of Seattle from above. Sitting next to us were two young men. One was speaking with an accent and I was trying to not-so-obviously detect from where. Alas, it was French. My student happen to be a darling young beauty from France. She struck up a conversation with the strapping young man and found out he was couch surfing. As we descended the Space Needle expedition we started talking about couch surfing. I thought I'd be fun and adventurous to meet strangers and be so bold to ask if me and my friend could crash on their couch but I would be afraid to do it by myself as a woman. And I don't think I would sleep very well with my antennae up throughout the night. Okay, so I tuck that into my brain somewhere to be retrieved later this summer.

Seaching for lodging alternatives in August, I considered hostels. My husband and I stayed in one that was completely empty except for us in Maui. It was cheap and we had the place to ourselves. That was before children and the flight tickets were a $99 special that I spent the night in the airport to get. That is another story. I stayed in a hostel in Israel with a rather large group from my church. Again, great price and we were the only group in the place. But taking my five children was way to expensive to stay in a hostel, I might as well get two hotel rooms. That goes without saying, I don't want them in some hostel environments anyway. is another alternative. Again, it could cost the same as a hotel so that didn't fly either. What about this couch surfing thing? Hmmm... Let me see what some people say about it on the web.

The search begins. I find that there is an organization that is called I did a lot of reading on their website. I learn they have a system of checks and balances to help everyone determine if the host and guest are a good fit. You can accept or decline. You can just meet up at a coffeeshop or meet up at an organized local event. This is intriguing. I set up my profile and to see what happens. (I did talk to my darling husband, and then to the kids, before opening our home to strangers. They are already use to it anyway, with my ESL homestay students arriving every so often.) Within three days I had three requests to stay at our house. This was exciting. What have I gotten us into now?!

The first CouchSurfer was a sweet woman in her 30s from Taiwan, then an 18 year old young man from Ukraine, who fit right in with the family, and then a disgruntled guest. I didn't want to be discouraged from the hard-to-please. So I took the kids to a coffee meet up meeting in Seattle to hear from others about their experiences. It wasn't easy breaking into the conversation, but once I did I was happy to have gone. Soon after, I was a day tour guide for a couple from France who just wanted a local to show them around. They didn't speak much English and I don't speak much French. We took a picture together, waved and said our au revoirs.

The big jump was finding a big enough couch for my five kids and myself. My husband would be joining us later on the trip, flying down to meet us in San Diego.

I found a math teacher CouchSurfer host in northern California, who was a member of a church I was very familiar. His profile only offered a couch for four. I sent him a message anyway, asking if he would stretch his couch for us. He did!

We arrived late in the night. I tentatively went into the apartment, taking in the surroundings and evaluating if I felt safe. It wasn't but a few moments and we were all smiles. Introductions were made, me, my kids, "Frederic" and his roommates. We stayed up even later into the night talking, sharing and praying together.

Where in the world do you live?
"Frederic" opens his home to many people who come to northern California to attend church conferences, and he rents bedrooms to male students attending the church ministry school. There are three futons in the living room and two outside in the gazebo on the small patio. After much talk, brownies and ice cream we eventually fell into bed exhausted from the long hours on the road, and the thrill of our first CouchSurfing gig. We are now officially CouchSurfers!  Three of us slept inside and three slept outside in the still warm summer air.

The next day when we were back on the road my youngest son, 12 years old, confessed he was somewhat unsure of CouchSurfing at a stranger's home. Now, that he's been through it, he reveals "CouchSurfing is great!"

Last Wednesday, our latest CouchSurfers left to go back to Canada. We have hosted CouchSurfers now just six months later from: Taiwan, China, Ukraine, Korea, and Canada. In the next few weeks, we will host CouchSurfers from Germany and Sweden.

Have I piqued your interest? Check out