Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Another adventure


Hello to all… hoping this finds you and yours well. Tomorrow Bridget and I are on a plane to NY to visit family, and Bridget will competing in her first Champion level Irish dance competition.
I am excited to see my parents, my sisters and my nephews, as it has been almost 3 yrs since the last time I was home in NY to visit. 
This will be the first time my family will get to watch Bridget compete. There are a total of 1,200 competitors, 32 of which are Bridget's competition including her. As I was going through the competitor list, which is I don't quite get why I did as Bridget has never danced in this region, I noticed a familiar name. Bridget will be competing against her cousin. They met once as very small children, like 1 or 2. It is my cousins youngest daughter. They are in the same competition, U13 Preliminary Champion. Small world. I'd otherwise not see him on this visit.
I'm looking forward to getting away. It has been one of those weeks, well actually it's been more like one of those decades, but this week my bearings went in my tire, the brand new 2 week old lamp in our flat screen tv exploded last night, my glasses broke, allergy season in NC is in full swing, and I had a filling fall out of one of my back molars!!!! Oh and my son who is still in public HS was released early due to a bomb threat at his school today. They evacuated, then had the students return to school, and then re-evacuated, brought in the bomb squad and sent the kids home!!!! No news on what the outcome of that is. How about you all, how has your week been so far???
I'm also trying to sell Bridget's Irish Dance dress. Her dance teachers feel she need a dress that is more youthful looking. Though they LOVE her dress, they think it makes her look too much older than she is. I'm actually going to post a bunch of photos on my blog of her dress. One of the sites I have listed it FS on allows 2 photos, and asks to have a bunch of pictures on another site. So that post will go up after this one. With any luck it will sell soon. 
Well I have a bunch of stuff to finish up, and I still need to pack, so I will say farewell for now. Keep Bridget in your prayers that she does well. She really wants to make her teachers proud.
God Bless,

Sunday, April 14, 2013



Hello too all. My apologies for seemingly having disappeared from the face of the earth. After my last post months ago I had many different topics I had planned on blogging about. Then POOF… not a word.
As some of you may know I have a severe chronic condition called Spinal Stenosis with Degenerative Arthritis. About 18 months ago I had a spinal fusion done. My pain was fairly well controlled with medication. I had been doing very well since my surgery, then out of no where I seemed to fall back to square one. I was flat on my back in bed in the most excruciating pain for almost 8 weeks. I needed help with even the most basic functions, such as putting on my shoes, getting up off the bed or couch, even picking up a gallon of milk. Luckily I have the most wonderful children and husband. They met my every need without complaint.
Now during all this my husband was and still is traveling for work. He is only home 6-8 days a month. I still had to get Bridget, aka Gidget, and Michael aka Meat to and from, dance, Lacrosse and other various activities, grocery shop and all the fun stuff that goes along with being a parent. I even had to take 2 trips to Atlanta, Ga, which is about a 4 hr drive for Gidget's dance competitions. (I have no idea how I managed that at all) One trip my husband drove 12 hours from NY back to NC, then had to get back in the car drive to Atlanta because I couldn't. We spent one night in ATL, then 9 hrs at Gidget's Feis, drove back home, then my husband had to get back in a car and drive 12 hrs back to NY. He is definitely a trooper. He never complained once, but he did have a few grumpy moments. Gidget also had a Feis in Charlotte, which we we sat at for about 6 hrs. I am proud to announce though that Gidget has been working her butt off and earned her final 1st and is now a CHAMPION level dancer. It is a gigantic accomplishment. What she has accomplished in 2 1/2 yrs takes most dancers 4-6 yrs. She has not stopped smiling. So traveling in pain was worth it.
Fortunately I am FINALLY feeling much better, the pain clinic has since switched my medicine, and though I still have pain, it is quite a bit more tolerable and I am functioning. I am one of those people that when I am not feeling well I just shut out the world and fall off the grid. Basically I become anti-social. 
So let me try to bring you up to speed, I had a CAT scan and it showed the reason for my increased pain levels are due to significant narrowing in my L-3 to L-4 of my spine. Fortunately I won't need surgery at this time, but will most likely in the next 1-2 yrs. Not a surgery I am in any hurry to have again. I have had a few surgeries in my time, but the spinal fusion surgery was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. It made Natural Childbirth feel like an amusement park ride. 
Now that I am feeling better, I am ready to get back to my life. I do have quite a few topics I want to do blog posts on. Even though I fell off the grid, life moved on and lots has happened. I am looking forward to sharing what has been happening, some of the changes that have taken place in my family, what changes are yet to happen. Lots of good stuff that I hope you will enjoy.
So again, my apologies to those of you who are following me, and those that may pop in from time to time. I hope that this finds all of you well.
God Bless,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Birthday Cake


Well what a fun weekend we had at Gidget's competition this past weekend. Though she didn't get that last 1st place she needs to move up to the Champion level of dance, she danced amazing this past weekend. Though she was terribly disappointed, she just smiled and said'I'll just have to work a bit harder and I will get it next time." She makes a mama proud.
We also celebrated her 13th b'day with an amazing cake made by my friend, and local "CAKE BOSS" Dawn Cooke who owns "Desserts byDawn,LLC." She took the design from the team dance dresses at my daughter's dance school and used it to design a gorgeous cake. She did a stellar job with the Celtic Knot Appliques from the dress. (That had to be painstaking), she also put the school logo on the cake with a pair of hard shoes. The cake was 1vanilla teir and 1 chocolate with cookies and creme buttercream frosting filling. Yes it was as delicious as it sounds. Here are some pics of the cake.

The applique design from the Schools Team Dresses

The back of the cake

The Hard Shoes on top of the cake

The School Logo 
One of the Hard Shoes off the top of the cake.

As you can see the cake was AMAZING!!!! If any of you live locally in the Charlotte area and would be interested in a cake made by Dawn, email me. She is also on FB. Not meaning to turn this into an ad for her, but she is amazing, and I highly recommend her. Well that is all for tonite, I return tomorrow with "Words of Wisdom" and some new Art stuff I am working on. Also this week I will have some homeschool news, projects, and yearly testing results. Lots of great stuff coming up!! Hope you will all come back and join me. Hoping this finds you all well!!!

God Bless,

Friday, January 25, 2013

I'm Off Again…..


Well blogger fans and friends, I am off again. Gidget has a Feis(fesh) in Stone Mnt. Ga. We have a 253 mile ride and they are calling for freezing rain and sleet in the South today. FUN FUN FUN!!!!!! I have made a pray of petition with my favorite and beloved Saint, St. Therese of Lisieux that she on behalf of our heavenly father help watch over us in our journey.
Tonight at the hotel we will be celebrating Gidget's 13th b'day(which was on 1/21) with the kids that are attending the dance competition this weekend as well. Her cake was made by my friend Dawn from Desserts byDawn LLC in Mooresvile,NC. The cake is GORGEOUS!!! (Pics to follow)
So hopefully we will come home with good news. Gidget needs one more 1st and she will be a Champion level dancer. GO Gidget!!!!
Well I'm off to finish packing to try and beat the storm out of NC. Hoping you are all well and have a BLESSED weekend.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blog Hops & Link Ups


This week I came across a wonderful and fun blog called "My Crazy Beautiful Life". The blog owner is named Denyse, and she lives up the road from me. Which I always find fun. 
In today's world of information SUPER HIGHWAY, we all seem to be in touch with "friends" from all over the world thanks to the Internet. We belong to craft swaps, homeschool support groups, new mom support groups, well support groups of every imaginable life situation, we go to college on the Internet now, we have Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Pinterest, Google+, well you get the idea. And some of the most  wonderful, funny, amazing, smart, crafty, creative people are becoming a part of our everyday lives thanks to all the wonderful social media outlets. 
It is thanks to some of these amazing people and their blogs that I have been surviving the changes in my life. 
In the last 5 years I have lost my ability to work due to Degenerative Arthritis and Spinal Stenosis in my L3,4 and 5 in my lower back and as a result have had a spinal fusion surgery. It took me 4 years to get my disability approved. In that 4 years due to my inability to work and the loss of my income we lost our house, and fell deep in debt. It was an extremely stressful time. With the economy my husband has also had some struggles. He is a superintendent for a commercial construction company that is family owned, and that area of work has taken some huge hits. Thank the Almighty he is still working though.
So through the struggles I have searched for ways to cope. Thanks to blogs and Pinterest, I have take a great interest in Art Journaling, which I absolutely LOVE. Now as I have written in previous posts I am not naturally inclined in the area of Art. I have always been a crafter of sorts, but not Art. So it is a challenge learning to draw and color and shade, etc. 
Another challenge for me is the whole blogging thing. Now I can type (looking at the keyboard of course), I can cut and paste, I have even figured out how to add simple html. I can't create html or even follow complicated html with step by step directions. I have been trying for almost a year to do a drop down bar on my blog, and I am still unable to figure it out. I will continue to persevere and eventually I will get it. ( Or pay someone to do it for me)
That is why I love discovering new bogs like Ms Denyse's. There is always something new to learn. "My Crazy Beautiful Life" blog is actually really cool. She does lots of link ups so that it allows you to discover and follow new blogs, but also for those same people to follow your own blog. Which is also something I have been working on for the last year, to grow my blog. 
so if you are looking to find new followers, and discover some new blogs please stop by Denyse's blog and check out some of her Link-Up's @ If you do stop by please leave  her a comment letting her kow you linked from my blog.
I would love to know how the Internet has affected your lifestyle, what kind of impact has the Internet had on your life. I'd also love it if you would start following my blog. I will return the favor and follow your blog back.
I have a great admiration for bloggers who design their own blogs, that find a way to not only post a blog entry everyday, but manage to keep their blogs interesting, and their content fresh.
I have also learned a great deal about homeschooling, how to schedule our day so that we cover the appropriate material. My daughter and I have researched endless curriculum's and found some great blogs that help support the curriculum style we chose. (which is for another entry)
The point is thanks to our wonderful world of technology, we are able to enhance our lives with the help of others because they choose to share themselves, their knowledge and or education with the rest of us through blogs and other social media websites. That is how I am able to bore you all with my dribble…. ;)
Well that is all for now. I have a few other entries in the works for you. I am working on an entry about my purchase of a Gelli Arts Mono Printing Gel plate. Man is that thing fun. I can't wait to share that with you all. I am also working on some entries in regards to our homeschooling, as we have just made some changes to our curriculum, and we just finished our testing and are awaiting results which I will share with you. 
Lastly, Gidget has some Irish Dance (competitions) Feis's coming up. So I will have that to share. What do you all have to share??? I'd love to hear what you all have going on.
Please feel free to comment and share, as they say…."Inquiring Minds Wanna Know"!!!!
Hoping you are all well. (((((HUGS)))))

God Bless, 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lots To Say


Lots to say today. First today my oldest daughter and my 1st born is 26 today. I almost want to choke when I say that number. It just doesn't seem possible it has been 26 years since I had my 1st child. Funny how my kids are all getting older and growing up, but I still feel mentally like I am as young now as when I got married, but my body feels as though it is 90 yrs old some days. Today though is a good day, today is a day for celebration…. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY my dear dear Kady Rose. 
Also Bridget and I finished our sketchbooks for "The Sketchbook Project". That has been a lot of fun for both of us. I joined for myself as a way of forcing myself to continue to learn how to create, draw and learn how to Art Journal, and create mixed media art. I signed Bridget up about a month afterward as a part of her homeschooling. Bridget can look at a picture of a horse and draw it, or a dress she likes, so I thought she could continue to grow her sketching skills by doing The Sketcbook Project. Much to my surprise, she took her book in a completely different direction. It was hers to create in, so I let her do what she wanted with it. 
My book deffinitely helped me to continue to learn and grow as an Artist. Not that I would classify myself as such, but I did learn many new techniques. I definitely have a tremedous love for Art and want to continue growing and learning. I will definitely join again for this year as well. That way I can watch my skills grow over the next few years. Itook pictures to share. I also wrote a poem for my sketchbook on what Art means to me. It is on the 1st page of my sketchbook, but I will write out for you to all read. I used to writ a lot of poetry when I was younger, and got away from it. Needless to say i enjoyed writing this one. Here is goes:

As I sit and try,
to find the Artist within,
I have no idea where to start
how to begin,
as I ponder
on how I am to be,
I feel at a loss for this
doesn't feel like me,
My desire to create, draw,
and paint is more powerful
than Ione can believe,
I am working hard
tearing down walls,
digging deep for the emotion to create
As I sit and try to 
find the Artist deep within
raw, naked, ready to go,
to start and begin no longer
left to ponder
Who is this Artist within??
- Kimberly Hogan
So there it is, my poem on finding my artist within. Slowly I am finding out who that is, but I still have a long road until I reach my destination.
Here is the photos of mine & Bridget's sketchbooks, mine first.
Inside cover and 1st page with my poem
Mixed Media Collage

my poem

Layers of paints

Mixed media piece

Print transfer with watercolor. Also you can see the string from where I rebound the book

The last page and back cover, made to look like one work of art


Mixed media collage. The quote is one of mine, it says;
"Sometimes life turns you upside down and carried you away and takes you to places unknown…
….Enjoy the ride for it may take you to your DESITNY!!!" -Kimmie Hogan

Mied media using watercolor pencils and a stencil

Bridget's Sketchbook

Mixed media usind Watercolor Crayons

The Cover

1st page

Add caption

Add caption

This is one of Bridget's Favorite pages

Add caption

Add caption

I hope you have enjoyed our Sketchbooks. We definitely had fun creating them. I look forward to sharing more of our art throughout the year.
Hoping this finds you all well.
Many Blessing,

Thursday, January 10, 2013



Happy New Year to all. I hope you have recovered from your holiday season. I had a "PLAGUE" that had taken residence in my house. Everyone is finally back on the mend.
My Older kids start their college classes back in a few weeks, my 10th grader has returned to public school, and my 7th grader is back in full swing with her homeschooloing studies.
Now we have only been at this a little bit over a year. Last year was the "DE" Schooling phase. We covered the main things such as the 3 "R"'s so to speak and experimented with various curriculum, curriculum styles, it is like finding=ng your way in the dark.
We started using this year. It is a scope and sequence that follows a Catholic Curriculum, using Charlotte Mason style methods.
My dd finds the book work very very boring. So we are changing things up again. I love the CM style methods, so we are doing Unit Studies using, to create our own curriculum for the rest of the year. We will are using Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra for Math, Worldly Wise3000 for Vocab, and designing the rest as we go. We do have our Catholic based books, History, English, Spelling, etc to use as a guide to build our own studies.
My Daughter really really wants to start Tapestry of Grace next year and through High School. So I am really considering it.
I follow a few really great homeschool blogs that have loads of great freebies, printables, or curriculum help that support our style of homeschooling.
So for that FREEBIE. Here is a link good until 01/11/13 until 11:59 pm. 

2), 3) 4)
5) 6)

This link will bring you to a whole homeschool planner, for moms and students. They have color choices, a variety of calendars, transcripts, report cards, etc. If you are the mom who is very much into organization, this is for you. 
Now for me, it will hopefully allow me to be more organized. The offer on the 1st link  expires on 01/11/13 @ 11:59 pm, so pass this link along to your friends. Definitely worth a look.
I hope you find something you can use, or pass along to someone who can. This site also has loads of great printables for unit studies, and curriculum supplements.
Have fun checking out these resources. I'd love if you choose to get any of their planners to link it back to here. I would be most grateful. Enjoy the links.

God Bless,