Christmas In August

It seems hard to believe, but this is my busiest Christmas month.  Now is when I begin making all of my Christmas gifts.  If I do not, they just will not be made in time.  With neuropathy, things that take everyone else ten minutes can take me ten days.  I have learned over the years to allow ample time for this…mind you now, time does not always allow for this!

It should come as no surprise that I am now also preparing a Christmas book.  I am hoping to finish the illustrations in time.  It will be a crunch to fully illustrate, edit, and format in time.  I am hopeful that I can do it and hopefully do it greatly. Although I know I have to rush much of the time with the books, I never want them to look or feel rushed. The last book took 7 months; I obviously do not have that much time this go around!  I shall again be blessed to work with Barbara Poor. Her laid-back style is incredible.  I am beyond grateful to work with authors such as Barbara who allow me to let my imagination flourish from their written words with my art. Her talent seems limitless.

For the next several weeks, straight up until Christmas (for those of you counting, that is 19 weeks), I shall be swamped amidst creating Christmas cards, gifts, and this book.  That is all amidst homeschooling Kira, normal day-to-day life, and running Petite Scribe completely alone. I know I had previously been running Fox Tots essentially alone, but now I literally am and it can seem quite scary at times.  I do not want to let the authors down.


Organization Makes A Mess

Yes, organization makes a mess.  As we aren’t moving to Alaska any time soon (insert heavy sigh), we have decided to make lemonade out of our big lemon of a home.  What used to seem like a spacious 3 bedroom, 2 bath abode has become a claustrophobic mess!

Granted, having three packrats who dwell in this lemon doesn’t help matters.  Our propensity to never throw anything away has caught up with us. The past few weeks have been a binge fest.  Mind you, this is all coinciding with my taking over the production company/publishing house and Kira beginning 9th grade.  I have found myself praying for at least 10 hours or more per day.  On the bright side, I am too busy to pay attention to what we are donating and throwing away! The one good thing is that when you start throwing all your old things away, you happen to realize you need new things.  Insert retail therapy. Granted, it was merely a new faucet, shower head, and cabinet; however, for this domesticated goddess, those are simply EPIC! Plus, Kira finally has a new bed.  She has been using the same exact bed since she was born…think about that for a minute, let it settle in. She is 14…..can you imagine?

Our last renovations were right before my Mother came to live with us and then shortly thereafter her passing in ’09. We need an upgrade…that actually is an understatement.  Every floor needs replacing and every fixture as well. All the wiring is beyond obsolete.  I have lost the use of any outlets in our kitchen.  Believe me, you cannot even imagine how annoying it is to have to use extension cords and not break your neck when you have neuropathy in your hands and feet! But we are blessed to have a home when so many do not; I cannot complain.  And as long as we have the capability to at least try and make it livable, why not do so? This is our little 1600 sq. ft. tin box mansion.  We should be proud of it and make it match our personalities!

My beautiful husband repaired the gaping hole in our laundry room/pantry floor.  After I took a heck of a spill, he realized it was time.  With neuropathy, falling is routine, but this one was a real doozy! The floor inspired a fresh coat of paint and removal of the old shelving.  He and Kira had special daddy-daughter bonding time and built a beautiful cabinet which now stores our dry goods.  They left me a beautiful mess to fulfill my OCD cleanliness obsession.

As of right now, that is where we sit.  We are to have a dumpster here shortly and start more purging. Had I thought of it, I could have taken before and after photographs of our laundry/pantry.


You Are So Special

cover you are so specialYou Are So Special, the fourth book I have been blessed to illustrate for Barbara Poor, is now available! You can purchase your copy here on Amazon!

This labor of love took 7 months to illustrate.  I have enjoyed creating each page immensely and look forward to working with Barbara again very soon.

Here is the trailer for You Are So Special.

The Newest Children’s Book

You are So Special TeaserHere is a little teaser for the next book that shall be releasing soon! I am quite excited about this fourth title I was blessed to illustrate for Barbara Poor!

This one took me 7 months. I am praying that it makes little children smile.  I absolutely loved illustrating this one.  Barbara is such an incredible author, poet, and lyricist. She never ceased to amaze me with her unending talents! Stay tuned for more.  Those who follow me on Patreon have had a greater behind the scenes tour of this and all of the books I have illustrated.  If you think that sounds like something you would be into, be sure to follow me on Patreon.  It comes with tons of perks.  You can check it out here.

The Next Chapter

Some days, life just throws a shoe at your head.  Then other days, well, blessings (albeit in disguise) fall into your lap.  Being disabled and unable to work a traditional job is difficult at best.  Especially when your disabilities are not always visible to others.

Sometimes life can be a bit of a struggle.  Granted, each day is worth the struggle and I would never change a single aspect of my blessed life.  I am absolutely grateful for every day I am allowed to be alive. However, the painful days can sometimes overshadow my gratefulness.

I digress; on to the topic at hand, the next chapter.

Last week, the company I have been illustrating for was handed to me.  Literally handed over to me, completely.  Although it is hardly a profitable business, it is actually something I love and I am capable of doing and feeling as though I am contributing a little something to the universe.  When you cannot sit or stand for a prolonged period of time, traditional employment is impossible.  So I am forever grateful for this opportunity!

I have already renamed the business and remade contracts to fill the takeover. Part of me is scared and another part of me is elated. Perhaps my main fear is I will not be able to do it because of my health.  I am already so swollen it hurts to move and haven’t slept properly in a week, but I think that the rainbow at the end is worth weathering the storm!

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Perelandra – eGuide from Progeny Press (A Review)

Perelandra – eGuide


Progeny Press

Today I will be reviewing the Perelandra eGuide from Progeny Press.  Kira is a huge fan of anything from C.S. Lewis.  I believe her obsession began about a decade or more ago, when she first read The Chronicles of Narnia. When Kira learned there was a space, science fiction trilogy from C.S. Lewis, she was all in! You may remember Kira has previously studied about C.S. Lewis.  For more on that please see my blog post, here.


The Perelandra eGuide from Progeny Press is a wonderful tool for students to use in conjunction with the second book within the C.S. Lewis trilogy, set in the Field of Arbol, first published in 1943.

Before I go further, I simply must tell you this: Kira LOVES interactive PDF lessons. She says it is  much easier and more fun to complete her lessons this way!

Kira loves being able to type all of her answers directly into the PDF itself and save it each time, as opposed to writing everything separately in a notebook.  Add to this the fact that Progeny Press makes earning High School Literature credits easy with high school level study guides such as  Perelandra – eGuide .

Kira and book
Kira reading her own personal copy of Perelandra

The  Perelandra – eGuide   was an easy and quick download.  It was easier to get the guide than the book itself! After waiting for a couple of weeks on the library to get a copy, we found one online and purchased it.  Luckily. shipping was quick, and free, too. If only everything were as quick and easy as obtaining the  Perelandra – eGuide  from Progeny Press!

Another wonderful aspect of the PDF is the option for me to print it.  We share a computer here at home and there are days where I must meet a deadline.  When that happens, it is easy to simply print whichever page Kira needs from the incredible  Perelandra – eGuide  from Progeny Press.

I also love that I have a separate answer key.  This makes grading KIra’s work quicker and easier.  At this stage, with all the work required for her as a high schooler, quicker and easier is ALWAYS welcomed!

Each day, KIra brought her Bible, Thesaurus and dictionary to the desk as she worked on her  Perelandra – eGuide  from Progeny Press.

I asked Kira to briefly explain what she loved and did not love about the Perelandra – eGuide  from Progeny Press. I also asked her if she would recommend this to other high school home schoolers.  This is what Kira said:

“I love this study guide! It is divided into four sections that ensure you have mastered the content of each chapter: Vocabulary, Main questions, Analysis questions, and the Dig Deeper questions. Answering these questions is difficult but not impossible, and quite fun, too. I especially appreciate the vocabulary section, as I am learning many new words from reading Perelandra. My favorite parts are the Dig Deeper questions, which discuss the philosophical and theological view points of the story. I would highly recommend this study guide to anyone reading Perelandra for high school literature.”

We have enjoyed reviewing Perelandra – eGuide  from Progeny Press tremendously and look forward to adding more from Progeny Press to Kira’s literature curriculum. Kira expressed her interest in The Scavengers – eGuide next!


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Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) {A Review}

Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1)


Code For Teens

Today I will be reviewing Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code For Teens.

All you have to do is pay attention to the world around you to see that this has become an age where technology rules virtually everything in our everyday lives.  From social media to banking, it seems as though practically everything revolves around computers and technology! Within as much, it is becoming essential to know how to code.  Because of this, I was thrilled to be able to review Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens.

This comprehensive guide will help your student (and you) learn Java the most fun and easy way possible!!!

Kira was extremely excited once she began using Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens. She immediately knew that this hands-on learning structure made all of the difference!

Kira with code for teens Kira had previously done some minor coding online  with other resources and expressed how pleased she was with The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens! She said with the other lessons, they would give you the definition, yet not explain the why.  With The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens, not only do they provide all of the definitions, but they actually delve into the aspects of the how and why.  Kira expressed that this made remembering things much easier. I could personally see her enthusiasm grow with each lesson.  Each time she would explain to me what she had done and ask me to look at her progress!

screen shot of codeThe above is a screen shot of one of the Do-It-Yourself drills Kira completed after doing her lesson.  Kira was so very proud of herself once she did this!

Each day, Kira spent approximately an hour or so to complete a lesson. She, as instructed, kept a folder with all of her coding lessons that she saved for her “workbook” using our word processor.

workbook screenshot
Kira’s Workbook

Although this is designed for teens, I have decided to learn right along with Kira, as I seriously should have learned all of this years ago.  I managed to pick up bits and pieces.  However, it may as well have been in Chinese, as none of it really made sense.  I fell into a rut of copying and pasting codes for many projects.  I found it fascinating that my 14 year old was able to do all of the Do-It-Yourself portions of her work without even looking at the workbook.  This helped solidify the fact I surely could do the same at age 45!

Kira has enjoyed Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens so much and is looking forward to next learning HTML and CSS in Volume 2!!!

Kira and I highly recommend Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens to anyone who would like to learn coding.

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