It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!

Yeah… I’m one of THOSE people! I love fall/Christmas, their existence makes my daily life worth living.

Fall Festivals, Octoberfest, Renaissance festival, caramel apples, pumpkin pie, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, decorating… did I mention decorating?

Well we started our fall adventures yesterday with a trip to a localish farm for a corn maze and various other fun things.

The kids got to “mine” gems, they had a messy blast and got some beautiful souvenirs

They need to be scrubbed

They had some pretty amazing smelling food, we didn’t eat any because both my husband and I are watching what we eat. This is a tough time of year for that, lol.

So that was our first activity of the season, but it won’t be our last. We start decorating for Halloween today!

Do you love fall? Do you have any family traditions?

Sleuth Saturday

Introducing Bonnie’s Book Club!! We will be discussing the different books that I am reading/listening to.

My goal is to post 2 books a month, one on Saturday, which will specifically be a Sherlock Holmes story and then another book on a Weds. I will share ahead of time which book will be discussing so if you want to read it with me!

As previously blogged, I have become an Amazon associate, so certain blogs will have links and if you purchase from my link I will receive a small percentage. I will share where I got the book, library, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace. Goodwill, or my mom.

I have also joined Audible because being a busy mom sometimes sitting down and reading a book is difficult, BUT letting my echo dot read the book out loud while I clean is SUPER EASY!! So audible is $14.99 a month and they give you a free audiobook!! So of course I bought the Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes and saved almost $50.

One thing that I don’t necessarily love is not being able to see the words when I am actually sitting down and listening…. I KNOW… never satisfied. But I bought my husband this book from Barnes and Noble a couple of years ago so I read along sometimes.

SO today we are talking about A Study in Scarlet, originally published in 1887. This is the first story where John Watson meets Sherlock Holmes and follows him around while Sherlock solves a crime. This is a two part story; the first part consists of Sherlock solving the crime and the second part explains why the murders happened at all. The first time I listened to the story I was very confused because the story was happening in England and then all of a sudden we are listening to two dying people in the desert.

If you are going to read the story and want to be surprised you should stop reading now. I will be revealing all.

Have you stopped reading???

Ok so the murdered in this story is a cabbie, he is avenging the lives of his love and her father!

Lucy and John Ferrier were stranded in the desert and dying when a caravan of displaced Mormons happened upon them. With the promise of following their religion and rules the Mormons saved them both and brought them to their promised land (Utah). John Ferrier (the father) thrived in Utah and became a very rich man, but he never really believed in the Mormon religion. His daughter Lucy falls in love with a man, Jefferson Hope, who is not a Mormon and they become engaged.

When word spreads that Lucy is engaged to be wed to a “gentile” Ferrier is visited by the prophet or chief of their village and is told that his daughter will chose between 2 Mormon men (sons of the Holy Four). Though violence and death are not spoken directly it is implied.

Trying to save his daughter from a miserable arranged marriage they both escape with Jefferson Hope, trying to get to Nevada. They have to take an extremely perilous journey and unfortunately the Mormons catch up to them while Jefferson Hope is hunting for food. They kill John Ferrier immediately and take Lucy back to Salt Lake City, she is forced to marry one of the sons of the elders and within a month she is dead.

Jefferson Hope is obviously enraged and tries to kill the two men most responsible for his anguish several times. They both live in fear for years, they actually leave the Mormon church and head back East. Jefferson Hope has to abandon his vengeance mission for several years but he starts stalking them. He finds them by accident but he is immediately recognized and the two men flee. Hope’s search for the men takes years, over 2 continents and many countries.

He finally gets them in England. First he finds the man who married his Lucy just for her father’s fortune and did nothing to prevent her death. He gives the man a pill after revealing who he was. The man dies of poison in an abandoned home, with only his murderer to watch. Hope then finds the other man, who actually killed John Ferrier, at his hotel. Hope wakes him up early in the morning with a knife to his throat and tries to give him the poison, but a fight ensure and he is stabbed to death instead.

Sherlock Holmes had of course figured out the “how” of the murders before we are even introduced to Jefferson Hope and John and Lucy Ferrier. He actually kills a dying dog to prove his point…. probably a normal thing back in 1887. He even knows the “who” and tricks the cabbie into coming to his flat with 2 policeman there so he can be arrested.

Jefferson Hope is arrested but is never punished for the crimes he committed though, he dies of a aneurism that very night in jail.

So that is the story, greatly abridged, but that is the basis of what happens. I really enjoyed reading how Holmes’ mind works and meeting characters I am familiar with from the TV show and the movies.

On October 7th I will be talking about A Simple Favor, both the movie and the book. On October 24th we will talk about The Hound of Baskerville.

You can click this link to sign up for a free 30-day trial with Audible and get a free audiobook that you get to keep even if you don’t sign up for the full membership!

The book is called ‘The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes’ so you can listen along with me!

Click this link for the Physical Book!

Click this link for the Audiobook if you already have audible!

My Name is….

I have been a stay at home mom for about 3.5 years of the ten years I have been a mom. This is probably the path I will walk for awhile.

To those who are not a SAHM this blog is probably going to come off as whiny. I LOVE my kids as any mom will say, but sometimes I need to be a human person and not just “mom”.

When I was a single mom and working a full time job, missing important moments in my kids lives I would have given anything to be able to be at home with them. Now that I am home 24/7, I miss having my own money and having actual time to myself. Literally a single trip to the grocery store seems like a freaking vacation. A shower that I don’t have company or interruptions is unheard of. I don’t even poop without an audience.

I tried to orchestrate time for myself so I could be home alone, oldest 2 were at a sleepover and I had my husband take the baby to an indoor jump house but he (the baby) fell asleep in the car and they came back home. Immediately upon arriving home baby is awake and completely underfoot. I just wanted a couple of hours to clean the house without distractions. I wasn’t even doing anything fun.

Even as I am writing this I have been interrupted at least 3 times, some how paint got spilled upstairs and I needed to check it out and now my list contains how to get paint out of carpet AND find all the paint—->get rid of it. The baby is not happy that I am sitting at the desk and he is unable to be the center of attention, so he is sitting next to me screaming and crying. My husband is telling me about any funny video or meme he comes across on Facebook or YouTube.

My brain is in constant overload and I am already planning next week. My son was trying to make me feel better and he said, at least tomorrow is Saturday!! What does that mean to me??? More cleaning, laundry and zero downtime, but at least the kids don’t have school and my husband doesn’t have work; so they will all be there to help make MORE of a mess!!

It is funny to think that I was less stressed while working… but that really isn’t it at all. I was even more stressed, but I was an actual person at work. I wasn’t just, “fix my problems, pay attention to me, he hit me, baby crying, the house is a mess, what’s for dinner, when did we change the filters last, are you going to do laundry, you wanna…..?”

And I still don’t want a job outside of the home, I love that I get to be there for all the important moments of my kids lives. I can be more supportive of my husband. I get to homeschool my kids and give them hands on attention, which they desperately need. I can control their learning, in the sense that as my daughter excels I can give her harder material or when my son is struggling I can give him extra time on something.

I am constantly in a battle of sorts in my mind. I love being there but I want more than just being MOM…. my name is Bonnie.

MY NAME IS BONNIE.

I put fake eyelashes on… and immediately took them off

Things are changing

Some things are changing, but I’m hoping it’s all for the better!

Once a month I am going to be releasing a Sleuth Saturday blog to talk about the latest Sherlock Holmes story I have read/listened to.

I am going to be a VIPKID teacher soon, teaching kids in different countries English. I want to financially contribute to our family’s budget and I think the hours will work with my “mom schedule.” I will be blogging about my classroom and what my workday looks like. I’m pretty excited.

Homeschooling is a huge part of my life now, teaching my 2 oldest and entertaining a toddler. My big kids could not be more different, so I’ll definitely be blogging about teaching styles. Also, I have tons of cheap/free resources I would love to share. Homeschooling a child with ADHD and learning disabilities will definitely be an upcoming blog.

I want to post some open and honest blogs about marriage with kids, especially being a combined household. Sometimes lines are iffy and boundaries that need to be respected. Marriage is stressful on it’s own, I want to share some cheap and fun ways to keep it fresh.

I am getting rid of my YouTube channel, it’s just too much right now. I need to focus my energies. But I am still a crafter and a DIYer, so instead of videos I’ll be blogging about them.

I am still working on the business with my mom, we have kind if taken a break to rebrand ourselves. I will definitely be blogging about L&M Unique Creations.

Finally I have become an Amazon Affiliate and when I blog certain things I will include links to what I have purchased. If you use my link towards a purchase I will get a small percentage of the sale. This will be posted on any blog that I use my link.

I think that is about it, we are coming into my favorite months of the year and I am very excited to share blogs with you!!!

My favorite topic

It really isn’t my favorite, but I think I write about it the most.

I have started an exercise program AGAIN…. I will have to go through my blogs to count the number that mention me losing weight or working out. I know it is a lot and as much as I try to pretend that I am ok looking the way I do, I AM NOT…..

So a couple of weeks ago my husband and I went to the vineyard where we were married. It was our first time back and I got dressed up, I wanted to look nice! I put on this blue dress that always made me feel beautiful(skinny) and I put makeup on(I don’t normally). I was dressed to the nines!! I felt amazing and I asked my husband to take pictures of me, I don’t have many pictures of me looking nice.

I thought I was looking great

He sent me the pictures a few days later and the happy bubble that I had created for myself popped. I burst into tears and I started throwing a pity party for myself. I really looked at myself in the mirror and…. gross.

All I see is fat

SO once again I am trying working out to lose my belly, back, arm, thigh and any other body part fat. I have started LIIFT4 from Beachbody. I was doing this before I broke my toe in July and I loved it! I have doubled the weight I was using so it is much harder, but I am praying that it will be worth it. I have not gotten to the point where I love working out or crave it like a drug, but I am pushing through the sore muscles and fatigue. My bigger kids are being really supportive and they have done the workouts with me and have tried to help me out around the house because I am exhausted.

My self worth does…

I keep hoping that I can stick with the program because I need to feel better about myself. I know that my worth isn’t in how I look, but I don’t really care. I want to fit in my clothes, I want to look at pictures of myself and not want to puke, I want to be proud of myself again and I want to be strong! When my husband tells me that I am beautiful I want to believe him.

I am aware that the skinny brat (who thought she was fat) I was before kids is gone, but I would like that fat lump of lard that has replaced her to disappear a little too, lol. This is said with lighthearted intent.

I have filled my phone with motivation

Have you ever lost a large amount of weight? Or finished something that you started multiple times?

May the 4th Be With You

I started writing this back in May right before Disney+ released The Rise of Skywalker; hence the name, but I didn’t love the blog and I kept it in the archives for awhile. We spent that weekend watching all of the Star Wars movies in order in preparation for the Last Skywalker movie.

I started watching Star Wars movies when I was a young kid, single digit age. If I’m being honest, I don’t think I enjoyed them much; it was more of a “forced family fun” thing.

As I got a little older I started asking questions and I had an actual understanding of what was going on. My enjoyment of the story line grew and I started to love watching the movies. But the real draw of Star Wars was always my dad.

He would always get so excited and animated when he talked about the movies and the characters. He remembers waiting in line to see the original three movies in theaters. So watching the movies was not necessarily about the movies, but about my dad sharing memories of his childhood with us.

I think that is why they have such a significant role in my life and my brothers’ lives. His memories of childhood became ours. We collected the toys, had our own lightsabers, quoted movie lines(which we still do).

As more movies were released we extended our marathons. We created more memories with family movie trips. In adulthood my siblings and I introduced our children to the movies that we loved and created a new generation of Star Wars nerds.

Its funny to think that movies can create such strong emotional connections to a certain time and place, but they can. I even remember hating my parents for making me watch them and now I hope that I can create such fond memories/feeling for my kids as well!

Are there any movies that hold a significance in your life because of your parents?

Homeschooling

I have wanted to homeschool for years and I am taking advantage of the insanity of the world to make it happen.

My desire to homeschool started when my oldest was in first grade the first time. He struggled A LOT with reading, writing, social interaction,  and well, just about everything.

He is dressed up like Han Solo today

My take away from that disastrous year was I wanted to homeschool him. I wanted to teach him in a way that he would benefit, understand and enjoy. But I was a single mom and it was my job to work.

Flash forward about 4 years and I am remarried and a stay at home mom during a pandemic where it became the “it” thing to homeschool. I jumped on the bandwagon!

I went back and forth over my decision, got input from my husband and family. Some super supportive some really hurtful. I researched requirements and costs associated. Being a one income family, I wanted to keep our costs low.

My first step was being added to homeschool groups on FB. Specifically groups in my area. Those moms have so much knowledge and experience it was great to ask their opinions. In our state it is required that we are in a homeschool association so I researched those extensively and asked for recommendations.

After deciding on an association I started to research co-ops. I didn’t even know that co-ops were a thing, (total newbie) but they are and they are EXPENSIVE. I was looking at these prices and my mind was blown. I could not afford all of that. The main takeaway for co-ops seemed to be social interaction.

Well we live in a social media day and age soooooooo I hoped on my trusty Facebook and BLAMO!!!! Playdates that are free and possibly fun for me.

So all that was left was the curriculum (and whatever supplies I needed). When you start looking at curriculums make sure your association does not require a certain one, or have it be religious (I went secular for my curriculum… I teach God outside of school). Also check what proof they require, I need calendar days tracked, and proof of their work.

So I started my search where I always start my search… Amazon… and Amazon told me that curriculums are EXPENSIVE. They were a complete WTF moment.

3 of these are ONE subject!

Enter more peoples opinions, I was told online public school was free?! Worth a looking into…. But they are all online and you are logged in for hours in front of a computer screen and you have to go at the school’s pace. For my daughter that probably would have worked, but for my son, not so much.

Back to the face place to stalk the answers about curriculums and it seemed most moms (who were not doing religious based learning) made up their own…. but how??? This is where I am semi proud of myself (the diet coke of proud). I went to the Dept of Education website for our state and found what they require!! That easy. I pieced together my own curriculum.

If you get it…..

I bought things from the dollar store, Five Below, Amazon (has digital teaching items) and I found videos on YouTube to make learning more interesting and less mommy monotonous. Teacherspayteachers.com has free downloads, they are not entire curriculums but they are some worksheets you can use to insure comprehension.

So we have been “in school” since 8/3, Monday thru Friday, except for 2 days when I thought I was dying of Corona. My son loves homeschooling and is actually retaining information. He still struggles with writing so I’m hoping to have to research how to help him there. My daughter hates it, but only because she isn’t with her friends. She is excelling and because I make up the curriculum she can move ahead.

Not every day is perfect, I am learning quickly though what works and what doesn’t for them. I am praying that we are successful and that I am showing them learning can be fun. This on-going experience is reminding me what amazing kids I have, and for that I am forever grateful.

Remembering 9/11

This will definitely not be the only homeschool blog, I want to talk fied trips and money saving tips. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I am obviously not an expert but I have a team of them on my Facebook pages!

Embarrassing myself

Let us talk about cheating.

I have been cheated on several times in my relationships in different degrees, physically and emotionally and they both suck. That is very embarrassing to even write because cheating is not spoken of directly. It is always hidden, kept secret. I had someone tell me to not post on social media about being cheated on because “I don’t want to embarrass myself”

WHY…. Why should I be embarrassed because someone else did something inappropriate, selfish and wrong.

Why do I have to keep their indiscretion a secret when it is all I can think about? My life as I know it is destroyed, my trust betrayed, the fragile state of my confidence blown away. It is the only thought swirling around in my brain at 2am. The events replay in my nightmares. I will literally never be the same person I was, and I can’t talk about it.

Is it my fault? It has happened in more than one relationship… so am I the problem? Is there something wrong with me.

I mean I have been given the gambit of excuses, you let yourself go, you are not the same, you haven’t shown me love. And in their mind, I am just supposed to deal with it. They have justified their actions and that is that. There has been some “remorse” but how real is that?

I become obsessed with not letting it happen again (and spoiler… it ALWAYS does) I try to be the “perfect” partner and I do everything I think they want. I always try to lose weight because obviously being fat has something to do with them “stepping out”. I tell myself to accept some responsibility, but I take the blame. I believe that it is my fault and I start to hate myself and try to be someone, anyone else.

Weeks, sometimes months go by with this very unhealthy behavior and then my mental health starts to deteriorate rapidly. I become exhausted all the time, but I can never sleep. I cry at the drop of a hat. I get angry and I start to hate everything.

My laptop crashed, went black and never came back. My husband moved my computer’s hard drive to a separate removable one. I was going through the contents looking for something specific and I came across these stories I had written. They all dealt with cheating. They were terribly written, kind of humorous, but I can feel the emotions still.

I write all of this to say, if you have been cheated on, if you have felt that hurt or are currently suffering through. I understand.

Also, it is not your fault. Don’t listen to their BS. You are not to blame.

My advice is to love yourself. Find yourself again, you may be lost right now. Go back to being fun and fancy free. To hell with anyone that tries to steal your thunder or your sunshine.

Just Be You.

Advice… don’t get mad or even. The best revenge will always be to move on with your life, your happiness will be salt into their wound. Karma does not always punish cheaters, it is just something you are going to have to deal with. If you decide to cover their Jeep in gasoline and set it on fire remember to not use matches AND there will be some blow back…

also that is illegal and you will go to jail when you are caught. Destroying personal property only works in movies and songs.

The Game is On

“You have the grand gift of silence Watson”—- this movie should be pretty easy to guess

So I have developed a… slight…. obsession with Sherlock the tv show.

I basically have this on 24/7

Which has actually turned into a general obsession with Sherlock Holmes. I have always been a reader, but after having kids it’s hard to concentrate on a book.

Toddlers are deadly to books!

What is also getting in the wayof my reading, is my desire to have a clean house or lesson planning for homeschool or creating my art pieces, blogging, making YouTube videos and everything else I need to squeeze in while Tobias sleeps. So I started LISTENING to books!!

I do realize that audiobooks have been around for awhile but I had never listened to one before because I was pretentious and thought that reading the book was better.

If you pay for Amazon Prime you get access to Prime Reading and they actually offer FREE audio books! So while I am doing one of the 1000 things in my life I can actually listen to the stories

It’s been great hearing the actual stories and compare them to the episodes!!

My husband actually introduced me to Sherlock when we first moved in together and at first I was like, ehhh… it’s ok. But as the seasons progressed and as I got to know the characters I fell in love! And my oldest son loves the show too, so it gives us an opportunity for some adultish conversation.

Because my husband loves me, he indulges in my obsessions and he took me to see the Sherlock Holmes exhibit at the state museum.

Creepy kids
We got to see props and solve a murder
It was a fun and interactive experience
My hubs got me a new coffee mug
I’m Sherlock Holmes! I wear the damn hat.

Do you have any shows that you love or shows that have inspired you to read?

The answer is Snow White!!

Whistle While You Work

Imagine that the broom
Is someone that you love and soon you’ll find you’re dancing to the tune — Name that movie

I broke the broom to the tune of my tears

Do you know the song with the lyrics “ain’t no rest for the wicked”? That seems to sum up my life these days. I am either paying for transgressions from my past lives or I have been far worse a person than I realized in this one.

I’m not living a wild or fun nightlife… I’m cleaning. You read that correctly. I am up super late at night or up very early in the morning(sometimes both) to clean my house.

And these late night/ early mornings are not maintaining a clean house, oh no. These are to actually CLEAN the house.

I have never been a person to keep things clean, I was a slob. I really didn’t start caring about cleanliness (just of the house… I do very much believe in bathing) until I moved in with my friend. She is such a OCD clean person I felt so guilty that her house was always a mess because my slob crew (2 kids and a fiancee) moved in.

That was when a new reason to be stressed or anxious joined my already impressive repertoire.

I’ve been even more stressed ever since.

The accuracy

So I lose sleep because the best time to clean is when no one else is around to bother me, ask me questions or piss me off because they are sitting on their ass while I’m running around like a chicken without its head.

I thought after I quit my job and became a stay at home mom that this cleanliness thing would be so much easier… excuse me while I pee my pants laughing. Between being surrounded by 4 slobs and 2 disastrous cats, being a pack rat, having crazy cleaning ADD, and being a crafter of so many things NOTHING ever stays clean. And I do clean throughout the day in any way my 18 month old will let me, but nothing stays clean.

So to you clean people (especially SAHMs with children home) I envy you. I want to be you, well be like you… I don’t want to wear your skin to my birthday or anything…. but I’m jealous

It just passed actually

But I need to stop writing now, the floor I just scrubbed on my hands and knees is now cover in glitter. Apparently my daughter thought filling a balloon with glitter was a great idea and the cat just popped the balloon. SEND HELP

Oh and the answer from my last post is Swan Princess