Writing Problems

One seemingly common problem I have heard lately in many of the homeschooling groups I follow is, “my child hates to write.”  I think there are a variety of possible reasons for this. They don’t like the content they are required to write about, they aren’t sure on how to organize their thoughts, or it could simply be that writing with a pencil and paper can take a VERY LONG time, time they would rather spend doing something else.

Luckily I have writers so general writing tasks go fairly smoothly. I would like to make it even more simple for our oldest two and will be implementing the computer starting this week for their writing tasks. It will be preparation for November and National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Each of the boys will be working on a book for the month. They set a monthly goal and work towards it, all while gaining some basic computer skills.

This is a great way to get littles interested in writing! Well, literature in general. I’ve always believed that if you can’t find something you like to read, then you should just write something yourself! That’s also a good line to use on the kiddos when they can’t seem to find a book or genre they enjoy, you may just encourage a future best seller to write his or her first book! The site also offers many guides, advice, how tos, inspiration, and general help for writing, making it a well rounded site.

You can find all the information, including some of the prizes, yes there are prizes, by visiting http://www.nanowrimo.com. You can also become my writing buddy on the main site, just search for Irelandwildrose. The boys will have their call names soon and I will update when that happens. Hope to be able to read many new novels from this year’s NaNoWriMo in 2015, and I would love for one of them to be yours or your child’s!


Peace Love Dreams

Doubling Up

Hello everyone. Still in recovery mode, but things are improving, all be it slowly. I need to update everyone about what things will look like over the next couple of weeks.

First, off, it looks like Carrie, has left us. I’m not sure if she will be readable at another location or not. I’m glad she was able to give you a bit to read while I was not able to write.

Second, posts will still be slow in the near future as I still have difficulty typing and reading. With my current rate of improvement, I should be back to normal in two weeks…AHHH!!!! Where did my energy go?

Lastly, I will be re-posting the current and duel posting the future posts on one or two of my other blogs. I already have homeschooling and family related ones and feel like this new blog would be redundant for me alone, as it was intended on being a partner project. When I have made the final decision as to where everything will land I will update everyone. I hope that you will all join me at my other locations and continue to follow our journey.

I hope that everyone has been well in my absence.





I’ve been attempting to write a post all day. I’m finally feeling like normal again after this illness I have been battling. Most certain on the mend, but mental tasks seem to drain me much faster than physical ones now, so I’d consider myself 50% recovered. I never could get all my thoughts and ideas inline enough to make a decent blog post and thought maybe answering some of your questions would be a better approach to getting back into the swing of things.

So I’m asking you what subjects are you needing some insight on? Can be homeschool, family, mothering, woman, marriage, natural or related topic in all honesty, just about everything is an option. You can always email your questions or concerns if you wish to remain anonymous @ http://www.fundamentallyweirdmoms@gmail.com

Peace Love Dreams


Muskegon MI Oktoberfest

The third annual Oktoberfest is already well under way and setup and on site preparations will begin this week. The Oktoberfest takes place at Muskegon State Park’s Winter Sports Complex, in Muskegon, MI, right on the big lake. It is a great out of the way location in the wooden sand dunes of Lake Michigan. Beautiful, rustic, fresh and simply lovely.

I remember two years ago when the board had decided to try their hands at an Oktoberfest fundraising event to help the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex expand and provide more services as well as provide support during the years that winter fails to truly arrive. They hoped that in tying something new, they could pull not only the ‘regulars’ to the park, but other community members, and visitors. At the end of the night they were amazed and surprised by the turn out and very very pleased!

One of the best things about this event is that there is something for everyone. This year the festivities begin at noon, and will once again include children’s fun activities and to dos. As the day progresses and the sun starts its decent, the music gets cranked and the specialty brews really start to flow. There is dancing and drinking, singing, and general good time fun to be had for all.

So by all means, if you are looking for some great local fall family fun stop out and see everyone, purchase your family pass, luge, hike, play games, and just feel a little bit more at peace for having played a bit in the deciduous forests that us locals call home.

For more information, tickets, or to volunteer contact the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, which is a registered 501c3 @ http://www.msports.com of email @ info@msports.com

Don’t forget your hat and gloves! See you soon! Look for appropriate lesson plans to tie into Oktoberfest later this week!




Early this morning, on September 27th 2014 a man who has been extremely influential in my husband’s life died. Please don’t misunderstand me, the man had a profound influence on me in a variety of ways, but I came to know him at 20, my husband knew him most of his life. Growing up with the influence of a person, I believe, helps to mold and frame your desires, the ones that tell you who you want to be.

All day I have been considering this post, what to say about an unforgettable man. How to help make the void created by his absence in his loved ones lives, our lives, a little less small. I can’t. In the future I may be able to write some witty tongue in cheek piece that will make them smile and laugh, but today I just can’t. Today it’s tears and solemn memories, strong, wholesome memories, ones where you know you were cared about and loved. Ones that I can’t even seem to type out, I start and stop and just can’t.

So this is what I know. I know what a good man is made up of.

Honesty, a loving heart, a good genuine listening ear, hard work, humor, a good story teller, a willing teaching, a protector, able to recognize and praise a job well done, a great shot some of the time, a good shot most of the time, and a good nap the rest of the time, and bear hugs.

For now what I hope, is that every one remembers who he was, how he lived and emulate that within their own lives. I will never be able to sit, or shoot, or hunt, or even walk the woods without thinking of him and it will never ever again be the same, ever.

Goodnight Sweet Man.



Grief never looks the same way twice. If you feel that you need some one to talk to about the death of a loved one or friend please don’t hesitate to contact your local HOSPICE chapter’s Grief network. Even though grief is individual and unique, you don’t have to face it alone.





Huck and I are sick, we have both contracted HFMD, and have it pretty severely. We’re isolated to our home and everyone else is living at Grandma’s at least until our rashes are gone. Eating has been the most difficult for me so far, everyone thing including water burns! So I’m again leaving you a bit short tonight with the post.

Each family, or in our case person has decided on an educational, or life route that is right for them. So far each of our children have chosen to be homeschooled thus far, and I have been doing more and more self study in an area that I am really looking to become much more specialized in as well as Justin, who is learning a new trade. In the weeks and months ahead I plan to share both the children’s reasons for choosing homeschooling as well as Justin and I’s. Everything in our house is personal and special to each of us.

So tonight I wonder, what led you to your current learning path? Thought I would have a little fun and earn some insight to what our readers are interested in so far. Please complete our poll bellow.

Foraging Acorns

We supplement our foods sources in many ways, hunting, fishing, accepting offers to come and pick, collect or harvest any unwanted foods, and forage. Foraging is a great way to learn about your native plants and traditional foods that were consumed by cultures in your area. Wonderful lessons can be brought into foraging in the fields of botany of course, specifically Ethnobotony, ecological studies, history, cultural studies, nutrition and cooking!

Here in the Great Lakes State Autumn has arrived, well it arrived last month, it’s been a crazy year weather wise. With the arrival of Autumn it means that it is time to begin preparing for our fall foraging mainly acorns. Next week we will begin collecting and processing our acorns for nut snacks, and flour. I would love for you to join us and tell us your hands on experiences, so I have decided to post a how to prepare for acorn harvesting.

Let me first list the tools you will need to complete the entire process.

  • Pliers-a pair for each helper
  • Collection bag, bucket or apron
  • Large sheet that you don’t mind getting dirty
  • Large bowl for leeching
  • Large pot for boiling water
  • As many cookie sheets as you have
  • Blender
  • Air tight container
  • Silica packages are optional and can help prolong the shelf life of dry goods

So if you have begun to hear the thud, thud whilst laying in bed at night, of the falling acorns, your season of harvest is beginning as well. Join us next week, last week of September 2014 and the first of Oct, and learn how to process, and cook up some of this free yummy goodness for yourself and your family!




Community Learning

A great way to include unique educational experiences into your child’s learning is to plan lessons around special community events. Most municipalities have websites now that help to keep community members well informed of upcoming events. Another great place to check is your local museums, libraries, and community centers, some even offer creative classes, events or weekly programs for homeschool.

Tonight I am going to share with you one of the latest that we attended as well as our preparation leading up to it and our continuing discussions afterward. We live near one of the largest safe harbors on the Great Lakes, and because of that we have the privilege of welcoming some very unique and awesome ships into port. Late this summer exact replicas of Christopher Columbus’ Nina and Pinta were due to arrive and dock for almost a week.


Before we hit any scheduled Excursion, I do my homework on the subject, sometimes the hubby or Cole will help with this task as well. So I visited the ships’ website http://www.nina.com and learned reviewed all the information that they had to offer. Seeing that we do a historically accurate review of Columbus’ interactions with the Native Americas around Columbus Day, I decided to focus on the ships themselves. How they were built, the voyages they sailed, life on a ship in the late 1400’s early 1500’s and navigational elements.

I used http://www.nina.com as a starting place for the original ship’s history and then searched on the internet and for books that would allow us to delve deeper into the subject. In the future I will provide complete lesson suggestions for you including the references, but I am confined to the couch with Huck, we are both sick and trying not to infect the remaining family, so this time it will just be an overview. I try and find at least one children’s book on the subject to read during our group story time at least twice before our Excursion. I also like to incorporate at least one Arts and Creation element too, even if it is just something very cute, anytime we can make more associations in our brain with a subject the better we can remember in the future.

Exploring the Deck with a HS friend.

Exploring the Deck with a HS friend.

When we load up the Excursion to take off on our adventures, first thing we do after settling in, is go over any questions anyone might have about the adventure itself. After that, review if needed, and see if anyone has any questions they want to ask of the employees or volunteers at our destinations. I have found that sometimes they will forget their questions in the excitement and then be upset later on when they remember what they wanted to ask. This way I can help remind them if needed, but often times the verbalization of the question is enough to engrain it in their memory.

If this group of seamen ever come to a port near you I would suggest going for a visit. They were very well informed, funny and friendly. The boys questions were all answered and great information was shared and learned. Something we can refer back to next month when Columbus Day rolls back around, as well as our Native American Studies and North American History.

Steering us to Sea!

Steering us to Sea!

Smelling the tar used to seal the ships.

Smelling the tar used to seal the ships.

Saying goodbye to the ships from our side of the channel.

Saying goodbye to the ships from our side of the channel.



Who I am

So who I am?

Isn’t that a profound question in and of itself. Who is one as a person?

To begin with I will give you the basics, I’m a 32 year old woman, Irish, married, mother of three, Geological Scientist by training and education, writer, model, philanthropist, hippie, Earth loving being who is extremely spiritual but not religious. I’m sure by now you are starting to form a bit of a idea in your mind of who I am. There I truly am below! Hoi!

Crazy Hair!

Crazy Hair!

I love my family and they do and always will come first. My children were a choice to have and a choice to take care of. I will continually choose to place them first because they did not request to be born, though I do believe they chose us as their family. My husband, Justin, or Teddy Bear, can attest that I was concerned from the beginning about sending our children off to have more contact with another adult than their own parents during their youngest and more gentle years. At the time we put it off as a mother’s unwillingness to part with their first born, but the feeling never went away. Through a long series of events, which I will cover throughout the months, we as a family chose to become homeschoolers and in a lot of ways unschoolers. Personally I don’t care what people define us as, we are family. Others opinions of us have never had much if any influence, we choose to follow our hearts.

Each of our children have completely different life interests and most are not found within the confines of traditional curriculum. So what curriculum we do use is put together by the Teddy Bear and myself. Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing!?! We look for resources without our community, the people we meet and know in life, as well as the places we travel to. The world is a classroom and learning is constantly occurring whether we want it to or not. We are continuously changing and growing beings, what truly matters is what we do with what we learn.

As you may have surmised from the about section, that all my children are boys. Cole, 7, is our resident Paleontologist and all around archeological expert in a pre-historic matters. Huck, 6, is our animal lover and vegetarian, he can be found immersed in all things living and with fur. He is also our nutritional child and concerned with his own as well as our foods and lifestyle choices and at time acts as our external conscious.  Then there was three…Our baby and our Bear, 3, almost 4, he is one of the most thoughtful little people I have ever come into contact with, his ability to absorb what someone says and feel it is amazing. He is wise beyond his years and leaves me speechless at times with his questions and opinions of the world. Physically he is a mini me of Justin, and has the spirit of a spitfire as well. One thing that all of the boys got from their dad was compassion and love, both are never ending from those four and I am better for knowing each of them.

I’m glad you are here. Thank you for stopping by and showing an interest in our lives. I hope that by being here you take away something positive and maybe even beneficial. Please continue to stop in, follow us if you like and ride the waves of growing up with us, celebrate or life victories, feel our struggles, and cry with our losses. I would love to hear from you, share a comment about your life, what you would like to see here, or even ask for our opinions of topics. I want this to become a community a safe place to visit.



Bacon Eggs and Toast with lots of Butter

Last night the oldest two, Cole and Huck, had soccer practice. Afterwards I decided to swing by grandmas, my mom’s, to snip some Hydrangeas before nasty mister frost turned them black and made them no good for drying. (Arts and Creations post to follow this week) Grandma wasn’t home at first, but arrived half way through my monster trimming session, and that means, snacks and loves and general fun for a while. Which I love to see.

However, we hadn’t eaten dinner yet, given that soccer practice starts at 5PM. Our family really enjoys breakfast foods, so much so that we commonly eat them for lunch and dinner as well. Eggs work ANYtime of the day, no really I promise, pancakes too! I decided on the way home, that the boys, all three of them were going to cook dinner with very little to no help from me. We have been giving the boys regular cooking instructions for some time, Cole for close to four years now.

While still driving home I gave each of them a basic rundown of what they needed to do.

Bear, who is 3, was responsible for making and buttering toast. He needed to make two pieces for each person who would be eating including plating it for them.

Huck, who is 6, was responsible for the turkey and veggie bacon. He needed to cook 4 pieces of turkey bacon for those who were eating that and 6 pieces of veggie bacon per person who was going to have that option.

Cole, who is 7, needed to fry two eggs for each of us, and cook them to order.

My job, write up a new to do list and keep my eyes open for any problems. I did need to assist in heat regulation for the bacon and eggs. Did you see what I did there too, everyone just had, although very basic, some practical math problems. I’m sneaky like that.

I know the biggest question you are all having is, how did it taste, right? Fabulous, the toast was very buttery, Bear has a heavy hand we have learned. HAHA! My eggs where perfectly sunny side up and Bear’s were “hard” so that he made a sandwich with ketchup. Ketchup, especially homemade goes with just about everything! Huck was happy with how crispy he got his veggie bacon and the turkey bacon was perfectly crisp.  Dinner was officially made by the littles of our clan. *tear* They grow up so fast.

They now claim they can make dinner every night! Before that we will have to expand their recipe repertoire. Eggs, sandwiches, salad, baked goods and pasta dishes may get routine after a while but I’m going to roll with their enthusiasm, I believe that if you allow it to flourish you will more often than not have young adults willing to help out when a need comes around.