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Many years ago I decided to travel to America. It was to be a short visit; a fortnight at the most. Australia had always been at the top of my list of places to visit but opportunity landed me at DFW airport toting one tiny suitcase and a snazzy duffel leaving my parents wondering what they were going to tell the neighbours about my sudden departure.  A handsome Texan, complete with Hawaiian shirt, had fallen in love with me at Victoria station in London and sent me an invitation with a plane ticket, to visit his home in Dallas while he was between rock and roll tours. 'Nothing ventured nothing gained,' I thought as I made my way through customs and into his waiting arms.

Twenty-a-lot years later I am an empty nester with a story, lots of stories in fact!   I am homeless an orphan and have moved back in with Mum...my Blue Eued Cowboy's Mum to be precise.  

Australia is still on my bucket list though I've made a few friends there through my show.  

My life in Texas has seen me raise four grown children now aged 28-22 who were my guinea pigs when I accidentally stumbled into the world of homeschooling. They willingly acquiesced for the fifteen-year lifespan of Wildflower Academy, the fancy name I affixed to my one room schoolhouse.

I became the mother of the year for allowing: snakes to co-habit with us and shed their skins in my bath-tub; raccoons to learn how to swim in our pool; baby squirrels to be bottle fed every three hours and abandoned opossums to cling upside down from my hands by their tails. 

With looming empty nest my Gent and I packed our bags and headed to London for a fashionable Gap Year.  We learned how to live as a couple having only ever had children on our minds and we found that we really rather liked it and are still mad about each other!

After returning to America, ousting our sons from our house, planning a wedding and selling our family home of 28 years we returned to my fair shores and sold the London flat.  

Hence the move back in with Mum...to wait on God to let us in on His plan for the rest of our lives.

When I'm not rushing around volunteering and walking in ancient woodlands, or around a Hideaway Lake in East Texas, I enjoy reading and thinking.  I write a personal blog, a Radio Show blog and guest write for Vibrant Nation.  I am the host of The Sociable Homeschooler on Toginet Radio.  

 

My gallant Texan and I share dinner dates at home each weekend, we reckon that our food is infinitely better than anything a local restaurant can set before us. We have the added fun of tasting while we cook, chopping veggies side by side, creating sauces and indulging in wickedly funny conversation. 

Who knows what this next year will bring? Tune in to my show, The Sociable Homeschooler, Fridays at 12 noon CT or 6pm GMT, to find out, first hand!  

"He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing"  (Zephaniah 3:17)

Reasonable Faith: Dr. Jay L. Wile

                                                        

 

My guest this week is Dr. Jay L. Wile best known in the homeschooling circles for his award-winning “Exploring Creation With…” series of science textbooks.

Dr. Wile holds an earned Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry and a B.S. in chemistry, both from the University of Rochester.  He has won several awards for excellence in teaching and has presented lectures on the topics of Nuclear Chemistry, Christian Apologetics, Homeschooling, and Creation vs. Evolution.

Dr. Wile and his wife of more than 25 years, Kathleen, homeschooled their daughter, Dawn, from the time they adopted her until she graduated high school.

Our family particularly enjoyed Dr. Wile’s book, Reasonable Faith the Scientific Case for Christianity, which we first read at the breakfast table in preparation for our herpetologist son’s entry onto a secular college campus.  We had been fore-warned that we risked our children’s souls by sending them to non-Christian college campuses; furthermore we were also warned by our priest that certain career choices were not considered good Christian choices, especially the science career our youngest son was embarking upon.  On finishing Dr. Wile’s admirable little book my son was so impressed by the truths contained therein he cited it in a paper, written for one of his science college professors.  The result was a request, from his professor,(hear his side of the story!) for the book and we’ve been giving copies of it away ever since!  Join me with your tea this Friday when Dr. Wile and I will be talking about fathers in the homeschool and other interesting topics that are bound to crop up!

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The Homeschooling Doctor: Dr. Terri Fites

                                                

With me today to help further dispel the stereotype of homeschoolers is Dr. Terri Fites who realized that she could not serve two masters, medicine and family.  She made the right choice and left her beloved medical career behind (sort of) to become a most loved full-time, stay-at-home, homeschooling mom.

Married for 17 years to her high school sweetheart, also a physician, who fully respects and encourages her decision (since he knew he wasn’t up to the task), Terri educates their three daughters.  She graduated first with her pharmacy degree from St. Louis College of Pharmacy, then with her medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine and spent her resident years training in family medicine in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Through the shedding of multiple, minor ailments and over a dozen prescription medicines in her family, she has become convinced of the remarkable role of nutrition and environment in health and shares what she has learned on her very humble blog, The Homeschooling Doctor (The HSD).

Terri firmly believes that when she made the choice to have children, she made the choice to do what it takes to bring them up emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and physically healthy, and although she left a medical career behind, God granted her a new outlet to serve and help others, including her family.

Bring your tea and join us this Friday when we will be talking about Dr. Terri Fites' career and how homeschooling has changed her view of medicine.

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Bro-Mates: Ian & Malia McNeny

                                     

This week my oldest and youngest children are joining me to talk about how they managed to live together and make it work…really well!

They are both graduates of Wild Flower Academy and Collin College in Plano, Texas.

Ian wanted me to do college with him but ended up going to the College of Santa Fe for two years to complete his BA in Film Production.  He has worked as a free lance assistant editor at Reel FX which is a post production house, he has been an editor at Tocroc and the Dailies Assistant at Dallas that aired on TNT.  He is Executive Producer for his own company, McCook Media.  Ian specializes in story and narrative film/video editing, Live Event editing and story and narrative screenwriting.  The best place to find him on-line is LinkedIn.

Malia spent a year in London at a Performing Arts School then danced on a cruise ship for three months before returning to Dallas last year, homeless because we’d sold the family homestead.  She moved in with her oldest brother, Ian, and together they lived the perfect Ross and Monica life as the brother and sister stars of their favourite show, Friends!  The best place to find her on-line is Facebook.

Bring your tea and tune in this Friday, July 4th at 12noon CT to hear how siblings really can live together as Bro-Mates!

I'll also be engaging you with the latest and greatest from the household of the McNenys where we are half way through our house sitting assignment in Florida, have septic tank problems, power outages that change our schedules, writing that works...sometimes and avocados galore!  Are you ready?

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Whitewater Chopped Sticks: Calvin Jones

                                                              

My guest this week is renowned concert pianist, Calvin Jones.  Calvin is also a  homeschooling Dad, composer, orchestrator and producer.   This is the final show in my short series about careers and I know you’ll be as delighted as I am with this remarkable artist.  In the words of one critic, "If brilliant piano performance could be likened to a painting, Calvin Jones routinely executes a 'musical Mona Lisa.'" Aggressively contemplative, Calvin is quite a performer.  Highly accessible, Calvin's music incorporates classical and popular themes and his performances seem to strip away the action of the piano, caressing the strings. Known for his hit "Whitewater Chopped Sticks" which propelled Teresa Scanlan to win the 2011 Miss America crown and his subsequent soundtrack for "2016: Obama's America", the 2nd highest grossing documentary in history, Calvin has enjoyed a varied musical career.    His five releases "Through High Places" (1987), "Coming Home" (1990), "Uncharted Waters" (1993), "Acoustic Passion" (2005) and "Dueling Pianos" (2012) released on Sony Records have won him international acclaim.  We spoke from Ukraine where Calvin is currently touring Eurasia performing with Philharmonics to delighted audiences everywhere while continuing to produce soundtracks and prepare his new orchestral release.  Join us this Friday with a cup of tea and I will include a sampling of his music.

 

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Lifelong Unschooler: Peter Kowalke

                                    

 

Joining me this week is self described, lifelong unschooler Peter Kowalke.

Peter has been on my show several times and we have talked about his passion for unschooling and how much it has influenced his life.  His highly praised documentary “Grown Without Schooling” followed ten unschooled graduates into the world and recorded how they fared in their individual life choices. 

Peter lives in New York City and has consulted as a homeschool expert for media outlets such as the BBC, the New York Times and The Times of India.

The last time we spoke, two years ago, he had just returned from a six month spiritual sojourn in Asia.

This Friday afternoon we are going to be catching up and talking about how Unschooling led him along the pathway of philosophical exploration which eventually brought him to Vedanta and his charity work with The Philia Mission. 

Get yourself a cup of something delicious to drink and come and be mentally provoked into living your life a different way!  12 noon Central!

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Recent Shows
Title Date
Reasonable Faith: Dr. Jay Wile
07-18-2014
The Homeschooling Doctor: Dr. Terri Fites
07-11-2014
Bro-Mates: Ian & Malia McNeny
07-04-2014
Whitewater Chopped Sticks: Calvin Jones
06-27-2014
Lifelong Unschooler: Peter Kowalke
06-20-2014
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