Tag Archives: Homeschooling

Finding The Humor In It All

Week two of school is done. Wheeewh. 

We are all still alive and I even hear laughter downstairs! That is a good thing.

There were a couple big hurtles this week, but we have tried to find the humor in the situation. Not always easy… and sometimes… not possible, but at least it’s worth a try.

Harry had to get the bottom braces put on this week, and he is not finding much humor in any of that. However… I did get him to smile this morning! So that is a start. Once his teeth stop hurting, and he gets used to all that stuff in his mouth, he might start to enjoying life a lot more again.

JJ has been driving a bit more this week. He didn’t think he was ready, but I made him get on a real road today. And not just an empty parking lot or deserted road. I knew he was ready and could do it., he just needed the confidence of seeing for himself that he could. I guess… now that I think about it… if he had wrecked or driven off the road the opposite could have happened too. Hmmm. Good thing I didn’t think about that while I was telling him to pull out into traffic! Lol! 

Even in his nervousness, JJ has a sense of humor. He said some of the funniest stuff while he drove along… going wherever I told him to. Coming up on an intersection with a light, where I had told him to hang a right…he says, “Okay…so…I…I can take this corner for free?” Meaning: Do I have the right of way? 

Silly kid.

He did great. He had WAY more confidence the second time around “the track”, and had a big smile on his face heading home!

He asked if he scared me by being nervous. I told him I’d be nervous if he wasn’t nervous. I think they SHOULD be scared to death at first. They are driving a lethal weapon for Pete’s sake, and every decision they make could forever change the rest of their life. I want my boys to be nervous, and then slowly build up confidence in themselves as they practice. It’s the ones that think they know it all already that you have to worry about!

But hey, I have one more boy to go…and that might be him! YIKES. I have two years to prepare my nerves for that one.


Hope you all have a great weekend,






Filed under Real Life on My Planet

Preparing for Another Year of…Life

Yes, as much as I know we have to call it school, there is this big chunk of me that just wants to call what we do  “life”.  After-all, they will need to know math to get along in life. They will need reading and writing and lots of other stuff. But am I teaching it to them so they can pass a test? Or is my goal to teach them these skills so they can be successful in life?

If it’s the latter, then I would want to make sure they really “get it” in a solid way. Not just memorizing for a test and then forgetting it. I want them to get it, use it, remember it and grow from it. And if it takes a little longer to “get it”, (whatever “IT” might be), then that’s okay by me.

When anyone asks how the boys do in school, or what kind of grades they get, I tell them they are all straight A students. We don’t move on until they “get it”. I don’t give a small-rats-behind what grade they are “supposed” to be in, or what they were “supposed” to do in a given grade. I just want to make sure that they are moving on and building on a solid foundation.

It has been said by many a wise person that you don’t stop learning until your dead. I then, think that it would behoove us as parents, to teach our children how to learn rather than force feed into them what other people think they should learn.

Times are changing. Things are not the way they were for us as teenagers. Who knows what the future will bring. It is our job to make sure that our children are as well prepared, for the most uncertain of futures, as possible.

The Lord has led me (sometimes dragged me) for the last seven years in my homeschooling endeavors. He has held my hand and guided me along this path every day. I can’t say (unfortunately) that I have always been at peace with the path we are on. But that is because I often let go of His hand and rely on my own understanding. I invariably slip and fall, because I’ve become overwhelmed and think I am messing everything up, and I land in a heap of tears. I’m so lucky that my Lord Jesus never tires of picking me up and wiping off my dirty, tear-stained face. Then, once again holding my hand, He leads me down the path He has chosen for us. I am still learning to trust. I am striving to have peace. I know He is right…but I am so weak.

Sometimes I think that I will never “get it”. This “it” that I strive so hard to teach my boys… eludes me.

However, even if I never truly understand this life, God has assured me that if I just focus on my Savior, and teach my boys about Him, that He will help me and guide me through the rest of it.

That is all I can do. Let go. And let Him.

Because I can’t prepare enough. I can’t teach enough. I can’t read enough. I can’t study enough. I can’t even BE enough to make it through this life, let alone prepare my boys for it.

So, in my weakness He is strong.


In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

Romans 8:26


Trust in Him at all times. O people;

pour out your hearts to Him for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:8


Preparing for another year of homeschooling life, for me, will be about encouraging grateful hearts, developing a peaceful atmosphere, and directing these young warriors toward Christ.

Even though everyday is a new opportunity to learn… our official school year starts on Monday.

I’m buckling up. Another wild ride awaits me.

Prayers are accepted.




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Filed under Homeschooling, Thoughtful Reflection

Belated Valentines Post

It’s been so busy around here lately that I just haven’t kept up with my posts like I wish I would. But here are some pictures of the Valentines cards the boys made. They each made one and sent it to a special someone! Fortunately one of them came to me!! 🙂

I saw this idea on Pinterest, and decided to try it with “scrap” scrapbooking paper that I have been using to make journals. (that I still haven’t posted about, even though I told you I would weeks ago! 😦 )

I think they came out real cute. On the inside they wrote, “Owl always be your friend.” or “Owl always love you.”

Hope you all had a nice Valentines Day.

I am noticing that I desperately need to change my header! Will get on that.



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Filed under Art Projects, Homeschooling

Mean Girls

It’s been gloomy and wet around here lately. Not much sun, and the yard is like a muddy marsh.

I still let my chickens out to free-range every day, even in the rain! They love it.

{My RIR’s}

My only problem with them lately, is that after introducing 6 new birds into the flock, and waiting the expected week of “adjustment”, they are still not really getting along to well.

The Golden Laced Wyandotte are beautiful birds, just mean. And the other three “mixed” birds are so scared that they pretty much stay hunkered down in the coop until the rest of them leave to free-range, and then they can come out of hiding to eat and drink. I hate that for them.

{the mean girls}

Most of all, I hate that my original Rhoad Island Red girls get chased around and pecked on by the Wyandottes (aka: mean girls), and I’m ready to just take those mean girls out and ring their necks.

Today, I’ve seen some slight signs that they are MAYBE getting used to each other, but my little RIR’s still run from the Wyandotts if they come close.

The only exception to all of this mayhem, is the single Buff Orpington from my original four hens. I’ve always said she was dumb as a rock, but, at least she is big… and she can go where she wants – when she wants. Everyone leaves her alone or accepts her scratching for grub along with them. She really is something to see. So big and beautiful. Dumb… but maybe she’s faking it. She sure seems to know how to get along with others!

{“Bonnie” my Buff Orpington}

The mean girls are actually laying eggs, so it’s all the more hard to want to get rid of them. Am I going to have the same problem with any other hens I bring in to replace them?

{Henrietta, who follows me around!}

These things I just don’t know.

And it frustrates me.

I lay awake and think of ways to make it work out for all of them…

but in the morning,

I’m still at a loss.

For now… I wait… and watch. I’ve told myself, that if by the end of this week things aren’t considerably better… they will have to go. (the mean girls that is.)

Ahmi kitty’s leg has healed, and she is no longer limping. Yaaay! We still don’t know what the problem was. After x-rays and a thorough exam, the doc couldn’t detect anything wrong. Although, just a while ago I witnessed her going after some squirrels again. 😦 So, it’s only a matter of time before she gets into trouble again. She has brought us two shrews, 4 lizards and countless large bugs lately. And she’s bound and determined to bring us a squirrel! A hunter is just who she is!

She’s just so cute!

Homeschooling is going well lately. We’ve gotten a lot done and I’m very proud of the boys for their positive attitudes. They seem to like the new schedule, and, for the most part, don’t give me much “heck” about what’s expected of them.

JJ has been cooking with me everyday (as one of his classes) and although I sometimes wonder about his “passion” for it, he has been learning a lot of new techniques. And he is so funny that we usually have a great time.

He made homemade pasta sauce today for lunch. We roasted the veggies, and meanwhile, let the sauce cook down for a while. Then added the roasted veggies & processed with an immersion blender. (I love those things!) It was a bit on the spicy-hot side for me… but a big hit with all the boys.

After I discovered that little canning jars work on the blender, the boys have been making lots of healthy blender drinks for themselves. They actually asked me to get TWO bunches of bananas the last time I went to the store! I love it because they can blend and drink out of the same container – and I don’t have to clean the big’ole glass blender container AND glasses every time. NICE.

{Harrison added the umbrella for your viewing pleasure! “Because it’s a special drink!”}

Gerrit got his eyes checked last week, and I am ashamed to say that he desperately needed glasses! The poor kid. He’s been saying that he thought he needed them for quite some time, but I just kept putting it off. Now I feel bad that I waited so long. He really did need them!

He chose to start off with contacts and has been very diligent with them. He’s my (almost) OCD child, so he is great about washing his hands and taking care of the contacts. He is getting used to sticking his fingers in his eyes, and say’s it’s worth the trouble to be able to see so good after they’re in!

This past Friday, I had the pleasure of joining some other ladies on our Truly Christmas Committee to present the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) with a check for three thousand dollars! What a good feeling that was! We had a great turn out this year for our Truly Christmas event and since we raised the price of the dinner by five dollars a plate, we actually made money this year! We have had the same price for 13 years without an increase.

Well, I can’t believe that I’m out of time already, but I must get back to work and start some dinner. The boys turn into scary monsters if not fed regularly!




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Filed under Critters, Homeschooling, In The News



This morning, as I flitted around from the classroom, to the kitchen, to the backyard, to the laundry room, trying to accomplish even a fraction of what needs to get done today, I am struck by the overwhelming sense that I am a failure.

Everyday, I come up short.

Everyday, I have high hopes of what I can accomplish, only to have much of my “to do” list still without scratches through it at the end of the day.

Everyday, I am overwhelmed by the never-ending amount of repeatable chores.

Everyday, I cook meals – that disappear faster than it took to make them.

Everyday, I clean the kitchen – over and over – and still I go to bed with dishes in the sink.

Everyday, a closet mocks me as “an unorganized slacker” when I open it to stuff something else in.

 Everyday, as I walk past my art studio (closed) door… I hear “See? You will never be an artist… you don’t have what it takes to do it all. Give up and face it… you’re just a mom.”

And everyday, I drop into bed and wonder why I’m so tired – because according to my unscratched “list”, I didn’t get much done today at all.

(I know… I need to nix the lists! Therapy? Again? Maybe?)

It’s okay, I occasionally go through this… doubt, fear, anxiety, frustration. A lot of it starts at the end of a school year when I see what I “expected” myself to get done during the year… and how little of it we “actually” got done. It’s frustrating. I want to accomplish so much more than I do and at the same time be happier about doing it.

But… I now have to tell you something… after I stopped what I was doing and had my personal worship time with God this morning… I was reminded that He loves me no matter how much of my stupid list I do or don’t get done, or how badly I failed at my OWN expectations on any given day. He loves me even at my worst, (and that’s usually when I’m trying my best to do EVERYTHING). 

Truth is… I know I’m NOT super woman, and I can’t possibly do all that I expect of myself.

My life is how it should be at this time.

I am a mom. I am an artist. I am a teacher. And (unfortunately 😦 )… I am a housekeeper (with three inexperienced helpers)!

 I just need to remember that I don’t have to be perfect at any of it.

And I’m NOT!

Today… as I see the pile of school work to file, chore charts to make, books to sort, papers to grade, reports to write, workbooks to go through and “to do” notes accumulating all over my “desk”, I will make a conscious effort to hand it all over to Him and let him take care of what I missed, forgot, skipped or failed at. He is a mighty big God – I think He can handle my silly little problems!

Thank you God for handling it for me.


Quote from todays ‘Jesus Calling’ devotional by Sarah Young:

“I am all around you, like a cocoon of Light. My Presence with you is a promise, independent of your awareness of Me. Many things can block this awareness, but the major culprit is worry. My children tend to accept worry as an inescapable fact of life. However, worry is a form of unbelief: it is anathema to Me.

Who is in charge of your life? If it is you, then you have a good reason to worry. But if it is I, then worry is both unnecessary and counter productive. When you start to feel anxious about something, relinquish the situation to Me. Back off a bit, redirecting your focus to Me. I will either take care of the problem Myself or show you how to handle it. In this world you will have problems, but you need not lose sight of Me.”

Luke 12:22; John 16:33


Now I think JJ and I are going to go mess up the kitchen together!

It’s all good. I’m not in charge of my life – thank goodness.



P.S. Here is what I assisted JJ in making! Truly… I assisted – mostly just verbally too – he did it!

Biscuits and Gravy. With fresh basil from the garden on top. Mmmmmmm!

He likes making gravy because you can be so creative with it every time. It was oh-so-yummy!

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And it had NOTHING to do with the food!

Yesterday was a very special day for me. I got to meet one of my greatest mentors! You can get to know her here at here site at The Homeschool Coach. She is one fantastic lady! I was already in awe of her before I met her… now I just plain love her!!!

Joanne let me know that she would be passing through Atlanta and asked if we could meet. I was thrilled! We neither one cared much about eating… way too much talking to be done to have food in our mouths, but we did manage to order something and then eat some of it!

It felt like we had been friends for a lifetime, and we were just there catching up with each other!

Stupid me… I forgot my camera. I know!! Shocker – eh? What’s that about?

I think I was just so excited, that I rushed out the door without it. She did have her camera phone and we managed a decent photo – however she hasn’t had the time to send it to me yet, so I post this “proofless”! But I promise… I did meet her!

I just have to tell you that Joanne is as genuine and caring in person as she comes across on her blog. She has a remarkable system for Homeschooling, and has been a huge help to me over the last few years. She also sells wonderful lesson planners that you should check out on her site. I am a much happier homeschooling mom since I implemented her “self learning” style.

Joanne is raising 8 children! Three of which are in college – and THRIVING there! Her youngest is about Harrison’s age. I can’t wait to meet the rest of her family some day.

I was revived and encouraged by my visit with Joanne. It shows me that us homeschooling mom’s really need to take the time to socialize and share our fears, concerns, joys and hearts with each other. Thank you Joanne! You are precious to me.

(There are several of you that I’d love to meet!)

So… I have a little more faith that my boys will survive… me! And I look forward to a lifelong friendship with a very special lady.



***UPDATE! Joanne sent me the picture of us!

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Filed under In The News, Our Friends Around the World, Something Special

The Roller Coaster Must Go Down to Get Back up Again

I know… I was on a high after our first week of school. It was just so wonderful, happy, smooth, joyful, productive and yes, even fun. And I guess I should have known that something was up. You know, the calm before the storm, so-to-speak.

Yeppers… a rotten week all across the board! Oh, it’s okay… we are fine, and this too shall pass! But it’s just that I would have LOVED to relish in that great week just a little longer before all the crud hit the fan.

First off, we still have intermittent internet and tv service. Nine technicians, countless phone calls and much expressed restraint and patience has led us nowhere. Yes, I am about to switch companies, but do you know how much I DETEST doing that. It’s almost as bad as a going to court. (Okay, maybe not.) I always lose contact with someone or can’t get into a site that I don’t use often but that is important to me, because I forgot to change the email on it, etc. I just hate it.

Second, JJ came down with a nasty cold on Monday. He is a sad little sickie! He doesn’t complain much – and will still try to smile at you even though he is miserable. I just LOVE that kid.

We were SO careful and attentive to not spread the cooties around. I ampted up everyone’s vitamin C and the “no milk & no sugar” level went into force. You know, like a code orange! They are awesome about it too. I don’t have to “enforce” it… they KNOW what to do or not do and better yet… they WANT to. It’s great!

But as careful and diligent as we were… sadly, on Thursday Guy and Harris got it. And wouldn’t you know it… I get a migraine that same day. I thought it was the flu or something because I was so nauseous. But no… it was just a weird migraine (I think), cuz I was fine the next day. And what’s up with my kids getting colds right after school starts? It’s not like they were going into a classroom full of new germs or anything! Sheesh.

So, the boys are all getting better and I suspect that by tomorrow there will be little evidence of their snotty week, except for maybe a few extra tissue boxes lying around the house and a stray cough or two.  (knock on wood!) *Wheeewh*

Third, we are also still having air conditioner problems. Yes… sad, but true. Our crippled air conditioner has been patched, poked and prodded along for some time now, but it has finally bit the big one. I am not happy about having to shell out money on something like that right now – but there’s never a good time, and I’m very grateful that there is such a thing as air conditioning!!

So, even when everyone was sick and we did all the school we could muster for the day… and we wanted to just lay around watching tv, sneezing and blowing noses… it was too hot, the tv wouldn’t work (or would freeze right before they announced who won the cooking challenge. Oh grrrrr.), the computer wouldn’t go online, and everyone was hungry because I wouldn’t cook anything for fear of heating up the house even more! They couldn’t eat cereal (a favorite standby) because of the milk, and they were SICK to death of sandwiches! I know I will look back on this one day and laugh. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – eh?

 Fourth, and last, the husband sightings have been few and far between! He was gone all last week, worked until very late almost every night this week, and now is going to be gone again this coming week. Happy as I am to have him home – when he is – I am having a difficult time switching my rolls back and forth from single parent to loving wife. I get into a mode of “it’s all on me” kind’a thing… and then don’t know how to turn it off when he comes home. Seems like by the time I get the switch flipped… he’s leaving again. Grrrr. I’m a mess and don’t know how to fix it – so have been getting a little “down” this weekend. (maybe more than a little.)

However, I had a very good and uplifting conversation with one of my dear brothers last night and that did a lot for my drab spirits. Thanks bro! Miss you so much.


Well, I have already gotten a lot done today, but must get back to finishing my lesson plans and laundry! That’s my Sunday line up. Lesson plans and laundry! I do rather enjoy both of them, so it’s not too terrible of a day. Kind’a nice to be left alone to my duties and thoughts.

So… here’s to a new week… a new air conditioner (hopefully soon)… a new internet company (fadoodles 😦  )… and a new outlook (if I can find one.) CHEERS!

 Hope you are all doing well.




Filed under Homeschooling, In The News