Monthly Archives: March 2015

Palm Sunday Our Style

Too many of us were sick Palm Sunday to go to church–so we had our own service with our own craft.

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Challenge: Beating a Dead Horse

Challenge.  I write about it pretty regularly.

The challenges of Bipolar Disorder.

The challenges of Anxiety Disorder.

The challenges of homeschooling.

The challenges of parenting.

The challenges of Christian living.

The challenges of helping others.

See, I write about it a lot.  I kind of feel like I am beating a dead horse by writing about it again.

Blame it on Mama Kats.  It’s her writing prompt.

Mama's Losin' It

Today I want to write about the challenges of having a burden for others.

Life is complicated enough.  Wouldn’t it be nice to just curl up in our own lives and not bother with the world out there?  Yes, it would be, but most of us are not wired that way.  We are made to care.  We are made to love and get involved.

Over the last few months I have gotten a little involved with human trafficking in our area.  My husband and I help out, when we can, with BRANCH:  A New Beginning Ministries.–you can learn more about our involvement here.  Last night I went to a local meeting as part of the Michigan Abolitionist Project and learned about another ministry:  All Worthy of Love.

I listened to them speak about their ministry with primarily girls and ladies on the street and their efforts to reach out and help them by giving lunches and hygiene kits.  I cried as I heard the statistics of how many  people, 30 million worldwide, are trafficked each year, I drew back in revulsion as I listened to them list suburban areas around me where girls are being brought into bondage by coercion, lies, tricks, any manner of method to bring these girls onto the streets where they are required to make money night after night for someone else, money they never see.  These are cities very near me–cities I have always perceived as safe for my three girls.

And my heart broke.  My heart begged me, challenged me to find a way to help, a way to get involved.

First step:  I helped back hygiene kits at the close of the meeting last night.

Second step:  I signed up to pray for them as they go out each week to reach the girls, boys, men and women caught in slavery.

Third step:  I want to start collecting items for hygiene kits.  I want to collect through sales and through those I know who end up with lots of these items due to traveling.

I can’t change the world.  I can’t save all those caught in slavery, but I can reach out in small ways to help be part of the solution.

Can I challenge you to be part of the solution too?

Please check out their websites and blogs to see how you can get involved as well, with either ministry.  Or look for similar organizations where you live, because unfortunately, there is a great need all around the world.  Your community, your area, is not immune.  None are.



I am  Tabletop, from Windex and Pledge.

I am from the smelly Mitten.

I am from the lilac, the butterfly garden.

I am from being cheap and blue eyes, from Bernetta and Arlene and Smith.

I am from the on-time and church going.

From you don’t sound like your sorry and don’t watch me work.

I am from Free Methodist and attended such college.

I’m from Swedish Kansas fruit salad with chocolate and bread dip.

From the blondes, the and the shorts.

I am from upstairs, my mother’s house, my grandma’s house, and my aunt’s house.

This “Where I’m From” writing template was found here, but I believe this may be the original author.

Grab the template and fill in the blanks to make your own silly poem.

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Winging It

Last year, new to homeschooling, I ended up doing a lot of improvising.  We started with one curriculum and it wasn’t a good fit, so I was always hunting for what we needed.

I learned from and listened to other homeschoolers.  I picked out textbooks and curriculum material.  I thought, man, this is going to be easy sailing with such little preparation needed.


So, I realized I did not want it to be entirely textbook driven.  I wanted us to study some things purely out of interest, covering applicable material, but not what was in the book.

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We’ve studied squirrels, pandas, (see lapbooks above) the human skeleton and working on the brain, among other things, now for science.  We have studied Asia and some of its’ peoples for Bible and will continue with this by studying India.  Reading has included lots of adjustments for levels and abilities, and we recently added new methods to help with learning.  Bible has also included daily work on our AWANA (Bible club) verses.  Here is Sue reciting hers today…

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I have a great curriculum for Math, but wanted to zero in on a few things, like borrowing in subtraction and multiplication.  There are some amazing worksheet generators out there for math.

We have also included many biographies and youtube videos to learn about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Dr. Seuss, Thomas Alval Edison, and Albert Einstein.  We will be continuing through the coming month to study Susan B. Anthony, Jane Goodall, Rachel Carson, and Madame Marie Curie.

Sue has been writing spelling words and stories for her handwriting work.  Caitlyn is going through cursive for hers.  We have set phonics aside temporarily, but it will be back in the mix last week.

All this to say, I’ve done more piecing subjects together than I had planned, but I am so pleased and excited about the subjects and material we have covered.  And I forgot to tell you the coolest one we’ve done—an week-long study on Ireland!

  Linking up with

Small Victories Sunday Linkup

Foot Break or Mind Break

I ran 3.5 miles last night, after running 3 the night before.  It felt good.  It was empowering.

And freeing.  for that hour of running (I’m not fast) the negative thoughts, the seesaw emotions, the gut wrenching lies recede.  It is nigh to impossible for me to think about more than putting one foot in front of the other, so I don’t.  I find my rhythm and go.

One step.  Two step.  Over and over, moment by moment.

Today, there is nothing to push back all the emotions, so they are all here.  And what’s more frustrating, it is a rest day for my half marathon training.  I want to ignore the schedule and run, but I know my legs and muscles need the rest.

I stand here typing, wondering, what I am going to do tonight.  How to push back the demons tonight.  I did a workout this morning and my body needs a break, but so does my mind…

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Recess Success

It is almost 60 degrees today, don’t worry it will be 47 tomorrow, so the girls had recess outside!

And Sue found success.

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Every Single Step

Today was a long awaited day…my first 5k to run in two years!

I have been doing 3.1 miles and more on the treadmill, but earlier this week I tried running outside and with the snow and ice still around, it did not go well.  I lasted a very short time, only ran little sprints, and my legs hurt so badly.  I just wasn’t sure it was going to happen.

My exercise this week has been minimal.  I tried to run/walk outside on Sunday and Monday, then did a PiYo workout Tuesday, and yoga on Thursday and Friday.  I just didn’t know what was going to happen today.

Would I run?  Or would I disappoint myself and end up walking?

Well, drum roll please, I ran every single step.  Every last one.  My lungs sounded awful for the first 1/2 mile and my legs started to hurt around a mile, but I ran through both and felt fantastic.

My good friend who ran it with me tried to get a picture of me crossing the finish line, but it didn’t turn out.  But, I had her take others because I was just sure you would want to see my wild and crazy hair and t-shirt (my bun fell out around 1 and 1/2 miles into it, so my crazy mane got to be free and easy.

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My friend and I doing a pre-race selfie.

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Linking up with

Hope In a Sunbeam

Spring always makes me feel hopeful.  Like anything can be done.  That I can succeed at all the things.

I see the sun shining through the car window as we drive to church and I have hope.

Unfortunately, the Bipolar is not allowing my hope to be untarnished.  The time change, the changing seasons, even the extra sunshine are a hard adjustment.  Currently, I am struggling in the morning and in the late afternoons and evenings.  My mind is very unsettled and is literally a teeter totter from one emotion to another.

I honestly don’t know what feeling is coming before it is here, taking up residence in my mind.  It is very disconcerting.

But, I am getting some time each day that feels okay, even good.  And that is hope.  Hope in a sunbeam.

I Hate Laundry

Ok, so I am pretty aware that everyone hates doing laundry.  It is repetitive, wash, dry, fold, put away.  Never ever ending.

Wash, dry, fold, put away.


I am, like many, involved in this process all.the.time.

It stinks.  Every time.

Then the memories hit.

Yup, I have been traumatized by laundry.

I was engaged to a not-very-nice boy prior to meeting my hubby.

He was one of those slick kinds.  He was cute and full of charm.

Until he wasn’t.

About 3 months into dating he started yelling at me for things.

“People don’t like you.”

“People don’t want to be around you.”

“Why are you dressed like that?  You should dress to complement me.”

“Why are you dressed like that?  You shouldn’t dress like me, you should dress like the people we are going to be with.”

“Why don’t you ever talk to people?”

“Why do you talk so much?”

“WHY DID YOU DO THE LAUNDRY LIKE THAT?  That’s a stupid way to do it.  Everybody knows that is the wrong way.  Why are you so stupid?  I don’t know if I love you.”


Thing is?  I didn’t do the laundry wrong.  I did it just as the instructions on the soap bottle tell you to.  Other thing is?  I have been doing laundry a loooooonnnnnngggg time.  All of my clothes have survived.

His comments were so stupid.  You’d think I’d be able to just brush it off.  It’s been years and it was stupid.  And yet, 14 years later this coming April 15th, I still hear that every dang time I go to do laundry.  And there are 5 of us in our family.  I do a lot of laundry.  I hear a lot of garbage in my head.

I have no idea what to do about it.  The therapist says, I am choosing to hang on to things like that and I just need to reframe them.

Um, yeah.  How do I do that?  Think I can get the doc to give me a note to get out of doing all laundry?

Now, that might be worth looking into…

It Is What It Is

A couple of weeks ago, Sue picked out my clothes and my jewelry for my Listen to Your Mother audition.  I, with the help of many, especially my friend Rach, had a piece I had to written in hopes of making it as part of the cast for this year’s Listen to Your Mother in my area.  The show is a group of writers sharing about being a mom, having a mom, knowing a mom, you get the picture.   I of course really wanted to make it, but alas, I did not.  But I wanted to share with you the piece I read for my audition.


Life hurts.  Not life with my husband or kids, but life with myself.

The depression started months ago.  And brought up a lot of trauma I experienced when I was working full-time.

I was good at my job.  I moved effortlessly from project to project, remembering years of data and information. I worked seamlessly through many management and corporate changes.

Then came Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, followed by Bipolar Disorder.

 Everything changed.

When I returned to work after my maternity leave, and a manic psychotic episode, I had lost all my confidence. It was just…gone.  I could be asked a question I knew the answer to, but my mind would freeze.  I would stutter out bits and pieces of information, only to realize later that I had made a mistake and needed to retract much of what I had said.

I could no longer trust my memory, or my mind. I got stuck in the rut of fear and self-doubt; in my mind, I was a failure.

I would cry and shake while driving to work. I was so medicated, I was falling asleep at my computer, but it was the only way I could quasi-function. My anxieties and fears drove me to dry heaving in the restroom, sitting in a stall planning my suicide I wanted to give up–instead I called my psychiatrist again, begging for help, begging for hope.

I struggled at home as well. I couldn’t sit still long enough to complete a task, any task.

And now, I seesaw betweeen spiraling into depression and soaring into mania. I struggle to think, as my mind is so focused on what is going wrong in my brain, I forget to care about life and the outside world.

I am terrified, but I keep moving forward. I continue to fight. I listen to every “I love you” my girls say, I reach out to my husband for his loving arms. I make cookies and brownies. I get dinner on the table and I fold laundry.

Somehow I hold it together. I take the rhythm of the day and allow it to force me to function. My three girls and I know what needs to be done, moving forward until we have covered all we need in our homeschooling. School looks different when I am depressed or manic– it includes a lot of independent work when mama is depressed and a lot of hands on activities and games when mama is manic.We follow the rhthyms of our day, taking breaks when needed, learning as we go.

My girls, they are the reason I am still here, fighting the noise in my head.

I accept hugs from my girls, when my mind is telling me I am not worthy of love. I ignore the sound of my brain in order to gather my girls for outings and field trips. Each moment I breathe in and out is a moment of victory. Can I win enough moments to equal a minute, an hour, a day?

Saying this, it seems so easy, but it’s not. Every day is a delicate balance of medication, activity, and self-care. There are days my girls have to be very patient with mama, they have to take initiative in their schooling, and love the broken me.

The last few weeks have landed me in a spiral into darkness.  I couldn’t stop the descent into the black, so now I’m sitting in the bottom of a pit.  I claw at the edges, but they are smooth; there are no handholds.

While I sit here, I feel the weight of life.  Every breath is hard.  Each movement is like walking through sand, all my thoughts play on my weaknesses, taunting me… “You will never get better.  Your girls will grow up to hate you.  You don’t deserve your perfect girls.  They deserve so much better than you.  You better hug them now because they will be long gone as soon as possible.”

I’m doing what I need to.  I am taking care of my girls, throwing myself into raising them, making us a life that puts one foot in front of the other.   I am breathing in and out for them. I am not out of the pit, far from it, but I am still here–waiting.

Slowly, I realize we, my family and I, are getting through the days a breath at a time.

Together we wait for a bright new day.

While, it would have been nice to hear applause and accolades at the Listen to Your Mother show, it apparently not to be so I will continue using my blog as the Lord leads and go from there.