Monthly Archives: April 2015

Our Children: Prayer Warriors

Have you ever struggled to learn to pray?

Is your prayer time just a list of asking God for things?

Do you know how to communicate with God through prayer?

Do you know how to learn to love Him more through prayer?

I have been a Christian for 30 years, and still struggle with every one of those items.  I am just now learning how to pray scriptures to the Lord.  I am just now learning how to try and listen for God’s voice and words.  It has been a struggle my entire life to learn these skills.

I want better for my girls.

I am excited to have found a 4 week curriculum to teach my girls Prayer Warriors  Teaching Kids to Talk to God.

Are you, or your church ministry looking for just such a curriculum?  Check this one out. You can get this four week study for just $75.00.  It will give kids a foundation in prayer and communicating with God.

Teach your kids how to pray.*

Prayer is a conversation with God. It is not about saying the right words; it’s about speaking from your heart then listening to what God has to say.

What could be worth more than that?


*Quote from Children’s Ministry Deals

Disclaimer:  All opinions on here are my own except where credit is given.  I was given a copy of the curriculum in exchange for this review, but the thoughts expressed are my own.

Giving Credit

“I didn’t do anything all day.”

“What happened to my day.”

“How is it already bedtime?”

These thoughts ran through my head yesterday.  I felt like I had spun my wheels all day. I knew I had been doing stuff, I just didn’t see any progress.  Where had my effort and time gone?

So I decided to list it out.  And I found I had done quite a bit.


went to church

cleaned the kitchen to get ready for school on Monday.  That is always a big job on Sunday as breakfast is a bigger deal and there is no time to clean up before church.

helped three little girls get their verses for Bible club ready.  That included 5 verses for just one of them!!

wrote lesson plans for Monday.

clocked a route for a 6 1/2 mile run and walked a little over 4 miles of it.

got dinner around.

called the doctor to get a script for pink eye (poor Patrice).

picked up said prescription and then administered it.

fell into bed when it was all done…

Thinking about everything I did was a good exercise for me.  I would suggest you do the same thing.  Go through and write everything you have done when you can’t figure out what you’ve done.  I bet your list will impress even you!!!!



Note To Self

Note to self:

it takes two days to overcome a missed dose of medication

there is such a thing as a Watusi.  I have always called rear ends watusis, but turns out it is a breed of cattle with huge horns.

Alpacas will not defecate where they sleep

albino peacocks look amazing

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you can take a bus full of kids to a petting farm with an amazing array of animals and the kids will be most interested in the run-of-the-mill barn cat

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reading a book about running is not nearly as cathartic as a good run, but this book is full of info and encouragement that I am soaking in.

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(Thanks Jenny for the recommendation)

my daughter rocks.  She said/did 16 sections in her AWANA book today that included activities and memorization

an HD antennae brings in a lot of channels in our area.  Including one that airs Murder She Wrote.  Caitlyn and I watched a couple episodes last night and she said, “I’ve been so glad to see a commercial!”  I guess going cable free has been more traumatic than I thought. 🙂

I love praying for people.  I really, really do.


You’re An Old Lady

Please come visit me over at ProjectSemicolon today.

“Was that game fun Patrice?”
“Not by myself.”
“Do you want me to play it with you?”
“You’re a grown up.”
“But I can still play.”
“No, You’re too old.”

And just like that, I was summarily dismissed from playing Let’s Go Fishing…

Reading Reading Reading


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This weekend has been a fantastic time on the reading front here at our abode.  Caitlyn read Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein in less than a day.  Sue had her first turn at reading to the dogs.  She read Pinkalicious School Rules to her furry friend.  She did it flawlessly.  Caitlyn once again read to a canine friend.  She chose another Shel Silverstien masterpiece, The Giving Tree.


Blessing or Curse

I have a blessing or a curse, or maybe a few of them.  One that often strikes me is I don’t “look” or “sound” depressed.  I can sit in a crowd, most of the time, and put on the face, the everything is okay face.

When everything is not okay.  Far from it.

I’ve been struggling the last couple weeks.  This bout isn’t as bad as some and it’s worse than others.  It just is.

Last week the girls and I tried to go to a small Bible Study and Prayer Group at a friends’ house.  I didn’t get very far in the drive before I knew I needed to turn around and go home.  So, for the second time in 2 days, I bribed the girls with a treat, abandoned our plans and went home to hide.

That’s not normal for me.  I’m much more likely to go and be miserable rather than listen to myself and go home.  I was actually a little proud of myself for going home both times.

My therapist was not.  She went on and on about how that was the wrong thing to do, I should have gone, what am I going to do when I can’t bribe the girls anymore?  I found her attitude and demeanor abrasive and judgmental.

Oh well.

This week the girls and I set out to the same group and we made it all the way there.  I wanted to crawl inside myself and run away, but this Friday was better than last, so I made it there.

And then I sat there, smiling and laughing on the outside, struggling greatly inside.  When it was my turn to ask for prayer I realized how ridiculous I must seem.  Smiling, laughing, and telling them I am struggling.  I felt stupid and like a fraud–all because of the face–the blessing or the curse of the face.

Step In Time

2015-04-14 21.11.59I walk inside.  I walk outside.  I run inside.  I run outside.

Outside I have a million distractions to keep me moving along–inside is not always so easy.  But I have developed a system.  I put in a movie I enjoy, cover up the display on the treadmill so I can’t obsess over how far I’ve gone or how far I need to go.

Friday, my system worked quite well and I made it 5 miles on the treadmill, all while watching Mary Poppins. I keep going to reach my goal of running a half marathon.  Mary Poppins and her adventures and fun music (Step In Time) help move me forward.

As of late, things have been a little complicated in my brain as it applies to the Bipolar Disorder, which has meant more steps and more exercise to distract me from the turmoil inside my soul.  I have had some very impressive step counts as I run and/or walk to get away from the emptiness, and the noise, of the depression Bipolar Disorder has brought.

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What do you do to keep yourself motivated to exercise?  How have you overcome injury and boredom?  Does the act of walking or running help you with other challenges in your life?


From Under the Covers

I walked 15,000+ steps today on the treadmill.

I hid in my car to cry.

I pulled the covers over my head and hid.

My mind found the precipice and fell off.  I am now clawing at the edges of the pit that is depression.  My heart hurts.  My mind is foggy.  I’m not understanding things easily.  I canceled plans today because I knew I wouldn’t cope well.

I hate this place.  The darkness is so confusing and frustrating and pointless.

But, contrary to what my therapist believes, I don’t have complete choice over coming here.  She tells me I can control my emotions.  Ironic part is, it is therapy that brought this depression on.

My social anxiety has been growing exponentially.  I put off a simple task for 2 weeks because I couldn’t pick up the phone to make a little phone call.  I told the therapist.  She gave me an assignment to start calling the people who are relatively easy for me to contact and do that until I was more comfortable than when I started.  I was supposed to then head up the chain until I reach those it is hardest for me to call.

Doesn’t it sound simple?  Yes, it does.  Very simple.  So straightforward.  And so impossible.  I don’t know what to do now, but I know that is at the root of this depression.  She and my doctor would be proud that I can at least identify that, but how am I supposed to control that visceral response?

So here I am, in the pit.

I want to scream until there is no air in my lungs.

I want to cry until there are no more tears.

I want to stomp my feet until they hurt.

I want to do something to end how I am feeling right now.

But I don’t know what that something is or how to do it.

So here I sit.

He is Risen Indeed

Those who have been reading for awhile know the bipolar has really wrecked havoc over the last 4.5 years.  Many days it took all joy, all enjoyment; it left only nerves, depression, overwhelming frustration and anger.  None of these are a good combination for enjoying a holiday.

But recently, the holidays have been improving.  Christmas was better than I had had in years.  I enjoyed watching the girls open their presents.  I enjoyed the day–in the midst of a very dark depression.

I know it was only through the grace of God that I enjoyed Christmas.

Then Easter came.  I enjoyed getting the bags put together and actually did the eggs.  It was fun watching the girls find them today.

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I enjoyed the hunt even amongst a mess of emotions and thoughts.  And for that I am thankful.

Jumping Beans

Spring Break.  I think we will take a short one.

We did a “half” day today, meaning we started late and ended early.  A full day here is only about 5 hours. After we finished reading and our Easter story, we headed to a local mall to check out their butterfly exhibit.  Not worth the money spent, but we got some great pictures.

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(the q-tips and trays are covered with gatorade to mimic the sweetness of nectar)

Monday I think we’ll enjoy some swimming at the YMCA.

Thursday we are going to join in an old-fashioned Taffy pull.  Sticky candy and kids–what can go wrong?

I want to try and make our time a mix of fun and chores.  There is a lot of cleaning to be done.  It feels similar to when I worked outside the home.  Yes, I am home more, and I do some more during the say than I used to, but there is still plenty to be done at other times.  I’m home now, but I am holding the education of three human beings in my hands–that has to get top priority.

All of these plans look so well made, or they will be made, but inside I feel like there are a million jumping beans.  I am wound very tight right now.  I have so much I want to teach the girls, and we don’t have enough attention span to go on for hours and hours a day.   Five hours is the limit (consider all of that is active schooling time, not stand in line or wait for other kids to obey time).

We just finished up a Lapbook and highlights of an unit study for Easter.  We are still working on brain.  I had these crazy dreams of getting through the whole body this year, but it’s April.  Beyond what we are doing now, we need to review telling time, continue working on times tables, always reading, our living books biography study, and I have this Artist study I want to do with the girls.  It looks phenomenal and I found several of the books it is based off for cheap (i.e. 1 cents plus shipping) on Amazon.

There is just so much I want to show them, teach them.  It is hard to keep focus on our subjects as I am always finding new material we could cover; unfortunately, I have to make sure we cover all of something before we go on.  I don’t want their learning to be fragmented and they need to learn to finish things…so we truck on.  Focusing on a topic or two at a time in addition to our basic courses and trying to figure out how to get to these other things…

I feel very scattered and fragmented.  This is homeschooling when the staff is on the cusp of mania.  People wonder, I wonder, how do I homeschool with Bipolar Disorder.  THIS is how.  I put together our curriculum and material that we want to, and need to, cover and then I stick to it come what may.  If there is call to diverge from our schedule, I analyze where I am with my mental health.  Am I stable and making this decision to change our plans deliberately?  Do I have a plan to get back to our core material and subjects?  Or am I pulling us off a study because I can’t focus easily on it thanks to mania?  Am I straying from the plan because of the depression or darkness in my mind? It is okay to make a change if it is done deliberately with thought to what it will do to our current course of action.  One such change was the combining of our two Easter studies today and giving us a half day.

I’ll admit it was done a little bit because mommy’s mind is bouncing, but the impetus was the beginning of spring break around here.   The public schools are closed today in our area and we had a chance for them to see a friend.  I decided to go ahead with a Spring Break for part or all of next week  because they will have opportunities to see friends this week that they don’t always see, our co-op is taking the week off for break, and we are ready for some time off.  I did not take a winter break and regretted it.  Those breaks are important, we all need time to breathe.  And that’s me with just three students.  I do not begrudge public/private/charter school teachers their breaks any longer.  Wowzsers.

I  have jumping beans inside me, but this post is reminding me how to stay on topic and course when it gets too distracting, and I thought it might help others to understand how and why we do things.