Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Eyes of Homeschool

Last week we started a study on eyes.  The lesson we were using wanted us to make a paper eye.  “I” decided that was not good enough for Cole Academy…I found a place that sells dissecting materials and order three cow eyeballs and a dissecting kit.

The brown box of awesomeness arrived Friday Night…the dissection was scheduled for Monday night.

And hubby was brought into the action.  He led the dissection.  I took pictures.  A perfect duo.  Frazier oversaw the whole operation.

Hubby talked them through the parts of the eyeball and taught them dissection safety.

Sue was particularly excited.

And the dissection began.

And then time for the review.

Filling in each and every part they had seen for themselves on the worksheet.

There was even a lesson on how the Iris opens and closes in response to light (but it was too dark for pictures).

Hubby has been hired as our dissection teacher.  He has already asked for a raise.  I promised to give him triple the nothing I get paid…Seems fair.

It was a great time of letting the girls “see” hands-on how they “see.”


Just a Loss

A half-marathon.  13.1 miles.  I want to run that.  All of that.  I am afraid that might be a pie in the sky goal.  I have been running consistently and often.  I push and push but it takes all I have to eke out 3.1 miles on the treadmill.  That is a far cry from the 13.1 I need to make running a half-marathon a reality.

I almost gave up yesterday.  I literally sat and cried after not being able to push myself past the 3.1.  I came darn close to writing off the money I paid for the half and just realized I am not that strong, that I am the weak person I was always told I was.  The ladies in my fitness group rallied around me and gave me a lot to think about–running every step, walking and running, being a little easier on myself.

Got a smile after a run no matter how good or bad it is.

This morning I talked to my hubby and talked about how much I really want to run it.  We decided we need to get me off the treadmill and outside running more (as much as winter will cooperate), so today, right after church, I layered up and set out.  I did 4 miles running with an average pace of 13 minutes, 47 seconds per mile.  That’s slow compared to some, but a pretty awesome run for me.  My legs are short, I have just started pushing my pace in the last two weeks.

Running today felt a lot better than yesterday.

The Bipolar has been a jerk the last few weeks…and then this week there seemed to be hope.  I was talking to people, I was going places without feeling panicky.  I thought church today would be easy.  Last week I couldn’t bear to go into our Sunday School.  Today, I waltzed right in, I talked too much, it seemed to go well.

So on to church.

The panic hit as we got into the main part of the church.  We were having to go so far forward.  The row we ended up in had people at both ends.  I wouldn’t be able to get out.  I grabbed my hubby’s hand as we sang, but all the sudden it was too much.  I grabbed my purse and ran out of there.  My wonderful hubby followed me.  We sat out in the foyer area and listened from there (the church projects the sermon out there).  But the panic kept building and building, so I took a Xanax for the anxiety.  We were sitting in an open area so I thought I would be safe to not fall asleep.  To my great embarrassment, I was wrong.  I fell asleep.  I tried so hard and it was just a loss.

Bipolar is such a jerk.  I hate it so much.  Why won’t it just leave me alone?  I just want to breathe, I just want to go about my life.  And I am stuck, being a big loser.

Check it Out

I had the privilege yesterday of sharing my thoughts about Bipolar Disorder and homeschooling over at Midlife Boulevard.  I talk about how I balance the two, how my girls contribute to making it work, and what the struggles are.  Please check it out.

Homeschooling and Bipolar Disorder.

A Bit of a Political Post

I originally blogged about this a couple weeks ago, but when my blog was hacked this is the one post they deleted.  I am trying to re-corral my thoughts here.

I have watched a frustrating and disturbing thing happen over the days since Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the Education Secretary.  I have seen many people on Facebook declaring that they are “just” going to homeschool now.  I have seen others say “that’s why I homeschool.”  Both of those do a disservice to those who homeschool or have their children in a traditional educational setting.

“I’m just going to homeschool.”

Well, you could.  It is an option, but saying that flippantly does a disservice to those who homeschool.  Homeschoolers, just like parents who have chosen any educational option, have done so for a myriad of reasons.  I have not met a single homeschooler who has chosen to do so for just one reason.  Nothing is ever that simple.

Nor is homeschooling as easy as one day waking up and taking your child out of a traditional education setting.  Homeschoolers pour a lot of themselves, their time, and their resources into teaching their children.  We work very hard to choose the materials we will use, how we will structure our day, how we will instruct each subject, each child.

Sue is working on a Science worksheet, Patrice is telling me something…

Making the decision to homeschool is not easy.  The actual process of homeschooling is not easy.  It is not a thought or idea to be thrown around lightly.  It is deserving of much thought and consideration before it is undertaken.

“That’s why I homeschool.”

Really?  That’s why you homeschool?  Just so you don’t have to deal with public policy?

That is extremely short-sighted.

As I stated above, people homeschool for a myriad of reasons.  It is never as simple as just one factor.  And any homeschoolers that claim there is just one reason is misleading those around them.  Let me walk you through why our family has chosen to homeschool:  we want to have the flexibility of homeschooling, we have concerns about bullying in the schools in our area, we have experienced deficits in the education of our daughters, and we want their education to have a more Biblical approach.  I am sure there are some that I am missing, but you see my point, there are many, many reasons we homeschool.

I believe very strongly that all homeschoolers choose this educational lifestyle for a number of reasons.  Saying it is just for one, is not being honest or considering the whole picture.

Being a homeschooler does not free us from all oversight at the local, state and national levels.  While states vary widely in their homeschooling requirements and oversight, decisions undertaken at all levels of government have the possibility of changing how we can oversee how we educate our children.  The Secretary of Education has influence on all education within our nation and it is very possible decisions she makes will affect our rights and freedoms as homeschoolers.  When we choose to homeschool, we are not completely walking away from the educational system in our country; those who think they can do so are ignoring reality and the impact it has on the life we lead.

Education is not an us against them endeavor, no matter what type of schooling your child(ren) is getting.  Just as in so much of life, it is something to be done together, promoting respect and cooperation.


Pull Up A Chair

All to the Glory of God–that is why I blog and share my story so openly.  I want others to know it is possible to live and parent well with mental illness.  This, by necessity, causes my posts to be brutally honest, and that is not always pretty.
I have always endeavored to live by the verse 2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.


Pull up a chair, we’ll have tea, and I’ll tell you how things are going.

I still feel light as air, most of the time.  My mind stays quite quiet, most of the time.

I’d like to end the story there, but I’ve been living a lie and I think it is time to tell the truth.

I am not living on easy street.  My mind is still playing games and causing me to struggle.  A couple weeks ago it started with waves of anxiety.  One after another slamming against me, taking my breath away, and knocking me off balance.

Wave after wave.

My mind has gotten frantic.  Harder and harder control.  I am working hard to channel it.  I am working out daily, all through the day.  I am taking all of my meds as prescribed.  I have an appointment with my doctor, the earliest he could get me in.

Just a few weeks ago, I sat calmly in my doctors’ office, all going well.  He said I could wait 3 months to come back…the longest since my mental health issues started over 6 years ago.  I was so excited.

Then the mania came.  Wave after wave.  I found myself in tears while folding the clean towels because I could not fold them even faster.  Then I was at my computer shaking because my fingers could not keep up with my thoughts.  I spent the next week bouncing from mania to depression, all over the map.

This is not the first time I have been through this.  Bipolar has sent me struggling many times, but somehow I always forget how to cope.  I always forget what I need to do to get through the struggle.  One of these times, I have got to take notes on how survival works.

If you ask me how to get through, I can’t tell you, but I must know, because here I am and this morning is better than yesterday morning.  So, I’ll just keep breathing and praying and moving til I get through this Bipolar round.

Thank you for sitting with me.  Thank you for listening to me and how I am doing.  You are part of my team that helps me survive.  Thank you.

One Hundred Days!!!

We are 100 days smarter…well the girls are, I’m not so sure about me…

Today was our day to have fun with the 100th day of school.

We did writing activities, decorated hats, and made a paper chain.

HAPPY 100th DAY!!