Monthly Archives: March 2014

I Desire to Nurture

I spend a lot of time planning, printing, cutting and laminating in this homeschooling gig.  And that’s okay.  I want to teach my girls all they need to know.

This week, one of the focuses is learning to tell time, on an analog clock.  I have activities and games.  I have laminated  pieces, or I will before I sleep tonight, and dry erase markers.

By Friday, I hope we are telling time.

But, that is not all I want, by a long shot.

I prayed the same thing over each of my girls as I met them, “We love you.  We pray that you come to know Jesus and follow Him all the days of your life.  There is nothing more important.”  That is what I believe and know to be true.

Toward that end, we go to church, we go to AWANA (Bible Club), Pioneer Girls (think Girl Scouts) and, yes, even homeschool.

But I realized something glaringly obvious today.  I/We do all that, but I rarely pray for my girls.  I DO all the right things, all the while terrified they will walk away from Jesus when they get older.

Why?  I live with that fear for two reasons.  First, it is something I can’t control.  Their faith is their own.  They have to decide to let Jesus into their lives or to not.  Second, I have been trying to do it all in my own power.  I have been trying to do all the right things to get the right result.  The right things are good, but they alone, will not get me where I desire to have my children be.  That, is the Lord’s work.  It is my job to pray.  To lift up each of my lovely girls to the Lord.  To commend their present and their future to Him.  I also need to give my present and future to the Lord.  Only He can change me, and the things I do as a sinful human to drive them away from their Heavenly Father.  I desire to draw them to the Lord, not away.

I have a long ways to go on all of those fronts.  I don’t do all the right things perfectly.  I don’t pray for them perfectly.  I definitely don’t act in a Godly manner perfectly.

Thankfully the Lord’s mercies are new every morning (or every 5:00 pm when a mama is reminded to pray) and He DOES hold my girls in His hands and He loves them even more than I do.  That fact blows my mind, humbles me, and reassures me.

I desire not only to teach my children, I desire to nurture them.  And with the Lord, and hubby’s help, I will.

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My heart and prayers belong to these girls.

Memories Made Here

There you go bumping through life, and all the sudden, you realize a big ‘ole memory is being made.

My Caitlyn and her friend started a Rainbow Loom bracelet business.  They have business cards, keep tally of what the sell to whom and split their money 50/50.

I love watching her learn, find projects, tackle them and make amazing progress.

She found out earlier this week that another homeschool co-op has a rainbow loom class.  She is in love.  She wants me to teach a class so badly–particularly rainbow loom now–that she pulled out her tooth fairy and rainbow loom business money to see if she could buy me a loom so I could learn and teach.

We’ll see how that pans out.

In the meantime, Daddy was watching her get started on a bracelet he ordered, and began asking questions. She came alive as she started teaching him how to make a fishtail bracelet and explaining the difference between and c and an s clamp (FYI, c clamps are preferred in our household).

Instant memory.

And I got pictures.

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She made the headband.
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Watching my big girl teach her daddy how to do something she loves, and knowing he really cares? SWOON

I Did Something Today…

My girls and I have been blessed with some wonderful friendships through our homeschooling co-op.  We get friendship, encouragement and some learning.  It is just about perfect.

We are on our third term with group, so we’re starting to get brave and set up play dates with people from co-op.  Today was our first one.  It was at the house of Sue’s very favorite person from co-op.  And one of my faves too.

But you guys know me, I stress in social situations.  I am always so worried about talking too much, boring others, sharing too much, and just making people want to run.  I typically get so nervous I pray one of my kids will wake up a little sick so we can cancel.

Not today.

I went.

We visited.

I didn’t freak out.

I am pretty proud of myself.  I don’t think I talked too much.  I don’t think I bored her too much.

I was comfortable.

I drove home with a smile on my face.  And a big sigh of relief.

I did it.

(And, yes, the girls had fun at my, er, their, play date.)

Playing Along

There might be something wrong with me as a mom.  I am not that fun.  I’m just not.  I like doing things with the girls.  I like to go places.  I like cooking with them.  I like doing Pinterest projects with them.  I don’t really like to play with them.

But, as of yesterday, Sue has hit upon an activity I remember enjoying–playing with Barbies.  I found myself doing something very uncharacteristic…I sat down and played.

And we took pictures as proof.

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She’s currently begging for a repeat…so I’m off to drive my jeep in my pjs…wait, what?

Exhaustion: the Perpetual State of Parenthood

I am just wiped out.

And my head is doing the pre-migrane tango.

I kinda stink at the motherhood/homeschooler gig today.  Or, you know, this week.  On the homeschooling front, I didn’t have my normal prep time this last weekend so I decided to take advantage of a a review I am doing of Time4Learning.  I have an opinion, but I’ll save that for another post.

I have added nothing too it except Bible and reading.  No fun crafts.

But I hit homeschooling pay dirt today–Sue read me a book.  A Biscuit Book.  She only needed help with two of the words.  She knew or sounded out the rest of the book.  It gives me so much hope.  For those who have been reading along, I have stressed and fretted over Sue’s reading.  Today, I saw progress.

Now, before you get too excited, it is not the book that requires me to dye my hair…but it is a step closer.

And the motherhood front?  I am just beat today.  My hubby is the one who has been working his butt off and here I am whining about being tired.  Yeah, that makes me a putz, but it doesn’t make me any less tired…

My brain is tired.  My head is tired.  My eyes are tired.  My legs are tired.  Get my drift?  Yup, I am beat.  Work-outside-the-home, stay-at-home-mom, it doesn’t matter, by Friday…exhaustion sets in!

The Pressure Builds

It’s been 6 weeks (give or take) since the last depression.  And somehow I missed the swing to hypomania when that ended.  It was shocking and welcome.

I am, obviously, hoping it continues.

But my therapist correctly pointed out the pressure is building inside.  I hadn’t noticed it, but as I listed off everything going on, she saw it.  She is a student right now, but I think she will do a fine job when she completes her training.

My mind is starting to grasp on to a lot of activities.

I am doing a planks, squats and push ups challenge.  I am doing a cleaning and purging lent challenge and pushing myself to get back on the treadmill.  Then there is the mounting pressure to get meals made and do.all.the.laundry.

Sunday my thoughts were fragmented.  Yesterday I hadn’t slept so was too tired to even try and think. But today, I feel the familiar need to move, do, go…my mind is screaming at me all the things that must be done.

Thankfully, I have a good combo of meds, so maybe they can stop the hypo train, or at least slow it down.  We’ll see.

But, if you are looking for me, I’ll be over here cleaning or cooking something…

My house really benefits from hypomania.

What’s So Great About Homeschooling

What’s so great about homeschooling?  Well, a lot of things.  We don’t get early morning calls that school is closed.  We don’t have to go outside on the aforementioned bad days.  I don’t have to call the school when a kid is sick.  I know the parents of all the kids  in their class.  I know how they are disciplined when something goes wrong at school.  I get to see their faces when they “get it.”  I can mix up what we do in a day, or when we do it, to fit every students needs.

All of that is groovy.

But what’s really cool?  Picking out curriculum.  For a book nerd like me, curriculum catalogs are like nirvana.  It is my drug of choice.  And right now, I am in druggie heaven!!!  It is time to look at all the books for next year.

Wow, next year.  Things are going well enough that we are planning next year.


So far, I have picked out our Language Arts Program, Learning Language Arts Through Literature, Science, Apologia’s Land Animals of the Sixth Day, Phonics, Explode the Code and Math, Saxon (though I’d like to do Life of Fred).  The one area I am still stuck on is Bible.  We are doing a Rod and Staff book right now and it’s not enough.  But, I have a catalog that came in my mail today.  It will get another perusal.  ( is just about my favorite place to get material that needs to be purchased new).  Most of our History and Social Studies are done on a topical basis using Amanda Bennett’s Unit Studies (  We do one ever month or so.  We have covered Thanksgiving, Christmas and China.  Next, we will cover Horses.

I love looking at the catalogs and the marvelous pages on Facebook for curriculum sales.  I love getting opinions, reading reviews and going from there to fit it all in our plan.

And then there are the printables, worksheets, games, etc.  There are a ton of them free on homeschool and teacher websites, as well as many free and paid items on  All this week we are doing fun language arts and math worksheets with a St. Patrick’s Day theme.  The girls are really excited about math on Friday–Lucky Charms Math!

We also can’t forget the apps out there.  Patrice uses Edukitty for some great preschool activities, Caitlyn and Sue use TeachMe and Caitlyn is now using Spelling City to prep for her first spelling test on Friday.

Reading is another hodge podge area.  Our basis is our own collection of books.  I also have some leveled readers/teachers guide that Caitlyn is flying through.  Right now, she is a little slowed down by Geronimo Stilton, a very challenging series about a mouse and his exploits as a reporter.  She is working on a book report, that she will present orally, dressed as a mouse.  Sue is working on tag readers and sight words.  It’s not coming easily for her.  She can memorize large passages of a story, but has a rough time with individual words.  We just take it a day at a time.

I do my lesson planning on a weekly basis.  Sometimes I get a little stumped at the beginning of the process and just sit there, but once I get the ball rolling, it is a lot of fun to craft our days.  I find it easiest when I have a theme for the week.  We’ve done Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, Dr. Seuss, 100 days of school and now St. Patrick’s Day, just to name a few.  Our topics are the same, but the presentation blends with the theme.

So there it is,  primer on how I put together our days, weeks and months and what a nerd I am.  The planning and choosing is so much fun to this English Major brain.  I just love the picking and choosing.

Are you a teacher, a homeschooler, a mom?  How do you choose your children’s activities, lessons, days?

The Random in My Head

Things are still pretty good in my head.  I am able to control my emotions the vast majority of the time.  My sleep is a little disrupted, but I have no other signs of hypomania.

Life is good.

I joined a 40 bags in 40 days decluttering project. The premise is to go through  your home and recycle, trash, donate or sell unneeded items in order to get the clutter out of the house during Lent.  It is broken down into daily goals, I have a chart that says where I plan to clean each day.  I have another (sticker) chart to represent each bag that leaves my house.  This type of project is right up my alley.  Yesterday, I emptied a bag of stuff taken out of the minivan before we turned it in, and the two boxes of stuff I brought home from work when I was laid off.  Then as a bonus,  the girls couldn’t find a game piece yesterday, so Caitlyn dug through the closet to find it.  She had to take just about everything out but she got it.  I told her I would finish up.  I took the rest out and even swept before choosing what went back in.  Then I looked at Patrice’s room while daddy had the girls as church.  Oh man.  So it got cleaned.  And swept.  All in all I ended up with garbage bags of stuff in the trash.  Today was simpler since we will be at co-op all afternoon.  I got rid of a bag of clothes out of my closet.  There is more to go (maternity), but one bag down.

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(Can’t figure out why that link isn’t working, it is a direct copy from the website.  Maybe try cutting and pasting it?)

I am also doing another fitness challenge.  The last one was “just” planking.  This one is planking, push ups and squats.  My thighs are calling me names, mean, bad names.  But I am doing it.  Gotta do SOMETHING…

We made two Dr. Seuss projects yesterday.  We made Cat in the Hat Fruit Kabobs (strawberries and bananas) and cat in the hat hats with oreo cookies and gummy lifesavers.  The big girls were excited to be able to take them to Pioneer Girls last night as a treat.  I didn’t have enough for Patrice to take so now I have to think of something for her next week…

I still have a bunch of Junie B Jones Books for sale.  Sue really wants to raise money for those in the homeless community.

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We’ve sold one copy of the Stupid Stinky Bus and a Peep in Her Pocket.  (To the family members who gave them to us, we so appreciate it and have enjoyed them, but they are ready for a new home and this is one way for a little girl to raise money).

And Apparently, this homeschooling experiment has been a success.  I have volunteered to teach a course at our homeschool co-op next year and hubby is all for it.  I have also found a few curriculum items used at great prices.

Well, I better run, it’s time to finish up lunches to eat on our way to co-op (Caitlyn made the sandwiches)…and then we are off for gym class, Native American Culture, Drawing Animals, Curious George (for which we are taking Mangoes as a snack), Bible Heroes and preschool.

Oh wait, have you checked out our business website yet?  You can also find us on Facebook–Closetry.

NOW, we’re off.

100 Days, More or Less

I am loving homeschooling.  It has gotten even better over the last few days as my moods and reactions have come into submission.

But there are benefits to having had them in public school–specials days.  They keep me apprised of when certain days are coming up:  100th Day of School, Dr. Seuss Birthday (tomorrow–to be celebrated throughout the month of March with National Reading Month), you get the picture.  These special days help us interject some fun into our at-home routine.

I will admit, since my state does not require me to school a certain number of days, I have not kept track of what number day of school we are on, but I have been seeing pictures of kids on Facebook for their 100 day festivities.  So, I declared this last Tuesday our 100th day.

We did special math assignments and reading assignments as well as crafts.

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We guessed what 100 things each other brought to school, the girls did little speeches about what they would do with $100, we figured out 100 steps from our “classroom” gets us to the tree in front of our house and, we of course, made 100 day glasses.  If Caitlyn had $100, she would buy 100 cakes and cookies, Sue would buy clothes for homeless people and give them money.

We had a great time!


P.S. Sue has a huge heart for the homeless community.  She wants to give to people so badly.  She has some Junie B Jones books that she is willing to part with in order to give money to people in the homeless community.  Toward this end I have priced some at 1.50 each and others 2.00 each.  Please let me know if you would be interested.