Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sick Days

When our kids get sick, we take care of them. We keep them at home, bring them things, let them rest and watch TV all day. When our husbands get sick, we let them rest, we bring them things and take care of them. What happens when we get sick. We don't rest, no one brings us things and we don't take care of ourselves. We trudge on knowing that the work won't get done without us. If we take a break, the house will fall apart. The kids won't get fed and the laundry will pile up. We don't have time to lay around and rest. So we don't. We keep going even when our bodies are screaming at us. That's where I am today. I'm sick. I have a cold. My head is stuffy, nose is running, too much sinus pressure and I need a nap. I need to rest. I need a break. But, I know that things need to be done. I have laundry to do and children to guide. I need to figure out supper and write lesson plans. Some of this I've done today. I have directed my children in some of the chores. I have cleaned the bird cage (my pets) and cleaned a small portion of my room. I still need to plan supper and clean my kitchen. I still need to plan my lessons for this week. I still need to do a lot of things. Meanwhile my body still screams at me to rest. I know it won't get better as quickly if I keep pushing it, but I know I can't stop doing my job either. Moms don't get sick days, no matter how badly we need them. Most of the time, we don't even admit to our families that we are sick. They would have to rearrange their schedules to help us and we don't want them to have to do that. H left to run an errand and do some work at his office. B1 and B2 are entertaining themselves and doing some work. The three girls are trying really hard not to take naps and I'm typing on my blog. I think, just maybe, if the girls go to sleep and the boys continue to entertain themselves, I may even take a nap. It will be a short one, but for once I want my sick day too.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lack of Family Support - Homeschooling

One of the hardest things we face with our homeschooling is a lack of support from our families. My family is big on education. My mother has a doctorate in Education. School is very important for them. It is very important for me too. I want my kids to have a great education. My mother says she isn't worried about my ability to teach, it's the socialization. Of course, she does check on how they're doing in school regularly. I have tried to inform her that my children receive adequate socialization. We are involved in scouts and attend Church and Church related activities regularly. We are involved with a co-op and "socialize" with more than 100 kids there. Not sure what more she thinks we need.

Then there's my sisters. One has been against homeschooling from the start with no real reason. My other sister decided just recently that she is now against homeschooling. Her arguments are not as well constructed. Her most recent being that my children will not know how to sit in a classroom. Even my children laughed at that one. They sit in classrooms, just not for 8 hours a day.

My in-laws have always been against homeschooling as well. They do not argue with us. They merely ignore the subject. They have said, "We made our mistakes, you are entitled to make yours." Understanding my mother-in-law, that comment actually doesn't bother me.

So, what do you do if you have no support from family members? When my family calls and offers up the latest argument, I just inform them the kids are doing well and move on. I try not to let them bother me. Of course it does some, just not as much as it used to. We have found our support elsewhere. As I said, we belong to a co-op with about 50 families. We have made many friends through it and use them for our primary support. There are several who home school at our Church as well. My other support is online. There are a lot of support groups online for us. My favorite is THL, otherwise known as The Homeschool Lounge. It is an excellent place to find support and information on all homeschooling matters.

My advice to those who, like me, lack family support is to find that support elsewhere. If you look around, you will likely find others who share your desire to educate your children at home. You can look for groups or individuals locally or you can look online at the many groups available. Just don't let your family make the decision for you. Your children are your responsibility. As a word of caution though, your spouse's opinion is important and don't lump it into the same category with the rest of your family.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kids and Chores

It seems, at least to me, to always be a fight to get my kids to do their chores. They complain and whine every day. When everyone is doing their part, the chores only take about 30 min. Unfortunately, my kids can make the chores last all day. They use phrases like, "That's not fair!" and "It'll take too long!". Why do kids complain about their chores. I think there are two main reasons. The first is simply that they don't want to do work. It's more fun to play. The second is that they want to test us as parents. If they complain enough, maybe I won't make them do the work. This doesn't work at my house. Everyone is responsible for doing their own chores. They have to do the work no matter how much they complain. This has always been the case at my house so why do they keep whining? Because I argue with them. I am guilty of letting them complain and actually answering them. I will explain why, tell them it has to be done, and otherwise keep the conversation going. I am working on stopping this. I am giving myself more work by allowing this conversation to continue. My answer when they complain should be, "Go clean ____." I need to repeat that phrase ad nauseum. Until my kids get so tired of hearing the phrase they stop. Or I need to say that phrase once and then say nothing to them. I'm not sure which of these techniques will work best so I will start with one and if after a time, it isn't working, I'll switch techniques. One thing I know for sure is that the kids will learn to stop the complaining and start working.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Park Day

I like park days most of the time. Especially when you go with a friend. Today, we had a park day. We met a friend at a good park and let the kids play for a few hours while we enjoyed some adult conversation. It was morning and not too hot, in the upper 80s or lower 90s. We even packed a lunch and enjoyed a lunch while there. It was nice and enjoyable. It also wears the kids out. We had to run an errand before returning home and the kids were barely controllable. All the way home, a couple of them whined and fought. When we got home, I sent them to read and rest. I don't know if it's being outside in the sun, wind and other elements or if it's just keeping up with the kids in a strange environment, but park days wear me out too. The kids are resting and hopefully recovering from their fun. I should probably rest too. In other words, while park days can be a lot of fun for both kids and their moms, they are also very exhausting. So enjoy them in moderation.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Every home school seems to use a different curriculum. There are so many types to choose from. You can choose a textbook type curriculum or a child directed curriculum. There are countless types that fit between these two categories. I use a few different types. I have some workbooks for math, grammar and spelling. I have an all-inclusive curriculum for everything else. This one curriculum, My Father's World, allows me to school all of my kids at the same time. All 5 kids listen to the books and lessons we read aloud. All 5 are therefore studying the same thing in history, science, art, music, and Bible. This is one of the most helpful things about our home school curriculum. I am schooling 4 different ages of children and I would have a very difficult time schooling them if I didn't have just such a curriculum. This works well for me, but would it work for everyone? Of course not! Each child is unique in their learning style and each parent is unique in their teaching style. Some need more structure, others need little structure. Some need lectures, some need independent work. Not only are the styles unique for each person involved, but they can change from year to year. I use what I am because it suits us this year. Will I continue doing everything the same next year? Not likely. I will more likely tweak some details of our schooling. I may hear about some awesome curriculum between now and then that I want to try. That's not important. What matters most is that what we use works for our family right now.

When I first began home schooling I was told, "Pick something for this year and commit to it." If it works, that's great. If not, change it the next year. I am into my third year of this and I have not had two years the same yet. I have taught using different curriculum and I have taught different ages of children. If you are new to home schooling, pick something and start in. Don't feel like you'll be stuck with your decision forever. Just start.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Money or a lack thereof

This was a hard month financially. We had to buy all new tires at the beginning of the month and just replaced the alternator today. That was two major vehicle expenses not in the budget. I had to nearly wipe out my savings. A year ago, I would have had to charge the tires and the alternator. I didn't have a savings then. A year ago, I would have been upset knowing I didn't have the money for it. Thanks to Dave Ramsey and the financial peace university, I had a savings and no credit cards. There was only one way for me to pay for it so I did. My savings is nearly gone, but I have no debt from the repairs. What a better way to teach my kids than by example. They saw us not be worried. They saw us pull the money from savings and then pay for the repair up front. I'm not saying I'm not at all bothered by it. I am. It's a lot of money. I am just glad the money was there. Of course now I have to build my savings back up. It will take a few months so I pray nothing happens in the mean time. If you struggle at all with debt or financial problems, or if you simply want to obtain financial independence, I strongly recommend the Financial Peace University from Dave Ramsey. It is simple, but it works. Find it at Now that I have made my commercial pitch for a product I have used, but don't sell, I'll get back to the issue at hand. Regardless of the method you use, please, please, please teach your children about money. Don't make them learn the hard way. It really makes a difference in their lives and in yours.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Spring Cleaning in August?

Yes, I know it's a little late for spring cleaning, but my house really needs it. That's what I'm doing today. My kitchen still shows the remains of cooking for the last two days on the countertops. My bathroom is getting dusty and I'm afraid the caulking in my shower is started to grow mold. EWW! I'll have to deal with that quickly. I have so many school books and toys in my room, I can barely see the floor, not to mention my desk. My laundry is in process, but there are still a few loads left to do. All my bookshelves need dusted and my floors need vacuumed. My ceiling fans are dripping with dust so they must be cleaned also. Then there's the kids' rooms. They have toys and clothes everywhere and their bathroom is just gross (always). So today, we clean. The kids will have to help. I didn't make all this mess, and I have no intention of cleaning it all. B1 can clean their bathroom and the others can clean their rooms. Everyone can pick up toys and things that don't belong in other rooms. Other chores can also be done by the kids. Unfortunately, that still leaves me with quite a lot. H had to work some today so his contribution to this will be minimal. To his credit, he did load the dishwasher before he left. With all this work to do, I should probably get started. With any luck and a lot of elbow grease, tomorrow morning, I can wake up to a nice clean house!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Some people love dogs, some are cat people. Others love fish or birds. Another group likes the more exotic pets. We are a little bit of all. We have had rats, hedgehogs, lizards, a parrot, hamsters, dogs, cats and fish, but not all at the same time. Currently, we have a little Schnorkie, that's a mix between a miniature schnauzer and a yorkie. She is cute, only about 5 pounds. This is the first indoor dog I have allowed H to have. H also has a saltwater aquarium. He used to have both a salt and freshwater aquarium, but the saltwater takes too much time. He really enjoys his pets. We have an outdoor cat that adopted our family and as of last night, we have two parakeets. These newest additions are officially my pets. That means that I am responsible for the care and cleaning of these little birds.

So, why all the pets? What is it about having pets that is so appealing. I like them for many reasons. I like having something to play with and something interesting to watch. Animals teach us about other living things, what they need to survive and how they interact with others. Some teach us even more. When a former dog had puppies, all the kids sat around her and watched this event. They learned how animals (and even babies) are born. Yes, some of it was disgusting, but when we study it further in school, they will remember this experience and understand the birth process better. We get to enjoy the unique behaviors of our pets and just enjoy their company.

I don't know what kinds of pets I will have in the future. I have a friend with a tarantula, I don't think I'll get one of those. In her eyes, it's better than a snake. I think I would prefer a snake to a giant hairy spider. In fact, at some point, I will probably have a snake, the kids want one. H currently thinks he needs some button quail, an adorable little round quail. He hasn't figured out what he'd do with them yet, but I'm sure once he knows, we'll be getting some of them too. At times, I think I live in a zoo, but I have come to realize that that's okay. We get to enjoy God's creations from the comfort of our own home. So whatever pets you have, have fun with them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nap Time

As a kid, I hated those words. I didn't want to take a nap because I might miss out on something. I had things to do and didn't want to take a nap. I didn't need a nap. Now as an adult, I love those words. I love saying to my kids, "Nap Time". Of course, they aren't as thrilled as I am. They are not tired. They have things to do. They don't want to miss out on anything. They don't need a nap.

They are right to some extent. They are not always tired and they may miss something, but that's not what's important. What's important is that their little bodies need a time to recoup. They need a time to catch up with their thoughts. They may not need to go to sleep, but they need to rest. G3 usually needs a nap. She will eventually collapse somewhere if she doesn't have that time. She runs hard all day and eventually, her body forces her to stop for a while. I usually know exactly when that time is. She starts to get grumpy. Nothing is right for her. She starts getting hurt in games. Her body is trying to recoup, but can't. Now, if I tell her it's nap time, she'll fight it, but if I can get her to sit in a quiet place for just a few moments, she's out like a light.

Of course, the kids aren't the only ones who need this time. I need it. I need a few moments for my body to recoup. I need my house to be quiet and calm so I can relax. So often, when nap time comes, I don't let my body rest. There's always things to do, things that can't wait. This morning, I woke up exhausted. I didn't get enough sleep last night and I didn't sleep well. I was up for 2 1/2 hours before I gave up. I decided that things could wait, school could wait, cleaning could wait. I put B1 in charge of the others, told him what I expected and I took a NAP. An hour later, I woke up. I feel so much better now. My body feels better now. I feel like I can handle the rest of the day. Yes, my schedule is off now. Yes, I will have to catch up later on a few things. But, that nap was necessary. I can't and won't do that often. It is important though that every day, we take a quiet time and give our bodies a chance to recoup. So, yes the kids need a nap time, but so do we. Don't forget that.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Prescription Drugs

My family uses a lot of prescription drugs. We have the usual things like high blood pressure and anxiety. Then we have some unusual problems. This amounts to about 10 prescriptions for our family. These all have to be filled every month which amounts to about $800 a month in prescriptions! The worst part (okay, the cost may be the worst part) is that almost NONE of these prescriptions run out at the same time! I filled 2 of them yesterday. I will fill one more later this week, I filled 3 last week, and so on, and so on. You know it's bad when the pharmacist has already pulled your medicine out before you even get to the counter. Last week, the lady rang up the purchase before verifying the name on it. I think I spend more time at the pharmacy then I do buying groceries, and that's saying something. I guess I could use mail order for some of them, but they don't have all our medicines and some of them require a new prescription every month. Besides, wouldn't that just mean more paperwork. I guess for now this is just something we have to deal with, but hey, those anxiety pills are mine so I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I love to bake. I bake bread a couple of times a week and cookies once a week if possible. H and I also bake cinnamon rolls, and all types of dough items. Last night H made bread with our favorite recipe. Ummm! The house smelled delicious. The recipe is simple and not mine. If you like to bake, you might want to try it out. Start with 2 cups of warm water, add in 2/3 cup of sugar and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of yeast. Mix it in a mixer and let stand for 10 min. After this time, the yeast should be bubbly. Add in 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 cup of oil and 6 cups of flour. I like to use 3 cups of whole wheat and 3 cups of all-purpose for this. Knead it and let rise for one hour, or until doubled in size. Punch it down, knead again and divide in half. Place each half in a loaf pan and let rise until doubled again. Bake at 350 for about 30 min. Enjoy! It's a really good bread. It costs approximately 50 cents a loaf depending on where you get your ingredients.

Monday, August 10, 2009


One of my common phrases to use is that I wake up tired and go to bed exhausted. It's a common problem of motherhood. There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done that we need to do. I did manage to get 8 hours of sleep last night. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the norm so I am still tired today. I am going to try to get 8 hours every night (or at least as many nights as I can). Over time, I should be able to wake up a little less tired. So how do we as mothers get enough sleep? We don't do everything! It's not possible to stay home, clean the house, school the children, cook all the meals, do all the laundry, play with the kids, exercise, and do everything else I need to do in my day. So don't do everything. Last night, I went to bed without wiping down all my countertops. Amazingly, they were still there this morning. We all made it through the morning just fine. I still haven't done that job, but I will as soon as I'm through with this post. I promise I will not have everything done when I go to bed tonight. I probably won't get the floors vacuumed and there will probably still be some dirty laundry, and that's okay. I will do the important things each day such as feeding my family, schooling my kids and taking care of their needs (not all their wants), and any other necessary things. As long as the same job doesn't get left undone every day, things should work out over time. It's okay if our houses aren't perfect all the time. We live in them and it's just not going to happen. Accept that and do what you can each day. Then take care of yourself by getting enough exercise and sleep each day. Maybe we can cut back on the amount of fatigue we all experience as mothers.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

School Starts Now

I homeschool my 5 children so we can start school any time we choose. We have had a short break and are now ready to start in earnest. I have organized my material and planned my lessons for the coming week. So, bright and early (okay probably 8:30 or maybe even 9:00) Monday morning, we will begin school. This is my first year to school everyone. B1 is in 4th, B2 is in 1st, G1 and G2 are in K and G3 is pre-k. Wow, does that sound like fun to anyone else? Actually, it isn't that bad. My girls have a fairly light load as much of K is just organized play time. There work can be completed in 1 to 1 1/2 hours a day. B2 requires a little more time. His work will likely not be completed until lunch. B1 however, has a long day. He will work on both group and independent work all morning. After lunch, he will continue with any independent work not completed. The afternoon is also when we have fun school time. That is when we conduct experiments, have math in the kitchen, watch an educational show or play an educational game. Of course, when all of that is finished, even B1 gets to enjoy free time. It is time consuming and a bit of an organizational challenge to school 5 children at home, but it can be done with just a little prep work.

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Haircut

Isn't it amazing how a new haircut can make you feel. I've been wanting my hair shorter for a couple of months. Today, I got it cut. I have naturally curly hair so I got it cut chin length with layers. It curls up nicely and looks a little wild. The best thing is that it takes no time to style. I wash it, towel dry for a minute and it's ready to go. No blow dryers, no curling irons, no hairspray, mousse or gel. It's a great hairstyle for someone like me who doesn't have time to mess with hair and who really just doesn't want to. Now to see what H thinks about it when he gets home!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


This has got to be one of the worst words in the human language. It seems it's all anyone talks about. I talk about it frequently myself. I need to lose 60 pounds so I talk about it. The problem is that talking about it won't help me lose that weight. I eat okay. I make almost all our foods from scratch and we seldom eat out. Yet, I gain instead of losing weight! My problem is that I don't exercise enough. I hardly exercise at all. I have all the usual excuses: back problems, knee problems, no time, no money for equipment or gym fees. The list really goes on and on. Unfortunately, it's only me that affects. So why do I make the excuses? I need to make time to exercise every day. Even 30 minutes a day can make a difference. I am challenging myself and anyone who reads this to make time every day to exercise. Talking won't help anyone, only doing can help. Next time I talk about weight loss, I want it to be in the past tense. I know myself better than that and I will talk about it again, but I will not mention it again unless I am actively working on it and that means EXERCISE!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Play With Your Kids

I am not good at playing with my kids regularly, but they definitely need it. I am always trying to get things done, or just relax, while they play. The problem is, kids need us to play with them. My kids will pester me constantly to play with them. If I will sit down with them for just 30 min. and play what they want, it makes things go much smoother. I waste a lot of time telling my kids, "not now" when I could just say yes and play for half an hour. That's not really much time. How much work am I honestly going to get done in 30 min.? How much joy can I bring to my kids in 30 min.? There's no comparison. So, I'm off to go play with my kids right now. You should too.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Who I Am

I'm new to blogging so this will be a new challenge. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling, adoptive mother of 5 kids. I've been married to a wonderful husband for 15 years. We'll call him H. I have 2 boys and 3 girls. Affectionately known here as B1, B2, G1, G2 and G3. I have been homeschooling for 2 years and really love it. My kids are all pretty young. B1 is 9, B2 is 6, G1 is 5, G2 is also 5 and G3 is 4. Most of them are adopted. There are no twins in the bunch, but it seems like it sometimes. We chose to adopt through foster care. I'm a very private person online so I don't know if pictures will find their way here or not. I also like to babble so starting a blog sounded like a logical thing to do. I am also a Christian and will not allow profanity or evil talk on my blog. I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I think I will enjoy writing it. Maybe some accidental words of wisdom will even surface within its pages. So long.