Category Archives: Marriage/Family

The Best Way to Beat the Summertime Blues may be a Homeschool Moms Convention in January



                I’m in a rush as usual because tonight is the deadline.  It is the deadline for the best “give-away” that I personally, as a homeschool mom, can think of.  (Good grief! My grammar is lousy tonight….) I digress.  There is a chance I (and a friend) could win a weekend in San Marcos, TX  at the “Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit”.   Woo hoo!!!!   The description sounds GLORIOUS!  Especially right now because, to borrow a line from a movie, our home is a “hothouse of female emotion”.   Anyone that has daughters knows what I’m talking about.  Just seems like a perfect storm at the moment.  Thank goodness, storms pass.  So, I’m breathing deeply.  And praying for calm feelings.  And looking forward to January.

                If you need a break like I do, you might want to join the fun in January.  Check it out here:  And here: Also here: I’ve told a friend of mine who is homeschool mom newbie about it, and I think that , regardless of the outcome of the contest, we’ll be making the road trip.   But last night, as I lay in my bed praying and thinking and trying to whip up some creative submission to win this contest, I chastised myself.  I’m being selfish.

                You see, over 20 years ago, I met this friend of my college roommate. She was a quirky, happy, funny kind of girl named Kat who didn’t have a mean bone in her body.  I didn’t know her real well then, but we’ve reconnected through Facebook, and I have grown to admire her IMMENSELY!  And after a harrowing summer, she, if anyone, deserves this.  So, I’m writing this on her behalf.  She doesn’t know I’m writing this, and quite frankly, I don’t know if she’ll be able to get away.  But I figure,  if she has enough time to prepare, this may just work out for her.

                So let me tell you why I think she deserves this.  Simply, she has 9 children (and one more in heaven).  She and her husband have adopted most through international adoptions.  What started out as rescuing children from heavily burdened institutions and impossible situations, has intensified to include special needs children.  Last year, in the middle of one of these adoptions, their family learned that their son would not have the benefit of knowing them because he passed away before they could retrieve him from the orphanage.  Yet, in their grief, they decided to move forward with another adoption from the same institution.  And a few months ago, their latest blessing made it home to Texas. 

                There is so much more to the story that I can’t describe in one blog post.  So if you get a chance, please go read her blog. It will leave you with a renewed hope in Christianity and mankind.  Unbelievable faith… it leaves me in tears and speechless often. ( Although, I have to say, some of it is both hilarious and relatable.)

                I would love to win this.  My Newbie Homeschool Mom friend and I would have a wonderful time.  But, it would be even better if Kat won this and got a little rest, refreshment, and reward.  And that would be better than a winning it myself.


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Filed under Homeschooling, Marriage/Family, Personal News, Prayer Requests, Miscellaneous Rantings

Don’t Talk With Your Mouth Full and Other Table Manners Applicable to Life



Wow!  That title, all by itself, was a mouthful.  But it is all too relevant to me. Right now.  I have bitten off more than I can chew, and I must speak at the same time.  I don’t have a choice.  I have committed myself.  Again.  I have got to finish.

This is my state of mind at the present.  But it seems to be a prevailing, recurring theme in my life.  In fact, it seems, for some strange reason, that I work better under pressure.  I think this may be an underlying factor in my terrible habit of procrastination.  If I don’t have a ridiculous amount of stress, I don’t perform as well.  Procrastinating manufactures that. 

The bad thing is (or worse thing,) I have to exhibit the mandatory emotional meltdown before I can get on with whatever I need to do.  It’s illogical.  I don’t understand myself.  Yet, I continue to do it.  Isn’t that the definition of insanity?  I guess because I’ve managed to get good results most of the time there is a reward for the behavior.  I unwittingly reinforce my procrastination by succeeding, or at the least, satisfactorily completing whatever it is I said I would do.  (Excuse me while I wipe my mouth.)

Although I feel like a head case after divulging all  of that, my guess is that I’m not the only one.  Whether you’re the harried homemaker, or have-it-all career mom, or even if you’re a dad and you fall in one of these categories, you’re most likely stressed to the point of being one mini-crisis away from being a heaping puddle right where you stand.  This isn’t a new problem.


So how do we deal with it?  I don’t have the answers.  I have suggestions that may or may not work for you.  Sometimes they don’t work for me, but here goes.


1)    God.  Go to him.  Pour out your heart. Ask for help. Read his word.  Meditate on it.  Keep him first.  Remember the whole, “Seek ye first” commandment.  It’s reassuring.


2)    Take assessment of what’s going on in your life.  Re-prioritize.  Pick your battles. Say “no” and don’t feel guilty. Someone told me one time to concentrate on what is important instead of what was urgent.  That tends to be my way.


3)    Make a list.  Start with the easiest thing and work your way up.  You may be delaying the inevitable worst one until the end, but you may just be so encouraged from completing everything else it won’t seem like such a difficult thing to do.


4)    Make a daily list.  Okay, this one seems like a repeat, but I have to share this trick that pretty much got me through college. I cannot take credit for this.  It was a suggestion to a roomful of RAs by the VP of our university who also taught classes, ran businesses, was a church leader, and the mayor of the city all at the same time.  He took an index card everyday and listed everything he needed to do that day (he recommended a calendar with special events and assignments to reference).  At the end of the day everything on the list was either completed, discarded from the list, or carried to the next day.


5)    Make a daily list of 10 things for which you are thankful to God. Sometimes we need to take stock of all of our blessings to get us out of the mire of pity and guilt that can worry and delay us.


6)    Just do it.  Sometimes you need to just pick a starting point and march forward.


7)    Go have a meltdown.  Yes, give yourself permission to have a weak moment and pity yourself.  But limit it to just a few minutes.  Then give yourself a pep talk and go to it again.


8)    Delegate and seek help from others.  Then either let them do it or take the help and suggestions graciously.  Have you ever asked for help and didn’t like the answer? Let go!!!! A very good piece of parenting advice that I follow came from a blog. to be exact.  The blogger was talking about chores around their homestead and with her homeschooled children.  She followed the advice of another who said, “Teach your children to do something well.  Then get out of their way and let them do it.”  I don’t think this means they have to do it perfectly, but you should allow them to do the task without constant criticism.  It’s okay to correct mistakes, just don’t be a dictator, perfectionist, control-freak about it.  How ever much was completed is less you’ll have to do, even if you have to finish the job to perfection, later, out of view, for your own peace of mind.


9)    Do something fun.  Sometimes you need to act spontaneously and get your mind off of things.  Denial is usually one of those things that can be destructive personally, but every once in a while it is a tool that can prevent an obsession.


10) Eat right and exercise.  That just hurt, really bad.  I don’t know why this is so hard to do, but it is.  It tends to be the thing on my daily list that gets discarded or moved to the next day the most.  It is one of my biggest personal struggles to be motivated to do this.  I’m still working on it, not very well, but I am.

Like I said, some of these don’t work for me right now.  Some of them do.  Some I hit sporadically.  All in all, it is occasionally uplifting to recall this wisdom that I’ve learned from others and realize that if things get really rough, I do have the ability to handle it.  As my mother says, “This too shall pass.”

            Oh! Wait a minute! Wasn’t I supposed to continue the analogy of table manners and life…. Oh well, it will have to go on tomorrow’s index card.



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Filed under Domestic Matters, Homeschooling, Marriage/Family

“I Hate Man Colds!”

(Written late at night a few days ago.)

Someone tweeted this the other day (see title) , and I had to laugh. It had to be wife. How do I know? Because I too hate them….along with “man”opause , “man”struation, and masculine itching. I intimately identify with the tongue in cheek idiom, “sick as a man”. I’ve been there. At the moment, I am there. I have to laugh (alone in the laundry room) or I may just cry.

As I write this, my husband snores blissfully following his dose of Nyquil. Not a care in the world. The first time in days, he’s not experiencing the certainty of imminent demise from a nasty super-cold, that has thumbed its nose at steroids AND antibiotics. I giggle… the cabin fever, combined with my ardent wishing that he’ll feel better enough in the morning to get out of my hair and go back to work, has finally gotten to me.

On a serious note, you need to know that I love my husband with every sinew of my heart. I have loved him from the minute he flashed his baby-blues and dimpled smile at me. Be still my heart…I still smile involuntarily when I think about that memory. I have believed whole-heartedly in my vows for nearly twenty years now, and tried earnestly to love (as an action, not just an emotion) during this time.

If I really let my mind go to a darker place in the future, I know one day one of us will deal with the loss of the other. That has become a painful reality this summer as we grieved with at least four different families dear to us who lost a loved one… three husbands passing and one wife. And I can say I have true empathy for them. It really is heartbreaking. Regardless of the bitter sting of separation caused by death, I am grateful for the existence of marriage, created by a loving God who didn’t want his children to be lonely.

So, today I’m taking the opportunity the Lord has granted me to exercise my vows and my patience muscle. I have to say, tonight it’s a little weak . Sleep deprivation caused by his loud coughing, phlegm clearing (a skill I have never adequately mastered myself) and my own bout with the same bug has left me light-headed and laughing. So, methinks sleep is probably the best solution. I’ll worry about tomorrow when it gets here and be thankful for the partner I’ve been blessed with — man cold and all.

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Filed under Just for Fun, Marriage/Family, Spiritual Matters