Monday, September 17, 2018

Bringing Everyone Up to Speed

I won't bore you to tears with every detail of what's been going on in my life since I let this blog fall silent in February of 2017.   However I will give you some updates and insights as to what I've been up to.

"I got busy" can be a cop-out, but it's the truth here.  Along with homeschooling both of my girls, I was asked to help start a co-op, I started reviewing homeschool products again, became a contributor at another homeschooling blog, took on coaching spring and fall volleyball, and am the director of a ministry at our church.  Olivia and I went to Haiti on a missions trip and did crazy amounts of fundraisers, which took crazy amounts of time.  See, busy!

The co-op we started ran for two years with me putting WAY more time and effort into than anyone else.  Year one I taught two out of three classes, and did all the administrative and marketing work.  Year two saw me only teaching one class out of three, but still doing all the administrative and marketing work.   We had a family who seemed determined to cause strife and drama and it took a huge toll on the relationships we'd worked so hard to build.   Heading into our third year, the drama just got worse.  Then one of our most dependable families moved out of the area, another enrolled their student in a private school, and then we just didn't have enough parents who were willing to teach.    Co-op ended, and we now just do a once a month fun thing (bowling, apple picking, etc.) with one or two other families.    While pulling the plug on co-op was hard considering all the time and effort I had invested, it took a huge burden off of my mind and my time.

Reviewing products has been a blessing, but it's also taken a lot of time and interrupted our school flow.   In some ways it was helpful, getting to see and use new curriculum without having to buy it.  In some way it was a hindrance, having to work in extra things that just didn't go with what we were doing or how we like to learn.   I decided early this year that I wanted to step down after my contract runs out in the fall.  I'm anxiously waiting for the last review to post and be done.

Being a contributing writer for another blog sounded fun.   Then I realized I was putting all my best work out there on their site, and not getting anything out of it other than another deadline and thing to do each month.  I decided that was something that needed to be cut out.

I've coached Lindsey's team every year that she's been in recreation league volleyball.  This past year we came away undefeated through the season and took the tournament championship as well!   This year though, with Olivia playing varsity volleyball elsewhere, I didn't want to be obligated to be at one place while she played elsewhere.  I decided to step down from coaching so I could just be the parent and enjoy these last two years of Olivia's high school career.   As fate would have it, Lindsey's coach works every other weekend and can't be at every game, so she does the practices during the week and coaches the games when she's not working.  When she is working I fill in and still get to coach Lindsey.

I'm still the director of the one ministry at church.  I'm covering both Sunday morning services and teaching Wednesday nights and those things all take time.   This is an area I know I'm called to, so this will be a long term thing...and will benefit from my purging other areas.
The Haiti trip was amazing!   We were there for 8 days and it didn't go at all as planned.   We were there during the riots in July of this year and were ordered to shelter in place most of our trip.  You can read more about each day by clicking on these individual links.    Haiti - Day 1, Haiti - Day 2, Haiti- Day 3, Haiti - Day 4, Haiti - Day 5Haiti - Day 6, Haiti Day 7, Haiti - Day 8.

Momma passed away in March at the age of 90.   Although we knew it was coming, it was still very hard on my brother and I.   Just a few weeks later, Kiriki died unexpectedly.   She'd lost a foot, both kidneys and her eyesight to diabetes and was in a nursing home at the age of 43.   Sadly she'd told everyone there that she had no family (although I visited her often and took her things she needed).   We weren't notified of her death until the funeral home director recognized her name from being in Momma's obituary and gave my brother a call.

Like I said, it's been a busy season of life.  Now, I'm seeing some of those seasons come to an end, and some I'm just pruning off because they aren't bearing fruit like they should.  Not all good things are things I need to do, and everyone, including me, will just have to accept that I won't do it all anymore.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Breathing Life Back Into the Blog

It's been a busy year and a half, and I've spent most of my blogging time over at Learning Curve.    However, I've been missing writing here.  Not that I have (or had) a lot of followers, I still enjoy sharing non-homeschooly stuff.

My goal is to start sharing here at least once a week.  I've got some changes in the works, so let's hope my plan goes, planned.

Check back next week!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Not the Momma

We have just finished up the girls' first year in a new basketball league.   It was a challenge for several reasons.   First, it's a mixed league for ages 11-15, so you still have a few boys with that "I'm not passing the ball to a girl" mentality.   The second, and most obvious, is that some of the boys in the league are 6ft. tall and up.    I looked at the year as a complete success simply because neither of the girls got hurt, especially Lindsey who weighs less than 80 pounds and isn't even 5 ft. tall yet.

This past Saturday was the championship game between the top two teams, and the girls and I went to watch and cheer.   Truthfully, one team in the league was the underdog in that they are from a group boys home, and we went to cheer specifically for those guys.   It was a really closely matched game, with lots of action.

Just after half time, things went awry. Two of the taller boys, from opposite teams, had a terrible collision at the far end of the court.   One boy bounced off the wall, the other slammed on the floor, and didn't get up...or move.  One of the referees walked over to the boy, then turned to walk away in a hurry.   The coach went over, looked at the kid and then stood up with a startled look on his face and walked away, also in a hurry.   Suddenly a middle aged man ran out to the boy and knelt down beside him, but you could see he didn't know what to do.   I saw that the boy was starting to shake as panic and pain set in.

I slid out of the bleachers and told my girls not to move, and I began making my way towards the injured boy.   A condescending woman sitting in the stands near my kids sneered,  "Well I guess the mom is finally going to check on her kid."   My oldest turned to face the woman and said "No, that's MY momma going to help the kid."   The gym went silent again.

I'll be honest, that was one of the most awkward things in the world.   Walking out past a gym full of gawking people, not sure of what I was going to see when I got to the boy.   Thankfully for everyone else, he had landed on his right side, with his back towards the gym.   The room full of onlookers couldn't see the puddle of blood spreading out on the floor, or the panicked look in the child's face, or the lost look on the man's face (I found out later he was the foster dad).

I sat down in the floor, and simply said "I'm here to pray, and to help."  I put my hands on both sides of the poor child's face and began to pray peace, and healing over him.  The bridge of his nose was sideways, obviously broken.  Blood was pouring out of his nose pretty steadily as the coach returned with a stack of paper towels.  Shortly someone else showed up with an ice pack and the director showed up with a first aid kit.    I continued to cradle the boys bleeding head and speak calm, soothing words to him to help him calm down, his shaking began to subside.

I sat there for what seemed like an eternity, watching him bleed all over me as the "first responders" slowly put their sterile gloves on.  Finally one of them said to me, "Are you sure it's just the nose, and not his eye?"   I'm pretty sure I shot him an ugly look.   I bent down low, still cradling the boy's face and had him open his clenched eyes and confirm that the eye was fine.

After some time, we were finally able to get him to sit upright, and then moved to the bathroom to wash some of the blood off his face and hands.  Then finally he was off to the ER where the doctors confirmed that yes, he did have a broken nose.   I.TOLD.YOU.SO.

I offered to help the director with the task of cleaning the area before the game could resume.   I kid you not, he looks at me and says "Don't touch anything, I'll clean it, I've got gloves on."  I laughed as I help up my blood covered hands and said "Yeah, I wouldn't want to get dirty."  I headed off to the ladies room to wash my hands before returning to my own kids and the remaining basketball game.  Not a soul, other than my own children asked about the boy.

I found out later, the boy's name was David.  I've prayed for him often since that day.   I've thought back over the comment the one lady made, and it makes me mad.   In a room full of "Mommas" nobody cared enough to go help an injured child, but they were quick to throw judgment.   I've wondered if I put myself at risk by not waiting for gloves.   But you know what, if God forbid, one of my kids is ever hurt and I'm not around, I pray that there will be a Momma who is willing to step out of her comfort zone and be there.

Folks we need each other.   We need to care enough to get out of our comfort zones, slide out of our comfy spot on the bleacher's of life and reach out to those around us who are hurt and in need.   We've got to stop turning our head's and saying it's not our problem.   Somebody needs you to care enough to act.  Love is a verb.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Keeping It Real

At the beginning of the year, many of the bloggers that I follow put up their reading lists for 2017.   I thought it would be a grand idea to join that band wagon, so I took a photo of the ever growing pile of books on the corner of my desk.

I'm happy to report that I have already read The Ruby Moon, and a great part of The Old Man and the Boy.   The Clarkson books were added after I won a give away from another blog, and while I know the are all the rage in the homeschooling world, I just have not been able to get past the first couple of pages, I'll try harder I guess.   I'm a very fast reader, and can easily plow through this pile in a month, if I can only get the motivation, and if the books grab my attention when I start to read.

I've been reading other books, ones not in the photo.   These are typically books that go with the healing class I teach at church, or read alouds that we enjoy as a family.   Truthfully though, I'm spending most of my free time reading curriculum descriptions and catalogs as I try to piece together next year (grades 7 and 10).   Truthfully, the planning and searching for curriculum is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling.

In other news, ahem, I'm continuing to fight the battle of the bulge.   I find it amazing that I can fight for three or four weeks to lose 3 pounds, only to gain it all back by taking two days off from the gym.  It's discouraging ya'll.   I have lost a total of 34 pounds, since late July, but I should be a lot further along in my journey.   Interestingly enough, my pants are literally falling off of me, but the next size down doesn't fit.   How can this be?  

I'm wearing many hats (as usual).  I'm head of the Healing Ministry and Healing School at church, and am doing a lot of the teaching there.   In addition to homeschooling both girls, I'm teaching two co-op classes this year.   I'm also laying out the plan for next year's co-op, it's going to be a LOT different than this year.   I've been approached about coaching volleyball in the spring league and have yet to make a decision on that.   I still do the bookkeeping for the ballet studio.   While this does bring a bit of income in, it's taking more and more time, and I don't know that I can continue, or that I want to honestly.

Lastly, I'm still reviewing products for grins and giggles.   No, seriously I enjoy doing product reviews. I do the majority of my reviews through the Homeschool Review Crew.    Thankfully this year, they added a lot more blogger/reviewers, so I'm not having to take as many reviews as I had last year, which is making it a lot more enjoyable, and less stressful.

In a nutshell, that's where I am in life right now as far as "things" go.   This doesn't include being a wife, homemaker, mom and all those other one on one relational roles I have.   I'm feeling a bit introspective now, which typically means a change is on it's way.   Time will tell I suppose.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


It's amazing how quickly time gets away from me where this blog is concerned.   I keep it listed in my side bar of my main blog, Learning Curve, and it'll be "2 weeks since last post" and then poof, it's suddenly "2 months since last post".   

Sometimes I think maybe I'll just do away with this blog, but I just like it's cozy, open feel.   I'm not tied to the boundaries of homeschooling, and I can cover many topics.   Yet, the other blog takes the majority of my writing time.  It's disheartening ya'll.

Yes, I know, I set my own schedule and surely I should be able to eek out at least a weekly blog post that has something of value in it.  I shall endeavor to be better about it.

Now that I've whined a bit, be sure to check out the recipe for St. Nicholas Day Cookies, from you know, "the other blog".

Here's to a good week and hopefully some productive writing for me, right?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Bible Study Give Away Time!

I have two give aways going on this week over at Learning Curve.   The first is a copy of the 6-week Bible study entitled I Am Found.  The second book is a 10 week study on the book of Acts entitled An Unexplainable Life.   Be sure to hop over (using the links provided in this paragraph) and sign up for a chance to win.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Just Breathe

Happy Sunday morning to you all!    I'm trying to get back into the swing of writing consistently on both blogs.   Admittedly, I've been showing preferential treatment to Learning Curve...but really, it's out of necessity more than anything.  (Reviews, reviews and more reviews.)

So now that I've apologized, I'll share that I have a semi-inspirational post up over on that busier blog today, ahem.   Pop over and read and ponder on my post Just Breathe.

I'll be updating this site with newer photos of the kids soon, and I have a couple of posts floating around my head too.   Be patient, but don't go away!