Sunday, November 1, 2015

Day 1

Once again I am trying to complete the #minsgame.  Ever since I have heard about "minimalism" I have been trying to rid myself of "planned hoarding"---or "organizing". I have started asking myself why do I still have this? Will it make my boys little again? Is "this" bringing me joy---just taking up space?

So today I got rid of my old business cards...not like I need them---I haven't for several years.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Laundry Win!

So I am the "Queen of Maybe Pinterest Knows".  Seriously. 2015 if you call your mom or best girlfriend needing a recipe, knitting stitch, dieting tips, identifying a toddler rash--whatever. ..they will all say "let's check Pinterest! "

In my Pinterest feed I see all this cool stuff---but are they really doing it?!

This week I read several pins about laundry softeners--the dangers and the costs. So I tried one and here is my results after 4 loads!

Easy Peasy!!!

***add 1 bottle of lavender essential oil to 1 gallon of vinegar. 
Then use that as your fabric softener in your wash. I added about 1/8 cup to each load. Every load smells great and is so soft!

Okay this is pure scientific magic!
Pull out that box of aluminum foil and tear off about 6 or 7 sheets 12 or so inches long. Wad them up into a ball and toss it in the dryer with the next load! It worked for me!

**the ball will come out smooth 

**keep reusing the same ball
(When should you toss it and start a new one? The very moment your ADD takes over and you want to make a new one!)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Giveaway: Plum Paper Planner

Ever found something that you found so wonderful that you wondered what took you so long to hear about it or to try it?  That was me a few months ago when I found the Plum Planner.  Since March I have ordered 4!  One that is my personal life, one for homeschooling, one as a gift for my sister-in-law and one for you---well at least one of you!!!  I have fallen so in love with these that I just want to share the news.

**I guess that this is where I need to add the disclaimer that this giveaway is solely sponsored by me!

No strings to this giveaway.  I just want to reach out and spread some goodwill :-)  I ordered this planner to run October 2015- September 2016.  Open to USA and Canada residents :-)

Join the party!

Want to win this beauty?
Leave me a comment!
Raffle Copter will pick a winner 10/11

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Just relax

I am at a point in my life where I am just taking time to relax, to enjoy what I have,  to be present. 

Sometimes while we are "adulting" it is east to fall into the trap of trying to figure it all out.
--is this safe?
--can I afford it?

-can I step out of my busyness long enough to be apart?

All last week the boys worked extra on the homeschooling so that we would be able to take Monday off and go visit family.  Their reward in in addition to visiting great aunts and uncles we were able to stay in a hotel with a pool.  I didn't get to leave the house spotless but I did grab my swim wear. The boys are growing up and I need to enjoy every moment before they are off with their friends. 

These days I am focusing on taking time to enjoy my son's youth. Time to relax so their memories of me won't always be of a rushed, stressed mom....but instead of me and them having good times, at ease.

Today I finished reading "LOVE THE HOME YOU HAVE".  So I am also trying to love my family as they are and not stressing over the little things. There will be a day I no longer have to drill them on hygiene, manners, and grammar. 

Just relax!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Book giveaway :: BETTER THAN BEFORE

2015 has been a year of "Contentment " for me. I have been focusing on my home.  And I am in love with life :-)
This has not been the easiest year of my life but there has been blessings with every obstacle.
One of the books that I have enjoyed has been : Better Than Before.  This is the copy that I read :-) (Still in great shape ) .
To enter just leave a comment telling me one goal you still want to reach in 2015.
I will draw for the winner Thursday, September  17, at noon.
Good luck!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Mr. Gallon

I caved.
I left the big box curriculum today to explain  liquid measurements. Pints, cups, quarts, and gallons need to be seen to be understood. I knew I had seen a "Mr. Gallon" before so I Google(d) him! And thanks to Google I found

4th grade math suddenly became so clear and fun the my 2nd and 6th graders joined in :-)

sharing at:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Don't Just Survive

So today is our 22nd day of homeschool. It hasn't been easy or a thrill ride. But is hasn't been awful either.  But I am choosing not to only survive  but also to THRIVE.
Things that have been great:
--I absolutely love the co-op school that Ben is attending.  He goes to co-op one day a week and schools at home the other 4 days. {I may have to do a complete post on co-op school later}
--I am loving the one on one time that I have with the boys so that I can see exactly where and why they are struggling.
--it is so satisfying to see each of them grasp a new idea.

Areas that have improved :(thriving)
--I finally have the laundry in a controllable cycle
--we are following and shopping by a menu
--since my husband has a crazy work schedule I allow the boys one of his week days off in exchange for them working on a Saturday. 

The guys have started to pick up some independence. And I am thrilled with that. By them working on their school work because they want to makes this so much more enjoyable. 
Allowing them to pick what to work on has been a huge hit.  As long as 5 lessons are completed in each of the 7 subjects by the end of the week I am happy.  So I just had one do all of his reading lessons yesterday plus 2 history --his goal was a math less day!

Here is a picture of a locust skin.  Going out to the yard to find an exoskeleton was more impressionable that a week of reading and worksheets. 
Thrive moms--that is what will keep your homeschool  "alive".

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Just Do It

My years growing up are filled with wonderful memories of camping all over the western United States and some of the Canadian provinces.  I took it for granted.  I never realized the work that went into those trips until now.  My guys have begged for a campout. We had a tent--the struggle of knowing I would be obligated to sleep out there held me back. But they had finally talked Bryan into I couldn't wimp out.
While they were putting up the tent Eli reminded me that all was missing was marshmallows. So I forced myself to run out to Dollar General before closing.  I was checking out and the teenage clerk said "I am glad you didn't get graham crackers and Hershey's too". I asked him why and he explained that he hadn't had s'more s since he was 4 and he was always jealous when he knew families were doing the campfire thing.  I just smiled and assured him that he'd do that soon. Then I rushed home to make sure little guys marshmallow roasting dreams came true!
Already planning our next time at a campground! 
Sometimes you just have to stop and live.

Linking up with:

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

2nd Field Trip: The Nina

It has been two years since I home schooled but I have returned with two standards that I faithfully kept before:

1. Never complain about homeschooling.  My reasons for homeschooling were not typical. But the reasons  that put us on this journey are still important to us.   So if I complain then my children will feel that they are not worthy of my sacrifice for them. And they will hate homeschooling too.

2. Field trips are not a day off. Field trips need to have a purpose.

Right now in Nate's 4th grade history he is studying the explorers and has reached Christopher Columbus.  And the Nina and the Pintail are docked in Louisville!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

January 1st Is Not Magical

January 1st is not magical.  But people wait for it.  We have all heard  and/or said it. January 1st I am going to :
--start a diet
--begin a budget
--get organized
...and we know what happens --January 8th does. {L.I.F.E.} And we have to accept that we woke up no different.
Today is September 1st.  I have been considering what I need THIS September to be.  Instead of overwhelming myself with lofty goals...or chastising myself for ones missed in August, July, June. ...---》 I am choosing to celebrate success, victories, journeys endured--completed.
Over the past 30ish months I have lost 60lbs. Currently  13 away from my goal.  This 13lbs seems to be the hardest.  (That is my current feeling --but I know in my heart the slow start was the most discouraging)
Clutter has always been a downfall of mine.  I hate parting with s.t.u.f.f. So I came across The Minimalist As a Christian I have quoted "Thou shall not covet" since early Sunday school. In my mind has always interpreted that as "wanting expensive things". Nowadays I am seeing it as no contentment.
I started eating better July 4th, 2013...when a nurse asked me why I didn't go on the MS Recovery Diet.  I hadn't because I simply didn't know about it. Even after 2 yrs on it I am slacking some and feeling the effects. Definitely don't want to wait on shaping up!
At the beginning of the year I started writing letters to old friends ---sometimes people contacted me back. I need to do that weekly.
I could go on and on. ...but I wont---my message is I cannot wait for January 1st...I must live now. TODAY.
Join me in living.

Linking up with:  Wake Up Wednesday

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Measure of Success

Okay so I am back into NON-SUPERMOM role.

And if you truly know me you know that I have never even visited that role.

Mom of three boys.
I have 2 loads of clothes to fold, one to dry and another that needs put away.
The dishwasher needs loaded. {which means it also needs unloaded!}
Yes! All the beds are made!!
The middle child is just now practicing piano.
Everyone is done with school for today!  And that is what want to share!  For the past 2 years the boys attended a wonderful christian school. But I had the child that about every third day {sometimes every 2nd....and yes sometimes every single day) would bring home his entire day of school home to do!  Fortunately sometimes I got to work at the school and I could catch him zoning out or be there to promise him a blizzard on the way home if he got his work done.  So I was constantly faced with paying tuition yet homeschooling every night because I have--that kid.

I am determined to have a great school year.  So I have been been asking God to help me with this child.  If the responsibility is mine to nurture him into being diligent and on-task then I am needing some motherhood wisdom.

Here is the idea that I am trying first:
 I listed his subjects. Then I numbered the school lesson across the tom. the top half has wide washi tape to block out Monday since that was a field trip. I drew this up while we were at the library. I school the two younger boys at the library on Tuesdays while the oldest attends a local co-op fro the whole day. I go to the co- op for a couple of hours to put in my volunteer hours.  So on Tuesday I gave him the option of choosing whatever subject he wanted to work and I gave him the option of doing as many lessons in that subject as he wanted.

So here is the big picture ..I explained it to him in bits:

-he has seven subjects
-this is a short week because of the field trip.
-by Friday afternoon he has to have 28 lessons completed.
-he has to do at least 7 a day....but he can choose which ones to do.  We choose a color for each day.
-if he does extra lessons then there is a possibility of having a shorter day on Friday or even having Friday OFF!!

So you can see where we are on this first Thursday afternoon :-) 

He is having a short day tomorrow.

As this moment he feels success and so do I!
I already have next weeks drawn out...And if he gets motivated he may have Friday off next week.{And if he has Friday off that means I do too}

Linking up with:
Learning Kid Link up
Wednesdays Wisdom

Monday, August 24, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


So I was asked again how I get my 10k steps in.  This summer I haven't been getting them in very often but in the spring I was on a roll. Tonight I saw that green streak appear again.
In all fairness I have MS so it is not easy for me.  I tire very easy.  I have to do this short stints.
{{{This is what works for me}}}
1. I wear a fitbit flex all day.
--this has been an excellent tool for me.
--it keeps me truthful to myself about my activity
2.I am constantly checking my progress on my fitbit.
3.I set small goals all day long
--like 3k by noon
--or I will check to see how many steps I need until I will reach the next 1000
4.I will make a few trips up and down the driveway between tasks.
5.I will get on the treadmill for 5 minutes a few times throughout the day  (only if I can't go outside.
6.I never waste time trying to find the closest parking spot--plus I always take the steps if it is going down. (I always ride an elevator up.
7.And if it is feasible I just won't go to bed until I reach that goal.
I hope this post inspires you.  Each morning is a fresh start --treat it as so.

Linking up with :

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


My oldest son is attending a local homeschooling  academic co-op. That one day a week that he attends I have to school the other two. In the middle of the day we have to return to the co-op for me to do my volunteer time and the other two to take an art class.  So I can't really run home.

So our solution? I bring their work and we work at the public library! 
This year I purchased a box curriculum kit. So far it is great except the spelling was just a tough lists exercises or theme.
So I found this awesome spelling book at Barnes and Noble! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Confession: Not A Super Mom

So here it is noon 3rd day of school.    Maybe half way done with our day.  Truthfully we had to finish a little of yesterday's work. But I am not dismayed.   I am giving myself a few days to find our routine .  

I am allowing the laundry to go unfinished. 
We are having leftovers from last night for dinner. 
Unfinished tasks will be there when I have a moment to spare.
For today it was important to:
♡show my 6th grader how fractions work and using pizza to make it logical.
♡help my 4th grader find how many states have a chicken as their state bird
♡and worked through capital cursive "E".  That is my little guy's struggle for today.

...sigh...the adjective I choose for today is PRESENT. ..present mom is the mom my kids have needed today.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Not Back To School

Not back to school--but we are back to learning!  <---I don't think that we ever took a break from that!
We are home for at least one year.

Ben started 6th grade!
He will attend a local academic co-op on Tuesdays where he will receive instruction in language arts, math, history, science and art. The rest of the week I will work with him on his assignments. 

Nate started the 4th grade!  He has caught back up to grade level! I am so proud of him!   This year he is doing the Abeka book program.

Eli started the 2nd grade.  I know in just a few short years I will look back as these days as being simple and easy as I ship each one off to college every other year.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Decision of Now

With our middle child we faced a lot of frightening news because of early and severe delays. When he did start to develop and mature mentally,emotionally and socially he was behind in school. One year but it was like two because his birthday had been six days past the cut off start date. And that would have been fine to always be the oldest in his grade if he had been at the correct level. Once he began to learn and get ahold of this education process he would complain about being with the "little kids". 

This past year he was 8 in the second grade.  Scholastically it was a great year for him. He caught on fast and made incredible grades.  So much so that he finished the grade early and started the third grade.

Even though I was so proud of him he was still disheartened.  I talked to the school staff and asked about "homeschooling" him for the summer. So now we are in our last few days of the third grade! He has done excellent!

But what I am really wanting to share with my readers are the questions and comments I have gotten from other moms:

--he is going to hate you for taking away his summer
Really?! He has still had his summer. We still went to the beach. We have still swam. (And whatever else "summer" is.) During the school year we continue to"live" doesn't take all 24 hours of each day.

--you are giving up your summer
No...I "gave up" my summers the moment I found I was carrying my first baby.  My calling in life is to raise these three guys.

--why didn't you just put him in 4th grade if you think he is ready?
He is ready in every way except he hasn't had the 3rd grade material. This summer he has quickly learned his multiplication facts,began division, learned to identify parts of speech etc...but placing him in a grade with out those tools would have set him up for failure.
I am so thankful for how well he is doing now. And I feel confident that the right decision was made.  I really feel that in a few years I will be sending a ready young man off to college and he will be silently thanking me as he kisses me goodbye.

Not all decisions in motherhood are easy...but the sacrifices are worthy!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Oh What A Read!

I broke down and finally purchased an ebook!  Several times I had picked this book up carried it through the book store and then changed my mind.  But finally the other night I had the urge to read it again.  So I bought it and downloaded it!

How ironic!

A book about tidying!  And I never have to put it away!  It is a quick and an inspiring read!  Am I where I want to be in my organization? No.  But I have direction.  I am conscientiously tidying, allowing myself to discard and donate things that are not bringing me joy.  I am seeing my closets as awake time centers awake time and not others hiding places.
Clutter not only is a thief of real estate in our homes--but of peace too.  Tomorrow my big plans is to begin celebrating my choice of letting go by delivering donations to some local thrift stores.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


My neurologist has been onto me to eat more fish. I like fish I just really don't know how to cook it.  So I read the package and studied it on line and the is what I came up with:
1st spray pan with nonstick spray
Next preheat oven to 425°
**I placed the filets in a deep baking pan.
**sprinkled on some Lawry season salt 
**and some  garlic garlic seasoning by Tastefully Simple
**thin slice of butter on each

**baked at 425° for 8 minutes 

So delicious! !!!!

House vs. HOME

I live in a typical house. With 4 males. But that is no excuse. I have decided to show my house some love. Our house is a good size--4 bedrooms, 3 baths. It is fully functional.  And I have neglected continually keeping it "homey" thinking that  guys don't care...but they do!

Last week I ventured a summer mantel. And each of them have loved it!  And not destroyed it...In fact each has even had to reattach the banner a couple of times :-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Planner Mom!

Yeah, I have a smartphone.  And yes I know how to use it.   But a paper calendar that I can touch makes events concrete in my heart.  Seeing events on a grid of blocks helps me see where I can be more flexible.   My heart has been smitten by these Plum Paper Planners .

The one with the hearts is my personal planner. In addition to calendar pages I added fitness pages and household planner section.
I ordered  my planner to start in July and run until June. --As a mom of school age children that is the rotation of my life too.

The second planner is to keep up with the childrens schooling. 

In the class blocks I will keep up with each child and the other blocks for our extra activities.