Wednesday, April 16, 2014

quick parenting update

It's so easy to turn to the whole world and complain about parenting and homeschooling.  It really is easy!  I loved it and honestly people it got me through a tough season.

The hard part is remembering to discuss the good, when it comes.  Things are going great around here.  It was tough getting here, but we persevered and it was worth it!  Homeschooling is still not my favorite.  I am not called to it, at all.  But it has been good, I have seen a better work ethic and she is very close to being on grade level.  In fact it has gone so well that I am no longer planning on doing school through the end of July.  I think we'll be done much sooner, we will still do math and read every day, but just this summer.  Next year she will be going to a local private school and in an iq building program.

We have parented 3 kids and have done school different for all three.  Our first was a complete public school kid.  Our second was public till 9th grade and then a private christian school.  She graduates next year.  Our third, public, then homeschooled and next year a different private school.  My favorite option, definately private christian school.  Since your paying, they take your concerns a little more seriously. The classroom size is smaller, so they are attended to better.  Their are more possibilities to try different activities.  In our local public school 10 - 12 grade has 5000 students, it's crazy!  By 10th grade a child needs to be practically olympic class to make a team.  That is what ultimately had us turn to private education. Our sons high school experiences were very limited after 9th grade.  So that's my take on the whole thing.  You can't say you will only do school one way, each child is different.  What works for one, might not work for all.  I feel like we have tried everything and what works best for this mom is private christian education, but it hasn't always been what was best for my kids. So I've tried to accomodate what was best for each of them.  Who knows maybe next year we will figure out that Ivy Kate needs to be homeschooled.  I pray that's not the case.



Do you hate it too?  

In the last year I started taking plexus and it helped me lose 15 lbs. It was awesome!  Unfortunately I am at a 2 month plateau now.  I've stopped taking plexus for a month and am hoping I can start again in May and begin losing again.

But for now I just sit here wondering what else I can reasonably do to continue losing weight.

I work out 3-4 times a week. Nothing crazy.  Mostly walking a few miles and doing weights. Some yoga.  Afterall I am 50 and Im really not interested in a major injury.  I no longer eat fast food, I used to eat it quite frequently. I only have one diet coke a day and then it's water the rest of the day.  I have started eating unprocessed, whole food.  Much, much healthier then ever before, but not loss of weight.  

It's very frustrating.  

I plan to continue on with what I am doing, because even though I hate exercise, I love the benefits it brings.  Better sleep, more energy, less anxiety,etc.  

So how about you, what are you doing to keep the weight off?  It definitely gets harder the older you get.  I had always heard that, but like everything bad in life, I valiantly denied it wouldn't happen to me.  It's a special skill I have.  My other special skills:

1.  I really don't believe that what I eat affects my weight.  I am in deep denial about this fact.

2.  I am always shocked when I see myself in a picture, because I have reverse body dysmorphia.  I
think I'm actually skinnier then I am.

3.  I have always had a skinny waist, until one day I didn't have a waist at all!  I'm still wondering when that happpened and why didn't I notice?

So I will continue on and hopefully start losing again.  I want to lose 35 more lbs, so 50 overall.  Hopefully we can encourage each other on to better health.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I am a form over function girl.  I just have to have something look pretty.  I am uninterested in organization to a fault.  I'm trying to get better at organization, but it is definately not my forte.

So this year I decided I needed to put my flour and sugar, etc. in canisters like the rest of the world.  I've always just dumped it in the pantry. Occasionally a bag of flour or sugar would break and it would be a huge mess.  I became a little more concerned about function the last time I cleaned up the flour mess.  Since I already had glass canisters that is what I worked with.

For a few people this would be great.  It's simple, its monochromatic and it functions.  It makes me yawn.  Plus I still had other stuff to store.  So I started scouring thrift shops and garage sales and came up with one canister but couldn't find anything to go with it that looked right.

It's looks better, but still not there.  I tried a few things I already had, but the proportions were always wrong. Eventually I bit the bullet and went to hobby lobby.  I'd already gone a few times and never found anything that I liked.  But this time I hit the jackpot.I got both form and function.  I love the proportions and the color.  The green flour tin was 2.99 at a thrift store and the blue and white checkered pot is currently at hobby lobby, last week at 50% off. 

Do you like the hole in my drawer, a missed drill hole for the drawer pulls. It's been there for a year and I never notice it till we have company.  We redid our kitchen over 18 mths ago, but there are little things like this that keep it from being done. As soon as my life is less crazy I plan on scheduling a get the other 2% done day.  I'll have to show pics of the stupid little stuff that needs to be done some time in the next week.

Plus we are finally getting started on my new huge craftroom.  We bought the cabinets and countertops last weekend. We hauled everything home but are waiting on our handy man to install the countertops.  Then I can start showing all the fun stuff I have planned for that room.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Worst parenting day EVER!

Well it seems completely appropriate that after bragging about my parenting triumph, I would need to confess my worst mom day ever.

I have a very anxious, newly adopted girl in my house. She is driving me completely nuts.  She is so concerned that I don't really love her that she is pushing every button I have to prove it. It's getting ugly in my house.  Really I am beside myself.  She has made so many strides in homeschooling, in cleaning her room,family living,etc.  But she is the most disrespectful little thing you have ever met.  I know that I am supposed to remove my emotions from this and just be very logical and loving, but people I just want to say and do the ugliest things.  She is an expert button pusher!!!

Today she absolutely refused to go to school, refused.  She didn't care what the consequence was, she was not budging.  We homeschool, but we go to a co-op once a week.  She loves her school and her school friends.  But today she wasn't going!  Of course I let her know she was, but she would not physically move, she stared me down.  When I said to move it, she said no!  Now of course every mom has experienced this at some point, but it's usually with a toddler, not a 13 yr old.  Fortunately she is petite.  She was physically carried to the car.  Buckled in and driven there while she threw a fit. When we got home she was put on lockdown.  If you act like your 4, you get the priveledges of a 4 yr old.  No electronics, a new very early bedtime and nothing fun for a week.  This is a harsh punishment in our home.

I know all the logical reasons for this.  The honeymoon is over, she wants to make sure we really love her, etc.  Knowing is lots easier then experiencing.  I have discovered an ugly part of my heart that doesn't want to forgive or love her.  She has truly sought to find the parts of me that are my most vulnerable.  She somehow knows that I take great pride in my parenting skills, that I am not a yeller or one of those mom's who talk to their children through gritted teeth to let them know they are in big trouble.  Guess what I can't claim that now.  I have yelled, I have used the terrible gritted teeth growly voice.  I am disgusted with her behavior and my response to it.  I am truly at my wits end.  I can not continue down this road.


1. I have made an appt with my therapist that I have seen for years.  I still check in occasionally, but will now go for at least a few sessions in a row if not for months.

2.  I will not let my feet hit the floor without praying for her and her heart.

3. I will keep reminding myself that all her ugliness is equal to how unloveable and insecure she feels.

4.  I will try very hard to pray for a forgiving heart and a loving heart.  I am the adult and if anyone makes a change it needs to be me.

I hate writing this, but feel a need to always be honest. Especially if anyone reading is considering adopting an older child.  It's so important but right now, it is so difficult.  I don't like her much. Please pray for us.  We will get through this time.  If you have any suggestions, please fire away in the comments.


p.s.  I do tell her I love her all the time, and even though I don't like her much, I really do love her.  Why would I put myself through this otherwise.  Btw.  my husband is very involved in this, he just doesn't write a blog.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Parenting a college aged child

I've been starting to share more of my personal life in this blog.  Why?  I usually start reading a blog for cute ideas but end up staying because I really like the more personal info, watching their kids grow up, their struggles, etc.  One thing I rarely hear about is college aged or older children.  Which makes sense because most bloggers are younger then me.  I'm 50, so my kids are older.

Jake is my oldest.  That golden, first born, hyper responsible oldest child. I am so proud of him, I don't think I could adequately express it in words.  My only boy who has been transformed from a boy who was very concerned about his image, to an almost man, who very clearly expresses his love for his mom and dad.  He is a freshman in college.  This week we went and visited him for a few days.  It was so bittersweet, this business of letting go can be hard. It's also wonderful when you know they are navigating adulthood well.  He's going to his first formal event at college, so we used it as an excuse to buy him a suit.

Needs just a little altering?  

Here is the story of Jake. Jake was an august birthday, so we decided to start him in kindergarten at age 6.  Best decision, we ever made people.  If anyone out there is wondering about that, it is always best to start boys later.  I did alot of research and the only negative to a late start is that they can get bored in the later high school years.  He did!  He was so done with high school.  His senior year started and he was already 18.  He did some investigation and discovered that he could graduate early if he took one online class.  He asked permission and said he would like to do a 9mth mission trip until it was time to start his freshman year. HE was bored, but he was mature enough to solve his problem in a very mature way. See ladies, late start birthday kindergartners rock!

He went to an adventure camp/missions trip to Ecuador.  It was a life changing experience for him.

Love this picture!  He was there for a missions trip but also got to climb one of the highest mountains in the world.  I wish I remembered what the name was.  

Once it was time for freshman year he decided that he wanted to join rotc. He wants to fly helicopters.  He changed so much in the 9 mths he was away.  It amazed me. He knew who he was suddenly and what he wanted from life. So now along with freshman classes, he does stuff like this...

Here he is learning how to take apart and put back together this gun.  No idea what it is, he told me, but my mind is blank.  He exercises like a beast daily. When we went to buy his suit the salesperson asked him if he was a football player.  He said," I used to be, now I'm in rotc."  He is a solid mass of muscle. He is a strong Christian man who is making really wise decisions about how he wants to live his life and what is important to him.  When he dates, he considers if that girl could be a wife, he doesn't date to entertain himself or take advantage. He dates to find a wife and respect the girls that he is with.  Can you tell I'm super proud!

While his dad and I were visiting him, someone posted this sign on facebook.

I cried a little.  I also watched lone survivor with him, I cried alot.  I had to leave the theatre and sob in the bathroom. Then I went back in and watched the rest.  After the movie I sobbed alot.  Letting go is tough, but knowing your child is doing it well makes alot of difference.

Friday, January 24, 2014

cute vintage scale picture

Ok so here is a cute picture I just made.

The picture is a little crooked, sorry.  I think it is so cute.  I originally tried to use a stamp on top of the vintage cookbook page, but it just didn't pop, so I used my sizzix diecut instead.

Here is the die cut

I always look for old vintage books in thriftstores.  I  have old hymnals, dictionaries, bird books and now a cookbook.  I just love the look of the yellowed pages and there is so much you can do with them.  I found this cookbook yesterday and thought it was perfect to do an 8x10 print.

Don't judge a book by it's cover!

I watercolored the white part on the scale and glued it to to the cookbookpage, that easy.  I found the frame at hobby lobby for 6.90 today.  If you live by one picture frames are 66% off today in the sale section.

Here's the finished product.  If you are interested these are in my etsy shop, just the print.  Plus I have another one with a mason jar diecut.


linked to 



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My un word...... unselfish

I struggle with sharing my time with others.  I'll just be honest.  When my youngest bio child was approaching kindergarten and that longed for 7 hr free public school break was approaching, I confided to my husband that I was TERRIFIED that I would die the summer before and never get that daily break from motherhood.  I was truly scared, it seemed too good to be true.  I had been at home with my kids for 7 years straight.  7 years in a state without family, a husband who traveled Monday through Thursday most weeks. I had preschool, but that was a small window allotted to solo grocery shopping, dr appts and other chores that I didn't want to drag little ones along.  Sure I had other mom friends that would watch them in a pinch, but those mom friends required reciprocration to continue this relationship.  The public school did not, WEE!  Of course I intended to volunteer, show up for lunch once a week and attend all those stupid parties, but basically I was free!

My happiness lasted for quite sometime.  Summer's were painful to survive.  I longed for the new year and the start up of school,etc.  But then something happened that I was aware was a possibility but was confident I would be spared.  My kids grew up.  The ungrateful stinkers.  They are 16 and 19 now, one is in college in Chicago and the other has her own car and a very independent lifestyle. A few years ago I realized that I had much more spare time than I had ever wanted or needed.  That coupled with a longing for adoption since forever meant a bit of a redo.  We adopted a 12 year old girl, now 13.  So once again I am grappling with the need for alone time and being a mom, except this time around my child requires being homeschooled.  Not my original plan.  Not my want.  Not my happiness.  Blech!

Because of this my un word is unselfish.  Because I MUST live unselfishly to provide this new child with the best for her.  At the end of each day I feel frazzled and quite frankly a little depressed. I'm not unhappy with her. I am struggling against an inner selfishness that is shameful.  A selfishness that thinks life would be so much better for ME if I just sent her for the free babysitting.  Even though we have a great school district, for her it is free babysitting.  She spends alot of time in the nurse's office, if she can't do something, she is not encouraged to work hard.  Her expectations are modified.  Oh how I have grown to hate that word.  Really modification is a four letter word in this house.

Kids who:
  1.  We're raised by parents on welfare and known for drug useage
  2.  With a chronic illness (type 1 diabetes) and allowed to use it as an excuse to not try anything
  3.  Have lived in foster care and have not really had a cheerleader

Should not be encouraged to not work hard and have their work constantly modified.  Because believe me this child knows how to work it.  She has every excuse in the book.  It's been tough and we have had some MAJOR power struggles, but it is a priveledge to look her in the eyes and say, "you are smart, you can do this.  It's hard, but you are capable.  You are worth fighting for and if it kills us both you will learn to fight for yourself and your future"!  It may kill us both, I'm not sure yet.  I'm not looking for any accolades, I'm the parent here.  Nope it's not what I was hoping for, but its what I need to do for my daughter, even if it depresses me sometimes, even if I feel lonely or unappreciated.  Because my daughter will learn to work hard and understand the joy of really putting yourself out there and succeeding.

What this post is not:

1.  stating that our resource program at school is unhelpful or pointless.  There are many kids that benefit from great programs in our school district.  My daughter does not need them, she is smart enough to figure out that she can use it to hide behind and not work hard.

2.  Saying homeschooling is the best or only way to educate our kids, it's not.  It just is for this year for us.  We are using this year to get our daughter caught up. I believe we maybe paying her math tutor's mortgage.  We plan on not breaking for the summer for more then a week, so that we can get a full school year in before 7th grade.  We couldn't start homeschooling till january and she was just floating along in public school.

3.  saying is that I am an awesome mom who excells at giving to others and serving my family well.  I actually stink at it and am trying to up my game.  Honesty and confession of sin can change us and I intend to confess my sin every morning and pray that God allows me a new heart towards homeschooling and my lack of personal time.

4.  to encourage martyrdom amongst moms.  Nope, not into martyrdom. I have lots of alone time scheduled and friend time schedules, plus date nights with the hubs.  I'm not moping around feeling sorry for myself.  I am taking care of myself so that I have the inner reserves to give to my daughter, except I still don't.  But whatever I am lacking I expect Jesus to fill to overflowing, maybe my word should be faith..... cuz I'm growing in that also.

So watch out world this girl will someday know that she is smart, capable of hardwork and take on the world like nobody's business!  In the meantime her mom needs a nap.