This is PERFECT!! Show this to those people, in- and outside the medical field, who think managing diabetes is just a matter of following a particular method… In case you need to print it out and show it to someone who might not understand just how incredibly easy it is to manage diabetes on a daily basis. (I can’t even type it without laughing.) I…
Don’t get too excited. This doesn’t happen on any sort of schedule. Just when the mood hits me. Ha. And I’m just using some of my MK stock that I ended up with after I quit being a “Mary Kay girl”. Ha ha!
I really like to use natural stuff when I can…or rather, when I “take a notion”. (who has heard their granny or mom say that?)
I have used things like oatmeal and egg whites masks. What kinds of natural recipes have you used for skin care? I wanna know!
If you read my first post about how our family got started homeschooling, you know it was almost accidental. It was one of those “try-it-and-see” deals.
Not at all planned. But we did like it. We saw good results with our oldest son, Corey. Since he was going into second grade when we started and hadn’t cared a whole lot for his prior experiences with both public and private school, it was a comparatively smooth transition.
Once his brother Casey, four years younger, was actually old enough to “officially” start working on lessons, he had already been “playing school” along with us as Corey did his work.
I’m not sure if that’s what led us to problems with Casey’s schooling or if it was truly his hard-headed nature!
The early years weren’t terrible. I saw right away that Casey was NOT going to work or study the way his brother did. Corey liked to learn, he appreciated books and was comfortable with abstracts. Casey, on the other hand, had a learning style more like his dad in that abstract concepts frustrated him more than anything. He liked the concrete, the hands-on, the logical. He wasn’t a bit interested in reading fiction, not even those adventure books most boys love or anything of the sort unless it had to do with some game they had created together. But if it had very much reading, he was done.
Casey didn’t mind doing math lessons and was okay with science unless it included writing. Like I said, his mind dealt better with things that were obviously either true or false, right or wrong. He just wanted nothing to do with lessons that included possibilities or imagining various endings or scenarios. English, spelling, and reading were things he despised.
I finally realized that he had a bit of a problem with reading, probably a mild form of dyslexia. His dad and grandpa were the same way. They had lots of trouble reading, often turning small words into something other than what they were. For instance, “that” would become “then”, “what” would be interpreted as “where”. At least, that’s how his dad would read. His grandpa had a bit more trouble than that, but had made it through seminary, and Casey’s dad had done well enough, I thought we should be able to handle the issue.
The thing was that it made Casey mad, I think. He resented not being able to do things as easily as his big brother did. If it was the least bit challenging to him, he didn’t want to do it. He liked to do what was easy for him, what came naturally and what he could excel in. He loved knowing how things worked, much like his daddy. He was forever taking things apart as a toddler, and so he loved working on vehicles the way his dad did.
As he got older, it just got harder and harder to get him to complete his lessons. By the time he became a teen, we were almost at each other’s throats all the time with me showing, telling, demanding, begging him to finish his school work and him just simply NOT doing it. He would piddle, he would just write “stuff”, he would doodle…anything to pass and avoid his lessons. He would never read what he was supposed to but could read through a magazine about cars in record time. I KNEW he was capable of doing it, he simply didn’t want to and wouldn’t.
I’m sure some of you are thinking I could have and should have just “made” him to his work, but after trying everything I knew to do, he still refused. Not outright to my face, but he just wouldn’t do it. His daddy and I weren’t communicating the best at that time in our marriage, and it’s possible he didn’t even think it was as bad as I was saying. Whatever the reason, Tommy wasn’t as supportive as I wanted and needed him to be. When I realized, with only a few credits left to go, that Casey wasn’t going to finish school, I talked with my husband and we sat him down and told him he needed to either get busy or get a job but I wouldn’t give him a diploma he didn’t earn. It broke my heart, but it was getting to the point that I would be irreparably damaging any relationship with him if I continued pushing him in school.
And yes, we did consider putting him in public school, but only for a split-second. We had seen another family put their sons in the local high school after a divorce and since they were my boys’ good friends, we saw them go through a really bad, reckless time. I know the divorce itself had a lot to do with it, but I also knew with the very rebellious attitude that Casey had, putting him in public school would only intensify that and widen the chasm between us. I knew that if he found that he was the least bit behind in a public school, he would just shut down and not try at all. That tends to lead a child to trouble. I wasn’t going to do that to him, even if he was throwing away his education.
I felt that protecting his soul and mind as much as possible was more important. I think he would agree with that today.
And speaking of today, Casey is happily married now, to an RN who is continuing her college education, so it’s done him a lot of good to see her working on her lessons to make a better future. With her encouragement, he is now taking his GED and wants to go on and get his Master Plumber certificate, which requires a written test. He reads very well now and is a hard-working, contributing member of society. I’ve come to the conclusion that his struggle with high school was more about maturity than anything else. That and a very strong-willed, sort-of angry attitude. That combination doesn’t make for a very good student.
But God has provided, He’s worked things out to his good and I still have a relationship with my son that I might not have had if I’d pushed him to finish high school.
Don’t let this discourage you if you’re a new homeschooling mom. Next time, I’ll tell you about the more willing student I had who probably spoiled me a little with his love of learning.
Did we do it perfectly? Um, NO! Did we do the best we knew how at the time? You betcha. And I relate these things, these memories of mine, to you in the hope that it may somehow help you in your quest to educate your children at home and have as much overall joy as we did.
I’ll be launching my new website!! Sorry if you thought I had busted out with a gospel hymn…
I’m just EXCITED!!
As you might recall, I want to make this new place “work”, “earn its keep”… at least generate a little income.
It better because it’s gonna cost a bit to get this started right. 🙂
So what will the new place consist of? Pretty much the same thing it does now, only Lord willing, more cohesive and more of it!
I’ll be posting about my experiences in homeschooling,
my various and sundry medical issues (type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, migraines, old age (LOL!))
I’ll also post about my faith
and I HOPE there will be lots of people who will come alongside and discuss things! I miss that the most, I think.
The blog I had years ago that was so active had several regular readers and they were not only readers, but COMMENTERS!! We had lots of great discussions about all kinds of topics, so that’s what I’m looking forward to most.
I hope that I might be able to do some reviews and possibly some freelance writing too. That pesky book I’ve been thinking about for years and finally sorta-kinda started…
….well, maybe I’ll be able to flesh it out to the end here, who knows?!
Anyhow… stay tuned and if you think of it, pray with me that this will be a success! THANKS!
Isn’t it amazing when God answers a prayer? Even when we know He can, we know He has, then when He blesses us with another provided need, another confirmation, another open door…wow. How blessed are we?!
This morning, He did that for me. We have always had kids, well, teens or kids our boys’ ages around the house. Even now that both the boys are married and on their own, we end up with “kids” around here randomly.
I can’t make myself NOT call them “kids” even though many of them are moving into their twenties now! Many we have known since they were pre-teens from a former church. Their peers seem to always look up to my boys and so even when we left that church, we kept in touch with those kids who really connected with us.
Some of them have broken our hearts many times. Some have made major turnarounds in their lives. Some have disappointed us but then they have overcome whatever struggle they had and made a good life, a righteous life, for themselves. Then some we have never been able to break through with, never been able to get past their hard hearts, their disbelief in a loving Savior. Those we still pray for and sometimes fret over.
This morning though, one of the boys who really carved out a special place with us all contacted me through Facebook. He’s such a sweet boy but from a rather rough home without Christian parents or other Godly influences in the home. That’s always hard to overcome. We have loved on him, laughed with him, helped him fix broken parts on his vehicle so he could get to work and pleaded with him when he fell back into detrimental things.
He’s been gone, away from us at least, for over a year. He lives in the next town, so we didn’t see him anymore other than an infrequent post on Facebook. Most of those were short rants or photos of him with his middle finger extended with sad eyes looking directly at you. 😦 So heartbreaking for me, but we didn’t push, we didn’t pursue him. We gave him his space realizing he’s an adult now, he’s not actually our child although we have worried and prayed for him as if he was.
This morning… what an answered prayer. He contacted me. With his usual opening line,
Yeah, he’s always called me that. We small talked for a bit, then I asked him
“How are you really?”
He’s never been an open book, he won’t share what’s troubling him most without a lot of coercion sometimes. The same was true today, although he did at least tell me that he was really struggling, that he knew he’d been doing wrong and wanted to change things. I immediately texted my husband, the boys and their wives to get them praying right then! I pointed him back to Jesus, when he said he didn’t know what to do or how to start, I told him, “You start with Jesus.”
I went on to say, “I know that sounds simplistic, but it’s true. You have to start with getting back in tune with Him before the rest will ever fall into place.”
Then he said, “I have a question.”
“Shoot,” I told him.
“Are you all mad at me or do you think I’m no good now?”
*deep breath* Bless his heart, I quickly assured him that none of us were mad and we all missed him. I told him he’d always had a special place in my heart, that I worried and prayed for him as if he was my own. I told him I wanted him to go to church with us and he said he wanted to go.
He asked me to pray for him, told me he loved me and missed us all and couldn’t wait to see us again.
*long sigh* I’m just SO relieved! Just as if one of my own sons had come to mend a rift between us. Thank God for His mercy, for keeping him safe all this time, for letting him feel secure enough to reach out to me again.
I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do in his life.
“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” ~Mark 11:25
Just wanted to pop on really quick and share that we are really LOVING these new groups. We’ve had our first meeting a church and it was just great. The staff worked with me on getting my sister moved into a group for women, which she was perfectly fine with, thank God!
We had just that other couple I mentioned and then the husband of another couple who is going to be leading a group. They are the ones I had contacted a couple months ago about starting a group of our own. The system isn’t complete yet, so the few people for their group didn’t show up and his wife was home sick, so he sat in with us.
We had the best conversations and just a time of getting to know one another! It was awesome and I’m not sure if that was because we were so relieved to have gotten my sis satisfactorily situated in another group and then gotten along so well with our own group or what! *laugh* Maybe it was a little of both. AND that we were just so tickled to finally be getting somewhere with having a small group again. We’ve sure missed that sense of community and comradery!
The next night, we had our third meeting with our LIFE group and it was the best yet too. Our kids didn’t get to go because our son was working over and our daughter-in-law didn’t really want to go without him. But everyone else was there and it was just a great time discussing God’s Word and fellowshipping.
Afterward, everyone had gone home and it was just us with the host couple and we had a really nice time of chatting about all kinds of stuff. The husband is a car guy too, so he and Tommy had a great time talking about the projects Tommy has going right now. I’m so glad he has found this man who loves the same things he does AND loves the Lord too. I hope he will get to come “hang out” in the garage with Tommy soon. I think they’d both be on Cloud 9 with so much to talk about and get into out there.
Anyhow, nothing else much, just wanted to toss that out there. I’m so thankful that we have these two great groups in our lives right now. I am praying God does mighty things in and through us all!
Lately, my husband and I have had a longing for community. For a group of closer friends who we could share with and encourage and who could encourage us. At our church, the staff has been struggling a bit with how to make groups a very integral part of our congregation. We go to what some might call a “mega-church” although realistically, it’s not that in the true sense of the word. But for our rural area, it’s certainly a much larger church than usual.
Anyway, the church experienced some sudden growth spurts at different times, which always makes for some trials in how to handle the influx of people in the different areas of ministry.
At one time we were in a “small group” with our lead pastor. We loved it, it was a great way to get to know him a little more personally and of course, to meet others in the church that we may not have otherwise gotten to know.
As time went on, however, the group grew too large for one room so we split and somehow we ended up in the group without our pastor, which turned out to be okay, we just would have chosen differently. And so this new group did well for several months until one night, the leader and his wife didn’t show up. There were about 3 other couples there and two new people showed up as well, so we all just kind of went on with things the way we usually did. The next week, the same thing happened and another new person showed up.
I was concerned about the situation because I’d seen the couple who were leaders of the group at church that morning, so I sent a message to one of the associate pastors asking what we should do or if he knew if there was something wrong with the other couple. The reply I got was “Congratulations! You have just become group leaders!” Hahaha… um, no. 🙂
Actually, we didn’t mind, it was just a little scary to be given that title and so we asked the other two couples who were regular attenders if they wanted to lead and were told emphatically NO, so we carried on with the group.
After about a year, things changed, the church began to want groups to meet in homes instead of the church which made ME nervous and then things happened like one couple’s job schedules changed drastically and they couldn’t meet the same night anymore, then another couple had some scheduling issues and finally, our group just kind of fell apart. Soon after, though, the church tried a new approach to groups and asked two of our regular couples to become leaders of their own groups.
That didn’t work so well as we were put into a large room with a sign telling what sort of group we had (age range, location, meeting day, etc) and then people would come and “join” whichever group would work for them. We had one couple in our new group and they seemed to always have some conflict and didn’t often show up, so that fell apart too and we had no group at all.
It’s been that way for a couple years now so we finally just gave up and filled out a form to be put into a group. We ended up being put into a group lead by a couple we know and love, but they’ve had a group for years and still had one couple in it that had been there from the start. The other couple was nice, we knew and liked them as well, but it was really hard with so much history between them to feel as if we belonged. Maybe that was our own doing, but there it is. We just felt so outside the loop it was uncomfortable to try and belong. As it was, this all happened just before Thanksgiving so we put off scheduling a meeting til after that and Christmas since our church does a MAJOR Christmas event that draws thousands and so many of us volunteer to help with it.
And so here it is the end of February and we hadn’t had the first meeting. I wasn’t sure if they’d been meeting without us or what, but found out that they hadn’t started meeting yet. I guess life is crazy for all of us!
And so, while I was serving at camp for a young girls’ Emmaus weekend, one of the pastors called and asked Tommy if we would lead a group. He immediately said we would, which kind of surprised me, but I was glad.
The fact was that I’d been talking with another lady that had discussed desire for a group to join and was contacting another to see if we could just start our own study group. What was even funnier is that after this lady and her husband said they would love to start a group with us, we got this call and they also got asked to lead a group!
—February 27, 2016—
(that’s what happens when I get interrupted repeatedly during a post! LOL!)
The other thing that was going on during this same time is an Emmaus friend of ours and her husband were starting LIFE group at their home and asked if we wanted to join them. (read about what LIFE group is at the link above)
The first week there was only one other couple there and it was nice, we got excited about it. The curriculum revolves around the real meaning of the Tree of Life and the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. So far, we really like it.
So, here it is a week later and last time I checked, there are three people signed up for our discipleship group. One of them is my sister, which we’re not sure about. I mean, one of the objectives we’ve been given is to get people to open up. That’s NOT as ominous as it sounds. The idea is to form a close, cohesive group that comes to love and depend on each other and what better way to do that than by sharing about our lives? As you may or may not know, my sister and I have had a pretty non-functional, almost non-existent relationship most of our lives. Lots of things contributed to that, but nevertheless, we have just in this past year been able to deal with it in a more productive way. Once she went on an Emmaus walk for herself, frankly, she almost became a different (better!) person! Her inward, self-focused thinking changed and it’s been a really great thing.
For the past several months, she’s actually been going to our church which is a big change for her all by itself. Much the same way it was for us. She’s really been loving it and learning more than ever. So anyway, it’s NOT that the relationship is still so strained, it’s just that, well, she’s my sister so I would think either it’d be easier to open up with other people or that it would just be nicer to chat with people she doesn’t have history with. I guess she just wanted to be where she knew someone, but we are hoping that either it works EXTREMELY well, or that she’ll see the wisdom in moving to another group. I’m hoping there is a women’s group she can get in since, for the time being, her husband isn’t going to be coming with her.
So anyhow, the other two people in the group is a couple that we sort-of know. Well, we know the husband very well. He and I went to school together from kindergarten through high school! This is his second wife, so I don’t know her, but it’ll be interesting to see how this thing works.
We were under the impression that the staff would be putting people into groups, but apparently, they are able to choose which group they want. I’m not sure, but from what one staffer told us, I think maybe they are surprised by this too…I think they assumed it was set up so that the people were only signing up with their info and not actually able to choose a group!
We had our second week at LIFE group and more people were there, including Corey, our eldest son and his wife! I was so glad they agreed to come and hope they will continue. Corey’s a youth pastor at another church and they are both always just stretched to the limit with church activities. I get a little irritated (okay, a LOT irritated sometimes!) because of the way the church will schedule things that require Corey’s involvement without consulting him. Just last weekend, they took the group to Winter Jam and then had a lock-in at the church and the next day he was responsible for much of the Sunday service then they had a belated Valentine’s dinner planned that, of course, the youth are supposed to be in charge of. WHY would anyone schedule all that stuff the same weekend?!?! It happens all the time and I really wish Corey would just tell them NOPE sometimes, but he usually picks up whatever they throw at him and deals with it. *sigh* He’s much more patient than me, obviously.
So there it is… I’ll post again with news of how the discipleship group goes. Maybe we will have more people by Wednesday and it will all balance out. 🙂
Well, hello there & happy new year! (why yes, it IS January 26th! I’ve been busy, okay?)
Where to start…the Christmas season was great. We stayed home this year instead of booking a week at a cabin for the family. It just seemed we were all a little too tight on money and everyone couldn’t get off the same time, etc, so we just had Christmas at home. Actually, we always do. We don’t get a cabin the actual week of Christmas (do you know how much they charge for that?!?!) We always book the first or second week of December and then when Christmas rolls around, we just have our usual family gatherings: Christmas Eve at Mom’s or my sister’s or one of the kids’ houses and then Christmas morning breakfast at our house.
It was crazy because it POURED the rain all day on Christmas and the temperatures were so warm we had the heat pump off and the windows open! Talk about kinda mind-boggling! It didn’t feel like Christmas at all except for having everyone over.
Hubbs had a four day weekend, so the day after Christmas, we got up fairly early and went out to our shop/garage and started cleaning. Yep. All kinda fun right there.
Hubby has this huge 30 x 60 shop with two large garage bays, one with a car lift, an “office”, a bathroom with shower, a room with a small garage door for our lawn mower and another room that was originally intended to be a “tool room”.
Now, before you go thinking we’re rich, let me stop you. Hubby bartered for most of what’s in there (that 6000 lb lift? yep, $200 and a day spent clearing garbage) so even though it’s really REALLY nice considering what we spent on it, we just “squeaked by” to get it completed and enough of the insides done to use it.
In the part of the shop where those rooms are, he was able to get a set of metal stairs so he built an upper level with the intention of closing it in for more household-type storage.
But we somehow never got around to putting up those walls. For one thing, the money just wasn’t there to buy the material, then what material had been left over from building the shop that we’d hoped to at least start on the walls with ended up getting used in some other project. So over the years (yep, YEARS) with each of the boys getting cars that needed parts and then having parts taken off of things that they’d sell… (yeah, right)…well, that upper floor got covered in all manner of stuff!
There was also all the stuff from the house that we just didn’t know what to do with…the dining set that was my grandparents that we used for awhile until my mom gave me a nicer set, the two chairs the boys had used when we were homeschooling, bookcases, books, lamps, sports equipment, weights, siding, trim and tile from projects in the house. You name it, it was out there and open to all the elements a shop can present…dust, black soot from the wood stove that heat the place, sawdust, welding “dust”…it was just filthy up there.
We had a small attic that we’ve used for storage all this time. We had to keep our Christmas stuff up there because it was the only place we had. Because of the way our ceilings are made, we had to put the entrance inside a closet in one of the spare rooms. That makes what little space is up there almost more trouble than it’s worth. So, we decided that we had to get those walls up so we could store the Christmas stuff out in the shop. It’ll be MUCH easier to load a dolly with totes and roll them down the wide steps and into the house than to wrestle them out of the attic. AND we would have enough space to move all my craft stuff out there plus all the other seasonal decor we have stuffed up there.
We decided that it’d be nice to run lights up there, of course, so we could see what was up there, but MORE lights and set up a table so that I could actually work on craft projects out there and not have to gunk up the house every time I wanted to paint something or do a project.
So, we spent a lot of time running metal conduit and electric through those, wiring the lights & getting them hung. That was after framing and covering the walls. We even added a small window so you could see out into the shop from up there. It was out of our old kitchen door!
After working almost every evening for a week, and I mean, working the whole time he was off for Christmas, then the next four-day weekend for New Year’s and then every evening after work til late, we got really, REALLY tired! Just burnt out, really.
The thing is while we had got a LOT of stuff done for the upstairs and the actual storage area, we were also cleaning and clearing and fixing things in the main shop area too. For instance, Hubby had a work bench he needed to put a new top on. He had kept a big piece of marble-like material he’d gotten from somewhere or other and so we got that down and used the table saw to cut it to the size he needed, cut another piece to make a small shelf over the bench then made another top and corner shelf out of the rest of it. Of course, he had to round all the edges and make it perfect (sheesh!) so that took a lot of time. Now he has a very nice workbench with the shelf above it and a light mounted underneath. He ran wiring for a switch and an outlet.
Another project he’d wanted to do for awhile is to get some way to play music out there. The old boom box he’d been using was great…when it would pick up a station. But in a metal building, radio reception is hit or miss, and stations would “wander” so it really frustrated him. Our oldest son told him how he could stream music through his phone. He had run ethernet cable out there from the house (underground!) several years ago so he could do research about stuff he was working on without coming back and forth to the house. So since I’d just upgraded my phone, we had my old one to use solely for streaming music…we just needed something to stream it to. He pulled out another of his “I can use this for something” items…an older car radio with mp3 capabilities. He got our daughter-in-law’s brother, who is a whiz with computers, to come up and help him rig it all up. Then he got into the stack of speakers he’d been amassing. He wired all of those up that sounded decent and so now he has full stereo sound in the shop with clear, crisp streaming music!
So as you can see, our “build walls and clean up a storage area” project was anything but cut and dried!
At this point, we do have a lot accomplished up there. We got the big piles of just STUFF that Hubby had saved from various and sundry building projects sorted and categorized and put into milk crates that are stacked along a wall. the bigger items we put into totes. We built a hook thingie to hold all the remaining conduit and other long, thin items up off the floor and easy to access. We threw out a bunch of junk along the way, used a lot of stuff in the building of the room and moved some out to the shop below.
Yesterday, I wiped down all the Christmas totes that had been stacked in the shop so Hubby could carry them in. While we don’t have the area where we plan to put them completely finished (we need to insulate the outer walls and cover them) we do have room to put the totes where they’ll be kept clean and out of the way. I now have them all stacked in the family room (yep, in the middle of everything) which I don’t really care for, but at least I can work toward getting Christmas put away and getting the house back to normal. Hopefully soon I can start carrying craft items out of the back room. First, though, I have to get some shelves emptied and a bit more junk out of the other part of the room.
One more sort-of bump in our road to organizing and cleaning the shop…our youngest son had an accident a couple weeks ago. Praise God, he wasn’t hurt because his Jeep flipped end over end and he could have been seriously injured or killed just as easily. But his Jeep is pretty banged up. The frame was twisted slightly, so the insurance company totaled it and our son bought it back for practically nothing and he wants to fix it.
That means it’s in our shop now. *sigh* It’s been okay. He’s been up here for the past week helping Hubby do work out there in preparation (& probably payment) for his dad’s help fixing the Jeep and a place to work on it. But tonight, they brought it home, so now they are out there messing with it.
I told them they really needed to finish the project they’d started a couple days ago which was putting wall board up in the office (which had been just studs and bare insulation til now) and tin up on the ceiling. So now all the stuff is moved out of the office into the shop and while the walls are done, the ceiling has only one run of metal on it. I’m hoping tomorrow they will get back on that.
Another dilemma there is that we want to move the chest freezer out of the office (yeah, that was the only place we could put it at the time…we got it from his parents) into the mower room, but that, of course, requires a whole ‘nother clean up and move stuff and organize project. We started that tonight, but didn’t get finished. We did get a piece cut out of the roll of carpet we’d had for years big enough to put under our bikes so we could throw the rest of it away and get it out of the floor in the shop (after it had come from upstairs) We got part of our camping supplies out of the mower room moved upstairs and most of the shelf that has to move to make room for the freezer emptied out.
SHEW!!! I’m just about to get overwhelmed with all this stuff!! What I want to do once the majority of this cleaning is done is have a sort-of open house so people from the homeschooling community can come and buy all (hopefully) the tons of books and supplies I have sitting in FOUR bookcases down in the shop covered with a tarp!! I’m still going to have to dust all that stuff, even with the tarp, they’re a mess, but they’ve been sitting there for about 3 years now!
So yeah… we have got a ton of stuff done, but we have SO much more to go! And I’m halfway trying to clear, toss, declutter and organize in the house too.
I hope I get most of this stuff done before it kills me! That way at least when people have to go through my stuff, it won’t drive them bonkers too! LOL!