Thursday, June 23, 2016

It's over.

My mom has gone to heaven today.  Continued prayers please.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Not going well.

Things are not going well for us at the nursing home.  We have more bad news each day and we've had to call and speak with mom's brothers and sisters and tell them how bad it is now.  Each day this week, mom has lost ground and gotten weaker, despite excellent nursing care and the doctor seeing her every day.  Prayers please.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Crazy roller coaster.

We're on one of the parts of the roller coaster of life, where you just feel like you may lose your lunch, or worse.  Mom is in the nursing home but is not doing well.  The doctor calls me pretty much every night with bad reports.  She doesn't want to eat or drink, she's agitated, she's upset.  I knew that she would be agitated and upset with this move, as with any move, because she doesn't know the people and the building is unfamiliar.  I hope that will resolve and she will settle in.  The eating and drinking has been an ongoing thing and apparently is characteristic of the end-stages of Alzheimer's disease.  My husband and I were talking last night and I realized that I've known she's had this at least since 2003, so 13 years.  That's longer than most people live with the disease.  So, needless to say, we are having some really hard times here and would appreciate prayers and warm thoughts.

On the other hand, we have kids who are thriving and growing and doing things and we are happy about all of those things.  My daughter is doing very well with the little store we are selling art in and in orders that we get from posts on Facebook about our booth at the store.  She is doing well with the job duties at the store and the cash register/computer tasks and it is awesome.  I'm very happy she's doing so well   Youngest son graduated last weekend, and this past weekend, turned 18 and yesterday, got his driver's permit and drove for the first time.  Milestones, good things all.

I am up, down, up, down throughout the day, but I think I am calmer with mom at the new place.  There is a little bit of peace knowing that she is getting the best care possible and that we personally don't need to drive there to make sure that she eats.  So that's something.  I guess.  Requesting continued warm thoughts and prayers as we try to navigate the end stages of this horrible (beyond words) disease and at the same time try to celebrate milestones with our kids.   I'm also sad about the recent bad news from Orlando, but the truth is, other than a few prayers here and there for the families, I haven't spared them a lot of my thoughts.  :-(

Reba McIntire said it best when she said "I guess the world didn't stop for my broken heart."  It doesn't. The world just goes right on around you.  It's kind of a shock that it does.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Trying to take a mental health day.

We have found a nursing home for my mom.  I know that this is what we have to do, but it is hard.  I am worried about how she will do here, but she's not doing well where she is, so maybe this will be better.  I am trying to be hopeful.  The last 5 or 6 days have been taken up with mom's care, with her falling several times this week at assisted living and every time it happens, either she has to go to the emergency room or we have to go up there and sign a paper declining an emergency room visit.  It's made for a crazy week.  Tomorrow, if things go well and all the paperwork is in order, we will move her.  I looked at my two kids who live here last night and said "We may have to move grandma again on Friday and it might just be the three of us" and what did my wonderful kids say?  "Ok."  They didn't even say it with dread or whining.  They are better people than I was when I was their age.  I kind of hate that all this is happening right when my son is graduating from high school (last weekend) and turning 18 (this weekend) and he might actually have to be moving mom on Saturday, which is his birthday, but what can I do?  Life is hard and adulthood, which he is on the verge of, is made up of things like this.
So today, I am trying to take a mental health day, to get over the past few days and to try and prepare myself for the next few days.

Monday, June 06, 2016


They had graduate recognition at our church yesterday and each graduate came up to the front, had a small bio about their high school career and their plans for the future read aloud and received a bible.  We don't have any kind of formal ceremony around here, so that's the only recognition that my graduates get.  I think they enjoy it a little bit.  They are shy but sometimes having a little positive attention is a good thing.  Youngest son got his  bible and also got some monetary gifts from members of the congregation, which he wasn't expecting but really appreciated.  :-)

So now it's officially over.  :-P

I do need to write his transcript.  Next week he turns 18 and will get his driver's permit and start learning to drive.  That's going to be interesting.  

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Pushing academics.

These are the kinds of things I annoy my friends and acquaintances with on Facebook, the things I am passionate about.  I feel like there are a few of us speaking out against pushing children so hard, but our voices are being overwhelmed by the compulsory schooling/testing mentality.  Individually, moms and dads, save your kids from this and let them play when they are little.
Sky candy.

Early academic training causes long term harm.

"Early academic training somewhat increases children’s immediate scores on the specific tests that the training is aimed at (no surprise), but these initial gains wash out within 1 to 3 years and, at least in some studies, are eventually reversed.  Perhaps more tragic than the lack of long-term academic advantage of early academic instruction is evidence that such instruction can produce long-term harm, especially in the realms of social and emotional development."

There's a deer in this picture, taken from inside my car on the driveway.
Educating too early
"Recent studies with four-year-olds showed that, “Direct instruction really can limit young children’s learning.” Direct instruction also limits a child’s creativity, problem solving, and openness to ideas beyond the situation at hand. This is true when the instruction comes from parents as well as teachers."  

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Long time.

I saw this table at a thrift store and impulsively brought it home.  We decided to decorate the top of it in our own way.  Who needs lamps or flower arrangements?
It's been a long time since I posted and honestly, I feel like I am wasting the blog posting about my life now, when it has always supposed to have been a homeschooling blog (despite the fact that I almost always posted about  my life more than homeschooling.) now that we are no longer officially homeschooling.  In our house though, nothing has really changed.  Youngest son still schools himself constantly about everything.  This week, he's learning everything he can about Persia because he's interested in using the culture as a backdrop for either a game or a book.  With the 2 aspiring young authors in the house, there is always research for something going on here.  Our work also continues for the shop that my daughter and I sell our craft creations in.  My daughter has been getting a lot of orders for her chicken and egg washcloths and last night an order for hot pads that look the same but are double thick.

I have proved this week that I am the second biggest wimp in the world.  I started a job on Thursday and quit it yesterday.  When I was leaving, another employee came up to me and told me that I had lasted longer than the lady last week, who only lasted one day (hence, I am the second biggest wimp).  When I quit, I recommended a friend and she is meeting with the guy today.  The job was stocking bread on the Walmart shelves and it sounds easy, but it is very hard.  The bread company I was working for had 75 different types of bread in that bread aisle and also displays elsewhere in the store that had to be stocked twice a day from these huge bread trays and there was no order to the way the deliveries were stacked, no order to the invoices, so I had to stack and restack these big trays something like 15 times and bend and stretch and reach and it was really hard on my body and a little hard on my brain trying to remember the 75 types and where they were.  I need to do 2 things, get in better shape and get a slightly more sedentary job.  I don't want to be sitting all the time because I know that's bad for me, but standing all the time is very hard for my arthritic knees.

So anyway, back to unemployment.  I feel bad about it, but I really don't think that I could ever do the job in the amount of time that they expected it to be done in.  For example, yesterday afternoon's restock was supposed to take half an hour but it took me almost 2 hours.  I don't think that's a good sign for my efficiency in the job.  I mean, I would expect it to take me slightly longer, but not that much longer.   I had overly loose joints as a child and young person and was constantly spraining my knees and ankles ... I mean all the time, it was crazy...and now I am paying a big price in that my knees and ankles are always stiff and sore and it affects how quickly I can walk.  There's no getting around it.  Anyway, enough about that.  My friend hopefully will start next week and will love it and I will try to find something else.

My son and his girlfriend have gone back to Mississippi and we miss them but we might get to see them again in August, so I am excited about that.  We had a good time while they were here.  In the next little while, we've got working at the craft store, taking mom to several doctors appointments, my youngest son's 18th birthday and then he will get his driver's permit and we will teach him to drive and hopefully getting the pool up and getting in there to exercise and get in better shape and maybe I'll find a job along the way someplace.  I hope that someone comes up to me and says "I heard about this job that would be perfect for you ..."  :-)

This is the best picture I could find of the chicken and egg washcloths.  

This is a coloring page I made to sell at the store.

This is a similar one after I have colored it.

This is a sign someone else has for sale at the store. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Many thoughts.

It's been storming a lot lately.  
I have a lot going on inside my head right now, trying very hard not to spend all of my time worrying about mom,   I do spend a significant amount of time worrying about mom, maybe half of every day.  It's not good.  It's something I've been struggling with, but we've got the oldest son and his wonderful girlfriend coming for a visit on Sunday and I'm excited about that.  Hopefully they will provide a distraction from my worries and we will have some fun.

We are finishing up homeschooling.  Basically, the boy is done with everything we had planned for him and he's going to keep studying the things he wants to study on his own.  He's planning to become 100% fluent in German on Duolingo and then learn several of the other languages they offer.  (He's 22 percent fluent in German right now).  He's going to keep reading extensively on all subjects.  He's kind of gotten a reputation at the library as a voracious reader, which is a good thing.  I am thinking of putting him in piano lessons this summer and he's going to turn 18 and get his driver's permit and start having driving lessons, so life goes on, educating ones-self goes on.

The deer population has become increasingly bold about being right in our yard lately.  
Since I have been a homeschooling mom for 12 years, I've become increasingly critical of the public schools and what they are doing to our nation's children and I've become more of an unschooler over the years.  I've learned to trust that when the kids want to learn something, they will learn it.  They will find a way.  My youngest son pretty much taught himself how to read when he was ready to learn and has taught himself a million things by reading since.  I participate in a lot of on-line forums and try to give advice and share my hard earned wisdom with younger homeschoolers but no one listens to me so I thought I'd share on the blog.  Here it is.  Don't push them.  Don't drill them. Don't fight about it.  Enjoy them, read to them extensively, take a lot of field trips and most of all, have fun with homeschooling.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Funny dream.

Youngest son fell asleep last night while watching Friends.  It was the episode where Joey is in a WW1 movie and takes Chandler to see it and Chandler falls asleep.  After the movie, in order to get Chandler to admit he fell asleep, Joey asked him what he thought about the scene with the kangaroos. Chandler does not admit he went to sleep, but replies that he was surprised to see kangaroos in a WW1 movie.    Youngest son says his subconscious took it from there, saying "okay, World War 1, kangaroos, lets make it happen"  resulting in a funny dream.  He didn't elaborate further, but I'm sure it was hilarious.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Thinking about what to do now.

My youngest is graduating from homeschool.  I am trying to change careers.  My mother's living situation may have to change.  I am going to be an old lady with only adult kids now.

My daughter and I have been keeping a little bit busy this week doing crafts for our table at the craft store.  She's been crocheting chicken and egg washcloths and I have been making a ton of my best sellers, bookmarks.  

We're trying to decide what to do about youngest son's graduation from high school, whether to do a big party or a small party or no party at all.  We'll see, I guess.  

Changes, changes.  :-/

Monday, April 25, 2016


The weekend was okay, I suppose. The weather has been beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.  I've been very worried about my mom, so I have been down there at the assisted living facility every day trying to get her to eat and drink something.  They will not be able to keep her there and she may have to go to a nursing home if she does not start eating.  I've been in contact with the NP who is treating her quite a bit as well.  It is not physically exhausting, but the mental exhaustion from the worry makes me feel physically exhausted.  Every day I go have lunch with her and then I come home and want to sleep.  I've been trying to be more "in the moment" when I am at home and it does help with the stress/anxiety of it.  Last night, my family took a couple of hours and had a board game night.  Cosmo was all excited at first when we set up the card table, but he quickly lost interest in what we were doing and crawled under one of the ottomans and growled at himself for a while.  I guess that was more fun than watching us play Blokus, Masterpiece and Cover Your Assets.  :-P  

Monday, April 18, 2016

This and that.

The view out the living room window yesterday.  Yesterday was just breathtakingly beautiful.  I did go outside for a while, but I did not take my phone, so I took the picture after I got inside.
Most of last week was just recovering from staying at the hospital for 2 overnights.  I didn't get much else done.  I went to see mom pretty much every day just to make sure that she eats something, in order to keep her out of the hospital, hopefully, ongoing. 

We did finally work at the little store in town where my daughter and I are selling our crafts.  We made 70 dollars with our crafts and our table cost 60 so we didn't do all that great, really, for our first month.  We'll see if we want to continue.  I told her I'd do 3 months.   Tourist season is just now ramping up though, so maybe we'll do better in the future.  These pictures are of our display.  :-)  

We are continuing homeschooling in our relaxed style, which means that the boy does his lessons on his own and when he says he's done, he'll be done and we'll work on his transcript and get him ready for college.  He recently re-took the ACT and felt that he probably did better on it, so hopefully he'll get some good scores and be ready to go to college (not too far away :-P.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Thanks everyone.

She's coming back to the assisted living facility today.  I am kind of in shock, but glad.  I expected her to be there longer based on something one of the nurses said.  It's weird to spend 12 hours a night in a hospital all of the sudden like that.  Please continue to keep her in your prayers, because she has been refusing food and drink and that's what got her in the hospital and we don't know how we are going to resolve it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Prayers Please.

My mom is in the hospital, so prayers please.


Saturday, April 09, 2016

Simplest Trick of All for Saving on Groceries.

Okay, here's my simple trick for saving on groceries.  I use coupons sometimes.  I go to the salvage grocery store sometimes (and when I do, I save money for 2-3 weeks afterwards at the regular grocery store) but the best/easiest thing I do, is just procrastinate going for a day or two.  I don't go once a week, but once every 8-9 days.   My grocery budget when we were both working, for 5 pets and 4 people, was 150 dollars a week and when I go, I pretty much fill up the cart/buggy and it ends up being right around this amount.  I do spend less when I do a meal plan, but it averages about this amount most of the time.  Some people like to challenge themselves and empty the pantry out over a month and save the money, but I like to have fresh fruit and dairy products, so I just put off going to the store for a couple of days.  I think I will challenge myself this week and try and go maybe 3 days past a week.   Yesterday would have been my grocery day if I went once a week, but we have plenty of food, so I think we can wait until Monday.

So here's 150 dollars a week going every 7 days  .... 7800 per year.

every 8 days 6843 per year.

every 9 days 6083 per year.

In the summer, Kroger kind of messes this schedule up because they have a promotion that if you shop on weekends, you get double gas points, so in the summer, I'll probably go every weekend.  Those gas points add up.

A while back, I got a full tank of gas for 1.49 a gallon.


Now that I look at this, I think I can do better and spend less.


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