Week in Review – 30 Jan 2015

If you’ve read some of the earlier posts this week, this is a little bit of a rehash, but hopefully I picked different pictures…

Sunday started with Big and me on a flight to New York City. We had a very short, but VERY awesome girl’s adventure to the city. We loved every second of it.


Our big mission was to see WICKED. Witch was (ha, get it), as awesome as we had heard. Probably even more awesome. I would totally pay to see it again (and maybe again…). We LOVED it.


On our way home we MIRACULOUSLY made it out of New York before the “STORM OF THE CENTURY”. Of course the storm turned into not much of anything in NYC, but our getting out meant we wouldn’t sit in a hotel until Thursday or Friday, so I am so grateful.

Our getting out did result in a 9 hour layover in Cincinatti. It was made wonderful, quiet, and full of snacks with the wonderful USO at the airport. What a tremendous blessing that was!!!


Our biggest mishap with NYC was leaving Bear in the hotel. (I think he was preparing to hibernate with the storm coming…). After a HUGE rig-a-ma-roll and Bear spending 2 nights in my neighbor’s mailbox (the hotel guy mislabeled the TO address…) Bear is home safely. This is a HUGE praise to God, and moves Dad in the rank of Supreme Awesome Bear Finding Hero.


Tuesday through Thursday we tried to get on track with schoolwork and our routine. Tuesday was SO BEAUTIFUL that we cleaned the cars and enjoyed short sleeve weather… even if in passing.


Some interesting school things are going on here that I’ll post more about soon…

Big has started her Aerospace 1 course with AeroScholars and so far is enjoying it…


This week an exciting event (along with WICKED!!) was the state Hymn Festival. I’ll write more on this later, but the kids did great and I’m very proud of them!!


So, other stuff this weekend:
+ Upward Basketball portraits – but thankfully no game!! LOL!!
+ Food pantry Friday and Saturday
+ Scout camp out
+ Girl’s chill weekend (you know, after pictures and food pantry… LOL!!) which will likely include a Hobby Lobby run!

Hope your week was awesome!!

Linked at:

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

For the Display of His Splendor


Travel / (Last Week’s) Week in Review – 23 Jan 2015

I’ve written about this a couple of times, but this week was another round of Travel School. This week we flew to New England to help move my mom from a nursing home to a memory care unit, and squeezed in a little math.


This week our official “school” included a math lesson… spread over 2 days…one of the days in an airport waiting for our flight.



Weak, I know. But there was also some Life School.

Helping aging grandparents…

Supporting an overwhelmed uncle…

Being kind to cousins we don’t see all that often…

Reading a bunch of books… (Purchased at an amazing independent bookstore in Boston!…)


Eating great food (Indian AND Thai this week!)…







I won’t kid anyone that Life School makes up for academics, or that it’s all a giant “field trip”, but some weeks you just have to roll with life and be glad you have the flexibility that means you can help.

Sick Season


Sick Season finally hit us. We are normally NEVER sick, but last week I came down with a wicked sore throat. I think it **might** be related to coaching 8 five-year old boys and all their sticky noses and new-to-us germs… Might… LOL!!

Wherever it came from it was awful and I had travel plans. I had to defeat it. I started in hard with gargling Apple Cider Vinegar diluted with water. It didn’t hurt (like, “ouch!”) and seemed to help with the pain. I also started Elderberry supplements and an occasional decongestant, and diffusing Thieves oil throughout the house.

I was fine… until I flew. Ow. My ears hurt and the drip was INSANE. I had to up my game and add in Alka Selzer extreme cold… more elderberry..lots of liquids…loads of prayer…

And after 3 days of not sleeping due to drip, it cleared up. A ton.

Then Little got it. We took him in for a throat swab, which was negative. I thought the Apple Cider Vinegar would be too much for him, so we started Throat Coat Tea with honey and lemon. He loved it and it helped a ton. I don’t think he needed any other meds.

SO, that’s my mix. Some OTC, some natural – depending on what’s needed and who is sick.

What’s your routine for bad colds and sick season? Any great tips to share?

Girl’s Trip

Last week I posted about Aging Parents. It was a rough week. When I got home I needed a day to decompress from all the stress and emotion. By Saturday I was back to normal.

Kind of.

Part of my new normal is to seize the day with my kids more. I know, I do it a lot already, but last week shook me and DH and I are coming to realize that time is short. The “let’s do that someday” list needs to be a “when are we doing this?” list. We were bought with a price – we are not our own – we need to live like that. As a mom, that often means pouring more, even when I am tired and worn out from a stressful week.

So Saturday morning DH, Big and I hatched a plan…

The Girls will take on NYC.

Big and I have wanted to see Wicked forever, and it is touring near us in the spring. I’ve priced tickets 10 times, but every time I was just left feeling that I shouldn’t commit. I’m glad I didn’t. For what we would have paid for the touring group – we DID it up!! We have memories to savor, forever!

We flew to NYC…

Took a bus from the airport to Manhattan… and ate pizza…

After buying tickets to see Wicked…


Then we walked around and toured Times Square… (we took this shot of a CHOCOLATE store for Little…)

And then we checked the weather…

It was hard NOT to! “Worst Blizzard Ever!” coming to NYC. So, we cut out trip short by a day. We had planned to skate at Rockefeller Center and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but those will wait. We’ll do this trip again.

Hopefully very, very soon.

So now we’re on a flight home. We’re grateful beyond description that we’re on a flight home instead of holed up in a hotel in NYC waiting out a blizzard. That’s all God’s gracious providence on us. There is not other explanation to our getting our of Newark this morning.

And other than the weather we had one major mishap…

Bear slept in at the hotel and missed the flight. He’s supposed to be coming home via Fedx or some other super-fast shipping, but he’ll be sorely missed until he gets home.

And I am so grateful for a chance to mark something off our list – together -and make memories with my growing kids – who still love their bears.

I need to get planning on the next item on the list.

Goal Setting Monday – 26 January 2015

Every Monday I think , “This week! I’ll stick with it this week!” and usually I fail. But hey, setting goals does help to keep me on track even if I don’t achieve them all. In light of my eternal goal-setting-optimism, here’s this week’s…

The Week Ahead

+ Daily time in the Word – 30 minute challenge
+ Get 3 more verses of Romans 12 memorized with the kids (Seriously. Still.)
+ Complete all of Bible Study before Tuesday at 2 pm.

+ Complete all items on checklist for school this week. Big task here. We’ve done some math and science, but otherwise took a week and a day off…
+ Accountability with encouragement…. keep it up…TONE!!
+ One night with no TV and a game night.
+ Keep to minimal tv / video games for kids and reestablish time habits.

+ Walk 5 times this week, 2 miles each, foot permitting – or do Leslie for 30 minutes
+ Make my coffee before bed
+ Complete 2 hours of video sessions in the Lightroom Class – May this should be “log on”. Since that would be more than I’ve accomplished…

+ Get back on track with No Spend January.

+ meal plan
+ minimize grocery shopping this week as much as possible
+ minimize waste – reuse, cook less, eat leftovers
+ keep up with no process / no junk challenge

+ No Car Wrecks.

Linked up at The Modest Mom Blog.

A Million Husband Points

Discussing with my husband​​ the need for me to take home my mom’s silver service when I fly home later this week…

Me: “It’s really heavy. Should I try to carry it on?”
DH: (pause) “Seriously?” (Pause) “It only has, what, 18 or 36  knives?”
Me: “Good point.”

I think he’ll start breathing again soon through the laughter… and he gets a million husband points for not calling me an idiot, which I deserve.

I’m blaming my deplorable situational awareness on cold medicine. 😉

Aging Parents

Life is really hard some weeks.

No, we haven’t been handed a cancer diagnosis…

or have sick kids..

or are on the brink of a divorce.

We’re eating well.

We have a safe and warm home.

I have a loving and kind family.

And most importantly, I am a daughter of The King.

This week I am counting my blessings and trying hard to keep perspective eternal.

It’s really hard.

My Mom has Alzheimer’s. She’s been struggling for years and almost died twice last year.

Her body pulled through.

Her mind did not.

This week my brother and I (and my kids) moved Mom from the nursing home where she recovered from pneumonia last spring to a Memory Care home.

It was terrible.

It is necessary.

I hated almost every minute of this trip.


Everything you read, and see, and have learned about memory loss seems insignificant when it’s your parent.

When they can’t remember your name.

Or who you are.

When they are scared and agitated, and there is nothing you or anyone can do for them – except maybe placate… and lie… and enter their reality for just a second….

When one second they say they like their new”home”, and then ask who is taking them “home”.

When they beg you to stay and sleep on their floor because they’re scared and overwhelmed and can’t remember why they aren’t at the Nursing Home that they HATED…and they want you to take them back.

Or help them leave to go live with your siblings.

Or ask for their mom, to comfort them, but she’s been dead for 40 years.

And then you have to leave. Back to your home. Your warm, nice home, with your loving family, and your wonderful life. And your dog. Because, you can have a dog.

And Mom keeps talking as you have to walk out the door.

Talking about nothing, but it makes sense.

And you want to stay.

And you don’t.

And you leave, but you bring your guilt and shame with you. Home. Because you hate yourself for leaving her, but know there’s nothing else you can do.

That there’s nothing else she would want. Really. Probably?

She’s feisty and independent, and a Yankee through and through. and would never want to live in the Deep South. Crazy or not.

And could she ever be safe at a home? A normal house?

And you fear with every fiber of your being that you are looking at yourself in 30 years, and it’s so shockingly painful and scary that I type this through tears.

And you hate yourself for breathing out in relief that you get to leave.

And go home.


So I pray a lot now. Pray we did and are doing the right thing. Pray for my brother on the front line. Pray for relief for Mom. Pray for a cure. Pray for the return of our King and for a time when there will be no more tears.

And I pray for my Dad.

He’s 98% disabled and mentally also checked out. Both his body and mind are failing. Somehow their failing together seems more humane, but still horrible. He didn’t know who I was either. He’s in assisted living, but “home” in a way. His own space.

Confused but not scared.

Lost but not afraid.

Help, but not lock down.

I pray he won’t have to go there. Ever.

And then I pray more. I pray that God will teach me what this all means…to walk through this with my kids with Grace and not fear…and how to be compassionate…and for strength to be able to go witness this all again in a month… to not fear the plans He may have for me – now or in the future… and to not forget when I’m home…

In my nice home.

With my amazing family.

I can’t wait to be home.