Monthly Archives: February 2013

Sometimes It’s Just Not A Good Day

Don’t you just love a good day?  The sun shines, math lessons get done without any tears, the art projects turn out to be masterpieces, the toilet sparkles with disinfected gleam, the new dinner recipe was delicious, the desk organization is Pinterest worthy, and Mount Laundry is nearly a valley.   Well, for me, that day was not today. Today was one of those days that the sun didn’t shine, there were tears (but at least not over math lessons), nothing in the house could technically be deemed  “organized” or “disinfected”. dinner came from a frozen plastic bag, and I can’t find my desk because Mt. Laundry is blocking my way.

Sometimes it’s just not a good day, However, we have hope that tomorrow will be better, because we’ve experienced better days and know they are possible. We count our blessings and realize things could be worse…a lot worse.

And dear homeschooling momma, at least your day didn’t look like the one from this video. (Warning, watch before your kids do, I think it’s PG).  betty jo


Not So Weird Afterall

15 years ago homeschooling wasn’t all that popular. It was for hippies, survivalists, and religious fanatics (or so I thought). I did not fit into any of those categories, But, there I was pulling my kindergartener out of of public school anyway.

I checked out 2 different homeschool support groups and neither seemed to have hippies, survivalists, or religious fanatics as members. They were just normal moms that happened to be educating normal kids at home. The larger group had 25 or so families, the smaller had 6. Make that 7, because that’s the one we joined.

These awesome ladies helped me so very much. They taught me to breathe, relax, and pray. They prepped me on how to answer all the opposition questions that would come my way.  You know those questions, “What about socialization?” or “How will they get into college?” , etc (insert eye rolling here). They encouraged me and built me up.

This homeschool support group must not have been alone in encouraging newbies.  The number of homeschoolers in our country is now over the 2.5 million mark. Families are seeing home education as a viable option to traditional schooling. The opposition questions are still being asked but not as often and are now mixed with some very positive comments. It’s not so weird anymore.

Oh, and by the way, throughout the course of our 15 years homeschooling, I’ve happily learned to be a hippie, a survivalist, and a religious fanatic.  betty jo

Coffee And Donuts With The LORD At Home

We belong to a “cool and hip” kind of church.  We have a coffee bar with the absolute best donuts, wi-fi, 2 large video screens and 1 HUGE one, special lighting, large speakers,  and powerpoint  There is so much musical talent in the church that the bands and worship leaders have to rotate. Our pastor is well educated, a marvelous speaker, tells jokes, juggles,  preforms magic, and loves and cares. Dressing up is not a requirement. And the Presence of Christ is powerful, alive, and active. Yeah, like I said “cool and hip” very.  Just last Sunday we started a new thing by watching video from Life Church TV’s series Altar Ego.  With the broken car just sitting in the driveway waiting for the garage to have an opening, we were trying not to be bummed about missing today.

My husband takes his work truck to the donut shop and I make coffee.  There is a kind of peace that we don’t usually experience on Sunday mornings.  No one arguing about who’s turn it is for the bathroom, no one panicking over not being able to find a matching pair of socks, and no pressure to get all 8 of us somewhere on time. With the sermon available on the web we were going to have church at home. We have school at home nearly everyday, why not church sometimes, too

We send the two youngest off to another room (because last weeks sermon was PG) and husband, big kids and I settle in for Altar Ego part 2 – “Need for Control”. What?, Wait a minute- “Need for Control”?  I’m thinking this might not be so good after all. I’m a momma, I control my household, my kids, our budgets, menus , our activities and schedules. If you asked my husband he’d tell you I have a lot of control over him, too.  Control freak? Maybe, maybe not. I know to turn over my worries, I know God has better plans than I do..He’s the only one who really needs to be in control over our situations.

The preacher poses some questions about our need to be in control.  The second one pierces me right in the heart…”Is it mine to control?”

My first born is 21 now. He works, he goes to college, he has a steady, serious long distance.relationship.  He’s drug/alcohol free. But he messes up sometimes. And recently he messed up BIG TIME. While part of me wishes I could just step in and fix everything for him like I did when he was little (take control), the other part of me almost jumps for joy that he didn’t mess up like this during my watch. Today I know that  he is not mine to control just to love. Below is the link to Altar Ego 2 . betty jo

“The people on the bus go bounce, bounce, bounce”

You know the song, The second verse goes,” the people on the bus go bounce, bounce bounce…”  It wasn’t a bus, but our SUV. Last night when we were going to our homeschool groups Family Night, my youngest, (on the blog, kids’ names will be their 1st initial and age), Z7 says, “It’s bouncy back here.”.  Well of course it is, he’s riding in the 3rd row right over the back tires. E17 is riding in the middle with B14 and they think it’s bouncy, too. “Maybe the roads are just worn from weather or something” I’m telling myself, but also had the warning thought, “something’s wrong with the car”.  By the time we said our goodbyes and started the trip back home, we had forgotten about that bouncing, but as we got on the main road we remembered. Not just in the back, or the middle, but upfront. Bouncing isn’t even the right word for it our insides were starting to jiggle around.  There were jokes about fancy hydraulics and “Pimp My Ride” and singing “All my friends drive low riders”. We could laugh some but still knew something was wrong.

Evidently there is an issue with the air compressor shock thingy. Today the rear of the car is practically sitting on the back tires.  THIS IS NOT GOOD. As panic sets in as I realize how busy this week is supposed to be…a cannot miss something. with A21, childrens’ ministry, homeschool bowling, library, creative ministries, color guard, then A22 will have work and A21 has college classes. I’m not one of those “must-stick-to-the-schedule” moms. I learned a long time ago to be flexible about our plans for things get changed, often better things happen.

Better things can happen. That’s how I’m trying to focus my thoughts because thinking about my ride being in the garage for days is making too much anxiety.  I’ll have dates with my husband (kind of) as he takes me to the grocery and errands after his work.  Some housework might even get done (even cleaning off my desk) since we won’t be rushing off anywhere. We will finally get some of those projects in school finished up(castle box). And I will READ! And I will NAP! I’m so blessed with my home, it will be good for me to have full days in it.

Finding a silver lining in a dark cloud, or seeing  a glass half full, or making lemonade…these are pretty hard disciplines for me, but tonight I’m trying.  Today is a “day that the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it”. And tomorrow I’ll find more silver linings while drinking a half a glass of lemonade and humming that annoying low rider song. betty jo

What Do You Get When You Cross….

So what do you get when you cross some Pentecostals with some Non-Denominationals and some Baptists, and some Lutherans?   I know, you just braced yourself for a tasteless joke, but it’s not a joke. It’s our homeschooling support group. And such a wonderful example of the Body Of Christ at work.  We combine our different talents, we plan without arguing, and we concentrate on two essentials…Relationship with Christ and home educating.  Everything falls beautifully into place. The differences in our Christian faiths and our homeschools is one of the things I love most about us.

Once a month we have a Family Night. Tonight was our belated Valentines Party.  I hope you have a “Debbie” in your support group.  She offers up her church for our fellowships. And she decorates. I’m serious when I say she decorates, I mean in a Martha Stewart could learn some stuff from her kind of way. Tonight the tables were clothe in red with vases of roses and candles. (of course she used the battery/bulb ones – lots of littles) She sprinkled the tables with kisses and red hot hearts. Windows were decorated with reminders that God loves us. Oh yes, streamers and balloons, too. I didn’t get pics to share with you, but our yearbook mom did. I’ll see what I can do to get them so you can see.

Each family night has a food theme. Tonight’s was Italian. We had so much food. I indulged in about 5 different pastas. Yeah, I tried my own too.  As good as that was the desserts were better…CHOCOLATE everything! And cheese cake. I may not be eating again for a day or two I’m so stuffed.

The kids had a conversation hearts stacking contest, exchanged Valentines, and made thank you cards for Marines in training.  I overheard lots of laughing.  Isn’t that the best sound ever…to hear our kids laughing!

Let’s share some support group ideas.I’d love to hear what others are doing with theirs.  betty jo

Still Learning Something New

Welcome to my blog!  Here you are always welcome.  If it were possible, I’d offer you a cup of coffee or a Diet Coke (depending on the time of day), and we’d let my “big kids” watch the littles so we could hang out in the kitchen for a while and have a minute or two of grown-up time. Of course I know we’ll end up talking about the kids. But, just maybe there will be a little more to it than that.

For starters, I’ll tell you how the name for this blog came about.  Two reasons really…first, when ever I’m with a group of homeschooling moms, someone always makes the comment “I’m learning as much as the kids”.  So true. Through our 15 year homeschooling journey, I have learned  MUCH.  And well I should have..  This is my 4th time in high school!  1. Graduate of Lone Oak High School a long time ago. 2. Learned along side my son who has graduated from Hendrickson Covenant High School . 3.  Presently I am in both freshman and junior classes at Covenant High.(as my daughter calls her school) 4,  And I’m just starting  the learning journey over with my 2nd grader.

The other reason for naming my blog Still Learning Something New is because there is a MOMMA connection.  When I was just a little girl, my momma was always learning a new craft, starting a diy project, making up recipes….you get the idea. She lead scout troops, taught Sunday school, taught crafting… After I’d left home, she started up an after school program in which gave her opportunity to continue learning more and share what she knew. She went back to college when she was in her 60s.  She loved it.  She said it’s so important to always be around children and to always be learning something new. She’s in Heaven now and I’m sure she’s Still Learning Something New everyday.  Me too.