May Four Somethings

My friend Heather has a monthly link up. Our little online community shares something loved, something read, something treasured, and something ahead. I rarely actually do it.

I intend to every time.

Since I want to become a person more successful with my intentions, I am going to plow through here…

And do it.

Something Loved

There really are so many things I love, even though my heart is a little grumbly lately, but one of my favorite new additions to my world is BALANCE THERAPY for my Dad.

He falls like it is his job.

We were on a grueling, but amazing, 5-week path to health when COVID hit. The thought of where we could be grieves me. Two months of staying home with very little movement are NOT good for the aging population.

We were going to start Balance Therapy locally just before everything shut down. After a bit of research, I discovered a Balance Therapy place still open an hour and twenty minutes away, so I signed him up.

It is amazing.

Miss Vanessa is a wonderful addition to my TEAM HAPPY. My Dad is absolutely getting stronger, and it has been weeks since he has fallen to the ground.

He is FATIGUED when it is over. We stop for drive-thru Western Bacon Cheeseburgers on the way home and give him his Singing Canary with double protein powder to sip while he rests when we get there.

I schedule IV Vitamin and oxygen therapy the day after to help his body recover. Just because he is 83 doesn’t mean all his best days are behind him.

Something Read

Technically, I listened to this. Gary Sinese reads the audiobook, and I Love his voice, but Steinbeck’s words from the early 1960s are so poignant in today’s world.

“I remember an old Arab in North Africa, a man whose hands never felt water. He gave me mint tea in a glass so coated with use it was opaque, but he handed me companionship, and the tea was wonderful because of it. And without any protection my teeth didn’t fall out, nor did any running sores develop. I began to formulate a new law describing the relationship of protection to despondency. A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.”


Let us each work on building not-sad-souls; in ourselves, and in those around us.

Something Treasured

This is, hands down, having my college-age daughter home. (This has nothing to do with how I feel about colleges closing–I am opposed–but love the actual result of it which has been having her home. I am in conflict here.)

All families have rough spots.

We certainly do.

But my daughter is not currently one. She gutted distance learning out. (And hated it.) She self isolated at a mobile home we are renovating after spending spring break in New York.

Even that meant she was here, and I could deliver food and go clean and enjoy her presence.

Then she came home and has been a delightful watcher of her sister while I do the necessities with my parents. (My husband is gone working on an out of state project.)

We celebrated her birthday.

(Yes, our refrigerator is in the living room. We are in the middle of a remodel…life is not as orderly as I would prefer.)

I bought her new clothes.

We are working together to train her dog, and have made incredible progress. He is becoming well behaved and trustworthy in almost all situations.

She leaves in a week to take possession of her first apartment. School won’t start until the end of summer, but in our pre-COVID days we signed the lease for June, because that assured she could get this apartment. She is moving from Champlagne College to the University of Vermont so she can switch majors. This apartment provided perfect distance between connection with her previous college and proximity to the new.

Apparently there is currently a nice selection of available jobs, as some prefer unemployment to work. She prefers work, so this is a good time for her to return.

I will miss her madly.

Something Ahead

Someday my house will be remodeled.

It will have an open floor plan with a large island and dining room. This means there will be several places to actually sit as a family and have a meal.

It will have flooring that is not wood-looking linoleum.

My daughter will have a new room and homeschool room.

In my imaginations, it will be so much easier to create a rhythm of life that helps my family to thrive in my someday-newly-remodeled home.

I can’t wait.

As COVID-19 heads into the next season of whatever it is, I CAN’T WAIT sums it up nicely.

Homeschool Ideas

Homeschool Ideas

I am terrible at homeschooling.

Except for the times I am not.

Consistency is what I lack most. And my kiddo has pretty severe special needs, so there are complications. BUT, I still believe it is our very best option.

In these crazy, COVID-19 days, where CDC guidelines run the risk of seriously altering public education, it is a great time to investigate other options.

For anyone who may be wondering IF homeschool 20/21 is worth it, the following is a compilation of resources and ideas. I wish desperately I could turn back the clock ten years and start then, knowing what I know now, but forward is the only option.

First, you do not need to create your own curriculum. There are plenty to choose from.

Here is a list of free curriculums.

There are also many places to purchase an all in one curriculum or individual courses. Try here. Or here. Or another one. I have used this one and really liked it.

That should help get you started.

If you have small kids, ages 2-7, I recently stumbled across Other Goose. The founder, Erin Loechner, blogs here. She believes in chasing simplicity as though it were an Olympic sport. She’s my newest favorite.

There are MANY, many different educational philosophies. Each have their own strengths and merits. Many homeschool families combine various parts of various notions. One of the beauties of homeschooling os the freedom to find what helps your child/family to thrive.

Several years ago the book someone recommended A Thomas Jefferson Education. There was going to be a book group conversation about it, and of course I had procrastinated the purchasing of it, unaware that it is impossible to find in a normal book store. So, I downloaded it to my daughter’s kindle and sobbed my way through reading it.

Suddenly, my whole life made sense.

The author, Oliver DeMille, breaks down education into three types.

The conveyor belt education, education for the masses, is designed to teach people what to think.

A professional education teaches WHEN to think. This is necessary for medicine, education, and law, etc. Under what circumstances do you apply this information?

A Thomas Jefferson education is based heavily on mentoring and the classics teaches HOW to think. I suddenly realized why I hated school and struggled in Bible Study groups.

I hate being taught what to think. In that spirit, I don’t want to tell anybody what to think about how or where to educate their children. Instead, these are just ideas and places to get more information.

Here is a quick overview of several different educational philosophies.


The Charlotte Mason method, from my simplistic point of view, focuses on habits, nature, and reading original sources whenever possible. If you want your child to spend hours outside every day, consider this method.

This website gives a thorough overview. This morning my daughter made the bed without being asked. This counts as a homeschool victory! (Habits make up a life, for good or ill.)


Like Charlotte Mason. Reggio emphasizes environment for learning. Natural is best. Allowing a child’s interest to inspire deep learning is encouraged.

Here is a great, brief introduction. In fact, that website has an enormous amount of helpful information.


The Well Trained Mind is the modern go-to resource for information on a classical education. Here is their link, with an abundance of information.

In a vastly over-simplified explanation, the Classical Model teaches with history as the foundation. Learning goes through 4 one year cycles:

  • Ancient History
  • Medieval History
  • Renaissance/Reformation
  • Modern

The science, math, art, and literature are all taken from the period of history studied. This does allow a unique insight into how the people, places, inventions, and culture influence what happens from one period to the next.


I honestly know very little about Abeka, except that they have been around and used by Christian schools and homeschoolers for decades.

You can look into their resources here.

Never has there been a better time to make hard decisions about education. Paying private school tuition for online at-home learning would not be my favorite thing in the world. Days full of mask wearing, small crowds, no field trips and no assemblies is not a winning formula either.

One of my biggest regrets in parenting is that I stopped reading to my kids. Once they started to read chapter books, I let them read whatever they wanted as often as they wanted. They started reading chapter books at 5 and 6. If I had it to do over again, I would have continue to read aloud every night.

She is my favorite resource on the topic. If you really want to understand the how’s and why’s of how much good it can do for your kids look here, or here, or here.

Not everyone has a choice. But for those who do, who are thinking about the third option: HOMESCHOOLING, I hope this helps!


The gift of an international pandemic and lockdown, for a person like me, is thinking.


Where is my life and where can it go?

It involves the inevitable blaming. It then circles back around to promise, but only if I root myself in the gratitude which doesn’t come naturally.

My prayer journal for many, many months was filled with me asking God to help me pour into the things that matter. As many do, I chose a word for a year, or a season, or a time that felt right and the word pressing into my heart was INVEST.

So I begged God to help me to invest in the things that matter–the people that matter. My parents, my kids, my husband (more difficult than the rest) and my relationship with the Lord.

I tried serving at church, but finally faced that it wasn’t working and stepped down. I have not yet found my place and purpose, but am confident it will come in due time.

I am increasingly accepting that I often don’t fit in.


Ryan expressed an interest in learning to play tennis.

It will, quite literally, take us thousands of attempts before she will be able to bounce the ball and hit it over the net.

But the practicing gives us the chance to count and try and soak up the sunshine. I love it.

She is also, like her mama, quite the soda lover. Being on the court, in the warm rays, encourages her to drink water–because it is the only thing I make available.


As always, the time to think brings about a renewed interest in getting healthy.

Cinnamon swirl French toast with homemade blueberry sauce and fresh fruit start her day well. The more colorful food my precious not-so-little peanut eats, the more color she has to her face. That’s a welcome thing.

She and I are spending more time outside. We take her “baby” on walks with the dog, go to the park, and (of course) play tennis.

The words of a brilliant speech therapist run through my mind, “What you see in the body, you see in the mouth,” so getting her body to move well moves us forward in many areas.

I used to take her to Louisiana once a week–a three and a half-hour drive, we’d go to Cracker Barrell for dinner and stay in a hotel together–and then go have two hours of wonderful physical therapy every Friday morning. But the costs mounted and my parents constantly needed me, so I canceled.

An international pandemic would have halted it the following week, but the loss stings.

It means I must try harder on our own. So I am.


My beautiful college student came home early (thank you COVID 19) but is leaving again soon.

She has more of a life outside the four walls of my home than she has inside these days, and while I know that is the way it is supposed to be I can’t help but be sad.

I want the remodel of my house finished and the boathouse built so that the life she has when she comes home is even better…not so much “in process” as it has often felt.


For years I have unsuccessfully tried to talk my mom into writing her memoirs. She is a master of words, and now that she can no longer talk, writing is the only way to get thoughts out.

It certainly would have been easier had she started when both hands worked well. Her right doesn’t work at all and her left is mildly disobedient. But I keep telling her (still unsuccessfully) that one sentence a day would add up.

That thought keeps me coming back here. Maybe, someday, my kids will want to read my words. Maybe not. But they will at least have the option that I don’t currently have.