Archive for homeschool

I’m Ba-ack! As Best I Can, Anyway.

I’m sorry I haven’t written in so long. I wish I could blame my absence on writer’s block, an early and fortuitous move, or being busy doing something I love, but I can’t.

Unfortunately, I have fibromyalgia. Pushing myself over the winter to work on the blog while trying to work on the house while transitioning jobs while doing the holidays while getting sick from the germs of being around new germ factories kids was too much. I crashed, pretty hard. I ended up being mostly bedridden, sick (still coughing), having to drop to 16 hours a week at work (and still sometimes calling out), and feeling so bad that I actually applied for disability (both disability and SSI were denied; I’m not appealing right now since I feel better).

But the bedrest and forced slow-down helped me immensely. I was able to start to recuperate. We went from eating whatever fast thing I could throw together to eating less-processed fast things I could throw together. *Quick meal tip: you can boil potatoes ahead of time with the skin on and then just scrape or rub the skin off when you’re ready to use it with either your fingers or a spoon edge. Even the big baking potatoes!

I’ve been able to go back to working five days a week, with 1 or 2 of those days being longer than 4 hours. I hope this holds up because the class I’m working in over the summer has two field trips each week starting next week until school starts.

Unfortunately, I also have ADHD, so when I started feeling better I was still too disorganized and scattered to work in “time” for posting. I finally just pushed over the edge this morning to get my foot back in the door.

I’m going to be posting more frequently, but no promises yet as to how frequently (due to being scattered, disorganized, etc). I plan to post on lifestyle “stuff,” which for me will mean posts on the following:

  • homesteading
  • decluttering
  • home management (possibly slanted for someone with chronic conditions that affect memory, as both ADHD and fibromyalgia do)
  • life management – I expect lots of trial and error here
  • vegan recipes – starting with simple smoothies (I make one for breakfast these days)
  • our animals
  • Kaida and her art
  • homeschooling
  • home repair/renovation or random building projects that I do. I’m not trained to build, but I like doing it so, why not? Don’t follow my building advice! Maybe just use my stuff as idea generators.

I’m probably forgetting a lot of what I want to talk about; my brain just stopped. I guess that my clue to wrap it up!

See you next time!

SQUIRREL! Just kidding! I remembered that I want to also post (and maybe even write about) interesting articles I find about ADHD, fibromyalgia, general health/nutrition, or maybe anything else… 😉

Start The Week Right With Set It Up Sunday

Everyone is busy these days. Parents have full schedules, the kids have full schedules. One of the methods I’ve found that help me is to use Sunday evening for some self-care (to be covered in other posts) and “set it up!”

We homeschool and I find that Kaida can be more autonomous if she’s given an assignment sheet to check off. Some of her work requires more direct help from me (e.g. starting a new chapter in math, checking writing assignments), but some of it she can do a lot of on her own (e.g. math practice, spelling workbook, history reading and questions). I write out all of the assignments in the different subjects on Sunday evening. She goes through each day and checks off the ones she did.

One thing I’ve learned–do it in pencil! If math takes too long one day and we need to bump science over due to time constraints, it’s so much easier to be able to erase than have to scratch it out or look for the whiteout tape. This may seem obvious, but I like writing with pens more than pencils because it’s easier to see so I didn’t start off using pencil.

Another thing I’m starting to do is prepping all of my beans at one time. It’s a new thing for me so I’m still working out the details. For starters, I’m soaking each day’s beans in its own jar. I put one cup of rinsed and sorted beans in each jar, and filled each up to the curve with water and a generous pinch of baking soda. The baking soda is to help soften the beans.

I’ll probably use the crock pot to do at least Monday’s beans, but I’m working my way up to cooking them all at one time in the pressure cooker, each in their individual jar. I’m a little nervous about it because I haven’t pressure-canned beans (or really anything else) so I’m hoping I don’t mess it up. I know they don’t have to cook for nearly as long as it takes to can them–only about 7 minutes (depending on the type of bean) versus about 1.5 hours. I’m just scared since it’s new to me.

The other thing I’ve started doing is starting the laundry cycle on Sunday. Each day of the week is assigned a particular group of laundry. Sunday is darks/jeans, Monday is lights/shirts, etc. So the same group becomes ready for a load usually close to its assigned day, rather than just waiting for a giant pile and then dealing with it.

How do you get ready for the week ahead? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

P.S. The Self-Improvement Giveaway 11 is still going on. Sign up today for hundreds of free resources!

Day 1 Daily Challenge Wrap-up

I decided to start over on my daily challenges because of traveling and the holidays taking out over a week’s time and not really having the opportunity to write much. Besides, what’s a New Year’s without some resolutions?

I will put all of the challenge updates on a single post instead of seven different ones. I think it will be a little easier to stay on top of this way.

 90-day Attracting Abundance Challenge

Today, I did tapping for feeling guilty for wanting more using the Attracting Abundance with EFT program. I was kind of surprised how strong this is, but it makes sense. Who wasn’t told that they were good boys and girls for sharing even when they didn’t want to? After all, the pie’s only so big and someone gets less if I get more, right? So I got this to go from a SUDS level of 9 down to a 3.

I tapped on not being worthy of having more money (more anything?) with Money Beyond Belief. Yikes! I went from a SUDS of 9 down to a 5. There must be more to this one trapped in me somewhere. Luckily, we’re tapping on not being good enough tomorrow!

90-day EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Challenge

I tapped on why and when my symptoms started using “The Vibration of Exceptional Health.” I had a doctor who pointed out that my symptoms really began after I got married. I knew I had issues with a certain type of anxiety before getting married, but it got worse. It did not help that 9/11 happened the year after I got married. That time period was kind of personal for me–relatives of family friends were on the plane that crashed in PA, a close relative worked at the major regional post office transfer station that feeds DC and had to go on Cipro, and I worked about 1 block west and 2 blocks north of where the first sniper shooting happened in Rockville/Bethesda, MD. My first panic attack was 2 days after the small plane ran into a building in Florida in December 2001, but I was already having symptoms of fibromyalgia before then. I think the one of the unconscious needs that my FMS symptoms were trying to fill was an effort to get my new husband to actually behave as though he gave a rat’s behind about me. I’m not sure how to word that. There’s no conscious decision to have the symptoms, but if you have to look for what was going on at the time they occurred, what would be the upside of having them, what would be the downside of letting them go, etc., that was the only thing I could come up with.

I tapped on being afraid of facing who I am without the drama in Drop the Drama. This could be a biggy. Who are you if you don’t have the daily drama? Are you still important? Do you still matter to the people around you? Will you just fade into the woodwork behind you if you stop engaging in drama with those around you? I started at a SUDS of 9 and think I went down to about a 5. I may do this one again.

I got Carol Look’s Eliminate Procrastination program and listened to the first two sections, which talk about the various reasons for procrastination and how they fit into four broad categories.

90-day Daily Exercise Challenge

I’m changing up the schedule. I decided that I want to do all of the weight lifting exercises together on one day, but do them twice a week. So here’s the revised schedule:


  • meditation, at least 5 minutes, working up to 15 minutes
  • rebounder, at least 5 minutes, working up to 15 minutes

Monday: walking on the treadmill for now. I will switch to High Intensity Interval Training as my conditioning improves (and after I get a bike stand to be able to do it on the bike in the house; this is the one I’ve asked Santa for for Christmas as it was pretty inexpensive).

Tuesday: weights lifting. I currently have neoprene weights in 2 lbs, 3 lbs, and 5 lbs. I use canned vegetables for 1 lb weights. I’ve asked Santa for some heavier weights. We’ll see if he delivers.

Wednesday: walking on the treadmill. This will stay just walking. The plan is to maintain it at 20 minutes per day and increase the maximum speed. Right now my maximum speed is 3.0 mph, but I noticed that it was easier yesterday. Progress!

Thursday: a repeat of Monday–currently walking on the treadmill, switching to HIIT as I can.

Friday: back to weights

Saturday: walking on the treadmill

Sunday: walking on the treadmill

So for today I meditated for about 5 minutes, repeating “perfect health” on the inhale. I also did the rebounder for 6 minutes and walked on the treadmill for 20.

90-day Blog Challenge

I finished updating all of the links for Carol Look; she moved her website. I also got a book at the library on WordPress. I’m hoping to actually start reading it any day now!

90-day Play With Sweet Baby Challenge

We played some Minecraft. Sweet Baby entered the seed “911” because it has a decent expanse of grassland. On Christmas, PS3 players were blessed with an update that included horses, which only spawn on grasslands. For anyone looking for a more well-rounded playing experience, most of the rest of the world is ice.

Yesterday (I’ll include it here since I didn’t do a post), we played with Sweet Baby’s new Calico Critters additions that she got for Christmas. She got the supermarket, elementary school, school bus, and doctor’s office. She already had the townhouse, cozy cottage, large tree house, and small tree house.

90-day Home(stead) Improvement Challenge

I killed it! First, I put together a slapdash stall for Chelsea and Scotch (Butterscotch).

Slapdash Stall 1Chelsea and Scotch in Slapdash Stall 2

Scotch was born on 12/19. This was what I had built by 12/23 (I had to put Chelsea and Scotch in the run-in stall and Emma in the barn stall).



Emma had her babies on 12/25–Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen. Separate posts for the babies coming soon!

This is where I’m at now with the stalls on the barn/shed remodel.

2 Large Stalls

My next big remodel is the chicken coop. I’ve already started, but this is where I’m at this afternoon. Originally, we only had five chickens and I was building small and cheap. It was 4′ in the front and 3.5′ in the back. It’s going to be 6’3″ in the back and 6’9″ in the front now. I will run some 2″ x 8″ or 2″ x 6″ in all doorways so that I can have deeper bedding. I’ll have to put steps in front so that the ducks can get in and out. Those are the incredibly loud and annoying guineas in the picture.



90-day Get A Routine Challenge

Still working on getting to bed earlier and waking up earlier, but I did go through our homeschool schedule and our hoped-for daily schedule and found that they didn’t match. I’ve redone them both and got them lined up. Now I just need to get some contact paper so that I can print them and hang them up. I use a grid for the homeschool so that we can use a dry erase marker and mark off each subject on whatever days it’s on, since not all subjects are on all days.

Woo-hoo! I feel like I’m rocking!

Home-Economics Homeschool Notebook?

So I was thinking about homeschool today. I’ve added one day a week to start working on home economics. I want Sweet Baby to start learning things like washing dishes, simple cooking, sewing, laundry, and cleaning. I want to include the use of homemade cleaners as well.

So I was thinking how I would organize it. I have seen a simple book for cleaning, but I want Sweet Baby to have places to take notes in the different categories, glue in or draw pictures, add recipes (for cleaners and food she can make). Also, I have ADHD and I can get a little bit crazy with planning things because I’m so afraid of forgetting things so I wanted to find a way to keep track of everything.

I’m hoping to help her avoid having problems trying to figure out how to clean and do domestic things as an adult. I don’t remember ever being taught how to clean or iron as a child (I learned to iron from a boyfriend in my 20’s), and quite a bit of the food we ate growing up was either frozen meals, boxed (loved Kraft mac & cheese, but don’t eat it any more), or canned. I am trying to learn how to cook from scratch as an adult and want to help Sweet Baby feel a little more competent in the kitchen.

Has anybody seen anything like this offered? At any rate, I’ll post what I do with this as I get it together.

Great Quote About Coming Of Age…

I saw this interesting quote by Adam Kotsko at