Friends and Consequences

​Finding Friends for Your Homeschooled Teens… and the Unintended Consequences. Making friends as a homeschooling teen always seemed like it would be a huge hurdle to leap for our family. When our kids were young, it was easy. If you homeschool young kids there are park days, co-ops, and even church groups that help you feel safe. Your homeschooled youngster won’t get picked on by that mean public schooled kid. That sounds like a joke but for us it was reality when our kids were young. Friends Are Easy To Find At First When we first began homeschooling, we quickly found a plethora of friendsRead More →

Z is for Zutto

​‘Z is for Zutto, Always and Forever’ is Week 25 of Blogging Through the Alphabet 26 Keys to My Happy Marriage Depending on who I ask, zutto means somewhere between always and forever in Japanese. For my purposes, the exact meaning isn’t that important as the two options are interchangeable for my purposes. Zutto, to me, stands for the state of the relationship between my husband and me. As a couple, we are forever. Our relationship is always. It feels, after knowing him for more than 30 years, that he has been with me always. We really are two that have become one. And foreverRead More →

Y is for Yon Time

​‘Y is for Yon Time’ is Week 25 of Blogging Through the Alphabet 26 Keys to My Happy Marriage My husband wakes each morning early in the ‘yon time’ and heads off to work. It is dark when he leaves, very dark. He gets up long before most of us wake, and shortly after we go to bed, so that he can keep us fed and happy and comfortable. Ten hours later he returns, worn and a bit slow. Life is hard when you live it in the ‘yon time’. What is ‘Yon Time’? In Scottish, yon time is late in the evening. I thinkRead More →

In our house, these cookies don’t last long enough to make it overnight in the cookie jar. I put them in and by the next morning, the jar is empty.   Ingredients: 1/2 Cup Butter 1/2 Cup Margerine or Crisco or butter substitute (vegetable oil works as well) 1 1/2 Cups Sugar 2 Tbps molasses 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 1/2 cups rolled oats, ground to flour in the blender 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 12-16 oz chocolate chips 1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional but yummy) Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Cream butter and sugar. AddRead More →

​When do you think you can declare your homeschooling efforts a success? I was laying on my darkened hallway floor this afternoon, listening to my daughter playing her viola and began wondering if my homeschool efforts were successful. Would my kids turn out ok? How would I know we were on track? Is it when your homeschooled medical school graduate gets a Nobel prize for literature and physics and in her acceptance speech she chalks it all up to you, her mom, who slaved night and day homeschooling her for 13 long years? Nope. Ok, then let’s back up a bit. Do you declare yourRead More →

​‘X is for Unknown’ is Week 24 of Blogging Through the Alphabet 26 Keys to My Happy Marriage The letter X means so many things. It marks the spot. It is a sacred symbol, combined with a ‘p’ for Christ. In math, X, means unknown. And I think that all three of these meanings are related and combine when I think of marriage. X is a marvelous letter and is much like any marriage – filled with unknowns. How happy will we be? Will we experience great sadness? Will we come together to overcome great hardship? Will our family thrive? We Begin Marriage Filled withRead More →

Boy has life changed from the days when summer meant trips to the library and the beach and playing in a kiddie pool in the backyard! This week was filled with preparations for one teen to go be a camp councilor and driving another teen back and forth to their summer internship. And so our activities were dominated by lists and driving and sitting and rushing and waiting and some more driving… We also had a heatwave to contend with, so the kids made a truly redneck-style swimming hole for the overheated chickens. I ended up putting a lawn chair in the middle of itRead More →

Sailing Through Failure versus Getting Caught in the Eddies of Disappointment This morning I ran across a wonderful short video that a homeschooled girl (Hannah) made demonstrating her rubber-band powered paddle boat. What a wonderful demonstration of how positive a homeschool fail can be! She starts the video by discussing how she made the boat and why she colored the bath water. Then she winds the paddle up on the back of her milk-carton boat, puts it in the water, and…. …. it doesn’t go. So unfazed, she takes it out an talks about how she designed the pencil-struts that hold the paddle so thatRead More →

Watermelon Pickles

Summer is for making watermelon pickles… Sound odd to you? Well, before I met my father-in-law I would have agreed with you. But he often waxed nostalgic over the crunchy sweet goodness of the watermelon pickles his mother made for his family when he was little. They called it watermelon candy, if I recall the stories correctly. The large family was hit by the effects of the depression and migrated to California, living in a manner akin to a Steinbeck novel. In fact I remember a story about his mother using old newspaper stuffed between layers of the children’s clothing in an attempt to keepRead More →

‘W is for We’ is Week 23 of Blogging Through the Alphabet 26 Keys to My Happy Marriage Every so often I find myself worrying in the early hours when my husband is at work and the kids are still sleeping. So many other families I know run through seasons of tragedy. A husband is seriously hurt, others pass away unexpectedly, and the families are left to cope without him. That is such a terrible thought. What would I do if I were alone tomorrow? How would I manage? Or could I? The other morning while running my mind down this now familiar track, IRead More →