School, Insanity & Salty Tears

I don't REALLY feel like this... but I certainly relate enough to crack up laughing at this!

I don’t REALLY feel like this… but I certainly relate enough to crack up laughing at it!

The last three weeks were filled with 14 days of hard work, tears,
sadness and continually finding words to encourage my kids
and myself.  Then,  7  of those days offered smiles, comfortable
routines and no more tears. And it is all because of schooling.  Here’s the deal…

In 2004 we started homeschooling our children (because we’d just moved to
the heart of Detroit city).  Then, last year we put our youngest 3 kids into
a university prep charter school near our house.  And now… this fall we’ve
gone a completely different route.   Our youngest three are doing online
public school!

Yes!  Free online public school, Connections Academy. It’s taken many of
the things I love about homeschooling and the few things I liked about
traditional public school and mushed it into one!  Here’s a bullet list
of how things have gone for us.

– Day ONE was insane!  We had the computer that the school gave us
(Yes, they provide one per household) and my laptop.  But after we
took the infamous “1st day of school” picture and sat down to begin
my very aged laptop went to computer heaven (or the opposite!!)
Now what?  THREE kids sharing ONE computer for Online school?
Yeah… NO!!!  Insanity. Tears.

– My kind and compassionate husband took pity on me and put out a
plea on Facebook for used computers.  That very same evening our
precious friends from church were dropping off not one, but TWO
brand new laptops!  Thanks to our friend’s work and an unexpected
money gift we’d been given the month earlier, we now have enough
computers for all three children!  Praise Jesus!

– That thrill worn off quickly… All I’ve used for over 16 years is MAC
computers and now I had 3 PCs!   Everything is the COMPLETE
opposite!  HELP!  More school, insanity and salty tears. But I knew
I’d get it eventually… plus my kids were teaching me how to use it.

– We were told that it would take a while to “get used to computer school”
Yes… no joke.  The first two weeks it took between 9 and 11 HOURS each
DAY to complete the assigned work!  WHAT?

– Of course there were tears!  (Mostly MY tears, quietly shed in a private
corner during the day, and in my time with Jesus in the stillness of the
very early morning.)

–  After a week of this I made several email and phone-call pleas to the
teachers.  “HELP!  What are we doing wrong?”

– The teachers were so, so kind and gave us every bit of encouragement
and ideas they could.  But the daily hours continued to mount!

– We stuck to it, knowing that this WOULD be GREAT when it settled down.

– And then it happened….  We started getting the hang of it!

–  The 3rd week has actually been fun!  All the joys of having my kids home,
being involved in their learning, knowing what they’re studying and
connecting  it to daily activities, news reports, outdoor exploration, etc
all clicked in… again… finally!

– I truly love having my kids at home, learning!  We have a blast.

– Later on I’ll post more about a regular school day as an
“Online Schooling Family”  and the field trip coming up soon.


GRATEFULNESS fills my heart.  Of course more challenges hide around
the corners… that’s life… but we’ve walked through a rough beginning
and know that “we can do this!”


(NOTE:  Comments are closed… I’m having some trouble with that. But
you are welcome to email me at   I’d LOVE IT!)


Crazy Fast Bread Recipe

Perfect bread

(This post was originally a text to my sister-ish/friend, Nia,
on Saturday morning. She also enjoys the thrill & taste of homemade bread)


Oh my word!  I’ve found it. The ultimate bread recipe!

I made it this morning and it really is easy and goes quickly.
It gets rave reviews from my family.

I guess the trick is
-sugar (which makes it rise quicker, but I never add)
-and mixing for 10 min.

The baking method is unique too. Sounds strange.
But it WORKED!
I used 2 C white flour and 1 C wheat.  (Instead of all white)

We love it.  Here it is… EASY BREAD and the picture
above was taken by Courtney who snapped this just seconds
before we sliced it and devoured it! Mmm!!!

I’m gunna stick to my old recipe for pizza
and this new one  for bread.


(P.S…. at the time of your reading this I’ll be on vacation
and this was scheduled to post automatically.
I MAY or MAY NOT blog while we’re away!)


NO Drama (or Disney)

Girls are dramatic. It’s not a secret.
But at our house we don’t encourage it or
allow it, and it doesn’t get the response that
the “dramatic one” is hoping for in the first place.

No more drama

Our culture tells us it’s OK to be grouchy,
mean, flip out, gossip, stomp, yell, etc…
and if you’re a girl you get a free pass to this
behavior at least 5 days a month.
NONE of this behavior reflects JESUS!
You cannot find a free pass to pouting
and selfishness in God’s Word
no matter the time of month,
or year or day!

Sadly, we’ve come to discover that most
of the shows on the Disney channel (and Nick, too)
seem to glorify this ridiculous behavior all year long.
Note: This doesn’t include the preschool shows
or the great “Phineas and Ferb.”
But most of the sitcoms directed towards
older elementary/middle school kids are full
of undisciplined & unnecessary
drama, lying, disrespect towards all authority,
boyfriend/girlfriend garbage and a host of other
subjects that we are NOT willing to dump into
our kids’ lives.

This makes me sad… but we’ve drawn a line.
Truthfully there’s very little programming aimed
at this particular age group that merits a second
of our time.  (Such a bummer, too, cuz some of those
shows have really cool decor on their “set” houses!
Like… a denim carpet made from old jeans!  What?)
I’ll just have to google/bing those decor things cuz we 
certainly will NOT be watching the shows just so
I can have a tiny peak at the carpet.)

Drama happens.  We’re passionate people.
Hopefully our children will learn how to respond
appropriately to whatever life brings.  Yes,





Dreams fulfilled

I wrote the following things in my journal last week when I was thinking about
“dreams come true.”


Dreams are fulfilled in relationship, not accomplishments.

Relationship with Jesus, Chilly, my children, family and church, etc…

It doesn’t mean that these people fulfill my dreams-
that would be setting us all up for failure.

But rather, it means that the joy of
loving them,
serving them
and having them in my life is enough for me!

I’m livin’ my dreams!




Recently Overheard…


If you’d been around our house in recent weeks you would’ve heard the
following statements (along with many, many others) that my have
cracked you up, amazed you or left you wondering.  HA!


-“Hey mom. Wanna watch this show? It’s about the 80’s.”
“This isn’t the 80’s it’s the 50’s…  just for the record.”
“Oh… I guess anything old seems like the 80’s.”


-“Hey mom, who was president when you were born? … John Adams?”


– “This isn’t a funnel bits a unicorn helmet.”



-I just started singing “All Things Bright and Beautful” and Chase said,”Aldi is beautiful?”  Ha.



-“Mom, every time you give me a cooking tip I feel like you’re talking to preschooler.”





Still Counting…

Twenty three years and 1 day ago I married Chilly!

Here’s what I wrote in my journal yesterday….

“Chilly is…
Strong, full of faith & desire to serve jesus with all his heart,
soul, mind & strength;
Faithful, true to his word, kind, funny, dependable;
Hard-working, cares for his family,
filled with determination and The Holy Spirit.
I’m so thankful to be married to a man I can trust and
depend upon every time.
Thank You, Jesus, for joining us together for these 8395 days….
and still counting!
I love him!!!”


I’ve been married to this wonderful man for  8396 days … and still counting!


Sorta Wordless Wednesday, Good-Bad-Good

Good =

Making homemade laundry soap that is strong, inexpensive,

smells nice & is quite hard working.

Bad =

Pouring the newly made soap into a 5 gallon bucket that had been washed out,

but the old dried paint wasn’t scraped out.

Hey, it’s dried up. Who cares!

(This results in tiny, wet squiggly bits of paint floating around in the soap.

NOT good. Bad)

Good = Using the strange soap to clean sinks and toilets.

The strange painty bits just wash down the drain.

(Just be sure to rinse well with water.)

More Good =

I’ve found a similar recipe that doesn’t require a 5 gallon bucket,

just 5 milk jugs. I’m tryin’ that next!

(And be assured that I’ll be giving those milk jugs a hearty cleaning first!)

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Netta’s Niche – Dorito Casserole

There’s a lot of recipes with this same name, but this one came from my Mother-in-Law. It’s a favorite around our house.

A well-used recipe printed in our family cookbook


(Comments in parentheses & italics are mine.)


2 cans cream of mushroom soup     (I use cream of celery cuz mushroom)

1 soup can of water

1 can Ro-tel tomatoes           (I use the Aldi brand)

1 pkg taco seasoning mix     (I just mix up my own w/chili powder, paprika, garlic, etc)

1 med onion, chopped

1 1/2 lbs lean hamburger

1 cup grated cheese

1 pkg Nacho Flavor Doritos      (I use Aldi brand for this, too)

Mix soup, water, tomatoes & seasoning mix until smooth; bring to a boil. Fry onion & hamburger until brown; drain. in a 9×13 pan, layer crushed nacho chips, then hamburger mixture, and then sauce; repeat layers.  (I never layer, I just mix it all together.) Top with cheese. Heat in a 350 degree oven till cheese melts. Serve with lettuce and tomato salad. (We serve it with a side of rice, too)



A few years ago, Chilly made some suggestions for a Chicken version of this recipe which I later created. You may enjoy that one, too!

Things my Kids LOVE

The other day after lunch I asked my youngest four kids (from ages 15 to 5) this question:

“What are some of the things we do that you love?”

Here’s their answers in random order:


Monday Funday  (family day activities)

Reading together

Being involved in youth/kids ministries

Eating as a family, nearly every meal

Have married parents

Laugh at our silly mistakes

Eat veggies… and don’t get sick or have the flu very often, and even end up liking the veggies

Our parents disciple us (seriously, they said this!)

Have weekly homemade pizza night (oops, I forgot to plan it this week)

Take them to creative classes… sewing & knitting class

Play wii together

Letting us be silly and you  don’t get sick of us

Create the concept & bake our own cakes (with Mom) for our birthdays

Have a dog

Take family vacations

We tease Mom & she doesn’t get angry

We snuggle


What do you love doing with your family?