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Showing posts from February, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Failure is an Option

First of all, Dawson received his acceptance letter for college this week! He wants to attend a nearby community college to utilize the A+ scholarship he has earned. This is so exciting for me because when we took him out of public school at the end of 7th grade to homeschool him, my main goal was to help him come to a place where he enjoyed learning and would desire to seek further education beyond high school (if his chosen field required it). Not only does Dawson enjoy learning, but his future plans include being a high school history teacher! What a scary thing it was for us to start the homeschooling journey. But what a life-changing decision that was for our family.


Are you afraid to fail? I think human nature causes us to be extremely fearful of making mistakes, or devastated when we do. Lately I have been really in-tuned to the fact that making mistakes and wrong decisions is just part of life and that we should not be fearful of it. I, personally, learn the most when I make …

Random Five

This has been one of those trying weeks with lots of stuff going on ... emotional stuff. These kinds of weeks make me really stop to consider what is important and what is not.

1. I would say we kind of do things differently in our family, and always have. (Dawson's favorite phrase is, "We are an odd family.") That has resulted in some disapproval and ridicule over the years, and sometimes even some anger directed toward us. But I feel like we have to be strong in our convictions about what we want for our family.

2. After 20+ years of this parenting gig, I think we must have managed to do okay because we still have a strong relationship with all of our kids. They come to us for advice, actually choose to hang out with us, even seem to enjoy it when they do, and tell us way more than we want to hear at times. The big kids prefer to spend time at home with family than to go out. They actually like to spend time with their younger siblings, and sometimes even choose to do…

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Did you watch The Oscars? How many of the Best Picture nominees have you seen (American Sniper, Birman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash)? Do you think actors should use their acceptance speeches as an opportunity to promote their political and/or social agenda? Does that sort of speech make you more or less inclined to change the channel? Funny, but instead of watching the Oscars we were watching a movie! Usually the majority of the Oscar-contenders aren't even shown in the Midwest. (Insert hillbilly drawl of Sandy the Squirrel from Spongebob here.) I guess the movie people don't think us here in Mizzura are smart enough to get the understandin' needed to watch them there movies. We did see American Sniper. I guess they thought we could handle some shoot-em-up. Chris Kyle was a true American Hero! Actors can use whatever platform they want to promote themselves. But we have the right to say no to watching it. I…

Tuesday Coffee Chat

Love. Amore. What is it? Does it happen at first sight? Do you only get one great love per lifetime? How do YOU know love?

To me love is a deep, abiding faith in and commitment to someone. I also believe that love is an action, being in love is a feeling. I can be in love with something or someone, but if that fades then I clearly did not love it or him/her because I have not remained committed.

Love as an emotion is fleeting ... I can love peanut butter today but detest it tomorrow (and possibly forevermore) because I had a stomach virus around the same time I ate it.

Committed love is an action.

When I met my first husband, I never loved him. I was in love with him when I met him and loved the future I thought he was going to be able to provide me. He never loved me either. Neither one of us was ever committed to each other, that was obvious in the destruction of our marriage.

When I met Rick, I loved him instantly. We started our relationship with some hardships, but I knew I was g…

Weekly Wrap-up ~ On Thin Ice (Prairie Primer - Long Winter Week 1)

We started out the week with some snow! We work hard in the mornings to get all of our regular studies done so that the kids could get out into the snow in the afternoon for some P.E. time.


And then, friends, things got stressful on Wednesday night with a sobbing phone call from Kyndal and continued on through Friday. I was extremely tense (angry, to be exact) and very frustrated for her. The situation carried over into her wedding plans which ended with her and Collin making the decision to scrap their traditional wedding they were planning and make plans to get married on the beach somewhere. All of the details have not been made yet, but a destination wedding is a definite. The backyard wedding is cancelled. Rick and I are just happy to see a smile on Kyndal's face for the first time in a while. The stress is gone and the fun is beginning.

But when our family is consumed with a stressful situation, it is extremely difficult to get any traditional schooling done. Thankfully Eli…

Random 5

1. Kyndal had one of her bridesmaids drop out of the wedding because she is planning to go to Hawaii with a boyfriend she has had for six months. This friend is Kyndal's longest best friend from Oklahoma, the one who has been her friend through thick and thin, regardless of distance. Kyndal is devastated, to say the least. She was told this in a text. Pretty crappy, huh?

2. And on that note, because of the ditching bridesmaid and some other drama, Kyndal and Collin decided to cancel their current wedding plans and have a destination wedding in Cozumel, Mexico, in May. Yeah, I know, right? We were so excited for their decision and were even more pumped that we would get to share in the memories with them as a family. But they spent the majority of their day yesterday getting attacked for this change of plans and now they don't know what they are going to do. They want the stress-free destination wedding with their families, but don't want to upset anybody by making that de…

Wednesday Hodgepodge

When did you last have to interact, either by phone or in person, with someone in a government run agency? On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the experience? (10 being fabulous and 1 being 'pass the Tylenol') The last interaction I had with a government employee was a clerk with the Department of Social Services, Division of Child Support Enforcement. I would give my experience a 10. She answered my questions, found some information for me, and even worked to get something accomplished and then called me back when it had been. Everyone I have talked to there has been very helpful and friendly. In fact, the last clerk ended our conversation with, "I wish you the best of luck!"

The current governor of Wisconsin is considering a run for President next time around. Scott Walker attended Marquette University but never graduated. In terms of any candidate running for the office of President (not asking here if you agree or disagree with Scott Walker's politics) wo…

Tuesday Coffee Chat

It's Tuesday Coffee Chat day with Time Out for Mom. Today's question is ...

Dance like no one is watching. Who are you when no one is watching?

Will the real Nicole please stand up?

I have always said that I am just like my house. On the surface my house looks very clean, very put together, very orderly. But if you open the closets, things might fall out on you. There is no organization in there. And behind furniture and under rugs and in the little nooks and crannies, it is not as clean as I want it to be. No matter how much I clean it, with the messiness of life it is still dirty.

That's me, too. I appear to have it all together. Most would think that by looking at me, that I do. Mostly I do. I keep my life orderly. It is important for me to have order. Inside, I'm not as together as I appear on the outside. I'm like anyone else ... I have my demons. I do a pretty good job of pushing my problems aside, out of the way, sweeping them under the rug. I am diligent ab…

A {Love}ly Weekend

This was one of those really great weekends! Rick got home from work late Friday afternoon and spent his evening getting attacked by the kids for his attention. I had been grocery shopping so got the groceries put away, dinner served, and the kitchen cleaned. We just did the usual Friday night stuff.

Yesterday we got to sleep in because there was no bowling! Yay!! We blew our healthy eating routine and feasted on chocolate donuts for breakfast. That didn't settle well with Brynne's stomach as she played a very intense basketball game a couple of hours later. But she held it together and even got her first basket of the season! Their team won and it was a great game.

I gave all the kids their Valentines gifts ... new festive shirts from American Eagle for all four of the older kids (so they could look cute when they went on their dates) and Amiibos for the WiiU for the younger two. We don't go crazy for Valentine's Day but I always like to get them a little something t…

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Chugging Along (Prairie Primer - Silver Lake Week 4)

Steady. Solid. No bells and whistles. That was this week.

But it was good. It has gotten to where it is just really good. We get up, get started, get it done. Everybody is pretty motivated and has good attitudes. I really can't ask for more right now.

What were we doing this week?

Bible had us learning about the different names of Satan this week and about how to battle him with the Full Armor of God.

CNN Student News is always the highlight of our morning. We have a trip planned to tour the CNN Headquarters in Atlanta in August. The kids are VERY excited! Hope we can bump into Carl Azuz!

We finished By the Shores of Silver Lake this week. We love the Little House series. I really think we will be so sad this summer after we finish all of the books. We will still have the series to watch, though. We are on Season 3, Episode 5. (This week Brynne drew a floor plan for what she believed the claim shanty looked like based on the description in the book.)


I see marked improvement in i…

Random 5

1. I have been putting off watching the last three episodes of Parenthood that I had DVR'd. I just didn't want the show to end. But I prepared myself emotionally and watched them on Tuesday night. And I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed for 2 1/2 hours straight. What an amazing show that will be so missed.

2. I said last week that I had gained back 1.4 pounds of the 3 that I had lost since the first of the year. Well, I think it might have been fluid retention because at my weigh-in this week I had lost back those 1.4 pounds and 2 more making my weight loss so far a total of 5 pounds! Yay me! I only have 5 more pounds that I desire to lose and then I will work on maintenance and continuing to get in better physical shape. That is getting ready to kick into a higher gear as I start to train for a 5K with Brynne. She will be training with Girls on the Run at the elementary school, and I will also be training so that I can run the 5K with her in May.

3. I completely took myself off o…

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Have you ever written a love letter? Have you written one recently? Had one written to you? Did you keep it? I can't remember ever writing a love letter, unless you count Troy Cooper and I passing notes back and forth in the first grade that said "I love you. Do you love me? Yes ___ No ___" I would come home with a lunch box full of them. (Speaking of lunch boxes, while at a consignment store last Saturday I came across the exact replica of the lunchbox I had in the first grade! I didn't even remember I had it until I saw it there.)


But back to the question. I am not very good at being mushy gushy. The only thing that would come close would be the story that Rick and I wrote together to put on the back of our programs at our wedding (actually he wrote it and I edited it.) It was called "A Story of Us", which was a love letter of sorts. I still have one of them tucked in a book that Rick gave me before we even started dating.

What's a movie that ends in…

Tuesday Coffee Chat

I think; therefore I have a headache. Suffer from over-thinking? Guilty of the thinking much? Or, just ... meh.

I think a lot. I am an introvert so I work things out more in my mind than out loud. But I would not say I am an over-thinker. In fact, I am pretty decisive about things. I make a decision and go with it, really not thinking back on the decision much.

I don't talk with others much about what I am thinking, either, which drives a lot of people around me crazy. I have a pretty intimate and close relationship with God so I talk to Him about my "stuff", mostly in my thoughts.

I do my best thinking in the bathroom ... always have ... while I am getting ready. It's quiet there and one of the only places I can go to be truly alone. I can solve the whole world's problems while putting on my makeup. I have made many major decisions in my life while blow-drying my hair.

I also do lots of thinking in the car. I can drive hours without even turning on the radio or …

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Freedom (Prairie Primer: Silver Lake Week 3)

I didn't realize what a big hit "Freedom Friday" would be. The kids were actually excited to get started with school on Friday. Not only that, but the prospect of the upcoming day propelled them through each school day of the week. They had already decided that one of their freedom activities was to play chess. It's been a while since they have done that and needed to brush up on their skills.


I was happy for Friday to get here because it tends to be a slower paced day and allows me time to get some much-needed housework done. My floors were especially in need of some attention as it's been super muddy this week and there have been constant doggy prints all over the hardwood floor. Mopping was a must-do activity today. But then after cleaning up prints two times in an hour, I decided to just clean as I went and mop when the ground dries up. Instead I deep cleaned my kitchen and got caught up on laundry. It felt pretty good.


The other Freedom Friday activity chos…