family history · Homeschool · Vicki's Ramblings

School is Back in Session- “Focus, Baby! Focus”

Which means I am busy again.

For lots of other people it means freedom. For me, it means I need to pay attention to what they are doing and make sure they do it well.

At least as we start the year…..

Everyone else dreads summer and Christmas breaks because their kids are home again. I don’t exactly dread school starting, but it does come close.

I like the freedom we all have over the summer, however, we get lazy. We do get a lot of projects done and my work force is awesome. We can work on projects together and most of the time its fun. We chat and talk and get the job done.

We get lazy in that we have no schedule so some teens get up at the crack of noon….

We get lazy in that we take naps in the afternoons and spend too much time on video games. (Ok- I take naps because I don’t sleep til noon…..)

It is good for us to have a schedule again. I wake 2 of them up around 830. The other is up before I am most mornings. Then we get started on school sometime around 9 for some. 10 for one. I join in as soon as my chores are done.

It’s so weird that I only have 3 at home!! Until last spring, when Horse Daughter got married, we had 5 kids at home. Then she left and Son #4 left for college the end of August……. Still adjusting to all of that. I didn’t even write blog posts about them!

We are doing a Virtual school again this year. Last year, I was very disappointed to see their grades fall and that some were allowed to get away with things they should not have. I like the schedule of the virtual school and I like that they have teachers to guide them- especially in the upper grades. I do not like that sometimes they get away with things and that their grades dropped.

Last year was difficult for us all. Hubby and I both struggled health wise. We could not keep up with their lessons and monitoring their work. They struggled because their parents didn’t feel good for months on end. Parents are not supposed to be sick!!

This year, I am hoping to do better. Hubby and I are feeling quite a bit better- though both of us still struggle health-wise. We are able to deal with those times as they come and do what we can. For schooling this year, we chose to do more project based classes that will force me to be more of an active participant in their work. It’s nice that we have that option now with this program.

I have set my mind on their schooling- I have changed my focus- to be more aware of their needs above the needs of the house and farm.

Images courtesy of Google Images

Truthfully, I lost my focus for a time.

It happens sometimes.

The important part is that we recognize it and come back. It’s all part of life, isn’t it??

This year our focus is schooling and finding the problem areas some of us have. I am waiting to hear back from a clinic near us which will do some testing for one of the kids. He has struggled through the years in his schooling and I did think he would grow out of it. I also thought that since he had been in public school for a couple of years and then in Virtual school for a couple of years, that his teachers would see a problem too.

They didn’t. I had to bring up the question and only then did the teacher agree.

Ugh….. I wish I would have done something so much sooner.

He is one reason why I need to get my focus back. I have another one that I am hoping to get tested after this one is done for the same reasons.


I have told my kids that so many times.. “Focus, Baby! Focus”!! Then God started pointing me to it too…. Focus… Fix my gaze. At first, I didn’t like being told that I needed to focus. Soon I realized that I needed to focus.

Images courtesy of Google images

At some point, I want to write a devotional about what God showed me through those words. Maybe I will start a regular blog posting once a week. That would be a great place to start.. Add a hashtag…. Of course, someone will have to teach me that part!!

So, school has started and we are all busy getting our work done. We still need to work out our schedule a little better. There are a few glitches in our system, but it will come together soon enough. They are doing a great job so far. I am hoping that continues. Hopefully, I can sneak some time in to write more on this blog and get a book done.

Which reminds me- I have exciting and nerve-wracking news!! The OTHER thing I am focusing on this school year. I have signed a contract with a self publishing company that is connected with a much larger publishing company and I am going to get one of my books published!! It is a picture book that I attempted to get published a few years ago, but didn’t have the support and help to get it done right through that company.

This time, I have an entire support system available to me to get this done and done well.

“Focus, Baby! Focus!!”


Enough time here..

Have a blessed day,


Homeschool · parenting

A Day in the Life…..

I thought it would be fun to do a day in the life. Not sure it would be an interesting read so I will try to make it one.

Around here, nowadays, we are pretty laid back. We get up mostly when we get up. I get up around 7 or so, most days. I get my tea, get caught up on some emails- or rather delete the emails that I just won’t read- scroll through Facebook for no particular reason, and then go to my office for a little “quiet time” with God. I pray, journal, and read the Bible for about a half hour. I am kind of spoiled nowadays.


The kids who are my early risers go watch YouTube videos or play video games until I kick them off and tell them to go eat breakfast around 8 or so. The other 2 who are not early risers get woke up about 9 ish. Or whenever I get around to that. Unless they have an early class and wake themselves up.

I go eat breakfast, clean up the kitchen a little, get the kid whose chore it is to empty the dishwasher and put away dishes from the night before, doing their chore and I go take a shower.

After that, I finish any chores in the kitchen, and then get the kid whose chore it is to help feed the chickens and rabbits and we go do that. This morning it was cold so we had to get fresh water bottles and break the ice in the chickens water tank. I brought in 6 eggs only. Lately, I have been getting about 18 a day because it has been nice again. Last night, the temps dropped below zero again so they didn’t lay as well. I have to treat one rabbit for fur mites later today. I will probably put out a dust bath of Diatomaceous Earth for the rabbits and one for the chickens. That should take care of mites.

While I catch up on some other chores that need doing, emails, today, signing my actors up for auditions, and other things that pop up that need dealing with, my kids are working on their school work. All 4 are doing online schooling this year. Some like to start right away and get their work done. Others stroll in later in the morning. All mornings are spent then doing school work. One is doing a few things off line because I fee like she needs a little extra work in some areas.

The boys are pretty much independent and do what they need to do. Sometimes needing a little reminder here and there. I am here basically as a supervisor to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing and not being distracted by their phones……. or the cat. or their siblings……..

During this time is when I am doing either a blog post or work for the Master Gardener class I am taking, or working on drawing the illustrations for a book I am working on.

As a family, before lunch generally, we do Bible time. This year we have been reading through Psalms and Proverbs. I am learning a lot as we read Proverbs for the second time through this year. There is a very clear distinction between fools and the righteous throughout Proverbs and excellent advice for living!! Sometimes we watch a teaching online which has been really good for us all too.

For lunch, I generally pull out all the leftovers from the week, add in some sandwich fixings, some chips and some fruit and vegetables and put them on the counter or table for them to pick and choose what they want to do for lunch. It works well for us and I don’t have to worry about cooking something special for lunch again. Sometimes I will make something like eggs or macaroni and cheese. But generally, lunch is a smorgasbord.

After lunch, the kid whose chore it is to do dishes, helps to fill the dishwasher and wash up any remaining dishes. The kid whose chore it is to clean up the kitchen, does that and I go do whatever chores I need to be doing. Generally, the dishwasher needs to be run after lunch.

Sometimes they go outside and do some playing for a bit. Sometimes they go back to working on schoolwork or a class. Sometimes they read or draw. Often, they will play video games, either with friends online or together. For this last school year, I go take a nap. I wish it wasn’t a necessity for me, but it is what it is I guess.

After that, we get some other cleaning chores done. Sometimes we play some games or bake. Most of the time though, we do one or 2 cleaning chores that need doing. It is more fun and gets done faster when we do them together and by then, they need something active to do anyways. Last week while it was nice, we all cleaned out the rabbit house and all the water bottles, feed dishes and nesting box. This week, its been snowing or nasty, so we have done some indoor chores like vacuuming and cleaning up those areas that just don’t get cleaned often.

Then the boys who have jobs, start to leave for their jobs. One generally works about 5pm the first part of the week. The other the same time the end of the week.

I start supper around 5 or so, depending on what is going on that night. Whoever is kitchen duty or dishes comes and helps with those parts. Sometimes I have them help make dinner.

Most of the time we eat dinner together. Some nights, it just doesn’t work out so I make something and we eat when we can. Wednesday nights, Hubby takes the kids to their Martial Arts class and they eat out together in between classes. That gives me the night off to work on whatever I have to work on. Tonight though, I am meeting a friend to shop for a nice top to wear to Horse Daughter’s Bridal shower on Saturday. That should be fun!!

Tuesday the kids have Martial Arts so they eat after class. I have my Master Gardener class so I eat before. Thursdays the kids have Christian Youth Theater and leave by 4pm so I have them eat a good snack, take a snack with them and then feed them a little supper when they get home. Friday nights, the theater kids have rehearsals so they are gone by 430 generally so again, I try to get them something before they leave and have them something to eat while there. Ok- who am I kidding…. I generally forget and they purchase snacks there.

Feeding times at night are a little tricky……….

Like so many of you, we deal with that too. Slow cookers and meals that can sit in the oven are my saving grace. A lot of times I like to try to make bigger meals and have leftovers in the fridge for them to just heat up when they can. Some of them would rather just not eat so I do have the struggle of getting them to eat and eat healthy foods.

After supper most of the time, we chill. Some go watch TV. Some play video games. Sometimes we have to go check animals waters and make sure they have thawed water. Sometimes we have to go out and close up the coop after all the girls have gone back inside for the night. About 830 or 9, someone always gets something for a snack and stacks dishes in my sink and leaves a mess on my counter. After this many years, I just roll my eyes and ignore it. About 930, we start heading to bed. The youngest will get sent to the showers sometime before that time. Youngest Son will head to bed on his own then. Youngest Daughter needs to talk.. Then needs a drink. Then needs anything else. She has always had trouble getting to sleep.

I am in bed about then as well, reading generally. The rest of them get to bed around 11 or so.

Not very exciting I suppose. Around here, things are pretty self directed. Other than getting them to go outside or to do something I need or want some help with, they pretty much do what they need to do.

What do your days look like?? What do you do for that busy night time schedule to help keep them fed without going out to eat all the time??