Archive | July 2016

Connecting my emotions to my life

I assumed that my emotions would be naturally connected to motherhood, to my children.

In some ways they are; in other ways, not.

Sometimes I do things to connect them. Like taking a girlie out for coffee and reading.

So, here’s my latest idea! I’ve never gotten in to charm bracelets, but now I’m thinking they’re awesome!



It’s charms representing my children!!!

I can use it to pray for them! I can find other charms for special occasions! I can start a group thing with the girls, and buy them bracelets with charms that represent things!

I’m liking this!



follow-up test on myself

I was writing in the spring about dealing with disappointment with my life.

Yesterday was an interesting test of how I’m dealing with that, and it’s going pretty good!

So yesterday, I was generally rather fatigued, Vitaliy was gone a few days (these are 2 big factors), and last night, this funk came on me again. …. My thoughts are like: Why can’t I do birth work? I hate homeschooling. Why is my life like this? Why am I making these choices?

Those are The Funk thoughts. It’s totally gone today, so you know, it’s a momentary thing. But it’s important.

So, how did I go through it?

First, I went for a walk. And I thought. I thought several good things.

I made a choice to be home with my children, and that choice is valuable to me. It’s important to me to do this. Making that choice means saying no to other choices.

If I were working in birth (or whatever), I would also have parts of it that I hate (like I sometimes hate homeschooling). I’m just choosing between what I want to struggle with disliking.

If I were doing birth stuff, I would also have moments when it feels empty and like it’s robbing me of other, more fulfilling things. The grass is greener thing would still happen, no matter what I would be doing. Especially when I’m tired and a bit emotionally empty.

I went to do some grocery shopping. I’m on a diet right now, but as I was walking through the store, I realized that normally, this is a time when I would comfort myself by eating– bread, chocolate, whatever.

So I asked myself, how can I go through this funk in a different way? My stomach is not hungry, but my emotions are hungry. Food won’t fill them up.

It’s a form of grieving for a life I won’t have, and that’s OK, to grieve a little bit for those dreams, but I don’t have to wallow in it and wreck my health and other goals during that grief.

So I was feeling pretty good by now, that I was going through and coming out of this funk in a pretty good way– able to value the life I have and not eat to comfort myself like I usually do.

I ended up buying some clothes on sale, too 🙂 I needed a new fall jacket, and the one I liked was on sale! $24 instead of over $40!

Cool. Progress!

I felt like my dad, buying on sale, and I felt like my mom, buying clothes …

Andre, loves his little MEP math stuff 🙂



a dream come true

It’s nice to have some cheap, easy dreams, though it doesn’t mean they’ll be fulfilled quickly. I’ve wanted a SMALL CD player in my kitchen for years.


What took so long? I’m not exactly sure. Trying the small computer for music. trying the phone for music.

Nothing worked really.

Once, months back, we asked in a technology store for a CD player. They said they didn’t sell them anymore.


Jaw. To. Floor.

So, I was just in that same store 3 days back, looking for an immersion blender. And guess what I saw?

Yes, there they were, on a shelf, three dinky CD players all by their lonesomes.

And I knew. It was time.

For the dream to COME! TRUE!


Bach, Hayden, Mozart ….


organization and cleaning

My old love for housecleaning is returning. After being decimated by my major life adjustments of the last 12-13 years.


I’m starting to enjoy it again. One is that the kids are older. Another is just letting myself just enjoy it and go slow. I don’t like schedules and I don’t like working fast in order to just get it done, setting a timer, etc. I like going at my own pace and just enjoying it. So, I cleaned my kitchen yesterday. Here it is:

See that shiny Big Berkey water filter? I used my purple rags (from FlyLady) to shine it. I used them mirrors, windows and cabinets, too.


Shout out to Big Berkey, too. A fabulous, high quality filter. It’s great for a large family (filters fast), portable, requires no power source (just gravity!), and the filters are accessible and cleanable. Loved it for years!


The clean floor is what I love. Kitchen floors deal with a lot of gunk, you know.


Another thing I’ve been enjoying right now is that Vitaliy and I are both talking about cleanliness and organization. I like it when we have a topic we’re in tandem about. Four kids, tons of stuff, ministry stuff, office stuff, humanitarian aid, constant travel, home school …. We both are working on making small steps to keep things cleaner, neater. It’s nice to be “of one mind” about this and we have talks about how to use this to make our lives easier and more helpful.

MEP math and my sweetie boy

I’m going to mention MEP math here for a moment because they are worth mentioning!

The Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching is located in England. They developed a free, online, high-quality math program. I started it years ago with Skyla and Vika. Then I moved to textbooks when it was too hard for me to be so involved (read, more babies and toddlers), and this year, I’m going back to it.

I’m really impressed with the program.The lessons are brief, scripted even, and have great visuals and manipulatives for kids. It also just intrigues me how they introduce and teach concepts!

Upfront, it’s a lot of printing, and I’m doing a lot of my own printing this year for our schooling (using Ambleside Online). While I was printing out the first lesson batch for the girls I though, hey, let me print out a few lessons to do with Andre (he’s 4yo).

We’ve done 2 days so far, and he’s enjoying it. We’re BOTH enjoying it, and that is important.

On this page, meeting the family, asking questions like How many children?” Who is beside the dog? Who is youngest? … Then counting to 5 on fingers and drawing sticks.


Here, I love this picture. He drew our family. I’m the one with the big head. I like to think,  because I am the largest “presence” in his life 🙂


Here we counted boats, cars, houses. We colored a certain number of them


Here he is working on the bed this morning. Things I’ve learned from this: He is fairly exact– must color in the entire space in the object. He picks up ideas fairly quickly. He has pretty good finger control for his age, too.