Homeschooling with a Chronic Illness

I suffer from two different illnesses.  I have Crohn’s Disease (a disease that affects the small intestine) and I also battle depression.  A lot of my days are difficult.  I am either really tired, achy or having stomach pains.  My kids understand, but it is hard to get back in the groove after I take a break from teaching.  I have learned to take better care of myself in order to be a better mom and teacher.  I try to eat right, exercise and sleep enough.  Our days go well when I get an afternoon nap.  I usually lie down around 2 and the kids play quietly.  I used to feel guilty about napping in the middle of the day, but it is a necessity for me.  If I take care of myself, I am a better mom and teacher to my kids.  Not to mention, a better wife!

<sup class="crossreference" style="background-color: white; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 0.65em; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”>Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Sometimes we do schoolwork at night and that is okay.  Thankfully, we can school when it is convenient for our family.  Homeschools can look different from family to family. I also think that there is no shame in asking for outside help.  Maybe a relative or other homeschooling friend can take over a subject or two during a season.  Co-ops, enrichment classes, athletics, etc. have been helpful to me.  I know that my kids are still learning, but some of the burden is off of me.  I use this time to refresh myself by reading or doing something for myself while my kids are being instructed.  At times, we have had more outside activities than other times.  It is wonderful to be able to change how much or how little we do from season to season.

A <sup class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”>friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.  Proverbs 17:17

If you have a daily battle with your health and homeschooling, I encourage you to keep at it.  Don’t let guilt creep into your conscience.  If God has called you to keep your children home, He will equip you and your children.  Pray and trust.  With God, nothing is impossible.(Luke 1:37)  Spend time in the Word and keep your spirit strong.  If our spirit is strong, we can soldier through the tough days.  Choose joy.  Never give up your hope for healing–God still performs miracles.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  Psalm 103:2-5

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Introducing Me to the 2:1 Conference

I will be attending the Titus 2:1 Conference in April.  It is my first time and I am so excited!  The girls at 2:1 have asked us attendees to answer a few questions, so here I go!

1.  How long have you been blogging and homeschooling?  Which is harder?
This is a difficult one to answer.  I have blogged on and off for about 7 years.  I jumped into it back when homeschoolers started blogging on Homeschoolblogger.  I made a lot of online friends and was pretty faithful to blogging for about 2 years.  Then I stopped for a period of time and started a different blog.  It was sporadic at best and I finally deleted it.  I started my most recent blogs within the past year.  
I have homeschooled both of my children from the time they were 4 years old.  So that has been 7 years, as well.  I find both blogging and homeschooling to be challenging because I have a bit of an unorganized mind.  I think a million thoughts, but often forget to put them into action.  

2.  If you were a superhero, what would be your homeschool super power? 

I would be able to beam my children to the location I need them to be in at any moment.  I would be so mesmerizing, they wouldn’t be able to stop paying attention to me.

3. If I could go anywhere, besides the 2:1 Conference, where would be your dream “mom-cation”?
I’d like to rent a house in Seaside, FL and read.  There’s a whole world I’d love to explore, though!

4.  What would you like to “get out” of the 2:1 Conference?
I’d like to be motivated and encouraged by the wonderful speakers.  I hope to leave with a purpose and direction for my blogs and our homeschool.  I also intend to make lots of like minded friends!  Most importantly, I want to strengthen my relationship with God and really tune in to what He is asking me to do with blogging and homeschooling.  I want everything I do to glorify Him.  

Offline:  I love to read, spend time with my family, travel, be involved in our church and bake.   We move around a lot because my husband is in the military.  We love our lifestyle, but someday want to put down some roots!  

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Our Week in Review in Pictures

 Buddy’s 9th Birthday, snow storm and gymnastics meet
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Easy Sun Craft

We studied the sun last week and found a fun craft to make–a wax model.  We broke up red, orange, yellow and brown crayons into small bits onto a paper plate.  We then microwaved the crayons 15 seconds at a time until all were melted.  Using a craft stick, we then swirled the colors around.  After hardened, we added a few more shavings of yellow and orange to make solar flares and prominences.  My kids thought that their suns were too red, but I think they turned out great!  You could also use this idea to make the planets.

Inspired by this

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Sloppy Shannons(recipe)

Here is another easy meal for those busy homeschool days.  It is the cousin of the Sloppy Joe–Sloppy Shannons!  My mom used to make this recipe all of the time when we would host a yearly Fellowship of Christian Athletes retreat.  She would make them with ground beef, but I added my own healthy touch with ground turkey.  When we started hosting a Bible study in our home, I would make these when we shared a meal together.  A girlfriend of mine dubbed them “Sloppy Shannons” and the name stuck.

1 lb. lean ground turkey
diced onion(if desired)
1 can of cream of celery soup(I’ve tried the healthier version and it didn’t cut it)

Brown turkey with the onions.  Drain fat, if necessary.  Dump in the soup and simmer for a few minutes to thicken.  Squirt in about 1-2 tablespoons of mustard and stir.  Serve on buns.  Add in some easy microwavable veggies or fries for a side.  So easy!  I keep ground turkey in the freezer and soup in the pantry so I usually just need to shop for buns.

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Winter Fun!

The kids have been having fun with our little homemade ice rink!  We made a frame with 2X4 boards, laid a heavy duty plastic drop cloth in the bottom, filled with water and waited for it to freeze!  The kids have had fun playing hockey on it.  My husband also threw coins in the water before it froze so when it melts, the kids can collect them.  We have had to add more water every few days to keep it going, but it has worked out.

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My MomHeart is Full!

Mother And Baby

This past weekend, I attended the MomHeart Conference in Denver.  It was such a huge blessing for me.  The Lord really showed me a lot through Sally Clarkson and her team.
I have read Sally’s books and blogs fo manyr years, but I am more of an auditory learner.  To be in her presence and hear her share was such an education for me.  One of the people that really touched me was her husband, Clay.  What a man of God!  I was so excited to be one of the first to get his republished book Heartfelt Discipline.  We hear so much from amazing Sally, but Clay is definitely the backbone of this family.  To see how they love and support one another is so inspiring.

I have been digesting and pondering what I learned over the weekend.  I think that the main thing that is on my mind is that I am here to be a Kingdom Builder.  God has trusted me with these precious children that belong to Him.  He has asked me to bring them up to know Him and impact the world for Him.  What a huge responsibility, but I am so willing to sacrifice all to do this job along with my husband.  One thing that I was convicted by is, in order to fill my children with the knowledge of the Lord, I must possess it myself. I am rededicating myself to growing in my own relationship with the Lord.  I sometimes get so caught up in teaching my kids about Him, that my own time with Him is lacking.  I want my kids to see me living a life of faith, be a prayerful mom and a woman that loves the Word of the Lord.  My zeal for God was definitely reignited this weekend!  I am so excited to continue this life journey with my family so that we can continue together for eternity.

As Mary, Mother of Jesus, said upon hearing of her pregnancy, “I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be as you have said.”  Luke 1:38

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