Wisdom from my child- “Take a deep breath and relax”

JMJ 36  *I’m okay because I know I am exactly where I am meant to be, and there is no one who is better qualified to be the mother of my own children than me.  I like my daughter Melissa’s advice when I am a bit frazzled, “Mom, take a deep breath and relax.”

Ring the School Bell 36/180 days

Finding time to write, as relaxing an activity as it is for me, can be a struggle, especially when juggling 25 tasks (Okay, maybe 25 is a slight exaggeration).  When I feel this way, all I have to do is recall the last school year.  For the last four years, I had a wonderful job at Golden Valley Charter School, which catered to homeschoolers.  The bottom line is, it took away too much time from my family.

What I initially thought would be a 10 hour/week part-time job, swallowed up my days and nights much more than that. While at my paying job, my days were filled with visiting families (which was so much fun!), and my nights were filled with typing up family reports, ordering curriculum, administrative duties, answering work emails, and correcting papers.  This was accomplished at the dining room table, while I wistfully observed my husband relaxing and watching television in the adjacent room.

Nurturing Melissa was the one who picked up on my frequent anxiety, telling me at least once a day, “Mom, you need to take a deep breath and relax.” I finally decided to call it quits, so that I could enjoy Sabrina’s senior year to the fullest, find some peace and balance in my life, and also have more time for the rest of the bunch.

It still is insanely busy, but I am seldom on the verge of having a breakdown. I have inner peace knowing that I am exactly where I am meant to be.  Days are filled to the brim, and right now, my nights are no exception.  No quiet evenings for me.  The next couple of months I have resigned myself to the following tasks:  Sabrina’s university applications (7 in total), business financials (from John’s office), tax preparation, financial aid paperwork, scholarship research, and an ever-increasing pile of schoolwork to correct.

And then there is all the regular stuff, like picking out a pumpkin and helping out with Halloween costumes. Oh, and laundry and feeding the children! Unfortunately,  I’m also stuck with a clunker computer, that continually slows down my best efforts at being efficient.  It seriously takes 10 minutes to boot up the computer, and get to where I need to be, in order to work on my exhaustive list.  My mantra for the next couple of months:  “I know this is a temporary craziness.  There is an end in sight.  It is a finite list.”  And, I have faith that God will help me get me through each task at hand, as it comes due, like picking out a pumpkin!

Fall Tradition in 90 degree weather

Remember the tainted chicken from a few days ago?  After being persistent with the store manager, I was able to receive a refund for the tainted chicken at the grocers.  I had thrown away the contaminated chicken that we had not consumed, and only saved the labels, so they were hesitant to give me a refund.  I had only saved the labels, but not the receipts, in case we needed to see a doctor and seek reimbursement from the “fowl” folk (ha ha, I made a joke!)

The chicken people advised consumers that it was okay to cook their chicken thoroughly, and not worry about it, but I wasn’t convinced. It did contain enough salmonella to cause illness and tummy aches in my family. I understood the store’s position, but I persisted and felt I deserved a refund as a loyal customer, right?  After all, there are many grocery stores to choose from out there.  I walked out with a $10 refund.

John’s choice for a great carving pumpkin!


Frenzy prevailed in all aspects of our day, today.  At least it was an enthusiastic frenzy. Final details were made on the science projects.  Melissa worked on her Mentos Geyser experiment, and Sarah has decided to link her popcorn-themed costume to a project involving the science of popcorn.  She is going to be in the science fair, after all. Yay!

At the moment, Sabrina is preparing simultaneously for three SAT subject tests in literature, math and United States history, a requirement for homeschool applicants at the University of Southern California.  It was the only university that requested this.

The Halloween party is quickly coming together for next week’s bash.  Believe it or don’t, but there is literally no place to sit for meals at the current moment!  I had to swipe an area clear for my husband to have his dinner, after he had wandered around the front rooms several times, trying to find a space to set down his plate.  We obviously have too many projects going on simultaneously.

Actually, it’s kind of funny.  I seriously should get the snow shovel out, that I use for scooping up leaves outdoors, and use it indoors to create space.  Poor guy.  He deserves better after a long day at work.  My yummy homemade soup made up for it, I think, along with the side of fresh-baked corn bread prepared by Sarah.  We watched “The Story of Us- America” together before I resumed trying to figure out an income projection for the financial aid forms.

              I find watching Melissa’s time-lapse art video very relaxing!  I hope you do too!

*featured photo at top of Sarah in her homemade popcorn costume

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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is part of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.  Every day’s blog entry coincides with a day from that special year.  It can be read from the beginning by selecting the “Ring the School Bell 180” category on the side bar.  Commence with the narrative, “The School Bell- What comes to mind when ‘you’ hear that bell?” and follow along with us day-by-day through the school year.  Hope you will join us!

May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine.    Annette



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