Change around the corner

Some people hate change, some people crave it.  I’m firmly in camp #2. So I apologize in advance if you are a change hater!

Remember back when I was talking about the blog and whether it was a good fit for me? I figured out that a big part of the problem was the focus on homeschooling…I felt strange that I was developing something (this blog) that may not even be relevant in a year.  Or more, but who knows?  Best laid plans and all that.

I found myself thinking things like, “I’ll try to convince Lydia and James to homeschool, and not go to high school like some of their siblings, then I can keep blogging here.”  Then it dawned on me how backwards that all was! (Trust me, it was a brief thought, but still…)  “Let’s homeschool so Mommy can keep her URL!” LOL

I realized blogging is important to me, and being authentic is important to me, so last week I bought another URL.

Let me introduce you to –


fingers in ears


I figure, I’ll always be a mom, and I’ll always be a highly sensitive person, so this new URL should last me a good long time.

I’m a bit “under construction” over there, but will be posting there from now on, instead of here.  Exception being a few annoying nagging posts to get you to come on over there and to change your bookmarks, etc.

So here’s the URL again:

Here’s a link to Feedly and Bloglovin’ to make it easier for you to go right now and subscribe to the new blog. Don’t put it off for 3 months like I would. 😉  It’s a WordPress blog so those of you who subscribe to WordPress’s reader (or to receive in your inbox) should be able to do that the same way you did here.

My URLs for Twitter and Pinterest have changed as I changed usernames, but I don’t think you need to do anything about that – all my followers stayed the same.

In a few days I’m going to try merging my current Facebook page with a new one. Again, I don’t think you’ll need to do anything, just wanted to make you aware of the change that is coming.

I’ll still be blogging about homeschooling as much as I do now. Well, hopefully MORE than I do *right now* – more like what I was doing a few months ago. So don’t run away thinking things will be much different. I don’t think much will change, other than the place we meet each other.  In time, though, I’m sure I’ll branch out to other things as my life evolves.

Now that this awkwardly worded post is done, I can wish you all a wonderful week. 🙂  Hope to see you at the new place.   Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!


How we are doing Spanish this year

Foreign Languages for Kids Pinterest 1

I have to admit, fitting in a foreign language had been low down on my priority list in the past.

*I* really like languages, but with all the Other Things That Must Be Done, I often let foreign language slip the way of my formal music and art lessons…i.e. “out of sight out of mind.” Add in the fact that my state doesn’t require it, and ugh…it was such a struggle.  I knew it was a good thing, but like many other good things I couldn’t seem to make time for it, or even remember it as an option when we did have some down time.

Finally, last year, after Emma went off to high school, I realized that the other elementary schools in the area were teaching foreign language, some as early as kindergarten.  My daughter wound up being at a disadvantage when she entered school with very little experience. Sure, there were students who switched to a different foreign language in high school and therefore needed a beginner level like my daughter, but even they had had years of language learning under their belt.

I needed to up my game. So we tried a few different programs, but I just couldn’t get into any of them, and my kids weren’t really responding well either.  They were OK, but I  needed more than OK to get past my usual disorganized homeschooling style and into something we are happy to pick up regularly.

*cue dramatic music*

Enter Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids.  I heard about Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids through another homeschooling mom on Facebook.

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids currently has 40 Spanish lessons. You can either buy the DVDs or use the monthly subscription option to access online videos, like we are doing.  They also have online and print workbooks, flashcards, and a game you can buy.  Here is their product page.

Foreign Languages for Kids 1


When we first started a few months ago, we watched one lesson per week, and returned to it a few times that week.  Quickly, though, we had more fun binge watching (they take after their mother, LOL).  The kids wanted to watch many “weeks” worth of videos, then go back and watch the ones they had done before.  We do this maybe once or twice a week and they are picking up the vocabulary well.

foreign languages for kids 4

The videos feature mostly children and teens. They speak only Spanish, but the phrases and sentences are usually short and there is enough repetition to ensure understanding. You can use the flash cards and workbooks to help cement the learning.

Foreign Languages for Kids 2

My favorite part about the videos? The kids act like real kids.  Yes, it’s scripted and they are talking in single words and short phrases often, but outside of that they are being silly and sometimes just like real siblings (you know, along the lines of “he’s breathing on me!”).   They make us laugh and we even bring up little vignettes as inside jokes in our own family – like handing each other an apple saying “manzana…MANZANA” just like the boy in the video.

Foreign Languages for Kids 3

It has been a fun, engaging, relaxed and entertaining way to learn (or relearn) Spanish, for all of us. I think it’s a great introduction to the language. Best of all, my kids ask for it, so it gets done!  Win-win.

foreign languages for kids 5

You can also find Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer – I received a free subscription to this online program in exchange for a review. The thoughts expressed are true and completely my own.

The Black Dog

standing sky 1

I’m going to break an internet rule and apologize for not posting in three weeks.

I could tell you it was because I was busy (which I was) and that things are crazy (which they are) and that I’m putting my energy towards helping my daughter make her college decision (which I am – she has 9 days, people!) — but that would only be a part of the story.

I want to be honest with you here because I know you, as highly sensitive people, are not immune to what I’m about to talk about.

A few weeks ago, my typical acquaintance with depression and anxiety turned into a all out brawl, and I was losing.  I had been sliding down for a long time, but this was tail over teakettle into a ravine.

I became re-familiarized with the term, The Black Dog, which didn’t in any way seem to do what I was going through justice, although it brought up thoughts of Sirius Black from Harry Potter, which produced at least a little ray of light in an otherwise dark world spiraling out of control.  My Black Dog was more like a pack of black wolves with rabies.

I normally have a lot of deep troublesome thoughts or things going on in my life, which I can typically carry around tidily as if in a suitcase.  The problems or thoughts are there, but I am managing them.  Lately,  not only has the suitcase gotten too heavy, but it sprung open, getting lotions and dainties everywhere, just as I was running for the gate so as not to miss my plane.   Plane missed, stuff everywhere, me sitting in an emotional, embarrassed heap, unable to clean it up or move on. (OK I’m done with the metaphors, LOL).

Two days ago I stopped a medication that I think might be contributing, but it’s only a guess because it’s supposed to act in the opposite way. It’s too soon to tell if it was helping. I only took it 10 days out of the month, and my depression was every day not just those days, so I’m guessing if it was a contributing factor it’s more of a cumulative thing and will probably take time to get out of my system.

Or it has nothing to do with it and I’m just totally out of whack.  Not sure I ever was IN whack, LOL.  Actually, not even sure what whack is. 🙂

I have spent a lot of time in the last few weeks thinking about this blog and the fact that I wasn’t blogging.  Mostly wondering where I want to take this blog.

My oldest is graduating (!), my second is in a local high school, my now 7th grader wants to go there when she hits 9th grade, and yesterday #4 asked to go to school as well, before high school.  My youngest has no desire for school, but I can imagine that will change when his best buddies are all gone.  I don’t blame them.  I try very hard not to let my mental state affect them, and am usually very successful, as I’m a good faker around people.  But slowly things have changed around here over the past few years, both educationally and socially.  They are lonely and need things I can’t seem to manage.  So the highly sensitive homeschooler may soon be the highly sensitive NOT-homeschooler. Probably not next year, but soon.

Blogging about being overwhelmed by homeschooling seems disingenuous to me if I’m not right there in the trenches with you.  To me, at least.

I’ve thought about selling the URL and associated “stuff” if anyone is interested. 🙂  It’s just a thought at this moment, and I’m not sure how I would go about it all, but I’d be happy to talk to anyone interested. The right person could really fly with this blog because there is a great need for writing about this topic. I just don’t know if I’m the one to do it.

I also am having a problem with the way I’ve been blogging — part of me wants to do the traffic driving “10 Ways to Be the Best Homeschooler EVVVVVEEEERRRRRRR” posts, and part of me hates them with a passion, LOL.  The other part of me just wants to hang out and chat about life, but I worry about it turning into a whine-fest.  As HSPs life can be overwhelming, so when talking about the HSP life I’d be talking about being overwhelmed.  A lot.  Especially as an HSP dealing with anxiety and depression. And I don’t have *answers* so I’m never sure what to say.

The flip flopping between the two types has made me feel two-faced.  I know I should just follow my heart, but my heart is  If I don’t get traffic here I’m just talking to myself, but in order to drive traffic I’m not being true to myself and having to be over-salesy (for me).  Like, if I see one more highly staged instagram photo, I’m gonna quit life and go be Thoreau at Walden Pond.

I’m just going to stop there here, and ask for your thoughts.  I’m not even going to give you a question to answer, just throw it all out there to me, whatever you are thinking, about any of it.  I feel like a conversation needs to happen, but I’m not sure how to start.


Lessons I’m learning from Ernest Shackleton

Lessons from Ernest Shackleton

Ernest Shackleton

One hundred years ago, Ernest Shackleton led a voyage to Antarctica on his ship Endurance that turned into the most incredible journey of human strength and, well, endurance.

((Spoiler Warning! I’m going to try to keep it light on the spoilers but you will learn about what happens in the book through this post.))

I recently finished reading Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing (affiliate).  What an awe inspiring true story!   And the irony is not lost on me that I’m super excited that I finished a book, like that’s some sort of accomplishment, when the book was about men getting through the most amazing polar adventure filled with death defying feats of strength and (I’m going to say it again!) endurance. 🙂


Hurley and Shackleton at their camp after leaving the Endurance

Ernest Shackleton was a brilliant adventurer and also a astute observer of human nature. He was “an explorer in the classic mold — utterly self-reliant, romantic, and just a little swashbuckling.”  I just love that description!  The next time I want to do something or stand up for myself and others are giving me a hard time, I’m just going to say I’m swashbuckling and do it anyway, LOL.

Reading about him and the adventures of his men taught me quite a few life lessons. Not for the first time, I’m sure, and definitely not the last, but I’m not a quick student when it comes to learning to live life in a harsh world. I know I can apply these not only to my life, but to my homeschooling and my parenting as well.


Lessons I’m Learning from Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance

Demoralization of even a few members of a group can be the difference between a survivable experience and outright mutiny and misery. Spreading discontent was a sin of the highest order.

 “Of all their enemies — the cold, the ice, the sea — he feared none more than demoralization.”

Unity of the group is of utmost importance in difficult situations. It’s OK to go to great lengths — proactively and intentionally — to keep people close knit and under (parental) control, including flattering people who need it and helping people feel important.

Having a clear cut task, no matter how potentially impossible that task may be, can be easier and more exhilarating than waiting and worrying without direction, doing nothing.

Trying to cut a channel through the ice for the ship

Trying to cut a channel through the ice for the ship

Five minutes with a person can tell you an awful lot about who they are. (Shackleton’s interviews for his crew rarely lasted longer than this and he was notorious for selecting compatible men.)

Almost anything can be endured with good humor, creativity — not just for survival but for entertainment — and quality companionship.

The men left behind on Elephant Island

The men left behind on Elephant Island


Fill your mind with beautiful poetry and meaningful books so that when things look grim your mind will capture snippets of wisdom or beautiful verses to hold on to.

Sometimes you need to separate the dogs to prevent fighting.

Tom Crean and his dogsled puppies

Tom Crean and his dogsled puppies

Sometimes those burdened with plans for every contingency fare worse than those that sacrifice total preparedness for speed.

Nothing is harder than having hope rise and be dashed, rise and be dashed.

Launching the James Caird

Launching the James Caird

Weeks of primitive living, of having to make do and learn how to make and use what is necessary, can be very enriching. Keeping productively occupied, combined with regular times of rest and relaxation, is the key to a good life no matter what the outside circumstances.

“They had been tested and found not wanting.”

If you have to give disappointing news, have something productive for the men to do immediately afterward.

John Vincent

John Vincent

Sometimes when you are in the dark, in a storm, when all seems lost, you are actually being blown to a better place.

Never lose hope.


Homeschool Interview Series

book stack

Did you ever wonder what other homeschoolers think about homeschooling and how they run their days? Well, Amanda from Sicily’s Heart and Home is doing a great Homeschool Interview Series and today is my turn!

Head on over to today’s post to hear me ramble on some more about our crazy homeschool, successes and failures, burnout, and a typical day. Honestly, I could go on and on about it here, but apparently I went on and on about it over there, so I will spare you.  😉

Hope to see you there! Have a wonderful day!

Homeschool Standout

homeschool standout

I’ve just started reading Standout 2.0 by Marcus Buckingham. It’s supposed to be about “winning at work,” and honestly, I got it out of the library to take a peek at for my older daughters. They are both wondering–at 16 and 18–what the world holds for them career wise.

While I got it for my kids, I was immediately struck by how applicable it is for homeschooling moms.

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Things I’m loving right now

I love the feeling inside me that wells up when I find something that I just adore. It makes me so happy to think about or be with that thing. Is that a little twisted? I have an inkling that that feeling should be reserved for people, but most people don’t make me feel as happy as these awesome things here. 😉

So here is a list of things that make me feel guilty I love them so much.
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