GISH 2020: The craziest fun ever had for good!

Sometimes you agree to do something completely unusual and later you find yourself thinking that agreeing to do that thing seemed like a good idea at the time you agreed to do it. And you wonder if you should have agreed to do it. But you know you'll never regret it!   A few months ago my family and I participated in our first mini Great International Scavenger Hunt, GISH for short. It was a weekend that knocked me out of my comfort zone AND out of the funk COVID-19 and the goings-on in the world had thrown me into. I wrote about that experience here . So when the opportunity to participate in the week-long version of the hunt presented itself, I jumped right in. Not only did I jump right in, but I convinced friends and family member to join me and we formed our own team.    Over the past few weeks I've found myself explaining what GISH is, the good GISH does and why I need really strange things for GISH over and over.    What is GISH? More than an event, GISH is a community of

Pro-parenting tip: Boredom Buster

One summer when my kids were younger I also provided childcare for several of my friends' children and entertained the neighbor girl. Some days there were 11 kids in my home. Oh, and my husband travelled for work and was away from home for months at a time. (Yes, my sanity has been called into question more than once!)  Kandice, Noah, Jenny and AJ that summer Early in the summer I made an important announcement to all the children (except the baby): "From this point forward, anyone who utters the words 'I’m bored' or any variation thereof, will earn the honor of cleaning the toilets...whether you are my child or not!" I explained to them that we had board games, a suitcase full of dress-up clothes and accessories, craft supplies, coloring supplies, movies, numerous toys and playthings, and a backyard all available for their enjoyment. They were allowed to ask me for suggestions regarding available activities, but could not use any variation of the words

Best Homeschool Advice EVER!

The summer before my oldest daughter's freshman year of high school, she decided she wanted to homeschool. Since I was working outside the home at the time and she was the oldest of 4, her dad and I made her jump through some pretty impressive hoops to convince us she was serious. (Think research into how homeschooling would help her with her future career choice and a powerpoint presentation about why she wanted to homeschool.) She jumped through our hoops like a champ and our homeschool journey began. That first year was rough on me emotionally...I was certain that my child would end up homeless, careerless and destitute on the side of the road and it would be all my fault because I failed her as her teacher.  A bit dramatic, I know! After one year of homeschooling my oldest, her younger sisters decided that big sister had a sweet gig and they wanted in, so now I was homeschooling 3 girls who all learned very differently while juggling a preschooler and a part-time jo

A most interesting weekend!

We are living in a world of uncertainty. Our state closed schools six weeks ago and the governor issued a stay at home order five weeks ago. The stay at home order is currently in place for another week, but there is much speculation about whether or not that will be extended. Social media presents a range of opinions, with some folks just trying to get through this, some begging others to listen to authorities, others certain that this is all some big hoax designed by the government to control our minds with technology, etc. The divisiveness and uncertainty have been taxing to say the least, but this past weekend was a most interesting bright spot in the darkness. It all started with this text from Misha a few weeks ago: The premise was simple enough to be intriguing, vague enough to make me a little nervous and would benefit a great cause. Consider my interest piqued! GISH: Great International Scavenger Hunt I texted a few of my crazy friends and started to put a te

Blank Spaces

Today I did things... Last night I couldn’t much running through my mind. I was tired of feeling like everything is on hold. In my mind I sorted though shelves and drawers full of things we no longer need. Today I boxed those things up and stacked them in storage until we can bring them somewhere to donate. Now I’m staring at empty shelves full of possibilities. Every fiber of my being wants to fill those shelves with more things. That's what they're for, right?!?! But I have decided to be strategic about how I fill my shelves. Rather than adding clutter, I want to place things on them that matter. I want to organize them in a way that makes my life richer and not more chaotic. I realize my calendar is like that these days...empty blocks of life full of possibilities! We are under a "Stay at home, stay healthy" mandate from the governor of our state. This has upended my life...I'm not accustomed to all these empty spaces on my calendar.


Sometimes being a “doer” is tough. Sometimes getting things done can take a toll. Sometimes being really good at your job can knock you down when you’re done. I cried all the way home from church tonight. Here’s why: Before church I went to pick my daughter up from work and got a text that she had just had a seizure and a coworker would take her home. I was already in the parking lot, so I intercepted the coworker and he let me into the closed building to see her. Her friends and coworkers are amazing. We decided I would take her home. I hugged her, drove her home and then went directly to the church to “do.” Just like every week. After church, supplies were put away, everyone else had left and it all hit me. I just cried. I know my girl will be okay. I know God has her in the palm of His hand. In that moment, I needed to take the time to just cry it out. Sometimes I forget to be human. I’m so glad God loves me anyway!

Christmas Eve 2

Things that didn’t make it on the last post’s Christmas Eve list: Grown child suddenly overwhelmed by anxiety-ridden coughing attack ✔️ Heavy doses of prayer ✔️ Not everything is always perfect. Tonight as we wrapped up our festivities, one my my precious children suddenly began coughing uncontrollably. The coughing led to anxiety at not knowing what was wrong, which led to more get the idea. This is not how we planned to end our night. As I calmed her, brought her anything I could think of to ease her pain and discomfort and prayed fervently over her, I was struck by a feeling of helplessness. Her coughs subsided. Then I sat down and wrote a beautiful blog post about Christmas Eve and what a wonderful night we had had. In all honesty, I meant every word of my previous post. Tonight was special for our family, and I needed to write about that. But I could not leave it at that. I needed to write this part too. I need to remember that life is full of joys and God i