My Intrepid Son

Ian and AllisonI always had a feeling that my oldest son, Ian, would live in another country. I breathed I sigh of relief when he married Allison, a wonderful local young lady, five years ago. I thought that feeling was unfounded as they both had jobs and were enjoying city life here.

All of that changed last spring when they announced they were seriously considering moving to Japan. I can tell you that while I was smiling and telling them I would support their decision, my heart was heavy and sad because I just wanted them to stay close. Isn’t that what every mama wants? But, I didn’t feel that I could be selfish and pout and carry on because either way they were going for it.

Allison ended up getting a job first as an elementary teacher in an international school in Tokyo and they left in early August. That first day was awful as I was thinking about how far away they were going to be from us. The clincher was when my husband said, “I see that their plane is over Russia now. ”

“Russia? Really?That’s so far and they aren’t even there yet!” I burst into tears and ran out of the room after Dale made that announcement. It really helped that I had made plans for us to go see a fabulous homeschool drama production to pass the time away. But, as things would happen that day, I sat next to a woman with whom I struck up a conversation and I shared with her what had happened that day.

“They are living in Japan? Oh, I lived there for six years and loved it. I didn’t want to come back home.” I wanted to jump up right then and run away from her as it was not what I wanted to hear. But, that also brought comfort knowing that she enjoyed it that much.

So, fast forward a couple of months and you can see by the picture taken at the Imperial Palace that they are enjoying themselves and adjusting to life in the Far East. Ian has a job teaching English to adults and shares funny and interesting stories with me as he navigates the culture and language. By the way, neither of them speak Japanese! I know this is the best way to learn the language, but I am not sure I could have gone somewhere so totally different from where I had lived. I think that is the advantage to being young, you just do it. lol

So, as you homeschool, prepare your child to take risks, make mistakes, and give lots of encouragement to your sweet student. Our world is shrinking and you never know that perhaps your child will be like Ian and live abroad. I am glad he and Allison are intrepid, taking chances, and are living their lives as they feel called to do. I guess Dale and I will stay here at the homefront so they feel secure in knowing they can always come home. (And for me, that can never be too soon!) I am working and saving money so we can make the trek over to see them in the future. 🙂

Have a great week!


Keep On Pedaling

This week as I was riding my bike along the Little Maimi Scenic Trail and I stopped to look at a large map of the spur that I had just ridden to see if it will be expanded any further. Because, at this point, the path just ends. Not that I am complaining because it was a good time to turn around and head back to the car anyway. 🙂


As I was retracing my route on the map board, I happened to see an older couple on bikes close by and realized they were Amish. The man was wearing overalls, a straw hat, and the woman was attired in a blue dress, black stockings, and a white hat. She had a three-wheeled bike with heavy plastic saddle buckets on the back which I thought was a great idea if you were going on a long day trip or want to carry some water and a lunch. It was filled with items and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to strick up a conversation with them.  I found out they were intending on going into Cincinnati and were just reading the map to see which direction was needed to be taken in order to get there.

“Oh, where did you start your trip?” I inquired.

“Do you know where Wooster, Ohio is?” asked the gentleman. “That’s where we began yesterday.”

“Sure.” I answered, “That is quite a distance from here. Will you be headed back home after you visit Cincinnati?”

The man laughed and said, “No, we are on our way to Sarasota, Florida!”

With that, he and his wife pedaled away southward on their bikes and waved to me as I stood there gawking at them. I wanted to ride after them; I wanted to take their picture; I wanted to ask them a couple of dozen questions. My 15-mile bike ride seemed so meager compared to the journey they were facing. I had quite a lot to think about on my way back to my car.

This week I wanted to encourage you because you may feel that you are on a long journey with a bicycle, or maybe even a scooter or skateboard, and feel that the school year is as far away as Sarasota. I promise you, you are going to make it, and it’s going to be a great journey.

Will you have obstacles, will you be tired and think you can’t go on some days? Yes, but it will be worth all you will go through because your children will be learning academic and life lessons from you. I believe you are best suited and called for this. You are lovingly guiding them and teaching them valuable and precious things that only you as their mom can do. You have an awesome opportunity and yes, responsibility with homeschooling. I know you can do it. Because if I did it, you can too. lol The joy that I have, when I see my sons becoming such great young men, makes me glad I chose to invest my time and talents into their lives. It made the journey and all of the bumps that came with it so worth it.  Keep on pedaling!


While I did not get a picture of the Amish couple, I did get a great picture of the scenery.



Enjoy the journey






Things to Consider

The week has been rather busy with upcoming parent-teacher conferences and lesson planning and organizing. While rifling through papers in the several binders that I keep for my classes, I came across a page of quotes that I’d like to share with you. My hope is that one or more of these will encourage you this week as you consider your school week ahead.

You are doing a great job! Your children are doing well because of the great love and care you have for them and their education.

~ Lisa


Sleep, Blessed Sleep

girl praying

Lesson planning, teaching, attending extra curricular activities, preparing meals, and cleaning house, are just a few of the many day-to-day tasks we, as educators, face each week.  My mind begins to go into hyper drive and I find myself waking up at all kinds of early morning hours, not being able to return to that blessed sleep I was enjoying.  Do you have this happen to you? I certainly hope it does not, but if it does, I’d like to offer a bit of encouragement and some ideas that I hope will help. 🙂

Stop watching all electronic devices 30 minutes before you go to bed. Your brain needs time to calm down and stop processing. I have been told that if you get in the routine of resting your brain from electronic devices before bedtime you will be able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep.

Try to stay in bed. This is difficult for me because I just toss and turn. I have found that if I do this breathing technique such as I will describe to you, helps me. With your mouth closed, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and breathe in quickly.  Hold your breath for 7 seconds and slowly exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat this several times and this should put you to sleep. If, after a few minutes, it isn’t working, repeat. Don’t get caught up in how many seconds you have to hold your breath, exhale, etc. That might keep you awake. lol

Do not turn on your computer. According to Web MD, one study shows “that the bright light of a computer screen may alter the body’s biological clock and suppress the natural production of melatonin that’s critical to the normal sleep-wake cycle.”

Be quiet. If you still find that you are awake, get up and either sit in the dark or turn on a soft glow light; play some instrumental music and spend a few minutes just being quiet. I enjoy the following You Tube musicians: DappyTKeys or Peder Helland. Every time my brain wants to rush off in a different direction, I force myself to just listen to the music and be still. I don’t write lists, think about the day, or anything else because my brain will keep me awake! I find it extremely helpful to pray and thank God for all of my blessings.

Take a power nap. If all else fails, and you were not able to fall back to sleep, take a 15-minute afternoon nap. If you have little ones that take an afternoon nap, set the timer and take a quick nap yourself or at least rest. You can let your older children have quiet time too because they need it as well. Reading a book, completing a puzzle, coloring, drawing, or listening to classical music are some things your children can do while you recharge. My normal routine 4-5 times a week is to take a power nap. This is just enough to give my brain and body a reset and the energy I need to finish my day.

Hopefully, trying some, or all of these things, will help to set your mind at ease, cause you to rest peacefully and wake up refreshed.

Have a great week!






Being Overwhelmed

It seems that summer should be the time to relax and enjoy a slower paced life. I don’t have to teach, I don’t have to get up as early as during the school year, yet I find myself in this state of busyness. I feel like…


a hamster on a wheel going nowhere fast. (notice the hair!) Can you relate?

I found that I need to make myself accountable to people to have fun. Doesn’t that sound crazy?! Well, I realized that if don’t initiate doing something with a friend it isn’t going to happen. Everyone else is just as busy as me and instead of waiting for someone to call me, I decided I would reach out to them instead. (Guess which one is me?)


I have two friends who like to go walking and it is a great time to get caught up on life and have fun while we exercise at the same time. I love doing this, because as lame as it sounds, it also holds me accountable for getting my exercise in too. I have found that time flies when I am exercising, and talking and sharing, as opposed to me just walking by myself. When walking solo, I find I am constantly checking my watch and going shorter distances than when I am doing this with a friend.

I also have a dear friend whose husband owns a bike shop. I can get her to ride bikes with me, which is the only sport that I have invested money in and do regularly. Again, I like to bike with someone rather than go by myself. Can you tell I am an extrovert and love being with people? You’d never guess. lol

This isn’t my bike, but I loved the picture. My bike is more of a thin-tired, get- there, faster kind of bike. I love speeding along and feeling the breeze whip through my hair. I haven’t mastered the art of a leisure bike ride at this point, but give me another 15 years or so, and I maybe I will. 🙂


Lastly, I am trying to find some spare moments just to meet up with friends to grab a tea or a smoothie and just check in with each other. I try to keep it just an hour so that we can touch base. This doesn’t happen often, but it is a treat when I can do it. After all, I need encouragement the same as everyone else. It looks like in this photo too many sweets have been eaten, but it looks like a picture of contentment.


So, I am encouraging you to take the step of slowing down and reaching out to a friend (or two) to be encouraged and provide encouragement. Take time to these summer days; they are slipping away all too quickly. Take pictures to remember so when school starts and you are back in the thick of things you will remember those great time and plan more.  I realize you may not have much free time to be able to get out of the house, but you can call a friend or send a card if you can’t. I had many days where I just needed to call a friend to hear an adult voice of reason. You can also trade childcare with a friend so that you can each have some time to relax and refuel. Better still, meet at a park and let the kids play while you chat.

I appreciate all your family’s schooling and well-being. You are awesome! Enjoy your day.