The horses gotta eat. Homeschool thoughts.

this moment multiplication

I have a friend who wants to homeschool, but is also scared of taking that step. I understand that. I have been there.

Atlas Educational writes about becoming the “guide” rather than the “teacher”. So many great ideas she has in that arena and her writing challenges us to start thinking about “schooling” differently in all facets. Every post she writes gets my wheels spinning and thinking. I love that blog.

When we first started to homeschool, I was nervous and insecure in some ways.

I clung to curriculum. Guides. Rythym. I read. I mean I READ devoured every homeschool, unschool, waldorf, everything-school book I could. I felt if I could gather as much knowledge as possible, we’d be ok.

Then, about a year in, I realized that we …were….ok. And I relaxed. I trusted. I started to break away from the curriculum, the PLAN.

We had fun.

horse multiplication 2


I saw my daughter learn. And I saw that she was self-driven.

I realized that I needed to be her GUIDE. Not necessarily her “teacher”. The role of teacher can be scary. The role of guide, not so much.

When I look back at our homeschooling, I see the times that I have LET GO and gone with where her passion, her interest, her drive takes her –those are the times.

The times, that she and I both feel inspired. And then the learning comes naturally. It can be scary. So in moments like that, I just breathe and then something happens… that reminds me that we’re okay and I’m guiding her in this beautiful life and she is excited to learn.

horse multiplication

Case in point, math scares me. But let’s be real, the horses gotta eat. We have to figure out how many bales of hay we need to order. And how much it will cost. My girl decided that she would pull out her toy horses. She woke up early one morning and took it upon herself to made little cut-out hay bales, put them all in a lovely pink feeding bucket…and we got to work. It ends up not being so scary afterall.

new homeschool


Moment hike

“Be kind-everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”.

Annie at the Gentle Kindness Blog recently wrote this post which reminded me immediately of an incident in my life. I felt inspired to share it here even though it may be “off topic” of my usual blogging. But this blog tends to get “off topic” so…

A little story about how we never know what someone is facing in their life, what their battle is, what they are on their way to face.

My story, I’ll try to make it quick. Many years ago, my mom passed away unexpectedly, shocking, horrifying. I flew home for the funeral. I was in a state of shock and terribly grieving. I was literally DRIVING TO THE FUNERAL. I made a minor mistake driving and sat through a green light too long. The person behind me, literally, road raged on me. Got out of his car and started yelling at me. I couldn’t believe it. I got out of my car and started screaming like a mad woman in the middle of the street that “my mom just died and I’m on my way to her #@%# funeral, you #@!& (jerk)!”. I was screaming and crying and shocked that someone could road rage like that. Something so small (missing a traffic light) versus something so big (grasping the death of my mom). I don’t remember a whole lot more of the incident as I was in a daze and a rage myself. I just know that after getting back in my car and pulling into a parking lot to cool down…that -THAT MAN-he did not follow me, he drove on, on with his day, on with his life… and I hope he thinks twice the next time he wants to be mean, unforgiving and cruel to someone. “You never know the battle they are facing”. You never know if they are on their way to their mom’s funeral. Thank you to Gentle Kindness Blog for reminding me of this powerful incident in my life. I wish to try to live my life always telling myself that I never know where “that person” is driving to, who they may have lost in their life, where their grief may be, what “battle they may be facing” and I will hopefully remember to show strangers grace as I cross their paths in this world.



“Sabbath:  Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives” by Wayne Muller

So, DM over at his fabulous and inspiring blog heart to heart challenged me to a book review on one of my Good Read books.

I started to do my review. And just kept saving “draft” to come back to later. To be honest, I read this book a couple of years ago so, though it is one of my all-time favorites (which is why I list it in my top “good reads”), it is not fresh at the top of my mind.

#1. I will be reading this book again, to refresh and remember what I learned about “sabbathing”. It is so easy to find ourselves busy, busy again. The reminder never hurts.

#2. “Sabbath” sounds very religious. Trust me, this book is not. It is spiritual and it is beautifully written. It is an homage to peace, space, quiet, family time, alone time, rest and renewal…as the title states. It is a great reminder.

#3. I find book reviews a bit dry. Especially when I click on the title and it links to 10,000 “reviews”. Which all say basically the same thing.


I thought that I’d take this review and put my twist on it.

I heard a great talk at a spiritual center that I attend. The speaker mentioned this book which was how I came upon it. I had to read it after that. Library didn’t have it so I ordered it used. I think off Amazon. Years later, after reading this book, this is what I STILL do and this is how this book helped CHANGE my life and bring me more into the present and being more conscious.

TAKE A SABBATH MINUTE–I take a ten minute (or so) “sabbath” every day. My cell phone alarm is set to go off at 12:30 pm every…single…day. I call it my “sabbath alarm” or my “meditation alarm”. When it goes off, it reminds me to STOP, take a moment, breathe. I try to do a 5-10 minute quiet meditation or simple breathing and sitting still. I don’t stress about it though. At first, I started this and found that it sometimes stressed me out. I’m in the middle of something (!) and that damn sabbath alarm goes off. Now, I know when it goes off it just means -breathe-. So, if I am driving down the highway when I hear it, I may just simply slow down a bit and take four or five deep breaths, but continue on. EYES OPEN of course. If I am on a horse and hear it go off in my back pocket, I will breathe deeper and take a moment to look around at the gorgeous flowers blooming below that I hadn’t really noticed. Just that extra moment of coming into “the moment” and being. If, however, I am at home and able to take the 10 minutes, I will sit down for a break and do a mini-meditation. It is just a moment (be it a deep 5 second breath in the middle of chaos or a 10 minute sit-down meditation if I can)…it’s a moment to remember what’s important.

HAVE A SABBATH BOX–One other thing I took from this book that I still practice today is the “sabbath box”.  An area of our home (shelf on the side of the kitchen island) where the cell phones in the household go when everyone gets home for the evening. It’s not forever. It’s just for now. We can check them every so often if we need to. But it reminds us to set them aside and enjoy home, enjoy family. Not to have them on our hip or back pocket attached to us, which becomes such a habit. So easy to check, to grab, to look at. So easy that we don’t even realize the time spent if we added up the minutes. It becomes unconscious. Then, when I go to check my phone–it is a conscious thing. I can check any voicemails or respond to any texts and then it goes back in the sabbath box. So it becomes a conscious action that is kept to a particular time frame. Rather than on-going and seeping into every moment. When I play a board game with my daughter, I AM PLAYING A BOARD GAME WITH MY DAUGHTER. And she feels that too.

ONE DAY OFF ON YOUR TERMS–Sunday is a “sabbath day”. I’m not religious really. I call myself spiritual. I chose Sundays because that is simply the quietest day in my home and my life. I am not completely out of commission on Sundays. I just consciously try to keep those days schedule’s clear and quiet. Usually it is a day of staying home. My daughter and I ride our horses together almost every Sunday. I cook a nice dinner. I am VERY selective about accepting any invitations on a Sunday. I will if it is deemed truly important. But, otherwise I don’t schedule anything. I simply tell friends and others (including people who beg for riding lessons on Sundays because it’s their ONLY day off) that Sunday is family day in my home.

In conclusion, even though it’s been a couple of years since I read this book-you can see that many of the practices that the book encouraged me to adopt STILL live with me today. That tells you what a great and life-changing book this was for me. For anyone who is seeking just a touch more peace, quiet, spirituality or just a quiet sunset with a cold, uninterrupted beer in the midst of a crazy busy life, I definetly recommend giving this one a read. And, it’s a quick easy read too. Good for…..say, a “sabbath sunday”?



Acknowledging Earth day in a way that made me want to take a slower pace today

earth day

Finding ladybugs and making a habitat (for 24 hours), reading a beautiful book, creating flowers and then letting my daughter’s imagination and some extra paper create whatever comes to mind

this moment tree climb

Can you find the child hidden in this picture?

dish cloth

A finished basket weave dishcloth at the knitting group…done by my daughter. Just after I snapped the pic, she snatched it away and said that I’m “not allowed to see it again until Mother’s day”.

spring flower

So much to honor in this beautiful little day on our beautiful little earth