Apparently I have a blog…

Why is it that I only remember that I have this space when my life is in utter turmoil? It is like a secret blanket that is there for me when life gets chilly, but not really needed when the weather is warm.

So, what drove me back here, to my refuge, to my space that is selfishly mine alone?

Where to begin? First I have my sister, who has been estranged from me for years, who was arrested last week for house burglaries with her husband. They are both drug addicts and this has not been her first run in with the law. Even though we don’t talk I still am sad that this is what her life has come to. Heroin, meth, opiates… the list goes on. She is the product of a failed foster system, a broken system that left her behind and in the hands of people that cared about the money given for taking care of a neglected girl. It deeply saddens me.

Topping this off is the trouble that my husband and I are having with his depression. He has had it our whole marriage, is genetically predisposed to mental illness, and it is taking a toll on our relationship. When he is not depressed everything is fine, life is rosy and we merrily bump along. But those periods are far and few between. Instead, the majority of the time I have a partner who is checked out of this family. He see everyone and everything around him as a burden to be suffered instead of seeing what he really has in front of him. Tonight was a doozy, complete with nasty tidbits hurled my way ranging from the fact “I always get to do what ever I want and have fun all the time” to once again harping on my love (and the girls’ love) of the pets. *The “do whatever I want” part was referring to me taking the girls to the museums and arranging playdates with other homeschoolers. Apparently me having fun with the kids is just offensive.

Le sigh. And this is why I came running back, with open arms, to my beloved blog. A place to vent, to write, to send my thoughts into space where hopefully answers and knowledge will come back to me.

The depression is the big thing. I don’t want the rest of my life to be about me barely staying afloat mentally, while being a caregiver and not a wife. But I am not ready to give up and tear our family apart just yet.

Well, tomorrow is another day and hopefully a better one. Maybe I will come back and share some of the fun that has been going on around here? We shall see! Until then dear friends, thank you for listening to me. =) ~Connie


Outside my window it is a mix of sun and clouds, wind, rain, and humidity. One moment the sun will be shining and I hurry the kids to get shoes on so we can go out, and then I blink only to find a downpour in full force. My neighbors are trying valiantly to mow their lawns, but it is done in parts, stopping for the clouds to part again. The windows are closed because even when it is sunny the humidity is pretty intense. 

I am thinking about starting our Homeschool year next week, before dance starts, to give me and the kids a chance to ease into this new routine. As I mentioned we are adding a little more structure to our day so I am trying to be more prepared by planning really far ahead. I am also thinking about dance, tonight’s dinner, removing mats from my ornery Maine Coon, teaching the bunny how to come down stairs, Robin Williams, salsa recipes….. lol, a typical mother’s mind!

I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads, food in the refrigerator, jobs to pay the bills, and three very healthy girls.

In the Kitchen is a mostly empty sink, a muddy floor thanks to the dogs,  and nothing cooking- yet. I know that there is at least one cat sleeping in a patch of sunshine, crayons on the floor, and an empty milk cup on the counter. My new cilantro plant is filling the space with the possibilities of rice, pork holders, and salsa. 

I am wearing a pair of running shorts and a very comfy turquoise tee shirt. 

I am creating lesson plans, beach inspired necklaces, dragon and pony books, chaos basically. 

I am going to the mall tomorrow with some great friends to eat bad food, look at clothes I can’t afford, and to enjoy my awesome friends! 

I am reading both The Maze and Son by Lois Landry. I’m on a Young Adult kick. I usually have more than one book going at a time and have to read before I go to sleep, so I tend to fly through books. (I have the bad habit of starting books at 11pm and not being able to put them down until the wee hours of the morning. 

I am hoping that I can write my next post in a manner that is thoughtful and honest to myself

Around the house most people and things are sleeping. Moira, hover is still awake and chattering away like a monkey in a tree. My head is pounding and I really wish she would get tired already!

My favorite quote for today:


Photos from the Summer

This week most kids here in NE Ohio are back to school, indicating summer is indeed over. It has been a weird summer, wet and chillier than normal. We had a great imd though, slipping and sliding, digging in the dirt, and just having pj lazy days. Here are some photos of our adventures this summer:

AJ muscle _DSC0360ajswim AJzip beach family girls canoeing mimipose mimizip Penny_DSC0894 copy_DSC0770_DSC0876 copy_DSC0977_DSC0883 copy_DSC1177 copy_DSC1181 copy_DSC1078 copy_DSC1082 copyAJ 1Gabby 2Gabby AJGabbyMoira

No School is Old School

This week many of our friends went back to school. Photos of smiling children sporting new backpacks, donning new clothes, excited to venture into a new world. Of course, many of our friends’ lives continued as if nothing was different, it was just another day with children about. 

These past two years we have taken a very loose, laid back approach to schooling.  Gabby learned what she wanted, when she wanted, how she wanted. Amelia caught on to Kindergarten topics with ease since they are just basic concepts that were everyday ideas. However, as Gabby has gotten older I’ve noticed that her knowledge was really imbalanced- stronger in the arts and science, not to hot in the math and language arts area. Sure she can write a story, but her grammar is way off and she has no idea about the parts of a sentence or story. This wasn’t a big deal, until I think about what her career goals are and I realized that high school and college are more than likely in her future. 

So what’s a unschooling mama to do? Well, I’m not going to all of a sudden go all “school at home” on everyone, that’s not an option. But there has to be more of a routine, and definitely a clearer record of what we learned and when. Also, I want to delve deeper into topics, not just graze the top of them. Luckily I have some brilliant friends who are in the same place I am arriving and after talking with them this is what we came up with.

Cover page copyA place where I can keep track of lesson plans, pocket ticket stubs, hold sheet music, and store pamphlets from all of our outings. I can pre-plan themes, jot down what books we are reading, and not lose my sanity come portfolio time. 

This is my Monthly Theme Page:

Sept to NovDec to FebMarch to MayJune to Aug

Here is the Weekly Outlook, where I can see a preview of anything big in the week, like lessons, parties, and special events. I also can keep track of any books we are working on, which will be super helpful! 

Weekly OutlookAnd finally, here is my Daily page, where the girls will check off their “Have to Do’s”, they can see what the lesson of the day is, and I can make notes of anything that needs more work or they really like. 

Daily Color no personalizedSo here’s to some colorful creativity to keep us on task, help with the record keeping portion, and still maintain some of the fun, carefree homeschool spirit we are accustomed to! 

Happy Birthday Gabby

Today my oldest baby is 10 yrs old! How the heck do I have a 10 yr old?!!! Gabriella Rae is now in the double digits and growing faster than I can keep up. She is funny, artistic, kind, friendly, caring, sometimes snarky, and very sarcastic. (And stunningly pretty!!) I love watching her play soccer, laugh, read to her menagerie, draw, shoot arrows, and just “be”. I’ve cherished all the time we get to spend together thanks to homeschooling and look forward to many more years of it.

For her special day I filled her ceiling with balloons, wrote on the car, filled balloons with money ($20!!), and bought her favorite donuts- Jack Frost Donuts. Aside from her BIG present- Spike Sparkle, her bearded dragon- we gave her some Legos, clothes, and an awesome pair of chameleon goggles. She was super excited for all of her gifts.

Happy birthday my not-so-baby!!!! We love you lots!!!

Gabby 2



My Life in 5


Trying: to sort through a whole bunch of personal nonsense. Actually it’s not nonsense, it’s quite serious, but I’m still in the thick of it and if I feed the issue any more of my time, energy, and emotion I am afraid I will really become a train wreck. I created the graphic above as a mantra for when I really feel like quitting would just be easier on everyone… sigh.

Anticipating: the fall when I am back to a normal schedule of dance and homeschool. I can’t wait to have a rhythm to my week again!

Listening: to Spotify! OMG am I an addict! I listen to everything from the stand-up comedy of Gabriele Iglesias to the awesome sounds of the Piano Guys. There’s seriously music to fit every mood and I love it…. it makes finding new dance music pretty fun too!

Eating: not too much these days, lol. I’ve been trying to lose weight and since exercising isn’t the issue, my eating habits are probably the culprit. So I’ve been cutting my portions in half (I’m 4’10… do I really need full grown man sized portions?!), trying not to eat out of boredom, and being really mindful about what I eat.

Reading: a very cool cook book called What to Cook & How to Cook It. It’s a super cool cookbook that lays out all the recipes in a simple, clean cut way. I love that there are not a ton of ingredients needed and that all the recipes are normal and not “gourmet” complicated.