January blues

One of the boys who managed to avoid the illness last week has a fever and a headache this evening.  I am sick of sickness around here, and thinking of buying massive quantities of veggies and fruits and juicing us all like crazy.  Except I have also been listening to Dave Ramsey and so I am on a no-spend kick.  Besides, we have apples and oranges and carrots, so we are actually OK in the veggie department.  I doubt that spinach and strawberries and tomatoes would improve our health exponentially. It’s just that there are a lot of bugs going around.

Our dryer has died– I think a switch has given up and got unconnected somehow– poor baby. Things age in dog-years at our house.  Hopefully it’ll be a cheap fix.  If I get brave, I’ll try to figure it out myself.  Maybe.

Hubby worked two days of overtime this week– a blessing with medical bills soon to be rolling in.  But I am so spoiled by his usual 3 days/week (12 hr shifts) schedule that it is exhausting to have him gone five days.  Bah humbug– it has me feeling cranky.

Yesterday —  speaking of cranky–I totally dug out my little girls’ room.  I don’t know how it gets so bad so quickly.  I moved a desk to a different bedroom, offered a dresser to Eldest for her baby, bagged up 3 bags of clothes to give away, and threw away 4 kitchen bags full of trash.  Then we vacuumed, hung their names back on the wall  (I’d taken them down months ago to paint) and hung calendar pages of kittens on the walls.  The girls were delighted, and have played in there gleefully almost non-stop for the past day.  It looks so much better that I find myself wandering in there just to remind myself that I do sometimes actually have an impact on the world around me.

Today we had the first snow of the winter, so I sent the kids out to play for half an hour in the morning.  The little girls loved it.  The teenagers wandered around sullenly tossing snowballs at the dog, who also loved it.  But they all got some fresh air and then when they came inside they got cocoa too, which even the teenagers loved.

The kids were really hoping for a snow day, which I sometimes agree to,  but today I just couldn’t do it.   I’m trying to make school very productive before Iowa testing in March (standardized tests administered in conjunction with the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators.) So we’re getting in lots of math and reading, and then doing a prep book to review the random things that I don’t always remember to teach, like map skills and reference materials.

I’m even testing our older-adopted girls for the first time ever, which I’m trying to stay chill about.  I want a baseline for future tests, and also to give them the experience of standardized testing. Of course I’d love for them to ace the tests, but they’ve only been speaking English 4 years ago, which makes for great challenge when faced with questions like “Choose the best way to combine these two sentences” or “What is the plural of fungus?”

One good thing about this month is that we’re doing fewer subjects for awhile: math and test prep in AM, reading in afternoon, with an audiobook history lesson during lunch most days.  This afternoon I got 4 more diapers sewn while various kids read to me, which was nice.  I wish we could cover this few subjects all the time– the pace is so much more relaxed.  Except we really do need to do writing and science at least sometimes.

Tomorrow if the roads aren’t bad, some of us are going to see a children’s performance by the Boise Philharmonic, which should be fun.  Another thing I’m looking forward to is seeing ‘Courageous’ this weekend, coming via Netflix.  I’m also loving Jen Hatmaker’s new book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess which I am hoping to offer you in a giveaway soon.

What about you?  What’s new?  How’s January treating you?



  1. Hey Mary…not sure if you ever do anything homeopathic or herbally. But we live by collodial silver (take every two hours, one teaspoon when sick) and olive-leaf extract (two droppers a day when sick or others are sick). If we have one get sick in our house I start them all on the olive leaf…it’s an anti-viral, and it usually will stop any virus cold in it’s tracks. With five kids, I think I have had 2 kids sick in the last 9 months. I put the olive leaf in it’s own capsules and take it (it really tastes nasty) and for the little ones I put it in dark grape juice. If I have juice on the counter, the kids say, “mom what’s in it?” They know, since we only have juice when they are sick. Check it out…it has been awesome for us.

  2. We’ve had “stuff” rolling through here as well. Nothing that bad, no fever or other yucky/obvious symptoms, the sick person just feels yucky or the throat hurts or tummy hurts and they have no energy. Then they perk up and are happy. Then they’re lethargic again. Its been slowly passing through the family, a kid a week and I’m just tired of feeling I have sick kids all the time! Also trying to get motivated to get some deep cleaning done (like you did with your girls room) but am tired and that makes me more easily overwhelmed. So yeah, I feel your blues bit!

  3. Christy M says:

    We’re finally all well here, but now the 2 year old is cutting his molars. FUN. Poor kid wants to be rocked to sleep every night and usually in the middle of the night as well. Oh, well, it has to happen sooner or later. I’m hoping the other tooth that’s close comes out within this cranky time as well.

  4. Oddly, January has been super busy for us. We’ve had several follow-up type doctor visits for my son who had surgery last November, we have a Forever Family Day celebration at the beginning of the month, a birthday tomorrow, and our second grader will be making his First Reconciliation at the end of the month. I am glad it’s been busy because normally I don’t like January. Other than the two celebrations we have, it usually seems to drag along in a gray blah.

    We are starting Financial Peace U tonight. We took it once before but were in the middle of an adoption and not in a position to really focus on debt reduction and saving. Now we are ready and rarin’ to go. We are excited! I’ve already made some changes in the last two weeks with our food budget. Yeah!

  5. Absolutely yes, you can fix your own dryer. All you need is screwdrivers and bitdrivers, sometimes pliers. In my experience, if you can narrow it down to which switch or sensor is the problem (look for black marks on nearby tinwork!), and you take that bit to the appliance parts store, they’ll be so impressed that a consumer is taking the initiative that they’ll be extra helpful. Good luck! 🙂

  6. January has been full of surprises so far. I turned 42 yesterday, got my first lime green dutch oven that I’m so excited about. We are behind in school. We adopted #5 last June. Some days I lose my cool. 1/12 someone contacted us about adopting their child. We have said yes, but it’s not all smooth. We need to raise the funds in quick order. Here in central TX we are in the high 70s for the next week…it’s the middle of winter! Kids are in shorts. And I wonder if I will ever get the older kids caught up in school.

  7. Our January is going by quickly. We’re still in the blurry eyed newborn period with our son. He was placed with us Dec 2 we got the call about him when he was already born so we’ve been trying to catch up after being out of state quite a bit in December. Everyone besides the baby was sick the last few weeks too. With a little one we’re staying in a lot. We’re also trying to stick to the budget very closely since the adoption and everything else seems to be stretching it greatly. If you get that ebook done with more specific grocery hints/list/recipes you mentioned a few weeks ago I’d love to see it. I need to reread your book again.I have been using only cash this month and working on the price book. With formula costs the other parts of the grocery budget need help and yet we’re all pretty tired to cook anything complex.

  8. When our dryer died, it turned out to be a fuse. It was a quick fix that we did oursleves. I highly recommend trying to fix your own dryer first!

  9. Our dryer has gone out twice and we have fixed it ourselves both times. Once it was the heating element, we ordered the part from Sears because they had it in stock. I was up and running in a few hours.

    And we have been doing Dave Ramsey for 3 years. It gets hard but it is worth it.

  10. We are passing a mild gunkie bug around here too! Praying for healthiness soon!!
    We are adding in some 6+1 Traits writing, cursive for the 2nd grader and Teach Your Child to REad in 100 Easy Lessons for the 4 1/2 year old. I’m doing the writing exercises with our 2nd grader to help her see someone else’s perspective that she is not getting from a traditional classroom setting. It will also help with peer review type things. The reading has proven great for the pre-ker to practice his speech, an area we’ve been working on since he joined us 3 years ago. And, of course there is baby wrangling with our very mobile 6 1/2 month old!
    Praying you all get over the sickness….SOON!
    Thanks for the coupon by the way! ; )

  11. We took all the kiddos to see Courageous at the dollar movies and they loved it. My oldest said he almost liked it as much as Blindside, which remains his favorite movie ever.

  12. January just seems to be a really long month doesn’t it!

  13. Mom of 4 in VP says:

    I ran my 7th Half Marathon, in Carlsbad. Note to self: never sign up for a Half Marathon in January….It’s too hard to train during December and illness season. Today my eldest daughter has a fever and will miss Japanese School, again Loved ‘The Artist’ it was quite the departure from all the formulated movies of recent years. It is blowing like snot here in Southern California!!! 20 mph winds. Mary! Are you back to running? I enjoyed your running shoe adventure.

  14. Jewel Omundson says:

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