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    Seven Quick Takes on Working the Plan, Blogcrastination, Family Survival, and More!

    September 18, 2015 by Brandy Vencel

    Seven Quick Takes

    :: 1 ::

    The most popular post I’ve ever written was I Am, I Can, I Ought, I Will, OR: Do the Work of Homeschooling. I think it was so widely shared because it hit a nerve — the one where we make plans, only to fall through on the execution part. This doesn’t just happen with homeschooling, though — this happens with life. We make grand plans, and then Stuff gets in the way. Sometimes, it’s life stuff, and there is nothing we can do about it. But other times, it’s avoidable stuff, and we really can do something. That’s where Mystie-my-pretend-life-coach comes in. She’s built this awesome new course to help us learn to Do the Work in all areas of our lives. It’s called Work the Plan, and I’m way excited about it.

    Also, Mystie and I are going to offer a free Work the Plan webinar in October that is specific to homeschooling, so stay tuned!

    :: 2 ::

    Next week might be missing a post or two. We’ll see how it goes. It’s Seattle weekend, you know, so I have to pretend to be responsible and practice my talks a lot. But who knows? Maybe I will procrastinate by blogging. 😉

    Blogcrastination? Is this a word?

    :: 3 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2013:

    Festina Lente

    In September of 2013, I was thinking about Fabius, a Life from Plutarch that I really enjoyed teaching.

    :: 5 ::

    So tell me, those of you who travel without your family on occasion: how do you prepare for this? For example: food. I am mildly concerned that my gluten-free child will starve to death while I’m gone. Gluten is my husband’s love language or something. Anyhow, I’m wondering what you do {if anything}. Do you plan meals and leave instructions, or just hope your husband works it out? I’m curious.

    :: 6 ::

    The beginning of this week was terrible. I woke up on Monday morning and broke a contact. To some people, that might not be a big deal, but to me it is everything. I was so upset that I surprised myself. You see, I’m legally blind, and I only see with the help of hard lenses. I am useless without them — glasses do not work for my condition. At the same time, my Suburban’s check engine light came on, and I needed to get it to the mechanic so that he could fix it {to the tune of $300 … I feel like we are bleeding money lately}. So I was trying to figure out how to get myself to the mechanic with the four kids and the blindess, and thankfully I have a family who helps because I was a mess.

    Naturally, I bought a book to console myself. I am pretty sure this is like therapeutic eating.

    :: 7 ::

    Answering Your Questions:

    • Question: I have a Kindle, but I’m not making much us of it and yours is indispensable I see. I only store books on there. I’m not familiar with Push to Kindle, or what makes it more preferable than reading on a laptop? “It has my grammar answers, math answers, entire pages from the AmblesideOnline website, and more.” how? I’m sorry, I think I’m just ignorant with technology.
      • Answer: Well, there are two ways I’m accomplishing this. For both ways, two things are necessary. First, you have to know what your Kindle’s email address is. Second, you have to be sending these emails from an approved sender. This means you might have to go into your Kindle account and approve various senders, depending on your needs. So: Push to Kindle. Push to Kindle is a browser extension that I use in Chrome. There might be other versions of it, but I have never used those. It basically takes any web page, strips it of its sidebars and headers, converts it to a PDF, and then emails it to your Kindle. That, my friends, is how I ended up with entire AO pages on my Kindle. With my math and grammar answers, I have the documents on my computer in PDF form. I send them to my Kindle via email — the important thing I have figured out with this is that, in order for it to work, the email subject and body both have to be blank. So, yes, I have books on my Kindle, but really I use it for PDFs way more than books!

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  • Reply Queen of Carrots September 20, 2015 at 11:41 am

    You know, I don’t really know. My situation is kind of inverse–my children can eat anything but my husband physically can’t cook. (Someday, when we have lots of money, we’ll get an accessible kitchen . . . ) But he doesn’t like me to stress out about food if I am going away. And he can’t eat most prepackaged food because of the soy. I think they eat a lot of cold cereal. Sometimes he hires our office assistant to make a casserole.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel September 20, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      Cold cereal. I think I’m really overthinking it. My children would probably consider it a dream-come-true to eat cereal for a whole weekend. 🙂

      • Reply Queen of Carrots September 20, 2015 at 5:13 pm

        My kids love my brother-in-law’s cooking, and he does completely insane things like put pineapple in spaghetti sauce. Apparently it is only carefully-prepared, well-balanced meals that are boring.

  • Reply Ann-Marie September 20, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Hey there, Brandy! I am so sorry that you broke your contact! Were you able to replace it? I hope the rest of your week was better than that day. You are my kind of person….and you are totally right about book buying can be therapeutic 😉 Have you begun the book yet? I have it, but, have not begun it yet. It looks wonderful though.
    Hope you have a great weekend!

  • Reply Allison September 19, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Here is my best tip for moms traveling without kids and husband: make sure that you marry a husband who loves to cook and does all the cooking in the house!! 🙂 That’s been my method for 15 years now. Seriously, there’s no blip on the radar when I leave, because he does all the cooking and planning anyway. I realize that 99.9 percent of other moms don’t have this luxury, and so I have zero tips to offer. However, we have faced something similar when my husband and I have left our kids at Grandma’s house for 3 or 4 days. This is hard work, because Grandma doesn’t cook and doesn’t even like to prepare any food at all. So in those situations, I go into great, laborious detail to type out a menu plan (broken down into 3 meals and 2 snacks), including drinks, and when to take vitamins. I also buy a lot of frozen things from Trader Joe’s, so that they are heat-and-serve type meals, that are still healthy. And we also prep all of the produce ahead of time and label containers as to when they are to be eaten, etc. It’s a lot of work (especially because I hate all of the food-prep process), but we found it’s absolutely necessary so that our kids aren’t just eating cereal for every meal for four days. Obviously every family has different dynamics — and serious allergies are a big deal (which would cause me stress too!).

    • Reply Brandy Vencel September 20, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      Okay, that is it! Next time we are in your neck of the woods, I need your husband to give mine some cooking lessons. 😉

  • Reply Amy September 18, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I used to prepare meals; however, after coming home so many times to those same meals, I now just leave them on their own. :). I think that it is a good experience for everyone!

  • Reply Katherine September 18, 2015 at 4:21 am

    Hi there. I attend an out-of-state homeschool convention once a year and it’s a wonderful 2 night trip by myself. My kids both have allergies (wheat, gluten, rye, barley, eggs, dairy, casein, peanuts) so I leave a detailed list of options for my husband. I stock up the fridge and freezer, give him the list and let him decide. It sounds awful but it’s really easy because I leave him with “junkie” meals that the kids love. Hot dogs, GF/DF/EF pizza (with a separate real pizza for him), Chick-Fil-A menu options, spaghetti, chili, BBQ chicken. And canned veggies. Just heat and serve stuff. He does fine and I love my yearly 2 nights away. My only concern is that he is nuts for peanut butter and I have to implore him not to leave the peanut butter knife in the sink. Wash it! Immediately! Other than that, he does well. 🙂

    • Reply Brandy Vencel September 19, 2015 at 11:14 am

      This is brilliant! I hadn’t really considered getting the frozen food from Trader Joe’s that they are always begging for. I’m totally doing this! ?

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