A Little Overwhelmed this Week

Playdoh fun before dinner. #preschool

We’z crazy, y’all. In my house, there’s never a dull moment. It’s a good thing you all can keep yourselves entertained when the silence is too much around here on my blog.

I tend to take on more than I can handle. I’m learning to say no more, I promise. I’ve been reading “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” by Crystal Paine lately and she preaches on giving yourself margins in her book. I did that with a few things this week. There’s no way I can help my teens finish the year well if I keep saying yes to things that are distracting us from our main focus.

When you can see the finish line with homeschooling a child, you really have to buckle down and stick to your priorities. The time is gone for rabbit trails and summer breaks.

Ha! Who am I kidding? We rarely take full summer breaks, anyway.

Updated #list ... Geesh. Need more tea. ☕️ #hschallenge

So I’ve become the mama who is hunkering down with her lists – and that’s fine with me. I know this may come as a shock, but I actually enjoy checking things off. My oldest likes video games, I like challenging myself to get everything checked off on my day planner each day. If only I could teach him to pretend that his school and chore list was “a video game”. Hey – stranger things have happened.

So what’s on the list this week? Too much… but somebody’s gotta do it:

ORGANIZATION & LIFESKILLS: Make weekly assignment lists out & update calendars (they have 4 year high school planners from A Well Planned Day), chores, help with little brothers, keep up with assignments as you do them (highlight/write grades on mama’s weekly list so I can enter them in Tracker), use alarm to get up on time, clean your room, cook one meal without help during the week, K – use a checkbook for your bank account (he’s 17 y’all… my baby has his own bank account!)

BIBLE/CHARACTER: Daily readings of … One Year Bible, Today is Your Best Day, Eat That Frog, My Utmost for His Highest, Gratitude Journal, write 5 things you are thankful for each day in gratitude journal, go pick up When Godly People Do Bad Things workbooks at Mardel

MATH: Daily… 2 Lessons of VideoText, teach lesson to mom, take quiz if needed, grade, record

SPANISH II: Check Engrade for teacher notes/assignments/grades, do daily assignments per Spanish teacher, flashcards, memorization practice

CHEMISTRY (K): All work per syllabus & co-op teacher, reading, on your own questions, lab report, test (mom to grade)

PHYSICS (M): Watch video, read, email assignments and quizzes to teacher, record grades, lab & lab report

MUSIC: Practice songs for March piano recital

ART: Create one piece of art & list on assignment notebook

ENGLISH II: Finish short story, gather materials for compare/contrast essay (get an idea of thesis so you can know what resources to use), write submission letter to short story publisher/magazine

HEALTH/PE: Manual labor volunteering, walk 2x per week, Pilates with mom, other exercise + daily vitamins, 8 – 8oz glasses of water, bed on time, eat right

HISTORY/WORLD LIT & GEOGRAPHY: Outstanding work from last week, gather books for week, L104, L105, activity 105C (art/research), cards, timeline, maps, quiz 35, pretest 36, L106, 106C, Read: the book of Revelation, Ben Hur by Lew Wallace, L107, activity 107A (sing), activity 107D (reading)… catch up reading: esp. Julius Caesar ~ Shakespeare

RELATIONSHIPS: Service project (volunteer work) serving community/church, helping others/good deeds, thank you card to Mary for mattress, teen youth-group pot-luck meal Sunday night

GOOD CITIZENSHIP: Teen Court, current events/discussion, volunteering

Day 1 ... So far, so good. #17daydiet #foodjournal

Mama has a list about that long, too…  which I need to be checking off right about now…

PLUS… I started my 17 Day Diet back up again – and this time, instead of tracking on My Fitness Pal, I’m just jotting down what I eat in a notepad. I am not counting calories, just eating as suggested by the book. I’m not doing this just for the weight, but to be healthier – to be strong and feel good. Lord knows I need energy chasing my two preschoolers around.

I did the 17  Day Diet back in 2012. After 2 years, I’ve put back on 15 of the 20 pounds I lost with the diet. I’m on day 2 of the first 17 days without carbs and I have to say, I’m pretty irritable. I went through and made a list of all the menu ideas I might try for the next 17 days of torture (thankfully I have a partner in crime: my husband is on it with me – and a few friends are also considering joining along).

17 Day Diet Menu Ideas (Phase 1):
Stuffed Cabbage Leaves (with finely minced cauliflower instead of rice)
Crustless quiche in muffin pans (easy to pop out for breakfast so you don’t have to cook eggs every morning)
Kale salad
Lentil patties with salad and yogurt
Greek chicken with garlic sauce
Eggplant parmesan
Carrots in butter
Cheesy gratin brussels
Chilled veggie salad (could sub cauliflower for the corn)
Salad Niçoise
Cranberry turkey cabbage wrap
Sausage-cauliflower hash (sub cauliflower for potatoes, serve with eggs)
Greek egg scramble or fritatta with veggies instead of noodles
Sesame fish
Taco salad
Stir fry veggies
Taco soup
Broccoli salad (Stevia instead of sugar)
Pitcher of green tea so I don’t have to drink it hot and make it every morning
Yogurt with blueberries
Cheese sticks
Turkey sticks from Natural Grocers
Veggies dipped in salsa like chips
Nuts and seeds
Apple with peanut butter
Rotisserie chicken served with veggies and salad
Home made chicken broth and chicken vegetable soup
Blueberry Kefir Smoothie
Salmon salad
Spinach salad
Tuna salad
Chicken salad
Lettuce-wrapped burgers
Veggie burgers
Migas (minus the corn chips)
Asian salad
Lettuce wraps
Thai Fish Salad
Feta Spinach Mushroom Quiche
Green Beans with Turkey Bacon
Chef Salad
Sauteed Red Cabbage
Asparagus with eggs and cheese sauce
Peaches and cottage cheese
White Chicken Chili
Waldorf Salad (apple, celery, pecan, mayo, lemon juice)
Poached Buttermilk Chicken and salad (Living, p. 109)

I still haven’t fleshed out a menu with these ideas, but we hit Sam’s club for produce after our tax refund came and I’m planning to STICK TO MY GUNS and not cheat (so far so good on day 2… besides the beans in my canned organic chili that I had to eat tonight because our oven caught fire yesterday… no really). It could get tricky if the oven doesn’t come back on line soon. My husband and the teens are going to try and clean the oven out with oven cleaner before dinner tonight… while mama goes to a mom’s fellowship with my homeschool co-op moms and tries to avoid eating all the CHOCOLATE desserts they bring. Oy!

We even have a birthday in March that I’ll have to make cake for. I’m going to make an exception for that dessert when the time comes because I’ll already have completed my first 17 Days. I’m hoping to lose at least 10 lbs. by that time. I’m a couple of years older now, but the last time I did this diet, it worked.

Day 2 #17daydiet (Lunch: chef salad with Boars Head turkey, blueberry cheese, olive medley, orange sweet peppers, parsley, and organic spring mix)

Salad for lunch every day gets old. No matter if it has gourmet cheese and deli meat on it or not. I’m not a rabbit.

Your prayers are appreciated. Not just for my husband and I to lose weight, however, but for changing the way our entire family eats (since many of these healthier menu options will be what everyone eats at our table, not just me and my husband). Right now we are making rice, potatoes and noodles for the kids and just eating more veggies instead ourselves (and they are eating all the sweets and bread in the house in front of us) – but on the 2nd stage of the diet, we get to eat carbs every other day. I can’t wait!

It’s easy to get off track with your eating between November and February — especially for us, with 5 of our family birthdays and a wedding anniversary falling in-between those dates, too.

Let the healthy eating begin! Just don’t show me any of your fancy cupcake recipes right now… I might have to stop following you for a while. My chocolate-loving soul is starving right now.

And hey – if you have any no-carb or low-carb food ideas for any time of day, I’d love to add them to my arsenal so I don’t run out of things to eat and end up munching on my school lists!

{ Have a great week! }

In Him,


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  1. says

    Oh my word. I can see why you’re overwhelmed. You’re not alone, though! I’ve been getting overwhelmed daily by my kids (we have 10 here at home and 1 on his own), and we unschool! If I had a list like yours, it would surely be the death of me. :) Hang in there!

    • says

      TEN. And I have a hard time managing my 4. You are blessed. I’m still trying to finish up last week’s list plus this week’s new additions. I went easy on them this week and we didn’t add any new history assignments besides just catching up on reading. 😉

  2. says

    Hi Heather … I am right there with you … on Day 3 today of the 17 Day Diet. Yesterday I had a raging headache all day. Woke up today feeling better. And, while I would love to do all 17 days perfectly – I know for me that is not reality – so I will do my very best. LOVE your list of meal ideas … I am writing some of those down. Thank you!

    • says

      So cool to find someone on the same day and same diet! How are you doing? My husband gave up. I’m still plugging along with minor breaks in the rules. Tonight I had a chocolate covered frozen banana from Sprouts. Oops. At least I didn’t have a cupcake! A little mess up here or there is ok if you get right back on track. I still have to do my crunches and pushups for tonight. Already did my leg lifts and squats. I’m using the Lift app to keep motivated and reminded to do exercises… and many other goals. Keep me up to date on how you do!