Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with the Solo Drive

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Weekly Wrap-Up

Happy Friday! Do you ever have those weeks where you’re a day off all week? It’s not too bad when it’s a day ahead of what you think it is, but I was a day behind all week. I’m not sure what got me off, but it started on Tuesday when I kept thinking it was Wednesday. I’m just glad that it’s finally really Friday. Do you know what the best part is? We get an extra hour of sleep this weekend and it’s Brian’s long weekend!

It’s been one of those weeks that’s been kind of mundane with it’s exciting moments mixed in. The highlight was probably Wednesday when Brianna got to take her first solo drive! She didn’t go far – just to the grandparents house a few miles away – but it was still exciting for her to get the first taste of freedom that comes with driving somewhere by yourself.

Do you remember the first time you got to drive somewhere alone? I do. I’d had my license for awhile, but my mom still had been riding shotgun with me to and from work. I still remember the disbelief and excitement the day I asked if she was ready to go and she calmly announced that she was just going to let me drive myself that day. I felt so grown-up pulling into the McDonald’s parking lot that day.

Brianna had strict instructions to call or text when she got to her grandparents (but not at any time while driving!). I had to laugh when she got back home and immediately called her grandparents. Apparently she had strict instructions from them, too.

Megan’s excitement starts tonight. She was too young to go to church camp this year. They did have one overnight sleepover for the middle school girls, but this weekend is a two-night retreat for all the high school and middle school girls. She’s really looking forward to it. The one blight on the weekend is that one of her favorite shows is having its season premiere this weekend after being off the air for months. It’s a good thing we’ve got On-Demand.


We’ve added music appreciation to our school day with new curriculum from Zeezok Publishing. We’ve read a couple of their composer biographies before and really enjoyed them. The Bach biography with which we’ve started this time is no exception. I’ll be posting a full review in February, but you’ll probably hear me talking about it between now and then.

I was quite proud of myself yesterday. I’d wimped out of walking outside for the last couple of weeks because it’s been so cool in the mornings (which is nothing but a pitiful excuse because it hasn’t been that cold). I walked Wednesday when the temps were mild and the sun was shining and had planned to walk Thursday. Rain was supposed to be moving it, but it wasn’t supposed to be here until after dark Thursday.

I got up and it was 62 degrees, great weather for walking, but it started sprinkling just as I was headed out. I briefly considered hopping on the treadmill, which is never as good a workout for me. Then, my no-excuses attitude, which has been on hiatus lately, kicked it. I decided that a little rain never hurt anyone, especially sprinkles on a warm day. So, I put on my running cap to keep the rain out of my face and headed out.

It rained on me during most of my walk, but it really was just sprinkles and I felt much better having gotten outside than I would have if I’d just walked on the treadmill.

In keeping with my “getting back to good, solid workouts” attitude, I bought myself a new pair of workout pants Wednesday night for the days when it really is cold outside. I’ve got workout shorts, but the only longer pants I have are compression pants. Those are fine for running at the track, but a little overkill for walking in my subdivision. Now, I’m all set. No excuses.

For those keeping up with my attempt at becoming an early riser, it was a mixed bag this week. I did manage to get up in the vicinity of  8:15 nearly every day this week, but I had a hard time keeping my schedule on track once I got up. I’m not really sure why because I didn’t feel like I was wasting time, but there were a couple of days where I didn’t have time to get any online work done in the morning, which is a big part of getting up earlier.

I honestly feel like I need to be up between 7:00 and 7:30 to accomplish all that I’d like to in the mornings, but that is so early for this night owl. I think I need to keep working at it until I can consistently get up by 8:00 each morning before I try to go any earlier. It would help if my people would not keep waking me up at night. I’m such a light sleeper and their idea of, say, quietly shutting the bathroom door is much different than mine.

Still, I feel like I’m making some progress. I was telling the kids the other night (when we went out for $1 scoop night ice cream – except, due to inflation I suppose, it’s now $1.25 scoop night, which doesn’t roll off the tongue nearly as well) that I really like being up in the mornings. I like that time of day and enjoy it once I’m up. I just have a really hard time reminding myself of that when I’m snuggled up under my covers and the alarm is going off.

Anyone else have that problem? Have you come up with a solution that works, other than sheer willpower?

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. If I could just master the getting to sleep in the first place, maybe I could work at the waking up in the morning! I’m up at 7 each morning having gone to bed at 3ish and only very rarely do I get to sleep. I’d love to have a getting up in the morning problem!! (sorry – long winded way of saying I have absolutely no advice for you at all. Nada)

    1. I can so relate, Claire. I’m not usually up that late, but I have a terrible time going to sleep. Every. Single. Night. It doesn’t matter how tired I am, either. Unfortunately, once I am awakened from that “almost asleep” stage once or twice, I can forget going back to sleep anytime soon – and that is an almost-nightly occurrence. My husband, on the other hand, falls asleep within seconds of hitting the pillow.

  2. We swear by our noise machine! My husband worked nights for 10 years, and still sleeps so lightly… A noise machine (ours is set to ocean waves) enables both of us to get acceptable sleep.

    As far as getting up early tips? Can’t help you – I’m looking for ‘how to sleep in’ tips. Even on holidays, my eyes pop open at my normal 4:20. 🙁 Keep pressing on, Kris! 🙂

    1. Yeah, I’ve got a noise machine. I like the crickets. It does help some, but, unfortunately, not enough. {sigh}

  3. First solo drive – how exciting!! My middle guy is gearing up for driver’s ed, and he’s so super excited!! My kiddos and I have enjoyed a composer study or two from Zeezok in the past. We really like the Opal Wheeler books. Have fun!

  4. Congratulations, girls! Brianna on her driving, Megan on camp, and you on your willpower!
    No useful advice at all but a thank you for helping me appreciate how well I sleep! (Sorry, that’s probably worse than no help isn’t it?!)
    Have a great weekend!

  5. It is sooooo wonderful to have another driver in the house, once you get past that initial apprehension! I love having my daughter go pick up those odds and ends of groceries, especially because she loves to do it–and I don’t.

  6. Thanks for hosting! I totally agree getting up early is a great thing. I just can’t seem to get up earlier than the kids. I think my kids have radar for when I get out of bed. Once I’m up everyone is up…so why wake at 630 when I can sleep til 730 and they will too?!

  7. I am a total night owl also! I have been working to get up earlier and earlier over the last month or so. My kids are early birds, so for the longest time I have been getting up when they do out of necessity. But I find my day goes so much better if I get some alone time first thing in the morning. So, I don’t really have any advice, other than to find what motivates you. I feel better when I can get up, have some time to think, take a shower, and read my devotion before the kids wake up. That’s my motivation. 🙂

    1. That same kind of thing motivates me, too. It’s just hard to remember sometimes when I’m comfy in bed. 🙂

  8. Funny, I don’t remember the first time I drove alone. hmmm…
    How exciting for your girl though.
    Oh the thought of waking up that early makes me want to climb in bed and go to sleep. 😉
    Thanks for hosting Kris. 🙂

  9. First solo drive…that is a big deal! I have been through it four times now and it doesn’t get any easier. I still sort of wait up for them when they are out in the evenings…my husband laughs at me because he says I can’t sleep until all the chicks are back home.
    I have always been an early riser because of my husband’s work schedule and my desire to get up and see him before he leaves for work. I love the early morning time quiet of the house to get concentrated work done and my own personal Bible study. No tips except to think of the time as your own…moms all need some time alone.

    1. I can’t imagine that it gets any easier, Barb, and we’re going to have to go through it again very soon. There are 4.5 years between my oldest two, but Brianna waited a long time to get her license, while her brother is counting down the days until he can get his. {sigh}

      I know I’m going to be just like you and not rest until everyone is home safely. As someone else said, though, at least I can be comfy in my PJs while I’m waiting and worrying. 🙂

  10. I’m so blessed to be able to fall asleep instantly most nights. I do have lots of ‘meditation time’ around 3:30 or 4 AM often, but once I’ve been in bed 7 hours I let myself get up no matter what the time…which is probably why I always fall asleep so easily in the evening! LOL

    I hope you overcome your sleep issues. That makes such a difference!

    We’re dreading #3 trying to drive the van. She’s not ready at all, in my opinion, and that’s why I’m afraid. I think I’ll let my husband get her started, although I was fine doing the other ones. But eventually they all have to be able to drive! And it is so freeing, as you said. Congrats to Brianna.

    1. Yes, Brianna drove herself to work for the first time today. She and I were both excited about it. She has a tendency to get off earlier than her scheduled time on the weekends, but we never know when that’s going to be, so she often ends up having to wait for awhile to be picked up. She’s so excited about being able to leave whenever she gets off today.

    1. I wish I could. I love sleeping with a fan, but it is horrible for my husband’s allergies. I keep telling him when the kids move out, we’re going to be one of those little old couples with separate bedrooms. 🙂

  11. What a great post! Thanks for the music app tip. My kids play several instruments each and are in an orch together playing violin, but they don’t take the music theory classes with the conductor ( $$ cost reasons plus scheduling would throw a monkey wrench into two of our days if we did…) plus I need to pick up the ball a bit more on studying composers…thank you for sharing!

    I feel for you with the sleeping issues….uggh, you poor thing. I think the only time I ever ever ever slept wel in my life was when I had my own apt! As youngest of 6 and now Mommmy, there was just that stretch of 2 years where I lived on my own and actually got full nights sleep! No, I wouldn’t trade anything, but being tired often does take its toll! My hubby–the same as yours….asleep right away and also doesn’t really get my trouble falling back to sleep either. Tho it seems you have sleep issues worse than mine. Hang in there!

    Thank you for hosting!!

    Enjoy the weeekend!

  12. How exciting about the driver’s license! I do remember my first solo drive….my mom took an extra long lunch for my test then drove me home to get my truck so I could go back to school. I made her wait at the house so I could drive around a few blocks and come back to touch base with her before she went back to work…I was a total scaredy cat! Just knowing she was at home twiddling her thumbs made me feel better!

    As for the sleep…I’m so with you. I use to be a total morning person and couldn’t keep my eyes open past 9pm (probably because I started my shift at the hospital at 4 or 5 am). But now since my work schedule is so erratic and my husband is a super night owl because of his work schedule I can’t seem to ever get to bed before midnight. I had all these wonderful plans of making the kids breakfast, doing a bible study with them, and then peacefully starting school at 8am on the dot…we are lucky if we get started at 9 and normally we are eating breakfast during class. Not a very stress free way of doing things.

    I do have some suggestions for you though:) I take a sleep aid when I know I really need some sleep. I just use Hyland’s “calms”. It is all herbs and totally natural. There are a few different choices with Hyland’s. I don’t have any drowsiness the next morning and I feel that I tend to sleep more restfully. We also use a super awesome air purifier in our room plus the fan of our bathroom. The purifier and fan create a white noise that blots out all the rest of the noises in the house….probably too well though. The house has normally been completely trashed when I get up from little hands and feet. The ocean and forest sounds were always too distracting to me.

    I love your posts! Keep it up!

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