Why DO I Homeschool?

NC Zoo Geyser


When I was first introduced to the idea of homeschooling,  I truly thought it was the most ridiculous concept in the world.

It was so countercultural that I found myself struggling to wrap my head around it.

It was laughable, really.

Because how could I, a single individual, be an expert in all things and teach every grade level?

How could I possibly replicate the school environment and its many offerings at home?

I would be depriving my child of a proper education.

My children would miss out on all the fun group activities and events.

Homeschooling went against everything I knew and understood to be true about education and future success. [Read more...]

My Dad


Pop and Gabby

You watched countless soccer games.

You organized backyard baseball.

You attended recitals.

You let me pretend to shave with you in the wee hours of morning.

You took me ice skating.

You let me pick out my favorite ice cream flavor at the Friendly’s take-out window.

You took me to father-daughter square dances.

You looked forward to family vacations.

You sang ‘Barbara Ann’ at the top of your deep voice.

We went fishing and actually caught fish.

We rode bikes in Cape Cod to pick up the morning paper.

We body-surfed the waves and leisurely walked along the shore.

We collected golf balls and used the driving range after-hours.

You took us for nighttime swims. [Read more...]

Rising to the Call

My Crew

People often tell me…

You’re an amazing mom. 

I don’t know how you do it. 

You must have the patience of a saint.

Bless your heart.

And if you know anything about that last one (a notoriously southern phrase) it can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. ;)

[Read more...]

How I Recharge

I think because I presently spend an obscene amount of time at home,

escaping from the house is the very best way for me to recharge an extremely dead battery.

During the week I’m running on a hamster wheel, furiously motoring toward a destination I will never reach.

You know what I’m talking about moms- the maddening cycle of cooking, feeding, cleaning, bathing, dressing, picking up, and putting away.  It never ends.

The moment your kitchen floor is mopped, a child crosses it in dirt-filled shoes.  The second your washer is empty, the diaper fails during nap time.  You bathe your little one and dress him in clean clothes, only to find him covered in food, dirt, or art supplies a short time later.

Can you tell I desperately needed to escape from within these four confining walls?  I wasn’t well.

I needed a short hiatus away from it all, to catch my breath and simply enjoy my family.

[Read more...]

A Couple’s Weekend

Couple Time

When our children were younger and we needed some ‘us’ time…

we would simply wear them out, feed them an early dinner, and scoot them off to bed.

We affectionately called this ‘Flex Time’ and it was oh so rejuvenating for us and our relationship.

As our children have grown and multiplied in number…

bedtimes have grown later, responsibilities have increased,  parenting has become more complicated, and wake-up calls remain early.

There is very little alone time and it seems more necessary now, than ever before.

It’s nearly impossible to have an uninterrupted conversation in our home, never mind one not intended for little ears.

The work is never done.

A new problem is always on the horizon.

And life just keeps getting busier.

It’s easy peasy to place our marriage on the back-burner and forget about it in the name of sacrifice.

But what exactly would we be sacrificing as time ticks away?

[Read more...]

Bless This House Day

Bless this House


One day, quite a number of years ago, my dear friend Julie opened my eyes to a truth which I had lived out for forever but never plainly understood.

Chaos drains my energy.

Cluttered rooms, fingerprint-covered windows, piles of dirty laundry, Legos strewn across the floor, a sink filled with dirty dishes, sticky messes, crushed Cheerios underfoot…

they unravel me and cause me great unhappiness.

I know what you’re thinking…

But you have seven children?! [Read more...]




I guess it all started with piles.  Lots and lots of piles.

Piles of laundry.

Piles of paperwork.

Piles of responsibilities.

Piles growing exponentially before my eyes with no end in sight.


My middle name was fast becoming ‘Overwhelmed’.

I never had a chunk of time coming my way…

to organize, plan, create, or accomplish anything.

[Read more...]

Cuzipalooza 2013- These are the Days

Me and Mimi


The O’Melia family bus arrived in Connecticut after a beautifully uneventful ride of only 90 minutes.


I relished it.


This is when I do my best rejuvenating…in a quiet car.

If a hot caffeinated beverage happens to be in my cup holder…even better.

Silent car rides are probably one of the number one reasons I’ve survived the last 14 years and lived to tell about it.

Now you know another fascinating fact about this mom of seven. ;)

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“Cheese” and Spicy Chicken

So tonight we went to Portrait Innovations for a family photo shoot.  It had been almost 3 years since our last attempt at capturing the entire crew.

Let me tell you, it is no small feat getting 7 little people dressed, groomed, and transported to the picture place, all the while keeping one’s hair neatly placed, mascara unsmeared, and perspiration to a minimum. ;)

I left the studio completely exhausted.  But it was nothing a Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich couldn’t cure.

And the pics… they turned out well enough that we spent more than the $14.99 I planned on.

Oh yes, I did a great deal of rationalizing…

I mean saying “no” to the couple shot is like saying “no” to your spouse, right?

[Read more...]

Gabrielle Faith O’Melia

Gabrielle Faith O'Melia

I collapsed onto my side of the master bed, exhaustion and nausea had taken their toll. It was early evening and the kids had all been scooted off to bed. I leaned against the soft pillows at my back wondering if he would eventually notice the changes, and guess the cause.

I studied his face for any indication that he might be puzzled by my pallor, fatigue, and constant hunger. He was clueless.

I had been feeling this way for several days but just wasn’t ready to speak the words.

Oh forget it, I thought, we can’t go on like this forever.

“I don’t think I can do this!” I blurted out through the tears.

[Read more...]