I am not an airplane


*see update at the end of this post:

I have been writing this post in my head for quite awhile.

I started Hectic Sweetness in 2008.  It started as a sporadic homeschooling blog with Newbery Book Reviews and my favorite quotes included.  My very first post had a picture of my cloth diapers hanging on the clothesline and I remember writing about savoring motherhood even then. Unfortunately, I didn’t move my blog correctly from Homeschool Blogger before they closed down and I lost all those old posts.  Sigh.

In early 2013, I took a writing course and started spending most of my free time reading, researching, and praying for guidance.  I started posting, gaining a few readers along the way, and finding some kindred spirits online.  I was enjoying the process but began finding myself more anxious and upset when I wasn’t writing.

Writing, homeschooling, along with being a wife and Mom were not co-existing well with this introverted Mama.  I felt emotionally drained and irritable more often.

Then, I came down with a mysterious illness mid-August 2013 and the panic attacks began.  The new school year was starting and I was a mess.  I was spending my days just surviving through the anxiety and panic and not knowing what was wrong with me.  I had no answers.  I was spending too much time at my doctor’s office.

My writing came to a halt.

I spent months recovering from whatever it was and started my slow journey back from anxiety.   Although we were having a tough school year, I felt like I was getting my life back in order and recovering well.

Then, my precious father-in-law died of a massive heart attack.

Shock, pain, numbness gripped me.  A few times I found myself grasping for breath over those first couple months.

I couldn’t write.  I had no words.

Along the painful journey of grief,  I found peace.  I found hope.  I found beauty.  I found goodness.

And for the first time that I could remember,  I found it through avenues other than writing which had been my solace.  Many, many months I just could not put pen to paper.

I have discovered that I love doodling, and coloring, and creating art.  Instagram is amazingly fun.  I love planning for my homeschool year (I seriously am a homeschooling nerd). I am embracing my home and  having so much fun planning, decorating, loving on my kids and relaxing by the pool.

Which brings me to the post title- I am not an airplane (inspired from this post of the same name- love, love Sarah Mackenzie’s beautiful words- always!).

Portofino                                                                                                    Nico Cavallotto via Compfight

The sky IS limited for me because I am not an airplane.  I am a human.  I have limits.

God is speaking and I have just started to listen.

I cannot do it all.

I’ve tried.  Oh, I’ve tried.

I’ve loved the years I’ve had to dream and write.  I love where God has brought me through this.  I am so proud of the fact that this post (one of my very favorite blog posts) was included in an actual PRINT book:

No More Perfect Kids (page 34- just sayin’ {wink})

I have loved this space, but it’s time to move in a different direction.

I am hanging up the closed sign on Hectic Sweetness.

I applaud the women who can homeschool and/or work, blog, write, and have a seemingly normal life.  I can’t.  I get too caught up in myself and my writing.  Obsessive, maybe?

I want to be present and I want to do it well.

I realize I could just not post anymore, but I needed to write this for me.  I needed to give myself permission to say goodbye and not leave it open ended.  I’ve had a wonderful season of writing and maybe I will again someday, but not today.

For today, I will follow God’s leading.

And redecorate my dining room wall.

It’s time.

Thank you all for your heartfelt comments during my time here and for those of you who have journeyed and continue to journey with me and my crazy self- I love you all.  

Much Grace and Peace~ Cheri


*UPDATE 2/2016*

So, I meant every word I said in this space back in July 2015.  I did feel God’s leading to take a step back.  During that time I questioned why I really wanted to stop writing. Why did I want to walk away from something that soothed my soul?

I am an introvert and a thinker.  I spend a lot of time inside my head.  That is a good thing and a curse at times (just ask my poor friends who sometimes can’t figure me out).  I needed to step away.  I was caught up in courses and ebooks on marketing and growing a blog, and gaining thousands of followers.  I was overwhelmed at what I thought I wanted to do.

I lost sight of my passion.  I was looking at the outside world to give me credibility and worth.  I had stepped away from God’s hands and my desire to use this space to glorify his love and truth.

Stepping away has allowed me to find myself again.  To finally realize that blog stats and numbers are not why I’m here.  I’m here to encourage women to find themselves in their busy lives and to love on their families the best they can.  Whether it’s one of you or thousands doesn’t scare me anymore.

It’s community that’s real- not numbers.

So, welcome back!  I’m cleaning things up a bit and have a couple of fun things in the works that I’m hoping to roll out in the next couple of months.  Stay tuned!


Know your child and trust yourself


I spent much of my younger motherhood years listening to a lot of advice.  I am a bookworm so I would check out all the books in regards to parenting and discipline.  I would believe that the “experts” new best even though I never quite felt right about their certain approach.

It took me quite a few years to become comfortable with my own style of parenting. Years to stop obsessing about too much television, too many electronics, not enough books, too little discipline.  Everything seemed to be telling me I was doing this mothering thing wrong. The negativity would get overwhelming.

Then I received the most important parenting advice I had ever heard:

Know your child and trust yourself.

We are inundated with information in this digital age.  It’s always just enough to make you feel like a failure in just about every aspect of parenting and homeschooling. It’s so easy to feel like you don’t measure up.

I’m here to tell you that you’re doing just fine.

You are the only one who can determine what is best for your family.  Sure, there are a lot of opinions and advice.  Take what you feel comfortable with and discard the rest.

Your family is unique.  Your kids are unique.  There is no one like you.  No one will discipline like you.  Your curriculum won’t be used the same way, if you even use curriculum!  You see and relate to the world  through your own special lens.  God made you that way.  And it’s a good thing.

Know your child.

Trust yourself.

Now go and continue being awesome!


What is some parenting advice that has stuck with you through the years?

Sharing with Mom’s the Word, Momma Notes, The Better Mom,  Hip Homeschool MomsFellowship Fridays, and The Weekend Brew.

As the Summer Fades…

Sunfall (Backlit Autumn Leaves), Wisley

Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile ~William Cullen Bryant

Long summer days that were filled with popsicles, Airsoft Gun Wars, pool days, and neighborhood kids running through the house have now given way to school days, regular bedtimes, and a lot more quiet – well, as much quiet as you can have with 3 kids!

I couldn’t be happier.

Don’t get me wrong, summer is so necessary for the kids and for me.  Summer is what gets this homeschooling Mama through the long and sometimes difficult days of late winter.

Yet, come mid-August I am ready for the more scheduled days of fall.  I’m ready for the weather to turn cool and the leaves to start putting on their annual colorful display.  I am ready to have my kids back.  I sometimes only see them for meals and bedtime when the neighbor kids come asking to play.

As we say goodbye to summer, I encourage you to take time to relish the memories: the family vacations, the weddings, the trips to the beach and the cookouts with friends.  Maybe even put together a simple scrapbook with your kids (I love this idea!).

And then let’s joyfully head into the routine and beauty of the fall season.

What do you look most forward to in fall?  Or, do you long for summer to return?

Joining with Moms the Word, and Hip Homeschool Moms.

*photo credit  Creative Commons License Matthew Howarth via Compfight

2013-2014 Curriculum for Kindergarten

I’m taking a break from my regular writing as I work on curriculum for the kids this year.  I always like seeing what tools others use so I thought I would share mine!



This year will be the first year all 3 kids will officially be “in school.”  Ellie and I have done many crafty and fun preschool activities over the past couple of years but she is ready for more.  This girl can’t wait for school to start!  In my dream world the other 2 feel that way too <smile>.

Once I wrote this all out I realized it looks like quite a lot for a Kindergartner.  I am very relaxed in my homeschooling so we will be spreading all of it out throughout each week (maybe two).  I believe 5-6 year olds, more than anything, should be allowed to PLAY.  Sprinkling in a nice routine of reading, writing, and math is my overall goal for the younger years.

  • Five-In-A-Row (FIAR) –  this will cover reading, history, geography, and science.  There are 19 weeks in each volume.  I think doing this every week would get tiring so we’ll be spreading Volume 1 out over the entire school year.  I have some season themed lap books and activities planned as well to keep it fun!
  • All About Reading (Pre-reading) – Ellie’s pretty excited about this one. We’ll be working through the alphabet while we are laying a solid foundation for reading.
  • Explode The Code (A,B, and C levels) – focuses on the consonants and their sounds.  Fun workbooks that help with handwriting/letter formation as well.
  • Early Bird Mathematics Level B from Singapore Math – early introduction to math.  Lots of activities to keep Ellie’s interest.
  • Bible Writer – this e-book combines copywork and bible verses with the alphabet.  Simple introduction to both.  It’s a win-win.
  • My Calendar Notebook from Homeschool Creations –  A little counting, weather, learning the months and time, along with practicing writing.  It’s a free resource and a great way to start day (thanks to my awesome friend, Christy for showing me this)!

Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. I am planning on starting school next week yet I’m still organizing for the other two kids.  Health issues the past couple weeks have put everything on the back burner. That’s one thing I love about homeschooling- the flexibility!  If we don’t start until the next week we still won’t be behind.

Joining with Hip Homeschool Moms and Titus 2Tuesdays.

*Amazon links are affiliate links


I am the decisive element


I have long had this quote in my homeschool planning binder.  It always convicts me to never give up trying to be a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better person no matter how many times I fall flat on my face.  May you carry these words with you this week:

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.

It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather.

I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.

I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.

In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized.

If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

― Haim G. Ginott, Teacher and Child: A Book for Parents and Teachers

Joining with The Better Mom, Hip Homeschool Moms, Mom’s the Word, Momma NotesTitus 2 Tuesdays, The Homeschool Village, Thriving Thursday, Fellowship Friday.


*photo creditCreative Commons License Camdiluv ♥ via Compfight