A Chum Mom Life

My thoughts and ideas being a mom, wife and child of God.

Sneaking Mushrooms

Getting kids to eat healthy food is hard. When it comes to mushrooms, I even have a hard time. I like raw mushrooms in salads but when they are cooked I can’t stand the texture of mushrooms. I do love the flavor they add to sauces, soups and stir fry though.

I also can’t stand how fast they seem to go bad. Way before we can finish them. So I puree them. Just put them in my ninja blender with water, puree, then pour into an ice cube tray to freeze. Then I just pop one out to put into whatever I’m cooking. All the flavor without the texture I don’t like. And the kids never know!


Being the mean mom sucks

11 year olds don’t need phones.

We tried to let her.

She proved us right.

I didn’t want her to prove us right.

Co-parenting is hard.

I’m not even mad that she is interested in boys.

I totally expected this. Not even mad. But still have to take away the phone and punish her for using it to text and face time all night.

Can’t watch them 24/7,  but even harder when they go to their other house to sleep at night!

Just trying to protect her.

I know it’s OK for her to hate me, but I don’t like it!

Not a fun day to be a mom.

Neighbors mom thinks I’ mean too. And crazy because video games would have not been a big deal.

Oh well.

Maybe it’s time for a cold hard apple cider.

Rest Day

Rest day for a homeschool mom trying to complete a kitchen remodel before summer just seems counter productive. Unless your also a homeschool mom/ renovator/ with an auto immune disease. Then it’s necessary to have days where you do nothing.

I am not good at doing nothing. I am proud of being a productive person. I use a bullet journal to plan my life, diligently crossing off each and every little thing I get done during the day. Each thing I cross off makes me feel accomplished. Like I’m holding up my end of this deal my husband and I have. He goes to work and gets a paycheck. I stay home with the kids and teach them, clean the house, pay the bills, help with my grandma, dog-sit, and handle all the little errands and tasks that come with all of that. When I don’t get to check things off I just feel useless.

Why? Why do I feel useless on days I have to rest? My husband does not resent me for it. He insists on them actually. If he didn’t, I probably would not do them until I was too ill to get out of bed unassisted. I need rest days. My body needs it and loves it. My brain just hates it. It makes me feel lazy knowing my husband is at work and I’m resting. I say that word with a nasty look on my face by the way.

So how do I deal with this conflict of physically needing rest and emotionally needing to be productive? Back to my bullet journal. I list things I don’t normally list. I list resting, a long bath, reading, and watching that show I have wanted to check out for weeks. I do any jobs I can get done from my laptop, like registering for homeschool group and fine arts classes.

Things that need to get done and require physically moving still get put on the list. I just add the word kids in the margin. My kids love it when I have a rest day. They are preteens and mainly want to do their own things like art, reading and watching minecraft YouTube videos. I have them do the things that must be done. Like move the laundry, hand wash the few pots we have dirty in the bathroom sink since we are mainly using paper plates these days, tidy up, take out the trash and so on. They finish in ten minutes what would have taken me hours. Then I still get to cross those things off the list. It doesn’t matter if I dd it myself or if I delegated. Plus, kids that have to help around the house become more successful adults. I read that somewhere, it makes sense to me.

So now the to do list is complete. I am resting in bed. And my brain isn’t telling me I’m a loser. Yay!

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Spring Review

So many things to point out but not a lot to say about any of them. I’m going to jump around a bit.


Emily tricked Lorelai into this and now they just sit there in silence. You can slowly see the therapist bow to the stress. Eventually she starts smoking again to deal with it. Emily quits because the therapist doesn’t agree with her. Lorelai keeps going but says nothing about her mom quitting to Luke and even eventually lies to him about her being there. He doesn’t say that he know its not true because he spent the whole day with Emily which I think is even worse if you ask me. At least one of them needs to be good at this honesty thing. It looks like it’s going to be the April thing all over again where they are both afraid to say anything until it explodes!

Emily also accused Lorelai of leaving her a nasty note on her birthday. Lorelai says she didn’t…. And we never find out who left it. At least not in this episode. I’m hoping that maybe I just missed it somehow in my first viewing and when I watch Summer and Fall for the second time I will figure it out.

Food Festival

Mr. Kim! We finally see Lanes dad! He was there all along, we just never met him. Rory has though.

Mrs. Kim was in it for just a couple minutes, training a new choir. Lane was wearing a rock band shirt in front of Mrs. Kim so that must have finally worked out. I really wish we had seen more of Mrs. Kim and Lane.

Mitchum Huntzberger, one of the few characters that looks exactly the same, shows up while Rory and Logan are having lunch and we find out Logan is engaged! Logan very much like his father I can only assume Mitchum knew exactly what was going on. The knife in the back comment made everyone uneasy. I was frustrated when she asked for his help later on. But I was also happy that she was accepting help from Logan in a way. But of course it all turned out bad.

I had to look up Aeschylus. He was an ancient playwright known for writing tragedies. I still can’t figure out what Naomi Shropshire was trying to say about him but I was happy when she canceled her book. Rory should be above dealing with people like this. But she is stubborn and won’t listen to the many people who look at her skeptically every time she mentions it.

I love Taylor. He is upset about Woodbury not lending them their gays and he can’t understand how he did not have over 100 countries of food represented in his tiny Stars Hallow. Poor Taylor. He keeps Stars Hallow moving along and nobody gives him enough credit.

Michel is upset they will never bag Jennifer Lawrence without mini fridges.

I really wish we could have seen Liz and TJ and Doula, but their story line is kept alive. They have accidentally joined a vegetable cult. That is so them.

The real Paul Anka starred in another of Lorelai’s dreams as she talks to him as if he were the dog Paul Anka. I had to finally look up who Paul Anka was and followed him on Facebook.

Kirk showed his second film. I don’t buy it. I think he would have done a film a year while the show was off the air. I did like it better than the first film.

Rachel Ray’s cameo was funny.

Even from the grave Richard is trying to franchise Luke’s. I don’t think he ever even ate there.

Rory returned to Chilton, just for the day. We get to see Paris go nuts, Tristan, Francie, and the headmaster. I still think Rory should teach at Chilton.

Rory fell apart after that:

  • She gets officially fired from writing the book about Naomi.
  • Tries to do a lame line story. She should have just wrote about her mom’s way of getting around the lines.
  • Sleeps with a wookie!
  • Finally admits to her mom about Logan. I was also sure Lorelai would already know!
  • Bombs the website gig. I loved the Sandee character! She was great at fast talking and was someone I just loved to hate.
  • Destroys her phones (Why does Lorelai never have phone problems in Stars Hollow?)
  • moves back home

I think Lorelai is thinking back to when she told Christopher Rory was going to need them when she was older. I think she had said 42, but 32 seems to be pretty tough for Rory.

What did you think about the Spring episode of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life?



Balancing Christmas

I love Christmas but it can equal a lot of stress for me. My husband and I both have lots of family that all live in the area so we are blessed that we get to see EVERYONE at Christmas time. We love it, but a lot of family means a lot of present buying, wrapping, sorting to go to the right place, giving each family member a list for the kids, and a marathon Christmas of going house to house and eating fabulous feast after fabulous feast.

I struggle with depression, especially in the winter, and with some health issues that make holidays even more complicated with my careful diet and low immune system. When I was really sick the last two Christmases with mono I had to learn how to balance Christmas in a way that we still had fun, I was worried about my children missing out because of me, but kept me healthy and un-stressed.  This year is going great and here are some of the things we have done to balance Christmas and make it easier for mom. These ideas will help anyone make Christmas less stressful.

Presents- Start Early

I start buying Christmas gifts months ahead of time. We have over 20 people to buy for. Normally as soon as a person’s birthday is past I start thinking about their Christmas present. I have a shelf I put all Christmas presents on and I just put it there until it is time to wrap in December. I have found that it is much easier to find the perfect gift if your willing to buy when you find it. It’s also easier on the budget. We can put one gift on each paycheck instead of going into debt at Christmas time.

When November rolls around I make a list of everyone we don’t have a present for. In the past few years we have started wanting to get better presents for each person than we did in the past. Instead of just any gift, we want the perfect gift; a useful gift. We then start buying several each pay check until we are done.

For our kids we buy one big present that is for all 3. Then we buy lots of smaller things. We often buy used at garage sales or thrift stores. When they were much younger we would do a toy swap with friends that also didn’t have a lot of money. That way the kids all got new to them items. My kids still don’t mind second hand toys or clothes for Christmas.

I try to start wrapping in early December. As I write this, only days away from December I feel a little stressed. SO MANY PRESENTS!!! But I know that putting it off wont help. I’m going to wrap presents the same way I sort laundry; in my room, binge watching my favorite TV series, with a favorite drink. This way I will actually look forward to it. My special alone time wrapping presents; I feel like an elf.

Kids Gifts Lists

My husband and I had kids young. I had my last kid when I was 20. So they have a lot of grandparents and great grandparents still alive. This means that a whole lot of people want me to send them a Christmas list for each kid. I feel like Christmas gifts should be a blessing and a good fit for each person. Not just anything you see that maybe they will like.

I feel blessed each Christmas that my kids get so many things that help us throughout the year. They get new clothes that they actually want, the art cabinet gets restocked with cool new things, they get new books and games. They also get bedding items and things they want for their rooms. We can’t afford to buy these things all the time but we are very blessed that the kids can ask for exactly what they wish for and get it at Christmas.

I also know the people who buy the presents appreciate me making it easy on them. So as the kids mention things throughout the year I put it in a note on my phone. i also look up the item and find one with good reviews on amazon and add it to my cart for later. That ay when Christmas rolls around and a grandparent asks for a lists I can just copy and paste the links! This make sit much easier. Our hardest part is finding enough things for all the grandparents. I thought I had already given my grandmother a list and on thanksgiving she told me I hadn’t! I had to think up new ideas fast!


We have done two things to make Christmas decorating easier. We downsized and I turned the job of decorating over to the kids.

We got rid of our big, broken, half lit Christmas tree last year after Christmas. It had seen better days and I had held onto it for more years than I wanted just because I didn’t want to spend the money on a new tree. So I sold it for a dollar to someone who then donated it to their church who needed one. Then my husband and I went out on December 27th and bought a 4.5 foot tree that was pre-lit, looked like snow was on it and was on clearance.

We also donated over half of our Christmas decorations last year before putting everything away. We kept only what we really loved or was a family keepsake.

Kids Can Help

The kids are 10, 11, and 12 now. For the past few years I was sick so they had to do the decorating or it wasn’t going to happen. They get into the attic, get everything down. Put up the tree, decorate it, decorate outside, put the empty boxes back into the attic and at the season put everything away again.

The kids also wrap presents for each other and shop for each other.

I have had to let go of perfection or even expectations in this process. This is their Christmas, their memories. If the tree looks less than perfect to me who cares? It’s how they want it. And they do get better every year. This is something that is very hard for some people to do, luckily I never was much of a perfectionist. I also don’t normally buy any decorations that are breakable or that I car about all that much if they do get broken. I’m just not much into things. I much prefer the feeling of happiness I have knowing my kids contributed and worked hard to do something for our family. I know it gives them a sense of pride and it gives me a break!

Christmas activities check list poster

Christmas Activities

There are so many fun things to do at Christmas time but never enough time to do them all. I often feel like a failure after each Christmas season when I think about what fun things we didn’t get to that year.

This year I decided i wanted to feel accomplished instead. I just made a piece of paper titled Christmas activities, wrote down our favorites and we will cross them off as we go. There is room to add more if we want to. It’s easy. I love lists because of how I love crossing them off and seeing how much I accomplished so this fits the way my mind works beautifully! Here are some of the things we put on the list:

  • Pictures with Santa (already done! And they were free!)
  • Decorate the house and tree
  • Give to others
  • Christmas carols
  • Christmas cards
  • Watch a Christmas movie
  • Make a nativity scene ( we are going to look up crafty ones on YouTube)
  • Drive around and look at lights
  • Act out the nativity scene and record it
  • Read Christmas Stories
  • Make cookies for Santa and write a letter
  • Buy and wrap gifts for each other

How do you keep Christmas stress away from the holidays? Comment below!







Gilmore Girls a Year In The Life Review (SPOILER ALERT) Part 1 Winter

I was an early Gilmore Girls fan. It was on of the few series I found in the first season and watched it all the way through. I was an instant fan. I bought all the DVD sets and watched all the behind the scenes stuff I could get my hands on. Over the years I have re-watched the show from beginning to end over and over while I was cleaning or doing other chores. I know it so well I don’t have to see it, just hear it and know exactly what is going on.

I was so excited when I heard that Gilmore Girls were coming back! A Year In The Life was much anticipated in my house. Black Friday 2016 was shopingless, instead filled with Gilmore binge watching and eating leftovers. Since I’m now writing this post, there will be no shopping. My mind is still in Stars Hollow and I’m sure it will stay there for a few days.

Now, just in case the title of this post was not clear, there will be SPOILERS! You were safe so far, but if you have not watched all four seasons of the new episodes on Netflix, DO NOT KEEP READING! It was a wonderful 6 hours that I do not want to spoil for anyone. You have been fairly warned.

It was amazing. I was in shock. I was sad. I was hopeful and frustrated. I was jittery and nervous. And I had hysterical laughter and joy where I jumped up and down and hit the pillow because I was so happy and excited!

My husband watched some of it with me and yes he thinks I’m crazy when I’m bouncing up and down, squealing with delight, about a TV show. He also knows I have been waiting for this for a long time. He also knows I’m a Gilmore Fanatic, maybe even more than I am a Harry Potter or Twilight Fanatic. I’m not sure about Buffy or Charmed, if they came back I might literally scream with delight. But I digress, he knows I’m crazy and was not fazed by my reactions, after 14 years he knows me pretty well.

Anyway, let’s talk about the episodes. I have so far only watched one time all the way through. I started watching again right away, the second that Fall ended actually, but then I decided to take a break. Then I decided to write about it so that I could fully delve into my feelings about this. And here we are. We will start at the beginning.


When I first saw the Gilmore Girls in the gazebo I felt anxious. What do you mean Rory hasn’t been around much? Why doesn’t Rory stay in one spot when she finally gets cell service? Instead she just keeps walking and ends up in a bad spot again. Why do cabbages equal cell service?

The fast talking was refreshing but also showed that Rory only talks so fast and in crazy circles when she is with her mom. Well Luke has said she has a slightly better grip on reality than her mom. I was oh so glad to see Luke and Lorelai together and happy.

I had watched every trailer I could find before A Year In The life aired. So I knew that it showed the funeral for Richard. I was very pleasantly surprised that it was in the flash back form and we didn’t come in right on Richard dying as if we were only days too late to have seen him. And even though angry Emily annoyed and frustrated me, I had my usual respect for her. I love how she can be the victim and the attacker at the same time. Like Lorelai, I never see it coming.

I smell snow. I love it. And I started watching early this morning and the one time I did have to leave the house today, I swear it smelled like snow. Of course I had just seen this scene minutes before so the power of suggestion was high, and no, it did not snow.

Logan. I have a hate love relationship with this character. Very much like Christopher, Rory’s dad. I am glad she is still with him in a way at least. It seems right. I don’t like that she hasn’t told her mom.

Paul, Rory’s very forgettable boyfriend… Not much to say about this character. Kind of seems odd that Rory would even be with someone like him. I guess it speaks to how far off track she is and how out of control her life is.

Kirk. I love this character. Ooober is right up his alley, of course he screws it up. I’m also delighted that he and Lulu started talking about having a baby and the town got them a pig instead. When I saw the pig in the trailers I thought it had to be either Kirk’s or Michel’s. I’m glad it was Kirk. We saw very little of Lulu.

Lane is there. She is a mom, in a band, and a concerned wife. Also still a very devoted friend. She is also very involved with town life. She almost seems to be living the dependable normal life in quirky Stars Hollow that I always thought Rory would have.

Paris is crazy as ever. Very successful, but a ferocious mess as usual. Loved it!

My mind is still having a hard time separating the different seasons. So I’m going to have to go re watch them season by season. Look for a summer Gilmore review asap! What did you think of Winter?

Panda Planner- organization for my to do lists!

I love to do lists. It’s how I organize my day. I am very forgetful, but I also hate to procrastinate, so to do lists are essential for me!

For years I have just used whatever notebook or scrap paper that is closest and use that. It is convenient but there are a few problems. First, I often loose the notebook because it looks like any other and I just grab a new one. also losing all the lists and notes I made in the progress.

Secondly, there are too many lines and too much space so I give myself way too much to do which results in my having to move things over at the end of each day the things that didn’t get done. For awhile this was fine. Eventually it made me feel like a failure. Each little thing I had to copy and move made me feel inadequate, when in reality I was very productive! I suffer from depression so I knew I had to fix this before it upset me further.

I also keep little notes and to do lists in my phone on an app which is helpful but I can’t use it for everything because I can’t see it all at once. It’s really only good for making little notes while I’m out and don’t have paper. Also, I really like seeing what I accomplished each day and with the app you just delete it after your done.

In my quest to solve my to do list problems I have:

  • tried pre-made to do list templates
  • other phone apps
  • making my own and laminating
  • and more….

So in another desperate attempt I searched on Amazon last week when I was feeling like a to do lists failure. I found the Panda Planner….

So far I am in serious like. Not quite love. In order for it to be love I would need a few tweaks like a what’s for dinner section(I just use the notes section.) But I like it way more than everything else I have tried.

What I really like:

  • Monthly, weekly, daily sections
  • A grateful for section
  • What I’m excited about section
  • Daily time breakdown
  • Top priorities have more space than lesser priorities
  • Today’s wins exercise section
  • Daily habit to work on section ( ours is currently eating at the table. We have been successful everyday since I bought this planner.)
  • It is big and well made and does not look like my notebooks so it is not easily lost
  • It has strings for bookmarks to easily find your current month, week and day
  • Room for 4 monthly projects. I love this. Now I can really focus n 4 and try to get them finished before the end of the month.
  • This months goals section

Of course there are sections I don’t totally care for but I can change them into whatever I want. I feel like this is a really positive, upbeat planner. It was created by a person going through lots of medical treatments and I really love how positive it is and how it has sections for priorities so you can see whats most important and focus on that first. It’s also a small personal business which I’m very much in favor of supporting.

I have had this planner for about five days. Do I think I’ll buy another one when I’m done with this one? I have no idea. But I do know that I now have a higher standard for planners and will never just go back to a notebook. Maybe I’ll even publish my own someday!


2016 Election Day- my life

I’ll start by saying I am not very interested in watching the news which I think is very biased. So I didn’t follow the presidential race, or any other very well. My husband did and several friends helpfully posted their views or links on Facebook.

I was an election day poll worker for the second time. My first election was much smaller and this one was huge in comparison. I was very thankful to each voter that thanked us for our service. Yes we do get paid, but it’s not an extreme amount. It is however enough to help out our budget which I try to do every chance I get. Working a few days a year fits in nicely with our homeschool schedule. If you are looking for a way to bring in some extra income and have the flexibility in your schedule I highly recommend it.

It is also a very long day, getting up at 4 to be at a place I have never been before by 5. Looking for where to go in the dark and then knowing I would not be leaving until it was dark again. Most people don’t realize that there are not shifts, you work from open to close on election day. And then you have to clean up. I got to leave at 8.

I had fun working the polls. I worked with nice people and had fun getting to know them. We had very nice voters and only one sightly obnoxious guy. The new poll pad system of checking people in went very smoothly. And I smiled almost all day because I was enjoying myself.

The only really hard part was when I started to get a migraine about an hour into the workday.It was still during our rush and I felt awful at the idea of running to the car to get some meds. But finally I had to. I used oils, I rubbed on pain cream, I drank water and finally remembered I hadn’t had any caffeine even though I had brought my coconut water coffee with me, and I took two over the counter pain meds. I really hated that last part. I try my best to only take natural meds. But sometimes they take longer or they don’t work as well as I need them to right away. I was in pain and facing a really long day so I gave in. Altogether I felt better in about an hour, so something worked.

A co worker told me that I had a very pleasant personality, which actually meant she was upset that everyone was coming to my sign in spot and walking past her. I couldn’t help it! I was bored so every time someone came in I waved and called them over. And I felt like I was better at it than the other team was so I just wanted to help people quickly. I finally stopped and let them have people who came in alone and when they were busy I would grab up the next person. But all in all it was a good work day.

I finally got home around 8:15. I saw my kids for a few minutes and then went to lay in bed. I wanted to go right to bed but my husband really wanted to watch the election results come in. So I did. I had a 20 hour day before I went to sleep that night. Remember, 2 years ago I had mono really bad and slept for about 20 hours a day, so I was pretty proud of myself even though I was in considerable pain by then.

We stayed up long enough to find out that Donald Trump was going to win. I hadn’t voted for either main candidate, feeling like neither one was one I could feel good about voting for afterwards. I am neither happy nor unhappy with Donald Trump becoming president, but I will support our President. I will pray for him and I will pray that we as a country can get over our individual feelings and simply support our President and the office he will hold.

One last thing about the 2016 election. I really wish the third party had gotten enough votes to make it into debates from now on. I’m not going to pretend that I know all that much about those policies or anything, just that I wish third parties had an actual chance.

How was your election day 2016?

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑