A Year in the Life of a Home-Schooling Family: Day 59

Last night I tucked down at ten with a raging headache. I listened to the Bible until I drifted off to sleep. It was such a lovely end to a tricky day for me. I have never had this type of reaction before coming off sugar. I think it is probably reflective of how bad the addiction had got, but I also believe there is an element of God’s goodness. Coming of sugar had always felt surprisingly easy before, but this is really hard. My head hurts, my neck hurts and my back hurts.

After a surprisingly good night’s sleep given said pain levels, I awoke at 6 with a headache which had moved defiantly into migraine status. This was not fun. I took a painkiller. Gary was off work, so I lay across his lap, listening to the Bible for a hour, whilst he stroked my head. I can not wait for the pain to pass, but head strokes from my lovely husband almost made it worth having it.

We weren’t quite back at full pelt for school yet. I planned less for the past couple of weeks because I knew we wouldn’t have as much studying time.

Lillie was at work at the nursery. She had spent yesterday learning Makaton, so couldn’t wait to go in and practice it on someone! Charlotte went over to Mum’s. We are finding our little experiment is working incredibly well. She is getting the same amount of work done in half the time! No more nine hour days. We are both delighted!

Whilst Charlotte was over there being tested for the first half an hour, I got on with some work with the littles. I haven’t started them back on their workbooks yet, that will reboot next Monday. For now, we are learning about Uranus and Neptune. I had them do some partnership reading, swapping each paragraph:

First Abigail
Then Becca

They managed to finish off the chapter. It was then time for Becca to go over to Mum’s to read to her. Becca is gradually building up her reading confidence, and Mum said she is getting better and better each time she goes over. Yay!

Whilst Becs was gone, I asked Abs to do an activity from their astronomy journal. I knew it would be too hard for Becca, so I asked Abs to do it first:

She did Becca’s for her too, so I had Becs read her book when she got home, whilst Abigail made up some copy work for Becca to do about Neptune:

Whilst the girls were doing their copywork:

I took the half finished Uranus and Neptune models out of the freezer:

The goal was to tip them out and finish them off. Unfortunately the blue ice had other ideas, and even after running it under hot water it refused to budge. The girls took the opportunity to play outside for a while whilst the blue ice took its own sweet time to defrost enough to come out of the flan moulds:

They did eventually release their attachment to the flan dishes and created some rather fine looking planets, even if I do say so myself. The girls added some squirty cream for their cloudy atmosphere,

And some rings which we hoped made Uranus look like it was rolling on its side:

Not maybe the tidiest models we’ve ever made, but they did the job nicely!

Mum and I usually go to the local Italian for lunch each Thursday, but as I am juice fasting we popped down to a newly opened juice bar, about a two minute walk away. It makes up juices on the premises to order, so they are as fresh as fresh can be! Mum had a coffee because she finds the very thought of juices and smoothies revolting. I tried a ‘Turbo Charge with a Kick’ which was celery, spinach, lime, pineapple, apple and avocado. I am definitely in need of both a turbo charge and a kick! Oh, my, it was wonderful. Not sweet (which I prefer in a juice), smooth yet filling. Because of the aforementioned headache, I had been feeling slightly nauseous and had only been able to drink water. It was just what I needed! Mum also treated me with another juice to take home. This time I chose a ‘Brain Buster’, which had beetroot, apple, carrot, cucumber, broccoli, courgette, ginger, lemon and celery. Another hit! By the time I got home, I was feeling 100% better.

Lillie was awaiting me on the sofa. She work in an environment where she is the youngest by quite a few years. She loves working there, but needs to decompress when she gets home.

As a much quieter twin, who relies on Charlotte frequently in social situations, she often feels unsure at work. I think she is great if she is given a job, but is still learning to see where she is needed and have the confidence to go where she sees a need. I’m sure this will come, and she feels very supported by the staff there, but she will always give me a run down of her day. I guess it is her way of getting closure on the shift.

Abigail was delighted when her latest ‘Curiosity Box’ came in the post:

This month’s box is ‘Cool Crystals’ and Abigail will get to grow crystals, make a crystal sun catcher, make some sparkling snowflakes and go goldmining!

She got to work straight away making some sparkling snowflakes:

That’s it for today. I have just made some chilli for the teens Bible group tonight, which we host each Thursday. Gary is making the most of the last day of his holidays and is watching Spartacus. Charlotte is planning a Charity Shop trip up to London. Lillie is relaxing at her computer. The little ones have a favourite friend around, before she and Abigail go to their theatre studies group. All is peaceful. And my headache is at a dull roar. Oh, and Gary and I have a new appreciation for solid food.

Lent (Bible) Feast and (Food) Fast

Each day, I just want to make a note of how I am doing at my feast and fast. I tucked down at ten last night and listened to the whole of Genesis before falling into a deep sleep. I had a headache which began at around ten in the morning on Wednesday, and continued over night. Each time I woke with a headache, I was blessed to go, almost immediately, back to sleep. By 6 it was really bad. By lunchtime it had subsided somewhat.

I listened to the Bible last night; this morning for almost an hour; and after my smoothie with Mum for an hour. I have completed Genesis and Exodus. I am making notes of things which stand out. I am surprised by how much I am enjoying listening to God’s word. It is relaxing, and I feel very close to Him.

Thank you for your emails yesterday 🙂 Yes, I have no such word as moderation in my vocab(!) No, I find it impossible to do anything by halves. Yes, I have obtained nutritional advice. Yes, the juices and smoothies contain sugar, but we are attempting an 80% veg juice and a 20% fruit juice. I will hopefully be ensuring that all my nutritional needs are met by including one avocado per day in the juice or smoothie, as well as adding protein with flax seed, chia seed and an occasional scoop of vegan protein powder. The smoothies will ensure I have enough fibre. This is a fast I very much felt led to by God, as well as reading my Bible. I am finding that I listen to the Bible mainly during breakfast and lunch time. It feels like I am replacing food with God, just for a time.

No, I have not planned to do this for any specific time. Lent seemed like a good as any time to begin, but fasting for the whole forty days seems a little optimistic for this foodie. However, I am serious about ridding myself of a sugar addiction. I believe that sugar to me is much the same as alcohol is for alcoholics. And I believe I need to get rid of sugar completely in my life, forever. I will therefore be fasting until I feel nudged by God to stop or I feel confident about returning to eating without the need to supplement with any type of sugar.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please do ask. Thank you all for your worries! It’s nice to have people looking out for me 🙂


  1. Glad to hear the juices today hit the spot and made you feel better! I think it’s more the caffeine withdrawal that you’re feeling this time, that’s a strong one to give up! But you’ll get there, I’m sure!!xx

  2. Sorry to hear about the headaches; luckily you all had a lighter day of schooling planned and it seems like all your girls do a good job getting in a good portion of their schooling on their own. I have been reading so much about juicing and fasting and often wonder if I’d have the will power to stick to them. I too think I’d be much better off if I gave up sugar but wonder how I would sustain that in the long run knowing that it’s even added to things like crackers.. Best of luck to you! I hope the worst of the withdrawal symptoms disappear real soon.

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