A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers

A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers
The Burts in 2013

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Responses to Comments (Organizing Books, Caught in a Funk, & Diabetes Prevention)

Today I am playing catch-up. This post is dedicated solely to answering comments and questions left in response to previous posts. Lucky reader, today you get a nice break from my non-stop commentary on all-things homeschool!

First off - "What Should I Do With All These Books??" replies:

Vickie said: I do keep a bookshelf that is the current year's books. I have a basket that I keep by my chair with the current books in use. I rotate them out as needed from the year's bookshelf. I like this much better. I do have my other bookshelves that I put the books when they are not in use for the year. I took half our entry coat closet and made it a supply closet. Shelves floor to ceiling and when I hit the back to school sales in August....they get plenty stocked. Everything in its place (or should be) and I can tell a kid to go get whatever that is on shelf #??. IF they put the item back in its original spot, it can be found again. Now, I need to purge my regular bookshelves for books that others have given me and I think I'd like to want to use them but in reality find that they don't fit in my schedule of classes. These books need to go.

Great post! Thanks for sharing some great ideas.

My reply:

Vickie, I LOVE your idea of keeping a basket by your chair with the current books you are using. Not only is it functional, and the books are kept in a location where they are convenient and easy to access, but books in a basket look good too! An organizational tip that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing?? That's a keeper in my book :) Thanks so much for sharing!

Martha said: Thank you for sharing some ideas here. I am going to see if I can make them work for my family.

Visiting you from TOS Crew and following you know.

My reply:

Martha, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and "AHOY" from one Crew Mate to another! Your comment made my day :)

I would also like to share tips on where I store items I receive for review purposes as a part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I really work hard at using the products as extensively as I am able with my family prior to my reviews. As soon as I am listed as a reviewer for a product, the product name and review due date are written in my homeschool planner and on my family calendar (highlighted in both places so they can't be missed!). Once I receive the item, I start a page for it in my review notebook. Basic info is noted first, and then as I peruse the curriculum I add further details. I also am careful to obtain as much information as I can from my children who have been using said item. All of my review items that are physical products are kept on the top shelf of a bookcase that is across the room from my primary homeschool bookcase. My primary bookcase has doors, and looks more like an armour than a bookcase. Once school is done for the day, the doors are shut and I can be a "mom" for the evening (the "homeschooler" will reappear the following morning). The bookcase that houses my review products is more traditional in style, with open shelving. My wireless printer is located on this bookshelf, and my son's college textbooks and supplies for Friends University were stored there last year. Things I need weekly for our youth group and all of my son's Wheaton College information are stored there now. The top shelf is reserved for my TOS products (the non-physical products I receive are stored in a file on the desktop of my laptop and a USB removable drive is used to back this file up). My one overarching piece of advice for keeping track of the products I'm reviewing would be location - keep things in their rightful place and you'll find them when you need them. Not to mention that if they are kept in plain sight, I tend to "handle" them a lot more than I would if they were kept in the homeschool cabinet with it's closed doors. Don't have an extra bookshelf? Neither did I, until I picked up a wood shop book on and set my son to work. I must say, he did a fantastic job and spent hours sanding and sanding - there isn't a splinter to be found and it's as smooth as a piece of glass. Oh, and of course I counted it as a half credit toward a wood shop elective on his high school transcript :)

Next I will reply to a comment left about my post "Out of Sorts or Caught in a Funk??"

Martha said: Hope your week of Bible School went well, even better than you expected!

Is your son headed to Wheaton Collegein Wheaton, IL? I worked there for the food service company years ago.

Visiting from the HS Crew.


My reply:

Martha, he sure is headed up north to Wheaton College in Illinios! So neat to hear from a member of the Crew who knows about Wheaton! Made my day :)

Lastly, I will reply to comments left in response to my blog post about Diabetes Prevention.

Very Blessed Mana said: Such great advice. Would you be willing to go into more detail of what you gave up, what you added, what helped the most, etc...?

Lisa said: Thanks for these tips. And I would 2nd what Very Blessed Mama said about going into more detail! My dad was diagnosed with Type 2 a few years ago, and it runs elsewhere in my family too, so I want to do what I can NOW before I fall into the same pattern!

My reply:

Very Blessed Mama & Lisa, I am more than happy to give some additional info! As for what I gave up - that's a long list but it can best be summed up in 2 words: Sugar and Carbs. Does it contain sugar (or the dreaded high-fructose corn syrup!)? Then I don't eat it. Is it a food that is primarily a carbohydrate (which turns into sugar in the bloodstream)? I don't eat it. Now, I can't avoid ALL sugar and EVERY carb - so I am as choosy as possible. I read the labels on the Greek Yogurt I buy and I purchase the brand that has the least sugar. I eat flat bread (very popular and easy to find right now) and that eliminates a whole lotta carbs! Peanut butter is my best friend, and there are several natural options available that are more expensive than sugar-laden peanut butter but far cheaper than the long-term cost of diabetes. Bananas seem to be fine for me, but some people have a little trouble with their blood sugar when they eat them. Watch how you feel and don't be afraid to check your blood glucose with a monitor. Many companies will send you a kit free of charge - but read the fine print, some of them don't come with test strips (they can get expensive!) and others require you to do "coding" (which isn't terrible, but it takes a bit more time). Your doctor may even give you a free glucose monitor; my physician was so happy to have a patient working to prevent diabetes, she was willing to help me with almost every request I had. Veggies are always okay - spinach salads are a win-win (healthy greens and iron to keep my chronic anemia at bay). Try toasting some flat bread, add sliced tomato with salt and pepper (a little olive oil based mayo can add extra flavor) and viola! you have an easy lunch idea. Strong mozzarella cheese is fast and full of protein. Oatmeal is typically a good option for those working to avoid Type 2 diabetes, but it actually raises my blood sugar to an unacceptable level whenever I eat it. Try it for yourself - the odds are that it will work well for you (but don't eat the sugar filled kiddie flavors). Drink plenty of water (by plenty I pretty much mean TONS!). Weigh yourself about once a week to see if you are losing, gaining or maintaining. Walking is great exercise, doesn't require a gym membership, and most everyone can do it! Walk with your hubby a couple of evenings each week and think of it as a "mini-date". Or rotate walking with your kids, one at a time. They will cherish the time they have with you, and you'll be doing something great for your health while making terrific memories. Above all, commit your plans to the Lord and seek His wisdom each day. He knit you together and knows exactly what you need in order to stay healthy. Ask Him, be willing to obey Him, and be prepared to hold on while you enjoy the ride!

For my friend Janette, let me say "Thanks!!" for reading my blog and leaving such encouraging comments. Your migraine meds have wreaked havoc on you, but the Lord knows what His plans and purposes are for you and I know He doesn't want you to stress too much over it but to try and relax and let Him take care of the details. Probably sounds like trite advice, but I really do mean it. He's got your back for certain!

Thanks for reading this post of "replies" and Lord bless you today!

Day 104 done :)

Jan L. Burt


  1. Wow -- I love that you took the time to answer these questions from your readers! I already knew the lengths you had gone to and what you had given up, but it's always nice to read it again. Super proud of all you have done! I think your readers should also know that you say once you knew you HAD to give it up, that the Lord basically took all these cravings from you and it wasn't as hard as it sounds to those of us reading this. Am I right?? Sure you miss certain things and wish you could have it...but I remember you telling me early on that God was making it so much easier for you because He had removed the cravings! What an awesome God we serve!!

    Thanks, too, for the encouragement at the end -- never thought I'd get called out in your blog posts haha!! I agree that I am causing more havoc by stressing over this when it the grand scheme of things, it's so minor! I just know how hard I worked last summer and hated that in 7 weeks time, half of it was undone by a silly pill! Ugh! Thanks for all you do and all that you are! :)

  2. I'm rarely EVER on a computer...well, I should say on a computer and in a position to actually comment! And for some reason, I can't comment from my phone (which is where I typically do my blog catching up...easier to balance a phone and baby versus a phone and computer!) :-P But THIS was worth making the effort over! So I hope you don't mind me throwing in my 2 (or 3?) cents!

    We as a society eat WAY TO MANY carbs! Our bodies do require SOME...but not nearly the amount we actually eat! AND...complex carbs (which is a fancy way of saying carbs paired with fiber) should be a part of our daily eats in moderation. The fiber actually whisks away the carbs before our body has had a chance to digest them fully.

    This is why even though sweet potatoes and white potatoes have similar carb numbers - sweet potatoes will not affect your blood sugar as much as white potatoes. They are PACKED with fiber! :-) Fiber is your friend!

    One trick I use to help me determine whether it is ok to eat (which I read about somewhere...I did NOT come up with this on my own) is to subtract the amount of fiber from the amount of carbs and use THAT number as the total.

    So if you are getting something with 30g carbs...and it has 8g'd use 22 as the number to compare one product to another.

    For example on bread...I found that a high-fiber bread (which Nature's Own makes) actually worked better for me than the sandwich thins.

    Cereal is another place where I make it a habit to compare numbers.

    Hope you don't mind me throwing in my 2 cents!! family eats pretty low carb. Once you toss out bread, pasta and white potatoes...there wasn't much left. ;-) (We still do eat some bread...but not nearly as much and not the same kind that we used too!)