This ain’t the Lyceum

October 10, 2012 | 9 comments

I was sitting here crying laughing as I read one of my favorite blogs, and that reminded me that it’s been a while since I’ve done an undiscovered gems post where I highlight an awesome new-to-me blogger. Without further ado, allow me to direct you to This Ain’t the Lyceum!

I first discovered Kelly through one of her 7 Quick Takes posts a few months ago, and I was immediately hooked. If I told you that she is a homeschooling mother of five, you might be tempted to say, “But I’m not a homeschooler. Or a mother. I’m not even a woman! Therefore I can safely skip this blog.” But you’d be wrong, and your life would be forever incomplete because of your poor decision making. How can you not love a woman who claims that she is going to write books called 50 Shades of NFP and Latin for Pirates? (I’m holding you to this, Kelly.) How does one not immediately start scrambling to find the Subscribe to Feed button when you read a blogger describe herself by saying, “Yeah, I’m the middle-aged lady in the huge 15 passenger van that just passed you, singing and gesturing wildly with her hands to Flo Rida”? How can you not be overwhelmed with awe at her consideration at updating pictures of 1970s brass vases featuring amorphous naked women to make them more modest?

Now, if you are a homeschooling mother, clear off your calendar for the rest of the day and go ahead and plan to read Kelly’s entire archives. Her post from yesterday about the results of using a new planner had me weeping tears of joy upon being blessed with the knowledge that someone understands my life.

daily planner

(Do NOT miss the rest of the pictures.) She admits to having homeschooling crushes on other moms, keeps it real about what their classroom actually looks like about half way through the day, and even offers all sorts of useful resources. Clearly, Kelly cares about us.

Like all great writers, she knows that there’s a time for humor and a time to say “this sucks and there’s nothing funny about it.” She’s written some powerful, heart-wrenching posts about the fact that her two youngest children have serious neuromuscular disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Earlier this year she wrote:

I don’t really know how I get through each day. With God’s help, I just do. I started this blog to help record all the funny moments in our day because I need to be reminded myself sometimes. It would be very easy for me to become overwhelmed with sadness, hopelessness and anger. There was a period following the diagnosis of Fulton that I didn’t think I could find joy in life again, ever. How could I so much as smile, while he was asked to endure such an existence? After a period of shock, I was depressed for several months. It was only after reading this book from Father Benedict Groeschel that I started to feel better.

Once I learned my youngest son would also have SMA I sank into a spiritual depression that I think I am still recovering from. It’s why I’m not writing a blog containing the deep insight I’ve gleaned from parenting children with physical disabilities or how I’ve reached greater spiritual depths because of our situation. I’m not there yet. I’m still struggling.

One of the most powerful and inspiring blog posts I’ve read in a long time, which I think of often, is when Kelly wrote from the hospital to describe how her children have dealt with their siblings’ disabilities.

(I’m trying to convince her to put a PayPal button prominently at the top of her blog so that we can help her with her nursing care issues, and achieve her goal of owning the “Kardashian of handicap transportation“.)

I’ll stop talking now so that you can cease wasting your precious time on my site and read This Ain’t the Lyceum instead. See you there!


  1. Helene

    Great blog!

  2. Faith

    Wow! What a great find. Truly, a “gem.”

  3. Smoochagator

    I love your undiscovered gems posts and I LOVE Kelly’s blog! She is, indeed, H-I-LARIOUS. And I agree, she needs a PayPal donate button so those of us who can never pop over with a warm casserole or cool six pack can find another way to show her our love 😀

  4. Janette

    I second the Paypal motion! Really, Kelly! We’d love to send you a little support from afar. 🙂

  5. priest's wife

    I enjoy her blog as well- I loved that homeschooling room photo! Truth! (but the cabinets are this amazing color….)

  6. The Reluctant Widow

    I noticed when I clicked on the the link to the page where she shares 7 things you should know about SMA, there is a link to a donation page where you can donate to the family. I just thought I would pass that along for those who want to help. There is information there about where you can send a check and to make it out to “Fulton’s Fund.”

    As one who has been complaining a lot about my lot in life, I can really relate to her comment about “not being there yet” in reaching new heights of spiritual depth (can you do that? reach new heights about depth? I just made that up). Thank you for the link. I will certainly read her blog and I will definitely say some prayers for them.

  7. Megan

    Kelly, you sound awesomely amazing…and I do love real life jazzed up with some snark! Very excited to check it all out, thanks for sharing, Jen!

  8. Megan

    Kelly, you sound awesomely amazing…and I do love real life jazzed up with some snark! Very excited to check it all out, thanks for sharing, Jen!!

  9. dweej

    I don’t know why I’m saying this. I’m sure you already know. But…

    I heart Kelly with the extremely-non-creepy, totally-acceptable passion of a thousand burning suns.


    I did it.

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