Plant something and watch it grow

Every year I plant something. Maybe it’s just flowers, maybe it’s lettuce, sometimes I get ambitious and plant potatoes, lettuce, turnips, etc. I just like the feeling of digging in the dirt and making something grow. I even weed on occasion!

This year however, we were in charge of planting the ‘big’ garden. You see, my husband’s father passed away last year on this day from leukemia. The garden had always been his passion and this year we did our best to make him proud. It was a group effort and we got it done! My husband was in charge of tilling, which he did, by hand, with a shovel. He hand-turned the entire garden. And can I just say, we will be doing it this way from now on. It is a LOT of work, but it was worth it. The dirt is nice and loose, rich, and well-turned.

The kids, my sister-in-law, and I then went through and planted. We did turnips, lettuce, carrots, peas, zucchini, summer squash, and potatoes. We put A in charge of the potatoes. We made the lines of hills, she made the holes, and the other kids came through and put the potatoes in. The way she took charge made my heart happy and heavy at the same time. You see, this is an activity the kids have done with their Grampa every year since A was old enough to walk. And this was the first year they planted without him.

After the potatoes were planted, I waited with baited breath for them to come up. I knew how much this meant to A. I hoped, and I prayed that they would poke through the dirt. We waited, and waited. And then finally, finally they came up. I was so happy for the kids and for A in particular. She had decided how deep to make the holes. She told the other kids were to put them and how to cover them up. She learned all this from her Grampa over the years. This was her project in honor of him. I hope she feels half the amount of pride in herself that I do in her.

potato

So whether or not we harvest anything else from our garden this year, we will definitely be harvesting potatoes. And we will be thanking Grandpa for taking the time to teach our children how to provide for themselves through the very simple act of planting potatoes.

Ecclesiates 3:1-2

There is a time for everything,

And a season for every activity under the heavens:

A time to be born and a time to die,

A time to plant and a time to uproot.

Advertisements

Practice what you preach

mountainsSo remember how the other day I posted about that verse in Matthew that I love so much? Yeah, you know that one that tells us that God will provide for our every need? The one that says don’t worry about what you will eat, drink, or wear? Well, isn’t it just so timely when something you say comes back and applies so directly to your own life?

I was reminded of how I am constantly being called to apply this to my own life. You see, our cars have been having some…issues. As a homeschooling mom, I don’t drive every day. I usually only drive a couple of times a week; to the grocery store, to run errands, and to church. That’s pretty much it. So my car doesn’t really get a whole lot of use. My husband drives his car every day of the week to get to work, drive to wherever he needs to go during the day for work, and home.

blueberry

A couple of weeks ago, on our way to pay a visit to my brother and his wife, my car started smoking. As in, the oil line just died and needs to be replaced ASAP, type smoking. It wasn’t good. It also wasn’t the end of the world, but long story short, we ended up needing to get it towed. Then we had to have it fixed. Ugh. Then, a couple of days later, my husband’s car had issues. Then it needed to be fixed. Double Ugh. Then last week his car had more issues. Long story short-ish, his car needs to go to the shop, again. There is also possibly (please no) something wrong with my car…again.

 

So today I was driving home, with a car full of groceries and children, and I started worrying. Worrying about whether or not we were going to make it home. Worrying about what the heck was wrong with the car and how much is it going to cost this time? Worrying about how the persnicketies (insert some not so nice words here) we were going to pay for it. And I was reminded of Matthew 6:26-29 and I tried desperately to give it to God. To not worry about how we were going to pay for it, because let’s face it, besides getting our children home in one piece, that was the next biggest thing I was worrying about. And that is the LAST thing I should have been worrying about. Because every, single, time, something like this happens to us and I feel like we are never going to be able to make it work…it does work. God provides. He takes care of us. And I am reminded, again, and again, and again, that I don’t have to worry. God will take care of us and provide for us just like He promises.

You would think I would know this by now. I mean, how many times have things like this happened to us and we have been fine? Well, honestly, too many to count! So you would think I would stop worrying so much, but I have found this is not the case. God uses these incidents to teach us, over and over and however many times over we need it, that He is here. He loves us. He provides for us. He wants us to rely on Him. He calls us to Him constantly. It is our choice to respond to Him or not. That is the only thing in this life that we can control. We can control whether or not we answer God’s call.

yellowflower

So whether it is in small things, or big things, we must remember to trust God. Trust that He is there, He loves us, and He will always provide for our needs, even when we have absolutely no idea how. So I am going to trust in God. I am choosing to believe that He will provide for whatever we end up needing. (and quietly hoping it won’t cost too much!) 🙂

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,

and he will make your paths straight.

 

What causes you to worry the most? How does God show you He is always there?

Self-Sufficient

chickens

Self-sufficiency has become such a buzz word nowadays. The minute you hear it, so many different images come to mind. A solar-paneled cabin deep in the woods with goats and chickens and firewood stacked up high with a huge garden laid out neat in rows. Preppers with underground bunkers and enough storable food to last for two lifetimes. And then come the not so extreme images. The ones of apartment gardens, backyard suburban chickens, and repurposing everything you can possibly imagine into wonderful and creative items.

I believe in self-sufficiency. I think it is a good thing. I want to be self-sufficient. I really truly believe that we should not be quite so consumer happy and maybe focus on producing items that we can. Maybe we should not always go out and buy something new the minute the old one breaks down.

chainsaw

 

We have chickens. I would love a couple of goats. We cut wood to burn for the winter. We have a reasonable-sized garden. I would love to have a small hydro-powered system. I want to can more food, dry more garden produce, and get some storable foods.

Why? Because I like the security of knowing that if something happens, we will have a small security blanket. I am not a massive prepper. (Props to you out there who are!) I am also not someone who goes out and buys something new every time something breaks down. I like to think I am more of a middle of the road type. Someone who re-uses to an extent, prepares for emergencies to an extent, and tries to live within their means as much as possible.

garden

 

But then I think about the flip side of this situation. What does self-sufficiency really mean? It means relying on oneself. Producing, using, and maintaining all that you need. In theory, this is a good thing. But the more I think about this, the more I realize that we were not created to be self-sufficient creatures. Our God did not create us to be self-sufficient. From the moment of conception, to birth, and beyond, we are dependent on someone else. We are dependent on our mothers for our birth. We are dependent on our parents for our continued growth and well-being. As we grow and mature, we become dependent on our peer groups for our own mental sanity.

And I fear that we lose sight of the fact that God never meant for us to be self-sufficient. He meant for us to rely on Him as we rely on our earthly parents. He wants us to come to Him with our needs, our wants, our everything. When we try and be self-sufficient from God, we fail, miserably. Our creator, created us to be dependent on Him. So while we go about our lives looking for self-sufficiency in whatever form, we must remember not to take it too far. To remember that we are not in control, that we are dependent on Him for the now and for the future. As the Bible says in Matthew 6:26-29,

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”

flower

So how do we balance to two? How do we balance wanting that security while also trusting in God to take care of us? Honestly, I think this looks different for every person and every situation. We need to listen to His calling, we need to listen to where He is leading us. And we must trust enough to follow and believe that He will provide for our every need.

 

What does self-sufficiency mean to you?

cross

Are you listening to me?

Ever feel like your children are in need of some character training? Ever turned around and then realized that maybe it’s actually YOU that are in need of some character training? Yeah, been there, still doing that!

Before I had children, says every parent everywhere, I had it all figured out. I knew what kind of parent I was going to be. I knew how my children were going to behave (ahahahhahaaa!). I knew how I was going to deal with discipline. And I knew that everything was going to be blissful. After all, I had been around children my whole life. I had experience. I was ready.

Then entered A, our firstborn. And everything I knew about everything went the way of my sleep pattern. Adios! Goodbye! History!

It’s amazing to me how God has used this journey through motherhood to mold me. Shape me. And put me through the fire. I have been broken, mended, re-broken, and then mended again and again and again. And I am positive it will continue to happen. Because I need it. I need it to become the woman I am called to be. I am still not sure who that woman is, but with God’s help and our children’s, I will find her.

So how am I supposed to train my children when I am the one who is in such desperate need of training? By following, trusting, praying, and realizing that children truly are blessings. They have blessed my life so much by just being and by teaching me the lessons I need to learn in ways that I never, ever imagined they would.robins

Learning Experiences

bee

As parents, and I think maybe especially as home-school parents, we are always worried about whether our children are learning enough. Is this curriculum rigorous enough? Are they on par for their age group? Am I doing enough to give them a well-rounded education? Can we still have some fun today??

flowers

I have often times felt overwhelmed with it all. Overwhelmed with the curriculum choices, while also appreciating that there are so many options out there. Overwhelmed with the prices. Overwhelmed with children who don’t want to do their work. Overwhelmed by other people who seem to have it all figured out. Overwhelmed with the responsibility of it all.

dandelion

And then, there are the little moments that make me go “YES!” we are doing it right. They are getting it. They understand. We are learning! And I relax. And I stop trying to fit in some more of those really cool things I found online that I want to supplement with. Because honestly, they don’t need more worksheets. They don’t need supplementation. They are learning. They are getting it. And we are even having some fun in the process. And that, my friends, is what this is all about! Happy Schooling!

handpic

Monday, Monday

ban2

It’s Monday! YAY! Oh wait…

I know, I know, it’s not a normal reaction to Monday. It’s not my normal reaction to Monday. But for this Monday, I will make an exception 🙂 You see, this Monday is the start of our new homeschool year. There is just something about the start of a new school year that makes my heart sing. Maybe it is all of the freshly sharpened pencils, or the brand new binders waiting to be filled, or maybe it is the potential growth that the new year brings. Whatever it is, I will revel in it because as we know, all too soon we will need a break!

So this year we are starting something new. I am transitioning us to a year-round homeschooling schedule. I have to admit this is something I never, ever thought I would do.

School year round, are you crazy?! I need a break, the kids need a break, what on earth are you thinking?!? But honestly, after reading about other people who are doing it, thinking about it, stressing out about getting everything done, and doing some more thinking, it makes sense. It might not always make sense, but it makes sense for us right now.

We have had some major life changes in the past year or two and our school year doesn’t look the same as it did when I only had one child to teach. This year, four of our children will be doing school. Granted, R will only be doing preschool, but still, it’s work!

I have modified our schedule to allow for a four day school week. Wednesdays are our grocery shopping day and as much as I would like to still do school on that day, it just never happens. (I’m not asking too much, huh?) So that leaves Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday as actual school days. This is what happened last year, but I didn’t plan for it so a lot of things I wanted to do just never got done. Now I am prepared! But, you know what they say about the best laid plans…

A lot of people follow what I have heard termed as a Sabbath schedule which is six weeks on, one week off. While I think this makes a whole lot of sense in theory, when I took a look at our year, it didn’t quite work out that way. So basically what I tried to do is plan around holidays, long weekends, and some weeks off where it made sense for us. And that, my friends, is one of the beauties of homeschooling. Find what works for you, tweak it, modify it, play around with it, and then go for it!

Who knows how this will work out for us, but I’m excited for it! Bring on the new school year!

First and Foremost…

So, this is it. My first step into the world wide blogging world. I have resisted for many years simply because I didn’t know where to begin! So this is it, my beginning…let us see where it takes us, shall we?

On this blog I intend to share a little bit about myself and my everyday life. I am just another mom who tries to fit a little bit of everything into her day. I hope you enjoy coming along on my journey and I hope to grow as a person and maybe get to know myself a little better through the process.

A quick intro, I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of six children. I have a wonderful, adoring, supportive husband who would love for me to just finish one of the twenty-seven projects I started (I swear I will…someday!). Together we do our best to raise our six children in a manner that we hope will help the future.

Our eldest daughter, A, is ten and definitely fits the first child mold. She is helpful, but has been known to be a bit bossy! Our second child, N, is eight and wavers between wanting to be a doctor when he grows up or a spy. Our third, I, is six and she loves everything pink. Our fourth, R, is four and a very funny little man. He loves making up jokes and playing with his siblings. Then comes number five, G. He is an independent little guy who absolutely adores his little sister and is definitely a creature of habit. If his morning doesn’t start off with some hugs and kisses for the baby then his whole day is thrown off. Two is a fun age to be! Then comes baby Z. She is four months old, the happiest little baby, and trying to crawl already.

So that is a quick intro to our brood. Everyday life can get a little crazy around here, but we manage the asylum as best we can. Come along with me on this journey and let’s see where it leads!