family life, recommendations, story telling, travel, Uncategorized

Port Huron, Michigan

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In our 7+ years of living in Michigan, Port Huron is my favorite place that we got to explore. The water is so beautiful and blue. You can see right down to the bottom. Just across the water is Canada. In fact, the Blue Water Bridge to/from Canada was over us when I took this picture.

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The girls always call Lake Huron the ocean, which cracks me up. It’s bluer than the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s unsalted. It quite literally takes my breath away every time we pull up to the water and I catch a glimpse. I could sit and stare at it all day.

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We sat and took it all in for a while before we headed to grab lunch. Our favorite place to go is the Raven Cafe. They have SUCH delicious food, and it’s in such a cool building. We used to go when we lived in Michigan, and have returned every time we visit the area. It’s that good. The people are that awesome.

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There is art everywhere.. I love the whole vibe of the place. They have the best grilled reuben. Their chai tea chiller is so good. So, so good.

Once we devoured lunch, we headed to the beach. One thing that you NEED to know about Port Huron beaches is that most of them are rocky. Water shoes are needed if you want to be able to move comfortably. I wore my Tevas in the water without problems. Scott ended up putting on socks to dull the pain. It seriously is SO painful if you aren’t prepared. ha!

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Since the beach sits close to where the river begins, you get to see tons of huge barges coming and going.

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This particular beach sits next to the Fort Gratiot lighthouse. We have yet to go up in it since we never remember that you have to wear close toed shoes. Who wears those to the beach?

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We moved up the coast a little bit and found a tiny slice of beach that was practically empty. It is a public beach sandwiched between two sections of private beach. It’s not as rocky, and the water didn’t have the same current as the bigger beach.

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Soak that in. The clear water. The beautiful rocks beneath. The blue.. so much blue. Every time we go, I fall more and more in love. I have seen three of the five great lakes, and Lake Huron is my favorite so far.

I hope that if you are ever in Michigan, you can visit Port Huron. If you do, you must stop in at the Raven Cafe! Also, find this house and if it’s ever for sale let me know!

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I will share more about our trip another day. For now, you can soak in the ten million pictures of this beautiful city with me.

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family life, Weekending

Beach Bums

When Scott gets a Saturday off, we rejoice. We decided that if he did get the day off, we would head to the beach.

The weather was calling for scattered showers at the beach we always used to go to. We checked the forecast for a beach north of us, and saw that the storms were past that area. We quickly packed a lunch, our gathre mat, sunscreen, floaties, and ten million towels. We put the wagon in the van so we could drag all of our stuff to our spot on the beach, which was a HUGE help.

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Hitting up the beach with three kids is no joke. So. Much. Stuff. It is always worth it though. It was overcast and a little on the cool side when we arrived, but the water was warm. We went right in and swam until everyone was hungry. I may have nudged them to hunger because Mama was hungry. haha! After a healthy lunch of bologna/ham sandwiches and chips, we reapplied our sunscreen and went back into the water. acs_0058

These people are my favorite. Sandy feet and all.

I may go overboard with the sunscreen. haha! When your four year old goes in to have a huge portion of her skin removed because the doctors fear it may be cancer, you don’t mess around. (If you remember from years ago, it wasn’t cancer- Praise God.)

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I am sharing the sunscreen we used, because it is amazing. A lot of times, kids still end up with very light tan lines even with sunscreen. They had NONE. No harmful rays got through. It sprays on white, so you can see where the coverage is going. Just rub it in. It is also ocean-friendly. (Read about the importance here.) Plus, it is free from all of the crap that is just as harmful as a sunburn. This is not at all sponsored (although I would absolutely love that), I just really love it and am overly passionate about using a CLEAN sunscreen.

Lake life may be the best life. I hope your weekend was wonderful.

Sources: \ gathre mat / wagon / puddle jumpers / Addi’s swimsuit / cooler / my suit / healthy human bottle (15% your first order) / sunscreenveggie-go’s snack /

 

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AIP, family life, Ramblings, story telling, Uncategorized

Thirty and Flirty and Thriving

It’s official. I’m thirty; plus a few days.

My  niece stayed with me for a few days last week. Her family traveled for a funeral, and she stayed behind so that she could do show choir try outs. It was so much fun having her here and getting to know her more. Because I was taking her to school, I had our van. Having the vehicle meant that I got to go to Starbucks to get my birthday drink! The angels were singing.

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If you are ever wondering what my favorite coffee beverage is, that’s it. An iced caramel macchiato with an extra shot. I ALWAYS get an extra shot of espresso when it is free.

I also woke up with a tiny box next to me. I text Scott asking him if I was supposed to open it, or if he was just being mean and torturing me. ha! He told me to open it.

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Let’s just ignore that my skin looks like a desert and my mirror scar keeps getting bigger. He got me a hammered rose gold ring from Little Sycamore— something I’ve wanted for a long time. I love her shop, and Kelsey is just the sweetest person. I’m a huge fan of supporting mom-owned businesses. Werk. He said that he meant to get silver to match my set. I love rose gold right now, and think it is fun to add something different.

Scott made an incredible raspberry “cheesecake’ that is completely AIP compliant. He even decorated it. Seriously, it’s so good! Eating REAL food doesn’t have to be gross. It is from this cookbook, which I highly recommend. Even if you aren’t eating this way, the recipes are all super delicious! He also grilled burgers and hot dogs and made a chocolate cake. It was really nice to spend my birthday celebrating.

I had been begging Scott since last year to just ignore my birthday. Everyone stayed well. Disaster didn’t strike. And, I wasn’t in the hospital, so it was all good.

After a busy week full of appointments and running from point A to B, I’m ready for this week of slow.

I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend. To those of you who are mothers– whatever that may look like for you– I hope that you had the best day possible.

 

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family life, kids, Uncategorized

Girl Talk

IMG_4826This is a sweet picture my MIL took while she watched the girls! So cute!

Me: “Do you need any help?”
Harper, trying to open a popsicle: “I don’t need any help.”
fumbles around with the wrapper some more
Harper: “Ok, I need a little help.”

Harper: “Me want more chips!”
I get her some chips and set them in a bowl on the counter. “Here you go.”
H: “You supposed to bring them to me.”
Me: “No, you can get them yourself.”
H: “NO! Me little, not big!”

Harper: “Me want a carrot!”
takes bite
H: “Yuck! It’s not delicious for my tummy.”

While watching a live stream of a jellyfish aquarium:
Chloe: “How does a jellyfish know where to go if they don’t have any faces?”

Harper “ADDI!! Shhhhhhhhhhh! My Rocky toy seeping. SHHHHHHHHH”
Addi “Harper, your toys are NOT real. They don’t sleep.”
Harper “UUGGGHHHHH You woke him up! Grrrrrr woof woof woof woof”

While brushing our teeth:
Harper “But, I don’t see a mirror.”
Me “I know. We took it down because it hurt me and I don’t want it to hurt you. We have a new one.”
H “How about pink?”
Me “I think it’s white.”
H “But, we could make it pink.. or blue.”

 

my girls

 

While Harper was miserable and sick:
Me “My poor baby..”
Harper “Mommy, me said me NOT A BABY!”
Me “Oh, you’re not a baby? Then what are you?”
H “A girl.”

Addison “Mommy, can I have a blanket from my room?”
Harper “I want to get it!”
runs to Addi’s room and brings her a blanket

Scott “Harper, why do you have those spoons?”
Harper “To rock out!!” banging on a drum with said spoons

Scott, answering Harper’s request for a marshmallow, “ok, but you have to catch it in your mouth..”
Harper “Ok… but my mouth little, not big! See!!” As she stretches her lips as far as they go and opens wide.

 

 

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family life, relationship, Uncategorized

Weekend to Remember

Scott and I got to get away this past weekend. We went to Family Life‘s Weekend To Remember marriage conference. Scott’s mom heard about it, and asked if we’d like to go. She sent us and watched all three girls Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. She is a saint.

First of all, we haven’t been away ALONE in 9 years. We dove right into ministry, and never stopped. Our first anniversary was spent  at a church hanging out with teenagers. So, when I say that this weekend was needed- it was SO needed. The past couple of years have been especially difficult. I am really thankful that by God’s grace, all that we’ve been through has drawn us closer together instead of ripping us apart.

We left on Friday afternoon to head up to Oak Brook, a suburb of Chicago. We grabbed lunch on our way out of town. That car ride was bliss. We weren’t yelling over kids. It was just us and The Greatest Showman soundtrack. There was road construction that had us stopped for quite a while, so we arrived later than we planned. We checked in to our room, got checked in to the conference, and headed to dinner. We ate at Redstone. The food was SO good.

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We headed right back for the first session of the conference. I loved seeing the variety of ages and stages of marriage that were there. They had a photo booth set up. I just realized that Scott and I were matching. We never plan that sort of thing.

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They had “assignments” for you to do during the longer breaks or at the end of the day.  It was a great way to apply what you learned during the sessions, and opened up a lot of conversation.

Saturday, they had the first session start at 8:30 AM. I thought that was cruel, but we were there on time. haha! Scott went and got a couple of donuts and some coffee while I got ready. His lack of hair makes his mornings very easy for him. 😉

We realized that lunch was going to take longer than the amount of time they give you, and we looked at the sessions before and after lunch. We determined that the session after lunch was going to be the most beneficial for us to attend. After we finished our assignment, we headed to Giordano’s to beat the crowd. We were really glad that we went early since we found out it took 45 minutes for the pizza to bake!

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I was really glad that we weren’t late for the next session, because it was so good! There was one more session that ended at 4, and they released you for date night. We decided to head into Chicago to see Cloud Gate, and then go back to town for dinner later. Cloud gate was really amazing to see. We would have walked around more, but it was SO cold.

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We drove back to Oak Brook and tried to go to a Japanese steak house. The wait was an hour and a half, and we were both too hungry. So, we searched for another one to try.

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When we got to Nabuki, it was not at all what we were expecting. We were seated at the sushi bar, and our waiter came out to take our order. Neither of us really knew what he said, because it was SO loud, but he suggested some sushi and we said “sure”. I have no idea what we ate.  I really liked one of the rolls and Scott liked the other one, but we felt so awkward and out of place. It was an ultra-modern and hip place. We ate as fast as we could and then left for the book store. Home. haha! We got dessert to go at the Cheesecake Factory and ate it in bed at 11:30 at night.

I was so sad to wake up on Sunday and realize that our weekend was almost over. We got breakfast in bed, which was really heavenly. I never make omelettes for myself, but love them. I got a spinach, mushroom, and feta cheese omelette. Scott got the usual man breakfast (eggs, bacon, potatoes, toast) and it was so nice to eat in the bed that felt like laying on a cloud.

They split the women and men apart for the first session on Sunday. I really loved hearing Janet speak. Scott said he really enjoyed his session also. Then, we came back together for a joint session. They had us re-state our vows to each other, which was beautiful. When you enter into marriage, you don’t fully understand the gravity of what those vows mean. I loved telling Scott that I was going to love him and stick with him in good times and bad, knowing that marriage and life are so imperfect and bring a lot of trials with them.

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We went to lunch at a place called Pappadeux. We ate gator, which is so stinking good. We ate it for the first time on our honeymoon, so it felt fitting. haha! We were so full from eating so well all weekend that we ended up bring almost all of our main dishes home with us. I was sad to leave such a perfect weekend behind.

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I want to say that no matter what stage your marriage is in, A Weekend to Remember is for you. There were couples of all ages there. The speakers were addressing the couples who were there as a last resort- divorce was on the horizon. They said even if you had to sit on opposite sides of the room as your spouse, please stay. It really broke my heart to know that there were probably a lot of couples in that room who were in that group. It just makes me cherish my husband even more. Our marriage has had it’s rough patches, all marriages do. I was glad that we, personally, have been in a really good place in our marriage. We were given tools to help us work through future conflict in better ways. Reminders of how to love each other best. It was all so, so good. If you are married, or even engaged (they did have pre-marrieds there!) you need to find a way to go. I am so grateful that Denise was willing to gift this to us. I am so thankful that Cliff helped us get a room, and left the sweetest gift bag for us.

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Today, Scott is back at work and we are back to the grind. I was sad to say goodbye to him this morning. I had four days with him, and it was so nice. That just means that I will be even more excited to see him walk through the door tonight.

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family life, Ramblings

A Hodge Podge

Happy Monday.

I feel like an ultimate failure today. I usually go all out for holidays. St. Patrick’s day is usually full of green milk and green pancakes.. all of the green. I don’t do the leprechaun version of elf on a shelf. I don’t get that.. St. Patty’s day was always just fun green stuff.. not pinterest worthy things. Stop the madness.  I did none of those things. In fact, I’m the only one who put on green– last minute.

Ugh.

Easter is soon. I need to drag out our decorations and get on it. Valentine’s was also a bust, so I have a lot to make up for. I still can’t decide what to put in the girls’ baskets. Part of the problem is that they are overwhelmed with stuff. We literally took almost every toy out of their bedroom, except their dolls and dollhouses, because they would not clean up. It’s been over a week, and they haven’t missed any of it. I did get sidewalk chalk for their baskets. Have you seen these? Amazon’s deal of the day is Crayola items, so go check them out!

I purchased next year’s curriculum. The girls are enrolled in Abeka for another year, and I’m actually excited. Addi will be in first grade, and Chloe will be in 3rd. We decided to do the video lessons, which will take A LOT of pressure off of me. Our start date is August 13th. I am just praying that life will stay settled down for a while. Our school year didn’t go as planned AT ALL this year between moving, losing a loved one, and illness all at once. It put us way behind, and has left me feeling completely frazzled ever since.

My sister created a facebook page for her earrings. Go give her page a like to see all of the awesome new products that she is launching. I am wearing the rose gold metallic earrings today. Pictures don’t do them justice.

We are in the process of rearranging our house. Again. We are going to be moving our bedroom into the basement, and moving the school room upstairs. This way, there will be more natural light. The biggest reason is that I can check on Harper much easier. She has been leaving the water running, climbing on EVERYTHING, and finding things to color on the walls with. It’s been stressful. For the past month, our homeschool room has gone unused while we have school books and papers spread all over the dining room.I am painting downstairs, which we’ve been needing to do since we moved in. Next week, we’ll move the furniture around. I’m pretty excited about it. Being in a cold basement at night just means I get to snuggle up close to my husband..and put my freezing feet on him. It will be nice to have everything on one level, except out bedroom. We aren’t ever in there anyway.

We are gearing up for a weekend away soon. I seriously cannot wait. Every time the kids are going bananas, which is often, I count down the days. I can make it. We have never had a getaway since having kids. Really, we haven’t been away since starting ministry in 2009. Bless my mother-in-law for being brave enough to watch the girls for three days. Also, pray for her and bring her diet Coke.

There you have it– the hodge podge of things going on in our lives. I hope that you don’t have a toddler stealing your coffee this morning.

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family life, Ramblings, story telling, Uncategorized, Weekending

Weekending

Happy Monday!!

Scott had to work this weekend. I was really bummed because there were several fun activities going on around town on Saturday. When he works, I am without a car unless I want to wake our kids at 4 AM. Uh, nah. My brother-in-law was awesome and brought his truck over for Scott to borrow so I could have our car.

I was so excited to be able to get out of the house. Then, Friday night came. I laid down in bed and I heard it. The bark. Just one. I let it go and laid down. I have insomnia, so I toss and turn FOREVER. After an hour or so, Harper started crying and “barking” a ton. I jumped up and threw my robe on. I turned the shower on as high as it goes and rushed into her room to bundle blankets around her. Outside into the cold air I went. No slippers or socks, in my bath robe. Thank goodness it was dark. I stood outside with her for about 10 minutes while she laid her head on my chest. Then, I took her into the bathroom so she could breathe in the steam. I put some eucalyptus rub on her, filled her diffuser with some RC and a little eucalyptus, and put her bag in bed. She  was really restless and took a long time to get back to sleep. She was up and down all night. I got maybe 2 hours of sleep total. I wanted to cry.

If you don’t know what bark I am talking about, I’ll tell you. When kids get croup, their cough comes out like a seal barking. Their airways are constricted, so air coming out sounds super weird. Harper got bronchitis when she was three months old. We had to do steroids and breathing treatments. It was awful. They warned me that she was going to be susceptible to lung infections since she got that at such a young age. Thankfully, the only problem is that she gets croup frequently. I know how to treat it, and I know when I need to get her to a doctor or the ER. Only once have I told Scott we needed to call an ambulance. We lived close to the hospital and it was faster for him to drive. Most of the time, I’m able to treat it at home, and she only struggles for one night. No matter how many times you have been through it, it’s a terrifying sound.. hearing your child struggle to breathe.

I always think of the parents of medically fragile babies. That is their every day.

Anyway, I knew we shouldn’t go traipsing all over town. Harper was running a slight fever on Saturday morning. I decided that I would go for coffee, we could grab lunch and sit in the car by the lake and eat it.

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Our Starbucks drive-thru is ridiculously busy every time. This was after 10 minutes of waiting..

I took the girls to the little park where Scott proposed to me. We rolled the windows down while I finished my lunch. The big girls inhaled theirs on the way, and Harper didn’t have any appetite.

I decided that since no one else was there, we would get out of the car and I would take them over the hill to see where Scott asked me to marry him. They are at an age where they love hearing these stories. I hope they remember them.

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Even though we didn’t play much, it was still really nice to get some fresh air and sunshine.

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I have been wanting to get my hair chopped for quite a while. I have been letting the platinum grow out for quite a while, and it was looking pretty trashy. I sent a message to a friend that cuts hair and asked what her schedule was like at the salon. She said she had some time that day! What?! She squeezed me in after Scott got off. I was able to donate my hair, and I feel so much lighter. My head doesn’t hurt. Ahh. I love a fresh cut.

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That is the best picture you are getting. My skin is stressed out; adult acne is the worst. I have huge bags under my eyes. I’m working on self-love, y’all. But, I’ve self-hated for so long that its a hard thing to overcome.

Harper slept really well on Saturday night. Scott went to morning service with the big girls at church. We did some yard work while it was warm out, which was really nice. We are working on removing a lot of the rock from our back yard. It is in random places, and gets drug all over the place. When we pull that out, we’ll put some now soil down and put grass seed out. I need to go out and take some “before” pictures. After a few hours of working outside, I went to choir practice and evening service. It’s nice that we can take turns right now when a kid is sick instead of me always having to be the one home.

Unfortunately, Harper had a rough night again last night. It wasn’t as awful as Friday night. We actually got some sleep. I’m hoping it will be over soon. She’s not grumpy at least, but it’s really hard to hear your kid struggling so much at night. Croup is the pits.

I hope your weekend was full of love and family.

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deals and steals, family life, Uncategorized

Spending Freeze Tips

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It’s over!!!!! I’m so glad it’s over. haha! We obviously weren’t totally successful at freezing all spending, but we did pretty well all things considered.

I wanted to share some tips that helped us, or things that we would have done differently.

1. PLAN– I wrote down a skeleton meal plan for the month of February. I was able to make sure we had enough meat and beans for our protein for the month. I bought plenty of canned veggies and pasta, along with a lot of mac and cheese. Be sure to have a lot of the basics on hand. This was key for us, since most of our spending is for groceries.

2. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION– Last week, Addi spiked a fever. The next day, she laid around, said her neck hurt, and ran a fever. I thought for sure that we were about to wage war with the flu. I ran to the store and picked up more motrin, Oscillo, and the other usual sick family supplies. I was really, really relieved when her fever was gone the next day and no one else caught whatever virus she had. Had I said “no we are not spending anything”, I would have been incredibly overwhelmed with worry that my kids would be sick and miserable because I was stubborn.

3. DECIDE WHAT IS OFF LIMITS– By off limits, I mean what are you not willing to stop buying for the month? What is off limits to freeze spending on? I refuse to not have fresh produce in our house. We allowed ourselves to go to the store once a week to restock on produce, milk, and bread. This helped us be successful in the long run. It was challenging to not pick up other things, but it’s a good test in self control. We also needed to get the girls’ eyes examined again, and did that during February.

4. TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY– You don’t want to be in the middle of a spending freeze and have someone invite you out to lunch. The temptation to say yes will be too much, and you’ll end up spending money.

5. DON’T DO A FULL MONTH–  haha! I know I said that it would probably be fine, since February was a short month. But, it was really hard. A month is a long time. The chances of one of your kids getting sick is higher. Some kind of car emergency could come up. There’s a lot that can happen in a month. So, I recommend doing just one or two weeks. You’d be amazed at how much you still save.

 

Would we do it again? I think yes. I don’t think we would do a full month again, but I definitely would do a one or two week freeze again. It is fun to be challenged.

I am very glad it is over though. I would see really good sales at the store and feel bummed because I couldn’t take advantage of them. There was a one day only sale on cereal this past Saturday, and I bought some. My husband and kids are obsessed with cereal, and I was not about to pass up 99 cent boxes of cereal. #NoRegrets

Would you ever consider a spending freeze? What are your favorite ways to save money? If you have any questions about a spending freeze that I haven’t answered, please let me know!

Also, don’t forget about the giveaway! You can still enter if you haven’t already.

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family life, home, Ramblings, Uncategorized

My Big, Scary Dream

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While reading Girl Wash Your Face, Rachel challenged everyone to stop reading and write down a big, scary dream. I paused and started thinking. I felt like I should write down what a typical big dream would be. Should I want my blog to make me a six figure income? Should I want to become insta-famous? I know. I want to own a huge house and perfect cars. Those are all normal dreams for people my age, right?

Obviously, I would love for this blog to make an income. But, I don’t care about a six figure income.. I just want to contribute to my family while homeschooling. So, I started thinking about what my dream really is.

Then, it smacked me in the face.

I want to own a homestead. Not your typical dream life in 2018, but it is mine. It’s been mine for a while.

This is something that I’ve been studying about for quite some time. I have read books and pinned all of the pins on pinterest. I have subscribed to Youtube channels. I’ve been soaking in all of the knowledge that I can in my “free” time.

Will this big dream come true? I don’t know. Scott and I are on the same page that we would love to make it happen one day down the road. We would both love for our girls to grow up knowing the value of hard work. We’d love to go pick food for our dinner. Our real dream with a homestead is to be able to live a sustainable life where we don’t rely on a store nearly as much. We would know how our food is grown.

My parents owned 30 acres of land in Illinois for several years. When we first visited after they bought it, I thought “what on earth where they thinking?” Everything was so overgrown. The grass and weeds were up to my knees everywhere we went. But, I watched as it slowly became a beautiful piece of land. Just mowing the grass instantly transformed it. It was so beautiful that Scott and I ended up getting married there. It was peaceful out there. My mom and dad worked their rear ends off every weekend. It was really incredible to witness this overgrown place get transformed into a beautiful retreat. My mom had a garden. I loved it. Maybe that is where the little seed of my dream was planted.

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The definition of a homestead in the community is always different. Some say that you are only a homesteader if you live on land that you farm and are completely self sufficient. Others say that as long as you are making an EFFORT to be sustainable and live off of what you can grow or make, then you are a homemaker. I don’t know which is right.

What I do know is that we are going to plant a garden this year. We have a good sized yard, and are going to plant herbs, fruits, and vegetables that we frequently use. When I did container gardening last year, it was pretty successful. The herbs grew like crazy. I couldn’t use them fast enough, it seemed. Our plants moved with us from Oklahoma to Illinois. I think the move was a little hard on them, because they stopped growing as well. Maybe the shift in climate wasn’t good for them. Either way, I learned that my thumb is not completely black. I ordered some seeds from Seed Savers Exchange. This is why I chose them. There are more plants I hope to grow, so I’ll be checking out some of the other seed brands that Shaye Elliott recommended.

I am going to continue learning. I’m going to work with what I have, and “homestead” the best I can in suburbia.

I’ll continue making fresh bread from scratch. I’ll continue working on perfecting my sewing.. or at least making it acceptable. HAHA! I learned to crochet a few years ago and have been working on an infinity scarf. I want to learn the crafts that were just common knowledge in the past. Hopefully our garden will grow.

Our lives are so up the air. We are unsettled. We know that where we are is not where we will stay. Ministry has absolutely not been pulled off the table. This dream could be something silly on my heart that will never come to fruition. But, it is a dream that could easily go hand-in-hand with ministry one day.

Thanks for letting me share this dream of mine. I think we don’t always allow ourselves to have dreams.. though this really feels like a GOAL of ours more than a dream.

 

I’ll share some resources below and try to remember to update this list as I find more.

Books:

The Elliott Homestead   (this is my favorite book so far. She had a dream like me, and it has come true.)

The Backyard Homestead

The Backyard Homestead Seasonal Planner

 

Youtube Channels and Videos:

The Elliott Homestead Youtube channel

WildRoots Homestead Youtube Channel   (They have a vegan homestead!)

Time-lapse of building a homestead!   Super cool!

 

 

family life, homeschool, kids, Uncategorized

Why We Homeschool

One of the first questions that I get when people find out that we homeschool is “WHY?!” That is, after they say “I would never have the patience to do that.” (Spoiler alert: I AM NOT PATIENT.) I figured that a lot of people are curious about this, so I’ll just write it out here. I also know that many people think about homeschooling, so maybe this post will be helpful when it comes to listing the “pros” for choosing to homeschool.

1. Different learning styles– No two children learn exactly the same. My two oldest children learn in completely different ways. I am able to work with each child individually, and help them learn in a way that they understand. It really stretches me, as I learn a certain way and sometimes have to switch up how I teach. Learning isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing. Some kids also aren’t ready to start school super early in the morning, so we are able to get a later start and have more clear minds and better focus. I can allow my child to fidget in their seat (or stand), as long as the work is getting done, without disturbing other classmates.

2. Customizable education- One of my children struggles with phonics. I actually decided to pull back and have her start with a grade below for her phonics class so that she wasn’t getting drug along. If she were held back in an entire grade, she would be bored to tears because she excels at all of the other subjects. If we don’t like a certain subject in the curriculum we have chosen, we can pick something else that works better for us. Being able to mix and match for your children’s needs is a huge help, and probably one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling. They could also be bumped up a grade in a certain subject without being overwhelmed in others.

3. Freedom- We are not bound to a strict schedule. We don’t take snow days off. We can take warm weather days off and enjoy a “sun” day. We can travel at a different time of year than just June/July when most people are traveling. We can take school work with us when we travel if it is needed. Sickness happens. Sometimes, sickness knocks you down for a week or more. Our kids aren’t left behind in the dust; we are able to pause and pick back up when everyone is back to feeling great. Thankfully this year, we have only had one instance of sickness that made us take time off from school. When we lived in Oklahoma, there was constant major sickness that would have caused the kids to be in trouble with the school for missing so much.

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4. Our values are reinforced- We get to decide when and how our kids learn about sex, drugs, etc. I just heard a statistic that made me sick. The AVERAGE age that kids start sexting is TEN. What. on. earth. TEN! Kids have found crazy ways of getting high that they think are perfectly harmless. I don’t want my kids robbed of their innocence. I’m not going to bury their heads in the sand and hope that they never ever learn about these things. That is stupid. But, I want them to learn about sex from us. I don’t want them learning from the peers who heard about it from their big brother/sister. I want them to learn about it all in a healthy way. (For the record, teaching that sex is evil is also NOT healthy..) Girls are developing eating disorders as early as 9. Suicides are happening at an absurdly young age. How do these kids even know what this is? How do they know how to go through with it? I don’t understand.

5. Life skills are taught- There are only so many hours in a day in schools. Classrooms are overcrowded, and teachers have a LOT on their plate. Test scores have to be high for schools to receive “enough” funding. (I use enough loosely, because no school receives enough funding.) Kids are coming out of school knowing how to take a test, but lacking any real life skills. How many of you learned to do your taxes, grow a garden, or write a check? A lot of kids don’t even know how to do their own laundry when they graduate. With homeschooling, I am able to teach the typical educational classes along with really important life skills that will help them be a successful adult. Test taking doesn’t help you with a darn thing.

6. Time- Our school day is shorter than the traditional school day. We don’t have to line up single file and spend 15 minutes each time on bathroom breaks. We are able to work through the material at our pace, not getting bored of a concept that is understood or rushing through one that is not. My kids get enough time to eat their entire lunch. There is just a lot more time for everything that is important.

7. Socialization- Wait? Did I just write that a BENEFIT of homeschooling is socialization? But, my kids don’t know how. Aren’t homeschoolers freaks that don’t know how to socialize? Let me just say that I went to public school my whole life, and I am super socially awkward.. so that clearly is a silly argument. HA! My kids socialize with EVERYONE! They aren’t afraid to say hello to a grown up in the grocery store. They know how to play with and encourage kids younger than themselves. They make friends everywhere they go. The neighborhood kids are always ringing the doorbell wanting to play. When we go to the park, they are instantly friends with whomever is there. If the park is empty, they are disappointed that they don’t have friends to play with. The biggest misconception about homeschooling is that kids won’t know how to socialize. Homeschooled kids know how to socialize with everyone; they just aren’t forced to associate with certain people.

 

These are just some of the biggest reasons why we chose to homeschool. I know that I will receive a lot of criticism– why, I will never understand. I will never understand why people act like my decision affects their lives.

Homeschooling is not easy. It takes up a lot of MY time, as I am planning for each day and putting things together for the lessons. It is frustrating when you feel like you have explained a concept every way possible, and your child is still not grasping it. Have you ever TAUGHT  child to read? My goodness. It’s hard. This is my fourth year of homeschooling. There are days I want to quit. But, then I ask myself why I started this in the first place. Homeschooling wins in my mind. Hands down. It is something that I have spent a lot of time praying about; since my babies were born. It is not something that I just dove into head first without really looking at the options and thinking it through

If you homeschool, why did you choose to do so? What are the biggest misconceptions that you have found people to have about homeschooling? Or, if you don’t homeschool, what are some misconceptions that you have about homeschooled kids? What comes to your mind first when someone says their kids are homeschooled?

 

**I also want to say that there are so many curriculums that offer videos. Your child can get a private school education from the comfort of your own home. Many curriculum choices have an accredited option, so college is much easier. There are SO many misconceptions about homeschooling that cause many people to not go through with it, even though it is their desire.**

 

I feel like I also have to say that this is also not meant to be an attack on public schools. I have so many friends that are phenomenal teachers and I have so much respect for them. They do an amazing job. Schools ARE underfunded and programs are getting cut constantly. That is NOT the teachers’ fault. They do the best they can with what they have, and are spending a lot of money out of their own pockets to make sure they can give their students a great education. So, please, if you are a teacher, know that I love and respect you a ton.