Gardening with Littles

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Anybody else excited about getting their gardening on?!? Last year was our first year of gardening as a family and my kids really loved the idea of it but didn’t get involved like I had hoped… mainly my fault.

So this year we are making a huge effort to get excited about growing our own food. I purchased some summer gardening tools and gloves for the kids at Hobby Lobby(half off of course;)) a few weeks ago and started getting our garden ready not too long ago. So far my kids are digging it! (Get it… digging it!) Anyways I’ve been trying to think of other ways to get them excited about spring/gardening and I came across this garden yoga poses for kids. How fun is this!

Then I started to look for books that might pique their interest as well and I came across several from Usborne Books … haha isn’t that lucky! Here are some titles below that I think look super fun, educational and might really help my kiddos get interested!

With the adorable and fun yoga poses, the new child size gardening tools and these awesome books, I think we will be gardening like maniacs by April.

Here’s to happy gardening!

 

 

 

 

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My babies broke my body

This is a wonderful and very true post about our bodies after babies!! As lovely as those babies are, they sometimes leave our bodies a mess… a big mess. At least for me, I wasn’t one of those women who was great at pregnancy or labor or delivery. Now that being said, I seem to be doing a pretty bang up job keeping them alive and happy. Anyways this is a great post by a lovely personal trainer friend/sister of mine! She is dabbling in online training now and rocking it! Read on if your body has been babyfied…

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Disclaimer-there may be an over-usage of the word “body” please forgive 😉

It’s true, that my babies broke my body. It’s true that it will never be quite the same, I will always have stretch marks, and breast feeding certainly was hard on me! But I would never in a million years take it back! All you mommas out there feel the same way, I’m sure.

Doing lots of cardio over the years has helped. I love to run, Run like the wind doth blow! But the truth is over time it’s hard on your body…the knees start to ache and injuries occur and then one can’t run. What to do?

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The past few years I have began to weight train, and it has changed and shaped my body in ways I never thought possible. I am more comfortable with my self now than ever before  (yes, even more so…

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5 Things I learned in my First Year of Homeschooling.

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Our first year of homeschooling will be over in a couple months and I’ve found myself reminiscing ( and yes I’m using the correct word here) about all the worries and anxieties I had leading up to the beginning of the school year.  Here are 5 things I’ve learned about myself and homeschooling.

1.I AM NOT A TOTAL REJECT!! 

To explain, I have never been very confident in my ability to make friends with women as an adult woman. Now to keep me from sounding like a recluse I will add that I have a lot of women friends but the difference is that I made these friends when I was just a girl. When we were just girls. I still have friends that I’ve had since elementary school, those are some of my closest friends. I have friends that I made when I was in a youth/college group at church and a very good friend that I made at my first ever job, Hobby Lobby. But the entire realm of women makes me shutter. Now as a homeschooler, you might not think I meet very many grown ups or see anyone at all ever that is over 4 feet tall but in all actuality I do and it was one of my biggest fears going into this. The kind of homeschooler I wanted to be was not the one that came natural for me. (Hey look, I have social anxiety and I was public schooled… more info on this in # 4.) We got out of the house, we joined a co-op where we knew practically no one going into it. We have play dates consistently and guess what… I am surviving. I sweat a lot but not as much as I did those first couple months of Thursdays, meeting people and trying to get to know all the different mothers.

I like the word mothers better, makes me sweat less than the word women, lots of different women. Eek. And I really can’t explain the fear because I am one.

2.HOMESCHOOLING CAN GET REALLY EXPENSIVE!! 

I didn’t really realize this until I started searching around for next years curriculum. We are doing My Father’s World 1st grade curriculum right now (which was not so cheap itself) and looking at future purchases with them would be going into a lot of several hundreds of dollars, not just several. I’ve realized through blogs and blogging myself that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to teach your child. You don’t have to get one big curriculum package. You can buy used, which is what I’m looking into for this next fall. Going cheaper does not mean you will lose any of the quality that you are wanting. My son is only 5 and we are doing 1st grade this year. He is amazing and a super fast learner, I don’t know if all my children will learn at this rate but if so I shouldn’t have to spend much on anything else right? :/

All that being said, we do absolutely love My Father’s World so may still get the bulk of it through them.

3.IT’S NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL!!

Going into this I really didn’t know what to expect but I had a feeling, after hours of searching for curriculums and subjects and grade levels that I was in for quite a ride. And it really is hit or miss. Some things that we have loved this year and last (preschool) others have not so much. For instance we absolutely loved almost everything about Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, my child really took to it and the only thing I had a real problem with was the stories got kind of repetitive. My son got a little bored with it so we skipped a few here and there. He picked it up quickly though. Now once I started talking to other mom’s in our co-op I learned that some of them didn’t care for it because it didn’t click for their kid and they found something else that did. I think I will find this happens a lot more as we go along and my own children have a different way of learning.

4.MY CHILD IS STILL NORMAL AND I BELIEVE HE WILL CONTINUE TO BE!!

I’m not gonna lie and say this wasn’t a huge worry I had, probably because it’s one of the most common misconceptions people have about homeschooled children. They will be socially awkward or they seem just a little different. Honestly it’s really funny now that I think about it. I went to public school and I was a a little weird and awkward so if my kids ends up like that it’s most likely genetic. Here is a great post about this very topic. It’s Because They’re Homeschooled: No, Actually It’s Not. I know several homeschooled children and several public schooled children and you know what… I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Some kids are shy, some are not, some are very active, some are not.

Personality, Personality, Personality!!!!

5.IT’S A LOT HARDER AND A LOT MORE REWARDING THAN I EXPECTED!!

Don’t get me wrong, I had a feeling it would be hard but it’s a different kind of hard once you are deep in the thick of it. Before we started I was worried about all of the above, about curriculum choices and normal kids and me being the biggest, nerdiest mom ever. But now those have pretty much faded away, every once in awhile they will pop up again but it’s nothing I can’t handle. What was unexpectedly hard is realizing that there are some days when neither of us want to do school. Somedays my temper is a little shorter than I would like. Some days showing grace doesn’t seem like much of an option. While we make school as yell free and stress free as possible that doesn’t mean that some days aren’t harder than others. There is a fine balance in being the mom and the teacher of your children. I don’t think I have quite gotten it down yet but I’m working on it. Another hard thing is just wanting them to succeed, wanting to do the best thing for my child and when they are struggling with something or not figuring it out the thought pops into my head, “Maybe I’m not good enough to do this job.” and then that’s about the time the rewarding part comes in. I have found that about the time when I am starting to second guess our decision to homeschool there is a grace that blankets our house and it’s definitely not from me. Whether it’s just peace that washes over me or me seeing my son figure something out that he’s been struggling with. I’m reminded that I didn’t go into this decision lightly. Lots of prayer and thought and discussion went into this and I know that at this time in our lives this is what we should be doing and God never fails to remind me of that when I am starting to get a little stressed out.

I really was not expecting or planning on writing down all of my thoughts that I have been having this last month or so about schooling but I’m so glad I did. It was a great way to reflect and see that the prayers and worries I had earlier on were answered in one way or the other, which then gives me hope and faith that the worries and struggles that come along now and in the future will not overtake me.

If you are struggling with a decision about homeschooling, whether it be to try it out or not or just how in the world to start off, I’m always here. I definitely don’t have all the answers but sometimes it’s just nice to talk to someone who gets it. Support is a very necessary thing, whether you homeschool or not!!

My Journey Back

Proverbs 1- Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public square, at the head of the noisy street she cries out. How long will you simple ones love your simple ways?

I’ve been drowning in a bittersweet pool of daily chores, school work, teaching, mothering, wifing and all around trying to be a put together human being. I’ve been so busy keeping all of my blessings in check that I have forgotten to remember who gave them to me in the first place. I have forgotten to give credit where credit is due. I’ve blamed my lack of sleep on the children, who for the most part sleep through the night, sometimes in our bed but they still get a solid nights sleep these days. I blame my lack of quiet time in the Bible and a real relationship with God on everything from my checklist when really my checklist is, well let’s face it….. Crap!

I believe that being in the Bible daily and having a moment (and sometimes that’s really all it will end up being, just one moment) with God will change the course of my day. I believe this because I’ve lived it. Before I let this world get ahold of me, before my list of priorities became somewhat skewed, I’ve felt that change, that strength, that patience, that love, all those things that can only come from a growing relationship with God course through me when I needed it most. (Usually around 2:00 everyday) But for the last several months I’ve been more irritable, I’ve been biting my tongue a lot more when my son isn’t figuring something out as quickly as I think he should throughout our school day. When in all reality I want to be able to possess the grace and the compassion and the patience that I try to instill in my children everyday. How can I do that when I am lacking those qualities myself?

I’ve known I’ve needed a change and I’ve known how to fix it for awhile now but still my priorities weren’t quite cutting it. I wasn’t making the changes that I needed to. I just kept my worries and yearning for something more bottled up inside of me. Do you believe that God puts people in your life at just the right time? I definitely do. I’m sure it’s happened a lot more than I’ve actually noticed but this time around I definitely did. I’m 31 and I have a new friend. A person who I’ve gotten close to just within the last few months and we have both realized how much alike we actually are… but I think she is much lovelier. She is so kind and considerate and thoughtful. Well a few nights ago she invited me on a trip with her to Hy-vee to pick up some groceries she’d ordered online. Haha she admits that it was kind of an odd invite but I said “sure, I needed to pick up coffee.” So away we went, on a Friday night I believe. What else are two moms to do on a weekend? Anyways, she got to talking and then I got to talking and I finally worked up the nerve to ask her what kind of devotion or study she uses to motivate herself to get up at 6 am every morning and spend time with God. I wanted that so much but honestly I’ve never been all that open when it comes to sharing my spiritual needs with someone else. Well, she made some suggestions and by the end of that trip to Hy-vee I had a new skip in my step. I felt lighter within my soul. I’m not sure how to explain it but I knew that confiding in someone else who has this beautiful heart for God and letting them in, helped me. I knew that I would wake up the next morning (I’m still working on getting up at 6am) at least a little earlier than usual and open my Bible, open my notebook and just spend a little time with God.

And I did.

Starting in Proverbs, with a chapter a day. So far I haven’t had to search very hard to feel lead to write down parts of the chapter that moved me. That have inspired me. (There have been so many.) I felt like the first chapter of Proverbs was fitting to get me started on my journey back to God. To building on a relationship that I’ve let slip through my finger tips. I’ve found that searching for wisdom and guidance and love is only possible through his word, it’s only possible when there is a relationship there. An ever growing relationship that is so much more important than my timeline, my comfort, and my sleep schedule.

 

Bench Warming Summer

I haven’t been around in a while and for that I blame everyone but myself.

In all honesty, I do feel like there were a few things against me over the summer that led to my pretty severe absence. My phone fell on concrete and shattered and I had to go one step above old school phones(I did all my blogging on my phone…just fyi) and our computer suddenly hooked up to our T.V by some unknown force (hubby) and our only real functional, quick fix for my blogging was my husbands work laptop that is never around. So there have been some unforeseen things that made my blogging a little harder to complete… and then there was just my laziness.

You wonder how I am back… well I now have my hubby’s “old” work laptop because he upgraded, I really have no complaints about that!

So what have we been doing for the last 3 plus months?  We have been knee deep in our first year of homeschool, our first year of c0-0p and my first year of the busiest I’ve ever been. That last sentence might seem a little over-the-top but really, I mean every word. I’ve been planning, and praying and worrying over homeschooling for the last 2 years and now that it’s here I really don’t have much time to do any of those things except pray but even then it’s a lot less than before. I think that’s only because I really do feel, in my gut, that homeschooling is for us. The last two years I spent praying about it and wondering if I could cut it and while I don’t really know if I can cut it, I think for the most part our family is rocking the first year. Don’t get me wrong, I struggle to find things for my youngers to do when I’m doing things with my kindergartener that they just can’t do. Our littlest likes attention a lot. (There is really nothing more I can add to that.) For the most part though, we have fallen into a groove and while I know it’s right for us I also know that it is stinking hard and hectic and sometimes insane but I really wouldn’t change it for anything.

So I have missed all the blogs that I have followed and the bloggers that follow me. Sadly I haven’t been able to or made time to get on and take a gander. My title of this post really is as true as it can be. I feel like I’ve just been sitting on the sidelines the last few months, I’ve been itching to get back into writing and just the blogging community in general! Can’t wait to see what ya’ll have been up to!!

Here’s to getting off that bench!!

 

 

 

A Speck in the Night’s Sky

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There are things in this life that actually mean something. Things that are worth holding dear, things that are worth keeping safe and close to your heart.

When you have people in your life that mean something to you and when you mean something to people, it is okay to think of them when you make a decision, it is okay to consider their feelings.

Whether we are “grown ups” and can “do what we want” or not, sparing someone’s feelings should at least be in the forefront of our mind. Thinking of someone else, doing something you may not want to do or feel up to doing for someone else is something that I feel should come naturally, at least if it has to do with someone you truly love. I wish it was a lot easier, even if it isn’t someone we are extremely close to. (That’s when it gets really tricky)

What is our goal while we are here, in this world? Is it to, like so many things and “heartfelt” quotes I see, completely phase out the people who don’t make us feel good about ourselves, who don’t allow us to be a better person? There are few times when I see a quote like this or hear someone say this exact thing, that I actually agree with it. (I do believe that some people are toxic and can emotionally and physically be hurting you and in that instance I’m all for distancing yourself but I so often see or hear people wanting to rid themselves of everyone who makes them feel bad about themselves and the person doesn’t even have to do anything wrong to be on the dump list, except maybe appear happy of Facebook.)

Why can’t we be the someone who makes that other person want to be a better person? Why can’t we have a servant’s heart and do for others? Why don’t I have a servant’s heart and do for others? If I am in this world to do for myself then what is the point?

We give ourself what we want, we spend our money on ourself, we only think about what kind of relationships will make us stronger (make me stronger) or us happier or make MY world better. What are we leaving behind when we leave? Well I would answer with, absolutely nothing.

There is nothing left after we are gone but a faded shadow of what could have been.

What could have been?

A light in someone else’s life. Someone who is different or hard to love, someone who doesn’t make us light up when we are around them. If we touch someone else and change their life, just think of how many others are changed just by that one small thing that we did, that one small sacrifice that we made.

Our light though tiny, just a speck in the night sky, has the potential to light up a city.