Little Hands and the journey Homeschooling

why i homeschoolSee those little hands? Those messy adorable hands belong to my two older boys. Who are now 10 and 8. Those two little hands I have watched day after day grow and grow, every moment of every day. I had a friend at church sunday ask me how home schooling was going this year. A friend who I look up to and admire greatly. One that I value her advice and opinion and will always and forever remember. She was a wealth of help when we first moved here and for her, I will always be thankful.

When she asked me that question though I couldn’t help but think back to the moment we shared in a ladies group, where I cried and cried about the struggle with home schooling my boys.

I was pregnant with our 4th at the time… Travis was in the police academy… and life was completely different than what I had been use to the last 10 years of our marriage. I once was married to a Pastor whos schedule although busy was very flexible… I once had the ability to rely on him to take off when I had a bad day… or at least be close by if I needed him. All of that was gone when we moved to Georgia… and I now was married to a cop… whos schedule was far from flexible… always changing and very demanding. When I became pregnant with Reed, Travis was brand new into the police academy. He had to go through 6 mo. of training while I was pregnant… which meant he could not miss any days. It was “school” and a job. To miss would mean to repeat the mandate and that was out of the question.

So when the pregnancy got hard… I was put on modified bed rest due to low fluid and pre-term contracting. Something I experienced with my 3rd as well… the task to home school our boys flew out the window… and ate me up with guilt and doubt.

I didn’t know what to do…. I just knew I did not have a peace about sending my boys to public school… Public school is not the enemy. It is not evil. It does not mean a mother or father loves their child any less… but the calling to home school my children is a deep deep deep conviction and desire of mine. I truly feel CALLED to do it… and so when I was faced with this hard time in my life… and had to weigh the pros and cons, it was gut wrenching for me.

I am thankful for grace and for wisdom during those moments. From other moms on both sides. Home school moms who encouraged me to press on and shared similar experiences and struggles throughout their years… but also Public School moms who shared with me their heart and burden for their children as well.

Being a mom is hard…. it only makes it harder to feel as if it is a competition between mothers on what is best.

It isn’t and should never be that.

As we finish up my 5th year home schooling my boys I am filled with joy at the ability God has given me to do so. This journey home schooling has not been filled with painless days… and constant joy. There have been lots of sorrow and heaviness throughout.

Our Pastor sunday morning started his sermon with this line…

God empowers us with an ability beyond ourselves. We will never know we are capable until we do it.

I know he was probably referring to more “spiritual” matters in-regards to the sermon itself… but that simple line he preached sunday struck a cord in me… and just encouraged me so much.

Had you asked me 5 years ago if I would still be home schooling my children. I would have probably told you no. I felt unqualified… I didn’t feel smart enough. I felt overwhelmed at the responsibility… knowing that my children’s education was in my hands… I struggled with doubt daily.

… yet God has empowered me and given me the ability to do something I never thought was possible…

I expected to fail…

… but I am so thankful I stuck it through… and God truly has blessed our family because of it.

home schooling and why its worth it

So as my friend asked me Sunday, “How is home schooling going?“, I was so thankful that despite the bad year we had the last time she asked me that… I could look at her and honestly say “It has been great.” Peace filled me at that moment and I was so thankful she asked… and ended with encouragement and praise.

So to end… I just want to encourage the home school mom who may be struggling today… who may be where I was while pregnant with Reed… battling fear, tears, doubt… know you are not alone in that…. If you home school a year… or 5… know that you are amazing.

Regardless if you home school or public school. Love your children well and be involved. There is reward in both journeys and nothing trumps a mothers desire to do her best for her babies.

Faint

Just a couple scriptures that have spoken to me lately. Thought Id share with those who don’t have instagram :)


A great piece of #truth to #reminder when you're in a hard place. #scripture

I saw this today on my bible app via @annettetate - funny how we met. It was years ago on the coast of NE NC. She had three boys and we had three boys. Almost identical in age. We struck off a convo and kept in touch. Her last name is my son Taites first

Those btw were made with the new IMAGE option in the Bible App.
Its fun to create and free!

& to end, a few grams from our weekend….

Anyone else doing laundry today? :) I realized after taking this it was a bit unfair Owen was vegging while taite did all the folding. He's five now. Time to work dude ;) #teachthemtoserve #boymom

Blessed to have such an awesome father to my boys and husband. While it may annoy me he leaves clothes beside the hamper or continues to store left overs he never intends to eat. I know I'm blessed to have him ????#marriage #12years #blessed

What keeps Reed busy during our history lesson. #jellytoast his favorite. The iPad and Netflix too help #boymom #homeschooling

Our cat lives on the wild side. Always on the ledge….

My #kitchenwindowview ????our cat Toby scared me. The drop would be around 25 or more feet. He loves sitting on the ledge of this deck and tries to catch bumblebees. #blackandwhitecats

He also seems to enjoy taking up space in our school room. Such a social cat. We love him.

Not only do I have a two year old constantly interrupting our #homeschooling - Toby who I mentioned is not your typical cat decides sitting on our books and reading chair is appropriate. ???? #blackandwhitecatofinstagram

Sometimes I totally pretend he's still a baby. #theygrowsofast #mamasboy #boymom

Taite (8) teaching Owen (5) how to put away silver ware. We make our boys empty the dish washer daily if not twice a day. They work together and it's done in less than 5 minutes. Owen hasn't been allowed to really help yet because he breaks to many glasse

The above image of Taite and Owen putting away dishes is really sweet for me to see. I spoke about this briefly on instagram… about how we are training our boys to teach their younger brothers. Obviously in every day things… “don’t hit…” “don’t spit” – you know basic 101 brother stuff haha… things they shouldn’t do but do have to learn. Beyond that though teaching our boys to serve is high up on our list. We think its super important. Now that Owen is 5 he will be assigned some chores. He is still young and his motorskills are still developing… I wont expect him to clean toilets just yet… or fold a perfect towel or shirt… but he can do little things.

So in that particular photo Taite who is 8, was teaching Owen who is 5 how to put away dishes.

We make the boys unload the dish washer at least once or twice a day. As a team it can be done in 5 minutes or less.

I also as you can see from above make them fold clothes. I wash, they fold. The only time I fold clothes is when I feel like it. That usually involves towels and my clothes/Travis’ clothes. To me, if the boys dirty 2 baskets a week of clothes, they can help out and fold majority of it. It if anything will teach them not to dirty so much, because it would only mean more for them to fold. :)

I have lots of areas I need to work on in parenting these dudes… but so far I am so thankful for 4 boys who despite some fight on occasion, seem willing to learn… and grow. It without a doubt takes lots of work... That work is worth it though… So to the Mamas who may be struggling and feeling as if they can’t get it all done. Know that 1. You can’t :) – so don’t stress out and quit worrying about perfection… but 2. Teach those children to serve to love on you and Christ…. I try really hard to explain how Mommy can’t do it all… and that even if they didn’t “dirty that dish” or “drop that toy” – by them helping me, they are blessing me. That Jesus tells us to serve and love others… to be giving and to be peace makers. Its something we all need reminding of daily. :) Even me.

America seems to have handicapped our children… by making them seem incapable of doing… and only being served… far from it. We don’t give our kids enough credit for what they are capable of. They can and should be a great help.


My dude looked nice this Sunday in his #thriftedblazer

Sunday I wore my clip in extensions. So fun to play with. I def do not wear them daily though.

#decaf junkies

Decaf coffee is a treat we allow the boys on Sundays. They think its “so cool.” :)

Reed adores the trolly! @fbcwoodstock  - any time we pass church he talks about it. Makes me wanna have a friend professionally photograph our family on one for memory sake.

and of course, the trolley ride is always a hit with Reed.

One more for Nana @dulceknits

I hope everyone else had a great Weekend.

Fire Fighter Museum

Today we took a little field trip. We don’t do field trips often (although I hope one day we can be settled enough to do more with a local home school group… ). This trip worked out great. Travis has a 3 day weekend due to rotation week… so we made the best of a friday off and went to a local Fire Fighter Museum. Its free (we love free). It also wasn’t far. So that was a perk as well.

Reed’s big obsession lately are fire trucks. He makes the cutest “wooo wooo wooo” fire truck sounds ever. Very loud and vocal too. Its adorable. SO we knew this would be a hit. He had so much fun exploring the antique fire museum… but the real icing on the cake was when an actual fire fighter let him sit in the fire truck.

Made his day.

The older boys enjoyed it as well. All in all, a great trip.

Here are a few memories from our time.


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The machine Caleb is in front is called the Aurora. It has quiet the history! There are only 3 around to date.

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Fire Trucks sure are high too. A boys climbing dream :)

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The truck the boys were climbing on today cost A MILLION DOLLARS. Phew!

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Organizing my Essential Oils

How to organizing Essential OilsOn a recent post you all may have seen an Essential Oil shelf I had set up in my kitchen. This is my new way of organizing my Essential Oils. For a while I kept my oils in a small box I found at Goodwill for under $2.00. I still use this box to store extra oil bottles that didn’t fit on my shelf, stickers and other things… its a great box. However, it was getting cramped in that small box… and it made it hard to find certain oils sometimes because it was so small.

So I have been on the look out for an Essential Oil Shelf. I saw lots of fun ideas on Pinterest… but with a non-handy husband and lack of time on my part… I just kept putting it off.

Until one day while at a local goodwill (again haha) looking for a helmet for my 8 year old. His helmet was to small. I tell you, Goodwill is the place to shop for helmets! Most are under $5.00.

While there, I of course wandered around seeing if I could find any treasures… and I noticed a weird looking cassette type shelf in the home goods area. As soon as I saw it I knew I could turn it into an oil shelf. So I purchased it for $4.95 and came home.

I wish I had gotten a before photo… but I sadly didn’t think to. The shelves on this thing though were really close together. They are made out of a thin particle board material. So it was easy to break the shelves I didn’t want out. If you look at the shelf images below, you can see notches where the other shelves use to be.

So all after breaking out a few shelves. My shelf unit was complete :)

The outside of this shelf thing is solid wood… so it is kinda heavy. Which is a good thing. I was going to hang it onto the wall some place… but because it is so thick, I was nervous someone may bump into it. So for now this is in our kitchen. I have it high enough up that Reed can’t play with it (unless he really tried). I also wanted it higher up on the back area of the counter, so any time “friends” would come over, their kids wouldn’t get curious haha.

My older 3 boys do not touch my oils in any way. So I felt pretty good about its placement and so far (months later), no issues at all.

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I also keep my oil book on top of the shelf, since I go to it often.
I keep my carrier oil nearby as well.
I also keep my travel bag of oils near it too.

The boys know when they need an oil (to ask) but then to go to the “travel bag” first.
I’ve taught them never to use my oils from the “real bottles” :)

How to organize your oils without paying a fortune

and yes… I put them in ABC order :) – as best I could any way.

How you can organize your Essential Oils

So how do you organize your oils?

I will say, between the box and the shelf. I much prefer the shelf.

If you are curious where I got my “travel bag” from – feel free to read the below post:


How you can organize your Essential Oils

New to Oils? Here is an old post of mine explaining what I use and why. Let me know if you want me to do an updated list? I have added a lot of great oils to this list since posting it.


What Essential Oils should I get? and how to organize them once I have them.

Owen’s officially 5

ED9A8919We celebrated Owen’s 5th Birthday over the weekend… but today is actually his real birthday :) … and I had to take a little walk down memory lane for my own personal journaling to remember.

A few fun facts about Owen at age 5.

He is almost as big as his older brother Taite who is 8.

He loves stuff toys.

Legos.

Cars. Trucks. Trains. :)

He has a loud cry but its all show (most of the time).

He laughs so hard you can’t help but smile.

He can ride a 2 wheel bike like the best of them.

He isn’t really into sports but I bet he’d be good at them.

He follows Taite constantly. Those two are so close.

His favorite thing to drink is still to this day white milk (as he calls it). He must have inherited that love from his Daddy… every night he has to have a big glass of it before bed, just like Travis.

He wears a size 13 shoe (in boys of course).

His favorite food is pancakes.

He loves to cuddle (thankfully).

Kisses from Mommy are far from yucky yet. :)

… and despite telling me he isn’t old enough to do school. I have a strong feeling he’s going to blow us out of the water with his smarts. He is one clever little dude.

Love him and just wish he’d slow down a little… cause boy did he get to 5 fast….


Laboring with Reed – my 1st Natural Labor experience. (not easy… phew!)

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Big Brothers sitting side by side for the first time.

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and if you can’t tell, Owen loves music.

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