...Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16 This is the journey of our lives...

Friday, November 28, 2014

Raising a dream boat one year at a time

12 this year. It feels like a big one..I'm kinda not ready for it. But I love this kids to the moon and back. 
 Amazing Jakes with his buddies

Baseball party at the park
My little "dream boat" is 12. He's been dreamy since birth. He stole my heart early on and I can't believe he's getting old enough to be stealing other girl's hearts. Not that he cares one bit about it quite yet, but just last weekend at his archery tournament, he stood around flipping his hair and goofing around in his own fun way. He was surrounded by young ladies who giggled at his every move. Oh still  my beating heart...two girls had the audacity to "ask him out"!!! He didn't give the invitations a second thought and to my great amusement, looked at them funny and continued to act like a 12yr. old goof ball. I'm grateful that he's all mine and I don't have to share him for a while longer now. Which is why I take him out on dates as often as I can. I know these days will fly away all too quickly.

Tuesday night we went to the 10pm showing of Mocking Jay.

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving is an easy day to be thankful. If we are lucky, we are surrounded by the people who matter the most to us. We eat great food and enjoy the love around us. This Thanksgiving was especially lovely. We had our second annual "Friends"giving dinner. We were blessed to have so many wonderful people who came and ate with us. Our little home held 24 adults and 15 children just fine! It was a special night celebrating people we love. By Wednesday, we were at my mom and dad's house baking pies and having a giant sleep over. By the evening on Thursday we drove to Daniel's parent's home and had more food and more dessert! We were filled to the brim with thankfulness and food. 

I wish I had been better and taking pictures for each event. Unfortunately so many of our friends and family are not pictured here. 

 So thankful for my dad's health right now. He has gone through so much this year. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Stop. Slow down. What really matters today?

This month I have been busy, almost too busy. I love busy, when I can get everything done. And although the business has brought me joy and each event we have been involved in has been important or a really good cause, I wonder sometimes how I get to slow it all down from here. Our society is too busy in general, we are so connected that we rush around so we don't miss anything. The holidays are the very proof I needed to realize we are doing too much. When I don't have even a day to just stay home and get something done, I've realized I'm over-booked. I know I've ranted about this before so it means I find myself here quite a bit. This month however has given me a somber reminder as to why I need to slow some things down. First off, I was ranting and throwing a mini tantrum about something, it was either a lost shoe, a messy living room, unfolded laundry...you get the idea. When one of my lifelong friends called me to tell me her cancer was back. My world just stopped. It was only three years ago that she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She beat it and has been cancer free, newly married, raising 2 teenage daughters and planning her future life.  When out of the blue, she's feeling horrible and she is diagnose with Acute Myloid Leukemia. This cancer is a side effect of the chemotherapy that saved her life the first time. Hard to imagine that's even possible.  So she's been in the hospital 22 days, it has not gone very well for her. It has been painful. And throughout these 21 days I have made an attempt to slow my schedule down and really, purposefully begin to appreciate life, my friends, my family. This is the reason I started blogging again. I want to look back and know that as life whips by and all around, that I took a few moments to sit down, drink coffee and pay tribute to the things in my life that matter.

Wednesday, we celebrated my husband's birthday with cake, presents and dinner  and then Thursday, Daniel and I went to the hospital to cut My sweet friend's hair. This is the second time I sat with her and watched her long red tresses fall to the ground. It's a wicked and tangible reminder that the body is sick.

It would be easy to get buried in the sadness that this epidemic has brought upon us. Two women in homeschooling circles of friends that I have known and taught with, have lost their lives this year from cancer. It should be that constant reminder that life is short and fragile. It has reminded me that we have no control over the things that we hold most dear. This morning I woke up ready to take on the day and get everything done, now as I write, my goal is to hold my people close, love them with all my heart and not worry so much about the small things. I am thankful today that in the midst of all these things tragic and joyful, we have a loving Father that is able to envelope me in love, even in this broken world, and instill a message of hope into my heart.
 Keep on fighting sweet friend!

Give thanks to Lord for He is good; His love endures forever. Psalms 107:1

Monday, November 17, 2014

What every parent with a strongwilled child knows to be true

Strong willed children are a blessing to the world, they will be strong leaders maybe even the world's leaders. However, they are the hardest children to raise. Starting out on my parenting journey, I never imagined that I would have a willful child. A dramatic child, an emotional child even a slightly rebellious child...but not a strong willed, I will do as I please no matter what you do, child. Nope, never crossed my mind. I think all of us before we had children, said something like this, "My child will never ___________". Fill in the blank.  I had a list, I was going to be a mother with well behaved children in all circumstances and I would never yell at them. I suppose I should learn that whenever I draw line in the sand that way, without experience in the matter, I am always doing some back tracking. I am now the mother of 5 children, all who are extremely different in every way. 4 out of 5 are incredibly strong willed and although the other one is quiet, watch your back if you cross her. Needless to say, my husband and I have a genetic makeup for the "difficult" toddler, the "crying" baby, and the "Leader" of the pack type. I of course became worried when I first took my adorable 3yr. old son out for a play date and had to immediately start disciplining him for not hitting, biting, climbing and such. At home, I determined he was just a rambunctious boy. A boy's boy, nothing to fear, he'd grow to be a man's man, right? Well, as I sat and watched my friend's children, I realized they could mostly sit and talk with each other as their children played at their feet. Their children who were at walking age, allowed them to hold them and visit, rather than squirming and wiggling until they were free to roam about.  I've read many parenting books, I've tried many forms of correction and I have come to the conclusion that many things work and many things do not. There is no magic formula to being the perfect parent to any child. I will say, that I have found diligent, purposeful parenting with consequences and follow through, have been the secret to raising these remarkably strong children. I am now watching my 12 year old son march out and take on the world, and I am so thankful for that adventurous spirit.   The little boy to who squirmed out of my arms, climbed to top of the everything he could, the boy who bit and clawed his way to the toys he wanted, has become a leader of the pack. He is able to navigate through his world with ease and thankfully, uses his brain instead of his teeth to work out his difficulties. As each one of my children reaches ages of maturity and socially become aware of how their decisions effect them personally, I am amazed at their fortitude and strength to tackle the issues they face. The future with only tell how many more battles we will face as we parent on this journey with each one of them. But I am now more confident and much less fearful of it all! I write this to remind myself that all this hard work does pay off. As of late, I have had daily battles with my 3 yr. old daughter. She challenges my parenting like no other before her. She was our surprise gift and she takes her job of being a toddler, very seriously. So now, on to my list.
What every parent with a strong willed child knows to be true:

1. Public tantrums WILL happen.
No matter how much you prepare, bribe, leave the store without buying anything, discuss consequences, spank (gasp), ground....public humiliation is part of raising a strong willed child.

2.Bedtime and Naptimes will be a battleground, but one worth the fight.
No matter if your strong baby needs to sleep or how tired they are, they will battle sleep. At some age, usually toddler, when they are aware that the world goes on while they are slumbering, they will fight to gain control of this situation. This one, for me, is worth the battle. I NEED them to sleep! Just  1 hour of re-charging can make the day go smoother and a good night's sleep is priceless for survival.

3. Not all babysitters can hack it.
This is not a job for the week minded or feeble of will. When mom and dad need to fly the coop for a night out, you need a babysitter with an arsenal of tricks. Usually grandma and grandpa are the best bet until the kids are older and can be threatened with all sorts of losses of their freedoms and added chores to their lists. Otherwise expect to come home early.

4. Their fight is strong but their love is stronger.
You may do battle throughout the day, but once you overcome that strong will and reach their little soul. Once you win them over to see the light, they are your champion. The willful child is one with a passion that is unmatched. Don't miss the opportunity to see it by giving up the fight.

5. Never let them see you sweat.
Your weakness is their opportunity to try and run their world.Keep calm and carry on. (easier said than done!) Thank goodness for Love and Grace right?

6. Always let them see you caring
When a strong willed child sees you waiving the white flag they think you've stopped caring about their feelings. They need more than any other child, to know your willingness to go journey with them. Even if it means sitting outside their door for months at a time, getting them to stay in their bed, or sticking to your guns about why your not letting them play video games even though they didn't do anything you asked them. Oh boy, this could be another list!

7. Anger is par for the course
First comes want, then comes anger, then comes a battle. When your really tired read #4.

8. They will lead the masses
This is a big responsibility as a parent.  But an even bigger one as the strong child. They will never be happy following a crowd, so they will lead one. Be sure to instill character into your children.

9. Teach them to battle with self-control
This is the hardest of the list. Battling with a child when they are 2 or 12 is just a fight if there are no lessons to be learned. Each battle, no matter how its started, must end with a lesson in character and a lesson in self-control. How else will they learn to use their will for good?

Below are some resources that I go to regularly:

The strong Willed child by James Dobson

Loving your kids on purpose by Danny Silk

Jesus Today by Sarah Young

The Holy Spirit  by praying your head off!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I'm silly and tried to set up 2 blogs...

So, I thought I'd be good enough to have a personal family type blog and a homeschool blog. I know, I'm the eternal optimist.


Here is the homes school blog link. I will put this on the sidebar. But for now and as I try to write a little something each month this will at least tie things together...right?