Unanswered Prayers

I grew up the oldest of five children and although we had great childhoods it certainly was a chaotic one. I never had any intention of having a big family. In fact it often crossed my mind to skip the whole child raising aspect all together. But as they say….. then came love, then came marriage, then came the baby in the baby carriage.

After our fourth baby- I was done. Tired and overwhelmed there was not one ounce of me that thought of having any more children. And then came that positive pregnancy test. Shortly after that came the tears. Lots of tears. I walked out into our backyard in the quiet of the early morning hours and began to pray. I didn’t pray for the typical worries that a baby can bring. No, I actually began to pray that the Lord would take this baby back. A thought that I’m ashamed of now. But at that time in my mind there was no way I would be able to manage a fifth child. The anxiety and the overwhelming thought of ANOTHER pregnancy, ANOTHER year of nursing ANOTHER baby. It was just too much. Why would the Lord bless me with such a gift when I knew I couldn’t manage? And so I pleaded with the Lord to just take this baby back.

Boy am I so, so very thankful the Lord didn’t answer that prayer. Although that last pregnancy was riddled with issues and several miscarriage scares Kale Orion turned 7 today!! He has been a source of such love, excitement, and fun. I am beyond grateful that we have a Lord that knows what we need way more then we can ever imagine. And I find great comfort in knowing with the Lord, nothing is impossible.

No longer a choice of circumstance

This time last year we had decided to dive into traditionally homeschooling all our kids. I’ve said it several times, I was not a fan of the idea at all! My husband and I didn’t agree with several return policies of our local district and therefore felt that completely withdrawing our kids from the district was what was necessary. In a way I felt forced into that decision and was far from excited about it.

This year I find myself in a very different position. Still a little anxious, but overall excited. We will be officially kicking off our second year of homeschooling this week. And this time I’m not feeling forced. I’m sure we will be overwhelmed at times. There will be good days, bad days and in-between days. But I find myself more thankful and blessed that I have this opportunity to school my kids. I’m very appreciative that I not only have a supportive husband, but one that shares the teaching with me.

As a family we have witnessed so many more benefits since starting on this journey. And we have been surrounded by a wonderfully supportive homeschool community. This year our decision to homeschool isn’t forced by circumstance, but simply chosen.

Getting off the Fence

When I was a kid one of my dad’s famous phrases was, “if your going to do something, do it right or don’t do it at all”. That phrase has continued to ring through well into my adult years.

We’ve been trudging along with homeschool this year and I’d be fibbing if I said I’ve been having a blast. Round about Christmas and the New Year all I wanted to do was throw in the towel- send them all to school and just be done. I was still feeling like we hadn’t developed a fantastic routine, some of the kids were being more of a challenge then others, and I was simply overwhelmed.

I was still very plugged into what our local school district was doing. I was following and a fairly active participant in several Facebook groups rallying to get kids back in school and to be honest, I just wasn’t letting myself enjoy the homeschool adventure. I spend a lot of time wishing we weren’t in this situation instead of just embracing it.

In talking with a friend, a fellow first time homeschool mom I realized I was way too preoccupied with some of the outside static and my dad’s advice came flooding back- “If your going to do something, do it right or don’t do it at all”. Such simple advice, but it has turned our homeschool journey around. I realized I was really sitting on the fence as they say. I was too wrapped up in what was going on around me. I was going through the motions of homeschooling, but honestly wishing I didn’t have to. I silenced those Facebook groups, decided to take a rest from following our district and throw my full energy and attention into our traditional homeschool program 🙂

Now I’m certainly not saying everyday has been filled with rainbows and unicorns, but the journey has really smoothed out. I’ve been able to really see and appreciate this opportunity with all of its up and downs. I’ve watched and learned each kid in a whole new light. And I’m sure I’m being molded in ways I didn’t think was needed 🙂 Its amazing what you see when you sit back and readjust the lens.

Not my first choice…

We are closing in on a second full month of homeschooling.

Not virtual school, not hybrid school, not cyber school. Full on, traditional, pick your own curriculum homeschool. Homeschooling was not my first choice!

Although I’m sure if you ask any parent or guardian these days they’ve made a lot of choices that “weren’t their first choice”. We’re all in the same boat as far as that is concerned.

I started stressing about our kids and school long before it became evident that they would not be returning to school under “normal circumstances”. We researched curriculum, researched the laws, reached out to friends with homeschool experience, prayed, and then stressed some more.

We ultimately decided to withdraw all the kids from our district and embrace the homeschool adventure.

Its taken an enormous amount of sacrifice and creativity, but we are managing. Ask me how I like it….well, depends on the day. I’d have to say some days are wonderful and I can’t imagine EVER sending them back to public school. Some days are…. ehhhhh. And then there are the days that I call my husband at work crying asking “why on earth didn’t we just send them all to school”?

Everyday though I’m thankful for the opportunity. The ability to work part time and a husband who has been willing to take this on with me and share the duties of teaching. This wasn’t my first choice but with a lot of prayer, some chocolate, and maybe a wee bit of wine this too shall come to pass. May the Lord shower ALL of us with grace and patience. May he bless us with more and more days of excitement and wonder and less days of tears. May we even come to find that “not our first choice” turns out to be “not a bad choice”.

Shifting gears….

I love the seasons, not sure I could live anywhere that there wasn’t a Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

I love how the temperatures change (I prefer the warmer over the colder though), I love how the scenery changes- from cold and snowy to hot and dry and everything in-between. I also love how the activities change with each season. Whether its the different holidays or the events we enjoy as a family.

We’ve come out of a busy time of holidays from Thanksgiving to New Years. And just finished off a very fun, but busy basketball season with our older two boys. With the start of the warmer weather will bring a little soccer season for our oldest daughter, and BABIES!!!! Hopefully lots of healthy babies! No, not human (although I secretly miss having wee little people around here), but the animal kind.

We raise our own chickens for meat and eggs. And of course each year we usually raise a few chicks and ducklings to continue supplying us with a good amount of eggs. My favorite though are the kids- the four legged kind. We are within a week of our first doe delivering! Super excited for kidding season to start.

Grass cutting, gardening, weeding, soccer, hiking, camping, milking, tending to all the new animal life we’ll have here. Looks like another very busy season, but all too soon it will come to an end and we’ll be staring down the line at the start of yet another new (maybe slower) season.