I Didn’t Want to, but I Needed to…

Hello dear reader. Thank you for making the time to stop in to read my thoughts here in my blog on the world wide web. Well, it happened, we got the opportunity to vote once again. Honestly, I didn’t want to vote this year, 2020. It was a hard year socially and to add the stress of “who did you vote for and why” to conversation was a dreaded thing for me.

If this is how I feel, why did I vote? Women fought for the right to vote not the obligation to vote. So, why did I vote when I really didn’t want to? I voted because, though I don’t know that I think my voice really matters, I wanted to give my two cents in case it is needed. *gentle smile*

I like to vote if I have a strong opinion about the subjects at hand the catch in my giddy up is that so often I have voted and then I learn that though I hear of others who agree with me in word this country goes the complete opposite direction. Apparently it’s not skin color that makes a minority but several different criteria that can make someone a minority. *small smile*

Did you vote? Do you enjoy political conversations, not to be confused with arguments. *smile* I hope this little note has found you all in good health and looking to heaven for guidance in your day to day life as well as in the larger decisions in your life. Remember to pray always. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

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Growing Into The Teen Years

Hello dear reader. Today I would like to type a little bit about being a mom of two teens. I remember the days when they were both in diapers, potty training one while the other was in diapers, then having two toddlers who were potty trained, home schooling the beginning years where they learned how to read and do basic math. Then on into the next season of two growing blessings who were in the season of attitude choices in addition to more challenging scholastic topics like fractions and sentence structure. People often said throughout each of these seasons that the teen years would be the hardest and that having teens was harder than any other age. Each time I was told this I would smile and reply with a gentle “I think there are hard and good times in each season of child training.” To which people would reply with a very light eye roll and a knowing smile as if to say, “aren’t you cute, you’ve not had teens and I have so you don’t know” which just encouraged me all the more to lean in the Lord to guide my heart through this amazing life I get to live being a stay-at-home wife to my husband and home schooling mom to two growing blessings. *smile*

We are now solidly into the teen years with a 16 year old and a 14 year old and the joy of home schooling through high school here in the United States of America. Our son is finishing up his Algebra 2 math and preparing to take his closeout test for high school, working outside the home, and looking at the local community college and prying over this next season in his life. Our daughter is working through her last bit of Geometry, third year of Bible, and English (being Lit. 1), and is preparing to start her final three electives that will be an Automotive focus. She has yet to take two more years of Science, one more year of Math, English, and History. Then she will take her close out test and will be looking with more of a prayerful focus at college. That is their schooling, but they are so much more than that in my eyes. They are growing into fine young people with a good dose of sarcasm (thanks to my husband and myself), gentle spirits, God filters they learn to use more and more each day, and who I get to see work on their communication skills regularly even with covid-19 going on in the world around us.

Our teens are learning timing for their sarcasm and how to socialize with people of different ages as well as how to clean their spaces (the bathroom and their bedrooms fully) like young adults rather than children (there is a difference). *smile* This is a beautiful season! I like the teen years like I liked the baby, toddler, child, and pre-teen seasons. There are fun positive things and hard moments in this season just like in the younger years and I am thankful to be here for all of it. Their adventures in building, cooking, drawing, and growing in the ways of the Lord.

In short, I am thankful for each season I have been blessed to soak up by being a stay-at-home wife and home schooling mom. The joys of trining up children in the ways of the Lord have come with their hardships, late night talks, tearful moments, and joy filled days. The next time you hear one person tell another that the teen years are the hardest, try to encourage them where they are to soak up all the good days because in the end those are the days that get one through the hard moments. Remind the moms of little ones to soak up the time as they do the tasks for the day be it cleaning or training, because in the end, that is their life and will be until the Lord calls them to do something different no matter how old their children are.

My question for this post is, “What is the most encouraging thing you have heard from someone in the way of bringing up children?” Also, what is your favorite thing you have done in your life, being a parent or a different job outside the home? My favorite thing I have ever done is being a wife and mom for my little family. I feel richly blessed and thankful for the opportunity to be able to close with my “Mom of two growing blessings & so much more!” tag line. *smile*

Remember to pray always. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

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Socialization…Let’s give this some thought, shall we.

Hello dear reader. Thank you for stopping by and making the time to read my thoughts here. These lovely ducks are at a park near our home and are a treat to watch an feed treats to from time to time. They enjoy socializing with each other as well as with us people.

We are a family of four and have home schooled out two growing blessings from the beginning. This means we researched their scholastic options and proceeded to teach the subjects they need in order to prepare them scholastically for their future as contributing members of society. Our home schooling journey is far more than that and the home schooling journey in general doesn’t always look like this for each child, but it is a small piece of our journey. In home schooling a very common question is how to socialize the child or children. Some people rely on church for this socialization others rely on school sports or music programs. We, however, relied on teaching our two growing blessings to talk to and listen to, socialize, with people in different places and age levels. We did this by going to different “non-denominational” christian churches, mom’s club, MOPS (a religious group for mom’s of pre-schoolers), “play dates”, weekly attending the same A.W.A.N.A.S. (Approved Workman Are Not AShamed…a church organization), gymnastics, horse ridding, and Karate. These activities were fine but we also encouraged out two growing blessings to talk to adults when we went grocery shopping weekly. When we moved with two pre-teens we got involved in the community by volunteering at the public library and a cat rescue shelter. My point here is not to get over committed, as we didn’t do all of these things at the same time nor in the same stage of life, rather, to encourage talking and listening with the young people in your care. Socializing is not just about surrounding ones self with people of like mind or common age, rather it’s about learning to talk as well as listen to others. Not always to debate but to communicate, when we agree as well as disagree. Socializing is not only about being in large groups but also about making time to get to know people in a one on one setting.

All this being said, our two are terrible in phone conversations, they always have been. How to graciously get out of a phone conversation that is dragging is not easy. Don’t even get me going on texting, they are awkward to be sure. But they try and that’s what we ask of them. That they continue to learn and grow and become the best individual they can be.

My question for you in this post is, what is your definition of socialization and how do you socialize? Have a lovely day remembering to pray always. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

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Home School?

Hello dear reader. If you have been reading my thoughts long, you know our family of four has been home schooling from the beginning and are in fact coming to the close on this season of life. Over the years I have not heard of anyone who has one reason alone for home schooling their children. Our family is no different. I do have some ideas as to how to begin this journey and some crazy things to look into while your children are either in school, playing with friends outside (wait, what? playing outside?! hahaha), or spending time with family. Be sure you pray before you move on from this paragraph dear reader. Here we go!

First, look into your state laws. Each state has different rules for home schooling. We have home schooled in two different states and have looked into the laws of two other states for home schooling. Since websites change or vary there is one spot I will recommend for all things legal that may be of some help no matter what state you are schooling in, it is called Home School Legal Defense of America. We have no experience with it but have only heard good from other home school families about this particular organization. Usually what I do is look into each states laws to learn what the testing and reporting rules are and then I try to contact local people to ask questions of their experiences or styles of following said laws.

Second, take this decision one year at a time. Don’t feel like you have to sign on for life in order to home school. You may choose to do this style of schooling to help your child through a tough scholastic season or for a socially awkward season. This is fine, just be sure you are open to doing this longer if this style of learning scholastically works well for your family.

Third, lay out the subjects you will study. Make a list, if it looks daunting, it probably is. Think of what must be learned to be a contributing member of society…reading and math. The rest will come in when you get those two in hand, I promise. If it’s a fight, make them both games. Let your kid be the banker in a board game or have them read some of the rules out loud. Sometimes learning is done in play even when kids are older. Then slowly add in history and science in fun ways as well. Start with cartoons or movies. Kids retain so much from cartoons, thank you Magic School Bus and Liberty’s Kids. Your kids will socialize as much as they get the opportunity from park playgrounds to neighbors to people in your social groups. Socializing is about learning how to communicate, don’t forget that simple thing and you’ll be fine.

There is no set time when scholastic learning must be done so if you are a single parent or if you work from home, make the most of each moment you get. Math can be done while grocery shopping as can reading and so many other life skills. Honestly, sit down book work will need to be done at some point, but transitioning to schooling from playing at home takes time, give yourself time to get in the swing of things as a family unit. Make sure your kids know that you need their help, most kids are more than willing to be a part of helping someone else. This is quite beautiful! Point out the freedom and responsibilities they are being entrusted with in their learning time. Like most people, they want to help and they want freedom. If you only have one kid, make time to allow them to visit with others when you are out and about be it at a museum or grocery store, the more they talk the more comfortable they will get with the people around them. Yes, I know, we have two children, but I think this is important no matter the number of kids you have so I do it with the two we have. *smile* You don’t have to have a lot of money to home school, there are many free things on the internet, which is worth the cost (having internet) and if you are near the end of schooling area, colleges are not as intimidating as they seem. Maybe I should do a post just on our experience of home schooling through high school. *hmm*

For now, I hope this gets you started in confidence since you have prayed, looked into your states laws, and you’ve set practical scholastic goals with one year at a time in mind. If you have any questions please ask in the comments and I will do my level best to answer them for you.

My question for you in this post is…how do your children scholastically learn and what do you like best about it? Also, what is your least favorite thing about the way your children scholastically learn? Have a great day remembering to pray always. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

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Home Schooling Only Two

Hello great big world, here I am once again, choosing to share some thoughts with you dear reader. Next month will be 16 years since my husband and I started down the path of being parents. The growing and learning for our son as well as for us has just kept on a steady speed since April 18th. About two years later we were blessed with a little girl to add to our little family. Since there are usually more than one answer to the question, “why?” I will move on to my point for this particular post which is home schooling the two growing blessings we have in our care rather than the number of growing blessings. *smile*

During our two to three years of getting to know each other, or as we call it “quarting” season of life we talked about how we thought it best if one parent could stay home with the children while the other financially provided for the family. This being said, I attended community college studying clerical mostly but added in some accounting (transposition of numbers is a bad talent to have in that line of work by the way) and some music classes. All the while my husband with already one community college degree under his belt and nearly a second went on to study engineering. I ended up not finishing a certificate much less an associates degree and he completed his engineering degree and has been blessed with work, even through a pandemic. Machines still need to run from the waste water plants to the food and beverage machines. While we were in this season of beginning our life as a married couple we waited to have children because he honestly didn’t have time to be a dad, anyone who is in college or has been in college knows how much time is needed to study at that level of course work.*small smile*

Fast forward eight years and we are parents of two growing blessings living on about 3/4 of an acre with chickens, goats, a dog, and some cats. With about four of five yeas of research on my part, and a lot of prayer, we believed home school was the best path for our family. Both of our kids could read simple books at the age of three and were on a good start to their educational path. Along the way we have used a curriculum from Rod and Staff (which is my favorite) and Christian Light Education for their High School years. My full thoughts on those two programs is also quite lengthy and not the point of this post, so we shall keep moving. *smile*

As we come to a close, our nearly 16 year old is slowly finishing his final math class with his dad in the evenings around house remodeling projects but has all of his other work done for his accredited christian high school diploma and his sister who is two years younger is finishing up her second year of math with dad around house remodeling projects but has gone ahead and started into her third year of high school English and Bible as well as continuing to make her way through her electives. This being said, they are both nearly done with their home school experience and once their curriculum is complete and they’ve taken a close out test (we plan to have them take the SAT for college purposes) they will be scholastically ready to head to wherever the Lord calls them be that to trade school, community college, four year college, or working outside the home to contribute to society in a positive way. This leads me back to my title, “Home Schooling Only Two”.

This May I will turn 42 and haven’t worked outside the home in about 18 years and am not looking at how our first born is supposed to apply for jobs and am seeing how much the world has changed in these 18 years. So many people work from home or change jobs more often than I thought reasonable. People are taking their families and living in RVs while hustling this diet drink, these amazing essential oils, or some other pyramid (pampered chef) type products. Back in my day ladies did home parties for Tupperware and pampered chef today they sell their products on the internet and make a “brand” for them selves that is put on mugs, shirts, and tote bags (like we all need more things in our homes or something). Now I am trying to get out of my mind’s box about how to get a job and give our two teens “freedom” or “independence” while I look for a way to work from home doing what I absolutely love, helping kids grow in their confidence when it comes to reading. I don’t want to “hustle” anyone, I honestly want to help children with their reading. I would love to help parents who are just beginning their home school journey.

All of this being said, wrapping my mind around how young people make money today seems so backward from the way I had thought money was made. I have seen so much change in people and the way they “connect” in my short time here on earth and though I have my ideas as to why this is happening I think the way people make money has a role, of some size, to play in this.

My question to you dear reader is, does the idea of working from home make sense in your line of work? How would you, or do you, make money by blogging or on Instagram?

Thank you for making the time to read my thoughts here and for making the time to comment. Have a wonderful day remembering to pray always. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

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What Do You Celebrate And Why?

Hello dear reader. Thank you for making the time to pop in to read some of my thoughts. Rather than just posting new and recent pictures of just this time of year I thought I would choose a few from previous posts.

Please remember that I ask that others not take and use my pictures on the internet rather enjoy them here in my post and leave them here, please. *smile* Thank you.

Nearly 15 years ago I took our wall calendar down and went through it month by month asking what we celebrate in our family, why, and how we celebrate each holiday. We are Christians who believe what the Bible says is true and have spent years growing and learning in His ways. We read both the old and new testaments and have been trying to understand what the Lord calls us as adopted grafted in family members. I believe that when Christ walked on the earth He fulfilled some things in the old testament and that some of the promises made to the Jews are just for them, not us as well. I also believe that the Lord Himself revealed things to His people in the bible. All of this being said, let me share our journey with you dear ones.

Let’s take a little walk through the calendar beginning in January. Our celebrations start in February with Valentines Day. For this we focus on the Love the Lord gives a husband for his wife and visa versa. It’s a love that is a choice that is made between a man and a woman and by the grace of God it grows over years of work and making the choice to love the one the Lord has given you. In March we celebrate our daughter’s birthday. Children are a blessing from the Lord and we feel richly blessed to have the opportunity to guide her to the Lord little by little each day as we grow and learn together. We also celebrate our wedding anniversary. It’s a blessing to enjoy another new year together as husband and wife and we are thankful for the many blessings the Lord has allowed us to enjoy in our marriage as well as the trials that have crossed our path along this journey of marriage. The month of March we also focus our prayers on missionaries both local and over seas. Thank you St. Patric for setting the example that we ought to shine for Christ wherever we live and in the place the Lord calls us. April is when we celebrate the birth of our son. He was our first growing blessing and has both taught and learned so much along with us and has been a blessing in our family. Also, in April we focus our talks and study on the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We talk about His willingness to obey God the Father and how much love the trinity (God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) have for us. May we celebrate my birthday, and the blessing of life. We are thankful for life to share together to grow and learn. July is the next holiday we celebrate being the Independence of our country and I appreciate the opportunity to vote and to have a voice in the changes in our country that we call home. We thank the Lord for the opportunity to live in this beautiful country and for the freedoms we enjoy from schooling to religion. October is the next month we do something, we carve pumpkins and get fun candies that only come out in the fall and we talk about how we are to be the light in this dark world. We talk about the blessing of the fall harvest with apples and the late summer fruits during this time of the year as well while we are preserving the ones we know we enjoy all year long. This is also the month we celebrate the birth of my beloved husband. He is a rich blessing and watching him grow in the Lord over the years has been a beautiful blessing in my life. November we celebrate Thanksgiving and focus on the blessings the Lord gives us in others. Though the Pilgrims and Indians were not of the same religion without the knowledge of the Indians the Pilgrims would have all passed away. The Lord blessed the new arrivals to this great country with some kind hearted people and for that I am exceedingly grateful! I am also thankful for the kind hearted people I meet in our day to day life. It can be a kind driver or a cashier with a little extra patience for someone. I am thankful for kind people who are willing to be helpful not just with their pocket book but with their smile or time. We are told in Scripture that if we have two tunics and our brother is in need we are to give one to him, sometimes that tunic can be friendship and sometimes a smile or kind comment. So, we celebrate kindness and are thankful for the blessing of kind deeds done around us. Finally December. Now for the beloved close of the year we celebrate Christmas. We have added in a menorah this year and are enjoying the focus on the rich miracles of the Lord from the oil in the time of the Maccabees to the virgin birth of Jesus Christ our Savior. In addition to the kind works of St. Nicolas (Santa Clause) who actually was at a meeting and stood up to argue for the Trinity in scripture. We read about the lifeline of Jesus for our “Advent” reading which takes us from Genesis through the bible. It’s great fun! And yes, we put up a tree that we cover with bright lights (because we life the look and smell of the tree and the lights) and then we fill with ornaments that we have collected over the years that remind us of fun family times we have enjoyed throughout the years.

This has been a long post about what we celebrate and why, if you would like to share what you celebrate and why in the comments that would be fun. If you would like to share what you celebrate this time of year or this season of the year that would be fun as well. I hope you have enjoyed this post and have been encouraged to stop and take a step back before we all get rolling “back to normal” in our post COVID-19 lives to look at what you celebrate and why with your loved ones and pray the Lord’s leading in your life holding each celebration in an open hand to the Lord for Him to show you what to give up and what to keep.

Remember to pray always. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

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When Sharing Your Thoughts Doesn’t Build Relationships

Good Sunday afternoon dear readers. I have been keeping an online journal for about fifteen years now and have asked myself why I keep this journal several times. I don’t get a lot of comments and as far as I know not a lot of traffic here at all in general, for several reasons. So, why do I keep coming back to this path of sharing my thoughts? I started blogging just after our son was born and the Lord moved us from the Willamette Valley to the Palm Springs of Washington. Our son was about three months old, my husband had a job wherein he needed to travel and work Saturdays from time to time, and we attended church every Sunday. In those days I was trying things like small group through the church, mom’s club, mommy and me classes, MOPS and other such activities to connect with other ladies. I would go to baby showers even if I knew no one because it was for a gal who also went to the same church, again in hopes of meeting people. I kept up with letter writing with people from “back home” and had monthly visits with my in-laws as well as visits with my mom and step-dad.

It’s an interesting thing for me when people say having a baby in 2020 is isolating, maybe because they want the rest of us to think they are completely disconnected yet I see large groups of people be they family or friends meeting up all over the place. I see small and large groups both in person and via the always truthful internet. *small smile/sideways look* When this pandemic (called COVID 19) started back in March of this year my husband had a business trip not to long after that was unavoidable so the kids and I headed to the Village of Meridian, only to find it packed with people. It was oddly normal especially during a pandemic. We decided to leave pretty quick because people weren’t just there but considerably more rude than they used to be about the flow of people around them. It was a tense and uncomfortable feeling so we left. Then last night (it’s now December) we thought we would check out the lighted walk in Caldwell since it’s outside and you can make your own spacing. Again, both large and small groups, we took a side step to get out of the large group that was going the same direction as we were going and that got us out of that setting yet still outside enjoying a fun lighted walk, making it easier to keep our distance which we greatly appreciated.

Since the Lord moved our family of four to Idaho it has been quite a change in that our two growing blessings have entered their teen years and I have simply quit trying so hard to connect with the outside world. I don’t blog as much, I keep a private Instagram account where I vaguely share glimpses into our humble life, and I pen notes but not nearly as often as I once did. I call people and visit with others in our neighborhood as well as at the grocery store, but really, I feel like I’m just done. When we first moved here we attended and got involved in a local church for a year but when we missed several Sundays I heard from our son’s Chimes director asking if he was okay. She was kind to ask and though we had reached out to several people in the congregation we simply didn’t connect with any of them. We have since invited people to our home and the ones we have the purest conversations with are the ones who don’t claim to be believers. They straight up don’t agree with some of the choices we make and likewise for us, but he conversations are honest and pure and the time is enjoyed.

Sometimes we are as isolated as we make ourselves to be, actually, more often than not life is this way. We choose to keep old friends and to fill our calendar with time spent with biological family and old friends this way we are comfortable where we are and how we choose to live our life. There is nothing wrong with keeping these relationships, please understand that. The question is, are they who you have fellowship with? Some people can honestly answer “yes” to this question and that’s a rich blessing. This is a relationship that is rich on so many levels and one to be cherished.

If you are in a season of life where you are looking for fellowship, be careful to pray that the Lord would be in and about the conversations you have be they with strangers in a church building or anywhere else. That He would hold your tung when He didn’t want you to speak and that He would bless the conversation you have with others.

My closing question for you, dear reader is this, are you careful in sharing your thoughts with others in this season of life? Do you pray before you speak with others be it in person or on the internet? Wherever you are in life be sure you are praying always and seeking the Lord’s will in your life. Please share in the comments how you share things in conversation with those you make time to communicate with be they in person or long distance. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

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One month Homeschooling without Light Units

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For the beauty of the earth

Hello dear readers.  Each year I plant sunflowers.  This year we planted some and the birds planted some.  It was fun to see so many sunflowers grow up all over the place.  I heard about some new killer wasps from Asia that have killed a lot of honey bees so when I started seeing them on the sunflowers this summer I was so excited!  Have you see bees on the flowers in your area this year?

We also enjoyed exploring a different area around Lake Lowell. We saw a young bald eagle, watched a few boats on the water, and enjoyed a nice long walk.  It was such a treat to get out by the water for a lovely summer walk and it was exciting to see the eagle! *smile*  What have you particularly enjoyed about this summer?  Remember to pray always.  Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

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Beautiful Sunrises

Hello dear readers. My oh my but it’s been far too long since I’ve been in here. I took these pictures of a sunrise one morning and wanted to share them with you. The changes that have been made here were quite alarming when I popped in here to share my words with these pictures.

Have you noticed the changes here on WordPress? Have they changed the way you post on here? I have been getting notices that the changes were coming, but I didn’t change over to them on my own. Anyone else out there like to keep blogs the way they were when they started? Not to make money but to make connections with like minded people?

This year the kids and I are actually looking forward to Christmas. Last year it was hard but we tried to celebrate it the same as we always had, this Christmas though, we are actually looking forward to it. We are enjoying fall again this year. Last fall Pop passed away and in the months and years leading up to his passing him and Mum were making choices that tore them apart rather than bringing them closer together, which was hard on our little family of four. Watching the changes in their marriage was heartbreaking and seeing our prayers being answered with something of a “not this time” or “they get to choose” was inexplicably hard to accept from my Lord.

Going to share something raw and from deep within here, but my prayer life has been molding and changing over the past year. I am wondering how the Lord would have me pray for others. I love people and wish they knew the Lord in a very real way and when they hurt, my heart hurts with them. When someone asks for prayer or shares something in their lives I pray right then, with or for them. I am a blunt person who tends to hold my tung in many situations, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care or agree with what is being said. I tend to refocus my thoughts giving each situation to the Lord.

As you go about your day remember to pray always giving the Lord every blessing and every trouble that crosses your path be it your situation or someone elses’. What is something you have learned in your journey with the Lord? How is your prayer life doing these days?

Remember to pray always giving everything to the Lord. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

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