August 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
This is where I’ve been. Isn’t it gorgeous?
But we’re home now, and back to life. Why does it always seem harder to live right after you get home from a vacation? Whatever the reason, it certainly feels harder. The kids seem more disobedient, the house seems messier, and the chores seem greater. Life seems… busier than it ought to be.
All of this comes on the edge of my DH and I deciding we need to make some life changes to live a more simple life. We don’t want to raise our precious children to think that the only thing to life is technology. Obviously technology is important, but we want them to understand that you can actually grow your own food. And there are people and animals around you who are more important than checking your Facebook page. We want them to understand the value of hard work, and sowing and planting.
And then we went on vacation. To the family farm. Where there are cows, a garden, tractors, and a lot of space for them to run and play. And they adjusted! My precious city kids earned hardened callouses on their feet from playing outside on the gravel driveway barefoot. They learned to pee outside (as I shake my head in shame). They learned to let the dog lick their plates clean. They learned the joy of playing outside with acres and acres of freedom. And they loved every second of it.
A further reminder that city life is not always the life. It’s a life. But perhaps not the life for us.
June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’ve turned into a bit of a DIY queen. My poor husband comes home nearly every day to something newly re-made, a craft project on our kitchen table, or something “new” for the kids. His go to question for me is just one word – “Pinterest?” and indeed, every time, it is Pinterest.
Today I made 3 toddler busy bags. DS1 (age 3) seemed extremely interested in what I was doing. Probably because he’s not accustomed to seeing Mommy sitting at the kitchen table colouring. We made a colour wheel, with clothespins to match. We made a shape/number wheel with clothespins to match, and we put together a bundle of popsicle sticks to make shapes. Photos to come at a later moment. Also in the plan is a felt pizza, a felt man (with individual pieces, so DS1 can build his own pizza/man/car/house). We may do something with beading/counting for DS2 (17 months), a “seek and find” bottle or jar, and anything else I can think of that may keep two little boys busy for a very long flight.
What else can we plan on for these monkeys during our trip? We plan to have a DVD player accessible, snacks, drinks, goodies, blankets, and they each get a lovey (DS1 has an elephant, and DS2 has a froggie).
If anyone has any suggestions, please share! This is a first time for us – we haven’t flown since DS1 was 5 months old. HELP!
June 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
Last night around 10:00 my husband and I were getting ready to head off to bed. It had been a long day, and we were both tired. We just wanted to get into bed and sleep. I looked up and saw that the light was on in our 3 year old’s bedroom. Inside I was hoping that he had just turned the light on and fallen asleep without turning it off again. No such luck.
We walk in, and see a little boy sitting in his bed with chocolate smeared all over his face, candy sugar powder dusting his entire bed, foil wrappers everywhere, and a guilty expression on his face. Just so you all know, that candy was in such a place that he could see it – we use it as a reward – but not reach it. He had to do some pretty serious gymnastics to reach that candy bag!
What was the result of this event? Well, shortly after being cleaned up, teeth brushed again, and disciplined for his actions, the little boy fell right to sleep – a sugar coma, I imagine. Unfortunately, sugar comas only last until the sugar kicks in and then whoever ate the sugar is wired. In my little boy’s situation, the sugar kicked in around 3:30 a.m. At 4 a.m., I heard his door open and had light rush into my bedroom.
From that moment on, the household was awake. He successfully woke up Mommy, Daddy, AND baby brother. And now it’s 8:25, and I need a nap. Unfortunately, the sugar is still in his system.
June 19, 2012 § 1 Comment
I have dreams for the future. They’re not grand dreams. They’re not out of the ordinary. They aren’t dreams of diamonds and furs and movie stars. This is my dream for my family’s future.
I just want to settle in and live my life. I want a house – not an extravagant house, but a house that has enough space. I’m thinking 4 bedrooms – one for girls, one for boys, and one for my parents when they come and visit. I want a formal living room and a great room, and a BIG eat in kitchen, and a formal dining room that I would convert to a homeschool room. I want a basement – half of it would be used for wood (there are so many trees on the farm that fall naturally, we would heat our house with wood), and the other half would be used for whatever the kids want to do with it. A play room, workout room, fort building room, whatever, for in the winter.
I want a yard that’s fenced in so I can send the kids out, and have a nice big garden. I want to can my own veggies and make jam. I want to bake bread and sew cloth diapers. And I just want to live. I’d love for us to have some kind of home business that makes us enough money so my husband doesn’t have to work in the city, but he can start a church right there in town and that would be his only job. It sounds like a simple life, doesn’t it?
I want a big farmhouse table with a cream coloured bottom and a light pine top. A real farmhouse table. I want benches down the sides and chairs at the head and the foot. I want a big white farmhouse sink in the kitchen, and cream coloured shaker cabinets. I want cream coloured solid surface countertops, and wrought iron cabinet hardware. I want big sets of bunkbeds in the kids’ rooms, and a nice big giant bathroom in the middle between their bedrooms. Or maybe if I’m really lucky, a girls’ bathroom and a boys’ bathroom.
I want wide plank, hand scraped pine floors throughout the whole house with an array of rag rugs thrown on the floors of the bedrooms. I want lots of windows that let in lots of natural light, and I want a big giant wide porch on the back of the house facing the woods.
Does this sound extravagant? To me, it sounds like a simple, regular life. That’s what I want – a simple, regular life.
June 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a research freak. I research anything and everything like crazy before I even think about spending my husband’s hard earned money. I researched my first stroller like crazy, and even had to specially order it, but it was perfectly what I wanted. When our number two child surprised us, I researched our double stroller like crazy, and I love it. When we purchased our ten year old minivan, I researched it like crazy to discover it had the highest safety ratings of any other minivan at the time. So we bought it. I research. It’s what I do.
Now I am researching the art of homeschooling. I didn’t say curriculum, because I am discovering that curriculum is just one tiny portion of what homeschooling is. You have to have a system, and organization, and you, the teacher, have to enjoy what you’re doing. You have to decide if you want to be the one doing all the preparation, or do you want to pay extra to have the company do all the prep. You have to decide if you’re going to start with a five-day preschool, or a 3-day preschool. You have to decide if you want to go with a traditional academic approach, or one of the other less mainstream approaches. You have to decide if you want your “school” to be highly structured, or more “go with the flow”.
After a couple of weeks of research, I’m starting to discover what kind of teacher I am. I’m being drawn to a more traditionally academic approach, with a bit of Charlotte Mason (literature based) thrown in. I’m being drawn to doing my own prep and planning, so I can tailor it to myself and my kids (which is cheaper anyway). I’m leaning towards a 3-day preschool, since the whole “school” idea is brand new. I like to do my own printing and laminating, and cutting and gluing. I like to be in charge of what my kids are doing and learning. I’m one of those crazy people who gets excited about purchasing a laminating machine, and 26 3-ring binders for my letters of the week.
I think this homeschooling thing might be fun.
June 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
I think we all need to let it be.
Are you the person that you thought you would be? I certainly am not.
We need to stop beating ourselves up for not being what we thought we would be. I had a lot of expectations of myself as a stay at home mother. I thought I’d bake cookies every day (little did I know, I hate baking), and I thought my house would be spotlessly clean ALL the time (I also didn’t realize how much I hate cleaning). I figured my children would be perfectly well behaved, and I would be calm and sweet to them all the time. I thought the Lord would magically bless me with unending patience with my husband and children. I thought I would grow my own garden, and eat only vegetables that I had grown and canned myself. I thought I would have neighbours and friends over for dinner every week or two and serve them a gourmet meal that I had just “whipped up”.
In reality, 95% of the time, I can’t find a spoon because all my dishes are dirty. 4 out of 5 mornings, my husband can’t find any work shirts because I’ve avoided the laundry. My 3 year old regularly throws tantrums because he’s, well, 3. There is STUFF all over my house that I’d like to get rid of, but I can’t seem to find the motivation to just get up and get rid of it. My windows ALL have baby finger prints on them, perpetually, and my carpet has goldfish crackers ground into it. My nice furniture has kid stains everywhere, and I feel like using my upholstery steamer would be fruitless – it will just get another stain tomorrow.
I’ve discovered something. In learning to let myself be who I am, I’m becoming a better me. In learning to let go of who I thought I would be, I’m starting to enjoy the person I truly am. I can see my accomplishments which before looked pitiful. Yes! I DO make my own laundry detergent! And no, I am absolutely NOT amazing. It’s just something I think is cool, it’s cheap, and it works. So why not? So my house is a mess. Big deal. It’s not dirty. It’s just messy. I am a good cook! My husband enjoys pretty much every meal I put in front of him (and for those of you who KNOW my husband, no, it’s not just because he would eat a flip flop if he was hungry enough).
Allow yourself to be the person you are so that God can mold you into the person He wants you to become.
June 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
My precious three year old little boy has been asking me to go to “Other Mama’s” house. Other Mama being my grandmother – DS calls his own grandmother “Mama” and I call MY grandmother “Mama”. Therefore, my grandmother, his great-grandmother, is “Other Mama”.
The last couple of days he has told me “I wuuuuuv Other Mama’s house”, and “He [she] has lots of toys”, and “I have so much fun at Other Mama’s”.
I guess I need to call up my grandmother and make plans to go see her, don’t I? What a cutie pie.