Afternoon Snuggles

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Today it feels like Fall. We bundled up this morning to go for a nature walk together in the woods. We walked quietly, listening to the sounds of life around us, we found Chantrelle mushrooms and plucked bright red maple leaves from the ground. Dave showed the kids how to find tracks and identify them.

Today also felt like a turning point in my heart. I have struggled with the challenges of being a working, homeschooling mom. I have struggled with my role as a wife. I have struggled with the death of my own mother. I have had a year in which I felt overwhelmed and burdened by my sadness, my sense of failure, my faith. Today I felt the fog finally lift. We spent the morning together as a family, teaching, learning, living. It feels like a rhythm has returned to our home.

Spike the Dragon

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Meet Spike the Dragon…..

Spike the Dragon was made with all of my yarn leftovers and much of it was crocheted in the rental car as we drove day after day looking for a new car. Did I mention that deer might be one of my least favorite animals? Our poor Volvo went to the salvage yard after the sixth deer in 4 years. It was quite an adventure and one the kids will not likely forget. It was late on a Wednesday night as we were heading home from the kids first night of kids club at church. It was also the first date that Dave and I had enjoyed since 7-8 months ago. The kids and I were coming around a bend and were just heading over the Willow River bridge. There she was, the big mama deer and her fawn. We got it straight on at 55 miles an hour. It flew up in the air and landed on the hood. There were many tears from the kids, although not about the deer. We all cried a bit for the car. The trusty Volvo that has taken us so many places. We had just picked it up the day before after our first major repair. I sadly watched all of the radiator fluid pour out into the road and knew this was the last drive in the poor gal. Little Sophie cried and cried about the car, and then quickly realized it was dark, so she switched to crying about monsters. Her tears quickly became squeals when she realized that we would get to ride in a deputy car to get home.
Spike was begun two days later as a stress reliever for a tired mama trying to car shop with her husband and three little kids. We spent a total of four days in the rental car, 35 hours, and 860 miles in all. What did we get out of the deal? Well, we got Spike the Dragon, we got some time at the beach, we got a hefty car payment, and hopefully a car that we will have for quite some time. I do not think that we will ever have kids that are deer lovers. Maybe Spike will sit on the dash for a bit to scare away any stragglers…

Giant Puffball and Shelly Beans!

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We decided to walk the trail now that the mosquito population has dwindled.  Autumn is our favorite time for being in the woods!  The kids and I explored the trail and found this enormous puffball mushroom!  It is apparently edible but we have not decided yet if we should fry it up- wild mushrooms always make me a little but nervous.  Our other adventure came in the form of our over ripe green beans.  We spent some time today shelling them and cooked them up with sausage and onions- yum!  It was a hit and it was really wonderful to eat dinner from the garden.  We got a surprise canteloupe as well, but I picked one too late and one too early, so we will try again in a few days.

Happy Autumn!

Sunflower Smiles

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Today was the first day of school for our Home-Schooled crew!  Jacob absolutely loved Spike the hand-puppet dragon!  He was a huge hit, as were the fruity Cheerios that we ate and doubled as place holders for math!  Jacob begged for more school after lunch and we moved on to science and began our study of flying creatures!  It was an amazingly successful first day.  I had been extremely nervous about teaching two, but Jacob’s Kindergarten enthusiasm and amazement made his older brother more excited as well.  I also found that his brother jumped in to try and help teach him, which was super fun to see.

The afternoon found us outside, enjoying an outdoor treasure hunt and garden time.  The kids picked zucchini, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, green beans, and onions, and discovered the much shorter than last year sunflower. It has been a cool summer and the leaves are already turning, much to my dismay.  I truly enjoyed the return to a schedule and it seemed that the kids did also.  This year, my homeschooling goal is definitely to try and relax and bit more and enjoy the ride.  I want to focus less on what they learn as much as HOW they learn, and if we are all enjoying it!  I am looking forward to Autumn and all that comes with my favorite season.


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Country Roads……Take Me Home….

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IMG_3920Life is funny sometimes, and not in the way I most expect, but usually in the way that I least expect!  Five years after coming here, my husband finally returned to West Virginia to pick up his machines from storage.  Building our homestead was going to be our 1-2 year plan, and now has become the 5-10 year plan!  It is hard work growing people!  Life has been busy for us and it was not until he returned to West Virginia, that I really took time to reflect on the past year (years).

This has been one of the toughest things that I have ever done- moving here and building our home and homestead from the ground up.  There are many days that we still wonder why God led us here, and other days, we feel more at peace.  Ultimately, we are slowly realizing that we have been given an amazing gift to parent our children in this place.  We were talking with a family member recently about dreams, and how tough it can be to look back at your life and realize that you have always had a dream and were never able to turn it into reality.  Dave and I were able to do that, and of course, the irony is that once we did it, we realized that it was so different than we thought it would be.  What a great lesson for life, though.  Events almost NEVER happen just the way we expect.

We are getting ready to head into another year of homeschooling.  This will be the first year that I am teaching two students instead of one!  I am finally embracing the reality that I can do this!  I am excited and anxious for the opportunity to shape my kids learning experience and provide them the tools to go out into the world and thrive.



Morning has Broken

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Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight
Mine is the morning
Born of the one light Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise ev’ry morning
God’s recreation of the new day

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world

Songwriter Eleanor Farjeon

It has been a long time since my last post, and feels like a lifetime in all that has come to pass.  I lost my mother in November and my heart still aches for her almost every day.  We have also grown leaps and bounds in our walk with God and are just beginning to see that blessings that he has for our family.  We continue to enjoy the land, the trail, the home that we have built here.  Most importantly, we have been blessed time and time again with the reminder that while isolated, we are anything but alone out here.  We are beginning to again be reminded as well that our prayers and Faith led us here, and through the Wilderness, we have begun to emerge on the other side.  To others who are just beginning to live out their dream, and to those in the midst of it, I say to you:

“11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

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