PAUSE

Hello friends.  Much has been going on since I last posted here.  As much as I missed writing, I was just too busy in the daily grind of life to find time to be here.  The last I wrote, I shared about my beautiful daycare kids.  What a blessed season!

In the midst, we had moved to a tiny house in May 2017.  Truly we had a blast as we had 3 acres to explore.  This was so much fun for both my family and my childcare.  However, as the autumn rains came in, the house became small.  Add to that that the house was for commercial sale, and it became clear we needed to find another home… once again.

On the flip side, God has been working His will in my plans.  To make a long story short, I closed my doors to Little Friends Discovery Place, and am opening my willingness to start up a women’s ministry with a dear friend of mine.  That all will be shared at a later time.

So here we were, looking at the Christmas season with changes, and boxes, and no decorations, crafts, or baking.  The move came on Christmas Eve/Day, I was sick, it began to have freezing rain and snow, and much was chaotic.  But God is good, and His grace is merciful.

IMG_1461

So as 2018 knocked on my door, I had a friend prompt me to think about One Little Word for the year.  Then all these “p” lettered words began to pour out of my pondering, and truly PAUSE came to mind.

IMG_1475

 

My focus is to pause a bit.  To rest in the moment while settling into our new normal.  To recognize and embrace the small seemingly overlooked moments in my life.  Which oddly, is exactly the same calling I had back in 2008 when I began my blogging adventure.  To journal those small simple moments that slip past us too easily.  I’m also choosing to pause before decisions.  To pause before commitments.  To pause before God and Proclaim His glory.  That’s my 2018.  Do you have One Little Word that came to mind for your new year?

New Beginnings, A Welcome to 2016

I began blogging in 2008 with this opening statement:

To New Beginnings…

Ah yes, the changing tides of life are upon us…life is so fast, and as one child begins his new journey in our loving home, our oldest son ventures out to face the world…thus the desire to share ‘the little things’ with those we love…Life is a journey, not a destination!

DSC_0505
It was a fresh new beginning in many ways that year.  The biggest one being that I had closed a chapter on my years of providing daycare for many lovely families.  Baby #6 was born that year, and we were in a new season… I was in a new season… to learn to just “be”.
Just be a mom, just be at home, just be still even…

In the last 8 years I’ve learned to embrace intentional parenting, to guide a self-led learner in their homeschool journey, face special needs with a gentle approach, and endure an highly sensitive (albeit gifted) child…

we have moved 6 times; have had a mother (-in-law) with severe dementia get diagnosed, live with us, then live in a care facility near us; have had 3 young adults take turns in 3 consecutive years living with us for their own reason and season; we’ve graduated two homeschool students, and have seen our oldest son marry the girl of his dreams…

It’s been a blessed journey.

And the voyage continues…

This year is different.  

Instead of adventures outside of the home,
such as field trips, co ops, and homeschooling alongside other families, sports, random park days, etc…

we are now creating them inside the home,
such as providing childcare, offering a preschool co op in my house, and still encompassing learning from home.

It’s been a huge transition for us.

We went from following a rhythm to our days, where we had guidelines
but could embrace the moments in life as they came.
It was a low key and very effective way to learn and live in our family environment.

Now…

we follow a schedule,
not just a schedule for my own days activities with my kids and care kids,
but also the care kids parent’s work schedules, sports schedules, public school schedules, etc…

The hours are long, unpredictable, and busy…

my stay-at-home responsibilities are still in high demand as well…
and some days I question my sanity (as in why am I doing all this?)…

yet I already know the answer.

~To share Christ’s love.

I admit I have to do a lot of things to make this all work, family life and all…

but more importantly…

I get to…
*play with little people all day
*do what I love to do
*follow God’s lead for my life
*show God’s grace in our daily lives
*cultivate friendships with other moms
*show my kids that endurance with the right attitude means everything.

So I welcome 2016 and all it has to offer!

 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
 

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.

And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4: 4-7

Our Nature Tree

Fun For the Classroom!!

DSC_0699[1]

This lovely lady painted me a “nature tree”.
Over the years I have used a paper one that is old and worn.
Now, at our new house, the tree is on the wall,
and we are ready to explore our seasons and all things nature.

DSC_0705[2]

Didn’t it turn out cute? 

and because she knows me so well,
she signed her sketch of the project
and left it for me.  “love” it!

DSC_0704[1]

Just sharing a little joy in my days…

The Flexibility of a Homeschool Room

I love school rooms. 
I admit it.
There are some amazing classroom ideas out there.
Yet a classroom is not necessary to be able to homeschool.

I do prefer one.  Like this one at our old house.
(odd angled view, but you get the idea)

DSC_0093

and this is our class room now.

IMG_2137[1]

However, with it being winter, our house is actually more warm and cozy down in our daylight basement where our family room is… thus currently our previous school room is being called the “library”.  I don’t know why *wink*….

IMG_2145[1] DSCN3964[1] DSCN3957[1] IMG_2135[1]

This is our newest learning area set up:

DSC_0140[1]

It’s in a corner of our family room.
That table is right behind our loveseat .
We call it our “learning corner“.
We use the wall for calendar/weather/season/time work.  Also our Spanish words of the week, our math flash cards of the day are up there (along with a picture of a covered wagon that complimented our Pioneer Twins book)

Here is our workbox corner.
(where school supplies go)

DSC_0149[1]

yes, in another corner of the family room;
next to the TV actually.

The older kids actually do their work on our couch and loveseat,
but the table set up is fabulous for the younger kids.
We’ve been doing some cozy evening school work;
math, writing, & our history read aloud.
Reading lessons and some language arts are done right after lunch.

So yes, you could say we ditched our old school room
AND
our newest rhythm chart.
NO more of this either:

IMG_3637[1]

It appears that all our kiddos enjoy playing with the toddler I babysit.  Thus we have free time in the morning now.  Definitely out of my “plan it” box, ha ha!  But I really am enjoying our quiet evenings of study and family time, and it seems to be helping our wild 6 yr old wind down for bed.  So I’m claiming it as a win.

Does your daily routine ever make drastic changes?
Do you like change? or prefer the consistency of what is known?

The School Room and More Books

Give and ye shall receive?

I went through my schoolroom this past spring.

I gifted my whole set of Abeka (Kindergarten through 6th grade) set to a new homeschooler in the community.  I don’t know them, I haven’t met them, but I did hear about their need.  So I boxed up 3 large boxes and sent my husband on the “surprise” drop off.

Then I heard about someone really desiring Sonlight for their 2 young boys (7 & 9).  I happened to have what they needed, so I boxed up 2 years worth of books and sent them on their way.

Next was someone who needed leggos; yep, we have an overabundance, so we shared!

These are things that a person really could have made money on, but my heart really was to “bless it forward”…

SO….

imagine my surprise when I became the recipient of a gift of BOOKS!

IMG_2096[1]

8 boxes of classic literature, history novels, nature books, and more!

I received (I do believe!) just about the whole entire set of
American Landmark series-
The Landmark Books are a series of non-fiction books published by Random House in the fifties and early sixties.
Simply put, the Landmark series is the best collection of children’s histories ever written. ~ Exodus books

My cousin and his wife have finished homeschooling their daughter and, like I mentioned above, wanted to “bless it forward”.
Thank you D.T. & Leola!  I am SO excited!! 
People have joked about me having my own library, however, I now believe I just about do!  *smile*

Here’s our SCHOOLROOM:

IMG_2138[1]

All those cubbies on the right contain classic literature and history books.
-below is a small view of them.

IMG_2135[1]

Then we have readers.
These shelves are more for *free* reading interests.

IMG_2145[1]

Thus they fit nicely in our reading area.
We use the cork board for weekly themes for the week,
such as life cycle of a frog, spring trees, farm life, etc.
We actually put a daily craft on there to make a mural by the end of the week.
Schools out, so obviously it’s a little blank right now.

IMG_2149[1]

Next is our nature and science shelves!

DSCN3957[1]

…along with our nature observation window.

DSCN3960[1]

I also have a small bookshelf for early readers.

DSCN3964[1]

Here is the angle of the classroom from the reading area.
It gives a better view of all the history books too.

IMG_2137[1]

We add a small white board to the top of the bookshelf for Spanish/French lessons.  Since we are officially on summer vacation, it is a great time to review and get the younger kids to learn more.

IMG_2151[1]

And to utilize space, I put the older kids workboxes by the wood stove.
It works for now.

DSCN3959[1]

Yes, technically, our schoolroom is really what is suppose to be a living room, but hey, I’m living the dream…
I’m homeschooling my kids,
I have my own library,
and we have nature in our backyard.

Life is good, and I feel blessed!

 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” ~ Luke 6:38

We moved.

Go 'Hawks!

Moving seemed more daunting this time.
Thankfully, (photo from left to right),
Chanelle (Fred’s sister), Nick, Joe, Fred, TJ, and Amber all helped out tremendously,
as did a few friends when they could.

Honestly, moving can bring out the true character of people! 
Fred, Nick, and TJ did an amazing amount of grunt work!
I must of had close to 75 boxes of just books (not to mention bookcases that held them all).
We are all tired, exhausted even, as we cleaned both the home we moved into as well as the home we were moving out of in the midst of hauling all our stuff load by load.  I am pretty proud of my boys!

I love to move.

Not so much the packing,
but the unpacking.
The organizing.

Maybe I am just getting older,
because it took much longer to get settled this time.

Instead of my usually couple of days to get my house in order,
it has been a week and I am still not done.
Chanelle stayed up til wee hours of the night last week helping me unpack.

Of course we are still having fun in the process! 
After all, have you heard?  The Seahawks made it through the play offs!
Yep, they are Superbowl bound.

So we packed, and moved in between game plays.
Loaded trucks at half-time.
Got our house unpacked just in time to watch our ‘hawks win the NFC championship.

So now my goal is to get our house in complete order.
I am excited about our new home in the woods.
Looking forward to sharing our fresh routines,
our new surroundings, and giving you a tour of our humble place in the world.