faith

Struggles of Comparison

It’s everywhere isn’t it? The struggle of comparison.  I always thought it was just me, but I don’t believe that much anymore. I first thought it was because I was such a sensitive person. And yes, by sensitive, I mean super hyper-sensitive. Like an empathetic hyper-sensitive person. If you have never looked into this then I’d imagine you don’t struggle from this. I’d also imagine that you don’t have an idea where I’m coming from. Maybe you’re a millenial? Maybe you aren’t. That’s ok. For many years I didn’t know myself. I thought there was something wrong with me. That I was messed up from my past. That I wasn’t mentally strong enough. That I was a *snowflake….

But I’ve come to realize that snowflakes are beautiful.

close up photography of snowflake
Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

Have you ever went through and looked at pictures of snowflakes? They are all so different from each other, yet they all come from the same basic components. They each hold their own beauty. They have their own intricate patterns. Something I just can’t imagine came out of nowhere-from a big bang in the center of this universe. Something that displays such a detailed design. Each one. And if you’re capitated by this the same way I am, take a trip down youtube lane-just be careful and use discernment… https://youtu.be/tAvzsjcBtx8

See, I am a snowflake. Maybe that gives you a negative connotation of me? I’m not sure. I know that I have many struggles I have to face every day. I know that I’m trying to do what is best for my kids and for my family. I know that my children come first. I know that I see other people around me doing life so much better than me. I know that when I see this I often feel inadequate and it knocks me down. Especially when those people are my family.  And especially when you know those people well enough that you know that their comments passed in conversation with you, are made in an attempt to lift themselves up while making you feel less….

I’ve come to realize that we are all a little messed up. No matter what. There are those people out there who are all so pretty and well packaged. They have all the bells and whistles. They have all the extra-curriculars down pat, the volunteering, the church going, the soup suppers, the coaching opportunities, the youth groups,  the family get together’s that you somehow always miss out on. But I realize these people are hurting too. And that something about you, pokes a great big hole in their scabbed over, non-healed hurt.

woman standing on brown wooden plank
Photo by Kilian M on Pexels.com

In this life, no one is perfect. What has helped me most is knowing this and letting go. I don’t need to know someone else’s hurt to make myself feel better. We all face our own mountains in this life, and I believe that is what God has placed in our lives for us to overcome. Not in an evil sense, but to grow and come to a place where we can hear him. Where we go to him instead of our vices. Where we can truly be ourselves. And once we can conquer this, we go out into the world and show others they can do the very same thing.

I’m no where near the point I can go out and tell you how to overcome the issues you face in your life. But I can tell you I’ve faced my fare share of issues. And the only thing, the ONLY thing that has truly helped to heal that hole is GOD. His love, his words, his encouragement is what keeps me going. What helps me to forgive others, even if I’m the one who is holding resentment. To let myself forgive. To let myself look past the offense that I believe those close to me have put one me. Because, maybe they didn’t mean it like I thought, but because that is what I think, that is my truth, and that is what I must overcome. We are put on this earth to love people, as much as we love ourselves. We must overcome the heavy burdens we place on ourselves to look past the things we think people have done to us. If we can’t do this, we will remain stuck and not flourish. I’m asking you now, for my sake, as well as yours. OVERCOME. Download a bible app called YOUVERSION bible. It has so many plans to help you overcome depression, sadness, frustration, anger, instabilitly. This has helped me more than anyone will every know. When I was new in my faith, I had a difficult time reading the bible from front to back to figure out what I needed to do in this life to face my own battles. It was hard. But since I happened to find this app, it has helped me tremendously. I will not say it has fixed my life. Because it hasn’t. But it has given me the tools I needed to put things into perspective. I truly hope this helps you, because I understand your struggles.

 

 

 

 

faith, homeschool

Homeschooling or Public School

Part of blogging for me is getting to let out my feelings and concerns about myself and my family. It helps me think through my situations and hopefully figure out what I need to do in a more biblical way. It holds me accountable to put feelings out there for the world to see.

I’m at a crossroads. A bit of a struggle. You see, I have very bright and wonderful boys. 9 and 6. But I have boys who do not want to make school a priority. They want to be boys. And I haven’t found a good way through this.

My oldest, I literally have to stand over, stay in the same room with him and direct him what to do. I’ve tried timers, rewards, sticker charts, incentives, punishments, taking away screen time, etc. He is a dwadler. He will drop his pencil 20 times and lean over his chair to pick it up, knock over the chair, fall out onto the ground, all in an attempt to get out of doing math for a few minutes.

My youngest just isn’t interested. I’ve tried different books, different levels of phonics, easier math, harder math, and I’ve come to the conclusion they just don’t want to  “do school” when they are home.

Now I know that part of this is my own issue. There are things I want them to get through, that I know they can get through, but that they’d rather not get through. I just know they can do more, but they really don’t want to-in regards to school. But I feel like they would listen to a teacher better than they would listen to me. I don’t know if this is a true feeling for me, or if its just my mind, playing tricks on me, but often times, they do listen better when they are around other people.

Don’t get me wrong, they do listen. They have their chores they do in the mornings, and when we are out and about they know the rules–stay by me in the parking lot, behave in the grocery store, be respectful, etc. But it’s like as soon as I mention the word school, a switch flips and they just don’t want to do it.

This has gotten to the point where I myself am dreading even bringing up school. It has made me question if this is the right choice for them. I wonder if I would feel any better about their education if I put them in school. I don’t know. I’ve seen alot of posts about quitting homeschool, but not a whole lot where people are actually going through it in real time. And that is where I’m at right now. I want to do what is best for my kids, whatever that may be. But I am standing here in the middle of the road, with no directions, trying to figure out which way I need to go.

If only I had a crystal ball, to tell me which way is best for me to go. That is my struggle. So many paths. So many choices. So much resistance from my kiddos.

See, when I started this adventure with homeschool, I was strongly convicted by God to do so. And I still feel that way. I feel as though if I put them in school, (and I’m not passing judgement on anyone who has chosen that path. I feel this and am saying this only about myself and my personal life in this moment) that I will not be doing what God wants me to do with my children. So I guess I’m technically going against what I am convicted to do. That isn’t a great feeling, but neither is the dread of trying to get them to “do school” every day they don’t want to. Which is pretty much every day. They listen to almost everything else I ask them to do. I don’t believe it is an all out discipline problem with them. I don’t honestly know what it is, but I know it is a struggle. And I don’t have much of a support group, so going at it alone is pretty much what I’m doing. I believe this is the general struggle all Christians face, the decision between letting it go and trusting God, or giving in and doing it mans way. I’m not saying that public school is man’s way. I’m just saying that our choices on this earth are to follow God, or follow our own (mans) choices.

Something I’m clinging on to at the moment is a verse I read that encourages me to stay in my faith and not take it out of Gods hands. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. —Romans 8:28

Now, I’m not some bible thumping, people convicting, opinionated mama who negatively thwarts out bible verses to those out in the world who are hurting, in an attempt to get a word in, instead of showing them love in that moment where they are at in their lives.  I believe we are put on this earth to 1) LOVE GOD. and 2) LOVE PEOPLE. So if you think that my post is insinuating that you are not a good parent for putting your child in public school, or homeschooling when you can no longer take it, you are mistaken. I am simply putting my thought process on a computer screen of what I want to do with my own children.

While I’m not trying to be judgemental, I’m still conflicted. I know what I want to do, and I know what God wants me to do. I’m stuck, but I have to move across this intersection. I can’t chose to do God’s will, and wish the whole time that I didn’t or vice versa. I want to do what is best for my kids.  I don’t want to homeschool them with a grudge in my heart. I have to be in the right place in my heart to make the choice that I need to make. So we have a few weeks to make a decision. And I know in my heart that God uses all things for good. And he can use our mistakes to bring about good. So I have faith in knowing that whatever happens, God is there.

goats

Adding our Goats to the Homestead!

We’ve done it! We’ve added our goats to our farm and it has been such a wonderful experience thus far.

We’ve actually had them for a few months. I picked them up in March after they were 8 weeks old, from a farm about an hour away from our home. Crater, Heart, and Scarlet. The backbone of our homestead. 🙂 The journey thus far had been interesting.

From the beginning, Crater (our whether), was bottle fed. My oldest took the bottle feeding upon himself and jumped right in. He could have actually been weaned at this point, and probably should have been, but I wanted to give Benjibear the opportunity to feed him from a bottle.

Over the next month, Crater (who normally has a thick black coat) turned a brownish red color and I noticed some balding on his tail. He also became really skinny. Almost emaciated looking. Copper Deficiency. I treated him once in April and once in May, provided him with loose minerals and a mineral block specifically for goats, and he finally came out of it. I’d read a lot online about how the sheep/goat combo mineral blocks do not contain the appropriate amount of copper for goats, so just FYI for those reading, watch the copper content in any minerals you buy for your goats. I do not have a vet close by who is familiar with goats. But the people I bought them from were so very helpful. He is doing just great now with a dark black coat and a nice, full tail.

Heart and Scarlet are our two does we are going to be using for breeding. They will be ready to be bread when they are about a year old, so January 2019. The girls are not full blooded nigerian dwarfs, but a mix between a few breeds. The gentleman I bought them from is working towards breeding different goats to obtain a goat with the perfect balance bewteen milk and meat. He’s been working towards this goal for the last 7 years. But the reason I chose these goats was because of how sweet and incredibly loving they are. After my previous goat experience, with a shy, untrusting doe, I was excited to see how loving these girls were. And that is what sold me.

The kids have been taking care of them this summer, with the exception of trimming hooves, and they’ve really enjoyed playing out in the pen with them. It warms my heart to see them all together, running with the goats.

Romans 12:11-12  — Work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 

faith

Holidays are hard

Ever since the loss of my Grandparents in 2000, holidays haven’t been the same. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of seeing what happens when all that is holding siblings together is their parents. And once that tie is broken, so are the relationships that were hanging on by a thread. I feel this is a common occurrence and although many times, people don’t realize it at the beginning, they begin to see how much of an impact mom and dad had on their kinship with their brothers and sisters once they’ve passed.

pexels-photo-237180.jpeg   It seems personality types have so much to do with these struggles. Narcissism, envy, wrongdoings, lies, comparing children (even to adulthood), just struggles most adults don’t want to partake in becomes evident during this time we have together. But it brings up that question, that question that doesn’t get spoken until you’ve already let the negativity bring you down. That question that doesn’t pop up in your mind at first. The question of….where is my focus?

See, holidays aren’t about touting yourself, your new job, your prodigy child, pointing out insufficiency’s of others. Holidays are about enjoying the time you have with each other and doing good for others. Treating others as you would treat yourself. Maybe one day we can reach the point where we do these types of good all year. But holidays are a wonderful start to this. They are a chance to right wrongs, be the bigger person, show love and kindness, even if that means letting someone else proclaim their opinion louder than your own. Because your focus, your own focus, isn’t on yourself and how you want others to view you at these gatherings. Your focus on on God. And in leaving your focus on God, you can let all the other things go, because they don’t matter. There is so much in this world that man thinks is the key to success, but I believe the only true success, is your relationship with God. Because that relationship affects so many other relationships in your life. Its the difference between forgiveness and hate. Envy and happiness. The narrow path and the wide path.

pexels-photo-594421.jpeg If you’re a believer and you trust in God, you can often times see where others are hurting, and that in doing the behaviors they do (that annoy you) you can see their personal struggles. The best thing you can do for yourself and for your family is to pray. Pray for your struggle with your feelings towards them and pray for their own struggles.

If you aren’t a believer and want to be close to God, the best advice I have to offer is to pray, read, and internalize the bible. Start small and work your way up. Start with the 10 commandments. These have always been so important to God that we see them over and over, with Jesus actually digging deeper into them in Matthew. Come to God with a heart of repentance. Be sorry for the sin in your life and ask for change. Keep asking. You will find him when you seek him with all your heart and for many people, it doesn’t happen overnight. I have been on my own journey with the lord since 2014. I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be. I hope and pray that in sharing my own personal struggles, someone reading can gain some benefit and not feel alone. I’ve prayed a lot this holiday season and I will continue to do so. I probably annoy people as much as I am annoyed by their narcissism. I believe the true seal of doing a good job in life, is having other people talk highly of you.  Unfortunately with social media the way it is, brandishing your own accomplishments over and over again is becoming the societal norm. So having it flow into your family is not a surprise. But I’m here to tell you there are still people out there who don’t believe in doing life this way and are trying to do life differently. And on that note, I’m off to work on getting the mote out of my own eye, so eventually, I can help others with the stick in theirs.

homeschool

Solar Eclipse August 21st, 2017

As many of you may already know from the news and facebook (which pretty much is my news), there is a solar eclipse coming Monday August 21st. There will be a total solar eclipse viewable in a path across the united states. Below is a map provided by nasa that shows the path of the total eclipse.

2017 Total Solar Eclipse Global Map

You can actually enter your zip code in the following web link (the link will direct you to vox website and there you enter your zip) to see how much of the sun will be eclipsed in your city and state.

solar eclipse zip code

Being as how this is a fairly rare event, and I’m homeschooling now, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to come up with a lesson plan on solar eclipse’s for my 5 and 8 year old. I will paste a link for the lesson plan I made, pretty much from google, on here and you can use it for your own family.

solar eclipse 2017

I’m hoping to be able to travel to Paducah, Ky to see the total eclipse with my family. It is the closest viewable site to our home (still a little over a 3 hour drive). There are tons of stoppable points across the us. You can google places to go for the total eclipse and page after page will pop up.

I hope you enjoy your eclipse day with your family and friends, and can take this opportunity to learn a little more about it. There is always something we can learn every day, and even if it isn’t always learning material we are planning to present to our kids, we can learn it for our own knowledge as adults. Always keep learning!! God Bless

Isaiah 40:26

 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens.
    Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
    and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
    not one of them is missing.

faith, homeschool

Second Chance

This will be my second chance with homeschooling. I guess you can call it a second chance. I’m not going to think of it totally as another chance, because this time, we are going all the way through. The first go around, when I homeschooled my first kiddo through kindergarten and first grade, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I had read many, many articles on homeschool. Mentally noting each difference between the many ways homeschool can be done. Trying to figure out my son’s learning style so I’d choose the perfect way to teach him.
I had two children at the time. A 5 year old and a very rambunctious 3 year old. I was working part-time at the hospital on evening shift and the occasional night shift. Juggling time between home, work, and family. It was difficult to even think straight. I felt like I was pulled in so many different directions I didn’t know which way was up.
When Benjibear asked me halfway into his first grade year to go to school, I’m not going to lie….part of me was relieved. I was to the point I was crying every night, both he and I were frustrated because we weren’t getting things done consistently. He would have rather not gotten anything done at all. See, he is a kid who doesn’t really want to sit down and go through a workbook. I found that out about him. It is hard for him to sit and pay attention several hours and then go on to complete an assignment that he had to pay attention to the lesson to complete. I’m not sure why I thought that public school would work any better for him. I think I was more hopeful that they could do something…anything to help change the way he learned. But i’ve come to realize that isn’t possible. I’m to the point that I can see that trying to change him will only result in a loss of confidence in himself. It already had to a point.
But it wasn’t only that he had a different learning style than most of the children in his class. It was a tiny voice, deep down inside my mind telling me that I needed to bring him home. Benjibear would come home and say things like, “I can’t believe I was gone for 8 hours, that is just like work mom. That’s what you do. Don’t you think family time is more important than being gone?” And I have to say yes, I did. It bothered me that he was away that long. Obviously it bothered him too. While I don’t believe that every family is called to homeschool, I believe with all my heart that mine is. And I wish it wasn’t, because occasionally when I think about going all the way through high school a tight, slightly suffocating knot forms in my chest. I mean, I don’t have any of this planned out. I’m trying to do the best I can. I feel so much like Jonah that I reference him often. But I can’t deny the feeling. It’s like that feeling when you are presented with two choices, a right choice which you know in your gut is right, but you don’t want to do it. And a wrong choice, which presents itself with a much easier opportunity for you than the other choice. But you have it deep in your bones that you know you have to do the right thing. That is what homeschooling is like for me at this point.

Im not really sure how we are going to do this. I’m not totally positive on their learning styles or my teaching style. But I know one thing. God’s got this. He’s told us this whole time that we aren’t supposed to be anxious for anything. We don’t have to have all the answers to get to the end page of this life, or these different journeys within our lives. We just have to have faith that he is going to take over and grow the seeds we are planting within our children minds. I don’t have a plan, but I do have faith. That will get us through.

mom work

Organizing…eh

Sounds so simple, right?
One of those things that you either have it or you dont . And for the most part the ones who have it, it comes to them naturally. They dont have to think about it much , they dont overthink it. They don’t underthink it. They just do it. Oh to be at that point in my life where organizing comes easy. I’m the type of person that I start on something, and jump to something else. For example (insert thought pattern here) I need to make supper. Oh man, the chicken is still frozen. Maybe there’s some leftovers in the fridge.–opens fridge– Oh boy, I need to clean out the fridge, what’s up with those strawberries? They look awful, maybe the chickens will like them. Oh yea, I need to get eggs—goes outside to get eggs–wow I need to mow, but before I mow I need to get gas, but when I go I should probably stop at the store and pick up some milk before we run out again. Maybe I can pick up something to make for supper while I’m out. –Goes to store to get milk, comes out with a weeks worth of groceries–gets home and starts on supper. Realize at this point I forgot mower gas….Maybe tomorrow, I’ll go back to town to get gas.

Organizing is one of those buzz words. Those words that when you hear it, either your eyes light up and you suddenly become excited to talk about your latest project, or you cringe and look the other way, slowly debating in your mind which excuse you are going to come up with to explain why you aren’t organized. I am defiantly the latter, and I have been for many, many years. Whereas most of my family, they are the former. They have this organizing business down to a T.

But for me, its not that I dont like to be organized. I do. It makes my life alot easier when I am. And while organizing can be difficult, I think I struggle with how to get organized, how to start, and how to maintain through being exhausted from day to day life.

Because I’m now at home, I feel less pulled in a thousand directions, and I feel like I have more time to devote to putting things in their places. Where before, organizing was dropped because of all the things in my life I was juggling. We actually hired a housekeeper (nothing at all wrong with this) to come help us. But there was always that tiny little feeling, deep down, that little voice who told me I was failing. Because I wasnt able to clean the house and I had to ask someone for help.

Unfortunately, I’m a unorganized perfectionist. Yes you read that right. Unorganized…..perfectionist. I have this plan in my mind of how things are going to work out, and when I detour from that plan, I get a little antsy. More than a little. It bugs me. Until I can get back on track.

The unorganized part of me comes from getting overwhelmed when starting on cleaning and decluttering. I start and stop. Get distracted, go back to it to find I need to finish this other task before I complete the one I just started. So it’s very frustrating.

I’ve decided I’m going to change this. I stumbled across this website called Theflylady, and there is so much good advice on there for people like me, who just don’t know how to get organized. And it makes my heart happy to know I’m not the only one who struggles with this. I’m starting with baby steps and I’ll let you know how it goes!! If you struggle with organizing, this may be helpful for you to look into as well.

Don’t allow it to be your crutch though. If you aren’t at all interested in organizing, don’t worry about it. I believe there is a time and a place to come to. Where if you are naturally unorganized, you have to get where organizing is something you want to do for you, not just because everyone else is doing it. Don’t get discouraged if it isn’t doable for you at the moment.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Parenting

Parenting is hard. Period.

I couldn’t sleep last night. I was tossing and turning in the bed, fluffing and refluffing my pillow, moving the blankets every which way until finally, I just gave up and got out of bed. My mind was whirring all night about my parenting. I mean, there’s just so much to it, isn’t there. There are so many different ways people do it. I’ve been reading and reading so many books to try to figure out what would work best for us. For so long we were reactive with our kids. I’ve just recently figured this out….thus, the loss of sleep. I never knew there was a term for the type of parenting I just naturally did. But there is. And it doesn’t seem like a great parenting style. It’s put us on edge for a long time. Where it was hard to empathize with our kiddos. They understood our “rules” but then again they didn’t. We didn’t really sit down and discuss with them what we expected from them. So how can you blame them for their actions?

There’s so many days I wish that there was an instruction upload sent by God, implanted directly in our brains on how to parent our children so they grow up well balanced and responsible adults. How great would that be? No more anxiety or constant worry about it, or fearing that you aren’t getting through to them, or to their heart. Just, perfect parenting.

But unfortunately that doesn’t exist and we are here trying to do the best we can with what we have and what we know. Not all of us have been brought up with great examples of what we are supposed to do, and unfortunately, that is what so many of us go on. We go on parenting how we were parented. It seems to be a cycle. There are so many instances where we just don’t know what to do and we try to draw back on those childhood experiences. What would mom have done? or dad. Hurry up and think of something people are staring and expecting you to do something with your child.

That’s it right there. People expecting you to do something with your misbehaving child. And that’s what made me realize, people aren’t really concerned with the behavior of children. Kids are kids. But what they are concerned about is the response of the parent to the misbehaving child. What are you going to do about it? Are you going to scream and yell? Smack their bottom? Time out? talk with the child? How would you want someone to tell you about the mistake in behavior you made? If you were obnoxious about something would you want another person to tell yell at you that you are obnoxious? Or would you rather have a calm conversation, trying your hardest to keep the other person from getting defensive. No one listens when they are defensive. They may wait and be quiet while you are speaking, but most of the time they are waiting for their turn to explain why they were right. How can children not be the same way?

I look back and I can see so many times that after I yelled at one of the kids they immediately tried to explain their actions and why they were right. Because I was so dead set and headstrong they were wrong, they felt the need to explain why they were right, to try to change my mind. And you know, they may have been right. They see things so much differently in their own perspectives. For example, Zanieybaby was at his cousins house last week. The kids had come to me and told me that Zaineybaby was being mean to them, he had hit the oldest cousin. When I went back to talk with him, he told me that the oldest cousin was taking toys away from his sister and telling her she could not play with his toys. Zaineybaby told him to stop and he didn’t listen so he hit him. Now Zaineybaby knew it wasn’t right to hit, and he did get in trouble, but he was also trying to do something right in the process. So what do you do with that besides try your best to teach to their hearts about how they were both right and wrong. And how we could do this better next time. And it clicked for me.

Right at that moment, some of the little things I had been reading about proactive parenting clicked. See in that moment, I was trying to prepare Zaineybaby for what he should do the next time something like this happened. I know I’ve done this before, but I had never been intentional with it. I’d never prepared him before his playdates on how to act or what do to if someone was mean. So he was handling it the only way he knew how.

Now don’t get me wrong. I know that I can’t prepare him for everything that he could possibly encounter, but just letting him know that if something happens that doesn’t go as planned, we want to try to do the right thing. And I think that opens a world of possibility between parent and child communication.

And there it is…

…slowly things are making sense.

It’s so hard and there are so many ways I need to change to make myself a better parent for my children, but I will. I’m going to lean on God because his way is better than my way. If God was reactive with us, we’d be long gone. Maybe we really need to look at how he is with us to see how we should be with our own children. And not parent based off worry and anxiety, but out of love and understanding.

Phil 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

faith

In the Beginning…

Here it is! Finally, here is the start of our journey on to a different life.

But to give you an idea of why our lives are going to be different, let me start from the beginning.

It all started about 8 years ago. In May of 2008. I was getting ready to take my last final for my associates degree nursing class. I had stayed up through most the night before the test because I was feeling sick. At the time I attributed it to nerves. After all, this test was going to determine if I was going to be able to move on with my life as an RN, right? I mean, I was doing everything I was supposed to in this game called life. Trying to work my way up in the world by starting at the very bottom. Just like everyone else.

The morning of my final I woke up vomiting. I thought to myself, “No please, anything but this. There’s no way I can miss this test.” See, for those of you who don’t know about nursing finals, if you miss, its a huge deal. There had been horror stories at my university about people who missed the final and were not allowed to retake the test. period. Which is horrifying if you already have a job set up as a graduate nurse pending on, you know, graduating.

So I pressed on, got dressed, and headed out. I actually had to stop on my way to campus twice, to pull over on the side of the road and relive my stomach of the ginger ale I had drank in a pitiful attempt to calm my cramping GI tract. But, I made it to class and I made it on time, sat for the test, and was one of the last students to finish. Upon standing and making my way to exit the room, I started feeling woozy. I attempted to hold myself up on the back of a chair to no avail. The room was darkening and I was going down. I passed out.

I woke up a few minutes later with my then professor hovering over me, passing a wet washcloth over my eyes. She asked me if I was alright. “I guess so” I replied to her. She asked if I’d ever passed out before. “nope, never.” I was a little embarrassed because I wasn’t completely sure what happened. She then asked me something that brought my world crashing back. Something I had not yet even considered with the stress of passing my finals, setting up my NCLEX, and interviewing for my graduate nurse position at the hospital. She asked me if I was pregnant.

“Well, I don’t know. I don’t think so, but I should probably check I guess. I’ll check when I get home.” My head was spinning. How could I not know? Why didn’t I think of this? My boyfriend and I had our own place (we were renting from a friend) and I had recently moved out of my parents house. In all actuality I could be, but I was only 20. I had no idea of how to live on my own yet. What was I going to do. Maybe I wasn’t pregnant. But maybe I was.

…I was.

Thus starting the beginning of our little family. Our oldest son BenjiBear was born that November of 2008. My then boyfriend (now my husband) and I spent the next several years trying to figure out how to be parents, pay a mortgage, work, and manage a sitter. What a life shock. I mean, things were no longer about us anymore. We now had this tiny little life we were responsible for. Which in and of itself was a blessing. Children are a blessing for parents. They change you in ways you cannot even imagine. They mature you and put your life into perspective. In a beautifully humbling way.

We had our second child Zaineybaby in February of 2012. I was back in school finishing my bachelors degree for nursing. I had him halfway through my program and ended up having to take him to several classes with me because I was breastfeeding and unable to pump much. When I went back to work with my first kiddo, Benjibear, I was able to pump and breastfeed until he was 10 months old. For our own reasons, we did not want him to have formula. When I was at the point I could no longer produce milk for him, we chose to give him goats milk. After a ton of research, we had decided it was the best match for him. As it ended up, I breastfed Zaineybaby for 8 months before I was unable to produce anymore breastmilk. We switched him over to goats milk as well. Both of my kids thrived on it, which was the beginning of my love for goats milk, and goats.

I went on to finish my bachelors and head back to work. My boyfriend and I were working nights. Our sister in law was watching our two boys while I worked my 3 12 hour shifts at the hospital. Finally, an evening shift had become available. I jumped into that role to try to have a little more routine and be a little less tired from nightshift. My boyfriend and I had discussed homeschool with some degree of curiosity, but neither of us knew much about it. And the boys were still little so we had time to make our minds up. The next couple of years flew by between work, kids, birthdays, holidays, finding God, being saved (there’s another few posts to blog about in these years that passed, but we will save that for another time) and there was a marriage in there as well. (We ended up going to the courthouse to be married, nothing fancy, no big party. Much easier to do with the lives we were currently living). Until finally Benjibear was 5. It was December of 2013. The following August was the time we were going to have to make the decision to put him in school or homeschool.

To be perfectly honest, neither of us was comfortable with someone else teaching our children. I had recently been baptized and incorporating God into what my children learned was a priority. Especially with them being so young. After several conversations, a few sleepless nights while coming to a decision, and the encouragement of Benjibear himself that he wanted to stay home for school, we made that decision. We were going to homeschool our boys.

I switched to part-time at work and we began. We started in Kindergarten and went all the way through until the middle of first grade, when Benjibear asked me to go to public school. He wanted the chance to go to school. Both my husband and I felt that we needed to let him experience school if he was interested in it. So we did. We put him in. Shortly after starting him in school, we found our we were pregnant with baby #3. To make things interesting we did NOT find out the sex of the baby until we had HER. Yes, she was a girl, and another blessing to our lives.

So back to school. Benjibear started in the middle of his first grade year. By the end of his second grade year he was done, and so were we. We were spending two hours a night on average on math homework. He was getting picked on when he rode the bus, and I didn’t feel very comfortable with the things he was coming home and asking me. (Its astonishing what some little kids know about these days). So here we are again. We are finishing up the summer after his second grade year. My husband and I decided that we are going to homeschool again. I quit my full time job at the hospital this last May, to be home with my kiddos. But not just to be home….

After much deliberation, we have also decided, that we want to have goats. Not only have goats, but also have a small goat milk farm that we can make soap, sell milk, teach responsibility to our children by raising and taking care of the goats, and most of all, honor God by the work we do with our farm and family. So this is our goal. This is what we want to do with our lives. Here we are in the very beginning, after the beginning. We are going to do our best to figure out how to make this dream of ours a reality. Our reality. And by Gods grace, it will be.

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