Showing posts from May, 2020

Not Progressing... Or is she?

Good Morning Mamas,

I shared with you awhile back how I was trying to get my eldest tested for learning disabilities and how there was a lot of frustration in the waiting period, not knowing fully what to push and what not to in my daughter's education. (See that blog HERE)

Well, that frustration didn't go away and shortly after I hit a wall in my daughter's reading. I couldn't get her to read smoothly and accurately no matter what I tried. I tried reading it to her. Having her record herself reading for accountability. Have her trace the words with her finger as she listened to the story. NOTHING helped. I had hit a big brick wall...

The frustration of not being able to get a diagnosis and the right tools for my daughter only increased.

Then homeschool test day came. My daughter's former co-op teacher (and a previous special ed teacher) was administering her private test. I talked with the teacher the day before the test to let her know what my daughter needed help wi…


Just a few minutes ago I was standing in the middle of my garden with the baby on my hip and my two little boys with me, and I was crying. Bawling, really.

"What's wrong, mommy? Why are you crying?"

I was crying because I was trying to pull up kale. And it hurt. It hurt too much to continue. But the pain wasn't the main reason for my tears. It was the frustration. The intense anger at the fact that I am so physically pathetic right now that I can't even pull up kale.

Just so you get the full picture I will disclose that the kale plants are almost as tall as I am and most of them have stocks that are at least four inches in diameter. Every fall I let the kale grow like crazy in my garden. We eat off it throughout the winter and spring and then it goes to seed and I pull it up right before planting my new garden. Keeps the weeds down, too.

So these plants are admittedly huge. But still! I'm 35 years old, I should be able to work in my own garden. I should not b…

Two Sweet Days

I was walking around my room praying this morning (my new thing with the wet weather and how badly I zone out if I sit down) and I was just overcome with gratefulness. 

I've had the best past two days! 

I'm grinning right now because yes, two really good days is rare. The preteens plus toddler phase have left me frustrated most days, depressed others, and loosing my mind sometimes. Sure, there's always good moments, but when you are getting yelled at, screamed at, or have someone mad at you most days it really puts a damper on things.

But these past two days have been just so sweet. We've had so many good moments, connecting moments, and I honestly can't recall one blow up. These past two days have made me not only intensely grateful for these happy moments but also for the current season of motherhood I'm in.
I let my daughters run into Rays to get a treat and they were just so full of confidence and excitement, it was wonderful. We went on a crazy long family bik…

Dear Mama, Its OK To Say "It's Too Much"

It officially camping season! I don't know about you, but I love to camp. Being outdoors is so refreshing for me. It's one of my family's favorite past times and I think my kids would be happy if we constantly lived at camp all summer.

Of course, it is also a lot of work.

I had originally planned on camping for Memorial Day weekend. I had it on the calendar and also had a mental list going in my head about what I needed to do to prepare for the trip. 
Then I had a busy week, and my body was complaining about it and telling me to slow down. So I had to tell my family that camping couldn't happen for us this weekend
It was hard. It felt selfish. But it's what had to be done.
Because I knew that if I pushed myself I would be feeling terrible at camp. And I may even set my surgery recovery back more. And it would probably ruin the plans we had for the next week because I would be recovering from the weekend
I felt selfish, but it wasn't selfish. My family needs a happy…

Do You Really Need a Thousand?

I was sitting outside this morning with my coffee, praying, when I noticed something had changed in my back yard from the day before.

Where my green grass was fairly bare the day before, today it held what seemed like a million helicopter seed pods. I looked around, our entire yard was covered with only ONE tree's seeds!

All those seeds just so a few take root, I thought in wonder.

Then I smiled. It was encouraging. It may take a thousand times of "planting a seed" before you see the results. It could take a million kind words before you ever see it make a difference. It could take years of hard work before you see a dream come true. It may take a lifetime of investment before you see it pay off...

I think about those seeds covering my back yard and I think of motherhood. I think of my children and the thousand time I've shared the same lesson, given the same direction, or given an encouragement. Sometimes it looks like NOTHING is sinking in, especially with my preteens.…

I Didn't Know I was Hurting Her!

My eldest two children are 18 months apart in age. This has many pros, as well as cons. One of the cons, my daughters go through stages back-to-back.

My eldest has been in high-hormones, mood swings, body changes for awhile now, and now my second daughter is RIGHT behind her...

My second daughter has reached what I unflatteringly call "The Brain Dead Stage". It's the stage where the hormones and changes are really kicking into high gear and my children, who are incredible kids, tend to do a lot of... Well, dumb things. It's really tough on me... but more tough on them!

My second daughter has always been an incredibly bright child. I've often treated her older than her age because so often she acts older and more mature. Going through this phase has been incredibly frustrating to me.

My normally brilliant child can't remember direction or directly does the opposite of every direction I give. She no longer seems to be able to figure out normal, simple tasks that ar…

Catchup Day!

We moved into this house 8 years ago and my chronic pain health problems began 7 years ago. I also had three baby boys in that seven year period, so I'm behind on a lot. On like, everything. There isn't one direction I could look in my house or property and feel like I don't need to do something to improve it. That is just incredibly overwhelming, but not uncommon, I know. A lot of people feel this way.

A few months ago a friend challenged me to not look at myself as being behind, but to look at it like "this is just where I am right now". It was a good challenge, but I've been forgetting to do it lately. I've actually been battling a bit of depression about it, too.

Monday, I decided to stop dwelling on this and do something about it. After breakfast, I declared to the kids that it was going to be a Catchup Day. I told them they could still earn their school marbles as long as they worked hard to help me catchup. Basically, they did all their normal chores…

Making Stranger Friends

"Don't talk to stranger!"

I remember this caution being given to me as a child and one I've gave my children, as well, when they were younger.

Now, I encourage talking to strangers! LOL.

I want my children and I to be a presence of light and love in the world and I think talking to strangers is a great way to do that.

The other day the kids and I were at this tiny little park. I was doing school with my oldest, and my two youngest were playing on the play structure. It was only us there when a white SUV pulled up.

Out hopped a mom and her three kids and they joined us on the playground... What to do now? Social distancing? Play with them? I looked on as my younger two just stared at the newcomers.

I encouraged them to say "hi" and introduce themselves but they didn't. Finally, the mom said "hi" to my staring kids and they loosened up. She turned towards me as well, a few yards off, and gave a quick hi and how she's tired of the coronavirus. I ag…


My husband took a picture of my baby and I last weekend, when we were on our camping trip. A few days ago he posted it on facebook. Do you know what my first thought was?

You probably've probably had the same thought...I'm willing to bet most women have...

"Man, I look terrible."

I didn't look at the adoring way that my son was smiling at me. I didn't look at the pure mama-joy on my own face. I looked at the extra pounds and I wanted to cry.

I'm crying now as I write this, because this isn't the way I should feel about a picture of my son and I. And this isn't the way you should feel about yourself, either, mama.

Is it healthy for me to have this extra weight? Not at all. Do I need to get healthier? I surely do (and I've lost ten pounds this past month by eating better, yay!). But that is beside the point.

The point is, I should look at that picture and remember the time that my son looked lovingly in my eyes and laughed at what I was sayin…

Changing How We Do It

We had the most beautiful evening the other day. It was actually a pretty wonderful day too. Of course there were struggles and behaviors and all the normal stuff of mommy life, but the moments were beautiful.

The moment of planting some flowers in pots outside with my eldest. Getting to go the park with a friend. Walking with my husband after he got off work. 

I made dinner after our walk (new recipe) and it was really good. We all sat at the table and chatted. After the dinner clean up was finished, we ended up having an HOUR of "free time", which never happens. It's been a long time since it wasn't just "It's bedtime, get in bed!". The stress of all the coronavirus has increased the stress of evenings and bedtimes. We are often on edge getting the kids to bed and the time has been less than enjoyable.

But this night, it was perfect. My eldest worked on her reading app on the ipad in my room. I played blocks with the baby and periodically checked up on m…

Worth EVERY Sacrifice!

Awhile ago, pre-lockdown, I had a dear friend of mine drop off her sweet babies at my house to go shopping.

When she came back to pick up her kids, she had another friend with her and I felt jealous for a moment. Jealous that I wasn't the friend that got to go out and shop with her...
I'm a homeschool mom. I will never be the mom that can go out and get a quick cup of coffee while my kids are in school. I will never be the mom to go out shopping without the kids. I have my kids all. the. time...
But here's the thing. 
It is a sacrifice. A sacrifice I feel personally called to. A calling I have seen intense blessings come as a result of. 
I was talking to my husband about this as I bemoaned the fact that my eldest daughter is no longer just my little girl. That's she's growing into a women. As emotional as that makes me, I thought of the sacrifice I make to be at home, teaching her each day. I thought about the life lessons I'm instilling in her.
My daught…

Live a Little

We went clam digging today.
This is really exciting for me. Clam digging is an activity I have enjoyed my whole life...until the hernias came. I think I've only done it two or three times in the past seven years.

I awoke this morning to hear my oldest moving around. She came to my room and asked me if we were going to go. I had been tossing the idea back and forth. I didn't want to end up feeling a lot of pain from going, but I wanted to go so badly. I decided it was worth it.
We roused the rest of the kids, got them dressed, threw a smoothie into mason jars, and headed out the door. Five kids from bed to car in 35 minutes is pretty impressive, I think.
I was giddy as I drove down the highway. We all chatted excitedly the whole 1.5 hours it took to get to our destination. When we got to the bay it started sprinkling. We headed out towards the flats anyway and, miraculously, the rain stopped. We were late getting there, but we were blessed and got all of our limits out of the first…

Mother's Day Tears

This weekend we went to the coast for mother's day and met up with some family. It was really nice. The kids played happily with their cousins, we got to chat with our family, and everyone had a good time.

After arriving home there was all the normal clean up: Laundry, dishes, unloading the car, putting away food and shoes and everyone showering.

My girls went to bed and to sleep and a short while later it was time for my son to go to sleep as well. I sat there rocking my son, remembering some of the conversations of the day.

My cousin, who has three kids, four and under, was talking about how I have so much help from my older two. Which I do and am incredibly grateful! However, I shared how the times where I have just my youngest and get to take care of stuff my daughters usually do, are precious moments. 

As I sat rocking my son, I wanted to cry. I wanted to cry because my daughters are growing up too fast and they are little ladies now. I'm SO proud of who they are and who are …

What's Underground?

It has been two years since my grandma passed away. 
I really missed her and thought of her a lot this Mother's Day. I'm sure a lot of you have loved ones that you think of especially on holidays. 
My grandma has been on my mind a lot lately because of this flower. 

My mom and son dug the bulbs for these irises out of her yard as we were packing her things and cleaning her house, shortly after she passed away.  I planted them when we got home and they came up as healthy, green blades. 
Then they did nothing. For two years they just stayed green blades. I was about to pull them up this spring and then I noticed that there were buds growing. Now the bed is full of beautiful flowers. 
Mama, sometimes it looks like no progress is being made. We can feel like a hamster on a wheel, doing the same thing over and over again, working so hard, and not getting anywhere.
But what's going on underground, mama? We don't know because we cant see it. But something is happening. There is gro…

My Crazy, Messy, Beautiful Life

I walked outside this morning to find STUFF all over my back yard... Mattresses that haven't yet been taken to the dump, pieces of scrap wood everywhere, kids toys, a broken tent, and a bench that will never be refurbished.

At first I was annoyed. I love a peaceful backyard. Where it's clean and green and my eye doesn't end up wandering to every piece of junk and trash strewn around. I signed and said "Thank you Lord for my crazy, messy, beautiful life" and went and sat down to pray.

About two minutes later I hear crying from inside the house where my eldest is watching the baby. I wait awhile... the crying continues. It's not a "hurt cry" but it just doesn't stop.

I am irritated. I feel like I can never seem to get a MOMENT'S peace without having to move mountains to do it! I go inside to asked "WHAT'S GOING ON?" and there in my little boy sadly looking at me from his sister's arms.

He wasn't hurt. He just wanted me. I mad…

More Precious than GOLD

I work from home.

No, really. I work from home...but I make ZERO dollars!

I stay at home with my three children, homeschool my oldest two full-time, do dishes, cook, clean, and all the rest.

To fulfill the jobs I do in a day I would need to hire a:

-Full time nanny $30,987
-A full time teacher $61,900
-A maid $31,465
-A cook $25,301

That comes to a grand total of: $149,656 per year.

I work from home. All my work and daily sacrifices may not put a single dollar into the bank but it's investing into my children's future, into the peace of our home, and creating a safe place for our family to thrive.

Whether you stay home, work from home, or work outside of the home, a mother's worth is priceless! We instill our children with morals, integrity, courage, self-esteem, discernment. All things that are taught the very best from home, from parents, and from mothers. 

We work for the future of our children and the present comfort of our babies. The work we do is never ending it seems. Every d…

Working Hard at Hard Work

My baby is nine months old.

It's been a pretty rough nine months.

He had pretty extreme jaundice when he was a newborn. Maybe because of low milk supply? I don't know. He was always one who wanted to nurse. A LOT.

He got his first two teeth when he has only four months old. He's had two flu-like sicknesses (one may have been corona, but I really don't know) that left him coughing and coughing. And his mama had surgery, so for quite a few weeks he was only brought to me to nurse and then taken away because it hurt too much for me to hold him for long, which resulted in separation anxiety once I was actually able to care for him mostly by myself. That was not fun. He had been away from me so much, he suddenly didn't want to be away from me for even a moment.

I know it could have been a lot harder, and I get that many people go through much worse things than I do, but it's been hard for us!

It feels like I've only been able to experience the little guy's "…

The NEED for People

Did you know that we all have a need for people?

Like an actually, true need?
I feel like during this pandemic that need has been highlighted for many of us. I know it has for me! Even though I'm a stay at home mom, even though I homeschool and am home a lot during the week. Even with all the "normal" (which doesn't feel normal anymore) left of my life, the need to be physically present with other people has been much more vividly realized.
I'm an extrovert and I am home a lot but I still see people on a regular basis. I make time to hang out for friends and prioritize meeting people in person.
The coronavirus took all those away (for awhile) and I was left feeling incredibly isolated, alone, and depressed. Now, I'm seeing people again and it's like the light in shining again.
Our need for people is not optional. We were meant to be with others and it may be difficult to find options for that right now, but do your best. Find others to connect to, do it at wha…

Memory Making

The week before last, I told you about my calendar and how I was going to fill it out. Well, I did. 
I thought I was doing it for me, I never realized what it would mean to my kids.
They were excited about every little thing I had put on it. Every morning during breakfast (the calendar is in the dining area) they would discuss what was written down for the day. And each night they would mark the day off.
I didn't realize how much they had missed having things planned. And I didn't realize how much the simple things that I had written down meant to them. 
Yesterday was epic for my kids. It was May the Fourth, and we are big Star Wars fans. This year we had wanted to throw a party and invite our friends, but Corona got in the way of that, so we just partied all day long. I awoke to the sound of the kids decorating the house with their Star Wars toys and books. There are so many free Star Wars resources out there. My mother-in-law printed off coloring pages and games, we made special…

You are Quite the Catch!

The Truth we forget.
Did you know that you are quite the catch?
I have to answer honestly for myself with a "no".
I take care of myself, try to eat right, wear clothes I'm comfortable in, shower regularly, and like to look nice but do I consider myself the catch I used to feel like in my younger days?
No, I honestly don't, but here's the truth ladies WE ARE JUST AS MUCH (maybe even more) a catch as we ever were! In a beauty-obsessed culture that is some times hard to remember, or believe, but it's true!
Despite the changes in our outward appearance, our beauty has only grown with motherhood. YES, with the 20 pounds I have kept since baby, with the saggy boobs and stretch marks. With the loose belly and thick thighs, I am just as beautiful as I ever was... In fact, I'm more!
I'm a mom! 
I'm more beautiful because of who I've become through motherhood. I'm more of a catch than I ever was when my body seems "so much nicer". I forget this,…

A Sanctuary in this Storm

This has been a wild ride, hasn't it?Though many states are beginning to reopen and my state (Oregon) is resuming not-urgent medical procedures as of today, we're still not out of the woods. We're still not free to go back to doing all the things we used to call normal. We still have to be careful.
Something that I've tried to create for my children in this time is a sanctuary in the storm. That our home could be a place of peace for my children and that I could create fun things for them to look forward to.
It's been way harder than I imagined and I can honestly say my stress has transferred to my children countless time during this pandemic. But here's the thing, I can still create a place of safety for my kids even when I'm freaking out off and on. I can still put my best effort forth and make things a little better than they would be otherwise.
Some of the things I've "succeeded" at doing for my kids in this hard time is
1. Take them Outside
I …

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