back where we thrive

We’re back.

Back at our farm. Back to homeschooling. Back to what we love and thrive at.

It is completely where we belong.

I shared already about our decision to go back to homeschooling here. We are three weeks in, and I am pleasantly surprised and relieved that things are going very well.

Yes, I still work FULL time and I work outside the home.  I haven’t had a mental break-down or screamed at any precious humans.  In fact, I would say the opposite is happening.

I sat on my porch this morning and listened while sipping that magnificent first cup of coffee. I listened to the distant hum of a center pivot slowly watering a crop of cotton.  Birds of all sorts were chirping and flitting back and forth.  I even enjoyed the birds that were louder and slightly annoying.  You know the sort, right?  The ones that squawk. Yeah, even they seemed nice today.

Coyotes howled and screeched as the early sunlit horizon warmed my face.  Hornets buzzed and floated on the (less warmer then usual) air.   I’m certainly not going to call it “crisp”, “Fall”, or “cool”.  It’s still Southern AZ I live in.

This may sound terrifying to those of you who didn’t grow up in the Southwest.  Coyotes, hornets, squawking birds in September. Fear not! I was in no harm.  I was in my blissful place.

The point is this.  I haven’t sat in such silence for a year. I haven’t heard the sounds of nature and farming country for too long.  Something that refreshes my soul has been gone.  Nature.  I really can’t do too much city.  I feel closest and most appreciative of God and who He is when I see it everyday in this form.

Gratitude and peace overwhelm me here.  I heard, feel and witness that glory of creation daily at the farm.  Maybe that’s what I personally need.  I see so much devastation and destruction in my line of work.  I see the worst people in society, I see the moments in humanity that impacts the future of a family.

A lost life, a mangled arm, a new life.

The most amazing and tragic days are my job. Also, some pretty disgusting humans are out there to grace me with their issues.

I need a refresh. I need a long drive to unwind, and to prepare.

I think that’s why I breathe in the refreshing scenes and sounds out here.  I breathe deeply and often.  Intentionally.

I know I’m not alone.  The kiddos took roughly 30 seconds of living out here to soak it in and get right back to catching toads, frogs, and bugs.  Day one there was a teen eating dinner in the tree.

They PLAY!

I can’t tell you how much having a rock backyard the size of a postage stamp muffled the energy out of these five children.  Their energy was turned on each other- not in a great way.

Now they all have room to spread out and explore, create, have fun.  Together.  They are choosing each other!  It’s like a miracle has occurred here.

Listen when I say this.  They still bicker.  Space doesn’t cure everything.  It just has given them more options.  :)

I love how they can open the door and go outside.  I’m not worried about them getting kidnapped from our yard.  I’m not worried about them getting hit by a car while riding their bikes.  I’m not worried that someone is going to come into our yard at night.  I’m not worried that they are playing too loud.  I’m not worried about my dog barking.   I’m not worried in general.  Some may think that living out in the middle of nowhere is scary.

Isolating.

Unsafe.

I would argue that the more people you are around the more unsafe you are.

We have all isolated ourselves in the “safety” of our city house for a year.  Going outside has been planned instead of organically happening.  You can’t go to the park without an adult.  We have driven around the streets of a neighborhood that is “family friendly” for a year.  You don’t see families in their yards.  The streets are vacant. No one sits on their front porch.  I wouldn’t recognize more than 3 neighbors.  I never saw even a glimpse of them.  They drive into their garages, shut the door, and are never seen.  Seriously!  Who have we been living next to?

If you are a city person, that’s great!  I’m not.  I don’t know how to feel the same things and live the same way with all the crowds.  I’m so thankful that we aren’t being called to that right now.  We have seen what the city has to offer and we have declined.  We have come full circle to the place we have all loved for so many years.  We have grown here, just as lush as a beautiful garden.  We have lost here.  We have become different here.  We have loved it.  Every bit has changed us into the family that we are now.

I feel a stirring again inside.  I movement that causes reflection.  I can hear a whisper of my voice coming back to me.  I haven’t felt like this for so long!

Maybe it was the stress of college, life, busyness of the city, goals.   Whatever it was, it’s going away.  My love for writing has never left me, but my ability to express it faded for too long.  Maybe I just had nothing to say.   This place sparks instant inspiration.

We are simply free here.  We are free to play, learn, refresh our souls.

We are free to thrive in an environment that tells us daily, ” You belong here”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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the good and the beautiful: language arts

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Hi!  I didn’t tell you yet, but we will be homeschooling again and forever starting 2017-2018.

No, I will not be quitting my job at the fire station.  Yes, we have help in the form of a Super Nanny Granny.  She is amazing.   So is The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum by Jenny Phillips.

I’m so excited to start using this wonderful and beautiful curriculum.   It’s wholesome, family oriented, and fun.  It’s rich and challenging and perfect for us.

You can see an in-depth peek over on my YouTube channel here.

Here are the subjects included in the Language Arts curriculum:

Spelling

Writing

Literature

Grammar

Art appreciation

Art lessons

Poetry memorization

Geography/mapping

History basics

That’s AMAZING!!  I am so pleased to have found this.  Language arts is always the subject in home school that I never seem completely settled on.

The website also offers notebooks, typing, in-depth History, handwriting, and science subjects.   Go check it out!  What a breath of fresh air to start our home school back up again.  Another added bonus is the price.  This is an absolute blessing for us.

I can hardly wait to see this in action!

 

 

settling into the city

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There are many things I love about city life.  I love the conveniences.  I love the parks.  I love the options.  I LOVE the library.

Home is where your library is…and coffee.  Our library has both coffee and books. >>Happy lady here<<

I love that we hang out with people more.  I love that the kid’s friends can come over more often.  I love the paved roads.

Side note:  I have a cleaner house always because the dust is not trying to destroy my life.

With all the great things about city life, there are rhythms I do miss greatly. I cannot wait to purchase a home where I can open the back door and let out the kids like a herd of cattle.  In my mind’s eye I picture that cattle herd riding bikes and digging holes.  I see trees being climbed and gardens being grown.

I want to see a milking goat too; however, lets not get too ambitious.  I am a working mama now.  I’m a wee bit cuckoo so anything’s possible ;)

What I truly miss, more than all, is family time.  There’s just something about the city that is too much movement for me. People can peer right over my fence!  Little Penny the pooch has not quite settled into a world that feels like she has no space.  She just can’t pee in peace.  You mamas know what I’m talking about.

The kids never play in the backyard. It’s all gravel which is great for weeds, yet they can’t ride bikes in it. They like to ride bikes….all the time.  Sadly, this is not happening much in the city.

I miss reading to the children with the wood stove roaring behind.  I miss watching other people split the wood for said stove.  I miss going on adventures to cut wood.  Well, I miss Nick and the boys doing that.

I long to see them blossom in nature, playing and ruining their clothes.  I used to peer out the window while scrubbing dishes and watch them laugh and run and throw goat poop at each other.  I actually miss all of that.

And so we try to enjoy the beautiful park within walking distance.  We visit Target more.  Nick is not a fan of that ;) We enjoy having neighbor kids knocking on the door to play.   Yet, we hope that the Lord will grant us the desires of our hearts.  We do all desire a perfect mix of the two worlds.

I imagine a pave road with at least an acre of land, within 15 minutes of work.  I dream big.  That’s how I roll.  Our next home shall be as much of all I love about city life, as it is all that I miss about the country.

We will wait and pray and hunt.  We will be grateful for where we are and what we have.  We will cultivate a love of both worlds. We will escape to mountains near by.  We will be content.

What are you struggling to be content with?  Where you are?  What you’re doing?  Who you’re with?  Be encouraged friend.  You are where you are meant to be in order to earn what you’re meant to learn.  This is our hope.

For now, It’s safe to say that we are settled into the city life.  Our hearts are looking forward to new adventures nearer the city than the farm, but farther than we are today.