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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more, yes more, baby pants

It’s that time again.  The time where Desmond is growing and needed more pants.  That’s all I seem to make anymore.  Baby pants, baby pants, baby pants.  Ahhh.  I need more skirts and home sewing in my life don’t I?

These pants are improvised, using some vintage fabric that was given to me. I was also given the elastic…so these were free.  I like free clothes!

Possibly more pants to come…or maybe skirts.  Just to switch it up a bit.

P.S.  I have discovered the iPhone touch.  I know it’s a little late, but I am loving the FREE app Sewing Kit lite.  I have measured and stored all the kids so I always have it with me, whether I’m sewing or buying fabric.  I’m slowly moving into the 21st century– at a turtle’s pace I might add ;)

Nursing cover tutorial

Outraged by the prices of buying a nursing cover, I ventured to make my own.  I wanted something functional and hip.  It also had to be private (no belly or back showing) and big enough to nurse a larger baby in without the fear of the little peanut pulling it off (yikes!).  This cover is similar to a “Hooter Hider”, but longer and wider (remember, my belly fat must remain contained).

 Materials:

1 1/4 yards of cotton material  45 wide (Don’t pick fabric that isn’t breathable.  The thinner the better)  An old cute sheet would work too, just cut to size…check out the thrift stores!    I bought this fabric for $1/yard!

Thread to match

Single fold Bias tape  to match (one package is all you need)

14 inches of boning (poodle skirt stuff)

2 “d” rings

* all seams are 1/4 inch unless otherwise noted*

The widest part of the material will be the top and bottom.  You want it to wrap around you when finished.

 Step 1

 Fold sides towards the back of the material 1/2 inch and press.  Fold 1/2 again and press.  Sew seam close to the edge.

With sides pressed
With sides pressed

Step 2

Sew hem using the same method as above.

Step 3

Mark the center of the top (unfinished) edge.  Measure 7 inches from each side and mark with pins. 

 Step 4

Cut bias tape to fit the top edge.  Make sure to give an extra 1 inch so you can fold each side under for a clean edge. 

Step 5

Pin bias tape to top, making sure to fit the top of the material under the bias tape evenly, and matching both the back and front of the bias tape up.june 09 107

Step 6

To make the neck strap, use the rest of the bias tape.  Measure 24 inches and cut.  Now take your piece and cut at the 10 inch mark.  The smaller piece will be the left piece and the longer will be the right. june 09 109

 Step 7

Press one end of the short strap 1/4 inch.  Sew “d” rings to the short stap.  Press longer strap 1/4 inch and press again 1/4 inch.  Sew in place.

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Step 8

Pin strap in place under the top of the cover.  Make sure it is on the inside of your pins marked for the boning.  Tuck in place so that the seam will be hidden.

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Step 9

Tuck boning under the marked center of the bias tape.  Re-pin if needed to make sure it stays in place.  You may have to squeeze it in.  That will give it a more formed shape.

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Step 10

Sew the top of the cover along the edge of the bias tape.  Make sure you are careful to sew both the back and front of the bias tape evenly.  Go slowly so that the boning is kept in place.

Step 11

Secure the straps to the bias tape edge by sewing a “square”.  Do this by getting as close as you can to all edges of the pinned strap. Make sure the boning stays in place.  I ended up sewing one side of the stap over the boning.  Just go slow so you don’t break a needle. 

Step 11

Pull the long strap through the “d” rings and slip over your head….you’re done!

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