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Why do We Need More Berries?? Because.. That Can Be the Beginning of Wisdom

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Berries, berries, berries.

We have berries coming out of our ears.

That (in my opinion) is a good thing and a blessing.

We have been able to share some, and put away quite a bit.  And, they are still coming on strong.

We are still picking. I was raised never to waste food.

The kids grumbling at this point, but we are picking.

I believe that God knows far better than I do (obviously), and if he feels like we need the surplus of berries…we will pick a surplus of berries.

“Why do we need MORE berries”, the kids whine. I just say “because we do not waste food”. However, I secretly hope that somehow I am instilling the bigger lesson of wisdom.

In today’s culture everything is “easy come, easy go”. My 93-year old grandfather can attest the the fact that was not always the case.

Furthermore, he keeps shouting the warning that it is sure to happen again. I believe he is right.

The worst part is the depression this time will hit people far worse.

As a culture we are being “dumbed down” by convenience, as well as the feeling to never be satisfied.

I am not pointing fingers..I too fell into that trap FAR too long.

I raised not to waste anything, a product of my mother’s depression tainted upbringing. However, when I got out on my own I followed in the “normal” game to seek better, and better.

My “better” self.

A “better” home.

A “better” car.

Better clothes.

More, more.

Newer, newer.

I look back, and it makes me sick.

Not that I don’t still enjoy nice things, I do. But, my perspective has changed.

Call it “wisdom with age”.

Call it “divine intervention”.

I think maybe it is both.

My past, like many others pasts, is full of “what-ifs”, and regrets. But, the past cannot be changed.

The good news is that I have “seen the light”. It has been a slow process to get me to my current mindset, but I believe that is where God wants me. Maybe where he wants everyone??

My older kids think I am off my rocker.

Some of my friends tease me jokingly.

Even some of my family “think I am taking it too far”.

But, I don’t care being “weird”.

That is funny to hear me say that.

I was always consumed with being in the “popular” crowd growing up.

I was raised in church. I believed. I thought that was “good enough”.

I was to want “normal” things.

I began my life as a wife and mother much the same way. For years.

Oh, to go back.

To know the relationship side of Christianity then. I just didn’t “get it”. I was to consumed by the bright and shiny things the world had to offer. And, I did the same to my kids for far too long. It wasn’t until 5 years ago that I begun to see.

I didn’t consider us “worldly”.

We went to church.

We tithed.

We did the “normal” things Christians did.

But, somewhere I was longing for something.

Once I realized what it was it flipped my whole life, and my family’s life upside down.

It has truly been a journey.

The most recent change was pulling my kids from the public school system last spring, after rationalizing with myself for years that our schools were “okay” because we live in a very rural area. Because I know all the teachers. And, to be honest, because I didn’t want to home-school. I told myself that I could not add ONE more thing  to my already crazy life.

Not to mention…I went to school for ATHLETIC TRAINING and NUTRITION….I NEVER wanted to teach. It just is not my “thing”.

I blatantly ignored the feelings that God was pressing this on my heart. I justified it to myself. But, God made it clear to me. And, I finally did.

It was scary.

The kids were mad.

Teachers were hurt.

Family was un-supportive.

But, I did it.

To be honest the kids are still mad.

They don’t “get it”.

My prayer is God will help me to teach the kids…not only so they do not end up illiterate (which I do fear lol)..but that they can understand why.

The younger kids are okay with it…it is my teenagers. They were in the “norm” for too long. They crave it.

They miss it.

They are not going into all this with a smile, to say the least. I just have to tell myself that they will be better because of it.

The kids want to say that the “fun has been sucked out of me”.

I have always been a silly person..I still am. I was raised that way too 🙂 lol

I still am that person…only slightly altered. I do have many “serious” moments now, which is probably what they see….mainly because of my fears, my regrets, my hopes, my pleadings.

As the “old norm” fades in their memories, my hope is that they will embrace the way of life I am trying to show them. My prayer is that I didn’t reach the older girls too late in the game.

That like a storms blows in and causes turmoil…it refreshes everything.

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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Farm Life, Parenting

 

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Saving Money, Being Frugal…Even If You Try To Homestead

Smile and enjoy the flowers.

Growing up I always heard cliche phrases such as: “A penny saved, is a penny earned.”, or ” Waste not, want not”.

Of course, being a teenager, and at my “peak” of all-knowing wisdom; I would roll my eyes, and mutter.

I was not raised during the depression…but I felt like it sometimes.

We were thrifty before thrifty was cool.

Nowadays, many people are finding themselves with less and less money.

Now, that is not always a bad thing…money can do terrible things to people, but we do need some.

That being said, there are ways to save money without “feeling the pain”.

I am not going to bore you with my lack of knowledge on the financial world. However, I would like to challenge you.

I, in fact, am challenging myself.

It is easy to think you need this, that, and the other. But do you?

What if you wrote down you ACTUAL needs, and refused to buy ANYTHING outside of that. A spending diet, per say.

Well, I am.

Why?

I will tell you.

We need a new van. We do not like car payments. So far our savings have been rather pathetic toward this purchase, because just like everyone else in the world…living costs money.

Now I consider myself a frugal gal. Not cheap. Frugal.

However, I am far from perfect. And, looking over our budget I believe I can find some extra dough by going on a spending diet.

In for the next few days I will be writing out my bills, and for the next 30 days I will spend on NOTHING else.

Now I do realize that 30 days will not get me in my new van..however, it may be enough to figure out how to tighten my purse strings a tad more.

Now I do realize not everyone lives on a farm, and has access to their own animals, and crops. But, if nothing else make a NEEDS list and stick to it. You may be surprised on how much you can save. Not to mention, wasting money is not a good way to use what God has given us.

Speaking of which…tithes are important.

Also, I am not saying don’t eat. I have enough food to live off of for 30 days++++, not everyone does..I realize that.

I am meaning things like:

  • that coffee out
  • a quick bite through the drive through
  • clothes
  • shoes
  • ANYTHING that is not NEEDED

 

I also realize when you try to homestead..there are expenses that are a must. Animals have to eat too. That needs to be added o the NEED list.

No matter what you could use a few extra bucks for..attempt to go on a spending hiatus except for necessities.

As always, homemade food is more economical…not to mention better for you! Even if you are busy, with planning you can make every meal homemade. Another bonus of cooking homemade is you can make a meal out of almost anything.

Anyone with me? Lets challenge each other!

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2013 in Home, Parenting

 

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Natural Teething Relief For Baby

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Teething can be a rough time baby baby…and mama. (Trust me I am on my sixth teething child…I know from experience!)

But…before you reach for a tube of baby Oragel think again…it is filled with a ton of “junk” ingredients. 

Rule #1..if you can’t pronounce it do not eat it..or rub on your baby’s gums...just sayin.

There are natural options that can give baby some relief.

1.) Give him a cold teething ring to chew on. 

This one is a great first option, mainly because it is non-invasive. However, my little guy refuses anything cold…soooo.

2.) Make a natural gum soother.

There are several options out there. However, I tend to use either my homemade clove salve, or give him a little chamomile tea sweetened with a splash of organic apple juice. 

To make the clove salve all you need is organic coconut oil, and clove essential oil (therapeutic grade such as do Terra). In about 1/2 cup coconut oil, put 5-6 drops of clove oil. Mix well. Place in a mason jar, seal, and refrigerate. It will become solid in the fridge, and you can pull it out to rub on baby’s gums. (NOTE: Clove oil is a HOT oil…DO NOT use it without putting it in a carrier oil, such as the coconut oil!) 

3.) If you prefer to purchase a product, Hyland’s Natural Teething Tablets are the way to go. 

Either way..a lot of cuddling usually goes a long way to help relieve a fussy baby as well. 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Parenting

 

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Mean Mama

I try to be a good mama.

I try to give my kids a balance.

But, if you were to ask the older two, Jayelyn-14, and Alyssa-13, I am mean.

It sure isn’t the first time I have heard it…and it sure won’t be the last. With two teenage girls as the oldest of 6 kiddos….living on a farm…having chores…it’s gonna happen.

Daily.

Hormones are raging around here sometimes. Yay me. 

My oldest one is like me. And, I blame my mother (love ya mom). 

I can still remember the day that I got the curse.

I was being mouthy.

God was listening.

My mother said, “I hope you have a daughter just like you.”

And I did. 

I love her. 

But sometimes….the mouth. 

The second oldest has her share of mouthy moments, don’t get me wrong. 

Now…I am “mean” for many reasons, many of which surface yesterday in her hormonal rage. So I figured I would blog about it rather than argue back.

There is something about the satisfaction of keeping your cool to a teens face….only to put in online later to be read for all eternity…(cue evil laugh)…MMMMWAAHAHAHAHA.

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This is her 🙂 I love her. She is my baby.

She is my thinkin-she-is-grown-baby.

Just so you can be on-board with the full extent of why I am mean I will recap:

1.) I pulled them from public school to homeschool. (We thought it was the best option for our family. I am the Mom.)

2.) She hates farms. We live on one. (We farm. That’s our life. I am the Mom.)

3.) “No one” has to do farm chores that she knows. She is the only one. (This is a fabrication. We live in a farming community. Plus..she is doing chores for her own good. I am the Mom.)

4.) We won’t get her an i-Phone. (She is 14. She does not need 24-hour internet access. They are expensive. I am the Mom.)

5.) She is not allowed to have Facebook. This “ruins her social life”. (I do not want her having Facebook. To many ways to get into trouble. I trust her. It is other people that I do not trust. I do not have Facebook because of the bad that comes with the good. I am the Mom.)

6.) She is tired of eating healthy. {I am not sure where this one came from???!! I think she was just running out of insults at this point. We do try to eat organic, homemade, whole foods…not to mention she has been “asthma-free”from only consuming raw dairy and eating gluten-free or only sprouted grains (more on that on another post) They do..however…have treats and splurges from time to time for parties or going out to eat. Plus, I am the Mom.}

She went on…and on…and on….while I prayed to hold my tongue. Praise the Lord I succeeded. Barely. 

I was able to CALMLY explain my feelings to her…Hallelujah!

But, this didn’t please her. She is 14. Nothing pleases a 14 year old girl. Trust me on this. 

The kicker came. Out of no where.

This entire rage was because of ONE THING.(Inflated by a surge of hormones)

She had received a letter from the church stating the amount of money that she still owed on her last trip of the summer. So did her sister. She owed $288 still. Her sister owed $0.

Now that being said, Jayelyn has been on two additional trips than Alyssa this year. Jayelyn had to earn a total of $750 this summer to cover her trips. Alyssa needed $350.

The church arranged fundraisers. 

They both attended all of the fundraisers offered by the church.

In addition(knowing that Jayelyn had an enormous amount to earn), we offered the girls fundraising opportunities here…at $10 an hour! (I think that is pretty darn good for a teen myself).

Nope.

Not interested. 

We had offered the same for some of the other youth at church. Four boys came. Once.

It’s farm work. Not easy. But, not impossible. 

Kids just don’t wanna work now days.

This is part of the reason I insist my kids do..to some extent. 

The church had made an announcement that any of the youth who still owed money on their trips could write mission letters to friends and families asking for help of donations.

I wouldn’t let Jayelyn.

I do not think it is a bad thing, don’t get me wrong.

However, we offered to let her EARN the rest of the money here. She refused. We offered to let the youth EARN the money here, and they refused. 

In my world, if you are not willing to work for want you want you WILL not ask for a handout. 

She was not writing people for a handout. Period. I love my church. The youth pastor had the right intentions at heart (love ya Adam if you are reading this!), but this is not teaching responsibility. I did not allow her to do it.

It would have been a completely different scenario if she had worked and worked and  honestly TRIED to earn all of the money. However, that was not the case. 

So ….she is using her own money to cover the remaining money due on the trip. Ouch. $288 is a fortune to a 14 year old. 

Sooo…I a mean. And, I am okay with that. 

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Parenting

 

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