Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Our Journey

You know that moment when you have just started to emerge from the other side of a journey and there has been just enough space to let you look back and realize how big the journey was?  That is the moment I am in right now.

If I am completely honest with myself, I have had difficult times and situations within other difficult times and situations!  I am exhausted!

This year is our first year to home school our children.  I am so thankful we made the decision to home school!  The changes we have seen in our children are wonderful!  We still have some more things to iron out, but for the most part, we are doing really well!  We have a better relationship with each of our children, as a family, and their relationships with each other have dramatically improved!  I love the development in their problem solving skills!  I love that we can tailor our lessons for each child, focusing on their individual strengths and weaknesses!

Of course, with every up, there is a down.  I am honestly not sure why I didn't see this coming.  Really, I should have expected it, but I just didn't.  The loss of friends.  I had a friend that I thought was a great friendship, our families did quite a few things together for a few years.  Then once we made the decision that was best for our family, that person changed; cut off all contact.  We went from being a large part of each other's lives to nothing, overnight.  My children and I did not understand why our decision to home school, the decision that was best for our family, could affect them to that degree.  We felt used.  Hurt.  It was just as difficult for me to understand as it was for my children.  We would see them out in town and the comments made by their child were hurtful, and it was obvious he was repeating things he had heard.  But, honestly, I am glad it happened.  Better to see the true colors, and it gave us an opportunity to teach our children through it.

Home schooling also affords us flexibility within our schedule.  I could not be more thankful for that flexibility!  We had a family member become ill, out of state.  Our lives suddenly became full of car trips and hospital visits.  We could adjust our schedule and activities as much as we needed, it has been an absolute blessing!  We no longer had to worry about excused and unexcused absences; we were able to be there for our family when we needed to be, without any added pressures.

We have learned to be more flexible.  Yes, we have our schedule, and our appointments and commitments; but we no longer feel like our lives are run by the clock.  We can have fun without the worry of being late because we are in control of every aspect of our schedule.  If we realize a few weeks into our curriculum that we are no longer loving it, we can just change it.  We can change it multiple times per year, if we need to!  We can focus on books, 100% online, or a combination of.  We can spend more time on a concept if we need to.  We get to use more hands on methods as well.  We can study art, then go to the museum and see pieces.  We can go to the science museum and test concepts.  We can have fun with PE, and our cafeteria always has the best food!

In all seriousness, while our decision may not have been the popular decision for our "friends," it was the best for our family and I do not regret a single minute of it.  I am thankful for the changes we have experienced, for the closeness we have developed, for the freedom we now have.  What a blessing this experience has been!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Snow and Essential Oils

Oklahoma has some of the most interesting weather I have seen.  It could be 90 one day and snowing the next.  We had warm weather last week and snow Sunday.  Since it had been warm, the ground was still pretty warm; the snow quickly became ice on the roads.

Our Young Living team had a health fair and we continued as planned!  We love the opportunity to share these wonderful products with others!  It is so neat to see how lives are changed!  Our fair went well, and now I am finalizing plans for our Make & Take class, I am so excited!  My hope with these classes is to help people find more uses for their oils, give them a chance to think outside of the box.

I have been using orange oil in my water lately and I just love it!  It is one of my favorites!  I am researching the skin care line and putting together a class to teach at the beginning of the year.  So very exciting!

Have you tried Young Living?  If so, what is your favorite product?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hello Autumn!

I love the fall!  Cooler temperatures, beautiful changes in nature, all things pumpkin, it just demands a slower pace to appreciate it all.  It gives us another opportunity to appreciate God's work!

When I was younger, I always loved the summers.  My birthday is in the summer, we always spent 95% of the time in the pool, we were out of school, what's not to love?  But, it seems summers are hotter now, or maybe it is just the fact that we do not have a pool?  I have been less tolerant of the summer heat this year, welcome to surgical menopause after severe anemia: Straight from the freezer to the fryer!

Today, I was able to turn off the air conditioning and open a window!  My frugal side is rejoicing!  I would love to be able to keep the a/c, or heater, off for a couple months; that would be fantastic!  I no longer feel as though I am melting away and it is wonderful!

Next week we will be making our first trip to a pumpkin patch with one of our homeschool groups and I am looking forward to it!  We will also have a field trip for a more hands on state history lesson.  The idea of more outdoor fun and enjoying some cooler temps has this girl pretty excited!

What autumn traditions do you have?  What are you most looking forward to?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Different is Good!

So, we are now a homeschooling family; and let me tell you, I LOVE IT!  I love the time I get to spend with my children!  I love the way our relationships have grown!  I guess I am just wired differently than most people.

I have friends who count down the days for school to start with enthusiasm! They can't wait for them to go back to school, to be back to their normal with a schedule around school.  This is what works for them, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Really, there isn't.  It just doesn't work for me.

I love summer break!  I love having my kids home with me!  I hate back to school time!  I hate sending them to school for so many hours a day and for so many months.  I hate having their teachers spend more waking hours with them than I do.  But, most of all, I hate how much it changes them.  You see, we had a problem with bullies.  Little girls can be mean, and the attitude and rudeness starts so young!

At the beginning of the summer, every year, my oldest would go through a season, if you will, where she would decompress from school and how she was treated.  It is a bit like watching ice cream melt.  She would be tense, and stressed; over the course of the summer she would relax and return to her natural self.  Every year was becoming more difficult.

She developed eczema that seemed to be worse when she was stressed.  This year we worked really hard, all summer, to get it to clear up.  It finally had!  We were all so relieved!  Then, I had mentioned to her that there was one month of summer vacation left.  Overnight, her eczema flared back up again!  It was horrible!  We had already been discussing homeschool, and this realization of the affects of her stress on her little body was the final straw.  We officially decided to homeschool both of our girls.

I started researching curriculums and purchasing our books.  I attended local homeschool information meetings and joined a couple groups.  We announced our decision to our family and friends, and withdrew from school.

I still get nervous when people see us out in public and ask why they aren't in school, but I don't regret our decision.  In fact, I seem to be enjoying it more, and more each day!  We are different.  But, different is good!  I am reminded of something I heard once:  Why do we try so hard to blend in when we were designed to stand out?  So, here we are standing out because different is good!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Seriously? Seriously!

We are now a homeschool family!  This is huge for us!  I have always wanted to homeschool our children, my hubby, not so much!  I am that mom who gets really sad when summer is over and they go back to school.  I would rather keep them at home.  Our older daughter has really struggled with being bullied and in her 4 years at school, she has not made a single friend.  Each summer I watch her transform from a nervous, tightly wound bundle of nerves, to a calmer, sweeter little girl.  After many conversations, we have decided to homeschool.

At first, our daughter was resistant.  She didn't want to be different, she was still worried about what the other kids would say.  Once she realized she wouldn't have to be around them anymore she has started to relax and really embrace the decision.  It is like watching ice cream melt as she is losing the shell she had put in place to survive that environment.

Have you ever thought of homeschooling?  This is a huge decision for us, but I strongly believe it is the best decision for our girls.

Monday, July 7, 2014

At the Movies!

It is July, and that means it is time for At the Movies!  This is where our pastor takes scenes from popular movies and ties them in to scripture and how they apply to life.  I think this is an amazing way to reach more people and keep us thinking of the bible and how it is still relevant.  Sometimes it is easy to keep our ideas and opinions of church and people who go to church in a box.  But churches like LifeChurch shatter the mold.  It is the furthest thing for your stereotypical church.  The music is loud.  The lights are low.  You come as you are.  Wearing jeans with holes and work boots?  No problem, we are just happy you came!  You don't need a "Sunday best" wardrobe, we just ask that you wear clothes, the condition of the clothes is unimportant.  Why not check out the website and see if there is a location close to you.  If not, don't worry!  We offer an online experience!  Even for the kiddos!  Go ahead!  Check it out!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Church

I love my church! Seriously!  I love my church!  It is the furthest thing from every preconceived notion I had about church.  It is comfortable.  Filled with people who are nice and genuinely enjoy being there.  It is a place where you can go where there are no expectations placed on you.  You are not expected to dress a certain way.  You are not expected to behave a certain way.  You can literally come as you are; and get this, they are always happy to see you and welcome you.

Our church is not only a place where we go to learn about God, but we also listen to some amazing music.  We meet people we may not otherwise meet.  Here is the kicker though: We learn so much about ourselves!

We learn what is important to us.  We learn how to love others.  We learn how much we are loved!  We learn we are able to do so much more than we think we can.  We learn to let go.  We learn to trust in Him.  We learn to help others and how rewarding that is!

Here is the awesome thing about my church: Even if I can't make it to a service, I can still participate by watching the service online!   I love that!  Let's face it, sometimes life happens, or Satan will try his hardest to keep us away from something we need to hear, but with the online option, I can watch a service more than once!

One of our favorite series is coming up, At the Movies.  It is fantastic!  I would love for you to take some time out of your week and watch our special series during July, you never know when you may see or hear something that was written just for you.

Check it out!   LifeChurch  You won't be sorry!