Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Adjusting to 6 children

I've not blogged in more than 6 months. We have had a lot of changes...
We decided that we weren't moving to Austria....

We moved to the country...

We sold our first home....

We had a baby boy...

We raised 10 chicks and got 9 hens...

In short, we are adjusting to several big changes. We still love homeschooling and love the country. Since we've been here we have significantly added to the girls bug collection.

Monday, March 6, 2017

How to Find Strength

Last week I felt burnt out... burnt out as a teacher (I've been homeschooling six days a week since last May), burnt out as a mother not having a full nights rest in many years. I felt I didn't have enough patience with the girls.

I had been praying and reading my scriptures, but couldn't get recharged I guess. I talked to a friend and had my cry out, and then shouldered my load with more fervent prayer for help. I have felt God's help. The rest of the week went much better, and I had the ability to handle the fighting and squabbling that come with children living in the home.

Where do I find strength?

1- In knowing God is a loving father and doesn't want to burden us. He can lift us and cheer us on. Because of His Son, Jesus Christ, we need not ever feel alone. He knows what it feels like to be a mom with young kids, to be lacking sleep and privacy for even a B.M., to be hearing a loud din of squabbles... He can grace us with patience beyond our natural means.

2- From reading the scriptures, and seeing how God always keeps His promises. If he can part the Red Sea, surely he can help me manage 5 daughters.

3- Good friends that support my faith, and remind me of Gods plan. My husband is the most important of those friends. We counseled together about how I could get through the cabin fever of winter and teach the girls other skills. He helps to lift me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


I have been thinking a lot about the importance of gratitude and patience. There is a cute little Mormon message the girls like: a Dad comes home and steps on a chip, and sees a chip trail leading to the closet, opens it and sees his little girl holding the chip bag. "Are you mad at me" she asks. "Yes, if you didn't save me any chips." She smiles and holds one up to him. Then a little later you see the mom open the door and exclaims "I can't believe you two....  you forgot the dip." She smiles and hands them dip and closes the door. Over the video it says: "PATIENCE, USE IT BEFORE YOU LOSE IT!"

With this job situation, and this pregnancy, I have realized I have more patience than I thought WHEN I remember that God loves us and is in charge. I am 11 weeks now, and am more hopeful that this baby will stay so we can enjoy holding them in August. And the job situation will sort itself out sometime...hopefully soon.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy New Year

 School is rolling along well. I love reading stories to the girls, but what is even better is when I catch the girls listening to Amy read. That's grand.
 This one is now three, I can hardly believe it.
 Baking bread with my little helpers.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Christmas

Lena (4) drew this picture and I love it! Jesus in the manger...

Since we don't do Santa, I feel our focus has been on Christ, and I still feel like Christmas is magical for them. Some people are horrified when they find that out, but my parents never did Santa with us, and I appreciated knowing I could trust what they told me. I always felt bad for one friend who found out late about Santa, and then had a crisis of faith. I am open with the girls about whatever they ask me and tell them fairies and dragons are for fun. I do tell them that it's other parents place to tell their own kids the truth about Santa, so thus far they haven't told anyone that I've known of.

It's cute though because this year we have someone who has been doorbell ditching us with presents from "secret elves". The girls love the notes with poems, and the gifts, but what they really want to do is thank whoever it is. Amy tried to stakeout who it was, and sat so still in our dark kitchen window for 45 minutes!Whoever it is, it's sweet, and I hope they'll show their identity so we can say thank you.

Learning Patience

Sometimes homeschooling is no picnic, especially if you have one student who refuses to buckle down and do her work (that's my kindergartener). It has made me think a lot about what is important in education. On the one hand I still feel like she's learning a lot, and it does seem that sitting still is one of life's greatest punishments for her. But I also want her to learn that sometimes you have to do boring or unpleasant things, and persistence is more important than aptitude. Amy is great at plugging away on things that are difficult for her until she conquers them.  Little Esther is naturally gifted in many areas (she can crochet, sew, is very creative and an excellent drawer) but she throws in the towel when she isn't interested or thinks it's too challenging.

I have told the girls many times of my experience with piano lessons: I was gifted the ability of playing by ear, but when my teachers would discover this, they'd stop playing the upcoming weeks song for me, so I'd have to read the music... which was hard, so I quit. I regret that I didn't keep with it. I have been able to play a lot by ear, but Chopin can't be imitated.