The Life of a Homeschool Mom of Many

31 Days 2014
  Day 1 - Celebrating 14 Years of Marriage

Day 2 - When Unexpected News Clouds the Day

Day 3 - The Day My Alarm Failed

Day 4 - Mommy Work Day

Day 5 - Saturdays

Day 6 - Sunday's Are For Rest

Day 7 - Distract of the Dog

Day 8 - Terrible Tuesday

Day 9 & 10- Last Full Day

Day 11 & 12 - Family Workout Weekend

Day 13 - Chicken Breast Parmesan Bake

...

So, starting tomorrow (Wednesday, October 1), I will be sharing my raw life as a homeschooling mom of many for 31 days. My hope is to give people a realistic picture of what being a homeschool mom of many children really looks like.

Believe me when I say I have the ideal in my head, but reality doesn't always play out that way. I have our schedule and our lesson plans but this isn't just about homeschooling.

Homeschooling takes up a large (very large) chunk of my day. But I am also a work at home mom and I have to make time for my clients as well. If you don't work at home, don't let that discourage you from following along. I do not work full time hours. My working hours simply replace some of my own free time. I really enjoy what I do, so I don't necessarily consider it "work".

So, here is how I am going to set my posts up so they don't feel all over the place.

I will do a few hour by hour posts throughout the month.

I am going to try and focus on a theme each day. However, if a theme fails to really present itself, I will just write about our day.

It will be a journal of sorts, and I will get personal into my own heart and struggles and write them publicly.

I will write in *almost* real time. What you read on a given day will be words from the day before. So I have not pre-written these posts for the month. I will write them as each day comes and goes.

Today is my 14th wedding anniversary, so tomorrow's post will reflect what we did today as a family. I can tell you right now that I've canceled our lessons for the day in order to celebrate. :D

I will use my own photos as much as possible to offer a realistic picture rather than a stock image.

I will not worry about word count. Some posts will be longer than others and others may be short and sweet. They will ebb and flow with life within these 31 days.

You may find me sharing tips and recipes I use throughout the month as well. I honestly have no set plans or goals which is probably a huge no-no! Ha ha! I just want to write and be helpful where I can. But I will do my best to present the days in a way that will be helpful for you and easy to read.

October offers me a unique opportunity to share my experience at the Allume Conference--so I will be leaving my family for 4 days. Something I only do once a year.

So...here we go!

Oh and be sure to get your ticket for the Homemaking From Scratch conference coming up October 7th-9th. If you purchase your ticket before the conference dates, you'll get over $200 of homemaking resources FREE. I will be speaking on Biblical Motherhood. Would love for you to join us! Click below for a full spread of topics, speakers, and the free resources.

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It's the Little Things

Joy in Simplicity

I miss the little things

How about a little reality? While I certainly aspire to greater things, it's often a one-step-forward, five-steps-back type of accomplishment. There is no straight line in life. And I am a detail girl. I like to really hone in on details. I see joy in the simplicity of hot coffee and a beautiful blue sky.

But over time I lost focus of the little things and found myself constantly frustrated because I couldn't live up to my own expectations. And it's not that I want to drop high expectations, because I think that's truly where growth takes place in some respects.

But I want to focus more on the journey rather than always worrying about how to make it perfect. I want to remember to look closely at what is going on right in front of me, not worry that I'm missing out on something somewhere else (like social media...ahem). Social media is fun, yes! But too much of it can just leave you feeling empty. I think often I used it for escape or merely out of habit; browsing aimlessly and wasting time.

Homeschool days

As of late, my days have been filled with homeschooling and evaluating our learning environment with two new additions to our family. I've discovered that it will be best by splitting into two different curriculums this year to best meet the needs of my children. Talk about a detour! But that's real life. It may not be what I pictured, but it is still beautiful and will be better than what I originally imagined, for everyone.

Today, we had quite a full day of lessons, and we're not quite in the full swing of homeschooling yet. I continue to ease in new subjects and activities each week. We are in our fourth week and I believe the biggest wrinkles have been smoothed out. I am using Tapestry of Grace: Year 2 and My Father's World: Exploring Countries and Cultures.

The burden of blogging

In addition, not blogging these past couple of weeks AND not worrying that I haven't blogged has been so freeing for me. I have been able to fully focus on the needs at home. I'm able to see more details throughout the day and tend to my home and my children on a deeper level. Not blogging for a few days used to really bother me, but it doesn't anymore because nothing I write here matters much if I am not fully engaged at home. And truthfully, it has been so much more rewarding to be able to focus again on the little things; the smaller details that bring me and my family joy.

Such as asking my children what they would like to drink with their lunch rather than telling them they can help themselves. While they are quite capable of getting their own drinks (mostly), it was so much more rewarding for me to be able to anticipate their need and serve them rather than run to the computer to meet it's "demands".

Back to writing

I also miss journaling, which by the way, is what this post really is: a journal entry. I am simply laying down some of my thoughts in written form. I am not thinking about SEO, or key words, or even post format and headings. I am just writing what's on my mind. I guess you could call it a Coffee Break, but you may see them as more the norm around here. And you might receive my posts closer to evening hours because I find that's the best time for me to write.

And writing like this? So freely, even if it is imperfect? Priceless.

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Expect the Unexpected {Coffee Break}

A Broken Wrist & 6 Weeks Out of Work

A couple weeks ago threw some unexpected trials our way. After being home with our girls and settling in, it's not surprising that life decided to pick back up again and keep us busy and learning to rely on God.

A couple Sunday's ago my husband was running with our dogs (picture a 6-year old greyhound and a 1 year old great dane). Our great dane decided to cut in front of my husband while running and there was no time for him to catch himself before falling over her and landing {wrong} on his wrist. He broke his wrist and it put him out of work for 6 weeks. But God has been so faithful to provide for us. We are two weeks down and have four to go.

Honestly? I see this as a gift to our family to be able to have my husband home to be with his family for six weeks following a major life change in our family and in the life of our adopted girls, who are no doubt feeling apprehensions of their own.

Power Outage

Then, Tuesday evening we had a severe thunderstorm that took out our power for 24 hours. I know, not really a major crisis, but we had to spend money we didn't expect to spend and I lost time on working on my Moms in the Word post. You know, sometimes in blogging you just have to admit you can't always do what you plan to do.

I was excited, too, to write about bridling the tongue. I don't know about you, but I know I struggle with that --- more than I'd like to admit.

What's so exciting about talking about bridling the tongue? Revelation. Admitting it and talking about it is a great start to stopping the issue. I don't know about you, but reading and applying God's word actually excites me. The Holy Spirit has put a desire in every Christ follower to walk in His truth and that's what I desire.  Only God working through me can accomplish His good work. Nothing in my own strength will produce fruit. That much I know well.

 Labor Day Weekend

I was hoping to get all my homeschool lesson planning and organizing done before Labor Day weekend, but it just didn't happen. So, I had family in over the weekend and come Monday evening, I was scraping together our plans for lessons on Tuesday. I decided to be satisfied with a half day of lessons and it seemed to work well that way.

Quite honestly, my blogging is being pushed lower and lower on the priority list as my family has grown over the years. There just isn't time for everything and in this season of homeschooling seven children, ages 12 and under, there isn't much left at the end of the day for anything extra.

This is the second week in a row I have missed putting up the Moms in the Word link up and while my goal for the Moms in the Word community is to be in the Word, it's not necessarily to blog about it. I find that Instagram is the best place to connect the Moms in the Word community, so I want to encourage you to find us there by looking up the #MomsInTheWord hashtag.

At The End of The Day...

At the end of the day, I'm exhausted and I do not have a sense of completion that brings me rest. Not because I feel unfulfilled, but because there is always something left undone; always something I need to "catch up" on, and as my family has grown, so has the "incomplete list of things to do". And quite honestly, it's becoming rather overwhelming.  I'm talking just everyday life: laundry, cooking, cleaning, homeschooling, bathing kids, caring for dogs, and some work I do from home on my lap top (1-2 hours a day).

As I finish up this post, Wednesday is Margaret's 11th birthday and she has requested Homemade Chicken Pot Pie for her birthday dinner. This is about a two hour ordeal in the kitchen -- one I wasn't planning on until I asked her at dinner Tuesday night what she would like. And I totally know it will be worth the effort, of course. But such is life, something's gotta give and a regular blogging schedule looks to be the case.

It may be best to find me on social media during this season, where I can share shorter bursts of motherhood quotes and wisdom: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest I don't show up to each one everyday, but I do show up to at least one each day. ;)