Showing posts with label children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label children. Show all posts

Monday, May 16, 2016

Stretched

This morning, I'm going to let you in on a little secret, I'm an INTROVERT, in all caps. Growing up, I mostly fought it, despised it, cursed it, but once I became an adult, out of school, not forced to embrace people all the time, I learned to be okay with who I really was, embrace it even. As an adult, I decided when and with whom, I wanted to socialize. It's been lovely all these years, completely lovely, until now that is.


God has decided that I need to learn to embrace people more, so into the fire I've been thrown, noooooo. I've argued my case with Him, to no avail I should say, so in the fire I stay. The cause, I'm the mama of two teenage girls. All you mama's out there are going to recognize this dilemma I've unwittingly fallen into, it's called teens like socializing, and it's so uncomfortable for me, which gets us right back to why God has thrown me into the fire. I don't understand the why part, but He obviously didn't agree with me that I was just fine in my own little tiny corner of the universe???  I thought it was all kinds of awesome, He thinks differently, shoot.


So, here lately I've found myself, socializing at multiple proms, having too many sleepovers to count, hosting cookouts with no less than fifteen teens, have I lost my ever-lovin' mind?, chauffeuring around teens, mine and others, to various local events, many late nights with kids and their parents at local eateries celebrating this and that, really Lord, are you kidding me???? My daughters, mercy how I love y'all, but you're killing me!

All you regular, sociable folks out there won't get this at all, but for the rest of you, this is hard! So hard, in fact that I shut down completely from the toll it takes on me mentally, which may explain why I disappear from this blog at times. Sound crazy?  It feels crazy inside my head, and the struggle is real my friends, but for whatever reason, God wants me uncomfortable right now and if I could see the big picture like He can, I'm sure I'd totally get it, but right now, little ole me is treading water struggling to keep from drowning.


So back to the title, stretched, where are you right now? Is God giving you a makeover too, stretching and pulling you in all directions? It hurts doesn't it? Believe me honey, I know how it hurts. I have to remind myself daily how it's all for something good, and it will be revealed in His time, not mine, but doggone it's hard. If you're struggling with change today, I'm right there with you sista, you are not alone.
xo,
Amy {CEO Introverts Unite}


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Chicken Tractor


I'm back with a little DIY inspiration today. It was time for Matthew's little chickens to move to a bigger home. We'd been trying to figure out what we wanted for them in this stage where they've outgrown their baby box but they're not yet big enough to be free rangers. My husband and I began researching and he found a really cool design for a chicken tractor on Youtube. Maybe you've heard of Joel Salatin? He has some really simple DIY designs for coops and tractors, believe me when I say we need simple, we really need simple. We are like the worst builders ever!




This little tractor is absolutely perfect for the chicks during their tween period. The tractor is 6'x8' with 1/2 enclosed and half wired. That gives them ample play space and a good amount of coverage for protection from weather or predators. The idea is to move the tractor daily so that the chicks are always on fresh ground, the best of both worlds, they are safely enclosed but free rangers at the same time. It's wonderful! Not to mention they are providing an excellent resource, free poop fertilizer!



It took a day and a half to build, not all that bad, and the chicks are in little chickie heaven. We moved them in yesterday afternoon and they went wild, running, flying and chasing after bugs, too precious y'all. I'll put the link down below to the video we followed along with to build ours just in case you need an easy option for homing your chicks too.


Every time I couldn't find Matthew, he'd be in the tractor with the chickens, hilarious! They look at him like he's a little out of place, go figure. Hope I inspired you today!
xo,
Amy

Chicken Tractor Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8gvQJENicc

Sharing Here:

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Chicken Whisperer Turns Nine


And just like that, our baby turned nine. He was a difficult pregnancy and birth and was born at only twenty nine weeks, so tiny, but you'd never know. He's one tough little cookie. He's my early riser, always has been. Try as I might, you just can't tire this one out.



It's pretty interesting being mama to one boy that's grown and married and one that's just turned nine. That's a pretty wide spread. It seemed like a small undertaking at thirty nine, but now at almost fifty, whew it's hard to keep up sometimes. This wild child keeps me on my toes.


He's still young enough to find wonder in everything around him, and boy I love that. I try to see the world through his fresh eyes and let me tell you, it's such a wondrous view. What a blessing this last one has been. We gathered together to celebrate this little life. Matthew wanted a white cake and white icing, and that's exactly what he got, thank heavens he shared with the rest of us because boy, it was delicious!


And my favorite part of birthdays, the gathering part. Nothing is ever better than the coming together of family around a table, sharing so much more than food. Such a lovely day.

Hoping your week is a wondrous one! Happy Monday y'all!
xo,
Amy

Friday, April 8, 2016

Chickens


We spend an awful lot of time over here on chickens. Feeding them, coop cleaning duties, egg gathering, but mostly we watch them. They're hilarious! If you've ever been on the fence about whether to get chickens or not, I'm hoping that I can convince you today to jump right off that fence and find you some chickens. They are the best addition to this little family of ours and even though they're a truckload of work, I wouldn't trade it for anything.





This year, we are starting to see a surplus of eggs and we've been selling them, no big profits mind you, but the chickens now pay for their own feed, ka-ching! And then there's Matthew. Who knew we'd have a chicken whisperer for a son? He loves these chickens to pieces. I've even read studies of how beneficial a pet they are for special needs children, especially ones with Asperger's. Crazy, right? Chickens are awesome.




You don't have to live on a farm to be a chicken keeper either. A quarter acre's all you got? No problem. A few little egg layers in a coop with a small fenced in run area is just what you need. See? Chickens are for everyone {wink}! I'm just sayin', if you've ever thought about owning chickens, maybe this is your year of the chicken! Are you convinced? Are you on the way to the feed store right now? What's keepin' you? Get going!
xo,
Amy

Monday, April 4, 2016

Reaping What We Sow {the joys of unschooling}


Remember awhile back when I showed y'all our new-to-us piano? My sweet daughter has been playing away and it's literally music to my ears. She's taking lessons from a friend and fellow homeschooling mom in town and she's loving all the learning.

I was planning on just sharing how much she loves playing the piano, but as I've been watching her on this journey of hers, I've really come to see what a beautiful testament to unschooling it is. So many of us moms, me included, spend a whole lot of our children's early years trying to figure out what they may enjoy doing. Placing them in various lessons, waiting to see if there's a spark. Why do we do that? I remember putting our oldest son in gymnastics classes, baseball, soccer, karate, and the list goes on and on. I thought that it was my duty to find his passion for him. Nothing could be further from the truth. Unschooling has taught me to have patience, tons of sometimes scary patience and wait and watch our children. I promise you, they will let you know what their passion is, they will find it all on their own. Isn't that such a beautiful thing?


Sofia discovered a while back that she had a passion for the piano. We had a little keyboard and she taught herself to play a few songs. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, you'd hear her playing, I never had to prompt her or tell her to practice. When she felt drawn to the piano, off she'd go. She was so excited when we found this beautiful, old, upright piano, and couldn't wait to take lessons. I've not once told her that she should be practicing, but not a day goes by that I don't find her sitting there at the piano.


Unschooling is still a pretty scary endeavor at times, but it's at these moments I realize that giving our children the space and freedom to listen to their own voices and hearts, is the best gift we could ever give them. It's worth a little fear on our parts, God's got this.

xo,
Amy


Monday, March 14, 2016

Down The Rabbit Hole


It seems that I've taken an unexpected, unplanned blogging break. Life, it's always full of surprises!

As moms, we don't get sick days or time off. We are always on the job. Last Wednesday, life as I know it, ended. I went to sleep Tuesday night just fine, and woke up Wednesday morning with a pinched nerve. It was as if I fell down the rabbit hole. All the things that had filled my days, were now overshadowed by pain.

I now have a huge respect for those of you out there that live with chronic pain, bless your hearts. On day number six, I waved the white flag and sought medical intervention, the pain was just too much to bear. It seems that there's not a clear cut treatment plan for a pinched nerve, only many, many different opinions. Choosing the right path has been extremely confusing, as I think I've figured out, there is no right path, just opinions, ughhhhhhhh. Now, if you notice that this post seems a little wonky and has lots of misspellings, hey, I can blame the meds {wink}!

So with all my free time, I began thinking about y'all, especially y'all that have to deal with a chronic condition of any kind. How strong you must be. I began to realize that I take my health for granted every single day. What's that saying?, you never know what you've got till it's gone.

I'm a firm believer that all things happen for a reason and that all things are for our good, whether it seems so or not. If there is a lesson I need to learn, I pray that I get it now, so that God doesn't have to bring it before me again, in an even mightier way. God, let me learn it now! And sometimes, the lesson is not for me at all, but someone close to me needs to learn through my suffering. For the past thirteen days, I've proudly watched my family come together to take over my usual duties. I've watched my daughters take charge of cooking, baking, and cleaning. Maybe the only way for them to truly learn how to take charge of a household was if I was completely out of the way. With me always hovering, well, lets just say that I may be a bit of a control freak and I really have a hard time delegating. With me on the sidelines, my family has been able to soar without my interfering assistance.

I found this little poem{hymn} as I was reading..........

A Little Bird I Am
A little bird I am,
Shut from the fields of air;
And in my cage I sit and sing
To Him who placed me there;
Well pleased a prisoner to be
Because, my God, it pleases Thee.

Nought have I else to do;
I sing the whole day long;
And He whom most I love to please,
Doth listen to my song;
He caught and bound my wandering wing,
But still he bends to hear me sing.
Thou hast an ear to hear;
A heart to love and bless;
And, though my notes were e’er so rude,
Thou wouldst not hear them less:
Because Thou knowest, as they fall,
That LOVE, sweet LOVE, inspires them all.
My cage confines me round;
Abroad I cannot fly;
But though my wing is closely bound,
My heart’s at liberty.
My prison walls cannot control
The flight, the freedom of the soul.

Oh! It’s good to soar
These bolts and bars above,
To Him whose purpose I adore,
Whose providence I love;
And in Thy mighty will to find
The joy, the freedom of the mind.

                             -Jeanne Guyon

For you all that may be suffering today, my prayers are with you.

xo,
Amy


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Let's Go Camping!


It's been a whole year since we purchased our Little Pop Up Camper . What adventures we have had! We're already planning trips for April and I'm just giddy! Do you and your family camp? I wanted to share with you a little about what I've learned this last year, but first a little sharing about me..........


I'm a girly girl. You know the ones, they don't like to get dirt under their nails, they powder their noses when out and about, they 'hold it' forever rather than go in a porta-potty, yeah, I'm one of those. So, needless to say, I'm not the roughing it type. Having to potty in the woods just isn't my thing.


We tried tent camping when the kids were little- hated it big time. Hearing little animals scurrying around my tent all night just wasn't my cup of tea. Shoot, I was terrified and didn't sleep a wink! Now, I have friends mind you {you two know who you are ;)}, that are camping aficionados! You should see these women camp. I promise you would be in awe of their campsite! Tents, screen rooms, organized totes filled with food and supplies, they literally put women like me to shame! It just wasn't for me or my husband, so we wrote camping off our list. We decided that it just wasn't for us. Huge mistake!



It then took years and years of wasted time for me to consider camping again. I say wasted time because there's just something about our children, that they deserve to be raised out in nature, unplugged from this world we live in, as often as possible. Traveling and hotels is one thing, camping is totally different. Camping brings your family together in a way you'll never experience in a hotel.


It's so much easier to start your kiddos off early with this lifestyle, the camping lifestyle. It's much harder to convince teenagers that camping is awesome. Our girls have been real troopers and I've been so proud of them for their good attitudes. Sometimes they're a bit whiny, but I see the gains of our adventures and it's worth a little discomfort on their parts.


So why all this rambling on? Spring is upon us, and if you've ever wondered if camping might be right for you, YES, yes it is! I don't want you or your children to miss out on the benefits of camping. If someone as girly as me loves it this much, you may just love it too! Don't like sleeping on the ground? We planned and saved for a whole year for our pop up, so worth all the sacrifices.


And the price? Camping is so inexpensive, especially if you tent camp, and you don't have to go far. A state park just down the road or in your own state is a perfect landing. The point is to be out there in nature, unplugged around a campfire, hiking, game playing or just talking, remember that?,  just talking with one another. That's the whole point of the camping experience, connections, re-establishing connections, strengthening connections.

This world that we live in pulls our families apart, camping brings our family back together. So, if you've never tried it, maybe this is your year! Are you already a camping family? Give me a shout out!
xo,
Amy

Sharing Here: In The New House Designs   McCall Manor

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Snowy Day


I'm interrupting my post I had planned for today due to...... SNOW.  In the deep south, when it snows, everything stops,  everything.  I'm just sayin' it's kind of a big deal around here. Snow falls fast and furious and then poof, it's gone, so you've got to be quick cause if you blink, you may miss it altogether. 




At the first sign of a flake, we run like mad men to our closets digging for our hats and mittens that we never  wear, and we layer up like the next ice age is coming, we'd make the Alaskan's proud. Northerners think we're crazy, and they're not all that far off honestly.




We do go a little overboard with our 'snow'. Bundle up good, I'd hear as a child, don't want to catch your death of cold. Sounds reasonable enough{?}, so bundle up it is!



For some reason, Matthew figured that it would be all kinds of awesome to ride the go kart in the snow, something about cool 'drifting' moves he could do? The go kart had other plans- too cold. It sputtered a bit and little impressive puffs of smoke came out of the engine, but in the end, no kart.




This equaled one disappointed little boy. He quickly moved on to snow angels though. Sounds pretty enough right, but remember it's Georgia, tiny snow + mostly mud = more laundry for mama!




Still, we take what we can get around here as far as the white fluffy stuff goes. Hope you're staying warm in your little neck of the woods. Until next time sweet friends.......



Monday, January 18, 2016

A Winter Wedding


So just before Christmas we headed out west for our son's wedding. What an adventure we had! The kiddos had never flown before, so that was exciting! They had a blast!





And then, The Wedding........ not even any need for words here, I'll apologize now, it's photo overload y'all! 




The wedding was in Wyoming, oh the prairie, I was smitten, fell head over heels in love with the landscape. You'd better believe that us and our little camper will be going back for a much longer stay one day. Some of the biggest, bluest skies I've ever seen, y'all.





What a beautiful blessing to be able to photograph my son and new daughter in such a gorgeous place. It was surreal and a dream come true.






After the ceremony, we had a little reception fireside, so intimate, complete perfection.


The wedding was perfect in every way. We're all looking forward to the many new chapters to come in the lives of these two young ones. Thank y'all so much for dropping by and letting me gush on, such a proud mama! Until next time sweet friends.....

Sharing At:   Cozy Little House
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