Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Thousand Words

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then, oh boy, there's oh so many words here! I'm terribly behind sorting through all my pictures, so I'm proclaiming today phone dump day! Does that ever happen to you? Life gets so crazy full that you forget to go back and soak up all those memories. Well, today's the day, let the memories roll.......

{yum}



Here's a few more from our wedding trip out west. Still can't get over the fact that my son is married! Oh Happy Day!





I never tire of our evening skyline here, heavenly.........


Now, let me take a selfie-ha! Showing my teen girls that I'm hip and cool too!


And last but not least, my son and daughter-in-love's cat. Isn't she gorgeous?


There's still a hundred more on my phone, but I don't want to overwhelm y'all all at once! How do you keep your photos organized, or are you like me and forget to download them all? Mercy, there's so many it can be overwhelming! 

Glad you're here today!
xo,
Amy

Monday, February 1, 2016

Another Slow Redo {kids bathroom}


Whether you live in an older house or newer model, you're probably no stranger to the redo. I've written a bucket full of times about slow and intentional living and redo's on a shoestring budget because that's just how we live. And you know what, I wouldn't want it any other way. Slow anything means that you've put a considerable amount of thought into the situation and you're not going to make as many mistakes or have regrets. Slow means that you're going to be pleased as punch with the end result and that's all good, right? Right! 
While we're on the subject of slow, case in point, our kids bathroom, or the cave as I like to call it. I've always hated this room because it's so dark and gloomy. It's on the very back corner of the house, tucked away, and not really on my radar, this poor little room has been ignored, totally ignored. Do you have a room {or two} like that in your house? This bathroom is the achilles heel of our house, it really is. But no more, it's time has come. Amen and Hallelujah!

It's so beige y'all, and not in a good way. It's mismatched, oh so dark, broken, design flawed, it's a colossal mess, but we're ready to take it on. This bathroom is stuck in the 70's, but no more, we've declared war on the bathroom. 

Here's what you'll see with this redo:
  1. Only changes that we can afford. None of that borrowing from Peter to pay Paul stuff. This means that nothing is going to be ripped out. You'll see small changes that will have a big impact on the look and feel of the space.
  2. We'll be replacing the old stained linoleum with vinyl and we'll be doing the labor ourselves. We have the piece already and it was a remnant from a friend of my husband's that does flooring professionally. It was free y'all, cha-ching! Would I prefer an awesome vintage tile perhaps? YES, but I'm not going to let my budget get in the way of fixing up this little space.
  3. Paint! Lot's of re-painting. Paint is so inexpensive compared to other big dollar changes you can do around your house, never be afraid to re-paint an object or a wall. Repeat after me, paint is my friend. 
  4. I've been scouring online sales for months now at higher end stores I love but can't afford {#urbanoutfittersiloveyou} and I've gotten a couple of really sweet pieces. 
  5. Did I mention how slow this project will be? It's gonna be so slow, you'll probably forget that I ever mentioned that we were doing a bathroom re-do. I promise, I'll pop in with little updates along the way so you {and me!} can see that we're making progress.

Well, there you have it, the beginning of another slooooow redo. Pray for patience for me! I struggle sometimes with slow! It's going to be a little chaotic over here for a while and sometimes that drives me a little bonkers.

I beg of you, don't not start a home project because it seems too mighty, bite off a small little chunk and work on it slowly. Is there a room in your house that's driving you nutty? Why not start a slow redo?

xo,
Amy


Thursday, January 28, 2016

God, Angels, And A Mountain




Share time, k? Two secrets about me that you may not know, I'm deathly afraid of heights, and I get big time lost on many of the adventures I find myself on. One or the other isn't really all that bad per se, but combine the two and watch out honey, you're in for a wild ride. 

The other day, both girls had friends over for the night and it was an unusually warm winter's day, seemed like the perfect day for a little hike. There was a nearby mountain that my girls had been wanting to explore and it sounded like a perfect fit for the day.
 




The mountain is pretty high and sports some beautiful views of multi counties at it's peak. The girls' particular attraction was in the fact that the mountain top is all rock and a favorite place for hikers both young and old alike to paint the rocks in some way leaving their mark. I've seen pictures that others have posted on Instagram and Facebook and it's breathtaking, not only the views but all the beautiful colors and writings on the rocks.




Sounds perfect. Off we go. Me, four teen girls and Matthew, I know, I know, poor little guy, he's used to being surrounded by lots of girls!

Once we found the gravel road entrance, I began looking for a parking lot of some kind. Didn't see anything, no apparent signage or anything like that so I continued down the gravel road. I began thinking that, whew, this is the longest lead in road to a hike that I've ever been on before, but I remained confident that I'd see somewhere to park soon. 



The road began to narrow making it hard to imagine that another car could pass in the opposite direction, not that I'd seen another car, we were apparently the only folks hiking the mountain on this winter's day. I noticed that we were definitely heading up, and up,  and up.  Okay, this is a little weird I'm thinking, the road was really bumpy with large potholes from all the recent rain we've had, our suv struggled a few times. The road had without a doubt become a one car at a time road, making it impossible for me to change my mind at this point, I found myself with only two options, back  down {yes, I do mean put the car in reverse and literally back  the car downthe way we'd come or keep going. Yeah, I chose the keep going, backing down a mountain road is not an item on my bucket list y'all. 


So, it's winter ya know, all the leaves are off the trees so I'm beginning to get a pretty good view off the sides of the mountain, and let me tell you, I'm not liking what I'm seeing, everything's really tiny y'all, houses, cattle, farmland, teeny, weeny.


Okay, at this point I'm starting to wonder if this road is even supposed to have a car on it, what if somehow I messed up and I'm driving on the actual trail, the walking trail, freaking out y'all, literally freaking out, and,  still driving up. 


As I look out over the mountain's edge, my fear of heights maxes out and panic sets in. Gotta stay calm, gotta keep my cool, five kids in the car, it'll be okay.
 




We continued on and I see the colorful rocks just ahead, what?! ,  the colorful rocks?, people hike to those, more freaking out........ the girls start squealing, here we are, here we are, they're so excited and oblivious to my panic-stricken-about-to-have-a-panic-attack-at-any-minute self. Let's get out, they say. No, not just yet, I say. I know that I've got to keep going as much as I don't want to because I have to find a way to turn around on top of this mountain. We keep going, still up, just a little further to the summit, where praise God, it's large enough for me to turn around.



I turn around and instead of feeling better, my panic increases by leaps and bounds because now I'm terrified about going down. It had been a bit of a struggle going up, so I began thinking that there's no possible way I can get down without slipping and plummeting off the side of the mountain, I was paralyzed by fear, completely paralyzed. I'm thinking of my kids and the two precious girls that have been entrusted to my care, and what have I gotten us all into?

I drive slowly down back to the colored rocks and pull over slightly to let the overjoyed girls out, they have arrived at their destination and they're thrilled, me, I'm a basket case. I've managed to keep my sunglasses on hoping that they can't see my eyes and my struggle to keep the tears at bay.




The girls run off and begin painting their names on the rocks, they're having a blast. Me, not so much. I pull out my cell phone and pray big time that it will have a signal, I need to call my hero, the bravest one I know, I need to call my husband. To my surprise, the phone works and my hero answers on the other end. He tells me all the things I need to know, all the practical advice that heroes are so good with, but my fear, it's hard for him to help me much with that because it's my  fear, and it's fully irrational. I thank him and tell him how much I love him {Lord knows I'm thinking I may never see him again} and I walk over to the side of the mountain sheltered by a huge boulder, now I call on my other hero, God above. I begin praying big time y'all, praying for God to send my guardian angels, because there's no way I can do this on my own, no way. I fight back the tears.


I walk back over to the car and try to find peace and a calm spirit. I talk to little Matthew just like it was any other day. He says, mama, are you afraid, I know you don't like being up so very high? No, I assure him, it's all good I say. I'm not sure he believes me, but he goes on along exploring the rocks anyway. 


What happened next is the whole point of this really, really, long story. It's amazing and miraculous and hard to even believe, unless of course you're a believer and you already know that God's going to show up. He showed up right on top of that mountain and saved me from my own irrational fears, He saved me from my own self. 




I heard a noise and looked up the road where we had turned around at the top of the mountain, and down was driving a truck, the most beautiful blue truck I'd ever laid eyes on, I swear it had the wings of angels. Where could it have come from? I had just been up there at the top of the mountain and turned our car around seeing nothing and no one. I swear I leaped for joy and went running over to the truck which slowed upon seeing me. The driver rolled down her window and I began to unload my burdens upon her, she must have thought I was nuts, but no matter, it was a truck, a truck that was going to drive down the mountain, and if they could drive down with no problem so could I. I was as light as a feather and positively giddy. Thank you God for hearing my pleas {as ridiculous as they may have been!}.


When the girls were all done painting, we loaded up and started down the mountain. I was a little shaken but my fears had mostly subsided and I felt pretty silly for being so worried. 


I'll have you know that I praised God all the way down that mountain, all the way down. As we were pulling out of the gravel road back onto the main street to leave, I saw this tiny little turn around that is the 'parking' lot for the hike, you've got to be kidding me? For whatever reason, on this particular Friday morning, God and I needed to meet up on a mountain top.


xo, Amy




Linking At:  Thoughts From Alice

Friday, August 7, 2015

Why We Unschool Our Children


Helloooooo sweet friends! I'm having computer issues, making blogging a little tricky. Our oldest son is working on my laptop, bless his heart, he's my awesome tech guy, soooooo, I'm re-posting  a favorite of mine today. Unschooling, I could talk about this subject ALL day, you should be glad you don't live nearby, cause really I called talk about this subject for e-v-e-r. Let's just say I'm a bit passionate about schooling our kiddos. Any questions? Ask away.......


Let's talk about unschooling, shall we? So.... what is unschooling? Well, unschooling is a style of homeschooling where your children are given the freedom to learn at their own pace and in their own time. I really believe there is a HUGE lack of information on how unschooling looks in a typical family. When you begin your homeschooling journey, you also begin the CURRICULUM journey. Many homeschool families try to replicate "school" at home. Guess what? Just because you have chosen to homeschool, doesn't mean you have to mimic school. You have the freedom to not only nurture your child's education but your WHOLE child. Step back and look at the BIG picture, your child as a WHOLE, not just their book smarts, but their character. I've seen way too many homeschooling parents totally miss the opportunity to grow the WHOLE child because they are so busy on the curriculum. They are wasting such a gift.  


So what does our unschooling family look like? Well, we don't live on the side of a mountain and haul our water in by mule. We don't live on a bus and travel around the U.S.{although I really do want a CAMPER, but, I digress}. We don't live in the backwoods and hunt vermin for our meals and have coon skins hanging on our porch {not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you}. We are a pretty regular family. I'm a college educated, self proclaimed DIY'er, writer, wife, and UNSCHOOLING mommy. So why did we choose unschooling? We wanted our children to have the space and time to explore their own passions in their own time. Every day is FILLED with learning, just like in real life. There's no set hours for learning. Knowledge is around us ALL day EVERY day, we just have to seek it out. We want our children to adopt a lifestyle of learning. Learning does not have to be only from 8am to 3 pm. Learning is now and always.



Do we live a child centered life- NO, but, we do let our children decide what they want to pursue on any given day. Sometimes that means sand box fun all morning for our seven year old or rainbow looming for our eleven year old followed by our thirteen year old baking for the afternoon. It also means that our youngest just learning to write at seven is o.k. and our oldest daughter not caring much for reading until she was ten was also o.k. But once they are ready to learn, boy-do-they-fly! There's no forcing them to write their ABC's through tears or bribing them to read a chapter in a book. When they're READY to pursue any task, they just excel.



Schooling at home is a journey and one that changes shape as we change over the years. Have we always unschooled- no. It took many years of relaxing our homeschooling style to get to where we are now. And some days, I'm still full of fear.  We have raised and graduated one son already that was given this freedom to explore all his gifts and passions. I wouldn't change a thing! The freedom of a relaxed learning environment molded him into the amazing, confident, talented, young man that he is today. And that's not just a mama's pride. He really is exceptional and it has a whole lot to do with him having tons of freedom to explore the world around him. So this is why we unschool our children- because it works and I have a passion to continue this style with our other three children.



In a few upcoming posts, I'm going to explore the many ins and outs of unschooling and try to answer many questions you may have about this style of learning. I believe that it is a very misunderstood form of educating and that more people may enjoy it's benefits if they only understood it better. So, if you have questions like:  "what is unschooling and how do you unschool?", "as a parent, are you afraid that you're messing up your kids?", "what does a typical day of unschooling involve?", "do your kids like unschooling?", "can you be a christian and unschool?", check back soon and I'll answer ALL these questions and more. What do you think? Could unschooling be for you and your family?

Here's some more I've written about unschooling: Unschooling 101Fear = GoodAnd They Take FlightA Crazy Little Thing Called Unschooling {Part One}A Crazy Little Thing Called Unschooling {Part Two}Unschooling: The Elementary Years



Monday, August 3, 2015

Firsts


There are lots of firsts  coming up in my life. Firsts can be super exciting and sometimes really scary all at the same time. I've actually had some firsts already recently. For the longest time, I've wanted to try yoga. I've been drawn to it, but never could find a tiny group of women to practice with, I have no idea what I'm doing so having a leader in the group is a necessity. I had asked around of friends, but no one knew of an informal little group, so, YouTube to the rescue. LOVE the sweet lady I found on there and I'll share all about her in another post, doggone she's good. And in case you were wondering, yoga is the bomb. I LOVE it so much, cannot say enough good things about it y'all. 

The other firsts, are fast approaching. Soon the kids and I will be hitting the road, notice I said 'the kids and I', no hubby. I've never traveled without my husband, but there are so many places I want our kiddos to see and my husband cannot possibly take off that many days from work, so we'll be traveling sans hubby. I'm pretty brave, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little anxious about traveling without him.


Another approaching first, if you frequent campgrounds, you may have noticed that lots of campsites are back in only. You're kidding right???? Ughhhhh. Soooooo, I'm having to learn how to back up the camper into a little parking pad. How am I doing???? Don't ask....... but I'm still practicing and I WILL successfully back my camper into the site. Prayers welcomed!

Another little first, I plan on blogging live from the road, how fun does that sound right? You'll be able to follow us along on our little adventures and I won't feel so alone knowing y'all are all there with me, so comments will be mighty welcomed and it'll really help me with my case of the nerves. We are heading out a week from Wednesday and I can hardly wait! Stay tuned.........


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Friday, June 26, 2015

Schooling In The Mountains


This  is where my heart lies. This  is where schooling meets nurturing and they collide into a beautiful jumble of learning and love. This  is when all is right and good in my world. These precious moments always remind me why we school our littles at home. 



We drove thirty five minutes north to escape the heat and landed at Black Rock Mountain State Park, elevation 3,640 feet above sea level. It boasts a whopping fifteen degree drop in temperature from our home near it's base, so it seemed a perfect location to beat the sweltering summer temperatures. We had donned our hiking attire, filled our cooler and I had packed all our favorite read-alouds, ready for an afternoon of cooler temps and schoolin' under the trees. 



So we hiked, me mumbling I'm brave,  I'm very very brave  through the winding path {I have a slight bear phobia}, then settled at the trail-head tables with yummies and books galore. I cannot even tell you how right it feels to teach your own children nestled in such a beautiful outdoor classroom. I swear the angels must be singing hallelujah in the heavens, it just feels that right. 




I had these same feelings just before my second child was born, as I felt more confident with my parenting abilities and had come to the realization that I heartily believed in attachment parenting {thank you Dr. Sears}, so I threw out all the advice that others had given me about the right  way to raise a child. My parenting world opened up and gone were the days of my child sleeping in a crib and crying it out because I'd ruin him otherwise. I listened to my heart and my parenting changed forever.




Schooling out in nature feels like that, like a natural progression of attachment parenting. My heart overflows.


Keep close to nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
John Muir 


Monday, May 18, 2015

Life Is Good


Sadly, I'm feeling a bit under the weather, but I really wanted to share some of our first camping adventures with y'all, so here I am. I have so much to say about our trip, mostly that it was everything I'd dreamed of {and more} and I can't wait to hit the road again! 



We were thrilled that our first adventure was to our beloved Savannah on the Georgia coast. We camped at Skidaway Island State Park. We drove over to Tybee Island to have a little beach fun everyday and these are some photos from our last evening there {sigh}. Hubby and I got in lots of time together too! There's lots of benefits to having older kiddos on vacation and we took full advantage of our free time!




Tybee Island is our favorite beach. It's a non-commercialized beach {my favorite kind} and still sports that old time beach kind of a feel. Lots of locally owned little shops and eateries, and none of that chain stuff from the real world. 



I'll have more about our camping experience later as soon as I'm feeling better. It was so wonderful y'all and I have tons of ideas swimming around in my head on how to improve our camper life. I can't wait to share them all with you. Y'all have an awesome week!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Little Sneak Peek {it's all about the camper week!}


So yes, this week is all about the camper and I'm so happy to announce that we are done!  And best of all, all photos have been taken, and I'll soon be editing and getting them all loaded onto here to share. It has been such an exciting time and even our daughters are now really excited to go camping or glamping as they prefer to call it. I must say that I'm filled with anticipation and can't wait for this little family to hit the road. Ahhhh, I'm dreaming of the day that we will hook up the camper to the car and we will all pile in and head down the driveway out into the great unknown.............ahhhhh, soon, soon.


We had only a few little snags, a leak in the sink faucet that couldn't be repaired but needed to be replaced, and a cantankerous lock that we are still tweaking, other than that, this baby purrs like a kitten. I'm already planning lots of voyages this year and I can't wait to post while we are on the road. I can see me all snuggled in my bunk one evening, typing away about the day's adventures, click, click, click go the computer keys. The kids all settled in their little bunk, reading by lantern light. We'll start our adventures closer to home and then venture out more as we become comfortable and more experienced. Luckily, all the kiddos are old enough to help out with the set up and take down process which is a huge load off of the hubby and I as far as the work load goes. 



I'm thrilled to announce that the full camper reveal will be Monday, the 11th so stay tuned y'all! This Friday though, I'll have an easy little craft that found it's way into the camper, I know right, finally a little DIY around here! So y'all be sure to pop in Friday morning for that. Hugs!


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