Monday, January 21, 2019

The beauty of staying home

There is something to be said about a baby sleeping in their bed. 

It just feels right to them. 

They are at such peace. 

Children need rest. They need a good schedule and a well ordered home to rest within.

Our children have all loved their bed. I see many children who are able to fall asleep any and everywhere. Restaurants, in the stroller, church. I have rarely had that happen with our boys. 

They like to be in their own bed. 

Babies and toddlers take naps every day. The baby takes 3 naps per day. I love that he is able to take all of them in his own bed. Our toddler son too. Daily, in the afternoon, we all lay down for a quiet nap.

At home.

Of course there are days, we must go out for groceries and such but I love being able to stay home.

It is my favorite place to be.

"Sleep is the best meditation." Dalai Lame

Friday, January 4, 2019

A rope...

Christmas has come and gone....

The newness of the toys have worn off.

It's back to nature for my boys. Running, jumping, building, working are daily practices here on our four acres. Our second oldest son wanted to buy for his best friend (his older brother). I had taken him out for some mom/son time alone and we went shopping. He quickly knew what his brother would love to have.

Some rope.

You see, boys who LOVE being outside don't need toys. They love rope, tarp, wood, knives. Anything that they can build with. That rope opened on Christmas was one of the most sought after gifts. Plans were quickly drawn up on paper on how to use this rope for their fort building. A $2.00 rope, was the best gift given that day.

It doesn't take much.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Picture Perfect

On Thanksgiving, we gathered at my parent's home with all of my family and my sister's family. She has invested in a nice camera and wanted to take some pictures of everyone. 

It was a chilly day. 

We rushed out the front door into the yard to capture our lives at this time. I don't know about you, but in the moment taking pictures of the whole family can seem unpleasant at times. Getting everyone settled, and situated. Getting them to look at the camera, and smile. Making noise so the baby will look the way of the camera. Making sure we aren't slouching, and that we semi match. Finding the best backdrop with nothing in view but nature, etc, etc. We try so hard to make it picture perfect. 

After getting finished with picture taking, the children have had enough. They wanted to play after all. So running about they went. Playing ball outside, and running here and there around the yard with cousins. 

When the time comes to view your pictures, isn't it always fun to see what was captured? In the moment I thought there is not going to be one decent picture for my home. 

What I really should have said was "this isn't going to be picture perfect". I was reminded by my husband who is Mr. Laid Back that it doesn't always have to be picture perfect. He said "Stacy, they are children who want to play. Yes, they should listen and obey when told to look the cameras way, but boys especially do not want to sit all day playing smile to the camera". I huffed and walked off. You see, growing up as a girly girl with just a sister we loved to pose and smile for the camera. How could anyone not like this I thought. But after thinking over and over about what my patient and loving husband had said.....he was exactly right. It doesn't always have to be picture perfect. 

Not this picture, nor our lives. If I was being honest I would say I strive to have perfection in a lot of areas in my life. But why? It is something I have asked God for help with. I don't need the most clean home, or the best cooked meals every night. My children don't need a mother who is looking her best 24/7 or shopping for the best and most fashionable clothes for everyone. They need time with me. 

Time is the best gift I could give them. My time in listening, talking, praying with. Being picture perfect is not what God has called me to be.

Instead he has called me to be a wife and mother. Not picture perfect. 

“I believe women come nearer fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else.
It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife than to be Miss America.
It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth.
It is a far, far better thing in the realm of morals to be old-fashioned than to be ultramodern.
The world has enough women who know how to hold their cocktails, who have lost all their illusions and their faith.
The world has enough women who know how to be smart.
It needs women who are willing to be simple.
The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave.
The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure.
We need woman, and men, too, who would rather be morally right that socially correct.”
-Peter Marshall, 1942

Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Christmas Book Idea

Hello! It's December!

It has been a long time since I've written on here. 

A new baby and three busy boys are taking up each second of my time, and I love it! They are all doing well, and the baby is now 3 months old. He is a true precious gift from God above. A gift I didn't know we needed, but the Lord sure does work his will instead of ours. 

Today I wanted to share an idea about Christmas that my children just love. 

When it is time to get the Christmas decor down from the attic around Thanksgiving, one of the most anticipated items that they are standing at the bottom of the ladder for, are the Christmas books. I have them in a basket up in the attic and getting them down each year makes them new and exciting again. 

The boys can't wait to read them all. I have a mixture of Christ centered ones, and then some fun ones about Santa too. I try to pick up a Christmas book or two each year to add to the collection. 

Having the books sitting in a basket under the Christmas tree are a great reminder to the children to read. The TV, games, and technology in general seems to take over childrens love for reading these days. Not in our home. Our boys (old and young) all really love to read. You will find our 9 year old son reading a book to our 3 year old most days. As well as our 8 year old son, reading to his dog each night. As a child, I wasn't given much reading time with the coming and going of too many extracurricular activities that I was involved in. Looking back on my childhood, I wish I had taken the love for reading more serious. It really does broaden the mind and create an imagination like no other. 

I hope this is a tradition you start because the children just love going through them each year!

Happy Reading!!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

What a new baby brings......

On August 20th, 2018 at 4:34pm

we welcomed our fourth son Klayton David to our family.

We have been blessed by this baby in the 2 months that he has been with us. I am a bit behind as you can tell keeping my blog up to date. I love to keep writing for the memories. That one day, my boys may read. They bring us joy each day!!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

A love for decor!

Hobby Lobby makes it easy for us to create and decorate our homes. It is such a pleasant experience for us to shop there. I can't tell you how many times I'm in a store with such loud music that I want to leave quickly after. Hobby Lobby is not that way.

It is nice to go and look around at the different ideas they have to help you decorate your house into a home. It can get overwhelming at times. I go with a plan.

Ex: Today I'm going to look for a sign to go in the bathroom, or materials for a new wreath. 

The other day the boys and I were browsing through looking for wreath materials because their floral was 50% off this week. A great time to make a new wreath. I already had the grapevine wreath in the garage, so I was going for a late summer/early fall look on our front door.

The boys and I picked these sunflowers and spikes that were all on sale, and this Buffalo check ribbon that I used my coupon on. Mr. Owl was in the fall section and he went right along with the buffalo check ribbon. He too was on sale for 40% off. 

The boys were so proud of the finished product and told me many times that it looked amazing!!! :) 

Just a love for decor on a budget! 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Living with TOO much

I read a book this week titled "Almost Amish" that I rented from the library. 
It was an interesting book that was written by a wife and mother who wanted to make her life more simple. 
She had everything and more. Living the "American Dream" as people say. However, her and her husband and their children were not happy. 
Why you say? They were living on a very large doctor salary. They had every gadget and toy and fancy decor that you could buy. But still not happy. Their life felt meaningless. Empty.

She realized soon, that they needed Christ in their life. They realized they were empty without him. 
They made some changes. Then made even more changes. By the end they were living in a very small home, and he had totally quit his job as a doctor in order to serve the Lord and spread the gospel. Wow, it was an encouragement. What would I say to my husband if he came home and said "I quit my job today to serve the Lord". 
What happened? They all became happy with their new life. A more simple life. 
I guess it goes to show we do live in a world full of abundance, but we don't really need all that we think we do.
Sometimes I think my children deserve more. More things, better clothes, exciting toys, but really they don't. Looking back on my childhood I can't remember what toy I got on my 6th birthday or even my 13th birthday. But I do remember the relationships I had, and the memories of going to church and serving others. 
So today I say, being thankful with what you do have is important. We are working on this with our oldest two boys now. Just this morning before church they were complaining of not having a "new" notebook to take notes in at church. We explained that the notebooks they have aren't old. They are written in, and used. There is nothing wrong with that. There is no need for new. 
Teaching contentment in our world today is hard. We can say it to our children, but we must show it. I know I am not always the best example. But I want to be. I want to strive for that. 
The bible tells us not to have worldly minds. 

We can't store up treasures in this earthly life. 

I am praying for guidance for my own life. 

Friday, June 8, 2018

How to Live like the Amish

If you have ever been to an Amish community, you know that you see many wonderful sights. People drive hours, and spend money for a vacation to visit these communities, but for what reason? 

What are we wanting to see and experience? 

What are we longing for?

What do they have, that we can't have?

I know for me it is the peaceful, calm, quiet, and beautiful atmosphere that the community has. You see men who are out in the fields working on their land. No, they are not just working on the land for fun or entertainment. They are working the land for their own personal food, and income for their family. This is their life at stake. You see them taking the cows out to the pasture to eat, so that one day they become meat for the family. You see them painting the house so that their home looks neat and orderly. You see them driving their buggies to the hardware store to pick up lumber for their new barn about to go up with help from many other Amish men. You see them tending the gardens to be able to sell at their produce stand. This is their life. 

You see women hanging laundry on the line, sweeping their porches, driving their buggies to the grocery store with their children in the back. You see them covered modestly with their attire. They are normally very quiet and reserved if you would see them in the stores. They are not loud and boastful about anything. 

You see the children who are quiet and respectful in any situation you may see them. They are behaved extremely well, and it gives you a sense of peace to watch them play happily in the yard with no toys. We visited a barn sale on our last trip to Berlin, Ohio and as we walked into the barn to see the sale, the 3 children were the ones who were running the money and the sale. Answering questions from the customers, but also being quiet and respectful in all of their answers. They are content with being home. They are content with their life.

The tourist coming to these Amish communities long for this type of lifestyle....but why? Why can't we create this for ourselves?

No, we are not Amish. We do not worship the way they do. However, to have a simple, orderly lifestyle is not very hard to do.

We can slow ourselves down. We really need to do this. 

It is a much healthier lifestyle. 

1. Take time to tend the garden without running to the grocery store for every little item. We can make due with what we have, and sell things in order to get what we need.

2. Keep up with the cleaning of the home. Use a cleaning schedule, or totally de clutter in order to keep the house orderly. When you tend to the house daily it won't be a HUGE overwhelming mess. You never see a disorderly Amish home. 

3. Teach your children and yourself to be content with what you have. There is no reason for your kids to have many shoes and clothes. In our home our boys have 3 pairs of shoes. 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of play shoes, and 1 pair for church. Same with clothes. Keep it simple! I put all of the boys church clothes in one closet. This helps them get ready for church very quickly, and also helps my husband when he has time to dress them. Everything is kept in there neat and orderly, and ironed so things are ready. 

4. Buy USED! Save the difference. If you are a stay at home wife and mother, you know that your job is to help stay within your husbands income. You may have a large budget or a very small one. Either way, it is your job to stay within this budget and do well for your family. If your budget is small, then buying used is the way to go. Borrow items you may need instead of buying. Every year we always borrow my parents pressure washer to pressure wash our house. We wouldn't use it much anyway, so why spend un neccessary money. Same with a garden tiller, a log splitter, chainsaws, etc. I know you can't borrow everything and it is nice to have things of your own, but if you think about it, much of our tools and equipment just sits in the building or garage. 

These are just a few ways to begin living a simple life. I believe that is why the Amish communities have grown so much with tourists. Our worldly ways are becoming too much for most people. We all crave simplicity! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Our Garden 2018

I am seeing so many blogs having updates on their garden progress. I want to share with you what we have chosen to do this year. 

For the past few years our boys have really enjoyed going to our local farmers market. They have talked to us about the business side of it, and want to contribute to that. So in an effort to help their endeavors, we planted two gardens this year. We are hoping that the second garden will be for them to sell at the farmer's market. Mostly in that garden is a lot of corn, and potatoes. 
In our other garden are plants that will be processed for our family to eat. We have potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, banana peppers, strawberries, and zinnia flowers for decoration. One of our favorite things to do in the summer is work in the garden. It brings so much satisfaction to see the fruit of your labor. Or in this case, vegetables :)

Our boys all take turns watering the garden each evening if we've not had any rain. 

Our weather is looking good for the garden this week. 84 and raining for about the next 6 days or so. Every time it rains, our trees and garden looks so much more green than the day before. Ohh how I love this time of year!

The grass is growing so fast! I have been mowing it with our push mower, and our oldest son who is 9 helps me with the weedeating. However, with so much land this is proving to be quite the task to keep up with. Every other evening we are mowing or weedeating some area on the property. I was sure thankful to see the rain for the next week so we can get a little rest for now. I'm sure when this rain is over, we will surely have our work cut out for us. 

I hope your getting some rain where you are so your not watering so much.

Rain is always a blessing and a curse.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

This Pregnancy

This pregnancy has flown by! I am now 24 weeks with just 14 more to go.

As this is my fourth pregnancy, it has gotten a little harder each time. This time I am blaming age :) But, I have felt pretty good overall and for that I am thankful. 

(Our family on Easter Sunday)

We are having another BOY and are thrilled. We have come up with a name but not sharing until the birth. This is our first time to do this. 

I have been nesting and cleaning out everything. That is always the fun of pregnancy. 

The due date is August 24th, but normally it takes a week longer :)

Hope you are enjoying the Spring weather. It is beautiful here in West Virginia!