Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Snowy Days in January

It seems we always wish for a white Christmas, but it doesn't happen so often here in West Virginia. However, we always get the bulk of our snow in January and February.

We've had many snowy days here lately. Today comes 3-5 inches more.

The boys love it. Not so sure about the mommy's who have extra laundry, but trying to embrace the love of it.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Winter Blues


Is it really a "TRUE" thing to have the winter blues?

I decided to do some research for myself.

 Google says: "You may have what's called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. The condition is marked by the onset of depression during the late fall and early winter months, when less natural sunlight is available. It's thought to occur when daily body rhythms become out-of-sync because of the reduced sunlight." 


Interesting. 

I know personally I feel some days I suffer from the winter blues. Mainly, I just love being outdoors. Many days we eat all three meals outside during the summertime. We have three boys that NEED that outdoor sunshine and fresh air. To release the energy, and play away until the sun sets. 

Then winter comes. 

We are stuck indoors, but it could be a good thing. 


I feel almost like a bear hibernating. More time to rest and relax, but that is where the winter blues set in for me. I like to keep busy. I do stay busy with my boys and with keeping of the home. I am one that loves being home. 

But I LOVE being outdoors. 

Here in West Virginia it has been 3 degrees in the mornings. Our boys still brave the cold once or twice a day and bundle up and go out for about 20 minutes just for some fresh air. 

I hope you are somehow, beating the winter blues. 

I am dreaming of the warm springy days where we will be creating and planting our gardens. 

What about you? What are you looking forward to?

Friday, December 29, 2017

Your Christmas

How was it?
Ours was very simple. We have 3 boys and they enjoyed every minute of it. I am thankful to have boys who are truly thankful for the holiday and have positive spirits.

I am blessed to be home with my boys. Home is a place that I love to be.

Tomorrow I need to run out to do some grocery shopping and errands. I normally take my boys right along, but with flu season here in full swing I decided it may be best if they enjoy some daddy time at home.
What about you? Do you do your shopping alone, or do your kiddos tag along each week?
I have done both and I don't really have a preference. I love my children and enjoy them much.


Blessings on the upcoming celebration of 2018!


Saturday, December 16, 2017

A New Calling for our Family

This is a post I never thought I would actually get to type. 
I see many others type on the subject, but never thought I would be doing it. 
We have been brought to the world of homeschooling!!!!!!
EEEK!!!!!!!
A little background:
I have my teaching degree in elementary education. I soon realized after graduation and substituting some, that it was not something I had a huge love for. You see, this is because I graduated college with a 16 month old and newborn. How I got through that time in my life, I still don't know. 
With God's help.
My heart was at home with my babies. There was NO way I could leave them to go teach in a classroom all day. So I didn't. I stayed home. 
I will say that some years, the world got me. It sucked me in saying "Stacy, you have a degree for this you must do something with it." I listened, and was miserable. I was away from my boys and we were all miserable. 
So off the teaching wagon I went. Back home to my happy place. 
When our oldest son (we have 3 boys 9,7,2) was in Kindergarten I brought up the idea to my husband that we should look into homeschooling. He shot that idea down.  Would not even talk to me about it. 
I asked again when my son was in 1st grade. He shot it down again. 
It wasn't until the end of my son's 1st grade year when the transgender bathroom issue hit the news. He said, you may be right on this. Let's look into it. At that point, I got scared. Our good friends who have 6 children were pulling their children out of public school and so we had the support. However, I got cold feet. So I dismissed the idea. 
The next school year came (my boys were in 2nd and 1st) and the thoughts would come to mind about homeschooling, but I really was scared and worried that I couldn't do it all. I would become a failure. 
My oldest son had a very hard year. With a teacher with no compassion and love. It was super hard to hear his stories each day, but we survived. 
It wasn't until this year come November (boys are in 3rd and 2nd grade now) that we are both ready for this new calling. Many circumstances have come and we feel this is best for our boys. I don't want to share many details in our reasons why because I wouldn't want to down our public school system. Even though I don't agree with their ways, I also know many great teachers who give 100%. Sadly, not all of them love teaching and it only hurts the children. 
First my husband and I said, well we will pull them out at the end of this year. Let's let them finish the year and then pull them so it's a quiet leave. Then as time went on in December, we realized we were only keeping them miserable week by week, day by day. My husband actually made the choice to pull them out. 
In our state of WV we must give the 2 week notice of intent to homeschool. We drove while they were in school and did that. So we now are waiting out our 2 weeks. This coming week is our last week of public school. I can't tell you how freeing it feels, and how excited and ready our whole family is. I feel ready, not scared or worried like before. My husband is fully on board. It is just a wonderful feeling. 
Our boys do not know. We have ordered the curriculum and supplies needed and we will give it to them on Christmas morning. I believe this will be the best Christmas we have ever had. That is my prayer. Attached to the supplies and books, we will write a letter saying that they will not be returning. 
We are thrilled, and so excited for just 9 more days. It has been quite hard for me to keep quiet. I like to share everything with my kids, and it's been hard keeping this from them. 
If any of you, have read this long post and are still awake :) please let me know if you homeschool. I would love and like any advice you have. I have met some awesome women in the blogging world that have just shared and prayed for us. I am so thankful for these Godly women. 
I hope that your December is filled with love and peace during this season. 
I will update everyone with pictures once they open this package :)
Happy Saturday!
*I share these pictures with you, because it warmed my heart to see our family in the past and present. We have all grown so much. Physically and spiritually. Boy am I thankful.*
My husband was driving us home from his parents yesterday evening after we went for a visit. Out of now where he said "Isn't it so great how God gives to those who are patient? I am in awe that once we started living out the bible, things were just easy." Not to say our life is a piece of cake, but I think he means that everything has fallen into place. With his job, homeschool, etc. I just couldn't help but cry. Tears just streaming down my face. Here is this man who was not raised or brought up in church, and was the farthest from the Lord when we first met. He has changed and turned his life around. I am so blessed and thankful for what prayer can do. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Prayer

Our family has been in deep prayer over our future. 

Please keep us in your prayers and thoughts. 

Nothing bad, just a new change for us. 


Hope your having a blessed start of December. 

We are expecting some snow here on Saturday in West Virginia. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Managing the Home (Starting your day)

There is something about the quiet mornings, that make me so happy.


I have been really trying to make it a point to wake up before anyone else in my home.

This quiet time is good for us as moms.

I love to quietly get my coffee perking. Get my bible ready. Sit down to the Word that I am learning about daily. Read some passages that will get me in the right state of mind for the day.

Sometimes it's so easy to open social media first thing when we wake up.

What has been posted on Instagram, on Facebook.

Oh, I better check my email or my bank account.

But wait! Can't all of that wait?

Can you devote yourself at least 15 minutes first thing when you wake up to the Lord and his Word?

Put down your phone.
Keep it turned off.
Don't power it on until your quiet reading and devotion time is finished. 
Enjoy your cup of coffee or tea.
Without your phone.

Pray.

This is a great time to pray for anything that is on your heart and mind.
Pray for your day. That God will use you in a special way at home.

I write these things because I am needing to change my habits. It's getting colder here in the early mornings. Staying in bed under the warm blankets is nice. But when I make it a point to get up and do what I know is best for my spirits will make my entire family have a better day.


The mother sets the tone for the whole home.

I must remind myself of this.
How do you want your children to remember you?

Make it a point to get up a little earlier,
have that quiet time in the Word,
and reflect on all that the Lord has given you.

Be positive! Be thankful! Be content! 


Blessings to you,
Stacy

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Managing the Home (Budgeting)

Staying within your family budget is always a task.

There are tweaks and changes that happen often to continue to stay on track.

This week I would like to share a few ways we stay within our allotted budget without getting too personal. Maybe these can help you.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”


*Making grocery shopping lists and menu plans so that I don't overspend at the grocery store. I also only shop at Aldi, but I know that not everyone has an Aldi store nearby.

*Keeping my bills low. Calling around for better pricing. Keeping a close eye on the bills to make sure they don't raise. (Last year the cable TV got to be too expensive so we just cut it all together)


*Buying USED! Whether it's a vehicle, clothing, or toys we buy used.


*Keeping life simple! Often times we see what others are doing and want to follow. We don't really need to get our children soo many toys for Christmas. I've learned lessons over the years about entertainment. Our children are much happier at home with a family board game, than at the movies where tickets are very expensive. Save that money, and stay home as a family. (Building forts, playing hide and seek, baking cookies, creating cards, arts and crafts night) 



*Doing any handy man work on your own. Or asking for family or church friends to help. 
We are currently in the middle of building a bonus room on top of our garage. My husband is doing it all himself with the help of friends here and there. It may take longer, but it is financially much better than paying for labor costs. 


*Staying Home more. This is one that I have learned over the last six years. Before we moved to the country in WV, we lived in an area where stores were nearby. I would go out almost daily trying to pick up all of the items we needed. Now, I limit my town days. I put them all together and go once a week or so to the city to get groceries, library, bank, etc. This limits the use of gas and overall spending. 

Do you have any budget friendly tips? How do you save your family money? 

I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by for this series. Please check the last two posts as they go along with Managing our Home. The best job God created! 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Managing the Home - (Cleaning)

Managing the Home is the series I'll be writing on over the next few weeks.

You can see the first post HERE written about how we can better prep and prepare our family's food.


Today I'll be sharing about cleaning.

That task that we all love and dislike at times.

It must be done, and it is more enjoyable if we have a servants cheerful heart. Cleaning with a smile, because we have people in our home to clean up after.

A home without our loved ones, isn't much of a home.


Think about that.

Do you follow a cleaning schedule at all?

I have one somewhat, but normally if it's dirty, I clean it!



The best advice in keeping your home neat and orderly is keeping your home CLUTER FREE! It helps so much to keep your cleaning simple and easy.

I have also made up this caddy. It helps me as I'm cleaning in the different rooms. I take it along as I go to the bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and everything is easily assessable.


The white caddy came from Lowe's. Around $5.00. 

Super simple, but makes a huge difference and saves time. 

I try to tackle a big spot within the home once a day. Maybe it's the mopping, or it's the laundry, but we all know there is something that needs to be done. 

There are many verses in the bible, that teach us to keep order and manage our homes well.

For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established;

And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.

There are many YouTube videos also on home keeping. I will link a few I love to watch below.

Lynnette Yoder Cleaning

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Managing the Home - (Food)


Let's talk feeding our families!


One of the biggest tasks as a wife and mother is shopping, saving, managing, and cooking the food that our family eats.

As homemakers we are always crunching numbers, changing meal plans, shopping ads, etc. Many of us living on one income, MUST do this to stick to the budget. It's part of homemaking.

Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.



I have learned much in the last 10 years of marriage. I certainly don't shop and cook for just my taste. Or just what I feel like buying and fixing. I have to think about all five people in our home.


Here are some ideas for Managing the Kitchen:  

#1. I ALWAYS make a list before going to the store. I break it down into categories. Dinner menu, lunch ideas, non grocery, and snacks. Sometimes I will even make a list for a certain person. (Baby: cherrios - Daddy: chocolate cookies)

#2. I ONLY go to the store on Fridays. I used to be one of those bounce around throughout the week shoppers. I realized I was spending alot of money. If I stick to one certain day of the week, then I really try to make every bit of the food last until that particular day. It's like a game. I enjoy it!



#3. I go to the SAME store each time. As I'm thinking and writing this through, wow I am a creature of habit. I love routine. My same store, every Friday.
My husband even jokes that I park in the same parking spot. Haha! (It's true)
We have an Aldi here in WV. It's my favorite for many reasons.

#4. Bring Cash - Especially if you are needing to stick to a specific money amount, cash will help You! You will double think that candy you don't need, or that pop.

#5. Keep your menu plan handy even after your home. I hang mine up on the side of the fridge so I remember what I am supposed to cook each night. As mom's we tend to forget :) I want to know exactly what my day brings and know I have all of the ingredients for that meal.

#6. Start prepping EARLY. Right after lunch, I start prepping for dinner. 


#7. Clean up as you cook. It will leave a smaller mess for you after the meal is done.

#8. Cleanup Chores - We designate one of our children a night to help mom clean up the kitchen. I keep a list on the fridge so everyone knows whos night it is. They clear the table, bring all dirty dishes to the sink, take out trash, and sweep under table. Chores for the children are always a good thing!

I hope some of these ideas will help you better prepare you to feed your family.

It is such a blessing to have people to serve the ones you love most.

Keep coming back to Country Charm for more parts added to our Managing the Home Series.

Blessings to you!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fall

There is something about fall that gives us a renewed mind set.
We have only had a few days here in West Virginia that truly felt like fall. They are gone now, and summer weather has come back.

With fall comes new responsibility. 

If you came to our little town in WV, you would see our family cutting the dead trees down before winter comes. We use the wood for firewood. My husband teaches our boys to cut, split, and sell the wood. 



Each year selling the woods brings in extra income for our family. We want to teach them how to make a living with your hands.


It is so good for boys to learn to work. Girls too of course. But I am taking about working hard to provide for your family. I think that has to be taught in our day. The world teaches otherwise. 

We also are busy in the fall with leaves. Being that our home is in the woods, we have alot of trees and fallen leaves. Cleaning gutters and ditches out are a weekly job around the home. 

 Raking leaves is very therapeutic for me. 


There is nothing better than the smell of leaves and a rake. It just so happened that last week as the boys and I were burning some leaves, that I started getting a bit scared. I hope this fire doesn't get too big for me to handle. 

I ask my oldest son to get the bucket of water ready just in case. He takes off running.

I then begin raking to the center of the fire, and soon realize I have burnt my rake :( 


It was so hot in the middle of that leaf pile. We are now the proud owners of a half of a rake. But it will still work for us. No need in buying one right away. 

I also enjoy everyone's homes that have fall pictures on the front porch. The beautiful mums, bales of hay, pumpkins, and guards. It brings so much color to the front porch. 

What are some of your favorites about fall? 

*These pictures were found on Pinterest. They are the art work of John Sloan. If you have an extra minute or two search his name. They bring me so much joy from the quiet, orderly life they portray.