Monday, September 9, 2019

Monday

The kids and I did homeschool this morning and history too. They love Story of the World.  During read aloud time I read part of a Saint story and a story from our children's Bible. Then everyone started on their individual subjects.  Thankfully little Moses took a good morning nap and I was able to do reading with Felicity. She is doing so well! She has started math and loves it.

After school we eat lunch. Today we had roasted chicken, bread, and apple slices.  I had a big salad and a leftover fried burger.  Then we do our after lunch chores. Eleanor still had some school to finish so she was excused from chores. But Athanasius switched the laundry and tidied the shoes and then helped with Moses. He is so good with him! Felicity and Boaz always sort the laundry in the living room. Usually Eleanor does the lunch dishes but her wrist is broken. :( I did them today while Athanasius was with Moses. She will have the brace on for at least 4 weeks.  I gave the kids leftover vanilla cake I baked yesterday, they were so happy!  Boaz and Felicity opted for gingerbread cookies we baked Sautrday while Daddy was in KC. They smell amazing! Around 12.30 I feed Moses for his second nap. Then the kids and I have our own alone times and rest time.  I set the timer for 45 minutes and everyone has to be on their beds with books. When the timer goes off they can play together until 2:30 or 3:00.  I LOVE rest time, from 1 to 3, it is so nice to be alone for a bit and recharge.  I thought I would read but instead I fell asleep. I guess I needed it! Moses woke around 2:15 and I nursed him back to sleep and held him while I read. I love holding him while he's asleep. I still can't believe he's ours. I love him so much. He is so happy and sweet. He brings so much joy to our home.  After rest time I told the kids to help put the clean dishes away and take all the meat off a chicken I roasted earlier and then we could pop some pop corn and watch Bonanza. It was so fun! They are such a blessing to me and help me with such cheerful attitudes.  Clay got home a little before 5 and did some paper work in his car in the drive way.  Dinner was roast chicken (I cooked 2 chickens one for today and one for soup later in the week) sweet potatoes with butter and fresh pineapple.  After dinner we cleaned up and then went down to the church to give it a clean.  It was fun to be working together! It is always a blessing to be at the church. I'm so grateful we get to live here.  We got home around 7:30. Clay did family worship with the kids while I got Moses to bed.  The kids had a club meeting with their best friends via video call. They are hilarious. Said our evening prayers. Ate a piece of cake myself, yum. :) Clay is beside me reading for his Saint Macrina course.  Our ordinary days are some of the best days.  We don't have to fill our days running here or there for them to be interesting.  We should be faithful in the small things.  I love being at home with my family.  Home is such a refuge from the world.  I'm so grateful I get to stay home with our children and I'm so grateful for the encouragement and support I get from my husband.


P. S. I almost forgot...Felicity got a post card in the mail from S. D. Smith today!! She had written him awhile back.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

We are Country Mice

Since my last post, we have moved to the country.  We have been living in and caring for a friend's home while they are at seminary.  The home is on a half-acre lot and just seconds from our church.  We love it.  We love the country life so much more than we thought we would.  I mean, we hoped we would like it, but it has been more than that.  This move has brought so much peace to our family life and my personal life.  The kids can play outside without me watching them like a hawk, like I had to in town.  Being close to the church and our priest is comforting and life-giving.  For living in the country we have a lot in our little town, two restaurants, grocery store, library, antique store, dentist office, post office, doctor's office, and a beautiful park and pool.  I can run several errands and be home in less than an hour.  And with amazon prime shipping it has never been more convenient to live in the country.  We are definitely country mice.  True, when we do go into town it takes longer but we don't have the desire to do so even on a monthly basis.

My husband has been an RN for a couple years now and it is truly one of the greatest earthly blessings for our family.  We actually have some disposable income to save and have fun with, insurance, paid time off and sick time -- whoever heard of such a thing? : )  We have also had another baby, a beautiful baby boy, and Clay was able to stay home for two weeks and care for us.  It was truly amazing and so peaceful.

The kids have grown so much. Eleanor is 12, Athanasius 10, Boaz is about to turn 8, Felicity is 5.5, and Moses is almost 4 months old.  I still can't believe we have 5 kids.  It all goes by so fast, I wish sometimes they could stay young and sheltered forever.  These really are the best times, even in the midst of the exhaustion I am not going to let them pass me by.  I will enjoy these years and love our kids to the best of my ability.  The world screams and grabs at us with lies that our kids need more, more, more.  More things, more activities outside the home, cell phones, video games, sports, etc.  I will not give in to those lies.  I will do the simple and ordinary life tasks with our children and I think that will be more lasting and memorable than being on a traveling baseball team spending money we don't have and being away from the home.  These kids of ours are truly amazing, I think we learn more from them than they do from us.

My husband is studying to be a deacon in the Orthodox church.  I don't know what that will look like practically, but I'm thankful he desires to serve the church and leads us to Christ as well.  He is so consistent in his habits, I have learned so much from him in the 13 years we have been married.

We are looking to buy a home in our small town, but the market is not in our favor right now.  I pray every day for a home that will meet our needs.  I know He will provide something because He loves us.  It's hard to wait but it has been a good lesson for me in patience and trusting Him.  I would live in a mobile home or camper if it meant we could be debt-free.  Even if we had a small mortgage that would change our lives so greatly.

It has been a while and I wanted to pop in and say hello and what we have been up too.  There's so much more to say...but it's late so goodnight and God bless!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Dreaming of a Yurt...

I really love tiny homes, earth ship homes, shipping container homes, bus homes...really any creative, clean, and functional space someone has created I seem to appreciate it.  But my favorite type of housing would have to be the yurt.  We are a family of six and would like to be debt free sooner than the dreaded thirty years of our mortgage is up.  I know of two families that have four or more children living, quite happily, in a bus.  They have created some beautiful spaces, but I don't think we could handle such a small space.  So, we keep coming back to the yurt.  And honestly, I wonder why more people (you know that crazy group of us...) don't go with the yurt.

The only draw back, I can see for others, is the fact they they are a little pricey.  You have to purchase the yurt kit and then on top of that you have to build the deck for it to sit on and then finishing the inside with plumbing and power.  But one of the many benefits of a yurt is the amount of space you get, and for a family that is a big deal.


Where to Buy a Yurt: 

There are two companies I really like and we will choose between these two when it comes time to purchase our yurt.  Pacific Yurts and Colorado Yurt .  These companies get great reviews and one thing that keeps popping up online is the great customer service from both companies.



Yurts are pretty versatile, you can build it on top of a garage, you can tack on another yurt down the road, you can add more insulation, if you can imagine it you can do it. 





I also want to experience living in the round.  I might sound like a hippie, I don't mean too, but people say there is something about living in the round.












With help a yurt can be set up in a day. 



Videos of Yurt Tours: 

North Carolina Yurt Home 

Sean and Mollie's Yurt Tour

Fairbanks Alaska Yurt Tour

18 Year Old Yurt Tour 

Mother and Son Live in Yurt (Not exactly a tour, more talking than video of the yurt) 

Family of Five Living in a 20ft yurt (the husband built this yurt!!)


Hope you enjoyed a little info on yurts, and thanks for putting up with my ramblings!




Thursday, November 12, 2015

What is Success?




Life could be described lately as "survival mode".  I'm not sure if it is the fact that my husband is coming to the end of his nursing program (he still has more schooling afterwards, but will be able to practice as an LPN) and we are just plum wore out! :)  We have also had sickness, mainly Clay and myself, and that is always hard for me to deal with young children around all day.  Yesterday I actually wrote a to do lists and checked off everything.  I cannot remember the last time that has happened!  And while we think life feels like it is on the difficult side I know we have it so good.  My husband flopped onto the couch the other night looking soooo tired, I was trying to encourage him and said, "We have it so good we don't even know it.  We could have a child with Type I Diabetes and have to get up in the middle of the night to check their glucose."  He responded, "You're right."  But I get it, he's tired, in every way he is tired. 

I have been having a hard time in other ways, being at peace with myself and specifically my mothering.  I am not the mother that runs around and takes her children from this to that.  My children are still young, maybe one day we will be in activities, but for now we stay home.  Sometimes it doesn't seem like I am doing a lot or enough...do you know why it seems like that?  Because I have all the tools, literally at my finger tips, to see what everyone else is doing.  I have such a love/hate relationship with the internet.  I ended my facebook account, AGAIN, yesterday.  We'll see how long that last.  My kids and husband need my mental energy, not facebook. 

I am a homebody and I have kids that are homebodies too.  We like to dig in the dirt, draw, craft, cook, find cool bugs, watch our chickens, build fires in the back yard, read aloud books, and just be together.  I do not like the Mall, my kids hate going to Walmart,  Chucky Cheeese is just way over the top, but the kids do love Jumpin Joey's. :)  I wonder how I, as an introvert, am supposed to fit into an extroverted, never stopping world.  Well, I'm not, because this isn't my home.  :)

One day I really needed encouragement and found this quote online. 


"Success is liking yourself,

Liking what you do,

and liking how you do it. "

Maya Angelou


I do not think she means liking yourself in a prideful/arrogant kind of way, but rather, being at peace with yourself.  Your story, my story, is the best story.  I need to love the story God is writing for me.  I need to thank Him and be at peace with the details.  Would I change my adrenal problems, and my struggles with anxiety?  I used to say yes in a heart beat, but now I'm not so sure, because if it wasn't this to help me work out my salvation, it would just be something else. 

There has been another piece of writing that has really helped me.  When I read this I thought YES! this is what I am doing and so is someone else! 

"Do the first thing, and let the first thing be to just love and care for the people in your life.
If cares or extra commitments or certain relationships are hindering you from doing so, cast them (the cares) aside, or set them (extra commitments or certain relationships) aside, until things are running smoothly and you feel able to reach out a bit further.
If you have to face a difficulty today (and you may and will at times) breathe deeply, send your simplest prayer of childlike trust-- with all its fears and/or concerns of inadequacies and possibilities--up to the Lord, and then go in, or out, to face --knowing that He is not surprised by or afraid of, anything."
This is from a blog called Eyes of Wonder that is now a private blog.  Recently, someone (a Christian in fact) pretty much said I shouldn't be homeschooling or I should stop later and send them into the public school system.  I felt deflated and shocked that they would tell me that.  When someone, in their way, is trying to be faithful and take care of their family the best way they know how, why can't we just keep our mouths shut or if we have to open them, encourage them??  As difficult as it is I need to hear things like that sometimes because it is a good opportunity for me to work on being dispassionate.  Which is hard for this drama queen, but it is good to acknowledge that not everyone will like me or approve of me. 
These pressures from our culture pushing us to be a certain way are really from the Evil One.  I do not have to be doing a lot to be productive.  I don't need to have a completely detailed monthy menu plan or, what seems to be really in style right now, a capsule wardrobe.  When I put things into perspective it is comical the things I allow to stress me out!  My children will not remember if I had a beautifully planned, coordinating wardrobe, but they will remember if I was joyful and had a smile on my faceThere are three basic things that keep a home running, making meals, laundry, and light tidying.  If that is all I can accomplish that is a lot.  I do not have to be running an etsy shop or taking my kids on some big excursion to feel like a worthy human being.   Survival mode might be the best I can do right now.  And your survival mode might be the best you can do right now, whatever that looks like.  
 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  
II Thessalonians 5:16-18   
 
 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Gently









These are some old pictures (except for the two of the wreath) I have been wanting to post.  That was the last bouquet for our little garden.  I had fun putting it together.  It was intended for our Nuns at church but they were not there that week, so our Priest and Matushka took it. :) 

The pictures of Athanasius and Felicity melt my heart!!  I was walking in the bathroom to check on everyone brushing their teeth when I saw he was brushing her hair, and she was letting him! I ran back through the kitchen, pass Clay, saying, "I've got to get the camera, quick!!"  I grabbed the camera and she was still sitting there.  Athanasius was so gentle and sweet, he LOVES to do things for Felicity but sometimes she doesn't also welcome it.   When I was pregnant with Felicity and feeling like poo everyday, all the time, for nine months we would play "hair".  Which meant I got to sit still and the kids fixed my hair.  Athanasius probably loved it the most and would play it the longest.  I could not have picked out our children's personalities and make up if I had tried. 

The Fall wreath is up, which I like but it also makes me a little sad because it means winter is around the corner.  But we will get through it!  :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Birthdays and Hair Cuts






























Boaz turned 4 on Sunday!  Here is a little bit about Bo at this stage of life...he is sweet and a cuddle bug.  He twirls his hair in the front, a lot.  He can sit and watch our rabbit or the chickens forever, just sitting there being still.  I wish I was like that!  He also LOVES bugs and is so sweet and gentle with them, he talks to them.  He loves Athanasius and wants to be just like him.  If he gets scared at night he will go to Ellie's room (his second mother) and climb into bed with her, she loves it.  We are sooo thankful for this boy and can not imagine life without him. The other night I was taking my bath and someone slipped a drawing under the door, it was Bo.  He is very thoughtful and loves to bless others.   When we are at a park I see him walk up to kids and say, "I'm Bo, what's your name?"   :) 

In other news, Ellie got a hair cut!!!! She wanted me to cut it and I was very nervous!  But, I think it turned out fine.  I think it looks so cute short!  I miss the long hair, but she can grow it out again if she wants. :) 

Also, did you notice the birthday miracle?? I got a picture with all my kids, and everyone is looking at the camera! Do you know how hard that is?  Very!  I am sooo happy about the pictures, now it is Clay's turn! 

Take Care and God Bless!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Beauty in the Mundane








 Felicity with a 103 fever for a few days.  When an 18 month old just wants to lay there something is wrong. She was pitiful, but soooo cuddley it was a little fun, on my end.



 I had months to stitch this patch on to Clay's nursing jacket.  I knew he had to wear it for the senior's graduation.  But what do I do?? I wait until one hour before he needs to leave to get the thing on!  Tacky Glue came to the rescue and it promptly fell off after the ceremony.


 None of our children have spent as much time in a diaper as little Felicity has.  Why is that I ask myself?  Fatigue?  A more relaxed approach? Probably both.









 This is a three year old that wants his picture taken.


This is now a three year that does not want his picture taken.

Life lately...

Reading:  I finished Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry and then read The Awakening of Miss Prim, which I LOVED.  Now Clay is reading it and ever so often I hear him chuckle and smile to myself, he gets it.  I started Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry but I can not keep going.  What is wrong with me??? I really want to push through because a friend recommended it, but  I can't, I need a break.  I am half through Laura Ingalls Wilder's By the Shores of Silver Lake.  I think it might be may favorite of hers.  If ever I need a pick me up I read Laura Ingalls.  We are kindred spirits, I like to think. 

Food: One day I declared to Clay, "I am sick of kid food, I'm making us burschetta and would you please pick up some nice cheese from ALDI?"  He did just that and also has been bringing me some Noosa lemon yogurt here and there.  Have you tried Noosa?  If not, you need too, it is impossible to eat and not make noises such as "mmmm" while you eat.  Also, I eat it alone.  No kids around to share with.  This is also important. I will warn you, it is not good for you.   Right now, I have a whole chicken in the oven.  What makes me feels more productive than a whole chicken in the oven?  I'm not sure.  But I am sooo happy when I am ahead of dinner time.

Movies:  I have watched the entire Doc Martin series and loved it so much!  I was sad when I finished it.  Even Clay likes it, which is so nice when we like the same thing.  Now we are watching The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.  Have you heard of it?  Our Priest recommended it.  Oh, it is so delightful!  The characters are wonderful.  I am such a sucker for well developed, corky chracters.   Clay and the kids are still slowly making their through Stars Wars. Can I say I am sick of Stars Wars???  I am more of a Little Women, Anne of Green Gables girl.  But they are enjoying it, actually I have never seen Boaz so still as I have while during Stars Wars.   :)

Pool: The pool is green and disgusting.  We drained it yesterday except for about 4 inches of densely gross water. We will think of a plan.  It is warmer this week so I wanted to get it clear again.  And friends might come by at the end of the week to swim.

Nursing School:  Clay has 14 weeks left!  It feels like this is a pregnancy! ha!  We are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. 

Phrases:  "Aint Nobody got time for that!"  We are about two years too late, but Sweet Brown entered our home and myself and Athanasius particularly say this a lot.  We are probably driving everyone else crazy.