Saturday, November 30, 2013

What are we focusing on?

  
 
The busiest shopping day of the year is now over but the shopping season has just really begun. I have been doing quite a bit of thinking concerning shopping and things like that lately.
 
   My thinking got started because of my goal to not buy anything that we don't need this year which has caused me to realize just how little we really do need. Just how little everybody in our country needs. Most of us are abundantly and sometimes rather overwhelmingly blessed. We often have more stuff than we know what to do with. What is it then that prompts us to keep buying?
 
   My pondering continued after I caught a couple of ads on the radio one day while driving (I rarely listen to the radio or watch TV which causes me not to hear ads very often - for which I am thankful) and was disgusted to find that most of them had the theme of "What do you want?" "What will make you happy?". They spoke of coming into buy gifts for others but then dwelt on the idea of getting something for yourself that you really want since possibly nobody else did. Also mentioned was buying gifts for yourself while shopping for the others. The focus is all ME, ME, ME!
 
  And then comes the new tradition of doing all the "Black Friday" shopping on Thursday - THANKSGIVING DAY instead. Thanksgiving Day is probably our neatest holiday - one in which the focus is supposed to be on being Thankful for all that God has blessed us with as well as a wonderful time to spend with family. But now many have chosen to turn it into a time of focusing on what we want rather than what we are thankful for.
 
  It is very easy, I know, for us to get caught up in the consumerism of this time of year. If you get a newspaper (which we do) it comes packed with all sorts of ads. Ken was looking through the Black Friday ads this year and the kids decided to join him and pretty soon they were seeing all sorts of things that they "needed" - I mentioned that maybe we should just put those away and Ken was quick to agree saying "there just isn't anything in there that we really need". The ads are put there- in newspapers, catalogs, on TV, on the radio to make us want what they are trying to sell. When we expose ourselves to long or to often to them it is pretty easy to fall into their trap. Some of the things we do is to get rid of ads very promptly when they come into our home. We don't watch television very often nor listen to the radio very often - all of that helps us to have less exposure. We are also blessed to have a network of friends that aren't always focused on having the latest and greatest or great amounts of stuff so our kids rarely see excess consumerism being acted out right before their eyes either.
 
   Instead of focusing on the catalogs, etc. that are full of things that "we want" how about pouring over a Catalog from IDES or World Vision that offers things that you can buy (such as chickens, blankets, cooking pots, food, etc.) for those that really truly need something? This is a very fun way to teach children to focus on others rather than themselves. Packing shoeboxes to send through Operation Christmas Child has been another fun way to focus on others rather than on ourselves.
 
  If you do still want to exchange some gifts within your family (something we do enjoy), what about making handmade gifts - something that can provide an opportunity to work together to create something special for someone else. Another idea is to give gifts that actually do fulfill a need or to give a gift that is for an experience rather than "stuff". Hopefully something that will promote close relationships in your family. My goal is that in our home we can focus on relationships and how to improve them - rather than on stuff.
 
  These are just some thoughts that I have been having concerning consumerism, our culture and the Christmas season. I am working to have the right focus in our home - something that seems to me a bit of a balancing act at times. This is something that will vary from family to family and I certainly don't expect you to do everything the way that we do. I just hope that perhaps in sharing my thoughts it would encourage you too to step back and check out what your focus is and make sure that first of all your focus is on Jesus.

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Blessed Day

A Pencil drawing by Mara
  We had a good day. Fun times were spent with family and friends. We enjoyed a good meal with much of it made up from bounty from our gardens. We are feeling very blessed.

  I hope your Thanksgiving Day also was one of remembering how blessed you are and thanking God for it and not one of dwelling on all the things that you want.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Rooster Named Mabel

Life with chickens is still going pretty good but no eggs yet. We are hoping some will show up soon! We have been able now for a month or so been able to tell which ones are roosters and which ones are hens and we ended up with some surprises.

  You see - we didn't quite get what we ordered. We had ordered 5 Gold Sex Links Hens, 5 Silver Laced Wyandotte Hens, 5 Mixed batch of whatever they cared to send and then Aaron bought a female Americana and Megan bought a Bantam that they weren't sure the gender of. We did get the 5 female Golden Sex links, and then we got 5 female Plymouth Rocks and then a mixed group that included at least one Silver Laced Wyandottes. I was a little confused when we first got them as to which ones were the Silver Laced Wyandottes but we just guessed and went with it and assumed that all of the ones that looked kind of the same were them and were females.

  We named our chickens according to our understanding of the gender that they were supposed to be (though some got either-or names as we weren't sure or that is simply what the kids chose.) One of our roosters (we have two) ended up being Mabel. We did talk of changing his name (once we discovered he wasn't a girl) but that seemed a little strange so Mabel he remains. I guess our family has problems with name changing. My parents have a female dog named Amos after all. They got him from a guy who said it was a male and so my parents never bothered to check. They like their dogs quite a lot but they aren't the type to get up close and personal with them and so it wasn't until some time later that it was discovered that "He" was actually a she. Name changing was discussed but they decided against it.

Mabel is a pretty nice rooster and he has been practicing crowing the last couple of weeks. It is rather fun to hear the crowing. Cock-eye is our other rooster and he too has started to crow. It feels rather farm like to have roosters crowing.

   Have you ever had any weirdly named animals at your house? I would love to hear the story!

I am linking to the Homestead Barn Hop
homestead barn hop linky
 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Giving

 
  "Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; "
2 Corinthians 9:6-8

 This verse speaks to me and I share it here in hopes that it will be something that you need to hear as well.

  I have been feeling convicted of the need to share and serve more. We have been overwhelmingly blessed through God's gift of Salvation and much, much more. I want to share Christ's love with others too and I think often the best way that I can do that is through physical giving. Now that giving may not always be cash - sometimes the best way to give is through service or something else. But what I want in me is a heart that is always seeing just how blessed I am and that I am always willing to share that blessing with others.

   I believe that we should give to God through the church which is His body. I believe also that we should personally share with other believers - the body of Christ which we are a part of. It is our job to help one another. I also believe it is very important to share with those who do not know God and His Son Jesus Christ who came to earth to provide reconciliation for us. Sharing with them and serving them is a way that they can see Jesus' light in this dark world.

  This is something we have been thinking and praying about and something we are feeling convicted on. I hope that you are encouraged grow in your walk with Jesus too!

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Grass Basket

 
Basket making is a fun activity. I have enjoyed turning young tender willow (or other types of brush)  into baskets, and I also made a pine needle basket several years ago. Another sort of baskets that I have made is one from paper bags, and several with denim scraps. Grass however was a new medium for me to work with.
 The reason I was prompted to make the basket is because for a wedding in October I unthinkingly ordered to much bear grass and had a couple of bunches leftover. I hate the idea of wasting things so I decided to try making a basket out of it.

  I will try to give some basic instructions in case you would like to try your hand at making one. I just kind of figured it out as I went and I am sure you can too!

To make the basket I used Bear grass, raffia, needle and some beads.
The first step was to make a middle of the bottom. I took a small bunch of grass and started wrapping it tightly with raffia (that was on a needle). As I wrapped I started coiling the grass and hooking it together with the raffia. (The picture above it not with the bear grass but some local grass that Megan was using to try her hand at basket making.

After the center was hooked nicely together I started spacing out the raffia a little more and letting some of the bear grass be shown. You can look at the picture above to get the idea of how I made the bottom.

  Then I started pulling the grass up as I wrapped it around so that I could make sides on my basket.



 After I had the sides high enough I decided to stitch some beads in as I went around just for fun.
 Next step was the handle. I stitched some bunches of grass on as shown so that I could take the loose portions and braid them together and then meat them in the middle of the top to serve as a handle.
 At the top of the handle I did a lot of stitching together with raffia.
 I added beads to the handle too. We have decided this will be a perfect blueberry picking basket for Megan -not to big as that is to overwhelming to try to fill.

This was a pretty fun project. I started it while we were on a trip (with Ken driving - I love being able to ride on trips!), and then finished during various times that I could just sit and have my hands busy while my brain did other things such as while we said our memory verses or while listening to the kids read aloud.

  Last week I had something funny that happened to me as a result of making this basket. The other day we had gone to the library and had just gotten inside and I felt something in my pant leg. It felt like a little insect of something that was giving my little bites on my leg. It kept going higher up my pant leg and it was driving me nuts not knowing what I had in my pants. I told Mara to watch the others while I headed to the restroom to figure out the problem. When I went in there I couldn't see anything at first but after I had pulled my pant leg inside out and then put it back on I finally looked down on the floor and there was one of those sharp pieces of bear grass.  A few pieces had slipped away while I worked on it in the van and somehow one had slipped up my pant leg and as I walked it had continued to climb all the while poking me with its sharp edges. I felt rather silly after that. :-)

      Have you ever made a basket? I would love to hear about what you have made.

   I am thinking I could possibly use this principle of basket making (this is very similar to the pine needle basket style too) and use it to make a larger basket out of cattails reeds. Mara and I are eager to try that this summer. Do you think that would work?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Don't raise your voice ~ Marriage without fighting

    I haven't ever heard either of my parents scream at the other in anger. Nor have I heard Ken's parents raise their voices in this way. By the grace of God and through the help our Christian parents' examples Ken and I don't communicate in this way either.

   In close relationships there will be disagreements. You won't see eye to eye 100 % of the time. But fighting, much less raising our voices to do so is not necessary. Raised voices cause tension - not only in those that are actively involved in the fight but also in everybody that is around (potentially kids).  Romans 12:16 tells us to live in harmony with one another. If we want a happy marriage that is something we need to strive for.

   There was a time in my marriage when I did struggle with anger but God is full of mercy and grace and with the help of the Holy Spirit and through much prayer that isn't something that I deal with very often now.  James 1:19 & 20 is a good verse to remember on this subject: "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." I want to please God and pleasing God does not involve a life of anger.

  If you struggle with anger, with raising your voice when you are upset, some things that might help you are:
  • Pray about it. Both the situation that is making you angry and the fact that you are angry.
  • Remove yourself from the situation so you can calm down.
  • Ask others to pray for you.
  • Get rid of some of the excess in your life (too many commitments, perhaps) that might be causing you to be stressed out and having a short fuse. 
  • Remember to respect and honor the leadership of your husband - even if you do think you are "right". Present your case calmly and rationally and then accept his leadership.
  I am wishing for you and all of us a peaceful and happy marriage and home.

Wise-Woman-Builds
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Monday, November 18, 2013

A tuned piano - and the fun and learning in the process

Megan observing Mr. Wold
 Last week we had our piano tuned which is not normally anything that I would write home about err....  blog about. This time however was quite a bit more fun than normal.

  We were told about a tuner in our area that we had never tried before. He was recommended and ended up was quite a bit cheaper too and was able to come soon so it seemed like a good idea to try him out.

  My kids were as normal quite curious and so they gathered round. I told them that they should probably back up so they didn't get in his way but he said he didn't care. That if they got to close he would simply poke them in the nose. :-)
 My kids have all seem into the working of a piano to some degree but as he was taking things apart to get ready to work they were seeing more than usual and someone wondered something about how it all work and the tuner invited them all to gather round while he explained it all in detail. I well knew the basics that you hit the key, the key causes the hammer to hit the string and then you have a nice sound but he gave a lot more detail then that and showed each step of the way. So fun!
 Then when he started tuning he pulled out his C tuning fork and then invited all the kids to see what it felt like when you make it vibrate (by hitting it on your knee) and then touch the end of it to a tooth. They thought that was great fun as they could feel the sound vibrate all through their head. Then he offered to show another trick and asked if we had a good dinner fork and a glass and showed how you could use your fork like a tuning fork and get a good little buzz all while waving your hand over the glass and pretending the sound comes from there.
Our piano now sounds lovely and the kids know a little more about it too. To finish off the tuning time he played a bunch of beautiful pieces on the piano to make sure it sounded okay. We thoroughly enjoyed the concert! He is a very accomplished musician (he retired from teaching music at a local Bible College).

  It was a fun homeschool day! We did also get some other schoolwork done while he tuned but his being there was a pretty big distraction. That is okay - it isn't everyday that we have a piano tuner at our house.

Fixing things up

 

 You may or may not recall that at the beginning of this year I decided that I would try not to buy anything unless we really needed it. So mainly I have bought food and other consumables. This challenge hasn't really been hard (at least not most of the time - a couple of times I did struggle with coming up with homemade gifts) but it has caused me to think outside the box on quite a few occasions.

It has been fun to focus a little more heavily on trying to follow the saying "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." I thought I would share a couple projects from last week where I was able to give new life to some old things that were lying around out house. We are now enjoying seeing them and using them.

   We have a big world map that isn't very new (someday I will get a new one as I know that at least a couple of countries have the wrong name, but it works), in fact we were given it quite a number of years ago from a friend who had used it when she had homeschooled her children who are my age. Part of the time we had it we kept in on our table with a clear tablecloth over it (a very fun way to learn by the way!) and then it has hung on our wall after our tablecloth wore out.

   The map was torn on the edges and even into the middle in one place (though I had mended it with packing tape) and really didn't look to great anymore. My solution was to cut some denim strips (out of an old pair of jeans that were also past their prime) and then hot glue them as a binding around the edge. I also used a damp rag and gave the map a good washing.

 We think it looks much better now! It was a fun morning project that I worked on while the kids did their schoolwork nearby.

Well I had the denim scraps out I next went to fix up this little case:
 This wooden case had originally been given to Mara with an art set in it - many years ago. The art supplies were used up but still it hung around because after all it was wood and it might be useful.

  When I was trying out Rosemaling painting this Spring this little case was one of the victims of the painting. :-) But still it didn't really have any use.  However I had been wanting a more decorative way to store my games, stamps, flashcards and prizes that I use with my music students as previously some of them had been in Rubbermaid and others in a basket/bag sitting on my piano.
So I tore out the plastic stuff that was inside (to hold crayons, paint, etc.) and then glued a denim divider in the bottom section and made a denim pocket for the top. It works very well and my students really like it. So do I.

  Fixing things up is so much fun. It is such a delight to turn something that you already have into something that you like and use. I am working on other projects of this type that I hope to share with you soon.

Have you done any repurposing lately or any outside the box thinking that has made it so you don't have to buy something new?

I am linking to Tending the Home Tuesdays
Tending the Home Tuesdays
I am linking to the Homestead Barn Hop
Homestead Barn Hop
 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Return

Photo by Mara
I am reading in the book of Joel right now. This morning I was touched yet again by verses 12 and 13 in chapter 2:

   "Yet even now," Declares the Lord,
 "Return to Me with all your heart,
 and with fasting, weeping and mourning;
 and rend your heart and not your garments."
 Now return to the Lord your God,
 for He is gracious and compassionate,
 slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil."
 
That is what people needed to do in Joel's day and these words are still true and necessary for us today!
 
As a follower of Christ I would like everybody to turn to God, but I realize that those that don't follow Him aren't the only ones that need to return. I too still have need to return. Those unkind words that I say, the bad attitude that I struggle with at times, the pride that my heart still sometimes carries are all reasons to turn back to God. Repentance is needed in the lives of all of us. It is when we feel sorry for what we have done wrong and then turn around and don't live like that anymore. We want to return to God, to strive to please Him in everything.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Frugal Fun

Insulating the chicken coop
I thought it would be fun to share some of the ways we have been frugal lately.....

~I mended quite a few pairs of jeans and other clothes too.

~We picked up a bunch of new books to read at the library. We were also able to donate a box of old books there which made me feel good and helped to clean out our house.

~Jonathan has been enjoying his robotics club. He had a meeting and a scrimmage this week and all of this is free to us because businesses sponsor the clubs. He is learning and having fun and that is pretty neat.

~One day we ran errands and were going to be out over lunch. I thought about packing a lunch but then remembered that Papa Murphy's pizza had given me coupons for free pizzas to give to my kids when we went on a tour their last winter. So the kids each got a free pizza and I bought one for just $3. It was a fun and pretty inexpensive treat.

~Ken and I enjoyed a date by going to a hockey game with complimentary tickets that Ken got for advertising his business at the game.

~I needed to get our piano tuned and after checking a bit found a tuner that was only charged around 1/2 of the price of the tuner that I had used before. This man was also really fun for the kids to have hear. More on that later. I was happy to save about $50!

~I needed new bobbins for my sewing machine and I remember that I might have some points that transferred into a gift card because I had liked/shared the store's facebook page and so when I went in I asked about that. I did end up having over $20 credit that they gave me on a gift card. That was more then enough to get bobbins. That was pretty fun!

~I cut my kid's hair (and need to do Ken's soon too).


Megan having fun doing some hammering
~We finished insulating the chicken shed with insulation that was given to us (from somebody who makes garage doors and was able to collect scraps from that) and covered up with old political signs. They have a pretty warm and cozy place now - and it was free!

~ We have made several meals in ways so that we could use up leftovers and not waste anything.

~ We have used scrap paper (such as junk mail that has a blank side or other paper that we get with a blank side) for drawing, working math problems, lists and so forth.

What frugal fun have you had lately?




 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Our homegrown popcorn


Last week one day we decided some of our ears of homegrown popcorn looked dry enough to try. Mara removed the kernels from the cob and we were ready to try it out. The first attempt was in the air popper but they were so light (because they are miniature) that they just flew right out. So we decided to do it in a pan on the stove. I love the taste of it this way anyway.
 We put them in some hot oil in the pan and put the lid on. Pretty soon the popping began. I shook the pan while it just popped and popped. I was quite excited. It was working wonderfully.

Or so I thought...
When the popping ceased I open the pan up to find this:

Not very much had truly popped the way it is supposed to. Most of it was still little kernels. However the kernels were nice and tender (not like your normal "old maids") and we really enjoyed eating them. The two youngest kids especially loved them. So all was not lost.

  I still am not sure whether they just hadn't matured enough in the garden or if they weren't dry enough. I guess I should do some research. Or do you know?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Clean and Tidy Bedroom

 Yesterday I did some deep cleaning in our bedroom. I washed ceilings and walls. I thoroughly dusted and vacuumed. I polished furniture and put some d├ęcor through the laundry. I also got rid of clutter. There is now only one book (not several, plus other papers) on my nightstand. There are no stacks left on my dresser - only a few decorative things.

  Those first 6 items that I mentioned - they were important to me (my allergies have been bothering me and I am on the war path against dust) but I don't know that Ken even noticed them. That last item though- decluttering - that is very important to him. Clutter drives him batty and can make him feel agitated.

 While cleaning the bedroom I started thinking about how that simple job could encourage our marriage. A bedroom is a place where the couple generally retreats alone, for rest, for talk and for intimacy. I think most people are affected by their surroundings. Ken as I mentioned is negatively affected when there is clutter (and loves a tidy area) and I know that I am affected by beauty - I don't mind a little clutter as long as I see things that are beautiful. A clean environment is a healthier place to sleep and in that way can make us feel better.

  I know not every husband is like Ken, I have heard that many even are the cause of a messy bedroom - however I still think many of them would be positively affected by a clean and tidy bedroom and you also probably would feel more peaceful in a place like that.

  So I just thought it would be fun to encourage you to pay attention to your bedrooms too. I would guess that many of you already have clean and tidy bedrooms but for some that might be the dumping room of the house. The place that not many others see and so all the extra things that you don't know what to do with go there. If the latter is the case I want to encourage you to think about working on making your bedroom clean and tidy and see if your relationship is blessed by that.
Wise-Woman-Builds
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An Engineer Cap


I have a nephew who has long loved trains. I decided it would be fun to make an engineer cap for him. I had some blue and white striped fabric on hand and I basically followed the directions in this tutorial.

 Nic was pretty pleased with it which made me quite happy. (The picture above was I believe taken by his Mom and edited by him - a train was added.)
Here is another picture of the hat. Aaron modeled it for me before we gave it to Nic.

I have used this tutorial before to make a hat for Jonathan and I will probably use it again as it is pretty easy. I would like to try making a feminine hat in this basic style.

 I think hats make fun gifts so I am going to link up this idea over at Schneider Peeps' Handmade Christmas Carnival.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Praying for others - Praying for myself

 I have long tried to pray for others on a regular basis but lately I have been convicted of the need to do it more.

  These verses in Colossians really have given me insight in how to better pray for others:

"For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light." Colossians 1:9-12

  So many important things are listed here. So many things that I want in my life. I want to pray in this way for others and I will be praying this for myself as well.

  Sometimes it is easier for me to catch things when they are in bulleted lists instead of super long sentences. I was very impressed with the length of the sentence in those verses. I think I may have gotten a lot of my ideas about sentence structure from the Bible. (grin) But anyway, here are the thoughts in a list rather than a sentence....

  • Be filled with the knowledge of God's will.
  • Have spiritual wisdom and understanding.
  • Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.
  • Pleasing God in everything.
  • Bearing Fruit in every good work.
  • Increasing in the knowledge of God.
  • Strengthened with all power with God's glorious might.
  • Being steadfast.
  • Being patient.
  • Joyously giving thanks to the Father.
Wow! I want this! For me. For my children. For everybody that I know.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Why do we homeschool?

  We feel very thankful and blessed to be able to homeschool! For us, we can't even really imagine doing anything different but here are some of the reasons why we homeschool:

1. God gave us our children to train and teach. I feel it is my responsibility before God to take care of the gift that He has given us the best that we can. If we didn't homeschool them we would have significantly less time to train and teach them.

2. The things that I read and hear about the public school system tells me that often the books/curriculum used in the public school is not from a Biblical viewpoint (I am putting that very mildly!), and will even teach them things contrary to what the Bible teaches. When children are young they are very impressionable and I don't care to have them have to deal with falsehoods all alone.

3. We want to shelter our children. I know in many circles that is considered a bad thing but it is still true that we want to shelter ours. I am personally very thankful for a heavenly Father who shelters me and I believe that He gave my children to me so that I can shelter them too. Of course our children do have to grow up and learn to face problems and difficulties and learn too that their is evil in the world. All of our children are learning those lessons but they can do it with their parents standing behind them supporting them and being aware of what is going on.

An un-typical school day. Instead of being around the table as normal we "played" school.
4. We wanted to give our children the best chance to excel academically. All studies that I am aware of that compare children from a public school versus homeschool show that homeschool students (on average) do significantly better. That, by the way, is not because we have better teachers, but there are many different reasons that children can learn better in the home setting.

5. We want good socialization for our children. We are concerned about them being in large groups of children that we know nothing about (and realizing that large groups of children is not necessarily conducive to learning good behavior) and would prefer to encourage their friendships with people of all ages who will help them to grow to be good upstanding adults.

Enjoying some music together at the start of our school day.
6. We want our children to be able to have a very broad education. In the public school they tend to focus on Math and Reading/Language (and how to take a test). I know that they do other things as well but those are what are tested on and from my understanding schools will often teach to the test. We teach those things as well but we can also focus on many other different areas - such as Bible study, music, art, life skills, learning about the natural world, working on their character, and much more. The beauty of homeschooling is being able to look for the talents and interests God has given them and encouraging them in those areas. That doesn't mean we ignore other areas but just that we let them work on the others a little more. We can tailor make our education for each child. The picture at the top of this post showing Aaron with a chick made me think about this. Aaron absolutely loves animal farming and so this is becoming part of his homeschool education. The experience that he has in this area will quite likely be more useful to him in the future than the leaning of parts of speech (though we will work on that too).
Megan learning a life skill nice and young.

Megan and a friend at our homeschool co-op
7. Learning can be a fun family affair. We love doing a lot of our learning together (though Ken has to miss out quite a lot since he needs to be at work providing for us). I do a lot of reading out loud to the kids and we also enjoy a lot of hands on learning. Doing things together really helps to strengthen our family bond. Even our homeschool co-op helps with having fun learning for all of us together.

Mara and cousins (also homeschooled) on some cool rocks.

8. We have a flexible schedule. This fall when Ken needed to travel for his business even though it was during school time we were able to go along and enjoy time with my sister and her family. While there we went on a neat "field trip" and saw some caves and a bunch of sandstone with my sister and crew. Also on that trip our family was able to take in a very neat museum and learn some history about James J. Hill, life in Victorian times and also some things about the early railroad industry. Flexibility can be very nice! (This just one of the many examples I could give on this subject.)
 
The kids at the HUGE James J. Hill house.
9. To be perfectly honest, another reason that we homeschool is that homeschooling is normal for us. Both Ken and I were homeschoolers. Our parents were some of that pioneers of the homeschooling movement. I was first homeschooled in 1984 (1st grade) and Ken started the year before that. I am very thankful to have been blessed in that way.
 
Much learning is self motivate such as trying to make and cook on a homemade "stove".

 10. It is fun! Of course there are stressful and difficult times but overall I am very blessed. We can truly enjoy our time together and learning in most cases is truly a blast! I hope our children can also love learning!


The boys and a homemade math game.
I am writing this at night when my brain doesn't always work the best and I am sure I have missed some of the reasons we homeschool or maybe not explained things real well. But feel free to ask any questions and I would love to hear from others that homeschool and why they do.

http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/11/homestead-barn-hop-135.html

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