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Purposeful parenting amid a world of sugar, screens and schedules.


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Time Gone By

Ever since last summer, I haven’t been feeling up to blogging much. It’s not because I don’t have a million blog post ideas in my head waiting to come out.  Why then?  I realized recently that…I’ve been feeling really down about humanity.  I haven’t been wanting to reach out to the world.  My husband lost his job…you can read about that here…and the world exploded with politics.  I actually find politics interesting, but I have felt overwhelmed by how unkind people have been to each other about it.  You simply cannot read the comments section of anything these days without seeing so much contempt and criticism…name calling and assumptions.  It doesn’t make a person (or, me, anyway) want to write things where the world can see and judge and assume.

But I’ve decided that I need less politics and more…me.  More focus on homeschooling, parenting, marriage, books I love.  A place to talk about family and love and kindness and compassion.  And I love to write.  So here I am.  I can’t promise I will write regularly or super often, but anything is more often than what I’ve been doing.

This post doesn’t have a specific point to it other than to say “hey, it’s been a while…here’s why” but that’s pretty boring.  So here are three things that happened today that I found amusing:

– Big Sis (age 6) came up to me this morning and said “Mommy, look at my outfit.” “Nice.” “Do I look like a robot?” “Umm…what?” “I’m going to robotics today so I wanted to dress like a robot.”  I love this kid and the way she thinks.

– Little Sis (age 4) saw that our kitten was being naughty to our other cat and she ran over and said, “Oh NO way, baby kitty, not on my watch.”  The phrase “not on my watch” is what made me laugh, but I also really love how she stands up to bullies.  Sometimes she is scared that the kitty will bite or claw her, but she sees that the kitty is biting her brother or sister or the other cat and she jumps in there.  She made up what she calls a whistle but really it’s a loud WHOOP and she does that to scare the kitty.  It’s pretty funny.

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Look at this mischievous guy.

– We were playing at a play place and Little Sis took her socks off without me noticing. Another kid came over and took them.  Little Bear, who is two, gasped and intercepted the girl who was running off with the socks.  He said something to her, taking them nicely but firmly. Then went and put them back.  What a sock saving hero! So protective of something that belonged to his sister.  I love how much he adores both sisters.

Haha, well that’s all for now.  Thanks for reading 🙂

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Teaching By Example

It happens every year.  The weather gets nice, the wasps come out, and Big Sis starts to freak out and want to stay inside.

I do want to try and do something about them.  They are all over our yard and they like to sting.  Big Sis and I have both been stung.  BUT I also want my daughter to learn that she doesn’t have to stay indoors.  Obviously.

Picture of Bees and Wasps - IRSo I bought her book on bees and wasps because these books are amazing for preschoolers and younger elementary for learning cool things in an easy to understand way.  She can actually read it herself, which is exciting for her.  I want her to see how awesome bees are for pollinating the world and creating honey, the difference between bees and wasps, and why bees or wasps sting.

“When you are scared of something.  The best thing you can do is to learn about it.  Then we don’t have to be so scared.  When we know all about the wasps we can be cautious, but not so afraid.”

Says the mom who can’t keep her eyes open any time a snake or spider is even just on TV.

I mean, I do what I need to do.  I can MOM-UP, you know?

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This was the trip that I went Chuck Norris on the giant nasty spider.

There was a seriously GIANT spider hanging off the baby carrier that my husband had on his back on a hike one time.  (See the photo to the left…my tiny little first born all set up for a nice long hike with her little stuffed animal giraffe hanging by a rope to keep her company when she wanted it.)  So the giant spider was hanging by a long silvery spider web, starting to make it’s way toward my child.  If I had asked my husband to take care of it, it might be too late, or we might lose it.  I am not a spider catch and releaser.  I need to know that it’s all the way dead and never coming back to crawl around on its eight nasty legs toward me or my family ever again.  So I totally went NINJA on that thing, kicking it out of the air onto the ground and stomping the heck out of it; protecting my baby like a boss.  And then when it was over I danced around, trying to shake off the memory of what I had just done because OH MY GOODNESS IT WAS THE NASTIEST SPIDER!

Another time I was on a nature trail just me and the kids.  Baby on my back and two girls walking.  We came across a snake laying across the trail.  What kind of snake you ask?  Who the eff cares.  It was a freaking snake and I wanted to run away crying.  But instead I stood there watching it, trying to decide how to proceed.  It wasn’t moving.  Was it dead?  I made the girls stand back and I got a VERY long stick and poked at him.  He didn’t move.  Maybe he was dead.  So I took the girls’s hands and we tried to go around it as far away and cautiously as possible.  Then I saw his tongue move.  I calmly told the girls to keep walking and I backed away as quickly as possible, stick in hand, not wanting to take my eyes off of it until I was far enough away that I felt I could turn around.  Then we ran…for fun of course.  Because I didn’t want them to be scared.  Don’t worry, we survived.  Barely.

My point.

I definitely have my fears.  In fact, as much as I want to take my kids to the local Insectarium so that they can learn about bugs and face THEIR fears, I really secretly do not want to go and have to face MINE.  

So I decided to challenge myself and learn about snakes and spiders.  It’s a small step, I know.  You aren’t going to find me standing in line for tarantuala feeding time at the Insectarium and there is no way I’m going to touch a snake any time soon.  But it’s a step even just to follow my own advice and purposefully learn about them.  Because even just looking at pictures of them creeps me out.

Writing this post creeps me out.

What are your fears and how have you faced them?  Has becoming a parent inspired you to be different so you don’t pass your fears along to your children, or at least so you can be an example of how to not let those fears rule your choices (like spending time outdoors)?  I’d love to hear your stories.

Thanks for reading!


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Our Newest Family Member

Is there a pet that you’ve always wanted to have?

I wouldn’t consider myself having had a lot of pets although I have always really loved animals.

I’ve always had cats.  I love cats.  I know they have a stigma of being grumpy, but most of the cats I have had have been very cuddly and sweet.  I don’t like cat hair everywhere.  I don’t like cleaning up hair ball vomit.  Or grass vomit.  Or pee in my beanbag.  One of my cats chewed all the hands and feet of my barbies.  But they are playful and soft and snuggly and all of my cats have come when I call them.

I hate to admit it, but I don’t love dogs. I like the idea of a dog.  They are sweet and loyal and like to play.  I like the idea of taking a dog on a walk and throwing the frisbee for him and taking him camping.  I like dogs.  If they are calm.  If they don’t jump up on me.  If they don’t bark. If they don’t chew on my things.  If they don’t dump over the trash.  If they don’t slobber on a toy and then put it in my lap.  If they don’t lick me.  I don’t like the idea of having to search my yard for dog poop rather than cleaning it all up from one litter box.  I want the kids to be able to play in the yard without stepping in dog poop.  I don’t think we’ll be getting a dog.

I owned a guinea pig for a bit in seventh grade.  It squeaked all the time and was really smelly.  I hated cleaning his cage.  I ended up being allergic to him so I wasn’t able to have him for long.  (Sigh of relief.)

I had a frog…three frogs…in college.  I was a terrible frog owner.  I killed all of them on accident.  I don’t like to talk about it.  RIP Ranocchio, Gollum, and the one that didn’t live long enough to give him a name.  (I am so sorry.)

I have had fish. It is a lot of work to clean out the tank and, for me, it’s not really worth it.  You can’t cuddle with them.  They don’t do anything.  They are super cool but not really my kind of pet.

But BUNNIES….oh my word….a BUNNY is a pet I have always wanted to have.

For many, MANY years I have ogled the bunnies at the pet store.

A few years ago I was not having luck planting a garden and a friend told me about how awesome bunny poop is for soil.  We were collecting chicken poop for our compost and she was talking about how it would have to compost for a while, but if we could get our hands on some bunny poop, we could throw it right on.  So bunnies are cute AND useful!

For a couple years now I have shown my husband photos of bunnies for sale on local online for sale pages, thinking maybe I could actually get one someday.  He always just shrugged and said, “as long as you take care of it!”

For about a year I have researched taking care of bunnies and thought about what kind of cage we could build someday. My husband was willing to build a cage as long as that was the last thing he ever did for the bunny…besides hold it and love it.  hehe

Then one day I decided to go for it.  There was a homeschool mom selling baby bunnies.  Her daughter had raised the mom rabbit for 4-H.  Not only was she interested in selling the bunnies to other homeschool families, but she invited anyone out to tour the farm. It was perfect.  Plus, I saw a picture of this little guy and fell in LOVE 🙂

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I can’t believe we waited this long to get a bunny!  He is so great.  Big Sis named him Peanut Butter Cake. It’s super cute, just kind of a mouthful.  I keep accidentally calling him Peanut Butter Cup. Have you seen the movie 50 First Dates?  I am not good at accents or I would say his name the way that guy says it.

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Anyway, this little guy is so cute and easy going.  He is pretty easy to clean up after actually. I would rather clean up his cage than clean up cat vomit.  He warmed up to the kids really fast, even to Little Bear.  Peanut Butter Cake is constantly hanging out right next to Little Bear and I am baffled as to why, because Little Bear grabs his ears, pulls on his fur and slobbers all over him.  He would do worse but I am right there to stop it.  I am nervous for the bunny but I don’t really feel bad for him because he is choosing to be there next to the baby.  I keep moving him and he keeps coming back. Maybe they have a baby boy bond?  Not to be confused with a baby boy band…although how cute would that be?

The first time Little Bear and Peanut Butter Cake met. I put Little Bear far enough away so he couldn’t actually touch the rabbit. He can’t crawl forward yet. But Little Bear is smart. He started pulling on the blanket and pulling the bunny closer! hahaha

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Little Sis is not the most gentle kid on the planet.  And she doesn’t listen well so she is constantly half-picking him up and then saying “I just…” whatever her reason is in the moment when I ask her not to pick him up.  But she is doing well with him and I have been giving her a lot of responsibilities and she seems to really enjoy it.  She feeds him veggies and watches him when I leave the room.  I left her alone with him for about ten minutes today and kept checking on her and she was just sitting there with him, singing and talking to him.

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Big Sis says she loves him one hundred and wants to see him first thing every morning.  The enthusiasm might not last but she is excited to learn how to take care of him and is doing a great job.  She even reads him stories about bunnies 😉

11023518_10100474154757096_1543054850296422758_nI hope you enjoyed my random ramblings about pets and the photos of our newest family member.  Ok, here’s one more…since I know you were hoping for another one 😉

11143365_10100474691975506_1505241931311961942_nThanks for reading!