A Grateful Heart

Happy Friday to you, friends. It has been a happy-busy and rather smoky week on our homestead. We began what is my twenty-first year of enjoying the blessing of teaching our children at home.

I don't think I will ever be an expert at homeschooling (is anyone?) but after all of these many years we have developed a rhythm in our eclectic learning lifestyle that combines traditional homeschooling and unschooling and structure and freedom in a way that proves very effective for us. And fun... lots of fun, my children tell me. {smile}

This year, the Cazier Family Home School (that's us) ranges from first grade through eleventh. And I have a lovely helper and assistant in our recently graduated stay-at-home daughter! *Grateful!*

My own at-home studies are resuming, too. I have been studying the Hebrew language and American Sign Language for the past few years. My progress has been slow-and-steady as I have also delved into Israeli culture and become interested in Messianic and saved by grace alone Torah Observant lifestyles.

People and other cultures do fascinate me. We are all God's children and Jesus died for everyone! And while I am quite content on our twenty-acre piece of Montana and have no desire to travel or roam, learning about places of the world near and far is quite fun and fascinating, I think.

My ASL studies have spilled over into my hooping a bit as I have an interest in combining ASL music interpretation with hoopdance flow. It thrills my heart to sign hymns and Christian music and flow and I love to praise the Lord this way! I also love to study poetry... and to learn along with my dear children as they explore their own gifts and interests. I teach my children basic Hebrew and ASL for part of their studies, too.

And real life lessons abound in our creative homesteading lifestyle. Crafts. Music. Animals. Projects and diy endeavors. Not to mention our large tribe's extra-curricular activities... So, I am quite thankful that we are a homeschooling family or there would not be time for all of this togetherness and learning! Whew! (I do love it, can you tell?)

Along with *thankfulness* at beginning another school year, here are a few more snippets from my ongoing gratitude list this week~

:: This deer. I have grown quite fond of him as I have watched him grow all summer. He is the biggest deer on the mountain - as far as I know - and easy to recognize not only because of his majestic antlers but also by his split ear.

Last night, he was right outside the fence of our yard munching weeds and grass in the drain field. He gave me a casual look and calmly sauntered across the pasture with his smaller, 2-point deer friend.

:: Chokecherries. We picked wild chokecherries on our homestead this week and ended up with nearly a gallon of them. I made syrup with those beautiful foraged chokecherries... the first time I have made something with chokecherries harvested exclusively on our own land. So fun!

:: Matilda. My beautiful cow-friend. She was in heat last week. It has been many years (seven?) since her last calf was born and we milked Matilda. I *miss* those days and the never-ending supply of rich Jersey milk. I am feeling the itch to resume home dairying with another cow or perhaps more goats (or both?) but Matilda will live out her days without being bred again. Simply grazing and enjoying the magnificent view... Lord willing, she will live many more years as my loved and pampered pet.

:: Lingering wildflowers. I found these beauties tucked in behind my thriving patch of spearmint. I thought they looked so cute next to the tall stems of the mint plants.

There is always something to be grateful for. I find that I feel the most gratitude and notice my blessings best when I am...

Staying close to Jesus and pouring myself heart and soul into my family, home, and homestead; the life and calling that God has given me. * Not comparing to others, not complaining in thought or word, not explaining or defending my life or my choices. * Mindfully abiding in the moment and leaning on the Lord every minute while manifesting joyful authenticity. * Being myself. * Serving others. * Pleasing and obeying my own wonderful husband because it is my joy to do so. * Letting things go. * Avoiding drama and the people who thrive on it, as much as possible. * Giving grace to myself and others. *

And when I do those things... gratitude abounds because I notice my many many blessings! God is good all the time. So good!

Thank you so much for coming by my blog today, friends. Do have a peek around my previous posts and archive if you are new to my ramblings, and I invite you to visit my other blogs here and here if you like what you see. {smile}

Wishing you a lovely weekend~

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