A Grateful Heart

Happy Friday to you, friends! It has been a week of adapting for me as our family rhythm and my mama heart adjust to our nineteen year old daughter beginning her first job away from home. I do miss her constant company and our long morning walks and everything else I was blessed to enjoy for the nineteen years that brought us to this new phase of life.

But it is good... she is thriving at her job, as I knew she would. And one of her managers praised her performance and work ethic and then asked if she had been homeschooled, which we both took as a compliment! {smile}

It has been a reminder, too, of how quickly time passes... my baby girl is all grown up. So thankful I am for the many ordinary days and adventures we shared as she oh-so-quickly became who she is today before my eyes. Day after week after month after year. In a blink, it does seem.

But there are such blessings to being a mama in every stage of mothering.

I loved being pregnant... and I do *not* take that privilege for granted, especially since we recently discovered that our girl who has always desired to get married and have babies will likely not be able to experience a pregnancy due to a female health issue.

And the baby days were bliss for me. I loved nursing and cuddling and using cloth diapers and carrying my babies close to my heart in a homemade sling, and even the many sleepless nights. I miss them. Unless the Lord blesses us with an unexpected miracle baby at this middle-aged stage of our lives, my hubby's and my baby days are behind us. It is a bittersweet thought.

I loved being the mama of my babies and now those babies have become little kids and big kids and teenagers and adults. Our eight children currently range in age from seven years to twenty-nine years old. Every stage of motherhood has its struggles and joys. But it's all good, it's such a blessing and a privilege to carry and nurture and love a baby from conception and beyond...

I am grateful to be the mama of the children that the Lord gave to me and my dear hubby. Such joy each one of them brings into my life.

Here are a few more things I am thankful for today~

:: Wildflowers. A few pretty wildflowers remain here and there, scattered about the dry pastures of our farm and along my running trails. Tenacious they are, rain has been sparse for quite some time.

:: Wild children. Ha! What I mean is, our children love to play and get dirty and explore and run and simply be kids. Kids who love nature and being outdoors in all kinds of weather. It lends perfectly to our simple homesteading life and meshes beautifully with our eclectic homeschooling methods and philosophy. We are building a life together that works for *us* and that we love... Praise the Lord for all of the lessons along the way.

One of those lessons was to live our own life and not worry about what others are doing or what they may think of our unique choices and convictions and methods. The simple life with all of its complexities isn't a competition and it doesn't come with instructions... and the God-dependent self-sufficient homemade life is indeed a joyful adventure that looks a bit different for everybody! I think that is kind of awesome.

:: Finishing up. I am done putting up applesauce and chokecherry syrup for now. I got through all of the apples we were given... not a single one was wasted. The few I couldn't use became treats for my cow-friend Matilda. And I have four gallons of chokecherries yet in our freezer to use for future syrup or jam making endeavors.

It was a good morning in my kitchen. I made bread and used some of the dough for pizza crust for our weekly family fun night homemade pizza tradition. And I made cookies while the bread dough was rising, which earned me a passel of smiles and hugs from my tribe. While that was going on, a huge batch of dry beans cooked in my instant pressure cooker, and now they are ready for this weekend's enormous pot full of chili.

And I did my trail run. My dog Jack joined me for 2 3/5 miles of intervals today. It was a beautifully crisp morning for an outdoor run and I achieved my goal of having fun!

The children and I read together, had devotions, and did school. Our art appreciation class had us viewing paintings from France, today. Which got me to thinking...

I am thankful for the Internet... while we use it with careful discernment and moderation, it enriches our lives with lessons and information and classes and even entertainment that would be hard to come by on our rural mountainside homestead otherwise.

It would be a challenge for me to study Hebrew and ASL and poetry and even hoopdancing without online resources. The Internet enriches our homeschool tremendously. I find so many tips and patterns and recipes to try. And there are so many lovely blogs and articles and sermons and podcasts that encourage me in my interests and calling!

Not to mention that my own blogs live in cyberspace. {smile} Abundant screen free time is so necessary and important to me, but I do find the interwebs to be quite a blessing when used mindfully.

Well, I need to scoot. One of my girls just burst through the door to tell me that there is a big green grasshopper laying eggs in the corner of our front yard. I think I will go and check that out!

I hope you are having a good day where you are...

Good News

Dear friends, I do hope you had a lovely Christmas! Ours was simple and quiet... we exchanged gifts, enjoyed family time, watched a few Chri...

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