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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spring and schooling with Ashton

In the joyous anticipation of summer, I am daydreaming about nightly sounds of little trike wheels grazing the pavement well past bedtime.
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Josie could ride her bike for hours every day.
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There is something so good and honest about children playing ball under a warm spring sky.
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The kids had a beetle collection of sorts one day. They'd move each one from bucket to bucket. They'd hold them in their hands and have little panicky moments if a beetle started going too far up their arms and onto a shirt sleeve. It was really silly to watch it all go down.
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Our garden is up and running thanks to my wonderful husband and two awesome kiddos!
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This year, we are growing broccoli, cucumbers, peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, green beans and peas. We have also added a little chicken wire and some marigolds to keep out the pesky rabbits and whatever else may be lingering around the mean streets of Kirkville. (now if only I could add some chickens in our yard too... heaven.)
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An awesome recipe I wanted to share. (Click on picture for the link. Seriously, amazing.)  photo IMG_2372_zps45df8779.jpg

Sledding in May. It's true. It is NY after all. and I am Christmas elf. Don't judge. 
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I may be captain obvious with this one, but my kids love mud.
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and getting cleaned off with the hose
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and coming outside again after dinner
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and trying to dart quickly into the road at any given chance. ...Ok. maybe that one is just Liam. 
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Tomorrow, Ashton will officially be a preschool graduate and our summer will begin. 
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Life has a funny way of making big changes when we least expect it. For five years I have mentally prepared myself to see my little boy walk up the steps of a big yellow school bus and be off on his way to Kindergarten. Never, not even once, had I prepared myself for anything else but that very moment.
A letter I wrote to Ashton
Dear Ashton, this will be the start of a new chapter in your life. You are going to start homeschooling in the fall. ...and even as I type those words I still can't fully believe it. I have felt almost every kind of emotion as I have prepared myself to make this very big step.

I want you to know that I am putting my full trust in God with this one. ...and even when that trust seems to stray a little bit, I am blessed with friends who help me find that trust again quickly. I know I couldn't do it on my own.
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I want you to know how especially happy daddy is to be apart of this. Our first conversation on the topic went something like this. Me- "It's as if I woke up today and the decision was already made and I don't know why. I don't understand why God would put this on my heart so strongly. This wasn't my plan." Dad- "I would love to have him home schooled! I've always thought about it. I think it would be a lot of fun to do everything together! We are totally homeschooling."

It was a short conversation that lead into longer and deeper conversations that lead into lists of "pros and cons" and even late night googling of "why or why not to homeschool."

Ashton, I cannot tell you how much sleep I lost in the first weeks after this was laid on my heart. How many hours I spent thinking about everything. Wondering if I will be good enough. Strong enough. Brave enough. Wondering what you'd think of the decision some day. I spent too much time in fear and dread of being judged by others.

Until finally, I felt the word trust in my heart. To remember who is ultimately in control of everything. To take this day by day. Year by year. To go in confidence with all my heart instead of all my fear.
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Some of my happiest thoughts are those about you. Getting to spend more time with you. We'll be together as a family each day as we learn and grow and experience life and make new friendships. I have learned that there is a million beautiful ways to learn. You have taught me that in these past 5 years.

I love the idea of how much freedom this gives us to explore a lot of the things that you would love to learn about. You were made uniquely. ...and what a blessing it is to be able to teach you in such a way.

Oh, Ashton. This is really going to happen. ....and I am so very blessed because of it.

Loving and Trusting. Trusting and loving,
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Take care, friends. xoxo

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A letter to the kids

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As I sit here currently, the smell of the lilacs in full bloom has completely taken over our backyard. Ashton and Josie are playing together in the garden and Liam is taking his nap.

The sound of heavy traffic is in the distance and the lightest breeze makes the warming sun hopeful.
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The last time uncle Johnny came to visit, he told me you were a very thoughtful kid. Someone who always asks questions but sincerely cares about the answer. ...I wanted to write this down so I could remember to tell you one day. I wanted you to know that you are one of the most thoughtful little boys I have ever known.
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and Liam? Mommy's friend Abby once told me, "he is such a capable little fellow!" ...Something about your will, your light and your spirit. You are my capable little guy.
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Sweet Josie, most times you are described with your very own name. You are original and unique and how beautiful you are! "Oh, Josie. Just Josie. That's Josie!" My girl.
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Lately, the back door stays open all afternoon. The yard becoming our family room.
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Dear Ashton, Josie and Liam,
My hope for you is that you can lead simple lives full of love. Give and be thankful for each moment you are given. Thank God always.
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Always be there for each other. Look out for one another. I trust that you will.
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Never get too caught up in all the messy hustle of this world. Life will be so much richer, so much sweeter, if you live each day thinking,"what can I do for this world?" instead of the thought that goes something like, "what can this world do for me?" We are here to help one another. Give as much as you can, as often as you can. Let your life be a living testament of God's love.

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Never forget, we were all made for a purpose. ...Our own beautifully unique purposes. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Our own talents and gifts. Use them in any way you can to bring more beauty and joy into this world. God will give you direction when you need it. Trust Him.
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Don't feel sad if you don't always fit in with everyone. Being you in a world where so many fall behind a leader, can be one of the hardest things a human being can do as they grow. You will always come out a stronger person if you embrace your you-ness. You were born to be you. You're beautiful that way.

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Do not let any hurt in your life drag you down. At least, not for too long. Life will continue to roll on and it's best to continue to move along with it. The best direction to go is forward. God will be your guiding light through the darkest tunnels. Grab his hand and have trust that he'll lead you through the darkness safely. He always will. He always does. I promise.
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Daddy and I wish we could protect you from ever being hurt. But the fact of life is, you will be hurt. Remember, it's not about what hurt you that matters. It's about what you do and where you go from there. You can inspire and change things for the better. Please know that you will always be covered in love and prayer. You have our hearts with you, where ever you go.
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I don't believe God wants us to just go through the daily motions in life. I believe we were all put here for a reason. For great reasons. Our lives are just a small dot on the grid. Here and gone soon. We can turn any situation we are in into something good. -I believe that with all my heart.

 See the good in people. Love them like He loves you.

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Mark 12:31
The second is this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.

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Always loving you, Mama

P.s. Here are the pictures I wanted to share of Ashton's 1st tee ball game!
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So proud of him.
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See you around, friends. Hope you are enjoying this day. -Jessie
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There's a world outside your window.