sharing from my heart to yours
We’ve faced some challenges in the last year.
Some have been huge and hard and seemingly never ending.
Some have been normal things like…
adjusting to a new baby…
life of farming…
and so on.
The decision we made is actually a result of many of the
challenges we have come through.
(Well… maybe not potty training!)
We made the choice to homeschool our kids.
I know that brings a reaction in one way or the other to most people minds.
Everyone has their reason for why they do what they do.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while,
and a sweet note that came in the mail today prompted me to share.
So... from the beginning.
When Skyler was just a little guy,
the thought of homeschooling crossed my mind.
I loved to plan learning activities, read books, and create things with him.
When Rystin was old enough to join us,
we had fun doing projects and games together.
When Vayah came along, I began to get overwhelmed.
I did less projects and planning, and just felt like my energy
was stretched with three kids.
I wasn’t sure how homeschooling would work with little ones around,
and we thought that it was likely
our family would grow beyond three kids, as time passed.
I also have always valued many of the benefits that public school gave,
and (in my lack of understanding) felt like keeping my
kids at home would be stifling them in many ways.
We decided to pursue public school, even registering Skyler in the school we hoped to be in, before we moved to the district. They offered M-W-F Kindergarten, and I knew that was the only way I could send him to start off. We thought that we would try it out, and if we felt like it wasn’t the best choice, we would pull him out and finish the year at home,
or start in 1st grade.
I brought Skyler to the ‘see the school’ day for the coming Kindergarten class.
He was SO excited.
That was another reason we had decided to let him go to public school.
He absolutely LOVED to learn. He would beg to ‘do school’ with me.
He had talked about going to school since he was about 3 years old,
waiting on the steps for the school bus, backpack ready to go.
I remember him asking me to call the bus to come get him,
because it was taking too long!
So an afternoon with just mommy, where he got to go to his school,
take a ride on the bus, see his classroom,
and meet his new teacher was the greatest thing ever!
He was so sad when it was time to leave.
I was also very happy with the teacher he was going to have.
I had heard many good reports about her, and after watching the way she interacted with the kids, especially Skyler,
I felt like we had made a good decision.
Skyler even had a sweet moment with her when
he gave her a little card that he had made for her.
That same teacher, a few weeks later, came with tears to Skyler’s visitation, to show her support and grieve with us. And, back to the note we got today, she is still thinking and praying for us. Knowing there is a teacher like that at our local school made the decision hard too!
So why did we decide to homeschool?
Well like I said, it has always been on my heart to do.
I have a sweet friend who really encouraged me to look into it back a couple of years ago already. When Skyler died, it was a thought in my head that came VERY soon after.
There was no way I could send my kids to school.
I lost one already.
Time is too short.
I want every moment I can get with these sweet kids!
At first I thought it was probably just a first response type of thought.
But as time passed, I began to become more interested.
Rystin began to get more and more into learning, and to our surprise,
loved to ‘do school’ even more than his brother had!
One of his first thoughts after Skyler died was that Skyler wouldn’t get to go on the school bus now.
He knew how excited Skyler had been about it.
But he figured he would get to go on the bus when he was 5 like Skyler.
The thought of him getting on that bus and leaving every day was hard.
I watched the it drive by many days this year without stopping at our house.
(Now his class is finishing Kindergarten without him)
I began to talk with other moms who taught their kids at home.
I attended a homeschool conference where I was able to hear speakers,
see curriculum, and learn a little more about
what homeschooling actually involves.
I spent the next couple months (almost literally!) researching options, reading books, perusing blogs, and visiting with people who have done it.
After learning so many amazing things, I knew I wanted to do it!
I found a curriculum that seems perfect for our family.
Our excitement and passion has been lit.
Here are, in list form, some (just some!) of the reason we chose to homeschool:
We want our #1 focus to be Christ.
We want to fill our kids with His Word and
teach them about His truth and love.
Public school can’t do that.
Our second focus is our family.
We have been through so much this past year.
We have grown closer together, and we want to continue to do that.
The thought of being apart for the majority of the time
just doesn’t sound right for us.
It fits into our life style.
Farming is a very different life with a very different type of ‘schedule’.
We will be able to include our kids in our lives every day, teaching them things that they couldn’t learn about in a classroom setting.
Going along with number 1,
we want to prepare our kids to face this world with a firm foundation.
We want to instill in them Biblical principles and help them to develop the tools to go into the world and preach the gospel. The world is such a backwards place, and the more that I hear (especially about the school system), the more I feel like what we teach our kids ourselves is the most important.
Education is not the answer to every problem.
Education without Christ is flawed.
It is the person that we learn to be, and why we are that person,
that makes the true difference.
I’m pretty sure I can give my kids an education that is close to equal that a public school can.If not, I’m ok with that, as long as we do our best, learn continuously, and become better people through it.
We are able to live by our own rules. We can school all year if we need to, or we can take a month of in October if that is what works best for us at the time. We can get school done early in the morning and be free the rest of the day, or we can do it in the evening after doing whatever we need to do before.
And really, my list could go on.
But in all reality, my list doesn’t matter to you.
Each of us make the decisions that we feel is best for our family.
Can all of our goals be more or less accomplished by going to public school?
I am not at all against public school.
Both myself and my husband went to public school.
I, personally, enjoyed my school experience, and wouldn’t change it much.
The school I went to was small, but I have a lot of good memories, and I know that my kids will miss out on a lot by staying home. But I think it’s worth it.
Also, I have no idea what the future holds.
As I saw a year ago, we can plan our lives all day long,
but we have no control over what happens.
We will take one year at a time.
If we feel like we are being called to a different schooling option,
we are open to that.
Will homeschooling be easy?
I DOUBT it!
But I’m not convinced that easier always equals better.
So that’s they story behind our decision to teach our kids at home.
We’re excited to get started, and our Kindergarten curriculum is ready and waiting to get started!
I’ll give you more details on that later if you are at all interested.
Pray that God will guide us each day.
Well I have a few things for you today.
The first is a technical update on the website.
As most of you know, when I first started this site, it was a way to market and sell some of my handmade creations to all of you. As my life changed (I mostly blame my babies...SO worth it!) and my style continues to shift, I made the decision to shut down the shop part of my site.
I kept the site going, planning to use my blog to continue to update my friends and readers about my life (especially since we moved cross country). I also have used my blog to document and share my craft projects, with a possibility of accepting custom orders from any of you. I have now changed my site so that this page (my blog) is my home page. This changed my site address, which means if you follow me via and feed readers or RSS, you will need to update the address to receive future blog posts.
Also, I am going to make a confession!
I struggle with this blog!
Oh. Yeah. You already knew that! It's only a LITTLE bit obvious,
with my lack of consistency in posting :)
I guess the thing is, I truly enjoy blogging and I would love to be able to regularly post and update. But as many times as I have made resolutions to do better and post more often, I have come to realize that at this point in my life, it's just not reality. Keeping up with my 3 preschool/toddler age kids, my husband, my home, and the other basic commitments and activities we are involved in, my blog is NOT a priority. And I've come to accept that. Now I just hope my readers do to! :)
I have decided that I WILL keep my blog, but won't try to force myself to be a committed blogger. I will post when I feel like it. When I have something to share; be it a project, kid update, topic, question, or WHATEVER! Some weeks I might post 3 times, and some MONTHS I may not post at all. It's all about flexibility. Forced blogging isn't fun anyways. Sometimes when I read other blogs, I'm inspired. Then I wish that I could do better here at Whispers of Joy. Then I get discouraged again. So there's my struggle.
And now that I shared with you the way this blog will work from now on, you know too. Come back when you can! Hopefully there will be new things on occasion.
On to the fun announcement...
I'll be doing another booth at a local bazaar this year!
Remember this and this?
The craft events that I participated in throughout past years were so much fun to me. This year seemed like a good one to jump back into the craziness. We've lived in Minnesota for about a year and a half now, so we feel pretty settled into our home (that's a whole other store for another time) and life here. Also, here's my 'baby':
Yeah...not really. :(
So anyways, since I don't have any clinging attachments right now, I thought it would be a good time to do it. For the last couple of months I have been collecting, crafting, re-purposing, painting, sewing, gluing, sanding, designing, and creating. What fun! I have expanded a bit, and don't do as much for baby supplies as I used to. I have discovered that variety is more interesting, so I have expanded into different products, styles, and designs. I enjoy creating a lot more when I can try new things and have a more unique products, in comparison to having many of one thing. That's another reason why I quit selling the way I was on this site. I STILL have a bunch of pacifier clips from when I 'mass produced' them a few years ago! I still use them for Vayah, give them as gifts, and so on, but got burned out on making so many! Lesson learned!
Here's a sneak peek of a few of the many things I've been working on lately...
As you can see... a little mix of this and that. There's so much more, but this is just a little hint of some of my new things.
I may be putting a few things up on here in the next couple of months for sale before the craft show. Or maybe not. You know me! ;)
Either way, whatever doesn't sell at the bazaar WILL be available for sale online soon after. If you see something you like that you'd like to pre-order, let me know! I'm always up for custom orders for my readers.
as many of you have probably been waiting for...
there WILL be a giveaway!!
I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do it before my bazaar (Nov 2nd), or after, when I share ANOTHER big secret, but will keep you updated and let you know.
Throw some ideas at me... what kind of prize would you like?
Help me choose! I want to give something that YOU want to win!
I'd love to hear your feedback.
Thanks for being patient with me as a blogger. Your support is so much appreciated. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Meet Vayah Faith...
born June 13th, 2012
8lbs 4 oz / 20 inches
We're so excited to have a little girl join our family!
I don't think I realized how much I was hoping for a girl until I had her in my arms. :D Skyler was quite positive we were having a girl since the day I told him a baby was coming, so I thought maybe he knew somehow. When we called and told him he had a sister he calmly said,
"I thought so." :)
For anyone interested, here's a very brief overview of the birth story:
(if you're not, scroll down to the pictures...I don't want to bore you!)
My due date was June 9th. That day came and went and I enjoyed mild contractions off and on for about a week during that time. Tuesday, the 12th, came and I knew something was starting. Contractions slowly built (very slowly!) all day. My family (from OR) arrived that day, so we were set to head to the hospital at any given time. The boys stayed in their motorhome with them that night, as we fully expected to be gone by morning. Fro and I walked and tried to keep things going until contractions were about 5 minutes apart. I didn't feel like they were very hard though, so we went for a walk hoping to feel ready to head to the hospital when we got home. They stopped. ARGH! I had mild ones every half hour for the rest of the night/morning...afternoon...argh! Finally around 5pm the next night (while Fro was at the farm doing chores) things started to pick up again, and fairly quickly! They were by far harder than the night before and got closer together as the evening passed. We headed to the hospital a bit after 9pm, checked in (such a process!), I got in the tub when I could as we planned for a water birth. I loved the water and felt like I could relax much better. Vayah Faith made her entrance at 11:30 sharp, just in time to still be born on her grandma and great grandma's shared birthday!
Praise God for another healthy blessing!!
After some complications with cramping, clotting, low levels in iron and hemoglobin, dizziness, and so on, we arrived at home on the 15th with a darling little girl to join our family. It was a bumpy start on my end of things, but Vayah was perfect! Skyler was completely in love, protective, and adoring to his little sister. Rystin wasn't sure what to do but stare at her and pet her head, but he is getting more used to her and loving her more all the time. There have definitely been lots of changes and adjustments for them, but handling three littles at home hasn't been bad at all.
Vayah has probably been the most 'needy' baby I have had so far. She likes to be held if she is awake, especially during certain times of the day, and is much LOUDER than the boys were!! :) But I can't complain at all because at 5 weeks she has been waking up only once a night for awhile now! I feel very blessed to still be getting a decent amount of rest.
She is growing so fast and starting to smile much more and even coo a bit.
Newborns are so fun! I could just hold her and cuddle with her all day (not that my boys would ever allow such a thing!) :)
Here's a few pictures of all of us with the new little girl...
These last two pictures are outfits that I made before Vayah was born. The blue one I made when pregnant with Rystin (finally getting used!), and the other I made this last spring. All these girl flowers and ruffles are just so fun! Hopefully more to come!
Thanks for coming to check out our new little bundle!
NOTE: This is an 'outdated update'! I created this post about 2 months ago. While I was doing it, the site froze and I *thought* I lost everything and gave up. I decided today that I should maybe update on some of the bigger changes (baby details to come!!), and found that improvements must have been made on the site and the post I had been created popped right back up! So, though the info is old, the move and photos are still relevant, and now and can update more current things in the next post instead of backtracking to March! Maybe now I'll be more motivated to keep up on this blog?! Sweet!! :)
We made it!
Actually it's going on 2 months already since we got here...crazy!
The moving process went well, overall. I will say that moving is NEVER easy, but this move had been slightly complicated, for several reasons. I'll share the story with you, if you're interested.
Here's a few pictures of the actual 'move'.
Some great friends of ours who helped us drive across the country!
Thanks so much Jay and Christina!
The drive to MN went quite smoothly. We stopped in TriCities to visit Fro's brother and his family one last time, and stopped again the next 'night'/morning (from about 3am to 10am). The kids (and ladies!) were having a hard time sleeping and we needed some rest!
Arrived in MN and began looking for a place to live. No, we still didn't know where we were going to end up at this point!! Trust me, it gave me plenty of rough nights and stressful days off and on throughout the whole process!
We drove around all the country roads looking for something that would be rentable and livable. No luck. So we contacted a realtor who had a home for rent in a small town (not the area we really were hoping to be...and we weren't really wanting to live 'in' town either) and checked the place out. It was about our only option, quite a bit smaller than our last place, but a decent house. A couple downfalls, there was someone living in it who wouldn't be out for a few weeks...it was next to railroad tracks (!), and the location (basically in town/farther away from work). We signed the lease (we're here for at least 6 months) and moved from Fro's parents' house, into a VERY generous couple's home that was empty for the time we needed a place to stay. Thanks so much, Wilho and Diana!!
It worked out great to stay there, although the days got quite long. When a place isn't your own home, and the majority of your things are packed away, you find that there really isn't a lot to do to fill the days! While we lived there, Skyler (my baby boy?!!) turned 3!
He had SUCH a blast this year! He looked forward to it for so long, sang 'Happy Birthday to me' all day before his party, and talked about nothing else for many days! It's so fun when they appreciate all the little things. I did my best to make a few decorations and a simple cake with the supplies I had at the time.
My big boys on Easter Sunday. Both weren't feeling the greatest and were fighting colds that came nearly right when we got to MN. And I'm SILL wiping noses! Guess it must take awhile to adjust to a different area...?!
So a few weeks after moving into that place, we packed up our stuff (again...the little bit that we had unpacked), and started moving into our own place. Here's a quick pic of the outside of it.
We are basically all settled in now. It feels SO good to have our 'own' place!! I haven't done any decorating or unpacking much that isn't a necessity, but all the main things like the kitchen, bedrooms, and furniture are in. I'm getting anxious to start some projects...be it decorating, sewing baby things (5 more weeks!), or doing things outside...so hopefully I make more progress soon. Another big challenge during this move has been being nearly 8 months pregnant! Can't be hauling much for boxes, so when you realize half your things are in the garage and you can't do much about it, you're a little stuck! Fro started his new job soon after we got here, and hasn't been home a lot during the daylight hours, so progress has been slow. I feel like it might take the rest of the 5 weeks until baby comes before I'll feel like I can say, yes, I got ALL moved in! It's nice not to feel rushed to have to do everything at once, though.
Here's a few more pictures of life around here...
to become different; to become altered or modified; to pass gradually into
Pretty much defines my life lately.
I know it's been awhile again since I've blogged, and I apologize to any of my 'adoring fans' (haha) for that! Since the last time I posted, SO many things have happened! Here's a short, condensed list of some of the main things.
-We found out I'm expecting another baby (!)
-We went on at least 3 weekend trips to visit family and friends
-We took a long Christmas vacation to the Midwest
-My baby turned 1 (!)
-We found out that we will be moving across country soon (!)
So yes, you could basically say not much of anything in my life will be the same in the next few months. If you haven't noticed yet, this has also affected my website. Because of the busyness of life even just in the last year, I have updated and added new products very little. Now, with all the craziness of life coming up, I have decided to close up shop...at least for now. I plan to keep this blog going (as well as I am able) for the time being. At some point in the next 6 months or so, the URL may change slightly, so watch for that if you are interested in continuing to follow my life and the projects and crafts that I find time for in the future. I have been crafting a lot lately, so hopefully soon I can post about those things. This blog may become more 'personal' with more posts about my life and family, to keep my friends and family updated after we move. I hope you keep coming and checking for updates, or better yet... follow me through the Google link or RSS feed.
Also, if there is something that I used to carry, or that I have blogged about, that you are interested in ordering, I would still be willing to take special orders. Just contact me and we will work out the details! Thanks
That would be me at the tail end of my pregnancy with Rystin in '10. NOT looking forward to getting big again...but I'm getting there fast! I AM excited to have another little blessing in the house and cuddling with a sweet little newborn. Have been wondering if there will be some pink involved this time, but we will have to wait and see! :) I am going on 23 weeks right now, so already over halfway there! Due June 9th
This Christmas, we drove to the Midwest to spend the holidays with the friends and family we have there. We were gone for almost three weeks, which felt quite long when my baby slept horribly the whole trip! :( Otherwise, it was a fun time... my baby turned one, and my hubby found a 'job' while he was there! His dream of being a farmer in MN is coming true. We plan to move in about a month and a half and I will try my hand at being a dairy farmer's wife! Both exciting and nerve wracking. Right now, the biggest stress factor is that we don't know where we are going to live for sure. That makes it hard to plan ahead (both for our living arrangements, and for the coming baby). Keep us in your prayers that God will lead us to where He has planned, and will guide us through all these new changes. It will be a huge change in lifestyle, as you know if you have visited (or lived) in both the Pacific Northwest and the Midwestern parts of the US! We are excited to start this new phase in life, and be able to call a place 'home'.
Thanks for checking in! I hope to continue to be posting about some of my latest projects in the next couple weeks. Have a wonderful week and God bless your day!
Whispers of Joy
There's lots happening at Whispers of Joy this week!
What do you think of the new look on the site? I decided we needed a facelift...something a little brighter. Think spring! I'm also hoping it's a little more readable and organized.
There are new prices on many items and a new gift set on the Specialty page!
There's also another giveaway at the Treasure Chest for you to enter!
Also check out the blog post about it for more chances to enter!
You can also get your little darling's picture on the site and qualify to enter to win a Gift Certificate at The Secret Gallery!
You've probably noticed the new picture in the heading logo. Aren't they cute?! They are actually my little cousins and they look so adorable in the spring setting there! I did a photo contest through Facebook when I started this site and received some fun pictures of little Whispering Kiddos! :) I decided to keep that up here and give everyone a chance to 'make the page' and win a gift certificate. Check out more details at the Secret Gallery.
VOID[Then if you hunt really hard and really fast... you could win another great prize (only the first 5 qualifty)!
Basically, I have a hidden webpage that you can only find through ONE link on this entire site. Do some browsing and find it...cuz it's a secret and I'm not gonna tell you where it is! But if you're one of the first 5 people to find it AND fill out the form there, you'll win a special gift! Better start hunting! :)]VOID
Five people have found the link- I have now removed it!
I will contact the winners and soon! :)
Well it was a month ago when I wrote the last post about getting my rear in gear and starting to blog on a regular basis!! I've been so behind in so many things...but am starting to feel a little more motivated and on top of things these days so MAYBE it will get better! We 'ended' our summer with a trip to the beach last weekend and had a wonderful time with some friends of ours! Now I am trying to get myself into a routine and fall into a fall schedule.
Here's a few pics of some of the burp cloths I've made recently. It's been a fun new thing for me...who knows where it'll go from just my playing around!
The first was just me having fun for our new baby, and the last two are of the ones I made for my two newest nephews, born this summer! They're so much fun to make!
Also, keep your eyes open at Whispers of Joy because it is my turn to do a 1 Year Anniversary GIVEAWAY!! Crazy that it's been a year ago since I started blogging and putting together Whispers of Joy. But what a fun, learning experience! Big hopes for the year to come!
Is it? Maybe... I'm not sure yet.
I've been searching for my lost motivation and inspiration.
Ideas seem to be waking up from hibernation and starting to stretch and wiggle. I've got something in mind for a new line here at Whispers of Joy!
We'll see if it keeps growing and blooming and appears here sometime in the future. I'll keep you posted on the progress!
(Why does inspiration seem to come during the busiest times...
or when I'm trying to avoid things!? My dirty house is calling me!!)
Be filled with the Spirit;
speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs, singing and
making melody in your heart to
the Lord; giving thanks always
for all things unto God and the
Father in the name of our Lord
Did you notice the new look on the homepage?
I decided it was time for a change... something bright and 'springy'!
What do you think?
I'd love to hear your opinions about this and any other part of
Whispers of Joy!
It’s another giveaway! This time you could win a darling Sort-n-Stash Pocket Set in the style of your choice! Perfect to help keep a diaper bag or purse organized, or sort any random things that need a place to get stashed. Remember, these make great gifts if you don’t have a little one yourself! You have until Friday, March 26th, 2010, by Midnight (Pacific Time) to make your entry (or entries!). Yes, there are many ways you can enter to win this awesome prize!
1. Fill out the entry form at the treasure chest
and click the submit button! :)
2. Comment on this post and let me know which Sort-n-Stash Set that you would choose if you win
3. Become and fan of Whispers of Joy on Facebook AND comment on the main page - link available on WoJ Homepage
4. Become a follower on Twitter AND Tweet about this contest -link is available on WoJ homepage)
5. Fill out the form to join the Newsletter on the homepage-if you are already subscribed, you can still email firstname.lastname@example.org with a comment about this contest for an entry
6. Blog about this contest on your site, then email me or comment on the blog post to tell me about it
7. Tell someone else about this contest! If they fill out the entry form and let me know that you referred them, you’ll get entered again along with them!
8. Become a follower of the blog in the Google Friends Connect to the right
Think you have a good chance?! Get moving… you have until the 26th to see how many times you can enter! Free shipping to winner if US resident only. I will post the name of the winner here, on the Blog, and in a newsletter email soon after the contest is ended. Winner will be contacted if email is provided. If no email address is available, winner must contact me within 5 days of announcement post. Winner can then choose the pattern and give shipping info.
Hello and Welcome!