First of all, let me just say... question and answers is not my forte. I don't really know why, maybe because I just write about my days, thoughts and experiences. I don't feel our life is anything special or "more together" than others. It's just sweet and something fun to share with family and friends. To offer advice or answers to questions, seems like I might "have it all together", which I do not =)
BUT I appreciate the time some of you have taken to ask questions and give your input; so I feel it only fair to stop and take time to respond... finally.
Many emails I receive are super sweet and full of wonderful kindness. I will just pull from those the questions, to keep the rest private.
Here we go:
Why haven't you been doing much teaching lately through your writings? I love to hear about your days but also the things God is teaching you.
It is true that I have pulled away a bit from the "teaching/preaching" (ha!) side of our families little blog. Maybe just to focus more on the sweetness of each day instead of the things I feel God convicting me of? We're all in so many different stages of our lives. My convictions are not necessarly yours.
God is so good, and teaches so many good things at so many different times. I feel I probably have a much different view on politics, Christianity, parenting, schooling, and just being a woman than a lot of people I know, so I choose to stay quiet mostly and let God work in others lives as he has mine.
When my opinion is asked and valued, I love to share though! =)
How is your garden growing? All we have seen is the first picture of you starting seeds.
Our garden is doing wonderful! I will post a picture soon. Daniel has done a great job turning that little corner of our world into a lovely place to be =)
How is your pregnancy doing? Do you enjoy being pregnant?
Oh, yeah... I'm pregnant, aren't I =)
I guess I don't talk about that too often, do I? It is going wonderful. Sept 3rd we are scheduled for c-section (all have been c-section). And as far as we know, we are having a little girl. You can read a little bit about how excited I am by clicking HERE.
How do you do homeschooling? Do you do it like a school? Do you take vacation time or summer breaks?
Hmmm, well you can click HERE, HERE or HERE for a little bit of how we do school but other than that, here is one of my favorite quotes regarding this common question:
"It is a woeful business when parents look toward doing what the "grand system" of education says is right for a child within their little homeschool" -Karen Andreola author of the book, Charlotte Mason Companion, Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning.
Therefore, no. We do not have a school like setting. Who said that is the way to do school? We do have a "school room" but we do not stop learning at any certain time and we don't stop "doing school." AND our "school" time is not limited to the school room. I am not saying, those who do have a set schooling place, are wrong. OR those who send their children off to learn are wrong, we just don't.
(This is where I don't do well at Q&A) Our little home is not meant to be your "grand system of education" You have your own convictions. We do however, feel it is the very best life. To see each step of brilliance your child experiences is a beautiful thing. To be the one he/she learns from is a wonderful gift from God. A gift he gave us when he placed our children into our care.
How do you afford to stay at home?
Well, I don't know how to answer that, really. My husband is blessed with a full time job and we say no to a lot of things? Does that suffice?
Well, let's see...We do not have cable TV, or any kind of outside entertainment costs, such as, Netflix or going to the movies. EVERY NOW AND THEN, LIKE TWO TIMES A YEAR, Daniel will take me to the dollar movie for a real special date =) but that is all. The one allowance we make for "entertainment spending" is a membership to the local pool and internet access.
Next, we do not have car payments. We haven't since our third year of marriage. Right after we were married we both bought new cars and had nice payments to go along with them =) After we became Christians we started getting out of debt. With God's help we sold our huge car payments and drove junkers for along time until we could buy the vehicles we have now.
Just a few months ago, someone GAVE Daniel a motorcycle. That was an answer to a prayer on Daniels heart for four years! Just a silly little thing he had wanted. One day someone just said, "hey, I don't ever ride this, do you want it?" They did not know at all that he had wanted one for so long! Many times we had thought about maybe justifying financing one but never did. Well, as soon as we got that... we sold his car and went down to just the cycle and van; which saves us on insurance and gas each month. Our van is older and broken in a lot of parts, it uses a ton of oil but keeps on going and getting us where we need to go which is more than a lot of people have. We are blessed.
Ummm, our grocery budget each month is $300. Which, with a family of five and one on the way... it gets kind of tricky but it allows me to get creative and use my mind with meal making =) Having a weekly menu helps a lot. By keeping our budget down, it helps us eat healthy and be more of a blessing to others by spending less.
We don't have a home phone. I have a cell phone with the lowest plan on it and that is what we use. Daniel is blessed with a cell phone through his job. I also just started selling bread at the local farmers market to help cover the cost of wheat we use each month for our family, which God has truly blessed our efforts and our bread sells out each week! I don't understand it.
God always blesses us, through others, with hand me downs for the kids (and even Daniel and I on occasion) and what that doesn't cover for the kids, I ONLY shop at resale shops where I can trade clothes for things they need. Same with books, we love Redeemed Book Store. Which is nice, because I am not a Christian book store fan =)
I had hoped to go all year with just the attic fan. But I broke down last week and turned on the air conditioner. I'm not even going to lie, we are NOT looking forward to that bill.
Lastly, we don't have health insurance through Daniel's work so we just don't buy it. Some may say that is not wise. But God has been very faithful to provide each and every time we have needed something. He is so big, he can handle it. The money we would spend on health insurance in America could save a child from starvation outside of America, the choice is clear.
One great thing I heard someone say once: Help your money say "hallelujah" by blessing others rather than "I'm a fool" by spending un-wisely."
Well, I guess I'll end on that note =) Maybe some more Q&A sometime soon. If I didn't get to you today, I'll do it soon. Hope your are all having a WONDERFUL day and enjoying this glorious day the Lord has made just for you ;-)