Monday, December 29, 2014

What Homeschool Has Taught Me.

I was that C average kid. The one who always dreaded taking the report card home; hated watching everyone always getting those stupid honor student bumper stickers knowing, once again, it would not be placed on my desk. My older brother always had straight A's and took trig and calculus to try and get a challenge in school. My younger brother was diagnosed with dyslexia and with a learning plan set up for him started to achieve B's and A's.

I did well in elementary... where they did everything on the board with you, but as I moved on to middle school I started to falter. As my 10th grade year came around I was beyond discouraged. I felt I was stupid. I didn't want to go back to school. I begged my parents to homeschool and they consented. For the first time I excelled. I felt smart. There was no competition, no students to roll their eyes that I struggled on yet another stupid algebra problem, no bumper stickers. (Although I've found some great bumper stickers!)

In fact, my year at home was the best year of my schooling life. My mother worked at the local Salvation Army and I went with her almost every day. I would help there and within no time I could run the front desk/phones/computers, give tours, pack food boxes, handle loads of clothing donations, and help organize holiday givings. All while accomplishing a day or more of school work.... AND I actually understood my work!! In fact, homeschool worked so well, I was able to work a head and skip 11th grade and found a private school that placed me in 12th, allowing me to graduate a year early.

Fast forward a lot of years... yeah we don't need to count.... and now I have a son of my own. I didn't take me long to decided homeschool was his option. And boy am I grateful for that option! I have learned so much about myself through schooling him. The biggest thing being I'm not stupid or slow at learning, I just learn in a way that is not typical to the public school ways.
The joy of knowing he has a fair chance in life.
I need to see the problem done while the one teaching talks through the details. A mix of audible and visual. My son is the same way. The more focused I have been this year, the more I have seen this. Am I grateful that all those years ago my parents took the time to homeschool me! If it wouldn't have been for their sacrifice, my son would not have the privileged he has today. Knowing the struggles that I faced in school, I know my son would have fallen to the same fate. But, seeing how we both learn, I am able to work with him to insure the best chance for him academically. And in doing so, I have been able to lay rest all the doubts in myself. I see it as freedom for the both of us. And it feels good knowing my little love can and will be able to excel!

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My Opinion on Racism and Entitlement.

At some point in time we all need to learn to let the past be the past. We need to learn to not let someone elses' hurts reflect our hurts. The color of our skin, the religion we choose, the indiscretions against us... these things should not dictate how we treat another. If we desire respect, we should show respect.

Growing up, my family was particularly close to two families... one was black and the other Hispanic. I am grateful that I had that growing up. For me, I don't see the color of ones skin. I see the person. I see the qualities and attitude a person present.

I am very much so blessed with some of the most amazing people in my life at this time. There are these amazing siblings. We play worship together in the best little barn band the world has ever seen and can also manage the most intense, competitive game of uno! They are some of the best single friends I have!!!
This pic makes me smile every time!
Like wise, this beautiful duo is also dear to me. They are my girl friends and my mom friends. We can let the kids run and play while we talk about life, God, parenting.

We are a very serious bunch!
I don't know what I would do with out them. ALL of them. Even the ones that I don't mention on here. Each person in my life is valuable to me. I don't tote around the fact that I have friends that are black, white and hispanic. It just so happens to be a fact. No, I hold pride in the fact I have been greatly blessed. I have people in my life that I can laugh with, cry with, pray with, not be completely embarrassed by blonde moments with, and be serious with.

To sit back and see the blessing my life has been by the people around me and to know the love I have for those I encounter in life, it greatly hurts me when I hear the news and read fb posts some people make- racial riots, being white is simply bad, all cops are evil, the government wants to destroy America, to be proud of the country you were born in is racist, the list goes on and on. It is all hate. Yes, there is an element of truth. Any stereotype has an element of truth, but it doesn't mean it is true for everyone. Yes, some cops abuse the power, BUT not all cops are evil.

Racism probably grieves me the most. Any one who calls themselves a christian, yet holds any level of racism... yeah. Colossians 3:11 In the new life there is no difference between Greeks and Jews, those who are circumcised and those who are not circumcised, or people who are foreigners, or Scythians. There is no difference between slaves and free people. But Christ is in all believers, and Christ is all that is important. This has become up there in my favorite verses. I wish we could see each other as equal. Give each other an equal chance in life. 

Entitlement. This one gets me too. I remember how hard my parents worked to make ends meet when I was young. We are not due anything on this earth. So many people hold a level of entitlement because we are taught if you want it then just get it. I am a single mom with a part time job. I could get food stamps and help with living expenses. I don't have any of that. This path of life was my choice and I believe I need to work hard to make ends meet for my son and myself. I have sold stuff online to make ends meet. I have taken a job that has me up and out the door before 5 in the morning so that I may be home a few hours later, before my son awakes (I live with my parents, he is never left home alone). Yes, I know some people have to get government help, BUT some use it as a crutch instead of trying to make it in life, instead of bettering themselves and their children. How many young people have crazy amounts of debt, yet run out to get the newest phone or gaming system? I have first generation American friends and I see the respect they have for their families, how hard they work in school/work. I greatly respect them for it and hope to instill similar values into my son. That he would know things are not free, they require work and perseverance and respect for others. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 is pretty straight forward- When we were with you, we gave you this rule: “Anyone who refuses to work should not eat.”

Earlier today I read this article about New York's Representative wanting to mix slave "reparations" into all the rioting chaos. I agree slavery wasn't the best time in American history, BUT let's get the facts correct. Blacks and whites both owned slaves.... black and white slaves/indentured servants. Why, the first slave owner was a black man named Anthony Johnson. By 1830 there were almost 4,000 black slave owners. Slavery was not a white on black racist issue. It was white on white, white on black, black on white, black on black. But our history books do not teach this. Slavery is not new to world via America. It goes back through the generations, through the centuries. 

All that said my opinion on Mister Anthony Johnson is this... his life is one to be used as a teaching tool. He came as an indentured servant, worked his years and became a free man. He didn't wait for things to just happen for him. He worked for it. He then went on to grow tobacco and have his own indentured servants. But, this is where he went wrong.... and history doesn't tell this side of the story... when one John Caser finished his time as an indentured servant for Anthony Johnson, Mr. Johnson would not let him go on his merry way. Through a series of events they ended up in front of the court where Caser was not consider a free man, but a slave permanently owned by Mr. Johnson. And so you have the first legal slave owner of a black slave is none other than Anthony Johnson.... a fellow black man. 

Don't believe me? Do a quick search on first black slave owner or look up Anthony Johnson. I believe it is important to know facts before we get all up in arms. But as I said before, it is important to give respect if you want respect in return. It is important to view each other as Americans... One people, one group, one nation. 

This blog is linked to:
Wise Woman Linkup 
Modest Monday Linkup 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Will Not Compromise.

How often do we accept standards that are lower than is desirable? I think for some of us, too often. I mentioned some of my struggles previously. But it is funny how some can make you question yourself for a moment.

I love me, the me I've become. It has taken a lot of years, heartbreak and being beaten down to realize who I am. To embrace who I am. To treasure who I am. It is not something I can easily give up, nor should I. But, it doesn't mean that I am always with out fault.

All too often, others like to say that I am out spoken, free spirited, independent. Yes, I am. It is part of what makes me me. But so many can't seem to see me as an individual. I never fit in with one crowd, I was always floating around, having friends in multiple crowds. Making friends has always been easy. Trying something new is enjoyable. I can do the same thing every day, or I can be spontaneous.

The other week I had a moment of disappointment with myself. After having yet another guy... who I wasn't even interested in... remind me that for a woman I am too outspoken, I became frustrated. Is a woman one who is to only be seen, but never heard? Can a woman not follow politics and form opinions for herself? Later, I got a joking text from a friend and I snapped with a really sassy comment. Oh, to take my words back. I did follow up with an apologize as soon as time aloud, but it doesn't erase the disappointment with myself... that out spoken side of me.

Oh to be stronger, that our tail feathers wouldn't be as easily ruffled. Reality has been kind enough to remind me that I am not as strong as I wish I was. Moments of weakness will happen. I just hope to improve my response to them. Yet, in the same breathe, I will not compromise who I am... have become... to appease those who can only see the average Joe and not embrace individuality. In the mean time, I will continue to work on softening the hard edges.

This post has been shared at:
Modest Monday

Lola and Her Boys.

Life has been wrapped up in a whirlwind lately. And mixed up in all that, I am excited to say, Lola had two little boys! Siren and Dapper. Everyone was out for the day and when we returned there were two little ones running around the pen... quite the unexpected surprise.

Day old kids.
Two days later we got to watch Joshephina give birth to her son and daughter. Yay for homeschool and the learning experiences Z get's to embrace. Z actually watched the delivery of both babies and though it was amazing.
A clean and conservative delivery pic!

When the boys were almost a week old we brought them home. Lola seems content being out and about with her busy duo. As for the boys they are super cute and great fun to watch. Dapper prefers to stay close to his mommy... and has the belly to prove it! While Siren runs and jumps off of everything.

Z has picked Siren as his very own. I've shown him videos on cart pulling, pack goats and training them to do tricks. He is very excited now to do something special with Siren, we just aren't sure what it will be yet.
Yep, this pretty much sums up Lola's personality.
The great explorers.

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Homestead Barn Hop

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Can I Be A Plain Jane Today?

Don't get me wrong, I love my life. All the ups and downs... they make me who I am. But there are some days that I wish I could fade into the background, be like all the other gals out there.

I am a total people person. Like, I hate being alone for extended periods of time. The silence eats at me and then I tend to get lost in my thoughts. And those thoughts don't always take me down paths lined with wild flowers.

This week my parents happen to be away and my son has been spending time with his father and other grandmother. I have had a lot of quite time. Thinking time. It has left me pondering my life, the heartache I have known, the place I'm at, the loneliness I feel. I stand firm on the opinion that I would rather be alone then back in the relationship I was in or in another wrong one. But, that doesn't take away the longing for companionship, to share my tomorrows with someone, to have someone to hug when life is difficult.

Some of my friends call me Awesome Abigail. I know I have one of those personalities. You either love it or hate it... most love it. I can make friends with almost anyone and at some of the most random times. I love to enjoy life, joke around and find all the happiness in common things. But that doesn't always equate to a relationship well. If only being voted Miss Congeniality counted for something!

It can't be that bad you may say. I've had my heart tugged by a few men in my life. The first was when I was only 16. He was 19. It was all innocent. Then I meet his parents and sadly money talked. They told him I wasn't pastors wife material. Funny thing, I became a youth pastor before he finished college and have since moved on to help run a ministry. So they were right, I wasn't pastors wife material, I'm more of a hands on/get involved kinda gal. As of more resent in my life I've heard that I'm independent, free spirited, strong willed, and that if only we were back in college I would be date-able without hesitation.

Some days I wish I was just a stereotypical average gal. One with a simple personality, simple dreams. A Plain Jane. But that is not me. So while I have my moment back on memory lane, I know that I wouldn't change who I am. I will always be grateful for the friends I have, experiences I've lived, and dreams to see come true. I will one day be able to hold the hand of an amazing guy who can handle Awesome Abigail.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Insecure Me?

We, as women, tend to take on insecurities far too easily. Even when we try to be strong and sure of ourselves, insecurities find a way to creep in from time to time. Checking our hearts and thoughts seems to be an endless task at times.

Also as women, we tend to add our opinions and thoughts far too often. We mean well. We only want to help and encourage, but sometimes our attempts to encourage come crashing down... hard.

I'll be the first one to say I'm very secure in who I am, but throw my son in the picture and instantly I question myself. Am I giving him the best of me? the best chance at life? Is he ready for 3rd grade? Am I doing enough as mom and dad? How can I do better? What if he gets older and leaves me to live with his father? How can I always keep him safe (like that is even close to possible!)? When do I push him harder to try? When do I run to his side and tell him he's tried hard enough? What else should I be doing to prepare him? The thoughts of how he could benefit if he had a sibling, but thankful he's my one and only at this time in life.

Come on moms, ya know you've been there, done that. Maybe not the same things as I have written, but we all question ourselves. We love our little ones so much we want the best for them. We want them to have the world and our hearts and just everything! 

I had a conversation with another mom today. It was meant to be light hearted, non invasive. She was questioning my sons athleticism, why he's so close/attached to me and the sort. She doesn't know me, it's the first time we've ever talked. She doesn't know I'm a single mom, she doesn't know my struggles. Nothing. But in about 2 minutes time she pretty much hit all my insecurities as a single mom on the head, told me what I was doing wrong and then walked away.

I wanted to cry. I felt anything but strong. I felt alone.

It's played in my thoughts all day... why do we do that to ourselves?!?! I'm not angry, I don't despise her. I'm doing the best I know how to. My son is healthy, well cared for, loved immensely, and happy. I know one day God will bless me with a man who will love my son as much as me and that that man will help fill in where I lack... like in the athletic department!

No, I'm not perfect. No, I don't have all the answers. No, I can't do it all. Yes, I have insecurities and I work on them daily. Yes, I am open to help and directions and encouragement. I'm simply a human. I will mess up. But I am trying and I wont stop. Just please weigh your words before you tell another mom everything she's doing wrong as a mom. Us moms tend to take our babies pretty seriously.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Goats Have Arrived.

After a few years of going back and forth on goats, we have brought them home!  We picked up three pregnant does. They have each had 2-3 in their past kiddings, so we are not sure exactly what we will be in for.

But that said, Josie, Petunia, and Lola are doing well. We are all looking forward to fresh milk and babies.

It feels good to expand our knowledge and abilities.

Z checking out the girls.

Rememberig What You Came From.

Sunday was an amazing day. I haven't gone to a Sunday morning service in a few months. I have been meeting with other groups through out the week and a few times a month with other groups, but I have found the traditionalized Sunday gathering tends to be too stiff and agenda laden for me. That stated, I went to a church Sunday. The women's teen challenge group was there to share. What surprised me was that most of the girls were early 20's. So young.

But, as I listened to them tell their stories, I couldn't help but think back over my own last few years. If I've made it they could make it as well. I have pushed through, not given up and kept believing. And ya know what, there is a God who has so much love for us that He wont let us down.

To think that it has only been five years ago that I thought I would like to do a small homestead. Ya know, a few chickens and maybe a goat, a horse and a garden. It has bloomed into two dozen chickens, a pregnant goat (yes we got her!), a beautiful garden and the hope of soon acquiring land and a few head of cows and horses and a much larger garden. To have gained so much understanding of my health and what I need to be healthy. To desire to grow/raise as much as possible.

To think that it has only been two and half years since I stepped away from abuse to try and venture off into a new life for my son and myself. To see and feel what freedom is. To come into a place of knowing God's perfect love, mercy, grace, hope. Hope.... to simply hold hope in my tomorrow again.

I am grateful for the life I have, the life I've lived, the memories I hold. Yes, there are things in my past that doesn't exactly pull a smile to my lips, but it's my story. It is important to not be afraid of your story, to not forget your story. It made you into the amazing person you have become or are becoming. Don't get stuck in the pages of the beginning of the story though, for if you do the ending will never come. Every day I get to turn a new page and see what it holds and I can't wait. Yes, some pages do bring forth a tale of tears and others carry laughter from word to word. But it's my story! It brings me joy when I can share it with someone.

I'm so grateful that my story happened to cross the path of backyard farm life! While many friends don't completely understand my love for chickens, question why I'm ok chasing after goats, how I can cry over a raccoon attack on the coop, and the such.... I love it! I find my birds to bring me peace on a stressful day, digging my hands in the dirt tends to be refreshing, to know God has given me a piece of earth to chase after the dream of being healthy and ability to grow/raise what I have. I mean, just look at the picture below. Went to a friends house to cook out over a fire.... while the turkeys tried to steal food off the table.

I encourage you to take time today to remember what you have come from, what has taken you on the trail that you are on today. Cherish it all, the good the bad and the ugly. Don't get caught up in the pages that have passed, look forward to the ending and enjoy the pages in between. Always strive for something better, but never forget nor give up.

This post has been shared at:
Homestead Barn Hop
The Backyard Farming Connection
Wise Woman Linkup
The Modest Mom Blog
Homeacre Hop

Thursday, September 4, 2014

To Be Vulnerable.

There are so many things in life we try to turn our glance from. We try to be strong and tough and make things work. We don't want to show weakness. The American culture is a strong push for being tough. Is it how we are suppose to be? Is it even healthy?

What if we were to become vulnerable as a person. Yes, there are times to be strong, to be bold, to be tough.... but have we pushed it too far? Men can not cry, mother's have to be perfect, children can not know any hurt. If the man doesn't provide for the family he is a failure, if (for the stay at home or working mom) the house isn't clean she is lazy. Really?

What if men started showing their emotions more. What if we don't have every single toy in place? What if the husband loves to raise his children and the mother loves her job? What if.... god forbid... we teach our children how to lose and that it is ok to fail?

Wanting to date again has made me very much so aware of how hard, or "strong", I've had to become. Being a single parent makes you step into roles you wouldn't normally hold. I've had to step back and evaluate myself. Having been in an emotionally abusive situation has made me really good at trying to stay ahead of the curve. To try and see how things are going to happen, when they will happen, ect. When it comes to a new relationship, I can't do that. It is new territory for me.

I had spent a few years as a youth pastor. I loved the job. For me it wasn't a job, it was a dream come true. It was amazing to watch the kids learn, grow, trust, hope. But I learned that when you hold a place of leadership you are expected to be perfect. It is so wrong and not practical. We all have moments of heart ache. We all have struggles. Perfection only happens in a fantasy... and I don't want to live in a fantasy!! Why do we put such unrealistic expectations on someone that we ourselves will never reach? 

What if we took time to return to being a people who genuinely care about people? When we ask "how are you", what would it look like if we are genuinely expecting a reply other then ok? I've seen people take a second glance at me when I wait to hear their reply and respond accordingly afterwards. I've seen a person demeanor do a 180 in the produce isle simply because I helped them or made a small comment. People don't want to always be strong. Sometimes, even though you are a stranger, people just want to know they are not the only one with struggles going on. If we could get back to being a genuine, in touch with reality type of people..... what could our lives turn out to look like? To be or not to be... vulnerable.

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Modest Monday

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Goats On The Horizon.

I have been pondering a daily task for my son. Something that would give him responsibility and pride in what he is doing. He has stepped up with help in regards to the dogs and chickens, but at the same time they are not specifically his.

Skip over to my mom. She has been talking of goats for a few months now. She would like to have one for milk... not that we really drink milk. She, also, wants to try her hand at goat milk soap.

Knowing our limitations of milk drinking and the lack of need for milk daily, Alpines and Nubians are out. My mom has spent some time wandering around the internet and came across a couple Pygmy does that are breed to a Nigerian Dwarf. Small, milkable, good milk properties.

So, after about 4 years of reading, it looks like I will be bringing home goats. I go Tuesday to check them out and see if I like them. I feel comfortable with the knowledge I have, but when you put the reality of brain knowledge verses first hand experience... I may be a little nervous. Yet, I am very excited. Having managed with the chickens, garden and compost, I think goats will be a nice next step on our little plot of land.

Any advice or opinions for first time goat ownership?

This post has been shared at:
Homestead Barn Hop
The Backyard Farming Connection Hop-96
The Homeacre Hop

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Be Still, Oh My Heart.

I’ll be the first to admit that the single life is not always an easy life. Living with my parents is not always easy. Being a mom is not always easy. Life is not always easy.

On the flip, I couldn’t imagine not having my amazing son in my life. I could not imagine making it with out the help of my parents. And being single, again, has taught me to trust God in a different way.

 Anybody, who is a parent, knows that your child captures a place in your heart that brings knowledge and understanding to the sayings of he stole my heart, would swim the ocean for you, would take a bullet for you, and so on. My little love kept me strong and focused in a time when I felt my health and life failing. I wouldn’t trade him for cattle on a thousand hills…. besides my Daddy owns those cattle and hills!

 I adore my parents. I have a great relationship with both of my parents. And, I hate to admit it, but I need the affordable rent my parents have asked of me. But, all that doesn’t mean life is easy as an adult living under your parents’ roof. There are days when we have different opinions. We butt heads from time to time. In the end, I love them, I’m grateful for them, I need them and I want them in my life.

 Being single has shown me the good and the bad sides of things. I have learned that I can do it. I can stretch $400 like it is nobodies business! I can manage a child and life on my own. I can be strong, independent, happy and content. It also means that I do have to tackle things on my own. There are days that I wish someone could just hug me, hold me. Not in a sensual way, but simply in a supportive way. There are days that are so hard and you want to just cry or scream or whatever to let some stress and frustration out. It is those days that I wish I had someone to talk to, someone to tell me I’m doing a good job.

There is good and bad in every situation of life. And while there are days you couldn’t feel more alone, you are never alone. I have seen God show up in unique ways, loud ways, quiet ways, funny ways, and simple ways. There are days where I don’t want to settle for the unknown and unseen. But there are also days when I have peace that only He can give.
Let your heart take flight.
This post is linked to:
Growing In Grace
Wise Woman Linkup
Modest Mom Blog

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Am I a Good Enough Mom?

What mother doesn't think about the future of her child/children? We all what them to grow up and be perfect. To never hurt, to never fail in a way that would crush them. We want to protect them, see them smile and laugh. To know love and support. We want the best for them.

At the same time, we want them to lose so they can learn good sportsmanship, mess up so they know how to push themselves to succeed, fail so they know the feeling of gratification of finally doing it. All the while we are there to encourage them and dry their tears of hurt and frustration.

I'm not exempt from all this. I am a mom just like any other. I want my son to be a healthy contribution to society when he is grown. I want him to know how to not give up, how to have a back bone, how to encourage others... the list can go on. But like almost any other mom, I question if I am doing a good enough job. Is there something I should be doing better?

As a single mom, you tend to put a little extra weight on your shoulders. There is already the weight of the world on your small shoulders to hold up on your own, yet we do it. We add more. It is too easy to set a standard and push ourselves harder to meet what the rest of the world is doing. To make sure our kids are as good or better then the kids next door.... who have an active mother and father in their lives. We don't want to be just another statistic. We don't want our children to mess up and have to hear someone say "Well he is form a divorced family". So we push ourselves, we fill the role as mother, father, teacher, supporter, provider, boo boo kisser, tear wiper, bed time reader, meal server.... the list goes on.

It isn't that I want my son to be perfect. I tell him every day I don't expect him to be perfect. I do expect him to mess up. It's just important that we work together to see how we can try to do better next time. I make sure he knows we are in this together, I'm not throwing him out there on his own, but it takes the both of us working as a team.

All that said, my biggest fear in life is my son. My little love. The man in my life right now. I want so much for him, but I know I can't give it all to him. I am only one person. What if something happens to him? What if, when he is a teenager, he decides to leave me and live with his father? I know the discipline and standards are different when he is with his father, will everything I try and instill in him be wasted if he were to leave me? What if I meet a man and his family can't receive my son? The circles our thoughts can go in!

I have to remind myself from time to time to stop. I am not in control, nor can I control it all. I have to give it over to God and toss my hands in the air and once again remind myself He's got it. The funny thing is that I will try and do it all again in a few months time. I guess it's a mix of our human nature and motherly instincts. It's not easy to hand it over to God, but it sure is a lot less stress to be able to do so... and I surely don't need that one more stress in my life.

While I was going over things and getting this blog updated, I came across this entry. See what I mean? Human nature. Motherly instinct. So, next time you see that single parent pushing themselves hard, please take the time to encourage them. They are just caught up in all the titles they have to hold and sometimes forget how to take a deep breath.

This post shared at:
Growing in Grace Thursday 
Wise Woman Linkup
The Modest Mom Blog

Monday, August 18, 2014

You Want Me to Do a Spartan Race? Now That's Motivating!

I have been blessed by some amazing friends. There are three siblings I spend some point of the weekend with, almost every weekend. It has been so refreshing to have friends I can goof off with and yet be serious and have some amazing conversations with.

Well a couple weekends ago we met for some volleyball at the park and bumped into another group of young adults hanging out. We started talking and they brought up a Spartan sprint they had done earlier in the summer. At which point the guys got excited and insisted they needed to do this too! Hmm, no, not me. Reality has shown its face already and I know I am no longer a teenager. Even when I was a teen I don't know that I could run 5 miles throwing myself over and under obstacles and lugging around heavy objects. While I have always been some what athletic, I've never been the strongest and I don't have the best endurance.

Enter this guy-
I know, bad pic... but he doesn't like to smile for the camera!
Shall we call him The Hammer? Perhaps Dream Crusher? Let's stick with Hammer, doesn't sound as..... well dream killing for a dreamer like myself. Anyways, The Hammer insists that he is going to do this and, drum roll please, I am doing it with him.... even if he has to drag me. Oh my friend, perhaps not dragging, but more like carrying! Let me just add in here that he has played ice hockey and lacrosse straight through school and college. And still plays hockey as an adult. In other words, he is still in good shape. He hasn't let the craziness of adult life distract him for keeping a level of fitness.

Whether or not this race actually happens, it is a good level of motivation for me. I'm the kind person who needs a purpose, something I'm working towards. I don't have a gym membership, so I need something that will push me from my own living room. And today I did it. I got one of those dvds out. Not the easy aerobics with a girl sporting amazing hair from the 80's, but one that is actually going to push me harder. It says I'll have an amazing beach body in 6 weeks time. Well, I doubt that and I'm not going for that either, but I figured it was a good place to get started.... 45 minutes later and I was proved right. It was a great place to get started.

Any other moms out there wish they had someone to push and motivate them? How about the realization of just how much we let our health go? Start easy, we don't have to conquer the world tomorrow. And look for something simple that can get you going. Even if I don't do the run come next spring, for now it is a small thing that can get me moving and pushing myself again. If needed, find someone like The Hammer to drag you through some ridiculous race! We can do this... if not for our children or our future, then for ourselves!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Truth About This Single Mom.

Having stepped back out onto the dating scene, I have learned some harsh untruths that are thrown at single moms. Granted there is always an element of truth behind every stereotype, but trust me, some of them are ssssoooo far from truth. Some of them are down right hurtful. Others only make the stubborn ones among us all the more stubborn.

As a single mom, you should just date whomever is willing to show interest. Umm, no. This heart is a valuable thing. Would you give the keys to your car to the first random person who asked to borrow it? No, you wouldn't. You wouldn't even consider giving your keys to some of your family members! That said, many of us have learned what it is to be hurt. We have learned some very valuable lessons and one of them is just how valuable our hearts are. We are ok waiting a few years to meet a guy who will treasure us, value us and be willing to be a team player.

Single moms are easy. FAR from truth! At least for this one. I understand the value of sex within marriage. Yes, I've been intimate with a man before, I have a son. But he was the only man, EVER. This statement may be true for some moms, but this statement can also be true for single men or women around us, sadly. I learned you have to give your heart and your emotions time to heal. Don't jump out of one relationship and hurry into another. You will be more likely to make another bad decision, add another hurt to the list. Therefore, if you are like this gal, you have let the hurts go and are ready to step forward into a healthy relationship with a healthy heart and healthy standards.

That girl comes with baggage. My little love is not baggage. He is the most amazing little man in the whole world. He is devoted to me, watches out for me, makes me laugh, makes me cry and gives me hugs when I'm having a hard day. He has taught me what true love is, what sacrifice is, what it means to be willing to give your life for another. One day, when you have your own pint sized blessing, you will understand just how awesome children are. You will know they are not a piece of unwanted baggage, but the most valuable thing that will enter your life.

Your are obviously not committed to the long term relationships. Once again, far from the truth. I spent a number of years doing everything I could think of to save a marriage that was not healthy. Sometimes we are left going- make this work and just deal with the mental/emotional/physical abuse or get out and give our child and ourselves a healthy, second chance at life. For me, my sons and my  health won out. But, I'm devoted. I want to be able to give my heart and the rest of my tomorrows to the man who God puts into my future.

There are many other things I'm sure other single parents have heard, these just happen to be the most common ones I've heard. We all have a story. Take the time to get to know us before you judge us and label us. The realty is that we have all made mistakes in our lives. We have all done something we wish we could change and take back. But at the end of the day, we still did it. It was our past. It makes up our story. We have learned from it, we have grown, we have changed. Yes, as a single mom, I am a bit more independent, I am a bit stronger, I am a bit more stubborn. I've had to be. I've had to make it and survive in a harsh world with not just myself, but also with the most important little man in my life right now.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

There is One in Every Flock..... Or Two!

My original flock is now pushing the end of their third summer. Last years chickens, sadly, were lost to a coon. So this year we went all out. Forget that little addition of a dozen chicks, we got 26! Of course we went with a straight run for the unexpected pleasure of what we would get and knowing the extra boys would be freezer worthy. We, also, went with a mix of breeds. I got more black australorps, since I love the breed, but we decided to get some barred rocks and americanas.

I love looking up and seeing a mix of colors.

 All together we have 23 chickens- two roos and 21 busy girls. My older girls are still laying almost an egg a day. My younger girls are just starting to lay in the last two weeks. It's pretty exciting to be getting so many eggs every day. We did keep a roo from the babies. He is an australorp, but he has some copper feathering, catching him the name Copper. Copper was all black and then suddenly he got a few copper feathers. A few weeks later he got a few more feathers. I noticed more copper feathers coming in on his wings just today. Any idea why this is happening?

Copper in all his beauty.
The feathers get firey looking in the sun.

 So, back to the title. Every flock has that one bird. That special one. I happened to get two of them this time. I don't name my girls. I simply walk outside and say "Hey mamas" or "chick-a-roos" and they come running to greet me. But those two special ones, yep, they got names. Why you may ask.... so I know where to go searching!

 First is Betty. She's the real trouble maker. She will get out a half dozen times a day. Like out over the five foot tall fence. When Betty gets out, she doesn't hang around either. She takes off for a nice stroll in the woods. Betty recently got her wings clipped. I couldn't bear the thought of a stray cat getting her. She now gives me the evil eye.

Betty wouldn't pose for me.

 My other special one would be dear Dorthy. Dorthy is special in many ways. For starters we don't know what she is. She came as an americanna.... umm, no. Can this girl fly! Like clear the 40' run with out any issue and go right up and over the fence. I do have to say she is good about staying right by the fence when she is out, unlike Betty!
Dorthy after just getting put back into the run. Giving the stink eye!

Oh my chickens, how I adore them! They give such enjoyment and entertainment and the best eggs ever! Expect to see an entry on clipping chicken wings... Dorthy you are next!

This post has been shared at:
The HomeAcre Hop
Homestead Barn Hop
The Backyard Farming Connection Hop

His Joy in Eggs.

I find great joy when Z wants to help with things around the property. I mean it is nice when he is made to do things, but when my little 6 year old helper volunteers to help with things, it warms my heart.

His new big helper thing is the chickens. For the longest time he would not go near the chickens because Big Boy would charge the fence at him. But, I guess, he is now big enough and doesn't allow the chickens to intimidate him anymore. He now opens up their doors in he morning and helps to collect the eggs. I will keep working towards coop cleaning.... but he still has an issue with cleaning up someone else poop. Little does he remember my years to poop cleaning!

I wanted to reward him for all his help and I wanted it to be in a fun way. So I added some Americanas to my flock this year. I don't know who was more excited when the first blueish egg arrived. I knew it was coming and it would be soon, yet I was still way more excited then I should have been, haha! But, my Z was stunned. He first questioned if the chicken was ok and then proudly announced he wanted the first blue egg for breakfast.

The glorious three day bounty!

This post is linked to:
The Homeacre Hop

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Who is that Chick?!

My life has been all over the board in the last two years. I've wanted to blog, but I just couldn't pull myself to focus on it. There was so much that needed my attention and I just needed time to find out who I was, where I was going and if there was any way to get there. Do I have all those answers yet? No! But my head is clear, I know who I am now.

This was me in June 2012--
Yeah.... packing extra pounds, insecure, hating who I was. I felt stuck in a situation and it wasn't good.

Fast forward to May and August, respectfully, of 2014--

Wooha! Who is that chick? I had to use two pics, I couldn't pick which I liked more. Surely that isn't the same gal? It is!! I'm gorgeous, I'm full of life, I've lost weight... and not at the gym... and I love me! I LOVE ME!

What made the transformation you ask? Well if you read any of my past posts you would know things were kinda all over during the last two years... if they even made it on here. I survived a divorce, I got my mind, emotions and health back in line. I spent time focusing on my son and myself. I've fought some hard battles but I've come out on top. I choose to not stop living, I chose to not give up.

I'm ready to blog again. Yes, I plan to keep on blogging about being healthy and living off of what you can bring forth on your own land, but I also want to talk about the ups and downs of being a single mom, insecurities of dating again. I want to talk about life. I've learned over the course of these last two years that there are sssssoooooooo many women, both married and single, that don't love themselves. I'm not talking being self centered, I'm talking looking in the mirror and despising what they see looking back at them. There are single moms who question if they are giving their child the best that they can, is it good enough, will they be a mature and responsible contribution to society. How about the crazy thoughts of dating again?! I have had a number of married women tell me they are so grateful they don't have to do that process again.

My life has been an interesting ride on many roads... crazy city roads at times! But, I've made it. I've found a nice country road with scenic views. It's beautiful here. Not perfect! I've driven through a few storms, over some potholes and have had to stop for the occasional deer who wants to hold me up, but I've made it. So, please join me. Let's encourage each other, support each other, help each other on this journey. And while we are at it, we can chase chickens, milk goats/cows, harvest an abundance of food and get a good work out. Will you join me? Will you be there during the ups and downs and laughs and tears?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Year.

Life keeps changing and moving fast. New people enter your life as old ones exit. I look forward to this year and all it may have in store for me. Perhaps this will be the year we get to move and start our country life.

So many people have been talking about their new years resolutions. I, personally, don't enjoy making resolutions. Most times they are above what is practical or capable. This year I have set goals for myself though. I would like to start dancing again. To gain my balance, to be able to do so gracefully. To daily read the bible with my son. To have lights out no later then 10:30, but to aim for 10. All practical and yet little things that will make daily life healthier.

Happy New Year!