Welcome Back To Roots & Arrows Homestead,
This post, Balancing All The Things, is the second part in the Juggling All The Things series. So, if you haven’t read that yet, you can do so here!
This post is going to give you a little glimpse behind the curtain of just how many hats I wear, or balance, on a daily basis. I plan to elaborate on points mentioned in the first post here in this post. Maybe you can relate to some of these aspects of my life. I will also be sharing some of my main “whys” for starting this blog, starting a garden this year, and starting to document everything on YouTube. My strengths and weakness are things that I have been seeking out and working to recognize more and more as the days go by. I believe that being able to identify our strengths and accept help in areas where we aren’t so strong are two of the most important things we can learn over the course of our lives.
So, with that being said, here is the ever-growing list of daily “hats” I wear, or hobbies I love, that I try my best to juggle with success.I am a Christian.
Which means, I take time every morning to sit and read my Bible, pray, journal if I feel led to do so, and I take some time to set my mind on Jesus. On days when I don’t take that time in the morning, it noticeably impacts my attitude throughout the day. I also listen to or at least have worship music playing in the background. I feel that this really helps set the mood, and set my mind, to be intentional throughout our day. We live in an area that we don’t really know many people, and we don’t attend a church on a regular basis. So, I watch the church service from my hometown on YouTube. It’s the church that most of my family back home attends each week. It is nice to watch and be reminded a little bit of being home.I am a wife and a mother to 4 beautiful kiddos.
This means I have to wake up before everyone else if I expect to get any Bible time or reading accomplished. It means spending the majority of my day running after toddlers and changing diapers. While I also trying to guide my older two in any learning their hearts desire. It means making sure everyone is fed, clean(ish), and as content as they can be (not fighting with each other) before I get to sit and eat or have a hot tea. It means sending everyone upstairs for an hour or so in the afternoons so I can get dinner ready. And on, and on.
All of my children are under 5 years old. It’s a love/not so love relationship with that fact at this point, let’s be honest. There are no older kids to watch the younger kids, though the idea of that is lovely. Sometimes, I feel like I put too much pressure on my 4-year-old, expecting him to act like “ a big kid” when in fact, he is still so very little. I love being a mom, I love having my children at home and being with them all day. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. For me, “easy” would be getting the whole day to myself, sending them off to someone else to take care of them or worry about them… but… that just wouldn’t feel right to me. I’m not sure I’d even know what to do with myself. Which leads me to –I am a home-schooling (home educating) Mama.
I want to… no, I am home-schooling my children. My son, age 4, can read/recognize 2, 3, and some 4 letter words, he can count things and add them together, he loves learning about rockets, sea creatures, and farming. These days, he loves gardening with me, being outside, watering the grass (bless his heart), riding his scooter, or kicking a soccer ball around. My daughter, 3, is learning to recognize her ABC’s and 1,2,3’s, she knows most of her colors and shapes, and she loves pointing out different shapes and telling us what they are. She also loves ballet and gymnastics. Both of them knew the “ABC” song since before they could form full sentences, of course they still have some trouble with “L-M-N-O”.
My twins aren’t quite two yet, so I work with them on learning what things are. We’re hoping they will start talking more, we are constantly pulling out the “My First Words” or “My First Things That Go” books. We also play with building blocks, and they are learning to share toys. Me and the older two will help the toddlers practice clean up time. In fact, the twins will now start to clean up right when we begin to sing the clean-up song (usually).
I’m not here to say that I’m doing everything right.
The way we do home school will certainly change over the years, especially as I begin to really understand how each of my children learn. But that’s just it, the way we do it may change, but short of some drastic upheaval, I don’t see the fact that we are a home-schooling family ever changing. I have four kids, yes, but in the grand scheme of things, I’ve only been a mom for 4 years. That’s not very long. I am sure things will change both in how I do things and how I implement things I learn. But for now, and the foreseeable future, I am a home-educating mama.
I also want to jump in right here –
If your spouse isn’t supportive of home-schooling, I am in the same boat. We are trying to figure life out together, but we do not have all the right answers. My husband believes that I should send the older two kids off to pre school/kindergarten. He says doing this will give me a change to spend the day with our twins. Eventually, when all the kids are in school, I would have the entire day just to myself.
While this does sound appealing on some level, I just can’t see myself being okay with that on a long term basis. Before I became pregnant, I never thought home-schooling would be such a conviction of mine. Then the researching began, the binge watching YouTube videos began, and I realized what homeschooling is really about.
I urge you to share your research with your spouse, keep learning, get a few lessons or games geared toward learning and just sit down with your children and do them. Move forward with home education, even if your child does go to pre-school part time. If it is in your heart to home-school, then do it in the hours that your child is at home. Find people who currently home-school, or have home-schooled successfully, and learn from them.
Two people I personally gain home-schooling insight from are Lisa from Farmhouse On Boone, and Angela Braniff who has two YouTube channels, one by her own name and the other is This Gathered Nest, which is also her website name.
You can find the interview they did together, HERE.
My point is, I encourage you not to give up, I know I’m not going to. Which leads me to –
I am a forever learner and creative.
I am a Liberty University student and I’m working towards finishing up my degree in English: Creative Writing. Writing, crafting stories, and sharing knowledge with other people are all things that I find joy in doing. That being said, since my University journey will be ending about this time next year, I decided to officially create my own website (blog).
This website is very much a long-time coming passion project of mine. I have written for other blogs in the past, so I have some experience. But this is the first time I’ve really invested (time & money) into one. Over the past several months, I have taken Master Classes on content creation, SEO analysis, Keyword Research, and Pinterest For Business. The blogging course, Create Your Blog Dream from Lisa Bass at Farmhouse on Boone has also been a major asset through setting up this new blog. Investing that kind of time and energy in making my own blog a reality is something new to me. Trust me,
Those who know…KNOW… there is a ton of work that goes into learning about and building
a blog and YouTube channel.
The way I look at it is this (Thank you, Lisa) – in one year’s time, if I put up two posts (or more) most weeks, then I will have at least 100 blog posts by March 2024. That’s a lot of content for the audience I hope to grow. And that is my goal. In all honesty, the plans or ideas of why I’m getting this blog off the ground now can be simplified in this
Do What I Love.
I want to write and share with y’all about things that are important to me and to the community of homesteaders, homemakers, home-schooling parents, and the rest of the community that I have found myself very much a part of over the past few years. If I can pass on any of what I’ve learned, then we can grow together. Which is what this life is all about. For those who find themselves with an abundance of blessings should work to build a longer table – not a higher wall.
Some people might shy away at this next point, but I feel that it is important to disclose. I do expect for this blog/YouTube channel business to supplement some of the income that my family needs on a monthly basis. I am a stay-at-home mama to 4 children under 5 years old. My dream is to home-school them and to build our homestead together as a family. The only way for me to do that and to make ends meet is to find a way to work from home. This is that way, and your support here makes that possible.
Okay, the third reason or plan for this blog is to create a space that I and others can learn more and do more. Through this blog and the community that comes with having a blog, learning more about blogging is inevitable. Through growing a homestead and being part of that community, learning more about homesteading is inevitable. And, through starting a YouTube channel and being in that community of creators, learning more about YouTube is inevitable. My hope is that through this platform, I’ll be able to learn more and do more with what I’ve learned. I hope to grow food to share with neighbors and teach others how to grow food as well. I hope to help others start their blogs and create a space that they can thrive in. All this would come in the form of “doing” more.My thoughts around growing as a brand include physical books, eBooks, garden or content creation planners, apparel ideas, and of course beautiful large coffee mugs! The main source of inspiration for all of this is Jess from R&R Farm. She is currently opening her own homesteading community center/store/ coffee roasting house/coffee shop/farmers market/music stage/ all the things! I personally think (and know) that she is living an absolute dream come true. Not just for her, but for so many like-minded people who have big dreams but small beginnings. I can’t even fathom the scale at which she is operating right now, it is beyond inspiring. Jess had a big dream several years ago, and she made it happen! Now, she lives on a beautiful farm about 45 minutes from my hometown which is just wild to me.
Chase the dream people, chase the dream.I am an avid reader.
I read a wide variety of different books. Everything from the Sweet Magnolias series to The Case For The Resurrection of Jesus. Then over to Psychology Applied to Teaching or one of my many cookbooks, parenting books, or my newest addition, homesteading/gardening books. I absolutely would rather have a book in my hand than a tablet or a T.V. screen. Of course, I do enjoy the occasional T.V. show (hello Friends, Gilmore Girls, and Grey’s Anatomy). But, I am honestly happiest when I’m reading, especially if I’m learning something new while reading. Which brings me to,
I am a gardener.
I’ve dabbled in trying to grow my own food since 2017 and this is the first year that I’ve really jumped all in and I intend to see it through to the harvest. My main 3 influences in this endeavor have been:One of the main reasons I want to create a garden for my family is to actually see if I can do it! It would also be great to supplement some of the things I would normally purchase at the grocery store. Things like bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, and carrots. I also have a couple of herbs that I keep on the windowsill near my desk. My oldest son, 4, loves to help me put soil in the cups and plant seeds. He is currently shocked that those seeds have turned into plants. I love the awe and wonder that fills his eyes when he looks into our greenhouse, and I look forward to many more magical moments as we continue learning and growing together. Honestly, the earliest memories I have of anything garden related are from my grandfather. I remember him always “going out to the garden” but I never really went and spent much time there myself. I wish I had. When I was 20 years old or so, a friend of mine and I spent several hot spring days tilling up their backyard getting it ready for all the wonderful plants. My best-friend since childhood has always dabbled with gardening, and now, she even has chickens right outside her door! A little closer to home, over the past 5 or 6 years, my dad has successfully grown a garden back at my childhood home. I wish I lived closer to home and could spend more time learning from him.
All this to say, gardening has been in my life, in some capacity, for most of my life. Though I never took it upon myself to really pursue it until recently. I dabbled several years ago when my 4-year-old was just a baby, but a lot has changed since then. Now, we are in a completely different season of life, but I hope the garden will bring some peace, excitement, and order to our days.
I am a home chef – I love making food from scratch.Another reason I have decided to pursue this journey of gardening is because of how much I love to cook. The idea of going out to my garden and grabbing some peppers, onions, and tomatoes, then bringing them inside to make some salsa is a dream. Or going out there and grabbing a head of broccoli, some green beans, and some carrots to roast up and serve alongside some chicken for dinner, yes please.
Being in the kitchen is a calm, creative, and challenging place for me. Which is why a major section on my blog is the Kitchen Table, which will house all the recipes that I know and love to make. I am excited about this section of the blog!
I am – so many things.
Why should I have to give up any of it if I don’t feel overwhelmed? I don’t feel that my plate is too full or that I’m losing my mind day after day. Sure – there are moments, heck there are days! But giving up any of these things altogether would be like giving up a part of what makes me, ME.
If you’re still with me, then thank you for sticking around. I would love to know, what are some things that make you, YOU? Do you love to cook, garden, or are you more the hunting and fishing type?
Let me know!
As always, thank you all for being here.