In August 2005 before this little chubby baby entered our arms he already had a closet full of camouflage clothes and was already guaranteed to be a hunter.....after all it is a family heritage!!
Since his first day of deer season in 2005 when he was 3 months old....hunting has been a BIG part of his life. B started taking T when he was about 18 months or 2 years old out into the woods with coloring books, candy etc. to keep his attention while he sat in the deer stand with daddy. The same way over 30 years ago he was taught to hunt. Patiently waiting for the Big Buck to come along for the harvest!
~2 years old~
Even though they could not possible hold a rifle or shoot the gun....they were taught the sport. Just as you would teach your child to obey and be respectful....so you should teach them to be able to be independent and self sufficient. We have reached the time in our lives when our boys are growing and learning things as they always have....but the trust factor and independence is becoming more real!!
B has been hunting with his father and grandfather....his whole life! Two men who have taken him into the woods and taught him gun safety, taught him about dangers in the woods and any survival things that could help him as he hunted and learned the sport of hunting. They hunt most animals that live in the wood here in South Arkansas- deer, raccoons, squirrels, hogs, turkeys, even on a occasion snakes! yikes!
T won his first ever gun at the local NRA banquet. When he was 4 he picked it up with his daddy at our local gun shop. You can tell by the picture below he already knew how to hold it properly, yet was not hardly able to hold the gun with his little four year old arms!
We are so super proud of T and his accomplishment this year. He went for 3 weeks hunting week after week saw a few deer but waited for the right moment and right deer to come along that way he knew he could harvest the right deer. He told me "Mama I keep praying to kill a deer. Is God listening?" I told him as I stroked his sweet small seven year old head. "T God hears every prayer we pray- but only God knows the day and time you will harvest your first deer, why don't you pray- 'God please help me enjoy hunting even if I don't kill a deer and show me God how and when the right time will be by teaching me to be patient and still and wait on your time God'" He then prayed a sweet prayer.
Then the next day I got the phone call from the woods...."MAMA I KILLED A FOUR POINT BUCK!!" I will never forget the excitement and thrill he had in his voice. The prayers he had prayed God did hear- but many times we pray for what WE WANT....when God may have other plans for our days & times!
So from 70 yards with his 243 he shot this four point deer straight in the heart and the deer fell right where he was. Perfect shot for anyone let alone a 7 year old boy and his first harvest!! (and yes that is blood on his face.....tradition for the new hunter! I am just glad they don't make him take a bite of the heart!)
The little hunter has come a long ways from his very first deer season back in 2005 when he was not happy sitting next to the deer that daddy killed! He actually was hungry and dirty and didn't want anything to do with a deer at that time.....these past 7 years have flown by and I pray that he enjoys the sport for years to come.
I am so very proud of B and his patiently teaching both our boys the sport and as I told B the night T killed his first deer " It is almost like you have given birth to a new baby- now this is a whole new generation of young boys who are independent and can rely on their own skill to feed their family!" So with a freezer a little more full of deer meat to feed our little family and growing boys we are joyful our 7 year old boy is growing up and learning all kinds of new things!!
Do I hunt? I am learning....B is teaching me- I have only gone twice in 13 years. But if it came down to it and feeding my family I would probably do it more! I usually stay home and have a warm meal ready for my hunters when they arrive home!!
I love getting our family's picture taken. One day in the future when the house is quiet and the kids are grown B and I can look through and album and remember the days.......
We already look back on the past 13 years of marriage and the 7 years God has blessed us as parents....and it brings smiles and stories to share!
Since we have BOYS....outdoor pictures are BEST!! It is so hard to get boys to sit and pose and smile! I have been so fortunate to have awesome friends who are talented to take the pictures and know my kids personalities! My boys have had their picture taken since they were born...daily! So the smiles are not fake....when the see me with the camera....there is a "CHEESE" and SMILE! Although I can tell the older they get the goofier they get and rabbit ears show up in some photos!!
This year we had our picture made in our front yard!! What a beautiful setting.....the barn is very old and the grass very green!! Our landlord actually owns the property....but the most beautiful thing about he whole place is the OAK tree that is hundreds of years old....so large we cannot reach around it!! God's Beauty right here for us to enjoy each and everyday that we walk outside!
My sweet friend Sandi over at Like Christmas Ever day took these pictures this year.....she is so awesome!! The kids loved all her tricks and she had us laughing the whole time!!
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and remember that When you know Jesus....everyday is Thanksgiving! Thankful He died for my sins and sickness....and know He loves me too!
I have been fretting over the shape of my house lately. We do live WAY out to where most people don't even know where we are now....being in a small town that is a PERK!!
However, my house has been a freight!! Laundry, Dishes, Clutter....etc. Drives me BONKERS!! I like order....I crave order....and without it I feel as if I am going to blow up!!
My sweet husband keeps reminding me--- this is a season of life. This season is just messier that the others it is okay. You are teaching our children at home and that is most important right now! But, I am also teaching them to be responsible adults and having a messy house is NOT a good example!
I grew up in a loving home- my mother put US before housework, and she taught US that the lives of people are much more important that things of this world!! She did teach my sister and I to clean and be responsible orderly adults. But there was a season when I can remember when she asked me "Please vacuum your room." and I asked "Who is coming over?" I love you mama!!
But what I am getting at is- I know that she is glad she took the time to spend with us and raise us in a GREAT Godly home. Despite the times we had clutter around- we knew we were love and accepted for who we were!! I loved that about growing up and in the home I came from!!
What if someone called and said "hey I will be at your house in 10 minutes" could you pick it up and close a few doors and closets and it be okay? Or would you just have them sit outside on the porch....because that was way easier to sweep in 10 minutes!
Or what if they didn't call and just showed up....would you just about crawl under a rock having to move laundry off the couch for them to sit down!! Or you offer them a drink and can't even get to the faucet for the dirty dishes!!
I have come to a season of my life that I am NOT making excuses if my house is messy anymore. I have gotten to a happy medium of a lived in house!! We have daily chores and strive to work together as a family- but if you stop by and there are clothes on my bed....IT WILL BE OK....I WILL SURVIVE!!!
What if my best friend were to stop by and just drop a load of emotions she has carried for weeks and burdens she has and needs an ear to listen....the least of her worries would be my messy house. She needs me.
In the same way my husband needs my listening ear at the end of his long day at work- and my eyes too. Not for my eyes to be surfing social websites and ears to be listening to the TV. He needs me.
My children need me too- we wonder why they don't listen to us the first time when we give them instructions. Maybe because we need to finish this last text or email- or read these comments on facebook before we answer their question or look into their eyes when they have concerns! They need me.
Are relationships more important than things of this world. Are the words we speak from our mouths to the people we love more precious than the clothes they wear on their backs?
I decided YES....for these reasons.....
Life is too short- If you were to ask the mother who lost her child at a young age. If you were to do something different what would it be? She would probably say spend time with them or hug and kiss them more....not give them anything MORE than her self.
What about the woman who was involved in a wreck and was paralyzed from the chest down- what would she say....She would probably live life to it's fullest. Stop and smell the roses more, take one more walk barefoot in the grass, climb that hill with her children and roll down the side of it.
How about the child who lost their father in the war....they would give anything to have him present at the football game or school event. And I guarantee he wouldn't be looking down at his iphone while his son was making a play on that field. Anyone willing to risk their lives for the country is not a selfish person!
So what is boils down to....IF.....IF .......tomorrow your life were to change HOW would you live it differently. Are you children less important than scrolling down facebook and looking at what everyone else is doing? So is there a reason WHY you don't sit at the dinner table and talk to the same people who live under the same roof as you do?? Do you know more about the people on social websites or know more stats about your favorite sports team than your own family??
I have had time to reflect on these things.....and I am glad God is convicting me of my happy medium....lived in home. Less facebook and more faithbook time. And seeing that we have not had cable/satellite TV since July....wow I really can live without TV and my whole family is living proof- it is possible! We find ourselves piled up on the sofa together reading, laughing and telling stories.
Life is fragile people.....we need to see the BIG picture and what life is really about and what matters the most in this lifetime. I promise you this....."The people that need you the most in their life are the ones who will be there for you the most when your life feels like it is falling apart!"
That doesn't make sense....how can you have peace yet chaos in the same title??
Well if you looked into the windows of our house and hearts lately....that is what you would see. Our lives have been so much more at peace with changing a few lifestyle changes...yet chaos getting use to the new routines.
Home school is going awesome....boys are loving learning at home and the laid back atmosphere- We usually do an hour or two of school work- then they go outside and play for and hour or two then we do more school for another hour or two and then they play outside and so on....most days we are still doing school up to supper time!
We are all getting much more sleep, I love the fact that I don't have to pull them out of bed and rush to town...just let them sleep until they wake. Many nights it is a GLORIOUS 10 hours!! This makes for growing boys too!!
And the wonderful learning experiences- teaching my 5 year old to read....seeing the wheels spinning and the light bulb moments. I love every minute of it!! Honestly, I do!
We have the MOST wonderful neighbors who are both our parents ages....the boys think the world of them. The boys are "helping" him build a fence- THIS MAN HAS the PATIENCE OF JOB... and I think they all 3 are having a great time making sweet memories. And his wife sends cookies and candy often....WE ALL are loving that!! We are blessed to be living where we are and have good Christian friends for role models for the boys!
When we want to take a nature walk....we walk. When we want to fish.....we fish. When we want to make mud pies....we play in the mud. If the tree looks like a good climbing tree....they climb it....I am to clumsy I may not make it down in one piece. Life is good here in the country!!
The only part I am having a hard time with is the CHAOS part....Balancing keeping a clean house and keeping up with chores and school. I am now fixing 3 meals a day everyday at home...so MANY more dirty dishes-- Then with all the outdoor play...there is MUCH more laundry!! I have been a stay at home mom for 7 years- you would think I would have this under control or have some type of system. Well, I did- that was prior to putting school work first!
We are still in the transition of living in a rent house and preparing to build a house one day....so MOST of my things are in mini storage. I often think...now where is this or that....oh yes...STORAGE! I am an everything has a home and belongs in it's place type of person....and right now we aren't even in a permanent home....so I feel at home yet out of place does that make sense?!?!
So the chaos in my house and brain is overwhelming at times!! I have read many home school moms blogs and post on how to balance their house work/ school work and they all mentioned how flexible life is that you can take an afternoon and have the kids help clean the whole house....I am going to try this one day this week....I will let you know how well it goes!!
Other than that....Life is GREAT!! We all love it and we are all in better spirits and not completely exhausted from running here and there and trying to meet the demands of so many others. Putting what God wants first and God first in our daily lives- school, family and other relationships!
So....if you home school tell me what are some of your secrets to BALANCE in keeping your house work/ school work all complete in one day ;)
Well, I have not written on my blog as much as I would have liked in the past few months....but hopefully I can catch you up on what we have been up to. Our family has had many changes lately....for the good!
As we have been seeking God in the past year he has opened doors for our future and closed many doors from our past. God has guided us in ways we never knew we would go through. And when I say "guided us" I mean....kicked us on down the road....in a nice way!
We have been very comfortable in our sweet little home that we are settling into.This picture is of our new front yard....much different than our former front yard of a State Highway!! It is a temporary move.....we just don't know how long...or temporary. But in the short weeks we have lived in this new place. God has shined upon us and shown Grace and Love to us more than we deserve.
We sold the house that we brought our babies home.....that was HARD!! But the new owner is well deserving and such a sweet lady. We know our house that so many memories were made for our family- will hold so many great memories for her!!
We took this picture on the day we gave her the keys to her new home.....similar to the same pose back when we brought C home from the hospital....just a little bigger (or some of us SMALLER) in size!!
Just days before our move.....we had a kitten come live UNDER our house.....so we have adopted this poor little helpless kitten...."Miss Kitty" and she is bringing many smiles to all of us. She is super FRISKY!!
Lately, we have had more time as a family and less time with other useless items that can so many times consume our lives!! When I titled this "Prayer & Faith the BEST wireless connection" I should also so MY ONLY CONNECTION!! Other than electric and a land line telephone the last month I have not had Internet, satellite or much cell phone service.
Honestly, I don't think it hurt at all- I was packing- moving- unpacking- settling in....etc. And I often get distracted by minor electronic "black box" devices. I have had TONS more prayer time with God....which is what I needed. I didn't realize how low on FUEL I was.....just barely making it day to day with minutes spent talking and reading his word. And these days seem to be less stress and more slowed down pace- wonder if that has anything to do with I have a lot more time to spend with God.
I have taken a few steps back and looked at the past few years of my life. Many times overwhelming when I try to pack as much as I can into one day....and then totally exhaust myself to the point of anger!!
Is it worth it??
Something I don't want to miss out on.....and I feel as if the past few years I have missed moments that God is putting right in my face....saying... "here look...here is my GLORY!!" and I seem to be so busy or caught up in something or someone else that I missed the whole picture.
ONE thing that I am MOST excited about in our new journey......HOME SCHOOLING.....these 2 Gifts from God!!! Oh my...I really wanted to last year- but my husband and I were not on the same page. Now after we have seen the difference between the two....WE are agreed 100%
This new journey on the road of life that we are on I know will come with bumps and bruises. But as long as we have God to guide us and He already has....and we keep him as a lamp unto our path....we will survive and we will go where ever He leads us. Our path is not straight and narrow nor is our future in our hands. God is the one and only who knows where and what we will do tomorrow. So I hope I can start blogging again about our new journey and new adventures in schooling at home. My Internet access is limited but my mind is so full of wonderful stories to tell.
So here is my advice so far from my journey- STOP- SLOW DOWN....smell the roses, look at the rainbows, hold your child; husbands hands as you walk and talk. And you don't have to tell or show the whole world....because ALL that matters in that ONE moment is God sees your heart and He sees your actions and He is pleased.....not to mention the time spent putting down the less important items and picking up the FULL of LIFE things the reward in the end is MUCH...MUCH GREATER!!!
Have you ever heard of a plane crash and then afterwards they are searching for the black box. Well I researched the black box...it is a voice recorder of exactly what has happened up until the plane crashed. In the event all were to perish- they would piece together what they could from the "black box" and see what happened. Not necessarily just a voice recording but listening closely for sounds in the background- engine noise etc. VERY important to the plane. Vitally important to the surviving members of their family I am sure and knowing the CAUSE of the accident and making sure to prevent it from happening again!
I can remember from the September 11th plane crashes all those frantic calls and last goodbyes so many were making. Never to see their loved ones again and knowing that they wanted to go down on good terms and good memories. Those little black boxes hold the answers to so many questions. Much like a little black box most Americans carry around daily.
Yes, I admit I even own one......a little black box that I carry around because it tells me everything I need to know. The time, my appointments, messages from friends & family. In fact, I dropped my blackberry in the toilet last year right as the opening night of Vacation Bible School was starting and I went DIVING into the flushing commode after that little black box because I would be LOST without it!! And although I scrubbed and washed my hands for 10 minutes and did all the "right" things to try to save it from dying. It did work but was never the same. But until I could get a "reliable" one it was an inconvenience for my life!!
They have come a long way baby.....these are some of the first "cellular" phones that you were probably informed "Only call in case of an emergency because it costs $5.00 a minute!"
I can remember my parents getting me one on my 17th birthday. And it resembled one of these. In fact I was in a car wreck when I was 18 and I told the man helping me- "call my mom on my mobile phone and tell her I was in a wreck!" She made it there as quick as the ambulance. That was back when they were simple.....in fact most things were simple back then.... The days when the only thing you had to argue over was who was going to sit next to the TV and change the channel. Because at the time THAT was the little black box everybody had to have!!! Now a days we have so many gadgets and things to "help" us have knowledge and understanding at the palm of our hands that it has turned our world upside down!!
My Children will never know what life is like without a cell phone or computer. I grew up in the 80's and I can remember the school having one computer and we all took turns sharing it from week to week. Now people have Internet and computer knowledge on their phones.
Amazing how far technology has come in just my short life. I often wish I was born in the 50's or 60's but that generation had it's struggles too. Each generation will have struggles and things that they must "deal" with or overcome. But since we are in the "Change" generation the ME generation I am afraid we are just on the beginning of what could be the END!!
How could you survive without your phone? computer? ipad, ipod, iwhatever? video games? these things are virtually important for you to breath......do they supply oxygen? Often times we complain because "I have too much to do I have too many things to keep up with and juggle and it is overwhelming because I am keeping up with these kids who have to keep up with their friends and since I am friends with their parents I have to keep up with them.....and for PETE'S SAKE.....When do those Jones' ever RUN OUT OF MONEY?!?!?!" Really.....is this how it starts....is this the life line we want our kids to be a part of?? If your "black box" were to print out all the time you spent on it or the computer and then compared it with the time you spend face to face with your children or spouse. What would it report back?
I will admit I have burned a few dinners since I have had my little black box......I am so into an email or a text that I didn't even realize my beans were stuck to the bottom of the pan.
And what is more important than our children- OUR MARRIAGE!!! We don't even know the person who sits across the table from us- that is IF you sit at the table to eat. Well, we know how good or not good at typing he or she is.....because we communicate through text messages or emails to let them know where and when the kids need picking up.
How sad it is to go out to dinner and see a couple who sits and looks at their phone the whole time. "Hi- how are you?" and the statistics for divorce.....look HERE not surprising when you realize we don't have relationships anymore!
Don't get me wrong here I am not pointing fingers at just one person- I am preaching to the choir when I say. I am totally convicted by my family when my kids say "mama...mama....mama...mama...." and then walk off because I tell them "Hang on let me finish this email or text message." How disappointing!! What would my little black box say about my parenting, "Well she did answer- but what the child was trying to tell her is THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!!!" I can remember growing up my mom had a home business- so she was on the phone a lot. Probably more that what she is proud of but no doubt we turned out ok! And there are times when you need to talk to some one. I can remember when my little boys were 2 and 3 months old and I was about the pull my hair out. Honestly, I cannot remember WHY...but I remember walking outside and shutting the door and crying to my husband on the phone I said "I am so tired and they just keep talking and spilling stuff and I wipe it up and the spill something else and then the poop- they keep pooping and I have to wipe it up too!!" He was probably hundreds of miles away and he just simply said "Let me pray with you- and he prayed a simple yet meaningful prayer! I can remember standing on the front porch weeping and seeing my kids inside the house through the window watching me probably thinking "that person on the phone has made her cry!!" For moments like this I am GLAD for a phone call!!!
But how many times do we spend more time with our electronics and not our own family- Yes we sit on the couch snuggled up and watch cartoons......while we are checking facebook on our phone or have the laptop in our lap doing work....GUILTY!
And we have such little independent children who can sit and play as we work sometimes. And all things in moderation are good. But when your kids are acting up or they are starved for attention they usually will let you know it- FAST too!! If you show your black box more attention then the children will think that you VALUE that small thing more than their small heart!!Our boys got their first video game a few years back and it was for toddlers and very educational- we learned that WOW they can be addicting for such a young age. We had to remove it from the home, and they get to play once a month while getting a haircut. I moved it to my beauty shop and so it makes them sit still while I cut their hair. Smart I know, but at the same time they still amaze me how quickly they caught on to the games and how time consuming yet time wasting it can be!!
My 6 year old came home the other day saying "Mama for Christmas I want a ipod!" I said "Really....what is that?" He said "I don't know but.....blah blah blah has one!" WOW- that Jones kid is in his class and at such a young age he doesn't even know what it is BUT he HAS TO HAVE ONE!!!! I wanted to scream "LORD HELP US ALL!!!" But instead I said "We will see..." knowing it is February and I have a few months until December.
With each generation we produce we are introducing things earlier and as parents we must be the example setting guides for them to follow.....
So when we can't communicate with our children as we drive down the road because they are listening to their ipods with headphones or watching TV while we listen to what we want or Hey I just like to ride in silence!! We are teaching them what?? Sit here and watch or do this and leave me alone!! I honestly didn't see it this way- just felt like it was a good babysitter. But the actual message is.....we can't communicate even in small closed in areas.
We bought a car recently with a dvd player installed.....daily struggle and reminder to boys "No we only watch TV on long trips." My 3 year old says "It is a looooooong way to the store!"
Instead lately I have rolled down the windows and talked about the cows and all the wild flowers- kids don't have to be annoying if you just communicate with them!! I will tell you I hear a lot more when I just listen to my kids rather than talk and ask them questions. They will spill the beans!!
And a wise friend once told me "If you don't talk to your kids now and tell them how you feel and your thoughts on all kinds of situations- then they won't talk to you when they have things come up in their lives. They will go to who they feel comfortable talking to their peers." And most of the time that is NOT a good situation because they will give them the advice they have learned from TV shows or Internet. Do you know what Teens are doing these days on those "black boxes"? Check this link out HERE for some statistics.
SO PARENTS......it is time to reflect on your black box.....how much time do you spend on your little electronic devices that cost a fraction of what your children's lives cost you. As parents it is our J-O-B to stand up for the next generation, don't loose what you have under your roof. Don't give them things to occupy their time while filling up their minds with trash it is also filling their hearts with trash!!
Take hold of the future and allow your life to be controlled by God and NOT the things of this world. A good place to start if you haven't read you Bible lately.....Ephesians 5.....go ahead give it a try.
I have been convicted to give up facebook for lent- 40 days until Easter- a time to reflect of forgiveness & the sinful things that come in between me and my walk with God. I have already struggled with it. Knowing it is a good communication for me & my friends- I have gotten on to return a message and caught myself looking at some drama unfolding as it does daily on social networks.
But, I know it is not to late- NEVER too late for God. He is always there to pick me up dust me off and set me back on the path He has planned for my life. After all He is in Control!!
I am a hairstylist turned stay-at-home mom & home schooling mom! I love Jesus he is my best-friend. I love each day that I spend with my Husband B of 15 years, and our two boys T-9, C-7 baby J-1. We all love the Lord and serve him daily from LA (lower arkansas) I love to tell stories and give him the Glory!!