Shoes & Seeds

Last September we did something we had never done before as a family.  We went into a shoe store and all walked out with new shoes.  We have mostly bought secondhand for the kids shoes in the past because there have been plenty of really good gently used shoes available.  Now, we have walked into a new season when finding those good used shoes have been more difficult.  So, we did what we had to, and bought new.  My daughter had been wearing these bright pink running shoes everyday for what felt like a year.  Even in the summer I tried to persuade her to wear her sandals.  Nope, it was those pink shoes everyday.  Or bare feet.  Those pink shoes were size 8.  What size boots did we walk out of the store with?  Size 11!  My son was the same way.  He never wore a size 12 but went right from 11 to 13.  Today, as I was thinking about buying some shoes for spring, I checked their toes in those not even five month shoes, and yes, my daughters toes were right to the edge!  My children are really growing and they are really changing.

I see it in the too tight shoes and the pants that are all of a sudden two inches too short.

I see it in understanding they did not have before.

I see it in their questions or comments as we go about our day.

I see it in how they can talk to adults when before they would cling to my side.

As mamas we observe time not in minutes or hours, although we of course take note of those, but in the changes in our children.  In the first steps, the first word, and then in the first time they write their name.  We witness these firsts, these tiny miracles to parents, and then notice other changes in them, and these mark the passing of time.  Was it not just yesterday we were doing everything for them?

My first born will be seven tomorrow!  His birthday is first and then his sister’s will be in a few months.  It is in these months I notice how much they have grown more than any other time.  I of course get all sappy and sentimental.  My husband and I get older and I barely feel like I have turned thirty or that time has really passed.  This week in my children, I see change physically, socially and mentally.  I layed in bed during our rest time last week and recalled a conversation from a year ago. A lady was telling me how there are bigger princess dresses for five year old girls.  My daughter was three at the time, so five felt far away.  After all, her brother was five!  Addie will now be five in May.

Times passes.  As we go from day to day, we can think that not much is changing.  We can question if our children are really listening to us?  Are they learning anything?  Then, you see a picture or watch a old video from years ago (Yes, I have done that.  Nothing beats my daughter’s slow walking chubby legs. ) and then you look at your right now child and the change is so obvious.

Our kids are really gaining understanding.


Our kids are really listening to us…sometimes.


Our child will move past that really annoying character trait or learn how to have more self-control.

They will grow up.

It will happen. We can really rest in today, the present and enjoy our children as they are.  I pray for great grace for all who read this to do just that.  As we plant seeds daily, that we don’t see right then, we can know they will flourish.

And that goes for us too.

The wonder of childhood, for parents too

As I am typing this, the sun is setting on this summer day and my children just gave me hugs goodnight.  My husband is tucking them in as I write.  It is a wonder to see gentleness and love in their hugs and voices as they good night.  It is a wonder to see what they learn through us.  Perhaps I will next write, the wonder of being a mother, because it is a wonder to see our children grow,learn and become who they were made to be.


I spent the spring of this year questioning.  I was questioning our first homeschool year.  Doesn’t every mother question herself at some point during the journey?  Add to “job title”, teacher, and the questions have doubled.  Are my children getting what they need?  We had counted, started beginning phonics and worked on memorization.  I had check off many boxes that I so like checking off.  But I could feel myself being led to a new way of living and learning, being a mother and a teacher.


I have always been a planner.  A planner in the sense  I love writing things, ideas and plans in a clean white space in a journal or planner, but living it all out, that felt more overwhelming than fun.  I am slowly learning through mistakes and exhaustion what I can actually can do during a given time.


One of the many reasons why I decided to homeschool was to allow our children to be children as long as they can.  I want to give them ample free time to explore, pretend and build.  I believe they learn such valuable lessons through play.  I adore watching my children lost in play,for that is indeed the wonder of childhood.


Here’s the thing, as much as we may TRY, we cannot plan wonder.  Wonder just happens.  It’s the reaction to discovering a frog hopping along the cement or the taste of freshly picked fruit off of the tree.  Wonder often happens outside, in discovery and exploration of nature.  The wonder of childhood is experiencing something for the first time.


So, I began searching for more ways to be outside and to bring school outside.  At the same time,the house we’ve been renting was sold, and we again found ourselves looking for a new place to live.


We came up empty with options in the town we had just moved to.  But then, a unique opportunity we had considered in the Fall, “wound up” being our only option in our minds.  We could house-sit a house in the country, a half an hour away.  We said yes, although we weren’t fully convinced about it.


When I woke up the first day in the country and saw my kids playing outside I knew this was the right place.  My kids eyes were glowing and radiating with joy.  What mama cannot help but rejoice in that?  I began to breathe easier after the business of moving as I sat and stared at nature.  Nature itself is therapy.  My husband, a teacher, joined us during our days, and we all have been able to experience wonder.

The wonder of watching a mama bird feed her young.

The wonder of chicks hatching and Mama hens protecting them under their wings.  The wonder of them growing up.

The wonder of jumping on a trampoline most nights while the sun sets.

The wonder of taking care of dogs and how they want to be your best friend.

The joy of seeing something new or experiencing something for the first time.

The wonder of playing outside until it is too dark to see.

The wonder of having a bonfire and roasting s-mores.

The wonder of having a long driveway to have races on.

To wonder, is to really live, and its not only for children, but for their parents too.