So, I’m going to do it.  I’m going to document this time in my life right here.  As strange as it may be, I think it will be more beneficial than detrimental.  I’m a pretty upfront kind of gal.  I’ll answer pretty much any question I’m asked, but lately you just don’t know who is doing the asking – or should I say reading.  Anyway, I have decide not to care, and go on with it.  You hear about employers trolling Facebook to get a sense of who you are, checking your credit score, and then deciding – nope they’re all sorts of crazy.  Honestly, we all have our quirks, hangups, and bad habits.  We are human.

In trying to figure out the whys of these new feelings I’m having, I am looking into what I know to be right with things.  Maybe, this will help me know where not to look.  Actually, I’m a step ahead of this post, but I’m starting here.  What do I still feel is right with life?

  1. I love being a wife and mother.  I feel guilty about the quality of which I am doing this job lately, but I know it is a job I was meant to do.
  2. I believe we were right to come home to the mountains.  I get lonely, and I miss my sister and best friend (Ariana) so much.  But, there is not another right place for my family right now.  Exciting things are and will continue to happen here, and the Haywoods were meant to be a part of it.
  3. I am glad I started working.  I love my job, and all the facets that it has come to fruition in.  This is another aspect that I can often come to question, but in the long run, I think I’m one of those women who needs to work.
  4. I’m excited about our new family business.  That I don’t question at all. 🙂
  5. I still believe that God works in mysterious ways, and I am right in admitting that I ain’t the best in working through the difficult questions.

That is where I am.  That is what we’ll keep.  The rest is up to a revamping.  It’s almost exciting, though working on self stuff is always the hardest work.  Getting motivated is the first obstacle to tackle.

 

I vaguely remember being aware of this show “thirtysomething” that ran from 1987-1991 as a kid.

I’d love to be able to watch it now.  All my life, I thought that when I reached my thirties I would have become comfortable in my skin, and be able to just live through the ups and downs without worrying about trying to discover myself.  Almost 3 years into my thirties, I have found that this is not the truth.  In fact, I sometimes feel as if I’ve lost bits of myself that were/are really, really important.

It seems like Oprah or somebody said that 50 is the new 30.  I sure hope I don’t have nearly 20 more years before I’m settled in who I am and am supposed to be in this world.  Lord help me if that’s true.

I haven’t been writing here much because, honestly, so much has changed.  I don’t want to disappoint my readership.  There is no garden to report about.  No exciting adventures for the summer.  I haven’t been hiking this year.  It’s simply the daily grind, and I’m struggling even with that.  I’m searching.  I’m in search party mode.  Flashlights out.  Calling… calling a name with no answer… not giving up.  I won’t sleep until I’m found.

I am very much enjoying my work and the folks I’m working with.  It is a light in this time, and I think its important work.  I’m pretty dedicated to it.   John is opening a tattoo parlor and fine art gallery on Main St. in Whitesburg beginning tomorrow!  That’s exciting.

Otherwise… everything is up in the air.  I’m wondering when I am able to break the surface and reach that air, who I will be.  I’m wondering if I will be brave enough to write about it here.

 

Deladis graduated from kindergarten with our homeschool association on May 26th.  It was a beautiful ceremony.  She said about 15 Bible verses to a crowd of about 80 people without missing a beat.  I got to give her her diploma, and her daddy played “Little Birdie” for her on the banjo.  We couldn’t have asked for a lovelier time.  What follows is the speech I gave during the ceremony.

I want to begin this evening by thanking everyone who has come to support our graduates and celebrate this important day with our families.  It means a great deal to all of us.

 

At some point many of you have probably wondered why we chose to homeschool our children, and I’m sure many of homeschooling parents have wondered the same thing at times just like many public school teachers out there who sit after a trying day wondering why they chose the path of an educator.  Believe me, we do it.  I’ve been in both places.  For many homeschooling families the answer is not a simple one.  While we all probably have multiple answers to the question of why we chose homeschooling, I believe I am safe to say that all of us felt compelled to do so by the obligation we have to our children as their parents.

The Bible has so much sound wisdom and encouragement to offer parents on raising children, and if you start reading there, you’ll soon find what a huge responsibility you’ve undertaken by becoming a parent.  I know that throughout this year as I have set out to read the Bible from beginning to end, I have at times become overwhelmed by the realization of what it truly means to be a wife and mother.

 

Psalm 127:3 says – “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; The fruit of the womb is a reward.”  Verse 5 goes on to say – “How blessed is the man whose quiver if full of them; They shall not be ashamed, When they speak with their enemies in the gate.”  Psalm 128 goes on in much the same way.  And if any of you have ever prayed for God to gift you with a child, or you were gifted without thinking you were ready – you likely can recall the moment when your baby was placed in your arms and you realized perfectly how much this gift depended upon you as their mother or father for their quality of life.  It is often times those moments when we fall in love with that little being so completely that it takes our breath away.

 

All of us who have fully accepted the responsibility of parenthood want the same thing for our children.  We hope with all our hearts that their lives will be healthy, happy, and whole.  For each of us how we go about giving them the best possible opportunity for that sort of fulfillment will be as diverse as our family names.  I cannot assume what is right for your family, and I feel so blessed, as I am sure you do, to have the freedom to make important decisions for mine.

 

It is also very likely that if we have envisioned an adult life for our children that the reality of that life once they reach it, will look very different than what we daydreamed about.  How many of us are pretty sure we aren’t doing exactly what our parents hoped we’d be doing at this stage in our lives?  The very best we can hope for is that they are doing something they love, and that they feel called to do.  Oh, and that they call and come home to visit on a regular basis.  Yet, we can also look to the values our children hold, and their self-esteem to see the mark their upbringing is making on their attitudes and the way they view the world.  If we see signs of a positive self expression and healthy attitudes toward their work, their role in society, and respect for others in our older and adult children, then we should be able to rest.  The rest of their life is completely up to them and their Creator to sort out and that is as it should be.

 

There are so many things that we can’t control about how our children will experience the world.  For every good there is a bad.  For every right there is a wrong.  They come hand in hand.  While there might be times in our lives when we become hurt or disappointed by the experiences our children have or bring upon themselves, regret isn’t something we should dwell in for long.  The ultimate question is – Does our child know that we love them?  That we will always love them?  We can be comforted by the words of Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

 

I was a public school teacher when John and I were gifted with our firstborn – Deladis Rose Haywood.  God told me one day during my prayer time through scripture that I would have a baby by summer.  Deladis was born on August 4th, 2005.  Before her birth, John and I decided that the time my job forced me spend away from home was too much, and that the time I would gain in resigning my position would be worth the cut to our finances.  It was important to us that I be the one primarily responsible for the care of our children and we were willing to live a lifestyle that would allow for that.  It was the first huge decision we made as parents.  It is a decision we have never regretted though it has dramatically changed the way we live our lives.

 

Many more decisions would come like – how would I give birth, what was the optimal way to feed our baby, who would provide her healthcare and what would that look like, where should we live, where would we attend church, and ultimately where would our daughter attend school.

 

For many reasons all of which I won’t go into tonight, we decided that home was the best place for Deladis and any future children to receive their education at this time in our lives.  We all have probably heard Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”  Like our earlier decision of being the ones primarily responsible for the care of our children with our own hands, so was our decision to be the ones immediately responsible for the education our children would receive.  In choosing homeschool, I as their only teacher am responsible for the content of their daily lessons for every subject.  It is my responsibility to make sure that they have the education that they need to be whatever it is that they choose to be in life whether either of my daughters decide to be stay-at-home mothers gifting me with ten grandbabies, a homesteader living in a small cabin with no electricity or running water, an artist who shows her work from coast to coast, an activist working for impoverished women and children, a social worker finding stable homes for children in need, or the astronaut that leads the first human expedition to Mars, because if that is what my daughter truly wants and feels led to do, then that is what I want for her.  Is that a huge responsibility?  It sure is.  But, what I can know for certain is that as her mother and father, John and I will be her source of information about her world and her place in it.  We can have the most direct impact on how comfortably she navigates whatever path that life places her on.  We can be the shoes on her feet, the food in her backpack, and the soft blanket that covers her every night of her journey.  Her Creator will be her compass.

 

It is not that homeschooling families are trying to shelter their child from the world, or sequester them away from society and mainstream ways of living.  It is most likely, that our choices were made because we wanted to ensure that our children in the situations that life brought upon our families have the best possible chance at a well-rounded and full life experience.  You’ll see us in the community, our children interacting in real life situations with people of all ages and backgrounds.

 

By choosing to homeschool, we aren’t judging or accusing others who do not, or our own parents if they chose to send us through public school.  Because we were educated, we have the opportunity to be educators for our children.  Every parent is free to do what they feel is best for their family at the time the decision is made.  It is a deep privilege to have that freedom and to respect the decisions of other parents.

 

By choosing to homeschool, we aren’t calling any public or private educator inadequate.  Your job is so very important and to respect our teachers is to listen, empathize with, and support their efforts.  Without you and the opportunity you give to parents, we would not have the freedom to choose where our children would be educated.  We are on a very similar mission.

 

By choosing to homeschool, we are simply making a conscience choice.  Often homeschooling families view it as a choice of conviction, of necessity, as the result of sincere thought and long consideration.  It is a choice we take in earnestness.  When we choose to keep our children home for school, we understand that it is exclusively up to us to provide the education our children will need in the ever changing and competitive world.

 

Ecclesiastes 11:5 says – “Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.”  None of us know the path that God has forged out in the world for our children, but we do know that He entrusted us with their care.  As you are here tonight witnessing this graduation ceremony you are participating with us in celebrating what for some of us is our first complete year of homeschooling our children, for others of us a milestone in the middle of what has recently become a steeper winding road, and for one of us the end of a long and very successful journey that suddenly seems like it was just a bit too short.  Thank you for playing an integral part in supporting our efforts, and please accept our thanks as your presence has helped us to create a very special evening for our blessed and hard working students.  Thank you.

Deladis saying her verses.

 

I haven’t had time to write here in so long.  When I have had the time I have been way too tired to try.  I don’t know how I get so exhausted.  Walking around as if I were in a fog all day long, no amount of coffee changing that.  Things are going really well for our family.  There is nothing at all to complain about, except that I wish I had more energy to enjoy it.

This week Deladis will graduate from kindergarten.  We completed our first official homeschool year with success.  I’m ready for 1st grade too.  We received our curriculum in the mail a few weeks ago.  Deladis will have a blue cap and gown, a tassel, and the whole nine yards!  This year our group will have 5 graduates and we are expecting around 100 visitors at our graduation.  We will be decorating and cooking all week long.  I’m doing sausage balls (my own recipe), a type of cinnamon roll (from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook), and chips with salsa (storebought).  Deladis is reciting the scripture she learned this year, and I’m making a speech on why we decided to homeschool.  I get to present her with her diploma and John will be playing her favorite song “Little Birdie”.  I’m beyond excited, and if I can keep the tears in long enough to get through it, it will be amazing.

Can you believe this was her 5 years ago?

Oh, it goes so fast.  So fast.

I might post the text of my speech once graduation is over with some pictures from the ceremony.

In the meantime, enjoy our family outing to the Lewis and Clark Old-Time Tent Circus when they stopped in Clintwood, VA.  It was a blast.  I was so happy to see people still dedicated enough to devote their life to such entertainment.  It amazed me.  None of these acts were performed with any kind of netting under the performers.  Pretty courageous and awesome!  The performers were really friendly and full of smiles.  I wish we had gotten some better pictures.

The girls loved the clowns best of all!

There were a family of acrobats and clowns. A few generations working together. Awesome!

Deladis always loves the animals.

My favorite was this woman. She did quite a few acts mostly of the juggling, balancing and gaucho sort.

This guy just kept stacking the blocks. It was insane!

The same juggler as before. This time with very large blades. She also juggled fire.

Some dangling from the top of the tent. John loves taking pictures without a flash.

More rope work!

I’m so excited to share with you an article that was published in The Daily Yonder last week!  I wrote it!  Closing Maternity Wards: Costly and Risky… click on the picture below to read the article.

My darling nephew - brand new

The article was also picked up on www.kentucky.com!  There has been some discussion on both sites.  I’m so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to write this article for this publication. 🙂  I hope you will take a look if you get the time.

I finally got hold of the camera, took some pictures, and then let Deladis take some on her own.  I’m going to share our last few weeks with you mostly in pictures.

Easter, Redbuds, and Dogwoods – The Tale not Found in the Bible

Today is Good Friday for Christian believers and others who are inspired by the life of Jesus the Christ.

“Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said.  “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

Jesus answered. “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.  Therefore, the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” – John 19:10-11

Jesus accepted what was for what it was.  He lived the Now and He realized the essence of His being protected by Father God.  My maternal grandmother taught me that the redbud and dogwood trees represent some significant things in this story.  They grow wild in these hills.  Many plant them in their yard.

The redbud was once a large tree with large white blossoms.  Judas Iscariot, after betraying Jesus, hung himself on one of these large trees.  It shriveled up and the blossoms turned pink with their shame.

The dogwood represents the events of The Holy Week.  You can read more about how by clicking these statements.Spring has gotten into my being more this year than ever in my life.  I have never been fond of rainy up and down weather, but this year the beauty of creation has been recognized as a gift in the core of who I am.  The most beautiful part of the redbud and dogwood story is that they bloom around the same time, the redbud a bit ahead of the dogwood.

Deladis Won a Blue Ribbon at the Homeschool Science Fair for her Tree Project!

She worked so so hard!  I can’t believe this is a kindergartener’s work!

It’s Electric – Boogie-Woogie-Woogie

The Chickens – Photos by Deladis Rose – Titles by Mommy

Where's the Beef

The Peach

The Ladies

Cockfight

Family Man

We're Havin' a Party

I'd Eat One if I Could Fit it in My Mouth

And Finally – The Mole Killer – Not for the Squeamish – Photo by Deladis Rose



You may still help me reach my goal by donating to the secure March of Dimes website by clicking the picture below.  Help support a great cause!

Not in his goals, but in his transitions is man great.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is the hardest transition between seasons I think I have ever experienced.  Honestly, it is wearing me out.  Yesterday, it was around 76 degrees.  I was in shorts, babysitting my nephews, skipping rocks in the creek, and picnicking.  Today, it is going from blue sky to dark gray before it pours rain or spits of hail.  It is about 35 – 40 degrees.  The wind is blowing heavily like it is trying too hard to clear something away.  Something that just doesn’t want to budge.

My life is transitioning right now too.  To what, I’m not exactly sure.  My soul is ready, but my mind is hanging on.  Nervous to release old patterns of thought.  Getting disappointed over the same old things like we haven’t learned that lesson already.  Like it matters at all, really.  Coming back to this blog was part of this transition.  A space to not promote anything.  A space that is not a business.  A space where being “professional” isn’t necessary.  A space just to be me.

Yet, I think that is what all areas of my life is craving.  Just for me to be me and not to worry about what that means to other people.  We are all lit off the same spark, anyway.  Either it is meant for my path to cross yours or it isn’t.  I believe my Creator is in control regardless of what appears to be real.  Therefore, to worry over future, or results, or how someone feels about something I’ve written, a fact I share, or an opinion I hold (until someone cares to try to change my mind :)), is not important.  In fact, it is wasted energy.  Why haven’t I completely accepted that into my reality.  That is fact.  I know this to be Truth.

Transitions.

I’m working on relaxing and I’m not doing all that horrible with it.  I’m focusing on whatever presents in my day, my girls.  I should probably look a little more at housecleaning (always).  The rest (or unrest) – the waiting to hear if a piece I was asked to write has been accepted, waiting to have my first online client (Birth True Childbirth Education – Online Classes), the wondering what I should best do next, I’m trying to not consider as much.  Some days are better than others.

I took a course recently called Birth Heaven Now! through a great woman named, Stephanie Dawn, as a training for my childbirth education/doula work, and really enjoyed everything about it.  So much of what I learned through that course applies to my entire life and not just my work.  The focus on balance.  How can I give anyone my best if I am not caring for myself?  If I am worrying?  If I am working too hard, or struggling through something that really isn’t a fit?  It is true for everything.  One of the topics being excellent self-care.  I’ve been doing ok with that.  I’ve come to realize how caring for myself too can change everything about everything.

What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? – 1 Corinthian 6:19

Yet, again, there is that nagging of the old “self” rushing through my me time – contemplating my day, my week, my year, conversations I’ve had, conversations I plan to have, things I hope to do, things I have done.  I’m in transition.  I’m leaving that all behind.  Transitions take time.  And yet, what is time?

If what Emerson says is true, then I’m not waiting out a transition to see new life bloom on the other side.  Life is now.  Right now.  Right now in whatever it brings can be great.  Not me.  Not you.  Us.  I am.  We are.  And not great in the sense that we feel accomplished, or we got published, or our child was actually able to identify his/her numbers passed 10 today, but great because of who we are.  We are children of the Divine.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.  There’s nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  -Marianne Williamson

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:28

1st flowers on the creek

I’ve been holding out on a new post to wait on getting the camera back from John.  He is teaching now and has been doing photography with his students the past few weeks.  It doesn’t look like he’ll be done before too long, so I’m going to post anyway.

We got our spring garden in!  Cauliflower, Broccoli, Lettuce of several kinds, Swiss Chard, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Shallots, Peas, Italian Parsley, Dill, Cilantro, Rosemary, and Chives.  It felt so good to be outside in the dirt.  There is such peace there in most cases.  The girls were much more helpful this time around.  They are getting older.  All the plants are perked right up and growing.  Hopefully the seed will show sprouts soon.  I’ve been craving good veggies after a pretty rough winter.  It is hard to find good produce in the groceries here.

We also had some homeschool friends give us 5 hens and a rooster in order to make room for their upcoming 4H projects.  There were two little bantams – hen and rooster, and some large mixed breed hens.  The little bantam hen, we called Little Lady.  She had blueish gray feathers along with some tan, and she was so very gentle.  We even brought her in the cabin to eat macaroni and cheese.  I did away with her body yesterday.  The larger hens had pecked her to death.  😦  There was no sign of them bullying her.  She stayed in the coop most of the time, but I thought she was just getting used to things.  After loosing 4 entire flocks, including all the grown diddles from last year, you’d think I’d be over caring.  I’m not.  Well, especially when a hen will let you pet her and will sit in your lap like a dog.  We are getting eggs daily from our free-ranging flock.  They are healthy and roost on the front porch.  It makes a mess, but Lars (our dalmatian) sleeps there with them and keeps them safe.  It would be nice for these new hens to eventually be free ranging too.  It seems we have better luck that way.  I told them though, they better start laying or they’ll be in the pot for killing Little Lady – barbarians.

It is so close to warm here.  We had a week of 70 degree weather and the girls were so happy.  We will be getting new water soon, and I won’t have to take them to my mother’s for baths any longer.  Deladis graduates from kindergarten on May 26!  Our homeschool group has a great ceremony planned and I’m going to cry like a baby.  I just know it.  I ordered her 1st grade curriculum yesterday on sale.  I can’t believe it.  It’s funny that Ivy still seems so small.

I’ll try to get some pictures up soon, and some exciting news.  I hope to start hearing from folks again.  I’ll do my best to comment back as well.  My computer reading time has been kind of limited lately.

This is a pen and ink drawing John did of me picking through the carrot harvest in October.  It was close to my birthday I think.  I’m ready to take this stance any day now for planting season.  It was spitting some snow today though, after a glorious weekend.  Deladis can’t seem to get over our “family time”, and honestly her mother can’t either.

It seems like our “family time” is too here and there.  This weekend I think we were all ready just to be there for each other, and it felt perfect.  Saturday we went to the Mexican restaurant to eat, then to play with some ferrets at the pet store.  After that, we went to the Isom Vendor’s Mall where I found a book that I had checked out from the library, hadn’t finished, and was hoping to buy at some point, for two dollars.  It was one of those things where the Creator is putting things and people in my path to show me that this new path I have come across is ok and worth exploring.  I now own a copy of the book.  Then, we went to an ice cream shop in Vicco where Deladis got chocolate chip cookie dough, and Ivy birthday cake ice cream.  Deladis said, “This ice cream sure tastes fresh.”  Next, we went to a music store for John some strings.

Sunday, we went to church, came home, had supper, then walked up on the cemetary hill for a sweet snack.  Lars and Lucky followed us as always.  We sat, talked, and enjoyed the moss and the view.  Deladis said, “I just love our family time.”

While it seems so simple, it isn’t.  It feels new.  It feels good.  John and I both got a little more regular paying/scheduled jobs after Christmas this year, and this has allowed days like this weekend.  This change has put us both to thinking, as change can often do, about what is possible, and what our priorities are.

Family and faith should receive most of my time.  One day I’ll be eye to eye with two grown women, and I don’t want to wonder where those days in between went.  I can scramble and fight, and try to do my thing, but if the thing isn’t the right fit at the right time, no amount of scrambling or fighting will get me anywhere.  The time I gave to that goal, will be for naught because I was too set in my ways to think of an alternative route.  Or a more favorable goal.

I’m excited about the days ahead.  The possibilities and even getting out of this tight coat I’ve been wearing for far too long.  Spring has sprung.  The bushes outside have buds.  There are more activities to be found.  And we are renewing ourselves – as a family.

One new thing I’m doing is offering online Lamaze Childbirth Preparation classes and Early Pregnancy classes for any woman anywhere with any schedule. 🙂  Thinking outside the box.  For more information http://birthtrue.wordpress.com/online-classes-e-courses

Categories

About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

June 2017
M T W T F S S
« Feb    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Please Ask

I ask that you please ask for permission before copying any pictures from this site. I don't mind using quotations in part from the text (please link to this site), but if you would like to use a whole text, please contact me. I want to be generous, but I would also like to know who is using this content. Thank you!