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The Lost Skill of Parenting

I felt strongly that this post needed to be written. I fully expect adverse reactions, guilt, rudeness, and insensitivity to transpire, but my prayer is that all would take a step back and understand what state our country is in right now. My intention isn’t to start an uproar, but to cause a fire to stir in your heart.

We don’t talk about this topic often enough, and I was terrified to publish it. I had at least 6 colleagues and friends look over it before even considering to share it.

Please know that my heart on this subject is not to talk about medicating ourselves and our children, but making our society realize that there is something very wrong in our country right now, and I truly believe it starts at home.

With that said….let’s begin….

I recently read a report that alerted the reader to the declining fertility rate in the United States. I don’t like that term, “fertility rate”. It makes it sound as though some of us are choosing not to have children. I think I’d be more concerned with the infertility rate, meaning, how many women can’t have children because they are infertile due to genetics, chemicals, free radicals, toxins, and more.

But that’s not what this blog is about…

I went on to read about how women are choosing not to have babies, and how the country is in distress, scrambling to find an answer, because they are afraid there won’t be enough children in the next generations to help take over the workforce when their elderly parents can no longer work. Also known as, “we’re headed for economic collapse because we have a smaller population”.

But that’s just one part to this story….

The issue at hand here is something greater, I believe.

Could it be that we’ve simply forgotten how to parent?

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Don’t Leave Your Family Behind…

I love gardening. I love my chickens and the warm egg in my pocket on a crisp fall day. I love picking tomatoes off of a dew dripping vine. I love the process of adding new and exciting animals to our homestead, hopefully soon to include a dairy cow. All in good time. We’ll see.

My brain goes 100 mph each and every day.

I love this life. But you know what I love more?

my family…

I am absolutely in love with my family.

I am absolutely nothing without them. I couldn’t do this without them and their support. I would literally have no real reason to want to be here without them. Homestead in one hand, family in the other….I’d choose family every single time.

I love the little boy giggles in the morning, when he crawls into my bed with just his cute little boy underwear on because, well, I just can’t keep clothes on him most days. That white skin, though. It sure is bright first thing in the morning.

I love the touch of my husband, when he wraps his arms around me and kisses my shoulder while I’m washing dishes. I love how boyishly playful he can still be when he expresses his love to this woman that he married over a decade ago. I love how hard working he is, how dedicated he is, how strong he is.

But there are days when I become distracted. This or that needs to be done, or my life revolves around a farm animal or project, writing a book, researching until my heart is content. And, my family goes to the wayside.

And it’s then that I remind myself of these words…don’t leave your family behind for homesteading.

 

You have 18 summers with your children. Only 18 summers. In my case, I only have 10 more left. Just 10 more summers left. My heart aches.

There’s no telling how long your spouse will be around. You may only have 3 more years, or maybe it’s 30. But who can tell? Though, I pray mine lives for at least 60 more years.

Take the vacation…

Take a weekend and camp at the river…

Take a day trip and enjoy quality time with your family…

There will always be animals to feed, milk, and care for.  There will always be a garden that needs weeding and vegetables that need canning, bread that needs baking and a house that needs cleaning. But there will not always be a family that needs tending to.

In the homesteading world, you make connections with people locally, even family, that can tend to your farm while you’re away. People who would gladly barter for the milk they milk, the eggs they collect, and the vegetables they pick while you’re way. The farm will be fine, if you can let go of the reins a bit. It will all be ok.

And if you can’t financially make it happen, then the amount of quality time you spend with your family is equally as important, even if it’s right in your own home. Play the game. Tell the jokes. Roast the marshmallows.

As homesteaders, we believe in a better quality of life. We believe in living a natural lifestyle. That doesn’t mean we believe in leaving our family behind while we go and live it.

Love your babies. Love your husband. Make them feel special. Because you have a limited amount of time with your family. Make the pancakes your kids want in the morning. Stretch your time a bit and play that card game they’ve been begging you to play. Instead of rushing out to do chores, sit a little longer with your husband who’s just come in from a long day of work. And when he says, “let’s get away”, smile and say, without hesitation “ok”.

And we did…we went right down to that river right behind our house. And we loved being a family…

Don’t leave your family behind for homesteading. Because your family needs you more than anything else in the world. You, mama. Just you.

The Lost Skill of Serving Your Family

Serving your family—it’s almost an uncommon term new days. My grandmother’s house is always clean, always busy serving her family. Even to this day, when she can’t get around much, it’s clean. She takes granddad’s plate to him, pours him an ice cold glass of milk, and then makes her plate. She was always in the kitchen. When she was in her prime, you wouldn’t see her sit down once during the holidays. She was in the kitchen all day, cleaning up while everyone sat down to eat, and then after almost all of us had left, she’d finally eat her food. She would tell us that she wanted to enjoy our company, so she wanted to clean up quickly and then she would sit down and enjoy her family.

Her household was her sanctuary. It was her priority. It was the one job that she was taught to do well, above all else. And you know what? She loved doing it.

I have to admit, being a housewife is not my greatest accomplishment.  It is a daily learning experience for me. I am constantly learning new things about being a good wife, a good mother, and a good housekeeper. It’s a continuous process, learning to serve your family. I am constantly becoming. And while we seem to have more distractions in today’s world, it’s no excuse.

 

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Thanksgiving On Our Homestead

My grandmother and Jr striking a pose!
Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday. Mostly, because we get to eat lots of food and not feel guilty for it. If you feel guilty, stop it. Stop it right now.
Thanksgiving is always very wishy washy for us. When we first got married, we tried to go to “everyone’s” house. And then, we decided to go to no one’s house. And then, we decided to mix it up each year. In year’s past, we’ve had an early Thanksgiving with extended family up at Graves Mountain Lodge. They have a buffet style lunch and dinner every weekend, and we just love it. It’s one of our favorite places to go.
So we decided to go up the Sunday before Thanksgiving. It was fantastic. And then, for Thanksgiving day, I decided to make my own meal for just the three of us—of which we’ve been eating off of ever since!

I cooked a traditional Thanksgiving meal for us on Thursday, and it was a hit. In fact, my husband followed it with, “you’ve really doomed our child….he’s going to be disappointed if he marries a woman that doesn’t know how to cook!” I laughed, of course. But deep down inside it gave me a sense of gratitude and pride. It’s nice to be able to raise the bar high for my son, but I simply pray each day that he’ll be blessed with the woman that he wants to marry, not who I want him to marry. Of course, we’ll strive for that farm girl who knows how to cook biscuits….though, I don’t think we’ll have to push him too hard!

So, here’s what was on the menu….

The regular stuff, you know. We bought a 20 lb turkey from our local grocery store for only $8. Yes, hallelujah, praise the Lord. And you better believe we stocked up on turkey too. A deal that low, you can’t pass it up.
Then we had sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, yeast rolls, corn pudding, a homemade pumpkin pie, stuffing, turkey dripping gravy, and I think that was about it!

You can watch my morning of cooking below….

We hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!!

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