a pause

Well, August has been a little short on a showcase of our adventures, hasn't it? I have to tell you, though, that it has been full and fun. I have been learning more in the kitchen. I've learned how to make buttermilk biscuits, dried apples, Spanish rice and pancake syrup.

Although we're always learning (I hope you are too), we began formal learning (with curriculum) this month. I'm most excited about American History because my children really enjoy our time. I found a great interactive curriculum that is keeping my children's attention. I personally love the maps which we consult almost every history session. Although Science is not my forte, my son asks almost daily to do an experiment. I guess Science will become my forte? We are using the Usborne Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do again this year and working on the projects we did not try last year. We are also reading, writing, memorizing Scripture, working on math (we're loving Saxon), piano playing, swimming and getting into nature. This time of year is perfect for hiking, fishing, biking.

The garden produced so well for us this year, and we have spinach, lettuce, cilantro, brussel's sprouts and kale sprouting. I'm very hopeful for the brussel's sprouts. We are planning to build more garden boxes soon, probably 6 4x8 boxes and 3 4x4 boxes, which sounds like a lot, doesn't it? We would like to grow a greater variety of vegetables and have more in storage for year-round use. We have room for a larger garden, so we're excited to expand.

Come January it will be nine years that I have been a full-time homemaker. What initiated that what the desire to care for my first baby full-time. Before I was a full-time homemaker the extent of my homemaking was cleaning my home on Saturdays and eating out, frequently. (I only have a handful of memories of me cooking before this time!) Working full-time and having many out-of-the-home responsibilities meant that my home was a place to sleep and hang-out, not be an incubator for growth like it is today. 

I didn't realize that becoming a mother would be a catalyst for me to desire learning all things homey. My first baby was low-maintenance, easy going (she still is!), so I had a lot of time to ease into being a homemaker, a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do with myself. There were some days in there where I was a little bored! On those days I realized that what I do with my time is up to me. I can be as lazy or as diligent as I choose. I can learn as much as I want, or become mentally stagnant.

Because I didn't have many homemaking skills before I became a mother, learning to be a mother and wise homemaker simultaneously was overwhelming at times. I felt ignorant about many things, and frustrated that I hadn't learned wise skills earlier in life. Instead of dwelling on being frustrated, it was important for me to see the experiences in my life as providential. I am more than thankful for my college education, work experiences, service opportunities, friendships formed during the time before this season of homemaking. In fact, that life shaped me in many ways for this life.

So after all these years, I can tell you that now I have a homemaking mind. What does that mean? Well, when I'm in the kitchen I don't think about what I need to buy I think about what I can make from scratch. I think about what we already have in our home to eat. I think about what is healthy for our bodies. Since we eat almost exclusively at home, our bodies can only eat at certain restaurants or eat certain items or we get sick! I now think about waste in the kitchen and using the compost bin and recycle bin. We try to waste very little in this home.

The tasks of gardening, cooking, maintaining our chickens are now second hand, thank goodness. At one time, I thought we were a bit crazy for having these responsibilities, and I considered asking my husband if we could just move to an apartment in the city. Seriously. Now the tasks are not overwhelming, and maintaining the inside of our home is done with ease too. I've adjusted my expectations on just what I need to get done and when it should get done. My house at times is dusty, with piles of laundry (hopefully hidden in the laundry room), strewn with books and legos, but perfection isn't the key, living is.

I know I wasn't aware of what it would take to set the foundation and tone for our home, but I am so glad we did choose this way of living. I've growing in wisdom, frugality, skills, patience. One of the attributes of a mother is that she provide nourishment for her children. I'd like to think that nourishment doesn't just mean the food eaten, but the books read, the environment lived in, the adventures experienced. The funny thing is that I've been so nourished by these years and this living.

It is now time for me to take a pause from blogging. I so enjoy sharing, but I feel the need to suspend my writing and photos to simply enjoy the fruit of our labor. I will continue to be inspired by the creative bloggers I follow, with the intent of returning at the beginning of the year. Thank you for reading.


Julie Gates said…
I just love your way of Life Rachel and I love reading your blog! It truly is a breath of fresh air and inspires me! Enjoy your break! I'm sure this break will make your future writings even more rich!
Love, Julie
Rachel said…
Julie, second to Jesse you are my greatest blog supporter. :) I'm loving your posts on your new home redo, and seeing your boys grow. I'll be keeping in touch!