After searching for 8 months for a home for our family, we had 4 houses to choose from.
The first option is a Civil War era home built in 1871. Two large magnolias landscape the front yard that were planted when the house was first built. It is a Victorian style house located in the historic district. Although it has a very odd layout, it has much charm such as 4 fireplaces. It would be a unique homeschool and is within downtown.
The second option is a sturdy brick home just over a decade year old. It sits on a very large lot out in the country. It offers wooded acreage and much land to explore. It has space to plant a large garden, orchard, and possibly have chickens, goats, and bees. It would make an amazing homeschool.
Option 3 is truly a charming white house around 100 years old. It is located in the historic district and was renovated 20 years ago. It contains a parlor, and it's dining room comes with it's own built-in china cabinet and beautiful chandelier. Four fireplaces can be found throughout the home. The home would make an awesome historic homeschool setting and is within walking distance to downtown.
The fourth and final option is a 30 year old New England style house. It features a sunroom in the back that overlooks Civil War earthworks. It would make an amazing place to raise a homeschooling family and would take the term "living history" to a new meaning (as well as would the two 100 year old homes). Unfortunately, it would take much time and money to make the home livable though, due to it being abandoned for over a year and in great need of repair and updating.
So which one did we choose?
We chose . . .
The brick house in the country. We wanted space for our kids to explore and enjoy God's nature. We wanted land to garden and plant an orchard with a possibility to try our hands at beekeeping (and maybe have chickens and goats down the road). We have lots of storage space and a large kitchen to gather round for meals. One thing I enjoy is having the chance to decompress as we drive out of town over train tracks, past farms, horses, cows, and chickens. The house and property are making an ideal homeschool environment. The kids see the natural world all around them; we have an area for our extensive homeschool library; and they will get to help with the process seeing an orchard and garden being planted and grow.
We are so excited and thankful God has blessed us with our new house. We are enjoying a new chapter beginning in our lives and beginning new memories as we make this house our "home."
Last week we found ourselves moving into our new home and in a great need of simplicity. Our family delights in our yearly Passover Seder and we couldn't imagine celebrating Easter before recognizing the Passover as Jesus did prior to his death and resurrection.
Even though we were unable to locate the box with many of our Passover items, we still celebrated Passover -- in the simplest of terms this year. Our simple Seder was just what our family needed. It brought us together to pause for a moment and to reflect on what our Messiah did for us. In addition, it also marked the beginning of a new chapter for us and a new set of memories in our new home.
Praying that the you were blessed by the ultimate sacrifice of our Lamb of God this Easter!
My grandmother (as many women from her generation) spent many hours sewing. NeNe (the name I gave my grandmother) was a very talented quilter. I would estimate that she probably quilted 100 quilts, or more, within her lifetime. I remember one week during a summer in particular when I was about Olivia's age, I spent by my grandmother's side learning the art of quilting. She began teaching me how to cut out the desired shape from a pattern depending upon the type of quilt we were making. Next, she showed me how to sew the pieces together to form squares. Never, ever was a sewing machine used. My grandmother ALWAYS sewed all of her quilts strictly by hand. After we had accumulated quite a few squares she drove me down the gravel country road to her sister's house where they shared a quilting loom. I remember the day well. I was in the company of a long line of my family heritage. I sat and admired my grandmother and great aunt take the squares and form them into a quilt. We shared an afternoon snack and I listened to many stories of their quilted masterpieces. It was an experience I will never forget. From that day on I always appreciated my grandmother's quilts in a new way and I am very blessed to have many of her pieces today.
After my grandmother's passing my dad allowed my sister and I to divide up her sewing items. We divided buttons, thread on wooden spools, fabric scraps, ribbon, and other items. I have my grandmother's sewing machine and my sister has her wooden sewing box. There were only a couple of thimbles that we found in her sewing materials and I am honored I came home with one.
When I sew by hand, I always reach for NeNe's thimble because it fits my finger the best, but mostly because of the special memories it has for me. Even though it's a simple piece of shaped metal, it is symbolic because of those special days I got to see it put into action making a quilt.
A few days ago I put my grandmother's thimble to a new use as a vase for tiny spring flowers growing in our yard.
I know NeNe would be proud of me using her thimble. And even finding a use for it with flowers, for she also gave me a true love of flowers.
Only our version was edible. Over the weekend we made our recipe for haystacks, minus the peanuts. Olivia and Isaac scooped the mixture out of the bowl and placed it on a cookie sheet. After dropping our spoonfuls we made a shallow spot in the middle before placing them in the refrigerator to harden.
After hardening, we placed mini Cadbury eggs and Peeps chicks to complete our spring nests.
As I got into bed I reflected back over my day. Some moments in my days are busy and occasonally difficult. But God ALWAYS gifts me with some type of sweetness. Occasionally, I have to search a little harder than others. But last night I was given my "sweetness" just prior to getting in bed. :)
I always try to remember when I get aggravated with day-to-day frustrations that one day (sooner than I wish) I'm gonna miss having my young children right beside me each day. I really do treasure these days and I know God's trying to remind me:
"You're gonna miss this You're gonna want this back You're gonna wish these days Hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times So take a good look around You may not know it now But you're gonna miss this."
Saturday was a beautiful spring day with temperatures in the low 70's so we decided to take a trip to the zoo.
It had been 10+ years since Michael and I had been to the Memphis Zoo and we were delightfully surprised by how many improvements they have made. Our kids had a great time and the animals were quite entertaining.
The bright pink flamingos stood tall and still.
But, the giraffes stood even more tall and still.
The grizzly bears played and wrestled in the morning sunshine.
The elephants were unimpressed by our visit and continued to eat their lunch of straw hay.
The sea lions performed a very entertaining show including balls balanced on their noses.
This timid small black bear kept his distance.
But,the very LARGE polar bear strutted around.
The panda bears stuffed eucalyptus in their mouths as fast as they could.
The dominant silverback gorilla sniffed a straw hat and tossed it on the ground so he could lay down on the rock.
The lazy hippos lived up to their description and didn't move a muscle.
This African Black-Footed Penguin darted through the water as if flying.
This cheetah perked upon our arrival.
But, the tiger didn't stir when we appeared and continued his sun bathing by the trickling brook.
And the lion absolutely refused to turn around for a picture.
As we always do after a visit to a new place we each voiced our favorite part of our experience. In the end, Isaac's favorite animals were the grizzly bears, Joshua's was the elephants, and Olivia's, Michael's, and mine were the sea lions. It's interesting how minds change with each trip, for 13 months ago when we were at Zoo Atlanta, Olivia enjoyed the flamingos the most, Isaac the meerkats, and Joshua was still to little to give his opinion.
What are your favorite animals to study and watch when you go to the zoo?