Lifestyle

Confessions of a SAHM

by Kara

Hey, all!

Lately, my blog posts have been few and far between. So I thought I’d do a little bit of a ‘life update’.

I was originally introduced to you as a “Farmer’s Wife”. That is no longer the case. Although I still live in a big, beautiful, somewhat drafty farm house, my husband got a job in landscaping. This has been a big change for us. He is no longer home for coffee and lunch, but he is home on Saturdays. In addition to not having my husband home during the week, I also do not have a car available to me anymore.

I love being a stay at home mom. I have a hard time being a stuck at home mom.

I am taking a long journey to learn how to be productive when nothing I do seems to make a difference. I clean constantly, but at the end of the day, my house never seems clean. I can spend all day in the kitchen, but the dishes are never done and the meals are never cooked. I can have the laundry machine going from morning until night, but the laundry hampers are always full. Which begs the question – how did it seem easier to get stuff done around the house when I spent more time away from the house?

Its so easy to get bogged down by the repetitive nature of cleaning and cooking and laundry-doing. I have spent the better part of my time as a ‘stuck at home mom’ being discouraged, annoyed, and anxious to get out of the house. Zoe regularly crawls into her car seat. She has the same ‘get up and go’ gene that I have.

I love that ‘get up and go’ gene. It’s the gene that makes me want to be a stay at home mom, and eventually a homeschooling mom. It’s the gene that makes me want to take my kids and teach them how to handle different situations – visiting and grocery shopping and crowded sidewalks. Its tied to that ‘home-body’ gene. The gene that makes me love to spend most of my days cooking and cleaning and doing laundry. Most, but not all.

People ask me if I’m bored at home. I’m not bored. There is a never-ending train of household chores. If anything, I’m overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed by how fast the days go by. Night comes, and I suddenly realize I didn’t actually play with Zoe at all, or that I never sat down with a cup of tea and a good book, or that I forgot to write a blog post.

So here’s what I’m doing: I’m taking baby steps. I’m making a conscious effort to work out while Zoe naps. I’m focusing on drinking enough water in a day, maybe including a cup of tea. I’m trying to find a time when I can sit and do personal devotions. I’m currently looking for some kind of ‘day planner’ so that I can sort out all the jobs that need to get done around the house.

And I’m slowly learning that sometimes it’s okay to let the laundry stay in the hamper for an extra day.

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Lifestyle

October Favourites!

By Katie


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I can’t believe its the end of October. Today, its windy and chilly and we have the fire place blazing.  I love this season!!

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October has been a whirl wind.  Here are some of my highlights:

  1. Vicki – She is such a blessing from God.  I can’t thank God (or her) enough for the help and support she gives me. She came down for a few days to help me get ready for the inevitable arrival of the twins.  She cooked up meals, feeding us while she was here and stocking up my freezer for when the twins come.  She took me shopping (a task I hate and dread) to make sure the twins have something to wear when they come.  She talked me through my fears, and my excitements.  And, maybe best of all, we got pedicures.
  2. Bunk Beds – Atticus and Vivien are sharing a room now.  We got them a beautiful20171023_193714 wooden bunk bed that they both love.  Vivien’s favourite part was that she now has a pillow, which leads me to believe that we were a little late on getting her one…..
  3. The things my kids say – Atticus has been telling me that I’m “a great mom!  Thank you for being a great mom, mom!”  to which Vivien replies, “nope, you a bad mom.  Bad mom!”   So, I know who my favourite kid is right now….
  4. The weather – We have had an exceptionally warm and beautiful fall.  The kids (and I) have had so much fun outside!
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Here he is, expounding on my virtues as a mother 😀 
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My Cheeky Little Monkey

So that’s my quick fall recap.   I am not feeling especially wordy today.   Which is probably lucky for you.

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(I did post a recap of Mindset last week, but never linked to it – Check it out:  https://threeteasandacoffee.ca/2017/10/27/grow-your-mindset/)

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Lifestyle

We Went on a Field Trip.

by Vicki

Homeschooling has been going well.

Better than I thought it would.

We haven’t started sending Peyton to “real” school yet, so I guess that’s a pretty good indication that we are surviving. 🙂

IMG_0847Over the last couple of weeks we have been learning the letters “L” and “A”. Along with these letters our units have been about Leaves and Apples. I thought that this would be the perfect time to visit Chudleigh’s Apple Farm.  Aunt Danielle, Kiera and Carter joined us which made a fun day even more fun! We were blessed with the perfect Autumn weather and were able to enjoy the sunshine as we explored the farm, picked apples, slid down giant slides, watched animals, and ate some yummy treats.

IMG_0881IMG_0872IMG_0890IMG_0886Homeschooling Bonuses: we were able to choose a day to go that had beautiful weather, we could stay from 10:30-4 without worrying about catching a bus, and I got to enjoy the farm with all of my kiddos! IMG_0921IMG_0939IMG_0935Visiting Chudleigh’s is one of my favorite Autumn traditions. What traditions do you have for this beautiful season? IMG_0861

 

 

 

Faith · Lifestyle

A Promise to my Daughter

by Kara


My baby bonked her tooth today, against the hard leg of the piano bench. She was so shocked, a hurting tooth is such a sharp pain for such a little child, and her teething gums are already in so much pain. She cried big crocodile tears.

So I scooped her up in my arms. I wrapped her in a bright, comforting quilt, and popped her soother into her mouth. She snuggled down in my arms as I read her a few more paragraphs from The House at Pooh Corner. Then I sang to her. Then I just rocked her, as she slowly slipped into a peaceful sleep.

She and I always snuggle. She’s as much a snuggle bug as I am, and I love it. I love rocking her every night, and I love taking a break from daily tasks to snuggle her before I put her down for a nap. But something about this snuggle brought me back to nearly 8 months ago, when I first brought her home. Maybe it was the way she had managed to shrink into my body; maybe it was the fact that my body is feeling the dull aching pain of recovery – this time from a workout rather than surgery. Maybe it was that my mom visited yesterday, and we talked about that first week that Zoe was home with us.

I sat and held her for longer than usual. I looked down at her peaceful face, and wondered what she knew, what she remembered.

Does she remember what my heart sounds like from the inside? When she leans against my chest, does she know it’s the same heart, every beat echoing a love for her thats so deep it overflows into constant hugs and kisses? Does she remember the harsh light in the operating room, the gentle hands of the nurse that first held her and checked her? Does she remember being placed into her dad’s big hands, as he lovingly held his newborn daughter for the very first time? Does she remember the drive home, all bundled and warm in her new car seat, mama sitting beside her because after 9 months of being completely connected, she couldn’t let her new baby out of her sight? Does she remember stopping at Tim Hortons because mama wanted something (anything!) other than hospital food? Does she remember Grandma holding her, walking her, night after night? Does she remember all the whispered I love yous? Does she remember that her first real smile was when she first saw her daddy’s clean-shaven face? Does she remember the bassinet that she first slept in, close to mama’s side?

Does she know how much I loved to lie awake, listening to daddy’s rhythmic breathing and her soft snoring, love for my beautiful family pulsing through my veins? Does she know I sneak into her room every night to check on her before I go back to my own bed? Does she know that her smile is the most beautiful smile I have ever seen, her laugh the happiest sound I have ever heard?

Does she know that there is somebody who loves her even more than I do? Does she know that He will be there, even when I can’t be? Will she learn to trust Him, to love Him, to follow Him?

Do I know how to teach her these things?

The song that I was singing to her goes like this:
(Song by Keith and Kristyn Getty; Lyrics taken from gettymusic.com;
Listen to it here)

A Mother’s Prayer

“Before you close your eyes to sleep
I have a promise still to keep
As I hold you in my arms.
I pray your little frame grows strong
And that faith takes hold while you are young;
This is my prayer for you.

Hold my hand;
I’ll teach you the Way to go.
Through the joys, through the tears,
The journey of these years,
May you trust Him ‘til the end.
May you trust Him in the end.

This world is not as it should be,
But the Savior opens eyes to see
All that’s beautiful and true.
Oh may His light fill all you are
And the jewel of wisdom crown your heart;
This is my prayer for you.

Hold my hand;
I’ll teach you the Way to go.
Through the joys, through the tears,
The journey of these years,
He is with us ‘til the end.
He is faithful ‘til the end.

You’ll travel where my arms won’t reach
As the road will rise to lead your feet
On a journey of your own.
May my mistakes not hinder you
But His grace remain and guide you through;
This is my prayer for you.

Take His hand
And go where He calls you to.
And whatever comes, seek Him
With all your heart;
This will be my prayer for you.
mmmm Father, hear my ceaseless prayer;
Oh keep her in your care.



 

This is the promise I make to you, my beautiful daughter:

I will hold you up in prayer, even when I can no longer hold you in my arms.

I will teach you to take His hand, even when you can’t hold my hand.

I will support you in your calling, even when it no longer overlaps with my calling.

I will show you his perfect love, even through my imperfect love.

As I make you this promise, I must also tell you this: I will fail. In your short life, I’ve already failed. But He never will.

So, darling, whatever comes, seek Him.

Love always, Mama.

Bookish Posts · Lifestyle

Grow Your Mind(set).

By Katie


A few weeks ago, I instagrammed about Mindset, a book I had just picked up.

I finally finished it. It’s a non-fiction, which means it took me longer to read it, because I journaled as I read.  I don’t journal all my non-fictions, like Into Thin Air By Jon Krakauer or Dead Wake by Eric Larson, both brilliant narrative non fictions.  But for books like Mindset, where I want to absorb the lessons and change my worldview, I find I can’t retain all the info I want to.  Writing down my thoughts and reflections as I read allows me to understand it better, and to easily flip back to remind myself of key points.

If you have not encountered Mindset Theory before, you may wonder what the big deal is.  Carol S. Dweck spends 246 pages telling you what the big deal is.  Go pick up the book and find out.

Ha.

Anyways.

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I finished Mindset.  And I want it to change my life.   As a fixed-mindset person, my initial thought is, ‘it’s too bad I don’t have a growth mindset,’ and end it there.  But, I want to develop a growth mindset, and the first step is to know that traits/talents/intelligence/mindsets are not set in stone, but can be changed.

I’m going to do a couple posts on Mindset, dealing with self, parenting and relationships.  This may be an introduction post, or it may be the one on self.  We will see.   (I am a champion planner, as you can see.)

As I was journaling, I noticed that I was writing more about Fixed Mindset traits then growth mindset traits.   Even though I want to change to a growth mindset, I am drawn to the idea that I can’t change and it’s too bad.  About a third of the way through, I started consciously writing more about growth mindset and how to cultivate it.  My mindset is changing already!!

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The reason I want to change is because Fixed Mindset people don’t deal with problems and failures.  They don’t find solutions.   They assign blame.  They are embarrassed if something requires effort.   Criticism is a personal attack and devalues your worth.  Failures occur because there is something intrinsically wrong with you.

To a fixed mindsetter, effort is terrifying because a) geniuses or people who are naturally superior aren’t supposed to need it; b) it robs you of excuses (ie I failed because I didn’t try).

To a fixed mindsetter, the hardest thing to say is “I gave it my all and it wasn’t good enough.  I still failed.”

Both of these apply to me.  I fear failure.  I am mortified if I do something and I fail.  I can’t talk about it.  I pretend it never happened.  I fear effort.  I am mortified if I have to try hard at something.  I don’t talk about it.  I pretend I never tried.

If I look back at choices I have made, I can easily see where my fixed mindset has crippled me; where a fixed mindset allowed me to quit instead of trying.

While in university, I received a letter from the English Department after taking an English Lit class asking me to join the department.   Despite the fact that reading and writing are passions, I never followed through.  I didn’t want the possibility that I could fail at something I loved.  In my mind, I finished at the top.

I was embarrassed that it took effort (ie: I needed to do all the homework) to get the A+ I got in first year Calculus.

I quit flight school because I didn’t comprehend the math immediately; I felt that if I didn’t get it in class, I would never get it.

These are really embarrassing to write.  I want everyone to think that I made all the right choices, all the time with no effort.  It’s kind of a crazy thought process when you really think of it.

I don’t want to continue to live this way.  It is actually quite a dumb way to live. I have dreams that I want to fulfill, but they will take a lot of effort.  And I may fail.  But that needs to be ok.

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A growth mindset is characterized by the idea that “I gave it my all for things I valued.”

Dweck said that confidence is not a necessary part of the growth mindset: you can give effort and acknowledge you can learn without self confidence.  This is huge for me.  I am not a confident person.  And I have always used that as an excuse for why I don’t try things/talk to people/apply for experiences. 

I think that the first step in growing my mindset is to stop assigning blame.  And to stop tying my worth to my success.  And to stop taking criticism as a personal attack.

I need to see failures as a chance to learn.  I need to enjoy the learning that failures give me.  I need to realize that people who are good at things are good because they have worked at it.  Effort is a good thing.

And the biggest one:  I need to see my worth as a Child of the King.  It doesn’t matter if it takes me 100 tries to master something.   The Creator of the universe is my God.  I am His child. In what else could I possibly find worth that equals that?

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(Clearly this was a post about self.  I am glad I planned that out.)

Bookish Posts

What I read, What I am Reading, and What I will Read Next

By Katie


October has been a slow read month. (After I typed that, I had to check the date to make sure it is still October.  This year is zooming by!)  I doubt I will finish even 8 books this month – which is low for me.

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There are a number of reasons why I am reading less, mostly to do with the twins.  We are trying to get a lot of work done around here so that we all fit comfortably in our house when they arrive.  The current state of my house is somewhere between “Disaster” and “Apocalyptic-type Devastation.”  I am antsy because the nesting bug has bitten me, but I can’t nest because everything is everywhere.  We are re-flooring our whole upstairs while living in it, which means furniture is constantly moving and being shoved in inconvenient locations.

All this is to say, that my brain is as scrambled as my living quarters.  And I am having a hard time focusing on anything, let alone books.

Also, when I do manage to sit for a few moments, I am uncomfortable.  Which isn’t any different from when I am standing, but less taxing.   I don’t know how the twins are going to keep growing for the next 6 weeks, because there isn’t any more room in there.

But, despite all my trials and tribulations, I have still managed to crack a book or two. I know, I am a modern-day hero.  Joan of Arc and Florence Nightingale have nothing on me.

What I read:

61sWF5+2frL._SL160_Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk is a Newberry Honor Book from a year or two ago.  It is an American war time book of a 12 year old girl, Annabelle, who becomes the target of a bully.   The bully goes on to target a local hermit who is battling demons from the First World War.  Annabelle does her best to save her friend the hermit but disaster strikes none-the-less.

This is a well-written book that is reminiscent of two of my favourite Newberry Medal Winners: The War that Saved My Life and Moon over Manifest.   I love kid’s lit that deal with the Wars, or other traumatic events in history, because I think they add a level of humanity that we can sometimes forget to have.  If you enjoy war time tales, another fantastic YA war novel is Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys.  The shoemaker in this novel is one of my favourite characters, and is as well developed as Francie Nolan in A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, or characters by literary giants Wendell Berry, and Wallace Stegner.

What I am Reading:

51dWe7xjDeL._SL160_Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, first published in 1938, is a delightful tale of a spinster governess/maid on the verge of destitution who is sent by her employment agency to an upscale address.  She is greeted by damsel in distress with too many lovers and too few morals.  Miss Pettigrew steps out of her comfort zone to help her, partially because the workhouse is her next and last option, but mostly because the life she stumbles on is nothing like the life she has known.  The light-hearted antics that ensue hour by hour make for a fun, easy read.

The only draw back to this novel is that I find it too dialogue-y.  (This is also my complaint about The Picture of Dorian Gray)  I find dialogue-heavy books make me feel anxious – kind of like when I am in dialogue-y situations in real life 🙂

What Will I read Next:

51d-7eESbgL._SL160_This is tougher to say:  I have 2 behemoths waiting for me from 51CrEqCnVmL._SL160_the library, Island of the World and The Father’s Tale.   They are by author Michael O’Brien, whom I have never read.  I heard about him on a (somewhat) recent episode of What Should I read Next, where the guest said that these two books were among her favourites of all time, and her descriptions intrigued me.  I thought they would make a great fall read as the weather cooled down, but we are having a rather warm fall (which is not helping my discomfort.)  I will pick one of them up next: I will let you know what I choose!

What I am Listening too:

And, of course, my current audio:  The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.  This book has won a number of awards and has been long-listed and short-listed for a bunch of other awards, but only has a 3.7/5 rating on Goodreads.  I am only 1 hour into and can’t say I am loving it, but it may be a book I need to read in written form.  I have a few other audio books queued, so I may abandon it (which is something I have only recently started to do!) to take up another audiobook.

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41fHxOhTrxL._SL160_But I need to mention a recent audiobook I just finished:  A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra.  I read this book a few years ago, and absolutely loved it.  I loved it just as much in audio.   Set in war-torn Chechnya, the book starts in December 2004 with 8 year-old Haava hiding in the woods.  She is taken to a local hospital by a family friend who bargains with on the only remaining doctor, Sonja, to allow Haava to stay in the hospital with her.   The novel bounces back and forth between the end of 2004 and the past few decades, and between different characters to tell the story of what happened to Haava’s family, to Sonja’s sister, and to many families during the war years in Chechnya. This book is beautifully written with a sweeping storyline.  The details you learn about each character you meet show Merra to be an absolute genius story teller.

What have you picked up lately?  Anything I should add to my TBR pile?

 

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Lifestyle

THM October Recap: Week 2

by Vicki

I am currently attempting to enjoy a no-cheat 100% Trim Healthy Mama (THM) October. You can read about my journey so far here and here. If you are interested in what THM is you can go their website or purchase their plan book and cook book

Two weeks done! Phew 🙂

Week 2 was definitely harder for me than Week 1. I think that kind of makes sense with the human condition (or at least my human condition). I find that I am always pretty good with the first week of a change – all the adrenaline and excitement about my new choices seem to keep me accountable and in check. Then week 2 rolls around with the realization that change is work and work is hard and hard is tiring and well, I’m already tired with normal life and three children. So. There’s that.

I also struggled with some chocolate cravings this past week. Okay, you got me, a lot of chocolate cravings. I love me my chocolate and its hard to say “good bye”. I know that THM has lots of chocolate substitutes and that 85% dark chocolate is on plan (and I like these options!) but buying already made and cheap chocolate is just plain easier :).

I’m embarrassed to say that this week wasn’t a complete success. I never fully cheated, but there were little bites sneaked as I prepared kid’s snacks, 5 Costco fries eaten while waiting for the littles to eat their lunch, meals/snacks eaten in less time than the required (suggested?) 3 hour intervals, too many on-plan protein bars enjoyed (these are sooo good), and mixing of fuel sources (although those happened accidentally). I think some of the problem was that I wasn’t fully prepped for this week. I am following Jen Mason’s October menu to help keep me on track but last week I just couldn’t get it together. I was late in getting groceries, I didn’t follow the meal plan and just kind of “winged” suppers, and I didn’t do any prepping of healthy snack options for myself.

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I was better at preparing myself lunches this week, so that’s a win!

This coming week, in order to get myself more cheat-free and on track, I have come up with some goals. 1) I would like to implement the different sippers that are in the cookbook. These sippers are super drinks that help heal your internal body, combat cravings, keep you filled and fueled between meals, and are kind of yummy! 2) I also want to really strive to meet the 3 hour intervals between meals and snacks. I find this a little difficult because I often don’t get around to feeding myself breakfast until later in the morning (after feeding the kids, dressing the kids, organizing the kids, throwing in a load of laundry, doing a quick tidy up of some area or other in the house, etc. etc. etc.) so that pushes my entire meal plan off for the day. If I eat breakfast at 9:30, I have to eat lunch at 12:30, snack at 3:30 and supper at 6:30 (which is kind of late for the kids and makes our evenings less enjoyable). But 12:30 to 5:30 is kind of a long break between meals (for me) and I find myself craving an energy boost or pick-me-up mid afternoon. So, my plan is to try to make sure I feed myself earlier on in the day. Even changing my routine enough that I eat breakfast by 8:30 would help make the rest of the day run smoother and easier (food-wise, no saying it will have any affect on what I am able to accomplish or the amount of chaos created by the three kids ;D).

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Raspberry Zinger Goodgirl Moonshine – so yummy!

So, those are my goals for this week (in addition to continuing to follow THM and the meal plan laid out by Jen Mason): Drink more sippers (hydrate & heal) and eat breakfast earlier so that I can leave 3 hours (minimum) between each meal and snack. What are your healthy goals for this week? Are you trying to drink more water? Exercise more regularly? Go to bed earlier? I would love to hear your goals. I’ll help keep you accountable if you help me :).

On to Week 3!


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