yonder way farm

We got to spend a few days with some of our favorite people, at our favorite farm, Yonder Way Farm!  I just love Lynsey and her family so much.  I went out on a whim last year and emailed her---we had never met before, but anytime she posted something on Instagram, I just had this feeling that we would be great friends.  Anywho, after she determined I wasn't psycho, she let us come down for a visit last year and it was a blast.  The kids couldn't wait to get back (and really neither could I).

The Kramers have 4 girls (or chicks as they affectionately call them) all the same ages as our kids.  They each have someone to hang out with (or boss around, in the case of Exie and Olive).  We literally pull up to the farm and the kids take off and we don't see them until we ring the bell for lunch and dinner.  What a life!  I could get used to that.

There are 10 kids between the 2 of us friends.  We look like a daycare any place we go.  But let's be honest, the Andersons alone look like a daycare any place we go. 

When Olive and Exie weren't busy bossing each other around, Olive tried to boss the chickens around.  They all flee every time she comes near.

Lynsey, my free range buddy for life.  So thankful for this sweet friend!

(Do these turkeys/chickens make my hoodie look good? 
Well, my hoodie doesn't need much to look good cause it's already perfect.
Evy's Tree is the amazing store behind my amazing hoodie, The Sophie.  They just released a new color, graphite, and it's currently on sale! Get it while it's hot, which is always!)

Farm life is very relaxing for me.  I'm sure it's because I'm a guest, and not the one running the farm.  But I love the life my kids live when we are there.  I'm really hopeful that one day we will have a little bit more of "wide open spaces"...I don't need 100 acres or anything.  Just 1 or 2 would do.  Maybe 5.  And chickens.  Lots of chickens.  And a wrap-around porch and a white picket fence.  Maybe a big old swing on the front porch.  And definitely a large fire pit...I have visions of our teenagers sitting around the fire, playing their instruments and singing.  Like a modern day Partridge Family.  Hmmmm.  Dreaming, always dreaming.


wild and free

A few weekends ago I attended the Wild & Free conference in Virginia Beach, VA.  It came just a few weeks after my mom passed away and felt like the best time ever to escape.  I was so glad to be able to attend with one of my dear friends, Vanessa.  She's the type of buddy that you just long to have in your life.  Meets you last minute when you're going insane and need to escape for some girl time.  Loves to talk friendship but also has this awesomely creative business side of her that pushes me to pursue the things I love in my life.  Anywho, basically I love her.
Wild & Free was a homeschool/intentional parenting conference and I took away a lot.  I thought I'd just share some bullet points of what I learned, hoping it will help you in your journey.  Enjoy!
She taught a session called "The Well Balanced Mama"
-Balance isn't feasible, but peace is achievable
-Allow peace, not anxiety, to rule over you
-God is calling you to be faithful in doing the work, not successful
-Curriculum doesn't have to be just something we check off our to do list
-We see interruptions, not opportunities
-Reminds us to tell ourselves "My posture is peace" throughout the day
A few things to attain this peace:
1. Devote yourselves to God & prayer
2. Focus on quality vs. quantity
3. Avoid multi-tasking and be present (relationships grow better this way)
4. Embrace your own teaching style (stop comparing ourselves to other moms)
5. Grace - remember God equips the called
6. Slow down (how we teach is just as important as what we teach)
From Tiffany Gray @thegraygang:
-We need to be emotionally available to our family
-Say no to the rest, and yes to the best
-What gives you power?  What depletes you?
-Are you addicted to busyness?
A few things to help manage our time better:
1. Look at relationships - get rid of ones that are bringing you down
2. Look at how you spend your time - say maybe first.  Consider your whole family before saying yes.
3. Look at how your yes commitments affect you
"When you try to be everyone to everybody, you end up being nothing to everyone."
(LOVE that quote!)

-Sit down with your spouse and set goals for each kid, each year.
Academic goals, spiritual goals, emotional goals
-What do you want for each child?
-Become a student of your child - learn about them.  What do they like?  What are they passionate about?
Terri Woods @woodsermom:
-Know why we homeschool
"What we're doing inspires them"
1. A lifestyle of learning
2. Good books - reading, narrating and writing about them
3. Meaningful work - chores are non-negotiable, everybody works/serves
4. Time - make time for everything - school, work, play
5. Being in awe of God and his creation
"The world is a wonder"
6. Consistency - kids thrive on security and stability
-Run the race!
-My daily job is to love my children and teach them the word of the Lord
-This is kingdom work
Not only did we get to hear some inspiring talks, we also got to visit the beach.  And I got to practice my jumping skills. 
The conference was a refreshing break from life and all that was going on with it.  I was needing a little inspiration and pick-me-up in the parenting department.
Even if you don't homeschool, a lot of those words up there can be applied to numerous relationships in your life, not just as parents.