Two Weeks Into Our School Year!

I both look forward to and dread those first few weeks of school. Getting back into routine, introducing a new school year, finding out groove… it’s all hard and exciting! This year we have a 3rd grader, 1st grader, Pre-Kinder and I’m not sure whether to call Bear a tot-schooler or a distraction! Ha!

So far things have gone pretty well, the kids enjoy their curriculum (which I’ll post about each kid individually in the next few weeks) and we’ve only had a few temper tantrums (from the 1st grader) about getting our work done!

We’ve had several outings to our local library, we even did a day of school there! We’ve been blueberry picking, made some new videos for our YouTube channel, created playdough Stonehenge replicas, painted masterpieces and more!

I think my absolute favorite aspect of homeschooling is the freedom and flexibility to complete our work when and wherever we want. I’m looking forward to the temperatures getting cooler so we can take advantage of doing our work outside!

Something new we are trying this year is Reading Eggs. I was a little hesitant, I tend to steer away from using the computer or phone/tablet for school work. I do use Starfall for the littles when we need some quiet time for the big kids, and we utilize YouTube for videos, etc. I’m sold on the Reading Eggs program though! We’ve been trying the trial for about a week now and Bird is growing leaps and bounds with her letter and letter sound recognition. It’s such a fun way for them to learn their letters, she’s enjoying it and the older two have also enjoyed checking out some of the other work it offers as well!

I am looking forward to seeing what this year brings, I’m already impressed with how well the kids are doing. I also have a few fun and exciting things up my sleeve for this year!

Thank you for stopping by, don’t forget to check out my Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as our YouTube channel – you can find the links under my photo in the right column of this blog! God Bless!

Looking Different

Things will start looking a little different around here and on my social media pages. My website and social media names will stay Mustard Seed Mommy, as that’s who I am and I will be running my blog and social media pages. On YouTube you will see our family as Mustard Seed Adventures and see our images and photographs with that on it as well.

I wanted to create something that encompasses our whole family, our dream of someday traveling (whether that becomes full time or a frequent part time adventure is up in the air right now), homeschooling, and following God’s lead. The parable of the mustard seed is all about faith, the tiniest of faith, so that remains the focus and tag line of my blog and what this is all about. Faith is greater than fear. ALWAYS.

I hope you enjoy following our adventures, whether it be when we travel, as we homeschool and raise our children. It’s my hope that even just one person comes across my blog, social media sites or our videos and learns how faithful and AWESOME our God is! Thank you to all of you who have been following my blogging journey since 2008 and those of you who are new, it’s been a long road and I’m so excited to see where these new adventures take us!

Dreaming and Planning

As I’ve said a few times in my posts this past year, I’ve got big plans for this little site of mine. Changes, updates, a remodel if you will. J and I have some big dreams and we are doing some big planning for the future of our family.

We just got back from a week long adventure to Charleston, SC. We tent camped in the Mount Pleasant KOA and it was absolutely beautiful. It was our first time in Charleston and we loved just about everything about it there. I loved the history of the downtown area, the beauty of the waterfront parks, and the beaches… just gorgeous.

Sullivan’s Island was our absolute favorite beach there, it was quiet, not crowded, and it had a lighthouse at the tail end of the beach. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Charleston and it sparked a dream we’ve had for years. Maybe not a dream really, more like a casual idea we have mentioned to each other over the years.

We love to travel, we love exploring new places and finding hidden gems in small towns. When we lived in Tennessee we had so much fun exploring our new town and the surrounding areas. Back home in North Carolina we’ve been doing more of that and exploring areas we have never been before. For a long time we’ve talked about how amazing it would be to travel full time, to find jobs where we could work on the road and just be with our family. Full time family. That’s what we want. No more 9-5 work, no more constant busyness, no more.

So what does that mean exactly? We aren’t going anywhere right now, but we are planning. We are dreaming. I’m hoping through my blog and possibly my social media channels and YouTube we can start blogging and vlogging our journey. This will be a journey to living debt free, to finding our way to being a full time family and all the details in between. I would love to see us be debt free in less than 3 years, and full time traveling in 4-5. Our kids would be ages 6-13ish by then.

I’m excited to see where God takes us, I’m excited to see what God does with our lives and the lives of our family. There’s always that chance that he’ll change the course in the next few years, but we are ready to follow His lead.

Finding Rest

It’s amazing how a simple word can be continually placed on our hearts, a constant reminder of what God wants us to do. The sermon at our church on Sunday wasn’t necessarily about the word “rest”, but our pastor did bring up Mary of Bethany. And when I think of Mary, I think of rest. On the radio, THREE times this past week, I’ve heard sermons and speakers talk of resting within Jesus. It’s obvious to me that I have chosen the right word for me… and then while at the women’s planning meeting at our church, our pastor’s wife brought up an activity we will be doing at our next event. We will be making little cards with our word of the year on them to display at home or in our bible’s as a reminder. It’s been a constant thing these past two weeks!

So, because of all these constant reminders I’ve been thinking about ways I can rest. How can I find rest in Him? How can I teach myself to rest and let Him take on my burdens? I started with prayer. I’ve been praying the word rest over my life, my family, my children’s education, all of it. Am I stressed and anxious? Well, yea, I don’t think that’s going to go away in the blink of the eye. Do I feel rested? Well, no… I have four children ages seven and under, one of which who still nurses ALL night. But I feel more relaxed. More even. More at peace.

The first thing I’ve been doing is making a habit of washing our dishes twice a day. I know that sounds silly, but this is the first time we haven’t had a dishwasher in a while. If I don’t stay on top of them, they pile up and then at the end of the day everyone’s too tired to do them and I wake up anxious and overwhelmed because there’s a giant pile of dirty dishes waiting to be washed. BUT, if I take the time to do them at least twice a day (and J will usually do them a third time), not only does the task get done and there’s not nearly as many to do, but I also have time to talk to the Lord. I can pray, I can sing, I can worship. My hands are busy, but my mind, soul and voice are available to worship!

The second thing I’ve been doing is relaxing about homeschooling. I’m a pretty strict routine follower, I like having a calendar of what we are doing, and a structured schedule. While I do have a tentative plan set for the rest of this semester, I’m relaxing about when/where and how we are going about our schedule. Today for instance, Boogie needed to finish up some spelling/handwriting tasks that we had planned to finish before our move before we moved on to the next lessons. Normally I’d have her sit and do them all at once and just get them done, which really she’s cool with, but this morning the three big kids were playing in the playroom and they were having fits of laughter together. Joyful, wonderful giggling and carefree banter between them. Honestly, it’s been a while since I have heard them play like that, lately it’s been a lot of bickering and fighting and screaming… but this was beautiful. So instead of sticking to our routine, I let them play… and did the dishes!

The third thing I’ve been doing is I’ve been working on getting more involved at church, I know this doesn’t sound like rest, but for me it is. Getting involved means making friends, blessing others, and having a life outside of my children. Because let’s face it, as a stay at home mom who also homeschools… my life revolves around the kids 24/7. It’s not healthy, and I have to take care of me as well. So I’ve been helping plan events and activities with the women’s ministry, I’m going to be starting up a mom’s group (so excited about this!) and I may be working on helping with the nursery and getting it running more efficiently. Beyond church, I’m hoping to take some classes on pottery… something different that I used to enjoy as a teenager when I went to summer camp. I think it’ll be fun!

The fourth thing that I have been working on is spending quality time with my husband. Relationships can get lost and pushed to the side when you have littles running around. It’s especially true when your life has been as crazy as ours has been the past few months. Now that Bear is a bit bigger and we’ve tested me being gone for a couple hours, my hope is that we can start going out and find some activities to try together. We’d like to do one of those paint dates, maybe a movie night (it’s been SO long y’all), a cooking class, a concert… whatever we find!

Have you thought about what your word for 2018 will be? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be praying for you and your word this year! God Bless!

New Beginnings

The old has gone, the new is here! How amazing is that? How wonderful is it that God can wash away all the old and spring forth new goodness and hope into our lives? We are officially NC residents again, we are getting settled into our new home and gearing up to get started into Boogie’s second semester of first grade and Bubby’s second semester of Pre-K. It’s been a hard few months, but we are HERE. God has truly been merciful to us, I’ve been reminded again and again to lay my burdens at His feet so that He can take on my burdens… it’s not been easy, but we made it through this trial.

I’m excited to start this year anew with some changes to what you’ll be seeing in the coming months on my blog. I have been taking a long break from writing really, with the exception of some reviews and random posts here and there because I really just didn’t know what I wanted to do with Mustard Seed Mommy. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to continue or what I should use MSM for anymore. I love blogging, it’s always been a way for me to share family adventures with our friends/family who live out of state, it’s also been a way for me to share my faith and to share things that I love with my readers.

This past month I’ve been praying and thinking a lot about where I want to go with MSM and I thought, what better way to start this year blogging, then with my “Word” for 2018?  It’s something I’ve also been praying over, I wanted something that would push me this year… and it’s a word that’s been whispered in my ear over and over and over. Rest.

Yea, you heard me. REST. I know what you’re thinking. Rest? Trust me, I’ve said no over and over again to that word for this year. I don’t have time to rest. I don’t have time to go to the bathroom alone, how would I have time to rest? Guess what? Through Him I find rest. It’s as simple as that. I have to strive to be like Mary of Bethany, to rest at the feet of Jesus, to choose Him above all else. I have to say no when I want to be like Martha, running around like a crazy person attempting to make my home spotless, my home perfect for my guests… I have to find rest in Him. Always. Every. Single. Day.

So this year, you’re going to find more posts about my family and our adventures. You’re going to find posts about homeschooling and my faith. Because those things are what keep me going. Family and faith. Homeschooling is part of our family right now and I am SO SO excited to share some curriculum with you this year. I’ve got some pretty cool things up my sleeve, it’s going to be a blast! I’ve also got some things planned for a mom’s group at our church that I’ll also be sharing, lots of neat things to come.

Thank you for sticking by me all these years, it’s a big one y’all…. April will make TEN years since I started blogging. I can’t believe it! I can’t wait to see what the next ten years brings. God Bless!