Have you ever dreaded going somewhere with little kids? I have. Once I had baby #3 going anywhere with my kids became a major chore and a total pain. It always takes twice as long go get to wherever it is you are going and once you are there you are playing interference the whole time. And taking a bunch of little kids to Church on Sunday to sit for an hour during Sacrament is definitely not a walk in the park especially when you have to go alone.
Since my husband is in the Marine Corps, there are times when he is gone for training and for work, leaving me alone with our now 4 children. When we lived on the East Coast, it was especially difficult because I didn't know anyone and the area we lived in was strangely stressful. In fact, the first time I drove to Church on my own I almost got in a car wreck! The idea of driving to Church on my own and dealing with all our kids who desperately missed their father and were acting out because of it gave me a stomachache. You might feel the same way sometimes and honestly feel like it's not worth going to Church with kids. I don't blame you. I have felt the same.
I didn't like trying to get kids dressed, fed and packed up all on my own. I didn't like the idea of sitting alone with the kids or trying to sit through class while trying to distract my kids with toys or crayons only to end up walking in the hallway with them. I wished I could sit through class without getting distracted by the kids or have conversation with a fellow sister without having to run out the door. I would often convince myself the night before that I would not be attending Church the next day only to find myself getting the kids up and out the door in time for Sacrament meeting the following day.
Why? Why do it? Why go if I'm just gonna end up in the hallway? Why go if I'm going to sit alone the whole time? Seriously, why should I still go?
Because the Gospel is more to me than Church on Sunday.And I want my kids to know that.
When I was little, my family went to Church. There wasn't a question or a ever a debate. We just went. Period.
When my parents divorced, my mother moved us younger kids back to Missouri and there became inactive. But I found my way to Church each Sunday because the Gospel resonated with me and I loved it. I hoped I wouldn't be attending alone for long and the Lord heard my prayers. My Mom soon remarried, my step-dad joined the Church and we started going to Church again as a family.
It was a miracle.
As we grew as a new family unit and continued to go to Church each Sunday, our love and passion for the Gospel grew and became part of who we are today. Because of the Gospel, we are a strong in our conviction as individuals and we have started our own families with the same beliefs in mind: This Gospel is True. Heavenly Father is our Father, Christ is our brother and they have sent us here with a great work to do. And we will not turn our backs on what we know, WE KNOW, to be true.
When I was 8 years old, I was baptized in my faith but I wasn't truly converted to the Gospel until I was 17. The Gospel of Christ saved me and has brought so many blessings and peace.
I go to Church with my kids each Sunday, sometimes alone, but always with my kids because the Gospel is beautiful.
I go to Church with my kids to Church because the Gospel is a part of me through and through.
I go to Church with my kids because without the Gospel, I wouldn't have my children and my husband. They wouldn't be mine forever without the Gospel.
I go Church with my kids because I want my kids to understand how wonderful the Gospel is, that it is important and that it is a life changing force.
I go to Church with my kids because I love my children. I know that their Heavenly Father loves them and that Christ loves them and I want them to know it too, without a shadow of a doubt.
I go to Church with my kids because I know that even if they fall away or they choose a different path in their life, they will know that they are loved forever and always.
So even if I sit in the pew alone, even if I'm up and down throughout all 3 meetings taking kids to the potty and even if I have to pull my kids out the hall because they are having a meltdown or even if I have to take them outside and run laps around the Chapel, I will always go because I know the truth.
And the truth has set me free.
I know most people when they hear the word "homestead" they think 20 acres and cattle. I know for a long time that is what I thought too. I have recently come to think that anyone can have a homestead. It would be nice to have cattle, a few goats and a big orchard. But for now we've got 6 ducks, the beginnings of a mini orchard and cute seedlings that we are so excited to soon be planting in the ground. Over the last year, we have made a lot of improvements around the house and I think I'm enjoying the improvements in the yard the most. Here's an update in pictures of all we have done around here thus far!
We tore down the backyard shed. It was old, covered with wasp nests and not something my hubby and I really needed or wanted in our yard. We got it torn down completely in one day but it took us several weeks to get it all hauled away. Once it was all cleared out, we set up the duck coop and then used wire farm fencing and metal stakes to fence in an outdoor run for our ducks.
When we moved in, we knew we would have to tear down the back fence. It was literally falling apart but we didn't think we could afford a new wooden fence. One day, I peeked through the slats and discovered the fence was actually falling into our neighbors yard and they were propping it up with boards! It had to go. We quickly decided to tear it down and put up wire farm fencing. 2 hours and less than $90 later, we had a new fence and lots of slats to build planter boxes with.
Once we fenced the yard, we then fenced the in the outdoor duck run, elevated the coop, added a duck pond (an old sandbox that our neighbors were throwing out) and we have added our mini container orchard too. Soon I'll be elevating and wrapping my trees and bushes in wire to protect them from being eaten by the ducks but they are fine for now.
I cannot believe how much these ducks have grown in the last few weeks. When my husband left for a 2 week trip, 4 out of 6 ducks were still fluffy and yellow.
When he came back, they had all shed their yellow feathers and are now sleek and white. He was watching them last night when I was cleaning out their pool and we were debating how many are male and female. Getting the ducks was my idea but I am thankful that he is on board with having them now especially once they start laying.
This is the first year in our almost 7 year marriage that we will have our own garden. And we are so excited. The kids and I started seeds several weeks ago and watching them sprout has been so exciting. All we need to do now is level out the garden and get our planter boxes in so we can plant these beauties. But that will be another blog at another time.
We got our seeds from My Patriot Supply (affiliate link) and Heirloom Organics. We bought them a year or so ago and decided to use them first before buying new ones this year. They are heirloom, non-GMO and mostly Organic. I'm going to try to harvest them at the end of the season. We'll see how that goes.
What are you doing on your little homestead this year?