the importance of turning off to tune in

IMG_2091Saturday morning, we woke up early-ish, packed the cooler with water bottles and snacks and hit the road. We had things to do, places to go, and a camper that needs a make-over.

We spent the day visiting a great resale store, four different Habitat for Humanity ReStores, the RV Museum and the RV library. We found some great deals, learned some interesting facts and unearthed some buried treasures.

It rained buckets and we missed an exit. We laughed and she talked. She shared the back seat with a big window screen and manned the cooler. We got excited when we found vintage lights and disappointed when there was only one piece of the exact flooring she envisioned. She dreamed. We listened.

Best of all, the entire day I turned off the social media notifications on my phone so I could tune in to our adventure.

When you work from home as a social media manager, social media becomes more than a job. It becomes a way of life, or maybe it’s just me?

I rarely ever truly step away from what I do. When I get on to check my personal pages, the lines blur and I inadvertently check work pages too. All too often, a quick answer to a notification becomes 30 or 40 minutes of clicking through, tuning out those around me.

It’s a constant battle to turn off and tune in.

For a few hours on a rainy Saturday, I was able to set my work aside and be present in the moment. As time ticked by and the adventure continued, I had less and less desire to even look at what I might be missing.

Later, when we got home after our adventure and a very fun 1st birthday party, my phone looked like Facebook had a party without me. Messenger was overflowing and my notifications were too. I took one look at the red numbers on my Facebook accounts and turned my phone off for the rest of the night and most of Sunday too.

And, whenIMG_2112 I logged on this morning, it took less time than usual to answer messages and click through notifications.

What started as a few hours of intentional turning off turned into a weekend of tuning in. And, I was better for it.

The best part? Time with these I love.


this is why I love homeschool

IMG_1997Confession time, this title is a little misleading.

In my real life, there are about 2,456,897 reasons why I love homeschool. This post is approximately reasons number 2,456,898 and 2,456,899 but I wasn’t sure that made a good blog title. 🙂

This is the fifteenth year we’ve journeyed this path called homeschool. It’s also roughly the third consecutive time we’ve started a new school year following my definitive declaration the previous spring, “this is my last year of homeschool.”

Honestly, we keep going with this educational choice because of the opportunities that it presents. However, after fourteen years, I truly thought there was nothing new. We’ve done homeschool, public school, and private school. We’ve explored Charlotte Mason method, Classical Education, unschooling, and child lead learning. We’ve taken our homeschool on the road camping across different states, to two other countries, and we’ve taken advantage of two different colleges in our town for dual-credit classes. I thought we had mostly done it all.

Wrong, again.

This year new adventures await.

project Salud y Paz....Emme started Certified Nurses Assistant training this morning. While this is not a required step in her goal to become an RN someday, her dad (a nurse, himself) encouraged her to go this route. Emme is a senior this year and has only 12th grade English and U.S. Government left to complete for her diploma, so the CNA class at our local career center fit nicely into her schedule. After her first medical missions trip to Guatemala six years ago, my girl hasn’t wavered in her desire to do something in the medical missions field. Today is her first step and I can’t wait to see where God leads her. I don’t have a picture of her in her new eggplant colored scrubs this morning, but here she is, a few years ago, where her adventure began… in Guatemala.

IMG_1999Ellen’s schooling adventure this year is all about renovation, design, and budgeting. Meet Betty. Betty is a 1964 Bee Line travel trailer made not too far from where we live now. Ellen is giving Betty the ultimate make-over in hopes of selling Betty to generate funds to buy and restore her very own glamper. So, aside from her typical math, writing, science, and history classes, Ellen is learning all about repair and restoration, as well as learning which things are “needs” and which are “wants” when it comes to making Betty beautiful again. We’ll be heading to the RV Museum in Elkhart this week and taking advantage of their extensive library to learn more of what Betty used to look like and hopefully gain some make-over ideas. Thankfully, we have a friend with experience and he’s been incredibly generous in sharing his tips of the trade with Ellen. Stay tuned. I can’t wait to show you what she does with Betty this school year. Here is the link to her Facebook group if you want to follow along:

As I look back, I can honestly say that the number one reason I love homeschool is because I have been gifted fourteen years to encourage and equip my kids to pursue their dreams and passions.

I’m grateful for one more year!