4 on Friday- Survive to Thrive

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Surviving Mother’s Day

What difference a year makes. Last year on Mother’s Day I was living a completely different life- swinging on a different front porch. Both a wife and a mother… and feeling overwhelmingly blessed that our family was in one piece and the future looked bright. (Then fast forward a few weeks to the final crash.)4 on Friday

Life is tough in ways I never imagined. I was busy before and now I add to that owning my own business and trying to figure out how to support this crew in the longterm, doing sports alone, discipline alone, answering all the hard questions alone, plus all the jobs that were never mine like yard work, fixing things, and car care. And just the crushing knowing that in the end I wasn’t enough.

But, life is also beautiful in ways I never imagined it could be. My children know patience and unconditional love. They don’t cower when they make a mistake. We may not have the future I hoped for, but I know that our situation is stable, not subject to changing feelings and commitments. 4 on Friday

So many things that once seemed important are no longer a big deal with the perspective gained in the heartache of the recent past. Even though I’m a more stressed mom, somehow I’m a more relaxed Mom too.4 on Friday


School’s almost out for summer! Woo hoo! We are looking forward to adventuring, swimming, projects, and sewing for the next few months. Due to technical issues with math earlier this year, most of the big kids will do one math lesson a day for a few weeks to finish up- but that’s no big deal.Homeschool Looks Like This

Wrapping up the school year does mean testing time… ugh. I really hate it. Between children with dyslexia and perfectionist children who don’t understand that the test is TRYING to give them questions too hard, it’s a stressful time. I work all year keeping my struggling learners confidence up and moving forward, while also trying to teach the perfectionists that mistakes are okay. Then I throw this testing at them that highly stresses them all out, to find out information I already KNOW because I’m working with them everyday.

At least it will be behind us for the year very soon!


Yardwork was never my territory and of all the new ‘jobs’ that fall to me, it’s the one I feel most inept at. The learning curve is big, especially with the machinery required. Lawnmowers and I just do not get along.

Yep, that's grass in my coffee. One of the big kids had a mower issue. I set my coffee down to help, then forgot about it when we got back to work.
Yep, that’s grass in my coffee. One of the big kids had a mower issue. I set my coffee down to help, then forgot about it when we got back to work.

Thankfully the kids really enjoy yardwork, and I can truly say I’m learning to love it too. Enjoying pretty weather, and working together with my crew is just a recipe for a great day. We all feel this sense of accomplishment of doing it ourselves. Every time we leave the yard with a job accomplished it reminds us that we can do this alone!4 on Friday

We are lucky to have my grandmother’s riding lawnmower here, plus a hand-me down from my Dad. With our big country yard, it’s helpful for two to cut at the same time. And my Dad is helping me get on top of the mower care and maintenance. Today he’s rebuilding a carburetor on one mower, and replacing a blade on the other.

I look forward to the day we get the yard cut with no issues. I might throw a party!4 on Friday

Between forgetting the obvious like needing to buy gas and fill the mowers up… and getting the mower stranded in the middle of the front yard… and a big helper running over a rock another day, destroying a blade…and flooding the engine stranding the mower behind the van (and it refusing to go into neutral so the kids and I could push it back to the barn)… and I could go on… that day hasn’t come yet, but hopefully it isn’t too far off.4 on Friday


We are still in the thick of sports season- just two weeks left. It’s been absolutely nuts with something at the fields every single day for the past two months. Even with the craziness, and being gone every night I’m glad I decided to let the kids join in. They’ve made friends and l’ve enjoyed re-entry into a community.

We are very glad the cold weather is finally gone!
We are very glad the cold weather is finally gone!

When we first moved here I said no to sports, knowing I’d be overwhelmed while adjusting to our new life. Some children even said they didn’t want to play again because the memories of ball were too hard. That year break was just what we needed, to put the past of sports behind us and get settled. 4 on Friday

I’ve taken a million pictures, but haven’t had the time to sort through and edit much. In fact, when I tried to head to the fields without my camera on a day I’d be running from field to field watching 4 children playing games on the same night, Peyton made it clear that I needed to take photos of her. My little princess diva. She is hilarious out on the field… not much hustle in her as she waits for the ball to roll up to her feet. 4 on Friday

I’ve had some crazy deja vu watching this little boy zoom around while big siblings play sports. How things change, yet how they remain the same… 4 on Friday

And how glad I am that even though life is different, it is beautiful… and I’m not missing it or wasting it!

And 4 is it today…

It’s usually 5 on Friday, but kids are beginning to ask for lunch so my morning work hour is done.


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  1. I love that passage you shared. He has made everything beautiful in his time. Even though we don’t understand it, God goes before us to prepare a way.
    Many blessings to you.

  2. You had a busy week. It’s so nice that your kids enjoy yard work. It looks like more of a play time than work.

  3. It’s tough when you’re adjusting to a new life and you have kids to take care of too. Sometimes, you feel like a 24 hours in a day will never be enough. But then you realize, you have kids that make you smile and melt your hear. It can be overwhelming, but it will definitely get better!

  4. Aw! Such epic pics! I especially love the one where grandma is playing with the kids & the boy is reading in the tree! That is so cool, I’ve hardy ever seen that.
    You have a great family & lead such an interestingly fun lifestyle.

  5. Such a wonderful post. Great to see your kids working hard to. That’s always something wonderful for them to experience. I think all kids need to help out like this.

  6. This school year has flown by! My oldest is in 9th so I am kinda hoping it slows down just a little bit. We also have yardwork to get done before it gets too super hot. Looks like you guys have alot of stuff to keep busy with.

    1. Truthfully, I would never have believed I could handle this long ago. But, Mommas are tougher than they think! Thankfully I have kids big enough to help out in the yard!

  7. This is just amazing, I admire how good you are doing in raising 6 kids, which I can imagine being a mom of just 2. The love for the kids make us forgot everything. My kids too involve in gardening & yard work anytime which is a good hobby to keep themselves active anytime.

  8. my daughter would love the yardwork! she misses our farm back in australia and seeing all the cows and grass this post reminds me to plan something fun for the summer this june

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