This will be the last post in my Big Changes series. We've seen some great success with the changes we have made. We changed a lot of things all at once, which can be overwhelming. But it was hard to continue on in our path, all the while knowing we were heading the wrong way. If one was driving down a highway and realized they were going West, when they were supposed to go East, they would get off at the nearest exit and turn around. Continuing to go West would have wasted time and resources. The longer you continue going the wrong way the longer it will take to get to where you are going.
So where do we go from here? Well we need to be in continued prayer that we don't get side tracked. We still have work to do. There is a lot of work to be done with the projects we have going on around here. Just last night we moved a desk from our bedroom into the family room to put the girls' sewing machine on. We are committed to putting our time and money into the things that will help us live out our family goals. I was able to get some free fabric last week. With 4 girls we will need more, but it's a start! Another purchase I would like to make will be for some yarn. They are really into crocheting at the moment. Just yesterday I "splurged" on a $0.92 spatula for Flannery. She insisted we needed it. With all the cooking she has been doing we felt it was important to equip her with the tools she needs.
I have read about the concept of giving your child quality 'tools' from various sources in the past. Be it from blogs or books like "Teaching the Trivium", or most recently from Charlotte Mason's second book. Giving your child inferior tools will not inspire them. I know this even for myself. I can not bare to use Crayola colored pencils. They are hard leaded, do not blend and are lacking in their ability to transfer their pigment to the paper. I do, however, loooovvvveee my Prisma colored pencils. They are soft leaded, transfer to the paper effortlessly, and are bold in color. It really is a night and day experience when drawing with those two brands. This does not mean you have to get the 'best' of everything, but there is a difference between the cheapest of cheap and a higher quality product. Our children are happy to use what free and found items we have on hand, but they really get excited when they get to pick out nice fabric, with patterns they love. They want to dive in and make something with it right away.
One of my goals is to gather, bit by bit, quality 'tools'. No, this doesn't mean fabric that goes for $20 a yard, but it does mean maybe spending more than $1 per yard...if needed. We can't break the bank either! Ha, ha! There is balance to be had in all of this. Just like my ideas on toys. I would much rather they had a few well made, open ended toys than a box full of the plastic noise makers that do all the thinking for them.
We've also decided to spend money on DVD's and books that will help us to build our relationship with each other as husband/wife and as parent/child. We just purchased one such series recently. We are rearranging our schedules to make the time for these videos. We are committed to making the needed changes in our attitudes to continue getting our ship going and staying on the right course.
I am sure we will continue to examine where we are. I am sure there will be other changes or at least tweaks that will need to happen in the future. Our girls all want/desire/covet (read...obsessed) a big farm. Well, there is only so much money to go around :-) So for now we tell them, we need to be content with what God has given us, and we need to take care of what He has given us to the best of our abilities. If He so chooses to give us more, then we will be thankful, and if He doesn't....we will be thankful!
Swimming upstream, against what every one else is doing, can be hard. It has been crucial for Jeremiah and I to be of one mind and to have the people around us supporting our decisions as well. It makes the road that much easier to travel. Our oldest isn't questioning everything we do now. She sees we are NOT crazy...or at least we are not alone in our craziness ;-) She sees that we are committed to her well being. She used to think we were out to ruin her life. We were too half hearted about our life in the past, and I can see how hard that was on her. The changes were not easy. There have been days I just wanted to throw in the towel. We are about to bring this up a notch as we work on our attitudes (I'm talking about Jeremiah and myself!). I can see many more days of towel throwing wishes! But every time that feeling comes sooner or later one of my children will do or say something that reminds me that all of these changes has been sooooooo worth it.
Thank you for reading about our journey of change. I am hoping to give another update in another few months after we've worked on our attitudes and made any tweaks. Stay tuned!