I found this image with a quick search. Original source unknown.
Starting a blog has been a long time goal of mine. I put it off for years because I was intimidated to start. I wasn’t sure how to set it up and I used that as an excuse to not start. Truthfully, I think most of my fear centered around how starting a blog might change my natural desire to write. I don’t really do well under pressure. I had concerns that once I started I would feel pressure to constantly write new posts or write nothing at all. One of my faults is that I can resort to that black and white thinking.
I am not sure exactly what finally pushed me to take the leap. I guess I was feeling now or never (see more black and white thinking). I have loved to write since I was a child. It has always been an outlet for me. From fictional stories as a young girl, to dramatic poems as a teen, and even a small novel (which I have no idea where I put that!). I want this for me. I want to put my thoughts and feelings down. It isn’t about how many people choose to read, or trying to become famous, or even making money. This is for me. I don’t really do many things just for me nowadays. I think I may need to read this post from time to time, if that pressure to write like this is for someone else creeps in.
The name of the blog came to me almost instantly. Crazy is kind of obvious. Life is crazy unpredictable. Kids are crazy in the good kind of way, making everything very different. Crazy was just the first word that came to mind. So why joyful? It certainly is not because I am always joyful. If I am being honest, I have struggled with anxiety and depression much of my life. I think joyful felt right because I want to remind myself to find the joy. And if I can’t find it, then to cultivate some. It is up to me to make the most of this crazy life. Joyful is a reminder word as well. A word to hold me accountable for my thoughts about things that I cannot control.
So that is how I got here. I will write when I feel like I need an outlet to think out loud. I will write about what I feel like I need to say. This is for me and only me. I welcome any readers along my journey, maybe we will learn something together.
My daughter has taken a sudden interest in creating “recipes”. This shouldn’t surprise me I guess, since she likes to create in general. She has found much joy in mixing together different flavors of applesauce, fruit pouches, and yogurt.
My initial reaction did go to food waste and mess. But truth be told, she has eaten most of what she has made and even helped clean up the mess without hesitation. The first time I walked into the kitchen and she explained that she wanted to pour milk into a popsicle holder and freeze it to make a “milk pop”, I almost shut it down and told her how flavorless that would be. I am glad that I caught myself and instead of letting that slip I forced a smile and said “That sounds like an interesting food experiment.” I really love fostering her since of creativity and curiosity. I try to just think of the temporary extra cost as homeschool supplies, after all learning is in all the things.
Also a huge bonus is that she has tried some new things, which is actually a big achievement for the kid who has trouble with anything new or different.
Oh and if you are wondering how the “milk pop” turned out, she offered it to her little brother who did not seem to think it was gross or flavorless at all. She had an ear to ear smile as she told me that someone liking her experiment made her “kind of like a chef”.
I love a toddler’s sense of style. They have no fear to live in the moment and go with what makes them feel happy. Often times it seems the sillier the better. Elijah (3 years old) has always loved to accessorize his outfit with hats, gloves, scarves, or dress up clothes over his regular clothes. He looks ridiculous and adorable. I don’t think twice when he wants to wear one of these outfits out to the grocery store or to run errands. He is so proud of his outfit. Sure, sometimes it attracts some stares. But more often than not, lots of smiles by other people who also appreciate his adorable crazy style. Self-expression is a wonderful thing.
“I’m a King!”
In this picture Elijah said he was a King. We were out all day with him wearing this. I will look back on this picture when he is older and remember this time in his life. So innocent, so opinionated, so imaginative. This look here is the epitome of toddlerhood.
So next time you see a child all dressed up in whatever makes them happy, whether it be animal prints from head to toe, or as many colors as possible, or a mismatched dress up outfit, just smile. Remember how short this time of their life is, a time before society’s thoughts on your clothes matter. A time of pure innocent fun.
My 3-year-old sometimes likes to have “coffee” with me. So I have my fresh coffee and he has his coffee milk. Today, like 3 year olds often do, he spilled his. Understandably, he was quite upset. I helped him clean it up and I gave him a bit of my coffee in some more milk (giving away your own coffee is an act of true love). He was happy again.
Then he said “If you spill your coffee, I will help you clean it up”. So sweet. He has learned that messes happen and don’t have to a big deal. That Mom helps clean up the mess and he does not have to feel bad. He has learned that it feels good to help other people in the same way he has been helped. He has learned to just clean the spill and move on.
Our homeschooling today looked like heading to the farm to learn about mice. At home, the kids decided they wanted to make a mouse trap with toilet paper and peanut butter, and then having to redo it two more times after our dogs ate their trap. We finished the theme by watching the 90’s movie mouse hunt. Besides heading to the farm, none of that was pre-planned, it’s just where the day took us.
What our “homeschool” looked like today. We took a walk to get some fresh air and play outside. Hailey was asking many questions about trees and leaves. We talked about the benefits trees give our earth, and provide homes for certain animals, how the leaves absorb the sunlight and turn it into other things, and also provide food for certain insects. It was light and fun basic biology.
What Hailey takes from the whole thing, “I am glad we have leaves because when we are out on a walk we can use them like napkins!”
I believe in saying “yes” as often as possible. In reality that does not always feel easy. Look at this picture for example. Here my two oldest wanted to wash dishes together. A no would have been an easy thing to say. I thought of lots of reasons to say no, but when I really considered the reasons why, none of them were good enough.
“No, it would be too messy and water will get everywhere.” It did. Water was all over the place. It was pretty easy to clean up. And I showed my daughter how to point the sprayer downward and she really tried to keep it in the sink.
“No, you can’t waste the dish soap.” To them it was not a waste at all. Besides, what is a $2 bottle of dish soap compared to the fun they were having?
So, I said yes. And my daughter said “I wanted to wash dishes for you. I know you love clean dishes. You can take the day off.” Such a sweet thought. Saying yes allowed her to show me her love for me. Saying yes gave her an opportunity to take enjoyment in a typically mundane chore. Saying yes facilitated a feeling of accomplishment and pride in their work and ability to contribute to the household.
It was worth the mess. It was worth the “wasted” soap. It was worth the less than clean dishes that will have to be washed again. It was just worth
Some people say unschooling starts at birth, some say at school age. For the sake of this page, I am going to say school age (and before that is just living and parenting). Where are we? My daughter is home this year for “kindergarten”. but opting out of public school isn’t mandatory in my state until age 6, so next year will be our first official year and the start of our unschooling.
Hailey is my imaginative, bright, sensitive, first born daughter. She is constantly questioning, seeking new information, and challenging us in every way possible. She loves people and hates sleep. She identifies herself as an artist. At the time of this writing she is 5.5.
Elijah is my sweet, wild, silly, generous oldest son. He is often found playing chef, doctor, or firefighter. He loves to be my helper in the kitchen and around the house. He is still often found cuddling in my lap. He has a deep love for his siblings and his friends. He loves his long hair, food, and his Margo (Grandma). He doesn’t dislike much except for strange noises. He is 3 at the time of this writing.
Winter is our newest addition. He is 2 months old at the time of this writing. For now, he enjoys making us look goofy to get a big gummy smile, nursing, and sleeping on Mommy’s lap. I can’t wait to see his personality develop and shine. He is very loved by his siblings.
Mark is my husband of 8 years. He is easily identified by his ruggedly handsome beard. His passion is technology. We share a love for good coffee and good beer. He likes to climb and hike, and is always waiting to watch a good movie. He loves his family fiercely and is not afraid to be one of the kids.