August 2013
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08/05/2013 - Author: Natasha Phillips

Many times when a person grows up in a large family, their best friends are their siblings. When you grow up in a large family and are home-schooled, your only friends are your siblings!!! (well mostly, except for a ‘few’ other homeschooling families.) Growing up you think nothing is ever going to change, then you enter the real world as an 18-20 year old adult and everything changes. All of a sudden everyone in the world, at least your world, is your best friend. You start making plans with these people and honestly believe that they will be in your life until the day you die. Sometimes you listen to their advice and opinions over the people who have known you the longest. Many times you hurt the true friends in your life and often many years will pass before you talk to those ‘true’ friends again. Eventually all your new best friends start falling by the wayside. They never call, plans to get together are never made and one can become jaded on the process of making friends and keeping them. Well that was me anyway. It was so hard for me to put myself out there to enjoy new people and make friends that are real and honest. Sometimes, even now I meet people who I think are

swinging together

swinging together

always going to be there, but then something like politics for example, end up as a barrier. I honestly don’t know why. I feel like even if people have different opinions it shouldn’t be a big deal. But then again I already wrote about that in my post ‘ Political Ramblings‘. Recently though I have been blessed to have some pretty amazing people come into my life. People I honestly think are going to be there for a very long time. Some have children and some do not. The mothers I have met since not working have become incredible friends to me and I am looking forward to the many years of child rearing that we will enjoy together. 

This last weekend we had the opportunity to spend time with some such friends. They are not from

The Crew! Yep they are all boys, no one wanted their picture taken. :)

The Crew! Yep they are all boys, no one wanted their picture taken. 🙂

this area, I actually met them while working at the brewery and by chance the next day ran into them again with Matt. We hit it off immediately, the guys might as well be brothers, they have three boys who are just a hoot! We only get to see them 2-3 times a year but the time is always precious, encouraging, relaxing and filled with laughter, good food, and a great time!

at an overlook on one of the trails we hiked.

at an overlook on one of the trails we hiked.

We journeyed their direction this time and found ourselves, for a bit, at Pere Marquette Illinois state park. For those of you who live in Hermann and are looking for an affordable, nice family vacation I recommend checking this place out. Grafton is nearby and full of neat little shops, while the park has great hiking trails, a nice camping ground, lodge, restaurant and river access.

A really cool tree we found in the woods while hiking

A really cool tree we found in the woods while hiking

It was a great park and I am sure much more is offered but we didn’t stay there just went there to hike. The rest of the time was spent at their house playing ball, swinging, eating dirt and so on.

Eating dirt

Eating dirt

The older I get the more I appreciate friendships. I still do have friends outside my family that stem from a very early age. We may not talk often or get to see each other much, but I know if need anything they are the ones to call on. I have my family, the greatest friendships I know have been forged with my siblings. Then there are the new friendships that are being built to last but in a much different way. These are the friendships of learning, adventure and excitement. I encourage everyone to look around them at the people they have in their life. Who are they? Are the friends, companions, people you trust? If you aren’t getting out there and putting yourself in a place to meet people and make friends, well you are missing out! Not everyone that comes into your life will stay and that is okay. I have come to appreciate the memories I get to build with even the friends that don’t stay around long, but if you aren’t getting out there you will not meet those people who you can grow with. Have fun!! Meet new people!! The yellow brick road awaits. 🙂

"Look mom, no hands!"

“Look mom, no hands!”

No Comments - Categories: Family Stories and Reflection, Just Because, My Kids

What happened to Summer?

08/01/2013 - Author: Natasha Phillips

I can not believe that in two weeks Boyd will be back at school. It seems to me that summer just began. This was a particular blessed summer for me as I was able to enjoy being home with all three of my boys. Last year was the first summer I have ever not worked since I was a teenager. Let’s just say that was a while back! 🙂 Last year Ivan was just a couple of months old and Boyd was working for his grandfather. Well this year I had all three of my boys home and loved every minute 2013 07 06_natasha's pics_0430 of it! Oh sure, there were the…I am going to pull my hair out and scream at the top of my lungs at you, or, ahhh lets just lock the bathroom door and turn the vent on and just sit here because it is the only ‘safe’ room of the house, but none-the-less I actually did enjoy being home this summer with my boys. Boyd was on a traveling baseball team this year and that added quite the dimension to our weekends. There were 2013 07 13_natasha's pics_0344some deep breaths and tense moments between the other adult of the house and I over the constant travel, but I am so thankful for the opportunity Boyd had to further his talent and grow his love for baseball. Elliott has expanded his vocabulary immensely this year to the point of one really having to take note of what one is saying in front of him. His incessant mom, mom, mom, mom, mom is music to my ears!! 🙂 He isn’t a very nice brother to Ivan but there are times Ivan is asking for it!2013 07 03_mom's photos_1811 We have already experienced Elliott closing Ivan between doors, handing out bloody noses and sitting on him constantly! Yes, my house is a house of true boys! Ivan is such a doll. He FINALLY started walking about 3 weeks ago and is now non stop. He looks a little like a bowlegged drunk when he walks, but its pretty entertaining to watch so I am not to worried. 🙂 He is such a little cuddle man and loves to hand out hugs a kisses. Boyd is by far the favorite person in both the boys lives although Noma (my mom), is a very close second.2013 07 06_natasha's pics_0412 2013 07 06_natasha's pics_0503

The Lord has been good and gracious to us. If someone would have told me two years ago that I would have had a summer like the one I just had, I think I may have laughed. Not working has brought this family closer together, made us more frugal, and taught us some important lessons. It is interesting to me that when one actually slows down, stops and takes time to see what they have in their life, how absolutely blessed they should feel, no matter what the social ladder rung is that they are on. I want the time to slow down but in the same breath I am so excited to see what is in store for our little family that what I really want to do is focus on the Lord, His faithfulness to us and be ready for whatever He sends our way! I hope that you all had as blessed a summer as mine. Watch for the post to start coming through of the fun projects we did to keep us busy this year!!2013 07 18_mom's photos_1678

2 Comments - Categories: Family Stories and Reflection, Just Because, My Kids, Uncategorized

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