Originally we planned to have the Schultz family reunion up in Wisconsin at Jeremie’s sister’s house. But because Jeremie’s mom was hospitalized at the last minute, everyone decided to come to Tennessee instead. Yeah! For not having to drive the big camper up Hwy 57 through construction! And all those cousins and aunts and uncles were so fun to have at the farm! Everyone tag teamed for food prep and clean up and visiting with Grandma Schultz, since she was too weak to come over. Jeremie ran like a little energizer bunny, running games, setting things up, swimming with the kids, catching up with his sibs. So many cousins…there are 27 grandkids in all. The oldest one couldn’t make it, with his new wife. But what a sight to see all the family singing and playing praise to Jesus during worship on Sunday! We do this every other year. I know it’s hard for people to work out school schedules and work vacations but we all leave thinking we should do this more often!
Here at the Funny Farm we try to be intentional with our time. We do A LOT of work. But we also enjoy A LOT of fun. I think that’s why are kids are such cheerful workers. They realize we all do it together and then we all have fun together. We also believe in teaching life skills to all the kids. And we start ’em out young, lol! While they are working on a project that will result in hours of fun family time, it hardly seems like work or learning, but it is! Measure once, cut twice!
#1. Children need laps, not apps.
#2. Our goal is not to raise smart children. Our goal is to raise Godly parents for the next generation.
#3. The purpose of school is not to train our kids for more school. The purpose of school is to train kids for life.
This is the third time I have been to the falls in Cookville, Tn and I’ve never seen the river running so high or fast! I warned the kids not to fall in! This mama wasn’t about to jump in to save them Gloria loved to climb on the rocks and splash in the water. When she wasn’t riding in my Ergo, or being held by Tommy she was trying to throw herself down the side of the cliff to get back to the water. It was a beautiful, cool, breezy summer day and I’m so glad we took the time to stop by our favorite hiking spot!
Long family bike rides! These long, cool spring evenings have been so great for bike riding! We get the whole gang on board and off we go! We’ve visited friends that live 11 miles away. The kids have ridden with Jeremie over 13 miles. Today we just did the 6 mile loop. This takes us along a back country road. Over a deep culvert, up some steep hills and through bendy twists and turns. Time spent with family is so important. This is the time of relationship building. This is the time of showing what’s really important, what our priorities are. This is the time of enjoying God’s creation and reveling in his blessings and goodness in allowing us to live in the country. We are literally living our dream. HIs goodness knows no bounds!
Do you love introducing your children to things that are special to you? I certainly do! I have very few vivid memories from my childhood, but what I do remember I love to share with my kids. Whether it’s stories of my late grandma hoarding spices in the pantry and always having a “wrinkled, but clean” kleenex in her purse or taking them to the campground in South Haven, Mi where I camped every summer as a child and picked blueberries and met their father, I delight in sharing these experiences with my kids. So I was beyond excited when Jeremie surprised me and the girls with tickets to see the Phantom of the Opera! I have seen this twice in Chicago. Once, as a girl, and once, with him. We couldn’t orchestrate a trip up north, but it was being put on at a concert hall in Birmingham, Al. The girls had never been to Alabama before, either, so that was a fun adventure as well. I tell you, the sky is just bigger and more gorgeous in Alabama! So this performance of the “Phantom” was awesome! The music, the scenery, the music, the costumes, the music!!! We belted out the show tunes on the way home and have been singing them ever since. It’s really fun that I have the piano music so we can play and sing at the same time. I used to do that for hours with my cousins and friends when I was young. It was a long day, but it was filled with great music, lots of loud laughter, sister stories, mom memories, good food and lots of love!
I love looking for fun outside play ideas at the dollar store! Who knew a roll of tin foil could be so much fun? And it was such a thrill for the kids to get to use the entire roll! Little boats made out of bottle caps and corks. They used balloons to push their boats along faster. This was such a fun way to enjoy the beautiful spring weather!
7 years! We’ve learned so much these last 7 years that we’ve lived in Tennessee. We’ve laughed so much, and cried just as much. We’ve grown in so many ways. Children have been born here. Asian hillbillies, I call them. When I remember what life was like during this life transition, I can see how God is faithful and GOOD all. the. time. I remember calling my parents from my first trip to Tn to tell them that we bought land. I remember crying, because life would be so different, living in another state from them. No more walks to see the grandparents. No more quick ice cream visits. No more built in babysitters. No more homeschooling help. But this land, this was something Jeremie and I both wanted so much for our family. It has been such an adventure! Raising animals and planting gardens and an orchard. Whew! What a learning curve. We could live here 100 years and still be learning and trying new things. Processing our own meat, rabbits, chickens, deer and pork.. Canning our garden bounty. When we lived in Illinois, we didn’t even have a pet. Our garden was a 4X8 box. Jeremie used to travel into the city for work everyday. The kids have grown and changed as well as Jeremie and I. Confidently herding animals. Showing sheep. Riding horses. Planting trees. This life has been so enriching for the kids, just like we prayed it would. When we first moved here, our oldest was only 11. She was a big helper, but I wouldn’t qualify her as a “big”, as she is now. These days I can breeze in and out of the grocery store, while she holds down the fort at home. Or better yet, drop her off to do the shopping, while I have coffee and visit with a friend. She knows all the brands and quantities I usually buy. I have 4 or 5 children that can babysit for me, if needed. Date nights have never been so fun! How did my life change so much in 7 years? Time flies too fast.