15 Years of Parenting

Our firstborn son turned 15 yesterday.  It was a busy but fulfilling day. 

Today, I want to share a few pictures and memories I have from Joshua’s life.

Joshua's first horse.

Joshua’s got his 1st horse on his 1st Birthday.

 

The months my husband and I were expecting our firstborn child was exciting. We waited until the day he was born to find out whether he was a boy or a girl. When we picked out his name we agreed we wanted to give our children Bible names. We chose a family name for his middle name.

We named him “Joshua” from the Bible and “King” after his father’s middle name. If he had been a girl he would have been named Ruth Ann.

I had just learned to crochet and taught my husband. Scott was so excited that he crocheted a baby blanket that started off small (because babies are small) and then got tighter and tighter toward the top. It looked like a bell. We decided it would make a beautiful wall decoration for the baby’s room. 

The day before Joshua was born I walked through the freshly cut woods on my parents’ property.  They had sold the trees to build an addition onto the house my dad had built for us. I was already 2 days overdue. Yet I was climbing over trees and limbs. 

That night my husband had gotten home late from working the night shift. We sat in the kitchen looking up at the clock. We just laughed at my irregular contractions. I had decided I was going to be pregnant forever.

My husband headed on to bed. I went to use the restroom when… My waterbroke!

I hollered for my husband. He was in a far bigger hurry than I was. I had heard that a first time mother could take 8 hours to have her first child. My husband grabbed my things and rushed me to the car.

We arrived at the hospital. My husband joked with the attendants, “Help! My wife swallowed a watermelon!”  

Joshua riding a pony when he was about 3 years old.

Joshua riding a pony when he was about 3 years old.

While the doctor was getting ready to deliver my baby she was telling the nurse of her dream that night that she delivered a cow with no skin. My only thought was that my baby had better have skin. That was also the start of my groaning to my husband, “Why did Eve eat the forbidden fruit?” Yes, we humans are prone to blame someone for our trials. I blamed Eve during the birth of Joshua’s younger siblings as well. 

After 4 hours of labor Joshua was born. Red faced and angry. We knew his lungs were healthy. 

Joshua riding a horse that he is training. He'll be teaching Hannah to ride on this horse.

Joshua riding a horse that he is training. He’ll be teaching Hannah to ride on this horse.

Many things have happened in these 15 years. He went from riding a toy horse, to riding a pony, riding horses, and now he is learning to train horses. 

For his 15th birthday we had a full day. I had a doctor’s appointment for Elisabeth. We came back home about the same time Joshua got off work. We fixed lunch, baked a cake, and then I took them all to the Library. Joshua and Ruth got to participate in some games and activities for the teens at the library, while I walked around, and chased the younger siblings. (That is a whole ‘nother blog post. Let’s just say I got a work out.)

We arrived home where their daddy was waiting to take us to the cook out with our neighbors and Joshua’s employers down the road. They have a pond that the kids have been anxiously waiting to swim in all summer.  There were other friends that had come as well making Joshua’s day even more fun. 

At the end of the day, as the mosquitoes were just coming out, we all loaded up into their Gator and Mule and helped feed and take horses out to pasture. 

We all had so much fun. But the time had come to go home.

15 Candles on Joshua's German Chocolate Cake

15 Candles on Joshua’s German Chocolate Cake

Joshua hadn’t opened any presents at this point. I had wrapped his presents in plastic bags and hid them inside a big cereal box. We asked him to clear a spot for his cake. He started moving the box and we told him to make sure it wasn’t trash in the box. I’m not sure at what point he figured out we had hid his presents. He laughed though.

We got him a new Cowboy hat to wear places other than work. His work hat had gotten quite dirty and we started having to request he not where it anywhere besides his work. He was very happy to receive a new hat.

I had been having my good coffee cups disappear. One day they all reappeared in my kitchen sink. He had been taking them in the mornings to work and kept forgetting to bring them back. So his next birthday present was a large mug. He’ll be able to take coffee in it and then fill it with water while he is working. It’s so big he shouldn’t forget it too often. 

The next thing he received was a Action Bible Story book. It is Bible stories done in Comic Book format. We also got him a book on how to write comics. He loves to draw and enjoys writing and drawing comic book characters. So both these books were right up his alley.

We want to encourage our children to use their interests and talents to improve their surroundings and bring honor to God. We got the Action Bible for him so that he can see what a Christian can do with that talent.

In what ways have you encouraged your children to use their talents? Do you have any special traditions were started with your firstborn? Feel free to share with me in the comments.

I am richly blessed to have such a wonderful son.

And to my son…  

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage;

be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:

for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

-Joshua 1:9

I love you, Joshua! I pray your 15th year will be a blessed one.

Love,

~♥~ Mom ~♥~

 

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Freedom to Enjoy Life

Co-op was canceled this week. I get an extra week to make my lessons even better. So instead of highlighting a fellow writer today, I decided to share a few pictures and tell about some of what we’ve been doing.

dirt

This past month, I’ve been making sure my children have ample opportunity to just be children. One of their favorite places to play is over at the nearby ranch where our oldest son works as an apprentice.

The day after Hannah’s birthday we all went over to visit the animals. Of course they had high hopes of getting to ride a horse too.

But while they waited to ride a horse their imaginations took over.

Jonathan

Jonathan and his invisible horse

 

 

Hannah

Hannah found a saddle on a stand she could ride.

Ruth

Ruth just loves any horse she can hug. Especially the babies.

 

 

Joshua

Joshua has been learning a lot while working as an apprentice. He was proud to be able to show us how to put a saddle on a horse.

Elijah

Elijah’s favorite part seemed to be watching the pigeons and chickens that were in their coop.

 

 

Elisabeth

Elisabeth didn’t let all the excitement get in the way of a good nap.

siblings

Ruth leads her younger siblings to find water to drink

 
I love to see my children growing and learning. 

They need these opportunities to be free to learn on their own and in their own way within the eyesight of a loving parent that won’t let them get hurt.

Ah, yes! I can learn something from my children.

Maybe I could use to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Let my hair down. Enjoy freedom under the steady watch of my loving Heavenly Father who is always with me. He’s always within reach. Any time I fall down God’s right there to lift me up and dust me off.

What do you plan to do to enjoy life today? I’d love to hear your ideas.

 

I may just forget chores this afternoon and go play outside barefoot with my kids. The dishes will still be here when I get back.

 

barefoot

 

 

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Horse Crazy…


I walked out the back door the other day and had to take this picture. Ruth’s feet are touching the ground on that horse. I call this horse crazy. It’s been a little over a week since she’s ridden a real horse, so I guess she is taking a ride on the toy horse. Jonathan is her riding partner here. His feet are touching the ground too.


This is more like it. Jonathan is the size I remember Joshua being when he got this horse for his second Birthday 8 years ago. Ruth wasn’t quite born yet. It’s amazing how fast they’ve grown. Joshua and Ruth used to be Hannah and Jonathan’s size. Where does the time go?

Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children:
(Ephesians 5:1)

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Fun on a Ranch


Scott and the kids had a good day over at the neighbors’ ranch. They all got to ride Jinglebob. Scott even rode the horse. They all had fun and came home all excited about it. Scott brought me some of the pictures they took. I thought this posed picture of the kids and Scott was cute. They not only rode horses but they helped plant potatoes and cleaned out a horse trailer while they were there. They really had fun.

Jonathan was taking a nap, so I decided to stay home with him and get some work done while he slept.

Below I have a video of Ruth riding JingleBob. She is really getting good at riding. I’m already looking forward to our next visit over there.

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Ride a little Horsey!

I finally have some videos for everyone. Yesterday, the kids had an opportunity to ride a horse. They actually will be getting to ride horses quite a bit. We have a couple that have been coming to our church that train and raise horses to sell. They offered to let the kids come out anytime to do a few odd jobs around the place and feed the horses. This is great for the kids, since Ruth has always loved horses and has wanted one for a long time. It reminds me of when I was her age and wanted a horse. I love seeing the kids get to fulfill some of their dreams.

The first picture is of Ruth and Hannah riding on Daisy, a Tenessee Walking Horse.

This one is Ruth riding by herself. The lady that works with these horses says that Ruth took to riding so naturally. Of course Hannah didn’t realize that the video was being taken and is talking the whole time.

This last one is of Joshua riding Daisy. He is learning to be a little more natural. He is doing real well for his second time riding.

I’m so glad that they are getting this opportunity to learn to ride. This will be a great experience for them as they get older.

Thank you, Ms. Laura for putting these videos on youtube!

I have to end with one last video, since I don’t know when I’ll get this chance again. This one is of Joshua unmounting. We had a good laugh. After this video was taken he had said, “Well, at least I tried it.” It was so cute!

You’re never too old nor too young, to reach for your dreams! Find what God has given you an opportunity to do and go for it!

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