Reflections… 1 year of blogging {it’s just me}

just me

***Update:   This post is over a year old, but not much has changed.  🙂  You can also read my original “Meet Me” post HERE.

Hello!  If you are new around here, you should know that I started this little blog about a year ago after our family of 6 made a bit of an outside-the-box (for us) decision to homeschool.  I wanted a way to give our family and friends a peek inside our school, keep them updated on what we are learning, and maybe convince them that I’m not crazy!  🙂  This blog was born!

just me 2

Did I say I’m NOT crazy? Oh well….

The Bible verse for the name of my blog describes me perfectly!  My greatest joy is seeing my children love the Lord their God and walk in His ways.  In fact, it also describes our decision to homeschool… Our children attended a great Christian school, but Deuteronomy 6 kept tugging at our hearts.  My husband and I knew that we could not fully communicate our faith to our children when they were not with us.  Our lives were characterized by rush, over commitment, meals in the car, a FULL calendar, and everyone going his own way each day.  Picture babies in pjs, eating breakfast from a baggie while strapped in the car seats.  Picture Mom saying, “Hurry up!  Hurry up!” EVERY time she spoke to her children.  Picture Mom being so involved at school that she neglected her home.  (Ouch!)  School was not working for us.  Importance was not being placed on the eternal.  It was time to focus on the best things.  We brought everyone home for summer break and stayed!  My hope is that I am teaching them (and showing them) what they need to be the tree planted by streams of water!   Seeing these sweet monkeys walk in the Truth brings me no greater joy!  This is where I share our journey.

my fav posts

I’d love to share some of my favorite posts with you:

1.  The Birthday Buddies:  Interviews with My Irish Twins     My big kids turned 7 and 8 this year!  I interviewed each of them and recorded their answers in this post.

2.  December Birthdays    Fun memories and a little picture of me with a BIG belly as my sweet twins turn four

3.  Favorites and Funnies     I intended to update this page more, but I just haven’t!  I love the cute videos and pics!

4.  Fun on Abram’s Journey    We loved this!  It is a fun memory for us!  We made trail mix, traveled through our house, and set up camp.

5.  Our {semi} Homemade Jesse Tree Ornaments   Advent was so fun at our house, and this was one of the highlights.  I can’t wait to pull these ornaments out next year… and the next and the next and the next….

silly green blog

These are the posts and printables most viewed by others:  Meet Me,  Christian Easter Hunt {printable},  A.C.T.S. prayer bookmarks for kids {printable}, Pumpkin Party {a week of pumpkin lessons}, Teaching the Trinity for St. Patrick’s Day, Back to School Bag, and our Bible-based House Rules.

So, what do I think about this whole blogging thing?  Hmmm…

things i heart blogging

1.  I LOVE making posts!   I love editing pics, picking out patterns and colors, arranging things!  I like making headers and widgets.  I love changing the background of my blog, changing themes, creating menus…  just wish I had more time!  (I think I’ve changed my header and background at least 5 times and my theme at least 3!  — Free ones of course.)  While my blog is mostly about our homeschool, it grew into a little hodgepodge of family memories, homeschool activities, and a creative outlet for me!

2.  I love looking back over our homeschool journey all recorded in this blog.  Memories!

3.  I love sharing our Bible activities and fun with others.  It’s a joy!

4.  I love communicating with WordPress friends and sneaking a peek into their homeschools, kitchens, science experiments, and projects!  I love seeing their ideas and getting encouragement.

But along the way, somewhere at the beginning of this blogging journey, something happened…

things i don't love

One thing I don’t love about blogging is that I like to blog!  Ha!  I’ve been tempted (and failed) many times to make time for blogging before I made time to pray and meditate on the Word.

Next, I had no idea that blogging involved “likes” or “page views” or “stats” or whatever!  I had hardly encountered a blog before I decided to make one.   I am sad to say that I started thinking about all of this “stat” stuff.  Ugh.

I started wondering what things others might like to see on my blog instead of just posting things that we do or things really meaningful or helpful to us. Ugh.

After a couple of months of blogging, I heard the word impress.  A wise mom said it.  She didn’t want to try to impress others with her blog.  I thought long and hard about that.  Ugh.  I deleted about 5 or 10 posts that I had actually published.   But, did I want to share failures?  Not really.  It took time to find the happy medium.

Maybe it’s not the “likes” or “page views” that bother me.  Maybe what I don’t like is that I cared too much about them.   I didn’t care enough to actually read “How to get more traffic on your blog” or follow lots of topics that I don’t have time to follow, but those “stats” were still on my mind.

I don’t have a huge host of hundreds of followers.  I always forget to add tags to my posts.  I’m not on Facebook or PInterest (I know!  Can you believe it?) so I don’t share anything there.  I’ve not quite reached 10,000 views in a whole year (which only means someone happened to stumble upon this blog anyway) while I know others have 10,000 views in only a couple of months.  I’ve never had more than 15 “likes” on a post, and that only happened once.  I’ve only been given 3 of those little WP blog awards floating around (sorry for not posting), not 23!  It’s all gravy baby!  🙂  It’s just me…

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I’m still here on the blogging journey, and I have surely made some comparisons along the way!  But I know that the real me is what I should share…  So, it’s just me…

photo

I’m really ordinary, and that’s okay with me!  😉

I like lists, the organization bin section at Target, and trying to keep things orderly, but I’m not always successful!  I like having a tidy house, but I bet there’s a Lego hiding in every room.  I don’t really loooove cleaning.  I have drawers I wouldn’t want anyone to see, and receipts I need to record in the checkbook. Comparisons and the real me…

I don’t make my own deodorant.  I don’t bake our bread.  I don’t raise animals.  I don’t have any gardening or homesteading tips.  I know nothing about home remedies.  I’ve never canned anything.photo

My only plan for tackling laundry is “keep up, don’t catch up.”  I don’t have great advice to share about homeschooling your children this summer.  Sometimes my grand organization plans don’t always work out quite like I hope. You can be sure if I share any organization idea, it was probably one successful attempt of many failed ones!  😉

photo39We eat snacks that come in cardboard boxes.  I don’t make laundry detergent.  I don’t post homeschool printables each week.  I still haven’t read the book I purchased a year ago on how to make homemade products!  I don’t have natural childbirth, and I’m not good at nursing.  I don’t know which homeschooling curriculum or method is best, only that it should be Christ-centered.  I buy our milk at the store.  I don’t post great spiritual encouragement for the overwhelmed mom.photo

And being ordinary would still make a great blog if I could write about it!  Some people can use the ordinary as a great encouragement to others through their writing.  And some people can make the very ordinary very funny!  I mean, I read some hilarious blogs… people who can make me laugh about a salad bar line or staining a deck!

But I am thankful to glean from moms who CAN do these things, and I love reading their blogs!  

I have really made your recipes, used your ideas, laughed out loud at you, and been INSPIRED by you!  🙂

I am pretty ordinary, and blogging has taught me that!  This blog will never be a big thing, but I love my Lord.  I love my husband.  I love our children.  I love our home.  I love my life.  Just. The. Way. It. Is.  🙂  If someone visited this ordinary blog, I pray they would find a mom who is passionate about teaching her children to love the Lord and a mom who loves her family.

It’s love (and Legos and crumbs and crayon drawings and fingerprints and loud kids and more love) that makes our house a home.

home blog 1yr

What does the next year hold for i have no greater joy?

I hope to keep posting activities I’ve done with my kiddos!  We like sharing our crafts and  homeschool activities.  Our grandparents like seeing what we are learning.

I think fun Bible ideas are hard to come by!  When I find them and use them, I like sharing them!

I plan to include more Simple Joys posts!

I have thought many times about sharing some of our family’s QUICK, SIMPLE recipes.  Let me warn you, they include ingredients like tubes of dough and pasta from the freezer section!  Sometimes, you just need a 30 minute meal!  (At least I do!)  I thought about 30 Minute Monday or Fast Fix Friday.  (Fix means cook where I live, in case you are wondering!)  But, who am I kidding?  Would I ever be able to actually post things on a schedule?  I doubt it!  So, maybe I’ll post an easy recipe occasionally.

silly for blog 4

Thank you all for reading about the joys of my ordinary life!  My cup overflows with blessing.

“You prepare a table a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  Amen!

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32 thoughts on “Reflections… 1 year of blogging {it’s just me}

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      I’m so glad to hear from you! I hope you are having a good summer! Your (& boys’) blog is MY favorite! 🙂 I had a question and tried to email you, but it didn’t work… What Bible do your big boys read during their independent reading? Just a regular ESV or something else? Thanks!

      Reply
      1. godmadeknown

        We do most of our memory work from the ESV but when it came to purchasing the boys their own Bibles this year we opted for the International Children’s Bible mainly because it came in a sturdy canvas camo cover. The wording is about the same as NIV and so far we haven’t seen an glaring mistranslations. There are no pictures but it does include good cross-referencing notes, a dictionary, & some maps. Ti just made it to page 600 which puts him about 1/2 way through Isaiah so he’s well on his way to finishing the whole Bible in less than a year.

        Reply
  1. sage_brush

    You are very sweet, dear one. This was a delightful read. One looks at your family’s beaming faces says it all. 🙂

    Reply
    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      Hi there! A comment from you? Thank you! I read something you wrote through a link on another blog, and I’ve tried to find your blog. Is it gone? Thank you for always reading! Yes, lots of smiles and silliness around here for sure! 🙂

      Reply
      1. sage_brush

        No blog now – it was a conservative political blog I was writing for, for some time. My own blog is in the works, and should be up and running soon, or as soon as I get a few things under control. Love your blog! It is wonderful to see young women bucking the tide of culture, and finding true fulfillment within her family. Bless you!

        Reply
  2. Especially Made

    I love going to your blog! It’s like bringing your kids to a friend’s house, who also has kids, and they are all just running around and having fun, while you and your friend are chatting away about life and mommyhood. If a blog is like a home (and in a way, it is… it’s a window into your world), your hospitality make others, who visit, feel right at home. Thank you for sharing your ordinariness! I like 30 minute meals, too … the less ingredients, the better, and if I can throw it all in a crockpot, that dish is a winner! Hope you share some of your recipes in the future. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Homeschool Crafts

    It’s in the little things that we find encouragement, joy and hope in. I love reading what you and your kids have been up to. Please keep sharing your ordinary life! 😉

    Reply
  4. Happily Occupied Homebodies

    I loved reading this. It was such good encouragement for me to keep it real, just be me, and not worry so much about what others think. And I really am inspired by how seriously you take Bible lessons, or maybe how fun you make Bible lessons…. both, I guess! Blessings on your journey!!

    Reply
    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      Well, I think real is hard, but I am thankful that all of our “reals” are different! It’s great to see your real and someone else’s real and know that it’s okay if I’m not the same! 🙂 And I don’t think every blog has to be a very personal, tell it all thing. I love info, too! 🙂 Thanks for your kind words!

      Reply
  5. Erin

    Thank you for this! It was such an encouragement to me since I am new to this blogging world. And thank you for your realness, it is so refreshing. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Life and Learning through Tears and Laughter

    I look at the pic your kids drew…..and now the “crazy” photo……wow, it all makes sense now!!! 😉 Congratulations on a reaching a milestone of this journey. Your “crazy” has encouraged me, and I pray mine might do the same for you. Technology can be an amazing thing. I look forward to the lessons you continue to share, that I may learn for your experiences.

    Reply
    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      I love your blog, and I have learned so much by just seeing your ordinary days! Your house looks like such a fun place to be, and you are very “real”! 🙂 Love visiting you! I can relate to so many of your experiences with your littles! You are an encouragement! Thank you for sharing!

      Reply
  7. Deborah Webb

    This was THE MOST touching post I’ve ever read. Of course I think you are the greatest mom on earth, but to read your words about happiness and contentment brings tears to my eyes. Words CANNOT express how proud I am to be your mom Shannon Williams!!!!!

    Reply
  8. prairiepaisley.jodi

    Oh my gosh, awesome post. I completely know what you mean about putting yourself out there and what to write and the whole stats thing! It’s hard to put your life out there but to be careful too and not feeling like you are writing for others is sooo hard too, I completely get it. I have a lot of family and friends who are not believers or who are on the fence with their walk so I try to use my blog as a journal too and as an outreach. You never know who is reading I guess and that makes it hard sometimes!
    Ok so I need help with the presentation of mine, I would like to change it up some but I’m so afraid to lose it or get completely frusterated, can you give me some direction?
    You seem to have such a great vision for your family and your homeschool and its great to see and very encouraging as well, I pray The Lord continues to guide your path straight and narrow and blesses your homeschool days and moments!

    Reply
  9. terrikenworthy

    First, let me just say “ditto” to so many of the replies above. Secondly, it’s a relief to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t bake bread or make my own laundry detergent LOL. You are anything but “ordinary” 🙂 I love your blog and can’t wait to read more posts about those cute kiddos and all the amazing things you do with them.

    Reply
    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      Love your latest post. Wow. OUr family will be praying for you! I have little prayer warrior kids who would love to put you on our list! What a privilege! I am trying to embrace my lack of bread-making skills! 😦 Oh well! I know God sees our hearts! Right?

      Reply
  10. Chelle

    I started blogging a little over a year ago as well- and like you, just to keep my family and friends updated on our homeschool adventures. But I found myself nodding my head and agreeing with everything you wrote here! Thanks for the encouragement!

    Reply
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  13. Jenette Arnold

    Thank you for all of the encouragement! I am loving your blog and hope to see some new posts soon! This blog is a huge blessing to so many!

    Reply
    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      Oh, hi my sweet friend! How are y’all? I love seeing your growing, beautiful family on your Christmas card! We need to catch up sometime!

      Thank you for the encouragement. You are so very kind. I am working on my most meaningful post as we speak! ❤️to you! I’ll be in touch soon! Glad to have your email address! Yay!

      Reply
      1. Jenette Arnold

        I look forward to hearing from you!!:) Can’t wait to catch up! We are doing Classical Conversations this year and loving it! It is such a huge blessing in so many ways! I have learned a ton!

        Reply

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