Hi, friends! The end of May is here, and that means I’m back with another “Things I Love” post where I share 5 of my favorite things from this past month with you. It’s always hard to pick only 5 things because every month seems to be filled with many things that I love. It’s so hard to choose!
Not only am I sharing 5 things I love, but I’m sharing how I did meeting my May goals as well as what my goals for June are.
If you like these kinds of posts (a mix of personal and DIY/how-to), you’ll love my Letters To Natural Mama emails because they’re very much the same. You can learn more about them here and even check out a sample email right here. I’d love for you to join me there. I love getting your letter replies and connecting with you in a more one-on-one way!
Mother’s Day is always a busy day as we split our time between my family and Dean’s family.
Every year, we go to church with my parents and then either go out to eat or have a little cookout at their house. This year, we went to the Red Tail Mountain golf course to eat, and it was delicious, as always. I always try to give my mom some pretty things for her yard as her Mother’s Day gift as well as a special plant for her yard. I’m big on traditions, and I’m three years into this one. So far, I’ve given her a braided hibiscus tree, a purple hydrangea bush, and a purple clematis of some sort. At some point, I’m going to have to find a different Mother’s Day tradition because she’s going to run out of room to plant things!
After we’ve spent some time with my parents, we head down to visit Dean’s mom and give her gifts. Some years all the siblings and spouses go in together to get Dean’s mom a big gift, and other years, we all give her our own gifts. This year, everyone gave her individual gifts. Because of the size of our family, it looks like Christmas all over again with all the gifts she gets from her 9 children! We usually have dinner with her and the rest of the family before heading home for the night.
This year, Dean surprised me by replacing our coffee pot with a new, healthier version… well, two versions, actually. He got four new varieties of coffee for me to try from a local coffee shop, a super cool looking coffee grinder, a French press, and a vacuum coffee maker. There was a little bit of a learning curve to getting used to making our morning coffee with these contraptions, but I think we’ve got it down now. Dean wakes up every morning to grind the coffee fresh and make coffee for us. All I have to do is get up and pour it into my cup. He’s so good to me!
Okay, so this isn’t a book. It’s a podcast, but the idea is the same. This month, I’ve been taking the time to listen to A Delectable Education’s podcast, start to finish, all about homeschooling using the Charlotte Mason method. I’ve been homeschooling for 5 years now, and we have always used a mix of Charlotte Mason and Classical style resources.
I’ve been homeschooling for 5 years now, and we have always used a mix of Charlotte Mason and Classical style resources. Up until last year, I’d always chose the books we used based on the subjects the boys would be studying, but I felt like that was lacking somewhat. So last year, I invested in the Wayfarers guides by Barefoot Ragamuffin. I love them because they fit the homeschooling style I want to use, and they help me to stay on track each day. The only downside to them (besides the cost) is that they can be a bit confusing when it comes to picking and choosing literature choices that fit into each subject. And, because I tend to want to do it all, it can be a bit time-consuming and overwhelming for me to keep up with all of it… even though I have a guide. Not only that, but I still feel that there are subjects like typing, a foreign language, more of a formal Bible study, art, etc. that I need to add in.
Needless to say, it can all feel really overwhelming, at least to me. I fight against my perfectionist tendencies daily, especially in homeschooling because this is such a bit part of my life right now. I know that wanting to do things well is a good thing, but I can let it hold me back from actually getting stuff done (because they’re never just right) and let it steal my joy because I rarely feel like I’m doing things right.
Anyway, all that to say that this podcast has really helped me understand the Charlotte Mason method more and how to implement it into our homeschool routine. I’m not all the way through yet (there are 82 episodes so far) so there’s much more to learn, but I can say that listening to these ladies break this down makes it feel more doable.
Favorite DIY Recipe
Summer is here and so are the ticks. Seeing how we live in the woods, we come across them… a lot. So, it’s time to make some essential oil shampoo that will help keep the ticks away.
I wrote a blog post last year about using this very shampoo to minimize your kid’s chance of getting lice when they go back to school, but it also works great for ticks. Just add bug repelling essential oils to your favorite shampoo, mix well, and use it every couple of days on the hair and body.
I’m not joking when I say that once we start using this, tick bites are rare. It’s effective stuff!
Judah turned 9 this month! We celebrated by having a scientist themed birthday party with his cousins, and he requested Auntie Holly’s homemade apple pie for his birthday dessert. He’s all about being a scientist these days. He wants to be a mycologist, in fact, so his Mum-mum and Pop-pop bought him some mushroom growing kits. We took him and his brothers, and a friend of his, to Chuck-E-Cheese to play games on his birthday, and then we had another small birthday party at my parent’s house the next day where he got the rest of his gifts… the complete
He’s all about being a scientist these days. He wants to be a mycologist, in fact, so his Mum-mum and Pop-pop bought him some mushroom growing kits. We took him and his brothers, and a friend of his, to Chuck-E-Cheese to play games on his birthday, and then we had another small birthday party at my parent’s house the next day where he got the rest of his gifts… the complete Popular Science DVD series from Me-maw and Pa-paw (he and his bros are LOVING this series) and a combination safe filled with fun boy stuff inside from mom and dad.
This year, we spent too much time trying to find the right gifts for him so thank goodness for Amazon Prime (try it free for 30 days here) because our last-minute gifts came in two days!
Favorite Herbal Product
The mosquitos are biting like crazy this past month. The boys and I are covered in tiny, red, itchy bumps. Thankfully, we’ve all been using this lavender essential oil roller bottle from MadeOn Skincare that I got as a bonus product from the 2017 Herb & Essential Oil Super Bundle. This stuff has been a lifesaver.
Lavender essential oil is not only anti-inflammatory, but it’s anti-microbial so it helps with itchy bug bites and can decrease the likelihood that one gets infected from scratching. We’ve dealt with cellulitis before, and my sister-in-law’s child just got out of the hospital after getting cellulitis from a bug bite. No fun, folks, so we’re doing all we can to prevent that from happening to us this time!
Goals To Shoot For In June
May has been a good month as far as accomplishing goals go. I got everything done except for launching Herb Folk (go figure) and completing a unit in my Advanced Herbal course from the Herbal Academy. I think keeping my goal list short and simple really helped.
As far as June goals go, I think I’m going to keep things super simple this month as well, and I’m not even putting Herb Folk down as a goal since it’s the one that I continue to miss month after month. Maybe this will give me some freedom to actually get it done!
This month I’d like to:
- Find Dean a Father’s Day gift
- Get a Father’s Day picture of the guys
- Come up with an anniversary gift for Dean (11 years!!)
- Prep for Priscilla Shirer live in Knoxville!!
- Get started on landscaping the upper yard with my mom
- Complete another unit of the Advanced Herbal Study course from the Herbal Academy
- Finish 1 book from my 2017 Reading Challenge list (6 down, 6 more to go!)
- Finish another photo album on Facebook (I’m so behind)
- Finalize and package some e-books/workbook upgrades I’ve been working on
And that’s it for this month’s Things I Love post! I hope you had a great May, friend, and as always, thank you SO MUCH for reading Growing Up Herbal!