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My eldest child has flown the nest. Admittedly she has not moved far away but her absence in our home has definitely changed the family dynamic and made me reflect on how fleeting the times with our kiddos are. It's easy to feel stuck in the moment.

I know many of you here have only known me in the last few years of homeschooling. You may be forgiven for thinking that I haven't known what it's like to homeschool with lots of children under foot while you rock a screaming baby, but I do know those days oh so well! I thought I'd share some of my old blog photos here and some words I found on it too. I hope they bring you a smile and some encouragement. x

Some of my fave simple memories of homeschooling days gone by

There was a lot of Little House on the Prairie watching, bonnet making and wearing and LOADS of dress ups.

There were tea parties galore and billy cart building (and riding).

There were countless park plays (Dad always seemed to be jumping over someone!).

The kids helped dig and plant in the garden and we went for an insane amount of bushwalks when we lived in the Blue Mountains.

Most days we muddled through playing, learning from nature and each other.

Loads of snails and countless other things from nature were collected!

Our kiddos loved riding their bikes around the back of our home or out on the netball courts (Blackheath courts were their fave!)

We spent so many hours getting dirty, sliding and swinging and hanging out by lakes and waterways seeing if we could spot tadpoles or frogs.

We wore our kids to help them soothe and feel secure, we did activities with them when they were keen and we shared our faith with them too.

We visited art galleries (for short visits initially!), had LOTS of cuddles in bed and went out to cafes together.

We did lots of simple things like read in the park, make cake pops or other treats and enjoy ice blocks in summer at the dam.

Much of what we did was just *be together*.

I wrote these words a decade ago on my very old blog: Dear Mama,

Your kids have been at each other all day; fighting and wrestling 'till someone cries and another wants to retaliate.

You are not alone.

Your house was clean not that long ago, well at least it feels like that, but today things are strewn from one end of the house to the other. It feels like it will take forever to clean it.

You are not alone.

You ask your children to do simple tasks. They backchat you, disobey and disrespect you.

You are not alone.

You feel overwhelmed by yet another dinner to cook, then another night of cleaning the kitchen along with tidying up the house. You ask yourself when the last time was that you remembered to clean the toilet bowl properly.

You are not alone.

You feel mama-guilt for putting on another dvd just so you can have 5 minutes peace without someone (or many) wanting you all at once. It's not that you don't love them because you do! This is your daily life and you give to them all the time. But sometimes you just want a little quiet.

You are not alone.

You are physically tired; aching feet and back from rocking and carrying little ones all day. You are drained creatively; there are only so many times you can sing twinkle twinkle little star with a happy face....really. You feel like a referee, a taxi, an advocate, a cheerleader, a team captain, a friend and a chef all at once. And all you'd really love to do is to curl up with a good book in a warm bath. Heck, you'd even be satisfied with a half hour of good quality adult conversation and a little sweet treat ;)

You are not alone.

Mama, you are not alone. Today, I feel all those things too. Remember that when you are next breaking up a fight, preparing yet another healthy meal, trying your best to live out the ideals you hold closely to your heart. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Millions of other mums around the world experience days and moments like this. It's not to say it lasts forever. Joy will come in the morning! But when it is hard, gee it's good to know you are not alone.

Today has been a very tough day. It has had good moments for sure. My kids are awesome; full of life and energy. Full of love and compassion. Full of hope and faith. I love them with all my heart. But sometimes, raising kids is just plain hard.

I really am not alone. I have amazing and supportive friends with whom I know I can speak freely and they can empathise with our struggles and joyous victories. I have a wonderful and caring husband who is constantly willing to work on being the best man he can be, even when he stuffs up royally. I have an Amazing Messiah, Yeshua, with whom I can talk things over with (just as he talked on the road with the two disciples as they walked to the village of Emmaus after he rose again). I am blessed. And I know it.

I just want to remember that some days are harder than others.

And if you are having one of those days too, please know you are not alone.

I send my love,

Lus x

And because I'm feeling all the feels, here's a song I wrote a few years ago called 'Let you Fly' all about this season of remembering and letting go. Love to you regardless of the season you find yourself in. x

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