What state do you live in? Wyoming
What is your website name? I have three blogs: 8 of a Kind Family, Delightful Learning and Chavah Chayah
Please describe your blogs:
8 of a Kind Family is where I share about "family, faith, homesteading and back to the basics living." My inspiration for the title is from the book All of a Kind Family. It is such a sweet story about a Jewish family that keeps Sabbath and the Feasts and my children and I treasured the story. For a while, I called us a "7 of a kind family," and then it hit me that we are about to become a family of 8 ~ thus 8 of a kind family for the title. I have a knitting theme because I was thinking of the little one being knit together in my womb and because I like to knit.
Delightful Learning is mainly a record of our homeschool journey. I also do reviews of homeschool and homemaking products. This is my main blog throughout the school year.
Chavah Chayah is my unassisted pregnancy journal. I hemorrhaged at 9 weeks and I prayed for confirmation that baby was okay and Father impressed the name of Chayah on my heart. It means "to live, to restore (to life), to be whole." Chavah means "to tell, declare" and is the primitive root of chayah. It is a private blog because I only need those to read who will support me in relying solely on the Father to guide me through this pregnancy and homebirth. If that is you, you are welcome to read along. =) (Just contact me if you would like an invite).
How old are you? 36 (I'll soon be 37)
How long have you been married? I have been married to my husband Luke for 7 years.
Please tell us a little about your family: We have 5 children - 4 boys ages 5, 10, 11 1/2, & 14, 1 girl age 3 and a blessing on the way. (I was a single mom with 3 boys when I married Luke).
Please tell us a little about your faith: We are Torah keeping followers of Yeshua. We follow after our Hebrew roots, but we don't consider ourselves "Messianic," per say.
Please tell us a little about your home: We sold our home to walk in YHVH's blessing (debt is listed as a curse in Torah), moved into a motorhome that was just given to us (Yah's provision!) and were prepared to move wherever He led us. We had been looking at homesteading property in Kentucky and thought that was the only place that we liked and could afford. 4 days before we were to leave, Yah provided us with a rental house 13 blocks from the home we sold. We lived in our motorhome for 6 weeks while we gutted and renovated a turn of the century 2 story home. The rent was very affordable (we could never afford to rent this house if they charged us the going rate!) and with the equity from our home we bought 22 acres in Montana and built an off grid home. We still have lots of work to do on it, but I am still amazed at all of Yah's provisions in building that house with how little we had to build it!
Where have you lived? Born in California, moved to MT when I was 7, moved to Wyoming when I was almost 17. Since then I have lived in Colorado, Idaho, Montana and back to Wyoming. I cannot count the number of times I have moved in my life! The longest I have ever lived in a house is 3 years.
Do you work outside the home? I am not employed outside the home.
Have you experienced any persecution for becoming a Torah Keeper? Yes, from family and friends.
List your top 5 favorite things to do:
- be creative
- work with my hands (cook, bake, knit, craft, sew, scrapbook, create etc).
- Bend over (I hate picking things up off the floor)
- sit for too long in the hot sun (drains my energy)
- run out of raspberry leaf tea ~ especially iced in the summer time =)
- rebuke a friend (open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed, but it is not often received well)
- witness to a "religious" spirit
What would you say your top 3 strengths are? bright, creative, discerning
What would you say your top 3 weaknesses are? realizing my self-worth, accepting my husband's love, overcoming my weaknesses
If you could change two things about yourself, what would they be? overcoming my weaknesses and tearing down strongholds
If you could change one thing from your past what would it be? I am who I am because of where I have been, so while I am sure there are many things I would change, I am grateful for where YHVH has brought me.
If you could do one thing from your past again, what would it be? Marry my husband again
What is one thing few people know about you? fear rejection and self-rejection
What is your greatest challenge? Answering these questions! Truly, my greatest challenge is loving myself.
What is your favorite thing about your husband? dedicated, loyal, hard worker, compassionate, loving, gentle, great dad
What does your husband do for work? He is a youth and adult sports program director for the YMCA
What are your top 5 values (character qualities?)?
Share some of your favorite family traditions with us: Sabbath picnics, Feast remembrances, game nights, "roodabumps," "pick-a-pocket," "what's behind box #1", Pop's funny dinner games, and new moon celebrations
What is your idea of a romantic occasion with your husband? time alone?
What is your ideal “girl’s day out”? Working together on a project, like sewing, quilting, cooking, baking, etc. ~ like women used to do in the old days. That, or tea, cookies and sharing/talking.
What are your home school philosophies? Torah, life skills, then academics is my ideal. I love hands on learning and my desire is to make learning a delight for my children as we delight in His ways.
What are 3 things you would like to do before you die: die to myself, tear down a stronghold, and leave a legacy of love/Torah to my children
If you could teach other mammas ONE THING, what would that be? fulfill the command to teach Torah to your children and your grandchildren.
What is your biggest parenting challenge? (sigh) Right now it is following through with discipline ~ I am such a softy once they say "I'm sorry."
What is your idea of femininity? To be in my role as a woman and that my inward appearance and heart reflect my love for YHVH. I love my denim skirt, but I often wear pants that feel feminine to me.
What is your idea of modesty? Not "letting my slip show." In other words, I think that women need to cover their husbands and not reveal all that their heart would like to when it comes to sharing with their friends. I am often convicted when I share too much and have to apologize to my husband later. In regards to clothing, covered to my knees, shoulders and midriff covered (you will not see a bare belly pregnancy shot from me!).
What is The Father doing in your life right now? Knitting a life in my womb and deepening my faith as I trust Him alone with the life in me; growing me at the same time!
What are you currently studying in The Scriptures? My focus right now is reading through The Scriptures in 90 days.
What are you most passionate about? Torah
Choose 3 words to best describe yourself: creative, passionate, forthright List your 3 most recent do-it-yourself projects:
- Raised bed heirloom gardening ~ I hand pollinated my squash yesterday
- Made chokecherry juice with the chokecherries we picked last summer and canned chokecherry syrup and jelly
- Knit a dishcloth for a friend and one for me
Share your homemaking inspirations: My inspiration has been my daughter since she was born. I desire to teach her to be a joyful keeper at home. When she turned one, I learned to sew my first dress from a pattern. I learned to knit so that I could teach her. I try to be a content and cheerful homemaker so that she will learn from me. Much of my inspiration in the kitchen and learning new skills/crafts also comes from our desire to get back to the basics and learn how to live more self-sufficiently.
What is your philosophy on marriage? Ephesians 5:31-32; Marriage is very symbolic of our relationship with YHVH. As Torah believers our goal is to prepare ourselves to be that set-apart bride ready for when the bridegroom returns. We prepare by following his ways/Torah. Sabbath is a sign of our betrothal to Him.
What things do you do to be a good neighbor? We follow the Torah. =) Much of the Torah is about being a good neighbor. ;-) Here are some of the practical things we do: We save the corners of our garden for a single mom in need. My children and I deliver "Meals on Heels" to a widow neighbor who lives next door. (We got the idea because my husband delivers "Meals on Wheels" for the local senior center). We give when we see a need or just to bless someone. We keep our yard clean, keep the kids from yelling too much, greet neighbors when we see them, etc.
Michelle, We have so much in common too...right down to (ALMOST) Choosing to live on the road in an RV, before he sent us to our homestead, love for All of A Kind Family, Almost settling in KY and our three year old Elianas.) Not to mention the obvious (YHVH!). :-) I loved your interview, appreciate your online friendship and look forward to knowing you better in the coming months and years. That is what this interview series is all about...connecting! I love it!! Thank you so much for doing this interview.
p.s. Meals on Heels - I love it!