Time, Trolls & Treasures

        Be proud of me! Only a month since my last blog and I’m back again. Definite progress given the two year time gap on my last go around. So many things have happened in our home in just four short weeks. Let me catch you up on what my husband likes to call “The Dowden Circus”.

        Trolls. One of my most prized possessions as a child. They’ve somehow made their way back into my life. Talk about going full circle. These fuzzy, big headed, belly-bedazzled friends were an all-time favorite of mine in the late 80’s and early 90’s. They’ve been in a box sealed tight for the last 25+ years and have since reappeared to the giggles of my girls. At one point after Hurricane Florence, I’d thought we’d lost them completely. Turns out they were in one of the many moving boxes that we were able to salvage.

Youngest Dowden Girls Playing - Calianna Pecan FarmsYoungest Dowden Girls Playing With Toys on Toddler Table - Calianna Pecan FarmsYoungest Dowden Girls Playing with toys - Calianna Pecan Farms

        During the misplacement of my little friends, my mom and her heart of gold, purchased one of the newer troll versions for me to love on. Poppy is just as cute as can be and she still sits safely tucked in her box.

Trolls Poppy - Calianna Pecan Farms

        While I was loving on the new troll, the others were found while sorting the garage one afternoon. That was the Lord talking to me. Clear as day. Stop stressing. Stop worrying. He has it under control. I often forget this simple message. Belle and Faith, our youngest two, have enjoyed playing with the trolls the most. The older three girls just laugh at them and wonder why my childhood was so strange. Wait until they’re my age and I present them with some of the weird things they play with today. Anyone want to see a million tiny plastic, rubbery looking things? Shopkins. Help me. They are EVERYWHERE.

        As we age, our most treasured possessions tend to change. Our tangibles aren’t near as important as those we hold closest to our hearts. Today I don’t care near as much about the trolls as I do our girls, which is why Matt and I did something we never thought we’d do. We withdrew the girls from their schools and decided to homeschool. My girls have been blessed with the most amazing educators over the years. Many of whom we consider lifelong friends, but as the Covid-19 situation is still very present in our lives, we felt it best to err on the side of caution. This wasn’t a decision we came to overnight. It was a difficult one. We realize not all families want or have the means to homeschool their children. We support all families and their decision to do what’s best for the adults and the children involved. Nothing about this situation has been easy and we believe every family is doing their absolute best.

        We began week one of homeschool this past week and it was quite the learning curve for all of us. Lots of adjustments, lots of frustrations, but just as many laughs. Mama might not remember as much pre-algebra as she was hoping to. EEK! We’re managing one day at a time. My absolute favorite moments are watching those tiny imaginary lightbulbs turn on above their heads as they learn something new. Knowing that I taught them how to do something specific as they giggle with joy at their accomplishment is a feeling no one can take away.

        Even the little two are learning. Our youngest has always been a quick learner so we have added her to the preschool curriculum that Belle is doing. Somedays it clicks and other days it doesn’t. We’ve been learning about the letter A, for Alligator, but maybe don’t ask them about it because they’ll confidently tell you they’re learning about the letter B – for crocodile. Yep, we’re knocking it out of the ballpark, folks!

        Today I love being able to teach my children. Today I love to learn with my children. Today I love being with them around the clock. BUT, it’s only week one. Ask me how I feel in month! I kid you… I really do love being with them. I pray my heart is led to homeschool for a time that far exceeds this pandemic. I can’t help but feel this was one of the absolute best decisions we’ve ever made.

        In the meantime, Calianna Pecan Farms is still running smoothly thanks to the help of our family. Grammy and Papa are keeping things going in the orchards, in-laws, nieces, and our nephew are giving up much of their free time to keep Calianna’s orchards healthy, my mom is helping with social media posts and my little sister has proven she is a jack of all trades. Cynthia has been helping in the orchards, working on the Calianna website and all of our social media platforms, she’s been canning (something she’s never done before) and most importantly, she’s been a mommy to my nephew. I need her energy. Someone ask her to CAN that and send me some.

        Let me leave you with some adorable photos of my girls. Homeschool or not, they were required to give me some first day of school photos with a smile. Calianna Preparatory School presents you with its first students….our hearts most treasured precious cargo.

Eldest Dowden Daughter - Calianna Pecan FarmsSecond Oldest Dowden Daughter - Calianna Pecan FarmsMiddle Child Dowden Daughter - Calianna Pecan Farms
Forth Dowden Daughter - Calianna Pecan FarmsYoungest Dowden Daughter - Calianna Pecan Farms