According to the calendar there are still several days of summer. However, as a teacher, my summer has come to a close. Yesterday found me in my classroom, hands on hips, scanning the space with excitement. Every year I change things, rearrange, and try out new ideas. After six years, I'm finally getting to the point where I know what I'm doing and when I'm doing it. I admire one of my teammates who, it seems, at the snap of her fingers can have her room exactly like she wants it. HOW!? I asked her. "Get rid of anything you don't use. Even if you used it only one time, that's not enough. Get it out of your room." I gave a lot to my student teacher this year, which freed up a lot of space, but I'm still not to the point where I can just come in, sit down, and be ready. It's a wonderful thing to have teachers to look up to and learn from! It's even better when they are willing to help and be learned from! Not every teacher is like that... but I'll digress.

Standing in my classroom, though, I couldn't help but think about how much I am going to miss being at home. I accomplished more than I ever have this summer and worked harder than I ever have (physically, that is). I learned quite a bit, too:

1. Owning a home is tough.
2. Having over an acre to take care of is tough.
3. Owning animals is tough.
4. If those animals are goats... well... HA!
5. There is an attitude of stewardship you must have toward not only your land, but your animals as well.
6. You begin to learn the difference between a "pet" and "livestock" and separate the two in your mind so that loss does not become emotional, but a learning experience. 
7. You're never too young to learn something "old." I am so proud of the fact that I now know how to can like a pro!
8. There are few things better than picking a tomato right off the vine and eating it.
9. Growing your own food is worth every head ache and back ache it causes.
10. A woman can get her hands dirty, too.
11. A woman can use power tools. HAHA!
12. Sitting on the front porch, in the evening light, looking over this little homestead I can't help but thank the LORD for His blessings. This summer has brought some sorrow to us, but I know He is here and that's all we need. 
13. I have learned that, indeed, I can do anything I put my mind to. It may take blood, sweat, and tears, but if it's meant to be, then it will happen. What's the Thomas Edison quote? "Opportunity is often missed because it's dressed as hard work and overalls..." I don't want to miss my opportunities. 

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. Especially about this blog... This summer provided so many opportunities to wet my feet in this whole "homesteading" business. While there have been challenges and "bad" days, I have loved every minute of it. I am playing around with titles and ideas for another blog. One thing can fit for a while and for the last two and a half years, I've thoroughly enjoyed having my Amateur Teacher Extraordinaire site but, after this summer, I think it might be time for a change. I am growing and changing myself and it makes sense to create something that reflects that. I'm not just a teacher anymore. Mister and I are at a new place in our lives and having a blog that was supposed to be only about teaching, well, it's hard to make that work when there are so many other things to tell! 

I used to think that I would always identify myself as a teacher first. And, in my heart, I know that's what I am. The LORD made me a teacher. It is my mission field. However, now that I have a husband and a home, I am seeing my dreams and hopes grow and change... and I know these six acres with the two tall twin cedars are the perfect place to start planting new seeds...