Hello everyone, we hope this post finds you well during these very strange, COVID-19 times. Since we aren’t able to stay in touch with people like we normally would, we thought we would give a little family update. We’ve had a few people reach out to see how we are doing, so we thought now is a good time to give a peek into the Holwerda house.
Overall, I’d say we are doing as well as everybody else. Some days are good, and I appreciate the ability to truly slow down, and spend time together as a family. Other times I find myself wondering what day (or even month) it is, and if I really need to shower. I’m sure you can relate!
Update from Lindsey:
As I stare at my blank calendar a big part of me feels sad. It is SO STRANGE to literally have NOTHING to do! I definitely miss all of my social outlets. I miss my Mom’s group. I miss my Woman’s study at church. I miss the girl’s homeschool co-op. I miss Sunday mornings at church, and I miss the hour of alone time I got when the kids were having a blast at AWANA. I miss catching up with friends at the park, going to the library, and having the choice to go somewhere like the zoo if it happens to be a beautiful day. I guess I just miss life!
When I first heard about everything shutting down, I thought no big deal, we are used to doing school at home, we can handle this. Well into week one I realized how important all of our social outlets are to our family. We all started to go a little crazy, kids included! They missed seeing friends, and just being out in the world (besides their own backyard). We had a few very tough days in there, where I’m pretty sure we were all in tears!
(A quick side note to everyone who suddenly found themselves being teacher…this is not normal homeschooling! I’ve had multiple people tell me things like, “You’re awesome for homeschooling, I can’t do this” etc…but guys…we’re struggling too. One reason why we homeschool is to enjoy the freedom and fun that homeschooling brings! We don’t have those freedoms right now. Most of our “fun” has been cancelled! This is just…different…so please show yourself some grace. I guarantee you’re doing a better job than you’re giving yourself credit for.)
Anyway, as the world started to adjust, our family did too. I’m so thankful that we are still able to “connect” with others virtually. The girls have been enjoying AWANA Live through Facebook, we’re able to watch our church service through YouTube, and we’ve done quite a few Zoom calls with our co-op, church friends, and relatives. The girls also have started to learn the ukulele, have been acquiring lots of pen pals, sleeping in forts, and having some good family movie nights. There is always some good in the bad, if you’re willing to look for it.
Another positive in all this craziness is that we’ve been able to get to work in our yard. We actually have the time now, and on those nice sunny days, you’ll find us outside doing something productive in our yard. There’s something very satisfying in working with your hands. Couple that with just being outside in the sun and hearing all the sounds of nature, it really can lift your mood!
I’ve been putting Brad to work with all of my crazy ideas. He built us some awesome planter boxes going all the way around the deck so we will be expanding our garden this year. I’ve planted some lettuce, and started a few plants from seed inside. A friend shared some of their blackberry bushes with us, so we planted those along our back fence. Our strawberry patch and lavender along the back of our house is also starting to come in. We’ve been trying to become more self-sufficient a little bit at a time, so I’m loving that our backyard is becoming more and more edible!
Grace, my little entrepreneur, decided she would like to sell flower bouquets this summer. So we took the sandbox that the girls no longer really used (it was just attracting mice nests anyway!) and filled it in with soil. Grace has started some flowers from seed inside the house, and she’s getting excited to plant more outside soon! If you’re local to our area, keep an eye out this summer for Gracie’s Flowers, she’d love to bring you a bouquet! This has been a good lesson for Grace to learn how to start her own little business, and I’ve enjoyed seeing her enthusiasm through this process of learning. Sadie isn’t sure what she wants to do yet, but you may see her painted rocks available this summer too :). Aren’t they adorable?
While I am very much looking forward to life resuming, I will say there is something good about slowing down. (I’ve seen articles talking about how much the Earth is healing and liking us slowing down too!) I hope you are able to use your “slow down” time to do something that fills your soul. Whether it’s spending more time in the Word, starting a victory garden, sending more snail mail, or getting lost in the woods, I hope you turn off the news, and DO IT!
Update from Brad:
Hello everyone! I know it has been a while since I posted anything or have given any type of update. So thought I’d share with you all some of what’s been happening in my life.
I had my last MRI done back in February with no signs of new growth and we continue to praise God for that. Since then I continue to focus on my health (physical, mental and spiritual) and continue feeling stronger every day. I continue to go to the doctor once a week for my therapies and education classes. While there, I spend time doing things like oxygen therapy, immuno cell therapy and bio-photon therapy. I also spend a lot of time learning about nutrition and how the human body operates. At home I have been trying to keep up on my daily exercises, juicing, detoxing ( i.e. sauna and detox baths ) and still continue to use essential oils.
When I’m not at the doctor I have been staying busy by doing side jobs and working around the house. I am currently laid off due to the shut down so I have had a lot of time to start tackling some projects at home. And when the weather is exceptionally nice, the family and I try to get outside and do some hiking. Here are a few pics from our last family outing.
I know a lot of people are struggling in these uncertain times. Some are fearful, others anxious, and some might just be extremely bored. Whatever the case is, I think we all wish that things could just go back to the way they were. I know I think this at times. But the more I think about it, the more I start to see the silver lining… families spending time together. Some go on hikes, others are learning to cook together, while others are learning to homeschool their children. I think we also have learned to not take the little things for granted, like meeting a friend for dinner, going to church on Sunday morning, or going to the movies. My hope is that we all come out of this with a new appreciation for all that God has blessed us with.
We also once again would like to thank everyone for their continued support. Thank you for supporting the multiple fundraisers, the thoughtful cards, e-mails, texts, voicemails, and prayers. We are often reminded that we aren’t in this alone, and this all would be so much harder without your support. We are constantly reminded of how good our God is.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We cannot wait to see you all again in person, hopefully sooner than later.
Be strong and courageous,
Brad & Lindsey