Second-Guessing Decisions

Have you ever had a difficult decision to make?  You agonize over it.  You pray about it.  You don’t sleep well thinking about it.

And finally you make a decision.  If you’re at all like me, the relief you feel is tremendous, simply because the decision has been made.  What you decided isn’t as important as the fact that you decided and the choice is now gone.


But if you’re also like me, at some point – whether it is days, weeks, months, or even hours – you start to second-guess that decision.  Or worse, you start to regret it.

I spent many years in that cycle.  And I’ve concluded that second-guessing or regretting is a waste of my time.

Decision-making is hard.  And it’s imperfect.  I make the best decisions I can given the information that I have.

For me, prayer plays a large role in my decision-making.  If I don’t feel comfortable that God wants me to do something, I don’t do it.

So after a decision has been made, if I second-guess it, then it feels like I’m questioning whether or not I heard from God correctly.

Here’s an example – our move to Scottsburg.  When it became obvious that Goat Milk Stuff had outgrown our old farm and we were going to have to move, we started praying for a new property.  We located one in Scottsburg that seemed almost perfect to us.  We prayed about it and were convinced this was where God wanted us.  We put in an offer and then we went “to battle” with the city over being allowed to build there.

I have to tell you, it was incredibly stressful.  While many people wanted us in Scottsburg, there were also some people who were very vocal about the fact that they did not want us there.  I could understand their concern because they didn’t know us and change is always scary.  But there were many times during the ordeal that I wanted to quit and find another property because the process was too hard.

It was really easy to tell ourselves that we had misunderstood God and this wasn’t the place for us.

But that thinking was wrong.

Because the right decision doesn’t always lead to an easy path.

If you measure whether or not you made a good decision based on how easy your life is after the decision is made, you’re using the wrong criteria.

Sometimes the right decision takes us down a very difficult path.  But it is still the path we are supposed to take.  It’s the difficult paths that are often where we learn and grow the most.

So now, once I’ve made a decision, I never try not to second-guess it.  I move forward and embrace the decision.

How about you – do you have trouble second-guessing your decisions?


Farm Children

Since we live on a farm where the children run through fields, woods, work with goats and chickens, (and of course play hard) they tend to be hard on clothes and shoes. Especially the boys. After getting them new shoes, it seems like no time at all, and they come to me like this:

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I think the time Hewitt came to me with his shoes falling apart was my favorite:

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How did he actually use them like that?

But then the other day Indigo came to me saying she needed new ones as well:

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I guess going through shoes fast is just part of living on a farm!




Do You Take Advantage of Opportunities?

I love the fact that because of Goat Milk Stuff, we’ve been able to take the family on many adventures to many cities.  We’ve been on television in St. Louis, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and New York City.  Our latest trip brought us to Kansas City.

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We really enjoy the chance to be on television and share our soaps (and now our caramels) with the television reporters and their viewers.  But our favorite part is getting to explore the city and learn a little about the culture and what makes it special.  After the filming, we headed back to our hotel, got changed, ate “second breakfast”, and then drove around Kansas City before heading to Loose Park.

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It was beautiful and the weather was perfect!  We then headed to the Kansas City Library where the children thought the large books on the walls of the parking garage were cool:

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There was also a large chess set on the roof of the library that they had fun with:

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The sad part was that Indigo found a book that she’s been coveting and thought she’d be able to “borrow it from the library.”  She started crying when she realized she couldn’t (making the librarian feel pretty bad).

After lunch (yes, Kansas City really does have AWESOME barbeque!) we headed over to the World War I Memorial.

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Then we walked to the Kansas City Federal Reserve and toured the “Money Museum”.  The Fed was pretty cool but I wish that they had some better tools to teach the children about exactly what the Fed does.  There was a video (but I wasn’t impressed).  I spend a lot of time teaching the children about money and borrowing and interest rates and I was hoping they’d have some good books at their little shop.

We were only in Kansas City for a total of about 36 hours, but we got a good overview of the city and their Barbeque!  I thought Kansas City was well kept with friendly people and was surprised by how much elevation there was.  I actually earned a “Redwood Forest” badge from my fitbit* from walking up and down as we walked around the city.

One of the reasons we’re able to enjoy the city so much is because not only are the children older (so they can walk and enjoy the sites), but also because Jim does a lot of prep-work finding out about the city and what our family would enjoy doing before we even arrive.  He had a list of places we could visit and the children got to choose which ones they were most interested in.

You don’t have to be on television to take advantage of the opportunities around you.  I know there are a few dozen things that I want to visit within a two hour radius of our home that I haven’t gotten around to doing – yet!

Where’s the latest place you’ve visited?




5K Color Run

Exercise is something important to our family so we can stay healthy. All of the boys run cross country and track.

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Last Saturday we all participated in a 5K Color Run, to help raise money to fight cancer!

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All of the children ran the race, while Jim and I chose to just walk it.

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Before running Colter said he wasn’t going to get any color on him, but as you can see he did end up with a little on himself.

We were all very proud of him; he placed 1st in the race!

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As you can see, after the race we were a very colorful bunch:

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We had a blast with it, and it helped raise money for a good cause!

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Have you ever run or walked a 5K?




Baby Goats Visiting the Nursing Home

Remember when we brought some baby goats to the nursing home?

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We did it again! Emery, Fletcher, Greyden, Hewitt, Indigo, Jade, and Dad brought two or three of our youngest babies to visit.

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The residents loved it!

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The babies gave them kisses,

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and nibbled on their fingers,

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and even let some of the residents hold them.

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The smiles totally made our day!

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Knitting For Playmobil

All my kids have enjoyed playmobil at some point during their childhood. But as they have gotten older, some of them have “outgrown” it.

Fletcher, Hewitt, Indigo, and Jade however all still very much love playmobil*, and regularly request it for their birthdays and Christmas.

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Recently, those who still play with playmobil, had the idea that they could buy MORE from older siblings, (who don’t play with it anymore) to expand their collections.

On the surface, I saw nothing wrong with this, and didn’t think much of it.  But turns out they had absolutely no grasp of the value of the pieces/sets, and were charging each other a lot more than they were worth new.

So after telling them they weren’t being fair to each other, we put an end to the playmobil* buying and selling.

They (being Fletcher, Hewitt, Indigo, & Jade) then came to me later and said “If we can’t buy playmobil from Colter, can we knit washcloths and trade them for playmobil?” After this, Colter would cash in the washcloths for money at the soaproom to be sold in the retail room and online.

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I was so impressed with their creativity, and thinking outside the box that I told them that was fine.

So now everyone is happy! The older kids get a little extra cash, and the younger ones get more playmobil*.  And, they now have a better grasp on the value of the pieces/sets, and are working for their goals.





What Do We Do In Our Spare Time?

We get asked all the time, “What do you do in your spare time?” And without fail, everyone’s answer to that question is, “I read”.

We read outside,

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on the couch,

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(in any position we find comfortable,)

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while we’re walking around the house,

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in bed,

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and with our siblings.

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We’ve even got the cat reading the dictionary! 😉

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Hewitt and Jade recently started reading, so now the entire family can read. If you can’t find one of the Jonas children, there’s a pretty good chance they’ve found a new hiding spot, and they’re curled up in it with their latest book!

Do you like to read?



Taping Boxes and Making Forts

Here at Goat Milk Stuff, we go through lots of mailing boxes. Normally, when we run out of prepared boxes, we’ll get everyone together and have a big box taping party. But the other day, some of the kids decided to have a box making battle.

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They split into two teams to make forts, with each team trying to make the biggest and “strongest”.

Fletcher was a team by himself,

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And Emery, Indigo, and Jade were the other team. (And in case you don’t think that’s fair, Fletcher had the large boxes, and the other kids had smaller boxes, so they had to make more to build a good fort.)

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Within an hour, they had made several hundred boxes, and had a great time. We love making work fun! And we also love when we don’t have to make boxes for a few weeks. LOL


Ask a Jonas – Indigo’s favorite goat

We get asked lots of questions when we’re doing farm toursselling soap at craft fairs, or simply running errands.  Since most of those answers are heard only by the person who asked, we decided to share some of the common questions here on the blog.  And of course you can ask a question of your own!

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Indigo, do you have a favorite goat? ~Barbara

Yes, my favorite goat is probably one of the goats born on my birthday. My birthday is in the end of February, which is during Kidding Season, which means I most of the time have a baby born on my birthday! My birthday goats are Valley, who’s one of our big goats, Belle, and Mermaid.

Minnie and Marcus, Mermaid’s brother and sister, were also born on my birthday, but we sold them because we didn’t need that many birthday goats.  Largo was born on my birthday too, but we sold him too. I still have three birthday goats though, which is more than anyone else has! I’m lucky that way.

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Kids Decorating the Christmas Tree

This year, when we went to get our family Christmas Tree, Mom had the brilliant idea of getting a tree for the front porch of the soaproom.

The only problem was that we didn’t have any ornaments for it.

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So the kids made some!

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They took some of our packing paper from the shipping area.

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Drew their ornaments and put some yarn on them.

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And went out to decorate the tree!

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Didn’t they do a good job? It looks so cute!


Kids Sledding

A few weeks ago, we had our first snow for this winter.

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The kids kept disappearing.

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A few hours later, they would be back.

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With frozen hands.

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And bright red cheeks.

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“We were sleddding!”

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“And it was AWESOME.”



Ask A Jonas – Indigo’s Thoughts On Earning Money

We get asked lots of questions when we’re doing farm toursselling soap at craft fairs, or simply running errands.  Since most of those answers are heard only by the person who asked, we decided to share some of the common questions here on the blog.  And of course you can ask a question of your own!

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“Indigo, how does it feel to work and earn your own money? ~Claudia

I like working and earning some money.  This year I am using some of my money for Operation Christmas Child. I like helping children in really hard times and giving them toys to help them get through the really hard times. I like to help stuff with the business too.

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Have a question for a Jonas? Fill out the form and send it in – maybe we’ll pick yours!

Ask A Jonas – Do The Kids Like Their Unique Names?

We get asked lots of questions when we’re doing farm toursselling soap at craft fairs, or simply running errands.  Since most of those answers are heard only by the person who asked, we decided to share some of the common questions here on the blog.  And of course you can ask a question of your own!

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Jonas Kids, what is it like having such unique names? Do you like it?  ~Kim

Brett: I love my name. The only downside is when everyone thinks that I’m a guy, because my name is typically a guy name. We’ll get emails saying that “Brett is such a nice young man, I’m so glad he signed my invoice” and stuff like that. It’s kinda funny, most of the time. So are the ways people spell my name. I’ve seen it spelled Britt, Brat, Bratt, and my personal favorite, Bertt. But I do like that I’m the only Brett that most of my friends know. It’s not like some other names – for instance, I know four Josh’s. That’s confusing! LOL
Colter: I never really saw my name as unique – I mean, I know it’s not your normal John, or Josh, or something like that. I don’t normally get confused with other people,which is nice.  I enjoy having a different name.

Emery: I’ve never really thought about it being unique.  I know of three other guys named Emery, so it just doesn’t seem too different.  They don’t all spell it the same way I do, but they all sound the same.   I don’t know anybody with the name “Bob” so that seems more unique than Emery.

Fletcher: It’s really nice having a different name, because even though I’m mixed up with Emery and Greyden, my name is always different, and people can learn the difference. It’s really fun having a unique name because then if you find someone else with the same name, it’s really cool.

Greyden: I’ve never met somebody with my name.  It is kind of cool when people say it is a cool name.  My name was the only one not in the 1000 Baby Names book.   And it is spelled with two “E”s.

Hewitt: I think it’s cool that I’m the only Hewitt I’ve ever met in my entire life and I think it’s cool that most of my family hasn’t met anyone else of their names. I like having my name, but sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I had a different name. I just think it would be strange, to have a different name. I like it, that Mom and Dad called me Hewitt.

Indigo: It’s really fun, having a name that no one else has, and I have a really cool name. The best thing about it is that my name is my favorite color – purple! Most people don’t have their favorite color as their name.

Jade: I think it’s cool, in a way, that everyone pretty much knows my name and it’s really cool that all of my siblings have names that no one has met anyone else with that name. I have not met another Jade, which is very cool, but Indigo and Emery have met other Indigo’s and Emery’s. So it’s really cool that I get to be the only one that I’ve met.

Have a question for a Jonas? Fill out the form and send it in – maybe we’ll pick yours!