A long, long time ago, I was a young mother, living almost two thousand miles from my friends and family, just starting to home school, and feeling rather alone. I needed to keep in touch with my people, and as I loved writing, and my little people were a constant source of story material, I wrote letters. They were lengthy and frequent, and as my list of recipients grew longer, I decided there must be an easier way to stay in touch. Blogging was barely on anyone’s radar, but I decided I should give it a try.
I began a little blog with my own domain name (I called it “Nettienet.net” and it was as basic as basic could be, but I was ridiculously proud of it). Over time my little website grew through several iterations and blogging platforms, until I came to WordPress, and Nettie’s World was born. I’ve made many dear friends through blogging that I’ve never met in real life, but with the advent of Facebook, it’s been wonderful to maintain these relationships and continue getting to know one another and stay connected.
Here are some things to know about me and our family:
- I’m a former protestant who, together with my whole family, “crossed the Tiber” and came into full communion with the Catholic Church in 2011. There is nothing in this world or the next that matters to me more, nor for which I am more humbly grateful, than my Catholic faith, and making sure that I pass it on to my children and share it with as many others as I can. I am woefully inept at evangelizing! I second guess myself, say too little, worry about being misunderstood and rejected, and generally fail far more than I succeed. But small as I feel, I know God is far bigger than my failures, and by His grace I aspire to become, like St. Teresa of Calcutta, a “pencil in God’s hand“.
- Having spent nearly 20 years as a home educator, I can say with confidence that that is the parenting paradigm within which I feel the most comfortable. And, although I reject the premise that there is only one “right way” to educate/raise children, in all honesty, homeschooling was really ideal for our family, which includes gifted and challenged learners, some ADHD and ASD. Our oldest three daughters raced through high school and started college around 16-17, each of them pursuing their passions with determination and enthusiasm. Our youngest son, after a brief experiment in the public school, is currently finishing high school at home – by his choice, and at his own speed.
- I’m 50 this year, or as I like to say to the kids, I’m “an old, old lady, which is why I know more than you!” I’ve been beyond blessed to be partners with Paul (my beloved brilliant mathematician/ software engineering husband of 24 years) in forming this family, and at our age, most folks are anticipating an empty nest. Yet, God had a surprise for us, and brought us a sweet little foster boy 4 years ago, whom we were so very blessed to adopt. (You can read about that joyful day here.) Hearing the call to provide a loving and stable home through foster care, our entire family has embraced new little ones as the Lord brought them to us, always with open arms and hearts and the understanding that we are here for the long haul or the short, however long we are needed. We know that each unique and precious child will be in our hearts forever, and we are willing to be their forever family if that is what they need. Our family size has fluctuated between 5 and 11 children over the last 4 years, and that has been a roller coaster in all kinds of ways. So much so that my Nettie’s World blog is making another transformation into a family blog we are now calling Adopted Joy.
- In recent years I have also discovered a passion for photography, and am a self-taught (well, self + YouTube!) hobbyist who does the occasional shoot for friends. Because my world is overflowing with my people, my photos are mostly lifestyle and portrait shots, with some ranch and desert landscapes thrown in whenever I can get out of the house and see the world. I am consolidating my various Nettie’s World Photography gallery sites into this one site since I need simpler, and keeping everything in one place makes sense. I will eventually have a storefront up and running for those who may wish to purchase prints, but selling has never been my main intention. I just like to show my pictures!