Creating a Family Motto

Jan 9, 2015 | Full Time Family | 13 comments

family motto

The Christmas décor is down, pine needles all swept up.

Instagram photos




And I am rearing to go for 2015.

The Year of the Goat – if that floats your boat.

Ironic, because this is the year we will have baby goats and FINALLY a home dairy on our farm!  I’m watching my Coco like a HAWK for signs that she is pregnant.  She better be darn it!


This is a big year for me personally.

First of all, I can feel it.

I was BLESSED to be introduced to my Essential Oil company and in just a few short months my… our team is 94 women and growing strong. (It will probably be bigger by the time I hit PUBLISH on this post).  God has seen fit to bless me in ways I could not have imagined.

My cookbook is coming out this year (WHOOHOO!!!!) … farming mistakes that were learned last year will NOT be repeated… this year I will become, une femme d’une certain age… Yes, it’s a big birthday year for me.

We’ve got big plans and high hopes as a family.

To set the stage for our year… to start off 2015 we took TWO WEEKS OFF.  We spent two days of those two weeks getting ready Amélie’s birthday and for Christmas on the farm and the rest of the time we have done NOTHING.  Seriously… it’s been a fabulous, braless bash of snuggling, playing and wonderful nothingness.  It’s the most time off we have ever taken.  It’s the most chilled we have EVER been.


As a family we came together.  We sat on the couch more.  We touched, kissed and snuggled more.  We sang more.  We did dishes together, put away laundry, took naps, wrote thank you notes and even pined for the structure that the 2nd half of the school year would bring.  I can’t put a price on the feeling.  Really, just to set the focused, driven wife aside and allow myself to be relaxed and… affectionate.  To sit and read books to babies and not care about the kitchen floor.  In an instant five kids would be piled on me, each vying for “snuggle time with Momma”.  We have decided to do this every single year – just to recharge as a family.  Joel and I just each keep talking about how wonderful it’s been.

Tree Trimming


 Family Motto.


That is our family motto.

Boy did we get to lean into that these last couple of weeks.

Do you have a family motto?

In the words of one of the wisest, most wonderful woman ever…

“Why not have a family motto expressing something for which we, as a family, stand?… Perhaps it would be possible to cure a family weakness by choosing a motto representing its opposite as an ideal for the family to strive toward.  We might keep our choice a family secret until we have proven ourselves and could fave the world upon it.  Though in these days we would not put the motto upon our shield as did the knights of old, we could use it in many ways.  If carried only in our hearts, it would draw the family closer together.  Let’s have a family motto as well as a farm name!”

-August 1922, Laura Ingalls Wilder

Yes, our family motto is “Team Reed” and it has been for many years — it works so well for us as we do all of our work and play together.  It works when someone doesn’t want to participate or when the long days in the garden need be just a little bit longer so we can enjoy the fruits of our labor all winter.


PicMonkey Collage

Team Reed.  That’s what we’ve been for the last two weeks too.  Gluing together.  Savoring and growing stronger.

I’m pondering some quarterly motto’s as we set our goals for 2015.  Guess what!  It’s OK if you don’t have your goals ready yet!  Who can focus on all that during the Holidays… it’s a fine and noble thing to re-evaluate and plan during the first couple weeks of January.  It’s only the bandwagon people that make you feel like if you don’t have them ready by midnight… well, you’re screwed.  (Pardon me.)

Not so, not so.  Why not sit down this weekend and re-evalute the trajectory of your family?  Is there chaos?  Root it out.  Where can you simplify?  What noise can you cut out?  Can the T.V. hit the curb?  Can the schedule be paired down?  You know what?  I bet your children will turn out just fine without playing every sport known to man.  Are dance lessons wonderful for little girls?  Yes, my daughters love them… but enrolling your daughter in dance doesn’t make you a good momma.  Sometimes… when your family is struggling… saying NO makes you a good momma..  Even church… are you always on the go?  Small group, AWANA, Sunday morning, volunteering… enough is enough.   Chances are if you are feeling raged and run down… you are raged and run down… and chances are… you know how it goes with us women… we are doing it to ourselves.

Go ahead, get out some paper write some stuff down for heaven’s sake.  What do you want to change?   How do you want to grow as a family?… Look at that list and work backwards to make your plan.

Around the dinner table we’ve developed some quarterly motto’s that will coincide with “Team Reed” — power words to keep us on track this year…

1st Quarter – Hit it Hard — that’s right.  It’s time to go back to school, we have school goals to meet, it’s time for me to go back to a stricter schedule… working out, cleaning, cook-booking and continuing to manage this exploding doTerra team… We’ve got stuff that HAS to get done in our personal lives by April when it’s time to sow those first seeds so as a family we will take everything we do and we will HIT IT HARD in first quarter.

1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

2nd Quarter — Get Outside — The time will come when housework can wait, when the foundation we laid in the first quarter will be there so we can GET OUTSIDE.  The ground will be soft, the winter clean up will need to be done, the first seeds and potatoes will be planted.  Hopefully there will be baby goats and fresh milk.  2nd quarter for TEAM REED will be about… GET OUTSIDE!

Psalm 96:11-12 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it;  let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
3rd Quarter — Savor and preserve.  This year plan on buying a pop up camper as a family.  We’ll be doing our fare share of camping, we have the pool to enjoy and this little, awesome 3 acre farm.  There will be no stress of years past of a job that took Daddy away at night.  Our gardens will (God willing) be successful and so we will savor our time together as TEAM REED and we will SAVOR AND PRESERVE those memories and the fruits of our labor for 4th quarter….
Leviticus 26:5 ‘Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land.

4th Quarter – Rest, Restore and Ponder.  Yes TEAM REED will be repeating this two week Sabbath next year.  We may even head out of town for Christmas.  By following our plan throughout the year we plan to have plenty of time set aside 4th quarter to focus on others with our time, creation of meaningful gifts and giving.  We learned so much these last few weeks and we now fully understand that the Holidays must be safeguarded from craziness (and I thought I knew this before).  I’ve always prided myself on the low profile we keep… on the simple gifts we give our children.  But the biggest gift we give them next year will be extra time with their parents and time for us to Rest, Restore and Ponder.

Genesis 2:2-3 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.  And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

I have high hopes for these motto’s.  I know it will take weekly if not daily evaluation to make sure we are staying on track.  As a family, nothing happens magically.  We all know it takes just a couple of rotten days for bad habits to set in and for us to get off course in our health, our discipline with our children, our time with God… a couple rotten days and POOF!  Any ground we have gained is gone.  The special moments and memories… I think they come thru safeguarding of the heart and safeguarding of time.

We’ll have to ask ourselves if our plans and actions represent our family motto and for us personally as a family if they will move us in the directions of being able to Rest, Restore and Ponder at the end of this year.

I pray your year is blessed.

And I thank you for reading Parisienne Farmgirl.  For amusing me as I figure out life… cause Good Lord, is it hard!

You’re awesome.  It’s means so much to me.

Parisienne Farmgirl

family motto






  1. Christi {Jealous Hands}

    You are such an inspiration to me! Hope 2015 is the best year yet for you! xo

  2. mandy

    okay, seriously? you only take 2 weeks off a year? Like, with school and everything?! Man, I feel lazy. I relax too much 😉 Hope your year is off to a great start!

    • Angela

      Oh gosh, no …. In fact we do less school than most I fear… Really dialing it back once April and gardening season comes. I mean we too two weeks OFF… Like no plans, all pajamas and paper plates!

  3. Sue Neitzel

    The kids are growing faster than weeds, all so happy!! Who is publishing your cookbook?

  4. Faith

    Love this post! So glad things are going so well and you had that time to just relax and love on eachother. Thank you for sharing your life and family with all of us. You are truly an inspiration and a blessing to everyone who has the privilege of reading your blog. Such a beautiful family! Love you guys 🙂

  5. Amber ~ The French Pressed Home

    I may just have to follow in your footsteps this year but with one rule: No home projects! We have a tendency to think that when we are home, we need to be working on it. I think {hope} we will be pretty close to complete on the interior by Thanksgiving this year {fingers crossed}. My husband, nor I, know what real relaxation is. Time to make some changes in this team’s lives!

    • Parisienne Farmgirl

      YES! Taking a home project brake every couple of years is SO important. SO hard to do but it’s such a relief!

  6. Darla

    Love this. Such an encouraging read!

  7. Carol Blanchet

    LOVE this post! As always you are an inspiration. 🙂

  8. Sandy

    Love all of this, as usual. 🙂 And did I miss it somewhere, it looks like you got new counter tops and sink??? Yipee!

  9. Kristi

    Wonderful post Angela! Every time I read your posts, it’s like reading my own thoughts! I’ve adopted this motto as well. I want to enjoy every last moment of my kids’ childhoods and I protect it like a mama lion! We get what we need to get done but I’m on the more “lax” side. My kids know how to build things, make things and DO things. Not just algebra! And that makes me proud that they can think and do for themselves. Glad you had this time together because one thing is for sure, you never get it back!

    • Parisienne Farmgirl

      Kristi – I guess I could be considered “lax” too. I mean seriously – how much of what you learned in 3rd, 4th, 5th grade etc did you actually use today? My friend says everything pans out in the end with homeschooling and not to get caught up with when and who is learning what. My kids can sew, butcher animals, grow food, bake bread, build things, they are VERY business minded and LOVE God so that is what matters to me.


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