If you’re looking to find out my professional credentials, you many want to jump down several paragraphs – because you’re about to read some of the nitty gritty details about my life.
My name is PJ Jonas. Are you wondering what PJ stands for? It stands for Patti Jo – a nickname given to me by my Aunt Gina long before I can remember. I suppose you could actually say that PJ stands for my given name of Patricia Joan, but that name has always seemed way too formal to me and not a name I prefer. Everybody who has met me personally agrees that PJ (for whatever reason) much better catches my personality.
I am always learning and trying something new and am blessed to have an incredible husband (Jim) who allows me to follow all of my crazy ideas. Well, occasionally he puts his foot down and says, “No, we are not going to branch out into breeding goats for export into third-world countries. That’s not part of the current plan.”
I’ve always wanted a large family, but besides the fact that I wanted an even number of children (so they could be paired up with nobody feeling left out), I never set a specific goal. Actually, one of my best friends from high school tells me that she remembers us having a conversation in biology class where I said I wanted eight kids, so maybe at some point I did.
Jim never said he wanted a large family, but he was content to have one child at a time (we don’t have any twins). I met Jim my first year at the University of Virginia (we dated my entire college career) and married after we graduated on July 8, 1995. Our first daughter, Brett, was born late in 1996. She was followed by 5 brothers and then 2 little sisters. When our last child, Jade, was born, for the first time ever I felt that our family was “complete”. I know that sounds weird if you’ve never had that feeling. All I can say is that it just no longer felt like anybody was missing when we were all together.
We’ve always homeschooled our children. Not because we were trying to protect them from the outside world – although they’ve been protected from a lot of influences that I am very happy to have avoided. Instead, we chose to homeschool because we felt we could do a better job of teaching our children to their individual strengths than public or private schools could. I’m not suggesting that all schools do a bad job, but Jim was a public school teacher for 7 years and we know first-hand the limitations placed on good teachers.
In 2008, one of my crazy ideas was to start selling the goat milk soap that I had been making for our family. Apparently this crazy idea was a good one, because Goat Milk Stuff has grown and exceeded my wildest expectations. It has become a full-time operation that employs not just our entire family of ten, but many other employees as well.
Between running a business, farm, and family as well as homeschooling, my days are always full to overflowing. There are never enough hours in the day to get everything done. But I’m ok with that. I’m an 80/20 kind of girl. I don’t ever try to be perfect at everything (or even anything for that matter). Instead, I try to get the bulk of any given task accomplished and then I either delegate the rest or move on to the next thing. Because to try to be perfect is not only exhausting, it is impossible.
So what do I mean by that? Let’s say I walk into the house after a long day and the kitchen is filthy. (Yes, that does happen more often than it should.) I yell “front and center” at the top of my lungs and organize everyone into a kitchen cleaning brigade (I am a master delegator). We collect all the dirty dishes and load the dishwasher. I set someone to washing the big pots and pans, someone to washing the table, someone to washing the counters, and someone to sweeping the floors. Usually within 10-15 minutes we can have the kitchen looking great.
Are the cabinets still dirty? Yep. Does the floor need to be mopped? Probably. Is there gunk behind the sink faucet? Usually. But I got the 80% of it cleaned. I’m not going to put in another hour at this point taking care of making it perfect (afterall, the children are just going to dirty it again). In 10-15 minutes I got 80% of it cleaned and I’m no longer ashamed of my kitchen if somebody were to walk into my house. I’m now free to move onto something (in my mind) more important like reading aloud to my kids.
I’ve really learned that I have to let go of a lot of things to be able to live the kind of life I want. I want my children (and myself) to be able to look back on our lives and be proud of what we accomplished, but not feel that I spent their childhood years nagging them all day long. There are days I fail. But as long as those failures are not a daily pattern, I’m cool with that.
I originally started my blog in 2007 (before Goat Milk Stuff was born) because I wanted to capture some special family moments and share them with out-of-town relatives. Although the blog has evolved over the years, it’s still a place to share what is going on in our lives. I’ve learned a lot over the years about running a business, parenting children, raising a large family, and homeschooling. The biggest thing I’ve learned is to take time to enjoy my life and my family because nothing is as important as strengthening the relationships that matter.
I want this blog to not just make you laugh, but to encourage you that even in our crazy culture, you can make time to have fun with your family. Even though there is always more work to be done, with a little bit of creativity and effort, it is possible to have fun while you’re getting that work finished. There are plenty of times when I feel overwhelmed by everything before me, but if I can remind myself (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t) that in 5 years, this won’t matter or even be remembered, it can take some of the pressure off.
I post to this blog on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If you would like to be updated via email when there is a new post, you can sign up here:
I would love to hear from you about what’s going on in your life. Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything I can do to help!
Top Posts For You To Enjoy
The Jonas Life:
- You Put the Tooth Where?!?
- How Do They Come Up With This Stuff?
- I Can’t Walk
- Simon’s School of Self Abuse
- Another Jonas Invasion
- Blanket Trouble
- Good/Bad of the Youngest Person Rule
- The Magic Word
- Snuggly Sisters
- Bathing in the Soap Room
- The Goldfish Saga
PJ’s Soap Box:
- Taking Responsibility
- When To Disciple & When To Laugh
- Accepting the Word “No”
- Magic Pencil?
- Parenting Help That Works
Goat Milk Stuff:
PJ grew up on an island off the coast of New Jersey and still enjoys the sights and sounds of the ocean. Graduating high school meant leaving the shore and heading to Charlottesville to attend the University of Virginia. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Engineering from UVa in 1994. After graduating she was recruited by the company that was to become Capital One, working in their Reengineering Group. In 1995 she married Jim, a fellow UVa graduate, and they settled outside of Richmond on a small horse farm.
PJ left Capital One in 1997 to become a stay at home mom. The next seven years were joyfully spent raising and homeschooling her growing family. In 2004, the family moved to 3 acres in Indiana and added dairy goats to their homestead so that the children could have fresh, raw milk in their diets. PJ quickly began making goat milk soap for the family as a natural skin care alternative.
In 2008 PJ began Goat Milk Stuff, a successful internet company that manufactures and sells goat milk soap and other bath and body products. She has successfully used social media to interact and build relationships with her target customers. Focusing her attentions on her blog, podcast, and Facebook fan page have enabled her to build a very loyal brand following that passionately shares the company with others. A successful female entrepreneur, PJ has appeared on the Today Show, “O” magazine, The Huckabee Show, and other traditional and social media.
As a wife, homeschooling mom of eight, and business owner, PJ is passionate about sharing what she has learned with others. She wishes to encourage others that launching a family business is a great way to build family unity, raise hard-working children, and supplement the family income. And underlying everything is the importance of enjoying motherhood and the simple pleasures in life, despite the length of the current to-do list.
My blog is built on WordPress 3.8 and uses the GetNoticed theme. The body text font is Georgia while the titles and subhead fonts are Helvetica Neue. Most of the photos on the website are taken by Brett, myself, or Johnathan Driver.
For blog hosting, I recommend BlueHost. We host all of the children’s blogs with them because they are reliable, inexpensive, and offer great customer service if you need assistance.