Joanna Overly hiking lifestyle

Getting to Know Joanna Overly Better

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I’d love to take this chance for you to get to know me, Joanna Overly, better with some of our story.

Dad pushing his 4 children on a large swing with a beautiful sunset in background

Welcome to JoannaOverly.com! I’m so glad you are here. This is where I love sharing pieces of the story of our home and lives with you.

I believe in the power of home. I believe what we do in these 4 walls matters.

Over the past many years I have learned to cultivate home, create rhythms and change habits.

A little back story:

woman and man posing together

My husband, Ben, and I have 4 children; 3 girls and 1 boy. Ben and I were both born and raised in Minnesota. We met at a church youth event and as soon as he walked in the door, he had my attention. I got his attention after making a fool of myself, and he thought I handled it well. He went home and found me on MySpace that night. We’ve now been married for 13 years. (If you don’t know what MySpace is, you must be younger than me. Lol It was pre-Facebook era.)

mother holding sleeping baby in snow
A winter visit to Minnesota

He and I were both homeschooled as children.

I did a few years of public school, but for the majority of my schooling was done at home. Our oldest daughter first went to public school at 4 years old to transitional Kindergarten (TK). She would come home saying, “I sit all day!”, “I miss you and sister!”

So having fond memories of gentle, easy days ourselves as a children, we decided to bring her (and her sister, who was at a Montessori based preschool) home the next year. I jumped in clueless, trying to choose curriculum the day I was in labor with little brother, (that didn’t work out well.) But bringing them home still has been one of the best choices we could have made.

two young girls holding first day of homeschool sign

We wanted to save their childhood.

I found the Charlotte Mason philosophy very early on, by a gentle introduction through a co op we were a part of. We were using the 5 in a Row curriculum and we all have such fond memories of those early years. Now we are very active members in our local Charlotte Mason group as well as our Wild+ Free communities.

Life has taken us on two cross country moves

First one out to California when our oldest daughters were just 2 (T) and 9 months old (R). We lived there for 6 years and added our youngest 2 children in to the family there. (Ez & El)

In 2019, when our youngest little babe was only 8 weeks old, we moved to Tennessee. We have been loving it here.

family of 6 sitting on back of pick up truck with pumpkins
Joanna Overly’s Family on fall pick up truck

Back in California is where I finally got answers

A big piece of our story was written back in California. I knew something was off with R. when she was 2. My suspicions rose that she may have Celiac Disease because she had very similar symptoms to what my aunt shared of her Celiac Disease in childhood. I took R off gluten to see if it would help, and it did! But little did I know I shouldn’t have taken her off of it until we had done labs. When we did do blood draws, the results were a false negative since her body was no longer having that response when I removed gluten from her diet.

Fast forward to her being 5 and a different doctor who believed my mama gut, we did another round of tests. More tests, specialists and eventually a scope/ biopsy. My gut was right, her gut was being attacked by her own body.

girl cuddled up on hospital bed hugging a stuffed animal

Her diagnosis was one of the biggest wake up calls

I had already been making healthy changes in our lives for a few years, but this diagnosis was one of the largest wake up calls. Now we are continually working at letting food be our medicine. Focusing on health and wellness in multiple areas of our lives. Flourish living, liquid probiotic being one big piece to nourish our digestive tracts daily. You can check more out about Flourish Here.

It isn’t a trend to us, it is a deeper call to return to simpler ways.

I am very thankful for doctors and the medical field, no doubt about it. I also believe that the power of our own health and wellness is within the many choices we make on a daily basis.

For us, home is the center of so many of these choices. It happens little by little.

loaf of bread in Joanna's kitchen

Slow and steady is a good pace

I’m happy that you have joined us here. If you made it this far, thank you so much for taking the time to get to know me better. My desire is that what I share helps you learn something. That you would be encouraged and inspired to take action to try new things. Decide today to become a do-er and make positive changes for the benefit of your family. It is worth the work to cultivate ourselves and our homes.

Joanna

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