Sunday, September 30, 2012

In the Middle of Life

Bullet points today.  I don't have time to write a "real" post and try to tie everything neatly together, but there are so many things I don't want to forget.  It might be messy, but here goes!

*Oliver loves horses!  He turns to the horse pages first in his "name the animal and make the animal noise" books, and goes "pppppppppppp" with his lips, because he doesn't care about the whinny, he is just fascinated that this creature can spit and not get in trouble for it.  He had started spitting when he got mad (spitting mad?  now I understand those why those words would be used together), and would get a swift swat on the rear in return.

*We have been looking at land/houses in the country.  Driving around on Sundays to faraway places like... Paola.  And Wellsville.  And Louisburg.  We would love to have more than 10 acres, and have even found one foreclosure property that has 40 acres and a house in our price range.  We have work to do on this house before it is ready to put on the market, but it is getting done!  The places we have seen are motivational (well, some of them are).

I love this house, because it is unique, and it feels really big... oh, who am I kidding?  It IS really big.  It is probably too big, and we have just filled (overfilled) it with stuff and are ready to move to a place with a simpler house that maybe only has 2 bathrooms instead of 4.  We love having 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a nice kitchen, a living room with a vaulted ceiling, a cozy family room with a fireplace and bookshelves (what we now call the school room, even though we do all of our schooling on the couch and at the dining room table), and a finished basement big enough and equipped to house renters... but really, there are 5 of us.  We don't NEED all of the stuff, the rooms, and the stress that comes along with it.

Mike loves to work with plants and seeds, and he'd love to have a greenhouse, and I would like to keep ducks and/or chickens, and possibly even have a cow for milk.  Just a little hobby farm, so that we can work on not being so wasteful (chickens eat scraps, and we have learned how to make compost, but our HOA won't allow that in our neighborhood... they also won't allow a clothesline!) and also so that we can provide for our own family without being so dependent on the grocery store for everything!  Self-sufficiency is all the rage these days with some people, but we don't want to just jump in unaware.  We are taking our time and going slowly...  It will take time, and there will be a lot of learning, and a huge lifestyle shift.  I am learning how to can so that I can stock up on fresh, local foods when they are in season and can them for winter.  So far I have only done beets at Mama G's house with her and my two lovely sisters-in-law and my niece.  It was fun, and also a lot of work, but we have beautiful jars of beets, and I would love to stock my pantry with more things like this.

*I am considering selling scrapbook kits!  I'll probably start with a shop on Etsy and a website, and build it from there.  I don't have details yet, but I'm working on a plan.  Eventually maybe I could help with a monthly budget amount like groceries or something, but at this point I'd be happy to take care of the yearly homeschool curriculum purchase.

*Mike has been working long hours, with many overnights and phone calls early and late.  It is hard on him and on me, but I am so thankful that he has a job and that they need him.

*I got to spend Saturday with my mom and sister!  We drove down to the Louisburg Cider Mill (SO many memories from going there every year while growing up), and got to take in all of the craft booths.  The line to buy cider and doughnuts was outrageously long, so we decided to go back some time during the week when it's not so busy to indulge in some warm, sweet, sugary cider doughnuts and cold, spicy-crisp apple cider.  I can't wait!

*School is going well this year.  The boys are way ahead in math and reading for the year, so I'm not worried at all about them in those areas!  We are working our way through the science astronomy book, and our history books we're reading aloud either during naptime, or (what usually happens) Mike reads to them before bed.  We are doing the Book It! program through Pizza Hut, and that really works to make sure I keep track of the books they have read by themselves.  Griffin reads a LOT of books.  His favorites are the Magic Tree House series, but he'll read just about anything.  He's really getting into chapter books, and it is not unusual for him to finish one off in a few days.  He takes every spare minute to curl up on the couch and read... when he's not playing outside, raking leaves, or building with Legos.  I love seeing him enjoy books so much!  Sammy is starting to read for enjoyment.  I have convinced him that he IS a good reader, and he has been going out on a limb and trying new books.  He wants to read them while we're at the library to make sure he'll like them before committing to checking them out and taking them home.  He's such a perfectionist!  Good and bad... I am trying to draw out the positives and help him overcome the negatives of feeling like everything he does has to be perfect.  He really seeks out approval from others, and there is a fine line between wanting affirmation and craving flattery, so I'm trying to figure out that balance, and make sure that my words of approval are for who he is, and for his character, rather than just for his accomplishments.  I know it is nice to have that pat on the back at the end of a hard school project, though.  Even if that project is just a page of handwriting.  Those can be daunting when you are 6!

*Oliver's words so far: Dada, Mama, Doggy (his first official word after Dada), Tickle (Kicka), Cracker (Cah-cah), Drink (Dizz), Moo (he has the cow noise down!), Hiss (he doesn't really like the snakes, but the noise sounds similar to hush), Hush (from Goodnight Moon -- "the little old lady who was whispering "Hush"), and I'm sure there are others... I knew I needed to keep track of those words better!

*Sammy is a Christian now!  He accepted Christ into his heart in mid-September.  I have the date somewhere... He is so happy to tell anyone who will listen to him about his decision, and how important it is to have Jesus in your heart so that you can go to heaven and live forever with God when you die!  I am just so excited that my whole family will be in heaven with me someday.  I know some people will make fun of me for believing these things, and they might even say that I am brainwashing my children, but that's okay.  The only One I have to please is my Father in heaven.  I can never please everyone here on earth.  That would just be impossible, and a colossal waste of my time!  I have to do what I know in my heart is right.  Sammy is totally excited to learn about Jesus, and about the things God has promised to those who believe in Him.  I am excited to be the Mama of two born-again boys!  Oliver is next... :)

*Mike and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary a week ago.  Wow, it has been a full 10 years!  4 babies (3 of whom I am raising, 1 who we will meet when we get to heaven), 3 very scary ambulance rides, 1 year of cancer, and 2 people more in love with each other than when we got married, with so many wonderful memories and the support and love of both of our families and a whole bunch of amazing friends... we can't wait to see what God has in store for us in the future!    

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