Friday, January 30, 2009

Odds and ends

Last week when I decided to start eating a diet without comfort food I realized that I would need to write about to keep myself accountable.  This week has worked out pretty well.  I have made dinner every night except Wednesday because we had Logos.  And they make healthy food, so I didn't feel bad.  I have had some not so good food come out of my kitchen.  I had a hard time getting the pork chops right, which I used to do quite easily.  That tells me how lax I have gotten about making real food.  Another thing I noticed is that my husband enjoys even my bad food.  The kids, not so much!  But we are learning together.  I made some lentils, which honestly I don't have a love for.  However I will be making them again.  Peter really enjoyed them, I liked the squash I put in them and a small amount is filling.  Last night I made a yummy kale and avocado salad.  I think that it might make a weekly appearance on my meal plan, at least for myself.  The kids even ate it.  I made chicken to go with it, but for myself I don't think I will.  

I have decided on most of the curriculum that we will be using next year.  Right now my concerns lay in art and music.  We don't have a piano and I have not an artistic bone in my body.  I think I will seek out an art class for the kids.  Thanks for all who encouraged me on our quest!  I didn't even get a your crazy comment, but that may be due to the fact that not many read here. Oh, well, C'est la vie and que sera, sera.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This snowy day

It is 10 degrees outside right now.  Esther, Samuel and I are hanging out doing laundry and learning some.  I am doing more learning than my kids.  Samuel is playing "constructor" and Esther is learning to type.  I learned not to lighten pictures too much, maybe.  The top is the lighten copy and the bottom is SOOC.  I can't decide which one I like better.  

Here is Samuel playing dress up.  I seem to be having a hard time correcting things.  This seems too light as well.  I will have to work on it more.  I just used the quick fix option and it looks quite different here than it did in my window on my computer.  It seems that I have much more to learn.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pictures from Peter's trip

Here are some pictures from Peter's trip.  The pictures are descending in order date wise.  The pictures start in Israel and end in Turkey.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Other exciting news

Now that Peter is home we have decided to let people know some other news.  No, we are not having another child!  We have decided to homeschool the kids next year.  Exciting, right?!  I know it will be tons of work and I am going to get a huge I told you so from various people, but I can deal with it.  And plenty of questions like are you crazy and the like, but I'm up for those too.

Samuel and Micah are excited.  Abraham is aprehensive, mostly about not having as much socializing available to him everyday--all day.  It will be a challenge, but I am looking forward to spending more time with the boys and getting to see them learn.  We decided to use The Well Trained Mind model of classical education.  I am also excited to learn along with the kids.  There many things I didn't learn over the course of my public education and my unfortunately shortened, unfinished college education.  One day I'll go back, college was fun!  We are not in this to get our kids ahead of schedule or keep them completely protected from the world.  For awhile I thought about afterschooling, but by the time the kids got home they didn't want to sit still any longer and needed the time to get outside and play. 

Right now I am trying to decide on curriculum.  It's hard because there is so much good and interesting stuff out there.  I am currently trying to figure out language arts.  I think that science will be just as hard to decide on because that is the main subject the kids will want to do. 

So if you want to tell me I'm crazy, that's fine, but it won't change my mind.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A storm brews

On Saturday I had a wonderful morning  filled with enjoying my children.  Then around 5pm it hit, the loneliness.  My very strong emotions tend to be actual, physical pain.  It hits in the chest and then spreads out.  In order to quell the raging sea, to silence the sure tears, I ran to my drug of choice, food.  As I pondered what I wanted I heard a small, quiet yet insistent voice say "the come down is going to be so much worse."  But on I went.  And sure enough the come down was horrible.  Crying ensued, safely after the kids were in bed, of course. 

I couldn't fall asleep until nearly three.  In the hours between the kids bedtime and when I fell asleep I took stock.  However, I wasn't planning on it.  God just kept putting the truth in front of me.  I started reading one book and came upon a truth I did not want to deal with.  So I turned to the Bible, yet here was another.  Then I remembered reading on a blog about another thing I didn't want to hear.  At about 2am they all came together to say changes are a comin', if I am to be refined by God's hand.  And boy are they going to be hard, but clearly worth it.

One thing I can say is that Peter being gone for as long as he has been gone has been good, at least for me.  If he had come home a week ago I would not have made these discoveries.  And they were sorely in need of coming to light.  

I am by nature an impulsive person.  For the last ten years I have been filting from one thing to another.  In the past month or so I have discovered that I need to live my life with intention.  And make decisions with intention, not just because all other options have passed.  It is time for me to finish growing up.  

One of the things I dealt with the other night was my eating habits.  I read on Walk Slowly, Live Wildly about our bodies being temples.  This post made me question my self on how can I worship God in my craptastic temple of a body.  It does effect how I feel about myself and my ability to worship God.  There is the ever voice of displeasure my physical state.  Is every action of ours a way that we are supposed to honor and worship the Lord?  If so then eating should be too, right?  So, all this to say that, I am going to start eating in a not just controlled way but with worship in mind. (I should probably read the fasting section of Celebration of Discipline.)  Somehow, with this in mind the idea of eating mostly fruits and veggies doesn't seem like such a sacrifice.  While I am not ready to go vegan or even vegetarian, I believe that I need to limit my drug-like comfort foods.

There are other things that I discovered the other night, but I need to wait until Peter gets home to sort them out completely.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Good friends

I had a wonderful time and break this afternoon and evening.  It's the only reason that I was able to do my earlier post.  It's always wonderful when people take pity on me, really--I'm not joking.  After being on my own for a week and half I was getting to my wits end.  Well, more like just crazy tired.  So my friends, Kathy and Phil, offered to take the boys to the local jumping on inflated things place.  Afterwards we were invited to their house for dinner and wii.  It was so nice to have a break.  And more importantly, having people around to have pity on me(and noticing when my purple circles under my eyes turned black).  

So thanks guys.  I really appreciate it. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bad juju, and some who cares

So I went to Target yesterday morning.  I was being a good wifey, not spending needlessly.  I had to get essentials and cheap birthday gifts for kids for the year.  Once a year they put the extra Christmas toys on super-extreme clearance.  There were a ton of us crowded trying to get some good deals.  I noticed a group loading up a ton of stuff into mulitple carts.  I stuck my big nose where it didn't belong and asked who they were to others around me.  Apparently they do this every year.  This group buys the stuff on clearance at Target and then sells it for full price on ebay.  So I guess that's the way capitolism works, but I won't be buying anything from those guys.  Why would I pay full price when I could get it, theoretically, cheaper at my local Target?  So I'm just not gonna buy stuff on ebay from people around here, well toys at least.  

I am pleased to announce that Peter should be home next Tuesday.  Or maybe it will be Wednesday, it depends on what time he leaves Germany and if everything is on time.  I am looking forward to him being home.  The kids are too, though Samuel did ask if Peter was moving for two years.  

On an unrelated note, I found out today that doing some socialization in the morning followed by hanging with my girls (Esther and Reveille) makes me a much happier mommy.  I really didn't need much, just talking to Samuel's teacher for 3 minutes did it for me.  Interesting, huh?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm done

Seriously, I'm done with my husband being gone.  I realize that others have it harder, their husbands are in the military and are gone for months at a time.  I married a plant breeder.  I didn't marry a superhero.  He's wonderful, so I'm not saying that to demean him in any way.  But when we got married his unrealistic promise was that he wouldn't travel at all.  We were so young and stupid.  (It reminds me of my Grandpa Abie's promise to not die before Grandma Joy.)  How can a person make a promise like that and keep it?  I love that he is endeavoring to keep his promise, but it was unrealistic to begin with.  So I in my "I'm so above it" way have let him out of that promise.  I'm the superdeduperest wife ever, right?!

Let me tell you how wonderful he is.  He lets me sleep in most of the time right now.  He is funny in his own special goofy way, which is a wonderful way to keep me real.  I love that as grown up and driven as he is, his favorite Christmas gift was the Nerf supercool gun he got himself.  He likes to play Nerf gun battles with his boys.  How awesome is that?!  And he usually doesn't even shoot me in the rear!  He likes my crazy way that I get all riled up about some seemingly insignificant idea.  He even enjoys the arm waving and everything!  It may be that he's laughing at me, but I think he likes that I surprise him when, and at what, my crazy comes out.  Well, that's enough of a peek at his awesomeness.

Back to the original reason for the post, I miss him terribly.  I feel so alone without him around.  It helps that he calls, but it really isn't the same.  We have another week until he comes home and I can't wait.  I talked to him a bit ago and he is fine.  There is some Lebanese dessert that he choked down in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan that he had this evening in Israel that tasted good there.  (Did you understand with the thats?) The way he told the story was funny and I was glad to hear his humor and laugh.  I never noticed how much I enjoy his company until now.  He is truly my best friend, how blessed am I to have married someone so wonderful.  It's amazing really, when we wed nearly ten years ago, we had only known each other for almost 6 months.   God really had His hand in our lives.

I tried to find a picture on my computer to photoshop to make look even awesomer, but I took some really horrible pictures over the last month.  I can't even photoshop them to make them look good.  

Friday, January 9, 2009

The tiredest I've ever been

Okay maybe not.  But I sure am close.  I suppose it was when Micah was 8 months old and had not slept through the night yet.  If anybody saw my eyes, or rather the gigantic, black bags under my eyes they would be horrified. 

Peter is in the Middle East right now.  He is on his way to Lebanon as I write this.  He left Turkey about an hour ago.  The boys definitely miss him, but I miss him more.  I hope he stays safe, but according to him he should be safe.  Why, you ask?  Well, because he is with Manfred.  Somehow the bombs will be bouncing off Manfred.   I am underwhelmed with the decision of them to give money to Lebanon just by going there.  

Anyway, Peter will be home in about two weeks.  We are managing just fine.  Though I am REALLY looking forward to this weekend.  I will be able to sleep when needed.  Having Peter gone with a baby is a lot harder here.  In Oregon I had the indoor park to go to.  It just helped to be able to go somewhere, talk mom talk and kinda veg where the baby was safe.  Esther is into everything all the time, which is normal but quite hard when exhausted.  The most surprising part so far was when someone asked when my mom was coming to help.  I was actually mature and said "she's busy with her own life, we will be okay on our own."  I love my mom and would love to have her here, but I don't expect her to come bail me out.  

It's been interesting to see how the boys have reacted to Peter being gone.  They have been doing role playing with Abraham being the dad.  Samuel has related Peter's being gone to his best friend's absence from school.  Esther hasn't noticed that much, but she hasn't learned permanence completely yet.  Reveille really misses Peter, but that isn't surprising is it?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

National Bankruptcy Day

The new CPSIA law will be going into effect this year.  Many small business will be affected.  Amazingly the congress members that created this legislation decided that all children's products will have to have lead testing.  This targets toys, including wooden, and clothing.  This legislation includes resale items as well.  

I learned about this at Happy to be at Home.  There are other places that are mentioned on the internet.  At Mothering there is an article.  The LA Times and ABC news did a piece as well.  

I cannot believe the incompetence of our lawmaking bodies.  Thousands of small business owners will be going out of business and people who need to buy from resale shops will not be able to buy their children's things from these organizations.  Well great for Wal-Mart!  (I know lots of people like that place, but I hate it with a vengence!  Long lines so people won't return things and they go around the voters to buy city governments to get their way. Yuck!)  I realize that big places were once small, blah, blah, blah.  Either our lawmakers are stupid or they've been bought by Wal-Mart as well.  I may just go in for a conspiracy theory on this one.   

Anyway, I am going to try and buy as much as I can from small mother owned boutiques through etsy while I can.  You should go by and utilize a great resource to find cottage industry.  There is also a National Bankruptcy Day website.

There has not been a ton of coverage on this and wanted to send up a flare.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

We haven't done a ton yet this year seeing that it has just started, but we did institute a new family practice.  We are going to start reading at the dinner table.  Our kids take forever to finish their meals.  Peter reads a bible story and then I read a story.  I read some of the Jungle Book this evening.  I will continue reading this until it is done.  I haven't made an entire list for the year for family reading, but I have started making a list for myself.  I have started Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for now.  This year I am starting out small.  I want to complete 20 books.  Stating this for all to see I hope will help me to keep to it.  I need to do make a goal for family reading.  I want it to be reasonable so I don't get discouraged.  I guess 10 books would be reasonable.  Now I just need to figure out what all they should be.  Both Peter and I like the idea of reading classics.  And I would like to add some poetry into the mix.  

I am bravely going to take on reading The Closing of the American Mind, but I have been warned that it may take more than a year to complete.  I also would love to read some more C.S. Lewis, and not the fiction.  I also want to finish Celebration of Discipline.  That's about as far as I have gotten.  I should put some real thought into this.

I suppose I have just made a resolution, it seems more hopeful, not as much like a sentence as resolutions tend to be.  If anybody has any ideas I would love to hear them.