Saturday, June 9, 2012

Exciting week

This week did not go as planned. We have some school to catch up on! We spent all day Thursday cleaning out the garage....can that count as school? The garage looks pretty good though. We hadn't cleaned it out since we moved here, 5 years ago, and for all 5 years it was just the "dumping" ground for anything we didn't have a place for inside. I really should have taken before and after pictures, but that never occurs to me till after.

Yesterday representatives from our landlords showed up to inspect the house before they renewed the lease. This is the inspection they are supposed to do every year, but again, we have been here 5 years and this is the first time they've come. Supposedly they are in hot water with the landlords. I'm nervous; I don't know what they were expecting but we have been here for a while and when we moved here I was pregnant with number 6 and now I'm pregnant with number 8 and there is a significant bit of wear and tear on the house. My husband doesn't think it is excessive for 5 years and $55,000 paid for living here; all I can see is what I should have done better. Plus, this company has a policy of no more than 2 people per bedroom (any other large families out there find this ridiculous?) and we have passed that up by two people now. We thought they were going to bring us the new lease and have us sign it yesterday, but that didn't happen. They said they'd contact us after talking to the owners. We'll see. They should let us know soon. Well, at least if we get kicked out, it will be a lot easier to pack and leave since the garage is in such good shape. Also the rest of the house....this may be the best it's looked since we've moved here. I've been nesting quite a bit, I guess.

So anyway, after they left I had no intention of piddling around the house stressing and trying to finish doing what I thought should be done before they got here, so I loaded up my pregnant self and all 7 kids, then went to a friend's house and picked up two more kids, and went to the YMCA. Can I just mention how thankful I am for their Open Doors Scholarship? Being able to take my kids to the pool this summer, being able to float and take some pressure off of my back, the swimming lessons and Zumba and free babysitting so I can swim without having to watch my is a real gift. I will not take it for granted.

We stayed at the YMCA for about 5 hours. My friend showed up half way through and we had a good time relaxing and talking. When we got home we had one of our favorite easy meals, Chili Dogs, and watched Macgyver. (Five years ago my oldest daughter said he was the "real kind of superhero." Then I put them to bed and watched Highlander while eating brownies and ice cream. I'm pregnant, not on a diet. And I've been good. Mostly. Don't judge.

My husband has been trying to get to watch Highlander for years, and recently I was looking for something I could watch that was already over. I don't mind waiting a week for the next show but season breaks annoy me. I'm spoilt, I know. Hulu has all 6 seasons available so I am about half way through the first season.

It's interesting for me to watch. The Ninja Time Lord told me early on that, while Highlander isn't a super deep show, it is morally driven. It also has pretty people to look at and funny fashions to laugh at, and occasional fun sword fights. It's a show I can do chores during because it's not a huge deal if I look down at the towel I'm folding; unlike most of the shows made nowadays Highlander moves fairly slowly, there are whole minutes taken up with a random person walking down a hallway. No kidding. It has a bit of the 80's corniness but has the humor to poke a bit of fun at itself. This will not be a new favorite show, but I am enjoying it.

Basically, after a stressful morning I had an enjoyable stress-free fun afternoon and evening and slept until 9 am this morning. Nice.

I'm going to work on cleaning our school/craft/overflow room today...once it is done my whole house will be decluttered and neat (the mind boggles). Well, partially decluttered and neat-ish. Then maybe I'll sew and knit and paint again. I have so many cool projects to do on my pinterest I would love to get to. How cool would that be?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Me, taking the "Getting to Know Yourself" Quiz

This is from the Happiness Project website.

If something is forbidden, do you want it less or more?

Depends on who is doing the forbidding and why. I don't usually spend a lot of time thinking about forbidden things, but I am very passionate about having the right to make my own stupid decisions and the government staying out of my life as much as possible.

Is there an area of your life where you feel out of control? Especially in control?
Laundry makes me feel out of control, or at least hopeless of ever having a handle on it. I feel out of control sometimes when I think something really needs done, or I just really want to do something, but the Ninja Time Lord isn't on board with it. I'm sure he feels the same way sometimes.

If you unexpectedly had a completely free afternoon, what would you do with that time?
I'd probably spend a little bit of time making myself feel good by doing something I'm supposed to do, like exercising or cleaning, and then spend most of the time rewarding myself by eating brownies and dancing to way too loud music or watching tv I can't watch in front of the kids. If I'm having a really great day, instead of the tv I pull out my painting, knitting, or sewing supplies.

Are you comfortable or uncomfortable in a disorderly environment?
I can be comfortable in a disorderly environment if I have my focus in one area: a book I'm reading, the computer, paperwork, sleeping, etc. If I'm having to move about or am jumping from task to task a disorderly environment gets under my skin and can drive me mad. (I answered this question thinking about my house...outside of my own house my frustration is directly influenced by the amount of responsibility I feel for the place. In other words, if it isn't my problem, it doesn't bother me.)

How much time do you spend looking for things you can’t find?
Far, far too much. Mostly it's my kids' clothing/shoes. But at least once a week I have to go on a cleaning spree just to find a particular piece of paper or my husband's keys.

Are you motivated by competition?
A little bit. I'm more motivated by teamwork.

Do you find it easier to do things for other people than to do things for yourself?
O yes. Yep. Sure do.

Do you work constantly? or think you should be working?
No. Yes. LOL I believe that I could always do better, but I don't give myself a very hard time about it, most of the time.

Do you embrace rules or flout rules?
Yes. I'm sorry, but that is either a one word answer or a blog post of it's own. Perhaps I could say that in most instances, I embrace rules and flout convention, but I will also reject rules in favor of my own common sense.

Do you work well under pressure?

What would your perfect day look like? 
Too many options for a "special" day, so a perfect average day would look like me getting up on time, going for a walk, coming back, waking the kids, making breakfast, the morning routine getting done quickly, eating, doing the prayer and starting school on time, finishing by noon, eating lunch, doing a few chores with the kids help, and then either going to the YMCA to swim or pulling out my crafting supplies and going at it till supper time. Supper, evening routine and prayers, then playing a game or reading a book to the kids till they go to bed. My perfect day mostly consists of what we do anyway, except without the yelling, whining, or dawdling that all of us do. 

How much TV do you watch in a week (include computer time spent watching videos, movies, YouTube)?

Too much. I've actually been keeping track of this lately, trying to come up with a realistic amount to cut back. Right now, I'm watching an average of 90 minutes a day. More when the NTL is home, because I tend to watch with him, even if it's not something I would usually watch.

Are you a morning person or a night person?
If I get up early I get more done and have a better day. But it is much easier for me to stay up late than get up early.

What’s more satisfying to you: saving time or saving money?
Good question....I think saving money, because while I am very bad at it, having a bit stashed away makes me feel pretty good, and I haven't figured out a way to "stash" time.

Do you like to be in the spotlight?
Sometimes? Only for good stuff, and only if my makeup is done. LOL

Is your life “on hold” in any aspect? Until you finish your thesis, get married, lose weight?
In some ways it's on hold till I have this baby; in other ways it's on hold till we have some money saved up and some debt paid off; in other ways till we can move onto some land. I put some real effort in living life in the ways I can, right now, though.

What would you do if you had more energy?
Paint the house, decorate it more, take the kids out to the YMCA and parks more

If you suddenly had an extra room in your house, what would you do with it?
HAHAHAHA. I wonder how many rooms I would have to have before I would think of one as "extra?" I would love to have a dedicated craft or school room though. But, honestly, I'd rather have less stuff and a smaller house to clean.

What people and activities energize you? Make you feel depleted?
Cleaning house and never feeling like it is good enough depletes me badly. Usually hanging out with friends energizes me, but sometimes it can be a drain, if the conversation is just about "what's going on with everyone." I like dancing and singing, even though I stink at it. Exercise usually energizes me, though I rarely enjoy doing it. Pinterest and magazines and nonfictional books about my interests can inspire and energize me, so long as I don't spend too long looking at them. Writing and painting energizes me. Acting energizes me. I like gardening and knitting and sewing, but they tend to deplete me. Sex usually energizes me.

Is it hard for you to get rid of things that you no longer need or want?
No, because I tend to want everything I have! I'm getting better about it though; I want a clean uncluttered house more than I want to have that bag of dryer lint or that magazine or that pile of unused fabric. I am also learning the joy of NOT looking through boxes and bags of stuff that I haven't looked into for years before just tossing them. Sometimes I shiver to think of what I may have accidentally thrown away, but it's worth it. I haven't regretted it yet.

Do you get frustrated easily?
Seriously, do they expect the answers to these questions to be a solid 'yes' or 'no'? Of course it depends, but I believe I go into things with high expectations, get very frustrated, then breathe and re-balance and can keep going much longer and "better." So long as I don't shriek or throw things in the frustration period, it all works out okay.

On a typical night, what time do you go to bed? How many hours of sleep do you get?
I go to sleep between 11 pm and 2 am on a typical night and get up between 6:30 am and 9 am. My goals are to be in bed by 10:30 pm and up by 6:30 am.

If at the end of the year, you had accomplished one thing, what is the one accomplishment that would make the biggest difference to your happiness?
It feels wrong to say anything other that "have a good delivery and a healthy baby" since I'm due in August, but while every child is an increase to my happiness I don't know how "different" it would be...does that make sense? Having a clean, organized, and somewhat decorated house I would feel okay with friends seeing would be huge. Huge, I say.

I would love to hear y'alls answers, or if anyone else recognizes themselves in my answers. Don't leave me all alone here!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I don't think this counts as fulfilling the assignment, exactly...

My 11yo daughter's writing assignment today (which she was under pressure to finish quickly):

"Imagine what the world will be like 100 years from now. Maybe you think robots will be doing our work for us, or that people will be living on the moon. What will our houses look like? What will school be like? Write a paragraph or two describing what you imagine. Be sure to use future-tense verbs."

This is what she wrote:

"Jesus will come down to erth, and all of the christians will be rebowrn on the new erth."

Happiness Project, Getting Started

I didn't make it to church this morning, because while frustratingly searching the house for any one of my girls' three combs I went into their room. And freaked.
So....I and the girls are at home, cleaning their room. Or they are while I supervise. I'm not messing with this kind of mess, especially when there is cat poop involved and I'm pregnant. Sigh.

Later today we have the first official meeting for those of interested in forming an intentional homesteading community. I'm really excited about that.

While the girls' are cleaning their room, though, I am working on starting my "Happiness Project." I think I have my "11 Priorities" figured out. 11 Priorities are the eleven most important things in my life, and I am going to focus on them, one per month, for the next year to increase my overall happiness. Bear with me, I'm really not sure if I  am doing this right.

My 11 Priorities, in no particular order, are:


Nothing there is unique, even a little. Now I'm trying to come up with 4 or 5 resolutions to support each one. Some of these are easy, like Health. Creativity, future, attitude...I'm not coming up with a lot. I'll let you know when I have this figured out.

I am also trying to come up with my personal 12 Commandments, my Laws of Christine-hood, and my Eight Auspicious Symbols of Happiness.  Any suggestions?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ignore that last post

That last post is a great example of why you shouldn't jump into things all gung-ho and without realistic expectations, and especially why you shouldn't write a blog post while at the peak of any emotion. That day got a lot better.

And...I've been ridiculously busy since then! All in good ways. May 24th was my last day of work! Woo hoo! Moving on now to a more difficult and important job: full-time homemaker and homeschooling mother.

We also found out what this new little one is: our third girl! After four boys in a row I admit I'm shocked, but very happy. This was Time Lord Ninja's reaction (He comes home from work after I am in bed and I get up before him.):
Names are going to be difficult; we had a name picked out for a boy, but we are clueless for a girl. Well, we still have 10 more weeks to go.

Homeschooling is going well, I think. It's taking us a little time to readjust; the kids aren't used to me after a year of their dad and I'm not used to everything that has to be done! I found Khan Academy the other day, wow. I'm going to start using it a lot, I think. Today I had my oldest watch a math video which explained the kind of problems he was doing...It was much more effective than knocking him upside the head and asking how he could be so dumb. I never lost my patience, he didn't get frustrated and he understood it very well. I also love love love that it is free, of course!

Today I started re-reading The Happiness Project. This time I actually going to work on my own "Happiness Project" at the same time. I think my daughter Right Hand Girl (RHG) may join me. I'm going to post a lot of the work here.

Tomorrow after church we have the first "Meeting of the Minds" with friends and acquaintances who are interested in possible forming an "intentional community" within the next 5 years. I will post about it here; I am very excited. It sounds like it may be a do-able way to have our homestead sooner rather than later, and without having to be so "on our own" and an hour away from all of our friends. We'll see.

So these are the things I am currently planning on using this blog for: life journal, homeschooling/crafting/cooking reports, happiness project, and our baby steps toward having our own homestead/intentional community. I'm not promising that is all that will be here, or that all of that will be here, I'm discovering this as much as anyone else! If you are reading this, thank you! Be sure to say 'hi' and add me to your reader!