Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sixteen Years

I feel too young for that number, but that number also seems way too small. It feels longer, not necessarily in a bad way.

Sixteen. Years.

10 children, six boys, four girls, one dead.

 5 hospital births, 4 birthing center births with a midwife, 1 home birth.


 100 more pounds and then 60 less....that's just me. You'll have to ask the Time Lord Ninja about his weight if you want to know.


More than 100 various small livestock/poultry, and about a dozen different pets or so through the years.

10 years homeschooling with another 18 or so to go.

Eight different homes in six different towns in two different states.


Two different religions.

More jobs than I can possibly count, but never much money.


Lots of friends, old, new, lost, kept....


A million failures but zero giving up.

It's been quite a ride so far. I think we are getting better at it, at life together, at loving together. Sometimes it doesn't feel like we've made any progress, but looking back....we sure have. I'm looking forward to the next 16 years and beyond.

(Sorry for the  light non-existent posting lately. This "part-time" job has eaten up all of my time.)

Monday, September 7, 2015

I either have no personality or an awful lot of it.

I took a shortened free version of the Myers Briggs personality test, due to my Right Hand Girl's excitement over discovering her own, very rare and wonderful, personality. I am not what I thought I was....either I remembered wrong or I've changed or something, but instead of being an ENFP like I thought, supposedly I am an ENTP. Barely. Kind of sort of. Maybe if I took the full test (I'm never spending money on a personality test, whatever the benefits may be) the results would be a little more confident. This short version's results sound very much like someone is trying to cover their rear:

Extravert(1%)  iNtuitive(22%)  Thinking(1%)  Perceiving(28%)
  • You have marginal or no preference of Extraversion over Introversion (1%)
  • You have slight preference of Intuition over Sensing (22%)
  • You have marginal or no preference of Thinking over Feeling (1%)
  • You have moderate preference of Perceiving over Judging (28%)
So the only thing sure about me is I value perceiving over judging. In the structure of this test, that means I prefer to approach life in an open, flexible manner, keeping my options open, being adaptable and tolerant, and having a wide range of interests and information. Or, I play it loose and easy, not doing what I ought when I ought because I am caught up in something else shiny, that I am surrounded by old half-finished projects, I have no standards, no focus, no aim, and no future.

I'm currently in a bad mood, having just completely wasted a whole 3 day weekend dreaming about what I would like to do in a someday that will never happen.

Minneapolis trip was great. I walked at lot. Now I want to move there, but not really because I love here, but I want to be near my sister, and that's there.

I started working part-ish time last week. It will really help with our bills. That's a good thing. I'm thankful for it.

Two more geese magically appeared here at Stumble-On while I was gone. Well, not really. My friend Katie dropped them off. They are gorgeous and cute and fun and people say that guineas are loud?? They have nothing on my geese. I have to get a working camera.

I'm reading two books right now, neither of them fiction, which is a bit odd for me. One is The Path to Salvation, A Manual of Spiritual Transformation. Wow. This one is mind-blowing and enlightening and hopeful and totally discouraging, at the moment. I'm about halfway through, and I'm hoping so much that before I reach the end he says something about salvation being possible even if you can't find a place of solitude and shrug off all earthly cares. He doesn't actually say you can't, exactly, but he does talk about solitude's importance. I've been wondering how I could arrange for some solitude in my life without, you know, leaving my husband and kids to a dreary highly structured goal-oriented motherless life.

I was going to say they wouldn't have enough money, either, but considering I'd be gone and not spending any, they'd probably be fine. I do most of the spending. Not that it's a lot, but without me there would be no poultry, much less driving therefore gas buying, much less variety of food, less social my part-time job is probably mostly making up for just what I spend.

I have now talked myself into quitting my job and everything else I do. Told you I was in a bad mood.
This is not the fault of the book mentioned above. I haven't read it since Thursday. It's a good book. I'm looking forward to finishing it, and then starting it over again. I will probably repeat that cycle indefinitely. It's a good book. I would like to write more about it someday.

The other book is 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. It came highly recommended, but I haven't read very much yet so I don't know if it is good or not. I'm afraid it is just going to make me feel bad. It sounds like a book for less open and flexible person. I need a scheduling book for ADHD people. There probably is one out there. The book I found on home organization for ADHD people was great. 

Anyone out here read either of those books? I'd love to talk about them with someone. I hope y'all had a great holiday weekend.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Leaving for Minneapolis!!!

It's 11:47 pm and we're about to head to Atlanta to fly to Minneapolis!! Yay!!!!

(btw, Frontier fixed everything and I'm much happier with them now. Still don't like the long hold time, but otherwise their customer service is pretty good.)

I don't recommend Frontier Airlines

I'm packing for a trip to see my little sister and my brand-new niece! I've been pretty stressed out lately with thinking about everything that needs to be done, and for a while this trip was just another thing to stress out about. Not anymore; I'm just pure excited now!

On the other hand, this airline's website stinks, and don't get fooled...they have cheap tickets but they get you in every other way possible. I'm trying to check in online right now but the website isn't working, and of course I've been on hold for about 45 minutes right now. I'm supposed to leave to get my car from the mechanic and pick up my husband, but I need to get this done too....

Ah well. I've had two friends mention to me how much stuff I must be packing to take Sir Dex with me. I'm really not. He is exclusively breastfed and he can sleep on a blanket right near me. My sister is borrowing a car seat for him and I'm carrying him in my Ergo. (LOVE the Ergo. My sister is the one who bought it for me 3 kids ago.) He needs a few outfits and a couple of blankets, some small toys and diapers and wipes. That's it. It's been quite a few years since I've needed to carry a diaper bag, too....I leave a small bag with emergency supplies in the car and my purse holds a wipes container and some diapers. On the other hand, I've just gotten used to always having a blanket hung over one shoulder. I don't try to look dressy when lugging a 18 pound poo, spit-up, and smiles machine. No one is looking at me either.

My son asked if he could toast some taco shells in the oven and I said yes. I was distracted by packing. So now when we get off the plane and unpack everything is going to smell like smoke. Our oven has a toasting setting, but of course he didn't use it, and had the oven set at 550 degrees.

Why do ovens have a 550 degree setting? What do you bake at that temperature?

Taco salad is still good without the shells..

Oh, hey, my call just got answered.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The weather is nice today

We live in the Southeast USA. In the Southeast USA, the school schedule makes no sense. Does it make sense where you are?

Think about it. We have four seasons here: comfortable-but-yellow-everywhere, too-steamy-hot-to-breathe, comfortable-with-colorful-leaves, and slightly-chilly-with-occasional-ice-storms. When do the kids start school? Just before the beginning of one of the comfortable seasons. When do they end? Right at the end of the other comfortable season. The kids holidays are too hot or too icy.

I'm not feeling bad for the kids here. Well, I am, actually, but really, I'm feeling bad for the homesteaders/small farmers. When are the best months for the garden/animal chores? While the kids are in school. For some this might be helpful, but I (finally) have more helpers in my home than hinderers (awkward word, that).

Other homeschoolers are confused right now, trying to figure out what my problem is. We homeschool. Do school when it's not nice outside and do outside stuff when it is nice! And count the farming work as school! What's my problem?

I don't know. I haven't figured it out yet, I guess. I'm really trying to have a very good school year...I have kids in high school now with futures to consider, futures that need nice looking transcripts. How many times can you have "built a fence" or "dug a hole" or "caught a runaway rabbit" listed as a school activity? Not to mention "washed dishes," "vacuumed," or "did laundry."

I'm sure you've seen this graphic:
Most people would probably agree that just three options would be nice, but there are a lot more than that. Mine would look like a star: Kids & Pets, Clean home, Garden & Livestock, Homeschooling, and I'm about to add Job to it. I'll manage it, or push through it.

Oh, wait...I forgot the sanity.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Two good Longfellow poems from my son's schoolwork

The Rainy Day
The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.
My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart, and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

As a fond mother, when the day is o’er,
Leads by the hand her little child to bed,
Half willing, half reluctant to be led,
And leave his broken playthings on the floor,
Still gazing at them through the open door,
Nor wholly reassured and comforted
By promises of others in their stead,
Which, though more splendid, may not please him more;
So Nature deals with us, and takes away
Our playthings one by one, and by the hand
Leads us to rest so gently, that we go
Scarce knowing if we wish to go or stay,
Being too full of sleep to understand
How far the unknown transcends the what we know.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Apparently there's this restaurant in California that makes "Vegan Soul Food"

That makes absolutely no sense to me.

We've been busy busy busy.

Intensity had a birthday, and went to her best friend's lake house. Sweetheart had a birthday. Octavia is about to have a birthday.

We got new ducks.

We processed a bunch of ducks and chickens with our Farming Enabler friends. (The lovely ladies at Homesteading Housewives, check them out!) Processing, for the non-farmers who don't know, means: chasing, catching, stuffing in a cone, slitting the throat, scalding, plucking, gutting, chilling, and bagging. Then chilling some more. We have more to do tomorrow and Sunday.

Ninja Timelord had an attack of gout. That's some nasty stuff, y'all. Everytime he has it, it is a little worse. This time it moved up from his big toe and included his ankle. It's very sad and hard when he gets it. Apparently it feels like a never-ending red hot screw is just twisting right through you. An then when it starts to get better, all the muscles in your leg seize up and give you awful cramps. It's never a fun time.

We also all had a cold, but we got over it.

Firstborn accidentally jammed a fork tine under his big toenail, and then hopped around shaking his foot so hard he kicked the door jam and split his little toe away from the rest of his foot. So yay for another ER trip. He's better now.

I ran 3 miles in under 47 minutes! Once. Then I didn't do anything for the rest of the day. Y'all laugh all you want, but someday in the distant future I'll actually be a real runner. Who can run a straight mile at least without doing intervals.

Sir Dex has learned to both sit up on his own and he is up on all fours rocking. Crawling is any minute now.

I got some more new ducks. Muscovies this time. They are gorgeous and I'm so excited! If they live up to their reputation, I should have plenty of eggs and baby muscovies running around here in no time. Their names are Vincent and Monet (the drakes) and the girls are Vivian, Hester, Hazel, Jemma, Melinda, Freckles, Agnes, and Demeter.

I drove a friend to Rock Hill and back. That was kind of fun. I know I'm weird, but I really enjoy driving. Less so when we get pulled over for not being buckled when WE TOTALLY WERE, but the completely mistaken officer let us off with a "warning" and that was that. I won't even put a vehicle in drive if there is someone in it not buckled, and if he had gone to the effort to actually look, he would have seen that it is impossible to see the seat belts from the side due to where they were mounted. But whatever.

School started! Being homeschoolers, we get to start whenever we want. We chose to school year round, taking breaks when we want as we go. We do 180 days, which when broken down into 12 months, means only 15 school days out of every 30. This is our first year doing Easy Peasy. It's a totally free completely online curriculum. It looks really great; I have high hopes. I bought two cheap tablets so we have a total of four computer-type things my seven kids can use. I may need one more.

This year I have two high schoolers, Firstborn and Right Hand Girl, both in 9th, and I basically told them to get 15 days worth within every 30 whenever and however you want. They can do just about everything on their own. I just check up on them. It seems to be working so far, but it's early yet. At the moment, they are both excited and motivated to rush through their schooling and have a bunch of free days near the end of the month. Or Firstborn is...Right Hand Girl wants to rush through and get done early. As in graduate early. Whew. She is hard to keep up with. Of course there are a couple of subjects Easy Peasy doesn't have that my kids want to take, so this semester I'm getting the fun of creating my own Home Ec course and Fiber Arts course. I'm nervous, but this is so much better than trying to come up with a whole curriculum on my own. We'll see, we'll see.

I also have two middle schoolers, but one of them is at the lake house so Happy Face is just doing half days till she gets back. He's doing okay. A little hard to keep on track, but he is getting his work done for the moment. We'll see when his sister comes back and the both have to start doing their program work together.

Then there are the elementary kids. Warrior has been having difficulty with reading, so we are massively focusing on that. I've completely ditched the phonics method and am just teaching him sight words. I don't know if he's finally developed mentally enough, become interested enough, or just understands sight words better than phonics (probably a combination), but he is picking it up fairly quickly now. Not as quickly as some of my other kids, his little brother Sweetheart passed him up by quite a bit and Little Big Boy is catching up quickly. Warrior isn't bothered by this, though, or if it does he doesn't let on. He says, "I don't mind being different! I'm different in lots of ways. I like different things, I think different things, and I'm good at different things." He is totally right. He has mechanical/spacial talent that is really something, he loves bugs, and he (seems to me) to have an above average talent in drawing.

But anyway, so I'm working with the elementary boys, reading, numbers, American History, fun science, lots of lapbooks. Octavia is participating, or not, as she likes, but I have a feeling she won't be waiting till age 5 or 6 to learn to read. So far she has had someone to play with during school time, because her little best friend has been spending her days here. But she starts private school this Tuesday, so I'm going to have to make sure Octavia has stuff to do!

Oh, and our back porch sliding glass door shattered suddenly last night. It was likely shot out, and we know by whom, but we have no proof and aren't inclined to chase neighbors down for an accidental ricochet. We did speak to them and made it clear how very very lucky it was that no kids or animals were in the room at the time. They seemed properly shaken up. I guess. It could have been a bird or stray rock. That suddenly shattered a double paned glass door with no previous cracks or chips. It was very exciting in a completely not good way.

Apparently I just got a job as well, so life isn't going to get any less busy! I don't want to share more till it's for sure...I'll write something Monday.

I wish I had pictures for you, and I might soon, but right now for some reason none of the ones we've taken are on this computer, and if I wait to post this it will never happen. So, this is my long boring imageless post. At least I wrote something finally!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Firstborn and Sir Dex were born on their due dates

If Angel had been, yesterday would have been her one year birthday.

I dreaded it's approach. I assumed it would be another day of crying and sludging through gelatin, getting nearly nothing done. It wasn't like that.

I didn't forget, not exactly. It was the first thing that occurred to me when I woke up. I remembered every time I looked at the calendar, though I hadn't marked it there. I thought about her when I saw a youtube video of a little girl possibly about the same age she would have been. I mourned every time I saw her little struggling brave apple tree in the yard. And sometimes I choked up for no reason at all.

Each of these times was like a sharp stab in the gut. Because in between...I kinda forgot. I was enjoying my newly recovered health. Celebrating the loss of 41 pounds since Sir Dex's birth. Enjoying my living children. Laughing at my ridiculous ducks. I also got a whole lot of school planning done, which is good, because we are due to start August 1st. (Yes, a Saturday. We're weird. Get used to it.)

I feel a little guilty for not mourning more, but then again I don't. I think of her and pray for her every single day. A full week doesn't ever go by without me missing her so terribly I tear up. I was absolutely useless on her birthday this year, so I guess being okay yesterday is....okay.

Yesterday was also the 1 year announcement of my pregnancy with Sir Dex here, who is doing his level best to shove both of his hands in his mouth at the same time while grinning for all he is worth.

I have a lot of conflicting emotions about all this. I'm feeling the tug to become introspective and melancholy all day.

I'm not going to, though. I've been through those emotions before and sifting them out again isn't going to do me any good right now. It's early morning and I have life to do, so I'm going to box them up (their box, in my head, is a dark opalescent rectangle with a pink ribbon, no bow) and push the box into the back of my head. I might need them later, and I guess that's okay, too.

Friday, July 10, 2015

My head hurts.

I haven't posted in a bit, but that's not for lack of writing posts in my head. Boy, if I could get speech to text and use that to write my blogs I'd post a lot! Everyone would hate it.

Of course now that I'm sitting down typing, nothing is coming to mind. So here are a mess-load of unorganized pictures from the last couple of weeks.
Sir Dex is fascinated by either the camera or the cameraman at his baptism

Right-Hand Girl wanted me to mention she's actually left-handed. Isn't she pretty?

First communion. Open wide!

Intensity making sure the brothers are good during Sir Dex's baptism.

One of Sir Dex's many admirers broke into a dance of joy during his baptism.

The family and the priest

Daddy looks more excited than Sir Dex here.

Little Big Boy got tired

Sir Dex and his godmother spitting on Satan.

Sir Dex really likes our priest.

Little Big Boy turned 6 last month!

Warrior and his Silly Goose. Her neck is fine, she's just staring at Octavia.

I always wanted twins. Little Big Boy and Octavia are twins just 3 years apart.

Wave hi!

Happy face loves Sir Dex, but Sir is distracted at the moment.

I told the girls I wasn't going to buy party hats. So they made them.
Our parties are very casual and whole families are invited, not just kids. This one had sloppy joes, cake, ice cream, and a sprinkler. I think everyone had a good time.

Little Big Boy: "What do you want from me?"

Intensity doesn't usually like to sleep in front of people. This picture is just one of the reasons why. I just couldn't resist. She's so awesome.

One of our neighbors has a peacock who likes to come visit. He does NOT like being photographed though.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

!!!!!!Lots of Free Extra Money!!!!!!

Yeah, no.

So I got into my bank account this morning to check the balance, make sure my husband's paycheck went through, and reconcile my budget. I got a bit of a shock.

My husband's paycheck is there, yay, looking just like it is supposed to look.

Also, there is another deposit, an unexpected one, a little bit in more than 3x larger than my husband's paycheck.

After the initial brain-short caused by the sight of so much surprise money supposedly belonging to me, I'm able to see that it was deposited by the same company that handle's my husband's job's payroll, but isn't from his company. No one we know works for this company with it's mysterious random deposit of some much needed money.

Conclusion? Someone made an error, someone else is panicking over their missing paycheck right before a holiday weekend, and we get to deal with trying to get it fixed before it somehow bites us.

Oh joy.

It's funny how much a one or two second completely unanticipated hope being crushed can hurt. But it could be so so much worse. I really hope whomever this money belongs to can make it okay till this is fixed, and wasn't counting on the deposit to go through today to cover bills or a holiday vacation. Someone extra to pray for today.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Saturday, June 27, 2015

What I Want

I'm trying to change my life. I'm trying to form it. It's too easy to do what is easy, but the things I want in my life are not easy. They'd be worth it, though. I'm never going to have them without working for them, and in order to work for them I have to know what they are, why they are, and set real goals. I also need to do the things I can do now, now, instead of dreaming about what I'd like to do "someday" when life is different somehow. Like, "someday" I will have more money, more time, and more self-discipline, all of which will fall magically from the sky to bless me for my long difficult trial of having less money, less time, and less self-discipline. Cause that will totally happen. Someday.

Till then, though, these are some of my "wants" that I can work on right now, in no particular order:

To learn Russian.
      Seriously, I have no excuse for this. I've been piddling around wanting to learn Russian since I was 16. I had some lessons. I went to St. Petersburg, Russia, where I picked up a fair amount and then came back to America and promptly forgot most of it. (Okno is window, though. I remember that.) I own the Rosetta Stone Russian language program, level 1. I go to church with real honest-to-goodness Russians. Why am I not fluent? Because I dream instead of practice. Just ridiculous. You here, who read this? Judge me. Feel scorn and disdain, and when you see me (since most of you who read are personal friends) ask me, "So how's that Russian coming?" and when I stammer an excuse please, roll your eyes and snort. Seriously. Accountability works wonders, and humiliation is my greatest fear. I'll thank you.

To host monthly events.
      I want to have people over. Sometimes a party, sometimes a few friends, sometimes just one family. Nothing fancy, I don't do that. But I want a hospitable home, not just a place where people are welcome, but a place people want to come. And where they receive regular invitations.

To have a functional and self-sustaining farm, with happy healthy animals, which will eventually include poultry for meat and eggs, four-legged meat animals, no-legged meat animals, dairy animals, and edible plants.
      Ok, I am not taking this all on at once. Babysteps. This year I'm going to work on the animals I have, making sure they are healthy and happy, and my land is taken good care of. I have big plans for the future of Stumble-On Micro-Farm, but for now, I'm going to focus on doing a good job with what I have already.

To have a homey, simple, diy decorated home.
      Oh boy do I have a ways to go with this. Plenty of ideas! Just look at my pinterest boards. Seriously, go look at them. They're awesome. None of those ideas are in my house yet....This will be just a little tough, because at the moment my house is kinda last on the budget. So the main thing I will be working on currently is simplifying and getting rid of stuff. I want a small but functional wardrobe, a small but USED crafting collection, and even......less books. That will hurt. However, I am not a library. I do not have the room. I do have a library card. As soon as I pay off the small fine on it, it will even work again.

To learn how to play an instrument.
      I want to learn the fiddle. I even have a fiddle, and Old Time Fiddle for the Complete Ignoramus. The fiddle is slightly broken, and at the moment I don't have the wherewithal to get it fixed, so I'm starting with the piano. A keyboard, actually. At least that I have some background in; I still know where middle C is.

To have Bible and prayer time everyday.
     I manage to get on the computer everyday. Prayer and Bible shouldn't come second to that. No excuses.

To be fit and healthy.
     Consistency is key. I really need to get the the habit of being active and eating well. I've discovered that I do better grain-free, and again, accountability does amazing things for me. I am very thankful for the friends I have doing this with me. They sometimes help me get over the stuff-my-face-with-donuts phases I go through regularly. Sometimes nothing helps.

To be an outdoorsy person.
     I love the outdoors. I should spend more time in it. This goes hand in hand with the one above.

To have a great relationship with my kids.
    I homeschool them and work side by side with them daily, but I need to remember to have fun with them, and just listen to them sometimes, and really work on building memories and communication that will last post-moving out. At the moment my kids still claim to like me. I doubt their sincerity at times. They are either very forgiving or very lame, otherwise.

To be a successful homeschooling mother.
      I wonder if I will ever feel like I've achieved this. There is always so much more I want to do and/or that I feel like I should be doing. Basically, my goals for my kids are simple: I want them to be godly, brave, capable, kind, and curious. That's it in a nutshell. A really large nutshell, like a giant massively giant pecan shell. This year I have kids most of the ages between 16 and 0. The older ones are pros at changing diapers, so at least I have that part of capable down.

Ok, I have 10 of these, but this post is truly ridiculously long and boring. So I will finish it and bore you some more later.

Tomorrow I'm going to post about Sir Dex's baptism, with a truly ridiculous number of photos.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Night Owl Problems

Look! The Time of Making Poor Decisions and Not-Caring is upon us!
Staying up late is easy. No matter what time I got up in the morning, what I did all day, how well I slept the night before, or how determined I am to get to bed at a reasonable time finally, midnight, one or even sometimes two am can show up before I realize I haven't shut off the light and laid down yet.

Getting up early is hard. No matter what time I went to bed last night, what I have to do today, how well I slept the night before, or how determined I am to get up bright and early and get things done, eight, nine, or even sometimes 10 am can show up before I realize I haven't opened my eyes and rolled out of bed yet.

There are times when I have thought: "Hey! I'm a stay-at-home homeschooling mom! Let's just make my schedule fit my procliviations!" Unfortunately, that really doesn't work so well. Obvious reasons are things tend to happen in the mornings, like ups deliveries, park days, and church. Also, not all of my kids are night owls, and those that aren't can't really be trusted without some supervision. Worst of all though, is my self-discipline, patience, and desire to be "good." Those parts of me do not stay up late.

When I do manage to get up in the morning, it's rough, but soon I'm skipping around, determined and excited to have a "good day" and "get lots of stuff done" and "be an awesome mom." Apparently these ideals attach themselves to me sometime around 5 am, and then, whether I am awake and up or sleep for another five hours, they wilt and die over the course of the next 13 hours. That means at 6 pm I am done.

Anything important to discuss or do or take care of? Funny. You better hope I already made supper by 6 pm. Otherwise, someone else can do it or just eat cake, whatever. I don't care about healthy meals for anyone, but especially not me. Losing weight is for losers, obviously. And at 7 pm, I am an awesome gainer who can polish off a whole package of cheese and crackers and then follow it up with a pint of ice cream. Who am I kidding? Make that a quart. As long as I have a good book or tv show or music, I don't notice the household chores that need done. My kid wants to snuggle? Sorry, buddy, should have asked me BEFORE 6 pm. I still love you, but don't touch me. Go away. All responsibilities just need to go away. After five is happy hour, for me to hide in my bedroom and be alone or hang with my friends somewhere far away from my sticky living room and cluttered kids. And then I will stay up too late, because it's easy and after 7pm I don't care about being smart or good.

No one knows when Jesus is returning, but I really hope it's before 6 pm.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Good Mamma Rabbit

Nice to know there are some good ones. I'm so tired of my bad rabbit mommas. I'm starting mostly from scratch now. As soon as I get the rabbit run finished, hopefully this week, I'll share a lot of pictures. I'm trying colony style. I figure if I want to have happy meats, I need to not cage them up. Happy isn't just for chickens. I'm not sure how it will work...I'm very nervous about their adjustment, getting along, parasites, and/or possibly figuring someway to get out and disappear....but I'm giving it a go anyhow. 'Cause see? There are good mommas.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fathers' Day

We had a surprise birthday party last night for Little Big Boy. He turned 6 earlier this month. The party was the older girls' idea, and they did most of the work. It was very nice. June parties are easy...all you need to do is provide some food and water in the yard. I can't believe he's so baby number 7 he should always stay a baby...right?

The bells at church today tolled 9 times for the victims in Charleston. Lord have mercy. The families are responding with amazing grace. I can't even imagine....when I think about what it would be like for someone to come into my church and shoot, kill, my friends and family..,I've always had a great imagination, but it's not so great I can imagine myself talking about forgiveness and Christ's love less than a week later. I'm afraid I may be more like Dylann Roof than the people of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Lord have mercy on all of them, and Dylann, and me, a sinner.

Today is my dad's 35th Father's Day, my husband's 16th, my father-in-law's 43rd (I think), and my brother-in-law's first. Once a father or mother, never again not. We are very blessed in the fathers in this family. They are all still around, still married to the mothers. Rare in this time. I am very thankful. We don't have any big plans today, but my husband is taking a nice long nap, which he has more than earned. We'll see if he wants to do anything when he wakes up.

Sir Dex's baptism is (finally) this Saturday. He's a bit past the 40 days, but we wanted to wait till his leg was definitely better. We're getting family pictures taken the same day.

Happy Father's Day, father's everywhere! Be a good one...nothing matters more.

The formatting is screwed up on this post and I can't figure out how to fix it.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A little more joy in the world

I HAVE A NIECE (written June 18th, 10 pm)

I have a niece! My sister had a little baby girl today. June 18th will always be a special date forever now.

My sister texted me to see if we could Skype...I had literally just said bye to the other people I was talking with online and laying back to go to sleep. It had been an exhausting day, and I was so happy to go to bed early.

Now I'm bouncing off the walls.

She is gorgeous. Both my sister and her daughter. So beautiful. Both of them, and those words. Her daughter. My niece.

I love where I live. I don't want to live in Minneapolis. niece. My sister.

I can't post this yet. She wants to tell a few special people herself first, before it's made public. But I had to write it.

I don't have much to say here,'s not my story and it's not my daughter and I don't want to share her private details publicly, but I'm happy happy happy and I want everyone to know that this world just became ten million times better because a little Music just came into it.

I need ideas on how to develop a good relationship with someone far away....what search words should I put into Pinterest for that, you think?

Finally have a plan for highschool

This was built by Derek Arnold. Google him, he's interesting.

Firstborn has expressed an interest in learning blacksmithing, welding, and engine repair. So if I assign him a school project to make something like this, that would totally work, right?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

So many Republican candidates!

I usually wait till a little later in the campaigning, but today I did the "I Side With" quiz. Too many names I didn't recognize at all were being discussed on my facebook page, and I needed to know which of my friends to like more or less. (I kid, I kid!)

I discovered that while I have clear ideas about most social and domestic policies, foreign policy leaves me befuddled. I have no idea what ought to be done; the world is a mess. One of the questions was what I thought we should do about Iran's nuclear weapons facilities, another asked about declaring war on ISIS. It's like trying to vote for a president: there are no good options.

Not for me, anyhow...the candidate I supposedly agreed the most with still only ranked at 65%. The next one ranked 64%, and they were from two different parties. I could probably go back through the quiz, retake it just as honestly, and get a whole different line up, too.

That's a good quiz, because 1) it is a good guide for what issues I need to study up on and 2) it gives me a bit of appreciation for what difficult job the leader of our country has. I was agonizing over picking between two completely contrary options for several of the questions, because I honestly couldn't figure out which was better. I also noticed a couple of times when I didn't answer with my "preferred" solution, because I couldn't see how the government would be able to effect such a thing....whew.

Our political system is messed up, I firmly believe, but it's good to remember that there are no easy solutions.

This is not the post I want to post right now, but I can't post my other one till later....


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The worst thing about trying to lose weight

is how 2 weeks of eating well can be entirely undone by 2 days of eating poorly.

It makes it all seem pointless.

Other things aren't like this. Practicing a musical instrument consistently for two weeks isn't a waste if you skip two days. Going 2 days without reading doesn't negate all you've learned from two weeks of reading daily. Being a great mom for two weeks straight (have I ever managed that long of an unbroken stretch? doubtful) isn't destroyed by two days of hiding in your room eating ice cream while the kids watch tv all day. cream. Great. Now I'm hungry.

It's not fair. I'm totally over here pouting.

But I'm not eating the ice cream.

I swear.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Swimming Hole #1

We got there about 6 pm Sunday evening. Later than I had intended, but with plenty of light and warmth for a few more hours this day in June. It isn't a much visited spot...the path wasn't always obvious or easy, but it also wasn't long and my directions were good. The way was lined with blackberry bushes and the fruit was just beginning to ripen.

This is a good spot. Not deep, except in one small place, perfect for a small jump off of a rock. Under the water was large rock and sand, not much mud or slime. The water was warm, and while there were no trees up close to the pool, between two tall hills it didn't have sun so late in the day. Everything was green, especially behind the waterfall. It was easy to climb beneath and behind the water because the rocks were covered in lush moss that felt like a wooly rug. Before I knew that, my heart stayed in my throat as I imagined my clambering kids slipping and cracking their heads on the way down to drown in shallow water. After, though, I perched on a rock in the middle of the waterfall and enjoyed watching my children splash and play below. They found a patch of Blackeyed Susans and a dead crawfish. We all kept an eye out for snakes but didn't see any.

I didn't take my three youngest because I wasn't sure what the swimming hole would be like, and it was good I didn't. This is an age 6 and up location only. But because my nursing infant was left at home, I didn't want to stay too long, so we left after only an hour and a half. We took our time walking back to the car, munching on tart berries and admiring the sunset. We'll be back soon.