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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Our Mountain Cottage


Well first off, I am 5 months preggo today!!! I am finally getting somewhere lol. Next, we were approved for the house! AHHH, we sign papers and take the deposit up tomorrow morning. Its so exciting, but scary. Anyone who lives in snowy places during the winter wanting to give advice.......please do so:) So obviously these are pics of the new place, nearly 2000 sq ft with 4bd and 2ba. It feels like a mansion compared to our current 3 bd, 1 ba home. There isn't much sunshine and its a north facing slope so I suppose we will stay snowy longer than the average house up there(EEEEK). I have so much running through my mind, but I can't seem to organize any of it to put it in writing.......so I will leave you with that.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shocker

Where do I start. I have been so busy that blogging hasn't fit in the schedule too well lately. The county Nate works for has been going through a major revamping due to budget cuts. Good news, he didn't get laid off. Interesting news, he got transferred way up in the mountains, not the mountains we live at the foothills of though. We have decided upon careful consideration that the commute is too far and unsafe after a long 12 hour shift of work especially during the winter with all the snow and fog. Well, as fate would have it, the property management companies all laughed and told us that finding a horse property to rent was like finding a needle in a haystack. As we were leaving his new workplace though, a realtor called and said that oddly they had a house listed as horse property AND with 4 bedrooms ANDDDDD its $300 a month cheaper than where we live now!!! GOD is amazing. I cannot believe how exciting that news was. We went right away to see the house and its just beautiful. We are hoping to sign papers over the next few days. We are going to have a house almost 2x as big as our current home for less money. The kids will all be downstairs and Nate and I upstairs so we will have privacy. The kids will also even have their own large loft that we plan to organize as a haven for long snowy months, filled with books, toys, games, puzzles, a t.v, bean bag chairs, craft supplies, a mini trampoline(to burn off excess energy) and a table to work/craft at. It seems too good to be true. Its going to be a huge change, but we are trying to view it in a positive light as an adventure. I will write more as details of our move evolve.

Monday, June 14, 2010

About That Consistency

We are maintaining a perfect balance with church. We go almost every Sunday and to occasional other activities and BBQ's they offer. Its going so well. The kids have lots of friends there from our home school group and we have settled nicely. I am still having my quiet time each morning with God, waking about 30-60 minutes before the kids and its really improved my life in unexpected ways. I never knew how important that exchange of burdens for strength and counting of blessings really could do for a person each day. I cannot imagine I will ever stop my quiet time. Having that personal relationship my father in heaven means so much to me and my sanity. It allows me time to think, reflect, appreciate, cry, and pray for my family and friends as well as myself and my needs and weaknesses. I am on day 30 of the 90 day devotional book, Becoming the Woman God Wants me to Be by Donna Partow. Chorepacks are WONDERFUL, Heaven sent......love them! Those will be going no where, I repeat, no where. Now for homeschool; we have completed week 6 of Sonlight, but-yes I know here comes the but..... Nate and I have been rereading the Moore's books together (School Can Wait, Better Late than Early and The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook). What does this mean? Well, we just aren't fully convinced our kids should be summonsed to 3-4 hours a day of "school." We have never believed that, but with the trouble with the school district, we became worried and purchased a complete curriculum. Of course we are enjoying the Cd's, Bible, and we have read way ahead on the literature books. The Child's History of the World wins the WORST history book award though. That book is horrific. You are much better off with story of the world or something else. We love doing cool science experiments and working together with different things or adding neat projects to some of the books. The problem is there are a lot of books going at once and some are plain boring. Trying to keep up with the busyness of Usborne History of the World also isn't my favorite and I loose the kids with it everyday. I feel I start reading in vain with certain books. We have decided to throw out the idea of the curriculum and go back to basically unschooling. We enjoy having a block of time each day to read til our hearts are content with no limitations knowing that we have to stop a book we love for several we dread. Its so fun to play/work informally together on projects we come up with and being creative together. The nice thing is that Sonlight has provided us soooo many great books to choose from, great science projects to play around with and Dinosaur books that captivate the boys. The CDs, the kids love so much, they are accidentally learning scripture and memorizing continents and countries that even I have no clue about with our geography song CD. There are so many great resources from Sonlight that while we will not stick with their schedule any longer, we will certainly enjoy the many great resources we have from them. Our family just cannot and will not be slaves to any curriculum. It doesn't work well and we all burn out. This is our fourth or fifth time now in 5 years of homeshooling that we panicked and tried a curriculum for a short stint only to realize that it 'just aint gonna work.' We are using Rays Arithmetic to casually do math. Its great, just a few word problems each day that are very real-life based and only takes a few minutes each day. Despite not using much math curriculum ever, my kids are VERY quick and accurate adders and subtracters. language arts and spelling have been very gentle, using queen homeschool's lesson languages which take 5 minutes a day tops. They have character building, beautiful copywork books with neat quotes and poems and beautiful pictures and they do these because they enjoy them, they are not forced. We also LOVE being outdoors and studying nature. I recently purchased Karen Andreolas book, Pocketful of Pinecones for enthusiasm and ideas for nature walks. The kids are still young and things should remain gentle and fun and allow for each of their God-given talents and abilities to be nurtured. I will certainly keep a log of our adventures, basically a diary I will write in each night for a keepsake/document for my kids in the future as well as authorities if our homeschooling were ever put in question again. Our local old schoolhouse is doing really neat nature activities each Wednesday night we will be attending for the summer along with the summer program at the library, free summer concerts at the park and free days at the local museum and lots of camping. Our first camping trip of the season last week was amazing! We had so much fun.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Close Call

Well, I have been riding this entire pregnancy so far and all has been well. I guess you somewhat forget the risks when your around horses all the time and you take for granted that they are big animals with their own minds. All my Mormon mamas and their daughters and Kayla and I went out for a ride yesterday. It was a bit drizzly and chilly out, but we went anyhow. As we came up the street on the way to the trail head, my horse decided to jump in front of a huge, lifted truck.....OK. He stopped and we were alright. She just was a bit spooky from the cold. Anyhow, everyone decides we should go cross the big riverbed and head into the mountains and it sounds like a fun plan. My horse does cross water fine, though our pony isn't a huge fan so I am a bit worried for Kayla. We get to the water crossing. Mind you, its VERY deep and swift. It is up past the pony's belly. My horse and the pony go in like a charm, no problems. We get almost across(at the deepest point now) and my horse starts bucking like crazy. I have no clue why so I let go of the pony's reigns(had to kinda drag him in lol) and my horse somehow was caught up on another horses reigns. It was actually my stirrup that was caught. By now we are out of the water, my 1000 dollar saddle actually snaps. Yes the entire stirrup leather breaks to free us because of the force from her bucking. I am still on, but now with only 1 stirrup. I am yelling woe and pulling back, but shes unstoppable. We went into a mad run-buck through bushes and trees. She finally JUMPS a huge bush(3.5 feet high I kid you not) and I fly off all the while praying, "God don't let me get stomped." I finally hit the unforgiving ground after what felt like eternity, my poor Kayla screaming, "Mommy, Mommy, mommy!" I am frantic, wondering just bad I am hurt. I am in too much shock to feel and suddenly the thought comes to mind that I am well over 4 months pregnant. I instantly feel panicked for baby Jesse. I keep praying he will move, but he doesn't. I climb back on in shock, thinking I felt perfect and we head for the hills anyway. We get a ways up the road and the swaying motion of horseback starts making me feel faint. I hop off and put my head between my shaking legs and realize that I must be coming out of shock. Body parts start throbbing. I climb on once more and try to carry on, only to almost faint again. I finally admit defeat and call Nate to come ride my horse home. I carefully drive home, which thankfully was a short drive. I drink juice quickly and lay down and pray once again to feel movement. Finally about an hour after my initial fall, Jesse starts stirring like crazy, PRAISE God! It was a really close call and a good reminder that these giant animals have their own minds and the potential to kill us, even if by accident. Nate asked me to stop riding for the remainder of the pregnancy and I agreed. It is not worth the risk of another accident. If I had been further along, I don't believe the outcome would have been as good. With all the bucking, surely the horn would have slammed my belly had I been showing more. It could have been a real catastrophe. Thankfully I am just really really sore. I cannot believe how bad a fall hurts at the ripe of age of 26 vs. when I was 15. My neck feels like I have whiplash, my right hand and forearm ache, my calf was stepped on, my left knee is swelled up, my left shoulder is the most injured, making it almost impossible to even lift my left arm. All that doesn't matter though, I will heal. I am just so grateful I have the second chance to not ride again and risk hurting the baby. All the things ran through my mind about how much could have gone wrong, my placenta could have abrupted and killed us both. We got very lucky. I am counting my blessings and thanking God for keeping us safe so I would have the opportunity to make better choices and not put us in the predicament again.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Summer Brings Busy and Fun

We have so much planned now that the season is changing and weather is finally warming up. Its normally warm much sooner than June here in SoCal so its been a long winter, skipping spring altogether. I have begun soaking the plot in our yard where we will be rototilling tomorrow and mixing in topsoil to make our garden. We bought all the seeds yesterday so we are ready to create a beautiful garden complete with prize-sized pumpkins(or so we hope). We will be growing quite a variety this year. Our topsy turvy already is growing tomatoes and peppers, however we will be planting more of each in the ground. I also have basil and chives growing on my kitchen counters, but those we will also plant outside. We even plan to grow sunflowers this year and we will harvest the seeds and package them in handmade packages and tie a cute sunflower poem to them to give away at Christmastime. I am really excited about our garden because we became wishy-washy as to whether we even wanted to spend the time doing it this year. I decided that we should though. There is too much beauty and joy to loose in not doing a garden.

Next on the agenda is of course camping. Major bummer, all the rain seeped in through a tiny hole we didn't know we had in our camping trailer's roof and damaged the entire roof. It also seeped down into the walls and they are all filled with mildew. I believe we are going to cut our losses and sell the trailer as is for cheap. Its a real bummer though so we had to purchase a tent and airbed. We have everything else for camping thankfully. I did get one frivolous purchase though, a screen house. I LOVE being able to sit in one of those for meals while camping. I don't really enjoy sharing my meals with bugs and gnats! I am pretty excited about that purchase. We will hopefully finish up our garden tomorrow and then take off for our 3 day camping adventure Sunday right after church.

Of course summer couldn't be summer without all our homeschool group's fun activities. We got free passes to the fair for the end of summer, free parking and 9 free rides for each child. We also have lots of outings to water parks, swimming pools and lagoons with our homeschool group all free or very discounted. Our group stays very active during the summer, which is really a blessing. And, it couldn't be summer without the weeklong Vacation Bible Blast at church for the kids the end of this month. Church is really active this summer as well with activities like summer concerts, family movie nights in pjs(going to see Up next week) and a family camping trip planned for September. We are looking forward to a very busy, but fun summer. We plan to keep it as low cost as possible and just enjoy the beautiful warm weather.

You didn't think I would really end this post without an update did you? Okay so we finish week 5 of Sonlight today and are still enjoying church each week. I am on day 20 of my 90 days to becoming a proverbs 31 woman. The chorepacks are the biggest blessing to come into my life more recently. I really cannot sing enough praises about the chorepacks and the Yes Mam, Yes Sir chart(idea also taken from the Duggars book). Between those two things, I hardly recognize my well mannered children anymore:)