I've been absent from the blog world. Not really checking my normal circuit of blogs either. Been absorbed in... real life right here on the corner.
Here are some things we've been spending time doing here on our corner...
~ Working the Garden - This year's garden was greatly expanded since we're such experts on how to grow things (!). Our yield has been enough to get us lately to keep us from our weekly walk to the Farmer's Market. That means we've saved ~$20 a week on having our own organic veggies. We planted broccoli, green beans, butternut squash, cantaloupe, pumpkin, tomatoes (2 kinds), bell peppers, banana peppers, cascablanca peppers, potatoes, basil, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, kale, and peas. Hmmm, wonder if I missed something. We also made our own compost area to throw all our scraps and WOW! That is so nice! Seriously, used coffee grinds, eggs shells, veggie ends and peels really do decrease trash. But now it's building up our soil! Oh- for the record, I don't do much labor outside. I did in the beginning, prior to the mosquitoes coming out in full force! I'm the brains and Papa-son is the brawn in our gardening efforts.
~ Continuing our No Processed Foods Stretch - We have been eating pretty healthful, though admittedly boring foods. Oddly, the kids don't EVER ask for a snack and if they do get a snack of carrots or apple slices they gobble it up joyfully! Because we don't have junk in the house, those late night craving we get end up being a slice of homemade bread with butter or peanut butter. For treats, the kids get homemade ice cream since we got one of these off of Ebay recently. (SOOOO delicious! Especially with homemade vanilla!!!!) We are marveling and praising God that both boys have had NO reactions to organic peanut butter and farm fresh eggs! What a blessing! Oh- and William and I both slimmed down (without trying, we don't believe in dieting!) considerably. Yay for health!
~ Forging Ahead in our Wisdom 356 - Since attending the ICHE Convention back in June, William and I are PUMPED and ever so committed to train up our kiddos in the Lord. (Ever heard Voddie Baucham??!!!) We were freshly reminded that homeschooling for the Christian parent is mainly (or should mainly be) about discipleship. I found a curriculum/program really fits us well. We like basic, no bells and whistles, We're doing Spell to Write and Read which addresses so many of the holes I had in "regular" phonics programs I used as a teacher. We're also using Cursive First along with it and I'm amazed at how Joshua has been improving at his reversal of b and d since making the switch. We still have a long way to go though! But, for me, having all the kids (minus Autumn!) on the carpet going over our phonograms is so nice!
~ Battling Skunks and Fighting for Joy - So, we've got skunk issues. In fact, last night one sprayed right outside our bedroom windows and I had to fight vomitting. William has become psycho about "killing the beasts." One night Kadin spied one from his window (though he should've been sleeping) and Joshua ran downstairs to tell us. We saw it outside the schoolroom window and in no time flat Pops was out after it trying to kill it! Another time he saw it next to our garden and got a big stone and tagged it! Of course, the skunk lifted it's tail as Pops ran to the garage and thankfully it didn't catch him. William did catch one in a squirrel trap though. Of course, I didn't realize where the trap was set up and I decide to check on the garden only to see a black and white tail moving side to side. I high-tailed it out of there. I don't mess around with wildlife like that. All the skunk business and our heavily trafficked corner make us anxious to move at times. But, we must remember, God has been so good to us and given us WAY more than we deserve!
~ A Possible Final Run - For those of you who didn't hear, we are expecting another Whitney Kiddos to join the gang in mid-April 2011! We are thrilled! And the kiddos are too! They are already talking about what the "boy" will be named. When I told my mother she excitedly said, "Maybe you'll have twins and end up with 7 like my mother!?" Maybe. We'll keep everyone posted. William and I (William even more so than I!) would prefer to have a homebirth this round. We meet with a potential midwife next week to check her out and see if it would be a good move for us.
Ever-so-much to be in prayer for, eh? But, thankfully, our Great God isn't surprised by any of these things. And He so delights when we trust Him by actively petitioning him.