Monday, January 6, 2014

We are Surviving the Polar Vortex

Whoa -- It feels like my high school days in Wyoming.  The winds are whipping mighty.

Today the wind chill temperatures were so low that we did not allow children to play outside. The older boys helped clean the driveway in the morning. It still blew shut by evening, but it was better. Adela has had to brave it all to care for her chickens, but they are doing fine.

Our poor old 15 year old dog is not doing well at all. In the house he seems fine, but he has to take the occasional potty trip to the yard. His legs buckle from the cold and he can't stay more than minute or two. We are hoping he makes it the next couple of days.

Today was our first scheduled day back in school. The weather helped, since there was nothing else to do.


 Dutch Blitz matches kept going.



I wish you could have seen the whooshing snow, but the drifts were magnificent.


Jerome's trip out the store was an adventure too.



Saturday, January 4, 2014

Great and Exciting Things

I have not blogged in so long that I feel a little lost on here.  This winter has been moving fast.  We took time to enjoy a visit with my Mom over Thanksgiving and we took a whole two weeks off of our little home school for Christmas.  It has all been great and exciting.
 
As our tradition -- we had our Santa Picture taken.  I have had these pictures taken since Riane and Braydon were little.  I take it every year just to mark the growth of our children.  None of our children believe in Santa, so it really isn't about the visit to Santa, it is really all about the picture.  It is funny with them all displayed, we notice how many shirts have passed down as well as how much the children and our family have grown and changed.
 
 
 
 
We did a lot of baking for our holiday this year.  Some of it turned out pretty enough for picture.




We have had various gift giving ideas every year for Christmas.  Some years we give the kids money and we have a huge family shopping trip and they buy for themselves.  Those years were a lot of fun family time.  It helped the kids learn about managing the money given to them and making wise selections.  It also helped with kids who had trouble handling the idea of surprise. We have had years where they drew names and then we took the same shopping trip, but they had to buy for their brothers and sisters.  They learned to think of others and really figure out their assigned person.

This year, was totally new and it really turned out wonderful.  Jerome and I had a budget for our shopping and the kids were given no money.  They were told to make presents for all the people in their family.  They all have skills and if they could think of nothing else we told them to make "coupons" or write letters extolling the virtue and character of their family members.  Of course, it caused a general sense of panic, at first.  However, as the ideas began to flow and the projects started coming along, everyone was so excited.  The awesome thing was that they were most excited about people opening the gifts that they were giving.


 
I wish I could display all the things that people made for each other.  Above you can see a shelf that Ricky made for Riane.  There were crocheted items, baked items, drawn items and woodwork.  They were amazed at their own abilities and the abilities of their siblings.


It was a good Christmas and I am sure we will use this idea again next year.



Now, of course, we are in the middle of a great winter storm.  Yesterday was clear and  the snow was ready.  Jerome took all the children on the annual sledding trip to the local park.  I had the opportunity to stay home and work on some projects.

They had a fabulous time together.





And now our next great and exciting event -- the refrigerator stopped working last night.  It is 18 years old, so it is not unusual.  God has given us a reason to be thankful for the mighty cold weather.  Here is our temporary refrigerator.

 
 
Labeled containers on the front porch.
 
 
 
PSALM 107:31
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.
 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Beginnings

Well, actually, it's not beginnings -- we are deep into the season.  I haven't blogged for over a month. I have been busy with one thing and another and the writing has gone by the wayside. I am pondering the future of my blog ...

but for now ...

The cheesecake delivery team made it out on Saturday.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Little Black Storm Cloud

I could feel the storm coming in all morning. Her eyes were dark and her body was tense. The first request of the day and her whole body tensed as her fists began to clinch. Her furrowed brow and dark eyes clapped the first thunder. It was as if she was saying, "You can't make me!"

The rest of the day was spent in long drenching, dripping storms. Screaming, raging and me holding on, praising God that through experience I can rest knowing that all storms pass. It raged on for a couple of days. Sunday was a sort of reprieve as Dad was present and we were out all day. It hit Monday -- not even waiting for Dad to go to work. I prayed Monday asking for one day of rest. The Lord was gracious to me and Tuesday we awoke to peace -- a tentative peace. She wrote "I Love you Mom" on all her school worksheets. It was a rest for both of us, I would still say a bit overcast.

The "little black storm cloud" is still floating around, bursting into a squall every so often. You can read about it in all the books ... reactive attachment disorder, opposition defiant disorder .... I don't name it anymore. It's really a crushed and broken spirit, protected by a steely hard will, founded on the stone of no trust. The tricky balancing act is to feed the spirit, soften the will and build the trust. Only Jesus can really do this type of deep healing. Praise God that is what he came for, I need to rest in Jesus and let Him work the healing.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
 
Luke 4:18

Saturday, September 14, 2013

So I Have Been Busy . . .

I have started getting comments from my own children about the lack of blog posts. Since this blog is pretty much their life, they are not usually too excited one way or another. If they are noticing the lack of posts, then it's time to get back at it.

To say 'I have been busy' is sort of like saying 'I'm tired'. Everybody I know is busy and tired -- some far more than I am. The truth is more that I haven't made time to get a blog post done and posted. I have not put the time into blogging, but time has been spent in these other ways:

Running times.
 
These three brothers ran a 5K this summer. Wokelle's first, but he came in at 30 minutes -- not bad!  It was so good to see them running together.
 


Braydon has joined the Cross Country team at the local high school.  It has been a great experience for him to be part of a team.
 
Travel Times

 
I am always thankful for how my children get along together when we are packed in the car. We took off for a wedding in Michigan.

 
Between the wedding excitement we took time to visit the Locks at the "Soo" -- Saulte Saint Marie.


Game times
 
Many games have been played -- chess being a favorite.


Chicken Times
 
The flock has been growing under Adela's great care.  She recently lost one chicken who was egg bound and didn't survive.  It is all part of the learning experience.

 
Egg production is still going fine.
 
 
Bonding times

 
Ricky turned 13 this year and took his "growing into manhood" trip with Jerome. There was meaningful conversation but also camping and fishing fun!
 
 
Growing times

 Isaiah lost his very first tooth. It was very exciting!



Fun times
 
Honda offers a family day at Kings Island. We took our family and some friends. We didn't quite realize how large our group was until we took this picture.


It was certainly a fun day and we enjoyed each other a lot.


Working times

 
Adela says this is a picture of my whole life. My Bible, computer, school notes, a red pen and coffee. She might be close to right. I have been planning, administrating and just generally getting our home school off the ground this year. I love school and I love homeschooling, but it does take some planning and work -- which all involve loads of time -- which is a major reason why blogging has been suffering.
 
So, like everyone else I have been busy; but the times we have spent have been good, growing times.