Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Updating the Blog

I've been really bad about updating the blog, but there are a lot of changes going on in our household.

I have quit selling books and we have been taking thousands out of the house to the landfill. I have tried to give them away or recycle them to no avail. One lady at the county dump tells us we can recycle them there while another tells us it has to go in household waste. Depending on which person is there determines where they end up. We still have several truckloads to take to the dump. eBay changed a policy that would have had me editing by hand (their tool would not work) 350+ listings. I wrote them and asked them for an alternative, but they would not come up with a solution for long time sellers like me other than doing it by hand. I simply did not have that kind of time, so I decided to give it up and enjoy more time and extra space in the house.

I have listed many books including used school curriculum on Paperbackswap where you trade unwanted books for books you need. I have received many nice quality books for my children's education for the cost of shipping another book for $2.23. You can also purchase credits for $3.75 or so and buy a book that way. That $3.75 is shipping INCLUDED! You can't beat the deal! To start, you have to list 10 good condition books you can part with and you will receive three credits. http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php?n=2&r_by=contentmentacres is my referral link. If you list 10 books, I receive a free book credit.

We are concentrating on establishing a kennel for our chihuahuas. We have developed a good reputation for raising healthy dogs with wonderful dispositions. God dropped this in our laps and we weren't quite sure of it when we started, but it has been a blessing. We meet so many people and have been able to start many off on the right foot to responsible dog ownership.

I have stopped making and selling the goat's milk soap. We only have three goats left and I do not plan to breed them. Little May can live out her life here and then we will be done with goats, I think. I will still make it for our friends with special skin needs, gifts and for our family. With my two little girls, extra time is not easy to come by right now.

We are looking to raise calves this spring for grass fed, organic beef. I may get a cow for milk too.

Clint has had many late nights at work this fall and winter. His weekend work has picked up some too.

The bathroom project is ongoing. Without much free time, Clint has managed to install the toilet and the bathtub/shower in the downstairs bathroom. He plans on working on the closet and sink now. We are contemplating a long planned (pre-Hurricane Isabel) addition, but will seek the Lord for a while first.

We are still working towards getting Brandon's driver's license. I understand now why so many homeschooled children decide to just wait until they are old enough to get one without all of the hassle. Hopefully our experience this time will make it easier for our other children to obtain theirs. Or, maybe the laws will change so homeschooling parents/students don't feel like they are being punished.

Ida (storm) caused us a lot of preparation work. Our yard and barns flooded, but nothing was damaged. The lowest part of the house (also the oldest part of this old farmhouse we love) came within 1/2 an inch of flooding. I walked in and out of this house many times during that storm measuring the water level and could not fathom why the floor stayed dry. With the waves going higher than that and the dream Clint had, I honestly feel as if God worked a miracle and supernaturally blocked the water. God is awesome!

Homeschooling is chugging along at a steady pace and we are getting a lot accomplished which was my prayer for this school year.

We had strep (I think) before/over/after the Thanksgiving holiday. Big families will get the before/over/after part! :-) Clint and I were sleep deprived when Hannah was waking up to nurse for comfort 3-5 times a night. We are just now getting back to our normal routines from that.

We've managed to do all of our Christmas shopping except for the goodies I will put in the Wise Men Bags (Christian alternative to stockings). I plan on baking cookies, making Rice Krispy Treats and filling the shaped treat bags from Michael's with homemade granola and trail mixes. I also want to supply each of the older children with a comb/brush, fingernail clippers, flashlight, school supplies, etc.

We've also been blessed to get together with friends new and old recently which has been so much fun!

Homeschooling Moms, I am praying for you! I want you to not only succeed with well educated children who are firmly rooted in Truth, but also to enjoy the wonderful ride with your most precious blessings...your children! When you are having a hard time, that is when God is calling you to turn to Him for help. When it is challenging, remember, you are being stretched and grown as a Christian, wife, mother and woman!!