Tag: random

Where We Are June 2012

On the house front we have a buyer– maybe.  Have to get a “dye test” done for the sewer and if that needs work then the buyer is walking– so still no idea when we will have to move and just waiting on God.

Otherwise all is well and the Lord has continued to provide enough for the coming month.  It has been so awesome to see where the money comes from each month– some from book sales, some from website stuff and art sales, some from ads, some from donations, but regardless it is just enough eacah time.

The kids are busy and happy and growing and learning and just plain awesome.  We got to go meet up with some fellow Christian unschoolers yesterday at Old Bedford Village which was so much fun despite the heat.  I am thinking that is another post though.

The Christian Unschooling group I run (now with the help of 11 wonderful ladies) on Facebook is growing by leaps and bounds with roughly 20 new people a WEEK and all sorts of conversations ranging from basic unschooling and Christianity questions to health to prayer requests to who knows what (today’s big question was about coffee– best type of coffee maker and coffee because one of the kids wanted to know so Mom asked.:))  It takes a lot of time and energy to keep up but it is amazing to see what God is doing and I am so grateful for my small group of admins who help me keep it kind, gentle, and away from the danger zones.

I AM remembering to post recent pictures of the kids but mostly just to my Facebook page for the blog since I am on Facebook for the group all the time and am able to quickly upload them there now (used to be nearly impossible for me to upload pictures to Facebook, plus their policy about photos used to be squiffy).  So if you want to see where we have been and what the kids have been doing and learning  you can find the pictures here: http://www.facebook.com/untraditionalhome?

Also, I have been updating my Etsy shop with all the art I have sitting around that never got posted (still have Sherwood Showdown paintings to post but otherwise  I think I have them all up there and decently organized).  Lots more geeky stuff for sale plus art from Shamus’ book: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ElasahArt

Where We Are May 2012

It has been a long month full of paperwork (house related stuff) and illness. Shamus, Es, and Rachel still have whatever this sickness is and I just really got over it finally yesterday. This is probably more rambly than usual as I have been dealing with the remains of the illness (headache that won’t just go away) and have been spending much time pondering things in my head rather than out loud.

Issac built castles with the boxes for packing.

We are still working on selling the house. Finally have all paper in for possible short sale and now it is a waiting game. People keep looking at it but no offers yet. We have gotten a letter from one of those companies that buys houses offering to buy it but we feel we need to wait on God on this and not try to jump the gun and go with a quick solution.

Enjoying taco salad out with great-grandma.

We are also continuing to prayerfully consider an RV. We would really like to be able to travel to conventions (which would help sell Shamus book and get his name out) and the kids and I just want to travel and see the US in general (what better way to homeschool?) An RV would give us a cheap place to live, allow Shamus to travel while giving him a place to work and be comfortable and home, it would allow us the freedom to go where we want to go but be back home with family as needed. We need to wait for the Lord on this as well. We don’t want to get something that won’t run, doesn’t fit our family, or has had pets so we are prayerfully watching and waiting.

Headband from Japan-- gift from unschooled friends in Japan

We have also decided not to sell our stuff but rather to give it away where it is needed. We have prayed about this a lot and feel strongly that we need not attempt to sell everything but instead rely on God to provide. I am trying to decide how best to put my art for sale since we don’t want to store it. The paintings of the kids will mostly go to family as interested but I have the dragon and bunny paintings plus illustrations from the game and book that I would like to sell. Have considered ebay but looking at sales results I don’t think that is the best way. Considering just putting buy it now buttons directly on my art page (http://elasah.com) or just putting things up on Etsy. I don’t keep up with Etsy enough to really get sales that way so am not sure. I have however spent the last few days updating my art site (http://elasah.com) and Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ElasahArt) with more art so hopefully some things will sell.

Cool Japanese stuff from friends.

The Lord has been providing, mostly through sales of Shamus book. The initial sales were good though they have tapered off and it will be interesting to see how the Lord continues to provide. We have an added monthly expense for Him to provide for (in order to do short sale we have to pay a certain amount each month– nearly as much as the original mortgage which we didn’t pay because we didn’t have it. Thus far He is providing and we trust Him to continue.

We continue to rely on Him rather than the government and He has been faithful. Just the other day we had several checks we had been waiting for suddenly go through just in time to make the mortgage payment that had to be in that day or we would go straight to Sheriff sale. We have also had numerous small miracles– free vitamins, $10 off coupons for new stores accepted at the only store that carries the butter we use, things like that. God continues to provide and take care of us in wonderful ways.

Watching the raw milk coming directly through the pipes from the cows (who are being milked during sell times.)

The last few days it has rained while the sun was still shining. Usually we are in the perfect location for a rainbow (they appear just over the hill from us nearly every time it rains). I look forward to them as the Lord has used them many times in the past to remind me that He provides and will continue to take care of us. However the last few days there have been none. As I was driving home from getting milk in the pouring rain with the sun glaring directly in my eyes I had a revelation.
Sometimes we can’t see the rainbow because we are in the midst of it. I am sure those around us could see a rainbow and I am trusting that He will continue to use our current situation and how He takes care of us to give others around us hope.

Where We Are: September 2011

This month (and the end of August) has seen as much busy-ness as our summer though of a new variety. We are prayerfully considering what direction we should be heading financially (have money to live on for the moment and had hoped to save up and live on it longer by bringing in more income but that all but stopped when the check finally came. Good thing God knows what He is doing (and He obviously has us trusting Him completely in this) because we have no idea. Well, we have some slight direction, and the Lord is kind of herding us in a certain direction that we are getting more and more comfortable with but the logistics of it all are still kind of out there and we don’t feel free to share yet. Still no money for the house payment and we are just waiting for the bank to kick us out– packing things up that we don’t need so we can simplify significantly is what we are focused on at the moment. Due to our awkward financial circumstances (no steady income, no savings, everything pretty unstable) they aren’t willing to work with us (not that I blame them.) So we will see what is around the next bend.

Idlewild 2011
The kids on a ride at a rare trip to Idlewild park (carload days are awesome.)

In the meantime, still doing GAPS– in fact we are being more rigorous with it while we are here so we can kick some more food allergies (which will simplify things down the road.)

The youngest son of a friend who sheltered with us during Hurricane Irene.

We are still unschooling (and yes, the kids are still learning way more than they ever did when workbooks were a way of life for us).

We just got a package
The kids opening the box of Magic: the Gathering cards friends sent us-- our living room is overrun.

We are focusing on doing the next thing, whatever that is, as the Lord guides us. Right now that means I will be painting, purging excess stuff (and God willing having a yard sale, taking my grandmother shopping several times a week, helping Shamus with his projects, and more time to spend with the kids; chatting with them, being with them, loving them where they are. Shamus is currently working on his autoblography which when done, God willing, will become an eBook memoir.

If you would be praying for wisdom and direction, especially regarding our finances and where the Lord wants us but also regarding spiritual things He is showing us recently, we would heartily appreciate it.

A None Twitter Update

In case you didn’t guess from my tweets or don’t bother reading them, I am SUPER BUSY. Have 5 websites to work on, just finished 4, am working through my fruits of the spirit painting series (on the 4th –Gentleness), am dealing with our stupid broken car (and praising God for our awesome mechanic who ENJOYS tracking down stupid battery draw issues). Also dealing with kids and lovely weather and a home school coop that I am helping start. In other words–life is crazy busy and as hubby said yesterday, after I had yet another job offer, we both have more work than we can handle in a time when so many are struggling–and so I AM praising God for all the busy-ness, but still. Something has got to give, and until something else does, I leave you with my tweets.

A Newsy Sort of Post of the Rambly Type

First I want to apologize for the Twitter update thing.  I may keep using it but don’t feel you HAVE to read it, it is just there as a record for myself–I use Twitter to note when I work, when the kids do interesting things, AND when I have trouble with my RA.  The log on my blog helps me look over things.  I wish I could set it so it was only after so many tweets or just when I want it to or something but I have 2 choices–weekly or daily and for the time being I have it set for daily.

If you have been reading my tweets you will know that I have been out of commission.  I did too much on Friday and then Saturday, the weather changed seriously with lots of moisture in the air, AND I was having serious hormonal issues which meant that I ended up on crutches several times this weekend (due to the RA) and then (also due to the RA which causes swelling around the heart and lungs and therefore exhaustion very similar to severe iron deficiency) I spent the next several days with barely the energy to hold up a book.  You know the feeling you have after you have been sick a nice long time, really, really sick, and then you are finally better enough to take a shower, and after you have taken that shower you are so wipe out you would willingly  sleep for a week–yup, that was me.

This means that, having managed a visit to my brother who has tons of books I have not read of the sort I like to read, I spent the last few days READING.  Since Sunday I have read 2 Harry Potters (2 and 3–I had already read 1, which I hated, and 4 which I thought was better than 1), and Ender’s Shadow (because I loved Ender’s Game).  I have a nice big pile of more books to read here so will likely plow through those in the next week or so.

Our car is working again, kind of, which is how I managed to visit my brother to get the books, and then drive on Monday to visit my poor, neglected grandmother who lives 45 minutes away and whom I have not been able to visit for nearly 2 months because of our Southern belle of a car (it hates winter)–I should say that the kids did most of the visiting–I took a long nap while there.  I say the car is kind of working because the fuse that makes the windows and door locks work is dead (it seems to have a short–which we now suspect is why the car kept dying–stupid, stupid car.)  So, it can be driven, but now I can’t put windows down or auto-lock the doors and since the AC doesn’t really work I need to get that fixed before summer.  I SO look forward to getting someone to track down not one, but 2 and maybe 3 shorts–since we also have a short in the overhead light AND in the little lights that tell you when the battery is low.  Stupid car, stupid car, stupid car. At least it is running, and Grandma gave us a bit towards getting it fixed, which we will attempt to do once we get the taxes done.

Another interesting note: we have a new mail man.  Wouldn’t be so interesting except that he is rather an unorganized mail man.  He likes to mix things up.  Literally and figuratively.  Unlike all the other mailmen we have had this one doesn’t like a schedule.  He likes to change things up every few days.  Which means that while we have been getting our mail at about 10:30 since we moved here and my mom, who is on the same route, has been getting her mail at 3:30ish for 34 years suddenly we get our mail anywhere from 9:30 through 5:00 and who knows when it might actually come.  This in and of itself would not be a big deal except that our new mailman ALSO likes to mix things up in reality.  We are not getting a lot of our mail but we are getting other peoples–other people who live in other parts of town and not even on our street.  We are getting mail for people who have not lied here in 10 years and for people who just have the same house number.  This wouldn’t bug me too bad except that we are not getting OUR mail except for sales fliers–which means we have multiple checks that are not here that should be, or maybe should be, it is kind of hard to tell.

The funny thing about the mailman thing is that we had another new mailman recently.  He was very organized but not very nice.  People complained about him so we got a new one.  And this one is VERY friendly, and talkative (we are on a drive-by sort of route and he will happily chat even though we live on a major highway and it is not the wisest thing to sit parked along the side of the road when big trucks come down our 35 mph hill at 75mph), he is just not very good at his job.  I guess you can’t have everything and I do feel bad for the guy.  I am not very organized either, but then again, I am NOT a mailman.

Quick update

As you may have guessed I have been super busy, which is why I am not posting much.

I did several paintings and forgot to take photos of them. (one for the art show, another for a friend.)

I have been working on a new web page for a ministry, which is done and now I am waiting for the transfer of the domain name, which means once again I am hurrying up and waiting. Doing the new site meant learning the changes both in WordPress 2.7 AND the new Sandbox theme (which is what I use for my base theme when designing.)

The kids have been incredibly active what with playing in the snow and ice skating, and I have been ice skating along with them.

I have also spent some time working with the kids at giving the house a good clean and rearranging several rooms. (The office is almost done being rearranged, I hope.)

I am making an Ubuntu machine to use as a home server for our websites plus a backup machine for all our photos and other things.

More stuff has been going on like our car battery dying, again–it hates winter. So now, no car, which means less running but more going when someone else is going out.

Random list of lots of stuff going on in my head

After writing that post God took me at my word and spread me as thin as I could manage.  Since then I have:

  • been working on a new painting which you can see over at Elasah.com (it is nearer to being done than it was in the photos).  It is my husband’s new favorite.
  • been working on a new way of doing chores with the kids, and it is working!  Dawn over at Colours of Dawn explained it on her site and I tried it, did I mention it is working?  She has older kids and has been there. 🙂  I should mention that I have tried something similar before but it didn’t work because my kids were not old enough to all be able to do the same chores.  Now they are and each takes on a general job for a week, then we switch each week.  So right now we have a wiper (in charge of all wiping things off that needs done), a picker upper (in charge of all non-obvious picking up of stuff), and a sweeper (in charge of sweeping all non carpeted floors).  Our house is STAYING clean.
  • been preparing for our middle child birthday.  Essie will turn 9 on Saturday.  One of the benefits of turning nine in our house is being allowed to get your ears pierced, which she has done.  And she is getting an Eee PC–a joint gift from all family members for Christmas and birthday, whcih I have had to play with test out.
  • been working on something that I am feeling prompted to do.  It seems odd, but I am working on filling out the form to apply for being on Extremem Home Makeover.  I can’t imagine why other than God had laid it on a friend’s heart and another friend affirmed that she thought we should apply, and a family member agreed.  It is hard to do and taking a lot of my brain to think how best to fill out the forms (it reminds me of filling out college applications).  They ask a lot of questions where you have to explain why you think you should get it and deserve it and I don’t really think we do and should–so many other families are in much more dire need.  Yes, our house has some serious issues, no, we can’t afford to fix it, yes, it causes some trouble with our health issues.  Anyway, it is a hard thing to do but God is still prompting me to do it so I am, for whatever reason He wants as I don’t really expect to be on the show, doing it.
  • sleeping a lot.  I had a migraine all day and slept for over 5 hours of it.  The kids did great and I am proud of them for not trashing the house or killing each other while I slept. 🙂  I have also been feeling very quiet and since I have not had a lot of words, not been saying much.
  • been working at obedience.  God has brought multiple areas where I needed to obey Him to mind since I last wrote and as always that is a hard thing but a good thing.  And so I have been obeying.  Some of those have been about money others have been just putting my foot in the water, like with the application, but also inviting the family of the girls’ friends from my mil’s church to come to our house to celebrate Essie’s birthday.  Turns out their daughter has a birthday the day after and they also were not having a party.  I have never met them so it meant cold calling them, which is hard for me.  However, I am excited as my mother-in-law has been talking about this family a lot as they have a lot of health issues as well (though more physical ones) and also a lot of house issues and somehow I feel we may have a lot in common.  Of course the fact that their kids are the same ages as mine might have somethign to do with it. 🙂
  • And that is enough.  My brain is still smooshy from the migraine and I need to go to sleep.  So I will leave you a picture of Essie in their clean room whcih they cleaned because they wanted to without my prompting!

I Had a Post

Last night, before I fell asleep I had a post, an idea fully formed based on some things I had read and which was wonderful in my pre-sleep mind. Of course this morning it is all but completely gone and I only have a vague notion of what it was.

Which is probably good since I am trying to remove two rooms worth of furniture and random stuff from our living room and hall to other parts of the house in ways that are livable, in case this project takes longer than expected–which is what always happens. We are preparing to lay laminate flooring, which means I have to take up the carpet before hand, which means I need to get the furniture out of the rooms and find places for Rachel to be while I take up the carpet since the reason we are taking up the carpet is her severe allergy to it. Plus I am trying to fix a very broken computer, and I have to work on Sunday–we have an appraisal day, which is going to be filmed for an Antiques Roadshow style show (I am going along as moral support and researcher so am not likely to be on tv). There is so much going on that it is hard to focus long enough to write a decent post let alone think through a good one. 🙂

Please be praying that the timing on all this goes well–so much of it is completely out of my hands though God is providing right and left in wonderful ways and I cannot complain. Not only has he provided help for the laying, but also from various sources extra parts that are needed for laying the flooring, from Freecycle (including someone wanting our old carpet) and from family. God is very much in control and I need to trust Him on the timing as well.

Randomly random randomness, really

As most of you know I have been working on a commissioned house portrait–which is now DONE!!!  Woohoo!!!  You can see it, start to finish, here.

Also the new website is coming along much, much faster than I ever would have thunk it (as my step mom says.:))  Yesterday I got all the theme doodles done, today I got them uploaded and though they are not there yet the main site is at least up.  I talked on the phone with a friend–a bouncing things off of sort of friend who had lots great input including take it slow and don’t jump in too fast (she knows me well) and another friend emailed me reminding me to take it slow and wait on God –so I guess God is trying to tell me something, though for me I AM taking it slow. 🙂  While waiting at the pond for the kids to swim I made lists of organizational stuff for the sit–stuff I HATE doing and am never inclined to do–so that was weird–definitely God. 

Also today I sent out an email saying that, yes, I am considering having art classes here in my home so we will see how that works out.

AND we just realized that we ARE going to have another yard sale this weekend, since my stepmom is having one right over the hill and we have stuff for it but a lot of it is too big to drag to their house.  So, another yard sale it is.  Which is fine since we really need to earn a bit more money for our trip in two weeks–for which I REFUSE to plan too far ahead.

I also just received my free sample plus the lip gloss I ordered from Everyday Minerals.  I am SO EXCITED.  I have a lot of issues with preservatives and whatnot in makeup and can only use certain sorts (like some Burt’s Bees but not all).  And Rachel, who is 10 and whom I want to train to use make-up wisely instead of having her sneak stuff later, has serious reactions to dyes and preservatives.  So I have been looking for something that neither of us is allergic to.  I don’t use foundation or anything other than lipstick/gloss, even though my face tends to get red and splotchy but the free sample kit comes with foundation in a powder form so I thought I would try.  (I should mention that I decided to try this stuff at the time when my face ALWAYS breaks out each month.) So, I mixed some of the foundation with my ultra white sunscreen and my husband complimented me each time I put it on saying how good I looked.  He even complemented me when I just used the green powder (which tones down redness).  He didn’t know what was different other than that my “skin looks more even.”  And he likes the lip gloss.  Not only that but my skin is CLEARING UP!!!  It never clears up in the summer and never at this time.  So there is something about this makeup that is helping it.  Plus Rach tested the lip gloss on her arm and didn’t react.  Not ready to check it the rest of the way but good to know that the lip gloss is good. 🙂  So yeah, I suggest you check them out, especially if you have trouble with makeup like I do.

Finally , a little bit of unschool stuff–the kids have spent the last few days practicing brain age trying to get their age down.  They have also spent time drawing with all the cool 20 cent school supplies I picked up at Walmart.  It is very exciting to see them growing in their drawing style (they are taking the art class with the kids online.)  Also they are playing Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing–both help a lot with vocabulary and writing not to mention economics and planning ahead.)  Issac has been reading to me daily while the girls sit and read or listen to The Lord of the Rings on CD.  (16 discs each book.)  Not to mention all the swimming and discussions on physics, friction, bouyancy, oh, and about being a good Christian with a good, non-“legalistic-everybody-does-it-my-way” attitude.  Oh, and did I mention buttons?  I got a couple jars of buttons at the thrift shop and the kkids have been spending oodles of time playing with them, sorting them, and whatever kids do with buttons that does not include putting it up your nose or in your ear.

And that is enough.  There is more but I hate long wordy posts without lots of pictures (this from someone who will read huge novels for hours on end but I am weird like that.)

And I don’ know what is up with the mushrooms.  Ther eare tons at the pond this year and I have become fascinated with taking pictures of them.

Stuff and Photos

First, I posted a new art class over at Elasah.com.

Next, I got one painting done so now I have 5 packages to send out.  One painting left to go which is much larger and needs to be done by the end of July before we go on vacation.  Glad the kids have their Webkinz, Ty, and books to read.  They have been keeping very busy so I can work.

Finally, I took the kids to the pond to swim today while I relaxed and read a book and took LOTS of pictures.  Enjoy.