Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Whew!!!!

You know how life sometimes just catches you off guard? Well, there is so much going on in our lives, sometimes it takes a bit to sit back and just take a look at it all.

I am currently scolding six kittens for interrupting my attempt at a blog post, as they scratch at our closed bedroom door! Does that explain our lives lately??

We have eight kittens in the house, three of whom are now ready for homes and three who will be in two weeks and two more about a month or so after that. They are wonderfully adorable and seem to totally decide that it is time to play when we head to bed. Six of the kittens are very mobile and literally everywhere, so they are these flying bundles of fur, rolling rapidly across the house, jumping out under from furniture and also climbing our legs (really hope you have long pants on when they try that!!). Two nights ago Steve and I had three bundles of fuzz on our bed with us, I was so afraid I was going to roll over and squish them!!!!

Want a kitten??? They are litter trained and raised with children!!!! LOL!

Life has been good, what with baby ducks, baby chickens, growing young goats, growing and active kids and life in general. We have a new bathroom that we dearly love, and have learned to refinish our own floors. It is a process, unfortunately one that is slow going because by the time we feel like we can do it, we are too tired to do it!!! (Generally that means about 11PM.) But we CAN do it!!!!

The four littlest kids are on the same soccer team (no vacations or sick days allowed for the Oswald family!!!) and they are so far undefeated. Which they only rarely rub into the oldest three, who are on another team, and have not won a single game, though thankfully they have tied two!!! Whew. We just got photos taken of all the kids' on their soccer teams so are looking forward to seeing those!!!

Summer is just flying by, as always. Each day is so full, and generally so fun! We sat up until 10:30 tonight just all of us talking and the kids giggling away. Everyone was a bit nervous because as the last soccer game ended (actually the first was canceled because after all the rain the field is a total swamp) the sky turned totally dark and lots of great, but abnormal colors (green and yellow are NOT normal!). I don't think we even got any rain, but we raced home and got the animals all tucked in safely. To listen to the kids laugh, it makes it all worthwhile and so wonderful. They have all gelled so totally, it is hard to believe that it has been less than a year - August 14th is the Gotcha day! Unreal. And Zeri and Solly will be at the three year mark September 1st! I just cannot believe that it has not been forever!!! Our God is surely the God of miracles, to put this family together.

So, I hope you are having a great summer. I am trying to keep up in general. If the rain will stop, I can finish weeding - again! The goats have only gotten into the garden once!

Love to everyone, enjoy the summer, I am going back to my ceiling fan and getting some sleep before tomorrow starts - as always, very early! God bless!


"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, June 21, 2010

Extreme home make over - Oswald style

We have so laughed so many times about not getting approved by EHM, though many folks seem appalled that we didn't get it. In all honesty, I have a certain smugness about this dismay that others have. It does make me feel good to know that others would consider us worth and really be in our corner for it.

But on the other hand, we seem to be experiencing "God's Extreme Home Makeover"!!!

Given the hopes to adopt (and the death of our dear Sammy) it has all resulted in a second bathroom in our house (with TWO extra sinks!)! And getting to know a great Christian contractor who also happens to be a neighbor! Amazingly, we have a second bathroom and it is more than we could ever have imagined. A full shower, a hardwood floor, a bathroom both inside the bathroom and outside, extra cabinets, and just beauty overall. We took part of our schoolroom and put the bathroom there, taking down an old unused chimney in the process. We actually GAINED room in our living room by the time we took out the old chimney - and our lovely contractor realized that built in pine bookshelves would look wonderful under the boxes they had to create for the plumbing through the living room! We gained two nearly floor to ceiling bookshelves, just gorgeous when simply polyurethaned! Thank you dear hubby for finishing that off! I cannot wait to get books on them, they will be our school bookshelves so they are handy! The kids love the bathroom (they don't have to go downstairs to go to the bathroom at night! LOL. They generally don't anyway!). But with soccer season, having two showers is a huge thing! And it is just beautiful. The down (or up) side of it is that we learned how simple it is to refinish our hardwood floors, that are really hardwood!!!! Steve bought me a random orbit sander to work on the floors with and a detail sander to finish working on the stairs (there should be a poem somewhere titled "When You Give a Mom a Sander..." - in other words, I keep finding places to use it!!!).

So, we now have a two bathroom house - two FULL bathrooms! And to top it off, my dearest dad (step-dad if you want to be precise, I generally don't) is stepping in and helping us with a barn!!!! We discovered that it was much less expensive to build a barn than we had thought - actually because what we want really isn't in height but in room for stalls! So it is a really long story, but a garage has led us to now having funds to work towards building a barn! Big enough for two box stalls for horses, cross ties for grooming, and a bunch of smaller stalls for goats! We are simply over the moon!!! We work alongside our contractor, so that helps us to afford it, and I still work to finish paying it off. I am so grateful that God has allowed us this to provide for our needs, but I sincerely do look forward to basing my life out of my home again. I would love to get some sort of income stream going more from our farm, but in the meantime, my profession has just about paid for our new bathroom, and by end of summer, we should be totally back on track with me being a stay at home mom again, though it appears that my private practice is returning! LOL! God has such a huge sense of humor!

So, by this time next year, I have no idea what God might have done! He seems to be having a ball working in things lately!

The kids are doing really well. Really, really well. As much as I would love another driver, we are in no rush to put a kid behind the wheel. Our theory is that if you cannot be responsible enough to pick up your laundry, that we really should think twice about putting you behind the wheel of a vehicle. And that is OK. Everyone is healthy beyond little colds, my back is doing quite well (I am so very grateful!!!), Steve is healthy and mobile, the kids are just amazing. We are so blessed. We might not be wealthy in the ways of the world (though we aren't doing too badly that way), but oh, we are so very rich!

Happy Father's Day to everyone!!!! God bless you all!


"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Baby Blankets

I have been praying lately for ways to pay things forward, to somehow do something for ministry, for others. It is really important to me, and as you know, orphans and adoption is huge on my heart.

I have met two other families out here who literally have just returned from Ethiopia, having adopted older children and one is going back in four weeks for her second adopted son (they passed court two months apart from each other). She just posted on facebook that in the southern part of Ethiopia there is a huge need for baby blankets as the hospitals and clinics want to be able to send a baby blanket home with each new mom, so they don't have enough in the clinic and to send home. The poverty is unimaginable in this country where we buy fancy cribs, huge wardrobes, and every gadget that can be conceived of, for our babies, much less that the hospital would need to give us something. These families don't even have a baby blanket for their newborns.

So, my friend would like to take baby blankets with her to this area (where both of her sons are from). I am going through what I have saved, what I just couldn't let go of, and even what I have saved for our hopes of another baby in our household - because really, if we were blessed with a baby, that baby would be showered with so many gifts from loving family and friends or we could go and purchase what would be so simple to get here! So, I am going to go through our things, and then hit our thrift stores to get more, and have put a request out on freecycle. I am hoping to be able to knit a couple quickly or get a couple quickly quilted up (my girls and I love to sew), but time is so tight, that I don't know if I could, but we will try!

So, if you are interested or know of someone who might be interested in helping with this project, please contact me! And, if you know of other needs like this, anywhere, please let me know. If we all mobilize, imagine the change we can be in the world!