Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!!

Okay, so Mr. Sarcasm, my dear husband's response when I said "I don't know that I have anything to say"  was "yeah, your blog posts are so brief and limited". 

So, I am going to do a quick holiday update!  We had a nice Christmas, visits with family and friends, fun with kids enjoying their presents, great Christmas services at church, and all the usual. 

Personally, I am kind of glad that it is done.  It just got overwhelming near the end this year.  Not that we didn't enjoy it, but I was exhausted by the end.  Maybe it is just me and the shorter days.

But, we are going to make a traditional Ethiopian meal on New Year's Day, which we are all greatly looking forward to!  Injera, doro wat, misir wat and whatever else we come up with!  I am so glad I have learned to cook some of this and that most of us love it (Kiley is going to have a Digorno pizza that day, according to her!).   

With Wisconsin weather, and animals to care for, we make the most of good weather days and this week has and will be above freezing, so we are hauling hay from the barn where it is stored - many trailer loads will make much lighter work in worse weather, which is the goal!  Our big push is New Year's Eve, so I think that New Year's Evening will involve movies and a simple relaxing night!  The kids' big party is to watch the ball drop and camp out in the living room.  Our bedroom is the next room, so hubby and I can go to bed and still supervise.  Aren't we boring????

We are working to become debt free while we continue to remodel our home - a 130 year old home certainly takes a lot of work!!!  I am finally ready to paint the first floor, we did the second floor (the kids' bedrooms when we moved in and got burned out).  AND I learned how to refinish our floors, so I am literally doing it a few square feet at ta time - now imagine that with the last six kittens we have left here!!!!  Maybe by the end of the summer we will have it done!!!

Our homestudy is all over the US, so hopefully at some point we will be able to be the family to a baby who needs us!  In the meantime, I am training horses, decluttering, organizing and just in general keeping busy!!! Not to mention all the usual of homeschooling and keeping up with our active family.  I am very grateful that we are between theater shows!!!  There will be tryouts in a couple weeks, but I am ignoring that at the moment.  I am hoping to get some more chapters of our book done in the near future, but living out life seems to get in the way of trying to explain it!!!  LOL!

Well, I am headed to shoo kids to bed before heading there myself.  I am hoping to take good advantage of the good weather tomorrow!!!!  (and very thankful for Kiley's dear friend who gave me insulated jean the other day - they are fleece lined and so amazingly warm, it is like being covered in a blanket!!!  And will make winter easier for me!!!  Thanks Gail!!!!!).
"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

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter sets in....

Here at the farm the days are very short.  I really hate these dark days and look forward to the lengthening days again.  The cold has set in and we had a blizzard on Saturday and Sunday.  Thankfully, the farm came out of it much better than last year's blizzard, with no major livestock losses.  A couple chickens that couldn't be found to put in the henhouse and one little rabbit, but all else was well, though not thrilled with the weather.  And now it is cold, with wind chills below zero.  Ugh.

But, at least we have power now, having lost power during the blizzard for nearly 24 hours.  Thankfully, our house is very well insulated (especially for an old farmhouse!) so the temperature only got down to 60 - which is what we set it back to at night.  And we still had gas for the stovetop, so that got us through.  We even melted snow for cooking water - with no electricity, our well couldn't pull more water up after it emptied the tank, so we didn't have water after a while.  When it got dark, we lit candles, and played a game from A Christmas Carol - "yes and no" - kind of like 20 Questions, and then charades.  For the most part, we didn't notice too much difference during the day, but it was a bit eerie to have no power at night and have no clue when we might get it back.  It made us really appreciate having it back on!!!!

We are getting ready for Christmas, continuing with decluttering and paring down.  I keep posting things on craigslist and trying to add to our adoption fund.  It is slow going this time of year as there are just so many expenses.  We are doing a pretty simple Christmas, but there is always something!  We have a very simple Christmas tree - with ten kittens in the house, we didn't put on any of our breakable ornaments as I just know that kittens will end up in the tree!!!!  It wasn't worth the stress of worrying about it or of trying to keep kittens out.  If the tree falls over, it is easy enough to put back up, and actually it looks quite nice!  Though it is surprising to see a kitten peering out from the branches!  The kids were telling ghost stories and one of the kittens reached out from inside the tree to swat Zeri as he sat on the floor in front of it!!!  Just imagine!  I giggle every time I think of it.  Does that make me a mean mom?

I wish I had news to report on the adoption front, but we are sitting quietly.  I struggle so hard with wanting to see things move forward and to consider adopting internationally again.  But, that doesn't seem to be where God has placed us at this point.

Well, we are preparing for the January arrival of the kids' show chickens.  They come as day old chicks in early January and we raise them in brooders until it is warm enough for them to go outside - which is generally April or so.  We are hoping to put them in a brooder in the new barn, but we are still working on that project.  Otherwise they will be in brooders in the basement again.  Ugh.  But, with a fieldstone basement, it isn't like putting them in a finished basement - our basement is primarily used for storage.  It is so much fun to see the chicks grow and see what breeds they are.  We always get a mixed batch, so we aren't able to identify them all as babies.  They grow really fast, so they are only cute and fuzzy for a little while before they start growing in their pin feathers, which makes them really, really ugly. 

So, that is our next big project in our calendar year.  Plays are done until January or so, which is kind of a relief.  It is nice to be at home at night most nights!  I am still writing, working on it as regularly as I can.  Kiley is working at a stable and that keeps her busy and actually quite happy in the doldrums of winter when it is difficult to ride her own horse.  Faith and Tsion are busy with artwork and redecorating their room.  Hopefully tonight I will finish their new clothes storage system and we can get that put up.  Aman is enjoying choir at church, Zeri and Alex helping with camera crew.  Ben and Solly enjoy football in the snow and generally keep busy puttering with things.  But life is a bit slower right now, for which I am very grateful.  Time to get caught up on some things, get some projects done, and just be.

I hope you can enjoy this time of year for its true purpose.  It is so easy to get caught up in all the "to do"s of the season.  I am terrible at that, but trying to stay focused on my family this year.  We will have Christmas dinner at our house, which actually does simplify things for us quite a bit.  How I will do it with all the dumb kittens, I am not sure, but at this point I am not quite ready to kick them all out to the barn, though honestly, I am close.  If you know anyone who wants a kitten, get in touch with me!!!!  LOL!!  They are sweet, but NO ONE needs this many cats!  Our cats are getting fixed as funds allow, so this won't happen again.  But the diversion in dark days isn't too bad either.

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