Dead Down Wind

That is the name of the company that Dave starts a temp job at on Monday. They sell stuff to keep you from stinking...mostly for hunters. It is temp to hire...maybe. The best part is the location. It is in the KC area. So we are super glad for something. Ironically, it is the first job he applied for. He still has more interviews lined up and has been in interviews all week this week. I will everyone know when he has a permanent job, but right now we are praising God work!

Thanksgiving Pics the easy way...

My brother-in-law took lots of pictures and some of them are here!

Staying

So after much prayer, frustration, and a little bit of sadness we are not moving anywhere at present. I am very glad, but Dave is still without a job, and for that I am not glad, but patiently waiting. He decided to turn down a job that just kept getting worse the longer he communicated with them. He didn't get the other job. So back to square one. I have had a very good week though. God has changed some of my mind on some things. I am more at peace than I have been in a really long time, and I am really going to miss Dave when he does find a job (as opposed to the "you are driving me crazy" attitude I had last month). Life is really deeply good. And God has provided. We are still good financially, and that is pretty amazing. Anyway, thought I would share the joy.

Still Waiting...

Glad to be learning patience...

uprooting

It looks certain that we will be coming to a city near you, but which city is still to be determined.

We have been traveling around the state of Missouri this month looking at jobs and places to live. We have been traveling the web looking at thousand of different little things that play a part when you move. I am getting worn out, and I am wishing that we could just stay here. But I also think back to the other times that I followed God, even though it wasn't what I wanted to do. It has definitely ended up for the best so far. It is easy to know what the best thing to do is, but putting on the happy face...no, really being happy about it is another thing. I want to tell my girls that this will be the last move, and that they will get to keep these friends close for the rest of their childhood. But I am not God. I want to tell them that...I really, really want to tell them that, but I don't know what will come next. So I tell them that God knows. That is all for today...I am off to pack boxes.

Halloween Candy and lack of job update

There is no job update, if you are following that saga.

The girls are all enjoying their Halloween candy...a new reason to eat yucky stuff for dinner. The best part of Halloween candy, though, is watching them share. They don't really share with each other...that would be called trading, but Mom and Dad don't have a stash, so we get blessed by the sharing. Sarah is wonderful at sharing. She knows exactly what Mom and Dad prefer. Mom wants chocolate and Dad sugar. She is very thoughtful and gives us our favorites. Then their is Annie. She is so cute. Her absolute favorite is Laffy Taffy. So she gives everyone else her Laffy Taffy. I feel so bad eating it because she loves it and I can barely get it down, but of course I love the fact that she is willing to give what is most precious to her.

Coming to a city near you...

...or so we think. Of 100 applications now sent 90 have been for jobs in the Kansas City area. The only serious interviews have been from those other 10 applications. So it would look like we might be moving. Not too far, but moving all the same. Oh, how I love moving! I am still waiting to pack, but Dave does have a final interview where he is the only candidate later this week. I'll give you the scoop if/when one of them is a sure thing.

more waiting

Well, Dave got a call back from the first interview finally. They said that they will make a decision and call back before Thanksgiving. AKA more waiting. He is still setting up interviews and waiting to hear back on other interviews. Waiting for phone calls for interviews. Waiting to see what God is going to do.

Waiting

Waiting, waiting, and more waiting...

That is all I have to say.

Job Update

The first good news of the job hunt came yesterday, as Dave has 2 first interviews on Monday. We'll keep you updated!

In a weird twist of events...

Dave is now jobless. We keep hearing that upper middle management is the most dangerous place to be in a company. Well we can now vouch for that. It is weird though, because a month ago I posted about how much I love my life and how normal things were. But the weirdest part is that Dave actually had an employer let him go. He is borderline workaholic. He gives about 200% and is scarily robot like in his ability to perform in a workplace. I don't think Dave has ever had a job where he went more than a year without a promotion. Dave isn't perfect, but he is pretty much an ideal employee. I take that for granted. But more importantly I have realized that I have relied on Dave for our income (instead of God).
We can also verify that the job market is bad...really bad. Dave has applied for about 100 jobs in the last 2 weeks, and has yet to get one call for an interview. This is just weird. I know it is becoming normal, but as it plays out in front of us, it is a little strange.
Mostly we have peace...disjointed by momentary panic stricken moments...but mostly peace. There is a little bit of excitement on my part, as I have no idea what God is doing, and what will come next. I think their might be some pain to come before we get there, but I still look forward to what God has for us next.

To Be Continued...

Birthday Musings

I turned 30 on Friday. I don't feel any older (maybe a day), but it did cause some reflection. It was quite nice actually. Ten years ago, if you asked me what I wanted to be doing in 10 years it was exactly what I am doing, with the exception that I wanted to be doing it in a foreign country. I am not sure how that would have been anyway...I lived in Dallas for 5 years, and had trouble dealing with that culture shock, so maybe I really didn't know what was good for me anyway. So other than that bit, I really I doing what I want I dreamed of doing. Staying home with my kids, homeschooling them, and happily married. Not too many people can say that, so I feel very grateful. I feel even more grateful when I look at how I got here. Left up to myself, I wouldn't have gotten here. The last 10 years have been very bumpy and at times I found myself going in the exact opposite direction of my goal. But God knew. He knew that those things would lead me here...that most of them needed to happen so I could be here today...it is pretty amazing really. I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude.

On top of my wishes for the future, I began to think of the things that I had not wished, but that I love about my life. First of all, my daughters. My oldest daughter, Sarah, is the antonym of me. She is disciplined, scheduled, organized, and loves to do the same thing 100 days in a row, just as long as she knows what is coming. I love this, because I am not like this, and if I didn't have her to please, I probably would still be the unscheduled mess that I have been most of my life. Hannah, on the other hand, hits a little closer to home. She would love to procrastinate her life away, well, she would regret it later (I know), but trying to get out of anything is her specialty. She is a complete fire ball, so hilarious, and so witty (I didn't get that trait unfortunately). She is so much fun, but it is like pulling teeth some days to get school done. Thank God for Sarah. Stephanie doesn't really care what the activity is, is all that matters is who is participating. She loves relationships, so much that she has trouble not hugging and touching everyone around her. I am not sure who she got this from...someone unrelated to us, but it is wonderful to watch, as long as she isn't poking out the neighbor's baby's eye. She is also the most dramatic...well, I almost don't want to call it dramatic...she isn't playing. She is very sensitive, and I have never seen her cry for effect. She is truly hurt by the smallest things sometimes, and becomes so upset that she can hardly breath. Annie, well Annie is the baby. She knows she is cute, and she works it very well. When she is in trouble she looks at you until you laugh, she will perform for almost anyone, and expects everyone to dote on her. I suppose this won't last her whole life...I am hoping. Right now, she even has her sisters under her spell. Everyone stands up for Annie, and she is the baby, so she seems to always be in the right. Gladly, her parents aren't as fooled, but she is cute, no doubt.

Well this was supposed to be about my birthday, instead you get a psych analysis of my kids...

The other thing I was going to say, is that I love where I live. I just love it. There is no way that 10 years ago I would be wanting to live in a townhouse in Independence MO, I probably would want to live on 10 acres. But I don't like to work that much, and I love living close to great parks, an awesome library, and having a house where I am not responsible when something breaks. Praise God!

Thanks for letting me share some of the blessings in my life. Have a wonderful week!

Trip to the Lake

Some pics from our recent trip to the lake. Since blogger has gone all html code on the uploads, I am not going to even try to put captions next to pics. You can make your own captions if you want, but exclude comments about Dave's farmer's tan...he is a bit sensitive. You will notice there are no pictures of me. :)








Currently Reading

Some of the Books we are currently reading...

The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong
This book is long, but great. Set in Holland turn of the century maybe, or before. This is a fabulous story about a little school of 6 children that come together with a goal...eventually the whole town gets involved. The relationships and personalities are wonderful...the old and young find things in common and become friends, and the little town of Shora changes.

The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton Burgess
We just started reading this storybook for science. After the first chapter Hannah wanted to keep reading, and said that we could read this everyday for Science. That is enough right there. She is the hardest to please, so I checked out several other books by the same author, and we are going to go with it as long as we can.
The Book reads like a storybook about characters who happen to be birds, but the introduction of different species of birds gives insight to individual birds habits and personality. It is the best kind of book, one that is enjoyable and doesn't lead on that you are learning anything.

No Man Knows My History by Fawn Brodie
This has been my nightstand book for the last few months. It is not a page turner, but an excellently written biography of the life of Joseph Smith. Interesting doesn't do it justice. This lady talks like she knows him intimately, and she probably does with all of the primary source research she did to compile this book. It is not boring by any stretch of the imagination, but it isn't Harry Potter either. I'm not going to spoil it for anyone, but it is worth reading.

Sunflowers


Sarah and Hannah planted these sunflowers in our backyard. The girls have been so excited to see them grow taller than Daddy.

Jars of Clay

We were reading Nine Days to Christmas today, and it got me thinking about jars of clay. In the book, Ceci is so upset that her first pinata is going to be broken. Her brother Salvador says that pinatas are made to be broken. It was profound in a simple way. We, too, are made to be broken.

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. II Corinthians 4:7-12


We are fragile. Our brokenness means wholeness in a weird sort of way.

I have gained 10 pounds this year. I think it is mostly because I am getting older and my metabolism has slowed down. I have never gained weight without being pregnant, so I have been annoyed by it, and have gone through several different "diets" to try to remove this extra baggage. I tried counting calories. I always felt like I was starving myself. I tried training for a 5K. I kept having stupid injuries (like a really bad stubbed toe and then weird pain from a tick bite). So I gave up several times. Then a little over a month ago, I started praying about it, how I thought it was mastering me, and I didn't want to be mastered by anything. I continue in prayer, but God has given me wisdom this time to take steps in discipline that I will be able to keep up long term. I pray for continued discipline each day, but I don't feel like I am starving myself, and I have enjoyed running consistently but moderately. So this week, the scale finally said that I have lost all 10 pounds. But I am more glad for the life changing that God has been working in me. He gets the glory, I am just the broken vessel. Praise God.

Tomato Thoughts

First, a really good read. Very encouraging.

As we begin to get tomatoes, I am starting to think of what I am going to do with them.

Sarah informed me today that Cherry Tomatoes are better warm. I agree. A bowl in the middle of the table is the best spot for those...if we ever have any make it inside, that is.

Grilled Cheese Veggie Sandwiches--these are the best. We just started doing this a couple of years ago. But basically you make a grilled cheese sandwich, open it up while the cheese is still melted and pile on veggies. Our favorites are tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and some form of lettuce. This is our summer PB&J.

Another great option is grilled Mozzarella sandwich with tomatoes and pepperoni. I love this, but the girls won't eat it, go figure.

BLTs sound good too, but we haven't done these in a while.

My grandma always cut up tomatoes and put a little salt and pepper on them and served them with dinner. I also think these are best at room temp.

We used to make salsa with them, but I haven't been that brave, or had that much extra time in a while.

I am going to try some new things this year, like maybe tomato soup or pizza sauce.

Any ideas or recipes would be very much appreciated!

ReStart

It is time to restart this blog. I started it at homeschoolblogger.com, and mostly posted about school stuff. Well, the way we do school, it is pretty much our whole life. We have sit down workbook time, but most of our learning comes from good books and hands on experience. So I am not planning on giving you the play by play of what we are doing each day, but maybe a few cool things we are learning.

The girls are doing a VBS at my Grandma's church, and I went to an adult class they are hosting last night. It was on Luke 18:1-8 (below text is in the ESV thanks to biblegateway.com).

1And he told them a parable to the effect that they oughtA)">(A) always to pray and notB)">(B) lose heart. 2He said, "In a certain city there was a judge whoC)">(C) neither feared God nor respected man. 3And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, 'Give me justice against my adversary.' 4For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself,D)">(D) 'Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'" 6And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7AndE)">(E) will not God give justice toF)">(F) his elect,G)">(G) who cry to him day and night?H)">(H) I)">(I) Will he delay long over them? 8I tell you, he will give justice to themJ)">(J) speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes,K)">(K) will he find faith on earth?"

I realized that the point of this passage was not that we need to be persitant in our prayers to get what we are praying for. That might be true, but the point seems to be in the first and last statement. Are we persistant in our faith? Will we be like the widow in following God...willing to always pray and not lose heart, continue in our faith until the Son of Man returns. The point isn't the prayers being answered, but in the praying being glorifying to God because we are relying on Him.

I was encouraged to pray continually. To bring God glory by my persistance in faith.

P.S. I do believe that God answers prayers, but how and when I don't always get.

Jo

While on the subject of pets, here is a picture of yet another pet Sarah collected from our yard. This one's name is Jo, because Sarah didn't want to give it a gender specific name. She is so considerate. :) It is a baby American Toad, and is sitting in the towards the top of the picture. Sarah got this book for her birthday, and this is the first pet we have had in her jar. I convinced her to let it go to free up the jar for some other pet we might find. That, and she was getting tired of collecting bugs for it's food. I have some pics of Annie's Birthday, but I am going to wait to post them until I get the ones my mother-in-law took, which are probably much better and more plentiful. :)

Mr. Claws

Mr. Claws is the turtle we found in our back yard. He is a false map turtle who seemed to be feeding off of the mosquito population in our flooded sandbox. Since we dumped the sandbox, he doesn't have an aquatic environment anymore, so we decided to take him in and watch him a few days. I think we might drop him of at a conservation area instead of in our back yard, but we haven't decided yet. He is pretty fun to watch, so I included a video. Annie especially enjoys it. We read later that map turtles dive into water when they are scared...so he pretty much does this every time we enter the room.


video

Sarah Turns 8!

I am still shocked, but Sarah turned eight in May. I really can't believe she is that old and will be in third grade this year. It seems like she has made the jump from a little girl to a young woman...or maybe the jump has just started. Anyway, we had a "Little House on the Prairie" Party. Instead of a cake, we made Laura's little Maple Cakes, thus the one candle and the small cupcake looking thing. We also made butter from cream (Hannah is demonstrating), made homemade lemonade (Stephanie and Annie are demonstrating), had a watermelon seed spitting contest, and a three legged race. Lots of fun.




Stephanie's 5th Birthday

Stephanie turned 5 a few weeks ago, and we had a Strawberry Shortcake party, with some fun outdoor water games. Happy Birthday Stephanie! :)



Camping Trip

We went camping last weekend near St. Louis, and had lots of fun (with some complaining and fussing, but mostly fun).
We took a tour of Fisher Cave, which was on the campground, and was very cool.


Stephanie trying out Mom and Dad's bed.

Annie and Steph in the girls "room."




Dave taking it easy.



All the girls spent some time drawing...Annie draws happy faces over and over again. Sarah was drawing a wild flower she found.

On Sunday we got up early and packed up to avoid a thunderstorm and the possibility of packing up a wet tent...yuk.

So we stopped in St. Louis and went to the zoo on Sunday. We got to see a Capybara (the largest rodent in the world), which was pretty cool, since we read this book about a family who took one in as a pet. I had never seen one in person.

Annie is pointing out that the elephant has a mouth...pretty amazing stuff for a 2 year old!



Susan Boyle

In case there is someone who hasn't heard of Susan Boyle, I thought I would post a link to her performance on youtube. What a beautiful wake up call for all of us who judge so much by appearances.

Easter Pics

Some pics of the girls in their dresses. It is cold outside, in case you don't live in MO and realize that they are doing a really good job of looking normal when they are wanting to shiver. Hannah can't stop laughing, which is what she does when she doesn't want to do something...and she did NOT want to come outside.



Spring Fun

Between kite flying and rollerskating...we have had a pretty fun couple of weeks.

Hannah Turns 6

Some pictures of Hannah's Sixth Birthday Party in January! It was a tea party, and she got an American Girl Doll, which she named Julie. We had lots of fun...I think...it is kind of hard to remember. But better late than never!

Still Doing Fine

We are still doing great, trying to get the school year finished up, and caught up on some projects...actually I started one too many projects, and now I am trying to finish them. Dave and I just had an awesome weekend in Omaha where we got to listen to Catherine Levison give an all day presentation on homeschooling. It was really practical and very helpful. Dave and I also enjoyed the time away together, and got a chance to talk a lot about homeschooling, along with lots of other stuff. I have pictures of lots of stuff that I need to post. I am hoping I will get to it soon. In the meantime...we are doing fine.

Some Christmas Pics

A little late, but here are some Christmas pictures...the towels pic is of Christmas Eve, and the pic of Sarah is holding her new Samantha American Girl Doll.

Pictures of Jamaica

I just figured out that I can see pictures of Dave on the trip through this website. If you click on the link right above the group picture, you can see lots more. The two below are of the whole group and of Dave and some guys laying a foundation.

Dave posts on the Jamaica Blog

Dave posted today on the Jamaica Blog. A link to his post is here.

Dave in Jamaica update

I am assuming that no news is good news. They were supposed to arrive around noon, and I know that they got on their flight in Houston. At this point, I won't have any way to talk to, or get a hold of Dave, so the blog, which is linked in the last post is my only source of info. The girls and I are getting ready for a full week of craft projects and visitors. Fun, Fun, Fun

Dave in Jamaica

Dave is going to Jamaica for a week...he flies out tomorrow morning. It is hard to call 4:15am morning, that is really more middle of the night, but that is when we are supposed to be at the airport. Anyway, if you want to follow his trip, this is the blog. He is building houses and doing work...don't be too jealous. It sounds like it is going to be an adventure.

My Favorite Things

I just finished watching this BBC version of North and South (for the hundredth time), and thought I should share that it is the best movie of all time. It is 5 hours long (in 4 parts), but never the less, it is the best movie of all time. I am unwavering on this, so I challenge you all, to post your all time favorite movies. I will begin watching them and come up with a conclusion, I already know what that conclusion will be, but that is okay. Oh, and the only criteria I have for best movie, is that you have to be able to watch it over and over again.

And a very close second goes to this version of the Importance of Being Earnest. This is just hilarious. You will be rolling, really. It is only 100 minutes or so, so you don't have to devote a week to watching it.



Thanks to Stephanie this is my new favorite blog.
It is called Cake Wrecks, and is devoted to very badly done professional cakes. There are sometimes posts with extraordinarily intricate cakes, that are just amazing. But the posts of wedding cakes that were ordered one way and turned out another are my favorite. The most recent one is here.



Then to top it off, my favorite picture storybook. The girls love this storybook. Okay, I love it too. From the Stinky Cheese Man to the Story of Ferdinand the somber bull to the classic Goodnight Moon, it will not disappoint you.

Now it is your turn, please share your favorites...

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