Sunday, September 28, 2008

Let the Moving Begin

It's very hard to believe we are actually starting the moving process. True to form, we're all a little bit under the weather and leaning toward the grouchy side of life. Official homeschooling is on a break for another week, though we are able to bring in several "lessons" just through sorting, alphabetizing, reading, etc. I'm trying to keep my eyes open for opportunities. When we left our first load of belongings it included a few stuffed animals. Mia said as we were leaving the house, "I don't want to leave my stuff here in case someone comes and buys it while we're gone." Well, we officially will have at least 30 days to move out so I told her they'd be safe. I think it will be hard to live with the thought that we might have to move on a moments notice but we're trusting the Lord that we'll be here just as long as He wants us here.

Well, no time for more... we've got some more moving to do!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Sad Day and A Quick Trip

We got a call that Andrew's uncle passed away last week and we were able to attend the funeral yesterday in the Seattle area. We were both blessed by the way that his kids honored him at that time. They shared many fond memories of the things he did with them and the investment he made in their lives. They also mentioned how they knew that he loved their mother by the way he treated her and backed up her parenting. They remembered kind things he'd done for other people through the years. It was a great reminder that these daily choices in the way we treat our kids, our spouse, and even strangers, is being noticed, and will be remembered years later.

It was also strange to be at a family function and not have him be there. His sudden death has been a good reminder that we don't know how much time we have here on earth and I'd like to make these moments count.

Today, everyone is tired; exhausted from the quick trip, the intensity of the funeral, and the fun of cousin time. We'll begin moving some things this weekend but today I can't even formulate a plan to get through the day effectively, let alone get myself organized for the project of moving. So, I'm just taking it one step at a time and hopefully tomorrow will be a little more focused.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

House Sale

Well, the buyer agreed to the new terms and we've sold the house. In two weeks we'll begin moving our belongings into the rental in Jefferson. We'll have two more weeks to get everything out of this house and have it all cleaned up for it's new owner. It's bitter sweet. I'm thrilled and excited to move into this new place but I sure would have liked to complete this project. I hope the new owner will let us come see what he does. I will miss my old neighbors and I hope the new neighbors, although further away, will be even half as friendly as the ones we have here. I'm grieving the convenience factor but looking forward to the space. Currently I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around moving again. What should I pack first? Where is everything going to go? It will be helpful to have some time to talk to Andrew tonight. We've only had a brief conversation about this, now that it's a reality. Really we tried hard not to go too far down the road of "what if's" so there is a lot to discuss.

The kids are very excited that they will be moving next to one of their new best friends, "Screamer". Screamer is the name they gave to the very animated donkey that lives next door to the Jefferson house. He's greeted us loudly each time we've been to the house. It will be nice to kind of have a pet without really having it. I'm curious how our cat will transition. Last time it was fairly traumatic and she's been more edgy ever since.

All of this still seems so unbelievable! Now, please pray with us that there will be no purchase offers on the rental house for at least 6 months.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ahhh, Familiar Territory

Well, we're back in Limbo Land. Can't say I'm happy to be here. The possible outcomes are a little less drastic than the last time with the camp. We have an offer on the house and we're in that ugly negotiation phase. We're also in the middle of negotiating on a rental. I don't like negotiating, dickering, whatever all this compromising is called. There is no thrill in the game for me. I'd rather just say, "You want it? Sure, make your best offer. Ok, that'll work!" I was no fun in the Hong Kong markets last year! Andrew would have had a lot of fun. Some people are like that, the whole thing is just not that personal.

So, we'll know by Friday the realtor says. There is a specific piece to pray for. The realtor said that if the appraisal was low or his loan had any contingencies then the buyer's hands would be tied on his response. Obviously we're praying for a high appraisal!

I'm also praying that we do get into this rental house. I have dreams of Christmas baking and hosting, hosting, hosting! It's been years since I've been able to comfortably host. I know God cares about those desires of my heart. I'm praying for more space for the kids to be "wild" as Josiah says, for an easy, quick commute for Andrew so we get to see him this winter when the work hours get long, a home where people can spend the night and there is room for big dinners. That rental house holds all those features but I'm sure many places do. I decided not to get hung up in the logistics but to trust God with details.

If everything falls through with the house sale then I'm going to fully enjoy being here in this house and neighborhood, where we have such great access to everything and Andrew can pop home very quickly.

We'll see. For now. Au Revoir from Limbo Land. This is only an extended visit - I'm not staying.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

More Great Days

The weather has been fantastic!! It is so conducive to wonderful field trips and outdoor learning. This week we studied about volcanoes and Josiah made one from a kit. Thursday we set the lava flowin' for the first time. It was great fun!

While he did that, the girls worked on their puff ball animals. I thought we'd make 1 or 2. They could've filled Noah's ark! Here they are with some of their favorites.

Mia made a dog.

Sierra made a cat.

We're also studying through creation and had the opportunity to go to the Oregon Gardens for their homeschool day on Friday. It was very well done and, of course, the atmosphere was beautiful! We saw a garter snake, large Koi in the pond, frogs and tadpoles. The kids learned about the parts of a flower and different kinds of trees, and they examined the skulls of different animals as well as their, pardon me, excrement.

We could have spent more time there but we got a late start due to our first homeschool PE class at the Hoop. It was wonderful. They are accessing the kids' skills in order to group them accordingly, so this time they were just separated out into three groups of 15 or so kids. Each of my kids were in a different group so that was fun. Sierra was right in there trying all the physical feats: jumping over the lines all different directions, sit-ups, push ups, crab walk, etc. She looked so tiny in between two high schoolers!! All the kids did a great job. Mia, of course, made a new friend so we're already looking forward to seeing Amanda again next week. Josiah really enjoyed the workout and that they are working on football skills. He did great at tucking the ball after a catch.
That evening the midwife came over for my first appointment. It was wonderful to share the experience with the kids. I wish I had a video of them clambering all around to watch and have their chance to feel what the midwife was feeling in my belly and to hear the heart beat. It was a good appointment, unfortunately I found out I'm only 2 weeks from my third trimester so I started to feel the anticipation building and really we still have a long way to go. Add that to the fact that her name is out there now and I'm just ready to meet this little one! Ahhh all in "due time".

Here is a clip of Sierra telling you clue #5 of the baby's name. We didn't get a chance to post it before the name was figured out. Sorry, I'm to computer illiterate to figure out how to rotate the video. Why did I think it was smart to video sideways in the first place?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Eliza Bella Marie!!

Yes, a couple of people guessed it today. Good thing because my little secret keepers broke down again and spilled it to someone else... behind my back of all things. :)

Eliza means several things: (French) consecrated to God, (English) my God is bountiful, God of plenty, (Hebrew) oath of God, and, my favorite, God is satisfaction.

Bella, means beautiful, and Marie, wished for child.

Marie is one of my middle names and Andrew's Aunt's name. I also found out it is the real name of one of my Great Grandmothers, she went by Mary Angel but was named Marie Angelique, and the middle name of my other Great Grandmother, Signe Marie. It is also the middle name of my Aunt Patti. How special to have such a wonderful family name, even more than I originally thought.

Well, it was fun while it lasted but I was starting to feel guilty about the leaks so I'm glad it's just out there now. Thanks for playing - especially Andrew's sisters who out guessed everyone!!

Baby Name Clue #4 - There's been a breach!!

A couple of people are getting close. This is so much fun. If you'd like to see all the guesses people have made, click on the comments link which is written smaller right below the post. It will show you what everyone has guessed as well as my responses. You'd have to check each of the clues to see what they guessed after that clue. You can more easily find those posts by looking to the right column below the music box and click on the blog topic "Baby Name". This will pull up all the posts with that subject.

If you'd like to leave a response on the blog the easiest way is to just click Anonymous, but please sign your name at the end of your comment post so I know who's guessing. OR, if you have a blogger account then sign in!! If you want to have follow up comments emailed to you then click the box that says "email follow up comments" and enter your email address.

So far, Aunt Ruthe guessed one of the middle names, Bella, and the baby's Great Grandma Galeazzi guessed the other middle name but I'm trying to get her to post it on here so I'll let her try that first before I tell you. But, if someone guesses the first name before that then I'll just tell you the whole name.

The fourth clue is that her name has an "e" in it.

So, we have a 5 letter name, with "a", "i", and "e" in it. Good luck!

While riding in the van last night we were informed that our tight knitted, immediate family only, name knowers knew of a breach in the surprise holders alliance! It couldn't be. We knew sweet little Sierra was our weak link, in fact we'd had to back peddle out of a few situations of, AHEM, indiscretion by our 3 year old yackity-yack who felt the time was here to tell some people the baby's name. So far, thanks to the lispy sound of her pronunciation, no one has been able to decipher her slips. But, no, this breach went deeper or should I say older than Sierra, at least by a few years. Yes, we know what happened and we know who you are oh secret holder of the name. We trust you, but we're keeping our eye on you. :) Now the pressure is on, once there is one breach of the surprise name knowers we know it would be easy for it to happen again. So guess, friends guess!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Baby Name Clue #3

In honor of Grandparents Day, and under much pressure from family and friends, I give you clue #3. The baby's name has an "I" in it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another Awesome Homeschool Day

I'm sorry to keep blogging about this but it is the newest thing in my life and I'm loving it. It is so rewarding to push through the hard times and to enjoy the wonderful times. This week we did more science. Last week dealt more with history. Both encouraged us to look for answers, be it on a map or globe, in the yard or in a book, online... you name it. It's been so fun to be on this discovery journey with the kids.

So, we're studying the water cycle and rocks and soil. We've had several experiments which have been fun. One was testing the amount of water different plants extracted and then transcipitated back into the air. We just sealed plastic bags over the tops of different types of plant trimmings and put them in cups of water then compared the amount of water in the bag when we were done. Another was testing our soil - that one was a flop but I don't think the kids noticed. They just had fun putting dirt and water in a test tube with some powdery stuff and watching it change colors.

Today, though, we went on a rock exploration at Larwood Park in Scio. There are two creeks that join there and the setting is beautiful. We climbed all around the creek bed looking for different types of rocks to compare. I can't believe the variety we found! We also enjoyed watching small fish play in our shadows and picnicking near the water. How lucky are we that this was school today!!

Here's Mia looking for great rocks.
Josiah's looking for some rocks eroded by the waterfall.
Sierra found a great example of erosion!
Here we are comparing the density of different rocks by pounding them together.
Josiah was in charge of keeping the records of our findings.
Grandpa Davis joined us which was extra nice for Sierra and I so that she could play with him and I didn't have to worry about her taking an unintended swim.

In fact we should get some credit toward PE for the day, too. One for swimming...

...and one for balance beam.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Cooler parts of HomesCool.

Today, after I was working with Mia on her reading skills, Sierra climbed up beside me and said, "Can you teach me to read now, too, Mama?" It was so sweet. We sat and worked some letter sounds until she was satisfied that she made sufficient progress for the day.

The girls are also working on their "All About Me" books. They've cut out tons of magazine pictures and glued their collages of things they love (mostly cats and dogs) and then we did a photo shoot with them at home, on the phone, with family, etc. Then with that they are learning their phone numbers, address and how to introduce themselves. Mia is really accomplishing these things, Sierra is along for the ride and learning cutting and gluing skills at this point.
Anyway, here are some of their pictures for the book...

A few of Mia's favorite things.

Our white house.

The funny thing about this phone picture is that she totally looks like I'm interrupting her but it was all staged. One of the takes was blurry but it would have been the best, she was actually mouthing some words. Crack me up!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Baby Name Clue #2

Our baby girl has an "A" in her name.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Josiah's BMX Fun

Josiah and I had a fun date. Just he and I went to the State Fair and we brought his bike and all his gear. They made a bmx track with varying levels of jumps and bumps. It's free if you bring your own bike and helmet. Of course we did pay $15 to get into the fair!!! At least parking was free. But, this is what Josiah wanted to do and so off we went! He rode the longest of anyone else I saw out there. I had to force him to stop and cool off in the shade and drink some water. I think we were there for almost 2 hours!

When it was all over he could hardly walk so we stopped for an ICEE to refuel. It was fun! Maybe next year I could actually go for a ride.
Lord, lift me above my own narrow horizons, that I might fulfill your true vision for me. - B.J. Hoff