Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's the little things

We called the mechanic yesterday and found out that our car will be ready later today, it'll be nice to have it back home (though I will miss the cruise control, lol). I am thankful that we will have the money to pay them now.

I was watching the kids last night, a very regular occurrence when you only have heat in 1 room of the house, and it is so wonderful to see how much they have learned in the past few months. The middle 3 are becoming quite proficient with the computer and internet, thankfully they really only like to play the Nick Jr games. I was a bit apprehensive but my 3 yr old has learned so much from the games, matching, patterns, colors, counting, and the list just goes on and on, that I don't mind it as much. I do think we will be instituting a time limit though as I don't want them to get sucked into the computer.

My oldest came to me this weekend and told me that I was right about the video games being too violent, he really does not like what he is seeing and hearing at school from the other children who seem to play them a lot. I am glad that he has matured enough to look at these things and make up his own mind.

It has been cold, but having this time together as a family has been really warming and to be honest I don't know if I'm in a big hurry to get it fixed. NOT!! Seriously, a nice warm shower is still very welcome, lol. But I will miss the closeness as the house warms up and they are off playing elsewhere.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Pregnancy, Christmas et al

Well I went for my "big" ultrasound last week and cried as I left, the nurse told me nothing, didn't offer me a picture and couldn't tell the baby's gender. :( It had already started as a crappy day and that just made it worse. In general however, the pregnancy has been pretty quiet, nothing much to be excited about and we are very thankful for that. Please pray that things continue to be that way.

Christmas threatened to be a complete bust but was saved by heading to OKC to meet up with my family. I must say that I am really impressed with Embassy Suites, they have an awesome made to order omelet buffet along with just about everything else your heart could desire for breakfast, I highly recommend staying there if you ever get the chance. The heated pool and the open bar was nothing to sneeze at either :) The kids had a wonderful time and although dh had to leave to go milk and feed the animals, it was wonderful. On a side note, HG was sick all of Christmas day (I blame IHOP) but made a speedy recovery once we got home.

We changed the hose to connect the stove to the propane and there is still a leak, we are still trying to get someone out to the house but haven't had much luck. At least we know that it is the pipe and won't have to waste time trying something else.

On a financial side note, I am very thankful that our savings was able to make it to the end of the year. We will have just enough to pay the deductibles for the car and house. I will begin paying off medical bills as soon as everything finally settles down and we have a bit more to work with. I pray that that will be soon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Quick update on us

Well, we are still without access to the propane in our tank as we were unable to get someone out. We will have to make alternative plans for tomorrow. We are still praising though as we know that things could be much worse. Thank you all for your continued prayers.

For those travelling, I wish you a safe trip and for everyone, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. Don't forget to go to Church :) God Bless.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gas leak

Well the stove is now installed. The flame is a beautiful clear blue. Imagine my surprise to wake up to the smell of propane permeating the kitchen. :( I got the kids dress and then dh arrived with the expedition so that they could be out of the cold, wind and rain. I then left for work as the very nice guy from the co-op arrived to check the place out. The verdict . . . the propane tank has now been red flagged and shut off until official clearance by a certified professional. :( Dh and the kids waited for the propane smell to dissipate so that they could go back inside, thankfully we had the little electric heater and nothing more serious happened as a result of the leak. Pray that this will not cost an arm and a leg to repair. Thanks

In the mean time I leave you with this song I was very amused by:

Monday, December 22, 2008

A wonderful Christmas surprise

A new friend from work offered to give my kids some stuff that her son, niece and nephew had out grown/no longer use or play with, I felt really blessed as I was heading to Goodwill this weekend to see if I could get the kids a few things anyway. All I can say is, Praise God. She mentioned that I might be there a while since they had just moved but I didn't realise it was because there was so much stuff. AR was blessed with a new wardrobe of clothes, EE and HG also got some clothes an shoes and I have and entire room filled with toys that will need to be wrapped. We are so very grateful for the wonderful blessings we have received this Christmas season. I am hoping to have the girls dresses made today so that I can get to finishing up the living room and start working on food prep for the big meal :) Thank you all for your prayers. Have a very Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Have you ever noticed . . .

Have you ever noticed that it is right when you try to stay focused on God and the good that He has done for you, that satan swoops in and stealthily tries to shift your focus? That was my day today. I was all happy and got to work and suddenly I found myself positively consumed by a crazy person and their issues. I'm done thanks, I'll be getting off this ride. So now I'm back to my praising. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


My mom always says, "when things are going wrong, just start praising". I have decided that from this point forward that's what we'll be doing!!! So here is my list of praises from the last few days:
1. God's love and Grace is sufficient
2. Dh was not hurt in the accident
3. Our fireplace works
4. Our house suffered only cosmetic damage
5. Our dog Sammy survived
6. Our insurance agent is awesome and quick to respond
7. Dh's manager is understanding when he needs to call in for lack of sleep
8. All my samples have been submitted for approval
9. My sis and her hubby are always there for us
10. I have some great co-workers
11. We have food in our freezer
12. People are willing to help out in a pinch with great ideas
13. Our children are awesome and don't mind a smaller scale Christmas.
14. My mom had a great birthday yesterday :)
15. We both still have jobs in this tough economy

This is my opening list to kick this off, feel free to add your own praises to the list. :) God is good and He will provide.

And the hit's just keep on coming . . .

Last night we received a bill for $24K for HG's brief hospital visit, our insurance paid nothing. We called this morning and they (insurance CSR) said that they will resubmit the claim. Please pray that they will pay this and all the other bills that came in from that night. It's like a billing bandwagon, I have gotten so many from every possible medical payment processing between Kansas and Oklahoma. :( Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

When it rains . . .

Well, I was hopeful for a better week but no such luck. Dh called this morning to let me know that I would have to pick him up and drop the kids to school as he had spun out, hit the curb and almost landed in the huge ditch at Wally World. As a result of his little incident the front wheel is now rubbing against . . . something or other and the back tire is now flat, joy! The maintenance guy helped him push it into a parking space. Thankfully I live in a small town and my insurance company is always on top of stuff, they got us a call back with the adjuster in minutes. We were really happy to know we have rental coverage, though the 1K deductible is gonna hurt :( I'm not sure how Merry this Christmas will be anymore :( I'm gonna talk to the kids about a smaller scale Christmas, after all it's not about presents, it's about being together and that we've got. Wish me luck!! Anyway, I've got to get some work done, I only just made it in and they watch every minute of my time now. :(

Monday, December 15, 2008

I want a do over!!

This weekend was . . . so many words come to mind, but dreadful probably sums it up best. The winds picked up early Saturday morning and took with it 1/3 of the siding on my house :( The pieces were left littered all through the yard. (The adjuster will be contacting us soon). In the midst of all the commotion we didn't realise that we had also lost power, i.e. no heat. Thank God for the fireplace, dh and AR went to gather fire wood (nicely littered through the yard thanks to the great winds).
Just after we got it all nice and started we wandered the living room looking at the work that lay ahead, we are re-painting the room. Imagine our surprise when we hear a knock at our door (front door no less). He was very soft spoken and you could tell he was broken up about the whole thing, he had run over our Sugar. He thought for sure he'd also hit Sammy but he was safe and sound in the yard when we looked out. The kids took it really hard, they were looking out the window before dh got back to tell us the news and they could see her laying on the road. :( They cried for a bit but our 3 yr old really took it the hardest, he kept crying and asking where his sugar was. Dh tried to cheer him up and took him with him to do his farm chores but that only worked to distract him for a little while. He is doing much better today.
Dh left to get money to pay the hay guy while the kids and I worked out breakfast. As I sat by the fire I called for AR to get my cell as he had said something about going to his friend's house for a project. As I turned it back on I got 2 messages asking me to call my hubby. I figured he was talking and hadn't made it home yet, turns out he got stuck in a ditch trying to find our hay guys house. I got the kids in the Expedition and headed over to find him, he then called the hay guy. When I got there I was expecting to have to pull him out, only to realise he had called so I could spend the time with him. I was not very happy at that point, I left to get gas as there was practically none in the vehicle. As I turned the corner I saw the hay guy heading his way, and just as my tank finished being filled he called to find out where I was. He met me at the gas station and we went home.
I decided to start painting the walls while dh took a nap. I have now figured out why the previous owners used such a busy pattern on the walls. We haven't yet figured out how someone can put in such a beautiful fireplace and have such a crappy job done on the walls. Every seam is visible :( But it had to be done, so we are working through it and taking suggestions.
By Sunday evening I had a migraine and went to bed, there was no salvaging the weekend and frankly I just wanted to sleep off my headache. I was hoping that this would not spill over to this week but when I woke up it was 6 degree with a wind chill of 16 below zero, oh and the kids forgot to get my leggings in the wash. On the upside, my deductible is lower than I thought it was so I'll get back to you. In the mean time, I hope you had a much better weekend and a great week.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Stove buying

I am having the hardest time buying a stove :( The space in my kitchen is made for a larger stove, fitting of a good old country kitchen or a large family kitchen :) The stoves at the store are for the smaller family and leave my space with tons of room to spare. The stove that came with the house was a standard and while the burners work the oven does not :( Since Christmas is the season for baking, that is a little bit of a problem. A stove {oven} must be found!! The delightful pawn shop in Medford buys stoves from restaurant closeout auctions, I called and was told that they may be getting one on Thursday. The problem is, I don't know if I should wait that long. What if it falls through :( My sis is skeptical about used stoves but there is no way a large family can afford a new 36" or larger stove. :( Well, I'll let you know how it turns out, right now I am still undecided. Thoughts?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Green Birthday

My girl loves the color green, so dh decided to make sure she got everything green. :) She is not a huge fan of sweets so while she was excited to have a green cake and green ice cream, imagine her surprise when dh successfully got the local pizza parlor to make her a green pizza. :) This is one of the true benefits of living in small town America, the owner was delighted to give this a try and worked on small batches throughout the day (even requiring his staff to test them out), in preparation for our pizza that afternoon. (Excuse the fuzzy camera phone pics)

Before Baking

After Baking

It was delicious and green all the way through, the kids really loved it. Next year we are supposed to get HG a pink pizza and AR is really interested in a black pizza. The pizza parlor on the other hand has a new promotion for football season and St Patty's day. :)

Here is the wonderful Gingerbread House (graham cracker) that EE made at school for her siblings (no sweet tooth on that one). :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jesus take the wheel . . .

This morning I woke up to a cold winter morning. There was no snow at the farm and dh called to let me know to be careful as the roads in Wichita sounded like they were getting pretty bad. There was so little coming down I thought nothing of it. That is until I crossed the county line and saw several cars turned around, it took a while to stop my car but it wasn't that bad (or so I thought). Finally I realised that it was just an accident and moved on past it at a slower speed. There was only 1 truck infront of me and he was doing about 20, thinking nothing of it I attempted to pass him. The minute I attempted to slow down to change lanes is when it all went wrong. Immediately the car was spinning out of control, at first I thought I was going to hit the truck but I didn't, then the fear mounted as I realised I was spinning to the edge of the embankment and at that moment I was certain the car would flip over and down the hill. My only thought at that moment was "Jesus take the wheel", I didn't know else I could do, and it was then the car stopped. I could hardly believe it. I was sitting across the highway now and I looked behind me to realise that there was no traffic coming. Slowly I turned the car around and drove 20 the whole way to the office. I finally unclenched my hands from the steering once I got to the light to turn onto my street.

Thank you Jesus for sparing my life and that of my unborn child this day. AMEN.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Respecting my time

Isn't it funny how a company can act as though they own you, just because you get a paycheck from them. Well last week I had planned out my work and at the last minute (isn't that always how it happens), on Thursday after 5pm, my boss piles on more work that has to be priority #1. I explained that it made no sense considering the other work I needed to do, but I was rebuffed. I opted not to go in this weekend as I had put in 2 12 hour days this week and frankly if I got sick they wouldn't care about how much time I spent only about the time I would not be in. My two days off were wonderfully relaxing and restful. I was amused to see on Sunday that they suddenly (management) realised that the work I had been going on about really did need to get done and they were emailing back and forth trying to see if I would be in on the weekend. NOPE!! The moral of the story is, if you respect the time of your employees then they will be far more willing to give you more of it. :) On a side note: Pray they don't decide to fire me once they get what they need. :(

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

So you're thinking about keeping a few pigs . . .

The very first thing I would recommend is to choose an area that has really good drainage of water, even a hilly location will work wonderfully. While pigs love mud, they can only stand to be in it for so long, then they need dry ground to sleep and be on. That is not an easy task considering that they have a knack for creating a mud pit wherever they are kept (penned). Obviously if your pigs have the good fortune of being able to free range this is not a problem.

Last night the kids were in the school play and we were late feeding the pigs, imagine our surprise when they greeted at our car, lol. Pigs are IMO smarter than dogs and about as daring as a toddler. They will attempt to get through any barrier you put in front of them and in some of the most surprising ways. While it is expected they will dig, it is always a surprise to see them lift gates or work together to lift the fence.

Luckily, since we have had these pigs for several months now they are used to us and associate us and even our voice with food. They come when called and tend to be very interested in everything around, clothing and shoes are great to taste. While they are fairly easy to keep it is very easy to loose them if you are not prepared. Most people only talk about how easy they are and forget that there is a basic knowledge that most new homesteaders will not have from day 1.

I wish you all the best of luck with your pig endeavor and even though we lost most of ours this year, we go into next year with new knowledge and an eagerness to get it right the next time. They have been very pleasant animals.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving and more

We were invited to a have Thanksgiving at a friend's house. Although I don't have a working oven, I didn't want to go empty handed. I began marinating 3 chickens and cooked up my mother's awesome stuffing (YUMMY!!), each bird was nicely stuffed and ready to go by 4:30. I also whipped up a macaroni pie to be baked upon arrival. The pie was ready within an hour but the chickens resisted my attempts to persuade them to cook quickly. It was hours later before they were ready, at which point we had all eaten and were enjoying wonderful conversation and lots pie :) Dh was asleep on the couch as he had to go to work for 10 (BOO!!!!) :( We all had a marvelous time and this may become our Thanksgiving tradition (less the uncooked food that is, lol) :)

We had dropped dh to work on Thursday night, so the children and I were up bright and early to pick him up on Friday morning. His wal-mart seems to clear out of all black Friday traffic within a short time, leaving the average non-crazed shopper time to go through the items left :) Dh was able to get 3 pairs of wranglers for $8 each and our youngest two got their winter jackets at the same price. Of the things left we got about 80% of the items we considered to be of interest, we were happy. We stopped off at the farm supply store and picked up a heavy duty hay ring at 25% off (YAY!!) and the pigs have finally got their feeder and a shorter water dish. Dh called the hay guy (former owner of our home 2 owners ago) and was able to get him out with a bale for the cows, which made them incredibly happy. :) Then we took a nice long, much needed nap :)

Saturday was a crazy morning trying to get everyone ready for the Vows Renewal Ceremony in Oklahoma, planned entirely by dh (Great job honey). It was wonderful, the Priest was the sweetest thing and we may start going to his 11am service, once we figure out exactly where it is, lol. (Picture to come soon). On the ride home we stopped off at a little pawn shop and bought a few items that we found interesting, it seems they buyout old restaurants and hotels. He is looking out for glass milk jugs for us :) We then stopped off at the only restaurant in town and found out why everyone eats at home, lol. Fr Mike told us that most wives cook in their little town so the husbands go home for lunch, I can't argue with that. :)

These 4 days flew by so quickly I was really sad by Sunday. I didn't want it to end though I knew it had to :( Tonight is the school play so we look forward to seeing AR and EE on stage :) How was your Thanksgiving?