Wednesday, September 30, 2009

God made me take a break

I'm six and a half weeks into student teaching. It's been good but exhausting! For about three weeks now, I've been fighting quite the cold. Well, today, God told me (through my dear husband) that I was taking a break.

Shaune wouldn't let me go to work this morning. Yesterday I went in even though I should have and he didn't want that happening again. It was kind of cute actually -- he turned off the alarm clock and piled an extra blanket on top of me. Then he piled MORE blankets on me and downloaded an entire season of Project Runway so I didn't even have to get out of bed.

I love when love takes this form. I feel so loved, and almost more importantly, back up to 100% for my kids tomorrow. Yay husband!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Long Delay

I've not been much into posting lately for so many reasons. I'm dragging myself through each day as our neighbor has restarted his disruptive behaviors which interrupts my sleep. In addition, my non-work time has been completely split between preparation for the next day of teaching, preparation for the Marathon, preparation for our mission trip, preparation to move... well, let's just say I've been a busy girl.

We recieved a HUGE blessing on Sunday! You can read about it on my husband's and my blog, The Preston Persuasion. God has been working even in my own busyness and lack of time set aside for Him. What a good, gracious God we serve!

Friday, September 18, 2009

We're getting a house!

I'm so excited. Last weekend, Shaune and I had a long talk about where we are and were we want to be and cam to a unanimous decison -- we don't want to be here anymore.

This has been building for a while. Many of you saw the post below about our neighbor. The dryers haven't worked the whole time we've lived here, so several nights a week our apartment looks like a clothing store as every doorframe has been claimed as drying space. Our friends downstairs recently moved to a different apartment in a better school district. Etc, etc, etc. This home served its purpose, but it has come to be time to move on.

We started scanning Craigslist and the classifieds for a rental house on Sunday. We started touring on Monday. Last night, we found the "house of our dreams," at least as far as rentals in our price range go!

Compared to where we are now, it's like moving to Martha's Vineyard. It's a quiet little duplex on the north west edge of town -- the one part of town that isn't a cornfield. There are actually hills and mature trees. We'd be downstairs from a family with three little ones under the age of 7. You can hear footsteps but no voices. Plus, they're sweet, we met them briefly while touring last night. We'll have our own laundry hook up. There is a front door and a back door. And a yard! And a garage! And even more closets than I have now! And it only costs $5 more per month than where we currenly live!

Oh, there's always things that could be better. "The grass is always greener..." We could be upstairs, or have bigger windows, or a bigger yard, or a mansion in a gated community that someone else is paying for.... :-D

But as my darling husband says, "Let's take what the Good Lord chooses to dump in our laps."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Briefly sad news

I was making dried herb tomatoes the other day and my dehydrater pooped out. The motor just stopped running. I have no idea why -- it was barely a month old and I've only used it about 5 times.

So now we're playing the "call the company" lottery. Hopefully it'll get figured out because I LOVE apple chips and haven't had a chance to make any yet!

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Bountiful Harvest

We've been super busy this past week! Although we don't have a garden ourselves, we've been picking at my in-laws house and pulled in almost more than I have time to deal with.
So far we've made 2 quarts give or take of sun-dried roma tomatoes. That doesn't sound like much, but it started as three plastic shopping bags filled to the brim. The bushes are still producing, too, so there may be more to come.

My father-in-law also had more jalapano peppers than he knew what to do with. That provided hours of fun, especially when we kept finding little patches of the oil on our skin throughout the day! My husband got some in his eye; I got lucky enough to avoid that. Next time I think we'll have to get gloves. We froze 3 quarts so far and will probably pick up some more next weekend.

Then, today, we wanted to celebrate Labor Day by, what else, laboring! But this was the fun kind of work. We went to a small country apple farm where they run the tractor out to the orchards and let you pick your own apples. We got just under 25 lb of apples today: 20 (2 pecks) of jonathons and 5 (1/2 peck) ozark gold. Which led us to our next fun experiments...
Shaune elected himself to be in charge of apple pie filling. He manned this cool contraption here, which did all the work for him:

That there is my mom's Apple Peeler-Corer-Slicer from Pampered Chef. It is such a fun toy. I had to stop Shaune or else he'd do all 25 lbs of just that! It makes like a giant apple yo-yo that is excellent to play with. We sliced the yo-yo in half, dumped them into a large freezer bag, and added the spices. We've now got 5 pies worth of filling ready to whip out and bake whenever we need it.

I decided to make apple butter. This is my first experience canning and although it was a little rocky, all 10 jars sealed correctly on the first try! I love apple butter. This stuff started as a full pot of apple pieces and cooked down to 10 cups worth of cinnamony, sweet, perfect goo. We couldn't help taking a spoon and eating a good bit while cooking. I think I'm going to save it and give it away for Christmas presents.

I still have about 12 lb of apples to deal with. I know what we'll be eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all week. I'd like to can more but with the pot I have, I can only do 1/2 pint (8 oz) jars right now. Unless I can borrow a bigger pot, I think it would be too expensive to buy enough jars for the rest of the apples. Not to mention the time. So for now, they're going to hang out in the cooler and be fresh treats, at least until I can come up with a better idea.

Any suggestions?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Student Teaching Update

Kids are so funny. My 5th and 6th graders are finally past that "new-class apprehension" and are letting their real personalities shine. And oh boy! do some of them have personality!

I don't really want to be there, as I've expressed before, since I'd rather be at home caring for my house and my family. But once I walk in the door I'm making the best of it. And I am coming to adore those children. Pre-teens have such a strange balance of child-like and adult behavior. One minute they have their act together, the next they're in tears over something small -- the boys too. They're real sweethearts, eager to please (until the next distraction pulls them away).

If I ever do end up in a situation where I have to work, this is where I'd like to do it. I feel like every day I'm doing a little something for these kids. So many of them have rough home lives. The rest have incredibly permissive parents. What both groups need is caring adults to invest in their lives. I feel very strongly about being home investing in my own children, but I wouldn't be surprised to be back in a classroom sometime in my life.

However! Through all this, and because I'm at an innovative, multiage, continuum-based school, I've found the perfect curriculums for my home school in a few years. That is, once I have kids and they get old enough to play school with me.

If anyone needs recommendations on writing or word study (i.e. spelling) curriculums, let me know! My poor brain can't wait 6 years to try them ;-)

P.S: Mrs. G, I can't access your blog anymore!