25 March, 2009

Army life and the distant future

This morning Richard called to let me know that it has begun, the call of the Army. Time to get that green duffel, wait it has to be a suit case(I am so used to him traveling with his duffel) down and packed so that he can travel. He has one more class to do before he is completely qualified in his new MOS for this unit.

He has been in the Reserves for the past 7 years, with one more left on his original contract, he will more than likely renew his contract as soon as he's able too.

Anyway we've known since November's Drill or perhaps it was December's, that the unit would be heading over to somewhere in the middle east. So back to today, he calls into the unit to get an update on this class that he still needs and the Sgt said that he's all set to go on 5 April for the month.

We are okay with all of this as this is something that when he originally went to do we were hoping for full time/Regular Army. But because of some miss information he wasn't able to, add to the lack of units that know what they are doing we are still in the Reserves.

In some respects I would love to go full time Army so that we could all be together as a family on a much more regular basis, but then the part of me that really enjoys living out here in the middle of nowhere, where for the most part I am not bothered says what are you crazy???
But then the part where-like right now my little sister is leaving tomorrow for Germany, says leave it all behind and lets go!!!!! Oh my goodness the homeschooling adventure that we could have over in Europe, wow the thoughts just make me all giddy inside. But for now that is not something that we are able to do. Perhaps in the next year or something.

No matter what happens with the Army, we are thankful to the Lord for all he provides us with and we will continue to praise him.

24 March, 2009

The weather here: Rain for the next couple days.

It was mentionted by several people today at my Dr's appointment that the weather for the rest of the week is supposed to be really ugly. Lots of rain, possible tornadoes and just nasty, like 6 inches in a quick time frame. Which really stinks, as I've got all of those trees and bushes to get planted.

I've decided to wait on planting the rest till possibly Sunday or even Mon, depending on this weather front that is supposed to hit us.

We got home after a very lengthy wait time for me to see the Dr, but once he got into my room everything went quickly. My BP was fabulous, I've lost 3lbs-still have a long way to go, all of my other numbers were better than last time, except my good cholosteral-I still need to bring it up some. But over all a great visit and I won't see him again until June.

The wind and the temp are picking up as I write this, should be a great day tomorrow to sleep in a little bit.

Praying that the 3 trees we've just planted hang tight through all of this as the pear tree that is near the house is just starting to bud out.

The other thing that really stinks is that I am still not sure about our garden, I had asked a neighbor about it and he said no problem. But the past two days I've seen him out on his tractor tending his own garden and now with this weather and all I don't know if or when he'll be down to help. But no matter what it is all in God's hands and I trust him.

Updated they all came back.

I just went to the dashboard to check and see if anyone had posted any updates and it says that I am not following any blogs. What is going on????? It is going to take me forever to find those again.

Not sure what happened but I've got them all back. I've also made a copy of them so that I won't have to wonder if I got everyone. Have a great evening.

23 March, 2009

game nights

The last couple of nights the boys and I(Richard too) have played a game or two before bedtime. The other night it was Math War-where you have to have the highest math fact in addition or subtraction to win, Rat*a*Tat Cat-get rid of the rats and go for the cats, win by having your cards add up to the lowest number. We also have a game called Match * It where you have triangle shapes with colors and patterns that you match. You can play just color, shape, or a couple other ways.

I got the Math War at the Base Exchange in Columbus, MS, Rat a Tat Cat-I've had for a while, but got it at Wal-Mart, and the Match It was from Office Max, in the teacher section. The only thing I don't like about the Match It game is that the cards are very thin card stock. I will probably be getting them laminated soon.

Tonight they all decided that they wanted to try Pay Day, which is a great game that uses a lot of math skills. Too bad I am so tired that I didn't tell them how to play it correctly at first and then we got it all figured out. (Note to self, don't read the instructions when you are very tired, you'll confuse your children.)

They played for well over and hour and a half. And it looks like Aric won with the most money. Even Matthew and Jadon stayed up till the very end, I called the game over since I had said we were going to stop at 9. But it was all good and fun, there was a moment where Matthew was getting up set that he wasn't winning when they would play the lottery spaces, but then he got over it.

Not sure what we will do tomorrow night but we will have to begin it a lot earlier. Maybe we will put together a puzzle or something.

Getting more done around here

Yesterday we spent the entire day at home, after being up and gone from 5:00am on Saturday, we all needed a day without having to get into the van.

So we spent the morning making doughnuts-I cheated and just used canned biscuits. We used sugar for some and cinnamon sugar for the others. They were very tasty, but probably not something that we need to eat very often. This was much cheaper than what we can get at the store, as I used 4 cans of the store brand.

Then after a quick clean up, we sat here and planned out our orchard. We have 7 apple trees, several plums, peaches and pears, lots of blackberries, blueberries, and some grapes. After a little bit of a heated debate Richard and I finally figured out how we are(the boys and I) going to plant everything. We did get two trees in and Richard dug three holes, so the boys and I will be out there today to dig more.

The wonderful blessing of our day yesterday was the fact that we found we have a large quantity of compost on our land here.

The story of our place is that is was put up for auction, sold that day to someone, but even before that deal was dry on the paper it changed hands again. Well then it was sold again to a local gentleman, well this man it seems something and pushed a lot of dirt, trees and stuff from one place to another. We have always thought that the area up near the garden has an unnatural grade to it. Well yesterday we were up there looking around and Richard started digging, and found wonderful rich soil, not the clay stuff that we seem to have everywhere else. So all of my new trees will be getting lots of this healthy soil.

The best part I think, is that dirt is at least 2 feet above where our actually ground is. We have a lot of digging to do. I was going to buy a truck load of this same kind of top soil/compost from Co-Op and now I don't need to. God is so good.

The other project we have for this week is to quickly get the tiller running so that we can get the ground ready for our blueberries, these stalks are very much ready to be back into the ground and I am praying that I don't harm them in replanting them.

The biggest project, it is really bigger than planing all of these things. Is getting the pasture cut, I am tacking this massive job with a singe push mower. My plan is to try and cut roughly an acre a day. I am already behind. But we will be getting a second mower this week which will help, as I get the really high stuff and it is more like normal grass Thomas and Aric can take turns keeping the short stuff short. My goal is to keep at least three acres clear so that they have a place to run and play. That first acre and a half is where the orchard is going in, with the berries and grapes filling in around the edges.

I will try and post pictures later today.

21 March, 2009


Today we drove over to Anniston, AL so that the three oldest could compete in the 4H shooting sports event.

They all did really well, Aric it looks like came in 4th with a score of 155 on a re-curve bow.

Thomas has some big time issues, he needs a left hand bow, which we our instructor Kim finally found Wed at a practice we had. The only problem was we all had the wrong parts together trying to make this bow. So we thought that we would just give him a right handed bow-that is what he had been practicing on all this time. But then we pulled apart a different bow and got the left handed one fixed. So he shot, left-with a messed up bow, right-with a good bow, then left with a good bow. I don't remember his score but I believe that it was good too.

Noah did just great probably came in 5th or 6th.

I wished that I had written all three of their scores down. Not bad for only starting on Valentine's Day.

After we left there we went to the new Bass Pro Shop in Leads, AL and talk to a wonderful man that worked there in the Archery department. David was great, he answered all of our questions, even let all of the boys-including Richard shot a compound bow. I am thinking that I will write a letter to the store to complement him, as there were a lot of people in the store that might have been out to buy something, and yet he stayed with us.

We have a lot to learn about all of the different parts to the bows, the correct sizes of the arrows, the proper way to string a bow and sight it. Then once we are good with the basics we will move onto making our own arrows-cutting them to size, putting the fetching, tips and notches on. Should be a lifelong adventure. It was a very long day, I fell asleep before posting this.

19 March, 2009

general update

Baby Bryce went home with his Mom & Dad on Sunday! Marmee(Mary) was enjoying some snuggle time with him Mon morning while Heather was still sleeping.

I ordered a 12x16 lofted barn for all of our storage needs. It should be here by the end of the month. Then we get to make several trips into town to empty the garage stall we've been renting.
The goal here is to downsize until all I need it the lofted part and then turn the barn into our little school house. YEAH!!!! I might even paint it red. We will probably add windows and an A/C unit later.

I am slowly working on getting all of our new fruit trees planted, we've done 1, only 19 more to go. Plus the blackberries, blueberries and grapes.

I asked a neighbor yesterday if he wouldn't mind turning over our garden, and he said yes. Just as soon as he puts his plow on he'd be down to do it. I offered to pay him but he wouldn't hear of that. I am going to now get started on our plants, since I was unsure of how we were going to be getting this garden done I hadn't started anything. We are going to try for a large crop again this year, they are saying that it shouldn't be as hot this year. We shall see.

I am going to order our chickens next week, 50 of them total-40 hens & 10 roosters. Thomas is chopping down smaller trees to build a new chicken coop for me, he has is all drawn out and knows in his mind what he wants, but is already finding it to be a lot of work. We may just have to build a smaller coop with store bought lumber for now and then use that building for something else later.

The septic tank has been emptied, however it looks like it is old enough that when it was put in they never ran a drain field-ya I know, but what can I say this is rural Alabama here. Anyway to get all the proper work we need done, it is looking to be right under $2000.00, there goes that new to us van we were praying for. I suppose the boys could dig an outhouse and we only use the septic for baths.

Our school work is lacking as usual, the weather has gotten really beautiful and after being cooped up all winter they are bursting to be outside. The time change hasn't helped much either, I am at such a loss as to where I am in the day. I HAVE got to get this under control. We have this seasonal little creek that runs on the back side of the barn that they all enjoy playing in. With the rainy weather it all drains down and makes this wonderful creek, but sadly it will be gone all to soon. I pray that someday we have a place with a year round creek, I love the sound of water running over rocks and of course a source of water.

Thomas, Aric and Noah will be competing in 4H Archery this Sat over in Anniston, AL. Should be a fun day that even Richard gets to go with us. We do need to run over to Tupelo today to get a bow string for Thomas's bow. Kim our teacher finally found the left handed bow, but it didn't have the correct string, so I told her that I would get one since she is letting us use these bows at home. She is such a sweet lady too.

We are still uncertain as to what or when Richard will be going to deploy, but we should know a little more next month. He has weapons qualifing, and then a three day paperwork thing at the end of the month. It has a name but I don't remember what it is.

My sister is another step closer to joining her husband in Germany, I believe that they were going to try and leave next Monday, but that has changed. She has an apt up at Redstone to set up her household shipment, then she will get her travel agrangements at that time also. Praying for her as she is a ready to be together as a family, but scared and nervious about leaving Mom and Dad for the next three years. She is their little girl and we all know it. LOL!!!
I also ask for prayers when she does leave as she will be making this flight(I believe that she has said it will be 17 hours) alone with a very head strong 3 year old and a 9 month old.

The boys and I are going to be making a new clothes line soon. I have the lumber, but need to get the bolts, washers and nuts, plus I think that we might need another 4x4. We will be stopping at Lowe's while in Tupelo today.

So that is pretty much everything that has been going on around here for the past week or so. I hope to start more regular posts, but with the gardening season starting I will do my best. I really need to make daily posts with photos of what we are doing in our school work, to help keep myself more accountable. I need a kick in the pants. Feel free to give me one.

Have a blessed day, enjoy the sunshine if it is shinning where you are.

12 March, 2009

Prayers needed for Baby Bryce

He was born on Tues evening, which caused a postponement of our trip to KY. Not a problem, just wish that I could go see him and Heather too.

His right lung (I believe) is collapsed and he is currently in an oxygen tank/tent. They were unable to put him in Heather's room so he's in the nursery and she is having a time with that.

She was able to express and he will be feed that through a tube, as nursing is to difficult right now and they don't want to add stress to his little lungs.

Pray that all is well with this treatment and that they will be able to go home soon, they were supposed to be released today.

Pray also for Mary's mom as she has been diagnosed with cancer, around the same lung that she had partial removed, about 4 years ago.

Father it is through your grace and strength that we are able to do all that we do, I know that you are able to heal these two special people. Give Them both the strength that they each need right now to get better, to come home for Bryce and begin a wonderful new life with his parents, to give his Great Grandma the health that she needs to be able to come and meet this newest grandchild, in your precious name, Amen.