Friday, April 27, 2012

Keeping Up

I'm not. Keeping up. I pretty much feel like life is whizzing by and I'm only getting a view of its behind. Our offer was accepted on that Jim Falls house. Our inspection is Monday and then it'll be done. We're sort of excited. I've started packing. I've begun preparing for a thrift sale next weekend. Once that's done I'll be in full-speed packing mode. I'm bound and determined to be organized and not get bit in the butt in the end. I'll have some help with that plan. First, the sellers have been gracious enough to allow us to use the detatched garage for storage, so we won't have to move EVERYTHING in one day. Second, my dear mommy is planning to come and stay with us the weekend before moving day. She'll be playing the role of "mom" so I can stay focused. Love my mom.

I'm moving, but I'm in denial about leaving. Mostly about leaving our church. They're family. Love them. Don't wanna leave them. Denial. It's also bittersweet to leave this small town that Barry & the girls have lived in their entire lives. It's comfortable. They know us at the library. And the pharmacy. At the Cenex. I need to take pictures of everything because the girls will forget. We'll need documentation of their early lives. It'll be easier to view this all as a new adventure once we're in the new place. Until then, it's really just leaving the only life we've known. Scary. And sad.

This is a depressing little post, eh? Sorry. I'm tired. I've been sleeping better lately...until last night. Just couldn't get back to sleep after the 2:30 test. And no nap. It's hard to sleep when you have a million "to-do's" milling around your brain. Everything from what to sell at the thrift sale, when to pack what, having to open a new email account and move all of my saved info over (what a pain!), how to get the new house ready, etc. Ugh. Throw in the lack of homeschooling that's been happening over the last couple of months and I'll have an ulcer pretty soon!

Obviously, this post isn't gonna get any more positive, so I should just go to bed. :) Thanks for listening to the senseless ramblings. Hopefully, I'll have pictures after our inspection Monday. We've only been through the house once. And we didn't actually think we'd buy it when we were we didn't retain many details. I'm excited to see what we're buying!!!

Until then...God Bless!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The Lord has put it on my heart to write. No, I don't think He wants me fiddling on the computer any more than I already am. Probably less. But perhaps I could prioritize how I spend my time. My mother told me months ago that I should be documenting this moving process. Why? Because we had been in waiting mode for so long (we listed it for sale on April 9, 2010) that when He finally moved in our lives it would be a whirlwind. I began this blog...and named it "Our Road Home" to document our family lifestyle of homeschooling. It doubles in meaning taking into account our Christian walk...our road home to be with the Lord...eventually. But now, it takes on a whole new meaning as we find our new home.

For two years we "suffered" the hard part of moving...selling in a bad market/economy. We felt that if we EVER sold, the grass would be greener on the other side as we got the "fun" job of finding a new home. We watch "House Hunters" all the time. Fun. Being the picky ones. (Not that picky. We're constantly screaming at people on that show. You know, the ones who complain about paint color, one sink in the bathroom, no granite or stainless steel. Get over yourselves.) Anyhoo, it was supposed to be fun. But it isn't. It's hard. And we've spent SO much computer time, and gas, and weekends looking for the perfect home...that doesn't exist.

Barry wanted hunting land, close to work, and close to fishing. And a house that needed no work or maintenance. The girls and I wanted privacy, land for chickens (and maybe goats), and an old house with lots of character. Oh, and we had a budget. Dang budget. We put our first offer in on the 1910 farmhouse in the previous post. They didn't even counter our offer but said they were going with another offer. (I actually think they're going to try to get more money at auction at the end of April). We put a second offer in on a 20 acre, newer, bigger home, priced way over our budget...but in we gave it a shot. No go.

So now, we're in negotiations part 3. And surprise,'s a 1969 ranch on 1 little acre. It's a classic big as our house, with an unfinished basement to expand into. We should know tonight or tomorrow whether we have a Jim Falls address now. We'll see. I'm trusting God.

I'm trusting Him to give us what we NEED...and to protect us from what we didn't. We've learned to be patient and wait. Well, maybe "learning" is a better word. I've learned to hand over pride and control, admitting to Him and myself that I can't MAKE much in life happen. I can only do what He enables me to do...and then RELY on Him for the rest. We've learned to compromise, and to think as a family and not just as an individual. We've grown. And I'm sure He'll have fun with us over the next month and a half as we tackle moving...growing us some more. I'll thank Him for these trials because I'm growing more like Him. God is good.

If the offer is accepted, I'll keep you posted with some pics the next time we're there. :)

Thoughts for the day:

Matthew 17:27

New King James Version (NKJV)
27 Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money;[a] take that and give it to them for Me and you.”

Jesus could have just created a coin to give Peter, but He didn't. Jesus provided FOR Peter, but expected Peter to DO use his God-given abilities to get it. I can trust the Lord to provide. But I'm also expected to use my talents and gifts to do some work. In my my house and loading up my small petting zoo into the van for showings. Can you say STRESS? But obviously, we were able to do the work...we survived it.

2 Chronicles 7:14

New King James Version (NKJV)
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Really, He really just spelled it out simply, huh. Do these 4 things: humble yourself, pray, seek Him, and turn away from sin. And He'll forgive. Wow.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


This week we received an accepted offer on our house...that's been for sale for nearly 2 years. That's a LONG time. Hopefully, this is the end because, honestly, we're all a little out of juice. But, now the work begins. We still have no home to go to and lots of stuff to pack.

Yesterday we spent the day in Chetek looking at four houses. Two were nixed. Two remain contenders. Actually, one for me and one for hubby. :) They are nothing alike...kinda reminds me of a certain couple I know. :)

So here are a few pics of the house I want (at least until my mommy talks me out of it!)

It's a 1910 farmhouse on 20 acres with no visible neighbors. :)

Here is the kitchen taken from the dining room. The house is in 75% 1910 vintage and 25% 1970 vintage. I'm keeping the 1910 and leaving the 1970.

The kitchen sink/window. Love the stainless steel sink with seamless stainless drainboard sides! Barry hates the black hinges on the cupboards. I'm undecided on them but do love that they're painted white.

I'm really not sure what this sink area was for??? Any ideas. The first floor shower is directly behind it. Oh well, guess they call this "character".

The main floor bath...and where 1970 begins...

But hey, it's a main floor, full bath.

The laundry is in the main floor bath. But,'s on the main floor, right?

The entryway. Nice wallpaper, eh? Yes, this is part of the 70's addition. Like the closet though.

Does anyone else see their grandma's house? The paneling. The sweet swag lamps hanging from the beams. The green carpet. The floral furniture. The faux-brick fireplace.

At least it has a fireplace.

Other half of the living room. The door leads to the deck.

This is the "office". It'll work for the computer and a few school books.

The upstairs bath. I think it's cute. This is where the 1910 vintage takes over. :)

This is an open area at the top of the steps...being used currently as a sewing/crafting area. Yea!!!

Original wood floors. I know...I'm a nerd.

Love the original panel doors and black iron knobs. I I'm REALLY a nerd!

So, that's my house. Barry liked the 1980 ranch with nothing needing to be done on 5 acres. Boring. Can I add that MY house has 20 acres (including deer tracks and poop), a poleshed that will hold HIS truck and boat, is closer to work, AND is $20k cheaper. Hello???

Thursday, January 12, 2012

And so it begins...

I truly have nothing against playing sports. I played ball. I loved watching Tony play ball. I thought years ago that sports would be a big part of our lives. But our life has changed a lot over the past few years. God has replaced the world. Home has replaced school. I think way too much emphasis and time and importance is placed on kids sports. And they start so young! This is Erin's second year and she's in 4th grade.

But, she's loves playing ball. And the exercise is so good for her. As is working as a team. So I support it. I let her dad take her to practices...I think they should have special time together, as I'm with them 24/7. Saturday was their first game. Barry was the coach. I planned on sitting down and staying quiet. That didn't happen. Go figure. :) I was just helping. And my voice carries lots farther than Barry's. Go figure. :) went much better than we thought it would. Erin was... awesome. Fearfully so. Now we'll have to face decisions regarding school and sports, blah blah. For now, I'll relax and enjoy watching her play.

I'm still feeling tired. Apparently it's supposed to take a while and I need to learn patience. :) I saw the doctor again and had a LOT of blood sent to the lab. I should know most of the results by tomorrow, except for the test for celiac disease. That's a possibility that may be causing the iron absorption issue. So, I continue to rest and learn to delegate.

Not much else is going on. We had our first snow storm of the season last night and today. Finally, some snow. And cold. Nice.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011 In Review

Wow! It's been so long I don't even know where to start! One of my resolutions (if you want to call it that) for this year is to start blogging again. I'm really not sure why I stopped. Life just got away from me I guess, and blogging fell to the bottom of the priority pile. I'm finding that my memory isn't what it used to be (just like everything else!) and I appreciate having the blog to reference, so I'll give it a go. Obviously, there's no way to unearth all that's happened since I last wrote, so I thought I'd share a few highlights of the past year, good and bad.

And now, 2011, in no particular order...

The saddest and most traumatic event was the loss of our cherished friend of over 7 years, Cassie. She had had bladder issues for a few months...I tried antibiotics, better food, supplements...everything. Then one day she woke up and couldn't use her hind legs...she had blown a disc in her spine. Our vet practices animal chiropractic, so we tried that 3 times with muscle relaxants, with no improvement.  She couldn't walk, couldn't control her bladder, and sometimes she would totally lose her mind with pain. That was no way for my best friend to live, and so I made one of the hardest decisions of my life. The girls and I were with her when she left us. She knew how loved she was...and so did we.

On a much cheerier note, Tony graduated from the U of M in May with a major in Sports Management. We are so proud of him!!! He has since moved out of his "college house" into an apartment shared with friend, Joe, in Fridley. He has a job at Aldi's while he continues to search for employment in his desired field and/or consider another direction.

The girls had agreed to a 6 month wait before looking for a new dog. Of course, they failed. :) Soon they were scouting Petfinder on a daily basis looking for our new companion. It was Barry who was attracted to Beagles...probably because Cassie was the first dog he had really bonded with. And they have such sweet, friendly faces! The girls spotted a couple of Beagle sisters in Clark County before they were even eligible for adoption. The three of us made our way to Neilsville on a Friday in June, and came home with the "brown one" who we named Molly. Long story short, Saturday we made the trek again to bring home the "white one", Maggie. And I've been running ever since!

It seems they may have had a rough first year because Molly is scared of everything and everyone! Maggie is so laid back you could call her lazy. They are crate trained (mostly) and are attached at the hip. They sleep together, pee together, wrestle get the picture. :)

This summer Polk County had one heck of a wind storm. Mom and Dad lost a ton of trees on their 4 acre property. By the hand of God, none touched the house. The were truly blessed. And now have lots of firewood. :)

Barry, in answer to many prayers, accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior early in the year. Praise God! He's REALLY not a "get up in front of people" person, so being baptized in the faith really wigged him out. In answer to this prayer, our dear friends, the Prissels, opened up their home and pool to those wanting to be baptized in a more "casual" way. Barry, Alana, and Erin each decided the time was right. What a blessing!

On August 1, Barry began his new job at Chippewa Sand Transport. Ruan had been downsizing its Eau Claire office, and we just didn't feel secure. CST hauls sand to and from a sand mine and processing plant located in Chippewa Falls. It is a Christian company which I love! They are family friendly and everyone seems to give 100%. Ironically, it is located on the north side of Chippewa, near the lakes that Barry loves to fish. We had wanted to live in this area, but there were no jobs in the area. Well, now that this prayer has been answered, we're just waiting for our house to sell so we can move north. Right now Barry's commute is about 45 miles each way, which takes too much time away from our family.

Ok, this is a little silly, but in August we visited a truck show in Eau Claire. Alex Debagorski, from Ice Road Truckers, was there. We waited almost 2 hours in line to meet him. I don't think we'd do that again, but it was neat. He's a Christian man, and we enjoy him on the show.

In September, we joined a Christian homeschool group that meets in Eau Claire once a month. We thought it would be a good way to give the girls classroom experience and maybe give us all an opportunity to meet new people. So far, the girls aren't loving it...and the social part is not really something I "need" at this point, but we'll see. I like the field trip opportunities that the group affords.

We really enjoyed one such field trip in early November. We visited a Christian ministry farm in Whitehall to see how honey is extracted from the hives. Because it was so cold, the bees were moving slowly, allowing us to get very close without much threat. We had a great time! And really enjoyed being "beekeepers".

Happy Birthday! This year, Barry turned 51, Tony 23, Alana 12, Erin 10, and me, 38.

Erin learned how to mow the lawn. She loves it! And takes her job quite seriously. Dad enjoys the break. :) We also put a LOT of work into our landscaping. Brother-in-law, Rick, decided one day that we should rip up all of our dying bushes. Ugh. It DOES look much better, but we pray we never have to dig up, wash, and replace landscaping rock ever again!

And that about covers it, although I'm sure I'll have to come back and edit because I forgot some huge thing! 2011 did end on a bit of a stressful note regarding my health. A couple of weeks ago, while I was making lunch, I experienced a minute or two of double-vision. This, combined with an evening of world-spinning dizziness three weeks before, had me worried. I got into see the doctor that night, and he shared my fear of MS or brain tumor. He sent me to the lab for a blood work-up and then would schedule an MRI the next day. Surprisingly, the next morning he called with news that I was "alarmingly" anemic. My hemoglobin was in the 7's and shouldn't be lower than 12. Well, that explains a lot: my fatigue, headaches, high & low blood pressure, dizziness, heart arrythmeas, etc. I just thought I was getting old, out of shape, and don't sleep well.

I had an ultrasound to check for bleeding, in case that was the cause of the anemia...which came back negative. Because double-vision is such a serious symptom, and not automatically explained by the anemia, we went ahead with the MRI. Not such a fun experience. I prayed the ENTIRE time. God was with me. Before dinner that night I got the call saying everything was fine. Praise God! He
So, until something else happens, we're assuming that all symptoms were caused by the anemia. And that the anemia is probably a combination of not enough iron/B12, and malabsorption. I'm now hitting the books to figure out how best to treat myself as naturally as possible. And I've been trying to rest more and "take it easy". It's been very hard for me to "let go", but I'm learning to delagate more to the girls...which is good for them anyway.  Obviously God knew who he was dealing with...He knew I'd never go to the doctor to find the anemia unless I was scared by something as big as a brain tumor. He's so good! Healing me of the anemia may change my life...I just might have the energy to do all of the things I want to do!

Well, life is calling. I'm hoping I stick to it and see you back here within a couple of days. I pray that 2012 brings you all health and blessings.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Laziness

I guess that's my only excuse for not writing. It's amazing how quickly I can get used to the summer schedule! No piano lessons. No school on Monday or Friday (well, besides normal Bible devotions and reading). Afternoons at the pool on sunny days. Naps on those that are not. :) We've been pretty active on weekends, though. Barry's been doing lots of fishing with the kids. Last weekend we visited the Farmer's Market in downtown Eau Claire. The weekend before, we took a trip up to Wissota State Park (it was free state park day). And then we have church and church softball on Sundays. It's been nice. I'm still hoping to "play" more with my creative pursuits. But lately, reading has taken priority.
Yesterday, Barry went fishing, alone, for his Father's Day treat. To console the girls, I took them to the park. They wanted to go to the volleyball courts to make one of their "nature" houses. They are so creative, they blow me away! While they were working, I walked the dog and then took some pics of the local beauty.Which, of course, includes my girls! Isn't this "house" cool?!?!?
The girls have also taken a sudden interest in learning to mow...with the rider, of course! Erin is still too little...she's not tall enuf nor heavy enough to keep it running. But Alana should be helping out Daddy very soon!  Did you know that I've NEVER mowed the lawn? I know, funny. My dad never taught me (we grew up with a not-so-great lawn...lots of rocks, twigs, weeds....and I don't think Dad wanted us destroying the mower. :) So, I never learned. Then I got married. Geez, I  mean, he needs at least ONE job around the house that's all his, don't ya think?

Friday, June 4, 2010

A long, long time...

Wow! Where have I been??? Good question. I guess May is always busy...just like every other month, I guess. But, hey. I'm back in under a month! Whew! :)

Ok, we have officially finished up piano lessons for the year with the girls' recital. They are already way better than I ever was, even after just a few months of lessons. They can read notes and play with both the same time! (way beyond me!) I'll miss the music of their practicing and our afternoons outside at the farm...the girls will miss the baby kittens who recently entered the world. But it will be nice to have that afternoon back...and not have to harass the girls to practice every day!

This month we also discovered the Chippewa Valley River Bike Trail. The girls and I had looked at a house for sale in Meridean, and noticed the Bike Trail there. So, one evening when Tony, Dad, and Erin went fishing, I surprised Alana with a trip to the bike trail. We loved it! Talk about nature galore! Peaceful, quiet. Awesome. We brought Dad and Erin back for an afternoon ride a couple of weeks ago. And we'll be back several times this summer, I'm sure!

No action on our house. We had an open house on the 14th of May and had one interested visitor, but nothing since then. I've been focusing on being content where we are...which really isn't that hard. We like our house a lot...there's nothing wrong with it and it has plenty of room. Maybe God is keeping us here for the summer to enjoy the nearby pool...or even to reap the harvest from the garden. Or, maybe we were never really intended to leave, but to just get our house cleaned out and to simplify. Either way, I'm ok with following God's plans...they always turn out better than my own! In the meantime, we keep an eye on houses that come on the market, and go to open houses when any look interesting. We're working on narrowing down what we really need & want and what we're willing or unwilling to compromise on.

We spent a couple of days up at my mom & dad's for Memorial Day Weekend. My sister and her family were there, as they were inbetween houses. (They sold their house and are renting a cabin on a lake for the summer while their new house is being built.) It was nice to see everyone. My niece and nephews are growing like weeds!

Not much happening in the creativity department. I'm not sure what my problem is. But then, maybe it's not a problem afterall. Just feel like I'm drifting...without a purpose. Well, I guess I have's not all as dramatic as that! My main purpose here & now is to care for my family and teach my children...and trust me, that keeps me plenty busy!!! (And we homeschool breaks here! And yes, my kids are not fans of mine right now!) But every so often, I feel the nudge to do more...whether it be creating art to sell, writing...something. And then other days, like today, nothing. I stopped at Michael's yesterday to buy myself a little something to try to jumpstart my creative mojo. We'll see if it works. After school, laundry, lunch, vacuuming....and a nap. :)