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. :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Rainy Friday Morning...

Being a house hermit, I kinda like rain. Makes me wanna snuggle in even more! The house is VERY quiet at the moment. The dog and cats are all snoozin, Erin's reading her book, Alana's at the table working on her homework, and I'm checking in here after catching up on making some Latin and French matching cards for vocabulary practice.

Barry has left to go fishing up north with his cousins. No, I'm not sure why DADDY gets to go have fun on MOTHERS DAY weekend. But that's ok...I kinda like it with just us girls. Seems like less work for some reason. :) Not much planned today until this evening...we're going to help set up for the annual library book sale. I figure it's a good place for me to volunteer, as I use the library so much. However, there is a selfish reason...after setting up, the volunteers take part in a little "early bird shopping". And for a book geek like me...well, that's just too good to pass up! I normally don't like to buy books...unless they are resource books that I'll use over and over. But the prices are so good, that it's an innocent little treat. This is the first time the girls will be with...I think they're old enough to help now, and to learn to give back. And then they can pick their own books out.

I'm hoping to do some kind of creative play tomorrow. Maybe even later today. Wish me luck. With this raininess, I may fall victim to the temptation to nap the day away!

In case I don't make it back before...Happy Mother's Day to you all!

Friday, April 30, 2010

New Work

Now that my house is much, much emptier than before...of clutter, anyway...when I'm not cleaning for showings, cooking, teaching, etc, I can create again. This is the stockpile of cards I've done over the last few weeks. They need to get put into the etsy shop (which is currently empty).

And here is my new project... wall art. To "stage" the house for sale, we needed to remove all family photographs (which is basically the only art I had!) and homeschooling maps, kids artwork, etc. So, I kept thinking of what I could make... these are a couple of my ideas. They are done on canvas paper, 8 x 10 to fit frames. They are made with patterned paper, ink and stamps. I'm going to list them at $25, unframed (to ease in shipping, and so that people can choose their own style of frames). Eventually, the goal would be to sell prints of the originals...also as packs of notecards. I really want to push the "Christian" in this venture...quotes, lyrics, Scripture, etc. I want this work to be for Him. My thought behind doing them is that I view my handmade cards as ART...whereas most people see them as trash after taking out the check! :) So, here's my version of art that most people (hopefully) would see as art. :) Hope you like them. Feedback would be great!!!

More Busyness...

I know that excuse is getting old...really old. Will I ever log on here and say, "Hi guys. Me again for the 5th time today...just bored again." Is that possible? Ever?

Well, let's see. Last Thursday we had a showing. It went well. Saturday, we decided to take a road trip to drive by possible houses to cross them off the list. I think we're pickier about the location/setting of a house than the inside, so we eliminate most of them. Out of five houses, only one stayed on the list. And we haven't gone to see it because it is the farthest away from Barry's job...about 35-45 minutes, depending on weather and traffic (currently, it's 20 minutes). BUT, it appears to be a very good house for what we need, AND in the budget. Anyway....

When we got home, the girls and I went to take pictures of Miss Morgan before her Junior Prom...she was on the court. Isn't she gorgeous? And all grown up. Sad.

Ok, then Tuesday night, we had another showing...the same couple from Thursday night. They were bringing the parents and possibly writing an offer. Panic. We have no where to go. AND, neither of us want to face the "offer acceptance decision". You know, how low do you go? Well, they decided not to write an offer at this time. First time buyers...big mortgage.

On Wednesday night, the girls and I went to look at a fsbo house. We loved the old house character. That's what I want. They liked that it was on a creek. Barry didn't like the idea at all! In his mind, old equals junk and work and money. So, we keep looking. I still want my character house...

Another showing set up for Saturday morning. We were going to have an open house, but Barry decided that he wanted to go fishing on the opening weekend. Guess I'll be cleaning anyway....

Hopefully, I'll be posting again today. I have lots of new cards and wall art (my new project) to show you.
Here's a teaser...


But for's breakfast and school! Have a great day!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lambs & Easter & Birthdays, Oh my!

On the Saturday before Easter, we went on a field trip with friends to Govin's farm in Menomonie. We visited last year and the girls loved it. If you're lucky, you get to see baby lambs being born. They also have chicks, goats, puppies, piglets, and horses to see. We had a great time and will probably go next year again!

Alana, Mckahl, Erin, and Hannah (friends from church)

We celebrated Easter at Mom & Dad's, as usual. Barry stayed home to do some last minute house projects, but the girls and I drove up on Friday afternoon. We then went with mom & dad to Minn to Avery's 4th birthday party at a bowling alley, followed by a picnic lunch at a park, church at Eaglebrook, and then a little hike along the river at Taylors Falls.

And then a delicious Easter dinner on a glorious spring day, enjoyed with family. What a wonderful way to celebrate the Lord's resurrection!

Erin & Alana after hunting for eggs.
Easton (2) in his new boots!

Cousins in their Easter finery! Alana, Avery, & Erin

Grampa Videen with Baby Everett. Adorable!

Busy, busy, busy...

I know, I know. It's been like 20 years since I last wrote. Here's the deal. We finally have our house on the market!!! After years of talking about it, and thinking about it, and dreaming about it...we finally did it! Before that could happen, though, some major work had to be done. We had to paint our basement (please don't ask what it looked like before!) and in order to do that, lots and lots of stuff had to be sorted and thrown and donated. Actually, there were piles and closets and boxes of stuff all over the house that needed to be dealt with. So, that's what I've been doing for the past month. Now I'm pretty much done (exept for a couple of small baskets of misc stuff that I need to go through...but am too burnt out to attempt right now) and just need to maintain the clean.
I've never worked harder in my life. Really. And our house has NEVER looked better! It feels SO good. Why didn't I do this before? Because I'm a "keeper" and because my kids inherited my disease. Now we're on the road to establishing new habits and patterns. I tell my kids often that God's plan may not have been for us to move (although, I still feel that it is), but just for us to clean out and simplify.
We've had one showing so far. I guess that's not bad for the first week. Especially in this down market. It's ok, really, as we have no where to go as of yet. I just really feel that God wanted me to step out in prepare and list the house, not knowing where we would go, or when. I've obeyed. Finally. So, now I wait for His perfect plan and timing to reveal itself. At least now I'm waiting in a clean house!