Thursday, May 29, 2008

Who knew?

Who knew a whoopee cushion could be used to make music? Malachi has treated us to music using his new toy as an instrument. I had no idea a whoopee cushion could be educational as well. He is finding that different boxes can change the sound into something really gross :)

For anyone keeping track of gas prices across the country, the Shell in our town is now at $4.40 for 87 octane, 15 cents more than last weekend, and diesel is up to $5.10!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


We celebrated Malachi's birthday last weekend. Technically his birthday was yesterday but since we had a 3 day weekend we took advantage of it.

As we were planning our activities I was surprised at how many things were closed. We knew we wanted to get out of the valley because it was overrun with tourists. We had planned to go to the county museum on Monday but it was closed so we ended up going to the movies instead. We saw the new Indiana Jones movie, it was perfect for a 10 year old boy!

Yesterday on Malachi's actual birthday we celebrated with dinner and rice crispy treats since he doesn't like cake.

His favorite gift was the whoopee cushion his sister bought him. We are all being treated to gross sounds and lots of laughter!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May Gymkhana

Lorna was able to ride in the May show held last Saturday. She did great! She moved up into a higher division in 3 of her times. That means her times were too fast for the division she was riding in before. She continues to far surpass our expectations with this horse that she was scared of last August.

Malachi continued with manure duty making $25 with the extra tips he got for working in the 100+ degree weather. Paul and I even helped out by setting up courses.

We ended up the day at the museum in town since it was the weekend for "History Days". The hot weather made for a low turnout but we enjoyed the little we saw.

Oh and I'm happy to announce that my store made it's first sale this week!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Differing priorities

Two days in a row Paul was pulled into a discussion with 2 different people about choosing a church. The first was a co-worker who happens to attend an LCMS church we tried attending. Due to their practices we have chosen not to return. The person he was talking with asked if we had any luck finding another church. This led to a discussion about what we are looking for. What Paul noticed was that the criteria we have for finding a church is very different than the person he spoke with. We are very concerned about what is preached, practiced and confessed by the congregation. The other person was more concerned about finding people his own age and believed that the practice wasn't as important. Since he confessed something different than what the church teaches he is also not as concerned about what they believe.

The conversation today was with an acquaintance over lunch. She asked us about where we attend and what religion we are. We always get these looks when we answer this question. The woman said she wasn't non-denom even though she attends one, but she attends her church because it has a wonderful youth group. She said that this was more important to her.

When did church become about activities? I cannot understand why anyone would want to attend a church when they do not agree with the teachings. Over and over again we have spoken with people who say that it doesn't really matter what the church teaches but it does matter what kind of activity, youth group, "insert a program here" is offered. When did this become the criteria for choosing a church? Both of the people Paul talked with mentioned that the church was too judgmental. What it boiled down to was that it is not the church's place to apply the Law. It's more important how you feel, about being included, and having a good time. It's about inclusiveness. It makes it difficult to talk about this subject when you seem to be speaking different languages.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stuff and Housing

Yesterday on the way to a doctor's appointment for Lorna (3+ hours of drive time each way gives you lots of time to talk), Paul and I were discussing this video. As we are constantly looking for ways to get rid of more of our stuff I found the video interesting. In short, it talks about how goods are produced and sold and the repercussions of our current way of doing this.

As we talked I realized how much happier we are as a family since we don't seem to always be looking to buy more stuff. Of course we all want things but there isn't a pressure to buy and spend and accumulate junk. We don't watch TV much, a couple of hours on Friday night sometimes, so we aren't inundated with commercials urging us to spend and buy. I'm constantly aware of the size of our home so even if I'm tempted to purchase something I rarely do because there is no where to put it.

That led us to discussing the size of houses. We drive through some really nice suburban areas on the way to the doctor. The houses are newer and huge. I cannot even imagine what I would do with all that space and I would probably feel the need to fill it up with junk. Did you know that the average size of a home in 1950 was just under 1000 square feet? The average home size in 2005 was over 2400 square feet! That more than double in a time when the average family size is less.

I was thinking about the size of our kitchen the other day. It's pretty small and wasn't meant to handle a full size refrigerator. When we first moved into this house I just couldn't image what I would do with so little space. At this point I've gotten rid of all but 2 pans, 1 griddle, and a small set of pots. We have 2 sets of dishes because I couldn't make myself part with the set received as a wedding gift and a few other things. We own a blender and a toaster but no other small appliances. I've found that our necessities really do fit in the kitchen even with the loss of the 5 drawers that are blocked by the refrigerator. I know that if I had all the latest and greatest gadgets we would need a kitchen twice the size of the one we have.

Where am I going with this? I'm not even totally sure but I do think that the lack of time everyone complains about is related to this topic. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that many of the time-saving appliances contribute to our lack of time. All that stuff means we have to have some place to store it and all that space has to be cleaned and kept up. The extra time invested in cleaning and upkeep takes away all the time (if not more) we save by using the things in the first place. I'm not advocating we through out all modern conveniences and go back to the pioneer days, but I do think that too much stuff can be harmful. Maybe instead of thinking about how much stuff we can keep we should think about what the least amount of stuff we really need is and go from there.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My New Store

I spent the last week setting up my new store.
If you know anyone who uses or wants to try reusable cloth feminine products please send them my way!

Monday, May 05, 2008


Malachi had his first horse riding lesson today.

He was all smiles, had tons of fun, and stayed on the whole 2 hours. The horse he rode is a gentle gelding who is well-trained. He got a chance to practice a few gymkhana events with his sister and then rode through the neighborhood for the last half-hour.

Lorna had a good lesson as well. Ginger bucked once but Lorna stayed on. Considering Ginger hasn't been worked very much over the last few months due to Lorna's surgery, it was an excellent lesson. The instructor is very trusting, here she is working with Lorna on her pocket (the distance between you and an obstacle). She just stood there as Lorna steered the horse around her at a trot and lope.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Saturday Project

We were finally able to get back into the forest today.

Malachi loves to play in between jobs.

It was a good day for cutting, the weather was really pleasant and we found plenty of downed trees to cut from. Next month we will be able to cut standing dead wood and the fun really begins.

We found that cutting on a hill made for a good first trip out since the kids were able to just roll the logs to the road where I picked them up and stacked them in the truck. The day was a reminder of how out of shape we all are, it was hard work and we are all exhausted. It's the same each year, the first few trips are really difficult but it gets easier as the season progresses. We seem to be really sedentary during the winter and spend a month getting back into shape so we can do everything that needs to be done.

Tomorrow Paul will start the property clearance which is due by June 6th. For those who don't live in a wild fire area, we have to clear 100 feet around any structure on the property. You can have sparse plantings but no brush. The fire department drives by every property in the valley to make sure the clearances have been done properly.

Friday, May 02, 2008


It's amazing how quickly I got used to having a vehicle during the day. Last November we purchased a 2nd vehicle due to fuel costs. The savings in fuel more than paid for the car payment and our insurance went down. Since then I made it part of our weekly routine to take one day a week to go to the library, market, and post office. Even though I didn't have any lengthy conversations with anyone it was nice to just get out into town and see a few familiar faces. With the cost of fuel I've had to give up my little trip and I miss it! It's amazing how quickly I have become accustom to something so trivial. This combined with the possibility I might not actually get to join the Sweet Adelines group I started attending 3 weeks ago due to the financial commitment involved makes me feel really isolated. When I think about how quickly I became addicted to outside contact I'm amazed. Just 6 months ago I didn't have the ability to go out and do anything and I wasn't bothered at all. It's funny how quickly we can become accustom to new things and not even realize it. At least we still get to go to Lorna's gymkhana group and lessons.

At the same time I'm beginning to feel more and more of an outsider on an email list I've belonged to for 8 years now. I'm not sure if it's because I'm interested in different things now, the tone of the list has changed, or just a little of both. I just feel like I don't belong anymore. The subject of the list is rarely discussed and I don't have a whole lot of interest in the things that are talked about so it leaves me deleting most of the mail anyway. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but maybe it's adding to the feeling of being isolated.

I have found that overall I am feeling more and more content here though. Sewing projects and lots of fluff books have definitely added to my sense of well-being :)