Its a post!

Look at me, sitting here, writing a blog post! YAH ME!

No, I have not been in the mood to actually share anything for some time. Instead we have been busy doing and being, and living.  So what have we been doing?

Shamus
Mr. Shamus Awesomepants

*Working.  A lot. Shamus is working 60 to 80 hr weeks trying to keep afloat.  I am taking on (and getting) more painting commissions.  The kids have been helping by attempting to keep the house in some semblance of order.  We are trying to catch up on all the bills that didn’t get paid when we waited an extra 2 quarters for a rather large quarterly check that didn’t come.  We may still lose our house as fall out from that time but we are working hard trying to deal with the situation.

Part of this means that I have a rather large project coming up very quickly that I am VERY excited about but am not sure if I can really talk about yet.  I am very excited about it and if it all works out then in the end I will have my art work on a published card game. In fact, if it does work out then I am going to be sending you all that direction to try to get you to buy said card game because I will be getting a cut of the proceeds and it will REALLY help both our family, and the family I am working with, out.  And the game really looks fun and I get to do all the artwork for it, which is big, but very exciting.  (We just finally worked out the details, I think, and I should be able to start the work on it soon.)  And in this I ask for prayer since it means I will be working off and on on it through the summer (hoping to publish in the fall) and I am really praying that my RA keeps out of the way so I can focus on painting.  I also have lots of little projects trickling in here and there that are helping us out and which are rather fun to do.  In other words, God is providing.  It is a lot of work (the lottery would be SO MUCH EASIER) but we are getting to do what we love.

*Healing.  A lot. Between heartache and physical ache it has been a rough year so far.  We have slowly been healing.  God has been working on our hearts.  For me personally there have been many things that he has had to do heart surgery on.

One of the things He used was  John and Stasi Eldredge’s new book Love and War, which I REALLY need to do a review on (got a preview copy).  First let me say it is awesome!!!!!  There is something for you regardless of where you are in your marriage and just because one part doesn’t apply other parts will.  Also it helped me deal with some other, non-marriage related stuff that I needed to deal with (as have 3 absolutely wonderful friends who have been praying through with me.)

Alameda Park 2010
Rachel up a tree

Also, the girls have been dealing with some heart issues, and today they joined me in beginning Stasi Eldredge’s study guide of Captivating.  I need to get back a hold of the original book but for now the study guide is working out just right to discuss with a 10 and a 12 year old girl.  We are dealing with all the stuff that comes with being that age and all the changes and it was really good for Rach to realize she is NOT alone in this.

And on to the physical healing.  My RA has been bad this year, as has Rachel’s, plus she has had several SJS episodes (one of which triggered the death of a brand new molar– tomorrow we get to go get a root canal at a specialist.  — Please be praying that Rach will do well, that they will not need antibiotics, that it will go smoothly, and that our insurance will cover it.)

Alameda Park 2010
Rachel wading in the creek

Finally Rach  and I sat down and talked about what was triggering us having such a bad year and realized that we had totally fallen off the wagon regarding our eating, especially Rachel.  In the past we have found that going on the candida diet significantly reduces flare ups and Rach’s reactions.  And so she and I decided we needed to go back on the diet, and then the other two decided to join us, to varying degrees.  The down side of that is that it is tricky and expensive but if it helps our health then it is well worth it.  Already I have noticed a huge difference in Rachel’s attitude, mood swings, etc.

* Learning.  A lot.  There has been so much learning going on that I am finding it hard to keep track of it all.  Because the kids are autodidactic I often don’t even realize what all they have absorbed.  And lately it has been a nearly constant surprise.  We will be discussing something, anything, and they will say something about the topic that totally knocks me off my feet.  This happens regardless of topic.  One minute it is mathematical (out of the blue Issac informs me that 3 threes make 9 therefore 4 threes  make 12 and so on), historical (Esther randomly asks me what Thomas Jefferson did AFTER he wrote the Declaration of Independence then decides to go ask her sister because she probably knows), spelling (all three are suddenly writing, a lot, and spelling a lot of words corerctly that I didn’t realize they knew), reading (all three signed up for the library reading program and are reading the maximum # of books –not just for the prize but because they want to), etc.

Alameda Park 2010
"Cool!!! A dead crayfish!"

This morning Issac was watching me cook egg and was giggling and singing about how he loved science and how awesome it was that God gave us science to explore (this was brought on by seeing the hot air rise and make the egg bubble up).  All three LOVE Mythbusters but after watching so many time have started to point out all the things that they didn’t do and other ways they could have tested each myth.  We also continue to read the Bible daily (are finishing Job tonight and all three are actively discussing what is going on and are really interested in listening.)

Alameda Park 2010
"Look at this awesome dragonfly! It looks like it is changing colors!"
Alameda Park 2010
And this is the awesome dragonfly--Esther took this photo standing in the water holding my camera! GAH.

*Going.  A lot. This is the first summer in a long time that we a had a reliable vehicle.  This means we have been spending a lot of it leaving the house– to go swimming at the pond, to the park to wade in the creek, VBS, to visit Grandma, and hopefully soon to several other locations I have been wanting to them to get to see.  Hopefully we will take a day trip to the American side of Niagara Falls.  We also hope to go to several local national parks, orienteering, and finally to visit friends that the kids talk to online but seldom see in real life.  Add in my baby brother’s high school graduation, graduation party, other family parties, and boy are we busy for us.

VBS @ Whitestown Rd. Baptist Church 2010
Esther attempting to fly while Rach plays four square @ VBS.

*Growing.  A lot.  No kidding.  Rachel at 12 is now bigger than I am.  Esther at 10 is bigger than I was at 13.  Issac is nearly as big as Esther.  Gah.

Alameda Park 2010
Pretending to climb the tree and Rachel, or something.

*Playing.  A lot.  Board games, puzzles, books, games, swimming, wading, video games, pretend, you name it.  Currently the big project is the kids are planning a play with friends we hope to visit in August.  Oh, and now the kids suddenly discovered  the fun of a “photo shoot”.  When they got bored at the park I asked them to pose however they liked for a few photos (hoping to get a good one to use for a Christmas card this year).  It went on for over an hour as they ran from cool old structure to interesting rock, posing in all sorts of silly ways.  It was awesome.  Now they want to go places just to take funny photos.

Alameda Park 2010
Acting.
Alameda Park 2010
Love my kids!