Where we are: November

So it has been a month and I have had nothing to say.  Too much going on, too much social stuff irl so not enough energy to share elsewhere.

Rachel, waiting and reading, at Esther's practice where she would later help paint the set.
Waiting for practice to start.
Ready to go in.

*Esther’s show went wonderfully.  She loved it.  She is not passionate about the stage but enjoys the social aspect of it.  When asked if she wants to do it again she says absolutely.  When I am asked whether I would do it again, I say I will consider it.  It was exhausting.  I did not enjoy dealing with the sort of grownup who wants to be involved in such things– the nastiness, backbiting, shoving, and shouting were all way too much for me (not me, I avoided it like the plague but it was a constant undertone in the whole thin despite it being a “Christian” organization though it didn’t phase Esther in the least.  So, we will see what the next show is and if it falls during a time when there is not much else going on.  Oh, and no photos from the show because we weren’t allowed to take ANY photos of the kids in costume on the campus at all– so we would buy the not so great cd of photos for $10.

*Esther turned 11.  She wanted a birthday party, which we had 2 days after Thanksgiving (her birthday was the day after the last day of Oliver! and I needed to recuperate after having to have her at the college EVERY, single, day for 3-6 hours for a week so we waited for the party.)  The party went well (family party overlapped with a friend party–we had family there and invited a few friends and their families), she is thrilled that she finally had a real party and everyone is happy.  And I forgot to take photos because the kids had my camera batteries in use in the Wiimotes.

*My muse left me completely and I have a few illustrations to finish for the project so I can call it done so I am very frustrated.  Instead my brain went completely left brained and I spent the last month suddenly finishing all the websites that have been waiting for me to work on them (other than my own).  So those are mostly done, which is good, and now I am at a place where I am almost ready to pick up my paint brush again.

Rachel as Susan from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

*Rachel is adoring piano.  We are praying that we will continue to have the money to pay for her lessons (we pay about half what the other classes in the area cost but are dwindling down to the dregs financially and unless we get the check owed us soon are going to be worrying about where the next meal comes from let alone piano lesson.)

She and Issac also spent about a week making stop animation Lego videos– or at least taking photos for them (I have to find a better movie maker that will let me throw all those photos in for them–haven’t found a simple one for Ubuntu that works with stills.  They took over 300 photos.  They made a house building movie, a roller coaster ride, a sword fight, and a few others.

Building a House
Building a House

Preparing to record.

The Sword Fight

*Issac wrote a post on his blog, finally (it only took him a year).  Actually he was nervous of actually typing it himself but he answered the questions and told me what to write.  http://www.elasah.com/Issac/ He has also been getting really into Esther’s new Scribblenauts game (as have all three in fact) which is awesome because in Scribblenauts you have to write in anything you want or need to solve the puzzle and you have to spell it correctly (the other day Rachel wrote Duke instead of duck, and got a duke, and wrote plan and plane instead of plain and got both of those– which of course did not help her solve that particular problem.)  He is going around with a huge list of words on a sheet of paper so he can spell them corerctly and reading, reading, reading.

He also has thoroughly enjoyed the huge piles of leaves this year.

Happy leaf pile
Adding leaves
Very tall leaf pile

*We finally managed to figure out all the stuff the mortgage company wanted  (lots of no you don’t need that, oh wait yes you do, oh you forgot to send us that thing that you sent us twice sort of business since April) and are now plugged into the next step in project maybe they won’t foreclose on our home after all.  We keep praying about this and trying to decide how best to manage it.  If God wants us out of this house then the bank will probably have to take it because it needs to much work done for us to sell it at what we would have to in an area where houses aren’t really selling.  If He wants us to keep it then He needs to help us make more money (down to just the Escapist’s random checks and my random bits of income which only pay for extras) or provide some other way.  Either way we are trusting him but it is a relief that something is happening, finally and knowing that if we DO have to move it won’t be until June-ish. That said the roof is leaking again. Praising the Lord that it does or we never would have been able to afford the house in the first place.

Some pumpkins.

*We are thoroughly enjoying having more time with Shamus now that he is down to working a normal work week (he worked 60-80 hours before).  We actually got to watch a movie together last night (How to Train Your Dragon–hilarious).  Esther has used her birthday money to get a WoW account to play with him (as he works on his new Let’s Play series– his best work yet.  He is working on a game, and a book, and another video series and much calmer and happier, or would be if the whole where will the money come from thing would get settled.  I think that if the Escapist paid regularly– either on the quarter instead of some unknown time after or maybe even monthly, he would be much calmer and able to just enjoy writing for a living.

Esther Cat picking a pumpikin

*A dear friend gave us a copy of Restoration: Returning the Torah of God to the Disciples of Jesus which has changed our view of The Bible in amazing ways.  It has really been eye opening.  I read it myself, sharing some choice passages with Shamus and now we are reading through as a family (having finished our yearly through the Bible reading as a family early.)  It is so exciting to discuss and share and see the Bible from this new point of view.  I do not yet feel like I am up for discussion about it but we are now celebrating Sabbath and the Biblical holy days and it is so much more “real” and true than all the made up celebration days that have felt empty.  Not only that but God is really blessing us through it– the kids even get excited when it is near Sabbath each week.  In fact just a few weeks ago Esther realized it was Friday and shouted with joy, “Mom, tomorrow is Sabbath! That is my FAVORITE holiday!  And we get to celebrate it EVERY week!”  Not only has it changed our viewpoint but it has made us eager to start the new year and dig into the Old Testament scriptures and find the things we have been missing.  It also made reading the New Testament (we read straight through this year) make so much more sense!

My crew (Issac is Batman, again) with Kayla (Snow Princess).

*Shamus and I got each other Walk It Out for Christmas thanks to Janel’s review of it.  We love Wii Fit and the kids and Shamus love Dance Dance Revolution but we needed something that would be  low impact for me and let us walk with lots of goals and variety (walking outside here doesn’t happen much except in the summer since we live in Western PA where the weather and roads are not designed for walking– unless you like being forced into the mud/snow by cars whizzing by at speeds well in excess of the speed limit on blind curves while trying to trudge up a hill.) So, Walk it out is good and fun and as Janel pointed out here you have to use will power to STOP working out.