Where We Are: Mid January

We are relying on God heavily. We have no idea what He is up to though He is providing at each turn in the road, usually at the 11th hour. Also He is leading us to live off the gifts He gave us instead of going out and looking for “valuable” work which is VERY scary since painting and writing generally do not make much money. We aren’t in this life to make money and the Lord has laid it on our hearts to do what we are most passionate about, what He has given us a passion for, and right now He is providing through those things, albeit not much and only just as we MUST have the money.

We have heard from the bank and since the check is now 8 months late they are not willing to work with us (how can you work with someone if they don’t have any money in their account?) Seems pretty reasonable to me. What does not seem reasonable is that Shamus has not gotten paid for the 8 months of work he has done. He is not willing to cut ties at the moment because he is working on a book and there is a very good chance that having a friendly relationship with the non-paying company that shall remain unmentioned will be beneficial when he finishes the book and puts it out there.

We are praying that the money withheld will come a the 11th hour since obviously this means we will have to move come the foreclosure.

I have finished up all but the cover art for the card game, the designer is shopping for printers and once they find the right situation will do a 100 game trial run. This means that pretty soon I will have a card game with my art on it for you to be buying/reviewing/promoting on your own site because you love me and want to help us (pretty please?)

Also I have been being very productive art wise and that is producing a little bit of income, which has been an amazing blessing. In fact I posted a new painting to Etsy both yesterday and the day before. Also, if you have a commission for me now is the time to order–other than the box art and illustrations for Shamus’ book, I have 1 commission I am working on that isn’t due till November of next year (though I plan to finish earlier).

And just because people keep asking Shamus how they can help I put together this grocery list on Amazon of things that we use regularly (many of which we need due to health issues) that I will share here so it is out there. Our grocery/supplement wish list on Amazon. I am not asking, I am just putting it out there. Much of this list is why I am not worried about no longer having health insurance. And if you feel led to get us something, thank you.

One of the awesome things is that because the kids are so involved they know about our finances, they know when god has provided, in fact they have been praying for God to provide. So they are growing in faith in amazing ways. In fact, just this morning Rach and I had a discussion about how god has been providing and she pointed out that we shouldn’t worry about late fees since if God is providing the money then He will provde for that too–it’s not like He would leave that out. 🙂 We also discussed the idea of moving to a smaller place and how they will probably have to share a room (and how to manage that and what to get rid of.)All three have had a great attitude about it all and have been very excited to see what God is doing.

Enough about money and where we are financially.

The kids have been doing a ton of cool educational stuff lately. A ton!

Rachel has been inventing. Really, grownup type inventing. My little brother is helping her figure out what will and will not work, brainstorm, and design according to the way his one design teacher (who has 20 patents) explained had to be done if you want to get a patent (not that we are considering pursuing that but still– excellent information.) She is rally excited about this idea and is really working to find a way to make her idea doable.

Rach has also been practicing piano (on our 64 key keyboard) a ton, and babysitting in return for lessons (about 1x a month) which is awesome. After she saves up to replace her Eee PC screen (which got broken), she is saving up to buy a full size, pressure sensitive keyboard so she can really play (for now she needs to go with my mother-in-law when she goes to her church so she can practice on their piano.) I know we could probably et one for free via Craig’s List but we figure we will be moving and don’t want to be stuck with a piano we can’t move (not to mention having to get it tuned.) We found a good keyboard that would suit her needs but it is $200 so she needs to start saving.

All three kids have taken on Animal Crossing again. Rachel has been working hard to pay off all her loans in the game, and work to buy all the furniture sets she wants for each room. She sat down with the strategy guide yesterday and charted out all the furniture she wants, which room it would go in, and how much each thing would cost. She then started working to buy each item– she has already bought 2 of the most expensive items in the game (but not until she paid off all her loans.) If the work ethic she is developing in game adapts to real life then she will be very wise with her money (it already has to some extent– the only reason she doesn’t have a “real” job is that state law requires you to be older. She can’t wait till more people start hiring her to babysit and is looking at taking a babysitting class in order to get more jobs.)

Esther has been reading a ton (per usual) but lately has taken on renewing our Animal Crossing town. We have had the game for several years and play it a lot, which means that we have worn down most of the grass. If you go login over and over for years worth of logins, changing the date forward each time, it will grow the grass all back. So that is what she has been doing. And every 4 days of the logging in Rachel goes in and picks all the fruit and sells it in order to make bells. Esther is doing it so she can get the grass back, then pick all the weeds, plant flowers everywhere, which will enable her to get the golden watering can, so she can then breed roses and finally, after much breeding, get a golden rose. So she is persisting and working towards this hard to attain goal– for which I am proud of her.

Both girls have been working on drawings for a friend who is paying them for his website. They are so excited to have a source of income. They are looking forward to Rachel turning 13(in 5 days) so she can have a paypal and Etsy account. She already has been lining up things to sell, taking photos, and figuring out cost and shipping so she is ready when her birthday comes. This is the perfect situation for my child who longs to be in business. At this point we know she will be selling used Altoid tins as craft supplies for about $.50 each which is the going price on Etsy. She also has lots of other types of tins that she is selling plus ACEO’s and stuffies that she makes. Esther will probably be selling drawings/paintings and possibly friendship bracelets, and Issac will likely be selling rice packs (hot packs), which he loves to make (he made everyone one for Christmas).

Esther and Issac have also been playing a lot of Age of Empires II and now Rise of Nations. This has led to many conversations about strategy and history. Especially Issac who LOVES strategy games and is getting pretty good (he complained several times that he won before he even got to fight. :)) This has also really helped his reading skills since you have to read to play.

Issac has also been determinedly building the K’Nex roller coaster that his aunt’s boyfriend gave him. In the end it will be 3 feet tall and 6 feet long and work like a real roller coaster. So far it is 4 feet long and 3 feet tall so he has some work to do.

Issac is working hard to save up for a good computer. (Esther is too but has been spending more of her money elsewhere– like buying her siblings gifts.) Esther wants it so she can play WoW on it since our old laptop on which she plays has issues with the usb ports and not only is WoW slow on that computer but it is pretty hard to play without a mouse. Issac is saving for it because he wants to be able to play a lot of the games Shamus plays on his own computer (so he can play even when Shamus is awake.) Last time I checked he had saved up over $70 towards the computer. Of course it is going to take him sometime since he doesn’t have any income except holidays and birthdays and his birthday was before Christmas.

So that is where we are. No pictures because it is dark in the house (lots and lots of blankets over the windows to keep our uninsulated house warmer) and my camera doesn’t do dark very well. Once the pond freezes over you will be inundated with pictures of ice skating. In the meantime you can head over to Elasah.com to look and my new paintings if you want pictures.