Tuesday, January 25, 2011

To Form a Habit

We have a room off of the back of the house, off the kitchen, that was built on by the previous owners. I understand it is called a "Florida" room. This is interesting to me because it only feels like Florida out there in the middle of summer here, which seems very unhelpful to me. Anyway.

The Florida room is where Eric decided to put the corn stove he built a few years ago to assist in the heating of our house. The stove heats water which then runs in lines through our furnace which pulls the heat out of the water and pumps it through our vents. He is working on getting more and more of the heat from the stove into the water lines, but because it really heats, the result is that the Florida room, when the stove is running, is toasty warm. When it is not running, you might as well be outside in that room.

Because of a redesign of the water tank, the stove has not been operational this fall/winter. Thus, once it got cold, my mantra began: "shut the office door" (Eric has his office out there). "Shut the door". "Don't forget to shut the door!" And etc. We keep most of the winter coats and boots out there because they were too big and bulky to be in the pantry, so every time they were getting their snow gear on, they had to be out in that room. "SHUT THE DOOR!"

So this past weekend, Eric got the corn stove going. Ahhhhhhh. And now the Florida room is warm. However, if you leave the door shut to the Florida room, it starts to feel like the equator out there and we don't get any of that great residual heat for the house. So -- you can see this coming, right? -- now that 3 months of constant repitition has finally sunk in, I have spent the last 3 days doing a 180: "open the door!" "Don't forget to leave the door open!" Jesse, who always takes the longest to remember a "rule", had just started shutting the door with consistency, oh, about last week.

Childhood can be so confusing.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

January hike....check!

After a long day of auctions and errands...a snowy hike was the pefect antidote to a boring Saturday. Deciphering animal tracks ("are you sure that's not a bear, Dad?"), moments of silence to listen for what else might be in the woods besides our noisy selves, and, of course, being a little "lost" when mom and dad had a slight disagreement on which marker to follow (okay, okay...he was right!).

On the boardwalk before the "real" trail...

No, we're not cold!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In the Mind of a Cold 8-year-old

Our homeschooling lesson of the day, discussing which birds migrate south for winter, was perfect timing: the snow was coming down thick and we were cold.

"Geese. Ducks. Cardinals?" said Sara, with some uncertainty. Then, before Jesse could jump in with correction on what she knew was probably a wrong bird in that list somewhere, she continued proudly. "And they all fly in a 'V' shape as they go south, which stands for 'vacation.'"

Friday, January 7, 2011

Looking forward...

...in 2011 to:

- spending more time "learning" Jesse and Sara. Asking them to do more with us alone, so we can talk and see what is going on inside those heads. Not allowing Delaney and Levi to speak and decide for them as much.

- helping Eric work on his fish/greenhouse idea

- at least one family hike per month, with at least 4 new trails

- “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you." (Luke 14)

- paying. down. debt.

- writing more. I'm not certain yet of what this will look like, but I'm feeling the inclination. Should it be on here? Simply through the little PR/newsletter work I do? Something new?

- to be continued...