I am not sure what happened to this week...but, now it is gone! :-) I don't have any pictures to share and didn't catalog our day each week like normal. So here are some highlights:
Music: As most of you know Elijah and the kids recorded some songs he has been learning on the guitar and we posted them on the blog. I want to thank everyone for the wonderful "outpouring of encouragement" they gave Elijah. It was very special to him (and us). It really helped us see how truly blessed we are with amazing people in our lives! I know some comments may still be coming in as people are getting a chance to listen to it for the first time. It is our goal to worship together (with music) more regularly this year. We really want it to be a part of "who we are" not just what we do. It is so easy with all the chores and responsibilities in life to let the music practice go...but we want to be mindful about that and "stay the course" of learning and growing in this area.
Hunting: Today (Sunday at this writing) wraps up the last day of "adult" deer season. Ben and Paul are out right now. (It is early -- the rest of the house has not woken.) We are hoping to get another one today. Then Ben plans to go out with Elijah (I think it is in 2 weeks) for juvenile hunting week (designated for youth only). I thought maybe I would get out this week...but it just hasn't unfolded that way...I might have to make my maiden voyage into the world of hunting next year. If I get out this afternoon...you'll be sure to hear about in next week's tittles. :-)
Babies: Another friend, Emily, had her baby this week (homebirth). A girl. I am waiting to hear the details about the birth. All I know is that momma and baby are well! I am so delighted for their family. This is their 8th child. Hailey and I have been working on quilting and embroidering baby quilts this week. We have a lot of them to do. :-) It is a labor of love.
On the Financial Side: Ben has gone back to a more traditional work schedule this week. It has been interesting for everyone to adjust to that after having Pappa in our midst so regularly for the past year. He has transferred down here to a local boss instead of working remotely under his PA boss. It is a bitter-sweet adjustment, however it was fairly easy. We only have one working car right now (and have resigned to that being our lot for a while) so Ben takes the Maxi Van (15 Passenger) on his sales calls. (Which seems so weird! But we are working with what we've got.) The kids and I have gotten real used to keeping ourselves busy at home. There was a time, where me being without a car would have really been hard...it is no trouble now. We have also started using the envelope system and being really deliberate/specific about our budget. We are using a (slightly modified version of) Financial Peace University's methods of managing finances. It uses an envelope system of cash spending, with accountability for everything and budgeting and balancing your money at the beginning of each month. (It is so simple and logical! Duh! But it is requiring us change our habits. Something we have become pretty accustomed to doing in the last 5 years! THANK YOU YHVH! (God)) This seems to be exactly what we need. Paying off the farm in 5 years and becoming debt free at the same time is no small discipline...so we thought we should create a greater accountability for ourselves in doing so. :-)
New Friends in the Neighborhood: Another highlight to our week, was having dinner with our "neighbors" this week (they are about a mile away with two houses between us). They are an older couple (but not old) whose children have grown and gone. They walk up our road pretty regularly (for exercise). She is an artist and college art teacher, and I would describe his work as social work (counseling). They love to garden and we had so many things to talk about! :-) They were so sweet with our kids and the kids took to them very quickly. It was a nice visit. She is Jewish and was VERY excited to learn that we keep Shabbat and Torah and even "saw the good" in Messiah. They keep Shabbat too. We have very different approaches to things - as they lean toward an eclectic mix of eastern religions with hints of Judaism and are very socially conscientious with many of the ideals of the 60's and well...you all know where our convictions are. (I think.) :-) Its funny because we are both very hard to "label" or put in a box. :-) So we certainly have that in common. Anyway, we have a date at their place for Erev Shabbat (Friday night) next week, before she goes back to work (she is on Christmas break). We are all looking forward to it. This is no small invitation for an adult couple to ask a family of 8 (with lots of littles) over for Shabbat dinner! That's almost a week's worth of dinner dishes for them, in one meal with us! They are precious.
Ben, Pamela and The Tribe