Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pondering the month of Feb

"Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Wathc your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny." - Unknown

Outside my window,  night time has fallen. The window shades have been pulled down and flipped to the tightly closed position.  The soft comfy evening light is cozy inside my warm home.  I am listening to the familiar sounds of the evening that have fallen into this little sitting room while  the children are shuffling into their little areas to crochet, play the piano, draw at the table or play with legos.

This evening, in the learning room, Beloved has his ipad opened to his study guides.  For the last two years, he has been learning new planes, taking his last 2 classes for his Graduate degree and doing Pilot test add-ons all the while learning a new job.  I am thankful for the fact that we should be getting close to calling it quits! He only has his thesis class to do after this research class which he finishes in three weeks.  Apparently, we do everything full throttle!  If you have been keeping up with us, we have just moved from one thing to another!  Moving to a new state this past year, having a baby, moving into a new home, along with the things mentioned above, I can only shake my head and laugh with a sigh. I wonder what life on cruise control is like?  No. I just wrote that last statement and I answered my own question with "boring" and probably a little "scary"'.    There is a saying that my Beloved often quotes, "The pain of staying the same has to be greater then the pain of change." So, true. But, for me, I am so use to "change" that it is easier for me and I am baffled by the thought of "staying  the same".   

In a friend's email recently, I was asked, "What have u been reading lately?"  I took off several semesters from my Graduate program so that I could deal with just being pregnant last year, moving, and also due to Beloved having  a busy year so I really haven't had to do restricted subject reading.  However, I have still been in research mode.  I have been on a "American Pioneer" kick for awhile lately. I have enjoyed reading the old journals of the 1800's. I also have been researching those people that live "Off the Grid" for a while lately too. The people are fascinating and I find everything about them delightful yet just eccentric enough to keep me interested in them.    Their lives keep me thoughtful and I have been pondering lately -- Retirement!  Beloved has 26 years in the military. We have 7 more years until he has to mandatorily retire. He wants to go all the way to the very end.  So, all the way we go. Meanwhile though,  we both keep our spiritual ears open to God's direction and I have known that Beloved has considered being a Missionary Bush Pilot for an extremely long time.  And, it seems he entertains the idea more frequently as we get closer to his goals.   So, the other day while standing in the kitchen, I said to him, "I guess I better learn what I can about living off the grid, remind myself about what compound life might feel like again,  and how to make things by scratch so if we are on the Missionary field we can have a little taste of American food, because I fear you are going to take me to the Jungle."  He smirked. His smirks mean that my off the wall statements are not so "off the wall" and are probably fairly close to what will be reality!  So, as the Christian song with the lyrics, "Lord, Please, Don't send me to Africa" begins to play in my ears more and more, I tend to focus more and more in that direction.  

So, although, it is in the back of my mind,  I have not had the chance to compile a long list of research for it yet.  So, before I dive in instead of just casually picking up something here and there, there is a book on my nightstand that I want to finish reading. It is called, "Out of Captivity"  and it is a book that I bought for Beloved for Christmas. He is a little too busy to focus on it but he sat through one of Keith S's briefs and remarked that he would like to read it. So, I bought it and now I have cracked open the spine and put a crease down the middle.  This is probably a book that will stay with me for a long time. It is about  3 American civilian contractors whose plane had an engine failure and they crashed. They all survived the initial crash but 2 of them were executed  and the rest were taken captive by a terrorist rebel group. They  survived 1,967 days before they escaped!  Into just the first three pages, my heart was racing, my eyes were speeding up as the action became more alarming and when I had come to the end of the chapter, I had to take a "oh my" breath.  I turned the page to go into the second chapter only to realize I wasn't on the second chapter. I had only gotten through the prologue!  That one little prologue had me asking tons of questions to the point where Beloved filled in some of the details so that I could put my heart at ease!  Yes, I cheated. If it hadn't been for him filling in the details, I am sure I would have read the last chapter right then and there so I could make it through the book without more shock!   And don't think I didn't make a mental note! Although, Columbia is also on my "no to go to" list, (interject the theme song of "Romance in the Stone") there is no doubt that I will go back to that list and write the name a little bolder by the time I reach the end of this book.

I am watching....  I normally skip this part of the journal entry only choosing those key words that they give us that fit what I want to tell but this one will probably never be picked often in the terms off what is on my TV.  Why? Because we don't have a TV.  (Remember? I took pictures of the Kiddos taking it apart.)  Not having a TV  always brings up tons of questions from visitors. I tend to just say, " I don't have time for it. It is counterproductive to my goals."   Most of the time that is all that is said but when someone knows us really well the questions roll in!  "How do you get your news?" I get my news through the computer without hourly reruns. "How do you watch movies when you have a movie night?"  We get them off of i-tunes or we watch a DVD through the computer. Recently, my Children and I read the book 'Swiss Family Robinson' and then they watched the movie for a family movie night.  They also read Robin Hood and watched the 1940s Robin Hood movie too. Typically, if it is a man that is asking they will ask, "How do you watch the President' speeches?"  The news channels on the computer always do them through live stream through the computer.  "How does Beloved watch sports?" He doesn't watch sports! He gets snippets of the football news through me.  Then, it happens?  "How do you watch Downton Abby?"   I DON'T!  (Gasp)  Then they say, "You don't know what you are missing!"  Then, I explain to them that I saw the first entire season before it even came to the United States through one of the British computer channels.  And, then I tell them that by the time it went on the air in the United States I had no desire to see it.  I realized that if I took the scenery and the costumes away what I was left with was a night time soap opera with no redemptive qualities, drama with little morals, with only the occasional love for Maggie Smith's whit!  Honestly, I can get all that drama just by going to a military wives group meeting! I simply just have to live my life daily and drama rolls my way!   It is okay if you don't agree with me about Downton Abby.  We can still be your friends! I have already been splattered with cyber tomatoes! My Mother teased me the other day and wrote "Splat" on a status as she throw a cyber tomato my way!   I only wrote about my opinions because I never really address anything culturally and I read a diary recently where the lady didn't do that either. She only spoke of her daily life activities  with the occasional glimpse of news. So,  the commentators were saying she was out of touch with reality as a wife in the home in the 1800s!  I thought that their opinion was silly! It was obvious that she was very much aware of what was going on just by the way she dealt with economics, teaching her students, and she had enough social drama dodging pioneer men to give you a real good dose of the lack of social etiquette of the time!  Yes, I am also extremely aware of the news. It is just with Beloved's job I can't say much or even allude to anything because "loose lips sink ships" but those that know me well know I like "politics" a lot particularly when it comes to end time prophesy! Be glad I have restraint and don't share it here!

Speaking of visitors coming to my home and not finding a TV, apparently not having a TV doesn't keep visitors away!  We have had a lot of company around the house.   This month, we had some friends stay with us. They have been on the Mission field to a closed country the last two years. We know them well.  Beloved and the Missionary were Pilots together throughout the war before the Missionary guy retired from the military and went on the Missionary field. It was great to see them and their son and  to catch up on the small details of life.  Also, we have friends over once a month as well. This month a family of 5 Children came over for the day.  The Children had a blast. They came during the day instead of in the evenings.  It seems like when I have families over for the day, the schedule tends to gradually fit into this type of schedule. The Family arrives around 10 am and they leave some time around 5pm. I always order  pizza and wings for lunch. They have craft time and play time too.  And, I send guest home with a fully cooked roast for dinner since they are going to get home around that time.  It looks like my schedule next month will be full too.  Beloved wants to have a geographical bachelor over.  Some friends that are moving here will be stopping through for a couple of nights to check out this area as well.  And, we will ask another family from Church to come over too.   Well, it is our plan anyway, our Family is on standby. We are waiting for a phone call to tell us to hit the road for a couple of weeks. Who knows when the phone call will come?!

The only thing else that is coming up soon that is big is our consignment sale! And since I am supposed to write on being thrifty,  all I can think of saying this month is that I am hoping that the Children and I will do well.  The children are always excited to see how much we make because they split up the money between them and it all goes to their savings account.  They like this a lot! Particularly some of them that don't find as much money as the Little Man!

 The Little Man is always finding money!  He knows the one of the greatest spots to find money is at the mall right near the benches that the older men sit on while waiting for their wives to come out of a stores.  When he sees a penny he picks it up! He also lies down on the ground and picks them up. He checks all the coin slots in the coke machines! He checks the kid ride slot machines! He even occasionally goes down the grocery store aisle while no one is looking with his bottom in the air so he can look underneath the shelves. What? You aren't that desperate! Well, this child even tries to convince me to let him get out of the car to pick up the change in the fast food drive-thru that is on the ground. (umm! No, can do!) The Little Man doesn't allow a penny to be dropped without it being picked up. He can't stand it! If we are in line and someone drops money he is right there picking it up for those little old ladies.  Otherwise, he saves every little dime, nickel, and penny he finds!  And, although a penny in a pocket may not seem like much this child is becoming 1 cent richer every little outing that we take . It is unbelievable.  In less than one year, he has accumulated over $40 just from the change he picked up.  I know this for a fact because we just counted it. You see, just before we moved, we put all the Children's money from their penny banks into their savings accounts. Although, he saves his birthday money too, the change has been racking up and I have been simply amazed.  This child is getting *rich* off of people dropping change all the while learning  a little wealth building.  I think Dave Ramsey would be proud.  Meanwhile, his older sister who gets frustrated that he is so good at finding money is trying to convince me to offer her services to watch all those that have animals that are about to go on Spring break  in our military community!  I am guessing this is the entrepreneur stage that I have been told about!  Looks like we are about to walk into the beginning stages of it. I am excited about this!  Any stories about what your Children have done or are doing? Any suggestions on any good little business! I just had a friend whose 12 year old child made spicy hot sauce to raise money for his Mission Trip. So, I know there are probably lots of stories!  Well, we will let you know what we come up with as time goes on.

Well, my sweet dear readers! The atmosphere in my home is not as cozy as it was when I first began to write. There is always a spurt of last minute energy that goes on before bed time. It is where everyone wants a little bit of ice cream, a cookie or one of my latest goodies that have been baked!  I think everyone is ready to have one of these... This is what is cooking in the kitchen !

recipe and picture by Here   (The children agree with me. I need to try it with out the lemon and with a blue berry topping instead before I make them for church!)
* As usual the items in bold are the snippets to help write the journal entry for the "simple homemakers journal


  1. I like these long, wordy posts, Carmen. But, what is a geographical bachelor???

    I like Downton Abbey, but yes, it is a soap opera, and more so than the first season; I think the first season was the best. Now they've killed off Sybil and Matthew because those actors have offers from Hollywood.

    As for end time prophecies, here's something - although I know you're a Protestant. There is a Catholic book written hundreds of years ago by St. Malachy (purportedly), which gives a prediction of each pope. According to this book, there is only one more pope, and then Jesus returns. Can it be so near? Of course, if the next one is a younger man, he may live a long time yet. We will see.

    1. Ah, Mrs. Lisa. I am familiar with it. I find it extremely intersting that the places that they lay the popes to rest only have a few more vacancies! 2 spots! Such hope that Jesus will return soon! I do believe we are living in the 11th hour.

      From what I hear, Mrs Lisa. Many are unhappy about Sybil and Matthew being killed off. I am glad I didn't watch Sybil die. She died of pre-eclampic complications which is what I have every pregnancy. I had so many people write me because of it! ;)

      A geographical bachelor is a Man who is married but not living with his family for a short time due to a military school or assignment that he might be doing in another location --which could be another state of another country. (It is term that is used to say that a man is married but seperated because of distance due to the military only)

      It often looks like this... A family living here in the United States stays in their home while the man goes to Korea for a year. After the year, the man comes back to his Family and works right back in the same place that he was at previously.

      Many geographical bachelors live in campers for a year or just get a small apartment depending on where they go. We always go with my Beloved on his trips because I homeschool the children. But, if we didn't he would be considered a geographical bachelor when he goes off if we didn't go with him.

      Our organization is small so we know a lot of the guys when they have to come to this hub for meetings, schools, or to work for awhile.

      Geographical Bachelors are fun to have over because it is just a wonderful opprotunity to have men that miss their families over for the Holidays or for an evening meal.

    2. Ahhh! I should have figured it out myself! Thank you.

  2. Hello Dear, thanks for popping in to my blog again, even though I had very little going on last week. I will have to make sure I have your blog on my sidebar since you always have interesting things going on. That is amazing that you too are working your way through graduate school with so much else on your plate, boy, do I feel like a bum.

    That is fun reading about the possibility of your husband considering becoming a missionary bush pilot. Maybe you should put on your list of never-go-to places someplace like Hawaii...maybe not adventurous enough for Iceman though.:) A while back I had started following a dear woman's blog who had a quiver full of kiddos, homeschooled, and was a missionary bush pilot's wife in Africa. I was so excited to have found her blog, but shortly after she decided to stop blogging & FBing and I was so disappointed.

    I had to laugh about what you said about Downton Abby and "I can get all that drama just by going to a military wives group meeting!" I've never watched it as the home & costume's would be all that I would be interested in too. The commercials for it seem a bit to racey for my eyes. And I like your "splat" comment. We never watch the news or the President on tv anymore since media is so sickingly in love with our current government. I do look at the news ocassionally on the internet, but it's just so frightening what is happening to our beloved nation, that I'd rather just hear the important stuff from my hubby. Thankfully we have a Saviour and we know that evil will not prevail.

    Not sure what to say about a good business venture for children. Our girls helped take care of our neighbor's animals when they were out of town and now do childcare for a MOPS group & our Church's Bible Studies. I know one time told about Lemonade Day where nationwide kids have lemonade stands and one can sign-up and get all kinds of good stuff, but this was 2-3 yrs. ago and the date they wanted everyone to do it was a bit early in the season for MN, noone wants lemonade when there is snow on the ground, lol. I tried to look it up just now, but I wasn't able to get through to their website, so I don't know if they are even still doing that.

    Well, I must run... the family wants supper of all things. ttyl ♥

    1. My friend Sarah and her family are on the Missionary Field. Her husband is a "bush" Missionary Pilot. You can peak into her blog if you like. Tell her I sent you her way! Her connection is difficult but she does update when she gets a chance.

      Yes, Hawaii would be nice! (giggle) It is considered a tropical island and it does pass for a jungle. But, it doesn't have enough snakes (which creep me out) so I am assuming that I wouldn't be blessed enough to get a Missionary slot there! ;)

    2. Oops. I should say that Sarah's family is not the same family that I posted about in this post. Just to be clear. I am sure that could be a little confusing to some. I went to a Christian College in the early 90s. So, I know many pastor/missionary families.

  3. I love it when you share what is going on in your home with us. Those desserts look delicious. I can definitely understand why everyone wants to try it. Thanks for sharing your day with us. God bless.

  4. Hey Gal, I'm reading your blog here in increments. It's fun! sitting over coffee with you! I'm glad to hear your opinion on 'Abbey'. My dds finally broke down and borrowed the first season from a friend after hearing all the hullabaloo and waiting an eternity on the library for the first season. The friend warned my dds it has "things" in it. Hmmm.... I'll be sure to pass on your opinion I have an inkling I'll agree with you.

    Just stopping by...not through reading. Just wanted to give a cyber hug!

  5. You know, the best way to get to do something is to say you will "never, ever" do it. Works every time :) We have GOT to get together someday, you and I. Have I ever told you that I grew up in the jungles of Peru as an MK? I've always wanted that life for my own kids...this current lifestyle is second best. :)

    Thanks for posting...catching up on what's happening with you makes me feel like we're getting back to normal around here...whatever normal is! :)

  6. Oh I love reading these posts Carmen! Your son sounds like my sydney in some shopping centres we have to use dollar coins to use the trolley as an incentive to return the trolley to its rightful place and get your money dd loves looking for abandoned trolleys with $1 or $2 coins left behind by busy people who couldn't care losing their money! I'd say she collects at least $40 to $50 a year from this which is a lot to a little girl :)


Your comments are a gift to me and they warm my heart. I read and treasure every one. If you leave a comment, I will visit you as well. ~ Carmen