I must first apologize to anyone following my blog for not having kept up with it during the past 8 months. After getting back from my sister-in-law's funeral in May, life suddenly became extremely busy for our family.
For several years we had been considering buying our own home--a first for us since we have always rented. We had been looking around rather casually, not really getting too serious about it, since we really couldn't afford the average house-with-land-in-the-country that we needed for our large family. A few days after we got back from the funeral, I was surfing through our local real estate websites, and came across a fixer-upper on an acre of land offered for a very low price. The Lord seemed to go before us the whole way through the buying process, and in less than 6 weeks' time we went from not having any prospects on a house at all to first-time homeowners.
The next 3 months became a whirlwind of activity, with us scrambling to make this non-habitable house somewhat habitable before winter set in. With paying rent and mortgage, plus utilities at two homes, we were also feeling a severe financial crunch, so we were trying to hurry. Our rented home had become a sort-of mini farm by then, and we had a huge garden to harvest, chickens to put in the freezer, and rabbits to move. All this in addition to sorting and packing. The packing was tricky, since our new house is much smaller than our old one, and much of our stuff had to go into storage. We really don't have a lot of we-don't-use-it-every-day stuff, so it was hard to decide what to put in storage and what to leave out.
Somewhere in the middle of all that it was confirmed to us that we are now expecting our ninth child in March, adding midwife visits to our list of regular activities.
And then there was homeschool. We finally moved sometime in October, and I started then to look over the books we had and what we needed to order. My husband and I decided that this year we needed to use a more self-teaching curriculum because of all the upheaval in our lives, so I began ordering curriculum accordingly. We got four of our children started in November, and are only just this week getting our two oldest enrolled in a video correspondence high school. (They had some things to finish from the previous school year so that I could count it for transfer credit, hence the long wait.)
Even though we started some school in November, we got off to a pretty rocky start. For one thing, our budget would not allow us to order all the curriculum at once. For another thing, we were still trying to settle in, and still had some remodelling to do. My attention was divided between so many things, and I was not able to give my fullest to any of them.
By the end of December, I felt we were doing great. We were getting consistent with school work, and were adjusting to the new routine a new house brings. Then one morning late in December my second oldest son came to me complaining of "bumps" all over his head and "blisters" all over his chest and arms. Oh, joy! Chicken pox! Two weeks later, the other seven children got them all at the same time. And I got a really bad cold!
I think we're done with all that now, and I think we can get back to "normal"--whatever "normal" may be. We haven't really had a "normal" for months. My husband is in the midst of preparing for our annual church business meeting, and asked for my help in remembering the highlights of the last year for our church. I honestly could not help him much. Most of the year is pretty much a blur to me!
Well, that catches me up to the present. This has been a longer post than I'd like; the next ones will be shorter (and hopefully more spiritually uplifting!).
The Lord has given us much grace in all of this--our family actually seems closer now than before we bought this house.
Pearl of Grace