Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's Been Awhile

Well, it's been quite some time since my last post. I'm not too good at this blog-thing.

So, here's what's new with our family: I'll start with the biggest news of all. We are expecting a surprise new addition to our family this summer! We are all very excited, especially Zara. She has suggested some names: Fern, Tree, Sunshine, River. I've definitely heard worse. A friend of mine's son insisted that the new baby be named Spongebob. Truly.

Next on the list, we have purchased 10 acres of raw land in South-central Oregon to start our homestead! The property is entirely flat prairie land, with a seasonal stream running across the front 1/3. We're not sure when we'll be moving there permanently, there is a lot of preliminary work that needs to be done, like putting in a well and setting up a grey-water system. Nevertheless, we hope it will be soon! Fruit and nut trees need to be planted, gardens established. Chickens will be our first livestock, and we'll add in goats and pigs as we develop farm routines and put up fencing. We are planning to build a small straw-bale home, as Oregon has an actual building code for straw-bale homes, and many resources for building with straw-bale. Here's a picture of our 10 acres:

Next, Zara is making amazing progress learning to read and write. She loves math and is learning to count to 100. She has a good understanding of time, what day of the week it is, what the season is. She also really likes to do workbook pages, interestingly. But her favorite activity by far is coloring. She has declared that she wants to be an artist when she grows up. My mom snapped this amazing picture of her:

Ash has hit the terrible two's. The less said about the subject, the better. As Zara so famously says around our house: "Let's not talk about it." Can I just say that I am enjoying my children even more as they get older? The baby stage is "cute" and "adorable", but not very much fun. Zara is an absolute blast now that we can do things together.

Guess what? Freddy has been knitting! Chelle (my sister-in-law) taught me how to knit a couple years ago, and I really enjoyed it. I had forgotten all she taught me, so after some extensive reading, experimenting and You-Tubeing, I started knitting properly again. So Freddy and I have been knitting together, and we've made some pretty washcloths with cotton yarn. I am also working on a Smoke Ring (not the pattern I'm using, though, just an example) using a beautiful, wispy, oatmeal-colored wool.

In other exciting crafting news, Freddy bestowed upon me a new Singer sewing machine for our 6-year anniversary (yay!), and I've been completing years-old sewing projects left and right. I WILL finally finish the quilt I started making for Zara when I was pregnant with her!

It started snowing while I was typing this post! I can't believe it's the middle of April and it's snowing. We're all ready for warm, sunny days to stay! I'm ready to luxuriate my pregnant body in the river, the bathtub is just not doing the trick anymore. Winter has lasted too long this year. We all have cabin-fever. There is a silver lining though: I have gathered many ideas for projects that I hope will make next winter a great time for indoor learning. Zara will be old enough to do things like sewing, baking, cooking and knitting and I think Ash will enjoy coloring and block-building even more.

I hope to update once a week or so, and I promise to post lots of pictures, talk little and not be too boring! We have a whole mound of stuff we're going to be tie-dyeing, so check back in the next couple weeks for pictures of our projects.

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