Friday, December 30, 2011

End of the Year

I have been busy lately and uninspired to update this blog. We finally bought another external hard drive so I'm able to add pictures again. Hooray, however, I will not be indulging you with any pictures today.

Here's short, or maybe long, list of updates:

-My kids liked all of their homemade gifts. They thought the elf slippers were fun, but they do not like wearing them.

-I made soap and chap stick for extended family members and I have no idea if it was well received.

-I need to get my homeschooling groove back. We've taken a couple of weeks off to enjoy each other and just play, but now I am left feeling sort of blah about picking up where we left off. We are on track for the year and the kids are showing progress. We'll start up again on Sunday or Monday with the human body, Egypt, and the usual math, language lessons, and phonics. I need to figure out ways to better involve Finn in what we do. He's not into lapbooking or crafting. Maybe I'll try copy work and file folder games with him. His learning style is the complete opposite of Maeve's which makes things just a tad difficult. Oren is a crap shoot and basically likes gluing and dumping everything he touches. His attention span is about two seconds so putting together even simple games or activities is not worth my time.

-Baby #4 is still nameless and I don't see that changing anytime soon. We have one name we are considering, but I don't know. It stresses me out to think about names. I think I'm about 25 weeks. I go in for my glucose test in a couple of weeks and then I start going every two weeks. My birth plan is updated and I need to start preparing myself mentally for labor. I think we're skipping a doula again because my midwife and husband are a good enough team. I am hoping this is another 2-3 hour labor with no complications. It's still surreal that I'm even pregnant again so thinking about childbirth is weird. I have all of her clothes washed and diapers sorted. She even has her own set of cubbies in the laundry room. I also have her car seat picked out.

-I have big garden plans this year. Unfortunately, I won't be much help planting or prepping. We'll see how much gets accomplished. I am certain I'll do a separate garden plans post around the time I order my seeds. I love ordering seeds.

-I joined Pinterest. I find it slightly annoying, although I've found some fun ideas for the kids and around the house. Once I start and complete a couple of the projects, I will share.

That's it!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The New Normal

This is the first year that we are exclusively using our wood burning stove for heat. It is wonderful and I can't say enough good things about it. We have Jotul Castine and it's not only a beautiful stove, but capable of heating all 2,000 square feet of our home.

During past winters, I've kept the heat set on 67 and 58 overnight. The new normal is to keep the living room between 76-80 at all times. The upstairs, which is not anywhere close to the living room where the stove is kept, stays at a constant 62-64. The thing that amuses me the most is that when the temperature in the living room dips below 76, I am cold. I can sit in front of the stove in sweat pants and a sweat shirt and be perfectly comfortable in 80 degrees. To say that we are spoiled by the heat of the wood burning stove is an understatement.

The beauty of heating with wood is that when/if it gets too hot, we can move to a cooler part of the house. I also appreciate not having a cold, drippy nose and I like the humidity that is provided by the cast iron tea kettle on the stove. I am very happy we went with the radiant heat of cast iron because even when there are only a few coals left first thing in the morning, the stove is still warming the house. This was one of the best purchases/investments we've made and I'm looking forward to figuring out how to cook on our wood burning stove.