Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Still Here. Still Thankful.

We are all trucking along here in Minnesota. Life's pretty okay.

Theo has finally received his medical paperwork back and has less than 90 days in the Army left. He's being medically discharged because of his foot injuries, and shoulder limitations. He can no longer uphold the standard for the Army, physically. In a regular job he'd be confined to desk work or "light duty," but the Army doesn't keep those who can't pass the rigorous physical requirements (rightfully so!). Transitioning slowly here, he's got about 30 days left of work before he begins to use up his leave. So 90 days of an Army paycheck left. He'll be compensated for his disabilities with a disabled vet status, and a fraction of his pay, as well as complete medical coverage for the rest of his life through the VA. Nevertheless, he will need to find a full time career outside the military in the next 60 days or so, so let the stress begin!

He went and got his CDL this week. The job market for inventory management (the civilian equivalent of his job) seems promising, so we are hopeful.

Theo's also been hunting this year a lot. Enjoyed his time in nature so much, watched lots of wildlife. No deer in the freezer yet, but muzzleloader season is still coming.

Ben is playing basketball for school. He got in his first game this last Friday and looked like a deer in headlights. Pretty cute. He's also working on a project for school on the state of Florida, and reading a lot. He's doing well at typing. He is still obsessed with Legos, and frogs (he has a frog named Buddy as his pet), but he's also really enjoying video games more than before. He plays minecraft on his Kindle, and lots of different wii games with Hunty.

Hunter is still totally into video games. He loves wii dance, and minecraft on the Kindle, too. He is in the process of beating or tying all of dad's records on wii sports. He's reading awesome! He doesn't enjoy reading, but he is getting really, really good at it. He's getting great grades at school, and is very helpful around the house.

I'm knitting 2-3 scarves a day. Busy season started WAY early for me, and have been keeping up this pace since August. I watch documentaries, movies, and read books while I knit. If I lay the book out on the dining room table in front of me I can read and knit at the same time. I've devoured Sibella Court's books, and some Mary Randolph Carter. Just finished The Unexpected Houseplant by Tovah Martin, too. When I'm not knitting I'm cleaning up after my family, tending to my collection of houseplants (super big this year), or walking around a store for inspiration and stimulation. Plans are to build up my ready to ship scarf inventory this winter (after holiday season rush). I've been asked to sell in several boutiques and online shops, so I hope to have lots of inventory by fall.

I had the chance to spend a few week coaching the Salem forensics squad, and it was so much fun! they did great at their tournament, and more importantly I think they actually learned a little bit from me. hahaha. Great group of kids! It was awesome!

I also lost 50 lbs this year! (55 but we've been indulging in some holiday treats). I feel a million times better, and have enjoyed the ability to get to some harder places (i.e. small hikes), than I would have been able to last year. I hope to have another 50 gone next year. If not more. :)

I enjoyed selling some junk finds, handcrafted hypertufa, and plants at a local shop here this year, too. It was a very fun experience, and I hope to continue doing it next spring as well in some capacity.

We are so very happy with our church and are growing spiritually as a family every day. Such an immeasurable blessing faith is.

All is okay. Very thankful for our warm home, our pets, our love, food on the table. Very thankful for the year we've had- going up north half a dozen times has found me in love with Lake Superior and the Iron Range. I have our sights set on living up there in about a decade. Hopefully a quiet secluded modest homestead with lots of land for growing flowers I can sell at a farmer's market, and a view of a forest, lake, or river... allowing myself, for the first time since losing our home in Wisconsin, to have a legit dream. To actually admit I want a certain kind of life. And to believe it can actually happen.

Happy Thanksgiving friends and family. Hope you are all well.  Enjoy some snapshots of our year: