October 31, 2012

October... A Little Late

And now you may understand why this poor blog has been on hiatus the last four months.  I get the idea it has been too long since I've posted when my family is complaining I don't write enough.  In November when I was posting about baby Henry three family members came in at different times and were shocked to see me posting something.  I do so appreciate your letters, emails and text messages and phone calls asking after us.  They are a great encouragement to me even if I can't reply right away... or even for a very long time.

Since I've been a bit out of touch, I thought it would be nice to start with some updates of life around Wachter World since we last spoke, which I think was sometime in August before we went on vacation.

Ah, vacation.  What a wonderful word.  It was grand.  You might have seen it in pictures?  Well, if not you missed some great times.  While I am on the topic, a big thank you to Julianne for your excellent guest post with your series on women's issues.  I hope to some day add my own thoughts on these topics, although, if you've read my blog for very long you probably know most of my opinions.  I've never been accused of keeping them to myself, after all.  ☺

And speaking of Julianne, I hear you have lots of good news to share.  I look forward to catching up and hearing all about what is going on in your world since we last touched base in September.

And to my friend J.B.  I ran into your mother-in-law in the grocery store before Thanksgiving and she told me your fabulous, fantastic, news.  We are so blessed to see how the Lord is answering prayers for your family.  Likewise, I look forward to spending some time catching up here very soon and I definitely can not wait to meet the blessing coming your way!

So, you know the thing with good vacations is they all have to end eventually.  And ours always seem to end with a hard thump back to reality.  In addition to my health issues, here are just a few of the areas that have been consuming our time these last few months.

We returned home in October to find the power company had come through and clear cut more than 1/2 an acre of our wooded lot. This was nothing like what they told us they were going to do and pretty much ruined a large portion of the land we've worked hard to pay for these last 11 years.  This is where our children played and had adventures and created Narnia and Sherwood Forest and spent many wonderful hours together. They had spent several weekends before vacation building a tree house with Allen and were looking forward to putting the roof on when we returned.
These woods were so dense you couldn't see that house over there before.

I cried for two days as I thought of all the good times my kids had spent in those woods building memories.  And all the time my little ones would never know.  Emma was devastated at the damage they did to her secret garden.  And we were all terribly sad for her as we thought of the many years of hard work she spent building something beautiful at what had been an overgrown mess.

The power company sent someone out who said it shouldn't have been done.  Then they sent another representative who said they would sent someone to clean up the horrible mess that was left behind.  No one ever came.  We have spent much time trying to clean things up before winter and get grass seed down to hopefully prevent a return of the erosion issues that existed for previous owners of this property.
This isn't even a fraction of the debris we had to haul away.

October 8th we celebrated Emma's 13th birthday.  How my little Almond Joy got to be such a grown up beautiful woman I will never know but we are so honored to have her as one of us.  She wanted to go to the farm for pumpkins and play board games for her birthday.
After just returning from three weeks on the beach in 80ish temps we were freezing.  

We had class that night so instead of the traditional birthday dinner we celebrated with a meal from our favorite restaurant after.

We cheered Allen on as he ran his first 5K and then his first 10K.  I am so impressed by his change and dedication.  He went from not being able to run for five minutes at a time in July to being able to running 10K and liking it.  And he has been rewarded with a reversal of his weight, cholesterol and blood pressure issues.  And his chest pains have completely disappeared.

Being pumpkin season, we also spent October and November trying out some great new pumpkin recipes.  I discovered a pumpkin and bean soup I could eat forever and the girls put out a Pumpkin-Ginger Cheesecake, Pumpkin brownie pie and pumpkin waffles... just to name a few.  I'd love to share pictures and recipes but this post is already going to be way too long.  Maybe next fall?

We took a day trip to Pennsylvania to see the story of Jonah at the the Sight and Sound Theater.  This was an amazing show and I can not recommend enough going to one of their production in Branson, or the Lancaster, PA area if you ever have the opportunity.  We bought tickets back in April as a birthday gift to Aedan but it took this long to get seats.  Yes, it's that good.

We rounded out the day by stopping at the Tabernacle exhibit.  We studied the Tabernacle in school this fall and also in our Faith Bible Institute class so it was the perfect timing.  We all agreed it helped us on our final last week.

Briefly for all those who asked about Hurricane Sandy.  I was truly shocked at the number of emails, phone calls and text messages asking after our well being.  It is truly humbling to realize how many people keep us in your prayers.  Your concern truly touched our family and encouraged us.  Despite ominous predictions our little corner of the world was left virtually unscathed.  We lost power for about a day.  Which is not nearly as bad in the cold months as in July.  In fact, we enjoyed lighting candles and curling up with a book by the wood stove for the evening.  The top to our chicken run took off and we lost a couple of panels to the fence but my handy men fixed up the chickens and fence in no time.
We continue to be shocked and saddened by the loss so many suffered.  But we thank our Lord who controls all and we pray that Hurricane Sandy, as well as the horrible shooting in Connecticut last week will be used for His glory and the road to salvation for many.

In addition to all these fun events, we also spent lots of time this fall working on our lessons, keeping up with our Bible Institute classes and helping our friends finish their house so they could move in before Christmas.

Even though this post is way out of date, I hope it answers many of your emails.  I intended to work my way through the fall but I find myself out of time.  I did get through October, which you must admit it rather good considering how behind I am.  Just hang in there as I catch up with you and bring this blog, and also our family journal, current.



PS  Jenny, I still can not get through on the email address you sent or by replying to your emails.  I get the same message that your box is full.

October 20, 2012

Family, Friends, Food... Vacation 2012

The other day, one of my kids was complaining about how long it has been since I wrote a blog post.  And its true.  It has been forever and a day.  Everything, and everyone, around us has moved at a rapid rate since we returned from vacation.  We came home to several disasters and have encountered numerous more since then.  I don't know how many times I have threatened to pack and return south indefinitely.  Most people would think I was joking, but my family knows I couldn't be more serious.

But family life, home school and homestead march on and I am marching forward with them.  For the sake of my sanity, and to appease my children, I wanted to take a few minutes and revisit the more peaceful days of vacation.
Our children have all been the same.  When they are babies they hate the sand, the ocean and the noise of the beach. The next summer they always somehow forget what they despised and join the rest of us in thinking there is no better afternoon than a deserted beach, a picnic and a shovel and pail.  Carmella was no exception.  She would happily sit on the blanket and eat and watch the others but if one toe touched the sand she cried.  And doubly so when we took her to the water.

Aedan caught the first fish of the season.

Our beach... not really.  It's public but this time of year we are the only ones there so we think of it as our own little bit of Heaven.

All my kids are so artistic.  Likewise to my siblings.  Somehow the gene skipped me.  One rainy day, actually the only rainy day, I decided to try my hand at painting.  Some of my girls thought it was absolutely hilarious that I would stoop to paint by number... but it was a fun exercise in the evenings after the little ones went to bed.

Love this piece of drift wood that washed up in the storm.

Fishing by moonlight

Sunrise study

Teaching Aunt Dawn to kayak

Afternoon ride

Boating with Captain Sonny

Midnight Puzzlers

Neighbors (We miss you all so much!!!)

Sunset on the marsh

Who Done It?

Carmella hated her evening bath until we got to our vacation home.  Turns out she loves the jet tub and would stand on her tip toes and turn the faucets on in anticipation of a splash about.  Now she loves her bath and giggles through it every night.

I was healing a fracture in my ankle so biking was not just a way to get around the island but also a great way to sneak in lots of exercise.

After nearly three weeks Carmella put a toe off the blanket one morning.  And then the whole foot.  And then the other.  Before we knew it, she was laughing and crawling down the beach.  

Pa stuck strictly to his eating and exercise plan the entire time we were on vacation so our trips for the world's best gelato were limited to exactly one night.  But it sure was worth waiting for.

Heading to worship


Seth and Jessica... Seth is not short... I can't figure out where he was sitting to look so small

Miss Ginger

Rick and Barbara.... soon to be married!!!!

For the second year in a row... Kaitlin and I both won the bake off at Chapel.  Brianna and Emma both had delicious entries as well.  I think it is hilarious that Mr. and Mrs. Peavis were two of three winners in the cookie category.  That's keeping it in the family!

Rusty and Sherry, Granny, Black

Two of our ladies... Ginger and Diana discussing Kaitlin's Lemon Cake entry

Breakfast date

Pink fishing rods

My girls

Some friends of ours made us a delicious lunch to share on our last day

And other friends invited us to have a sunset dinner on their dock

Before they sent us home with lots of citrus from their orchard

And before you know it the car is packed and we are heading home for another year.  *Sigh*