My 3 favourite things

Today, Emma asked to use the camera. Camera in hand she headed out the door. A few minutes later she came up to me and said,

I took pictures of your 3 favourite things. Want to see?

I did of course. Apparently, here are my favourite things:

my hammock

my car

my house

Update: I fixed the image tag to show the right picture. A lesson in cutting and pasting late at night 😉

Work, Living & Travel

Last week I mentioned a disappearing post. What I think happened to it is that it posted with an old date and never appeared on the first page of the blog. I didn’t notice it wasn’t there until I went to refer to it. Anyway, it was a bit of an update on our living & work situation. The abbreviated version would be as follows:

In 3 months, I found a total of 4 houses to look at for renting. Of them, only one of them was large enough for us to move to as a family. That one was a long distance away from the town I was working in. Since I have moved offices (and towns), it would be close to an hour’s drive away. And there were no new houses (at least ones where the person who wanted to rent returned phone calls) that showed up for rent in April. In NB, it is fairly common for people to move to some other province and rent out their house. But, for most of them, if they’ve found stable work and their house were to be vacated this time of year, they would likely put it on the market to sell.

I came to the conclusion a couple weeks ago that we were not likely going to find a house to rent until fall. For the last 12 weeks I’ve been living in my (Andrea’s) aunt’s guestroom. I would really be overstaying my welcome if I were to stay another 5 months or more. So, I decided to look for a 2 bedroom apartment which would give us the space to have Andrea and/or some of the kids come and spend the week with me here sometimes while we are getting the home we currently own ready to put on the market. This weekend I started working on one of the five projects that need to be finished before it can go on the market. At least 2 of the projects are the ‘call a contractor’ kind of project (one of those will take less than a day). For the last few weekends, I’ve also been doing some landscaping outside toward that same end. But, I don’t expect to be ready to put it on the market before the end of the summer.

I did find an apartment last week. It is only a few minutes drive from the office where I’m working and I will be able to go home for lunch every day. I’m expecting to be away most of both this week and next week. So, I won’t likely get set up there for a couple weeks. I am hoping to get a couple more posts in by Tuesday night (as you won’t here from me again until Saturday). Under current plans, next week will be a repeat of this week.

Blame it on me

Andrea tells you of her desparation. I discovered Buckley’s several years ago late one night when I was on about my third night of not being able to sleep due to cold/flu symptoms. Normally, I avoid medication when and where possible. I haven’t taken any form of pain relief medication in more than 12 years. No, I don’t have that written down somewhere. I just remember what I was taking it for. And I remember when that was.

Anyway, I digress. I was absolutely beat. It was getting late. Soon the last local store that was open was going to close. The next closest that would be open was more than 1/2 hour drive away. When I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to sleep again that night, I decided I would have to break down and take something. The only cold medicine we had was for children and I didn’t expect that it would do much to help me. So, I headed for that open store. To my dismay, the only adult cold medicine they had was Buckley’s. And I seriously debated that extra 1/2 hour drive. I didn’t think I would stay alert enough. So, I bit the bullet.

After it was too late to change my mind, but before it had made it all the way down, I had the brief thought that I was going to die an excruciating death. Thankfully, the sensations only last a second or so before they start to fade. And, even though it seems like a lot longer, they only last a few seconds. In a minute or 2, I felt better than I had in days. Since then, I don’t think I’ve used anything else for a cold. Probably with half the colds I have, I don’t take anything at all. The rule of thumb I use to decide if I’m using Buckley’s is whether I think I can go to sleep without it or not.

What it took a couple colds for me to figure out is that the initial shock factor actually lasts for a few days. So, if you take it 2 days in a row (or twice in the same day), the second day is alot easier than the first. It’s probably almost a year since I’ve had any. The trick I’ve learned to ease into it after a long period like that is to only take 1/2 tsp or so the first time and then take a regular dose in an hour or so. It substantially reduces the shock factor.

If things go well, I won’t have to find out how accurate my memory is 🙂

Comment Answers

In the comments of previous post, I was asked a number of questions. Andrea had mentioned in her blog earlier in the week that we were dealing with a flu. After getting home from work, I ate and promptly went to bed for over 2 hours. After that, Andrea and i had a chance to catch up on the day and while doing that we took a few minutes to discuss those questions. Andrea responded in her own comment. I think the answers to those questions fit with the who discussion we’ve been having. So, I decided to answer them here in a post. the first question is:

Will you further elaborate on how discipline is handled at your house? – Carrie K.

In a way, this is a difficult question to answer without using extensive examples. However, what I believe is central to our discipline methodology is that we expect (not insist or demand) our kids to be responsible. That doesn’t mean that we expect the same degree wisdom and maturity in a 5 yo that we do in an 18 yo. With the older 3 (13-18), what that translates into is that at those times they have had a moment or 2 of irresponsibility that one of us will sit down with them and discuss how the issue will be corrected. Quite often, the onus has been on them to find a solution which we agree will work (or is worth trying).

At an early age, we allowed (and wanted) them to make choices. From the time they were 2 or younger, they have all picked the clothes they wear for the day. Did each go through a period where they were less that coordinated? Yes. But, the few moments of embarassment we might have endured for their sake has paid off.

Secondly, we expect (again, not insist or demand) that they will be obedient. There is room for them to discuss with us and decide what it is that they are going to do or not do. But once the decision has been made, I fully expect that whatever has been decided, will be carried out. Barring extraordinary circumstances (which do occur), I would be shocked if they didn’t.

Emma is 5 and we are already discussing (as one person to another) things with her. At her age, we are more interested in providing her the opportunity to see the situation from a third person perspective. As she grows and matures, the discussions will become like the ones we currently have with the older kids. But what enables us to have those conversations is the belief that she is capable of being, wants to be and will be responsible and obedient.

BUT are you saying (I don’t think you are, but am interested in clarification) that you *never* discipline your children for disobedience, that you always give them mercy? – Gem

One of the things I’ve been trying to accomplish has been the disassociation of the word discipline with things that are essentially punishment. To discipline is to train or teach. And yes, at the rare times when they were consciously being disobedient, you can count on the fact that there was discipline involved. But, it would be an instruction sort of discipline. I would be dishonest if I told you that I had never punished my kids. But I don’t consider punishment to be discipline.

In the story I related where Emma said “I promise”, she was not being disobedient to us. We had never told her not to do that. But when I did tell her and explain what she was doing, she did stop. That’s an example where discipline was carried out while being very conscious to gentle, merciful, patience, etc.

Do I occasionally take away privileges (eg. the internet)? Yes, I do. But only in situations where they are not being responsible with whatever is being taken away. When we can get things straightened around so that I’m comfortable that you are going to be responsible with it, you can have it back. But, I don’t consider that punishment. It’s important that they learn that freedom and responsibility are intertwined.

This weekend

Again this week, I haven’t gotten in any reading since Wednesday. Tonight, I’m going to be putting a bit of time into the homeschool journal site. Also, I’ve added the link to hsj to the sidebar on the first sticky. If you’re not a regular reader of Andrea’s blog, you might not know that we met up on Thursday afternoon and arrived back home today. One of the reasons we met up was to celebrate our anniversary to go further in debt meet with our credit union manager to sign papers for a loan for a vehicle. For the last 7 weeks, I’ve been driving a rental (actually had 2 vehicles over the 7 weeks). The rental was part of the signing agreement. I had committed (back in February) to taking the car back today.

So, here is a pic of the car. It’s not new, but looks and drives as though it is.

Ford Focus


(cross posted to Andrea’s blog)

Just wanted to let everyone know Andrea is resting. She’s sore and weak, but otherwise doing quite well under the circumstances. I’ve done all the laundry so she’ll not have any of it to do before next weekend and looked after alot of the things around the house to make her week as easy as possible.

The note I’ll add here is that except homeschool journal blogs, I’ve done no blog reading since Wednesday. It will likely be Monday night before I get a chance to do much catching up.

Also note, there’s a blog ad over there on the left. Sounds interesting.

Brief Note

Thanks to every one. I’m home, Andrea slept well this evening. She has moved from the couch to our bedroom and is going to have a bite to eat before going to sleep. Hopefully, I’ll be able to join her before it gets too, too late. Until this evening, I’d only talked to her on the phone, but from what I can tell she is feeling a little better.

Late Post

I wanted to write a brief note to explain a lack of posts the last few weeks. To a degree, I’ve been expecting for some time that my employer was going to move me to an office in another town about 15 minutes drive away. This week, I packed up all 3 of my boxes of work related material and my computer and moved to said town. The office I’m in is temporary and in a few weeks I’ll be moving to another location (in the same town) and working there for an indefinite number of months (probably 5-10).

Since March, in the area where I’m now working, nothing has shown up for rent that has more than 2 bedrooms. There are places which have been running ads. But, as I’ve found out, some list them on a regular basis whether or not they have anything available. There is alot of compiling of waiting lists. So far, I’ve actually only seen one place that was big enough for us to move (i.e. bring all of our belongings) into. And that house is almost an hour’s drive from my new work location.

I don’t think this has quite reached the depressing stage yet. However, the ads that I’ve seen in the last couple weeks suggest that we are likely going to be living this way for a while. I won’t have any trouble getting a more permanent residence there for me. It won’t be ideal. But, among other things, I’ll be able to go home for lunch and eat ‘real’ food.

Anyway, if you don’t hear much from me in the next week, it’s because it may take all week to setup and have appointments to look at potential places.