Finding Homes

Since I have no intention of becoming a crazy cat lady, the little bundles of fluff and destruction needed forever families before they ate us out of house and home.

boy kitten

boy kitten

Our little boy found a home with a shy little girl. She sent us a picture of him later, with a leopard print cat scratch and more toys than all of our pets put together. He is going to be one spoiled kitty.
girl kitten

girl kitten

Our little girl went to a neighbor to be a barn mouser. She was fearless of their dogs and had the whole pack trained not to mess with her in a week!



This is little Nariko, we kept her with the mother.

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Fall Reflections

Fall always brings with it, a time to start new. We school year round, so it isn’t our “beginning” but I do look over our year and do some tweaking. This fall, I am organizing better, updating transcripts for the new classes we are introducing and calculating grades for the courses we have completed.

It dawned on me that I have ALL high school and college aged children, now. I still wonder where the time went…and how it passed so quickly! The Imp has thrown aside her pigtails and fusses endlessly with sloppy buns and developing her own style. The Gremlin discusses at length that he doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life, and this scares him. I remind him that I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up, either. I just take the next step and wander off the path if God puts an interest or calling in my heart, this has served me very well. He nods and shrugs. We press on.

The Sarge is navigating college. Week 2 and all A’s. He likes the change of pace and perked up when a history teacher’s lecture turned to theology…he thrives on discussion and debate. It’s part of his process of sorting what he believes and defining his world. It’s good.

I am decluttering our spaces, purging things that don’t get used or worn and keeping only things that can serve multiple functions. We can do with much less. We need to.

This is a season for reflection and taking stock, for organizing, and making preparations for an uncertain future….and always pushing forward. In the cracks between routine and responsibility, I look for moments to make memories for the children. I want them to look back and smile at the laughter and fun that we shared between the “must do’s”. It is a time to cherish the burly hugs, long teen talks over Chex mix and cocoa, and late-night giggling fits over everything and nothing.

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Watching Closely

Still only 3.

This morning, Mom was agitated and started pushing hard. She left the nest and paced the bathroom, chortling. Finally, she moved her bowels (for 1st time since birth) and then settled in with the kittens again. She has had little contractions throughout the day, but no major pushing or straining. No fever. No signs of distress.

Kittens are thriving and gaining weight. Mom seems exhausted. She won’t drink water, but will eat canned food with water stirred in. She is tending to kittens and resting when she can.

Update: By nightfall, kittens were climbing all over her with shaking-wobbly efforts and tiny little squeaks.

The buff male (#1) has discovered that he can push the other two away and steal their feeding sites. He is the strongest and biggest. Favorite place to sleep is across mom’s neck.

The orange female (#2) turned completely buff colored when she dried. She is the weakest and we monitor her feedings to make sure she isn’t pushed away by the others. She stays close to mom’s belly most of the time.

The gray-black female (#3) is the most vocal and protests loudly at the slightest thing. She is very strong and will defend her feeding spot. She is always on top of kitten pile. She likes to sleep behind the mom’s back, stretched out against her for warmth.

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We’ve been birthing kittens!


#1- Male, buff colored (breach)
delivered: Aug 26,2014 11:04am

#2- Female, orange and buff (breach)
delivered: Aug 26, 2014 2:35pm


#3- Female, black w/white line by ear (nose 1st)
delivered: Aug 26, 2014 8:30pm
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#4- ? movement visible higher up during birth of #3. Mom too tired to push. Labor stalled. Kittens nursing, mom sleeping.

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We took the kids to the dentist 7 months ago. We knew we had to have work done on one of the boys. We saved up over a couple months and were ready to make the appointment right around the time my appendix ruptured.

Several hospital, (against-my-will) ambulance, and anesthesia payments later, we received the reminder that it is time to bring son in for his next cleaning. “Oh, wow…has it been that long?! We didn’t have his work done yet….we are still paying off hospitals….how are we going to pay for that!?”

I made the appointment for cleaning and decided we would figure something out to cover the delayed dental work that was sure to follow. (I have curriculum to sell.)

At the appointment, they insisted that his tooth was beyond filling and we now needed a crown.(Cha-ching we just doubled the price of a filling.) We made the appointment for the next day.

When the dentist called me back, I knew it wasn’t good news. Nothing is ever simple and our English genes dictate that teeth will always be the bane of our existence. He had begun cleaning out the tooth for the crown and it went too close to the nerve. Status upgrade…Root Canal. (We just doubled the price of the crown….possibly more.) PLUS, since they agitated near the nerve, he is now at Priority Status and must be seen as soon as possible. Our dentist made a referral and called in a favor to get him seen during the specialist’s lunch hour.

Day 3 of dentistry. Still sore from the 1st attempt, we got son in for root canal. We saved a few charges because the specialist used the x-rays from our normal dentist. We will need to save up four round 2 in November to get the crown done, but at least we are not in danger of losing the tooth.

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New Addition

With the passing of both the cats so close to one another, things have been a bit off. The dog was raised by those cats and was beginning to show signs of loss. He has become neurotic about his bed and drags it all over the house. He looks everywhere for them still and seems lonely. We wanted another kitty, but needed some time.

Then, we found a little kitty living in the driveway drain pipe for 2 days. We thought she was a kitten and she was eating bugs to stay alive. We brought her in and fed her. We looked for her owners. We took her to the vet to get shots/fixed and see if she had a chip. She didn’t…. and we found out she was pregnant.

Meet Hadassah.

Homeschool Moment: Hadassah was the Hebrew name for Esther. Historically, Esther was King Xerxes’ Queen. Our dog is named Xerxes (after Persian King). We found out the cat was pregnant (making her a “queen” in breeder lingo) so it fit.

Our small town vet still voices his disapproval for our pet names every time we visit. I told him about our friend, whose goldfish is named Theopolis … and explained that it’s a homeschool-thing. The vet just shakes his head.

Our kitty is very pregnant. Lately, she is beginning to nest and is sleeping more and more. We expect to have kittens any day now!

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The Piano Stool

20140703_144005 - Edited
We found it, another dusty treasure! This one was found in a dusty corner of an attic. Hubby used to lay on it superman-style and spin when he was a little boy, visiting his grandparents. Grandpa used to sell pianos for awhile, so we think it was from those days. Based on the style and finishing materials, we have it dated in the 1900s.

When he found it, it was in pretty rough shape. The wooden base was peeling and chipping from the extreme temperatures and humidity. The iron legs were rusting and pitted and the fabric had holes that let the sawdust padding poke through. Having lost its usefulness, it had been discarded to the attic to collect dust.

This was a weekend project. Hubby stripped and sanded the base. He decided not to stain it since the wood grain was not pretty. Instead, he painted it in the black it had been. Then he wire-wheeled the cast iron legs and sprayed those to match. Finally, we hunted down fabric to re-upholster the seat pad. (We replaced the sawdust with a foam pad, but we may go back to the original, we kept it in case we want to have that option.) It turned out GREAT and looks so perfect with my sewing machine!

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