Wednesday, October 31, 2007

i quit...

Today I wanted to quit my job. I thought it would be funny to leave this post to just that sentence.

Two children got into a huge fist fight in my class, and after it was done, the Vice Principal came in to talk to me about it. (taking up my entire lunch period mind you)He asked me questions about what I could have done differently so as to have not let the situation escalate into the fight. It happened so quickly that the only thing I was able to do was to separate them. He kept pressing the issue that I could have done more and I finally broke. I gave him my usual "garth" analogies and it didn't satisfy him. So, I just asked him want he wanted me to do. He was wanting me to own up to the fact that if I had been paying closer attention to the situation, if I had de-escalate the problem, if I had ... He even asked me if I agreed with the direction the school was going. All to say that I didn't give him the right answers. So, I felt like saying "thank you for all your input, and you may now find another teacher to not only deal with the students that attend this school, but also the way that you support them when students are not doing what they should be doing". I didn't quit. But I wanted too. I actually told another teacher after school that I wanted to move back to California. It was just my wanting to go back to something familiar.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

continued...

So we came down here and did the whole "find a house thing" and got settled a bit. After a few months Ildi and I (mostly Ildi) were talking about moving up to Ohio. I didn't mind after I had made the move here, after all, once you move across the country it's easy to move eight hours away.

While here, I emailed my old art teacher from junior high. I had visited him several years ago when we went to Ohio and since I (again Ildi) was thinking of maybe moving there I let him know I was possibly going to move back in the area and wanted to know how he was doing. (Really I wanted to know if he was nearing retirement time...crazy me!)

Meanwhile, back at the rental,the new friends we made in Ohio emailed and called me to let us know that there was a farm that was only seven miles from them that was going on auction the 23th of October. Low and behold, we decided to to go to the auction and make it a visit at the same time. We were set to leave early Saturday morning the 20th to Ohio. On Friday night after schol, I came home and checked my email as usual. My previous art teacher had emailed and mentioned that he was RETIRING! I about flipped! So, our trip up there was filled with hope.

Long story short, we didn't end up buying the auction house, but it will come up on the HUD market in a few months. We did peruse several other homes/farms and now have over eight under our belt. We a few more looks away from finding the place.

There were some other crazy/exciting details I left out so as to not get too detailed with this post. Maybe I will weave them in on some other ones.

Monday, October 29, 2007

interesting experiences

To begin with, last Tuesday we arrived back home after a weekend visit to Northwestern Ohio. In all, we were there for four days. I first need to tell you what spurred the visit in the first place and also some interesting experiences we have had prior to, and after our trip there.

Last summer, on our trip across the nation, we stopped in to visit some friends and family in Northwest Ohio; the place I spent the first 18 years of my life. We had decided to vist since it was only an eight hour drive south to get to our new city here in NC. While there, we stayed with friends that we have known for a few years and they introduced us to a family who are living a sustainable life. Meaning they make a living off of farming and eat from the garden. The family is a "plain" family and we ended up having dinner with them on a Sunday afternoon. Our families really had a lot in common so we felt comfortable sharing our family vision and direction and received and gave a whole bunch of encouragement. I think for two reasons. They are already living the way we want to start living, and they had some people (us), visit them and validate what they were doing. It was a reall good connecting time...

Monday, October 15, 2007

a time of reflection

On the way to worship, (our new term for church) Ildi and I were having a converstion AGAIN! :) about where we wanted to live. NC, TN, OH,... We were reminded that God had given us a plenty choices in our lives so far, and it seems this question of where to buy a farm is another one of those "choice" factors. It has been a huge responsibility to decide where to live and to narrow potential living situations. We are not taking this decision lightly.
For so many years in our early married life we lived circumstantially. Living paycheck to paycheck and not faced with the questions we are faced with now. Our choices back then, in comparison, seem quite easy to the ones we a working through now. For those of you who know us and have heard us harp on the strings of family mission, vision, and direction, we have been going back over those same things on a regular basis. It seemed like it was going to be clear once we got here, and our decision to buy a farm was already decided before we left California. However, it has opened our minds and hearts up to more questions about where we are going and what we want to spend out lives doing.
In our reflection we were reminded that we bought our first house in 2000. In September. It was today that we realized that we got into house debt seven years ago and that now (seven years later) we are at the point were we are a few days, or months, away from buying a piece of land with a house, COMPLETELY debt free. That means, no loan, no mortgage, no payments. What a testimony to God and an example of His goodness in our lives. What a way for Him to bring Glory to Himself. It is truly by His grace that we have arrived at this point in our lives.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

back in time...


Today we stepped back in time and visited the Old Salem Fall Harvest Festival. We filled the afternoon with watching churning butter, weaving baskets, decorating pumpkins, and making corn husk dolls. The Festival is a one day event that attracts visitors from around the state, nation, and world.

The sisters who were helping the children make were surprised when they started making accessories for their dolls. Seems juxtaposed. Corn husk dolls with accessories. :) This activity only inspired them more to get creative at home! Oh no..........

Friday, October 12, 2007

all together


This is one of the first pictures that we have had in a long time where I am not taking the photo. Here we are in Ohio visiting friends of ours. We are on our way back up this Friday to go to a farm auction. Who knows, we might find ourselves in Northwest Ohio by the summer. The auction is a foreclosed 22 acre farm that has a half-finished, restored brick home. It has several buildings on the property as well. Friends of ours visited the house and took about a hundred pictures of it. When we see it I'll post some.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

community

Today was a great day. Probably the first real feeling that community is developing. Early this morning we made our weekly trip to the Farmer's market. We had planned to stay only a short time because we were going to the fair by the late morning. While at the market, I struck up a conversation again with Ben. He's the local agrarian farmer who looks like a blast from the 70's. Great guy. Really helpful and full of information that I am needing. I bought a hand-carved, segmented snake from him to use as a model for the children to make their own. While talking with him, a fellow farmer stopped over to talk as well. Amish looking man and his son but not acually Amish. We spent about an hour talking about faith, farming, and family. Here I was with two men, who looked like opposite characters in a story, and me agreeing on a whole bunch of the way we want to live. Strangely, what gave me the community feel was our involvement with food. The connecting for us was our intense desire to sustain our families with home-grown goods. Not only was I talking to collect information about a county just north of us for farming purposes, but also Amory struck up a conversation with Ben about raising chickens. She is reading several things relating to having chickens in our back yard. I sometimes tease her and tell her she is going to be the "chicken lady."

On the way home, as usual, Ildi and I talked about out trip "to town." Just kidding:) We were discussing that it is this type of community we are looking for in church. A place where everyone looks different but has the same values. A place where the expression of God is diverse and yet the theme of faith and family runs through. A place where scripture is taught and freedom to live life the way God intends you to live is encouraged. We couldn't help but notice the trend of most churches telling families how to live. Everyone fitting into the molds of the local congregation and seemingly trying to fit in and conform to the collective "look." All the appearances of community but a genuine feeling of disconnect.

Our journey out here has taken a different path than what I thought. Actually, I'm am no longer sure if I thought much past just moving out of California. I am extremely thankful to God for all He has given us, but I am more thankful for what He is doing in us right now.

Friday, October 5, 2007

weekend "to town"

Tomorrow is another busy Saturday. Not really busy as much as eventful. It has been fun to weekly go as a family shopping at the Farmer's Market and then to a couple of other stores to pick up odds and ends. This time we are adding a little bit of city history to the daily agenda. The FAIR!

The Dixie Classic Fair has been here in Winston for many years. A cute little fair with the charm of a smaller city. I had to put some artwork up from my school students so I got a sneak peek at the fair this year. It's to the market early, then off to the fair in the afternoon. Sounds like a small-town type of day.

The more Ildi and I talk about the future farm idea, the more solidified we get on what we want. We have decided that we definately want snow now. Snow was out of the picture earlier when we decided to move to the east coast. But being here in NC and hearing the report that it hardly ever snows here has been a little dissapointing. So........ :)