Tuesday, April 29, 2008

there're here...

The robin chicks started hatching the other day and it didn't take long for all of them to follow the natural pattern of birth and quickly join each other in the nest. It is certainly a wonder to witness and our children are getting a first-hand experience of the whole process. In some cases, it is hard not to be bothered by the incessant "can we go see the chicks again" question. We have had to limit their visits so that the mother can actually feed them! Speaking of mothering, birthing, and visiting, that reminds me of a documentary Ildi and I watched the other night called The Business of Being Born. If you haven't seen it before, and you are in the part of your life where you are still having children, it is well worth your time to watch.

In the past, I have not been an ANTI person. You know those people...anti-taxes, anti-government, anti-this and anti-that. I have not always been resistant either of doctor's and hospitals. However, over the last few years, I have come to a place where I have desired to become more self-sufficient and that has had an effect on my thinking concerning other areas of my life. For example, as a family we rarely see the doctor. When we are sick, we just let our bodies fight off the infection and allow our immune system to do its job. And then there is Gresham. Two years ago Ildi decided that she did not want to go through the whole hospital thing again with giving birth. So, she had him in the comfort of her own home.

This documentary is really eye-opening for many reasons. Besides exposing some of the real catastrophies that happen in hospital situations, it reveals some of the huge benefits of women taking responsibility for their birthing and the power that women possess when accepting it. It also demonstrates how far we have meandered from doing things ourselves. Here is a list of a few things that come to mind.

1. We let the Sunday School teacher teach our children the Bible.
2. We let teachers teach our children how to live.
3. We let doctor's tell us what is best for us having only looked at our throats for a moment.
4. We listen to news and let it influence the way we live.
5. We buy food from a store not knowing where it came from, or what is really in it.

Anyway, before I get ranting and raving about "the way we live" now, (which is a good BBC movie by the way), the documentary is a good one to watch. :) In a few nights, we are going to watch another one that is lighter in content. Frank Lloyd Wright and his influence as an architect.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

tid bits...

First off, we celebrated Gresham's second birthday today in the traditional Fout family style. We all sit around and sing to the birthday child and then eat an EXCELLENT home made dessert. Macy made a cake and it was topped with strawberries and vanilla ice cream. This year, for some reason, we didn't buy any gifts for the children for their birthdays. It is sort-of a strange feeling not to give gifts during a birthday celebration. We have not decided to eliminate giving gifts all of the sudden, it just worked out that we did not purchase them this whole year for the children. They have been extremely mature about it, and on occasion made things for each other. It is very sweet to witness brothers and sisters wanting to give gifts to each other of items they make. Reminds me of the family values coming alive.

Next, we are officially a two bird family now. Ildi baked some chicken for us the other night, adding some baked potatoes, and some skillet fried corn. Our family has grown so much that we polish off two of them for one meal. Scares me to think of our future food needs. :)

The Ohio teacher job fair trip was outrageous. Partly because I ran over a tire rubber on the road and damaged the rental car so much that it was inoperable. I did get a switch-out car in WV and it only took about three hours out of my travel time. At the job fair I was one of eight hundred people applying for the three hundred or so open positions. I waited in lines for over forty minutes to just meet and talk for three minutes and introduce myself. Reminded me of a farmer's market gone bad. We'll see if I get any calls from it.

I also got an almost full price offer on my house in Rowland Heights. An investor has offered on the property and I am excited to write up the proposal and mail it to her. With the house selling, we will be able to buy a larger plot of land this summer. In addition, the renter who I had there returned from Taiwan and is interested in renting again. Either way, renting or selling, it will be a good deal.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

signs of life...

So many little things to report on today. First, the robin's nest has had some additions over the last few days. The children are excited to watch the process of baby birds being born. Next, Nolan build a bird house last year and it has it's first homeowners. Chickadees! The eggs are so small they look like jelly beans. The ones that are speckled and are flavored like buttered
popcorn. (that's gross by the way)

Next, Macy has been growing moss and recently transplanted some of it inside in a terrarium. Asher found a turtle and he has now joined the tank. All of the children took part in designing the environment for the turtle. Rocks, wood for climbing, a small pond. I can't wait to get our farm so that they can really spend some time learning about and caring for animals. I guess this is a good way for them to start.

Here are the teeny tiny little eggs of the chickadee bird. It's a good thing the roof of the birdhouse comes off. Amory's birdhouse has some sort of nesting material in it but it doesn't seem to be housing any animals yet. This weekend will be my trip up to Ohio to go to a job fair in the Dayton area. I made another portfolio of my student's work and am excited to share it with the people I meet. I am however getting a little tired of the "finding a new job" stuff. I just went through it last year at this time.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

change is in the air...

Spring is a wonderful time of change. Physical, mental, and sometimes emotional changes. These changes remind me of the passages I have read so many times in Ecclesiastes. Even though no time period or author is mentioned in the book, we can all relate to the timeless truths that the author points out as he takes stock of the world he has experienced between the horizons of birth and death. The point of it all being that there is a time for everything.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear, and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." Ecc 3: 1-8

Here is an example of changes that are occurring around the house. The children built a nest on the wreath that hangs on our fence. A few weeks later, a bird built her nest and placed her egg there. Not only will we get to see the whole Luna moth life cycle, but now we get to watch the season of birth of the Robin.

In addition to the change of seasons, I have to undergo some changes as well. It's that time again of the season that I need to interview for a new teaching position! With new interviews and a potential new position, I have to do a "little" changing myself. I let the children cut my beard off to have a cleaner look for the job fair I am attending in Ohio this next weekend. It will probably take a few days for them to get over the newness of seeing my face again. :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

about blogging...

Recently I have stumbled onto quite a few blogs that have been helpful. From recycling, to farming, to photography, you name it, someone has a blog about it. It is an interesting arena to share our knowledge, experiences, and lives with one another. It is also nice to meet others this way. Obviously, like everything else, there are pitfalls. Sites that are not appropriate. But I am not going to focus on those.

My most recent "find" is the Best Green Blogs site. WOW! what a resource for just about anything you would need to learn how to be more green. Also, for those that are interested, you can buy the James Washer here, as well as a thousand other Off Grid Living products.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

back to...

Sunday when we got home I was so excited to post; I had so much to say and was unable to decide which thought to convey. I had planned out each post and believed it would take me a whole week to say "what I wanted to say". The thoughts were tentatively in my mind and I was excited to spend the week writing about what I was thinking. Two days back at work and POOF! All of the thoughts are gone. Makes me wonder if I had any good thoughts at all.

I am trying to recollect the ideas that I had. You know, sort-of like when you forget something you run through your mind what you had been doing up to that point. But still nothing. :(

I'm sure if I wait on it a little longer, I'll remember what was so important.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

spring break 08...

In the past, spring break has always been a time when I do lots of different activities. Activities that sometimes need to be done, and some that I just want to do. Several things come to mind...I remember boiling the kitchen cabinet hardware to get the paint off, painting rooms of our home, landscaping/planting things in our yard, and preparing a house to sell. Yet, with all of the variety, I can't remember a spring break time that did not involve traveling of some kind. This year was no different concerning traveling. It involved driving up to Ohio to visit friends and family.

While there I learned a few things along the way. It is always nice to incorporate pleasurable break time with learning experiences.

Some homesteading friends of mine are on the fast track of doing as many things as possible for themselves. Each of them have unique talents for providing for their families, and sometimes for others as well. Here's a list of the things I (and at times my family) did while we were there.

~Visited the Amish to buy 150 lbs. of wheat, 4 g. of maple syrup, popcorn, oil, and some salt.
~Attended a Weston A. Price meeting to hear about Gut health.
~Helped bottle and label some home-brewed ale cider. (pictured above)
~Helped process chicken. (I made sure the lungs and wind pipe were removed)

Not only was it a good visiting time, but it was also a good learning time. The only downside to taking a trip like this is the mountain of work that is accumulated for us to do when we get home.


But it is always worth it. :)