Sunday, June 29, 2008

what I was thinking . . .

My trips to Ohio are beginning to feel like traffic felt in Los Angeles. I find myself thinking after a few hours of driving, and certain landmarks, "I am almost there" and "I should be seeing this by now." Counting it up, I have traveled to OH six times this year so far and anticipate at least one more trip. This past visit I had a second interview at a school near the Columbus area. This area is still rural but has the closeness of the big city within the hour. I also interviewed for a position in Lima which is almost exactly where we want to live; really north and really flat. The lady I interviewed with has already invited me back for a 'second round' interview for the position. I will be traveling back up the week of the 14 th.

I have been motivated again to create art. There for years, I worked on a M.Ed. and making my own art was not a focus. I was more interested in the 'art' of teaching. Now, I am excited to get back to creating art and am looking forward to sharing it with a large internet audience. I started an online gallery that houses some of my earlier work. You can find it at Drawspace.com. If you click the gallery tab and then click on or click here for advance search find the box that says Files submitted by and type in foutfolk. Make sure to check the box for exact name match. Here is a link if that seems to difficult. PLEASE be careful if you are browsing other artist's work. Sometimes there is work that is not necessarily appropriate. For the major part, it is a fairly modest art site. It also gives you great lessons in drawing if you want, or want your children to learn to draw. I am thinking of focusing my art around the theme of sustainability, health, and agrarianism. Should be fun. I already have several paintings "done" in my head and only need to transfer them to paper or canvas.

These last few weeks in NC should be fun. We are now planning our trips to want we want to see before we leave. I think we are going to make it to the coast as well. Last summer we went to the Pacific, and this summer will be the Atlantic!

Monday, June 23, 2008

hi ho . . . hi ho . . .

It's off to Ohio I go . . . (again) Tomorrow is my "look, I'm driving to Ohio again trip" It might sound like I have an attitude about driving up to Ohio huh? I don't, or at least I think I don't. I am thankful that I have some interviews lined up and I am REALLY hoping to arrange a few more while I am there.

In addition, the ODE (Ohio Department of Education) sent me a letter stating that I needed to send them copies of my previous credentials to evaluate, of which it would cost me $50.00 to evaluate them, and that the fee went up for credentials from $60.00 to $200.00. WOW! inflation doesn't wait for anyone. I also made an appointment to be fingerprinted again. Ohio doesn't trust that I can work with children until THEY personally check it out. Forget that I have been fingerprinted in two other states. Here in NC is was only $10.00. I guess it doesn't matter though, they must realize that I am made of money :)

Amory and Gresham have had a couple of days with fevers. Nothing big. Everyone else seems to have avoided it. We'll see. Today we were supposed to go to the NC Zoo with some friends, but with Amory feeling bad, we decided to all stay home.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

are we in the field yet...

Ildi and the children went to the Greensboro Arboretum the other day. The girls found an apricot tree and collected some fruit that had fallen on the ground only to be wasted. They brought it home and were excited to get started on making some jam. This was their first attempt at making it and I am hoping it is by far not the last. It was tart and delicious! We smathered it on some buttermilk biscuits for late breakfast this morning.

Job front news...I had a couple of interviews and am going back to Ohio the early part of next week for a few more. It seems that the floodgates are starting to open up. Ohio teachers have until July 1st to inform the district whether or not they are returning. Hopefully this will open more positions to apply for. It is hard to keep in mind that I only need ONE job because I keep thinking of it being like shopping at the mall. Let me have a whole bunch to choose from and then choose the one I like the most. Crazy thinking! I am really hoping to get in a location close to the Findlay, Lima, Kenton area.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

father's day reflections...

Here's another video that Nolan has made. It is a dedication to me and a gift he made for Father's Day. Got to love it when your children make gifts that cost them nothing but time, and they learn a skill along the way. Sounds like a book in the making. And, giving credit where credit is due, he used a song from the westcoastrevival CD. Westcoastrevival is a group of young talented musicians that are part of Sovereign Grace Church in Pasadena, CA that we attended before our move here.

video

I think it is the second of many videos/movies to come; he has shown GREAT interest in learning more about video and video production. Hopefully this intrigue will serve him well in the future. For those who are interested, I made him a proposal of a small business venture yesterday morning. It seems that I am always sparking him to think about business ventures. He has had some small business experience of making white boards for classrooms, where he once outfitted an entire junior high school population of around 400 students with white boards. This next proposal includes video production. Here's the idea...

You send photos, digital images, text you want written, and music choice, and he makes a small movie production. No idea what to write or music to choose? No problem. Just send the photos and be surprised at what you get! All of this for a donation for his time. As well... you are supporting the Arts.

Now to the real information that I wanted to post today. I am reading Gene Logsdon's The Contrary Farmer. With some time on my hands now, I am using it wisely by reading some work that I have wanted to read, and some work that will help me in my new venture of cottage farming. I have so many things to say concerning how this book has already changed my thoughts concerning moving to a more agrarian lifestyle. Mostly it has caught me right before my apparent "success" from the world's standpoint. (I just corrected the misspelled word standpoint...I spelled it satanpoint...scary huh?)

I just reached the point in my life where I could have all the things that others would consider evidence of success. Cars, houses, and a large family. And all paid for as well. Everything that I thought was worth working for I have now decided that I don't want. Or better yet, God does not want for me. I still think that those things sway my thinking. I love beautiful homes, suburban communities, cultural activities, city life in a sense. But I feel that God has intercepted my own desires and has graciously nudged me ever so slightly to this way of thinking that will so shortly be a reality. As a spooked horse reacts to an aggressive master, He knew that it would take time and circumstances to convince me of something that eventually I am going to love. I am amazed at the way God stewards time, resources, people, and circumstances to change our ideas about what is important.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Our recent trip(s) have come to an end. Last Wednesday to SC, and then Thursday to Ohio. We arrive home Sunday morning around 4:00 am. It only took us eight hours to travel even though I took a scenic route around the area where I interviewed at a school. This place was slightly north of Columbus and was settled within a valley. VERY PRETTY and very small.

Yesterday I spent most of the day sleeping and resting. I read a book by Isabella Alden called The Man of the House. A narrative about a little twelve year old boy who finds himself taking care of his mother and sister, and growing up in the process. The book is written by a late 1800's pastor's wife who weaves character throughout the story. I found so many ways to relate to him and am excited to read it to the children.

Speaking of children...Gresham is now poot trained. Poot is the word he uses when he needs to use the bathroom. Of course we have the occasional accident, but he is extremely aware that there's a place for everything, and that everything goes in its place. Thank God. :) Nolan made me a Father's Day video. I'll have to post it sometime for all to see. The younger children made cards for me. They are all extremely excited to move.

In Ohio, they had plenty of time to enjoy working on a farm. We stayed with friends that live a fairly plain lifestyle. They helped finish putting hay in the barn when we first arrived, they helped with milking, moving the chicken tractor, collecting eggs, and as a surprise, witnessed one of the many cats give birth to 5 kittens. Macy was particularly happy about naming each one of them. Amory spent most of the time developing a friendship she had started with their 12 year old daughter. Two peas in a pod! Asher got to be helpful boy to their youngest son who followed him around and wanted to spend the whole day with Asher. They rode the milk cows when they sent them back to pasture, and Nolan even got to drive the tractor. I don't think that any one of them wore shoes the entire time we were there. And Saturday morning, they helped the family sell produce and meat at the local farmer's market. Lots of great things to learn.

Monday, June 9, 2008

starting to see the light...

Today was a hopeful day. After weeks of sending out resumes' and not hearing anything, today I got a call for an interview. Whoo Hoo! Looks like Thursday I'll go up for an interview on Friday. Hopefully, this will be the season (these next few weeks) that I get a few calls and am able to interview at a few different places. I am really wanting to teach High School in a really small, rural town. The kind of school that has all the students, K-12, in one building and the total population is 300 to 400 students. Actually, there was one job posting that was similar to that and needed an art teacher for the K-12 grade. Small town USA would be great.

The children are finishing up studies for this academic year. It is hard to believe that this next year we will have one of our children in high school already. As most of you who have grown children already know, the time does go by quickly.

This week is promising to be busy. Tuesday is my last day at the school here in NC. Wednesday we are traveling to South Carolina to pick up some milk, then Thursday head up to Ohio for the weekend. Summer time has always been a traveling time for us as a family. We have got to Oregon, Washington, driven across the nation, camped in the Sierra Nevada, and Yosemite National Park. Our trip this summer will be our move up to Ohio.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tomorrow is the last day that I have students. Monday and Tuesday are work days for me to clean up the room and finish getting all of my stuff out. And then...I am officially jobless.

Our hope, and prayer is that I will get a call in a few weeks and be summoned to interview somewhere at a school that I have applied to. Last year at this time, I had interviewed at a few schools but did not decide until the middle of June where we were going to live. We ended up moving in the latter part of July. I have a lease agreement here until the end of July and then it is up in the air where we will be.

I am enjoying the freedom that comes with deciding where we want to live, but I am also excited to stop moving and plant ourselves on a plot of land and sit for awhile. A long while :) As I was taking boxes out of my classroom today, the thought of never moving again seemed closer at hand.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

watching TV...

Since we have no TV, this past year I have subscribed to the basic plan of Netflix. Netflix provides a great service of sending you movies in the mail that are postage paid, both ways. After viewing, you just send it back in the mail. I tried it for a free trial period, then decided to keep it at $4.99 a month. We watch two movies per month with two hours online viewing. In addition to the ABC.Com that I watch, it is plenty of time spent in front of a screen. The nice thing about this limited amount is that I can actually say exactly how much time I spend watching something. Total for the month was 2 hours and 50 minutes for online TV, and we watched Cranford for a total of 3 hours.