Wow, we sure have been delinquent in our blogging habits. This time of year has gotten the best of me *yet again*....even though I'm not homeschooling yet! September through December used to be all one big blurry rush towards Christmas for us in the Howell family......getting into school, projects, classes, and the Big Christmas Production in whatever form.....caroling, plays, dances, parties, music in any and every form, and combinations of all of the above. *WHEW* It isn't as bad as it was when there were 5 kids in the family........but now, I'm the Second-In-Command, and it's a lot harder to sift through the invitations & ideas & classes, to find a good balance for our family......while still keeping a good Home Structure intact.
This month we've added a new member to our babysitting job. Blake (4 mos old) comes to visit once or twice a week, and Violet *LOVES* him!! She's interested in everything he does.....which, incidentally, makes everything he does a little harder for me to manage. I do not understand how mothers keep their sanity with more than one child. I suppose somehow, the maternal love born with their offspring manages to power their brains through toddlerhood.
While adding to the babysitting, we've lost a piano student, thanks to the financial lows our country is experiencing. It's a good time to be in the military, I must say......we are the last people to feel the pinch, that's for sure. I'm so thankful for that dependable paycheck and always-present medical insurance these days. Of course, all that will likely be ending in a year, so in a sense, we are feeling the pinch, since we are trying harder than ever to save pennies to line our Nest with for ETS-ing. God help us, it's going to be such an adventure, getting out, finding a house, getting a mortgage, a job, and finding students and schooling!!!
Today is the last of a four-day weekend, and Ben is out practicing his shooting skills, trying to prepare for a (hopefully....) hunting trip next weekend. He's been invited out into the Washington Wilderness to find some Elk or something......and I'm terribly excited about the prospect of filling our freezer with meat for free. :) :) :) We've already done quite well with salmon this fall, visiting a local Indian hatchery, standing in line, waiting for free handouts. Once they kill the fish and harvest their eggs, they hand them out to whoever's waiting in line. We've gotten 8 HUGE salmon so far this year........that's about 20 meals of salmon for us, all for FREE. I've gotten pretty good at filleting, too, by now, though it usually takes all day to go get them, gut them, fillet them, clean them, and clean up the guts and mess from the freezer. It's totally worth it, though. Even out here in the PNW, salmon is not the cheapest meat. It's about $2.79 a lb. at its best price.
Anyhow, I know I'm rambling. I plan on doing some more organized posts in the near future. I've got some ideas brewing from some discussions Ben & I have had recently....politics, child-rearing, education, church, etc. Good stuff. I cannot tell you how amazingly wonderful it is to have him here again, folks, sharing in Violet's parenting, being head of the household, and just---my friend and confidant. I had forgotten just how much I missed him for 15 months!