How do you get ready for the new year?

(I’m shifting my chatty and “personal” stuff over to this blog, so reading updates and so on will probably be kept here now.)

I am continually re-evaluating and “tweaking” my life, and see the turn over to the new year as another natural opportunity for that.

This year begins the second full year in our new home, and Jay has had vacation time to do some of the indoor projects that make my life easier (Thank you Jay!).

Mainly, I have a bit more counter-space for kitchen work, and (today) he’s finishing up the re-piping of my little laundry room, installing a (Craigslist) stacked W/D to double my working space there.

Having a year behind us is a huge encouragement to me, because we’ve got our baseline (nearly) nailed down, and now we’re free just to figure out living.

I just began our second month of planned meals (I’ve been amazed at how much brain matter that clears out for other use), and over Christmas break I worked out a schedule I plan to apply once we start school again.

The hopeful thing about this schedule (I keep telling myself) is that I didn’t add a bunch of stuff I *wish* could happen.  Nearly everything on the list is stuff we’ve been doing already, just not as consistently as I want (bed and waking times, for example).

Two things I did add are weekly “project” time with each kid– I want to do special stuff with them, but have proven I don’t do well with unstructured time– and twice weekly bringing Griffin– the male angora– inside for grooming.

Griffin has the most amazing, spinnable wool, so naturally it matts and felts for nothing.  Which simply means it needs to be maintained if I want to get a good harvest.

Yesterday I made a short list of the stuff I expect (hope) to buy, and the books I’d like to have read (or re-read) before the end of the year.  I even brought inside the (hmm) 22 books and put them all on a single shelf, cause that’s the way I am.

The sad thing to me, is how (mathematically speaking) 22 books is a very realistic number to expect to consume in 12 months (you see, it’s a little less than 2 per month. I’m sure I’ve done at least that this year; I haven’t gone back and counted yet).  It’s sad because it fills a good 24″ chunk of shelf, and can’t help drawing attention to the fact that I have many multiples of that amount of space being filled by books I want to read.

I know better than to make a resolution not to buy anything new this year (some of you remember how empty that promise has been in the past), but it certainly highlights the inherent optimism of buying books.

Anyway, I’ll be staring a “Finished in 2012” book page, as I did for 2009, because, as huge and ungainly as it gets, it’s just simpler to maintain than multiple miniature posts.

Over half of my reading this year was on the kindle, and most of those were free or under $5. I kept track in my home document/journal, but I guess I felt more…sensitive about what I read. I suppose I should be confident enough to “be me” and read what I want without explanation or apology, but I’m not there yet.  Maybe when I’m 50.  At least I’m still reading them, right?

Continue reading

Reproducing like Rabbits

Okay, we now have evidence we’ve got this Rabbit-breeding thing figured out at last.

With the four mamas that delivered Tuesday we now have 30 baby buns in the Rabbit/chicken house.

We also have the hard decisions to make: namely, who to eat and how many to keep breeding.

Two of our “first-timers” kindled this month, and produced the awesomest nests I’ve yet seen on our property.

The nesting boxes we use have bottoms made of pegboard, so the infants’ natural instinct to burrow down ends up setting them against the holes.  But but Buttercup’s nest had a solid felted floor the littles couldn’t crawl through.

Joan, our single “silver fox” (mix) rabbit also made a nice nest.  I was contemplating “retiring” the older generation and letting all the youngsters carry the flock, then I realized that the older mama’s bebe’s had, well, distinctly fuller tummies.

I still don’t have an easy way to snap a picture in dim light, but observe this shape: db

Now imagine that the staff is a little’s ribcage, and the bulbs are its belly.  They doin’ some seriously good eatin’ in those nests.

My favorite thing about baby bunnies?  Holding.

Parenting with M-B Insights

Young children can be divided into four groups, just as adults can, but because Children’s types are still developing the groups are designated only by dominant process: N, S, F or T.

Children whose dominant process is N tend to be very imaginative, seeing possibilities, thinking of the future, frequently storytellers and often lost in their own world.  They can be very focused on things others don’t notice, and still miss the obvious.  These are the kids who genuinely don’t notice they’re stepping on the only book left on the floor.

Children whose dominant process is S tend to be very grounded and practical children.  Their wants and delights are physical: bright colors or quiet spaces, building towers and watching how they fall. Their distractions and distresses, also lean to the physical: the cold, a stickiness, or stone in the shoe. They have a high attentiveness to the information gathered through their senses: tastes, textures, sounds sights and smells.

Children whose dominant process is F tend to be very aware relationally, either with regards to how their behavior affects others, or how others’ behavior affects them.  Compassion, people-pleasing and cries of unfair are all things that seem to show up “early” in these children.

Children whose dominant process is T tend to be very confident.  They know what they want and frequently how to get it.  They value competency, proof, and proving themselves. They are often more interested in things than people, and can seem mature for their age, based on their lower emotional volatility.

Continue reading

Now That’s a Nice Curriculum

We went to a Christmas party tonight, where we got to watch the pod race from the Star Wars (I) movie in the movie room: widescreen, 3D TV with surround sound speakers making it impossible to hear anything else.

Elisha wandered in partway through and couldn’t move for watching (I scooped him up and brought him to my lap on the couch).

On the way home Jay made a comment about reminding himself not to be jealous; that he had plenty of nice things that he liked, and he just chose to spend his money differently.

From the backseat Natasha piped with a surety that convinced me she’d picked it up at Sunday School: “Some things God chooses not to give us and we should be content with what we have.”

Jay didn’t hear her and asked Natasha to repeat herself, which she did, word-for-word, adding shyly, “I memorized it from my science book.”

Myers-Briggs Personality Theory, phase three: Preferences and Processes

So first we looked at the terminology for M-B observations, then after ending up with 16 combinations we looked at how they subgroup into four distinct quadrants.

In preparation for phase three, I’ll review/rephrase a bit of P/J explanation.

My mom has this great line that is used to explain just about every confusing thing people do:

Your perception is your reality.

How you see the world shapes who you are.  And you can’t convince someone they’re not seeing something they see.

Continue reading