Well, here's a short update on everyone.
Austin, is 5 years old. He's starting to learn to read, and loves math and arts/crafts. He's a pretty good skateboarder, and trying desperately to ride a 2 wheeler. He's a whiz at memorizing and picked up the Pledge of Allegiance in 2 days, and John 3:16 in 3 days. He's in Awana Sparkies and flying along and loves it. He's also in a music class which he just loves. We've taken a break from piano lessons, because we need a real piano at this stage and we just don't have $4,000 at the moment to get a decent one that is good for our Suzuki lessons sadly. He loves piano though. He also wants to take up violin, horseback riding, and a few sports (soccer/basketball). Unfortunately we have neither the time nor money for all of these, so we try a few things at a time. He's very motivated.
Hunter is 3 and is in Awana cubbies this year. He seems to like it and has quickly bonded with a girl, Clancy there. It's a tad past his 7pm bedtime, so he starts nodding off at storytime, but perks up at gym/snack time. :) He's picking up many things Austin does (good and bad). He is just in love with his goat: Gladdie (we have yet to change the names). We just picked up 3 goats last week: Elizabeth (Austin's), Gladdie (Hunter's), and Baby Girl (well, baby girl's - aka Kiara's). The boys goats are twins, and we're thinking of kidding them next spring and then using them as milking goats. We've also toyed with the 4H idea as well. Who knows. Right now they're pets and are supposed to be eating all the brush on our property. Hunter loves, loves Mickey mouse, and at Disneyland wanted to wait in line to see him rather than ride the rides. So sweet. He's in music class too, and he likes it once we're there but never wants to leave Austin to actually get there.
Kiara is almost 1.5 years old. She's talking a lot and doing some great baby signs. She loves to say 'okay', 'not funny' and 'milk'. She calls BooBoo (one of our kitties) and he comes running. She's trying to run, and if you have something she wants (likely food), she'll move quicker than lightning for it. She's getting more teeth in, poor thing. She loves her brothers and animals - her little face lights up for both. Austin & her have story time every night, and he is great with her. She's in music class too and just thrives - I love spending this little alone time with her each week to watch her mimic the older kids. She's just a doll.
Ethan's still working his butt off. All the time. He picked up a 84 Ford F150 a few weeks ago so we can haul crap from the house (branches,etc) to the office or our property. He's less than thrilled with it and thinking of trading in the Accord & truck for a nicer, newer truck. If we could find a decent one that is. He's been working hard each weekend with us out at the property - cleaning and burning. It's hard (discusting) work, but he's liking the outdoor time and exercise he says.
Rissa (me) is taking a break from school this term (I took summer classes instead - and aced of course), since we just closed on our land last month and are trying to finalize building plans. Also taking a break from Doula work right now. I'm doing all the accounting for Ethan's company, and it's a lot of work. I'm still running the Indoor Parks in town, which is extra work this year especially for reasons I can not disclose yet. Homeschooling Austin for Kindergarten this year, which is going great. The kid loves to learn. I just with I had more one on one time with him since he'd do 8 hours a day of school stuff if I let him! I do have 2 other children to take care of and a house that always needs cleaning which gets in the way. We've almost always got stacks of library books here it seems. He's such a sponge.
Our house plans are almost done (we bought them a few months ago, but our builder tweaked some things for us that we requested). We have to submit them to the engineer, and get our permits then we get to break ground. Oh wait - we still have 6 acres of some random old man's crap to clean up. :( We're trying to do it ourselves to save around $20,000 - which is going - well slow. We got the stalls cleaned out and the goats live there. We got the worksop almost cleared and parked the old beast truck in there. The large barn/garage thing - like half cleaned. The grounds (ie - all the crap left all over the place) still a wreck. The greenhouse - still a wreck. Then there's a little shed left to burn. We burned 2 this weekend - it was fun. Oh ya, and the eternally discusting single wide trailer he lived in. It is unlivable - the absolute grossest home I've ever been in. Worse than anything from those shock tv how clean is your house type shows. It needs to be blown up. I'm thinking if someone can haul that beast off, it's theirs. :)
We're excited for the land to be cleared though. We've got big plans. No dough to back it up, but plans at least (haha!). Small orchard, rose garden, a cutting garden for fresh flowers, a herb garden, veggie garden, some nut trees too. Then we'd like a chicken coup for eggs, a barn for the goats (maybe some sheep, llama, and a horse?). Oh ya we obviously need a dog too. A nice fenced yard for the kids to play. Strawberries, blueberries, pumpkins. As much food as we can grow/maintain/eat. So I've got a lot of canning/preserving books to read too. It's fun to imagine little house on the prairie living. We're only 4 miles off the highway, and like 6-7 miles out of downtown, but it's 6 acres of country living surrounded by farmers - so it works for us. Only problem is we have to maintain a 5000 sq ft house AND 6 acres of landscaped property AND animals, along with 3 kids, homeschooling, me going to school, doula stuff, my volunteer jobs, and running a company. We're not an over-ambitious family? Well, busy is better than lazy.
That's about all my fingers can type for now. Will try to add pictures and such to current events to update more.