My husband just came home on his two week leave over the holidays. He headed back to Iraq the 31st, and should arrive there sometime in the next day. We were all happy to have him here, but two weeks just isn’t long enough. We went shopping, had my parents stay for Christmas, saw Jeff Dunham in Saginaw, stayed in a HUGE loft room at a hotel with an indoor water park, saw the Trans Siberian Orchestra in Grand Rapids, visited a few people from my husband’s family, and spent a lot of time playing together inside the house. Not only did it not snow, but the temperature soared into the 40’s and melted all the previous accumulation. That nixed our plans to play out in the snow and go sledding at the hill in town. It was a whirlwind two weeks, and I wish we had more time with him. The boys don’t understand that Daddy won’t be back for a long time again now. We draw a picture together, and our eldest says in a happy squeak, “I’m gonna give this to Daddy tomorrow!” It’s sad, but we survived the last several months. I think we can make it through the next 6 months, too.

For Christmas, my husband got me a Kindle. It’s a thin little screen that holds hundreds of books. I wasn’t sure I would like it at first, but it’s quickly becoming my favorite little gadget. The battery life is about a month, which is amazing considering how much I’ve already been using it. It has a wifi connection so I can post excerpts from books I like on my facebook account, and I can also go online with it to purchase books and games. My husband already had one, so I’m mooching off of his Amazon books. I just finished reading an awesome one by Andrew Napolitano called “Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History. I highly recommend it to anyone who is the least bit interested in the economy, history, Constitution, executive orders, Federal Reserve, and how things get done in the political arena of the US. It’s not a boring read at all. In fact, we both liked it so much we bought a copy for my inlaws. Be prepared to be pissed off, though. There’s quite a bit of information in there that would infuriate even the most tolerant citizen.

We are just about done paying down our debt, and going to start saving up now for our land. We’ve made amazing strides in this past year. We now only have the small remainder of one of my student loans and the loan on the family vehicle. That’s it. How cool is that? The van probably won’t get paid off, because I would rather sock away that extra money for property. When we get out of this rental, I’ll be chopping off a lot of our monthly bills, too. Propane, electric, dish tv, rent, garbage pick up… it’s all going. When we build, we’ll just start off simple for our electrical needs – get a few PV panels and a small battery bank. Heating will most likely be wood. And I can go back to my old method of dropping off garbage in town, burning burnables, composting organic waste, and recycling all the recyclables. Our youngest will definitely be potty trained by then, so we won’t be overflowing with diapers anymore.

Well, that’s my update for now. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!