My Gypsy Blood

I seem to have been born a gypsy. When I was young, we often lived in very small spaces. Sometimes at night after the lights were out Mom and I would coax Dad into singing a certain song. It went something like this - "Oh, I was born the next of kin, the next of kin, to the wayward wind." I think that is the true story of my life. I've never been happy in one place for very long. I can't wait to move on to the next great place. Tonight Joe and I looked around on TV for a movie to watch together. We had a choice between The Bourne Supremacy and Under the Tuscan Sun. We went with Bourne and it was enjoyable. But both had an immediate encore presentation, so we switched over to Tuscan Sun next. Joe couldn't keep his eyes open long enough to watch that chick flick through to the very end. But it's one of my favorites and all it kept making me think is, Wouldn't it be great to have a new Italian experience? But, of course, I'd settle for a Floridian experience or a San Franciscan experience or myriad other experiences. I wonder if my wonderful Joe, who was born and raised in Arizona and has never lived anywhere else, knows exactly what he has gotten himself into.

I keep trying to convince myself that I should be learning to be content in every situation, but I also feel that I was created this way for a purpose. What that purpose might be - who can say? Maybe it is simply to teach me the true meaning of learning to be content in all circumstances...but maybe not.

The Simple Things

Today was a good day. Nicole woke up at 3:30 as Joe was leaving for work and she was so full of energy that there was no getting her back down. After about a two hour struggle I think she finally dozed off around 5:30 and then she and I slept until 8:30. When we finally got out of bed, I had several phone calls to make, some business to attend to and housework to do before Nicole and I did some "school work." Shortly after 12 as I was making lunch, Nicole came in and was so cute and so happy and bubbly I thought my heart might burst. I watched her and couldn't believe that her head is now taller than the kitchen counter and that she speaks in full sentences with such a great vocabulary. It seems like just yesterday that she was rolling around on the floor making gurgling sounds and now she is such a little person! I just had to take a picture right then and there to remember the moment.
Shortly after nap time, Joe arrived home and we enjoyed our daily afternoon ritual of playing tickle and cuddle on Mom and Dad's bed. Joe made another comment about how big Nicole is getting when he tried to pick her up (she weighed in at 49 lbs. the other day at the doctor's) and recalled how he used to just pick her up with one hand and now it is hard to pick her up with two! We made dinner together and cleared the table, then enjoyed conversation together over our taco bowls. After dinner we played a game of Uno Spin. Nicole is just learning how to play, so she plays with her cards face up. She likes that she can match the colors and symbols all by herself to figure out which one to play. After the game, Joe and I brought out a box of puzzles he got for his birthday and started a 500 piece.

It is just so wonderful to spend time with my family and to enjoy them. I am so glad that we spend time doing things together. God is good and we are blessed!

Preschool Wonders

I love this time of Nicole's life when she is soaking up any and everything in the world around her. As previously mentioned on this blog, it amazes me how well she can handle herself on a computer. She and I have been working with some alphabet flash cards so she can start learning her letters and begin to understand how the little bit of "decoding" she has been doing of the words all around her works. She loves these particular cards because they are write and wipe, so she can practise writing the letters and she loves having a pen in her hand. Today she and I got very excited because she did her first official math problem and began to understand the idea behind the numbers. We have some magnetic refrigerator toys that are in the shape of numbers and mathematical symbols that we have had on our refrigerator almost since the time we moved into this house a year and several months ago. She loves to play with them and knows what all of the numbers are, but today is the first day that she began to get an inkling of their significance. I grabbed two of her colored plastic forks out of the drawer and asked her to do a math problem that my mom and I have both shown her before. I put first one and then the other fork in front of her and asked her how many forks you had if you put one and one together. She answered two. Then I drew out this mathematical problem using the fridge magnets and showed her how the numbers and symbols went together to make the problem work. After several times of showing it to her with the forks and with the numbers she got all excited and started telling me, "1+1=2! 1+1=2!" She was quite excited and so was I. I have never felt more excited about this venture we are setting out on called "home schooling." I now know a modicum of the thrills and chills my mother must have felt over the twelve years she taught me. Thanks, Mom!

Lots to do in the New Year

2008 was a full year and 2009 looks like it will be the same. As our family and friends know, we are expecting the newest addition to the Schulte family in May. And before then Joe's adoption of Nicole should be final, so by mid-'09 we will have an official Schulte family of four!

During the last part of 2008 I began working for a small masonry company three days as the bookkeeper. Shortly after I started, the office manager moved on to pursue other opportunities and I took over the position of managing the office. To make a very long story short, the company that I worked for was a partnership that dissolved a few months later. The partner for whom I worked directly has done all in his power to resolve the issues honestly and fairly, but the other partner continues to do things in a very underhanded way and refuses to work toward an amicable and easy resolution. My boss is attempting to start a company on his own, but the banking crisis and lack of funding for new building projects in our area is making that a hard thing to do. I continue to help him out here and there with various things he needs done, but for now I am home mostly full time. I plan to use this time at home in much the same way I used it last summer - writing, writing and more writing. Also, based on a recent idea of my mother's we are working on a new business idea that we hope to turn into a business venture. I'll be devoting quite a bit of time to that as well.

Besides writing and working on business ventures, I of course spend quite a bit of time during the day chasing down my crazy little three year old. She just started taking dance lessons and will have a recital in June. She loves to dance and seems to be enjoying her classes, though we've only been to two so far. She is so smart, too! She gave her Papa a lesson yesterday on how to operate the computer. She has certain games that she is allowed to play on the internet at Playhouse Disney and Nick Jr. websites. She has been playing them for quite a few months and it is amazing to me what she can do on the computer already. Besides that, she recently decoded the word Pizza on her own, so she is well on her way to becoming an early reader. She is also a regular little girl who loves to play with her dollhouse and get out in the back yard and get dirty.

I look forward to all that 2009 holds and am sure there will be more than a few surprises coming our way. I can't wait to write and share them with you all here. Don't forget I'll also be posting updates on all of my writing ventures at my blog The Root Cause -