Thursday, December 30, 2010

Seventeen Years of Sleep

We have a queen size bed. That should be plenty of space for two people.

And it would be, if we slept like this:

But we don't. We both like to sleep kind half on our stomach and half on our side with one leg hiked up.
Which works fine when we face opposite sides:
But not so well when we face each other.
The strategy is to be the first one to face the inside of the bed. Then you can get your leg hiked up first and the other person will have to adjust. Kind of like the armrest at the movies.

It's better than when we were newlyweds. We bought a double sized mattress for $99 from a little furniture store. A "double" mattress is slightly bigger than a twin. Even though we were thin back then, this is what sleeping was like:
No kidding we had to turn in unison.
I dream of one day having a king sized bed. This is what I think it will be like:

But this is probably more accurate:

Oh well. I'm not complaining. This is how S thinks we sleep:

But he doesn't have any proof.

The Last Week

It rained all day yesterday. I literally mean all. day. The girls went out on the back porch for a while but it was cold and wet and it didn't last long. I never remember a day where the rain just didn't stop at all.

So we have a little pent up energy is what I'm saying.

Yesterday I did manage to take down Christmas, send some invoices, unpack from our trip, and clean the bathrooms. That really doesn't sound like much! There needs to be more progress today. I think I am running out of days.

Today we go to the library to return books and check out some new ones for school. You know, we did Five in a Row when Little Bit was in Kindergarten and I didn't want to stop this year. But, with all the other subjects, it's kind of hard to fit it in. So, every 3rd week we do either a theme or a FIAR book. Only I am smart and I can apply the FIAR formula to other books. I'm thinking about doing The Mitten in January but I don't know what theme I want to do. I suppose we'll do birds? I've been sort of using our theme weeks to do art projects and fun things that go with our science book. Hmm. I'll have to think on it. I haven't even started my school planning.

And I won't share pictures of our homeschool room right now, but let's just say the Christmas break phenomena continues to happen in that room. It's amazing actually. We are over-achievers in the area of mess making.

SO...after I FIND the table in the homeschool room and clear a path from the door to my chair, I will get ready for school.

That's not to mention all the things that need to happen in the kitchen. And with our finances. And just in general around here. The problem is, so very little of this is anything that can be delegated. Humph.

And this, this busy week of all this to do, is my last week of being 39. Do any of you remember how I started off 39 with a bang last year? Yeah. I'm hoping for a much smoother transition to 40. Much smoother.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Did You Think My Thoughts Would Be Jointed Now?

Ha! I've been off-line for 4 days!!!!

And I lived to tell about it.

We left Christmas afternoon for my parent's trailer (the land of no internet connection) and spent a few days relaxing. S had to come home Sunday night but we stayed with my mom and dad until Tuesday. It's nice to be home now.

But it's nearly the new year and I have a lot to do! I LOVE LOVE LOVE fresh starts. It can be the beginning of the school year, the beginning of a new 6 weeks of school, whatever. I love to start over and have a clean slate.

Except right now, the slate isn't very clean.

I was already formulating lists of things to do in my head when, right before bed, I read Mrs. Fuentes' post about planning for the new year. That really got me excited about planning!

Right now I have four categories:

Kitchen (meals, food, etc.)
Financial (ug)

What am I forgetting?

I'm off to do easy things that make a BIG impact like take down the Christmas decorations and clean the bathrooms.

Somehow that seems better than working on the checkbook.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sweet 7 Year Old Wrapped Gifts

Not that the gifts have been wrapped for 7 years.....I mean, the 7 year old wrapped them herself. Oh they are sweet.

We took the girls shopping at the dollar store last night. We did this last year as well and it works out so well. I want the girls to know about giving, not just getting. As Sweetheart put it last night, "Mom, Giving gets a capital G and getting gets a lowercase g."

Well said.

Our Christmas tree this year.
I've always made sure they had gifts to give although sometimes I made them or bought them. NOTHING can compare with how they feel about going to the store and purchasing, with their own money, gifts for the family. They are so excited on Christmas morning, not only to get...but to watch loved ones open their gifts too. I love that.

It's pretty hard shopping for men at the dollar store. This was the kind of dollar store where everything is actually a dollar. It's easier that way. But they found great gifts for each other, their grandpa (Grandma's is homemade) and me and their dad. I helped them wrap a few of the gifts when we got home and then let them finish up on their own. There is nothing more beautiful than gifts wrapped by clumsy little hands.

I have determined that everything is going to be wrapped and under the tree today. I'm done. Well, I will be later today.

We also looked at Christmas lights last night but you'll just have to trust me it was cool since all the pics are on S's phone. Know what else I'm ready for? I'm ready for my husband to be off of work and home with us!
The girls making bath salts yesterday.

The finished product: (our last name) Girls Peppermint Bath Salt.
Have a fun day wrapping, buying, cooking, baking, singing, or whatever you are going to do with your family today!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Prayers for My Dad

My dad had cancer about 7 or 8 years ago. He actually spent Christmas day in the hospital the year Sweetheart was 3. That really stank. We loaded up some presents and had Christmas in the lobby of the hospital. He was really sick and weak from the treatments at her 4th birthday party. It seems like a really long time ago.

My dad plays golf 4 times a week AT LEAST. He is busy and active and healthy.

Last time he had his 6 month check up with his cancer doctors there had been a little bit of growth in one of the spots. So, they asked him to come in at 4 months instead of 6. Today we found out there has been more growth.

It's just one of the spots that's growing. That's good. They say it's slow growing. But, it's disheartening to think he'll have to start this battle again when he's 8 years older than he was last time.

They said it won't be chemo again. They never do the same treatment twice. When he goes back in 4 months, they will assess the growth and see if they need to start him on treatments. Assuming there is a treatment that will work and has not been used. One time they made mention of a non-FDA approved pill that cost $7,000 each. Clearly, that won't happen.

I'd just like to ask for prayers. It's not an emergency. He goes back in 4 months and then they will see what they need to do. I sure would like to hear in 4 months "there has been no more growth." Or even better: "There IS no spot anymore!"

If you think about it, would you say a prayer for his health? He sure is a good Dad and Grandpa and husband and we'd like to have him around a long time. Thanks.

You Get Disjointed Thoughts Today

My babies with Santa last week.
My mind is a scrambled mess. I'm sure you understand. If you are female, you probably have 417 things going on in your brain at this point in the week. I've made lists...still I have more to think about.

Are we too busy? Well, not really. I just have a lot to DO.

I think Christmas is a bit more enjoyable when you are little. That's all I'm saying.

First of all, we are eating at my sister-in-law's house on Christmas eve. She lives right near us so it's not a big deal. She asked me to bring macaroni and cheese. I asked her what else we were having and as the current menu stands, S will be eating........ham.

His other sister and her husband are diabetic too, by the way. They just aren't worried about it at all. So I'm making a diabetic dessert and bringing a veggie tray too. My husband will have something to eat besides ham!

We do brunch at my mom and dad's house on Christmas morning every year. I'm bringing little smokies in diabetic barbeque sauce. Yum! I bossed my two big sisters and told them what they would be bringing. Someone has to take charge or my dad will do it all himself!

Besides all the food related thinking, there is copious amounts of laundry to be dealt with today. I plan to put on Christmas music while I do it and thereby make it very festive.

Even though it will be nearly 80 degrees here today and I am wearing flip flops. FESTIVE do you hear me????

Tonight we will go look at Christmas lights. There is a house here in our town that puts up like 150,000 lights and has all kinds of collections to look at and a huge model train village set up and all sorts of things. We are going to go walk through that tonight. While sweating. Christmas in Texas!

I turned a man's dress shirt into a lab coat yesterday. I think it sort of looks like a lab coat anyway. Sweetheart wants science stuff for Christmas so the lab coat is part of her present. That was hard working off of no pattern!

Today I will be sewing little drawstring bags (with a tutorial this time!) for the Nintendo DSes (DS's? deeesses?) that the girls are getting. If I were in charge of the world, they would have owned a DS...never. But husband thinks its a good thing (with limits of course) to keep up with technology and they are going to be thrilled! I can't wait for them to open them. The bags are to carry them in and keep them protected.

I also need to make sister a gift. It requires mod podge. And the girls will be making bath salts for their grandma and aunts.

We are very crafty here. And humid. Did I mention that? And the bath salt recipe says to make it on a not humid day? I think the a/c will have to come on for a while!

Is your head spinning? Did you really need to add my to-do list and ramblings to your own?

Glad I could help!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Just So You Know

We gave the girls fair warning tonight:

There are going to be big changes around here come the new year!


Not going out to eat whenever. It will be rare, OK? We've been kind of lax on that this month.

The budget will be set and abided by. Money will be saved. Funds will be started. Frugal will again be a way of life--EVEN if we don't HAVE to. (Which we mostly do.)

Bibles will be read daily. And studied. And children will be taught at home. Family Bible time will happen one way or another.

Other changes may be made but we can't discuss those with you or them just yet. They aren't exciting or anything. Don't worry--you aren't missing out.

Lately I feel like many things have been brought to our attention. Are they warnings? Is God trying to tell us something? Why do I keep finding out stories about how kids turn out? With results I don't like?

What do we need to do differently in parenting our children? I don't want the same ending!

Between now and then we have to figure some things out.

I have other questions too.


Why did my kid come home from church today singing Three Dog Night?

What am I going to do with any additional Christmas cards now that my coat closet door is full?

How can I swing it where I can stay home some this week? Without sickness or the breaking down of vehicles I mean. Just--not busy stay home?

What are we going to eat this week?

Will you make my menu plan for me?

Will you grocery shop for me too?

Can you help me get that stupid Three Dog Night song out of my head?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


So, reading about families where real neglect happens is not happy. There are FAR worse things that go on in families. Is it abuse? Yes, it's a type of abuse. I sort of think of abuse as what's DONE TO a child and neglect as what is NOT DONE FOR a child. Sometimes, there is both.

I have heard a lot of moms kick themselves for a lot of things. They read something or see something or compare themselves to someone else and walk away feeling like they are a neglector. You see a perfect Mom with her kids all scrubbed and shiny and cute and hair fixed and precious hand-made clothes on and a sweet little headband in their hair and then you look down and notice that your child put her own pony tail in this morning and it is not lovely and they are wearing clothes, but nothing cute or pulled together and one of them has lunch on their face and mismatched socks and a hole in their jeans.

Sigh. So you naturally conclude (well I do anyway) that this mom of cuteness has all her dishes washed and her house is clean and her car is shiny and not filled with crumbs and library books and lost shoes. You might have even been to one of these cute mom's houses and seen it for yourself and you start to think, "What is wrong with me?"

I'm going to tell you something. Being a mom is hard work. Being a full-time mom is hard work. I thought when I quit working full time that things would get easier. Some of them have. But I was honestly very surprised at how hard it was to "just" stay home with my kids.

Here's the deal. Just because you are behind on something doesn't mean you are neglecting your children. It means you are behind on something. Are you? Then go do some laundry. Wash those dishes. It's fixable. It's not the end of the world. Today's "I don't have any clean underwear" can be fixed in a matter of hours. Will you get ALL the laundry done? Probably not. But you can sure pick through the pile and wash all the underwear!

Just because you spend some time on the computer each day doesn't mean you are neglecting your children. My dad read the newspaper each morning. When we wanted to tell him something, he put the paper down in his lap and listened to us. Then he went back to reading. I did not feel neglected that my dad was reading the paper! Today, I get all my news from the computer. I check the weather, I check e-mail, I go through my google reader. It's what I do in the mornings. If my children want to tell me something, I can stop and listen to them. It is not necessarily neglect to spend some time reading "your paper" each day. Can it become neglectful? Yes. Of course we should watch how much time we spend on the computer. Of course we should. Is that the reason why there is no clean underwear? This is fixable.

I have told you before that I do not buy into the thought that I should spend hours a day playing with my children. I am certain that families in olden times did not do such a thing. There was far too much work to be done! But I spend time with my children all day long. The key is not telling them to go away, leave you alone, be quiet, hush, go watch a movie, go play in your room, get away from Mommy because I'm BUSY! The key is whatever you are doing, you can be spending time with your children. Wash the dishes while they tell you all about their latest book they wrote. Stop washing and dry your hands off and look at the pictures. Hug them and tell them great job and then finish washing. Stop paying the bills and come out in the yard to see the cool bug they found. The bills will be there when you get back.

It is OK for your children to see you working. Some moms think they have to get everything done that would take their attention away from their children during nap time or after they go to bed. But if you do things that way, they will never see what it means to be a wife and a mom. Let them help you pay bills. Or draw beside you while you work.

Whatever you need to get done today, do it. But stop to look your children in the eyes and listen to them. Offer to read them a book before they even ask you to. We all get behind in things, but you will catch up. Get the rocks done.

And for goodness sakes, smile at your family.

The End.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Keep Praying!!!!

From Julia's blog Micah Six Eight:

I know that many of you have been praying around the clock for the vote coming up in Aaron's former country...

The good news - it has been postponed until next week. That means that a few more kids are going to slip under the wire - PRAISE THE LORD! Right now every time I hear that a family has their final paperwork in hand, I want to shout Victory to those who chose darkness and despair for these kids.

The other good news - there have been MAJOR efforts to get the wording changed so that adoptions will continue as they work towards reforming the system.

Again - IF THE WORDING IS NOT CHANGED AND IF THE VOTE PASSES - ALL ADOPTIONS STOP. No matter at what point in the process. If the family does not have birth certificate in hand - they are out of luck. Those in country go home - without their child. I can't even bear the thought. So we need to keep storming heaven. Pray. Pray. Pray. I KNOW God is big enough to move this mountain. After all - HE IS GOD!

So pray, Dear Church. Pray.

Autumn and Josh are there right now to get 2 boys they are adopting. Please pray they will make it home with them and that nothing will get in the way!

Neglect Doesn't Always Mean Dirt

I worked at a daycare in college. It was a small daycare and I had the 3-5 year olds in one room. Also I had two staff kids who came in after school and they were not so well behaved. But that's another story.

Anyway, there was this cute little boy in my room and we'll call him Matthew. Physically, he was adorable. Blond hair, big eyes, and a mischievous smile. He had older brothers who were in school and did not go to day care. His family was pretty well-off. We'll get back to Matthew in a minute.

We had this other family at the day care. The little boy, who we'll call John, was in the toddlers room. He had a big sister and I think one other sibling who also did not attend day care, just like Matthew's siblings. The mom was single and John was at day care a LOT. Sometimes the mom paid the toddler's teacher to take John and the other 2 home with her after work and keep them. These kids were like flea bitten mutts. No, seriously. They were covered in flea bites all the time. They were dirty. They did not smell good. They were sticky. Their hair needed to be washed and cut.

Becky, the toddler's teacher, had the kids overnight a few times. When she did, they came in shining. She bathed them, washed their hair and clothes, applied medicine, perfume/cologne, hair gel and lots of love. The kids would be just BEAMING when they walked in. And of course we all oohed and aahed over them and how wonderful they looked.

The director of the daycare caught on eventually that the mom had started using the overnight daycare (there was one b/c of a major employer in the town required overnight workers) right after she picked them up from our daycare. So for 2 days they went to ours, overnight, back to ours and back to overnight....without ever going home. And it wasn't because mom was working. I think anyone would agree with me that these kids were neglected.

But you know what? I thought Matthew was neglected too. See, he had a backpack he carried to daycare each day. Each afternoon, I would load up whatever "work" he had done in daycare that day. You know, coloring pages, crafts, etc. The next day, those papers would still be there. It got so bad I finally had to ask the mom to please clean out his backpack. He had stuff from at least 6 months in there. No one had ever looked at the jack-o-lantern he made. No one had ever hung his Christmas ornament on the tree.

Matthew was all boy. He got dirty fast. He came to daycare all cute and clean and by the end of the day he was kind of like pig pen. When he was in the toddler's class, Becky used to wash him up and comb his hair and have in clean clothes at the end of each day, per the mother's request. When he moved back to the big kids' room, we told the mother that wasn't going to be happening anymore. I did have him wash his face and hands and change his own clothes before she came. I knocked most of the sand out of his hair and combed it.

Still, when mom got there every single day Matthew would get all excited and run to his mom. "Mommy!!!" flashing that 100 watt smile. Mom, in her high heels and professional clothing, would put her hand out to stop him and step back. She would then pat him on the back. There was going to be no hugging here, let me tell you. You could see the disgust on her face. Her kid was dirty. And her clothes had to be dry cleaned. Honestly, I don't know WHAT was going through her head. Oh how my heart longed for a Mommy to come in and scoop that little guy up and hug him.

They went out to eat every night. That was one reason she needed him clean.

Matthew would be about 22 today. I have no idea if he thought he was neglected or not. His clothes were washed, he got baths, he was fed, he had a nice home and lots of toys. Probably had huge birthday parties each year too. But, in my opinion, there was some neglect there. I'm sure he turned out fine.

I used to have students who came to school all clean and shiny. But it wasn't mom taking care of them. It was their grandma or aunt. I even had a student who lived with her grandma while her twin baby siblings lived with the mom. Each day the mom would get off work and pick up the babies and take them home, leaving her there. Oh my heart.

My point is, there is physical neglect and there is emotional neglect. Sometimes there is both.

I've got more to say about it tomorrow. Or maybe later today. We'll see how things go!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Christmas Party

Well, here we were all dressed to go to the Christmas party. These are the best pics in the world, but they are what we have. I do NOT have a large red bow in my hair! That's from the Christmas tree. Ha!

The lighting in these pictures is horrible.

Last Christmas. Oh look! Same skirt and shirt!

Twenty pounds doesn't show up like I hoped it would, but I am smaller here. Promise.

Better Living Through E-Whining

Well, the Christmas party was a success. My outfit was wonderful, right down to the shoes. I'll upload pics later.

My friend Carrie had success at her Target and bought my shoes. She sent them home with a mutual friend who happened to be with her when the shoes were purchased and lives near me. Saturday I drove to the friend's church where she met me in the parking lot. I rolled down my window and got my shoes.

All because I whined on Facebook about wanting them!

That business about a village and a child.....forget it. It takes a village to dress Brenda for a Christmas party!

Today my Mom is keeping the girls so I can knock out some Christmas shopping. I was wondering the other day how my parents used to get our gifts without us knowing and then I realized, oh. We were in school. I feel bad always having to depend on my parents to keep them, but there isn't any other way to get it done! I know they don't mind, but I feel rushed to get home and get them. That's about the only downside to homeschooling. The kids are always with you and it's hard to shop for birthdays and Christmas.

So I'm mapping out my strategy because I need to make BIG progress today. Other people's gifts can be bought with the girls in tow, but theirs need to be taken care of today! I have two weeks and basically nothing purchased or made for anyone. Nice, huh?

Last night on Facebook I was whining about my allergies and it turned into a conversation about something we wanted to buy the girls. I got LOTS of help from a few friends and today I know what I'm looking for.

Better living through e-whining. I highly recommend it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

So I Found an Outfit....Almost

The annual "find something suitable to wear to the Christmas party where I'll be around someone other than my family" is in full swing. Once a year I have to go out amongst my husband's co-workers and try to look to all the world like a sophisticated adult.

So I found this yesterday:
Dress Barn
  I just love it. It will go well with a black skirt I already have, and a red shirt I have underneath. It will also go well later with a denim skirt or even pants. LOVE.

So, to top off the outfit, I need shoes. I usually wear some black flats and I'm getting tired of them and I feel I need something dressier for this event. So, I found these:


But they did not have my size. I was very sad. You must understand, I really don't care about shoes. I know some women really, really love shoes, but I have never been one of them. Shoes? I'm all eh.

For some reason I fell in LOVE with these shoes and am totally convinced that they will make the outfit! I must have them! So last night I went to a different Target. No luck.
Via the wonderment of Facebook, I currently have two friends checking their Targets to see if they can find them AND get them to me by tomorrow night!!! We shall see if either of them have success...

Have I mentioned my friends rock? And Facebook is a big help in wardrobe crises?

Now, if I can figure out what to do with my hair, and practice having a real grown up conversation, I'll be fine.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Wasted Friday Post

Shoot. I did it again. I waited around and didn't post and now it's going to be Friday and no one reads on Fridays. Well, a few do. But hardly anyone comments. I guess you all lead pretty exciting lives on Fridays. What do you do anyway? My Fridays must be lacking.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Garbage In...

When I was in high school, our youth minister was really big into talking about what music we listened to. And what books we read and what movies we watched. He told us we should guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. He told us, garbage in...garbage out. I heard it a lot.

I still listened to "secular" music sometimes, but mostly I tried to listen to contemporary Christian music.

I grew up listening to country music. That's what my parents listened to. And by the way, I read once that children in the 40s listened to whatever kind of music their parents listened to. There was not separate music for different ages. It was during the 50s when "teenager" became a marketable notion, that music began to be sold and made and marketed just to them. Suddenly, children thought their parent's music was no good, and insisted on listening to "their" music. The divide remains.

Anyway, looking at the whole thing from a wise old 39 year old viewpoint, I can see what a racket it all is. Justin B. is a good example of this. You may have never heard any of his music, but by golly, you've heard of him. Most children know about him. He is well marketed. And he seems to be a clean teeny-bopper kind of kid. What could be wrong with his music? Lay you ten to one most parents have never even checked it out. There may not be anything wrong at all with his music, but it is being produced by adults. Who know what they are doing.

I do not have children who are interested in music just yet. Sweetheart got a little MP3 player for her birthday and S loaded it with some Christian music we had on our computer. It's not exactly a hip play list from a worldly point of view. She hardly ever listens to it. She just isn't "into" listening to music. Whatever I put on in the car is fine with them. And my kids still don't know who Justin B is. I know because I overheard a 1st grade boy ask Sweetheart if she knew Justin B. and she said no. He was shocked. I wonder, how does HE know?

I'm thinking about all this today because my nephew listens to some bands I've never heard of and when I look up the lyrics I am not really happy. A teen at our church told me a name of a band recently and I looked them up. Yeah, not impressed. It isn't really even what they are saying wrong but that the lyrics make really no sense. Throw in a few cuss words and I'm really not impressed.

Now I know I sound old saying the lyrics make no sense but really...I am literate. I minored in English. I am left reading the song and thinking, "WHAT is this song even about?" Sometimes it's quite obvious what the songs are about and that Christians should not be listening.

When I was a teenager, I differentiated between songs...not singers or bands. I might say, "Well, this one song they sing has bad words, but most of their stuff is OK." I really didn't buy CDs (OK OK---cassette tapes) of groups or singers that much so I was pretty much left with what was being played on the radio or MTV. And no, we weren't supposed to watch MTV but we did when my parents were gone.

I want to get a grip on all this before my children start caring about music. It's funny to be thinking about a topic from a parent's point of view, FULLY remembering how I felt about the topic from the other side.

As Christian parents, what should we say and do about music in our children's lives?

Tell them "Christian only" and enforce that at home?
Buy them itunes cards for Christmas and choose to not listen to their ipod to see what they downloaded?
Tell them it's up to them but don't make the rest of us have to listen to it also?
Look up the lyrics to every single song and read over them with our children before putting a band on the good or bad list?
Make them listen to classical music until they leave home? :)

What do you think?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Schedule FAIL

It's kind of like "If you give a mouse a cookie..."

If you hear a sermon about spending time with God each day...

Your husband might start thinking AGAIN about that comment he made a few weeks ago about getting up early to read his Bible

And you might start twitching a bit because didn't you JUST learn to get up with him and make his lunch and you might also think about how happy you've been that he's been sleeping in just a little bit later because you still have plenty of time to make his lunch and breakfast

But now he's talking about getting up crazy early

So he might dig out an old alarm clock so he can get up at 5:00AM and you can set the other alarm for 6:15 or so

Then your 7 year old might come in to your room at 2AM complaining of pain

And she might squish in between you and might not fit so good anymore

And so your husband might go sleep on the couch with his little alarm clock (which is battery operated)

And it might not go off

Which is plenty fine with you as you only fell back asleep at 4:24AM and 5:00AM was going to come REALLY soon

36 minutes too soon, to be exact

So all the plans you had about dadgumit we are GOING to start school at 8:30 this morning and not be so late like we were last week

might go down the drain

Along with husband's plans to read the Bible

But you might not notice because you will be busy dreaming that your dad told you to go pick up Annette's M's mail. (Annette M lived around the corner when we were in 2nd grade)

And when you wake up you will not know if it was a dream or if you are really supposed to go get her parent's mail

Until you remember that Annette M's parents haven't lived there in about 25 years

And that Tinkerbell flew out of your car when you got to her house in the dream

Then you might be pretty sure you aren't supposed to go get that mail

And that school was not going to start on time either.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rock Around the Clock With Me

My day. On the hours. Give or take 15 minutes or so.

7:00ish I got up. I made a lunch for S. I ironed his pants.

There was no picture taking that early in the morning.

8:00 Sweetheart made pancakes. This is the aftermath.

I really can't complain because I didn't feel like making pancakes.

9:00 Girls tell me they are finished cleaning their room. Let's see, shall we?



Call girls back to finish job.

10:00 History lesson. Women of the Renaissance and Reformation.

11:00 Play break for the girls. I must conquer this. I always do the dishes during our first break of school.

12:00 Science lesson on birds.

1:00 Lunch in front of the TV because the dining room table is full of boxes and paperwork I'm going through. A little Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe with lunch.

2:00 Turn movie off. Drive to Carrie's Mom's house.

Send Sweetheart to front porch to get math game Carrie is letting us borrow.

3:00 Sweetheart is absorbed in Math Blaster.

4:00 Bake cookies for Sweetheart's karate teachers. It's her last class tonight before Christmas.

5:00 I made P.W.'s Comfort Meatballs. There is no picture of the process because I was up to my elbows in meat and barbecue sauce.

6:00 Time for supper.

7:00 Karate class. I'm bored. And I forgot my camera so here is a picture from a few weeks ago when she got her green belt.

8:00 and 9:00 Bible study with 2 ladies from church. Ephesians 4. My allergies are acting up too. Thus, the toilet paper.

10:00ish Blog. Zyrtec....winning....must...finish...tomorrow....


I did other things too. These are just the things I was doing on the hour. Give or take 15 minutes. So, did we do any of the same things?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Little Bit is Sick Today...

...and I cannot imagine her being sick and having no one to comfort her. I've been thinking about these things a lot lately.

We live in a fallen world.

Several months ago I found Adeye's blog. I found her blog when she was still in the Ukraine gone to rescue her precious Hailee and Harper. I spent hours one weekend in her archives reading the back story on these two little girls. (And her other two girls!) I have greatly enjoyed reading her blog since then. I rejoice with every new pictures of Hailee and Harper and how their lives are so very different now and the joy they have brought with them. 

From Adeye's blog, I found other blogs of parents who have adopted or are adopting other special needs children. I have seen other sights. I have visited Reece's Rainbow. So many children are waiting. It's sort of overwhelming.

There are so many wonderful stories.

There is so much that is hard to hear about.

There is so much that is happening RIGHT NOW. 

There is a vote that will be taking place soon in one of the countries that could end all adoptions. Family busy filling out paperwork to get a child? Stopped. Family making travel plans to go pick up their new son or daughter? Stopped. Family ALREADY THERE to get child? Stopped.

I do not know all the details about this country or about the vote. But I have been praying for God to grant this one victory for these children. That they would be able to be adopted. That godly families would pound down the door of any country where there are children waiting. That the church would get serious about "taking care of widows and orphans."

 There are so many waiting. So many.

It's because we live in a fallen world. They wouldn't be there if their parents had been perfect people living perfect lives in perfect situations. There would not be special needs children cast aside from birth. It just would not be.

I know the care takers at Hailee's baby house have taken notice of what is going on. In a matter of months THREE of the 6 children from her old room are being adopted. The most severe from that baby house are being scooped up and wanted. They are taking notice I'm sure. I know someone else who is taking notice also....the Enemy.

Perhaps Satan thought it was no big deal if a few special needs kids that no one has ever heard of get adopted. What power do they hold? How will they ever advance the Gospel? I'll tell you how. Because in every situation, God is getting the Glory.

I've been praying for the Lord to fight and win this battle for these children. For the families who long for them and are working hard to get to them.

It doesn't make any sense, you know. Why would a king want for his kingdom the weak, the feeble, the simple-minded, the sickly? How would that make his kingdom look powerful? How would that show his strength?

Wouldn't a king rather gather for himself the strongest, the most powerful, the smartest, the best trained? Wouldn't that make his kingdom seem the best? What king wouldn't want the best warriors that were to be had?

But our Lord does not work that way, folks. The least of these are the greatest in His Kingdom. Praise the Lord! His power is made PERFECT in weakness.

I pray that the Lord will show his power now more than ever. The weak we have....His power is what we need.

Will you pray with me?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I have a few things I am really happy about. That's a good way to start the day, huh?

  • I have lost 20 pounds this year. TWENTY! I cannot tell you it was through hard work either. I have not been working out. I have been eating differently and obviously, it has made a difference. I am just so happy every time I look in the mirror. The funny thing is, I'm BACK TO the weight I once lamented over and worried about how big I was getting. Oh well, it feels good to be back. I wore a skirt on Saturday that I haven't fit into in at least 3 years. I am 10 pounds from my goal now. It actually seems possible.
  • And by the way, I still wear the same size really. How is that possible? Sure, things are baggier but still. Wouldn't you think 20 pounds would mean at least dropping one size? Oh well. The next 10 will do it. Surely.
  • Happiness is spraying yourself in the face with the water hose!
  • The house has been staying nicer. We've all been helping to get that done, but really I feel great about how the main part of the house has looked. And the girls' room, ever since S has been inspecting at night, has been more than acceptable. That just makes me so happy. Come to think of it, our room has been much improved too. A clean, picked-up house will make anyone feel happier and less stressed. (Let's not discuss the sewing room or laundry room OK?)
  • Happiness is going to a good friend's birthday party!
    Happiness is getting a new fish!
  • S is taking vacation tomorrow and we are going to tackle the garage. Yes, we really know how to party. We've been wanting to get my car parked in the garage and since the neighbor's car was broken into the other night, we really want to get that done. We discussed renting a storage facility to store S's lawn trailer (his side business) but I really feel that if we can't fit into a 3 bedroom, 2 car garage house....SOMETHING IS WRONG. Just look at this and tell me we can't do it.
  • I am also happy with my plan to set up the sewing machine in the homeschool room. It will be SO NICE to have a place to do my Christmas present sewing and NOT have to set up and break down four hundred times.
  • Happiness is pretending to be a vet!
  • And most of all, I am happy to be home. I am constantly amazed and thankful that I am here. I wish I could go back in time and quit my job about 5 years sooner than I did. Or maybe...what if I had never worked at all but had been a housewife from the start? I can't go back, but I am thankful to be where I belong now. I maybe might possibly be getting my groove around here.
And that makes me really, really happy.

What are you happy about today? It doesn't have to be deep. Found a bag of chocolate chips in the pantry? You can see the laundry room floor peeking through the piles? Celebrating "no one is sick" day? Loving your Christmas decorations? Husband has been working late but got you a chocolate shake on his way home? 

What's making you happy today?

Monday, November 29, 2010

What I Accomplished and the Importance of Good Buttonholes

First of all, over the holiday weekend, I turned this:

into this:

It might as well be a mile high.

Now I just have to work my magic and turn that (see above) into 2 quilts.

Concerning Christmas parties. I always go straight to Dress Barn for my outfits. They have never let me down. One year when Little Bit was really little, I had a great pair of black pants that made me look and feel thin. My entire goal that year was to find a shirt beautiful enough to go to a Christmas party in that matched those pants.

Here is what I found. Isn't it lovely?

The bad news about that shirt is that I was seated next to Mike D. all evening. He works with S. He was sitting on the unfortunate (depending on how you look at it I suppose) side of me all evening. It would have been better if S had been on that side because not once, not twice, not even 3 times, but AT LEAST 5 times that evening I would look down and 3-5 of my buttons would be popped open.

I am sorry to say I was not wearing a fancy bra either.

And also, it's difficult to discreetly AND QUICKLY button that many buttons at a dinner table.

Dear me.

You have never seen a shirt be disposed of so quickly upon my arrival home.

Needless to say I am not looking to get that intimate again with my husband's co-workers. Dress Barn, don't fail me this year!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Best

S and I decided to not go out of town for Thanksgiving. We had our first-ever just us family Thanksgiving. It was so nice!! I cooked the entire Thanksgiving meal and I felt no stress. I usually wig out when we have something big like that but no one was coming was just us. No problem. The next day we got our Christmas decorations out and I let the girls decide where most of it went. I was so laid back!

It was just the nicest weekend ever. S was home the whole time and we just had a nice time being home and not running everywhere.

I'm sort of stunned I have to get up in the morning and make a lunch and teach school and do housework type things. 

But, it's only for 2 weeks and then we get another break. I know I should be terribly concerned about Christmas presents but we don't really have the money to shop right now, so why worry? The girls both want dollhouse furniture this year, which does not excite me to purchase, but it's what they want. Other people? I have no idea.

Hey, it's still November, OK? Lay off.

Oh! I did accomplish one important thing this weekend, but sharing that with you requires me to put down the laptop, walk across the room and turn on the other computer, find the camera and cord, upload the pictures I took this weekend, edit them really quickly if needed, and insert them in this blog post.

I think we can all see why THAT'S not going to happen!

But I'll share them with you in the morning. How's that?

Also, in case you aren't full enough of trivia from my so-called life, I typed up our December calendar and it's really full. Already. I am frowning about that, by the way. THREE different times in the next week or so I am signed up to bring stupid food to a stupid event at church. I am way over signing up for things. I am way over cooking food for things.

And, while I've got you all here and I'm on a complaining roll, S and I both have to purchase something suitable to wear to his work Christmas party. This is never a fun thing for me. I always think I'll just run into Dress Barn and walk out victorious.

Incidentally, I have a story about that. I'll share that in the morning too.

See? Now doesn't waking up tomorrow seem a whole lot brighter with all that to look forward to?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Can Be Thankful Even Without My Notebook

I have lost my spiral people. That is really bad news. Thankfully, it was a newish spiral so it ONLY had 2 important things in it, instead of lists and lists and other important stuff like my spiral notebooks collect over time.

Let's see, I only lost our menu plan for the week and our Thanksgiving menu.

I certainly hope I can remember what I was going to cook!!

I am so excited. This will be our first ever Thanksgiving at home with just our little family. The girls are going to put on a short Thanksgiving play. I have to finish up the felt turkey. Hee Hee. It's going to be cute. We have our beautiful centerpiece that I wrote about yesterday. We have food in the kitchen. S will be off work. I have MUCH to be thankful for.

On Saturday we are going to take the girls to see Madeline's Christmas at a local children's theater. It's a surprise. I can't wait.

Hope you all have a great holiday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why Should I Think of Everything?

What do people who don't read blogs do??? WHERE would you possibly get ideas from? Earlier this week Connie at Smockity Frocks posted about their centerpieces. So cute! We had a couple of pumpkins still sitting around from October so I decided to do it.

Along with our everyday table cloth and Thanksgiving place mats from the dollar store!
We spent $3 on scrapbook paper and we had some left over. One large sheet was enough, but I wasn't sure. I already had Mod Podge in Gloss-Lustre, which is apparently different than "Gloss" because the Smockity bunch's pumpkins appear to be shinier. Oh well. It's what I had.
Stems look nicer. The girls picked out such pretty paper too!

Also, I think pumpkins with stems look nicer than pumpkins who have no stems or not enough stem. These pumpkins were given to us, but next year I might keep my eyes open for good ones for this project.

Honestly, this whole thing took way less than 1/2 an hour. It was so easy and quick. I went ahead and wrapped the two tiny pumpkins we had also. I set them all on candle holders that were in my china cabinet and I hardly ever use.

The centerpiece needed something else so we went on a walk to the end of our block and picked up some pine cones. I dabbed gold paint on the edges of them and now it's beautiful!

Our golden FREE pinecones and Little Bit's pumpkin.

Much better than our every day "centerpiece" which includes salt, pepper, sugar, and medicine. I think a lot of things say "Thanksgiving" better than diabetes and allergy pills, don't you?

 I'm glad I decided to do this project with the girls even though our pumpkins were getting squishy. I took a gamble and decided they COULD make it 3 more days before exploding into a pile of goo on the table. I'm hoping the Mod Podge will hold all that in until after Thanksgiving dinner!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Week of No

I keep a calendar of the current month on our fridge. I looked over it this morning when I got up and I liked what I saw!

No piano lesson.
No small group on Wednesday night.
No karate class.
No school (later in the week).
No work for S (later in the week).

Ah, I like an empty calendar every now and then! Not that I have nothing to do...but nowhere to BE. That's enough for me.

Actually, we had the youth group over Saturday night for about 15 minutes. They were having a progressive dinner and we were hosting the salad portion of that evening. It took a lot of work getting the house clean and the groceries purchased and the food prepared and the kitchen set up for self-service and everything just so.

And 21 of them descended into our little house like a swarm of locusts and in 15 minutes they were gone. We weren't sure what had happened when they left. I've never seen anything like it. But the happy result is our house is clean.

We do have 3 days of school planned but that's OK since we JUST had a week off recently, right? :) Actually we don't have all the subjects planned for this week to make room for some Thanksgiving activities. School should be a breeze this week. 

You might be glad to know the girls now have curtains in their room. Well, they will be hung up hopefully today. All it took was Little Bit, whose loft is by the window, to tell me she's been cold at night because of the window. She and I drove straight to Big Lots, chose plain white tab top curtain panels, and I sewed ribbon on them to fancy them up. Someone gave me a bunch of ribbon last week. There wasn't enough of any one kind so we just used 4 different kinds. There. No more sheet. And no more cold.

Looking forward to spending lots of time relaxing with my family this week!
Now I must go print pictures of Henry VIII's wives for History. Here's hoping you have an easy week with lots of "no's" on your calendar and lots of time for family.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bug Day

Today we met up with some friends for some science activities. We are both using the book "Flying Creatures of the 5th Day" from Apologia Elementary Science this year. We've been studying butterflies for several weeks now and going we so we wanted to wrap things up with some fun. It's so nice having another family to do things with!

*Huh? Did you just read that sentence up there? This is what happens when you start a post in the morning BEFORE the event happens and then the pictures won't upload in time so you save it and go to your event and when you get home you have to change everything to past tense cause you already did the event, of course. Just wanted to explain that but the sentence is so bad it's funny so I'm leaving it. Back to the post...

Several weeks ago we took an Insect class at the museum together. Several other families from our homeschool group joined us.

The class getting ready to make a butterfly craft.
And no, the instructor did not give directions to put the
coffee filter on your head. Hmm....

Some sweet little volunteers gave us another lesson and a tour.
These glasses made things look like insects see them.
Little Bit with a different pair on.
 Today we made moths becuase all the butterfly craft projects were starting to look the same. No one ever makes the poor moth. After we were finished, the girls all agreed that even though moths are "drab", they are still beautiful.

Of course, being homeschool moms, we peppered them the whole time with questions.
"What's it called when the pattern is the same on both sides?"
"Every one's moths look different. What do we call that? It starts with a "u"."
"Do you remember why moths are drab colors?"

I mean, this was school today!

Then we made insect snacks.
Laughing with us about how she made the legs and feet on her butterfly.

See who is choosing the absolute smallest vegetables she can?
After all our fun at the table, we watched a "Magic School Bus" movie about insects from the library.

Fun Friday school is the best!

And now we will be moving on to studying birds. If you'll excuse me, I think the girls are shutting each other in the closet and I think I should go investigate that.

What do we call it when children are bored and need more chores???