Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

Something about Today…Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day!

We’re celebrating our freedom by getting things checked off our to-do list (including work!) before tomorrow hits and we have to start investing a great deal of time into missions conference preparation. While a complete day off would be nice, it’s actually more helpful knowing the rest of the week won’t be as stressed because of what we have accomplished today.

Something about the Week

Par for the course this summer! Nonstop! We had VBS last week, and this weekend our church will be hosting the aforementioned missions conference for Tom Cox World Ministries. Missionaries will teach breakout sessions each evening (Fri-Sun), followed by a worship service. TCWM will have their annual board meeting all day Saturday, and the conference will wrap up during our normal service times on Sunday.

Something I Have Observed

The summer is as crazy as we expected! Hence the monthly blog updates. But, I have lots of pictures to share from our trip to Phoenix last month! Looking forward to getting those up!

Something I Have Read or Heard

“We must never try to immerse ourselves in a Spiritual Discipline as an attempt to drown out conviction from the Holy Spirit about forsaking our sin.” – Donald S. Whitney in Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

Something on My Mind

Ways to increase certain investments without increasing busyness. For instance, adding aspects to our exercise routine or separating Sunday school study and preparation time from my morning devotional time. Increasing my participation in Steven’s piano learning to help him become more focused. Reconsidering how to keep writing mixed into the rhythm of life. Making sure daily progress on Scripture memorization is incorporated.

It’s so easy to fill the to-do list and just be maxed out in every way. There are certain things that HAVE to be done: work, school, church obligations. And those things require a great deal of time. But, the other things are truly important to not only my own well-being, but also my interactions with others. So, the solution to maximizing my time and efforts while still maintaining balance and margin is a constant quest.

Something I’m Thankful for

The ability to get the majority of my work hours behind me early in the week!

Something about My Kids

We were shoe shopping for Angela. Olivia was trying to look on that top row for some Angie would like when she found these heels. Three more inches of height? Perfect!

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Something I’m Working on

Trying to come up with sewing project ideas. I want to make sewing a part of our Fridays. But, I just don’t know what I want to sew right now. So, I want to compile a list so I can always have something to jump on.

Something from Hibbard Academy

Yeah. That. I’m supposed to have made progress on school planning. I have not. Hopefully soon. Hopefully. Last year was really nice with everything in place and scheduled out. I’d really like to have that happen again this year. But we’ll see.

Something That Makes Me Smile

Five translations to study. That’s my nerd. I love it!

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Something Coming

Missions conference this week. Next week a breather before WorshipWorks and Peru!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Happy 16th Olivia!

Today begins the Hibbard summer birthday season – and we kick it off by celebrating a sixteen year old! Our beautiful young lady didn’t want anything huge and fancy for her birthday. Just a day to rest and relax.


That choice reflects much of Olivia’s personality. She loves people, but she also very  much likes to pull back and enjoy family time. She also doesn’t like to make a huge fuss or a big deal about things. Her laid back and easy going nature hasn’t changed as she continues through her teen years.


Olivia got up this morning and donned her standard jeans and t-shirt – very much her comfort zone in clothing. Her ideal dress-up look would be a tailored suit, preferably pants, but a straight skirt would work, too. As we got going on the day, though, we realized we had not taken her birthday pictures - something we usually do several days before the big day! So, she went to pick out something a little different for her “photo shoot.” I was a little surprised when she pulled out her lacy, white Easter dress and asked Angela to choose a fancy braid for her hair. But, it’s also not that big of a surprise. While Olivia has never been a lace and frills kind of girly girl, she still loves to dress up now and then.


Looking back over the past year, I don’t know that Olivia has changed all that much. She’s still working on her novel. We finally found an online piano lesson source, and that has worked beautifully for her. But, despite her continued love for music, writing is her ultimate form of relaxation. Most of her writing happens at the computer, but she is never without a notebook and a pencil so she can jot down the many thoughts running around in her brain. One day, that will become a finished novel that I finally get to read!


The ever-changing dynamics of the teen years have sometimes made interaction with her siblings difficult. She and Angie are the best of friends, but with very different personalities. So, occasionally the room-sharing situation gets a bit sticky. But, they both say they wouldn’t want to change it. And as Angie pushes into the teen years herself, they are a great sounding board for each other. They both know Mom’s available, but having each other has been such a treasure for these years.


Then there is her relationship with Steven. A ten-year-old kid brother isn’t always the most beloved of companions for a sixteen-year-old girl, but Olivia really strives to be intentionally about interacting with Steven. Oh how I love hearing them laugh together!


Olivia’s spiritual development is always fun to watch. She’s such a Bible nerd! I guess she comes by that honestly, though. Every time she senses that Doug and I are about to toss out an observation from Scripture or a theological pondering, she loves to listen in and soak up the discussion. Sometimes she will participate in the conversation, and other times she’ll just listen – then come back later with a comment or thought. She asks questions, loves to dig, and is discovering the delight of journaling her thoughts on Scripture.


We only have two more years with this precious girl at home. She’s a licensed driver now and is working to gain confidence in her driving. She did beautifully on her first try at the ACT, helping her feel more confident for the upcoming PSAT and other efforts to try for test-related scholarships. She still wants to go to Ouachita Baptist University, and she is starting to contemplate where her interests might lie. In the meantime, though, she’s saving up for a passport so she can experience at least one international mission trip before she graduates. The thought terrifies her, but she is determined.


Happy birthday, beautiful Olivia! We’re proud of you, and we look forward to seeing the beautiful ways you continue to grow in the coming year!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Happy Day!

They’re here!!!

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We were counting the months. Then the weeks and days. Finally, the hours. Then, it was time for CHOATES!


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The pictures were rather minimal because, well, we were too busy gabbing.


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And getting hugs.


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Yep. Definitely a happy day!