Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Celebrating Steven!

It is time to continue with the look back at our celebrations of the summer. Steven was second!

Steven’s birthday fell on a Sunday this year. That meant a little stretching of the birthday celebrations to make sure we got everything covered. We started on Saturday evening with a pool party. And, yes, I was too busy visiting to get pictures of everyone – or even of the table! But, we had an enjoyable cookout/pool time.

The craziest part, though, was the fact that we wondered until day of if it would even be warm enough to swim! In AUGUST! Is that not crazy? It was a bit cool that evening – enough so that the adults had no interest in swimming. Fortunately, we all have good swimmers and were able to visit around the pool while watching them.

Steven didn’t request a cake this year. He wanted brownies. Peanut butter cup brownies. Yum!

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We stuck a couple of candles in the middle one so he could blow them out.

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The family celebration and gifts came on Sunday afternoon.

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We had his pancake breakfast Saturday morning, but Sunday lunch was chicken ‘n dumplings, per his request. That’s a typical Sunday lunch for us, so to make it special we made sure to pull out the special occasion bowls!

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Then came gifts. His primary request was books. Olivia and I found a series called the Homeschool Detectives. How fun is that? It’s an older series, and we could only get used copies. But, he was excited nonetheless! He also still loves the Little Bear books, even though he’s far surpassed that reading level. Doug found a set, and Steven was delighted!

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The stuffed animal (especially dogs) lover got two new puppies – this black one and an adorable Husky. Can you tell he was happy?

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Of course, a Steven birthday is not complete without at least a small Lego set. He wasted no time getting started!

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He is now, once again, the official Cookie Inspector of the family. I managed to get the design cut out of his old outgrown shirt and sewn onto a new one.

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But this was MY favorite of his gifts. A funny book written and illustrated by Angela.

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We topped off the afternoon with giant brownies and homemade peanut butter cup ice cream. All eight candles fit on this one!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, October 14, 2014

In the great outdoors...the sun is just beginning to rise. That’s the only thing I don’t like about fall and winter – dark mornings. But, it’s also fun to make it up before the sun.

Within our four walls...open windows. Family progressing into the morning. The smell of oatmeal cooking.

A heart of thanksgiving...for God’s hand on the progress of our farmers. For a life situation that allows our family to get up and walk safely together in the early morning hours.

A heart of prayer...for what’s left of the farming. For tough decisions some friends need to make. For the Choates and various needs.

Random observations...in case you’d like to know, I do not recommend starting your day by spilling grape juice all over yourself, your delicious omelet, and the floor. It somewhat affects the dynamics of the morning.

My silly children...are discovering that they don’t have as much energy as they’d like to think. At least, not for a brisk family walk first thing in the morning!

Thoughts from the kitchen...other than the grape juice? I think it’s a leftover day. We’ve made an adjustment in our leftover storage to keep from wasting as much. If it’s not enough for a second meal, we put it in a small bag or container and place it in the leftover section of our freezer. That section is now full. Time for leftovers. But we also don’t have to toss what we don’t get eaten today.

On my bookshelf...I have decided to always have a book going. I am more inclined to read if I have something started than I am to start something. I will just have to make sure that at least every third book is non-fiction – otherwise I’ll only read fiction! Last night I read the first few chapters of With Every Breath, Elizabeth Camden’s most recent novel. I have loved Camden’s writing since her very first book. She does have her own formula, which tends to make the books a bit predictable in some ways. But, there’s always depth to that formula, and I always learn something historical. Fun stuff.

Sounds of the moment...music from the living room. Work going on across the street. Outside sounds through open windows.

From Hibbard Academy...plugging along slowly. I’m not super motivated this week, but we’re doing it anyway. We have a full, five-day week. We’re doing this!

The planner...routine until this weekend when we get to go visit the Nina!

Because visuals are fun...Olivia found her daddy’s old hat. It suits her. Smile

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Two Sides of the World

This morning we got to see the lunar eclipse. We don’t have a camera capable of capturing the beauty that it was, but Doug did get a couple of very distant shots and posted them on Facebook. In one of them, the speck of the moon is actually red! It’s neat!

If it had not been cloudy on the horizon, we would have been on the easternmost edge of those able to view the sunrise and eclipse at the same time. We saw the eastern sky lightening as the moon was setting in the west. But, the sun was still hidden when the moon disappeared into the clouds. It was still a beautiful sight, though.

It became even more special when we realized the Choates were watching the eclipse on the other side of the world! Isn’t that amazing? The moon was rising for them, the night beginning. It was setting for us as the night ended. And we all watched it – together yet thousands of miles apart.

Yes, I’m sentimental. It might seem like nothing to some people, but it was pretty special to me. God keeps us connected, and I love that.

Speaking of the Choates, will you pray with me over a couple of things?

First, rain for the village. Last they heard, the rain tanks were empty. Without the water in those tanks, they cannot return to the village. Their scheduled departure date is coming up quickly. So, please pray for rain!

Will you also pray over their village e-mail? Here is a post from Joanna to explain a little how it works:

Village E-Mail

Thanks for praying!