Monday, April 27, 2015

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Monday, April 27, 2015

In the great outdoors...chilly and wet after an early morning thunder shower.

Within our four walls...we’ve currently settled down to morning chores after some early morning pinging.

A heart of thanksgiving...for a relatively calm week ahead; for a house that can handle the crazy temperature changes we’ve experienced lately; for the chances the farmers have had to get out in the fields, despite the wet spring.

A heart of prayer...for more dry days for planting; for a productive week this week before heading into a much more chaotic one next week; for sick friends; for the Choates as they prepare to travel later this week (YAY!).

Random observations...It’s been a month since I’ve blogged for personal pleasure, either here or on annhibbard.com. I’m looking forward to getting back to it.

My silly daughter...declared yesterday that we need a family suite in the crazy house. There are days when I’d wholeheartedly agree!

Thoughts from the kitchen...soup, soup, soup? I’m thinking I might have to make a special run to Wal-Mart for spicy cheese soup ingredients. I thought we had our last batch a month ago when it started to get warm, but we’ve had a couple more rounds of soup weather. Mmmmm…I like soup.

On my bookshelf...I managed to sneak in a couple of pleasure books lately – the second half of one of Tricia Goyer’s Amish fiction novels and The Rose of Winslow Street, the only Elizabeth Camden book I had not yet read. Now it’s back to review books. I’m finishing up Thick as Thieves by Susan Marlow today – book one in her Andrea Carter Circle C Milestones series for slightly older kids (although the 8-14 age range would probably enjoy these as much as they do her Circle C Ranch books). Next week I’ll be reviewing a book of Circle C Ranch short stories. I also have a new author to check out – Dina L. Sleiman. Her Robin Hood-like novel Dauntless struck me as one the girls might enjoy, so I agreed to review it.

Meanwhile, there’s the nonfiction – currently Everyday Grace by Jessica Thompson. And there are a few Bible studies on my shelf that I’ve looked through and need to write the reviews for soon.

Can you tell I put reviews on hold for a couple of months while I tackled my writing project? Catch up time!!!

Projects...Purging. Real, deep-down purging. As in, pull everything out, sort it and get rid of it, and then put what’s left back in. So far, that tactic has only been applied to closets, but no room is off limits. The insanity has to be tamed! 

Sounds of the moment...the vacuum cleaner in the next room.

From Hibbard Academy...we weren’t going to take last week off, but Mommy entered the week with NOTHING prepared. So, we took the week off. The kids worked on their rooms (not to the extent that I will, but they did make good progress), and I got the rest of the school year laid out. I was trying to push, push, push so we could be done by late May/early June. I’ve given up. We need our mid-school year breaks more than we need a long summer break (although we still will have a summer break). So, now we’re looking at being done end of June and taking July off. Hopefully.

Back to it this week, though!

A favorite thing from last week...dropping off a car load of stuff that we purged. I like letting go of stuff. Another pile is already accumulating.

The planner...not much this week, other than a couple of nights of church activities. That’s nice, considering next week is quite full!

Because visuals are fun...five years ago, we brought this lovable monster home with us. He was so sick. Skin and bones. His head looked enormous compared to his body. We really thought we were just giving him a place to die. You wouldn’t know it today. He’s down a few teeth, and his fur is starting to get that older cat texture. But, he’s healthy and active and very much alive!

Then there’s the beautiful little lady holding him. She gets so much pleasure from the cats. Tolerating the three cats is worth it when I see how much she loves them.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A funny story from Cub Scouts

One of the ways I spend my time is helping with the Cub Scout Pack that Steven is a part of (or with the Boy Scout Troop in the same organization). They meet at a church in Stuttgart. A couple of meetings ago, one of the den leaders had arranged a visit from the local paramedics to talk first aid and show the ambulance to the boys.

After a little bit of time in the meeting room talking about first aid and paramedic work, they took the guys down to the parking lot to show them the ambulance. And the transport cot, including how you strap someone to it.

Did I mention that there was a church board meeting set for around the same time? Where the decision-makers and pastor for this church were coming to the church offices, housed right next door?

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Because they rolled up about the time the paramedics had one of the boys strapped to the cot, the lights flashing and the siren on for the ambulance.

That’s a memory worth preserving. The pastor and an abundance of serious people headed to a committee meeting were quite concerned. Good times Smile

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, March 24, 2015

In the great outdoors...day two of beautiful sunshine and temps in the 70’s. The temps are supposed to last through tomorrow, although we will probably lose the sunshine; then the next plummet arrives. Hopefully not too much of a plummet.

Within our four walls...open windows and flexibility to enjoy the sun.

A heart of thanksgiving...for the sunshine. (Yes, that’s three mentions of the sun back to back. Can you tell I really needed this?) For life in the country where we can really see the stars. Oh my – they were beautiful this morning! For Steven’s chance to spend the day with his friend Read. Two happy boys!

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A heart of prayer...for upcoming surgeries and other health needs of church members; for several difficult family situations; for wisdom about our family’s schedules as we try to make some adjustments.

Random observations...I’m not sure you want to know what is running through my mind. It can be scary.

My silly children...had a great time splashing through the yard yesterday. Most of the back yard was an inch or two deep, but it was impossible to stay inside on such a glorious day. So, rain boots were donned, and much fun was had. It looks like the trees are finally deciding to wake up from their winter slumber, so they’re finally starting to drink heavily and suck up some of the rain water. The yard looks much better today – muddy rather than pond-like. The rain boots will be needed for mud instead of water today!

Thoughts from the kitchen...once again, a desperate need to menu plan. Today will probably be leftover lasagna.

On my bookshelf...the need for a plan. So many books – I just stare at them wondering what to tackle next. I have a deadline for the novel I’m reading right now, so it will be my only book for a little while longer. But, after that I hope to get back to non-fiction during my work breaks every afternoon and fiction at night as I unwind before bed. A good plan makes me smile. Now to successfully implement it!

Projects...I finished a sock! I’ve made it through the heel-turning on the second one. Olivia walked around wearing the single sock the other day. Goofy girl. 

Sounds of the moment...Steven and Read playing; music (currently country – who knows what will be next; I love our eclectic tastes!); keyboards tapping.

From Hibbard Academy...a light load this week. We’ve had so much gloominess this winter that it’s hard to not utilize our flexibility to enjoy a few days of sunshine. Yesterday Olivia did the primary core necessities while Angie and Steven helped me catch up on their grading. Today, Angie and I will do some read-aloud, and she might do a few other things. Olivia will work on core stuff. Steven will probably fit in a bit of independent work, since Read has some worksheets he needs to do as well – snow day makeup work. Then I’ll kick them all outside!

A favorite thing from last week...a Saturday off. We needed that.

The planner...we were hoping to enjoy a zoo trip this week, but it seems that the weather and our schedule are not going to line up. Instead, we’ll enjoy a delightful week of few obligations, ending with a birthday celebration this weekend with Doug’s parents.

Because visuals are fun...Jack decided he needed a perch, so he climbed from Olivia’s arms up onto her shoulder. Shortly after this, he launched himself from her arms all the way to the couch (probably a yard and a half). Not bad for an old cat!

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