Monday, January 25, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

(Don't forget to click on the picture above and visit Peggy's site!)

For today, January 25, 2009
Outside my window...a clear blue sky, wind blowing steadily through the trees, more of a chill in the air than of late.

I am thinking...many things – about living my life intentionally, getting our routine firmly back in place, how to prioritize the to-do list, especially since most of it must be done today, how to organize some activities and trips that need to fill the coming month, etc.

I am thankful for...God's provision. He reminds us over and over and over again that He provides beautifully and in prefect timing when we wait on Him.

From the learning rooms...continuing with the build-up to the Revolutionary War, finishing Johnny Tremain (watching the movie this weekend once the book is done), Paul Revere, insects, and hopefully finishing the body of the great white shark report so we can polish it and finish it out by next week.

From the kitchen...we made homemade root beer over the weekend. The first bottle we tried wasn't carbonated enough, but the flavor was good. We look forward to trying the remaining bottles to see how they come out! We also made our tortillas on Saturday and worked out our menu planning for the next five weeks. I'll be sharing a few new recipes soon!

I am wearing...jeans and burgundy knit top. (Can you tell knit tops are common in my wardrobe?)

I am creating...absolutely nothing, and it's annoying me. Need to get back to it soon!

I am be more diligent in the schedule this week.

I am reading...Tea with Hezbollah and Mr. Revere and I. The latter is definitely the more enjoyable of the two!

I am hoping...for a chance to meet my new niece soon, and for the details to work out for visits with my folks while they're in the country.

I am hearing...children playing happily during their lunch break, the dishes clanking in the dishwasher, and the blower fan on the fireplace insert – and am reminded how thankful I am for all of the above!

Pondering these words...The presence of God's Spirit in your life takes away the frustrated soul-thirst and turns you into a fountain where others can find life. ~John Piper

Around the house...laundry that needs to be tended and projects that are awaiting my attention.

One of my favorite things...sunshine!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Upward practice and game (five more of each!), school, possibly a trip to Monroe this weekend.

A picture worth sharing...nothing today, but hopefully will have a chance to post lots of pictures through the course of this week!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Every now and then...

...there are just some miscellaneous tidbits that must be shared! 

For example...

Doug and I have discovered the new perfect disciplinary method for the girls.  Are you ready for this?  All we have to do is threaten to make them eat store bought bread or tortillas!!  You would think we were torturing them!  We started making our own because it really isn't that hard and it does save money, especially considering we really like honey wheat bread, which is one of the more expensive loaves.  But, there are times when for whatever reason I just don't have time to make bread.  When that happens, the girls tell me they'll just eat crackers and wait for me to have the chance to make bread.  Yesterday we threatened to buy tortillas.  Yep, end of the world.  So, I told them that they had to have their room and the study (where the toys are stored) cleaned up by a certain time so they could help with the tortillas or we were going to go buy them.  I probably should buy a loaf of bread and keep it in the freezer just so I can make good on the threat if I ever need to!

Meanwhile, Olivia apparently isn't the only one with the crush.  This morning we were waiting for Olivia's basketball game to start and in walked some friends from church.  Steven noticed them walk in the door, exclaimed, "There's Riley!" and was off like bullet!  He raced up to her, said hi, and then raced off.  He complained later because she didn't say hi back.  I tried to explain to him that he had to wait around for at least a second or two if he wanted someone to say hi back!  He adores Riley.  There are a couple of other sporadically attending kids at church who are closer to his age, but she's the only consistent one.  They are definitely sweet playmates.

Oh, and Upward!  Today was our second game day.  It was the first time I've gotten to watch Olivia at all.  Our two teams practice at the same time, so I can never watch her practices.  And, last week's games were at the same time.  This week, though, her game was at 8:00 and ours was at 10:00, so we got to watch her.  I was very proud of her.  She inherited my coordination (or lack thereof), and she frequently dwells in a place we lovingly call Livie-land.  But, today she really worked hard to pay attention, and even made a defensive play!  She showed that she truly is learning.  I'm so proud of her!

I'm proud of our team, too.  Last week's game was pretty wild, considering we only had two practices before the first game and considering there were several concepts I had to try to throw at them during the game.  So much to remember!  So, we talked through those new concepts in this week's practice and worked on a few more skills (like defense and shooting - yeah, just a little essential).  The best test of whether or not they're getting the skills definitely shows up on the court.  I really saw improvement this week.  They really did learn!  I'm so proud of them! 

Angie, specifically, prissed across the court last week.  For those of you who know her, I'm sure that comes as no surprise!  This week, though, she really got in the game.  She's still scared of the ball, and she still doesn't do much with it.  But, she actually ran up and down the court instead of just standing there as an on-court spectator, and she got into the defense - especially when she was paired up with a boy from the other team who she knew.  I think that helped her shyness a bit.  There are four KG-1 teams.  I think she might be the only girl on all four teams.  So, she's hanging in there pretty well! 

Meanwhile, Steven has been a jewel.  He gets restless at times, but he's really been willing to sit and watch and let Doug help me coach.  I'm so proud of my little boy! 

Friday, January 22, 2010

First Crush

Yes, we all know it happens - that first crush. 

I don't know that Olivia even knows to call it a crush because my girls haven't really discovered the "joy" of giggling and talking about boys yet.  And I'm not about to add unnecessary information to the situation!  All she knows is that this is a friend she really likes to be around - and who likes being around her, sweetly enough.  And, there is a natural recognition that friendships with boys are different from friendships with girls. 

But, as this mama watches her little girl not act quite so little anymore, I am feeling the bittersweet mix emotions of knowing that she is growing up and having the beautiful blessing of watching it happen.

And meanwhile, I'm reminded of the great responsibility upon me to continually pray over her and to train her up in the ways of the Lord!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Christmas Pictures

I never have gotten around to posting Christmas pictures, so here they are!

 Christmas Eve - ready for our candlelight service.

Everyone pitched in to help with our Christmas Eve supper - fun fingerfoods.
Doug and Olivia making fried raviolis.

Angela putting cinnamon Chex crumbs on a cheesecake ball.

Steven, stretching out on the floor while monitoring everyone's progress.

Ready to go on Christmas morning!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Abigail Grace

I don't have any close-up pictures yet - and I am trying to be oh so very patient!  But, I can share news without pictures, right?

My new niece, firstborn of my brother Ben and his lovely wife Ashley, arrived in the wee hours of the morning.  She was two weeks early, which I must say has to have delighted her grandparents.  Mom and Dad made their trip home from Jordan primarily to welcome this new grandbaby into the world.  Her early arrival means two extra weeks of grandparent enjoyment before they have to fly out. 

Abigail Grace is 6 pounds, 5 ounces and 18.75 inches.  All are doing great, according to the last of the wee hour reports. 

Meanwhile, the Hibbard clan is awaiting our opportunity to go meet her for the first time!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

They're Disgusting!

Discussion overheard while the kids were sweeping (and yes, these are exact words)...

Angie: There's a dead cockroach in the foyer.

Steven: Let's not sweep the cockroach.

Mommy: Yes, you need to sweep up the dead cockroach and throw it in the trash.

Kids: Okay!


Steven: Cockroaches are disgusting!

Angela: This one is on its back.

Olivia: But, if they're on their backs, they're easier to squish.

Steven: Cockroaches on their backs are disgusting.

Angela: This one's already dead - we don't have to squish it, so it doesn't matter!

Olivia: Yeah, but still...if they're on their backs their easier to deal with.

Steven: Dead cockroaches on their backs are disgusting.

Olivia: What about live cockroaches on their backs?

Steven: Live cockroaches on their backs are disgusting.

Angela: What about dead cockroaches not on their backs?

Steven: Dead cockroaches not on their backs are disgusting.

Olivia: What about live cockroaches?

Steven: Live cockroaches are REALLY disgusting!!

Do you get the impression that my three-year-old has already formed a strong opinion about cockroaches?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

(Don't forget to click on the picture above and visit Peggy's site!)

For Today...January 18, 2010

Outside my window...partly cloudy skies with occasional bursts of sunshine.

I am thinking...that I need to pull out my planner and actually look at my to-do list for today.

I am thankful parents' safe trip home last week.

I am wearing...jeans and a blue knit top (yep, I changed things up a bit this week!)

I am have a pretty “ normal” week this week.

I am reading...Tea with Hezbollahby Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis. Just starting it – book review to come next week on
Ann's Thoughts.

I am hoping...that Upward practice will go well tonight – that the kids will learn, and that this weekend's game will be smoother than last weekend's.

I am hearing...praise music from iTunes, Olivia whispering as she looks over her dictation work for today, and quiet as Steven and Angela nap.

On my mind...some writing thoughts I'd like to take care of and two friends that I need /want to email (while dreaming about nice long visits with them instead!)

From the learning rooms...the final years before the American Revolution, Paul Revere, Insects, and more work on Olivia's research paper. (She did much more research than the curriculum guide established, so this is turning into a bigger project than planned – it wasn't finished last week as anticipated. But, I'm not complaining! She's doing a great job, and I'm more than willing to give a few extra weeks to something she can take such pride in!)

Noticing that...I feel much more peaceful and relaxed now than I did first thing this morning. That can only be the work of the Holy Spirit within me. Wow – how incredible to be His beloved child!

From the kitchen...lasagna for lunch today, cake leftover from Dad's 60thbirthday celebration, and an attempt to once and for all get back to increased diligence about our eating habits.

Around the house...catching up on chores that had fallen behind a bit.

One of my favorite things...encouragement, whether given or received.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Helping a friend with a couple of projects, and then regularly scheduled activities – Upward practice and game, church prayer time and midweek service, dessert night, menu planning and grocery shopping for the next month or so.

A picture worth sharing...the Browning clan, together to celebrate Dad's 60thbirthday. Back: sis-in-law DeAnn & brother Tim, my parents Charles & Nancy. Middle: Doug, Steven, me, sis-in-law Ashley, brother Ben. Floor: Angela, sister Allison, and Olivia. One member of the family is just weeks away from being “visible.” My niece Abigail is due two weeks from tomorrow – we can't wait to meet you, sweet little one!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Celebrating Doug

I promised my wonderful hubby I wouldn't post a whole bunch of pictures like I do with the kids, but I can't let today go by without sharing a celebration of him.

Every year as January 14 rolls around I am reminded how thankful I am that God created my amazing husband.  When I see the way Doug and I fit together so beautifully, I am in awe of how God orchestrates life and relationships.  Doug is not the man I always dreamed of marrying, but only because my dreams were too small.

Doug loves his home and family in a way that melts my heart.  He has a perfect sense of humor, at least for my tastes.  He's incredibly intelligent and is able to share his wealth of knowledge in a way that draws in his audience. 

Over the years I have seen his interests grow and develop.  He's an avid reader and learner, always looking for ways to grow and better himself.  He has always enjoyed cooking, but in recent years he has learned so much about combining flavors and trying new things.  His prowess in the kitchen is a delight to the whole family! 

There are times when his passions are stirred and excitement is built.  There are times of discouragement when all seems to be falling apart.  But through it all, there is an image of growth.  A growth of those passions.  A growth of determination.  A growth of faith and trust.  A growth in his relationship with the Lord. 

Despite the things I have written, the words to describe how I truly feel about this amazing man seem to be failing me. 

So, I will simply say this...

I love you, Doug!  I am more thankful for you with each passing day.  Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Back to Blogging

I'm so excited - I think I just might be coming back to regular blogging!!!  I had to slow down when we started school this year, and I've been working on a way to come back since then.  I think Doug and I have managed to come up with several tricks for keeping up with the writing we want to do, so hopefully Hibbard Five will be back to regular updates.

This week we're thawing out.  Just to make one thing clear, we love winter!  But, we are also southerners. In fact, we currently live far enough south that a typical winter day is highs in the 50's, occasionally 40's, and lows no lower than the 30's.  So, our homes, cars, wardrobes, and bodies just aren't accustomed to temperatures staying below freezing!

So, despite the fact that we've enjoyed some "real" winter, we are glad to be staying above freezing for a little while.  But, we are still hoping for that snow we never really got last week!

I was going through pictures the other day and realized there were some cute ones that I haven't posted.  Here are a few - some Christmas pictures are coming soon!

Steven in his new flight jacket, just like Pop Pop used to wear!

Playing baseball in the hall when it was too cold to play outside. Olivia is catching at the other end of the hall.

Steven taking full advantage of school in the living room by "getting" his big sister while she was working on math.  They're so silly!

Silly ballerinas - new ballerina skirts over their new outfits.

Olivia "excavating" a shark tooth from sediment (a Christmas present that she's using to supplement her school research project on great white sharks).

Steven chilling out - notice the remote in hand!!!  No, that is not a working remote.  It's an old one that never worked right.  He claimed it a couple of years ago - yes, before he was even two!  He likes it because the batteries still work and when he pushes the buttons they light up.  But, he has definitely learned what remotes are used for, and that one is his.  Not good!  Not good at all!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

(Don't forget to click on the picture above and visit Peggy's site!)

For today, January 11, 2010
Outside my window...beautiful sunshine and temps expected to get above freezing today. I feel warm already!

I am thinking...about what I need to put on my to-do list for today.

I am thankful for...a functioning heater last night! It decided to not run at all between about 6:00 Saturday evening and 4:15 Sunday morning when Doug finally tinkered with it just right and got it to kick in. It ran through the day yesterday, but then threatened to quit again last night. The Lord did His work, though, and it kicked in throughout the night!

From the learning rooms...Benjamin Franklin, butterflies and moths, putting all of Olivia's great white shark research together into her first research paper, getting back to doing school in our normal location (the dining room) because it's warm enough again. Oh, and the one I am absolutely giddy over, looking at the plan for next year! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!!!

From the kitchen...pulling many things from the freezer this week. Also, bread-making now that it's going to be warm enough to get it to rise!

I am wearing...jeans, maroon knit top (hmmm...I think I wore this last Monday, too!), and tennis shoes.

I am creating...a list of what I need to be creating. But first, there is a small trunk of mending that must be done.

I am our second Upward practice tonight. Praying it goes as well as last week's.

I am reading...nothing yet. I still need to work on that.

I am hoping...for a very productive day and week.

I am hearing...girls finish up chores while Steven chatters away.

Around the house...clutter that needs to be tidied, open doors that have been closed for several days to redirect heat.

One of my favorite things...a precious little three-year-old boy who comes, in the middle of my chores, walks up to me and sweetly says, “Is there any way I can help you, Mommy?” He had already finished his chores. Oh, how that melted my heart!

A few plans for the rest of the week: School Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with just a little bit on Thursday. Upward practice tonight, church prayer night tomorrow night, church Wednesday, celebrating a birthday Thursday, a trip to Sam's on Friday, and on Saturday our first Upward game followed by a trip to Judsonia to see my parents who will be arriving in the country on Friday!!! Yay!!!

A picture worth sharing...

My sillies eating at the bar in the kitchen. The dining room (where we also usually have school) is hard to heat, so while the temps were below freezing we moved to the kitchen for meals and the living room for school. (And, yes, Angela does have dress-up eye shadow streaked all over her eyes!)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just Thought I'd Share

There was a post on my heart to write yesterday morning, but I never did get a chance to sit down and write it. Even so, it was an appropriate one to have to think through. You see, yesterday wasn't a great day. It was frustrating and difficult – one of those days when everything seemed to go wrong. Not necessarily by any fault of mine or even the kids – just almost by default.

In the midst of that, the post that was on my heart was a thankfulness post – one about all the ways God has answered prayers recently. It didn't change the frustration of yesterday, but it did help keep it all in perspective.

So, what has the Lord been doing in the Hibbards lately?

  • The house! When we first moved to Monticello, we knew the house we moved into could not be permanent. By about March we knew we needed to be actively seeking a new place to live. We just didn't know where to start! So, we prayed. And, guess what? We didn't even have to look! As we waited on Him, He laid this house in our laps. And, it is wonderful! We love it! We've been here two months now, and we feel truly settled. It's spacious, bright, and easy to keep clean. Sometimes He guides us in our searching and other times He tells us to wait and let Him provide completely on His own. This was one of those waiting situations, and it wasn't super easy – but it was definitely worth the wait!

  • Firewood. A more recent and short-term request was for firewood. We've never had a “real” fireplace before. In Horn Lake we had a gas one that was a lot of fun. But, it didn't put out much heat and it wasn't really economical to use. So, we mainly used it occasionally for a date night or in the early mornings to knock of the chill just a touch. Here we have a fireplace insert with a cycling blower that really works to heat the front part of the house. But, having never messed with a fireplace, we've also never dealt much with securing firewood. We were praying for the Lord to lead us to trustworthy and affordable sources of firewood for the upcoming forecasted cold spell. He did just that! Thanks to some church members who had enough to share or sell to us, we have a nice stack of wood in the carport with the promise of more to come. It has been such a lifesaver as our temperatures have hovered around or below freezing in recent days.

  • Upward. I shared both here and on my thoughts blog that I was very nervous about coaching an Upward basketball team. God really guided Doug to step in and know exactly what was needed. He went through the whole practice with me, helping me get a firm grasp on how Monday night needed to roll and what challenges I might face. Meanwhile, God sent three other great people from church Monday night. As I guided the flow of the practice, Fred – someone with both an understanding of basketball and a knowledge of teaching sports to kids – stepped in to actually teach the concepts to the team. My team consisted of Angela (the only girl on the team) and five adorable little boys – four in KG and one in 1 st grade. Meanwhile, Mark and Meranda showed up an hour early for their son's practice so they could be there to jump in when needed. Although I didn't need them in the practice itself, they cheered me on from the sidelines. Their encouragement was more than I can express. Isn't God good to send His children in to provide just what we need?! I'm so thankful!

There are so many more things we're thankful for in this new year – so many blessings and provisions. We've seen our children grow and learn. I heard Angela tell me last week that she was sad because we didn't have school that day. I've heard both of my girls apply spiritual principles in new ways. I've seen Steven mature in many areas because of the ways he's been challenged. Doug and I have seen growth in our lives and have seen areas where we can continue to grow. God has shown us how to grow in healthiness and related discipline, and has provided the tools and resources we've needed to do so – and the encouragement to keep it up!

May God receive all the glory for how He works and provides! And, I pray that each day that just seems to go wrong I'll be reminded of the many, many ways He is working in and around my family.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

(Don't forget to click on the picture above and visit Peggy's site!)

For today, January 4, 2010
Outside my window...a very cold, cloudy Monday. This morning we were blessed to see those clouds produce some snow flurries! Nothing stuck, but to actually have snow falling was a treat!

I am amazing it is that just rearranging wood a little bit can take a fire from just glowing coals to blazing fire. Fascinating!

I am thankful who have coped well with a voiceless mommy this morning – and the gradual return of that voice. Also, a nice, big pile of firewood in the carport.

From the learning rooms...Benjamin Franklin, Johnny Tremain, and political unrest in the colonies; sea and ocean life; Olivia - finishing up research on great white sharks and working on an outline for the research project, division, fractional equivalents; Angela – subtraction; Steven – recognition of #'s 6-9 and strengthening recognition of 1-5 and 10.

From the kitchen...nothing fantastic this week other than getting solidly back to following the menu plan.

I am wearing...jeans, maroon knit pullover, heavy cream-colored cardigan, brown clogs.

I am creating...nothing. I'm taking a break. I'm sure it won't last long – I do have a list!

I am coach Angela's Upward Basketball team, first practice tonight. And, for the record, no, I do not know anything at all about basketball.

I am books and the Upward coach's playbook, but I am hoping to get back to “real” reading soon.

I am hoping...for more snow this week.

I am hearing...playing children, including a newly awakened Steven.

Around the house...”normal” family decorations in their place for the first time in this house, now that Christmas decorations are put away.

One of my favorite things...the blessing of a fireplace.

A few plans for the rest of the week: working the kinks out of our new schedule; dessert night for the first time in three weeks; taking inventory of new projects that need to be taken care of.