Tuesday, July 27, 2010

God’s Sound Effects

I will probably do Simple Woman tomorrow, but today I just had to share what God did last night! 

We are in the middle of VBS this week.  It started Sunday night, and Thursday night will be our finale/family night.  Doug and I are doing the Bible story room.  (We’re doing Group’s VBS where the groups don’t have a base room but instead travel from station to station.)  Last night’s story was Paul’s shipwreck, part 1.  We pretended we were actually on the ship, and Doug was the captain.  He kept hearing from this man Paul that we didn’t need to sail, but he insisted on sailing anyway.  The skies were fair – all was well.  Besides, what could a troublemaker like Paul know about whether or not it was safe to sail? 

So, we would set sail.  Doug would talk about all of the comforting things we had on the ship just in case a storm did set in (all the while trying to bring the kids back to the idea that God’s Word is comforting in times of trouble).  Then Doug would get to the part where the storm clouds were starting to roll in. 

And at that moment, it would thunder!!!!

Every time.  With all four classes.  Very noticeably.  At least for us!  I don’t know if the kids really “got” it.  They weren’t paying that much attention to much of anything last night, even though Doug tried to draw their attention to the fact that we didn’t bring any sound effects.  But, we obviously noticed God contributing those sound effects each and every time!  It thundered other times in the night, but never during the first part of Doug’s story telling. 

Is that not cool?!  I love the way God does little things to remind us that He’s there working in, through, and around us.  I love it!   And with all the chaos of rather rowdy children last night, that encouragement definitely kept us going. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Late-Night Visitor

Sometimes, there are little things that delight us.  They shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but they’re fun – and we enjoy the events.  Thursday night’s little visitor was one such event. 

I pulled into the carport that night after being out with a friend.  As I pulled in, I saw movement in our big outdoor trash can illuminated by the van’s headlights.  Out popped a little nose, followed by a furry body with a long tail.   It was a young possum, and it perched up on the edge of the trash can and froze, staring into the headlights.   The kids have stuffed possums, and seeing this one reminded me of just how real the stuffed ones really do look! 

 Possum 1

I stayed in the van and told Doug about the possum over the phone.  He joked about getting his gun, but instead came to the door with the camera and got the first picture from inside the house, trying to keep the flash off and not scare the possum away before he could get pictures for the kids.

Possum 2

The possum then moved over onto the old piano (a previous resident’s leftovers) that sits in our carport.  Doug came out and was able to get a couple more pictures while the possum just stared at him. 

The kids, of course, were delighted with the pictures the next morning!  PopPop jokes often about feeding them possum meat, and he and Grandma are the ones responsible for the stuffed possums hanging upside down from a pet net in Steven’s room.  It’s quite the joke among the Hibbard clan.  I had seen this young possum waddling around outside the fence in the backyard a couple of times, but this was the first time I’d seen him this close to the house.  We just had to get the pictures for the kids. 

Of course, we weren’t very nice – we made sure the lid was on the trash can so that our little guest won’t become a frequent visitor to our carport! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I think I'm in a family blog drought.  I have fodder for the other blogs, but it seems like things around the house this summer are, well, not super blog-worthy.  I haven't even been taking pictures! 

So, what have we been doing?  Well, we're three weeks away from finishing school.  Then we'll probably take a break until the middle to end of September since I've done next to nothing to prepare for the new school year!  Oops!  I'll probably take advantage of that gap to read a few "extra" books aloud to the kids.  You know, some of those books I read as a child that I loved so much.  I'll take any excuse to read them again! 

Meanwhile, we've been making a catalog of all our books. It's been a long, long time since we've done that.  And, we currently have so many borrowed books from my mom and sister-in-law that we just feel more comfortable knowing exactly what we have.  We are currently up to 936 entries - and I know that many of those entries either have two copies (mostly for school purposes) or are reference sets in which we didn't list each individual volume, so we actually have more books than entries.  As a child I loved our floor to ceiling bookshelves full of books.  As a college student I wondered how in the world I would ever manage to accumulate books for our family.  Eleven and a half years into marriage, I see how blessed we are. I still have three school years plus supplemental books and all of Steven's books to catalog.  And when I think of all of the books we've passed on...Lots of books.  Nice.

Otherwise, we're trying to stay cool and relax as much as possible between busy spurts.  VBS starts Sunday, so we're catching our breath before diving into that! 

Maybe I'll have pictures by next week...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Simple Woman

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

For Today...Tuesday, June 20, 2010

Outside my window...plentiful sunshine, a nice breeze, laundry drying on the line, yet another wasp trying to make a nest on our back patio

I am thinking...about finishing up this school year.  Almost there.

I am thankful for...the peace of God.

I am wearing...coral skirt and sea green top; sandals; hair in a twist

I am creating...still working on that library inventory, a little bit at a time.

I am remembering...being nine years old and the thoughts and feelings that accompanied that age.  Hard to imagine my oldest is there now.  It looks so different from this side of life.

I am going...to focus on the details of what needs to be done today instead of being overwhelmed by the big picture.

I am reading...The Edge of the Divine by Sandi Patty

I am hoping...the rest of the week is as productive as the first two days have been.

I am hearing...fans, A/C, quiet children

On my mind...our friends in the Solomon Islands.  Miss getting to keep in touch with them via email.

From the learning rooms...Robert Fulton, post War of 1812 American expansion and development; molecules and atoms

Noticing that...early afternoons are a very peaceful time at our house.

Pondering these words...”The peace of God is first and foremost peace with God; it is the state of affairs in which God, instead of being against us, is for us.” JI Packer

From the kitchen...chicken and bacon quiche.

Around the house...books awaiting inventory.  Books, books, and more books.  We are so blessed to have so many books!

One of my favorite things...children who can’t put a good book down.

A few plans for the rest of the week...preparation for VBS which starts Sunday evening.

A picture worth sharing...from our most recent visit with the great-grandparents100_7569

Monday, July 19, 2010

Little Blessings

A few smiles to start the week…

  • Steven is really starting to hunger to read.  He taught himself all his letters.  I told him that once he learns their sounds, I’ll start teaching him to read.  So, he went to the library and got his Fridge Phonics Word Whammer.  Meanwhile he’s regularly asking me to go through letters and their sounds with him, and he practices all the time.  That’s one motivated little boy.  I love watching his hunger for learning!
  • The girls’ current reader is Robert Fulton: Boy Craftsman by Marguerite Henry.  It’s a delightful book!  I couldn’t put it down, and neither can the girls, it seems.  But, Bob Fulton’s creative mind led him to try some pretty crazy things.  At one point, young Bob decides he needs paintbrushes.  So, he captures the cat and robs her of some of her hair.  Before long, there are strange-looking cats all over town where other kids have followed Bob’s example.  In an effort to protect our cats from such trauma, I reminded the girls to not get any ideas!  Olivia just cackled!  I’m not so concerned about the girls, but I am looking ahead to when Steven is in third grade and reading this book.  Cat-tail paintbrushes – oh, and homemade fireworks.  I’m going to have to watch out for that boy when it’s his turn to read the book!
  • I love it when chores are fun and yet still get done.  So often when I hear the kids cackling together while doing chores, it’s because the chores aren’t getting accomplished.  I expected that to be the case this morning, but I was delightfully wrong!  On Monday mornings, Steven usually gathers trash cans for emptying while the girls put clean sheets on the beds.  This morning Steven begged to get to help the girls.  So, I gave him one more chance to help and not hinder.  He still wasn’t the biggest help, but they got the beds made in record time just the same.  Then they helped him gather and empty trash cans.  Several of the trash cans needed new bags.  We have a game where we shake the new bags open in such a way as to create a fan.  They think it’s such fun to have a bag fan waved in front of them.  This morning three bags were needed, so each of the kids took a turn fanning the other two.  The one doing the fanning would chase the other two all through the house with the bag before coming back to put it in the trash can.  Such a sweet thing to hear as morning chores are being done! 
  • And, to top off the delight of the morning, it was actually cooler outside the house than inside this morning!  Amazingly pleasant!  I actually got to enjoy a nice breeze while hanging out laundry this morning, and Steven and Angie took advantage of a few minutes of play time.  What a blessing in the middle of the most recent heat wave!

Friday, July 16, 2010

AR Post Memorial 50th Anniversary, part 2

As promised, here are the rest of the pictures from our July 3 trip.
The girls were fascinated with combing the wool and weaving yarn into a belt. AR Post 2aAR Post 2gAR Post 2h   …and the weaving.  (It made me want a simple Inkle loom like that - or any kind of loom, for that matter!  Such fun!)AR Post 2l AR Post 2gSteven was more fascinated with the boats and horns.  Oh, and waiting for the canon to fire – when it finally did we all jumped three feet! AR Post 2iAR Post 2jWe moved on from there to learning about boating up a river.  We started with the sail.  But, then the wind died down too much.  So, Olivia helped lower the sail.AR Post 2f So, out came the paddles.AR Post 2e When the water grew too shallow for the paddles, the kids picked up their poles. AR Post 2d When the boat got stuck in the mud, out came the ropes, followed by the block and tackle.  Doug jumped in to help with the pulling!AR Post 2c
Finally back in open water, Angie helped hoist the sale again.AR Post 2b There was so much more to see and do, but we were a hot and hungry family and it was well past our usual lunch time!  We traipsed back to the car and headed to find some lunch, recording the morning in our family history books as a great one to be remembered. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

AR Post Memorial 50th Anniversary, Part 1

Nearly a year ago, we made a visit to the AR Post Museum with the intention of returning another time to visit the nearby park area.  It took us a year, but we finally made a return trip.

Saturday, July 3, the park celebrated 50 years as a national park.   Doug had heard on the radio that there would be a celebration, cake, demonstrations of live from the mid-1800’s, and even a canon!  So, we loaded up that Saturday morning and headed Gillette for the festivities. 

After a couple of brief speeches, there was cake ready for all in the museum there on the grounds (not the same one we visited before).  True to nature, though, the kids were almost more excited about touring the museum than about eating cake!  So, we perused the displays while the crowd around the cake table thinned.  AR Post 1k The life-size picture of an alligator was a thrill!AR Post 1j After cake we headed outside.  A folk band was playing a concert, so we decided to listen while walking around the park and waiting for the demonstrations to begin at noon.   The girls were clapping to the music and reading history all at the same time.  AR Post 1h The canon was exciting, too!AR Post 1i We followed the trail around to read about the town that existed here for a few years before the Civil War brought about its economic collapse.  For two of those years, Post was the capital of the territory before being moved to Little Rock.  AR Post 1d Steven and Olivia were excited to run the trails…AR Post 1f …while Angela wanted to read every word of history she could find!  When she was walking, she quickly moved on ahead of everyone else, but when she stopped to read there was no moving her until she’d read every word.  AR Post 1g We found quite a few huge old trees – it was fascinating to imagine them living through the history we could only read about!  AR Post 1e The day and the trail were both gorgeous!  It was warm, but the cloud cover and perfect breeze made it a perfect summer day to tour the park.  AR Post 1c AR Post 1lEven so, it helped to have a little break during the walk, sitting on benches…AR Post 1b  …looking out over the AR River.  AR Post 1a

After about an hour of browsing, we could tell the concert had ended and the other activities were in full swing back near the museum.  So, we walked back over there for the last part of our visit.  Stay tuned for those pictures…

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Simple Woman

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

For Today...Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Outside my window...a still, warm, partly cloudy morning – hoping for some rain this week.

I am thinking...about diligence and discipline.  Wanting more of both in my life.

I am thankful for...a good start to our week without Doug.  Praying the rest of it goes smoothly, both for us and for those at camp.

I am wearing...khaki capris, a red sleeveless knit top, sandals, hair in its usual twist

I am creating...a database of all of our books – quite the job!

I am remembering...my one trip to youth camp as a youth – Centrifuge, summer of ‘94, shortly before I started college.

I am going...to get caught up and re-establish discipline in staying caught up.

I am reading...You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes by Lisa McKay

I am hoping...for the aforementioned rain.

I am hearing...bugs outside; the sounds of Steven’s new-to-him hand-me-down Leap Pad. He is loving it!  Poor little Angela’s sneezes.

On my mind...the prayer needs from M-Fuge. There are many already, even before a full day of camp.

From the learning rooms...a little bit of behind-ness.  Yesterday we caught up on last week’s work, and after I get chores done I need to look at this week’s work.

Noticing that...everyone seems to be handling Doug’s absence a little better this time than last, so far.  We don’t miss him less, and we have no inclination of being used to such things, but the kids seem to know better what to expect – and are confident in the continual reassurances that Doug wants to come home to us.

Pondering these words..." Where a people prays, there is the church, and where the church is, there is never loneliness" D. Bonhoeffer

From the kitchen...I honestly don’t know – but I do have it planned, and having a plan feels SOOOO much better!

Around the house...lots of laundry to fold. Anticipating rain through this week, I rotated quite a few loads through yesterday so I could hang out as much as possible!

One of my favorite things...light bulb moments.

A few plans for the rest of the week...school, watching The Music Man with the girls, church, a friend’s visit, a trip to see my grandparents, welcoming Doug home Saturday night.

A picture worth sharing…a hot, tired Steven waiting patiently for a canon at AR Post on Saturday (more to come on that trip)

Tired Steven  

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 4th at the Hibbard Home

Technical problems figured out and solved.  Yay!  And now, for the blog post…

Just for the record, I am completely convinced I have HIDD – Holiday Idea Deficiency Disorder.  Every time a holiday rolls around I'm firmly convinced that I’ll finally have it all together and we’ll do something creatively fun like my friends.  But, it never comes.  Nope – I just draw a blank.

So, along comes Independence Day and there’s nothing there.  Again.  I was pretty discouraged and frustrated (and tearful – yes, I’ll admit it) yesterday afternoon.  But, somehow through the course of the evening, everything fell into place for a wonderful, fun family celebration.  I told Doug I think that’s the secret – it’s just got to fall into place almost on its own! 

When we w4th 2ere grocery shopping last week, Doug found a rack of ribs and some corn on the cob that he just couldn’t help but buy to grill.  Who was I to argue with that?! 

Sunday afternoon rolled around and we realized we had much less charcoal than we thought.  So, we piled in the van and headed to Wal-Mart for charcoal.  While we were there we grabbed some ingredients for a patriotic red, white, yellow, and blue fruit pizza too! 

We got home and Doug started on our dinner while the girls and I made the fruit pizza.  4th 1

When everything was done, we headed to the back with our indoor picnic and turned on PBS to watch A Capitol 4th.  All five of us enjoyed the music (especially the bands and orchestra!) and the fireworks. 

4th 3 4th 4 We finished off the evening with some party poppers...

4th 5 …and, of course, with some fun with the confetti that shot out of the poppers! 

Not bad for a spur of the moment family party!  And, to top it all off, Doug was struck by brilliance yet again, and we have a really neat idea for next year’s celebration.  Nope, not going to reveal it yet.  You’ll have to  tune in again sometime early next summer for your invitation to an Independence Day celebration, Hibbard style! 

Technical Difficulties

I had a blog post about our Independence Day fun all ready to post after fighting for quite some time with technical difficulties.  Then more technical difficulties hit, preventing me from posting it.  I'd retype it, but even more technical difficulties are preventing me from accessing the pictures.  Neither the desktop nor my netbook are liking me right now (and I can't say I'm too fond of them either at the moment!).  So, I will be content to just discuss technical difficulties for the time being and then move on with life. 

And, in the middle of it all, I am reminded of our friends in the Solomon Islands who have no internet access when they're out in the village, and can only email via radio.  But, their radio is currently on the blink and the replacement part is delayed getting to them.  So, they currently have very limited communication with anyone outside of their island village (they thankfully had ability to contact someone in Honiara clearly enough to let those of us over here know they made it safely to the island and were having their technical difficulties).  And I'm griping because I can't upload a blog post.  Yep, that puts it in perspective. 

Thank You, Lord, for the amazing technology we have access to, and thank You even more for reminding me that my agitation is unfounded.