Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Wednesday, December 26, 2012

In the great outdoors...snow! Most of Arkansas saw Christmas snow for the first time in about 80 years! Ours didn’t start until 8:30 last night, so we didn’t see much of it. But it still was technically a white Christmas. We woke up to 1-2 inches (I think more fell – the wind was just so strong it didn’t stay around!), but most places that saw snow got anywhere from six to eighteen inches. Nice! We went out for about five minutes, but the wind was just too bitter. We threw a few snowballs and came right back in. Our southern clothing just doesn’t handle 20 degree sustained winds well!

Within our four walls...a great need for normalcy. We have some cleaning to do, some catching up to do, and some re-establishment of routine to take care of.

A heart of thanksgiving...for electricity and the fact that it did not go out during the storm.

A heart of prayer...for those who still don’t have power, including my parents and my brother and sister-in-law (Abigail & Nora’s parents). Also for a mission team that left for Russia today, including our friend Jonathan from church. Praying for his wife Rachel and their three children while he’s gone.

Random observations...I’m in that “time to get back to routine but not really sure where to start” mode. So, I started here. The most fun, I would say!

In other news, I’m being bombarded with mini-marshmallows. Steven made Doug a marshmallow gun for Christmas. Oh my goodness! That thing is so much fun!

My silly children...all got winter outerwear for Christmas. Olivia has several camo items, including a scarf and hat set from Angie and a cape and hat set from Doug’s mom. Angie has a pink cape and hat set, and Steven has a vest. All three kids have been wearing these things around the house. Oh, Doug and I also got them bows and arrows. I made camo quivers for their arrows, and they have been wearing their quivers in addition to everything else.

Thoughts from the kitchen...well, we thought we’d use my new dutch oven to make a pot of vegetable soup. And we thought we’d be fun and put it in the fireplace. We decided to play our new game (Settlers of Catan) while the soup was cooking. Then we got caught up in the game. Then more time passed than we realized. You can see where this is going, I’m sure! Fortunately, we had frozen some soup that we were able to thaw and reheat quickly. Live and learn.

On my bookshelf...a whole slew of books waiting for review in the coming couple of months. My review calendar for 2013 is already filling up! Number one on the list is Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss, scheduled for a January 1 release. I love being a reviewer and getting early peeks!

Projects...Get the library bookshelves back in decent order after our pre-Christmas reorganization binge so we’ll be ready for school to start. Oh, and I guess I have to get lesson plans ready, too! 

Sounds of the moment...the puff of the marshmallow gun; the shrieks of children as they are hit with marshmallows; the clicking of the ceiling fan and the blowing of the heater. I’d rather be in front of the fire. I think it would be neat to have one of those internal fireplaces stationed between the living room and the library so I could work in here but still be in front of the fire.

Last week we learned...just how much easier it is to make doll clothes from our new pattern book than to make up the patterns as we go along. They turned out so cute! I hope to get pictures posted in the next day or two.

A favorite thing from last week…watching Olivia do so much of her sewing on her own. She’s learned a lot! Also, getting through the madness without any major explosions! It was the smoothest gift-making season ever, I think!

The planner...Mom and Dad were supposed to be here today and tomorrow, but snowzilla changed that. So, they’ll come another time. Meanwhile, we’ll spend today, tomorrow, and Friday working on getting life back in order. Then on Saturday the Choates are coming to spend the night before heading back to Texas (weather permitting, of course). YAY!

Because visuals are fun...the kids really got lumps of coal in their stockings! Okay, so these weren’t exactly made of coal. Maybe they were made of chocolate.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

May you have a joyous Christmas and may your new year begin with a abundant blessings from our Savior! Much love to you all.

Love,

The Hibbards

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Blustery Day

Anyone remember this?

The scene actually running through my mind was the one of Piglet being blown by the wind as the leaves swirled all around him, because that’s what it looks like outside our house today!

Fortunately, no whole trees are down around us…yet…so Owl still has his house. The trees around here have to grow in stout spring winds, so they root well. But, there are some that have snapped in half. Our lighted nativity was a casualty as well, but the wind is too strong and cold to try to discern damage right now. That will have to wait until tomorrow! The power went out sometime before the beeping battery back-ups woke us up around 2:45 this morning, but it was back on by 5:00. I don’t know how they did it in this wind! Thank you, Entergy linemen!!

As the wind rages around us, we are snug and secure in our sturdy house, getting ready to sew, sew, sew! I might even share some sneak peeks tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Wednesday, December 19, 2012, also known as mine and Doug’s 14th anniversary! Yay!

In the great outdoors...humid and mild, a combination of sun and dark clouds. Really quite beautiful! According to the forecasters, storms are coming tonight and tomorrow’s high will be lower than today’s low. By the looks of things, I believe it! Pre-storm weather can be truly gorgeous.

Within our four walls...Christmas gift making in full gear, with sewing stuff scattered everywhere!!

A heart of thanksgiving...for my husband and his willingness to stick with me for fourteen years! (I wrote an anniversary post on my other blog: Fourteen Years.)

A heart of prayer...for the couple whose wedding we attended Saturday. The wedding was so much like ours in so many ways! And I love this couple dearly. Praying for them as they return from their honeymoon today and dive in to real life together.

Random observations...projects go much more smoothly when you don’t lose the tools you need to complete said projects. (Fortunately, I finally found the tool I was looking for yesterday – in the drawer where I had already looked three times!)

My silly children...were living a musical yesterday afternoon. I was in the library sewing, and they were in the living room singing their conversation. They reminded me of Larry the Cucumber in Lyle the Kindly Viking.

Thoughts from the kitchen...I’m supposed to be cooking? Really? Oops! In other news, when Doug and I were out and about for our anniversary celebration on Monday, we stopped by Kroger and found our favorite date night meal! We love PF Changs, and we discovered their Home Menu line a while ago. The Firecracker Shrimp is our all-time favorite, but our local Wal-Mart stopped carrying it. We may or may not have stocked up a bit when we found it at Kroger!

On my bookshelf...the rest of the the Liz Curtis Higgs series that I’m determined to finish very, very soon.

Projects...I wish I could show you a picture of the project I finished last night! Many times the projects I make up as I go along aren’t worth much. But, I am so pleased with the way this particular gift turned out! Today we will hopefully finish up sock dolls and their outfits, after I get a bit of writing done.

Sounds of the moment...the kids cleaning the kitchen for me while I write so we can jump right into sewing when I’m done.

A favorite thing from last week...attending the wedding as a family. But then there’s this week! We were supposed to take our kids to their beloved JoJo’s house Monday morning so Doug and I could go celebrate our anniversary. We planned to pick them up Tuesday morning. But they ended up going home with her from church Sunday night! It was strange, but in a fun way, to wake up two mornings in a row to no kids in the house! The cats weren’t too sure about it, either.

The planner...finishing up Christmas presents and baking Christmas cookies the rest of this week. We’ll also join some of Mom’s family for a Christmas gathering Saturday night.

Because visuals are fun...my new niece was supposed to arrive by c-section tomorrow. She had other plans! Doug and I had barely arrived in Little Rock Monday morning when my mom called to tell me Ben & Ashley were at the hospital. I started praying then that Ashley wouldn’t labor long before Nora either decided to come or the doctor decided to go ahead with the c-section. God definitely answered that prayer! Not only did Ashley not labor long, but Nora was born while Doug and I were still in town. So, I got to get my hands on my very newborn niece, Nora Noelle!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Decorating

I won’t bore you with all of our decorating pictures, especially since I don’t have any pictures of the decorating results, just the process! But, there were a few things I just couldn’t help but share.

For a couple of years we’ve debated on whether or not to put the tree in our front room with the big window (I love Christmas trees shining out of big windows!). But we just like to have it in the living room where it’s nice and cozy with the fireplace.

This year, though, we were given another tree, so we decided to put one in each room! With all of the ornaments Doug and I have from our childhood and the ornaments we’ve collected over the course of 15 Christmases, we had plenty to fill both trees! All we lacked was an extra tree skirt. I wasn’t concerned, but Steven was! He was very adamant about using one of his blue blankets as a tree skirt. (Hmmmm…can you guess what old Christmas cartoon he’s watched a time or two lately?) So sweet!!!

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Each child picks a nativity every year to set up in their room.

Olivia likes the Button Kids Christmas Pageant.

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Angela likes a ceramic set Doug’s mom made years ago.

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Somehow Steven’s didn’t get into a picture, but he picked a Jordanian one carved in one piece. The bark was left on the wood for the stable, and then the figures are carved inside.

Last year we found mini trees at an after-Christmas sale. Steven’s is red, Angie’s purple, and Olivia’s white. The girls just set theirs up, but Steven wanted to reserved just a few tiny ornaments for his.

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This one had to have a tree skirt also…one of his beloved silkies!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Colors of Fall

I wasn’t sure we would have any color this year because of the dry summer. But, we finally started seeing it in early November. It wasn’t the most vibrant of color, but for this far south it was really pretty! Most of the leaves are gone now, thanks to the wind storms we’ve had over the past month. But here are some shots we got

This was in the Stone’s front yard. I love the combination of red and green!

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These were taken Thanksgiving Day. A caravan of 4-wheelers trekked through the woods, including Doug. He paused a few times to get these pictures of scenes from the farm.

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There’s not enough space on the blog to really do this panorama justice, but isn’t this gorgeous?

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Ah…I love the colors and sights of fall!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In the great outdoors...cold! Blessed, wonderful, real cold! Doug and I looked at the temperature this morning (28 degrees) and then at the wind chill (23 degrees), decided pneumonia wasn’t worth the walk, and stayed indoors. But, oh how excited I am about real cold!

Within our four walls...busy bees working to keep the house in order, finish Christmas presents, and tackle other projects that do not rest, regardless the season!

A heart of thanksgiving...for great insulation and a warm house.

A heart of prayer...selfishly today I’m praying for writing thoughts to flow. I have several projects due this week, one of them especially challenging. I smile even in the midst of the challenge, though, because I get to write! Oh my, what a blessing to be able to do something I love!

Random observations...my mug of Choffy emptied too quickly this morning.

My silly children...believe that “crock pot” and “chicken-n-dumplin’s” are synonymous. Steven informed me that when they all move out, I can use the crock pot for something else.

Thoughts from the kitchen...I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count. I’m off to get a hair cut this morning and will get home right about the time we should be getting lunch on the table. Crock pot to the rescue!

On my bookshelf...actually it’s at my friend Karlyn’s house right now, but I’m anticipating Fair is the Rose by Liz Curtis Higgs, second in her Scottish series based on the story of Jacob, Leah, and Ruth. I won’t let myself get it back from Karlyn until I’ve finished those writing projects. Great incentive! I’m aiming for tomorrow night so I can read some on Thursday during Olivia’s art class.

Projects...writing and Christmas stuff. Time is closing in!

Sounds of the moment...the clanking of dishes as Steven empties the dishwasher for me. So helpful! It will be my turn in the kitchen soon.

Last week we learned...that the Great Almyra Stomach Bug of 2012 was a picky one. One person per household, apparently. In ours, it was my husband. Sunday morning was quite fun for him – the nasties had ended, but he was so incredibly weak. He still can’t eat much, although his energy is coming back slowly.

A favorite thing from last week...decorating outdoors. We haven’t done that in a while, except for the lights nativity we made last year. This year we put the nativity back up, moved the yard flag and focused a light on it, lined the sidewalk with colored lights, and put greenery (some lit) and red bows on the front porch. Plus we have a tree in the big window of our front room, so that can be seen along with the rest of the lights. So much fun! Christmas lights are so cheerful!

The planner...hair cut today, church tomorrow night, Sunday school party Thursday night, but otherwise home this week! Well, until Saturday. We get to go celebrate a wedding in Monticello on Saturday!

Because visuals are fun...I never get tired of sights like this.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In the great outdoors...cloudy. Gloomy. No rain, just clouds. Trying not to be whiney, but I either need rain or sunshine! Thankful, though, that it is cooler – in the 60’s today with a possibility of 50’s next week! Getting better!

Within our four walls...Christmas decorations are up! That does help with the gloominess. Also, we have a completely rearranged house. The kids’ rooms were untouched, and our bedroom was only slightly altered. But the rest of the house was totally rearranged over the weekend.

A heart of thanksgiving...healthy children, a husband who likes to rearrange as much as I do, a day to take a breath before another busy day tomorrow.

A heart of prayer...needs of church members, salvation of family members and friends.

Random observations...

- We bought Olivia new winter dress shoes two months ago. They are now pinching her feet. I thought we might get by if I let her share my black dress shoes since I’ll wear my boots most of the winter, but I think they’re going to be too small, too.

- It’s hard to feel Christmas-y when we have to run the AC just to be comfortable. On the other hand, putting up our few outdoor decorations was much easier in short sleeves instead of in cumbersome jackets.

- I gave in to temptation. Today is the last day of school til January. (We didn’t have school Thursday-Monday, so just three days last week and two this week.) I was trying, I really was! But, I was also praying that God would show me whether I was making the right choice in diligence or clinging stubbornly to “the plan.” I tried not to talk much about it, but Doug walked in one morning and twisted my arm really, really, really, really hard. Yeah. That’s my story. Oh wait…maybe he just made the suggestion and I jumped on it. Yep, that’s probably more accurate!

My silly children...had to be threatened today. We gathered for our last day of school and they were piling on top of each other and being frighteningly silly. So, I finally said that if they settled down to do school today, they could be off until January. If not, they’d do school every day except Christmas! (Yeah right!) It worked!

Thoughts from the kitchen...Doug flipped through the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook last week, looking for something new and fun to do for our deacon’s Christmas party Monday night. He found fruit-filled beignets. Soooooo easy, and they were quite popular! We did fill most of them with preserves, but we also made some chocolate. Yeah, that was the best, hands down!

On my bookshelf...I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll really get anything read this month. I want to…

Projects...Christmas presents are coming along!

Sounds of the moment...someone – probably Angela – practicing piano. One of the cats meowing at me as she finds a corner to hide in.

Last week we learned...how to process a deer. Two actually. I doubt all of our cuts are “right,” but we have 80 pounds of deer in our freezer now! Many thanks once again to Jimmy and Gary for helping Doug skin and quarter the deer!

A favorite thing from last week...watching the new arrangement come together and realizing we really like it.

The planner...Monday night was our deacon’s Christmas party, last night I had a lady’s recipe exchange party and tonight is church, but yesterday and today were mostly free for school and getting a few other things accomplished. Tomorrow I have Bernina Club in the morning, Olivia has art class in the afternoon, and then we have nothing until I get to join the Gleaners class for lunch on Saturday. It’s been months since I’ve been able to join them! I’ve missed that fellowship!

Because visuals are fun...I’m not sure I’d call him jolly.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Warning!!! Not for the Squeamish!

As promised, here are the pictures of Olivia and her raccoon skinning adventure! But, seriously, if you are squeamish about blood and guts, don’t go past the cute picture the of the kids on the tire swing. My goal was to put enough at the top of this post that no one has to accidentally see something they don’t want to see! I’ve done my duty and you’ve been warned!

Before we began our extended family Thanksgiving celebrations, we went out to join a church family for their dinner at the farm. When we got there, our church member’s son was getting ready to skin the raccoons he’d killed earlier. He sells the pelts, so he is very meticulous about the skinning process. But, he’s also very skilled and quick!

Steven found out what was going on and ran back to the girls yelling, “He’s skinning a coon!” Angela said, “Ew!” and stayed perched on the tire swing where they’d been playing. 2012-11-22 11.14.05

Olivia, though, came running! Slade was almost finished skinning the first coon, but he was getting some meat off for his folks. So, Olivia watched that. As he cut it open more, Olivia started noticing internal organs and naming them. Slade (a nurse) walked her through several more of them, and then they dissected the little heart together. 2012-11-22 11.27.37

But the fun really started when Slade asked if Olivia wanted to help him skin the second coon. What a silly question! Barry (our music minister and Slade’s step-dad) brought out a giant plastic bag and cut holes in it for Olivia's head and arms so she’d have an apron. Slade got her gloved up, and they set to work. He got it started and then told Olivia what to do.

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Then he helped out when the pulling got a little tough.

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But as often as possible he told her what to do and let her try it. He was an excellent teacher.

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Next came the deer someone had shot that morning. Olivia didn’t help with that one, but she watched like a hawk!

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She did come home with the deer heart. We were going to cook it up to go with Thanksgiving dinner, but we just ran out of time and energy to add that to the list!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In the great outdoors...a cold front blew in last night, leaving us with a perfect, chilly, crispy, sunny fall day for outdoor play. Steven was delighted to have to don his coat before heading outside!

Within our four walls...still fall-looking. We love to put out Christmas decorations right after Thanksgiving, but our weekend schedule didn’t allow for that this year. We are very much looking forward to decorating this weekend!

A heart of thanksgiving...for flexibility and good books.

A heart of prayer...for a friend of a friend and her family as she battles illness. For my wonderful husband as he continues to battle Greek. And for family members who continue to battle against the hand of God in their lives.

Random observations...my mind is so random sometimes that I lose the cool random observations I intend to write here. I think them and then move right on to something else. There, is that random enough for you?

Oh! I remembered! I was going to send you to Home Educating Family’s blog site. The posts going up right now are really awesome! Here are just a few examples…

“It’s NOT the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Thoughts about how different and difficult this time of year can be for children with sensory issues.

“Hospitality in Our Home(School)” – for those non Martha Stewart people like myself. (I really, really needed this one today!)

“Using Picture Books for Holiday Learning”

I also have a contribution that posted yesterday.

“Beating Those Holiday Insecurities”

My silly children...are full tilt today. Pinging, talking, jabbering.

Thoughts from the kitchen...leftovers. Today it’s the twice baked potatoes. Add some deer meat and a veggie and voila – a full meal that doesn’t even taste like leftovers!

On my bookshelf...Liz Curtis Higgs this month. Just because I want to. That makes me smile. Oh, and the “because I want to” Tricia Goyer book that I haven’t gotten to yet.

Projects...still haven’t gotten those Christmas napkins done. But, we are making progress on Christmas presents.

Sounds of the moment...silence, amazingly enough. Steven’s outside and the girls seem to be settled in their school work. Nope…scratch that. Olivia just walked in and is talking through her work. Verbal processing, anyone?

Last week Olivia learned...how to skin a raccoon. Pictures to come, but not for the squeamish!

A favorite thing from last week...seeing the different personalities of my children really come out in their interactions with family and friends.

The planner...normal life this week, although I would rather that planner not include school. I just want to cancel it all for the rest of the year! But, that would really not be good for our sanity or our school schedule. So, plug along we shall.

Because visuals are fun...my son empties the dishwasher every day. Notice the contrast between the jumble of silverware on the right and the organization by type and size on the left. He has started organizing it in the dishwasher first so that he can just grab each set and transport it easily to the dishwasher. That’s my boy!2012-11-27 07.57.51

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Silliness

I’m not sure you were aware of this, but my children are downright SILLY! Need proof? I’ve got it! Check out these little glimpses from the past month.

Daddy’s trench coat and hat are just a little bit. But that doesn’t stop Angela!

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Cowboy Steven with the jump rope lasso.

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And cowboy Steven ready for bed. Yeah.

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Olivia celebrating the first day of truly chilly weather and making sure to be a good fan all at the same time. The Razorback pants and red shirt are pretty obvious. The hat, gloves, and vest are purple and gold for the Ouachita Tigers. I think they experienced their first loss of the season that day. Hmmmmm…

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Angie & Steven were a little more tame that day. They gave their Hog shirts a rest and went all OBU. They were delighted to pull out the “toe socks” though!

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One thing’s for sure – they keep me laughing! (And a bit scared, too.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Performance

Yesterday I mentioned the kids’ Sunday Thanksgiving performance. They did such a great job! Here’s the whole group: back – Jada, Angela, Olivia; front – Ian, Sawyer, StevenChoir 3

They all had memorized speaking parts, which they performed beautifully! Somehow I missed snapping a picture when Angela and Jada were up, but here are the pictures of Olivia & Ian and Steven & Sawyer. (It looks like they’re talking at the same time, but they really weren’t – each child had individual parts.)

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This is my favorite shot! They were singing about how much they have to be thankful for, and in this particular verse they were singing, “We have our family to be thankful for!” They were supposed to wrap their arms around each other while they sang. For the record, we really don’t think Ian was trying to strangle his cousin Sawyer, but with that mischievous grin on his face, there’s no telling what he was trying to do!

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I wanted to upload video of all of the solos, but the videos don’t seem to want to upload. So, suffice it to say all six children had solos – Olivia and Angela in the first song and the younger four in the song’s reprise at the end. We were so proud of them! They did a great job!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Monday, November 19, 2012

In the great outdoors...beautiful sunshine and mild temperatures have beckoned my children. They are delightfully playing outside, probably up in a tree.

Within our four walls...gradual conquering of the chaos. I think we might have it tamed before the Christmas decorations emerge!

A heart of thanksgiving...for a few at-home/no school days to start off the week.

A heart of prayer...for my hubby as he continues to push through school, especially Greek. For the record, Greek syntax is hard enough in a classroom, but it’s a killer as a correspondence course!

Also for the Day family. A while back I shared about this precious family whose baby girl was diagnosed with cancer. Isabella’s tumor has not responded to treatment, so instead of doing surgery this week to remove the tumor as planned, they are only going to be able biopsy it and then begin more aggressive chemo treatments once she recovers (probably next week). Surgery will be sometime on Wednesday, with a 2-3 day hospital stay.

My silly children...for whom I am continually thankful, have thoroughly enjoyed their day off today. Their enthusiastic and energetic play left me very, very, very thankful for the beautiful weather and the chance to “let” them play outside!

Thoughts from the kitchen...eating as light as possible over the next three days since we will have various Thanksgiving meals every day Wednesday through Saturday!

On my bookshelf...finishing Giants in the Land and starting my last book from Tricia Goyer’s Liberator series (Night Song). Then I’m looking forward to some “just for fun” reading (although I’ll probably end up writing reviews of those books as well – just because I can’t help it!).

Projects...I actually need to take a break from Christmas gift projects to hem up some Christmas napkins this week.

Sounds of the moment...silence. Beautiful, peaceful silence.

Last week we learned...

Angie & Steven – more about space and Greece

Olivia – southeast Asia and “girl stuff”

A favorite thing from last week...actually from yesterday: The kids choir at church, consisting of my three kids and three Hillman cousins, put on a Thanksgiving performance for us complete with songs and memorized speaking parts. They were fantastic!!! We were so proud! I’ll post pictures and maybe some video (if it turned out) tomorrow.

The planner... today, tomorrow, and Wednesday we will just be taking care of things here at home. Wednesday night is our community Thanksgiving celebration at church (breakfast for supper, prepared by the men of the church! YUM!). Thursday we will be joining a church family for their Thanksgiving celebrations before heading to Judsonia for Friday’s Browning celebration. Then on Saturday the extended Hibbards will be joining us.

Because visuals are fun...Jack & Hello Kitty snuggles. Awwww….

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Things That Make Me Smile

Steven headed outside to enjoy the sunshine this afternoon. A few minutes ago, he came in and asked us to come outside and enjoy the sunset with him. I love, love, love that he notices beauty around him! I wish I had made a note of what he noticed a week or so ago. We were heading to the car, and he commented on the beauty of something. It just made my heart sing with pride. All boy with an eye trained to observe beauty.

Meanwhile, Doug stayed outside to throw a football around with him for a few minutes. Angie came in a few minutes after I did. Her statement? “It’s hard to catch a football when you have one hand holding up your skirts!” (She is in her 1850’s dress-up dress today.) Yes, child, it definitely is. That might be why prissy girls don’t play football!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Wednesday, November 12, 2012

In the great outdoors...stubborn leaves clinging to the trees after Sunday night’s wind and storms. The delightful chill of fall. When I was out on Monday, I saw fog in the ditches where the ground was giving up its heat. Such beauty!

Within our four walls...reorganization chaos. Doug and I are in the process of slowly purging and reorganizing in the kitchen.

A heart of thanksgiving...for the fireplace. I just put on the last log for the day – we’ll be letting the fire go out as the temps warm up this afternoon. But oh how I’ve enjoyed doing school in front of it the past couple of days!

A heart of prayer...for families in need of peace as the holidays rapidly approach.

Random observations...I really intended to type this up yesterday. I’m not sure what happened to my day yesterday! I seemed to walk through it in a fog. It’s nice to be a little more clear-headed today!

My silly children...have been helping their stuffies play hide-and-seek. We’ve found them in some interesting locations, as occasionally certain ones simply get left when children are called for chores, school, a meal, etc.

Thoughts from the kitchen...it’s hard to cook when the counters are covered in what should be in the cabinets!

On my bookshelf...Dawn of a Thousand Nights by Tricia Goyer is the current review book, followed by Night Song, also by Tricia, and then a YA fantasy fiction novel entitled Giants in the Land. Olivia enjoys fantasy fiction, but it’s such a wide-open genre. So, I’ve been trying to read along with her to know when we need to discuss certain aspects of it. It helps that several YA fantasy authors have contacted our review team with review requests! I have enjoyed the genre more than I expected!

Projects...need I say anything? We are making good progress on gifts, and it’s been enjoyable and not stressful so far. Hopefully that will continue to be the trend!

Sounds of the moment...crackling fire and the tapping of keys. Such a peaceful moment!

Last week we learned...mostly a continuation of what I shared last week.

A favorite thing from last week...seeing the resilience of our children as we closed out the second week of an “off” schedule and late nights. They love routine as much as Doug and I do, but they also handle routine disruptions very well. I’m proud of them!

The planner...routine! Church tonight, art class for Olivia tomorrow (did I mention she does have class after all? She was glad, and I’m glad for her.), and a free weekend leading into another full week off school. We’ll have only squeezed in two weeks of school between the weeks off for convention and Thanksgiving, but convention week wasn’t a restful break. We’re looking forward to next week!

Because visuals are fun...this sight greeted me as I entered the kitchen after my shower yesterday morning. Apparently, this is the hiding place Panda found for hide-and-seek.100_0604

As each animal was found, it progressed to the living room where they all gathered for a picnic.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Smiling

It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the election did not turn out like I’d hoped. I can’t say it didn’t turn out like I expected, but I did have hope. I’m still smiling today, though, because God has shown His presence so beautifully this week!

My sweet baby boy is becoming very spiritually aware. He is beginning to grasp the concept of God’s grace and his need for it. He is beginning to see himself as a sinner, and an understanding of what that means is dawning in his mind. Our discussions have been going on for several months, but this week they have been deeper and there has been a much greater evidence of awareness. I love watching the Holy Spirit awaken the heart of any child, but words cannot express how wonderful it is to see it in my own dear child!

God never stops working. I pray I grow less and less distracted by the things of this world so I can see His handiwork more and more clearly.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, November 6, 2012

In the great outdoors...fall. Nippy air (mid to upper 50’s), partly sunny, and leaves everywhere. We didn’t get a whole lot of color around here, but I still love to see the leaves falling. They’re a bit soggy right now but still pretty.

Within our four walls...clutter. Life’s been a little crazy for a couple of weeks, and I just haven’t bothered with the clutter much. I’ll have to get on top of that soon.

A heart of thanksgiving...pretty obvious today – I’m thankful for the freedom to vote. In all honesty, it wouldn’t surprise me to see my children robbed of that opportunity, possibly even before they ever have the chance to do it once. I hope to be proven wrong. It’s fun to take them in with us and walk them through the voting process.

A heart of prayer...for Christians to remember that it doesn’t really matter who the President is. One might make our lives much harder while another might allow us some breathing room for a little while longer. But ultimately, the plan of our God, the true Ruler of rulers, does not suffer at the whims of our earthly elections.

Random observations...

Thoughts from the kitchen...not doing a whole lot of cooking this week, thanks to being included in the church’s feeding of our revival preacher and his family. I think I’ll need to eat nothing for the second half of this week after convention and revival eating!!

On my bookshelf...so much fun reading I want to do! Fortunately, most of it also falls into the category of review reading, so it counts as “work.” Have I mentioned that I love being a reviewer? We did find the Scottish fiction series based on Leah and Rachel written by Liz Curtis Higgs. I absolutely love her similar series based on Ruth, and when we ran across this three-book series for $5 a book I was delighted! Hopefully I’ll get to read in before Christmas.

Projects...Christmas projects, of course! Since my children do not read the blog, I’ll probably start posting pictures of what they’re making for each other. It’s so much fun to help them work on their gifts and see how excited they are with every step of the process!

Sounds of the moment...the kids enjoying a bit of Wii time in the next room. They’ve been real troopers with our late nights the past couple of weeks.

We are learning...

Olivia: basic economics, Asia, The Horse and His Boy as our read-aloud – loving that!, fractions, personal hygiene, capitalization

Angela: Greece, Presidents, the sun, estimating, capitalization

Steven: Greece, the solar system, months, capitalization

By the way – it is completely coincidental that they are all three learning capitalization in language arts at the same time!

A favorite thing from last week...seeing God draw people together to do as a team what each one could not handle alone. I get to be a part of that team. What an amazing blessing!

The planner...two more nights of revival (started Saturday night), and then rest and recuperation the rest of the week. Hopefully I’ll get the clutter under control and make progress on Christmas presents. Oh, and the arts center director called and said Angela has been invited to another six weeks of art classes! The new round started yesterday, but we didn’t make it. We’ll start back next week. I don’t think Olivia has another round – kind of relieved by that!

Because visuals are fun...Steven was so excited about his first loose tooth, and it seemed so ready to come out. But the front tail of the root was stubbornly clinging. He ate an apple for snack with the intention of trying to pry that tooth out of his mouth. It worked! The one beside it is loose, too, so I expect it to come out in the next week or two.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Deep Breath

You know it’s a slow morning in the Hibbard house when Mama isn’t showered and dressed until nearly 10:00! I am not a “lounge around in pajamas” kind of person. You might find me dressed in flannel pants and a comfy t-shirt, but it will still be something other than my pj’s. I’m slow if I don’t have clothes on by about 8:00. So nearly 10:00? Yep, we’re in recovery mode! (And the cats are in “you abandoned us for four days and now we need all the attention we can get to make up for it!” mode.)

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It was worth it, though! We left Almyra after church Sunday afternoon and made our way to the mighty metropolis of Cabot, Arkansas. (You doubt my description of Cabot? I cannot imagine why!!) The amazing staff and members of FBC Cabot rolled out the red carpet for the annual meeting of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention this year. When the minister’s wives leadership team got there Sunday afternoon to set up for our Monday luncheon, we hardly had anything to do! What a blessing! (The visit was nice, though!)

We crashed Sunday night and then got up early Monday morning to start the activities. All three kids had childcare provided this year (thank you, organizers, for listening to the homeschooling moms!), so that left Doug and me free to really dig in to the convention. The minister’s wives luncheon went beautifully this year, and Doug enjoyed a good bit of connecting and visiting throughout Monday. We ended the day Monday with a nice long dinner visit with my parents. YAY!

Tuesday was our big day – the main portion of the convention business. The kids joined us for the evening service, always the best of the convention because of the entertaining reports and incredible choir performances from the Master’Singers (musically inclined ministers and wives from around the state) and either the Ouachita or Williams Baptist choir. This year it was Williams. Tuesday night was somewhat bittersweet this time around. Our state’s executive director, Dr. Emil Turner, is retiring in February, and the official convention farewell was held during Tuesday night’s session. He has done amazing things for our convention and has been a personal encouragement to so many ministers and their families, ours included. We all love him dearly, and although we know we’ll still be able to interact with him, we will miss him in his role as executive director.

We finished the day with our Tuesday night of the convention tradition – dessert afterwards, no matter how late! Smile This year we were blessed to be joined by our friends the Albrechts, former neighbors in Monticello. What a delightful visit!

Wednesday morning we awoke tired, but ready for the last bit of business before heading home. Doug has been invited to a breakfast the past couple of years, and last year he took Olivia with him since I couldn’t go. This year he took Angela. She was so excited! 2012-10-31 07.10.41

This morning we are all delighted to be back in our element, back to our own home, and back to normal eating. Meanwhile, I’m very thankful for a large capacity washer and dryer!!2012-11-01 09.58.59

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Art Class–Angela

Here are Angela’s projects. Her class focus was not the same as Olivia’s so she ended up with more projects. I did not get to see what Angela left for the exhibition, so I’ll come back and post those later. But, here’s what she brought home.

She made a paper mache pumpkin.

Art Class - A1

She also painted pictures. First, she worked with leaves. She was supposed to look at a leaf, draw it, and then paint it.

Art Class - A2

Here is a fall painting she did next.

Art Class - A4

With each activity they did, the students were asked to write about the process. I think that was Angela’s favorite part! She filled her index cards with detailed instructions. It has been fun to read her cards detailing every step of the processes she enjoyed in art class.

In a final activity, she was supposed to look at a scene – a still life scene, I think. She was supposed to express what she saw, thought, and felt, and then try to reproduce that in a drawing.

My Flowers

Art Class - A3

Here’s what she wrote to go with My Flowers:

I see a window, flowers, creativity, stars, designs, and my outlining.

I think about a garden full of flowers and a vase of flowers fresh from the garden on the table.

I feel a love for drawing.