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.

2012-12-25 14.50.42

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

dnaDoug&StevenAnn&GirlskidsgirlsOliviaAngelaSteven

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!

2012-12-17 15.15.51

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!!!

Dec7

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

Olivia likes the Button Kids Christmas Pageant.

Dec1

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

Dec2

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.

Dec5

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

Dec4

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!

100_0605100_0606

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.

2012-11-22 13.39.50

2012-11-22 13.44.35

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

2012-11-22 13.44.52

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.

2012-12-07 09.14.30

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.

2012-12-03 09.02.13