Monday, March 25, 2013

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Monday, March 25, 2013

In the great outdoors...a hint of blue sky and sunshine after so much dreariness! Also, lots and lots of wind. Remember this picture of our trellis?


This is what one panel looked like yesterday in the 30+ mph wind.

2013-03-24 14.09.36

This was after we tried to fight the wind and secure the trellis. We gave up. Well, that’s not actually true. There were two panels blowing like this, and we managed to get one secure. We thought we secured this one as well, but within about fifteen minutes it was blowing again. We decided not to go back out. I could hardly keep my balance while helping Doug try to secure the thing in the first place! And yes, the wind was HOLDING the trellis up like this. It flapped higher – it never fell lower than this through the course of yesterday afternoon. Today’s not quite as bad, but still very high…and very cold. The temperatures are in the 40’s, with the wind chill still in the 30’s. Funny to think that last year most of the farmers had already done a good portion of their planting by this time and that our temperatures were already steadily in the 80’s. Ah, the south – we only know that summer will be hot. Every other season is completely unpredictable!

Within our four walls...much cackling as the children play nerts. I love hearing them play together!

A heart of thanksgiving...for God’s peace and presence that is incredibly tangible in ways I cannot even express.

A heart of prayer...for baby Preston’s family, the preemie I’ve mentioned here several times. He died yesterday. It was a tough thing to tell the kids, especially as I also had to tell them that my grandpa is not doing well either. Praying for the hearts of my children as they work through all of this.

Random observations...I don’t want to work today.

My silly children...Steven got a riding/push toy from Doug’s parents on his first birthday. He still loves that thing even though he’s long since outgrown it. I cannot even think of giving it away.

2013-03-25 13.17.12

Thoughts from the kitchen...leftovers. Mac-n-cheese. Steven says there’s nothing better than mac-n-cheese, leftover or otherwise!

On my bookshelf...I’m right in the middle of Whence Came a Prince. I got ahead on reviews enough to dive in yesterday, and I’m devouring it. Oh, such a story! Such a trilogy! It’s hard to put it down to actually get some work done today! (Like I said – I don’t want to work today!)

Projects...this week I will be getting the minister’s wives blog launched. So excited! We have such a neat group of writers, and I can’t wait to see what they have to share. Over this week and next I also hope to finish the major writing project due the middle of next month, get the LAST (yippeee!!) six weeks of school prepped and planned, and finally get next year’s school planning and purchasing done. We’ll still do school through the summer, but only math, language arts, and maybe one or two other things. Then we’ll start back with a full curriculum in July.

Sounds of the moment...I’m listening back over my recording of a writer’s conference to get some quotes for my writing project. The kids’ laughter is floating to me over the sound of the recoding. I love that!

Last week we learned...that some books just cannot be read in coordination with the school schedule. They’re too good to put down! I think Seven Daughters and Seven Sons ranks as the all-time favorite Sonlight book for my mom and youngest brother and sister (the rest of us didn’t get to use Sonlight). I read it, too, as a teen, just because they loved it so much, and it has long been a favorite book of mine. I have looked forward to reading it with Olivia since I first realized this was the core that contained it. As I expected, we could not put it down. We ended up finishing it a week or two early. Some books are just like that.

A favorite thing from last week...our visit with Mom and Alli. We played and visited and played some more. Such fun!

The school this week or next to give me time to get projects and planning done. So, that’s the main force of the planner for the next couple of weeks! With Easter activities worked in, of course, and the excitement of welcoming back new episodes of Doctor Who. (Yes, we are geeks and proud of it!!) We are also moving our visit to my grandpa up from Friday to tomorrow and keeping the rest of the week flexible just in case we need to go back.

Because visuals are fun...I wish I could capture just how much Thea lights up when she sees Olivia. I love how much these two love each other!

2013-03-24 09.19.33

Monday, March 18, 2013

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Monday, March 18, 2013

In the great outdoors...large puddles rimmed with yellow, explaining why Angie’s sneezing like crazy and my eyes are burning. Ah, spring.

Within our four walls...blankets going through the wash before being put away for the next seven or eight months. I’ll miss the feel of snuggling down under them.

A heart of thanksgiving...for my wonderful husband. There are still days I find it hard to believe God blessed me so incredibly.

A heart of prayer...for my mom as she takes a breath during spring break (she’s back in college for another degree!). For baby Preston, the preemie I’ve mentioned recently. He’s doing well, but still fighting lung issues which must improve before they can really attack the fluid on his brain. For those on my “in need of salvation” list. It can be easy to grow discouraged by the length and seemingly unchanging nature of that list, but then I remember names that used to be on there. That keeps me praying!

Random observations...When we worked on the grape vines a couple of weeks ago, we did some late pruning so we could redirect one of the vines. Just out of curiosity, we took the two small branches we’d pruned and stuck them into the ground in a free spot near a trellis. When I checked them this past weekend, all three – the original vine and the two sticks – were starting to bud!!! I’m so excited! The second established vine hadn’t budded yet, so I’m watching it closely. All of the apple trees are showing signs of life – even the Fuji that we thought was completely dead! Doug had reached down to bend the small trunk to see if it had any pliability to it, and it just snapped in his hand. But, one little branch protruding from near the ground just below the break seemed less brittle, so we left it. It’s hard to tell if it’s even above the graft, so it might not actually be Fuji. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens with it!

My silly children...pull up weeds and grass from around the yard (we haven’t started mowing yet, although when it dries out we’ll need to!) to make cushions and other such props for their imaginative play. Yet, weeds and grass in the grape/blueberry/strawberry patch or the Peanut Gallery or around my irises remain undistrubed. I’m not quite understanding this.

Thoughts from the kitchen...ugh. I really need to reintroduce some discipline to menu planning because I’m tired of cooking and bored with the recipes we have been eating.

On my bookshelf...I did get to read Fair is the Rose last week! Ahhhh…so good! But, haunting since I haven’t finished the story. My friend Karlyn returned the last book in the series Friday afternoon, raving about how wonderful it was. I’m being a good girl, keeping up with my work instead of diving right into it. I’m racing through my current review book (an easy ready, fortunately!), in hopes that I can finish it and squeeze in Whence Came a Prince before I have to start the next review book. Maybe squeezing in Fair is the Rose wasn’t such a wise idea after all! But it was soooooo good!

Projects...Olivia’s shrug; pj shorts for Steven; practicing my knitting; writing. Fun stuff.

Sounds of the moment...the kids playing in the next room. I’m surprised I haven’t heard exclamations about the brightness outside as the sun tries to peek out from behind the heavy clouds.

Last week we learned...or, rather, were reminded, just how fickle an Arkansas spring can be. Actually, the weather of our whole week can be summed up by what we experienced yesterday. We walked to church feeling comfortable, Steven and I in short sleeves, and the girls in sleeveless dresses with light sweaters. The walk home shortly after noon was chilly, especially for Steven and me. The walk back to church for an afternoon event at 2:00 was cold, even though we had all donned light coats – heavier than our jackets, but not quite our heavy coats. By about 3:15, we were all shedding our coats as we meandered around town, and by the time we headed back to the church about half an hour later, Angie was shoving the long sleeves she had changed into up as high on her arms as she could, I was feeling hot in my short-sleeved sweater, and Olivia got a headache from growing too warm. Our walk home last night around 7:30 was pleasant. Yep, this is March.

A favorite thing from last week...the relaxed pace. It actually felt like a rather long week, in a good way. Such a nice contrast to the recent weeks which have sped by like an express train.

The Monday through Thursday with some light independent work on Friday; lunch with the delightful Gleaners class tomorrow; my sister Alli and hopefully my mom coming for a visit Friday/Saturday.

Because visuals are fun...have I shown you the possum chandelier? I can’t remember…possum chandelier

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Provision Post

Okay, so I told you I’d post the specifics of how God provided this year. I still get chills and tears as I realize just how amazing it is!

First, as Doug and I pulled stuff out of the attic, we realized there was nothing for Steven up there. I first thought, “Oh no!” Then I immediately took a breath and reminded myself that God would provide, even if it meant providing perfect sales and shopping success when we went to restock his closet.

Doug reminded me of a bag in the top of Steven’s closet, but there really wasn’t anything useful in there, other than one pair of shorts. As Steven pulled out his drawers, though, I realized that we left out many more shirts and shorts than I’d remembered. In fact, we’d left out just about everything! When all was said and done, all but a couple of shirts still fit from last year. I was stunned! He’s grown an inch and a half since the end of last summer! I just knew no shirt would fit him, even if his shorts still did. I was wrong!

He needed only two things: a new suit and pj shorts. He’d outgrown his old suit, and although he’s poured himself into it in recent weeks, he really wanted a new one before Easter. His sweet Daddy had it ordered for him in no time flat, and you should have seen the delight on his face when it arrived! Meanwhile, my mother-in-law had already handed me adorable material that would work perfectly for pj shorts. He was set!

Then came the girls. I expected Olivia to have dress clothes, but to be in need of everyday stuff. After all, she’s grown more than Steven did! And, I expected many of Olivia’s hand-me-downs to not fit Angela because they are built so differently. What did fit, I expected to look very worn out because Olivia is hard on clothes.

I was wrong, on all counts.

I feel like the Israelites wandering in the desert – God kept their clothes from wearing out. What he did with my children’s spring and summer clothes is no less miraculous. With few exceptions, He kept them fitting my children and kept them from wearing out.

But it gets better! They don’t even need shoes!!!!

We have never entered a new season without needing to buy at least some shoes. But, even though their feet have all grown, they need no new shoes! Casual or dress!

I’ll be crocheting Olivia a shrug to replace one she outgrew, and I will probably make her a couple of gowns because she prefers sleeping in them rather than the shorts and t-shirts currently in her drawer.

We’ll be picking up a couple of pairs of capri leggings for Angie to wear under a a few dresses she absolutely loves – dresses that still fit except for the length.

We’ll do those things because we can, not because we have to. God took care of the needs, and added wants on top of that!

Can I say that this really isn’t about being able to afford to shop? We could have gone out and bought new clothes. We’d just rather not. True, we don’t want to spend that money if we don’t have to, but you’ve seen the clothes out there for preteen girls, I’m sure. Yeah. Not too thrilling, even for people who like shopping. (I don’t really fit that category.)

No, this is about trusting God and getting to see Him do some awesome things. That’s a hundred times more fun than being handed $1000 and told to go outfit the kids could ever be! It just makes me smile, big time, and it makes me praise.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Just Trust

Warning…this is a bit lengthy. I usually put this type of post only on Joy of Writing instead of here, but I just had to share it here, too, for those of you who only read this blog!

Eleven years ago we were coming to the end of Olivia’s first winter. I began to panic. We’d been given a ton of clothes as baby gifts, and she had so many outfits that she wore some of them only once or twice! But her summer outfits were size 6 mos and under, it was about to grow too warm for her winter outfits, and I knew she needed new clothes. As the weather began to turn, we loaded into the car and headed thirty minutes up the road to the Carter’s outlet. (How I loved that store!) We purchased her basic necessities and prepared to finally wear out some clothes.

Then came the hand-me-downs. I honestly felt foolish for panicking – and for shopping! We were flooded with so many amazing clothes that she didn’t wear out those Carter’s outfits. They were passed down to her sister, and then to more children after them. I determined that year not to panic ever again. I determined to pray and wait. God has been faithful every single year. Why do I ever doubt?

But, I do. When we moved to Arkansas, we moved away from the people who handed us down clothes. I worried. Then I prayed. And we were handed bags.

Then came last year. I had just gone through seasonal clothes, amazed that once again we had plenty even though we had been given no new hand-me-downs for quite some time. I barely finished the sorting before I was handed a couple of bags of clothes, some of which were perfect fits for Olivia right then, and even more that would fit her her over the next year or two. I’d just stash them in the attic and wait for them to fit her!

But, God challenged that mentality when I heard that the friend who’d passed the clothes on to us had another friend who could use what we didn’t want or need.

Thankful for the “new” shirts that lined Olivia’s drawer, I looked at our discards: two little Wal-Mart sacks by the door, full of random t-shirts the girls said they probably wouldn’t wear. Everything else – a huge trash bag full of beautiful clothes – was destined for the attic. But I couldn’t do it. God convicted me with the same old line He’s had to give me before: Trust Me.

I kept the shirts in Olivia’s drawer, thankful for that provision. But I returned everything that did not fit right then. Everything. Ouch! That hurt! I wanted that bag of clothes! Those things would have looked adorable on my girls! But, with release of the future stock of hand-me-downs also came a freedom to trust.

I thought about that bag again this spring as Doug and I pulled clothes out of the attic. What would fit? What wouldn’t? How much would we need to buy for Olivia, who had grown tremendously since the previous summer? How much better off would we have been had we kept that bag of clothes? I just knew very little would fit her. I prayed, and trusted. And once again God provided – this time more beautifully than ever before.

One of these days, maybe I’ll learned to not panic, not stress, and not hoard. Just trust. 

And now, I’ll leave you hanging, because the specifics of this year’s provision from the hand of God are worthy of an entirely separate post!! At least, they are for my remembrance, even if not for your reading!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Talented Children

It all started when Angie decided to fold napkins as we discussed quiet times every day at lunch. The folding reminded the kids of origami. Then they remembered they had Fun With Easy Origami.

And Angela remembered Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.

Product Details

Inspired by the napkin folding and the two books, the kids pulled out paper and began folding away!


Angela took pride in making some little bitty animals. The one on the left is a crane and the one on the right a butterfly. I was amazed at the detail!!!


Some of these creations ended up wrapped in boxes and bags and given to me for my birthday! So, I now have flowers with interchangeable colors, a box to hold the petals not currently displayed on my stalk, a penguin, a crane, and a butterfly gracing the top of my desk. How I love watching my children create!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wonderful Family Day

Some family days are good, but others are just about perfect. Last weekend we had one of the just about perfect ones – and it just happened to also be my birthday. What a sweet birthday present! We didn’t really plan anything for the day. We just enjoyed it as it came along.

Doug made breakfast to start the day, and the kids decided they couldn’t wait until lunch to give me my gifts. So, I opened sweet homemade gifts of origami and crocheted goodness, as well as a delightful collection of yarn and knitting needles! Doug had already given me his gift – Joulies! They cool warm beverages to the perfect drinking temperature and then keep them there for a long, long time. They’re amazing!

After breakfast I had a delayed date time with Steven (we usually have it on Thursdays, but we had to be in Little Rock this past Thursday) and then played some nerts with my girls.

By lunchtime the beautiful sunshine was just too much to resist, and Doug suggested a picnic. (I took this picture with my phone and couldn’t see what I was taking because of the sun. So, I ended up cutting off Doug’s head. Oops!)


Doug had planned ahead, picking up some brisket from Whole Hog while we were in LR Thursday. Yum!


Dessert was downright fun! I’m not a big cake fan, so I requested something non-cake with chocolate, nuts, and caramel. Doug more than rose to the occasion! His creation was inspired by none other than the hilarious Tim Hawkins.

And here it is…the Snick-a-loaf! Not exactly a bunch of Snickers smashed together, but something even better.


Is that not awesome? He used a loaf pan to create three fourths of the shell. The “nougat” is a cheesecake mixture. Once he had the nougat, nuts, and caramel layered, he spread another layer of chocolate over them to finish the shell. It tasted even better than it looks!


After lunch, we decided we just had to stay out in the sunshine. It was an amazingly gorgeous day!


None of us have much of a green thumb, but it is still fun to try our hand at things occasionally. Last year’s grape vines grew more than we expected, so we hung a trellis to support them during this growing season. We had also noticed that the meter reader was tramping right through this area where the grape vines and blueberry bushes were planted, so we decided to fence it off. We didn’t get quite enough little fencing, and this picture was taken before we went to Wal-Mart for the rest of it, but you get the idea. We also have a few strawberry plants there. bday4

On Sunday we “enjoyed” quite the downpour, and the whole yard was flooded again. So, we will have to just wait and see if anything grows. But, it was fun to plant!

While Livie and I worked on that little patch, Doug, Angie, and Steven worked on their own little experiment – peanuts! Just a small patch, but we’re curious to see what happens. They walled that segment off, too, and Angie graced it with a title. Yes, it’s the Peanut Gallery! I love that kid!


Jack, meanwhile, found his spot among the pile of dead branches waiting to be burned or chopped for kindling. I cannot imagine how he thought that comfortable, but he is an odd cat!


As you can tell from most of these pictures, the clouds had rolled in by the time we were done. The day was still pleasant, though, and we finished off our day by tending to the fruit trees before heading to Stuttgart for the rest of our fencing.

We discovered last year that our little stakes did not succeed in helping the trees grow straight in the face of our powerful prairie winds. So, we restaked them all. In the process we found this…


The first buds. These two branches are on the smaller of our peach trees, and this made up most of the buds on that tree. The larger one, though, was literally covered! I missed getting a good snow this year, but now I’m praying that we are done with the late freezes and snows. Even as far south as we are, we can have highs ranging anywhere from the 80’s to the 20’s in March – sometimes both in the same week! But, it looks like even though we might still have lows in the 30’s, our little buds should be safe this year.

We finished the day off with date night and changing our clocks a night early so we could make the DST adjustment on Saturday instead of Sunday. Yes, it was definitely a wonderful day. Ah, how I love precious days with my family!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Monday, March 11, 2013

In the great outdoors...a blustery day. Cold wind, but the sun is trying to peek out as well. That’s a beautiful sight.

Within our four walls...some housework should get done. A little of it will today, but for the most part this is a writing day.

A heart of thanksgiving...for provision. It never ceases to blow my mind how God can provide simply by expanding the life of what we have.

Also for the strong, vibrant voice I heard on the other end of the line Friday. Grandpa, who will be 92 this month, called to wish me a happy birthday. I have not heard that much life and energy in his voice since before Grandma died a year ago. I know there are many things I would have picked up seeing him in person that I couldn’t see over a phone line, but it was nice to once again hear Grandpa sound like himself again.

A heart of prayer...for a good and productive writing day. For the Choate family as they continue traveling this week. For spiritual and physical healing for many.

Random observations…time change stinks. It was even worse than normal yesterday. We changed our clocks Friday night to make the adjustment on Saturday instead of Sunday. Since we use our Kindle Fires as alarm clocks, we switched them off automatic time and reset them manually. Apparently, they are programmed to update the time zone whether they’re on auto or manual! So, on Sunday morning they adjusted for DST – on top of the adjustments we made Friday night. Our alarms went off at 4:00 AM instead of 5:00 AM. We didn’t get to the bottom of the problem until we were actually up and “awake.” Yeah.

My silly children...are gone today. Doug arranged for them to go home with JoJo last night – you can imagine how “disappointed” they were to discover that news!! They tried to be stoic, not letting me know just how much they would have preferred to be at home doing exciting things like chores and school. I mean, after all, it took Steven all of two minutes to race up to JoJo after church and say, “Can we go to your house right now?!?!”

It’s really weird to be home without them. Nice every now and then, without a doubt. But still strange.

Thoughts from the kids? No telling! I need to get back to regular menu planning.

On my bookshelf...I’m trying to be super, super, super diligent with writing today so I can read Liz Curtis Higgs’ Fair is the Rose this week. It’s book two in a series based on the story of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel, set in the Scottish highlands. My friend Karlyn is a book ahead of me, and she said it just gets better and better and better! I remain continually amazed by how Liz Curtis Higgs can take a very familiar story and still keep me on the edge of my seat as she retells it. She did the same with Ruth. Phenomenal author!

Projects…the sewing bug is biting again. I need to make some pj shorts for Steven, I found an adorable crocheted shrug I want to make for Olivia to replace the one she outgrew, and there are a couple of other things I want to sew as well. Oh, and Doug and the kids stocked me up on yarn and knitting needles for my birthday! So, of course, I want to use those! Time to plan my first real project!

Sounds of the and tapping keyboards as Doug and I work.

Last week we learned...that Joulies really do work. Wow!

A favorite thing from last absolutely wonderful family day for my birthday. I’ll share more later in the week.

The will be a little different, but the rest of the week is pretty normal. I don’t think we really have anything on the calendar…well, except for the fact that Steven has been invited to a birthday party on Saturday.

Because visuals are fun...we sorted through spring clothes Saturday. Angie had to try on everything…

2013-03-09 10.24.05

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Birthday Ann!

Around our house, typically four days a year are met with beautifully worded, wonderfully pictured birthday posts.

Except there’s five people in this house. One of them doesn’t get the beautifully worded, wonderfully pictured birthday posts. Why?

Well, because if there’s anything beautiful and flowing in this house, it’s because Ann Hibbard is the one who is beautiful and flowing, and it just comes from her. Usually, in the amazing interactions with our children or the great things she does, I’m too caught up in wonder to even think about taking a picture.

So there’s no real way for me to explain the awesome wonder that my wife is. If you know her, you know how much she does and how wonderful she is. She writes for Home Educating Family, both reviews and columns. She’s one of the behind-the-scenes people trying to minister to Arkansas Baptist minister’s wives, but you’ll rarely see her take any credit for it. She’s frequently the reason church folks put up with me.

So, Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Quote of the Day

Steven, after struggling a bit in our math drills and informing me that his brain wasn’t working:

It’s hard to remember things after you’ve gone to sleep.

I know the feeling, my son. Believe me, I know the feeling!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Monday, March 4, 2013

In the great outdoors...right now it’s just dreary and cloudy (no storms this week, though!), but I’d rather think about this morning. As the sun was coming up and the clouds were beginning to roll in, I looked out and saw  deep blue contrasted against dark gray with the sunlight not only enhancing the colors but also bathing the ground in light even though the sky in my line of vision was mostly dark. It was breathtakingly beautiful!

Within our four walls...a bit of restlessness today. And a lot of goofiness.

A heart of thanksgiving...for no more philosophy!!!! Doug had a killer philosophy of religion course this past term with enough work to fill a full year instead of an eight-week term. So thankful he’s done! He still has one term of Greek left and then we can celebrate that being done too. YAY! Making progress…

I’m also thankful for a chance to visit with extended family yesterday – my parents, my brother Ben and his wife Ashley, and my nieces Abigail and Nora. I took only one picture, and that one wasn’t great. But, I hold in my mind the picture of my hubby holding sweet little Nora (now 2 1/2 months old). She typically does not like men, oddly enough, but she did not fuss for Doug!

A heart of prayer...for Preston, the baby I’ve mentioned the past two weeks. His lungs are awful right now. They tried changing ventilators, but that did not work. They need to move on to steroids, but the steroid treatment has horrible side effects. Fighting for the lungs leaves them little opportunity to deal with his primary issue, the fluid on his brain. His other organs still look great right now, but the longer his lungs struggle, the more strain that will put on his other organs. But, God is working through it all, and we are trusting that He will reach some hearts that do not yet belong to Him. That’s the miracle we want to see most of all!

Random observations…I was reminded last week just how poorly my body reacts when I don’t feed it enough red meat. I’m not one of those people who can survive on vegetables or even white meat. In other news, a juicy burger, nice big steak, or plate full of brisket sounds really yummy right now.

My silly children...Earlier Steven was singing a made-up tune, in a rather cheerful voice; something like, “The fairies must be found before it’s too late!” He never did let us know what would happen if they were found too late. 

Meanwhile, they are currently taking turns playing on the Wii. For open-ended games, they have a 20 minute time limit and a light-up timer to mark their time. The timer usually sits beside the tv, easily visible. Today it was in the kitchen. On the microwave. Out of sight. Yeah.

Thoughts from the kitchen...leftover soup today. Sadly, soup weather’s about over. Soon it will be too hot to even think about soup. Really, it will be too hot to think about cooking.

On my bookshelf...lots of books still waiting. I didn’t get the “fun” book read last week. But, that’s okay.

Projects...I finally started on a “real” knitting project…a very small doll blanket for the girls, knitted with variegated thread (bold pinks and purples with a hint of blue as well). It’s about half done. I let them choose the pattern, and they wanted it to be ribbed. I love the look and the feel of it. I think some warm socks out of that pattern would be so comfy.

Sounds of the moment...the kids jabbering as they play Lego Star Wars on the Wii.

A favorite thing from last week...the chance to truly take Saturday off for the first time in a while. It felt very, very good.

The planner...three days of school, meeting in Little Rock on Thursday with the ministers’ wives planning team (we have fun, even when it’s work!), then no school on Friday because I don’t want to teach on my birthday. We’ll probably paint the Lego tables my parents made for the kids and start sorting spring clothes.

Because visuals are fun...Doug and our friend Rachel from church have a “coffee battle” going on. It cracks me up! Rachel fills a huge mug at least half full of milk and sugar before adding some coffee, making her coffee is a very, very pale brown. Doug enjoys creamer, but he also likes his coffee black. So, they are constantly exchanging pictures informing each other how coffee should look. Here’s what Doug sent yesterday morning. Nice and strong.

2013-03-03 07.18.51

I like this cup from today, though. He added creamer, and it all sank to the bottom. There were three or four levels of color. It was really pretty! (Rachel’s darkest coffee is the color of the bottom layer, but it’s usually lighter than that.)

2013-03-04 07.07.41

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Enough Room

Last night the kids were all preparing to have a bunkin’ party in Olivia’s room. As we gathered for bedtime prayer, this is what Angie prayed:

Dear Jesus, thank You that we have rooms big enough to be able to sleep together.

And thank You that we have a house big enough that we don’t have to sleep together all the time!

Such precious honesty!

This morning Steven, who slept in a sleeping bag on the floor, got up before his sisters. He and I went in together to check on the girls and found Olivia smack dab in the middle of the bed. If the chest of drawers hadn’t been beside Angie, she would have probably fallen off the bed. Steven just curled up beside Olivia as if they’d all three slept in the bed. Silly boy.

How they love each other…