Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Pink Airplane

Steven knew for quite some time what he wanted to make for Angela’s tenth birthday. A stuffed airplane pillow. But not just any stuffed airplane pillow. He wanted it to be pink and green with Hello Kitties on it.

So, we went fabric shopping, and he came home with some fun pink camo and green with white polka dots.

Then came the sewing. Machine sewing still required a little help from Mommy to keep the fabric moving. PinkPlane5

Look at that concentration!


And look at that great stitching! Yes, that’s mostly him – I was just helping to guide him a bit.


There was also a lot of pinning and hand sewing.


And, of course, the stuffing of parts both big and small.


The end results was so cute!! Was that not a fantastic idea?


Monday, August 26, 2013

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Monday, August 26, 2013

In the great outdoors...summer has arrived right about the time harvest is getting ready to start! It’s really a beautiful day. White, fluffy clouds and moderate, but not unbearable, humidity.

Within our four walls...a new view. I’m in Doug’s office right now. We needed a day of his company. We usually only move school to the church on Wednesdays, but this week we decided to come today as well.

A heart of thanksgiving...for flexibility...and for Mom’s safe return from Jordan.

A heart of prayer...for harvest. After praying for rain all summer, we now need it to stay dry for a while. Praying for equipment to function properly and yield to be wonderful!

Random observations...I’m wearing my chocolate shirt today. It’s brown and has the theobromine molecule on it. You know, the “happy” part of chocolate!

My silly children...have discovered that nerfs can be shot from the marshmallow gun.

Thoughts from the kitchen...spaghetti today. This evening I’m going to turn some chicken breasts into parmesan chicken cordon bleu to have on hand.

On my bookshelf...finally getting to read Hero’s Lot. Just for fun! Oh my goodness – this fiction series is challenging to read, but oh so good. Doug and I both reviewed book one (here’s my review). Then Doug got book two for review (here’s that review). He’s been waiting as patiently as possible for me to find an opportunity to read it so we can talk about it!! I think I’m going to plan my work schedule such that I am ahead when book three comes out in February!!

Projects...Angie’s birthday present; Christmas projects; and I might even get to make a couple of things on my own list!

Sounds of the moment...Steven playing with a mega nerf gun.

From Hibbard Academy...Vikings, birds, Hittites, and evolution. Ginger Pye has just been kidnapped, and we finally got Ranofer to his happy conclusion in The Golden Goblet.

A favorite thing from last week...watching four – yes FOUR! – bald eagles circle Almyra while we were swimming. Such gorgeous birds!

The, review team meeting tomorrow night, trip to Little Rock on Thursday – sans children! They are thrilled to get to spend the day with JoJo.

Because visuals are fun...we have these strange bugs that appear in our house every sheet-changing day. Fortunately, Doug squished them all soundly when they showed up on Saturday.2013-08-24 08.05.49

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Not Back to School Day

Oh my goodness! I just realized there are several posts I never uploaded! Really? I was sure I’d done those posts…I guess I just wrote them in my head. (Maybe I shouldn’t admit I do that.) But seriously, how did I not post the Choates’ last visit or Steven’s birthday fun? So, I must catch up.

But first, allow me to share why Not Quite Ordinary Observations never made it up this week.

We were celebrating “Not Back to School Day.”

You see, everyone else in the state of Arkansas headed back to school on Monday. By that point, we already had three weeks under our belts. So, what did we do? We took the day off!

We had to run some errands in “the big city” on Saturday, and we happened to discover that Academy was selling uniform shirts for $4.99. My kids LOVE those shirts! So, we ducked in and bought a few. All three kids loved the blue, and they decided they wanted to be matching for our “not back to school” day. So, yep, they donned school uniforms. I think the hats aren’t quite up to the dress code, though.


Our main activity of the day was a scavenger hunt of sorts. They weren’t necessarily supposed to find anything other than the next clue, but they loved it!

Checking out clue one.


They quickly guessed the post office.


They got that clue VERY quickly. A store in Stuttgart called Mack’s has a huge duck in the parking lot and this gator inside.


I don’t know if you can read the next clue, but it took them a few extra minutes to get. It led them to the French Seam, the fabric store/Bernina retailer where I have Bernina Club and the girls go to sewing camp.

Of course, it made it even sweeter knowing that Mary Ann was working!


They quickly found the next clue and had no trouble figuring it out.


It led us straight to the library where we managed to sneakily stick a clue to the circulation desk while they weren’t looking.


The last clue took them a few minutes. They were thinking it referred to a restaurant. But, we had a better idea for lunch. And, can we really make a trip to Stuttgart without stopping at Wal-Mart? Unfortunately, no.


We ran to Wal-Mart for all of the necessities for bacon cheeseburgers. YUM! While Doug and Steven manned the grill, the girls and I whipped up our traditional promotion day cookie.


Then we handed out school supplies. They didn’t need much this year, but Doug found them new crates and a few goodies, both necessary and penguin bowling!



After lunch Doug and I needed to buckled down and get some work done, so we expected the kids to run off and play. But, no!! They cleaned the kitchen without being asked and then remembered all on their own that they needed to put clean sheets on their beds.

I have awesome kids!! (Sorry…couldn’t resist a bragging moment there.)

So, it’s now official. They have been promoted, and I now have a 7th grader, a 5th grader, and a 2nd grader. Here’s to a fun new year!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Celebrating Steven

Have you heard of Throw-back Thursday on social media? Well, I never have participated, but I’m creating my own today: Flashback Friday. Finally getting all of our celebrations uploaded! I do this more for our memory’s sake than anything else, but it’s fun to share with those who like to see what we do around here.

First, Steven’s birthday! He woke up EARLY!!! I intended to have this banner and the balloons hung before he woke up, but he was up shortly after 6:00. Think he was excited about turning 7?


He big meal request was for breakfast. Pancakes, sausage balls, eggs, and bacon. We used the delicious pancake mix the Choates brought us on their last visit. Yummy!!!


Meanwhile, Daddy surprised Steven with some fun-shaped eggs. Doctor Who fun makes yet another appearance in the Hibbard household!


Steven decided he wanted his presents first thing. So, we moved from the breakfast table to the gifts. A bottle “sock” and adorable card, as well as a few other cute homemade things, came from Angela.


Olivia made him a pillowcase. And he was delighted to finally have a new pair of cowboy boots after outgrowing his old ones!


After breakfast, we hit a little snag when we lost water. Apparently some work was being done on the lines a block or so away, and it left us water-less. It’s really tough to decorate a cake with no water, especially when the stand mixer bowl has been used for something else and needs to be washed in order to make the icing! Fortunately, the church was on the other side of the work, so we packed up and headed to the church. The kids played Legos while I decorated.


The cake of choice? A Millennium Falcon.


It met with his approval!


But, Steven’s biggest birthday celebration was yet to come. He has been counting the days until he could get his very own library card. In fact, on his sixth birthday, he informed me that he didn’t care what else we did on his seventh birthday as long as we could go to the library THAT DAY!

So, go we did! Our precious librarian was sooooo excited!


He was pretty proud, too!!


All in all, a lovely birthday celebration for our big seven-year-old!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Monday, August 12, 2013

In the great outdoors...wet ground! We just got a delightful, late afternoon t-storm! Thank You, Lord!

Within our four walls...much quiet. Steven and I are the only ones home right now. The girls are bowling and Doug is at a meeting.

Okay, nix the quiet. Steven has decided to start reading knock-knock jokes from his Highlights magazine. Oh joy.

A heart of thanksgiving...for the rain.

A heart of mom as she travels to Jordan for a couple of weeks; for Dad as he’s home without her; for several church and work related projects.

Random observations...I don’t like knock-knock jokes.

My silly children...have been especially energetic and creative today. Apparently they have been acting out The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Angela plays most of the characters, and has even come up with minor costume variations so the other two know which character she is at any given time.

Thoughts from the kitchen...not much excitement. Leftover birthday cake.

On my bookshelf...the third book in the YA series I’ve been working through as well as another novel for me entitled Pastor’s Wives. Hmmm…I wonder why the review team thought I should be the one to read that one!

I did thoroughly enjoy last week’s novel, Grave Consequences. Even better than the first in the Grand Tour series. Except that now I don’t want to wait for book three!

Projects...mostly work-related stuff this week.

Sounds of the more knock-knocks. He apparently found a story he likes instead.

From Hibbard Academy...Islam and “inside the earth” for Steven and Angie. More early civilizations and evolution for Olivia. Oh, and she learned about base 2 today and loved it!

A favorite thing from last week...celebrating my brand new seven-year-old. Pictures coming!

The planner...light this week, at least as far as outside obligations are concerned. A couple of meetings, work, and school. It’s so nice to catch our breath this month! I think I just might start to get caught up on a few things!

Because visuals are fun...Doug’s version of pancakes, eggs, and bacon, all layered together and sprinkled with just a touch of powdered sugar. Yum, yum!

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Happy Birthday, Steven

My baby is seven. My baby is seven? Really?!


One of these days I’m going to have to deal with what many of my friends are dealing with: youngest children who are turning 13 or 15, graduating from high school or college, getting married or welcoming their first child. Someday. But for now, I am just dealing with the idea of my baby turning seven.


I have to admit, I kind of like it. Babies are precious, and their growth is spell-binding. Toddlers are fun. You can almost see the learning! Preschoolers are, well, challenging. But, when they’re mine, I do enjoy watching the amazing ways they develop over those years. But then they hit school age. Oh my goodness, what a delight! Their personalities and interests really start to take off. And that is so true of my baby boy!


Steven loves to help. Absolutely craves it! He wants to serve as often as he can. He literally stalks me when he thinks I’m about to wash dishes, because he wants to be right by my side.


He hasn’t outgrown those snuggles, though! Of course, it helps that Daddy likes snuggles, too. He thinks being like Daddy is the most awesome thing in the world. So, if it’s good enough for Daddy, it’s good enough for Steven.


Steven is curious and loves to learn. He wants to explore and build.


Legos are his number one favorite. Currently, he enjoys building anything Star Wars related. But, it really doesn’t matter what he builds, as long as he can play with his Legos!


Oh, and then there’s Doctor Who. He doesn’t watch Doctor Who – it’s still a bit too much for him right now. But, he loves the characters! As soon as he saw this contraption (a well head?) at the museum where we took pictures, he called it a Dalek (mortal enemy of the Doctor) and had to have his picture beside it. Of course, his Daddy and both of his sisters immediately saw the Dalek similarities as well! I am part of a rather crazy family, I know.


Whether serving or snuggling, Star Wars or the Doctor, Legos or some other plaything (is there really any other plaything?), Steven puts his all into what he loves. He is enthusiastic, energetic, and all boy. He is also a fantastic little brother who adores his sisters and will stand up for them no matter what.


He is kindhearted, gentle, loving, and generous beyond measure. And, goodness, isn’t he handsome?


Happy birthday, precious son. You are such a blessing to our family! We love you and are incredibly thankful for you. I look forward to watching you grow even more in this coming year. Yes, it’s hard. But I still look forward to every single moment.

Happy Birthday,


Friday, August 9, 2013

The Practical Jokes Begin

Olivia: Why is there soap on my toothbrush?

Steven: (grinning) Go ask Angela.

Olivia: Do you know why there’s soap on my toothbrush?

Angela: (very matter of factly) Steven and I felt silly, so we put some on there.

Olivia has just learned the saying, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

Meanwhile, Mommy just laid down certain ground rules for practical jokes. How did we make it this long without them, and what in the world are we in for now?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reaching Out Through Radio | Wycliffe Prayer Blog

Reaching Out Through Radio | Wycliffe Prayer Blog

Reaching Out Through Radio

“To those who listen to My teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge…” (Matthew 13:12a, NLT).
An audio New Testament translation is being broadcast in a sensitive area* in Southeast Asia, to encourage and strengthen believers in the language group. Recent reports reveal that people from some neighboring language groups are also listening in.
  • Pray that many people from neighboring language communities will come to faith through hearing the Scriptures in a local language, even though it is for a people group different from their own.
  • Pray that some of these communities will desire to see translation begun in their own language.
  • Ask God for spiritual growth among all those who listen to the New Testament broadcast.
*A sensitive area refers to a location considered potentially unsafe.

The Joy of Homeschooling

It’s not even 10:00 this morning, and already I have heard three times, “Oh! Now I see!” or something similar.

Can I tell you how awesome that is?

Obviously, there are other sources for responses like that. But, there’s nothing more satisfying for me than hearing it from my own sweet children. I love it! I got my first taste of it when reading clicked for Olivia – that light bulb moment where she went from struggling over each letter blend and word to seeing a word as a whole and being able to read it without sounding out every little part. Oh that was a thrilling moment!

Once I had that taste, I craved more. There are no words to express just how thankful I am that God satisfies that craving on a regular basis by allowing me to teach my children. Thank you, Lord! So very much!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Monday, August 5, 2013

In the great’s dark. I can’t see. Yes, I’m barely sneaking this in before bedtime! I guess I can say that I’ve heard a few rumbles of thunder out there, but I don’t think it’s going to produce anything for us.

Within our four walls...bedtime. I love bedtime. It’s not so much that I want to get rid of my children. But, they are such a blessing to me in that they go to bed easily. They enjoy winding down with book time. I enjoy a couple of hours of either uninterrupted productivity or some wind-down time of my own. Yes, bedtime is a nice time at our house.

A heart of thanksgiving...for my job and the incredible people I get to work with. I had my own ideas of how and where and to whom I wanted to minister. God knew better. I never could have imagined or intentionally sought the things God is opening up for me right now. Wow. So very thankful!

A heart of prayer...for the Choates as they overnight in Fiji and wait to continue the next leg of their journey.

For extended family – just because I pray for them regularly.

For many homeschoolers getting back into school right now. (We’ll all be ready for a break about the time public and private schools get ready to start back!)

Random would probably be a bad idea to stay up all night and read my book, wouldn’t it?

My silly children...have contracted a serious disease. We call Angela’s specific strain cowheadititis.

2013-08-05 07.38.07

We have yet to determine the cause and are frantically seeking the cure, as it seems to be very contagious. Steven has exhibited symptoms of two strains: pupheaditits and penguinheadititis. As of yet, Olivia, Doug, and I have remained immune.

Thoughts from the kitchen...leftovers today. Need to come up with something better for tomorrow.

On my bookshelf...Grave Consequences, sequel to Glamorous Illusions, a book I reviewed a while back on Home Educating Family.

Glamorous Illusions

It’s purely a fun read, and I’m thoroughly enjoying fun fiction after a very, very long fiction hiatus!

Projects...well, since there’s a birthday coming up this weekend, I probably should be focused on getting a birthday present made! Fortunately, it’s an easy project.

Meanwhile, for those of you not on Facebook, here’s a project Olivia finished for her brother. A new pillowcase for his birthday. Start to finish on her own. Oh, how happy and proud that makes this mama!

2013-08-01 17.06.17

Sounds of the moment...the tapping of keyboards as Doug and I finish up work for the night.

From Hibbard stuff! Angela continues to work on decimals and prepositions while Steven learns about pounds and ounces and continues with sentence structure. This week’s history focus is on the early centuries of Christianity, and we just finished reading about dinosaurs. For the rest of the week, we get to take a Magic School Bus journey inside the earth!

Olivia is learning square roots and interjections. Her history is focusing on the progression from nomadic life to life in towns and cities, and we’re still working through the foundational concepts of evolution in science.

A favorite thing from last week...the way God worked. Nothing really went the way it should have last week. The schedule didn’t work. We didn’t get everything accomplished when we were supposed to. Interruptions were constant. Yet God was so visibly in control every step of the way. He kept me calm and joyful and worked out every detail of the week. He even topped it off with a fairly relaxed weekend instead of the full plate I expected to have. Oh how much better days go when we let Him be in control!

The planner...routine doctor’s appointments tomorrow, and then a “normal” week after that. In fact, most of August looks similar, at least for now! I think I could learn to like this!

Because visuals are fun...I’ve already given you a couple, but let’s see if I can find one more. Oh! I don’t think I’ve shown this one yet! Olivia has learned the delight of watercolor pencils. She’s learning to mix her colors in beautiful ways. Here’s a peach…

2013-07-05 11.10.33