Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, September 24, 2013

In the great outdoors...fall weather is trying to arrive on time! On the first day of autumn, the weather actually matched the season. The Stones even already closed their pool (usually open into October) because the temps were getting so cool at night and the leaves were starting to fall. Today’s a bit warmer and more humid, but all in all, it’s more than just autumn – it’s really fall!

Within our four walls...a tub of autumn decorations ready to be spread around the house. We almost never bring them out this early, but the weather is making it hard to resist.

A heart of thanksgiving...for the slow, steady rain that fell all day Friday. And no storms! Leading up to that day, and even as the day itself progressed, the forecasts all called for heavy storms. But they never came. Some farmers did end up with downed rice, which is not a good thing, but overall it was a perfect rainy day!

A heart of prayer...for a sweet baby girl born last week, six weeks early and requiring surgery for a blockage almost immediately; for her mom who has additional medical issues of her own; for a friend suffering from severe back pain; for our youth and children at church; for my own children to discover that God created them just the way they are for His purposes; for so much more.

Random observations...some days it’s all I can do to get my children to do anything. Other days, they are up before dawn and extremely helpful. Today is one of those “other days.” They were all three up early, finished with their quiet times and chores, and then voluntarily went in to tackle the mountain of laundry on our bed. They have moved the mountain to the living room where they are now watching Muppets as they fold. (The TV is not on very often around here, and morning viewing is almost non-existent. So this is a big treat!)

My silly bookworm...Yesterday I told Angela about the bookshelves that lined one wall of my bedroom when I was her age. Her already big eyes grew even bigger and filled with absolute delight! That child would love nothing more than floor to ceiling bookshelves in her room – except maybe more books so she could fill those shelves. It wouldn’t take long to fill them, though. She’s already got more books than shelf space right now. In fact, I think she’d sleep on a mat on the floor if she could fill her room with books.

Thoughts from the kitchen...I have no idea. I’m really ready for fall food – especially a big pot of vegetable soup and pan of cornbread. But, it’s just not quite cool enough yet. So, I’ll contemplate something else for today and continue to wait patiently.

On my bookshelf...several things, which is very atypical. Speed-reading through a pair of Amish fiction novels; slowly (veeeeeeery slowly) working through Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson; working through Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions for work discussion; starting She’s Twelve Going on Twenty for review. It sounds like a lot, but they’re all so different, and I don’t plan to read all of them every day. They’re just scattered out throughout my week.

Projects...clothes rotation. We went through the fall/winter stockpile last weekend. Now we just need to pull out the very summery stuff that really doesn’t need to be worn any more. Amazingly, we still don’t need much, even without new hand-me-downs. God is so incredible in His provision! We are always confident that He’ll either provide the clothes or the resources to get the clothes. 

Sounds of the moment...the Muppets and laughter from the next room.

From Hibbard Academy...progressing to ancient Greece while still finishing up a bit of ancient Egypt with Olivia; moving from ancient to turn-of-the-century (AD 1000, that is) Vikings with Angie & Steven; the properties of light; continuing with birds and evolution; fractions, decimals, and more fractions; sentence structure (varying levels thereof) and writing book reports.

Olivia has discovered just how much easier writing is now that she can type and work her way around a word processor. She’s actually enjoying writing assignments for the first time ever! I never expected her to love writing, and I have committed to do what I can to encourage her creativity and ability to communicate in written form despite the difficulty that writing has been for her. I expected her to blossom in other ways, and I was all set to encourage that in any way I could while teaching her enough writing skills to exhibit competency. I never, ever dreamed that she would begin to truly enjoy writing itself just because I allowed her to learn it in her own time and according to her own abilities. It’s things like this that just thrill me and make every ounce of frustration over homeschooling worth it. I’m so thankful we get to educate our children this way! Words cannot express how amazing it is to watch my children blossom in ways I never could have anticipated, simply because they are not forced to fit into a group learning mold! This is not even about protecting them from public school issues at this point. This is about the reality that they can learn individually, according to their strengths. And in the process, they discover that their “weaknesses” aren’t such weaknesses after all.

Deep breath…okay…homeschooling delight speech over. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

A favorite thing from last week...the rainy day and the cool weather. We had our windows open for three days. Glorious!

The planner...the annual OBU Pastor’s Conference is this week!!! We started looking forward to this year almost as soon as we walked out the door last year. I can’t tell you what a privilege it has been to be able to join Doug at this conference. We get to visit with and continue to learn from professors who invested in us not only in college but in the decade and a half after graduation. They are such a blessing! Can’t wait!

We also have an associational one-day missions event this weekend. Our family will participate in a block party in Gillette, just a bit south of here.

Other than that, it’s work and school. Just about the time I thought I’d learned my job, I was promoted to a new position with a whole new learning curve! It’s rather intimidating but also exciting to be learning so many new things.

Because visuals are work companions – an iris my mother-in-law painted to match my favorite black irises, and Galadri-owl, a soft, cuddly, cute “just because” gift from my sweet hubby. I think she might become the Hibbard Academy mascot.
2013-09-20 15.56.09


Homeschooling is such a blessing - I thank the Lord for every day He gives me with my boys.

Hurray for fall ;D


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