Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, September 30, 2014
In the great outdoors...perhaps the last hurrah of summer. We’ll see.
Within our four walls...much sneezing and sniffling.
A heart of thanksgiving...that colds are the worst health problems we typically have to deal with; for my amazing husband; for the sunshine; for my incredible co-workers.
A heart of prayer...for everyone around us struggling with the fall colds and allergy mess that comes with harvest season; for friends dealing with work issues; for a precious friend facing a transition; for rain to refill the water tanks on Marulaon so the Choates can return to the village as planned.
Random observations...colds are annoying no matter what, but I think warm weather colds are especially so. Cozy sweatshirts, hot showers and beverages, and mugs of soup are my favorite comforts when I have a cold. But this warm weather makes them less than comforting. Yes, you can go ahead and throw stuff at me. I know I’m crazy.
My silly children...are all a little groggy today. We’ll see how school goes!
Thoughts from the kitchen...chicken pot pie. Next best thing to chicken noodle soup.
On my bookshelf...planners! And if they’re on my bookshelf, that means they aren’t on my desk anymore. And if they’re not on my desk anymore, that means the prep work for next year’s planners is almost done! There’s going to be some great stuff in HEDUA’s high school and college planners next school year. And I’ll actually have a high schooler who will use one! Exciting!
Projects...plotting and planning for Christmas. Shhhh…I can’t say what because I have a daughter who now reads some of these posts! 
Sounds of the moment...I can’t hear much because of the congestion in my ears, but I think I do hear the children chattering in the background, a little music, and Doug turning pages of a review book he’s reading.
From Hibbard Academy...a short week this week. Steven just finished learning about Columbus in history and is learning about light in science. Angela just finished Australia in history, and I’ve gone blank on where she is in science. I know she was learning about memory, but she’s moved on from that. At least I remembered that she was learning about memory! Ha! Both of them are working on capitalization, and I think all three kids are dealing with fractions. Fun stuff. Olivia is very independent these days, so I have a hard time keeping up with where she’s going in science and history. She absolutely loves Dr. Wile’s Exploring Creation with General Science. It’s right up her alley! Together we’re reading Out of Many Waters and learning about the plight of the Jews during the Portuguese Inquisition. I never knew!
A favorite thing from last week...seeing all three kids stretched out on the floor around the radio listening to the Razorback game Saturday. It’s not so much that they were enjoying the game. It’s more that they were enjoying it around the radio. With all of our modern technology, we can easily lose our ability to listen. But, if you want to keep up with a football game on the radio, you have to listen…and remember what you’ve heard. They were having so much fun and were keeping up with it well. It was precious!
The planner...working our hardest to get everything essential done by the end of the day tomorrow. Then, an extended family weekend. I think the word “zoo” might be jotted down on the calendar. It’s been a while, and we’re excited!
Because visuals are fun...Steven received a whole stack of belt loops, stars, and pins at his Scout pack meeting last night! He was excited!
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Friday, September 26, 2014

Celebrating Olivia

Summer is birthday season in our home!

I posted the special birthday photo posts I love to do each year, but I never shared our celebrations! So, to my digital scrapbook, here I add the celebrations of the summer, beginning with:

The Celebration of Olivia!

We had just returned from Dallas, so she was perfectly happy with a calm, low-key birthday. Every now and then, her birthday falls on Memorial Day, and this was that year. So, it was easy to just take the day off!


We started with her breakfast request – pancake-wrapped bacon on a stick! Fun!


There was also some fun piled up in the Fuf in Mommy & Daddy’s room to watch Thor on the “big screen” (projected onto the wall).


And just some good old-fashioned “we like to be together” time.


Steven loves to tackle Olivia from behind after she sits down at the table for lunch. A birthday tackle is extra special.


Daddies have to get birthday tackles, too.


Olivia chose a peanut butter cheesecake instead of a decorated cake this year. She asked that it have a Doctor Who touch, though. What could be more fun than chocolate TARDISes and Daleks?


Especially when you put them on top of a no-bake peanut butter cheesecake.


Olivia had several fun gifts this year. Building sets always fascinate her, and this one was robotic!


Angie always makes such fun and creative cards for birthdays. This year she made Olivia an airfield diorama that included C130, Lego, and Doctor Who creativity. Inside the TARDIS, she put two Lego minifigs that look like Olivia’s favorite Doctor Who characters.


The came Angie’s gift – a stuffed TARDIS. I think Olivia was happy.


Although she requested a Doctor Who birthday, it isn’t ALL about DW for her these days. She has such a variety of interests. Steven’s gift to her reflected one of them. He was a little disappointed because it didn’t get here in time for her birthday, but she was just happy to find out what he bought. He got her a hardcover copy of Inkspell, a book she’d been wanting, sequel to Inkheart. She was so excited! She absolutely loves fantasy.

She got a few of other things from us – Hog earrings, a fun new t-shirt, a much-needed summer nightgown. But the most fun was watching her open a gift of something not quite so new.

For years, we’ve had a back-up for Bunny. We learned very early on that it’s wise to have at least two of a favorite lovie. We decided it was time to reveal our secret. So, two well-loved bunnies ended up in a gift bag on her birthday. This picture is blurry, but I think you can still get the essence of her reaction! It was awesome! 


So, we now have Bunny and BunBun. And yes, she CAN tell them apart! (Although, she did have trouble that day figuring out which one had been out with her in the weeks leading up to her birthday. She’s still not too sure about that.)


Another fun birthday has come and gone! And the teen years are officially here. Looking forward to a lot of greet teen birthdays!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Monday, September 22, 2014

In the great outdoors...a forecasted high in the 70’s. Yay! It’s been a mild summer, but that doesn’t make me any less ready for fall. My favorite season!

Within our four walls...the need to make a couple of tweaks to our most recent library rearrange. I have a portable table that won’t stay up all the time, but I want to have a good place to set it up (other than right in front of the bookshelves where it is right now!). It gives me a place to stand and work – I need that!

A heart of thanksgiving...for the blessing of friends who love us and our children; for software that lets me plan ahead in school but then make changes easily as needed (My Well Planned Day) – more easily than in my beloved paper planner (which I still use for day-to-day schooling); for new work tasks that are beginning to “click.”

A heart of prayer...for one of our farmers to get his combine fixed quickly, easily, and inexpensively; for the rest to continue to have smooth harvests; for our family to have a smooth few weeks in preparation for a few months.

Random observations...Why do I fight getting up on time in the mornings when I know I’ll feel so much better and the day will go so much more smoothly if I will just go ahead and do it? This morning has run so well because we got up on time. I’ve just got to get that in my head at 5:00 when that nasty alarm goes off.

My silly children...are really quite marvelous. It’s such a blessing to be their mom, and it’s a blessing to see the many things God teaches me through them. Yep, they’re pretty awesome kids.

Thoughts from the kitchen...we’ve given the kids each a day of the week to make dinner. Olivia’s day is Thursday, Angela’s is Friday, and Steven’s is Saturday. For the time being, they frequently still need help. But, there will come a day…I look forward to that day!

On my bookshelf...the need for a plan. Okay, so that’s not on my bookshelf, but it’s related to my bookshelf. I’ve managed to get a handle on much of my schedule: school grading & planning/prep; a work flow for my HEDUA work week that seems to be working smoothly so far; a writing plan. But I still need to schedule in regular reading and keeping up with blogs. Getting there!

Projects...we laid out Christmas projects over the weekend. I’m getting excited! 

Sounds of the moment...soft piano music as Doug and I work on our top of the morning tasks.

From Hibbard Academy...two more weeks of not-quite-full school schedule. Ah, ‘tis fall in the Hibbard household. But, that’s okay! We’re making good progress anyway. And we’re having fun. These are such delightful cores! It’s fun revisiting with Angela what Olivia and I thoroughly enjoyed together. And, with Steven I’m rediscovering the books we loved five years ago. Has it really been five years? Then there are the new things to enjoy with Olivia’s brand new core. Yes, I love homeschooling!

A favorite thing from last week...watching Angela being surrounded by girls who were fascinated by her. Olivia, Angela, and I went to share some Jordan fun with local GAs last Saturday night. We all put on Jordanian dresses. The girls have outgrown their own…but they could wear mine! How did THAT happen?! Fortunately, I had three different styles in my closet, so there were enough for all of us. I never really had the chance to get pictures, but take my word for it – they were cute!

Anyway, we started the evening by just talking about Jordan. But, when that was over, I told the girls they could come up and get a closer look at some of the Jordanian treasures I’d brought. Several of the girls crowded around Angela instead. Olivia nudged me and said with a smile, “I think they like Angie!” They loved Olivia, too, making sure to run and give her hugs before she left. But Angie was the same age as many of them, so that drew them to her in a different – and very precious – way.

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The planner...normal until Thursday when Doug and I get to go enjoy the annual pastor’s conference at OBU, continuing to learn under our former professors. We so look forward to this every year! Then on Saturday, we’ll have our association’s annual one-day missions event. Our family will be here in Almyra helping with a block party.

Because visuals are fun...cat lady! It’s amazing her skirt stayed black!

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

The HS Pirate Cow

I’ve been going through pictures this morning, looking back over the summer. We’ve had a bit of fun! I have sorted enough pictures to get caught up on several blog posts, and I can’t think of a better place to start than with the Hibbard Ship Pirate Cow.


It took a while for the HS Pirate Cow to cross my radar. First, I noticed my son roaming around with an eye patch.


Next, I walked into Angie’s room for something and noticed something odd about the cows scattered across her floor.


How about a closer look at Theo, Sammy, and George?


Alf even had a sword!


All of the “ladies” were similarly attired.

That was all in the morning. I worked all afternoon while they played happily. Every now and then they would come in to say hi or I would pop out to get some hugs. But, I never actually went into Angie’s bedroom the rest of the day. It wasn’t until around bedtime that I discovered what they’d really been up to all day.

Here she is, my friends…the HS Pirate Cow, complete with a mast and Pirate Carrie as lookout. (The curtained area is “below deck”.)


Would you like a tour? Here is the captain herself introducing you to the crew of the HS Pirate Cow.

Here Steven demonstrates the firing of the canon.

Ah, imaginations. Aren’t they delightful?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In the great outdoors...beautiful sunshine! Great day for harvest. But, rain is supposed to be coming. We’re just praying it’s gentle.

Within our four walls...Olivia running through a few piano songs while Angie and Steven relax before school. Apparently there are not enough chores on Wednesday mornings. Ha!

A heart of thanksgiving...for a safe weekend trip and a smooth weekend for my family here at home; for the sunshine; for the promise of fall.

A heart of prayer...for our children and youth at church to hunger for a relationship with the Lord; for harvest.

My silly children...are pirate-y this week. Which reminds me that I have not shared the pictures of their ship The Pirate Cow. I believe I have a video introducing the full crew. It will come soon.

Thoughts from the kitchen...Doug cooked chili while I was gone last weekend. We had that Monday. Then, right before I went to go work on lunch yesterday, he asked if I had a plan. When I said no, he went in and concocted a fantastic cordon bleu pasta dish. Oh my! Today’s pot pie will be good, I’m sure, but a little bland after all of that!

On my bookshelf...I started Grace in Thine Eyes by Liz Curtis Higgs on the way to Florida Thursday. I’m sure I will be sneaking in moments here and there to get it finished.

Projects...time to start thinking about Christmas!

Sounds of the moment...Christmas music. Yes. But there’s a reason for it. Olivia’s playing it on the piano because she wants to be able to play a special by Christmas. Doug is listening to it because he’s working on a Christmas related writing project. I just get to be in on the fun (although I do need have some Christmas writing to do as well).

From Hibbard Academy...getting back into the swing of things after a couple of crazy weeks.

A favorite thing from last week...allow me to set the stage first: I work with a great group of ladies. But, we are scattered across the country. Until last weekend, none of us had met the whole team face to face – just a few of us here and there had met a few others. A couple of months ago, though, our CEO told us she wanted to fly us all to Florida for our first annual staff retreat. Now, how do you say no to that?

In all honesty, though, I was nervous. Three days in a house with eleven other ladies? Would we possibly gel as well in person as we do through our cyber interactions? This introvert just wasn’t sure about the whole thing. Just how much energy would this take, and how long would it take to recover?

I wish I could put words to how the weekend truly went, but I can’t. All I can say is that in both play and work, we meshed beautifully. I always knew I worked with amazing ladies, but the weekend showed just how amazing they really are. And we clicked as a team more powerfully than ever.

I have always marveled over the way God opened doors to allow me to be a part of this team. But the weekend opened my eyes to just how miraculous the whole team is. HEDUA is an incredible company. I just pray that we will always be good stewards of what He has put together. I’m so humbled and honored to be a part of this team!

The planner...a normal week, ending with some time with a GA group on Saturday.

Because visuals are fun...I just realized I didn’t get any pictures where we stayed. But, this was a beautiful view in St. Augustine!

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Happy Birthday, Angela!

When asked what she wanted to do for her birthday, Angela said, “Go to the library!”

When asked what kind of cake she wanted, she said, “A book cake!”

When asked where she wanted her birthday pictures taken, she said, “At the library!”

Do you think it might be possible that we have a book lover?

Today our little bookaholic turns eleven. And what a difference a year has made! Looking back at last year’s birthday pictures makes me want to cry. She’s changed so very much! The little girl is definitely blossoming into a young lady.


So much remains the same year to year. Angela is still our academic. She is greatly enjoying this new school year because she gets to do much more independently. I was a bit nervous about that because we are doing Sonlight’s most difficult pre-high school core (Core F – Eastern Hemisphere). But, I determined that she would not tackle it until she was turning eleven. It was a good choice. She is devouring every aspect of it.


Angela is still our princess. She loves clothes, and has her own precious fashion sense that evolves with her age. But, that fashion sense has nothing to do with what’s popular and everything to do with what makes her feel “cute.” She carries it well. No, I’m not the least bit biased.


Last year I mentioned a budding interest in cows, starting with her two cute little stuffed cows and her desire for a cow-themed birthday. (She actually had three last year, because I had made her one when she was a baby, but it was not until later in the year that she rediscovered that cow and named her Callie.) Just in case the cow print dress did not clue you in, that budding interest has fully blossomed.


The dress was her first birthday present. She has been asking for one for months! (See what I mean about her adorable fashion sense?)

As of today, she also now is up to eleven stuffed cows! Cowabella, Alf, and Callie have been joined by Carrie, Stella, George, Theo, Molly, Sammy, Clover, and Jade. And they are all unique. I can’t believe I just named all eleven!


Angela is still a very quiet, private child. It can be difficult to discover what she is thinking. But sometimes I get a glimpse inside, and it is a precious glimpse. She thinks so much. She truly ponders. She evaluates. And she learns. Oh, how she loves to learn!


This year she gets to move up to the youth-age class for Wednesday nights and Sunday school. So, there will be some new challenges for her spiritually and socially. I look forward to seeing how she grows!


Happy birthday, sweet Angela! You are such a delight, and I am so thankful God chose to give you to us eleven years ago!