Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In the great outdoors...a new day starting; clear blue sky; birds singing; beautiful fall!

Within our four walls...open doors and windows; children chattering as they start their day.

A heart of thanksgiving...for friendship.

A heart of prayer...over the passing of a dear family friend.

Random observations...yesterday I received the latest issue of Home Educating Family Magazine. Typically this is an exciting event for me because I love this magazine. But yesterday’s was really special. Why? Because of this:


This is one of those dreams I never even thought to dream! It’s still surreal that I get to be Senior Editor for HEDUA! I love my job!

My silly children...are excited about Latin. I love that. Of course, Dwane Thomas makes it fun in Visual Latin, and we’re very relaxed about it. But, they’re learning so much about the foundations of grammar and word structure. Even if they never become proficient enough to truly read and write in Latin, they’re establishing such an awesome foundation. And they think it’s fun! That’s what homeschooling is all about!

Thoughts from the kitchen...the realization that I forgot to check the menu plan last night. I try to always do that so I know if lunch needs to be handled early in the day. Ah! Shepherd’s pie. Easy enough!

On my bookshelf...working on Elizabeth Camden’s latest, With Every Breath.

Projects...I need to mend Steven’s jeans and get back to a regular sewing time. Lots of projects since Christmas is quickly approaching! 

Sounds of the moment...trucks rumbling across the street. A constant sound these days.

From Hibbard Academy...Olivia is learning about the drafting of the Constitution, finishing up a unit on poetry, and making solid progress through pre-algebra (thank you, Math-U-See!). Angela is learning about Commodore Perry and starting a unit on writing. Steven is working through early American history – we’ve explored the Aztecs and Incans and are now looking at the Mayans. He’s learning new punctuation and enjoying a review stretch in math.

A favorite thing from last week...visiting the Nina replica on Saturday! We got to join a couple of homeschool families (including the wonderful Trica Goyer and her family! Fun!) and had a great time!

The planner...normal week except for a jazz concert Thursday night. Otherwise, just trying to get everything squared away before we head out to the annual meeting of the AR Baptist State Convention. So excited!

Because visuals are fun...just another stuffed animal? I think he stayed there for a good hour!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Celebrating Steven!

It is time to continue with the look back at our celebrations of the summer. Steven was second!

Steven’s birthday fell on a Sunday this year. That meant a little stretching of the birthday celebrations to make sure we got everything covered. We started on Saturday evening with a pool party. And, yes, I was too busy visiting to get pictures of everyone – or even of the table! But, we had an enjoyable cookout/pool time.

The craziest part, though, was the fact that we wondered until day of if it would even be warm enough to swim! In AUGUST! Is that not crazy? It was a bit cool that evening – enough so that the adults had no interest in swimming. Fortunately, we all have good swimmers and were able to visit around the pool while watching them.

Steven didn’t request a cake this year. He wanted brownies. Peanut butter cup brownies. Yum!


We stuck a couple of candles in the middle one so he could blow them out.


The family celebration and gifts came on Sunday afternoon.


We had his pancake breakfast Saturday morning, but Sunday lunch was chicken ‘n dumplings, per his request. That’s a typical Sunday lunch for us, so to make it special we made sure to pull out the special occasion bowls!


Then came gifts. His primary request was books. Olivia and I found a series called the Homeschool Detectives. How fun is that? It’s an older series, and we could only get used copies. But, he was excited nonetheless! He also still loves the Little Bear books, even though he’s far surpassed that reading level. Doug found a set, and Steven was delighted!


The stuffed animal (especially dogs) lover got two new puppies – this black one and an adorable Husky. Can you tell he was happy?


Of course, a Steven birthday is not complete without at least a small Lego set. He wasted no time getting started!


He is now, once again, the official Cookie Inspector of the family. I managed to get the design cut out of his old outgrown shirt and sewn onto a new one.


But this was MY favorite of his gifts. A funny book written and illustrated by Angela.


We topped off the afternoon with giant brownies and homemade peanut butter cup ice cream. All eight candles fit on this one!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, October 14, 2014

In the great outdoors...the sun is just beginning to rise. That’s the only thing I don’t like about fall and winter – dark mornings. But, it’s also fun to make it up before the sun.

Within our four walls...open windows. Family progressing into the morning. The smell of oatmeal cooking.

A heart of thanksgiving...for God’s hand on the progress of our farmers. For a life situation that allows our family to get up and walk safely together in the early morning hours.

A heart of prayer...for what’s left of the farming. For tough decisions some friends need to make. For the Choates and various needs.

Random observations...in case you’d like to know, I do not recommend starting your day by spilling grape juice all over yourself, your delicious omelet, and the floor. It somewhat affects the dynamics of the morning.

My silly children...are discovering that they don’t have as much energy as they’d like to think. At least, not for a brisk family walk first thing in the morning!

Thoughts from the kitchen...other than the grape juice? I think it’s a leftover day. We’ve made an adjustment in our leftover storage to keep from wasting as much. If it’s not enough for a second meal, we put it in a small bag or container and place it in the leftover section of our freezer. That section is now full. Time for leftovers. But we also don’t have to toss what we don’t get eaten today.

On my bookshelf...I have decided to always have a book going. I am more inclined to read if I have something started than I am to start something. I will just have to make sure that at least every third book is non-fiction – otherwise I’ll only read fiction! Last night I read the first few chapters of With Every Breath, Elizabeth Camden’s most recent novel. I have loved Camden’s writing since her very first book. She does have her own formula, which tends to make the books a bit predictable in some ways. But, there’s always depth to that formula, and I always learn something historical. Fun stuff.

Sounds of the moment...music from the living room. Work going on across the street. Outside sounds through open windows.

From Hibbard Academy...plugging along slowly. I’m not super motivated this week, but we’re doing it anyway. We have a full, five-day week. We’re doing this!

The planner...routine until this weekend when we get to go visit the Nina!

Because visuals are fun...Olivia found her daddy’s old hat. It suits her. Smile

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Two Sides of the World

This morning we got to see the lunar eclipse. We don’t have a camera capable of capturing the beauty that it was, but Doug did get a couple of very distant shots and posted them on Facebook. In one of them, the speck of the moon is actually red! It’s neat!

If it had not been cloudy on the horizon, we would have been on the easternmost edge of those able to view the sunrise and eclipse at the same time. We saw the eastern sky lightening as the moon was setting in the west. But, the sun was still hidden when the moon disappeared into the clouds. It was still a beautiful sight, though.

It became even more special when we realized the Choates were watching the eclipse on the other side of the world! Isn’t that amazing? The moon was rising for them, the night beginning. It was setting for us as the night ended. And we all watched it – together yet thousands of miles apart.

Yes, I’m sentimental. It might seem like nothing to some people, but it was pretty special to me. God keeps us connected, and I love that.

Speaking of the Choates, will you pray with me over a couple of things?

First, rain for the village. Last they heard, the rain tanks were empty. Without the water in those tanks, they cannot return to the village. Their scheduled departure date is coming up quickly. So, please pray for rain!

Will you also pray over their village e-mail? Here is a post from Joanna to explain a little how it works:

Village E-Mail

Thanks for praying!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, October 7, 2014

In the great outdoors...fall!! Okay, so it’s still a bit warm. But, that’s okay. It’s still in the air. And that makes me happy.

Within our four walls...Piano Guys. I love their music! We’re all just soaking it up as we process through the morning.

A heart of thanksgiving...for music – what a marvelous creation! For a routine week. For a day of sunshine rather than the expected rain – hopefully it will help the farmers get that much closer to done.

A heart of prayer...for writing projects Doug and I have before us; for the farmers; for so many friends in need of prayer

Random observations...notice the date on this.

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Yes, it’s yesterday. I changed it right after I snapped this picture. The funny thing is that I think I change it every day. I really think I do. But some days I look at it and it’s showing that five days have passed since I last updated it. How does that happen? I really think we’re skipping days. That’s the only logical solution, right? In fact, that’s the only reason it’s October instead of August. Yes, I made that mistake on Facebook, stating that something was happening on August 18 instead of October 18. *sigh*

My silly children...have fun doing the most ordinary things. I love it! Angie and Steven are sorting Box Tops right now to see if we have enough to mail in. And they’re having fun doing it.

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Thoughts from the kitchen...ham and potato casserole. It used to be one of our favorite dishes, but we haven’t had it in forever. Nice to pull out old favorites and have them feel fresh again.

On my bookshelf...I feel like a broken record because I have not been diligent to make time to read in so long. I really want to work that back into my schedule.

Projects...a few minor schedule revamps. Editing Doug’s new Advent book. Starting a Christmas sewing project with at least one child.

Sounds of the moment...the aforementioned Piano Guys.

From Hibbard Academy...tweaking the schedule a bit this week. I can’t believe this is the first time we’ve had to do this! We usually have to make a lot of adjustments within the first couple of weeks, but this one has really worked! Now that we’re solidly into the school year, though, we’re finding that a few things are falling through the cracks because of time pressures. So, we’re going to make a few changes to see if we can relieve some of that pressure.

A favorite thing from last week...a nice family trip. Just us. Not associated with anything obligatory. Not tagged before or at the end of a ministry trip. Just a chance to be away as a family. We needed that!

The planner...routine. Not normalcy, because routine is not normal this time of the year. But definitely routine. Nice!

Because visuals are fun...some of Angie’s school work is quite challenging this year. Smokey understands this and wants to make sure she is available to offer all the help she possibly can. Help. Yep. That’s what it is. Right?

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