Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, November 25, 2014

In the great outdoors...just what would be expected for Thanksgiving week – chilly, some leaves still clinging to trees, other trees bare, the ground covered with leaves.

Within our four walls...a bit of a late start, but getting going nonetheless.

A heart of thanksgiving...for the cool weather, for a flexible week, for perfect provision.

A heart of prayer...for peaceful family visits this week. It seems that every family has something that causes a challenge over the holiday season. Praying for many friends this week, that those challenges will instead become opportunities.

Random observations...The road between us and the new co-op was paved yesterday. On the day that Steven’s friend Read was over here. Talk about excited boys! I moved the round table from in front of the big window, and the boys moved their Legos in so they could both play and watch.


My silly children...are tired this week. But they’re still silly.

Thoughts from the kitchen...Doug is making ham and potato soup today. Yum! I love it when it’s cool enough to really enjoy soup. Meanwhile, Angie is mixing up the first of two batches of challah dough. Thanksgiving rolls need to be a little extra special, after all. Oh, and Steven requested caramel pecan sticky buns for Thanksgiving morning. No better dough for those than the sweet challah dough!

On my bookshelf...some non-fiction that I really need to read. I so very much prefer fiction.

Projects...Christmas! ‘Nuf said. 

Sounds of the moment...something pounding or banging in the background. Not sure what those kids are doing. (I did mention they’re silly, right?)

From Hibbard Academy...the week off. Olivia is finishing up a few things, and I’m working on some planning for the coming weeks. But, otherwise, we’re enjoying the break.

A favorite thing from last week...flexibility that resulted in a good Saturday with the Hibbard side of the family. And shopping successes.

The planner...work, Christmas projects, and school prep the first part of this week. Read spent yesterday with Steven and will be back tomorrow, so they had fun. We haven’t quite decided yet how we’re spending Thanksgiving Day, other than putting up Christmas decorations in the afternoon. Then we’ll do Browning Thanksgiving in Judsonia on Friday.

Because visuals are fun...my pretty girls.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, November 18, 2014

In the great outdoors...beautiful, wonderful, invigorating COLD! (Okay, so it’s so wonderful because I like winter but I get to enjoy it from the comfort of my warm house. Yes, I’m spoiled.)

Within our four walls...a renewed dedication to getting up and going in the morning with diligent exercise. Ugh. (We WILL feel better. We WILL feel better. We WILL feel better…if we just go back to bed. Oh, wait.)

A heart of thanksgiving...for my incredible husband and precious children. For the cold. For a working heater. For the sewing machine sitting beside me and the inspiration to sew that hit me last week. For a real week off from school next week. (It’s been a while since we’ve had time off that hasn’t been tied up with something.)

A heart of prayer...it seems there are continually health and relationship needs all around me (and right here with me). There is need for wisdom. There is need for clarity of mind and open hearts. And I know I’m being vague – we can always pray for these things. But in this moment I can think of specific ways to pray these prayers over a dozen people – and more come to mind with every word I type. Oh, the needs are so real. Will I be diligent to pray?

Random observations...growth spurts. Angie has officially hit her big pre-teen one. Big time. She could potentially catch her Aunt Alli by Christmas. This is her first height goal. Her second will be to pass her mommy.

My silly children...are pinging. They have been for a couple of weeks. Now I realize why it is that people in the north hate the winter so much. It has nothing to do with the cold, really. It has to do with the children who cannot be sent outside to work off the massive amount of energy pent up inside them. But, we don’t really want to grow calloused toward our sweet children, now do we? So, we determine instead that we hate the cold. I could see that happening to me, too. Yes, even cold-loving and heat-hating me. But I still love winter.

Thoughts from the kitchen...today will be Spicy Orange Chicken, a Chinese dish. With Angie’s help. Yum! Almost makes me excited about cooking. Almost.

On my bookshelf...oh yeah, I did plan to be reading. Oops! I started sewing instead.

Projects...I have the cutest projects going on! But, I can’t show you yet. Not until after Christmas. All I can do is share pictures of the first few stacks of fabric. Think maybe I’m doing some girly sewing first? I’m still waiting for a couple of notions for the project, so I’m not 100% if my idea (I would choose a project without a pattern!) will work. But, it looks promising! And cute!

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Sounds of the moment...quiet. The kids are finishing chores. There is music in the background and the tapping of keyboards. But otherwise, it’s just quite. For now. The pinging will resume as soon as chores are done, I’m sure.

From Hibbard Academy...conversions for Olivia. Thanks to Steve Demme and Math-U-See, I now can remember how to convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius and back again. In fact, I can now do it in my head. It’s amazing!

A favorite thing from last week...the freedom to spend Saturday indoors because all of the yard work was done.

The planner...busy week. Doug has a meeting tonight, and I will hopefully dig either into writing or sewing while he’s gone. Church tomorrow night, providing a meal and childcare for a foster parent meeting on Thursday, and our Hibbard Thanksgiving celebration on Saturday.

Because visuals are fun...Let’s see. Should I share this one?

All ready to hunt…or maybe not QUITE all ready.

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Or this one…cowgirl keeping warm on a cold day (even though there is a heater right under her – I think she just wanted the coziness).

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Or maybe even this…learning to use flint and steel to light a fire.

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Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Miracles of This World

by Olivia Hibbard

I often ponder the miracles of this world;

How the sun doth rise to glory

Arcing over us, from east to west it races.

How the eagles soar

And how dedicated to each other.

The purring of a soft cat

As loving claws insert and green eyes plead.

The beauty of the bending tree

In gusts of wind so ferocious.

The way of a dog with its master,

His viciousness at any invaders.

And how they happen I cannot say,

But I praise God for these wonders.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Now Available in Print!

I’m so excited! Doug’s Advent book is now available on Amazon in print and is Prime eligible, for those of you with a membership. Here’s the link:

A Journey to the Manger: The Places of Advent

(As an additional note, in a few days you should be able to purchase the print version and get a discount on the Kindle version if you want it as well.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In the great outdoors...a cold front is rolling in. For now, it’s still pretty warm and muggy, but that’s not supposed to last. I’m excited!

Within our four walls...a bit of goofiness, which makes me wonder if morning chores will ever get done.

A heart of thanksgiving...for our incredible veterans, including my grandfather and father-in-law, as well as so many friends.

A heart of prayer...for friends who are dealing with family issues right now, issues of many sorts – relational, health, financial, decision-making, disappointments, work issues and on and on. It’s all around us.

Random observations...so, I started this post first thing this morning. I just skipped this particular starter. Now it is after 9:00PM and I’m just getting back to it. One of those days. But a productive day, thankfully!  

My silly children...are goofy. Wait, I mentioned that, didn’t I? Well, I’m not sure that there are words to convey the reality of the situation. It’s like they sense the coming weather and are behaving as if they’ve already been cooped up for weeks in anticipation of being cooped up for a few days.

Thoughts from the kitchen...pulling something from the freezer today. I love it when we cook enough to put an entire meal into the freezer for later!

On my bookshelf...Christmas books! I’m so excited! I intend to actually read them at the appropriate time this year. Let’s see, I have Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putnam, and Sarah Sundin. I also have The Women of Christmas, a Christmas devotional by Liz Curtis Higgs. But the one I’m most excited about is not on my bookshelf – it’s on my Kindle. It’s entitled A Journey to the Manger: The Places of Advent, and it’s written by none other than the wonderful Doug Hibbard! Clicking on the image below will take you directly to Amazon. (A print version is in the works, but it might not be available by the beginning of Advent. But, even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the free Kindle reading app for computer, tablet, or smartphone and get started!)

Journey to the Manger

Projects...I’ve decided to do a lot less homemade this year because we already have a pretty nice stash of gifts we’ve put away for the kids. But I still want to make a few things! I’m ready to have a day to just sew and create. 

Sounds of the moment...rumbling across the street is drowning out everything else. It looks like they might finally be working on the road that was torn up by construction equipment when the store was going up. The noise is worth it if that’s what they’re doing! Not long ago, they actually worked out the little gravel road that leads to our driveway. It had gotten so bad that it was hard to get in and out after a rain. They dumped four loads of gravel on it before working hard to pack and smooth it. It’s wonderful now! So thankful!

From Hibbard Academy...Angela is learning how to write a research paper while Olivia is finishing up a book in preparation for her next responsive writing assignment and Steven is learning about plurals. The younger two are in a review phase in math, and Olivia is learning about conversions. Angela is studying Korea and Japan and more about the human body. Steven’s enjoying lessons on light while diving into early American exploration, about to get to the first English colonies. This will be the first time our lessons on the Mayflower will coincide with Thanksgiving – that’s kind of neat! Olivia is so independent that it’s hard sometimes to keep up with where she is in history and science. I know she’s finishing up a science module that deals with the history of science. She’s enjoyed it so much that she sent a little note to Dr. Wile (author of the textbook) to let him know. I love that he’s so interactive with “his” students. In history she is somewhere in the late 1600’s/early 1700’s.

A favorite thing from last week...finishing up a major project more quickly than expected. We had a pretty big yard project going on, and I kind of expected it would take at least one more Saturday. Nope! We finished it! Yay!

The planner...fundraising banquet tomorrow for our mobile crisis pregnancy center. That’s about it! I like the looks of that, especially after a couple of very busy weeks.

Because visuals are fun...they all wanted to read the same book for book time. Fortunately, Olivia has a big bed!2014-11-09 20.08.22