Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A funny story from Cub Scouts

One of the ways I spend my time is helping with the Cub Scout Pack that Steven is a part of (or with the Boy Scout Troop in the same organization). They meet at a church in Stuttgart. A couple of meetings ago, one of the den leaders had arranged a visit from the local paramedics to talk first aid and show the ambulance to the boys.

After a little bit of time in the meeting room talking about first aid and paramedic work, they took the guys down to the parking lot to show them the ambulance. And the transport cot, including how you strap someone to it.

Did I mention that there was a church board meeting set for around the same time? Where the decision-makers and pastor for this church were coming to the church offices, housed right next door?

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Because they rolled up about the time the paramedics had one of the boys strapped to the cot, the lights flashing and the siren on for the ambulance.

That’s a memory worth preserving. The pastor and an abundance of serious people headed to a committee meeting were quite concerned. Good times Smile

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, March 24, 2015

In the great outdoors...day two of beautiful sunshine and temps in the 70’s. The temps are supposed to last through tomorrow, although we will probably lose the sunshine; then the next plummet arrives. Hopefully not too much of a plummet.

Within our four walls...open windows and flexibility to enjoy the sun.

A heart of thanksgiving...for the sunshine. (Yes, that’s three mentions of the sun back to back. Can you tell I really needed this?) For life in the country where we can really see the stars. Oh my – they were beautiful this morning! For Steven’s chance to spend the day with his friend Read. Two happy boys!

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A heart of prayer...for upcoming surgeries and other health needs of church members; for several difficult family situations; for wisdom about our family’s schedules as we try to make some adjustments.

Random observations...I’m not sure you want to know what is running through my mind. It can be scary.

My silly children...had a great time splashing through the yard yesterday. Most of the back yard was an inch or two deep, but it was impossible to stay inside on such a glorious day. So, rain boots were donned, and much fun was had. It looks like the trees are finally deciding to wake up from their winter slumber, so they’re finally starting to drink heavily and suck up some of the rain water. The yard looks much better today – muddy rather than pond-like. The rain boots will be needed for mud instead of water today!

Thoughts from the kitchen...once again, a desperate need to menu plan. Today will probably be leftover lasagna.

On my bookshelf...the need for a plan. So many books – I just stare at them wondering what to tackle next. I have a deadline for the novel I’m reading right now, so it will be my only book for a little while longer. But, after that I hope to get back to non-fiction during my work breaks every afternoon and fiction at night as I unwind before bed. A good plan makes me smile. Now to successfully implement it!

Projects...I finished a sock! I’ve made it through the heel-turning on the second one. Olivia walked around wearing the single sock the other day. Goofy girl. 

Sounds of the moment...Steven and Read playing; music (currently country – who knows what will be next; I love our eclectic tastes!); keyboards tapping.

From Hibbard Academy...a light load this week. We’ve had so much gloominess this winter that it’s hard to not utilize our flexibility to enjoy a few days of sunshine. Yesterday Olivia did the primary core necessities while Angie and Steven helped me catch up on their grading. Today, Angie and I will do some read-aloud, and she might do a few other things. Olivia will work on core stuff. Steven will probably fit in a bit of independent work, since Read has some worksheets he needs to do as well – snow day makeup work. Then I’ll kick them all outside!

A favorite thing from last week...a Saturday off. We needed that.

The planner...we were hoping to enjoy a zoo trip this week, but it seems that the weather and our schedule are not going to line up. Instead, we’ll enjoy a delightful week of few obligations, ending with a birthday celebration this weekend with Doug’s parents.

Because visuals are fun...Jack decided he needed a perch, so he climbed from Olivia’s arms up onto her shoulder. Shortly after this, he launched himself from her arms all the way to the couch (probably a yard and a half). Not bad for an old cat!

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, March 17, 2015…or, um, Thursday, March 19, 2015. Yes, it’s taking me three days to get this done this week.

In the great outdoors...spring! Beautiful sunshine and perfect temperatures. Doug and I walked for the first time in a looooong time this morning (Tuesday), and it was so delightful. The morning stars are amazing here on the prairie. I greatly prefer to walk in the light, but the stars make it worth a pre-dawn walk.

Okay, so Wednesday brought rain and much cooler temps that is still around this morning.

Within our four walls...open windows and the digging out of some warm-weather clothing.

Thursday…back to closed windows and warmer clothes.

A heart of thanksgiving...for sunshine, for my family, for friendships, for technology.

A heart of prayer...for a friend experiencing heartbreak; several dealing with health issues of their own or watching family members go through them; for the Choates in their last weeks in the Solomon Islands.

Random observations...I’m not wearing green (Tuesday). But the yard is. Practically overnight. Amazing what a little sunshine will do!

My silly children...are LOVING getting to go back outside. They donned their boots and slogged happily through the back yard Monday & Tuesday before the rain returned.

Thoughts from the kitchen...probably leftovers today.

On my bookshelf...a secret. Actually, it’s not on my bookshelf. It’s on my Kindle. And it’s fun! Okay, so that’s not very nice, so I’ll tell you what’s on the desk – Tricia Goyer’s Teen Mom. A stack of them – one for me to read and the rest to give away. So excited!

Projects...almost finished with my first sock! Just need to finish the toe section. It’s nice and chunky, just like I’d hoped. Olivia has worn holes in her house shoes, so I’m going to let her have the socks. She’s excited!

And, I need to get the robes made that the girls requested last year. I’m so slow. Must get better. 

Sounds of the moment...very distant music; tapping keyboards; humming of electricity – it’s really loud, isn’t it? Sometimes I’d love to ditch electricity just for the quiet. I think I could get used to doing without a good number of electric things. It would be hard at first to live without the computer and Internet, but it could be done with some life adjustments. But air conditioning, fans for air circulation, the refrigerator, and bright lights for dark days – those would be the hardest to give up.

From Hibbard Academy...plugging along, making good progress. It’s almost time to start planning for next year. Now THAT’s fun!

A favorite thing from last week...having gown-up, “won’t melt” kids in the misting rain on Saturday. There was a state convention sponsored missions event at the Little Rock Zoo on Saturday and the weather was a bit icky. Rarely a hard rain, but a constant misty drizzle. The kids just pulled up their hoods and kept right on going. Made for a fun day despite the weather!

The planner...a pretty normal week. Full, but normal.

Because visuals are fun...my sweet youth girls. Love these young ladies!

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, March 10, 2015

In the great outdoors...dark and rainy, but not quite so oppressive after getting to enjoy a few days of sunshine last week!

Within our four walls…right now, getting ready for the morning. By the time I get this published, it will probably have changed dramatically!

I was right…now we’re winding down for the evening. Kids are headed to their rooms for unwind/book time.

A heart of thanksgiving...for friendships; for time away with Doug; for a renewed energy that I haven’t felt in a while.

A heart of prayer...for several friends with doctor’s appointments today; for farmers to have wisdom as a new season rolls around; for wisdom for our family.

Random observations...this article hits the mark: MKs and Relationships

My silly children...were actually happy to have us back home on Sunday. I love that our children really do like to be with us. 

Thoughts from the kitchen...spaghetti today. And Angela cooked. I like having big kids who like to cook. Now if I could just get them to like menu planning…

On my bookshelf...a variety of books. Need to get back to my reading plan.

Projects...Dixie Jackson Missions Offering writing; learning to knit socks (fun – and much easier than expected!); hoping to get back to more sewing soon. 

Sounds of the moment...music playing.

From Hibbard Academy...back to school! Olivia is getting a good start in Algebra I, and we are all progressing well through the respective cores. Read-aloud time remains our favorite, and I’m already pondering just how to keep Olivia in the read-aloud loop next year when there are no longer any scheduled in her curriculum. Read-aloud time with each child is a precious thing.

A favorite thing from last week...a weekend away with Doug. No real plans beyond Table for Two Friday night (which was fantabulous!). Just us doing whatever we wanted on whatever schedule felt good at the time. It was absolutely wonderful!

The planner...back to routine this week after being off school last week. It looks like we’ll actually even be able to have church tomorrow night! We’ve had to cancel Wednesday night activities three weeks in a row due to weather.

Then, this weekend, we’ll enjoy Families on Mission day at the Little Rock zoo.

Because visuals are fun...2015-02-21 14.22.22

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In the great outdoors...fog. We have been three weeks without sunshine. Now I can just begin to understand my friends who live in areas where the sun shines so little. Over the past three months, we’ve had very little sunshine, and we’re about to go crazy. And that’s just been three months!

Within our four walls...calm, amazingly. This morning Steven and Olivia were pinging, so I’m actually quite surprised by their calmness. I think they’re being respectful of the fact that Angie is recovering from being sick and I have had a bit of a headache this morning. Sweet kids.

A heart of thanksgiving...for the rain and snow we’ve had lately. Despite the clouds, it was turning out to be a rather dry winter, which wasn’t boding well for the farmers. We’re getting the moisture now!

A heart of prayer...for sunshine; that the wetness does dry up sufficiently for farmers to get into their fields in a timely fashion; for the next winter storm, scheduled to come in tomorrow, to not be bad. (I’ll be honest, that’s a pretty selfish prayer, as Doug and I are supposed to get away this weekend, as are our friends Eric & Jennifer – separate trips, just similar timing. Anyway, at first we were just supposed to get snow, which wouldn’t have been a big deal. Now they’re saying mostly ice. Lots of it. That’s a problem.)

Random observations...I love my job. Yes, that’s super random, but I just saw an e-mail pop up with some most recent hashing out/brainstorming. I work with some of the most creative, most incredible people, and I love being a “team” with them. We all throw our separate talents into the pot, blend them together, honor the insight of others, and come up with things we could never come up with on our own. And everyone there knows it. Everyone knows this is no one-man show. And everyone hungers to honor God in the process. Wow. I just love seeing what God does every single day with HEDUA!

My silly children...are getting louder. And sillier sounding. Much laughter. Should I be scared?

Thoughts from the kitchen...lots of chicken noodle soup has been consumed around our house lately, partially because of the cold and partially because Angie hasn’t felt well and it’s great comfort food. I think today we’ll be back to a soup with more of a kick.

On my bookshelf...actually, I’m more excited about what’s coming soon than what’s there now. Tricia Goyer’s Teen Mom releases today, and the next book in Brock Eastman’s Quest for Truth series comes out in a few months (my kids are SOOOO excited!), as does Patrick Carr’s free e-book preceding his newest series. Ahh…such excitement! I love books!

Projects...I needed a new “keep my hands busy” knitting project. I love to knit while Doug’s reading aloud to us, while we watch movies as a family (things I’ve seen before that don’t require my full attention), or while Steven is writing out his dictation work or doing math drills. Just a few minutes here or there, but it’s so fun to watch a project begin to take shape while I’m also enjoying my family. Right now I’m learning to knit socks. I found a fun pattern for a nice, chunky, warm pair of socks – and it’s a pattern specifically designed as a tutorial for first-time sock knitters. Perfect! 

Sounds of the moment...the kids playing. Yes, it’s getting louder. I’m about to go find out what they’re up to.

From Hibbard Academy...planning week. I’m a planner. It’s nice to have the Sonlight instructor’s guides all laid out for me and to have other curricula that are easy to dive into. But, I want to have checklists for Angie & Steven and I like to have Olivia’s work all entered into My Well Planned Day so she can easily call it up and check off her assignments. We all work better that way. And, if I get it all entered into MWPD – even the assignments for Angie & Steven, it’s really easy to make adjustments when life alters the plan. So, I would love to finally be six weeks ahead on school planning. But I haven’t been. I’ve been going week to week. This week I hope to get ahead. I’m almost done with March for Olivia, and I even have some of her stuff planned on into April. Hers is the most time-consuming. I should have Angie & Steven taken care of by the end of the week. YAY!

A favorite thing from last week...knowing that this week’s break was coming. We needed it.

The planner...planning week, Doug at a retreat until tomorrow (unless the winter storm warning causes them to end early), then a weekend away (and completely unplugged) with Doug.

Because visuals are fun...our snow experiment from last week – determining the actual water content of the snow. Can you tell it was a very, very dry snow? Very atypical for AR snows, but it sure was fun!2015-02-25 18.10.39

Monday, March 2, 2015

Giveaway! Dear Magazine

We interrupt our regular blog schedule for an extra special giveaway!

If you follow me on social dear.pr_.300x250media, you have probably seen my references to Dear Magazine, a brand new magazine for Christian young women. Now, here's your chance to win a subscription!

Every young woman is dear. But not every young woman realizes this truth. Jenny Keliher has a passion to encourage young women to discover that they are dear. She wants to “show young women that they are dear in every sense of the word and in every area of their lives.”

So, who is Jenny? Daughter of Well Planned Gal Rebecca Keliher, Jenny is a young woman who has been taught to chase her passions and use her talents to God’s glory.

In an effort to reach teenagers world-wide with the message that they are dear to God, Jenny has created Dear Magazine. This beautiful product combines Jenny’s heart for the Lord with her love for literature, baking, and design.

Designed for young women ranging in age from thirteen to twenty-one, Dear covers everything from faith to fashion, from relationships to entertainment. But nothing about these topics fits the societal norm. Instead, each article reminds young women that everything they do should reflect the dear woman God has created them to be.

In each issue of Dear, young women will find much to challenge them and spark their interest, such as:
– the biography of a historical hero, beginning with Amy Carmichael
– women’s awareness topics
– do-it-yourself sections
– recipes
– fashion tips
– spiritual growth encouragement
– encouragement and advice for growing in maturity
– discussions on relationships with friends and family
– entertainment suggestions

Would you like to learn more? Feel free to explore www.mydearmag.com to see a preview of Issue 1. And be sure to enter my giveaway for a free one-year subscription!

PRODUCT PREVIEW: http://hedua.com/ga/dearp

PRODUCT LINK: http://hedua.com/ga/dear

Click here to enter the giveaway!! Contest ends at midnight, Sunday, March 8.