Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, September 1, 2015

In the great outdoors...a few wispy clouds in an otherwise clear sky; Smokey Cat sitting on the outside window sill right in front of me; hummingbirds coming and going from the feeder (I think one or two of them are becoming a little protective of the feeder!); and a still, humid feel to the air (the sunroom windows pretty much stay open now, even on hot days).

Within our four walls...morning chores are being finished up. I think Steven finished his and decided to pick our next puzzle. He loves having a puzzle going. Fortunately, we have a nice puzzle keeper that slides under the couch, so we can keep one going without taking up a table.

A heart of thanksgiving...for the cool, dry second half of August that we enjoyed before another humid heat wave flowed in; for children who really do love to honor God with their actions; for children who love being with their family.

A heart of needs for several friends and loved ones; our precious church families – both in East End and in Almyra; so much more – it’s really hard to summarize what’s on my heart right now!

Random observations...I started this yesterday, but didn’t get it done before school. If it doesn’t get done in the morning, it just doesn’t seem to get done! So, here’s to second chances!

Meanwhile, a mile’s walk in our new community is very different from a mile’s walk in Almyra! There are these things called hills.

Speaking of hills…

My silly daughter...shared something rather surprising the other day. She said she missed the flat prairie. I’ve always loved hills and mountains. I grew up in the mountain region of north Jordan – one of the most beautiful spots in the Middle East (so declared by many visitors, not just those of us who lived there and loved it).

So, when my sweet child pops up and says that she prefers the flat, it comes as a bit of a surprise. And a reminder that I should never assume anything about the interests of my children. They are their own personalities! I notice that on the big things. But sometimes I forget when it comes to little details like flat vs. hills.

Thoughts from the kitchen...I actually have something on the menu plan calendar for every day except Saturday. Yay!

In other news, we got a bean pot for review. Interestingly enough, the packaging for this bean pot seems to assume that you already know all you need to know about cooking in a bean pot. No use and care. No “getting started” tips. Nothing. Just a few Mexican recipes, and that’s that.

Oh, and a link to a website that claims to be “for more information” but really is just order information for more of their stuff.

Not a great marketing technique, for the record.

On my bookshelf...Doug convinced me the other day that I need to stop putting off my fiction reads. I’d been trying to make sure to finish a biography (Unbroken is long, and I don’t have a whole lot of reading slots in my week!) before getting back to a novel, since we’re insisting that our kids read a biography a month.

But, he reminded me that I don’t have nearly the reading time that they do. They read several books a week, and need to be reminded to challenge themselves. Novels are my primary form of relaxation, and I keep putting them off.

So, my sweet hubby reminded me that I rarely read fluff, even reading fiction. I read fiction that challenges me to think or that teaches me something new (historical fiction is awesome!). And I’m constantly reading biographies aloud to the children. And because I rarely read fluff, it’s okay to relax with fiction instead of always having to accept a challenge for my reading time.

So, while I’m still making sure to keep non-fiction in my rotation (really enjoying Everyday Grace by Jessica Thompson and I will be finishing Unbroken), I’m thankful to my hubby for reminding me that I need to not ignore my need to pull back and do something enjoyable.

He takes good care of me.

And, meanwhile, one of our favorite fantasy authors just released a free novella – By Divine Righttoday! It’s taking all my willpower not to just drop everything and dive in this morning. But book time tonight is definitely planned!

Projects...hoping to finish the semester’s school planning in the next week or so. Then I want to get my writing routine re-established. After that, I’m going to start considering sewing projects. 

Sounds of the moment…(Monday) There was just a clatter as Olivia’s favorite mug fell to the floor. Thankfully it was just a clatter, not a shatter! Meanwhile, the dishwasher is running, and I’m about to hear the washer as well.

(Tuesday) The washer is running again. But the biggest sound is the birds through the open windows. So much singing. And the buzzing sound of the hummingbirds darting around my window. Really, really loving the hummingbirds!

From Hibbard Academy...week four started yesterday! Monday is our “light” day. We do spatial reasoning puzzles together, spend a few minutes grading, and then they just work quietly while I work on school planning. It’s a good fit after busy Sundays.

A favorite thing from last week...kind of an odd one…watching my children on Friday.

I know I’ve mentioned this on Facebook, but I don’t know that I’ve mentioned it here. Doug’s dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer a few weeks ago. Fortunately, they believe they found it early enough to give a very positive prognosis – surgery, followed by topical chemo flushes in the bladder for prevention.

Well, last Friday he had the surgery and first chemo flush (and it all went very smoothly). Our incredible children got up at 5AM, spent three and a half hours in the car driving to Shreveport, then spent the next eight and a half hours in waiting rooms with only the brief break of heading down to the hospital cafeteria for a quick lunch. They did school work and then entertained themselves without a hitch the whole time.

Naturally, they had to release much of their built-up restlessness with extreme silliness the next day, but I was just amazed by them on Friday. They were such a blessing!

The planner...last night Steven & Doug had Cub Scouts while the girls and I went to a planning/get-to-know you session with Olivia’s AHG squad. It was a fun hang out and visit night, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the other girls a little bit. They’re all sweethearts!

Let’s see…the rest of the week is pretty normal. Nothing special. Nope. No birthdays or anything. At least, that’s what we keep trying to say. It’s hard to convince a certain child that she doesn’t have a birthday coming up.

Speaking of the soon-to-be birthday girl…

Because visuals are fun...Angela is now fascinated by every quilt she sees. She definitely has the bug! She still needs to put the binding on two quilts that are almost done, but she said it’s too hot right now. I don’t blame her! So, instead she’s piecing a new one – her first one to do start to finish (planning and all!) by herself. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

2015-08-29 12.16.27


Woo-hoo, Angie! Feed that quilting bug :D And I hear ya about it being too hot to quilt. I've been picking away at something all summer and have made very little progress. But now that it's cool and rainy I have new inspiration :D

Hope Doug's dad holds up through the treatment and has a good recovery. Kudos to your fabulous kids for making such a good day of it :D

Can't wait to SEE YOU next month!


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