Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, December 15, 2015

In the great outdoors...indecision. Is it supposed to be cold or warm? Humid or dry? Yep, it’s December in Arkansas.

It reminds me of December 17 years ago (among others, but that’s the most definite one for me). Christmas was on a Friday that year, too. Three weeks before Christmas, we were in shorts, sweating in the humidity as we visited a tree farm to pick out our Christmas tree. Six days before Christmas, it was more pleasant humidity-wise, but I was still comfortable in my sleeveless dress. Christmas Eve? Ice storm. Yep.

At least right now the sunshine is very decisive! And beautifully abundant! 

Within our four walls...getting the day started, each of us at our own pace, it seems. I have a fuzzy companion helping me get some writing done.

When the kids were smaller, I was the only one this cat wanted to be around. But, as the kids grew and became more tolerable to be around (translation: stopped chasing her around on cute, chubby toddler legs and started just calmly loving on her), she began to prefer them. But, for the past few weeks, she’s been back to pressing up against me whenever I’m sitting down. And woe to me if I try to move her!!

No, I’m not a huge cat lover. But, she’s a pretty tolerable cat.

A heart of thanksgiving...for the ease of transitioning back and forth between A/C and heat – not to mention the blessing of even having those luxuries! Why yes, we have needed both this week – or maybe even on the same day.

For sunshine. I love the rain, but the sunshine is a huge blessing this week.

For my diligent, talented, thoughtful, learning, growing children. They amaze me daily.

For my incredibly faithful husband. We will celebrate 17 years of marriage this week, and he’s ready to go for 17+ more. Wow.

A heart of prayer...for our music minister, Bro Ed, as he undergoes unexpected bypass surgery today. For a friend as she also faces surgery today. For my mother-in-law as she has surgery coming up next week. Seems ‘tis the season for surgery!

And, still, for the Choates as they see God’s hand working in their provision for a return to the Solomon Islands. They still need one-time gifts to help with immediate expenses and a few more pledges for long-term support, but God is definitely answering prayers! Yay!

My silly children...are very, very quiet right now. Very quiet. Hmmmm…

Thoughts from the kitchen...So, yesterday I was problem-solving and lost track of time. I didn’t have anything planned for lunch and didn’t have a clue where to start. Doug calls – on his way home – and asks, “Need a plan?” Yes, please! So, over the phone, he dictates a delightful way to combine and use leftovers for a whole new meal. Just like that. I toss it all together, and voila – a meal everyone loved.

Oh how I wish my brain could do that with food, but I sure am thankful HIS brain can do it!
As for today? I have several new crock pot dishes to try, so I’m going to see if I have the ingredients on hand to get one of them going today.

On my bookshelf...two books that I’ve read but still need to review. Current read is The Painter’s Daughter, Julie Klassen’s newest release. And, I’m reading Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs. And, of course, my own hubby’s Advent book.

Projects...making great progress on picture sorting, and I cut out one sewing project. Hopefully this week I’ll make a LOT more progress on the Christmas projects. 

Sounds of the I said…quiet. I did just hear a chair squeak. I believe Angie & Steven are doing chores. And Olivia – who ended up awake about an hour earlier than normal – has already finished quiet time, breakfast, and chores and is now enjoying some extra time to write and get a head start on school work.

From Hibbard Academy...a light week. Still getting all necessary core work done to keep us on track, but cutting out some of the superfluous work. You know, the stuff that really is useful for solidifying what is being learned, but doesn’t HAVE to be done all the time. And the last couple of weeks before Christmas need all the help they can get!

A favorite thing from last week...a couple of hours with the Choates to finish off our Saturday. And Joanna’s grandmother – a delightful woman with over 60 years of minister’s wife wisdom – joined them, as they came straight from a wedding. This beloved family’s time in Arkansas is drawing to a close, and I can’t tell you how thankful I am that they choose to bless us by sharing some of those precious remaining hours and days with us. We’ll miss them, but we’re so thankful for the time we have with them right now. They energize us!

The…yeah…we have several things going on this week, but I wrote them down so I wouldn’t have to keep them all in my head. And my planner is…somewhere? Guess I should locate that, because I know there are several to-dos on today’s list. Oh, how much better I do when I actually use my planner.

But, the biggest thing is the aforementioned 17th anniversary. We’re keeping celebration simple this year – just dinner out. I often chuckle because December is an INSANE time for a pastor to have an anniversary. Especially six days before Christmas. But, at the same time, it’s really nice to have a ready-made excuse to look at others and say, “This day is for us. No matter the chaos, we’re pulling back to celebrate each other today.” So, it really is a blessing. Somehow, I think God might have known what He was doing when, on one hot July day, He guided us to plan a wedding for December 19.

Because visuals are fun...Angie had fun meeting Samson, a mini Hereford, last Saturday. 

Look at that face! He loved having his forehead scratched, right between the eyes.

Why yes, they are great pets, from what I’ve read. And sure, Angie, you can have one – just as soon as you come up with about $1500, plus money for feed, plus about five acres of land for grazing. Sure!

But, he was definitely cute!

Then there was the llama. Awwwww...


Doug Hibbard said…
Are you sure that picture isn't of Steven and an emperor?
Choate Family said…
Friend, time with your family is always so very sweet and refreshing. Thanks for your prayers as we get ready to return to the Solomon Islands!

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