Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, November 1, 2016

In the great outdoors...the sun is shining, the tank is clean…oh, wait, maybe not. It’s actually still quite dark outside. Not sure when sunrise is. Cool, but not chilly, and definitely on its way to another warm day. It’s also very, very dry.

Within our four walls...quiet. Olivia just now got up, and Steven and Angie are still a few minutes away from waking up.

A heart of thanksgiving...for enough food to be okay waiting a few extra days for our monthly grocery trip; for found moments to write a bit this week; for libraries and children who love to read; air conditioning, even when we shouldn’t need it.

A heart of prayer...for a growing “in need of salvation” list and needs of friends all around us; for the Choates as they prepare to return to the village on Sunday; for wisdom about a rhythm and a flow of life that will encourage creativity and relationships while also honoring the time-bound work God has placed before us; for rain

Random observations...several weeks ago, I started a Not Quite Ordinary Observations post that never got finished. Just another fly-by month around here! But, in that post, I intended to share the saga of our 3,000 piece puzzle. So, I’ll share it today instead.

When we started it in mid-February, it seemed quite overwhelming.

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We managed to get the top bar done early in March (although I can’t find the picture of this part completely done).

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The rest of the spring and entire summer passed with very little progress. But, in late September, Angie and I restarted. It seemed overwhelming, but we were determined to find little segments to tackle, searching through piles upon piles of pieces to find what we were looking for. I could primarily work on it on Fridays, but Angie worked on it much more frequently. Progress was made much more quickly than we’d ever believed possible.

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Almost TOO quickly! Steven joined in, and I started begging them not to finish. “Oh, we still have a long way to go!” they would say. But, each time I looked huge sections would be complete. Finally, one Monday night, I came home from a meeting to find fewer than 100 pieces remaining! Thinking I wouldn’t have a chance to help at all until that Friday, I made an edict that no one could work on the puzzle without me. Mean old mama.

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But, the next morning, it was taunting us. So, before work and school, all five of us gathered around and finished it together. What was once an overwhelming pile of 3000 pieces is now a gorgeous old map puzzle!

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It is now glued and waiting for us to find an inexpensive way to frame it so we can hang it on the wall.

My silly children...are always a bit extra silly on Mondays. I guess they’re unwinding from Sundays, but the flow of conversation ranges from hilarious to a bit frightening (in a funny way).

Thoughts from the kitchen...There’s a bit of frustration over the menu planning. We thought we were getting ready for real soup season with the cooler temperatures of early October. While low to mid 80s aren’t too warm for soup, there’s just something about really being able to relish a bowl of soup in cold weather. But, as I look at the kids’ suggestions for meals, at least half of each child’s choices are soup requests – proof that we’re ready, even if the weather won’t cooperate. So, we’ll be menu planning with hope.

No clue what we’re having for lunch today, but by this evening I’ll know what the plan is for the rest of the month!

On my bookshelf...The Shattered Vigil, Patrick W. Carr’s newest book, releases today. His storylines are captivating, but also complex – and we love them! But the complexity means that, before reading book two in the series, I need a refresher on the details. I got the prequel novella, By Divine Right, read several weeks ago, and I’m about halfway through my reread of book one, The Shock of Night.

Meanwhile, I finished God in My Everything, and am now on to The Rest of God, an equally refreshing, challenging, and motivating read.

Oh, and The Captive Heart, the novel I mentioned last month, was definitely a worthwhile read.

Projects...the desk is still a mess. Yes, even a month later. I’m determined that it WILL get clean this week!

Sounds of the moment...I said earlier that it was quiet, but really it’s not. Modern life is rather noisy. I hear electricity buzzing, cars flying by on Arch street in a constant rumble, the refrigerator making occasional noises as the ice tray is refilled. Then, there are the sweet morning noises of Olivia chattering quietly with the cat, and the not-so-sweet noises of one cat in demand mode and another in full-fledged hyper mode. All in all, even a supposedly quiet morning is rather noisy. No wonder some people like to tent camp in the middle of nowhere.

From the Hibbard Academy...we made it through our first nine weeks last month. Now, we are just trying to plug along until Thanksgiving break. Everyone is ready for a true break – one that does not involve having to be somewhere.

A favorite thing from last week...enjoying Arsenic and Old Lace together Saturday evening. Such a fun movie!

The planner...I have a church meeting this morning, then we have to grocery shop at some point this week. Saturday is the annual East End parade, which concludes in our church parking lot. We’ll be waiting for the parade-goers, ready to pass out water, coffee, hot chocolate (if it’s cool enough), and popcorn.

Because visuals are fun...he loves his humans.

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And his ball.

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And his blankie.

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Then there’s this little monster.

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Her name is Rose, and she is Angie’s new lap cat. She’s sweet, and she does love laps. But, she’s also a 6-9 month old kitten who is still very much a kitten. A very hyper kitten. We look forward to the day she starts to settle down a bit!

For the record, Rose has no interest in meeting Cookie. She and Smokey are getting used to each other. Rose antagonizes Smokey, and Smokey in turn shows Rose who’s boss!


Julie said…
Love the visuals, and that puzzle, wow!! 😊
Oh, that puzzle! Wow! Well done, Team Hibbard!
I'm amazed at how much reading you get done! I'm chewing through a book for study and reading ONE novel for fun :D
It's definitely soup season here - cold and rainy, most days. But today is PIZZA DAY, and there was much rejoicing (especially on the part of the boys ;D)
Glad you're back to posting!
Julie (the other Julie!)

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