Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

Something about Today…Tuesday, September 12, 2017

It’s chilly. I love it!

Something about the Week

It’s mostly routine. And I’m discovering something about these routine weeks. After several months of chaos, my brain is having to retrain itself to handle routine. Work and the to-do list are no different, but it seems like the press is a little lighter. There’s room to breathe in routine weeks. Which is an odd feeling. And that can cause the brain to have to readjust in order to maintain productivity. Yes, that is definitely the struggle in these routine weeks.

But I’ll take it. Because I really like the routine!

Something I Have Observed

I make little notes and use abbreviations in my planner. They seem perfectly logical at the time, and I’m certain they will be perfect reminders when I return to look at them. Except that when I come back, they aren’t so logical. Instead, they look like they are written in a foreign language or an unbreakable code! You’d think I’d learn, but no. I keep on doing it.

Something I Have Read or Heard

“If you want to steward every season and derive the full benefit of each, give thanks in all things, and give thanks for all things. Train yourself in this. It doesn’t mean pretending everything in your life is good. It means trusting God, trusting him always, that he is able and willing to work all things, even the worst things, together for good.”

- Mark Buchanan, Spiritual Rhythm

It’s not new. It’s not earth-shattering. But somehow I need to be reminded constantly of this truth.

Something on My Mind

Hurricanes, wildfires, needs of friends, miscellaneous family needs

Something I’m Thankful for

The coolness of the last two weeks, growth, family togetherness

Something about My Kids

I really need to do more jotting down the funny things they do. Olivia did something last week that was so funny! We enjoyed it immensely. Now I’ve forgotten it. Oh how I love my big kids, though!

This was a cute thing. We had a little friend over for a little while last week. Steven helped him with homework while I worked. He came over a few minutes into it and said, “Wow, Mommy! It’s been a long time since my work was that easy!” I couldn’t help but laugh!

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Something I’m Working on

Rethinking the fiction writing. I have missed it so much – it’s been months since I’ve touched it. But I also want to get back to being more regular about writing on my blogs. It’s just a matter of choosing to spend fifteen minutes even when I don’t want to touch it unless I have an hour or more. I just won’t have that amount of time in this stage of life.

Meanwhile, I’m determining what I’m going to make for Christmas so I can get started on that. So many fun things to do!

Something from Hibbard Academy

A couple of weeks ago, I was overwhelmed. Still so much to do on the kids’ school planning. Then I made a discovery – I had not noted the things I’d already completed of Steven’s planning! Then, one night I got a lot more done than expected! As of right now, I have one thing left to plan: Olivia’s second semester of literature. That’s it! Ahhhhhh!!

Something That Makes Me Smile

“I have a birthday gift card! And it’s on sale!” – Angela

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Something Coming

We get to participate in an encouraging “Date Night” activity at church this weekend. Looking forward to it!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Happy 14th, Angela!

How does a child grow up so much in one year? This year our sweet Angela has definitely become a young lady.


For nearly two years, Angie explored sides of her personality that somewhat obscured the princess side of her nature. She was no less feminine, but she wasn’t doing nearly as much dressing up and showing off her prissy side. In the last few months, though, the experimentation has settled and she has learned to merge the new discoveries with the princess that has dominated her nature since birth.


Angela’s love for anything sewing related has continued. When she outgrew her last antebellum dress, we went to buy several yards of hot pink fabric so she could make a new one. And make it she did. I intended to help her, but she had it done herself in no time!


She still loves quilting and is constantly creating new designs. But, she’s waiting for it to get cooler again before piecing a new one. In the meantime, she is constantly knitting or crocheting something. Her hope is to experiment with creating items she can sell for various fundraisers, whether for camp, mission trips, missions giving, or whatever other need arises. After seeing how much other people charge even for simple patterns, she’s realizing she might be able to create and sell patterns as well as products. It is fun to watch her and her big sister put their heads together to plot such endeavors. She has also explored writing, especially songs and mysteries. But, her primary love will always be the sewing, I think.


Cowie, who is also celebrating her 14th birthday, is now quite the matriarch. Angie and Cowie manage a rather large herd of stuffed cows. Somehow they ALL fit on her bed with her!


Our princess would still rather curl up with a book than interact with a group (Her reading goal for this year, including school books, is nearly a book a day! Yikes!), and enjoys a few close friends more than a party. But, she is learning more and more how to be social and interactive – and how to handle those moments when she needs a recharge but also needs to be around people.


Pretty flowers are attracting Angela’s attention more and more. She actually enjoys keeping the iris bed clear of weeds and has been brainstorming ways to improve it. And, she wants to begin learning about other flowers and how to grow them well.


She has never before been one to care about taking anything apart or discovering how things work. But, she’ll explore a flower, analyze a sweater, or devour a new quilt pattern, considering how she can incorporate the beauty or design into her own creativity.


Oh, and have I mentioned the braids? Angela has a whole Pinterest board devoted to braids. She tries them out on her semi-willing big sister model. Angela is the only one (other than Mom, of course) permitted to mess with Olivia’s hair, and although Olivia is not always overly enthusiastic about Angie’s experiments, she always allows them (well, except for the big bows – she’s not too happy about Angie’s love for big bows!). Angie can’t do most of the braids on herself, though, so she has gotten Mom involved to ensure that she, too, gets to wear the fancy braids. Needless to say, I’m learning a lot about braids!


The child who used to love dresses had stopped wearing them much for a while, but we eventually realized that it was because she still really loved the little girl styles and hadn’t found a more grown-up alternative. But, lately she has managed to collect a great rotation of long, flowing skirts, thanks to hand-me-downs, gifts, and perfect thrift-store finds. That has become her new style, and I don’t think she’s worn pants or shorts, except for yard work or other such activities, in nearly two months!


But, even if the creative, beautiful, frilly princess is back, the sassy warrior has not disappeared! We still joke that her brain is constantly working to calculate world domination. It’s only a matter of time.


I am so proud of this precious girl who loves to learn, create, and explore, but still struggles to realize just how much talent flows through her veins. As she prepares for high school, she is learning what it means to challenge herself academically and that it is okay to have to work to learn some things. But, it’s obvious that learning will always be relatively easy for her, even if some subjects are less desirable than others.


So, happy 14th birthday, beautiful Angela! We love you, treasure you, and look forward to watching you continue to learn, grow, create, and explore the depths of who God created you to be!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

Something about Today…Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Our plan was to take Angie’s birthday pictures today, anticipating the rain that should start tomorrow. The morning was pretty overcast, so I wasn’t sure how the light would be. But, then the sun came out right on time, and it was perfect! Oh, and we have open windows! Love the fresh air.

It’s life as usual here in our corner of the world, but my heart is heavy for those whose normalcy has disappeared, and especially for those who will have to find a new normal in the coming months.

Something about the Week

The last week of August. Wow! Despite a few “extras” being squeezed into the week, it’s actually a full school/work week here. That seems to be harder to come by than I expected as we have started the new school year.

Something I Have Observed

All of the news of relief work highlights this organization or that, but rarely is Baptist Disaster Relief publicly mentioned. But, they are there doing so much of the grunt work without seeking the praise or acknowledgment. While many were trying to flee Harvey, disaster relief folks were heading south, choosing to face the hurricane so they could be in place to serve as soon as possible.

Something I Have Read or Heard

“I think it’s one of the dirty little secrets of the church of Jesus Christ that many of the things we do are done out of fear and not faith.”

- Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies, Aug 26

Something on My Mind

Those already impacted by the hurricane, of course, but also our beloved farmers. Storms like this are devastating for crops this time of year!

Something I’m Thankful for

The lovely cooler temperatures! Technology that keeps people in touch. Kids that have learned to hold to routine and diligence and get things done. I love that my kids still need me, but that they are also greatly growing in independence in so many ways.

Something about My Kids

Yesterday as we were discussing prayer requests, they all had friends on their hearts. They hungered to find ways to encourage and help strengthen those friends in their walk with Christ. They’ve prayed for friends before, but never quite that way, and it was so precious to me!

Something I’m Working on

I actually sat down to sew on Friday for the first time since Christmas!! It was so fun! And productive! We had been needing better storage for our knives. Actually, we had WAY too many knives. So, we narrowed them down to our steak knives, favorite paring knives, then five other knives. We had talked for a while about making a pouch for those five knives to make storage more versatile.

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So, I dug around in my fabric stash and found some lightweight canvas.

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It wasn’t as heavy as what might be recommended, but I double up the thickness of both colors in hopes of extending the life of the pouch.

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A little ribbon, and we were good to go!

Something from Hibbard Academy

Olivia is taking art history this year, which I anticipated would be an easy half credit. Um, no. It’s a full credit, including three projects, a paper, and an exam each quarter. She doesn’t thoroughly love all of the reading (even though she does enjoy history), but she is definitely engaging beautifully with this course. For her first project she designed a mask and made it from scratch. She just came to me requesting approval for a unique project not in the list – one that stretches her jewelry making skills. I’m excited to see what she comes up with!

Something That Makes Me Smile

Olivia was having issues with her composing software. So, she pulled up her phone for a video chat with her composition “tech support” – aka Benjamin Choate. The kids have absolutely loved having the Choate kids back in the US. We haven’t had a whole lot of opportunities to spend time with them because of the many directions both families are going. But, every couple of days I’ll hear sudden laughter and extra voices, and I’ll see that my kids are huddled around a chat screen or two here with Choate kids huddled around their screens on the other end. Even Sarah, who recently moved off to college, has been able to join in for a 3-way a time or two! I love the enduring friendship between the seven kids, and I’m so thankful for the technology that keeps us connected whether we are separated by an ocean or by schedules.

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Something Coming

Let’s see…someone has a birthday coming up soon. The last one of the year. My babies are growing up, and I’m loving every minute of it!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Life is Comedy

Olivia, after school yesterday:

I don’t need to watch a comedy, I just need to watch my own life.

I just got irrationally excited because I found my Sharpie.

Poor thing. She had a rough Thursday!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

Something about Today…Thursday, August 24, 2017

It’s cool again! Beautifully so! We opened windows last night and slept with fresh air. Our walk this morning was still a bit humid and still, but when it’s in the 60’s outside humid and still feels delightful after the what we’ve had lately.

Other than that, today is a normal Thursday. Which is nice. I like normal very much.

Something about the Week

With the exception of Monday being a bit off schedule, it has been a pretty routine week. That has been nice, especially after a summer of chaos and no routine. It does seem like there’s one off day every week, and the calendar indicates that will continue for a while – definitely through September. But, we have still been able to settle into the new school year well.

Something I Have Observed

Our cat Smokey loves hot weather. When it is warm, she does not want to be indoors. At all. She comes in for a few minutes in the morning and evening to eat and then begs to go right back out. She simply loves it outdoors. But, as the weather gets colder, it will be almost impossible to get her to go outside. She would much rather stay indoors and fuss at Angela’s cat all day long!

Something I Have Read or Heard

So many good thoughts lately! But, I think the one that is sticking with me the most right now is from our recently finished spiritual disciplines study.

“Because life never settles down, and since we will always feel as though we have more to do than time to do it, if we are ever going to make progress in godliness through the Spiritual Disciplines we must do so when life is like it is now.”

- Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney

Something on My Mind

I’m having one of those weeks when it’s hard to truly pinpoint what is on my mind. Many thoughts whirling and twirling as I try to continue to catch up for the summer AND move on into the fall. There are several needs on my heart and mind for our church, our friends and loved ones, and our family. I don’t say this piously when I say it’s really wonderful to be able to surrender them in prayer – I think I’d completely suffocate without that freedom! Too many thoughts and needs!

Something I’m Thankful for

The promise of fall!!! Friends who aren’t scared off by my weirdness. Haha!

Something about My Kids

Their new favorite thing is creating plays. Some improv, some written. Some with just the three of them, some with a group of friends from church. Some original and others based on mash-ups of favorite movies, tv shows, books, etc. All absolutely hilarious! I love imagination.

Something I’m Working on

Still school planning, moving more slowly now that it has to share space with the start of school as well as work and church. So, some days see more progress than others. But, Angie’s school year is done, so that’s one down!

Something from Hibbard Academy

The new year is going well. I didn’t take any first day of school pictures, and we haven’t really done anything to celebrate like we have done in recent years. I think we were all just so glad to see the summer end that the return of routine was celebration enough!

For eleventh grade, Olivia is tackling 20th century history, chemistry, Algebra 2, art history, world lit (focusing on literature from and about Africa, Asia, and Latin America), German, and Bible.

For eight grade, Angela is taking her last pre-high school walk through world history and enjoying general science, Algebra 1, a high school prep lit course, French, and some minor other additions.

Steven is straddling two Sonlight cores this year. First semester he will finish US history, then in January we will start an Eastern Hemisphere study that will cover the rest of fifth grade and all of sixth. He still processing through Dr. Wile’s history-based elementary science curriculum, although we are not trying to stay in line with where we are in history. We’re currently in Science in the Ancient World. Then there is the normal round of math and language arts work, supplemented by things like Wordly Wise, one last year of handwriting, and the Balance Benders that all three kids love.

All three kids are continuing piano through Busy Kids Do Piano, and Steven is adding guitar this year, starting with Kids Guitar Zone to get him kicked off.

I might do a more detailed post later, but I can definitely say we are enjoying everything for now!

Something That Makes Me Smile

Watching my kids enjoy being silly!

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Something Coming

A mostly normal weekend, I think. Church homecoming on Sunday, then another mostly routine week, with the exception of an extra meeting. Ah, nice!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Happy 11th, Steven!

This boy turns eleven today! I asked him where he wanted to do his birthday pictures, and he said, “With my dog.” So that’s what we did!


Cookie may not have quite gotten the memo about the plan!


They do love each other!! And God knew right when Steven would be able to care for the dog he has wanted for so long.


In addition to playing with Cookie, Steven still loves anything having to do with Legos or Star Wars or dogs or space or planes or….well, you get the picture. He’s a boy!


One thing this boy truly loves to do is serve. This morning, his sisters were going to take care of his chores for him as a birthday present. But knowing others are working while he is not is not a gift to him. He’d rather be doing! And he truly loves doing for others.


What he doesn’t love is attention for his service. He’d rather just be behind the scenes with no one noticing. It’s just hard not to notice because his service is so sweet and thoughtful. He truly observes others and their needs, just like his daddy.


This past summer he showed me just how much he’s grown in confidence, independence, and overall maturity through our summer camp experience. He stepped out and did things I never expected him to do! He also discovered an interest in guitar at camp, so it will be fun to see if this is something he really dives into. That’s why I love making little notes each year about new discoveries!


Over the past few days, Facebook memories have given me reminders of the little boy I used to have. Some days I miss the little snuggler who could easily curl up in my lap. Now we have to settle for sitting side by side on the couch while we read, play games, or work reasoning puzzles together.


But, I really, really love having a big boy. A pre-teen. A kid who is growing by leaps and bounds and will very possibly be taller than his mommy by this time next year! My little boy is in that awkward but still fun stage between big boy and young man. I’m sure he will experience many changes in the coming year, and I’m excited to get to walk through those changes with him.


Happy birthday, precious Steven! We love you!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

Something about Today…Tuesday, August 8, 2017

It’s still pleasant! Not cool enough to open the windows and stay comfortable (thanks, humidity!), but delightful for August in Arkansas!

Something about the Week

This picture popped up in Doug’s Facebook memories today. This week eight years ago, we were visiting the Train Museum in Pine Bluff for a certain train enthusiast’s third birthday. We thought he was so big then!


Now we know better. He wasn’t big then. He was itty bitty. This week that not-so-itty-bitty boy turns eleven.


Something I Have Observed

When we find a true interest, it doesn’t matter that it’s hard to learn or invest in it. It’s worth it. I love watching that in my children.

Something I Have Read or Heard

You get Mark Buchanan again this week because that’s where I am! It’s one of those books I want to read very slowly.

“Winter is when we walk by faith, not sight. God is good, all the time, but winter is when that truth is a conviction we nurture, not an experience we savor. In winter, the goodness of God is our creed, true always, seen or unseen, recited regardless of present feelings. In summer, it’s our testimony, true because it’s obvious, and deeply felt. Summer is when we walk in the light – we can see, at every step, the God is good, and near, and for me. And it’s not that you take any of that for granted; you just don’t turn your nose up at it.

You bask in it.”

- Spiritual Rhythm

Something on My Mind

Schedule. I need to get a solid grasp on what my work hours will be – what parts of the day will be specifically devoted to work. Like with everything, that will have to be flexible. But the more I know what blocks are for school and work, the more I will be able to determine what non-school and non-work things will fit where. But first, I have to finish school prep!

Something I’m Thankful for

Flexibility. Again. Because we sure do need it!

Something about My Kids

They like routine just like I do. They enjoy free time and flexibility, but they have all been craving routine. And, this week shows how much they crave solid routine. We’re kind of in an in-between stage – not wide open and free, but not firmly into our school year routine yet. They are ready for next week when it will be more solid.

Something I’m Working on

Still school prep. Then I hope to actually get to that fun “what we’re doing this year” post. Because I always want to record such things, even if I don’t usually get around to writing the post. I get inspired every time I see my friend Julie’s school year posts!

Something from Hibbard Academy

A “soft” start this week. We were supposed to fully start yesterday. But, preparation takes a certain amount of time. And I didn’t have that amount of time before yesterday to be prepared. So, we started with a few subjects – the things like math for all three and literature for the girls that really need the full extent of the school year – and I’m finishing preparation of the rest this week. Hopefully.

Something That Makes Me Smile

My kids in their happy places.

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Something Coming

Celebration of my sweet baby boy! Like the rest of his family, he’s not a big party animal, so we won’t be doing anything huge. But we’ll have fun!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Road to Phoenix, Day 1

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And I believe it’s true. But, so often, I forget what the pictures are about! So sometimes words are needed, too.

The 2017 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention was held in Phoenix, Arizona. Lovely, distant, hot Phoenix. We were signed on to help with whatever was needed behind the scenes at the Pastor’s Conference, so on the Thursday before the convention started (June 8), we loaded up and started the long drive west. (For the record, I can’t tell you how many times I was thankful we weren’t doing that in a covered wagon!)

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I distinctly remember preparing to travel to our first SBC Annual Meeting. The year was 2009. The destination was Louisville, KY. The kids were MUCH smaller – ages 8, 5, and 2, to be exact! The mileage on this Phoenix trip was much greater, but the concept of traveling with the kids was phenomenally easier!

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There’s not a whole lot to see when you’re driving from Arkansas through Oklahoma and Texas, by the way. Fields upon fields – some of crops, and some of windmills. Miles upon miles upon miles of windmills.

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The temperatures were pretty pleasant for most of the first day. But, the further west we progressed, the warmer it became. We would have loved for one of these little rainshowers to have fallen on us!

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We found various ways to entertain ourselves throughout the day. The hedgehogs helped with that.

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And James helped with the driving because he felt like it gave him a better view of Oklahoma and Texas.

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We made good time and made it to New Mexico late that afternoon…


Then pulled into Albuquerque around 7:00 that evening. The kids all cheered when a left turn was required to get to our hotel!

We got to introduce the kids to an old favorite restaurant of ours – Fuddrucker’s! It was right down the street from our hotel. A yummy way to end a long travel day.


Day two of traveling was much shorter in mileage, but that was very intentional. We knew the sights between Albuquerque and Phoenix would be very different, as we were planning a detour through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest and would be entering terrain the kids had never seen before in person – and that Doug and I hadn’t seen in decades!

But, we got to start day two with a very unexpected fun sight – hot air balloons over Albuquerque! This was a quick, early morning flight. In fact, I think this was around 6:00 local time. By the time we left a little over an hour later, they had all landed again. But, as we got packed up, we had the curtains open and watched as over half a dozen different balloons lifted into the air from somewhere in the middle of the city.

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And that was our start to day two of the Phoenix trip adventure!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

Something about Today…Monday, July 31, 2017

It’s the end of July. It’s the end of July? Wow.

Not only is that crazy because of the flying of time, but it’s also crazy because for the first half of the day, the window by my desk was open and I enjoyed the beautiful, cool air wafting in. It hasn’t been that way for most of July. We’ve had nasty heat and humidity. So, I soaked it up!

Something about the Week

It’s a “normal” week. Don’t laugh. I know there’s nothing normal about the Hibbards. But, think of normal as what would exist if our family had two weeks in a row that looked alike. Routine. That’s what we get this week. And it’s a coveted reality. The internal workings of that routine are a bit odd because our to-do lists are full of tasks related to catching up from a summer of insanity. But, I’m delighted with the return of routine!

Something I Have Observed

It takes much longer to relearn how to rest and relax than it does to unlearn such skills. That’s why it’s so critical for it to be a regular thing. We plan to be proactive about relearning this week.

Something I Have Read or Heard

“Ears to hear doesn’t mean, always, a mind to grasp. It means you listen. You lean in. You wait, you pester, you dig.” – Mark Buchanan, Spiritual Rhythm

Too often, I assume that if I don’t grasp, that means I’m not being obedient to have “ears to hear.” I feel so dense sometimes. This was encouraging.

Something on My Mind

A myriad of blog posts that I hope I will be able to hash out well this week. I’m choosing to make the time, even if that means I have to start school with a little less done than I’d hoped.

Something I’m Thankful for

Having hubby back home again after two weeks in Peru. This week and its gift of a chance to breathe! The opportunity to see various interests and passions develop in my children. The way God stretches me, even though it’s not usually fun.

Something about My Kids

This morning, I asked Angela a general-interest history question, curious if she knew about the topic. She said, “Not really.” Next thing I knew, I saw her pouring over encyclopedias to make sure she could change that “not really” into a yes!

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Steven, meanwhile, really hates to be bragged on or even noticed when he does sweet things. So, this morning when he was in my room, I asked him what he was doing. “Oh, nothing much.” I noticed he was messing with the pile of clothes on our bed, so I asked him if he was folding Daddy’s laundry from Peru. He just said, “Why would I do something like that?” A little while later I found this:

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We got in late last night, but Olivia jumped in to take care of necessary dishes while I fixed a late supper. This morning she’s working through some PSAT prep and room cleaning – except for right now, as she’s taking a break to enjoy the beautiful morning with a bike ride. On her way out, she was stopped by this fuzzball:

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Something I’m Working on

School prep – cramming it all in at the last minute, which is so very much NOT my preference. Last week I didn’t enjoy it as much as I normally do (this is usually my favorite time of the school year!). But, this week I’m feeling the excitement return. I think the progress I managed to make last week is helping me feel less overwhelmed and more enthusiastic about the new school year. There is still a lot to do, including getting old stuff put away and new stuff labeled and put out, but the kids will probably help me with that later this week after I finish most of the layout of the year.

Something from Hibbard Academy

Even though school is just a bunch of book piles right now, we’re taking care of a few things, including working through Well Planned Start with Angie and Steven – starting with Angie today. I’m always proud of what we create through my job (wellplannedgal.com), but I have never been as excited about a product as I’ve been about this one. It blows me away!!!

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Something That Makes Me Smile

Having my hubby back home. Although he’s at work this morning. But still!

Something Coming

Summer routine this week – or what would have been summer routine had we had the chance! Ha! Hopefully school routine starts next week until Thursday when we take off for Steven’s birthday.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

Something about Today…Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day!

We’re celebrating our freedom by getting things checked off our to-do list (including work!) before tomorrow hits and we have to start investing a great deal of time into missions conference preparation. While a complete day off would be nice, it’s actually more helpful knowing the rest of the week won’t be as stressed because of what we have accomplished today.

Something about the Week

Par for the course this summer! Nonstop! We had VBS last week, and this weekend our church will be hosting the aforementioned missions conference for Tom Cox World Ministries. Missionaries will teach breakout sessions each evening (Fri-Sun), followed by a worship service. TCWM will have their annual board meeting all day Saturday, and the conference will wrap up during our normal service times on Sunday.

Something I Have Observed

The summer is as crazy as we expected! Hence the monthly blog updates. But, I have lots of pictures to share from our trip to Phoenix last month! Looking forward to getting those up!

Something I Have Read or Heard

“We must never try to immerse ourselves in a Spiritual Discipline as an attempt to drown out conviction from the Holy Spirit about forsaking our sin.” – Donald S. Whitney in Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

Something on My Mind

Ways to increase certain investments without increasing busyness. For instance, adding aspects to our exercise routine or separating Sunday school study and preparation time from my morning devotional time. Increasing my participation in Steven’s piano learning to help him become more focused. Reconsidering how to keep writing mixed into the rhythm of life. Making sure daily progress on Scripture memorization is incorporated.

It’s so easy to fill the to-do list and just be maxed out in every way. There are certain things that HAVE to be done: work, school, church obligations. And those things require a great deal of time. But, the other things are truly important to not only my own well-being, but also my interactions with others. So, the solution to maximizing my time and efforts while still maintaining balance and margin is a constant quest.

Something I’m Thankful for

The ability to get the majority of my work hours behind me early in the week!

Something about My Kids

We were shoe shopping for Angela. Olivia was trying to look on that top row for some Angie would like when she found these heels. Three more inches of height? Perfect!

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Something I’m Working on

Trying to come up with sewing project ideas. I want to make sewing a part of our Fridays. But, I just don’t know what I want to sew right now. So, I want to compile a list so I can always have something to jump on.

Something from Hibbard Academy

Yeah. That. I’m supposed to have made progress on school planning. I have not. Hopefully soon. Hopefully. Last year was really nice with everything in place and scheduled out. I’d really like to have that happen again this year. But we’ll see.

Something That Makes Me Smile

Five translations to study. That’s my nerd. I love it!

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Something Coming

Missions conference this week. Next week a breather before WorshipWorks and Peru!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Happy 16th Olivia!

Today begins the Hibbard summer birthday season – and we kick it off by celebrating a sixteen year old! Our beautiful young lady didn’t want anything huge and fancy for her birthday. Just a day to rest and relax.


That choice reflects much of Olivia’s personality. She loves people, but she also very  much likes to pull back and enjoy family time. She also doesn’t like to make a huge fuss or a big deal about things. Her laid back and easy going nature hasn’t changed as she continues through her teen years.


Olivia got up this morning and donned her standard jeans and t-shirt – very much her comfort zone in clothing. Her ideal dress-up look would be a tailored suit, preferably pants, but a straight skirt would work, too. As we got going on the day, though, we realized we had not taken her birthday pictures - something we usually do several days before the big day! So, she went to pick out something a little different for her “photo shoot.” I was a little surprised when she pulled out her lacy, white Easter dress and asked Angela to choose a fancy braid for her hair. But, it’s also not that big of a surprise. While Olivia has never been a lace and frills kind of girly girl, she still loves to dress up now and then.


Looking back over the past year, I don’t know that Olivia has changed all that much. She’s still working on her novel. We finally found an online piano lesson source, and that has worked beautifully for her. But, despite her continued love for music, writing is her ultimate form of relaxation. Most of her writing happens at the computer, but she is never without a notebook and a pencil so she can jot down the many thoughts running around in her brain. One day, that will become a finished novel that I finally get to read!


The ever-changing dynamics of the teen years have sometimes made interaction with her siblings difficult. She and Angie are the best of friends, but with very different personalities. So, occasionally the room-sharing situation gets a bit sticky. But, they both say they wouldn’t want to change it. And as Angie pushes into the teen years herself, they are a great sounding board for each other. They both know Mom’s available, but having each other has been such a treasure for these years.


Then there is her relationship with Steven. A ten-year-old kid brother isn’t always the most beloved of companions for a sixteen-year-old girl, but Olivia really strives to be intentionally about interacting with Steven. Oh how I love hearing them laugh together!


Olivia’s spiritual development is always fun to watch. She’s such a Bible nerd! I guess she comes by that honestly, though. Every time she senses that Doug and I are about to toss out an observation from Scripture or a theological pondering, she loves to listen in and soak up the discussion. Sometimes she will participate in the conversation, and other times she’ll just listen – then come back later with a comment or thought. She asks questions, loves to dig, and is discovering the delight of journaling her thoughts on Scripture.


We only have two more years with this precious girl at home. She’s a licensed driver now and is working to gain confidence in her driving. She did beautifully on her first try at the ACT, helping her feel more confident for the upcoming PSAT and other efforts to try for test-related scholarships. She still wants to go to Ouachita Baptist University, and she is starting to contemplate where her interests might lie. In the meantime, though, she’s saving up for a passport so she can experience at least one international mission trip before she graduates. The thought terrifies her, but she is determined.


Happy birthday, beautiful Olivia! We’re proud of you, and we look forward to seeing the beautiful ways you continue to grow in the coming year!