Monday, April 24, 2017

A New Puzzle

The kids and I enjoy doing spatial reasoning puzzles together every Monday. It’s our “do something fun to get the brain going on a crazy Monday” activity. We usually do it in the mornings, but today the schedule insisted we do it after lunch.

It’s funny to watch the kids as they learn new puzzle types, because the various types show how differently their brains work. One child will be great at a puzzle another child despises. We found Slitherlink puzzles to be the type most agreed upon by all the kids. We finished our last Slitherlink package last week, and this afternoon Olivia and I were looking for a different puzzle type to do. But, everything we could find produced disagreement among the kids. Then we noticed that the site we get our puzzles from – – had a puzzle we hadn’t noticed before. It’s called Galaxies.  The shapes have to be rotationally symmetric. So, first we had to figure out what that meant! It means that when you rotate a shape 180°, it will be positioned as it was when it was in its original position.

I love challenging our brains this way.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

Something about Today…Tuesday, April 11, 2017

It’s a cloudy morning. Once again, we were supposed to have thunderstorms throughout the night, but they went south of us. We are frequently in a storm cavity where storms and rain are all around but miss us. We just got some rain and wind.

These, meanwhile, are a temptation. I didn’t need to know the dark chocolate version existed.

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Something about the Week

It feels like Wednesday. Monday was apparently an extra long day! There is a lot to be done this week, though, so it  is a blessing that it’s only Tuesday.

But, at least the cat has hand a chance to spend time “in the Word” this week. I wonder if she’s ready for a theological discussion?

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Something I Have Observed

A thought that is nagging at me: How often do we feel guilty about obedience, feeling the need to explain, justify, or defend our actions when we do something that is fully obedient to Christ but very countercultural?

Something I Have Read or Heard

A quote from a recent blog post of Doug’s:

We also need to look at Joshua 7:1 and consider what it means: we tend to blame Achan as if the rest of Israel wasn’t involved. But the verse is clear that the people acted unfaithfully. Not just one person, but the people as a group did. When we tolerate sin in our midst, we become partners with the ones who actually commit the sins. Then, consider why our churches are not as effective as we would like, why our preaching isn’t moving people, why we have no ability to draw people to Jesus. It is because we have evidently and clearly brought sin alongside ourselves as if it was a friend.

Something on My Mind

Flooding in Peru. The average annual rainfall in one of the flooded regions is 1/4”. Yes, you read that right – one quarter of an inch a year! In four weeks, they had more rain than they’d had the previous 18 years combined. And it’s still coming. Adobe houses don’t withstand rain very well. Somewhere around 75% of the 1,000,000 residents of Trujillo, Peru, are now homeless. It’s mind boggling.

Something I’m Thankful for

We get to see the Choates in six weeks.

Something about My Kids


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And this…

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That’s my princess.

Athletics have never come naturally to Doug, me, or any of our children. And that has sometimes caused an issue with making and strengthening friendships. But, that doesn’t mean the kids don’t enjoy being active and playing. Steven has had fun shooting a few hoops every day.

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Something I’m Working on

Still the missions writing project. It must be done this week.

Something from Hibbard Academy

I keep discovering dating errors in my planning. Fortunately, they are positive dating errors! Between Olivia’s very hard and diligent work and my miscalculations, her school year completion date keeps moving earlier and earlier. She doesn’t mind at all!

Something That Makes Me Smile

I am a planner. I’ve always loved planners. Olivia doesn’t really have that natural temperament, but I wanted her to learn the time management and organizational skills, knowing that she lives in a world where they are required, even for those to whom they do not come naturally. So, several years ago she started using a planner. Angela was next. She resisted, simply because she didn’t want to change the way we were handling school assignments. I knew she’d love it, though, and that she needed the push. So, two years ago I “encouraged” her to start using a planner. Now both girls LOVE their planners. And, this morning, I noticed that Angela is even starting to utilize the online calendar that everyone can see, making sure that relevant information is available for everyone there. It’s the little things that make a mama proud. Haha! They are anxiously awaiting their new planners.

This will be Angela’s


Here’s Olivia’s


And now to work on Steven…he’ll be starting with this one.


Something Coming

Last weekend, Doug and I had this to look forward to: learning how to make creamy chicken picatta. I even enjoyed the baked asparagus, and I am not at all fond of asparagus.

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This week there isn’t a whole lot going on, which is a blessing since two months of “a whole lot going on” has been the reason for so much delay in getting my writing project done. It’s also a blessing since I leave next week for another homeschool convention. This Wednesday night there will be an Easter egg hunt for the kids at church, Friday night we’ll have a Good Friday service, and Sunday will be a sunrise service followed by “regular” Easter services. And with that, April will be half over!

Not to overspiritualize this, but the year is flying. I am so thankful that, because of Christ’s resurrection, I know this is not all there is. We have eternity. I can’t imagine how stifling the flying weeks and months would be if this was it. The assurance of eternity gives me the ability to breathe, rest, and know that I don’t have to mourn the rapid passing of time.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

Something about Today…Thursday, April 6, 2017

It’s sunny and a bit chilly this morning. Everything looks so bright and clear!

Something about the Week

It’s been a long week. Between a weekend of late nights and the colds we’re all trying hard to fight off, we’re alternating between feeling draggy and crazy. Oh wait…we’re always crazy!

Something I Have Observed

Morning posture says a lot for how the emotions are flowing for my children. This one says, “I’ve had a little too much ‘people’ lately and need some re-energization.” Stuffed cows are good for that.

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Something I Have Read or Heard

It’s amazing how one little word can make you think. Apparently, whenever I read Luke 12, I perceive the word “give” to be the verb in verse 12. But, that’s the word Mark uses (Mark 13:11). Luke uses the word “teach.” There is an interesting depth to considering this concept from the perspective of both words. I read the Luke version earlier this week, and I’m still hashing it out. I believe it will end up as tomorrow’s blog post on

Something on My Mind

Our church; the Choates as they process through a busy couple of months; the needs of friends; my own to-do list and schedule and the need to process through it all with diligence while also not falling back into the “no room for margin” trap.

Something I’m Thankful for

The sunshine; the persistence of cool days, even in the midst of the warming temperatures; friendship.

Something about My Kids

Let’s see. What should I share this time?

We always head up to church right after lunch on Wednesdays and spend all day there. The kids usually take a movie with them – the one time they watch movies, actually, unless we have family movie night. They created a list of movies they wanted to get watched, and Angie has them scheduled out through June (because that’s as far as her planner goes!). Yesterday’s film of choice was The Emperor’s New Groove. So, last night, supper conversation pretty much consisted of movie quotes. There are quite a few great quotable lines from that movie! Then there are others that definitely require context. But, as long as you have that context, they are quite funny!

Something I’m Working on

Finishing up my writing project – due next week.

About a month ago, Olivia discovered a new word. I was determined to let it not be true of me with this project. The word is aglyphicate: To avoid or to put off a writing assignment until the very last possible moment. I must say that I haven’t intentionally put off the project, but it has been a really crazy couple of months. So, yep, I’m now down to the wire.

Something from Hibbard Academy

The other day, I calculated how much work everyone has left for the year. They are all doing so well! Much of the work will be done by the second week of May, which is really astounding. Some will push on until the end of May, with the goal being to be completely done by May 25.

Meanwhile, everything for the new school year is sitting in the next room waiting for me to sort, organize, and begin planning for the fall. Summer is going to be so full that I’d really like to get a head start on the prep work now. Once I finish aglyphicating. :)

Something That Makes Me Smile

Smiles on my children’s faces. Of course, ice cream does tend to bring out those smiles.


Something Coming

A dinner engagement, a date night, and a deadline. Then there are the things that aren’t “d’s” such as a shopping trip for seasonal clothing needs and National Peach Cobbler Day. According to Steven, it falls a week from today and must be celebrated. Who am I to argue?