Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Outside my window... the sun is shining. The dogs are enjoying the backyard today.

I am thinking... of how different the weather was last year at this time. Surprise snowfall blanketed the ground. I was a little disappointed we didn't get a white Christmas this year.

I am thankful... we had so much family here to celebrate Christmas. The house was full; 19 people here for dinner, including nephews' spouses/significant others and another couple who have no family here. Mother spent almost a week here with us as well. We had a great time. Also got to see my Florida niece and nephew for a few hours Monday evening as they journeyed back from a visit to their grandparents in St. Louis. Wish we could have had longer!

From the learning rooms... All quiet for now, but will be getting started back up with math and science next week.

In the kitchen... Nothing going on, but it is CLEAN!

I am wearing... Navy pants and cornflower blue sweater.

I am creating... Hogwarts Castle with Joel. We are halfway through. Just 5 bags left to assemble.

I am going... to stay home today. Have been out with the boys for allergy shots earlier, but hoping we can just hang here for the rest of the day.

I am wondering... what the new year will bring.

I am reading... nothing at the moment, but I have a lot of things waiting on my Kindle, as well as some books I picked up at the Scholastic Book Sale just before Christmas.

I am hoping... to see a lot of personal growth in me and my family this year.

I am looking forward to... the KLOVE Friends and Family Cruise in February. Brian and I are sailing with 2 other couples from our old church in Omaha. I need to find some clothes to take with me!

I am hearing... the sounds of Halle and Joel playing Kinect Adventures on the new XBOX the family received for Christmas.

Around the house... the Christmas tree is still up and decorations are still out. The dining room table is covered in LEGO pieces and a half-built creation. My bedroom is decked out with new sheets, a new quilt, and new shams that I bought back when we were getting the bedroom painted. We finally turned Emily's old room into a guest room... new mattress set in there. We'll work on adding some other things to the room to make it multipurpose; maybe set it up as a crafting area as well.

One of my favorite things... is a peaceful home.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Tomorrow I am going to the hospital's Wellness Center to get signed up. Brian and Noah have been working out there for a few weeks now. Time for me to get busy in the pool.  Friday is Emily and Noah's birthday. We are going to The Melting Pot for dinner to celebrate. No NYE plans yet, but will probably spend it at home. Hopefully my sister will be able to come over.

Here is picture I am sharing...

 This is what Joel and I have done so far on his new LEGO Hogwarts Castle.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another September daybook

Outside my window... there is a fall evening breeze blowing. It feels good to have the cooler weather here. I think fall is my favorite season.

I am thinking... about the work waiting for me in my bedroom and closet. We have had painters here redoing the entire downstairs (ceilings, walls, trim) for almost 2 weeks and they finally finished up today. Having everything pulled out of my closet (which, because it is the largest one, became the place to throw things if you didn't know where else to put it) has kind of forced me into cleaning/reorganizing mode in there. I used my built-in labor (AKA Noah, Halle, and Joel) to carry things up to Emily's old bedroom, which we will eventually turn into a guest room/craft room/multipurpose room. Now I have to sort clothes and only put back the things I actually wear. My closet is going to look pretty bare, I think.

I am thankful... my children were able to help me with the closet cleanout. I could not have done it alone.

In the kitchen... are freshly painted walls with no grease splatters behind the stove. I need to run to Home Depot for backsplash tile quickly, before that changes!

I am wearing... grey pants and shirt. Not a very imaginative ensemble, but at least it's comfortable.

I am creating... ideas for decorating the house. Pinterest is my friend!

I am going... to get back to work in my room once I finish this.

I am wondering... about very little right now. My mind is on overload with all the "immediate" and "urgent".

I am reading... Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb and Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk by Dale and Jonalyn Fincher.

I am hoping... to get into a routine at home again soon. We have brought Noah back home to homeschool around the same time the painting started and it has been a challenge with all the activity going on here in the house, not to mention waiting for materials to arrive. He is actually taking 2 classes outside the house, English and American history. We're doing math and biology here at home.

I am looking forward to... the upcoming weekend. Brian and Noah are going away together to Outback America, and Halle is going on a junior high youth retreat with our church. That means it will just be Joel and me, which should make for a very laid-back and quiet weekend.

I am hearing... my oldest daughter and her boyfriend upstairs watching football on the big screen (actually, I'm only hearing her; she's a very VOCAL football spectator).

Around the house... The jigsaw puzzle on the dining room table is still there, but it is finally completed. I will find a frame to mount it in when things settle down a bit. The house is in general disarray; besides my closet to put back together, I have a cleaning closet to reorganize and also our coat closet to do.

I am pondering... how long it will take to get the house in order.

One of my favorite things... a fairly clean and clutter-free home.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Continue to get things put back where they belong, attend my ladies' book study group at church tomorrow morning, shuttle Noah to and from his Tues/Thurs classes, and most of all: enjoy the weekend.

Make your own daybook entry.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Daybook for September

Outside my window... the sun is shining. Fall hasn't arrived yet, but I know it will be here soon.

I am thinking... of making changes.

I am thankful... we have a God who knows what we need.

In the kitchen... are dishes waiting to go in the dishwasher.

I am wearing... comfortable clothes; grey pants and light turquoise v-neck.

I am creating... a plan for the coming year.

I am going... to make some phone calls.

I am wondering... what the future holds.

I am reading... Crazy Love by Francis Chan and Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk by Dale and Jonalyn Fincher.

I am hoping... I get some positive information today from my phone calls.

I am looking forward to... the weekend.

I am hearing... the sounds of silence. The house is very quiet. Youngest son is home sick from school and is reading to himself in my bedroom.

Around the house... There is a jigsaw puzzle in nearly completed state on the dining room table. It has been so difficult that we're going to glue this one together. Rory, my Great Dane, is lying at my feet under the desk. She wants to be wherever I am. She's good for my ego.

I am pondering... what the future may hold.

One of my favorite things... A good book and a quiet house.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Laundry. :D

Make your own daybook entry.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook, 7/25/11


Outside my window... I can see the freshly-mowed lawn and tree leaves fluttering in the breeze.

I am thinking... about my sister. One week ago today, she had to make the heart-wrenching decision to euthanize her 9-yo Great Dane, Rockwell. He had gotten to the point where his back legs were not working and his muscles had atrophied so much that he was nothing but skin and bones. Then on Thursday morning, she found out one of her mares had given birth during the night to a pretty little roan filly. They had a vet check her over the weekend because they were concerned she wasn't doing well. The vet gave it a penicillin shot and that was it. This morning, the baby was dead. I am hurting for my sister having to experience these 2 losses so close together, and I am angry that the vet did not do more for the foal.

I am thankful... God is in control.

In the kitchen... it is clean, except for the bowl and skillet I used making cinnamon crepes for brunch.

I am wearing... grey capris and a grey boyfriend t-shirt.

I am creating... memories. I said "Yes" when my youngest asked if his friend could stay over last night, and he and his sister are having a great time playing with him (and it's not video games!).

I am going... to the store later to pick up some things for dinner. We are having a friend from church over before he moves to New Mexico on Wednesday.

I am wondering... if the vet will do something to make amends to my sister for mishandling the care of the foal, and if so, what.

I am reading... Too Close to Home by Lynette Eason.

I am hoping... something good happens for my sister soon.

I am looking forward to... dinner tonight, and Wednesday night dinner/devo at church.

I am hearing... Noah playing Minecraft on the other computer in this room. Halle, Joel, and their friend, Jacob, filming a "movie" that involves guns and bandannas.

Around the house... Men are here checking the airflow and energy efficiency of the house. We have certain rooms that are hotter/colder than others and our utility bills have been on the high side. Hoping to find out why and what we can do about it.

One of my favorite things... is curling up with a good book. 

A few plans for the rest of the week: I have a sleep study scheduled for tomorrow night. My sleep apnea has gotten worse so that I really need to use a CPAP machine. Will do the sleep study then get a machine/mask the next day. Kids will be meeting a new dentist on Wednesday as well. At some point we have to go shopping for school uniforms; the kids go back 1 week from today. :(

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

"Cricket", Ladybug's foal, at 2 days old.

Share your own Daybook by going to The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Another belated update or Almost Gone with the Wind

I know, my last post might have given some hope that I would show up here more frequently. I confess I even thought I would. However, there is no way I can let recent events go unchronicled . I will start with the biggest event... the one that made national (international?) news this past week.

Last Wednesday, April 27, our state was hit with a record-breaking number of tornadoes. One AP story quotes statistics of 226 tornadoes in one day and 334 deaths in the 24 hours between 8am that morning and 8am Thursday morning. We also had many severe thunderstorms accompanying the tornadoes, with hail and strong winds. The storms caused a 2hour school delay in the morning for schools in our area; as tornadoes began to form in surrounding areas, most schools wound up letting out early (my children's school has a tornado shelter, so it did not; my kids spent about an hour in the shelter).

Noah and I were out in the storm at one point (had an appointment that we didn't know had been canceled due to the weather) and stopped at a local fast food restaurant just moments after a tornado had been sighted less than a mile away (unbeknownst to us). Only a minute or two after we placed our order, we were ushered to the kitchen of the restaurant, where we got to wait out the storm for 30-45 minutes. During that time, there was an area-wide power outage; most of northern AL had its power knocked out, including where we were sitting and here at home. We were able to get home during a lull in the storm. Emily had gathered our candles and flashlights, so we were not totally in the dark.

Brian was still at work in Decatur (tornadoes were at work near him as well); the hospital was on emergency generator power. He wound up having to stay thru the night and next day, as the hospital was taking in storm victims from surrounding communities. Another regional hospital south of here in Cullman had taken a hit from a tornado, so could not provide care to victims.

To make a long story short.... we were without power from Wednesday afternoon until sometime during the early morning hours of Monday. Thursday morning dawned sunny and beautiful. We had absolutely gorgeous weather, temperate and clear for the remaining days. It wasn't until late last night that another set of thunderstorms rolled in.

Our time without power was merely an inconvenience, a slight one at that. Yes, we lost some food in the refrigerator and freezer. That's really about it. The boys spent more time outside than they ever do, getting to know the neighbor kids more, riding bikes, hanging out... We played board games by candle- and flashlight. Halle and I cut up magazines and made collages together. (Definitely therapeutic.... I think we'll be doing more when our magazine stash is built back up!). On Sunday afternoon, Brian and the boys accompanied a group from church to help clean up a home that had been hit by one of the tornadoes. The following newsclip includes a short interview with Joel, and you can catch glimpses of Brian (bald guy in maroon shirt) and Noah (tall kid in light blue shirt and basketball shorts with backwards baseball cap).

There are still some areas without power. So many lost homes, lives, and loved ones. I read an article today about one congregation of believers whose meeting place was demolished by a tornado. They met Sunday afternoon in a neighboring congregation's building. The article stated that "8 people rededicated their lives" during their service. I can't help but wonder why it takes a tragedy to bring about a revival. I guess it is just one more instance of the upside-down nature of the gospel. Sorrow can bring about joy, pain can bring about healing, and death can bring about new life.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Back from the dead

It's been forever and a day since I've posted anything. Rather than blame it on being busy or nothing happening, I'll let you all in on what I've learned about my frequent blog vacations: I've learned that one of the main reasons I stayed away was depression. I didn't even realize it at the time, but I had been living my life in a constant state of mild clinical depression for a very long time. Now that I've been diagnosed and am on medication (NOT Prozac, LOL), things are so much better. It has made a huge improvement on relationships with my kids and my husband. I think my general outlook on life has become more positive, and my husband says I am much easier to live with! (I never knew I was hard to live with!)  Anyhow, there is much peace and joy here in our home now that I am chemically balanced. Life's not perfect, but it's still great. Thank God for bringing the right people into our lives to help bring this about.

Another reason for my absences (related to depression) has been that I used to use online activities to escape. My time online was often a sore spot between me and my husband. So I purposely stayed away from blogging out of respect for him. As things settle into normalcy here, I see that I can still blog and respect him... but the out-of-balance me could not do both. I still will not be here every day; maybe not every week, either. But I will not have mental conversations with myself to talk me out of sharing something here that I want to share (unless of course, I *need* to do that!).

So that's the BIG news from our household.

Other really good news is that I had carpal tunnel release surgery done on my right hand 2 days ago. I have been suffering with numbness, pain, and tingling in both hands for a very long time (years) and finally decided I needed to do something about it. Only took about 3 weeks to get through the appointments needed to officially diagnose it and set up the surgery. I was able to schedule my surgery just 5 days ahead of time, too. Yesterday, I took advantage of the Vicodin prescribed for me; the pain wasn't awful, but annoying. I haven't taken any today and am going to drive the car for the first time since surgery this afternoon. I'm looking forward to my followup visit with the doctor next Thursday morning. I have to leave the Ace bandage on my hand until then. It's a bit of a hassle. Meanwhile, I will enjoy letting the kids do as much for me as needed. It has been nice the last couple of days!! In another 6-12 weeks, depending on how quickly this heals, I will have the other hand done.

There you have it. God is doing big things in my life and my family's life. Hope you can see what he's doing in yours, too!

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