Thursday, September 30, 2010

simple things


When I read about Katharine's new Thursday is for Simple Things, I absolutely loved the idea.  Our world tends to be way too crazy busy and I know that I am guilty of focusing on the problematic parts of my days and ignoring the everyday blessings that are the things on which I should be focusing (Philippians 4:8).  So today, I am going to share one of my most favorite simple things.  When you finish reading this post, I hope you'll take a moment to visit Katharine and maybe even join in with your own simple thing.

Nothing reminds me more quickly of why I love homeschooling than my time with the kids in the morning.  It doesn't happen every morning, but on a fairly regular basis one or more of my children will end up on my bed as I wake up D (who still sleeps with us on a regular basis).  Now, D is my very best cuddler ... this child loves to be held, hugged, and snuggled in just about any setting.  And, I love to be the one holding, hugging, and snuggling him any chance I get, so I take advantage of his sleepy times in the morning and cuddle with him on my bed.  As soon as the other two realize what is happening, they almost always come join in the fun.  At this point the cuddling usually turns into a time of tickling and giggling and pillow-fighting.  I love this time because the children all love it and it rarely ends in any kind of argument until I tell them that we must stop and get on with the day. 

On the surface, there is nothing profound about this time together, but in a way that I cannot completely explain, this time is the fuel that I need to get through the frustrating times in the day when one kid or the other doesn't want to do their work or they are fighting or someone (often me) has a bad attitude.  I am so often reminded of how quickly these children are growing up and I am so thankful for these few moments every once in a while that help me to relax and enjoy homeschooling and, I think, allow the kids to relax and just enjoy being a family.

So, what about you?  What are the simple things that you are thankful for this week?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

wishes . . .

Happy Birthday

to two of my favorite blogging buddies!


Happy Belated Birthday

to another blogging buddy!

September is a busy birthday month and I hope that I am not missing any other of my friends whose birthdays are this month ... but, if I missed you, happy birthday to you, too!

For the ones I am sure of ... and who just happen to be my friends in the real world as well ...

Marie @ Just Call me 'Rie
Donna @ Mississippi Mama
Betsy @ Handwoven Dreams
who, coincidentally, loves birthdays more than any other adult I know ;-)

I hope you ladies have (or had) a wonderfully blessed day!

Monday, September 20, 2010

another hymn for another week

A few weeks ago, our church held a dedication service for our new hymnals.  I was skeptical when I first heard that Lifeway was coming out with a new hymnal, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the excellent mix of old and new.  Today we sang several of my favorite hymns, but the one I want to share is a new one we learned in choir tonight.  If you haven't heard the song, you can listen to it here.

I don't know what else to say, except that as we sang tonight I just found myself praying these words and thinking how appropriate they are for the beginning of a new week.  I hope it speaks to you, as well.

Holy Spirit, Rain Down
Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down;
O Comforter and Friend,
How we need Your touch again.

Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down;
Let Your power fall, let Your voice be heard,
Come and change our hearts as we stand on Your Word.
Holy Spirit, rain down.

Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down;
O Comforter and Friend,
How we need Your touch again.

Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down;
Let Your power fall, let Your voice be heard,
Come and change our hearts as we stand on Your Word.
Holy Spirit, rain down.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
No mind can know what God has in store;
So open up heaven, open it wide
Over Your church and over our lives.

Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down;
Let Your power fall, let Your voice be heard,
Come and change our hearts as we stand on Your Word.
Holy Spirit, rain down.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name,
he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance,
whatsoever I have said unto you.  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you;
not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid.  John 14:26 & 27

Words and Music by Russell Fragar ~ Hillsong Publishing ~ from the Baptist Hymnal

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

i am afraid

Friday is LB's 11th birthday.

But that isn't why I am afraid.

I struggled last year as she entered double digits, but 11 is not so bad. 
Certainly not like 10 was or, I am sure, that 13 will be.

No, this fear stems from a much more tangible source and I really think that you will understand where I am coming from.

On Friday afternoon, seven ... yes 7 ... girls will descend on my Mama's living room for LB's first pajama party.  The My original plan was for 2 or 3 girls, but after much discussion with a distraught  overly dramatic child and a moment of temporary insanity, I caved and agreed to allow her to invite 6 of her friends.  In the back of my mind, I have been hoping that at least one (or better yet, 3 or 4) would be out of town or otherwise occupied, but alas ... they all said yes. 


The upside is that LB is thrilled and even though our little house won't accommodate that many girls, my parents happen to have an empty living room in a house that isn't attached to the rest of their house, so basically, the girls get their own private party house.   We are still negotiating the menu, but I think that I have the activities pretty well in hand and LB and I will have a meeting of the minds about the menu before I make a trip to the grocery store on Thursday.  It is unfortunate that we aren't allowing any boys 'cause my Daddy makes the best hamburgers anywhere on his Waffle House style griddle.  Oh well, we'll just have to settle for pizza (my vote) or sandwiches (LB's choice).

To be honest, I didn't do sleepovers much as a kid and when I did it was almost always just one or two girls.  The only time I had more was for my 16th birthday and there were four of us ... me and my two best friends and then the other girl who begged to come so that she could spend the evening flirting with my older brother ... but that is a story for another day.  I guess the point is that I have no idea what to expect from seven giggling girls.  This may be our first and last sleep over, but we shall see.  If I survive it, I promise to post about our experiences sometime next week.

In the mean time, any advice would be appreciated!  Oh, and any ideas for appropriate movies would be helpful, too.  I haven't seen a kids' movie since Charlotte's Web came out 4 years ago!  I am so completely out of touch that I don't even know where to begin!

Maybe we'll just skip the movie and do a puzzle instead!

Monday, September 13, 2010

a hymn for the coming week

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not,
nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God,
he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee,
nor forsake thee.  Deuteronomy 31:6

Be Strong in the Lord

Be strong in the Lord, and be of good courage;
Your mighty Defender is always the same.
Mount up with wings, as the eagle ascending;
Vict'ry is sure when you call on His name.

Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And rejoice, for the vict'ry is yours.

So put on the armor the Lord has provided,
And place your defense in His unfailing care.
Trust Him, for He will be with you in battle,
Lighting your path to avoid ev'ry snare.

Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And rejoice, for the vict'ry is yours.

Be strong in the Lord, and be of good courage;
Your mighty Commander will vanquish the foe.
Fear not the battle, for the vict'ry is always His;
He will protect you wherever you go.

Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And rejoice, for the vict'ry is yours.
Linda Lee Johnson from the Baptist Hymnal

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the
wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth and having on the breastplate
of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery
darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.  Ephesians 6:10-17

Friday, September 10, 2010

the promised pictures - part 2

One more boating picture ... just for Amy :-)
s t r e t c h!
look at me, Mama!
smile, girl!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

the promised pictures - part one

I tried to post these pictures on Tuesday, but Blogger and I couldn't get along, so I am trying again today.  Hopefully one of us will be in a more cooperative mood.


I took exactly 160 pictures over Labor Day weekend.

That may be a little excessive.  It is no wonder I need to get an external hard drive to back up all my pictures.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy a small glimpse into our weekend.

Part One ... the boat ride

Daniel at the helm ... notice Uncle Charlie's hands in his lap!
Just because I thought it was a cool picture :)
LB loving the wind in her face
Mr. Cool
The only way I could get all three of them together
LB (with Bianca) on her first time tubing.
D loves being on the water and walked around
like he owned the boat!
I think Bianca was a little bored with the slower speed Charlie chose
so that LB wouldn't be scared.
JW took a turn tubing, too.  His partner is Bianca's friend Anaka. 
This was toward the end of the ride when Charlie picked up the pace a little bit.
JW took a turn driving the boat, too.  At this point, Uncle Charlie was
helping him navigate a turn.
The kids couldn't sit up on the edge of the boat out on the open water,
but here on the bayou near Charlie's house, they could.
I think they may have been having fun. ;-)
I am not sure if Charlie knows what he has started with my kids or not.  Pat (his wife & Ronnie's aunt) says that he enjoys any excuse to get the boat out into the water.  That is good, because I think the kids will be begging to go riding every time we make a trip to the coast now.

Monday, September 6, 2010


#28 for 2010
Hosted by Peggy @ The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window ...
is Granny's back yard.  It is warmer today than it has been, but still not too bad.

I am hearing ...
Ronnie watching Dirty Jobs.  We don't have cable/satellite at home so we enjoy watching our favorite shows when we come to Granny's.  I usually camp out in front of Food Network.

I am wearing ...
my hang in the house clothes are the same anywhere ...
blue lounge pants and an old t-shirt.

I am going ...
It is a good thing, but I wouldn't mind a few more days of relaxing.

I am hoping ...
that LB had a good night staying with her cousin last night ... and that Charlie survived having two giggling girls all night!

I am noticing that ...
the dog has adjusted well to Granny's back yard.

I am thinking ...
or trying not to think about what has to be done this week.

I am reading ...
I don't think I'll be reading much besides British Lit for the next few months. 
This week we are working towards The Canterbury Tales ... yuck!

I am creating ...
I'll be getting things together for LB to make a wreath at Keepers this week.

On my mind ...
the busy week ahead.

I am remembering ...
that our first Book-It of the year is this week and
we haven't gotten started on our reports yet!

Counting my blessings ...
a relaxing weekend with family, a wonderful sermon at Granny's church yesterday, a chance to visit with Ronnie's 94 yr old Grandmother yesterday afternoon, going home today.

A quote for the day ... (held over from last week)
"Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. "
— Martin Luther

From the learning rooms ...
we will be focusing on co-op work since it is going to be a short week and co-op meets on Friday.

From the kitchen ...
who knows ...
I have thoroughly enjoyed not having to make any food decisions
for a couple of days.  I do think I'll work on the week's menu on the way home.

Around the house ...
I refuse to think about the mess I left until I get home and have to actually face it.

A few plans for the rest of the week ...
just what I've already mentioned along with a trip to the library and a family reunion on Saturday.

One of my favorite things ...
a relaxing boat ride!

A picture to share with you ...
from Granny's picture file ...
The four kids who have been playing this weekend ... taken in 2007.
You'll notice a distinct difference when I get home and can post the pics
from this weekend ... man, have they grown!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

if only i could show you the pictures

We decided to take advantage of the long weekend and and head to the MS Gulf Coast to visit with Ronnie's Mom (aka: Granny).  Ronnie had to work yesterday, so we didn't get here until rather late (but not too late to make a quick trip to Wal-mart!), and, for the first time ever, we made the 3 hour road trip with a dog!  It wasn't too bad though.  Ronnie did have to make a few modifications to Granny's fence to make it Daisy proof.

This week has been somewhat stressful for me.  Our school week didn't work the way I had hoped and I had a hard time preparing to teach Beowulf (the hard prep work did pay off, though ... my class went very well!)All of this added up to me being extremely ready to get out of town for a few days and quite honestly, it has been wonderful!  Everyone slept great last night and got up ready for fun.

This morning Ronnie's uncle offered to take us out on his boat.  LB had never been out with him and the boys were excited to get to go again.  I have to admit, I enjoyed it almost as much as the kids.  There were a couple of extra kids along (Ronnie's cousin's daughter and one of her friends) so Charlie told the girls he would let them tube while we were out.  Our kids didn't have their swimsuits with them so they were content to just ride in the boat, but ended up tubing in their clothes.   LB and JW loved it!  We wouldn't let D go since he is a little young and we were afraid that he wouldn't be able to hang on.  We stayed out on the water about 2 hours and had a wonderful time.  I took plenty of pictures, but I can't put them on here until I get home. :(

During the time we were out on the boat, I couldn't help but think about the song the kids and I were singing trying to sing earlier this week.  The weather was perfect - sunny, but not too hot.  It was so relaxing to just sit and take in the world around me ... my Father's world ... beautiful and full of variety and all pointing me to the Creator.  What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday!

Following the boat ride, we let the kids swim for a while in Charlie's pool.  When everyone was good and worn out, we headed back to Granny's.  We rounded out the day with dinner at Red Lobster and a quick shopping trip to Target.

All in all, it was a wonderful day ... but it is late now and I am heading to bed.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!