Monday, February 23, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

I really enjoy participating in Peggy's Simple Woman's Daybook when I am able to.
It's a great way to start the week with a positive focus.

For Today
Monday, February 23, 2009

Outside My Window...
Blue skies but cold! there is a smidgen of snow lingering!

I am thinking...
I am very thankful for the sunshine and for a quiet week coming up!

From the learning rooms...
We are hard at work - Awana verses and Bible time are first today!

I am thankful for...
A restful weekend and time to get a few things accomplished!

I am praying for ...
My Dad who is traveling today to our home to attend a convention and take Mum home.

From the kitchen...
Grammy's famous apple pie is in the works, and we are planning the week's menu
based on the sale fliers.

I am wearing...
Warm denim skirt, creamy turtle neck and cozy rusty colored hooded sweater.

I am creating...
I am longing to have me sewing machine back - it is in for repairs!

I am going...
No where today! All week long we are free
from extra appointments and commitments!

I am reading...
My Bible study book, Bygones by Katherine Vogal Sawyer,
Victoria Magazine, and Better Homes and Gardens.

I am hoping...
The this week will be one of good health for all of us, and that there will be
time to finish up a few projects!

I am hearing...
The Historian is doing spelling with our Dreamer and The Storyteller is doing Awana sections for Grammy - we are blessed to have an AWANA leader in the family! I think both children will finish their books - if we don't have any more snow days!

Around the house...
Laundry, vacuuming and a quick swish for the bathrooms.
I made good headway in my closet and Mum helped us muck out the Dreamer's room.
There are always many things to do!

One of my favorite things...
Finding things we thought were forever lost!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Continuing to pray for the Lord's guidance with our search for a new church.
  1. School work - Piano, Ballet, Awana, and Bible Study
  2. Doing some research into learning challenges - trying to find some curriculum that will better suit the Storyteller's special needs.
  3. Getting the burst water pipe repaired so we can have water in the Grammy Flat again.
Here is a picture thought I'm sharing:

There is something just wonderful about a tidy kitchen sink!

Thank you for reading my daybook!

Be sure to visit Peggy to read more Daybooks!
There are many many others participating in The Simple Woman's Daybook
and it is so much fun to read their thoughts!

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Sweet Nesting Time

Are you all ready to fire up your hot glue gun and make a little something pretty to make your heart sing for spring with me? I sure hope so!

First of all, I want to warn any of you Nester POOPIES to avert your eyes because I am about to encourage folks to walk on the wild side and use fake greenery and plastic eggs to make something for their homes that whispers 'spring'! So sorry! In case you don't know about this group of light hearted activists, POOPIE stands for: People Opposing Objectionable Pretend plants In the Environment. Quite the moniker! You can read all about it when you visit Nesting Place!

My inspiration for this project came in two steps. The first one was my Mum's delight at watching some early birds busy at their nest building on the front porch at Cracker Barrel as we waited on our table. She couldn't believe they were getting started in February! It reminded me of the first time I saw worms after a heavy March rain and the joy I felt at the coming of an early spring - something you would most definitely understand well if you were raised in the North. The second was a sweet arrangement that we saw under glass at Carlisle Gifts in Plain City last weekend. It was in a substantial cement bowl, and was quite lovely but also carried a substantial $70 price tag! I decided to copy it.

The wood section of our Goodwill is usually the best place to find odd lazy susan's or chunky wooden salad bowls which I thought would work well for this project, but for some reason it was a disappointment when I searched there on Monday night. No worries. I went to the dishes area and found these huge deep plates that were $.89 and worked just fine. I am still looking for another base to house my Mum's arrangement - but I have enough cloches for three.

Sweet Nesting Time

For those of us who don't object to a wee bit of tasteful fakery around the house, it's time to assemble the cast of characters.
  1. hot glue gun & glue sticks
  2. a small block of green foam
  3. sheet moss
  4. a plate, bowl, platter or painted wooden disk - shop the house for this
  5. a cloche - again shop the house
  6. assortment of nice fake greenery - fine and well textured
  7. some petite flowers - natural looking
  8. sticks - fine branches
  9. a wee birdy, nest and eggs
  10. paint and brushes or paper towel if you need it

That's it! My cloches are really just broken lamp parts bought at our Habitat for Humanity for $1 that I glued painted wooden bed knob finials to. They are a bit curvaceous but they worked out ok for this project.

Don't be alarmed - I didn't use 1/100 of this greenery, but I just wanted to have a nice variety so I laid it all out to 'see'! You can use what you have on hand or steal a smidgen from another arrangement you have in the house!

I used a bunch of paint colors in the end to match the yellowy moss color of my plates - my finials were black, but I wanted to soften them and blend them with the plate and greenery colors.

I do love my reindeer moss! Have you got everything together now? Good!

Step One: Cut the foam block to an appropriate size for your cloche and base. Round the edges with a knife and spread on some hot glue. Cover the foam with a nice chunk of sheet moss. Fill in any holes and don't burn your fingers - please!

Step Two: Place a few pretty twigs in the middle of your foam and 'test fit' the cloche. If they are too tall, trim the bottoms. They will be your guide for the rest of the greenery. Start placing small clumps of greenery from the center out, leaving a wee space in front for the sweet little nest. Add some more twigs and even a feather if that's what makes your heart sing. Some tiny berries or simple flowers in a natural hue would also be a sweet addition. Keep it in scale and airy.

Step Three: Glue your nest and eggs in place and find a perfect perch for your sweet momma bird to light. Add little bits of leaves and twigs for balance, but don't throw the kitchen sink in here - it's meant to be sweet, simple and light.

Step Four: If you're planning to paint your finial (if your cloche has one) this would be a fine time. It took a number of color trial and errors to get the look I wanted - I just kept dabbing with paper towel until I was pleased with the slightly distressed look.

Step Five: Put it all together and give it a place of honor! It's a wee bit tricky to get all the greenery in when you have such a curvaceous cloche, but it worked out just fine! I made three of these in about an hour - two for our mantle and one for my mum! Total cost for three: $12

I hope you like this quick a simple spring project! I would love to hear from you if you plan to make one too! We are expecting snow tomorrow, but spring is just around the corner!

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Thursday, February 19, 2009


Things have been very quiet around my blog! Once again, I didn't mean to drop off the face of the earth, but I did! We have been far to busy lately and our stress level has been a bit over the top. We have had 6 appointments as well as the regularly scheduled weekly activities. It's not like I planned it this way, but it is wonderfully handy to get at all these nagging things while Mum is here to keep us all in line and hold down the fort ... and keep up with the washing!

I have a 'how to' post in mind for tomorrow - we'll just have to see if I can actually get it done, but at least I am thinking about you all! I have been comforted in my reading time lately with the reminder of God's everlasting love - here's the verse that has been on my heart.

Psalm 103:17

17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children-

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Congratulations to CindyDDD for winning my little tassel contest with this comment:

Anonymous CindyDDD said...

Happy Birthday!

I love your tassels!

February 11, 2009

Be sure to e-mail me CindyDDD (the e-mail button is on the side) and I will send out your tassel ASAP!
Thank you all for your kind comments and sweet compliments!
It's been fun!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

As I share a bit of my quiet life through blogging,

the kind and thoughtful comments of my blogging friends

have been a joy and a blessing!

So, as a very small token of my thanks,

I’m offering you a chance to win a

Handmade Bird Tassel!

Made for you, by me!

Just leave a comment on this post, and we’ll randomly draw a name!

Contest closes at 12pm EST on Friday, February 13, 2009.

We will draw on Valentine's Day and announce the winner!

If you don’t have a blog, you’ll need to leave your e-mail

and I’ll contact you for the ‘send to’ information!

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EDITED: Contest is now closed! Thanks for all of your kind comments and birthday wishes! I'll let you know tomorrow who won - we are busy with a Valentine's Tea this afternoon! Blessings!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

I really enjoy participating in Peggy's Simple Woman's Daybook when I am able to.
It's a great way to start the week with a positive focus.

For Today
Monday, February 9, 2009

Outside My Window...
A heavy frost is making the world a pretty eerie sort of place.
Our snow is all but gone - just a few dirty piles here and there left to melt!
It was warm and sunny yesterday and we enjoyed a good long family walk at the park.

I am thinking...
How blessed and grateful we are to have Mum here for a visit!

From the learning rooms...
We need to buckle down and get going again on our regular work!
This week we need to bring out the math flash cards and games since both children
seem to be forgetting their math facts ... again!

I am thankful for...
Safety in traveling for Dad, healing for Storyteller - with no infection, a very warm welcome from the church we visited yesterday, and just the freshness of a brand new week.

I am praying for ...
Friends who are hurting, need healing and for the indescribable peace of God,
even in a very uncertain world.

From the kitchen...
There are some lovely big Dad's cookies in the cookie jar,
but I have yet to make out my menu plan for the week.
I was going over the food fliers and coupons last night,
but got too tired to try to make a solid plan!

I am wearing...
Soft cherry, pink and green striped p.j.'s from my Mum.
I'm just waiting to jump into the shower when it is free.

I am creating...
I must finish the Zone cleaning charts that I began last month - we are not getting into
the routine like I hoped we would, but I am not giving up!
My sewing machine is in for repairs and I feel like I'm missing my right arm!
Maybe I'll have time for some glue gun projects!

I am going...
To the dentist this morning, and later I must get some groceries - hopefully during ballet.
We need to get back to our weekly routine as well! It was working!

I am reading...
My Bible and Esther - a Beth Moore Bible Study.

I am hoping...
To accomplish much this week, but also to have time to enjoy the special days that it holds.

I am hearing...
Breakfast sounds, gentle conversation,
and Star Wars music being hummed by the Storyteller.

Around the house...
Laundry, vacuuming and a quick swish for the bathrooms.
I am desperate to clean and organize our Master Bedroom,
and the kid's rooms need attention too!
Mum vanquished Mount Ironmore this week - what a blessing!

One of my favorite things...
Chocolate covered strawberries!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Continuing to pray for the Lord's guidance with our search for a new church.
  1. School work - Ballet, Awana, Bible Study, Co-op, Valentine's Tea
  2. My birthday on Wednesday - Boston Cream pie?
  3. Making special Valentines with the children for Co-op
  4. Sugar cookies with pink icing for Valentines

Here is a picture thought I'm sharing:

Grammy hugs!
Thank you for reading my daybook!

Be sure to visit Peggy to read more Daybooks!
There are many many others participating in The Simple Woman's Daybook
and it is so much fun to read their thoughts!

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Blessings

Romans 12:1-2

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

~ The Message

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Scratch the Rant!

Do you feel like you're being watched?

Well, you are! As parents, our children are constantly watching us and following our example. We've all heard the terrible old adage 'do as I say, not as I do', but when it comes to our young children, they will inevitably do what we do.

It's a huge responsibility, and not something we should take lightly. We were talking about this around the table in our homeschool mom's room - the place where we hide out when we aren't helping in a class during co-op time. We all feel the burden to be good examples for our children, and pray that God will grant us grace in the many areas where we fall down.

Taking the high road and doing what is right when our children are quietly watching isn't always easy. I forget that little ears are listening and little eyes take in more that I sometimes want them to see. My attitudes and actions are under constant scrutiny - believe me, every angry word or disparaging remark is duly noted. And copied.

Don't you hate it when you see your own bad attitude oozing from the lips of your own sweet 8 year old child? Ouch!

We are trying to be really careful in our attitudes about this accident with our Storyteller. It would be easy to get really angry and rant and rave about 'some parents' who don't teach their children to obey. It would be very satisfying to voice our concerns about the huge expense this is likely to be, and express resentment towards the parents who have not offered to help in any way. It might even be fun to play the blame game. Loudly. We could hold a grudge or harbor bitterness. We might even host a pity party and invite a lot of guests. We could even hash it all out over and over, making it all much worse with every re-telling.

But we want our kids to see Jesus in our home

and in our day to day,

'good times and bad times' kind of life.

Scratch one angry worried rant. Cancel the pity party, put away the blame game and hush the re-hash.

We've been praying for the little guy - thankfully his mommy says he is just fine. We've decided that forgiveness is our only choice and our best course. We're learning together that we all choose disobedience at times and there are always bad consequences - and some times they spill over into others lives. We all make bad choices. We hurt one another without even meaning to - and sometimes we do mean it. We're deciding to trust God to either keep the Storyteller's teeth from 'dying' or provide the money for crowns when they are needed. We're choosing not to worry. Much.

Some of us are better at that than others ...

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Pains of Disobedience

"The pain is no more than I can bear, Mama."

What are we going to do with our Storyteller? This dear boy is surely 'born for trouble as the sparks fly upward' (Job5:7)! He is suffering from the pains of disobedience - thankfully, this time, it wasn't his disobedience! We are so very thankful - this could have been much much worse!

Yesterday, as soon as his school work was done, Poppa (who brought Grammy for a visit and is on his way home as I type) took Storyteller sledding on the hill at the levy. There was a younger boy there sledding too and our Storyteller and he we having fun sharing rides and speeding down the slope. The younger boy decided it would be fun to stand in the path of our Storyteller as he sped down the hill and despite repeated warnings from his Mommy and our Poppa too - a collision ensued. Accidents happen when little guys aren't listening - something our Storyteller knows well - but this time, he is really facing the consequences.

He has a broken molar and another chipped molar also. His mouth is very sore, as well as his cheek and eye. He did his school work this morning and then we visited the dentist for some emergency work. He may still loose the tooth due to trauma, but that's a wait and see. Actually, a wait and pray! Poppa feels so badly, but it really wasn't his fault - accidents happen.

This afternoon he has enjoyed a really soothing hot bubble bath and a homemade milk shake. I made him scrambled eggs and banana muffins for lunch - nice and soft. Grammy made him jello and pudding too! He had a vocabulary test scheduled, but we've put it off for a better day. He got lots of sympathy from the wonderfully kind staff at our dentist's office - even though he asked a 'million' questions. We are all praying he'll heal quickly.

I just realized it's been more than a week since I posted anything - I didn't mean to take a break! It seems like there has been a lot of catching up to do since my illness! There have also been a few joyful activities in the last week - it was a busy time.

The beginning of the last week of January began quite normally. Happily, I was gaining strength daily as the antibiotics worked their healing and the strep throat and other infections gradually went away. On Tuesday it started to snow and by Wednesday morning we were officially snowed in - our Historian even got a day off work! My immigration appointment was rescheduled so we enjoyed an 'at home' day and plowed through a bunch of school work and worked in hours of snow play too! Our play date on Thursday was postponed again because our friends were not among the blessed who actually saw the snow plows on their street.

Thankfully, though the roads were still snow packed in places, our Friday Homeschool Co-op bowling date was a go! We had never taken the children bowling - they loved it! I have to tell you something lovely - as we walked in the door 4 sweet girls ran up to our Dreamer and asked her to bowl with them! She was so delighted to have some nice new friends! It's a blessing! And in case you need a laugh, our right handed Storyteller bowled left handed the whole afternoon - high score 21! When the Historian asked him why he used his left hand, he replied ' Well Daddy, I use my right hand for so many things, I thought I'd better give my left hand a chance to do something!' Oh honey! What a boy!

The REALLY BIG NEWS for our Storyteller last week was a very special birthday party - the birthday party of his good friend Jonah. He looked forward to it all week and it was great! He made one of his gifts for Jonah - 6 salvation pencils. Have you ever made those? We used regular pencils and stripes of colored electrical tape to make them into 'Wordless Book' pencils. Jonah can use them to explain God's plan of salvation. We also gave him a backpack that I sewed using a Lazy Girl pattern from Star Wars sheets - I forgot to take a picture of it, but it turned out really well. We added some sweets to the bag to round out the gifts.

On Saturday we went as a family to the immigration doctor's office for my exam. I'll tell you all more about it later, but suffice it to say, I really just wanted to get home for a good long hot bath after leaving that office. The dirt and disorganization inspired little confidence, and the fact that the doctor neglected to wear gloves while she drew my blood and re-immunized me was most disconcerting. I am totally appalled that my pertinent records are being kept in such a place, but have little choice in the matter. I have to go back tomorrow because my TB test was more than 90 days old so I had to take it again, so I am really glad my Mum is here and can help navigate the city streets with me, since the Historian will be at work.

On a much brighter (and cleaner) note - Mum and Dad came on Sunday evening - Mum is staying for a bit of a visit! Yeah! As I type she is tackling Mount Ironmore for me - what a help! We are loving having her here, but sad to see her in so much pain. She had to make a choice between feeling groggy and feeling pain, and decided that life lived in a sleepy haze was not much of a life, so she is mostly off her pain meds. Poor Mum - she does not complain though.

She and our Dreamer have already been to the Goodwill, or GW as we like to call it. They found some much needed pants for Dreamer and a nice long skirt too. It was a good trip.

Our Storyteller was quite restless last night and called out in pain quite a lot, so we all need to get a better night of rest tonight! I am happy to say I am feeling much better and after having my immigration physical and yesterday my annual physical with my regular doctor, I guess I must be in pretty good shape for the shape I'm in! I'll try to post again later this week!

I have to say that I'm getting pretty close to my 500th post, as well as to my birthday, and you know what that means! A giveaway! I've got to think on this a bit, but I promise ... it's going to be fun! Don't worry, I won't make you all jump through too many hoops .... !!!

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