Monday, July 27, 2009

Seeing Red




Behr's 'Cherry Tree' red to be exact. Inspired by Karla at It's the little things that make a house a home' I bought the paint for our door a few months ago ... and promptly chickened out! Then I bought flowers to match for all of my front planters, and still I didn't get out the paintbrushes! When our company was on the way, I just ran out of time and energy. Clean bathrooms were more important than a freshly painted front door! My sister gave me some good pointers and encouraged me to just get at it. Today was the perfect day ... and I am still not done, but I discovered something. Red doesn't cover very well. I'm on my 5th coat. I'm using a roller and it is drying nicely, but I still see the green/almost black. I also discovered that the last painter didn't take off the hardware, and this door has been an ugly rusty shade of red before! Too funny!


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Friday, July 24, 2009

Hopelessly Lost

We've just finished a wonderful week of learning in the great outdoors through our local Parks program - it was a week of building shelters, exploring the woods, starting fires, toasting marshmallows, hiking in the rain, learning basic survival skills, and playing in the river, of course! The kids had a great time, but as an unfortunate by-product of their wonderful outdoor adventure, they now have much more to tease me about!

I've always been 'directionally challenged', but this week, I got hopelessly lost three days in a row! I am blaming the construction that closed off the most direct route to our daily destination, but really, I have no one to blame but myself - I am hopeless! I even get turned around in large bathrooms sometimes, and I won't tell you how lost I can get in a parking lot!

It used to be that when I got lost, I immediately felt that horrible sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and the sudden urge to use the bathroom. It reminded me of when I was 5 and at an airshow with my parents and their friends. They got to talking and moved forward just a bit to get a better look, and I lost sight of them. Just for a moment, no more, but long enough to feel that panic of uncertainty and pure 5 year old fear.

I'm all over that now - I am so used to getting lost, I've decided just to relax and enjoy the ride! Unless I am under a time constraint, I don't get too bent out of shape - I just laugh, turn around and retrace my route. I am trying not to be too hard on myself anymore - after all, the rest of my glaring faults are quite sufficient to keep me humble! I have an acquaintance whose husband tracks the mileage on their car meticulously - and he questions every unaccounted for mile. I am so blessed that my Historian couldn't care less about the mileage I rack up or fuel I burn finding my way from 'A' to 'B' via 'C' 'D' and sometimes even 'E'. He just smiles and reassures me that I have other strengths! Good thing, or he would be very frustrated with me! He did teach me to read a map properly and that has helped, but I still get lost! Our next vehicle needs one of those talking GPS devices - and I know just what it will say most frequently 'RECALCULATING'!!!

Hopefully, for all of their goofy teasing and hopeful 'are we lost enough that we have to stay in a hotel with a pool Mama?' questions (please be kind and don't ask!), our children are learning something that will help shape their characters in a positive way. Dreamer was born with a map in her head and tries to keep me on track, and so far, the Storyteller seems to know where he is most of the time. Maybe having a directionally challenged Mama will prepare them for their future spouses, or just give them an extra measure of patience - and enrich their prayer lives! Maybe they'll learn to be flexible and just sit back and enjoy the ride ... even if we do see a lot of the same scenery again and again and again as I find my way!

The thing that keeps me trying to find my way out of a paper bag new and exciting places is the assurance that no matter where I am and how lost I find myself, I am never so far that God is not able to locate me. I am never out of His sight or hearing - I can call out to Him any time or place for wisdom (and I do!) and know that He directs my steps and orders my days. I can trust Him completely. What a comfort - especially since I know for sure I cannot trust myself! If I didn't have a faithful God, I might just never bother to leave the house! Think of all that I would miss!


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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

De-Swamping

I feel like I am de-swamping in more ways than one. First of all, the children are spending their mornings in a creek - in old clothes and protective footwear. They are having a blast and learning a lot about outdoor survival, but the laundry has taken on a distinctively swampish odor. What would I do without Borax? It takes nasty smells out of clothing better than anything I know - and it's cheap! Still, two complete outfits a day along with sweatshirts for the cool morning is making for a lot of wash.

I'm de-swamping my sewing and craft are too - I piled a bunch of stuff there just before our company came in hopes that I would work through it bit by bit in the evening after everyone was in bed, but I was too tired each night to even think about it. I am digging out bit by bit and got three mending projects out of the way today.

I'm de-swamping physically too - trying to get rested up and get back into a better schedule. Taking care of myself has always been low on the priority scale, but I am learning that it is necessary to make the good days better days and the bad days a bit further apart.

Right now the Storyteller is reading out loud to his Daddy - what a blessing to be back to our quiet, simple happy routine.


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Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer Daybook - July 20

I really enjoy participating in Peggy's Simple Woman's Daybook when I am able to.
Peggy is taking a hiatus from the Daybook for the summer until September, but I think I'll just keep on when I can since it is such a blessing to me! It's just a great way to start the week!


For Today Monday, July 20, 2009

Outside My Window...
This morning was cool and sunny - perfect for the outdoor adventure the children started this week through our local Parks Department. They are learning about building shelters and starting fires - outdoor survival skills - a very good thing!
This afternoon it poured rain for about 30 minutes, but now it is sunny and bright.
Just as I finished this post, we had a glorious sun shower - the kind of soft warm rain that makes you want to put on your swimsuit, grab a bar of soap and 'shower' outdoors!

I am thinking.
..
that I'm not thinking very well ... I am still terribly exhausted,
and I just don't 'bounce back' very quickly!

From the learning rooms...
we see a real need to teach our children to choose who they follow with wisdom. We are always working on godly character and good manners and we are encouraged to see some some maturity in those areas, but there is more work to be done. Always!

I am thankful for ...
my husband who is an encouragement when I am down.

I am praying for ...
health, wisdom, encouragement and forgiveness.

From the kitchen...
When the going gets tough, the tough get baking! A certain birthday boy requested chocolate chip cookies and a zucchini was begging to be made into bread. The children had warm cookies after their 'outdoor survival' class this morning and we enjoyed zucchini bread for afternoon snack - and there is lots left for breakfast tomorrow.

I am wearing...

Old clothes for cleaning and napping! I still have not painted our front door and was hoping to get to it today, but I don't have the energy to start a project, no matter how small it may be.

I am creating...
thank you notes with the children - it's been a while since we rubber stamped, so I think we'll dig those out again to make our notes special. I finished another linen shirt embroidery and just have to make it into a pillow. I also didn't get the baseball pillowcase and shirt I was trying to make for Storyteller's birthday finished, so I need to get back to that - after I un-bury my sewing table!

I am going...
to go to bed early - maybe after a bubble bath first!

I am reading...
catching up on last week's e-mail and a few blogs

I am hoping...

That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God,

but keep His commandments:

Psalm 78:7

King James Version


I am hearing...
thunder way off in the distance, birds, cars going by on wet pavement, the grandfather clock and the occasional 'thump' of the bat hitting the ball - our boy is outside playing his favorite sport!
I think I'd better call him back in! What a funny day weather-wise!

Around the house...
Sleeping bags are washed and dry and need to be rolled and put away. The Historian started to replace the Storyteller's light fixture with a fan, but needs some different screws. It required a trip into the attic so some of my craft closet contents are all out - perhaps it would be a good time to sort them. The kitchen counter is still pretty tidy, but the kitchen floor needs another wash since it is still sticky, and I can't find my desk - again.

One of my favorite things...
the wonderful freshness after a rainstorm

Fitness goals ...
I only walked three mornings last week - I just didn't have the strength and I kept wanting to sleep in! I also ate way too much dessert - not a good combination to say the least! I've got to get back on track, but it is seriously hard when I am so discouraged. I didn't go near the scales this morning since I am already melancholy - no need to add to it.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
  • Parks program each morning this week for the children
  • rest and quietness for me
  • sewing a bit - something completed to cheer my heart
Here is a picture thought I'm sharing:


For six months we have been searching for a basketball goal for our children on Craig's List - last week I finally found one in good shape and reasonable - and we got it. I was terribly lost finding the place, and it was a big job to clean up and put together, but it is a blessing to have something for the children to do outside.
Thank you for reading my daybook!

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Baseball Birthday Bash

Last night we had our big birthday bash for Storyteller before the cousins left for home this morning. His actual birthday is tomorrow, so it was a special treat to have an early party and get his gifts before his 'real' birthday!


We set the table with our most patriotic tablecloth and the centerpiece is our homemade pinata - filled with baseball themed trinkets and a few sweet treats! It was a real hit after the dinner, gift opening and ballgame! They had to scrounge around in semi-darkness, but they found every piece of candy!



It looks to me like this particular birthday boy is quite pleased to be turning 9 and enjoying a big celebration with the cousins! Usually we are too far from family to have a big celebration, so this year was extra special!

Our Storyteller wanted an ice cream cake - but not an expensive 'store-bought' one thankfully! I made a batch of my hot fudge sauce and layered vanilla and chocolate ice cream and sauce in a deep bowl. I un-molded it, iced it with freshly whipped cream - and tinted some green for 'grass'. The lacing is just red licorice strips! He was ecstatic ... and the best part - it was very tasty!

-
He was so excited about his gifts - just really overjoyed and expressing a whole bunch of appreciation! Just what a Daddy and Mama love to hear!

So, if you're looking for our big guy, he'll be out in the yard - listen for the occasional 'Play Ball' and 'Batter Up!', because our boy has America's favorite past-time on the brain! The great part is, he is actually getting pretty good for his first season of play!


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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cousin's Camp Craziness

We just can't believe how fast this week has flown - only one more full day of 'Cousin's Camp' and a birthday party for Storyteller and that's a wrap for Cousin's Camp 2009! Wild!

There's been plenty of crazy sandlot softball action in the back yard!

Super Soaker wars fun in the driveway!

Some campfire memories complete with silly songs and a whole bunch of yummy s'mores eaten!

Water park fun for everyone - except me! I stayed home to rest and tidy up a bit!

We're all too busy ducking and running to catch any action shots, but there have been numerous Nerf Blaster wars going on around here - I keep finding stray foam darts in the oddest places!


A trip to the Creation Museum - super fun by all reports - again, I stayed home to rest and catch up a bit, but I was so glad that everyone else had a great time!

A little bit of shopping for the Birthday Boy!

Of course, we've had some help keeping up with the laundry this week - and the weather has been pretty much ideal!

This morning, I even had a helper out in the garden as we picked a few things for supper! Dreamer has an order in for zucchini bread!

This evening after work my sweet friend Mrs. M dropped by - she looks quite a bit like my sister ... until you get them side by side! Close enough to be sisters, but not twins! Mrs. M just got a snazzy short haircut for summer!

I'm off to blow up balloons and then get a good night's sleep! I'll post birthday pictures soon!

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ready ... set ... it's Cousin's Camp

I am just sitting down for a minute to enjoy a nice hot chocolate to boost my energy a bit! Yum! We've had a busy week of it getting ready for the cousins to come. We've accomplished a lot and our summer 'to - do' list has made great strides. It's always good to have an incentive to move forward with those ' someday soon' projects! There is only one 'big' project left on the list and that is a retaining wall - I can't wait to get it started! I so enjoy working with my husband on simple projects for our home - and since neither of us have ever done anything like this before, it will be a good learning experience for us both! We are replacing a short decorative wall, so it's not essential that we get it perfectly right, and it's not a huge project - just the kind we like to tackle!

Here is my garden gate sign for the cousins! They should be here in just a couple of hours. It's been raining hard all day, so I am glad that the sun is finally peaking out to welcome them.

It's so humid tonight that I just know we would be eaten alive if we tried to spend any time on the Grammy Flat porch, but it's all ready ... we just have to move the mouse traps and enjoy a comfy seat! hopefully we will have some cooler days that we can sit an enjoy this special place. It's been a great deal of work, but so far we have been loving this new space - we've had lunch out here and the Historian has been enjoying his paper here too! The children are keeping their toys put away in the corner - I am still looking for a cupboard of some sort for that purpose, but they are doing a great job so far! I'm hoping that my sister and I will get to Garden Ridge and I'll find just the right outdoor rug for this space ... on sale of course! I brought my Bible out here a few mornings ago and had a lovely sweet time, listening to the birds and praying for strength!


I'm always talking about the Grammy Flat, but it's never presentable enough to show you since I do a lot of crafting and messing around out here - since we don't have basement or a garage, it's kind of a dumping place too! It ready for our company tonight though, so I thought I'd let you peak in! I love our wall color - it's Sherwin Williams 'Macadamia' and we've used it in the playroom and our master bathroom as well - I love it!



This is the little kitchenette - so handy for summer canning and also store food when we have a house full! The counter is perfect for crafting and those are my Goodwill bar stools -$20 for three - perfect! Two still had their plastic upholstery covering! Grammy's coffee pot is all set! those cupboards are full of empty canning jars! I need to get to work!


I decided it was time for a new table cloth in the sun room when I discovered I had all this fabric left from the drapes - it's reversible too!

This is proof that our counters can be cleared and uncluttered - we'll see how long this lasts!

I am longing for water - big water! I'm not seeing much of that here in our farmland corner of the Midwest, but I can bring a little beach home on the mantle for the summer months! I spent $4 on more shells at Crafts 2000 a couple of weeks ago, but everything else was 'found' in my home or made by me!

I couldn't find any driftwood, but I totally copied Kimba's rustic boat - check out her post here to see the great looking driftwood sailboat she purchased from White Flower Farmhouse!
The shutters are a Goodwill find for $2 - they were moldy, but cleaned up with bleach and a light spray of primer. The glass globes are from broken garden lights - I want to put some more rice lights in them to make them sparkle, but I bought outdoor ones by mistake!

I'd better get back to the kitchen! Before I go though, I have a prayer request - for good health for me, as always, but also that our children would be gracious and kind to one another!
I'm praying for the septic and well too ... we've never had 5 extra people for a week in the summer time!

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer Daybook - July 6, 2009

I really enjoy participating in Peggy's Simple Woman's Daybook when I am able to.
Peggy is taking a hiatus from the Daybook for the summer until September, but I think I'll just keep on since it is such a blessing to me! It's just a great way to start the week!



For Today
Monday, July 6, 2009


Outside My Window...
The evening is upon us and it is beginning to cool down a bit. It has been a glorious day with bright blue skies, puffy white clouds and very little humidity. There has been a wonderful breeze all day pushing the clouds by and keeping things comfortable for those of us with all of the windows open. I know I'll likely regret the fresh layer of dust that will inevitably land on the furniture, but is was too nice to be shut in with the a/c on.

I am thinking.
..
So many blessing all at once can make a girl feel downright joyful!

From the learning rooms...
Today the children did their history lessons with our Historian this morning and both of them did some reading too! We were working on life skills and character issues a lot these days. Summertime is a good time to brush up on our 'Golden Rule Living' principles!

I am thankful for ...
So many things! I'd better make a list:
  • that the Word of God was preached with love and boldness yesterday, and that my heart was encouraged and challenged
  • that our van is almost ready, and we should have it this weekend
  • that we have special company coming on Saturday - my own sweet Mum, my Sis ( Auntie K) and the cousins - three boys! They are staying for one week and we plan to have a wonderful time!
  • that our broken A/C unit is still under warranty
  • that though the Historian's hours have been cut at work because of Statewide Library funding cuts, he still has a job and a few more hours at home each week
  • that my porch project turned out so well - now we have another place to enjoy and relax
  • that the muscle spasms in my back have let up today
  • that our rotten wood is being replaced and will be a worry off my mind. There were a few ants, but the borax and boiling water spray I doused the area with must have done the trick!
  • that my dental work is done for now, and the pain is diminishing
  • having so much to be thankful for this week!
I am praying for ...
A deeper understanding of the faithfulness of God in troubled times.

From the kitchen...
I just pulled some chocolate chip oatmeal cookies from the oven, but that's the first baking I've done in almost a week. I have been pretty lazy! This week I plan to make ahead as much as possible for next week and freeze it! Quite likely I'll do that on Wednesday since we have nothing else scheduled.

I was a bit more organized with my coupon this week since it was double coupon week and there were a lot of really good sales. I took the Dreamer and we did a 'stock up' kind of shopping and I save $79.16 in coupons!!! Yeah! What a blessing that was. My cashier told me that my husband should be 'right proud' of me for being such a saving shopper! She commented on all the ice cream treats in my order since she calls me one of her 'most healthful' shoppers, but when I explained that we had some company coming and there were three boys who love ice cream treats, she laughed and wished us a good visit!

I am wearing...

I long linen skirt in beige and a lime green blouse. Bear feet ... p.j.'s very very soon!

I am creating...
A mess! Why is that just when I want things to look neat and tidy, I make a big mess getting there??? I do wish the upstairs maid and the down stairs maid would just show up and lend a hand, but I'm afraid that I've given up on them - and the gardener too! Weeds!

I have been sewing a bit for the birthday boy, but mostly the alterations pile and the mending pile has been getting my attention. I am still trying to sew a well fitting blouse for myself, but over the weekend back pain limited my usefulness in all areas, so it's slow going! I have a feeling that my summer blouse project will be complete just about the time the snow flies!

I am going...
to enjoy a really hot bath for these muscle spasms and crawl into bed!

I am reading...
Last night I was longing for a really good inspirational romance to enjoy, but alas, I am fresh out of 'new' books. Any title suggestions?

I am hoping...
So many things! I have started a medication for insulin resistance that didn't agree with me before, but I am really hoping I can stick with it and make it through the first three weeks of symptoms graciously so that in the long run, it will do good things for my body. I hate that I had to start it just before our visit, but I am praying that it won't interfere. My doctor was quite insistent, and I really know I should give it a good try.

I am hearing...
Our children are listening to stories while they finish their chores before bed. We have an early morning tomorrow with the carpenter and also the carpet cleaners coming, and if all goes well we should be meeting with some home school friends at the local pool for the afternoon - but chores must be done first!

Around the house...
My Historian vacuumed and I did the bathrooms and laundry, as well as cleaning the fridge and doing the grocery shopping. I do need to water plants and shine up my sinks before bed, but everything else will just have to wait until tomorrow.

One of my favorite things...
Counting my blessings!

Fitness goals ...
I lost 2 more pounds - for a total of 12. I started the walking program in May so it doesn't seem like a lot, but slowly is better for my liver anyway. I did better with walking until my back went into muscle spasms over the weekend, and I hope to return to my walking routine this week. Passing the 10 pound plateau has been an encouragement to my heart.


A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
  1. More Sewing - birthday surprises are on my to-do list!
  2. Watering and weeding the gardens
  3. Keep walking!
  4. Deep cleaning the Grammy Flat in preparation for some very special company!
Here is a picture thought I'm sharing:



These are the children with their cousins the last time they visited - March 2008
I am praying we make some more great memories this year!
Thank you for reading my daybook!

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