Monday, October 21, 2013

Not Really a Writer.

I promised my girls that I would participate in NaNoWriMo with them this year...if, I could come up with an idea. Well. I had an idea, announced to them that I would do it and set about trying to plan it. But, what I have discovered is that writing is easy for me -- if I know what I am supposed to be writing. For example, in high school, I participated in a lot of writing contests where the participants are given a topic and a time limit. I almost always got first place in those. With the exception of one time, I placed in the top three.

I don't say those things to brag. In fact, I find it to be a huge failing on my part--and though I would like to be a total American of the 21st century and blame it on my English teachers in high school or that I went to a public school...I know it has a lot more to do with something in me. Or rather, not in me.

Writing something that comes from my own head is hard work for me. And I am lazy. (as this blog shows rather clearly.) God gave me a good memory and regurgitating facts is easy for me, which is why I did (and still do) well if I am given an assignment. But I have to work hard to write without one.

This summer, I rode a bicycle in a charity event that was longer than I even like to drive. But I didn't just jump on the bicycle and ride it the whole way the day I decided to do it. It took months of preparation. The first time I rode this summer, I could barely make 9 miles. I need to approach writing for myself the same way, I think. And though I have much less time to prepare for it (10 days! Eeek!), I know that training pays off.

So, this was my first writing work-out. Now to go write up a character sketch and ask my protagonist what she wants. I think her name might be "Mercy."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Good Morning

This morning, while I was reading quietly, Cricket woke up, sat up and smiled at me...I mean smiled at the book on the end of the bed. After she had looked at it for a few minutes, Alligator came in (he's 3 now!) and asked Cricket if she would like him to read that to her. In the back of my mind, I was a little annoyed. I mean, I was trying to read while it was still quiet in the house--and now I had two very young children in the room with me!

But then...

...his sweet voice quoting every word, every inflection, from the many times big sisters or I had read that same book to him...

...his admonition to his little sister to be gentle with books...

What if I had sent him away? After all, he was interupting my quiet time. What if I had rejected the blessing of this child? After all, he was the ninth! Who needs/can afford/has the patience for NINE children? (Not me!!) What other blessings do I miss because I'm too busy or too annoyed or too...

What do you miss?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What would you take?

A few weeks ago, one of my girls asked me, “If you had thirty minutes to pack up and leave, what would you take?” A theoretical, thought maker at the time; yesterday, we had the opportunity to practice that scenario. Around 3:30, we noticed a gigantic column of smoke to our west. The wind was blowing east. How far away was it, we wondered. If it was close enough to worry about, surely we would be able to smell it. (No.) If it was far enough away that we didn’t need to prepare for the worst, it must be enormous! I sent a message to CamDad (who works about 40 miles away from our home) and he replied that he could see it from his office window. That worried me. Then the helicopters started flying over our house. I went next door to talk to Nana. She was on her way out to talk to me—she had seen us standing in the yard, looking into the sun, into the wind. We went into her house to see if the news was saying anything. It was. A neighbor sped down the road to tell us she had just come from town and had passed the fire, the fire trucks…it was less than a mile away and she was going back home to start loading valuables in her car (the oxygen tanks her husband needs, meds, cats). Nana and I looked at each other, nodded. She said, “I’m calling .” I came home to start our preparations. Did the children even have shoes on? Within 30 minutes, we had loaded up our van and were prepared to evacuate, should the need arise.

It did not—at 7:30 there was no more smoke. We made some scrambled eggs for dinner and went to bed. Thank you LORD, please bless the (mostly volunteer!!) firefighters who worked so hard to extinguish the flames and protect lives and property.

So—what did we load into our van? The (rather small) box of photos in my closet…the laptops with digital photos and the school records…a change of clothing for each person, diapers…the seeds I had laying next to my computer as I was planning garden layout. My children each grabbed the things precious to them: a journal, a doll, a musical instrument…the tiny apple trees sprouted from the apples from Papa’s home town. We also loaded up school books and supplies. Had there been more time and more space I would have wanted the blankets I made for each of my babies…the tool box Grampa built…the desk Grandma had inherited…

People and Memories. The important stuff. Everything else can go now.

A lot of times our Spiritual lives are like that, too. We fill them up with all the good stuff we think we should do, so full that we can’t find the important stuff…so full that we spend all of our time dealing with the good stuff…so full that the important stuff gets packed away in a box, stuffed in a closet.

1Corinthians 11-15 The foundation that has already been laid is Jesus Christ, and no one can lay down any other foundation. But if people build on that foundation, using gold, silver, jewels, wood, grass, or straw, their work will be clearly seen, because the Day of Judgment will make it visible. That Day will appear with fire, and the fire will test everyone's work to show what sort of work it was. If the building that has been put on the foundation still stands, the builder will get a reward. But if the building is burned up, the builder will suffer loss. The builder will be saved, but it will be as one who escaped from a fire.

What will you take with you?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Frog needed a bike...oh, sorry...wrong story. ;-)

Frog got a bike on Saturday for his birthday. This is the Monday after he got it.

I'm impressed (but I'm the mom, so that's to be expected)!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Nothing really to say...just wanted to post this picture. :o)

My children randomly pick up the camera and walk around shooting each other --or trying to avoid getting captured by the camera...until they get cheesy and pose. That's our Bee!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Due date? Delivery!

Here she is...about 27 hours old. :o) She weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 22 inches long. Our little Cricket is a great nurser and very content. All her brothers and sisters love to look at her (although mom is a little selfish right now and hasn't let anyone hold her!). Later today we will start letting them hold her and will be sure to get a picture of 'Gator holding her for a size comparison.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Friday, October 9, 2009

Where could I go, where could I run
Even if I found the strength to fly
And if I rose on the wings of the dawn
And crashed through the corner of the sky
If I sailed past the edge of the sea
Even if I made my bed in Hell
Still there You would find me

'Cause nothing is beyond You
You stand beyond the reach
Of our vain imaginations
Our misguided piety
The heavens stretch to hold You
And deep cries out to deep
Singing that nothing is beyond You
Nothing is beyond You

Time cannot contain You
You fill eternity
Sin can never stain You
Death has lost its sting

And I cannot explain the way You came to love me
Except to say that nothing is beyond You
Nothing is beyond You

If I should shrink back from the light
So I can sink into the dark
If I take cover and I close my eyes
Even then You would see my heart

And You'd cut through all my pain and rage
The darkness is not dark to You
And night's as bright as day

Nothing is beyond You
You stand beyond the reach
Of our vain imaginations
Our misguided piety
The heavens stretch to hold You
And deep cries out to deep
Singing that nothing is beyond You
Nothing is beyond You

And time cannot contain You
You fill eternity
Sin can never stain You
And death has lost its sting

And I cannot explain the way You came to love me
Except to say that nothing is beyond You
Nothing is beyond You
Nothing is beyond You

Lyrics by Rich Mullins
Copyright 1998 - Liturgy Legacy Music / Word Music / ASCAP / White Plastic Bag Music / SESAC / De Cristos Music / BMI

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Can you guess?

She will be here in early February!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Busy Time

These are some of the new residents around our homestead. We have been very busy, trying to get everything ready for us to move. We have gotten so much accomplished, yet there is still so much to be done.

Our garden is doing better this year than last year. We added three new beds and have been growing more of the practical things than we did last year...and none of the rather frivolous items (melons). We have had to deal with a serious potato bug infestation...and the deer keep eating my roses...but since those have been dealt with, everything seems to be going well.

We have about 25 chickens--they won't hold still to be counted, so until I get them banded, I won't know for sure how many. We saw a listing on Craig's List for the breed of chickens I had decided (after several months of research) that I wanted. It was my intention to get about 15, so I built a coop suitable for that many. The day we went to pick up the chickens, the man selling them told us, "I'm going to make you a deal you can't refuse. You can take as many as will fit in your cage for the same price as the 15 you were going to take." We ended up with 30 or so! Then we got home and I realized I would have to build an addition to the coop. A friend had wanted to get 6 chickens and when she heard our story, asked if she could buy them from us. I was glad to have a few less! We are getting about 2 eggs a day now, but will eventually get close to 20, depending on how many end up being roosters.

The two goats are both wethers (not little boys anymore) and are strictly around for practical purposes. Goats are great at clearing brushy weeds and small trees off the land. They will eat most weeds, but are not especially fond of grass. When winter comes, they will go into our freezer. I hear Chili Cabrito is pretty amazing.

We thought we were ready for electricity, but when the company came out to check, they gave us a few more tasks to accomplish. The biggest part is clearing a path through the trees I wanted to keep as a windbreak/privacy barrier. Lizard and Turtle have been doing an amazing job of getting the small trees and brush cleared out of there this week, using just an ax, a hatchet, and a pair of branch loppers. I am very proud of the work they have been doing.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

He's Walking

Okay, so in all reality, he started walking on Christmas Eve...Papa even took some video. :o) But there are times when they just seem to be getting comfortable in a new skill. And that was today. I love my camera phone--it's always with me. And Picasa has some neat formats.
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Monday, January 12, 2009

Update 2

My dragonfly is in college! Yikes...I'm old...

She's majoring in nursing.  Her dream is to become an Occupational Therapist, so she needed some kind of "biology" major.  Nursing looked like the best choice; practical, flexible, necessary.  As an added bonus, it is in high demand in the military.  While we were looking for college money, we ran across information about ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps)...silly me, I always thought that was for high schoolers (btw, that's the Junior ROTC).  Guess that's what happens when you don't pay any attention in high school.  We went to the college and talked to the guy (can't remember his rank! sorry) in charge of the ROTC and he was very interested in getting her into their program.  So, all this to say--"she's in the army now" with a full scholarship and a four year commitment to serve once she finishes college.

first day

in uniform


Well...uh...I'm not sure what to say.  :o)  You know, it's amazing -- I love to write, I want to blog, but I usually have no idea what to write I don't write anything, and that just compounds the problem because then I have too much to write about.


So, a few of you know that we bought the land we wanted last spring--to update on that, we've had our garden, though not super successful; we have cleared, and installed the septic. 
Some pictures:

the land, before

getting cleared

septic tank going in

the garden, early

apparently, I didn't take any pictures after it really started growing in...

btw, anyone have any tried and true methods of eradicating squash bugs, without poisons?

I'll start another post for other updates

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Laundry, walking, smiles

Well, I've been neglecting the blogging of the exercises...but not the exercises. :) My neighbor walks her dog at 3 every afternoon and I've been walking with her (though not every afternoon--I skip the rainy ones and the ones when I have to be somewhere else). It's always good to have a partner.

Laundry--where do you sort your clean laundry? I do mine on my bed.

And just because I couldn't resist--a smile!

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Children

Turtle, 11-Frog, 4-Dragonfly, 18-Lizard, 15-Ant, 2-Butterfly, 9-Gator, 20 days-Ladybug, 13-Bee, 7 (only managed to exercise once last week-besides Kegels, that is... /sigh/ )
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Thursday, February 21, 2008

"I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."
Psalm 119:11 (ESV)

A friend and I were recently discussing "those" know the ones where everything that can go wrong does--and does it early in the morning, so that the whole day is affected. As we went back and forth in our conversation, discussing all that happens on those days, we eventually got around to the fact that both of us have a tendency to yell at our children when nothing is going the way we want it to. We both sighed and then laughed. As conversations do, ours took a detour. She asked me about the birth of my little 'Gator (maybe I'll get around to posting that, eventually) and I mentioned that I had meditated on a verse from the OT to get through it (1Chron 28:20), then jokingly added, "Maybe we need to pick a verse to meditate on so we won't yell at our children!"


Sometimes God lets us walk circles around that which should be so obvious to us, then He gently nudges us into it. He knew, from the beginning of time, what this day would bring for me, for you, and everyone else on the earth. And He provided something for us in His Written Word, that if we knew it, if we had stored it in our hearts, would provide strength, purpose, or Peace.

"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Phil 4:6-7

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Challenge

A Challenge has been issued to those of us who are moms of many. With the Blessing of children comes responsibility--as with all Blessings. That responsibility is to teach them about God: His Love, His Grace, His Word, His Son. We can't do that if we are ill, or tired all the time, or incapacitated in some other way (like when I needed back surgery and several months to recover after it). While there are some things that are beyond our control, if something IS in my control I should do my best at it. Taking care of the body God gave me and keeping it in good repair are part of my job. This challenge is specifically about exercising. Since my sweet baby boy is only 23 days old (picture taken while typing this), I will be starting out slowly. This week I'm thinking Kegels and the back strengthening stretches I do on my tummy will be my exercises of choice.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

He's here

Our gorgeous 'Gator was born January 27. I thought he would come on the 21st, but he wanted me to wait. He was 7lbs 11 oz and 19 1/2 inches on his birthday--by his dr appt on the 8th day, he was up to 8~1 and 21" (obviously no problems with nursing). Here are a few pictures. taken with my phone... (day 1, day 3, day 10)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's a Boy! party

Our usual course of action is to tell the other children, in an interesting way, if the coming baby is a boy or a girl. Last time, we had a pink party with streamers and a strawberry cake and strawberry frosting and pink candies on top that spelled out "GIRL." This time we wanted to do something different...Daddy came up with the idea to fill our entry way with blue balloons sometime while they were gone so that when they came in the door, they will be greeted by a sea of blue. Daddy never does anything halfway, though! He also got a large banner, made a curtain of blue ribbon, added blue color to lemon-lime soda, and got a cake with enough blue color in the icing to make us all have blue lips and teeth.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Only 5 months since the last one...

We've been busy around here lately...okay, not really, I just didn't know what to write. :o) I couldn't post anything before I told my mom we were going to have a baby, and I couldn't think of anything else to write about for a while. And now, I don't have anything to say, really...but I did add a ticker to the top that shows where I am in the pregnancy. I may get around to adding an ultrasound picture, once I get it scanned. The thing is, we haven't told the other children it's a boy yet--and that is fairly obvious from the pictures--so I will have to scan them after bedtime and I am usually in bed then!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One of the great benefits of homeschooling my children is that they love to be together and they are actually helpful to one another. When we went on an Easter Egg hunt recently, my twelve year old daughter was the helper for the 15 month old. It is so joyous to see what the world considers a "teenager" interacting so cheerfully and gently with a very young child, when she could be rebellious and annoyed by her instead. Another mom took this picture and sent it to me. She was as touched as I by her actions.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


My oldest two children are in high school. We usually talk while we drive, generally about the happenings of whatever was going on where we just left. During last night's youth time, they had a message about worship. The youth pastor had talked about how so many of them would "worship" during the music time at church and maybe keep worshipping until they went to sleep that night, but that when they woke up, it would be back to "normal life" and they would forget all about worshipping.

I had to disagree with that pastor on one tiny point--we are always worshipping, it's just a matter of WHAT we are worshipping. Our marvelous Creator made us to worship. Everyone worships at all times.

People tend to call the time we are praising God with music "worship" and so we forget that in everything we do we are worshipping...something. If you lose yourself in music that is talking about a cheating husband, your eyes are closed, your body is swaying...your are worshipping the thoughts and actions glorified in that song. If you are so caught up in keeping your house clean that you forget yourself and act in an unseemly matter, you are worshipping your clean house. This applies to educating our children at home, driving a new car, being debt-free...everything that we do every day of our lives.

So how do we worship God, every minute of every day? Does it mean we never clean or teach our children or buy a new car? Does it mean that we don't work, don't eat, don't sleep? Of course not. It means that everything that we do should point to our Creator. That people who see us, including our family (maybe especially our family), should look at us while we go about normal life and KNOW that we are different from the world. When I drive around in my big 'ol red monster, with the little boy (you know the one) bowing to the Cross, people should see me let someone out of a driveway instead of cutting someone off in traffic. If I choose to be debt free, it should not be the driving force in my life, but rather a choice that I make so I can give more to the "least of these" who are in the world with me. If I am choosing to educate my children at home, the world should see a difference in my children that they cannot explain. That is how we worship God every minute of every day.

What are you worshipping today?

Monday, April 9, 2007

Naming puppies

We have a name for our cute little corgi. She's called Gretel...and yes, we have Hansel, too. :-) Friday my husband needed to go pick up more dog food. (Corgyn need more food than Chihuahuas apparently!) He joked that if her brother was still there, he might buy him and call them Hansel and Gretel since then we could at least have a name for her...

He was there. We now have three dogs in our home. Horatio, our chihuahua, and Hansel and Gretel, pembroke welsh corgyn. Who knew naming puppies could make them increase?

I'll post a picture once I get one taken.

(picture added April 27)

Thursday, April 5, 2007

not enough time in my day

I'm sure that no one else has ever had this problem...I am finding that I don't have enough time in my life to do all the things that I need to do. I'm currently in the process of studying to upgrade my ham license and trying to learn a new language arts curriculum, plus teach my children, keep a comfortable home, be a pleasant wife and have a little time to do the "extras" that make life interesting. This week is just jam-packed with activities...hopefully things will begin to settle down soon.

Tabitha is currently being a mother's helper to a new mommy, has a scholarship test to take on Saturday at 9am, the ACT next Saturday, and several decisions to make about her immediate future. Someone recently said something about spending the first year after high school doing mission work so that college will actually mean something and not just be the "13th grade." I see some merit to that stand, particularly for those who don't have a clear idea for their future. Tabitha, however, knows what she wants to do and has amazing dreams for her future. SO! We have some work to do. :o)

I'm off to check out YWAM and see what they have to offer...

Enjoy your day and your family!

Monday, April 2, 2007

new addition

We have a new puppy in our home. She looks like a little bear cub. She's a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, is black with tan and white markings, and is soooo cute. Our other dog is Horatio, a chihuahua. He is almost a year old and we were just about to stop buying puppy food, so we (of course) had to get another puppy. She's not named yet...I want a Welsh name for her, but my husband hasn't liked any of the ones I've suggested. :) We do this everytime we have to name something. I always let him choose, but I suggest him to death. Here she is with my littlest girl.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


I have recently been having discussions with other women about their husbands, marriages, children, and homes. One started with tears and a confession that her marriage was just "not what it used to be" and that she didn't have any respect for her husband.

Ladies, "LOVE" is not a feeling or an emotion, although it affects both. Love is an action--it is something you do to another or accept from another. Love is a choice.

YOU choose your own actions and this (in no small part) determines the actions--or rather re-actions--of the people around you.

We, as wives and moms, have so much more power than the world recognizes. We determine the atmosphere in our homes by the Love we show. We choose--day by day, minute by minute--how we are going to act toward our husbands and children, how we are goig to act about our husbands and children toward other people. Choose wisely.

20 Qs

My husband has a little electronic game on his desk at work called 20Q. He keeps it there for people who come in to ask for his help, so they will have something to do while he works on their problems. (I also think it is for those times when he really just need to think about nothing.) It is a variation on the old party game that people used to play. You answer a series of questions the little ball asks while it tries to "guess" what you are thinking of. It usually guesses correctly. The first question it asks: Is it Animal, Mineral, Vegetable, or Other?

I need some categories for my blogs, so one night, while I was in bed waiting for sleep, I decided to use those categories for my blog. (I made a note to myself on my phone so I wouldn't forget!) Animal will be about personal stuff like what's happening in my life right now. Mineral is the Rock on Whom I build my life; it's where you'll find any inspirational writing I might do. Vegetable--the Fruit of my womb, my children...did one of them do something amazing, cute, disgusting? Look under vegetable. Other will be, well, other stuff. :o) Probably any home-educating ramblings will go there. I expect there to be overlap.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Why Blog??

So, why did I decide to blog? Well, everyone's doing it, right? HA!

I've thought about doing it for a while now, just finally giving in this week. Actually, I had a push--the curriculum I use has an affiliate program and I can get credit to buy more stuff from them if people buy through my link. Must be time to start a blog, right?

I really like this curriculum. It is well laid out, easy to use, complete, non-consumeable and interesting to my children. Who could ask for a better mix? I like it so much I represent it at my local Home Educators convention. This will be my fourth year to be a representative, in fact.

Check it out. (Link's on the right!)