Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up: The one with no pictures and lots of walking

Monday:  Swim lessons and taco night.  Oh, how we love tacos.   After taco night, I took a walk up and down the hill (up and down, up and down, etc.) the next block over.  I may do that more often!

Tuesday:  Well, we were supposed to have some rock delivered and spread onto our driveway.  So, we tried to be gone during the window of delivery.  The kids and I got up and tried to hurry out to the library.  Our library has a walking trail that is really nice.  After a mile walk, we went in and finished our schoolwork.  Before we left, we went on another mile walk around the trail.  Then, we did something we never do...we went out to lunch.  Taco Bell pleases everyone and is right near the library.  Fortunately, we made it before the lunch rush.  Back home to find no new rock on our driveway....bummer.  

Tuesday night:  Tera attended her first ever TEEN homeschool event.  We have a rather large homeschool support group that has activities throughout the year.  Most of the time the events are not things she would enjoy-dances, trampoline parks, etc.  Game night is something she REALLY likes.  She tried to recruit at least one friend to go, because most likely we would not know anyone.  The age range is rather broad 13-19.  One of her close friends was planning to attend.  I kinda watched from the sidelines as teens do what teens do.  Some talked to her at the beginning during the mingling, but mostly she was kinda alone. At least one parent, sent their kid over to talk to her.  

I saw her start helping an adult set up chairs or reading the directions to a game.  Not once did I feel the need to go in and rescue her.  That awkwardness in a room where you don't know a soul is a right of passage in some way.  She reacted the same way I would in a situation like that.  Not pushing myself into an established group and then looking for a way to help someone.  She wasn't distressed or traumatized.   

Her friend arrived and I might have seen relief come over her face.  She played a game with other girls her age...laughing and talking.  She enjoyed herself immensely!  I talked with my friend in a corner somewhere while we waited.  I was only sorry that I didn't get to join in on any of the cool games.  But that's for another night, I guess.  It was also a bit on the late side for my early bird! 

Wednesday:  Up bright and early, I had my devotions and prayer time before getting out of bed.  Then, I slid down the last few steps of the stairs coming down.  One leg went back wrenching my foot and bruising my leg.  I carpet-burned my arm and bruised it, too.  It was not a great start to the day.  I'm not any worse for wear, still bruised and my big toe has a kink in it. 

Tera had her last piano lesson.  She has loved her teacher, who has been a friend and mentor for her.  She loved her so much that I know that is the reason she has stayed with piano this long.  She just doesn't LOVE piano, it's not her PASSION.  So, for now we're signing her up for a choir in the fall.  We'll look for other ways/instruments for her.  It was bittersweet, but a necessary move for her and us.  

After piano and flute, we swung by the library for a walk.  Even after my fall, I knew I needed to "walk it off" to avoid being "stove up" as my grandmother used to say.  We walked 2 miles.  

Since I was up so early, I started to lay down for a few minutes after a hot bath.  Then, I hear beeping outside.  The guy was finally there to dump rock while I was laying down for the first time in forever.  I wish I could say I rolled with it.  But my attitude left something to be desired.  I won't go all into the rest of the afternoon, but by bedtime that night...I was one cranky chick!

Thursday:  Yesterday, I woke up late and still cranky.  Didn't do my devotions and could really feel it the entire day.  I was in a blue mood.  Things were crazy, there seemed to be messes everywhere.  So, I started to clean up before we left for the library for chess club.  I wanted all my chores done before we left. We left dinner in the crockpot and the house in pretty good shape.

We did another 2 mile walk/jog.  Then, headed in for chess club.  I read to Michael while Tera and Daniel played.  Michael wanted to go on another walk, so we logged in another 1/2 mile.  

Today:  We are home ALL DAY!!!! feels so good!  The kids and I have decided we are going to train for a walk/run 5K somewhere in the distant future.  We want to be well-trained before we attempt that.  

I am so glad today is Friday--it's pizza and movie night.  It's a relaxing day at home and I'm already feeling the load of the week falling off my shoulders. 


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Say Amen

It's been a hard week. Sometimes it's the little things that can drag you down.

"This life is a journey we walk by faith 
And there will always be the mountains in our way 
But right here in this moment, may our strength be renewed 
As we recall what God has done and how we've seen Him move" 

Little things that don't go the way you planned.
Messes that never seem to end.
People saying one thing and doing another.
Having somewhere to go EVERY DAY!
Laundry that seems to double for no apparent reason.
Piles of things that need to find a new home.

It's easy to dwell on these things and let it color our world an unnatural grey. Easy to dwell on the darkness.

"Sometimes through the darkness, it's hard to see 
So just be brave and follow where He leads." 

I have found Him faithful
I know He's able
I have seen His power
I have been brought through the fire time and time again!
I have found joy in the middle of sorrow
Peace in the storm, hope for tomorrow
And seen time and time again.

So, I'll just say, "Amen!"

Monday, March 24, 2014

Not Settling

"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you 
great and unsearchable things you do not know."
Jeremiah 33:3

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10

I'm not even sure how to begin...

As many of you know, my husband and I are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year.  My husband wanted to do something really nice for me and get bedroom furniture for us.  Decorating is really not my thing and I say I'm content with a hodge podge style.  I just don't have time to think about things like that.  I'd LIKE something nicer, but I don't want to spend the money or the time to accomplish it.  

So, when he brought up the idea, I thought how nice and thoughtful!  He knows I would like to have a decorated bedroom with coordinating things.  He wants to spend the money he makes from working so hard for a luxury for his wife.  I'm overwhelmed with the thought!

Immediately,  I began looking for ways to be frugal, to settle for less than what my husband wants for me.  He wants something really nice and I'm checking out thrift stores.  (There is nothing wrong with thrift stores, but it wasn't exactly what he has in mind for this occasion!)

I have been thinking a lot about how this compares to my relationship with God.  God wants so much for me, for you.  He wants us to have freedom in Him, wants to show us forgiveness, wants us to know how much He loves us.  

How often we look at God and all the blessings He has for us; blessings that only happen as we draw into a deeper relationship with Him.  We say,

 "Oh no, Lord...thanks, but this little bit is enough.  I'll settle for this gift that is less than You really want for me.  I'm good!  This little bit of You and Your blessings is quite enough! Really!"  

Yet, something in our spirit feels that we somehow have passed over something better had we only waited.  And in our waiting...drawn close to Him!  

So, here I am today after struggling over the whole thing for days.  I want to get the lesson here....I want to have a receiving spirit.  As my husband leads our family, may I honor him and his love for me. It might take a little longer to get it done, but it will be so much more joyous of a gift.  

May I honor my heavenly Father, even more and wait for the spiritual blessings He alone can give! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Three Things Thursday: Exercise

Three Things Thursday

Okay,'s really Friday!  We've had such a nice, relaxing spring break that I would like to pretend it's Thursday today.  

I have this love/hate relationship with exercise.  I believe I'm one of those people who do not lose weight when they exercise.  That part is kinda depressing, I know.  So, I start exercising and then see "no results"  (aka number on the scale going down) and I give up. 

This is a pep talk for myself as much as I hope to inspire others to get past their "number" and get moving!

Three Benefits of Exercise (at least for me):

#1  While the scale tells me I still weigh the same,  I still feel and look smaller.  Exercise tones all...well, some of the not-so-tone parts of my body. I move easier AND faster.  The more I get up and move, the more I want to get up and move!  It's a win-win!

#2  It's good for other important numbers.  My family (men and women) has a history of heart disease.  My dad died before he turned 50.  So, I keep up on my cholesterol numbers.  Last year, I had actually gained a couple of pounds from the year before, BUT I raised my HDL (good cholesterol)  12 POINTS!!!  That is really hard to do, but I was exercising more than I am now.  Exercise keeps my heart healthy!

#3  Exercise-It does the emotions good!  Not only do I feel better physically when I have consistent exercise, but my emotions are more on an even keel.  All those good brain chemicals that exercise releases make you feel good.  I have more confidence in my body.  I feel better about myself.  

A friend (a very physically fit friend) told me recently "Get rid of your scale!"  I didn't want to listen to her.  I'm kinda compulsive about getting on that thing.  But it is not my friend.  It really is a sabotage agent from the realms of darkness.  Well, that's a bit extreme, but you get the point.  So, (for now) I will put away the scale and just keep on moving!  

To clarify, here are my exercises of choice:  Most days, walking and keeping track of steps with a pedometer (shooting for 10,000).  I will throw in 30 mins of Tai Bo workout video and sometimes Tai Chi.  With my IC, I have to be careful about what kinds of exercises I do.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lent Prayer Calendar

I saw this idea online and decided to go for it!  

Two sheets from a Dora calendar and friends and family to pray for the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.  

When we pray before every meal and in our nightly devotions, we remember to pray for those on our calendar for the day.  

I think this is an idea we might have to adopt for use throughout the rest of the year. 

What are some unique ways you remember to pray for others?

Hip Homeschool Moms

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring Break--Freedom in the Somethings

Structure-my kids need it; they actually thrive in it!  Structure is necessary.  Without enough, it leads quickly down a path of boredom, moodiness and possibly laziness.  Too much structure is stifling and prevents creativity.  Finding a happy medium is the key.  

Spring break can have structure and still be FUN!!!

My two older kids have their own interests and hobbies.  Most of the time they entertain themselves very successfully.  Other times they need a little help.  I wanted to leave nothing up to chance this week.  I have some fun things lined up, but wanted them to have some freedom to pursue their own desires this week.  

Here's what they woke up to on the dry erase board this morning:

Write something
Read something
Play something
Clean something
Do something
Create something
Make something
Practice something


They pick whatever somethings they want to do.  Nothing is set in stone, yet they have somethings to look forward enjoy!

Structure,  yet freedom in the somethings of life!

There has been music played, desks cleaned, floral arrangements made all with a lightness of spirit and emotions!  Structure...yeah, it's a good thing in this house!  

Even on spring breaks...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up: Pi Day and a Spontaneous Field Trip

We started celebrating Pi Day during school this morning.  Tera started this Pi Day announcement on the dry erase board before I was even up.

The kids found three different items and had to measure diameters to find area and circumferences.

We watched a couple of youtube videos:

Tonight, we will eat PIE!!!  Pizza Pi, Blueberry Cream Pie and Pecan (because my family seemed so disappointed I would not make a pecan pie--store bought to the rescue).

The kids and I took a trip to the Blount County Historical Museum for a sneak peek of the their new exhibit featuring women's wear from the 1830s-1930s.  They will  change out the dresses every few weeks.  We will be frequent visitors, I'm sure!

This has been one of those weeks---productive, yet long and tiring.

I was so glad when I looked at the calendar of school days and realized we had enough days to actually take SPRING BREAK next week.  Almost all our activities are off, so it's PERFECT!!!!

I have some low key things planned for the kids and ice cream!  I bought ice cream!  It's going to be a great week!  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Memories 1994-2014

A beautiful present of memories made by our daughter for our anniversary!  (Help with ideas came from her brother, Daniel) 

I will love and cherish it forever!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Anniversary in Numbers


20 years

2 college degrees

3 kids

4 cars (We still own 2 of those!)

3 dogs and 2 cats

10 residences

4 states

6 pictures (taken at our wedding)

I was 19

He was 23

The 2 became 1!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Three Things Thursday--The 20th Anniversary Edition

Three Things Thursday

Next week, we'll mark our 20th wedding anniversary. So, I thought I would share some anniversary trivia. 


#1-- We eloped while our college was on spring break!  There was no big wedding.  No parents or walking down the aisle.    He wore a suit and I wore a simple white dress with yellow forsythia in my hair.  We had a church wedding with our three pastors.  They just happened to all three have wide open schedules that day, which was so unusual for a church that size.  There were 4 people in attendance not counting our best man and maid of honor who both wore jeans to the ceremony.  (They didn't have much notice!)   The maid of honor's husband took the only pictures we have of our wedding, because JP forgot to put film in his camera.  The music minister sang a song and played his guitar, but I can't really remember it.  It was one of those standard wedding songs.  I was just too nervous and I'm so surprised I could repeat my vows. 

#2-- Before we got married and even long after, we didn't have much money.  As we were buying the bare minimum for our wedding--license, dress, shoes, flower for me to hold, it was tight.  We had $60 to buy our  two wedding bands.  So, we headed down to the local pawn shop to see what we could find. We found 2 rings we liked and then he told us how much they were.  Too much!  He must have seen our downcast eyes, because he suddenly remembered a discount on rings.  $56 with tax.  We had just a little over $2 left.  I still love that reminds me of young love that just doesn't care about such things.  

#3--We postponed our honeymoon for a year because of #2.  We took a weekend to go to this remote bed and breakfast at Fall Creek Falls State Park.  It was wonderful!

For more Three Things Thursday, head on over to Heidi's blog!

The Big Reveal

Just in the past week or so, JP has changed schedules--radically! He went from basically the night shift to a day shift. He now gets up earlier than when he was going to bed just a few weeks ago. I love this new schedule! We will have a long time before we get all the kinks worked out, but we're getting there.  One day, I actually had DINNER ready before 3 PM.  My timing needs some adjustment.

Another issue is alone time.  

We are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary next week...20 YEARS!!! Our house is over 100 years old, so it has a unique set up.  Off of our bedroom is a smaller bedroom that was Michael's nursery.  It would be great for each of our kids to have their own bedroom, but there is no way that they can traipse through our room to get to it.  So, we are blessed to have our own little spot off of our bedroom.  

So far it has looked like this....piled up boys' clothes that need to be sorted...

unused exercise equipment, Christmas paper, luggage, baby gates, and that big pile in the middle that needed to be donated.  

I had this idea that I would clean out the room, donate the pile and find places for the other things.  No easy feat.  I about had a heart attack the day we donated the things.  They had to be moved from our upstairs to downstairs and from there to the car.  We took them to the CCI where we had to carry them through the building and up 2 flights of stairs.  There were other donated things that needed to go upstairs, too.  Let's just say, I can finally move my arms again. 

This is in the middle of our redecoration.  The kids and I hung curtain rods, vacuumed, cleaned windows and baseboards.  

Then, we hung pictures.  These aren't just any works of art.  All of the paintings in "Daddy's room" were painted by Uncle Curtis and Pop Pop (my husband's grandfather).  Most of Uncle Curtis' art is abstract and just didn't fit with our other decor.  But in the blank canvas of this getaway room, they are perfect!!

I absolutely love how this room turned out.  We spent only $2 (for new curtain rods)  to turn this storage room into a nice functional get away.    Eventually, we will change out the chair, but for now--it's functional!

We revealed early because we were scared he would find it ahead of time and the surprise would be ruined.  He loved his new surprise!  

Now, we need to finally get our office in order...that's for another month...I'm pooped!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lenten Resources

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is meant to be a time of repentance and reflection in the 40 days leading up to Easter (not counting Sundays). The 40 days is symbolic of the time Jesus spent in the wilderness fasting. Typically during Lent, a participant will "give up" or fast something. Those things range from meat, caffeine, chocolate, to various medias. Whatever is most important to you, that would be a sacrifice to do without, is usually a good place to start.  Whether you decide to "give up something for Lent" or not...don't miss out on the times of "intentional" reflection. 

Here are some awesome resources for you on your Lenten journey:

Easter Gardens, here, here, and here! We did this last year, check out this post to see our Easter Garden.

Magnetic Lenten Calendar- I really wanted to try this but didn't order it in time.  Maybe next year!

This is a new resource that I absolutely love:  Intentionally Celebrating Lent and Easter as a Family- a long list of activity ideas and links.

I hope you find something on this list that helps you during this exciting season leading up to the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sam Houston Birthday Celebration

Yesterday, we visited Sam Houston's schoolhouse for his birthday celebration! We always enjoy our visits to this local museum and grounds. 

My ancestry is from the Ogilvie clan in Scotland.  My great-great....grandfather came over with his brother and fought in the Revolutionary War.  The president of the Knoxville Scottish Society was on hand yesterday to give us some of our family history and Sam Houston.  The Ogilvie's are related to the royal family and they have the most intricate tartan!  

I also learned that there are free bagpipe lessons offered at Maryville College...definitely checking into that for Daniel.  AND there are ladies from DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) at the library every Thursday morning that will help you with the paperwork to become a member.  Since Tera will be studying the American Revolution next year, I'm thinking this will be a great assignment for her!  

There were demonstrators with hands-on fun....

music and food...

 and lots of fun!

These last two photos are compliments of the Sam Houston Schoolhouse facebook page or to find out more visit their website.  They are the only photos I have of Tera and myself from the day.  Go check out their page and send them a friend's request. It's a good way to stay informed of the latest events and they even have a trivia contest going on this month to win a free year's membership! 


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