Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A day in the life...

Yes, I heard and felt the 2.9 earthquake that happened in our area last night.

Today, we've been to the gym for our work-out.

A trip to  Walmart for dog treats, a blue light saber (because apparently Luke Skywalker had a blue one at one point instead of the green one we already own.  I did not fail to point out Luke's picture on the green light saber box.), pink and gray felt for another costume, a impulse purchase of a discounted pecan pie to put in the freezer for Thanksgiving.  

Home to finish school, dishes, laundry, sweeping, and cleaning the bathroom.  Cleaned my room before the a/c guy arrived.  (See below)

Listened to Mazey bark the entire time the technician was here for our semi-annual HVAC check. 

Dinner made--stuffed pepper soup and off to karate.  

Picked up a brown  "London Fog" style raincoat from the dry cleaners for another costume.  (A $9.99 steal from the thrift store the day before--brand-new with tag)

Somehow managed to read my B90 Bible selection in the noisy karate waiting room.

Dollar Tree stop for AAA batteries for the above blue light saber and salty snacks for me.  Apparently, I was craving something salty since I walked out with a can of Lay's and two bags of those veggie chips.

A quick catch-up on our day with JP and overhearing Andy Griffith episodes in the back ground.  Anyone under 18 will be going upstairs some and I will settle down with my salty snacks and  watch either Matlock or Timeless; a hot bath, a good book and bed.  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Feast or famine blogging

It's feast or famine when it comes to my blogging.
This has been one of those busy weeks that I'm just trying to make it through.  An extra karate lesson, Daniel not feeling well,  his flute ensemble rehearsal, a oral surgeon consult and a late night swim.  Those are the extra things I can think of right now. Combine school with trying to eat healthier and participating in a hydration challenge and several late nights and you have one tired momma today.
I went to the gym on Tuesday for a meeting with one of the trainers to go through a workout she designed specifically for me.  I was sore after that meeting and we didn't even do the complete workout.   Today, I did it on my own.   I feel like I've been to the gym.  Chest extensions are horrible, just putting that out there.  I'm hoping that the couple of minutes in the hot tub after my workout will definitely make a difference and I will be able to move my limbs tomorrow.  Seriously, I do not feel too bad, right now.  It might be because only my fingers are moving.
Joining the wellness center was one of the best decisions our family has ever made together.  We have the privilege of getting healthier--together. 
One of my children has shown great strides in maturity this week--checking their bag to make sure they had their things before leaving a place, doing schoolwork in advance, and laying out their swimsuit after a swim.  Woo Hoo!
Saturday morning, I will be trying to occupy myself while Tera takes the ACT for the first time. The school has no internet access, so I need to plan ahead on what to bring to get some school work done.   She finished her last practice test before the actual ACT today with very good results.  What a great confidence booster. 
Michael is going to dress up as Luke Skywalker and we picked up his costume today.  He still needs a BLUE lightsaber instead of his green one.  Because Luke has a blue one....go figure.
Daniel is enjoying Tai Chi classes so much.  I've had several ladies come up to me to tell me how well he is doing and how fast he is learning the forms.  It makes him smile when I pass on the compliments. 
Soon, we head out for our third karate lesson on the week (making up is hard to do) and hopefully an early evening home. 
That is all for now...

Friday, October 14, 2016

Another One Bites the Dust

Oh yeah, another week complete!  Another one bites the dust! 
5 1/2 weeks until Thanksgiving.  7 weeks until our month off for December.  Working hard makes the breaks so much sweeter. 
Our weekends have been nice, lately.  Hanging out together and getting things done around the house.  Last Sunday,  JP was feeling under the weather.  We decided that we would worship together at home.  We have no real plans this weekend and I LOVE that!  Sleeping in on Saturday has become part of my weekly routine. 
Daniel's allergies are acting up.  Fall is a wonderful time of year, but just not for our sinuses. 

Edible DNA

My IC has not been nice to me today.  I'm thinking it's a hormonal trigger and will pass in a day or two.   I'm feeling a bit on edge today, as well.  For no apparent reason....
Tera takes the ACT in a week for the first time.  I bought more #2 pencils last night, because we have a pencil black hole somewhere in our dining room that swallows up any yellow pencil in sight. 
I started Christmas shopping last night for family and found a couple of great deals for the boys.  Score! 
Michael and I finished Ember Falls by S. D. Smith today.  He couldn't believe it when I said, "The End"!  We can't wait for the next book in the series!

Well, I need to go make homemade nacho cheese for the kids and a couple of their friends tonight.  I hope they turn out well.  This 5-ingredient queso dip and homemade nacho cheese sauce. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Your greatest contribution

I've been thinking a lot about this quote.  Sometimes it feels like I'm not really doing very much for anyone--for God.  I feel limited and my efforts feel so small. 

I do the laundry, the dishes, the school planning.  Listen to the jokes, the doubts, and the thoughts.  I'm a chef, a chauffeur and a charismatic motivator. (Charismatic is debatable on most days...)  Activity director, triage nurse and spiritual leader.

Recently, I read this in Deuteronomy 3:

"Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan.  But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see."  (verses 27b-28)

The Lord is speaking to Moses telling him that he will not be allowed to enter the Promise Land that God had promised to the Hebrew people.  God instructs Moses to encourage and strengthen Joshua to be the Israelite leader.  Joshua will lead the people to victory.

Now, I don't pretend to be a great leader like Moses, but this verse really spoke to my heart. 

What if the greatest thing I can do for the kingdom of God is to encourage and strengthen my children to be a Joshua in this world?  To conquer unknown territory for the Lord. 

What if God is calling me to do the behind the scenes work that no one will ever see except those closest to me?  Dirty, monotonous work. 

What if my greatest contribution to the kingdom of God is not something I do, but someone I raise?

My answer is "here I am, Lord...send me"-- or keep me right here in this place with these people.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Since we go to the gym two morning a week, our MWF school schedule is heavier.  It's about 1 PM as I am writing this.  Michael is on the computer doing logic puzzles on Hooda math.  Tera is finished with regular school work, but is working on a ACT math practice test in anticipation of her exam next Saturday.  (You know I don't mean THE next Saturday, which is THIS Saturday, but the Saturday a week from now.  That is NEXT Saturday...at least where I come from.)  Daniel is re-doing missed math problems, because we are all about getting it right even if it takes a second time around.  He has a few little things to finish up, before calling it a day, school-wise. 
Michael and I have a play date this afternoon with a friend he met through chess tournaments.  An only child and the youngest child--they have so much fun together.  I'm privileged to be able to sit and talk with his mom, a very peaceful soul!  It's always a relaxing afternoon.
I'm tired today.  Sinus pressure is not nice.  Allergy medicine hangover is real.  That is all on that subject.
I've been de-cluttering not only my house, but my E-MAIL!  I delete so many emails without reading them from companies I've signed up for over the years.  Now, I'm unsubscribing to almost everything and then deleting.  I also changed some of my facebook settings.  It's so nice to check my email and not almost have a panic attack, because there are 30+ emails overnight or in a couple of hours some days.  Now, it's like 6.  Boundaries are good! 
I took the trash out and had a nice talk with my neighbor while I was out there. 
Who knew I could teach biology and make it semi-interesting for the kids?  I am using Guest Hollow's Biology Curriculum as our main curriculum and adding in fun hands-on activities as well.  
John Denver and James Taylor are on our playlist this afternoon. 
A fend for yourself leftover dinner and a relaxing evening is on the menu. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

On the bright side...

We were up before the crack of dawn this morning for gym day.  Our wellness center does a fitness assessment and the trainer takes that information to develop a workout routine especially for you.  At your next appointment they work through your routine teaching you how to do it properly. 

I reminded myself before I went in there this morning that I am at my lowest adult weight and have maintained for about 5 years.  I know I'm a very number focused person.  I count things to fall asleep some night. 

So, the results are in:
  • Great hydration, blood pressure and bicep strength
  • Not so great back flexibility, lean muscle mass and overall body fat
The machine printout gave me my goal weight (over 20 lbs. lighter), which in my trainer's words is "the Barbie doll version of you."  So, that is definitely not going to be my goal. 

Building muscle, losing fat, being more flexible, eating healthy...those are my goals!  

On another bright side, this was our view on the way to the gym:

Photo credit:  Daniel

Monday, October 10, 2016

Just the highlights...

Since I've been limiting my time on the internet during school hours, it feels like I miss sharing the little tidbits of my day as they are happening.  I'm living in the moment...

Here are the highlights of our day:

Smiles during biology class.

JP was home sick and in bed most of the day.  We had his favorite hamburger veggie soup for dinner.  Soup is good for what ails you. 
Monday is such a long day--school wise.  It's definitely a full-time job.
Shopping at night is not as much fun as shopping during the day when there are less people in the stores.
Windows open make the house smell so fresh. 
It's hard finishing school and turning around to start dinner.

No matter how many times we've heard it or said it; this still makes us laugh:

"I smell gas...I smell gas...I smell gas..."
"Alright, alright, what do you think this car runs on? Coal!"

I had the kids do a mini-research project today.  We looked at the November ballot and looked up the third party candidates listed.  They had to identify which one(s) that aligned with their ideas.  It's an important exercise to teach our kids EVEN before they are able to vote.  You vote for an individual candidate not a political party. 
I've got over 10 more years of teaching math.  That is not quite a happy thought. 
I edited a facebook post after our grammar lesson today.  :)
It's the end of the day quiet and every one is safe and (relatively)  happy in this little corner of the world. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Week something--check!

I seriously went to type the title and I cannot even remember what week of school we just completed--12 or 13, maybe?  

This was one of those weeks where I was ultra-focused on school with the kids, housework and several other things I've let slide the past couple of weeks.  One of those weeks where I asked myself, "How do I have time for anything else but this?"  But you know what happened?  When I put things in their rightful place, I had time for the other things, too.  

Highlights of my week:  playing games with Michael, conversations un-distracted with my teens, silence while driving in the car with my introverted son, new realigned priorities, God's Word speaking to me, completed assignments, getting all my prep work for next week and grades put in the system before the weekend started, Michael getting up on Friday morning excited about schoolwork, and swimming.

Michael and I have been enjoying reading Ember Falls by S.D. Smith.

Biology has been going better than I hoped this year.  In addition to the required workload (lecture, reading, videos, supplemental reading, labs, etc.), I have been able to add-in some fun hands-on activities.  Michael really looks forward to joining in on these days. 

This week's Punnett Squares activity: 

A couple of weeks ago, we did Oreo mitosis: 

Paper plate mitosis:

 Anti-smoking posters:

 French cultural activity---Lego Eiffel Tower

In British literature, the kids have already finished Beowulf, part of Canterbury Tales, Pilgrim's Progress, Paradise Lost, Comedy of Errors and are in the middle of Robinson Crusoe.  I think Tera might be finished, she enjoyed it so much!  

There are areas we are struggling in, but we are hitting those areas head-on.  So, it's all working out just fine!  


Finding my way

After quite a bit of discussion with my husband and Bible study, I realized I've lost my way a bit.  I've let my own lack of boundaries within several outside obligations interfere with our family life.  I've been so consumed with doing a good job...a great job for other people that I have been neglecting the ones that I love the most.  Neglecting our home, good eating/rest habits,  my devotions and my inner happy places.  (Those inner places of peace and calm need our attention!)

So, I put up boundaries this week.  My husband is happier.  The kids and I have had great conversations where I wasn't distracted or multi-tasking.  The house is clean (well, clean for us...).  Personal emails were sent and I talked to my mom for over an hour.  I feel that sense of calm and direction, again.  I've been able to keep up with my B90 Scripture readings. 

In my Bible reading, the Lord has reminded me of things, impressed things on my heart and revealed things about who I am and who He is.  

My friend and I are doing a Bible study for women called She's Got Issues: Seriously Good News for Stressed-Out, Secretly Scared Control Freaks Like Us.  I'm being reminded that God wants us to surrender EVERYTHING to Him.  That control is an illusion and there are very few things in this life that we can actually "control".  Nicole reminds us that we can control these things:  "my posture toward God's Kingdom in my life; the space I make for God; the way I treat God's Word; my attitude toward others."  Not a long list, but an important one. 

"For every situation, big or small, Jesus Christ is in control." 
Nicole Unice 

"Whatever God allows to happen, we can give ourselves over to His goodness."
Nancy Guthrie

As I keep moving forward on this journey, I need to remember that surrender is a daily thing.  Getting into God's presence for strength and growth is a daily thing.  Making good choices on how I spend my time is a daily thing. And even if I mess it up today, tomorrow is a new day!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Monday, October 3, 2016

16th Birthday


Out to lunch at Tera's favorite---Aroma Cafe--Cuban food

Daniel after he realizes that his new Hobbit game has a one person playing option.  He was so happy!


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