Monday, January 23, 2017


Today was filled with:

errands and grocery shopping
eating lunch instead of breakfast
crazy little boys
sharing a hot dinner together
encouragement from Scripture and prayer
guitar and flute playing
melancholy songs
some exercise and chocolate chip cookies

A good! 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

On the bright side....

It was a long week, but we have arrived at Sunday---our day of rest, our day to reconnect with each other and with God.  We've struggled with setting Sunday aside as a different kind of day-a Sabbath, but we are making a new effort to do so.  You know what?  It's nice.  It's needed. 

Michael moved up to the beginner class in karate on Thursday.   He's low-man-on-the-totem-pole again.   At the end of the line again having to work his way up.  The class is harder, but it pushed/will push him to try harder.  We could tell the difference in effort during the first class!

Our week ended full of friend time.  Michael and I met our friend Lauren for lunch before she moves away for a while.  She is such a great young lady and it has been wonderful to get to know her.  Lauren was Michael's first VBS teacher when he was four and he just became attached to Lauren.  Lots of people feel that way about Lauren!  She is that lovable! 

After lunch Michael and I headed over to his best buddy, Sam's house.  They have such fun together being rough and tumble boys.  We ended the day with a few teen friends coming over after fencing.  (It was a really long day for me on Friday!) 
Yesterday, JP and I went out to lunch for the first time in forever!  He's been working a lot and we just needed that reconnection time. 
Today we had brunch together and discussed a new family Bible study.  More reconnecting....
That's what we need the most this year: reconnecting with each other, with friends and with God.  Stripping away at the extras, the superficial things and focusing on what matters most. 
Even though the day is grey and the rain is headed our way, it cannot dull the bright side of life that I feel today in this moment with these people---right here! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hump Day Randomness

It's been a long week so far.
JP is working 12 hour shifts and that always throws us off.  We've had late nights, dr. appointments, hard high school work loads, headaches and grey days. I haven't been sleeping well and it's starting to take a toll on my emotions. 
On the positive side, Michael had a muscle sprain in his back that we had checked out.  Everything on the x-rays looked great.  Daniel was out really late for a rehearsal because his texts didn't come through telling us to pick him up.  But he was fine and not hurt, injured or maimed.  (You know how moms think!)  The kids, especially Michael, have risen to the school challenge today after two really frustrating days. 
We are saving up for tires for JP's car this week.  So we have been eating what we have on hand with a few groceries added in to complete my recipes.  I scored a bunch of ground turkey on sale last week, which helped out a lot in coming up with meal ideas.  I was in the mood to cook tonight.  We had sloppy joes, mashed potatoes, pumpkin fritters, green beans and broccoli.  The pumpkin fritters were delicious! 
Aren't these colors so vibrant? 
I read this quote today: 
I like it!
We were able to open the windows and air out the house a bit today.  That is nice in the middle of January.  We've had the mildest January I can ever remember while living here. 
Michael is moving up to the beginner karate class tomorrow.  Let's hope he is up for the longer class times and heavy-duty sweat-machine of a uniform. 
ACT prep is not for sissies!
Have you ever had weeks where you feel like you have said all the wrong things to EVERYONE?  Yeah, me too!
My daughter has a boyfriend now.  A really, nice young man and I could rhapsodize about the whole thing, but there comes a time in your teenager's life when it's THEIR story to tell and not yours. 
It's music to my mother's soul when I hear my children talking about what they are reading in the Bible, what devotionals they want to order and the words: "Mommy, let's snuggle." 
No matter how I feel about a day or week, life is still good and I am so blessed with God's grace and mercy. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Over the last few months, I have really been struck with this push to "slow down", "savor life", "be in the moment", "to be present".  When we visited my brother, we had such a wonderful time sitting around their fire pit talking and being together.  It was just the push we needed to come home and make my vision to have a fire pit area a reality.  We worked on repurposing materials we already had into a safe comfortable area.  After prepping the area, JP went out and bought our fire pit.  Then, our area went through a crazy drought and we had a burn ban---then super cold, rainy weather. 
Finally, tonight the weather was just right.  Mild temperatures, dry and no wind.  We christened our fire pit.  It was nice sitting around and talking together.  Sharing food and deep conversations.  We have decided to limit our media time on Sundays.  Today was the first day of that effort.  As a family, we had so many conversations and face-to-face interactions.  It was wonderful! 
It's what I've been feeling that push to do---to slow down, to be together in a meaningful way. 

Shepherd's pie with flatbread eaten around the "campfire"...




Saturday, January 14, 2017

I'm back....

I feel like I am back to normal this week.  Things definitely weren't perfect, but I FEEL better now that we are back into our routine.  School is plugging along.  Our meals are becoming more normal and less like holiday eating.  We took down Christmas decorations and our two trees today.  I'm checking off a few things that have been on my to-do list for way too long. 

Ecology projects for biology--

I admit that sometimes I worry about doing enough with the kids...Michael especially.  I don't know why I worry---he's a strong reader and has already finished 2nd grade math.  But I worry!  This week, I just relaxed and went with the flow.  He did math on the computer with Timez Attack and we read A LOT!  He did some book work everyday, but spent a lot of time building and making things. 
We are in the middle of Detectives in Togas and read the entire Cottonmouth series this week.  I highly recommend these three picture books!  We were both on the edge of our seats.  They are THOSE books--the ones that you enjoy reading aloud! 

On Monday, a FB status memory popped up and reminded me that it was Michael's spiritual birthday.  That three years ago, this little boy asked Jesus to come into his heart!  We celebrated with iced brownies--the boxed kind.  Then, we went on a search and pinpointed each of the kids' spiritual birthdays to start a new celebratory tradition! 

JP has been working over to cover for another supervisor.  Last night, I had to take Tera to fencing before dropping Daniel off at his flute teacher's house.  He played in a flute choir last night at the Smoky Mountain Flute Invitational.  He had a blast!  We were able to live stream his performance and several of our friends/family did the same.  I love technology!  Today, he headed out early for another full day of master classes, recitals and all things flute. Michael seems restless without Daniel here.  But getting to play Angry Birds on the tablet has helped. 

I've got some more school work to get done before I can call it a day and relax a bit.  I have more thoughts to pen, but that will have to wait for another day. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017


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