Friday, December 29, 2006

It is overcast today. Not too cold. I have just completed morning chores and am now sitting down at the computer with my first cup of coffee for the day. Maybe the last one for the day. I really like the decaf as much as the regular to be honest, but Chad won't switch to decaf all the time. I would like to hit some of the after-Christmas sales, but it is very difficult with the kids along. All four of them want something for themselves and I have a hard time keeping it orderly. We tried yesterday morning and it did not go too well. I'm trying to decide if I want to give it another try this morning.

I'm reading Anne of Green Gables right now. It is very enjoyable. Naomi got the children's version from my mom for Christmas and read it in one day. She also received Pollyanna, and read it the day before she read Anne. She now is telling me what happens before I reach the part, but amazingly I don't mind. It is really fun to discuss it with her. It seems like the children's version must only omit the scenery. Everything else seems the same. Her comprehension of what she reads is really improving. The kids also received the Peanuts series from 1950-1960, hardcover edition, from my brother. We have been enjoying them also. They really are funny!

I have hardly looked at my knitting stuff. It seems a little overwhelming right now. Chad tells me there is a free beginners class at Michael's mid-January, so I will probably attend that. One of my friends also knits, and she will probably help me. As I looked out the window just now while taking a sip of coffee, I noticed a tumbleweed stuck under our truck. Only in West Texas. The neighbor's cat is walking across the front yard, but she won't let us touch her. Oh, how I miss my cats. Mom says that Napolean, the gray cat that we gave to her, climbs her like a tree to get in her arms. I may have already mentioned that in an earlier entry, but it really cracks me up. She says that Feline (pronounced Fellini) is always on the run around the house. I hope poor Blackfoot is alright. He so badly wanted to come with us in the U-Haul. Our little neighbor girl really liked him, though, so he should be okay. Pets! They just break your heart sometimes. Well, that's all for now. Have a good day!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Well, Christmas day has come and gone. We had a pretty good holiday- Chad's parents came for Christmas eve and day, and then left early the next morning. They never stay longer than 2-3 days for that is all his dad can handle. The kids had a blast with Granny and Papa here. Chad and I also enjoyed it for the most part. I am so very thankful that we did NOT have to do any long-distance traveling. It was so nice just to stay home and have them come to visit us. The gifts were good, too. Chad got me some knitting things that I had requested since I want to try my hand at it. I don't know when I will have the time, though, but I will find it when I am ready. I do want to commend the U.S. Postal Service right now. I was able to sew my grandmother's purse before Christmas but did not finish it until the 21st. I mailed it out that afternoon (priority mail) and really didn't expect her to get it until the 26th or so just because of the way the holiday fell this year. I also had mailed my parents gifts the day before and had little hope of them arriving in time either. Well, lo and behold, they all got their gifts on Christmas eve. I was pleasantly surprised! I had so wanted them to get their gifts on time since I couldn't be there in person. By the way, the purse turned out so cool. I will try to attach a picture to this thing, but I am not sure how to do it. I think I will sew a replica for myself since I have enough fabric left over. Two purses for $13 and the labor. Wow! Time to go now! Hope to talk again tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm back...

After not posting anything for four days, I decided to drum up something to say. I certainly got caught up in the busyness of the holidays these past few days, I am sorry to say. I was grouchy and mean and totally missed out on the joy of the season. Thankfully, I have a forgiving Father who knows all my shortcomings in advance. By His grace, I hope to honor Him the rest of this season. The enemy is definitely out to steal, kill, and destroy my joy right now. I'm sure I have given him a foothold, but I haven't been able to identify exactly where yet. Pray for me...and my family who is suffering the brunt of my unhappiness. Which reminds me of the pastor's sermon this past Sunday. It was based on Luke 1:39-45. In that scripture, it says more than once that Mary was blessed. Now this was when Gabriel first informed her that she would be the mother of Jesus. The point was that what we consider being blessed today is often far from what God considers blessing. We often think that financial security and not many problems or difficulties is blessing, which it may be. But it is not the definition of blessing. True blessing is trusting in God and finding happiness in knowing Him, despite the circumstances. Right now, I can't seem to get my eyes off the "wind" (Matthew 14:30). Mary and Joseph had no financial security and were about to face many trials with this "blessing". Wow! How self-centered I actually am! Help me in my unbelief. And I am not referring to belief in Jesus as God's son but belief in His power. (Mark 9:20-24)

Well, the kids are back in my room so that will have to be all for now.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


I read the first three chapters of Screwtape Letters last night. It wasn't even a struggle to stay awake. I really enjoyed it. This isn't the first time I have tried to read it, though, so I hope I will finish it out. It really is amazing how much it resembles today's culture.

I'm tired right now so I won't write much. The kids spent quite a bit of time outside before and after lunch. I love to watch them play. Their imaginations work overtime. It was just beautiful today, too. I didn't get any sewing done like I had wanted, but I did get all the Christmas cards addressed. We didn't get language arts completed (which is the most time-consuming), however we did cover science and history (which they really enjoy).


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Choosing this day

I am choosing to have a good day today. And it is happening. I just heard Saul say, "Abram, isn't it a beautiful day right now?" The timing was perfect for what I am writing. I already got some housecleaning goals for the day completed. Wow! I didn't know it was possible. The key for me is to give my children some independence. I tend to wait on them hand and foot-for instance, they are completely capable of picking out their own clothes and getting dressed. I still want to tell them what they should wear, and that is really not necessary. I am slowly trying to cut some of the apron strings. It is for their own good and my own. Early this morning, I was able to experience one of the most important aspects of homeschooling. When the kids got up, Naomi sat on the couch while the other three sat with me in the recliner. We had already plugged in the Christmas tree, and while we sat there in the quiet of the morning we played "ISpy". No rushing around; just time together enjoying one another and the morning of a new day. When I am asked why I homeschool, I tell people that it is not because I am an enemy of the public school system but simply because I enjoy having my children with me. When Naomi was first born, I became jealous at that time of someone having Naomi for eight or so hours a day while I didn't. Now I wasn't thinking of daycare, but looking ahead to kindergarten. I had already heard about homeschooling before I became a mom, so early in my first child's life I began pondering the homeschool option. Because of this, I had several years to work out the fears and worries of concerned family members about my children's social skills. I am glad to report that we really never hear objections from our family anymore about homeschooling. There is the occasional "So, when are you going to put the kids in school?", and my reply is always that I don't know yet. The Lord shall give us direction. As for socialization, the kids have no problem getting along with other kids. In fact, every child they meet interests them. They are great kids. I had to laugh yesterday afternoon at Naomi. My kids are pretty naive about things outside our home, and I don't mean just the bad things. The UPS guy delivered some boxes for Chad's job, and the guy is famous for ringing the doorbell and then leaving. Anyway, by the time we get to the door, he is long gone from view. But his truck isn't. Well, Naomi was the first to get there and she said that is was boxes. Then she proceeds to tell us that they were from "world wide service". Most other kids would know that the brown truck was UPS. She simply had read their promise on the back of the truck. Sorry, but it really struck me as funny. I chuckle now as I type it.

Hope you have a good day, too.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Running behind

I felt as if I just couldn't catch up today. Actually, it wasn't too bad when I think back on it. I was able to type out about half of a letter that I want to include with our Christmas cards this year; I spoke with a good friend for about half an hour on the phone; the kids and I got math, language arts, and handwriting accomplished; I was able to gather the materials for my Grandmother's purse that I plan to sew; and, last but not least, we did eat three meals today. Of course, some was leftovers and Chad helped prepare even that. I do want to say, however, that the kids each had about 2-4 servings of fresh fruits or vegetables, with Saul leading the gang and Esther trailing behind. She really doesn't like her vegetables too much yet. Naomi has just discovered that carrots are pretty good when drowned in Ranch dressing. I just discovered that myself. It just goes to show you that you are never too old to try healthy foods. Abram enjoys cauliflower, and the little guy (Saul) eats it all. Back to the first line of this entry- the enemy always wants us to feel like we have failed. I want to thank God for his goodness and mercy.

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1

I am trying to write this one on my heart.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

15 exemptions?!!!

We had to fill out a w-4 for the new job. There were a few additional questions or circumstances that I don't recall from last year when we filled one out. Anyway, after we put a one in all of the blanks plus some, we had 15 exemptions total. Well, the accounting lady from the office calls us to say we can't do that but later admitted that we can claim as many as we want, without lying of course. We have been trying for years to figure out how much money to have taken out for taxes so that we don't get the big refund, but instead get the money each paycheck. Fifteen is the magic number, I guess. We are a family of six, but by claiming all the different categories we ended up with 15, which according to last year's taxes should put us where we will pay Caesar what we owe and nothing more. We are very excited about this.

This afternoon, Naomi, Abram and I went to one of the local high school's Christmas concert. It was great! I went walking down memory lane. I played the French horn almost twenty years ago in my own high school's concert band. I enjoyed hearing the music from the audience rather than from the row behind the saxophones. Some of my fondest memories of school are band-related. Most of my closest friends were with me in the band. There is just something about being part of a "team". We have not yet decided when or if we will put the kids in public school. I am leaning toward high school at the earliest. The extra-curricular activities are appealing. That's all for now.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Not much out of the ordinary happened yesterday. We finished up our school week, are at McD for dinner, and then rented a movie to watch at home. This morning we went and got a Christmas tree. I also found a beautiful pink poinsetta for $3 and a wreath. This is the first time we have had a real tree in about five years. The kids had a blast even though we just bought it from Lowe's. We have straightened it out three times already since setting it up. I hope that it finally is just right.

Oh, how I would like to sew something. I want to sew a purse pattern that I have had for some time now. Maybe the week before Christmas I will get some time to do so. I wanted to sew one for myself and my grandmother. Her birthday is Christmas eve, so she has gotten jipped pretty much all her life. She was born right before the Depression and has vivid memories of it. I have tried to get her to write down some things about her life, but she thinks it is too depressing. It's my heritage, though, so I will continue to encourage her to do so. Back to sewing- it is fun. I think that I will try to sign up for some classes at one of the local fabric shops this spring. Maybe one that Naomi and I can do together. She is old enough now, I believe. If Mom were closer, we would definitely sew together. She is the one who introduced me to it. I hope that Mom and Dad can one day live nearby us again. Like next door.

Farewell, for now.

Thursday, December 7, 2006


Took a day off from intellectual homeschooling yesterday and cleaned the house. It was great! The kids helped as they should since they play a big role in making the mess. We also finished reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond. It took me six weeks to read the first half (mostly because we moved) and about two hours to read the second half, all aloud. I thought I might end up hoarse after yesterday's endeavor, but the bottle of water that I kept nearby seemed to do the trick. Last night, we went to the family meal at church and then stayed after for the service and fellowship. It felt good to be back. I am finally settling in again.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

What a sweetie!

I have been meaning to write down some of Esther's sayings, but I have never gotten around to it. She calls Naomi "Mamie", Abram "Babram", Saul "Tall", and Chad "Ma-dee" when she really wants his attention. I told him that he must be a really special dad to earn a title that is a combination of Mommy and Daddy! Actually, he is a wonderful father and husband.

We took the kids to see "Happy Feet" on Thanksgiving Day since we were all alone in our new home town with no family nearby. It was alright. The funny thing is that Saul calls it the "peng-y movie". Every time I hear him say it, I laugh. Kids are surely funny at his age- most of the time, anyway.

The weather has been rather brisk here. It puts one in the Christmas mood immediately! Last night we had chili for dinner, and Saul was stuffing corn bread muffins into his bowl and then scooping big spoonfuls into his mouth one after another. Abram didn't eat any of his, except to dip a saltine cracker in for a little of the juice. As I watched Saul eat, I got an image of him eating when he is the size of Chad and I almost fell out of my chair. There will be no such thing as leftovers at that time. Abram will probably even eat what is in front of him by then. I have already told both of them that I will have to put a padlock on the fridge when they get to be teenagers. Abram can hardly believe it. I don't think Saul even heard me.

As for my sweet girls, they are very close even though there is a six-year age difference. I attribute this to homeschooling. They share a room and spend much of the day together. I am thankful. I love seeing the relationships between my children. They know and like each other. They do life together, and I get to witness it. What a blessing! Enough for now- back to work.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Next Day

I'm sure I will like this as I get farther along- I can't stand setting new things up, especially on the computer. We are trying to get back on our budget, or monthly cash-flow plan as Dave Ramsey calls it. We have used a budget now for over a year, maybe two, and it has done wonders for our financial status. We are no longer in debt. We are working on saving money for a home. We also need to get our retirement plan rolling. Anyway, our stress level is way down in the finance area. Thank you, Lord.

Today was pretty average. Good day schooling; good day at work for Chad.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Yesterday I attended an Arbonne party- it is skin care products that would compete with Mary Kay and the like. The products seemed to be good, although I was not interested enough to buy more than a small sample that cost $11.50. I just didn't happen to have $200 extra in the budget to spend on whatever came my way. I have never heard of the company before now.

I'm not sure how much I'm going to like this blog stuff. My mind seems to go blank when I sit down to do it. We shall see.

First Day

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me. Micah 7:7,8

Chad says I pouted in church today. Maybe so. I still like this verse, though. It's my new favorite verse. Has been for about four or five months now.

This morning some papers flew down as Chad grabbed a sweater from the top shelf in our closet of the house we are now renting. They were a previous renter's pay stubs from a local grocery store. The store is called H.E.B., but on the pay stub it revealed the name to actually be H.E. Butt Grocery Company. Now we know why it is called the other- I wonder if any of the locals know that. I found it particularly funny because of JanJan's recent mention of someone's address by the same surname.