Wonderful Cross/When I Survey

I love hymns. However...I don't tend to be a huge fan of *contemporized* (is that a word...? ;-)) hymns. Hymn arrangements can be wonderful, but uber-contemporary settings tend to grate on me a bit.

I heard this arrangement on the radio today, and oddly enough (because "When I Survey" is one of those hymns I usually *really* dislike in contemporary settings), I loved it. I thought the visuals on this YouTube video were excellent as well...


Week in Review...

(Photo note:  I never got a good group photo on Thanksgiving.  Emlyn got a bad headache after lunch and didn't feel like having her picture taken, and I had interrupted Peter's checkers game. :)  This is as good as it got! ;-))

This has been one of those peculiar weeks which has seemed to pass in the blink of an eye in one way, while seeming to be three weeks long in another.  Anybody else have those?   In any case, my blogging plans for the week went up in a puff of smoke...or perhaps I should say a couple of rounds of steel and rubber. ;-)  More on that later...

Monday~I had a lovely Thanksgiving week Daybook post all mapped out
 in my head Monday morning.  I also had a deadline to meet, so I mentally moved "Daybook blog post" from Monday morning's list  to Monday evening's.  By Monday evening I was not feeling well, and if I remember correctly, I went to bed early.  At any rate, my thought was, "I'll just do a Tuesday morning Daybook."  

Tuesday~The kids and I had a full day planned, between work to do at home and errands that needed (I thought!) to be run.   The Tuesday before Thanksgiving is also Wednesday on Tuesday at church, making Tuesday our *short day* this week.  I had just finished drafting our plan for the day on paper and had pulled up a screen to start my Daybook post, when Billy returned from his early morning walk.  

It's never a good sign when your husband walks in and says, "Well, you aren't 
going anywhere in *that* car today."   I'm not sure what I was expecting, but certainly not his reply to my trying-not-to-panic, "Why??"  

"Someone jacked it up on a concrete block and stole two tires, rims and all."

You will just have to imagine the look on my face at this point.  Eyes as wide as saucers, jaw scraping the desktop in front of me, as I said, "WHAT??", sure that I had heard him wrong.   Nope.  There it sat, propped up on a broken concrete block, naked axles and all.  

I'll spare you further details, mostly because I don't want to think about them at the moment myself, but suffice it to say that I didn't get my Daybook post typed Tuesday morning. ;-) Somehow between the list of things we needed to do at home and the extra time and mental effort the tire situation involved, we barely made it to church Tuesday night.  I'm not sure *when* I thought we were going to run errands on Tuesday, car or no car!

The car thing was a bit of a jolt for several reasons.  First, things like that are just irritating.   They require time and thought that you had planned to use on other things.  They are an annoying interruption.  Second, they are an affront to your sense of security.  They leave you feeling violated and vulnerable.   And third...they are expensive.  New tires and rims were not part of our budgeting plans right before Christmas.  Enough said. :)

As anyone who knows me at all knows, I'm a worrier.  I come from a long line of worriers.  God has been working on that in the past few years, and while I'm a slow learner, I *am* learning.  I started out mad, then the worrying began, and  I was really tempted to spaz completely out (moreso than I did...ack), but for the most part, I was surprised at how God enabled me to rest in the fact that it was *His* car, and therefore *His* problem.  :-D    I began to work on figuring out how to make the next few weeks work with one vehicle (we've only been back to two vehicles for 6 weeks or so...amazing how quickly we get spoiled!), or how to revise the Christmas lists if we decided to go ahead and get the tires now instead  of waiting until after Christmas.  I posted this to some friends Tuesday  morning...

"I'm trying to be thankful.  It wasn't the van! That is good because we can't *all* get in the car at once.  They didn't damage the car, that Billy can tell, getting the tires off.  It was only two tires!  So we'll be able to replace them sooner than if it had been all four.  I'm thankful that we *have* two vehicles and that this didn't happen to our *only* transportation.  They didn't do anything to our house, and we are all safe.  

I just remembered something...I had *just* told the kids last night that one of the things I was most thankful for this Thanksgiving was that we had been blessed with the car, because the next few weeks would be really hard otherwise.   God's ways are mysterious, and sometimes humorous.    I was praying yesterday for ways to teach gratitude to my children, because we've been dealing with some ingratitude issues.  Guess this is  my opportunity, huh?    "

Here is the good part!  By bedtime that night, God had very unexpectedly supplied the money to replace the tires!   And I'll jump ahead in the week just a bit to say that by Wednesday afternoon, He had enabled Billy to find both rims and tires, in great condition, at area salvage yards.   By Wednesday morning, my wonderful husband had the car drivable so that we could  get all our "running around" done, and by Thursday you couldn't tell by looking that the whole  thing had ever happened!   What a great Thanksgiving lesson in God's provision and goodness.  I had been struggling a bit lately with trusting in God's provision...lessons I thought I had learned years ago in which I suddenly needed a refresher course.   And God gave one!   

Wednesday~Wednesday was on-the-run day!  Peter, Bay, and our friend Kaitlyn had an art class at JHARV Nature Center.   They did some great paintings, which I just realized I have not taken pictures of...oops!...while Kathy and I caught up on a couple of week's worth of unfinished conversations and watched the three younger ones explore.   I'm so thankful for friends I can laugh with till my sides hurt and then have really deep conversations about whatever is in our hearts.   God has so blessed me in that area, and I am grateful!

We had lunch with Kathy and the kids and spent the rest of the day running errands.  By the end of the day, I was more thankful than ever that I wasn't cooking a big Thanksgiving dinner the next morning!

Thursday~We had a very simple, quiet Thanksgiving.  I am so thankful for that!  The past few years, I have really grieved the loss of the huge holiday celebrations we had when I was growing up. Travelling from Conway to Fort Smith, spending time with a whole horde of relatives, eating our way through two, and sometimes *three* delectable dinners (and eating more food than we usually ate in a week or two in the process :-D)....those are the memories of my childhood and teen years.  

Our holidays in the past few years have been very different.  My extended family has shrunk to the point of being miniscule, and Billy's family isn't into the big celebrations I was used to.  Thanksgiving especially is really different, due to everyone in his family being in retail/delivery service/healthcare and having to work weird schedules Thanksgiving weekend.   So...the four day Thanksgiving *eat until your eyeballs bulge, watch parades and football on TV, and listen to the family storytellers for hours on end* tradition is no more.  

As I said, I've spent the last few years really grieving that loss.  Wishing my children had what I grew up with.    But God has really worked in my heart in this area...healing the grieving, convicting me about what *I* need to be doing to build new holiday traditions for my family, and giving me contentment about the situation in which He has placed us.   I so needed a very simple, calm, stress-free holiday this year...and God gave that.  We've had a *tradition* of sorts for the past few years of having Thanksgiving dinner at the Cracker Barrel, with my mom and whatever other family happens to be available.   We went again this year, and while not one of us ended up eating turkey and dressing (don't tell anyone, but three of my children had pancakes for Thanksgiving dinner! ;-)), we had a wonderful day, relaxing, enjoying each other, and thanking God for His blessings.  

Somehow this was the transition year I needed...my plan for next year is to have the dining room finished and start some new traditions, including dinner at our house.   I've already started a file of ideas! :)

Friday~Another big change from my growing-up years...I avoid Black Friday shopping like the plague these days!  We used to shop from whatever time the stores opened on Friday all weekend long.   Nowdays, Billy almost always has to work that day,  and I've come to really enjoy Christmas shopping at my desk in my PJs, and waiting for the boxes to be delivered to my doorstep!  

This year, I didn't even do much online shopping.   Jodie tipped me off to the Vision Forum 48-hour sale, and I did a bit of shopping there (no details in case a nosy child happens to read this 
:-D); otherwise I pretty much window-shopped online.  (I did grab a few small gifts during a late-night Target run, too...it was a great time to be out, because all the 4 a.m. shoppers were home in bed. :))

A couple of Friday highlights...

Jodie brought us the leftovers to make the cutest turkey cupcakes.  The cupcakes were made and frosted, all the decorations were there, and Friday morning the kids 
and I decorated (and ate) a gaggle of gobblers.  What a fun treat!   And even better when someone else had done all the work and left us with just the fun part to do!! ;-)  (Thanks, Mrs. Jodie! :-D)

Then Friday night...I got a haircut!  Those of you who don't know me IRL probably don't realize the magnitude of that.   I'm not sure of the adjective that best describes me in relation to haircuts.  Paranoid?  Phobic?  Neurotic?  Something along those lines. :)  Not about the process itself...I love actually *having* my hair cut.  But somewhere along the line I had a few too many *hair butcher* experiences, and after the agony of  growing out both hair and bangs for *years*, I have been paralyzed about actually taking the step to get it cut.  

I'll spare you the details, but a variety of things finally pushed me to the precipice, and yesterday I suddenly hit that "I have to have a haircut now or I'm going to pull it all out" stage. ;-)  

When I say I am Billy's "blessedly spoiled" wife, it's true.   The moment I mentioned that I had finally given in and decided it was time for a haircut, he insisted that whatever he had to do, I was getting a hair cut *that* night.  We had an easy supper, he and the kids cleaned up, and he practically pushed me out the door as I began to get cold feet. :)  

Thankfully, it ended up being a good experience...I think I've finally found someone I like and trust with my hair (which means, of course, that despite the fact that she may not have given a single thought to it prior to yesterday, she will end up moving out of state before I need my next cut. ;-))  It feels a million times better and I haven't missed my ponytail yet!  (Although she actually assured me that I still have enough to have one should the need arise. :))

(Photo Note:  This is *not* a great picture of me or the haircut. But it will have to do until I have time to get a better one. :))

Wow.  I think this may be the *longest* blog post *ever* (which is saying a *lot* for me! :-D)  I still feel as though I am leaving out something...and I'm sure that I'll remember it right after I *finally* (on the 4th or 5th try...grr!) get Blogger's silly Word Verification annoyance to let me post this!  

I hope everyone had a great week and a wonderful Thanksgiving!


"Let Us Be Thankful..."

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our 'God is a consuming fire'."
~Hebrews 12:28-29

Thanksgiving is worship.
Our worship is to be "acceptable", befitting a Holy God
It is to be done in "reverence" and "awe".
"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, 
because His compassions fail not." 
~Lamentations 3:22

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, worshiping the Creator in reverence and awe, and giving thanks for His amazing mercies and bountiful blessings!


She's Done it Again...

No, not one of my girls. ;-)  

Ann Voskamp.   Yesterday's "The Creative Work of Suffering" is a must-read.  Beautiful, comforting, inspiring, convicting.  Today's "Thanksgiving Rightly Addressed" is excellent as well.   She cuts to the heart of the matter so eloquently.   

Much to ponder...


Thankful Thursday (on Friday)

(This is not the Thankful Thursday post I had planned for yesterday.  I thought I would have an opportunity to post last night, but it didn't happen.  And my thoughts have gone in a totally different direction since then.  I'm thankful for Iris and her weekly reminders to express our thanks, even though I haven't been good about actually posting them lately. :))

This morning I am thankful for another morning with my husband and my children.   

Last night I was browsing the cereal aisle in Wal-Mart when a friend walked up and said that a mom from church had died very suddenly and unexpectedly earlier in the evening.  From what I understand, she had seen two doctors in the past two days who both said the symptoms she was having were nothing to worry about.  

All I could think about the rest of the night was three little girls going to bed without their mama. 

This morning thoughts of the shock and pain her family is dealing with are mingled with thoughts about my own priorities.  Not the ones on paper...it's easy to make a list of "God, Family, Others" and feel like we have them all in order.  But in real life...it is so, so easy to let them become massively skewed.  It's so easy to think, "I'll do better when _________ is over," or "Tomorrow will be better."   But as God has reminded me again, there is no guarantee that He will give tomorrow.  

I'm thankful for another chance to work at getting them right.  I'm thankful for another chance to snuggle with my girls, listen to the boy's excitement about his latest Lego creation or what he just heard on the radio, and watch a movie with my husband.  I'm thankful for another chance to stop and deal with the 113 interruptions that I've had from four children (and two dogs) since I started trying to type this short post. :-)

I'm praying that God will help me to remember what a blessing every moment of today is...and every day to come...and that I will remember that "Live each day as though it were your last" is not just a trite saying...it is wise counsel.  

Please pray with me for the R. family today and this week.  


R.A. Recognition Sunday

I've mentioned R.A. recognition Sunday several times and promised it a post all its own...so here it is. :)   

Royal Ambassadors is a missions organization for boys in 1st-6th grade.  We are blessed to have a great R.A. leader who does a wonderful job with the boys.   We are very thankful for Mr. Will! 

This past Sunday was R.A. Sunday.  The boys served as ushers in both services, and there was a recognition time during the morning service.  Peter received an award for memorizing 25 Scripture verses.  He has already started on his next 25! :) 

Here are a few photos of the boys serving as greeters/ushers Sunday night.  They did a great job, despite not being able to resist hamming it up a bit for the camera. :)

Works-for-Me-Wednesday~~Mega Memory~~

I think I am now something like 3 and a half weeks late posting my Mega Memory Month wrap-up post.  *Sigh*  And it has been months (and months...and months, maybe) since I have participated in Works-for-me-Wednesday.  So...since I have been wide-awake since 2:45 a.m., I thought now would be an ideal time to remedy both situations.  (Not that I don't have a list of things a MILE long to do to catch up from this past week, but since most of those require the participation of my children--i.e. schoolwork and working Christmas musical parts--or noise--i.e. piano practice and housework--the wee hours of the morning are not exactly the optimal time for catching up. *rolling eyes* ;-))

Around the beginning of October, it seemed that God was prompting me from every direction that we needed to expand our Scripture memory time to include larger portions of Scripture.   In the midst of my planning to make that happen, I ran across a post by Ann Voskamp about Ann Kroeker's Mega Memory Month challenge.   I decided that it was just what we needed, and posted about my motivation and our plan here.   (For those who are interested, you can read intermediate updates here and here.)

I was supposed to post a wrap-up post at the end of October; however, our final "presentation" for dad kept being postponed due to "life happening".  So...I kept putting off my final post thinking "we'll have our presentation tonight and *then* I'll post."  And then we finally had our presentation a week or so ago and I still haven't posted.  *hanging head*  Ugh.

But...there *is* an upside to my procrastination.  One of the best parts of the story didn't happen until last week, so now I can post about it, too. :)

We did complete Psalm 1.   I have all kinds of books of "scripture memory activities" that I had planned to use during the month, but we ended up keeping it very simple.  We had "Mega Memory" time every day during our group time in school to work on our memory work.  (That has now become a permanent part of our school schedule.)   We discussed the Psalm in detail during the month, turning it into an extended Bible Study on the Psalm.   Every couple of days we added another verse, learning sign language to go along with it to aid in memory (a tool we used to use in our Character First VBS for learning longer Scripture passages).  Once we had them all learned, we continued reviewing and polishing.  I had also recorded the Psalm (and our poem) on a small cassette player, which the kids thought was amazingly cool, and they loved to review with it on their own.  (More on the cassette player and our Mega Memory folders here and here. )  

We ended up not doing as much with our poem as I had planned (at least not in October...we're still finishing it up!)  The Psalm was our focus, but the kids loved the Robert Louis Stevenson poem I'd picked (My Shadow), and ended up doing a lot of work on it on their own.  We read through it a few times during our Mega Memory time early on, then didn't do anything with it for a few days.  I was amazed when we came back to it that Emlyn had the first verse and most of the second memorized almost perfectly!  We began to work a bit harder on it at that point, although only *just* a bit, and by the time we recited for Daddy, they had two verses down pat and could do the rest with a little help.  

Several observations:

1. The kids love the memory work.  Because we've always done *some* sort of memory work, even if it was just a verse a week, and because we have approached it as fun, they enjoy it and don't see it as drudgery. :)  

2.  A little work done consistently goes a long way.   We didn't spend a huge amount of time on this.  There were days when all we did was recite once what we had learned so far.  Other days we put more time in, but never a huge amount.  They learned a 6 verse Psalm  and two verses plus of a poem by putting in an average of ten-fifteen minutes a day, four days a week.  

3.  Simple works.  I still hope to use some of the activities in that stack of books on "helping kids memorize Scripture" from time to time during our memory work.  But they accomplished a great task with only copies of the Psalm and poem printed off my printer, a sign language book, and an obsolete cassette recorder given to us by a friend.   We spent no money...this was one of those times I decided to "use what we had"...and there was no complicated planning or preparation involved.   Just good old-fashioned learning. :)

4.   We got to see a little miracle. :)  For those who might not know, a tiny bit of background:  Our youngest, Ammah Grace was a 30-week preemie who spent 6 weeks in NICU.  She had a whole host of preemie-related medical issues, including severe apnea and bradycardia and a brain bleed that had us less than 24 hours away from neurosurgery when it finally began to clear up.   We spent weeks listening to very scary prognoses...predictions of brain damage that most likely would lead to lifelong disabilities ranging from blindness to CP to various types of learning disabilities.  We were told it was possible she would never walk or talk.  At the very least, she would need several years of therapy to catch her up to her peers.  (Read more of her story here and here and here.) 

Ammah Grace is now four, and as bright and healthy as any four year old could possibly be.  None of the dire prognoses and predictions came true...from the day she came home from the hospital (only hours after turning blue and having to be "bagged" yet again)...she has actually been the healthiest of all of our children, and has shown no sign of *any* brain damage.   She thinks she can do anything the *big kids* can do, and she has sat in on group time during school since she first came home from the hospital. :)   I'm used to her joining in on whatever we are doing, whether she really *gets it* or not.  But I was shocked last week when we were reviewing Psalm 1 and I realized she was prompting the older girls when they made mistakes.  I asked her if she could say the whole thing by herself...and she did.  All six verses!   Wow.  What a blessing and a testimony to God's power and faithfulness to watch the little girl who so many prayed for so hard reciting those verses.  

5.  Bonus!  Peter recited the verses we learned from Psalm 1 in his R.A. class at church.  As a result of learning those and other verses, he received a medal during our R.A. recognition at church Sunday.  He is now even more motivated and excited about memorizing Scripture!

A word on these photos...the night we finally recited for dad, it was *cold*.  The kids had had baths (and some still had a bit of wet hair :)), and had dressed for warmth and not a photo shoot.  Of course, that didn't stop me from snapping a few pictures anyway!  

Ammah Grace reciting Psalm 1 for Daddy...

I didn't manage any good, serious photos of the occasion, but here is a silly one of them doing their sign language for Psalm 1...

Mega Memory Month worked for us!  So much so that "Mega Memory Time" is now a permanent part of our school day.  We have started on the Beatitudes now, and hope to start a new poem next week (as soon as I decide on one!)  Many thanks to Ann and others who have encouraged us in this challenge!

For more "Works-for-me-Wednesday", pop over to Rocks in My Dryer (I love her open-faced English muffin sandwich ideas this week!) 


Simple Woman's Daybook

November 17, 2008

Outside my window...
Leaves blowing in the wind, sunshine streaking through the trees.

I am thinking...
trying *really* hard not to think about how far behind I am at the moment, a status exacerbated by several very *off* days last week, and instead focus on having a productive week this week in spite of a full calendar and still not feeling up to par.  

I am thankful for...
Once again, for my sweet husband, who went to the grocery store *four* times last week when I wasn't feeling well, and picks up the slack in so many ways when bad pain days hit. 

For our home, with all of its imperfections. :-)

The gift of God's Word, which I so often take for granted, and which is "quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword."

From the learning rooms...
Starting memory work on the Beatitudes,
Beginning our Thanksgiving/Gratefulness study,
Working hard on choir musical parts,
and *normal* school. :)

From the kitchen...
Chicken Salad on Buns with Pasta Salad 
Buttermilk Cookies (hopefully)

The rest of the week...who knows?? :-) 
(My menu plan went through some *adjusting* last week, so I need to sit down and see what that does to this week's plan.)

I am wearing...
Heavy Dark Green Sweats and hiking socks

I am creating...
Lots of scrapbooking projects on the list for this week, 
Playing with Christmas plans (and plans for Peter's birthday in less than two weeks! Eek!),
Brainstorming ideas for crafts and ornaments for the Children's Choir Christmas Musical.

I am going...
to our first "extra rehearsal" for the Christmas musical tonight.  

I am reading...
through a stack of notes and articles I ran across while re-doing my "file crate" basket this weekend,
(Also still reading books from last week...
The Holiness of God, by R.C. Sproul
Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit, by Teri Maxwell,
and As Unto the Lord, by Pam Forster
...I didn't get a lot of reading done last week.)

I am hoping...
to get back on track after a couple of "mom down" days last week.

I am hearing...
"The Power of the Cross" by Calling Levi playing on my WMP playlist.

Around the house...
I have a *lot* to do here this week, because I didn't get much done other than basic necessities last week.  If I think I am going to get this dining room painted by Thanksgiving, I am going to have to get *really* busy!!

One of my favorite things...
Cards and letters from friends.  I ran across some this week that were sent to me this time two years ago, and they were as encouraging now as they were then.  What a blessing it was to re-read them during a time of discouragement!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Choir rehearsal tonight,
Back-to-back Christmas choir rehearsals Wednesday,
Taking dinner to a friend on Thursday,
GA breakfast on Saturday (I hope),
Thanksgiving Feast at church Sunday,
and all the normal school and house stuff in between!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Yesterday was RA Sunday.  The boys served as ushers in both services, and there was a recognition ceremony yesterday morning.  Peter got a medal for reciting 25 verses.  He has already started working on his next 25. :)  More photos from RA Sunday up soon...

Peggy has created a new site just for "Daybook" entries!  To participate or see more, check it out here


She Cracks Me Up!

Ammah Grace just had one of those sudden lightbulb moments.

*Walks into the dining room, plants both feet solidly on the floor and both hands on hips, and says loudly....*

"Mama, everybody in our WHOLE family, no...........(eyes light up and big smile)........everybody in the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD..............has a NOSE!!"

She makes me laugh. :-D


Lifelong Learning

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is seeing my children learning to love learning.   I come from a family of "lifelong learners"...a grandmother who learned to paint in her 60s, a grandfather who subscribed to a mail order home learning course for years, a mother who went back to school after her children both graduated...not to mention a family full of avid readers.    

Even more than I want my children to learn facts, I want them to learn *how* to learn, and I want them to love it.  I never want them to feel that learning stops at graduation.  

I ran across an interesting article today, "Are You Working on You?".   Harvey Mackay posts interesting statistics in the article:  

51 percent of the American population never reads a book more than 400 pages after they complete their formal education.

73 percent of all books in libraries are never checked out.

The average American watches 32 hours of TV every week.

The average American reads only eight hours (books, newspapers, magazines, Yellow Pages, etc.) every week.

More interesting statistics from Mackay:

If you read just one book per month for 12 straight months, you will be in the top 25 percentile of all intellectuals in the world.

If you read just 15 minutes a day -- every day, for one year -- you can complete 20 books.

15 minutes a day...20 books in a year.  Food for thought as the time is fast approaching to make goals for the new year.  


Simple Woman's Daybook

November 10,2008

Outside my window...
A cold, windy fall morning, leaves swirling everywhere, gray skies.
I am thinking...
Still pondering and researching Latin study :-)

I am thankful for...
A healthy family,
A houseful of books,
A week with an empty calendar,
and, as always, my wonderful husband (who again this weekend did a ton of laundry for me! :)).

From the learning rooms...
*Hopefully* a full, productive, and normal ;-) week of school!

From the kitchen...
BBQ Beef on Buns,
Cheeseburger Roll,
Chicken and Rice,
Zuppa Toscana,
Upside Down Pizza
(a few of these are carry-overs from previous weeks :))

I am wearing...
Maroon sweatpants, blue sweatshirt, and warm hiking socks!

I am creating...
Plans for Christmas projects!

I am going...
to run a few errands on the way to church Wednesday and make a quick trip to the store one evening this week and otherwise be *HOME* all week! :-) Yay!
(That's the plan, anyway...always subject to change. ;-))

I am reading...
The Holiness of God, by R.C. Sproul
Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit, by Teri Maxwell,
and As Unto the Lord, by Pam Forster

I am hoping...
for a loonnnggg fall before really cold winter weather sets in.

I am hearing...
children working on chores, not-so-quietly. ;-)

Around the house...
Need to tie up some loose ends in the Living Room and get serious about the Dining Room...new goal is to have the Dining Room done by Thanksgiving.

One of my favorite things...
clothes straight out of the warm dryer on a cold morning. :-)

A few plans for the rest of the week:
As little as possible other than a productive week of school and house work, scrapbooking projects, and family time. :-)
Maybe a trip to the park or nature center with the kids later in the week if the weather is nice and we've accomplished a lot...

A Picture Thought I'm Sharing Today...

Our little Vols fan! How in the world can the child most like me have abandoned *generations* of Razorback fans in favor of her Daddy's Vols??? I haven't given up hope of someday converting her, though! :-D

Thanks to Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook for hosting the Daybook each week!


Christmas Icicles!

If you are looking for a creatively beautiful idea for your Christmas tree, check out these  handmade beaded icicles  from The Pickled Rose.   Tauna has been making and selling these for several years, and they are now available for purchase online.   Imagine a treeful of these shimmering in the Christmas lights!  


Fall Photo Shoot

Kathy and I have been waiting for the "perfect day" to take the kids to JHARVNC for a Fall Photo Shoot. I don't know that yesterday ended up being perfect, it was the day of choice nonetheless. We had a good time, got a lot of silly pictures, and managed a few pretty good ones. :-) Then we raced to our respective polling places to vote. These are in completely random order; a few are from the shots I took of my bunch at the Civic Center Annex (the old Main Library downtown.)

My silly girlies...
Ammah Grace...
What a crew...

Sisters three...

We never really got a great "group shot" of my bunch. We'll have to keep working on that. :)

Kaitlyn and Joshua...

Somehow this one of the whole kit and kaboodle turned out better than the ones of my four by themselves...:)
These girls!
Kaitlyn and Josh again...

Peter and Ammah Grace...
Bayley...she is so grown up all of the sudden!


Ammah Grace...