30 January 2011

The Week in Blessings~Sunday~AD.TV

While visiting with an old friend at the chili cook-off last night,
we learned that one of our favorite ministries,
is now providing live internet streaming via satellite.

We spent some time today watching several programs,
mainly on health topics of special interest.

If you're interested,
you can watch all 5 lectures
for free (medium resolution.)

Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss
graphic courtesy of amazon.com

I am currently enjoying Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
This is the most common sense book I've read yet regarding proper diet
and I am implementing some more changes to my daily food choices.

We were/are very blessed by these resources,
hope you will enjoy them too.

29 January 2011

The Week in Blessings: Sabbath~Hike

After corporate worship and food,
we went for a family hike at a local wooded trail area.

I'm trying out my newly thrifted fishing hiking vest,
and I think it is going to work out very well.
(Now to get all those hiking-mama supplies organized in it!)

The Man loves to "knock rocks" as he walks,
he is practicing his flint-knapping skills--
aka blood-drawing skills.
(There's a reason I tote all those supplies in that roomy vest!)

Sights of interest beside the trail.

Some points of interest grow right on the trail.

A happy afternoon spent in the sunshine, fresh air and spicy-scented woods.
Still loving that upper 50's January weather!

Celebrating in creation
the blessings of rest and rejuvenation
intended by the Creator.

That evening we went to a chili cook-off.
The Man's entry was my personal all-time-favorite--no joke.
We all had fun visiting with friends old and new.

A special day of blessing, indeed.

28 January 2011

The Week in Blessings: Friday~Wood & Wire

After several weeks of typical winter gray-blah,
we awoke to clear sunny skies
and temps that soared to the upper 50's by afternoon.
Perfect for another day in the woods--cutting wood.

Photos courtesy of the Treasure.

I knew she had found a creek to play in
but had I known my camera ever got this close to it
her photography career would have been cut very short.

Dog courtesy of the friend who so kindly let us cut wood on his property.

Poor fella,
he was called "Princess" in the most endearing of tones--
all day long--until the Treasure discovered he had boy parts.
Then he became "Mr. Princess."

The Man threw in some discarded wire
so we could build a fire and burn the outer coating off
in order to recycle it.

Made the day seem like we were camping.

My Man cuts the wood, and then he splits it too!
(I just pick it up and load it onto the truck.)

We were blessed with so much this day:
 fresh air & sunshine, hope for spring's coming,
wood to warm us twice, fire for fun and warmth,
a happy girl puttering about in the woods,
wire to recycle for income,
and lots of exercise.

Blessings indeed.

(And did I mention the blessings if Ibuprofen?
Makes it possible for two middle-aging and
far-too-often-sedentary big kids
to get out of bed the next morning
after being blessed with such an active day!)

27 January 2011

The Week in Blessings: Thursday~Thrift Scores

Thursday became errand day this week,
and after dropping off my collection of boxes at the donation stop
I ran into a thrift shop close by...
fortunately for me it was
"buy a bag for $1 and take home everything you can possibly stuff into it--
or pile on top!"
(said with a smile by a sweet nun)

There are two skirts
(navy +  khaki)
and 4 tops
(brown, red, green + gray)
all of which are replacing the wardrobe
that is lost in the move somewhere in another state.

The two sweaters will be repurposed,
the brownish-grayish one is being frogged
(more on that later)
and the baby blue cashmere will be felted.

I am blessed indeed.

~~Thankful Thursday~~Jan 27

Truly, I am thankful for these two amazing and wonderful
people that God has given me for a nuclear family.
I love being part of a family.

They love me unconditionally, warts and all;
they challenge me continually to grow;
they encourage me and help me.

I am blessed among women!

Extra special blessings this week.....

We are grateful for the generosity of a friend
who allowed us to clean up some downed wood on his property. 

We cut, loaded and hauled about half a cord.
What a blessing to be able to heat our home with our own labor!
Not to mention the exercise in the fresh air,
and the family time working together.
Blessings indeed!

And this tool is an incredible blessing.
Cuts those limbs like they were nothin' but butter!

Now, this may look like a box of junk to you...
but for us, it means work which means $$$!
These are pump parts which the Man's former place of employment
called and said he could have free for the taking.

They are being broken down and cleaned up
to be taken to the recycling place
to trade in for cash.

God is good!!!

What are your blessings today?

26 January 2011

Organizing Thoughts~Part 1

Image courtesy of karenswhimsy.com

Where do you keep your thoughts?

Odd question?
Ok, I admit it, I'm odd.
But I'm also curious.

Were you born organized?
Does your brain have drawers with neat rows of filing cabinets
filled with perfectly labeled, color coded & alphabetized files
and an smooth, efficient information retrieval system
so's you can locate important thoughts in just a split second?

I was NOT born organized.
Nor was I trained to it.
My thoughts are more like grass clippings coming out of a lawn mower deck--
scattered at great speed to the four winds
to be further dispersed at random.

Before I realized that there might be a better way,
my usual habit was to write my thoughts & notes to myself
on whatever scrap of paper might be lying closest.
Then, once the thought was out of my brain
and not clogging the system  any more,
I could and would churn out more.

All those thoughts and  that multitude of scraps
turned into a mountain of moving paper,
sort of like a pile of leaves blowing in the wind...

Yeah, I wasn't born organized.
Nor was I trained to it.

From past experience,
I've learned that before I worry about ordering my thoughts--
first I need a place to keep them!

I think the professionals call that containerizing?

Somewhere a few years back,
I read yet another "Get Organized Quick" book
(hoping, of course, to find the "magic pill" or at least a quick cure)
and came across the concept of using a simple spiral bound notebook
as a log to keep all telephone messages in.
I tried it and liked it!
All those phone notes and information were in one place.

A 15 cent solution  at the August
back-to-school sale at my local W--mart.

As I've experimented over the years with different day-planning
and organizing systems,
I keep coming back to that simple idea--it works for me.
I've had to learn to discipline myself to the habit
of writing my thoughts--notes, lists, information from the day,
addresses, phone numbers, etc, ad nauseum--
into this notebook so I now know where to find my thoughts!

So far, I've used about three different kinds of these notebooks,
including the type above.
A couple of years ago I created my own spiral-bound day-planner.
The pages were drafted on my home computer
and I then went to a copy shop and had the pages
reproduced and spiral bound.

Now, I'm using a day-planner that I bought off the shelf
which looks like this:

Month at a glance dividers
One page per day for each day of the month.
 I'm finding that it suits my needs pretty well at present.
I have a place to keep track of appointments as they arise
and plenty of room to scratch my random thoughts and lists down.
And, spiral bound to keep those thoughts all together in one place,
which is important because I carry this black book with me everywhere I go:
from room to room in the house as I move through my tasks for the day,
to town and appointments (my lists are in there!) and when I travel.
It helps so much to have all those jottings are in one place.

This book is the tool I use to contain my thoughts.

(Next I'll think about organizing those thoughts.)

How and where do you keep your thoughts?
What works for you

Morning Addendum...

Thank you, everyone, for your prayers.
God hears & answers!
We had a lovely day in the woods,
getting lots of exercise and about a half cord of wood,
enjoying working together as a family to meet our basic needs.
All was accomplished without accident or incident,
and for that we are grateful.

Kitty was firmly tucked in to the front porch last night,
so we all had a good rest.
It was difficult to get up this morning though---
we are hearing from quite a few muscles that we hadn't used in far too long,
they are loudly protesting the workout they recieved yesterday!

Up and at it we are...
though this ole gray mare thinks maybe
she's not quite what she used to be!

Have a blessed day yourself.

25 January 2011


Image courtesy of karenswhimsy.com

Last night, Kitty---being a cat, don'tcha know---
was in no mood to come inside when called at a reasonable bedtime hour (8:30pm)
and so was left out to fend for her feline self for the night.
Guess she finally came to repentance at some ungodly hour early this am
so found the Treasure's windowsill and sat out there yowling
until she woke the Treasure,
who promptly got up and let Kitty in through her window.
Of course, the news of the prodigals safe return
was too wonderful to keep to herself
and so must be shared at once with her loving mother...
therefore I was awakened around 2:45 am by Kitty
jumping playfully into the middle of my peacefully slumbering form,
and the Treasure's vocal announcement of Kitty's return.

Fortunately there was no mention of killing the fatted calf
or I might have smacked whomever was closest.

The Treasure was cold, so I let her come snuggle with me for a few minutes...
until Mother Nature's call could be ignored no longer
and I had to get up for the pilgrimage to her throne of cool white porcelain...
at which time, thankfully, the Treasure decided to take herself back to bed.

After paying my respects at in the 'room of rest'
I crawled back into my snug warm den
 hoping for a few more winks, but, my brain was engaged by then...
I did manage to relax and drift off to a place of sweet comfort----
and then a thought hit my brain with such force that it jerked me upright in bed!!

Yesterday afternoon when I went out to work
(decluttering & packing) in the building,
it was fairly mild and sunny (upper 30's--heat wave, ya know!)
And so I went over and let the chickens out of their coop
and put them in their pen for some fresh air
and relief from being "cooped up"
with the intent of putting them back in the warm safety of their little house
in an hour or so when I finished my stint in the building.

Well, my brain got all bumfoozled while I was out there
and I completely forgot about those poor birds.....until 3:43 am!!
The Man had just gotten back to sleep, so I didn't want to wake him
just to ask if by chance he'd put the girls away last night.....
so I drug myself out of the warm cozy nest and stepped outside the back door
to see if the door to the hen house was.....
yup, it was still open.

Nothing to do but get dressed and go check on the dumb clucks.
By then I realized my alarm was set to go off in 10 minutes....
might as well give it up and get my day started.
Got dressed and went out there...I thought for sure the girls would be huddled
under the little shelter board, sound asleep.....but no,
as I walked over there they began talking to me softly.
They were standing patiently by the gate,
waiting for me to come and put them away for the night.....

Ever seen a frosted chicken by moonlight?

And so my day begins.
We are supposed to go on a wood cutting adventure today.
I now have my own chainsaw.
A Poulan.
A lifelong dream of mine.....
It was a freebie, not including the $35 cleaning + maintenance fee.
Wish me well.....and send up an extra prayer or two, ok?
From the way things have gone so far today, I think I'm gonna need it!

Have a good one yourself!

20 January 2011

~~Thankful Thursdays~~Jan 20

I'm very grateful that I was born and live in a country
where I still have the freedom to think, study and choose values for myself.
Although our religious freedoms appear to be quickly eroding,
my daily study from the above tomes
reassures me that my God is in control,
and things are happening exactly according to His plan.

This is my favorite study Bible.
I love the old English language used,
partly for the way it sounds
and partly because it stretches me
to slow down and look up words I don't understand
and really work at increasing my comprehension
of the idea being expressed.

This (green volume) is a book I turn to frequently.
I picked it up at a book sale for $1
and I am amazed at the amount of interesting information it contains.
I enjoy the old black & white illustrations.
There are more modern and colorful Bible dictionaries available,
and someday I may upgrade if I find one I can't live without,
but I'm content with this one at present.

This is my college dictionary...trusty old book that it is,
and I turn to it frequently.
at last year's homeschool convention
which I woud actually prefer to be using.....
but it is packed in a box with other homeschool materials
and resides in another state at the moment.

And last, but not least, is
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
with Hebrew-Chaldee & Greek dictionaries.
A must for comparative word studies.

In addition to these four basic references,
I draw from other resources I have on hand,
as well as the internet.
There are some wonderful web resources available
for all kinds of Bible questions.

I also use a pencil and a spiral bound notebook for taking notes,
and I keep my notes and any other material I may copy or print
from the web in the notebook for future reference.

My daily quiet time studying the Word of God
greatly enriches my life
and I am more grateful to God for it than words can express.

What are you grateful for today?

19 January 2011

Free Time Art

I would love to have a formal time to "do art" with the Treasure,
but at present that just is not a reality.
Never mind, she doesn't let my lack of time stop her creativity.

While I'm occupied packing boxes...

...she's got her eye on those big rolls of paper ends
that we obtained for free from a local publishing house...

...and she knows how to put them to good use!

She drew this princess and then cut it out and then painted it...

...likewise with the Prince.
(The poor boy must have gotten a mud-pie in his face!)

And the large, colorful works of art?

I think I may end up with enough gift wrap to last a year.
Suits me.

She's busy...I'm happy...life is good.

Hope your day is as colorful as mine is sure to be!

18 January 2011

First Grade Math

Here's what the Treasure does for her mathmatics education
several days a week.
First, I have her practice writing her numbers (from 1-10) correctly.
The reason being, she frequently writes them backwards.
I don't know what's going on in her brain with that, but I figure the best way
to correct incorrect habits, whatever their source,
is to practice correct habits until they are burned more deeply
into the gray matter of her brain and override the incorrect habits.
We are seeing improvement.

Next, she does 2-4 worksheets that I pull out of this consumable
text/workbook that I downloaded over the internet and then placed in a binder.

I love this curriculum, and most days so does the Treasure.

These are her counting beads which we have attached to her clipboard.
I found directions to make them from a teachers group online.

She also uses this very simple abacus
that I picked up for $2 at a thrift store.
We will be upgrading to a more sophisticated abacus
in a few weeks, but this one has been a great help for where she's at now.

When she needs a break from concentrating on her worksheets,
she does one or two of the pictures in these dot-to-dot books.
I picked up a set of four of these at the homeschool conference last spring,
and they make "number recognition," "sequencing" and "eye-hand coordination"
just seem like fun!
(these come in numbers 1-30, 1-50, 1-75 and 1-100)
This is so cool---while searching for an online source link
for these, I discovered that Dot to Dot Count to 30 is available online!
Check out the link!

Part of the Math Mammoth recommended curriculum
is playing number-related games, which we all love.
I use game time as a reward for doing throrough, accurate work,
with a good attitude.
We use the numbered cards above in non-traditional ways.
We use them to add and subtract in different ways and with different rules.
(Sometimes we even make up our own rules!)
The mancala counters are helpful for the Treasure
to make the abstract concepts she is working with more concrete.

The Treasure enjoys using these addition and subtraction flashcards as well.
I picked them up from the local W--mart for about $1.50 each pack.

We just added this book to our routine as well.
and I have photocopied the January calendar page
which she tacked up on the wall in her room
and she is charting the weather each day.
(As well as reviewing the day of the week and the ordinal numbers)

And, once in a while, just for fun,
and especially while we travel,
and ask her the word problems.
She absolutely loves word problems and trivia questions of any kind,
so it is a great little resource.

We are pleased with the Treasure's progress.
And I'm enjoying a review of mathmatics myself!

17 January 2011

Organizing Buttons

Although this is not the organizing post I had planned for today,
it reflects where I'm at, at the moment, which is
packing up the remnants of 20 years of life in this home of ours.

My personal button collection started when I was a junior in highschool.
A woman I was working for found bargain buttons,
25 cents for a sizeable scoop of all sorts and kinds--
so I spent a couple bucks and had a blast sorting and organizing them--
all of one kind that matched were strung onto thin wire and then put in a box.
My collection has grown since then, just bits and pieces added here and there.
I'm not a "serious" collector, I just enjoy buttons.

For years I simply sorted the colors into plastic zip bags
 and stored them in a drawer.
Then, several months ago,
we discovered these antique jars someone had given us,
and I had fun sorting them by color into jars and displaying them in a window
right above my little sewing area.

Now, it is time to move on.
My next home will be tiny, and I am trying find
as many ways as possible to conserve space
and still have the necessities close at hand.

Yes, buttons are a necessity!
(In my book.)

Here's my current solution.
Inexpensive hot wheels storage boxes from the local Walmart toy section.

My entire button collection--AND my safety pin stash--
all fit in one tidy box.

I still have one jar of buttons that I am moving "as is"--
they belonged to my mother and my grandmother.
I suppose, eventually, I will incorporate them into my own collection,
but I'm just not ready to do that yet.

One step at a time.