Writing: The Thinking About Edition

Today’s FMF post was something I mulled over throughout the day. I wrote and linked up last night and this morning had two very encouraging comments.
One was from a blogger whose personal blog I have subscribed to for several months, and for a few years on the (in)courage blog. She visited my blog because I left a comment on hers.
I didn’t realize how encouraging that could be. I have had several nice comments from FMF posts, but don’t have any real blog traffic. I’m just writing to write for now. All that to say that I need to comment more. I think it makes a difference. I know it did for me. Thank you, Kristen.
On a side note, along the thinking avenue, I’ve had a little extra time to think the last few days, as I am in the recovery process of minor eye surgery to repair a very lax muscle that should have been holding up one of my eyelids, but decided it would only do it’s job about half-way. It had been lazy for years, (my parents said it has always been that way), but has started giving out slowly over the last three or so. (What’s up with the 40s?)
Anyway, enough about that.
I would like to write more. My husband (The Blog Engineer) would like me to write more. I think there might be some correlation (thank you spell-checker thingy) between the amount I write and the amount I talk. As in the more, the less. Hmmm…
He is going to help me figure out the avatar/gravatar picture posting aggravation. But I will need to wait for a new picture. Maybe at the end of next week, I’ll post for fun some before and afters. Sleepy and hopefully not-sleepy eye. Don’t worry, no in-betweens. Not happening.
Ugh! I’m back on the eye topic. I guess having stitches can do that to you. ;)
Writing.
Thinking about writing.
I’m going to search through my old-has-not-been-touched-in-years writing file to see if the suggested profile questions from Mr. Glazier are in there. I would like to add some about faith and relationship to Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV, 1984)
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Just for fun:

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My wee-est one walnut wrangling on Wednesday.

Five Minute Friday: Write

Five Minute Friday

Write

Many moons ago, I minored in journalism, with a communications major, after deciding rashly that elementary education wasn’t for me. How funny that I now have my own little homeschool!

All those moons ago, I interned for a local magazine, then did grunt work (developed photos, gathered court documents, and wrote rarely) for a small business newspaper.
After that trying year, went back to the first magazine, as it was a much better atmosphere to try my hand at freelancing, as they specialized in what I have discovered is “my” kind of writing: profiles, which were basically mini-biographies. I even had a cover story way back then. Whoo hoo!
I felt unorganized with my time and writing an article or two a month, wasn’t making much income.
I guess I was afraid to say I was a writer and put myself out “there” to do the hard work of marketing myself and look for other publications.
Long on scared and short on perseverance and diligence.
So, I went to work for a not-for-profit, which I enjoyed and then came home to raise my babies.
The writing stopped, other than a Christmas newsletter here-and-there.
I wondered why I felt to blah about so many things. Homeschool burnout and hormones did a number on me and I needed an outlet.
The blog engineer, aka sweet Kyle, enjoyed the lengthy tome-like e-mails he received at work and bought a domain name for me. I still drug my feet.
After writing fairly regularly for a few months, I stopped this summer because it just didn’t feel right to write. I grew weary of writing about myself.
So, just this week, we have been tossing around ideas of people in my circles that I could interview and write about. I’m looking forward to it. Writing is such a good outlet and I would like to make it a ministry as well.
END
Disclosure: I re-set the timer for another five and finally stopped when the duck quacked for the second time.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (ESV)
“4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.”

Five Minute Friday: True

I’ve been pretty sporadic about writing anything lately and really appreciate the Five Minute Friday prompts and thought tonight’s was appropriate.
Thanks for reading!

Five Minute Friday

True

I need to spend my time thinking about what is true.

~I am loved. I am loved by God, His Son and my family.
~I am enough. God gave me to my husband and children and they to me.
~I am capable. God hasn’t called me to be perfect, but to persevere and be diligent in what I have been given to do. Diabetes, Celiac, large-family mothering, homeschooling.
~God is faithful. In all things. He will be with me through the every days, good and bad.

My default is low self-esteem, the Eeyore-type personality. I am quick to give up or not even start, and them beat myself up for failing. Again.

I must remember what is true.

I heard an “Ask Pastor John” podcast with John Piper this evening and he said (not quoting directly here), that we must start off the day asking for the Lord’s help and strength.

Yes. Yes.

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Me, my six and my mom picking pears at her friend’s house Sunday evening.
(Photo by the Blog Engineer.)

Philippians 4:8 (NIV, 1984)
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Five Minute Friday: Mercy

It’s late Thursday night and I’m linking up to Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday writing group.

Five Minute Friday

Mercy:

Google defined mercy as :
Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

Merriam-Webster:
Compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment.

Unknown:
When you don’t get what you deserve.

Elizabeth M.:
1. Something I want to receive and need on an almost-constant basis some days (thinking about the hormone wall I hit yesterday), but don’t do so well giving to others, especially my sweet family.

2. Keeping my cool, when the boys are wreaking havoc on school. ;)

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A calm moment with new-to-us/vintage animal books from a sweet neighbor.

Psalm 145:9 (NKJV)
“The Lord is good to all,
And His tender mercies are over all His works.”

Kindergarten A to Z: Weeks A and B

This year is a first. The first school year without a preschooler. Paul is official now: a kindergartener. We did Sonlight kindergarten for Adam many years ago and unfortunately or fortunately, depending on whether the glass is looking half empty or half full in the mommy guilt department, Luke, Rachel, John and Isaac pretty much unschooled their way through kindergarten. That included lots of reading aloud by me, some messy spur-of-the-moment crafts, playing, playing and more playing. Those were the good times. The down-side was too much chaos brought on by not enough structure.

I wanted to have a fun, good year with Paul and finish my kindergarten teaching years well. I was very pleased to find an alphabet-themed year on Elizabeth Foss’ blog. I won’t be using the bulk of her ideas, as her plans include studying the Catholic saints and fairy stories. I have theological differences with the saints study, as I am not Catholic, and not using the fairy stories is purely personal preference, as I just don’t enjoy them.
However, she completely had me with the apple pie with letter “a” cut-outs for the crusts.

I used a 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby and bought the Wilton alphabet and number bucket last month. It was hard to keep it in the closet!
I gave Paul the “A” last week and the “B” and “P” for Paul this week. He enjoyed them so much that I gave him the whole bucket and he has been carrying it around the house.
He wasn’t particularly interested in making a pie, so we tweaked the star cookie recipe (the first time using it) from Elana’s Pantry and used the “A”s and had applesauce on the side. :)
This week I chose brownies, and we again used (and tweaked) one of Elana’s recipes.

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“A” cookies and applesauce at the dinner table.

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“B” is for brownie on the banister. (Stair view).

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Facing into the kitchen. (Enjoy the clutter). ;)

I’ll write more about what we’re doing for kindergarten next week, plus the other five grades in the next few weeks.

1 Corinthians 10:31(ESV)
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Five Minute Friday: Worship

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday fun, hosted today at (in)courage.

Worship

Lisa-Jo wrote today about where she is able to worship. I am thinking about what I worship and who I should worship.
My items of worship can vary from day-to-day, but for the most part the list is pretty static:
~ Peace (and quiet).
~ Unity (I love Psalm 133:1).
~ Organization.
~ Schedules.

Since I have put the worship of these items above the worship of Jesus, over and over and over, it is no wonder that I so rarely ever attain, or get to enjoy, them. My false, worldly worship list has become an idol.

Realizing the problem is a huge first step in solving it, but long-held bad habits are hard to break.
It is time though. Really time, to put first things first. Time to really worship Jesus, not just in a nice word here or there, but in action.
It is time to set a better, much better, example to my children of putting my worship of Jesus first, not my “wish” worship list.

Psalm 95:6-7 (NIV)
6 “Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.”

Trying To Be Realistic In August

So, maybe I wrote this list back in May. And maybe I bit off more than I could handle, or had the energy or organization for. And maybe I am ready to make an updated, more realistic list that can actually be accomplished before we officially start school on September 3.

1) Pray without ceasing.
2) Get back on the bandwagon with my Bible Gateway reading plan and enjoy it, not just read to check it off the app.
3) Make my relationship with Kyle a priority: Continue almost weekly date nights, figure out times to chat for fun and planning times.
4) Continue having LOTS of play and reading time with Paul. Help him weed his pumpkin patch.
5) Reading time with Isaac.
6) Write with John and have him teach me origami. Plan a great 10th birthday for him on the 13th!
7) Play outside with those boys every day. I’ve only been in the pool once this summer!
8) More talks with Rachel about growing up and fashion. Help her with her fall clothes.
9) Listen to Luke. Get to know that boy better. Enjoy him. Make his birthday on the 28th super!
10) Talking with Adam. Figuring out a plan for the school year.
11) Connect with my Good Morning Girls Bible Study group and decide about the September study.
12) Be a good neighbor–invite someone over for dinner.
13) Be a good church friend– ditto.
14) Help the children budget their mission money and write letters to our World Vision children.
15) Exercise daily.
16) Write a note–thank you, encouragement, birthday, etc. at least three times a week.
17) Write something every day.
18) Blog at least three times a week.
19) Update and organize our calendar for August and September with speech and debate, 4H and our new music and theatre classes, in addition to regular church activities and family fun.
20) Continue clearing out and scrub the laundry room.
21) Organizing the school room.
22) Help with and encourage progress with the bonus room renovation.
23) Continue making a simple, organized meal plan.
24)Finish my dad’s birthday project from last year.
25) Go to bed by 10 each night and get up at 6 a.m. daily.

AND, love, love, love my family.

Psalm 90:12 (ESV)
“So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

Five Minute Friday: Story

Five Minute Friday

Story

Go

For the first 10 years of our marriage, our story was pretty typical, maybe a little boring, but in a nice, comfortable kind of way.
The last 11 1/2 have been anything but. Sometimes that has been good, I have been learning, or trying to learn, to get out of my introverted comfort zone somewhat.
Sometimes the story has been difficult, with lost babies, children being diagnosed, then the mama’s turning 40 hormone chaos.
The story, like the life, has evened out a bit for 2013. We are all a bit older and wiser.
I have taken a number of deep breaths, prayed many prayers for patience and have found that The Lord is faithful.
I love and I am loved. We are praying and learning together.
This story is getting more interesting in good ways and I hope to be writing it for many years to come.

Stop

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One of my favorites, only it’s missing my husband, who was working while we vacationed in Virginia last month.

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The whole crew, two days before. Half like to pose and are ready at the drop of a hat, the other half of us, not as comfortable and squinting ;)

Psalm 86:15 (NIV)
“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness”
.

Furniture Feature Friday: A Tool Box Makeover With My Boys

Furniture Feature Fridays

Last month, we volunteered with my mother at her town’s food pantry. It also has a thrift store, so we stopped in when we were finished. It was my first visit and for the most part, I didn’t see anything I needed. Then…I saw it. A dusty, dirty old tool box. I didn’t know what I would do with it, but thought I really needed it.

It sat under my desk for about three weeks. While we were on our latest adventure to Virginia, I read several issues of Country Living magazine. I saw a picture of a tool box that was filled with children’s books and instantly knew that was what I would do with my box. Voila!

Tuesday afternoon, my youngest was looking at it and I told him I was planning to paint it. Ever the type-A, seize-the-moment kind of guy, he replied “Now?” So, we got started!

I forgot to take a before picture, but after vacuuming and scrubbing, we were ready to paint:

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My two youngest boys and a neighbor’s grandson helping.

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My oldest (celebrating his birthday) and youngest sons polishing the handle after sanding.

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Paul, the youngest, finishing the job.

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The inspiration for the project.

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Paul again, posing with our field guides, science and nature books.

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Completely Full.

I used the same Olympic, low VOC, latex paint in apple red that I have alternated on my stairs.

Proverbs 30:5 (ESV)
“Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”