He fills the longing soul with good things. Ps. 107:9



Daybook: September 24

::Outside My Window::
Absolutely gorgeous.   Autumn is here.  I should open the windows.  I am so glad for the crisp chill in the air and the golden autumn light.  I am glad that the leaves are turning slowly here.....I want it to last and last. And then snow. : )

::I am Listening to::
 Was listening to Cece Winans, but is started getting on my nerves.  So no music right now.  Not sure what I'm in the mood for.

::I am Thankful For::
This is random and weird, but it's what I thought of:

I am thankful that my hearing loss is in my right ear and not my left.  I was playing the violin yesterday - listening closely -  and thinking how much more difficult it would be if my violin ear were the bad one.   I'm just so glad that the ear that is down close to my violin is my better ear.

(Explanation:  They think that my hearing loss can be corrected with surgery that replaces the middle ear bone.  Waiting until we have insurance someday to get an official diagnosis and make a decision about surgery.)

:: Some of what I've been reading::

This article "A Parents Tip Sheet for Owning Fewer Toys"  was not so helpful, a bit redundant or not really where we are.

This one resonated more:  Why Fewer Toys Will Actually Benefit Your Kids. 

And...Still reading John Rosemond's Discipline that Works  Very interesting & helpful.  My comments about the book were getting rather long here so I decided to make it a separate blog post later this week. 

I just added two new books to my Amazon wishlist.  Well, actually, I added them to my cart.  It's a horrendous habit, this adding books to my cart even though I know I'm not going to buy them.  I think it gives me a tiny portion of the thrill and joy of buying a new book.  It ensures that the book idea will be saved (when it gets moved to the "saved for later" part under my cart),  and there's always the chance that David will accidentally order it when he orders a book for school!!  He hasn't complained about my Amazon-almost-buying habit yet.  And it works for me. : )

15 Minutes Outside:  365 ways to get out of the house and connect with your kids

And....I was struggling with a SEVERE temptation to buy one of the above books which was conveniently already in our Amazon cart.  But I disciplined myself and checked the online library catalog first and - HAPPY DAY - our library has both of these books.  Now I feel myself being irresistibly drawn to the library sometime in the near future.

::From the Kitchen::
Tonight, planning to try a new chicken recipe I found on pinterest.  I already bought the rice vinegar and fresh rosemary, so I HAVE to make it. : )

::I am Thinking::
That I wish I had time to blog every day. I firmly believe that we make time for what we really want.  So I must not want it as much as I want other things.

::I am Creating::
I finally have our Scripture notebooks in working order.  I have the last 15 days of montly Scriptures yet to type out and put into place, but we are all excited to be using our notebooks.  Too much to explain here (another blog post for another time?)

AND....I am creating messes to create order.  Yard sale, here we come!

:: Towards raising hungry learners::
I think I had some brilliant thought about this this morning at 2am after one of the kid-wakings.  My brain began writing, and those of you who have brains that write know what a pain-in-the-neck that can be. I laid there, waiting for my brain to quit writing so I could go back to sleep.  Problem is,  my brain can't remember what it wrote this morning at 2am.

::Towards Rhythm and Beauty::
Every time I finish a project I love to bask in the order and simplicity....slowly but surely.

::To Live the Life ::
We just finished up a wonderful week of revival with Rev. John Manley. I was strengthened and encouraged and challenged.

Been thinking of several things:  One is about the deep settled peace of doing what is right and wise for us and our family and our ministry,  even if we don't necessarily believe that it is biblically forbidden.  What?!  Finding freedom in NOT acting on our freedom?   Nothing like it.

 The Holy Spirit has also reminded me of keeping my focus right....keeping my mind and words in "Trusting Completely" mode, not "What Can I do to Figure Things Out" mode. : )

::I am Hoping and Praying::
For some long-time prayers to be answered for people very close to our hearts. 

 :: In the Garden::
I found gorgeous, big pumpkins at Kroger for 3/$1!  Oh joy, oh bliss, oh happy autumn.  We don't have a Kroger in our town so I need to come up with a reason to go back to Lebanon and spend a whopping $3 more for another load of orange happiness.

 ::Around the House::
Did a major decluttering in the girls's room on Saturday.  The rest of the cleaning suffered and some friends saw my house a mess, but it was oh-so-worth it.   I probably do this about twice a year, when I spend quite a few hours sorting and culling and re-organizing.  The girls are hoarders in their own way, but they were good about getting rid of bags of stuff.  I have used the labeled bin system for close to 10 years, but the bins needed some tweaking.  The girls wanted to keep 2 bins of HORSES!  So I told them okay...but it all has to fit in the bins so you may have to get rid of something else to keep your cherished horses.

We got out the handy-dandy labeler and did even more labeling.  I reminded them (probably too many times) that everything has a specific place, so putting things away is a breeze.

I absolutely love the feeling after the biggie is done...they spend even more happy hours in their room, reading, listening, drawing.  Their things seem new.  I am wishing that we could just always have it that way and never get behind on it, but also reminding myself that the cycles of life are okay.  Go with it and grow with it, girl.

::A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week::
Continuing my house purge in preparation for our yard sale Saturday.  Every time I have a yardsale I decide it isn't worth it. I'm a slow learner. 

Today: (DESK DAY)  the boys' toys (think PILE dumped on the floor....) and a little more clothes sorting.
Tuesday:  (ERRANDS DAY) The fridge and cabinets are well-stocked, so I may be able to skip running around and stay home to cull the bathroom baskets & dining room craft shelves
Wednesday:  (LAUNDRY & CLOTHES DAY) Basement
Thursday:  (Teach lessons from 8:30-6:00) Move all treasures from storage to the yard sale location
Friday:  (CLEANING DAY)  Will probably skip the cleaning in order to set up and price the sale.
Saturday:  Spend all day sitting outside in the gorgeous fall weather selling junk....and go to bed exhausted, but with hopefully a little furniture savings in my pocket.

 ::One of My Favorite Things::
My handy-dandy labeler.  Helps me with working towards "a place for everything and everything in its place."  It's AMAZING to me how much it helps my brain to have everything labeled.  Takes away so much of the decision-making about everything in my hands so I can be more automatic.  Guess you'd have to have a distracted brain like mine to understand.  I know some "born organized" ladies do not understand this brain phenomenon. 

::The Kids::

Kayla:  My brain has been mulling over her love for being alone.  She is simply content to not follow the crowd.  I love that.  But I also want to be sure I'm in tuned for any imbalances that might be present from her introverted-ness. (She reads my blog, so I just wanted to say...."You're absolutely, beautifully awesome Kayla.  God told me when you were a young, strong & spirited toddler that he made you as you are for a purpose. And thanks for laughing at my jokes.")  Oh...and she is questioning her ability to go into medicine after hearing a young doctor at Connor Prairie describe their old-fashioned methods for amputating limbs.  She turned green and quickly wanted to move on to the next cottage. : )

Karissa:  We are anxiously and impatiently waiting the arrival of her new 1/4 size violin on our doorstep this week...Thank you Aunt De!  We love you all the way across the ocean!

Caiden: He got to pop an incentive balloon at school.  So now he is officially the class photographer for this week.  His friend Kent popped a balloon as well and gets to wear a hat in class all week.  So....They have worked out a brilliant system in which Caiden takes a picture of Kent wearing his hat.  What a team!

David decided this morning to go ahead and start Caiden on our easy Latin  curriculum to keep his little self  busy at school.  Oh,  how I feel for his teacher.  She is such a wise and patient woman.  He's in a bit of a stage right now, and his energy can be rather obnoxious at times.  He is excited about the extra subjects she has added to keep him busy.  He makes me laugh.

Corin:  He is NOT enjoying getting left behind when daddy and "the kids" go to school.  He scurries around getting dressed (always backwards pants) and filling his backpack to the brim.  Then he walks around importantly, waiting for everyone else to get ready.   I tell him over and over that he can't go to school, but he insists that yes, big boys go to school -  is still absolutely brokenhearted when they leave.  He gets happy and okay pretty quickly, though.  And today when we stopped by school to take David his medicine he went in to say hi to daddy and didn't seem to mind leaving.

I just now heard him in the other room playing with his cars - crashing them together with all of his boy noises.  He said in his tough voice......"Hey, you wanna piece of me?!"  Then immediately followed with..."You're not allowed to say that. It's the wools (rules)."  At least his conscience is working, even during imaginary car-crashing playtime.  (He got in trouble for saying this to a real person at volleyball practice this week!)

:: The Man of the House ::
I love sharing the joy of walking as Christians together.  Maybe it sounds corny, but could there be a bigger gift in marriage than "checking in" with one another and knowing that all is well spiritually?  Of walking hand-in-hand towards a deeper, higher place?

Plus he does dishes sometimes.  And he installed a new kitchen faucet and water purifier for me this week.  And the yard looks gorgeous after his mowing.  And he's working on a big project that the whole family is crazy excited about.  And making good progress on his writing.  Wonderful, wonderful man.

:: Love this Quote! ::

Part of a letter written by Beethoven as he grappled with his deafness:

Free me of only half this affliction and I shall be a complete,
mature man. You must think of me as being as happy as it is
possible to be on this earth - not unhappy.  No! I cannot endure
it. I will seize Fate by the throat. It will not wholly conquer
me! Oh, how beautiful it is to live - and live a thousand times over!

:: A Picture from our world::
Caiden - 3 years ago (November 2009)


Daybook: September 17

::Outside My Window::
Grey - to match a bit of how I'm feeling.  The sun was glowing a little bit ago but it looks grey again.  But my autumn decorations look good against grey. : )

::I am Listening to:: 
Wasn't listening to any music yet this morning but I need some...so I just turned on some Richard Clayderman.  Probably should switch to something a little more peppy soon.  I really love Spotify.  But I am pretty uncomfortable with everyone seeing everything I listen to.  Not because I need to hide,  but because it just doesn't seem right for privacy's sake.  When David and I first discovered how Spotify posts everyone's listening, we just laughed.  You can't do anything - even listen to music - these days without it being public online, it seems.  I'm not complaining.  No one makes me use Spotify or any other thing.... Just thinking through it.  I know there are plenty other free music services out there (Pandora, for one), but I like the way you can listen to a whole CD from an artist without buying it.  From now on, I don't think there will ever be a time when we don't have to balance the wisdom of an online presence. 

::I am Thankful For::
A husband who helps me grow.

::I am Pondering::
The challenges of keeping home.

:: Some of what I've been reading::

Still not done with John Rosemond's book (prompting some helpful "discussions" between David and I...)

For devotions:  Simply Praying by Patsy Lewis (Thanks, Carrie!) It was so neat to discover that Patsy Lewis is friends with my mom's friend  Aletha Hinthorn.

and A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie

And I pulled out a stack of motivation/inspiration browsing from the home section of our bookshelves:

Organizing for life - declutter your mind to declutter your world by Sandra Felton (Scary how she understands my brain...)
The House That Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark (sounds hoaky, but it's got some really helpful perspectives!)
The  New Messies Manual by Sandra Felton  (The title of this book ticks me off - we who seek to do better should not be branded!  But Felton just gets it...even if her title stinks.)
The Complete Idiot's Organizing Your Life by Georgene Lockwood (a reference read, not a cover-to-cover read, IMHO)

I still haven't been spending a lot of quantity time reading....just a bit at a time.

::From the Kitchen::
I enjoyed a crock pot taco soup last Thursday (my teaching day)....I put in a pound of frozen seasoned taco meat, a can of pork and beans, a can of black beans, some frozen corn, some salsa, water and tomato paste and turned on the Crock Pot before I left for work.  Stirred in some ranch dressing and served it with taco cheese and corn chips sprinkled on top with baked corn as a side.

::I am Thinking::
That I really hope I didn't ruin my keyboard or mouse just a bit ago when I dumped my beautiful teacup of hot chocolate all over it.  There was cocoa sprinkling out of it every time I shook it for awhile.  Now it won't let me click right.  Great. Wonder how much a new mouse will be.

::I am Creating::
I bought some burlap to make a burlap-and-twine autumn pennant banner.  I think I'm going to hot glue it instead of sewing.  Haven't totally decided how to do the lettering.  I think I might search for free stencils online or make my own in Word, then spray paint the stenciling.  I am going to have to actually schedule that little project in or it will get squeezed out by all of the daily stuff and I'll still have a roll of unused burlap come next March....

:: Towards raising hungry learners::
Ick.  I don't feel like answering this one because I'm currently - at the present grey moment - in "overwhelmed failure of a mother" mood.  This too shall pass. : )  I keep scouring my brain for something interesting about their learning development. I always come back to reading...Read, read, read!

But this morning my brain can't get away from my desperate desire to train kids who value kindness above themselves....who are scheduled and disciplined because I made it a way of life....who are able to persevere through hard things without complaint.  Just feeling the weight of all that I want for them and reminding myself that it's up to me, but not alone.  I am blessed to be working side-by-side with an amazing man of wisdom of character.  And of course my Abba.  Can't do a bit of this without Him anyway - remembering to lean hard.

::Towards Rhythm and Beauty::
Feeling on one hand excited and motivated that I'm still pressing on towards more simplicity.  But feeling like a doofus that I have to work so hard at it.  Keeping home is a great joy and challenge and I really enjoy the progress.   Just ask my friends - I love to talk and whine and scheme about scheduling and decluttering and managing.  But it is certainly not easy for me.  I have to study it and work and learn.  And why does that make me feel so dumb?  I have chosen this profession so purposefully, putting aside other things that I love and sometimes feel I am better at.  So when I have to work so hard at this, it makes me wonder if I'm doing it all wrong.  I read once that "just because it's hard doesn't mean you're doing it wrong."   

I have a huge yard sale planned in a couple of weeks and although there are few things David and I despise more, I feel it is a good choice.  I am faithfully squirreling away my craigslist/yardsale money for some good used furniture (someday).  And I get rid of more stuff if I know I'm going to be selling it.

::To Live the Life ::
You have probably heard me write about my strong feelings about speaking kindly about others and avoiding gossip and how God has worked on me.  But I have recently been reminded that I need to choose sometimes just to not say negative things - even if they don't fall in the gossip category.   Don't like a particular thing going on or don't prefer something just so?  I don't necessarily have to voice the negative thought - even to my husband.  This is not some kind of rule or weirdness, just another layer to this habit of bridling the tongue.  It feels good to choose not to say something negative.  

"Lord, keep busy with me! Don't let me off easy."

::I am Hoping and Praying::

That God be glorified in everything.  

It sounds so cliche-ish.  But you know when a cliche just all the sudden becomes so clear and sharp and pertinent to you?  And you realize why it became a cliche in the first place.  Well, lately it is especially clear to me that I have no desire for things to happen in my life unless God be glorified...In my home-keeping, in our child-raising, in the things I say yes and no to, in our present and future ministries and activities.  The only way ANY of if makes any sense is if God is glorified.  Not a new thought, but a desperate cry for me lately as I go about my days.

 :: In the Garden::
Enjoying the mums, goards, fall colors and scarecrows.  Can't wait until the pumpkins come out for sale and I can get me some corn stalks and straw bales to complete the autumn splendor!

 ::Around the House::
We are officially ready for  baby Christian to arrive by January 9th!  His clothes are sorted and washed in in their little canvas bins ready to be put on his tiny little hiney.  His blankets and bibs and burpers are washed and stacked.  The bassinet is it at the foot of my bed with teensy diapers underneath.  I don't usually prepare this early, but it just seemed right this time.  We have always planned our babies for summer births and I'm a bit nervous about a holiday/schooltime baby.   Plus....I'm pretty sure 5 kids is more than 4.  So I'm feeling the need to be as prepared as possible.

We have a woodworking friend making bunkbed/loft plans for us that will sleep all 4 kids.  In the meantime, we moved in some beds that were given to us.  Everyone is happy and sleeping well.

 ::Some of My Favorite Things::

Crawling into fresh, white sheets pulled tight.

Dawn Olay Hand Renewal dish soap.  This was truly a splurge last week for me away from the off brand, but the smell and the feel and rich bubbles were so worth it.  I wash a LOT of dishes and this makes me happy. : )

White dishes and clear glasses stacked neatly in rows in my open cupboard. (and the handsome man who helped me wash them last night.)
Clean white towels folded on the shelf.

::The Kids::

Kayla:  Gave her first speech this past week.  She ran for member-at-large of our school's student council.  She worked very hard on her 2 minute speech and Daddy helped her to practice and mark her pauses.  She knew that there was a good chance someone else would get the vote, but was okay with that.  I was still a bit nervous.  Disappointment is good for kids, but not fun for a mama to watch. : )  She would have been fine either way, she carries most things pretty lightly.  But she got the vote and some good practice.

Karissa:  We are enjoying some progress in the attitude department.  She's like her mama and has to learn to control her mood/emotions on purpose.

Her very cool teacher has a neat classroom incentives system and Karissa was very excited to get to "pop a balloon" today after her 6th 100%  for the year.  She spent quite a bit of time this morning trying to decide how to pop it....Should she sit on it?  Stomp on it?  Roll around on it like a wheel on the floor?  Funny. 

Caiden:  I am noticing a little extra fearfulness creeping back in....he has worked very hard at controlling his little mind.  So my ears are perked to see if he is dealing with normal 6-yr-old stuff or if we need to do some more "speaking the truth" work.  Some of you know that his brain has OCD tendencies and we have found some amazing tools (and good counseling) that have helped us work together on it.

Corin:  David and I were cracking up the other day as we described him as a little whirling dervish.  It's like his little short 3-year-old self walks through the house and leaves a wake behind him.  He's not quite ready for the same "strike system" the other kids are on, so it's just vigilance and making him clean up after himself.    It helps to motivate me in my seemingly constant process of decluttering.  I am considering putting away most of the toys that survive the purging process and just getting out certain things at a time.  His toys are already in bins, but unfortunately he can reach the bins, and he thinks more is more....especially if it's all on the floor!!!

:: The Man of the House ::
He is wonderful and frustrating.  And usually right - but PLEASE don't tell him!
 : )  We had one of "those" discussions last night and I feel a bit hung-over from it. But I am so thankful for a man who I can discuss things with and who holds us all to a high standard.   He is so very involved with our home and our children and I don't take that for granted.

::A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week::
Revival week!  Enough said?  It is challenging to fit everything in on a normal evening...so Revival week is extra challenging.  But I am looking forward to it, as well.  We also have a field trip on Tuesday.

:: Love this Quote! ::
Actually...3 favorite quotes...all from "The Silver Chair" of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. The three quotes are unrelated, but all delightful in their own way, word-crafted as only C.S. Lewis can.  All three deep reminders to me...

“You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you.”
 “Than you’re the somebody, Sir?”
 “I AM!”


 “I see”
 “Child, perhaps you do not see quite as well as you think”

Jill: “Eustice , We’ll never make it across that!”
Puddleglum:   “The bright side of  it is, that if we break our necks falling down the cliff, then we’re safe from being drowned  in the river.”

:: A Picture from our world::
Our Harvest Tree
(Yay!  Solved my picture problem.)   This word-dump-of-a-post desperately needs the beauty of some pictures.  But I am Having some technical difficulties...hopefully not hot-chocolate related. (!)  My cocoa-drenched mouse is not happy with me.  Nor I, with it.  I have found that it responds to a bit of slapping and smacking now.  Mercy me.


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