Thoughts for Tuesday on Wednesday, October 17th

Outside my windows… the leaves hit their peak about this weekend I think. I’ll enjoy the fading color for as long as I can though.

Inside my house… I still haven’t quite gotten the whole seasonal décor figured out, but at least our tissue boxes have pumpkins printed on them.

Counting 1000 gifts… looking over the photos in my phone from the past year. Lots of smiles on the kiddos’ faces!

Prayers of the heart… for friends who are walking through hard things.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… It’s a free-for-all this evening for dinner, so they’re raiding the cupboard and fridge to see what strikes their fancy.

From my playlist… a track from one of the old Mad Onion benchmark demos. If you have a clue what I’m talking about, you’re either a hardcore computer geek, or you’re married to one!

From my reading list… The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker. I’m on the launch team for this book, so it’s not releasing to the public until December. (ARCs are lovely things!) I’ll be sharing a review closer to the launch date, so be sure to check back for that.

From my needlework basket… I’m hand-quilting a Christmas quilt. Really. Every time I hand-quilt something I swear that I’m never doing that again. Every time. Six months later, I inevitably get the idea that I should hand-quilt something. I have a love/hate relationship with hand quilting.

In the learning room… the kids and I have survived the first 6 week block of our school year and so this is their week off. I think we all breathe a little sigh of relief when we get to our week off. It’s nice to be able to rest a bit when you’ve been working hard!

Random ramblings… Guys, I really want to just chicken out on NaNoWriMo this year. I sort of wish that I had never said anything about it to anyone so that I could chicken out and no one would know. That’s actually why I mentioned it on my blog and told a few of my real life friends, so that I couldn’t jump ship. I want to do this. I need to do this. This is important. I’m writing these things down because of the quote I’m sharing this week…

Profound ponderings… “I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it. We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.” – C.S. Lewis

Caught on film…

Thoughts for Tuesday, October 9th

Outside my windows… It’s overcast but the leaves have turned brilliant shades of autumn.

Inside my house… the leaky kitchen faucet replacement turned into a kitchen sink replacement which turned into needing a bigger hole cut in the existing countertop. Thankfully, we have a friend who knows what he’s doing when we don’t, and he was gracious enough to help us!

Counting 1000 gifts… the riot of fall colors that I see every time I look outside. It may not last long, but it’s beautiful nonetheless.

Prayers of the heart… for a family in my hometown who are going through an unimaginably difficult thing.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… finishing up lunch and enjoying an hour break from their studies. Munchkin has been using this time to work on a quilt!

From my playlist… Amazing Grace by J2. It’s an interesting rendition, and it’s been added to my writing playlist.

From my reading list… The Brave Art of Motherhood launched today, so now you can get your own copy of the book that gave me the push I needed to pick my 2018 NaNoWriMo project!

From my needlework basket… I decided to make a Christmas quilt. I’ve pieced the top, and I’m just waiting for the batting to arrive so that I can get to work quilting it. I’ll likely regret taking on another hand quilting project, but for some reason I keep deciding that it sounds like a good idea!

In the learning room… We’re on our 6th week of school, and though it’s gone well, we’re all looking forward to next week’s break.

Random ramblings… Too many things fill my head, my heart, and my soul these days. Much of it, I can’t seem to express with words. I find myself longing to be a painter or a composer, so that I could somehow express all of these things. The closest I can come to either of those is poetry perhaps, but even that seems but a pale shadow.

Profound ponderings… “The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.” – JRR Tolkien

Caught on film…

Thoughts for Tuesday, September 11th

Outside my windows… it’s gotten dark. Funny how quickly we go from light into the evenings back to dark by dinnertime!

Inside my house… I’m surprised by how long the marigolds in the vase on my desk are lasting. Most of the wildflowers I gather up in the summer don’t last more than a few days in a vase.

Counting 1000 gifts… hot tea when the weather starts turning chilly at night.

Prayers of the heart… for upcoming projects and direction for where my writing goes next.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… Munchkin is drinking tea and working on writing projects while the boys are playing a game in the living room.

From my playlist… “Three” by Sleeping at Last. Part of the collection of songs reflecting the nine enneagram personality types. I’m not a type three, but I can find things in this particular song that I identify with anyway: “I finally see myself. Unabridged and overwhelmed, a mess of a story I’m ashamed to tell, but I’m slowly learning how to break this spell.”

From my reading list… Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson arrived, and I let myself skim it a bit. Need to finish some other books so I can dive into that one!

From my needlework basket… I’m working on a cardigan for me. Gorgeous purple wool that I knit and then frogged because it just didn’t work with the sweater pattern I’d picked. Here’s hoping that the second time is the charm in this case…

In the learning room… Our first week is in the books, and we’re on to week two. High school is throwing a higher workload at Munchkin, but she’s handling it well. It seems like all of the kids are sort of entering a new “phase” of school and while it’s gone smoothly so far, I do expect there will be a few bumps along the way. I guess part of learning is figuring out how to adjust to new challenges.

Random ramblings… So. I’m considering NaNoWriMo again this year.

It was a lot of work to write that much in a month when I did it back in 2016. However, it was worth it. I’m a little surprised to hear myself say that considering that the draft it produced is DEEPLY flawed and needs extensive re-writing. It was that draft that I got a 10 page professional critique on. That’s what made me realize just how bad it was, but it also revealed some very important things that I need to work on in my writing. I’d hesitated to add too much conflict to a story, or to make things too hard on the characters. While it may be understandable that I just wanted someone to catch a break, it didn’t make for a great story.

The bulk of my writing this year has been non-fiction, and while that’s been good, I really want to write a story. I’m tossing about an idea and trying to plot out some sort of story. We’ll see how this goes, but the more I think about it, the more I want to be on board with NaNoWriMo again this November.

Profound ponderings… “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” – Thomas Jefferson

Caught on film…

Thoughts for Tuesday, May 1st

Outside my windows… there are some really loud frogs! None of the windows are open, and I have music playing, and I can still hear them! Not that I’m complaining though. I really do love to fall asleep to the sound of the frogs once it warms up.

Inside my house… my workspace got a little spring refresh. It’s amazing how much of a difference it can make when you move things around a bit and toss out some of the clutter on your desk.

Counting 1000 gifts… kind people. Social media would have us believe that kindness is all but extinct. That’s not true, and I’ve been on the receiving end of some of that kindness this past week. I’m grateful for that!

Prayers of the heart… for the busy season coming up, for the friends and loved ones who are grieving, and for the amazing folks I swap prayer requests with every Monday.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… would you believe they are all sleeping? At 10 PM, it’s just the frogs and my playlist making noise.

From my playlist… “Adams’ Summation” from the Amistad soundtrack by John Williams. The soundtrack is amazing, and the movie is a must-see in my opinion.

From my reading list… The Better Mom by Ruth Schwenk. I can’t read science fiction all the time, after all! Watch for a review of this book coming later.

From my needlework basket… I’ve been bouncing about between socks, a nearly-done sweater, and a lace vest. It depends on my mood and whether I want knitting that I’ll have to pay attention to, or one that I can do on auto-pilot.

In the learning room… the kids are getting oh-so-close to finishing out their math curriculum for the year.

Random ramblings… “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are gray. You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take that sunshine away.” When I hear that song, I think of Mom, because she used to sing that to us when we were growing up. I also think about the family reunions back when I was a kid. It was my grandmother’s family that would get together each summer, and at some point during the reunion, there would be a sing along. All of my grandmother’s siblings have since passed away, but I will carry a snapshot in my memory of them gathered around singing, “You Are My Sunshine”. As much as I miss them, I will still treasure the memory.

Profound ponderings… “The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become.” – C.S. Lewis

Caught on film…

Thoughts for Tuesday, March 20th

Outside my windows… the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and I’m staring at a pile of snow that’s 12 feet tall. I’m not even kidding.

Inside my house… I’ve lit a garden rose scented candle. If it’s the first day of spring, then I’m going to at least pretend that there will be flowers blooming soon!

Counting 1000 gifts… words on a page.

Prayers of the heart… for the right words.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… finishing up school assignments and chores around the house.

From my playlist… Angel by Aerosmith. Yeah, I have eclectic tastes in music!

From my reading list… finishing up Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado. It’s been a reading of starts and stops, and a bit of pondering. Good reading though.

From my needlework basket… alternating between a couple of cardigans. One I’m knitting to a pattern, and one that I’m using a pattern as a jumping off point, but charted out lace and cables from an inspiration photo.

In the learning room… It’s surprising me how much of the school year we’ve gotten through already. This year is going by fast!

Random ramblings… Story is a powerful thing. Whether it’s in the realm of fiction, or a real-life narrative, stories can impact us in remarkable ways. Maybe that’s why I love stories so much…

Profound ponderings… “Please underline this sentence: what you have in Christ is greater than anything you don’t have in life. You have God, who is crazy about you, and the forces of heaven to monitor and protect you. You have the living presence of Jesus within you. In Christ you have everything.” — Max Lucado from Anxious for Nothing

Caught on film…

Thoughts for Tuesday, February 20th

Outside my windows… a bit of rain today has made the icy driveway extra-slippery.

Inside my house… this month-long cold has been winning, but I’m hopeful that we may be over it by the time March rolls around.

Counting 1000 gifts… lovely surprises in the mailbox!

Prayers of the heart… that maybe next week won’t be too hard.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… playing cards while pasta boils for dinner

From my playlist… A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman soundtrack.

From my reading list… Coiled by H.L. Burke. I won this e-book in a giveaway!

From my needlework basket… working on this month’s installment of the year-long knitted blanket project.

In the learning room… We’re halfway through the school year! 🙂

Random ramblings… You know those friends who you’ve known forever and they’re basically family? One of my friends like that is a playwright. We’ve been reading each other’s writing for the past 20 years now, and today I received a copy of his latest play in the mail. He mentioned me in the dedication, and I’m just so, so honored by that. There’s something special about seeing published work that was written by one of your friends.

Profound ponderings… “Is there any tea on this spaceship?” — Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Caught on film…

Thoughts for Tuesday, January 30th

Outside my windows… we got a bit of snow today to top off the ice skating rink in the driveway.

Inside my house… so much tea! It’s definitely the season for lots of tea drinking by the coal stove.

Counting 1000 gifts… the houseplants on my table.

Prayers of the heart… for everyone with this nasty stomach bug and cold that’s going around to get better quickly!

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… unloading the dishwasher for me, and I have to say that it’s rather nice to have the extra help with the never-ending flow of dishes.

From my playlist… Steve McDonald’s albums are a current favorite, and Loch Lomond is the track playing right now.

From my reading list… Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado. Very good book that’s giving me plenty to think about.

From my needlework basket… working on a shrug for Munchkin… that needs to be done for Thursday night. This is totally doable, right?

In the learning room… Famous Men of Ancient Greece and Children’s Homer have been on the reading list lately. Lots of questions from the kiddos about how to properly pronounce some of these names!

Random ramblings… Winter is getting to me a bit earlier than usual this year. I think it’s been the extended cold snaps we had from Christmas to mid-January. Even so, when my cousin in Florida talks about the baby gators in the lake near where they live, I start thinking that the cold, ice, and snow probably isn’t the worst thing to deal with…

Profound ponderings… “It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.” – Excerpted from the Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland, April 1320

Caught on film…

Neon nails, Earl Grey tea, and a keyboard. #amwriting

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Thoughts for Tuesday, November 28th

Outside my windows… we’ve had a dash of flurries recently, but nothing has stuck around for the long run yet.

Inside my house… in a moment of madness, I strung up lights in my dining room, garland on the bookshelves and random ornaments hang here and there. I’ve not done more than just a Christmas tree for years!

Counting 1000 gifts… Color. What a beautiful and wondrous thing color is.

Prayers of the heart… for perspective. So much is shifting in how I look at things. I pray for a perspective that comes from the wisdom of God, and not my own.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… running about in the back yard on a recess break. It’s very quiet inside right now, though I occasionally hear snatches of loud voices from outside!

From my playlist… the Amazing Grace musical soundtrack.

From my reading list… A Simplified Life by Emily Ley arrived yesterday, and I’m anxious to dive into it. I’m still reading through Coming Clean: A Story of Faith by Seth Haines too. It’s been a challenging and thought-provoking read so far.

From my needlework basket… mittens, hats, and a cowl for the cold weather that’s ahead.

In the learning room… It’s our last week of full school before December break. We’ve got some other studies to work on for the rest of the month, but it will be nice to have a more relaxed study schedule for a few weeks.

Random ramblings… There are times when I wonder just how much of my stories I should tell. I read quotes like the one below and I ponder this. Is it better to tell our stories even if it’s at the expense of relationships or the feelings of others? Or, is it the better thing to stay quiet? I’ve grappled with this for a couple of years now, and I don’t know that I’m any closer to an answer, not really. So many things that I write never see beyond the pages of my journals. That doesn’t mean that writing them down has no purpose, in fact, just writing in my journals does a lot to help me face things and work through them. How much of that should ever go beyond the journal pages is something that I still can’t sort out though. I see the advantage of sharing our stories, and I see the potential problems as well. (And this is why I take forever to make up my mind about anything!)

Profound ponderings… “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” – Anne Lamott

Caught on film…

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Thoughts for Tuesday, July 11th

Outside my windows… are all sorts of wildflowers. I love all of the variety and color in my yard at this time of the year!

Inside my house… is plenty of fresh air. The temperatures have been fairly moderate so far this summer, and we’re all enjoying having the windows open as much as possible.

Counting 1000 gifts… blueberry coffee and work meetings.

Prayers of the heart… for friends who are dealing with hard things right now.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… creating cardboard box forts, building LEGO spaceships, and researching gerbils.

From my playlist… “We Believe” by the Newsboys. This may be my new current favorite!

From my reading list… Beyond Boundaries by Dr. John Townsend. I read the book Boundaries co-authored by Dr. Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud a couple of years ago, and it gave me so much to ponder. This follow-up book is just as good, and if you’ve read Boundaries, I highly recommend reading Beyond Boundaries!

From my needlework basket… socks for me in some crazy-bright neon colors! I’m somewhat fond of neon, and anyone who knew me in high school could attest to. (Neon + Tye Dye = Pictures I’d Rather Forget)

In the learning room… this is our last week of the 2016-2017 academic year. New books and curriculum are trickling in, and the assessment tests have been completed. Where did this year go?

Random ramblings… Journal excerpt – “I’m just me. I’m Teish. I’m not supposed to fit where everyone else thinks I should. I’m supposed to fit where God has put me. That may look crazy to everyone, and maybe no one else will understand it. Maybe I won’t quite understand it! But I’m going to bloom where I’m planted. I’m going to bloom like the wildflowers in my yard, in whatever weird place I happen to be.”

Profound ponderings… “Simply put, grief is letting go of what you cannot keep.” – Dr. John Townsend

Caught on film…

Reading and knitting! Two of my favorite ways to unwind. 🙂 #teishknits

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Thoughts for Tuesday, May 17th

Outside my windows… the sun is playing hide and seek today among the clouds!

Inside my house… a sample of paint is on the living room wall, and I’m still finishing up the last of the dining/school/office room project.

Counting 1000 gifts… warmer weather that has come at last!

Prayers of the heart… There is just so much coming up over the next month. It’s exciting and a bit nerve-wracking all at once though. I’ve got to say, I’m so proud of my “IT Staff” and all of his hard work, and I’m thrilled about some of the opportunities that have come up for him.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… making stop-motion LEGO movies with a really neat app. It’s fun to see their ideas take shape!

From my playlist… In This Life by a group that I’ve never heard of. It’s catchy, and this line appeals to me: “I know there’s something for you out there in this life.”

From my reading list… I’ve finished The Vexing by Tamara Leigh. What a great addition to the Age of Faith book series! Since I’m part of the Cultivate book launch team, I’ve got a sneak preview copy of Lara’s new book that I’ve started reading!!! I can’t wait to get the print copy that I pre-ordered when it comes out in June! I love pre-order bonuses, and you can still pre-order Cultivate and take advantage of the bonuses they are offering! (Yes, too many exclamation points, but I do tend to get very excited about books!)

From my needlework basket… more socks for me. I’ve grown attached to my wool socks in the winter, and so I shall spend the summer months filling my sock drawer.

In the learning room… the kids will be done with their Math-U-See courses this week. We’ll take next week off and then put in another 6-week block of school to finish up language arts and anything else left for the academic year.

Random ramblings… I just love being able to open the windows and let the fresh air in! I also love the fact that the screens keep all of the black flies that have returned outside…

Profound ponderings… “I’ve been given a story to tell – and live – and so have you.” – Lara Casey

Caught on film…

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