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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Thoughts for Tuesday, May 2nd

Outside my windows… it’s raining, but there’s green grass appearing!

Inside my house… one very large, very dark piece of furniture has a fresh coat of white paint!

Counting 1000 gifts… lunch visits with friends.

Prayers of the heart… summer just gets busy all around for us. Praying for wisdom in balancing and not losing sight of the most important things in the busyness.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… Munchkin is currently acting as an assistant to my IT staff. The boys periodically pop their heads in to see how the project goes.

From my playlist… the David Arnold soundtrack for Wing Commander. Epic stuff!

From my reading list… The Good That Men Do. It’s a Star Trek book, and I haven’t read one of those in a while. I read many back in high school, and still enjoy them.

From my needlework basket… almost done with the shawl. I’d be done if I hadn’t succumbed to temptation and cast on another pair of socks…

In the learning room… a fresh coat of paint is going up on the walls this weekend! It will be a good excuse to go through and re-organize some shelves, right?

Random ramblings… Is there anything like a fresh coat of paint to make a room or piece of furniture seem brand new? I have fond memories of helping Mom paint rooms when I was growing up. I still love to put a new paint color on a wall, and it’s fun to have Munchkin helping me too! (She’s very good at cutting in along the baseboards where it’s harder for me to reach.)

Profound ponderings… “It’s OK to grow slow.” – Lara Casey

Caught on film…

Thoughts for Tuesday, April 18th

Outside my windows… there was a dusting of snow this morning, but we’re back to just remnants of snowbanks now.

Inside my house… I have patches of wall paint samples. Our dining room is getting a fresh coat of paint, and I’m painting a piece of antique furniture white. (Every antique collector and dealer just cringed…)

Counting 1000 gifts… picnics outside.

Prayers of the heart… for the friends who are facing health issues.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… making movies with an app and their LEGOs. (Their sound effects are creative!)

From my playlist… “Praises” by the Newsboys.

From my reading list… Recall the Earth. Book 2 of The Guardian Knights of Terra by Kyle Pratt. The books are fairly short, but I’ve been enjoying this fun read. If you’re a fan of sci-fi, you’ll want to give these a try!

From my needlework basket… still working on a shawl that I’ve had to frog (rip out) a lot of sections on. Getting so close to the end now though!

In the learning room… Science experiment success seems to be hit or miss this past week, but at least it’s not boring, right?

Random ramblings… Planning for the next school year, planning summer home projects, planning writing… so much planning! It’s a good thing that I like planning so much. Of course, the danger in that is that I always end up planning more than I can realistically get done!

Profound ponderings… “The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.” – Albert Einstein

Caught on film…