Thoughts for Tuesday, February 17th

Outside my windows… it’s very cold, and there’s a pretty frost pattern on the window by my desk this morning.

Inside my house… both coal and propane stoves are lit today. The wind has really been something else!

Counting 1000 gifts… co-workers who pray for each other.

Prayers of the heart… for friends who are traveling today.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… breakfast while wearing fedoras and marveling over how Mom can type without even looking at the keyboard.

From my playlist… Light it Up by for King and Country. This song spoke to me the first time that I ever heard it… it still does.

From my reading list… the most recent issue of Home Educating Family Magazine came! That always tops the reading list.

From my needlework basket… mittens for now, though I’m anxious to get back to the socks I was working on.

In the learning room… vacation this week, but I’ll still manage to sneak in a bit of learning. Someone recommended How the States Got Their Shapes on Netflix, so I think we’ll check it out this week.

Random ramblings… Winter seems to always bring chapped and irritated skin. I’ve been trying calendula oil on that this year, and it’s been working exceptionally well. You can buy it at the health food store or make your own by infusing the carrier oil of your choice with dried calendula. Just let it soak in a jar of oil for a week or two before straining the calendula out of the oil.

Profound ponderings… “Behind every successful woman, is a substantial amount of tea.” – Unknown

Caught on film… don’t forget to enter the Dear magazine giveaway this week!

IMG_2204

Thoughts for Tuesday, February 10th

Outside my windows… there is a lot of snow. Really, a lot of snow.

Inside my house… I’ve been enjoying the electric kettle that I got for Christmas. Considering how much tea I drink this time of year, it’s getting a lot of use.

Counting 1000 gifts… the gift of a written language. I can’t imagine a life that did not include reading and writing. I’m so very thankful that mine includes both.

Prayers of the heart… “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” Psalm 62:5

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… a lunch/LEGO break!

From my playlist… Cassandra from Thomas Bergersen’s new album Sun. If you are looking for some great instrumental music, definitely look him up!

From my reading list… working my way through The Power of a Half Hour by Tommy Barnett. Still not completely sure what I think of it…

From my needlework basket… mittens and cowls are both on the needles at the moment. I did finish Munchkin’s birthday sweater, and I can’t wait for her to see it later this week!

In the learning room… Decimals, Barbarians, and astronomy! We read about Charlemagne yesterday, and I have to say that I’ve been learning a lot about this period of history along with the kids.

Random ramblings… my favorite kind of characters to read (and write!) about are people who are completely flawed. People who live through the hard, and even if their ending isn’t storybook-perfect, something good comes out of all of the bad. Because that’s the kind of thing that God does in our lives, and sometimes I need the reminder.

Profound ponderings… “The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.” – T.S. Eliot

Caught on film… the circuit board from the old toaster that the boys and I disassembled. (Taking stuff apart can be fabulously stress-relieving!)

Thoughts for Tuesday, November 18th

Outside my windows… the ground was mostly bare again when we got more snow. It’s definitely here to stay.

Inside my house… I turned the thermostat up because even 70 was feeling a bit chilly. I must be getting old.

Counting 1000 gifts… people to send Christmas cards to.

Prayers of the heart… good decisions. I have one that I’ve been struggling with for the better part of the year, and I’m at the point where I really do have to decide what I’m going to do.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… math and Mario Kart!

From my playlist… Saturn by Sleeping at Last. The first half of the song is beautiful instrumental music, and the lyrics of the second half will make you stop and think.

From my reading list… Tears of the Sea from MaryLu Tyndall. I’ve really been enjoying her novels lately!

From my needlework basket… I actually took a 20 minute break to sew today. It was a good distraction and I was able to get back to things with a fresh mind.

In the learning room… the Middle Ages and early missionaries are on the list for history over the next few weeks.

Random ramblings… I’m so tired right now that I can’t think of anything random to ramble about… does that ever happen to you?

Profound ponderings… “One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.” – Unknown

Caught on film…

IMG_2032[1]

Thoughts for Tuesday November 11th

Outside my windows… there’s lingering snow dusting the ground. I suppose I’ll have to get used to that again!

Inside my house… yellow caution tape… It’s the perfect party decoration for a little boy requesting a “construction” birthday.

Counting 1000 gifts… So thankful today for Camo. He arrived seven years ago today!

Prayers of the heart… it’s been such a hard month and a half. Not because of any one big thing, just a lot of little things that keep piling up. I’m praying for strength and rest this week.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… since birthdays around here mean LEGOs, the kids will be happily occupied all evening!

From my playlist… Angry Birds from The Greatest Video Game Music album. (It’s the London Philharmonic. You know it’s going to be good.)

From my reading list… When Treetops Glisten. It’s a Christmas themed novella collection. I’ll be posting a review here after I’ve finished the book. Since we have snow, it seemed like a good book to pick up.

From my needlework basket… I need to knit nice, thick wool boot socks for kids. I’m trying to wing it, but sock #1 didn’t exactly turn out.

In the learning room… Munchkin had requested books about airplanes a while back, and I came across an interesting used book with lots of photos that I picked up for her. Yesterday, she surprised us with her knowledge of stealth aircraft!

Random ramblings… So, I got a new cell phone. My old one wasn’t ringing through about half the time when someone tried to call me. As much as I dislike change, this one was necessary. I have a pre-paid phone because I honestly don’t use it enough to justify an actual monthly plan. Transferring the number and minutes from the old phone to the new one was not quite as easy as they make it out to be… After going through the transfer process on their website, three times using the automated system, and twice with real live CS reps, they told me that it could take two business days for it to “finalize”. In the meantime, I had no phone. Ah, technology…

Profound ponderings… “We cannot start over, but we can begin now, and make a new ending.” – Zig Ziglar

Caught on film…

IMG_2017[1]

Thoughts for Tuesday, November 4th

Outside my windows… sunshine and snow. We were rather surprised that our first snowstorm of the winter turned out to be a rather nasty blizzard!

Inside my house… are three boxes of books to take to the thrift store. I’m surprised by the number of duplicate books that I still had on my bookshelves from back when I merged Mom’s books with mine.

Counting 1000 gifts… thankful for heat and electricity this morning! We lost electricity for about 18 hours over Sunday and Monday. We have a propane heater that we can use when the power is out, but it doesn’t keep the house quite as toasty as the coal stove does.

Prayers of the heart… so many things heavy on my heart lately that I’m not free to share publically. Praying for myself and for friends.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… LEGO club magazines arrived today, so the older kids are engrossed in those! Little Guy has taken to drawing and tracing stencils lately, so he is busy at the table with paper and (washable!) markers.

From my playlist… We Dream of a Kingdom by Greg Long.

From my reading list… I just picked up the kindle edition of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I’ve heard a few recommendations, and it sounds like a book I’d find helpful.

From my needlework basket… more Christmas knitting going on!

In the learning room… I’m deciding what to do this year that’s Thanksgiving themed. We’ve done the Amanda Bennett unit study in the past, and it’s a great study. I think it’s a little more than I want to tackle this year though. A good read-aloud and gratitude journals might be just about right.

Random ramblings… I ordered a Melissa and Doug “playdoh” set as a Christmas gift for Little Guy. It arrived in the mail today and my IT staff’s comment was, “You’ll regret that. He’ll love it, but you’ll regret it!” He’s right too! I’ll wonder what I was thinking when I’m peeling little bits of dough off every chair in the dining room!

Profound ponderings… “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” – Ernest Hemingway

Caught on film…

IMG_2002[1]

Thoughts for Tuesday October 28th

Outside my windows… there has been a lot of rain this week, but we had sunny skies today.

Inside my house… is a working printer on my desk. I didn’t quite realize how much I print until the previous printer bit the dust a month and a half ago. I did quite a bit of research trying to find the best printer in the price range that I had in mind. The new printer arrived last week while my IT staff was off teaching a workshop. I actually managed to get it set up and printing on my own. Will wonders never cease…

Counting 1000 gifts… so, so, so, thankful that my IT staff is home at last! I sure miss my Aaron when he’s gone.

Prayers of the heart… asking for perspective lately. There are so many things in a day that call for my time and attention. I want to make the right things my priority.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… Munchkin has discovered the Grandma’s Attic book series, and the boys have been working on a LEGO fort recently. Naturally, the fort includes cannons!

From my playlist… the soundtrack to Space Pirate Captain Harlock. If you know what that is, you are definitely a geek!

From my reading list… A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah Ladd. I’ll be posting a review here later this week.

From my needlework basket… Christmas vests for the kiddos. I’m making up the pattern as I go along since I couldn’t find a pattern I liked to go with the yarn I wanted to use. There’s a lot of math involved in pattern design.

In the learning room… multiplying fractions for Munchkin. She seems to take to fractions far better than her mother did, which is another thing I’m thankful for today!

Random ramblings… I went upstairs to grab a cable. Got upstairs and couldn’t remember why I was there, so I started back downstairs. Halfway down the stairs, I remembered the cable and had to turn around and go back for it. I really thought I’d be a bit older than 34 by the time stuff like this started happening…

Profound ponderings… “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Caught on film… because I still can’t believe that I get to write for my favorite magazine…

IMG_1985[1]

Thoughts for Tuesday, October 7th

Outside my windows… leaves are falling and mornings are chilly.

Inside my house… I lit the coal stove for the first time this season. I held off as long as I could!

Counting 1000 gifts… hot tea and snuggly sweaters on chilly mornings.

Prayers of the heart… that this wisdom tooth surgery tomorrow will go well and recovery won’t be too bad!

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… munching on cereal and watching the fire in the stove with fascination!

From my playlist… Beethovan’s 9th Symphony.

From my reading list… actually, I’m trying to decide what book to start next. Too many great options!

From my needlework basket… a Christmas sweater for Little Guy is in the works. I finished a red sweater for Teddy last night. (Teddy is the stuffed bear that has been with me since I was a newborn.)

In the learning room… finishing up a few things before we take a break for the rest of the week.

Random ramblings… After two weeks of being gone, my IT staff will finally be back home today! I can’t tell you how happy and relieved I am about this!

Profound ponderings… “Courage isn’t a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to anyway.” – The Doctor

Caught on film…

IMG_1960[1]

Thoughts for Tuesday, September 30th

Outside my windows… We had an incredibly warm weekend, but fall weather has returned. I don’t mind having an excuse to wear warm sweaters and drink more tea though!

Inside my house… there is a spider invasion! I’m not kidding. They are big ones too. I’m thinking a flame-thrower might be the best defense…

Counting 1000 gifts… a sister who came over and made us a delicious dinner!

Prayers of the heart… I’m having oral surgery next week to remove an impacted molar and wisdom tooth. Praying that all goes well.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… Little Guy is watching Mickey Mouse while the older kids are working on math and I’m getting a bit of work done.

From my playlist… Into the West sung by Peter Hollens. I really love this version of the song!

From my reading list… How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson. This is an absolutely fascinating book, and it has me really thinking through some of the story ideas that I’ve been tinkering with!

From my needlework basket… I finally finished I Watch British TV for the Sweaters. I had attempted it for the Rav games earlier this year, but it took a bit longer to finish. I’m definitely enjoying the warm sweater today! (Photo at the end of the post.)

In the learning room… Division and fractions and diagraming, oh my!

Random ramblings… Because it’s election season, and because I’m me, I’ve got to say this: I have little respect for someone who will only vote for a major party candidate, who they usually don’t believe is the best qualified, because no one else “has a chance”. I have far more respect for someone who chooses a candidate based firmly on their convictions, whether I agree with that choice or not. They have had the courage to make a decision based on principle, with little regard to how many others stand with them. Living out your beliefs in every area of life is a brave thing to do today…

Profound ponderings… “The best advice I’ve ever received is, ‘No one else knows what they’re doing either'” – Ricky Gervais

Caught on film… by the girl who may just follow in Daddy’s footsteps!

IMG_1926[1]