Monday, December 28, 2009

Morning Musings

Countless analogies run through my head and wake me at 3 a.m.

Either that, or it was something I ate.

Still, a quiet house gives birth to quiet reflection. It has been such a wonderful week.

When my children were newborns and infants, my jaws ached continually. It wasn't some odd postpartum symptom that wasn't listed in the pregnancy books. Rather, I was so overwhelmed with the love that I had for my children that I had to clench my teeth in order to keep myself from squeezing them too hard!

I have felt that way this week. My jaws don't ache, but I feel like I'm so . . . full . . . that I don't think I can contain it any longer. Something is about to burst! Whatever it may be, I am full to the brim. I'm thankful that Glenna is such a hugger and cuddler. I can grab her just about any time and whirl her about the room or simply wrap my arms around her.

Thankfully, she's not so fragile anymore. I can squeeze as hard as I want. It's much easier on the jaw.

As far as being up at 3 a.m. goes; seriously, I need to watch what I eat.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's All Good

When I would visit my grandparents as a young girl, my grandmother would offer treat after treat for our enjoyment. Most often, I'd be full as a tick and couldn't possibly eat another bite. At this point, when Grandma offered yet another slice of home made key lime pie, I'd wave her off with the phrase every kid in my generation clearly understood; "That's OK."

Grandma was always gently instructing me in the ways of a politer society. One day she finally asked, "What do you mean by that, J? It's OK and you want some more or it's OK and you don't want any? Have you thought about just saying 'Yes, please' or 'No, thank you' so you would be more clear?"

While I didn't agree with Grandma on all of her instructions (like the thought at the time that I should be reading more of the newspaper than simply the comics), this made good sense.

With my own children, I have taught them to say "No thank you" or "Yes, please." It makes it even more amusing, therefore, when our student from China uses a particular American slang and seems so proud when he does.

Junting, would you like some more potatoes?

Oh . . . I'm good.

Kelly hides her smile.

We wonder who taught him this? Dude, if someone offers you something and you don't want it, just say I'm good. That's how they do it here.

He speaks English so well and understands us so clearly, so it took me by surprise the first time I heard him say it. He's here studying for his Ph.d in Chemistry, uses articulate speech, and then he comes out with I'm good.

Should we tell him? =)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Three sleepy heads
Upstairs in beds
(plus one guest more
put Kelly on the floor)

The sun is bright
My world is right
Himself is here
I'm so glad he is near

Our student's great
We easily relate
The house is clean
The tree is still green

And now my Friends
must dry my head
I'll write real soon
When not in a rhyming mood.

Because, let's face it; that's pretty cheesy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

With Days Like These

True story.

I had just finished putting flea medicine on the dogs and wanted to wash my hands. I grabbed the glass oil/vinegar bottle that we keep our dish soap in, just like I do a thousand times per day.

This time, I must have knocked the edge of it on the sink because soap sloshed all over the sink, counter, and my shirt. I quickly dug around the cupboard under the sink for a container to hold the soap and found an old water bottle. Once the soap was contained, I cleaned off the counters.

I knew I didn't want to toss my shirt full of soap into the laundry. Glenna was upstairs in the shower, and no one else was home. I quickly took off my shirt and started to rinse it in the sink.

That's when the UPS man pulled up.

That's when I noticed a few windows were opened to let in the breeze.

I did the only thing I could do. I hit the deck! I squat-walked over to my sweater in the dining room and threw it on, then ran into my bedroom.

Fortunately, the UPS man was for next door.

I am way too tempted to go back to bed for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

All Rite

I put it off as long as I could.

I knew that once I made this step, there'd be no turning back.

I argued with myself for half a year, weighing the pros and cons. I'd lived without it for this long, and surely I could continue to live without it! It just seemed that my pro list was growing larger than my con list.

I found myself searching for it, deliberately, in stores. Today, I picked it up and put it in my shopping cart.

That wasn't so scary. Still, life was about to change forever. The line was about to be crossed. Maybe I could just keep it to myself for a while and no one would know. This resolve was forgotten, however, when Glenna starting to unload the grocery bag.

Mom? What in the world?!? A shower cap????

Monday, December 14, 2009

Too Much?

Glenna, on Christmas lights:

Some of these houses look nice. Some of them look like a kindergarten glitter project.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Book It

There are so many blog pages I want to read or linger over. I quickly hit the "bookmark" button and there it goes, right into my favorites.

Now I only need to set a day aside to read all the sites I've saved! Maybe one per morning?

Kelly and I were talking about personality differences. I'm fine with doing a little at a time, whereas Himself is more of a "right now or not at all" type of person. This can be frustrating at times, but I have also seen this used to great advantage in his life.

Says Kelly, "Yep, there's not a gradual bone in Daddy's body."

We received a phone call from our son this morning. Another day, another A. Way to finish out the diesel module, Ty!

We've also heard that his new roommates have arrived. Gone are the John Deere tractor sheets and loud commentary (his new roommate has plain black sheets, thank you very much). Jury is still out, but there's hopeful optimism that these two boys from the mountains in Virginia will work out just fine.

Lastly, I am hoping Florida will make up its mind on the weather. We go from sweaters to AC, often on the same day. Today the windows are open and we had a pleasant rain . . . who knows what tomorrow will bring!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Tuesday is Guest Star Day!

What a belly laugh this brought to me this morning!

Mrs. R, it looks like your writing classes have paid off once again, even down to the clever title. Thank you!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Playing School

Hands in soapy water, I field one question after another from my daughters as they work on their school tasks. A spelling question, a historical fact, a question of logic; all of these flow freely back and forth in a natural dialogue. This is the learning lifestyle I had longed for 12 years ago when we first began our home school journey.

Of course, I don't always have the answers. This leads to some questions of my own:

I don't know. How could we find out?

Where would you look for that information?

What do you think?

Is the dictionary nearby? What about the thesaurus?

Learning by osmosis keeps a level of anticipated discovery in all of us. When we go to the encyclopedia to look up a fact, we can't help but read a few tidbits surrounding our quest. I love when I hear, "Hey, Mom! Did you know that . . . " or "Hey, Mom! Check out what this says!" or "Hey, Mom! This says one thing, but I'm pretty sure the other book said another thing. Do you remember?" This would be missed if we simply hit up Google or wikipedia! They only display one fact at a time!

So what if my encyclopedias are dated 1988. As long as we're not looking for current events . . .

This same principle applies to map work. Any time spent looking at a map will teach volumes more than a textbook with a workbook. At the R Zoo, they have a map placed under the glass of their dining room table. Perfect! I can't tell you the pleasure we've all had at their home, pouring over countries and continents. I can't tell you the stories of travels and peoples that come up in conversation because of it.

The part I hate about home schooling is how quickly I become the enemy. Unfortunately, I must also ask questions such as "Have you finished your science?" and "Did you do your vocabulary?" and "Have you started your math?" I have been reassured countless times that they're not mad at me, per se, but they're angry at the fact that they have slacked off and have fallen behind - again.

My favorite part of home schooling, however, comes when God shows me a glimpse of the work He is doing in the lives of my children. I am privilege to watch Diligence triumph over Laziness. I am a witness to Selfishness dying to Service. I watch intense spiritual battles turn into spiritual victory, and I want to sink to my knees in thankfulness. (I may have to do this one time, just for effect!)

How much I would have missed if my stubborn will had not given in to home schooling.

I had no idea it would be like this.

I had no idea it COULD be like this.

It has, unequivocally, been worth it.

I laugh with my fellow home school moms and count down to the day I will be finished with all of this and free from the tyranny of schedules and grades (four and a half years left, to any who are wondering). Still, there's a stronger voice telling me how precious and sweet this is. I'm not to wish it away or count it down, for just as that 9 pound, downy-soft infant became a 6ft tall man too soon, so this will end.

Too soon.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Pain of Loyalty

Becoming a rabid college football fan can be extremely painful!

When I lived in California, we rarely paid attention to college teams. We had so many professional teams to enjoy! I will ever be a Chargers, Padres, and Lakers fan. Forever!

Since moving to Florida, we have caught the passion that comes with being the fan of a college team. There are three sides to choose - Miami (bleh), Florida State (meh), or University of Florida (roaring crowd noise here!). We have pretty much become Gator fans!

For tonight's game, Himself went to a friend's house to watch while I stayed with one-who-needed-to-finish-school-on-a-Saturday. About the third quarter, I decided to see if I could catch the game live on line.

I was in luck, but I didn't like what I saw. Gators were behind!

I knew I needed to hit the shower, so I thought I'd be super clever and put the laptop in the bathroom and take a tub bath. I had everything safely away from the water and tilted at just the right angle. I hopped into the tub and looked triumphantly up at the screen on the bathroom counter.

I couldn't see a thing.

I definitely can't see any distance without my glasses! Since I was already in the tub and my mother's warnings through the ages were ringing in my head, I did NOT try to move the laptop closer. Instead, I fumbled around for my glasses and decided to wash my face last.

I'm sure everyone reading this knows what happened next.

Yes, after 10 minutes, the screen saver came on. [sigh] Fortunately, I could still HEAR the game. UNfortunately, the Gators did not come through with a win. By the time I got out of the tub, I was fighting tears along with our quarterback.

Thank you, Tim Tebow . . . for everything.

I hope we see MANY MORE just like you.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Oh Lord . . .

Dear Lord,

This has been a great week! I don't hate anyone, I don't blame anyone for the trials of life, and the house isn't overwhelming me.

But, Lord, I know the hormones are coming around again soon. Would you please protect my mind, my family, and my friends?

Thank You.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Well, What Do You Know?

After we stood in line in the third world country to buy our raw milk, I was curious to see if I could skim the cream and make butter.

It worked!

I put it in a Tupperware container used to mix protein shakes and shook it for all it was worth. I'm not sure how long it took, but my arms certainly got a workout! The end result was enough butter to put in my butter bell.

Now I know why the man who invented the butter churn, on a rocker, was popular. During the entire shaking process, I was trying to think of easier ways to make the butter. After all, I'm a modern woman living in modern times!

I also wonder what on earth families did with all that milk when they milked a cow daily.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tuesday is Guest Star Day!

It's been a while since we've heard from Jess at Making Home.

I like the attitude adjustment she gave this morning! Moment by moment, we can choose the way we think of others.


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