Friday, June 29, 2012

3 in 30: Finally Some Good News!

Whew!  This week has been crazy!  Since we live in north Florida, we've been dealing with flooding.  While we were never in any danger of flooding ourselves, the golf course we live on did flood.  If you would like to see some pictures, you can see them here.

Having such a crazy, last week of June makes me very glad that I had such "easy" goals for the month. Okay, easy isn't the right word, but I'm glad that my goals didn't require too much from me this week.
  • Study and take the law test.  Done, done, and done!  As a matter of fact, I found out yesterday that I passed!  So one of my goals next month will be to find a job.  As my husband put it, I will take whatever I can find, considering how particular I am:  I am willing to work just one weekend a month.  I'm first and foremost a wife and mother; I'm just a part-time pharmacist.
  • Putting the house back together after letting it fall apart while I studied for the test.  I've pretty much gotten things back together, at least, as together as they usually are.
  • Make another batch of soap.  I really, really wanted to get this project done this past weekend, but I didn't.  I ordered some soap molds, and they hadn't come in.  As my mother told me, homemade soap smells great, but it doesn't look so good.  I wanted to wait for the molds to come so I would have pretty smelling and looking soap.  They finally got here yesterday, and I hope to make my new batch tonight (depending on whether I have to go to the grocery store or not).  I was able to get everything but the lye weighed out last weekend, so I don't have to do that tonight.
How was your week?  Did you deal with any disasters?  What were you able to get accomplished?

This post is lined at Welcome to Our Good Life 3 in 30.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Flooding: Losses


Yesterday evening, after supper as I was cleaning up the kitchen, I heard Sarah Beth saying, "Mommy, mommy!  Come look!"  While I couldn't tell exactly what had happened at first, immediately I realized that the view from our back windows had changed.  Then it hit me.  One of our live oaks had fallen.  As I looked closer, there was more:  as the oak fell, it took another one with it.  

These oaks are huge; you and I together could not put our arms around either of them.  Their loss is devastating because, if we planted new ones tomorrow, our grandchildren would not see them grow to be as big as the ones we just lost.

I know that many people in our area have lost so much more from flooding than a few trees in their backyards, and I'm trying to keep this in perspective.  But it's going to be expensive to get it cleaned up.  And without the trees to block the rising sun, the outlook is different.  When I got out of the shower this morning, I thought that I had left the light on in the bedroom because there was so much sunlight coming in that I wasn't used to.  It's hard to know exactly what things will look like after the trees are gone because they still take up so much room.  But it certainly will be different.  And there is one more tree that is still sitting in water; we hope we don't lose that one, too.

It makes me so sad to have lost those trees, but I am thankful, too.  I am thankful that we only lost two trees.  I'm thankful that the trees were pointed toward the golf course so they didn't fall on our house...or anyone else's.  I'm thankful that we still have several large live oaks on our property.  

The water continued to rise during the night, but I'm hopeful that it has finally stopped.  Hopefully, it will soon start receding.  While the lake in our backyard is kind of pretty, it's time for it to go.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Flooding: More Pictures

As you read yesterday, our area in north Florida has flooded.  John was unable to go to work yesterday because the road getting out of our neighborhood was covered with water.  There is a back way out of our neighborhood which is usually locked, but they opened it yesterday.  John took some of these pictures yesterday morning when the water was lower than it is today.    

 The car is floating in the main street that we use to enter and exit our neighborhood.

A bunch of ants huddled together in a floating raft after their mound was flooded.

See the yellow flag?  That is the green behind our house.  This "lake" is actually the fairway. 

Another view of the fairway behind our house.

I took this picture last night before the sun went down.

I took this picture this morning before the sun came up.  (I'm sorry for the poor quality.)  

Compare the last two pictures.  In the one above, the water has not come up to the oak tree on the far left.  In the second picture, the water is surrounding the tree.  Even though we didn't get any rain during the night, the water continued to rise.  John saw an alligator in the water behind our house this morning when he left for work.  Needless to say, we won't be playing in the backyard today!

The sun is shining right now, and it doesn't look like we'll get anymore rain today.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Flooding: Too Much of a Good Thing

Have you heard about all of the flooding going on in north Florida?  Well, that's us.  Don't worry; we're not actually in danger of flooding, but lots of people around us are.  As a matter of fact, we can't get out of the neighborhood because the road is flooded.  John just left to see if the back way into our neighborhood (which is usually closed) is open now.  I bet he'll be back soon.  He just returned.

It rained all day Sunday, then it stopped until yesterday afternoon.  And it rained all night long.  I'm not sure how much rain we've gotten, but it has been a bunch.  And we're expecting a lot more today and the rest of the week.  Tropical Storm Debby is moving sooo slowly that we're going to continue to be deluged.

We needed the rain desperately, but now we have too much of a good thing.  Please pray that we will get a respite from the rain so that the floodwaters can recede.  Please pray for the people whose homes have flooded.  Please pray that we don't lose electricity.  Please pray for the people who have to leave their homes that they will be safe on the roads.

Compare the picture above that I took this morning with this one that I took when we moved in.  The fairway is now a pond.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday's Quote: Pride

I'm starting a new series, a series based on quotes from books that I'm reading.  I find these quotes interesting and thought-provoking, and I think you might, too.  However, please don't expect a new post on this subject every week.  It may be like my Tuesday's Tips, few and far between.  But I hope not!

Anyway, here is my quote for the day which C.S.  Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity.  In previous chapters, Lewis talked about other sins, and now he is writing about the worst sin.
There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loaths when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves.  I have heard people admit that they are bad-tempered, or that they cannot keep their heads about girls or drink, or even that they are cowards.  I do not think I have ever heard anyone who was not a Christian accuse himself of this vice.  And at the same time I have very seldom met anyone, who was not a Christian, who showed the slightest mercy to it in others.  There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves.  And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others. 
The vice I  am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit:  and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility.
Pride.  Something we all have, and something we hate to see in others.  It's unusual in that respect, isn't it?  Gluttons love to surround themselves with others who love to eat, as do drunks with people who enjoy drinking.  People who are cruel enjoy being around other cruel people.  But, oh, how we hate to see pride in others.  Of course, we don't see it in ourselves.  Isn't that something?

I would ask if you struggle with pride, but I know that you do...just as I do.  I thank God for this chapter in this book, as it opened my eyes to my own pridefulness and how distasteful, no, how ugly, it is.

Friday, June 22, 2012

3 in 30: Getting Back to Normal

This week has been busy with us getting back to normal.  It's been a good week without the weight of that test over my head, and I have enjoyed spending more time with my children and my husband.
  • Study and take the law test. Done, done, and done!  (I just hope that I passed it.)
  • The two-parter:  1) keep our house and family from falling completely to pieces while I devote so much of my time to studying; 2) put the house back together after I take the test.  I think that I have gotten most of the household chores caught up after putting them on hold for a while.  As I have already mentioned, we're getting back into our routine, and it feels good.  We started school back this week after taking a month off for our trip to the beach and while I studied.  I also took the kids to the library yesterday, to story time, and we all enjoyed that time.  I've got a bunch of book lovers, and I really want to encourage this.
  • Make another batch of soap.  I've got plans to weigh out my supplies today so that I can make the batch of soap tomorrow night or Sunday.  I'm just not comfortable working with lye with the children around and John not home.  I like to wait until everyone (the kids, anyway) are in bed for the night.  I want to get this batch of peppermint soap made this weekend so that I can send a bar of it out with the rest of the things I'm giving away.
How was your week?  Did anything exciting happen?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my sweet, wonderful husband who is the father of our children!

Friday, June 15, 2012

3 in 30: Relief!

What a relief it is to know that I'm done with the Florida boards...that is, assuming that I passed the test I took yesterday.  Honestly, I just don't know how I did.  It's in the Lord's hands, and I take comfort knowing that He knows what's best for me and my family.
  • Study and take the law test.  This goal is over and done with!  Hooray!!  (Of course, that is assuming that I passed....)
  • This one has two parts: 1) keep our house and family from falling completely to pieces while I devote so much of my time to studying; 2) put the house back together after I take the test.   After telling you last week how messy and dirty the house was, it really started getting to me.  That very evening, we started cleaning up the house.  I didn't actually clean the house, but I had the children pick up their toys, and John helped them clean the playroom.  This week I started doing a little bit of cleaning, enough to keep my sanity:  cleaning the kitchen sink and wiping down the bathrooms.  Oh, I felt so much better having done all of that.  And now I don't have so much to do to get the house back in order.    
  • Make another batch of soap.  I'm looking forward to this reward!  Hopefully, I'll get around to it next week.
How was your week?  What did you get accomplished?

This post is linked to Welcome to Our Good Life:  3 in 30.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

1000th Post Giveaway!

In order to celebrate writing 1000 posts and having the law test requirement done in order for me to get my Florida pharmacist license, I thought I would have a little giveaway.

I can't believe that I have written 1000 posts on my blog!  Wow!  The time has flown by!  I started this blog back when I was pregnant with Daniel, and he is now almost four and a half years old.  I have "met" several wonderful ladies through blogging whom I may never meet this side of heaven, but whom I have enjoyed getting to know via the blogosphere.  And I have discovered that I kind of enjoy writing.

In honor of my 1000th post, I thought I would host a giveaway.  But I've been pretty busy lately, so I haven't had time to get anything much together.  Here is what I have:  a bar of my yummy pink, strawberry soap and two crocheted dish- or washcloths.  If I can it done in time, I will also include a bar of the peppermint soap that I hope to make soon.

To enter, just leave a comment.  For another entry, post about this giveaway on your blog or link to this post on facebook, and leave another entry saying that you did so.

Good luck!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mary's is Six Months Old!

Mary turns six months old today, and she is doing quite a bit more than she was at five months.   

Mary is still a happy baby and a joy to have around, but she is a little fussier than our previous babies.  As my mom told me once, if she didn't fuss, she wouldn't get held.  And I think there's some truth in that statement, unfortunately.  

Mary loves to be on her tummy; can you tell?

She is rolling over a bunch now, and you can see that it's hard to keep her on her blanket on the floor.

It may not be long until she is crawling which will be earlier than our previous children.

Mary has two little teeth.  It wasn't too unpleasant when they came in, thankfully, and it looks like she has more coming in soon on the top.  

And Mary has started sitting up just a little bit.  She's still fairly unstable, but it's fun to see how proud she is of herself.

It's hard to believe that this precious baby came into our lives such a short time ago; it feels like she has always been a part of our family.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Booking It: June Edition

While I've been busy, busy, busy dealing with things like studying for the Florida pharmacist boards and other household emergencies (like the air conditioner breaking), I have managed to read some books.  It helped that we spent a week at the beach where I was able to read a lot as Mary napped.  My reading for the month:
  • Mostly, I've spent a lot, a lot, of time reading information for the Florida law exam for pharmacists.
  • The Negotiator by Dee Henderson.  This fun read is about a woman on the police force who is, well, a negotiator.  Of course, this job is dangerous, but it gets even more so when the person, who blows up a plane, uses her name in the initial, warning phone call.
  • An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor.  This book was recommended to me by my mother.  A young doctor goes into practice with an older, more experienced doctor in 1960's Ireland, and he learns there are other ways of treating patients than what he learned in medical school.
  • Swipe by Evan Angler.  What happens when everyone in a futuristic America is required to have the Mark in order to buy or sell anything?  And what happens if you don't get it?  You can read my full review of this book here.
  • Summer Shadows by Gayle Roper.  I have to admit that I was so very glad when I finished this book because it was so good, and I enjoyed it so much that it was distracting me from my studying. Abby has to figure out who she has become after she moves to a new town following the tragic car accident that killed her husband and daughter and left her with a limp and chronic pain.
I also read a couple of books with Sarah Beth, my six year old:  Ramona and her Mother by Beverly Cleary and Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill by Maud Hart Lovelace.  Sarah Beth prefers Betsy, Tacy, and Tib to Ramona because they don't get into trouble as often.  While I enjoy both sets of books, it's the Ramona books that make me laugh out loud.

And, of course, I have also read innumerable children's books to all of my children.  I love it that my children love to read almost as much as I do!

What have you been reading lately?

This post is linked to Life as Mom:  Booking It June Edition.

Friday, June 8, 2012

3 in 30: Spinning Plates

Do you know the men who have plates on sticks, and they run from plate to plate spinning them?  And you just know that they're going to miss one, and that plate will crash to the floor?  Well, that's how I feel right now.  I have my usual "plates:"  my four children and John, the household chores, meal preparation, home school, etc..  I've gotten pretty good, for the most part, at keeping those plates spinning, but I've added another one, one that's big enough to threaten the rest of the plates with smashing on the floor.  I'm studying for the law portion of the requirements to get my Florida pharmacist license.  I haven't taken a test since I took the Georgia boards back in 1999, so I'm a little nervous.  You'll see that nervousness reflected in my goals for the month.

Meanwhile, adding to my stress-level this week, when we returned from the beach, our cable wasn't working.  The phone and internet were, but not the television.  Of course, that wasn't too bad considering that I don't have time this week or next to watch any tv, but still.  I didn't need that added stress.  (It's fixed now, if you're wondering.)

And then the air conditioning went out Wednesday.  We're getting a new unit today, thankfully, but I can't help but wonder, what next?  I think God is trying to keep me on my toes this week, trusting Him with the outcome of this test.  What do you think?

Anyway, here are my goals for the month:
  • Study and take the law test.  Of course, my goal is to pass the test, but right now I just want to study and get the thing taken.  I've done a good bit of studying already, but it's hard to know exactly what's on these kinds of tests.  Will they ask what the legal limits are for purchasing pseudoephedrine, or will they think it's important that I know what's required to get a pharmacist license reinstated after it's been inactive?  I just don't know.  I take the test next Thursday, and I would be very appreciative of any prayers you say for me.
  • This one has two parts:  1) keep our house and family from falling completely to pieces while I devote so much of my time to studying; 2) put the house back together after I take the test.  So far, so good...I think.  My kids are watching too many videos right now, but it's the only way for me to get any studying done.  I study during their nap/play times and after they go to bed at night.  But there is only so much studying that I can do in a day, and that's how I have time on the computer.  My house is fairly messy and a little dirty, but the kitchen is clean (isn't that the important area, anyway?), and we have food to eat.  I've been fixing the easiest meals I can think of because I don't need the added stress of harder, fancier meals.
  • Make another batch of soap.  This goal is my reward after all of this hard work.  I've only made one batch of soap so far (pink, strawberry soap), but I enjoyed it so much that I can't wait to make another batch.  This time it will be peppermint soap.  Yum.  But it will have to wait until after I take the law test.
How many plates do you have spinning right now?  Did you have any extra distractions this week?  When was the last time you took a test?

This post is linked up at Welcome to Our Good Life:  3 in 30.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Book Review: Swipe by Evan Angler

Swipe by Evan Angler takes place in the future when the USA has become the UA (United America) which includes Mexico and Canada, and is heading toward a UG (United Global), and everyone is required to have the Mark.  One receives the Mark on his thirteen birthday, and it allows him to obtain a job and earn money, and also to buy things.  Logan has looked forward to receiving the Mark with intrepidation since his sister died while getting hers years ago.  As Logan gets caught up in unfolding events, he discovers that not everyone has the Mark, and when he discovers more, he realizes that what happened to his sister may also happen to him.

Being a young adult book, the heroes are kids and the villains are adults, but this concept makes sense as the reader nears the end of the book.  However, I don't feel enough attention is paid to the reasons why some people chose not to get the Mark; maybe the author will explore this more in the other books in this series.  Mostly, I find it odd that this book about the Mark and how dangerous it is (directly from the book of Revelation) has no other references to Christianity.  I would have imagined the Markless to have chosen that path because of some kind of religious conviction.  Again, maybe Angler will develop that in subsequent books.  Despite these shortcomings, I enjoyed this book and will probably look into reading the next one in the series.

I want to thank BookSneeze for my (kindle) copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

May Review of New Year's Goals

It's time once again to review my goals for the year.  I don't think I had a very good month as far as my goals go, but it's been pretty busy around here.  For one thing, we were gone a whole week at the beach.  Of course, that week I didn't even attempt to work on my goals.
  • School.  Even though it's summer, we're going to keep on with school.  Sarah Beth and Daniel love it, and they're doing so well.  And we're just not at a good stopping point.  However, we took two weeks off in May:  one to get ready for the beach and one at the beach.  And we're going to take this week and next week off for me to study.
  • Reading.  I read two books last month.
  • Losing weight.  I think I only lost one pound last month, but that's not bad considering that I spent a week at the beach eating whatever I wanted.  Honestly, I'm surprised that I didn't gain any weight.  I've still got six pounds to go to reach my goal.
  • Run a 5K.  I started jogging yesterday...for one minute.  My father, who is a physician, told me last week that your heart and lungs get in shape quicker than your muscles, joints, and bones.  Therefore, you feel like you can do more than you should, and it's easy to get hurt.  He advised me to run for one minute for a couple of days, then increase by one minute every two to three days.  I can do this...nice and slow!  That's how I like it.  
  • Hospitality.  We tried, but it just didn't work out.  Hopefully, after I take the test we'll be able to have people over again.  Everything is on hold until then.
  • Florida license.  I am signed up to take the law portion of the Florida boards next Thursday the 14th.  It's the last step in the process for me to get my pharmacist license here.  I need to pass it, or I'll have to start the process all over again.  Please pray that I do well, well enough to pass, at least.  I'm putting things on hold while I study for the next couple of weeks because I've got to study.  I haven't taken a test since I took the Georgia boards back in 1999, and I'm a little nervous.  
  • Monthly service night.  We did nothing toward this goal.  Nothing.  *Sigh*
How are you doing with your goals for the year?  Do you take the summer off from school, or do you keep going?  When was the last time you had to study for and take a test?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Our Week at the Beach

Do you know anyone who has spent a week at the beach and gotten absolutely no sun?  Well, you do now!  We went to the beach last week, and I didn't get any sun at all.  Between cloudy skies and a napping baby, I am just as white as I was last week when we left.  But we sure did have fun!  (And Mary and I are the only ones who didn't get any sun.)

Here are just a few of the pictures that John and I took of our vacation.

We went back to Fripp Island which is off the South Carolina coast.  It's a private island, so it's nice and quiet.

Since we were there before the season really starts, the beaches were pretty empty.  The threat of Beryl also scared people away, I'm sure.

But the weather couldn't have been any better for us; it rained once or twice but only at night.

Almost all of my family was at the beach:  my parents, my sister and two of her children, my brother and his family, and my other brother's children.  In all, there were eighteen of us in one house.  Thankfully, it was a large house:  eight bedrooms and five bathrooms.  Unfortunately, this picture is the only one I have of any of the rest of the family.  This one is of all the girl cousins.

I don't have any good pictures of John, either, and there are none of me.  We'll have to do better next year.

Our children enjoyed the "frog pool" the best, so we spent a lot of time there.

I hadn't seen any of my family except my parents since our Christmas trip, and I enjoyed spending time with everyone.

Our children loved playing with their cousins, getting to know them all over again.  It was fun watching the interactions of the older cousins as they played with our children.

But now it's time to get back to reality.  I've got laundry and chores to catch up on, as well as your blogs and emails.  *Sigh*  I'll get to it when I get to it, I guess.

What did you do last week?  Do you think you had as much fun as we did?