Thursday, January 31, 2013

No New Posts for Awhile

John took our computer in to be repaired twice with no luck.  I've got his iPad, so I am able to access the Internet.  But it's just too hard to type out new posts for my blogs this way.  I wanted to let you know that everything is okay, but there won't be any new posts for awhile.  I hate it; I've got new posts swirling around in my mind,waiting to be written, but they're going to have to wait.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rachel's Third Birthday

Saturday was Rachel's third birthday.  It's been a difficult year for her since she was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis, but she is doing great.  By God's grace, Rachel was diagnosed quickly and her treatment was started promptly.  Because of those things and because of our loving Lord, Rachel couldn't be doing better.  But it's been an eventful year.

In our home, when you turn three, things change somewhat.  You are now big enough for age-appropriate chores such as clearing your place at the table.  But you are also old enough to be responsible for things like using scissors and playing with Play-Doh.  Rachel looked forward with eager anticipation for months for the time she would be able to play with Play-Doh.  And she is typically fairly helpful, so she won't mind her chores much once she gets used to them.

Rachel is our happy child.  She sings and dances her way through our home and through our lives.  She acts shy when she meets new people, but don't let her fool you.  She also enjoys antagonizing her siblings and even her parents, I'm afraid.  Life with Rachel is never, never boring!

I hate that I'm late with this post, but it couldn't be helped due to our computer problems.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Breaking the (Unwanted) Computer Fast

Our computer went down last Wednesday evening, and I haven't been around on the blogosphere as much as I would like.  I've had John's iPad to check my email and things like that, but I don't find it conducive for most of the things I do online.  Anyway, I wanted to let you know what's been going on and where I've been.  

John took our computer this morning to see what exactly is wrong with it, and the computer guys got it working.  But we don't know how long it will last.  I feel like I'm still behind from our trip to Houston last week, and it's going to take me awhile to catch up:  reading blogs, leaving comments, writing new posts.  

However, as much as I've chomped at the bit, wanting to get online, I have to admit that it's been nice to focus my attentions elsewhere.  Sometimes, a computer fast is a good thing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Our Weekend in Texas

John and I flew out to Texas Friday night on a house-hunting trip for our upcoming move.  My mother came down from Georgia to watch our children, so we had a little trip just by ourselves.  We haven't had that since I came down here on a house-hunting trip, and before that, well, we hadn't had one.  It was nice to have some time alone, but we sure did miss our children!  We got back last night late, actually this morning early.

Our trip was fairly successful.  We found three houses that are possibilities, but you know how it is.  There are a lot of good things about each house, but there is also something wrong with each one.  We have to weigh the good and not-so good things in order to decide which house to buy.  Even then, it's not so easy because the price has to be right.  So we're waiting on more information before we proceed any further.  And it sure would be nice if our house here sold.

I liked the area that we're moving to.  As I told John when he first described it to me, as long as there is Chick-fil-A and Target, I'll be happy.  We don't have either one where we are now.  There are lots of other things there, as well, and I look forward to having a few more options.  It made me laugh, though, when people would apologize for the area being kind of small...because it's bigger than where we are now.

Meanwhile, my mother had a nice visit with our children.  She got to spoil them a little bit, the way that grandmothers are supposed to.  I am so grateful to her for being willing to come down so that John and I could make this trip.

Right now, I'm playing the catch-up game, catching up on:

  • spending time with my children.  Mary was fine while I was gone, but she won't let me out of her sight now that I'm home.
  • the house.  My mother did a great job with my children, but she doesn't know where everything belongs.  And I didn't expect her to keep up with all of my chores, anyway, while we were gone.
  • posting on my blog.  
  • reading your blogs.  I'll get to them when I can.
  • sleep.  I'm going to bed early tonight!
How was your weekend?  When was the last time you took a trip without your children?

Friday, January 18, 2013

3 in 30: Not Such a Successful Week

Happy Winnie the Pooh Day!  Did you know that today was Pooh Day?  Actually, today is A.A. Milne's birthday, and someone declared it Winnie the Pooh Day.  My children aren't too familiar with Pooh, although they do know who he is.  So I've decided to teach them a little about Pooh today.  We started by having biscuits with honey for breakfast.  Then we read several books about Pooh and his friends by A.A. Milne.  We followed that up with watching the Tigger movie.  I would have loved to make some kind of honey cake or something, but we just won't have time today.  But what we did was fun!

However, I did not get much done toward my goals this week.  I feel like I have a good excuse, though.  Since we're moving to Texas soon, we put our house on the market this week.  On Tuesday, we had a caravan of realtors come through, and later that day a showing, so that day was shot.  Also, our co-op started back this week, and we were all really excited about that.  But that means that Thursdays aren't going to be good for much since we're all so tired when we get home.  But it's worth it.

With all of that said, here's how I did with my goals this week:
  • As part of my home improvement goal, I want to update my recipe notebook.  Basically, since I made it a few years ago, I haven't updated it.   I didn't do a thing on this goal this week.  But I've got two more weeks, so I'm not too worried about it, especially since I got so much done last week.
  • As part of updating my recipe notebook, I want to try at least one new recipe a week.  I did try a new recipe for our church potluck on Sunday.  I made Chocolate Chip Cake Bars, but I cannot find the recipe anymore on Allrecipes or I would link back to it.  The bars were okay, but they were quick and easy to make for a potluck, so I'm sure I'll make them again.  And they seemed to be a hit.
  • I want to quickly go through the whole house and get rid of things we don't use or need.  And this time, I have a schedule!  This week, I spent fifteen to twenty minutes in my closet and bedroom.  Next week, I plan to do the children's rooms.  Then the kitchen, living room, and laundry room.  And the last week, the playroom.  I did nothing toward this goal, either.  Honestly, I forgot all about it.  I was supposed to do the children's room and the living room.  It'll have to wait until next week.
What have you done this week?  What were you able to get accomplished?

This post is linked up with Aurie at Welcome to Our Good Life 3in30.

Finished Object Friday

I got tired of making those dishcloths last month, and I needed something else to work on.  I picked this blanket because I already had the yarn I needed on hand, and I thought it was a pretty pattern.  And I like these types of blankets because it's not the same thing row after row after row after row.  The variety makes it more interesting for me as I crochet, although the pattern still is fairly easy.

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with this blanket, but I'm sure I'll come up with something.

What have you been working on lately?

This post is linked to Fresh from the Chari Tree:  Finished Object Friday.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Going to The Zoo

John and I took our family to the zoo a couple of weeks ago.  We thought it might be crowded since it was a Saturday morning, but we were wrong.  The zoo was wonderfully almost empty.  Why?  We decided people had stayed home because of the weather.  It was a little chilly -- for north Florida, and the sky was overcast and threatening rain.  It wasn't a pretty day to visit the zoo.

But we had a great time, and we just had to wear jackets.  Actually, the overcast sky was good for Rachel since she cannot be in the sun.

The animals were more active because of the cooler weather.

We didn't have to wait in line anywhere for anything.

And I was able to get up close for pictures.  

 Mary had a great time, too, although she didn't get to do as much.  She couldn't have been sweeter.

Have you been to the zoo on an "ugly" day?  What was your experience?

Monday, January 14, 2013

"I Don't Want To."

We're moving again.  A wonderful job opportunity for John opened up in the Houston area, so we're leaving Florida and moving to Texas.  When John asked me how I felt about moving, I replied, "I don't want to."

We have lived here in north Florida for about a year and a half.  We found a church,  made friends, joined a homeschool co-op, and generally made a home here.  I hate to leave all of that behind, and actually, we all hate to leave it behind.  But we must follow as God leads.  And I figure there are three ways that I could respond to this move:
  1. Refuse.  I could say no and refuse to have any part of this move.  This choice is not a good one; actually, it's an awful one.
  2. I could be passive-aggressive about the move.  This reaction is my natural tendency, although I think and hope I'm maturing out of it.  I could say that I'm fine with the move while doing everything I can to make the process difficult, basically dragging my heels.  This choice is also a poor one.
  3. I could embrace the move as an adventure.  This choice is a good one, and it is the one I have chosen, although it is most definitely not my natural inclination.  As you have probably figured out, I like my routine, and I don't like change.  However, looking for a church, finding new friends, and making a home will be a good stretch outside my comfort zone, and I look forward to the challenge.  
There are some great aspects to living in Texas.  Getting my pharmacist license shouldn't be nearly as hard as getting my Florida one (which turns out now to be a waste of money).  Homeschooling should be easier, too, since home schools are regulated as private schools.  And, of course, Texas is just a great state to live least, that's what I've heard.

Have you moved recently?  What are your thoughts about Texas?

Friday, January 11, 2013

3 in 30: A Successful Week

Sarah Beth was given a cross-stitch kit for Christmas, and I started showing her how to use it this week.

Despite my feeling like I was running behind all week, it was a good week.  Rachel had an appointment for her JDM, and she's still doing great.  We decreased her dose of prednisone again.  Whoohoo!  Other than that, we've gotten back into school full swing; our new science book came in the mail, so that was fun.

As for my goals, it was a successful week.
  • As part of my home improvement goal, I want to update my recipe notebook.  Basically, since I made it a few years ago, I haven't updated it.  So I want to punch holes in the recipes I've used and liked, throw out the ones that we didn't like (why didn't I do that before?), and do something with the ones I haven't gotten around to trying yet.  I sorted through several sections this week, throwing out the recipes I realize that I will never try.  I also punched holes in the rest of them, adding them to my "table of contents."  I've got a couple more sections to go through, but I got a good bit done this week!
  • As part of updating my recipe notebook, I want to try at least one new recipe a week.  I did not get this done.  I realized that there was a reason I hadn't tried some of these recipes:  they were too complicated to make or I didn't really think we would like them.  Maybe next week, I'll come across a recipe to try.
  • I want to quickly go through the whole house and get rid of things we don't use or need.  And this time, I have a schedule!  This week, I spent fifteen to twenty minutes in my closet and bedroom.  Next week, I plan to do the children's rooms.  Then the kitchen, living room, and laundry room.  And the last week, the playroom.  Well, I didn't get both of the children's rooms done, but I did go through Mary's room.  And I got the kitchen done; there was a lot of baby stuff I needed to get rid of:  bottles that I threw away, formula I packed up to donate to the local pregnancy center.  I have a lot more room now!
I'm so pleased with my progress!  What did you accomplish this week?

This post is linked up with Aurie at Welcome to Our Good Life:  3in30.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fun School Days

As one of my goals for this year, I want to have a "fun" day in school every month.  I think my children will enjoy it, and I know that I will.  I'm kind of a stick in the mud when it comes to school:  let's just do it and get it done.  So I hope this will liven things up a bit for all of us.

I haven't figured out what we're going to do for every month yet, and I hope that you might have some suggestions.  Here's what I do have:
  • January 18 - Winnie the Pooh Day (A.A. Milne's birthday)
  • January 19 - National Popcorn Day
  • January 29 - Puzzle Day
  • February 2 - Alfred Cralle invented the ice cream scoop
  • February 7 - Laura Ingalls Wilder's birthday
  • February 23 - Tootsie Roll Anniversary
  • February 26 - Tell a Fairy Tale Day
  • March 2 - Dr. Seuss' birthday
  • March 4 - Pancake Day
  • March 14 - pi Day
  • April 2 - Hans Christian Anderson's birthday
  • April 22 - Jelly Bean Day
  • June 5 - Gingerbread Day
  • June 14 - Flag Day
  • June 25 - Eric Carle's birthday
  • June 28 - Paul Bunyan Day
  • July 4 - Independence Day
  • July 15 - Peggy Parrish's birthday
  • September 16 - National Play Dough Day
  • September 19 - Talk Like a Pirate Day
  • September 26 - Johnny Appleseed's birthday
  • October 12 - Columbus Day
  • October 31 - Reformation Day
  • December 4 - Cookie Day
  • December 30 - Rudyard Kipling's birthday
I used this site for some ideas, and I will probably use it for more if I can't come up with other "fun" days on my own.

For Winnie the Pooh Day, I think we'll read several Pooh books and maybe watch a Pooh movie.  I think we should also eat some honey:  maybe biscuits with honey for breakfast.  And we should definitely do some baking with honey; do you have a good recipe?

Do you schedule fun school days?  Do you have any suggestions for me for the months I don't have anything yet?  

Friday, January 4, 2013

3 in 30: A New Year with (Mostly) New Goals

We started getting back to our normal schedule this week which was nice.  Can you tell that I enjoy my routine?  We had school a couple of days, but we also enjoyed having John home with us Tuesday.  Wednesday, I had to take Rachel for blood work, and that is the least favorite worst part of my being a mother.  But last Saturday, we took a trip to the zoo:  fun!

With a return to our regular lives, comes a return to monthly goal making.  And here are my goals for January.
  • I would like to join my yearly goals with my monthly ones when I can, so I can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.  As part of my home improvement goal, I want to update my recipe notebook.  Basically, since I made it a few years ago, I haven't updated it.  So I want to punch holes in the recipes I've used and liked, throw out the ones that we didn't like (why didn't I do that before?), and do something with the ones I haven't gotten around to trying yet.  This week, I sorted all the recipes by subject, the kind of dish it is.  Next week, I want to sort them by ones that I've tried and ones that I haven't tried.
  • As part of updating my recipe notebook, I want to try at least one new recipe a week, one from the myriads of recipes I've accumulated over the years without trying.  I didn't get around to this goal this week because I had already been to the grocery store before I made this goal.  Maybe I'll have to try two next week?
  • Do you remember how I kept setting goals of sorting last year, and how I never achieved them?  Not this time!  I want to quickly go through the whole house and get rid of things we don't use or need.  And this time, I have a schedule!  This week, I spent fifteen to twenty minutes in my closet and bedroom.  Next week, I plan to do the children's rooms.  Then the kitchen, living room, and laundry room.  And the last week, the playroom.  
What have you accomplished this week?  Have you started school back?  Do you accumulate recipes faster than you can try them?  What do you do with recipes you haven't tried yet?  What do you do with your recipes?  Do you feel like we're playing 20 Questions?

This post is linked with Aurie at Welcome to our Good Life 3in30.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Reading List for 2013

After looking through my stacks of books waiting to be read, I narrowed them down yesterday afternoon.   I tend to accumulate books faster than I am able to read them.  Some books become available via PaperBackSwap, and I know I'd better snatch them up while I can.  Some books look so good (and are so inexpensive) that I just can't turn them down because I'm afraid I'll forget about them if I do.  Two books* from this list are kept over from last year because I just didn't want to get to them.  I'm sure this list will be supplemented throughout the year by books I receive from PaperBackSwap and the ones I agree to review.  But this list gives me a starting point.

I read almost fifty books last year; I wonder how many I'll get read this year.

Books that I've read but are not on my "to read" list:

Books I've read with my children:
What would you like to read this year?  Do you accumulate books faster than you can read them?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals for 2013

I'm always excited when a new year rolls around because I get to evaluate how I did with my goals for the last year.  I find it even more fun, though, to make new goals for the new year.  
  • Read certain books.  I plan to post my "to read" list later this week.  (I still have to figure out what it is!)
  • Exercise.  I want to continue walking on my treadmill three to four days a week.
  • Have one fun day in school a month.  I plan to spell this out more in a later post, but I don't want school just to be reading, writing, and 'rithmetic.  I want to encourage my children's learning by doing some different things with school, like celebrating birthdays and other special days.
  • Take one field trip a month.  John and I took our children to the zoo this past weekend, and we had a great time -- so good that we decided we needed to do something like this once a month.  
  • Date night.  John and I would like to start having one "date night" a month.
  • Home improvement project.  I want to do one thing a month to make our house better, whether it's crocheting something decorative or having someone come in to give us a quote for replacing the carpet in our eating area.  
  • Service project.  I would like to complete one service project a month.  Initially, I thought I wouldn't post about this because you're supposed to keep your right hand from knowing what your left hand is doing, and I didn't want to toot my own horn, so to speak.  But then I realized that I needed the accountability with posting this here, and I also hope to encourage my readers to do something similar.  I have a few ideas right now:  donating things to the pregnancy center, VOM Action Packs, Operation Christmas Child.
  • Blogging.  I want to write a few more serious posts that have been rattling around in my brain for a while.  I've just been too busy (and too lazy) to write them.
  • Hospitality.  We want to continue having someone over at least once a month for supper.
  • Work.  I really need to find a job.  It's been a year and a half since I've used my pharmacist license, and it's time to get back to work.  (I've enjoyed this time not working, though!)
What goals are you setting for this year?