Monday, February 22, 2021

Week Forty-Nine: Weather Craziness!

 Last week was crazy!  Thankfully, we did not have any birthdays to add to the craziness caused by the weather.  That was enough by itself!

Sunday night it rained and sleeted off and on, so when we woke up the ground was covered with a thin layer of ice.  Unfortunately, if it snowed, none of it stuck.  Fortunately, we did not lose power, and we were very worried about that.  Every time I woke up during the night, I prayed, "Thank you, Lord, that we still have power."  

We took Monday off school because I felt like it was an education for our children just to walk around on ice.  :)  Everyone ventured out at least once to experience it, but it was so very cold.  The high was only in the 20s, so I didn't last long (about five minutes!) when I went outside.  Again, I was thankful that we did not lose power.

We were supposed to have CC on Tuesday, but with the ice and snow (people up in the Houston area actually got a little bit of snow, and we were jealous!), it was canceled.  It just wasn't safe to drive.  And then people started losing power.  

It was strange how the ice collected on the driveway and streets but not the yard.

I had planned to do school on Tuesday, but my children convinced me not to.  :)  It didn't take much convincing.  :)  So we played some games and enjoyed the heat.

Unfortunately, we lost power that night about 9:00.  Fortunately, it was after the kids' bedtime and it was almost John's and mine, so it wasn't too bad.  Also fortunately, it had warmed up a little bit on Tuesday.  When we went to bed, the inside temperature was still about 68.

When we woke up Wednesday morning, the temperature had fallen to 60.  That's really not so bad, but it felt so much colder than it actually was.  Of course, we couldn't do school with no power.  So we played more games and huddled under blankets.  We were saving our firewood until it got really cold inside because we had a limited supply, and we had no idea how long we would be without power.

About 1:00 that afternoon, the power came back on.  Hooray!  We looked at each other for a minute as if to make sure that it really was real, then John jumped up.  "Fill the tubs!"  So we would have water to flush toilets if the power went back off.  I jumped up.  "Charge the phones!"  After getting a few urgent things done like that, we settled down to enjoy having electricity again.  It's amazing how much better, how much happier we all felt with the lights on.  The house wasn't any warmer at that point, but just having light made everything seem better.

Finally on Thursday we did school.  I figured we should do some at some point during the week.  :)  All outside activities had been canceled for the week, so Mary did not have her art class.  And Rachel did not have soccer all week.

Friday morning, Mary, Rachel, and Hannah had dentist appointments.  They did great and had no cavities.  The weather warmed up to the 50s that day, the warmest all week.  I made a trip to the grocery store and actually shopped inside.  (I haven't done a week's worth of shopping inside the store in years!) Thankfully, it had almost everything we needed.  Apparently, the shelves had been emptied, but they were restocking while I was there.  Sadly, there was no bread and no milk.

On Saturday morning, John got up and went back to the store and was able to find some milk and bread, enough to get us through the weekend.  One of our neighbors offered to bake bread for anyone in the neighborhood who needed some, so we took her up on her offer.  Thoughtfully, she realized there are a bunch of us, so she gave us two loaves.  We devoured them!

Our church suffered a broken water line, so church was canceled Sunday.  Thankfully, there are plenty of sermons online, so we watched one of those.  

How was your week and weekend?  How was the weather in your area?

Monday, February 15, 2021

Week Forty-Eight: Daniel's Birthday!


Finally, I caught him smiling (kind of).

Yes, we have children's birthdays three weeks in a row, if you hadn't caught that already.  We call it our birthday season, and it really starts in December with Mary's birthday although there is a good bit of time (and Christmas!) between her birthday and Rachel's.

Our week started out fairly normal except that we didn't have CC on Tuesday.  Well, I guess that is kind of normal lately since we have not met the past three weeks.  But last week was an actual scheduled break, and we enjoyed that although we didn't really take the week off school.

Thursday evening, one of my friends started a new Bible study:  Jen Wilkin's God of Creation.  Yes, I have done it before, but that was by myself.  I'm happy to do it again with a group of women!

Friday was Daniel's birthday, and we didn't have too much scheduled.  John took him up to Houston to buy some parts for his remote controlled car, and I think they enjoyed the time together.  We did take the day off school since we don't ever do school on birthdays.  :)  That's just one of the many perks of homeschooling.  

Daniel wanted steak for supper, but the store didn't have any good ones.  He settled for ribs on Saturday night along with cornbread casserole.  However, we did have his birthday dessert on Friday:  fudge.  Yes, that's what he requested:  fudge.  Yum!

Saturday was another relatively quiet day at home, but John spent a good bit of time preparing our home for the upcoming cold spell.  The temperature dropped severely over the weekend, and Sunday was in the lower 40s with occasional drizzle.  We woke up this morning to 19 degrees and ice coating everything.  We had hoped for some snow but were disappointed.  We plan to spend today huddled up inside where it's warm since the temperature is only supposed to reach the upper 20s today.  Thankfully, we have power!

How was your week?  Did the temperatures cool off where you live, too?

Monday, February 8, 2021

Week Forty-Seven: Hannah's Fifth Birthday


Monday morning, Daniel came downstairs saying that one of the screws from his glasses had come out and gotten lost.  His glasses have been plaguing us since his last optometrist appointment when we should have bought him new ones.  Finally, it had been long enough to justify another appointment to get a new prescription for new glasses.  I made the appointment for Wednesday afternoon.

Tuesday, Daniel had CC as usual, but ours was, well, not really canceled.  We were given videos so we could do the new material at home.  Disappointing, but better than getting COVID or adding another week on to the end of the year.

Wednesday afternoon was busy for me as first Daniel had his optometrist appointment, then I had to zoom back home to pick Sarah Beth up because both of them had orthodontist appointments.  Then we had to head back to the optometrist to pick up Daniel's new glasses.  I'm glad that it's done!

Thursday was a special day:  Hannah's fifth birthday!  She was up early asking when she could open her presents.  :)  In our house, when you're five you get to play the video game, so we introduced her to Angry Birds which she enjoys.  

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were all fairly normal days at home.  

I finished reading The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly, and I enjoyed it.  It's another split time romance, but something I really appreciated about this book was that not every woman ended up with a man.  A couple of them had fulfilling lives either without a husband or as a widow.  In other words, these women's problems weren't solved just by getting married.  :)  But I have to admit that it was a little strange to read:  it was published in January of 2021, and part of it takes place in 2021.  But there is no mention of masks or the coronavirus, and part of the book takes place in the summer of 2021.  It just read weirdly.  It was jarring.  But I did like the book.  :)

How was your week/weekend?  Have you read anything good lately?

Monday, February 1, 2021

Week Forty-Six: Rachel's Birthday

Monday was busier than usual, but somehow I made the time to make some vegetable soup for a friend who had recently had a baby.  Unfortunately, she and her husband were also dealing with COVID-19 at the same time, so she wasn't able to enjoy it without her sense of taste.  Oh, well!  Her children did.  :)  After dropping that off, I came home and finished fixing supper for Rachel's birthday dinner.  (We celebrated Monday night because she wanted to go to soccer on Tuesday.)  She asked for chicken on the grill, macaroni and cheese, and green beans with a sundae kit from Baskin Robbins.  Yum!

Because several of our CC campus' families are dealing with COVID-19, class was canceled.  We were disappointed about that, but secretly I was happy to have an extra day to get things done at home.  ;)  And it was Rachel's eleventh birthday.  While she was glad not to have to do school, she was sad that she couldn't see her friends at CC.  We didn't have much planned because we were supposed to be at CC, but I had taken her to the American Girl Doll Store the previous Saturday for her to pick out some gifts.

Several of my children needed haircuts, so we took Wednesday off from school to take care of that.  We also made a trip to the library.  

Thursday morning, the chimney sweep came to clean out our dryer vent.  Twice in the past, I have blown the fuse in my dryer because the vent was clogged, so now I have him come every two years.  And he said that it was full!  Our dryer vent goes up the wall and out, so there is probably twenty feet between the dryer and the outside which is really much too far.  It's a bad design, but there is nothing I can do about it.  We spent the day singing, "Chim chiminey, chim chiminey, chim chim cherie...."  (Spell check didn't like that last sentence.  :)

John and I attended our local pregnancy center banquet Friday night.  Pam Tebow, Tim Tebow's mother, was the speaker, and we enjoyed her message.  The banquet was different than previous years because of the coronavirus, but it was still good.

John left Saturday morning with Rachel for a visit to the hill country.  They enjoyed their time together and returned home Sunday morning.  It was amazing how much quieter the house was with just one child not home.  You wouldn't think there would be much difference between four and five children.  

Sunday was a quiet day at home after church, a lovely Sabbath rest.  I played Catan with my children, and we finished the day watching a movie.

How was your week/weekend?

Monday, January 25, 2021

Week Forty-Five: A Few Fun Things

Re-doing the science experiment from CC.

 We started this week with a kind of holiday:  John was off for Martin Luther King, Jr.s's birthday, but I made my children do school anyway because  I'm a mean, old mom.  :)  

On Tuesday, we had CC as usual and arrived home afterwards exhausted as usual.  But Rachel wanted to go to soccer practice, so John took her.  Her season hasn't officially started yet, but her coach has started practices for those whom he knows will be on his team.  He calls them conditioning practices.  :)  After the smaller teams with the smaller fields, I look forward to watching Rachel play on regular sized fields with normal teams.

Mary started art classes a couple of weeks ago, and she loves them!  When she remembers that it's Thursday, the day of her class, her face lights up.  She has learned a few new things, and I appreciate that they are studying lesser known artists.

Also on Thursday, I ran a few errands while taking and picking up Mary.  We picked out yarn for me to make her a blanket since I have made one for each of her older siblings.  And I took a bunch of stuff to the thrift store.  I'm so glad to get that out of our house!

John took our dog Molly for her annual check up on Friday, and the vet was pleased with how well she is doing.  I'm pleased that I didn't have to take her.  :)

On Saturday, I took Rachel up to Houston to the American Girl Doll Store for her to pick out some things for her birthday which is on Tuesday.  We had a fun morning together, just the two of us, which doesn't happen very often.  

While we were eating lunch at the mall, I watched the people walking by.  Every single one had masks on, as we did before we sat down to eat, and I thought how depersonalizing it is, i.e. to wear a mask.  We can't see each others' faces anymore so it's easier to treat them as if they're not really people.  How sad.

I finished a book Saturday morning, Becoming Elisabeth Elliot by Emily Vaughn, which is a biography about her early life until she left Equador.  (The author plans to write another one to finish her story.)  I was struck with Elliot's determination to obey God no matter how she felt or what happened to her because of it.  It was inspiring and overwhelming.  :)

How was your week?  Have you read anything good lately?  

Monday, January 18, 2021

Week Forty-Four: Beginnings and Endings

 This week had a few beginnings and a few endings.  While the endings may seem bad for me, they are actually good things for the people involved.  :)

Rachel has been complaining of not being able to see, so I took her to the optometrist a couple of weeks ago.  When the call came on Monday that her glasses had come in, I jumped at the opportunity to take her to pick them up.  Remember that we didn't have power Monday morning, so I was happy to get out of our cold house and into the warm doctor's office.  :)  It was the end of her poor eyesight, and the beginning of being able to see again!

After a nice Christmas break, we started back to CC on Tuesday.  It was great to see our friends and get back into that part of our routine.  The end of our break and the beginning of school -- again.

We had our last Bible study Wednesday evening since one of my friends is moving this week.  That's the end of that Bible study although another friend plans to start a new one next month.  

On Thursday Rachel started soccer practice again, the beginning of her new season with full-sized teams.  :)  Last season, they played on smaller fields with fewer players.

Friday night a bunch of us got together with two friends who are moving away to have a good-bye dinner.  While I hope it's not the end of our friendships, it is the end of seeing them easily.  :(  Since I will miss them, it's bad for me, but it really is good for them.  

Thankfully, John and I  had supper with other friends who are not moving.  Whew!  Someone is staying here.  :)  No beginning or ending with them!

Sunday was a regular, quiet day at home.  It was much warmer than last week with no rain and POWER!

Currently, I'm rereading Jen Wilkin's book None Like Him, and this quote stood out to me:  "When we invest our time in what has eternal significance, we store up treasure in heaven.  This side of heaven, the only investments with eternal significance are people."  (p.  79)  In other words, the effects of spending time with my children and husband (along with friends and extended family members) can last forever while cleaning the house or washing dishes will only last a little while.  I'm still pondering the implications of this thought.

How was your week?  Did anything begin or end for you?  What do you think about the quote from Wilkin's book?

Monday, January 11, 2021

Week Forty-Three: Saying Good-bye to Friends

Worn out from playing at the park.

I had wanted to start school back on Monday, but a couple of my friends are moving.  They wanted to meet at the park and say goodbye to all of their friends, so we did that instead of school.  We had a great time with our friends, but we will miss them terribly.  :(

On Tuesday, Sarah Beth started back with her Challenge I class, so I drove up there with her and my other children.  After dropping her off, we ran a few errands, then spent time with more friends until her class ended.  We had a lovely afternoon catching up with them, friends who are good enough that I can text and say, "Hey!  Can we come over?"  :)

We did start school back on Wednesday, and honestly, it went much better than I expected after a two week break.  Yea!  There were the usual amounts of fussing, whining, and tears, but no more.  That evening I had Bible study; two weeks in a row!  I don't know if I told you, but one of my friends in this study is moving.  :(

Thursday and Friday were more school and chores, the usual things.  

Friday night we watched a great movie Ride Like a Girl which is based off the true story of the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup (a big time horse race in Australia).  In real life, the main character is the youngest of ten children, one of whom has Down's Syndrome.  Her real life brother played himself in the movie.  Isn't that neat?!

Saturday was a regular day for us, but Sunday was cold and rainy.  After church, we were so glad to stay home in the warmth.  We played some games that afternoon:  Spades and Seven Wonders.  After supper we started to watch a movie The Biggest Little Farm, but we were only able to see about twenty minutes of it before the power went out.  Ugh!  I received a text that it was coming back on by 9:30, but it was still off when John and I went to bed.  At 2:45 am, the fire alarm went off, letting us know that batteries needed to be changed.  Yes, really.  When it rains, it pours!  While John dealt with that, I checked my phone for updates:  the power was coming back on by 3:15 am.  When we got up about 7:00 am, there was still no power, so I took our children to IHOP for breakfast, somewhere we could get a good meal inside where it was warm.  Finally, about 1:30 pm, the power came back on.  Power outages like this make me really, really appreciate electricity!  Thankfully, John kept the fire going in our fireplace, so we didn't freeze too badly.  :)

Last week I also finished an excellent book The Dean's Watch by Elizabeth Goudge.  In 1800s England, a great church leader, who is very shy, forms a friendship with a lowly watchmaker who has lost his faith.  As their friendship develops, the whole city changes for the better.  It was one of those books that I wanted to read quickly because it was so very good, but I also wanted to read it slowly so I could savor every word.  

How was your week?  How do you feel about losing power?