Thursday, July 25, 2013

{TH} Read

This is my first {TH} read post.  I hope I get the format correct.

This past week I have been working on finishing up a set of coasters that I picked up last year.  I carry them in my purse in a little bag, and pull them out to work on whenever I am waiting--at the pool for the kids, in doctor's offices, on the bus to the City to see my Dad.  It is a lifesaver for my patience.  I can accomplish something while I sit.  I have one out of the set left to finish.

I've been receiving a subscription to Canadian Living for probably close to nine years now.  The magazine has changed over the years.  Some changes I like, and some I don't.  But the recipes are often excellent, and I have tried many of them over the years.  Some have become favourites of ours, and I keep them in my Living Cookbook software.

On my Kindle I've been reading a book about a man who grew up in Africa.  I'm not sure I really like it, but it does evoke a lot of memories of the sights and sounds of the places I lived in as a child.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lazy Days and Summer Heat

This may be one of the first summers that I have actually taken more than a few days off.  Usually I have a long list of things that I am unable to do during the year that I try to catch up on during the summer.  I do still have a list, but somehow the priorities this summer just don't seem to be the same.  Usually the emphasis is on doing-doing-doing, but this year I want to simply BE--more often anyway.  The demands of day-to-day life are still there:  I still have to cook, and clean, and do laundry, budget and pay bills.

This year, high on my list are things like "play with the kids", bike, quilt, stitch, play games.  So far we've only biked one afternoon.  And I haven't gotten the quilt out yet.  But I have spent time stitching on the deck with Belle while Boo plays ball in the backyard.  We've played some games, both inside and out.  I've made beads with Belle.  We've spent time reading together.  That has been fun.

Last week though was basically a write-off as far as getting anything done was concerned.  It was SO hot and muggy that it was all I could do to get meals on the table and laundry done.  It would get up to nearly 90 degrees in the house (with fans going all the time), and only get down to 80 at night, and the humidex would make it feel like over 100.  I am so thankful for the grill that allowed us to cook outside every evening, with a minimum of cooking inside.  We nearly ran through our repertoire of grill recipes last week.  From 11-noon every day I was sitting beside the pool with the only shade being my hat, drinking a lot of water and trying to relax while baking in the sun.  The kids had it slightly better as they were in the pool!

This week is looking like it will be cooler--still hot, but not like last week.  Swimming lessons are continuing. Starting to organize books and make a schedule for our school year is on my list.  Maybe I'll start lesson planning, and maybe I won't.  This list still includes doing fun things.

It is hard to know why the change this summer.  I've been homeschooling for ten years now.  Maybe I need a real break.  My Mom passed away in December.  I think in some ways, her passing has made being with my family more important.  I had a great relationship with her, and I want that same relationship with my kids.  Rest is important too.  I hope that we can go into the next school year feeling refreshed.

Anyway, I've been reading a few blogs and talking to people and I think I am not alone.  How do you feel about not just letting the children have a break from study, but taking one yourself?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

17 Years!

Seventeen years ago today we started our journey into married life.  While it has been a journey,  I can honestly say, I would rather be at this point now than at the beginning.  Although life has its ups and downs, and marriage takes a lot of work, and even more grace, I do love my husband and enjoy being with him as much and more than I did seventeen years ago.

In seventeen years we have lived in two countries, and frequently travelled to a third, a city and a town, two town-houses and a house.  We have travelled together, worked together, played together, laughed together, cried together, and would still rather be together (most of the time) than with anyone else.

On our wedding day it was 105 degrees F.  I was so hot, the glow on my face was as much from heat as happiness. There was no air conditioning in the church (it was very rare to be that hot in Portland).  I could happily have stood with a fan under my skirts.

The photographer had gotten the date wrong and almost didn't show up.  Most of our photos (at least the ones before the wedding) look like we were stood up in a hurry and shot.  (We were).  The most priceless memory was of my 92 year old grandmother stating in a loud whisper "I don't smile for photographs", and then getting caught by the photographer with a great beaming smile on her face when she was introduced to my husband for the first time.

The lady doing the flowers for the reception (all who helped us volunteered) didn't even try to stick with our colours and there was the bright red flowers on our cake table with our deep blue and green tartan colours. No one thought to move it for the cake photos.

Ah yes, there are many reasons I would much prefer to be at this stage of life.  Now we are enjoying family- with a teenager and a pre-teen.  Life isn't a lot easier, and marriage still takes work, but the blessings are there and the rewards are tangible.  We look forward to the future, trusting that whatever changes it might bring, the Lord is with us, and is taking care of us.

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Before I start this, I should say that I am cross-posting from my other blog at Wordpress.  So if you've read that one, this will be mostly a repeat.

Outside my window...the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and there is a light breeze ruffling the leaves of the trees in the garden.  It is promising to be a warm day.

I am thinking...about my list today, and the things I want to accomplish.

I am thankful...for the blessing of being able to spend mornings this week with a friend and her daughter while the children were at VBS.

In the kitchen...the counters are full of clean dishes.  My dear husband cooked a spectacular Anniversary (one day early) dinner last night.  We opted for a special meal at home instead of going out, and it was delicious!  Chicken Parmesan with nice curly pasta, and an anti-pasta of dishes of nice olives, mellon and prosciutto, and a tomato-mozzarella and basil salad.

I am wearing...pyjamas!  It is the first day this week I haven't had to be ready to go by 8:30 am, and I'm enjoying it.

I am creating...well, not exactly creating, but working on, a new cross-stitch project that has been in my want-to-do box for years.  It is a pair of roses--quite different from my usual designs.  I am working on it at the moment, partly to get inspired to stitch more, and partly because I can sit outside and do it--it is much easier than taking out my floor stand.

I am see if the children are waking up, as soon as I finish this.

I am wondering...if I can get my cleaning done quickly this morning, and have time to play this afternoon.

I am reading...books on my Kindle (when I'm not falling asleep).

I am hoping...for a good and restful weekend.

I am looking forward to...not a lot really, just trying to enjoy the present days of a slightly slower pace.

I am learning...that having a shorter list isn't a bad thing.  It is good to lighten up on the to-dos once in a while.

Around the house...the living room is cluttered with the remains of the laundry, small-child toys (I got to play at being a Grandma this week, and loved it!), and the kitchen is full of dishes.  It is cleaning day today.

I am pondering ...thoughts on resting.

A favourite quote for today...Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. Mother Teresa

One of my favourite things...spending time with my husband and children, doing things as a family.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Clean the house, pay bills, get ready for Sunday, and enjoy my family.

A peek into my day:   
If you wish to take part in The Simple Woman's Daybook, please go here.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thankful Thursday

It has been a busy week.  The kids are both involved in VBS, which puts our family in the highly unusual situation of having to be up, fed, and ready to go by 8:25 every morning!  It is going well for them though.  Belle is a group leader this year, and Boo is enjoying being in a group with friends.

I opted to forgo a very quick walk this morning to get out a very quick blog post.

I am thankful for:

  1. The ability I've had to wake up at 5:30 am, or before that, all week.  It gives me time to have my quiet time, exercise, and my morning routine before the early breakfasts of this week.  And I'm enjoying the singing of the birds!
  2. The fact that the kids are enjoying VBS.
  3. The daily visits I have had with a friend from church and her little girl each morning.  Her kids are in VBS this year for the first time.  She is staying with me each day so she doesn't have to make two thirty minute trips to town each morning.  We are having a great time, visiting and being entertained by her smallest child.
  4. My latest completed cross-stitch is framed and hanging.  This is the first time in recent years we've had to move a picture to make place for a new one.  Boo said, "Mom, if we ever get a new house, you need a gallery!"  It is just as well that I only get one done about every three years!
  5. Summer break from school.  Although I miss the times we spend together reading--we were doing that last week, but haven't had much time this week.
I am sure I could think of more things to be thankful for, but I am out of time.

I am linking up with The Army Chap's Wife for this post.  Please feel free to join us.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Life Is a Blur

I've been wanting to blog for a while here, but time just doesn't seem to allow.  As it is this morning, if I don't get this post up quickly, I will run out of time for a walk, which I really need.

Since the floor went in, and I went to the city, summertime seems to be passing very quickly.  Next week, the children are involved in VBS in our town, and the following two weeks will be busy with swimming lessons.  I hope I can be organized enough to work on lesson planning and other summer tasks after spending the large part of the morning at the pool.

I know this is old news, but I did get some photos of the super moon.  It was really cool to see how orange it was.

Monday night we went with friends to watch Canada Day fireworks in a really small town in our area.  (And I thought we live in a small town!)  Anyway, there weren't as many of them as we watched from the upstairs window the night before in our own town, but it was the first time we had actually gone to see them outside, and being with friends really made the evening for us.

Wednesday night we spent the evening with other friends in another town near us at an old car show.  We don't do old cars (unless you count our nearly fifteen year old van), but again being with friends who do, made the evening nice for us.  It was interesting to see a vehicle very much like one my parents had in the early seventies.  The colour was different, but the make was the same.  That car was totalled in an accident with my parents, brother and myself.  By the grace of God, none of us were seriously injured in that accident.  Sorry I didn't think to take any photos of that car.

The rest of the week has been spent in puttering around the house.  Belle and I cleaned out our big linen and supply closet one day.  I updated a bunch of schoolbooks in my Readerware database, pulled some weeds in the garden and yard, worked on laundry, and tried to get meals on the table--although not as successfully as some weeks.  My much-loved electric skillet has failed (after only four years of use--boy do things not last like they used to!), and dinner one night was burned on the bottom.

I have only done a little cross-stitch one evening.  But I have spent some time with Belle rolling paper beads. That was fun to do, and fun to do with Belle.  Not too much time to be crafting these days.  You wonder where the time goes when you aren't doing school.

That reminds me, the kids finished their lessons for the summer on Monday.  But we have been spending time reading Sonlight books each day.  I like that because it gives us some together time each day.

Well, that is my blur of a week.  Does anyone else feel the time whizzing by?