Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31, 2012

While Ken and the bigger boys were off at the Winter Special Olympics today, Caleb, Kristi, Little Man, and I did all sorts of useful things. Caleb chose to clean windows, and after helping clean up the living room, Kristi chose to practice math. The big boys had a great time snowboarding – I’m sure we’ll have some pictures tomorrow.


1. A low-key day. No school in Scrivnerburg, so it was a mellow day. We got some stuff done!

2. A fun project at work. I was asked to do a short project at work today, and it was different and fun.

3. Once again, one of my blessings is food. We had Honey Sesame Chicken tonight, and it was AWESOME!

4. My father-in-law. He may not have the health he used to enjoy, but he still has his humor, and I love him dearly. Today he was here visiting for a while, and he watched me (finally) take down the lights that hung around my dining room window. As I finished he said, “It’s almost Christmas.” (With the implication that I could have just left them up until next December.) He has always loved laughing at me. He has also always told me that he only picks on people he likes. I guess he likes me a lot.

5. My Kindle. I didn’t use it for a long time, but I’ve really started making use of it lately, and I’ve found a great benefit. I have all the books I’m reading in one place! I haven’t had to run back and forth to get the study book that I’m using with my Bible, and my fiction book hasn’t fallen under my chair once! (But that doesn’t mean that Ken and I don’t have a stack of “real” books on our living room table. You’d think we were readers or something!)

Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30, 2012

Family fun.



1. Sometimes our bodies can get by on very little sleep. That’s a particularly good thing when the baby is awake most of the night with a head cold.

2. Sometimes Mama gets a nap. Yay!

3. Dual monitors. Yes, I’m a geek. I’m thrilled with my new, two-monitor setup for work. It makes my job so much easier!

4. An evening with my sweetie. I’m all set to have some free time with my husband this evening. I always look forward to that. Maybe we can do some work on the Bible study materials we keep forgetting to do. Smile

5. Games with the family. The kids love having a game night. I love the happy sounds.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 29, 2012

I made Stuffed Wheat Bread for the church potluck today. Apparently it was okay - we didn't get to bring any home. I will post the recipe when I get it typed up. Topped with a bit of spicy brown mustard…mmmmmmm.

1. A great joint church service. Our church ventured down south a few miles to meet with a sister church on this 5th Sunday. It was wonderful.
2. A nap with a boy. I love it when one of my kids wants to nap with me – especially when they actually let me nap!
3. Health and safety. I have heard some heart-wrenching stories over the last few days. I pray for the affected families, and I thank God that my family is okay.
4. Music. God's music. It lifts my spirits like nothing else. That’s been a real necessity lately.
5. A new week. We get to start a whole, brand-new one!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28, 2012

Fresh bounty!


1. Bountiful Baskets. I got two “baskets” of fresh produce through Bountiful Baskets today. I had to put some of them in this colander and take their portrait. They are just so beautiful!

2. My Dubbies loves me. Of course, I already knew that, but it warmed my heart to see it in action today. He enjoyed his one night at Nana’s, but one was enough, and he was ready to come home.

3. A happy dinner time. The kids were joyful, everybody was laughing…it was a very enjoyable meal time. And Nathan wanted to eat ALL the bell peppers.

4. A happy Kristi. Sometimes life can be challenging for Kristi, but today was a good day. She was pleasant and helpful almost all day. Yay Kristi!

5. Lactaid tablets. I don’t know why I hadn’t tried them before. For years I suffered without realizing why I was so miserable – until I discovered I had trouble with lactose. Then I spent a couple years just avoiding dairy altogether – unless I just couldn’t stay away from the ice cream. But now I know that Lactaid tablets will allow me to indulge in ice cream periodically without being miserable for three days. Yay!

Friday, January 27, 2012

January 27, 2012


1. Nana is awesome! Not only does she do all the other wonderful things that Nana’s do, she also cuts Ken’s hair! It saves us money, and we get to spend more time with Nana. Yay and Yay!

2. Two monitors. I finally took the time to hook up the monitor for the old, dead computer to my laptop so I have two monitors. I have them set so they work like one wide monitor. It is sooooooo helpful in my work!

3. Hearts heal. We all suffer heartbreak – sometimes over and over – but God has designed us so that our hearts heal and we can move on. Praise the Lord for healing hearts!

4. Fellowship with other believers. Our family (and other people from our church) will be joining another nearby church for some worship and fellowship time this evening. This will be the first time we’ve done this (in this church), and I’m really looking forward to it!

5. Weekend! I’m almost done with work for the week. Yay for the weekend! I love my job, but I also love time off.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26, 2012



1. Sunshine. It’s a soppy, drippy, muddy mess outside, but the sun is currently shining, and it’s wonderful to see it again!

2. Growing things. As you see in today’s photo, Caleb’s hyacinth (I think) bulb is happily enjoying January. I think Caleb checks it 74 times a day to see how it’s doing.

3. Things that really matter. I encounter lots of little irritations throughout the day, and it’s easy to focus on those and be completely annoyed. But, really, if I stop to consider the things that really matter – eternity with God, health, home, family, to mention a few – I’m set. I just need to remember what really matters and quit spending so much time on the things that won’t even be remembered by Saturday.

4. Friends sharing great recipes. You already know I love Pinterest. One of the reasons I love it is that my friends share wonderful foods on there. Tonight we had a meal that everybody liked! I’m sure you can imagine how often that happens in a family this size. (We had Creamy Chicken & Noodles.) And speaking of Pinterest, if you need an invite let me know.

5. Free books! I know – I’m starting to sound like a series of commercials – but one thing I love to do is read. And I especially love free books! Being the geek that I am I love to read on my Kindle, and recently I have been getting books from Pixel of Ink and Inspired Reads. I have had much time to read them lately, but just having a whole “stack” of books waiting for me makes me feel rich!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 25, 2012

I loved the sky full of Heaven Rays we saw on the way to Hamilton today.


1. A great afternoon in Hamilton. My mom, 3 of the kids, and I had a nice, productive time today.

2. Dinner provided for us. My lovely mother bought us dinner so I didn’t have to spend too much time fixing food when I got home. Yay! It’s especially good because I didn’t get time to work before going to Hamilton, so my whole work day has to fit into my evening.

3. Heaven Rays. Just a reminder that God is keeping an eye out.

4. The cutest pout. I wish I could show you the picture of Little Man with the cutest pout in the world. I can’t share that yet, but just know that it makes us smile every time – even when he’s really getting ready to cry.

5. My life is great. I’m truly enjoying my life right now. Remind me of this next time I start whining.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January 24, 2012

Who doesn’t love Angry Birds?!? The kids love to earn time to play on the school tablet – we have Angry Birds and Bejeweled just for fun, in addition to the learning games they get to play in free school moments.


1. Hilarious kids. Overheard in Scrivnerburg (another quote from Nathan): "Dale hilariates me."

2. Happy, happy kids. They are frequently laughing, joking, playing, and smiling.

3. Healthy kids. I’m so thankful that we haven’t had any sick kids recently. AND we stayed out of the ER with kids in 2011!

4. Harmonious kids. There was almost no bickering or squabbling today at all! Whoohoo!

5. Husband ‘o mine. I know I’ve mentioned him a time or twelve, but that’s only because he’s wonderful. He’s a good man, and he still loves me after almost 24 years.

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 23, 2012

The kids have some new winter gear. This intrepid explorer (or something) is Austin, but the only way I can be sure is that I recognize his coat. He climbed Mt. Church Street and lived to tell the tale.


1. A good school day. We’ve been homeschooling for half a school year now, and I must admit (despite my fears last summer) that most of the school days have been good ones. The kids do a good job and get their work done fairly quickly. Everyone enjoys that!

2. Conveniences. I have so many things that make my life easier, and I think I tend to take them for granted – TWO washers and dryers, a dishwasher (and kids to load it!), a microwave to make quick work of defrosting, easy access to any information or entertainment I could want…the list could just go on and on.

3. Home. We have a 4-bedroom, 3-bath house that fits our whole family. We have space for the things we need and want to do. We are so blessed.

4. Crunch. Not the sound – the cat. I don’t thank God for him very often (for good reason) but he has his moments. This morning he started my day off with a laugh when I caught him playing with a baby sock. He was tossing it in the air and jumping up after it. It was quite amusing, and kind of made up for the fact that he’d peed on the bathmat – again.

5. Monday. Monday is one of Ken’s days off, so we actually get to enjoy each other’s company all evening. I like that.

You get a bonus – here’s a conversation in Scrivnerburg:
Andrew: "Can I have a pet monkey?"
Ken: "You can have a pet toothpick. You could call him Splinter."
Ken again: "Or you could get a pet potato and call him Wedgie."
Ken again (to Dale): "You could get a pet piece of Velcro and call him Sticky."
Dale: "No."
Ken: "It's better than calling him Hooker or Loopy."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 22, 2012

It was another beautiful morning in the Bitterroot Valley. This was taken with my htc Incredible. It may not be the best cell phone, but it sure makes a nice point-and-shoot camera!


1. Days of Elijah. This song just makes me happy.

2. Joyful time with God’s people.

3. Caleb’s brain. I love the way that kid thinks. He told me this morning that I’m the best mom he knows. I told him he’s my very favorite Caleb. He thought about that for a minute then said, “It makes sense that I’m your favorite Caleb because you know other Calebs. It doesn’t make sense for me to call you my favorite Mom – you’re my only mom.” True, Son. But I like being your favorite anyway.

4. Little Man’s happy. That child is just so happy – it’s infectious!

5. My husband. I just love him.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 21, 2012

Little Man has toofers! He's been using them to gnaw on everything that gets close to his mouth - including me!


1. Another lazy Saturday. It’s nice to have a slow, quiet day after the busyness of the week.

2. A chance to visit friends. We have been invited to spend the evening visiting at a good friend’s house. I’m looking forward to it.

3. Wise words from friends. This actually showed up yesterday, but I’ve been keeping it in my mind today – “[I am] realizing it's ok to grieve relationships that are no longer what they were & reminding myself that God sees the bigger picture & knows what he's doing. I rejoice in the fact that we are being obedient & are blessed.”

4. Toofers. Since Little Man’s second tooth broke through he’s been less fussy and has slept better. Whew! We actually got 5 straight hours last night!

5. Wii. After the huge snowfall a few days ago, the melting yesterday, and the rain all morning today, it is a yucky, snowy, icy, muddy mess outside. I am so thankful that we can let the kids play Wii when they get tired of their other indoor activities. (We made them use their imaginations until late afternoon – we’re so mean!)

Friday, January 20, 2012

January 20, 2012

Earlier this week we got record-setting snowfall - today we get ice jewels. (Oh, and I finally used my real camera for a daily photo!)


1. Staying home. I don’t have to go anywhere in this ice-coated world today!

2. Kodiak Jax had some good deals today. Yay for not having to cook dinner.

3. It’s almost time for snow-worn kids to head to bed. Everybody is waaaay overtired, so bed is a good thing today.

4. A glimmer of hope. There was an incident today when one son inadvertently hurt another. Both boys took responsibility for the accident, and they did NOT get into an argument or fight about it. Yay! There IS hope!

5. Cookies. My honey is making the best chocolate chip cookies ever.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 19, 2012

We had to go to Missoula for an appointment today. Almost all the area schools were closed due to the weather today – I think you can see why. When I took this shot it was snowing, but as we got down the road a bit it was raining. Not a good thing when the temperature is around 30F.


1. We made it to and from Missoula safely. Whew!

2. Medical professionals declared our baby “absolutely adorable.” I know…kinda a “duh” statement, but it never hurts a parent’s feelings to hear how precious his/her baby is.

3. Felice. I know I mentioned her just recently, but she has to be on the list again – she babysat all of our children for 6 hours today.

4. American Idol. I just love that show. I feel like I got rewarded for a busy day.

5. Snow day! We had our first “snow day” at Scrivnerburg Academy. The kids spent almost the entire day playing out in the snow. So fun!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 18, 2012

We finally got snow! I don’t know how much we actually got here in town, but I’m thinking it was close to a foot. The kids loved it!


1. I love snow! It’s pretty, it keeps the kids occupied, and I feel so cozy sitting inside watching the snow fall.

2. My mother loves me. I may be 42 years old, but when someone sets about to hurt me, the mama bear in my mother still shows up.

3. Little Man is growing. I was hoping for 15 lbs at his WIC appointment today, but he didn’t quite make that. That’s okay – he grew an inch! He’s now 14 lbs, 12 oz, and 26 1/4 inches. I asked them to weigh his happy instead of his body, but they didn’t have their happy scale with them today.

4. Friends that share. We got 3 bags of clothes that will keep Little Man clothed in style for some time!

5. Health. We are all healthy, happy, and (mostly) energetic in Scrivnerburg.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 17, 2012

Today you get the blessings and then the picture. Sorta.


1. Funny, funny kids - Best explanation I've encountered for my gibberish: "So your mouth is overflowing with so many words that you can't make a real word?"

2. A clean bathroom. I finally took the time to clean my bathroom today. Whew. I have to do it whether I want to or not – before I cleaned it the last time Caleb was in there to take a shower and he looked around the bathroom for a while and then asked, “Mom, who cleans THIS bathroom?” Oops. Caught in my laziness by a 6-year-old.

3. Pinterest. When I need a little lift, or a few relaxing minutes I head over to Pinterest and browse through craft ideas, funnies, or my friends’ favorite things. It picks me right up!Follow Me on Pinterest

4. Funny, funny parents. Here is an email my mother sent out yesterday -

“No matter what you may have heard, I did not steal a black, padded bra from the Stevensville thrift store. I went into the store in my power wheel chair (named Ben)and drove around the store looking at various things. After about 15 minutes  I decided  that there was nothing for me and after thanking the clerk, Ben and I drove out of the store and straight home, I parked Ben in his usual spot and went about my business. This morning while talking on the phone to a friend I spotted something hanging off the foot my resident flamingo. This flamingo rides on the back of Ben and has never caused a problem. Closer observation revealed that the flamingo was holding a black, padded bra, still on it's hanger. I swear I never saw that bra before and it certainly was not my size.

I didn't steal that bra, my flamingo did it!!

That's  my story and I'm sticking to it.”

5. Brownies. My husband makes very yummy brownies, and the kids didn’t eat all of them before I got any! Yay!

Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16, 2012

Bible story time with the family. I used Vignette and the toy camera settings for these. I just liked the family moments.



1. A new day. I’m starting this post at 7:30am. All sorts of great things could happen today!

2. Good friends. We (Ken and I) have a lot of friends who love us and appreciate us. I am thankful.

3. Romans 8:28 – “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” God will use everything to work toward His purpose.

4. Getting to know my co-workers. One of the drawbacks of working “virtually” (we all work at home and usually communicate via email and phone) is that we don’t get to know each other the way we would in an office. It was nice to spend some time working with a couple co-workers today and getting to know them a bit better.

5. Spiritual insights from little theologians. Tonight Caleb told me that God sends our friend Joe to bring us bread so we can share it with others like Jesus did when he fed the 5,000 with the five loaves and two fish. I love his young heart that understands those things!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 14, 2012

Another “macro” using my cell phone and my 50mm lens handheld and reversed. This is a glass ornament that is hanging in my kitchen window. The entire ornament is about 4 inches long, but this section is probably 3/4”. I’m going to have fun playing with my gear this way! Thanks to Dieter Tracey for the inspiration!


1. A great day in church.

2. We had a fun Bible study at our pastor’s house.

3. I got the lesson plans done before school starts tomorrow!

4. My husband loves me.

5. Caleb thinks I’m the best mom in the world.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 14, 2012

It was a very crafty day today! I made a whole bunch of fun things…

1. A diaper/wipes case; 2. A fun pincushion; 3. A cute headband – I didn’t make the girl today – just the headband; 4. A rice bag for a gift.

1. Craftiness. I had another fun crafting Saturday! It was awesome!

2. Bountiful Baskets. We got our first Bountiful Basket today, and there was so much wonderful, fresh food in there! What a blessing!

3. A good friend. I love my friend Felice. I just love her!

4. Funny moments. Dale came and asked me early in the day if I knew where the pliers were. He needed them to fix something, and he searched and searched. After dinner this evening I just happened to find the pliers when I was looking for something else…in the freezer! Everyone keeps their pliers in the freezer, right?

5. A high chair! Little Man got to sit in a real high chair today for the first time. He loved being with everyone at the table and being able to see everything. He was quite amused, and quite amusing.

Friday, January 13, 2012

January 13, 2012

Just playing with Vignette and my cell phone again. This time I don’t remember the options I chose, but I kinda like the outcome. This is a small portion of my collection of glass apples.

Friday’s blessings:

1. The school week is over. School is going well, but I’m always ready for Friday.

2. Budgeting with my husband. Setting a budget isn’t fun, but it’s good to get it done, and I love that we did it together. We’ve tried for several days to sit down together and do this, but this time we put it on the calendar and got it done! Whew!

3. Have I mentioned that I love my job? Smile

4. Have I mentioned that I love my husband? Smile

5. Cupcakes. My friend Nancy tells me that one must make cupcakes when a storm is coming. We’re expecting quite a bit of snow soon, so I made cupcakes. I love cupcakes. I love the word “cupcakes.” The storm isn’t due for a couple days…wanna take bets on how many cupcakes are left by the time the storm gets here? I’ll have to make more, I guess.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12, 2012

This was shot with the tilt-shift effect in Vignette for Android. Austin is hard at work on his cursive handwriting.


1. Lunch out with Nana. Ken’s mom invited all of us out to have lunch at Kodiak Jax. It was nice to get out for lunch for a change!

2. Cuddly blankets. I get really cold when I’m just sitting at my computer working. I have a couple wonderful blankets that fix it all up!

3. Time to sew. For the third day this week I got my work done before dinner. That left me with time for kids and for sewing. Yay!

4. Elle who keeps me inspired. Turnabout’s fair play, right? I’m thankful that my friend Elle reminded me to count my blessings. She has a wonderful outlook on life, and it’s infectious!

5. Getting stuff done. I always feel better when the little tasks that have been waiting around get done. I didn’t get anything really exciting finished, but I did get some nagging little things taken care of. Whew.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January 11, 2012

Last week the administrators of Scrivnerburg Academy decided that the classroom could benefit from having a tablet  computer. We received some Amazon gift cards for Christmas, so we used those to purchase a neat little tablet just for the kids to use in school. It arrived today – fun times! (Those of you who know me will realize just how fun that really is! I love geeky gadgets!) After I spent some time pl….ahem…setting it up, I let the kids have 15 minute turns with it. Now they’re hooked, and it will be a great incentive for a while, in addition to being useful for looking up necessary information. Smile

(Brief review – so far I’m very happy with this Creative Ziio tablet. It was $130 on Amazon – a great price for a tablet computer. It seems to do what we need it to, and the kids are thrilled. I call it a bargain.)


1. My children are so funny.

2. God’s provision. He continues to shower us with exactly what we need at the moment.

3. Forgiveness. What a relief to have someone forgive you when you have wronged them.

4. Sunshine to chase the SAD away.

5. Easy food. My kids love Hamburger Helper, but it has things in it that I don’t want to feed to my kids (MSG, dyes). Today I found a blog post that spelled out how to make your own hamburger helper to keep on hand. Yay! http://chickensintheroad.com/cooking/homemade-hamburger-helper/

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 10, 2012

Inspired by this post - http://365project.org/dieter/365/2012-01-10 - I decided to try my 50mm lens with my cell phone camera. This shot was taken with the 50mm reversed over the cell phone lens. It came out nice and clear, and quite a bit larger than in real life. Cool! I had never thought of trying that, but I think I will do more experiments with this variation on "freelensing."


1. A lightbulb moment – “"Prayerlessness is our declaration of independence from God." I downloaded a free book for my Kindle called Transforming Prayer, by Daniel Henderson. This quote was the first of several (so far) that really struck a chord with me.

2. Kissies. Little Man has started offering kisses. If we ask for kisses he will usually open his mouth and lean in for a kiss…but he loves to play hard-to-get with me. He’ll kiss Ken, Dale, our friend Deb…but he turns his head away from Mama. Stinkbug. Adorable, funny, squishy, precious stinkbug.

3. A good day. This has just been a good day. Nothing spectacular, but nothing unhappy. A good day.

4. Boys’ Club. My boys went to their first Boys’ Club meeting this evening. We only had 3 kids at home for an hour and a half, and I was done with work…I was able to read, play with the baby, eat some ice cream… niceness.

5. God is in control. Whatever happens – whatever curve balls or disappointments come our way – God isn’t surprised, and He has it all figured out. Whew. It’s not my responsibility to control the world.

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9, 2012

Another Little Man picture…being adored by yet another kiddo. He has quite the fan club around here.


1. A great group of people to work with. I love going to a company meeting and laughing while we work.

2. Coffee. This was one of those days when a keg of coffee would have been fine.

3. Progress. Little Man may not be speedy at hitting the gross motor milestones, but he’s working on them. He can roll over and over both directions, sit up for about 2 seconds unassisted, and hold on to a toy while he chews it. These are all things he wasn’t able to do a month ago.

4. Minions. I did something to make my shoulder complain, so I’m only half capable today. It is a blessing to me to have a bunch of able-bodied minions to do my bidding.

5. A basketball hoop. My kids have suddenly been enthralled with our basketball hoop again, and all of them have spend considerable time out in the driveway shooting hoops for the last couple days. I love it because there’s much less fighting when they play basketball. (It seems that basketball is important in Scrivnerburg!)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 8, 2012

I love Sundays. I enjoy worshipping with my church family, and I love relaxing at home. After church today I fed my family and then took a nap. It would have been perfect if I hadn’t had kids waking me up. The funny one was when Caleb came running down the hall, banged on the bedroom door, and asked for permission to watch “mphthshsdhehsht.” (I couldn’t understand him through the door. I asked, “Where’s Dad?” Caleb answered, “He’s sleeping!” Huh. So was I, Son. Until you woke me up. Oh well…I still got a nap in. I don’t know if the kids watched mphthshsdhehsht or not.

Here’s a shot I took for the Oh, Shoot! assignment, “Square.” It’s just a Sunday snapshot – another one with my cell phone. I’m taking a week of cell phone photos just for the fun of it.

Sunday blessings:

1. Worshipping with my friends. It was a great day in church!

2. The days are getting longer. It’s not too noticeable yet, but we’re getting a little more daylight each day. That’s a very good thing.

3. Naps.

4. Happy children. When the noise starts to get to me I try to remind myself that most of the time the kids are noisy because they’re happy. Remind me of this next time I start to go over the edge with all the chaos.

5. Music. I saw a funny on Pinterest that said “My brain is 70% song lyrics.” I think that’s so true. I sing constantly – in my head if not out loud – and I burst into song at the slightest provocation. It pleases me. Smile

Saturday, January 7, 2012

January 7, 2011

Today’s assignment over at Oh, Shoot! was "Shiny things attract attention. Make a photograph of a shiny object and post it today. Focus in on the reflections." Here’s my shiny thing.

Saturday blessings:

1. A do-nothing day. It was nice to have a day when I didn’t have to run from one task to the next.

2. Cheeseburger Soup. It is one of my favorite new recipes, and it’s one the whole family likes. Great winter food. http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Cheeseburger-Soup

3. I like sewing! Well, sewing crafty things, anyway. I thought I hated sewing!

4. Little kids using big words. I love to hear the big words our kids use – the 6yo who “attempted to slide across the floor” and the 8yo who thinks my cooking is “magnificent.”

5. My hard-working husband. He works nights stocking the local grocery store – it’s not the best schedule in the world, but he goes in with a good attitude and just does what needs to be done to provide for his family.

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6, 2012

A few of my boys were playing with my cell phone camera and the Vignette app. They spent quite a long time taking pictures of each other, so I decided to use those for my photo today instead of my own - theirs are much more...um...playful! I used the PicsArt app to make the collage.

Here are today’s blessings:
1. Friday. The end of the work/school week, the night my sweetie and I can enjoy time together, something to look forward to each week…I love Friday.

2. Crafting. I had let it slide for a while, but I love creating things. I’m currently working on projects for a Facebook game – each person makes handmade gifts for the first 5 commenters – and I’m loving it!

3. Freedom to teach our children the way that works for each of them. Our school day isn’t typical, but it’s working for our kiddos. They’re enjoying homeschooling (except when the parents are so mean about studying).

4. Great co-workers. Part of what makes my job so enjoyable is working with people who “get” me.

5. Sleep. I’m looking forward to sinking into my bed and drifting off to sleep…

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January 5, 2012


The photo for today is a self-portrait taken with Vignette for my Android phone. It has so so so so many options – it’s mind-boggling!

Today is one of those days when it’s a bit harder to see the blessings. I guess I’d better just look a little more closely.

1. Super 1 cereal sale. Yay! We’re rich again! I always feel better when we have food stored in the closet, and today’s cereal sale allowed me to put more than 50 boxes of cereal away.

2. I say “allowed me to put…cereal away” but I didn’t actually do it. I have six children who are able (if not always willing) to do some of those chores for me, so I didn’t even have to go up and down the stairs to put the cereal away.

3. The new cereal is now put away on a NEW shelf in the downstairs closet. My sweet husband spent the afternoon fixing up the closet in our basement so it would hold the cereal we wanted to store.

4. A pleasant dinner time. There were no arguments, no whining, no complaining…it was relative peace!

5. Friends who will watch 7 children while we go out on a date. Tomorrow night is date night, and it’s such a blessing to have people who will take care of our crew so we can go out alone.

I’ve really slacked off…

…on my book reviewing. It’s been waaaaay too many months, but I just haven’t had the time to read, let alone actually reviewing the book I’ve read. The most recent book that WaterBrook Multnomah gave me for the Blogging for Books program is The Chocolate Diaries by Karen Scalf Linamen, and I’ve enjoyed the book, but the way it was formatted for my Kindle has kind of thrown me off. It has made it less enjoyable to read. But anyway…here’s a brief review:

(Image from Amazon.com)

What happens when you mix an encouraging message with chocolate? You get a book that can help you learn to continue on when life throws you a curve ball, and you get to savor the sweet parts along the way.

My favorite part of the book has to be all the chocolate recipes! I love chocolate! That’s part of the reason I chose this book, and there have been some wonderful recipes along the way in The Chocolate Diaries. But there are more than recipes – in fact, more than chocolate – in this book. There are many stories, lessons, and anecdotes about making it through the “Rocky Road of Life.” I found that many of the stories in the book reminded me that we can get through the hard stuff with God’s help and a bit (or more) of chocolate. The Chocolate Diaries also indirectly pointed out that I have no reason to feel sorry for myself – most of my problems are really pretty small.

I do recommend this book – especially for those who feel like life is just a bit too bumpy. Happy chocolate, everyone!

(A free Kindle version of The Chocolate Diaries was given to me by WaterBrook Mulnomah Publishing Group for the purpose of this review.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4, 2012

p366 - 4 Late afternoon play at the neighbors


1. We have a great group of neighborhood kids (and parents!). Today’s photo was taken at the neighboring apartment complex where my children were playing with several of the kids in the neighborhood. I love knowing my neighbors and knowing my children are safe when they’re playing over there.

2. Being done with work before dinner. Most nights (after homeschooling, baby-tending, and all the other interruptions) I still have work to do after dinner. Tonight I’m all done and I can just enjoy some crafting and tv with my family. Whew!

3. A teenager who can cook! (A different teenager than the diaper changer.) My younger 13-year-old made dinner for the family tonight! Awesome!

4. Bedtime. Particularly the kids’ bedtime. I love my children completely, but I also love the calm that descends upon the house when all is finally quiet.

5. A happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, baby. Have I mentioned that he’s a happy boy? It’s such a joy to be around him because he is just sunshine in baby clothes.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 3, 2012

Does it make me a geek if I loved my mini-video setup so much I took a picture of it and posted it on my blog?

This is how I listen to music while I work (or watch Netflix while I play).


Today’s blessings:

1. A teenage boy who chooses to change stinky diapers. Can you believe that?

2. Friends to share my journey with. I’m so blessed to have friends to help in our homeschool journey, friends to share my photo journey with, friends to walk with on my spiritual journey…I’m just blessed.

3. Technology. I really love playing with new tech gadgets and learning new geeky things. I just wish I knew a whole lot more.

4. Diet Pepsi Vanilla. My husband and a couple other people went to a lot of effort to get 8 12-packs of Diet Pepsi Vanilla for me as a Christmas gift. It’s been discontinued by PepsiCo, so it’s hard to come by. I’m relishing each one.

5. Funny children. I love the funny things my kids say. I suspect this blessing will pop up often. Today’s funny – Kristi came skipping through the kitchen sing-songing, "I'm as happy as a giraffe!" Did you know giraffes were happy animals. Well, apparently they are.

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2, 2012

As some of you know, we are homeschooling our children this year. We call it Scrivnerburg Academy, and so far we are all enjoying it! We have some wonderful helpers that come in and listen to our children read. Monday is Nana’s day to come, so here are Dale and Nana during their reading time.

My blessings for today:
1. Nana – she’s not only a reading helper. She’s Ken’s mom, my mother-in-love, and a lovely, thoughtful person. I am so blessed to have her in my life.

2. A short school day – I don’t know why, but the kids all got their work done quickly today, and everyone was finished before lunch. Yay!

3. My job – I have a great job for me. It’s geeky, work-at-home, maybe even tedious, but I love it, and it seems they appreciate me.

4. Quiet time – I love the peaceful time after the kids go to bed. On the nights when Ken is home we watch tv together and just relax. On the nights when he’s gone (he works 3 nights a week) I watch tv by myself and just enjoy some “me” time. It’s nice not to be “Mommy” ALL the time.

5. Chocolate – I love the velvety, smooth, creaminess of a good milk chocolate. Mmmmmm…and I happen to hear one calling my name right now!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New 2012

Welcome to 2012! I’m sure this is going to be an amazing year! I plan to do a third 365 project this year – this time it will be focused on what my family is doing each day.

As I’ve done the last two years, I took some pictures of the kids today just to see how they’re changing from year to year. We were without Rose and Virginia today, but I’ll get shots of them soon.

Here is today’s collection of kiddos…
New Years Kid Portraits 2012

Just for comparison, here is last year’s…

And 2010…

I think Kristi and Caleb have changed the most. I think I’ll start a collection of these collages on my hallway wall. I just love them!

I’m adding another aspect to this 366-day project. In addition to my daily photo, I’m going to share my 5 blessings of the day. Check out my friend Elle’s post for the inspiration - http://thegratitudegarden.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/day-1-every-journey-begins-with-a-single-step/.

Today’s 5 blessings:

1. A wonderful, healthy, fun family - I often get frustrated or irritated, but I have amazing kids and a fantastic husband.

2. Worshiping with a great group of sincere people – our church isn’t just a “smidgen of religion” – it’s a true group of worshipers!

3. Down time – I love relaxing on a Sunday afternoon.

4. Little Man – that giggle just fills me with joy!

5. Hope – this new year is completely unwritten (at least from my perspective). I’m looking forward to seeing how the story goes!