Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Morning Musing Over Coffee - Your Exceedingly Great Reward

In my distress I cried to the Lord and He heard me. ~ Psalm 120:1

 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” ~ Genesis 15:1

No matter how things look to us, God is there. When we are His children, following Jesus, He hears us and He shields us.

 Not only does He hear and shield us, He becomes to us all that we need, our exceedingly great reward. This is the truth that I am trying to wrap my mind around this morning. No matter what is going on around me, He is enough. And in Him is where I find rest, peace, comfort, and strength.

My day to day is simply walking in that truth, living it out in faith, and knowing He has it covered. In Him all is complete.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Tuesday February 28, 2012

For Today

Outside my window . . . it has been a beautiful, Springlike day. We spent a lot of time outside and I noticed there are some little wildflowers starting to bloom in the yard.

I am thinking . . . of my class tomorrow evening. I need to decide what kind of activities we're going to do and just can't seem to come up with any good ideas.

I am thankful . . . for the chance to earn Amazon giftcards through Swagbucks.

In the kitchen . . . Austin made lasagna for dinner this evening. At the moment I have slow cooker oats in the crockpot for breakfast in the morning.

I am wearing . . . green shirt, green pants, white socks.

I am creating . . . still working on the braided rug. I don't get as much time as I'd like to work on it so it's taking a long time.

I am going . . . I didn't have to go anywhere today which was very nice.

I am wondering . . . how long it's going to take me to get all the sticks and walnuts picked up out of our yard. I filled a good part of the wheelbarrow with walnuts today. With six walnut trees in the yard there are a lot to pick up. Michael insisted, of course, on helping push the wheelbarrow.

I am hoping . . . that things will work out well for Amanda with the neighbor I we met today. There was a dog wandering around the neighborhood so Amanda went and got it and put a leash on it. She and Austin took it around the neighborhood and couldn't find who owned the dog. So they brought him back home and tied him on the porch. About an hour later someone driving by stopped and told us it was her dog. As we talked we found out she lives across the field behind us and is in the process of putting in dog kennels on her land. I think she's going to be boarding dogs. Anyway, she said Amanda could come spend as much time with the dogs there as she wanted. Also, if Amanda helps out with the animals there, the owner of the kennels will help her with training our dogs. Amanda is really excited about this opportunity.

Here is the dog - his name is Indiana.

Around the house . . . half of the people in the house are sleeping and the other half are on their laptops.

A favorite quote for today . . . One should examine oneself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others. ~ Moliere

A peek into my day . . . since we had a very quiet day today I decided to give Austin a  long overdue haircut. Here are before and after pictures.

Craftsy Offers - One New

Craftsy is the fastest growing online community for Crafters - with over 500,000 monthly unique visitors, having just launched in May 2011. This rapid growth results from two primary offerings which Craftsy users love:
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Craftsy Block of the Month - The Craftsy Block of the Month is a completely free, year-long online class instructed by expert quilter, Amy Gibson. There are 12 installments, each one posted on the first day of every month. The first 10 months/installments teach our students two new exciting blocks (brand new designs or funky spins on traditional blocks). The last two months are dedicated to finishing the quilt. At the end of the class, our students will have full-size and one-of-a-kind quilts. Like all of our classes, students can view it whenever it’s convenient for them, and can watch them however many times they’d like. It’s filmed in high-definition, and it’s fully interactive---students can ask Amy questions as they go.

*NEW* Craftsy Pattern MarketplaceNewly launched, the Patterns section of Craftsy is the fastest growing online marketplace for crafting patterns. Because Craftsy does not charge designers any fees or commissions for listing or selling their patterns, creative indie designers are hurrying to the site to set up their pattern shops. There, well over half a million active Craftsy members browse the thousands upon thousands of patterns of all types, for all crafts. And since the designers aren’t getting charged or having to give Craftsy any commissions, the deals on patterns are amazing! Some are even free. It’s the perfect place to get inspiration and instructions at super low prices.

    New Printable Glade Coupons

  1. $1.50 off Glade Expressions™ Oil Diffuser

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  3. This post contains affiliate links.

    Swagbucks Rewards - Earning a Little Extra

    Search & Win

    Yesterday in my daybook post I mentioned that I am excited to have recently earned $50 in Amazon gift cards through Swagbucks and Superpoints. I used these earnings to buy a some craft supplies for the kids and seeds for garden.

    I thought I would explain a little more about each program because they have been a real benefit to me and maybe you would have use for them as well.

    I've been with Swagbucks quite a while and love this program. Swagbucks allows users to earn "bucks" through using the Swagbucks search engine. This search engine works very much like google and the results are usually very good. Occasionally I will switch to google if I'm not finding what I want through the Swagbucks search engine but it is very rare. Using the search engine is the main way I earn Swagbucks. Occasionally I will watch Swagbucks TV or do a survey but that is pretty rare. Earned Swagbucks can be used to redeem a variety of prizes from gift cards to books to electronics. My favorite prize is the $5 Amazon card for 450 swagbucks. I can usually earn two of these each month without a problem. In 2011 I earned nineteen $5 Amazon gift cards and one $25 Amazon gift card. I also donated some swagbucks to charity last year. So far this year I have redeemed five $5 Amazon gift cards and just this morning reached enough points to redeem the sixth one for this year.

    Swagbucks also offers a referral program but since I really haven't made much effort with that option I haven't earned anything through referrals yet. I like to know that a program works well and is trustworthy before I share it with others. Swagbucks has definitely passed the test.

    If you're interested in earning a little extra throught Swagbucks feel free to check them out by clicking on one of the Swagbucks logos in this post. It is completely free and easy to sign up for and it's so much fun to watch those Swagbucks add up.

    Search & Win

    Sometime in the next few days I will also be sharing how I earned a $25 Amazon gift card through Superpoints.

    This post contains affiliate links

    Morning Musing Over Coffee - Choosing the Abundant Life


    And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. ~ Joshua 24:15

    It's a question as old as time. Who am I going to serve?

    There is no middle ground. To pass on answering the question is already an answer in itself. And the default position is not a good one.

    It's a question that not only has to be answered once, at a crossroads of decision, but daily.

    When my alarm goes off in the morning. Am I going to roll over and sleep a few more minutes? Or am I going to get up and feed my spirit with His words and spend time with Him so that I am prepared for the day ahead.

    When the kids fight for the 50 bajilllionth time that day. Am I going to show my own frustration or His love?

    Around the dinner table in the evening. We're all tired and hungry. Are we going to simply have a "grab and growl" session, only feeding our bodies? Or are we going to feed our minds and spirits with prayer and meaningful conversation that allows us to grow together in a better understanding of each other and the God who loves us?

    When the future seems uncertain, and it's tempting to give in to worry, whether it's over finances, health, relationships, or any other area of life how am I going to choose to respond? With fear or with faith?

    Each moment brings with it a decision. But when we make the decision to serve the Lord, there comes with that decision a gift from Him. Because He does not leave us to walk out this choice to follow Him alone. The moment we make that choice He is right there beside us, surrounding us with His love, giving wisdom. He takes away those fears and strengthens the weak areas within us so that we can walk in confidence with Him. Choosing to serve Him, to walk with Him, brings the abundant life He promised. (John 10:10)

    For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    The Simple Woman's Daybook - Monday February 27, 2012

    For Today

    Outside my window . . . it was nice outside today. Right now it's dark and 46 degrees.

    I am thinking . . . that I'm so excited to have earned $50 in Amazon giftcards through Swagbucks and Superpoints. I just put in an order at Amazon for seeds for the garden and a few craft supplies for the kids.

    I am thankful . . . for Jesus.

    In the kitchen . . . Austin and Amanda did most of the cooking today.

    I am wearing . . . peach colored shirt, tan pants, white socks.

    I am creating . . . garden plans.

    I am going . . . I took Michael to his physical therapy appointment today. He loves therapy and his therapist and she seems to enjoy him as well. I shared with her how he's been complaining about his right foot hurting and walking strangely on it at times and she said she'd noticed to that something seems wrong there. At this point we're just going to keep watching it until all the tests are back and then see where we should go from there.

    I am reading . . . I enjoyed this post today from The Gypsy Mama on finding social media balance.

    I am hoping . . . that I don't catch this stomach bug that several of the kids have had recently. One child was sick Friday and then I had to pick Lauren up early from preschool today because she wasn't feeling good. I just don't have time to be sick.

    I am looking forward to . . . a quiet day tomorrow.

    Around the house . . . Doug, CJ, Michael, and Madeline are sleeping, Austin and Mykalin are playing board games, and Amanda is watching funny videos on Youtube (and laughing hysterically.)

    I am pondering . . . the difference between being present and truly being available. So often I am here with my family but my mind is all over the place. I've really been working on truly being available to listen, talk, and often laugh with those around me.

    A favorite quote for today . . . The church is the great lost and found department. ~ Robert Short

    A peek into my day . . . Michael and Amanda enjoying a lighthearted brother/sister moment.


    Menu Plan - Sunday February 26 - Saturday March 3, 2012

    Sunday - Toasted English Muffin Bread w/Butter, Peach Yogurt, Fruit,
    Monday - Toasted English Muffin Bread w/Butter & Jelly, Peach Yogurt, Fruit
    Tuesday - Blueberry Slow Cooked Oats, Yogurt, Fruit
    Wednesday - Slow Cooker Grits, Yogurt, Fruit
    Thursday - Pancakes, Yogurt, Fruit
    Friday - Pumpkin Muffins, Yogurt, Fruit
    Saturday - Blueberry Slow Cooked Oats, Yogurt, Fruit

    Sunday - Pork Roast, Corn, Fruit, Butter Bread
    Monday - Polish Kielbasa on Buns, French Fries, Corn (Austin)*
    Tuesday - Tomato Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Fruit
    Wednesday - Pizza Bagel Thins, Salad
    Thursday - Turkey/Cheese Sandwiches, French Fries, Corn (Amanda)*
    Friday - PB&J Sandwiches, Carrots, Apples Slices
    Saturday - Chicken Chow Mein on Rice, Fruit

    Sunday - Pizza, Salad, Fruit (CJ)*
    Monday - Chicken Breast Patties, Cheesy Shells, Corn, Fruit (Amanda)*
    Tuesday - Lasagna, Garlic Bread, Salad (Austin)*
    Wednesday - Dinner at Church
    Thursday - Baked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Bread
    Friday - Turkey Cheese Sausages, Cheesy Shells, Corn, Fruit (CJ)*
    Saturday - Sausage Gravy on Biscuits, Scrambled Eggs, Hash Browns, Fruit

    Since we do a lot of our grocery shopping at a discount store, what is available to buy just depends on what they have that week. Most times I go in with a general idea of what I want and a list of basics - flour, sugar, coffee, etc. Then after choosing from what is available there I come home and make my menu from that. It has saved us so much money in groceries and we haven't had any major problem with the food. Sometimes the fresh fruits and vegetables have to be picked over carefully but that's the only thing I really have to watch for.

    * Each week Austin, Amanda and CJ are each responsible for planning, shopping for and preparing for two meals.


    Morning Musing Over Coffee - Love in Action

    Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. ~ 1 John 3:18
    It's so easy to say I love you. And sometimes it's so hard to live like I really do. But when I tell those around me I love them and then walk away and forget to make sure I show them as well, I am not being very loving.
    Love is an action word. And if I am not showing love in action than I have a very selfish love. It really isn't love at all, just a good feeling that only benefits me with warm fuzzies and does the other person no good at all.
    As Christians we are called to love each other. To love each other is to pray for and with each other. It is to listen, to respond, to meet the needs of those around us. To love each other is to put others first and to treat them in such a way that they know they are loved and valued.
    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    The Simple Woman's Daybook - Sunday February 26, 2012

    For Today

    Outside my window . . . dark, cold and breezy. It's 31 degrees with a windchill of 22 degrees.

    I am thinking . . . that sometimes I just do not understand how God works. But I know I don't need to understand, I simply need to trust.

    I am thankful . . . for so many things. Cupboards and refrigerator full of food, fun with my family, good books, warm house.

    In the kitchen . . . I tried to make smoothies for breakfast this morning but the blender got hot and stopped running. We had a pork roast for lunch. CJ made dinner this evening - pizza and salad.

    I am wearing . . . black dress pants, a black, grey and white shirt and white socks.

    I am going . . . It's been a busy weekend. Grocery shopping yesterday and then Amanda and I had our volunteer orientation at the SPCA. Today we went to church and CJ, Michael and Mykalin had choir practice afterwards.

    I am looking forward to . . . being in the Easter play at church this year. I was asked today to be a part of it and I'm excited.

    I am learning . . . how much fun it can be to step outside of what I would normally do and try something new.

    Around the house . . . Things are settling down for the night. Austin and Aaron just finished cleaning up the kitchen and the dishwasher is running. CJ and Michael are both asleep but Michael is coughing in his sleep so I don't  know how long he'll stay asleep.

    A favorite quote for today . . . God didn't do it all in one day. What makes me think I can? ~ Author Unknown

    One of my favorite things . . .Sunday afternoon naps.

    A few plans for the rest of the week . . . This week is going to be a busy one - Michael has physical therapy on Monday and a visit to the ENT Dr. on Wednesday. CJ has in-home appointments on Tuesday and Thursday. We have church Wednesday evening.

    A peek into my day . . . This photo is from yesterday when we were at the SPCA. This little dog's name is Trevor and Amanda completely fell in love with him.



    Friday, February 24, 2012

    The Simple Woman's Daybook - Friday February 24, 2012

    For Today

    Outside my window . . . it is  dark and very, very windy outside right now. Today has been one of those days when it seemed like the weather had no idea what it wanted to do. Rain, sunshine, wind, anc calm have all had their turns. It was warm earlier today and I opened a lot of the windows and let the house air out a little.

    I am thinking . . . about our dog running away today. Amanda had Pepper outside on the leash and somehow she got away. When Pepper does this she is so hard to catch. We know she would come home eventually if she could, but she is very bad about chasing cars and has no common sense so we're always afraid she's going to get hit. Anyway, the chase was on and Pepper was having a blast. Amanda was not. Pepper visited nearly every dog in the neighborhood, being very careful to always stay out of Amanda's reach. It was time for me to go get Lauren from preschool so I left Amanda still in persuit of the dog. After I left Pepper chased a couple of cars, then ran into the horse pasture near us. Amanda followed, and having no experience with electric fences, got a shock when she tried to crawl under one. When turned onto our road on the way home, I saw Amanda standing in the horse pasture, holding the dog, and looking both frustrated and amused at the same time. She was definitely not going to take the same route out as she had taken in (it only takes one time to learn about electric fences) and she couldn't find a gate. I ended up taking the dog and helping her over the fence (this part was not electric). Amanda was so happy to have the dog back she forgave her for the shock treatment and gave her a nice bath to get rid of the smell of the horse pasture.

    I am thankful . . . that today is Friday.

    In the kitchen . . . I baked a Lazy Day Cake today just for a change. For dinner this evening we had chili and our favorite cornbread - Buttery Corn Bread.

    I am creating . . . nothing new right now.

    I am going . . . nowhere anymore today. Earlier today I took Lauren to preschool and picked her up again.

    I am wondering . . . what the kids will think of our chalkboard table. Doug painted one for me today and it is drying in the garage now. I've been wanting to do this for awhile and I think the kids will really enjoy it.

    I am looking forward to . . . Spring.

    Around the house . . . Doug is watching Spider Man on the computer, Austin and Aaron are upstairs in Austin's room, Amanda is , Mykalin in playing in the playroom, and Michael and CJ are asleep. Austin and Aaron just finished cleaning up the kitchen and I can hear the dishwasher running.

    I am pondering . . . WJSHTOT

    A favorite quote for today . . . If Joan of Arc could turn the tide of an entire war before her 18th birthday, you can get out of bed. ~ E. Jean Carroll

    One of my favorite things . . . a laughing baby.

    A few plans for the rest of the week . . . tomorrow there is grocery shopping to do in the morning. In the afternoon Amanda and I have our volunteer training at the SPCA.

    A peek into my day . . . Lauren and Khristian in the middle of a very dramatic game.


    Five Question Friday

    1. What's your favorite way to spend down time (alone or with a significant other)?
    My favorite way to spend down time is with a good book and a cup of coffee. There's just something about getting lost in the pages of a book that soothes and refreshes my mind.

    2. Are you the kind of person that wants things more as soon as you know you can't have it?
    Unfortunately, yes. What is it about knowing the budget is a little tight one week to make me NEED all kinds of little things. Of course, as soon as I can have it, it just won't seem so important anymore. I really don't like this trait in me and have worked hard be content through the tight times.

    3. If you were given $1000 to spend on yourself, what would you buy?

    Hmmm. This is hard. Probably an iPad or an iPhone. Or both.


    4. Do you ever go out to eat by yourself?
    We rarely go out to eat at all and when we do it's typically a family event. I do occasionally stop by McDonalds if I happen to be alone, grab a double cheeseburger, eat it in the van, and hide the evidence. But I don't think that counts.

    5. What company would you want to do a blog review for?
    I would LOVE to do a blog review for Melissa & Doug. They have so many fun, educational toys that I am itching to get my hands on for the kids.

    Morning Musing Over Coffee - WJSHTOT

    WJSHTOT. What is this rather unweildy acronym? Dave Burchett in his book When Bad Christians Happen to Good People suggests that along with WWJD (What would Jesus Do?) we should also be asking ourselves Would Jesus Spend His Time on This? (WJSHTOT)

    Why is it so easy to lose sight of the best and spend so much time on the good? The familiar story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10 is such a great example of what happens when we choose the good instead of the best. Martha was "cumbered about much serving" while Mary "sat at Jesus feet, and heard His word." Serving is good, but until we have sat at Jesus feet and allowed Him to speak to us, we have no way of knowing and how, when or where He wants us to serve. And we can find ourselves pulled in far too many directions "doing good" and still missing the place we are really called to because we have not listened first.

    Today, I want to ask myself would Jesus spend His time on this? Is this really what Jesus would have me spend my time on? Today I want Jesus to say of me, "(She) hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:42

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    The Simple Woman's Daybook - Thursday February 23, 2012

    For Today

    Outside my window . . . dark and 49 degrees. It was in the 60s today and I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to go out with the kids. Austin and Amanda took the little kids out for an hour this morning so at least they go to enjoy it.

    I am thinking . . . about a few tweaks I made to our schedule (again) that I hope will work out well.

    I am thankful . . . that Michael's visit to the urologist turned out to be a good one and relieved my mind of one issue I've been trying not to worry about the last couple months. It's an answer to prayer and I am grateful.

    In the kitchen . . . I made homemade hot pockets. The fillings to day were bacon & cheddar and pepperoni & cheddar. Doug and I had some for dinner this evening and there are some left over to go in the freezer for other meals.

    I am wearing . . . light blue shirt, tan pants.

    I am creating . . . a new look for the playroom and living room. I spent a good part of the morning cleaning and rearranging furniture.

    I am going . . . to bed soon.

    I am wondering . . . if laundry truly does multiply while I sleep. I cannot seem to get it caught up!

    I am reading . . . Earlier this evening I read this - Rose Prince's Baking Club: How My Children Earn Their Crust. I thought it was an interesting and inspiring story. So many kids don't want to have to earn money to spend, they want it given to them. Money seems so much more valuable when it has been earned.

    I am hoping . . . for a good night of sleep. Michael and I shared the couch last night and it was not a good night of sleep for me.

    I am looking forward to . . . the weekend.

    I am learning . . . to bloom where I am planted.

    Around the house . . . Doug and CJ have both gone to sleep. Austin, Amanda and Michael are still at my parents house but will be home soon.

    I am pondering . . . the wisdom (or not) of brewing a pot of coffee now, at nearly 9PM. I really have a craving for coffee at the moment.

    A favorite quote for today . . . Please don't feed the dust bunnies.  ~ Author Unknown

    One of my favorite things . . . having our dog, Pepper, snuggled up to me while I write.

    A few plans for the rest of the week . . . schoolwork, grocery shopping, enjoying outside time with the kids.

    A peek into my day . . . Austin, Amanda and Michael doing their schoolwork this afternoon.


    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    The Simple Woman's Daybook - Wednesday February 22, 2012

    For Today

    Outside my window . . . fast melting snow and temperatures in the 40s.

    I am thinking . . . that I need to get things ready for my PreK class at church this evening.

    I am thankful . . . for my dear husband.

    In the kitchen . . . there is homemade granola in the oven now and English Muffin Bread rising to bake when the granola comes out.

    I am wearing . . . blue shirt and tan pants.

    I am going . . . this evening I am going to church for the usual Wednesday evening dinner/worship service/class/choir practice marathon. I'm tired by the time I get home but I do love Wednesday evenings.

    I am wondering . . . if the money we've been waiting for will finally come today. Waiting patiently is not one of my strengths.

    I am reading . . . so far today stories to kids. The Beginning from  The Beginner's Bible,Toy Story 2 , and Horton Hears A Who!

    I am hoping . . . that Michael takes a nap this afternoon.

    I am looking forward to . . . eating granola when it's ready. Granola is one of my very favorite foods.

    I am learning . . . to trust God when I don't quite see how things are going to work out.

    Around the house . . . Lauren and Christopher are taking their afternoon naps, Austin is loading the dishwasher, Michael is playing quietly, Amanda is watching Honey, I Shrunk the Kids on her laptop with the dog curled up beside her sleeping.

    I am pondering . . . Genesis 11.

    A favorite quote for today . . . Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don't do it. ~ Author Unknown

    One of my favorite things . . . quiet afternoons.

    A few plans for the rest of the week . . . Michael has an urology appointment tomorrow. Saturday Amanda and I go for our orientation to volunteer at the SPCA. This is something she has been wanting to do but since she is only 13 an adult has to attend orientation and volunteer with her. It wouldn't have been something I would have chosen to do on my own but I think I'll enjoy it. It will give her experience working with animals and the two of us can enjoy doing something together.

    A peek into my day . . .


    Morning Musing Over Coffee - Genesis 11


    Reading Genesis 11 this morning I found it interesting that the story of the Tower of Babel and the beginning of Abraham's story are in the same chapter. What a study in opposites.

    In the beginning of the chapter we find people who have decided to take it upon themselves to make a name for themselves and ensure their own future. Genesis 11:4 says - And they said "Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad on the face of the earth."
    And yet, because they forgot to look to God and trusted only in themselves that is exactly what happened to them - they were scattered. Genesis 11:8 - So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth.

    But, in the very same chapter we find the beginning of the story of Abraham who took the opposite approach. His story of faith is truly an inspiration. His faith and reliance on God brought him many blessings. When it looked, on human terms like there was no hope, God always came through for Abraham because Abraham trusted in God instead of himself. Oh, Abraham was human, and took some pretty major detours on his journey of faith, but he always came back to the God he loved. And God was faithful to him. He became the father of many nations including God's chosen people through whom the Saviour of the world came to earth.

    What an amazing difference between the people who trusted in themselves and were scattered and known no more, and  Abraham, the father of many nations.

    Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, ~ Romans 4:16

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    The Simple Woman's Daybook - Tuesday February 21, 2012

    For Today

    Outside my window . . . snow. We finally got snow Sunday, nearly a foot of it. But it's not going to be around long because temperatures are going to be in the 60s the next two days.

    I am thinking . . . about what a fun and busy long weekend we had. Snow on Sunday and taking the kids to Skatetown Monday evening were a couple of the highlights.

    I am thankful . . . for all the fun we have together.

    In the kitchen . . . I made a batch of sugar cookies from a mix this morning . . . 

     and made bacon cheddar bagel thins for lunch.

    For dinner this evening I made Oven Scrambled Bacon and Eggs and a huge batch of pancakes. My goal was to have pancakes left to put in the freezer for later and I had this stack left. I'm really working on cooking double when I cook so that I'll have a stocked freezer for those busy days when it's hard for me to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

    I am wearing . . . green and white shirt and green pants.

    I am creating . . . I was able to work on the braided rug for about 45 minutes today.

    I am going . . . I didn't have to go anywhere today which was wonderful.

    I am reading . . . With Austin and Amanda Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. I'm also reading When Bad Christians Happen to Good People: Where We Have Failed Each Other and How to Reverse the Damage by Dave Burchett.

    I am looking forward to . . . a special activity with Amanda this weekend.

    We are learning . . . At circle time this morning we read  The Beginning from The Beginner's Bible. We enjoyed the following videos from Youtube - The Creation Story, Phonics Song, The Big Numbers Song, and When the Snow Falls. We also played a game of Bible Memory Match.

    At storytime this afternoon we read Don't Forget The Oatmeal!  and a few pages from Bible for Little Hearts (Little Blessings).

    This afternoon Michael began working with a Hooked on Phonics set we were given Sunday. He was excited to begin. We reviewed the sounds for each letter several times. We then went on to Starfall and reviewed the -at and -an word families and watched How the Alphabet Got It's Order. At this point he was starting to get tired so we did a quick review of the number line before we quit for the afternoon.

    This week Austin is doing the Time section of Math Live. Amanda is doing the Displaying Data section of Math Live. Both Austin and Amanda watched Measuring Temperature (4:50) and Different Temperature Scales (1:40) in NeoK12 Physical Science: Heat and Temperature. They also watched The Fed and Money Creation (7:25) and Inflation (11:25) in NeoK12 Social Studies:Banking

    Around the house . . . Doug, Michael and CJ are asleep. Amanda is in her room. Austin is here in the living room with me using his laptop and watching Austin & Ally on the Disney Channel. The dishwasher is running and the house is mostly picked up.

    I am pondering . . . Learning on the Less Traveled Road.

    A favorite quote for today . . . Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains it's original dimensions. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

    One of my favorite things . . . White Noise Generator. I use this at night after the little ones go to bed to block out the noise of the tv and whatever else might be going on. I can feel myself relax when I put my headphones on and turn this on. I call it going to my happy place.

    A few plans for the rest of the week . . . lots of cooking and baking.

    A peek into my day . . . I don't have a picture to share here today. Besides what I've already written we all did some cleaning, Amanda and Austin took care of the animals, I did a couple loads of laundry, and Doug ran a few errands after work. CJ had a good day at school. Michael had a few ups and downs, I'm still not sure the Adderall is going to work for him. It's seems to make him cry a lot more than usual. But he had a really good evening and went to sleep easily. All in all it has been a busy but good day.

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    Morning Musing Over Coffee - Learning on the Less Traveled Road

    I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. ~ Psalm 139:14
    Our house is not a "normal" household. Our household is made up of many children - biological, adopted, foster or here for daycare we are all "family."  Common terms at our house are Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD), Dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, Mood Disorder, Intellectual Disability (ID), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Autism, Sleep Disorder,  Static Encephalopathy, Ankle Clonus, and Asthma.  On any given day we discuss hearing loss, physical therapy, medication, doctors appointments, IEP meetings, etc, etc. . . .

    But these are not what define us. 

    Because our house is also filled with laughter, music, learning, delight, games, creativity, experimentation, prayer and love. And more and more I am learning to look away from the labels - especially the disorder and disability parts of the labels. Because there is an amazing amount of ability and creativity and originality in everyone of these kids. To each of them life is an adventure and they are ready to live the adventure and see where it takes them.

    I am learning the value of the following quotes. I'm learning because the kids are teaching me. They have unique perspectives on life that I would probably miss on my own. And I am realizing how these lessons apply to me and how important it is for me to be the person God created me to be without trying to be like anyone else.

    Don't think you're on the right road just because it's a well-beaten path. ~ Author Unknown

    Most people are more comfortable with old problems than with new solutions. ~ Author Unkown

    You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note. ~ Doug Floyd

    Labels are for filing. Labels are for clothing. Labels are not for people. ~ Martina Navratilova

    A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he when he becomes a conformist. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Not all those who wander are lost. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

    Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road. ~ Voltaire

    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking. ~ J. K. Galbraith

    If you keep doing things like you've always done them, what you'll get is what you've already got. ~ Author Unknown

    The most damaging phrase in the language is: "It's always been done that way." ~ Grace Hopper

    And one more for good measure . . .

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~ Dr. Seuss

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