Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today ... Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Outside my window ... is another sunshiney day. Thankfully the temps are in the high 80s right now.

I am thinking ... about how much better I feel when I do things the right way, you know eating right, drinking lots of water, exercising, reading my Bible, getting my housework done, taking an afternoon power nap.

I am thankful ... for the weekend we had together as a family. Rick got to come home a day early so we were able to just hang out on Friday. On Saturday my family treated me to a fabulously fun birthday. And on Sunday my MIL and FIL came for a visit and for dinner. It was a family weekend, and I loved it.

I am wearing ... a hot pink "Gotta Run" tank, running shorts, Brooks tennis shoes.

I am creating ... our school days and breaks schedule for the new school year to make sure we get in all of our hours while still getting that much-needed time off.

I am going ... to shut my computer and go for a run. I have got to stay on track so that I do not die at the Wipeout 5K at the end of this month.

I am wondering ... what I need to buy to get rid of the camel crickets in our basement. I don't want to start having mice, which camel crickets attract.

I am reading ... Alice I have Been by Melanie Benjamin.

I am hoping ... for cooler weather so I feel more motivated to get out and run. I hate when it is stifling hot!

I am learning ... to look around me throughout the day and enjoy what I have, and to smile about it. (I'm not a big smiler.)

In my garden ... is a place I don't want to go. I need to do some major de-weeding, so hoping for some cooler temps so I can get out there and get it done.

In my kitchen ... is a new lamp my mom got me for my birthday.

In the homeschool room ... I actually heard Eli say the words "like" and "grammar" in the same sentence. Now, he was saying he likes grammar more than math, but at least he didn't say he hates both! They are both reading books they enjoy so they both have been all smiles when it's time to read.

A favorite quote for today ...

Photo Credit

A peek into one of my days ... 

I love this photo Kyndal captured of Rick having a huddle
with the kids before his 4 hour drive back to Oklahoma for
the week.

One of my favorite things ... is a new couscous I bought at Aldi. Oh yum!!! Pair it with a tilapia filet and some fresh green beans and you've got yourself a 365 calorie, healthy, yummy dinner!

From the board room ... After eating so much junk and LOTS of sodium this past weekend, I felt horrible on Monday morning! In fact I declared that I would not put anything unhealthy in my body for a couple of days. I really kind of had to make myself eat all day because I just felt yuck! I kept thinking, "Man, I just need to detox!" I did a Pinterest search and found Citrus Reboot and Detox Flush. I didn't have the tumeric powder or fresh ginger root, so am going to swing by the store tomorrow afternoon to pick it up. After a few days of clean eating I think it sounds like it will be a refreshing treat and just what I need!

Post Script ... Summer Break or the Intrinsic Value of Boredom. This is a good article about the value of taking a summer break. While preparing our yearly schedule, I have been pondering the breaks that we take from our schooling. By breaks I mean those times that we step away from the dining room table lessons and put away our clipboards. To many it might look like we are always taking breaks. And, I guess, we are to a certain extent. But we school year round. We do this so that we can take an extended break in May, another one in August, a shorter one in the Fall, a long Christmas break, and an extended Spring Break. We need the time away from our "lessons". But, during these times SO MUCH IS BEING LEARNED! Boredom creates opportunities for creative play, for learning to cook, for resting our brains! It gives us more time for exercise (swimming, sports, riding bikes, tossing a frisbee). It gives us time to build relationships and really enjoy each other without the stress of finishing a math worksheet. Don't think for a moment that we aren't learning most of the hours of the day on our breaks. We're just learning by real life. And, yes, sometimes we are bored. And that's really nice.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

First Day - August

The First Day of August was also my birthday! Since it was on a Saturday we had the whole day to have fun.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

My delivery just happened to come on my birthday, so it was like getting a present!

Lots of new fragrance mists and some hand soap.

My girl wanted to bake me something special on my birthday. She bought a mix from the Amish store.

Rick and the pups lounged together.

Oh, Kyndal and Collin.

Someone woke up looking her age! A shower and makeup should help!

The blueberry muffins and coffee were delish! Thank you, Brynney!!

A decade ago on this day this girl was exactly one week away from making her appearance.

We hit a rain storm on our way to the movies. It ALWAYS rains when we go to the movies!

First movie of the day in Town No. 1.


Watch out Pixels, we are coming for you next!

We road tripped to Town No. 2 to see Pixels.

Rick stopped and picked up Kevin at Walmart first. He's hoping he can keep his Wifi running smoothly.

We all met up for dinner at Applebee's.

And then went to see Pixels.

Kyndal bailed on the movie to go home and take care of post-surgical Chloe.

I bought a portable phone charger since my car charger won't work anymore.

And we bought some new games for our library.

Before I went to bed I put in a huge pork roast to slow cook overnight
for a family dinner the next day.

Busy and extremely fun day!!

Join Nicole at Journey to Josie each month for First Day. Take photos of your whole day and link up with her.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Random 5

1. It was 95 degrees today and I bought winter gloves. You just have to grab a good deal when you find one, and I found a good deal! I am a firm believer in the power of The North Face winter wear. Hibbett Sports had boys' The North Face Denali gloves (with Etip) for $9.99. I bought every pair that would fit someone in our family.

2. My granddoggy, Chloe, had surgery today to remove bladder stones. They are hoping with a new food regime that future stones will be avoided. This is her second bladder surgery in 7 years.

3. Even though I went to the store to get groceries today, I couldn't come up with anything that sounded good for dinner. So everybody got to choose what they wanted to eat from our restaurant choices of Subway, Sonic, DQ and take-out Chinese. By the time I drove around and got everybody's food I could have fixed a meal. Who am I kidding ... it was worth it.

4. I sat down this evening and planned out our school days and breaks for the 2015/2016 school year. Doing this ensures that we get all of our required hours accomplished. Every step of planning gets me more and more excited to start our full school year. We are planning to start our full schedule on August 31st.

5. Our school planning has us with two scheduled trips to Florida this year. We will drive my mom down in early October (to leave her there for a couple of months until my dad goes back to get her) and will stay and have some fun for about a week. While there we will visit one of our favorite places, the National Naval Aviation Museum, this time with a focus on WWII planes, aircraft carriers, and subs as a kickoff to our studies. (Every time we go there we are able to focus on a different aspect of the museum.) Then we are going back to Pensacola at the end of the school year taking a detour to New Orleans on our way there to go to the National WWII Museum to conclude our year-long WWII studies. On that trip are taking our best friends from Oklahoma.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I recently read about four secrets to happiness from around the world. They were: Overcome your fears by facing them head on; Allow yourself to relax and reset; Work to live versus living to work; and, Find the good in life. Not sure if these are the actual secret to happiness, but which of the four do you struggle with the most? Which one comes most easily to you?

Years ago allowing myself to relax and reset would have been the thing of which I most struggled, but now it is the easiest to achieve. Maybe it's age, I don't know. But life is too short not to take some time for myself. I guess the hardest one for me to achieve would be always finding the good in life. I mean, I have cocooned myself into a life where what I allow around me is good. But the world as a whole is just so yuck and life of the masses is something that just doesn't look too good to me anymore. But I would agree, finding joy and good in all of life would be beneficial to personal happiness. If you get wallowed down in the yuck, then you feel hopeless.

How would you spend a found $20 bill today?

I'd probably take my group to DQ for burgers, foot long hot dogs, and ice cream.

Ego trip, power trip, guilt trip, round trip, trip the light fantastic, or trip over your own two feet ... which 'trip' have you experienced or dealt with lately? Explain.

I guess you could say that I took a round trip through the marrying off of my daughter this summer. It was a whirlwind of activity from the middle of May until the middle of July with two weddings (one at home and a renewal of vows in Mexico) and a reception back home in July.

If you could master any physical skill in the world what would it be, and would you use that skill?

Definitely sewing! I have always wanted to be able to sew, especially my own curtains/drapes and pillow covers. Although there was a time when I might have sewn cute clothes for Brynne, I wouldn't do it now. But when I have grandchildren it sure would be fun to be able to sew cute pillowcase dresses, rompers, and appliqués onto t-shirts.

As July draws to a close, let's take an inventory of our summer fun. Since the official first day of summer (June 20th) have you ... been swimming? enjoyed an ice cream cone? seen a summer blockbuster? camped? eaten corn on the cob? gardened? deliberately unplugged? watched a ballgame? picked fruit off the vine? taken a road trip? read a book? Are any of these activities on your must-do-before-summer-ends list?

Swimming? Yes. At the pool, in the lake, and in the ocean.
Ice cream cone? Not exactly. I don't really crave ice cream, per se, but I have had a Mister Misty Float.
Summer blockbuster? Not yet. But on Saturday we are going to see both Minions and Pixel.
Camped? Not unless you count spending the night at my parents' lake house (which I don't).
Corn on the cob? Multiple times.
Gardened? Attempted to around first the constant rains and cool temps and now the scorching heat and drought.
Unplugged? Yes, on our cruise in May. It was nice to not be connected to anyone but my family.
Ballgame? A whole lot of them. Brynne plays softball so we attended lots of games. I've also watched a few Kansas City Royals games with my parents.
Fruit off the vine? Not this year, but I have raspberry, blackberry, and strawberry plants that I hope will produce some fruit next summer.
Road trip? As a family we drove to Galveston, Texas, to catch the big boat.
Read a book? This summer I have read a few. My favorite was Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

The Republican Presidential candidates will debate on August 6th. What's your question?

What is the biggest mistake our recent administrations have made causing the current state of our country and what do you plan to do about it? (P.S. I'm rootin' for you, Ben Carson!!)

What's your most listened to song so far this summer?

Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars.

Insert your own random thought here.

This week I took Dawson to walk around the campus of the community college he will start attending in a few weeks. We stopped by the bookstore so he could get some fun loot (sweatpants, shorts, t-shirts, etc.). It is crazy that he is now a college student! Truly crazy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today ... Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Outside my window ... it is stinking hot!

I am thinking ... about my mother-in-law and the not positive news she received about her bladder cancer. Looks like she has surgery and more treatment in her future.

I am thankful ... that all of Dawson's financial aid red tape appears to be finally completed and his A+ scholarship is now in the works to pay for his tuition and fees for the year.

I am wearing ... my pjs. It's going to be hard to get out of them today. I didn't sleep good last night and I am tired!

I am creating ... well, more like planning, Brynne's birthday celebrations coming up. We are having a fish fry at our house for her actual birthday on the 8th. Then on the 14th she is having a pool party with friends and family.

I am going ... to go nowhere today. We went to the lake this weekend and I had to be out of town yesterday and will be again tomorrow for awhile. I covet my home time and today is a day when I have nowhere I need to go.

I am wondering ... how high my electric bill is going to be this month. Our air conditioners have been running a lot!

I am reading ... In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume.

I am hoping ... that I get some quiet time this afternoon to catch up on my episodes of Poldark.

I am learning ... (or re-learning) about the Proverbs 31 woman this week. I have studied her many times, but our Women Living Well study (Good Morning Girls) is now focusing on Proverbs 31. Did you know that the first 9 verses are directed to men? There is also a Proverbs 31 man! You don't hear much about him, huh?

In my garden ... I pulled out two tomatoes, two cherry tomatoes (more coming) and some garlic chives. I think I might have seen a couple of baby jalapeños starting!

In my kitchen ... more coffee calls.

In the homeschool room ... We are going to work for this next three weeks to complete our current grammar level, strengthen some skills in adding fractions, and finish Farmer Boy and The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Then we will take a break until the week after Labor Day when we will start our full-time schedule for the next school year.

A favorite quote for today ...

A peek into one of my days ... 

I see this view out my living room window multiple times a day.

One of my favorite things ... is seeing a hummingbird at my feeder on the front porch.

From the board room ... I have pinned a couple of recipes for Dr. Pepper cake for Brynne's birthday.  I can't decide between a white/vanilla bundt cake or a dark chocolate cake. Both sound yummy!

Post Script ... My friend Diane wrote about her frustrations with the lack of care opportunities for the elderly. She and her mother are solely caring for her father who recently had a stroke and have found very few options for his care. Rick's mom is now facing a major surgery and treatments for bladder cancer, and she is blessed to be able to live right on the property of my sister- and brother-in-law who, along with my niece and Rick, are available to help her to/from her appointments and with her care. It got me thinking about the future. What will happen when my parents need care, if they do? Although it's not something I want to think about, and it is hopefully many, many years away, it's still something we should all be considering.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Some Lake Fun

On Saturday the little kids and I decided to go to my parents' lake house for the rest of the weekend. It was a laid back time and very hot! We took a couple of boat rides, did a tad bit of swimming, checked the jugs for big catches, went out to dinner, and watched the Royal's game. It was a good time for Grandma and Papa to spend with Eli and Brynne without all the other grands.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Summer School (A Giveaway!)

We got back to a somewhat regular routine this week, and it was amazing!

Tuesday through Thursday we did some actual schoolwork. We realized pretty quickly that our brains were a little dusty, especially in math. We had to brush up on some basics in adding fractions and then moved on to adding those with unlike denominators. By the end of the week we were back on track.

Additionally, we did a grammar page each day and some personal reading.  We read more out of Farmer Boy this week and finished a great book by Chris Grabenstein called Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library.

We have an extra copy of this book so we are going to give it away! 

All you have to do is leave a comment below letting us know what you are most excited about studying this year in your schooling. I will choose a winner next Saturday, August 1st (my birthday). This giveaway is restricted to U.S. residents only.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Random 5

1. Last weekend I ran my second 5K. Out of 509 women participants, I finished 159th. Out of the 15 women who were my age, I finished 4th. I was pretty happy with that! My only goal going into a race is just to run the entire thing without needing to take walking breaks, so my time doesn't really matter that much to me. But it is pretty cool to know that at my age and with inexperience I could finish in the top third and almost the top quarter.

2. What do you do when you have a barking dog next door who keeps you up all night? Turn on your white noise app and keep your phone right by your head. So far it's working like a charm.

3. I detest having garage sales and every year that I have one I swear that I am not doing it again. They are just no fun. But then my mom has one and I figure I might as well participate. This year I made every single item of mine 50 cents and didn't mark anything. And I made $100. Pretty good for just showing up. It's still my least favorite summertime chore.

4. So far I have been successful at keeping my grandma's hydrangea transplants alive and well! The key, apparently, is to keep them very well watered. They have new sets of leaves so I think they are going to make it!

5. Now that our summer crazy activities are over I have been able to get back into a good eating and exercise schedule. I'm back to tracking my foods on MyFitnessPal, and Kyndal and I are back at another round of 21 Day Fix. I am sore but feeling very good.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Where We Do the Schooling - Not Back to School Blog Hop

I could spend hours looking at all of the schoolrooms posted in this linkup. They are all so pretty and organized! I get so inspired by the ideas. But a dedicated schoolroom is SO not us. Our first year of homeschooling we had a schoolroom. Yuck. We hated being confined to that space. It's taken us a few years but we know what works for us. We do school where we do everything else.

We start out here, at the dining room table. It's bright and sunshiney and we have enough room for our coffee and tea.

Here we will do our Bible time, McGuffey's recitations and copywork. We also do our science topics at the table so that we have access to the whiteboard and enough space to do our experiments and to write in our science notebooks.

The living room is where most of the magic happens. This is where we watch CNN Student News, do all of our read alouds, and study history. It gives us access to warm blankets and the television for videos. We can sit in a comfortable setting and discuss.

This is also where the kids usually prefer to do their clipboard time. Their math, grammar, spelling, and writing worksheets are all placed on their clipboards and they complete their pages in a comfortable setting.

My mom helped me get a little more organized this year with our school stuff so that it was not all crammed on open shelves for the world to see. We moved our open shelving to the basement where I keep our "not using every single day" stuff. It's still easily accessible but not in the way.

I nabbed this cabinet from my sister's shed for our everyday stuff. The bench next to it contains some other things we use regularly but not necessarily every day.

All of our supplies are on shelves and tubs in this hall closet. It could use some organization, but it's not too bad. I can usually easily find what I need.

We keep all of our books here. This helps us not to lose library books. Our rule is that your library book either has to be in your hand or in this basket.