Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Perfect Day?

Have you ever had a perfect day? I'm talking about a day when everything fell into place and just flowed smoothly without any other distractions?

I started thinking about this a few days ago. Lately, I've been catching up with many old friends via Facebook. At first, I thought FB would be a waste of time. What I found was that many people had been reconnected there and that the people you thought were lost were suddenly found.

Growing up, I was a very social person. In fact, that was the only reason I got up and went to high school every morning. I had lots of friends and was involved in a lot of sporting activities. I think it is fair to say that I was popular because of sports. I had friends who were just my friends because we were involved in things together but then I had friends who were REALLY friends. There's a huge difference :-) I guess I thought my high school years would last forever and that those friends would always be within walking distance of my house. Boy was I mistaken.

Life has taken me only an hour or so away from my hometown. It's still very reasonable to drive home and visit friends......but I rarely have done so in the past. I'm glad to be reconnecting with friends though because I plan to make many trips home to catch up with them in person. And all of this brings me back to my perfect day question and story.

I believe I did have a perfect day once. I was hanging out with a friend. It was cold out and we decided to take a drive over the mountain. As we drove, we talked about all sorts of things (our conversations always flow so easily). As we drove across the mountain, it started to lightly slow. By the time we had gone a few more miles, everything around us started to turn white. I remember thinking how perfect everything looked. It was a scene straight out of a magazine. It was beautiful. Breathtaking even. And here we were....best friends, sharing in this perfect scene. I remember rolling down the window and sticking my hand out. I wanted to feel the snow....to make sure that this day was real. I remember that I didn't want the day to end. I wanted to freeze it and replay it over and over. It was like everything in the world was absolutely perfect for those few hours.

I think about that day often. I think about that friend even more.

I pray for more days like that one.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Well, it's official. I am a college student...for the second time in my life. When hubby and I married eleven years ago, I was attending a local college. We decided that I should withdraw from school for the upcoming semester since we had no idea what the first few months of marriage would be like. I was disappointed at the time but quickly got over it as my role at home became more real to me. Hubby and I always knew that one of these days, when the girls were older and time allowed, I would go back to complete my degree.

So here I am a little more than eleven years later. My focus and desires have totally changed. In my previous college years, I bounced from a sociology major to elementary education. This time around, I thought I should try on a different hat. I want to do something that will allow lots of flexibility. I do not desire a full-time job and don't want anything to interfere with our homeschooling. I am fully committed to my role as wife and mother first. As I looked around for professions that catered to these things, nursing was the obvious choice. The local community college has a two year program that, if all goes well, will give me RN certification. However, I'll add an extra year so that I can take pre-nursing classes at a slower pace. I have it all worked out in my head and pray that God will bless my efforts. In the long term, I hope to use these nursing skills to minister to hospice patients and do missions work both in the US and abroad.

This semester, I'm simply taking a math class. This summer, I'll take two courses and see how that goes. One of the classes will be online....maybe both. I'm eager to get these pre-nursing classes out of the way so that I can concentrate on entering the nursing program next fall. I'll have to work hard to earn a spot in the program and that's exactly what I intend to do. I know at least three friends who are doing this same thing so I have plenty of help and support to lean on. I know I'll be learning a lot of things and I'm looking forward to the challenge. Technology is always advancing in the medical field so it will be interesting to learn about the latest gadgets, like the shoulder pain pump, that prove helpful to patients.

When my grandfather was dying from bladder/lung cancer, he was fortunate enough to have a wonderful family friend as his nurse. In his last days, she came all the way from her home in Charlottesville, VA and cared for him. I remember how gentle she was and how she really made my grandfather feel special. That touched me more than I ever told her. In this same way, I hope to be a blessing to patients who are living out their last days. I pray that God will bless these people through me. I pray that when these people look at me, they will see Christ. I pray that we will be Jesus to one another and will glorify Him in word and deed.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chuckle for the Day

A girlfriend emailed me some funnies today and I had to share this one. Too funny!



In order for this funny to apply to our family, my hubby would have to have "poofed" into sweatpants, an old tee-shirt, and has laptop in his hands.

Love you honey :-) You know it's true!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mission Organization: Wish Me Luck!

I'm really trying to resist the urge but I want new office furniture. I have a desk with a hutch on it and I've come to the conclusion that the hutch only makes me more messy. Well, at least my desk is more messy with the hutch. See, my ten year old uses my desk most of the time since my desktop computer is there. I haven't used that thing in ages because I have a laptop. It has just become a messy disaster that I can't deal with anymore. I need organization too though. I'm wondering if some sort of wall organizational shelving would help.

I'm on a mission to simplify. I've always tried to be as simple as possible but over the years I've realized I have "stored up" too much junk. When you homeschool, you have a tendency to compile lots of free curriculum helps...which means lots of extra papers to store! A few months ago, we were visiting friends and we happened into their garage for some reason. As I walked into the center of the garage, I heard angelic singing. Along the walls of the garage were countless clear storage tubs. They were neatly stacked and you could see the contents of each container. I wanted to hug the containers.....it was such a beautiful sight! That's what I want to look around my house and see. I want neat spaces and for everything to have a home.

I'm hoping to stick to my plan this time. I want to knock out one room at a time and get this stuff in order. There are a few changes taking place around our house and these changes are going to require me to be more organized than I've ever been in my life (details to come in a week or so). If you have helpful suggestions, I'd love to hear them. A lot of this is common sense and I know I will have to mess around to see what works best for us. My biggest challenge will be to keep my youngest daughter in line. She's the one who loves to collect empty boxes and cram them full of stuff under her bed :-)

I'll try to update as I accomplish specific tasks and share what has worked for us. If you don't hear from me for a few days, not to worry. I'm just buried under all the junk!

Simple Woman's Daybook: 12/19/08

Outside my window...is a beautiful white blanket of snow and the biggest snowflakes are falling.
I am thinking....I do not want to drive to piano lessons today :-)
I am thankful for....George and Delores P. for their wonderful Christian example.
From the learning rooms....more Saxon Algebra with my oldest and Astronomy with my youngest.
From the kitchen....I smell leftovers from supper last night (ugh!).
I am wearing...work out clothes because I do plan to exercise shortly!
I am creating...daily check lists for the girls so that they can better keep up with their accomplishments each day.
I am going....to look for formal dresses with my oldest again this evening.
I am reading...Facing East by Frederica Mathewes-Green. I'm taking my time because it is excellent!
I am hoping....to get our lives more organized in the coming weeks.
I am hearing...the sound of the shower and of the heat blowing from the vents in our home.
Around the house....everything is unusually quiet...except the sneezes I hear coming from my oldest, allergy prone daughter :-)
One of my favorite things....this week was making a new friend named Karen. She is actually my hubby's high school friend but I stole her :-)
A few plans for the rest of the week: Fill out student loan applications and financial aid stuff, get our schedules more organized, and to paint the bathroom we are remodeling.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...this week I'm not posting a photo but this is the image in my head....tonight we will settle down to a hot bowl of soup, we'll watch Horton Hears a Who with our girls, we'll read more Facing East as a family, and we will thank God for every minute of our day as we say family prayers together tonight.

For more, visit: The Simple Woman's Daybook

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cozi: Keep Your Family Organized

These days, we are all looking for organizational helps. For the longest time, our family has used a calendar that we keep on the side of our refrigerator. The problem is, I sometimes forget to use it. Recently, I found out about Cozi. This is a free service that helps keep families organized. Since we are a computer oriented family, this is a wonderful discovery. Cozi allows us to keep a calendar, use customizable lists, add photos, keep a journal, and send reminders and messages. For our family, this is a necessity. Between homeschool co-op classes, piano lessons, and church functions, we have plenty to be reminded of. Cozi is very user-friendly and fun to use. We've been using it for a few weeks now and it has proven very helpful. For those of you who have recently purchased an iPhone, you'll be happy to know this:

“In addition to the ways that moms can get their shopping lists and calendars already on any mobile phone via text message and using our toll free number, Cozi now has a mobile version especially for the iPhone and Windows Mobile phones. Families can now sign-in and access their Cozi account using their mobile web browsers. They can add and edit shopping lists and view and edit their family calendar using the mobile version of Cozi right from their iPhone. This is a new feature! You can learn more about it here: http://www.cozi.com/Promo-Cozi-Mobile.htm “

This is a wonderful service that is sure to serve any family. If you are a mom who needs help staying organized, I urge you to check out the benefits of Cozi. Remember, it's free so it's a win-win situation!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How Much for the Doggie in the Window?

For more Wordless Wednesdays, visit 5 Minutes For Mom.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook 1/12/08

Outside my window...is darkness with the distant glow of street lights.
I am thinking...about good friends that I miss, one in particular.
I am thankful for...my family, especially my husband and daughters.
From the learning rooms...lots of school work to be graded.
From the kitchen...chips and homemade salsa.
I am wearing...gray work out pants, matching top, and my favorite sweater.
I am creating...a to do list in my head.
I am going...to take my oldest daughter dress shopping tomorrow. We're looking for a formal gown.
I am reading...New Moon by Stephanie Meyers and Facing Easy by Frederica Mathewes-Green.
I am hoping...that my good friends know how much I love and miss them.
I am hearing...Taylor Swift on my Ipod nano.
Around the house...everything is quiet. Kids are in bed, hubby at my side, animals sleeping.
One of my favorite things...is reading in bed with my 10 yo daughter.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Make progress with our homeschooling, prepare for co-op next week, go through bookcases and purge.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...of how much fun Logan and I had clowning around before we took off to see Twilight this week.

To read more, visit The Simple Woman's Daybook.

I Want Soup

Tennessee weather is slaying me right now. It's madness...pure madness. One week, it's 70. The next week (like this week), it's cold, cold, cold. I have no idea how cold. I'm too cold to check :-) Hubby and I are constantly joking that we don't have winter in TN anymore. We rarely get snow and when we do, it only sticks around for a few hours. I think in the past five years, the girls have been sledding TWO times. Now, I'm not one for cold weather because I prefer to be warm. However, I hate, hate, hate having a week where I pull blankets up to my eyeballs at night and then the next week I have to turn on our ceiling fans. See, this is the madness I was referring to!

Since this week is a cold one, I'm dying to eat soup every night. If I can't stay warm on the outside, I ate least want to eat hot soup to keep me warm on the inside. I can't just get out a pot and throw a soup together. I need a recipe. Not just any recipe. I want tried and true recipes. I want soup recipes that will make me salivate just reading them. Hence the reason for this post. I can search online all day long and find a gazillion and six recipes. But I don't want to do that. I want to hear from you. I want the recipes you love and make often. I'm talking chili, corn chowder, minestrone....the whole nine yards. There aren't many soups we don't like. Thanks to fellow blogger Amanda, I'm dying to make soup bowls and fill them with some tasty concoctions. So, bring on the recipes ladies :-)

Friday, January 9, 2009

All About Etiquette

From Emily Post's Book of Etiquette:


~ It is a flagrant violation of good manners for children to call their natural parents by their first names ~


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thank God For Friends

I have a beautiful neighbor. No, I'm not referring to her physical beauty. The beauty I am speaking of goes much deeper than her skin.

I met Jessica about a year ago. I can't even really remember how we met. As it turns out, we are both stay at home, homeschooling moms. We found that we had many more things in common. We both have two daughters and all of the girls are close in age. We have similar homeschooling styles. We like many of the same things and there is only a few years difference in our ages. Best of all, we live about three houses from each other!

At some point, we realized that we both planned on teaching Latin to our children. We quickly devised a plan to have all our kids together for this and to alternate houses each week for the lesson. Since Logan has already been through most of the Latin curriculum, we determined that she could teach the class to the other three girls. This gives Logan some independence and responsibility while allowing Jessica and I to oversee the lessons and to fellowship. In the short time that we have been doing this, we have noticed how much our girls enjoy getting together, learning together, fellowshipping together, and watching their mommies build a friendship. To make a long story short, this family has been a real blessing to us. I never expected to form such a meaningful friendship.

More than the friendship, Jessica has been a wonderful example to me. I tend to get caught up in details. Jessica tends to look at the bigger picture. She sees things with such clarity. She has strong convictions. She isn't afraid to speak her mind (which I personally love). There are so many more things I could say about her but I'll simply say this.....I'm very thankful for her friendship. I thank God every day for making our paths cross.

This is a song Jessica introduced me to the other day as we were driving home from our Saturday shopping trip to the mall. I had never heard this before and fell in love with it. I hope it touches you as it did me. Thanks Jess!


Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Birthday Fun

Last week for my birthday, hubby gave me the night off. Since I didn't have to cook and the girls were planning on a night on the town with daddy, I took off and drove an hour to my hometown. It just so happened that my old high school was hosting a basketball tournament and our high school boys were playing in the championship game that night. I was excited about seeing the game and was hoping to catch up with an old friend beforehand.

The drive seemed really short and I arrived well before game time. I decided to drop in on my old friend while she was at work. She seemed pleasantly surprised to see me and we spent a few hours catching up. It had been at least fifteen years since I had seen her. She told me all about her life; her job, her children, and her recent engagement. Then I noticed that she had on one of the biggest honkin' engagement rings I'd ever seen! I was, and still am, very excited for her. I hung around until she got off and then we jumped in my car and drove to her sister's house to surprise her. Again, it was a nice reunion with another old friend. The time seemed to fly by and it was time for me to head to the ball game. We said our goodbyes and promised to keep in touch. I hope we make good on our promise.

The game was great and we won! What a perfect birthday present! As an added bonus, I saw several more old friends at the game and was able to have more than a few conversations. I even had time to chat with my old basketball/cross-country/track coach. Since he was like a father to me growing up, it was nice to catch up with what was going on in his life. I can't wait to go back and do it all again.

One thing that did make me very sad was the decline of the town. It looks so run down and lifeless. I also found out that my high school will most likely be consolidated in a couple of years. I hate that I waited so long to go back and hope that I can go back and visit on many more occasions before the consolidation. It should be interesting to see the transition, since our school will be consolidated with our rival school.

It was a wonderful birthday and I'm thankful that I was able to spend half the day with my family and the other half with old friends. Maybe I'll make it a birthday tradition.