Saturday, June 29, 2013

Weekend Links - June 29, 2013

June is almost over. Wild. Which means it's almost July which will pass in a flurry of camp preparations and camp and then: back to school, at least partially. I like to ease into the school year and I like to start early so we can take a lot of breaks.

Anyway, let's get on with the links:

Spiritual / Inner Life
 Marriage / Parenting
 Homeschooling / Education
  • The Unclutterer deals with the Glitter Clean-Up Cloth. And then they give some serious suggestions for cleaning up that ubiquitous glitter. (I have 4 daughters. Glitter is a plague in my life.)
  • On Life Without A Microwave from Life Your Way. I have to say that one of the big surprises in my adult life is just how unnecessary a microwave really is. We haven't had one for years and I honestly do not miss it at all.
  • Thought this before and after was cool: Turning a Small Ranch Into a 2-Story House.
  • In Moments of Crisis by Jennifer Schmidt. Practical advice on how to help a friend in crisis.
Pins of the Week:
Independence Day is Coming!

Like this bed setup (although not the skull and bones decor):


So, what caught your eye this week?
This post is linked to Saturday Linky Love at Vanderbilt Wife.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Random Monday

Friends, this rental house is trying to kill me. (The picture of The Boy above has nothing to do with that sentence. I just threw that in for fun. Baby Boy! In golf shorts!)

Not only is the house slowly sliding off the hill (I mean, I assume that's what is going on since there is no straight angle in this house and our landlord started on foundation work - which means he dug a big hole and the basement is exposed to the weather - a few weeks ago and then HE HASN'T COME BACK TO FINISH IT and I am feeling very CAPSY about that) but then there are these evidences:
  • snakeskins left on my steps. Meaning some snake is feeling comfortable enough around here to take off his clothes. Yuck.
  • mice. 'Cause those snakes are apparently good for NOTHING. And I'm sure having the basement completely open to the outside is not helping.
  • bug bites. Possibly from chiggers in the extremely long grass around our house (which the house owner originally told Philip we wouldn't have to worry about but it turns out "not worrying about it" means that Philip will have to cut it himself or pay some shady character $40 a week to do or put it off so long that the homeowner's possibly estranged wife will call and bug Philip about cutting it. CAPSY, people. CAPSY.) Or it could be mites from the birds in the rafters or maybe the mice. Or some other unknown agent. I am covered in bug bites and that is not exaggerating. I got up last night, after a 2:30 AM feeding of The Boy, to take an oatmeal bath. A bath in the middle of the night is not normal behavior for me, in case you're wondering.
So I am kind of grouchy, in addition to being itchy.

But then there's this:
I can't stay grouchy long with this little guy around.
And, despite the fact that I shot a staple into my right thumb yesterday (and pulled it out myself & bandaged it without fainting - there was blood, folks. Spurting blood.), I also have this little creature to make me laugh:
Now, just in case your life has been as deluged with snakes, mice, bugs, and staples as mine has, here are some links to make you smile:
  • Hilarious pin board by Tiffany Beveridge: My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler. I'm guessing you'll need to be familiar with some of the more pretentious mommy bloggers to think this is as funny as I did. It made me laugh out loud. (Seriously. Not just a fake "lol".)
  • Top 16 Worship Music Typos from Stuff Christians Like. Think my favorite was probably "Our God's a greeter".
So, what's up on your Monday? (And please, please be praying and sending good thoughts our way that we'll find our Real Home soon. Before the snakes, mice, bugs, and crazy people get me.)

This post is linked to Random Monday at Not Inadequate.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Weekend Links - June 22, 2013

Yesterday was our long anticipated Date Night to celebrate both my birthday AND our anniversary. So my parents took the girls (and I understand that they visited both sets of great-grandparents) and we took the boy and then we: ate at Carrabbas, shopped at Charming Charlies, ate at Cold Stone Creamery and finished up with shopping at the Gap Outlet where we were able to find my tall, skinny husband two pairs of pants which is amazing because we usually have to special order his pants. And we bought some other stuff too. {grin} So it was a great night and I feel like our special occasions have been well and truly celebrated.

Now to the linkage!

Spiritual / Inner Life
Marriage / Parenting
Homeschooling / Education
Homemaking / Frugality
    Pins of the Week:
    Play idea for my girls:

    Play idea for my boy someday (which will probably be here quicker than I might like):
    Clever re-use for an old crib:

    So, what's on your agenda this weekend?
    This post will be linked here:

    Friday, June 21, 2013

    Five Question Friday

    1. Have you ever been robbed and how did you handle it?
    Yes. All my jewelry was stolen in February. (See this post for more.)

    As for handling it, I suppose I've handled it pretty well. Sometimes I still, all these months later, go to get dressed and reach for my earring box or something I used to wear with a particular outfit and I feel quite bereft when that item isn't there. Nothing I had was extremely valuable but it was mine and I loved my things.

    So: still sad. But managing. Still very thankful that, as sad as I am about losing my jewelry, no one was hurt and nothing more serious was taken.

    2. What do you do at a kids function when Parents don't behave? Meaning they are the ones being impatient and rude.
    No idea.  Most kid functions we've been to have been friends and family. If it did happen, I'd most likely just leave.

    3. Have you heard of a potty party? Will you/have you had one for your child(ren)?
    I have not heard of it and therefore, no, probably not.

    4. How young do you think kids should be when they start taking swim lessons?
    Our local pool takes 2 year olds if Mom or Dad gets in with them. In my observation that is generally a waste of money. 3 or 4 year olds who want to swim seem to get on faster. If a child is afraid of the water I'd wait until 5 or 6 (which we did) so that they're tall enough to stand in the shallow end.

    5. What makes you happy?
    The salvation God has given me, spending time with Philip, snuggling Baby Boy, laughing with my girls, whipped cream on coffee (or anything), Coke Floats, Cherry Limeades from Sonic, Vanilla Coke at Frisch's, puppies (other people's puppies), swimming in Grandpa's pool, planning adventures, reading a mystery I've never read before, British TV shows, getting free stuff, finding a deal at a thrift store, making lists, beautiful flowers in a vase, writing when the muse is upon me, planning a new homeschool year, using our new camera, and many other things. Small things are the happiest things.

    So, how about you?
    This post is linked to Five Question Friday at My Little Life.

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    Happy Anniversary

    Fourteen years ago I married my best friend.

    We had a lot of dreams, files full of plans, and we were ready to take on anything.

    "Anything" turned out to be both better and worse than we expected.

    Life hasn't been exactly the way the 22 and 18 year old us planned. We haven't made all our goals or realized all our dreams.

    As John Lennon sang, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

    Life - the real thing. The real, beautiful, messy, exciting, frustrating, sweet thing has been far more than either of us could have imagined back then.

    And even though we're back in Survival Mode these days, I can tell you this: I'd rather survive with this man than triumph with anyone else.

    So there won't be a big celebration. (Maybe next year!) There won't be a lot of fanfare or even a lot of time to reminisce. Life is busy. There are things to do and places to do and people to see.

    But we'll be doing those things and getting those places and seeing those people together.

    Life is good.
    This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. 
    Song of Solomon 5:16b

    Saturday, June 15, 2013

    Weekend Links - June 15, 2013

    Father's Day tomorrow! What do you have planned for your dad? After our big seafood feast of Father's Day 2012, I think we're taking it a bit easier this year. And, sadly, my gift that I ordered for my dad hasn't come in yet. Daughter fail.

    Anyway, on to the links:

    Spiritual / Inner Life
    Marriage / Parenting
    Homeschooling / Education
    Pins of the Week:


    So, what caught your eye this week?
    This post is linked to:

    Friday, June 14, 2013

    Five Question Friday

    1. What do you appreciate most about your children's Dad?
    Besides everything? OK. A few specific things that come to mind:
    He's a fabulous listener (to them and to me).
    He plays with the girls (and now, the boy): games - oh, so many games; Playmobil; Legos.
    He leads our family but quietly and graciously.
    He's easy going and easy to please.
    He prays with us and for us.
    He says no to many other things so he can say yes to us.
    He leaves no doubt that we are his favorite people on the planet.

    2. Do you always wear your seat belt?
    Always. Get in car, buckle up. That's how it works.

    3. Do you dream and do you remember them?
    Everyone dreams. Sometimes I remember them and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I wish I didn't. My dreams that I remember are vivid and Technicolor. I remember bad dreams I had from when I was a kid. I try to limit what movies and TV shows I watch and this is one reason why. If I watched a truly scary movie I'd have bad dreams for the REST OF MY NATURAL LIFE. Not worth it.

    4. What is one thing you swore you'd never let your kids do before having them, that you have now changed your ways about?
    I have no idea. My husband and I are pretty secure in our parenting but we're also fairly flexible when we need to be. I don't remember making any draconian statements starting with, "Our kids will never..."

    5. If you could be granted one wish, what would it be?
    More wishes? Seriously though, I am living an amazing and blessed by God life. As much as I might wish for certain circumstances to be different (I'd be taller, we'd have a bigger house, steaks would be affordable...) there is no way I would wish to be anyone else living any different life.

    So, how 'bout you?
    This post is linked to Five Question Friday at My Little Life.

    Saturday, June 8, 2013

    Weekend Links - June 8, 2013

    This is Birthday weekend around here: today is my brother-in-law, tomorrow is one of my grandfather's (84!), and Monday is my brother-in-law's son (my much beloved nephew Fen will be 4, which is really hard to believe). Fun times.

    On to the linkage!

    Spiritual / Inner Life
    Marriage / Parenting
    Education / Homeschooling
    Pins of the Week:
    These letters are so much cooler than their original bright plastic selves:

    I dream of one day owning a real library card catalog. But if that never comes true, this might be a more realistic purchase (or even a DIY):

    So, did anything catch your eye this week? And if you do a links post, please come share it here - the more, the merrier:

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    Books of 2013 - May

    As expected, this turned out to be a "just give me something easy" reading month. Which means: lots of series mysteries. The few deeper books I managed to finish had been started long ago.
    1. When Gods Die. Fiction by C.S. Harris. Second book in the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series. These books are engrossing but sometimes they're also gross. Excellent plotting and memorable characters have caused me to overlook the fact that these books tend to be a bit more graphic than my usual mystery fare. {Goodreads}

    2. Thus Was Adonis Murdered. Fiction by Sarah Caudwell. Slim little mystery with great characters and wit. {Goodreads}

    3. The Hidden Gallery. Fiction by Maryrose Wood. My oldest daughter and I are both enjoying this new series. Somewhat reminiscent of A Series Of Unfortunate Events but not nearly as unfortunate or bleak as those books. The humor is fantastic and the characters are already our friends. {Goodreads}

    4. The Unseen Guest. Fiction by Maryrose Wood. Third book in the series. Polly and I are having trouble being patient for the next one to be released. {Goodreads}

    5. The Homegrown Preschooler. Non-fiction by Kathy Lee and Lesli Richards. I picked this one up because I want to be more deliberate with Miss Lili during our "school time". This book has lots of advice, recipes, and ideas. Obviously, you can find those things on the internet these days but sometimes I need a book in my hands to really get inspired. {Goodreads}

    6. Murder at the Old Vicarage. Fiction by Jill McGown. Classic village whodunnit type of mystery.

    7. A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting World. Non-fiction by Paul Miller. Fantastic book about prayer, probably the best (other than the Bible) that I've ever read. I'm trying to apply many of the things the author suggested. Highly recommended.{Goodreads}

    8. Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation. Non-fiction by Ruth Haley Barton. My Goodreads review:
    Good introduction to beloved, but somewhat neglected, spiritual disciplines. Barton really tries to stay practical and realistic about the application of these disciplines, even the more esoteric. I had to read the book in the hurry (library deadlines) and I would much prefer to have read it slowly, applying the practices described as best I could at that time.
    I would probably have liked this book better had I not also just finished A Praying Life.

    9. Why Mermaids Sing. Fiction by C.S. Harris. Series mystery. Not my favorite. {Goodreads}

    10. Homeschooling More Than One Child. Non-fiction by Carren Joye. Solid, practical advice. I needed some encouragement for this next school year consider I will have (although the grade levels are approximate rather than set in stone): 7th grader, 4th grader, 1st grader (or maybe some combination of 1st and 2nd), preschooler (3 yrs old in September) and infant (4 months old in September). The curriculum is bought and we're ready to get back to a routine, or I am, at least. I needed to read some good homeschooling books to give me a good kick start. {Goodreads}

    11. Gone to Her Death. Fiction by Jill McGown. Series mystery. Could have done without some of the romance novel type descriptions of one character's fantasy world. Otherwise, quite a diverting little mystery. {Goodreads}

    Totals for May: 11
    Fiction: 7 (all mysteries and two of which were written for Young Adult readers)
    Non-fiction:4 (two on homeschooling and two on prayer or spiritual disciplines)

    So, what's on your "to-be read" stack these days?
    Images in this post are Amazon Affiliate links. Action taken with these links could result in compensation for me.

    Saturday, June 1, 2013

    Weekend Links - June 1, 2013

    Can't believe it's already June! (See my "One Month Old" post for more about why.)

    I almost didn't have time to get this post done - our June calendar is looking crazy busy. But then, obviously, I did and here you go:

    Spiritual / Inner Life
    Marriage / Parenting
    Education / Homeschooling
    Pins of the Week:

    (As long as I don't actually have to go, you know, camping to get one)
    Yum again:

    So, what caught your eye this week?
    This post may be linked here:

    One Month

    Hard to believe, but Baby Boy is 1 month old today. The last month has absolutely flown by (as compared to the last month or so of pregnancy, which seemed to go on and on even though he was 8 days early)
    1 week old
    Things He Likes:
    • Being held
    • Eating
    • Music - any kind but my favorite aspect of this is that he likes to sit in his car seat and listen while I play the piano
    • Riding in the car
    • Running water in general and bathtime in specific
    • Tummy time
    • Being worn in the Moby wrap
    • Sleeping where he can hear my heartbeat or with his head on my arm
    Things He Doesn't Like:
    • Being put down. (Not being held)
    • Sleeping in his bed (co-sleeping works, sleeping in the carseat works sometimes)
    • Being changed
    • Needing a change (he doesn't like when his diaper is dirty but he also doesn't like to be changed. Interesting dilemma for a newborn.)
    • Being covered up while eating
    • When it gets too quiet - he sleeps better in his carseat close to the action (girls playing or doing school) than in a quiet room by himself
    • Being put down. (Did I mention that? I did? Well, he really doesn't like it.)
    His sisters are completely taken with him. We suspect he may be the most kissed baby in the history of babies. We do, of course, have to watch out for Miss Lili. Her love is kind of tough sometimes.
    Baby Boy is a dream come true. Sometimes I still can't believe he's real and he's here.

    But he is. And life is very good.