Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Interesting Quotes from TOS

"Home schooling is a very old way of doing things. If you look at any of the bills in your wallet or the coins in your pocket, they all have a picture of a homeschooler on them." -William Lloyd

"Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success." - Louisa May Alcott

Monday, December 08, 2008

7 Days of Give-Aways by Learning at HIs Feet

Starting today, you can click on the button in my sidebar to see how you can win a daily give-away for the next 7 days.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Holiday Printable Countdown Freebies by Linda Vollrath

Today I finally joined a Yahoo Group for Altered Books. Why haven't I thought of that before?! The first message I read was by Lisa Vollrath of Ten Two Studios and she is having a Holiday Countdown Freebie give-away of downloadable freebies. Please visit her web site and support her. Thanks, Lisa!

Also, I hope to scan in pages from my many, many altered books and post on here. I just never take the time to scan them in. But - over Christmas vacation......whee - hopefully I'll finally get to it.

Maybe as a part of this group I'll figure out if I'm doing things right, wrong or like any one else is doing. I'm really looking forward to this.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving is Coming

This year I hope to spend more time being truly thankful. I read a good article in our paper today written by a local doctor. It was profound as he shared a little about patients that entered his practice and how each one made him realize an area he had to be thankful for. For example, a woman who couldn't walk made him realize how thankful he was that he could walk. There are so many things that we take for granted. Even with the economy as it is right now, if we stop and really think, we have much to be grateful for.

Once again, my MIL will be with us for Thanksgiving. We are so blessed to still have her with us. And my SIL will be coming for a visit with her 2 boys and her boyfriend. It will be good to be able to enjoy her company. We have a warm, comfortable home in which to host our guests. I tend to focus on our lack of space instead of the fact that we have such a nice comfortable - and may I mention - paid for - place to invite friends and family to visit. Well, there are many more things - our health, my DH good job, my children, and more. But for now, I'll just say Thank you - to God, my creator and savior.

"O terque quaterque beatum”
We are three or four times blessed.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Jess in Chinese Cultural Festival

Today Jess performed in the Chinese Cultural Festival at the Center for the Arts. The dance they did was called "Dun Huang Fantasia" and was beautiful. The festival featured a Chinese Orchestra, Tai Chi Fan, a fashion show where the clothing was replica from the Tang Dynasty period, (Jess modeled a green Kimono with an umbrella), displays and exhibits of Chinese brush painting, Chinese calligraphy, food, musical instruments and more. It was quite well done and entertaining.

Jess was exhausted when it was all over with. She had to be there from 9 until it was over. I was very proud of her. She looked absolutely beautiful. She also made the newspaper and had her picture in - in silhouette - much to her relief. She was embarrassed to be seen in the costume which was a little revealing.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Fall Fun and Halloween

Last night the kids went out again and we had our annual Halloween gathering with much trick-or-treating, food, and fun. Katy and Alex went along as chaperones and were given much candy, since they, too, were in costumes. We had chili, nachos, homemade chai and wassail, and of course, lots of candy. We even had chocolate covered potato chips supplied by B! Wow were those ever good and even a little sinful. Ron also provided us with Margaritas to spice up the evening. The most fun for me is watching the kids get dressed up and also to see all the little ghosts and goblins that stop by. It has been an annual tradition now for about 10 years. Then while the moms sat with their feet up sipping Margaritas, the dads and kids played Apples to Apples. Lots of fun! I'll post photos later when I get my adapter back.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Economic Downturn and Homesteader Outlook

We have talked as a family about going on a "money diet", as my best friend often calls it. Now that our stock value has plummeted, we are looking at it as a good time to tighten our belts and teach the kids more about living frugally. We have never been really extravagant, but have always had as much as we needed. An article I read had the following tips for keeping a homesteader's mindset, even if you are not a homesteader. Here are the comments"

Avoid the feeling of depravity and start thinking of it as creativity.

Before purchasing anything (clothing, food, household item, equipment, etc.), there are several questions that run through the mind of someone who considers themselves a homesteader. These questions help decide whether he or she should make the purchase. Here are just a few examples:

* "Can I make it myself for less than it costs to buy it?"
* "Do I have something already that works in place of this item just as well?"
* "How often will I use this new item?" (Hint: If it's not used regularly, don't purchase it.)
* "Can I do without this item?"
* "Do we actually need it or do we just want it?"

When choosing to do without or make do or make it myself, the homesteader looks at the whole event as a way to be creative. Creativity is central to this new mindset, not just a budget or skimping, but creatively finding new ways to do things, new ways to make things, and new ways to use, reuse and recycle things. It's a challenge and a game to someone with a homesteading mindset to see just how happily and simply we can live.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More Bike Riding

We went for a long bike ride last night. I have been very discouraged with my weight loss efforts. I seem to be gaining even though I am not eating much. So I know exercise is an important key. The neat thing is that the weather has been fantastic this week for outdoor activity. We rode until it was almost dark. My dh stopped mowing the grass just to go with me. Today I am sort of sore, but that is a good sign that I actually had a good workout. So I'll do what FlyLady says and say to myself, "Go Me!" I don't really like to congratulate myself, but I have to learn to applaud my own efforts at trying to live a healthy life style, so that I can keep going. Otherwise, I will fall by the way side. And I've put WAY too much effort into this journey to turn back now.

Casting Down Imaginations

"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ..." 2 Corinthians 10:5

So, I pose the question, What has the enemy stolen from me? What image is he trying to foist upon me, to steal the joy in finding God’s best and success for my life?

Let’s reclaim the joy. Challenge the lies in our minds. Declare war on the father of lies. Cast down those wrong images, and let’s raise up the vision God has for us.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Quote

"You may dazzle the mind with a thousand brilliant discoveries of natural science; you may open new worlds of knowledge which were never dreamed of before; yet, if you have not developed in the soul of the pupil strong habits of virtue which will sustain him in the struggle of life, you have not educated him, but only put in his hand a powerful instrument of self-destruction. "
-- Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

I found this used in one of my Yahoo groups. It really causes one to think.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Riding My Bike

I have been very lax in exercising this summer - mostly because we have been gone so much. I have walked a couple of times a week, but nothing really strenuous. I was doing pretty good until I got a horrible case of poison ivy and had to stay in for 3 wks. But today I rode my bike about 9 mi. round trip with my family. It felt good to be back into it. I get discouraged because it is so difficult to maintain my weight. But I am trying to stay positive.

My dd is home from college this weekend, so that is really nice. I plan to enjoy her as much as possible.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sunny Saturday in May

Continuing the Moving in May challenge, we walked about an hour today. Not really fast, but walking, anyway. I guess every little bit helps to set the pace and move toward the habit of exercising. My dear husband was willing to walk with me, even though his back is really sore from doing lots of yard work this weekend in the glorious sunshine. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, although it was quite windy. But the weather does help the mood. Signs of God;s renewal of the earth are all around us - blooming tulips, crab apple trees, flox and more. We were able to walk part of the way with my neighbor whom I don't see often anymore, now that our girls are older and don't get together as much any more.

We were able to go over to Bay City and get the sail and the dodger which we had repaired over the winter. Going up to put the boat in the water this weekend. I'm praying for good weather and hopefully we will get a chance to go out for a sail once or twice. Looking forward to spending some quality time with my husband.

My daughter is still in Mexico and doing well there. The weather is quite hot but the group seems to be surviving ok. They are stuccoing some walls for the apartments while the guys are doing more heavy construction - or de-struction, as the case may be. They are making holes in concrete walls for places to put doors. She is really getting a chance to practice her Spanish more and more. I'm praying that she has a great, rewarding and satisfying experience and feels useful to the children's home there.

My son made a delicious carrot cake tonight from scratch. It was really excellent and I was so impressed that he actually did it all, including the icing from scratch. I HAD to have a piece, even though it is not on my eating plan. But it was the best cake I think I have ever had - certainly in recent memory. He was disappointed in how it looked, but it was truly wonderful. I had to ask him to take it home with him, so I wouldn't be tempted to eat more of it. He even placed it on a Lazy Susan tray I had, which made it much easier to manage for icing. Pretty innovative idea. I know I never would have thought of that.

My husband cooked steaks on the grill for us tonight from our new beef we just purchased. It was really, really good. I never want to have to go back to buying beef from the store. This is so much better. We had asparagus, broccoli and potatoes, along with salad to go with it. Great meat. I am so fortunate to have two men that are such good cooks!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Moving in May II

More Moving in May info:

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful, and although my knee is still pretty sore, Ron and I rode our bikes for 1.5 hours - slow and steady. Boy was I tired when we got home. My legs felt like walking on Jello. But it was good to get out and enjoy the good weather and the beautiful Spring scenery. And the good news is that today my knee doesn't hurt any more than it did yesterday. So we hope to go again today. We have another absolutely breathtaking day out there.

So, as Tigger says: TTFN!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Moving in May

The challenge from Flylady this month is called "Moving in May". We are supposed to exercise at least 15 minutes each day. This has been somewhat frustrating for me, because I hurt my knee at my Pilates class early in the month and haven't been able to do anywhere near as much as I would like. I have tried walking a little and biked a little. Tonight Ron and I biked for at least 30 minutes. Not hard, but steady. I have exercised on average about every third day. But my knee is starting to feel much better, so hopefully, I will be able to do more and more as summer comes on. I would like to lose 10 lbs. more, and it is getting tougher and tougher to stick with it. I am going to try to post my minutes here for the rest of the month.

My exercise for the previous part of the month is as follows:
5-1 60 min. Pilates
5-1 60 min. Aqua Fitness
5-4 30 min. biking
5-7 30 min. Walking
5-9 30 min. Walking
5-10 30 min. Biking
5-10 10 min. No Excuses Work Out (NEWO)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Power of the Mind

I have run across many things this week that have to do with the power
of the mind. Experiments where a placebo has almost as big an effect as
the medication.

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth,
so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.
To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again.
To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over
the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

- Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Winter Photos

This is a neat slide show from webshots.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Failure or Success at Home?

"No success can compensate for failure in the home"
~David O. MacKay

This is an appropriate quote to start my first post for 2008. This is my one and only New Year's Resolution - to improve our home life. This year I will continue to focus on restoring our marriage and making our home a haven for my family. 2007 was very difficult in many,many ways, but we are on our way to a healthier marriage and family for 2008. The Lord is truly faithful and can resurrect new life from any failure, disappointment or crisis.

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. This will be my verse for this year. I have to keep reminding myself that my life has a purpose and I have a reason for being. It is a God-given gift - not something I have earned or deserve. But it is a gift to be used as a blessing.