Archive for December, 2008

Ten on Tuesday – Best Moments of the Year

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008


The prompt this week for Ten on Tuesday
is 10 Best Moments of the Year:

Before I begin this list, I have to say that I am well aware that I am a blessed person. Having received the gracious gift of reconciliation with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, I know that even the difficult and sorrowful things in life ‘work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Romans 8:28)

Another thing I have to say is that I am quite an ordinary, home-body type person. I derive a great deal of joy from the little things in life, often enjoyed and received with thanksgiving. I would have great difficulty coming up with ten exciting moments, or fantastic travel moments, or super promotion moments. Mine is more a life of, “Wow! That was a great dinner. I’ll have to remember to use that recipe again!” of “Doesn’t the house look great? I really got some cleaning done today!”

For my ten best moments, then, I would like to list ten of the ‘little things’ or often ‘taken for granted’ things in life that I have most appreciated in this past year.

  1. Religious freedom. Week after week, without fear of persecution, I join in with others to hear the preaching of God’s Word, and to worship Him.
  2. Physical health.
  3. Enough food for nourishment and enjoyment.
  4. Clean water to drink.
  5. Fresh air to breathe.
  6. Enough money to pay the bills.
  7. A loving husband.
  8. Dear children who love us, love one another, and love the Lord.
  9. Dear friends at church, in the community, and online.
  10. Good coffee. I do enjoy a good, hot, strong cup of coffee.

What were your ten best moments of the past year? Maybe you do have some great big wonderful supercalifragilisticexpialidocious moments to shout out about. Let’s hear about them!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Hosted by Peggy

For Today…December 29, 2008

Outside my Window…It’s dark, since I’m composing this post after dinner, and not as cold as it has been (The temperature is hovering around 32 degrees.). Old, water-logged snow carpets the yard and the driveway, but thankfully the roads are clear again! We had lots of rain today, rather than snow. More snow is in the forecast, but thankfully not such cold temps as we were having.

I am thinking…how brave my husband was to climb up on the cold, wet roof to remount the Clearw’re receiver on its pole and aim it in the right direction. The internet sabbatical was probably beneficial, but I felt very out-of-touch without it.

From the learning rooms…I’m continuing to read Love & Logic Solutions for Kids with Special Needs by David Funk. I recently read that it’s better to be like a broken vending machine (consistently unsatisfying) with children than like a slot machine (usually just takes your money, but may yield a jackpot) (pages 16-19). If I calmly give a whining child the same appropriate, short response, he is more likely to grow tired of whining, than if I try a variety of responses, and worst of all, if I finally give in to the whining. That teaches the child to persevere in whining, because it may eventually yield a jackpot!

I am thankful for…this Winter Break, with more time at home to spend with my dear family.

From the kitchen…Can you believe that I still want to bake some fruitcakes? Also, I need to bake some Honey Whole Wheat Bread tomorrow. Yesterday I served the family some oven baked rice pudding for a filling evening snack after church. It’s so warming and satisfying.

I am wearing…cozy leggings under my denim skirt, blouse and oversweater. If the outfit is comfortable, and preferably well-worn, I’m cool with it. This part of my weekly post is boring, I know, but ya hafta take the bad with the good.

I am reading…about Vitamin D deficiency. Did you know that this is a common deficiency in northern latitudes, especially in the winter time when the sun is so low in the sky? This deficiency can lead to loss of calcium from the bones, and depression, to name a couple things.

I am hoping…that this post will actually work. The internet is still chugging along a bit slower than usual. Of course I’m also hoping to get lots done tomorrow, since I get to stay home all day.

I am creating…many good dinners this Winter Break, but am not getting the hoped-for deep cleaning of the house done.

I am hearing…my husband and our oldest son converse about the web site that our son is customizing. Our son has loved computers ever since they entered his life when he was about 12. He enjoyed reading those thick manuals that come with new computers. From that early age, he became one of our resident computer experts. Now we have to await his visits for any major computer tweaking around here.

Around the house…I hear the other children watching a movie upstairs. Daughter Laura is putting her babies to bed for the night. The good old doggie is lying on the floor by my feet.

One of my favorite things…is family thoughtfulness. I enjoy serving my family, making things comfortable for them. I’m grateful when thoughtfulness comes my way, too, as it so often does. Rick just brought me a little glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, and served me a couple crackers with smoked salmon. Yum!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Daughter Lydia is scheduled for an MRI of her head on Wednesday morning. I think I said this last week, too, but lots of snow got in the way of that appointment! Baking. Cleaning. Playing more board games with the children while we have extra time at home.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…


This photo was taken at the deserted gravel pit where Rick and the children went tobogganing during our uber snowy days.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Back Again (I hope!)

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Our internet service was interrupted when our Clearw’re receiver blew down, and then got covered with snow and ice. The receiver is still lying on the roof, pointing south instead of west, but somehow I’m online this morning. I’ll try to post a few pictures now and see what happens.
During this unusually snowy weather, Rick decided to build a toboggan. Here it is, being hauled over to the deserted gravel pit for sledding fun.

In Town, December 24th

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008


Rick and I headed into Everson yesterday to mail off some bills before the post office closed.


The roads were a little slippery, but not as bad as we thought they would be.


This is the creek (actually it’s Sumas River – but it’s creek-sized) at the bottom of our road.


Grandson Diederick is looking outside longingly at the old doggie and the snow. We don’t have a snow suit for the little feller. He’s just getting over a cold, too.

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Hosted by Peggy

For Today…December 22, 2008

Outside my Window…It’s dark, cold (about 20 degrees Fahrenheit) and the ground is snow covered. More snowfall is predicted beginning tomorrow evening. We live in such a temperate region, near the Pacific Ocean, that we aren’t used to this many cold, snowy days in a row!

I am thinking…that it’s great to be home in our cozy house, after a busy day spent out-and-about.

From the learning rooms…hmm…We’re on Winter Break!

I am thankful for…a reliable, four-wheel drive vehicle when roads are messy with snow.

From the kitchen…I made a delicious soup for dinner from:

  1. Left over beef and gravy
  2. Left over brown rice
  3. Left over baked beans
  4. A can of condensed tomato soup

I am wearing…a long-sleeved turquoise top with a loose-fitting multi-colored sweater over, comfortable, stretchy blue jeans, and thick, cozy socks.

I am reading…(going to read) a young adult book that caught my eye: Zen and the Art of Faking It by Jordan Sonnenblick. So often I prefer young adult literature to more ‘grown up’ fare, which too often is meant to shock the reader or reveal all the author’s dirty laundry.

I am hoping…to spend more time at home tomorrow than I got to spend today. There is another medical appointment to keep. Daughter Lydia is still suffering ill effects from a concussion that occurred almost three months ago. Perhaps our family doctor will schedule a scan of some sort.

I am creating…this blog post. I’m too tired to tackle a baking project this evening. Perhaps I’ll turn in soon and start reading that book!

I am hearing…snippets of the movie The Illusionist, which the children are watching upstairs.

Around the house…boots, gloves and jackets are drying by the wood stove. Towels are under shoes in the laundry room. It’s looking pretty messy, in an outdoorsy kind of way.

One of my favorite things…is this time of day when the family’s need for food is satisfied, the kitchen is clean, and the laundry is done. I feel like I can relax!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…give my son a haircut, bake bread (tomorrow!), and bake more plain, light fruitcake (NO candied fruit in it).

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Our 2 1/2 year old grandson likes to squeeze into tight places and peek out. Here he’s sitting on a dining room window ledge behind some houseplants. Boo!

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Snowday Spent at Home

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Thanks to Geraldine of My Poetic Path for this week’s prompt, a winter’s day.

Quiet days at home;
Snow has fallen, temps still low,
Sharp northeast wind blows.
We keep the wood stove going
As we converse, eat and play.

As snow is blowing
I’m bustling ’round the kitchen
Making fruit dumplings:
My way to make things cozy,
Time for coffee and dessert!

One Single Impression is a community of poets writing and sharing haiku and other poetic forms. Each week they offer up a new prompt that they hope will inspire your writing.

How to Participate in One Single Impression

* Post your poetry on your blog. This does not need to be today. You can post any time during the week.
* Go to the One Single Impression site and enter your link into Mr. Linky. Other participants can easily find you by clicking your name in Mr. Linky.
* Enjoy the beautiful poems of the other bloggers.
* There is a new Mr. Linky each week so you always have to sign up on the current one. Please do not sign your name on Mr. Linky unless you are participating in One Single Impression.

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Thirteen things I’ve done today:

  1. Slept in. I didn’t have to get up early this morning, since school was canceled (SNOW DAY!).
  2. Was served a pancake breakfast by my 12-year old son. Thank you, Dearie.
  3. Made coffee about four times. What can I say? The only non-coffee drinkers in our home are the grandchildren, ages 2 and 6 months.
  4. Baked two loaves of Dutch Apple Bread.
  5. Am in the process of making four loaves of Honey Whole Wheat Bread.
  6. Got CAUGHT UP on laundry. With eleven people in our home, that doesn’t happen too often.
  7. Kept the kitchen neat (over and over).
  8. Watched the juncos eat birdseed outside the study window. Uber cuteness.
  9. Neatened up the mucky boot/shoe area in the laundry room.
  10. Did a Thankful Thursday blog post.
  11. Watered houseplants. They sure dry out quickly during these wood stove days.
  12. Checked my email.
  13. Read quite a few blogs using Google Reader.

Thankful Thursday Pancakes

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Well, here it is, Thursday, and I’m not at the middle school as usual. Some of our children are still sleeping, when usually they would have been up for two hours already, getting ready for school. Yep; we are enjoying a relaxing snow day here today.

If I accomplish a lot on this day off, I might do a Thursday 13 post later. First off, though, I thought of a Thankful Thursday

As I was checking my email this morning, and enjoying the first cup of coffee for the day, I overheard some interesting conversations from the kitchen. Our youngest son, 12 years old, was asking his older sister for some cooking pointers. He decided he would make Honey Buckwheat Pancakes (from a mix) for those of us who were up.

At first he worried that he wouldn’t do everything ‘just right,’ such as flipping the flapjacks properly, but the finished product was very edible. We enjoyed the pancakes with butter and molasses. Yum!

I am thankful for:

  1. The love of a son, which prompted him to step outside his comfort zone and serve his family.
  2. A kiddo learning to do something on his own that I should have taught him earlier. Hey, Mom, boys need to know how to cook, too!

What was funny was our son’s comment afterwards that he has now increased his breakfast-making repertoire to four things:

  1. Pancakes
  2. Any style of egg
  3. Toast!!! (He was serious. :P)
  4. ‘I pour a mean bowl of cereal!’

Happy Thankful Thursday to you!

Snow Day – Finally!

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

WORDFUL WEDNESDAY is hosted by Angie at SevEn cLoWn CirCus

Angie has this to say about Wordful Wednesday:

*Wordful Wednesday is for those of us that like to showcase a photo but that just can’t seem keep our mouths shut about it. If you’d like to play along, post a photo on your blog, and let the words roll. Feel free to “capture” my 7 Clown Circus button on the left to link back to me, and be sure to add yourself to Mr. Linky. Thanks for playing along!

We finally got our wish for a SNOW DAY! Well, part of a snow day. School was dismissed early today because of rapidly falling snow, and lots of wind.

On the way home from school, I first saw a two-car accident near the Nooksack City Park, then saw that some poor person’s vehicle had gone off the road and was front first in a ditch. Our son who came home on the school bus saw that a vehicle had gone into the ditch on the non-steep end of our road. I came up the steep S-curve with no problem, but our Suzuki Grand Vitara is nicely sure-footed when in 4-wheel drive.

Snow is supposed to continue tonight, and then tomorrow is predicted to be colder, down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s 18 to 20 degrees here just now, with wind from the ENE at 21 miles per hour.

That all means that tomorrow will truly be a SNOW DAY! Though this is what we have been wishing for, I have two regrets:

  1. Our daughter who lives about 20 miles from here is done with college for December. We would like to have her here with us, playing games and drinking hot cocoa, while keeping warm in front of the wood stove. She just called to let me know that she’s truly stuck at home. Both the alley behind her place, and the street are like sheets of ice.
  2. Our son has a dental appointment in the same slippery city tomorrow. This is one of those appointments that you make about three months in advance. My hope is that the office will be closed due to snow tomorrow. We’ll see. If I absolutely have to venture out, I’ll attempt to rescue our snow bound daughter at the same time.

How is winter treating you folks?

Is anyone out there keeping nice and warm with moderate temperatures?

Is anyone having way colder, stormier, snowier weather that you would like to talk about?

What does it take in your locale to get a SNOW DAY?

Our front yard, as seen through the office/study window, facing north.

Looking out the east window of the office, you see the van, which is non-drivable during this weather. It’s like a big ‘ice skate.’

This is looking west and south, to the back yard.

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Hosted by Peggy

For Today…December 15, 2008

Outside my Window…it is oh-so-cold for the temperate Pacific Northwest: 18 degrees Fahrenheit, winds ENE at 26 miles per hour. It’s not snowy, surprisingly, but snow is predicted for tomorrow evening. In the mean time, I’m thankful for clear roads today. All of our pets are safely inside with us, because this weather is far too cold for our kitties. I haven’t been going for my usual walks in all this wind, since it’s cold enough to cause frostbite to exposed skin!

I am thinking…that I am thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ’s incarnation, sinless life, and atonement for man’s sin, all year ’round. Nowhere in the Bible did He establish Christmas as a ‘high holy day.’ One of the local pastors puts clever sayings up on the church sign. Recently his message was something like: Now open between Easter and Christmas. We need to invite folks to church year-round (and attend ourselves as well), to hear the preaching of God’s Word, that they may believe and be reconciled with God.

From the learning rooms…I’ve been reading some historical fiction set in the early 1900s, the World War I years, as well as the time of the Spanish Flu. This was a flu pandemic which lasted from March 1918 until June 1920, and caused an estimated 50 to 100 million deaths, more than double the number of deaths caused by the war itself. It is thought that advances in travel, and massive troop movements contributed to the spread of this disease which mainly affected healthy young adults. A person could be healthy one day, and dead the next. Very terrible, and very sad.

I am thankful for…the Lord’s providential care, so that we need not be terrified of sicknesses such as the Spanish Flu. Psalm 4:8, I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

From the kitchen…I baked three more loaves of Gramma’s Plain Light Fruitcake tonight, to give to coworkers at the middle school. Our family ate the three loaves I baked Saturday! That tells you this is a good recipe! Barbara of The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project
left a funny comment when I posted my recipe. ‘All fruitcakes are not created equal’ is all I have to say about that, Barbara!

I am wearing…jeans with long underwear, and warm layers, including a hooded sweater on top. This is serious winter weather we have going on here!

I am reading…The Quilter’s Legacy by Jennifer Chiaverini. There are two main characters in this multigenerational story. One is well-developed and likeable, the other not so much. The author is not afraid to admit that some people are downright bad and will never be sorry for the trouble they cause, but she is still tasteful in the tale she tells.

I am hoping…the children get to enjoy some snow without me having to drive in it much. Ha!

I am creating…this blog post at the end of a very busy day.

I am hearing…my tummy rumble. I must resist … I must not eat any fruitcake!

Around the house…it is quiet. Most of the children are in bed, and that’s where I’m headed soon, too. I just noticed: The roaring wind, which sounds like a freight train going by, has slowed way down. It is actually quiet!

One of my favorite things…is the companionable silence I’m enjoying as I compose this entry. My husband is quietly typing at his computer, and every so often we talk about this or that.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Well, the children and I are all wishing for heavy snowfall, just prior to or during our days off from school. Today, it was so cold at the middle school and high school that we all had to wear our jackets all day. I think the high winds had something to do with that. I guess snow isn’t something you plan for, though.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!