Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…November 2, 2009

Outside my Window…When I stepped outside this evening, I noticed I can see my breath. Crisp autumn weather is here.


I am thinking…wondering: Why am I staying up late to do this post? Answer: I feel guilty about my posts being so few and far between.

From the learning rooms…In seventh grade math, we have been doing charts, graphs and equations. Today the students were introduced to the TI-83 graphing calculator, and were quite impressed with it.

I am thankful for…the health and strength to keep busy doing useful things.

From the kitchen…Tonight two of the girls and I had a late errand to run in town, so Taco Bell did the cooking tonight. I enjoy their beef taco salad with zesty ranch dressing.

I am wearing…a red sweater hoodie and soft black pants.

I am reading…I just finished reading Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer. In this book, the author especially looks at father/son and mother/daughter relationships, both good and bad. As always, she has a great deal of fun with her characters.

I am hoping…daughter Laura feels stronger soon, after giving birth to child number three last Monday. She is doing just fine, but it takes a while to get one’s strength back.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…a train whistle blowing, off in the distance.

Around the house…I noticed the pear tree is bare of leaves, but the fruit is still clinging to the branches. I think I’ll bake a pear torte or crisp tomorrow.


One of my favorite things…is working hard all day, and then relaxing at the end of the day.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…My younger sister is coming for a visit! The girls and I need to get the guest room all fresh and clean in anticipation of her arrival on Wednesday.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

carly and koen

My daughter Laura took this picture of her daughter Carly holding newborn brother Koen. She is so thrilled with him. When she wants to hold him, she says, “I need it!”

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!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, October 19th, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…October 19, 2009

Outside my Window…I’m blogging at the end of the day again, so it’s dark. It’s also a bit foggy, which is typical for Fall in our neck of the woods.


I am thinking…that a slow cooker is a handy appliance. We really enjoyed a Tex-Mex Beef Barbecue yesterday. I’ll give you the recipe in a moment.

From the learning rooms…Our seventh grade math class is beginning to learn about one-step equations. It’s fun to see the lights go on in kiddos’ minds as they engage with the problems.

I am thankful for…daughter Sarah and granddaughter Claire being well and safe after a fender-bender this past Thursday.

From the kitchen…Here’s that Tex-Mex Beef barbecue recipe:

This recipe is from the Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker cook book, and makes enough for a 5 ½ to 7 quart capacity slow cooker.

6 pounds brisket of beef

2 (18 oz) bottles hickory-smoked barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Gourmet Sauce.)

2 (1.25 oz) envelopes chili seasoning

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 cup chopped onion

Combine all ingredients, except meat, in crock. Stir well. Add meat and stir well to coat. Cover and cook: Low for 10 hours OR high for 5 hours.

Remove the meat and shred. Return the meat to crock. Stir well. Serve on soft rolls.

Makes 16 servings.

I am wearing…a marled turquoise tones sweater over a long-sleeved turquoise top, and soft black pants.

I am reading…The Foundling by Georgette Heyer, one of my favorite “fun read” authors.

I am hoping…to stay well, and that family members get well.

I am creating…Well, I did bake brownies and an apple crisp this evening.


I am hearing…the hum of the computer fan.

Around the house…all the children are in bed. I need to head there, too.

One of my favorite things…is getting things done, as opposed to procrastinating.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…We hope to go out to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner this Friday, with some of our friends.

Our poor girls have three soccer games this week, on top of school responsibilities. Sigh!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

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Here is a pic of me holding granddaughter Claire, who is a little over two months old now.

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!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, October 5th, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…October 5, 2009

Outside my Window…is a luminous full moon this chilly autumn eve. When I stepped outside for a bit I noticed there’s an earthy smell, reminiscent of spring time rather than fall. Maybe this is from fields being plowed for cover crops, now that the field corn is in.


I am thinking…it’s a good thing I enjoy running errands, since there always seem to be plenty to run with a busy family.

From the learning rooms…One of the teachers whom I assist at the middle school cited some interesting research which found that success in high school could be predicted in 6th grade. Some of the markers for success included: showing up to school, doing what the teacher said to do, and being polite to those in authority. There’s one more, but I forget it just now. Anyhow, all the markers must be present.

I am thankful for…more work for my husband.

From the kitchen…I made an apple pudding cake that was a big hit this past weekend. Tomorrow I would like to make split pea soup. This autumn weather seems to call for it.

I am wearing…black skirt and black/maroon/grey argyle sweater.

I am reading…I would like to read Gospel-Powered Parenting by Bill Farley, after reading a favorable review of the book on Challies.com.

I am hoping…daughter Sarah finds something to calm her newborn daughter’s tummy upset.


I am creating…a quick blog post before retiring for the night.

I am hearing…my eighth-grade son typing at his computer, playing his Scrabble moves. He won the last two games we played against one another!

Around the house…the flowers still in bloom are the chrysanthemums, the marigolds, and the cyclamen. So lovely!

One of my favorite things…is rest at the end of a busy day, with the children safely home.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Well, it will be my turn to help prepare coffee-time refreshments for church this coming Sunday. I’m planning on making a bar cookie version of chocolate chip cookies.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Deeder and Kelsey2

Grandson Diederick enjoys reading with the girls’ friend Kelsey. This is on the window seat in the living room.

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!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…September 28, 2009

Outside my Window…It’s raining! There’s nothing so cozy as an evening rain, and the woodstove cheerily blazing.

I am thinking…that soon it will be time for daughter Laura’s baby to be born. She has invited a couple of her sisters and me to be with her during this birth.


From the learning rooms…I am getting a lot of practice with solving the equation y=mx + b, where x and y are points on a graph, b is the y intercept, and m is the slope, or rise/run. This is in 8th grade math. In 7th grade math, we are doing stem and leaf plots to compare data.

I am thankful for…the truth expressed in James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”


From the kitchen…Tonight we had Roasted Red Potatoes, steamed broccoli, hard cooked eggs, with Ranch dressing, catsup and shredded cheddar cheese on the side. So delicious!

I am wearing…black skirt, white blouse, and a soft red and black patterned sweater jacket.

I am reading…Impossible by Nancy Werlin. I set this aside for a week because it saddened me so much, but my girls assure me that it is a good book with a satisfying ending, so I plan to continue reading it tonight.

I am hoping…my back continues to get better so that I can be a more useful person.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…the automatic pencil sharpener as the kiddos settle in to doing their homework.

Around the house…The wind was really blowing today. I enjoy our invigorating autumn winds. Thankfully it will be a while yet before all the leaves are gone.


One of my favorite things…is hearing from our kids. Our oldest son just called, and we are passing the phone around. Now, we just need our two big boys to visit.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…I just want to keep up with cooking good meals this week.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

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Daughter Kayla enjoys sailing in her dad’s little Pelican sailboat.

Kayla in the Pelican

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!

Ten on Tuesday

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

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The topic this week for Ten on Tuesday is:

Ten things I need to plan for:

  • Living in a smaller home. As my husband and I get older, and our children leave to establish their own homes, I hope we have the opportunity to move to a smaller home.
  • Getting rid of items we no longer need or use. This is a great first step in down-sizing. It just plain results in a less cluttered home right now, too!
  • Implementing some of the more time-consuming (but more healthful) recipes from Nourishing Traditions into my cooking repertoire. It is downright difficult for me to change my ways after all these years. This will take conscious effort.
  • Getting physical activity during our wet weather, which is just around the corner. I think I’ll ask my husband to repair the ping pong table. That should do it.
  • Deep cleaning the house, room by room. As I have less energy, and my helpers are getting busier, I need to focus on little bits of cleaning at a time.
  • I want to start sewing again. I’m not sure I want to plan for this until I de-clutter and clean!

Well, I didn’t come up with ten things. How about you? What do you want/need to plan for?


Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, September 21st, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…September 21, 2009

Outside my Window…is a refreshing autumn evening. The day started off quite cool, just a bit above 40 degrees, but warmed up to be one of those “just right” blue sky and puffy white cloud days that are so appreciated this time of year.


I am thinking…that we’re a bit wimpy at our home just now. Daughter Lydia was ill over the weekend with the flu, and now a few more of us seem to be fighting a tummy bug.

From the learning rooms…I am assisting the Middle School band director to help students learn their parts. This duty will last just until someone is hired permanently for this position. The last time I played in a band was when I was in high school eons ago, so I am definitely out of my comfort zone.


I am thankful for…my family being OK with me taking it easy when I’m not feeling well. They fend for themselves so nicely.

From the kitchen…I didn’t make dinner tonight, but did bake a large pan of apple crisp. On Saturday I made Honey Whole Wheat Bread and granola, so we just snacked for dinner.

 

I am wearing…My usual black skirt with a new teal shirt. Very school-marmish.

I am reading…I just finished reading The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson. This fantasy book for young people, while creative and well-written, just doesn’t hold a candle to the author’s realistic novels such as The Reluctant Heiress, which I also recently finished. Maybe I’m just not much of a fantasy fan, or not in the mood for it recently.

I am hoping…that Lydia is breathing easier by tomorrow, that Debra is able to go to school, and that I don’t miss any work.

I am creating…what is becoming a once-a-week blog post.

I am hearing…recorded conversation from a movie playing in the other room.

Around the house…Our apples are ripe and tasting sweeter as the nights get cooler. Our apple varieties are good keepers, as long as we store them properly. It would be fun to try drying some of them.

One of my favorite things…is rest at the end of a busy day. I’m in the mood for a Georgette Heyer book. I’ll have to see if the girls have one I haven’t read yet. Reading a good book is part of rest, you know!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Tomorrow evening is Back to School Night at the Middle School, plus an Ice Cream Social. I’m also hoping to take daughter Laura to tour the Birthing Center this Saturday, I think. All being well, I’m planning to cook dinners the rest of the week!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

sisters holding nieces

Daughter Rebecca holding Carly (daughter Laura’s little one) and daughter Kayla holding baby Claire (daughter Sarah’s little one)

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!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, September 14th, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…September 14, 2009

Outside my Window…Once again, I’m starting this post at the end of the day, so it’s DARK outside! Earlier, it was one of those perfect autumn days, cool but not cold yet, a bit breezy, with a few wispy clouds decorating the sky. I had the privilege to be out driving, doing errands, so I had a good view of the lovely surroundings.

I am thinking…that I really enjoy working as a para educator (teacher’s helper). I don’t have the long hours and heavy responsibilities of a teacher, yet I have the opportunity to be a help and encouragement to students. I wouldn’t have the energy to be a teacher!

From the learning rooms…We have been busy evaluating student’s reading and math skills for the beginning of the year. This way, we are better able to help kids with their specific areas of need, such as comprehension, attention to detail, making inferences, etc.

I am thankful for…daughter Rebecca’s good help with the dishes and laundry when I am so tired this evening. I had to take daughter Debra to an appointment right after school, then stayed in town to do errands, and arrived home late and worn out. Thank you, Rebecca!

From the kitchen…My people ate left-overs and snacks this evening. I did bring home a delicious Costco pumpkin pie, however.


I am wearing…an argyle patterned sweater with a long black skirt. Very ‘school-ish’ looking.

I am reading…The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson. This author can make her characters come alive like no other. Rebecca really enjoyed this book, so I’m reading it at her recommendation.

I am hoping…to go to bed soon.


I am creating…this quick blog post!

I am hearing…the crinkle of foil in the kitchen. Someone is uncovering that pumpkin pie for a before-bed snack.

Around the house…I want to do a little neatening up of the entry garden beds, maybe put in a couple bright chrysanthemums before we have lots of company on Sunday. Granddaughter will be baptized, and we’re hosting a luncheon here afterwards.

One of my favorite things…is doing loving things for my family, and receiving loving things from them.


A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…I would like to get a little extra cleaning done around the house in preparation for company. My main helpers have two soccer games this week, so we’ll see if that actually happens.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Claire bear

This is my dear little granddaughter Claire who will be one month old when she is baptized this Sunday.

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!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, September 7th, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…September 7, 2009

Outside my Window…It’s beginning to look and feel a lot like autumn. At 10pm this evening it’s totally dark, since the longest day of the year is far behind us. The temp is a little above 50 degrees, and there’s the aroma of wood smoke in the air.


I am thinking…that my favorite season of the year is almost here!

From the learning rooms…I need to learn how to use a graphing calculator, before we start using it in the 8th grade math class! I’ll ask my kiddos to teach me all about it.


I am thankful for…the building that our church voted tonight to acquire and remodel. We have been meeting in the gym of a Christian school, but are out-growing that facility.

From the kitchen…I baked Honey Whole Wheat Bread today, and made Chili con Carne for dinner.

I am wearing…a long-sleeved maroon print top and black yoga pants.

I am reading…The Light on the Island: Tales of a Lighthouse Keeper’s Family in the San Juan Islands by Helene Glidden. I just finished reading this superb book today. This is like Little House on the Prairie, but on an island. Now my husband wants to sail to this island (Patos Island), but first I want him to find out where the dangerous whirlpools near the island are.

I am hoping…to go to work at the Middle School tomorrow after being sick in bed for two days. It’s OK. I got lots of reading done!

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…the tick-tock of a clock and computers humming.

Around the house…We will be harvesting our apples after the first decent frost. They are sweeter that way, I think.


One of my favorite things…is being well and doing my work.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…My mom moves to an adult family home this week. I need to help her sort and pack her things.

There’s a medical appointment in Bellingham for one of the children.

Rebecca and Lydia play in their first soccer game on Wednesday.

Rebecca starts her Medical Tech Prep studies at the hospital in Bellingham. This will give her a head start on her training as a physical therapy assistant.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

carly and deeder

I took this photo from my daughter Laura’s Facebook pictures. These are her children, Carly and Diederick. Doesn’t Carly have the cutest funny face?

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!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, August 17th, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…August 17, 2009

Outside my Window…Today was one of those gorgeous, late summer days that are warm, but not uncomfortably so. Now, at 10pm, there’s an autumn chill and dampness to the air. I noticed wispy swirls of clouds when we took the old doggy for a walk this evening.

I am thinking…that this has been an eventful summer.

From the learning rooms…I’m continuing to learn more about health and nutrition.

I am thankful for…the safe birth of our granddaughter Claire Renee, born to daughter Sarah and her husband Justin just this past Saturday.

From the kitchen…I went all-out this evening and prepared a time-consuming but scrumptious entrée: Three Cheese Teaser.

I am wearing…an olive-green denim skirt and cream colored peasant blouse.

I am reading…Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon, www.newtrendspublishing.com. This fascinating book examines the original diets of populations which had/have good dental and overall health. It makes sense to me that we should glean wisdom from previous generations. I’ve noticed that the author uses current large-scale scientific studies to substantiate her points thus far.

I am hoping…to go visit my husband’s dad and mom in Inverness, CA this week. Look this locale up on Google Earth, and check out some of the sights, such as Drake’s Bay and the Pt. Reyes lighthouse. Folks have posted some great photos and videos of this beautiful area.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…one of the Google Earth videos of the wind blowing in Pt.Reyes. I was once told that this is the windiest place on the west coast of the U.S.

Around the house…My husband and youngest son did some major brush clean-up around the yard today. The bonfire embers are still glowing.

One of my favorite things…is having the time and energy to serve my family a special meal.


A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…We plan to leave on a jet plane on Wednesday. When we return, it will just be in time for the first day of school.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Sarah and Claire

Our daughter Laura snapped this picture of her sister Sarah and Sarah’s brand new baby daughter, Claire.

happy family

Laura also took this picture of Sarah and her husband Justin with little Claire.

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!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…August 3, 2009

Outside my Window…it is dark (due to the late hour), damp and cool. We’re back to our temperate, Pacific Northwest weather. We’ve had a decent dose of summer. I don’t mind the usual at all!

I am thinking…our young people should be getting home soon from their evening out. One of our grown sons treated his younger brother and sisters to dinner and a movie tonight. What a nice guy!

From the learning rooms…I’ve almost finished reading Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones. I think I will be a much better paraeducator this coming school year if I can remember and apply some of this helpful information!

I am thankful for…God’s holy law, which describes what is right and what is wrong. If we want to know what is pleasing to Him, it is possible to find out. God didn’t create us, and then leave us without an instruction manual for life. What a relief!


From the kitchen…I finally got some bread baked this evening. I’m looking forward to fresh buttered toast with my coffee in the morning.


I am wearing…my denim skirt and chocolate brown tee shirt.

I am reading… Magic Flutes by Eva Ibbotsen.

I am hoping…three of our older children have a good visit with friends in southern California later this month.

I am creating…or rather, I am nurturing a calm spirit within. I find it all-too-easy to fret when I see wrong beliefs leading to wrong actions. In any event, the Lord says we should not fret because of evil doers.

I am hearing…a computer humming loudly. My husband is repairing an old computer, which is sitting on the table just to my left.

Around the house…much of the lawn is crispy brown. The weather has been so hot and dry. We haven’t been watering the apple trees this year. I wonder if the apples will be especially small?


One of my favorite things…is getting work done at home. The laundry is all caught up, the kitchen is clean, and my husband and I even took the time to watch ‘Morning Light’, a movie about the Transpacific Yacht Race’s youngest team ever to compete.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…tomorrow I do more work on behalf of my elderly mom. She is refusing to walk now, and sometimes refusing to feed herself, so I’m required to find a skilled nursing facility for her next home. It’s weird that, though she is well, and just as strong as she was a couple weeks ago, she has decided that she no longer ‘can’ walk. She refuses to lean forward to put the weight on her walker, so, of course, it’s of no use. Very puzzling.


Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

baltimore barnes and noble

Daughter Rebecca snapped this photo of a huge Barnes and Noble bookstore in Baltimore, MD while she was participating in a Presidential Classroom session this past week. We do enjoy our local B&N, though it’s far from this size!

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!