Sunday, November 30, 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Last Post . . .

. . . for awhile.  Finding the time and desire to blog is getting hard.  The joy is there, but write things out is getting difficult.  Thinking I'll take a break from this and see what happens.  May be back, may not be.  Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday . . .

list of things that have been good:
  • Actually went shopping on Black Friday!  Been a long while since I'd gone out, probably 7 or more years.  Last time out was more to see what all the fuss was about.  Today, actually got out of the house at 7:45 to see if I could score the one deal that was worth it and actually had success (plug for my facebook yardsale board with similar Black Friday Theme)
  • After hanging out with family, had the usual turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sandwich.
  • Another good thing, made it home from VA Beach in about 3 hours and 20 minutes.  Could have been less if we had a full tank and a child who had remembered to "use the facilities before getting in the car"!
  • Adjusting things around the house to further decorate for Chirstmas ~ we have strings of lights out, checking the bulbs, one more wreath out, and a couple window candles up.  Tomorrow will be busier.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day

A day of family, traditions (old and new), food, and fun.  Keeping it short today!
  • family to hang out with
  • good food
  • time off from normal things
Have a wonderful day!  Remember to give thanks, in all things.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Seasons are Changing

around here!  At least the decorations.  The leaves are falling and the evergreen wreaths are coming out.

Today + Joy = a hodge podge of a list.  So here it is:

  • weather that keeps people home
  • quick feeling therapy
  • ending of "one" season and beginning of another
  • warm breakfast on a cold day
Short and sweet list!

 Fall leaf garland that came down this morning!

Annual Christmas Wreath from
my in-laws.  Love getting this each year.
Not something I would buy for myself,
so it is appreciated!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Life, Curve Balls, and Flexibility

So many different ideas for idle chit chat for today's post.  Originally thought of monochromatic because of the sky this morning. It was a light gray with medium gray, wispy clouds!  Had a post started, but it just wasn't working for me.

At this point in the day, the title of this post sums it up best:  Life, Curve Balls, and Flexibility.  Went to bed last night thinking I'd be home all day to get some chores done.  That could not be FURTHER from the truth!  Therapy called, at 7:30 AM, to see if we could come in at 9:00 AM because therapist got days mixed up.  I could have said no and been alright with that, but didn't.  Ran errands I didn't fully expect.  STILL got the carpets cleaned, rug cleaner returned, dip made for Thursday, and am baking cookies for Thursday as well.  Got two kids through the shower (with one working shower), dinner made with no wheat!  And now it is just the in and out of the cookie trays.  Holly, if you ever read this post, you feel my pain.  I am hoping the chips, in the photo below, make it worthwhile!!!  Looking forward to putting the house back together (good grief the rugs are taking FOREVER to dry), a glass of wine, and just relaxing before the mad dash tomorrow!

So my thankfulness for the day would include:
  • fast acting coffee
  • flexibility to adapt to life's changes
  • time to sit and be
  • cleaner carpeting
  • a dog, finally content to be inside (more in and out all day long!)
 Overloaded, chocolate chip cookies
Caramel filled morsels!  Hope they are
worth it!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Not an Average Monday!

Seriously not your average Monday!  Even though busy, even though scattered cloudiness, even though there was A LOT of cleaning and laundry ~ there has been a great amount of things to be thankful for; lots of great photo ops too!  Without much more idle chitter chatter, here's my list today:
  • boys getting to sleep in (we're on Thanksgiving Break)
  • lots of cleaning getting done
  • Kevin swinging by Costco, just for cheese and wine
  • good dinner (Tacos)
  • beautiful sunrise
  • catching a lady bug
  • being able to open up the house for awhile today
 boys enjoying a morning off!

 Ms. Kitty in her favorite spot.

 Ms. C in her favorite spot!  Gave her a pillow as
the Apothecary didn't look to comfy as a head rest.

Lady Bug that flew in this morning.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sundays = Busy Days!!

at least this week.  Worst part, kids running on an almost empty sleep tank!  That's okay, Thanksgiving Break is upon us.  There is time to catch up.  After making it through the day (which I wasn't sure I would), it is a bit easier to see the joy.
  • making my version of lasagna (with sauce that simmered all day yesterday)
  • moments of cleaning ~ weird I know, to be thankful for that, but it is true
  • Eagle Court of Honor for a friend's son
  • time with some family over for dinner
  • early pj time and watching a movie
A good Sunday to you and good night!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Post Show Let Downs

Yup, we had those this evening.  Our boys have so much fun working on a show, getting to know the kids better and generally having a blast, it is hard for it to stop.  Tonight was the last show of "Fiddler on the Roof", followed by striking the set, and cast party.  Almost reminded me of college and how things were done.  Thankful for  a bit of time off, but will miss seeing the adults as much as our boys miss seeing the kids.

Today's list of thankfulness:
  • home made soup
  • the starts of lasagna simmering all afternoon
  • hopefully last round of leafs mostly dealt with
  • time spent with friends after the show
  • bread baked

Friday, November 21, 2014

Finally Friday!!!

And the Friday before Thanksgiving! Not a whole lot more than yesterday, on the thankful front, but a bit easier.  Life can just do that to you!  Here are a few for today (and photo's), in particular order!
  • seeing our boys show, just as parents, no show jobs
  • trying really hard to not sing along with each song 
  • potting a Christmas Catus, into a larger pot
  • waiting on a couple "new" Christmas Catus to sprout enough roots to be planted
  • homemade lasagna, made by a friend
  • dinner with friends
 Sunsets and sunrises never get old here!

Repotting the Christmas Catus!
Natural fertilizer (ground up egg shells and Epsom Salt
which is actually magnesium and not salt)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Got Nothing . . . .

Rough day, most of the day!  Hard to find the joy, the thankfulness, gratefulness.

Maybe tomorrow will be better, be different, have more obvious moments of joy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thankfulness and Gratitude in the Craziness of Life?

You bet!  I've seen glimmers of it today; many, many glimmers and it has been delightful.  Probably the biggest and best has been an overwhelming sense of peace.  Can't tell you why or what caused it, there just has been a peace that surpasses all understanding.  Can not attribute it to sleeping well, or eating well, or an awesome devotion, or a great, deep chat with a close friend.  It's just a calm feeling.

There have been words of encouragement from friends, things on the calendar being cancelled, getting a fire going (first one of the season), selling old toys of the boys, and other good things today as well.  To list out the things I am grateful for today would be:

  • first fire of the year
  • dog acting silly over kong
  • seeing smiles on our teenagers face
  • getting lots of little things done (but not a whole lot visible)
  • being able to wing a good dinner
  • hearing our dog snore, while sleeping in front of the fire
  • another few hours of down time without our kids
  • time to see friends this afternoon, even briefly
  • time this evening to see more friends
Life is good! Life is worth being thankful for, even when I see things that feel bad.  Life is good, even when we see the hard and failed attempts at things.  All this is true, I believe, because God is good ~  All the time!

I leave you today, with a photo of our first fire!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cooler days, warmer drinks, and beautiful shadows

The title sums up the day fairly well.  Been another quiet day in our household this afternoon with the boys gone from noon to 5.  Been enjoying that a great deal.  Love having them around, but love having them gone too!  Especially when school is finished, corrected and completely put away before they leave.

Drank some of my coffee hot today, for a change (been an iced coffee drinker for awhile now, but hot is good on really cold days).  Pulled out one of my favorite mugs and it seemed to fit my mood; on the inside it says "Promise you'll never forget me" or something like that.  Just a cute Piglet mug I've had for almost 15 years.  Hard to believe I picked it up, at Disney, when our oldest was just a few weeks old.  Hard to believe our first trip to Disney was planned so long ago (and a child happened between planning and going:) )!

Anyway,  posting earlier than usual today, as I'm not sure what the evening holds for me.  Lots of different options open.  Go out with some friends, go to a Scout meeting, hang out at home and do chores or veg, or stay home and sleep.  All are very appealing and not sure which will win out.

Thankfulness for today:
  • finding some of the harder to find Christmas gifts (not saying what as all my guys read the blog)!
  • homemade caramel macchiato
  • joy of a favorite mug
  • quietness
  • beautiful shadows on the walls
 Yes, the photo is slightly staged!  Got my terra cotta pots,
layered cake pedestal with yellow ware bowls.
Gives a glimpse of me!

 Front of one my favorite mugs!

Shadows in dining room.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Busy Monday to you! And thankfulness . . . .

that it is winding down.  Tech week for Cast 2 of "Fiddler on the Roof" began today.  It means shorter school days, more planning, less free time (for the boys with a 5 hour rehearsal every day), more chores done for me at home.  Boys are off to bed and I'm sure there is a ton of stuff I could still get done, but I ponder what can wait till tomorrow.

Today's joy and thankfulness includes:
  • a steady stream of coffee
  • planned meals
  • easier school days
  • a desperate attempt at organization
No pictures today either, unless you really want to see the stuff we're trying to sell!  Not going to actually get into to that on this social media platform.  Check out facebook instead or Craigslist or whatever!

Enjoy what is left of your Monday as I wind down, make out tomorrow's to do list, and call it an evening!!

Good Night and Sweet Dreams

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Another Sunday ~ another weekend comes to a close!

It's been a good weekend!  Really enjoyable!  Ian got extra Mom and Dad time, while Simon spent the weekend at RVR retreat with the Burke Community Church High Schoolers.  Kevin is back up at church while boys and I veg to "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving".  Love those classics!

So, what am I thankful for today:
  • finding a new dog bed for Charlotte's crate for under $10.00 ~ when we leave it in while we are gone, she tends to shred it.  So now she gets a crate liner (little bit of cushioning) and some old towels while we're gone.  At night she gets the pillow on top of it all.
  • a child finally getting his room clean AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • having our oldest home after a weekend gone
  • time to veg before a busy week
  • successfully making caramel sauce (and saving the first batch to become a "starter" for white hot chocolate!)
  • love my mason jars!
  • being able to photograph stuff, getting a descent shot, even without much training

The yellow/orange tree by the street light!
Just beautiful!!

White Chocolate Sauce and Caramel Sauce

Saturday, November 15, 2014

What are Saturday's like for you?

They are all over the place for us!  Today was a lovely Saturday!  Beautiful, chilly weather.  Some chores done, including service projects with the youth from church.  Errands to a number of places and finally home to eat dinner and veg.

Thankfulness would include:

  • fixing the boys sink
  • making bread
  • having a quart of this chocolate syrup around
  • son grasping shopping around and 40% off coupon  ($12.00 vs. $3.18)
  • enjoying looking for more home made recipes (coffee creamers in particular, if you have one you like, let me know.  Would rather not use sweetened condensed milk though!)
No pictures today!  Some day, I might just carry the camera with me everywhere I go; seen to many good shots and not a good camera to be had!  Boo!

Happy Saturday evening!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Junk food kind of joy!

One of the many things that make our kids happy is home made junk food!  Today I made a Heath Bar dip.  Very similar to the Oreo truffle minus the dipping in chocolate or the egg free chocolate chip cookie dough.  Goes well with pretzels, vanilla wafers, or graham crackers!  Better yet, got to use a yellow bowl (my indirect connection to Cranberry Thanksgiving).

So today, thankful for:
  • Heath Bar Dip
  • pretzels
  • yellow ware bowls
  • plenty of soap and water for hand washing dishes

Thursday, November 13, 2014

By all accounts today

shouldn't have felt like a good day.  It was cloudy all day.  School took all day.  Half the school population didn't get ready for the day until after lunch.  It felt chilly all day long and I refused to crank the heat.

              ~  YET  ~

    It was a good day!  There was much to be thankful for; there was lots of:
  • laughter
  • hot chocolate
  • Maine Pines scent candle burning
  • minimal driving
  • lots of cleaning
  • lots of music from Pandora (I switched stations a few times)
Remnants of the first round of hot chocolate.
Need to make more chocolate syrup and whipped cream now!
Yes there is even candy cane  dust on the cutting board.

P.S. ~ let me know if you want recipes for chocolate syrup or whip cream (although if you have the canister, you probably have the recipe book that came with it!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Where is the joy?

Seriously!  Where is it?  I've been trying to be more aware of seeking out the joy, the thanksgiving for awhile now.  Today wasn't difficult, it wasn't trying or tiring; no major battles with teens or tweens.  It was probably the most hum drum kind of day around.

I could rattle off several, insincere things, like: it's bedtime, we have a house, food, money in the bank!  These are all good things.  Things that a lot of folks would love to have.  Don't get me wrong, those things bring joy & peace, but how many times can I lean on those when I haven't been mindful of other joyful things all day long.

The few things that I can think of, with a small ounce of sincerity are:
  • seeing the fall trees through the fog this morning
  • a friend's grand babies arriving today (yeah! a set of twins)
And with those two humble things, I do call it a night.  Trying to restore a sleep deficit here!!  No great pictures to post today!  Wished I'd had the camera earlier today ~ the fog was really cool.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Moments of silence

Have you ever tried to take a moment just to be silent?  Really tried to hear what was going on in the world around you?  It's amazing how loud things can seem when we turn off our own vocal cords.

I stretched out on the deck this afternoon.  The sun felt wonderful, very warm on a cool day.  So many things heard while being silent, things to be thankful for.  Things like:
  • sounds of at least 4 different birds
  • train whistles
  • breeze through the trees
  • a dog scratching to come out on the deck with me
  • emergency vehicles in the distance
  • delivery trucks
Ultimately the silence was broken by a young boy joining me.  We were silent together, for a short bit, anyway, until hunger pangs drove us back inside.  Even this evening, the silence on my part has enjoyable.  Just taking time to here "the heartbeat of the house".  There has been:
  • younger child cleaning up for scouts
  • older moving about his room with squeaky floors
  • cleaner child, singing what ever comes time mind ~ a cross between "Fiddler on the Roof" and Christmas Choir songs
  • one dog going to town on her dog food
Why does this make me thankful or joyful?  A few things come to mind:
  • there are people out there to help the sick and injured
  • my health is good enough to be able to hear
  • we have things, in our possession, to bring comfort (food, shelter, dog)
  • happy and content children
Sunset, trees, & snow!
Our back yard one winter!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Small things can lead to bigger things

Not any one thing, unique or outstanding today; truly just another day.  A day of little things, like:
  • figuring out dinner early in the day
  • seeing a yellow/orange tree light up by a street lamp
  • dropping the car off for service
  • casserole dinner on a chilly day
  • actually falling asleep and taking a nap
  • not staying asleep and missing a doctors appointment
  • not worried about all the things that didn't get accomplished
It can still be a day of being thankful though.  To see those little things and realize that it is all those little things, and big things too, that make life meaningful.  These markers, milestones, things that make us pause and smile, help our focus to be on what is right and just.  So, for now, I'll continue to be calm because . . . . .

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sundays ~ day of rest

Rest can mean so many different things to so many different people.   Thankful to be in an age of grace where there were not all the added rules and regulations that the Pharisees put on Sundays.  Some folks have to work on Sundays and I am thankful for those doctors & nurses on call, the police officers and fire and rescue folks giving up their Sundays.  I think almost all other business would be just fine closed down for the day.

Anyway, enough of the soap box.  We try to hang out as a family Sunday afternoons.  Sometimes it's nap time, sometimes it is something fun or a few easy chores to help us get caught up.  Today was a round up of the leaves out front.  Got most of them blown into a big pile and one kid came to help me bag.  It was nice to have his company and didn't mind the occasional jumping into the leaf pile.  Wasn't in a great hurry and it was something fun for him to do.  Possibly brought joy for the moment.  We reminisced that the size of the pile wasn't the greatest for an 11 yo, would have been better about 10 years ago.  Time has flown by!

Today, although no new photos to post, there's plenty to be thankful for:

  • a quiet house
  • blankets
  • time to study
  • time to read
  • getting ahead on chores

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sleepy children, Crazy Saturdays, and Life Marches On

First weekend of "Fiddler" has come to a close, set has been struck (don't have a place to leave it up between shows), kids have had a blast.  Brian Knapp took some great photos, will post one of "horse/mule" scene.  Our actor starts the "fight"!  One of few times in life he can pick a fight and get away with it.

Thankfulness today has been small and at times, almost unnoticeable because I'd get wrapped up in what needs to get done or what was next.  Suppose the aspect of being intentional is important if you are trying to remember.  To jot things down would be ideal, but still learning the "smart" way to do things; not always an easy thing to do or follow through with.  With out much more fan fare, what I can recollect from the day:

  • great show for boys
  • beautiful fall day
  • chance clear the back yard of leaves
  • heating pad on aching feet
  • very true coffee signs

"It was a HORSE"

So very tired!

 As of right now, I am the only
coffee drinker!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Another Opening, another show!

Fiddler on the Roof, Jr. opened tonight, for NVPlayers.  Life gets crazy as the show rehearsals ramp up to opening, but that can be another post.  Needless to say, the boys are having lots of fun being involved again with another show.  It stretches us and makes us reassess what is important and what can wait.

Beyond the boys crazy schedule, life throw a lots of good things at us and sad things as well.  For example, I'm struggling with the presentation of this blog.  Odd way to start, for sure; but I ponder over whether to write the ups and downs, that I am thankful for, in prose format, then just list them out at the end.  Should it be a quick summary at the top, with some explanation, and then my condensed list.  There will always be the posts, where writing is hard that day and it's a minimalistic post.

Several things made me pause and grab the camera.  You'll see those at the end as usual.  But to move on without a lot more pondering:

  • dressing almost identical to my son today or he like me (it was worth a good chuckle)
  • candy shared, just because!
  • how the weather changed so quickly with the strong winds coming through
  • hearing that my favorite candle company is closing their doors, but thankful for the run they had.  Still stand by their product, completely.
  • opening night for the boys
  • seeing the boys having fun with friends
  • boys learning how to entertain a crowd
 Yup, he's taller.  I had dark gray pants on,
he had on light gray shorts.

 Candy donated to me, just because.

Different sized and colored clouds rolling in.

 While the other direction had sunlight through the leaves!

Birds are not happy with me, but made a pretty photo!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The busy days keep getting busier

and not a day to put the brakes on either, just keep moving along with it.  Be safe and enjoy life!

For today:
  • at the end of the day, we're all safe and that is all that really matters
  • boys having a good, short school day
  • brief moments to just sit at home
Hard to find joy on truly busy days.  I'll need to learn to keep notes during the day on that sort of stuff.  I know I am missing things.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Long Days, but Thankful Days

The boys show is coming quickly, just a few more days for weekend one!  They are probably going to crash hard come Sunday.

Things to be thankful for today:
  • Oldest paying his own way at a youth event
  • youngest getting work done in his room (his achilles heal ~ so hard for him to keep clean)
  • Kevin staying home, with youngest, so I could still go to my bible study
  • pulling second loaf, of homemade bread, out of the freezer.  It still taste good, when you let it thaw slowly and then jus let it sit in a warm oven for a little bit.
  • Grace that is sufficient for the moment.
Happy hump day folks!

Picture from this site:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Different kind of quiet!!

And one that I will have to get used to eventually.  You see, the boys are both busy with something they enjoy ~ theater.  One loves the lime light (lol funny story I'll add in a bit) and the other loves to do tech.  It is something they can both do, and do well to the best of their abilities.  It feels a bit alarming how quiet the house has been yesterday and today.  Even with Kevin working from home today, it has been quiet.  He's done his thing and a few chores and I the same.  We will eventually be empty nesters, so this is good practice for us.

The funny story:  last night began practices for the children's choir at church.  A certain someone, we know and love, who has been known as Thing Two, and who loves the lime light asked when they are assigning principle parts.  He is SO hoping for one as this is his last year for children's choir.  It just made me laugh!  What a ham!!

Things for joy today:

  • Christmas songs on Pandora
  • quiet house
  • freshly vacuumed carpet
  • candles burning (probably already used this a few times!!  If you care to count and let me know, go ahead)
  • walks with Kevin
  • getting school graded early
  • another hour and a half of kids being gone
  • stairs leading down stairs getting a fresh coat of paint
  • greater range of motion from side to side

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mondays are just that ~ mundane

at least for us this week; but add in way much busier.  It's the first tech week for "Fiddler on the Roof" and both boys weeks have gotten crazy busy.

In this period of wackiness, it is hard to find the joy, but here's what can be scrapped together:
  • time to myself
  • boys having fun at things they like to do
  • easy dinner
  • smell of fresh baked bread
  • finally bedtime

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sundays = Fundays

Hey Readers,

How do you make Sundays a fun day?  What do you to bring a little joy into your day?

For us today, it was Sunday School, church, a lot of hanging out together.  We got a few chores done around the house as a family ~ 9 bags of leaves dealt with and the back yard blown into the tree line!  We had a good dinner together, taco mac, and now watching a Marvel movie together.    Letting a few machines work for us ~ load of dishes and load of wash!  Trying hard to make Sunday last forever with the week getting crazy.  Our next night free will be next Sunday.  Breathe and hold tight for a crazy, wild ride.

As for joy today:
  • compliments again today (on my haircut this time)
  • silly things like being able to tuck a shirt in and it looks okay
  • being okay with a minimal amount of indoor chores getting done
  • tasty taco mac dinner
  • hoping for an early bed time


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fall Festival

Spent many hours at church today.  We helped set up for the Fall festival and then hung out while the boys did their thing.  Kevin said it was a cheap dinner date!

Today I'm thankful for:
  • compliments
  • having a church to hang out at
  • getting those "steps" in while chatting with Kevin
  • heating pads
  • sleep