Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Finally--I'm Back

I know I have been absent from blogging for way too long but I didn't think that I would have an issue finding my blog on my dashboard or signing in to blogger when I decided it was time to pick up my "blogging pen" again. Wow- was I wrong. It took me two days but finally after many attempts at resetting passwords and hours of frustration, I somehow stumbled on to the solution. I only hope that I can remember how to get back on in the future!

What have I been doing with myself since my last post in January of 2015? Well- I have been going back to school and will be graduating with my A.A.S. in Accounting on May 11th 2016. Until February, I was also working full-time.

I am now hoping to start my own bookkeeping business so that I can work from home. I am most excited to return to homeshooling Abigail full time. I am thankful that Dan's schedule allowed him to oversee Abi's schooling while I worked and went to school so she didn't have to leave home but I am so ready to be a full-time homeschool mommy again.

So for the next few days I will be busy with final exams but after that I will be back to regular blogging.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Mother~Daughter Book Challenge

My daughter Britni extended a book reading challenge for 2015 and I accept!  Each year I attempt to do the "Read 52 books in 52 Weeks" challenge but with working and going back to school I need a more reachable challenge this year. Britni and I have agreed to stick to the following list to make our book selections this year. I am going to post a book review after each book I read. Any other mother/daughters that want to join us- feel free. Here's the list.

2015 Mother~Daughter Book Challenge

A book you've been meaning to read

A book published this year
A book in a genre you don't typically read
A book from your childhood
A book your mom loves
A book that was originally written in a different language
A book "everyone" has read but you
A book you chose because of the cover
A book by a favorite author
A book recommended by someone with great taste
A book you should have read in high school
A book that's currently on the best seller list

To follow Britni's challenge click on her picture in the side bar.  

My Journey Begins...........Again

Well....I see it has been since August since I last did a blog post..oh my! I have been up to several things that have kept me busy....1) I started working full-time in June and 2) I started going back to school in September. Lots of changes in 2014 but that is not the journey I am beginning again. This one is going to be difficult and I believe it will require accountability and transparency. Neither of which comes easy to me, I tend to keep personal things personal. Many of us make New Years resolutions only to feel guilty when our resolve isn't as strong as we had hoped. So I am not going to make any resolutions on my journey this year, only goals. So here goes....

My journey this year is going to document my weigh-loss. There...it's out. (Deep breath inserted here) I have struggled with my weight all my life in one way or another. I have lost weight only to regain it. Some of you know the cycle. There are several things I will be sharing on this journey, not just pounds lost, but books read, helpful tips I find, and recipes. 

Today I am going to share the method. As I said before I have been on this journey many times and have taken several different paths. For me, I have been most successful on Weight Watchers. That is the program I will be following. Yes, it does cost money. This year the budget will more than comfortably afford the monthly online fee, praise the Lord for that. There have been times when that has not been a comfortable budget expense but still one I felt was very worth it. In the past I have attended weekly meetings but this time around I am only going to use the online membership. In the past, I have always had a "buddy" doing the program with me. This time I will be going it alone. That is what will be one of the hardest parts, but if I am being transparent, necessary. I don't know where this particular path on this lifetime journey is going but as I write I am finding encouragement. Almost excitement. I say almost because I am not a risk taker by nature, in fact, status-quo is a synonym of security to me. I am not thrilled about being transparent either. I find it difficult to share my inner thoughts with anyone. 

I am hoping others who are headed on this type of journey will find encouragement. For those of you who have never had weight struggles, but have loved ones who do, maybe you will see a glimps of something that will help you better understand. 

So for today...the journey begins........

Monday, August 11, 2014

The New Girls Get Names

Well the girls are all grown up now, so today was the day we banded them and gave them names. Here's the roll call.....
Nadia got her name because as we were watching her after the banding she walked across the roosting bar and balanced on one leg while stretching the other leg out in front of her and repeated this with the other leg with exception of stretching it behind her- she looked like she was preforming a balance beam routine.

Helen is a rather flighty bird. She made the biggest fuss when she was being banded.
We don't know any fussy Helen's but Dan felt that she looked like a Helen so the name stuck.

Lizzy, of course is named after Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudiced. She is not proud or prejudiced but I love the name Lizzy. Too bad she will never meet her
 Mr. Darcy.

Ethel got her name because of her BFF. She is usually found hanging around Lucy!

Bertha is the biggest of all the girls. Big Bertha just seems to suit her.

Guinever's band color is white and for some reason she just kept reminding me of
 Lady Guinevere so the name stuck.

Little Lucy actually got her name when we brought her home. She was is the smallest of the girls and always came running to me when I would peek into the brooder. She usually is one of the first ones to get to me when I go out to the coop- that is if Claudia will get out of the way!
And last but not least...Gertrude...Dan picked her name. 

Guess who would not leave me alone until I took her picture?
Claudia the photo bomber!(by the way...she rules the roost!)
So there you have it. About three weeks ago we combined the "Three French Hens" with the new girls. They are getting along as good as can be expected. They were 20 weeks old on August 7th and we found the first egg  from the new girls, laid in the run, on Sunday the 10th. There were two more today, one broke in the nesting box and the other was laid in the run again. Both were small really small but we are thrilled that they are starting. I know production will increase as they get the hang of it. The next project is to increase the size of the run and finish painting the coop. I am also not happy where the old coop is placed so we have plans to move that again. When it is all done I will give you a picture tour....or stop by and see them in person. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

God Is Holding The Umbrella

I am sure you have heard the phrase "when it rains it pours". I have heard it all my life. Something told me when I woke this morning that it was going to be a gully gusher kind of a day, and there was nothing on the local radar forecasting rain! 

It all started with me oversleeping...(you don't need the details)...racing to the bathroom to get ready...calling out to number 2 child to hurry up and get dressed, take the dogs out, feed the dogs....the phone rings....it's the husband...."have you eaten yet? I want to take you out for breakfast." (He has been on out of town trips all week, bless his heart, and wanted to do something fun with the family)....but it's a school day......Oookay...we'll go out to breakfast...child number 2 is still not up, no dogs have been out or fed and dad is pulling in the driveway..."why aren't you ready?"...(Let's not go there)....number 2 child is finally dressed, dogs have been out and fed...pile into the car and on to the restaurant...after we are seated I notice that number 2 child's hair is making Einstein's hair look professionally styled...
And that was the calm part of the day.

After "breakfast", we had a few errands to run, so it makes sense to just do them while you are out right? While driving hither and yon the check gauges light on the dash comes on..."no big deal" I thought...husband had the mechanic at work test the alternator and battery last week when it did this and the voltage read fine...husband thinks it is a malfunction in a computer chip....(you do need the details on this one)...sometime during the morning rush husband tells me he is going to go to a computer customer after work so won't be home until late...call number 1 child and arrange to have her bring number 2 child to her house after youth meeting for husband to pick up on his way into town...(sounds like a plan)(insert distant thunder rumble here)...rush home just in time for husband to go back to work...phone rings..it's number 1 child..instead of picking number 2 child up pack a bag so she can stay the night to help with grand-babies on Saturday...(thunder is a bit closer now. Why? you ask...the laundry isn't done yet for the week and who knows if number 2 child even has clean clothes at this point)...call to number 2 child to pack a bag....with the hour left before we need to leave for dance class(I decided to run to Walmart before dropping her off)....load the car with props to drop off at the dance studio for a performance tomorrow...realizing I hadn't eaten since "breakfast" I decide to do something that my OCD self has never done...ever... throw a few sweet potatoes in the oven at 275 for the hour(at the most) that I will be gone so that I have something ready to eat that is on my new eating program when I arrive home.(Note: at this point I am not really hungry and can wait until I return so I don't even grab a small snack)(insert flash of lighting and large clap of thunder here).....rush out the door and notice that number 2 child has on a ratty pair of flip flops...oh well she is just going to youth after class and will be inside and the weather is nice....not paying attention, I miss the first road I was going to take and had to go down the more crowded highway(insert large raindrops here)...the check gauge light comes on..not to worry it's been doing this...a few seconds later the airbag light comes on...not wanting to scare number 2 child I think to myself "what does that mean?... I have no air bag?...the airbag is going to deploy?...what do I do if it does?"....stopping at the light to turn into the Wally-world parking lot, all sorts of bells start going off..every light on the dash is flashing yet I have no turn signal or any dash lights...as I pull up to the car in front of me I see that my head lights are barely visible... I pull down the first parking isle and coast into a spot.(thunder, lightening, rain) I call the husband and leave a voice message that the car broke down and call number 1 child, who is on her way to work at the dance studio to come and help. Number 1 child doesn't have a voice-mailbox set up....great.....decide to go into the store to get the things I needed...forgot one of them...and while I am at the self-checkout husband calls and says "here I am going to hand the phone to my bus aide..tell her what happened."...trying to insert the right amount of cash into a self-check register and having a second party conversation with your husband while low blood sugar is setting in is not all it's cracked up to be....walk back to the car with a slightly hysterical child when number 1 child calls back.."did you call me?"....explain what happens...she can't come because she has to open the studio....great...low blood sugar hits hard and triggers my memory of the baking sweet potatoes in an oven I never leave on while I am not home! I send an emergency text message to a friend to swing by my house, look for the hide a key and turn off my oven because I don't know when I will be home...(insert loud stomach rumble here) Across the parking lot is a McDonald's. I can't eat at McDonald's(not on my new eating plan)...(louder stomach rumbling and shakiness sets in) I have to eat something so number 2 child and I walk to McDonald's, get something to go and walk back to the car to wait for husband to arrive...while walking back number 2 child cries "my shoe just broke". 

How is God holding the umbrella? My normal reaction to a situation like this would usually be one of complete panic and although I had one moment of snappy words due to the low blood sugar, I had the peace of the Lord that everything would work out. Not only did He give me the presence of mind to get the car to a parking space, food when it was needed, and Walmart's shoe department, but there was a service center that checked alternators and batteries across the parking lot. Husband arrived, we jump-started the car, brought it over to the repair shop just before it closed and it was fixed within the hour. And..my wonderful friend got the text message and turned off the oven. Most importantly, I was able to show my little girl how God cares about us and provided for needs we didn't even know we had yet. 

Psalm 73:28
But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

Thank you, Lord, for holding the umbrella today.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chicken Littles.......not so much

Three weeks ago I posted here about the 10 baby chicks we added to our flock. I was amazed at how quickly they outgrew their first little home. At two weeks we moved them to their new digs.....

We cleared out a space for them in the garage and my handy man Dan rigged up this baby pool with chicken wire and netting and voila'........instant chicken brooder!

Today, they outgrew their waterer. (who knew chicks drank so much!) It was almost a full-time job trying to keep it full. Thankfully, a few weeks ago, I bought another large waterer with the anticipation of needing it for the new coop. I don't even want to talk about the amount of chicken feed they are going through! Here is what they look like today, at three weeks old. 

Abi found a long, thin piece of bamboo on our walk through the park the other day and it perfectly spans across the brooder as a roosting bar. Some of them just started to use it a few days ago. You can see how they are loosing their chick down and getting their feathers. Their new coop will be going up next week and as soon as they get all their feathers, and if the weather will finally cooperate, we will introduce them to the Three French Hens.

This is a picture of what a full grown Buff Orpington hen will look like.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

52 Weeks Book Challenge

For several months, I have been slowly savoring the pages of a book after my quiet time. That book is....

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
by Ann Voskamp

Between the pages of this book, Ann shares the struggles and hard places of her life that brought her to ask and answer these questions:

 Where is joy in the midst of cruelty and chaos, duties and despair?
How does one slow down enough for the soul and God to live in sync?
How in the world do we learn to find God and live fully?

Through piles of laundry, homeschooling kids, and everyday routine, Ann finds the one motivating key that will answer all of those questions. I really enjoyed this book. I am beginning to practice Ann's ideas in my own life, taking one small step at a time, trying to discover for myself, how to live fully right where the Lord has me.