On my reading pile: Loved By Choice by Horner and Nartini (about adoption), Virginia Weddings (a collection of Christian short-story romances...yeah, a little light reading...what can I say??), and Finding Your Purpose as a Mom: How to Build Your Home on Holy Ground by Donna Otto.
Read aloud of the week: Andi's Pony Trouble by Susan K. Marlow. My grandma and grandpa always ask us what we'd like for Christmas for the kids. Usually, we've gotten magazine subscriptions for them, since that is so easy to order, and the kids love to get mail. This year, however, I got a catalog from Library and Educational Services and the prices on books were awesome, so I asked if I filled out the form with books for the kids (of equivalent value as the subscriptions), would they like to get the kids books...They agreed this would be a nice idea, and Firefly was the lucky recipient of a complete set of the Andi books (we reviewed one last year and loved it) that we will be reading aloud for the rest of the month. Yay! And thank you for the books Grandma and Grandpa!! (I got a set of Adventures in Odyssey cds which we listened to in the car tonight...it was an excellent was to spend forty-five minutes.)
On my TV: There's not much time for TV during the day (and we don't have cable anyway), but when I can't get to sleep at night (and have a headache, so I can't read), I have been watching old episodes of NUMB3RS on Netflix. Yeah, I know, it is a bit geeky...but the FBI stuff mixed with the math is actually an interesting combination. I have been thinking that some brilliant homeschooler ought to come up with a math curriculum revolving around those shows. It would be an intriguing way to spark interest in different topics since you learn about new methods and theories in each episode. I am certainly more into math since I started watching them!
On the menu for this week:
Monday: Baked Chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, and french bread.
Tuesday: Baked Potato soup and biscuits.
Wednesday: Spinach salad with chicken, pecans, mandarin oranges, and teryaki-orange-peanut oriental dressing (I know it sounds weird, but it is delicious). Bookmobile is today and friends come for a visit!
Thursday: Tex offered to make cashew chicken for dinner. Nice.
Friday: Pizza and a movie. The kids want to rent Mr. Popper's Penguins from Redbox.
Saturday: Cheeseburgers and fries. Pickles for those who like them (not me).
Sunday: French dip sandwiches (I cook a prime rib in the crock pot for about six hours with water and bouillion...the meat just shreds apart and the liquid makes a great au jus...we serve it on hoagie rolls topped with mozzarella cheese).
On my To-Do List:
Housework...constant picking up (not so much fun) and trying to declutter, organize, and reduce problems in certain areas (challenging, but rewarding).
Taking down Christmas stuff
Three reviews due this week
Helping my mom take down her Christmas stuff on Tuesday and she's going to go over how to use my sewing machine with me. Yes, I am admitting that it has been so long since I've used it that I've forgotten what to do. I like to sew by hand, but as I am doing more complex things, I am finding that the speed of a machine would help. I am not one to pass up on making something easier...
Bookmobile comes Wednesday with a visit from friends of ours, too.
Botox for my cervical dystonia and migraines on Wednesday...yuck. But it helps.
Homeschooling...we are trying some new products and doing a bit of "unschooling" this month (exploring interests rather than heavy book work so I can get more done around the house). I will let you know how that works for us later.
Fix my rocking chair, finish some trim in the bathroom, and start cleaning my closet.
What I am sewing or creating: I have taken an old denim skirt jumper that was too short for my taste and separated the top from the bottom. I am turning the top half into a vest trimmed with lace and new antique buttons, and the skirt part is going onto a modified pair of jeans to make a longer skirt. I will post pictures once it is done. I am also continuing to learn how to crochet. I graduated from making bracelets, necklaces, and bookmarks for the kids to making my first washcloth...it's not perfect, but it's not too bad, either.
Looking around the house: I am appreciating the Christmas decorations one last time before putting them away. I especially will miss the manger scene and how the donkey, sheep, and cows wander around it from time to time.
I am smiling when I see the parlor that is filled with the Toydle fort we recieved as a review item and gave the kids for Christmas...actually, I can't see much of the parlor at all since the fort takes up the whole thing!!
I am admiring the pretty paperwhites our neighbor gave us for Christmas that bloomed just a few days ago. They are a promise of good things to come in just a few months. They also remind us that though the bulbs were small and seemed plain when we got them, in no time at all, with just a bit of sun and water, they grew and became something beautiful...So, too, are we at times...we may feel as if there isn't anything remarkable to what we are doing (as a wife, stay at home mom, etc.), but given the right amount of time, the Living Water, and the Son, we can blossom into something remarkable with a long-lasting influence on many lives (those of our children, grandchildren, neighbors, friends, etc.).
From my camera:
My kitchen Re-do...this is from last month.
My camera is on the fritz so I couldn't take a new picture, but since seeing the wallpaper up makes me smile, I decided to share it with you! It's because I feel like it looks so much better than it did before...more finished and permanent. The "wallpaper" is actally contact paper, and only cost five dollars for one roll. It's truly amazing how cheaply you can improve things in your home using very little money if you are creative.
On my prayer list: My grandmother goes home this week. She had a heart attack just before Christmas and spent the holidays in a convalescent center. I am praying that she will take the time she needs to get well and that she will not try to do too much too soon. My folks will be traveling out to help her soon. My mother-in-law just got out of the hospital, too, from complications following colon removal surgery. A neighbor's son has a detatched retina and will be having surgery. My mom's knee is terribly swollen and troubles her...we're not sure why. My headaches have been worse this last month (my Botox is late due to insurance issues). Bubba and his fiancee are potentially buying a house for him to fix up so they will have it to live in after the wedding...yes, I did say wedding!! ;-)
Bible Verse: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's." Exodus 20:17
What does this verse mean to me? We listened to an Odyssey episode about envy while driving this afternoon and one of the illustrations it gave was about the grass being greener in your neighbor's yard...what should you do with that? Be jealous? Get spiteful about it? Blame someone? No, it explained that instead of getting envious, you should get busy. Get busy appreciating what you do have, and do what you can to make it the best it can be.
It made me think about this house we are in and how I sometimes don't appreciate it's smallness (is that a word?) Sometimes I am frustrated by it, and perhaps even a bit jealous when I go to visit someone who has a larger house, or one that is better organized, or has more options for expanison (more money, more time). It is easy to get off track and wallow in the self-pity and recriminations (Why did we buy this smallish house? Why can't we seem to get more done?) But lately I've been working on just DOING it...one thing at a time. One day, fix the cabinet pulls, another day move a door, one day straighten our the kitchen shelves, another day organize a closet...every little bit helps, and with each thing we touch and put love and effort into, we find more and more to appreciate about where we are. We find that this small space isn't as small as it seemed yesterday because it has grown with the love that has been put into it. Then comes the day when a tiny voice at my side whispers, "I like this house" and I smile, knowing that I do, too...even if it is a bit on the small side.
Something fun to share: Here's an awesome post from The Inspired Room with lots of links to craft room ideas. I've been having fun exploring them all.
Also, a good collection of Home Management Binder resources from Home: Made. Enjoy!
This post is linked up with Happy Homemaker Monday .